Statistics Expert Witness Aids Human Rights Prosecution

Patrick Ball was the first expert witness called in the case against the former Serbian president, who was representing himself against mass atrocity charges at the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia. The statistics expert witness spent 10 months crunching numbers about migration patterns in Kosovo. Ball’s findings suggested that hundreds of thousands of refugees who fled to Albania were spurred by the violence of Mr. Milosevic’s army. also writes:

When the analysis showed the movements were neither random nor likely to follow NATO or KLA activities, Ball wrote: “The migration patterns of Kosovar Albanians are consistent with the hypothesis that there was a coordinated and organized effort to drive them from their homes.” In layman’s terms, the data suggested ethnic cleansing. In fact, the migration patterns matched killing patterns “so unbelievably perfectly” that he concluded that the two situations might be explained by the same external influence.

Ball also wrote software that allowed a human rights commission to aggregate and analyze the human rights records of officers in the El Salvadoran Army. The results forced a quarter of the military leadership to retire. He has also worked on finding ways to uncover the scale and pattern of human rights violations in South Africa, Haiti, Guatemala, East Timor, and Peru.