1 Tuesday, 24 June 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Groome.
6 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, the Prosecution calls Dr. Michael
8 Your Honour, the Prosecution will be tendering a binder of 42
9 exhibits. Could I ask that a number be assigned at this point.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Prosecution Exhibit 470.
11 [The witness entered court]
12 JUDGE MAY: If the witness would take the declaration.
13 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
14 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
15 WITNESS: MICHAEL CHARLES WILLIAMS
16 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
17 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
19 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, given the large number of exhibits and
20 in the interest of expediting the proceedings here this morning, I'm going
21 to ask, with the Court's permission, that Dr. Williams be allowed to have
22 the same copy of exhibits that we all have and that he can simply turn to
23 the tab and comment appropriately on those documents.
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
25 Examined by Mr. Groome:
1 Q. Dr. Williams, could I ask you to state your full name for the
3 A. Yes. My name is Michael Charles Williams.
4 Q. I'm going to ask that we begin by showing you Prosecution Exhibit
5 470, tab 1. If you would flip to the first tab of your binder. Do you
6 recognise what that document is?
7 A. Yes. This is a letter from Mr. Vieira de Mello to Dr. Karadzic.
8 Q. I apologise. I'm going to ask that you be shown this document.
9 It wasn't included in your binder last evening.
10 A. Yes. I do recognise this. It's my curriculum vitae of my
11 professional career.
12 Q. And does that accurately record your educational and professional
14 A. It does. And I'm currently special advisor to the Foreign
15 Secretary of the United Kingdom.
16 Q. I want to now ask you to take a look at Prosecution Exhibit 470,
17 tab 2, and ask you do you recognise this exhibit?
18 MR. GROOME: If the usher would be so kind as to show this
19 particular one, and then the rest of the exhibits are included in the
21 Q. Do you recognise what Prosecution tab 2, 470 is?
22 A. Yes, I do.
23 Q. And what is that?
24 A. It's a summary table of the exhibits that have been reviewed by
1 Q. And do the comments in the right-hand column of that exhibit
2 accurately reflect your comments regarding the context and other
3 information regarding the exhibits that you reviewed and will be speaking
4 to this morning?
5 A. Yes, they do.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 Could I now ask you to describe your connections with the former
8 Yugoslavia. During what period of time were you employed in work there?
9 A. I went to the former Yugoslavia in February 1994. Previously, I'd
10 served with the United Nations mission in Cambodia as deputy director of
11 human rights. The head of that mission, Mr. Akashi, then asked me to
12 accompany him to the former Yugoslavia, where I assumed the post of
13 director of information in February 1994, a post I held until the middle
14 of April, April the 17th, 1995.
15 Q. Can you describe your duty -- your duties and your authority in
16 that post.
17 A. My duties were varied. I was one of a small group of senior
18 officials that advised Mr. Akashi on general policy. I was his senior
19 spokesman for the region, and I was director of the information component
20 which tried, as accurately as possible, to relay the unfolding of events
21 within the region both to the inhabitants of that region and to the wider
22 international community.
23 Q. During the course of your tenure in this position, did you attend
24 regularly scheduled or daily meetings with Mr. Akashi?
25 A. Yes. Every day the normal procedure would be that the senior
1 staff meeting would take place in the headquarters in Zagreb at 8.30 for
2 approximately 60 minutes six days a week, Monday to Saturday. If, as alas
3 was frequently the case, due to the urgency of events on the ground, there
4 were also meetings on Sunday, obviously.
5 Q. And can you briefly describe not so much the names of the people
6 but what organisations were represented at this particular meeting?
7 A. There were roughly about 20 people attending the meeting, both
8 civilians and military officials. It would always include the force
9 commander, the head of the military force of the UN protection force,
10 which in my time was a French general, General Bertrand de Lapresle.
11 There would also be other senior military and civilian officials,
12 including representatives of the United Nations High Commissioner for
14 Q. Now, in your post, did you have access to all of the reporting
15 that Mr. Akashi would have seen in execution of his responsibilities as
16 special advisor?
17 A. Yes, I did. I saw all classified material and code cables, both
18 reports from military and civilian officials in the field, in Croatia, in
19 Bosnia, as well as our offices in Belgrade, and the coded cables that went
20 in and out from Zagreb to United Nations headquarters in New York.
21 Q. I want to ask you to just to comment more specifically on your
22 relationship with representatives of UNHCR. And can you put it, please,
23 in the context of the situation in the Republika Srpska at that time.
24 A. I had a close relationship with them. Much of my professional
25 career has been in the humanitarian field, in human rights. I've worked
1 in the past for organisations like Amnesty International, and indeed my
2 responsibilities, as I alluded earlier, in Cambodia were wholly in the
3 field of human rights.
4 With regard to the Republika Srpska, the whole time that I was in
5 the former Yugoslavia, and indeed the period before that, from 1992
6 onwards, it caused me great concern that the international community, the
7 UN agencies, did not have proper access to the Republika Srpska, that they
8 were unable to fulfil and to properly carry out their mandates. UNHCR did
9 have limited access, and because of that I was particularly close to a
10 number of officials in order to try and apprise myself as best as possible
11 of the situation pertaining in the Republika Srpska.
12 Q. Now, you've said that UN officials did not have proper access.
13 Leaving aside for the moment the representatives of UNHCR, what in fact
14 was the access that UN officials had to the Republika Srpska?
15 A. Well, I mean, there could be a short answer to that, which would
16 virtually be none. Mr. Akashi continually asked that he be allowed to
17 visit Banja Luka and other parts of Republika Srpska; Banja Luka, because
18 it's the largest city in the Republika Srpska, but also because still at
19 this time it contained quite considerable numbers of minority communities,
20 both Muslims and Croats, and smaller numbers of Romanies. The information
21 that we were receiving was that the condition of these communities was
22 quite desperate. Despite his pleas, Mr. Akashi was never on a single
23 occasion allowed to visit Republika Srpska. It did not stop there; and
24 all other senior UN officials were not allowed to visit.
25 I think it's also relevant to the Court that members of the
1 international press corps were not allowed to visit the Republika Srpska.
2 I think if -- if I may, in some respect, the authorities in the Republika
3 Srpska learnt perhaps a lesson from the almost accidental discovery by
4 foreign correspondents of the camps at Omarska and Trnopolje in late
5 1992. Following those events, it was nigh on impossible for foreign
6 correspondents to visit the Republika Srpska.
7 Q. Dr. Williams, can I ask you to briefly describe what, if any,
8 relationship you had with members of the International Committee of the
9 Red Cross.
10 A. I had a relationship with them. As the Court will be aware, the
11 International Committee of the Red Cross has a long-standing
12 responsibility to carry out its humanitarian duties in situations of
13 warfare, both warfare between states and warfare within states. In that
14 respect, throughout the former Yugoslavia it continued to function, even
15 in the difficulties that prevailed in those years. Where possible I did
16 try and meet with officials of the Red Cross, yes.
17 Q. Now, your comments regarding the limited access that
18 international -- the international community had to the Republika Srpska,
19 did that also include the enclaves of Muslim community in Bosnia,
20 particularly Eastern Bosnia?
21 A. Yes, it did. And I think this is a particularly -- a particularly
22 awful aspect of the UN mission, if I may say so, that access to the three
23 eastern zones, Gorazde, Srebrenica, and Zepa, was out of the question.
24 Mr. Akashi never visited any of those enclaves. It was made clear by the
25 Bosnian Serb authorities that a visit to those enclaves would be
1 unwelcome, despite the -- despite the fact that these were enclaves of the
2 Bosnian government, a government recognised by the United Nations, and
3 moreover these enclaves were declared safe havens under resolutions 824
4 and 836 of the Security Council.
5 I should also add that it was not just Mr. Akashi in this regard.
6 Other senior officials were prevented from visiting the enclaves. I once
7 personally requested Dr. Karadzic for permission to visit the enclaves,
8 and that was refused.
9 Q. Did there come a time when it was possible to have at least one
10 civilian representative of UNPROFOR enter the enclave of Gorazde?
11 A. Yes, it did. The head of civil affairs, Mr. Vieira de Mello, went
12 into Gorazde in late April 1994 with the first convoy to reach the
13 besieged enclave following the -- the concerted Serb assault on that
14 enclave in April.
15 Later that year I also ensured that one of my most senior human
16 rights officers who had worked with me in Cambodia was appointed -- sent
17 to Gorazde as a senior UN representative there.
18 Q. And what was his name?
19 A. That was Mr. Craig Jenness of Canada.
20 Q. I will ask you in detail later in your testimony about the
21 humanitarian situation. But could I ask you at this time to summarise the
22 humanitarian situation in Republika Srpska, in particular the enclaves, as
23 you found it during your tenure in your post?
24 A. Well, I think one has to distinguish between the enclaves and the
25 Republika Srpska.
1 With regard to the Republika Srpska, I think the humanitarian
2 situation in the 15 months or so that I was present was dire. This
3 fluctuated, obviously, dependent upon the access that the UN and UNHCR had
4 to the enclaves. Unlike Sarajevo, where there was the possibility of air
5 access, the eastern enclaves could only be accessed by road, and those
6 roads were controlled by the Bosnian Serb authorities. There were
7 periods, obviously, when convoys carrying humanitarian supplies - food,
8 medicines, and so on - did get through, but there were very, very long
9 periods, particularly from late 1994 onwards and in the first six months
10 of 1995 when access was almost impossible. I remember Mr. Akashi in one
11 of his strongest letters to Dr. Radovan Karadzic expressed, in his words,
12 utter dismay at the absence of any medical supplies, any meaningful
13 medical supplies, in the enclaves, including -- and absence of
14 antibiotics, anti-cardiac drugs, and even medicines as basic as aspirin.
15 Q. Was it possible for people that were critically ill in the
16 enclaves to be medevaced out of the enclaves?
17 A. With rare exception, no. There were some medical evacuations
18 following the limited abatement of the crisis around Gorazde in late April
19 1994, but I'll give an indication perhaps of how difficult the situation
20 had become by early 1995. My own, as it were, representative in Gorazde,
21 Craig Jenness, was himself refused access to leave the enclave by the
22 Bosnian Serbs for a period of three months. Now, if these were conditions
23 that were placed upon an international official, it goes without saying
24 that an ordinary citizen and resident of the enclaves had a pitiful chance
25 of -- of being allowed out even for medical reasons.
1 Q. Did there come a time when you were personally involved in an
2 attempt to medevac two very seriously injured British soldiers who were
3 military observers in Republika Srpska?
4 A. Well, I was personally involved in this sense: I was in the
5 headquarters in Zagreb on that day. The day would have been Friday, April
6 the 15th, 1994. The British soldiers were members of an SAS unit that had
7 entered Gorazde some, I think, a week -- eight or nine days earlier. Two
8 of these soldiers were at an observation post which came under concerted
9 fire from Bosnian Serb forces, including machine-gun and mortar fire. My
10 recollection of the timing is that at -- Mr. Akashi, who was that day in
11 Pale, the Bosnian Serb headquarters, talking to Dr. Karadzic, was informed
12 at 17.53 that two of the soldiers had been hit and were seriously injured.
13 There then followed harrowing negotiations with the Bosnian Serbs
14 to see if a helicopter would be allowed to approach Gorazde to evacuate
15 the two soldiers. One of the soldiers had sustained very heavy injuries.
16 Eventually at 8.00 it was able to move -- the two soldiers were able to
17 move to Gorazde hospital, where they were then -- which had very, very
18 limited facilities, by the way. And they were then subsequently taken by
19 helicopter to Sarajevo, where they arrived at 10.00, I think almost four
20 and a half hours after the incident in which they were shot, and alas, one
21 of the soldiers died very soon after his arrival in Sarajevo from his
23 Q. Dr. Williams, if I can draw your attention now to another subject.
24 Did you in the course of your duties attend meetings with Mr. Akashi with
25 senior members of the Bosnian Serb leadership?
1 A. I did, very frequently. These meetings usually took place in
2 Pale, the Bosnian Serb republic. They were usually quite extensive
3 meetings, I think almost always on a Friday, usually starting in late
4 afternoon and continuing up until midnight. There was at least one
5 occasion when I went to Pale on my own to meet with Dr. Karadzic and there
6 was also an occasion in June 1994, the first week of June 1994, when I
7 accompanied Mr. Akashi in negotiations that were held with the Bosnian
8 Serbs and also the Bosnian government leadership in Geneva, negotiations
9 to try and bring about a cease-fire.
10 Q. Can I ask you to identify some of the more senior members of the
11 Bosnian Serb delegation, including military leaders, that would attend
12 these meetings.
13 A. General Mladic was also present, in my recollection. He might
14 often be accompanied by other Bosnian Serb military leaders, General Gvero
15 was one who was frequently present.
16 On the civil leadership, it was usually quite a large gathering.
17 It was one of the -- I always found that actually rather unusual in some
18 respects, that as many as eight or nine civilian leaders would be present.
19 Those always present, I think, were Dr. Karadzic himself; Mr. Krajisnik,
20 speaker of the Bosnian Serb parliamentary assembly; Alex Buha, the Foreign
21 Minister; Professor Koljevic, the vice-president; General Tolimir was also
22 sometimes present. Those are the names I recall at the moment.
23 Q. During the course of these meetings, did you form an opinion with
24 respect to Mr. -- General Mladic's ability or the -- the structural
25 command of the Army of Republika Srpska, the effectiveness of that command
2 A. My assessment, both from the meetings I attended in which he was
3 -- was present and also my assessment from the reports that I -- we
4 received from the field and from my own reading, was that it was a fairly
5 disciplined military structure and that he was a firm and decisive
6 commander. Its structure, of course, bears the hallmarks of its origins,
7 namely that this came from and still held close links with the old JNA,
8 the Yugoslav National Army, subsequently the JA.
9 Q. Was there ever a concrete example where General Mladic was able to
10 pick up the phone or pick up some kind of communication device and
11 communicate an order that you knew was observed a short time later?
12 A. There was a very striking example when we were in Geneva. I
13 referred earlier to the Gorazde crisis, which took place in April 1994.
14 That crisis, alas, like so many of the crises in Bosnia, never
15 satisfactorily resolved itself. As part of the agreement reached in
16 Belgrade on April the 22nd and April the 23rd, 1994, the Bosnian Serb
17 forces were supposed to withdraw from a 3-kilometre zone around the centre
18 of the city. Now, that withdrawal was never complete. When we were in
19 Geneva, we found out from the Bosnian government that some Bosnian Serb
20 forces remained within that zone. Dr. Karadzic was very unwilling to make
21 any efforts on this, and Mr. Akashi warned him that talks could not
22 proceed whilst they were still violating the zone and violating an
23 agreement reached in Belgrade.
24 Karadzic blamed it on the Muslims. He said, "The Muslims will
25 always try and make trouble." Mladic, who was more withdrawn in the
1 discussion, then involved himself and said, "Leave this to me." He
2 subsequently spoke with his force commander, I would guess, in the area
3 and those forces left the zone within 24 hours, enabling the talks to take
4 place in Geneva. I should say that the particular Bosnian Serb unit was
5 actually in a difficult situation. I think it was on an -- a fairly
6 isolated ridge which was difficult to evacuate in a short period of time.
7 But I think it's an indication of the -- the way the command structure was
8 intact throughout this period.
9 Q. Now, Dr. Williams, during the course of these meetings, would the
10 Bosnian Serb leadership and, in fact, General Mladic be made aware of the
11 humanitarian situation and other important issues that the United Nations
12 delegation felt important to bring to their attention?
13 A. Yes, continually. I couldn't think of a single meeting where the
14 humanitarian situation was not brought up.
15 Q. Dr. Williams, I'm going to ask you to turn to tab 3. And it will
16 also be displayed on the TV monitors on the Sanction system. And I'm
17 going to ask you just to summarise or comment on this document. And is
18 this document an example of Dr. Karadzic being advised of crimes being
19 committed or the intentional targeting and destruction of civilian homes
20 by Serb forces?
21 A. Yes, it is. It's a letter, as you see, from the head of civil
22 affairs, Mr. de Mello, to Dr. Karadzic, citing specific instances with
23 grid references and so on, in which Bosnian forces in a number of areas in
24 North-Western Bosnia, a number of villages, deliberately civilian houses,
25 knowing full well that in many cases, as he points out, these houses were
1 still occupied. Mr. de Mello goes on to draw the attention of
2 Dr. Karadzic to some of the relevant provisions of the Geneva Conventions
3 with regard to international humanitarian law, even in armed conflict.
4 Q. And in this letter, dated the 3rd of March, 1994, are some of the
5 locations include Bosanska Krupa, Otoko, Dornja, Pokoj, and Bihac?
6 A. Correct. I would say this letter was substantial of quite a
7 number of either Mr. de Mello or Mr. Akashi himself wrote to Dr. Karadzic
8 in the 15 or 16 months I was in the former Yugoslavia.
9 Q. Now, Dr. Williams, I'd like to draw your attention to a completely
10 different subject, that is --
11 JUDGE KWON: Was it written only on English? If you could help
12 me. Was it not translated?
13 THE WITNESS: That would have been written, Your Honour, only
14 in -- in English. Dr. Karadzic spoke very excellent English and had no
15 difficulty in reading documents in English. And quite a number of the
16 other Bosnian Serb leaders also spoke and read good English, I think.
17 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
18 MR. GROOME:
19 Q. Now, if I can draw your attention to the period of time after the
20 failure of the Vance-Owen Plan to be adopted by the Assembly of Republika
21 Srpska. Can I ask you to describe your observations of the relationship
22 between the Bosnian Serb leadership and the Serb leadership at that time
23 or during that period.
24 A. I think the relationship became strained; that was clear, both
25 after the failure of the Vance-Owen Peace Plan but also in 1994, after the
1 failure of the contact group peace plan. And it was at that juncture
2 that, for example, Mr. Milosevic, then president of the Serbia, announced
3 sanctions against the Bosnian Serb leadership and against the Republika
4 Srpska itself.
5 Q. I'm going to ask you to take a look at Prosecution Exhibit 470,
6 tab 5 and draw your attention to the second page. I'm going to read a
7 sentence from the bottom paragraph and ask you to put this in context for
8 us. The sentence reads: "A delegation of the members of the assembly led
9 by 'Foreign Minister' Buha and including the leader of the SDS deputies in
10 the Assembly v. Maksimovic visited Belgrade and met with Milosevic. The
11 visit coincided with the statement by SDS executive board condemning
12 'unauthorised visits and meetings' of members of the Bosnian Serb to
13 Belgrade and for a time caused a certain confusion as to the actual
14 support Buha's mission enjoyed at Pale."
15 Can I ask you to place that in context and comment on it for us.
16 A. Right.
17 Q. If you're having difficulty finding it, perhaps we could --
18 A. No, no, I've found it now. Sorry. My fault.
19 Yes, this document dates from December 1994.
20 I'm sorry, Mr. Groome, could you repeat your question.
21 Q. My question is: Can you put this in context. Was there confusion
22 from the UN delegation regarding what the public stance was regarding the
23 relationship, as opposed to what appeared to be a continuing relationship
24 behind the public stance.
25 A. Well, I suppose the -- the question that we were debating within
1 the UN and I think many within the international community generally was
2 how deep were the divisions between Belgrade and Pale, between Yugoslavia
3 and between the Bosnian Serb Republic. I think very considerable tensions
4 had been generated by the failure of the Bosnian Serb leadership to accept
5 either the Vance-Owen Peace Plan in 1993 or the contact group plan in
6 1994. I am not sure that I would go as far as to say that there was a
7 political rupture between Belgrade and Pale, if you like, and indeed
8 the -- the meeting that is referred to here and other subsequent meetings
9 indicates perhaps that both sides were eager that the break didn't go too
11 I should also say that there were a lot of indications that while
12 there were undoubtedly tensions on the political side, these were not
13 evident on the military side, I believe, between the Yugoslav military and
14 the -- the VRS, the Bosnian Serb army.
15 Q. If I can now draw your attention to Prosecution Exhibit 470, tab
16 6. It's a document dated the 15th of October, 1994, and it's from
17 Mr. Stoltenberg to the Secretary-General. I want to draw your attention
18 to the second page of that document and it has an assessment of
19 Mr. Milosevic's relationship with the Bosnian Serbs.
20 Can I ask you just to comment on the last line, which says, "His
21 game plan" -- referring to Mr. Milosevic -- "is that either the present
22 Bosnian Serb leadership should accept the Contact Group map or they should
23 be replaced." Could I ask you to comment on that for us, please.
24 A. Well -- and clearly Mr. Stoltenberg in his cable to the
25 Secretary-General underlines the fact that Mr. Milosevic had accepted the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 contact group plan, but this clearly had not been accepted by the Bosnian
2 Serb leadership. He speculates that there might be a possibility that the
3 Bosnian Serb leadership could change in this regard. And I suppose there
4 was a precedent in this respect, namely with the leadership of the
5 so-called RSK, the Krajina Serb Republic in Croatia, where there had been
6 a change in leadership. There had been elections which had brought to
7 power there in, if I recall, January 1994, Mr. Martic, who pursued a
8 policy line which was far closer to that pursued by Belgrade and
9 Mr. Milosevic.
10 Q. I want to read a paragraph, or a sentence from the next page in
11 the document. And it is Mr. Stoltenberg's assessment of Mr. Milosevic. I
12 want to ask you if you concur with his assessment. "President Milosevic
13 for his part, gives the impression of a disciplined power-player, bent on
14 predominance in the overall Serb leadership, who could well prevail, and
15 who has clearly-thought-through ideas about the shape of future political
16 options affecting the Croatian Serbs as well as the Bosnian Serbs."
17 Do you concur with his assessment of Mr. Milosevic during that
18 time period?
19 A. I think that's a very accurate and perceptive assessment. In that
20 regard, I recall some 18 hours of meetings in Belgrade during the Gorazde
21 crisis, on the 22nd and 23rd of April, 1994, a meeting presided over by
22 President Milosevic in which a very large number of the Bosnian Serb
23 leadership was present; I guess at least 10 or 12. And I think certainly
24 Mr. Milosevic gave the impression, as Mr. Stoltenberg underlines here, of
25 a disciplined power-player, of presiding over people who were not as equal
1 in terms of political leadership and of decisiveness and of an ability to
2 factor in all the different questions that had to be taken into account.
3 Q. During this same time period, based upon the information that you
4 had available to you at the time, what information did you have with
5 respect to General Mladic's presence in the Belgrade area?
6 A. Now, are you referring to April 1994, referring after the --
7 August 1994 and the ...
8 Q. Well, perhaps if you take both those periods separately, if
9 they're --
10 A. Well, I think -- excuse me. General Mladic was frequently in the
11 Belgrade area. He did, of course, have family there. The first time I
12 met with him was at this meeting in Belgrade that I referred to on April
13 22/April 23, 1994. I recall vividly that that meeting -- one thing I
14 recall is that I think he -- it was the only time I recall him in civilian
15 clothes. He was wearing a black suit and black shirt because he was still
16 in a period of mourning from the death of his daughter, who had committed
17 suicide. My recollection is that she had, in fact, been a medical student
18 at Belgrade University. But I think both before the imposition of
19 sanctions in August 1994 and afterwards, the indications we have are that
20 General Mladic was a frequent visitor to Belgrade, that no matter what the
21 political tensions were that were self-evident in the relationship between
22 Belgrade and Pale, these did not seem to affect unduly his comings and
24 Q. I want to now draw your attention to a document; it's Prosecution
25 Exhibit 470, tab 7. It is during this period after the imposition of
1 sanctions. If I could ask you to refer to the third page of that
2 document. And this document is dated the 6th of March, 1995 and deals
3 with a meeting between General Smith and General Mladic held on the 5th of
4 March, 1995. And my question to you is: Does this UN report reflect the
5 presence of officials from Belgrade at this meeting between Smith and
7 A. That's right. And I remember this incident very clearly. I
8 recall Colonel Baxter, the MA to General Smith - General Rupert Smith, the
9 British commander in Bosnia - calling me before the meeting to chat about
10 it. One of the things that made it unusual was that the meeting, as the
11 document I think makes clear, was inspired by General Mladic. Virtually
12 all other meetings, to the best of our recollection, were at the behest of
13 the UN. Now, in his report and also in subsequent observations that he
14 made, Colonel Baxter pointed out that while they were at Jahorina, the ski
15 resort near Pale where the meeting took place, they saw several officials
16 from Belgrade.
17 Q. I'd like to now draw your attention to the next document, 470, tab
18 8. And if I could ask you to look at page 3 of that document. There are
19 two portions I would seek to read to you and ask for your comment on. And
20 the first one is -- and I'm reading from the third paragraph on that
21 page: "A Joint Commission was also created to draw up the modalities of
22 the proposed unification of the RS and the RSK." Were you aware during
23 this time period of attempts being made to unify the Republika Srpska and
24 Republic of Serb Krajina?
25 A. Yes, I was. I mean, these -- this meeting was public, and my
1 recollection is that, you know, there were press releases and so on. I'm
2 not sure how serious I thought that possibility was. And I -- my
3 assessment is that this was clearly something which would have made the
4 conflict wider and have drawn the Croatian and Bosnian wars, if you like,
5 together into one. It would have crossed recognised international borders
6 between the two UN-member states of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. I
7 think it was a ploy that was entertained from time to time by Dr.
8 Karadzic. I think he didn't find a willing suitor in Mr. Martic in Knin.
9 Mr. Martic, I think, would have been more heedful, perhaps, of advice from
10 Mr. Milosevic in this regard.
11 Q. I want to put another couple of sentences to you and then ask you
12 a few specific questions. And I'm reading from the sentence immediately
13 following the one I just read. "Reports from the session indicate a
14 serious rift having developed between the military and the political
15 leaderships in Pale, aggravated by the ongoing economic blockade and the
16 struggle for limited financial and material resources. It would appear
17 that Karadzic and the Bosnian Serb political establishment face the
18 prospect of a further erosion of authority; a process tacitly encouraged
19 by Milosevic. The meeting between Milosevic and Mladic --"
20 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Groome, please slow down. Thank you.
21 MR. GROOME: My apologies
22 Q. "The meeting between Milosevic and Mladic in Belgrade on the 21st
23 of April, which was allegedly convened without Karadzic's knowledge, would
24 support that contention."
25 My question to you is: Can you describe, using this document and
1 in the context that you were working in, the relationship between
2 Mr. Milosevic, Mr. Karadzic, and General Mladic, the relationships between
3 those three people.
4 A. I mean, that's very difficult because clearly those relationships
5 were conducted for the most part a way from public glare. But there are
6 certain things I think we know. One is that both Mr. Milosevic and
7 General Mladic in a certain sense shared a common history, a common
8 history with regard to service to what was initially the Socialist Federal
9 Republic of Yugoslavia. They were both members of what was the ruling and
10 fairly monolithic Communist Party, the League of Yugoslav Communists.
11 They'd both been members of that party, I think, from -- basically from
12 sort of university days. Whereas, that was not quite the background of
13 Dr. Karadzic. He had never been a senior official in the -- the old
14 Yugoslav government. He had, if you like, been thrown up by the tempest
15 of war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. At the beginning of the wars of the
16 Yugoslav dissolution, in 1990/1991, General Mladic - I think he was
17 still -- perhaps still a colonel there then - was in Croatia, in the
18 Krajina area, and it was only subsequently in 1992 that he was moved to
19 Bosnia and promoted to general and appointed head of the Bosnian Serb
21 Q. Dr. Williams, during this time period, with this assessment by
22 Mr. Akashi was drafted in April 1995, was there a sense among the UN
23 mission at that time that the relationships between the three men was in a
24 state of flux?
25 A. I think so, because there was -- there was enormous pressure.
1 There was the fact that Mr. Milosevic had accepted the contact group plan;
2 the Bosnian Serb leadership hadn't. The situation on the ground in Bosnia
3 itself was quite fluid. Pressure was building up on the UN to take more
4 conservative reactions with regard to the Bosnian Serbs. So there were
5 pressures there.
6 Also, the Republika Srpska depended, I think, to a very
7 considerable degree on support, financial, material, and otherwise, from
8 Serbia. The Republika Srpska is not a very well-endowed region. There
9 was virtually no functioning economy during this period other than
10 smuggling; smuggling incidently which made quite a number of the Bosnian
11 Serb leaders, I think, quite wealthy individuals and which allegedly
12 earned the scorn and dismay of General Mladic, which I think is partly
13 what this paragraph refers to.
14 Q. If I can now shift to another topic entirely. You a few moments
15 ago referred to Mr. Martic. Could I ask you to summarise for us your view
16 of the Republic of Serb Krajina, the situation in the Krajina during the
17 time that you held your office.
18 A. Well, I referred just now to the -- the fairly sort of bleak
19 economic situation prevailing in the Republika Srpska. If that was the
20 case in the Republika Srpska, the situation in the Krajina, the heart of
21 the Serb republic in Croatia was even -- even more dire. There was some
22 elements of subsistence economy, but people essentially got by from UN
23 humanitarian deliveries and from support that was given by Belgrade. This
24 was a very small area with really no prospect whatsoever of surviving as a
25 cohesive, coherent, self-support supporting unity. I think in that
1 respect that's why I believe the leadership there and particularly after
2 the elections of January 1994 and Mr. Martic -- Mr. Martic's assumption of
3 power, that leadership was more -- was more beholden to Belgrade, because
4 it had no other options.
5 Q. I'd like to draw your attention to Prosecution Exhibit 470, tab
6 9. And this is an assessment by Mr. Akashi dated the 1st of February,
7 1994, and it refers to Mr. Martic's winning of the election. I want to
8 read a particular passage to you or a sentence and ask you: Do you concur
9 with Mr. Akashi's assessment. And the passage reads: "The dramatic
10 reversal of the election results can be attributed to the efforts of
11 President Milosevic and his supporters in the RSK."
12 Do you concur with Mr. Akashi's assessment of the results of that
14 A. Yes, I would. People in the RSK, I would say even more than
15 Bosnian Serb Serbs, felt acutely vulnerable, felt that close ties with
16 Belgrade were their only hope, and also the Belgrade media had quite a
17 powerful influence in the -- in the Krajina republic.
18 Q. Now, Mr. Akashi goes on to forecast that the relationship between
19 the Krajina and Belgrade will become closer as a result of Martic's
20 election. Do you concur with that assessment and did that in fact come to
22 A. I think that is an accurate assessment, and that I think is more
23 or less what came to pass. I don't think that Martic himself was a very
24 effective political leader, and I recall that in meetings Mr. Milosevic
25 frequently referred really to Martic's weaknesses in some respects, his
1 inability to control Babic, his political rival, and the -- the local
3 Q. The next exhibit, Prosecution Exhibit tab 10 of 470 -- I won't
4 ask -- you've made some comments or there are some comments in that table,
5 that's Prosecution tab 2. So in the interests of time, I will rely on
6 your comments there. Could I ask you now to focus your attention on the
7 enclave of Gorazde. Could I ask you to take us to the spring of 1994 and
8 summarise for us the situation as it presented itself in Gorazde.
9 A. Well, the Court will recall that Gorazde is one of the safe areas
10 in Bosnia, one of six areas declared a safe area by the Security Council
11 in May of 1993. In the period beginning, I think, in the final week of
12 March 1994, the -- the safe enclave of Gorazde came under attack from
13 Bosnian Serb forces. By early April, i.e., the second week of that
14 attack, it was very clear that that attack was a premeditated assault
15 involving tanks and heavy artillery conducted with some considerable
16 brutality, and no attempt whatsoever to -- to avoid civilian casualties.
17 I would also like to put this assault in a wider context, which is
18 this: The Court will recall that there was the crisis over Sarajevo in
19 February 1994. That crisis had resulted in a NATO ultimatum, a NATO
20 ultimatum which had led to the withdrawal of a lot of Serb heavy
21 weaponry. Some of that heavy weaponry moved east to Gorazde. It was also
22 the case, I think, that the Bosnian Serb leadership were somewhat
23 embittered by the outcome of the Sarajevo crisis.
24 And finally, I think that the other relevant factor here is that
25 in March 1994, I think somewhat to the surprise of observers at the time,
1 a peace agreement was negotiated between the Bosnian government, between
2 the Bosnian Muslims, and Bosnian Croat forces. So overnight the situation
3 in Bosnia was transformed, transformed in the sense that what -- whereas
4 what had previously pertained was a war, if you like, involving three
5 different armed factions, now two of those factions had made an accord, a
6 peace agreement which basically held, and a peace agreement which moreover
7 involved the intervention of the United States. The United States played
8 a critical role in negotiating that agreement.
9 Now, I think these developments unnerved the Bosnian Serb
10 leadership. In the first place, they faced the prospect now of the
11 Bosnian government perhaps being able to redeploy forces, and perhaps they
12 were also concerned about a more looming involvement of the United States
13 in the conflict in Bosnia.
14 Q. During this time period, what, if any, offensive actions by the
15 Muslims in the enclave of Gorazde were ongoing?
16 A. I think my reaction to that would be with what and for what? The
17 Bosnian government forces in Gorazde had very, very little in the way of
18 heavy weaponry. I mean, generally speaking, throughout Bosnia at this
19 time there was -- there was a great inequality between the weaponry at the
20 disposal of the Bosnian Serb forces and weaponry at the disposal of the
21 Bosnian government. This inequality and disproportionality was even more
22 enhanced with regard to those forces within the enclaves because, by
23 virtue of the fact that they were besieged, it was very difficult for them
24 to obtain armaments from outside, so that the Bosnian Serb forces --
25 sorry, the Bosnian government forces within Gorazde would have had little
1 weaponry heavier than machine-guns or mortars.
2 In fact, I think there's -- there's a telling fact, I believe in
3 the report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council, where he
4 alludes to the collection of heavy weaponry. I think this is a report, by
5 the way, the Court will find at Exhibit 20. He alludes to the collection
6 of heavy weaponry and refers to quite a number of weapons found - this is
7 after the hostilities in Gorazde - found on the Bosnian Serb side and only
8 two or three weapons found on the Bosnian government side.
9 With regard to attacks out, apart from isolated sniping incidents,
10 the -- it would have been impossible for the Bosnian government forces to
11 break out and to form some sort of corridor with Sarajevo. I mean, they
12 would simply not have had the forces and weaponry at their disposal to
13 carry out a military campaign along those lines.
14 Q. Dr. Williams, with respect to 470, tab 11, I'll rely on the
15 comments in tab 2. Can I now draw your attention to tab 12, and in
16 particular the second page of that exhibit. I'd ask you, if you would, to
17 read and comment on the last sentence contained in paragraph 3.
18 A. This is the last sentence in paragraph 3.
19 Q. Beginning with "Andreev reported --"
20 A. Okay. This reads: "Andreev --" who was a senior UN civilian
21 official in Sarajevo. "Andreev reported that Churkin had been in contact
22 with both Milosevic and Karadzic and that both agreed that the shelling
23 must stop. Their intervention appeared to have no immediate effect."
24 This report is a report to New York from the UN force commander, dated the
25 11th of April.
1 Q. Now, if I can draw your attention to another document, dated the
2 13th of April, 1994. It's tab 4 of Prosecution Exhibit 470. So if I
3 could ask you to look back to tab 4 for a moment. And if I could draw
4 your attention to paragraph 2 of that document. I'll read a sentence from
5 paragraph 2. And this is a -- a report from Mr. Akashi to Kofi Annan, who
6 was then in charge of peacekeeping forces. And I read the sentence:
7 "President Milosevic claimed that the Bosnian Serb attack on Gorazde was
8 their response to the Muslim offensive, which the Serb side had been
9 expecting particularly since the Washington Muslim-Croat accord."
10 Can I ask you to comment on that sentence, please.
11 A. Yes, I can. You can see the reference to the Washington
12 Muslim-Croat accord, and that was, I believe, part of the background to
13 the attack on Gorazde, and I think it's interesting that Mr. Milosevic, in
14 his meeting with Mr. Akashi on the 13th of April, drew attention to that.
15 I have no problem with that at all. Where I would take issue is with the
16 idea that there had been a Muslim offensive in Gorazde. I can see no
17 evidence for that whatsoever. I mean, there were -- I recall
18 Mr. Milosevic making similar remarks in a meeting that I was present at,
19 the meetings on the 22nd and 23rd of April. But to my assessment, it
20 defies any possibility.
21 Q. I'd like to now move to the 16th of April and draw your attention
22 to tab 13 of Prosecution Exhibit 470. This is a -- actually two
23 documents. One is a press release and the other is an underlying report.
24 Can I ask you: Do you recognise these documents?
25 A. Yes, I do. I mean, the press release is something that I
1 personally would have drawn up. And then the accompanying document that
2 you alluded to is a chronology of the events on the 15th and 16th of
3 April. And you can see in the course of this week that events in and
4 around Gorazde are steadily deteriorating.
5 Q. And would it be fair to say that this chronology includes
6 by-the-minute developments as they occurred in the Gorazde enclave?
7 A. That's right. In situations like this, there was very, very
8 strict chronicling and registering of the unfolding of events. And these
9 were events too which for the first time NATO had been involved in very,
10 very limited close air support missions around Gorazde.
11 Q. Can you please describe NATO's involvement at that time.
12 A. Well, NATO had been responsible for the NATO -- sorry, for the
13 no-fly zone imposed by the Security Council for some considerable time.
14 It had also been subsequently authorised to provide close air support for
15 UN forces if and when they came under attack from any party. That close
16 air support was first authorised on the Sunday, the 11th of April.
17 I recall the events because I was closely involved in them in a
18 fairly dramatic day, when Serb tanks and artillery were firing directly
19 into the Gorazde safe area and directly at civilian targets and also
20 directly firing very closely at the building which was a former bank where
21 UN officials were trying to take shelter. It was in these circumstances
22 on the Sunday afternoon that a close air support mission was authorised,
23 which, if my memory serves me correct, resulted in an attack on a Serb
24 command and control position, which I think was -- was destroyed.
25 Q. Your description of or your -- from where did you have the
1 knowledge that there were civilian targets within Gorazde being actually
3 A. These came from reports. I think -- one factor which I'm not
4 quite -- I can't recall now whether I mentioned this to the Court.
5 Gorazde was the only enclave where there was not a UN military presence.
6 There was in Zepa and in Srebrenica and of course in Sarajevo and in
7 Tuzla. But there was not a UN military presence in Gorazde, other than a
8 very small number of UNMOs, UN military observers. They would have been
9 present together with one or two officials from the UN High Commission for
10 Refugees and I think at least one official from the International Red
11 Cross. In addition to these people, as the situation had deteriorated,
12 General Rose, the British army commander in Bosnia, had managed to insert
13 through the Serb lines a unit of British SAS troops. So the reports came
14 initially from the UNMOs who had been present there throughout, and then
15 subsequently these reports were complemented by the British unit which had
16 entered Gorazde.
17 Q. If I can now draw your attention to Prosecution Exhibit 470, tab
18 14. This is a -- an assessment by Mr. Akashi to Mr. Annan. And if I
19 could draw your attention to paragraph 3. Could I ask you to read that
20 paragraph and then comment on its accuracy.
21 A. "Given the attitudes so far shown by the Serbs, the credibility of
22 today's agreement is low. In the meantime, there is no longer effective
23 military defensive measures available to the BiH army for the town of
25 I think that's a very bleak assessment made by Mr. Akashi, who on
1 the whole would avoid making such assessments, unless, as I think he did
2 at this juncture, believe that events were now moving in a very, very
3 critical direction. He had tried, over a period of a week or more, to
4 abate the concerted Serb assault on Gorazde without effect, and what
5 Bosnian government resistance there was was clearly crumbling. Two days
6 earlier, as we know, UN troops had come under direct attack. A British
7 RAF aircraft had been shot down by the Serbs on the 15th of April. And I
8 think behind Mr. Akashi's comments here were at this juncture a very
9 pessimistic and bleak assessment.
10 I could perhaps add that this cable is dated the 17th of April. I
11 believe that this cable had a profound effect on the Secretary-General and
12 Dr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, who the following day, the 18th of April, wrote
13 directly to the Secretary-General of NATO, who was then Mr. Manfred Worner
14 of Germany, requesting that NATO as a matter of urgency look at the
15 possibility of airstrikes on positions of the Bosnian Serbs in any and all
16 of the safe areas in Bosnia where they were involved clearly in firing and
17 attacks upon civilian populated areas.
18 Q. If I could draw your attention now to Prosecution Exhibit 470, tab
19 15. This is now a code cable from Mr. Annan to Mr. Akashi. And if I
20 could draw your attention to paragraph 7. Could I ask you to begin with
21 the second sentence of that paragraph -- or perhaps just read the entire
22 paragraph, and could I ask you to place that in context for us.
23 A. The paragraph reads as follow: "After the meeting, Ambassador
24 Vorontsov informed Mr. Gharekhan" -- Mr. Gharekhan, by the way, was a
25 senior UN official in New York -- "informed Mr. Gharekhan of Foreign
1 Minister Kozyrev's efforts in Belgrade. According to this briefing,
2 President Milosevic had 'instructed' General Mladic to stop attacking
3 Gorazde, to restore UNPROFOR's freedom of movement and to permit UNPROFOR
4 to deploy troops in Gorazde. These points were to be implemented on the
5 17th of April before your meeting with Dr. Karadzic."
6 Q. I'm going to ask you for your comment on that particular passage.
7 A. As you say, this cable came from Mr. Annan, then head of the
8 peacekeeping department in New York, based on a briefing given by the
9 Russian Ambassador Vorontsov, who clearly felt his minister, Foreign
10 Minister Kozyrev, had been given undertakings by President Milosevic in
11 Belgrade that the attack on Gorazde would cease. I must say there was no
12 evidence that such instructions were given and my recollection is that the
13 attack actually increased in its voracity in the coming days. My
14 recollection, for example, is that on the 18th of April in the morning
15 between 8.00 a.m. and 10.00 a.m., there were 42 incoming shells and one
16 outgoing shell, which again gives an indication of the disproportionality
17 here between Bosnian Serb forces and Bosnian government forces.
18 Q. Now, if we can move ahead to the 22nd/23rd of April, to the
19 culmination of the events you've been describing, can I ask you to tell us
20 about meetings related to the Gorazde crisis that you attended during
21 those days?
22 A. I think the mood of the UN, both in Sarajevo and in the
23 headquarters in Zagreb, was one of deepening concern. It was a very
24 somber mood. There were great misgivings and fears that Gorazde might
25 collapse, that is, that all resistance to the Bosnian Serbs might collapse
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 and that a quite substantial civilian population would be at the mercy of
2 forces which had -- hitherto had, I'm afraid, an appalling record of
3 brutality in dealing with civilians under their control.
4 I mentioned in my prior answer to you, Mr. Groome, that the
5 Secretary-General had written on the 18th to NATO, imploring them to look
6 at the possibilities of NATO air actions, i.e., of serious bombing attacks
7 against Bosnian Serb positions if they were guilty of attacking safe
8 areas. I think this is -- that this was a matter that caused
9 consternation to Mr. Akashi. His fear was that NATO involvement would
10 escalate the conflict further, perhaps bring Serbia directly into that
11 conflict. I think with that in mind, he had in the course of the week had
12 a number of contacts with President Milosevic.
13 We at headquarters held our normal morning meeting on the Friday,
14 April the 22nd. The mood was very tense, very somber. We knew that that
15 day the NAC, the North Atlantic Council, the key decision-making body of
16 NATO, was meeting in Brussels and that they would there address the
17 Secretary-General's letter and were expected to issue their own ultimatum
18 to the Bosnian Serbs, which they, in fact, did in the course of the day.
19 Mr. Akashi reflected on the situation. We had a very long
20 discussion at the senior staff meeting. And then he -- he announced that
21 it was his intention to fly to Belgrade, to fly to Belgrade, that he
22 discussed this with President Milosevic, and that President Milosevic was
23 able to bring together the Bosnian Serb leadership, that Akashi had
24 hitherto had meetings with President Milosevic but -- and also with the
25 Bosnian Serb leadership but never together, and he felt that this offered
1 a hope, however dim, of rescuing a cease-fire from what otherwise looked
2 like an imminent tragedy.
3 I must say, I usually -- at that senior staff meeting Mr. Akashi's
4 view was contested by several of us present. We were not sure what could
5 be wrought out of a meeting in Belgrade. There had already been several
6 cease-fires negotiated which had come to nothing. In fact, we had seen
7 the assault on the safe area grow in intensity. We were also mindful of
8 the Secretary-General's action, in directly engaging NATO, and felt that
9 the unfolding of events had now reached a situation where it might have
10 been better addressed by others outside of the UN.
11 Q. Can I ask you now to deal with some of the particular discussions
12 that were held during the course of these meetings.
13 A. Mr. Akashi decided despite our deliberations in Zagreb that he
14 would fly to -- to Belgrade. My recollection is then that a group of us
15 went with him to Belgrade, by which time -- the time of arrival in
16 Belgrade would have been late morning, approaching lunchtime. I recall
17 that General de Lapresle, the fourth commander, who was accompanying
18 Mr. Akashi, that at Belgrade airport had to -- had to assemble what was
19 then a mini satellite dish for him to be in contact both Paris and
20 Brussels because of the urgency of events now unfolding in Brussels, that
21 the NAC itself was coming to a decision.
22 He spoke from the airport tarmac with both Paris and Brussels.
23 Following those conversations, we moved to President Milosevic's offices
24 in the centre of Belgrade, where very soon we were in a Plenary Session,
25 chaired by President Milosevic and containing a very large number of the
1 Bosnian Serb leadership, I think at least 10 or 12 or them. Those
2 discussions, as I say, must have started around midday, 1.00 p.m. They
3 went through the entire evening until about 9.30, 10.00. We, that is, the
4 UN, then retired for the evening to a hotel but reassembled the following
5 morning at 9.00 a.m., by which the pressures were mounting very
6 considerably. Mr. Akashi had had instructions from the Secretary-General
7 in New York that he should -- he should not under any circumstances delay
8 much longer returning from Belgrade to Zagreb.
9 Q. And do you know why that was?
10 A. I think the Secretary-General had in mind clearly the
11 deliberations and discussions that had taken place simultaneously with the
12 Belgrade meetings in Brussels on the 22nd of April, when the NAC had
13 decided to issue an ultimatum to the Bosnian Serbs, requiring their
14 disengagement, an immediate cease-fire around Bosnia, withdrawal from a
15 3-kilometre zone, and withdrawal at a slightly later stage of all heavy
16 weaponry from a 20-kilometre zone.
17 Now, we had discussions along somewhat similar lines in Belgrade
18 throughout that fairly long Friday, on the 22nd, and indeed for a couple
19 of hours on the Saturday morning, Saturday, the 23rd of April.
20 Q. Could I ask you, during the course of that series of meetings,
21 could I ask you to describe your observations regarding the relationship
22 between Mr. Milosevic and the Bosnian Serb leadership that was present.
23 A. I think I'm -- I think I'm minded of the observation that was made
24 by Mr. Stoltenberg in one of the earlier documents that we reviewed in
25 this session, and that is of -- of Mr. Milosevic being a powerful player
1 in these events. My recollection is at the beginning of the meeting he
2 acknowledged the seriousness of the situation and then put forward, as I
3 recall it, a three-point agenda. Number 1 was the normalisation of the
4 situation between the UN and the Bosnian Serbs; number 2, the situation in
5 Gorazde; and number 3, the desirability of a cease-fire in -- in Bosnia as
6 a whole. I think unusually for Mr. Akashi, who was not prone to intervene
7 directly and to challenge Mr. Milosevic or others that he was dealing with
8 straight away, he did challenge that straight away and felt that it was
9 only one matter that we could address at these meetings, at least one
10 matter in great substance, and that was the seriousness of the situation
11 in Gorazde and the absolute imperative of obtaining a cease-fire or
12 otherwise events would take a far more serious turn of events.
13 Q. How did the meetings conclude? What was resolved?
14 A. The meetings -- excuse me, the meeting concluded with a six-point
15 peace plan that involved a cease-fire, involved Bosnian Serb withdrawal
16 from a 3-kilometre zone, a disengagement of their heavy weaponry, a
17 promise to allow the UN unhindered access to Gorazde - a promise, by the
18 way, which was never implemented, never seriously implemented - a
19 stipulation that a number of medevacs, medical evacuations by helicopter,
20 could take place of seriously ill and injured people out of the enclave.
21 Again, a promise which was only implemented in the initial days of that
23 Q. Could I draw your attention to Prosecution Exhibit 470, tab 16.
24 Do you recognise these documents? And if so, tell us what they are.
25 A. Yes. This is tab 16 now?
1 Q. Yes.
2 A. Yes, I do recognise these documents. This is a press statement
3 which I would have drawn up myself in Zagreb on Saturday, the 23rd of
4 April, after we had returned to Zagreb from meetings in Belgrade.
5 Q. And the -- the other document in this exhibit, it's a report, a
6 code cable from Mr. Akashi dated the 23rd of April?
7 A. Correct. This is a report of the discussions in Belgrade to
8 headquarters in New York.
9 Q. And do they accurately reflect what transpired during the course
10 of that meeting?
11 A. To the best of my recollection, they do.
12 Q. Can I now draw your attention to Prosecution Exhibit tab 17. And
13 if I can draw your attention to the first paragraph of that document.
14 It's a document from de Lapresle to Mr. Annan dated 25th of April, 1994.
15 The sentence I'm asking you to comment on is: "The situation in Gorazde
16 has stabilised as the BSA forces have completed their withdrawal to the
17 3-kilometre line agreed upon between Dr. Karadzic and Mr. Akashi in
18 Belgrade. This phase of the operation is now complete."
19 Can I ask your -- your comment on that particular sentence.
20 A. I'm sorry, Mr. Groome, which is the sentence you're referring to?
21 Q. This is the paragraph 1 of tab 17.
22 A. Right.
23 Q. Beginning with: "The situation in Gorazde..." It's also on the
24 screen in front of you.
25 A. Yes. I see the sentence now. This was a report filed -- would
1 have been filed on the Monday. And it was true at that snapshot in time
2 when this cable is written on the Monday morning that Serb forces had
3 withdrawn from that 3-kilometre exclusion zone. We'll find, however, that
4 within days Bosnian Serb forces are back in that kilometre zone.
5 Q. If I can draw your attention now to tab 18 of Prosecution --
6 A. May I refer to the Court to one other point in that cable, which
7 is para 4, which I think is an important point. It's the final sentence
8 of that para, which I will read, if I may: "The BSA demolition of the
9 water filtration plant may, however, have serious humanitarian
10 consequences in the coming weeks."
11 I draw the attention of the Court to that sentence for this
12 reason: This was a clear and premeditated assault and demolition on a
13 water plant. That act was not untypical of Bosnian Serb military
14 behaviour. The consequences of the destruction of the plant will, I
15 think, be obvious. And in fact, from that date, April 1994, for the next
16 two and a half years, until late 1996, there was no proper water supply in
17 Gorazde; water was obtained only from the river.
18 Q. If I can draw your attention now to Prosecution Exhibit 470, tab
19 18. It's a short letter from Mr. Akashi to Mr. Milosevic, dated the 10th
20 of May, 1994. Could I ask you just to read a couple of sentences that
21 comprise the letter and then place it into context for the Chamber.
22 A. "As you may know, the situation around Gorazde continues to be
23 difficult. The implementation of the agreement --" I'm sorry. "The
24 implementation of the agreement reached in Belgrade under your outstanding
25 leadership has encountered some insuperable difficulties. I have taken
1 the liberty of enclosing a letter I have sent today to Dr. Karadzic in the
2 hope that you may be able to help reach a quick resolution of the matter
3 which indeed does not brook any more delay."
4 There is then an accompanying letter which Mr. Akashi sent to
5 Dr. Karadzic and which is quite detailed about very, very clear Bosnian
6 Serb violations of the agreement reached only two weeks ago in Belgrade:
7 Presence of heavy weaponry within the zone, obstacles to UN convoys, one
8 convoy alone being delayed at a roadblock for six days, medical
9 evacuations not taking place, so on and so forth. I think Mr. Akashi was
10 -- was deeply disappointed that this agreement, the agreement reached in
11 Belgrade, had not had an enduring effect.
12 Q. Now, with respect to Prosecution Exhibit 470, tab 19, we'll rely
13 on the comments contained in tab 2, but is it correct that this is a
14 response from Dr. Karadzic to the letter that is contained in tab 18?
15 A. Correct. And this response comes from a member of the staff of
16 Dr. Karadzic, Jovan Zametica.
17 Q. The next document I'd like to draw your attention to is
18 Prosecution Exhibit 470, tab 20. If I could first draw your attention to
19 paragraph 19 of that document.
20 JUDGE KWON: I find it difficult to follow. What's the essence of
21 his response, the response from Mr. Karadzic?
22 MR. GROOME:
23 Q. Could I ask you, Dr. Williams, to address Judge Kwon's query about
24 Dr. Karadzic's response. Perhaps if you could summarise his response for
1 A. Well, I would summarise his response, Judge Kwon, as peremptory.
2 Dr. -- Mr. Zametica, an adviser to Dr. Karadzic, acknowledges receipt of
3 the letter from Mr. Akashi. He doesn't really address any of the concerns
4 in Mr. Akashi's quite detailed letter other than to say that he does admit
5 that they do have uniformed men - he doesn't call them soldiers, he calls
6 them "uniformed men," which is an interesting distinction - within the
7 3-kilometre exclusion zone. He argues, in fact, that they've been
8 demobilised and they don't have any other clothes to wear, they're no
9 longer people at war.
10 In short, I mean, this is not a substantive and serious response
11 to the detailed letter submitted by Mr. Akashi to the Bosnian Serb
13 Q. If I can take you back to Prosecution Exhibit 470, tab 20,
14 paragraph 19. It's just two sentences. Could I ask you to read that and
15 place that into context for us.
16 A. "On 14 May 1994, my Special Representative, spoke with President
17 Milosevic, who had assisted in the convening of the Belgrade meeting on 22
18 and 23 April 1994. President Milosevic assured him that he would do his
19 utmost to bring about the prompt conclusion as well as the full
20 implementation of the arrangements described in the preceding paragraph."
21 Namely, the preceding paragraph refers to ongoing concerns with regard to
23 Q. And could I draw your attention to this report to the
24 Secretary-General - it's tab 20 - to paragraph 4 of that.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And is there something that bears comment by you on this
3 A. Well, I think this paragraph above all underlines the seriousness
4 of the -- the situation that prevailed around the time of the Gorazde
5 crisis. The paragraph refers to the Secretary-General's letter of the
6 18th of April to Manfred Worner, Secretary-General of NATO, requesting him
7 to obtain at the earliest possible date a decision to launch airstrikes
8 against artillery tanks in and around the safe areas which are determined
9 by the UN to be responsible for attacks against civilian targets.
10 He then goes on to say that on the 22nd, namely the Friday,
11 Dr. Worner had informed him that two decisions had been taken on the
12 protection of the safe areas. With regard to Gorazde, there must be a
13 pull-back within, I think, 48 hours, out of the 3-kilometre zone; and that
14 secondly, there must be a cease-fire, that the UN must have unimpeded
15 access, and then there must also be withdrawal of heavy weaponry, all this
16 on pain of airstrikes by NATO.
17 I think the seriousness of this paragraph is this: That it is
18 probable that without the meeting of the 22nd and the 23rd in Belgrade
19 that airstrikes would have taken place against the Bosnian Serbs. I do
20 not think that they would have withdrawn to the satisfaction of NATO, that
21 NATO frankly had placed, if you like, higher hurdles for them to achieve,
22 had set a far more rigorous parameter for the conclusion of hostilities.
23 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, would that be a convenient place to
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll adjourn now for 20 minutes.
1 Dr. Williams, I must warn you, as we warn all witnesses, not to
2 speak to anybody, please, about your evidence until it's over.
3 THE WITNESS: Yes.
4 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
5 Twenty minutes, please.
6 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Groome.
9 MR. GROOME:
10 Q. Dr. Williams, I want to take you back to the meetings of the 22nd
11 and 23rd of April in Belgrade and just ask you a few detailed questions.
12 During the course of that meeting, did Mr. Milosevic ever express his view
13 regarding the genesis of the Gorazde problem?
14 A. Yes. My recollection is that he did. And it essentially somewhat
15 amplified, it was along the lines as reported by Mr. Akashi following his
16 earlier meeting with Milosevic on -- on the 13th of April, namely that
17 Mr. Milosevic saw the origins of the crisis around Gorazde as being a
18 Muslim offensive out of the enclave. He also referred, I believe, a
19 number of times to this being Serb territory.
20 Q. Now, during the course of that meeting, a day and a half, did you
21 form an opinion with respect to Mr. Milosevic's views of General Mladic
22 and Mr. Milosevic's views of Mr. Karadzic? And if you could compare and
23 contrast those views for us.
24 A. There was a difference, which of course stemmed from the fact that
25 Dr. Karadzic exemplified the political leadership and Mr. Mladic the
1 military leadership. The political leadership was always somewhat
2 cumbersome, inasmuch as they were always present in meetings in
3 considerable force. One wasn't dealing as one more usually is perhaps in
4 these sort of meetings with two or three senior officials; it was 8 or
5 10. And they were also somewhat shambolic is perhaps a word that comes to
6 mind, sometimes in their internal arguments, in their unwillingness to
7 address the issues at hand, especially in this case in the discussions on
8 the 22nd and 23rd of April, 1994, because the matter at hand was so
10 By contrast, General Mladic was far less deliberative where he
11 would express a view in this or in other meetings where I was present. He
12 was often quite decisive, quite forceful. My recollection is that these
13 meetings in Belgrade he was somewhat withdrawn inasmuch as I -- I think
14 this was not so long after his daughter's suicide, which I presume had
15 clearly had an effect upon him.
16 Q. Now, during the course of that meeting, were you present when
17 Mr. Milosevic directed Mr. Karadzic to make a phone call with respect to a
18 situation that had arisen in Rogatica?
19 A. Yes, I was. Rogatica is a village I guess about equidistant
20 between Sarajevo and Gorazde, where a UN convoy which the UN had been
21 trying to send to Gorazde with humanitarian supplies and including
22 additional peacekeepers had been held up for several days, and as is often
23 the case not just held up by but subject to harassment by the Bosnian
24 Serbs locally. I recall Mr. Milosevic expressing impatience with this and
25 saying, I think quite explicitly, that it was in the best interests of
1 everyone that this convoy got through to Gorazde as soon as possible,
2 getting somewhat ill-tempered be Dr. Karadzic and then asking Dr. Karadzic
3 to instruct his officials in Rogatica that these obstacles should be
4 removed and should be removed as quickly as possible.
5 Q. Did Dr. Karadzic comply with that direction?
6 A. Yes, he did.
7 Q. Now, before I move from Gorazde, I want to draw your attention to
8 one final document, and this jumps ahead to the 1st of April, 1995, and it
9 is Prosecution Exhibit 470, tab 21, and it is a report from Mr. Craig
10 Jenness. And I'd like to draw your attention to the second page of that
11 document, and paragraphs 1, 2, 3, and 4. I'd ask you just to -- you've
12 mentioned this briefly in your testimony already, but I'd ask you just to
13 summarise those four paragraphs. And in particular, could I ask you to
14 identify the different civilian targets that Mr. Jenness felt were in
15 jeopardy because of the shelling.
16 A. As you say, this document is dated April 1995, i.e., exactly 12
17 months after the events which have been concerning us. He refers to
18 shelling in a completely random pattern of the town of Gorazde. He says
19 that he is advised by military colleagues that this is -- that there is
20 not controlled targeting, no attempt to -- to hit military targets. He
21 says that there is clear targeting of the town centre where the hospital
22 is located, social welfare centre, the Red Cross office, the UNHCR office,
23 the market, and numerous cafes. All these sites are well known to the
24 Bosnian Serb army, which has direct line of sight -- I beg your pardon --
25 which had direct line of sight into town from the surrounding hills.
1 He concludes by saying "There was no local provocative activity by
2 the Bosnian army forces before the attack."
3 Q. Now, I want to draw your attention to the very next page, the last
4 sentence of the first full paragraph. Does Mr. Jenness relay in his
5 report a comment evidencing the rationale of the attack on Gorazde and one
6 that was relayed to him by a member of the local Serb authority?
7 A. Yes, he does. And the quotation is from a local Serb official:
8 "You squeeze Serbia. Serbia squeezes us. We squeeze you."
9 Q. I'd now like to turn your attention to Sarajevo. Can I ask you to
10 summarise for us in what context you became aware of events in Sarajevo
11 during your tenure.
12 A. Well, I would have first visited in Sarajevo in February of 1994.
13 This would have been after the incident in the marketplace of February 5,
14 where quite a considerable number of civilians were killed. I
15 subsequently visited Sarajevo on, I would have thought, at least 10 or 12
16 occasions over the next 12 months, often accompanying Mr. Akashi, on other
17 occasions travelling on my own to meet with officials working for me in
19 Q. And could you describe for the Chamber briefly what types of
20 measures would you have to undertake or would be undertaken for you to
21 ensure your security while being -- being present in Sarajevo.
22 A. These would vary, and they'd vary according to the situation at
23 the time. I should also say to the Court that there were many occasions
24 when I couldn't travel to Sarajevo because the air bridge, the UN aircraft
25 which flew on a regular basis from Zagreb to Sarajevo, was not working
1 because the flights had been either threatened by Bosnian Serb forces or
2 directly shot at by Bosnian Serb forces.
3 If I might give the Court one illustration of that: In the crisis
4 on Gorazde, for example, the force commander's plane, when arriving in
5 Sarajevo on the 17th of April, was deliberately shot at by Bosnian Serb
6 forces, an issue that the force commander raised with Dr. Karadzic, who
7 did not deny that -- that accusation. So there were times when I couldn't
8 get there, but even on those occasions when I did, one would always have
9 to take some security measures, including, for example, wearing flak
10 jackets, helmets, or travelling in protected vehicles.
11 Q. When you use the word "air bridge," are you referring not only to
12 the ability of international -- members of the United Nations or the
13 international community to enter and leave Sarajevo but also for
14 humanitarian aid to be brought into Sarajevo via the airport?
15 A. Yes, I am. Humanitarian aid, medicines, food, and so on was in
16 large part delivered by air. There were periods when it was possible to
17 run road convoys into Sarajevo, but that in many ways was even more
18 exposed to Bosnian Serb harassment, especially in the sort of 16-month
19 period of my office.
20 Q. Did Mr. Akashi ever appeal directly to Dr. Karadzic to keep the --
21 the air bridge open in conformity with UN Security Council resolutions?
22 A. Frequently, repeatedly, and at every meeting I attended with
23 Mr. Akashi with the Bosnian Serb leadership.
24 Q. And what was the result of such requests?
25 A. It would vary. It was normally met with hostility. "Why should
1 we be doing this to help the Muslims?" was a usual refrain. Repeatedly
2 the Bosnian Serbs said that they wanted to renegotiate the situation of
3 the airport, that the airport was their airport, and that the UN was
4 privileged to -- to fly there. Sometimes during meetings they would make
5 direct threats to safety of aircraft.
6 To give an example of that: In September of 1994, the Pope, for
7 example, had expressed a wish, a desire to visit Sarajevo. Mr. Akashi had
8 mentioned this to the Bosnian Serb leadership in a meeting, who said quite
9 clearly that this would be an unwise move and that they could not
10 guarantee His Holiness's safety in Sarajevo.
11 Q. I want to draw your attention to Prosecution Exhibit 470, tab 22.
12 It is a rather large packet of documents which you've had a chance to
13 review yesterday. Can I ask you just to summarise what is contained in
14 that packet of documents.
15 A. Well, I think this series of documents underlines the precarious
16 position of Sarajevo. The fact that this was a city under siege, if one
17 means by -- if one accepts the meaning of the term "siege" as to be a
18 military encirclement of an urban population, denying access from and to
19 that city or population, this obviously varied in degrees. The documents
20 here reveal that humanitarian convoys frequently came under fire. A
21 British convoy on July the 27th, 1994, for example, was directly targeted
22 by Serb gunners, involving the death of a British soldier. Civilians were
23 -- faced extreme dangers, were often subject to sniping at various times,
24 some shelling, but I have to say less shelling after February 1994 when an
25 agreement had been reached to withdraw heavy shelling -- sorry, heavy
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 weaponry from Sarajevo.
2 Q. In this particular exhibit -- does this particular exhibit reflect
3 Dr. Karadzic's views regarding sanctions and his response with respect to
4 the civilian population of Sarajevo?
5 A. Yes, it does. I mean, he at almost every meeting I recall saw the
6 siege as a weapon of war against the civilian population, openly referred
7 to the interdiction of humanitarian deliveries, to the disruption of
8 utilities, whether it be water, gas, or electricity, to the denial of
9 medical facilities, and so on and so forth.
10 Q. Can I draw your attention to a particular part of this document.
11 And it is, for the Court's benefit, ending in ERN 2892. It is an excerpt
12 of a speech by Dr. Karadzic. It will be displayed on the television
13 screen in front of you. And that may be perhaps the easiest way to view
15 Are you familiar with this --
16 A. Yes, I am. I'm very familiar with this document. This was a
17 speech given by Dr. Karadzic in Pale to the Bosnian Serb National
18 Assembly, where quite clearly he makes threats against the civilian
19 population of Sarajevo, quite explicitly.
20 Q. And those threats to be realised by what means?
21 A. By, inter alia, the disruption of -- of supplies to the city and
22 by imposing sanctions on its inhabitants. I think here is a particularly
23 telling phrase, or rather, a chilling phrase at the end, one which I
24 actually heard him use a number of times in meetings. If I may repeat it
25 to the Court: "I think now that we have full right to introduce such
1 sanctions against Muslims, that even a bird will not fly through to them
2 until the world forces Yugoslavia to lift economic sanctions against the
3 Bosnian Serbs."
4 Q. Now, Dr. Williams, if I can for a moment go back to some of your
5 prior -- or experience, your experience prior to testifying today. Did
6 you for a time -- were you a member of the International Institute of
7 Strategic Studies?
8 A. Yes, I was. I was a Senior Fellow IISS in London in 1995 to 1998.
9 Q. Based upon your scholarship and experience, can you help place the
10 context of the siege of Sarajevo in the broader historical context of
11 other sieges that have existed in this century?
12 A. The concept of waging siege obviously goes back to early times in
13 the history of -- of warfare. It was something that -- it was a tactic, a
14 strategy that was indulged in during the Second World War, particularly on
15 the eastern front by both the Germans and the Russians. However, I think
16 it's striking that in the period since the end of the Second World War,
17 since 1945, despite conflicts and wars that have taken place in almost
18 every continent of the globe, siege warfare is actually somewhat
19 exceptional, somewhat exceptional. In that respect, I think the conduct
20 of the Bosnian Serb forces with regard to the various safe areas in Bosnia
21 and also earlier the conduct of the Yugoslav forces with regard to Vukovar
22 is quite exceptional. Exceptional I think in two senses: I mean, one, it
23 not being typical of most of the warfare that has transpired since 1945;
24 and secondly, exceptional in the brutality and rigour with which those
25 sieges have been implemented, with very, very clear targeting of civilian
2 Q. And can you now place the siege of Sarajevo in the context of the
3 other events transpiring in Bosnia at that time, briefly.
4 A. In the time that I was in the former Yugoslavia?
5 Q. Yes.
6 A. Yes. I mean, there had been some easing of the situation in
7 Sarajevo following the crisis of February 1994. The shelling of the city,
8 which had been a regular feature since 1992, ceased as Serb heavy weaponry
9 withdrew from a NATO-imposed exclusion zone. For a very brief period
10 after February, two months or so, there was greater humanitarian access by
11 road and by air into Sarajevo. From April onwards, I think coincidental
12 with the Gorazde crisis, the position in Sarajevo began to change again
13 for the worse, a deterioration which became more marked by the end of 1994
14 and which continued into 1995 and which resulted in deprivation of most
15 utilities for the civilian population and the frequent interdiction of
16 humanitarian supplies.
17 Q. And can you, in brief terms, describe what was the situation
18 facing Bosnian Serbs at the time, and was humanitarian assistance to them
19 ever interrupted in a systematic way?
20 A. There was humanitarian assistance to the Bosnian Serbs, but the
21 question is, I suppose, interrupted by whom? The humanitarian agencies
22 have their obligations, obligations which are written into international
23 humanitarian law that the Court will be aware, and into the mandates of
24 these organisations. And that, barring logistical problems, severe
25 winters and the rest, that humanitarian aid did get through to the
1 Republika Srpska, which is not to say that the economic conditions of many
2 people in the Republika Srpska was not difficult. Their conditions were
3 very difficult. But that difficulty stemmed in essence from the fact that
4 here was an entity which had no real means of economic subsistence.
5 Q. Now, if I could draw your attention to Prosecution Exhibit 470,
6 tab 23. It's a letter from Mr. Akashi to Dr. Karadzic. I want to draw
7 your attention to the second paragraph of that letter. It reads: "I am
8 sure that you would not intend to cause suffering to innocent civilians
9 and I would urge you to refrain from taking any such actions whose effects
10 would be devastating on the lives of innocent people, especially in
11 Sarajevo and the Eastern enclaves, and would dramatically escalate
13 This warning to Dr. Karadzic, was this one of a number of warnings
14 to place Dr. Karadzic on notice about the situation in Sarajevo?
15 A. Yes, it was. And this particular warning had been prompted by the
16 speech that we referred to --
17 JUDGE MAY: Just one moment. You know, Mr. Groome, it's really
18 very difficult if one is given a bundle of documents like this with
19 unpaginated and undifferentiated documents, and I'm referring to tab 22.
20 And one of the issues which arises is the date of the speech. Now, no
21 reference has been made to that, but I see looking at it that one can, if
22 one looks at the fax number, see that if the fax is dated the 20 -- or
23 rather, the 2nd of September, if you look at the bottom of the page. You
24 also irritatingly have to use upside down reading. If you do all that,
25 you will find the 2nd of September, 1994.
1 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, my apologies for that particular
2 exhibit. Perhaps I could ask the witness if he has an independent
3 recollection of when that speech was given.
4 A. Yes. My recollection is that that speech would have been given, I
5 believe, on the evening of the 1st of September, 1994, that the
6 translation of the speech was then faxed to me by the Reuters
7 correspondent in Sarajevo, and that then Mr. Akashi subsequently wrote to
8 Dr. Karadzic on the 3rd of September.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Thank you.
10 MR. GROOME:
11 Q. If you could return your attention to tab 23. That reference to
12 Eastern enclaves that Dr. Akashi makes when he refers or puts Dr. Karadzic
13 on notice, to what specific locations is he referring?
14 A. Mr. Akashi is there referring to the three Eastern safe areas,
15 namely Gorazde, Srebrenica, and Zepa. Now, if I have talked earlier about
16 the difficult situation of Sarajevo, those difficulties are many times
17 multiplied by the situation that prevailed on the ground in those three
18 enclaves, which were entirely dependent upon access by road. There was
19 no -- there were no airports or airfields with which to facilitate air
21 Q. The -- the things that occurred in Sarajevo that characterised it
22 in your mind as a siege, did you see similar evidence in other places in
23 Bosnia or similar tactics?
24 A. Yes. For example, Gorazde. We referred earlier to Mr. Jenness,
25 the officer that I'd placed there. I relied to a considerable degree on
1 his very regular reporting. Gorazde was subject to quite frequent
2 shelling, despite the Belgrade agreement of April 22/April 23, 1994. As I
3 pointed out to the Court earlier, during that attack the water filtration
4 plant had been deliberately destroyed by Bosnian Serb forces. There was
5 no power in the -- in the enclave, except the power provided -- excuse me,
6 the power provided by fuel generators which provided enough power for two
7 hours a day. And it will be obvious to the Court the difficulties that
8 this would introduce for the hospital and for children, elderly, and the
9 sick in the enclave.
10 Q. Drawing your attention to 470, tab 24. I will rely primarily on
11 the comments contained in tab 2. This is a -- a code cable from
12 Mr. Eagleton to Mr. Annan and Mr. Akashi, dated the 19th of September,
13 1994, once again discussing the cutting off of gas and electric and how it
14 affected the civilian population of Sarajevo. My question to you is:
15 During this time period, was there any significant military activity in
16 the Sarajevo area that would justify such measures?
17 A. I'm not sure that I could agree that any military activity would
18 justify such measures. In fact, my understanding of -- of the Geneva
19 Conventions would be that disruption of essential utilities, such as gas,
20 water, and electricity, would be something that should be avoided by all
21 armed parties. But certainly there was nothing in this particular period
22 which prompted, as Mr. Eagleton points out in his cable, the fact that the
23 Bosnian Serbs had closed the valves on the gas supply to the city, gas
24 providing the heating for the vast majority of the city's inhabitants.
25 Q. If I could draw your attention now to Prosecution Exhibit 470, tab
1 25. If I can draw your attention in particular to paragraph 3. It's the
2 bottom of the second page of that exhibit, and it is a quote of
3 Dr. Karadzic. Could I ask you to, please, read that quote and then
4 continue on the next sentence and comment on that portion of the document.
5 A. "In his words" -- that is, Karadzic -- "'If the international
6 community treats us like a beast, then we will have to behave like a
7 beast.' He specifically mentioned, in this regard, the use of utilities
8 as a means of war. As the afternoon progressed, he mellowed somewhat,
9 indicating he might consider restoring electricity, water, and gas to
10 Sarajevo if this were done in the context of repairs to utilities in
11 Bosnia as a whole."
12 Q. That's sufficient. Would Mr. Milosevic have been made aware of
13 Dr. Karadzic's views with respect to issues like utilities and their use
14 against the civilian population?
15 A. Yes, I believe he would have. I think these are matters that
16 Mr. Akashi would have brought to his attention. Indeed, as we saw earlier
17 with -- with Karadzic's remarks at the Bosnian Serb National Assembly
18 these were matters of public knowledge.
19 Q. Did Dr. Karadzic ever express what his goal for Sarajevo was?
20 A. Yes, he did. He spoke of a -- a division of the city. He spoke
21 approvingly of the division of Berlin or of the division of Beirut. Two
22 examples: He was -- he was, I have to say, fond of referring to -- he
23 said that in the future there were to be two cities, completely separate,
24 and rigorously demarcated in every way.
25 Q. Now, to draw your attention to the shelling and sniping in
1 Sarajevo. There will be other witnesses that will be called to testify
2 about their observations. My question to you is: Did you yourself
3 personally -- were you personally present during one occasion when a young
4 woman was the victim of a sniper?
5 A. Yes. And I should say that sniping was a regular occurrence.
6 There were periods when it was more intense than others, and there was
7 attempts -- there were attempts by the UN to secure so-called anti-sniping
8 agreements, one of which was in August 1994. Having said that, such
9 incidents, as I said, were quite regular and I did on one occasion see a
10 girl who was shot.
11 Q. Can you please describe in -- can you please describe the incident
12 that you witnessed.
13 A. Yes. I was walking back to what was then the UN headquarters, the
14 so-called residency, from the Holiday Inn Hotel, where I'd been holding a
15 meeting with journalists and was walking back and heard some shots run out
16 and saw a couple of hundred yards away that a young girl had been shot.
17 Q. When would this have been?
18 A. My recollection is that this would have been in September/October
20 Q. And were -- was there any international military personnel there
21 at the scene?
22 A. Very fortunately, there were. This was an area that was known
23 infamously as sniper alley, and because of that was fairly regularly
24 patrolled by French forces. And as luck would have it on that day, there
25 was near at hand a French vehicle which took the injured girl to hospital.
1 Q. At that time, did members of the French force express their view
2 regarding from which direction the sniper had fired?
3 A. Yes, they did. They said the fire had come from buildings
4 occupied by Bosnian Serbs on the other side of the line, buildings which
5 were frequently used for sniper fire.
6 Q. Now, with respect to shelling, did you ever complain to General
7 Mladic regarding shelling of Sarajevo?
8 A. Yes, I did, in the margins of one meeting in Pale, and said that
9 I'd found this was utterly reprehensible conduct that conflicted with the
10 laws of war and also with the specific agreements which pertained to
11 Sarajevo after the February crisis. He replied by saying, "We will always
12 send two shells for every shell fired by the Muslims."
13 Q. And was he referring to shells fired by the Muslims from Sarajevo
14 or from another part of Bosnia?
15 A. I think from Sarajevo in that instance.
16 Q. Now, drawing your attention briefly to Prosecution Exhibit 470,
17 tab 26. Is this a press briefing that involves your own drafting, your
18 own work?
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. Did there come a time during your work in Sarajevo that you became
21 aware of an increase in Serb air defences around the Sarajevo airport?
22 A. Yes. I think the Serbs drew some lessons from the crisis around
23 Gorazde in April 1994. They had clearly seen the threat of NATO
24 airstrikes. And by the autumn of 1994, our military colleagues within the
25 UN were reporting increased Serb air defensive measures not only around
1 Sarajevo but also in North-Western Bosnia as well, these measures
2 including greater deployment of radars, frequent locking-on to aircraft by
3 Serb radar, and also increasing number of surface-to-air missiles being
5 Q. What was the conclusion of where this new or additional air
6 defence equipment came from?
7 A. The conclusion was that it must have in less considerable
8 quantities had somehow been in storage, which I think is questionable.
9 The conclusion was that it must have come from Yugoslavia.
10 Q. And was this the assessment of Mr. Akashi and also the military
11 personnel who were present in --
12 A. Yes, it was.
13 Q. Now, I'd like to draw your attention to Bijeljina. Could I ask
14 you to summarise the situation in Bijeljina, Bosnia, during your tenure in
15 your office.
16 A. Bijeljina was one of those towns which in some ways it had escaped
17 some of the worst excesses of the onset of the war in 1992; in this sense,
18 that some minorities had remained there, as they had in Banja Luka. I
19 think in the case of Bijeljina, for example, my recollection is that there
20 were approximately 7.000 Muslims living there, together with a small
21 number of Romanies.
22 Beginning in mid-February -- sorry, beginning in mid-July 1994,
23 the Red Cross alerted us to the fact that very large numbers of Muslims
24 were being forced out of their homes in Bijeljina and forced to cross into
25 Bosnian government lines. In fact, over the next month, 2.500 Muslims
1 were forced out of their homes in Bijeljina, and then from September to
2 November a further two and a half thousand. So most of the minorities
3 there were forced out in that period.
4 Q. During this same period, were Muslim families required to take in
5 Bosnian Serb refugees to live in their homes?
6 A. They were. And this seemed to be a practice particularly
7 prevalent in Banja Luka, which was the other area where there was still a
8 concentration of minority peoples living. I was always struck by the
9 extremely dark picture we had of reports of life in Banja Luka for Muslims
10 and Croats, a life which I think they endured with dignity but which was
11 one of terrible deprivation of access to basic medical supplies, even of
12 rights within death, inasmuch as Muslims who died were not allowed to be
13 buried in Muslim burial places. But the injunction to take in Serb
14 refugees in your home was a very frequent one, and in fact subsequently
15 some Muslims said to me that in some ways there was even some benefit to
16 it inasmuch as at least you could hang on to a corner of your home.
17 Q. With respect to the situation in Banja Luka, could I draw your
18 attention to tab 42 of Prosecution 470, and in particular the third page
19 of that exhibit, number 6. You may not have it. I'll ask the usher to
20 bring it up to you.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And this is a fax from Mr. Stoltenberg to the Secretary-General
23 dated 27th of June, 1994. Under Roman numeral VI, Mr. Stoltenberg writes:
24 "During our meeting with President Milosevic, I raised with him the
25 situation in the Banja Luka area and told him that what was taking place
1 there was unacceptable. In reply, he said he would prefer not to
3 Were you aware of this interchange between Mr. Stoltenberg and
4 Mr. Milosevic?
5 A. Yes, I was. I was aware of this, this cable and the report of the
6 meeting, and indeed I think that Mr. Stoltenberg's intervention with
7 Mr. Milosevic has been prompted by continuing and in many cases harrowing
8 reports of the situation prevailing in Banja Luka.
9 Q. If I can now draw your attention to Prosecution Exhibit 470, tab
10 27. I apologise in advance to the Chamber. This is another series of
11 several documents. The only one that I will be referring to in any detail
12 is the last page, and that's ERN ending in 4223.
13 Take a look at that exhibit. Is it fair to say that this is a
14 series of press releases by both ICRC, the UN, and other organisations
15 regarding the situation in Bijeljina during 1994?
16 A. Yes, it is. And it's a situation that was raised many times with
17 the Bosnian Serb leadership, I regret to say with no effect, other than
18 that Dr. Karadzic feigned at one point to have removed a local police
19 chief, who he said had been responsible for harassing Serbs -- I'm sorry,
20 harassing Muslims in the area.
21 Q. If I can draw your attention now to the last page. It's a letter
22 from Mr. Akashi to Dr. Karadzic dated the 20th of September, 1994. Are
23 you familiar with this letter?
24 A. Yes, I am. I think I assisted in the drafting of this letter. I
25 think it was an unusually strong letter, Mr. Akashi to write to
1 Dr. Karadzic. He speaks of his utter dismay at the continuing expulsions
2 of Muslim civilians from Bijeljina. He writes, for example, of 700
3 arriving on one single day, on the 17th of September. And he also draws
4 the attention of Dr. Karadzic, which I think was the first time he did so,
5 of the possibility that such deplorable acts, that those responsible for
6 continuing such criminal acts would be subject to investigation and
7 prosecution by the International Tribunal on War Crimes in the former
9 Q. At some point, did you discuss with Dr. Karadzic the destruction
10 of mosques in the area controlled by Bosnian Serbs?
11 A. I did. And in fact, it would be -- it would have been fairly near
12 this point in time. I went to Pale on my own and had meetings with, first
13 of all, his advisor, Jovan Zametica, and then with Dr. Karadzic himself.
14 I wanted to raise access to the eastern areas. But I also want to raise
15 with him the deliberate destruction of places of worship and places of
16 historical importance.
17 Q. And what did he say in response to or as the reason for the
18 destruction of mosques in the --
19 A. He -- I was taken aback that he said that he didn't deny that
20 mosques had been deliberately destroyed. He said they had been destroyed
21 because these were symbols of Turkish imperialism and that the wrath of
22 the people in this matter should not be thwarted. He said quite
23 explicitly that it would be a good thing if all aspects of that heritage
24 were erased.
25 Q. Now, if I can briefly turn your attention to Tuzla and the
1 presence of an airstrip in Tuzla. Can you begin by describing what
2 significance from a humanitarian point of view that airstrip held.
3 A. Tuzla is actually -- it's quite a large airstrip. Tuzla is also
4 one of the safe areas declared by the Security Council in May of 1993.
5 Despite the presence of this quite large airstrip near the -- the city,
6 the -- the UN had been unable to use the airstrip because the Bosnian
7 Serbs said, We do not want supplies going into this airport to Muslims.
8 Mr. Akashi on March the 1st, 1994, as I recall it, decided to --
9 to present a fait accompli, as it were, and together with quite a large
10 group of journalists and senior officials we flew on a UN aircraft
11 carrying humanitarian supplies from Zagreb to Tuzla. The reaction of the
12 Bosnian Serbs was one of fury. They said this hadn't been cleared with
13 them, that any further flights would be targeted by their forces, and for
14 good measure, as it were, thereafter they fairly regularly targeted and
15 shelled the airstrip.
16 I should say there were no further UN flights for many years after
17 that incident.
18 Q. And now, if I can turn your attention to the Bihac pocket. Can
19 you summarise your observations regarding events that took place in the
20 Bihac pocket in and around 1994.
21 A. Bihac is quite a large pocket, situated in the north-west of
22 Bosnia where, more than in other pockets, I think there was a substantial
23 presence of Bosnian government forces; and indeed I think beginning on
24 October the 23rd, 1994 there was a Bosnian government attack out of the
25 Bihac pocket. That attack was -- initially had some success, but within a
1 fairly short period of time, certainly by November, Bosnian Serb forces
2 were able to take an offensive and to -- to press back on the safe area of
3 Bosnia -- sorry, the safe area of Bihac.
4 I think their ability to undertake that attack is interesting
5 because, of course, at this time they were supposed to be under sanctions
6 from the Yugoslav authorities. Mounting an offensive necessitates the use
7 of considerable quantities of fuel and obviously of -- of ammunition, and
8 certainly the Bosnian Serb forces showed no sign of being short of either.
9 Indeed, they were able to redeploy forces at some quite considerable
10 distance from Eastern Bosnia to North-Western Bosnia.
11 Q. Now, during this time period, I want to draw your attention to
12 Prosecution Exhibit 470, tab 28. It's a code cable from Mr. Akashi to
13 Mr. Annan, and it relays a meeting with Mr. Tudjman. If I could draw your
14 attention to paragraph 4, the last sentence of paragraph 4 contains an
15 assessment by Mr. Tudjman which reads: "But whatever the configuration of
16 the power game in Knin, all players have ultimately to answer to
17 Belgrade." Did that concur with your assessment of the political
18 situation in Knin during that period?
19 A. Yes, I think it did. I think I mentioned earlier to the Court the
20 position of the Croatian Serbs in the so-called Krajina Republic was far
21 more precarious and vulnerable than that of the Bosnian Serbs in the
22 Republika Srpska.
23 Q. Now, drawing your attention to a completely different subject.
24 During the course of your work, was there considerable concern about the
25 possibility that the Yugoslav army was still taking an active part in the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 events in Bosnia?
2 A. Yes, there was.
3 Q. Can I ask you to describe in summary fashion before I ask you to
4 comment on particular documents about this phenomenon.
5 A. Well, everybody, I think, was aware of the fact that both the
6 forces of the so-called Krajina republic and the forces of the Bosnian
7 Serb republic had their origins in the old Yugoslav army, namely the JNA.
8 And there did not seem to be any indication that the parentage of, if you
9 like, the parentage of those two forces, the Croatian Serb forces and the
10 Bosnian Serb forces, had been relinquished. In fact, on the contrary:
11 What one saw was a fairly regular rotation of officers between the JA and
12 Bosnian Serb forces and Croatian Serb forces and the ability of both the
13 Croatian Serbs and the Bosnian Serbs to undertake some operations for
14 which they did not on the surface of it have sufficient logistical and
15 technical capability. I mean, one aspect of this, for example, would be
16 helicopter flights. Another aspect of this would be the strengthening of
17 the air defence system in Bosnia in the course of 1994. I mean, you
18 cannot simply build an air defence system out of nothing. You can't do
19 that overnight.
20 Q. Can I draw your attention to Prosecution Exhibit 470, tab 30. And
21 do you recognise what that document is?
22 A. Yes, I do. It's a code cable to Mr. Akashi from New York, from
23 Mr. Annan, referring to reports in the New York Times of the -- regarding
24 the presence of Yugoslav army officers and allegedly vehicles in Eastern
25 Bosnia in January 1994.
1 Q. And was it also accompanied by a letter by a member of the
2 permanent mission of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United Nations?
3 A. Yes, it was.
4 Q. Can I ask you to read the first paragraph of the letter,
5 summarising the media reports up until that time regarding the possible
6 involvement of VJ or Yugoslav army troops in Bosnia.
7 A. That reads as follows: "We regret having to express our deepest
8 concern about reports over the past several days by our Government as well
9 as international media, informing us of renewed and intensive deployment
10 of Yugoslav Army troops and armoured vehicles coming mainly from three
11 directions: from Serbia through Bijeljina, Zvornik and Visegrad. This is
12 only the latest evidence of blatant Serbian and Montenegrin aggression
13 against the internationally recognised, sovereign and independent Republic
14 of Bosnia..."
15 Q. Would this information or these claims have been brought to the
16 attention of Mr. Milosevic?
17 A. I -- I have no categorical recall of that, but I would have
18 expected them to have been brought to his attention.
19 Q. Now, this code cable is dated the 31st of January, 1994. Could I
20 draw your attention to tab 31, which is a document dated the 2nd of
21 February, 1994. First, can I ask you to tell us what the Yugoslav Daily
22 Survey is or was, and then to please comment on the first paragraph, the
23 statement of Mr. Krajisnik.
24 A. The Yugoslav Daily Survey was a press survey of the sort that most
25 missions to the UN produce on a fairly regular basis, to -- to keep people
1 informed of their various countries. Now, the issue in the -- that you
2 refer to here on February the 1st cites Mr. Krajisnik, who was president
3 of the Assembly of the Serb Republic, as saying there was not a single
4 soldier from the FRY on the territory of the Bosnian Serbs and the RS was
5 not receiving any arms from the FRY. He goes on to mention a radio
6 report, most categorically denying the information in US circles that the
7 VJ - i.e., the Army of Yugoslavia - are crossing into the RS to fight on
8 the Serb side.
9 Q. You've testified earlier about the introduction of sanctions. Was
10 there ever any discussion with Mr. Milosevic with respect to the
11 monitoring of the border between Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina?
12 A. My recollection is there was. As I recall it, Mr. Milosevic
13 accepted the contact group plan in the summer of 1994 regarding Bosnia.
14 The Bosnian Serbs, however, did not accept that plan. And Mr. Milosevic,
15 I think on the 4th of August, announced sanctions against the Bosnian
16 Serbs, against the Republika Srpska. There was subsequent discussion, I
17 think, that Mr. Akashi and Mr. de Mello had, as well as Lord Owen and
18 Mr. Stoltenberg with Mr. Milosevic on the desirability of some monitoring
19 of that sanctions regime.
20 Q. Monitoring by whom?
21 A. That -- that was initially left open. The obvious body to do it,
22 I mean, given its deployment in substantial numbers throughout the former
23 Yugoslavia, was the UN, was the United Nations protection force.
24 Q. Was that --
25 A. And in --
1 Q. Sorry.
2 A. And indeed, after Mr. -- the sanctions were announced on August
3 the 4th, some scoping assessments were undertaken by the UN with regard to
4 the possibility of a monitoring force.
5 Q. What was Mr. Milosevic's position with respect to having
6 international observers in Serbia to monitor that border?
7 A. I think he was hesitant and reluctant to see such a force
8 deployed. He pointed out, I think, to the political difficulties that
9 this would cause within Serbia itself and argued that, of course - which
10 is true - that Serbia was a sovereign territory and I think initially
11 reluctant to see such a force deployed.
12 Q. Can you describe the monitoring force that was eventually deployed
13 along the border.
14 A. What was eventually deployed, which was I think was on September
15 the 17th, which is about six weeks after the announcement of sanctions,
16 was a force which came under the aegis of ICFY, the International
17 Conference of Former Yugoslavia, which was a negotiating mechanism, not a
18 field force. It was a negotiating mechanism at this stage headed by
19 Lord Owen and Mr. Stoltenberg. That force, as I recall it, was about 135
20 strong, to try and monitor a body -- I'm sorry, to try and monitor a
21 border of 300 miles' length.
22 Q. In your view, was it an effective monitoring system, able to seal
23 the border?
24 A. I have to say no. In the initial planning done by the UN, two
25 options were put forward. One would have been for a deployment of a
1 military force on the Serbian side of the border, and under this plan the
2 deployment of 4.000 soldiers was envisaged. As an alternative, there was
3 the option of deploying a mixed civil-military force, UN military
4 observers plus civilians, which would have been 700 strong, and which it
5 was felt could have been adequate for monitoring the border. I think the
6 ICFY force was too small in number, that its ethnic base was essentially
7 Scandinavian, and that its officials did not have access to the
8 information and intelligence that NATO forces would have had access to.
9 Q. Can I seek your brief comment on Prosecution Exhibit 470, tab 32.
10 Does this outgoing code cable to Mr. Annan, dated the 31st of January,
11 1994, discuss some of the problems involved in monitoring the border
12 between Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina?
13 A. It does. And it talks -- I mean, monitoring borders, frankly, is
14 difficult in any part of the world. They had some particular difficulties
15 in the former Yugoslavia dictated by the terrain and the topography, the
16 mountains, and so on. And the then-force commander, General Cot told New
17 York that it was really impossible to closely monitor any of the borders
18 of -- between Croatia and Bosnia or between Bosnia and Serbia and so on.
19 Q. Now, if I could ask you to take a look at Prosecution Exhibit 470,
20 tab 34. It's a -- it's a note to the file regarding a meeting between
21 Mr. de Mello and Mr. Milosevic on the 9th of August, 1994. If I can ask
22 you to take a look at paragraph number 7. It has a representation by
23 Mr. Milosevic about the border. And I'd ask you to read the sentence
24 beginning "The border is completely sealed." If you could read that and
25 continue on to the end of that sentence.
1 A. "The border is completely sealed; only food, clothes, and medicine
2 will be permitted passage. He emphasised that the exceptions to the
3 blockade were not grouped under a vague category of 'humanitarian goods'
4 to avoid ambiguity. Rather, they were strictly defined as 'food,
5 clothing, and medicine.'"
6 Q. At the end of that paragraph, he goes on to say, "This is not
7 Brazil...our borders can be effectively made hermetic."
8 Did the international community rely to some degree on
9 Mr. Milosevic's assurance that he had sealed the border between Serbia and
11 A. Well, I think to a very considerable degree. By the way, I think
12 the reference to Brazil was because Mr. de Mello is Brazilian, and Brazil,
13 of course, is a vast country compared with Serbia in size. Nevertheless,
14 I mean, I think experience has shown in very, very many contexts that
15 sealing borders is easier said than done. And one was struck by the fact
16 that Republika Srpska seemed to get by despite the sanctions.
17 Q. Now, if I can draw your attention to Prosecution Exhibit 470, tab
18 35. Does this document corroborate some of your observations regarding
19 the border closure?
20 A. I'm sorry, Mr. Groome. Tab 35?
21 Q. Yes, tab 35.
22 A. Yes, it does. Yes.
23 Q. And if I can now draw your attention to tab 36 of Prosecution
24 Exhibit 470. And if I can draw your attention to the second paragraph
25 under Roman numeral I. This document is a report from Mr. Stoltenberg to
1 Mr. Goulding, Mr. Annan, and Mr. Akashi, dated the 6th of September,
2 1994. That first sentence -- the first sentence of that second paragraph
3 reads: "President Milosevic and President Bulatovic both assured us that
4 the closure of the border was being implemented strictly and that this
5 would continue."
6 Did Mr. Milosevic regularly assure the international community
7 that the blockade was effective and was being observed by Serbia?
8 A. Yes, he did.
9 Q. Now, you mentioned a few minutes ago in your testimony about
10 helicopter flights. Can I ask you to speak to that issue in a little
11 greater detail with respect to helicopter flights that were observed from
12 Serbia into Republika Srpska or Bosnia.
13 A. Yes, I can. And the Court will see some documentation at tabs 37
14 and 38 and also at 39. This was a frequent problem, and it was one that
15 seemed to increase with the implementation of sanctions. I was aware of
16 helicopter flights originating from or going towards Serbia and beginning
17 in September 1994. Indeed, I gave an off-the-record briefing to the press
18 on that, which I believe appeared in the New York Times on the 21st of
20 Flying -- and these were helicopter flights quite often in some
21 considerable numbers, 5, 10, and 15 helicopters flying at night. This is
22 no easy operation. Helicopter flying in such numbers at night is a very
23 difficult undertaking and one that needs considerable coordination of
24 radars, ground radars, and the helicopters themselves in the air. We know
25 from their own records that the Bosnian Serbs I think only had about 20
1 helicopters at this time. So the question arises: How are they able to
2 put in the air 15 helicopters in one single place at one particular
3 evening? I think that that defies imagination, that they would be able to
4 do that.
5 Q. Now, was there documentation made and an investigation conducted
6 into these helicopter flights?
7 A. Yes, there was. There was documentation. It's before the Court.
8 There was an investigation. There were incidences, which are described in
9 the documents, where UN military observers who were present at airfields
10 in Serbia were denied access on more than one occasion, denied access to
11 radars which they should have been able to access.
12 Q. Now, Dr. Williams, I'm going to ask you to take a look at
13 Prosecution Exhibit 470, tab 39.
14 MR. GROOME: Once again, Your Honour, this is a packet of several
15 documents. The reports that Dr. Williams has referred to, the key
16 documents of this report, the entire reports, have been supplied for
17 completeness, but the Prosecution seeks to rely primarily on the maps that
18 are contained in these reports showing Bosnia-Herzegovina with lines
19 indicating radar tracks of observed aircraft.
20 Q. I'm going to ask that they be played on the screen in front of
21 you, Dr. Williams.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Are these -- the documents, are these -- do these lines on these
24 maps indicate detected aircraft flying from Serbia to Bosnia-Herzegovina
25 or vice versa?
1 A. Yes, they do, particularly that one on the map of the 23rd of
2 February, for example, you see considerable movements towards Serbia out
3 of Eastern Bosnia-Herzegovina.
4 Q. What was the ultimate finding of the investigation into -- I'm
5 sorry, before I ask you that. Approximately how many in total detections
6 were made of aircraft violating the border between Serbia and
8 A. Gosh, I mean, a very, very considerable number. I can't put an
9 approximate figure on it.
10 But one thing I'd like to point out to the Court, for example, was
11 that, you know, in Srebrenica, as the Court will be aware, there were
12 Dutch forces on the ground which were adequately equipped to undertake
13 aerial observation. In the enclave of Zepa, for example, the only UN
14 presence was a Ukrainian force, which I fear was -- was perhaps less well
15 equipped to undertake aerial observations. So in fact the -- the maps
16 that you have before you and so on may to a considerable degree
17 underestimate the amount of aerial traffic taking place at this period of
18 time in Eastern Bosnia.
19 Q. What were the official published findings of the investigation
20 into these transgressions of the border?
21 A. I think that the -- the published findings of the report were that
22 essentially there was a case to be answered here and that it had not been
23 adequately dealt with by the -- the Yugoslav authorities.
24 Q. And did that also confirm -- or conform with the privately-held
25 views of the members of the UN mission?
1 A. Yes, it did.
2 Q. Now, can I draw your attention up to the Croatian border with
3 Eastern Slavonia, and are you familiar with another violation of the
4 border in which there was an investigation into a Russian general.
5 A. Yes, I am.
6 Q. Can you please describe that incident to the Chamber.
7 A. That incident, which I believe took place in late March/early
8 April 1995, involved military equipment coming into Eastern Slavonia from
9 Serbia proper. And in Eastern Slavonia there were Russian and Belgian
10 units present as part of the UN force. And on certain dates in question
11 the Russian officer commanding, General Perelyakin, requested the Belgian
12 forces not to interfere or hinder the transport of military equipment
13 coming from Serbia.
14 Q. And could I draw your attention to Prosecution Exhibit 40 -- I'm
15 sorry, 470, tab 40.
16 A. Yeah.
17 Q. Can I ask you to describe what that document is.
18 A. This document is a code cable from New York, from Mr. Annan to
19 Mr. Akashi, in which he says that the American mission there has
20 officially approached us on instructions that they believe that an
21 incident -- the move had taken place - i.e., military equipment had
22 entered from Serbia - that most of this equipment was already registered
23 with the UN, although he does qualify that, except for six tank destroyers
24 and two Howitzers, and this equipment was being transferred from one part
25 of the Serb Krajina republic to another part of the Serb Krajina republic
1 via Serbia.
2 The cable goes on to say that "The US considers this a gross
3 violation of Security Council resolutions and wishes to have a full
4 explanation," and in particular it raises the question of the complicity
5 of the Russian battalion in the movement of this weaponry.
6 Q. Were there other concerns with respect to violations of sanctions
7 regarding this Russian battalion?
8 A. I have to say that there were quite considerable, and those
9 concerns led, very soon after this, to a request being made to the Russian
10 federation to withdraw immediately General Perelyakin and from Croatia,
11 which was undertaken with -- with some deliberation, yeah.
12 Q. And if I can draw your attention to tab 41 of Prosecution Exhibit
13 470. Is this another report from Mr. Akashi to Mr. Annan with respect to
14 this incident which you're referring to now?
15 A. Yes, it is.
16 Q. Now, when did you finish or complete your service in the former
18 A. I finished that service on April the 17th, 1995 and then returned
19 to London, where I took up a position as a Senior Fellow at the
20 International Institute for Strategic Studies and where a large part of my
21 tasks and duties included the assessment and analysis of the developing
22 situation in the former Yugoslavia.
23 Q. Now, you left a few months prior to the tragic events of July 1995
24 in Srebrenica. During your 15 months in the former Yugoslavia, were there
25 tangible objective signs that if the enclave of Srebrenica were to fall a
1 humanitarian crisis on a grand scale would have followed?
2 A. Yes, I think there was. Personally, throughout my service in the
3 former Yugoslavia, I felt very considerable concern as to what would
4 happen if one of the attacks prosecuted by the Bosnian Serbs went through
5 to its final conclusion, namely that an enclave, a safe area, would fall
6 into their hands. I think their record from the onset of this war in
7 1992, and certainly in the 16-month period I was employed there, showed
8 not only an inability to distinguish between civil and military targets in
9 war but, on the contrary, a deliberate targeting of civilians during
10 warfare and also continuing when areas they had taken were occupied. One
11 only had to look at the situation of minorities in the Republika Srpska,
12 which I think is -- has virtually no comparable incident or effect outside
13 of the Second World War in Europe.
14 Q. Setting aside the precise number of people killed in Srebrenica,
15 could anyone with intimate knowledge of the events of the former
16 Yugoslavia in 1994/1995 have been reasonably surprised that military-age
17 men were killed after the fall of Srebrenica?
18 A. Well, I think if I go back to the Gorazde crisis, there was a
19 period when everyone from the UN military observers in Gorazde itself, up
20 to and including Mr. Akashi, were very, very fearful of the consequences
21 of what would happen when Bosnian Serb forces entered the city of Gorazde.
22 I think our conclusions were that there would inevitably be civilian
23 casualties, that these would be serious civilian casualties that would
24 involve gross violations of human rights, and that frankly the only
25 question in our mind would -- would have been the degree and extent of
1 those casualties.
2 Q. If I can draw your attention to Prosecution Exhibit 470, tab 29,
3 the third page of that exhibit, paragraph 9. This exhibit is a report
4 from Mr. Akashi to Mr. Annan dated the 25th of February, 1995, which
5 contains Mr. Milosevic's view on the situation as it existed in Bosnia.
6 Could I ask you to read the first sentence of paragraph 9.
7 A. "President Milosevic concurred that the situation in Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina would deteriorate and blamed it on the international
9 community's focus on 'details and not the situation as a whole.'"
10 Q. In your view, as of February 1995, did Mr. Milosevic equally
11 appreciate the gravity of the situation in Bosnia?
12 A. I think he did. We were stumbling all the time from one crisis to
13 another, from Sarajevo in February 1994 to the Gorazde crisis in April
14 1994, to Bihac in October and November, and it was obvious, given the
15 continuing deterioration on the ground in Bosnia and around the Eastern
16 enclaves, that one could premise a further crisis and deterioration in
18 MR. GROOME: I have no further questions.
19 JUDGE KWON: If you could reiterate the meaning of the accused's
20 comment, which says, "... the international community's focus on 'details
21 and not on the situation as a whole,'" as you understand it.
22 THE WITNESS: Well, Judge Kwon, my -- I think my understanding of
23 that would be that Mr. Milosevic would have been arguing that too often
24 the international community perhaps had been focussed on the particular
25 crisis, the series of crises I just alluded to in Sarajevo, in Gorazde, in
1 Bihac, and that one had to see these in the round and that peace would
2 only come with -- with an overall agreement.
3 JUDGE KWON: And what would be the situation as a whole?
4 THE WITNESS: Well, the situation as a whole would have been a
5 cease-fire throughout Bosnia and some form of political settlement. I
6 think that as the war had gone on, and certainly by 1994, when the war was
7 -- had been running two years, the Bosnian Serbs and I believe
8 Mr. Milosevic wanted to see a settlement and a settlement on the best of
9 terms, obviously. They were particularly mindful of the fact, as I
10 mentioned somewhat earlier, that peace now -- a peace accord had been
11 implemented between the Muslims and Croats, and in that respect this had
12 obviously been a boost for the Bosnian government. It had also indicated
13 a growing involvement of the United States. So I think there was a
14 feeling perhaps that time was not on their side and that the prosecution
15 of the war needed to be brought to an end somehow.
16 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
17 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn now. Twenty minutes. And then we'll
18 have cross-examination.
19 --- Recess taken at 12.16 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 12.40 p.m.
21 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
22 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
23 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Williams, in your response to the last
24 question and commenting my position, you quoted a passage and said that I
25 said that the international community was engaged in details and did not
1 look at the situation as a whole. Which is true. I think that we share
2 each other's opinion on that score; we agree.
3 Now, are you aware of my position ever since the beginning of the
4 war in the former Yugoslavia, in view of its character - the character of
5 the conflict, I mean - and that it couldn't be put right by seeing to
6 details, that details could not solve the war and that the war had to be
8 A. Yes, I believe I am familiar with your views. Yes.
9 Q. And is that what actually happened? The war was indeed stopped
10 when there was a comprehensive agreement in Dayton, after which there was
11 no more war, nor any incidents either.
12 A. I think that is a fair conclusion. I would, however, say this:
13 The United Nations, and particularly Mr. Akashi during the period when he
14 was there as head of the UN mission in 1994 and 1995, had to be concerned
15 with the detail, and you will know as well as anyone that the detail and
16 the whole cannot be separated, but especially in the circumstances
17 prevailing in 1994/1995, because I am afraid that time and time again in
18 Sarajevo and in Gorazde, in Bihac, and ultimately in -- in Srebrenica,
19 Bosnian Serb forces pressed home assaults, ending with -- with we know
20 what happened in Srebrenica. So the detail could not be separated. And
21 indeed, as in the discussions which took place with you on April the 23rd
22 and April the 22nd, 1994, it was -- the detail had to be addressed first,
23 because the people in the safe area of Gorazde were under direct attack.
24 I wouldn't argue with you when you conclude that the war obviously was
25 brought to a conclusion by Dayton.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 I think -- if I may continue just a little, I think that
2 agreement, frankly, could have come much sooner.
3 Q. Well, that's what I think too, and I'm sure you'll agree that
4 we're not -- it's not a question of either/or here, either the details or
5 the whole. Of course, both the details and the whole is what we're
6 looking at, and the advantage goes to the comprehensive and overall --
7 rather, end of the war; whereas, the details could take second place.
8 Isn't that right, Mr. Williams?
9 A. I would disagree with you there, I'm afraid. And I think often
10 the details are the -- the essence of the matter. It was impossible in
11 the circumstances, for example, around the Gorazde crisis of April 1994,
12 to move forward to a general cessation of hostilities because we couldn't
13 even deal with the emergency surrounding Gorazde. That meeting on April
14 the 22nd and the 23rd, although it brought to a halt the Bosnian Serb
15 attack, there was continuing shelling, continuing presence within
16 exclusion zones, continuing denial of access of -- of UN convoys, and so
17 on and so forth. If that agreement had been, frankly, fully implemented,
18 then I think it would have made possible progress towards a general
19 cessation of hostilities, which Mr. Akashi earnestly wanted, and of course
20 that was the reason behind the meeting in Geneva, in June 1994.
21 Q. And that is something that I advocated the whole time. I assume
22 you're not going to deny that.
23 A. I'm not going to take issue with that. But what I have to say is,
24 you know, the nature of the conflict that unfolded in Bosnia in that
25 period, although it was a war, was exemplified above all by concerted
1 Bosnian Serb assaults on areas which had already been declared safe areas
2 by the Security Council of the United Nations, and it was difficult in
3 those circumstances, I think, to move to a general political settlement.
4 You refer to Dayton and the success of Dayton, and I think,
5 frankly, that is one of the most remarkable things about Bosnia today, the
6 fact that Dayton has held. In my experience, there are not many peace
7 agreements in the modern world that actually hold in a consistent way like
8 that over what is now seven, eight years. But one of the reasons why that
9 has held is that the international community demonstrated quite
10 forcefully, because it had to, that it would not tolerate any longer
11 Bosnian Serb attacks on civilian populations and in particular on areas
12 declared safe areas by the UN.
13 Q. Yes. But to conclude, to round off this question -- and
14 Mr. Williams, could you please give me as short as possible answers to my
15 questions, because my time is limited.
16 Do you share the opinion of a compatriot of yours and the
17 co-presiding officer of the conference, Lord Owen, after Dayton, that the
18 war could have ended two years before with the same results, had there
19 been the true support on the part of the international community. And
20 above all, he spoke about the US administration and President Clinton.
21 I'm sure you'll remember that.
22 Do you share that opinion of his?
23 A. I do and I do not. I do in this respect, that I think the war
24 could have been brought decisively to a close earlier only if the
25 international community had taken decisive action against the Bosnian
1 Serbs at an earlier date.
2 Q. I understand your approach, Mr. Williams. It stems -- it would
3 appear, it seems, that it was only the Bosnian Serbs that went to war and
4 that there were no other parties to the conflict and war according to what
5 you say in your testimony.
6 JUDGE MAY: Well, that is an assertion which you make. The
7 witness should have the opportunity of dealing with it.
8 It's suggested that you're one-sided to that extent.
9 THE WITNESS: No. Thank you, Your Honour, for giving me the
10 opportunity to speak to that.
11 I have to deny that, Mr. Milosevic. And I certainly have to deny
12 the validity of that remark with regard to most of my testimony, which
13 revolves around the 16-month period in which I served with the UN in the
14 former Yugoslavia. For most of that period, the predominant military
15 activity was that prosecuted by Bosnian Serb forces against Bosnian
16 government forces, which is not to deny at all there wasn't military
17 activity by the other side and indeed not to deny that there wasn't
18 military activity initiated by the other side.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Very well. And it is precisely this period that you just
21 mentioned, as I understand it your post implied an insight into all the
22 documents that were sent to the special representative of the
23 Secretary-General, Mr. Akashi, both civilian ones and military ones, and
24 that you had access to all the reports and documents that were collected
25 by the UN rapporteurs, monitors, and by the national military contingents
1 which made up the UN forces. That's right, isn't it?
2 A. That's correct, yes.
3 Q. And in the course of this relevant time, material period, you were
4 a representative of UNPROFOR for the public in the former Yugoslavia;
5 right? And you coordinated the information programme. You were the
6 spokesman, in fact, were you not, Mr. Williams?
7 A. I think that is a correct description of my -- of my work, yes.
8 Q. All right. Very well. Now, from that, can we deduce that you
9 were in fact, speaking in general terms, the best informed person who was
10 representative of the UN in the former Yugoslavia during the time that you
11 were present there and to which you're testifying about?
12 A. Well, I'd hesitate -- excuse me, I'd hesitate to use that
13 formulation of the best informed. I think that Mr. Akashi was -- was
14 better informed in many ways and a number of other senior officials. But
15 I would say that I was well informed amongst a sort of tight group of
16 senior officials that served with Mr. Akashi.
17 Q. Well, I'm very happy to hear that, and I hope that we're going to
18 have an opportunity to hear Mr. Akashi's testimony personally.
19 Tell me this now, please, Mr. Williams: Can we at least then
20 assume, along with the reservations that you made, that you coordinated
21 the information programme of UNPROFOR, that you compiled statements for
22 the world public coming from the region? Were you in fact the individual
23 who selected these materials and had under your control the flow of
24 information, the type of information put out, which communique would be
25 put to the media and published and so on? Just give me a brief answer to
1 that, please.
2 A. Yes, I would, together with officials who worked for me.
3 Q. And is it true and correct that objectively speaking you weren't
4 able to look at all the daily, weekly, and other reports and compile them
5 in the form of communiques for the press and public but that you did so on
6 the basis of a selection you made?
7 A. I'm not quite sure I understand your question there,
8 Mr. Milosevic.
9 Q. Well, in view of the fact that there was a lot of information
10 coming in, I assume that you couldn't take all of them into account and
11 you had to select some of the pieces of information and reports that came
12 in to you.
13 A. Clearly I tried to work to the best of my abilities and also to
14 ensure that those who worked for me and with me had at their disposal as
15 many sources of information as possible in order to be as objective as
17 Q. Since you dealt with activities at the university, you did work of
18 that kind, and of course looked into a well-defined subject matter - you
19 had clearly-cut positions and relationship to the matter you delved in -
20 now, the selection of material from the period of time we're talking
21 about, on the basis of that selection were you able to separate your own
22 views and positions and the information that you selected from the field,
23 on the ground, and so on?
24 A. Yes, I think I was. Rigour and objectivity is something that I've
25 always felt to be important, frankly, in all the professional duties that
1 I've had to equip myself of during my career, whether as a servant of the
2 United Nations or currently of -- of the British government or as an
3 academic in the past.
4 Q. All right, Mr. Williams. Now, in view of the fact that a large
5 portion of your statement refers to the events in Sarajevo, give me a
6 precise answer to this question: How many times did you personally go to
7 Sarajevo in the course of those years, 1994 and 1995?
8 A. I would have said in the course of that year between 10, 14, or 15
10 Q. And how many times were you in Gorazde?
11 A. I was never in Gorazde. I asked on several occasions to visit
12 Gorazde. In fact, earlier in my testimony you may recall I referred to a
13 meeting I had with Dr. Karadzic in late September 1994, and part of the --
14 the reason for that meeting was to request his assistance that I be able
15 to visit Gorazde. I was never able to obtain that permission.
16 Q. Very well. Now, may I take it then, and conclude, that what
17 you're saying, to the greatest possible measure, is based on the reports
18 from observers on the ground; is that right? That was what was it was
19 based on?
20 A. With reference to Gorazde, yes. I mean, that would be wholly
21 based on reports on the ground. I mean, subsequently after the Dayton
22 Agreement, when I was working in different capacities, I visited Gorazde,
23 but never during this period, no.
24 Q. Yes. But then we imply and mean that the observers on the ground,
25 as they were able to see and witness things firsthand, they were
1 undoubtedly more competent than you to assess the situation or to testify
2 to the events that happened at the time; right?
3 A. Yes, obviously with the immediacy of -- of events. Sometimes -
4 and the Court will be well familiar with this - however, that an
5 individual on the ground clearly has a snapshot of events unfolding,
6 sometimes it's possible further -- from further afield to put together
7 many different aspects of the picture.
8 Q. Tell me this, please, Mr. Williams: While you were performing
9 your functions, did you have any doubt into the objectivity of some of the
10 observers on the ground at all?
11 A. Are you referring now in particular to Gorazde?
12 Q. I'm thinking of Gorazde and the other people who reported back to
13 you, because if you did have, I'd like to see who you had your suspicions
14 about or doubted in any way as to the authenticity of the reports and
16 A. Well, for example, you referred to Gorazde. What strikes me, when
17 I look back at my period of service with the UN, was the consistency of
18 reporting from Gorazde. Initially when the Bosnian Serb attack began in
19 late March 1994, most of that reporting came from UNMOs, UN military
20 observers, or from UNHCR. In order to supplement and to verify that
21 reporting, a highly-skilled SAS team was sent to Gorazde, which reported
22 remarkably similar findings.
23 And then at a later stage, I sent my own personal representative
24 there, as it were, Mr. Craig Jenness, dealing with the later period of
25 time, the end of 1994, early 1995, and his reporting was very similar.
1 Q. Yes, but we're not only discussing Gorazde. As you had in mind
2 the overall picture, did you doubt any of your observers on the ground?
3 And if so, whom did you doubt?
4 A. I mean, some reporting is more detailed, more incisive than --
5 than other reporting. And I think one had to put that -- put those
6 reports alongside others. Also, some areas were easier to obtain reports
7 on. Now, for example, the UN - and for that matter the international
8 press corps - were present in quite substantial numbers in Bosnian
9 government territory. But with regard to the Republika Srpska, as I
10 alluded to in my earlier testimony, it was very difficult to get reports
11 because of the systematic denial of access by the authorities, both to the
12 UN and to the press corps.
13 Q. Mr. Williams, I'm going to ask you once again to try and be as
14 brief as possible in your responses to my questions because my time is
16 But let's be precise, as we don't seem to be able to clarify this
17 point. Do you consider that somebody, for example, who was an SMO, as you
18 said, or senior military observer, for example, so this senior military
19 observer who was on the ground, who was equally competent as you yourself
20 were on the ground and in testifying to what was going on there?
21 A. Well, as I'm afraid is in every other field of professional
22 endeavour. I mean, some military observers were better than others. I
23 mean, just as some journalists are better than others in what they report.
24 But in Gorazde, even in the most difficult period, for example -- I mean,
25 there were teams present. So if you like, the strengths and weaknesses of
1 one observer would have been supplemented by those of another.
2 Q. Yes. But the basic duty of the person who was an SMO, a senior
3 military observer, on the ground was to govern and command -- control and
4 command of military sectors in Sarajevo, for example. If you can just
5 give me a yes or no answer.
6 A. I'd give you a yes answer to that.
7 Q. As we're on the subject of Sarajevo, do you know what Lima and
8 Papa teams are? And give me a yes or no answer, if possible, please.
9 A. I'm afraid I don't at the moment, no.
10 Q. I'm going to try and refresh your memory on that score, well
11 intentionally, of course. I don't want to set a trap of any kind by
12 asking this question. Is it true that the military observers in Sarajevo
13 were divided into two teams, in fact, the Papa team, in charge of the
14 Muslim side, and to see how they opened fire, determining the casualties
15 on the Muslim side, holding links with the brigades and police stations,
16 hospitals in their area of responsibility and so on, to monitor Muslim
17 activities generally up at the frontline, to investigate the situations if
18 this was warranted by the senior military observer - I'm sure you'll
19 remember what they were now - and on the other hand, we had the military
20 observers in the Lima team. They had the same tasks and assignments for
21 the Serb side. Does that refresh your memory at all?
22 A. Yes. That is correct.
23 Q. And do you know how many military observers were included into the
24 composition of the Papa team and how many in the Lima team? So the Papa
25 team and the Lima team.
1 A. I can't, off the top of my head. No, I'm afraid I can't.
2 Q. According my information, there were six members in one team and
3 seven members in the other; six in the Muslim team and seven in the Serb
4 team. But we could say that the number was equal.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, do you know who Francis Thomas Roy is?
7 A. No, that's not an individual I'm familiar with, I'm afraid.
8 Q. And do you happen to know that he was a high military observer for
9 Sarajevo, an SMO, in the course of 1994 around Sarajevo, and that under
10 his command he had both these teams, in fact, both the Lima team and the
11 Papa team?
12 A. I don't.
13 Q. Now, during the time you performed your functions, did you
14 yourself personally, or anybody else, have any comments to make with
15 respect to his objectivity on the ground?
16 A. No. But for the clarification of the Court, the UNMOs were only
17 part of the military presence in Sarajevo. Of course, there's quite
18 substantial headquarters presence, led by General Rose, plus there were
19 the French battalions that were present in Sarajevo. So their own work
20 supplemented that of the UNMOs you referred to.
21 Q. Yes, I understand that, but my question is: Do you know that
22 Francis Thomas Roy, just like you yourself, made a statement here in
23 Court, on the 18th of April, 1998, in fact --
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And Mr. May, in order to identify
25 the statement, so Francis Thomas Roy, the number is 00908234 up to
1 00988238 [as interpreted]. Those are the numbers.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Tell me, please, Mr. Williams: Do you remember the date of the
4 20th of December, 1993 when it comes to Sarajevo, for any particular
5 reason? Does it ring a bell in some connection?
6 A. I'm afraid it doesn't ring any immediate bell for me. I was not
7 present; I was still in Cambodia at that stage, of course.
8 Q. Very well. Fine. I'm going to quote something now. Are you
9 familiar with it? Regardless of where you were, all the international
10 media in their reports said that in the shelling of Sarajevo on that
11 particular day, there were hundreds of people who were killed and wounded.
12 I'm sure you'll remember that report. And it was a very memorable day,
13 when all the world media said that there were several hundreds of people
14 who had been killed and wounded on that particular day.
15 A. Well, I have to say to you, even though I was the other side of
16 the world, and you know, I -- I'm an inveterate listener to BBC World
17 Service, I don't recall that report, I'm afraid.
18 JUDGE MAY: You know, Mr. Milosevic, there's not much point asking
19 the witness about it if he was in Cambodia at the time. You can ask a
20 witness who knows about it.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. I wish to say to you that in Mr. Francis Thomas Roy's statement,
23 which I referred to just a minute ago, I noticed that at that time you
24 didn't have your headphones on, Mr. May, and I referred to a statement.
25 He made that statement here just like Mr. Williams is testifying now. He
1 said that the Bosnian side claimed that there were hundreds of killed and
2 wounded persons.
3 JUDGE MAY: No. No point. You cannot ask the witness to comment
4 on what some other witness has said in a statement. You can call that
5 witness yourself or you can -- you can cross-examine if he's called by the
6 Prosecution. But there's no point trying to cross-examine the witness
7 further about this.
8 You can ask him about the period that he was here, of course, if
9 he was in Sarajevo. Of course you can ask him about that. There's no
10 point asking him about events outside that.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. But in view of Mr. Williams's
12 competence, I'm asking you -- I'm asking him, rather, about his opinion
13 about a media report that refers to hundreds of persons killed and wounded
14 and --
15 JUDGE MAY: What date -- what date are you talking about? What
16 date is this? If you're referring to December 1993, you've been told that
17 it's irrelevant and you can't ask the witness about it. So you should
18 move on to something else.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I'm talking about the
20 statement in which it says that there was a total of 17 persons killed.
21 And I'm asking Mr. Williams to tell me what he thinks about --
22 JUDGE MAY: It doesn't matter what Mr. Williams, frankly, with
23 respect to him, thinks about it at all. If you are talking about December
24 1993, you've been told not to. If you want to ask about another date,
25 we'll consider it.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. All right, Mr. May. I
2 did not assume that Mr. Williams did not think at all.
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. But do you know, from the point of view of the actual
5 establishments, who the warring parties were at the Sarajevo theatre of
6 war? Rather, let me be even more precise in terms of this question. Let
7 me not put any riddles to you. Do you know that on the Muslim side it was
8 the 1st Corps of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the name of the
9 commander is Karavelic, as a matter of fact. On the other side was the
10 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps of the Army of Republika Srpska. Are you aware of
12 A. Yes, I am.
13 Q. Now, you claim that most attacks, in all fairness in your opinion
14 - you're presenting your own opinion - were offensive actions of the Army
15 of Republika Srpska rather than defensive actions, and you claim that this
16 is what the leadership in Pale invariably stated that. Is that what you
18 A. Yes, I think that's correct.
19 Q. All right. Since in your statement you talk about the Serb side
20 only and their participation in the conflict, do you know that in the
21 report made in 1998, Francis Thomas Roy's report, it says, "It seemed that
22 the Serbs around Sarajevo were pursuing a position holding activity. I
23 did not see them launch a single attack."
24 JUDGE MAY: What can he say about that? What can the witness say?
25 All he can say is the reports which he received, not whatever
1 Mr. Roy said.
2 Who is Mr. Roy, Mr. Groome? Can you help us? Who is this?
3 MR. GROOME: I do not know, Your Honour. I'm having that ERN
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I mentioned, when I quoted him, that
6 this is a statement given on the 15th of April, 1998 and that Francis
7 Thomas Roy was head of the Monitoring Missions in Sarajevo and that this
8 is on pages from 00908234 up to the end of his statement, given, I
9 presume, to Mr. Groome or one of the people working for him, because I got
10 it under Rule 68. It was disclosed to me.
11 JUDGE MAY: We have it. Now, let's move on to something else.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. I asked Mr. Williams,
13 since it says here: "It seemed that the Serbs around Sarajevo were
14 pursuing a policy of holding positions only. I did not see the Serbs
15 launch a single attack." Now, does that --
16 JUDGE MAY: I've told you you're not going to put this. It's a
17 waste of time, and you're not going on wasting the time of the Court like
18 this. You can call Mr. Roy yourself, if you want. You can ask the
19 witness what he saw and what was reported to him. You can ask him if he
20 agrees, for instance, with the characterisation that it was a holding
22 Mr. Williams, can you help us with that? What is suggested was
23 that this was merely a holding operation -- just a minute. You've put it,
24 we will let the witness deal with it. This was simply a holding operation
25 by the Bosnian Serbs.
1 THE WITNESS: I think, Your Honour, it depends upon the time on
2 which you're speaking about, of course, in this three-year war. During
3 the period I was there, initially there were - in January and February
4 1994 - there were quite serious attacks from the Bosnian Serb side, which
5 of course led to the NATO ultimatum. After that point, the attacks
6 diminished in their seriousness.
7 I should also like to put on record that I do not deny that there
8 were attacks by Bosnian government forces from time to time during the
9 period in which I held my position in the UN, attacks by Bosnian
10 government forces out of Sarajevo.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. I just wish to draw your attention to the following,
13 Mr. Williams: That Mr. Roy was a military observer from mid-October 1993
14 until mid-July 1994. So it also includes half a year of the time that you
15 are testifying about.
16 A. Yes, it does, but I should inform the Court that I've never met
17 Mr. Roy. I'm not aware, I'm afraid, of his testimony before this Court.
18 JUDGE MAY: No. Mr. Williams, may I interrupt you. Nor should
19 you be. In fact, it would be quite wrong for you to be.
20 And it's fairly pointless, Mr. Milosevic, asking this witness
21 about whether Mr. Roy is right or wrong. You can put things, of course,
22 to him, such as it was a holding operation, but simply reading out his
23 statement is simply not proper.
24 Yes, your next question.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, you precisely instructed me
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 to ask the question of this witness, that is, whether he agrees with the
2 assessment contained in the passage that I quoted to him, nothing more and
3 nothing less.
4 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Let's move on.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Is it correct that the Bosnian forces made an effort to take the
8 road to Pale, or rather, the Serb connection between Pale and Lukavica,
9 very well equipped, as a matter of fact? The infantry was used, equipment
10 was used against the Serb forces, and so on. Do you have any information
11 about that?
12 A. Yes. And there was an attack in 1994, I think to try and seize
13 part of the road towards Pale. I think, you know, in these circumstances
14 it is helpful for the Court perhaps to -- to look at the weaponry at the
15 disposal of the contending factions. And I think this is well documented
16 by objective institutes, including the International Institute of
17 Strategic Studies, and it's very clear from that information that with
18 regards to tank, heavy artillery, helicopters, aircraft and so on, the
19 equipment at the disposal of the Bosnian Serb forces was far greater in
20 quantity and quality than that at the disposal of the Bosnian government
21 forces. I would say that this is simply an objective assessment.
22 Q. All right, Mr. Williams. But do you agree with the following
23 assessment, also of Mr. Thomas Roy? He says in his statement - I'm
24 quoting him now - but then you're just going to give me an answer as to
25 whether you agree with this, whether this fits into what you know.
1 "The Bosnians were prone to use heavy weaponry and they were shooting in
2 order to provoke fire, for example, shooting from the hospital compound or
3 placing a mortar in a coal-transporting train and then moving it behind
4 the PTT building where the UN had its headquarters, and then firing," and
5 so on and so forth. "Once when I stopped on the Serbia side on the
6 Lukavica-Pale road, I noticed that the Bosnians --"
7 JUDGE MAY: What Mr. Roy noticed is neither here nor there, but
8 you can put the generality of the matter.
9 Mr. Williams, I think you've got the general point there.
10 THE WITNESS: I think I do. Obviously, I can't refer to the
11 specific -- the specificities of Mr. Roy's testimony, but I did hear on
12 occasion that the Bosnians had sited weaponry near a hospital in Sarajevo.
13 I would acknowledge that I had heard that report, yes.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Well, Mr. Williams, did you receive reports to the effect that
16 they were seen armed or that they were shooting at close range from the
17 hospital at Serb positions or from right behind the PTT building where the
18 UN headquarters was in Sarajevo, and then they would withdraw afterwards?
19 A. I can't recall a specific allegation with regard to the position
20 behind the PTT building that you allude to. There was firing from the
21 city on a number of occasions towards areas held by the Bosnian Serbs. I
22 would not deny that for a moment. And it is the nature, the ugly nature,
23 perhaps, of urban fighting that weapons are frequently placed near
24 civilian buildings.
25 Q. All right. Since your very own military observer, an UNPROFOR
1 military observer, says that --
2 JUDGE MAY: No. No, no. This is all comment by you. The witness
3 can only say what he saw or heard.
4 Yes, let's move on.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, the witness received
6 reports. He was the main coordinator of the military observers in
7 Sarajevo, and I'm just asking him whether he shares his assessments, and
8 his assessments are quite different from the assessments made by
9 Mr. Williams.
10 JUDGE MAY: But you're making comments, which is improper at the
11 moment. You can make them in due course. Now, go on.
12 THE WITNESS: Your Honour.
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
14 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, might I just offer one clarification.
15 Military officials did not come under my command. They came -- they were
16 responsible to a military chain of command which went up to, in the first
17 instance, General Rose, the commander in Bosnia, and then to General de
18 Lapresle. Now, I saw their reports, but it's not true to say that the
19 UNMOs reported to me, and indeed they couldn't, being military officers
20 and the fact that I was a civilian official.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Well, all right. But did you take into account these reports of
23 theirs when making your own assessments or did you not?
24 A. Yes, I did take them into account. You've raised the assessment
25 of Mr. Roy that Bosnian Serb forces were conducting what you call a
1 holding position, for example. I would contest that. The concept of a
2 holding position conveys passivity, but in fact what was being pursued was
3 an active policy of siege of Sarajevo. And in that respect, that the
4 siege was exemplified by the repeated interference with utilities to the
5 city and the repeated denial of access to the UN itself to the city.
6 Q. Well, all right. But a short while ago you said that Mr. Roy
7 headed the military observers. As regards these war operations, do you
8 believe that he is -- that he would be more competent, or rather, would a
9 military or civilian expert be more competent to --
10 JUDGE MAY: I'm sorry, I missed something. Did you say that
11 Mr. Roy headed the military observers?
12 THE WITNESS: Sorry, I didn't, Judge May. I took Mr. Milosevic's
13 word on that.
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes. That's the way we can get misled.
15 THE WITNESS: Can I also make one further clarification? Because
16 I think Mr. Milosevic is trying to make a distinction between military and
17 civilian observers. Now, there were -- there were more than one set of
18 military observers in Sarajevo. There were the official UNMOs, the UN
19 military observers, but there were also the reports sent directly by the
20 sector commander, who was a French general always, and by General Rose's
21 staff at BH command.
22 JUDGE MAY: Well, overnight perhaps you could tell us, Mr. Groome,
23 who this gentleman is.
24 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour. I have a copy of the statement in
25 B/C/S. I'm working on getting it in English.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, just for the transcript,
2 since it is being contested here whether I properly quoted the position
3 held by Mr. Roy in relation to his -- on page 2 of the B/C/S version of
4 the statement, the last paragraph reads as follows, quite precisely: "On
5 the day of the 15th of October, 1993, I became senior military observer
6 for Sarajevo (SMO) - senior military observer - and I held this position
7 until the 14th of July, 1994. My predecessor, the SMO for Sarajevo, was
8 Lieutenant Colonel Kukula [phoen], from Finland, who remained in that
9 position for four months, and I was succeeded by Major P. G. Sko [phoen],
10 as an original."
11 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. We've now got the position. Let's move
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Well, that's precisely what I asked you, Mr. Williams. How is it
15 possible that the reports that you wrote are so substantially different
16 from the reports of the UNPROFOR SMO on the basis of whose report you
17 wrote your reports? How is that possible?
18 A. It is -- it is possible in this way, Mr. Milosevic: My reports
19 would have been based on a wide range of assessments, civil and military,
20 a plurality of reports, not just from the UN military observers but from
21 the Sector Sarajevo command, from BH command, from UN civil affairs
22 officers, from the reports of the United Nations High Commissioner for
23 Refugees, and where it was relevant, sometimes from reports from the
24 international press based in Sarajevo. So the reports of the UNMOs were
25 simply one stream of reports that I would receive.
1 Q. And do you consider that source, as far as military operations are
2 concerned, to be more competent than journalists or the UNHCR or other
3 sources? I imagine that they gave objective assessments too.
4 A. I think everybody tried to the best of their ability to provide
5 accurate assessments. Obviously, military observers are generally better
6 qualified to comment on military aspects than they are, say, on
7 humanitarian aspects, and the opposite would also be the case.
8 Q. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. That's precisely what I wanted
9 us to state here. And you mentioned a while ago that you were aware, from
10 various reports, of attacks against Serb positions between Pale and
11 Lukavica. You did know about that, didn't you?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And do you know how and in which way the Muslim forces of the BH
14 army, during the siege of Sarajevo that you have been talking about, they
15 were being armed by high-quality equipment, French-made, for instance?
16 Did you have any information about that?
17 A. No, I don't.
18 Q. All right. Tell me, do you know the name of David Fraser?
19 A. No, I'm afraid that's an individual I'm not -- not familiar with.
20 Q. Well, let me try to jog your memory. This is the military
21 assistant to the French general who was commanding the sector in Sarajevo,
22 French General Soubirou. And there was Captain Dedier [phoen] and three
23 French bodyguards who were also on the French general's staff. So this
24 was assistant commander of the Sarajevo sector.
25 Let me just add one more thing. He held this position from the
1 17th of April, 1994 until the 26th of May, 1995. So this fully coincides
2 with your stay there and what you have been testifying about, that time
4 A. I have to take your word for that. General Soubirou I knew and
5 met several times, and I recall a Captain Dedier and his staff, but I have
6 to repeat, I never met an officer by the name of David Fraser.
7 Q. I have his statement here, also given to Mr. Groome's side,
8 Mr. Groome being the person who examined you. The number is 00908284.
9 This is something that was also disclosed to me according to Rule 68. So
10 the time does coincide, doesn't it, with your time spent there? So it is
11 from 1994 to 1995. And this is what his statement says. His statement
12 was made in 1997; is that right? The dates do coincide with your own.
13 JUDGE MAY: There's no need to go over this. We're wasting time.
14 Now, I'm not going to let you put the whole statement again. You know
15 what the rules are. What is there that you want to put which the witness
16 can answer, as opposed to give an opinion or comment on?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I am first identifying the
18 person involved, Mr. May, and then I put my question. So here it comes.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. What David Fraser says in his statement, is it true when he says,
21 "When I arrived in Sarajevo --" and he did arrive on the 17th of April,
22 1994 -- "the 9th naval division of the French army was there, the
23 bodyguards were from that division, they were succeeded by the 11th
24 Airborne Division of the French army, which was the former division of
25 General Gobillard. General Gobillard was the successor of General
1 Soubirou, and it was the Light Armoured Division that came afterwards.
2 That one consisted of legionnaires." Is this correct, what Mr. Fraser
4 A. I think that's correct in its elements, as I recall, yes.
5 Q. And now tell me: How come the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina had
6 sophisticated French weaponry, state-of-the-art French weaponry, under the
7 conditions of the blockade that you --
8 JUDGE MAY: The witness has said he doesn't know about the
9 weaponry, if it existed. So no point asking him about that.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. If he doesn't know -- I
11 mean, rather, I did not hear the witness say that he didn't know anything
12 about that.
13 THE WITNESS: Well --
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. You were not informed about that?
16 A. Well, I thought I had alluded earlier to your question. I think
17 you put to me whether I knew they had what you called sophisticated French
18 equipment. The answer was no. I mean, it might help if you were able to
19 be more specific. I mean, what does this mean, "French equipment"? What
20 sort of weaponry are we talking about?
21 Q. Just this, just this that I mentioned, which they got from the
22 French, no doubt. I identified the units that were there, and I read them
23 out from this statement.
24 JUDGE MAY: Let's not waste further time on this. The witness has
25 said he doesn't know about it. Now, let's move on.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Are you aware of the letter of protest that General Morillon sent
4 to Alija Izetbegovic? It was entitled "Violation of the Geneva
5 Convention." Since I have this letter of protest here, it is addressed to
6 President Alija Izetbegovic -- [In English] Subject: Breaking of Geneva
7 Convention. "You will, I'm sure, be aware that the firing of weapons from
8 the hospital is against the Geneva Convention." [Interpretation] Then he
9 goes on to say, and I'll leave out the details. He says: [In English]
10 "82-million mortar had been set up on the western side of the Kosevo
11 Hospital within the hospital grounds. This mortar and its crew then
12 proceeded to fire nine rounds using the hospital as a screen. The direct
13 consequence of this disreputable and cowardly act was that shortly
14 afterward the hospital came under fire from anti-aircraft gunfire,
15 artillery fire, and mortar fire."
16 [Interpretation] And I'll leave out some parts again. [In
17 English] "I'm also becoming increasingly concerned at the recent increase
18 in indication of a lack of discipline -- a recent increase --
19 [Interpretation] recently increased [In English] -- "is an indication of a
20 lack of discipline among your forces. I must urge you -- I must urge you
21 to take immediate preventative actions. I regret also to have to inform
22 you I have been asked to pass the details of this particular incident to
23 the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva."
24 [Interpretation] So are you familiar with incidents of this kind,
25 Mr. Williams?
1 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness -- first of all, can you give us a
2 date? What's the date of the letter?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] January 1993, written by General
4 Morillon to Alija Izetbegovic. It is a letter that I have. And it's not
5 the only one.
6 JUDGE MAY: Well, since it's a letter, although it's outside the
7 time of the -- the witness, nonetheless it's a document. Let the witness
8 see it, first of all.
9 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I mean, clearly it is a letter from
10 General Morillon, as Mr. Milosevic said, dated 19th of January, which is a
11 full 12 months before I assumed my position in Yugoslavia, and it does
12 refer, as Mr. Milosevic says, to a very, very specific incident on 1430
13 hours, Monday, the 11th of January, 1993. That specific incident is
14 impossible for me to speak to, I'm afraid. However, I am aware of
15 reports, as I indicated in an earlier answer to one of Mr. Milosevic's
16 questions, that on occasion there were reports of mortars being situated
17 near the Kosevo Hospital in Sarajevo.
18 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Since that's a document, we'll exhibit
19 it. The Prosecution can have a look. If we could give it the next
20 number, please.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that's Defence Exhibit 147.
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Thank you. Let the Prosecution see it.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. Williams, does it appear to you that this letter in
25 particular - and there are others - actually confirms the statements of
1 Mr. Thomas Roy, a senior military observer, that I quoted from earlier?
2 JUDGE MAY: That is a clear matter for us. It's a pure comment
3 whether it does or not, whether we hear from Mr. Roy or not. It's not for
4 the witness to comment on.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Williams, is the UN headquarters -- or rather, the UNPROFOR
8 headquarters, was it based in the post office building? Please say yes or
10 A. Actually, I think the answer is no there. The Sector Sarajevo
11 headquarters were based in the PTT building, but the headquarters of BH
12 command were based in what was called the -- the residency building, which
13 is further up town. The answer is the headquarters for the Sector
14 Sarajevo was based in the PTT building.
15 Q. So the Sector Sarajevo headquarters were based in the PTT
16 building. That is not in dispute, I hope.
17 A. No, it's not in dispute.
18 Q. Do you agree with the following assertion: It says, "Bosnians
19 were prone to use heavy weapons to disturb people and they opened fire in
20 order to provoke fire, as they did from the hospital compound, for
21 instance," et cetera. "They used a mortar in a railway truck and put it
22 beside a PTT building where the UN was headquartered. They would fire and
23 then move back."
24 Are you familiar with this practice that they resorted to? And
25 you have quoted once again from this senior military observer, a very
1 particular concrete example of them bringing a mortar within the PTT
2 compound, opening fire on Serb positions from it, and then removing it
3 again, and that is what he testifies about on the page I have quoted. Do
4 you consider that to be correct or not, or do you deny it?
5 A. I -- I'm not in a position to pass an opinion one way or the other
6 on that. I mean, I have never heard of a specific report, allegation, or
7 statement with regard to the use of mobile mortars near the PTT compound
8 in Sarajevo.
9 Q. Very well. I didn't claim this on the basis of any Serb sources
10 but on the basis of a source provided by your senior monitor.
11 JUDGE MAY: We don't want, Mr. Milosevic, a running commentary on
12 your cross-examination. What we want are the questions. Come on.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Tell me, please, Mr. Williams: How many reports about the attacks
15 of the VRS against that particular command, from the immediate vicinity of
16 which, as your monitor claims, fire was opened against their positions,
17 were published without indicating that fire had been opened on VRS
18 positions from that same spot previously? Or rather, does it mean
19 anything that this building of the UN command was used as a screen behind
20 which they would open fire on positions held by the Army of Republika
22 A. I find it difficult to follow your question there. I mean, I do
23 find it sort of outrageous to suggest that the UN building was used as a
24 screen with -- you seem to be implying that with the -- with the -- the
25 connivance of the UN. I'm sure that is not the case. Throughout the
1 period that I served with the UN, great effort was made when firing
2 incidents took place --
3 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness finish. It was a confused and
4 rambling question which was difficult to understand the point of. I think
5 it may be, though, we've exhausted the topic, Dr. Williams. I mean, was
6 there ever any suggestion to you that that building was being used for the
7 purposes of -- of firing by the Muslim side, or anybody?
8 THE WITNESS: To the very best of my knowledge, Your Honour, no.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Mr. Williams, to make things quite clear, I'm not claiming at all
11 that there was any connivance between the Muslim side and the UN, with
12 respect to the use of that building as a screen or shelter. On the
13 contrary. On the contrary. Because if there had been connivance, then a
14 military observer of the UN would not put this in his statement as a
16 JUDGE MAY: It doesn't matter about what he said. We've -- we've
17 been through this. Now, unless you've got some other topic of
18 cross-examination, it may be you'll have to bring it to an end.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I have a sufficient number of
20 topics. I hope you will give me sufficient time too, Mr. May. I
21 understand that we're closing for today.
22 JUDGE MAY: We'll go on until five to, another five minutes.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Mr. Williams, if we don't take into consideration these facts
1 which I am quoting exclusively using as my source reports of your own
2 military observers, does that distort the image of the Serbs and their --
3 what they are called --
4 JUDGE MAY: No. I've told you more than once: This constant
5 commentary and comments is irrelevant. What you say about your
6 cross-examination is irrelevant. The fact that you say you're quoting
7 monitors is irrelevant.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Do you agree with the following statement, Mr. Williams, and I'll
10 quote your military observer. I'm just asking you whether you agree with
11 it or not. "The greatest advantage of the Bosnian Serbs was their great
12 supremacy in tanks and artillery, but it wasn't of great advantage in
13 fighting in built-up areas. Their use of artillery and tanks to shell
14 Sarajevo in an attempt to influence the will of the Bosnian government
15 actually had very little effect. The shelling to provoke terror and to
16 discourage infantry attacks by the Bosnian side actually played into the
17 hands of the Bosniaks (the Muslims) because the international media were
18 accommodated in the Holiday Inn Hotel in Sarajevo and they tended to
19 report on the war on the basis of the situation in town." That is
20 contained in the report of this observer of yours.
21 Did you receive a report to this effect from any observer from the
22 territory of Sarajevo?
23 A. Well, I have no recollection of that specific report. I can
24 comment a little on the content within that quotation. I notice that the
25 observer clearly acknowledges the great discrepancy in weaponry between
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the Bosnian Serb forces and the Bosnian government forces. He talks about
2 tanks and artillery on one side and infantry attacks on -- on the other.
3 He also says, which I think has some truth to it, that awful though these
4 attacks were upon the civilian population of Sarajevo, it is not the case
5 that the morale of the population was broken, if that indeed was the
6 objective of those attacks.
7 Q. Mr. Williams, I'm not raising the issue of the balance between the
8 two sides. Let us leave that aside for the moment. I assume that you
9 know that officially the government of Serbia, through the media and in
10 public, condemned the shelling of Sarajevo. I assume that you are aware
11 of that.
12 A. I'm aware that statements were made from time to time, not as
13 forcefully --
14 Q. But what I wish to ask you here is: Is it clear that this was not
15 a one-sided attack by the Serbs but a conflict between two parties on the
16 frontline around Sarajevo? Is that at issue? Is that in dispute for you
17 as a UN spokesman?
18 JUDGE MAY: Let him answer.
19 THE WITNESS: It is clear that a war was being -- was -- that a
20 war was taking place and that Sarajevo was one of the focal points of that
21 war. I think the most accurate description of the campaign around
22 Sarajevo from the summer of 1992 through to the autumn of 1995 is that one
23 side, the Bosnian Serb side, undeniably laid siege to the city of
24 Sarajevo, which I remind you had been declared a safe area by the Security
25 Council of the United Nations. Elsewhere in Bosnia that war took
1 different aspects, depending on the region, and there were regions, as I
2 mentioned earlier, for example, in the -- with respect to Bihac, where
3 fighting in 1994 was set off by a Bosnian government defensive.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Williams, I'm not asking you that. I'm asking you whether it
6 is clear that this was a conflict between two sides, that it wasn't a
7 one-sided attack by the Army of Republika Srpska. And as you have now
8 explained that that was a security zone, is it logical, then, that no
9 firing should come from a security area on the territory under the control
10 of the Army of Republika Srpska?
11 A. I thought it was implicit when I acknowledged that it was a war,
12 that a war necessitates two sides to a conflict. That, I acknowledge.
13 Q. I'm glad to hear that. But do you assume, Mr. Williams, that had
14 it not been for the opening of fire from Sarajevo against positions under
15 the control of the VRS, would then have the Army of Republika Srpska
16 opened fire on Sarajevo just like that, without any reason or provocation?
17 A. I have to say to you that on very many occasions, I would say the
18 vast majority of occasions, yes, they did.
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We must bring matters to a close today.
20 Dr. Williams, we've received a message to the effect that you have
21 to leave tomorrow morning. You have to get back to London. Is that
23 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I would like to return to London, if I
24 can, at midday tomorrow.
25 JUDGE MAY: I don't know whether -- I'm told 11.15 or 11.30, would
1 that be right, for leaving?
2 THE WITNESS: For leaving the Tribunal, yes, if that's --
3 JUDGE MAY: In fact, the position is this, that the accused has
4 had one hour and a quarter. If he has an hour and a half tomorrow, that
5 will be the same time as the Prosecution. We'll consider how long he
6 should have.
7 But, Mr. Milosevic, it won't be very much more than an hour and a
8 half. And remember, a great deal of time is wasted when you argue with
9 the witnesses to try and force them to agree to what you say, when their
10 evidence is totally complicated -- to the contrary. And a great deal of
11 time is spent in this case while you try and argue them into a position
12 which is contrary to the one which they hold.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I understand your efforts
14 to give me an equal amount of time, but I would request that you give me
15 somewhat more time. Also, I hope that Mr. Williams will not deny that his
16 answers are rather lengthy and that they take up a lot of time too.
17 JUDGE MAY: Almost as much as your questions.
18 Yes. We'll adjourn until tomorrow, 9.00. Would you be back here.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
20 at 1.58 p.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday,
21 the 25th day of June, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.