1 THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL CASE NO. IT-94-1-T
2 FOR THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA
3 IN THE TRIAL CHAMBER
6 Wednesday, 8th May 1996
8 (Hearing in open session)
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Niemann, are you ready to proceed and continue
10 with Dr. Gow, please?
11 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, just before I do that, there has been a
12 request from the Registry that we deal with the hard copy exhibits
13 rather than the mechanical electronic process which we started with
15 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: You will have to repeat that for me.
16 MR. NIEMANN: We have been requested by the Registry to deal with original
17 hard copies of the exhibits rather than through the electronic means
18 we started off with yesterday. We are in a position to do that, your
19 Honours, but I only have one copy of each exhibit and I would,
20 because I am dealing with it manually, be assisted at the Bar table
21 by our case manager, Miss Sutherland, so that she can assist me with
22 handling the hard copy exhibits.
23 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: What do you mean "deal with", in terms of the
24 witness marking on the exhibit?
25 MR. NIEMANN: I have received a request that rather than -----
1 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I hear you; I just do not understand.
2 MR. NIEMANN: I will just do it manually now, your Honours. I will tender
3 the exhibit in hard copy. It will be handed to the witness in the
4 usual way and marked in the usual way. The witness will deal with it
5 in the usual way. Then when I ask the witness to explain something
6 about the exhibit, we will use the video display.
7 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Very good.
8 MR. NIEMANN: Might I have leave for Miss Sutherland to approach the Bar
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Yes.
11 DR. JAMES GOW, recalled.
12 Examined by MR. NIEMANN, continued.
13 Q. Dr. Gow, you went into certain matters yesterday that led to the
14 creation of the Yugoslav Federation which was subsequently to
15 disintegrate in the 1990s. We had got to the point, I think, after
16 World War II where you made mention of Tito. What role did Tito play
17 in the federal system that was subsequently to be established?
18 A. Tito was the leader of the Communist movement leading the partisans
19 and then which was installed in power after the Second World War. It
20 adopted a federal form of governmen
21 for the country. In part, this was a way of selling the idea of a
22 new Yugoslavia to those who had been disaffected with the first
23 Yugoslavia, but it must be stressed that, as far as the communists
24 were concerned, they never, I would say, intended this system to have
25 any real meaning.
1 So, it was a federal in form, a federal constitution,
2 which the Yugoslav communists had borrowed from the Soviet communists
3 as a model, but one which did, nonetheless, make some concession to
4 national questions within the territories of Yugoslavia.
5 Q. In connection with that, would you look, please, at a document that
6 is now shown to you? Might this document be shown to the witness?
7 (Handed). Dr. Gow, just looking at that, what I have shown to you,
8 can you tell me what that is?
9 A. The first page is the cover page of a volume called "Yugoslavia
10 Through Documents" edited by Snezana Trifunovska, and the remainder
11 of the document are extracts from the Constitution of the Federal
12 People's Republic of Yugoslavia as constituted on 31st January 1946.
13 Q. Do you know where it was obtained from, that particular document?
14 A. In this form it was obtained by the Office of the Prosecutor from the
15 publishers, Martinus Nijhoff.
16 Q. Yes, I tender the Constitution.
17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Has that been given an exhibit number?
18 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour, it is the next number which is 18.
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Is there any objection to Exhibit 18 being admitted?
20 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No, your Honour.
21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Exhibit 18 will be admitted.
22 MR. NIEMANN: Perhaps the document might be marked, your Honour. After
23 the document has been marked, might it be handed back to Dr. Gow,
25 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Are you going to show Exhibit 18 on the monitor at
1 some time?
2 MR. NIEMANN: We are not going to use the computer, your Honour, we will
3 use the video.
4 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: The overhead projector? Very good.
5 MR. NIEMANN (To the witness): Dr. Gow, just going, in particular, to
6 Articles 1 and 9 of that exhibit, and perhaps we can assist you.
7 Miss Sutherland, could you display those Articles on the overhead
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Once we get all the technology together, then
10 everything will go very smoothly if we can accomplish this.
11 MR. NIEMANN: Dr. Gow, dealing firstly with -----
12 JUDGE STEPHEN: I am sorry. At the moment my screen is not wide enough to
13 show it all.
14 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, perhaps we are now having it ----
15 JUDGE STEPHEN: That is much larger.
16 MR. NIEMANN (To the witness): Dr. Gow, dealing firstly with Article 1,
17 what, in your opinion, is the significance of this in terms of the
18 provisions of Tito's postwar Yugoslavia?
19 A. The significance of this first extract is that it focuses the
20 formation of the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia, that it
21 focuses the question of self-determination in the formation of the
22 Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia.
23 Much of the mixture of historical, political and so forth
24 evidence that I was giving yesterday was to identify factors leading
25 to the formation of this federal state and to create the
1 circumstances in which there is an understanding that that state was
2 formed, at least formally, as a means of giving some concession to
3 this principle of self-determination.
4 You will see that it is formed on the basis of the right
5 to self-determination, including the right of separation of those
6 peoples who have come together living within those state forms. If
7 you move to Article 2, you will see that the Federal People's
8 Republic is composed of the various people's republics which are
9 identified in Article 2.
10 Q. Moving to Article 9?
11 A. Article 9 identifies clearly that in the complex system of
12 sovereignties -- I would stress for the communists this was always
13 more a formality than anything which had real meaning -- that
14 sovereignty was clearly identified as resting with the People's
15 Republics from the outset, as had been evolving during the Second
16 World war in the AVNOJ system, the Anti-Fascist Council of National
17 Liberation of Yugoslavia as the established government on territories
18 that they liberated.
19 Of course, you will also note (as is always the case in
20 an arrangement of this kind) the sovereignty of the republic is in
21 some sense offset by a different sovereignty of international
22 personality of the Federal People's Republic as a whole. But I
23 think, in principle, at a notional level, you would say that the
24 sovereignty of the various -- the notional sovereignty of the various
25 republics is transferred, some of those sovereign rights are
1 transferred to the Federation in particular ways. This was certainly
2 to be a significant question in 1991 in the process of dissolution.
3 Q. Might the exhibit be returned to the Registry? Dr. Gow, you
4 mentioned earlier that the constitutional model that we were just
5 referring to had its origins from the Soviet Union. What was the
6 relationship between the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia immediately
7 following the Second World War?
8 A. The relationship between the two countries was both very close and
9 increasingly very difficult. The Yugoslav communists sought to
10 emulate the achievements of Stalin in the Soviet Union on the
11 territories of Yugoslavia, but increasingly their attempts to do that
12 brought them into conflict with Moscow, with Stalin, partly, I guess,
13 because of a misunderstanding of the terms of what Stalinism was
14 really supposed to be.
15 Q. What happened after the break down of this relationship?
16 A. In 1948 the relationship broke down. Yugoslavia was expelled from
17 the communist bloc and this gave rise to the Yugoslav communists
18 having to seek a different way, a different way for themselves.
19 Q. What was this different way?
20 A. The label given to the different way was socialist self-management
21 and the key, and again this was another formality laid upon other
22 formalities, something which, I suspect, they never intended to have
23 any real meaning, but one of the key features of that new formal
24 mechanism was to say that there would be degrees of decentralisation.
25 This was to have great significance for the evolution of the
1 Yugoslav Federation thereafter, because increasingly people wanted,
2 in practice, the kind of decentralisation which they were told
3 according to the documents they had.
4 Q. In this postwar era, is it true to say that there was a centralising
5 force and a corresponding decentralising force impact upon the
7 A. That would be true. The communist party structures were essentially
8 centralising. The communist party model is one of a strong degree of
9 central control and central management, but this was always an
10 intention with the evolution of the federal system with the idea of
11 power being devolved.
12 After this split in 1948, the Yugoslav communists had to
13 justify to themselves and to their people why the split -- the causes
14 of the split. They said the fault lay with the excessive
15 centralisation of the Soviet Union; therefore, the solution to their
16 problems was to have decentralisation. They still wanted to retain
17 tight central control, but increasingly they were faced with some of
18 their own members in parts of the country in the republic saying that
19 things should be decentralised. It created a tension between
20 centralism and decentralisation.
21 Q. What role, if any, did Tito play in this system?
22 A. Tito was essential for making that system work. Tito, as a result of
23 leading the wartime movement, had enormous personal authority.
24 Although there could be arguments between the different republican
25 communist parties, all problems could be solved on the basis of Tito
1 using his own personal authority. So, although it was a troubled
2 system at various points through its 40 to 50 year history, while
3 Tito was alive, Tito was always able to resolve problems.
4 Q. What were the major developments in the constitutional evolution, if
5 one might call it that, of Yugoslavia after the Second World War?
6 A. The Yugoslav Federation faced a number of problems. In general, it
7 tried to deal with those problems by creating new constitutional
8 frameworks. It did this in 1954 and in 1963 and again in 1974. That
9 process of evolution, particularly through the 1960s and into the
10 1970s, confirmed the transfer of real authority from the centre and
11 from Belgrade which was the communist party headquarters for the
12 whole of Yugoslavia which was both the federal capital and the
13 capital of Serbia. It transferred power from Belgrade increasingly
14 into the various republican capitals, into the party leaderships in
15 those capitals, but also as a consequence of that into the state
16 structures in those capitals as well.
17 Q. I would ask you to look at the document you are now shown. (Handed)
18 Dr. Gow, what is the document that you have there?
19 A. This is a copy of a translation of the 1974 Constitution of the
20 Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia and in this present form
21 is taken from Oceana Publications in New York.
22 Q. Do you regard them as a reliable source?
23 A. They are a recognised and creditable publisher of legal documents.
24 Q. That is document 19, if your Honours please, and I tender that.
25 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Is there any objection to Exhibit 19 from the
2 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No, your Honour.
3 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Exhibit 19 will be admitted.
4 MR. NIEMANN: After the document has been marked, might we hand it back to
5 the witness? (To the witness): Dr. Gow, with the assistance of Miss
6 Sutherland, would you please go to section 8, page 25, of the
7 document? Just looking at that, if it can be displayed -- I am not
8 sure why it is not coming through, there we are -- particularly in
9 relation to section 8. Dr. Gow, what, in your opinion, is the
10 significance of these provisions in terms of the evolution of the
11 decentralised confederation of which you were talking?
12 A. This particular extract from the constitution identifies the central
13 role which the communist party, which by this time had been renamed
14 the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, played in the system. If you
15 look to the second paragraph, if I may ---
16 Q. Perhaps you could point?
17 A. -- I will try to indicate. Just here, you will see that the guiding
18 ideological, the guiding ideological and political action of the
19 party as the prime mover and exponent of political activity is
20 identified. This indicates clearly the way in which the communist
21 party was intended to be the leading, the controlling, element within
22 the federal structures, within the state structures as a whole.
23 Q. Dr. Gow, in what way is this significant in terms of what was
24 ultimately to happen in terms of the disintegration of the
1 A. It is important in two ways. First, it is important for identifying
2 the leading role of the communist party in the system as a whole,
3 for exemplifying the way in which the communists understood that the
4 communist party would be the key controlling element rather than the
5 state structures. It is important at a second level because it is
6 that leading role of the party as devolution occurred which
7 consolidated the strength of the state structures in the various
8 republics of the federation.
9 Q. Dr. Gow, perhaps that exhibit might be returned and if you look at
10 this one that we are now showing to you? (Handed) Looking at that,
11 what is this document I have just given to you?
12 A. This document is a supplement by the editors of the same publication
13 to which I have just made reference, that is the Oceana publication
14 of the 1974 constitution. This is a supplement to the 1974
15 constitution issued in 1979 which indicates some of the important
16 developments which occurred after the implementation of the
17 constitution, matters which were pertinent to the implementation of
18 that constitution.
19 MR. NIEMANN: I tender that exhibit, your Honour. It is document No. 20.
20 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Is there any objection to Exhibit 20?
21 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No, your Honour.
22 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Exhibit 20 will be admitted.
23 MR. NIEMANN: After it has been marked by the Registrar, I would ask you
24 to go back to this document. If you could place page 1 on the
25 screen, doctor? Perhaps that might be highlighted a little? It
1 makes it slightly easier to read. If the document is pushed to the
2 centre of the screen? Just having regard to that that appears there,
3 Dr. Gow, what is the significance of this supplement in terms of your
5 A. The supplement is significant because it identifies a number of ways
6 in which the 1974 constitution was enabled to come into force, in
7 particular on this, on the point I was just mentioning, I will draw
8 your attention to the events of between May 27th and May 30th 1974,
9 in particular, the meeting which new party statutes of the League of
10 Communists were adopted and new party structures were established,
11 thus enabling the party to take its leading role in establishing the
12 constitutional structures.
13 I draw your attention to the third line of the paragraph
14 beginning "May 30", the paragraph which I have pointed to, in which
15 the central committee membership was set at 165. This was based on
16 party structures in each of the elements of the Federation, being 20
17 members from each of the republics and 15 from the two autonomous
18 provinces (to which I made reference yesterday), a further 15 were
19 taken from the Yugoslav People's Army.
20 Q. Might that document be handed back to the Registry? Dr. Gow, speaking
21 of these counter balancing forces of centralism and decentralism, how
22 was the right of self-determination counter balanced by the forces of
23 centralism in the Federation of Yugoslavia?
24 A. The right to self-determination was embodied in the constitution in
25 the preamble to the 1974 constitution, including the right of
1 separation, but it was offset by Article 5 of the constitution to
2 some extent which said that changes of this kind would have to be
3 subject to the agreement of all elements in the Federation.
4 Q. This was Article 5 of the 1974 constitution which is Exhibit 19?
5 A. That is the case, and also the preamble to the same exhibit; if you
6 wish, I would be able to indicate.
7 Q. Dr. Gow, by reference to Exhibit 20 again that you had seen earlier
8 -- perhaps that document might be shown to Dr. Gow, together with
9 Exhibit 19 -- going firstly to Exhibit 19 and looking at Articles 1,
10 3 and 4 of that Exhibit, turning firstly to Article 1, could you tell
11 me what, in your opinion, is the significance of this provision in
12 terms of the sovereignty of the various republics?
13 A. The significance of Article 1 is identifying the Federation as a
14 union of the various peoples brought together. It is significant in
15 one sense because it uses the words "united
16 nations", and the word "nation" in Serbo-Croat is "narod" which is
17 also the word for "people", and there is a certain degree of
18 ambiguity attached to this element in the constitution which is
19 significant in some arguments which will come later. This clearly
20 identifies, however, the position of the republics and this separate
21 position of the two autonomous provinces within Serbia.
22 Q. Perhaps you might look at Articles 3 and 4 of the same constitution
23 which I would ask to be displayed on the screen.
24 A. These two Articles extend the point that I was just making. If you
25 see, Article 3 identifies the socialist republics, that is, the
1 republic states of Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Slovenia
2 and Bosnia and Herzegovina as being states based on the principle of
3 sovereignty. Article 4 makes a distinction between those republics
4 as states and the two autonomous provinces within Serbia which are
5 not endowed with the quality of sovereignty.
6 Q. I think now going back to Exhibit 20 at page 1 of that Exhibit and
7 the introductory part, that also makes reference to this point, does
8 it not?
9 A. If you will excuse me, it is hard to read on the screen. The document
10 is again -- I go back to the same point I was making before, and to
11 emphasise that within these structures you had the communist party
12 structures within the central committee of the Federation. The
13 central committee was itself a federated body comprising membership
14 from each of the various elements, the six republics and the two
15 autonomous provinces, but also the Yugoslav People's Army.
16 Q. Could those exhibits be returned, please?
17 A. I am sorry, I just also would indicate that just above that you will
18 also see that the central federal body, the collective presidency --
19 sometimes now described as the State Council -- had a representative,
20 eight representatives, one from each of the six republics, two, one
21 each from the two autonomous provinces. This was consolidating the
22 federal system and the representation of the elements within the
23 federal system as constituting the Federation itself.
24 Q. Thank you. Might those two exhibits be returned to the Registrar?
25 Dr. Gow, what was the first republic to assert its sovereignty?
1 A. In the 1980s, after the death of Tito, there were a series of
2 problems and disputes between the various republics. The first, I
3 think, real assertion of the sovereignty of the republics was by
4 Serbia. This occurred in the mid 1980s where the position of Serbia
5 as a sovereign entity began to be a matter of discussion. This was
6 because of the status of Serbia with the two autonomous provinces.
7 It was said that Serbian's sovereignty was impaired by the
8 imposition, by the creation, of these two autonomous provinces.
9 Q. How did it go about doing this?
10 A. Serbia, the Serbian authorities began a process of reintegration, of
11 making, of removing the autonomy from the provinces so that Serbia
12 would be, in their terms, a whole sovereign, territorial, integral
13 state form.
14 Q. Just going back for a moment to the constitutional arrangements that
15 emerged after 1974; was there any distinction between nations and
16 nationalities in the 1974 constitution?
17 A. The distinction was made in Articles 3 and 4 of the constitution to
18 which I made reference already in identifying the difference between
19 the republics and the autonomous provinces.
20 The republics endowed with sovereignty were taken to be
21 states which represented the creative power of state forming people.
22 In the Yugoslav terms, these were peoples or nations -- the same
23 word "narod" was used, but clearly can have two different meanings in
24 English and the two meanings are, to some extent, elided in the use
25 in Serbo-Croat. The term "nationality" or, in Serbo-Croat,
1 "narodnost", was used to designate what might more conventionally now
2 be called national minorities, that is, people who were communities
3 with a significant number within the federal boundaries but who were
4 not state forming peoples. This was because they were taken to have
5 a state formed by their people somewhere else. So, for example, the
6 Albanians in Kosovo were not taken to be a state forming people
7 because the Albanian state existed. The state forming peoples of the
8 Yugoslav Federation were peoples who had no state that they could
9 look to in some other place.
10 Q. What powers were left with the Federation in the 1974 constitution?
11 A. The Federation was, effectively, left with restricted capabilities in
12 the field of some areas of overall economic management, in the area
13 of foreign policy and in the area of overall defence policy.
14 Q. What role did the communist party play in the Federation?
15 A. The communist party was central to the running of a state like
16 Yugoslavia. It was central at the federal level but, increasingly,
17 it was the concentration of power in communist hands in the
18 republican structures which consolidated divisions between the
19 various republics within the Federation.
20 Q. Again in the Federation what role did Tito play?
21 A. While Tito was alive, again, as I said before, he was always there,
22 both within the party and within the Federal state structures. He
23 was able to resolve difficulties on the basis of his own personal
24 authority derived from the wartime experience derived from the
25 defiance of the Soviet Union in the 1940s. He was the figure who was
1 able to make this system work.
2 Q. Are these matters that you have just been attesting to again
3 reflected in the 1974 constitution?
4 A. Tito's importance to the system was reflected in the 1974
5 constitution and in the party's statutes at the time. In both cases,
6 he was made either President for life or President for an indefinite
7 period which was, effectively, for life.
8 Q. Dr. Gow, the power sharing mechanisms between the republics and the
9 Federation, how long did that continue to survive after the 1974
10 constitution was brought into effect?
11 A. The arrangements of the 1974 constitution could work while Tito was
12 still alive and was there to help make them work. Increasingly, after
13 Tito died in May 1980, the Federation ran into increasing mixture of
14 social, economic, political and eventually constitutional
15 difficulties which could not be resolved, because the basis for any
16 resolution was consensus between the republics; the republics
17 increasingly had polarized views, some of them had polarized views,
18 of what the future should hold. In that situation, the Federation
19 began to break down and to cease to function.
20 Q. In other words, these were some of the factors that led to the
21 ultimate disintegration of the Federation?
22 A. The ultimate disintegration of the Federation in the early 1990s was
23 a product of this experience; first of all, of the implementation of
24 the federal system, of the imposition of tight communist control
25 within the federal structures which consolidated power and created
1 state structures, but which eventually gave enough strength to those
2 various republics through the course of the 1980s to begin to be
3 going their own ways in terms of their perspectives on the future,
4 whether the future would be a common future or a future apart from
5 each other.
6 Q. If I may, I would like to turn to the breakup of the Federation as
7 such. Firstly, I would ask you to look at the document now shown to
8 you. (Handed) Dr. Gow, what is that document?
9 A. This is a version of the memorandum of the Serbian Academy of Arts
10 and Sciences. This version is published by Nase Teme in Zagreb in, I
11 think, 1988 or it may be 87. The document originally -- the original
12 memorandum of the Serbian Academy circulated in 1985, and the second
13 version was produced in 1986. This is one of the versions which may
14 be available and is in this present form in a translation in
16 Q. I think there is an English translation attached to it, is there not?
17 A. And there is an English translation attached behind.
18 Q. What purpose was this document prepared for?
19 A. The status of the document is, I should point out, first of all, may
20 be not authoritative. There were different versions of this document
21 circulating. As I understand it, the Serbian Academy of Arts and
22 Sciences has never officially published the document. It was a
23 document of an internal discussion group, although it was widely
24 circulated in the mid-1980s, both within the territories of
25 Yugoslavia and outside the territories of the Yugoslav Federation.
1 This, I would take to be, I judge to be, a more
2 authoritative version. The significance of the document is that a
3 group of Serbian intellectuals were clearly beginning to question the
4 nature of the Federation, Serbia's position within it and, as I made
5 reference to the question of Serbian sovereignty earlier, began to
6 address the question of Serbian sovereignty and the need to deal with
7 an unusual position in which Serbia found itself, on the one hand,
8 technically a sovereign state but, on the other, a state with two
9 autonomous provinces which significantly impaired the sovereignty of
10 that republic.
11 Q. I tender that document. Document No. 21?
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Is there any objection?
13 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No objection, your Honour.
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Exhibit 21 will be admitted.
15 MR. NIEMANN: Once the document has been marked, might it be handed back
16 to Dr. Gow?
17 JUDGE STEPHEN: Mr. Niemann, if it is all material, I wonder if the
18 witness could explain how it is that the existence of the two
19 autonomous states had been effectively impairing the sovereignty of
21 MR. NIEMANN: Certainly, your Honour. I will direct that question now.
22 (To the witness): Dr. Gow, you heard His Honour's question. Perhaps
23 you might address that issue?
24 A. Indeed I will. I am grateful that you ask me the question. Under
25 the terms of the 1974 constitution, the two autonomous provinces
1 which in 1946 had been, as all the federal structures had been,
2 nothing more than formal, had also been formal, by 1974 had been
3 given significant de facto powers of self-government. They were
4 different from the republics in that they were not endowed with the
5 quality of sovereignty, but in most other respects they had the
6 capacities, the functions, the structures of a republican state.
7 It was, therefore, regarded within Serbia as a
8 significant factor that Serbia as a whole was supposed to be a state
9 and a sovereign state, but it had two autonomous provinces within it,
10 both of which had such substantial degrees of self-government that
11 the writ of the Serbian government in Belgrade could not run. The
12 two provinces could set their own terms and could veto, in some areas
13 could veto Belgrade's decisions, but Belgrade at that time did not
14 have the capacity to overrule decisions taken by the provinces.
15 JUDGE STEPHEN: Thank you.
16 MR. NIEMANN: Now going to Exhibit 21 there, I am looking at pages 321 to
17 322, if you would not mind, firstly, of the English translation and
18 down towards the bottom of the page, I think, if we can? It may be
20 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Judge Stephen and I are just talking about those two
21 autonomous provinces; what were the names of them?
22 A. The names were Vojvodina which is in the north and Kosovo which is in
23 the south.
24 MR. NIEMANN: Just to clarify that, they are actually often seen in the
25 boundary of Serbia when one sees the Serbian boundaries drawn
1 THE WITNESS: Both provinces are within the Republic of Serbia, and they
2 were indicated on maps that were offered in evidence yesterday.
3 MR. NIEMANN: In terms of what is now displayed on the screen, can you
4 tell us the significance of this in terms of the complaint, as it
5 were, that Serbia had in the early stages or the initial complaint?
6 A. The paragraph at the bottom of the page which I have indicated makes
7 reference to the question I was just dealing with in answer to your
8 Honour's question. The question of the integrity of the Serbian
9 state was identified -- you will see the question of it being
10 virtually divided into three parts -- is raised the way in which the
11 autonomous provinces were de facto given similar powers to republics
12 with the exception that they were not defined as states within that
13 arrangement, and that that position, as you move down the paragraph,
14 means that they, in terms of the way it is expressed here, interfere
15 in the internal affairs of Serbia proper, that Serbia as a whole,
16 they said, could not function because of the existence of these two
18 Q. I think that is continued over the page as well.
19 A. If you were to move to the very last sentence of the page which
20 continues over, I do not think you need to see it, but it identifies
21 the status of Serbia itself in their eyes is not clearly defined.
22 Q. Going on further in that exhibit to page 327, you find that on that
23 page further expression of the Serbian position with respect to the
24 Federation. Perhaps you might like to look at the exhibit?
25 JUDGE STEPHEN: You are making it too small.
1 MR. NIEMANN: Read the exhibit first.
2 A. Maybe you could enlarge the area of this paragraph, the middle
3 paragraph, just make it easier to see. In this paragraph, you can
4 see the way in which among Serbian intellectuals at that time the
5 question was not only of the status and the sovereignty of Serbia,
6 but also of the position of the Serbs living outside of the Republic
7 of Serbia. If you recall, we had some discussion yesterday and on
8 the maps I indicated the spread of Serbian populations across the
9 territories in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Croatia. In this
10 paragraph, the question of the way in which the Serbs in other parts
11 of the Federation in Croatia are being assimilated and, therefore, a
12 question of their national identity is being brought into question in
13 the eyes of these intellectuals is identified.
14 If you move to the last sentence of the paragraph, you
15 will see the way in which the Serbian intellectuals at this stage
16 were discussing the integrity of the Serbian people as a whole, the
17 Serbian people throughout the Federation. They were identifying that
18 in the situation in the 1980s with the increasing evolution of the
19 federal system into a set of state structures, the question of Serbs
20 living outside the territory of Serbia itself was to be a significant
22 A few lines before that you will see the Serbian people
23 of Croatia are cut off from their parent country, but the parent
24 country has limited possibilities for helping, for finding out what
25 their position really is. So, the significance of this is to
1 identify the interest of the Serbian elite in the position of Serbs
2 outside Serbia itself.
3 Q. Finally, Dr. Gow, at the very bottom of page 35 over to page 36,
4 looking at page 35 first and highlighting the bottom paragraph, if
5 you could? 35 first and then the final paragraph -----
6 A. If I may just go back to the previous pages for one moment, I think
7 it would in the light of things which have happened afterwards and in
8 the light of some of the evidence which I hope to be able to give
9 later, in the final sentence of this paragraph I was dealing with, I
10 would just draw your Honour's attention to the phrase "the integrity
11 of Serbian people", because this was to become a significant feature
12 in events afterwards.
13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Dr. Gow, this may not be of tremendous importance,
14 but on the exhibit list, this memorandum is dated 1989. I heard your
15 testimony that you thought it was drafted in 1987 or 1988. Was it
16 then not published or something until 1989? Is that the difference?
17 I am referring to Exhibit 21.
18 A. If I can, yes, if I may clarify? I said that it was drafted
19 originally in 1985, but there was another draft of it in 1986. But,
20 to my knowledge, it was never officially published by the Serbian
21 Academy of Arts and Sciences itself, but some people from the Serbian
22 Academy of Arts and Sciences have said that it was never an official
23 document, that it was only a matter of an internal discussion group.
24 One of the versions of that memorandum, that discussion
25 document, was published in a journal in Zagreb in 1988, not 1989 I
1 said, and this is identified -- if I can put this on, I will show you
2 -- that publication date of 1989 is indicated. It is probably too
3 small to read, but it is just there at the top. Sorry, it was
4 published in 1989, but through 1988, so it was 1989. I misread it.
5 MR. NIEMANN: In relation to the questions of publication, was there
6 during Tito's Yugoslavia an effort put in by the Federal government
7 to as much as possible maintain any movements for independence of
8 that of the various republics?
9 A. In Tito's time there certainly had been moves of that kind. One of
10 the main driving factors which led to the 1974 constitution were
11 moves in Croatia in the late 1960s into the very beginning of the
12 1970s in a movement which seemed to aspire to independence.
13 One of the reasons for the situation in which the 1974
14 constitution was adopted was that control was being reinforced in
15 Croatia. This was, of course, also one of the mechanisms which
16 reinforced communist party control in the republics because it was
17 not only in Croatia, it was in all the republics as well, and it was
18 a by-product of that mechanism -- the constitution was one way of
19 addressing that problem, of the Croatian impulse for greater
20 independence at that stage. Control was to be taken by strengthening
21 party structures within the republic, so greater autonomy, greater
22 independence, for the republic was granted, but control was expected
23 to be exercised through the communist party. But in all the
24 republics, increasingly, the communist parties took on their own
25 perspective rather than a Yugoslav Federal communist perspective
1 after Tito's death.
2 If I may continue beyond the Tito period as well, just to
3 indicate that the publication of a document like the memorandum was a
4 cause of great concern in a country such as the federal Yugoslavia
5 was because of the importance of the relations between state
6 communities and between republics. The federal authorities expressed
7 deep concern and tried to prevent the publication of the document and
8 its circulation in the mid 1980s, as did the authorities at that time
9 of the Republic of Serbia who saw it as a potentially dangerous
11 Q. Thank you. Finally, if I can take you to the final paragraph on page
12 335? Again, do we see in the paragraph a further expression of this
13 feeling of inadequate representation by Serbia as to be singled out
14 from the other republics?
15 A. The final complete sentence on this page indicates -----
16 Q. That is the paragraph starting with "However"; is that right?
17 A. The paragraph begins "The fact that", the sentence begins "However,
18 the biggest trouble is that the Serbian people do not have a state
19 while all the other nations or peoples do". The significance of this
20 is again the impaired sovereignty in terms of this document of the
21 Republic of Serbia. Serbia, whilst all the other peoples, the
22 constituent peoples of Yugoslavia, the Slovenes, the Croats, had a
23 titular state, Serbia is said not to have a complete titular state
24 because of the presence of the autonomous provinces; therefore,
25 Serbian statehood is in question, and this is a challenge to the
1 provisions of the 1974 federal constitution.
2 Q. Might that exhibit be returned to the Registrar? Dr. Gow, as a
3 consequence of the memorandum we have just seen, Exhibit 21, and the
4 nationalist programme itself, was there any reaction to this in
5 Serbia in 1989?
6 A. Sorry, could you repeat the question, please?
7 Q. As a consequence of this memorandum that had been drawn up, was there
8 a reaction to it in Serbia in 1989?
9 A. Increasingly, in the late 1980s in Serbia the question of the
10 position of Serbia itself and of the Serbs within the Yugoslav
11 Federation was being brought into question, and the current President
12 of Serbia, Slobodan Milosevic, first of all, in the late 1980s became
13 leader of the League of Communists of Serbia, largely on the basis of
14 beginning to address the concerns of intellectuals and of ordinary
15 people about the position of Serbia and the Serbs and, in particular,
16 began to institute a policy of reintegrating the provinces of Kosovo
17 and Vojvodina.
18 Q. I would just ask you to look at the document which you are now shown.
19 (Handed). What is that document, Dr. Gow?
20 A. This is a copy of the constitution of the Republic of Serbia from
22 Q. Do you know where that document is sourced from?
23 A. In the current form, it appears to be derived from, I think it looks
24 from the Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, but it is not
1 Q. I will just tender that document, if your Honours please. That is No.
2 22. Does that have an English translation as well, Dr. Gow, of at
3 least some of the Articles?
4 A. No, it does not.
5 MR. NIEMANN: I tender that, your Honour.
6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Is there objection to Exhibit 22?
7 MR. WLADIMIROFF: As far as the English translation is included, no
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you. Do you have one available?
10 MR. NIEMANN: I think the translation of the Articles are at the back,
11 your Honour.
12 THE WITNESS: Forgive me. There is not a full translation, but a
13 translation of particular sections is attached.
14 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No, we will not oppose it.
15 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Exhibit 22 then will be admitted.
16 MR. NIEMANN (To the witness): Dr. Gow, if you could place on the screen,
17 firstly, Article 1, the translated Article 1. By reference to that
18 Article, can you tell us, please, how the autonomous provinces of
19 Kosovo and Vojvodina were governed?
20 A. The Article currently displayed indicates that the Socialist Republic
21 of Serbia was identified as a state -- if you move into the second
22 paragraph -- as the state of the Serbian people and the other members
23 of peoples and national minorities in Yugoslavia, and that it was all
24 those people who realised their sovereign rights through the republic
25 as a whole. The final part, if you move down into the next section,
1 it indicates the two autonomous provinces, Vojvodina and Kosovo, were
2 identified as parts of the Socialist Republic of Serbia.
3 Q. We learn more about this governing of these provinces out of Articles
4 291 and 293, if that might be displayed?
5 A. The article currently displayed indicates the self-governing nature
6 of the autonomous provinces, but also identifies that, in theory,
7 they should be acting within the common interest of the people and of
8 the Republic of Serbia as a whole. Should I move on to 293 as well
9 in conjunction?
10 293 confirms the self-governing status and indicates that
11 it would be a matter for the provincial authorities independently to
12 determine social, legal relations and so forth within that territory,
13 and that those areas would be -- that republican law, although it is
14 applicable throughout the whole of the territory of Serbia, will be
15 to some extent need to be harmonised with the law of the provinces
16 which will independently set legal regulations and political
18 Q. Might that exhibit be returned? Dr. Gow, did this method of
19 governing the autonomous provinces in Serbia change in 1989?
20 A. In 1989, the central authorities of the Republic of Serbia began a
21 process of removing the autonomy of the two provinces which was to
22 lead eventually to the full removal of authority on 28th September
23 1990, I believe.
24 Q. How were the changes in the method of government of the autonomous
25 provinces affected? How was it achieved?
1 A. It was achieved on one level through legal means because the
2 provincial parliamentary bodies themselves were used to vote to
3 remove the authority of the provinces, but prior to that the Serbian
4 President had also installed within the communist party structures
5 people who were prepared to guide the policy in that direction and to
6 help in the process of removing it. When the eventual vote on the
7 removal of the autonomy, or elements of the autonomy, of Kosovo was
8 taken, it was under a considerable degree of threat, and elements of
9 Serbian and Federal Interior Ministry and I believe also Yugoslav
10 People's Army, armed forces, were deployed in the area and around the
12 Q. Dealing with the legal means, would you look at this document that
13 you are now shown? (Handed) I think there is attached to it a
14 translation of part of the document, an English translation of part
15 of the document.
16 A. The document is decisions on proclamation of amendments to the
17 constitution of the Republic of Serbia, and it is taken from the
18 Sluzbeni Glasnik, official gazette of the Republic of Serbia, and
19 there is, indeed, an English translation attached.
20 Q. Just while you have the document there, were these legal changes to
21 the methods of governing the provinces reflected particularly in
22 amendments 31 and 33 as is attained in the English translation?
23 A. They were.
24 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, I tender that, your Honour. That is No. 23.
25 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No objection.
1 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: 23 will be admitted.
2 MR. NIEMANN (To the witness): Also dealing with a similar topic, would
3 you look, please, at the document you are now shown? (Handed) What
4 is this document, Dr. Gow?
5 A. This is a copy of an English version of the constitution of the
6 Republic of Serbia from 1990 published in the same series, Oceana
7 Publications, Constitutions of Dependancies and Special
8 Sovereignties, to which reference was made earlier.
9 Q. I think that on page 11 -- just to take, if I may, page 11 for the
10 moment -- do you see that the introduction part of this document has
11 been signed by a Professor Markovic?
12 A. Yes, it has.
13 Q. Do you know, if any, what role Professor Markovic had? Firstly, where
14 does Professor Markovic come from?
15 A. Professor Markovic works in the University of Belgrade.
16 Q. Do you know, if any, what role he had in relation to this
18 A. He had some role there drafting the constitution, I believe, and was
19 responsible for writing the commentary which is attached.
20 MR. NIEMANN: I tender that exhibit, your Honour. It is No. 24.
21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Any objection to Exhibit 24 by the Prosecution?
22 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No, your Honour.
23 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: 24 will be admitted.
24 MR. NIEMANN: Once that document is marked, might the exhibit be handed
25 back to Dr. Gow? (To the witness): Dr. Gow, just looking at page 5
1 for me, if you would -- I want to show you a couple of pages in this
2 memorandum, in this exhibit, but starting firstly with page 5 -- in
3 your opinion, does this extract demonstrate with respect to some of
4 the issues raised in the SANU memorandum and, if so, by the reference
5 to the extracts, can you demonstrate how this was sought to be
6 achieved to overcome some of those problems?
7 A. The most significant part of this is the first sentence which
8 indicates that, in the view of Professor Markovic as a drafter of the
9 constitution, the constitution which reflects the complete
10 integration of the two provinces within republican structures is also
11 a way after many years of restoring dignity within the whole Yugoslav
12 framework to constitutions as legal mechanisms.
13 I think, although Professor Markovic goes on to talk
14 about a number of other factors, I think the important thing to
15 understand the question of dignity, I would regard, as being central
16 to the understanding of the changes in the constitution were, in
17 Serbian eyes, to be seen as restoring dignity to Serbia and,
18 therefore, to the functioning of a constitutional system as a whole.
19 Q. I think, Dr. Gow, it is not necessary for these to be displayed
20 necessarily, unless you think it would assist, but I think there are
21 further references to this on pages 9, 10 and 11; is that right?
22 A. On page 9, Professor Markovic goes on to point out that, according to
23 the new constitution of Serbia, only one state exists, as everywhere
24 else in the world, as the territory of the single state of Serbia,
25 and this is something which is natural and as it should be; again
1 re-emphasising the question of the previous questions about the
2 sovereignty and territorial integrity and so forth of Serbia, and now
3 judged to have been addressed by the new constitution.
4 JUDGE VOHRAH: Can you please point to the relevant parts?
5 THE WITNESS: I can indeed, yes, if you wish.
6 MR. NIEMANN: Perhaps you might assist.
7 A. The paragraph that I am just indicating, it reads, "According to the
8 new constitution of Serbia, only one state does exist, as everywhere
9 else in the world", and so on.
10 Q. Perhaps you might show us page 10?
11 A. The final paragraph raises the question of the constitutional status
12 of Serbia within the Federation. It addresses the question that by
13 creating a strong Serbian constitution, it may have turned its back
14 on the forms of the Federal Yugoslavia established under the 1974
15 constitution. It indicates that in the eyes of Professor Markovic he
16 would want to say that it has only made the relations between Serbia
17 and the Federation more precise, that they continue for the time
18 being to recognise the primacy of the federal constitution, but do
19 begin, as you move on to page 11, to indicate the possibility of some
20 other non-federal Yugoslavia, although he also goes on to say that it
21 is beyond the interest of Serbia at this stage.
22 If you move further into this paragraph, I think you will
23 see that Serbia is beginning to prepare for the dissolution of
24 Yugoslavia, and it is preparing in what it would regard as
25 self-defence to take actions which might include what it would regard
1 as defence, what it would formally at least regard as defence, move
2 away from the Federal constitution; if it sees any violations of the
3 Federal constitution which it would regard as being detrimental to
4 Serbia, it would take action in self-defence, namely, "republic
5 authorities shall issue acts in order to protect the interest of the
6 Republic of Serbia".
7 Q. Might the exhibit be returned? Dr. Gow, did the events in Kosovo
8 have any influence over what happened in other parts of the
9 Federation of Yugoslavia?
10 A. They did. In the process of overall disintegration in relations
11 between the republics of the Federation, the events in Kosovo in the
12 way autonomy was removed from Kosovo, in particular, encouraged those
13 in other parts of the Federation to begin to think in terms of
14 mechanisms of self-protection. There was an increasing fear that
15 what had happened in Kosovo and in Vojvodina might be part of a
16 programme from the Serbian leadership in Belgrade to expand its
17 control throughout the Federation. Therefore, increasingly the
18 question of measures, including the possibility of independence, was
19 being discussed in other republics, in contrast to the developments
20 in Serbia.
21 Q. Just remind us again, what time frame are we talking about, what
22 particular time frame?
23 A. We are talking about the period in the second half of the 1980s,
24 particularly 1988 and afterwards and increasingly through 1989 and
25 into the beginning of the 1990s.
1 Q. I know you have touched on it briefly, but remind us again. Apart
2 from the legal moves that we have just examined through the
3 documents, what other events happened in terms of Kosovo and
4 Vojvodina to influence the other republics?
5 A. The changes in the constitutional arrangements were enacted in part
6 because the republic of -- the League of Communists of Serbia had
7 also taken control, effective control, of the communist parties in
8 the areas, or was taking control of during this period, and also
9 because in the case of Kosovo there was a presence of various types
10 of armed force. There were a series of protests from the
11 predominantly Albanian population, and significant numbers of
12 Albanians were killed in clashes with police and with Federal
13 security forces.
14 It was a very tense situation, and when the autonomy of
15 Kosovo was finally removed, it was in a situation where armoured
16 vehicles were deployed in the area around the Kosovo Parliament in
18 Q. Who was the principal architect for removing this autonomy of Kosovo?
19 Who was primarily behind this?
20 A. The then leader of League of Communists of Serbia, the current
21 President of the Republic of Serbia, Slobodan Milosevic, was regarded
22 as being the main instigator of these changes.
23 Q. Moving now to Bosnia, upon what lines were the political parties at
24 this particular time constituted?
25 A. In a difficult situation, as the process of disintegration, I think,
1 was beginning to be well underway throughout the territories of the
2 SFRY, increasingly there was a tendency for parties to take a
3 nationalist character. So there were a series of elections held in
4 1990, first of all, in Slovenia and then through other republics in
5 the course of the year, all of which tended to lead in politics of a
6 nationalist character within Bosnia and Herzegovina. So, broadly, a
7 mixture of national communist and nationalist parties were elected in
8 a coalition in Slovenia; a nationalist party was elected with a very
9 strong vote in Croatia; a similar pattern throughout the whole of
10 the territories of the Federation; in Serbia and Montenegro, the two
11 communist parties were re-elected, in the case of Serbia, under a new
12 name, the Socialist Party of Serbia, but with a very strong again
13 nationalist content to its policy.
14 Within Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was the most mixed
15 of all the states which made up the Yugoslav Federation, politics
16 began to divide along the lines of ethno-national communities. So
17 when elections were held, the votes went broadly to three
18 ethno-nationally conceived parties, to the Muslim Party of Democratic
19 Action, to the Serbian Democratic Party and to the Croatian branch of
20 the Croatian Democratic Community; each of these parties at that
21 stage adopting some kind of line, some kind of policy, which
22 reflected, ostensibly at least, the interests of a particular
23 ethno-national community within Bosnia and Herzegovina.
24 Q. For our assistance, can you tell us the initials that are often
25 attached to these various political parties in Bosnia, starting
1 perhaps with the Muslim Party of Democratic Action, what is the
2 traditional initials one sees for that?
3 A. The Muslim Party of Democratic Action is usually referred to or is
4 often referred to as the "SDA", Stranka Demokratske Akcije, and is
5 led by the current President of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Alija
6 Itzebegovic. The Serbian democratic party is usually referred to as
7 the "SDS", Srpska Demokratska Stranka, and is led by Mr. Radovan
8 Karadzic. The Croatian Democratic Community, which is also the name
9 of the party led by President Franjo Tudjman of Croatia, has a branch
10 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The initials for that are usually "HDZ",
11 Hrvatska Demokratska Zajednica, and the leader at this time was a man
12 called Stjepan Kljuic. Since then the leadership has changed.
13 Q. Did these parties then elect a President of the presidency? Perhaps
14 you might explain what that means in terms of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
15 A. The presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina was a collective body. It
16 was the ruling body. It had no single President. It had a rotating
17 leadership, as was also the case, I indicated earlier, with the
18 Federation itself. That body elected from its number (which I think
19 was seven but I am not certain about that) as President of Bosnia and
20 Herzegovina for the first period before rotation Alija Itzebegovic.
21 Q. What happened in Serbia while this was happening in Bosnia, were
22 there elections then held in Serbia?
23 A. Yes, the elections held in Serbia at the end of 1990 resulted in
24 substantial victory for the renamed communist party, the Socialist
25 Party of Serbia under the leadership of Slobodan Milosovic.
1 Similarly, the League of Communists of Montenegro which had not
2 changed its name also won a substantial victory under the leadership
3 of Momir Bulatovic.
4 Q. In your opinion, what did the results of these elections mean for
5 Yugoslavia in terms of the Federation of Yugoslavia?
6 A. The outcome of the elections in various republics confirmed the
7 degree to which each of the republics had a separate character, the
8 degree to which they were moving in different directions and the
9 degree to which that direction was characterised by a perception of
10 the republic's national interests or, in some cases, perhaps, the
11 interests of the predominant titular group within the republic. It
12 was certainly paving the way for the dissolution which was to come
13 within a couple of years.
14 Q. Were there other signs of this dissolution of the Yugoslavia emerging
15 at around about this time? I am talking in terms of the early 1990s.
16 A. As the breakdown in the relations between the republics as the
17 federating states was taking place, and the consequence of the
18 nationalist parties coming to power more or less in all the
19 republics, there also began to be a breakdown in social relations, in
20 relations at an intercommunal level in certain parts of the
21 territories of the SFRY, in particular, in areas of Croatia in 1990,
22 following the election of the HDZ government of President Franjo
23 Tudjman who took certain measures, particularly with regard to
24 adopting a new constitution and restructuring the Interior Ministry,
25 which began to cause concern against the background of the arguments
1 between the different republican leaderships. This gave rise to
2 growing intercommunal tension, to the sense that the Serbs living --
3 who in some areas of Croatia with a majority population were
4 beginning to be alienated -- this is Serbs living in those areas as
5 opposed to Serbs who might still be living in urban areas, such as
6 the capital in Zagreb -- began to become alienated, there certainly
7 began to be problems within those communities in relations between
8 Serbs and Croats. In 1990 there were a series of incidents, some
9 involving violence, which began to lead to the deployment of Federal
10 army troops in the area to take control. At the same time there were
11 fewer but growing incidents of a similar nature in Bosnia and
12 Herzegovina. So at the same time as there was this breakdown in
13 state relations, there was also beginning to be a breakdown in
14 communal relations within some of the states of Bosnia.
15 Q. Did the Krajina Serbs react in any way to the moves taken by
16 President Tudjman regarding the restructuring of the Croatian
17 Interior Ministry?
18 A. In response to the Croatian government's adoption of a new
19 constitution in which the status of the Serbian people was apparently
20 changed, and in response to the attempts to reorganise the Interior
21 Ministry, attempts which were on the one hand aimed at getting rid of
22 communists who were in those state structures, but also was a
23 mechanism of getting rid of Serbs. It is very difficult for anybody
24 to say whether they were getting rid of communists or Serbs because
25 the two happened to be the same in that context. It was certainly a
1 move which made some of the Serbs in the Krajina area begin to feel a
2 sense of threat, and it was a situation in which, with backing from
3 Belgrade and in some cases with the assistance from the Yugoslav
4 People's Army, that local Serbs began to declare autonomous regions.
5 In the course of 1990, they declared two autonomous regions, one of
6 Krajina, and the other of Eastern Slovenia, Western Srem and Baranja.
7 In these two areas they began to create, certainly in the area of
8 the Krajina, what was a de facto no-go area for any Croatian
10 JUDGE STEPHEN: I wonder if I could ask for clarification of this. I
11 gather "Krajina" means "border" and there is an old tradition of
12 Serbs guarding the border in Krajina against the Turks, is that the
14 MR. NIEMANN: Perhaps, Dr. Gow, you might assist His Honour with that?
15 A. I would be glad to; if I may, I would prefer to do it also with the
16 assistance of a map, if I may?
17 JUDGE STEPHEN: Do it at an appropriate time -- not necessarily now.
18 THE WITNESS: No, I think now would be an appropriate time.
19 MR. NIEMANN: Perhaps this map, which is Exhibit 2, could be displayed on
20 the monitor?
21 A. The word "Krajina" means "frontier". The areas on the borders here
22 indicated of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as I indicated
23 yesterday, for most of the period of a few hundred years formed the
24 frontier area between the two Empires, the Austro-Hungarian Hapsburg
25 Empire and the Turkish Ottoman Empire. The term "Krajina", or the
1 term "Vojna Krajina" means "military frontier", and it was an area
2 which extended from the Dalmatian hinterland around here, all the way
3 along the borders of Croatia and Bosnia, through Vojvodina (as was
4 then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire) and up into parts of
5 Timasoara and what is today Rumania.
6 The area as a whole was a military frontier area. It had
7 a mixed population. In areas Serbs were the predominant population.
8 The arrangements for the people living in those areas were that they
9 would have special tax privileges, they would have certain
10 concessions. They would live there, they would use the land there on
11 condition that in time of need they would be the frontiersmen who
12 would guard the frontier.
13 In the particular case of relationship between
14 predominantly Serbian populations and the Croatian Sabor -- that is
15 the kind of parliament that was there within Croatia within the
16 Austro-Hungarian Empire -- there were often difficulties because the
17 Sabor in Zagreb wanted to have taxation control and so forth of the
18 people in those areas, but in fact those people had special status
19 given to them by Vienna, vis-a-vis things like the conditions in
20 which they lived there. They did not have a special status beyond
21 that, and they were not exclusively Serb, but it was mixed areas
22 which included Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, Rumanians, Hungarians which
23 stretched all the way along that border up into what is presently
25 But the word "krajina" means "frontier" and the Vojna
1 Krajina was the military frontier area which ran along there, and the
2 term "krajina" is used to refer to a part of that territory now, the
3 part in the Dalmation hinterland around there, which in 1990/91 had
4 majority Serbian populations in something like six of the
6 MR. NIEMANN: Perhaps just to finish that off, is a frontier from whom
7 against what?
8 A. It was the frontier, as I said, between the Austro-Hungarian Hapsburg
9 Empire and Turkish Ottoman Empire.
10 Q. Dr. Gow, a moment ago we were talking about the various moves, both
11 political and otherwise, in relation to the beginning of the breakup
12 of Yugoslavia and, in particular, the reference to the elections and
13 so forth that were being held. Were there at this particular time any
14 proposals advanced in order to try to deal with the developing
15 political crisis in the 1990s, early 1990s?
16 A. In the course of the first part of the 1990s, different ideas were
17 being proposed about the future of relations within the Federation
18 between the republics. The main ideas were that of a modernised
19 Federation which was proposed by Borisav Jovic who was the Serbian
20 representative to the Federal collective presidency. This was,
21 essentially, for a strengthened, more centralised version of the
22 existing Federation.
23 An alternative idea put forward by Slovenia and by
24 Croatia was that of a formalised confederation. Some people regarded
25 this only as a vehicle for engineering the break up of the
1 Federation. The final -- an alternative in 1991 which was proposed
2 at a late stage was an asymmetric Federation proposed by the leaders
3 of Bosnia and Herzegovina and of Macedonia, which was to see a la
4 carte federation or confederation; everybody would stay part of a
5 Yugoslav framework, but take as much of it as they wanted.
6 Against this background also, you had the then federal
7 prime minister, Ante Markovic, who was the last federal prime
8 minister, who was trying to ignore the growing problems in each of
9 the republics and trying to engineer an economic reform programme
10 which in the first part 1990 was appearing to be very successful, but
11 in the second part of 1990 became less successful.
12 Q. What was Serbia's position in all this?
13 A. Serbia, reflecting the fact that Borisav Jovic proposed the
14 modernised federation favoured stronger centralisation of the
15 federation, removing significant degrees of independence from the
16 republics, concentrating power again in Belgrade, and it, therefore,
17 opposed the proposals of the Slovenian and Croatian confederalists to
18 consolidate power within the republics and to confirm the de facto
19 arrangements which had emerged.
20 MR. NIEMANN: Is that a convenient time?
21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Yes, certainly, yes.
22 We will stand in recess for 15 minutes.
23 (11.30 a.m.)
24 (The hearing adjourned for a short time)
25 (11.50 a.m.)
1 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Niemann, you may proceed.
2 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you, your Honour. Dr. Gow, before the adjournment you
3 were discussing the attempts made, the various proposals put forward
4 in order to, in an effort to try to save the fragmenting federation.
5 I think that you touched on the fact that the Prime Minister at the
6 time of the Federation of Yugoslavia, Prime Minister Markovic, had
7 also put forward a proposal himself. Perhaps you could just touch
8 back on that again and tell us what the fate of his proposals were
9 that he had advanced?
10 A. I am not sure it would be accurate to say that he put forward a
11 proposal as such. He favoured the continuation of some kind of
12 community for, Yugoslavia whether it be federation or confederation,
13 it did not matter what, so long as they returned a single economic
14 space. He attempted to make that possible through the economic
15 reform programme he initiated in the first part of 1990. In the
16 second part of 1990 the successors which were apparent in the first
17 part of the year, reducing inflation from somewhere over 2,600 per
18 cent, even down to zero, on a monthly basis, still did not provide
19 the basis upon which to build any kind of renewed arrangement between
20 the Yugoslav republics. I think the reason for that is essentially
21 that none of the republics were willing from their own different
22 perspectives to support that kind of a programme, whether it was from
23 Belgrade or from Ljubija, the Slovenian capital, each had its own
24 perspective and had no interest in supporting Markovic in the efforts
25 to create an economic policy by which a community of Yugoslavs could
1 be sustained in that way. Each had other interests and, therefore,
2 was not giving its support to the federation.
3 Q. Well, what happened to Slovenia or what happened in Slovenia in
4 December 1990?
5 A. In December 1990 the Slovenian authorities authorised a referendum
6 on the question of Slovenia's possible independence. That referendum
7 was overwhelmingly supported, supported the proposition that Slovenia
8 should become independent if there were not to be a suitable
9 accommodation between the Yugoslav republics within six months, and
10 the Slovenia authorities proceeded to act in making preparations from
11 that point onwards for independence, whilst continuing with some
12 discussions about the possibility of a continuing Yugoslav community.
13 Q. Would you look at the document that I am now showing. What is that
15 A. It as an extract from the Uradni list, the official gazette of the
16 Republic of Slovenia, and it is a record of the outcome of the
17 referendum and there is an English translation attached.
18 Q. In this translation one can see the overwhelming vote in favour of
19 the question for separation, is that right?
20 A. You can indeed, yes. You see that an overwhelming majority of those
21 voting voted for the independence of the Republic of Slovenia.
22 Q. I tender that document, if your Honours please. It is document No.
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Would you show it on the screen, Dr. Gow? Is there
25 any objection to Exhibit 25?
1 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No, your Honour.
2 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Exhibit 25 will be admitted.
3 THE WITNESS: The information is all contained on one page in the original
4 extract. In the translation it goes over two pages. The first page
5 indicates those who were eligible to vote and those who did take part
6 in the plebescite. The second page here indicates the total number
7 of voting papers handed in, and here indicates the total number of
8 those who voted "yes" to the question whether the Republic of
9 Slovenia should become an independent and sovereign state.
10 Immediately below that is given the figures for those who voted "no",
11 and finally voting papers which were spoiled in some way.
12 Q. Dr. Gow, in your opinion, when did the Federation of Yugoslavia cease
13 to function?
14 A. Although it is an extremely difficult question for anybody to be
15 precise about, I would say that probably the federation ceased to
16 function on 15th May 1991, at which point the procedure for the
17 appointment of the President of the collective presidency of the
18 federation broke down. That procedure was an automatic annual
19 rotation in a set order as laid out in laws passed pursuant to the
20 1974 constitution, and at that stage it should have passed from the
21 Serbian representative Borisav Jovic to the Croatian representative
22 who at that time was Stjepan Mesic, but for the first time a formal
23 vote was actually called on the question of the rotation and the four
24 representatives controlled by the Republic of Serbia following the
25 changes to the internal structure of Serbia, so they were able to
1 call on the votes of Montenegro as well as the two autonomous
2 provinces, blocked the rotation and I think it is from at that point
3 onwards you can say that the federation had clearly ceased to
4 function as a federation.
5 Q. Is it also true to say that from at that time onwards the federation
6 lacked a head of state?
7 A. It would be true to say that the formal head of state of the SFRY
8 following the death of Tito was the President of the presidency, and
9 that in the situation where there was no President of the presidency
10 then, technically, Yugoslavia would be without a formal head of
11 state, although it would have, it would continue notionally to have
12 the collective head of state which was the presidency itself.
13 Q. Perhaps you might -- can you just elaborate a little bit for us on
14 how Serbia was able to achieve this in terms of voting numbers and so
16 A. I will recapitulate. Because of the changes which had taken place
17 both within party structures but, more importantly, by this stage
18 within state structures and administrative structures, the Republic
19 of Serbia was able to call on not only its own vote but the vote of
20 Montenegro where Serbia was judged to have responsible in changing
21 the leadership in course of 1989 and bringing Bulatovic into power as
22 an eye of President Milosevic and also on the votes of Kosovo and
23 Vojvodina because as a result of the changes those representatives
24 were now de facto taken to be representatives not so much of the
25 provinces themselves but of Serbia.
1 Q. So in fact Serbia had four votes whereas the other republics had one
2 that it could marshal?
3 A. I think it could be said -- what you could say is that Serbia had
4 more or less complete control with three votes in that situation and
5 could count on the fourth vote of Montenegro. It is a significant
6 that, although the effective autonomy of the two provinces was
7 removed, the representation of the two provinces in the collective
8 federal presidency was not.
9 Q. And the President of the presidency that should have taken over was a
11 A. That is right. That was Stipe Mesic who was the Croatian
12 representative to the federation at that time, to the collective
13 federal presidency at that time.
14 Q. What did Croatia do when this happened?
15 A. Croatia obviously was thrown into a degree of consternation and
16 within four days went ahead with a referendum which it had called on
17 the question of Croatia's prospective independence. Although the
18 decision to hold the referendum had been taken perhaps a week or two,
19 I forget the exact date but shortly before that, the effective, the
20 effect of the events of 15th May were to catalyze the referendum
21 question immediately prior to its being held, and to make it clear,
22 if it were not clear before that, to the Croats that they would
23 support the question of Croatian independence. I suspect they would
24 have done so overwhelmingly anyway.
25 Q. Would you please look at the document I am now showing you.
1 (Handed). What is that document?
2 A. This is the Narodne novine which is again the official gazette of the
3 Republic of Croatia, and it is an extract from that document which
4 indicates the decision to call a referendum on the question of
5 Croatian independence.
6 Q. That extract, is there an English translation of the extract that you
7 just referred to?
8 A. There is.
9 Q. Perhaps you might display that on the screen for us, please? I think
10 that is item No. 646, is it?
11 A. The decision on calling a referendum. You see that two questions
12 were posed on the
13 future of Croatia's relations: whether or not that it should be an
14 independent and sovereign
15 state but holding out the possibility that it could join a federation
16 with other republics within the context of the confederal proposals
17 made by Slovenia and Croatia, and a second question which asks
18 whether or not the Republic of Croatia should stay within Yugoslavia
19 as constituted with the SFRY on the terms proposed by the proposal I
20 indicated by Borisav Jovic.
21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Before we get too deep into that exhibit, is there
22 any objection? I guess not. Exhibit 26.
23 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No, your Honour.
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Exhibit 26 then will be admitted. I did not mean to
25 stop you testifying regarding the document.
1 MR. NIEMANN: Following these referendums, Dr. Gow, did Slovenia and
2 Croatia issue declarations of independence?
3 A. If I may first just add that there was an overwhelming vote in
4 Croatia as well for the independence of Croatia as expressed in the
5 terms of the questions put, and on 25th June 1991 both Slovenia and
6 Croatia declared their independence from the SFRY.
7 Q. Was that reflected in the document now shown to you? What is that
9 A. It is reflected in the document which is from the Uradni list from
10 the Republic of Slovenia and is the text of the declaration of
12 Q. Do you know what the source of this document is?
13 A. Sorry ----
14 Q. Do you know the source of the document?
15 A. I indicated it came from Uradni list, the official gazette of the
16 Republic of Slovenia.
17 Q. Yes, I tender that exhibit, your Honour.
18 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Any objection to Exhibit 27?
19 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No, your Honour.
20 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: 27 will be admitted.
21 MR. NIEMANN: I think you said there was also a similar declaration in
22 relation to Croatia; is that correct?
23 A. That is correct.
24 Q. Perhaps looking at the exhibit, at the next document which you are
25 shown, (Handed), is this also -- well, tell us what this document is?
1 A. This document is again an extract from the Official Gazette of the
2 Republic of Croatia, and it contains the constitutional decision on
3 the sovereignty and independence of the Republic of Croatia on 20th
4 June 1991.
5 Q. Is there a reference in that document to -- sorry, is there an
6 English translation accompanying that document?
7 A. There is an English translation accompanying the document, and that
8 English translation is taken from Yugoslav Survey No. 3 1991
9 published by the federal authorities of the SFRY in Belgrade.
10 Q. Yes, I tender that, your Honour.
11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Any objection to Exhibit 28?
12 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No, your Honour.
13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Exhibit 28 will be admitted.
14 MR. NIEMANN: Dr. Gow, what was the effect of these declarations of
15 independence that you have just been referring to in Exhibits 27 and
16 28 which have been tendered?
17 A. The declarations of independence raised in a definite and possibly
18 final way the future, any possible future for a Yugoslav community.
19 It indicated clearly the intention of the republics of Slovenia and
20 Croatia to become independent. It raised the question of the status
21 of the other Yugoslav republics, and it gave rise to the process, the
22 final process of disintegration including armed conflict of which we
23 are all only too well aware.
24 Q. What about the Republic of Serbia, what was its position?
25 A. The Republic of Serbia formally continued to support the existence of
1 the SFRY, although de facto appeared, the Serbian President appears
2 to have come to a limited understanding, if not a formal agreement,
3 with the leader of the Republic of Slovenia, Milan Kucan, on
4 Slovenia's possible future. But, essentially, the Republic of Serbia
5 opposed, formally opposed the breakup.
6 Q. Perhaps looking, if you would for me, at document 29, can you tell me
7 what that document is?
8 A. The document is an extract from the constitutions of the countries of
9 the world, Oceania Publications series referred to earlier, and
10 concerns the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The Federal Republic of
11 Yugoslavia is the label adopted by Serbia and Montenegro following
12 the collapse of the SFRY.
13 Q. What was the effect of this document?
14 A. The effect of the document given here, which is the calculation of
15 that Federal Republic of Yugoslavia by the leaderships, the
16 representatives of Serbia and Montenegro, was to confirm the end of
17 the SFRY as was, if there was any remaining question as to the
18 existence of the SFRY, and therefore absolutely to complete a process
20 disintegration of the SFRY. So between the end, between the point at
21 which I would say the federation finally ceased to function on 15th
22 May 1991, the point at which Slovenia and Croatia indicated that they
23 regarded it as no longer functioning and declared their independence
24 on 25th June 1991, and this declaration which was issued on 27th
25 April 1992 the SFRY went through a process of dissolution, which
1 process, if not before, was finally complete on 27th April 1992 when
2 this declaration was issued.
3 Q. I tender that document, your Honour.
4 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Any objection?
5 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No objection.
6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Exhibit 29 will be admitted.
7 MR. NIEMANN: Perhaps after it is marked it can be given to the witness.
8 I will just get you to point to the actual declaration itself and the
9 date of the declaration.
10 A. I would first indicate the title of the document as a whole is
11 "Declaration", and that if you move to paragraph 1 and the sentence
12 before it, "The representatives of the people of the Republic of
13 Serbia and the Republic of Montenegro declare the Federal Republic of
14 Yugoslavia and they claimed the continued state, international,
15 legal, political personality of the former SFRY".
16 JUDGE STEPHEN: Can I ask a question? Does that mean that the new Federal
17 Republic of Yugoslavia by its creation acknowledged the fact that
18 neither Croatia nor Slovenia were a part of it?
19 A. Yes, I believe that would be an accurate reading.
20 Q. Acknowledged also that they were independent states?
21 A. I would say that that is the case as well.
22 MR. NIEMANN: You perhaps might just show us the date that appears on that
24 A. The date, as you see, is Belgrade on April 27th 1992.
25 MR. NIEMANN: Dr. Gow, after this declaration, the last one that we have
1 just seen, what then followed in what was former Yugoslavia?
2 A. After the declaration of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, I would
3 say that there then followed -- there had already been a period of
4 armed conflict, but through the sum of all the declarations to which
5 we have made reference, including the final declaration of the
6 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, was the formal disappearance of the
7 SFRY and the onset and continuation of armed conflict.
8 JUDGE STEPHEN: I am sorry, if I can pursue that last question? Where did
9 that leave Bosnia-Herzegovina, if it was excluded specifically from
10 the new Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, yet had not declared
11 independence from the old Yugoslavia?
12 MR. NIEMANN: Yes.
13 THE WITNESS: Bosnia and Herzegovina had declared independence from the
14 old SFRY, and I believe that in the course of the evidence to come we
15 will be indicating that that was the case.
16 JUDGE STEPHEN: Thank you.
17 MR. NIEMANN: It had occurred by this time?
18 A. Yes, but it had occurred by this time.
19 Q. Dr. Gow, I would like now to move over to a consideration of what was
20 the military position in Yugoslavia, in particular, the Yugoslav
21 People's Army in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. I
22 would ask you to start with an examination of this Army leading up to
23 the time of the breakup and thereafter. Firstly, under the
24 constitution what was the position of the armed forces of Yugoslavia
25 at the commencement of the armed conflict in 1990?
1 A. The armed forces of Yugoslavia comprised two elements. The first
2 element was a regular armed force, the Yugoslav People's Army and the
3 designation "people's" should be noted; this reflects the communist
4 orientation of the SFRY. Sometimes these days, because the term
5 "narod" also means "people" and "nation", you will see it translated
6 as "national". It had a very specific connotation of "narod" meaning
7 people for the people's republics, in the same way that there were
8 people's republics in the other communist countries of Central and
9 Eastern Europe in the postwar period.
10 The other element was a territorial element which was
11 organised to be an adjunct to the defence of the country in times of
12 war and which was organised at a republican level. The Federal Army
13 was organised by a Federal Secretariat for People's Defence and the
14 Territorial Defence was organised by republican secretariats,
15 although both were intended to act for the same purpose in defence of
16 the SFRY.
17 Q. In connection with this, might the witness be shown Exhibit 19? Dr.
18 Gow, I would ask you to go particularly to Article 240? (Handed)
19 Just looking at Article 240, by reference to that particular Article,
20 what is its significance in terms of the position of the armed forces
21 in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia?
22 A. The second paragraph, as I will indicate now, confirms the two-tier
23 structure I was just indicating. The first paragraph also indicates
24 that the armed forces were given a particular constitutional -- a
25 particular and explicit constitutional role, not only to protect the
1 country from external threat, but also to protect the sovereignty,
2 territorial integrity and social system established by the present
3 constitution, that is, the 1974 constitution of the SFRY.
4 So, the Yugoslav People's Army was given a particular
5 role, a constitutional role, at that time.
6 Q. Thank you. The exhibit, if it may stay with -----
7 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: If I may understand this? In Article 240, the
8 first paragraph, when it says, "... shall protect the independent
9 sovereignty, territorial integrity and the social system of the
10 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia established by the present
11 constitution", the constitution provided what now, that the nation
12 would consist not only of Serbia within its territorial boundaries,
13 but also all peoples located within the former Yugoslavia? Is that
14 the meaning?
15 A. This refers not to the Republic of Serbia, Serbia specifically, but
16 to the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia, the federation of
17 the six states. The constitutional prerogative of the Yugoslav
18 People's Army (as I read it from this Article) was to be given a role
19 in preserving that federal structure and the socialist self-managing
20 system, if you like, the communist party system, that was instituted
21 throughout the Federation. So it was given a task not only of
22 preserving the independence of the country from external threat, but
23 also of preserving the internal relationships established by this
24 1974 constitution.
25 Q. Tell me again what were the internal relationships established by the
1 constitution, at least in terms of the relationship between Serbian
2 peoples located outside of the territorial boundaries of Serbia, if
3 anything -- maybe I am confused?
4 A. I am not clear that it was given any particular role in that respect.
5 Q. OK. That is the answer.
6 A. I do not see that that was a part of the 1974 constitution.
7 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, perhaps the exhibit might stay with the
8 witness as I wish to refer to it a little later on?
9 (To the witness): Dr. Gow, what was the intended purpose of the
10 two-tiered system of armed forces in the Socialist Federal Republic
11 of Yugoslavia?
12 A. The intention of the first tier of the Yugoslav People's Army was to
13 be the first echelon of defence in the event of an attack on the
14 SFRY. Its purpose was simply to try to perform a holding action,
15 maybe for 48 hours or more, to give time for the second element, the
16 Territorial Defence forces to be mobilized. The purpose of that
17 Territorial Defence force was to fulfil the remit of the doctrine of
18 General People's Defence. This was, essentially, a doctrine of
19 defence which would rely on mass armed resistance, normally in
20 guerrilla movements, a movement which was aimed to deter any attack
21 because it would hold out the promise that any attack on the SFRY
22 would be met with a long, difficult campaign which might be initially
23 successful in removing the first echelon of defence, but would be
24 fighting a guerrilla force for a long period afterwards.
25 So it was aimed in the first instance to try to deter
1 attack by persuading anybody that an attack would be too difficult to
2 accomplish and, in the second instance, by making provision to
3 provide the kind of defence if somebody went ahead with an attack --
4 to provide the kind of defence I have described if somebody went
5 ahead with an attack.
6 Q. What was the historical explanation of having this two-tiered system?
7 A. One element of the explanation for it goes back to the Second World
8 War, to the tradition of partisan warfare which gave rise to the
9 creation of the Yugoslav People's Army and of communist rule in
10 Federal Yugoslavia. The partisans had been successful in the early
11 parts of the war using these kinds of guerrilla tactic as part of
12 their overall strategy. Of course, while the war was continuing, as
13 they became more successful, that largely guerrilla force was
14 transformed into a more regular force. But the idea that external
15 opponents could be combated through this guerilla type warfare was an
16 important factor in this being an element in post 1945 Yugoslavia's
17 defence system.
18 The particular type of Territorial Defence as defined
19 under the doctrine of General People's Defence came in after 1968.
20 While there had been a particular kind of Territorial Defence force
21 as a reserve element for the regular army until that stage, the
22 nature changed in 1968 when a more real sense that there could be an
23 invasion, I think, was present following the Soviet invasion of
24 Czechoslovakia in 1968, real measures were taken, and these included
25 the authority being established within the republics to organise
1 Territorial Defence on the territory of the republics. This is
2 because if there were to be a real attack, there would be a need to
3 fall back and to have local political control. Overall political
4 control would not be able to be guaranteed in the event of an attack,
5 and it was thought that an attack might be a real prospect, so real
6 measures were taken to respond.
7 Q. Dr. Gow, was there an ethnic balance in the JNA?
8 A. There was an ethnic -- within the JNA, as the Yugoslav People's Army,
9 Jugoslavenska Narodna Armija, and within the JNA there was a balance
10 on one level in the conscript kada, and the conscript kada reflected
11 the distribution of ethnic communities throughout the territories of
12 the SFRY. So, the conscript kada would reflect the proportion of,
13 for example, Serbs or, for example, Croats in the population as a
14 whole between 18 and 24. That would be the proportion of each
15 community within the conscript kada.
16 Within the officer corps, the regular elements, there was
17 not such a reflection of the population as a whole, but there was an
18 attempt through a system known as the "key system", "ethnic key
19 system", to try to maintain a balance between representatives of the
20 different ethno-national communities at least in the higher echelons.
21 Q. Was this ethnic question also reflected in the constitution itself?
22 A. It was, yes.
23 Q. Perhaps you might display Article 242 of Exhibit 19 which you have
25 A. If I can indicate Article 242 of the constitution, you will see there
1 was the intention with regard to the composition of the officer corps
2 and the question of promotion to try to maintain the principle of the
3 most proportional representation of the republics and autonomous
4 provinces. So there was an intention to try to maintain a
5 proportional balance within the officer corps between individuals
6 from each of the parts of the Federation.
7 Q. What was the position with respect to the Territorial Defence Force
8 itself in terms of its command vis-a-vis the JNA?
9 A. The Territorial Defence Forces were organised by republican
10 secretariats for defence. That organisation took place, at least to
11 some extent, in conjunction with representatives of the JNA, took
12 place in conjunction with representatives of the JNA, and in time of
13 war it was envisaged that, as far as possible, the Territorial
14 Defence Forces would be integrated with units of the JNA, but
15 recognised also that in the situation of isolated groups fighting a
16 guerilla campaign, command would be with local, political military
18 Q. What status did the JNA have in the League of Communists of
20 A. Within the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, the JNA -- I believe I
21 may have indicated this already this morning -- had a position of
22 having the representation equal to that of an autonomous province
23 within the central committee of the League of Communists of
24 Yugoslavia. The central committee of the League of Communists was,
25 effectively, the key body in which the elements of the Federation
1 were -- within the party structures the elements of the Federation
2 were represented. Within a communist party system it could almost be
3 said to be more equivalent to a sovereign parliament than the
4 parliament itself in de facto terms.
5 Q. I think, following on from that, was the JNA given a political role
6 in Yugoslavia?
7 A. It was given a political role in the sense of being given this formal
8 membership of the key, central body of the League of Communists of
9 Yugoslavia. I believe its political role was wider than that. The
10 Federal Secretary for Defence, who was always the top General in the
11 army, also became a de facto ex-officio member of the collective
12 Federal presidency, was always present or nearly always present at
13 meetings -- I cannot say for sure absolutely always -- and also the
14 JNA was charged, going back to its constitutional role and maybe
15 giving a little bit of expansion and interpretation to that role, was
16 also in some sense charged with being Tito's successor. The idea was
17 that being a body with an interest in the Federation as a whole,
18 rather than an exclusive interest in any one of the republics, it
19 would be able to continue the role which Tito had played as
20 representing the interest of a Federation as a whole.
21 Tito and the Army worked together in 1971 in dealing with
22 the problems in Croatia, to which I made reference earlier, when
23 there were some signs of Croatian movements towards greater
24 independence. From that point onwards, I believe Tito saw the Army
25 as being a possible way of preparing for a Yugoslav presence after
1 his death -- I should also say Yugoslav and communist presence.
2 Q. He saw the JNA playing a role in this?
3 A. I would think that Tito clearly saw that the JNA would play a role
4 within the Federation, being a voice within those parties and other
5 bodies which would represent Federal Yugoslav interests rather than
6 those of individual republics or provinces.
7 Q. Did the forces of disintegration of the Federation that you have
8 attested to earlier in the Federation of Yugoslavia have any impact
9 upon the JNA?
10 A. As the events of the late 1980s and 1990s were underway, the JNA was
11 obviously coming under certain pressures and strains. It was a
12 multi-ethnic army comprised of all the different communities on the
13 territories of the SFRY. Whilst its orientation was towards the
14 Federation, it could not avoid being subject to the pressures both in
15 relationships between the republics and in relationships between the
16 different communities. So, therefore, there were tensions which were
17 leading to a change in the character of the JNA.
18 Q. Were there changes in the organisation of the military forces as a
19 consequence of these forces of disintegration?
20 A. There were some changes which came as a consequence of those
21 pressures. There were some changes, perhaps, which may or may not
22 have done. From the end of 1988, the JNA was reorganised. This
23 reorganisation created five military districts. That reorganisation
24 (as we may make reference to later) was significant when it came to
25 the dissolution of the SFRY and the use of armed forces.
1 Beyond that, clearly, the pressures that were working
2 upon the JNA led to a change in its character. It led to rely
3 increasingly on Serbian elements within the JNA as increasingly
4 non-Serbian individuals, groups, began either not to go to do their
5 military service or began to be regarded as being unreliable,
6 slightly difficult elements, within the structures of the JNA.
7 Q. You mentioned military districts; what relevance, if any, did these
8 changes have to the events of 1990 and beyond?
9 A. The particular relevance was that within those changes in the
10 military structures, first, there was a degree of devolution of
11 authority. As a part of the changes, it was envisaged that there
12 would be greater local command in particular situations, so greater
13 authority was transferred to lower levels, more initiative was left
15 This was perhaps -- I stress "perhaps" -- to be
16 significant. For example, in the Republic of Croatia during 1990 and
17 1991, where elements of the local Knin corps, quite clearly, were
18 co-operating with local Serbs in allowing them to obtain weaponry
19 from JNA stores, which is a measure which I say perhaps may only be a
20 matter of the local commanders as part of the locally devolved
22 It was also significant in that the changes in boundaries
23 of the military districts extended, for example, the boundary of the
24 1st military district from being previously the boundary -- extended
25 the boundary of the first military district. Previously, the
1 boundary was that between the province of Vojvodina and the Republic
2 of Croatia, the province of Vojvodina in northern Serbia, and the
3 Republic of Croatia.
4 That boundary was extended to cover territory on the
5 western side of that border within the Republic of Croatia. It was
6 in the boundaries of that military district, for example, there was a
7 lot of armed activity in 1991, particularly focusing around the town
8 of Vukovar. That activity was being conducted under the auspices of
9 the 1st military district of the then JNA.
10 Q. Dr. Gow, if you would, please, look at the document that you are now
11 shown? Perhaps that exhibit, Exhibit 19, might be returned? Dr.
12 Gow, what I have now handed to you, what is that document?
13 A. This document is a book entitled "Moje Vidjenje Raspada", which is
14 "My view of the collapse" or "disintegration". The author is General
15 Veljko Kadijevic who was Federal Secretary for Defence at the period
16 in which we are talking, through the early 1990s through to the
17 beginning of 1992, and therefore the top general in the army in 1991
18 when the armed conflict began on the territories of the former
19 Yugoslavia. This book is his view of the collapse, if you like, his
20 account, memoirs, of what took place.
21 Q. He is the gentleman that you were referring to that would participate
22 in decisions of the Federation almost in a coequal state to the
23 republics? I may have expressed that badly, but if you follow what I
25 A. Yes. He, as Federal Secretary for Defence, was part of the Federal
1 government and would be party to decisions of the Federal government
2 and would also be the ex-officio representative to meetings of the
3 Collective Federal Presidency.
4 Q. Thank you. Is there an English translation that accompanies that?
5 A. I believe there is, yes.
6 Q. Yes. I tender that exhibit, your Honour.
7 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Any objection to Exhibit 30?
8 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No objections, your Honour.
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Exhibit 30 is admitted.
10 MR. NIEMANN: After that exhibit is marked, could it please be handed back
11 to the
12 witness? Firstly, if you would just put the first page on the screen
13 of the Croatian version -----
14 A. I think it is probably somewhere -- it is more a Serbo-Croatian
16 Q. But the photograph of the person there?
17 A. This is the cover page of the book and this is General Kadijevic
18 photographed for the cover of the book.
19 Q. Thank you. I would ask you to go, if you would, please, to page 61
20 of the English translation of the book. Perhaps you might just look
21 at it first before it goes on the screen? Perhaps you might tell us
22 the significance there of what appears on that page in terms of the
23 evidence you have just given concerning the break up.
24 A. If I may, I will try to indicate?
25 Q. Perhaps that could be highlighted, that section there?
1 A. First of all, General Kadijevic indicates that by the time of his
2 writing in 1991, we no longer had a real common Yugoslav state.
3 Further down, he indicates that for the JNA the position was in
4 practical terms, what this meant in practical terms, and that would
5 be protecting and defending the Serb people outside Serbia and
6 assembling the JNA within the borders of the future Yugoslavia. The
7 future Yugoslavia would be a set of territories which would comprise
8 parts of not only Serbia and Montenegro as understood in these terms,
9 but also parts of the republics of Bosnia and Herzegovina and
11 Q. Thank you. Could I take you to another page, page 72?
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: What was that page again now?
13 MR. NIEMANN: That was page 61, your Honour.
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: English translation, yes.
15 JUDGE STEPHEN: That appears from this portion that we have in front of
16 us, the parts of Bosnia and Croatia would be included?
17 THE WITNESS: I am adding the interpretation for the purposes -- when the
18 General writes "the border" here, he writes "within the borders of
19 the future Yugoslavia". The borders of the future Yugoslavia are not
20 designated in this portion of the text. They can be derived from
21 understanding of other parts of the text.
22 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: That really was the question I was trying to
23 articulate earlier. When you spoke about the two different elements
24 within the Yugoslav Army, the JNA, and you said that one was the
25 regular Army and the other was the Territorial Defence, what I was
1 trying to do was to link the responsibility of the Territorial
2 Defence element of the JNA with the vision of Serbia as reflected in
3 the constitution of Serbia. Perhaps that is not possible, but if you
4 look at exhibit, I think, is it 24, when I thought there was
5 reference to Serbia not just constituting -- I can give you any of
6 the exhibits that you talked about yesterday, the Exhibit 2, I guess
7 it is -- not just that particular geographical western border, but
8 also within the meaning of the constitution, peoples located in other
9 areas of former Yugoslavia. If that is what the constitution, at
10 least -- maybe I am misunderstanding -- was focusing on as
11 constituting Serbia, then when you put on top of that the
12 responsibility of that portion of the JNA, that is, the Territorial
13 Defence element -- you are frowning because you do not understand at
14 all what I am saying -- then would that envision then a portion of
15 the JNA engaging in military activity outside of the defined
16 territorial boundary of Serbia on behalf of peoples who constitute
17 Serbian descent located outside of that border? Do you understand
18 that convoluted question?
19 A. I am not absolutely certain, but maybe if I attempt to address it we
20 can establish if I have.
21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: That is what you have said, really, that this
22 document is talking about.
23 A. I think I need to make clear that the JNA was not the army of the
24 Republic of Serbia; it was the army of the SFRY ---
25 Q. The whole?
1 A. -- of which the Republic of Serbia was one element. The Republic of
2 Serbia did not constitutionally or, I think, in any other sense
3 include the Serbs outside the Republic of Serbia, those Serbs in
4 Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Croatia. The responsibility, the
5 constitutional responsibility, of the JNA and the political role it
6 was given was with regard to the SFRY as a whole. Its role, that is,
7 the community of states of the six states and of the various peoples.
8 The term "people" is used, as I think I have said
9 already, somewhat ambiguously sometimes because the same word in
10 Serbo-Croat "narod" can be used for an ethno-national nation,
11 ethno-national group people and for a people as in the ordinary
12 people or the people inhabiting the borders of a state.
13 When we looked at the 1974 constitution of the Republic
14 of Serbia, I indicated clearly that it said that the Republic of
15 Serbia was the state of the Serbian people and of the other groups
16 all exercising their sovereignty, saying that it was the people of
17 the territory of the republic. But, quite clearly, the ambiguity has
18 led to questions arising, particularly with people who look at things
19 more from an ethno-national perspective than from that either of
20 constitutional politics or law or international politics or law, to
21 see things in those terms. These are discussions which have been
22 raised about which there has been quite a lot of debate in some
24 All I can say, as what I would regard as a matter of
25 fact, is that in the process of dissolution of Yugoslavia, those
1 interpretations of people regarding the inhabitants of a territory,
2 i.e. one of the republics, is what has been accepted, broadly, in the
3 debates between the Yugoslav states and by the international
4 community and I may -- I think I will have opportunity to clarify
5 some of this later.
6 Going back specifically to the position of the JNA, it
7 was charged with looking after the SFRY as a whole. It was not
8 charged with taking responsibility for one particular group within
9 the SFRY. So, at this point when the General indicates that for them
10 the main aim, in practical terms, had come to be protecting and
11 defending the Serb people outside Serbia and assembling the JNA
12 within the borders of the future Yugoslavia,
13 he was talking about creating something new, not preserving the old
14 SFRY, but creating something new which would be a mini Yugoslavia or,
15 in practical terms, as understood by many people, an expansion of the
16 Republic of Serbia through the creation of a new federation. I hope
17 that I did understand your question and that I have addressed it.
18 Q. He is envisioning the use of JNA troops to protect persons who are
19 outside the territorial boundaries of Serbia at that time?
20 A. He is.
21 Q. And the people that he envisions that they have a responsibility to
22 protect would be persons that are then defined in the, you say, 1974
23 constitution? That is, not just people within the geographic borders
24 of Serbia, but persons located in other areas of Yugoslavia who are
25 of Serbian descent. If I am wrong, tell me so.
1 A. I would have thought that the appropriate interpretation of the role
2 given in the 1974 constitution was to preserve the system which
3 involved all the republics and all the communities of Yugoslavia
4 rather than to take the role of protecting any one group.
5 MR. NIEMANN: Perhaps just following on from what Her Honour said, there
6 was a significant change, was there not, in the JNA by this time,
7 i.e. had it moved from being the Federal Army charged with the
8 responsibility of all of Yugoslavia, including Croatia, Slovenia and
9 everything, and by what General Kadijevic is saying, it had shrunk
10 back to what was to be the new Federation of Yugoslavia, namely,
11 Serbia and Montenegro, and that the responsibility of the army would
12 be to look after Serbs in that new federation, plus those outside of
13 the new federation? Does that summarise it?
14 A. I think I have gathered all of that and it does seem to summarise the
15 situation. The JNA had responsibility for the whole of the territory
16 of the SFRY and all the constituent elements, republics and peoples.
17 In the situation of dissolution when, as the General says, there was
18 no longer a real common Yugoslav state, no longer a real federation,
19 the JNA was faced with a very difficult situation, I guess, and it
20 fell back on aligning itself with a project -- for a state project
21 based around the Serbian people throughout the territories of the
22 SFRY, not in the Republic of Serbia.
23 Q. When was he writing this? What was the time that he was writing
25 A. The time he was writing was -- the time he was writing about is the
1 second half of 1991, throughout 1991, but particularly in the second
2 half of 1991. The time he was writing it was in 1992 after he had
3 left his position as Federal Secretary of Defence and as Head of the
4 Army, and I think the book was eventually published in 1993.
5 Q. OK. Now perhaps you would move on to look at page 72 for me, please,
6 and perhaps, Dr. Gow, you might look at the exhibit first, page 72
7 first, before it is put on the screen.
8 A. First of all, I would indicate that at this point, the point I am
9 indicating now, the General identifies that there is a certain clear
10 vision of a new Yugoslavia which had been taking shape, and that the
11 JNA, therefore, moved to a conceptualisation and planning for its
12 deployment in the context of creating that new Yugoslavia. He
13 identifies the nature -- the existence of the JNA's transformation
14 and its movement towards -----
15 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Can you just move it over?
16 THE WITNESS: I am afraid that has taken it off the right-hand side of my
18 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I want you to see, but we were having difficulty on
19 the left-hand side.
20 JUDGE STEPHEN: Always it is too far over one side.
21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: How is that?
22 THE WITNESS: That is fine by me.
23 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Can you see?
24 THE WITNESS: I can see.
25 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: We can see.
1 THE WITNESS: Thank you. Secondly, I was saying, it indicates the JNA's
2 national transformation with respect of the new Yugoslavia.
3 Finally, I would indicate that again he identifies that the JNA had
4 been carrying out its task of protecting the Serb people in Croatia
5 under the rubric of preventing clashes between the peoples,
6 preventing intercommunal violence, that is, in the course of 1991.
7 The official JNA position had been that its deployment were only a
8 matter of what it called "peacekeeping", of separating communities,
9 of preventing intercommunal clashes, but he clearly indicates that in
10 doing that it had seen its task of being that of defending the Serb
11 people, but by this stage, in the second part of 1991, it could no
12 longer carry out its task of protecting the Serb people in the same
14 MR. NIEMANN: I think it goes on over the page too to page 73.
15 A. Yes.
16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Dr. Gow, I guess I just will not give up. What is
17 the constitutional basis in any of the exhibits that we have that the
18 nation of Serbia extended beyond the territorial borders reflected in
19 Exhibit 2?
20 A. There was no clear constitutional basis that that was the case.
21 Q. Where is it reflected then that there is a larger nation of Serbia
22 that goes beyond this territorial border in Exhibit 2, we will say?
23 A. It is reflected, I think, in the reality that there were Serbs living
24 in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Croatia.
25 Q. And the "nations" being a word that would be "peoples" as well?
1 A. There was again a degree of ambiguity.
2 Q. I am trying to see if my fellow judges follow better than I do. I
3 understand there was a belief that Serbia was more, yes, greater
4 Serbia -- we have not heard that term used, but I know that is what
5 you are talking about because I suppose we all read papers -- but
6 where is it written that there was this belief that Serbia went
7 beyond the territorial borders that we have seen? In the exhibits
8 that we have -----
9 A. I do not believe that I have indicated anywhere that it is written,
10 and I have not been trying to say that it was written. What I have
11 been saying is that you had a set of states within a federation in
12 which there was a degree of ambiguity and slight of hand in the way
13 that certain terms were used. This reflected the fact that there was
14 the Republic of Serbia as the titular state of the Serbs. But, as we
15 saw in the discussion of the Serbian memorandum and the changes to
16 the Serbian constitution in the late 1980s, that status was a matter
17 of ambiguity and was questioned itself.
18 As part of that discussion, I indicated that those who
19 were drafting the memorandum expressed a concern, not only for the
20 internal structures, the internal arrangements, for the Republic of
21 Serbia, but also for what they termed the integrity of the Serbian
22 people as a whole, i.e. the Serbian peoples in Bosnia and Herzegovina
23 and in Croatia.
24 The degree of ambiguity arises in part because, although
25 Serbia was taken to be the titular state of the Serbs on one level,
1 within the constitution of the SFRY, the Serbs as a whole were a
2 state forming people. While ever you had the Federation, it did not
3 matter whether the Serbs were in Croatia or in Bosnia or in Serbia
4 because, as far as they were concerned about it at all, they would
5 see themselves as being a state forming people.
6 In the process of dissolution, the status of Serbs in
7 Croatia and in Bosnia is brought into question, because within the
8 SFRY they can say, "We are a state forming people". If Croatia and
9 Bosnia are to become independent, there is a question mark against
10 whether or not they will continue to be state forming people.
11 In the Republic of Croatia, this was particularly
12 pertinent. The 1974 constitution of the Republic of Croatia
13 described the republic as the state of the Croatian and Serbian
14 Peoples and others. The 1990 constitution adopted, after the
15 nationalist government had come to power, made a slight change and
16 said that Croatia was the state of the Croatian people and of the
17 Serbs and of others. This was one of the questions which the Serbs
18 in the areas I have mentioned this morning -- this is one of the
19 things which concerned the Serbs in those areas which I mentioned
20 because they saw their status being changed.
21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I thought we had seen a constitution of Serbia that
22 laid a claim to Serbs outside of the territorial boundary of Serbia
23 and then you tell me there is ambiguity?
24 A. No, no, we did not see a constitution which said that; we saw the
25 document of the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences which indicated
2 Q. 21?
3 A. -- a concern for it -- yes.
4 MR. NIEMANN: Perhaps if I could follow up, the SANU memorandum had
5 expressed in it, did it, Dr. Gow, this concept of the achievement of
6 a greater Serbia, but perhaps not using those terms?
7 A. I am sorry, I missed the question.
8 Q. I am saying that the SANU memorandum had expressed in it this concept
9 of greater Serbia without necessarily using those terms?
10 A. Many people have interpreted the memorandum of the Serbian Academy of
11 Arts and Sciences as being a blueprint, a document which was the
12 basis for the idea of creating a great Serbia. I would have to say
13 that that is not an idea which is explicitly expressed, as far as I
14 can see, in the document, but the document does speak of the position
15 of the integrity of the Serbian people as a whole. That could be
16 interpreted as meaning providing a context in which all the Serbian
17 people would come together, integrity meaning bringing them all
18 within one context.
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: At some point in this trial we will be focusing on a
20 term that is referred to as "protective persons" coming from the
21 Geneva Conventions. So the question that I am asking you really is
22 not from a historical point of view, although this is very
23 interesting, but I am really trying to get to that point. So, I do
24 not want you to think that I am just asking questions to understand
25 the historical development; I am very concerned about how Serbian
1 people considered themselves, what state they considered themselves
2 to belong to in various other republics, and whether there is any
3 documentation that would indicate in writing that there was a
4 connection between Serbia and Serbs in other republics. When I say
5 "a connection", I am talking about an express national connection.
6 That is really why I was focusing on that question.
7 I am trying to relate the responsibility of the JNA
8 forces at this time for Serbs in other republics. Really, that is
9 what I am trying to focus on. Perhaps if I take a look -- it is an
10 open ended question -- at the exhibits more carefully, maybe I can
11 find the answer myself.
12 A. I would like to say that, whether it is for historical or military,
13 political, international or any kind of background, I am only glad to
14 help your Honours in any way that I can for whatever purpose. On
15 this particular point, I think we need to separate two things.
16 The first is that the memorandum in the terms you were
17 just expressing is in itself an expression of this idea of bringing
18 Serbian peoples together, albeit in a non -- not explicitly
19 determined way. None of the constitutional provisions or, indeed,
20 any of the constitutional documents to which we have made reference
21 so far give any indication of a responsibility of the Republic of
22 Serbia or of the JNA for Serbian peoples specifically outside the
23 Republic of Serbia. So, I think that would clarify the point in your
25 So the JNA had, in the action that it was taking to
1 protect the Serbian people, the JNA was not acting on any
2 constitutional basis at this stage.
3 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Very good. That was my question. You can
4 articulate my question better than I can. We will stand in recess
5 for lunch until 2.30.
6 (1.05 p.m.)
7 (Luncheon Adjournment)
10 (2.30 p.m.) PRIVATE
11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Niemann, would you proceed, please?
12 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you, your Honour. (To the witness): Dr. Gow, before
13 the luncheon adjournment, we were looking, in particular, at Exhibit
14 30 which is the book written by General Kadijevic. I had shown to
15 you pages 61 and 72 of the book. There was one final page I wanted to
16 take you to, namely, page 73. Would you now look at that page,
17 please, page 73? In connection with that page, can you take us to
18 the relevant part in relation to the role, the changing role, of the
19 JNA following the break up or during the course of the break up?
20 A. If I can, I will draw your attention to this first full paragraph in
21 which the General talks about the changed situation in which he
22 identifies the aim to create a new Yugoslavia made up of nations
23 which so desired. In this context, "nations", I suspect, I would
24 think, has been used in the sense of an ethno-national nation, i.e.
25 an ethno-national group wherever it is found as distinct from a
1 people inhabiting a territory -- the kind of distinction we were
2 talking about in the morning session.
3 Although he expresses the desire to do this peacefully
4 and equitably, it is clear that he is talking about the whole
5 situation as a war and, as far as he is talking about those nations
6 which wish to remain part of this new Yugoslavia, it would be fair to
7 say that Slovenia and the Slovenes and the Croats in Croatia had
8 already indicated they did not want to be part of this new
9 Yugoslavia. Macedonia had indicated that it no longer wished to be
10 part of it and that although at the time he is describing in his
11 writing the position of Bosnia and Herzegovina had not been made
12 clear in a formal way, it was certainly the case that the President
13 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, President Itzebegovic, had said that
14 although he wished to find a solution, the best solution for both his
15 Muslim population and for Bosnia and Herzegovina within some kind of
16 Yugoslav arrangement, he would not allow it to remain in a federation
17 which would be, effectively, a greater Serbia.
18 In a sense, what I am making clear here is that when the
19 General says those nations which -- talks about the nations who did
20 not wish to remain part of this new Yugoslavia and, conversely, those
21 who did, he is, effectively, talking about the Serbs who wish to
22 remain part of it and the others who do not.
23 I would go on to say that he identifies that in this
24 phase of the war, the objective of the JNA was to protect the Serb
25 people in Croatia in such a way that all the areas, all regions, with
1 a majority Serb population would be completely freed from the
2 presence of the Croatian Army and the Croatian authorities before
3 pulling the JNA out of Croatia.
4 I think this would indicate that the aim was, as far as
5 we were discussing the possible borders of this new mini Yugoslavia
6 this morning, one of the first points in which we can begin to
7 identify borders is that it would be around the areas designated as
8 being Serbian majority areas or with a significant Serbian population
9 in Croatia, and the objective of the JNA was to establish the borders
10 of the new entity based around those populations.
11 I would also point out that in the book the General
12 identifies two phases of operations in Croatia. The first phase
13 would be to secure the territories with Serbian populations; the
14 second phase would have been to move on to try to topple the Croatian
15 government. I think that second phase in the objective was
16 abandoned well before the end of 19 -- before the end of 1991.
17 If you move down, you will see that the General
18 identifies the objective as being total defeat of the Croatian army,
19 if they were able to do, and certainly to fulfil the main goal, the
20 main minimum goals and, in doing so, there would be full
21 co-ordination with Serbian insurgents in the Serbian Krajina, that
22 is, in the region of Krajina we talked about this morning, and in the
23 other regions which were designated to be part of the declared
24 autonomous regions.
25 At that same time, he also indicates there was awareness
1 of the potential role for the Serbian people in Bosnia and
2 Herzegovina, and that this would be instrumental and vital to the
3 future of this project as it was to develop in the future.
4 JUDGE STEPHEN: Could you put that back? In the first complete paragraph,
5 the third last line reads " ... of Croatia, to pull the JNA out of
6 Croatia". That does not mean Croatia as comprised at any time
7 really; it means that part of Croatia which was inhabited by Croats,
8 is that so? It is a curious use of Croatia.
9 A. I think it can be interpreted in that way, and the intention is to
10 convey the sense that Croatia for this purpose would be Croatia
11 without the areas, either with Serbian majority populations or
12 otherwise under Serbian control.
13 I would point out also that there was also the fact, as
14 it developed at the end of 1991 and the beginning of 1992, in fact,
15 was that the JNA decided technically to withdraw from Croatia, so
16 that means, first, it withdrew from the non-Serbian controlled areas
17 in Croatia, but then also it withdrew elements of its forces from
18 the areas under Serbian control, but redesignated them as a local
19 militia force for the so-called Republic of Serbian Krajina. So, in
20 one sense, it left the forces behind, but in another it would say
21 technically that it withdrew some of them and it withdrew them as the
23 Q. But, there is, obviously, a contradiction between protecting the Serb
24 people in Croatia -- two lines above -- and pulling the JNA out of
25 Croatia. They are talking of doing the two things at the same time
1 and he is using Croatia in different senses.
2 A. I think it is quite possible to read it that way.
3 Q. Is there any other way?
4 A. I was trying to indicate that, as a matter of fact, at the end of
5 1991 ---
6 Q. Yes, I realise that.
7 A. -- the JNA said that it was withdrawing from Croatia and formally
8 there was no JNA presence left, although there was a de facto JNA
9 presence which was then designated the armed forces of the Republic
10 of Serbian Krajina. So, it would say technically it had withdrawn,
11 de facto the presence remained. It is a slightly ambiguous situation.
12 I think you are quite right to identify the ambiguity within the
13 phrasing there because I believe you are right to identify the second
14 use of Croatia does exclude the territories under Serbian control.
15 JUDGE STEPHEN: Thank you.
16 JUDGE VOHRAH: Dr. Gow, I have a question to address to you. The General
17 here speaks of Serbian Krajina. Is Krajina an amorphous area or a
18 properly demarcated area?
19 A. That may depend on which Krajina you are talking about. It was a
20 properly demarcated the Vojna Krajina, to which I made reference
21 this morning, the historical area within the Hapsburg Empire, was a
22 properly demarcated area. The term has been used loosely since then
23 to refer to the territories either side of the border between Bosnia
24 and Croatia in that area in north western Bosnia, around the north
25 western corner of Bosnia and in the Dalmatian hinterland. So, for
1 example, you have an area in north western Bosnia which is also
2 sometimes referred to as Krajina.
3 In terms of the declaration of the Republic of Serbian
4 Krajina or, prior to that, the Serbian autonomous region of Krajina,
5 it was designated to include particular municipalities within the
6 Republic of Croatia and, therefore, was given in some areas certainly
7 a particular designation, although when it became the Republic of
8 Serbian Krajina, it was also to include territories in Eastern
9 Slovenia which were not part of the conventional use of the term to
10 describe the Dalmatian hinterland areas on the border with Bosnia.
11 MR. NIEMANN: Dr. Gow, you have finished with that page, have you?
12 A. If I may check? I cannot remember any more. If I may just point out
13 at this stage for future reference -- I may want to come back to this
14 page -- simply the General identifies the organisation of the JNA,
15 and at this point here identifies the main directions of lines of
16 attack for the JNA forces operating in Croatia and out of Bosnia and
17 Herzegovina. Shall I indicate it again?
18 MR. NIEMANN: It still needs to go over.
19 JUDGE STEPHEN: There is a technical difficulty. Apparently, your screen
20 operates differently from mine and, I think, ours. For instance, at
21 the moment one edge, we have lost a lot of the print.
22 MR. NIEMANN: What we need to achieve, your Honour, is the one that can
23 best be read by your Honours.
24 JUDGE STEPHEN: That is fine.
25 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Can you now see it?
1 THE WITNESS: I can, thank you.
2 MR. NIEMANN: I think we are finished with that exhibit now anyway, so if
3 that can be handed back.
4 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: After all that effort!
5 MR. NIEMANN: Dr. Gow, notwithstanding the fact that historically and
6 constitutionally the JNA was a force in respect of all of the
7 republics and all of the nations and nationalities of the Socialist
8 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, was there any one particular ethnic
9 group that historically had a more dominant position, if I could call
10 it that, in the JNA?
11 A. Within the officer corps of the JNA, ethnic Serbs were a predominant
12 group forming about 60 per cent of the total of the officer corps,
13 although, if you recall from some of the information we looked at in
14 testimony yesterday afternoon, the Serbs formed only around 34 to 36
15 per cent of the population as a whole. So, you see, there was a
16 disproportionate representation of Serbs within the officer corps.
17 In part, I think, this can be explained as a matter of
18 tradition and, in particular, because the JNA was the successor of
19 the partisan movement, and that Serbs from Croatia and Bosnia, in
20 particular, had been the core of the partisan movement in the early
21 years of the Second World War; so this gave rise to tradition, very
22 common within military sociology of military families bequeathing
23 military families bequeathing military families, I think.
24 Q. How did this dominant Serbian position in the JNA develop during the
25 early part of the 1990s?
1 A. In the course of the 1990s, the JNA, as it came into its final phase
2 as the JNA, became increasingly dominated by Serbian elements. This
3 would be both at the conscript kada level and at the regular level
4 within the officer corps as, on the one side, the non-Serbs
5 increasingly left service and, on the other side, there was an
6 increasing sense of a Serbian identity emerging, I think, among
7 elements of the JNA officer corps, although this was a matter of some
8 -- it was a process which was taking place and there was a tension
9 between those who had what I would describe as a Yugoslav orientation
10 and those who were clearly shaping, adapting to the future of a
11 Serbian orientation.
12 Q. How was this Serbian orientation of the JNA evidenced in April and
13 May 1991?
14 A. That orientation began to be demonstrated in the spring of 1991 in
15 Croatia and I think continued to be demonstrated in the course of
16 that year as the JNA began to deploy troops in areas of Croatia with
17 significant Serbian populations under their technical remit of
18 preventing intercommunal clashes but, as we saw from General
19 Kadijevic's book, with the real intention of what it described as
20 protecting the Serbian people, that is, beginning to deploy in a way
21 which was consistent with giving assistance to Serbian groups within
23 Q. During this time -- we are speaking April/May 1991 -- what was the
24 attitude of the command of the JNA towards the formal constitutional
25 dictates of the JNA?
1 A. I think there was some dispute within the high levels of the JNA at
2 this time. There was broadly agreement about the crisis situation.
3 According to General Kadijevic and some other sources, there was a
4 plan in the spring of 1991 to try to declare a state of emergency to
5 prevent those things which would happen afterwards.
6 There was a difference of opinion as reported in some, at
7 least apparently, according to some reports that appeared of leaked
8 conversations between General Kadijevic, as the Federal Secretary of
9 Defence, and General Adzic, his Chief of Staff. General Adzic seemed
10 to favour direct action irrespective of constitutional requirements;
11 whereas General Kadijevic seemed to be attached to the idea that the
12 JNA had a constitutional role and had to behave constitutionally.
13 This is a somewhat ambiguous situation again because General
14 Kadijevic himself was doing things which might be interpreted as
15 unconstitutionally at the same time as he had reservations about
16 behaving in a constitutional manner.
17 Q. Dr. Gow, I would ask if you could, please, turn on your video monitor
18 and I would then ask that a video representing Exhibit 31 be played
19 for you, please, the first introduction segment of that video, if
20 that could please be played first?
21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Before you play it, I presume you are going to offer
22 it and there is no objection to 31 -- is it 31, Mr. Niemann?
23 MR. NIEMANN: It is going to be Exhibit 31, yes, your Honour.
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: It is on list of exhibits for identification
25 purposes as 31?
1 MR. NIEMANN: If I can indicate, it is the "Death of Yugoslavia" series.
2 It is just some short portions from it.
3 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Do you have any objection?
4 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No objection.
5 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Fine. Let us see 31 then. 31 has various portions
6 to it. I guess it is tape 1 now that we are going to see?
7 MR. NIEMANN: Yes.
8 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: That will be admitted.
9 MR. NIEMANN: It is just the introduction to identify the video. Then I
10 will ask for the playing of part 1. The parts are very short; they
11 are matters of seconds.
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Fine.
13 (The video was played)
14 MR. NIEMANN: Just looking at that short introduction piece, Dr. Gow, are
15 you aware of who prepared -- did your Honours see it?
16 MR. WLADIMIROFF: We have a problem here, your Honour. We did not see
17 anything on our screens.
18 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Did you turn on the video monitor?
19 MR. WLADIMIROFF: I see. We were on the computer. I see.
20 MR. NIEMANN: Perhaps it might be played again? Your Honour, I would ask
21 for it to be played again.
22 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Thank you.
23 MR. NIEMANN: Could that be wound back and then the introduction part
24 played again, please?
25 (The video was again played)
1 Q. Dr. Gow, just looking at that short video segment there, are you
2 aware, firstly, of the name of the production?
3 A. The production was the "Death of Yugoslavia".
4 Q. Who was responsible for it? Who produced it?
5 A. It was produced by Brian Lapping Associates in London for the BBC.
6 Q. Did you have any involvement yourself closely in this production?
7 A. I was one of the consultants involved in discussing and preparing the
9 Q. Will you during the course of your evidence refer to various excerpts
10 from this series?
11 A. I will.
12 Q. I might tender that, your Honours, as Exhibit 31 and the various
13 parts that we now go to, if they can be numbered parts 1, 2, 3 and so
14 forth of Exhibit 31 -- if that is acceptable to your Honours?
15 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: You have listed Exhibit 31. Then you have various
16 tapes, programme 2, for example, tape 1, programme 3, and then you
17 have the minute, seconds, under that?
18 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, if they could be just referred to as parts of Exhibit
19 31, I think, your Honour.
20 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: You want to play them continuously?
21 MR. NIEMANN: No, your Honour, they come at different pieces of the
22 evidence. I do not think it would be too awkward that way. If they
23 are all played together, then we will lose the sequence of them.
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: You have seen these exhibits, Mr. Wladimiroff; do
25 you have any objection to 31, any of the tapes that are listed?
1 MR. WLADIMIROFF: We have no objection to showing it to the court.
2 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: OK, very good. Then 31 will come in and you will
3 tell us whether we are watching tape 1 or tape 1, programme 2, 3 etc.
4 or do you want me to make them 31(a) for tape 1, 31(b) for tape 1,
5 programme 3? That is the way I would suggest.
6 MR. NIEMANN: However your Honour feels .....
7 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: We are trying to determine whether what you have
8 offered is one continuous tape that will just shows us tape 1,
9 programme 2, and then it would go to on tape 1, programme 3, is that
10 the way it is being offered?
11 MR. NIEMANN: What has happened is there is one tape with the various
12 parts on it which we can play each part, but it is one actual
13 cassette tape.
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: OK. Then it will come in then as one exhibit, 31.
15 MR. NIEMANN (To the witness): I would ask that part 1 be played and
16 perhaps what I will do, Dr. Gow, is would you just watch through and
17 then we will play it again and as we go back through it I will get
18 you to explain the various part as we go through, if you would not
19 mind. So could part 1 of Exhibit 31 now be played?
20 (Part 1 of Exhibit 31 was played)
21 MR. NIEMANN: Perhaps the volume might be raised a little bit? Perhaps,
22 just before we replay that, can you tell us, Dr. Gow, what was that
23 clip about, what was that film about?
24 A. The extract was mostly based around a secret film taken of an
25 emergency meeting of the collective federal presidency in March 1991.
1 That emergency meeting was called at the request of the Minister of
2 Defence, General Kadijevic, to discuss the situation in Yugoslavia.
3 The secret film of the meeting was taken by military
4 intelligence. It was made as a record of a meeting in which the army
5 was attempting to persuade the collective federal presidency to
6 declare a state of emergency throughout the territories of the SFRY
7 in order, in the General's terms, to prevent the impending break up
8 of the federation.
9 It was a meeting in which, as you could see, there was
10 some difficulty; it was a meeting, the outcome of which was not that
11 desired by the General. It was a meeting which for certain aspects
12 the General had been co-ordinating with one of the men you saw in the
13 film, Borisav Jovic, who was the Serbian representative to the
14 collective presidency, in order to create the conditions for this
15 state of emergency. But the presidency, as a whole, would not vote
16 for it. It was split 4:4 and, therefore, the state of emergency was
17 not declared.
18 The final section of the film that you saw, saw Jovic and
19 Admiral Branko Mamula, who was Kadijevic's predecessor as Federal
20 Secretary for Defence and went on to be Kadijevic's adviser,
21 indicating that Kadijevic for certain reservations had not gone ahead
22 and declared a state of emergency in spite of the decision.
23 I would say that that decision -- Kadijevic took that
24 decision largely because he could not bring himself to act outside
25 without a specific order from the collective federal presidency.
1 Jovic seems to have expected that he would act anyway, and at one
2 stage he threatened that he would in the course of the scene you saw.
3 Q. Just so you can point out the characters to us, I know they were
4 named, but so the characters could be pointed out, could we play it
5 again and at some segments I will stop, ask that the film be stopped.
6 So could it be played again, please?
7 (The video was again played)
8 MR. NIEMANN: Just stopping there for a moment, this is the General
9 Kadijevic whose book has been tendered as Exhibit 30?
10 A. I think it was 19 but .....
11 Q. 30?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Continue on, please. Just stop for a moment, please. Who is this
14 gentleman that you just saw there before the -----
15 A. He is Vasil Tupurkovski who was the Macedonian representative to the
16 collective federal presidency, and who was one of the people in
17 attendance at that meeting of the collective federal presidency.
18 Q. Thank you. Could it be played on now? Just stopping for a moment,
19 please, who is this gentleman we now see?
20 A. This is Stipe Mesic who was the Croatian representative to the
21 collective federal presidency.
22 Q. Was he the gentleman that was stopped from becoming the President of
23 the presidency?
24 A. He was; at this stage he was in the position to become President of
25 the presidency two months later in May, and it was his appointment
1 which was blocked on 15th May.
2 Q. If that could be played on, please? Continue. Just stopping there
3 for a moment, please, can you assist us with what is meant by having
4 "no civilian commander"?
5 A. The man who is speaking, and you just began to see his face, was
6 Borislav Jovic who was the Serbian representative to the collective
7 federal presidency, and he is indicating that in a situation where
8 the collective federal presidency had not agreed to declare the state
9 of emergency, then he thought that Kadijevic should say there is no
10 civilian commander, therefore, would declare a state of emergency
11 anyway. He then goes on to point out that, among other things,
12 Kadijevic was worried that this would be seen as a military coup.
13 Q. Continue on. Just stopping there for a moment, please. Who is this
14 gentleman that we see?
15 A. This is Admiral Branko Mamula who I already said was previously
16 Federal Secretary of Defence before Kadijevic and was acting as an
17 adviser to Kadijevic.
18 Q. Thank you. Continue on. Thank you.
19 Dr. Gow, now turning to the question of the involvement
20 of the Serbs in the JNA during the period of the armed conflict, what
21 happened to the process of Serb domination of the JNA after the
22 outbreak of hostilities in 1991?
23 A. After the outbreak of hostilities in 1991, the JNA -- the gradual
24 process of transformation which had already begun in the JNA was
25 increased greatly and, for the most part, non-Serbs left the JNA and
1 it was by the end of 1991, certainly by the early part of 1992, that
2 the JNA had been transformed from a largely multi-ethnic armed force
3 comprised of people from all the territories of the SFRY into a
4 largely Serbian force both in the officer corps and in the rank and
6 Q. In connection with that, Dr. Gow, would you, please, look at the
7 document that you are now shown?
8 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Dr. Gow, on what do you base that, that opinion,
9 that the JNA had been transformed from a multinational force to a
10 predominantly Serbian force by the time of the outbreak of
11 hostilities in 1991?
12 A. I am sorry, I did not hear the last part of the question.
13 Q. On what do you base that opinion, the opinion that you just gave?
14 A. I base the opinion on information published and reported and I
15 believe will be coming to show some of that evidence on paper.
16 MR. NIEMANN: I have a document, your Honour, which will follow this one,
17 I think. It might assist your Honour.
18 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I will just sit back and listen.
19 MR. NIEMANN: Sorry. (To the witness): Perhaps just looking at the
20 document that I now show you, though, Dr. Gow, and can you tell me
21 what it is?
22 A. The document is a schedule showing the share of particular ethnic
23 groups within the JNA officer corps as a whole, and indicating the
24 specific numbers of each ethnic grouping at the ranks of General
25 Colonel and Lieutenant Colonel in the JNA for figures published in
1 April 1991.
2 Q. Who prepared this document?
3 A. This schedule was prepared at my direction by the Office of the
5 Q. I tender that schedule, if your Honours please. That is No. 32.
6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Any objection to 32, Mr. Wladimiroff?
7 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No, your Honour.
8 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: 32 will be admitted.
9 MR. NIEMANN: After it has been marked, might it be returned to the
10 witness, please? Can that be placed on the overhead projector and,
11 Dr. Gow, could you explain to us the numbers that are written there
12 and the significance of them, please?
13 A. The first of the tables shown indicating national composition of the
14 officer corps as a whole, you will see the first -- you have the list
15 of the different ethno-national groupings on the left-hand side. The
16 first column indicates the percentage share of that particular group
17 in the officer corps as a whole, and the second column indicates the
18 percentage share of the Yugoslav population as a whole.
19 This goes towards confirming something that I already
20 said in an earlier part of the testimony, for example, that around
21 60 per cent of the officer corps were Serbs as against only 36 per
22 cent of the population as a whole; conversely, you can see that
23 whereas, for example, Slovenes comprised 7.8 per cent of the
24 population as a whole, they comprised only 2.8 per cent of the
25 officer corps. It is simply an indication of the degree to which
1 Serbs were the predominant group within the officer corps.
2 Q. Just tell us the date that this relates to?
3 A. The information is derived from a then Slovenian language Yugoslav
4 Defence publication, Revija Obramba, in April 1991.
5 Q. The bottom schedule? Is that visible to your Honours?
6 JUDGE STEPHEN: Yes, thank you.
7 THE WITNESS: The second of the tables indicates the actual numbers for
8 each ethno-national grouping at the various ranks displayed across
9 the top, so for General, for Colonel and for Lieutenant Colonel.
10 Then you will see that although there may be what I would identify as
11 a broad attempt to preserve as far as possible proportionality in the
12 higher ranks at General, at the General level, you will see at the
13 level of Colonel and Lieutenant Colonel, the number of Serbs becomes
14 out of proportion again with that of the other groupings.
15 There is a note attached to the bottom which is that many
16 of those who identified themselves as Yugoslav were also, could also
17 possibly be identified as Serbs in certain situations. They were of
18 Serbian origin but chose to designate themselves as Yugoslav, but by
19 no means exclusively.
20 Q. Dr. Gow, I would ask you to look at the next document that I show you
21 and perhaps that document could be returned to the Registrar? Her
22 Honour Judge MacDonald asked you a moment ago if you had a source for
23 that information. Can you tell us what the document is that I have
24 just handed to you?
25 A. The document is the cover of Revija Obramba for April 1991, the
1 edition of the volume in which the information we just saw on the
2 previous schedule, from where the information was derived.
3 Q. Just tell us what that publication is, please, if you would?
4 A. It was a Slovenian language defence publication in the SFRY; the
5 title means "Defence review".
6 Q. Do you regard that as a reliable source of information in connection
7 with your work?
8 A. I do regard it as a reliable source and would add that the particular
9 information involved, the article in which it appears, was produced
10 by a man which was working in the Defence staff in Belgrade and was
11 produced from authoritative Ministry of Defence sources. That is
12 what I am saying.
13 Q. Indeed, as a result of that particular publication, did you yourself
14 in one of your own articles make reference to the material contained
15 in that?
16 A. Yes, I did, and the tables that we saw before the schedules prepared
17 in the Office of the Prosecutor were broadly similar to the tables in
18 the article "Deconstructing Yugoslavia" which appeared in the journal
19 "Survival" in 1991.
20 Q. The article "Deconstructing Yugoslavia" is your article?
21 A. That was my article, yes.
22 MR. NIEMANN: I tender those documents, if your Honour please.
23 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Is there any objection to 33?
24 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No objection, your Honour.
25 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: 33 will be admitted.
1 MR. NIEMANN: Once the document has been exhibited, could it be handed
2 back to the witness? In order to complete the answer that you gave
3 to Judge McDonald in relation to its source, could you display just
4 the front cover of that on the overhead projector and then show the
5 sources contained in the article which, I believe, appears in the
6 Serbo-Croat or the Serbian language; is that right?
7 A. No, it is in the Slovene language. The information appeared in a
8 series of bar graph charts, as indicated. I do not think you are
9 going to be able to see as presented here the actual percentages and
10 figures of which I spoke which were indicated at the bottom of the
11 bar graphs as you move along.
12 Q. In fact, what happened you interpolated that?
13 A. For the purpose of the article and then for the purpose of the
14 schedule for the Office of the Prosecutor, I had that information
15 converted into the table we saw.
16 Q. I think, perhaps, just show us the first section of your publication.
17 That is your article and I think you have also reproduced in your
18 article the same schedule?
19 A. I reproduce the same information in the schedule and it was a version
20 of that table which was taken for use by Office of the Prosecutor.
21 Q. Thank you. Dr. Gow, what impact did the dissolution of the Socialist
22 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the armed conflict in 1991 and
23 1992 have on the ethnic composition of the JNA?
24 A. I believe this will also go partly in answer to Judge MacDonald's
25 earlier question. I began to indicate that the structure, the ethnic
1 composition, ethnic structure, of the JNA changed radically in the
2 course of the armed conflict after June 1991, so that by the spring
3 of 1992, whereas there had been an army in which around 40 per cent
4 of the total officer and rank and file, a little over 40 per cent,
5 were Serbian, by the spring of 1992 that figure had risen to
6 somewhere around or in excess of 90 per cent.
7 Q. Would you please look at the exhibit, the document, I will now show
8 you? (Handed) Can you tell us what that is?
9 A. The document is a bar graph representation to indicate the change in
10 the share of Serbs and non-Serbs in the Yugoslav Army between June
11 1991 and March 1992.
12 Q. Who prepared the document?
13 A. The document was prepared by the Office of the Prosecutor at my
15 Q. What was the source of the information?
16 A. The information was derived from press reports of Belgrade Ministry
17 of Defence statements.
18 MR. NIEMANN: I tender that document, your Honour. It is document No. 34.
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Is there any objection to Exhibit 34?
20 MR. WLADIMIROFF: We have no objection, your Honour.
21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: 34 will be admitted.
22 MR. NIEMANN: Once that is marked, could it then be displayed on the
23 overhead projector? (To the witness): Dr. Gow, just looking at
24 this, I think it maybe useful to show it -- no, I think we can see
25 it, can we see it all in one? Perhaps I might ask you to go through
1 it and explain it. This document relates to what?
2 JUDGE STEPHEN: We cannot see the percentage numbers.
3 MR. NIEMANN: I am sorry, your Honour.
4 JUDGE STEPHEN: That is better.
5 MR. NIEMANN: Perhaps if we deal with it in two parts, that is best. Tell
6 us what it is, describe it for us.
7 A. This is a bar graph representation of the percentage share of
8 conscripts within the JNA at the stage, at the two different stages.
9 Before June 1991, this is based on an estimate that the number of
10 conscripts of each group within the JNA would be proportional with
11 the share of the total population of the SFRY. So, if there were 36
12 per cent of Serbs within the SFRY between the ages of 18 and 24, then
13 approximately 36 per cent of JNA conscript kada would be Serbs.
14 The table indicates that there were, therefore, around 36
15 per cent of Serbs at that stage and a figure, conversely, approaching
16 64 per cent of non-Serbs. The white column indicates Serbs, the
17 darker column indicates non-Serbs. You will see the percentage
18 shares marked on the scale to the left.
19 Q. So just to summarise that, the percentage of Serb composition which
20 is represented by the white block was approximately in accord -- this
21 is of the conscripts -- with their percentage of the population
22 preJune 1991?
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. After June 1991, could you then show us the next stage? This is March
25 1992, is it?
1 A. These are figures for March 1992 which were reported in March 1992,
2 and you will see the white block, the share of Serbs within the army
3 has risen to the point of 90 per cent and that, conversely, the
4 proportion of non-Serbs has fallen to 10 per cent. Of that 10 per
5 cent which constituted 11,000 people, 6,500 were Montenegrins who
6 throughout, certainly for the purposes of discussing the army, are
7 conventionally regarded as being Serbs without being Serbian; I am
8 not quite sure to what extent it is always accurate, always the best
9 thing to do to regard it that way, but certainly conventionally. So,
10 within that 10 per cent, perhaps 5 per cent, slightly over 5 per
11 cent, would be Montenegrin.
12 Q. As a consequence of these dramatic changes to the composition of both
13 the officer corps which we saw earlier and of the ethnic composition
14 of the conscripts of the JNA, by this time March 1992, is it fair to
15 say that it had, essentially, become a Serbian military force?
16 A. I would think it is certainly fair to say that both in terms of its
17 composition and, broadly, the purpose for which it was being used, by
18 this time it had become a military force, a Serbian military force,
19 although that was not its official designation. Its official
20 designation at this stage was still Yugoslav People's Army, but that
21 was to be changed in May.
22 Q. Who were some of the main players that led the campaign inside the
23 JNA for its Serbian reorientation?
24 A. I think I indicated already that there was some tension within the
25 JNA leadership and that some people, for example, General Kadijevic
1 may have had a slightly more conservative and proYugoslav view, other
2 people have been reported as having slightly more proSerbian views
3 and among those certainly a member of the Air Force General staff,
4 General Bozidar Stevanovic, has been reported as being significant in
5 leading a campaign from within the armed forces to make the armed
6 forces more Serbian.
7 Q. What did Stevanovic do in this process of reorientating the JNA?
8 A. Stevanovic who had actually put in his resignation in the summer of
9 1991 and, quite exceptionally, had the resignation recalled, both
10 according to reports gave instructions to elements of the Air Force
11 military intelligence to prepare information on other people within
12 the JNA leadership, information which would then be used in part of
13 two phases of purging JNA Generals in the spring of 1992. So that
14 where of the 150 Generals that there had been in the JNA as a whole,
15 the JNA comprises ground forces, Air Forces and Navy, and before June
16 1991 there had been 150 Generals, after March 1992 only 28 of those
17 who had been serving in June continued to be with the JNA, either
18 because they had left to go because they wanted to be no part of what
19 was happening, or to join one of the other armed forces, or because
20 in the case of 58 of them, they had been either moved out or moved
21 into early retirement, and the work of Stevanovic was reported, and
22 the people working for him was reported as being significant in
23 making that happen.
24 I would also point out that Stevanovic also, another line
25 of activity was reported as having significant links with certain
1 paramilitary leaders who would go to Air Force posts to 252 at
2 Batajnica where Stevanovic would enter into discussions and was
3 reported as making services available to them, such as provision of
5 Q. Can you tell us what the relationship of these paramilitary units
6 were with the JNA? At this time now, I am talking mid 1991 onwards?
7 A. There were a number of paramilitary groups which operated on the
8 territories of Croatia and then on Bosnia and Herzegovina. For the
9 most part, these acted in co-operation with the JNA. They served
10 different purposes. Some of them were more significant than others.
11 The most significant ones served two purposes: First, they had a
12 Serbian designation. This meant that some people who would be
13 prepared to go to fight for a Serbian but not a Yugoslav cause would
14 be prepared to join these groups.
15 Many people had a lack of faith in the Yugoslav People's
16 Army, and that it would be serving the interests of the Serbian
17 people, so one point was that it would be a focal point for those who
18 would be prepared to fight for a Serbian cause at a time when many
19 Serbs were deserting from the JNA.
20 The second point was that the JNA anyway with its
21 multi-ethnic and even when it became a more purely Serbian conscript
22 kada was not in a position to launch significant ground operations
23 using infantry. Therefore, whilst the JNA was prepared to use its
24 artillery in operations, it relied on paramilitary groups to go into
25 built up areas and to act as a substitute infantry. In these ways,
1 the paramilitary groups and the JNA were co-operating and, broadly,
2 paramilitary groups were operating under the command and framework of
3 the JNA.
4 Q. Can you identify some of these particular paramilitary groups or
5 units by name and the people responsible for leading them?
6 A. There were a number of groups. There was the Serbian Volunteer Guard
7 led by Zeljko Raznjatovic, known commonly as "Arkan". There were
8 different groups such as the White Eagles, Beli Orli, and the
9 Chetniks, groups which were led by people such as Vojislav Seselj and
10 Dragoslav Bokan and Mirko Jovic.
11 Q. Was any assistance given to these particular paramilitary groups by
12 the Yugoslav Air Force particularly in the period 1991/92?
13 A. Certainly some assistance was reported particularly focused around
14 General Stevanovic and the Air Force base at Batjanica. Supplies were
15 said to be given to paramilitaries at those bases and also there were
16 reports that, for example, Seselj made use of helicopters from the
17 JNA base there.
18 Q. As a consequence -----
19 A. May I just clarify, that is according to Seselj himself.
20 Q. This was in Bosnia? Was there involvement of the Air Force in
22 A. The same groups operated in Croatia and in Bosnia, and there was a
23 degree of Air Force support for those groups, as for the JNA as a
24 whole. Certainly in the early stages of the war in Bosnia, as during
25 the war in Croatia, the Air Force also maintained, among other
1 things, an air bridge between the eastern -- between the territory of
2 Serbia in the eastern part of Bosnia and the western parts of Bosnia
3 under Serb control and the Serb controlled areas in Croatia.
4 Q. Did this assistance rendered by the Yugoslav Air Force to the
5 paramilitaries continue on through the period of 1992 or the year of
7 A. Yes, it did.
8 Q. Was there any international reaction to this?
9 A. There was an international reaction specifically to the use and the
10 potential use of the Air Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina which was
11 the declaration of an air exclusion zone, no fly zone, over Bosnia
12 and Herzegovina which was declared, I think, under UN Security
13 Council Resolution 781.
14 Q. Thank you. I just ask you to look at this document, please. (Handed)
15 Is that the United Nations Resolution 781?
16 A. It is indeed the Resolution to which I have just made reference dated
17 9th October 1992.
18 MR. NIEMANN: I tender that, your Honour.
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Is there objection to 35? Security Council
20 Resolution 781, is it?
21 MR. NIEMANN: Yes your Honour.
22 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Any objection?
23 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No objection.
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: 35 will be admitted.
25 MR. NIEMANN: Perhaps the document might be handed back to the witness you
1 might just indicate, if you would, Dr. Gow, where this is referred
3 A. I might indicate?
4 Q. Just where the Resolution relating to this -- perhaps just show the
5 first page so that we can may identify it, the Resolution, and then
6 just go to the second page.
7 A. I point to operative paragraph (1) of the Resolution in which this
8 Security Council indicates that it has decided to establish a ban on
9 military flights in the air space of Bosnia and Herzegovina with the
10 exception of flights relating to United Nations activities or all
11 flights approved by the United Nations.
12 Q. Would you look at the next document that is shown to you, please?
13 What is that document?
14 A. This document is a report of the Secretary General of the United
15 Nations pursuant to Security Council Resolution 871, 1993, and it is
16 the report with the reference S/1994/300, dated 16th March 1994.
17 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, I tender the Security General's report.
18 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Is there any objection to Exhibit 36?
19 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No, your Honour.
20 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: 36 will be admitted.
21 MR. NIEMANN: Once the document is marked, could you please hand it back
22 to Dr. Gow? (To the witness): Dr. Gow, going to page 8 of the
23 Secretary General's report at paragraph 23, if you would, please?
24 By reference to that particular part of the Secretary General's
25 report, is that a reference to the establishment of this no fly zone?
1 A. It is, and I would point out that this particular Secretary General's
2 report as a whole is a report, an overall report, on the UN
3 operations with regard to former Yugoslavia, and this particular
4 section relates to the no fly zone under Security Council Resolution
5 781. Other parts, of course, refer to other aspects of the UN
7 Q. Thank you. Would you look now, please, at the next document which is
8 shown to you. That one may be returned to the Registrar. (Handed).
9 A. Sorry, would you mind if I do this?
10 Q. Yes.
11 A. Before the document goes, can I also point out that it makes
12 reference to the Resolution 781 and implementation of it and also
13 notes, if you will see in paragraph 24, that between October 1992 and
14 March 1993, it records 540 violations of the ban on military flights
15 which had been ordered under Resolution 781, although a small number
16 of those were by Croatian forces, not by Serbian forces.
17 Q. Would you look at the next document you are shown? Can you tell us
18 what this document is?
19 A. The document is, I think, taken as an extract from the volume
20 Yugoslavia through Documents edited by Snezana Trifunovska, to which
21 reference has already been made, and this particular extract relates
22 to a statement of the government of Yugoslavia on 12th May 1992. In
23 this case the government of Yugoslavia would refer to the declared
24 government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, that is, Serbia and
1 Q. Thank you. I tender that document, if your Honour pleases, document
2 No. 37. Once it is tendered could it be handed back?
3 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Any objection?
4 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No, your Honour.
5 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: 37 will be admitted.
6 MR. NIEMANN: Just going to the second page -- I think it is probably the
7 best reference -- read the document first, though, would you, please?
8 Perhaps that could be highlighted or enlarged?
9 A. If I draw your attention to the second paragraph in which this
10 statement recalls that the Yugoslav presidency, that is, Serbia and
11 Montenegro, has decided to withdraw the JNA from Bosnia and
12 Herzegovina and that it speaks about completing this process within
13 10 days, although it should also be said that originally it indicated
14 that the force would be withdrawn by 19th May.
15 Q. Can you just tell us the significance -----
16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: What was the date on that?
17 A. 12th May 1992. If you wish, I will just show you the first page --
18 sorry, it was published in the Yugoslav publication, Review of
19 International Affairs, 12th May. It relates to the decision on 4th
21 MR. NIEMANN: Can you tell us the significance of this -----
22 A. Sorry, I am just -- no, sorry, I take that back. The statement is
23 for 12th May and it was published in the Review of International
24 Affairs, by the look of it, in the summer, June or July.
25 Q. Can you tell us the significance of this decision with relation to
1 the JNA?
2 A. The significance of the decision to withdraw the JNA, at least in a
3 formal sense, is that the leaders of the new Federal Republic of
4 Yugoslavia, that is, Serbia and Montenegro, particularly the leaders
5 of Serbia, saw that the continuing presence of the JNA on the
6 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina during the period of armed
7 conflict in which those forces were engaged would lead to an adverse
8 international assessment. This had all been indicated by discussion
9 of possibly -- by a request of the Security Council to withdraw the
10 JNA and also by the indication that a sanctions regime might be
11 imposed against Serbia and Montenegro if the JNA were not to be
13 Therefore, the significance is that the Yugoslav
14 government was attempting, that is, the government of Serbia and
15 Montenegro, was attempting to send the message that it would withdraw
16 its forces from the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
17 Q. Dr. Gow, thank you. I am just returning for a moment to the
18 involvement of the paramilitaries with the JNA. You mentioned
19 earlier in your evidence that there was a lack of confidence in the
20 loyalty of the Serbs in the JNA. Can you tell us why there was this
21 lack of confidence, why was there this concern?
22 A. I would judge that there was a lack of confidence in the JNA, in
23 part, because throughout the war in Croatia the Yugoslav Army had
24 spent a lot of the time not obviously fighting for the Serbian or,
25 rather, not fighting on the Serbian side in open terms, as we made
1 reference to the extract from General Kadijevic's book earlier. The
2 General indicated that they were operating within the rubric of
3 separating the communities and, therefore, the real objective of
4 protecting the Serbian people could not be stated.
5 The inability to state a clear objective because of the
6 situation and the need to prevent it from becoming categorically
7 clear in stated terms what the JNA was doing meant that many people
8 regarded it as an inefficient, inadequate force looking at what was
9 happening in Croatia, and also made the judgment that, perhaps, it
10 had too much of a Yugoslav orientation and not enough of a Serbian
11 orientation. This goes to some of the discussion we already had
12 about moves, pressures, on the JNA both from without and from within
13 the force.
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: At this time, what was the per cent again of
15 Serbians in the JNA, conscripts as opposed to officers?
16 A. At the time of this statement that we are discussing and the
17 decision, by this time the percentage share of Serbs within the JNA
18 was in excess of 90 per cent.
19 MR. NIEMANN: I would now ask if part 2 of Exhibit 31, the video part 2,
20 could be played. If your Honours could turn on the video monitor
21 and, hopefully, we can all see it together then.
22 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Part 2 will be tape 1, programme 3?
23 MR. NIEMANN: It is just Exhibit 31, it is the one tape, your Honour, it
24 is the second part of part 2. There is a whole series of interviews
25 that will then follow all as part 2.
1 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I see. Programme 3, I guess you call the second
3 MR. NIEMANN: Yes. Your Honours, if you go down the page, part 2, there
4 is a series of interviews under the heading "part 2" where it says
5 Vojislav Seselj, Bokan and then there is a report on ethnic
6 cleansing. All of that represents part of part 2.
7 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: That is part 2. I am really trying to decide for
8 the record. Part 2 of ---
9 MR. NIEMANN: Of Exhibit 31.
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: -- Exhibit 31, tape 1.
11 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honour, I do not think it refers to the tapes. The
12 tapes, if I can explain ----
13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: The tape is called "Death of Yugoslavia" and you
14 have part 1, you have played at least a portion of part 1. Now you
15 are going to play a portion of part 2 which, I gather, will begin
16 with what you have listed on your exhibit list as tape 1, programme
18 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour.
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Is that not so?
20 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour. There are a number of tapes and a number
21 of programmes. This merely identifies where they come out of a five
22 part series of a BBC production. For the purposes of these
23 proceedings, your Honours, this merely indicates from where they have
24 been extracted and it assists in working out where they have come
25 from, but the part, part 2, will all be together. It will all be
1 just one section. It is merely there to assist in locating from
2 where the series had been taken. It is a whole series of very short
3 excerpts, but it will all be part 2.
4 JUDGE VOHRAH: It is a rerecording.
5 MR. NIEMANN: It is recording, rerecording.
6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: There were five parts, I gather?
7 MR. NIEMANN: It is a five part series.
8 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: It is a five part series. What we are now going to
9 see is the beginning of part 2, is that so?
10 MR. NIEMANN: No, your Honours, you are not. Part 2 is our designation.
11 That is what we have called it for the purposes of these proceedings.
12 We called it part 2, part 3 and part 4, but there the programme
13 itself is divided into five parts.
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: You know what you have to do? It is very simple.
15 You have an exhibit list?
16 MR. NIEMANN: Yes.
17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Will you please point to where on your exhibit list
18 you are getting ready to play? I gather you are getting ready to
19 play what you have listed as tape 1, programme 3; if not, why did you
20 list it as the second one?
21 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, I am being told a number of things at the Bar
22 table here and none of them seem to be making any sense to me, so if
23 I may consult, your Honours?
24 Does your Honour have this document here?
25 JUDGE VOHRAH: Yes.
1 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I have it and I can read.
2 MR. NIEMANN: The highlighted -----
3 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: You tell me what is coming next.
4 MR. NIEMANN: Part 2. If your Honours see highlighted part 2, part 2 is
5 in highlighted. That is our designation and has nothing to do with
6 the series. It is a number we have given it.
7 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I am just asking you what you are going to play.
8 You refer on this exhibit.
9 MR. NIEMANN: I am going to play all of part 2, every one that is marked
10 part 2 and highlighted.
11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Very good. So you will begin with what is listed as
12 part 2 and is list as tape 1, programme 3, interview with
13 V-O-J-I-S-L-A-V S-E-S-E-L-J.
14 MR. NIEMANN: Yes.
15 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: OK, good.
16 MR. NIEMANN: And it will continue on, to the next part 2 and to the next
17 part 2, and then there won’t be reference to part 4 will be a later
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: So you are only going to play three of the part
21 MR. NIEMANN: No, I am going to play all of them.
22 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: All four, OK, very good. We have not seen, I
23 gather, tape 1, programme 3, because that is highlighted part 3 and
24 that is going to come after part 2.
25 MR. NIEMANN: Tape 1, programme 3, your Honour, has not been -- that part
1 out of that has not been played yet.
2 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: OK. Do you have any objection? 31 is all in, Mr.
3 Wladimiroff, because you do not have an objection to any of them.
4 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No, we have no objections.
5 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: For the record then, we will begin to hear and see
6 part 2 which is listed as tape 1, programme 3, on your exhibits list;
7 is that right?
8 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, part 2, your Honour, the reference, it is part 2 of the
9 Exhibit 31. If it could be played, your Honour, I think it is the
10 best way to identify it.
11 (Part 2 of Exhibit 31 was played)
12 Dr. Gow, before we go back and ask that to be played and
13 stopped at various portions of it, can you tell us in an overview
14 sense what those series of clips related to and the time of them, the
15 relevant period in terms of what they were referring to? There were
16 two separate periods, I know, there was period later, but the period
17 that was basically being referred to?
18 A. The set of extracts of interviews referred to the action of certain
19 paramilitary groups, primarily those organised by Vojislav Seselj of
20 the Serbian Radical Party, the Chetniks operating, first of all, in
21 the warring Croatia in Eastern Slavonia, around Vukovar, and later
22 in Bosnia, throughout the set of extracts indicates the way in which
23 from the first extract showed General Zivota Panic, who was commander
24 of the 1st military district at the time of the Vukovar campaign and
25 was later to be Chief of Staff of the Yugoslav Army, indicating that
1 the Army itself used its artillery and would not become engaged in
2 fighting in urban areas. I already made reference to this situation
3 in which, without a suitable infantry because of the problems with
4 the conscript kada, the Army turned to the paramilitary groups and
5 made use of them.
6 The extracts also indicate the way in which, according to
7 Seselj, the Serbian Security Service was involved in giving
8 assistance, and the way in which elements from the Yugoslav Army
9 would co-operate with his forces. This series of extracts, I think,
10 gives you some indication of the way in which the paramilitary groups
11 were operating, and the way they were co-operating with official
12 bodies of the Republic of Serbia, in particular, the insertion of
13 President Milosovic saying that all this is ridiculous, it is there
14 because it is part of the flow of clip and is to be contrasted with
15 the claims being made by Seselj in the interviews being shown.
16 If I may before we move on may be try to help your
17 Honour, Judge MacDonald, to explain the way in which these are being
18 presented, given the difficulty that there was before we showed the
20 The series "Death of Yugoslavia" has five parts. It will
21 eventually have a sixth part. All five programmes are referred to in
22 the list as programme 1, programme 2, programme 3, usually in the
23 second column, indicates from which programme a particular extract
24 was taken, and it also gives the timing of the point on the tape at
25 which it appears.
1 The extracts from different programmes sometimes appear
2 as packages and, for the purposes of the evidence, I think, may be
3 rather than being described as part 1 and part 2, could be described
4 as reference 1 and reference 2 to the individual tape of extracts
5 which is being used for the purpose of giving evidence and which I
6 believe is going to be, when we have finished using it, handed over
7 as an exhibit. I hope you do not mind me trying to help clarify that
8 and I hope I have clarified it.
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: The reason it is important is that some people may
10 want to look at this. I suppose this is a record and it needs to be
11 clear. What is the date on these parts, part 2? Part 1 was, of
12 course, in the spring of 1991. What is the date for part 2, do you
13 know, Mr. Niemann? Can you answer that for me?
14 MR. NIEMANN: I think I would rather the assistance of Dr. Gow, your
15 Honour, in terms of identifying those particular dates. I know the
16 first one is OK, but in relation to the interview with Seselj, I may
17 get him to indicate the approximate period, if I could, when we go
18 through it.
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: That would help, thank you.
20 THE WITNESS: The interview itself was made in the course of making the
21 five-part -- the five programmes for "Death of Yugoslavia" and was
22 made in the course of 1994 or 1995. I cannot tell you exactly on
23 which date the interview was made, but I think it is in the early
24 part of 1995. The incidents to which Seselj is making reference are
25 to incidents in Croatia in 1991 and to Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992
1 and after.
2 Q. Perhaps if we could see the tape, I think it is probably easier in
3 context of each segment. I would ask that the tape be stopped at
4 various portions throughout.
5 JUDGE STEPHEN: I have one short question.
6 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour.
7 JUDGE STEPHEN: We have heard of conscripts and we have heard of officers.
8 What surprises me is that I have heard nothing about
9 non-commissioned officers, the Corporals, the Sergeants, the people
10 who really make the army run. They are not conscripts, I assume.
11 They are regulars. What was their nationality or are they included
12 in the list of officers?
13 A. They are not included in the list of officers. Conventionally, the
14 non-commissioned officers were taken from the conscript kada. In the
15 course of the 1980s, the Yugoslav People's Army moved towards a
16 system in which some non-commissioned officers were on a contract
17 basis, that is, volunteer non-commissioned officers. The total,
18 before I gave an indication that about 60 per cent of the officer
19 corps were of Serbian origin, the similar figure, if you take the
20 whole of the volunteer kada on figures that I had from around 1988 --
21 I do not remember exactly any more -- were approximately 44 per cent,
22 but I do not remember the figure exactly any more. But sometime in
23 the mid/late 1980s after the system of contractualisation was
24 introduced, the figure for the total volunteer element, that is,
25 officers and non-commissioned officers was in the region of, as I
1 recall, 44 per cent, but I make clear ---
2 JUDGE STEPHEN: Thank you.
3 THE WITNESS: -- that I am not absolutely certain about that any more.
4 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, might that be played again and we will go
5 through it and identify the various parts of it.
6 (The video was again played)
7 MR. NIEMANN: Just stopping there, could we stop there for a moment,
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Stop the tape. I think he thinks that we want it
10 turned up. Do you want him to play back now?
11 MR. NIEMANN: No, I do not need to; the gentleman who was just talking,
12 who was that?
13 A. That was General Zivota Panic. General Panic at the time of the
14 operation around Vukovar was commander of the 1st military district
15 of the JNA, the military district responsible for the operations in
16 Eastern Croatia.
17 Q. When was that, approximately?
18 A. That was in the autumn, summer/autumn of 1991. Following that, from
19 the beginning of 1992, from I think January 1992, General Panic
20 became Chief of Staff of the JNA, replacing General Blagoje Adzic,
21 the previous Chief of Staff. So he moved from being commander of the
22 1st military district to being Chief of the General Staff of the JNA.
23 Q. Could it be continued on, please?
24 Stopping for a moment, please. Who was that who just
25 immediately appeared on the screen?
1 A. That was Vojislav Seselj who is leader of the Serbian Radical Party
2 and also leader or was leader of the paramilitary Serbian Chetnik
4 Q. So he was a politician in Belgrade?
5 A. He is a Member of Parliament in Belgrade. He is currently a Member
6 of Parliament in Belgrade and was at the time, and was also leader
7 and organiser of this paramilitary volunteer group which went to
8 fight in Croatia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
9 Q. In the period where he is speaking now, what period is he referring
10 to, or perhaps you would like to listen to it?
11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Actually when he was speaking, when was that, what
12 time was that?
13 A. The image on which we stopped was Seselj making a speech, I would
14 estimate, in the first half of 1991, though I cannot tell you
15 exactly. It might have been into the second half of 1991. I
16 identified it as being this period because he speaks of the Ustasha,
17 the Ustasha groups, who are threatening Serbian people in Croatia.
18 You may recall, when we discussed the Second World War, I
19 identified the Ustasha as the fascist group that was put in power in
20 the independent state of Croatia. The term "Ustasha" was one which
21 was being used quite a lot by the Serbian elements in 1990 and 1991
22 with reference to Croatian nationalists as a whole, although within
23 that it was clear that some people who had been associated with
24 Ustasha families were returning to Croatia in that period giving some
25 element of support to the use of that term, but it was widely used in
1 a more or less blanket way to refer to any Croatian nationalist
2 movement. In this case, Seselj, by using the term "Ustasha" is using
3 it to indicate, to mobilize, support among people in Serbia to go and
4 help what he regards as being the Serbs in Croatia threatened by the
6 Q. Could the tape be continued, please?
7 Just stopping there, can you tell us what he is referring
8 to at that particular point?
9 A. He is referring to an incident which occurred at Borovo Selo, a
10 village on the outskirts of Vukovar in May 1991. This was an
11 incident in which, according to this, Seselj's paramilitaries,
12 ambushed members of the Croatian Police Force resulting in an
13 incident in which as far as I recall I think it was 12 members of the
14 Croatian Police Force were injured, sorry, were killed and a further
15 number were injured.
16 Q. Could it be played on.
17 A. I would also point out ----
18 Q. Just stopping there again, that is Seselj again, is it?
19 A. That is Seselj wearing a combat outfit and a helmet, yes.
20 Q. He was generally regarded as head of a particular paramilitary group,
21 was he?
22 A. Yes, he was regarded as being the leader of the Serbian Chetnik
23 movement. His name has also sometimes been associated with a group
24 known as White Eagles, although that group was, as far as I could
25 see, formerly led by Mirko Jovic.
1 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: That period of time, what would the date have been
2 on that, the first time 1991?
3 A. I would say the date on that would be November 1991.
4 MR. NIEMANN: If the tape could be continued, please.
5 Just stopping there for a moment, please. Now who is the
6 gentleman that we see on the screen there?
7 A. This gentleman is Dragoslav Bokan who again was leader of one of the
8 small paramilitary groups. The previous extract we saw with the men
9 in uniform shouting was a scene of the Serbian volunteer guard, that
10 is the so-called Tigers organised by Zeljko Raznjatovic known as
12 Q. During the previous segment where Seselj was speaking he made
13 references I think a couple of times to the regime in Serbia. Are
14 you able to assist us in what he was referring to there?
15 A. Seselj was indicating that his paramilitary group was receiving
16 assistance from official bodies of the Republic of Serbia but in
17 terms of being given barracks and facilities and in terms of being
18 given equipment of various types, including arms, to go and be
19 active. I am not sure if he is making reference to a particular
20 period. I would say he is making reference generally to the period
21 from spring 1991, certainly from the second half of 1991 onwards and
22 refers both to Croatia and to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
23 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: When you say "onwards" do you mean after May 1992?
24 A. I would say after May 1992, yes.
25 MR. NIEMANN: If it could be continued on, please.
1 Just stopping there for a moment. Do you know, are you
2 able to assist us again in a time frame when he said, "We were just
3 told to go to one place or the other"? Do you know what time frame
4 he is talking about or can you suggest it?
5 A. I would suggest that he is talking about the whole time frame for the
6 period after May 1991 continuing into and through 1992 and quite
7 probably beyond that. I would also point out, which does not appear
8 in the translation, that he also makes reference to Vladmir
9 Bogdanovic who was head of the Serbian Security Service and that
10 Bogdanovic was one of the people who spoke to him in making these
12 Q. If it could be played on thank you.
13 Thank you. Dr. Gow, who was Michail ----
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: What time frame do you think he is talking about
15 when he said that "Serbia asked me to send my fighters"?
16 A. I think he would be talking he or could be talking about any part of
17 the time frame after May 1991. In the particular extract you just
18 saw he was making particular reference to giving assistance to the
19 Bosnian Serbs. I would assume that that would be in the course of
20 1992 and possibly in 1993.
21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Before you move on to another part or to another
22 area of questioning, we are going to take a recess for until 4.30.
23 (4.10 p.m.)
24 (The hearing adjourned for a short time)
25 (4.30 p.m.)
1 JUDGE STEPHEN: Before you begin, I wonder if I can clarify one bit of the
2 evidence we have already heard, and that is these percentages we have
3 had of Serbs in the JNA.
4 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour.
5 JUDGE STEPHEN: When the witness speaks of Serbs, is he talking of
6 citizens or inhabitants of Serbia, or is he talking of people who may
7 be citizens of Croatia but of Serb orientation?
8 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you, your Honour. Yes, Dr. Gow, could you assist us
9 with the matter that was raised by His Honour in relation to the
10 Serbs you referred to in your various charts?
11 A. Gladly. Although the ethnic key system which was intended to provide
12 a degree of proportionality, I made reference to this, I noted
13 Article 242 of the Constitution, specifically looked for equal
14 representation by republics and provinces. When I used the term
15 "Serbs" I was using it by the designation of those who would regard
16 themselves by an ethno-national label, for want of a better term, as
17 Serbs rather than as citizens of Serbia. So they would be Serbs,
18 could quite probably be Serbs from Croatia or from Bosnia rather than
19 Serbs from Serbia itself or non, people not ethnically Serb from
20 Serbia. It refers to the ethnic identification and the process of
22 JUDGE STEPHEN: I take it you have no statistics which would identify
23 numbers in the JNA at any particular time who are citizens of Serbia
24 or citizens of the new entity formed by Serbia and Montenegro?
25 A. I do not have figures for citizens of Serbia. The figures which
1 indicate, which I gave to indicate for March 1992, the reports of the
2 ethnic composition, I would say made reference to people who were
3 citizens of Serbia and Montenegro and who defined themselves as
5 JUDGE STEPHEN: I see. Thank you.
6 MR. NIEMANN: Dr. Gow, who was Mihalj Kertes?
7 A. Mihalj Kertes was the Deputy Federal Interior Minister and was
8 reported as being head of the Federal Security Service.
9 Q. What role did he play in the establishment of the paramilitary
11 A. It appears that Kertes and the Head of the Serbian Security Service,
12 Radmilo Bogdanovic to whom I made reference before the recess, were
13 instrumental in helping to organise and establish the paramilitary
14 groups according to reports and Serbian sources.
15 Q. Thank you. Would you look at the document that I now show to you,
16 please. (Handed). Dr. Gow, what is that document?
17 A. The document is a transcript, I am sorry, not a transcript, the text
18 of the intervention of Mr. Ivan Panic who at the time in question,
19 the time this document was prepared, was Prime Minister of the
20 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, that is Serbia and Montenegro. The
21 document is Intervention at the London Conference of August 1992.
22 The London conference was a major international conference jointly
23 sponsored by the United Nations and by the European Union and under
24 the presidency of the European Union of the United Kingdom. It took
25 place between August 26th and 28th 1992, and involved representatives
1 of all the European Union countries, of the Security Council
2 countries and of a number of other international representatives, and
3 gave rise to the International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia
4 which was to sit in Geneva after September 1992.
5 Q. Do you know where the document came from in terms of the copy you
6 have there, do you know who obtained it?
7 A. The copy, this copy, was obtained by me from the London conference.
8 Q. Thank you. I tender that, your Honour.
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I gather that is Exhibit 38.
10 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No objection, your Honour.
11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Exhibit will be admitted.
12 MR. NIEMANN: Once the document has been marked might it be returned to
13 the witness. Now, perhaps going to page 3 in particular, firstly,
14 would you have a look at page 3 and, in relation to that, could you
15 tell us the significance of what appears there? Just put it on the
16 overhead projector, page 3 and page 4 perhaps.
17 A. In the text of this intervention Mr. Panic, who was of Serbian
18 Yugoslav origin who emigrated in the 1950s to the United States and
19 was and is an American citizen, was at the time he became Prime
20 Minister of Serbia and Montenegro, the Federal Republic of
21 Yugoslavia, in making this intervention he was trying to represent
22 Yugoslavia and to promote a policy of peace and indicated, as here,
23 that his government, according to his statement, firmly and
24 categorically opposed any use of force to change borders between
25 countries and accepted the borders drawn between the republics of
1 the SFRY as the official international borders between Yugoslavia and
2 its neighbouring countries, and confirmed that they had no claims on
3 those neighbouring countries, and at the same time that his
4 government had already moved to recognise the republic of Slovenia
5 and its independent international personality.
6 Q. On page 4?
7 A. Mr. Panic indicates the categoric rejection of what he describes as
8 the barbaric practice of ethnic cleansing in any form, and goes on to
9 say that he will try to bring to justice any Yugoslav citizen, that
10 is a citizen of Serbia and Montenegro, against whom evidence could be
11 obtained of having engaged in any act of ethnic cleansing, and goes
12 on to say that in town Hrtkovci Vojvodina he had in fact arrested,
13 had caused to have arrested the Mayor in the previous week for
14 involvement in practices associated with ethnic cleansing.
15 Q. Might the Exhibit be returned to the Registry. I am sorry, do you
16 wish to refer to another part?
17 A. If I may move on to the insert on page 4 which I regard as being the
18 significant part, or the most significant part, of this document is
19 that until the first paragraph, and this was a late insertion in the
20 Intervention, Mr. Panic points out that he had cause to be dismissed
21 I think on that very morning one of his Deputy Interior Ministers,
22 that is the man to whom I made reference before, Mihalj Kertes, and
23 the reason he gives for that dismissal is Kertes' opposition to the
24 policy of opposing ethnic cleansing.
25 I will just indicate here, "I will fire any", "One of my
1 Vice Ministers failed to support my government policy of firm active
2 opposition to ethnic cleansing. I fired him this morning. I will
3 fire any other Federal government official employee who, by actions
4 or inactions, supports ethnic cleansing in any form whatsoever."
5 In drawing this to your Honours' attention I think it
6 would also be appropriate to point out that Mr. Panic is an American
7 citizen, had been brought in and was Prime Minister for temporary
8 period, that his Prime Minister-ship is usually seen as being an
9 attempt by Serbia and Montenegro, particularly by Serbia, let us say,
10 to try to present a more amenable image to the world, and that Mr.
11 Panic, whilst he was trying to take Yugoslavia in one direction, had
12 relatively little real power and a demonstration of this was that in
13 the following October, this was in August 1992, in the following
14 October forces of the Serbian Interior Ministry occupied the Federal
15 Interior Ministry and allowed Mr. Kertes to return to his desk in the
16 Interior Ministry building there and take up his activities in
17 sitting in the office of a Deputy Federal Interior Minister and,
18 presumably, continuing to run the Federal Security Service, if the
19 reports that that is what he did are accurate.
20 Q. Thank you. Did the JNA at any stage become involved in distribution
21 of military supplies to the paramilitary groups?
22 A. It did. The JNA was involved in allowing access to arms, first of
23 all, in the Knin area in Croatia to local Serbian forces, according
24 to widespread political reports, and was later to play a significant
25 role in distributing arms to Serbian irregular forces in Bosnia and
2 Q. Thank you. Dr. Gow, now turning to what is described as the new
3 political project ----
4 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: When would this have been, Dr. Gow? When, the date?
5 When would the JNA have either distributed supplies to paramilitary
6 groups or allowing access to supplies in Knin, when, what date?
7 A. The access to arms in the Knin area would have been in the latter
8 part of 1990. The distribution of weaponry and other materials to
9 irregular forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina would have been in the
10 latter part of 1991 and through the first months of 1992, until the
11 point at which the JNA ceased to exist in May 1992.
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Go ahead, please, Mr. Niemann.
13 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you. Dr. Gow, turning to the new political project,
14 what was the reaction of the JNA to the declarations of independence
15 by Slovenia and Croatia?
16 A. The JNA rejected the declarations of independence by Slovenia and
17 Croatia and deployed troops in response to those declarations of
19 Q. Would you look at the documents which you are now shown. (Handed).
20 Can you tell me what the document is?
21 A. The document is an extract from an English language publication
22 published in Ljubija, the capital of Slovenia, in August 1991 and is
23 titled "War in Slovenia" and contains extracts from relevant
24 documentation for that period translated into English.
25 Q. I tender that, your Honour, and it is No. 39. .
1 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Any objection to Exhibit 39?
2 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No objection, your Honour.
3 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Exhibit 39 will be admitted.
4 THE WITNESS: This is a translation of an instruction given by the Federal
5 Government on 21st June 1991 instructing the Ministry of Defence to
6 co-operate with the Federal Secretariat for Internal Affairs in
7 implementing and enforcing the border points of the SFRY with Italy,
8 Austria and Hungary, that is in the event of a declaration of
9 independence by the Republic of Slovenia. This was the basis on
10 which after the declarations of independence on 25th June 1991 the
11 forces of the JNA were deployed in Slovenia with the mission of
12 securing the international border crossing points between what was
13 and had been the border of the SFRY in Slovenia with the neighbouring
14 countries. It was of limited deployment, it was of limited
15 assistance to civil authorities to assist the Interior Ministry in
16 taking and ensuring federal control of border posts. This was of
17 course opposed by the Republic of Slovenia, and was later the Federal
18 Prime Minister, Ante Markovic, was later to point out that the JNA
19 and its activities had gone beyond the instructions, the orders given
20 in this federal government document.
21 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you. If that exhibit could be returned. Would you
22 look for me, please, at document No. 40, the one I show you now.
23 (Handed). What is this document?
24 A. This is an extract taken from the Volume Yugoslavia Through Documents
25 edited by Snezana Trifunovska to which we have made reference
1 already, and this particular extract is a document "Stands and
2 Conclusions of the SFRY Presidency" concerning the situation in
4 Q. From where is it obtained? What is its source, can you say?
5 A. In the present form it is obtained from the Trifunovska volume which
6 I just mentioned. Trifunovska obtained it from their review of
7 International Affairs published in Belgrade.
8 Q. I tender that, your Honour.
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Exhibit 40. Any objection? What is the date on
10 that, I am sorry?
11 A. 27th June 1991.
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you. Any objection? None. Exhibit 40 is
14 MR. NIEMANN: I think paragraph 3 on page 306 of the document; it is
15 really the second page.
16 A. Paragraph 3 of this Stands and Conclusions of the SFRY Presidency
17 supports the decision of the Federal Government. The reference to
18 the Federal Executive Council you see here is what I have been
19 describing as the Federal Government. This is a statement of the
20 presidency supporting the decision of the Federal Executive Council
21 to attempt to ensure respect for the crossing, for the state frontier
22 crossing points between Slovenia, on the territory of the Republic of
23 Slovenia, and prohibiting the setting up of any other new frontier
24 crossing points. It also, if you look to the final sentence of that
25 paragraph, expresses approval for the participation of the Yugoslav
1 People's Army in particular this these activities.
2 Q. Thank you. What was the reaction of the international community to
3 the JNA intervention in Slovenia?
4 A. If I might point out one more thing about this document, if you
5 permit me, before I go on.
6 Q. Yes.
7 A. That is, at this stage because of the declarations of independence by
8 Slovenia and Croatia, the SFRY presidency was no longer in any sense
9 the SFRY presidency as had been
10 but was a rump presidency without participation from those
12 Q. Perhaps the Exhibit might be marked. Dr. Gow, what was the reaction
13 of the international community to the JNA intervention in Slovenia?
14 A. There was a marked international response, particularly this response
15 was focused in the reaction of the European Council of European
16 Communities. The European I refer to for convenience as the
17 "European Community". The EC immediately decided, among other
18 things, to dispatch its presidential troika to seek to mediate in the
19 conflict on the territories of the SFRY. The presidential troika,
20 for clarification, comprises the President, the current President of
21 the European Community or European Union, the present and the
22 President in waiting.
23 Q. Just looking at this document that is now shown to you, is this a
24 reference to the reaction taken by the European Community? Can you
25 tell us what the document is?
1 A. This is again an extract taken from the Trifunovska volume,
2 Yugoslavia through Documents, and contains two elements. The first
3 element is a short statement by the European Community and its Member
4 States, showing alarm at the hostilities which had taken place, and
5 it is dated 2 July 1991, this is after the ministerial troika of the
6 European Community had begun its mission, and it also has the
7 beginning of a second element in which the Committee of Senior
8 Officials of CSC as it was then indicates its full support for the
9 European Community. It indicates its concern and I think if we had
10 the whole of it, it would go on to indicate its supports for the
11 European Community mission.
12 Q. I tender that Exhibit, your Honour. That is No. 41. .
13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Any objection to 41?
14 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No, your Honour.
15 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: 41 will be admitted.
16 MR. NIEMANN: Perhaps you might refer very quickly to the reference, Dr.
18 A. Here at the top you have the short statement of concern by the
19 European Community to which I made reference, dated 2 July 1991, and
20 makes reference to the intervention of the ministerial troika of the
21 European Community and its Member States which had already taken
22 place and which was believed to have negotiated a cease-fire. The
23 bottom part of that, I made reference to the Committee of Senior
24 Officials of the CSC and its statement again regarding the situation
25 on the territories of Yugoslavia.
1 Q. Thank you. Perhaps that Exhibit could be marked and returned. Dr.
2 Gow, I would now like you to look at part 3, the video part 3, as it
3 appears on your screen of Exhibit 31. Before you do, perhaps with
4 relation to the exhibit list that has been distributed around the
5 courtroom, if you could just put it on the screen and just show us
6 the part that you were going to be shown on that list to assist?
7 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Not to get back into that back, I do not think we
8 have a problem with that, but there is just one part 3, is that so?
9 MR. NIEMANN: That is so.
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: No problem.
11 THE WITNESS: This is the section we will be seeing.
12 MR. NIEMANN: I will ask that part 3 of Exhibit 31 be played.
13 (Part 3 of Exhibit 31 was played).
14 If you could just tell us what that short clip related
15 to, please?
16 A. The clip showed Milan Kucan who at the time and indeed still is
17 President of the Republic of Slovenia and Slobodan Milosevic at the
18 time and presently President of the Republic of Serbia. The nature
19 of the clip indicated a discussion which had taken place between
20 those two Presidents of which there are two significant features.
21 One is that the two of them had an understanding of the situation and
22 that Milosevic was prepared to make some kind of a deal in which he
23 would agree to Slovenian independence in exchange for Slovenian
24 agreement to a change of the SFRY constitution. The second element
25 is that it is clear from this that Milosevic was seeking to change
1 the SFRY constitution to extend or to change the interpretation of
2 sovereignty to apply to the nations, the peoples, that is what he
3 would regard as ethno-national groups irrespective of their
4 territorial boundaries. This is of significance for what is to come
5 afterwards, I believe, because the argument between the Yugoslav
6 republics had been on the basis of the constitutional divisions of
7 1974 and the sovereignty of the republics. Those arguments were
8 carried forward into talks and into a conference with the European
9 Community about the sovereignty of the republics. The second aspect
10 of this that I am highlighting indicates the degree to which the
11 Serbian President recognised the existing constitutional provisions
12 and the need to change them if the Serbian people as a whole, that is
13 the Serbian people not only within Serbia but within Bosnia and
14 Herzegovina and Croatia as well, were to be included, were to be
15 given the right to self-determination under these provisions.
16 JUDGE STEPHEN: Do you mean that Milosevic was not talking sarcastically
17 then? Does he not say not only give it to the nations but to every
18 minority group? I had thought sarcastic but I must be wrong.
19 A. As I recall he does not say that. I believe he was seriously arguing
20 that there should be a change. The Republic of Serbia at the
21 European Community conference in the autumn of 1991 was to put
22 forward the question as to whether or not the Serbs in Croatia were
23 entitled, had the right to self-determination.
24 JUDGE STEPHEN: Good.
25 MR. NIEMANN: Would your Honours like to see the clip again or is that
1 sufficient? .
2 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: If you ask us, yes, we do. Particularly in the
3 light of Judge Stephen's question I would like to see it again.
4 MR. NIEMANN: Could it be replayed, please?
5 (The video clip was replayed).
6 Dr. Gow, is it fair to say that at that particular time
7 Serbia did not have the same interests in Slovenia, the Republic of
8 Serbia did not have interests in Slovenia in the same way as it may
9 have had in other parts of Yugoslavia where there were Serb
10 minorities or Serb populations?
11 A. It is true to say that there was not a significant Serbian population
12 in the Republic of Slovenia and, therefore, Serbia had less reason or
13 opportunity to support or to oppose Slovenian independence.
14 Q. Now I was going to ask for an exhibit to be returned but it may be
15 being copied. If that is the case I will not go to it. I was looking
16 for Exhibit 30 but if it is outside I can move on and I will.
17 I would ask you to look at this next document that I show
18 you. (Handed). What is that document?
19 A. It is a copy of an article written in the journal Foreign Affairs in
20 July/August 1994 written by David Gompert. Gompert was formally
21 Senior Director for Europe and Eurasia of the National Security
22 Council of the US administration under President Bush.
23 Q. Yes, I tender that, your Honour.
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Is there any objection?
25 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No, objection, your Honour.
1 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Exhibit 42 will be admitted.
2 MR. NIEMANN: If the document could be handed back to the witness. Dr.
3 Gow, I think there is a footnote that you might take us to on the
4 third page of the Exhibit which is 36 of the article. Perhaps just
5 that footnote could be highlighted. There will need to be a lot of
6 highlighting I think.
7 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: The article is called "How to Defeat Serbia", is
8 that it?
9 MR. NIEMANN: That is it, your Honour. What is the significance of this
10 footnote, Dr. Gow?
11 A. In my interpretation the JNA when it originally deployed in Slovenia
12 in response to the declaration of independence and in accordance with
13 the instruction of the Federal Government dated 21 June 1991, to
14 which I already made reference, it was not attempting to go to war in
15 Slovenia; it was attempting to enforce the then federal regulations
16 as interpreted by the Federal Government and became engaged in an
17 armed conflict with Slovenian territorial defences forces. In part
18 it was doing this because it assumed that either the Slovenes would
19 not fight and respond or that if they were to fight and respond that
20 it would to be able to escalate its activities and take control of
21 Slovenia. In my judgment, the intervention of the international
22 community, particularly under the auspices of the European Community,
23 changed that perspective.
24 If you recall from one of the video clips we saw before,
25 Borisav Jovic was indicating that in March Kadijevic had already been
1 worried about a western response to any action by the JNA. I
2 believe that by the time of the declarations of independence the JNA
3 Generals had felt assured that there would be no external
4 intervention, but the then intervention by the European Community
5 changed its perspective. All of this is my interpretation of the
6 events. In that context I think the JNA was later to begin to become
7 very worried following on from the EC intervention, following on from
8 other discussions in the international community about the prospect
9 of some kind of western intervention, bearing in mind that the Gulf
10 conflict of 1990/91 was still fresh in minds. In this context I cite
11 Gompert as senior official of the US Administration indicating that
12 after the Rome Summit of the North Atlantic treaty organisation NATO
13 in November 1991, General Kadijevic had indicated to him the belief
14 that the alliance was preparing a force to intervene on the
15 territories of former Yugoslavia against the JNA.
16 Q. Dr. Gow, moving from Slovenia into Croatia, how did the JNA conduct
17 the war against Croatia in the second half of August 1991?
18 A. I already discussed the way in which the JNA originally deployed
19 troops out of barracks in Croatia with the purpose, ostensibly, of
20 preventing intercommunal conflict, it is sometimes called
21 peacekeeping, but how, according to General Kadijevic, that was
22 really de facto a mechanism for giving assistance to and helping to
23 protect in its terms Serbs in Croatia. As Yugoslavia moved into this
24 final phase of dissolution following the declarations of
25 independence, General Kadijevic and others have identified that the
1 JNA had two phases of objectives for the campaign in Croatia, both
2 involving the utilization of Serbian populations and of irregulars
3 and paramilitary groups. The first phase would be to secure those
4 territories in which there was majority or significant Serbian
5 populations and, as far as possible, to join those areas. The second
6 phase would then be to move on and to defeat Croatia as a whole and
7 to try to topple the Croatia government of Franjo Tudjman. The
8 record, the historical record shows that the JNA was unable to move
9 to that second phase and also, according to both General Kadijevic
10 and General Panic in their writings, it was unable even to achieve
11 completely its aims within the first phase of operations, that is to
12 secure the territories around majority Serbian populations or
13 adjacent to those populations.
14 Q. In connection with the war against Croatia, would you look at the
15 document I now show you?
16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: May I ask just one question? What is the import of
17 this exhibit, Exhibit 42, footnote 1? I am just asking. Maybe I
18 should not ask you. Maybe I should ask Mr. Niemann. Are you asking
19 us to look at footnote 1.
20 THE WITNESS: Is this the article "How to Defeat Serbia"?
21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Yes.
22 A. The significance is in my terms, in terms of the evidence that I am
23 trying to give presenting the JNA position during the war in Croatia,
24 is to indicate the concern which the senior generals in the JNA had
25 about the prospect of western military intervention, as the other
1 side of the evidence that I gave earlier to indicate that, although
2 they were talking about the rubric of separating communities,
3 preventing intercommunal strife, in fact this was a guise for another
4 of kind of activity which was the campaign to create the borders of
5 the new entity, the new Yugoslavia, embracing parts of Croatia and
6 later to be embracing parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
7 The reason for showing this is to indicate the concern
8 about a western military intervention. It is that concern about a
9 western military intervention which led the JNA to continue not to
10 declare explicitly what it was trying to do, but to conduct the
11 campaign to create the new the borders of the new entity without
12 openly saying that that is what it was trying to do.
13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you.
14 MR. NIEMANN: Dr. Gow, would you look at this document, the one you are
15 now shown. (Handed). Dr. Gow, clearly that is a map. What is it a
16 map of?
17 A. It is a map of the territories of the former Yugoslavia on which are
18 indicated the zones of Serbian control within Croatia and the main
19 axes of JNA operations in phase one of operations in Croatia.
20 Q. Thank you. I tender that map, your Honour.
21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Is there any objection to 43?
22 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No objection, your Honour.
23 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Objection to 42, did I ask you whether you have an
24 objection to 42?
25 MR. WLADIMIROFF: You did not, but no objection.
1 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I did not think so. Fine. Then Exhibit 42 is
2 admitted and Exhibit 43.
3 MR. NIEMANN: Dr. Gow, just looking at the exhibit that is now displayed
4 on the screen, can you trace for us, please, the progress of the war
5 against Croatia in the second half of August 1991?
6 A. On this map you will see indicated two shaded areas on here, one here
7 and the other there. This is the area broadly known as Krajina,
8 including the areas moving through the Banija and Kordun to western
9 Slavonia here. This is the area of Eastern Slavonia. These were
10 areas some of which had majority Serbian populations, some of which
11 had significant Serbian populations and areas in which Serbian forces
12 in conjunction with the JNA took control in the course of 1991.
13 You also see some red, some lines with arrows indicated
14 moving from Gradiska to Virovitica, from Bihac to Karlovac, from Knin
15 to Zadar on the coast and from Mostar in western Herzegovina, in
16 Bosnia and Herzegovina, through to Split on the coast. The lines
17 from Banja Luka here indicate that it was from the forces from the
18 Banja Luka Corps which were engaged in the operations identified here
19 moving toward Karlovac and towards Virovitica. Those axes, those
20 lines of attack and operations, are the ones identified by General
21 Kadijevic in his book for this phase of the war in Croatia.
22 I would also add that in broad terms if somebody was
23 wanting to try to identify the borders which were being sought to be
24 established in this phase of the conflict, then you would probably
25 draw the line from Veravititsa, through Karlovac down to Zadar and
1 down to Split.
2 Q. Might that document be returned to the Registrar.
3 A. If I just may, I forgot to point out there was one small area on the
4 southern Dalmatian coast under Serbian control at that time as well,
5 sorry, under JNA control.
6 Q. Might that be returned to the Registrar. I would now ask that part 4
7 of Exhibit 31 be played. Perhaps if it just be played through first
8 and then I will ask you to discuss it following that, please, Dr.
10 (Part 4 of Exhibit 31 was played).
11 Now just stopping there for a moment, can you tell us
12 the time frame of that clip, what it relates to, what period of time?
13 A. That was Admiral Branko Mamula that we made reference to and we saw
14 him on the video clip earlier, and he was making reference to this
15 period of the war in Croatia in the second half of 1991. What he was
16 specifically making reference to was what would be identified as
17 phase two of operations as expressed by General Kadijevic in his book
18 and the intention through a two-pronged attack, once the first phase
19 had been established for a two-pronged attack to move on Zagreb and
20 topple the Croatian regime. This was part of the programme which was
21 never accomplished. As far as I can see, they never actually moved
22 to try to implement phase two. The reason for that was the lack of
23 support among Serbian communities to move further at that stage and a
24 lack of manpower resources within the JNA.
25 Q. Can you just play it again quickly, thank you.
1 Dr. Gow, with respect to the war in southern Croatia, did
2 the JNA act alone or did it have the assistance of paramilitary
3 forces? I am referring particularly to southern Croatia.
4 A. There were on the map that I indicated before, I showed the areas of
5 Serbian control and, indeed, of the Serbian JNA operation, each of
6 those areas had a distinct characteristic. The area of Eastern
7 Slovenia involved JNA forces operating in conjunction with the
8 paramilitary groups coming from Serbia itself and some local forces,
9 but primarily from Serbia itself. The largest area indicated involved
10 the JNA and some paramilitary groups from Serbia itself some of the
11 time, but primarily local Serbs, and the final area, the area in
12 Southern Dalmatia, the area leading up the Konavle district to
13 Dubrovnik, was an operation which was conducted almost entirely by
14 the JNA itself.
15 Q. Perhaps it might assist ----
16 A. There was some small part paramilitary ----
17 Q. --- if you could point to it on Exhibit 43?
18 A. Gladly.
19 Q. Perhaps Exhibit 43 could be shown. Could you point to the area in
20 Dalmatia where the JNA was operating.
21 A. Thank you. You see I indicated, I mentioned the three areas, Eastern
22 Slovenia where the JNA was operating primarily with paramilitary
23 groups from Serbia itself, the larger area here in which the JNA was
24 giving assistance primarily to local Serbs, and the area down here,
25 the strip of coast, the coastal area down here leading up to the town
1 of Dubrovnik which is about there somewhere, which was notable for
2 the siege of Dubrovnik in the autumn of 1991, in that area the JNA
3 was acting more or less alone, operations out of Montenegro and out
4 of Trebinje in Herzegovina, in this part of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
5 moving to occupy that coastal strip.
6 Q. What, in your opinion, is the significance of the JNA operating
7 without the assistance of Serb paramilitaries or local forces?
8 A. It indicates that the JNA had objectives of its own, that it was not
9 simply being led by local Serbian populations in particular areas.
10 In particular, the operation in that area I think also begins to
11 indicate the nature of the war and the project which is being fought
12 for. The Yugoslav Navy was sailing up the coast destroying houses,
13 people were fleeing from most of that area very quickly, within the
14 space of around two weeks, the JNA forces using Montenegrin,
15 reservist from Montenegro, to supplement had moved up and occupied
16 the whole of that strip of coast with the exception of Dubrovnik.
17 That siege and the operations in those areas indicate to me that the
18 aim of the JNA, as part of this project, was to create territories in
19 which there would be no alien populations, that is, no populations
20 which would oppose being part of the borders of this new Yugoslavia,
21 the project for which the JNA, in conjunction with Serbian political
22 leadership, was fighting.
23 Q. Was there any political action taken parallel with the military
24 operation of the JNA in the latter part of 1991?
25 A. I beg your pardon? I did not hear the whole of the question.
1 Q. Was there any political action taken parallel with the military
2 operation of the JNA in the latter part of 1991?
3 A. Through from 1990 onwards, political action relevant to the project I
4 identify was taking place. In particular, on 21st December 1990, the
5 two Serbian autonomous provinces which had already been declared,
6 that is, the Serbian autonomous region of Krajina, the territory
7 designated here, and Serbian autonomous province of Eastern Slovenia,
8 Baranja and Western Srem, this one here, had been united into one
9 Serbian autonomous province.
10 On February 28th, 1991, this territory had proclaimed a
11 provisional constitution for a Republic of Serbian Krajina, and on
12 19th December 1991 that constitution was put into effect with a
13 declaration of the Republic of Serbian Krajina; so that was to say
14 that the territories marked as part of this area would be no longer
15 part of the Republic of Croatia, but would be the Republic of Serbian
16 Krajina, and the idea, I think, was that Republic of Serbian Krajina
17 would form part, would be one element in the new mini Yugoslavia.
18 Q. In connection with that political action, would you look, please, at
19 the document that you are now shown. Can you tell us what the
20 document is?
21 A. This is an English language translation of the constitution to which
22 I just made reference of the Republic of Serbian Krajina declared by
23 Serbs in control of those areas in Croatia in 1991. It appears in
24 the series Constitutions of Dependencies and Special Sovereignties in
25 the Oceana publication series to which a reference has already been
2 Q. Does it contain the declaration which you referred to?
3 A. It contains the text of the constitution of the Republic of Serbian
4 Krajina as implemented as I see, according to this, from February
5 1991. I think I said the wrong date before.
6 MR. NIEMANN: I tender that, your Honour, document 44.
7 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Is there objection to 44?
8 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No, your Honour.
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Exhibit 44 will be admitted.
10 MR. NIEMANN (To the witness): Dr. Gow, I think that you have already
11 touched upon the success or otherwise of the JNA campaign in Croatia,
12 but did the JNA fulfil its objective in Croatia?
13 A. It certainly did not fulfil its objectives as expressed by Generals
14 Kadijevic and Panic with regard to Croatia as a whole. It did not,
15 according to the same Generals, again achieve its aims within the
16 terms of the first phase of operations, the limited operations, with
17 regard to the areas in which there would be a strong element of a
18 Serbian population. Both Generals made reference to the failure of
19 the JNA and its associates within this project to accomplish their
20 aims in western Slovenia.
21 Q. Following this lack of success in Slovenia and Croatia by the end of
22 1991, did the JNA aim for a lesser objective in terms of Yugoslavia?
23 A. If I may clarify, as I was just indicating, when the JNA's -- I
24 would judge that the JNA's original objective in June 1991 was to try
25 to preserve the SFRY as a whole, and when it deployed troops on the
1 borders, border posts between Slovenia/Italy, Slovenia/Austria, and
2 so forth, that was probably its intention. I cannot say that that is
3 the case for certain; it is my interpretation of that situation.
4 I would say that after that, some of the evidence that we
5 have seen, the words of Generals Kadijevic and Panic, in particular,
6 indicate that it fell back on the objective of trying to keep
7 Croatia, but not Slovenia, within some kind of renewed federal
8 arrangement, some renewed Yugoslavia, and when that, it became clear
9 to them that their resources would not permit to them achieve that
10 objective, they fell back on the establishment of new borders largely
11 based around Serbian populations, in this case in Croatia, as would
12 be the case after that at some time in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
13 Q. Are there references to these particular matters that you have just
14 attested to in the book by General Kadijevic which is Prosecution
15 Exhibit 30?
16 A. Yes, there are.
17 Q. What were the consequences for Bosnia following activities of the JNA
18 in Croatia in the latter part of 1991?
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Excuse me, Mr. Niemann, I think you may be moving
20 into a new area?
21 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour.
22 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Perhaps now is a good time to adjourn for the
23 evening. Let me remind the parties that tomorrow we will adjourn at
24 4.00, a little bit earlier than usual, because there is another
25 matter that has to be taken up by this Trial Chamber. So we will
1 adjourn until tomorrow at 10 a.m.
2 (The hearing adjourned until the following day)