Ratko Mladic’s defense has argued that the words such as ‘massacre’, ‘atrocities’, ‘scale of victimization’, and ‘ethnic cleansing’… were ‘inappropriate’ for an expert report on demography. Ewa Tabeau, the prosecution’s demographer, begged to differ, noting that the terminology stemmed from the data collected after the discovery of mass graves

Ewa Tabeau, witness at the Ratko Mladic trialEwa Tabeau, witness at the Ratko Mladic trial

The cross-examination of the prosecution’s demography expert Dr. Ewa Tabeau was completed today at the trial of Ratko Mladic. Last week Tabeau’s cross-examination was interrupted in order for the judges to hear the evidence of Janusz Kalbarczyk, former UN soldier who was held hostage and used as a human shield against NATO air strikes by the Serb troops in May and June 1995.

The defense insisted that Ewa Tabeau used ‘inappropriate’ terms in her report: words such as ‘massacre, ‘atrocities’, ‘scale of victimization’, ‘ethnic cleansing’… Mladic’s defense counsel Dragan Ivetic put it to her that she adopted the terminology used in the media, an unreliable source for an expert demography report.

As Ewa Tabeau argued, the words were ‘very appropriate’ given the topic of her demographic analyses. In the report on Srebrenica, Tabeau noted, she spoke of about 8,000 men that disappeared when the enclave fell into the Serb hands. Most of them were later found in unmarked mass graves, exhumed and identified. Her terminology stemmed from the data, not the media, Tabeau concluded.

Mladic’s defense attempted to contest the number of victims, noting that the report on Srebrenica does not specify how many persons were killed in combat in the attempt to break out of the enclave through the woods. The Srebrenica report does not establish how many victims died in mine fields or how many of them committed suicide in order not to fall into the Serb hands alive.

The defense counsel also noted that the lists of missing persons from Srebrenica in some instances overlapped with the BH Army records and that the BH Army lists didn’t include the ‘Muslim paramilitaries’. Tabeau confirmed that about 70 per cent of the names from the missing persons lists were soldiers. In her expert reports she didn’t deal with the cause of death, Tabeau emphasized.

After Ewa Tabeau completed her evidence, the prosecution called its military expert, Ewan Brown, from Great Britain.