Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 52





5 Monday, 9 October 1995




9 Before:


11 (The Presiding Judge)






17 -v-






23 McHENRY appeared on behalf of the Prosecution


25 _______________

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3 Monday, 9 October 1995.

4 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] The hearing is open.

5 Madam Registrar,

6 please introduce the case for this hearing.

7 THE REGISTRAR: This case concerns the Prosecutor against

8 Dragan Nikolic No. IT-94-2-R61.

9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] This concerns Rule 61 of the

10 Rules of

11 procedure, so I now turn to the Prosecutor.

12 MR. GOLDSTONE: Your Honours, I appear as Prosecutor with

13 Mr. Niemann and Miss McHenry. Your Honours, as you have

14 just mentioned, this is the first proceeding under Rule 61

15 before this Tribunal. Such a proceeding, a Rule 61

16 proceeding, has been designed by your Honours and your

17 colleagues to cater for the situation where a warrant of

18 arrest issued by the Tribunal against an indicted accused

19 has not been executed.

20 The need for such a procedure arises because the

21 Security Council on the advice of the Secretary-General,

22 wisely set its face against trials in absentia. In his

23 report to the Council in May 1993, the Secretary-General

24 stated in paragraph 101, I quote: "A trial should not

25 commence until the accused is physically present before

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1 the International Tribunal. This is a widespread

2 perception that trials in absentia should not be provided

3 for in the statute as this would not be consistent with

4 Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and

5 Political Rights, which provides that the accused shall be

6 entitled to be tried in his presence".

7 Your Honours, I would submit that other convincing

8 reasons could also have been found to justify the decisio

9 not to make provision for trials in absentia. Such trials

10 tend not to satisfy calls for justice and create an

11 impression of being "show trials". The evidence is

12 untested and any conviction and sentence that may follow

13 are empty shells and would be so perceived. If the person

14 "convicted" is later arrested and brought for trial the

15 earlier proceedings would have to be disregarded and a

16 trial would begin de novo.

17 An international tribunal has no police force and no

18 means itself to enforce warrants of arrests issued by it.

19 It must necessarily rely for that purpose upon the

20 co-operation of Member States of the United Nations;

21 notwithstanding the peremptory obligations of States to

22 comply with Chapter VII resolutions of the Security

23 Council, the possibility was foreseen that a Member State

24 might refuse or fail so to comply or the political and

25 military situation might be such that a willing Member

Page 55

1 State may be physically incapable of making its

2 co-operation effective.

3 The question which, therefore, required consideration

4 by the Judges was whether in the event of the

5 non-execution of a warrant, the Tribunal should allow its

6 process to remain indefinitely suspended or whether there

7 was some action, short of a trial in absentia, that could

8 be taken by it. In that context the Judges fashioned the

9 innovative provisions of Rule 61.

10 Rule 61 provides that a Judge of a Trial Chamber

11 shall order the indictment to be submitted to that Chamber

12 if the Prosecutor has taken all reasonable steps to effect

13 personal service of the indictment, including recourse t

14 the appropriate authorities of the State in whose

15 territory or under whose jurisdiction and control the

16 person resides or was last known to be, and the Prosecutor

17 has otherwise tried to inform the accused of the existence

18 of the indictment by seeking publication of newspaper

19 advertisements pursuant to Rule 60.

20 Upon obtaining that order the Prosecutor is obliged

21 to submit the indictment to the Trial Chamber in open

22 court, together with all the evidence that was before the

23 Judge who initially confirmed the indictment. Additional

24 evidence may also be placed before the Trial Chamber,

25 including the viva voce evidence of witnesses.

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1 If, on that evidence, the Trial Chamber is satisfied

2 that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the

3 accused has committed all or any of the crimes charged in

4 the indictment, it shall so determine. The relevant parts

5 of the indictment are required to be read out by the

6 Prosecutor together with an account of the efforts to

7 effect service of the warrant of arrest.

8 If the Trial Chamber is so satisfied, in other words,

9 that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the

10 accused has committed all or any of the crimes charged in

11 the indictment, the Trial Chamber shall issue an

12 international warrant in respect of the accused which

13 shall be transmitted to all States.

14 In addition, if the Prosecutor satisfies the Trial

15 Chamber that the failure to execute the warrant was due in

16 whole or in part to a failure or refusal of a State to

17 co-operate with the Tribunal, the Trial Chamber shall so

18 certify, in which event the President of the Tribuna

19 shall notify the Security Council.

20 Your Honours, as one would expect, the Rules of the

21 Tribunal do not attempt to prescribe appropriate action by

22 the Security Council in the event of a notification to it

23 by the President under Rule 61. The Charter, however,

24 gives a wide discretion to the Security Council in such an

25 event and obviously the imposition of sanctions or at

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1 least the threat of sanctions is the kind of action that

2 readily comes to mind.

3 The effect of Rule 61 is to ensure that an accused

4 who decides not to appear for trial cannot thereby prevent

5 the Tribunal from making public the evidence upon which he

6 or she has been indicted. It also enables the Tribunal to

7 take effective steps to ensure that neither an accused nor

8 a Member State may, with impunity, ignore a warrant issued

9 by the Tribunal.

10 I referred earlier to the provisions of Rule 61 being

11 innovative. They are also historic in that they cater for

12 a situation which has never ever before arisen. The

13 Nuremberg and Tokyo Trials are only comparable proceedings

14 in which it was sought to enforce international

15 humanitarian law. Those were military tribunals and the

16 victorious powers were able themselves to execute warrants

17 of arrest and detain those accused of war crimes. This

18 Tribunal is a civil and not a military organ and it is not

19 acting on behalf of any one or a combination of States.

20 Through the Security Council it is truly acting on behalf

21 of the whole international communities.

22 It is for those reasons that the Judges of this

23 Tribunal were faced with the uniquely new situation whic

24 called for an innovative approach.

25 While in no way constituting a trial in absentia,

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1 Rule 61 proceedings have other important consequences. A

2 warrant of arrest issued by the Tribunal in consequence of

3 the confirmation of an indictment is directed to the State

4 where the accused resides. If the accused travels to

5 other States new warrants directed to those States have to

6 be issued. It was for that reason that I have made a

7 request to every Member State to inform the Tribunal of

8 any information it receives concerning the travel plans of

9 any person indicted by the Tribunal.

10 In the cases of Dr. Karadzic and General Mladic, I

11 might mention, relevant States have responded promptly and

12 efficiently with that request. However, an international

13 warrant of arrest issued pursuant to Rule 61 is directed

14 to each and every Member State, and Interpol is requested

15 to take efficient steps open to it to ensure that the

16 accused person is arrested and surrendered for trial to

17 the Tribunal. The effect of this, an international

18 warrant, is to confine the accused to the State or area in

19 which she or he is being given sanctuary. The accused

20 effectively becomes an international fugitive.

21 The publication of the evidence before the Tribunal

22 and the issue of the international warrant of arrest have

23 important deterrent effects. I dare say that no sane or

24 rational person would wish to render himself or herself

25 subject to such proceedings. In the future, would-be

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1 violators of international humanitarian law will know that

2 such a fate may be in store for him or her and that

3 knowledge may well stop or at least curb criminal suc

4 conduct.

5 Then, the evidence will constitute a permanent

6 judicial record for all time of the horrendous war crimes

7 that have been committed in the former Yugoslavia. That

8 public record will assist in attributing guilt to

9 individuals and be an important tool in avoiding the

10 attribution of collective guilt to any nation or ethnic

11 group. Some national truth commissions have been

12 successful in fulfilling such a role by naming accused

13 persons and revealing the evidence reasonably supporting

14 their guilt.

15 At the cost of repetition, your Honours, this is not

16 a trial in absentia and the primary reason for the issue

17 of an international warrant of arrest is to achieve the

18 very objective of bringing the accused for trial. Indeed,

19 these proceedings should be seen as an international

20 challenge to the accused to come forward and either plead

21 guilty or offer a defence before a legitimately

22 established international criminal tribunal. That

23 legitimacy was eloquently confirmed by the Appeal Chamber

24 of this Tribunal in its historic judgment delivered at the

25 beginning of last week. In that judgment the Appeal

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1 Judges stated, I quote:

2 "It would be a travesty of law and a betrayal of the

3 universal need for justice, should the concept of State

4 sovereignty be allowed to be raised successfully against

5 human rights. Borders should not be considered as a

6 shield against the reach of the law and as protection for

7 those who trample underfoot the most elementary rights of

8 humanity.

9 We continue to submit, that Rule 61 proceedings

10 should convey to those harbouring suspected war criminals

11 that such conduct is anathema to the international

12 community and they should be seen as a plea, in the name

13 of justice, to all Member States to do all in their power

14 to place pressure on those responsible for protecting

15 accused persons and to play their legal and moral role in

16 ensuring that a proper trial be allowed to proceed. The

17 fact that there is no accused sitting opposite me today is

18 in no way the fault of the Prosecution and in no way a

19 consequence of any defect in the Rules of Procedure of the

20 Tribunal or, indeed, of the Statute. The success of these

21 Rule 61 proceedings will depend upon the actions of Member

22 States and the Security Council.

23 I have laid much emphasis upon the rights of an

24 accused and of the primary right to a trial in person.

25 However, there can be no justification at all for ignoring

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1 the rights of the victims and of their families. They,

2 too, have a right to be heard and thereby begin their own

3 healing process and that of many tens of thousands of

4 victims who will identify with them. The failure by the

5 accused to come forward and stand trial and the complicity

6 of any Member States or de facto administration should not

7 be allowed effectively to close the mouths of those

8 victims.

9 For all of these reasons the Prosecution has invoked

10 the provisions of Rule 61 in this, the Nikolic case, and

11 it will do so in the future, should that become necessary.

12 Your Honours, these proceedings which commence today

13 are against Dragan Nikolic, also known as "Jenki" Nikolic

14 The Prosecutor satisfied your Honour Judge Odio Benito

15 that all reasonable steps had been taken to effect service

16 of the warrant of arrest upon Nikolic and that the

17 required newspaper advertisements had been published.

18 Your Honour accordingly made the order pursuant to which

19 we are assembled here today.

20 Nikolic was the first person to be indicted by this

21 Tribunal. That indictment was confirmed by your Honour

22 Judge Odio Benito on 4th November 1994. According to

23 information received by my Office, the absence of Nikolic

24 cannot be ascribed to the fault of a Member State of

25 the United Nations. Nikolic is presently residing in that

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1 part of Bosnia-Herzegovina which is under the de facto

2 control of the Bosnian-Serb administration in Pale.

3 The indictment alleges that about between 13th June

4 and 30th September 1992, Nikolic was the commander of a

5 camp called Susica. It was situated in the town of

6 Vlasenica in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Nikolic is alleged to

7 have participated in the murder of eight persons, the

8 assault or torture of seven persons, and the unlawful

9 confinement, transfer, persecution and inhumane treatment

10 of some 500 innocent civilians in Vlasenica, and with

11 having plundered or otherwise illegally misappropriated

12 their property.

13 10 witnesses who were present at the relevant time in

14 Vlasenica have with great courage decided to come to The

15 Hague to testify in these proceedings. In full knowledge

16 of their rights to witness protection they have further

17 elected to give their evidence openly in public. Theirs

18 will be the first voices of the victims to atrocities i

19 the former Yugoslavia to testify before this International

20 Criminal Tribunal and by so doing their voices will echo

21 throughout the world.

22 The nature of their evidence and that of other

23 evidence that will be placed before your Honours will be

24 described by Mr. Niemann who, with Ms. McHenry, will

25 represent me in these proceedings. Your Honours, with

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1 your permission, I will ask Mr. Niemann now to proceed.

2 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Mr. Niemann?

3 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, as touched upon by the Prosecutor,

4 the decision that has to be made under Rule 61 is that if

5 the Trial Chamber is satisfied on that evidence that there

6 are reasonable grounds for believing that the accused has

7 committed all or any of the crimes charged in the

8 indictment it shall so determine.

9 Your Honours, this is to be contrasted with what

10 happens when an indictment is confirmed under Article

11 18(4) of the Statute, for in that case it is for the

12 Prosecutor to decide that a prime facie case exists before

13 he embarks upon preparing an indictment. Once the

14 indictment is prepared by the Prosecutor, it is submitted

15 to the confirming Judge in order for the confirming Judge

16 to satisfy him or herself that the decision by the

17 Prosecutor that a prime facie case exists is appropriate.

18 Thus, the confirming Judge does not make a fresh

19 determination on whether or not there is the prime facie

20 case but, rather, tests the decision of the Prosecutor, in

21 order to see that his decision is correct.

22 As the primary determination prior to confirmation is

23 by the Prosecutor, where reasonable minds could differ as

24 to whether a prime facie case exists or not, emphasis, it

25 is submitted, should be placed on the reasonableness or

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1 otherwise of the Prosecutor's determination.

2 In dealing with the assessment of whether or not

3 there are reasonable grounds for a belief, the evidence

4 should be viewed in the light most favourable to the

5 Prosecutor, all available inferences should be drawn in

6 favour of the Prosecution and apparent inconsistencies are

7 not called for to be resolved.

8 As to the meaning of prime facie case, Rule 47 of the

9 Rules of the Tribunal uses the phrase "... reasonable

10 grounds for believing that a suspect has committed a crime

11 within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal". These words

12 were considered by His Honour Judge Sidwha on 29th August

13 1995 when confirming the indictment against Ivava Rajic,

14 Case No. IT-95-12-1.

15 At page 8 of his Honour's view, he said, I quote:

16 "... the word reasonable is associated with what is fair,

17 moderate, suitable, tolerable, that which is not

18 immoderate or excessive. The expression 'reasonable

19 grounds' is used; not overly convincing, substantial or

20 conclusive grounds. Reasonable grounds, therefore, point

21 to such facts and circumstances as would justify a

22 reasonable or ordinary prudent man to believe that a

23 suspect has committed a crime.

24 To constitute reasonable grounds, facts must be such

25 which are within the possession of the Prosecutor which

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1 raise a clear suspicion of the suspect being guilty of the

2 crime. It predicates that all the ingredients of the

3 offence are covered. The evaluation is to be made at the

4 pretrial stage of the proceedings and not what may turn

5 out subsequently in the light of changing facts.

6 It is sufficient that the Prosecutor has acted with

7 caution, impartiality and diligence, as a reasonably

8 prudent Prosecutor would under the circumstances to

9 ascertain the truth of his suspicions. It is not

10 necessary this he has double-checked every piece of

11 evidence, or investigated the crime personally, or

12 instituted an enquiry in any special matter.

13 It is sufficient that from an overall view of the

14 evidence which he has collected and which covers all

15 ingredients of the offence, including the necessary legal

16 implications, which he seeks can be drawn therefrom, a

17 clear suspicion of the accused being guilty of the crime

18 arises.

19 The evidence, therefore, need not be overly

20 convincing or conclusive: it should be adequate and

21 satisfactory to warrant the belief that the suspect has

22 committed the crime. The expression 'sufficient evidence'

23 is thus not synonymous with 'conclusive evidence' or

24 'evidence beyond reasonable doubt'. As stated earlier,

25 the expression 'prime facie case' carries no universal

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1 meaning.

2 Rule 47, therefore, neither raises the threshold or

3 lowers it; it explains the requirement which the

4 Prosecutor has to meet before filing an indictment and to

5 what extent can be taken as laying down some guidance for

6 the assessment of that expression".

7 That is the end of the quote.

8 If your Honours please, there is no basis for drawing

9 any distinction between the test to be applied by the

10 confirming Judge under Rule 47 and the test to be applied

11 by this Chamber under Rule 61. Indeed, Rule 61(C) uses

12 the same terms as appears in Rule 47(A), namely:

13 "... reasonable grounds for believing that the accused

14 has committed ... the crimes charged in the indictment".

15 In our submission then, it is for this Chamber to

16 look specifically at each of the counts of the indictment

17 and apply the test that I have just spelt out.

18 In the indictment we have charged the following

19 offences under the Statute. Firstly, with the murders of

20 Durmo Handzic; Asim Zildzic, Mevludin Hatunic; Rasid

21 Ferhatbegovic; Dzevad Saric; Muharem Kolarevic; Zekic and

22 Ismet Dedic. They have been charged under Articles 2(a);

23 3 and 5(a) of the Statute.

24 With respect to Mevludin Hatunic and Ismet Dedic, we

25 have charged in the alternative, Inhumane Treatment, Cruel

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1 Treatment and Inhumane Acts, contrary to Articles 2(b), 3

2 and 5(i) respectively in the Statute.

3 Secondly, we have charged the accused with Inhumane

4 Treatment, Cruel Treatment and Inhumane Acts against Galib

5 Music contrary to Articles 2(b), 3 and 5(i) of the

6 Statute.

7 Thirdly, we have charged the accused with the

8 Torture, causing Great Suffering, Cruel Treatment and

9 Inhumane Acts against Fikret Arnout, contrary to Articles

10 2(b) and (c), 3, Articles 5(f) and (i) respectively of the

11 Statute.

12 Fourthly, with the Torture -----

13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Excuse me. Do you mean by

14 that amending

15 the presentation of your indictment compared with the

16 initial submission which was made to the Judges -- let me

17 remind you -- that this was the first indictment and that

18 it detailed on a victim by victim basis; it did not

19 globally list the indictments in a global level. So, in

20 the present situation, do you intend not changing the

21 contents, as I understand you, but changing the form of

22 the presentation of your indictment, or will it be the

23 indictment as it was presented, I cannot remember which

24 date, but I think it was some good time ago.

25 MR. NIEMANN: It will be the indictment as was initially

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1 presented for confirmation to Your Honour Judge Odio

2 Benito. What I am doing is, in effect, summarising the

3 indictment but making specific reference to the charges

4 themselves and the victims of those charges.

5 Fourthly, with the Torture of Mubin Music, contrary

6 to Articles 2(b), 3 and 5(f).

7 Fifthly, with the Torture, causing Serious Injury,

8 Cruel Treatment and Inhumane Acts against Suad Mahmutovic

9 contrary to Articles 2(b) and (c), 3, 5(f) and (i) of the

10 Statute.

11 Sixthly, with causing Great Suffering, Cruel

12 Treatment and Inhumane Acts against Sead Ambeskovic.

13 Seventhly, with subjecting Redjo Cakisic to Inhumane

14 Treatment.

15 Eighthly, with causing Hansa Cakisic Great Suffering,

16 Outrages Upon Personal Dignity and Inhumane Acts, contrary

17 to articles 2(c), 3 and 5 of the Statute.

18 Finally, with a series of general offences relating

19 to the Wilful Confinement and illegal Imprisonment of

20 civilians, the Appropriation and Plunder of their

21 property, their unlawful Transfer and Persecution,

22 contrary to Articles 2(d) and (), 3(e), 5(e), (h) nd (i)

23 respectively.

24 In respect of counts 4, 5, 6, 7, 18, 20 to 24, we

25 have charged criminal responsibility under Article 7(3) of

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1 the Statute, and in the other counts our theory of

2 liability is in accord with Article 7(1) of the Statute.

3 In order for you to be satisfied that there is

4 'reasonable belief that the accused has committed the

5 crime', there must be sufficient evidence to enable you to

6 suspect that a crime has been committed.

7 When examining the relevant issues, if your Honours

8 please, it is necessary to look to the various ingredients

9 of the offences under the Statute of the Tribunal.

10 Dealing firstly with Article 2 of the Statute, this

11 provision deals with the grave breach sections of the

12 Geneva Conventions.

13 It would appear that not all elements of these

14 offences may have to be proved beyond reasonable doubt,

15 but that issue does not, of course, arise in these

16 proceedings. However, the components of those offences

17 are that the victims of the crimes are persons protected

18 by one or other of the Geneva Conventions of 1949; that

19 the actions or omissions occurred during an armed

20 conflict, or partial or total occupation, in which the law

21 for international armed conflict applies, such that the

22 conflict or occupation is governed by the Geneva

23 Conventions of 12th August 1949.

24 In dealing with specifically the subparagraphs of


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1 Article 2 and, firstly, with wilful killing under Article

2 2(A): The components of this offence consist of the need

3 to show via the evidence that the victim is dead; that the

4 death resulted from an unlawful act or omission by the

5 accused, and that at the time of the act or omission the

6 accused had the intent to kill or inflict grievous bodily

7 harm upon the victim.

8 Turning to paragraph B of Article 2 which deals with

9 the crime of torture, the components of this offence are

10 that the victim was intentionally and unlawfully subjected

11 to the infliction of severe physical or mental pain or

12 suffering by the accused or his subordinate; and that the

13 pain or suffering was inflicted for any of the following

14 reasons, namely, to obtain information, to punish the

15 victim, for the purposes of intimidating or coercing the

16 victim, or for any reason based on discrimination of any

17 kind. It is necessary that the accused or his subordinate

18 acted at the instigation of, or with the consent or

19 acquiescence of, an official ora person acting in an

20 official capacity.

21 Also contained within paragraph (b) of Article 2 is

22 the crime of inhumane treatment. In our submission, the

23 components of that offence are that the accused or his

24 subordinate committed a specified act or omission against

25 the victim; that the accused or a subordinate intended to

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1 unlawfully impair the physical, intellectual or moral

2 integrity of the victim or otherwise subject him or her to

3 indignities, pain or suffering out of proportion to

4 treatment expected of one human being to another; and that

5 the physical, intellectual or moral integrity of the


7 victim was impaired or the victim otherwise suffered

8 indignities, pain or suffering.

9 Under paragraph (c) of Article 2, there is contained

10 provision relating to the crime of wilfully causing great

11 suffering. In our submission, the elements of this

12 offence that the accused committed a specified act upon

13 the victim; that the accused ora subordinate committed an

14 act or omission with the intent of unlawfully inflicting

15 great suffering and that this great suffering was thereby

16 inflicted.

17 Under Article 2(c) also is contained the provision

18 relating to causing serious injury to body or health. In

19 our submission, again it is necessary to show that the

20 accused committed the crime upon the victim and that the

21 accused or subordinate thereby intentionally and

22 unlawfully inflicted serious injury to the body or health

23 of the victim.

24 Dealing then, if your Honour pleases, with Article

25 2(d) of the Statute, dealing with appropriation of

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1 property: It is necessary for there to be some evidence

2 that the accused wantonly and unlawfully destroyed and/or

3 took, obtained or withheld real or personal property from

4 the possession of the owner or any other person; that the

5 person or property was protected under the Geneva

6 Conventions; and that the taking or withholding by the

7 accused was with the intent to deprive another person of

8 the use and benefit of that property.

9 If your Honour pleases, appropriation in this context

10 may appropriately mean appropriation, the taking of

11 property from its lawful owner with or without the intent

12 to permanently deprive.

13 Your Honours, dealing then with paragraph (g) of

14 Article 2, unlawful deportation or forcible transfer, in

15 our submission, the elements of this offence are that the

16 accused or a subordinate unlawfully deported or forcibly

17 transferred the victim from the territory where the victim

18 was present to a place outside that territory.

19 Finally, with paragraph (j) of Article 2 of the

20 Statute, unlawful confinement of a civilian: In our

21 submission, the ingredients of this charge are that the

22 accused or a subordinate unlawfully held, confined or

23 otherwise restrained the liberty of the victim; that the

24 victim was a civilian; and that the restraint was effected

25 without affording the victim the procedural and

Page 73

1 substantive protections prescribed in the above mentioned

2 Conventions.

3 Your Honours, in respect of Article 2, in our

4 submission, they are appropriate factors that should be

5 applied to the charges when considering whether a

6 reasonable suspicion arises that those crimes have been

7 committed.

8 Now turning to Article 3 which has also been charged

9 in the indictment that I outlined: Article 3 of the

10 Statute deals with violations of the laws or customs of

11 war. Article 3 States that the Tribunal shall have the

12 power to prosecute persons violating the laws or customs

13 of war and specifically states that the enumerated

14 offences in paragraph (a) to (e) of that Article are not

15 exhaustive. Accordingly, in our submission, at a minimum,

16 in addition, Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions

17 are also applied.

18 Your Honours, the provisions of common Article 3 are

19 not set out in the Statute, so I will read that provision

20 out for the assistance of the Chamber. Article 3 provides

21 that, "in the case of armed conflict not of an

22 international character occurring in the territory of one

23 of the High Contracting parties, each party to the

24 conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the

25 following provisions:

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1 (1 ) persons taking no active part in the hostilities,

2 including members of armed forces who have laid down their

3 arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds,

4 detention, or any other cause, shall in the circumstances

5 be treated humanly, without any adverse distinction

6 founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or

7 wealth, or any similar criteria.

8 To this end the following acts are and shall remain

9 prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with

10 respect to the above mentioned persons.

11 (a) violence to life and person, in particular murder

12 of any kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;

13 (b) taking of hostages; (c) outrages upon personal

14 dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading

15 treatment; (d) the passing of sentences and the carrying

16 out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by

17 a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial

18 guarantees which are recognised as indispensable by

19 civilised peoples". The common element of these charges

20 is that the actual omissions occurred during an armed

21 conflict either international, internal or both.

22 If your Honour pleases, dealings specifically then

23 with the provisions of Common Article 3, again we have the

24 offences charged of murder. I will not proceed to recite

25 all of the ingredients of those charges as most of them

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1 are common with the charges of murder under Article 2 of

2 the Statute.

3 However, there are additional elements such as that

4 the victim was a non-combatant or hors de combat, that the

5 death resulted from the unlawful act, which is a common

6 element, and that the accused had the intent.

7 With respect to the charge of cruel treatment under

8 Common Article 3, apart from the common elements, it is

9 necessary for there to be some evidence that the accused

10 or a subordinate thereby intended to subject the victim to

11 cruel treatment.

12 Your Honours, the provision with respect to torture,

13 apart from the common elements applicable to Common

14 Article 3, remain the same as those that I have mentioned

15 in relation to torture under Article 2. Again, outrages

16 upon personal dignity: Apart from the common elements

17 applicable to those charges, there is the element that the

18 accused thereby intended to inflict upon the dignity of

19 the victim or subject the victim to humiliating or

20 degrading treatment.

21 Finally, dealing with plunder under the Article of

22 the Statute, paragraph (e) of the Statute of the Tribunal,

23 it is necessary for the Prosecution to produce some

24 evidence that the accused ora subordinate wasted, spoiled

25 or appropriated certain public or private property; that

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1 the property belonged to another person and that there

2 existed the intent to deprive; the acts were unlawful in

3 that they were clearly not required by military necessity.

4 That then leaves, if your Honour pleases, the final

5 Article of the Statute of the Tribunal that has been

6 charged in the indictment and that is Article 5 of the

7 Statute. Article 5 of the Statute of the Tribunal deals

8 with Crimes against Humanity. In our submission, the

9 common element applicable to that charge is that the act

10 or omission was part of a widespread and/or systematic

11 attack directed against the civilian population, and that

12 the accused knew or had reason to know that his acts were

13 part of an attack upon the civilian population.

14 Again there is then listed in the Crimes against

15 Humanity provisions of Article 5 of the Statute the

16 specific offences, the first being that of murder which

17 has also been charged in the indictment. I submit that

18 apart from the specific elements relevant to a crime

19 against humanity, the elements of this offence are in

20 common with murder as charged under Article 2(a) of the

21 Statute or Common Article 3.

22 The next provision that appears in relation to the

23 indictment concerns imprisonment under paragraph (e) of

24 Article 5 of the Statute. The relevant elements, in our

25 submission, for consideration by your Honours in relation

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1 to this charge is that the accused or a subordinate held,

2 confined or otherwise restrained the liberty of the

3 victim, and that the restraint was effected without

4 affording the procedural and substantive protections

5 prescribed in the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.

6 In addition, there is the charge of torture under

7 Article 5(f) of the Statute of the Tribunal. In our

8 submission, except for the specific elements applicable to

9 a crime against humanity, those elements that I have

10 mentioned in relation to Article 2(b) of the Statute have

11 equal force and application to this provision.

12 The next provision that has been charged under

13 Article 5(h) is persecution on political, racial or

14 religious grounds. In our submission, the relevant

15 elements of that offence for consideration are that the

16 accused committed this specified act against the victim;

17 that the specified act or omission was intended by the

18 accused to harass, cause suffering or otherwise

19 discriminate against the victim based on political, racial

20 or religious grounds.

21 Finally, paragraph (i) of Article 5 deals with

22 inhumane acts. In our submission, the elements of that

23 offence are that the act or omission of the accused was

24 unlawful and included, but was not limited to, one or

25 other of the following acts, that he seized or detained

Page 78

1 victim with the intent to hold him as hostage; that an

2 outrage upon the personal dignity of the victim by

3 inflicting humiliating or degrading treatment; by

4 sentencing and carrying out the sentence, or (d) by

5 unlawful acts intended to impair the physical,

6 intellectual or moral integrity of the victim or otherwise

7 subject the victim to indignities, pain or suffering

8 grossly out of proportion to the treatment expected of one

9 human being from another.

10 Those then, your Honours, are, in our submission, the

11 elements of the offences for consideration when coming to


13 the determination that you are called upon to do

14 under Rule 61 of the rules of the Tribunal. I have

15 briefly covered the final Articles of Articles 3 and 5 on

16 the basis that they have common elements.

17 Turning, your Honour, to the facts of this case, in

18 our submission, the Opstina of Vlasenica -- "Opstina", in

19 our submission, is a word applied to a municipal region or

20 district in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina -- is

21 located in Eastern Bosnia-Herzegovina, within which the

22 town of Vlasenica is also located. It is about 50

23 kilometres from the Serbian border and about 120

24 kilometres north-east of Sarajevo. It is of strategic

25 importance, being located between Belgrade, Sarajevo and

Page 79

1 Pale.

2 ccording to figures in 1991, both the Opstina and

3 the town had a majority Muslim population. Commencing in

4 1990, increasing nationalism and tension arose between the

5 Serbian and Muslim populations Vlasenica. It was declared

6 an autonomous region within the Federal Republic of

7 Yugoslavia in January 1992 by Serbians from Vlasenica and

8 surrounding areas, and tensions continued to increase into

9 the spring of 1992 with the referendum on the proposed

10 independence of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

11 About 21st April 1994, the town of Vlasenica was

12 forcibly taken over and declared to be a Serbian town.

13 The Federal Army of Yugoslavia, referred to as the JNA

14 soldiers, including soldiers from the Novi Sad corps from

15 Serbian, paramilitary forces and local military soldiers

16 occupied the area without any armed resistance from the

17 Muslim population.


19 Military matters were subsequently transferred from

20 the JNA forces to the local Serbian forces which came

21 about by the mobilisation of local Serbian men. When

22 I say "Serbian", I am referring there the Bosnian-Serbian

23 men.

24 The community affairs which were prior to the

25 takeover were largely managed by a committee comprising

Page 80

1 both Muslims and Serbs was now comprised only by Bosnian

2 Serbs, and the Serbians were appointed to all the

3 positions within the town. Conditions for Muslims

4 deteriorated in such ways as terminations of employment,

5 restrictions on travel and the withdrawal of funds and

6 frequent arrests with police interrogations of Muslim men

7 often accompanied by beatings, resulting in many Muslims

8 fleeing the Vlasenica area. Between May 1992 and

9 September 1992 the remaining Muslim population were either

10 forcibly expelled or arrested, leaving virtually no

11 Muslims in this area.

12 Arrested Muslims were first held at a local school or

13 the local prison before the setting up of a camp at

14 Susica, run by the military and local militia. There were

15 always at 500 detainees in the Susica camp and as many as

16 8,000 persons may have passed through this camp. The camp

17 had two main buildings to house the detainees and a small

18 house used for interrogations. The detainee hall was

19 severely overcrowded, no sleeping material was provided,

20 toilet facilities were limited and there were no showers.

21 Beatings were common and the detainees lived in a state of

22 constant fear.

23 From at least mid June 1992, the commander of the

24 camp was Dragan Nikolic, also known as "Jenki" Nikolic,

25 who commanded the 12 soldiers guarding the detainees.

Page 81

1 Nikolic gave orders such as not allowing any persons to

2 escape, not allowing other persons into the camp to carry

3 out personal vendettas, and not allowing any of the

4 prisoners to be taken from the camp without his approval

5 and of obtaining a signed document.

6 The witnesses will allege that Nikolic, as commander

7 of the camp, was responsible for charges brought against

8 him as detailed in the indictment that I have already

9 outlined to your Honours.

10 To assist your Honours, we have prepared on the video

11 monitor a computer representation of maps relating to,

12 firstly, Europe and then subsequently progressing down to

13 the area of Vlasenica itself. With your Honours leave,

14 I will ask Mr. Dixon to firstly display on the computer

15 monitor a map of Europe which will indicate the location

16 of, firstly, Yugoslavia.

17 If your Honours please, if you press the button on

18 the computer monitor on your consoles you should then be

19 able to see this map shown. Perhaps, your Honour, while

20 that is being prepared, I will continue and then come back

21 to that.

22 Your Honour, it is the intention of the Prosecution

23 to call a total of 15 witnesses; the first witness will be

24 Dr. James Gow, a Political Scientist, from the Department

25 of War Studies, King's College, London, and a research

Page 82

1 associate from the Centre of Defence Studies, University

2 of London. Your Honour, although technically the

3 non-disclosure order that your Honours have made applies

4 equally to Dr. Gow, as he is a Prosecution witness, we

5 will be asking -----

6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] We now have the map on our

7 screens.

8 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you, your Honour. I will turn to the map.

9 Your Honour, this is just a general map to show you the

10 location of Yugoslavia in Europe. I will ask that we now

11 be shown a map of Yugoslavia itself. Dr. Gow will go into

12 greater detail of this area, but I merely show how

13 Yugoslavia prior to its breakup and still exists in

14 relation to its various borders.

15 Perhaps the next map might be shown? Your Honours,

16 this is a map of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The

17 divisions that one can see on that map indicate the

18 various Opstinas of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Might we focus in

19 more directly on the Opstina of Valsenica? As described

20 by your Honours, where the cursor now appears, your

21 Honours, you can see Valsenica. As I mentioned in my

22 address, it is relatively close to the border with the

23 Republic of Serbia.

24 Your Honour, what we have now displayed on the

25 technical vision screen is a larger map concentrating more

Page 83

1 on the town of Vlasenica, but showing the town's location

2 in the Opstina itself and a number of the towns

3 surrounding the town of Valsenica which maybe referred to

4 from time to time in the evidence of the witnesses.

5 Finally, your Honours, we have a map or a plan of the

6 city of Valsenica itself. Perhaps we could focus in a

7 little closer? This map will also be referred to from

8 time to time and details the town itself of Valsenica and

9 will feature in the evidence of the witnesses and may also


11 be referred to by Dr. Gow.

12 Your Honours, following the calling of Dr. Gow who,

13 I have said, we would be seeking a lifting of the

14 non-disclosure order in relation to, we will then seek to

15 call some 13 witnesses who are eyewitnesses to the events

16 that occurred in the Opstina of Valsenica at the relevant

17 period and, in particular, to what occurred to them at the

18 Susica camp.

19 We will then conclude with the evidence of

20 Mr. Paepen, an investigator from the Investigation Section

21 of the Office of the Prosecutor. Mr. Paepen is also

22 affected by the non-disclosure order in relation to

23 witnesses.

24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] What was the name of the

25 last witnesses

Page 84

1 -- I did not quite catch it -- the last of the named

2 witnesses you mentioned?

3 M R. NIEMANN: It is "Paepen".

4 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Thank you.

5 MR. NIEMANN: This witness, if your Honours pleases, is a

6 summary witness in a sense. He will speak generally to

7 the supporting statements and additional material that

8 will be provided by the Prosecutor in relation to these

9 proceedings.

10 With respect to the 13 eyewitnesses, these witnesses

11 will give their evidence in the Bosnian language which

12 will be translated simultaneously into the French and

13 English languages. By and large, these witnesses are

14 unfamiliar with the judicial process of this Tribunal.

15 Some of them are the victims of the crime and, as such,

16 suffer trauma from their experience. The translation of

17 one language to another language can cause some

18 discrepancies to occur, especially when a word or concept

19 in one language has no equivalent in the other.

20 If your Honours please, we have for the assistance of

21 the Chamber been provided with a very useful document by

22 the translation unit which deals with some of the

23 difficulties that can be encountered in the process of

24 translation. With your Honours' leave, in due course

25 I will tender or submit that to your Honours for your

Page 85

1 assistance.

2 Finally, your Honours, as you have seen, we would

3 hope and intend to make use of the various visual aids

4 available in the courtroom. The lay witnesses are not

5 familiar with the use of these devices, although they have

6 been given a demonstration on how they might work. But it

7 may occur that from time to time they may become confused

8 or uncertain about these devices. We would ask the court

9 to be patient with these witnesses if we encounter

10 difficulties of this nature.

11 Your Honour, I now wish to call the evidence.

12 Firstly, I would ask that the non-disclosure order in

13 relation to the first witness be lifted. This witness is

14 not a victim witness. He is an expert witness. He does

15 not wish that his name be suppressed or any other matters

16 relating to his identity be non-disclosed.

17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] I would like to explain

18 the situation.

19 This is covered by an order of non-disclosure.

20 Furthermore, the Chamber has taken steps to restrict the

21 number of disclosures made, so we have a public character

22 which is the ultimate aim of the Rule 61 hearing, except

23 for specific measures to be undertaken for the witnesses

24 themselves who, very frequently are the victims. So they are

25 aware of what is going on, so that each witness knows what

Page 86

1 is going on, and we will have to review it on an

2 individual basis.

3 So, the order taken by the Chamber some days ago

4 means that the identity, the addresses and all the

5 elements of identification are not revealed, unless that

6 particular person wishes the contrary. That is the

7 current state of affairs.

8 Bearing that in mind, this will not be applied to the

9 first witness who will be mentioned as Mr. Niemann has

10 explained to us. That is why for this particular witness

11 the identity of the witness can be disclosed. I ask the

12 court, therefore, to take note of that and include it in

13 our record.

14 MR. NIEMANN: If the Chamber pleases, I call Andrew James

15 William Gow.

16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Mr. James Gow, on the

17 basis of

18 an order

19 you can provide us with your identification and then make

20 the solemn declaration to the court. I think somebody

21 will be giving you a text of the solemn declaration. That

22 has already been carried out, Registrar, so if you could

23 introduce yourself, tell us who you are, pronounce the

24 solemn declaration standing, then you can sit down and

25 begin your testimony. Of course, be ready to answer

Page 87

1 questions which the court may ask you or by the Office of

2 the Prosecutor. So the floor is yours.




6 THE WITNESS: My name is Andrew James William Gow. I solemnly

7 declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth and

8 nothing but the truth.

9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Thank you very much. The

10 Registrar has

11 noted this declaration. You may sit down. Mr. Gow,

12 please begin your statement as you wish to in order to

13 help us in administering justice and in order to help the

14 Tribunal understand what has been happening. The floor is

15 yours.

16 MR. NIEMANN: Dr. Gow, are you a political scientist with the

17 positions of Lecturer in the Department of War Studies,

18 King's College, London, and a Research Associate of the

19 Centre for Defence Studies, University of London?

20 A. That is correct.

21 Q. Formally, were you a Research Officer at the Centre for

22 Defence Studies and before that Lecturer on Soviet and

23 Eastern European Affairs at Hatfield Polytechnic in the

24 United Kingdom?

25 A. That is also correct.

Page 88

1 Q. Do you hold the Degree of PhD from the University of

2 London where you prepared your doctorial thesis on

3 Yugoslavia at the school of Slovonic and Eastern European

4 Studies?

5 A. I did.

6 Q. For the past several years has your work been concentrated

7 on former Yugoslavia, particularly its military-political

8 affairs and have you written and lectured extensively

9 about this area?

10 A. I think it is fair to say that is so.

11 Q. Is your evidence based upon your personal knowledge drawn

12 from your own work and that of other recognised scholars

13 in this field?

14 A. It is.

15 Q. Have you published reports, military and civilian

16 writings, speeches and other official documents from the

17 area of the former Yugoslavia?

18 A. Sorry, could you repeat the question?

19 Q. Have you published reports, military and civilian

20 writings, speeches and other documents from the area of

21 the former Yugoslavia?

22 A. I have published work which is based on materials of that

23 kind.

24 Q. Have you also based your research on conversations with

25 knowledgeable persons and witness statements and documents

Page 89

1 made available to you by the Office of the Prosecutor?

2 A. I have.

3 Q. Since 1988 have you published numerous books and articles?

4 A. I have.

5 Q. Are the details of those books, monographs, articles and

6 other writings that you have published been presented in a

7 statement that was made available to the confirming Judge

8 in relation to the presentation of this indictment?

9 A. That is correct.

10 Q. Dr. Gow, concerning the former Republic of Yugoslavia, can

11 you tell the court about the political composition of the

12 former Yugoslavia prior to 1991?

13 A. The Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia was a

14 federation of six republics, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and

15 Herzegovina -- Bosnia and Herzegovina comprising two

16 historic areas, Bosnia and Herzegovina -- Montenegro,

17 Serbia and Macedonia. There were also two autonomous

18 provinces which had a high degree of autonomy in place,

19 certain roles at the Federal level, both within Serbia,

20 Kosovo and Vojvodina.

21 Q. Can you tell the Chamber about the ethnic composition of

22 Yugoslavia prior to 1991?

23 A. The ethnic composition of Yugoslavia was a complex mix of

24 populations. The largest population groups were the

25 Serbs, the Croats, the Slav Muslims in Bosnia and in

Page 90

1 Serbia, the Slovenes, the Macedonians, Montenegrins and

2 also the non-Slav Albanians.

3 Q. Would you look at this document that I now show to you

4 please? (Handed). What does that document represent?

5 A. The document represents information on proportions within

6 the population of the Socialist Federal Republic of

7 Yugoslavia -- if I may say, the SFRY for brevity -- in

8 that as reflected in the censuses taken in 1981 and 1991.

9 Q. From where is it compiled?

10 A. It is compiled from the census data as presented in a

11 memorandum from the United Kingdom Foreign and

12 Commonwealth Office to the Houses of Parliament, Foreign

13 Affairs Committee in London.

14 Q. Who prepared the document?

15 A. This particular document was prepared at my direction for

16 the purposes of Offices of the Prosecutor -- Office of the

17 Prosecutor.

18 Q. With your Honours' leave, might I ask Mr. Dixon to assist

19 the witness in displaying this particular document on the

20 video display unit so that the witness may explain the

21 document to your Honours? Your Honours, in order to pick

22 up this, you will need to press the videoing monitor

23 button on your Honours' consoles. (To the witness):

24 Dr. Gow, dealing specifically with the document on the

25 machine, can you just take the court through the document

Page 91

1 and explain it in relation to your evidence?

2 A. The document shows the share of population of the most

3 significant groups in the SFRY. I should correct the

4 information presented here and note that Montenegrins are

5 missing. The document shows that the single largest group

6 through the territories of the SFRY were the Serbs; that

7 they constituted a little over a third of the population

8 as a whole. So, as the single largest group, they did not

9 form an absolute majority.

10 It goes on to show the proportions of other

11 populations within the SFRY as a whole. It shows that in

12 the period of 10 years between the 1981 and 1991 census

13 there were some small changes but the population levels

14 remained fairly stable.

15 Q. Yes, continue.

16 A. In addition to the populations presented in this table of

17 information, there were, of course, some other smaller

18 groups which do not feature, adding to the very complex

19 mix of populations that were to be found within

20 Yugoslavia. It should be noted that all population groups

21 were found in all -- were found in more than one republic,

22 although, of course, there were concentrations of Serbs in

23 Serbia, Croats in Croatia, Slovenes in Slovenia and so

24 forth.

25 MR. NIEMANN: I tender that document for the record, your

Page 92

1 Honours. May it be handed to the court?

2 (To the witness): Would you now look at the next document

3 that will be shown to you by Mr. Dixon? Just perhaps show

4 the witness the document, if you would, please? Firstly,

5 do you know what this document is?

6 A. This document shows the single largest group within the

7 population of each of the six republics which comprise the

8 SFRY, and it shows the percentage proportion of the

9 population that the largest group represented.

10 Q. It has not been displayed as yet, your Honours.

11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Excuse me, Mr. Niemann, I

12 think we have

13 been given the previous document.

14 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour. For the record, I seek to

15 tender that document.

16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] You wish to tender that

17 document, fine.

18 Please continue.

19 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you, your Honour. (To the witness): The

20 document you have in front of you, who compiled that?

21 A. The information is based on the results of the 1981 census

22 taken throughout the territories of the SFRY. It was in

23 the present form derived from information submitted in a

24 memorandum from the United Kingdom Foreign and

25 Commonwealth Office to the House of Commons Foreign

Page 93

1 Affairs Committee in London.

2 Q. Would you place the document on the video recording

3 machine, please? By specific reference to it, can you

4 explain the document to the Chamber?

5 A. The document shows the single largest group within each of

6 the six republics of the SFRY. You will note that only in

7 Slovenia was there something that could be described as


9 real ethnic homogeneity, that in all other places,

10 although there was a single largest group, there were

11 large -- other large, a large share of the population was

12 formed by one or more other groups. You will note that

13 whereas in Croatia, Montenegro and Macedonia there was an

14 absolute majority of the naming group, in Serbia also that

15 was the case, although the proportion within what is known

16 as "narrow Serbia" rose significantly from 66.4 per cent

17 of Serbia as a whole, including the two autonomous

18 provinces, to 85.4 per cent of Serbs within Serbian --

19 Serbia proper. You will also note that in Bosnia,

20 although the Muslims constituted the single largest group,

21 they were not an absolute majority.

22 Q. Thank you. I tender that document for the record.

23 Dr. Gow ----

24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Mr. Prosecutor, it is now

25 quarter past

Page 94

1 11. I do not want to interrupt the witness making a

2 statement, so do you have a question which would be an

3 overall summary of the statement or would you like to take

4 a break at this point? Would you like to raise a question

5 which would just take a couple of minutes or so to

6 answer? We do not have to stop at 11.15 on the dot.

7 MR. NIEMANN: If your Honours please, I have one question which

8 I think can conclude the witness's evidence at this

9 stage. (To the witness): Dr. Gow, had by 1991 the ethnic

10 composition of the republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina altered

11 at all?

12 A. The evidence of the 1991 census in Bosnia and Herzegovina

13 showed that the proportion of Muslims within the

14 population had increased from approximately 39 per cent to


16 around 44 per cent; that the proportion of Serbs had

17 decreased to 31.5 per cent and that the figure for Croats

18 was 17 per cent. So, although there remained stability

19 within, more or less stability within the levels of

20 populations, there were noticeable growths in the case of

21 the Muslims and reductions in the case of Serbs and

22 Croats.

23 MR. NIEMANN: Would that be a convenient time to adjourn, your

24 Honour?

25 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Yes, quite. Thank you very

Page 95

1 much.

2 We will come back and continue the testimony from

3 Dr. Gow at 11.30. The session is adjourned.


5 (Short Adjournment)


7 (11.30 a.m.)

8 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Before giving the floor to

9 our witness,

10 Dr. Gow, I would like to make some comments: I am

11 somewhat concerned that we follow closely and that our

12 work runs smoothly. It seems to me that, on a technical

13 point of view, sometimes we have some hiccups, but I also

14 want to look at the Prosecutor's Office and tell them that

15 the interpreters are facing some difficulties to follow

16 you and that is for two reasons. The first reason is that

17 they do not have sufficient documentation, and since

18 our interpreters, just like all of us, are in a situation

19 of stress, I think it would be very sound management to

20 provide them the maximum of documentation.

21 It will assist the court, it will also assist all the

22 legal participants and also, since it is a public hearing,

23 since the media is following us closely, it is good to

24 provide all the instruments possible to have good,

25 reliable interpretation. If the documents are not

Page 96

1 available, perhaps, Mr. Niemann, if you could perhaps

2 speak at a slightly slower pace, not quite so impetuous.

3 Even although I know it is because you are moved by your

4 personal conviction, it would be appreciated if you would

5 be more moderate in your tone. Thank you very much.

6 MR. NIEMANN: I will do what I can, your Honour, to assist the

7 interpreters. I understand a copy of the statement of

8 Dr. Gow has been available to the interpreters. I hope

9 that is so; if it is not, I will take steps to correct it.

10 (To the witness): Dr. Gow, prior to the adjournment,

11 you were giving your evidence about the various ethnic

12 groups in the territory of the former Yugoslavia. Can you

13 tell the Chamber what languages the various ethnic groups

14 speak?

15 A. The main language on the territories of the SFRY was

16 commonly known as Serbo-Croat. Today, it is frequently

17 called either Croatian, Bosnian, Serbian, even

18 Montenegrin. That language was spoken by around 80 per

19 cent of the population on the territories of the SFRY. It

20 was a Slovenic language; it was a language in which there

21 were some regional variations but which was, essentially,

22 as far as I understand, linguists look at it the same

23 language.

24 Slovenes and Macedonians spoke Slovonic languages

25 that were distinct but related to Serbo-Croat, and a

Page 97

1 number of other populations, the smaller groups, spoke

2 other languages. For example, the large Albanian minority

3 spoke Albanian and the Hungarians in Vojvodina in the

4 north spoke Hungarian.

5 Q. Dr. Gow, was there any variations in the religious beliefs

6 of the various ethnic groups in the former Socialist

7 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia?

8 A. The main religions in the area were Roman Catholicism

9 which was embraced predominantly by the Slovenes and

10 Croats; Eastern Orthodoxy, embraced by the Christian

11 populations mostly who were living on the eastern side of

12 a divide in the -- the Serbs, the Montenegrins the

13 Macedonians, and Islam which was adhered to by the Slav

14 Muslims in Bosnia and in Serbia, as well as Islam adhered

15 to by the non-Slavs, that is, the Albanians in the largely

16 Albanian populated area of Kosovo. I might also add that

17 there were Albanians in Montenegro but many of these

18 embraced Roman Catholicism.

19 Q. Dr. Gow, you mentioned something earlier in your evidence

20 about the population distribution of Yugoslavia.

21 Specifically in relation to Yugoslavia, in Bosnia in

22 particular, has there been any variations in this

23 population distribution since 1991?

24 A. The events since 1991 have given rise to substantial

25 movements in the population and the population structure

Page 98

1 of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Estimates vary, and they run

2 up to around 3.7 million people having been disturbed and

3 forcibly -- and displaced either forcibly or as refugees

4 from the places in which they lived in 1991 and before.

5 Q. Would you look at this document that I now show you?

6 (Handed). Could you just describe what that document is?

7 A. The document is a table which identifies regions within

8 Bosnia and Herzegovina. It gives a breakdown of the

9 different population groups within each of those areas,

10 and it shows the absolute figures based on the 1991 census

11 for the share of population in that area in 1991 and,

12 finally, shows figures for the summer of 1994 and, in

13 putting the two sets of figures together, gives us some

14 indication of the changes which have taken place in Bosnia

15 and Herzegovina.

16 Q. Who prepared the document?

17 A. The document is based on information from the 1991 census

18 throughout the territories of the SFRY with application in

19 Bosnia and Herzegovina, and on information provided by the

20 United Nations High Commissioner for refugees. It was

21 prepared in this form at my direction for the purposes of

22 the Office of the Prosecutor.

23 Q. Would you now place a copy of that document on the

24 screen? Your Honours, I have a copy here for your Honours

25 to refer to in case your Honours have difficulty in seeing

Page 99

1 the one displayed on the screen. (To the witness):

2 Dr. Gow, just dealing with the schedule that you have

3 there, can you describe the schedule as it has been

4 presented there?

5 A. The schedule shows the population changes since 1991. If

6 you were to look at the first column, you will see certain

7 regions identified. The second column shows the breakdown

8 of ethnic groups within those regions, in each case Croat

9 and Muslim with the exception of figures compiled by the

10 UNHCR for the safe areas designated in Eastern Bosnia of

11 Srebrenica, Gorazde and Zepa at that time.

12 Q. Perhaps a little bit slower, I think. The column, the

13 third column?


15 A. The third column shows the absolute figures in the

16 population in those areas based on the 1991 census. The

17 final figure shows figures derived from the UNHCR for the

18 situation in July 1994. The figures reveal, if you look,

19 the changes in the composition of the population in each

20 of those areas. As one example, you may look at the first

21 identified region, Western Bosnia, you will note that in

22 1991, according to the census, there were approximately

23 300,000 non-Serbs living in that area, but by July 1994

24 the combined total for non-Serbs was estimated to be

25 10,000.

Page 100

1 Q. That then continues throughout the schedule in relation

2 to, for example, there is Srebrenica, you have a ----

3 A. For Srebrenica, you have almost -- if I may?

4 Q. Yes.

5 A. For Srebrenica you get a reflection of the same kind of

6 change but, perhaps, in an opposite direction you note

7 that the Serb share of the population was almost 80,000 in

8 1991, but by July 1994 this had been reduced to about a

9 quarter of that -- of what it had been in 1991.

10 Conversely, the Muslim population had grown by around

11 100,000 reflecting an influx of populations from other

12 areas.

13 Q. The opposite effect can be seen when looking at the Muslim

14 population in Northern Bosnia?

15 A. The Muslim population in Northern Bosnia again, as in the

16 first case I noted as an example of Western Bosnia, shows

17 a substantial reduction in the number of Muslims in the

18 population in that area from 355,000 in 1991 down to

19 approximately 40,000 in 1994. The same goes for the Croat

20 share of the population, 180,000 in 1991, 30,000 in 1994.

21 At the same time you will note a slight increase in this

22 particular area of the Serbs.


24 MR. NIEMANN: I tender that document. (To the witness):

25 Dr. Gow, I would like you now to turn to the historical

Page 101

1 political background of the former Yugoslavia. When was

2 Yugoslavia first proclaimed?

3 A. Yugoslavia was proclaimed on 1st December 1918 as the

4 Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.

5 Q. What followed after that proclamation?

6 A. The newly formed state was consolidated over a period of

7 three years and was finally settled with a constitution

8 established on 28th June 1921.

9 Q. Thank you. From what was the word "Yugoslav" derived?

10 A. The word "Yugoslav" is derived from the Serbo-Croat word

11 "jug" meaning "south" and the word "slav" describing the

12 particular type of people. It, therefore, means South

13 Slavs or the land of the South Slavs.

14 Q. What was sought to be achieved by the formation of

15 Yugoslavia?

16 A. The formation of Yugoslavia represented the possibility of

17 achieving or accomplishing in reality two ideas which had

18 developed in the 19th century. One was the idea that the

19 Serbs living on Ottoman and former Ottoman territories

20 should all be able to live together spread throughout the

21 region as they were; the other idea developed by

22 intellectuals in the Austro-Hungarian Empire was that the

23 Yugoslavs, the south Slavs, all shared common features and

24 should be able to live together in a manifestation of

25 something which we might call self-determination.

Page 102

1 If I may make a point of explanation at this stage in

2 case it is not clear to your Honours, that for much of

3 this period in history, Yugoslavia, the lands which went

4 to make up Yugoslavia, were divided between two empires;

5 on the North and Western side the Austro-Hungarian

6 Habsburg Empire, and on the Eastern side the Islamic or

7 Turkish Ottoman Empire, and that this division was made by

8 the borders between Croatia and Bosnia until 1878, at

9 which point Austria annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina, and so

10 the border between Bosnia and Serbia became the border

11 between the empires. I think it is quite important maybe

12 as a point as an explanation for what I just said to make

13 that clear.

14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] The wonderful maps which

15 shown

16 us, would it be, perhaps, possible to have them? You know

17 the maps you showed us on Yugoslavia?

18 R. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour.

19 PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Could we have perhaps a copy

20 we

21 could follow more closely the statements made by Dr. Gow?

22 NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour. Your Honour, I will just

23 enquire as to whether we have a number of copies of those

24 maps. I know that we have one copy, but whether we have

25 more than one, I am not sure. If your Honours excuse me

Page 103

1 for a moment?

2 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Thank you.

3 MR. NIEMANN: Dr. Gow, what are the major geographical and

4 topographical features of Yugoslavia?

5 A. As diverse as Yugoslavia was in terms of its population,

6 it was also diverse in terms of geophysical features. In

7 the north eastern part, the north eastern and eastern

8 parts of the country there were large plains of the region

9 -- there still are large plains. There are two

10 distinction mountainous regions, one, the alpine region in

11 the north in Slovenia, another in the central areas of

12 Bosnia and Croatia and, of course, there was the Dalmatian

13 coast line with its particular features. These particular

14 features are important in terms of understanding, perhaps,

15 some of the historical divide I just mentioned.

16 The division between the empires included the coast

17 line and the flat lands on either side, and the division

18 came through the mountainous areas reflecting

19 possibilities of defence and border land confrontation

20 between the two empires.

21 Q. I think, flowing from that, would you say that the

22 geographical nature of Yugoslavia has had an impact upon

23 its historical and cultural development?

24 A. I think I would say that. Although, of course, anything

25 like that will always be a combination of features, it is

Page 104

1 clear that the geography of Yugoslavia has underpinned

2 some of the divisions.

3 Q. Was the impact of these geographical and cultural and

4 historical features more pronounced in any one particular

5 area of Yugoslavia?

6 A. I think it is fair to say that in Bosnia and Herzegovina

7 the complexities manifest in Yugoslavia as a whole in the

8 coming together of these various features were more

9 pronounced. They were more pronounced in part because of

10 the creation of mountains and valleys, people mixing and

11 not mixing, but also because Bosnia and Herzegovina was

12 the area which was transferred from one of the empires,

13 the Austro-Hungarian, to the other in 1878.

14 So, the mix of populations reflected the ancient

15 division between the two halves of the Christian church,

16 Roman Catholicism and the Eastern Orthodox church. It

17 then went on to represent the division between Western

18 Roman Catholic Christianity and the Islamic Turkish

19 Empire, meaning that population in the area might be Roman

20 Catholic by religion, might be Eastern Orthodox by

21 religion, or might be Islamic by religion; these factors

22 being overlaid by the history of warfare and the shifting

23 lines between the empires.

24 Q. Dr. Gow, against this background of diversity that you

25 have explained in your evidence, where then did the

Page 105

1 concept of Yugoslavia come from?

2 A. I think, as I indicated before, the idea of Yugoslavia

3 emerged as such among South Slav intellectuals in the

4 Austro-Hungarian empire. It was the idea that all South

5 Slav people speaking either the same language or a closely

6 related language should be able to live together and gain

7 some sense of common existence, a way of self-expression,

8 self-determination.

9 At the same time an alternative view of Yugoslavia

10 was that put forward often called "Great Serbia", one in

11 which all these people would live together because either

12 most of them were Serbs in the eyes of certain thinkers in

13 the 19th century, or because most of the Serbs would be in

14 the area and the others would be able to live together

15 with them.

16 Q. Dr. Gow, what, if any, impact did World War I have on the

17 formation of the Yugoslav State?

18 A. The outcome of World War I was quite important in the

19 formation of the Yugoslav State. As I just said, there

20 were these two ideas which had been around in the previous

21 century developing, but the formation of Yugoslavia in the

22 way that it was formed was very much a product of the end

23 of the First World War.

24 A little bit of the history is important. In 1915,

25 Serbia was one of the allies of the Western powers. The

Page 106

1 allied powers and Serbia was fighting the war with the

2 idea that it would be able to create this Yugoslav or

3 great Serbian State at the end of war. In 1915, the

4 allied powers induced Italy to join with them in the fight

5 and, in doing so, offered them territories which would

6 later become part of Slovenia and Croatia.

7 At the end of the First World War, when the allied

8 powers were victorious over the central powers and the

9 allied powers had clearly decided that the

10 Austro-Hungarian Empire should be broken up, the South

11 Slavs were in a position of some weakness -- the South

12 Slavs from the Habsburg Empire were in a position of some

13 weakness, facing an Italian threat to -- parts of this

14 area had already been annexed and Italy looking to take

15 the other territories. So they decided to form a common

16 State with the Serbs at that stage, and one in which they

17 had largely to accept Serbian terms for unification.

18 Q. What were the major political developments or events in

19 Yugoslavia between World War I and World War II?

20 A. The formation of this first Yugoslav State was not

21 cemented until the constitution was put in place in 1921,

22 on 28th June. That constitution was more or less an

23 extension of the pre-existing Serbian monarchy. It was a

24 constitutional monarchy under the Serbian king. It was a

25 State in which many non-Serbs felt they did not have a

Page 107

1 real stake. Therefore, the next 20 years were

2 characterised by political nationalist, economic crises of

3 various kinds and the State became politically weak and

4 unviable.

5 So that in 1929 King Alexander declared a Royal State

6 of emergency. He renamed the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and

7 Slovenes the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, but with this period

8 of a state of emergency became even more unpopular with

9 some of the non-Serbs leading to his assassination by a

10 team of Macedonian and Croat nationalists in 1934. At the

11 end of the 1930s Yugoslavia was politically, socially,

12 economically weak.

13 Q. What were the main features of World War II in Yugoslavia?

14 A. The weakness of this first Yugoslav State meant that when

15 in April 1941 the axis powers invaded it was easy for them

16 to occupy the territory as a whole and to dismember it,

17 breaking it up into different areas. In one of those

18 areas they installed a puppet regime, the Ustasha regime,

19 in the so-called independent State of Croatia. The

20 Ustasha were one of the three main groups to fight the

21 Second World War on the territories of Yugoslavia.

22 The other two groups were the pro-Serbian Royalist

23 Chetniks, loyal to the old King and to the old Serbian

24 army, and the partisans led by communists under the

25 leadership of Yosiv Ros Tito.

Page 108

1 The main features of this war, which was part a

2 revolution, part a civil war and part a war of national

3 liberation, were that the ethnic exclusivity, and

4 particularly the vicious anti-Serbian campaign of the

5 Ustasha, meant that many people would turn to the

6 partisans who were better organised, who appeared to offer

7 something to everybody without being nationally

8 exclusivist for the future, and began to offer protection

9 to the Serbs against the Ustasha at the same time as they

10 could offer a future in which all the other Yugoslav

11 peoples would be able to have a stake. They promoted the

12 idea of regional or what would become republican

13 government within a Federal structure, thereby giving the

14 non-Serbs the idea that they would have a stake in their

15 place in the new Federal State.

16 Q. Who emerged from World War II as this successful party?

17 A. The partisans emerged as the victors in World War II and

18 were able to establish a federation under communist -- a

19 federation with this structure of six republics, but under

20 Communist rule under the leadership of Tito.

21 Q. How did the Communists go about the task of taking control

22 of Yugoslavia?

23 A. The process I alluded to a moment ago of offering the

24 various groups a stake in the future, promoting the idea

25 of the Federal structure, began to be elaborated from 1943

Page 109

1 onwards when the partisans began to institute local

2 administrations, regional councils on areas under their

3 control, areas liberated from the control of either their

4 opponents or of the axis occupiers.

5 This became the underpinning for the Federal system

6 which was put in place after the war, making some appeal

7 to all the people, giving all the people some sense that

8 they had their own little bit, their own State within a

9 State which would become part a new Yugoslavia.

10 Q. What was the federation? It was a Federation of what?

11 A. The Federation was established formally in 1946 as the

12 Federal Peoples Republic of Yugoslavia. It was a

13 Federation of six republics. The two autonomous provinces

14 at that stage were identified, but had little formal

15 power. The Federation established of the six republics

16 was under Communist rule, and I think it would be fair to

17 say that the Communists, whilst selling the idea of the

18 Federation, never really intended that it should have

19 meaning in reality.

20 Q. Just remind us again, the name of the two provinces?

21 A. The two provinces established within Serbia were Vojvodina

22 in the North and Kosovo in the South.

23 Q. Where did the constitutional model of the first Communist

24 Yugoslavia State come from?

25 A. The Federal model for the constitution was adopted from

Page 110

1 that present in the Soviet Union. It was similar in

2 structure; a mixture of different population groups formed

3 into what were designated as sovereign republics

4 constituting a Federation when they joined together.

5 Q. What was the relationship between Yugoslavia and the

6 Soviet Union, what was the nature of that relationship

7 between Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union immediately

8 following World War II?

9 A. The relationship between Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union

10 at the end of World War II was very good. The Yugoslav

11 Communists were very keen to emulate what the Soviets had

12 been doing and established very close links with them.

13 However, between 1945 and 1948 the initial enthusiasm gave

14 way to a series of tensions and disputes with the result

15 that by 1948 Stalin, the Soviet Ruler at the time, decided

16 to expel Yugoslavia from the bloc of Communist movements.

17 Q. What was the implication of this expulsion by the Soviet

18 Union of Yugoslavia?

19 A. I think the biggest implication was that the Yugoslav

20 Communists had to protect themselves, and to protect

21 themselves they had to justify the split and in justifying

22 the split they had to prove they were different from and

23 better than the Soviets; that meant they had to find an

24 alternative Communist model. They went away and came up

25 with the idea of socialist self-management.

Page 111

1 It is important to understand that this idea

2 contained large elements of decentralisation, and it was

3 the move to a model in which there was decentralisation

4 which began to give the Federal structure of the different

5 republics real meaning within the Yugoslav framework.

6 Q. From what you have said, is it true to say that there was

7 a centralising force and corresponding decentralising

8 force in the nature of the Federation of Yugoslavia?

9 A. It would indeed be fair to say that. It is in the nature

10 of Communist rule to centralise authority, but at the same

11 time it is quite clear that when you begin to decentralise

12 a tension will emerge between the centripetal forces and

13 the centrifugal forces, a tension between the centre

14 wanting to draw power into itself and the periphery

15 wanting to accrue power and be protected from the centre.

16 I think it would be fair to say that much of the

17 history of Yugoslavia over the next 40 years could be

18 characterised in terms of the struggle between

19 centralising forces and decentralising forces in debates

20 of political, social, economic policy.

21 Q. When you say "next 40 years", you are speaking from World

22 War II up to the 1990s?

23 A. I am speaking approximately from the split with the

24 Soviets in 1948 through to 1988, approximately at the end

25 of the 1980s when the final dissolution, the period of

Page 112

1 final dissolution I think began.

2 Q. You made reference to Tito earlier in your evidence. What

3 role did Tito play in the Federal system that was

4 established?

5 A. As the wartime leader Tito played an extremely important

6 role. He had immense personal authority within this

7 structure of Federal elements, both Communist party

8 elements and administrative elements. In the period of 40

9 years I was describing, through much of that period

10 although there was tension between the centre and the

11 republics, it was also clear that Tito could use his

12 personal authority to resolve differences between the

13 republics, to keep differences at a less than critical

14 level and to provide the way for compromise.

15 I think when Tito died in 1980 an important factor

16 was taken away. He had been appointed President for life,

17 everybody approved of that; without Tito it became

18 increasingly difficult to find compromises.

19 Q. What were the major developments in the constitutional

20 evolution of Communist Yugoslavia?

21 A. Communist Yugoslavia had four separate constitutions each

22 reflecting gradually this process of decentralisation of

23 power. The first in 1946 was based on the Soviet model,

24 as I said, and was highly centralised. The second in

25 1953, I think, reflected the introduction of the idea of

Page 113

1 socialist self-management and increased decentralisation.

2 That proved to be inadequate for the circumstances, as

3 through the 1950s and into the early 1960s the debates we

4 described between centre and republics continued, and so a

5 further constitution was adopted in 1963, again enhancing

6 the role of the republics.

7 The final constitution was adopted in 1974. At that

8 point the country was renamed the Socialist Federal

9 Republic of Yugoslavia, and that constitution essentially

10 confirmed the arrangement which had emerged in reality in

11 which the republics acted in a quasi-confederal way, each

12 with its own spheres of power and very few powers

13 remaining with the Federation.

14 It was important, as I said before, to note in that

15 structure the role of Tito as President for life because

16 he was able to regulate differences.

17 Q. How were these features reflected in the 1974

18 constitution?

19 A. The essential features reflected in the 1974 constitution

20 were the right to self-determination of the peoples of

21 Yugoslavia, including the right to secession; the

22 limitation on that right that it would require agreement

23 of the different peoples, that there would be a

24 distinction between what were called "peoples" or

25 "nations", that is the State forming peoples who did not

Page 114

1 have another homeland somewhere else and what were called

2 "nationalities" or "national minorities", those people

3 for whom there would be a homeland somewhere else. If

4 I may give one example, for the Serbs Yugoslavia, as it

5 was, constituted the only homeland; for Hungarians within

6 Serbia within Yugoslavia, of course, Hungary provided

7 another homeland. Therefore, they would have this status

8 of national minorities.

9 Finally and most importantly, in my opinion, the

10 constitution established clearly the identification of the

11 republics as States with sovereign rights, and made the

12 distinction between the republics as States with sovereign

13 rights and the provinces which did not have that status.

14 Q. Tell us the name of those States again? I know you have

15 said it earlier.

16 A. I am glad to. These were Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and

17 Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia.

18 Q. And the two provinces?

19 A. The two provinces within Serbia, Vojvodina and Kosovo.

20 I might also add, if I may, that in the 1974 constitution

21 although they were given a different status, the real

22 power of those two autonomous provinces were significantly

23 increased.

24 Q. What were the political ramifications of this 1974

25 constitution that you have spoken of following Tito's

Page 115

1 death?

2 A. As I indicated, while Tito was there he could regulate the

3 differences between the republics. After Tito died

4 through the 1980s it became increasingly impossible for

5 the various republics to agree. There was a growing

6 political, social, economic and constitutional crisis.

7 Various ideas emerged for solutions to that crisis but of

8 course, as you may guess, the ideas were somewhat

9 polarised. The polarisation of ideas was reflected within

10 particular republics within the SFRY, and by the end of

11 1980s it was becoming very difficult to see a prospect for

12 common agreement.

13 Q. What republic was the first republic to react as a

14 consequence of this?

15 A. The first republic to address the question of the 1974

16 constitution and to raise the question of asserting its

17 own sovereignty, was the republic of Serbia. It did so

18 following a memorandum published by the Serbian Academy of

19 Arts and Sciences in 1985 in which the proposition was put

20 that Serbia had been a victim of Tito's Yugoslavia, that

21 it had been unfairly treated, that it was a matter of

22 injustice that only Serbia had these two autonomous

23 provinces limiting its formal sovereignty, that is as a

24 sovereign State it was in some sense curtailed in the

25 scope of its powers by the existence of these two

Page 116

1 provinces, and that Serbia should reassert its sovereignty

2 first over the provinces and then within the Federation.

3 Q. Concentrating more on this break-up process of Yugoslavia,

4 what steps ----

5 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Mr. Niemann, I would like

6 to ask two

7 brief questions of the witness before we continue

8 discussion of dissolution. The first question is this.

9 The founding peoples Slovenes, Croatians, the founding

10 peoples seem apparently all to have had a territory:

11 Slovenia, Croatia, etc. What about the Muslims? Were

12 they considered as being Bosnians? Was it considered that


14 the Muslims were a founding people of the territory which

15 corresponds to Bosnia?

16 THE WITNESS: When Bosnia and Herzegovina was

17 established at

18 the end of the Second World War, it was established within

19 the borders of an historical territory, the territory

20 which had been part of the Ottoman empire, then part of

21 the Austro-Hungarian empire. The formation of that

22 republic was based largely on the historical identity of a

23 State or a territory in which historically there had been

24 three separate populations: the Slav Muslim, the orthodox

25 Serbs and the Roman Catholic Croats.

Page 117

1 At that time, although there was some discussion of

2 the Slav Muslims being sent to constitute a State forming

3 people, they were not regarded as a State forming people.

4 It was not until the 1960s that they were formally given

5 the status of a State forming people within the SFRY, and

6 from that time onwards they were regarded as being a State

7 form people within SFRY and within Bosnia and Herzegovina,

8 but they were not the exclusive, not the only

9 State-forming people within Bosnia and Herzegovina I think

10 it would be fair to say. Is that sufficient?

11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Thank you very much, Dr.

12 Gow. The second

13 question before we go over to the separation process, it

14 is an historical question by the way, I would like to now

15 ask you, at a particular point in time was there a

16 specific expression given to the idea of a concrete idea

17 of Serbia or did it remain a type of mythology for the

18 founding peoples?

19 THE WITNESS: : There have been various expressions

20 of the idea

21 of a Great Serbia. The idea originally emanated in the

22 thinking of Ilija Garasanin, a Minister in the developing

23 independent Serbian State in the 19th century, and that

24 was the idea that all the territories inhabited by

25 orthodox populations should be incorporated within a

Page 118

1 State.

2 The line usually associated with this idea of Great

3 Serbia later given definition by others is the line

4 running along the axis Karlobag, Karlovac and Virovitica.

5 This is a line running from the Dalmatian coast through

6 parts of Croatia to the border between Croatia and

7 Hungary. Would that be an adequate answer?

8 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Yes, very largely. So,

9 there was no

10 concrete expression given, historically speaking, to the

11 idea of Great Serbia?

12 THE WITNESS: : May I ask what would constitute a

13 concrete

14 expression? I think the idea of the line drawn between

15 Karlobag, Karlovac and Virovitica, these three towns, is

16 the line which would designate the concrete expression of

17 a Great Serbia which would include the lands otherwise

18 between present -- between the then Serbia, and including

19 the territory of Serbia as it is now, the lands of

20 Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and those parts of

21 Croatia which would fall within the line on the map.

22 If your Honour wishes, I could possibly indicate, if

23 I were given a copy of a map, I could possibly indicate

24 where this line would run?

25 MR. NIEMANN: Perhaps that map could be brought up on to the

Page 119

1 computer screen, your Honour.

2 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] What I meant by my question

3 was a

4 political concrete expression. So, in actual fact, in

5 political terms, there was never any Great Serbia?

6 THE WITNESS: : In political terms, an entity

7 called "Great

8 Serbia" never existed. It was only ever an idea and a

9 plan.

10 MR. NIEMANN (To the witness): Just looking at the plan that now

11 appears on the television screen, are you able to expand

12 upon your answer to His Honour's question?

13 A. Yes, if I could ask for the indicator to be moved to the

14 Adriatic Coast first? Could you move it along the coast

15 line, please, back a little bit. From a point

16 approximately here, running across, if you would move

17 across and move towards -- if you could go back to the

18 coast and hold it there for a moment, if you can move the

19 indicator first across the sea between the "C" and "R" of

20 Croatia and then through to the Hungarian border near the

21 "B" of Zagreb? That would be approximately the line

22 which the map of Great Serbia envisaged -- that would be

23 the border established under the historic idea of a Great

24 Serbia.

25 JUDGE ODIO-BENITO: Thank you. I would like to know, Dr. Gow,

Page 120

1 the role played by the Muslims during the Second War; did

2 they support one specific side in that war or were they

3 neutral? What happened?

4 THE WITNESS: I am not sure that they could be

5 said to be

6 neutral, but they did not support one specific side.

7 There were Muslims who were formed by the axis powers into

8 something called the Sandzak division, one of the

9 auxiliaries of the axis powers. There were Muslims who

10 fought with the partisans. It is not clear to me that

11 there are precise figures, but it seems to me fairly clear

12 that the majority of Muslims in some areas lined up with

13 the Ustasha and with the axis powers, and in other areas

14 they lined up with the partisans. Few of them were

15 aligned, if any -- I am sure there probably were a few,

16 but no significant numbers of Muslims were aligned with

17 the Chetniks, with the Serbian Royalist movement.

18 Indeed, it may be worth pointing out that the single

19 large -- the population group which had the single largest

20 loss in the Second World War were the Muslims, the Slav

21 Muslims, in Bosnia and in the Sandzak area, losing

22 something around 80 per cent of the prewar population by

23 the end of the war on the basis of the best figures which

24 can be derived now -- many of them in massacres carried

25 out by the Chetniks.

Page 121


2 JUDGE RIAD: I would like to know to what extent does the

3 difference in religion reflect an ethnic dichotomy? Thank

4 you so much.

5 THE WITNESS: : If you are referring to the Slav

6 Muslims in

7 Bosnia and in Serbia, then I would say there is, first, a

8 difference on the basis of religion which extends into a

9 cultural difference. That kind of difference is regarded

10 by sociologists and anthropologists as constituting an

11 ethnic difference, defining a different ethnic group by a

12 process of self-identification and identification by

13 others. It does not constitute a racially distinct group;

14 race being defined by genetic features.

15 The Albanians in Kosovo area and within parts of

16 Macedonia are Muslim or Islamic by faith, share some of

17 those elements with the Slav Muslims of culture. They

18 have a different linguistic base for their ethnic

19 identity, and I am not sure whether or not anybody could

20 say one way or the other whether they had a separate

21 racial characteristic -- I would say probably not, but

22 I would not pretend to the expertise to make a final

23 judgment.

24 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.

25 MR. NIEMANN: Dr. Gow, you mentioned earlier in your evidence

Page 122

1 when speaking of the breakup of the Socialist Federal

2 Republic of Yugoslavia the 1986 Serbian Academy of Arts

3 and Sciences memorandum; do you recall that? What steps,

4 if any, did Serbia take, the Republic of Serbia take, to

5 address the issues that were raised in this memorandum?

6 A. Under the leadership of President, at that time the

7 President of the League of Communists of Serbia, later to

8 be president of the Republic of Serbia, Slobodan

9 Milosevic, Serbia began a process by which the two

10 provinces would be reintegrated within Serbia, that is,

11 the autonomy of the two provinces, if I may remind you,

12 Vojvodina in the north and Kosovo in the south, the

13 autonomy of these two provinces would be removed.

14 Serbia has set about carrying out this process, and

15 in March 1989 accomplished the process in the province of

16 Kosovo, partly in response to assertions of sovereignty by

17 the Albanian majority in the area, but using methods of

18 suppression, including the use and presence of interior

19 ministry troops and elements of the Yugoslav People's Army

20 while that process of reintegration took place, although

21 I should also point out in technical terms the

22 reintegration was accomplished through legal means.

23 Q. Perhaps if we can have the map of Yugoslavia on the screen

24 again, please? Could you just direct the cursor to where

25 Kosovo is in relation to Belgrade?

Page 123

1 A. If you can pull the cursor down to the point where

2 Montenegro, the "O" of Montenegro leads to the border,

3 around there, if you then, before you move it, can imagine

4 a slightly -- something not quite a diamond or square

5 shaped which would move out slightly into Serbia and then

6 down to the border with Macedonia, and now down, that very

7 approximately would be the area covered by the republic --

8 by the province of Kosovo.

9 Q. Dr. Gow, did the events that occurred in Kosovo have any

10 influence over what happened in other parts of Yugoslavia?

11 A. The Serbian actions in Kosovo politically asserting

12 Serbian sovereignty and with other means suppressing the

13 autonomy of the local leadership in Kosovo sent signals to

14 the leaders in other parts of Yugoslavia that they would

15 need to look to protect themselves. There was the sense

16 that what Serbia could do to the majority Albanian

17 province of Kosovo, it could try to do in other parts of

18 the SFRY, the sense that what Serbia would do to

19 Kosovo could happen to Slovenia or to Croatia or to Bosnia

20 and Herzegovina, and this was a very strong force in

21 political developments in the late 1980s; the sense that

22 Serbia would want to do the same kind of thing that it had

23 done within these provinces in the republics themselves.

24 Q. What happened in the other republics?

25 A. In 1989 Serbia was able to continue the process of,

Page 124

1 effectively, taking control in areas which it had

2 accomplished first in the two provinces of Vojvodina and


4 Kosovo by working to secure a change in the leadership in

5 Montenegro, so that the Montenegrin leadership,

6 effectively, became an ally -- some would say a puppet --

7 of the Serbian leadership. This was the first

8 manifestation of the kind of thing which was putting fear

9 into the minds of other Yugoslav leaders.

10 In response to this, the other Yugoslav leaders in

11 Slovenia, in Croatia in particular, began to assert their

12 own sovereignty to revert to the question of the

13 constitutional structure of the SFRY, and to say that

14 really the SFRY was a matter of mutual relations between

15 republics, and that Serbia had no right to interfere and

16 to try to take control of events in the other republics.

17 One particular manifestation of this occurred when

18 Serbia tried to organise a big meeting, a big rally,

19 against the Slovene leadership, but the Croatian and

20 Slovenian authorities stopped the Serbian groups that were

21 going to Slovenia from actually reaching Slovenia by

22 stopping them at the Croatian borders.

23 This gave rise to strong ideas and to actions by

24 Slovenia, in particular, to reassert its own sovereignty,

25 making some changes to its constitution and constitutional

Page 125

1 law to establish more firmly its sovereign status and to a

2 series of arguments between the various Yugoslav

3 republican leaders, particularly between Slovenia and

4 Serbia over the future of the joint federation.

5 Q. What happened after that, followed from that?

6 A. The two poll positions, one taken by Serbia, the other by

7 Slovenia, were that the future of Yugoslavia, of the SFRY,

8 lay in a variety of reforms, particularly constitutional


10 reform. Serbia advocated a more centralised system, a

11 return to something which there had been in the past.

12 Slovenia said that the status of the republics under the

13 1974 constitution had to be reformed and had to be

14 formally codified in a new constitution which would

15 establish a confederal set of relationships between the

16 republics.

17 For Serbia, the idea appears to have been a stronger,

18 more centralised communist control; in Slovenia, the idea

19 appears to have been to move toward a West European style

20 system of competitive party politics. These two positions

21 became very difficult to reconcile.

22 Q. Were these positions reflected in elections that were

23 held?

24 A. In 1990, first Slovenia, then Croatia moved towards

25 holding competitive multi-party elections. The outcome of

Page 126

1 those elections resulted in a former -- in the former

2 communist President being re-elected as leader of Slovenia

3 with a government composed of a coalition of opposition

4 groups. At the same time the elections in Croatia saw the

5 election of a strongly nationalist party, the Croatian

6 Democratic Union, under the leadership of the man who

7 became president, Tudjman. Tudjman was a former partisan

8 in general -- in Tito's army. He had been imprisoned as a

9 nationalist and then now returned as a political figure.

10 Q. What happened in Bosnia?

11 A. Elections were held in Bosnia towards the end of1990.

12 The results of those elections went largely along the

13 lines of the ethnic composition of the republic -- I think

14 we identified earlier in one of the documents you were

15 given -- slightly less than the proportion of population,

16 in each case voted for what was largely identified as an

17 ethnic party. So, around 30 per cent of the vote went to

18 the -- over 30 per cent of the vote went to the party of

19 democratic action identified largely with the Muslim

20 leadership of Alija Izetbegovic. Around 20 per cent, I

21 think -- I am trying to recall these figures; I do not

22 know them accurately -- went to the Serbian Democratic

23 party organised by Radovan Karadzic, and a smaller

24 proportion in the teens went to the Croatian Democratic

25 Union, the branch of the Tudjman party which operated in

Page 127

1 Bosnia and Herzegovina.

2 A further 13 per cent or so of the votes went to

3 parties who were looking for a Yugoslav perspective. But

4 the outcome of the elections was to see a Bosnia divided

5 at least on a superficial level politically between

6 different ethnic communities.

7 Q. Just dealing with the letters by which these respective

8 parties are often referred to, the Muslim party of

9 Democratic Action, is that referred to as the SDA?

10 A. It is referred to as the SDA, Stranka Demostratska Akcija.

11 Q. The Serbian Democratic party is the SDS?

12 A. That is correct, Srpska Demokratska Strana.

13 Q. The Croatian Democratic Union is the HDZ?

14 A. That is right, that is Hrvatska Demokratska Zajednica.

15 Q. You may have mentioned this, but were there elections also

16 in Serbia and Montenegro?

17 A. Elections were held in the remaining republics. In

18 Macedonia, the election result went again to a mixture of

19 -- produced a government of reformed communists mixed

20 with some more nationalist groupings; in Serbia and

21 Montenegro, the elections resulted in the substantial --

22 in a substantial victory for Slobodan Mlosevic and his

23 Serbian socialist party and in Montenegro for his protege,

24 Momir Bulatovic.

25 Q. In your opinion, what did the results of these elections

Page 128

1 mean for Yugoslavia?

2 A. The results of the elections in the various republics was

3 confirmation of the polarisation of the republics within

4 the SFRY. On the one hand, the communist parties, newly

5 renamed communist parties, in Serbia and Montenegro were

6 elected strongly, giving a strong popular base for the

7 positions taken by the Serbian leadership. At the same

8 time, the outcome of the elections in Slovenia and

9 Croatia, at the other extreme, showed a very substantial,

10 local popular support for the policies being advocated

11 nationally and within the federation by the victors in

12 those cases.

13 The results in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in

14 Macedonia, I think, reflect to some extent the divisions

15 within those countries and the relative weakness in which

16 the two republics found themselves within the federation.

17 Q. What was the next stage in the process of disintegration

18 of Yugoslavia?

19 A. As the -- at the same time as these elections were taking

20 place in 1990, different ideas about the future of the

21 Federation were being advocated. The Serbians with a

22 proposal put forward by Borisau Jovic, the Serbian

23 leadership's representative to the collective Federal

24 presidency, Yugoslavia's highest Federal body with a

25 collective presidency with a representative from each of

Page 129

1 the republics and the autonomous provinces; Jovic put

2 forward the idea of what he called a modernised

3 federation. This was the idea of a more strongly

4 centralised Federation in which power would be

5 concentrated in Belgrade, which was the capital of both

6 Serbia and the federation and would be concentrated in the

7 hands of people who still adhered to the communists'

8 socialist vision for the SFRY.

9 The counter proposal to this was put forward by the

10 leaders of Slovenia and Croatia. For Croatia, I mentioned

11 Franjo Tudjman already, and Slovenia was President Milan

12 Kucan. They advocated a new set of relationships between

13 the republics which would reflect the idea of a

14 confederation; the idea that the sovereignty and

15 independence of each of the republics would be formally

16 and clearly recognised, but that there would continue to

17 be a common existence and the series of common areas in

18 which they would act in common.

19 Between these two proposals, a third proposal

20 emerged. This was put forward by the leaders of Bosnia

21 and Herzegovina and Macedonia. In Bosnia's case Alija

22 Izetbegovic, in Macedonia's case, Kiro Gligorov. This

23 idea was somewhat more akin to the Slovene and Croatian

24 proposal, but reflected the essential weakness of the

25 positions in which Bosnia and Macedonia found themselves,

Page 130

1 and it called for an asymmetric grouping which would be

2 part confederal, part Federal, depending on the degree of

3 relationship each republic would want to have with the

4 other republics, but still retained the idea of a common


6 framework, but it was a framework in which Bosnia and

7 Macedonia would be able to feel more secure.

8 Q. What was the Serbian reaction to the confederalist

9 proposal?

10 A. Serbia regarded the confederalist proposal as a cover for

11 the idea of breaking up the SFRY completely and

12 establishing wholly independent States. Serbia asserted

13 that if there was a movement towards the confederal

14 option, then Serbia and the Serbs would have the right to

15 retain unity, and that all the territories on which every

16 place where a Serb lived should be regarded as being part

17 of Serbia in that case, and that the areas inhabited by

18 Serbs would then be withdrawn in some way from the

19 republics of Croatia and Bosnia should the confederal

20 option develop.

21 Q. Up until this stage you have been speaking about, the

22 proposals and counter proposals of the various heads and

23 authorities in the republics themselves, such as Serbia,

24 Slovenia, Croatia and so forth, what was the position

25 during this time of the Federal authorities in Yugoslavia?

Page 131

1 A. There were two elements in the Federal authorities. The

2 Federal presidency, I mentioned before, comprised

3 representatives from each of the republics and the

4 autonomous provinces was becoming increasingly irrelevant

5 because it was itself a microcosm of the divisions.

6 Within Yugoslavia there was stalemate within that

7 presidency because half favoured one option, half favoured

8 the other or was somewhere in between.

9 The Federal Government under Prime Minister Ante

10 Markovic was arguing to retain a Yugoslav framework,

11 obviously preferred the Federal option but would have been

12 happy with a confederal option, provided that the common

13 Yugoslav economic space was retained. To try to ensure

14 that the federation preferably but certainly a common

15 Yugoslav space could be retained, Markovic in 1990 -- in

16 1989 and 1990 introduced a very strong radical programme

17 of economic reform in tying the currency of the denar to

18 the German deutschemark and trying very rapidly and

19 quickly to suppress rampant inflation.

20 Q. How successful was the Prime Minister Markovic's

21 programme?

22 A. At one level the Markovic programme was very successful.

23 Within a space of six months inflation, for example, was

24 reduced from something like 2,600 per cent to about zero.

25 But, really, I think we have to say the programme was not

Page 132

1 successful, because following that six-month period it was

2 increasingly undermined by each of the republics asserting

3 its own position, apparently, none of republics having any

4 real interest in supporting the Federal Government and

5 sustaining the continuation of the Federation in the way

6 that Markovic would have wanted.

7 Q. By the end of the year, 1990, what was the State of the

8 Federation by this stage?

9 A. I would say that by the beginning of the 1990s the

10 Federation was in need of critical renewal; that it was

11 very difficult to see how there would be any possibility

12 of renewing the Federation as it had been; that the only

13 options were to find a new way of keeping a common

14 Yugoslav existence for the various republics; that the

15 differences between the republican leaderships was

16 increasing translating to differences in the social and

17 ethnic fabric of the territories of the SFRY, and that the

18 country was in probably a final and critical state leading

19 towards dissolution.

20 Q. When you use the letters "SFRY", that means the Socialist

21 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia?

22 A. I use the letters "SFRY" to designate the Socialist

23 Federative Republic of Yugoslavia as designated under the

24 1974 constitution. I use it as a technicality to refer to

25 that particular form of Yugoslavia with that structure of

Page 133

1 sovereign republics prior immediately to the dissolution

2 of the SFRY, or of the joint, common body of the

3 republics.

4 Q. Did the Federation actually cease to function?

5 A. I believe that the Federation can be said to have ceased

6 to function on or about 15th May 1991, although for a

7 period before that it was clearly heading towards a

8 critical point at which it would cease to function. That

9 was the day on which the Croatian representative to the

10 Federal presidency Stipe Mesic should have been rotated by

11 an automatic procedure to become the President of the

12 presidency, that is, chief of the ruling Council of the

13 Federation.

14 This procedure established under constitutional laws

15 pursuant to the 1974 constitution should have been an

16 automatic procedure. It had been in all the years prior

17 to this, but it was blocked by the Serbian grouping on the

18 Federal presidency. You will recall I said before the

19 presidency had become largely ineffectual because it was

20 divided between those under the Serbian control, that is,


22 Serbia, the two autonomous provinces, and Montenegro on

23 the one side and the other four republics.

24 Because of this division, Serbia was able to block

25 the rotation of Mesic and at that stage, I think it can be

Page 134

1 said, the Federation ceased to function. It became clear

2 that the Federal elements no longer had the will to

3 sustain the federation.

4 Q. What, firstly, was Croatia's response to this blocking of

5 their Prime Minister becoming Prime Minister of the

6 Federation?

7 A. If I may correct you -----


9 Q. President, I am sorry?

10 A. It was -- yes, Mesic was the Croatian representative to

11 the Federal presidency. Croatia had already begun

12 discussing the possibility of seeking full independence at

13 some stage if a confederal arrangement could not be

14 established. It had already taken the decision to

15 organise a referendum on the possible independence of

16 Croatia if the confederal proposals were not accepted.

17 That referendum was held four days later, four days after

18 the issue in the Federal presidency with Mesic on 19th May

19 1991, and resulted in overwhelming support -- a vote of

20 overwhelming support for the idea of Croatia

21 independence.

22 I should also point out that prior to this in

23 December 1990, in Slovenia, a similar referendum had been

24 organised and had been held on the issue of independence

25 in the eventuality of an agreement not emerging on

Page 135

1 re-establishing arrangements between the republics along


3 confederal lines.

4 Q. When did the final phase of dissolution begin?

5 A. The final phase of dissolution may be said to have begun

6 in a number of places. Some people might argue with the

7 memorandum of the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences in

8 the late 1980s. Some would argue with the Serbian

9 assertion of control over Kosovo in 1989, possibly with

10 the elections in 1990, or with the possibility that in

11 Croatia, as the Croatians tried to restructure the former

12 communist elements, Serbs in a number -- in area in

13 Croatia began to rebel during 1990. But I think it could

14 be at the point I already indicated, when the Mesic

15 rotation was blocked, but I think it can absolutely be

16 said to have taken place on 25th June 1991 when Slovenia

17 and Croatia on the basis of the referendums held declared

18 that the Federation no longer functioned and that they

19 would be independent henceforth.

20 Q. What happened following the declarations of independence?

21 A. Immediately after the declarations of independence, an

22 armed conflict began on the territories of the SFRY, and

23 the international community initially in the guise of the

24 European Community began to become involved in the

25 Yugoslav problems.

Page 136

1 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] I would like to ask Dr.

2 Gow as regards

3 this final dissolution process the following question:

4 What was the reaction, what was the international

5 reaction, was there an immediate recognition of these

6 different countries because Slovenia held its referendum

7 in December 1990 and the declaration of independence came

8 in Croatia in 1991? What happened during that period?

9 What was the reaction of the international community?

10 Secondly, from a legal point of view, which countries were

11 recognised?

12 THE WITNESS: If I may answer the first question,

13 and then

14 I may be permitted to clarify? The referendum in Slovenia

15 was held in December 1990 and the referendum in Croatia

16 was held in May 1991, but it was on the same day in 1991,

17 June 25, that both Slovenia and Croatia announced that

18 they would henceforth be independent.

19 So, it was from that point, the 25th June 1991, that

20 we look at the question of the international response to

21 the independence of Slovenia and Croatia. The immediate

22 response to those declarations of independence was that

23 nobody in the outside world accepted or recognised the

24 independent international personality of those two

25 republics. That was not to happen until by -- no outside

Page 137

1 country was to recognise the independence of those two

2 republics until -- at least not to recognise it formally

3 -- until diplomatic relations ban began to be established

4 in January 1992.

5 On the second question, I think it would be fair for

6 me to say that you asked as a legal question, I do not

7 think I am qualified to give a legal answer, but if you

8 would like me to reformulate the question in a way that

9 I can give an answer as a matter of fact or opinion,

10 I would be happy to do so. Sorry, for being so precise.

11 I do not want to seem to be -- to do the wrong thing.

12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] When were those countries

13 recognised or

14 admitted within the European communities or within the

15 bodies of the United Nations?

16 THE WITNESS: If I may, I shall give a slightly

17 more expansive

18 answer than the question you just asked. It seems to me

19 it is what is required. The States were formally

20 recognised by members of the European Community, by the

21 United States and, broadly, by other countries in January

22 1992. Prior to that, in October 1991, as part of a

23 conference on Yugoslavia organised by the European

24 Community, the Serbian President, Slobodan Milosevic, had

25 agreed in principle to the independence of the republics

Page 138

1 within borders. This was on 4th October. I should point

2 out that he was later to say -- to retract some of this

3 agreement.

4 On the basis of that 4th October decision to

5 acknowledge the right of the republics to independence

6 within borders, on 6th October the European Council of

7 Foreign Ministers, that is, the Council of Ministers of

8 the European Community, at a meeting decided that the

9 prospects for the development for the future of the

10 Yugoslav territories would be within the perspective of

11 the right to independence of the republics, but that this

12 should be through a procedure organised by the conference

13 at the end of which there would be agreement between all

14 parties on exactly what the relationships would be.

15 They asked Lord Carrington, the Chair of this

16 conference, to draw up a convention, a draft agreement for

17 relationships between the republics and at a later

18 meeting, I think, on 16th or 18th October agreed that if

19 this document were not to be agreed by all the Yugoslav

20 parties by the end of the year, then the EC would continue

21 to deal with those republics co-operating in this process

22 on the basis of their right to independence.

23 It is in that context that you have to understand the

24 decision in January 1992 to begin to establish diplomatic

25 relations with those Yugoslav republics seeking

Page 139

1 independence.

2 MR. NIEMANN: Does your Honour have any further questions that

3 you wish to direct To the witness at this stage or shall I

4 continue?

5 (To the witness): Dr. Gow, you have mentioned the

6 commencement of the armed conflict in Yugoslavia. Turning

7 to that armed conflict, under the constitution, what was

8 the position of the armed forces in Yugoslavia at the

9 commencement of the armed conflict?

10 A. As a matter of procedure, may I just ask a question to the

11 Judge?

12 Q. Perhaps you might ask ----

13 A. If I may go back to the previous answer and add one point

14 to it?

15 Q. By all means do that.

16 A. Yes. This would be simply to add that you were talking

17 about the, I think, or we were talking about the

18 dissolution of Yugoslavia and the independence of

19 republics and the completion of the breakup, this would

20 just be to point out that that process can finally be said

21 to have come to a conclusion on 27th April 1992 when the

22 last of the republics declared -- Serbia and Montenegro

23 declared a common future, thereby effectively pronouncing

24 the SFRY completely no longer to exist. It is arguable

25 that it did cease to exist before that, but there can be

Page 140

1 no doubt from that point onwards. Sorry.

2 Q. Going on to the commencement of armed conflict in

3 Yugoslavia, under the constitution, the Federal

4 constitution, what was the position of the armed forces?

5 A. Under the 1974 constitution of the SFRY, the Yugoslav

6 People's Army was one of two elements in a binary defence

7 system. The Yugoslav People's Army, commonly known as the

8 JNA, the JNA was designed to be the first element of

9 defence, the element which would block an attack for a

10 period of 48 hours or more while the second element was

11 mobilised. The second element was a structure of

12 territorial defence forces, some kind of levy en masse in

13 which all the people would become armed.

14 The idea of this system was to deter any potential

15 invader of the country from attacking. It was to persuade

16 them that it simply would not be worthwhile.

17 The JNA was organised by a Federal Secretariat for

18 Defence in Belgrade within the Federation, and the

19 territorial defence organisations were organised by

20 Republican Secretariats for Defence. This two-tier system

21 created a large number of people with arms throughout the

22 territories of the SFRY.

23 In political terms, the JNA was charged with a very

24 pronounced political role under the 1974 constitution.

25 First, it was given the task of being guardian of the

Page 141

1 territorial integrity and constitutional order of the

2 SFRY. Secondly, under the constitutional laws pursuant to

3 the constitution within the governing framework of the

4 SFRY, that is, the league of communists of Yugoslavia, the

5 set of communist parties ruling Yugoslavia, it was given

6 equal status with the autonomous provinces. So, it was

7 given a clear formal role in the political life of the

8 country within the ruling central committee of the league

9 of communists of the SFRY.

10 Q. This two-tiered system of armed forces that existed in

11 Yugoslavia, is there an historical explanation for that?

12 A. The idea of having a widely armed population, able to

13 retreat into the mountains and to undermine any invader

14 has some historical precedent in the area. It could be

15 said to go back to the thinking of about Chetnik movements

16 within the Royal Serbian army, but most obviously in terms

17 of Tito's Yugoslavia, the thinking was looking back to the

18 wartime experience in which the partisans as a guerilla

19 force had been able to retreat into the mountain to

20 undermine the occupying powers and gradually transform

21 itself into a formal army which would be victorious in the

22 Second World War. So, there was a strong influence of the

23 partisan thinking from the past in the elaboration of this

24 two-tier system of armed forces for the defence of

25 Yugoslavia.

Page 142

1 Q. Did the 1948 split with the Soviet Union have any impact

2 upon the military thinking of Yugoslavia?

3 A. Having ended the Second World War as allies of the Soviet

4 Union, a newly ruling communist party leading a would be

5 communist country, relationships between the Soviet Union

6 and Yugoslavia were very good. However, after the split,

7 there developed the very strong prospect that the Soviet

8 Union might want to invade Yugoslavia. This was enhanced

9 at various stages through the 1950s and the 60s when the

10 Soviet intervened in Hungary and Czechoslovakia. This

11 reinforced the Yugoslav's sense that they needed to be


13 able to defend themselves, that they could not rely on

14 anybody else for the defence and, therefore, they began to

15 make preparations though this type of organisational

16 structure I identified, and underpinning that through

17 preparations for conducting this type of long, partisan or

18 guerilla warfare. That meant securing a large -- making

19 preparations to conduct a war in retreat in the mountains,

20 particularly in Bosnia. So there would be large weapon

21 supplies already in place, and it also meant the

22 elaboration and creation of a Defence industry within the

23 SFRY, the largest part of which was located in Bosnia and

24 Herzegovina, because that was envisaged as being the most

25 vital territory in which defence would be carried out.

Page 143

1 Q. What was the ethnic balance in the JNA?

2 A. The JNA, we should look at the JNA in three layers. At

3 the lowest level, it was a conscript force and the ethnic

4 composition represented the ethnic structure of the

5 18 plus year old population throughout the territories of

6 the SFRY. At the highest level, there was a mechanism

7 known as the national key which ensured that all the top

8 positions within the JNA were allocated as far as could

9 possibly be managed on the basis of ethnic

10 proportionality.

11 However, in the middle layer, representing the bulk

12 of the professional or volunteer soldiers in the officer

13 core and non-commissioned officers, the majority were of

14 Serbian origin. Around 60 per cent of the -- 60 per cent

15 or more of the officer core comprised Serbs, and I think

16 it is fair to say this was a reflection of the experience

17 of the partisans, where the Serbs had formed the core

18 through much of the war through 1943 and 1944 where the

19 fighting was in Bosnia and the core of the partisan

20 movement were the Serbs from Croatia and Bosnia,

21 comprising in 1943 something like 75 per cent of the

22 partisans, although by the end of the war the partisans

23 were far more representative.

24 This is important, I think, to understand because it

25 creates a legacy as you move into the JNA in which there

Page 144

1 is a tendency for the predominant group, for the largest

2 group within the JNA to be Serbs and for the largest group

3 within those Serbs probably to be Serbs from Croatia and

4 Bosnia.

5 Q. What role did the JNA have in the constitution of 1974

6 that you mentioned earlier?

7 A. The role with the JNA, the first level was to preserve, to

8 protect, to be guardians of, the constitutional order of

9 the SFRY and the territorial integrity of the federation.

10 As I said before, I think, there was this further

11 political role established under the constitution through

12 the constitutional laws affecting the role of the league

13 of communists of Yugoslavia in which the JNA was given a

14 strong, formal political role in the political

15 decision-making processes of the SFRY.

16 Q. Why was the JNA given a political role?

17 A. The JNA was given this political role because after some

18 problems of nationalist tension in Croatia in 1971, Tito

19 had formed a reliance with the JNA to restore some sense

20 of Federal order, removing the Croatian leadership, moving

21 on to remove national and liberalising leaderships in

22 other republics.

23 Tito saw the JNA -- I think probably quite rightly --

24 as being the only body in the SFRY with a clear loyalty to

25 the SFRY as a whole. He, therefore, saw the SFRY -- he

Page 145

1 saw the JNA within the SFRY in some senses as being his

2 successor. Tito was looking to the possibility that when

3 he died, the JNA would be able to carry on the role of pan

4 Yugoslav arbiter between the various republics within the


6 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honour, I note -----

7 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] I did not quite follow;

8 what was the

9 political role of JNA in the broad framework which you

10 talked about as regards Tito? Did it implement itself?

11 What tangible form did it take?

12 THE WITNESS: The formal role of the JNA

13 manifest in the

14 governing body of the SFRY under communist rule. That was

15 the central committee of the league of communists of

16 Yugoslavia. In that structure each of the republics had a

17 set number of delegates to the central committee, each of

18 the autonomous provinces had a reduced number of

19 delegates. If I recall correctly, each of the republics

20 would have 20 representatives and the autonomous provinces

21 would have 15. In that -- the formal role of the JNA was

22 to be given equivalent status with the autonomous

23 provinces and, therefore, to have a formal role of 15

24 representatives at all stages in the work of the central

25 committee. That was the governing body of the SFRY in

Page 146

1 real terms.

2 It was also -- it should also be noted that although

3 it was not formally established, the Defence Minister,

4 that is, the top general, was always present -- was

5 often, if not always, present at meetings of the Federal

6 presidency and would always be there as part of the

7 Federal Government.

8 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honour, I notice the time. Would now be a

9 convenient time to adjourn?

10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Yes. This is a very good

11 opportunity to

12 adjourn. We would like to come back at 2.30.

13 (Luncheon adjournment)

14 (2.00 p.m.)

15 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] We can recommence the

16 hearing with the

17 testimony of Dr. Gow.

18 MR. NIEMANN: If your Honour pleases.


20 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Counsel for the

21 Prosecution, could I take

22 this opportunity to ask you some information? Do you

23 think that Dr. Gow will have completed his testimony by

24 5.30 or before? What do you think is going to happen

25 there? Do you think it is going to be possible to begin

Page 147

1 hearing the witnesses at some time who will tell us about

2 what has actually happened?

3 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honour, my best estimate is that Dr. Gow's

4 evidence will be completed this afternoon, and that there

5 is a very good possibility that we will start with the

6 evidence of the first victim or witness, or eyewitness,

7 I should say.

8 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Thank you.

9 MR. NIEMANN (To the witness): Dr. Gow, prior to the luncheon

10 adjournment, you were speaking of the role of the JNA in

11 former Yugoslavia, and you also mentioned in your evidence

12 a reference to the processes of disintegration o

13 Yugoslavia. Did these forces of disintegration have any

14 impact upon the JNA?

15 A. The forces working towards the disintegration of

16 Yugoslavia had an impact on the JNA, quite clearly, in

17 terms of the way in which the army was composed. In the

18 final years of the SFRY, problems began to emerge in

19 securing the service of conscripts, many from some parts

20 of Yugoslavia and very notably from Slovenia, were not

21 following orders to turn up to do their military service

22 in the JNA. Political pressures, of course, were being

23 brought to bear on the JNA.

24 I would advance the opinion that the JNA was finding

25 itself in an increasingly difficult position facing

Page 148

1 pressures from all sides as to how it would position

2 itself, given its constitutional role to safeguard

3 constitutional order, but at the same time with this very

4 strong element from the Serbian community within the

5 officer corps shaping opinions, making it very difficult

6 for people to understand exactly where they were within

7 the JNA.

8 In this situation, it became very difficult both,

9 I suspect, for people within the JNA and for outsiders

10 sometimes to know quite where the JNA stood. One example

11 might be in the course of 1990 and 1991, when local Serbs

12 in Croatia faced with something that they regarded as a

13 fear from the Croatian authorities looked to the JNA, and

14 the JNA at various stages deployed on what it described as

15 a peacekeeping role, trying to stabilize the situation,

16 but a role which increasingly came to appear as giving

17 assistance to the local Serbs in that area. I suspect

18 that some of the people in the JNA probably were giving

19 assistance, and some of the other people in the JNA were

20 simply wanting to retain and maintain as much order within

21 the SFRY as possible.

22 If I might stress at this point, that in looking at

23 this question, from my own point of view, just to

24 underline that much of what I am saying is directed

25 towards what I understand the court, the Tribunal, is

Page 149

1 interested in today, which is the Serbian project, the war

2 project, which was eventually carried out by people -- by

3 the JNA and by Serbs pursuing an idea. But at the same

4 time it was a complex situation, and I just indicated in

5 Croatia there was a different situation in which the

6 Croatian authorities may in some cases be said to have

7 been culpable for what was happening. So, just to be

8 clear that although it may seem confusing that, on the one

9 hand, a lot of what I have been saying appears one way,

10 I am now saying: "Here were the JNA doing something to

11 help Serbs who may have had a real question".

12 Q. Were there any changes to the organisational structure of

13 the JNA as a result of these forces of disintegration?

14 A. I do not think we can clearly say there were changes in

15 the organisational structure of the JNA as a result of

16 these forces of disintegration. There were changes in the

17 structure of the JNA at the end of 1988 and the beginning

18 of 1989. Those changes involved the formation of military

19 districts, and there was argued at the time to be a good

20 military rationale for this.

21 Whatever the exact motivation for the changes at the

22 time, it certainly became apparent as the disintegration,

23 processes of disintegration continued that the structure

24 put in place with the military districts and increased

25 local authority for local -- increased authority for local

Page 150

1 commanders meant that in some cases the type of ambiguity

2 I was pointing to just now in the Croatian case could lead

3 possibly some local commanders to begin to give assistance

4 to local Serbian communities without any clear sense that

5 this was necessarily coming at that stage in the way of

6 orders from Belgrade.

7 Q. What relevance, if any, did these changes that were taking

8 place in the JNA have on the events of 1990 and beyond?

9 A.I think the relevance was that the JNA, given its

10 constitutional position, given its own sense of

11 identification as a pan Yugoslav organisation, but with

12 this, as I said before, very strong Serbian element within

13 it, was under pressure. It was under pressure, on the one

14 hand, to protect the SFRY, but that pressure increasingly

15 seemed to mean preserving what might some people would say

16 was a Serbian version of the SFRY, and increasingly its

17 role appeared to come to be looking back in a sense to the

18 past, to the partisan formation and the corps of Croatian

19 and Bosnian Serbs in that movement, to protecting what it

20 was that the Croatian and Bosnian Serbs through the

21 partisans, through the JNA and the SFRY had created. So,

22 that JNA was being put under a lot of pressure by

23 circumstances to move towards a more Serbian position.

24 Q. What happened to this process of moving towards a more

25 Serbian position after the outbreaks of hostilities in

Page 151

1 1991?

2 A. After the declarations of independence in June, armed

3 hostilities broke out and the ethnic composition of the

4 JNA changed radically. By the early part of 1992 an army

5 which had been in the conscript, a largely multi-ethnic,

6 which had had the national key principal operating at the

7 top, and which had had representatives from all the

8 Yugoslav communities somewhere in the officer corps, had

9 become largely Serbian dominated, that is to say, most of

10 the non-Serbs in this period left, either disillusioned

11 and trying to seek seclusion or, in most cases, going to

12 join one of the emergent armed forces of the new States.

13 I think this can be clearly seen in terms of the

14 numbers. Of the 180,000 strong JNA in 1991, in May, could

15 be estimated to have around 42 per cent -- approximately

16 42 per cent of it in total could be said to be Serbs. By

17 the end -- by the middle of 1992 the maximum figure could

18 be about five per cent non-Serbs.

19 Q. Dr. Gow, were there any links between the JNA and the

20 other military groups that you have mentioned, the

21 paramilitary groups that were emerging at this time?

22 A. The JNA, or certainly elements from within the JNA, were

23 involved in some of the organisation and armying of

24 paramilitary groups which were to operate on the territory

25 Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Page 152

1 These groups were of two types: Either paramilitary

2 voluntary groups formed by particular leaders, or elements

3 derived from the territorial defence system that

4 I mentioned this morning in areas where Serbs were in the

5 majority. In each case the JNA was involved in the

6 distribution of weapons and the organisation of these

7 forces.

8 Q. What was the name of these paramilitary groups to which

9 you are referring?

10 A. The paramilitary groups which were formed by or were

11 associated with particular figures were formed in Serbia

12 and Montenegro. Examples include the "Tigers" organised

13 by Zeljko Raznjatovic (Arkan) -- Arkan being his familiar

14 nom de guerre -- the "White Eagles" organised by Mirko

15 Jovic, the Chetniks organised by Vojislavseselj. There

16 were a number of other smaller groups; each would provide

17 a particular role in situations providing troops of a kind

18 who would not be available to do things that ordinary

19 conscripts -- who would be available to do things that

20 ordinary conscripts would not.

21 Q. Who was primarily responsible, in your opinion, for

22 setting up and arming these Serbian paramilitary groups?

23 A. The Serbian paramilitary groups just mentioned, both those

24 identified with particular people I just mentioned and the

25 those based around the old territorial defence structure,

Page 153

1 were set up and armed either by the JNA or by elements of

2 the Federal State Security Service. The key figure -- or

3 the Serbian State Security Service -- the key figures,

4 I believe to be, in the case of the Federal, at the

5 Federal level, the SFRY, the Deputy Interior Minister and

6 Head of the State Security Service at that time, Mihail

7 Kertes, and the head of the Serbian State Security

8 Service, Radmilo Bogdanovic.

9 There were also elements within the JNA involved in

10 this process. If I may give one example? There were

11 reports attributed to tapes -- obtained, tapes made by the

12 last Prime Minister of the SFRY and Markovic which seemed

13 to reveal a conversation between President Milosevic of

14 Serbia and Dr. Karadzic, leader of the Bosnian Serbs in

15 which President Milosevic was instructing Dr. Karadzic to

16 turn to General Uzelac commander of the Banja Luka corps

17 to sort out problems of -- to sort out the issue of

18 weapons provision.

19 Q. You briefly touched on the fact that the paramilitary

20 groups were specifically recruited to do things which the

21 regular JNA army would not do. What role did the

22 paramilitary groups play in the ensuing conflict?

23 A. The first role that they played was provision of

24 additional manpower. I think we can say that in this

25 situation of transition the JNA was facing manpower

Page 154

1 problems.

2 I already mentioned that most of the non-Serbs were

3 not going to serve in this Yugoslav army anymore. A

4 number of Serbs were not willing to serve in an army which

5 they perceived now to be taking sides in a war but no

6 longer representing a Yugoslav perspective. So the JNA

7 lacked manpower.

8 So the first role that the paramilitaries played was

9 by making additional manpower available. They were able

10 to make this -- they were able to recruit manpower in this

11 way because they represented a Serbian ideal, I believe.

12 They projected an image of Serbdom which meant that people

13 who were reluctant to fight for a Yugoslav army were

14 prepared to fight for a group identified as being part of

15 a Serbian identity. Of course, there were other reasons

16 for people to fight. In many cases it is because they

17 would be well rewarded for fighting. The second role that

18 they played, in a sense, was as the shock troops. As

19 Serbia and the JNA moved towards a new project and a

20 project which would require certain things to be done,

21 these were troops who were prepared -- I use the term

22 "troops" to describe them; I am not sure if it is wholly

23 appropriate -- but these were troops who were used to go

24 into particular areas to carry out acts sometimes of

25 extreme violence in order to take control of a particular

Page 155

1 area and to drive out elements of the local population.

2 Q. In doing this was there co-ordination between the JNA and

3 the paramilitary groups?

4 A. There appears to have been considerable co-ordination

5 between the JNA and the paramilitary groups. As the war

6 moved into Bosnia, there seems to have been concerted

7 action with the paramilitary groups playing one role,

8 going into towns, and the JNA playing another role,

9 providing -- encircling towns and providing logistical and

10 artillery support.

11 The planning suggests and the distribution of the JNA

12 forces suggests that they were already prepared to assist

13 paramilitary forces in securing control of particular

14 areas when the war came to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

15 Q. You mentioned the new political project, I think, a moment

16 ago in your evidence. What did Serbia hope to secure, in

17 your opinion, from the disintegration of Yugoslavia? What

18 was its goals and objectives?

19 A. As a matter of opinion, I would say, I would estimate,

20 that Serbia originally, or the Serbian President, Slobodan

21 Milosevic, originally hoped to have control of all the

22 territories of the SFRY. I would say with some degree of

23 certainty that after the declarations of independence by

24 Slovenia and Croatia, in June 1991, that situation

25 changed, that there was a project established between the

Page 156

1 Serbian leadership and, at least from August 1991, shared

2 by the JNA leadership, which was to establish the borders

3 of a new entity, that is, a State or a set of territories

4 which would only have Serbian populations and which would

5 be contiguous. This would be what General Kadijevic has

6 described as a common State for the Serb people. It would

7 carved out of parts what was at that stage (and is now)

8 Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

9 Q. What were the events that then followed in Croatia,

10 particularly after August 1991?

11 A. Well, after the declarations of independence on 25 June

12 1991, an armed conflict began in Slovenia and in Croatia.

13 In Slovenia it was short lived and featured predominantly

14 forces from the JNA. At the same time a series of armed

15 clashes were occurring in Croatia. These armed clashes

16 became something which I think can be called a major armed

17 conflict from August 1991 onwards when the JNA began in

18 conjunction with Serbia paramilitary groups of various

19 types to pursue this project for establishing the new

20 State.

21 We can take it that this project was decided on

22 probably at that stage from the actions of the JNA,

23 although Kadijevic in the text I mentioned earlier only

24 attributes this decision to some time in the autumn.

25 Clearly, by August the JNA is beginning to pursue the axes

Page 157

1 of attack which are consistent with the project. That the

2 project did exist and was planned, I think, is confirmed

3 also by the words of General Zivota Panic who was later to

4 become Chief of Staff of the successor Yugoslav army VJ

5 and General Kadijevic himself, both of whom indicates that

6 in Croatia the JNA had to stop sort of its ambitions

7 because of particular pressures at the end of 1991.

8 Q. How did Bosnia fit into this new project?

9 A. Bosnia and Herzegovina was essential to the project

10 I mentioned. The project was to create a set of

11 territories which would be connected to Serbia and which

12 would be for the Serbs and which would be entirely or

13 largely inhabited only by the Serbs. General Kadijevic

14 again makes reference to the keystone position of Bosnia

15 and Herzegovina and the Serbs for this common State. It

16 was essential in doing this to make sure that key items of

17 infrastructure were secured, including parts of the old,

18 military industrial capability, for the new entity and in

19 doing this to make sure also that all or most of the

20 non-Serbs would be removed from the territories.

21 Q. Were any political steps taken to support this plan?

22 A. There were clear and early signs of the development of

23 this plan in September 1991 in Bosnia and Herzegovina,

24 when the local Serbian leadership of the Serbian

25 democratic party, that is, under Dr. Radovan Karadzic,

Page 158

1 declared a series of autonomous regions in Bosnia and

2 Herzegovina. At that stage the JNA was conducting a

3 series of exercises and movements across the territory of

4 Bosnia and Herzegovina in which elements of the

5 territorial defence force and of the reserve element of

6 the JNA were being mobilised into units so that they would

7 be active and on patrol within those areas.

8 At the same time it seems that something called

9 Crisis Headquarters, that is, shadow secret governments

10 were being prepared by the State Security Services and

11 being put in place to underpin these autonomous regions

12 which would be the framework for the eventual structure --

13 the framework for the structure of territories that the

14 Serbs would occupy in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

15 Q. Was there any link between the JNA and the Bosnian-Serb

16 leadership?

17 A. There were clearly some links between the JNA and the

18 Bosnian Serb leadership or between elements in the JNA at

19 least. I think on one example I already indicated was

20 that President Milosevic of Serbia was telling the Bosnian

21 Serb leader, Radovan Karadzic, to make contact with

22 military commanders in order to make preparations for

23 whatever it was that was to come.

24 Q. Going back to the Serbian plan that you mentioned, was

25 there a military aspect to the implementation of this

Page 159

1 plan?

2 A. The military aspect involved the, as I think I again

3 I just mentioned, involved the mobilisation of troops

4 either into the reserve element of the JNA or through

5 territorial defence structures. It also meant the

6 provision of arms through the State Security Service

7 networks into both the territorial defence and other

8 paramilitary groups within the area, and it also meant

9 preparation in the sense of trying to disestablish the

10 territorial defence forces in other parts of Bosnia and

11 Herzegovina where Serbs were not in leading positions.

12 Q. What was the response of the government of

13 Bosnia-Herzegovina to this activity by the Bosnian Serbs

14 and by the JNA?

15 A. As far as back as 1990, the President of

16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Alija Izetbegovic, had told Muslims in

17 Bihac that if pressure was put on Bosnia by the Serbs and

18 for disintegration he would look to assert Bosnia's

19 sovereignty and to the prospect and possibility of

20 independence, but what happened when faced -- but this did

21 not emerge. It only emerged in October 1991 when Bosnia

22 and Herzegovina, faced with the declaration of autonomous

23 provinces by the Serbian leaderships in these areas, faced

24 by the activity of the JNA, felt it necessary to assert

25 Bosnia's constitutional sovereignty through a declaration

Page 160

1 in the parliament. At the same time in the parliament, in

2 September, questions were being asked about the role --

3 about the activities of the JNA in Bosnia about which

4 there were suspicions at the time.

5 Q. Did the Bosnian government make application for diplomatic

6 recognition and, if so, when did that occur?

7 A. As the events within the territories of the SFRY and

8 internationally developed in the autumn of 1991, Bosnia

9 and Herzegovina following the 16th and 17th December 1991

10 meeting of the European Council of Foreign Affairs,

11 Ministers of the European Community, made an application

12 to the EC -- to the EC Council for recognition of

13 independent international personality.

14 Q. Was there a Bosnian Serb reaction to this course of

15 events?

16 A. The application made by Bosnia and Herzegovina in December

17 met with a Serbian response in Bosnia on 9th January. The

18 Bosnian Serb informal assembly announced that if Bosnia

19 were no longer to form part of the SFRY, then the Bosnian

20 Serbs would declare independence. They then went on on

21 28th February to put in place a constitution and a

22 constitution for the prospective independent territory.

23 Q. What I think you mentioned earlier, particularly in answer

24 to a question from His Honour, you touched on this area,

25 what did the European Community do?

Page 161

1 A. The European Community which had been carrying out the

2 conference on Yugoslavia in the autumn of 1991 and, as a

3 result of the seeming failure of that conference to

4 achieve an overall settlement in December, had decided to

5 open the possibility of those Yugoslav republics seeking

6 recognition of independence to make applications.

7 In doing this, they asked the Advisory Commission of

8 the conference headed by a French constitutional lawyer,

9 I believe, Robert Badinter, to draw up a set of guidelines

10 and then to advise on whether or not it would be -- the

11 guidelines were being met. In the case of Bosnia and

12 Herzegovina, Monsieur Badinter advised the Council that

13 the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina was not -- that

14 the will of the people was not clear, and that it might be

15 advisable to arrange for a referendum to be held in Bosnia

16 and Herzegovina so that the position could be clarified,

17 and the European Council acted on that advice and

18 suggested that the Bosnian authorities conduct a

19 referendum.

20 Q. Was this advice taken?

21 A. The advice was taken and the Bosnian authorities organised

22 a referendum which was carried out on 29th February and

23 1st March 1992. The outcome of that referendum was that

24 an overwhelming majority of those who had voted voted for

25 independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but that that

Page 162

1 represented only 63 per cent of the population as a

2 whole. That was because large numbers of Serbs boycotted

3 the referendum or were prevented from taking part in it.

4 Q. Of course, by "Serbs" you mean Bosnian Serbs, of course?

5 A. Of course. Forgive me for not being clear, but I mean

6 Bosnian Serbs who were -- it was Bosnian Serbs who were

7 boycotting the elections, the referendum.

8 Q. What did the Bosnians do following the referendum, that

9 is, the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

10 A. After the referendum results were known on 6th March, the

11 President of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Alija Izetbegovic,

12 proclaimed that Bosnia was now independent and sought

13 recognition from the countries of the world.

14 Q. What happened after that?

15 A. On 6th April the European Community Council announced that

16 it would recognise Bosnia and Herzegovina, and as of 7th

17 April 1992 the European Community and its Member States,

18 along with the United States and a number of other

19 countries, proceeded to grant recognition of independent

20 international personality to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

21 Q. Was there a response by the Bosnian Serbs to this course

22 of events?

23 A. The Bosnian Serbs, going back to the announcements made in

24 January and the constitution established in February that

25 I mentioned before, proceeded to declare an independent

Page 163

1 Serbian republic in Bosnia and Herzegovina on 7th April

2 1992. In the weeks before that, the end of March, they

3 had also begun a series of military activities in clashes

4 with Croatian forces in two areas of Bosnia and

5 Herzegovina.

6 Q. What was the name they gave to that part of Bosnia that

7 the Bosnian Serbs declared -----

8 A. In the proclamation of 7th April, it was known as the

9 Serbian Republic in Bosnia-Herzegovina -- sorry, the

10 Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and this was

11 changed simply to what is commonly now called the Republic

12 of Srpske in August 1992. I am sorry if -- I make the

13 record correct. If I just said 1991, I meant 1992.

14 Q. In answer to the previous question you said that a war

15 then followed or military activity then followed. Who

16 were the participants in this military activity?

17 A. The participants in this military activity on the Serbian

18 side were the JNA, elements of the Serbian territorial --

19 elements of territorial defence forces in Bosnia and

20 Herzegovina under Serbian leadership and control, and

21 paramilitary groups which came over the border from the

22 territory of Serbia and Montenegro to carry out a series

23 of attacks on particular areas.

24 Q. I think a couple of times in your evidence you have

25 touched on the role that paramilitary groups play, but

Page 164

1 perhaps you might expand a little on the co-ordination

2 role that was between the JNA and the paramilitary and the

3 interrelationship between the two, if you would?

4 A. The JNA appears to have provided an overall organisational

5 framework for the project that was being pursued, playing

6 a commanding control role, giving logistical assistance

7 and surrounding particular communities, particular towns,

8 with items of heavy artillery. In this, they were acting

9 in conjunction with some of the local Serbian forces.

10 Some of the local Serbian forces but primarily, I believe,

11 paramilitary groups coming from outside Bosnia and

12 Herzegovina, then became involved in actions where towns

13 -- where the forces went into towns and carried out

14 activities in connection with what is commonly known now

15 as ethnic cleansing.

16 Q. Was there an official response from Belgrade to these

17 events?

18 A. At this stage we are talking about -- this is in the

19 period April and May 1992 -- the authorities in Belgrade,

20 that is, by that I mean particularly the Serbian

21 leadership, was giving political backing through the

22 forces carrying out this project, and was clearly allowing

23 paramilitary groups, if not organising, paramilitary

24 groups to cross the border. They were also, quite

25 clearly, giving support in terms of the JNA infrastructure

Page 165

1 that was being used to support their project.

2 However, as the conflict developed and the

3 international perspective on the war appeared to be

4 apportioning blame primarily to Belgrade's forces, the

5 reaction of Belgrade was to try to distance itself from

6 the conflict in Bosnia and to assert that it was no longer

7 involved.

8 The context for this was the prospect that the United

9 Nations Security Council might impose a regime of

10 sanctions on Serbia and Montenegro for its role in

11 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Serbia was trying to maintain the

12 idea that, although politically it could be said to back

13 the cause of Serbs and Croatia and Bosnia, it was not

14 practically involved.

15 The evidence appears to me that in this period it

16 continued explicitly to be involved, and one manifestation

17 of this was the Security Council Resolution 752 of

18 15th May 1992 in which the Security Council demanded that

19 Belgrade withdraw the JNA forces from Bosnia and

20 Herzegovina. At the same time it also demanded that

21 Croatia withdraw its forces from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

22 Q. So what you are saying is that the Security Council made

23 it clear that the forces of one State, namely, the

24 Republic of Serbia should not be involved in and should

25 withdraw from the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

Page 166

1 A. That is one of the things that I am saying, yes. If

2 I may, a point of clarification, that the military forces

3 of Belgrade, that is, Serbia and Montenegro, not just the

4 Republic of Serbia, should withdraw.

5 Q. How did the JNA and Belgrade respond to this pressure that

6 was being applied by the international community?

7 A. In this period, the JNA began transferring all Serbs from

8 Bosnia within the JNA into units operating in Bosnia and

9 Herzegovina. This was in preparation for the eventual

10 division of the JNA in which part of the JNA was left

11 behind in Bosnia but renamed the Army of the Serbian

12 Republic -- hereafter I will refer to it as the VRS -- and

13 the other half became known as the Army of Yugoslavia,

14 that is, the force, the military forces in Serbia and

15 Montenegro directly organised and commanded by Belgrade.

16 Q. Had the JNA prepared itself in advance for this

17 possibility?

18 A. It seems to me that the transfer of Bosnian Serbs between

19 units within the JNA so that the majority of those serving

20 in Bosnia, something, I believe, around 80 per cent at the

21 time of division in late May 1992 would be Bosnian Serbs,

22 so that it could be then be said that these were Serbs

23 from Bosnia and that they were fighting on their own

24 territory.

25 Q. Was there continued support from Belgrade for the Serbian

Page 167

1 forces in Bosnia after May of 1992?

2 A. The Belgrade military and political leadership, whilst

3 trying to distance itself from the activities of the VRS,

4 seems clearly to have continued to give support; the

5 support coming in a variety of ways, assistance with

6 military medical assistance, for example, wounded Serbian

7 soldiers being taken to the Belgrade military hospital.

8 There also is evidence of both munitions and other

9 supplies going across the border from Serbia into the

10 Serbian held territories in Bosnia, and in some cases

11 evidence of involvement of units from the VJ, that is, the

12 Yugoslav Army.

13 Q. What about the command of the VRS?

14 A. The command of the VRS appears to be under -- the command

15 of the VRS is exercised by General Ratko Mladic. General

16 Mladic was a member of the JNA. He was the last JNA

17 commander in Bosnia before the division. His position was

18 then transferred from being commander of the JNA in Bosnia

19 to being commander of the VRS.

20 General Mladic has maintained contacts with the

21 staff, military staff, in Belgrade where he is judged to

22 have a close relationship with the chief of staff of the

23 VJ, General Perisic. There is also some evidence that he

24 has continued to have contact with the Serbian political

25 leadership of Slobodan Milosevic.

Page 168

1 Q. Would you, in your opinion, cite this relationship of

2 General Mladic as also being an illustration of the links

3 between Belgrade and the VRS?

4 A. I would interpret the role of General Mladic as follows:

5 I believe that Belgrade has given him broad scope of

6 authority for command and control of operations in Bosnia

7 and Herzegovina, but that, ultimately, Belgrade continues

8 to be responsible for whether or not those operations

9 continue, and that there is some evidence that in the

10 course of this year Belgrade has been saying to General

11 Mladic that maybe this is time to stop the war.

12 So, what I am suggesting, as a matter of

13 interpretation, is that General Mladic on a day to day

14 basis has been running the Serbian military in Bosnia, but

15 that he does not run it without reference to instruction

16 or opinion in Belgrade.

17 Q. Just turning back to the war itself and the nature of the

18 war that was conducted, was there any involvement, for

19 example, in the network of camps that were established

20 ultimately, and Belgrade participation in that?

21 A. One part of the project, that this Serbian project to

22 create a new entity involved the establishment of a

23 network of camps in parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but

24 Belgrade's involvement can be noted simply by the presence

25 of some of those detained, some of the non-Serbs detained

Page 169

1 by Serbian forces who were taken to camps, to prisons, on

2 the territory of Serbia itself. For example, at the

3 military airforce base by Batajnica.

4 Q. Did the VJ have any involvement in the war in Bosnia

5 itself?

6 A. The VJ has maintained involvement at certain stages,

7 giving assistance to the VRS. One example would be in the

8 early part of 1993 when Muslim forces were attacking

9 Bratunac near the border with Serbia, VJ artillery fired

10 from Serbian territory against the Muslim forces in

11 support of the VRS. In the same period, forces, VJ

12 forces, were reported crossing the border from Serbia into

13 Eastern Bosnia and moving to the Brcko corridor towards

14 the north west. Other examples: In April 1994, elements

15 of the Nis and Uzice corps from the VJ were present in the

16 attack on Gorazde. Perhaps one example of the overall

17 co-ordination between the armed forces of these apparently

18 separate Serbian entities, that is, the army of the

19 republic of Serbia and Krajina, the area in Croatia, the

20 army of the Serbian republic, that is, the VRS in Bosnia

21 and of the VJ is a series -- is the air attack carried out

22 in February 1994.

23 In this case pilots who had been training at the

24 Podgorica air base in Montenegro were transferred to the

25 Udbina air base in Serb-held Croatia from where they flew

Page 170

1 missions on behalf of the Bosnian Serb army before four of

2 six planes were shot down by NATO aircraft in pursuance of

3 Security Council resolutions on an air exclusion zone.

4 Q. Did the VRS continue to receive support in the form of

5 equipment and things of that nature from either the VJ or

6 from Belgrade?

7 A. There is -- there have been credible reports that the VRS

8 has continued to receive assistance from Belgrade. One

9 clear demonstration of this is the admission himself by

10 President Milosevic himself in an address to the Pale

11 assembly in May 1993 in which he made clear that Belgrade

12 had been giving assistance. Other examples include the

13 presence of particular pieces of equipment which appear to

14 be new and to have come from Serbia and Montenegro.

15 One recent example, I believe, was in the news only

16 in the last few days, or an item it was in the news in the

17 last few days in connection with this, in the early part

18 of this year Belgrade was involved in the transfer of new

19 air defence systems to the Bosnian Serbs. These were

20 later destroyed by NATO aircraft. They were then recently

21 replaced, and I understand there were some attacks in the

22 last few days in an attempt to remove them again after

23 they locked on to NATO aircraft. These are some of the

24 signs of the continuing support coming from Belgrade for

25 the VRS.

Page 171

1 Q. Dealing with the pattern of the attacks that took place in

2 Bosnia in the spring of 1992, in your opinion, was the

3 spring offensive of 1992 planned?

4 A. In my opinion, the spring events of 1992 was planned. The

5 evidence of the Serbian preparations through the

6 declarations of autonomous regions in the autumn of 1991,

7 through the preparations and mobilisation of the JNA in

8 that period and through the systematic and co-ordinated

9 nature of the attacks in April and May 1992, I would say

10 that this is evidence of a planned and co-ordinated

11 attack.

12 Q. Would other features of the plan be the utilization of the

13 paramilitary?

14 A. The paramilitaries would be one essential part of the

15 plan; the plan with the aim, I would say, of controlling

16 territory and carrying out the act known as ethnic

17 cleansing relied on the paramilitaries to secure control

18 of particular areas, to instil -- to carry out

19 particularly unpleasant acts in some cases and to instil

20 terror as part of the process of inducing populations to

21 leave their homes.

22 Another part of the evidence of planning in all of

23 this is that the bureaucratic capability of this new

24 statelet was put in place immediately. Documentation was

25 available, rubber stamps were available as the

Page 172

1 bureaucratic and administration process for dealing with

2 the non-Serbian population was put into effect. This,

3 I think, was another sign of planning and organisation.

4 Q. And the establishment of the Crises Committees?

5 A. Indeed. The Crises Headquarters I mentioned earlier again

6 are another sign of this planning shadow government being

7 put in place some months beforehand, ready to appear and

8 take over the administrative control of territories the

9 moment that the declaration of the independence of the

10 Serbian Republic in Bosnia and Herzegovina was made.

11 Q. What of the establishment of the camps themselves, would

12 you see that as part of the plan?

13 A. The existence of camps over a widespread part of the

14 Serbian held territory in Bosnia, the way in which the

15 camps were used and the way in which the camps fitted in

16 with the administrative processes for separating non-Serbs

17 from the Serbian populations in these areas for means of

18 either separating and in some cases it is supposed

19 killing, and in other cases arranging for them to be sent

20 away from these territories, appears, quite clearly, to

21 reflect systematic preparation.

22 Q. Is there anything, in particular, that you would refer to

23 to demonstrate evidence of planning by the JNA itself?

24 A. The evidence of planning by the JNA, I think, can be

25 determined from observation of events as they happened at

Page 173

1 the time, but can also be taken from the words of people

2 in the JNA themselves. In particular, General Veljko

3 Kadijevic, who was the last Federal Secretary of Defence

4 and senior General in the army, who has indicated, as

5 I think I may have mentioned this already, the project of

6 creating a common State for the Serb people, and of the

7 need -- and of the planning and preparation which went

8 into this and, indeed, the JNA providing the backbone and

9 the corps of the VRS as it carried out the project in

10 Bosnia.

11 Q. Thank you. What was the fate of the territorial defence

12 that you spoke of earlier when talking of the two tier

13 structured of the military establishment of Yugoslavia,

14 what happened to the territorial Defence as a consequence

15 or following upon these attacks?

16 A. Well, in the preparation period for the war in Bosnia,

17 different things happened to the territorial defence

18 system. In areas where Serbs were in a dominant position,

19 the territorial defence system was organised for use by

20 the JNA and by the Serbian leadership in this campaign.

21 In other areas, the JNA either disestablished the

22 territorial defence structures or in the process of

23 co-operation with the Bosnian government interior ministry

24 succeeded in disarming territorial defence structures in

25 many parts of Bosnia.

Page 174

1 There were some parts of Bosnia, for example,

2 Croatian communities in Herzegovina, where the local

3 Croatian authorities managed to hold on to some of the

4 territorial defence weaponry. This was particularly an

5 issue in the early part -- in the period leading up to the

6 outbreak of widespread hostilities in Bosnia.

7 Q. Did the paramilitary units participate in the preparations

8 for the spring offensive?

9 A. The paramilitaries were an integral part of the

10 preparations for the offensives. They were -- I would say

11 they were to be the shock troops leading the fight. Their

12 mission was to assist in securing control and assist in

13 destabilizing Bosnia.

14 The attacks in which they were involved all focused

15 on key communication points, in the first instance, the

16 points of access into Bosnia and Herzegovina which would

17 mean that the Serbian forces either controlled access in

18 or could deny access to non-Serbian elements coming into

19 Bosnia and Herzegovina, and then moving on to try to take

20 control of key communications points throughout Bosnia and

21 Herzegovina, that is, to control the movement of traffic

22 and military equipment throughout the country as far as

23 possible.

24 Q. You have mentioned the establishment of the Crisis

25 Headquarters, as such, were there any other sort of

Page 175

1 non-military steps taken by various groups in relation to

2 the preparation that you know of?

3 A. The Bosnian Serb leadership in one sense, as I have

4 already indicated, was going through a series of

5 pronouncements, declarations, arrangements of political

6 structures for independence for the future. They also

7 took over the administration of areas which quickly came

8 under Serbian control, and before that in the parliament

9 had been suggesting that if Bosnia were to become

10 independent, then, in the words of Dr. Radovan Karadzic,

11 the Bosnia Serb leader, it could mean the end of the

12 Muslims.

13 Q. Is there any evidence of the local Serb population in

14 Bosnia being informed in advance of what was about to

15 happen?

16 A. There were reports in a number of cases that before the

17 paramilitaries or the JNA attacked particular towns, the

18 local Serbs were given an effective warning by the

19 announcement within some network for the Serbs that there

20 would be an evacuation drill. This meant that the Serbs

21 themselves were not present in the towns often at the

22 times when attacks occurred. I cannot say that this means

23 that no Serb was present in the town, but that very often

24 large numbers of Serbs were taken outside the town.

25 I believe this happened in places such as Prijedor,

Page 176

1 Zvornik.

2 Q. Prior to an attack upon a particular area, was there any

3 agitation or provocation prior to the commencement of

4 hostilities?

5 A. There was often what might be described as an act of

6 provocation immediately prior to the introduction of

7 either JNA or paramilitary forces into a town. One

8 example could be a grenade thrown through the window of a

9 Serbian shopkeeper. This was taken as a pretext for the

10 JNA or for the Serbian paramilitaries or both who had been

11 waiting outside the town immediately to step in to impose

12 order, to have discussions with local non-Serbian leaders,

13 often to arrest them, certainly to reach initial

14 agreements on the arrangements for political control

15 within that area.

16 Q. What of the other side of the conflict; were preparations

17 made by the non-Serbian community in Bosnia in relation to

18 these impending attacks?

19 A. There was some limited preparation by the non-Serbian

20 communities. I indicated a little while ago that the

21 Croatian communities, or some parts of the Croatian

22 communities, in Herzegovina held some of the weaponry of

23 the territorial defence system when the JNA was trying to

24 disarm it; that other elements were present armed from

25 Croatia, the Croatian paramilitary groups; that there were

Page 177

1 to be some elements of the Croatian army present in

2 Bosnia.

3 The Bosnian government, having complied to a large

4 extent in the process of disarmament of the territorial

5 defence force, was left in a weak position. That weak

6 position did not mean it had no armament but that it had

7 very little armament and, in addition, it could look to

8 some small Muslim paramilitary groups, but these were

9 small and pitched against the capability that the Serbs

10 would have in what was to be the VRS was insignificant.

11 So, you were looking at a situation in which, although

12 there were elements in the Croat and Muslim communities

13 which had some armament, in essence, they were in a very

14 weak position vis-a-vis the Serbian forces.

15 Q. Moving on to the beginning of hostilities, or the

16 beginning of hostilities themselves, could you describe

17 for the benefit of the Chamber what the Serbian forces did

18 to the opposition and, particularly, to the non-Serbian

19 population?

20 A. The attacks tended to include many similar features in

21 each place. We mentioned already the acts of provocation

22 prior to an attack. Once an attacks had taken place,

23 there would be segregation of the non-Serbian

24 communities. Segregation would take place by gender, by

25 age and in many cases by what, for want of a better term,

Page 178

1 I may describe as intellectual capability. In this

2 process, men of military age and particularly those

3 capable of some kind of leadership were taken separately

4 from women, children and elderly people. In many cases,

5 those intellectuals who might form a political leadership

6 were killed. In other cases, all the men of military age

7 were taken to a particular detention camp. At the same

8 time, women, children and the elderly might be taken to

9 detention camps or they might begin the process of

10 expulsion from where they were.

11 The process of expulsion would involve administrative

12 procedures in which the individuals in question would be

13 asked to sign a document in which they would transfer

14 their property and other rights to the local Serbian

15 authorities. They would then be asked to pay for or

16 offered the opportunity to leave which would require them

17 to pay for a one way exit visa and one way ticket to be

18 transported out of Serbian controlled areas.

19 This process of separation and segregation resulted

20 in communities which were predominantly Serb in all these

21 areas. It resulted in the killing of people in a number

22 of cases. In other cases, the pressure and the processing

23 through this administrative procedure to remove them from

24 the territory which the Serbians wanted to control. That

25 territory -- this programme, integral to the idea of

Page 179

1 ethnic nicks cleansing and involving the camps which we

2 mentioned earlier, was a mechanism by which through

3 killing or through intimidation the Serbs would secure

4 complete control of the territories.

5 Q. Were there any particular features common to the tactics

6 used to induce terror into the community, I mean the

7 non-Serbian community?

8 A. The process by which this took place had common features.

9 Within towns it could involve, after the segregation, it

10 could involve the demonstrative killing of certain

11 individuals to send a Mesic to the rest of the

12 population. A common feature could also be bombardment

13 from surrounding forces, particularly by elements from the

14 JNA, later the VRS, and it involved in the case of -- in

15 many cases, particularly in those taken to camps, acts

16 which would generally be considered to be of extreme

17 violence. Apart from those places where people would be

18 -- those places where people could be killed, there were

19 numerous places where there was extensive beating and also

20 many reports of areas where there was mass rape.

21 Q. What was the process employed to seize political control

22 in the various towns that were taken by the Serbs?

23 A. The process of establishing political control began with

24 the secret establishment of the Crisis Headquarters

25 I mentioned before. The Crisis Headquarters were usually

Page 180

1 established in conjunction with the States Security

2 Services, that is, Serbian State Security Services.

3 These shadow governments waiting to take over were

4 pronounced at the moment a takeover occurred. When that

5 happened, the Serbian leaders in the Crisis Headquarters

6 then began to take over local control. They removed

7 non-Serbs from significant positions within the political

8 community. They restricted the movement of non-Serbs. In

9 some cases only Serbs with particular -- only non-Serbs

10 with particular types of work to carry out were allowed

11 permits to enable them to move within the area and

12 movement for them was strictly controlled. The mechanism

13 for controlling movement was the mixture of the issue of

14 permits to allow movement, and a series of check points

15 established in towns and within the areas of the Opstinas

16 generally.

17 Q. Was there any evidence of attacks upon non-Serbian

18 cultural or religious symbols?

19 A. One of the common features of the attacks was that

20 non-Serbian property could be destroyed. In the case of

21 individual properties, in some places such as, I believe,

22 Bosanski Novi, this could involve the identification of

23 non-Serbian households through the marking by the hanging

24 of a white sheet from a window, and then these houses

25 would then be destroyed.

Page 181

1 In other cases, key items of religious or cultural

2 significance such as Roman Catholic churches for the

3 Croats or mosques for the Muslims would be deliberately

4 destroyed.

5 Q. You have touched upon, I think, the purpose for which the

6 camps were established. How widespread were these camps

7 that were established?

8 A. The camps were widespread. They were throughout the areas

9 of Northern and Eastern Bosnia under Bosnian-Serb control,

10 and throughout this territory appeared to share many

11 common -- appeared to be part of the same systematic

12 network.

13 Q. Would you look at this document I am about to show you?

14 (Handed) What does this document represent?

15 A. This document shows the locations where it was reported in

16 1992 that the Bosnian Serbs had established camps of the

17 type we were talking about.

18 Q. Are you aware of who prepared it?

19 A. It was prepared on the basis of information provided by

20 the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United

21 Nations Security Council, and I believe in this form was

22 prepared on the basis of the United Nations Security

23 Council documentation.

24 Q. Could you place the document upon the video machine, and

25 could you take us through the document pointing to the

Page 182

1 various places that you see there? By all means approach

2 the machine to point to aspects of it.

3 A. You will see, as you look across the map, that all the way

4 from the very north western part of the country through

5 northern Bosnia and down through eastern Bosnia into the

6 south, close to the border with Montenegro, were the

7 locations in which these camps were reported to have been

8 established. Some of the most significant ones, those

9 most well known, were in north western Bosnia, in

10 particular, the camps at Prijedor, Omarska, Trnopolje and

11 Sanski Most, but, as you see, there was an extensive

12 network of camps in other places, including for the

13 purposes, I believe, of the case you were looking at now,

14 Vlasenica in Eastern Bosnia.

15 Q. Wherever there is a name appearing in the territory of

16 Bosnia-Herzegovina on that plan, you say that that

17 represents a camp?

18 A. With the exception of the name of the capital of Bosnia

19 and Herzegovina at Sarajevo, I would say that the names --

20 the information on this map for the territory of Bosnia

21 and Herzegovina shows where it was reported that camps

22 were established within the territories under Serbian

23 control in 1992. I believe it does not indicate all the

24 places that were reported to the Security Council by the

25 Bosnian government, and that these are areas in which it

Page 183

1 is -- that it is believed that there is reasonable

2 evidence to believe that camps existed in those places.

3 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honour, I am about to move on to a new area

4 now. Does your Honour wish to have the adjournment now or

5 would you prefer me to continue with the questioning?

6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Thank you very much. I

7 think that, well,

8 now it is 20 to 4, so, firstly, could I suggest that

9 either you or the witness could tell us how much longer

10 this testimony might last? If we are talking about a

11 testimony which would last, let us say, another 15 to 20

12 minutes, then I would propose that Dr. Gow complete his

13 testimony and then following the break, the pause, we

14 would begin the hearing of the witnesses, eyewitnesses.

15 MR. NIEMANN: I think it is possible, your Honour, that we

16 could finish in 15 minutes, 15 to 20 minutes, so I will

17 continue.

18 (To the witness): Dr. Gow, in relation to your

19 report that you prepared initially for submission to Her

20 Honour Odio Benito in relation to the confirming of the

21 indictment, did you also include in that some reference

22 specifically to the Opstina of Vlasenica?

23 A. I did. In preparing the document for the use of the

24 Office of the Prosecutor, I carried out some work

25 specifically on that area. That information was put into

Page 184

1 this statement.

2 Q. Just in relation to that Opstina at the period of, say,

3 the beginning of 1991, from your researches, firstly, can

4 you tell us the main industry that was carried out in the

5 region?

6 A. I believe the main industry in the region concerned

7 mineral resources and mining, particularly the production

8 and processing of bauxite and aluminium.

9 Q. Do you recall approximately what the population of the

10 Opstina of Vlasenica?

11 A. I do, I believe the population was a little over 33,000,

12 of which about 7.5000 were within the town of Vlasenica

13 itself.

14 Q. In percentage terms, what was the largest ethnic group in

15 the Opstina?

16 A. I believe the single largest group within the Opstina was

17 the Muslims and, as far as I recall, they constituted

18 something a little over 40 per cent of the population --

19 nearly 42 per cent.

20 Q. From your researches, were you able to establish who held

21 most of the leading positions in the town in terms of

22 ethnicity prior to the outbreak of the war?

23 A. It appears that most of the leading positions in the town

24 prior to the war were held by members of the Muslim

25 community.

Page 185

1 Q. Was Vlasenica part of an area declared to be part of the

2 Serbian autonomous region?

3 A. Vlasenica was explicitly part of an area declared to be

4 within the Serbian autonomous region of Bihac which was

5 declared, not at the time of the others in September 1991,

6 but in January 1992. However, I would say that the status

7 of this autonomous region is a little bit uncertain. At

8 some stages it is referred to -- it was referred to as the

9 Serbian autonomous region of Romanija-Birac. Romanija was

10 one of the areas declared in September. At other times,

11 it is referred to as the Serbian autonomous region of

12 Bihac. Whichever at whatever stage, it seems fairly -- it

13 is clear that it was part of one of the areas declared as

14 Serbian autonomous region.

15 Q. Was Vlasenica attacked as part of these attacks by the

16 Serbian forces that you mentioned earlier in your

17 evidence?

18 A. Vlasenica was attacked as part of the Serbian project in

19 April 1992. I believe the attack came at the end of

20 April, on the 30th, and it shared, as we pointed out

21 before, some of the features common to the attacks in all

22 the other places.

23 Q. You mentioned also in your evidence, when you were talkin

24 generally of patterns, that often there was a provocation

25 before the attack occurred. Were you aware, from your

Page 186

1 researches, of any provocation specifically that took

2 place prior to the attack here?

3 A. I am not able to recall the specific acts of provocation

4 in this case. I do recall that there were acts of

5 provocation and, if you wanted, I could proceed to that.

6 Q. No. From your researches, did the JNA become involved in

7 these attacks?

8 A. It is clear that the JNA was involved in the attack on

9 Vlasenica and in taking control of the area. There are

10 reports of the presence of elements of the JNA Novi Sad

11 corps. Novi Sad is the town within Serbia itself, in the

12 province of Vojvodina. The elements of Novi Sad corps

13 were present at the time of the attack and as the takeover

14 was taking place and, indeed, that they continued to be in

15 the area after the 22nd May, at which point the JNA was

16 supposed formally to have divided, that is, these units

17 from the Belgrade military continued to be in the area

18 after the time at which the non-Bosnian Serbs were

19 supposed to have withdrawn and departed the VJ on the

20 territory of Serbia and Montenegro.

21 Q. What military hardware did the JNA use in the attack on

22 Vlasenica?

23 A. The equipment used involved primarily armoured personnel

24 carriers and heavy machine guns. There was also some use

25 of mortars.

Page 187

1 Q. Were local Serbs mobilised at the same time?

2 A. Local Serbs had been mobilised in preparation and, as the

3 takeover was taking place, I believe more of the local

4 Serbs were inducted into the Serbian -- into the local

5 Serbian territorial forces.

6 Q. What of the JNA, were any mobilised into the JNA?

7 A. I think, as I indicated some time ago, in this process of

8 mobilisation, some Serbs in local communities would be

9 mobilised into the territorial defence forces and others

10 would be mobilised into the JNA reserve, and in this case

11 I think both happened.

12 Q. From your enquiries, what happened to the non-Serbs who

13 held government posts in Vlasenica following the

14 occupation?

15 A. Following the occupation, the non-Serbs in significant

16 political positions were removed from their positions; the

17 reports that some were killed, some were taken to a

18 particular point of detention.

19 Q. Were restrictions placed upon the movement of non-Serbs in

20 this Opstina?

21 A. Consistent with the pattern of activity I think

22 I identified a short time ago, in the Vlasenica case as

23 well restrictions were imposed on the movement of

24 non-Serbs. The non-Serbs were either -- in many cases

25 were dismissed from their jobs if they held senior

Page 188

1 positions. Some of those who were allowed to continue

2 working could only work if they could move. They could

3 only move if they had a special permit because they were

4 allowed because of the special employment -- because of

5 the special nature of their employment.

6 Q. Did the paramilitary groups that you spoke of earlier in

7 your evidence play any role, so far as you were able to

8 discover, in relation to the attack upon Vlasenica?

9 A. There were some reports of the presence of paramilitary

10 groups in the area.

11 Q. Are you aware of the name of those groups?

12 A. I no longer recall the names of the groups, but I do

13 believe that the groups of -- I have a -- I think I recall

14 that the group led by Zeljko Raznjatovic (Arkan), "The

15 Tigers", was in the area.

16 Q. Also from your enquiries, were you able to establish

17 whether or not a camp of the sort that you described in

18 your evidence earlier established in Vlasenica?

19 A. There was -- a camp of the type I was describing was

20 established and it was named, and the name was given to it

21 was Susica.

22 MR. NIEMANN: Would your Honour excuse me a moment? Those are

23 the questions that I wish to direct to this witness, your

24 Honour.

25 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Judge Odio Benito would

Page 189

1 like to ask some

2 questions.

3 JUDGE ODIO-BENITO: Was there a tradition of tolerance between

4 the different religious groups in the former republic of

5 Yugoslavia? Perhaps closely related with this, how did

6 the people of the different republics get along before

7 1990?

8 THE WITNESS: The answer to a question of that

9 kind, I suspect,

10 to be comprehensive would have to be very extensive and

11 very long. If you permit me, I will try to give a brief

12 answer to it which I recognise is likely to be a little

13 incomplete.

14 The relationships between the different religious and

15 ethnic groups in the SFRY, I think, to a large extent

16 depends on area. For the most part, relationships between

17 the different groups were harmonious. There is reason to

18 suppose that in some parts of Croatia those areas

19 particularly in which there was intense fighting and in

20 which there was massacre of Serbs in the Second World War,

21 that they continued after the -- under Tito's Yugoslavia

22 there continued to be some difficulties, some ethnic

23 tensions in those areas. I find it very hard to say more

24 than that without having been in this place through all

25 that time and experienced it myself.

Page 190

1 I am aware also that in the province of Kosovo, which

2 I recall I mentioned earlier in the day, with the majority

3 of Albanians in the area but with some Serbs, and with the

4 idea that if it had been a very important place within

5 Serbian culture, they were quite clearly tensions within

6 the community there between the Serbs and the Albanians.

7 For the most part in the rest of Yugoslavia, it would

8 seem to me fair to say that there was a reasonable degree

9 of tolerance in relationships between the differing

10 communities, but that this probably has to be -- in saying

11 this, you probably have to think that what is general has

12 to be pitched against considerations in particular areas

13 and in particular local communities.

14 In the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina, it has often

15 been said that Bosnia could be recognised as a place in

16 which there was great harmony between the different

17 groups, and I think that it is fair to say that for most

18 parts of Bosnia, particularly for the main urban areas.

19 I would add, though, that I am aware that there was

20 some parts of Bosnia, particularly in the course of the

21 1970s and 80s, as there were processes of migration from

22 Serbia into Serbian both by Muslims and by Serbs, that

23 people with a slightly different perspective were changing

24 the balance in some areas. I can say no more than that.

25 It would be very hard to construe any firm conclusion from

Page 191

1 that, but I do think it is the kind of thing which is

2 worth noting if you want to try to understand and try to

3 get a feel for this question of the tolerance between the

4 peoples.

5 There was a considerable degree of tolerance. It was

6 probably never quite the brotherhood and unity in most

7 places that Tito and the communists wanted it to be, but

8 that a lot of the time people were able without much

9 problem to get on with each other and to work side by side

10 where they needed to.

11 JUDGE ODIO-BENITO: Thank you.

12 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. Gow, I gathered at various times in your

13 testimony that there was an undissimulated military

14 participation of Serbian and Montenegro forces in the

15 conflict; is that right?

16 A. Sorry, would you repeat the question?

17 Q. There was an undissimulated participation of the military

18 forces of Serbia in the conflict?

19 A. An un?

20 Q. Undisputed, I mean, it was clear. One of the forces you

21 mentioned, there was -- I quote your words -- a planned

22 and co-ordinated attack in spring 1992. Co-ordinated by

23 whom?

24 A. The plan, in my judgment, was planned and co-ordinated by

25 elements in the JNA and by elements in the Serbian

Page 192

1 Security Services and in the Federal Security Services of

2 by then the former SFRY. I believe in testimony

3 I mentioned that, in my interpretation, the Deputy Federal

4 Interior Minister in the SFRY, Mihail Kertes, and the Head

5 of the Serbian Security Services, Radmilo Bogdanovic, were

6 implicated in the organisation of these forces, and that

7 elements within the JNA were also involved in organising

8 the paramilitaries and in planning and carrying out the

9 series of attacks.

10 We should note that at the time we are talking about

11 the attacks that it was elements of the JNA which were

12 present in Bosnia, and that were involved in the actions

13 taking place as they had been in Croatia before that, but

14 that in the case of Bosnia it was quite clearly elements

15 of JNA acting under command from Belgrade which were

16 involved in the initial phase of the war in April and May

17 1992 until Belgrade, in face of the prospects of UN

18 Security Council action, decided to carry out this action

19 by which they divided the JNA into the army of the Serbian

20 republic in Bosnia and the army of Yugoslavia.

21 Q. You mentioned May 1992.

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Was that after the date Bosnia was recognised as a State?

24 A. That was -- Bosnia was generally recognised as having

25 independent, international personality on 7th April 1992,

Page 193

1 and it was on 22nd May 1992 that the Belgrade decided to

2 divide the JNA into the army of the Serbian republic in

3 Bosnia and the army of Yugoslavia. So, therefore, it was

4 after the date on which Bosnia was generally recognised.

5 Q. As a State?

6 A. As a State.

7 Q. At another instance you mentioned that there were some

8 kind of detention camps in Serbia for Bosnians?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Was it for military people or for civilians? The

11 detention camps were in Serbia?

12 A. The camps to which I referred ---

13 Q. Yes.

14 A. -- were on the territory of Serbia in Sremska Mitrovica

15 and at Batajnica. As far as I recall, the camps included

16 military personnel. Without checking, I would hesitate to

17 be certain that they involved civilians but I believe they

18 might have done.

19 Q. Were they treated as war prisoners or what was their

20 status?

21 A. Their status, as far as I can see, their status was not

22 clearly defined.

23 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.

24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] I would like to ask you

25 whether you know

Page 194

1 whether the concept of ethnic cleansing is to be found

2 somewhere, either officially or less official, in

3 documents or proclamations as organised plans?

4 A. The term ethnic cleansing has been widely used. It does

5 have some history, but it has come to prominence and has

6 been used in a widespread way in connection with the war

7 in Bosnia and Herzegovina and, particularly, with the

8 Serbian campaign there.

9 The term is often attributed to one of the Serbian

10 paramilitary leaders, Vojislav Seselj, in the current

11 context. It has also been used by one of the other

12 Serbian paramilitary leaders, Zeljko Raznjatovic (Arkan),

13 and there is some film evidence, I believe, in which Arkan

14 is giving instructions to his troops to be careful in this

15 particular cleansing operation.

16 But to say that there is some official document in

17 which a plan for ethnic cleansing appears, I think, would

18 be to take -- would be to make too strong a statement.

19 I have seen no evidence of an official document in which

20 the term "ethnic cleansing" is used, but the term has been

21 used and it has been used by some of the people involved

22 n the activity that they have been carrying out.

23 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Any other questions?

24 MR. NIEMANN: No, your Honour.

25 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] No. In that case, the

Page 195

1 court would like

2 to thank Dr. Gow for your complete, compact and detailed

3 testimony. I think you have finished for the moment,

4 Mr. Prosecutor; is that correct?

5 MR. NIEMANN: That is correct, your Honour.

6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Perhaps one could

7 accompany the witness

8 before we adjourn because I would like the witness to be

9 taken out before we discuss a further point.

10 MR. NIEMANN: If your Honour pleases.

11 (The witness withdrew)

12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] We are going to resume, if

13 you do not

14 mind, at 4.20. We will have a 15 minute break, and

15 I would like to ask you right now whether the first

16 witness will do as we have already arranged, namely, the

17 possibility to disclose his identity, name, address and

18 elements of identification, but he must be informed of his

19 rights that he will be concealed from the cameras. We

20 would like to know how we should call him when he gives

21 his testimony.

22 MR. NIEMANN: If your Honour pleases, I had put in train a

23 process where I was to be informed if the witness had

24 changed his mind in relation to giving evidence in

25 public. I have not received any messages so I can only

Page 196

1 assume that is the case, but during the course of the

2 adjournment I will check again. If there is any

3 alteration in that position, I will have a Mesic brought

4 to your Honour to that effect. I just might say, however,

5 your Honour, that I would, irrespective of the position of

6 the witness, request that the address of the witness not

7 be revealed in the course of evidence in any event.

8 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] That is what you have

9 agreed with the

10 first witness you are going to call upon?

11 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour. With respect to the question

12 of the address, I would ask that none of the witnesses'

13 addresses be given in public. I certainly will not ask

14 the witness to give his or her address and I would ask

15 that not be asked of the witness.

16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] We can go along with that

17 completely. So

18 we will meet back here in 15 minutes.

19 (Short Adjournment)

20 4.30 p.m.

21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] You have the floor, Mr.

22 Prosecutor.

23 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you, your Honour. Your Honour, in relation

24 to the next witness that we wish to call, this witness has

25 informed me during the break that he wishes to give his

Page 197

1 evidence in public. We would, therefore, request that the

2 order of non-disclosure that applies in relation to this

3 witness, and in so for as it applies to this witness, that

4 it be lifted.

5 Your Honour, it is our understanding that the

6 addresses of the witnesses would not ordinarily be given,

7 and certainly it would not be the intention of myself or

8 the Prosecution to ask the witness the address, but if

9 there is any ambiguity about it I would ask that the order

10 for non-disclosure remain in force in so far as it would

11 apply to the address of the witness. Subject to that,

12 I would ask that it be lifted in relation to this witness.

13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Could you specify for

14 which witnesses,

15 because now we can name them?

16 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, I can specify the name of the witness that

17 I would now seek to call, that witness being Munib

18 Ahmetovic.

19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] I look at my colleagues to

20 see if they

21 agree, Judge Riad. We will partially lift and I ask the

22 Registrar to take note that we will lift the order of

23 non-disclosure partially as regards the identification

24 elements, except for the address, and generally speaking

25 to meet the request of the Prosecutor formulated just

Page 198

1 before the pause, all eyewitnesses which will have until

2 the 18th October we agree that the minimum degree of

3 protection will be the address which will remain private.

4 Therefore, we will take note of this change and amendment

5 and, if you like, we can now ask the witness Munib

6 Ahmetovic that he takes the oath and then answers the

7 questions that you put to him relating to his testimony.

8 MR. NIEMANN: If it pleases, your Honour.


10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Do you hear me? Can you

11 hear the

12 translation, the interpretation?

13 THE WITNESS: [Original in Bosnian] Yes.

14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Can you hear the translation

15 from French

16 into your language? Could you please remain standing to

17 read the oath which I believe you have before you. We are

18 listening to you.

19 THE WITNESS: [Original in Bosnian] I solemnly declare that I shall

20 speak the truth,

21 the only truth and nothing but the truth.

22 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Please be seated, sir.

23 Please sit down.

24 Before the Prosecutor puts his questions to you which will

25 be the general guideline, I would like to tell you that

Page 199

1 the court is aware of the conditions under which you wish

2 to testify. It was stated that you have been completely

3 informed of the rights which are granted to you for your

4 own protection.

5 On behalf of my colleagues and myself, and I think

6 also on behalf of the Prosecutor and the Registrar,

7 I would like to tell you that you are here within the

8 legal framework, and that what the Tribunal wants above

9 everything else is that you can relate your testimony as

10 serenely as possible with the knowledge that you are going

11 to be protected by the Tribunal. I would also like to

12 inform you that the Tribunal and all the legal

13 participants are fully aware of all you have done to try

14 to come here in The Hague, far away from your home, to

15 relate to us what you have seen, suffered and often

16 heard. Before starting, I would like to tell you if at

17 any point of time whatsoever you have difficulties,

18 regardless of its nature, do not hesitate to inform us.

19 Mr. Prosecutor, you now have the floor.

20 MR. NIEMANN: As your Honour pleases.

21 Your name is Munib Ahmetovic?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Where were you born?

24 A. I was born in Skugrici, the Opstina of Vlasenica, Bosnia

25 Herzegovina, on 12th August 1960.

Page 200

1 Q. Where did you live from the time of your birth?

2 A. I lived in the region of Opstina Vlasenica, except for the

3 five years of my education, schooling, and 13 months of

4 working in the Opstina of Travnik.

5 Q. What was your work in the Opstina of Vlasenica?

6 A. In the Opstina of Vlasenica I was a religious official or

7 worker. I was an Imam.

8 Q. Can you for the benefit their Honours give a short

9 explanation of the role that was performed by an Imam?

10 A. An Imam is a person who works in a given area, which might

11 be several housing communities, local communities. He is

12 the leader, a religious leader, of all the citizens who

13 feel as believers in that area. I was that kind of

14 official in Vlasenica, in the town of Vlasenica, which

15 included also several villages, which covered several

16 villages; some 20 hamlets and small villages were also

17 part of my area and they belong under my Jamut, "Jamut"

18 meaning the community of religious people, congregation of

19 faithful. I was working in Vlasenica from 1st February

20 1983.

21 Q. And the religion is the religion of Islam; is that right?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Perhaps you might expand just a little for their Honours

24 on where the Imam fits in the hierarchy of religious

25 people that work in the religion of Islam?

Page 201

1 A. An Imam is a person who is in direct contact with people,

2 with the believers, with the faithful people. He has full

3 authority in working with people in his area. He has a

4 person above him that is the chief or main Imam, so there

5 are several Imams sort of reporting to a main or chief

6 Imam. Above this there is a republican level, the

7 hierarchy goes up, and this is called the Supreme body,

8 the Supreme Court for the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

9 Then there is the Riasset which is still higher, where the

10 main leader of the Islam community is Raes Illuema, that

11 is his title.

12 Q. In Vlasenica did you work in the mosque in Vlasenica?

13 A. Yes, sir.

14 Q. I think you may have mentioned earlier, but did you

15 receive special training to become an Imam?

16 A. Yes, in order to become an Imam one had at least to

17 complete secondary religious school, secondary

18 denominational school, which is the Gazi (indecipherable)

19 Madresa in Sarajevo. At the time when I was at that

20 school it lasted for five years, the education lasted for

21 five years.

22 Q. If you would, I would ask you to cast your mind back to

23 21st April of 1992. Were you then at that stage in the

24 town of Vlasenica?

25 A. Yes, I was, I was in the town of Vlasenica.

Page 202

1 Q. At about 7 a.m. on that morning of that date of 21st April

2 1992, can you remember what happened on that day?

3 A. Yes, I remember. I woke up around 7 o'clock that

4 morning. I know very well it was a Tuesday on 21st April

5 1992. As I was waking up I felt, I heard rather

6 detonations or explosions. At first I thought that I was

7 dreaming, but then I got up and I went to the toilet and

8 as I was washing in the bathroom I heard explosions very

9 loudly because my bathroom window was open, and I realised

10 at that moment that Vlasenica was being occupied.

11 Q. Were you home alone or were you with members of your

12 family at that time?

13 A. At that time I was alone. My family was in my native

14 village of Skugrici.

15 Q. When you heard these detonations going on, what did you

16 do?

17 A. I decided to leave the town, because my car was parked in

18 front of my house. At 7.30 precisely I walked towards

19 employ car. Entering the car, or as I approached the car,

20 there was nobody in the street, at least I did not see

21 anybody, and approaching the car I first came with my

22 keys, I tried to open the door, unlock the door, but as

23 I was unlocking the door somebody said, "You by the car

24 there, enter the car and sit down", and I did that.

25 Q. Did you know at that moment where the voice came from?

Page 203

1 A. I was not quite sure, but I assumed that it must have come

2 from a neighbouring house or building.

3 Q. What did you do?

4 A. Well, I did as told, I entered it, my vehicle.

5 Q. What happened next after that?

6 A. For some 20 minutes I remained in the car and then I tried

7 to get out.

8 Q. What happened when you tried to get out of the car?

9 A. At that moment I heard a voice again which told me:

10 "I told you to go into the car", it was a very sharp

11 voice, "If I don't hit you, if I don't not shoot at you

12 there will be somebody else shooting from the other

13 building." So I raised my head and I looked round and

14 saw, on neighbouring buildings I saw armed people in

15 camouflage uniforms. So I came back to my car.

16 Q. At that moment did you recognise the uniform that the

17 people were wearing?

18 A. Yes, the camouflage uniforms were of the kind worn by the

19 former army.

20 Q. When you say "the former army", what army are you

21 referring to?

22 A. I am referring to the army of the Yugoslav National Army,

23 the JNA, which I had served myself.

24 Q. So you got back into the car. What happened then?

25 A. Some 15 minutes later a car, a police car, came along with

Page 204

1 three persons in that car, and they stopped near my car.

2 They asked me who I was. When I told them I was an Imam

3 they said that they were actually looking for me and they

4 invited me to come in their own car.

5 Q. Were you armed at the time?

6 A. I had a pistol for which I also had a permit.

7 Q. Did you recognise the people that invited you to get into

8 the police car?

9 A. No.

10 Q. What happened after that?

11 A. When I entered their car they asked me whether I was

12 armed. I said, yes, I had a pistol, and they took it away

13 from me. Then I entered their car. Then they asked me,

14 they told me they were commanders of the Serbian Special

15 Guards and that they are now disarming the Muslims. They

16 told me that since I was the Imam, that I was a

17 respectable a person, and they asked me that I should

18 invite all the Muslims to hand in their weapons. At that

19 moment I told them that that was counter to my vocation

20 and my knowledge and on my position as an Imam, but after

21 that they very crudely and sharply said: "You must do it

22 or you won't be there any more." I saw that I had no

23 chance, stood no chance of resisting, so I accepted what

24 they asked me.

25 Q. Perhaps you could just tell us again, what was it

Page 205

1 precisely they wanted you to do?

2 A. They actually wanted me as an Imam to invite the Muslims

3 of Vlasenica to return or hand in their weapons.

4 Q. So what happened after that?

5 A. Since I agreed to do this we started driving through the

6 town. They invited people, then they asked me to invite

7 people as well, to repeat their words, to speak them, to

8 speak these words, but also first identify myself to

9 say, "This is your Imam speaking, Munib Ahmetovic".

10 Q. When you said these words, did you say it just with your

11 natural voice or was your voice amplified in any way?

12 A. My voice was amplified. They had a megaphone, the car

13 megaphone, police car megaphone.

14 Q. As you were travelling around Vlasenica, did you see any

15 armed Muslims in the area?

16 A. No, I did not see any and I am sure there were no such

17 people.

18 Q. Were any deadlines set in order for people to surrender

19 their weapons?

20 A. I remember very well that the first deadline was 9.15 in

21 the morning, 9.15, for the handing in of the weapons at

22 specified points: in front of the department store, in

23 front of the police station and in the hospital, local

24 hospital.

25 Q. You said the first deadline, was that later extended?

Page 206

1 A. Yes. They extended it until 11 o'clock roughly.

2 Q. In the Mesic that you gave to the Muslim people of

3 Vlasenica, were you required to say anything about the

4 position of the Serbian people in the town, in other

5 words, were you asked to make any statements about the

6 position of the army or the position of the Serbian

7 authorities?

8 A. I do not quite understand the question.

9 Q. OK. Were you told to tell the people that the town had

10 been surrounded by the Serbian forces?

11 A. Yes. Perhaps I might tell you the kinds of words which

12 they asked me and forced me to utter.

13 Q. If you would.

14 A. They told me that I should say the words which they had

15 first said, roughly like along the following lines: "This

16 is Munib Ahmetovic speaking, your Imam speaking.

17 Vlasenica is surrounded. The authority has been taken

18 over by the Serbian Special Guards and we ask you to come

19 to the collection points in front of the department store,

20 the police station and the hospital to hand in your

21 weapons until or before the particular deadline 9.15 or

22 11 o'clock later. Unless you do this we will destroy the

23 city or the town. We guarantee or the Serbian Special

24 Guards guarantee to you use all complete security if you

25 hand in your weapons." That roughly was the Mesic which

Page 207

1 I was asked to say.

2 Q. So far as you were aware, was that order to the Muslim

3 people complied with?

4 A. Yes, it was.

5 Q. Did you know where the Serbian headquarters were in

6 Vlasenica at this time?

7 A. Yes, I knew that. As they were driving me through the

8 car, because I was in their car all the time except for

9 short times that I was allowed outside the car, they were

10 the commanders of the forces occupying Vlasenica, so they

11 came to their headquarters which was at the Panorama

12 Hotel. They also entered the police station, the local

13 police station, building.

14 Q. OK. While you were driving around in the car, did you

15 overhear any conversation that was going on between the

16 Serbian policemen that were driving you about?

17 A. Yes, I heard what they were saying to each other. They

18 were giving some orders, or they were saying things are

19 proceeding satisfactorily or not proceeding or something

20 like that. At one point I felt, it was later, I actually

21 felt that they were satisfied that what has been achieved

22 is exactly what they wanted. You could see it in their

23 faces. Also they mentioned the names of the more

24 respectable people, citizens of Vlasenica, so they say:

25 "This is the house of Fadil Turkovic" who until that time

Page 208

1 had been the local police commander in Vlasenica, and they

2 pointed out some other buildings. Then you could feel

3 that they were sort of expecting some people to return.

4 Fadil Turkovic, the former police commander, they asked

5 him to come back to Vlasenica. They had some contact with

6 him but he did not return.

7 Q. Was Turkovic a Muslim?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. When you speak of prominent citizens of Vlasenica, to what

10 particular ethnic group are you making reference, if any?

11 A. They were only looking for Muslim citizens, Muslim

12 respectable or respectable Muslims.

13 Q. You said earlier in your evidence that the forces that

14 were the JNA forces that were in the town and you

15 recognised the uniform, did you happen to know what Corps

16 the JNA forces were that were involved in the military

17 exercises in Vlasenica?

18 A. I did not know it at that time, but later I spoke to many

19 Muslim citizens of Vlasenica who had been in contact with

20 the soldiers with whom they drank coffee sometimes, and

21 they told me that these soldiers told them they later that

22 they were part of the Novi Sad Corps.

23 Q. In addition to what you told the Muslim people when you

24 were speaking to them, were you also told to tell the

25 Muslim people to gather at a particular point?

Page 209

1 A. Towards the end of that mission, around 10 o'clock, they

2 started calling up the citizens to come to the square in

3 front of the Civic Hall House of Culture, and they said

4 one of the commanders would address them and that I would

5 address them as their Imam. This exactly happened, at

6 o'clock there was such a meeting.

7 Q. You attended at that place at 11 o'clock, did you?

8 A. Yes, I was there.

9 Q. About how many people had gathered at that spot?

10 A. Some 100 roughly.

11 Q. Can you just tell us what happened there?

12 A. The first to speak was one of the military commanders. He

13 addressed these people, telling them that they are the

14 Serbian Special Guards, that they have taken over all rule

15 in Vlasenica, that they have occupied Vlasenica, and that

16 they had taken the weapons from the Muslims and that they

17 guaranteed security for all citizens of Vlasenica, so that

18 nobody should fear anything or that no one had any reason

19 to flee Vlasenica.

20 They asked me to say the same thing more or less in

21 the same terms, so that I should confirm what they were

22 saying and that is what happened. I actually spoke the

23 words which they had spoken, so I simply repeated those

24 words, which was very difficult for me and hard for me to

25 do because I knew this was not true. I knew that

Page 210

1 Vlasenica had no security and people had no security.

2 I saw the Muslim police having been disarmed, that in all

3 functions and all services there were only Serbs now, no

4 Muslims, and that in this situation the Muslims citizens

5 cannot hope to have any security. But I had to say what

6 they asked me to say and what they had said. But I added

7 my own sentence which was like this, I said: "Citizens of

8 Vlasenica, residents of Vlasenica, authorities come and

9 go, one another, the third one, but people remain and

10 people will always have to live here regardless of what

11 happens. So you be patient, try to be patient, try to go

12 through this period."

13 In my speech, which was very brief (I spoke for five

14 to 10 minutes perhaps), I had two applauses, heard

15 applause at two points, but it was very painful for me

16 because I knew what I was saying was not true. The

17 applause showed that the Muslims had not expected what was

18 happening, and they were sort of happy. Regardless of the

19 changed of authority they felt, well, this is new

20 authority and they applauded saying that they will

21 continue to live and respect this authority, which was not

22 their authority, which was not democratic, which was an

23 oppressive one.

24 Q. Among the members of the Serbian forces that were there,

25 did you recognise any local Serbian people who were

Page 211

1 members of those?

2 A. Yes, I did. I recognised Goran Viskovic, nicknamed

3 Vjetar, who was in the same camouflage uniforms as the

4 forces that had occupied Vlasenica. I also saw Danilo

5 Jokic while many were camouflaged, disguised with paints

6 over their face, black, red, blue, green. There may have

7 been other people I knew but I did not recognise them

8 because of the painting, but I did recognise those two.

9 I also saw, not in the same uniforms but in the uniform of

10 the Reserve Force of the Former Yugoslav Army, I saw

11 several individuals.

12 Q. Can you describe in a little more detail for the benefit

13 of the Chamber the type of camouflage that the men had on

14 their faces and how it appeared?

15 A. They were painted with different colours and changed the

16 appearance of their faces completely. There was black

17 colour, green, blue, so you could see only their eyes,

18 everything was painted, everything else was painted over.

19 Q. But apart from that they were then also dressed in

20 military uniform, were they?

21 A. Yes. They had camouflage uniforms, fatigues, worn by

22 soldiers, the same uniforms they wear today, to this day.

23 They are predominantly green, but various other colours

24 too; the type of uniform which is adapted to different

25 seasons and especially to the environment of the area.

Page 212

1 Q. That is what you described a moment earlier I think as the

2 camouflage uniform.

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. These people from the specialised units had said that they

5 had taken over various strategic points in the town of

6 Vlasenica. Did you feel that that was true from what you

7 were able to observe at the time?

8 A. Yes, I did see that it was true, because driving around

9 the town, and I covered the whole town, I saw in front of

10 all important institutions, such as the municipality

11 building, the police building, the hospital, the Hall of

12 Culture, the big companies and enterprises, I saw peoples

13 in uniform, people in uniform, in the same uniform armed

14 with weapons standing there as security.

15 Q. When you were driving around in the car did you see any

16 shooting take place?

17 A. Yes, I saw them shooting, members of those units were

18 shooting, and when they saw that I had seen it the people

19 in the car who with me, who were driving me around, said

20 that it was the Muslims who were doing the shooting which

21 was definitely not true.

22 Q. Did you see any armed Muslims at all in the area while you

23 were travelling around in the car?

24 A. No, I did not. There were no armed Muslims except the

25 ones which were handing over their weapons, mostly just

Page 213

1 rifles and pistols.

2 Q. What did you do after this?

3 A. You mean after 11 o'clock?

4 Q. Yes.

5 A. I went to a Bosnian cafe. I met my colleague there,

6 Mr. Bego Selimovic, who had spent the previous night in

7 the apartment of his cousin and was not able to leave

8 until 10 o'clock because his cousin was working in the

9 bakery and had left before 5 a.m., and since the bakery

10 had been occupied too, his cousin knowing that he was in

11 the flat had sent him, had sent a Serb to open the

12 apartment for him otherwise he could not have gotten out.

13 Therefore, he was prevented from surrendering the pistol

14 which he had a permit for. So he asked me to go with him

15 to the police station so he could hand over the pistol for

16 which he had a permit which is what we did.

17 Q. What happened when you did that?

18 A. When we went to our houses?

19 Q. Yes. Did you hand in the weapons after you had agreed?

20 A. No, we did not. They returned the pistol to me and they

21 did not take his at all.

22 Q. So what you are saying is that the pistol that you had

23 possession of you gave to the Serbian police; they kept it

24 for a while and then gave it back to you, is that right?

25 A. Yes, that is right.

Page 214

1 Q. Was that the same with the pistol of your friend?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. So after this you went back to your home, did you?

4 A. They did not take away his pistol on that occasion.

5 Q. OK. After this what did you do? Did you then go home?

6 A. Yes, we went to our houses for a while.

7 Q. What happened then? What happened next?

8 A. After a certain time aware of the situation in which we

9 were, tried to get in contact with some friends of mine,

10 Muslims. I tried to ring them, many of them. I could not

11 reach them, probably because of the situation, because

12 I myself could not move around much. So I telephoned

13 Redjo Hatunic who was a teacher in the secondary school

14 solely to exchange opinions with him, what to do in such a

15 situation. I greeted him with the Islamic greeting of

16 "Selam". The response was also the same, in very good

17 pronunciation, "Selam", from the person at the other end

18 of the line. I asked if it was Redjo. The response was

19 that this is the Commander of the Special Serbian Guard.

20 Then he added: "You see Ofendija" which is a title of

21 honour, "how well I can say this." I looked for Redjo and

22 he let me speak to Redjo. I asked Redjo how he was. In

23 an excited voice he spoke to me, saying: "What shall

24 I tell you? What can I tell you? You see, they are

25 searching my house. They are looking for weapons and

Page 215

1 I don't have any." Then he hung up.

2 About two hours after that I again called the same

3 number to try to reach Redjo Hatunic because I was curious

4 what was going on with him. His wife took my call, Nila

5 Hatunic is her name, who told me that he had been taken

6 away. I have never seen him since, and Nila Hatunic,

7 Redjo Hatunic's wife, in 1993 when I went to the Tuzla

8 region where I saw Nila Hatunic I found out from her that

9 Redjo had never returned.

10 Q. What then happened after that?

11 A. That evening we did not dare spend the night in our flats,

12 so we spent the night with our neighbours, Ismed and Amin

13 Gobalic, and this is how the day was spent.

14 Q. The next day, what happened then?

15 A. The day after that we did not have the courage to go to

16 our flats, or we did so very rarely, but still in the

17 afternoon we went to our flat. Of the several Muslim

18 young men in the street in front of the house, these young

19 men told us that eight men in camouflage uniforms, those

20 who had occupied Vlasenica, had been walking around our

21 flat. It was clear to us they were looking for us. So we

22 went into the flat, took some of the basic necessities and

23 then went to a neighbouring flat, the one occupied by

24 Fikret Dautovic where we spent the night.

25 Q. What did you then do after that?

Page 216

1 A. We made a firm decision to try to leave Vlasenica, but in

2 the beginning we did not know how to. Early in the

3 morning my colleague Bego Selimovic came to the idea for

4 us to call by telephone our colleague the Serbian priest

5 Milorad Golijanin and ask his help, ask for his help.

6 Q. He was the Serbian priest of Vlasenica, was he?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. The priest of what religion?

9 A. Serbian religion, orthodox Serbian, orthodox priest.

10 Q. OK. What happened then?

11 A. Exactly at 7 o'clock Bego, my colleague, telephoned the

12 orthodox priest Milorad Golijanin and told him our wish,

13 about our wish. He said: "I know what you need. Wait for

14 me, I will be there in half an hour."

15 Q. What happened then?

16 A. Exactly at 7.30 the Serbian priest was in front of our

17 flat. I invited him for coffee which he said "No" to,

18 saying that it was not time to drink coffee and that we

19 should immediately go to take care of what we need to do.

20 Q. Did you get the impression from what he said to you and

21 his appearance that he was prepared to help you?

22 A. Certainly.

23 Q. So what did you do then?

24 A. So we went to the former Bauxite company, Bauxite mining

25 company, administrative building, and we heard from people

Page 217

1 we met there that this was the crisis headquarters for the

2 Opstina of Vlasenica.

3 Q. What happened when you got there?

4 A. There we met Milenko Stanic who until that time, until the

5 occupation, before the occupation, had been the mayor of

6 Opstina of Vlasenica.

7 Q. Was Milenko Stanic a Muslim?

8 A. No, he was a Serb.

9 Q. What happened then?

10 A. We met here also another Stanic, I think his first name

11 was Slobodan, who was in the uniform of the Reserve Forces

12 of the Former Yugoslav Army. I know that his rank was

13 that of a captain and, according to information which

14 I learned later, he was the commander of the Reserve

15 Troops which remained in Vlasenica following the

16 withdrawal of the shock troops which had occupied that

17 town.

18 Q. Was he wearing a uniform?

19 A. Yes, he was uniformed.

20 Q. You say it was the crisis headquarters in Vlasenica. Why

21 did you go to that place?

22 A. In that building, that was the Bauxite company

23 administrative building, this was the town which had

24 actually been abandoned just before the occupation of

25 Vlasenica, because the Bauxite company was a company which

Page 218

1 was the largest and economically most solvent company in

2 Opstina of Vlasenica. So just before the occupation of

3 Vlasenica they had left this administrative building

4 knowing that it would be -- they went moved to Milici,

5 that is another village, leaving this building for the

6 occupying headquarters.

7 Q. When you got to this place, did the Serbian priest say

8 anything to the people that appeared to be in charge?

9 A. Let me just say before that, that in addition to two

10 Stanics there was also Danilo Jokic who was in a special

11 uniform. So the Serbian priest addressed those present

12 with a request. He said: "Well, you know, we know that

13 you have special passes allowing people to leave the

14 town. You know these people that I am bringing, which

15 means myself and my colleague. Don't let anything happen

16 to him and, if possible, give them the passes so they can

17 leave the town. I know that they feel uncomfortable in

18 this situation, so please help them." These were the words

19 of the priest.

20 Q. What did the Serbian officials then say?

21 A. The two Stanics were very nonchalant, very jovial. They

22 said there is no need, why would we need the passes, we

23 are not in confinement, we can move freely, that is what

24 they said, but Danilo Jokic spoke in very ugly terms and

25 he was very rude to the Serbian priest, saying there was

Page 219

1 no need for us, he said: "Why are you advocating their

2 cause? If they need something they should come on their

3 own." However, nobody gave us any pass and they actually

4 notified the priest that the passes were issued by the

5 police station and not by them. They also said that the

6 chief of the police station had been replaced or rather

7 the head of the department of the interior of the city,

8 Rade Bjelanovic, was changed and there was a new name Mane

9 Dzuric.

10 Q. So after this, after you had been told this, what did you

11 then do?

12 A. Well, we left the building and the Serbian priest and my

13 colleague Bego left in his car, and I was in my car and we

14 moved to the interior department of the city.

15 Q. When you say "the interior department of the city", is

16 that often referred to as the SUP?

17 A. Yes, we used to call it SUP.

18 Q. Tell us what happened then?

19 A. In front of the police station we met the new head of SUP,

20 Mane Dzuric, who had a briefcase, and I remember this very

21 well. The Serbian priest approached him and said: "You

22 know these people", because he knew us of course. "We are

23 coming to you" said the Serbian priest "to ask whether you

24 can help." He took us to his office in which the story

25 was the same as in the crisis headquarters. The Serbian

Page 220

1 priest again asked for the passes for the two of us, and

2 at one point the former head of the SUP, Rade Bjelanovic,

3 also came. So both Rade Bjelanovic and Mane Dzuric were

4 both Serbs. So the previous head of the interior and the

5 second was Serbs. But again they did not give us the

6 passes. They said, "You don't need that".

7 Q. Then what happened?

8 A. We left the office, but in the ante room to that office

9 the Serbian priest was called back then; he was told to go

10 back to the main office. So we waited for him and when he

11 came for the second time, when he emerged, we noticed a

12 great change in his face. As we were leaving the

13 building, walking towards our cars, he told us: "These are

14 the bandits, there is a gang of people," those that he had

15 visited. "I am afraid even for myself, even I don't feel

16 secure any more." So we came to our cars and then he

17 said: "If you wish to go towards Kladanj I will take you

18 in my car and I take that responsibility."

19 He and my colleague Bego Selimovic actually sat in

20 his car, that was Yugo brand. I sat in my car. So they

21 moved, they drove off towards Kladanj and I drove towards

22 my house or my apartment.

23 Q. The colleague that you referred to, Selimovic Bego, was he

24 also an Imam?

25 A. You mean Bego Selimovic?

Page 221

1 Q. Yes.

2 A. Bjelanovic is a Serb. Bjelanovic is a Serb and Mane

3 Dzuric are Serbs.

4 Q. It is my pronunciation that has confused. Bego Selimovic?

5 A. Bego Selimovic is a Muslim.

6 Q. You call him your colleague?

7 A. He is my colleague.

8 Q. My question is, was he like you also an Imam?

9 A. Yes, of course. Yes, he was.

10 Q. I interrupted what you were saying, but you said that you

11 got into the car after the Serbian priest had offered to

12 take you to Kladanj. What happened then?

13 A. I said I would not go to Kladanj because my family was in

14 Skugrici. So the two of them sat in the Serb priest's

15 car, so my colleague Bego Selimovic and the Serb priest

16 sat in the Serb priest's car and they headed towards

17 Kladanj.

18 Q. Where did you go?

19 A. And I headed towards my house, or rather my apartment.

20 Q. What happened then?

21 A. When I came in front of my building I saw in the rear view

22 mirror of my car, I saw another car, that same car which

23 on the first day the police used to drive me round the

24 city, that car now overtook me and stopped in front of me,

25 and the three persons, three men, the three commanders as

Page 222

1 they called themselves, they came and my colleague Bego

2 Selimovic actually came out of that car, emerged out of

3 the car, because they had been stopped at the first

4 checkpoint outside Vlasenica and they were returned. So

5 I came out of my car and we went to my apartment. They

6 took our guns, my pistols, my pistol and my colleague's

7 pistol, and they searched my apartment.

8 Q. What happened after that?

9 A. Then they took us to the police station.

10 Q. When you got to the police station what happened then?

11 A. In the police station were these three people, these three

12 commanders of the Special Guards, and there was another

13 person there in the same uniform, in the same camouflage

14 uniform. Then there was also myself and my colleague,

15 plus two people who were in civilian clothes and who were

16 local Serbs. They were Zoran Pantic for whom I know that

17 he was married, I knew that he had been married to a

18 Muslim woman, Maria Masmilovic, and there was a second

19 person Ljuban Stanisic of whom I know that he used to work

20 as an administrative clerk in SUP issuing identification

21 cards.

22 Q. When you went to the police station what did they then do?

23 A. They put before us empty sheets of paper, blank sheets of

24 paper, and said: "These are the papers that you should use

25 to write everything that you know about the weapons owned

Page 223

1 by Muslims, about the main Muslim people, who they are,

2 where they are and so on."

3 Q. Do you remember who it was in particular that gave you

4 this piece of paper?

5 A. I think that paper was handed to me and to my colleague

6 also by one of these three commanders, those from the car

7 who all the time spoke about himself, referred to himself

8 as a commander of the Serbian Special Guards. He had long

9 hair down to his shoulders and if I could see him today

10 I would recognise him.

11 Q. Did you write anything on the paper that you were given?

12 A. At first, no. After a couple of minutes when they saw we

13 were not writing at all, they took away my colleague Bego

14 Selimovic, they said: "Now we'll separate you", and then

15 I never saw Bego Selimovic again until 1994 when I came to

16 the liberated territory. I remained alone in that room.

17 For a long time I did not write anything. I was looking,

18 staring at this paper, saying to myself: I don't know

19 anything, I won't write anything. However, they told me

20 that I know things, that I am one of the main organisers

21 of resistance, that they have all the data about me,

22 alleged data. I denied everything. I said, "All of this

23 is not true, I have nothing. I don't know anything.

24 There is no resistance" I told them.

25 Q. What happened then?

Page 224

1 A. Seeing that I am not writing anything, at one point they

2 brought in Zoran Surkovic who comes from a mixed marriage

3 and was my friend. They asked him to say that he had

4 acquired weapons from me, a gun, which of course he denied

5 because it was not true. The person who had given us this

6 paper then hit him several times with a heavy military

7 soldier's boot into his chest. The man was actually

8 seated in a chair. He was a very strong and well-built

9 man, but he was hit so hard that he fell from the chair.

10 I told that man that he had not taken anything from me,

11 he confirmed this and was taken away to another part of

12 the building.

13 Q. Do you know who it was that kicked Zoran Surkovic in the

14 chest in the way you have described?

15 A. He was hit by the commander of the Serbs Special Guards,

16 the person who presented himself as a commander.

17 Q. What was the next thing that happened?

18 A. Again seeing I was not writing anything, that I was not

19 admitting anything, that same person, the same commander,

20 hit me four to five times, saying: "We know everything,

21 and you do not want to admit this or confess." At that

22 moment he was so angry he just left the room.

23 Q. What did he hit you with?

24 A. He hit me with his fist.

25 Q. Where did he hit you?

Page 225

1 A. In the head, on the face.

2 Q. What happened as a result of him hitting you in the face?

3 Did you remain standing?

4 A. I was seated.

5 Q. I see. Did you stay in the chair?

6 A. Yes, I did.

7 Q. Was he in a standing position?

8 A. Yes, he was.

9 Q. When he struck you, could you describe what force he

10 appeared to apply when he hit you in the face with his

11 fist, in terms of was it a full blow or a half blow?

12 A. I do not think that these were full blows because I would

13 not have remained in the chair, so he did hit me but not

14 very strongly, not very powerfully.

15 Q. What then followed?

16 A. He left the room, as I have said. He brought in

17 immediately, after a very short while, only a minute or

18 two, he brought into the same office, into the same room,

19 he brought Mevludin Hasanbegovic, a Muslim from Vlasenica,

20 who had been to prison. He could not have been brought

21 from the town because his house was about 10 to 15 minutes

22 distance from SUP. On his face one could see that he had

23 been maltreated, that he had been beaten, and he was asked

24 to say that I was with him, working with him to arm the

25 Muslims.

Page 226

1 Q. What did he say?

2 A. He said, yes, Munib helped me to arm the Muslims.

3 Q. Was that true or untrue?

4 A. No, that was not true.

5 Q. What of Mevludin, did you know of him to be involved in

6 supplying of weapons?

7 A. No. I knew nothing about it.

8 Q. What happened then?

9 A. Seeing that I have no way out of this situation because it

10 went on for quite a while, they tried to speak nicely to

11 me again. At one point they said that I had helped them

12 the first day, so that Muslims in the villages, that means

13 outside this town proper, had not handed over their

14 weapons, so if I confessed it would be made possible for

15 me to go to these villages because they would follow your

16 advice.

17 At that point I felt that there was a possibility for

18 me to leave the town with a firm decision not to come

19 back, but I was also aware of the fact that I have to

20 confess something, so I started writing my statement.

21 Q. What did you confess to?

22 A. In that statement I confessed that I had armed Muslims

23 allegedly, supposedly, and I also said, which was true,

24 that I was a member of the Democratic Action Party, the

25 Muslim Party, which I was. Basically I lied everything

Page 227

1 else in my statement, except the fact that I was a member

2 of the Muslim Party in the leadership, local leadership.

3 To be convincing I gave quite a large amount of weapons

4 and I think they believed me.

5 Q. Once you had given this statement did they appear to be

6 satisfied?

7 A. Yes, they did.

8 Q. So what happened then?


10 A. These three, in fact now four of them, the three that had

11 been in the car that presented themselves as commanders

12 and the fourth one in the camouflage uniform, had walked

13 out of the office while I and Stanisic went to another

14 office where a clerk typed my statement.

15 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honour, would that be a convenient time for

16 your Honour to adjourn or would your Honour wish to

17 continue with this witness until the conclusion of his

18 evidence?

19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Well, I think it is up to

20 you whether

21 this is a good moment to stop and whether it is a relevant

22 moment to stop. I think you should also ask the witness

23 whether he is tired. Usually we finish at 5.30 each day.

24 Could you perhaps continue a little more today and, if

25 possible, we could perhaps continue a bit more, if you can

Page 228

1 agree with that. So, firstly, are you not too tired? Do

2 you feel all right?

3 THE WITNESS: [Original in Bosnian] As far as I am concerned there

4 are no problems.

5 I could go on.

6 MR. NIEMANN: I will continue with the witness, your Honour.

7 After the statement had been typed, what happened

8 then? What did you do then?

9 A. While the statement was being typed we were sitting. At

10 one point during the typing of the statement Stanisic told

11 me that I had money and that I was obliged to hand it

12 over. I pretended not to hear his sentence, this sentence

13 of his, but 10 minutes after that I asked them if I could

14 go to the toilet. They allowed me to. I went to the

15 toilet for one reason only; I wanted to take the money

16 that I had in my shirt pocket, about 5,000 German marks

17 which was my own money, take it out of the pocket and put

18 it in one of my socks, which is what I did. I went back

19 to the office, and when my statement was completed

20 Stanisic picked up a piece of paper and said: "We will

21 give you as a receipt that you have handed over your

22 money." I said: "I had no money on my person." He

23 asked me where the money was. I said the money was in the

24 mosque and it was not my money, because I was also the

25 treasurer of the Islamic community of Vlasenica.

Page 229

1 Q. What did he say to you when you said that the money was in

2 the mosque?

3 A. He said: "Let's believe you. Go and get the money".

4 Q. So what did you do?

5 A. I got up and went towards the mosque. I walked rather

6 slowly because at that moment I was not quite sure that

7 I was not being followed. When I came to the gate of the

8 mosque I saw standing by the window of my house Miss

9 Zineta Dautovic, a woman who had seen me being taken to

10 the SUP, to the police station, and also the woman in

11 whose apartment I had spent the night, the previous night.

12 Q. What happened then?

13 A. I went into her apartment, her house, I even had coffee

14 with her. I did so for a reason, for a good reason, just

15 to make sure if I was being followed. I went out, having

16 told her prior to that time that I would try to flee,

17 escape, either I could escape or I would be killed, but it

18 was not my intention to stay on in the town. I told her

19 to tell her husband Fikret and everybody else that she can

20 get in touch to leave the town of Vlasenica, because at

21 that moment I was completely convinced that the safety of

22 Muslims that they had supposedly guaranteed would not

23 really be, that there would be no safety.

24 Q. So what did you then do?

25 A. I left the house and just went through the movement of

Page 230

1 walking into the office of the Muslim Islamic community,

2 I did not take anything out of the office, and then went

3 back to my car.

4 Q. What happened then?

5 A. At the car near the car I saw Aida Ferhatbegovic. I also

6 told her what my intention was. I got into the car and

7 started driving towards the bus station, taking the

8 shortest possible route. The road to the bus station goes

9 around the town. Going for the police station from the

10 SUP towards the mosque, I saw along the road a police

11 patrol in blue uniforms worn by the police prior to the

12 occupation. I recognised among them a policeman, a former

13 policeman, whose name is Milan Govedarica. From that fact

14 I concluded that there were police there. That is why

15 I took the short cut.

16 When I came to the bus station and was about to come

17 out to the main road between Vlasenica and Kladanj I had

18 thought of two ways out of the area, two roads: One was to

19 lead from the bus station to the right, as far as the

20 petrol station, this is the road to Milici; the other was

21 to the left towards Bijelo Polje or the Alpro factory.

22 The second possibility was to come out at the bus station

23 to the main road, to the main Vlasenica Kladanj road, left

24 towards Kladanj, after about 50 metres right towards the

25 main road. Then in the Muslim graveyard, from that Muslim

Page 231

1 graveyard head towards Darakovic. Both of these roads

2 were free from the police at the time, and those two

3 points were usually, they were police at those two points

4 usually. Exactly at 14 hours I left Vlasenica.

5 I decided on the road towards Milici, the one that

6 went to the right, which seemed shorter and in fact was

7 shorter.

8 Q. What happened then?

9 A. Having arrived at the petrol station, I saw many soldiers

10 dressed in this special uniform, but the petrol station is

11 not exactly on the edge of the road; it is about 20

12 metres, maybe fewer than that, from the road. I went off

13 the main road and headed towards the Alpro factory to the

14 left. At the Alpro factory, just before the factory, the

15 road branches off in two directions: One direction leads

16 to Toplik, a Muslim village, the other towards the factory

17 itself. On the road to the factory I saw an armed soldier

18 who was wearing the uniform of the Reserve Forces, a local

19 man, that is a local man.

20 Q. So what did you do then?

21 A. But he was not standing by the road that I had taken. So

22 I went on my way towards Toplik, and that way I got out of

23 the town. In that location between those two roads I saw

24 an armoured vehicle. I was not quite sure whether it was

25 a tank or an armoured vehicle transporter. I had seen

Page 232

1 seven such vehicles on my first day when I was taken

2 around the town in that car. At the very entrance to

3 Toplik I caught up with Ibrahim Berbic whom I knew quite

4 well. I told him about my intention and told him to tell

5 that to my congregation, and then having come out of

6 occupied Vlasenica, of the occupied part of Vlasenica,

7 went on my way to my native village. I was able to cross

8 that road only because that day, 23rd April, was extremely

9 hot. It is a dirt road and there is part of the road that

10 had only just been cut which is hardly a road to speak

11 of. On that part of the road fortunately I had no

12 problems.

13 Q. When you reached your native village, is it true that it

14 had not been occupied by the Serbian forces?

15 A. No. No, that was not occupied by the Serbian forces.

16 Q. Did you then remain in a village not far from your native

17 village called Cerska?

18 A. I came to my native village Skugrici.

19 Q. Then subsequently did you remain in that village until

20 Cerska was occupied?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. When it was occupied did you move to Srebrenica?

23 A. Yes, I did.

24 Q. Was your wife and children evacuated by UNPROFOR in March

25 1993?

Page 233

1 A. Yes, in March 1993 my wife and my children went over to

2 the region of Tuzla, to the free area of Tuzla.

3 Q. In May of 1993 did you go to Kladanj on foot?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Where did you go from Kladanj?

6 A. From Kladanj I went to Lukavac because my wife and

7 children were there.

8 MR. NIEMANN: I have no further questions of the witness, your

9 Honour.

10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] I think that we have

11 finished the

12 testimonial?

13 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour.

14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: [Original in French] Thank you very much. The

15 court thanks

16 you very much for your testimony. We will resume tomorrow

17 at 10 o'clock.

18 (The proceedings adjourned)