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US scientist testifies for prosecution in Milosevic trial

THE HAGUE -- (13 March 2002) A U. S. Statistician, called as a witness in the Milosevic trial, presented a new study to a UN tribunal today, finding evidence consistent with the hypothesis that from March through June 1999, Yugoslav forces carried out a systematic campaign of killing and expulsions of Kosovar Albanians that led to the deaths of more than 10,000 people.

The testimony of Patrick Ball, a scientist with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), rules out other potential causes that had been proposed by Milosevic and his defenders -- that the dead had been killed by members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) or during NATO air attacks. "The findings of this study are consistent with the hypothesis that action by Yugoslav forces was the cause of the killings and the refugee flow," Ball and his co-authors wrote in their report to the tribunal, Killings and Refugee Flow in Kosovo: March-June 1999. "Killings were used either to motivate the departures, or the killings were a result of the campaign."

The authors of the report collected their data on Kosovar refugees from the registries of Albanian border guards in the Albanian village of Morina, and complemented it with the records of other Albanian government agencies and the U.N. High Commission for Refugees. The data on killings were based on exhumation records, and on interviews with refugees conducted by the Human Rights Watch, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the American Bar Association Central and East European Law Initiative, co-sponsor with AAAS of the Ball report.

Ball explains that the data on killings and refugee flows, based on 15,000 interviews and exhumation records, reveal that both seemed to occur in the same place, at the same time, and in distinct surges that suggest "the existence of an external cause."

"When the overall estimates are compared at the regional level, a clear relationship remains
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Contact: Daniel Kane
dkane@aaas.org
American Association for the Advancement of Science
14-Mar-2002


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