1 Monday, 22 November 2004
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.08 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Registrar, good morning to you. Could you
6 at all the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Case number
8 IT-03-68-T, the Prosecutor versus Naser Oric.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. Mr. Oric, good morning to you. Can
10 you follow the proceedings in a language that you can understand?
11 THE APPELLANT: Good morning, Your Honours, ladies and gentlemen.
12 Yes, indeed, I can follow the proceedings in my own language. Thank you.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. You may sit down.
14 Appearances for the Prosecution.
15 MR. WUBBEN: Good morning, Your Honours. My name is Jan Wubben,
16 senior trial attorney, together with co-counsels Ms. Patricia Sellers and
17 Mr. Gramsci Di Fazio, and our case manager Ms. Donnica Henry-Frijlink.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Wubben, and good morning to you and
19 your team.
20 Appearances for the Defence.
21 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. I am
22 Vasvija Vidovic, together with Mr. John Jones appearing on behalf of
23 Mr. Naser Oric. Joining us today here are our legal assistant,
24 Ms. Jasmina Cosic, and our case manager, Mr. Geoff Roberts.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Madam Vidovic. Good morning to you and
1 your team.
2 So do you have any preliminaries that you need to discuss? I
3 suppose there are quite a few. I'm giving you the floor first. I still
4 take it that we are starting with Dr. Gow's testimony today, no?
5 MR. WUBBEN: Yes, Your Honour. With a view to our prior scheme,
6 the latest scheme, there had been a change for this week due to the fact,
7 first, that we had, the Prosecution, will not call the male witness we, in
8 an earlier stage, requested to be on the witness list and had been
9 accepted to be. The female one for the videolink, Ms. Svetlana
10 Trifunovic, I can speak out her name, she doesn't seek for protective
11 measures. That name remains on our list, meaning that we anticipate to
12 have a videolink witness, if everything is in order, for this coming
13 Thursday. The lack -- the space we have, then, on the Friday, we'll try
14 to place in Ms. Racine Manas as a witness. We still have to complete that
15 in that respect.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. So I take it, recapitulating, that you are
17 dropping one of the two witnesses that we are supposed to hear by
18 videolink, and that you're retaining only one. You're bringing the
19 testimony of that person, Svetlana Trifunovic from Friday, 26th to
20 Thursday, 25th --
21 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honours, on Thursday.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah. To Thursday, the 25th. And that you are
23 filling, then, Friday, 26th, with the testimony of Racine Manas.
24 Is that agreeable to the Defence?
25 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: You know that on Monday, the 29th, we will not be
2 sitting. I had told you that already.
3 I am pleased to inform everyone that, during these two weeks'
4 break that we have had, a lot, a lot of work has been done by my staff.
5 Not only by my staff, also I notice that you've had an opportunity, both
6 the Prosecution and the Defence, to reorganise yourself, and it shows that
7 sometimes a short break is conducive to a better handling and a more
8 efficient way of handling the case. Now, I'm pretty sure that the case
9 will actually even be shortened as we go along.
10 In any case, we have got now all the system of exhibits,
11 documents, well catalogued and preserved, and we have also started working
12 on the various other issues, particularly legal matters involved in this
13 case, so that when we come to the final stage of this case, we will have
14 practically everything ready and we could then be in a position to proceed
15 at quite a pace.
16 I am also informed that there were some new filings, and I
17 appreciate your enthusiasm in making sure that the three Judges are fully
18 occupied with such matters. There are two filings in particular that I
19 think, having gone through them -- I must admit that I have not yet had
20 the chance to sit down with Judge Brydensholt and Judge Eser to even
21 discuss the subject matter of these motions, but I'm sure that when we do
22 later on today, we are going to agree that they require some kind of
23 debate, both of them. Not just one or the other, I think both of them
24 require some kind of debate. So I would like you to discuss amongst
25 yourselves and identify a day when you could debate these two outstanding
1 new motions. We will be discussing them in-camera as well. But I would
2 like you to inform us when you need -- yes, Mr. Di Fazio, I see.
3 MR. DI FAZIO: Your Honours, if you please. I'm grateful for you
4 clarifying those issues. Do I take it then that you want, the Chamber
5 wants, oral submissions on either of those two motions --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I think it's the case. Both motions are such.
7 One of it is a sort of, not exactly a follow-up, but it does follow up
8 from matters that we discussed in the pre-trial stage and also at the
9 beginning of the trial. That seems to call for some kind of either a
10 revision of the situation. But in any case, I think some oral submissions
11 will be in place.
12 MR. DI FAZIO: Respectfully, we agree, and in fact prefer to take
13 that course. I'd like to address Your Honours --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. But what I'd like you to do, I usually work it
15 out this way, is to see if you can agree on a day in which -- and time
16 frame in which you could make these submissions, and then you just let us
17 know, we will have the oral pleadings or the debate, say, on Wednesday,
18 and we require one hour. And we'll make the necessary adjustments then
19 accordingly, all right? Good.
20 Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.
21 MR. DI FAZIO: It is Wednesday, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: It's up to you. I just ask you to discuss it
23 with -- I just ask you to discuss it with -- I just mentioned Wednesday,
24 just like that.
25 MR. DI FAZIO: I see.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: As an example.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you very much.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thanks.
4 MR. WUBBEN: Your Honour?
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Wubben.
6 MR. WUBBEN: Yes. In addition, I would like to draw your
7 attention to the fact that we sent a letter to the Defence in which we
8 sent them a medical opinion of the specialist in Sarajevo, as requested in
9 the 92 bis procedure. And attached to that letter, you also find a draft
10 English translation of the conclusion. We don't -- we were not able yet
11 in this stage to file a complete translation, and we are working on it.
12 But we already send a draft translation, and as soon as we have the
13 translation of it, we will file the supplement information to you.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Wubben, I thank you. The only thing I can say
15 is that the only information that I have for the time being is that there
16 has been some development. I haven't seen the letter. And I suppose,
17 will I see it, then I should be in a position -- oh, we have it here.
18 Okay. Let me just have a look at it.
19 In the meantime, I notice that Madam Vidovic asked for the floor.
20 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we did receive the
21 Sarajevo expert opinion, and we now agree to apply Rule 92 bis to this
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So I think the matter, at this point in time,
24 can be decided by us. I don't think it requires any further discussion?
25 MR. WUBBEN: Well, for the record, it needs anyhow to confirm the
1 final conclusion of the specialist.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: But the final conclusion is -- I have only got one
3 paragraph here which supposedly translates point 5 of the certification by
4 Dr. Lubovic, and says answering specifically questions from the memo: "I
5 am of the opinion that X is not fit to give testimony in a trial and
6 answer questions pertaining to events which occurred more than 10 years
7 ago, nor can it be expected that his overall health would improve and that
8 preconditions will be met at a certain time to make him fit to testify in
9 the said trial."
10 So at that point in time, I think there's only one thing remaining
11 to be done, taking into consideration of what has just been mentioned by
12 Ms. Vidovic, and that is to decide your motion to have his prior
13 statement, or whatever, admitted under Rule 92, whatever, (C), 92 bis (C).
14 And we will do that -- we will do that this week. There are other things
15 that we are working upon, but this shouldn't take us much time.
19 (Redacted) No, the rest is points for our
21 Having said that, if you have no further initial, preliminary
22 matters to raise, we will admit Dr. Gow into the courtroom and we will
23 start with his testimony.
24 [The witness entered court]
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, Dr. Gow.
1 THE WITNESS: Good morning.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: And welcome to this Tribunal. I am the presiding
3 judge. My name is Judge Agius. I'm flagged on my right by Judge
4 Brydensholt from Denmark, on my left, Judge Eser from Germany. We welcome
5 you. You're about to give expert evidence, or as an expert witness for
6 the Prosecution in this case against Naser Oric. Our Rules require that
7 before you do so you enter a solemn declaration, which is equivalent to an
8 oath, that during the course of your testimony, you'll be speaking the
9 truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Please read that text
10 out loud and that will be your solemn declaration with us.
11 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
12 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
14 WITNESS: ANDREW JAMES WILLIAM GOW
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Sellers, you can lead the witness in the first
17 MS. SELLERS: Thank you very much, Your Honour. That's what I was
18 going to ask permission.
19 Examined by Ms. Sellers:
20 Q. Would the witness please state his full name and title for the
21 Trial Chamber.
22 A. My name is Andrew James William Gow, and I am professor of
23 international peace and security at King's College London.
24 Q. And would you also describe for the Trial Chamber what is your
25 field of study.
1 A. I teach, research and write on war, that is, on problems of
2 international politics, of strategy, military/political affairs. And I've
3 spent quite a lot of time over the past 15 or more years dealing with the
4 former Yugoslavia, among other things.
5 Q. Okay. During this past 15 years, have you published articles,
6 manuscripts or books in your field of study, being peace and security as
7 applied to the former Yugoslavia?
8 A. I have. I've published a number of books, three single-authored
9 books, as well as a number of co-authored books, and I've published a
10 number of articles that I don't even remember, but into the tens of
11 articles on the area.
12 MS. SELLERS: Your Honours, I would ask that in the future I will
13 submit Dr. Gow's expert report which contains also his writings, and so
14 therefore I will not belabour that issue.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think we need to do that, unless the matter
16 is being contested by the Defence. Okay.
17 You may proceed, Ms. Sellers, thank you.
18 MS. SELLERS:
19 Q. Also, Dr. Gow, have you lectured on peace and security as it
20 applied to the former Yugoslavia, and if so, name maybe a couple of those
22 A. I've lectured, given talks, participated in discussions and events
23 in a large number of places in Europe, in North America, universities of
24 Oxford, Cambridge. I've held visiting positions at the universities of
25 Princeton and Columbia in the United States. I've given lectures all
1 around universities in the United Kingdom and at several places in the
2 United States again as well, in Boston, St. Louis, Indianapolis. I can
3 keep going.
4 Q. Thank you, Dr. Gow. I would take it that in addition to
5 travelling through Europe and North America, that you have made several
6 visits to the former Yugoslavia, is that correct, sir, for the purposes of
7 your study?
8 A. For most of the past 20 years, I was going to the former
9 Yugoslavia a few times a year. In the last three or four years, that's
10 generally come down a bit. But I've been going still a couple times a
11 year, primarily to Serbia. But I've been around all the region over the
12 whole of that period, and I've also given lectures and talks and so forth
13 within that region, too.
14 Q. In addition to research about issues in the former Yugoslavia,
15 your travels to the region, have you spoken and exchanged ideals and
16 information with other professionals in your field about the former
18 A. Oh, yes. As part of researching and writing, I talk to people
19 from the region, from outside the region, academics, officials, legible
20 people. One carries out interviews, has conversations with people over
21 the years. Yeah, that's --
22 Q. And have they all informed you in terms of your research and your
24 A. I find that almost anything I do informs me in terms of research
25 and study. It's hard not to. But yes, they have.
1 Q. I would ask you, what is the title of your latest book that deals
2 with the former Yugoslavia?
3 A. "The Serbian Project and its Adversaries: A Strategy of War
5 Q. And when was that book published?
6 A. Last year, 2003.
7 Q. Now, how would you characterise that book, "The Serbian Project"
8 in terms of this field of study in which you've been engaged in in the
9 past 15 years?
10 A. It's an attempt to capture the essence of the strategic aspects of
11 the war. It's looking at the link between strategy and war crimes, and,
12 in doing so, is attempting to capture the way in which the Serbian
13 strategy, which I say is, without trying to produce anything else in the
14 book, predicated on acts that could be described as war crimes, was the
15 core to a war of dissolution about statehood, but the adversaries
16 recognising that adversaries had competing strategies with the local
17 adversaries or international, and that sometimes local adversaries also
18 adopted the same strategy as well, or elements of.
19 Q. Thank you, Dr. Gow. We'll return to your book throughout the
20 giving of your evidence. But I would like to ask you, have you testified
21 at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia before?
22 A. I have.
23 Q. And have you testified in cases where Muslims were the victims of
24 alleged Serb crimes?
25 A. I have.
1 Q. And what case was that?
2 A. That's a trial in the case of Dusko Tadic, which was the first
3 trial to come to court.
4 Q. And have you also testified in cases where Serbs were the victims
5 of alleged Muslim crimes?
6 A. I have.
7 Q. And what case was that?
8 A. That was in the case of Delalic, et al, Celebici, the Celebici
10 Q. Thank you. Now I would like you to tell the Trial Chamber about
11 the political composition of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
12 in the years that just preceded 1991.
13 A. The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia comprised six states
14 within a state. The federal state had independent international
15 personality, for purposes of international law, but within that there were
16 six states, each defined constitutionally as sovereign. So in theory,
17 they were exercising -- the exercise of sovereign rights was transferred
18 to the whole.
19 The six states were, working from north to south, Slovenia,
20 Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, which comprised two historic regions,
21 Serbia, Montenegro, and Macedonia. Within Serbia, there were also two
22 autonomous provinces, Vojvodina and Kosovo, which had de jure powers but
23 were seen as sort of sovereignty within that arrangement. Each of those
24 operated as a whole but operated as separate political entities.
25 Q. Dr. Gow, if you'd notice, there's a map to your right. I would
1 ask that you use the pointer, and what you've just described to Your
2 Honours, would you please point to those six republics, and I would like
3 to ask the AV unit if you would focus your cameras on the map so we might
4 have a display of that image on our monitors, please.
5 A. Am I allowed to stand?
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly. Certainly.
7 MS. SELLERS: Carefully.
8 Q. Could I ask the AV unit to focus on the map so we might see it?
9 A. In the north, the north-west, Slovenia; Croatia is kind of broken
10 goose-shape along the coast and through the mainland; Bosnia and
11 Herzegovina, the heart-shaped country in the middle; Serbia, running from
12 the north down the eastern side here; Montenegro in the southwest --
13 southwest of Serbia, south of Bosnia; and Macedonia in the very south,
14 bordering beyond it into Greece and to west Albania and the east Bulgaria.
15 The two provinces I mentioned, Vojvodina, is in the north, primarily the
16 green bit on the north of this bit of the map of Serbia, and Kosovo is in
17 down in the south, approximately somewhere there.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Will counsel and the witness please pause
19 between questions and answers. Thank you.
20 MS. SELLERS: Certainly, thank you.
21 Q. For the purposes of this case, could you please also show Your
22 Honours on the map the location of Sarajevo.
23 A. Sarajevo is the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, there.
24 Q. Right. And could you please also show Your Honours, for purposes
25 of this case, the borderline between Serbia and Bosnia where the Drina
1 river is?
2 A. As you say, the Drina river forms the border, and it runs here
3 [indicates]. Serbia lies to the east, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the west.
4 Q. And lastly, could you show Your Honours, for the purposes of this
5 case, where the region of Srebrenica is in what you've just described.
6 A. It's Eastern Bosnia, somewhere in the region of here. There it
7 is. Srebrenica is on this map. It's just there, so this area, in the
8 middle pocket to the west of the river, just there.
9 Q. Thank you very much. You may be seated, Dr. Gow.
10 Your Honours, I would just like to note that we have presented the
11 map just for purposes of display. We do not intend to tender it into
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I took it for granted, Ms. Sellers.
14 MS. SELLERS:
15 Q. Dr. Gow, would you now please tell the Trial Chamber what was the
16 ethnic composition of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia prior
17 to 1991.
18 A. It was mixed. The two single largest ethnic groups were Serbs who
19 comprised somewhere in the mid-30s, 36 per cent in the 1981 census, 34
20 per cent in the 1991 census, which is not necessarily accepted by all
21 parties. The second largest group were Croats, just under 20 per cent.
22 And then there were Slav Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegrins,
23 Macedonians, and Albanians, each of which comprised somewhere 6 to 10
24 per cent of the population.
25 In addition to that, there were a number of very small groups,
1 Czechs, Slovaks; Ukrainians, a larger number, who made up parts of the
2 population, and about 5 per cent who defined themselves as Yugoslavs.
3 Q. Was there any one ethnic group wholly contained or that resided in
4 just one of the republics that you've described on the map?
5 A. No. No ethnic group was contained within any one of the political
6 units. The most homogeneous was Slovenia, which had a little over 90
7 per cent in the population, but there were Slovenes outside. The province
8 of Kosovo was also said to be in the region of 90 per cent ethnically
9 homogeneous. Apart from that, the figure for Croatia was about
10 three-quarters ethnic Croats, but Croats outside in Bosnia and
11 Herzegovina. Serbs comprised about two-thirds of the population of
12 Serbia, although if you take out Serbia without the provinces, that went
13 up to about 85 per cent. The Macedonians, Montenegrins, each about
14 two-thirds of the population. And Bosnia and Herzegovina was more divided
15 with about 44 per cent Slav Muslims, 31 or so per cent ethnic Serbs, and
16 about 17 per cent ethnic Croats.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Will you please pause between questions and
18 answers. Thank you again.
19 MS. SELLERS: Yes.
20 A. If I may add, I don't know if it's assistance to Your Honours.
21 But given that there was a camera closing up in the map before, if they
22 are interested, this map that's been displayed also has a pattern of
23 ethnic distribution in the bottom left-hand corner.
24 Q. Thank you. I would like you to tell the Trial Chamber what were
25 the principal languages spoken in the former Yugoslavia.
1 A. The principal languages, constitutional languages, were Serbian,
2 Serbo-Croat, which was spoken by about 80 per cent of the population,
3 Serbs, Croats, and the Slav Muslim populations and the Montenegrins. And
4 also Slovene spoken by Slovenes and Macedonian spoken by Macedonians.
5 Those were distinct but related, philologically related languages. And in
6 addition, you have the ethnic Albanians which speak -- spoke Albanian.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Incidentally, while we are at this and the witness
8 referred to the map in a more specific way, could we have an indication as
9 to which period that map refers to?
10 MS. SELLERS: Yes, Your Honour. That is --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it the pre-war period or is it the post-war?
12 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, that is the pre-war period, the
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I imagined so, but I wanted it to be so
15 stated. Thank you.
16 MS. SELLERS: Yes.
17 Q. Now I would like to ask you, what were the principal religions of
18 the former Yugoslavia.
19 A. The Orthodox Christianity practiced predominantly by Serbs in
20 Serbia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina, by Montenegrins, and by Macedonians.
21 Roman Catholicism practiced predominantly by Slovenes, ethnic Croats in
22 Croatia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and by some Albanians in
23 Montenegro. And Islam practiced by Slav Muslims, so ethnically the same
24 you would say as Croats and Serbs, but practising Islamic faith, and by
25 the ethnically distinct group of Albanians in Kosovo.
1 Q. Now, we've talked about the Socialist Federal Republic of
2 Yugoslavia. Did that republic disintegrate politically in the beginning
3 of the 1990s?
4 A. May I have now the map. I don't know if you're interested in
5 looking at the map at this moment.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know why we have the map on the monitor.
8 MS. SELLERS: We do not need the map on the monitor.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no. I don't think we need the map any further.
10 Please proceed, Dr. Gow. Thank you.
11 THE WITNESS: At the beginning of the 1990s, this Yugoslav
12 federation dissolved; it broke up. That was the result of a set of
13 political, social, economic pressures, international change, through the
14 1980s. It broke up in a way where, because of the structures of this
15 unit, with the six states within a state seeking -- being obliged to
16 operate together, in theory, for their own benefit, they couldn't agree on
17 the way forward. And as the disputes deepened, the federation, in a
18 sense, ceased to function, so that there came a point in the middle of
19 1991, as a result of a series of events through 1990 and 1991, where, at
20 the political level, the interstate, inter-republican level, there was no
21 agreement, and two of those states, Slovenia and Croatia, decided to
22 declare independence at the same time at which other states were trying to
23 evaluate their positions and had been working out what they also would do.
24 And, of course, in this context, there was also quite a lot of pressure in
25 the ethnic social fabric running through the states and across the borders
1 of those states.
2 MS. SELLERS:
3 Q. Dr. Gow, I'd like to ask you to explain a bit about -- you
4 testified that there was ethnic tension and a series of events. Could you
5 just illuminate that for the Trial Chamber.
6 A. In terms of tension in the ethnic fabric, it was quite clear that,
7 as the end of communism affected Europe and the move towards
8 democratisation in some -- eventually in some ways all of those Yugoslav
9 states. The move to democracy opened discussion on national issues in a
10 different way and in a new way. For example, in Croatia, that created
11 tensions within the ethnic Serb communities there. In Bosnia and
12 Herzegovina, in this context, predominantly ethnically defined political
13 parties emerged and ethnic groups tended to lend their support to their
14 ethnic party. This didn't necessarily imply that there had to be mutually
15 exclusive positions which would lead to conflict. At times in Bosnia and
16 Herzegovina, it appeared at times as all parties were cooperating
17 together. In retrospect, we don't know quite how to evaluate that. But
18 those pressures were taking place.
19 In terms of the interstate relations, Slovenia, supported by
20 Croatia, proposed a realignment of the joint arrangement, confirming the
21 sovereignty of the states, taking -- giving greater authority within that
22 arrangement to the states in exercising their own affairs internationally.
23 They had substantial control internally. Serbian authorities in Belgrade
24 countered with a proposal not to loosen relations, to make them more
25 comfortable, but to tighten them. These were mutually exclusive
1 positions. And so through a series of events, it became clear that there
2 was probably no way in which they were going to be able to go forward
3 together on that basis.
4 In that context, in the spring of -- I mean in late 1990, Slovenia
5 held a referendum; in the spring of 1991, Croatia held a referendum on the
6 issue of independence, if a way forward was not found. These events
7 contributed to the dynamic between the parties about what was going on and
8 how it was going to turn out. And by the time it came to change the --
9 what was called technically the president of the presidency, that is, the
10 head of the state council -- if you think of an image - I don't know if it
11 helps to think of the European Union, where you have the European Council
12 where all the heads of state come together - the equivalent of that body
13 in this Yugoslav construct was due to change its presidency, the person,
14 the titular head of it. But that was blocked by Serbia. And at that
15 moment, the logjam was set, and it was only about -- a little over a month
16 after that that the declarations of independence came.
17 Q. Dr. Gow, I'd like to ask you, some of the events surrounding the
18 declarations of independence that you've testified about, did they include
19 the intervention of any armed forces on the part of republics of the
20 former Yugoslavia?
21 A. Throughout the period in which these -- the kinds of tensions I
22 was describing, both at the interstate, political level and within the
23 communal fabric, from the middle of 1990 onwards, there were rebellious
24 regions controlled by ethnic Serbs within Croatia which were using arms to
25 create effective no-go areas for the Croatian authorities. They were, in
1 some ways, supported by elements of the then Yugoslav People's Army. This
2 was all part of the evolving situation. And within that context, also,
3 Slovenia began preparing to have a -- to use armed forces that it already
4 had, but to enhance them for the purposes of being able to promote its
5 position, to defend its position, if it came to that. And of course, when
6 the -- at the moment the declarations of independence were made, war
8 Q. Right. And therefore, did the Yugoslav People's Army at a time
9 physically intervene on the territory of these republics, and then later
10 on at another point in time, withdraw of these republics, Slovenia and
12 A. To be accurate, because the Yugoslav People's Army Yugoslav
13 People's Army was the army of the federation, it was always present in all
14 of the territories. At times in 1990 it was deployed out of barracks at
15 places within Croatia as part of this tense, potential conflict, or actual
16 conflict, but low-level conflict situation.
17 After the point of the declarations of independence, it was
18 deployed technically to assist the civilian authorities by moving to
19 suppress the Slovenian and Croatian declarations of independence. At a
20 later stage, after 10 days of armed hostilities and a three-month
21 moratorium, it withdrew completely from Slovenia. It was only to
22 withdraw -- well, no, sorry, difficult issues. The forces that it became
23 were to withdraw eventually from Croatia in 19 -- after 1995, but the JNA
24 ceased to exist as such in 1992. But that's an issue you probably don't
25 want to get into just now.
1 Q. We'll talk about that a bit later.
2 A. Yeah.
3 Q. I would like to ask the usher to assist us. I'm turning to
4 number 1 in our binder. The Prosecution has provided binders of the
5 different exhibits that we're using, and if she would kindly pass out
6 what's under page Exhibit 1. Everyone has it now?
7 Dr. Gow, it's your number 0039405 in the original Slovenian, and
8 it is 15 in the English version. I believe it's up on our monitor of
9 court evidence.
10 Dr. Gow, would you please look at the English version of this.
11 What does this document represent?
12 A. This is the declaration of independence by the Slovenian
13 parliament, which was made on the 20th of June, 1991. It makes reference
14 to the right to self-determination, and it makes -- and it indicates that
15 Slovenia, in the situation where the federation is no longer functioning,
16 is going to seek its own future as an independent political entity.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MS. SELLERS: I would ask that the document be given a P number,
19 and I would like to tender it into evidence.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that's Exhibit P408.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: So that document -- I see no objection on the part
22 of the Defence. That document is being admitted in evidence and marked as
23 Prosecution Exhibit P408. Thank you.
24 MS. SELLERS: Yes.
25 Q. Now I would like you to turn to number 2 in the binder the
1 Prosecution's provided, and I would ask the usher, would you please show
2 the witness -- oh, he has -- you've given him the binder. Thank you.
3 A. I have the binder.
4 Q. That makes it much easier.
5 A. I've also worked out how to operate this thing, so I can see the
6 screen as well.
7 Q. If you go to ERN number 00328704, the original. Then I would like
8 to ask Dr. Gow to look at the English version of the document. And that's
9 ERN number 00328704 through 8707.
10 Dr. Gow, could you please tell me what this document represents.
11 A. The document, as a whole, is taken from the Official Gazette of
12 the Republic of Croatia, and if you move to the document numbered 875
13 within - I think it's 875 within this - you have the declaration of
14 independence by the Republic of Croatia.
15 Q. If I might assist you, that's -- excuse me, on page 6 of 14.
16 A. It's page 6 of 14 of the -- of that document. This document was
17 also promulgated on the 25th of June, 1991, although I should -- I point
18 out that when this was shown to me yesterday, I noted that, for some
19 reason, the translation on this particular version says 25th of May, which
20 is incorrect.
21 MS. SELLERS: I would ask Your Honours and the Defence to look at
22 page 10 of 14 in the English translation.
23 Q. Dr. Gow has testified that -- you note that it says May as opposed
24 to saying June. Dr. Gow, your testimony is that the declaration of
25 independence occurred at June of 1991?
1 A. Yes.
2 MS. SELLERS: Your Honours, if I may, the Prosecution has sought
3 the assistance of an English-Croatian dictionary so that one might look at
4 the original word in Croatian to verify that the word as translated in
5 English appears to be incorrect. What is May should be June. Could I
6 please hand out these copies.
7 In the document of the original Croatian, and I would ask you to
8 turn to the page which has ERN number 00328707, if you would notice in the
9 first column, about four lines down it says "Zagreb 25," and I would ask
10 you to excuse my mispronunciation pronunciation, "Lipnja" as the month,
11 and then I would direct Your Honours to that same word in the dictionary.
12 It is on page 627, in the first column, approximately seven words from the
13 bottom. And it says that that word would be translated to June. What the
14 Prosecution would like to propose is that we give the document to Language
15 Services and have them correct it for us officially. But I would want to
16 draw your attention to that.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Is there any disagreement on that on the part of the
18 Defence? Because then we can agree that the proper date and the proper
19 translation should have been June, and that we do not need to proper the
20 Translation Unit with making any further adjustments.
21 Yes, Madam Vidovic.
22 MS. VIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the correct
23 translation of the word "Lipnja" is June, and I agree with what has been
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Could I ask what is the correct translation of the
1 month of May into Croat?
2 THE INTERPRETER: "Svibanj," Your Honour.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: There is no real reasonable explanation for the
4 mistake. It's just a mistake and that's it. I don't think we need to
5 pursue it any further, Ms. Sellers.
6 MS. SELLERS: Thank you very much. I'm grateful to Your Honours
7 and I'm grateful to our learned friends. I would ask that we tender the
8 exhibit into evidence, if I could have a P number for it, please. And
9 that would be documents relating to the Croatian independence. And if
10 Your Honours feel necessary, then I will not have to tender the dictionary
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think you need to tender this into evidence.
13 The other one should be 409.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that's exact. That would be P409.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: So the document relating to the Croatian declaration
16 of independence is being admitted in evidence and marked as Prosecution
17 Exhibit P409. And we can proceed.
18 MS. SELLERS: Thank you.
19 Q. Dr. Gow, I would now ask you to turn your attention to the
20 following: How did the independence of Slovenia and Croatia in 1991
21 affect the republics of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the other republic of
22 Serbia and those that made up part of the federation?
23 A. Would you mind if I added something to the matter of the
24 declarations of independence first?
25 Q. No, certainly, please.
1 A. It was just to make clear that the context of those, and both the
2 declarations made reference to the constitutional position within the
3 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia which, in the preamble, gave the
4 right to secession, self-summation up to and including secession, and to
5 elements of the constitution Article 3 which defined them as sovereign.
6 And although Article 5 was a co-mitigating factor saying there had to be
7 agreement on change of territory or borders, that didn't necessarily say
8 anything about status. And so the assumption was that sovereign rights
9 within this constitutional framework were held by the states to act in
10 that way, to clarify.
11 Q. Thank you. Yes. I would now ask if you could respond to the
12 following question, and that was: How did the independence of Slovenia
13 and Croatia in 1991 affect the other republics, particularly Bosnia and
14 Herzegovina and Serbia?
15 A. While the events between -- predominantly between Slovenia and
16 Croatia on the one hand and Serbia on the other were developing
17 politically, especially when you come to the points of declarations of
18 independence, this creates pressures on Bosnia and Herzegovina, as the
19 most ethnically divided, fragile of these states, and with significant
20 ethnic Serb and Croat populations. The arguments between Croatia and
21 Serbia, in some ways, impact and translate into arguments between ethnic
22 Serbs and ethnic Croats, wherever they happen to be. This puts pressures
23 on political change at the time of democratisation. In Bosnia and
24 Herzegovina, it meant that the word developments, such as parliamentary
25 declaration in October 1991 affirming the sovereignty and territorial
1 integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina it meant that there were movements by
2 ethnic Serbs and by ethnic Croats looking for union with Serbia or to
3 reject the declarations of sovereignty, and those pressures meant that the
4 authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the predominantly Slav Muslim
5 authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as time went on, took the decision
6 that the best interests of protecting Bosnia and Herzegovina - and I
7 suspect particularly the Slav Muslims within that - would be also to move
8 for a declaration of independence. I think they were reluctant to do that
9 because of the fragile situation.
10 But when the European Council, the governing body as it was of the
11 European Union, in December 1991, invited those Yugoslav and Soviet states
12 seeking recognition of independent international personality to submit
13 requests, applications to do so, Bosnia and Herzegovina submitted an
15 Am I free to continue on that or would you rather I didn't?
16 Q. Well, when you make a pause, I was going to then ask you: It's
17 your evidence, your expert opinion, that the ethnic and the religious
18 composition of the republics did affect the dissolution or disintegration
19 of the former Yugoslavia.
20 A. The dissolution was operating at a political level between the
21 governments, but there was tension in the ethnic fabric which both
22 contributed to that process and, in some way, was a product of it.
23 Tension was growing all around. And in a place like Bosnia and
24 Herzegovina, there were pressures.
25 Q. Now, did Bosnia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, eventually declare its
1 independence from the former Yugoslavia?
2 A. Yes. As I was saying, after the European Council invited those
3 Yugoslav and Soviet states seeking -- the Yugoslav states at that stage in
4 particular, seeking recognition of independent international personality
5 to do so, Bosnia made an application. The European Council, as part of
6 its process of trying to manage the Yugoslav crisis and breakup, had
7 appointed an advisory commission under the French constitutional lawyer,
8 Robert Badinter, and they put each of these cases, including Bosnia and
9 Herzegovina's, to the Badinter Commission, and the Badinter Advisory
10 Commission judged that the will of the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina
11 was not clear and recommended, that a referendum should be held. That
12 referendum was held on the 29th of February, 1st of March, 1991. The
13 outcome of the referendum was that of those who participated, 90 -- almost
14 90 per cent voted in favour, and that constituted, I think it was about 63
15 and a half per cent of the population overall. In a later opinion, I
16 think it was opinion number 8, the Badinter Advisory Commission advised
17 the council that Bosnia-Herzegovina, the will of the people had been
18 expressed and that Bosnia and Herzegovina satisfied the terms set in the
19 guidelines and recommended recognition. And the European Council
20 proceeded in that direction.
21 Q. Now, the plebiscite that you mentioned, did the voting in regard
22 to that plebiscite break down, or was it demarcated along ethnic/religious
23 lines, to your understanding?
24 A. The voting was predominantly Slav Muslims and Croats voting for
25 independence. Those who voted against -- I'm not sure we can be sure.
1 But there was a boycott organised by the largest Serbian political party,
2 the Serbian Democratic Party, the SDS, which also, with the assistance of
3 some JNA units, made it difficult even for some people to vote in the
5 It should also be pointed out, as the Badinter Advisory Commission
6 noted that the previous autumn, in November, the Bosnian Serbs had
7 organised a plebiscite of their own among the ethnic Serbs which expressed
8 their -- as far as you can take it as signifying anything, expressed the
9 view that the ethnic Serbs in Bosnia wanted to remain part of the Federal
11 JUDGE AGIUS: And, Ms. Sellers, I just suggest that for practical
12 purposes, we -- because I've noticed that you have used the
13 word "plebiscite" with reference to what the witness had previously
14 referred to, mentioned as -- described as referendum. More or less, I
15 would suggest that you restrict the use of plebiscite only to the Serbian
16 plebiscite --
17 MS. SELLERS: Yes.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: -- while we continue to refer to the referendum on
19 whether Bosnia should become independent or not as the referendum.
20 MS. SELLERS: Yes.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. We'll keep the two separate, even though
22 basically there isn't much difference. But we'll keep the two terms
23 separate, referring to two different events or two different expressions
24 of the --
25 MS. SELLERS: I thank Your Honour for the fine and important
1 distinction, yes.
2 Q. Dr. Gow, now, was there a Serbian reaction to Bosnia's declaration
3 of independence that came from, at this point, the Socialist Federal
4 Republic of Yugoslavia?
5 A. In the context of these developments, the Serbian authorities in
6 Belgrade, who by this stage had already embarked on something that I call
7 in the book this new state project, i.e., to create the borders of a new
8 set of territories, or set of territories essentially for ethnic Serbs
9 from the territories of the states breaking up in Yugoslavia, and that
10 campaign was already underway militarily in Croatia. Preparations for it
11 appear to have been underway through the autumn of 1991 in Bosnia and
12 Herzegovina as well, in the early part. And as part of that preparation,
13 Slobodan Milosevic, the president of Serbia, in conjunction with Borisav
14 Jovic, the Serbian representative to the federal state council, decided
15 that it would be better if the JNA personnel were redistributed so that
16 all ethnic Serbs from Bosnia and Herzegovina were based in Bosnia and
17 Herzegovina and non-Bosnian Serbs were based outside. And this was in
18 anticipation of the expected recognition of independent international
19 personality for Bosnia and Herzegovina and their correct understanding, I
20 think, that the continuing presence of the JNA after such recognition
21 would be seen as external interference and, quite possibly, probably an
22 act of aggression.
23 Jovic, therefore, gave instructions to the defence minister, the
24 head of the army, General Veljko Kadijevic, to organise that
25 reorganisation, and Kadijevic by 25th of December reported that it was 90
1 per cent complete.
2 So this is all part of preparations to deal with this situation.
3 You have the breakup of the socialist federative republic, and you have a
4 set of -- you have a breakup which becomes accompanied by war because
5 there isn't agreement on the successor disposition. There's a clash of
6 statehood projects. Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the others
7 all seeking to preserve territorial integrity of the state and add with
8 sovereignty through this arrangement; Serbia seeking to create a new set
9 of boundaries. And that's the essence of the war.
10 MS. SELLERS: I would ask Your Honours to turn to section 3 in
11 your binder, and it is ERN number 00359513.
12 Q. Dr. Gow, would you please look at this document and tell the Trial
13 Chamber that you've testified to someone referred to as Kadijevic. What
14 is the importance of the documents, if any, that we have placed in this
15 section 3?
16 A. The document is a translation -- a translated extract from
17 Kadijevic's memoirs. Kadijevic was the defence minister, the head of the
18 army. General Kadijevic, a little time after these events, wrote a
19 memoir, and this particular extract, the bit marked here in italics,
20 indicates the way in which the JNA provided the backbone of the army for
21 the Serbian -- for the so-called Bosnian Serb armed forces. So the JNA,
22 in this process, the old Yugoslav People's Army, made arrangements so that
23 the ethnic -- that as part of this project to change the territorial
24 boundaries of Bosnia and Herzegovina and to create a Serbian entity linked
25 to other Serbian entities, that it would then -- that it -- sorry, the aim
1 was to create a Serbian entity linked to other Serbian entities. That
2 would require the use of armed force. The elements of the JNA through
3 this arrangement were used to be the core of that armed force for that
5 And here, Kadijevic is saying it was the backbone of the
6 Republika Srpska's army, replete with weaponry and equipment. You can
8 Q. Dr. Gow, therefore, would it be your testimony, your expert
9 opinion, that the ethnic composition, in particular the Serbian ethnic
10 group, affected, if not drove, many of the decisions that were taken by
11 the JNA at this point in time, 1991/1992?
12 A. There are two things, I think, to be -- to say about the JNA in
13 this situation. The first is that it was traditionally a multiethnic
14 armed force, comprising members of each of the -- of the different
15 communities, but that its officer corps was almost predominantly ethnic
16 Serbian. And in that context, although someone like Kadijevic may in some
17 ways have not been -- certainly wouldn't be regarded by many as really
18 close to Milosevic, it was also a position where the situation of some
19 kind of sense of attachment and loyalty for many people, and also simply
20 the question of the army's having a home and a future, we'll go with that.
21 The other thing -- and so there was a kind of tendency, both for
22 the sake of the army having political support -- every army -- elsewhere
23 in the book Kadijevic says every army needs a home, it needs a state to go
24 with, and in this breakup situation, that was the home that the army --
25 the army took.
1 The other thing is that it appears that Serbian president Slobodan
2 Milosevic, through his security service, was also having a kind of
3 separate line of chains of command running through, helping to prepare the
4 way to identify people within the JNA who would be -- who would be loyal
5 to this kind of enterprise. So this -- these two trends here, there's not
6 one thing happening in the JNA, but the two trends come together to
7 situate it predominantly -- the rump of the JNA taking its place with the
8 Belgrade political authorities.
9 Q. Could you describe or inform the Trial Chamber exactly how did the
10 JNA fit into the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia society prior to
11 this time in terms of a military apparatus?
12 A. Well, the JNA -- well, first of all, it arose from the success of
13 the communist-led resistance and revolution in the Second World War, so it
14 always had a particular place and standing within communist Yugoslavia,
15 including, at various times, a political status, quite unusually for an
16 armed force.
17 Its function was to be the first of a two-tier defence system. It
18 was meant to be the first echelon of defence. The regular armed forces
19 that if Yugoslavia, the federation, were to be involved, would resist, the
20 idea was for a minimum of 48 hours, while the second tier was mobilised.
21 That second tier was Territorial Defence structures organised at
22 republican and local levels. And the theory of the defence doctrine was
23 the JNA would hold off to provide time for mobilisation. It was assumed
24 that in face of something like a Soviet or NATO attack, the JNA wouldn't
25 be stand up to it indefinitely. But by falling back on a strategy of what
1 we described technically as guerilla tactics, it would be able to offer
2 resistance, and the structures were such that that would go down even to
3 the local levels. So the system was structured so that you would have war
4 presidencies, crisis headquarters, and local armed forces, territorial
5 units, that if they were not able to join up and operate with larger
6 formations, would always operate at the very lowest, even neighbourhood
7 level. So the structures were there, and there would always be some kind
8 of civil military relationship, political authority over whatever armed
9 forces were able to operate.
10 Q. So with the Territorial Defence, this unit, this second tier of
11 the two-tier Federal Republic military institution, would it use, as a
12 well-accepted strategy guerilla tactics? Is that your expert testimony?
13 A. The defence doctrine was predicated on a guerilla strategy, and
14 that is the idea that you will not be equivalent in strength in terms of
15 conventional forces. Therefore, you adopt an asymmetric strategy. You're
16 in a weaker position, you use a guerilla approach to seek, to harass, to
17 undermine, to show resistance; in the end to make it, say, unbearable for
18 the invading occupying force to remain. I think you see elements of that
19 in Iraq at the moment, with the same attempts being made. Not that we
20 should talk about that. The idea is that you continue this low-level
21 activity at this scale on your terms rather than trying to meet an enemy
22 on their own terms because you would lose on that basis.
23 Q. Dr. Gow, would members of the Territorial Defence, as part of at
24 least their theoretical if not their actual training, be advised in the
25 use of this guerilla tactics that you've described as a strategy?
1 A. Certainly those that would hold positions of authority would do
2 that, anybody with particular training. Everybody -- every male, that's
3 every able-bodied male, would be a conscript within the JNA, they would
4 then be expected to do reserve duty, including serving as part of
5 Territorial Defence units. There was an assumption that the whole of the
6 population in some way would be mobilised either as part of the
7 Territorial Defence or as what was called civil defence. The civil
8 defence also had training in using small firearms. There would be popular
9 resistance that anybody at any level would be capable of operating that.
10 Everybody would be familiar, I should say, with their particular place in
11 the system, at least to some degree, and that they would have a place.
12 And they would be familiar with what was to be done overall. Those in
13 more leading positions would have greater training in understanding -- in
14 doctrine and how to operate.
15 Q. Thank you, Dr. Gow. Returning a bit more to the JNA in 1991/'92,
16 I'd like to ask you, was it involved in an armed conflict in Bosnia?
17 A. The JNA was involved in an armed conflict in Bosnia, following
18 from the things I was saying earlier. It was the core of the Serbian
19 attempt to break up Bosnia and Herzegovina, to take one -- to take parts
20 of Bosnia and Herzegovina that would be linked to both the Republic of
21 Serbian Krajina - that's the territory controlled also with JNA assistance
22 by Serbs in Croatia to the west - and to the east Serbia itself. So the
23 JNA, after this transformation, I think I said that Kadijevic, Jovic and
24 Milosevic between them were involved in creating the situation, the JNA,
25 once the armed hostilities began in Bosnia and Herzegovina, was the
1 difference between war and some kind of low-level political violence.
2 That was the armed force which shaped the campaign.
3 The JNA itself ceased to exist formally on the 19th of May, 1992,
4 again, as a result of these changes as foreseen by Milosevic, according to
5 Mr. Jovic, and was divided. It's generally said that it withdrew. What
6 happened was that it was divided. Part of it became the Vojska
7 Yugoslavia, the army of Serbia and Montenegro, and part of it became the
8 Vojska Republika Srpksa, the army of the Bosnian Serbs. But it was a
9 division rather than a withdrawal, and all or most parts of the JNA in
10 Bosnia and Herzegovina became the VRS. There were some elements, some of
11 the more sophisticated aircraft were withdrawn, but other aircraft were
13 Q. Dr. Gow, we'll return to that in a moment. I would like to ask
14 everyone to turn to section 4 of their binder. There is a map that
15 previously has been given a P number, P366.
16 Dr. Gow, I would like to ask you, did you assist the Office of the
17 Prosecutor back in 1995 in preparing this map?
18 A. All I can say is that I might have done. Certainly in
19 summer/autumn of 1994, I asked the Prosecutor's Office to prepare a map of
20 this kind, and I gave them the indications for the information that should
21 be on it. If this version of it came from 1995, that's only a
22 continuation of something that was begun in 1994.
23 Q. Okay.
24 A. Not that I wish to be picky. I just kind of -- yeah, that's a ...
25 Q. Could you please describe for Your Honours exactly the reason for
1 this map, and then illustrate a bit what do some of the designations and
2 highlights on this map mean in terms of your testimony regarding the JNA
3 involvement in the armed conflict in Bosnia.
4 A. The map indicates key points of Serbian operations in the first
5 month of armed hostilities; in fact, going slightly back before what's
6 generally recognised as the formal beginning of armed hostilities, in the
7 spring of 1992. It doesn't represent all the places where there were
8 operations or armed hostilities. But what it does show is that there was
9 a pattern within that of ensuring that all key communication points were
10 under Serbian control. So each of these stars represents one of the key
11 pieces -- key points of strategic communications within Bosnia and
12 Herzegovina. You see places like Visegrad. Foca, Visegrad, Vlasenica,
13 Zvornik, Bijeljina. These are all places which are significant in terms
14 of access for Serbian forces, if necessary, from Serbia into Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina. The initial -- the first of these operations was at
16 Bosanski Brod, that's in the north, the very top one, on the 27th of
17 March. The war is generally said to have begun in April, but these
18 operations were taking place.
19 That "other operations" across that northern tier are significant
20 in preventing access from Croatia into Bosnia and Herzegovina. So with
21 some operations you're ensuring Serbian access, if necessary, for support,
22 and in others, you're cutting off the entry points for any potential
23 reinforcements from outside.
24 The two -- actually, two other things. The Derventa, and this is
25 something I pointed out in Trial Chambers in the past but I guess it gets
1 forgotten once we go away. It's not actually on the point of
2 communication on the map, but I think you get the idea. And the other is
3 to say that Kupres is the key strategic ground in the whole region.
4 Whoever controls the Kupres heights dominates all the way into central
5 Bosnia and all the way down to the Adriatic coast on the other side. So
6 it's significant that that area was taken earlier on.
7 Q. Thank you, Dr. Gow. I would like you to explain where Your
8 Honours might find the Posavina Corridor, if it is located on the map, and
9 what its importance might be.
10 A. The town of Brcko in the north-east on the map, where it says
11 Brcko, 30th of April, that's the key town running through the Posavina
12 Corridor. That corridor was the vital link between Serbian-controlled
13 territories in Eastern Bosnia that border Serbia itself, and
14 Serbian-controlled territories in Western Bosnia and through into the
15 Serbian-controlled territories in Croatia. That was the vital link. If
16 this project was to be successful, the territories had to be linked. And
17 that was, if you like, the life-line corridor that kept this project
18 going. At various times there were attempts to widen it, there were
19 attempts to create a broader corridor, initially a second corridor that
20 would lead to a broader corridor, but they failed.
21 Q. And, Dr. Gow, might I ask you were these locations that you've
22 shown on the map, were they places where the JNA army "was successful" in
23 that it dominated the military operation that is shown on the map?
24 A. The JNA provided a significant element in those operations. There
25 were two aspects to the takeover of these places. One was the JNA's
1 operating using its artillery and armour capabilities to surround places.
2 This is part of a general pattern. Other forces, generally we label them
3 as paramilitaries, were then used to go into these places to secure
4 control in conjunction with local forces, local Bosnian Serb Territorial
5 Defence forces, which had been mobilised in the course of the previous
6 autumn and through political action by the Serbian Democratic Party, which
7 from December 1991 had been laying preparations for identifying potential
8 resistance so that people would immediately be identified and perhaps
9 either killed or detained for the new government of the new municipalities
10 under the so-called Serbian label. And within that cooperation within the
11 security centers, i.e., the interior ministry services, and with units of
12 the JNA, and as part of all of that, they were mobilising ethnic Serbs in
13 those areas into Territorial Defence forces also to be part of this. In
14 some cases, it was significant; in other cases, it was perhaps less
15 significant. The key element were the shock troops, which were the
16 paramilitaries, which were provided by -- which, in one way or another,
17 were organised by the Serbian security service from Belgrade.
18 Q. So, Dr. Gow, is it your testimony that from the Republic of
19 Serbia, we have not only the JNA army intervening on the territory of
20 Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also paramilitaries that have come from the
21 Serbian republic intervening and participating in the armed conflict on
22 the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina at this time?
23 A. That is my testimony, yes.
24 Q. Yes.
25 A. And that paramilitary forces, such as those known as the Serbian
1 Volunteer Guard, otherwise known as Arkan's Tigers, involved in the action
2 at Bijeljina for certain were -- they had coordinated with the JNA
3 special -- the JNA units at the Batajnica air base 252 and had been
4 organised by the Serbian security service.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Sellers.
6 MS. SELLERS:
7 Q. Dr. Gow, was the position more or less identical before the war
8 broke out in Bosnia? In other words, was there a similar identical
9 situation in Croatia, while the war was going on in Croatia? In other
10 words, the presence of the JNA in Croatia for sure, but were there also
11 paramilitaries, the same paramilitaries operating in Croatia, before they
12 then concentrated on Bosnia?
13 A. I think I indicated, something I already said, the fight -- the
14 campaign in Croatia had begun in June 1991. The same strategy was being
15 used, the same approach, the same mixture of JNA. At that stage, the JNA
16 was remaining as the JNA, both there and in Bosnia. At times it said it
17 was carrying out a peacekeeping operation, but it was essentially
18 assisting this Serbian campaign. Local Territorial Defence units were
19 used and paramilitary forces from Serbia were used as part of that
20 campaign, and the same pattern of surrounding places with armour or heavy
21 artillery and then using the shock troops, or paramilitaries, to go in as
22 part of the strategy to take over and to clear out potential operations.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's take it step by step. Was there a cease-fire
24 in Croatia at any given moment?
25 THE WITNESS: There was a cease-fire agreement in Croatia at the
1 beginning of January 1992. That said, the low-level hostilities continued
2 all the way to 1995, and at certain points during 1993, 1994, 1995, there
3 were also significant operations initiated by Croatian forces. But I
4 don't think there was ever a point where there was a genuine, full
5 cease-fire. But there was a cease-fire agreement in January 1992 which
6 led to the deployment of the United Nations force in Croatia.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Was there any substantial withdrawal of the JNA
8 forces from Croatia into Bosnia at any given moment after this supposed
9 cease-fire agreement?
10 THE WITNESS: There was a withdrawal even before the supposed
11 cease-fire agreement, and certainly after it. Again, forces were left in
12 place as the Serbian Territorial Defence of the RSK, which became the army
13 of Serbian Krajina, Vojska Srpksa Krajina. Some of those forces were
14 withdrawn into Bosnia and Herzegovina, as indeed had been earlier forces
15 from Slovenia. When the withdrawal of Slovenia took place, some of those
16 forces went into Bosnia and Herzegovina.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: So you agree that as a result of this withdrawal of
18 JNA forces from Croatia into Bosnia and Herzegovina, the presence of the
19 JNA in Bosnia and Herzegovina was strengthened.
20 THE WITNESS: It might well have been. I think that the plans
21 were already underway for shaping the position in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
22 but I think it's quite likely that would have strengthened the position.
23 It certainly would have left -- some materiel was left in Croatia, some of
24 the materiel was withdrawn and would have then been at the disposal of the
25 forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Was the JNA otherwise strengthened, apart from the
2 returning forces from Croatia? Was it strengthened in any other way in
3 preparation of the conflict that eventually occurred?
4 THE WITNESS: I'm not sure that I might -- that I fully understand
5 where you might be going with this. Let me say that the JNA had a
6 position in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that as part of the mobilisation,
7 armed forces were being moved out -- this is through the autumn of 1991,
8 armed forces were being moved out of barracks onto permanent exercises.
9 That was part of the way of mobilising Territorial Defence forces to work
10 with them as well. That was doing two things. It was to make sure that
11 the -- that what had happened in Slovenia and in some places in Croatia
12 that JNA forces could not be trapped in barracks, that they would be out
13 in the field and in a position to be used. And it was also ensuring that
14 they were in a position and carrying out exercises in places that might be
15 of key importance so that when the time came - this is my assumption, I
16 can go no further than that - that they were deployed and out and in
17 strength and in their position to take whatever action would be required.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: My question is actually based on two things that you
19 mentioned earlier. One was the anticipation on the part of Belgrade that
20 the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina was only a matter of time, and
21 secondly, the plans that were put in place by Belgrade for a Serbian
22 state, which would necessarily transborder into parts of Bosnia and
23 Herzegovina and which would require definitely the presence of the JNA
24 over there, whichever, so this is -- so would you agree that this would
25 required, first and foremost, the strengthening of the JNA -- of the
1 presence of the JNA in the areas where the Serbs had a particular
3 THE WITNESS: I think the JNA was already very strong in Bosnia
4 and Herzegovina. The second military district of the JNA became
5 effectively the general staff of the Serbian republic -- the Republika
6 Srpska. It had such a preponderance of weaponry, both in terms of heavy
7 artillery and armour, so outweighing anything else that a strong position
8 was already established. The one thing it lacked was manpower. The
9 manpower, as far as possible, was also to come from the Territorial
10 Defence forces, and later on in the war, at times there would be
11 supplements from Serbia. But because of the situation in Serbia, trying
12 as far as possible to disguise its involvement and not to be too open, the
13 opportunities for doing that were quite limited.
14 So part of this preparation was ensuring that the JNA in Bosnia
15 and Herzegovina was strong and was in a position to carry out those
16 actions. But the forces used were predominantly those already within
17 Bosnia and Herzegovina, although they were controlled and commanded from
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I see. Okay. I think we can take a break now?
20 MS. SELLERS: Yes, Your Honours. I would just ask, I don't know
21 if I could move things into evidence, or as soon as I come back.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly, Ms. Sellers. We'll have a 25-minute
23 break from now. Thank you.
24 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 11.03 a.m.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Sellers.
2 I recognise Mr. Wubben. Have you taken over, Mr. Wubben?
3 MR. WUBBEN: At least to address one issue, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
5 MR. WUBBEN: You asked for the parties to sit down to agree upon a
6 date for oral pleadings, and we did so, and we advise that it will be
7 subsequent to the hearing of Ms. Manas on Friday.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: On Friday. That's perfect. I thank you.
9 Ms. Sellers, before you proceed with tendering some fresh
10 documents in evidence, Judge Eser would like to put two questions to the
12 MS. SELLERS: Certainly.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Judge Eser, please.
14 JUDGE ESER: Dr. Gow, I would like to come back to the problem of
15 the ethnic composition.
16 Now, what are the criteria? How can you distinguish between
17 different ethnic compositions? Is it race? Is it religion? Is it the
18 place where people are born or brought up? What are the main criteria?
19 THE WITNESS: We could begin perhaps an extensive
20 philosophical/social inquiry about that. If you'll permit me to try a
21 shortcut in the first place. When I talk about these issues, it's based
22 on self-definition in the censuses in the Socialist Federal Republic of
23 Yugoslavia in 1981 and 1991, where people put themselves into categories.
24 Perhaps even there you can see that sometimes ethnicity in those forms of
25 identity have a degree of potential fluidity because the number of
1 Yugoslavs from one point to another, for example -- I forget the exact
2 figure, but it was kind of significantly higher in 1981 than it was in
3 1991. I don't think that's because a certain group of people disappeared
4 completely, but perhaps it's more likely, can be no more than speculation
5 because we haven't got this specific research, that these people that once
6 said, "I'm a Yugoslav," but in the changing situation and with the
7 pressures upon identity was be defining themselves in some other way,
8 would be a hunch.
9 But for the purposes of the evidence that's given, those are based
10 on the self-definition of the identity as declared those taking part in
11 the census.
12 JUDGE ESER: So when you gave some figures, some percentage of the
13 ethnic composition, all these figures are based on self-declaration of the
15 THE WITNESS: Built on self-declaration expressed through the
17 JUDGE ESER: But what would these people consider as relevant for
18 being a member of the one group or the other ethnic group? What are the
19 criteria for themselves to belong to one group or the other?
20 THE WITNESS: I think, quite frankly, without to a point of doing
21 research and interviewing each individual one of -- you could never give a
22 true authoritative answer to that kind of question. I think the elements
23 which are usually taken to form part of this are things to do with
24 culture, to do with the religion underpinning a particular community,
25 perhaps to do with language. Or in the case of language, or languages, as
1 some people say in this part of the world, the particular script that's
2 used, the particular dialect. In the eastern part the Ekavian dialect is
3 used. In the western parts of the region and Ikavian dialect is used. So
4 there are differences of vocabulary.
5 Family loyalty, i.e -- there are many factors which can come
6 into this. I think the only thing that I can say we can take reliably is
7 that this is these how people defined themselves, whatever criteria they
8 used to reach that definition.
9 JUDGE ESER: You mentioned at one point -- before the various
10 referenda, you told us that there had been tension in the ethnic
11 particular fabric. What are the reasons, as you -- as far as you can
12 estimate, reasons for these tensions? Are these shorter tensions, or are
13 they going back to other --
14 THE WITNESS: I think there were probably three elements. The
15 first is memory, so some kind of memory of an imagination of history.
16 Quite clearly, in some parts of the borderlands, either side of the
17 Croatian and Bosnian border, there were people who still remembered a
18 Second World War, or, rather, there was a second generation who had a
19 memory, what you call a memory of it, people who grew up being told,
20 "Those people over there killed your grandfather. You don't talk to
21 them." I think it's undoubted that there were elements of that.
22 The second element is quite clearly that in the situation of
23 growing political tension in this moment where people were being forced --
24 in some sense when there's an argument, it's very difficult to stand
25 completely back, especially when you're all involved. So issues between
1 Belgrade and Zagreb could become issues between ethnic Serbs and ethnic
2 Croats in some of these places, and ethnic Slovenes versus ethnic Serbs,
3 perhaps, if it came to that. You know, people -- these events help people
4 think about things.
5 And the third element I should have thought you need to take into
6 account is the atmosphere in the way that the political debate is
7 expressed, not something about -- to which I've spent -- to which I've
8 devoted time particularly. But there are studies, for example, the one by
9 Mark Thompson, "Forging War," on the way in which the press used some of
10 these issues and shaped issues, fostering some of this tension. So I
11 think there is a tension in the fabric which is partly there anyway.
12 Another factor which, you know, not wanting to go too far into
13 the anthropology of it, is social change. In the late 1970s, quite a lot
14 of people moved around in Yugoslavia. There was -- development took
15 place, and one of the things that people have told me, who have lived in
16 places like Tuzla or Sarajevo is that there was a difference when you get
17 the influx in the late '70s of people who have been living elsewhere in
18 the countryside who are not part of the traditional community as well.
19 So, yeah, I can -- I think, you know, certainly those three
20 factors and possibly that fourth one that I would identify as being
21 elements which are playing a part in those tensions.
22 JUDGE ESER: Thank you. The second issue I want to address was
23 your description of the defence system. You described the JNA as a first
24 tier and the Territorial Defence as the second.
25 THE WITNESS: Yeah.
1 JUDGE ESER: Now, the Territorial Defence units, did they have
2 uniforms, uniforms different from the JNA, or was it the same?
3 THE WITNESS: Well, the JNA was the regular army. It was the
4 standing army. It had an officer corps, and it had a conscript cadre.
5 The conscripts were recruited in proportion to ethnic distribution within
6 the whole of the population of the Socialist Federative Republic of the --
7 of 18 to 25 year-olds. They would all be wearing the JNA uniform and
8 would be in the army all the time, or all the time during their service.
9 The Territorial Defence, as a second-tier force, was not organised
10 not at the federal level by the federal Ministry of Defence and the army,
11 although obviously it was part of an overall federal defence approach. It
12 was organised, first of all, at the republican level, at the state level,
13 and below that at municipality/community levels. The people who were part
14 of the Territorial Defence would have day jobs. They might well have been
15 judges or academics like yourself and myself, but at some point in the
16 year they would go and take part in Territorial Defence exercises if they
17 were active members of the Territorial Defence force, and they would be
18 expected, in a time of mobilisation, to become part of the Territorial
19 Defence force, and they would -- those who were actively involved would
20 have uniforms. They would have marks of identification. But I think the
21 reality was that some people in these structures of Territorial Defence
22 and civil defence at times didn't have the most up-to-date equipment or --
23 the system was there in theory, and it was meant to fall back so that
24 everybody would become part of a defence effort, if necessary. But I
25 suspect, from talking to people, that it wasn't always as fully -- as
1 fully kitted out as theory might have expected it to be.
2 JUDGE ESER: Mr. Gow, does the village guards, if you would have
3 to put them in a certain position -- in some of the villages which have
4 been the goal of attacks, there have been village guards. Do they fit
5 into this two-tier system, or are they outside of this two-tier system
6 which you described?
7 THE WITNESS: Well, first I must say I don't have any particular
8 expertise about the villages or village guards, to which I think you're
9 making reference. I'm not sure about to what you're making reference, but
10 I would expect that anybody described as a village guard in the time of
11 the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia and in this transition,
12 would be somebody who's a part of the Territorial Defence force structure.
13 If you're talking at a later stage, it's quite possible that they
14 could be volunteers within one of developing local or paramilitary
15 movements. Again, without knowing the detail of what you're talking
16 about, I can limit it to saying that I think in times they would be part
17 of it, but it might well depend on the precise situation and what you're
18 talking about.
19 JUDGE ESER: Thank you.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Judge Eser.
21 Ms. Sellers, please.
22 MS. SELLERS: If I might just follow up a question basically
23 brought up by Judge Eser.
24 Q. Dr. Gow, could you possibly clarify for us if there is a
25 difference between a reservist and a member of the Territorial Defence
1 organisation, or are those two things, reservist and Territorial Defence
2 member, always one and the same thing and we're using interchangeable
4 A. It's my understanding that for an initial period after service
5 somebody would be designated a reservist, and they could also be expected
6 to be part of the Territorial Defence force. But it would be expected
7 that they would be first mobilised into the JNA in a time of action.
8 That's my understanding.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: The other thing that I know the answer to, but I --
10 THE WITNESS: Do you care to tell me first?
11 JUDGE AGIUS: -- pose the question. Did the TOs have their own
12 weapons, weaponry and ammunition and depots, and where would those usually
13 be located?
14 THE WITNESS: Yes. The Territorial Defence forces within each of
15 the states had its own arsenal, and they would be located in Territorial
16 Defence depots distributed around the territory within the republic as a
17 whole, within particular communities, often hidden under mountains,
18 sometimes in particular warehouses. They would have their own designated
19 weaponry, and of course lots of people would also have small weapons, you
20 know, light weapons, at home as well. The idea was that everybody and
21 everything should be mobilised if the need came to defend.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: And did the JNA itself have any authority on the
23 TOs, direct authority, in particular with regard to these weapons, the
24 availability of --
25 THE WITNESS: In times of war or in times of military occupation,
1 the Territorial Defence forces were supposed to form part of a whole armed
2 force with the JNA, if that was possible. But the assumption built into
3 the defence doctrine was that the initial resistance would not be
4 sustained and so there would be a fall-back position. So as far as
5 possible, each small unit would work with larger units, ensuring also the
6 political military relationship and being subordinate, wherever possible,
7 to whatever the high -- the highest available level of JNA command was.
8 The JNA didn't have technical, formal, legal responsibility over
9 the weaponry of the Territorial Defence forces, which were the property of
10 the republics. But as the overall -- as overall responsible for defence
11 within the federation, at times there were issues and tensions, and one of
12 those points was in the last stages of the Socialist Federative Republic
13 of Yugoslavia where the JNA went and, in several occasions -- into
14 place -- as the emerging potential for independence came, they went and
15 took weaponry from significant stocks in Slovenia. though the Slovenes
16 managed to hold onto some of it, just most of the stocks in Croatia and
17 within Bosnia-Herzegovina took some things and allowed Bosnian Serbs to
18 take others and redistributed weaponry that they had taken control of.
19 At the time they told republican Territorial Defence authorities
20 that this was part of a programme of renewal. But of course weaponry was
21 taken away and nothing was replaced, because the intention was to try to
22 underpin the coming strategic context by removing arms from some of the
23 potential actors.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Was there, at any given moment before the breaking
25 out of the conflict, any directive from the Ministry of Defence to the
1 TOs, to the various TOs, in Bosnia in particular, to hand over all the
2 weaponry to the JNA for safekeeping by the JNA?
3 THE WITNESS: And the same thing, as part of this process, has
4 happened in Croatia and Slovenia. A directive -- there was actually an
5 agreement between representatives of the Bosnian presidency, in particular
6 from the Interior Minister Mr. Delimustafaic, and to the JNA to take
7 weaponry from Territorial Defence forces into JNA protection supposedly
8 for safekeeping as part of an effort, they thought -- this is what they
9 were saying at the time -- to make sure weapons were not available, to
10 limit the possibility for the use of weapons.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
12 Yes, Ms. Sellers, sorry to have interrupted you for so long.
13 MS. SELLERS: No, thank you, Your Honour. Thank you for your
15 Q. I would like to go back to something a bit mundane right now, and
16 that would be to ask the registrar for a number for the Prosecution
17 exhibit regarding my view of the breakup, ERN number 00339513. Could I
18 please have a number.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the number will be P410.
20 MS. SELLERS: Thank you. Your Honours, I would move to tender
21 this into evidence. And also --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: And it is so being admitted, Ms. Sellers, and marked
23 as Prosecution Exhibit P410.
24 MS. SELLERS: And also there is the map that Dr. Gow used. It was
25 already premarked 366. I would like to now move that --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Which map?
2 MS. SELLERS: It is the map that related to the various places
3 where the outbreak of the war was. It's under section 4 of our binders.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
5 MS. SELLERS: I would also like to tender that into evidence.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, it gets number P366.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: It has already got an exhibit number, or is it being
8 given one now? Oh, I see, I see. So it's being given P366 because it had
9 been premarked already, no? Okay.
10 Ms. Sellers, that document is being admitted in evidence and
11 marked as Prosecution Exhibit P366. Thank you.
12 MS. SELLERS: Thank you.
13 Q. Dr. Gow, you've testified --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I'll raise that. My attention is being drawn
15 to the fact that, as far as P410 is concerned, Exhibit P410 is concerned,
16 we've only got the English text. We do not have the original B/C/S text.
17 So I suppose you will take care of that later on, and it will be
18 incorporated in the same P410.
19 MS. SELLERS: Certainly. We apologise. We put in for --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: You don't need to apologise, Ms. Sellers. Just
21 rectify it, that's all.
22 MS. SELLERS: Will do. You'll also find in the next exhibit that
23 we're about to present that we'll run into the same issue, and I'll say
24 ditto beforehand.
25 Q. Dr. Gow, you testified not only about General Kadijevic but also
1 about Mr. Jovic. I would ask everyone to turn to section 5 in their
3 Dr. Gow, could you look at this document, ERN number 03022817, and
4 would you please tell the Trial Chamber what this document is.
5 A. It's a translation of an extract from the published diary extracts
6 of Borisav Jovic, whom I mentioned before was the Serbian representative
7 to the collective state body within the Socialist Federative Republic of
9 Q. And if you would turn to the page that has the 5th of December,
10 1991 midway through. Dr. Gow, could you explain the importance, if any,
11 of that statement contained in the diary of Mr. Jovic.
12 A. This is the diary entry that confirms the things I was saying
13 earlier about the discussions between Jovic and Milosevic and then between
14 Jovic and Kadijevic about preparing to avoid, as far as possible, the
15 accusations against Belgrade of involvement in Bosnia of aggression by
16 reorganising -- by redistributing personnel within the JNA in advance of
17 this. And the date, 5th of December, 1991, shows that that's clearly in
18 advance of the actual recognition of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which came in
19 April. And this was preparation as part of the planning ahead of time to
20 ensure that the Serbian project could both run but also be, as far as
21 possible, non-attributable to Belgrade.
22 And if you turn the page, I think you can also see the
23 December 25th entry is the one that says, "Conversation with Veljko" -
24 "Veljko" refers to Veljko Kadijevic, General Kadijevic - "and Slobodan,"
25 Slobodan Milosevic. "Veljko reports that 90 per cent of the military has
1 been dislocated," I think the translation says, it probably means
2 relocated, "in accordance with the 5th of December discussions." So that
3 that action has been taken and that the JNA is predominantly in a position
4 now to be able to separate and to have the armed force to operate in
5 Bosnia while saying that it's a Bosnian Serb force and Belgrade, as far as
6 possible, trying to distance itself and say that it's not involved.
7 Q. And I would ask that we --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Are you aware of any United Nations
9 Resolutions, either GA or Security Council, regarding the presence of the
10 JNA in Bosnia before and during the early days of the conflict in Bosnia?
11 THE WITNESS: Well, the --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: That would have precisely justified the --
13 THE WITNESS: Well, there was already United Nations attention to
14 this issue in September - Security Council 713 had imposed an arms embargo
15 on the SFRY and all its territories - which had begun a process of
16 international engagement. Well, it continued a process of international
17 engagement already begun by the European Community, as it then was.
18 In January, just after this, this was the UN Security Council
19 resolution to authorise the deployment of the UN peace force to Croatia.
20 Now, clearly at the time this was taking place, it was understood that
21 that was underway that there would the cease-fire agreement under the
22 Vance Plan in Croatia, that force would be deployed, and by this stage I
23 think it was as already clear that the headquarters for that force was
24 going to be based in Sarajevo. The decision to base it in Sarajevo was,
25 in part, I think, a gesture. It doesn't make practical operational sense.
1 It was a gesture to make sure that attention was being paid to
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina in this emerging situation. And already, I think, in
3 November there had been requests from the Bosnian presidency to the UN to
4 become involved and to deploy a preventive force there, for various
5 reasons, the politics of it that didn't develop.
6 And as we move on, when you come to the point after the beginning
7 of armed hostilities, the UN Security Council identifies the presence of
8 other forces there in resolution, I think it's 770, off the top of my
9 head. But I'm sure we can check that for the record. But it identifies
10 the presence of these forces. It declares that their presence is a threat
11 to international peace and security and demands the withdrawal of those
13 JUDGE AGIUS: So this was properly identified and anticipated when
14 the decision of redistributing the composition of the JNA --
15 THE WITNESS: Yes. I think it was quite clear that the Belgrade
16 leaders had understood what the situation was likely to be and were taking
17 action to adjust to it.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
19 MS. SELLERS:
20 Q. Dr. Gow, you mentioned the Serbian project, which is the name of
21 your most recent book. I would like to ask you, the name "Serbian
22 Project," is it similar, is it another way of phrasing what some people
23 refer to as the drive for a Greater Serbia? Could you explain if there is
24 any distinction to the Trial Chamber.
25 A. Well, first, I use that term to make some distinctions. I mean,
1 it's a vain hope, at times. But in saying "Serbian project," there's the
2 hope that it's a way of trying to be able to distinguish these events,
3 this political military activity from the Serbian people, the Serbs as a
4 whole. It's a difficult thing to do because people tend to ally things.
5 But one of the things I wanted to do was to say, was to try to identify it
6 with this state project.
7 The term "project" is used in my -- my usage of project is rather
8 than something like plan, because it was something which had aims and
9 objectives but was not a fully worked out plan because it was flexible and
10 adaptable to situations. So within that context, I'm looking at something
11 which is a move to create a set of territories for the Serbs, Serbian
12 states, or one Serbian state, across the region.
13 The idea of Great Serbia is one with historic roots, going back to
14 the nineteenth century. The term that's used, for example, by General
15 Kadijevic is a new Yugoslavia. Other terms were circulating at this time
16 in the 1980s as a federation of Serbian states, an association of Serbian
17 states. Again, part of the element of the flexibility is that it was
18 clear that the aim was to establish an arrangement which involved
19 territories of ethnically -- self-ethnically-defining Serbs and really
20 largely removed of other populations. The idea of Great Serbia is
21 consistent with that, but a Great Serbia is not the only option and the
22 only thing we're talking about.
23 So when people talk about Great Serbia, they are talking about
24 something that is consistent with this, but I prefer to be careful and
25 avoid the use of that term as such most of the time because there were
1 ambiguities and there were different options available. But the aim was
2 to still to create a set of linked territories for -- in the name of the
3 Serbian people.
4 Q. Dr. Gow, then am I correct in my understanding that the Serbian
5 project, as you described it, necessarily implies that there might be
6 flexibility in different political stance as well as different military
7 tactics in order to achieve the goal of territorial -- re-designing of
8 territory for Serb people?
9 A. Yes. I think that's -- that's quite clearly the case. It's not
10 too difficult to understand that if the leadership in Belgrade, or indeed
11 some other part of it, said we want to create a Great Serbia, we want to
12 challenge the basic principle of international life, i.e., the inviability
13 of territorial integrity under the principle of sovereignty, they would
14 have been identified as breeching international law in the most clear-cut
15 way and would have been met with responses in the most clear-cut way. At
16 every stage politically and militarily, the efforts were taken to create
17 ambiguity and to disguise so as to try to minimise the clear
18 identification and placing of responsibility on the leadership in Belgrade
19 for the programme that it had generated. Pardon me, which it had
20 generated, but of course had support among ethnic Serbian populations.
21 Yeah. We should always bear in mind that there was support for it. It
22 was not ...
23 Q. I would like to turn a little bit and ask you, what was the
24 Bosnian response to the military attacks that you've described initiated,
25 or certainly with the participation of the JNA?
1 A. The Bosnian government in this position began to organise its
2 resistance, to some extent, the political leadership of the predominant --
3 what's called the Muslim party, it was called the Party of Democratic
4 Action, had already become laying the foundations with something like the
5 Patriotic League in the middle of 1991. But once armed hostilities came
6 following the international recognition of Bosnia and Herzegovina as an
7 independent personality, it mobilised the portions of the Territorial
8 Defence force under its control, gave instructions that portions of the --
9 in theory, all elements of the Territorial Defence force should be under
10 its control, began to shape and form an armed force which was to become
11 the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. That was initially declared, I think,
12 on the 15th of April. It was later declared again at different stages.
13 These are all parts of an evolving effort to create armed forces
14 on the part of the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also
15 reflecting predominantly the Muslim community in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
16 to combat the efforts from the Serbian side, to divide Bosnia and
17 Herzegovina, and to create a territorially separate state. And in that
18 context, the Bosnian presidency sought the support of international
19 actors, asked for further international involvement from the UN Security
20 Council, and eventually there was a UN peace force also deployed to
21 Bosnia. And it also made declarations of war, all part of its efforts to
22 say -- to stand for the territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina
23 against the Serbian attempt to break it up.
24 We should also note, for the record, that on and off at times
25 there was a Croatian attempt from the other side also to breach the
1 territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
2 MS. SELLERS: Your Honours, first of all, I would like to ask for
3 a number for the diary of Mr. Jovic, if the registrar would please give
4 it. That would be ERN number 03022817, that document.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the exhibit number will be P4111.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. So, Ms. Sellers, the diary is being so
7 admitted as Prosecution Exhibit P411.
8 MS. SELLERS: Thank you very much.
9 Q. I would like everyone to turn to section 6 in their binder.
10 Dr. Gow, if you could please turn to a document that has been premarked
11 P278. The original, I believe, is in B/C/S, ERN number 00520756. I would
12 like you to turn to the English version of the document that has already
13 been marked P277E. Is it 8? I'm sorry.
14 Dr. Gow, could you inform the Trial Chamber of what this document
16 A. The document is an extract from the Official Gazette of Bosnia and
17 Herzegovina dated Saturday, the 20th of June, 1992. The particular
18 extract here, clearly highlighted in the middle, notes the declaration by
19 the government of -- the presidency, the government of Bosnia and
20 Herzegovina of a state of war. You might also note that the Security
21 Council resolution number I mentioned earlier was not 770. That was the
22 one which actually identified and led to sanctions and the deployment of
23 the forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was 752. And above that you
24 will also notice the identification of the alleged aggression against
25 Bosnia and Herzegovina by the Republic of Serbia, the Republic of
1 Montenegro, the Yugoslav Army, and the so-called terrorists of the Serbian
2 Democratic Party.
3 And in making this declaration, you can also see further down the
4 page, which has also come up highlighted, that Bosnia and Herzegovina is
5 undertaking, in doing this, to comply with the provisions of international
6 law and other international -- relevant international documents about the
7 conduct of war, while acting both -- claiming to act under Article 51 of
8 the United Nations charter, i.e., exercising the right to self-defence.
9 Q. Dr. Gow, could you also turn the page and tell the Trial Chamber,
10 what is the date of this declaration?
11 A. The date of the declaration is also the date that I gave for the
12 Official Gazette, which is the 20th of June, 1992.
13 Q. Thank you. This document has already been premarked. I would
14 also ask that it be tendered into evidence, if there's no objection.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
16 Mr. Registrar, so it will be 278, no?
17 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, it will be 278.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So this document, which has already been
19 premarked, is being admitted as Prosecution Exhibit P278. Thank you.
20 MS. SELLERS:
21 Q. Dr. Gow, in addition to the declaration of independence, did the
22 newly formed Republic of Bosnia have to concern itself with self-defence?
23 A. It did, as I think I just pointed out. The declaration made
24 reference to the Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, about
25 exercising the right to self-defence. In seeking to exercise that right
1 to self-defence, as I said, they set about forming armed forces, using
2 existing Territorial Defence structures. If you follow on -- actually, on
3 the page you had before, the subsequent thing is about an order for
4 general mobilisation to take people into the Territorial Defence forces,
5 saying that all able and active people should be mobilised at that moment
6 generally into the Territorial Defence force.
7 Q. So therefore the newly formed Republic of Bosnia tended to keep
8 the structure, or possibly that it had inherited from the Socialist
9 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia of Territorial Defence forces.
10 A. They were turning to the Territorial Defence force structures, as
11 far as they were available to it, that had been part of the defence system
12 within the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia. I think we have
13 to recognise that parts of the Territorial Defence system were taken over
14 and acquired by the Serbian side and parts were taken over by the Bosnian
15 side, although the Bosnian authorities sought formally to exercise control
16 over all of them. In principle, they argue they should control all of
17 them. De facto, that was not the case.
18 Q. Thank you. I would like you now to turn to the following
19 document. It has been marked -- premarked already 277. The ERN number
20 is 00480501.
21 Dr. Gow, I would like to ask you to look at the English version of
22 that document, and that has been premarked 277E. The ERN number
23 is 00607094.
24 Dr. Gow, could you please inform the Trial Chamber the importance,
25 if any, of this document.
1 A. The document, again, is from the Official Gazette of Bosnia and
2 Herzegovina, this time from a month earlier, the 20th of May, and it's
3 publishing, as you can clearly read, lawful regulation act of the armed
4 force of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is the law on the
5 armed forces. This is the law which regulates the use of the armed
6 forces, and it's a law which is then used as the basis for creating and
7 structuring an army at a later stage.
8 Q. Could I please draw your attention to Article 16 of this document,
9 Dr. Gow. Could you, in your expert opinion, inform the Trial Chamber of
10 whether the different units that would constitute the army of the Republic
11 of Bosnia would include TO units, reserve units, or other units of that
13 A. If we understand that the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as such,
14 didn't really exist at this stage, it was in a phase of transition, that
15 the Territorial Defence force was being used as the basis for action but
16 also as a way of working towards forming an army, then I think you can say
17 that the Territorial Defence force, in some ways, was becoming the army,
18 but the army would be different from it. And the assumption was that
19 there would still be elements of Territorial Defence, here identified as
20 reservists, all of which would still, in time of war or overriding
21 military exercise, become part of one overall defence framework.
22 Q. Until any such army formed for the Republic of Bosnia, then would
23 it be true to say that the Territorial Defence and, as mentioned here, the
24 reserve units would be considered the fighting forces for the political
25 entity of Bosnia that had recently declared its independence?
1 A. Yes, I think that it would. My assumption has always been that,
2 although formally the Bosnian authorities in Sarajevo were declaring an
3 armed force, it was clear that the armed force, as such, was not developed
4 and organised at this stage. Indeed, you could even argue that by the end
5 of armed hostilities in 1995, it was still not fully formed and organised.
6 But at this stage, clearly it was not, and de facto if not formally
7 de jure, but I think also you'd say in terms of the law de jure, defence
8 action was taking place wherever it was possible throughout
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina in the Bosnian authorities' terms, and at a local
10 level, using the pattern, the structure, the doctrine of the defence
11 system, of the old defence system, the All People's Defence doctrine. So
12 at local levels, where possible. But it was a fluid and emerging
13 situation, while they were trying to put a structure together.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Sellers, because exactly, I'm just appealing to
15 you now to bring everything into proper perspective.
16 The fighting started immediately after the declaration of
17 independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that takes us back to April.
18 THE WITNESS: The fighting actually started on the 27th of March,
19 in advance of that. But it's usually said to be April, yeah.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Until then, was the JNA present in Bosnia.
21 THE WITNESS: Until then and after then.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Until the 19th of May.
23 THE WITNESS: Until the formal dissolution of the JNA at that
24 point, yes.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: And the creation of the VRS, which supposedly was
1 operative on the 19th of May.
2 THE WITNESS: Which was effectively the ghost of the JNA.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: And now, this decision here is date the 20th of May,
4 exactly the day after?
5 THE WITNESS: Correct.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: The day after the coming into existence officially
7 of the VRS.
8 THE WITNESS: That's right.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: But there was already a state of war, in effect; a
10 state of war, without any declaration.
11 THE WITNESS: I should say that that's true. I mean, the
12 declaration of war itself -- of a state of war by Bosnia and Herzegovina
13 also came a month later than that, but there were armed hostilities
14 underway from the 27th of March at the latest, and those armed hostilities
15 involved, on the one side, forces fighting for the Serbian project and on
16 the other side, those resisting it on the part of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: But as you said, Bosnia -- the government of Bosnia
18 and Herzegovina declared a state of war a month later, in June.
19 THE WITNESS: Yeah.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: And we're here a month earlier, where there was, for
21 all intents and purposes, a state of war.
22 THE WITNESS: Armed hostilities were under way. I exercise
23 caution there. I assume that the Bosnian government also declared a state
24 of war for formal, political and legal purposes. I wouldn't want to go
25 into that. I think it's clear that there can be a technical distinction
1 between formal war and armed hostilities, and I would -- if we're taking
2 war in the sense of generically describing armed hostilities, that's fine.
3 I tend to prefer to say armed hostilities because it leaves open other
4 questions that are not ones -- that I think are relevant to my evidence of
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you see any particular reason why this -- such --
7 a decision was not taken before, or why it had to wait until the creation
8 of the VRS? Well, I think it's all -- I think -- I mean, we have to
9 understand that things evolve. I think it was -- I already said, I think,
10 that it was the 15th of April that the Bosnian presidency declared the
11 formation of an army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I think any time you kind
12 of -- which things you need to do, in terms of political procedure, to
13 create things and to give things a legal basis. I would assume that part
14 of it is just the time in which people are working out the things they
15 need to do that would be good for them to do.
16 Bear in mind also the context of the discussions of the United
17 Nations Security Council, which also at this point I think on the 18th of
18 May, was the 752 resolution, which defined the threat to international
19 peace and security and these issues, so also these actions probably have
20 to be read-- all of this interacting evolve in context.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
22 Ms. Sellers.
23 MS. SELLERS: Thank you for your question, Your Honour.
24 Q. Dr. Gow, then, would it then be your expert opinion that the
25 hostilities of the armed conflict that occurred on the territory of Bosnia
1 since March were the same hostilities and armed conflict that continued
2 after the signing not only of the declaration of independence, but the
3 formation of the Yugoslav army? Are we talking about a continuous type of
4 armed hostility?
5 A. In my judgment, there is one armed conflict running from June 1991
6 that embraces Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, because I see both of
7 them as parts of one theatre. They're part of the same overall aims and
8 objectives. To create this set of territories, the same approach is used.
9 So in that sense, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, from the 27th of
10 March, certainly; but it's part of an armed conflict that I see running
11 from the middle of 1991.
12 Q. Could I just clarify, you've mentioned the date from the 27th of
13 March, 19 --
14 A. '92.
15 Q. -- '92.
16 A. Which is the date of the first action in Bosanski Brod in Bosnia
17 and Herzegovina, which is around a week -- it's actually 10 days before
18 the formal international recognition of Bosnia as independent
19 international personality.
20 Q. So armed hostilities from that date on, certainly through till
21 June 20 of 1992, are a continuous form of the armed hostility?
22 A. Personally, the 20th of June, 1992 makes no difference to what I
23 would describe empirically as the fact of armed hostilities. It may make
24 a difference in other ways.
25 Q. Thank you. I would ask --
1 A. Sorry, the 20th of June declaration might make a difference in
2 other ways, but it doesn't make a difference to the fact of armed
4 MS. SELLERS: I would ask the registrar, recognising that we do
5 have P278 and 278E for the English translation, that we keep that and,
6 Your Honour, if I could tender this document into evidence as well.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the document will have Exhibit
9 number P277.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: So, as pointed out by the registrar, that document
11 is being admitted as Prosecution Exhibit P277. Thank you.
12 MS. SELLERS:
13 Q. Dr. Gow, if you could, would you describe some of the key elements
14 or the key features of this armed conflict that we have been discussing.
15 A. I think the key -- the key, core elements of it are the clash of
16 statehood projects, as I said before, either seeking to preserve states
17 within their previously defined territorial boundaries, or creating new
18 borders; using the strategy of what is described as ethnic cleansing to
19 prosecute the campaign to create new territories, that is, the forcible
20 removal -- in some cases through killing; in others through demonstrative
21 violence in others; through forcible expulsion; in others through
22 intimidation to incite flight, so that there would be no potentially
23 hostile populations on the territory to come under control of those
24 seeking to create this set of states.
25 So ethnic cleansing, the strategy of ethnic cleansing with the
1 character of atrocities and the large outflows of populations, demographic
2 displacement that takes place, is perhaps the key defining element of the
4 Q. And your use of the term "ethnic cleansing," does "ethnic" relate
5 to the different ethnic groups that you testified about when we were
6 actually describing the composition of the former Yugoslavia?
7 A. It does. And it was an approach initially used by Serbian forces
8 as part of this campaign, but I think we also recognise that it was used
9 at times by other parties to the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina -- you
10 know, mimicking fashion. I don't know how you would describe it. It was
11 something used and copied by others afterwards. If wasn't exclusively
12 Serbian. But it was the Serbian thrust in the first place which defined
13 the conflict and gave it this character.
14 Q. Would you describe ethnic cleansing as both a military and
15 political tactic or --
16 A. It's -- ethnic cleansing is the strategy. Strategy is the point
17 at which politics meets the use of armed force. So strategy is about the
18 creation and application of armed force, of destructive armed force, of
19 violence for political purpose. The aim was to create a set of
20 territories that would be linked and would be Serbian. The political aim
21 within that, which also becomes part of the strategy, is to ensure that
22 there are no potentially hostile populations that area.
23 It's quite clear from the things we've said earlier about the
24 political tensions, the inter-ethnic, inter-communal tensions, that if
25 Serbia takes over territories in Bosnia-Herzegovina with mixed
1 populations, if it takes over areas with mixed populations in Croatia,
2 there will be dissent. At a minimum, there will be political resistance.
3 It's quite likely that there could be political violence, whether it's
4 very low-scale terrorist what we call action or whether it's a larger
5 guerilla action. You remove the potential in terms of -- in security
6 operation terms for that resistance if you remove the population. So you
7 remove an ethno-national group as such and you remove an ethno-national
8 group as a potential challenge to the security situation, as a potential
9 instrument -- source of violent resistance.
10 If I could indulge a little further, I don't want to take time.
11 But in terms of guerrilla doctrine, one of the most famous says is that of
12 Mao Tse-Tung who described the guerrilla as a fish in water. This kind of
13 resistance depends on having a community from which you operate. If in
14 terms of strategy from the Serbian or others using it perspective, you're
15 seeking to remove potential opposition, what you do essentially is remove
16 the water. You remove the population, you remove the support and basis
17 for any violent resistance. So that is the essence. It's political and
18 it's military, and it's combined in the strategy.
19 Q. Thank you. Was there reaction by international humanitarian
20 institutions, and more specifically the International Committee of the Red
21 Cross, to the atrocities or the ethnic cleansing that you have just
22 testified about during this armed conflict?
23 A. There was widespread international attention to what was taking
24 place. The reports of atrocities, the vast outflows of population groups,
25 either within -- from one area of Bosnia and Herzegovina to another, but
1 also refugees moving outside of Bosnia and Herzegovina drew attention to
2 this, the UNHCR drew attention. We have also mentioned the attention of
3 the UN Security Council. The ICRC as an agency, particularly involved in
4 these situations, also gave it attention, and working with other
5 international actors, sought to gain agreement with the parties of the
6 conflict to uphold international standards and to desist from these
7 actions, which they didn't.
8 MS. SELLERS: I would ask Your Honours and the witness and Defence
9 counsel please to turn to section 8 of your binders. The ERN number is
10 00317897 of that document.
11 Q. Would you please look at the document, Dr. Gow. Would you explain
12 to the Trial Chamber what is the origin and the nature of this document
13 that you're looking at.
14 A. The document is an agreement organised by the ICRC to which the
15 parties -- the parties signing are representatives of the different
16 political parties within Bosnia and Herzegovina. It's from the 22nd of
17 May, 1992. That's, again, in the context we've been discussing of the
18 Security Council resolution on the 18th of May, 1992, the general
19 international attention being given to Bosnia and Herzegovina because of
20 the large-scale problems of atrocity there.
21 And as part of an international effort, I think, to see this,
22 there was an attempt to get the political representatives of the parties
23 to sign an agreement undertaking to uphold the elements of international
24 humanitarian law relating to armed conflict, in particular the third
25 convention of the Geneva Conventions, which is common to all four Geneva
1 Conventions, but also additionally getting them to recognising aspects of
2 the Geneva Convention ... The Geneva Conventions that wouldn't necessarily
3 be agreed upon by all parties.
4 Q. Could I ask you to draw your attention to the names that have been
5 signed at the top part of the document, and to explain that they've been
6 signed on behalf, as representatives of other persons. Could you please
7 tell us who these other political or otherwise persons are, whom they're
9 A. I can tell you. We can read in front of us that Mr. Trnka is
10 representing the president of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Alija Izetbegovic.
11 The president of Bosnia-Herzegovina, is also a member of the Party of the
12 Democratic Action, the Muslim party within Bosnia. Mr. Kalinic is
13 representing Radovan Karadzic, who is the representative of the Serbian
14 Democratic Party, as is also Mr. Djogo. Mr. Kurjak signs as
15 representative of Mr. Izetbegovic, not as president of the Republic of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, but as the president of Party of Democratic Action.
17 So both Karadzic and Izetbegovic have two representatives. One is in
18 there, what they take as their formal office, and one is there as leaders
19 of political parties. And finally, Mr. Sito Coric is a representative of
20 Mr. Brkic on behalf of the Croatian Democratic Community, which is the
21 predominantly ethnic Croat party.
22 Q. Now, are all of the signatories representing the division of
23 ethnic groups within Bosnia?
24 A. They represent the main ethnically defined parties within Bosnia
25 and Herzegovina. We could just for the record be clear. We didn't say
1 earlier that within Bosnia and Herzegovina we had these groups. There
2 were also people who were not -- didn't define themselves either as
3 Muslims or Serbs or Croats. Somewhere in the region of 11 per cent of the
4 population in the last census didn't define themselves as one of those
5 three things. Some were Jews, some were others, some were Yugoslavs. But
6 just to be clear. But these were the three main ethnic groups, and these
7 were the representatives of the three main political parties representing
8 those groups, who were also the ones engaged politically within the
9 context of armed conflict.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Sellers, Judge Eser would like to put a
12 JUDGE ESER: In connection with your description that certain
13 people declared themselves as Serb or Bosnian Muslim or something else,
14 how was it in the connection with the ethnic cleansing? Would it have
15 been possible that the person would say, "From now on, I would define
16 myself differently"? Or was it the case, if you declared yourself at one
17 time to be a Serb, you remained it all your life or --
18 THE WITNESS: That's a very interesting question, because I think
19 certainly it's theoretically possible that somebody could redesignate
20 themselves, and I'm not sure whether some people redesignated themselves
21 as such. But there have been points in cases in other Trial Chambers here
22 where someone has been described both as a member of one ethnic community
23 but also as part of another or acting for another. One that springs to
24 mind, if I recall it correctly, is that of Drazen Erdemovic. Yeah, so in
25 some ways not quite understanding the process and the motivations, that
1 can happen.
2 Perhaps more significantly, I think, we should say that part of
3 the procedure of ethnic cleansing was that documentation was prepared and
4 available, and from the outset, as part of a scheme. This included
5 documents where either people, in some cases, could sign over property
6 rights and buy a one-way exit visa and so forth. But in other cases, they
7 could also sign something to accept the new regime and to define
8 themselves, whether ethnically or not, as loyal to this situation, and if
9 not defining themselves ethnically with the dominant group in whichever
10 area it was, could at least stay where they were as second-class citizens.
11 And despite the ethnic cleansing in many -- there were places where even,
12 by the end of the whole period, it was -- there were still some areas
13 where it wasn't completely purely sorted out in ethnic terms.
14 So I think that ...
15 JUDGE ESER: So could you draw the conclusion that objects or
16 victims of ethnic cleansing have been those people who stayed with their
17 former self-declaration as X or Y, but if somebody would say, "Now, from
18 now on, I would take a different position, I would not become victim of
19 ethnic cleansing"?
20 THE WITNESS: I think there's the possibility there. I think we
21 have to be cautious in saying anything as a complete generalisation in the
22 nature of that kind of problem where it's about self-definition and other
23 definition. I don't know of a case, but I think it's hypothetically
24 possible that there could be a person -- hypothetically take the example
25 of Serbian forces taking over a place and expelling Muslims, that it's
1 hypothetically possible that somebody could define themselves perhaps as a
2 Serb, self-definition for whatever reason, but are identified by others as
3 a Muslim, might say, "No, really, I'm a Serb," but then still be subject
4 to ethnic cleansing because of the other perception. The censorship
5 information can come through self-definition. In the context of
6 operations of ethnic cleansing and politics, I think we have to take into
7 account also the role of other definition and the interaction and exercise
8 a bit of caution and probably not draw any absolute conclusion, but maybe
9 identify general tendencies or likelihoods.
10 JUDGE ESER: Could we concluded that it was two elements in it
11 conclusions, self-declaration by the person concerned and description of a
12 certain type, social description to be a member of this group or that
14 THE WITNESS: If you're talking about the context in which we're
15 looking at operations pursuant to the strategy, yes. If we're talking
16 about the information in the census, then that's about self-description
17 and not about the ascription by others. So just to be clear. If we're
18 talking about the information from the census, then that's about
19 self-description. But in the context -- in other context, particularly
20 that of operations, pursuant to the strategy, then there's the element of
21 other ascription as well as self-definition.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And perhaps one could add at this point,
23 Judge Eser, because your question was a very relevant and a very important
24 one, one could add also that -- and correct me if I'm wrong, Dr. Gow, that
25 the social background to it all is that in these small villages, in
1 particular, the villages themselves were classified as almost entirely
2 Muslim, entirely Serbian, and everyone -- this is a society where, leaving
3 apart the big cities, otherwise everyone knew everyone else. The names
4 themselves, most of the time, not the surname, not the family name, but
5 the names themselves would identify you as rather of Muslim extraction
6 or -- I mean, the Croats had special -- typical Croatian names, the
7 Muslims typical Muslim names, and sometimes even family names. But this
8 is a society which is very typical of the region. Everyone knows everyone
9 else, so there is no way one could be mistaken for a Serbian when it was
10 actually a Muslim, for example, or vice versa.
11 THE WITNESS: I think that's largely true when you're talking
12 about local actors. But in some cases where you're looking at
13 paramilitary forces coming in from Serbia, they wouldn't necessarily know
14 the first thing about the area. But they also would have relied already
15 on local organisation within this SDS and security-service organised
16 crisis headquarters to identify those members of the local community who
17 should be in the first range of targets to be removed.
18 I think I should also say, if I may pursue that a little further,
19 that some villages probably would be predominantly with one community or
20 another. Some might be almost entirely one community. Most probably
21 would be mixed. But the research of anthropologists shows there were
22 parallel communities, so they would live side by side. They would know
23 each other without necessarily that degree of mixing.
24 And on the names, what you said would be true to a large extent,
25 but there are also names which could occur in any one with those
1 categories, and you wouldn't necessarily know by the name.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: And as far as appearance and physiognomy is
3 concerned, you couldn't actually distinguish between one ethnic group and
5 THE WITNESS: I think broadly that would be the case, yes.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I think we've cleared that terrain at least,
7 so we don't need to return to it later on.
8 Yes, Ms. Sellers. Again my apologies to you for interrupting you
9 so often, which is not my style. But at the same time, I think I'm
10 anticipating some pleasures yet to come, and I'm preparing for it.
11 MS. SELLERS: I think we're advancing as a whole, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly. So My apologies to you, and please go
14 MS. SELLERS:
15 Q. Dr. Gow, I would ask you to draw your attention to section 2.3 of
16 the ICRC document, the subsection entitled "Civilian Population." In that
17 section there's a reference to the four Geneva Conventions of 1949. What
18 is your understanding that the Geneva Conventions of 1949 govern?
19 A. They govern international armed conflict.
20 Q. And you testified earlier --
21 A. Sorry, with the exception of Article 3, which I already -- I think
22 you already said earlier is common to all four conventions and applies to
23 non-international armed conflict as well.
24 Q. So would this document seem to want to encourage the different
25 signatories to abide by the law of war that governs both international war
1 and non-international war?
2 A. The document clearly gets the parties within Bosnia and
3 Herzegovina to accept the application of Common Article 3, and in addition
4 that, in the area you have here is to note that civilian populations have
5 protected status and to apply elements of international armed conflict
6 beyond Common Article 3 to the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
7 Q. Thank you. I would ask you now to turn to section 2.5 of the
8 document, and it is the sub-entitled "Conduct of hostilities." There
9 there's a reference to Additional Protocol I. In your understanding, what
10 does Additional Protocol I regulate in terms of international law?
11 A. While recognising that although I have a significant interest in
12 these matters of international law, I am not, as such, an international
13 lawyer, my understanding is that Additional Protocol I was agreed by those
14 who took part to enhance the provisions of international armed -- of
15 international humanitarian law relating to armed conflict.
16 MS. SELLERS: Thank you. I would ask the registrar, could we
17 please have a number for this document.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, It will be P412.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So this document is being admitted as
20 Prosecution Exhibit P412. Thank you.
21 MS. SELLERS: Thank you very much, Your Honours.
22 Q. Dr. Gow, did the JNA withdrawal from the territory of Bosnia and
23 Herzegovina occur in a manner which they completely withdrew forces,
24 equipment, logistics, or any other military equipment or apparatus?
25 A. I think to reiterate some things that we've said before, I think
1 "withdrawal" is not completely the right word. Although that is the one
2 that was used to described what happened, it wasn't about withdrawal. It
3 was about division of the JNA into the VRS and the VJ, that is the Bosnian
4 Serb military and the military of Serbia Montenegro.
5 So in that process, the assets and the personnel of the JNA
6 deployed in Bosnia and Herzegovina at that time, small exception, I think
7 there were a few non-Bosnian Serb people who withdrew at that point, was
8 that -- sorry. The JNA was divided, and part of the JNA that was left in
9 Bosnia and Herzegovina as the VRS. So the withdrawal -- "withdrawal" is
10 the wrong term. The bulk of the JNA in Bosnia and Herzegovina was left
11 behind and redesignated as the VRS. And not only was it left there, but
12 it continued to have links to Serbia and Montenegro, to Belgrade. It
13 was -- the commander, General Ratko Mladic, was given significant
14 operational authority and command, but was reported as being in regular
15 contact with the staff in Belgrade. The Belgrade military continued to
16 give all kinds of support, being part of one integrated structure,
17 throughout the period of armed hostilities and indeed beyond armed
18 hostilities. Even to this day, there are still some issues about trying
19 to get the separation of the integration of the armed forces as part of a
20 process of security sector forming Serbia Montenegro and in the Serbian
21 part of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
22 Q. What would you give as the date of, on the one hand, possibly the
23 misnomer of the withdrawal of the JNA and, on the other hand, the
24 formation of the VRS army?
25 A. The 19th of May, 1992, was the date given by Belgrade to say --
1 that was the date by which it said it would withdraw the JNA. But, as I
2 say, it didn't withdraw the JNA. It simply transformed the JNA into two
3 parts. So the 19th of May is the date on which the JNA ceases to exist
4 and, by relation, on which I think we can say the VRS and the VJ come into
6 Q. Now, how does this withdrawal compare to the JNA withdrawal from
7 Croatia and Slovenia?
8 A. The JNA withdrawal from Slovenia, first of all, was a withdrawal.
9 It was a withdrawal which raised the territory that it went. Anything
10 that couldn't be withdrawn was destroyed, was ruined, so that it couldn't
11 be left as an acquisition to Slovenia and be used. That came after a
12 three-month moratorium, and those forces, as we've said earlier, went into
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina initially.
14 The withdrawal from Croatia has two dimensions. On the one hand,
15 the withdrawal from non-Serbian-controlled parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina
16 shares characteristics with those from Slovenia. All assets were
17 withdrawn, and anything that couldn't be moved, physical assets, things
18 that were immobile, would be ruined to put them beyond use. In contrast,
19 the withdrawal from Croatia -- from Serbian-controlled areas in Croatia,
20 again, bequeathed equipment and capability to the VSK, the
21 Republika Srpska Krajina so-called armed forces.
22 If you contrast that again, in fact, also with the withdrawal from
23 Macedonia, where there was an agreement between Belgrade, military and
24 political, to withdraw from Macedonia in the south, there was a complete
25 withdrawal. But again, everything that couldn't be taken was ruined and
1 left behind.
2 So we see a clear difference in the pattern. Bequeathing
3 personnel and equipment, materiel, capability to the Serbian forces in the
4 Serbian-controlled areas, and withdrawing everything and destroying that
5 which cannot be withdrawn in the other areas.
6 Q. I would like to ask you to speak a bit about the weaponry that the
7 JNA left in Bosnia, the weaponry that, if I understand correctly, you're
8 saying was bequeathed to the VRS. Could you inform the Trial Chamber a
9 bit about the nature of that weaponry.
10 A. When we say that there was this division of the armed forces and
11 the VRS came into being, it came into being with almost all the weaponry
12 that was at the disposition of the second military district command of the
13 old JNA. Some elements of the air force, the most advanced and
14 sophisticated elements, were taken to Serbia. But other elements, the
15 older planes, the guards were left to operate with the forces of the VRS
16 normally. The inheritance included something like 1.000 pieces of
17 artillery. Similarly large numbers of pieces of armour, tanks, armoured
19 So there was a preponderance, what in some places I've called a
20 superabundance of weaponry on the Serbian side, which pitched against the
21 things we said earlier about removal of weaponries from Territorial
22 Defence forces for the Bosnian authorities, and generally the situation in
23 which the Bosnian government found itself -- remember, there was a kind of
24 clear imbalance in terms of weapons categories, because most of the big
25 weapons were on one side and far fewer of them were on the other, which
1 meant that, in the broad, strategic picture, the Serbian forces were able
2 to dominate the environment where they were able to operate using these
4 They were limited, I should point out, by a relative lack of
5 manpower. So they had all the weaponry, but they couldn't make as much
6 use of it as they could have done because of having this more than 1.000
7 kilometre front line. But it enabled them to dominate and hold the
8 situation strategically.
9 Q. Well, for a point of clarification, when you refer in that
10 instance to the use of the military weapons by the Serbians, are you
11 referring to the Bosnian Serbs or, more specifically, the VRS army in
13 A. I'm talking about the VRS. I would also generally assume that
14 within that, there would be moments where the VJ was also part of the
15 picture and contributing at times. But we're talking about the Bosnian
16 Serb military, the VRS, the inheritance that it had in terms of weaponry
17 and the way in which that weaponry was used to prosecute the project, the
19 Q. And your reference to the VJ, would you please inform Your Honours
20 what you mean by the VJ?
21 A. The army of Yugoslavia; that is, the army of Serbia and
22 Montenegro, Vojska Yugoslavia
23 Q. Was that basically the renaming of what we had been calling the
24 JNA, as it went back into the territory of the remaining republic?
25 A. That's the name of the armed force for which Belgrade is the
1 political and military command and control, the state -- the Federal
2 Republic of Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro. When the JNA is divided,
3 part of it becomes the VRS, the other part becomes the VJ. The VRS in
4 Bosnia, with the Bosnian Serbs; the VJ with Serbia and Montenegro on the
5 other side of the Drina.
6 Q. Thank you. I would like you now to turn to section 9 in your
7 binder, and you will note that there is a map. Dr. Gow, did you --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Before you do this, perhaps we can close on the part
9 that you've been dealing with. Now, we have, for all intents and
10 purposes, the JNA disappearing as such. It's being divided into two,
11 according to you. One is the VRS and the other is the VJ.
12 As far as the command structure, starting from the 19th of May -
13 I'm only interested in the 19th of May and afterwards - the command
14 structure, where did it start and where did it end, as far as the VRS is
15 concerned, as far as the VJ is concerned? Because obviously then it
16 becomes very important for us to know with regard to the operations that
17 followed, where they were being planned, where they were being conducted,
18 managed, whether it was in one state or whether it was in another part of
19 that state. That's the first part I would like you to elucidate.
20 The second is, do you mean to tell us that at any given moment
21 after the declaration of independence of Bosnia, or even a few days
22 before, that the -- if the Bosnian government wanted to create its own
23 army, it had to start from scratch, or did it have at its disposal either
24 manpower or resources and also weaponry which was, strictly speaking, part
25 of the JNA? I suppose you can answer. I'm asking you this because I
1 suppose you know, as much as I do and many others, that there was also an
2 arms embargo put in place by the United Nations.
3 So perhaps if you can touch on these two points, separate issues,
4 I think we could close that chapter.
5 MS. SELLERS: Certainly, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
7 A. In terms of -- I'll start with the Bosnian side of that first and
8 with the arms embargo. I already mentioned earlier in testimony that
9 Security Council Resolution 713 in September 1991 imposed an arms embargo
10 on the SFRY and its territories. The consequence of that, of course, was
11 partly that, in a situation such as that, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, with
12 extensive materiel on the Serbian side, with the Territorial Defence
13 structures having been largely, probably not completely, stripped of
14 assets on the Bosnian side, there was this big imbalance. The arms
15 embargo was one of the big political issues at the time said to affect the
16 strategical situation. It did so to the extent that the VRS had all of
17 this heavy weaponry, and the Bosnian army, as it developed, did not. It
18 did have some, most of that which it got it captured in northern Bosnia.
19 But it had something like 40 tanks and armoured vehicles, not to compare
20 with the kind of hundreds, going up to towards 1.000 on the Serbian side.
21 So it couldn't compete on the same terms. But part of the strategy
22 perhaps was to try and gain weaponry as far as possible.
23 The arms embargo was set to cement this situation because, of
24 course, the Bosnian government would want to acquire weapons of other
25 kinds and didn't do so, at least not extensively and formally. It did
1 acquire quite a considerable amount over time of man-portable weaponry, so
2 things that one person could carry, including rocket launchers and so
3 forth, but not -- but not heavy artillery and armour.
4 It was also capable of producing some things. Some areas, I would
5 say in Central Bosnia, there were still arms factories from the old
6 defence system which were under Bosnian control and where they could still
7 manufacture some capabilities such as elements of artillery and multiple
8 launch systems.
9 So in that picture, there was a big imbalance. There were ways in
10 which the Bosnian side, in trying to develop this army and using initially
11 the structures of the Territorial Defence force, sought to do this.
12 Is that adequate for your purposes?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. In other words, what I wanted to clarify by my
14 question, that part of the question, at least, was - and you have more or
15 less answered it, as expected - that one wouldn't be able to say that the
16 outbreak of these hostilities, the Bosnian government, or the government
17 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, had or could have at its disposal any substantial
18 weaponry which belonged to the JNA at the time. So you're ruling that
19 out. The bulk of the weaponry was in the hands of the VRS, what
20 eventually became the VRS.
21 A. The only weaponry at that time was weaponry that it captured.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's move to the --
23 A. In terms of the command structure. Let me be clear, as far as I
24 can be. The VRS/VJ division is a political division and is a formal one.
25 It does have operational and organisational consequences. One of those,
1 the key one, is that General Mladic, who is already the commander of the
2 second military district, becomes commander of the VRS, has -- is given
3 broad operational authority. He's in charge of the operations in Bosnia.
4 He has -- he still has links to Belgrade, and I think it's also worth
5 bearing in mind, we should never forget, we don't have a map to show it,
6 but Han Pijesak, in Eastern Bosnia, was the old deep underground command
7 and control centre for the JNA, remained in Eastern Bosnia notionally
8 under the command of the JNA, but was the core of this integrated JNA
9 defence system. That continued to be part of the links with Belgrade.
10 So Belgrade was giving -- was setting the political agenda
11 strategically, was creating the framework through the JNA into the
12 divided -- formally divided VJ and VRS. The Chief of Staff in Belgrade,
13 General Perisic, was liaising in part of the chain of command with General
14 Mladic. But because of the issues we discussed before about trying to
15 avoid any sense of -- as far as possible, any sense of identification of
16 Belgrade, trying to project the idea that this was Bosnian Serb rather
17 than Belgrade-generated Serbian activity, Mladic was given authority to
18 run operations and not to be seeking new orders all the time. He would go
19 to Belgrade for meetings -- he was reported as going to Belgrade for
20 meetings. There was one point in 1993 where people expected that he would
21 become the new Chief of Staff of the then VJ as part of all of this. That
22 didn't happen for whatever reason.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: And the Commander-in-Chief, absolute
24 Commander-in-Chief of the two --
25 A. The theoretical commander-in-chief of the VJ is the Supreme
1 Defence Council of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. That comprises the
2 president of Montenegro, the president of Serbia, and the president of the
3 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
4 The theoretical Supreme Commander of the VRS is the president of
5 the Republika Srpksa, who was Mr. Radovan Karadzic. I tend to think that
6 the theoretical political command of the president of the Republika Srpska
7 is, at best, a grey and complex area because the real chain of command
8 through the armed forces, in terms of the strategy, leads to Belgrade.
9 And I think there were times when Karadzic had little idea, probably, of
10 what was going on in terms of the military and Mladic and the operations,
11 and there were a few moments where -- interactions with some
12 militarisations where Karadzic tried to assert his authority and was not
13 very effective in doing so.
14 So I think that's an indication that the real line of authority
15 was within the military and the chain of command going back to Belgrade,
16 and the fact that requests would be sent to Belgrade for extra units to
17 support for equipment, for ammunition, are all elements of the way in
18 which that was one integrated structure working. And as I think I
19 indicated, even after the end of -- formal end of armed hostilities in
20 1995, that continued to be an issue. The people overseeing the arms
21 control elements of the separation of forces continued to report the
22 difficulties, because there was the integration between Belgrade and the
23 VRS meant that some of the issues that this Republika Srpska was supposed
24 to deal with couldn't be dealt with unless they were dealt with in
1 It meant that, as I say, even today, as people looking to try and
2 bring Serbia into the European fold, take it towards the European Union if
3 it wants to do that at some stage, towards NATO, the issues of security
4 sector reform in Bosnia and sorting this out in Bosnia and in Belgrade are
5 still problematic because of the continuing links, the integration of the
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
8 Ms. Sellers, will you be asking at any point, the witness, with
9 regard to possible withdrawals of paramilitaries from Bosnia? Because if
10 you're not, I will pose the question now myself.
11 MS. SELLERS: Be my guest, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
13 We take it that, or at least you hinted at it, that apart from the
14 regular armed forces, there were also paramilitary groups active in the
15 area, going back even to the Croatian -- conflict in Croatia. Apart from
16 the purported withdrawal of JNA -- of the JNA from Bosnia, and apart from
17 the separation, the practical separation of the JNA into two parts, were
18 there any steps taken with regard to paramilitaries that were present in
19 the territory of Bosnia throughout -- during this period? Did they remain
20 there? Were they withdrawn? Did they withdraw themselves? Can you
21 enlighten us on this.
22 A. The paramilitary forces --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm referring to paramilitaries originating from
24 outside of Bosnia.
25 A. Yes, I'm --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's keep it to that.
2 A. We're on the same page.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
4 A. The paramilitary forces organised by Belgrade were not used or
5 kept in any one place for a particularly long time anyway. They were an
6 element of attacks. So in the process of a takeover, the JNA elements of
7 the Bosnian Serb, say, Territorial Defence force might be used to surround
8 a town, a village, a community, to cut it off, operate, perhaps, stand off
9 bombardment. Then it would be -- but they wouldn't have the kind of
10 personnel to go into these places to do these things. So the
11 paramilitaries would provide a kind of shock troop in that situation.
12 There were a variety of paramilitary groups, some organised
13 semi-privately, all of them coordinated by the security service and by the
14 air force intelligence service at Batajnica, who would then go into
15 particular places. But they wouldn't be in any one place for a
16 particularly long time anyway.
17 In some of them, the semi-private operations, one of the
18 motivations for people to join was pillage, so you would be recruited, and
19 sometimes people were given a choice to come out of prison, it's said --
20 you know, you can stay in prison or you can go and take your chances as
21 part of this unit, but then you can take home whatever booty, whatever
22 goods you can find. There used to be cartoons of vans coming back from
23 Bosnia with lorries loaded up with fridges and so forth, because they
24 were -- these people were semi-criminal. They were part -- they were
25 involved in the ethnic cleansing activity but were then taking things
1 away. So they didn't stay, in some cases, very long anyway, because the
2 part -- for some of them, part of the motive was to do something, get
3 something, and go back and not be in prison anymore, or to continue
4 whatever their life was.
5 So I think to understand, the issue of withdrawal is that these
6 forces were never in any one place very long. So the issue of withdrawal,
7 in a sense, is maybe not completely a non-issue but is not really there as
8 an issue, because they would come and go on raiding missions but wouldn't
9 necessarily be permanently based in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: But did they continue to come and go even after the
11 partition of the JNA -- after the 19th of May, in other words?
12 THE WITNESS: Oh, yes, they would continue to be used through
13 1992. They ceased to be -- they appear to have ceased to have been used
14 in significant ways openly after late 1992, maybe sometime in -- early in
15 1993. Off the top -- you want it, I could go and kind of gauge exactly
16 when this was. But that was the point at which the position was more or
17 less static. There was a sense that it wasn't changing very much, and
18 would only change slowly. There was no longer, if you like, a need for
19 these shock troops to be involved in taking over places. And at the same
20 time as far as extra resources were needed, they would be supplied from
21 Belgrade by the interior ministry security service, and it would more
22 likely be units of the JSO, the special operations unit of the security
23 service within the interior ministry, the people who organised the
24 paramilitaries in the first place, and sometimes -- and often the JSO
25 members were parts of the some of the groups. So I think it's going back
1 to that structure, to Belgrade, to the command under -- under
2 Mr. Simatovic, who was responsible in Belgrade for organising these
4 JUDGE AGIUS: So the conclusion to draw, according to you, is that
5 post-19th May, Belgrade was still very much present both as far as the
6 regular army of Republika Srpska is concerned and also the presence,
7 intermittent presence of paramilitary groups operating in the territory.
8 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour, that's correct.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
10 Yes, Ms. Sellers, please go ahead.
11 MS. SELLERS: If I could ask you to turn to Section 9 in your
13 JUDGE AGIUS: We need to take a break now? Let's have a break.
14 We'll have a break of 25 minutes, please. Thank you.
15 --- Recess taken at 12.35 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 1.06 p.m.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Sellers, you may proceed, please.
18 MS. SELLERS: Yes. I would ask that the witness, Dr. Gow,
19 counsel, and Your Honours turn to the next document in your binder. It's
20 a document of a map that's been premarked P367.
21 Q. Dr. Gow, would you please look at the map and tell the Trial
22 Chamber: Did you instruct the Prosecutor, I believe it's in 1994,
23 possibly 1995, to develop the map that we're looking at now?
24 A. I did ask for a map of this kind to be drawn up. I don't know
25 whether it was 1994 or 1995 in this case.
1 Q. Okay. Could you explain to the Trial Chamber the significance of
2 this map?
3 A. The map shows the overall control of territory in Bosnia and
4 Herzegovina as it would have been through most of the period from spring
5 1992 through to 1993. The actual information on which it was based was
6 taken from December 1993, but the position was static for most of that
8 The one thing that did change within it was that, what you see on
9 -- what I have here is a black and white map. I'm not sure if we have
10 a --
11 Q. There is one on the screen.
12 A. I see the colour. The blue on the screen, for one part of 1993
13 kind of went towards where those two little blue areas are, more in the
14 center of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the green. That was when Bosnian and
15 Croatian forces were pushed into central Bosnia, fighting against the
16 Muslims, the Bosnian army forces. But then they were pushed back by the
17 end of that year. So for all but a few months, that represented the
19 I should also point out another of the problems of map production
20 in the Prosecutor's Office in the early days of the Tribunal, I suspect,
21 is that again, the area marked in green that includes Srebrenica, Zepa and
22 Gorazde on this map should not be one unified area. There should be three
23 separate green areas around them. Gorazde was the largest, Zepa the
24 smallest, and Srebrenica a little larger than Zepa, so they shouldn't be
25 joined up in that way on the map. If you can read red into -- red gaps
1 into them. And on the map showing overall control of territory, blue
2 represents Croat control, green represents Bosnian government control, and
3 red represents Serbian control. So in terms of what we were saying before
4 the recess about the dominant Serbian position that was secured, you'll
5 see that probably something in the region of two-thirds of the territory
6 of Bosnia and Herzegovina is under Serbian control through that period.
7 Q. Dr. Gow, could you please --
8 A. Sorry, I'd just add for clarity and for the record. I was asked
9 earlier about the Posavina Corridor and pointed to Brcko. You will see in
10 the north-east corner, towards the top of the map, Brcko marked, and the
11 red line of that corridor, just for sake of fullness.
12 Q. Dr. Gow, looking at the map, would you agree that the political
13 and the military division shown on this map followed along ethnic lines in
14 Bosnia during that time period?
15 A. I would. The intention was to create -- on the Serbian side and
16 also, I think, on the Croatian side at least, ethnically homogeneous
17 territories. So the idea was to create this part of the Serbian state
18 construct of the project and, as far as possible, to remove other groups
19 from that territory. That was the means of consolidating control of the
20 territory, of implementing the strategy.
21 Q. Were the different designations in terms of the armies and the
22 ethnic breakdown then the result of ethnic cleansing?
23 A. I'm not sure I follow the question. I mean, I don't think that
24 the designations of the armed forces were a result of ethnic cleansing. I
25 think that ethnic cleansing was the strategy, and this disposition of
1 territory was certainly the outcome of that process of ethnic cleansing,
2 using artillery and heavy armour to create the framework for it, but then
3 also using -- implementing the strategy at the local level, at the low
4 level, using means that included paperwork but also small arm and
5 violence, because that's the point at which you execute it. You don't use
6 the artillery -- the artillery creates the framework, makes the overall
7 control possible. The ethnic cleansing comes from those units on the
8 ground which go to places and either kill or forcibly remove people or
9 process them out.
10 Q. Therefore, it would be your testimony that in terms of weaponry,
11 you've already testified about heavy artillery, but now that probably
12 smaller artillery also played a role within the ethnic cleansing strategy
13 that you discussed earlier?
14 A. Without a doubt. The actual ethnic cleansing is carried out
15 either at the point of a rifle or a sub-machine-gun or a bayonet. The
16 reports in some places like Bijeljina, where people were put into the
17 community hall and knives were used to cut things from people. Those
18 kinds of stories -- whether that particular case is accurate or not, these
19 were the kinds of things happening. It wasn't -- the point of so-called
20 ethnic cleansing is the point of human contact, largely. I mean, some
21 people will flee because they know what's coming, and that's part of the
22 campaign, is to make people without actually forcibly removing them if you
23 can. But for the forcible removal, whether it's killing or expulsion, you
24 do it, yeah, as we would be in this room with somebody pointing something
25 at one of the others and saying, This is what you have to do.
1 Q. So therefore, the absence of heavy artillery didn't necessarily
2 mean that it would be impossible to implement some form of ethnic
4 A. No, it doesn't mean it's impossible to implement a form of ethnic
5 cleansing because it takes place at that level, where that -- where it's
6 possible to carry out that kind of action.
7 Q. And the small weaponry that could possibly assist, if not provoke
8 ethnic cleansing, would that be weapons like pistols, rifles, or rocket
10 A. It can be any kind of -- any piece of weaponry. It some cases in
11 northwestern Bosnia, armoured vehicles and tanks were blowing away houses.
12 In other cases, it could be something like a pitchfork, I guess; a knife,
13 any sort of small arms that was man-portable, that you could point at
14 somebody and say, If you don't do this, this weapon will be used against
16 MS. SELLERS: This map is already marked 367. I would ask that it
17 be tendered into evidence.
18 MR. JONES: Your Honours, we have reservations about this map for
19 the reason which has been discussed, because it shows the enclaves as a
20 contiguous territory. Notwithstanding the clarification that has been
21 offered by Dr. Gow, it appears to us that there may be confusion down the
22 line because Srebrenica was cut off, as this witness has said, and the map
23 should reflect that. Perhaps if the Prosecution could produce a new
24 version which shows that.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. In the meantime, it's going to be admitted as
1 it is, with the understanding that it's not a faithful reproduction of the
2 reality of the situation on the ground. I suppose, Ms. Sellers, you take
3 the hint of --
4 MS. SELLERS: Certainly. And we appreciate learned counsel, and
5 that's why we certainly did want to inform the Trial Chamber that there
6 had been a slight misrepresentation.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. In the meantime this is being admitted as
8 Prosecution Exhibit P367. Thank you.
9 MS. SELLERS: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. Dr. Gow, was there any action or reaction on behalf of Bosnian
11 Serbs that accompanied the military -- Serbian military preparation that
12 you earlier testified about?
13 A. There was a political dimension to the state project that involved
14 preparations through the SDS, the Serbian Democratic Party, to prepare the
15 way for takeover. In December, instructions were issued to begin
16 preparations, preparations which would involve the creation at a
17 designated point of crisis headquarters, with two operational plans,
18 depending on the particular circumstances, whether or not there was
19 already an ethnic Serbian majority in the area or whether the Serbs were
20 not in a majority.
21 Those plans would involve identification of non-Serbs who were
22 potentially politically significant to be immediately detained. It
23 included plans for creating a new Serbian government in the particular
24 municipality. It included instructions for coordinating with the security
25 centres within the Serbian-controlled territories, that is, interior
1 ministry, police, security service forces, and also for coordinating with
2 the JNA wherever possible, and for coordinating with the plans.
3 So it would be, in a sense, a political part of the strategy of
4 takeover in which the SDS-organised ethnic Serb party would take control
5 and would be relating politically and militarily to all elements within
6 the situation.
7 In line with that, already from April 1991, i.e., a year before
8 the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina and a year before the onset of
9 major armed hostilities, a process had begun of creating associations of
10 Serbian municipalities. By September 1991, this had become the
11 declaration of so-called Serbian Autonomous Regions designated sometimes,
12 when you read them, as SAOs. Those areas, and two had already been
13 created in Croatia as part of the phase of the war there, and in September
14 1991, between the 12th and the 19th, four of them were created in Bosnia
15 and Herzegovina; a fifth one was later to be created in November. These
16 were part of creating the political infrastructure to go with the
17 preparations for use of armed force to secure the takeover and control of
18 these territories as part of the project to create this Serbian state,
19 statelet, unit within, whatever it was going to be.
20 Q. Thank you. I would like you to look at the next document. It
21 also has been premarked 281, and the English version bears the ERN number
23 Dr. Gow, could you look at that document and tell the Trial
24 Chamber its relationship to these autonomous regions that you have just
25 testified about.
1 A. This is a newspaper report from the newspaper "Javnost," which
2 reports described the creation of the first of those Serbian Autonomous
3 Regions, the Serbian Autonomous Region of Herzegovina, which was declared
4 on the 12th of September. Subsequently, the Bosnian Krajina, I think it
5 was on the 14th, Semberija, or North-Eastern Bosnia, on the 17th, and
6 Sarajevo Romanija on the 19th. I might have got the order of those -- I'm
7 not entirely sure of the order off the top of my head. And then one for
8 Northern Bosnia was declared later.
9 Q. Dr. Gow, were these autonomous regions still part of Bosnia, the
10 Republic of Bosnia?
11 A. They are part of the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a
12 sovereign state that was, at that stage, still operating formally within
13 the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia -- and this is the point in
14 1991 -- and of the sovereign state of Bosnia-Herzegovina which acted
15 outside of that Socialist Federative Republic context once the dissolution
16 process had been completed.
17 The association of municipalities is something, as I understand
18 it, that was permitted, also in terms of the law. The declaration of
19 autonomous regions and so forth was kind of extralegal activity in the
20 political domain, moving towards what would ultimately be the declaration
21 of a state, the state of the Serbian people, the Republic of the Serbian
22 People in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
23 MS. SELLERS: I would ask the registrar, could we please use the
24 number that's been designated and mark this as a Prosecution exhibit.
25 THE REGISTRAR: It will be Exhibit P281.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: It is being so admitted and marked as Prosecution
2 Exhibit P281. Thank you.
3 MS. SELLERS:
4 Q. Dr. Gow, did there come a time period when the Bosnian Serbs
5 within the territory of Bosnia took other political steps in order to
6 increase their political autonomy within that territory?
7 A. Yes, they did. Again, we made some reference to some of this
8 earlier. After this period of declaration of autonomous regions in
9 September, there was a plebiscite in the so-called Serbian-controlled
10 areas in October or November, which, again, I should know this clearly but
11 I don't remember exactly off the top of my head, which was to decide to
12 assert the will of the Serbian people of these areas to remain part of
13 Federal Yugoslavia, the context also the Bosnian part, movement asserting
14 the sovereignty of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
15 By the end of 1991 and the beginning of 1992, steps were taken to
16 declare the Serbian -- the Republic of the Serbian People of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina, so a further step along that way, including that a
18 Serbian assembly had been created within that context, all parts of steps
19 moving towards the projected statehood element of the project and to
20 separating territories from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
21 Q. Might I now turn your attention to the next document in the
22 binder. It has already received the number P288. That's in the B/C/S
23 version, and the English number is 288E.
24 Dr. Gow, would you please look at the English version. I would
25 like to draw your attention to the title, but also to what appears to be
1 Article 1 of this document. Would you explain to the Trial Chamber the
2 importance of Article 1 within framing the growing political independence
3 of Bosnian Serbs on the territory.
4 A. Yes. But if I may, first of all, for the record, also point out
5 what might be another deficiency, I would say, about the translation.
6 This should actually read, on the proclamation of the Republic of the
7 Serbian People of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which is what it says in the
8 original, not the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that's a
9 distinction at least of a small kind for an academic, if not anybody else,
10 which matters, because later on there will be a change of name.
11 Article 1 makes reference to the Serbian autonomous areas, I think
12 showing the heritage as part of this -- of the stages in this plan to
13 build this Serbian statelet. And it alludes to regions in which the
14 Serbian people remained in a minority because of the genocide conducted
15 against it in the Second World War. So this is laying claim to
16 territories -- the plebiscite 9th and 10th of December, sorry, not
17 November. I wasn't sure of the date, but we have it.
18 So this is laying claim to territories where all ethnic Serbs are
19 at that moment the majority and dominant population, but also to some
20 territories where it is said, as a result of the Second World War, they
21 are no longer a majority but it's presumed would have been had things --
22 had events of the Second World War not taken place. So this is laying
23 claim to territory, and a further element in building the political
24 structure within this part of the project.
25 Q. Now would you draw your attention to Article 2 and to see how that
1 explains the relationship between this declaration, the Bosnian Serb
2 people, to the former Yugoslav Republic, or what would now be moving
3 toward dissolution. Could you please explain to the Trial Chamber that
5 A. Article 2 designates that this putative republic of the Serbian
6 people in Bosnia-Herzegovina was recognising Bosnia-Herzegovina in the
7 title, is asserting that it's part of federal -- of the federal Yugoslav
8 state. It's notable that it already is cautious in use of the term
9 "Federal Yugoslav state" because it's coming at a moment where the SFRY
10 is still in a process of dissolution. So it's kind of phrased to go
11 whichever way other events might turn. But the clear thing is that it's
12 identifying the association with the federal Yugoslav state, which
13 implicitly means with Serbia in this context.
14 Q. Dr. Gow, I would ask you to turn the page so that the Trial
15 Chamber can be informed of the date of this document.
16 A. The declaration was the 9th of January, 1992, which again, for
17 clarity on the record, in this process, was between the invitation on the
18 16th, 17th of December from the European Council to invite applications
19 for recognition of independent international personality but before the
20 advisory commission had reported back and before the European Council had
21 made decisions on the way forward.
22 Q. And the person who signed the document?
23 A. Momcilo Krajisnik has signed it as the president of the Assembly
24 of the Serbian People in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
25 MS. SELLERS: I would ask the registry, could we maintain the P
1 number, and I would ask the Trial Chamber, could we submit this document
2 into evidence.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Yes. The number will be P288.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: So this document is being admitted as Prosecution
5 Exhibit P288. Thank you.
6 MS. SELLERS:
7 Q. Dr. Gow, in furtherance to the reaction of Bosnian Serbs to the
8 dissolution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, did there
9 come a time when the Assembly of Serbian People proclaimed their
11 A. This declaration, and also later a proclamation of a constitution,
12 were put in place and were subject to a declaration of independence on or
13 around the 7th of April, 1992, at which point there was broad
14 international recognition of the independent international personality of
15 Bosnia and Herzegovina, and so this was taken as part of the plan. Now
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina's change of status had been confirmed, this part of the
17 Serbian initiative went into action, and so to declare it separate from
18 the otherwise independent state of Bosnia-Herzegovina, breaching, of
19 course, the territorial integrity and the sovereign rights of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, as would otherwise be understood.
21 Q. I would ask you now to turn to the next document in your binder.
22 It has ERN number 01367471 in the English version. The B/C/S version
24 Dr. Gow, I would really like to ask you what you have just
25 testified about concerning the independence of Bosnia, the proclamation of
1 independence of the Bosnian Serb people. Is that reflected in the
2 document that you're looking at now?
3 A. It is. This is a report from the 7th of April, 1992, noting that
4 the Serbian assembly -- the Assembly of the Serbian People in
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina had met that morning and had declared independence. It
6 also notes at the same time that the two members, Serbian members, to the
7 collective leadership in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mrs. Plavsic and
8 Dr. Koljevic, had resigned, thereby indicating withdrawal from collective
9 political processes in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10 Q. All right. Now, did the Bosnian Serb people therefore start to
11 take on a separate political identity within the territory of Bosnia at
12 this point?
13 A. I think if we were to approach that accurately, what we would say
14 is that they already had clearly been laying claim to a separate political
15 identity. That's what this story of steps from the association of
16 municipalities through to the declaration of a republic of Serbian people
17 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and so on, and through to this point. What this is
18 doing is actually say, in a way, no longer that it's part of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina, which was maintained as part of the political
20 ambiguity while Bosnia-Herzegovina was not yet recognised as having an
21 independent international personality, but now they're saying it is no
22 longer part of Bosnia-Herzegovina. At this point they're withdrawing from
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina as the state, and they are saying this is going to be a
24 separate -- this is declared as a separate entity.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MS. SELLERS: Might I ask for a P number from the registrar for
2 this document.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Yes. It will be P413.
4 THE WITNESS: We should also point out, just again to add to these
5 things, that the statement also notes that it would -- that this can or
6 will be joined in union with Serbia or with other entities in this
7 Yugoslav federation. That goes back to something I said earlier about the
8 terminology. Whether you call Great Serbia or Kadijevic's new Yugoslavia
9 or some other association of Serbian states, this here is being phrased in
10 that context, and I think "other entities" would also imply the Republic
11 of Serbian Krajina as well.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: In the meantime, this document is being admitted in
13 evidence and marked Prosecution Exhibit 413.
14 MS. SELLERS: Thank you very much.
15 Q. Dr. Gow, in continuance with our examination of the growing
16 political separation between ethnic groups within Bosnia, did there come a
17 time period when the Bosnian Serb people decided to have their own
19 A. Okay. The Serbian entity -- the Republic of the Serbian People in
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina promulgated a constitution on the 28th of February,
21 1992, putting in place the preparations, again, for the separation and the
22 declaration of a separate unit from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
23 Q. Thank you. Could I ask you to turn to the next document in your
24 binder. In the original B/C/S, it's ERN number 00359816. Dr. Gow, I'd
25 ask you to turn to the English version of that document. The ERN number
1 is 00359826.
2 Dr. Gow, I'd like to draw your attention to the title of the
4 A. Which is proclaiming the constitution of the republic -- for the
5 Serb Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the translation.
6 Q. Yes. And then I would like you to also look at Articles 1, 2, 3,
7 and 4, and if you would be so kind as to describe them and give the Trial
8 Chamber your expert opinion on what they mean in terms of the political
9 nature now of the Serbian people. I believe it's on the screen also.
10 A. It is. Article 1 indicates that we now have this Serbian Republic
11 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, or the Serbian People of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in the
12 sense that it's a state of the Serbian people and of all citizens living
13 therein. I know where this is going, so I would draw your attention to
14 the "all citizens living therein," because later on that element will be
16 Article 2, again, makes reference to the Serbian Autonomous
17 Regions, to the territorial composition of this construct, and again,
18 reference to the territories on which genocide was committed against Serb
19 people in the Second World War.
20 And Article 3, again, reiterates that it's linked to the federal
21 state of Yugoslavia. So, again, making clear that whatever the reference
22 to Bosnia-Herzegovina, it is clearly part of this federal Yugoslav
23 project, state, entity, whichever one it's going to be.
24 Q. Right. And is that also the reason that Article 6 states that the
25 citizens of the republic have citizenship in the republic and of
2 A. Yes, that would be the case.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MS. SELLERS: Your Honours, I would also ask that this be given a
5 number by the registrar, and I would like to submit this constitution into
6 evidence for the Prosecution.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the number will be P414.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: So this document, Ms. Sellers, is being admitted in
9 evidence and marked as Prosecution Exhibit P414. Thank you.
10 MS. SELLERS: Thank you.
11 Q. Dr. Gow, moving along, I'd like to turn your attention to the next
12 document in the binder, an Official Gazette. In B/C/S the number is
13 00897223. In English, the ERN is 0048063.
14 Dr. Gow, might I draw your attention, in the English version, to
15 the date of this document, and please explain to the Trial Chamber what
16 the document is.
17 A. We saw before the 28th of February constitution of the Republic of
18 the Serbian People in Bosnia-Herzegovina, this is the constitution --
19 revised constitution of this entity from the 17th of December, 1992. You
20 will note the name has been changed from the Republic of the Serbian
21 People of Bosnia-Herzegovina to the constitution of the Republika Srpska,
22 first of all.
23 If you move down to Article 1, you'll note that the
24 Republika Srpska is the state of the Serb people. In the February
25 constitution, I pointed out the reference to "and all citizens therein."
1 That has been removed.
2 If you move further, you look at the continuing consistency of a
3 kind within Article 2 the territory consists of the regions of the Serb
4 ethnic entities, still noting the regions of genocide, and giving the
5 authority to change borders and status only to the Serb people through a
7 And in Article 3, you get the continuing reference to being part
8 of the federal state of Yugoslavia. So by now there's been a complete
9 declaration of independence, there's a new constitution which clearly and
10 unambiguously identifies the ethnic Serb character of this policy, that
11 continues to assert a link to a federal Yugoslavia, which is in clear
12 contrast to the declaration of independence from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MS. SELLERS: I would ask the registrar also, could we have a
15 number for the document for the Prosecution, and then I would ask the
16 Trial Chamber to tender it.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the number will be P415.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: So this document, Ms. Sellers, is being admitted
19 into evidence and marked as Prosecution Exhibit P415.
20 MS. SELLERS: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. Dr. Gow, throughout this time period, meaning from the spring of
22 1992, throughout 1992 until the end, was the hostility, the armed conflict
23 or the fighting relating to the declaration of war in Bosnia and
24 Herzegovina continuing?
25 A. Yes. The armed conflict continued from the starting point in
1 March/April 1992 through until November 199 -- possibly in some kind of
2 small ways beyond, but to the end of November 1995.
3 Q. And did the Bosnian government continue to structure, consolidate,
4 and form armed forces that it was using to defend its territorial
5 integrity during 1992?
6 A. It did. We discussed earlier the initial turning to the
7 Territorial Defence system, the declaration of forming an army, the later
8 new declaration of forming an army. It was an evolving situation in which
9 the Bosnian authorities were trying to create an armed force to -- that
10 would serve their purposes and interests as they sought to combat the
11 Serbian and, at times, Croatian campaigns to compromise Bosnia's
12 territorial integrity. That was an evolution which was affected by the
13 relative absence of certain categories of weapons a lot of the time; it
14 was affected by political factors at times; and it's one which I think
15 that, even by that point, at the end of 1995, was probably not complete.
16 Q. Could I please ask you to look at the next document in the binder,
17 and it's already been premarked P279. The English version has been
18 marked P279E.
19 Dr. Gow, could you please tell the Trial Chamber, is this document
20 related to your testimony that you've just given concerning the continuing
21 formation of the Bosnian army?
22 A. It is. It relates to a decision in August 1992 formally, having
23 declared an army previously, formally to declare the organisational
24 structure for that army, indicating that there would be five corps
25 operating in the five different regions with Bosnia-Herzegovina, with
1 their command in the places indicated on the map here -- indicated in the
2 list here.
3 Q. Right. And the list that you're referring to, is that the list of
4 places that one finds on the subsequent page of the document as shown on
5 the sanctions, or are you referring to the list of the different corps?
6 A. I'm looking at the list of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th Corps,
7 which is identified underneath the decision on that forming of corps of
8 the army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the zones of
9 responsibility and subordination. This is about attempting to give formal
10 structure to the armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina and consolidating some
11 of the arrangements which have been emerging in this period.
12 Q. If you'd please turn to the next page of that document, and midway
13 through the first half of the document, it refers to now the different
14 geographical locations of the corps of the army. Would you please
15 indicate for the Trial Chamber whether Srebrenica is located in the
16 2nd Corps, not according to the document?
17 A. The document indicates that within the 2nd Corps area of
18 responsibility Srebrenica is one of the municipalities.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MS. SELLERS: I would ask that we use the P number assigned. I
21 would ask that this also be able to be tendered into evidence.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: P279.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, I can confirm it will be P279.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, that's correct. So this document is being
25 admitted and marked as Prosecution Exhibit P279. Thank you.
1 Whenever it's convenient for you, Ms. Sellers, we have got another
2 two minutes. It's up to you.
3 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, I would like to say that I could
4 complete in two minutes, but to be very honest, I think I do need another
5 15 minutes, and so I think it might be more beneficial to continue
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Since I'm not feeling well at all, we'll send
8 me home a little bit earlier.
9 THE WITNESS: You can send me home a little earlier too.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I am deteriorating from minute to minute, actually.
11 I'm really feeling unwell.
12 The sitting is adjourned until tomorrow morning at 9.00. Are we
13 sitting in the same courtroom or in another courtroom tomorrow? Same
14 courtroom. Okay.
15 Thank you, Dr. Gow. May I just remind you that you're not to
16 communicate with anyone. You know what the rule is. I thank you.
17 We'll reconvene at tomorrow morning at 9.00. Thank you.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.44 p.m.,
20 to be reconvened on Tuesday, 23 November 2004,
21 at 9.00 a.m.