1 Friday, 16 March 2007
2 [Closed session]
11 Pages 3841-3917 redacted. Closed session.
12 [Open session]
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're in open session.
14 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honours, the next witness for the Prosecution
15 will be Mr. Robert Donia.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 [The witness entered court]
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.
19 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
20 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
21 WITNESS: ROBERT DONIA
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may sit.
23 And you may begin, Ms. Edgerton.
24 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you, Your Honours. As Your
25 Honours are well aware, Mr. Donia's report was admitted pursuant to Your
1 Honour's decision earlier last month; however very recently we filed a
2 small corrigenda, which Mr. Donia prepared to that report. Accordingly,
3 what I propose to do is circulate for everyone's ease a copy of that
4 report and ask Mr. Donia a couple of very short questions relating to the
5 report and core agenda, ask for an exhibit number to be put on the report,
6 and ask for the corrigenda to be admitted as well. If you distribute
7 those copies, please.
8 If everybody has the copies, then I'll begin
9 Examination by Ms. Edgerton:
10 Q. Witness, could you please state your full name and date of birth
11 for the record?
12 A. Yes. Robert J. Donia; I was born May 30th, 1945.
13 Q. And were you asked to prepare an expert report for use in this
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And do you see that report on the lectern in front of you?
17 A. Yes.
18 MS. EDGERTON: I see that Mr. Donia doesn't have copy of his
19 corrigenda. Could he please be given this as well.
20 And for Mr. Registrar, the e-court number of the report is 02963.
21 Q. And beside you as well on the lectern now, do you see a copy of
22 the corrigenda that you prepared and we filed?
23 A. Yes.
24 MS. EDGERTON: Mr. Registrar, that bears the 65 ter 03045.
25 I would ask, Your Honour, now that pursuant to the decision that a
1 number be assigned to Mr. Donia's report, and the corrigenda to the report
2 be admitted as the next exhibit, please.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, let that be done.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, 65 ter 02963 will be admitted as
5 P472, and the corrigenda 03045 will be admitted as P473.
6 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you. That being done, the report and
7 corrigenda being admitted Your Honour, the Prosecution will not be asking
8 any further questions of Dr. Donia and produces him for cross-examination
9 by the Defence.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Ms. Edgerton.
11 Mr. Tapuskovic.
12 Mr. Tapuskovic, it's your turn to cross-examine.
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. Let me just collect my
14 material. I was except expecting the Prosecutor to use her one hour.
15 MS. EDGERTON: Perhaps while Mr. Tapuskovic collects his material,
16 I have made an error in the ter number I have given to the corrigenda. It
17 actually bears the ter number 0344 -- 03044. Thank you.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Evidently you have taken Mr. Tapuskovic by
19 surprise, Ms. Edgerton, but I don't know why. It's a Rule 94 procedure.
20 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Tapuskovic:
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] The problem is not the fact that
23 I did not have my material ready. I was merely preparing to hear the
24 examination-in-chief; however, I am ready to examine Mr. Donia.
25 Q. Mr. Donia, I'm the Defence counsel for Dragomir Milosevic.
1 Several years ago we met briefly whilst I was amicus curiae, and I
2 examined you in that capacity for a short period of time. On this
3 occasion, however, I will have some more time at my disposal to go through
4 the topics contained in your paper.
5 As far as I was able to see in this extensive report, there are as
6 many as 74 paragraphs. I did my best to focus only on the parts I
7 consider significant for the defence of Dragomir Milosevic. Out of the 74
8 topics, I will be -- or rather, paragraphs, I will be focussing on some
10 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm told by my
11 colleague that none of the material that I wanted to base my examination
12 on can you found in e-court. I'm told that the material will be there
13 soon. I had to mark my papers with reference to the paragraphs to
14 facilitate my examination of the expert witness.
15 It's not in e-court yet.
16 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: I understand that the technician is addressing,
18 or will shortly be addressing, that problem.
19 Well, can you start with something else that doesn't require
21 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm afraid not, but we have it
22 now, it seems. This is Prosecution Exhibit P362, and I cross-referenced
23 it with paragraphs. My copy of the report, as well as the English
24 version, has paragraphs marked on it, and can we please have the English
25 version retrieved so that Your Honours can follow my cross-examination.
1 That's the same document I was referring to. I only want the
2 version that I uploaded into e-court because I was forced to work with
3 some paragraphs to make my cross-examination easier. I'm not sure if
4 that's what we have on our screens now.
5 Very well. Now I can start.
6 Q. Mr. Donia, let us first look at introduction, which can be found
7 on page 4 in both versions.
8 You state there that you made this report as a historical
9 background and political and military context for events alleged in the
10 indictment in the ICTY case, case number IT-98-29/1-T, The Prosecutor
11 versus Dragomir Milosevic. Is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You go on to say that the report focussed on the events, on
14 developments from November 1990, when multi-party elections brought
15 nationalists to power, to August 1994. Is that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Is it fair to say, then, that the situation existing on the ground
18 between August 1994 and November 1995, as well as the political and
19 military circumstances, are something that you did not take into
20 consideration at all. Is that right?
21 A. I wouldn't say I didn't take them into consideration at all,
22 because I had to have some understanding of them to prepare the background
23 report, but I have not addressed those in the report, I think, except for
24 one sentence toward the end in which I discussed the period until the
25 actual negotiations that led to peace in 1995.
1 Q. Can we take it that, for instance, you did not consider the
2 following fact at all; namely, that in early August 1994, the Federal
3 Republic of Yugoslavia employed a sanction-type approach toward the JNA.
4 You did not take this into account at all. I only found one
5 sentence to that effect.
6 A. I did not address the issue of whether or not there was a sanction
7 regime -- sanctions regime, in effect in the Republic of Serbia.
8 Q. You also go on to say in the introduction that multi-party
9 elections brought nationalities to power. Was this true for all the
10 sides, for all the parties to these events? Yes or no.
11 A. You mean within Bosnia-Herzegovina, if I can clarify your
13 Q. Since this opinion concerns the events in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
14 I primarily had that in mind, yes.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. In paragraph 2, you say that this report of yours dealt with all
17 these matters based on materials from the research library of the
18 University of Michigan, your own personal library, documents made
19 available by the Office of the Prosecutor. Is that right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. By your profession, you're primarily a historian, aren't you?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. With regard to problems concerns linguistics and language and
24 constitutional and legal matters, you do not have any expertise, do you?
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. Let us turn to the next page, the first paragraph on that page,
2 and the heading: "Peoples and Nationalism, Sarajevo, and the Multi-party
3 Elections of 1990."
4 Is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. In the first sentence, you speak of Communism collapsing in
7 eastern Europe and of multi-party elections being held throughout the
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You go on to say the following: "In the Federal Socialist
11 Republic of Yugoslavia, SFRY, country-wide elections were never called."
12 Is that right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Is it correct that back at that time, or rather, from 1945 up to
15 1990, there was a system in place that was imposed by the communist
16 authority of Josip Broz Tito?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Is it correct that all the structures of power were controlled by
19 people who were members of the communist party, and there were roughly
20 around two million of them. Is that right?
21 A. League of Communists is the term; but in large measures, yes,
22 there were, particularly in the later years of socialism, more and more
23 people of influence who were not party members. But as a generalisation,
24 I would agree with your assertion.
25 Q. Therefore, some two million people decided the fate of some 22
1 million people. That was the population of Yugoslavia and, of course,
2 we're talking in rough terms. Can you confirm this for me?
3 A. Yes. Again, I qualify that by saying more and more people had
4 more control other than own destinies, and more non-party members played
5 important roles in various institutions, particularly of institutions of
6 self-management in the latter years of socialism in Yugoslavia.
7 Q. However, in all those years, especially up until 1960, all those
8 who were of dissenting opinions and expressed different opinions were
9 imprisoned. You are familiar with the inform bureau period, the Goli Otok
10 facility, and -- and 90 per cent of the cases involved Serbs and
11 Montenegrins. Isn't that right?
12 A. No. Your premise is not correct, not everyone was imprisoned, and
13 the people who were the subject of repression or prosecution were of
14 various groups within Yugoslavia. I would think, for example, if one
15 looked at the year 1971, would be completely the opposite for the number
16 of people who were punished or imprisoned. So, no, I would say -- I would
17 reject your premise there.
18 Q. I was yet to come to 1971. That's why I deliberately emphasised
19 the period between 1948 and 1960 as well as Goli Otok. And, at that time,
20 they were imprisoned because some people favoured the Soviet Union. That
21 was the inform bureau case, and many of them were imprisoned back in the
22 Adriatic Sea.
23 A. I would, nonetheless, reject your premise or your assertion.
24 There was a period of time between about 1949 and 1952 when the majority
25 of political repression was directed against conformists. Their
1 nationalities, again, were various. I don't know of any reliable
2 statistic that would say that 90 per cent of them were Serbs and
4 Q. Yes. Up until 1952, they were put in prison, but they stayed
5 there until 1960 without any judicial decision being passed. Did you know
6 that they were basically kept for as many as 20 years in very harsh
7 circumstances in these prisons, simply pursuant to administrative
8 decisions. Are you an aware of this or not?
9 A. You're making a very broad generalisation that I could not accept,
10 could not agree with you on.
11 Q. I understand what you're saying. None of the material that speaks
12 extensively of these events is familiar to you. Isn't it?
13 A. I'm familiar with certainly some works and studies of that period.
14 Q. The events you mentioned concerning 1972 had to do primarily with
15 constitutional change. All those who were opposed to the amendments to
16 the constitution in 1974, most of them law professor, did you know that
17 several of them were arrested and many more kicked out of the university
18 because their version of the constitution did not fit where the general
19 situation at the time? Let's put it that way. Those were judicial
21 A. Your question pertained to 1971, I believe, which is a period when
22 the so-called Croatian Spring flourished and hundreds of Croats were
23 arrested and many purged from the party, and that would certainly be one
24 of the largest episodes of political repression, not only at that time,
25 but throughout the socialist period.
1 You then asked a question about 1974 and the constitution, and,
2 yes, it's true that there were a few people arrested and imprisoned for
3 views that were construed as anti-state at that time.
4 Q. Now that you mentioned 1971 Croatian Spring, was that an attempt
5 by Croatia to secede from Yugoslavia as earlier as then in a forcible
6 way? Yes or no.
7 A. No.
8 Q. Thank you. Let us go back to your report. You say that the SFRY
9 never had country-wide elections, or rather, they were never called as was
10 normally done throughout the world. Do you know that more than half of
11 the SFRY population was Serbs living in Serbia, Croatian, Lika, Kordun,
12 Dalmatia from the beginning of time in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro,
13 and there were some present also in there Slovenia and Macedonia? Is not
14 a notorious fact that there were more than ten million Serbs living not
15 only in Serbia but in all the other parts of the country that had lived as
16 one for almost 70 years?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Therefore, out of 22 million, half of them were not Serbs?
19 A. I believe the census figures showed that of the Yugoslav
20 population about 34, 35 per cent identified themselves as Serbs by
22 Q. You should have the basis for this statement that you make. You
23 should be referring to an underlying document. If you can refer me to a
24 single document supporting this, I will withdraw my question. Is it true
25 that seven million people living in Serbia were ethnic Serbs?
1 A. I don't recall the census data on the number of Serbs either in
2 Serbia proper or in the SFRJ in the 1981 or 1991 census, but certainly a
3 very knowable number. The percentage of Serbs in Yugoslavia was nowhere
4 near the 50 per cent that you suggested in your initial question to me.
5 Q. Is it right that roughly 1.5 million Serbs lived in Bosnia and
7 A. I believe I gave you that number in the appendix to my report, and
8 that is approximately correct.
9 Q. Is it correct between 600 and 700 thousand Serbs living in
10 Croatia, I believe this is stated in your report, 600.000 or 12 per cent?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Is it correct that at the time only Serbs lived in Montenegro,
13 though with a small fraction of Albanians and Muslims?
14 A. Well, part of that population of Montenegro considered themselves
15 Montenegrin and part considered themselves Serbs to my understanding. So
16 I would say no to the premise of your question.
17 Q. You were probably reading newspapers recently, because that's the
18 opinion that has prevailed now every since Montenegro have is seceded from
19 Serbia. I was talking about the 1990s, and the escalation of the crisis
20 at the time.
21 In that period, weren't the Serbs living in Montenegro primarily
22 Serbs, but considered themselves to be Montenegrin as well, since they
23 lived in that general area. Isn't that right?
24 A. So you're saying that they were Serbs and Montenegrins at the same
25 time? Is your suggestion?
1 Q. Let us not belabour the point. It's quite a sensitive matter.
2 Let me go directly to what I have been meaning to ask you.
3 Had democratic elections been organised ever in Yugoslavia and had
4 the peoples living in Yugoslavia in 1990 there, Serbs, Croats, and
5 Muslims - and this is somewhere in your report - especially Bosnian
6 Muslims, who appreciated the fact that they were part of Yugoslavia.
7 Isn't that right? You wrote that in your report that the Muslims were
8 highly appreciative of the fact that they lived in Yugoslavia. I will
9 refer you to the specific part of your report later on.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Therefore, had it been fob for democratic elections to be
12 organised in 1990, given the general situation and the sentiments of the
13 people, would those people ever have decided to go their separate ways, or
14 would they have opted for a common life had these democratic election that
15 Josip Broz had been preventing from happening for 50 years, in fact, been
17 A. In 1990, the non-Serb peoples of Yugoslavia, and even many of the
18 Serbs, had become very fearful of Serbian hegemony, as it was being
19 manifested in the Milosevic regime. So it's hard for me to imagine that
20 the country-wide election would have resulted in a harmonious vote in
21 favour of Yugoslavia.
22 I have to say in any case it would be speculation as to how those
23 elections might have come out. They were certainly opposed by the
24 Republic of Serbia and Milosevic, as well as the Slovene leadership.
25 Q. We will there, sir. Let's forget Milosevic for a moment. If the
1 people who lived in that country had been asked, do you think that they
2 would have opted for war if a referendum had been called or would they
3 have opted for the continuation of the peaceful life that they had for 50
4 years in a region in which there was no long stretch of peace of 50 years
5 at anytime before in that history.
6 What do you think they would have opted for, including the people
7 of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
8 A. Well, I don't know any country in which people would vote for war
9 over peace, and I think it's rather an absurd proposition to suggest that
10 such a election would ever be held. It certainly wasn't held in
11 Yugoslavia, anywhere in Yugoslavia in 1990.
12 Q. That is exactly why I am asking. Slobodan Milosevic is one
13 problem, but what was worrying the Croats and the Slovenians is that they
14 were aware that if all the people had been asked, the country would have
15 -- wouldn't have fallen apart. It would have stayed a whole.
16 Milosevic is another topic. So for the first time in their
17 history, they would have had to -- they would have had their say in
18 democratic elections. Is that so or not?
19 A. Well, as I think your question implies, you can't forget Milosevic
20 and the impact that his actions had on general attitudes, which made the
21 non-Serb peoples turn very much against continued participation in
22 Yugoslavia at that time and accounts for, in large measure, the success of
23 nationalist parties in the various elections, not only in Bosnia and
24 Herzegovina but in the other republics that you have just mentioned.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic --
1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just one more
2 question. We'll get there yet. But you mentioned 1984 also, and you also
3 mention Milosevic's influence upon separatism and hegemonism, et cetera.
4 But where was Milosevic in 1984? Slobodan Milosevic did not exist in 1984
5 when the constitution of 1984 was passed, but we will get there yet.
6 Q. What did Milosevic have to do with 1974? I will show you the
7 place in your document where you mention him as the bearer of all the
8 principles, counter to the interests of all other people. I would like a
9 yes or no answer from you, but we'll get there. Where was Milosevic in
10 1974 and in 1971 at the time of Croatian Spring?
11 A. There may be a translation problem, but I think -- I never
12 mentioned 1984, but did speak of 1974. And as far as I know, Slobodan
13 Milosevic was a banker in Belgrade and member of the League of Communists.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: We'll take this up after the break.
15 --- Recess taken at 3.06 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 3.27 p.m.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, we have an hour and a half, or an
18 hour and 35 minutes, and the cross-examination should be concluded by that
19 time, if not before that time.
20 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is a very
21 lengthy document. I have shortened it to 20. I really had to be very
22 strict in my selection. I will try, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Concentrate on the important issues. Some of
24 the issues you have been dealing with thus far do not appear to the
25 Chamber to be so vital.
1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if there had been
2 democracy in communist Yugoslavia, there would have been no war and we
3 would have been living peacefully.
4 Q. I asked you a little while ago about 1974, not 1984. At the time
5 when the constitution was fashioned in 1974, Josip Broz Tito was still
6 alive. He was 82 years of age. Is that so? Do you know that this was a
7 kind of concession to the Croatian Spring in order to satisfy the
8 appetites of Slovene and Croatia for them to achieve independence some day
9 as easy as possible.
10 A. No. I think it was an effort to provide, let's say, a legal and
11 societal republic-level autonomy at the same time that the unity of the
12 country should be guaranteed by the League of Communists.
13 Q. Wasn't it then that the veto principle was introduced. Is it
14 correct that two autonomous provinces were created that had attributes of
15 statehood, and the were located in the territory of Serbia; is that
17 A. That was a couple of different questions. It was the time at
18 which a veto principle was introduced in the federal legislative bodies.
19 The two autonomous provinces had existed under those names since 1945 and
20 were given additional authority or an increased role both in the
21 Federation and increased autonomy under the terms of the 1974
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please go ahead.
24 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. And do you know that throughout that history, the period of Tito,
1 there were attempts to give the Serbs in Krajina the same kind of autonomy
2 that was granted to Kosovo and Vojvodina in Serbia. Are you familiar with
3 that from numerous documents and a great amount of literature?
4 A. There were -- yes. There were ideas of such floated at various
5 times by people, along with ideas for autonomy of other peoples and
7 Q. Can we say at any rate that by the introduction of the veto right,
8 the right that was granted to the provinces, too, the Republic of Serbia
9 became unable to take any decision in the interest of the people, because
10 every time there would -- an important decision, a vital decision in the
11 interest of the people was tried to be passed, it would be vetoed. Is
12 that correct or not?
13 A. No.
14 Q. All right. Then let us take a look at what you are saying here.
15 At first elections were held in Croatia and Slovenia. Is it right that
16 the Slovenian and Croatian constitutions were changed before that?
17 A. No.
18 Q. And the Serbs, who lived in Slovenia, there was a substantial
19 number of them in Slovenia; and the Serbs in Croatia who had the status of
20 constitutive people, did they lose that status under the terms of the new
21 constitution and became a minority? Yes or no.
22 A. For Slovenia, I don't know. The number of Serbs was really quite
23 small in Slovenia. As far as Croatia, did the Serb lose their status as a
24 constituent nation, yes, they did, in the constitution of May or June of
1 Q. And the right to their language.
2 A. Not completely, no.
3 Q. All right. But since we're dealing with Bosnia-Herzegovina here,
4 you know that that part of former SFRJ, or rather, that republic was a
5 very specific because three peoples lived there; Muslims, Serbs and
6 Croats. The share of the Croats and the Bosnian population was below that
7 of the Serbs in Croatia. Is that correct?
8 MS. EDGERTON: I'm sorry, Your Honours. I think there's two
9 questions in there.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Questions one at a time.
11 THE WITNESS: Well, I think I can answer them.
12 The first question was: Did three constituent peoples live in
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the answer is yes; Serbs, Croats, and Bosnian
14 Muslims, and there were additional small groups or -- small other groups
15 that lived there.
16 And the second part of your question was whether the -- I think
17 the per cent of Serbs in -- the per cent of Serbs in Croatia was about 12
18 per cent. The per cent of Croats in Bosnia was about 17 per cent,
19 according to the 1991 census.
20 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. All right. My question is the following: About the abolishment
22 of the constituent quality to any one of these peoples ensue in serious
23 tension, let us not go as far as conflict? Yes or no.
24 A. I'm sorry. I'm not quite sure I understand the question. Would
25 you kindly pose it again?
1 Q. In that republic, three peoples lived which was not the case in
2 any other republic. Is that so?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. If any of these three peoples had lost the right to decide
5 together with the others, in other words, if they had lost the status of
6 constituent nation, would that result in serious tensions? Was that easy
7 to foresee?
8 A. Well, not particularly. The three nations kept their constituent
9 status through March of 1994, and clearly there were many tensions and
10 conflict -- conflicts that occurred prior to that time. So saying that
11 the loss of constituent status at the constitutional level would generate
12 tensions or conflict would be kind of speculation for Bosnia-Herzegovina.
13 It's clear that it did do that in Croatia.
14 Q. Didn't the dominant or position of one people and the outvoting of
15 the other ensue in a civil war there, so that even the United Nations had
16 to intervene?
17 A. The term "majarosaci" [phoen] or "majoritisation" was a term used
18 by members of all three nations to characterise majority rule, and it was
19 sort of brought into disrepute by the denunciations of particularly Serb
20 and Croat nationalists. So I don't know that the process as much as
21 the -- the process of majority rule as much as the rejection of majority
22 rule by both Serbs and Croats -- Croat nationalists was the source of that
24 Q. Perhaps I can accelerate a little, and we proceed to the second
25 paragraph of your document.
1 Can you tell me about the people who lived -- that lived in that
2 country, the problem -- the issue of language, whatever you call it,
3 Serbian and Croatian, Bosnian and Montenegrin, or whatever, was there ever
4 a problem of communication? Did they have a problem in understanding each
5 other during those 70 years? Was language ever a problem?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Language was a problem only for politicians who were power-hungry
8 and acted in their interests as well as some theoreticians. Isn't that
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. But in your opinion you state that Croat, Serbs, and Bosnian
12 Muslims of BiH all originated in migrations of Slavs to south-eastern
13 Europe in the fifth through eighth centuries A.D. Is that so?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Can you explain to me where you're saying in the fifth through
16 eight centuries, at that time, Slavic tribes of which the most numerous
17 were the Serbs and Croats settled in the Balkans. At that time there
18 could have been no Bosnian nation; is that so? They couldn't have called
19 themselves Bosnian while they were still living in the Carpathians?
20 A. We had no evidence that they did. The origin of the name
21 "Bosnian" is not completely certain, so I suppose it's possible that they
22 may have carried that -- a tribe may have carried that name with it. But
23 that is really something about which we know very little or nothing for
25 Q. But much is known about that. There are international and
1 Yugoslav authoritative texts about that, that some Slavic tribes inhabited
2 certain areas of the Balkans. They were mostly Croatians and Serbian
3 tribes, and they had arrived in the Balkans. And let me refer to
4 something else.
5 You say in your second sentence that they spoke Bosnian, Croatian,
6 Serbian, abbreviated B/C/S. How could they have spoken Bosnian when they
7 arrived to Bosnia as Slavs? Can you provide a logical explanation at all?
8 A. I think there is a considerable consensus among scholars that the
9 migration of what became the south Slavs was -- probably took place by
10 tribes, and that the names of two of those tribes were Serbs and Croats.
11 As I say, there is considerable agreement on that, although nationalists
12 scholars of both Serbs and Croats would not share that view.
13 The language that they spoke has undergone a number of changes in
14 names and is referred to by differ peoples as -- under different names.
15 The name of the language or languages that we use in this Tribunal is
16 B/C/S, and I've -- since I am really not an expert in linguistics, but
17 more of a consumer of that literature than a provider of it, I have used a
18 formulation from a very recent book by two linguists and described the
19 language as both one and three at the same time.
20 Q. You are referring to Ronel Alexander. Were there no better
21 experts to rely on concerning the issue of languages.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Since you yourself said you are not an expert in linguistics, let
24 us not dwell on this any longer. You went on to describe how the identity
25 of those people living there was established, and towards the end you said
1 that the most striking difference between them was religion; that is to
2 say, Orthodox faith, Catholicism, or Islam. Is that correct?
3 A. Religious tradition was a key element of distinguishing these
4 peoples one from the other.
5 Q. Can we now move to paragraph 4. That's page 6 in the English
6 version, paragraph 3.
7 Here you talk about how Sarajevo dates before Roman times. What
8 is the significance of this settlement, which got this name only later,
9 dates from pre-Roman times. What is the significance of that piece of
11 A. I'm not quite sure I understand what your question is? The
12 pre-Roman -- the significance of the pre-Roman settlement or the
13 significance of Sarajevo? What are you referring to?
14 Q. Since in the indictment it is said that Sarajevo was established
15 before Christ, and here you say --
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, if you continue along these
17 lines, there is no way that I will entertain any submission from you to go
18 beyond 5.00.
19 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I will do my best to conclude my
20 examination by 5.00 and to avoid staying a minute after that.
21 Q. When we spoke a while ago about the faith that determined the
22 identity of those peoples, you say here that the urban centre of Sarajevo,
23 in its present location, was developed primarily during the Ottoman Empire
24 in the mid-1400s. Is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. The Muslim faith could not have been adopted by anyone prior to
2 the arrival of the Ottoman conquerors. Is that correct?
3 A. No, that is not correct. There is substantial evidence of
4 conversions to Islam in advance of the Ottoman arrival in Bosnia.
5 Q. How was that possible, since it is a historical fact that they
6 started their conquest of Europe through Serbia sometime between 1460 and
8 A. Prior to that time, there were a number of conversions to Islam
9 amongst people in the area who had been exposed to either the Islamic
10 faith or had come to know it through travelling in Ottoman lands, and so
11 there was probably a small number -- there were a small number of Muslims
12 in Central Bosnia at about the time that the Ottomans actually conquered
14 Q. Can you give me any name of any scholar or authority or any source
15 of this kind of information?
16 A. There's substantial literature on this, as you may imagine, but
17 Nedim Filipovic has written on this. Hasan Sabanovic, among others, have
18 addressed that question of Islamisation and noted that aspect of the
19 pre-Ottoman -- small number of pre-Ottoman conversions to Islam.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Of what ethnicity are these two authors that you
21 just referred to.
22 THE WITNESS: I guess they were -- certainly Hasan Sabanovic was a
23 Bosnian Muslim. Nedim Filipovic, I believe, identified himself as a
24 Yugoslav, but would either be Serb or Muslim as well.
25 Q. I was referring to world renowned authorities. I was not
1 referring to any member of the ethnic groups from that region. Therefore
2 I was seeking a support for your thesis that it was possible for people to
3 be converted to Islam prior to the arrival of the Ottoman conquerors?
4 A. This is not an issue that has preoccupied, let's say, scholars of
5 world history in any great numbers. I would say the best scholarship
6 about it has been done by scholars in the late Yugoslav era, from about
7 1960 to 1985. So whatever their ethnicity, and I would say their
8 ethnicity in this case is irrelevant, whatever their particular fame is in
9 history, I view those studies as authoritative because they're well done,
10 they're grounded on documentary evidence, and come from people who speak
11 and read the languages necessary to interpret them.
12 Q. Let me ask you one more thing in relation to this. Along with
13 Islam, there were Orthodox Serbs and Catholic Croats at the time. Is that
15 A. At that time, and it's, what, 1460?
16 Q. Yes.
17 A. The vast majority of people in Central Bosnia in the area of
18 Sarajevo, at that time, were either Catholics or members of the medieval
19 Bosnian church, and there were some Orthodox as well. I think it's
20 probably not appropriate to identify those people by ethnicity; that is,
21 they were certainly Slavs and speakers of Slavic language. But for most
22 purposes, they didn't identify themselves by ethnic identification as much
23 as by religious affiliation.
24 Q. My last question on this topic would be this: The Croat and Serb
25 dominated Slavic tribes converted partly to Islam, some of the Croats but
1 there were many more Serbs who adopted Islam as their faith?
2 A. Well, as I read the literature on conversions, most of conversions
3 came from the Catholics -- most conversions to Islam came from Catholics
4 and members of the Bosnian church, not Orthodoxy.
5 Q. I'm asking about the Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina. They were the
6 ones who converted to Islam most, according to historical date. Isn't
7 that so?
8 A. No. According to historians who studied this question, the vast
9 majority came from Catholicism.
10 Q. Well, let's say the Croats were the ones -- the majority?
11 A. Well, let's not say that, because most of them didn't identify
12 themselves as Croats. They were Catholics or members of the Bosnian
13 church, which was largely Catholic in there practice but independent of
14 the Pope, and there's really not much to suggest that they thought of
15 themselves or identified themselves as Croats. These were Slavic speakers
16 whose primary identity was religious or with a religious tradition; in
17 this case, Catholicism.
18 Q. Thank you. The next sentence reads as follows, and I am very
19 interested in hearing your explanation of this: "Sarajevo grew the most
20 under different administrations: Ottoman, mainly 1460 to 1600;
21 Austro-Hungarian, 1878 to 1980; and Communist Yugoslavia, 1945 to 1990."
22 Is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. When you talk about the period between 1878 [as interpreted] and
25 1990, you never mentioned in your report the events happening between 1914
1 and 1918; i.e., there is not a single mention of the First World War. How
2 do you explain that?
3 A. In the interest judicial economy, I have attempted to avoid a
4 historical narrative, and instead focussed in this report on the primary
5 historical actors that take part in the events of 1992 to 1995. So the
6 purpose was not to provide any kind of historical narrative, and I make no
7 representation that it is any way complete, but rather to identify the
8 groups an individuals who played an important role.
9 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honour, to follow on with that, I remind
10 everybody that the title of Mr. Donia's report is "The Making of the Siege
11 from 1990 to 1994," and I'm wondering about the relevance of this whole
12 line of questioning at this stage of the day.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: What's your response to that, Mr. Tapuskovic?
14 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] At the end of my examination, I'm
15 going to demonstrate the relevance of that. That's the whole point of
16 this whole exercise.
17 Q. In 1990, Mr. Donia, there were more than 10 per cent of people
18 living in Yugoslavia who lived through the two World Wars. Do you think
19 that had any impact on the events that followed afterwards, in view of
20 their experience from the First and Second World War? Yes or no.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. That is precisely why I am asking you. How is it possible to talk
23 about this siege, or siege in inverted comas, without first tackling the
24 issue of the two World Wars. Do you know that in the First World War,
25 Serbia, alongside with Montenegro, was on the side of the allied forces
1 when Austro-Hungary attacked Serbia. Is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Is it also correct that Austro-Hungarian army who entered Serbia
4 were made up of Croats, Muslims, even Serbs who had been mobilised and
5 were members of the Austrian army regiment; is that true?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Is it true that it is a historical fact that can be found in all
8 the encyclopedias around the world that around 40 per cent of Serbian men
9 were killed during the First World War?
10 A. I can't confirm that, no.
11 Q. Is it also true that the very few who survived were expelled from
12 Serbia across Albania and that they had undergone a terrible ordeal in the
13 process; is that true.
14 A. The Serbian army withdrew, after being defeated, across Albania
15 and regrouped on the island of Corfu. So I would say that they were
16 driven out and force-marched themselves to the safer confines of Corfu.
17 They were transported largely by the British from the land mass to the
18 island of Corfu.
19 Q. On their way, while crossing Albania, were they killed and did
20 they die as a result of freezing. Is that also true?
21 A. Many died of freezing, yes, and there was certainly some
22 harassment of the retreating force on the part of Albanian irregulars at
23 the time they were in march as well.
24 Q. They managed to get together in Thessaloniki in Greece and then
25 joined the first ranks of Allied forces in order to continue the fight
1 against the Austro-Hungarian units that were eventually expelled from
2 Serbia. Is that also true?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. The Treaty of Versailles, based on the will of Major Powers, was
5 the basis for the kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes in spite of
6 everything that Serbs had gone and suffered from these very same people.
7 Is it true, then, that this state was created as a result of the will of
9 A. The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes was created on
10 December 1, 1918 by fiat, or by order of the Serbian regent, Aleksander.
11 The Versailles Treaty was not signed until sometime after that, so it
12 makes no sense that the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes was a
13 product of the Versailles Treaty.
14 Q. Are you saying that Serbia could have expanded to include this
15 entire area if it had not been from the will or the pressure from
16 superpowers to create such a state and to incorporate the Croats and the
17 Muslims from Austria and Hungary, who had previously crossed Serbia? So
18 you're saying that this state was created against the will of the peoples?
19 A. I think it was created with great enthusiasm and delight by the
20 leaders of Serbia, the Kingdom of Serbia, and with the very willing
21 participation of the political leaders of Croats and -- and Slovenes.
22 Other peoples were opposed to it. The Albanian of Kosovo, for
23 example, found this to be an imposition, a nationalists imposition and
24 negation of their hopes to be part of an Albanian state.
25 So I think some peoples -- or the leaders of some peoples joined
1 enthusiastically in its creation, and others felt either that they were
2 had been left out of the decision, which would be the case of the Bosnian
3 Muslim, or were viewing that as a oppressive imposition, which would be
4 the case of the Albanians of Kosovo.
5 Q. Weren't the Kosovo Albanians on the side of Austro-Hungarian
6 throughout the war and took part in many killings of Serbs. That's a
7 historical fact?
8 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honours, I feel at this point I really have to
9 renew my objection as to relevance to line of questioning. Mr. Tapuskovic
10 did give an initial response when I raised the question the first time,
11 but we have full circle and we're back to almost a 100 years before the
12 indictment period.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, he did start with the Treaty of Versailles
14 after the First World War, and I'm expecting you now to move to the Second
15 World War because there a relationship between what happened. And I
16 imagine he is going to establish that.
17 So move to the Second World War now and deal with the Serb
18 involvement in that war and, then move on quickly to the modern era.
19 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] That was precisely my intention,
20 Your Honours.
21 Q. Now we come to Second World War. Immediately and from the outset
22 of the war, isn't it a fact that an independent Croatian state was
23 established that was part of the Axis?
24 A. Subsequent to the German invasion of Yugoslavia, the Germans and
25 Italians agreed to set up a puppet state known as the Independent State of
1 Croatia, yes.
2 Q. Is it true that the first thing that -- what Hitler did in view of
3 the uprising in Serbia was to raze Belgrade to the ground, and not only
4 Belgrade but other towns in Serbia as well. The bombing started on the
5 6th of April, 1994, and thousands upon thousands of Serbs were killed in
6 the process?
7 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: 1941.
8 THE WITNESS: The Germans bombed essentially all cities in the
9 course of their invasion. Certainly, the heaviest bombardment in Belgrade
10 and, yes the deaths from that ranged in the thousands. They also
11 bombarded Sarajevo. Those casualties numbered in the many hundreds, and
12 other cities as well. So the German attack on Yugoslavia was very costly
13 in lives in a number of places, and the primary victims of that military
14 assault it seems to me were indeed Serbs; the most numerous victims
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Mr. Donia, you say that Sarajevo was bombed. At the time,
18 Sarajevo was part of the independent state of Croatia. Bosnia-Herzegovina
19 was part of the banovina under the rule of NDH or the independent state of
20 Croatia. Not a single bomb fell either on Sarajevo or Ljubljana. How can
21 you account for that?
22 A. You have your chronology mixed up. The attack on Yugoslavia by
23 the Germans preceded the creation of the NDH. The attack on Yugoslavia,
24 as you indicated, began on April 7th, and it wasn't until several weeks
25 later that the NDH was created, by which time the entire country had been
1 conquered by German and Italian forces.
2 Q. They did not bomb either Croatia or Slovenia, that's for sure,
3 because Croatia was part of the Axis.
4 Towards the end of the war, again Serbia alone was bombed,
5 including Belgrade, Vranj, and other cities, and that was done by the
6 Allied forces with the blessing of Marshal Tito?
7 A. That seems to be your testimony, but it is wrong. There were
8 battles all over and bombarding of cities by German forces towards the end
9 of the war in a number of different situations. So that's an extremely
10 tendency and one-sided way of describing the end of the war in 1944/1945.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, we have dealt with the First
12 World War. We have the Second and the involvement of the Serbs in the two
13 wars. You have raised the matter on which the witness differs from you.
14 You're not going to settle. If it has to be settled, the Chamber will.
15 You must now move to the 1990s.
16 I think we have heard enough of the background, and I quite agree
17 that you can't start with 1990, but I don't want to have any more on the
18 First and Second World War. Move to the 1990s now.
19 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Only one more question, Your
21 Q. In the camps in the NDH, isn't it true that hundreds of thousands
22 of Serbs, Roma, and Jews were killed. Some sources say 700.000, other
23 sources say 500.000, but in any case in the hundreds of thousands. Do you
24 know anything of that? And with that I will finish.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Can you comment on that?
1 THE WITNESS: The Tito regime immediately after the war spread the
2 exactly myth that you just put forward; that, in fact, the number of the
3 casualties in the Second World War was about two million and that the
4 numbers of people who suffered in the camps, who died in the camps was in
5 the many hundreds of thousands, and that number in the course of latter
6 years of socialism has been challenged effectively by two very fine
7 studies, showing the demographic losses owing to the Second World War; one
8 by a Serb demographer and one by a Croat demographer.
9 Those two studies both put the total number of war dead in the
10 Second World War at about one million, considerably less than the Tito-era
11 estimates, but nevertheless a strikingly large number of victims. They
12 also examined the ethnicity of the casualties and found that in percentage
13 terms, as percentage of the total population, the percentage of Serbs who
14 died was very slightly greater than the percentage of Bosnian Muslims who
15 died in the course of the war.
16 I don't have those numbers right at my hand. I have written about
17 those studies elsewhere, and would commend them to you for a very
18 relatively reliable assessment of the human costs of the Second World War.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: No more questions on this. Absolutely, no more.
20 You will move to 1990 or end your cross-examination. We have had enough
21 of the historical background, which concededly is of some significance.
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. I will move directly to page 8, paragraph 2 in the English
24 version; namely, the villages in Sarajevo.
25 The villages with the Serbian majority were located to the east of
1 Sarajevo in the mountainous area of Pale, in Ilijas, and other smaller
2 settlements. Is that right?
3 MS. EDGERTON: Sorry. Is that page 4 or page 8?
4 THE WITNESS: I think it's page 5.
5 MS. EDGERTON: Yes.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. So that's it, okay.
9 Let me hurry up. So let's move to English page 9, paragraph 2,
10 where you speak about the 1974 constitution, and you state there: "Six
11 republics and two autonomous provinces received autonomy pursuant to the
12 1974 constitution; whereas, the presidents of the republics had very
13 differing opinions as to how the federal state should be organised," and
14 there you go on to say, "There were two camps, Separatist Nationalists and
15 who were in principle Croats, Slovenes, and Kosovo Albanians; and on the
16 other hand, Hegemonist Nationalists led by Slobodan Milosevic, President
17 of the Republic of Serbia." Is that right.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. My question relates to separatist and hegemonist. In 1974, when
20 the constitution was passed, what did Slobodan Milosevic have to do with
21 any of it, with the period when these concepts were embedded in the
23 A. I'm describing here the dilemmas facing the newly elected
24 officials of the city of Sarajevo; therefore, it applies to November,
25 December 1990 and the period afterwards, by which time this divide between
1 the hegemonists and separatists was substantial. And I have adopted the
2 description in this very fine book by Raif Disdarovic, who tells of his
3 time as President of the Presidency of Yugoslavia and experiencing
4 frustration and disappointment with both camps in his effort to keep
5 Yugoslavia together.
6 Q. So, again, a politician from Bosnia-Herzegovina. Did that
7 constitution put the foundations in for the dissolution of Yugoslavia?
8 Wasn't the SFRY crushed into its constituent republics as early as 1974?
9 A. I think that is putting it too strongly, but I would agree that
10 the seeds of this republicanisation were certainly embedded in the
11 constitution of 1974 and became more pronounced after Tito's death in
13 Q. That is the way it was envisaged, or rather Josip Broz Tito was
14 elected a lifetime president. As soon as he died, the visions embedded in
15 the 1974 constitution were supposed to be materialised. Is that not in
16 fact what happened in 1988, or rather, 1981 when the -- with the
17 demonstrations in Kosovo?
18 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honour, I your direction was to go to 1990,
19 and we're now back to 1981.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, 1990, Mr. Tapuskovic. That is in fact what
21 the report is about, but I allowed you to deal with the background because
22 I acknowledge there is a historical relationship.
23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm referring to the
24 direct causes of the horrors that happened in Yugoslavia. Look at the
25 last sentence of the paragraph that deals with the federal system and the
1 community. It says here: "The leaders of BiH found to be between a rock
2 and a hard place because they appreciated being in Yugoslavia, but were
3 afraid on the other hand that the Serb would go to dominate the rump
5 Is that not right?
6 A. That's correct.
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I'll hurry up and skip ahead to
8 the siege.
9 Q. On the issue of military preparations or preparedness, you said on
10 page 16, paragraph 3 -- that's actually paragraph 26 according to my
11 numeration. The heading is "Military Preparations." Have you found it?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Here you say, "In 1991 and earlier 1992 the three nationalists
14 took measures to prepare militarily for war. Bosnian Muslim leaders of
15 SDA sponsored the creation of two paramilitary groups; The Patriotic
16 League and the Green Berets," and that's all you say here. Do you know
17 that the Patriotic League and the Green Berets had been established back
18 in the month of March 1991 as military units? Are you aware of this?
19 A. There were two meetings. One was indeed in March of 1991. The
20 formal creation of the Patriotic League as a party instrument of the SDA
21 was in, I believe, June 10th of 1991.
22 Q. Did you read the books by their generals, the first Chief of the
23 General Staff Sefer Halilovic and other authors? There were other
24 generals who wrote books about this. Did you read such books? Yes or
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Let's turn to Sefer Halilovic. I should like to read this out to
3 you. I'm not sure if you speak Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian.
4 A. Please, go ahead.
5 Q. It hasn't been translated. It's DD00-1636.
6 I should like to read several passages to you.
7 JUDGE HARHOFF: Counsel, what are you reading from?
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] From the book by Sefer Halilovic,
9 who was the first Chief of the General Staff of the army of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina; therefore, man number one of the ABiH up until 1993.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: You said you were going to read several passages.
12 Just confine yourself to one or two, or three at the most.
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] No, just two.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please state the page he is
15 quoting from?
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: What is the page? What is the page?
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Page 7. I only took several pages from that book. That's page 7
19 at the bottom. I will read out just the first sentence: "Our forces were
20 organised into the BiH Patriotic League in the units on the strengths of
21 platoons, two detachments and brigades, numbering the total of 120.000
23 Page 9, it says: "I decided with the engagement of all the forces
24 of," and he's talk become 1992. "I decide to use certain forces and to
25 take in a quick action certain warehouses and facilities of the JNA, block
1 barracks, prevent breaches and advances by the enemy, and as soon as
2 favourable conditions are met to engage in extensive offensive activities
3 with a view to crushing destroying and driving out the enemy from the BH
5 This was January 1992 when 120.000 men you were under arms. Are
6 you aware of this?
7 A. You've conversed these dates somewhat. We have agreed there was a
8 meeting in March 1991, in with which the Patriotic League was formed in
9 concept; and as I have indicated on June 10th 1991, a large convocation of
10 SDA leaders the formed a Muslim, I believe it is called Muslim Council for
11 National Defence. So the origins of these -- or for at least the
12 Patriotic League go back to spring of 1991.
13 You can also read in General Halilovic's book that there was very
14 little activity, virtually nothing going on when he first appeared on
15 scene in September of 1991, and was given the responsibility of leading
16 the organising activities.
17 I have indicated, certainly in my book, although I don't believe
18 in this paper that by January of 1992 the Patriotic League was indeed
19 effectively organised, was holding inspections, and was moving toward
20 becoming more battle-ready, largely on the basis of a large number of
21 volunteers, but with a great paucity of weaponry and ammunition.
22 This in fact -- the citation that you have just read is a -- a
23 standard part, but only one part, of the story of the preparation of the
24 Patriotic League in the course of 1991, 1992, until the time of the
25 outbreak of war in April 1992.
1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I should like to
2 tender this document, DD00-1636, to be marked for identification.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be marked for
5 identification as D133.
6 MS. EDGERTON: I'm have no objection to object to it being
7 admitted. I'm happy if it goes in. It doesn't need to be marked for
8 identification. These are photocopied pages from the book by Sefer
9 Halilovic. I had the benefit of Ms. Bosnjakovic beside me, and it slipped
10 my mind, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. So it's marked for identification, pending
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 Q. In the same passage at the end of that passage, it says: "As
15 stated above" -- I apologise. We're looking at the document based on
16 which I am examining you, DD00-1462-52; English version page 16, paragraph
17 3, the penultimate sentence. Do you see that?
18 A. Can you just read a few words of it.
19 Q. "The SDS, as described above, supported the JNA's Croatia campaign,
20 coordinated plans with JNA units in BH."
21 You're referring to the campaign against Croatia here, aren't you?
22 A. Yes, the JNA campaign against -- in Croatia.
23 Q. Please, when you were preparing this report, and I couldn't find
24 this anywhere, did you have in mind the documents in possession of the
25 Prosecution; namely, Presidency of the SFRY held on the 12th of July,
1 1991, starting at 10.30 and chaired by Stjepan Mesic. Did you ever see
2 this document and go through it? Yes or no.
3 A. You asked me two questions. One, did I base this conclusion on
4 the that document and the answer is no. I don't know if I-- without out
5 looking at it, if I have seen it. My source for this statements is --
6 there was a great deal of press coverage, particularly in the newspapers
7 Glas and Kozarski Vjesnik, in the Bosnian Krajina dealing with the
8 thousands of Bosnians who served in the JNA during the Croatian campaign,
9 many of them having been essentially mobilised by the SDS at the
10 initiative of Radovan Karadzic.
11 Q. Mr. Donia, this wasn't my question. I wanted you to give me a yes
12 or no answer to the following question: Whilst preparing your report, you
13 did not use the SFRY Presidency record of the meeting held on the 12th of
14 July at the time when Yugoslavia was still in existence, the meeting which
15 dealt with the JNA and other topical issues. You did not take that
16 report, or rather, that record into consideration, did you?
17 A. I didn't use it in preparing this report, no.
18 Q. Thank you. You didn't use another document either; that's the
19 minutes from the 189th meeting of the members of the SFRY Presidency, the
20 extended Presidency held on the 2nd of March, 1992. You didn't use that
21 one in preparing your report either?
22 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honour, if I may, at least I think we're in
23 the appropriate decade now, but, again, I renew my objection as to
24 relevancy. We have yet to get to Sarajevo.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's not irrelevant, but remember the time
2 THE WITNESS: Well, if I may answer your question. Yes, I in fact
3 did consult that document in the course of preparing this report. I
4 didn't cite it, but I am aware of it and read through it.
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. In that case, I should like to tender it as a Defence exhibit,
7 DD00-1649. There is the English translation as well. I should like to
8 read the main part of it, English page 2, the last paragraph.
9 MS. EDGERTON: Is that document available in e-court at all
10 Mr. Registrar?
11 THE REGISTRAR: I don't have a document under DD00-1469.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Is that on your list, Mr. Tapuskovic?
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, Your Honour. That's
14 DD00-1469. That was the number it was assigned. I have both the B/C/S
15 and English versions.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just put the English version on the ELMO quickly.
17 So what is the passage now?
18 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Page 2 in the English version,
19 last paragraph.
20 Q. I will read out only that one. The last paragraph on page 2. Can
21 I proceed? Do you see that?
22 This is the SFRY Presidency decision: "The SFRY Presidency
23 emphasised that they would respect any political decision agreed upon by
24 the three equal constituent nations living in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The
25 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina could be prevented -- can be prevented if
1 the international community followed such a diplomatic approach.
2 "Therefore, the SFRY Presidency has called upon all the state and
3 political structures as well as all three constituent nations in Bosnia
4 and Herzegovina to take a reasonable and restrained approach in order to
5 prevent an even greater tragedy that it would be difficult to contain."
6 Did you take this into account in your report or when writing that
7 sentence about the JNA launching a campaign against Croatia?
8 A. I'm sorry. The document of this -- or the date of this Presidency
9 meeting? What is the date of this Presidency meeting? I'm not -- I
10 understood it to be March of 1992.
11 Q. Yes, precisely. One month before the recognition of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina. There was mention of this matter that should be taken
13 care of -- taken into account.
14 A. By the time this session was held, the war in Croatia had begun
15 and at least temporarily ended. And other than perhaps continuing the
16 public posture of the JNA backed by the Presidency of playing this neutral
17 role, which was only a small part of its actual role, I see no relevance
18 between this document and the war in Croatia.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Move on to another subject now, Mr. Tapuskovic.
20 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation].
21 Q. In the English version, that's page 16, paragraph 4, where you
22 speak of the wars in Slovenia and Croatia and how they started.
23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Oh, yes, Your Honours, I would
24 like to tender this document DD00-1649 into evidence. There is the
25 translation of it.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Oh, it's translated. Yes.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be D134.
3 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Page 16, paragraph 4.
4 Q. There you refer to the wars in Slovenia and Croatia. You say that
5 the Yugoslavia People's Army gradually transformed into a Serbian force.
6 Is that right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Is it correct that a conflict broke out in Slovenia and that the
9 first war crimes were committed there when some 50 unarmeded soldiers were
10 killed there when the barracks were surrounded, encircled? Are you aware
11 of this?
12 A. I don't -- I can't confirm that, no. The war itself was, of
13 course, a result of the Slovene declaration of independence and the
14 subsequent JNA decision to seal off the -- to take control of the border
15 crossing points from Slovenia into other countries.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Tell me: As soon as the JNA withdrew from Slovenia, all those who
19 were JNA members and were Slovenes remained or stayed behind in the
20 Slovenian army, did they not?
21 A. Nearly all of them did, yes.
22 Q. Was that the case in Croatia, too?
23 A. I think the transformation of the JNA in Croatia took place during
24 the course of the war, not so much at the time of the withdrawal. With
25 hostilities beginning, many officers of Croat nationality and recruits of
1 Croat nationality left the JNA, which was the reason that the JNA had to
2 start mobilising recruits in Bosnia and Herzegovina. So I would just
3 place that development to well advance -- in advance of the actual
4 withdrawal which only began in January of 1992.
5 Q. Talking about Croatia, do you know Tudjman's -- Tudjman's
6 well-known sentence in these courtrooms, saying, "There would have been no
7 war if we hadn't wanted it?"
8 MS. EDGERTON: Now, Your Honours, I really have to rise on
9 relevance with respect to that question.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Can you demonstrate the relevance,
11 Mr. Tapuskovic.
12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there was no
13 Croatia campaign and what the Presidency of Yugoslavia had foreseen on the
14 12th of July did happen in Slovenia, did happen in Croatia and elsewhere.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Don't answer. We rule it irrelevant.
16 Move on to another question.
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. And next paragraph, English page 17, paragraph 2 you speak of the
19 Territorial Defence. Is that true? And you say here that: "Units of the
20 Territorial Defence were organised at the local level, primarily in
21 factories, offices, and other places of work."
22 Is that so?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And you continue: "Since TO units were designed to operate even
25 in the absence of the JNA and in the event of an invasion."
1 Is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And what kind of invasion was to be expected in 1974 in
4 Yugoslavia? An invasion by who? And wasn't that -- here's my question,
5 or rather I'll drop this one.
6 Territorial Defence was established under the terms of the 1974
7 constitution; is that correct?
8 A. I believe it predated the 1974 constitution. The entire defence
9 theory and organisation was restructured in the time after the Soviet
10 invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.
11 Q. Was that the theory of the armed people?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And did all those Territorial Defences, once the war had started,
14 because that's how they had been designed, so once the civil war started,
15 did they not turn the armies of the respective republics, and in
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina ones -- the one -- some units sided with the Serbs,
17 others with the Muslims.
18 A. In Croatia the core of the Croatian army was really the Ministry
19 of Defence -- or of Ministry of the Interior, not the Territorial Defence.
20 In Bosnia, the Territorial Defence, Bosnian central command became
21 the, in a sense, the top command of the military forces that eventually
22 became the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, army of the Republic of
24 Q. I must hurry. Just a moment, I'm referring to page -- no, I must
25 hurry; therefore, I will skip all this that refers to the beginning of the
1 war, and I'll come immediately to the siege upon which my learned friend
2 insists. And that's on page 51 A -- or rather, 29, page 29 in the English
3 version, the last paragraph. It's a lengthy paragraph mentioning Ratko
4 Mladic. Perhaps I can squeeze this in if other things do not fit in
6 You mention Ratko Mladic, and I would like to read it out as a
8 Have you found it? I will read it out very slowly. The diplomacy
9 advocated by Mladic became an essential part of the dual track approach to
10 the siege adopted by Serbian leaders. No inverted comas here.
11 The public position of senior SDS officials and of senior
12 commanders of the VRS was that Serb Armed Forces were merely defending the
13 Serb inhabited areas around Sarajevo against assaults by the ABiH."
14 Is that so?
15 A. Yes. That's what I wrote here, yes.
16 Q. And you go on to say: "Bosnian Serb leaders resolutely declined
17 to call the military situation 'a siege,' the term normally used by global
18 media and US and UN officials. Instead Mladic claimed that Bosnian Muslim
19 forces were attacking Serbs in Sarajevo's suburbs from within the city and
20 holding Serbs in the city centre against their will. The Serb side was
21 and still is deeply disturbed by the situation that now prevails in
22 Sarajevo, he wrote in an open letter to UN Secretary General Boutros
23 Boutros-Ghali and several western leaders in September 1992."
24 And it continues: "Between 40.000 to 50.000 Serbs are held as
25 ethnic hostages and the constant daily attacks on Serbian municipalities
1 Ilidza, Lukavica, Ilijas, Vogosca take place. He accounted for civilian
2 casualties in the city by blaming the city's defenders."
3 The Muslim side keeps committing crimes against their own
4 population, bombing their own cities and towns, killing their own people
5 in bread queues, on marketplaces, at funerals, attacking UNPROFOR, United
6 Nations Protection Force personnel and facilities and now starting to
7 shoot down --
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ask a question now. What's the question.
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] The question is: What the
10 witness knows, what the situation was like between August 1994 and
11 November 1995. Are you familiar with the fact that there was a tunnel,
12 apart from everything else, and what the situation was like on the
13 battlefield. Do you know anything about this time-period, given the fact
14 that my learned friend insists so much on the siege.
15 A. Yes. I was in the city in January of 1995 --
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: So you're familiar with the tunnel?
17 THE WITNESS: I am familiar with the tunnel.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Next question, Mr. -- he's familiar with
19 it. What's the next question.
20 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation].
21 Q. Page 34, the last paragraph, if you have found it. It refers to
22 the visit of Tadeusz Masowiecki, who was a human rights officer, and he
23 speaks of the terror among the Sarajevo residents. Do you know how many
24 Serbs were killed in 1992 in Sarajevo and that according to some -- to
25 recent information the number of persons killed thus is several thousand.
1 Are you aware of that?
2 A. That is not a supportable number of Serb deaths in 1992. In fact,
3 the number of Serbs who died in 1992 is the subject of a couple of ongoing
4 investigations. One estimate by a demographer who has attempted to
5 enumerate all the deaths in Bosnia-Herzegovina came up with the number 151
6 Serbs killed in encounters with Croat or Bosnian Muslim irregulars within
7 the city, but the number of Serbs killed by the artillery fire and sniping
8 and tank fire from the hills is obviously much greater than that. The
9 highest possible number of Serbs that were killed in that period was
10 attempted to be provided by the government of the Republika Srpska in a
11 report in 2005, and they enumerated 2.511 individuals. That report,
12 however, as it was investigated by various news reporters turned out to
13 include people who been killed, Serbs who had killed in the army of the
14 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbs who had died from the shelling and
15 sniping, and furthermore --
16 Q. No, no, no.
17 A. -- at least one person who is still alive. So that number is
18 unquestionably high.
19 Q. No. That wasn't my question. Tadeusz Masowiecki came to Bosnia
20 and submitted a report about the camps. So you don't know anything about
21 the camps in Sarajevo that outnumber 100 in 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995 where
22 people were being killed and thrown into tanks or containers. So you
23 don't know that the people in Sarajevo were subject to the fiercest
24 terror, or do you?
25 A. Well, if you want to testify, maybe you should call yourself as a
1 witness. I can tell you that there were camps. They are --
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: That is an inappropriate comment, Dr. Donia.
3 We'll control the proceedings.
4 THE WITNESS: My apologies.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just compose yourself. We're coming to the end
6 now. We have two minutes.
7 MS. EDGERTON: Can he answer the question?
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just answer the question, yes.
9 THE WITNESS: Yes, there were camps.
10 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Thank you very much. This is quite enough. And you know that
12 people were being killed in camps, slaughtered and thrown into containers?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And the last question, because you quoted this personally
15 somewhere, I'm not defending Mladic here, nor do I care to, but this man
16 here was under the command of General Mladic. Did Mladic ever state this:
17 People and nations are not -- are not dummies. We cannot wage war on
18 every front line nor against every people. We would like us to be as
19 smart as to not to go into every war, and if we are attacked we will
20 defend ourselves. We don't want the war against the Muslim people nor
21 against the Croatian people but against those who started the war and
22 drove these people -- made those people attack us.
23 Do you know of this document?
24 MS. EDGERTON: I'm sorry, is my friend quoting from a document,
25 attributing it to Mladic, and if he is, perhaps we could know the source
1 of the document.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: I have another question, too, but let us clear
3 that up first.
4 You asked did Mladic ever state this, and then you went on to --
5 is that a quotation?
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: From where?
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I have it in my notes from the
9 time when I was amicus curiae. And there was a number of documents
10 drafted by Mr. Donia, and I have those in my notes, and these are
11 Mr. Donia's quote from -- of a Mladic's statement at an assembly. If he
12 remembers, all right, if not ...
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Do you have any recollection of that, Dr. Donia?
14 THE WITNESS: Yes, I do, Mr. President, and I did cite it
16 I would like to also apologise to you, sir, for my inappropriate
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Now, Mr. Tapuskovic, in that question, you said
19 this man here, meaning the accused was under the command of General
20 Mladic. What did you mean by that?
21 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I was trying to say that probably
22 then he respected the position of a man who was his superior, meaning that
23 it wasn't his wish to wage war against any people but probably the words
24 uttered by his commander also reflect his feelings.
25 I would like to finish my question.
1 Q. Has he ever read an order anywhere to shoot at civilians and
2 citizens of Sarajevo? Have you ever found such an order?
3 A. I have not.
4 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. No more
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Any re-examination?
7 MS. EDGERTON: No.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Dr. Donia, that concludes your evidence. Thank
9 you for giving it, and you may now leave.
10 We will adjourn until Tuesday, the -- Monday, the 26th, at
11 9.00 a.m.
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.03 p.m.,
13 to be reconvened on Monday, the 26th day of March,
14 2007, at 9.00 a.m.