1 Monday, 3 November 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.15 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Lord Owen, would you stand, please, to take the
8 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
9 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
10 JUDGE MAY: Thank you very much.
11 WITNESS: DAVID OWEN
12 JUDGE MAY: Lord Owen, we have your statement, for which we're
13 grateful, and we've had the opportunity to read it. We understand that
14 you do not wish to make an additional statement, in which case, the
15 procedure will be as follows: That the Prosecution will begin by asking
16 questions. There will be a limit on the time which is available to them.
17 They will be followed by the accused. He will have slightly longer. And
18 finally, the amicus will have the opportunity to ask questions for a short
19 period. I hope very much that that should all be completed tomorrow
20 morning at a relatively early hour.
21 I understand your private secretary is in court to assist with the
23 Mr. Nice.
24 Questioned by Mr. Nice:
25 Q. Lord Owen, I don't intend to ask you very many questions about
1 your statement because, of course, it's self-explanatory. It, like your
2 book, are before us, and we're grateful to you for coming to give evidence
3 to enable them to be before us as documents of record.
4 If I can begin with something of an overview of your position. I
5 think it is that you would say that the accused was to some degree
6 committed to the peace process following the failure of the Vance-Owen
7 Peace Plan.
8 A. Well, the Vance-Owen Peace Plan was a -- the first detailed peace
9 plan to be presented, one of arguably four or five, and I think the --
10 Mr. Milosevic did show that he wanted the Vance-Owen Peace Plan to
11 succeed, both leading up to the meeting at Athens and then when he went
12 with the Prime Minister of Greece and the president of Yugoslavia and
13 president of Montenegro to the Bosnian Serb Assembly in Pale.
14 Q. It's undoubtedly the case, and you make this absolutely clear,
15 that both you and the accused had invested a great deal in that plan,
16 although, as I think you say, for different reasons, or potentially for
17 different reasons.
18 A. Yes. I think obviously Mr. Vance and I were -- had only one
19 objective, which was to bring peace as soon as it possibly could come, to
20 try and stop the ethnic cleansing that was continuing, and the wanton loss
21 of life that was occurring. I think it needs to be remembered that we
22 were negotiating almost the whole time while wars were raging, which is
23 perhaps one of the most unattractive aspects of the whole affair and,
24 personally extremely testing and difficult for both Mr. Vance and then
25 later Mr. Stoltenberg and myself.
1 Q. From time to time I'd like to refer to passages in your statement.
2 MR. NICE: Your Honours, I'm concerned not to interrupt the
3 testimony by having the usher putting documents unnecessarily on the
4 overhead projector. If Lord Owen could have a copy of his statement
5 before him - I know you've got it - and if I read out a passage which is
6 fairly short, it may be that it doesn't need to go on the overhead
7 projector, but I'm entirely in the Court's hands.
8 JUDGE MAY: Since this is the first time it's been referred to in
9 evidence, I think we should have an exhibit number for the statement and
10 the appendices attached to it. They can be exhibited together as a court
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, Chamber Exhibit 16.
13 MR. NICE:
14 Q. Lord Owen, if you'd be good enough, please, to go to page 3 of
15 your own statement. In the middle of that page, in the middle of the
16 second paragraph, you said this: "I believe it was a massive mistake by
17 President Milosevic not to use his undoubted power to impose on his fellow
18 Serbs in Bosnia those same settlements and had he done so it would have
19 been in the best interests of the Serbian people as a whole."
20 Does that part of your statement reflect your understanding that
21 he had the power at that time to impose on his fellow Serbs had he chosen
22 to do so?
23 A. I believe that he did have that power, but I know at times he felt
24 that didn't, but certainly I think his power over the Bosnian Serbs and
25 the Croatian Serbs were -- was strong at the time that the Vance-Owen
1 Peace Plan began to develop its momentum, really, from January 1993 until
2 May of 1993.
3 Thereafter, I think it's open to question how much power he had.
4 I would still maintain he did actually have the power to impose a
5 settlement, but there was no doubt there was much more resistance and
6 there were more independent sources of power in the Bosnian Serbs'
7 structure, particularly General Mladic, but also President Karadzic and
8 Mr. Krajisnik.
9 Q. We'll perhaps look at the next part of the chronology a little
10 later, but at this stage of seeking your assistance on some general
11 topics, do you accept that the accused was someone who was capable of
12 telling untruths and attempting to mislead people when it suited him?
13 A. Yes. I must also add that that was not a feature unique to him.
14 There was practically nobody we negotiated with who you could rely on to
15 be telling you the truth. It's one of the saddest aspects of the whole of
16 the negotiation throughout the former Yugoslavia, and it is important to
17 remember that our remit from the International Conference covered not just
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina but all aspects of the former Yugoslavia. But I don't
19 think that one could also say that in the discussions that we had with him
20 personally it was a marked feature of it, a lack of the truth. There was
21 a certain pretence going on in this whole discussion. I think the Court
22 is aware of this, but just does need to be understood. I mean, this was a
23 war of secession, it was war of -- civil war, and it was a war of
24 aggression. There were many complex aspects of it throughout. And one
25 has to remember that, for example, both, as he then was, President
1 Milosevic and the late President Tudjman did not really accept that -- the
2 decisions of the international community to recognise either
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina or the various other decisions. And so it was
4 commonplace for them to deny that their troops or their military had
5 anything to do with the Bosnian Serbs or, in the case of President
6 Tudjman, the Croatian Serbs.
7 Now, you could call that a lie, but that was, in a sense, just
8 fulfilling their obligations to the structure in which they found
9 themselves. They didn't accept the structure. They didn't believe that
10 they had any reason not to be operating across what they considered to be
11 the tranches of the regions of the former Yugoslavia.
12 Now, that was a complex question that we had to deal with all the
13 time. So there was a certain amount of knowingly lying, if you like.
14 It's not quite the same as a straight lie. I knew that they could not use
15 language other than to accept the fact that Bosnia-Herzegovina was an
16 independent country. I didn't mean to say that they agreed with it.
17 So there was a certain amount. I have a lot of other examples.
18 So I just want to qualify, the word "lie" is rather a savage word to use,
19 and at times it was used more in form rather than substance, put it that
20 way. But there was also serious lying about what was going on.
21 Q. Yes. And of course with all these people with whom it was your
22 fortune, good or bad, to negotiate, when they're thinking one thing and
23 saying another, you have to look sometimes to their actions to decide what
24 they're really thinking.
25 A. Yes. I think that's the best way to form your own judgements.
1 Actions speak louder than words.
2 Q. Yes. Could we, in your statement, turn briefly to Annex A. And,
3 Lord Owen, you'll find in the top right-hand corner some handwritten
4 registry numbers which are sometimes the easiest numbers to use, and it's
5 24829. If yours doesn't have those numbers in handwriting, I'll find it
6 for you in another way. It's the notes of the 24th of April.
7 A. My annex?
8 Q. Yes, your Annex A, and it's one, two, three, four, five, six,
9 seven -- and the usher is bringing it to you. Thank you very much. And
10 then it's the second page of that document and it's in the middle of the
12 A. Yes, the Report to the European Community Foreign Ministers.
13 Q. Yes, I think.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. It's the paragraph that begins in this way: "There is also an
16 added risk that the JA may get involved openly, particularly if the
17 Croatians threaten Eastern Slavonia. Although it is not certain that
18 Belgrade is yet ready for such involvement it could, however, get carried
19 along on the tide. When challenged about recent JA involvement in Eastern
20 Bosnia, Cosic, Milosevic, and Bulatovic denied it, but they knew that I
21 knew that they were involved."
22 Now, this is an example of the type of lie you've been telling us
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Sorry. If you're uncomfortable with the word "lie" I'll use
1 another one, but an untruth --
2 A. Yes, that's exactly the sort of example. I think, in fairness, I
3 think somewhere in my book I said that I thought that when I first gave
4 very detailed information about JA - Yugoslav Army - involvement, I was
5 not quite sure that President Cosic actually did know how much they'd been
6 involved, but I suspect he knew some aspects of it.
7 Q. And of course the underlying reality here is of the accused's
8 having knowledge of and influence or control over troops that were
9 operating elsewhere than in Serbia.
10 A. Yes. I mean, that was one of the reasons that sanctions were put
11 on Serbia and Montenegro in 1992, because it was felt that -- by the UN
12 Security Council that troops had been withdrawn from Croatia through
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina and had been deliberately left in Bosnia. I think one
14 has to admit that of the JA army, the majority of people who served were
15 people who were of Bosnian origin originally. After all, we have to
16 remember that a significant number of Serbs had lived in the region of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina under the former Yugoslavia.
18 Q. And incidentally, I'm grateful to Mr. Vallieres-Roland for
19 pointing out that your reservation about President Cosic is to be found on
20 page 148 of your book.
21 A. Thank you.
22 Q. You make references, and I haven't immediately got the place to
23 hand but you'll recall it, to the accused acting like a drug baron is a
24 reference you make at some stage. Just lest we should misunderstand that
25 reference, perhaps you could, in a sentence or so, just clarify that for
2 A. This was totally, I think, in the context of financial dealings
3 and the arrangements that were made in Cyprus with the Serbian Montenegrin
4 government. After all, they were under quite -- well, they were meant to
5 be serious sanctions. It's arguable how much they were operating, but the
6 initial sanctions package was not a financial package, it was dealing with
7 trade, and they had put a lot of their financial operations through Cyprus
8 and other offshore places. This made it very difficult for us, of course,
9 to bear down on them, and it was my strong belief that we would not get
10 the Vance-Owen Peace Plan accepted unless there was the threat of further
12 So the negotiations that were taking place in April, in
13 particular, and early May but particularly in April, were geared to the
14 Security Council decision to implement financial sanctions which, in my
15 view, had been delayed far too long. But nevertheless, there was a window
16 of opportunity for President Milosevic, as he then was, in particular to
17 bring to bear pressure on the Bosnian Serbs so that if they had agreed the
18 Vance-Owen Peace Plan in Bijeljina by that evening - and we got a special
19 dispensation to go over into the early hours of the next morning - then
20 the financial sanctions of the Security Council would not have applied.
21 And I believe that was a considerable pressure to focus his mind on the
22 need for urgent decision, and it was in those discussions - I think it was
23 on a Sunday in April - in Belgrade that he did persuade, with President
24 Cosic, I think perhaps President Bulatovic, but certainly it was mainly
25 President Milosevic brought to bear pressure on Karadzic and Krajisnik to
1 go to Bijeljina and support the Vance-Owen Peace Plan. And had that been
2 successful, and I believe that President Milosevic did believe at that --
3 when we said good-bye to them sort of just before lunch, that the Assembly
4 would accept it, and that would have meant that sanctions, financial
5 sanctions, would not have applied against the Serbian Montenegro. It was
6 one of the few examples in which the Security Council used the threat of
7 sanctions in an intelligent way to encourage the diplomatic negotiations.
8 Q. Thank you. I may come back to that if time allows, but just this
9 then by way of general observation: At the time you wrote your book, you
10 had had no access to intelligence source material from the British
11 government or, I think, from other governments.
12 A. I make it clear in my evidence that I never saw any transcripts of
13 conversations that might have taken place between President Milosevic or
14 President Cosic and JNA commanders or the leaders of the Bosnian Serbs,
15 nor had I seen any transcripts of discussions that might or might not have
16 taken place between JNA commanders and General Mladic or Bosnian Serb
17 political leaders.
18 It's difficult to question to say now. Did that mean that I had
19 no access to intelligence information? I had on my staff a military
20 advisor, General Messervy Whiting, and I knew that when he told me things
21 it was almost certainly based on more information than I had, and
22 therefore, I took it as being an authentic source of information, some of
23 which would have been gained from intelligence grounds. So this was in a
24 way a helpful -- helpful for me to have, and I shared that information
25 with Mr. Vance and then later with Mr. Stoltenberg. So there was an
1 access point into intelligence information. But I never had -- and I
2 don't complain about that; I was an EU negotiator, I was not a
3 representative of the British government. I never had the same access to
4 intelligence communication and things which I would have had in the past
5 when I was Foreign Secretary.
6 Q. A last preliminary: Do you accept the general proposition that
7 it's difficult or impossible to understand the overall history without the
8 background of Kosovo and without the attitude of the accused to Kosovo in
10 A. Yes. I think it is very difficult to, and I think I have to make
11 it pretty clear, and it will not come as a surprise to Mr. Milosevic to
12 say, that though I am prepared to say that on the negotiations over these
13 specific plans he was helpful, on Kosovo we ran into a brick wall, and he
14 was not ready to concede very much, put it this way. I think sometimes we
15 got more out of him, Mr. Vance and I and then Mr. Stoltenberg and I, than
16 probably anybody else on Kosovo, but he resented the fact that we would
17 raise the subject.
18 Again, our remit from the International Conference went for Kosovo
19 issues. It didn't just restrict itself to Bosnia or to Croatia. And Mr.
20 Milosevic did not like having this discussion, and he was not as helpful,
21 to say the least, on this area as he was in some other areas. And I think
22 that one of the reasons for that was it was a very sensitive issue. I
23 think it went to the source of his power base in Belgrade and in the
24 former Yugoslavia. But he was quite clear, and of course so was the
25 international community, that Kosovo was part of Serbia, and therefore we
1 had to operate within that international reality. That was what we were
2 faced with. But nevertheless, the measure of autonomy that we were trying
3 to persuade him to give up - to give back, you could argue - to the Kosovo
4 Albanians was an essential element of bringing peace in the region as a
5 whole. And lurking over all of our negotiations was the fear that there
6 would be an outbreak of violence in Kosovo that would spread out through
7 the rest of the former Yugoslavia and indeed even possibly involve
8 neighbouring countries.
9 So it is true to say that I don't think from the moment I took
10 office to the moment I left, which was just under three years, there was
11 any time where Kosovo was not a massive issue for me personally,
12 intellectually, and in other ways. And I also spent a great deal of time
13 over it. I must say not -- to very little effect. Mr. Stoltenberg went
14 to some considerable effort to try and involve President Milosevic, as he
15 then was, in direct talks with Mr. Rugova, and at one time we thought we
16 had achieved a dialogue on this, and there was some dialogue, but it was
17 never an issue on which we made anywhere near the progress that we were
18 making in terms of implementing the initial Vance proposals over Croatia
19 or for Bosnia-Herzegovina.
20 Q. I've voluntarily limited the time I'm going to ask you questions
21 to a couple of hours, so there may be occasions where I'll ask you to be
22 comparatively concise in answers, but it's true, isn't it, in your
23 statement at pages 12 and then 8 -- the penultimate line on page 12 you
24 refer, in reference to Kosovo, to the accused being sensitive to an area
25 where this was the most indefensible behaviour. In your judgement, what
1 was his most indefensible behaviour in relation to Kosovo?
2 A. There were not basic freedoms for the Kosovo Albanians that should
3 have been there in any country. They were a minority overall in Serbia
4 and Montenegro, or in, prior to that, in the former Yugoslavia, but he had
5 taken away their measure of autonomy that was given by President Tito, and
6 there was an extraordinary situation.
7 When I first visited Kosovo, there was a completely parallel
8 education system that had sprung up, and there were many aspects of a
9 divided society in which the Kosovo Albanians refused to cooperate with
10 the Serb authorities and they did not feel that they had any of the basic
11 human rights.
12 Q. And finally on this topic under the heading that one has to see
13 the backdrop of Kosovo behind all these allegations against the accused,
14 on page 8, you found it worth observing - again on the foot of the page -
15 that the picture of support for moderation changed geographically in the
16 south of Serbia "... where support for Milosevic was strong and where the
17 proximity of the 'Albanian threat' fuelled nationalist sentiment."
18 Is that part of the same overall picture that it's helpful to have
19 in mind?
20 A. Yes, "the Albanian threat" is in inverted commas but it's
21 shorthand for a rather complex issue.
22 Q. Yes.
23 A. But there is no doubt that on the issue of Kosovo, for a very
24 substantial period, maybe the entire period in which he held office, that
25 President Milosevic spoke for the majority of Serb opinion. I mean, that
1 was our problem, that many of these nationalist views which may have been
2 objectionable, and were indeed objectionable to many of us from outside
3 the former Yugoslavia, were nevertheless popular sentiment, and the
4 feeling that the Albanians -- the Kosovo Albanians were somehow not to be
5 trusted, not to be given their basic freedoms, was fairly widespread
6 amongst particularly the constituency to which Mr. Milosevic was appealing
7 and that's on which he rose to power. He understood that rather earlier
8 than some of us fellow communist leaders at the time.
9 Q. Coming back to how it is that your judgements were assisted only
10 to a limited extent by intelligence, the indirect method that you've
11 spoken of, of course you could only make your judgements on the basis of
12 information coming to you, and it would be right, would it, to say that
13 you were unaware at the time of starting your task that the accused and
14 Tudjman may have already entered into an agreement over the partition of
16 A. It was commonplace throughout the region for these allegations to
17 be made. So I was not unaware of the fact that this meeting was meant to
18 take place and the fact that a meeting was sometimes denied and exactly
19 what may or may not have been. But on this particular aspect of carving
20 up, to use a rather tough word, of the former Yugoslavia, former President
21 Tudjman was not the slightest bit ashamed or secretive. I mean, he made
22 absolutely clear to everybody who talked to him that he believed that a
23 substantial part of Bosnia-Herzegovina should be attached to Croatia, and
24 he didn't accept that Bosnia-Herzegovina should be made into an
25 independent country, and he took the view -- whereas Mr. Milosevic was --
1 spent less time on this issue, to be blunt, no doubt had pretty similar
2 views, but he didn't talk about it as much. He's more pragmatic. The
3 difference between the two men was very evident; one was much more
4 ideological and one was pragmatic.
5 Q. I'm just trying to find the annex I'm looking for. I think it's
6 in our document. I'll just find it. There's a document which they signed
7 effectively saying that there had been no document. Are you familiar with
8 that document?
9 A. Yes, I am familiar with that document. That was in April -- no,
10 it was in July, in Geneva.
11 Q. July, 1993. We can find it at Annex C of the documents that the
12 Prosecution has put in.
13 MR. NICE: May those documents be given a separate exhibit number
14 for good order?
15 JUDGE MAY: Are they documents which have been exhibited before?
16 MR. NICE: No, they haven't been separately exhibited. They came
17 as a filing pursuant to a court order.
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
19 MR. NICE: And they are in, I think, three annexes. They are
20 extracts from the witness's book and one or two other documents.
21 JUDGE MAY: Very well. They can have a Court number.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, Chamber Exhibit 17.
23 MR. NICE: And on this occasion, if the usher be good enough to
24 place --
25 JUDGE MAY: If the registrar would come up for a moment.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 [Trial Chamber and the registrar confer]
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
3 MR. NICE:
4 Q. We see here the declaration of the 17th of July, 1993, signed by
5 the accused and late President Tudjman, saying: "All speculations about a
6 partition of Bosnia and Herzegovina between Croatia and Serbia are
7 entirely unfounded." And there's a draft of the document that can be seen
8 on the following page.
9 That's the document you recall, is it not, Lord Owen?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And I don't know if you've been following the trial or have heard
12 or reviewed at all the evidence that's been given either by President
13 Mesic or, more recently, by Ante Markovic about the meeting at
15 A. No, I haven't.
16 Q. But if the Chamber in due course finds that there was a meeting
17 where partition was agreed, then this document is an example of a
18 straightforward untruth, isn't it?
19 A. Yes, it would be. But in reporting the meeting of the 17th of
20 July in COREU which I think you put in as evidence --
21 Q. Yes.
22 A. -- you notice I just said, "The statement issued after the meeting
23 follows." I think I treated it in that way; I didn't consider it to be a
24 serious document.
25 Q. Your judgement about the actions of the accused had to take into
1 account the August 1994 and onward blockade. Now, as to that, I think you
2 yourself had some doubts as to whether it was being honoured. If we look
3 at your statement at page 33 - and again it happens to be at the foot of
4 the page - you say this following on a passage where you found no evidence
5 that Belgrade was supplying oil, but you then say: "I assumed that
6 Milosevic was from September 1994 onwards ensuring that key items of
7 equipment and logistical support got through to General Mladic, if for no
8 other reason than to keep Mladic apart from Karadzic and as a potential
10 Lord Owen, we've had quite a lot of evidence already about the
11 genuine nature or otherwise of the blockade, but can you help us with the
12 material coming to you at the time you formed this judgement to the effect
13 that at least key items were finding their way through?
14 A. I never had any evidence, and that's why I used the word
15 "assumed." You have to remember that this was an extremely complex -- the
16 world presented this decision as a total embargo on goods transshipping
17 into Bosnia-Herzegovina, but that was actually never what President
18 Milosevic, as he then was, had promised. He'd promised to ban certain
19 goods and to keep humanitarian goods. But as far as we were concerned, by
20 far the most important one was oil. Ammunition was also, of course,
21 covered, but probably the Bosnian Serb army had sufficient ammunition.
22 They also had a capacity to manufacture weapons within Bosnia, as indeed
23 all three parties had.
24 So a lot of nonsense was talked about weapons and ammunition and
25 whether -- on either side. But I have a suspicion that the most important
1 thing that he was trying to do -- not a suspicion, he made it pretty
2 clear, is he was trying to pressurise Karadzic and Krajisnik to agree to
3 what was then the Contact Group plan. We had now moved way on beyond
4 negotiators like myself or Mr. Vance or Mr. Stoltenberg. We were into a
5 plan put down by the major governments of the world; the United States,
6 the UK, France, Germany, and the United States of America. And still we
7 couldn't get -- we were not pressurising on the West, but we were
8 pressurising President Milosevic. And he did agree that this added
9 pressure of trying to reduce the amount of oil going to the Bosnian Serbs.
10 But you have to put yourself in his position. He wasn't about to ensure
11 that they were defeated in war.
12 Q. We'll have to come to his position later, and in particular in
13 relation to Srebrenica, but just dealing with this general topic, you may
14 not have been aware of a national Assembly session held in Sanski Most on
15 the 16th of April of 1995, where General Mladic gave an account of the
16 degree of assistance that he'd had from the VJ. Were you aware of that
17 particular session?
18 A. I wasn't, but --
19 Q. And where he spoke that -- the Chamber's heard it and I needn't
20 trouble with you an exhibit that's familiar to the Chamber. It's Exhibit
21 427, tab 54, where he spoke of infantry ammunition in terms of thousands
22 of tons and of which 42 per cent was supplied by the Yugoslav army,
23 artillery ammunition 34 per cent provided, matters that of sort.
24 Now, does that level of support come as a surprise to you if it's
1 A. Was that between September 1994 and --
2 Q. And onwards, yes.
3 A. -- those quantities came across.
4 Q. Yes.
5 A. I'm surprised, but we never knew. It was extremely difficult.
6 You have to remember what was -- we were asked to do this mission by
7 various governments, and we did it with, I think at the most ever 200-plus
8 men, total inadequate facilities, one of the most difficult borders
9 between Serbia and Montenegro that you could possibly ask, and we were
10 never sure how much was going across the Drina, we were never sure whether
11 they were ferrying at night, whether there was even a tunnel under the
12 Drina. We didn't know whether the lorries that were humanitarian -- we
13 tried to have them inspected by UNHCRs and our own people independently,
14 but we were doing our best in very difficult circumstances. But of the
15 fact that it seemed to have some effect on oil, at one stage oil came to
16 the Bosnian Serbs from Croatia, at the connivance of the Croatian
17 government. So you were into a pretty messy business.
18 Q. Yes. And --
19 A. I -- I mean, I simply don't know how much, but I never had any
20 illusion myself that some supplies were getting through.
21 Q. Just to round this off, there was a meeting, we may turn to it for
22 other purposes later, but it was after you were out of office, at
23 Dobanovci, on the 25th of August, and it's 469, tab 20, but again I
24 needn't trouble you with it. It's a meeting of the accused and various
25 other senior FRY officials, in the course of which, from stenographic
1 notes, the accused was reported as saying - and it's on page 11 of the
2 document - that the blockade was merely a formality and that aid flowed
3 daily. That rather fits with your suspicions and you wouldn't be
4 surprised to have learnt that from his lips at that time?
5 A. No. Of course he didn't tell me that. He said that it was being
6 religiously followed, I mean scrupulously followed, but I don't really too
7 much want to get - if the Court will allow me - into commenting on issues
8 that took place when I was not holding the office of an EU negotiator
9 but --
10 Q. Of course.
11 A. -- I made it clear one of the reasons why I wanted to have
12 interdiction from the air of Bosnian Serb army supply lines was that I
13 believe we would never get real pressure on them until we disrupted this
14 linkage between Serbia and Bosnia. And I argued at every level throughout
15 my period in office that the only one way we could get to use legitimate
16 UN peacemaking pressure was to move on from the no-fly zone to the
17 implementation of the no-fly zone and that was to take out targets on the
18 -- which would have meant roads, bridges, and other supply lines,
19 railways, so as to impede the flow of supplies - ammunition, and other
20 things - from the JNA to the Bosnian Serb army. After all, these people
21 had been colonels and generals together. They had very close links.
22 General Mladic with various generals in the JNA, and there was no doubt
23 that this was going on.
24 I didn't know, as I've told you already, how much President
25 Milosevic was authorising this, turning a blind eye to it, or
1 masterminding it. I had to deal with the situation as I confronted them
2 around the negotiating table. That was our problem. But we were not
3 naive. We knew that oil was coming in -- I mean, at one time oil was
4 coming in when there were sanctions meant to be applied into Montenegro in
5 Bar. And the sanctions were being broken all the time. Oil sanctions
6 were meant to apply to Serbia but oil was flowing across from the former
7 Yugoslavia and the Republic of Macedonia, and we could -- we had UN
8 monitors on the hills counting the oil trucks going from Montenegro into
9 Serbia and counting the number of railway trucks with oil that were going
10 through. And it was not too far in the imagination to believe that having
11 came into Serbia, they were going then into Bosnia. And at one stage we
12 knew and indeed accepted that oil was going through Bosnia - this was the
13 time when there was the restriction from September 1994 - to the Croats,
14 to the Croatian Serbs. But this we again tried to have -- monitor those
15 oil lorries and have tachographs and a variety of different things to try
16 and ensure that it was not loaded off into the Bosnian Serbs.
17 But --
18 Q. There's a limit to how efficient that could be because they could
19 do it in the middle of the night.
20 A. Exactly, and they could fill it up with water and go out. There
21 were all sorts of devices which were possible to do it. Nevertheless, was
22 this a pressure on Karadzic and Krajisnik and Mladic during this period?
23 And I think it was one of the pressures, but it was not enough. And that
24 was my problem with President Milosevic, is it was fine to be talking and
25 helping in some respects on negotiating front in a negotiating room, but
1 that was not enough. He was in charge of a government that could put real
2 serious pressure on them to stop doing what they were doing, to stop
3 shelling Sarajevo, to stop interfering with humanitarian convoys, to stop
4 ethnic cleansing.
5 Now, my problem was that I couldn't even persuade the Western
6 governments to bring this pressure. But I remain of the view that if we
7 had, after Pale, the rejection of the Vance-Owen Peace Plan, that we had
8 interdicted the Bosnian Serb army supply lines, and I think we could have
9 had support in Serbia and Montenegro for this to be done, that if
10 President Milosevic had either done it himself or acquiesced in our doing
11 it, then we would have brought peace to Bosnia two years earlier with
12 massive saving of life --
13 Q. Yes.
14 A. -- and much reduced ethnic cleansing.
15 Q. Lord Owen, we'll be touching that topic again before very long.
16 A word or so first, however, about the accused's influence over or
17 control of the JA, as you notate it. Just as with sanctions, this is
18 something that you could never know about. You could guess about, you
19 could infer about, but ultimately that issue may be for others and, so far
20 as necessary, this Court.
21 A couple of tiny points -- not tiny points. Your book reveals how
22 it was that -- your statement, how it was that the accused appointed
23 Mladic and also appointed Mrksic. Do you remember those two facts?
24 A. Yes. I suppose they are facts. I hope they are. I worked on an
25 assumption. The indication, the evidence I had for it was again by word
1 of mouth that I made that assertion in the book and I believed it. I
2 acted as if I believed that was the case. I hope it's correct.
3 Q. Thank you very much. On the same topic, and briefly, at page 4 of
4 your statement and about a third of the way down the page, you say
5 this: "The FRY and the Governments of Serbia and Montenegro always
6 claimed, however implausible at times, that they did not control Serb
7 forces in Bosnia or in Croatia but that they were ready to use their good
9 It's clear from the way you write that that you were satisfied
10 that they indeed could control them.
11 A. Yes. I've made it quite clear that I think the Bosnian Serb army
12 could not have survived it's fight from the moment that Bosnia-Herzegovina
13 was recognised as an independent country by the Security Council if they
14 had not been supported by the former Yugoslavia. And if those -- if that
15 support had been cut off, if when President Milosevic, as he then was,
16 President Cosic and President Bulatovic had gone to Pale and had told them
17 that if you do not agree to this, then there will be no supplies crossing
18 the Drina or in any way at all, you will be completely cut off, I believe
19 they would have signed up for the Vance-Owen Peace Plan.
20 But I have to say to you that whereas I was spending my time
21 urging Mr. Milosevic to effectively impose a peace settlement, I was also
22 encouraging the Western governments to impose a peace settlement, and they
23 had ruled out the imposition of a peace settlement, and the then US
24 Secretary of State, in his statement of February 1993, having just
25 recently taken office, made it clear that there couldn't be in principle
1 an imposition of a peace settlement. So the Western world was operating
2 on the basis that around this table were rational, reasonable men who
3 could come to a negotiated settlement, and they were being told by their
4 negotiators there's no way these people will come to a negotiated
5 settlement unless you put pressure on them and serious pressure which must
6 not exclude the use of military force.
7 Now, the pressure could have come from and should have come from
8 President Milosevic and Serbia in the interests of Serbs, but it also
9 should have come from the West.
10 Q. Lord Owen, you will appreciate that it's not our function, and I
11 wouldn't even presume to enter into a debate about the political process.
12 We can accept that you feel severely let down by what happened in the
13 early part of 1993, but of course at the end of the exercise,
14 responsibility for what happens lies with the actors on the ground,
15 doesn't it, even if there had been shortcomings by international
17 A. Yes. I think the responsibility is a shared responsibility but I
18 think that the greatest responsibility were the people who had lived in
19 the former Yugoslavia to have behaved differently, and there is no way
20 that you can use the delay over getting a negotiated peace settlement --
21 and of course it was eventually imposed in August, July and September of
22 1995. There is no excuse for what was done to their fellow countrymen, if
23 you like, in the various ways which the Court hears. So I don't say this
24 in any way whatever to act as justification or as explanation of their
1 Q. Keeping an eye on the time and the number of questions I have left
2 to ask, very briefly, in the nature of things, paramilitaries are less
3 well documented and less visible than perhaps other groups. You express,
4 on page 10 of your statement, a view about Arkan whom you seem to put in
5 the category of a paramilitary. You were satisfied that paramilitary
6 groups were acting and they were acting out of Serbia?
7 A. The view I took about Arkan I took when I was a private
8 individual, before I took this office, and I had said publicly that I
9 considered some of what was being done then in 1991 and 1992 outrageous.
10 And it was -- so I'm really taking a view I took of somebody before I took
11 the pledge, so to speak, to be impartial.
12 But you could not be neutral over war crimes or crimes against
13 humanity, and that was one of the difficulties that we faced as
14 negotiators. We tried to separate the two out, but you have to remember
15 that I recommended that this Court, with Mr. Vance, should be established.
16 And we also recommended that we should stay outside this process, although
17 of course every member of the ICFY were under instructions to give any
18 evidence to the court, once it was established, on these questions and to
19 try to concentrate on our prime task, which was to bring the parties in
20 some way to an agreement amongst themselves.
21 Q. As to the police, you had experience or knowledge of the incident
22 covered on page 9 of your statement where the Serbian police raided the
23 Federal Interior Ministry building. Cosic reacted in a way that you found
24 to be more responsible, but nobody was brought to book.
25 That reflected in your judgement, did it, the accused's control
1 over the police and his ability to let them off?
2 A. At that time, relations between President Cosic and President
3 Milosevic were extremely bad. This was public knowledge that this raid
4 had taken place. It was described in a variety of different newspapers
5 from Belgrade. So one was relying on, I suppose, reports from newspapers,
6 interpretation, and of course I also saw the views of the various EU
7 ambassadors in Belgrade, and I was fortunate in that sense that I had a
8 fairly wide coverage of reporting what was happening in Belgrade, but
9 nobody quite knew, I think, exactly what was happening. But President
10 Cosic was extremely angry about it.
11 Q. Here was an extraordinary illegal act in your judgement aimed at
12 covering up files that may have revealed war crimes, and the only person
13 who could have given immunity to the offenders was the accused.
14 A. I don't want to be pedantic but it is not my judgement to make
15 judgements on things. I said, but many assumed that they were desperate
16 to remove any incriminating files from the 1991/1992 period relating to
17 possible war crimes. That's the wording I use, which comes from my book,
18 and I think I can safely say I was one of those who assumed it too.
19 Q. You make another reference - I can't track it down immediately -
20 to the accused's militia being the people who guarded the fuel trucks as
21 they crossed Serbia.
22 A. Uh-huh.
23 Q. Was it your understanding that the accused had a direct control
24 over a militia or militarised police?
25 A. I believe that there were at times arguments about how much direct
1 loyalty he could rely on. I think it was possible to sometimes maybe that
2 the JNA were independent and didn't always take everything that came from
3 President Milosevic, but I certainly took the view from watching it
4 closely that the police were under his direct control and that he built up
5 them into more like a militia in order that he had a counterbalance to a
6 somewhat more independent, at times, JNA.
7 Q. You advised against the holding of elections in December because
8 you were quite satisfied the elections wouldn't be fair. You link this to
9 the fact that the accused was really a propagandist who had control of the
10 media, didn't you?
11 A. Well, again, Mr. Milosevic was extremely clever in the way he
12 operated, and to some extent that was an aspect which he inherited from
13 President Tito, where after all it was widely felt through the 1950s and
14 1960s that Yugoslavia was freer than many of the other communist countries
15 whereas I think in fact they had a more sophisticated system.
16 As far as Mr. Milosevic is concerned, he didn't get too fussed
17 about what the Belgrade intellectual press said or even too much the fact
18 that for quite a lot of this time there was a Belgrade television which
19 was independent of him, was not controlled by him. What he fussed about
20 was who controlled television and newspapers out into the country as a
21 whole, which is where his support lay, and on that there was not a free
22 press and there was not accurate, impartial television or radio reporting.
23 So it is true to say I -- I view these so-called elections with
24 profound skepticism and felt that the EU should not -- or the European
25 Community, as it then was, should not send monitors. Nevertheless, I
1 hoped that Prime Minister Panic, as he was, would beat President Milosevic
2 in the election, and it's an open secret that I would have much preferred
3 that President Cosic stood and I think might have -- well, certainly run
4 President Milosevic close in Serbia, but he was not able to do so from the
5 health grounds. But it was not -- it was not a fair and free election,
6 no, nor were any that took place while I was there.
7 Q. And just to round this part of my questions off, these
8 characteristics, a man controlling the military, militarised police, a man
9 able to tell you straightforward untruths, a man with a subtle approach to
10 propaganda, and a man who we must judge by his actions is the man you had
11 the fortune, of one of many, to deal with.
12 A. Yes. I mean, he was a communist, not on a Soviet model, but he
13 was not a democrat. He didn't make too much secret of that. He came out
14 of a system, he adapted it and modified it. Yugoslavia had already
15 changed and modified his structure but it was basically authoritarian,
17 Q. By the end of 1992, the Serbs, it might be said, had got as much
18 as they could ask for by force. You, I don't think, were aware of a body
19 called the Council for Harmonisation. Were you aware of that?
20 A. No.
21 Q. It's a body for which we've got the stenographic notes.
22 MR. NICE: Your Honour will recall that it was produced through
23 the witness Lilic, that they were sent away for translation, that they'd
24 come back with a draft translation and the final translation has yet to
25 come before us. There's one page of that that I'd like to put before the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 witness, if I may. It will, I think, in its finally translated form be
2 Exhibit 469, tab 44, and if it could be laid on the overhead projector.
3 Lay my copy on the overhead projector. I'll read it from here. Thank
5 Q. Now, this is the accused speaking on the 9th of January of 1993.
6 MR. NICE: Top of the page, please, Usher. Little bit. Thank
7 you, that's fine.
8 Q. And he says: "Let me interrupt you. Paspalj said that
9 there had to be integrity of the Serbian people. We de facto have that
10 because objectively and according to all our relations such as political,
11 military, economy, cultural and educational, we have that integrity. The
12 question is how to get the recognition of the unity now, actually how to
13 legalise that unity. How to turn the situation, which de facto exists and
14 could not be de facto endangered, into being de facto and de jure.
15 Accordingly, the road which would lead us to de jure leads through a
16 'small labyrinth.' We would never allow the change in a de facto
17 situation, but through that 'small labyrinth' we would achieve some
18 things, if not in half a year then in a year, if not in a year then in two
19 years. What do we gain? We gain that we would have fewer casualties and
20 in that way we would save our people. We have to sacrifice everything for
21 the people except the people itself."
22 Now, if we then turn, Lord Owen, to your statement at page 12, and
23 it may be that you were looking for the passage yourself, in the passage
24 that follows your expression of confidence that he was working towards a
25 settlement, you also say this: "I have little doubt that Milosevic was
1 telling Karadzic privately that by appearing to agree with our map, he
2 could nevertheless expect to change it later on through pressure on the
3 ground and that the three separate provinces, where the Serbs would have
4 had a majority - but which we had deliberately refused to make contiguous
5 - could over time, as a result of Serb pressure, be joined together."
6 Now, I'm sorry you haven't had a chance to look at the translated
7 part of the words of the accused, but would you accept the suggestion that
8 having got by force everything that they wanted, it simply remained for
9 the accused to get what was de facto to be de jure by negotiation?
10 A. No, I don't agree with you because you didn't go on to say, after
11 you ended your quote from me joined together. I said, "I believed,
12 however, having seen the development of General Shalikashvili's detailed
13 planning for NATO forces, that we would have sufficient well-trained
14 forces on the ground to prevent that happening." But I don't deny the
15 sentiment that you've expressed and your interpretation of that comment
16 alleged to have been made by then-President Milosevic. I'm sure this was
18 But we were involved in a serious battle. Behind the courtesies
19 and the normal diplomacy, he knew that I knew many of the things he was
20 doing, and I know that he knew that I was also trying to do other things.
21 Q. Of course.
22 A. And that, it seems to me, probably explains why he was not
23 prepared to pressurise beyond the point of formally discussing it, because
24 he feared that we were at that stage, having NATO with over 60.000 troops
25 coming in. This is not a minor force that was going to come in. And the
1 complexities of this plan of ten provinces and of trying to weld
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina together had by then been given by the United States of
3 America, to their credit, and other EU countries, the serious backing of
4 NATO. And I think we would have outwitted them.
5 But what we were dealing with was a battle of intellectual wills
6 underneath the polite conversation. I knew perfectly well that no plan
7 that we put on table would be faithfully implemented by any of the parties
8 and the only hope was that we should have a strong imposition force to
9 ensure that it maintained. And I think that President Milosevic knew that
10 was in place, and he was also watching American public opinion and seeing
11 the opinion in the West. And therefore, if there was a delay over a plan,
12 he didn't mind. The facts were created on the ground all the time. More
13 ethnic cleansing, more definite things. I don't think he ever gave any
14 impression otherwise than he was a loyal Serb. He was looking after Serb
15 interests. The thing was he was much more intelligent than the others.
16 He knew that he could get away with more. But I think he did think that
17 he could get away with more than he would have got away if their plan had
18 been -- not just that plan, the EU action plan or the Contact Group plan,
19 you name it. They were all going to be backed by serious force after --
20 by about March of 1993. We'd accepted that we couldn't do this just with
21 UN forces.
22 Q. I take it from your answer that you would accept that he may have
23 harboured long-term ambitions for Serb areas to be united?
24 A. He was a pragmatist. Only he could answer that, and I think he
25 certainly wouldn't rule it out. It was certainly possible to believe that
1 Republika Srpska would go into Serbia and Herceg-Bosnia, as the Croats
2 would call it, would go into Croatia longer term. But against that, I
3 think at times President Milosevic was telling them that the world had
4 moved on, that this was -- the type of world we were in was that the West
5 would not give -- would not allow Bosnia-Herzegovina to be partitioned.
6 In my heart, I think he was intellectually at least -- had come to
7 recognise that Republika Srpska would stay outside Serbia but would be so
8 closely linked that to all intents and purposes, for as far as the average
9 Serbian citizen is concerned, they would be linked but there would be
10 always absence of a formal link. But I don't know.
11 Q. Finally on this topic, at page 26 and 7 of your statement, but
12 you'll remember it if you will permit me to summarise it. Aleksa Buha,
13 the Bosnian Serb Foreign Minister, you report as always being deeply
14 skeptical of Milosevic's view that the Bosnian Serbs could live with the
15 Muslims in one state, as envisaged in the Vance-Owen Plan.
16 On reflection, do you think that Milosevic's stated view that they
17 could live together was for short-term purposes only and that ultimately
18 he would have sought a different resolution?
19 A. No, I don't. It is my view that President Milosevic -- no doubt
20 Mr. Milosevic you see now is not fundamentally racist. I think he is a
21 nationalist, but even that he wears very lightly. I think he's a
22 pragmatist. And it is a fact that Muslims have lived -- live in Serbia.
23 There are areas of Serbia where there are substantial Muslim groups. If
24 we exclude Kosovo and the Sandzak area, and in Belgrade itself there are a
25 substantial number of Muslim people who have lived there throughout. And
1 I think you have to recognise that there are old communist Yugoslavs who
2 do object very strongly to the ethnic nationalism and that the -- some of
3 the communists were opposed to nationalists. Certainly some of their
4 ethnic -- ethnic racist attitudes, and I would include President
5 Milosevic's wife in that, and I would include himself.
6 I can only tell you honestly what I think. I do not think he was
7 part of that view that they were like cat and dog and couldn't live ever
8 together. I think he wanted the Serbs to be in the majority, and they
9 wanted them to be following a Serb -- Serbian government so that he wanted
10 majority Serb areas, but do I not think personally - but I may be wrong,
11 and this is always one of the problems we had in dealing with these people
12 was to get what was their real motivation - but I have to say I do not
13 think that he was one of those who wanted all Muslims out of Republika
14 Srpska any more than he wanted all Muslims out of Serbia. I don't think
15 he was an ethnic purist.
16 Q. Indeed you make the point that his ambition was for the retention
17 of personal power, and you use the analogy of riding the tiger of
18 nationalism and finding it difficult when he -- to get off it in order not
19 to be bitten by it.
20 A. Yes. And of course he was eventually bitten by it.
21 Q. Lord Owen, I see the time, and I'm going to move, I think,
22 straight to Srebrenica, and I'll come back to other questions that I would
24 MR. NICE: Lord Owen is giving full answers, I don't want to cut
25 him short but, Your Honour, I'll have to budget my time accordingly. So
1 things will be a little out of order because I must cover Srebrenica first
2 and I'll deal with other matters later.
3 A. I'll try to be shorter in my replies.
4 Q. The civilians of Srebrenica and all the other safe areas were
5 entirely blameless individuals, weren't they?
6 A. Sorry?
7 Q. The civilians in Srebrenica were just imprisoned by force of
8 circumstance. They hadn't done anything to merit the catastrophe that
9 happened to them.
10 A. I think that's a very big leap. Those are certainly your words.
11 They're not words I would use.
12 Q. Very well. Well, can they be blamed, the civilians, for anything
13 that befell them?
14 A. It's not my job to apportion blame, but the basic facts of life
15 are that a lot of this fighting, this village-on-village fighting as you
16 see in almost any civil war, and if you start trying to believe that there
17 are one side that is completely pure and one side that is completely
18 wrong, you usually get unstuck. But you certainly get unstuck in the
19 former Yugoslavia if you work on that assumption. And it's been well
20 recorded and ought to be -- and I don't really see it's my responsibility
21 here, but there were a number of grudge matches which had developed in the
22 villages in and around Srebrenica between different groups, Muslims and
23 Serbs, as there had been in the rest of Yugoslavia between Muslims and
24 Croats or Serbs and Croats. I -- it's very difficult to --
25 Q. Well --
1 A. I'm not here to challenge your statement, except to say I don't
2 put those words into my mouth. Nobody was blameless, or very few were
4 Q. Very well. If we look at your statement on page 3, please. I
5 know this is --
6 A. I mean, I could just add one thing to it.
7 Q. Yes.
8 A. The people of Srebrenica were -- suffered appallingly for being in
9 that particular situation. It was one of the worst humanitarian crises,
10 and I describe in my book how they had typhus and had all forms of
11 illnesses, and the WHO report on what they -- the privation and the
12 horrors that the average person had to put up with when no doubt the
13 average person was blameless, was absolutely outrageous. I don't want to
14 detract in any way from the horrors that those people had to put up with
15 almost continuously from 1992 to 1995.
16 Q. Thank you. On page 3 of your statement, where you set out your
17 letter to the British Prime Minister of the 30th of July of 1992, you say
18 this at the top of the page: "I believe that a few of the bigger cities
19 currently under attack such as Sarajevo and Gorazde should be reinforced
20 by air with troops acting under the authority of the UN --" we will deal
21 with that in detail. "If these actions were taken within days, then
22 Bosnia would not be completely overrun by Serb and Croatian forces, and a
23 peace settlement could then be negotiated. If no action is taken now,
24 there will be virtually nothing left of Bosnia for the Muslim population
25 to negotiate about."
1 Probably self-explanatory, but what -- did that prophesy disaster
2 for places like Sarajevo and Gorazde?
3 A. That was written before I became a UN negotiator at which time, I
4 have to be the first to admit, I didn't know anywhere near as much about
5 the complexities as I later came to believe. At that time, I also thought
6 that the Muslims were not just the victims but were, if you like, totally,
7 totally set upon in every possible way. I think I changed my views a
8 little bit about that, as I record, when I arrived in Sarajevo to be told
9 that Bosnian government forces had just shot up a UN humanitarian convoy.
10 So things looked perhaps more simple than they were when you were
11 sitting just as a member of parliament in -- I was no longer a member of
12 parliament, but a citizen in London; but nevertheless, the sentiment
13 behind it I stand by totally and absolutely, and by the time I came
14 involved, it was about 65 per cent and very soon 70 per cent of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina territory was controlled by Serbs. And at one stage
16 when the Croats were acting very strongly and regaining territory, I think
17 it's true to say that President Izetbegovic probably -- rule ran. I mean,
18 the government controlled 10 per cent of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
19 There were times when we worried that the Muslim population and
20 the government in Sarajevo would be completely wiped out, when it looked
21 as if the Croats might have withdrawn their forces from Central Bosnia and
22 the Serbs would then divide the east and west Bosnia-Herzegovina. That
23 would have been very, very damaging. And it was, of course, throughout
24 that time too a fear that these Eastern enclaves in Eastern Bosnia would
25 be overrun.
1 Q. And of course the Bosnian government opposed demilitarisation
2 because it had real fears?
3 A. Yes. Well, you've no doubt you've gone through -- the first
4 Srebrenica agreement was a very strange agreement and I think was very
5 well described by Kofi Annan, who was then the head of the peacekeeping,
6 in a memo that he wrote at the time. It was almost -- the UN saw the
7 agreements that were about demilitarisation as being agreements between
8 the parties, and that's probably the right way to look at it. But the
9 world thought that the UN had taken on the responsibility of protecting
10 the people of Srebrenica.
11 That's a fairly well-known UN document which you probably had
12 before you which Kofi Annan wrote on the 23rd of April, 1993, explaining
13 to General Wahlgren what was on and followed, I think -- it says, "The
14 following refers to our telecoms and to Lord Owen's handwritten message
15 today about what exactly UNPROFOR has undertaken in Srebrenica."
16 Q. We're trying to look, or I'm trying to look with you, if we can,
17 at the state of mind of the people who were to become the victims but also
18 at the state of knowledge of the accused.
19 If we move broadly chronologically, we find on page 22 of your
20 statement a retrospective view of yours given on the 8th of June of 1993,
21 when you were speaking to a Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg. And at
22 the foot of this page, looking back, obviously, to a -- to some degree
23 over time, you say: "His problem and ours is that Karadzic and Mladic are
24 like cats licking the cream; they believe that Republika Srpska is a fait
25 accompli. An additional problem is that Republika Krajina, after their
1 referendum, is going to link up, having as the capital of the new Republic
2 of Serbs in Bosnia and Krajina, Banja Luka. General Mladic will then
3 formally control not just the Bosnian Serb army but the Croatian Serb
4 forces as well ... returning to Knin where he's built his reputation."
5 Now, this was a perception you had of the military and local
6 political leadership of a fairly -- bloodcurdling may be the wrong -- but
7 fairly terrifying kind, isn't it, for any who were resident there.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And the knowledge was as available to you as it would have been to
10 the accused and, although obviously only partially informed, as it would
11 have been to the residents. Would that be correct?
12 A. I think they lived in constant fear, the Muslim citizens in
13 Srebrenica. They were through most of the period, as I say, surrounded by
14 hostile Bosnian Serb forces, and for some reason I think that there was
15 probably more fear there, and certainly the privation was far worse than,
16 for example, in Sarajevo or any other towns that were surrounded.
17 Q. Indeed I think that the privation in terms of health and disease
18 you suggest was targeted privation, yes?
19 A. Yes. There's no doubt that shelling took place on water supplies
20 to try and disrupt them. That happened in Sarajevo too, but it was more
21 successful, put it this way, in Srebrenica. Srebrenica is a very small
22 place. But the effect of the siege was far worse, I think, in Srebrenica
23 than anywhere, and they must have lived with this. So it was perfectly
24 understandable that they didn't want to give up arms. And we had to
25 grapple with this problem, at least General Morillon had to. Initially he
1 had tried to get both sides to agree to total demilitarisation. And of
2 course in a sense that is what a safe haven internationally means and what
3 the ICRC was advocating when they talked about safe havens. And in that
4 way you make it less likely that there will be any attack in if there can
5 be no attacks out, so you have a completely balanced situation.
6 But that -- in order to do that credibly, the UN should have been
7 prepared to put in a substantial force into Srebrenica so that they would
8 have been able to defend any breach to either party. They would have been
9 the impartial force that held Srebrenica peaceful. That required many
10 more troops than the Canadians or, then later, the Dutch.
11 Q. Can we look at the accused's state of knowledge, first from page
12 36 of your statement, and -- I would ask it go on the overhead project. It
13 will make it easier for those in the public gallery.
14 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, it's after the usual time for the
15 adjournment, but it doesn't matter; we started late. But when you get to
16 a convenient moment, we'll break.
17 MR. NICE: If it will be convenient to do this next passage and
18 the next paper exhibit I would be grateful. Then we'll come to a sensible
19 point. Just on the overhead projector, please.
20 Q. You said this in respect of your 18th of April 1993 telephone
21 conversation with the accused to whom you spoke about your anxiety
22 that: "Despite repeated assurances from Dr. Karadzic that he had no
23 intention of taking Srebrenica, the Bosnian Serb army was now proceeding
24 to do just that. The pocket was greatly reduced in size. I rarely heard
25 Milosevic so exasperated and also so worried. He feared that if the
1 Bosnian Serb troops entered Srebrenica, there would be a bloodbath because
2 of the tremendous bad blood that existed between the two armies."
3 You then set out the history of how the Bosnian Serbs held the
4 young Muslim commander in Srebrenica, Naser Oric, responsible for the
5 massacre near Bratunac in December of 1992 in which many civilian Serbs
6 had been killed.
7 Milosevic believed it would be a great mistake for the Bosnian
8 Serbs to take Srebrenica and promised to tell Karadzic so. and he
9 expressed doubts about getting Canadian troops in but thought he might be
10 able to negotiate UN monitors. You then arranged to meet him at Lor
12 In Annex G and towards the -- sorry, towards the foot of this
13 page, you say this: "I would particularly draw attention to the report
14 which I read on the 16th of April indicating that an attack on Srebrenica
15 on the 12th of April was of a different character and pointed towards some
16 JNA involvement with the Bosnian Serb army. It was this report in
17 particular which convinced me that I should speak directly to President
19 So putting those two things together, evidence coming to you of
20 JNA involvement four days before and a conversation where, you summarise
21 it, fear of a bloodbath if the army entered Srebrenica. That's a correct
22 summary of the position?
23 A. Yes, that's correct.
24 Q. Before I move from this page and just to save time, there's one
25 sentence I would be grateful for your elaboration on. It's the immediate
1 following sentence at the foot of this page and the top of the next. You
2 say: "There are also perhaps some parallels in what happened in and
3 around Sarajevo in July/August 1993 for what happened in July 1995."
4 It must be my mistake for not immediately following that, but
5 could you just --
6 A. I rather lost you. Where is that?
7 Q. That's at the foot of page 36 and it then goes over to 37.
8 A. Sorry to have to say I'm not sure I understand that either.
9 Q. You don't, and I quite understand how these things happen. We'll
10 take it no further.
11 But -- well, if you think about it over the break which we're
12 shortly to have, perhaps you would let us know. It would be helpful.
13 Can I take you back then, as I said, to the last document before
14 the break, with the Court's consent, to your Appendix G, and it's several
15 pages through Appendix G --
16 A. I'm sorry. My assistant has just passed me a note. She was
17 involved in all this at the time, she's rather better than me. There's a
18 typo here. I think "Sarajevo" should be "Srebrenica."
19 Q. All right. Thank you very much.
20 A. Which then is more explicit and clear.
21 Q. Yes.
22 A. Sorry.
23 Q. Certainly. If we can go then to your Appendix G, Lord Owen, and
24 again if you got the page numbers at the top right-hand corner, the
25 handwritten page numbers and they run back to front, registry numbers,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 it's page 24750, which is --
2 A. This is annex G.
3 Q. Your annex G, and it's about 10 pages in or 8 pages in. I can
4 hand you a copy, if necessary.
5 One for the overhead projector in any event.
6 And what we can see --
7 A. This is a report of what I dictated -- a conversation that I'd had
8 with President --
9 Q. Correct.
10 A. -- Milosevic, yes.
11 Q. And four lines down you recorded at the time: "President
12 Milosevic was pleased that I had contacted him. He too was exasperated
13 and was extremely concerned that if the Bosnian Serb army entered
14 Srebrenica, there would be a massacre," now -- because of the bad blood
15 and so on.
16 May we take it that that was actually his stated position at the
17 time, because it finds the expression in a document that you would have
18 obviously written very carefully?
19 A. I dictated that that afternoon, after the conversation. So I
20 would stand by it as being an accurate description of what he said.
21 Whether he used that word, I can't vouch for, but I would have thought
22 very likely.
23 Q. Thank you. And so we have in the spring of 1993 recognition on
24 the part of the international negotiators, the accused, and the victims
25 that the citizens of Srebrenica were vulnerable to a bloodbath or to a
1 massacre if the army were to enter?
2 A. Yes.
3 MR. NICE: I don't know if that would be a convenient moment.
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes, that's a convenient moment. We will adjourn now
5 for 20 minutes.
6 Lord Owen I must formally warn you, as we warn all witnesses, not
7 to speak to anybody about your evidence until it's over, please.
8 Thank you. Twenty minutes.
9 --- Recess taken at 10.43 a.m.
10 --- On resuming at 11.07 a.m.
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
12 MR. NICE: I think Lord Owen is concerned that a document he read
13 from should probably be exhibited.
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
15 MR. NICE: We will deal with that in some way or another.
16 JUDGE MAY: We're getting copies made and we will deal with it in
17 due course.
18 MR. NICE:
19 Q. We stopped in the spring of 1993. The history of what happened in
20 1994 is available from the documentation generally. Without taking time
21 on it, at Annex B of your annexes, and about four sheets into Annex B in
22 your -- or you -- of the 22nd of July of 1994 dealing, I think, with
23 Sarajevo, to which I'll try to come later, but in paragraph 3 a reflection
24 of the unchanging position is set out where you simply say: "The key is
25 as always -- as key as always is Milosevic. He understands power, and he
1 will only pressurise the Bosnian Serbs further if the Contact Group
2 convince him that they are serious."
3 He remained the key, and he was only go to do things when
4 compelled if they were against his interests. Would you accept that?
5 A. Sorry, compelled?
6 Q. If against his interests, he would only do things if compelled or
7 if he could see it as such was coming?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. If we move on to the early part of 1995 and to your statement at
10 page 41, right at the end of your statement. You said this in the last
11 paragraph on that page: "On the 25th and 26th of May, a further second
12 round of air strikes by NATO against Bosnian Serb targets produced
13 widespread UN hostage taking and the French argued in the Contact Group
14 for regrouping UN forces into defensible units but did not propose
15 abandoning the safe areas. It was well known by all the permanent members
16 of the Security Council that the so-called safe areas were very vulnerable
17 and the most vulnerable of all to Serb attacks was Srebrenica."
18 And again this is something known to you, known to everybody
20 A. I think anybody who had been following the wars in the former
21 Yugoslavia and the history of it from newspapers, not from any special
22 source, must have been aware of how vulnerable Srebrenica was.
23 Q. Indeed, I think we'll possibly hear evidence from other people,
24 but for example, the Venezuelan ambassador, Aria, who was leader of the
25 non-aligned group had been saying for a long time how vulnerable these
1 places were?
2 A. Yes. He was very critical of the resolutions about the safe areas
3 right going back to April 1993, and then in particular, of course, what I
4 describe in my evidence as the worst decision that was taken in all my
5 time, the safe area implementation as part of the joint action plan in
6 May/June of 1993. I mean, what the Court has to understand is that
7 nowhere -- everybody knew that insufficient troops had been put in blue
8 berets or blue helmets, and that is also made very clear in this document
9 which I made reference to which has now been put before the Court, by Kofi
10 Annan. I mean, he actually specifically says we understand, of course,
11 that 145 peacekeepers cannot be expected to resist a full scale invasion
12 by the Bosnian Serb army and that should heavy artillery shelling occur
13 UNPROFOR will take shelter like everyone else.
14 Q. And on page 42 of your statement right at its conclusion you set
15 out another peace of generally understood intelligence where recording the
16 subdued mood of the foreign affairs council to whom you'd been speaking
17 you say this in the last six lines: "The only area of controversy emerged
18 when I said it was unwise in their statement to mention the need to
19 protect the safe areas when it was obvious that UNPROFOR was already
20 unable to defend all six safe areas."
21 That was the position.
22 A. Yes. And I go on to say -- and this was to preempt a discussion
23 held in the Security Council, because the then-Secretary-General
24 Boutros Boutros-Ghali had in my view rather courageously put in front of
25 the Security Council an option to come out of the -- some of these
1 so-called safe areas and to acknowledge the fact that we were not able to
2 protect. But the Security Council again preferred the rhetoric to the
3 reality. It was easier for them to go on ascribing to a policy despite
4 the fact that they had not given the resources to it to ensure that it
5 could be fulfilled. So this poor unfortunate people of Srebrenica were,
6 as far as the world is concerned, nominally living in safe areas, safe
7 havens, call them what you will, and they'd never been safe from the
8 moment the term had been applied to Srebrenica.
9 Q. Your statement ends at the next sentence: "Later the Security
10 Council adopted the same position over the safe areas as foreign affairs
11 council and I stepped down from ICFY on the 12th of June fearing that
12 Srebrenica and Zepa as well as Gorazde were indefensible and never had
13 been less safe."
14 I'll come back to what happened there shortly, but if you could
15 briefly go to your appendix G, Lord Owen, just after the page we were
16 looking at before the break where the accused was quoted with the word
17 massacre. We come to a report to you from John Wilson of the 16th of
18 April of 1993. So I'm tracking back to an earlier position.
19 JUDGE MAY: What is the Registry page.
20 MR. NICE: Registry page 24747. And it's at paragraph 5 of that
21 where you -- where to you your colleague or subordinate reported that the
22 Serbs had reduced the Srebrenica pocket to a relatively insignificant
23 military threat having a number of options available to them. Contained
24 what is essentially a concentration of Muslim civilians. To use this
25 civilian population as a bargaining tool to secure the release of Serbs
1 from Sarajevo and Tuzla. Finally to complete military action against the
2 pocket by capturing the city. It's difficult to judge Mladic's assessment
3 as to whether the risk of further military action might provoke
4 international intervention. He probably assesses he can complete his
5 strategic aims without the need to actually assault the city. It's
6 assessed he will contain the pocket and use the population there as a
7 bargaining tool. He is however, unlikely to agree to surrender terms
8 including free passage for Muslim soldiers from the pocket.
9 Then paragraph 6, second sentence -- well, first sentence: "The
10 Muslims have no military options. They may be prepared to participate in
11 the bargaining process. It's more likely they will seek to maintain the
12 situation as an issue in the world media."
13 So that really sets out the absolute start limitation of options
14 for the residents of Srebrenica, doesn't it?
15 A. Yes. Perhaps it helps the Court to know that John Wilson was a
16 brigadier in the Australian army, acting as a UN military officer attached
17 to the ICFY to advise myself and Mr. Vance.
18 Q. So you stepped down, but at the moment of your stepping down, if
19 we can survey the position. The accused never showed himself to be
20 frightened of anyone, did he?
21 A. I think he had a very considerable respect for Cyrus Vance.
22 Whether that was to be called fright, I don't know. I think he -- he
23 didn't lightly cross Mr. Vance, and I think there was a genuine belief
24 that they had reached an agreement over Croatia, and I think he wanted --
25 I don't think -- when on rare, rare occasions Mr. Vance got angry with
1 him, I think he -- it meant something.
2 Q. If we can move from the international people with whom he was
3 dealing to his fellow Serbs in one position or another. There were none
4 there of whom he was frightened?
5 A. Who was frightened?
6 Q. Of the accused. He wasn't frightened of any of his fellow Serbs.
7 He may have been --
8 A. No, no, no.
9 Q. -- perturbed by them or irritated by them but he was never
10 frightened of them?
11 A. No, he was never frightened of them.
12 Q. That includes Mladic?
13 A. Well, I've tried to describe his relationship with General Mladic,
14 and I'm not sure I made a very good fist of it because, frankly, I don't
15 frankly know, but it was full of ambivalence. I think that -- I mean, the
16 best I could say is for the accused and I don't think there's any reason
17 for me to try to put myself in a position that I wish everything to be
18 said against him. That is not my view. My job was to use him as a
19 bargaining counter to try to encourage him to persuade the Serbs of
20 courses which they didn't like. And I think that it's got to sort of
21 understand that a negotiator has to try to put themselves in the position
22 of the people you're negotiating with and I used to try to ask myself why
23 is he not using his power which I think he has, and repeated occasions
24 when he knew perfectly well that their position was absurd, that it was
25 not going to -- Karadzic or Krajisnik or even Mladic, that it was not
1 going to stand, he would not -- he would argue against them, but at the
2 end of the day he would, "Well, it's up to you."
3 Q. But he's -- I'm so sorry -- but he --
4 A. Either he did that because -- I mean, there are those who think
5 this is all an elaborate conspiracy, that we were all duped, that we were
6 led to believe -- that it was all coded, that Karadzic and Krajisnik were
7 allowed to be the tough, hardened at these things, he was the amenable
8 person. This is a perfectly reasonable explanation on one side of that.
9 Against that was the day-to-day contact in which you felt that if it
10 wasn't too costly for the Serbs, and I mean by that the overall Serbs of
11 which he identified with, the Serb cause, then he was in favour of
12 compromise. And I think in that sense he had come to a judgement that
13 these peace plans, as I say, could be tolerated, could be accepted by the
14 Serbs. Why didn't he force it through? Because it meant offending the
15 nationalists in Belgrade as well as in Pale.
16 I think that if you asked me whether he was frightened about
17 anybody, he would be much more the nationalists in Belgrade than ever in
18 Pale or in Krajina, and I think that was the problem. We were never sure
19 how much he was responding to his constituency, which was a nationalist
20 constituency in Belgrade.
21 Q. Passing just to remind us, in your book you described the accused
22 as being ruthless in his pursuit of power and treating people as either
23 disposable or dispensable but to the same effect?
24 A. Yes. I think history shows that to be the case. But the power --
25 the source of power that he had was nationalist opinion, and he had risen
1 to power on the nationalist view of Kosovo. He had seen the opportunity
2 to turn the issue of Kosovo against his then own leader, Stambolic, and I
3 think -- I haven't pronounced it correctly, but I think you have to keep
4 coming back. He's a pragmatist. He's interested in power. He therefore
5 has to take account of what is the source of his power. The source of his
6 power are nationalist leaders able to collect both votes and also powerful
7 people, and how much, therefore, he had to take account of them -- of
8 course he was a nationalist. Most Serbs are nationalists. The question
9 is therefore was that a limitation on how far he was prepared to go in
10 pushing the Bosnian Serbs and the Croatian Serbs? I can't answer that
11 question, I'm afraid. I wish I -- no question did I ask myself more and
12 no question did I try to use.
13 At one stage, President Cosic, in, say, October 1992, looked like
14 an alternative source of nationalist power. It lasted for a very short
15 time. At one stage, Karadzic, I think, saw himself as king of the Serbs.
16 At one stage Mladic became a very powerful Serb who President Milosevic
17 even in Belgrade had to take account of, because Mladic was appeal across
18 to a constituency in Belgrade, in Serbia itself.
19 Q. Of course your answers lead me to a lot of questions and I must be
20 careful in my use of time. Just very briefly, since you mentioned
21 President Cosic and the earlier period, it's right isn't it that Cosic had
22 warned those in Moscow that the reasonableness mask had dropped from the
23 accused's face and he must be fought openly? And your respect for Cosic
24 is probably such that that's a view of his you would not disagree with?
25 A. No. I supported President Cosic. But let's be clear about it.
1 President Cosic was a straight-out nationalist in a way I that I think Mr.
2 Milosevic is not. President Cosic was. But on the other hand he was a
3 man who saw because of his sense of history, because of his -- you know,
4 he had at one stage defended President Izetbegovic when he had gone to
6 I think that Cosic understood that what was happening to the
7 Serbian people was dire and that they had done terrible things. It was
8 very interesting how upset he was when he travelled to Pale for the Pale
9 meeting in May at the scenes of devastation in the villages and towns, and
10 I think he began to realise before that that terrible things had been done
11 by the Serbs that didn't do any good to the Serbian people's reputation,
12 honour, or integrity, and I think that, therefore is an important aspect
13 amongst nationalist opinion. Some of them were beginning to question
14 themselves almost, what they'd supported, what they'd unleashed.
15 Q. Lord Owen, can I take you back to a couple of previous answers,
16 back in the period of early 1995, though. You said of the accused that he
17 wasn't going to ensure that the Bosnian Serbs were defeated at war, but it
18 is -- sorry. He wasn't going to ensure that they were defeated. Is it
19 also the case that he had the ability to and probably had the intention to
20 ensure that they were not defeated, in your judgement, looking back?
21 A. Well, I think myself he grew increasingly worried about the policy
22 of letting Karadzic and Krajisnik head for the buffer, so to speak, and I
23 think that he'd already probably come to a conclusion that the Croatian
24 Serbs had to be reconciled to living within Croatia, and I think that he
25 had come to accept that. And I think it's an important thing to remember
1 that he was not operating on one front. He was operating on the Croatian
2 front as well and having to deal with the Krajina Serbs who of course were
3 all linked but who were also fiercely independent. And Mladic -- no,
4 sorry, Martic began to be quite impervious to any logical form of reason
5 of the and I remember scenes in which he was -- Mr. Milosevic was
6 exasperated beyond measure. And when dealing with Mr. Krajisnik, who
7 again was an interesting figure and quite powerful, he's obdurisic on the
8 issues around negotiations over Sarajevo. Now, again you can claim this
9 is all part of well-orchestrated things and we were duped and that there
10 was no real anger expressed in these meetings, but I've been around a long
11 time. I don't believe that. There was exasperation. There was anger.
12 But again there was always this refusal force it, to force agreement, to
13 impose it, and the question is why.
14 Q. Lord Owen, you told us before the break that if he had enforced
15 the interdiction on Bosnian army supplies, the war would have ended years
16 earlier and thus before Srebrenica.
17 A. If the West had interdicted from the air, I believe it would have
18 done. President Milosevic had the forces in the JNA to simply stop them
19 going across the Drina and across the roads.
20 Q. Done it himself or acquiesced in your dealing with it.
21 A. Yes. Absolutely. I personally strongly believe that. And should
22 have done it, and if he had done it, it would have saved the Serbian
23 nation from a very large amount of grief and it would have alleviated some
24 of the appalling horrors that had started from 1991 and 1992.
25 And I think it was a great error from the standpoint of the
1 Serbian people, and it's important to remember the Serbian people have got
2 a long, proud history, and it's a great mistake for the world to blame all
3 Serbs for what's been going on. It's not the case.
4 Q. So that by the beginning of 1995, the international community
5 wasn't disposed to control the flow of support to the Bosnian Serbs. On
6 your analysis, there was a split between Mladic and Karadzic so that he
7 may not have had the power let alone the will to control what was
9 A. Who?
10 Q. Karadzic. So far as Mladic was concerned. There was a
11 recognition by the accused and everybody else that massacre or a bloodbath
12 was a real possibility. The only politician who was able to influence, by
13 the control of supplies, was the accused. Would that be correct?
14 A. Yes. I think the -- in Belgrade, his power -- his ran --
15 personally I think he had become less influential. I mean, there was a
16 time when I first started in the early part, you felt that President
17 Milosevic issued orders to Karadzic and Krajisnik, and they came and they
18 went. Gradually, they, particularly after the quote which you gave of
19 them like cats licking the cream, once they'd been shown that they could
20 flout, first of all, all the different peace plans, and particularly after
21 having flouted the Contact Group plan of the five powerful nations, I
22 think they began to think that they could get away with anything and,
23 therefore, probably were not listening as much as they might have been
24 earlier on to even President Milosevic.
25 Q. He was the only politician of those we've identified who could
1 have dried up the supplies that were going to support the Bosnian Serbs
2 and to support Mladic?
3 A. Yes. He controlled Belgrade. He was still the most powerful
4 figure in Belgrade. He wasn't just nominally president, he was an
5 all-powerful president, yes.
6 Q. And the reason I asked you whether he was afraid of anybody, even
7 of Mladic, is this -- I realise these events are after your departure from
8 office -- but if Mladic had done something that the accused had
9 disapproved of, he would have no trouble in remonstrating with him, would
11 A. No, he would have remonstrated with him. Would it have had any
12 effect on Mladic, that is a different question.
13 Q. He wouldn't have any anxiety or embarrassment about complaining of
14 what Mladic had done if what Mladic had done was wrong in his, the
15 accused's, eyes.
16 A. No. I think that's -- I think that is true. And -- but you need
17 to understand Mladic's character. I think that by then he was probably no
18 longer even accepting the authority of the head of the JNA in Belgrade.
19 Q. You see, we've had -- we've got material, and although some of the
20 material is material that I can't at present deal with openly, some of it
21 is material that I can deal with openly, showing that in August of 1995,
22 by which time, of course, Mladic's connection with the Srebrenica massacre
23 was known, in August 1995, at a meeting of the Supreme Defence Council,
24 Mladic organised a meeting of all the Serbs, and those meetings were held
25 on the 25th and 28th of August at Dobanovci, and at none of those meetings
1 did the accused raise or challenge Mladic about what had happened at
2 Srebrenica. If he had objected, you would have felt, from your knowledge
3 of the man, that he would have been able to speak about it.
4 A. Yeah. I think if he had been -- if he had made representations to
5 Mladic not to do something, but whether he would have raised it in public
6 in a meeting like that, I'm not sure, I wouldn't put too much weight on
7 that. He might do it -- it's a very difficult thing for me now, the area
8 you're going into, and almost I feel I ought to ask the Judges, really. I
9 mean, I --
10 JUDGE MAY: Lord Owen, it's up to you. If you think you can
11 answer properly, of course do so, but it does sound fairly hypothetical, I
12 must say.
13 MR. NICE: I'm not going to take it any further.
14 THE WITNESS: The reason I asked to be a witness of the court is I
15 do think there are roles for international negotiators in the future and
16 which we have to protect, and I think that we shouldn't get -- at least, I
17 don't think it's a good thing to get too far away from what is -- what
18 happened during my period as an international negotiator. If I then go
19 into hypothetical things about what I think about what happened after I
20 left, I think I start to abuse the impartiality that I had during this
21 period. And I'm not afraid of doing it, but I also in this particular
22 situation really don't know. I mean, I don't know whether any of -- my
23 successor Carl Bildt or anybody, made representations to General Milosevic
24 [sic] as I did in 1993. I don't know whether that happened. I don't know
25 what pressure was urged on him when the situation began to deteriorate in
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 Of course there had been a breakdown in the negotiations which
3 many of us had got a great deal of hope for between President Milosevic
4 and Ambassador Fraser of the United States, and that may have been a cause
5 a frustration.
6 So I don't know the dialogue that was going on between negotiators
7 and other governments with President Milosevic.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: I would say, Lord Owen, if you have to speculate,
9 don't answer.
10 THE WITNESS: Sorry, I --
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: I would say if you have to speculate, then don't
13 THE WITNESS: Yes. That would be speculation, and therefore I
14 prefer not to answer.
15 MR. NICE:
16 Q. Can I move on with the last question on this topic but in fact
17 going back to 1993, you had no doubt in 1993, I think, that the accused
18 did intervene with General Mladic to stop him taking Srebrenica at that
19 stage. That was your view.
20 A. That was my view. And I was very grateful for it.
21 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I suspect that I've taken the two hours I
22 asked for - I haven't checked my watch exactly - and I do have several
23 more questions and I would be grateful for an opportunity to ask some of
24 them but I'm entirely in the Court's hands.
25 JUDGE MAY: I think you've got about ten minutes.
1 MR. NICE:
2 Q. Lord Owen, I will be selective in the other topics I ask you
3 about. But very briefly on Sarajevo, your clear understanding of Sarajevo
4 was that this was a medieval siege, that the city could have been taken
5 pretty well at any time but that it -- it suited those attacking it not to
6 take it.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. There was, at an early stage, and we can see this but I won't take
9 people to it, at page 39 of your statement, the intention to negotiate a
10 swap of territory, one part for another. So does that really make the
11 siege of Sarajevo part of the overall scheme of ethnic cleansing, in your
13 A. There definitely was a focus on trying to negotiate over Eastern
14 Bosnia when we got into the question of what would happen about Sarajevo
15 in the union of three republics. And the humanitarian situation by then
16 in July in Srebrenica had again deteriorated. Not quite as bad as it had
17 been in March and April, but it was still very bad.
18 And therefore it was an issue on which the parties were ready to
19 talk, and they did talk. And there was very detailed negotiation and
20 discussion of it.
21 Had Krajisnik and Karadzic, who by then were the key element on
22 the question of Sarajevo, been ready to come forward with what was by any
23 standards a modicum of movement to allow the capital city to exist where
24 the majority were very clearly Muslims, then it might have been possible
25 for President Izetbegovic to have made more concessions over some of the
1 eastern enclaves.
2 But the frightening part of the situation was that we could not
3 get that degree of movement. And again, in these talks too, President
4 Milosevic is -- was intelligent enough to know that the position that
5 Karadzic and Krajisnik were adopting, of wanting to have a Serb
6 stranglehold on all three roads coming into Sarajevo, was quite
7 unrealistic, and he said so, but we still couldn't shift them. And
8 therefore, the maps that came out ducked the issue of Sarajevo by putting
9 it under UN administration and left it for one side, if you like, for a
10 year or two, and kept these enclaves obviously vulnerable and potentially
11 still dangerous.
12 Q. But of course the answer you gave earlier about the accused being
13 in a position, had he by his own actions or by acquiescence with
14 international action, withdrawn support for the Bosnian Serbs applies to
15 Sarajevo as much as it does to anywhere else.
16 A. Yes. Again it would have meant forcing them to negotiate the more
17 reasonable path which he himself was ready to acknowledge should be the
19 Q. And for whatever reason --
20 A. So he would spend hours with them trying to persuade them to do
21 it. Sometimes without him. He would himself spend quite a lot of time in
22 private conversation with President Izetbegovic and with President
23 Tudjman. I mean, we almost became watchers of the negotiation. Our
24 technique was to get them to talk and then get the -- they were
25 negotiating in what was then Serbo-Croat, and we would encourage them to
1 talk directly and get the interpreters to be very quiet, push our chairs
2 back, and then even leave them alone.
3 This -- by then, the only hope was that these characters who all
4 knew every street in Sarajevo would be able to come to an accommodation.
5 Q. The underlying reason for this is something of course the Chamber
6 may have to deal with, but if we can look at Appendix G to your statement,
7 please, and the speech that you were unable to deliver, which can be found
8 at registry number 24758 and following, and I'm just looking at 24756, the
9 third page of that, Lord Owen, I think.
10 Your view in April 1993, and it's in the middle of the page, was
11 still to this effect: "For there is no future for the European continent
12 if might can be shown to win and a Greater Serbia emerges at the barrel of
13 many guns. Anyone who believes in Belgrade that after a few months we
14 will relax these economic and political pressures and acquiesces in the
15 taking of territory by force is making a massive misjudgment."
16 Two topics here. Your focus is on the people in Belgrade. Your
17 reference is to "Greater Serbia emerging at the barrel of many guns." Was
18 it your belief at this time that underlying whatever successful or failed
19 negotiations there were, there was a continuing desire by military force
20 to create a Greater Serbia?
21 A. Yes. I mean, from my point of view, this is an extremely
22 interesting speech which I'd forgotten that I'd written - I'd written
23 every word of it - I didn't deliver, and I think it accurately reflects my
24 views at the time and therefore is helpful perhaps for the Court, but
25 you're totally right, that was my view.
1 But we need to put this in context. This was before I had met
2 with and negotiated with President Milosevic in the period up to
3 Bijeljina, and it was at that time, I think it was the 23rd of April or --
4 that I formed the view that Milosevic was now ready to accept that there
5 would not necessarily be a link between Republika Srpska and Serbia, but
6 that he could get for the Serbs what they needed, in his judgement,
7 through the Vance-Owen Peace Plan and then through the EU the union of
8 three republics, the EU action plan and like that, which was all basically
9 all part of the same family.
10 The Vance-Owen Peace Plan was a unified Bosnia-Herzegovina, and
11 that was in a way surprising that he was still prepared to accept that.
12 Of course with the proviso that he thought that they would gradually merge
13 and get more territory and that sort of thing. But I believe that he did
14 thereafter, as far as Bosnia is concerned, accept that world opinion was
15 not going to probably ever accept that it came into Serbia and Montenegro.
16 He still intended to keep Kosovo firmly part of Serbia, and I think he
17 perhaps at that stage had not yet accepted that the Croatian Serbs would
18 have to live in Croatia. I think that was more something he came to
19 accept towards 1994, although you could argue that his agreement to the
20 Vance initial proposals, he knew that it would eventually happen but it
21 would just take time.
22 And this is a person who has obviously thought through all of this
23 carefully, President Milosevic, but I think that there was a period when
24 he was a Greater Serbia supporter and believed he could get away with it.
25 Then he became aware of the pressures of the international community. On
1 Bosnia, I think in April 1993 he began to accept that he wouldn't get that
2 full picture.
3 Q. And if we can look, as I think I'm probably coming to the end --
4 A. Then we went to Athens and then we went to Pale.
5 Q. Yes. I'm afraid I don't have time to go into those --
6 A. No.
7 Q. But if you look on the next, the right-hand page, Lord Owen, just
8 another detail from the same speech, which as you say has the advantage of
9 contemporaneity about it, second paragraph, fourth line, "The petrol and
10 oil that fuels the Bosnian Serb army comes from Montenegro and Serbia.
11 Essential supplies come across their frontier. The Yugoslav army that was
12 meant to have totally withdraw in the spring of last year never broke
13 contact with the Bosnian Serbs. In recent months we have had convincing
14 evidence of a far greater involvement in terms of personnel, equipment,
15 and strategy.
16 "It is an elaborate charade that Belgrade is not involved in the
17 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and it is a claim that I believe convinces
18 no one in this Council."
19 A. Well, I agreed that then. I agreed it all through the period I
20 was a negotiator, and I believe it now.
21 Q. And if -- if -- there's a document we won't go to because of time
22 but that the Chamber has seen, the 30th session of the National Assembly,
23 addressed by the accused partly in public and partly in private, where he
24 is seen to be saying that they can obtain in peace what had been their
25 objectives earlier in war, if that's the interpretation on that session.
1 That wouldn't surprise you that he should be sticking to original plans
2 but to get them by other means?
3 A. I'd need to look at the document, and I'd need -- I think you're
4 taking me into the area of speculation and --
5 Q. In which case I flag the issue up for the Chamber and I shan't ask
6 you more about it.
7 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I suspect that's my time and I don't wish
8 to trespass.
9 JUDGE MAY: I think that's probably it, yes.
10 MR. NICE: In which case one -- perhaps --
11 Q. Yes, I'm reminded, in your interview on the Breakfast with Frost
12 programme you made it quite clear that support was coming from Serbia and
13 Montenegro. We can see that in one of the annexes. It's in your
15 A. Yes. It was once again a time when I publicly argued for bombing
16 the Serbs, you could say, and I risked my role as negotiator. In fact, it
17 caused condemnation from them and they said how could they be asked to
18 negotiate with somebody who was advocating that I should interdict their
19 supply lines. And I still went on and had the most successful
20 negotiation. So for a negotiator, there is a balance. You can get away
21 with a certain amount of advocacy of military action as a pressure, but it
22 reduces your credibility or if you're -- reduces your acceptability to
23 some extent by doing it, but again, it was for the same reason. It was
24 because those supplies were fuelling this war, and they had to be broken,
25 either by a political will decision by President Milosevic in Belgrade or
1 by the Western world interposing military force to stop it happening.
2 Q. Lord Owen, you make the point in your materials that we asked you
3 to come as a witness for the Prosecution and that you declined. I'm sure
4 you will understand that we can't force the Judges to call witnesses, and
5 we have had to ask you ourselves. We're obviously grateful that you've
6 come, and I think you can also probably confirm that in coming to give
7 evidence you haven't restricted yourself in any way by seeking
8 confidentiality or any matters of that sort. You've simply given the
9 evidence being master, as you judge it, of when it becomes appropriate to
10 seek guidance from the Chamber on when material shouldn't be given.
11 A. I hope that's the case. I hope I haven't damaged the concept. As
12 you know, I did argue that negotiators should be treated in a special way
13 and I'm grateful to the Court for giving me that special treatment in the
14 sense that I hope it's a demonstration to Mr. Milosevic but also to the
15 Serbs generally that this -- that a negotiator is there, given a certain
16 amount of trust by them, and that you shouldn't damage that process.
17 We're going to need negotiators in the future. We need to have some
18 understanding of how they handle this next problem of -- but as I said,
19 I'm impartial but I'm not neutral on the questions of weapons -- of -- of
20 crimes against humanity or war crimes, and I want to make it clear because
21 Mr. Vance is not here, unfortunately has died, a great American diplomat
22 and fine man. He never doubted that we had to have some investigation of
23 what had gone on, and he and I both recommended that this Court should be
24 established by the Security Council, and the reason why we wanted it by
25 the Security Council was we thought that at a time of their choosing the
1 Security Council would understand that you need reconciliation in these
2 sort of wars and there comes a point where the pursuit of absolute justice
3 can actually damage reconciliation and it's for the Security Council to
4 determine when that position is reached. But I don't believe you can ever
5 amnesty anybody who has been given an arrest warrant by a criminal court.
6 I think that has to go through to judgement.
7 Q. Lord Owen, we're grateful to you for coming and giving evidence in
8 this way. Thank you.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Lord Owen, I have a question to ask you. I want
10 to take you back to the first part of your testimony when, in discussing
11 the question of the influence and control of the accused, you said that
12 the police were under his control more like a militia and that they
13 operated as a counterbalance to a more independent JNA.
14 So two questions: First, what factors led you to the view that
15 the police were under the control of the accused; and secondly, your
16 reference to "a more independent JNA" I take to mean that, in your view,
17 the accused had less control over the JNA. So what factors led you to
18 that view?
19 THE WITNESS: Well, on the first point, I think you saw the way
20 the police responded to President Milosevic in just the day-to-day visits
21 to Belgrade and Serbia and Montenegro. But in particular, you saw it in
22 the -- his decision to have this ban on certain goods going into Republika
23 Srpska or the Bosnian Serb part of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and he entrusted
24 almost all of that to the police to run. And you -- I got the firm belief
25 that he controlled that process. At various times, I think both Mr.
1 Stoltenberg and I felt that there was a resistance to this policy, and we
2 didn't know where it came from, but we felt that it might be the JNA.
3 And you may remember that in some evidence that I've given, there
4 was reporting of two helicopters incidents, one I think in October of 1994
5 and one in February 1995, of a helicopter flight in the area of Republika
6 Srpska, which had come in from Bosnian Serb territory and almost, by
7 definition, was likely to be JNA helicopters.
8 Now, in the investigation of that, again he used the police, and
9 the way he used the police, you got the feeling he was doing that because
10 he trusted them. And we never got to the complete bottom of it, but the
11 first one might well have been. The second one was pretty clearly a
12 medevac evacuation that hadn't been reported. But in the depth of -- I
13 mean, President Milosevic took the allegations that this was a breach
14 pretty seriously, and of course if he hadn't, then there would not have
15 been a suspension of even the limited suspension of sanctions that have
16 been discussed. So I think that was the main case.
17 As far as the JNA was concerned, again I was never relying on
18 direct information. I just got the feeling from some of the military
19 reporting on our side that they were detecting tensions between the JNA
20 and Belgrade, and there was a strong feeling that Mladic had loyalties
21 which he could draw on in the JNA. You know, fellow officers, being with
22 them. But he was -- General Mladic was a popular general. He was
23 somebody who slept with the soldiers in the trenches. He was a soldier's
24 soldier in that sense, and this was one of the problems. He was building
25 up all the time an independent power base with the support of the Bosnian
1 Serb forces but you got the feeling that radiated out into Yugoslavia and
2 you could say that subsequent events have slightly shown that that is the
3 case. The protection that was put around president -- General Mladic was
4 much more than might be done for quite a number of other generals. So he
5 was a formidable figure in that sense.
6 And I have very little doubt that there were serious arguments of
7 a variety at different times about strategy between President Milosevic
8 and the generals. I don't think he just told them what to do. I think
9 they, at various times, would argue back, whereas the police I got the
10 feeling were much more responsive to the civil power, if you like.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you very much.
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Before we go on, we need to tidy up the
13 exhibits. The book, first of all, Lord Owen's book. Do you want that
15 MR. NICE: I think it would be helpful to have it available, yes.
16 JUDGE MAY: Very well, we'll exhibit that. The next C number,
18 THE REGISTRAR: C18, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE MAY: And the letter which Lord Owen referred to, or the
20 cable, rather, from Mr. Annan to UNPROFOR, it's dated the 23rd of April,
21 1993. That has been referred to. It, too, should be exhibited. It will
22 have the next C number.
23 THE REGISTRAR: C19, Your Honour.
24 MR. NICE: The CD-ROM of the book should be exhibited with either
25 the original statement or the book rather than both.
1 JUDGE MAY: Well, that can be attached to the book as part of the
3 Yes, Mr. Milosevic. About 20 minutes before the next break.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Tell me, please, Mr. May, how long
5 you're going to give me for asking Lord Owen my questions.
6 JUDGE MAY: Three hours.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I don't think that will be
8 sufficient. And in view of the fact that you said at the beginning that
9 Lord Owen will be with us tomorrow as well, I assume you do have the
10 possibility of giving me more time, and I should like to ask you to give
11 me more time.
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We can look at it, but bear in mind that the
13 Prosecution only had two, and that's something we'll also have to take
14 account of. We shall also take account of the manner in which you conduct
15 the cross-examination and whether it's relevant or not.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] As far as I understand the time,
17 it's 12.00 now, so it's impossible that the Prosecution had just two
18 hours. But let's not waste any more time.
19 Questioned by Mr. Milosevic:
20 Q. [Interpretation] Lord Owen, at the outset, may we clarify one
21 point, because I wasn't quite clear on what you were saying. I don't know
22 if I understood it. I'm not quite sure that Mr. Nice said the same thing
23 you were saying with respect to our relationship.
24 It would appear from what we have heard and from the questions you
25 were asked by Mr. Nice, and something that has remained unclear in the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 answer you gave, is that I misled you, or to use the worst term, one
2 introduced by Mr. Nice, that I lied in our talks which were very numerous.
3 We had talks on numerous occasions. So would that be the qualification
4 you can give?
5 A. I thought I did, Mr. Milosevic, qualify it when he asked me the
6 question, that there were certain things which you would not be truthful
7 about because you knew that effectively you had to deny them in the sort
8 of -- the framework of those negotiations. And those were largely
9 allegations about the involvement of the JNA and the involvement of the
10 government which you were responsible for in supplying the Yugoslav -- the
11 Bosnian Serb army across the border between Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
12 So on all those occasions you remember that I would raise them
13 with you, that you would say, "No. No, no, I'm not. They are a separate
14 army, they are answerable to the president of the Republika Srpska, Mr.
15 Karadzic, and to General Mladic, and they're quite separate from us." Now
16 I think you knew perfectly well that I knew that was not the truth. But
17 it was not the sort of lie that -- I tried to -- I tried to explain to the
18 Court the nature of that. It didn't extend, that, to many of the other
19 questions that were raised, but there was an area -- if you argue, I
20 suppose, about legitimacy that you would never accept that there were --
21 that you were involved in supporting the republican -- Bosnian Serbian
23 Q. Let's just make a distinction here, Lord Owen, precisely with
24 regard to what you just said. I assume that there are two things there,
25 and both things that you said are not being challenged. The first of
1 those two things is that they were a separate army, that they did have a
2 separate command, and that the Republika Srpska was formed and that the
3 army of Republika Srpska was formed. And I hope that we're not
4 challenging that.
5 The second point is that yes, we did -- is that we helped
6 Republika Srpska. However, this aid and assistance did not imply the fact
7 that we were in command of the army of Republika Srpska at all. So would
8 that be the right clarification? Would that be a truthful distinction and
9 truthfully reflect the actual state of affairs?
10 A. I think there was a -- a stage when the Yugoslav forces coming
11 through from Croatia into Bosnia-Herzegovina were probably still under the
12 command of your government, and that was predominantly when -- before I'd
13 become the EU negotiator. I think it is true to say that the structure of
14 Republika Srpska grew in form and in substance as they became more
15 independent and as they became more self-confident.
16 So it may be, and I'd be very interested to know whether you agree
17 with this, that your power of influence over them lessened over the --
18 over the years, but I still think you had the power of influence. As to
19 whether you had a command relationship with General Mladic, I certainly
20 think that he acted independently at times. I think he acted
21 independently of Dr. Karadzic and Mr. Krajisnik.
22 Q. So can we then distinguish between what we call assistance, and
23 let me say that many countries helped the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina or
24 the formation of the paramilitaries in Croatia, for instance, at the
25 beginning of the war. The Muslims were helped by -- well, ranging from
1 Indonesia to Saudi Arabia to Turkey and Kuwait, Iran, et cetera. And
2 nobody found this strange. So why, then, would it be strange if the Serbs
3 helped other Serbs? So aid and assistance by definition does not imply
4 any form of command.
5 And on the other hand, we have a formed structure, an established
6 structure of the army of Republika Srpska and the parliament and the
7 government and all the other organs that this implies, and our
8 relationship to them were as people on a footing of equality.
9 JUDGE MAY: This is how time is wasted because you're making a
10 speech. What is the question that you want to ask the witness?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, that's precisely the question.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Can we separate those two things? Is it clear that those two
14 things are two distinct things and not identical?
15 A. I don't think they're as distinct as you're trying to make out,
16 but I think that it was part of your strategy of avoiding sanctions, or at
17 least trying to get sanctions suspended, that you should demonstrate to
18 the world that there was a separation. And I think that, over time, that
19 separation grew more credible. But I think we need to bear a little
20 qualification. I mean, you know, what was Pale? What were these people?
21 They were a small number, really, of people who were dependent for very
22 large part of their existence on their relationship with your government.
23 From time to time they bargained and got ammunition, no doubt, maybe more,
24 and certainly oil, from the Croatians, but broadly speaking, all their
25 main supply lines came through your country.
1 Now, that gives you leverage. Does it give you command? We can
2 argue about that. I think this is an area which I was not an expert in.
3 It was not my fundamental task to determine, and I would need to know and
4 to see some of the transcripts of the instructions that you gave to your
5 military commanders during this period to know exactly.
6 But I don't -- I don't seek to deny that you were making a
7 distinction and that it is a distinction of substance but not necessarily
8 a total distinction. I think there was a measure of command at times in
9 your relationship with Karadzic, Krajisnik, and even Mladic.
10 Q. Lord Owen, not to run into any misunderstandings and confusion,
11 and as time is of the essence here - I hope you will agree with that - let
12 me say the following: You talk about the fact that the army, in 1991 and
13 1992, came to Bosnia, the JNA, and that especially in 1992, that that was
14 a critical year, and that in a way, at that time, the possibility existed
15 for that to be stopped by Serbia; is that right? Or if you don't want to
16 say Serbia, that I myself could have. But we're talking about 1991 and
17 1992 and the presence of the JNA in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
18 A. I think that it would have been possible to have pulled back
19 ammunition, arms, and people more extensively than you did, and that was
20 the judgement of the UN Security Council in May 1992 when they applied
21 sanctions against Serbia and Montenegro.
22 Q. Very well. Now, bearing in mind the fact that you came in the
23 second half of 1992 in your capacity of representative of the European
24 Community and that you're talking about this to the best of your
25 recollections, I should like to remind you that on page 32 of your book,
1 and whenever I have reference to your book I'll do my best to give you the
2 English version of the book so that you don't have to take too much time
3 in finding the passage. This is what you say. You're talking about
4 because Boutros-Ghali. He has his fans and his critics. I'm one of his
6 You just mentioned the 30th of May, 1992. Do you know that
7 Boutros-Ghali as the Secretary-General of the United Nations on the 30th
8 of May, 1992, tabled a reports to the UN Security Council and that report
9 is titled "Report of the UN Secretary-General Pursuant to Paragraph 4 of
10 the Security Council Resolution 752." And it is precisely in that report
11 of the 30th of May, 1992 that he stresses that the army of Republika
12 Srpska was not under the control of Belgrade.
13 I have here in front of me that particular report by the UN
14 Secretary-General, and I'm just going to quote certain passages from it.
15 In actual fact -- actually, if you need some time to take a look at the
16 document, I'd be happy to wait for you to do so.
17 JUDGE MAY: Yes. This is Defence Exhibit D91.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Lord Owen, I assume -- I assume that you know that the JNA, from
20 the end of World War II right up until that time in 1992, was a regular
21 army of Yugoslavia, which was deployed on its territory from Slovenia to
22 Macedonia in all its constituent republics. Isn't that right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Therefore, not even threaten in 1992 did anybody send the JNA to
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina. The JNA was in Bosnia-Herzegovina on the territory of
1 the country whose army it was. Isn't that right, Lord Owen?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now, would you please take a look at what it says here in
4 Boutros-Ghali's report, and it's to be found in chapter 1, or first
5 section, entitled Background. I'm going to skip over the introduction in
6 order to save time, and this is what he says in point 2: "[In English]
7 26th of April, 1992, President Izetbegovic of Bosnia-Herzegovina" --
8 [Interpretation] I have to make pauses to give the interpreters a chance
9 to keep up with me and to interpret for those of the public listening --
10 "[In English] met at Skopje with Blagoje Adzic Chief of Staff of the JNA
11 and acting Federal Secretary of Defence and Mr. Branko Kostic,
12 vice-president of the Federal Presidency in Belgrade to define the role of
13 JNA in Bosnia-Herzegovina and its eventual withdrawal. This meeting did
14 not produce a definitive agreement, and the Belgrade authorities on May
15 the 4th announced their decision to withdraw from Bosnia-Herzegovina by 18
16 May all JNA personnel who were not citizens of that republic.
17 "On 13 May Vice-president Kostic proposed to President Izetbegovic
18 that the talks be resumed with the participation of the representative of
19 the Bosnian Serb and Croat communities. On the same day, authorities of
20 the so-called Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina announced their
21 decision to form their own army which would be composed of units of former
22 JNA based in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and appointed General Ratko Mladic as
23 the commander of that army."
24 [Interpretation] I quoted from word to word the report -- from the
25 report by the UN Secretary-General. Therefore, Lord Owen, isn't it quite
1 clear that the JNA, which for decades had been on its own territory on the
2 basis of a political agreement is now withdrawing from Bosnia-Herzegovina
3 and of course so are the citizens who weren't citizens of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina who made up the JNA. So this relationship was being
5 negotiated between the federal powers and authority, represented by the
6 chief of the General Staff and the charges d'affaires of the defence
7 minister and the vice-president of the Yugoslav state Presidency. We're
8 talking about federal institutions here and their stay there, their being
10 So can we say that Serbia was the one that was supposed to stop
11 the JNA from going to Bosnia-Herzegovina? The JNA was already there and
12 it was, in fact, withdrawing from Bosnia-Herzegovina. Isn't that right,
13 Lord Owen?
14 A. Well, you're certainly correct that the Yugoslav army was
15 positioned in all parts of the former Yugoslavia, and we are dealing here
16 with the -- a complex situation, in fact admitted in Resolution 757 of the
17 UN passed on the 30th of May, 1992, noting that in the very complex
18 context of events in the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,
19 all parties bear some responsibility for the situation. But that same
20 Resolution goes on to say, and this is the 30th of May, so it's the same
21 day as the Secretary-General reported to the Security Council, has the
22 paragraph deploring the fact that the demands in Resolution 752 have not
23 been complied with, and on its fifth subvent -- sorry, it's fourth, that
24 action be taken as regards units of the Yugoslav Peoples Army, JNA in
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina, including the disbanding and disarming with weapons
1 placed under effective international monitoring of any units that are
2 neither withdrawn nor placed under the authority of the government of
4 So the Security Council, at a time when I was not involved, took
5 the view that you had not done enough to satisfy the demands made in 752,
6 and they passed this Resolution 757 which did put sanctions onto your
7 country. And there's no doubt that one of the main reasons for that is
8 that all the regular forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina they thought had not
9 been disbanded and disarmed and that the JNA had not been removed.
10 Now, of course you will argue that the ones that stayed behind
11 were Bosnian Serbs who were entitled to decide to defend their part of the
12 former Yugoslavia. But you have to remember that this was in the context
13 of a Resolution that had earlier been done in which Bosnia-Herzegovina had
14 been recognised by the United Nations as an independent country.
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well, we're going to adjourn now, Mr. Milosevic,
16 but you may want to focus your cross-examination on matters which this
17 witness can deal with, that is, matters when he was here, when he was here
18 dealing with those matters which this trial is concerned with, and that,
19 of course, he can answer. But arguments, many of which are matters which
20 we're going to have to resolve, are not helpful and do not assist the
21 Trial Chamber and may not assist you either. Arguments about the
22 interpretation of various Security Council Resolutions and documents from
23 the Secretary-General.
24 You will have -- I've said to you before, you will have plenty of
25 time to address us in due course on all those things and argue your case,
1 but arguing with the witnesses is not one way that you can usefully spend
2 your time.
3 We will adjourn now. Twenty minutes.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May --
5 JUDGE MAY: No. We're going to adjourn. You can talk to us
7 --- Recess taken at 12.20 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 12.40 p.m.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Lord Owen, you mentioned a moment ago a resolution whereby
12 sanctions were introduced against Yugoslavia. However, I was quoting from
13 a report of the Secretary-General, and would you please look at that
14 report? I will skip over parts. For instance, paragraph 5 says: "[In
15 English] The bulk of the JNA personnel who were deployed in Bosnia and
16 Herzegovina were citizens of that republic and were not therefore covered
17 by the Belgrade authority's decision of 4th of May -- or 4th of March" --
18 THE INTERPRETER: 4th of May.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC:
20 Q. -- "Bosnia-Herzegovina. Most of them appear to have joined the
21 army of so-called Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Others have
22 joined the Territorial Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is under
23 the political control of the Presidency of that republic. Others may have
24 joined various irregular forces operating there."
25 [Interpretation] And then in paragraph 6 of that same report it
1 says: [Previous translation continues]... "[In English] of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina are said by Belgrade authorities to number barely 20
3 per cent of the total. Most of these are believed to have withdrawn
4 already into Serbia and Montenegro, some of them having been subjected to
5 attack during their withdrawal. Others, however, remain at various
6 garrisons in Bosnia-Herzegovina, especially in Serb-controlled areas
7 including two installations on the outskirts of Sarajevo. A further
8 category consists of personnel who have been blockaded in their barracks
9 by the Territorial Defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina or hostile irregular
10 forces. These are mostly in Sarajevo area where the latest developments
11 have been as follows ..."
12 [Interpretation] And then an explanation is given saying that in
13 the Marsal Tito barracks, between 600 and 1.000 JNA soldiers were
14 blockaded with about 200 vehicles that the negotiations over their
15 evacuation were ongoing. That on the 30th of May, 1992, the barracks was
16 under attack with rockets, et cetera, fired by Muslim Territorial Defence
17 of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And then there is reference to other cases,
18 that is the Viktor Bubanj barracks. That was also under attack.
19 And then in paragraph 7, this problem with the withdrawal is
20 emphasised foregoing that the blocking and safe withdrawal of the remain
21 of JNA troops from their barracks in Bosnia-Herzegovina has become linked
22 to other problems which have caused continuing conflicts in that republic
23 and has in particular been complicated by the problem related to the
24 withdrawal of heavy weapons from the barracks and from Bosnia and
1 "[In English] Communication that general leadership in Belgrade is
2 willing to leave the bulk of its weapons behind upon withdrawal, but the
3 leadership of the army of Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina is
4 unwilling to permit this."
5 [Interpretation] And then in paragraph 8 it says: [Previous
6 translation continues]... "[In English] about who exercises political
7 control over the Serb forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina has further complicated
8 the situation."
9 And then in goes on to say that the Presidency of Bosnia and had
10 an initially been reluctant to engage in talks on these and other issues
11 with the leadership of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
12 And then in paragraph 9 of this report --
13 JUDGE MAY: I think we're going to have to come to a question.
14 What is it that you want Lord Owen to answer to, Mr. Milosevic?
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. This report by Boutros-Ghali, I assume you will agree with me
17 faithfully reflects the real state of affairs on the ground. Is that
19 A. I was not there, as you know, but my --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
21 THE WITNESS: Sorry. I was not there, as you know, but my belief
22 is that the UN normally does to its utmost to reflect accurately the
23 situation on the ground and therefore I have no reason whatever to object
24 or criticise what's said in the report.
25 JUDGE MAY: Can you help us with this, Lord Owen: Does it reflect
1 the situation that you saw when you arrived or doesn't it help on that?
2 THE WITNESS: Well, the situation had moved on, but to -- I think
3 historically it is a very important report, because it reveals the nature,
4 the complex nature of this war and how this, for example, blocking of
5 troops in barracks had been used previously in Croatia, and it was an
6 aspect of it which led to a feeling amongst Serbs particularly and some of
7 their military that they had not been treated fairly.
8 The resolution that was followed on that same day that was passed
9 by the Security Council was strongly resented by the Serbs. On the other
10 hand, I don't see how the Security Council, having recognised
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina a few days before, weeks before, could have done
12 anything other than to start to assert the integrity of the new state
13 which they had created.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. And are you aware, and I think this is an extremely important
16 fact, Lord Owen, that this report by Boutros-Ghali, which reports on the
17 army of Yugoslavia pulling out of Bosnia and Herzegovina and everything
18 else that I have quoted, do you know that that report was not reviewed at
19 all at the Security Council? It was put aside and then a resolution was
20 adopted introducing sanctions against Yugoslavia, because on the basis of
21 such a report the decisions and sanctions could not have been taken?
22 A. I note the timing of the resolution and the report being the same
24 Q. Do you know that the Security Council did not review this report
25 at all, and it was not familiar with what Boutros-Ghali was saying?
1 A. All I know is that the report was delivered by the
2 Secretary-General that day and the resolution was passed that day. I was
3 not there. I had no official capacity in that time.
4 Q. I should like to draw your attention to another paragraph of this
5 report which clearly shows that Yugoslavia was bona fides fulfilling its
6 obligations, and that is paragraph 10, which says: "As regards to the
7 withdrawal of elements of the Croatian army [Previous translation
8 continues]... [In English] Bosnia, the information currently available in
9 New York suggests that no such withdrawal has occurred. UNPROFOR has
10 received reliable reports of Croatian army personnel in uniform operating
11 within and as part of a military formation in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The
12 Croatian authorities have consistently taken position that Croatian
13 soldiers in Bosnia-Herzegovina have left the Croatian army and are not
14 subject to this authority. International observers do not, however, doubt
15 that portion of Bosnia-Herzegovina are under control of Croatian military
16 units whether belonging to the local Territorial Defence, to paramilitary
17 group, or to Croatian army. It is unclear in the circumstances how their
18 withdrawal or disbandment, as required by the Council, can be achieved."
19 [Interpretation] And then also in this same report, in paragraph
20 9, it says: [Previous translation continues]... "[In English] that now
21 exist about the abilities of the authorities in Belgrade to influence
22 General Ratko Mladic who has left JNA. Efforts have been made by UNPROFOR
23 to appeal to him directly as well as through the political leadership of
24 the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. As a result of these efforts,
25 General Mladic agreed on 30 May to stop the bombardment of Sarajevo.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 While it is my hope that the shelling of the city will not be resumed, it
2 is also clear that the madness of General Mladic and the forces under his
3 command as independent actor apparently beyond the control of the JNA."
4 [Interpretation] So these are all abstracts from Boutros-Ghali's
5 report, and neither you nor I have any reason to doubt its accuracy.
6 So is it clear from this, in view that you, at the beginning of
7 your testimony, spoke about the responsibility of Serbia for the presence
8 of the JNA in Bosnia, that the JNA was there for decades, that the JNA was
9 just then pulling out of Bosnia-Herzegovina rather than going to
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina and committing any sort of aggression there? Is that
11 clear, at least?
12 A. Yes, although I think it's also acknowledged that those forces
13 from Croatia came back through Bosnia-Herzegovina. Some of those forces
14 were people who had not been in Bosnia-Herzegovina or the region of but in
15 the region of Croatia. But I have no great dissent from this, and I agree
16 that this report is relevant, reflects the complex and chaotic situation
17 in some respects that was occurring in the former Yugoslavia during this
19 Nevertheless, it doesn't detract in any way from my position that
20 it was not necessary for you to continue to supply them with oil,
21 ammunition, military equipment, and other aspects from Belgrade.
22 Q. That's another matter. I hope that you will recollect a
23 conversation we had when you were raising that particular issue as to
24 where was so much equipment coming from. When I told you that according
25 to the concept of All People's Defence that was in force in Yugoslavia,
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina as the central republic had the largest number of
2 military installations, warehouses, military factories, et cetera, because
3 at the time of the crisis between the former Yugoslavia and the Soviet
4 Union, everything was concentrated in that central republic so that it
5 wouldn't be exposed to any direct impact should a conflict break out. I
6 assume you remember that conversation.
7 A. Yes, I do. And it was true of parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina which
8 were controlled by the Bosnian government forces and also true of those
9 which were controlled by the Croatian forces. All parties had access to
10 ammunition and also to munition factories. But nevertheless, I don't know
11 the figures of how much ammunition you did or did not supply, but by the
12 time we're talking about, 1993, 1994, the general belief was that
13 ammunition did go across, but I can't prove it.
14 Q. It is very important for us to clear this up, because Mr. Nice was
15 endeavouring to explain that the reality was the opposite.
16 Lord Owen, on page 1 of your book the "Balkan Odyssey," which Mr.
17 Nice has tendered into evidence here, you say that in the Balkans, nothing
18 is simple. Everything is permeated with history and the complexity causes
19 confusion even at -- given the most careful study.
20 In the same book you noted that in Bosnia-Herzegovina everything
21 is not what it appears to be. That is why in continuation of my
22 examination, I will endeavour for you to assist me to the best of your
23 knowledge and experience in explaining things which you yourself say are
24 not simple and for us to try and establish what the real truth is and not
25 what may appear to be the truth to some.
1 You say that in Balkans, everything is permeated by history, and
2 you mention this throughout your book. When you became the main
3 negotiator or the co-chairman, the opinion that was widespread in Serbia
4 was that you were an anti-Serb hawk. I am sure you are aware of that.
5 JUDGE MAY: You know, you started this -- I'm sorry, Lord Owen.
6 THE WITNESS: That was the view.
7 JUDGE MAY: You started this question by asking questions about
8 everything being permeated by history and also difficulty of establishing
9 what the real truth is, et cetera. Let's try and have one question at a
11 Is there any question that arises out of the history that you want
12 to ask the witness?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have put my question, Mr. May, and
14 I assume Lord Owen knows that the prevalent view was that he was an
15 anti-Serb hawk at the time of his appointment.
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes. He's agreed with that.
17 THE WITNESS: I agreed with that.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. After your arrival to the position of co-chairman, the view in
20 Serbia, the dominant view, which I assume dominates even today, is that
21 you were among the minority of people who were correct and not
22 ill-intentioned or, rather, well-intentioned international mediators? Are
23 you aware of that too?
24 A. I hope that was the case, because that was certainly my intention,
25 to be impartial.
1 Q. With respect to the causes of the wars, I refer to page 43 of your
2 book, highlighting your policy of looking forward rather than backward,
3 you said the following, and I quote you: "A similar position was adopted
4 by me regarding the causes of the wars in Yugoslavia. It was sufficient
5 to focus on the current horrors and the future peace. What should have
6 been done before the collapse of Yugoslavia was an interesting question,
7 but it caused a great deal of dissent. Furthermore, the facts were not
8 quite what I thought they were at the beginning. The expressions
9 'aggressor' and 'victim' were used as weapons in the propaganda war. The
10 real state of affairs was clearly far more complex than that dichotomy
11 might indicate."
12 So, Lord Owen, initially you had some misrepresentations of the
13 state of affairs which were the result of the propaganda war; isn't that
15 A. Yes, I think it is true, and of course anybody coming into a
16 situation like in my circumstances is bound to discover more facts as they
17 deal with it, but I think there was a considerable misrepresentation, as
18 there is in most civil wars, I might say, round through history. There
19 are different interpretations even today in United States about what was
20 happening during their civil war, and no doubt there will be a long time
21 where there will be very significant differences of view about what
22 happened in the months in which the former Republic of Yugoslavia
24 Q. Bearing in mind precisely that in this quotation and in many other
25 places in your book you refer to the propaganda war, I would like to ask
1 you several questions relating to that propaganda war.
2 On page 164, paragraph four, you say: "A team closed -- the UNMO
3 team close to the Kosevo Hospital in Sarajevo was an eyewitness when a
4 Bosnian crew was positioning a weapon and hitting the Serbs. Then they
5 packed their things quickly, and the UNMO only saw a TV team arriving and
6 filming, under quotation marks, the Serb attacks on the hospital in
7 retaliation. That was the same hospital I visited a month before and
8 which shocked me by traces of bombing in the patients' rooms. And then I
9 asked why the UN had not made public this problem. He wanted the truth to
10 come to the fore, but he said, "We have to live here."
11 I hope I have quoted you correctly. The interpreter apologises we
12 don't have the actual book in front us.
13 So the Muslims used provocation even at the cost of sacrificing
14 their own citizens and finding ways of putting the blame on the Serbs;
15 isn't that right?
16 A. In this particular case, the propaganda was being -- the Bosnian
17 government forces were part of the propaganda. I think it's important to
18 put this in context. There are many cases where Serb propaganda and
19 Croatian propaganda were also being used, but I don't dissent from the
20 extract that you've put. It was General Morillon who said, "We have to
21 live here," and that was a reality which the UN had to face wherever they
22 were placed. They had to live and deal with the situation as they found
23 it, just like we did as negotiators.
24 Q. But already on page 130, second paragraph, you say as a moment ago
25 you mentioned this particular case, but on page 130, in the second
1 paragraph you say: "The role of the victim was the central point of
2 Muslim propaganda, and its main vehicle and creator," in your words, "was
3 the vice-president of the SDA and member of the BH Presidency Ejub Ganic.
4 You say with reference to him that he was elected to the Presidency in
5 1990 as a Yugoslav, as in those days two Serbs, two Croats, two Muslims
6 and one Yugoslav were elected." But I quote you again: "He has one main
7 political goal, namely to include the American army in a combat role in
8 the Bosnian war so as to defeat the Serbs."
9 Was that the main goal of the Muslim leadership which you
10 attribute to Ganic? But in fact, it applied to the entire Muslim
11 leadership headed by Izetbegovic. Isn't that so?
12 A. I think the strategy of involving the Americans militarily was
13 particularly one which Ganic undertook because he had been in America. He
14 had worked in America, and he felt, I think truthfully, that he understood
15 American sentiment. And he also made a realistic appraisal of the balance
16 of forces and felt that unless and until America put its weight into --
17 militarily into a settlement, there would not be justice for the Muslim
18 population, and to some extent his judgement has been borne out by
19 history. It was the eventual decision of the United States to use force
20 in August and September 1995 that did transform the situation.
21 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I suspect we're all having trouble finding
22 the page references because the accused is working from a non-English
23 version. I've been unable to find either of them in the hard copy or in
24 the paper --
25 JUDGE MAY: No. I haven't interrupted so far. I think we've all
1 got his point because it hadn't seemed to me significant at the moment
2 what is being read out. I'm also concerned that the interpreters don't
3 have a copy.
4 We will have to see if anything turns on any of these quotations.
5 MR. NICE: Yes. Obviously if Lord Owen is content to deal with
6 them from memory, that's in one sense fine, but he may prefer to be able
7 to see the context himself. There it is.
8 MR. KAY: The last passage was at page 90 in the English text.
9 JUDGE MAY: Well, they're very different.
10 Yes, Mr. Milosevic. Let's go on.
11 Lord Owen, of course if there is a passage that you would like to
12 see, we can stop and find it.
13 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. If there are different versions, then of course that is one of the
16 versions which I was given, but I did my best to state the page number
17 from the copy in English.
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. And referring to Ganic, you say the following, and I'm quoting
21 you: "According to his view, in order to realise this goal he has the
22 right to use all necessary resources. For him, the goal justifies the
23 means. He orchestrates the propaganda by the Bosnian government. He
24 works at all levels, the USA, with the White House, Capitol Hill, on
25 television screens throughout America, in American households. He knows
1 you have to spend money in America for you to be heard. So he was ready
2 to use media advisers and counsellors and to apply all modern means of
3 communication. He believes that the Serbs do not listen to anybody but
4 react to force, and his message to America was a simple one: We are the
5 victims. And like all good propaganda men, he repeats this ad infinitum,
6 and he okays the publicity given to the Muslims as victims. He has a fear
7 that -- afraid that Sarajevo will come off the news screens because this
8 will leave less scope for American politicians to intervene. From the
9 Muslim aspect, this is justified. However, it is a merciless strategy and
10 the effects of it are very often undermined, and Ganic's message is being
11 conveyed by Silajdzic and everybody else who appeared on television in
12 that regard."
13 Is that right, Lord Owen? That was the practice they applied?
14 A. Yes, broadly speaking. You're obviously working from the
15 translation. I was told at the time that the translation was a good one,
16 and listening to it, obviously there are slightly differences but I think
17 it is good translation. I have no objection to the quote that you've put.
18 Q. Did you have occasion to discuss that strategy with Holbrooke, for
19 example, to have an exchange of views about that subject matter?
20 A. No, not really. Mr. Holbrooke came in quite late into the -- my
21 tenure as EU negotiator. I talked to him on quite a number aspects, but
22 he's a realist, I don't think he would necessarily disagree with this, but
23 it's up to him to speak for himself.
24 Q. I asked you this for a practical reason, in fact, because when he
25 and I discussed this, when he spoke about this strategy --
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. -- and he says ruthless, ingeniousity, referring to Izetbegovic.
4 JUDGE MAY: I'm not sure that the witness can deal with what
5 Mr. Holbrooke's views were.
6 THE WITNESS: And certainly not a quote of what he said. I'm
7 afraid I have no knowledge of that. I mean, I know Dick Holbrooke and I
8 think he's done extraordinarily well in eventually brokering a settlement
9 in Dayton, and I believe that you were helpful in that negotiation as --
10 and I rejoice that at least the war did end in 1995. I only wish he had
11 been able to end it a lot earlier.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. According to my English copy, the one I'm working from and quoting
14 from, this is on page 133, paragraph two, in which you say the following.
15 Referring to the agreement, you speak about the demilitarisation of
16 Sarajevo and say: "I have discovered that the strongest resistance to our
17 agreement is not coming from the Bosnian Serbs but from Ejub Ganic. The
18 demilitarisation of Sarajevo did away with the most important weapons from
19 his arsenal for drawing in the Americans."
20 JUDGE KWON: Page 90.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter notes or words to that effect.
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. "He almost recognised that a peaceful Sarajevo wouldn't be in his
24 interests. What he preferred was the continuation of the siege. Speaking
25 quite frankly, he was afraid that the demilitarisation of Sarajevo could
1 lead to freezing the combat lines dividing the town.
2 A. Mr. Milosevic, I agree -- that's an accurate quote, but I remember
3 you using very much the same words in arguing to Karadzic and particularly
4 Mr. Krajisnik that it was in their interests to agree to the
5 demilitarisation of Sarajevo and to stop the bombing. And that's why I
6 could never understand why, having seen the logic, having seen the damage
7 it was doing to the Serbian cause, you didn't use your influence to force
8 them to stop it.
9 That was my problem. You knew it was damaging to the Serbian
10 interests worldwide, damaging to Serbian people in Serbia and Montenegro,
11 damaging to the Bosnian Serbs to continue with this feudal siege of
12 Sarajevo where somebody could just walk down the street and be shot. I
13 experienced that myself. I was in Sarajevo on many occasions and saw the
14 damage that was done by sporadic shelling and sniper fire.
15 Q. There is no doubt that, to any normal human being, it was quite
16 clear that this would be damaging to one and all. And there is also no
17 doubt, and you bear this out, that I myself endeavoured to wield my
18 inference -- influence to put a stop to all of that. But quite obviously
19 that influence was not strong enough. However, the point of this is, or
20 an additional point to what you have already stated is that this would
21 lead to freezing the situation and freezing the division of the town into
22 two parts.
23 I should like now to show you a map of Sarajevo, the ethnic map of
24 Sarajevo, according to the population census of 1991, which shows, in
25 fact, that the Serbs, in that whole battle around Sarajevo, were in fact
1 positioned on their own territory. You will see the territory where the
2 Serbs represent an absolute majority is marked in blue, the Muslims are
3 marked in green, and the Croats are the yellow areas on the map. And I
4 assume there are no foreigner -- there is no foreigner who would be better
5 placed to deal with this map because you had to deal with maps quite a
7 JUDGE MAY: Lord Owen, there is something I want to ask before you
8 look at the map. The accused put this characterisation -- he didn't ask a
9 question, but he put it in what he was saying in his question. "There is
10 also no doubt, and you can bear this out, that I myself endeavoured to
11 wield my influence to put a stop to all of that, but quite obviously, that
12 influence was not strong enough." And then he went on to make another
14 Could you help the Trial Chamber, please, to say whether you agree
15 with that characterisation, first of all, that the accused endeavoured to
16 wield his influence to put a stop to it; secondly, that the influence was
17 not strong enough.
18 THE WITNESS: Well, as I've tried to bring out in the evidence so
19 far, within the negotiating chamber and in the direct talks we had and
20 negotiations on the demilitarisation of Sarajevo or of the map of Sarajevo
21 and how we could deal with Sarajevo first under the Vance-Owen Peace Plan
22 and then under the European Union action plan, and then the Contact Group
23 plan, it is perfectly true that then President Milosevic did understand
24 most of the issues and argued with his fellow Serbs, Bosnian Serbs, that
25 -- for creative solutions to this. And he's right to say that we spent
1 many, many hours with this map. And President Izetbegovic was there as
2 well, and sometimes Mr. Silajdzic. Practically never Mr. Ganic, was I
3 don't think ever at those negotiations.
4 Now, my puzzlement is that, having seen the logic of the
5 settlement, having, for example, understood that it was not viable for the
6 Serbs to continue to be -- position themselves along all the main roads
7 and railway lines coming into Sarajevo, and when Karadzic and Krajisnik
8 refused to move, President Milosevic at that time did not at that time say
9 to them, "All right, if you continue like this, I cannot allow the Serbian
10 people that I represent in Serbia and Montenegro to be dragged down by
11 international sanctions any longer, and I demand that you either accept it
12 or we will cut off all forms of supplies to you." And I urged him time
13 after time after time to do this. But of his understanding of the issue
14 and the way to solve this problem, which was not easy, there was not much
15 disagreement between himself, President Izetbegovic, myself, and Mr.
16 Stoltenberg or Mr. Vance. There was broad agreement about what needed to
17 be done.
18 Our problem was that in -- I never was good at pronouncing any of
19 these names I'm afraid, but in Rajlovac - that was Mr. Krajisnik's
20 birthplace - and it was a strategically dominating hill. He was unwilling
21 to give it up. They wanted to go out to Ilidza and Lukavica and ring
22 round all these key connecting roads and rail. Nobody could have agreed
23 to that. President Izetbegovic couldn't agree to that. President
24 Milosevic knew that President Izetbegovic couldn't agree to it, and he
25 would argue with Karadzic in my presence as to why that was not sensible
1 and come up with some other suggestion. They would ignore it.
2 But then the next logical step for him to do, in my judgement, was
3 to force it. And you know, there was considerable hardship being taken by
4 the Serbian people in terms of economic sanctions. Although there was a
5 lot of leakage of oil, there were times when you would see queues on
6 visits to Belgrade going right round the block for petrol. And the
7 standard of living of the Serbian people and Montenegrins diminished
8 persistently in 1993, 1994, 1995. And as, you know, a politician, I could
9 not understand why they did not force this issue.
10 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Well, you said yourself, Lord Owen, that we spent hours and hours
13 putting forth arguments for reasons to accept those peace plans. Now, do
14 you consider that we should have used force against Republika Srpska,
15 perhaps, which, apart from presenting arguments, that's the only other
16 thing that we could have done, use force. Did you really think we should
17 have used force, that the Serbs should attack the Serbs in order to
18 resolve some of these outstanding problems? We opted for political
19 settlements, political means, to solve the problem.
20 A. Well, I don't think it was necessary for you to use force. I
21 think it was necessary for you to cut off fuel supplies, anything other
22 than bare humanitarian necessities, and to cut off ammunition, cooperation
23 and many other things. I mean, we have to remember that during this
24 period, planes were still flying. The enforcement of the no-flight zone
25 had not taken place really until well into 1993, and planes continued to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 fly after that. Helicopters flew. There were many areas where I think,
2 in retrospect, you must ask yourself could you have forced them to
3 reconsider that? And not by force of arms. I think that was pretty
4 unrealistic to ask a Serbian leader to take up arms against fellow Serbs,
5 and I never asked you to do that.
6 Q. Well, thank you for at least making that observation. So apart
7 from political argumentation about the fact that this was against the
8 interests of both the Serbs in Bosnia and the Serbs in Serbia and the
9 citizens in Serbia and Montenegro as a whole, and to all intents and
10 purposes to everybody in Yugoslavia, along with the pressure that was
11 brought to bear by placing this interdiction, this was a very painful
12 measure that was taken for us - it was painful to us - and it was reduced,
13 in fact, to humanitarian aid. So that was the most painful measure that
14 we resorted to, to set up barriers on the Drina. And Bo Pellnas, your
15 representative, he was a Swede -- actually, it was our initiative to close
16 off this because we thought that this was in the interests of both the
17 Serbs in Bosnia and Serbs in Serbia and the people as a whole in order to
18 arrive at peace. So what else could have been done? What could have been
19 done other than that? Where is the limit? Where are the limits, and what
20 do you consider was not done which could have been done if we had already
21 excluded, for example, the use of force, which was quite logical, because
22 we'd never resort to that.
23 A. Well, I think that, firstly, the cutting off supplies across the
24 Drina and trying to seal the border for strategic supplies like oil and
25 ammunition and equipment was not done until the end of August 1994, if my
1 memory serves me correctly. So I certainly wanted you to do it
2 immediately after the rejection of the Vance-Owen Peace Plan in Pale. And
3 I certainly wanted you to do it in some parts of the negotiation of the
4 European Union action plan, but in particular, I wanted you to do it after
5 the Contact Group plan.
6 So the then-question is, was that for real? Were you stopping
7 really sensitive supplies of military equipment to General Mladic in that
8 period from September '74 on through 'til eventually NATO took action in
9 end of August, early September 1995?
10 Now, that seems to be the key issue for you to ask and answer and
11 explain to the Court.
12 Q. Lord Owen, we brought political pressure to bear, combined with
13 this closing off, cutting off of the supplies, but not in such a way as to
14 have that kill off the Serbs. The measure that was a very painful one for
15 us, and you know this full well, was the maximum that we could have
16 resorted to as a means of political persuasion. However, not across a
17 border thereby jeopardising their survival. Nobody would resort to
18 anything like that, and you know that full well.
19 A. Well, I'm only here to give evidence about what I know, but you
20 know that Mr. Stoltenberg and I took that task on on behalf of the
21 conference with a heavy heart, knowing that we were not likely to be able
22 to deploy all the resources that were needed, but nevertheless, we
23 undertook it because we believed it was both a legitimate pressure on the
24 Bosnian Serbs to settle and a necessary pressure. And I hope that it did
25 produce some more realism amongst the Bosnian Serbs, but the Contact Group
1 plan, as I say, by these five major countries, and their map fell to the
2 -- it didn't produce a result, although it was very little different from
3 the map that had been designed as part of the European Union action plan.
4 But I would only say to you, you said to me when I left that, in
5 retrospect, you thought the time when we were closest to a settlement was
6 in December 1993 on the EU action plan. And certainly on paper, we were
7 very close, and we needed to find a little more territory for President
8 Izetbegovic in two areas, in Eastern Bosnia and in Western Bosnia. And we
9 were talking about 0.5 of a per cent of the total territory of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina. That would have been a point when real pressure on
11 Karadzic and Krajisnik in the run-up to that December negotiation could
12 have been very important.
13 Q. Well, you've just been talking about those negotiations, and I'll
14 have to go back to a topic which I broached a moment ago. Just let me
15 round it off, but to make a digression before I do so.
16 Lord Owen, I'm sure you remember full well that three sides
17 negotiated and they were led by Izetbegovic, Karadzic, and Boban. The
18 Serb side, the Muslim side, and the Croat side. Tudjman and myself
19 attended at your invitation to help speed up the process. We weren't the
20 actual negotiators ourselves. And I would say that already or, rather,
21 the presidents of the two neighbouring republics who wanted to use all
22 their influence to speed up the peace process. That's how I would put it.
23 And throughout the time, I had the impression that we had the same goal
24 in mind and the same objective.
25 And I'm sure you'll remember the position I took at the time, that
1 peace would be achieved if we protect the interests of all three nations
2 equally, the Serbs and the Croats and the Muslims. So there was no talk
3 or idea in our position of having a privileged position for any of the
4 ethnic groups but to treat all three nations and their interests on a
5 footing of equality.
6 So can you deny that it was along this direction that we gathered
7 all our efforts and that I myself, for example, personally considered this
8 to be in the best interests of the Serb people in Bosnia-Herzegovina that
9 peace be reached as soon as possible?
10 A. Yes, I think that is how you saw it. But as I say, the missing
11 piece is, that you used those powers of persuasion at the negotiating
12 chamber, but when a decision was -- you couldn't persuade, you seemed to
13 stop there.
14 Now, you raised the question of President Tudjman. Now, there are
15 many areas where I disagreed with what President Tudjman was doing, but he
16 effectively controlled Mate Boban's negotiating position, whereas by -- by
17 Pale, by May of 1993, you were not ready to exercise the same forceful
18 persuasion or power over Karadzic and Krajisnik and General Mladic.
19 Q. Well, have you read the speech I made at Pale in 1993?
20 A. I only read extracts from it from Tanjug, but I gather it's now
21 been put into -- somebody showed me a document earlier on about this. I
22 look forward to reading it. But I have no doubt that you went to Pale
23 wanting to persuade them. That's my own judgement. There are people who
24 say I am naive in thinking that, that there was some complicated
25 arrangements whereby you were not trying to set settlement. My own belief
1 is that you were, and that I believe is the view of Prime Minister
2 Mitsotakis from Greece who came to Pale with you and I believe also spoke.
3 I also know that is the view of President Cosic who is not always
4 on your side on these issues, but he also spoke in Pale, and I think he
5 believed and I know he believes - I was told by himself and I was also
6 told by Professor Stojanovic that he believed that you were serious in
7 your mood at Pale.
8 The issue for all of us is, and I no doubt bear some measure of
9 responsibility for this too, why were we able -- why did we allow a group
10 in Pale to block a settlement that was in the interests of everybody?
11 Q. That's a good question, but I assume that you also know that that
12 was outside the possibilities of Belgrade's influence, and that is why a
13 referendum came into being there, precisely because that pressure was
14 great and there was no other answer. That's why a referendum was held
15 later on.
16 But let's go back to this other topic, Lord Owen. You say, and I
17 see that my English version copy, and we're going to have a break soon and
18 I'll try and have it harmonised with your copy or, rather, the original
19 that everybody else has here. It has different pagination, but if what I
20 quoted from previously was to be found on page 90, then this next passage
21 must also be on page 90.
22 Anyway, you talk about the hospital and your visit to Kosevo
23 Hospital during that period of time and you say you were shocked because
24 of the lack of heating there, and you arranged that fuel deliveries be
25 made to heat the hospital and then you go on to say, and I quote:
1 "Unfortunately Ganic seemed to have blocked the agreement. The fuel
2 arrived in Kosevo Hospital for several days to cover the Christmas
3 holidays but afterwards was redirected and used for military purposes."
4 May we have your comments on that, please?
5 A. Well, that is factually what I believe to be the case. But if I
6 could just pick up our last conversations. In my written evidence, I
7 don't know how much of that you have seen, the aftermath of the Bosnian
8 Serb Assembly discussions in Pale I described in a COREU, which is a
9 communication between European Union foreign Ministers on the 27th of
10 April, 1993, and I don't think anything that I've said here in this
11 courtroom is different from what I said in that COREU telegram.
12 Q. This policy for making the Muslim side appear as a victim
13 obviously enjoyed support abroad, because you say in your book some ten
14 pages later: "In this stage the propaganda war through the public
15 relations became a characteristic of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The
16 documents registered with the Ministry of Justice of the United States
17 showed that Croatia paid a Washington public relations firm Rudder-Finn
18 Global Public Affairs a certain sum so as to give a positive picture of
19 the Croatian efforts. The Bosnian side also paid for services including
20 writing and columns and editorials and letters to the editor. According
21 to Atlanta Journal from the 28th of February, 1993, from June to
22 September, less than six months, Rudder-Finn, on behalf of the Bosnian
23 government, organised more than 20 interviews with the largest news
24 agencies in the US. There were 13 announcements, 38 news reports by fax,
25 17 official letters, and eight official statements. Meetings were arranged
1 with Mr. Gore, Eagleburger, ten or so influential senators including the
2 majority leader George Mitchell and minority leader Dole. There were 48
3 telephone conversations with members of the House of Representatives. 20
4 conversations with members of the Senate, more than 80 with newspaper
5 columnists, et cetera."
6 And then you say: "An international committee for the former
7 Yugoslavia, we did not have the means with which to respond to anything of
8 this kind."
9 Could you comment on this, please?
10 A. Well, there was a propaganda battle, if you like, or a public
11 debate in the United States of America, and every side -- every party in
12 the former Yugoslavia was putting their case, and from time to time we as
13 negotiators were trying to ensure that it was a more balanced debate and
14 that people did understand the complexities of the issues. There was a
15 substantial body of opinion in the United States for quite awhile who
16 believed that the Serbs in Bosnia had all come in from Serbia and didn't
17 understand that they were indigenous to Bosnia-Herzegovina, which was a
18 region of the former Yugoslavian republic.
19 All this is true, but I think we're in danger of missing the
20 point. While these negotiations were going on, painfully, hour by hour,
21 day by day, month by month, year by year, more and more people were being
22 killed, more and more people were being ethnically cleansed, and facts
23 were being created on the ground. And I felt, and I hoped at times that
24 you felt, an urgency to achieve a peace settlement. And that, I think, is
25 the tragedy, that during that time we were not able to stop this war. And
1 an imperfect peace was far better than a continuation of the war.
2 Q. Lord Owen, that was the position that we all shared, after all,
3 the position that we all advocated, for it was quite clear that there can
4 be no crueler war than a civil war and that nothing can be corrected much.
5 The only thing was to stop the war.
6 Surely it was in that direction that all our joint efforts were
7 geared, that is, to halt the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We discussed
8 this for three years. For three years we invested efforts to that end.
9 Is that something that anyone can deny?
10 A. No, but I was not able to persuade the European Union or the NATO
11 countries to exert force to achieve a settlement. And we were not under
12 the same inhibition. It was not like -- asking us to use force was not
13 the same as asking you to use force. And you were not prepared to exert
14 the political power and the military power to cut the Bosnian Serb army so
15 off from supplies that they would be forced to settle on a settlement
16 which you yourself thought was fair to them.
17 That's the question which we have to ask. I don't mind admitting
18 I failed to mobilise the Western world, if you like, but I mean Russia was
19 involved in this too, to interdict the supply lines, which I thought was
20 the least intrusive military action to take, and I'm asking why did you
21 fail to use your power, which was to cut the supplies off? You only tried
22 to do that. You claim that you tried, and I'm not yet sure about whether
23 you tried whole-heartedly and completely, in September 1994.
24 Q. Well, that is your impression, but I am saying that this was an
25 extremely painful measure for us to take, and we took it. Otherwise, it
1 wouldn't have been painful at all.
2 You yourself, in your book, Lord Owen, say that not even the UN
3 soldiers understood fully how they should act. And I have here from page
4 578 of your book, but that obviously doesn't correspond to the copy that
5 you have, though it is an English language edition, I will quote you but
6 you will probably remember. I will be very correct: "For UN soldiers on
7 the ground, impartiality meant that the threat to Bosnian Serbs with air
8 attacks because of heavy armaments in the exclusion zone also implied
9 threats of attack against Muslims should they use such weapons or try to
10 get military superiority. Also, close-air support had to apply to all
11 parties to the conflict. US commanders in NATO were not allowed to accept
12 this impartiality because their order was to address Washington should the
13 question arise as to any action being taken against anyone other than the
15 And that is the end of your quotation. My question is: Did such
16 an approach taken from the outside encourage the Muslims not to end their
17 operations and to continue the activities they were engaged in in
18 accordance with the model that you describe as Ganic's, but I think it was
19 the model adopted by their entire leadership. Is that right or not, Lord
21 A. I have that quote. It's on page 391, for those who are working
22 from the paperback version. I stand by everything I said in that. We've
23 all had to learn a good deal about peacemaking and peacekeeping from the
24 period of the different wars in the former Yugoslavia, and all of us have
25 made mistakes, and I include myself in that. And I don't think any of us
1 can be proud of what happened during those wars. And I think that the
2 search for impartiality is an extremely difficult one while there is a war
3 going on. And as I say, you can impartial on the negotiations, but you
4 cannot be neutral about things like ethnic cleansing, things like actions
5 which breach the conventions of war and the Geneva Conventions. And I
6 think that we have to face the fact that despite all this negotiation and
7 during all this negotiation, all of that was going on.
8 So I -- I think that we can only conclude from this that your area
9 of activity, as you've admitted, was to put pressure on but not to use
10 force. I have not denied that you were not capable -- you were not -- it
11 was not possible for any leader in Belgrade to use force against the
12 Bosnian Serbs, but I still think you've not convinced me about why you did
13 not use those other political and military pressures that were open to you
14 to force these extremely intransigent people accept the compromise that's
15 necessary for a peace settlement in Pale.
16 Q. Very well, Lord Owen. So I am responsible for not having forced a
17 neighbouring state to do something which I really felt was in the
18 interests of the Serbian people, and that is not at issue. With what
19 means, if we exclude force, which really was an unacceptable means from
20 every standpoint, including the moral one?
21 JUDGE MAY: We have been over this question, but I'm going to ask
22 Lord Owen whether he accepts the characterisation which you have put into
23 that question.
24 What the accused says -- it may be a question which we're going to
25 have to answer, of course, not for a witness, but what the accused is, "I
1 am not responsible for having forced a neighbouring state to do something
2 which I really felt was in the interests of the Serb people."
3 Is that a fair characterisation of your understanding of the
4 position, Lord Owen, or would you rather leave that point?
5 MR. NICE: You've missed out a significant link. Not having
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. Nice.
8 MR. NICE: Your Honour missed out a significant negative in
9 quoting the question. It was for not having forced a neighbouring state.
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Not having forced a neighbouring state. It may
11 be --
12 THE WITNESS: Yes. I think there are two interpretations of the
13 use of the word "forced." My belief is that he should have forced them to
14 have agreed this by using the military and economic and trading pressures
15 that were available to him as the neighbouring state on which they relied
16 for the materials to continue to fight that war, and I believe that he
17 should have done that. And I think it would have carried much more
18 conviction with the West if he had both acted as he did in the negotiating
19 chamber and had then coupled it with the sort of force, as I say military
20 and political but not bombing or not shooting but literally cutting them
21 off from their supplies which they were able to continue this war, I think
22 that was a great error on Mr. Milosevic, then President Milosevic's, part.
23 And I'm sure he can point out many errors which I made as well.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. I have no intention of pointing up your errors, Lord Owen, but
1 would you allow for a slightly different wording of what you said?
2 Namely, you said, "who relied on us to be able to wage war." But would
3 you allow a different wording? And that would be that relied on us to be
4 able to survive. That it was a question of their survival, that that was
5 the core issue, and it was with that regard that they relied on us. And
6 it was absolutely our duty to assist them to survive, precisely those
7 Serbs who had been living there for centuries in those areas rather than
8 coming from Serbia craving to grab other people's territories.
9 Do you make a distinction between warring, waging war, and
11 A. I think you were right not to interfere with genuine humanitarian
12 aid to the Bosnian Serbs in September '74 -- 1994 and then onwards, but I
13 think you need to be able to convince many people, including myself, that
14 why you didn't do it before and then when you did put this restriction on
15 supplies whether you really did ensure that they were deprived of
16 ammunition, they were deprived of weapons, and they were deprived of fuel.
17 Now, you may say that fuel is in part humanitarian and diesel that
18 runs a tank also runs a tractor, but there is a point where you can put
19 pressure on which can focus the minds of people and make them do things
20 which they're reluctant to do, and I don't think you did that.
21 Q. That's a question for judgement. The difference between a tank
22 and a tractor, a hospital, and ammunitions. And it is very difficult to
23 find the right measure. But I shall use another quotation from your book,
24 and this is on my English version copy, page 321. Because a moment ago,
25 in one of the quotations, we saw that the UN could not be impartial. You
1 yourself said that. And I quote what you are saying: "The senior UN
2 officials were practical soldiers who were confronting very difficult
3 problems on the ground, and necessarily they felt that their role was to
4 keep the peace, relying on classical examples and experiences from
5 previous peacekeeping UN operations. What they found difficult to
6 understand was that the Bosnian Muslims, for quite understandable reasons,
7 were against law and order. Disorder and destabilisation were component
8 parts of the strategy of the Bosnian Muslims. They needed to prevent
9 people accepting the Serbian front lines as durable borders. They also
10 saw nothing wrong in the UN protecting them in safe areas while at the
11 same time they could attack from them. I assumed that the Muslim
12 commanders felt that this was not their problem, that is, that the UN
13 Security Council was adopting inconsistent resolutions. They would do
14 everything to make the best of them. Basically, the UN and the Bosnian
15 Muslim commanders necessarily got on each other's nerves and it was sad to
16 listen to various generals in Sarajevo, the Canadian MacKenzie, the
17 Frenchman Morillon, the Belgian Briquemont, the British generals,
18 General Rose and Smith before him, were personally criticised in Sarajevo
19 and in America for being pro-Serb while endeavouring to implement the
20 humanitarian and peacekeeping mandate that required impartiality. With
21 respect to many of these disputed issues, the UN Security Council under US
22 pressure did not even pretend or try to make a pretence of impartiality."
23 I hope I have quoted you correctly. So, Lord Owen, to be
24 impartial was interpreted as being pro-Serb. To be on the side of the
25 Muslims was something that was permissible and desirable, and that was
1 considered to be an impartial attitude. Did you have similar
3 A. Well, I was trying to understand the viewpoint of in that case the
4 Bosnian-Herzegovnian both. You may not wish to yourself, although I think
5 sometimes you tried to. President Izetbegovic was under siege in his
6 capital city. He was seeing the largest population group pushed down into
7 10 per cent or a bit more at times. He was facing ethnic cleansing.
8 There was still even at this stage some camps still going -- holding
9 Muslims hostage in appalling conditions, and there was this continued
10 shelling and sniping, all of which he felt, with some justice, that the
11 world was ignoring. Of course he couldn't agree to freeze the present
12 position. The present position was extraordinarily adverse to the Bosnian
13 Muslims. It was unfair in every particular.
14 And I think that this is why both Mr. Vance and Mr. Stoltenberg
15 and I grew very disillusioned with cease-fires. We felt the cease-fires
16 were, firstly, not kept. People would leave the negotiating table and
17 immediately order up shelling. So they were not honest cease-fire
18 agreements. Barely was the ink dry than there was some breach.
19 And secondly, they were intrinsically unfair in that they froze
20 the situation. So we sought a settlement, an overall settlement, and I
21 think that was the logic behind much of your negotiating, was that we had
22 to put together a package deal. Having got the package, then we had to
23 pressurise to get agreement, and that's what I think we failed to do. You
24 on your side controlling the supplies and we on our side of not using
25 sufficient force to disrupt the supplies.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Tell me, please, Lord Owen, since you mentioned ethnic cleansing
2 several times, camps, and other such things, as a person who was present
3 throughout that period in the area, wasn't it clear at least to you that
4 all three parties to the conflict were engaging in such acts, that there
5 were no innocents? There was no innocent party. Did you know how many
6 hundreds of thousands of refugees there were in Serbia, for example, even
7 before the events of 1995 in Krajina? How many hundreds of thousands?
8 Tens of thousands of them were Muslims from Bosnia who had fled to Serbia
9 to seek salvation there. And how many Serbs from Bosnia and Croatia who
10 were also victims of ethnic cleansing? How many camps for Serbs there
11 were in Bosnia and Herzegovina, how many in Sarajevo itself? When you're
12 talking about ethnic cleansing and camps, is it clear how many were on the
13 side of the Muslims at the same time?
14 A. Mr. Milosevic, I have accepted many quotations, selective
15 quotations, from my book in which I try to give an accurate and as fair
16 interpretation as possible, but I could take you back to many different
17 quotations in which I make it abundantly clear that there is not an
18 equality of evil doing. There is not an equality on many of these
19 practices. It is a sad fact, and I wish it to be made abundantly clear,
20 the Bosnian Serbs were responsible for many more cases of malnutrition, of
21 maltreatment, of killing or of raping or of a whole range of issues than
22 were either the Croatians or the Muslim population, and that is an issue
23 which you have to face up to.
24 It is understandable to defend the Serbian people, and people
25 could understand it, but there is no impartial observer of what was going
1 on in Bosnia-Herzegovina during those years who has not come to the
2 conclusion that the Bosnian Serbs were offending on all of these grounds
3 substantially more than were the Bosnian Croats or the Bosnian Muslims.
4 And that is why the world opinion at times may not strike you as being
5 impartial, because they did see a pattern of aggression, a pattern of
6 violence, and a pattern of racism which they found and still find deeply
7 offensive, and that is why this Tribunal is hearing this case at the
8 moment, and these are issues which legitimately have to be raised and need
9 to be resolved if the world is to stop these practices taking place in the
11 JUDGE MAY: It's now past 2.00, and we're going to adjourn.
12 Mr. Nice, certainly in one moment. There's just one matter I want
13 to address.
14 Mr. Milosevic, you asked for time. It is true that the
15 Prosecution had five minutes longer than they should have done. We will
16 reflect that in the order which we make in respect of you. You can have
17 the first session tomorrow. That's an hour and a half more, which will
18 give you significantly more, or more in any event, than the three hours
19 which we promised you.
20 So you should prepare on that -- prepare on that basis. And try
21 not to argue with the witness --
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I haven't noticed that I've
23 argued with the witness at all. I only put questions to him. But I think
24 that in view of the time you have at your disposal, you can at least give
25 me two sessions rather than an hour and a half, as you say.
1 JUDGE MAY: No. That's our ruling. The difficulty apparently in
2 relation to the book is that the accused has the CD-ROM version, which --
3 and the pagination obviously works out differently in some way.
5 MR. NICE: Lord Owen expressed an interest in being able to read
6 the speech of the accused at Pale which was not formally available to
7 him. It's an exhibit now in the case that I mentioned without referring
8 him to. If the Chamber wants him to see it, the Chamber may recall that
9 the exhibit was introduced 538, tab 9, first in incomplete format through
10 the witness Donia, and at the request of the Chamber, a full version was
11 provided - I think it was provided this morning - and should the Chamber
12 want to make that available to the witness, the accused's contributions
13 can be found on pages 19 and 94 of it.
14 JUDGE MAY: I'm sure the witness has had quite enough reading to
15 do without any more.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, as far as my speech is
17 concerned --
18 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment, Mr. Milosevic. I've got your -- we
19 will give you back your ethnic map of Sarajevo, and you can deal with it
20 tomorrow, if you want, in examination.
21 One other thing, Mr. Nice, and that's about the rest of the week,
22 because we have Mr. Harland who must, I understand, be heard on Wednesday.
23 There is cross-examination outstanding of I think about two and
24 three-quarter hours in his case, so there may be time for another but very
25 shortly --
1 MR. NICE: There is another witness available for tomorrow, a 92
2 bis witness.
3 JUDGE MAY: All right. Mr. Milosevic, what is it you wanted to
4 say? We need to finish.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] As far as my speeches at Pale are
6 concerned, when one of the witnesses testified, you are now saying it's
7 Mr. Donia, I gave you a newspaper from which my speeches at Pale can be
8 seen, because what Mr. Nice tendered here were incorrect or, rather, they
9 were just excerpts which distorted the point. So I tendered a newspaper
10 from that period, and you have that in your documents.
11 JUDGE MAY: We do. We now have, I hope, a full version of the
13 We will adjourn now. Nine o'clock tomorrow morning, please.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.07 p.m.,
15 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 4th day of
16 November, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.