1 THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL CASE NO. IT-94-1-T
2 FOR THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA
3 IN THE TRIAL CHAMBER
4 Friday, 10th May 1996
5 (10.00 a.m.)
6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Niemann, are you ready? I believe you concluded
7 the direction of Dr. Gow ---
8 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour.
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: -- yesterday evening.
10 MR. NIEMANN: That is right, your Honour.
11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Will you present Dr. Gow for cross-examination
12 though, will you?
13 MR. NIEMANN: I sincerely so.
14 DR. JAMES GOW, recalled.
15 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: You may be seated, Dr. Gow. You understand you are
16 still under oath, do you?
17 THE WITNESS: I do.
18 Examined by the Court
19 JUDGE STEPHEN: The passing of time, Dr. Gow, has reduced my questions
20 from two to one, but whoever was the last Federal Prime Minister of
21 Yugoslavia, whether it was Markovic or Panic, I am not quite sure which?
22 A. The last Prime Minister of the SFRY was Ante Markovic. Milan Panic
23 was later to be the Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,
24 that is, Serbia and Montenegro declared after 27th April 1992.
25 Q. I think it is in relation to Panic, what has been the situation since
1 Panic's time as far as the federal organisation of Serbia and Montenegro?
2 I take it that there is a Federal Executive as well as two Republican
4 A. There are federal bodies in Serbia and Montenegro. Most observers
5 would judge that the Federation has little meaning other than to serve the
6 interest of Belgrade in pursuing the question of succession to the SFRY by
7 keeping to the name. The position of Montenegro within the Federation is
8 characterised by a degree of friction, in recent times there were a series
9 of inter-republican trade difficulties -- trade war might be excessive.
10 Montenegro remains part of the Federation but, as one
11 Yugoslav official characterised it to me, the Federation is 95 per cent
12 Serbia. It is significant that it was the Serbian President, Slobodan
13 Milosevic, who represented the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, for
14 example, in the Dayton talks at Wright Paterson air base rather than the
15 Federal officials.
16 Q. Is there a Federal President and a Federal Prime Minister?
17 A. There is -- both of those officers exist, yes.
18 Q. But they are relatively insignificant?
19 A. They are relatively insignificant in terms of the exercise of
20 political power.
21 JUDGE STEPHEN: Thank you.
22 JUDGE VOHRAH: Dr. Gow, you have mentioned that when the Royal
23 Dictatorship was created in 1929, there was also the creation of a
24 province called Croatian Banovina; is there any significance in the word
1 A. If I could first correct your understanding. I think the record
2 would show that I said that the Croatian Banovina was created in 1939, not
3 in 1929 when the Royal Dictatorship was proclaimed. The significance in
4 the "banovina" is the word "ban". It is an old word meaning something
5 like "duke", and it had significance for Croatians within the Hungarian
6 sphere of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and going back to the ideas of
7 Croatian statehood and monarchy. There had been a Croatian kingdom in the
8 Middle Ages.
9 JUDGE VOHRAH: Thank you.
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Niemann, have you concluded your direct
11 examination of Dr. Gow?
12 MR. NIEMANN: I have, your Honour.
13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you. Mr. Orie, will you conduct the
15 MR. ORIE: Thank you, your Honour.
16 Cross-examination by MR. ORIE
17 Q. Dr. Gow, I would first like to tell you that I am not a native
18 English speaker, so if there is anything unclear in what I ask you, would
19 you please ask me to clarify myself so that there will be no
21 A. I would do so indeed, though I very much doubt it would happen. My
22 experience of people from the Netherlands is that they speak far better
23 English than people from my own country.
24 Q. I was not fishing for any compliments but, nevertheless, thank you
25 very much! Dr. Gow, you told the Chamber that you had some knowledge of
1 the Serbo Croatian language and of the Slovene language. Could you please
2 tell us more precisely how far your knowledge of these languages go?
3 A. I would say that I have a functional working knowledge of these
4 languages. I have used those languages in carrying out research in the
5 course of doing a doctorate and in subsequent employment as an academic.
6 I use it to go to talk to officials and military people working in the
7 countries of the former Yugoslavia and previously in the SFRY as it was.
8 I use the characterisation "some knowledge" not to give any impression
9 that I would regard myself as having complete competence and fluency in
10 using the language, but I have a knowledge of the language which is
11 adequate for me to carry out my work and which I have used in the course
12 of my career.
13 Q. Thank you, Dr. Gow. Did you ever make any translation of documents
14 for the Prosecution?
15 A. I have not made formal translations of documents for the Prosecution.
16 I have brought to the attention of the Prosecution documents published,
17 published documents, and I have translated them informally for the Office
18 of the Prosecutor. The Office of the Prosecutor has then used translators
19 to make the translations which it would use for purposes of its work.
20 Q. Dr. Gow, did you ever draw the attention to documents that were
21 already translated to the Prosecution, translated in English, I mean to
23 A. Yes, because I drew their attention, for example, to documents from
24 the Yugoslav survey which was submitted in evidence yesterday. I may have
25 drawn their attention to other documents which were already translated.
1 Q. Did you check when you drew their attention to English text whether
2 the translation was correct or was not correct?
3 A. I think your question is did I ever -- this may be a question of
4 language -- did I ever check; the answer is yes, there would be occasions
5 on which I did check but it was not the case that I would always check.
6 Q. Thank you, Dr. Gow. Did you visit the area of the Opstina of
8 A. No, I did not. I have never been in the area of Prijedor.
9 Q. You have never been in that area?
10 A. I have never been in the area of Prijedor.
11 Q. Thank you, Dr. Gow. May I refer to an answer you gave when Exhibit
12 51 was shown to you, that is the constitution of the Serbian Republic of
13 Bosnia and Herzegovina of 28th February 1992? Judge Stephen asked you
14 yesterday whether that constitution designated a capital, Knin, Sarajevo;
15 you replied that you thought it did not designate a capital. Could you
16 please, with the help of the Registry, look again at Exhibit 51, look
17 carefully to it and see whether it designates a capital?
18 A. (Handed) If I could make one small point of clarification, if not
19 correction? I believe yesterday I said I did not recall if this was the
20 case. I was also prepared to say, on the basis of reflection last night,
21 that the claim was made to the capital being in Sarajevo and discussions
22 had taken place about dividing Sarajevo. If you look at Article 9, you
23 will see that Sarajevo is designated to be the capital of the Republic.
24 Q. So it is in the constitution?
25 A. It is in the constitution that the Republika Srpska, or in this case
1 it was still the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, sought to
2 establish Sarajevo, or part of Sarajevo, as its capital.
3 Q. Yes. May I ask you, Dr. Gow, whether this part is properly
4 translated in that part of the Exhibit that gives the English text?
5 A. I have to say that Article 9 does not appear at all on the English
7 Q. Thank you, Dr. Gow. So the English text does not say anything about
8 the capital and original text does?
9 A. The original text does. The English translation does not have an
10 Article 9 in which reference to the capital is made.
11 Q. Thank you very much, Dr. Gow. Dr. Gow, on 7th May, you testified on
12 the subject of movements of population. You testified on the basis of
13 Exhibit 7, I think. Could we please have Exhibit 7 available for the
14 witness? (Handed) I do not know whether if it could be put on the
15 screen? That is fine, as far as I am concerned. So, Dr. Gow, when
16 speaking about the movement of populations, you have drawn our attention
17 to northern Bosnia which is part of this Exhibit. Could you please look
18 with me at some other areas as well?
19 A. Certainly.
20 Q. Could you please look at Tuzla and see whether there was a
21 significant movement of Serb population?
22 A. There was, indeed, a significant move of the Serbian population out
23 of the area of Tuzla. You can see that it was reduced to around, in broad
24 terms, a quarter of its 1991 level. At the same time you will see
25 approximately a doubling of the Muslim population. This is based on
1 overall the displacement of populations within the areas. If you were to
2 look at western Herzegovina as well, you would see a similar effect with
3 the Serbian population being reduced from 43,500 only to 5,000, at the
4 same time seeing a significant increase in the Muslim population in that
6 Q. Yes. Could you please have a look at Bihac? Was there a significant
7 reduction of Serb population over there?
8 A. Again you will see that there was a significant reduction in the
9 Serbian population in the Bihac area.
10 Q. Was there a significant reduction of the Serbian population in the
11 Zenica area?
12 A. Again you will see a significant reduction in the population of the
13 Serbs in the area around Zenica, and a lesser reduction in the area of the
14 Croat population and a growth of around 100,000 in the Muslim population.
15 Q. Dr. Gow, could you please tell us where these Serbian people moved
16 to? The Serbian people I am talking about of the Tuzla area, the Bihac
17 area, the Zenica area?
18 A. I do not think anybody would be able to tell you exactly where all of
19 them moved. In general, I think it is fair to say that they moved either
20 into the areas indicated on the schedule in which you have a growth of
21 Serbian population, or they moved to the territory of Serbian and
22 Montenegro. In the period of this schedule, there may have been around,
23 my recollection is not precise, but I think somewhere in the region of
24 several hundred thousand, maybe 5,000, 6,000, refugees in Serbia and
25 Montenegro from Croatia and Bosnia.
1 Q. Dr. Gow, so you say no-one could tell us where exactly these people
3 A. I do not think that anybody could tell you exactly where all those
4 people went. I think if you were to go to representatives of humanitarian
5 organisations, particularly the United Nations High Commission for
6 Refugees, they would be in a position on the basis of the kind of data
7 they collect as represented in this schedule to give you a more precise
8 answer than I would be able to.
9 Q. Dr. Gow, if they would have to carry out such an investigation, would
10 you not need, at least, to know which people were in the census figures
11 because the first are prewar figures, as far as I can see, are census
12 figures --
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. -- and the other ones are UNHCR refugee figures. Is it known
15 exactly, let us say in western Bosnia, 304,000 Serbs, who they were
17 A. The UNHCR, as far as I am aware and as far as it possibly can, forms
18 registers of people and to report to the -----
19 Q. I am talking about the prewar situation.
20 A. Oh, sorry. There would have been a register of citizens for the
21 census to be taken and, therefore, I assume that there would be some
22 record of who was there. That record, I would not know if that record
23 would indicate individual names by designated ethnic grouping. So whether
24 or not there is a record in the federal statistical office in Belgrade or
25 anywhere else of an individual's name being against their declared ethnic
1 national grouping.
2 Q. Is my understanding then right that this investigation could not
3 successfully be done because no names of the census can be linked with the
4 census figures from the prewar period?
5 A. I am sorry, I am not sure what the question is.
6 Q. I asked you whether it was known where these people went. I
7 understood your answer saying that the UNHCR might do because they have
8 lists of names. Then I asked you whether there were lists of names of the
9 prewar period because I think you would need both of them in order to find
10 out where they were and where they are now. I also do understand that you
11 answered to that question that it is at least uncertain whether these
12 names of the prewar period are known or not.
13 A. I answered that it was uncertain, or I am unaware, if those names are
14 known and are connected with the designation of ethno-national groupings
15 anywhere. I am not sure that I follow the logic of the question; maybe I
16 just do not understand it. It seems to me that for the purposes of the
17 evidence being given, there is a broad indication of population movements.
18 As a broad indication, I do not think that tracking the record of every
19 individual would be necessary. I stand to be corrected if that would be
20 the case.
21 I certainly would also direct you to the possibility that
22 when organisations such as the UNHCR take records of this kind, they very
23 often, if not always, ask people for the locations from which they have
24 come. So I believe they would have some indication. I do not have
25 knowledge of what that would be and I cannot be certain that they do have
1 it, but I would judge that it is likely that they might.
2 Q. Let me put a question very briefly. Is there a cross-reference of
3 names known between 1991 and 1994?
4 A. I beg your pardon?
5 Q. Is there any cross-reference of names known between 1991 and 1994?
6 A. I am sorry, I am not sure what the question is again.
7 Q. Whether there is any cross-reference, as far as names are concerned,
8 between the prewar figures and the July 1994 figures?
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: When you have numbers, for example, in Tuzla you
10 have Serbs 82,235, do you have names in addition to the numbers to reflect
11 so that you can determine who is who?
12 A. Do I have the names?
13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Does one have names? Are they available, to your
14 knowledge? I do not think you would have them.
15 A. I do not have them and I do not have knowledge whether or not they
16 are available.
17 MR. ORIE: Thank you, Dr. Gow. Dr. Gow, you testified when you were asked
18 about the movement of the population that it was mainly a movement of
19 Muslim population. You said that although other people moved as well,
20 Serbs, Croats, the number and the scale were different where the movement
21 of Muslim people were involved. Could you please give us those numbers of
22 movement of Muslim people?
23 A. The total figures for displaced people, as far as I recall, in a
24 period 1993/94 were around 2.7 million -- I am trying hard to remember the
25 figures , and my recollection would be that perhaps half, a little over
1 half that figure would be Muslims, but I do not have exact figures from
2 the top of my head.
3 Q. If you are talking about figures, are you talking about absolute
4 figures or are you talking about relative figures, compared to the part of
5 the population of those Muslims or Croats or Serbs were within that area?
6 A. The figure to which I just made reference, as far as with my memory I
7 can be sure of it, was reference to an absolute figure. The UNHCR
8 reported, my recollection was, dealing with 2.7 million people -- I cannot
9 be sure that my memory is correct on that -- and I think that around half,
10 slightly over half, of those would be Muslims, so it is an absolute
11 figure, not a proportional figure. The slightly half or slightly over
12 half, if I am correct on that, is a proportion of the 2.7 million, if I am
13 correct on that.
14 Q. Could you tell us how the remaining 50 per cent, were they Serbs,
15 were they Croats, were they both of them, were they equally divided among
16 the other 50 per cent?
17 A. I cannot tell you. I cannot give you an exact or even what I would
18 regard as a reliable approximate indication. My judgment would be that ,
19 it is very difficult to say , numbers of Serbs did move out of areas in
20 earlier parts of the war and right at the end in 1993 numbers of Croats
21 were moving from central Bosnia. Because I have not checked it, I would
22 not give you, I would not want to give you any attempt at an exact figure
23 on that.
24 Q. Dr. Gow, could you then please explain again how you could tell us
25 that the scale of the movement of Muslims was different from any of the
1 other groups because, as far as I understand, you now say a vague
2 recollection might be 50 per cent, but you do not know how the other 50
3 per cent, whether these were Serbs, Croats. Could you then please explain
4 why the scale is different?
5 A. The scale is different because the largest number of those involved
6 were from Muslim communities, as I think was just indicated, and I say
7 these things on the basis, not of having checked the records, but on the
8 basis of extensive observation over the past few years and of talking with
9 officials of various international organisations, including the United
10 Nations High Commission for Refugees, but I am afraid I am not in a
11 position here and now without further preparation to go beyond that.
12 Q. Did they give you figures or did they give you impressions?
13 A. They gave both figures and impressions. You will see that some
14 figures are presented here.
15 Q. Let me go to these figures you have presented, Dr. Gow. If I look at
16 that part of your exhibit that is giving numbers and where not mixed is
17 added, because I have some difficulties in seeing what happens to people
18 if they finally are part of a mixed population, because it is difficult to
19 see exactly what then happens. If I look at the other figures, so leaving
20 out Sarajevo and the Enclaves and the eastern Bosnia, could you give us a
21 rough idea on how many people moved out and in and what, for example, I
22 just ask the question to you whether there is any important difference
23 between the movements of Muslims and Croats?
24 A. Sorry, is there an important difference between the movement of
25 Muslims and Croats; is that the question?
1 Q. If I see how many people move out, how many people move in, because
2 we do not know whether they are the same people or not, so let us look at
3 the balance, the final balance, of those figures apart from Sarajevo and
4 the Enclaves and eastern Bosnia, how many people are finally missing or
5 are extra at the end?
6 A. I am sorry, I am not sure what you are asking me again.
7 Q. I will try to explain to you again. If you use these figures, you
8 could calculate at the end how many people left the whole area that is
9 described in the schedule and how many were extra there at the end?
10 A. You are asking me to, I am sorry, if I can be clearer, is it right
11 that I am being asked to perform an arithmetical exercise?
12 Q. Yes, as a matter of fact, if you could please follow me. Of course,
13 I have tried to calculate already, and I have come to a deficit of 250,000
14 Muslims approximately, not precise, 2,000 or 3,000, and Croats is 175,000.
15 Can you follow this? I really try to do my best.
16 A. OK. Would it be possible for me to take it as a whole?
17 Q. Yes, I do understand what your problem is. Perhaps it is good if I
18 just give you the figures on which I based my calculation. I am starting
19 with the Muslims, western Bosnia, minus 250,000; then western Herzegovina,
20 minus 70,000; Zenica, a surplus of 100,000; Tuzla, a surplus of 285,000;
21 northern Bosnia, minus 350,000; Bihac is approximately equal. That makes
22 minus 250,000. If I now look at the Croats: I see western Bosnia,
23 approximately minus 30,000; western Herzegovina, plus 55,000; Zenica,
24 minus 50,000; Tuzla, approximately equal; northern Bosnia, minus 150,000;
25 Bihac approximately equal. If you add that, it would come to 250,000
1 Muslims ---
2 A. And 175,000 Croats.
3 Q. -- minus 250,000 Muslims and minus 175,000 Croats. Dr. Gow, are you
4 aware of the spread of Muslims and Croats in the population of the area to
5 which this exhibit relates? What is the division of Croats/Muslims in
6 that area?
7 A. I am sorry, I need to be clear what you are asking me again.
8 Q. We talked about several regions.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Could you tell me what was the percentage, from an ethnical point of
11 view, of the population of this area in '91?
12 A. The area, if the area is the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
13 then the share of Croats, as far as I recall, was around 17 per cent and
14 the share of Muslims was 44 per cent.
15 Q. Yes. If you compare these percentages to the total number of people
16 that moved out, if you are relating to it, would you say that the final
17 result of the Muslims leaving the area, well, missing the area in the end
18 -- we do not know where they have gone -- is significantly less from a
19 proportionate point of view or is it significantly more or is it equal?
20 So we have minus 250,000 Muslims on 44 per cent of the population and we
21 have minus 170,000 on 17 per cent of the population. Could you please
22 give your opinion on the proportion of people that moved out related to
23 their proportion in the population at the time?
24 A. As an academic specialising in war studies rather than arithmetics, I
25 can give you my impression which is that 170,000 would be a greater
1 proportion of something which was expressed as 17 per cent than 250,000 as
2 a proportion of something expressed as 44 per cent.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 A. But maybe there are people with better arithmetic.
5 Q. That answers my question, Dr. Gow. Dr. Gow, a memorandum of the
6 Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences was produced as an exhibit in court
7 on Wednesday. Why did you judge the version you were talking about then
8 to be a more authoritative version? That is what you told us.
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Is that Exhibit 21, Mr. Orie?
10 MR. ORIE: Yes, your Honour, it is Exhibit 21. I am not going into the
11 content of the exhibit.
12 THE WITNESS: My judgment that it was more authoritative was based on two
13 things: One is on my sense of what the document, with what the document
14 was concerned and the context in which it was made and the way in which
15 that, rather than other versions of the document which I have seen, seems
16 more properly and, indeed, moderately to correspond with the issues under
17 discussion; the second is on the basis of discussions with academics in
18 Belgrade, some of whom were aware of the document at the time it was being
19 based such as, if I can indicate, Professor Svetozar Stojanivic.
20 Q. Could you please tell me exactly what means authoritative?
21 A. My use of the term "authoritative" in this way was not to indicate
22 that it had the authority of the Academy because I think I gave indication
23 that the Academy is of the opinion that there was never an official
24 document nothing more than a document of a discussion group. I used the
25 sense "authoritative" to mean the one which most correctly reflected the
1 concerns of the authors of the document.
2 Q. What is the basis on which you know exactly what is the concern of
3 this small working group of people that worked on one of the versions of
4 this document?
5 A. I believe I already answered the question, but I am happy to do it
6 again, which is that on my sense of the issues that were being discussed
7 and having seen in the past two other versions of it, or two other
8 documents purporting to be versions of it, and also on the basis of
9 talking to academics in Belgrade, including Professor Svetozar Stojanivic
10 who was at times close to and associated with some of the people who were
11 said to be involved in preparing the document.
12 Q. At the same time you said, Dr. Gow, that the document may not be
13 authoritative. I mean, how do I have to understand, on the one hand, you
14 say the document is more authoritative and, on the other hand, you say it
15 may not be authoritative?
16 A. Again, I think I just indicated the response to that but I am happy
17 to do so again. I use the term, if I use the term ----
18 Q. If I may interrupt you, perhaps to clarify the question, you are
19 talking about the same document?
20 A. I am.
21 Q. You first said that it may not be authoritative and then a few lines
22 later you say that it is more authoritative.
23 A. If I can clarify? Forgive my use of English; it is obviously another
24 case in which your use of English as a Dutchman is far superior to that of
25 a native speaker. The original use of "authoritative", as I was
1 indicating in my response a moment ago, was to say that it is my
2 understanding that the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences does not
3 regard it as an official, as an authoritative document of the Academy.
4 The second use of "authoritative" and the "more
5 authoritative" was not by reference to the statement, it is not regarded
6 as authoritative, but by reference to documents which I have seen
7 purporting to be other versions of it. Therefore, I am saying that I
8 think the version which was used is one which can give a fair indication
9 of the concerns of whoever the members of the group in the Serbian Academy
10 of Sciences were of the situation in Serbia and Yugoslavia at the time.
11 Q. Did the other version that you saw not reflect what was your idea of
12 what the issues were?
13 A. The other documents which I have seen certainly reflected the
14 concerns. My assessment of one them is now a long time ago, and I have to
15 say that I cannot recall precisely the details of it, one of the others
16 which I have seen seems to me to go beyond a degree of moderation which is
17 expressed in this document in terms of the use of language, the concerns
18 are the same. It is, therefore, for that reason that I think this
19 document would be the one that I would choose to use as an example rather
20 than a document which might be more -- might be less reasoned. I am not
21 sure if I am using the right words again, but I am trying to give a
22 reasonable indication of how I see the version of the document which was
24 Q. Thank you, Dr. Gow. I do understand you prefer this version of the
25 document. Dr. Gow, I would like to ask a few questions on constitutional
1 matters. I would like to start with the Federative Yugoslav constitution.
2 You have stated that in the Yugoslav constitution of 1974 the right to
3 self-determination was embodied in the preamble. The preamble you were
4 referring to on page 5 of Exhibit 19? I will ask the Registry to provide
5 you with Exhibit 19. (Handed)
6 A. It does.
7 Q. I do not know whether you still can read it if it is on the display,
8 but I do not want to prevent you from reading it. Is the preamble you
9 were referring to the one on page 5 of Exhibit 19?
10 A. I refer to it as a preamble; it is here labelled "introductory part,"
11 but that is the thing to which I was making reference, yes.
12 Q. Dr. Gow, is the right to self-determination, including the right to
13 secession, mentioned at any other point in this constitution apart from
14 this preamble?
15 A. I am not sure. I cannot say that it is or is not.
16 Q. You do not know whether it is anywhere else in the constitution?
17 A. I do not recall. I have looked through the constitution. I do not
18 know if I have ever read every last word of it, and I certainly do not
19 recall if it appears anywhere else.
20 Q. What is meant in this the preamble by the term "the nations of
22 A. The term "nations of Yugoslavia"-- from the original in Serbo-Croat,
23 the nation, "narod" -- is used in two senses. In one sense, it is used to
24 imply, if not clearly indicate, the state forming peoples -----
25 Q. I did not understand this part of your answers. Would you please
1 repeat it?
2 A. The whole?
3 Q. No, you started with telling me it was in two sense, you said, and
4 then I could not understand you from that moment.
5 A. OK. I think that the term "nation" is used in two senses. In
6 Serbo-Croat the word "narod" means both "nation" and "people" and I would
7 regard them, in my judgment, from a political point of view looking at
8 these things in the context of either studied politics or international
9 relations, there is degree of ambiguity and one which I think may have put
10 there expressly by those involved in Yugoslavia.
11 The term "nation", "narod" means both "people" and
12 "nation" in Serbo-Croat. The term "nation" is used to imply, if not
13 clearly to indicate, reference to those state forming peoples of the SFRY,
14 of the territories of SFRY. So I think we discussed this when I was
15 giving evidence, the first part of my evidence. So, Serbs, Croats,
16 Slovenes and so forth would be regarded as state forming peoples. But the
17 use of "nations" is also drawn from the language of international
18 relations and in the sense of "peoples", because in international
19 documentation, in international politics, the right to self-determination
20 inheres with peoples rather than with ethno-national groups in the sense
21 of state forming peoples.
22 It is a complex discussion which takes place among
23 academics and, in practice, the term, leaving aside the wording here, or
24 in any other part of the constitution if it appears somewhere else, but in
25 practical terms the right to self-determination, here labelled the right
1 of every nation to self-determination, is in fact, as per my
2 understanding, in international documentation and in practice -- sorry, in
3 practice in accordance, as far as it is in accordance, with international
4 documents is given to peoples, and "peoples" have always been interpreted
5 as those inhabiting designated territories, usually with a quality of
6 sovereignty or something like that.
7 So, in the whole process of decolonization in the UN era,
8 the right to self-determination was granted to the inhabitants of all the
9 territories in the formal colonial areas, rather than, for example, to the
10 particular ethno-national groups in any of the post colonial countries;
11 one of the reasons why, you may suppose, there are a lot of intercommunal
12 conflicts in many of the post colonial countries.
13 Q. Dr. Gow, is not the word "the nations of Yugoslavia" in this preamble
14 compared and contrasted with nationalities?
15 A. That is the case.
16 Q. It does not make that clear what is meant by "nation" in this
17 preamble, since I do not understand from your testimony that nationality
18 means to say national minorities. That is the explanation you gave of the
19 word "nationality" on 8th May.
20 A. I am sorry, could you repeat the question? I think I lost it by the
22 Q. My question was whether "nation" is not compared and contrasted with
23 nationalities in this preamble; I think your answer was that it was?
24 A. The word "nationality" appears, yes. If you look approximately
25 halfway through the first paragraph, you will see the original reference
1 to "nations" or "peoples". It continues after the word, after the phrase,
2 "common interest", "together with nationalities".
3 Q. Could there then still be any ambiguity as to the meaning of the word
4 "nation" here, where it is compared to the national minorities, could it
5 refer to state? You indicated that in other countries, perhaps even in
6 other continents, they have their own developments in their
7 self-determination, but I would like to stick to this preamble where the
8 nations of Yugoslavia are mentioned, compared to and contrasted to
9 nationalities. Could it then have any other meaning than the major south
10 Slav groups in Yugoslavia, that means Croats, Macedonians, Montenegrins,
11 Muslims, Serbs and Slovenes?
12 A. In juxtaposition, the use of the terms "nations" and "nationalities"
13 in the Yugoslav context is there to indicate the difference between those
14 groups labelled as nations, state forming peoples, the ones to which you
15 made reference, and other groups.
16 I was indicating previously that there is a degree of
17 ambiguity because the use of the phrase "right of every nation to
18 self-determination", because the word is the same in Serbo-Croat, creates
19 a degree of ambiguity because the two senses are elided in one. The right
20 to self-determination for peoples may also applied theoretically, I am
21 sure, to ethno-national groups; I simply said, in practice, has always
22 been applied, as far as I am aware (and certainly in the UN era), to
23 territories rather than to ethno-national groups. So it is an ambiguous
24 use of terminology.
25 In one sense, in the first clause, the use of "nations of
1 Yugoslavia", I think, is probably because it is juxtaposed with
2 nationalities can be taken in the sense of the state forming
3 ethno-national groups, but placing the same word in the next line creates
4 an ambiguity in terms of the understanding of international relations, as
5 far as I see these things.
6 Q. I am talking about constitutional aspects, not about the
7 international complications of it. Could you then please read it aloud
8 for us so that we all know exactly where in your vision the ambiguity
9 might be?
10 A. Do you wish me to?
11 Q. To read the preamble, yes, please.
12 A. The whole of it?
13 Q. Yes, I would like you to.
14 A. "The nations of Yugoslavia. Proceeding from the right of every
15 nation to self-determination, including the right to secession on the
16 basis of their will freely expressed in the common struggle of all nations
17 and nationalities in the national liberation war and socialist revolution,
18 and in conformity with their historic aspirations, aware that further
19 consolidation of their brotherhood and unity is in the common interest,
20 have together with the nationalities with which they live united in a
21 Federal Republic of free and equal nations and nationalities and founded
22 on a Socialist Federal community of working people, the Socialist Federal
23 Republic of Yugoslavia, in which in the interests of each nation and
24 nationalities separately and of all of them together they shall realise
25 and ensure" -- do you wish me to continue?
1 Q. Thank you, Dr. Gow. Were the Muslim Slavs in Bosnia a state forming
3 A. By the time of the 1974 constitution, they were qualified as being
4 one of the nations of Yugoslavia. At the end of the Second World War --
5 indeed, I suppose, during the course of the Second World War -- there was
6 some discussion about the position of the Slav Muslims, but at that stage
7 they were not treated as one of nations, a state forming peoples. In the
8 course of the 1960s, the question of their position was raised again and I
9 think by 1968 within Party documents they were being identified as one of
10 the nations in this use of the term. When the 1974 constitution was
11 introduced, by that time they were regarded as one of the nations of
13 Q. My final question, did they have their own state, the Muslims?
14 A. The answer is no.
15 Q. The answer is no, thank you, Dr. Gow. Are the republics of
16 Yugoslavia given the right to secede from the Yugoslav Federation under
17 this constitution? I am talking about the republics, not about people's
19 A. The republics are not given the right explicitly to leave the
20 Federation, although throughout all the constitutions the federations were
21 unions of the republics, and the republics were the political, territorial
23 Q. Yes, but the answer is no, the republics as such were not given the
24 right to secede?
25 A. The republics were not explicitly given the right to leave.
1 Q. That answers my question, Dr. Gow. In view of the fact that the
2 republics were not explicitly given the right to secede under the 1974
3 constitution, was opposition to secession upholding the lawful
4 constitution? So if you were to oppose against the secession, would this
5 be upholding the lawful constitution?
6 A. This is a very complex and ambiguous area. Again, it goes back to
7 the ambiguous use of the word "narod" eliding two senses of the use of the
8 term. There was an understanding in the philosophy of the evolution of
9 these republics and the way they evolved during the Second World War as
10 the regional councils of the Anti-Fascist, Council of the National
11 Liberation of Yugoslavia, that they were at one level intended to convey
12 or confer statehood on the state forming peoples as understood in the
13 course of the Second World War, and the right to self-determination was
14 used in a rather ambiguous way; again, the two senses which I have
15 described being brought together.
16 Although there was no explicit right to session, as far
17 as I am aware, given to the republics, the republics were deemed to be the
18 constitutional units forming the Federation in 1946 and afterwards, and in
19 terms of the application of the principle of self-determination in
20 practice in international relations, it would conventionally be the case
21 that it would be the political territorial communities which would have
22 the right to exercise this right rather than an ethno-national grouping.
23 The Yugoslavs in drafting these constitutions, I believe,
24 were explicitly trying to have it both ways in order to address two
25 different questions within the context of the complex federation that the
1 SFRY and its predecessors, the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia,
2 was. Therefore, although there was no explicit right to secession, the
3 right to self-determination was a matter of interpretation and application
4 and, in practice, could only be put into effect by political territorial
6 To oppose secession of a republic, if secession was being
7 sought, would be an appropriate action, because I think I made reference
8 to Article 5 of the constitution which indicated that changes could only
9 be made with the agreement of all the states forming the SFRY.
10 Q. So opposition to secession was upholding the constitution, that was
11 my question?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Am I right, Dr. Gow, when I said that you stated that in the free
14 elections of 1990 nationalist party have won in all republics?
15 A. I would probably have to check the record to be sure whether or not
16 you are right in saying that. I think that I said that in Slovenia,
17 nationalist parties and reformed communists with a nationalist agenda won
18 the elections, something like this. In Croatia, nationalist parties won
19 the elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the vote mostly went along the
20 lines of national party divisions; in Serbia and Montenegro, communists or
21 reformed communists with nationalist platforms won the elections. I did
22 not mention Macedonia, I believe, but in Macedonia again there was a
23 strong nationalist dimension with some form of communists and some
24 nationalists being successful in the elections.
25 Q. Did the Yugoslav Federal constitution guarantee the equal rights of
2 A. Yes, I believe so.
3 Q. Do you know where it does that?
4 A. I do not.
5 Q. Thank you. Did the 1989 amendment to the Slovenia constitution -- I
6 am not talking about the Federal constitution any more -- violate this
7 provision of the Federal constitution by giving ethnic Slovenes superior
8 rights over other citizens of Yugoslavia in Slovenia?
9 A. I am not sure to which provision you make reference, and I guess that
10 even if I were, I would not be in a position to answer your question.
11 Q. Then I perhaps leave this for the time being and see whether I can
12 provide you with the text, although you indicated you could not perhaps
13 even answer to this question. Did the 1990 Croatian constitution, not
14 Slovenia any more, give superior rights to ethnic Croats over other
15 citizens of Yugoslavia in Croatia?
16 A. I would not be sure if it gave superior rights to ethnic Croats, but
17 it certainly changed the status of ethnic Serbs in a formal sense within
18 the Republic of Croatia.
19 Q. In what sense?
20 A. I believe I said this in evidence already, but the 1990 constitution
21 of the Republic of Croatia changed the designation of the Republic of
22 Croatia from being the state of the Croat and Serb peoples and others to
23 being the state of the Croat people and the Serbs and others. So,
24 therefore, the Serbs were moved from being in the first clause as peoples
25 to being in the second clause at the head of a list of Serbs and others.
1 I believe I said that in evidence the other day.
2 Q. So they were downgraded?
3 A. Certainly, in terms of that labelling there was a change in status.
4 I think I also said already that was a matter of concern for Serbian
5 people in Croatia.
6 Q. Yes. Do you know whether the citizenship laws of Croatia
7 discriminated against non-Croatians, so it is not a constitution but a
9 A. I am afraid I have no expertise in citizenship provisions or laws
10 whatsoever, and limited knowledge of citizenship provisions for my own
12 Q. Bearing this in mind, we just discussed, was it reasonable for
13 non-Croats in Croatia in 1991 to fear that they would face discrimination
14 in an independent nationalist Croatia?
15 A. The weight of your question goes to the word "reasonable", and that
16 would create a number of difficulties. It would on one level, because of
17 the historical experience, nobody could say that nobody who lived in a
18 Serb community where terrible things had happened during the Ustasha
19 regime in the 1940s lived could not have in the back of their mind some
20 memory which might give them concern.
21 At the same time, the weight of your question goes to
22 "reasonable", the word "reasonable. That must be taken on an evaluation
23 of the situation. I would have thought that it would be very difficult to
24 give an absolutely fair judgment on that. Yes, there would be reason for
25 people to have something in the back of their mind, but whether it was
1 reasonable to have substantial fear, I am not sure.
2 Q. I did not ask whether they had substantial fear; I asked whether it
3 was reasonable for non-Croats in Croatia to fear that they would face
5 A. Again, the weight goes to "reasonable". It was not the case that
6 there was no reason for them to have some concern; whether or not it was
7 reasonable for them to fear discrimination is something which, I guess, I
8 would have to go away and think about a lot and research. It is a very
9 difficult kind of question. Certainly, it is the case that there could be
10 some reason for them to have concern.
11 Q. I put the question another way: Dr. Gow, if you would be down-graded
12 to a second class citizen, would you fear to be discriminated, either in
13 the back of your mind or -----
14 A. I am sure that would depend on the nature and context of the
15 situation. I am not sure what it entails to be downgraded to a second
16 class citizen. I can imagine what it would be to be not a British citizen
17 but a British citizen in dependent territories, for example, but that
18 would be because I was coming from a different area, a different part of
19 the world, and my status and my rights to residency in the United Kingdom
20 would be different.
21 I am not sure within the boundaries of one country how
22 that would work, and how you would label different classes of citizenship.
23 As far as I am aware, there was not a process of labelling different
24 classes of citizenship, but that is only as far as I am aware in this
25 situation in Croatia in which I think you are interested.
1 Q. Thank you, Dr. Gow. Dr. Gow, since the 1974 Federal Yugoslav
2 constitution does refer to the nations of Yugoslavia as having the right
3 to secede and does not grant explicitly the right to republics, is the
4 argument that areas where a majority population of one of these nations
5 might secede from a republic that claimed the right to secede to form a
6 new nation state for its majority necessarily illegitimate -- I am not
7 clear, I am afraid?
8 A. It is not just me then!
9 Q. You will see my first remark was not without reason. I will try to
10 rephrase my question. Dr. Gow, I would like to take you to Exhibit 24. I
11 ask you whether we can put in context your remarks concerning the break up
12 of the former Yugoslavia. Perhaps we can first have Exhibit 24? I would
13 like to put in context your remarks concerning the preparation by Serbia
14 for the break up of the former Yugoslavia. Is it not correct that
15 approximately one year before, in 1989, Slovenia, before any amendment by
16 Serbia, had already amended its constitution to assert the primacy of its
17 own constitutional provisions above those of the Federal constitution?
18 A. It is my recollection that in 1989, if perhaps not already in 1988,
19 but my memory is not precise, the Republic of Slovenia began -- in the
20 Republic of Slovenia the parliament began a series of acts of legislation
21 which would affirm, if not enhance, the sovereignty of the Republic of
22 Slovenia as one of the states of the SFRY. If it were to be in 1988 (and
23 my memory is not precise), but it did, if not in 1989, it began this
24 process of affirming sovereignty and making changes to its constitution,
25 but if it was in 1989, then I would also point to the fact that although
1 you refer me now to the 1990 constitution of the Republic of Serbia, in
2 the course of giving evidence I did make reference to the amendments that
3 the Republic of Serbia was making to its constitution in 1989.
4 So, to say that it was a year before would be
5 inappropriate; it was a year before the Republic of Serbia adopted a new
6 constitution, but it was at the same time that the Republic of Serbia was
7 adopting its own constitution.
8 Q. What did they include, these amendments, exactly, because I would
9 like to compare them with the amendments made in Slovenia.
10 A. The amendments in both cases were concerned with affirming the
11 sovereignty of the two republics. In the case of the amendments (which I
12 believe I have discussed) the Republic of Serbia was seeking to strengthen
13 the quality of, if you can strengthen the quality of sovereignty, I am not
14 sure, but strengthen the reality of the exercise of its sovereign rights
15 as a state by seeking to remove the powers of the two autonomous provinces
16 which impaired the sovereignty in the eyes of those authorities.
17 So, in both cases and in the case of the Republic of
18 Slovenia, in a situation where there were concerns after events in 1988
19 that the sovereignty of the Republic was not being respected, then the
20 parliament and authorities in the Republic of Slovenia, from a different
21 perspective but, essentially, the same activity, sought to strengthen its
23 Q. Am I right in understanding that the amendments you are talking
24 about, as far as Serbia is concerned, were all related to the specific
25 situation of smaller areas under the sovereignty, not under the
1 sovereignty, but within the Republic of Serbia, the autonomous regions,
2 it was just related to that internal Serbian matter?
3 A. That is very difficult to answer because, although the two autonomous
4 provinces were within Serbia and it was a question in Serbia for the
5 integrity of the Serbian Republic as a whole, it was a matter of
6 significance within the SFRY, because the two autonomous provinces were
7 given representation; for example, the collective presidency were regarded
8 as having certain status at the federal level. Therefore, the Republic of
9 Serbia by taking these measures with regard to the political authority on
10 territories within the Republic of Serbia were also taking actions which
11 were having effect on the SFRY as a whole.
12 Q. I can imagine that it would have effect, that it was not without
13 effect to measures taken within the Republic of Serbia, but did Serbia in
14 these amendments not accept the primacy of the federal constitution any
15 more? Did it put its own constitution on a higher level than the federal
17 A. I am not sure if it did or not.
18 Q. That was my question.
19 A. I am not sure if it did or not. I believe that it did not in a
20 formal sense although, clearly, by the assertion of sovereignty it was
21 doing so in a de facto sense.
22 Q. Dr. Gow, I am aware that it is a very complex matter, but my question
23 was whether in this constitution the primacy of the federal constitution
24 was put away and it was done away with. Was this the case in the Slovenian
25 amendment? Did they say in their new constitution that whenever there
1 would be a conflict in the constitutional provisions between the
2 Federation and the Slovenian constitution that the Slovenian constitution
3 would prevail?
4 A. I believe that that is the case and that would be consistent with any
5 state deciding on the exercise of its sovereign rights going back to the
6 point that the republics were defined as sovereign entities.
7 Q. Thank you. Dr. Gow, if I take you to another part of your testimony
8 of yesterday and the day before yesterday: When the Republic of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina was recognised by some European states, could you
10 define precisely for us the exact territory of the state of Bosnia and
11 Herzegovina that was recognised at that time? What was exactly the
12 territory of the state, the status of territory, people, what was the
13 territory, could you indicate it on one of the maps you used?
14 A. Gladly.
15 Q. Your maps are made under your direction so you know them better which
16 one is suitable for .....
17 A. I will probably use the first map. It is the most straightforward, I
18 would have thought.
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: This is Exhibit 2, would it be?
20 MR. ORIE: Exhibit 2. (Handed)
21 THE WITNESS: I am afraid I have lost the pointed stick I was given the
22 other day. I think, quite clearly, the borders of Bosnia and Herzegovina
23 -- let us try again. After my difficulty in long distance manipulation of
24 this thing yesterday, I had better be very careful. You will see here
25 this line, if you follow it round, indicates the borders of Bosnia and
1 Herzegovina. You will see that also the very tiny strip there of it which
2 goes to the Adriatic Sea.
3 MR. ORIE: Thank you, Dr. Gow. Was there a central government in the
4 state of Bosnia-Herzegovina at that moment of recognition?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Where was it based?
7 A. In Sarajevo.
8 Q. Sarajevo. Did this government exercise all the I say usual state
9 functions on the whole of the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
10 A. I am afraid I am not sure what it is that you are asking.
11 Q. I, perhaps, give you a better example.
12 A. OK.
13 Q. For example, it is usually accepted that responsibility for the
14 police working in your territory is one of the functions of a government.
15 Was the central government of Sarajevo controlling the police on the
16 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina at that time?
17 A. I think there is a different between responsibility and control.
18 Governments have responsibility even if they do not always have control of
19 situations. I know in my own country and in the United States sometimes
20 there are areas in which -- no doubt in other countries -- Police Forces
21 act in inappropriate ways. But I do not think that removes the
22 responsibility of the government for what is taking place because
23 governments are charged with the responsibility even if they are not
24 actually able to control things.
25 Q. When I am talking about control, I am not meaning to say that
1 sometimes a police officer might do something that is not correct and it
2 should have prevented him to do so, but I am talking about where there was
3 in general terms. Let us just give an example, was the Sarajevo
4 government controlling the Prijedor police, for example?
5 A. Controlling, as far as I can talk about the Prijedor Police Force, I
6 am not sure that it was, I am not sure that it was, but again I do not
7 think that removes its responsibility as the government of Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina. It is difficult situation like so many of the others which
9 we are discussing.
10 Q. Yes, you have already two times drawn my attention to a formal
11 responsibility. Is this a way of expressing that it really was a formal
12 responsibility instead of giving directions to them, orders being obeyed,
13 so that is what I understand when I am talking about control of the Police
14 Forces, and not a formal responsibility that, in effect, does not mean
15 anything. Could you please clarify the position in existence at the time
16 of the recognition of this state, as far as -- I am just taking this
17 example -- the Police Forces are concerned?
18 A. I have no specific knowledge of the situation in a comprehensive and
19 absolute sense with regard to the Police Force in any individual part of
20 Bosnia and Herzegovina. Having made that clear as a reservation, I would
21 not be surprised at all in the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1990
22 and '91, or indeed into the beginning of 1992, to find that there were
23 some areas where there were policemen who might receive instructions from
24 Sarajevo but would not act on them.
25 Q. Let me then talk about another essential state function, the monetary
1 aspects. For example, at that time in western Herzegovina was there a
2 situation where Croats had their own currency and, perhaps, also their own
4 A. Maybe you could clarify the question again? I am sorry to keep doing
5 this but it is .....
6 Q. I am trying to find out about the effective functioning of the state
7 of Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time of the recognition.
8 A. OK.
9 Q. I start asking about whether they were in control of the police. You
10 said: "Well, I do not know; it might be that they were not in certain
11 areas". Another essential state function is controlling the monetary
12 institutions and currency. Were there areas in Bosnia-Herzegovina, for
13 example, in western Herzegovina, where Croats were having their own
14 currency instead of using the official currency of the state of
16 A. No, the Croats in the area you identified were not using their own
18 Q. They were not using their own currency?
19 A. No, they were using -- but the currency the Republic of Croatia was
20 freely circulating, and this is rather like going to Luxembourg and being
21 able to use Belgium francs, I guess. If you regard the territory of the
22 SFRY before its dissolution, Deutschemark was the most used currency, I
23 would guess, for most transactions apart from grocery shopping and things
24 like that.
25 Q. Is that not an indication that the currency of the country involved
1 does not function properly ---
2 A. I am not sure if it is an indication.
3 Q. -- from a monetary point of view?
4 A. I am not sure if it is an indication that the currency of the country
5 does not function properly any more than the free use of the Belgium franc
6 in Luxembourg indicates that Luxembourg does not function as a country, or
7 that the free use of the Deutschemark, or relatively free use of the
8 Deutschemark, in the territories of the SFRY before its dissolution
9 indicated that the financial currency systems there did not work. I would
10 also express the judgment in the case of the SFRY they did not, but I am
11 not sure that it makes the point clearly one way or the other.
12 Q. Perhaps another state function, taxes. Were taxes collected all over
13 the territory by the central government?
14 A. In the situation in 1991 and 1992, I very much doubt it.
15 Q. You doubt it?
16 A. I doubt it, yes.
17 Q. What about another state function, Defence, army; could you tell us
18 about the army of the central government of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
19 A. I assume that you are still talking at the time of the recognition of
20 independent international personality of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and if
21 that is the case -----
22 Q. I am talking about this period, then we might move to another period
24 A. Just for clarification, yes. At the time of the recognition of
25 independent international personality of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as with
1 so many other things again, there was a complex situation. The government
2 of Bosnia and Herzegovina had responsibility for the Territorial Defence
3 forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina. At the same time, I have already
4 discussed the presence of the Yugoslav People's Army on the territory of
5 Bosnia and Herzegovina. I think I have indicated that there were a
6 presence of a number of irregular armed groups on the territory of Bosnia
7 and Herzegovina, and that there was the presence of the Croatian army on
8 the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I hope that that addresses the
9 question, but again I may be not clear about what it is that you are
10 asking me.
11 Q. What was the control of the Sarajevo government and the control used
12 in the same sense as I explained before of the armed forces on the
14 A. The government of Bosnia and Herzegovina had control of the central
15 elements of the Territorial Defence and of Territorial Defence in other
16 areas. In some areas, I already gave evidence that there had been
17 activity to move, to change the complexion of the Territorial Defence
18 Force and to mobilize ethnic Serbs into certain Territorial Defence units
19 in preparation for possible action at a later stage.
20 In the case of those units, although the central
21 Territorial Defence command might well have been issuing them instructions
22 still, I am quite sure that if they were getting instructions they were
23 paying no attention to those instructions.
24 With regard to the Yugoslav People's Army, the situation
25 at this time remained a little bit ambiguous because the JNA had been
1 going through this process of transformation, and elements within it were
2 clearly orientated to and in knowledge of plans for actions that would
3 come later. There was still a strong Yugoslav sense in elements of the
4 JNA. Some of these people in Sarajevo were talking to the Bosnian
5 government, were seeking to try, perhaps even more than the Bosnian
6 government might have been, to resolve the situation, to try to prevent a
7 further deterioration.
8 With regard to the situation, I mentioned the presence of
9 the Croatian army, at this stage, although the Croatian army was present,
10 my recollection is that it was formally being indicated as being present
11 to give support to the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, although the
12 nature of its presence was later certainly not to be of that nature, and
13 with regard to control of the various irregular types of force, apart from
14 Territorial Defence forces, maybe called irregular in some uses of
15 terminology, with regard to control of those other irregular forces, I
16 would say that the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina almost certainly
17 had no control whatsoever.
18 Q. Could you please be a bit more precise on which parts of the
19 Territorial Defence, because you said that some might have been under the
20 control of the central government and some parts not, was this according
21 to the spreading of the ethnic community, so to say that where there was a
22 majority of Serbs there was no control of this Territorial Defence there?
23 A. I would regard it as being reasonable, to use the word again, to
24 suppose that in Serbian majority, certainly in a number of areas with a
25 Serbian majority population as well as in some more mixed areas, in
1 accordance with evidence that I already gave and in accordance with some
2 of the documentation that I gave, that in some of those areas those,
3 indeed, were areas in which the instructions of the Territorial Defence
4 command of Bosnia and Herzegovina would be ignored or not received.
5 Q. If you are talking about those areas, could you say approximately
6 what percentage of the country that was?
7 A. I am not sure that I could say approximately what percentage. I
8 would say -- no, I do not think I could give an approximate percentage.
9 Q. Thank you, Dr. Gow. I do not know whether -----
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Before you go to your next question, Mr. Orie, we
11 will stand in recess for 20 minutes.
12 (11.30 a.m.)
13 (The hearing adjourned for a short time)
14 (11.53 a.m.)
15 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Orie, you may continue.
16 MR. ORIE: If I may proceed, your Honour.
17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Yes, please.
18 MR. ORIE: Dr. Gow, first go back to a few items we discussed this morning
19 and then with some constitutional issues. First, going back to the
20 question of Slovenes or Serbians being not loyal any more to the
21 federative constitution, would it be fair to say that the Slovenes were
22 the first to give up on Yugoslavia?
23 A. I am sorry, I am really not quite sure what the question is asking.
24 Q. My question is whether it is fair to say that the Slovenes were the
25 first to give up on Yugoslavia? It is a short question.
1 A. It is a short question. I am just not sure.
2 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I think he asked what you mean. He does not
3 understand what you mean by "give up". Is that the problem?
4 MR. ORIE: What would you understand -- how would you understand it, if I
5 may ask that question to you so I know where is the uncertainty?
6 A. I am not ----
7 Q. If you say it does not mean anything at all, that is also an answer
8 to me and I could try to rephrase it.
9 A. In that case, I am not sure if I am allowed to talk?
10 Q. My question was, if you say this question makes no sense and for that
11 reason I cannot answer it, I would be glad to hear, but my question was
12 whether it would be fair to say that the Slovenes were the first to give
13 up on Yugoslavia?
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Do you understand the question, Dr. Gow?
15 THE WITNESS: I am not sure that I do.
16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Would you rephrase it.
17 MR. ORIE: OK. Perhaps I put another question to you. What did you mean
18 when you said to the Committee of Foreign Affairs of the House of Commons
19 that the Slovenes were the first to give up on Yugoslavia?
20 A. In that case, yes. In that context what I meant was that, although I
21 do not recall using those exact words, but in that context I was
22 indicating that at the latest by the end of 1990 in spite of some, and
23 here I am talking about the political authorities of the Republic of
24 Slovenia, that Slovenes in that sense refers to the political authorities
25 of the Republic of Slovenia, by the end of 1990 at the latest had decided
1 that there was no future in the SFRY and had begun making preparations for
2 the independence of Slovenia. I am glad that you put it in this way
3 because it is easier to conceptualize and it takes away the word "fair"
4 which gave me some difficulty. I hope I have answered adequately.
5 Q. I come back to another area we touched upon this morning and that is
6 the protection of Serbs in Croatia. I asked about their position under
7 the constitution, the downgrading, and we talked about legislation on
8 citizenship. You said, well, I did not know anything about that. Do you
9 know of any other specific legislation concerning the position of the
10 Serbians in the Republic of Croatia?
11 A. Specific legislation concerning?
12 Q. Yes, grounds and rights. We saw them being downgraded as not being
13 mentioned any more as the next to the Croats as the ones to whom belonged
14 the state of Croatia. Is there any perhaps not legislation on
15 citizenship, not a constitution, but any other legislation?
16 A. I do not remember.
17 Q. Do you think that any protection in legal terms would have been
18 effective as far as Serbs in Croatia were concerned? Could they really
19 expect the laws to be respected as far as they were concerned by the state
20 and anyone else?
21 A. I would have thought as far as anybody else could.
22 Q. You mean there was no rule of law in Croatia?
23 A. I would mean that in the situation of transition I would not count on
24 any anything being completely effective in any part of the territories of
25 the SFRY.
1 Q. But there are no specific questions, no specific concerns as far as
2 the position of the Serbs in Croatia were concerned? I mean, you are now
3 describing a general situation where no one was sure whether the rule of
4 law would be applied or not, but specific concerns for Serbs in that area
5 prior to the independence?
6 A. If I have understood correctly, and you are asking me if Serbs in
7 Croatia expressed concerns, then it is the case that Serbs in Croatia
8 expressed concerns.
9 Q. No, that was not my question. My question was whether there was any
10 real concern perhaps in your opinion for the effective protection of Serbs
11 in the Croatian republic?
12 A. Sorry, again if I have understood correctly, you are asking me if in
13 my judgment the concern expressed by the Serbs was justified and, if I
14 have understood that correctly, then I take you back to an answer I gave
15 before, which is that it was the case that given the historical experience
16 Serbs in the area might have some concern in this situation. Whether or
17 not that concern would justify actions that were taken, including the
18 erection of barricades, the arming of populations, whether the concerns
19 extended as far as a level where it would be necessary to take those
20 measures, I am by no means entirely clear that that was case, which is not
21 to say that in local areas there were incidents which would inevitably
22 give cause for concern. Equally, there were incidents against ethnic
23 Croats in Croatia in this period, again where the Croatian government was
24 not able effectively to enforce whatever kind of responsibilities or
25 protections it might be expected to carry out. It is a very difficult
2 Q. So you would not question specifically the activity of the protection
3 under the rule of law of the Serbs in Croatia?
4 A. I would think that it comes into question certainly to the extent
5 that in some areas of Croatia where there were Serbian majority
6 populations local Serbian officials, with perhaps support from elsewhere,
7 effectively created a type of control over those territories, so the
8 effective protection of Croatian law, of the Croatian authorities was de
9 facto not possible irrespective of any other consideration.
10 Q. Do you think, Dr. Gow, that any legal provision protecting Serbs in
11 Croatia would be meant to be serious?
12 A. I am not sure that it is a question I can really give an answer to.
13 It involves a degree of speculation which I do not think would be
14 appropriate. Maybe I have missed the nature of the question.
15 Q. What I asked, and that is what I started with as a matter of fact, to
16 find out whether in your eyes specific concern about the legal protection
17 of Serbs in the Republic of Croatia was justified or not, whether it is
18 your opinion that there should be concern about their protection under the
19 rule of law, seriousness, activity of the protection?
20 A. This really is very complex and difficult. I indicated that because
21 local Serbians had taken effective control of certain areas, to discuss it
22 in terms of the effective implementation of the rule of law by the Zagreb
23 authorities seems to be almost a question but almost a non-question. I
24 would judge that the Zagreb authorities would be charged with
25 responsibility for that situation, but whether or not, but in a situation
1 where de facto Croatian police force were not able to go into areas, it
2 seems difficult to talk about the Croatian government whether or not the
3 legal provisions -- maybe before I finish this could I ask you it repeat
4 the question to make sure I am still answering it?
5 Q. Well, my first question ----
6 A. Sorry, if you do not mind.
7 Q. I started asking you whether there were any legal statutes
8 specifically protecting or at least mentioning Serbs to be protected in
9 the Croatian republic. That is what I started with. The answer was that
10 you do not know?
11 A. I do not know.
12 Q. You do not know. Then a more general second question was whether, so
13 not under a specific Statute, but whether the Serbs could expect that a
14 rule of law would be applied as far as those were concerned as well, so
15 that is to say that the protection of the law would be effective for them
16 as well and that the protection given by law to them would be meant to be
17 a serious protection by those who legislated?
18 A. If that is your question, then the Serbs in those areas presumably
19 would not expect the Croatian authorities, effectively, to implement the
20 rule of law because, de facto, Serbs in the area had taken control of
21 those areas.
22 Q. May I ask you whether these words sound familiar to you: "Prior to
23 the declaration of independence there was a legal Statute which
24 specifically mentioned the Serbs and offered certain kinds of protections
25 and guarantees. Protections were there legally. The question would have
1 been whether they could have been enforced; whether or not they were
2 serious or whether they were like under the Communist constitutions a mere
3 formality." Is that a fair description of the situation as far as the
4 protection of Serbs is concerned?
5 A. It is not a judgment with which I would disagree.
6 Q. You would not disagree?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Does this mean that you agree with that?
9 A. Yes, I mean I would -- I use that terminology to convey again that it
10 is a complex situation, but I certainly would not disagree with it.
11 Q. No.
12 A. Fine.
13 Q. My first question was whether these words were familiar to you?
14 A. As such they are not familiar, but it is not impossible even that I
15 might have written them.
16 Q. Yes, or have expressed them in the House of Commons. Dr. Gow, I was
17 not able to phrase the question properly this morning and I give it a new
18 try, if you do not mind. Could a republic legitimately succeed to form a
19 new nation state from its majority population under the 1974 constitution?
20 A. Again, I am not absolutely clear what it is that you are asking me.
21 Q. I did not understand you?
22 A. I am sorry, but again I am not exactly clear what it is that you are
23 asking me. I understand all the words but I am not quite clear what
24 exactly it is you are asking me.
25 Q. Could a republic legitimately secede to form a new nation state for
1 its majority population under the 1974 constitution? I am quite willing to
2 repeat it again for you. I must say I got some help from my learned
3 English friends in rephrasing the question, so I am a bit less uncertain
4 about the language.
5 JUDGE STEPHEN: Would it not speed matters up if you said what you thought
6 he meant and see if he agrees? It is not much good just keeping on
7 repeating the question.
8 THE WITNESS: I agree and if that is agreeable I can try.
9 MR. ORIE: Yes.
10 A. There is a distinction that I would make between legality and
11 legitimacy and I am not sure what the precise answer would be in either
12 case. The answer to the question would be a compound of the
13 interpretation of legal factors, political factors and I would guess also
14 international factors. Legality would, as far as I understand it from a
15 political perspective, derive from various levels, or could possibly
16 derive from various levels of constitutional law and related aspects of
17 law and from elements of public international law, and that is one factor
18 which played a role in the dissolution of the Socialist Federative
19 Republic of Yugoslavia. I state that not as a matter of my own
20 interpretation; simply as a matter of record. This is something, a fact
21 which occurred on the basis of those elements.
22 In terms of legitimacy which would for me would imply a
23 series of other possibilities which might be ethical, they might be
24 socio-politically constitutive and supportive; they might be based on a
25 series of other factors. If you wish me to go into some kind of an effort
1 to describe things in terms of that kind of political terminology, I would
2 do so, but if I have answered your question already then I would be happy
3 to stop.
4 Q. Dr. Gow, I would rather have you to answer my question. If you say
5 these are two answers. First, could a republic legally secede to, and the
6 second question, could a republic legitimately secede, I would like to
7 know your opinion. I am quite well aware that you must have good reasons
8 for taking that opinion.
9 A. On the first of your questions, the legal aspects of secession are
10 difficult and were the subject, I say this again, as a matter of fact, a
11 matter that is record, was something that was being argued about on the
12 territories of the SFRY in the latter period of the SFRY. It involved
13 arguments about a complex set of interpretations of provisions of the
14 constitution, some of the provisions you asked me about earlier this
15 morning, some provisions I made reference to to indicate these discussions
16 in earlier parts of my testimony. The legal right to secession was
17 applied to the peoples. Sovereignty was given to the republics. The
18 interpretation of sovereignty which was, as far as I understand it,
19 current on the territories of the SFRY in its latter period was in the
20 sense of sovereignty, meaning in the end the right not to be subject to
21 interference from outside, and that in a formal sense under the communist
22 constitutions which I stressed before originally were intended not to have
23 real meaning, that quality of sovereignty or some elements of the quality
24 of sovereignty, some of the sovereign rights, were exercised through the
25 federation, rather in the same way that the Member States of the European
1 Union exercise some of their sovereign rights through the formation of
2 the Union. Here let me be clear, I am not saying that SFRY was the
3 European Union; simply to illustrate the nature of this exercise of
4 sovereign rights as a matter of principle. The Member States of the
5 European Union have clearly indicated as a matter of proper political will
6 that this is what they want to do. In the case of the communist
7 constitutions of the SFRY and the Federal People's Republic, it was more a
8 formal connotation, but to be clear, in principle, as a matter of
9 technicality, it was the same kind of transfer.
10 Therefore, if sovereignty was the ultimate right to
11 decide on matters within a territory, and that inhered with the republics.
12 In the conventional sense of the application of the right to
13 self-determination, the use of the term "people" applies to those
14 inhabiting a territory, a pre-designated political community with
15 territorial boundaries and perhaps certain other qualities, then rather
16 than an ethno-national grouping wherever it might be found, then an
17 argument was made and could be made and was accepted as a matter of fact
18 in the dissolution of Yugoslavia by the International Community that that
19 was the case.
20 In the context of the SFRY constitution, to come back
21 precisely to answering your question, and you will see from what I have
22 said so far it is a complex and difficult question ----
23 Q. I have become aware of that, Dr. Gow!
24 A. Yes. That in the nature of the discussions it was understood that the
25 republics were sovereign states, the discussion in both Serbia and in
1 Slovenia was on the nature of the sovereignty of those states within the
2 SFRY, and in the case of Slovenia in the latter stages outside the SFRY.
3 The question about the exercise of sovereign rights coming to the legal
4 right to secession, if you are talking about the right to secession, then
5 that would be applied to the peoples. The ambiguity of the preamble of
6 the introductory part of the constitution would indicate that you could
7 try to interpret that use of "peoples" of "narod" in two ways. I
8 indicated in the first two lines it is used in two different senses,
9 although in Serbo-Croat it is one word.
10 In that context there could be an argument about whether
11 or not the right to secession inhered with the ethno-national group of the
12 first line or with the peoples implicitly of a territory of the second
13 line. I think it was clearly understood from the nature of the one of the
14 extracts we played yesterday on the video monitor, President Milosevic in
15 1990 was proposing that there should be a formal change to the
16 constitutional structure of the SFRY in his discussions with the Slovenian
17 President to move, to make it an equal right of all ethno-national groups
18 rather than being one of territories.
19 Q. Dr. Gow ----
20 A. And so, the end of this long, complex answer is, it would depend, in
21 part it might depend on your perspective whether or not there was a legal
22 right, that the legal right, if there was a legal right it was a sum of
23 factors, and as a political fact that right was not necessarily a factor
24 in the final dissolution of the SFRY, because in the eyes of the majority
25 of the states of the SFRY in the international community the final breakup
1 of the SFRY was regard as a matter of the non-functioning of the
2 federation and dissolution rather than a matter of secession anyway. But
3 in answer to your question, legally it depended on your perspective and it
4 would depend on the constitution -- the wrong word -- on the compound of
5 factors involved in the particular situation and the interpretations
7 Q. Dr. Gow, am I right in understanding that you find it a complex
8 question on which you have no clear opinion?
9 A. I actually thought the complexity, that I had expressed a clear
10 opinion. If I have not, then forgive me and I would be happy to try to
12 Q. If I may express myself, I heard so many if's and if you would look
13 at it this way and that way, that I think the words of Shakespeare came
14 into my mind: If if's and and's were pots and pans there would be no need
15 of tinkers!
16 A. Which means?
17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Dr. Gow, let me see if I can understand you. Are
18 you saying, yes, the 1974 constitution would allow secession if you
19 defined "nation" in the first line, I think it is the first line, perhaps
20 it is the second, I think it is the first line of the 1974 constitution,
21 to constitute a republic as opposed to a group of peoples? Can you just
22 answer that and try to make it as short as possible?
23 A. The reference to peoples of a territory is in the second line and on
24 the basis of sovereignty expressed in the constitution and in the
25 constitutions of the republics with appropriate agreement expressed under
1 Article 5 of the SFRY constitution, then it would be legal.
2 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Yes.
3 A. The legality of it would be dependent on agreement in terms of
4 Article 5.
5 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: OK. Does that help? Yes, if you define the word
6 "nation" in the first line in a certain way. Then you went on to say,
7 well, I will not go into what Milosevic said.
8 MR. ORIE: Having no clear opinion because it depends on how you present
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I think he is giving you an answer. Yes, if you
11 define "nation" in a certain way, but then you have to look at Article 5
12 of the constitution. Then he said, well, Milosevic took a certain
13 position and I do not know what effect that would have on the legal
14 definition. Finally, he says it does make any difference anyway because
15 the dissolution was not because of anything that was written in the 1974
16 constitution. That is how I hear his answer. But, in answer to your first
17 question, it appears, yes, if you define "nation" in a certain way. Is
18 that correct, Dr. Gow, or no?
19 A. That seems correct to me.
20 MR. ORIE: Your Honour, I would like to think over during the lunch break
21 whether I would like to have replayed the Milosevic tape on this.
22 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: OK. I do not mean to interfere, but I was trying to
23 see if we could get closure on that one point.
24 MR. ORIE (To the witness): Dr. Gow, I would like to touch upon a few
25 other constitutional issues, but I now turn to Bosnia-Herzegovina. In
1 your testimony on May 9th, you said that the parliament of Bosnia and
2 Herzegovina affirmed the sovereignty of the republic as we have seen it in
3 Exhibit 47. You have also noted that most of the Serbian representatives
4 did not participate in that vote. Am I correct in stating?
5 A. I believe that is correct.
6 Q. Do you know, Dr. Gow, whether the constitution of Bosnia and
7 Herzegovina in force at that time had a requirement of proportional
8 representation of the nations and nationalities of Bosnia-Herzegovina in
10 A. I am not aware of the precise details of the arrangements in Bosnia
11 and Herzegovina, but I can say that as with elements of the SFRY as a
12 whole, in some areas there was a principle of ethno-national
13 proportionality. In the SFRY as a whole, there were two chambers, one
14 like some kind of direct election and the other to be based on a kind of
15 proportional proportionality. I believe that was also the case in Bosnia
16 and Herzegovina. In the case of presidency, the collective presidency, of
17 Bosnia and Herzegovina, there was a formal provision that two
18 representatives would be served, two would be Croat, two would be Muslim
19 and one would be designated -- would be a self-defining Yugoslav.
20 Q. That would reflect the same idea?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Do you know whether the constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina in
23 force at that time contained any special mechanism for deciding any
24 question said to violate the principle of equality of the nations and
25 nationalities of Bosnia-Herzegovina and so on?
1 A. It is my understanding that the constitution of Bosnia and
2 Herzegovina, the 1974 constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina, identified the
3 three principal groupings, the Slav Muslims, the Croats and the Serbs, as
4 the constituent peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I believe that there
5 was an amendment to the constitution in 1990, the precise detail of which
6 I cannot give to you, but the effect of which was to indicate that there
7 would be some degree of protection for the interests of ethno-national
8 communities in making significant changes within Bosnia and Herzegovina,
9 the constitutional order in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
10 Q. Do you know whether the special procedure you were just referring to
11 as an amendment of 1990 in the constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina for
12 deciding such sensitive questions was followed in regard of October 16th
13 adoption of the platform, the platform as we have seen it in Exhibits 47?
14 A. I do not know if it was.
15 Q. You do not know whether it was?
16 A. I thought your question was, was this procedure followed and my
17 answer was I do not know if it was.
18 Q. Yes. In this platform, paragraph 2 of numbered clause 1, it says,
19 "Any possibility of outvoting in the process of decision making on crucial
20 issues concerning the equal rights of all nations and nationalities living
21 in the Republic will be precluded through an appropriate structure of the
22 Assembly of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina". Would it be correct to
23 say that the purported adoption of this platform was such a case of
25 A. Would it be possible to look at the document?
1 Q. Yes, Exhibit 47. (Handed)?
2 A. Thank you. Would you mind repeating the question now?
3 Q. Yes, I will repeat my question. Since it is written down, it is easy
4 for me repeat it even literally. Paragraph 1 of numbered clause 1 of the
5 platform, that is Exhibit 47 says, "Any possibility of outvoting in the
6 process of decision making on crucial issues concerning the equal rights
7 of all nations and nationalities living in the republic will be precluded
8 through an appropriate structure of the Assembly of the Republic of Bosnia
9 and Herzegovina". My question was, would it be correct to say that the
10 purported adoption of this platform was a case of such outvoting?
11 A. No, it would not be the case because the Serbian representatives
12 were not in the parliament at the time. Had Serbian representatives been
13 in the parliament and voted against it, then it would be a question of
15 Q. Dr. Gow, in your testimony on the morning of May 9th, you stated that
16 when the European Community invited republics of Yugoslavia to apply for
17 recognition that the presidency and government of Bosnia and Herzegovina
18 did so. Did the decision of those bodies, I am talking about the
19 presidency and the government, include participation by the Serb members
20 elected in the free elections of 1990, just 1990?
21 A. The decision did not involve participation of those members elected
22 in 1990. It involved -- because, as I indicated yesterday, Mrs. Plavsic
23 and Mr. Koljevic had left the presidency -- I am sorry, can you tell me
24 which period you are talking about?
25 Q. I am talking about the moment that the EC invited republics of
1 Yugoslavia to apply for recognition and then you said the presidency and
2 government of Bosnia and Herzegovina did so.
3 A. And the question is? Did the Serbian representatives participate in
4 the decision? I do not know if they participated in the decision.
5 MR. ORIE: Your Honours, I have a thing that was not quite clear to me
6 and, since we are talking about members of the presidency and the
7 government of the Bosnia-Herzegovina, I would like to have this specific
8 part of the tape we saw yesterday replayed where Arkan meets, as far as I
9 remember, a lady. I would like to see that again. I do not know exactly,
10 I lost a bit, but perhaps the Prosecution could help me?
11 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours -----
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: 69 is the Exhibit we did not hear from -----
13 MR. NIEMANN: 69, part 2.
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Is it part 2?
15 MR. NIEMANN: Part 2, your Honour.
16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: The first 69, part 2.
17 MR. ORIE: I am not that much interested in the first part, but a meeting
18 with a lady on the street, if that is clear enough.
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: That is in the first frame, I think, 13.34. Is that
20 true, Mr. Niemann, do you know? , anyway you want us to play 69?
21 MR. ORIE: Yes, please.
22 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Part 2. Can you locate that quickly?
23 MR. ORIE: This part.
24 (Video extract was played)
25 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: You want to stop? You want it to go on?
1 MR. ORIE: Yes. (To the witness): I would like to ask you a question on
2 this, on the specific part of the video. You testified, you gave the name
3 of the lady -- I think she was a member of the Bosnia-Herzegovina
4 presidency -- could you please repeat that so we know who it is, the lady?
5 A. Biljana Plavsic who was a member -- a Serbian representative to the
6 collective presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
7 Q. That is the same person you referred to one or two minutes ago?
8 A. When I was beginning to answer the long question, when I realised the
9 time frame was different, yes.
10 Q. Yes. You testified that she is congratulating Arkan for his success.
11 Could you please tell us what is the source of this knowledge, because I
12 did not hear any sound on the specific video tape part? My question was,
13 how do you know that she is congratulating Arkan because that is what you
14 testified yesterday with his military success. You gave an interpretation
15 of what she said to him, but I would like you to tell us the source of
16 this knowledge?
17 A. The source of knowledge I express, I make that statement on the basis
18 of the reports of people who, reports made at the time in newspapers and
19 reports made to researchers involved in the making of this film who were
20 going there and finding the excerpts of the film. Mrs. Plavsic was there
21 as part of a Bosnia and Herzegovina presidency delegation which involved
22 the Bosnian Defence Minister, a Croat, Jelko Doko, and a couple of other
23 people, I forget the names exactly. But Mrs. Plavsic, who went to
24 investigate the incidents and, as I understand it, Mrs. Plavsic went away
25 from the other groups and met with Arkan.
1 Q. Yes, that she has a meeting with Arkan, I think, is quite clear.
2 Could you be a bit more precise because you told us that she congratulated
3 him with his success. You said: "Well, I heard this from sources". I
4 wonder whether these sources are on this video screen because there are
5 just a few people -----
6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Do you want it there?
7 MR. ORIE: Yes.
8 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Do you want it to stay on there?
9 MR. ORIE: So perhaps we could see who is within hearing distance. Is
10 there any of these people on the screen that is one of your sources?
11 A. I do not believe so, no.
12 Q. Could you now be more precise in your source? You refer to sources
13 within a rather general way. Could you please tell me exactly who came to
14 this conclusion and on what basis and at what time this was told to you?
15 A. I indicated that my recollection is that at the time there were
16 newspaper reports and that Mrs. Plavsic had made expressions. That is my
17 recollection. That is supplemented, and the central part of my making
18 this statement is based on the researchers involved in making this
19 programme who went to the region, who obtained the film and who talked to
20 people who were there and who had been in the area and who had been
22 Q. Again you are not giving specific names of people who said, "I heard
23 this", more or less?
24 A. The researcher on The Cook Report programme is Paul Calverley.
25 Q. Apart from that, you say you saw this in newspaper articles? This is
1 also a source you are basing your opinion on?
2 A. My recollection is that there was reporting of the incident in
3 Bijeljina at the time, and my recollection is that Mrs. Plavsic and what I
4 described as congratulating Arkan -- and I think the greeting and the kiss
5 itself is an indication of that; it might not be but I would say that it
6 is a fair interpretation of that moment -- and the meeting of Mrs. Plavsic
7 and Arkan was reported and reported in a way which indicated that Mrs.
8 Plavsic was, indeed, congratulating Arkan. If the reports were not
9 accurately founded, I cannot say, but the reports there were.
10 Q. Is that what you meant to say yesterday, that she was congratulating
11 Arkan, if the sources you used are reliable and if they are not reliable
12 she was not congratulating Arkan?
13 A. No, I would judge the sources to be reliable and, therefore, I would
14 return to the original statement which is my judgment is that she was,
15 indeed, congratulating Arkan.
16 Q. One of your sources you just mentioned were newspapers articles,
17 could you tell us what newspapers? That is Serbian newspapers, were they
18 Muslim newspapers, were they Croatian newspapers, were they Western
20 A. I have no recollection now.
21 Q. You have no recollection? One of the other -----
22 A. I was reading a variety of newspapers at the time. I could not say
23 that it appeared in any particular one.
24 Q. Yes.
25 A. But I would also indicate that the same interpretation has appeared
1 in a number of other places.
2 Q. You also indicated, did I understand you well, Dr. Gow, the way, how
3 she was greeting him was an indication that she congratulated him?
4 A. That is my interpretation, yes.
5 Q. Thank you, Dr. Gow, for this part. I will continue with the
6 constitutional aspects of Bosnia and Herzegovina. We did talk about
7 whether there was any outvoting or not. We did talk about the
8 participation of Serb members of the Bosnian parliament and presidency --
9 I am sorry, I have to find the place where I stopped. Yes, I think my
10 last question before drawing your attention to this Arkan tape was whether
11 the elected Serbian members of the Bosnian presidency -- no. If you give
12 me just two seconds to find the place where I was. Yes, my next question
13 to you, Dr. Gow, is did the elected Serbian members of the Bosnian
14 presidency give a reason for their boycott of their body's activities?
15 A. It is not -- I do not recall if they gave a specific explanation, but
16 I can give, as far as I recall, a broad not a specific explanation, but
17 what I think my recollection is, the general explanation for that boycott.
18 Q. General explanation. I will ask you whether the elected Serbian
19 members gave a reason, so you say: "I am not aware of any reason given by
20 these elected members"?
21 A. I indicated that I could not give the specific reason given because I
22 do not recall a specific reason being given, but I can indicate the
23 general reason.
24 Q. General reason given by whom?
25 A. On the part of the Serbian representatives to whom you made
2 Q. OK. I do understand that you are not giving the reasons explicitly
3 mentioned by the elected members, but a general understanding of what
4 their reason was; is that what you would like to tell us? I would like
5 you to do that, yes.
6 A. I do not recall the text or precise content of any specific
7 statement. The context for this had been, I think, four or five days of
8 discussion on the sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina, much of which, I
9 believe, was behind closed doors, and was also following from an earlier
10 discussion on the same question in February of the same year.
11 In both cases, the Serbian population -- the Serbian or
12 at least a majority, I do not know if all, Serbian representatives had
13 formed the position that they opposed this action, and that the
14 non-participation in the parliamentary session to which I think you were
15 making reference was because of a general sense that they did not want to
16 be party to a decision of this kind.
17 Q. Was part of this general understanding of the reasons also that a
18 decision of this kind was an unconstitutional decision? They did not want
19 to participate in the decision "of this kind", you said, without
20 specifying what a kind of decision this was.
21 A. I thought -- perhaps I had misunderstood -- you had specified it was
22 the decision on the statement, the platform on the sovereignty of Bosnia
23 and Herzegovina. If I was wrong on that, then perhaps you could correct
24 me because I have been talking about the wrong thing completely for the
25 last couple of minutes.
1 Q. No, I do not think there is a misunderstanding.
2 A. OK, fine. In that case then -- I do not think, if I have remembered
3 your question correctly now as being were the Serbian representatives not
4 participating because they regarded the decision as unconstitutional, the
5 narrow and specific answer is that I do not know if that was the case.
6 Q. I am not asking whether it was the case or not. I started asking
7 what was the reason given by the elected members. You said you could not
8 answer that question, then you said: "But I can give you a general idea
9 of what reason was regarded to be there not to participate any more".
10 A. That is correct.
11 Q. The last part of my question, where you said they refused to
12 participate in these kinds of decisions, then my question was whether in
13 this understanding of the reasons this was an unconstitutional position?
14 A. I do not think I am able to answer that question. I am not clear
15 that I understand it.
16 Q. I will ask my learned English friends to help me a bit to see whether
17 my language is not clear enough. My next question to you, Dr. Gow is did
18 the elected Serbian members of Bosnian presidency indicate the conditions
19 under which they would again participate in the activities of that party?
20 A. My recollection is that they did, but I do not have a specific
21 recollection of what those conditions were.
22 Q. You say no specific recollection, this means that -----
23 A. Is said my recollection is that they did, but I have no recollection
24 of what the specific conditions were.
25 Q. Yes, OK. Dr. Gow, did the elected Serb members of the Bosnian
1 parliament and presidency after walking out of those bodies refuse to
2 negotiate with the other political parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
3 A. No.
4 Q. That is a clear answer.
5 A. Yes -- no, there were negotiations so they must not have refused -- I
6 do not know if they made a declaration of refusal or not, but they took
7 part in some negotiations at later stages.
8 Q. The answer was quite clear to me, Dr. Gow, the answer was no. You
9 referred in your testimony on May 9th to the constitution of the Serbian
10 Republic of Bosnian and Herzegovina of 28th February 1992 as a provisional
11 constitution. Did that constitution, provisional constitution, contain
12 provisions indicating a willingness to negotiate continuing ties with
13 other peoples in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
14 A. Article 4 of that constitution indicated the possibility of forming,
15 of establishing, links with I think units, I do not remember precisely, of
16 other communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina but, as I would read it, was
17 dependent on Article 3 which indicated that the declared Serbian Republic
18 would remain part of Federal Yugoslavia. So, in a sense ---
19 Q. It was not an explicit provision?
20 A. -- in a sense Article 4 could be saying, if there was a willingness
21 to join in this new mini Yugoslavia by other peoples, then that would be
22 a possibility which was open.
23 Q. It had to be negotiated in one way or the other. Thank you, Dr. Gow.
24 You noted several times that the constitution of the Serbian Republic in
25 Bosnia and Herzegovina says that the Republic is a part of the Federal
1 Yugoslavia, that is Article 3 you just mentioned. Did federal Yugoslavia,
2 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, ever recognise this claim of
3 membership by the Bosnian Serbs?
4 A. The authorities of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia did not
5 formally at any stages, as far as I am aware, recognise the incorporation
6 of that territory.
7 Q. So they did not ever recognise this claim of membership of the
8 Bosnian Serbs? That is how I understand your answer.
9 A. Not in a formal legal sense, but as the argument was made at certain
10 stages in the dissolution of Yugoslavia on the right of those Serbs or of
11 people in those areas or wherever it was to remain united in a common
12 state of the Serb people, as General Kadijevic put it in his book, then
13 again it is another, yet another, complex, ambiguous situation. There was
14 no formal legal recognition, but there was quite clearly pursuance of the
15 question in political dimensions and in the context of the writings of
16 General Kadijevic in the military political dimension as well.
17 Q. Thank you. I have a clear answer and I see that it is complex again.
18 I would like you to refer to Exhibit 52. (Handed)
19 You have Exhibit 52? It is decision No. 4 of the Badinter Committee. If
20 you look at page 3, as you have noted on May 9th, the Badinter
21 acknowledged that the fact that the activities of Serb officials and the
22 result of a plebiscite of Serbs created the circumstances under which the
23 will of the peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina to constitute a republic as
24 a sovereign and independent state could not be held to have been fully
25 established, and Mr. Badinter also said that a referendum was possibly a
1 means for indicating this. You have noted that such a referendum was
2 held. Was the decision to hold the referendum supported by the elected
3 Serbian officials in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
4 A. It was not supported by members of the Serbian Democratic Party.
5 There were some Serbs who were elected who were still part of the
6 parliament and who, I believe, were supporting this. So if you mean the
7 representative of the Serbian Democratic Party, then the answer is that
8 they did not, I think, if that was the question -----
9 Q. How much Serbian representatives were there who were a member of that
10 Party and how many Serbian representatives were there that were not a
11 member of the Party?
12 A. I do not remember how many in either case, but the overwhelming
13 majority of Serbian representatives in the Assembly were from the Serbian
14 Democratic Party.
15 Q. You have noted that many Serbs did not vote in this referendum. Do
16 you remember what the percentage of Serbs was in Bosnia-Herzegovina in
18 A. The percentage was approximately 31 per cent, maybe a little more,
20 Q. A little over 30?
21 A. A little over 30 per cent, around a third of the population.
22 Q. What was the percentage of the people that voted, how many per cent
23 voted, in this referendum?
24 A. My recollection was that it was 63 and a half per cent, something
25 again, something like that.
1 Q. Under these circumstances, is it possible that a referendum could be
2 said to establish the will of the peoples -- I emphasise that I am using
3 the plural, just as Mr. Badinter does -- of Bosnia and Herzegovina to
4 constitute it as an independent state? Was this a decision of the
6 A. I am not sure what a decision of the peoples exactly would be, but it
7 was certainly taken by Monsieur Badinter and the European Council of the
8 European Communities as being such.
9 MR. ORIE: Your Honour, if you would allow me, we have had a difficult
10 time in preparing this cross-examination, because one of the members of
11 our team was not present. If you would not mind to stop now, five minutes
12 early, and I would like to bring to your attention that the Prosecution,
13 although we really try to work hard, had some difficulties in mastering
14 all the complex problems that have been touched upon by Mr. Gow. We would
15 like to use our lunch break to discuss whether it will be possible for us
16 to continue all afternoon.
17 I am telling you why, because we need a bit of time and
18 the weekend is almost there. So, I am not saying that we cannot finish
19 this afternoon. We will certainly continue after the lunch break. But,
20 as Article 21 of the Statute says, we are entitled to have not only
21 facilities for our defence but time as well. You will understand that
22 this is an expert witness. We will not repeat this with every witness of
23 fact, but I would like to indicate that we will discuss it over lunch and
24 we will then see how far we come this afternoon and we might ask you --
25 perhaps you can consider it already -- that if we would like to stop at,
1 let us say, 3 o'clock or at 4 o'clock, and ask you to adjourn until next
2 Monday so that we continue, then at least we have some 48 extra hours time
3 to think of all the very complex problems that are contained in the
4 statement of Dr. Gow.
5 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: You will be ready to proceed after our lunch recess?
6 At 2.30 you will be ready to proceed.
7 MR. ORIE: Yes.
8 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Is that correct?
9 MR. ORIE: Yes, but we do not know whether we will be ready to finish it.
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: So you perhaps will want additional time, that we
11 adjourn early and that you continue?
12 MR. ORIE: That we continue on Monday because it is not just a matter of
13 time, but also we need libraries, we need sources, to consult, etc. That
14 is the reason why we might ask you this afternoon to adjourn a bit earlier
15 and continue on Monday morning.
16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I just had one question, Dr. Gow, on this point and
17 I am trying to understand your testimony of yesterday, Dr. Gow. 63 per
18 cent of the entire population of Bosnia and Herzegovina voted, was that
19 your testimony?
20 A. Of the entire electorate.
21 Q. Of the entire electorate, entire, I gather, persons who were
22 registered; I have no knowledge of whether there was a registration
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. 63 per cent of elected persons voted. You said just a few minutes
1 ago that approximately 31 per cent of the population at that time in
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina were Serbian. Do you know what percentage of the
3 Serbian electorate boycotted the election? Did you tell us that yesterday
4 or whenever it was you testified about this?
5 A. I did not tell you that. I do not think I am in a position to tell
6 you that. I would be surprised if anybody was in a position precisely to
7 tell you that. All I can say is that a very large part, the overwhelming
8 majority of the Serbian population boycotted the election, but there were
9 Serbs in some areas who took part in it. Similarly, of course, some
10 Muslims and Croats did not take part in it, I would guess.
11 Q. Do you know what per cent of the electorate were Serbians, the 31 per
12 cent in Bosnia-Herzegovina, I gather, is 31 per cent of the entire
13 population or was that 31 per cent of electorate?
14 A. 31 per cent is of the entire population. I do not know what the
15 precise share of the electorate was, but I see no reason to suppose that
16 it was radically different.
17 Q. Radically different, higher than other -----
18 A. No, I see no reason to suppose that it was radically different,
19 therefore, it would be broadly the same, would be my judgment.
20 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you. We will stand in recess until 2.30.
21 (1.00 p.m.)
22 (Luncheon Adjournment
24 (2.30 p.m.) PRIVATE
25 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Orie, are you ready to proceed?
1 MR. ORIE: I am ready to proceed, your Honour. (To the witness): Dr. Gow,
2 I would like to return very briefly to the question of the protection of
3 Serbs in Croatia. Would it be correct to say that the 1991 census showed
4 approximately 570,000 Serbs in Croatia?
5 A. I do not know if that would be correct. I do not know if that would
6 be correct, but my understanding is that as a percentage of the population
7 of Croatia the Serbians formed around 12 per cent.
8 Q. 12 per cent of the total population of how many?
9 A. A total population of around 4 and a half million, I think.
10 Q. So 12 per cent would be make approximately 500,000, that is 12 per
11 cent of 4 and a half million?
12 A. Your arithmetic is obviously faster than mine again, but I am
13 prepared to accept that.
14 Q. Do you know approximately how many Serbs remain in Croatia by now?
15 A. Very approximately, yes, and the proportion would be less than five
16 per cent -- I am sorry, would be less than, or be careful now, I am not
17 sure what the figure I have in my mind is, whether it is five per cent or
18 five per cent of those who were there before. But, an easier way of
19 putting it is that more than 150,000, I do not know exact numbers, but
20 certainly more than a 150,000, probably more than 200,000, Serbs left the
21 territory of Croatia in the course of the last year and others left before
23 Q. So that would mean, if I go back to my arithmetics, that there would
24 be still left some 200,000 or 300,000 Serbs. Of course, we started with
25 a figure of 500,000 being 12 per cent of 4.5 million, approximately?
1 A. No, I do not think it would mean that, because if I recall what I
2 just said, it was that in the course of the last year, 150,000, perhaps
3 200,000, Serbs left the territory of Croatia, but others left before that.
4 I could not give you an exact number for the figure, but it was very
6 Q. The Serbs remaining, would it be less than 100,000 on Croatian
8 A. I would say that is the case, yes.
9 Q. Less than 100,000 ---
10 A. It would be less than 100,000, yes.
11 Q. -- at this moment. We talked this morning, Dr. Gow, on the
12 protection of Serbs; we talked about the activity and the seriousness of
13 the protection under the rule of law. In your answers you said that the
14 Croatian government might not be able to, effectively, protect the Serbs
15 in those areas where the Serbs themselves were in control. Were the Serbs
16 living in Croatia mainly living in Serbian controlled areas?
17 A. I would answer the question with caution because of the term
18 "mainly". About half the Serbian population, according to my
19 recollection, my understanding, lived in those areas. Other parts of the
20 Serbian population lived in other areas. There were significant Serb
21 communities, for example, in the towns of Zagreb and Split and in other
22 places. So maybe Serb, perhaps, approximately half, whether that
23 constitutes slightly more than half or under half, I do not know exactly,
24 lived in those Serb controlled areas.
25 Q. So there was a substantive number of Serbians living outside the
1 Serbian controlled areas in Croatia?
2 A. That is the case.
3 Q. Dr. Gow, are you aware of any reports of destruction of second homes
4 of Serbs in the territory of Croatia?
5 A. If by "reports" you mean generally of reports, then I am aware of the
6 destruction or appropriation of second homes in Croatia, not just of
7 Serbs, but as second homes of Serbs they would be included in the
8 appropriation of second homes.
9 Q. What were the other homes that were either destroyed -- I am talking
10 especially about destruction, not just about appropriation?
11 A. I am not sure if destruction was involved, but there was a problem
12 between the Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Croatian regarding
13 homes that were the property of Slovenian -- of citizens of the Republic
14 of Slovenia; whether destruction was involved, I am not sure. It is not
15 the kind of thing in which I found an enormous degree of interest, but
16 that is my recollection.
17 Q. What time are we talking about when you are talking about reports of
18 appropriation or destruction of homes?
19 A. This would be in the period following the declarations of
20 independence by Slovenia and Croatia -- whether or not it is a period
21 which could be said to have finished, I am not sure -- but the period at
22 least from the middle of 1991 until an unspecified, possibly not
23 terminated -- for an unspecified and possibly not terminated period.
24 Q. Dr. Gow, are you aware of any reports of destruction of homes of
25 Serbs in 1990, the summer of 1990?
1 A. I am aware that in the summer of 1990 there were incidents on the
2 territory of the Republic of Croatia in which there was the use of --
3 there were attacks on the homes of citizens of the Republic of Croatia
4 which were reported as being both of Serb origin and Croat origin.
5 Q. Where was that -- I was talking about second homes, summer houses,
6 what area are you talking about?
7 A. In that case, if I may correct myself? I had forgotten that you were
8 talking about second homes, and in the comment I just made it was simply
9 with reference to attacks on homes; whether they were second homes or
10 first homes, I do not know.
11 Q. So, you are not aware of any specific reports on the destruction of
12 Serbian second homes, summer houses, in the coastal areas in the summer of
14 A. I am not aware of a specific report, if you have a specific report in
16 Q. Doctor, I have not a specific report in mind. Are you aware of the
17 fact that these were the first acts of destruction in the summer of 1990
18 against Serbian second homes, the first acts of destruction in the whole
20 A. As I cannot be aware of the acts to which you are making reference, I
21 cannot be sure if they are the first acts, but as I am not aware anyway in
22 a very complex situation exactly which was the first incident of violence,
23 I do not think I can give a proper answer to that question.
24 Q. Dr. Gow, I would like to take you to another subject. You testified
25 extensively on the aims of the war, the aims of the Serbians, the aims to
1 be achieved by the JNA on Croatian territory, and you made reference to a
2 book which gave strong indications of what exactly these aims were. When
3 you were talking about the different phases of attacking, different phases
4 of the aims of the war in Croatia, is this a reconstruction based upon
5 later publications like the publication of General -- I have forgotten
6 his name, as a matter of fact ---
7 A. Kadijevic.
8 Q. -- yes -- or was that clear from the beginning that that was the aim
9 of that war?
10 A. I am sorry, I am not clear what you are asking.
11 Q. Was it clear already at the time when this war started, when this war
12 was going on, was it already clear then what were the aims, or is your
13 statement about what the aims were, or is it mainly based on what was
14 later written on the subject, especially by the General you have just
16 A. First of all, I would point out that the General in question was in
17 charge of the Yugoslav People's Army at the time in question.
18 Q. Yes.
19 A. And it is not simply a matter of the General looking at a situation
20 afterwards and providing an analysis of it. The General was involved and
21 was at the heart of much of what was going on. In that case, I think it
22 would be fair to say that, as far as the General describes certain
23 situations and as far as the portion of evidence from General Panic would
24 indicate as well, there was a clear idea in the JNA of what its objectives
25 would be. So, therefore, they would have a clear idea; how precise and
1 clear an idea at what stage would be difficult to say, but certainly that
2 they had a clear idea, particularly in the latter stages about the borders
3 of the designated areas that they were seeking to control, I think that is
4 something which is clear by reference to the statements that they failed
5 to accomplish their objectives in certain areas.
6 Q. Yes.
7 A. General Kadijevic also indicated (and I believe I said this in
8 testimony already) that it was necessary to operate under a certain
9 rubric, that is -----
10 Q. I could not understand your last answer.
11 A. Sorry, I think I already indicated that General Kadijevic suggested
12 that it was necessary to operate under a certain rubric, that of
13 separating the communities, in order to carry out what it regarded as its
14 mission which was to assist the Serbian people, in this case, in Croatia.
15 That in itself led to a situation in which, because there
16 was no clearly defined, sorry, no clearly expressed objective on the part
17 of the JNA, that in dealings with members of the International Community,
18 for example, there continued to be a degree of uncertainty about some of
19 what was actually going on, although many people in the area at the time,
20 including the head of the European Community Monitor Mission, Henri
21 Vijnaendts, indicated that they believed that there was an attempt to
22 accomplish the kind of project to which I was making reference and which I
23 think was indicated by General Kadijevic's book.
24 Many people in Croatia and in other parts of Yugoslavia
25 thought that it was clear what was going on. So my answer would be some
1 people in parts of Yugoslavia thought it was clear what the JNA and
2 Serbian military political forces were trying to achieve. It must have
3 been clear to the JNA because we see that from the evidence of the
4 Generals, but it was not always clear, because it was not explicitly
5 expressed what the objectives were, to many outside observers.
6 Q. My question was, Dr. Gow, whether it was clear to you; I know now
7 whether it was clear to the JNA and quite many other people. Could you
8 please express yourself whether it was clear at that time to you what the
9 aims of the war were?
10 A. I think -- I take it that you are talking about the period of the war
11 in Croatia in 1991?
12 Q. Yes.
13 A. And my judgment would be that in the period of 1991, not only after
14 the declaration of independence of the Republic of Croatia on 25th June,
15 but before that, there was evidence to suggest that elements of the JNA
16 were co-operating with Serbian military political forces on the territory
17 of the Republic of Croatia, but that in the transitional situation there
18 were also parts of the Yugoslav People's Army which continued to hold to
19 the idea of some version of Yugoslavia, and a version of Yugoslavia, of
20 Tito's Yugoslavia, that they had in their minds.
21 In this context, I think it is clear that although in the
22 first part of 1991 there were some kind of discussions between
23 representatives of the Serbian political leadership in Belgrade and the
24 JNA -- some of which we saw reference made to in some of the tape clips
25 played -- that there were differences of opinion during that period. So,
1 it was not clear in part because some of what was being done was under a
2 deliberate policy not to make it clear, and it was not clear and,
3 therefore, was not clear to me in a way which I would regard as being
4 absolutely conclusive; there were indications of collaboration in some
5 areas but not indications at earlier stages.
6 As far as I can recall, my judgment at the time, which is
7 five years ago now and I am trying hard to remember how I saw things
8 because my understanding evolves as more information comes to light, but
9 at the time some aspects of war were not clear in particular because of
10 the divisions of opinion and concerns of some within the JNA and the
11 concerns of some people in some of the Yugoslav orientated people in the
13 Q. Thank you, Dr. Gow. You have spent part of your testimony on the
14 ideology of a greater Serbia. Is this a unique ideology of the territory
15 of the former Yugoslavia, that is to say, is this idea of a greater Serbia
16 the only idealogy opposed to, let us say, the federal idealogy, or are
17 there any other ideologies that would seek an expansion of their political
18 power on the basis of ethnicity?
19 A. First of all, my memory is that I discussed not the idealogy of,
20 although that is not necessarily an inappropriate term, but the idea of a
21 great Serbia in the context of the 19th century, at which time I also
22 indicated there was another idea, but that no doubt there were several
23 ideas, but one idea to which I made reference was the Yugoslav idea, the
24 Illyrian idea, that is, of a framework in which all the South Slavs would
25 come together. That was the context in which I made reference to great
1 Serbia. I am sorry. Could you repeat the last part of the question? I
2 have forgotten it again.
3 Q. In answering, you said: "I mentioned, apart from the greater Serbia
4 idea", whether you call it an idealogy or not is not of major importance
5 at this moment, but you said, "I made reference also to another idea among
6 several". Could you tell us what other ideas, apart from those you
7 mentioned, you would think that existed?
8 A. I did not say "among several". I said there may have been several,
9 if my memory serves me correctly on that. No doubt there were any number
10 of particular ideas. I would not in any sense regard myself as being an
11 expert historian in this field in the 19th century, but I would not see
12 that there would be any problem in supposing that there were some people
13 who sought a state formation something for any of the particular
14 communities that inhabited those territories and, in particular, certainly
15 in the 20th century, there are many Croats who look to Middle Age Croatia
16 and have that idea.
17 Q. So the greater Serbia idea is not unique to the extent that there is
18 also a greater Croatian idea that goes already a bit back in history? Is
19 this still vivid? Are you aware of any times when these ideas came up
20 again? You are talking about the 20th century; is that just the whole
21 century or specific times?
22 A. Again, my memory of what I said was that there may have been an idea
23 of a Croatian state. I see no reason -- I do not recall reading
24 extensively about it, but I see no reason to suppose that this was not
25 part of a framework of an intellectual discussion somewhere in the 19th
2 When I made reference to the 20th century, I think the
3 formation under the auspices of the Axes powers of the independent state
4 of Croatia in the 1940s was an indication of what a type of great Croatian
5 state might be because, as far as I understand it, the Medieval Kingdom of
6 Croatia included parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and certain people
7 believe that these should be part of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
8 I have not seen much discussion of the fact that although
9 the Bosnian Kingdom, when there was a Bosnian Kingdom, embraced large
10 parts of Croatia and Serbia that Bosnia should take over those
11 territories, but I do not exclude the possibility that somebody did say it
12 some time, some place.
13 Q. You are specifically referring to what happened in the 40s. Did this
14 idea of a greater Croatia come back at a later stage of history?
15 A. The idea of a great Croatia is meaning one which is beyond the
16 borders of the present Republic of Croatia. In territorial terms, you ask
17 me in terms of the exercise of political power, I believe, but in
18 territorial terms, there is certainly an idea which has been discussed in
19 the 1990s, but that is an idea and an idea which, to some extent, some
20 people may have sought to implement in the course of the 1990s on the
21 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
22 Q. Dr. Gow, is there a similar idea, for example, as far as Macedonia is
23 concerned? Are you aware of any developments there, a political attitude
24 trying to achieve a greater Macedonia?
25 A. I am not aware of any significant movement in the 1990s attempting to
1 achieve a greater Macedonia. I think that the Republic of Macedonia is
2 constituted, has found itself in such a vulnerable and weak position that
3 there has been in scope for serious and significant discussion of that
4 kind. But again I do not exclude the possibility that there may be
5 somebody or some people somewhere who may think in those terms.
6 Q. Are you aware of the political party in Macedonia called IMRO,
8 A. I conventionally would refer to it VMRO, but, yes, the same, the
9 internal Macedonian revolutionary organisation.
10 Q. Are you aware of greater Macedonian attitude in their political
12 A. I am aware that this organisation which was originally constituted at
13 the end of the 19th century, I believe, with the assistance of Bulgarian
14 authorities, I think, secret services, to be a terrorist organisation in
15 the cause of seeking Macedonia as part of a great Bulgaria, and was
16 significant, for example, in the assassination of King Alexander in
17 Marseilles in 1934 -- I think I have made reference to that already -- was
18 an outlaw organisation in the time of the Tito's Yugoslavia, reappeared as
19 a political party in 1990, I think, with a more radical and a more
20 moderate democratic wing clearly engaging in democratic politics and which
21 might in some way have indicated an aspiration for a great Macedonia to
22 incorporate parts of Bulgaria for union with Bulgaria. I am not aware
23 that that was the case, but, equally, I would not by no means exclude the
24 possibility that either in VMRO documents or in statements by members of
25 the VMRO that they might have expressed aspiration of that kind, but I do
1 not think that in terms of the situation in Macedonia that it is a
2 question of any real significance.
3 Q. The IMRO party, could you give us an idea, is it an important party?
4 For example, in the 1990 elections, what was their result? I mean, what
5 was their achievement in the elections?
6 A. I do not recall either -- I do not recall their exact performance,
7 but they, I think, were probably the largest single party elected and they
8 certainly have formed part of a governing coalition.
9 Q. Thank you, Dr. Gow, on this subject. Dr. Gow, am I right in
10 understanding that you testified that the non-Serbs (and I am really
11 changing to a different subject) did little to prepare the war in '91 and
12 '92 in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
13 A. I am sorry, could you repeat question?
14 Q. Is my understanding right that you testified that the non-Serbs did
15 little to prepare for the war in '91 and '92 in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
16 A. I am not sure if that is what I testified. I am prepared to believe
17 that I might have said something broadly along those lines.
18 Q. So approximately it is what you -----
19 A. I do not recall giving that testimony.
20 Q. OK, if you would then please give your opinion on that, on how the
21 non-Serbs prepared, whether or not little, for the war in '91 and '92 in a
22 bit more detail?
23 A. Yet again it is a question with no straightforward, simple answer.
24 With regard to the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, by which I take
25 it you would take to mean non-Serbs in this context, there were some
1 limited efforts at fairly late stages to try to begin to develop the
2 Territorial Defence as the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
3 At the same time at the political level until the very
4 last moment, perhaps even beyond the very last moment, even into May 1992,
5 the Bosnian presidency and government sought to achieve some kind of
6 arrangement with the local command of the JNA to try to avert some of the
7 conditions for the conflict which was either developing or by the later
8 stages was underway. In the course of that, JNA and Bosnian government
9 people co-operated in joint patrols to try to create calm and to try and
10 secure the disarmament of certain non-formal groups, as far as that was
12 In doing so, to take a quote, an approximate quote, from
13 a book written by Laura Silber, this was rather like putting the fox in
14 charge of the chicken, a chicken coop. To some extent, that is true
15 because parts of the JNA clearly were co-operating with elements of the
16 Bosnian Serbs in preparing the way for the war. At the same time, I am
17 prepared to believe that there were still some elements in the JNA who
18 were seriously trying to co-operate, i.e. those who were not necessarily
19 part of the kind of project, well, informed about the kind of project to
20 which I made reference earlier.
21 In the case of the Bosnian Croats, it was the case that
22 in some areas in western Herzegovina, as the JNA had sought to disarm the
23 Territorial Defence forces in very strongly Croat areas, the Territorial
24 Defence forces, they had not accomplished that task and in some areas the
25 local Croats had managed to keep control of some of the Territorial
1 Defence weaponry.
2 At the same time, elements of a group known as HOS,
3 H-O-S, a Croatian paramilitary group which had been in Croatia in the time
4 of the war there, had moved into western Herzegovina and it is possible to
5 regard that as a preparation for conflict.
6 Q. Is this HOS group you are mentioning, was it a heavily armed group?
7 A. The estimates for its size, I think, were around 15,000 and it was
8 not heavily armed, if by that you mean weapons of heavy calibre which
9 would be classified under the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, but it
10 was certainly armed.
11 Q. You mentioned this HOS group, but that is, as far as I understand, a
12 Croat paramilitary group. Were there any Muslim paramilitary groups
13 active, preparing for what might come?
14 A. Sorry, yes, I was coming to mention -- there was a group called
15 "Green Berets" which was a Muslim paramilitary group, the size of which is
16 very hard. I have seen no reliable estimate of what the size of that
17 group was. Certainly, it would have involved hundreds of people, quite
18 probably might have involved thousands of people and, if I can anticipate
19 the same kind of question, was not heavily armed but was armed.
20 Q. It was armed? Were they seeking more arms, Dr. Gow?
21 A. I do not know if they were seeking more arms.
22 Q. Could you please indicate whether the Green Berets was an
23 organisation that was just a local organisation or was it spread over many
24 places in the area?
25 A. No, I believe it had units in a number of locations in Bosnia and
2 Q. A number. Could you be a bit more precise because a number could be
3 three or four, but also 10 or even more?
4 A. No, I do not think I could be more precise; a number which would be
5 more than three or four, certainly.
6 Q. Then I would like to ask you. Were there Green Berets in Bugojno?
7 A. I think I do not know the answer to that.
8 Q. Were there Green Berets in Mostar?
9 A. My recollection is that I heard reports of Green Berets in Mostar,
10 but for any kind of information about this, it is a long time ago and my
11 recollection must be unsure.
12 Q. Were there Green Berets in Travnik?
13 A. Again I would give the same answer which is that my recollection is
14 that there might have been, but I have no, at this time several years
15 later, I have no firm recollection of the reports of any of this.
16 Q. Were there Green Berets in Jajce?
17 A. And again I would give the same answer.
18 Q. Were there green berets in Zenica?
19 A. Again I would give the same answer.
20 Q. Konjic?
21 A. Again I would give the same answer.
22 Q. In Maglaj?
23 A. Again I would give the same answer with a greater degree of certainty
24 in that case.
25 Q. In Bihac, Dr. Gow?
1 A. Again I would give the same kind of answer.
2 Q. Were there in Gornji Vakuf, I do not know whether I pronounce it
4 A. Gornji Vakuf.
5 Q. Yes.
6 A. Again I would give the same kind of answer. There might have been,
7 it is not unreasonable that there might have been but I really have no
8 strong recollection any more.
9 Q. Were there in Gorazde, Dr. Gow?
10 A. Again I would give the same answer.
11 Q. Were there in Sarajevo?
12 A. In Sarajevo, I can be fairly sure that there were, yes.
13 Q. I try to count, Dr. Gow, and I was trying to get three or four.
14 Could you please say, because I did not come to three or four places where
15 they were. Could you then tell me where these three or four places were?
16 Sarajevo is one and I think Mostar?
17 A. I am sorry, I am not sure which three or four you have in mind.
18 Q. I asked you whether they were spread all over the place or just in a
19 few places because you talked about a number of places.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. I asked you three or four or 10 because "it was a number" is a bit
22 vague for me. I think you said: "Well, I would come to three or four",
23 but when asking you and I just tried to -----
24 A. If I may, my memory is that that is not what I said; what I said was
25 several, certainly more than three or four.
1 Q. Certainly more than three or four?
2 A. That was my memory of what I said.
3 Q. OK. My question would be, could you give me the other places, even
4 going further than three or four, because I do understand that on Sarajevo
5 you are quite clear.
6 A. On Sarajevo, I was quite clear and on Maglaj, my memory is fairly
7 strong, and I would also say that I presume the list you indicated is
8 areas in which you have seen reports that Green Berets were present, and I
9 find nothing particularly to disagree with that. I simply say that I
10 cannot confirm that that was the case. The Green Berets, the Green Beret
11 organisation, had been formed and was present in several locations which I
12 indicated would be more than three or four. I am not sure what it is that
13 you are asking me now.
14 Q. I am asking what locations they were and since you said there might
15 be three or four, so I am trying to find out whether you know what
16 locations this was?
17 A. Again my memory is that I already said that I could not specify
18 locations in response to the first question you asked me in this part of
19 the questioning, and if my memory is wrong then I will say it now, that
20 that was the case, that the Green Beret organisation had been formed and
21 was present in parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I no longer have a
22 specific recollection for the most part of which areas they were to be
23 found in.
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I think what happened, if I may interrupt, Mr. Orie
25 read off a list of places and asked you whether you knew whether Green
1 Berets were in those places; you said yes to some and you did not know.
2 What he wants you to do, I think, is to recapitulate, is that correct, and
3 now state of that list which ones he can affirm that Green Berets were in.
4 MR. ORIE: If they were not in most of the places I mentioned, and if the
5 witness has testified, as I understood it -- I may be wrong and then I
6 would be glad to be corrected in my wrong understanding -- it was my
7 impression that he said that there were at least at three or four places
8 in Bosnia-Herzegovinan territory there were Green Berets. So I tried to
9 find out where they were. I mentioned this list and I did not get out
10 more than one or perhaps two. So I am curious to know where the other
11 locations were where the Green Berets could be located since Dr. Gow said
12 that there would be at least three or four which I understood as, perhaps,
13 even more than three or four.
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Do you find a question in that? Of the list that
15 Mr. Orie read out, do you recall being able to indicate that there were
16 Green Berets in more than one?
17 A. If I could ----
18 Q. And certainly how many?
19 A. If I could recall my answer, which was with the exception of Sarajevo
20 and possibly Maglaj, that I did not exclude the possibility that there
21 were Green Berets in any of those areas. My recollection of my answer was
22 that I have no longer a firm recollection, but I would regard it as not
23 being unreasonable to judge that there might have been Green Berets
24 organised in those areas. If my memory of what I said is wrong, then
25 forgive me but I am fairly clear that that is what I said.
1 So I was not saying that -- my answer was not that -- my
2 answer was that they were in several places in response to your question,
3 that that was more than three or four places, but in the nature of it, I
4 do not recall specific locations in which they were to be found with the
5 exception of Sarajevo where it was significantly to be noted. Forgive me,
6 but I think maybe I was not clear enough maybe in the way I gave the
7 answer in the first place.
8 MR. ORIE: I do understand. The second part of your answer saying, "at
9 least in Sarajevo and probably in Maglaj", and yet you say, "I do not
10 exclude that they might have been in these other places as well". The
11 first part of your answer, in my recollection, was that there were at
12 least three or four places where they were.
13 A. My recollection of what I said was that they were in several places
14 which would be more than three or four, but that I could not specify five
15 years afterwards what those places were. But I do not see any problem --
16 but I do not see any problem in acknowledging that it is possible that
17 they were in some of the places that you indicated.
18 Q. Yes. I will leave it. I will make my list longer than with two
19 places. Are you aware of their presence in Prijedor the, Green Berets?
20 A. I cannot say now that I am aware of their presence in Prijedor.
21 Q. Banja Luka?
22 A. And again I cannot say that I am aware of their presence in Banja
24 Q. Dr. Gow, I would like to -----
25 A. But if I may just say that is on the same basis as I gave the answers
1 to the previous questions, which was that five years afterwards it is very
2 hard to remember exactly precise details of that kind.
3 Q. Yes, of course I do understand that it is difficult for you to remind
4 exactly where they might have been. As far as the paramilitary groups are
5 concerned, I would like to ask you a few questions on what you know about
6 events happening in Gorazde. Could you first tell us where is Gorazde?
7 A. Gorazde is in the southern, south-eastern part of Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina, running along more or less the bottom, at the point that runs
9 from along the bottom right-hand corner, the access going from the border
10 of Serbia across the point of the border of Serbia and Montenegro and down
11 to the Adriatic Sea. Gorazde is located along that access.
12 Q. Dr. Gow, what was the ethnic situation in Gorazde? Was there a
13 Muslim majority, a Serb majority, a Croatian majority?
14 A. I am not sure.
15 Q. But the population -----
16 A. My recollection or, rather, I am not sure, but I am aware that it was
17 generally reported as being a predominantly Muslim town.
18 Q. A Muslim town?
19 A. Yes, it is conventionally reported as being a predominantly Muslim
20 town, but I am not aware off the top of my head of the specific figures.
21 Q. Was there a Serb minority in that town, as far as you know?
22 A. There was.
23 Q. There was a Serb minority. Do you know whether the Mayor was a Serb,
24 a Muslim, a Croat?
25 A. I am afraid I am not an expert in Bosnian local government so I
1 cannot answer that question.
2 Q. Are you aware of any imprisonment by the Mayor of Gorazde,
3 imprisonment of Serbs?
4 A. I am not aware of that. I am no more expert in local Bosnian
5 criminal or criminal related activity than local government.
6 Q. I am aware that you might not be able to answer the question, but I
7 nevertheless would like to put it to you because it might be that at some
8 specific aspect you might know the answer. Are you aware of the police
9 being taken over by the Muslim government of Gorazde, as far as you can
10 speak about a government?
11 A. No, I am not aware of that either.
12 Q. Do you know what happened to Gorazde later on? I am not talking
13 about local government any more, but was Gorazde ever taken by Serb
15 A. Serbian forces entered the town of Gorazde in April 1994. The town of
16 Gorazde -----
17 Q. Dr. Gow, if you will allow me?
18 A. Forgive me, sorry.
19 Q. I tried to concentrate my questioning on the situation we were
20 talking about, preparing for the war and that is where I started,
21 paramilitary groups, whether these were groups that were active in
22 preparing for the war in 1991 and 1992. So I would like to know your
23 answer about, let us say, the period of two years afterwards. That is
24 what I am interested in to know at this moment. So whether Gorazde was
25 taken up to, let us say, mid 93?
1 A. I am sorry, could you -----
2 Q. Yes, I will rephrase my question, Dr. Gow. Was the city of Gorazde
3 successfully defended by the locals in the early stages of the war of '92?
4 A. As far as I recall, the town of Gorazde was one of the areas in
5 Bosnia and Herzegovina in which Muslim or Bosnian government control was
6 maintained throughout that period, although there were periods of fighting
7 in the area, and certainly there were periods in which the fighting -- I
8 will leave it at that.
9 Q. Thank you. Then I would like to take you to the city of Tuzla. Do
10 you know anything about the composition of the government of those who
11 were in charge of Tuzla? Mayor, the council?
12 A. I do not know anything about the composition of the local government
13 in Tuzla, although I can report that many people regard it as having been
14 an area of political moderation.
15 Q. Do you know what happened to the JNA that was in garrison in Tuzla in
16 the early stages of the war? Was there a JNA garrison in Tuzla?
17 A. There was a JNA garrison in Tuzla, yes.
18 Q. Do you know how many JNA soldiers, officers, were there? Was it a big
19 garrison? Was it a small one?
20 A. My recollection is that it was a relatively big garrison. A figure --
21 I do not recall the figure.
22 Q. What happened to them when the war started, Dr. Gow?
23 A. I am not sure if I understand what you are asking.
24 Q. What happened to the JNA? Did they start fighting? Did they leave
25 for Italy? I am asking you.
1 A. They certainly did not leave for Italy, as far as I am aware. I do
2 not have specific recollection or knowledge of any detail of what happened
3 but, in general, I think that the units of the JNA there were mostly
4 withdrawn possibly under pressure from -----
5 Q. Under pressure from whom?
6 A. I think under the pressure of mostly under the pressure of
7 circumstances possibly also, well, probably also under the pressure of
8 units of the Bosnian government.
9 Q. Are you aware of any negotiation between the local government in
10 Tuzla and the JNA, the JNA being trapped in its garrison, to give them --
11 I hardly dare to use the word -- a safe conduct out of that city?
12 A. I am not aware of that negotiation, but I am aware that negotiations
13 of that kind were taking place in other parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina
14 so, therefore, that would be consistent.
15 Q. Am I right in assuming that you do not know anything about what
16 happened when this negotiated safe conduct was effected when the JNA left
17 the town, what happened to these JNA people?
18 A. I think you would be right, yes.
19 Q. Do you know of any attack, after having negotiated a way out, leaving
20 to Tuzla, on these JNA personnel leaving the town?
21 A. I do not recall anything of that kind now, but again it would be
22 consistent with the events in the circumstances.
23 Q. Dr. Gow, you have talked about setting up crisis committees by the
24 Serbs on the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina to prepare for take over of
25 power. Am I using the wrong word?
1 A. I think I made reference to something called crisis headquarters, but
2 my recollection is I told you about the provision for crisis headquarters.
3 Q. Where were these crisis headquarters based?
4 A. Crisis headquarters were to be organised, as far as I recall, in
5 municipalities throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina.
6 Q. I am mistaken; what I called crisis committees, I refer to what you
7 call crisis headquarters being spread all over -----
8 A. Krizni Stab.
9 Q. Yes, that is a word that sounds familiar to me. Were they just
10 Serbian or Serb crisis headquarters, or were they organised as well by the
11 other entities?
12 A. I am not aware of crisis headquarters being organised by other
13 parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
14 Q. You are not aware of a kind of a crisis staff -- whether it has the
15 same name is not essential for me -- a similar organisation of what should
16 be done if a war would break out?
17 A. If you are saying, did other parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina make
18 provision for the running of areas in the event of certain other events,
19 then it is my understanding that some preparation was made, but not
20 preparation of the same kind and of the same nature.
21 Q. What was the difference then, Dr. Gow?
22 A. As far as I am able to express the difference, and my understanding
23 of it may be based on a misunderstanding, the degree to which the Serbian
24 Democratic Party who had made provision and organised throughout the
25 territories of Bosnia and Herzegovina was not necessarily -- sorry, was
1 more extensive and detailed and involved greater collaboration with
2 security service and, indeed, with units of the JNA than similar
3 preparations for which I am aware and about which I have only read on the
4 part of other parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but the fact is still
5 that, according to what I have read, other parties did make preparation.
6 Q. Yes, do I understand you have less knowledge of details of these
7 preparations by the other parties?
8 A. If you are talking about the period to which my testimony referred,
9 then I think that would be the correct assessment.
10 Q. Thank you, Dr. Gow. Are you aware of any other JNA units being
11 trapped in garrisons?
12 A. I am.
13 Q. Could you please tell us where they were trapped?
14 A. The JNA at its Sarajevo headquarters had difficulties, and in
15 response to that the Commander organised the effective kidnapping of the
16 President of Bosnia and Herzegovina in May when he was returning from a
17 meeting, a European Community meeting, of the Bosnian parties in order to
18 try to secure the exit of the JNA from its garrison in Sarajevo.
19 Q. Are you aware of any other units of the JNA being trapped in their
21 A. I do not have specific recollection of any other specific units being
22 trapped, but again, as had been the case in Croatia, it was a tactic of
23 the non-JNA forces to try to keep JNA forces in its barracks, in the
24 barracks, with the difference between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina
25 that much of the time the JNA had already withdrawn the bulk of its forces
1 from the barracks in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but the tactic remained the
3 Q. Dr. Gow, we just talked about some paramilitary organisations, were
4 they co-operating with the central government?
5 A. I am not sure again what it is that you are asking.
6 Q. Let me rephrase the question. Were there ever meetings of
7 paramilitary organisations together with central government officials in
8 order to establish a common strategy?
9 A. I have no specific knowledge of meetings between government officials
10 and members of any paramilitary groups to establish strategy -- is that
11 what you are saying?
12 Q. Establish strategy?
13 A. To establish military strategy, I am not aware of any specific
14 meetings for that purpose.
15 Q. You are not aware of a meeting in December 1991 where Mr. Itzebegovic
16 met together with paramilitary organisations?
17 A. I am aware that Mr. Itzebegovic met with members of paramilitary
18 organisations. I am not aware, because such meetings were reported, of
19 the specific content of those meetings.
20 Q. What was then your idea of -- perhaps that is too difficult a
21 question -- of what they were discussing, what Mr. Itzebegovic would
22 discuss with paramilitary organisations? Perhaps I should -----?
23 A. Shall I answer?
24 Q. I would not mind. I will withdraw that question, your Honour. Dr.
25 Gow, when were you testifying on the several attacks in the territory of
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina, you said that these were co-ordinated attacks.
2 Could you please explain exactly what you mean by "co-ordinated" in this
4 A. Again, my memory is not that I said "co-ordinated" but if I did say
5 "co-ordinated" then I can maybe characterise it in these terms. There was
6 co-operation, co-ordination between local Serbian political leaders,
7 between elements of the JNA and between certain paramilitary groups. It
8 was part of an overall, in my interpretation, part of an overall programme
9 and, therefore, again would involve elements of co-ordination to establish
10 control in certain locations of some strategic significance in Bosnia and
12 Q. I did not hear the last part of your answer? Could you please repeat
14 A. In Bosnia and Herzegovina.
15 Q. No, I mean the part before, the last 10 or 12 words. Perhaps I should
16 look at it. If you do not mind, perhaps I had better look at the
17 transcript and see what I can -- You are just referring perhaps to the
18 maps we discussed yesterday, the maps with the military sites of the air
19 bases. Were there ever any simultaneous attacks on bridges, for example?
20 A. I am not sure if I can say there were simultaneous attacks on
21 bridges. Certainly a number, at various points a number of bridges along
22 the Sava river had been destroyed and the bridge at Bosanski Brod, I
23 think, was taken control of, if not destroyed, on 27th March. But I am
24 not aware of simultaneous attacks, at least I do not recall any
25 simultaneous attacks now.
1 Q. Is there a great use from a military point of view of destroying one
2 bridge and leave the others, and not simultaneously destroy the other ones
3 as well in the same river?
4 A. The destruction of bridges would depend on their potential use in the
5 future and need not be simultaneous, but would still be part of a
6 programme of military activity.
7 Q. You told us that it was planned, it was co-operation between the JNA
8 and the other groups involved. Could you explain to us if this was a
9 planned action, what exactly was the idea behind this city first, that
10 city, can you give us an explanation on the tactics of what the
11 co-ordination might have been exactly, and perhaps do it by using that
12 same map that we saw yesterday; it was Exhibit 66.
13 A. If you wish. If I might ----
14 Q. That is not the right one. I have the wrong one as a matter of fact.
15 It is the one with the dates on it of the attacks of the different
16 villages. Whether or not the Registrar is aware?
17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Niemann, can you help us? Maybe 58? I do not
19 MR. NIEMANN: 57 might be the one, your Honour.
20 MR. ORIE: I think it is 57 your Honour. I am waiting until the Registry
21 has it. Could you explain to me about the systematic aspects of this date
22 and these? You are talking about co-ordination.
23 A. First of all, I think it may be necessary to make it clear that again
24 we are talking about a situation in which there was a degree of ambiguity,
25 in which it would not serve the interests of those pursuing the project to
1 create Serbian territories of which I spoke to carry out a typical and
2 co-ordinated regular attack with regular armed forces. It would not suit
3 them in terms of the type of forces which were available, and it would not
4 suit them in terms of the diplomatic position in which they would find
5 themselves. Therefore, the nature of the attacks spread over a period of
6 a month in part relates to the resources available, the types of forces
7 available and to the need not, as far as possible, not to make what was
8 taking place an explicit activity, so that there would be the possibility
9 of indicating a degree of ambiguity in the situation. Again, I made
10 reference to General Kadijevic with regard to the war in Croatia
11 yesterday, the need in a sense to disguise, to mask, what was actually
12 taking place.
13 The significance of the locations I think I pointed
14 yesterday was that it would control access into and out of Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina. So in the case of the border towns along the Drina, some of
16 which such as Visegrad I think had majority Muslim populations, although
17 again my recollection is no longer secure on that, was to ensure that
18 supplies if necessary would be able to come in and out of Bosnia and
19 Herzegovina to supplement the JNA or other Serbian forces there. You will
20 see Bijeljina, Zvornik and Visegrad all lie on the main routes from Serbia
21 into into Bosnia and Herzegovina, and indeed the main supply route or
22 communications route from Belgrade through to the headquarters of the
23 military established in Bosnia when the second military district moved out
24 of Sarajevo to Ham Pijesak there, approximately there, it is difficult to
25 be sure without clear markings, and followed an order to rename itself the
1 general staff of the VRS in May. The connection between Zvornik Vlasenica
2 is essential for establishing that kind of logistical chain. Similarly,
3 for any forces moving into the southern parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
4 particularly I have made reference sometimes to the Uzice corps, Uzice is
5 roughly speaking approximately somewhere here in southern Serbia, and
6 again those forces would this axis of communication or supplies which go
7 along that axis of communication into Bosnia and Herzegovina.
8 Opposite, along the northern border, along the River
9 Sava, to the north of here is the Republic of Croatia. It was obviously
10 the case that if border crossing points and major communication points
11 just inside the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina were not to be
12 controlled, were not controlled, then there would be the possibility of
13 Croatian army troops coming in to the northern parts of Bosnia and
14 Herzegovina. Croatian army troops were present at Bosanski Brod on 27th
15 March -- sorry, they present at Slavonski Brod on the other side of the
16 river 27th March at the time the conflict took pace, that the incidents
17 took place there.
18 The importance in particular of securing Bijeljina and
19 the areas across northern Bosnia is that I think many people are now
20 familiar with what the Serbs regard as the vital strategic corridor across
21 northern Bosnia running from the territory of Serbia through Bijeljina,
22 through the town of the Brcko and the area around it known as the
23 Posavina corridor, and then across northern Bosnia into territory which
24 was controlled by the Serbs through the town of Banja Luka which I think
25 should be there and into the territory occupied in the Dalmatian
1 hinterland by the Croatian Serbs. This would be a vital part of
2 connecting up a set of Serbian territories to which I made reference
3 yesterday and to which General Kadijevic made some reference in his book.
4 Similarly, if you move down here to the town of Kupres
5 which is marked, Kupres is significant because the area here to the south,
6 more or less south of that, was strongly Croatian populated territory. It
7 was the area in which Croatian forces, I mentioned the HOS were present
8 somewhere in that area. Kupres is essential and the Kupres heights
9 running up here are essential for having strategic domination, not only
10 westwards towards the Dalmatian coast but also for the whole of the
11 territory into northern central Bosnia. Therefore, all the places at
12 which these early incidents took place would be part of any sensible
13 strategic plan to establish control of the framework of the situation for
14 any conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
15 I hope in all of that I have managed to answer your
16 question. If I have not I would be happy to try to do it again.
17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I have just one question. You mentioned all of the
18 locations, or certainly most of them, if not by name you have pointed to
19 them. Tell me about Prijedor. You have a date under there of April 30th.
20 Of course the indictment in this case charges acts committed in,
21 allegedly committed in Prijedor. Tell me a little bit more about that, if
22 you will?
23 A. My knowledge of Prijedor I would say, I would warn you to begin with
25 Q. You have said you have not been there. I understand that.
1 A. --- is relatively limited. It appears on the map because in
2 discussions with the Office of the Prosecutor because of the particular
3 case in question, it was thought that the town of Prijedor should be
4 indicated and the date on which Serbian control was established. The
5 takeover of Prijedor itself, as I understand it, was largely bloodless.
6 It involved the presence of armed force but did not involve any
7 significant fighting. That is my understanding, but, as I say, my
8 knowledge of Prijedor itself is very restricted.
9 Q. But you do realise that the indictment charges the commission of acts
10 in the Prijedor region?
11 A. I believe, again my memory is that I indicated that that was the case
12 and because that was the nature of this particular case, it was in
13 discussion with the Office of the Prosecutor that they asked for Prijedor
14 to be indicated as well.
15 Q. So you ----
16 A. If I might just add that Prijedor does again lie on this main axis of
17 communication across northern Bosnia, leading towards the Serbian
18 territories in Croatia.
19 Q. Can you tell us then anything about the actions other than what you
20 have already told us around April 30th, and perhaps even continuing
21 through the end of that year? Do you know either from your readings? You
22 have told us that your testimony today is based upon your own readings of
23 other reports. So even though you do not have any first-hand knowledge,
24 obviously, if you have not been there, certainly you have not talked to
25 people there, but you must have read about what occurred in Prijedor and I
1 see it on the map here and it is very relevant to what we are asked to
2 consider. I thought we might get to that. Can you tell the court
3 anything about the actions that occurred in Prijedor on or about April
4 30th as indicated on exhibit, whatever it is, 57?
5 A. Before I would go any further in attempting to answer that question,
6 I would say that when I was asked to give assistance to the Office of the
7 Prosecutor in this matter I carried out a limited amount of specific
8 research for this purpose, and at the time using my expertise I was
9 satisfied about certain details and events in the area. This is not work
10 which has formed an integral part of my global understanding of the
11 situation as with the questions earlier about Gorazde. Most of the time I
12 do not have specific micro-detail. I am dealing in my capacity of my work
13 in London more with big pictures, although sometimes I get incidental
14 detail. In that context I would say that although I did some limited
15 specific research on the Prijedor area, I would no longer feel entirely
16 comfortable, particularly in this situation, in saying that although I was
17 satisfied with the work that I did at that point to that stage, I do not
18 think it would be appropriate for me to go much further than that in
19 discussing the case of Prijedor.
20 I can indicate that there was a takeover of Prijedor on
21 30th April, that there were armed units present, a series of events took
22 place afterwards, and that also in the area, for example, in May there
23 were more violent incidents in villages nearby within the Opstina, but I
24 would not regard myself, I would regard my expert as being broad and
25 general rather than specific in the area of Prijedor. If you wish me to
1 try to go beyond that, I am happy to do so, but I would not in my own
2 judgment think that that would be appropriate.
3 Q. If you are not able to, I certainly would not want you. I imagine
4 someone will tell us about Prijedor.
5 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honour, if I can assist in that. It is our intention
6 to call a witness who will specifically address the Prijedor issue.
7 MR. ORIE: Dr. Gow, I nevertheless would like to ask you a question on
8 that. You are selecting 11 places on a map and, as far as I understand,
9 you directed the drafting of this map and this map should illustrate a
10 co-ordinated plan of activity. What was the reason why you put Prijedor on
11 it and why you put the 30th April on it, and could you please indicate to
12 us what is the relation as far as the time is concerned of all these
13 places, what exactly explains why Bosanksi Brod was 27th March and
14 Prijedor 30th March, apart from that it is just 32 days in between? Could
15 you please explain to us because you yesterday testified that this
16 explained a lot of things, what does it exactly explain in terms of time,
17 in terms of co-ordinated action?
18 A. My recollection of the answer I gave a few moments ago in answer to
19 the first part of your question was that the town of Prijedor, I think I
20 gave this in answer to Her Honour Judge McDonald's question, Prijedor in
21 particular was put on the map because in discussion with the Office of the
22 Prosecutor it was decided, I was asked to put it on because it would be
23 useful in the context of the particular case with which you are dealing.
24 The incident at Prijedor, the takeover in Prijedor as far as I can discern
25 did not involve the use, the active use, the use of armed violence, in the
1 same way that the other places I have indicated did, but it would
2 nonetheless fit into the framework that I was trying to explain and to
3 establish, which is that within the first month or so of the armed
4 conflict, that is a week or so or 10 days prior to the international
5 recognition of the independent international personality of Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina, and in the remainder of the month following that recognition,
7 that this series of armed actions occurred in these specific locations,
8 and that there is significance in the locations indicated because they
9 would be vital in controlling the strategic nature of any war.
10 The incident at Bosanski Brod on 27th March I believe I
11 already indicated, but I am happy to do so again. I suspect at that time
12 and was the first came specifically because Croatian forces were reported
13 as being present on the other sides of the river, and if the
14 interpretation that I have been giving you is correct, and that there is a
15 need to secure the key entry and exit points into and out of Bosnia and
16 Herzegovina, in particular to try to prevent Croatian forces coming from
17 Slavonski Brod down towards Banja Luka, then that would necessitate the
18 use of armed force at an earlier stage than might otherwise be the case.
19 I think in that context, I am trying to make it very
20 clear, the locations marked are not the only locations where armed
21 incidents took place during this period. For example, significant
22 shelling of Sarajevo was beginning -- they are not only the places in
23 which armed incidents took place, but in the first month of the war there
24 were a series of areas in which broadly similar approaches were used in
25 order to secure important positions in Bosnia and Herzegovina which would
1 be of significance for anybody looking, with a military political
2 strategic perspective for the conduct of any future operations and which
3 would also broadly enable them to form the axes for the territories to
4 form part of the Serbian entity to which again I made reference to in
5 earlier testimony and was identified both as being comprising the Serbian
6 autonomous regions and the type of territories to which I think General
7 Kadijevic made reference.
8 Q. Dr. Gow, I think I will not pursue this matter, although it is still
9 not clear to me what the co-ordination in time is and it is still not
10 clear to me why you put Prijedor on it, not Sarajevo on it, Prijedor
11 having no, well, not being a part of a military action. But I will just
12 leave it.
13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Is that not so?
14 A. I think I indicated that although armed personnel were involved in my
15 understanding at the time of the takeover of Prijedor, violence itself, at
16 least broadly speaking and again other people I am sure will be coming to
17 give more detailed testimony on this, did not -- sorry, any notable level
18 of violence was not used, but I did indicate that although this was put on
19 in part because of the particular case in question and to assist the
20 courts for that purpose, it is also significant that it was within that
21 first month of the conflict and that Prijedor was one of the points on the
22 communication axes across northern Bosnia. I indicated that vital
23 strategic objective in performing an action of this kind would be to
24 secure control of the main communications axes across northern Bosnia and
25 through southern and southwestern Bosnia. I thought that I had said that,
1 but I hope I have been able to make it a little more clear.
2 MR. ORIE: Dr. Gow, you viewed that the Serbs provoked the conflict in the
3 former Yugoslavia. Is that held because you are biased against the Serbs
4 in your assessment of this matter?
5 A. That is a very difficult question to answer because I am not sure
6 entirely that it is my view that the Serbs provoked the conflict, if that
7 is what you said, but whether or not that is what you said, it is
8 certainly not the case that it reflects a bias of any kind.
9 Q. Dr. Gow, an article was given to you. Can you tell me who wrote this
11 A. I did myself.
12 Q. I would tender this article.
13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Do you want to have a particular number or will it
14 be Defendant's Exhibit 1, A, B?
15 MR. ORIE: I think Mr. Bos is in charge.
16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: D1. It will be marked D1 and you have identified it
17 as an article that you have written, Mr. Gow. Mr. Niemann, do you know
18 what the article is?
19 MR. NIEMANN: I do not know anything about it, your Honour. Could I have
21 MR. ORIE: We have copies. Dr. Gow, I would like to read a few parts of
22 it. The first part, you start this article which is called "Serbian
23 Nationalism and the Hissing Snake in the International Order: Whose
24 Sovereignty? Which Nation?" It says: "The collapse of communism unleashed
25 a hissing snake which has been spitting its venom most caustically among
1 the ruins of the former Yugoslav state. Although the snake sibilation has
2 been heard elsewhere in post-communist Europe, the virulence makes the
3 Yugoslav case the most striking example, not least because the issues
4 involved were most clearly defined there, but because there was another
5 related hissing snake peculiar to the Yugoslav context. Indeed, the
6 particular creature is the prompt for the hissing snake characterisation
7 of the problematics of sovereignty, self-determination, statehood and
8 security - the four S-words which have returned with a vengeance on the
9 European scene but which have significant global echoes."
10 That is strong language, is it not Dr. Gow?
11 A. I do not know. I do not know what you mean by -- I am afraid I do
12 not understand what you mean by the term "strong language", but ----
13 Q. I am afraid I am not able to express myself more clearly as to what
14 "strong language" is.
15 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Well, what do you mean by "strong language", Dr. Gow
16 would I say, I do not know. He says I cannot say whether it is strong.
17 MR. ORIE: I thought it was clear, but I have to ask my native speakers.
18 I do agree with my what learned English friends say, that it is emotional
19 language, that through imagery you are painting a picture, that is what is
20 strong language. I do agree. I do understand?
21 A. If you are suggesting that it was an attempt at a playful and
22 slightly literary introduction, then I do not think that I could possibly
23 try to say that that was not the case.
24 Q. OK. You went further, Dr. Gow. I will read again: "The hissing
25 snake peculiar to the Yugoslav context, the inspirational serpent is that
1 of Serbian nationalism, generated around the four SSSSs which appear on
2 the traditional Serbian symbol which has come to be equated in some eyes
3 with the Nazi swastika." I would like to read another passage to you.
4 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Indicate, Mr. Orie, for the record what page you are
5 reading from.
6 MR. ORIE: Yes. The first passage I was reading, your Honour, was page
7 456, the first paragraph. The second part I was reading was page 457,
8 almost at the bottom, the first lines of "SSSS, the hissing snake of
9 Serbian nationalism". I will read now from page 471. It says at the top
10 of the page: "The reality that Serbia and the Serbs outside its borders
11 provoked the other republics into declaring their independence and
12 initiated the war cannot be overlooked, nor can the reality that without
13 acceptance of the Croatian and Bosnia Herzegovina states by the Serbs
14 living within them, there is a problem of legitimation".
15 You went on, Dr. Gow, and I am now reading from page 475,
16 the first part of the conclusion: "The major question on the international
17 agenda in the wake of collapse in Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union has been
18 to come to terms with the 'Hissing Snake' of questions unleashed by the
19 end of the Cold War; sovereignty, self-determination, statehood and
20 security. The collapse of communism and a need to rebuild states and, in
21 several cases, to build new ones altered the focused on these concepts.
22 Each has had to be addressed with new urgency and has entered a process of
23 reinterpretation. That process has taken place in the light of, in the
24 midst of, and surrounded by, the Yugoslav war of this dissolution. Whilst
25 these issues have not been the only, or even the crucial elements in that
1 war, they have played a major role.
2 "It is plain that a clear understanding of these
3 words-with-two-meanings, including an awareness of their existence, is
4 required before the problems which arise from their ambiguities can be
5 addressed. The possible impact of differing understandings is a attested
6 by the war in Yugoslavia, where the 'Hissing Snake' of Serb nationalism
7 has uncoiled around these issues. The events in Yugoslavia have
8 demonstrated what can happen where these concepts are not clearly
9 understood by either the protagonists or those outside the conflict
10 attempting to deal with it."
11 I finally read to you the very end of the article you
12 have written where it says: "Sovereignty may have to be asserted through
13 the use of armed force - and the use of armed force may be the only way to
14 obtain tame some 'hissing snakes' once they have begun to spit their
16 Dr. Gow, does not your disparaging description of Serbia
17 indicate your prejudice?
18 A. I do not -- I am not aware that there is a disparaging description,
19 did you say?
20 Q. Description of Serbia.
21 A. I am not aware that there is any description of Serbia and certainly
22 not that it is disparaging and it does not indicate prejudice of any kind.
23 MR. ORIE: Your Honour, I would like to ask you, referring to what I said
24 this morning, whether you would grant an adjournment until Monday morning
25 because we have to prepare. We cannot do it all here. We have to find
1 our sources and we need the weekend for that. If you would allow an
3 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Yes, we can adjourn today, almost an hour early, 15
4 minutes or thereabouts early. We would normally adjourn at 5.30. So, we
5 will do this, but you understand, as you said earlier before our lunch
6 break, that this this is an exceptional request and it will not be a
7 practice I hope.
8 MR. ORIE: It will not be a practice, but the overwhelming material that
9 has been presented and discussed, and apart from that Mr. Kay has not been
10 assisting us for a few days.
11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: That I understand, but the exhibits were exchanged
12 beforehand. The Prosecution did give the Defence all of the exhibits I am
14 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, last December, your Honour.
15 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Is that correct?
16 MR. WLADIMIROFF: That is correct. I might clarify that we had some
17 division in who will prepare what. Here we had the same problem.
18 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I understand. You have your problems and I guess I
19 have my responsibility. My responsibility is not be too flexible. So I
20 am trying to hold you to the time. Normally we would go to 5.30, but I
21 understand your circumstances. We will adjourn until Monday at 10 a.m.
22 (The hearing adjourned until Monday, 13th May 1996)