1 Tuesday, 11 September 2001
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.33 a.m.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Would the registrar please call the case.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Case number
7 IT-95-9-T, the Prosecutor versus Blagoje Simic, Milan Simic, Miroslav
8 Tadic, and Simo Zaric.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: I take it the parties are as before, and if any of
10 the accused persons can't follow the proceedings, they should say so. So
11 if there is silence, I'll take it that everybody is following the
13 Before we open for the witness, I wanted to find out from both
14 parties whether the accused persons did formally plead to the third
15 amended indictment. I don't seem to have got that from the record at all,
16 so I wanted to find out from the Prosecutor. Especially the Defence
17 counsels. Was there a formal plea taken to the third amended indictment?
18 Because that's the indictment on which the judgement will be based.
19 MS. BAEN: Your Honour, Milan Simic did not. He was -- I believe
20 only one accused at the Pre-Trial Conference made a formal plea, because
21 he was the only one present.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Maybe it will be on the safer side, I'll ask
23 generally for all of the accused. The first one is Blagoje Simic. The
24 third amended indictment which was filed and approved by the pre-trial
25 Chamber is the one on which these proceedings are based, and I would like
1 to find out from Blagoje Simic whether he maintains his pleas of not
2 guilty on all the charges against him.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
4 THE ACCUSED BLAGOJE SIMIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I
5 am not guilty.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Do you maintain all your pleas of not guilty on all
7 the charges against you?
8 THE ACCUSED MILAN SIMIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I maintain my
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Miroslav Tadic, do you maintain --
11 THE ACCUSED TADIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I do maintain my
13 JUDGE MUMBA: [Microphone not activated]
14 THE ACCUSED ZARIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I also maintain
15 the position that I'm not guilty.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: In English.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Can you hear us now?
18 JUDGE MUMBA: I see from the transcript that everybody is
19 maintaining their pleas of not guilty, so we'll go ahead with the
20 Prosecution calling their first witness.
21 What I want to say before the witness actually comes in - because
22 I notice he hasn't yet come in - is that is an expert witness and his
23 report and opinion has already been filed. The Trial Chamber have got
24 copies. All the parties have got copies. His C.V. has also been filed.
25 We do not expect the witness to go through the report in detail. What we
1 expect is that after giving his particulars, the witness will be asked to
2 present his C.V. as filed and he will be asked to present the report as
3 filed. He will merely be asked if there's anything he wants to amend or
4 add. I don't not think he can add anything, because that's the report on
5 which the Defence have prepared whatever questions they wish to ask him.
6 And therefore he will be presented for cross-examination.
7 MR. KOUMJIAN: I'm sorry. Does Your Honour not want me to take
8 him through a direct examination regarding the report?
9 JUDGE MUMBA: No, because we all have copies of the report. He
10 can only add or amend. Otherwise, there's no need for him to go into the
11 report, as it is already before the Trial Chamber.
12 MR. KOUMJIAN: He had prepared a PowerPoint presentation. Does
13 Your Honour not want that to take place?
14 JUDGE MUMBA: A very brief one, I take it.
15 MR. KOUMJIAN: Actually, it was going to be quite lengthy, but we
16 can do what Your Honours suggest.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Because if it is a presentation of this same
18 report --
19 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes, it is.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Then there is no need for an oral presentation when
21 we already have the written presentation, because it will simply take
22 time. We will have the transcript; we shall have the same report. So we
23 already have that report. So he can only amend and perhaps clarify a few
24 points perhaps and then be presented for cross-examination.
25 MR. KOUMJIAN: Very well, Your Honour. Before I begin, may I ask
1 the Trial Chamber's permission? Seated next to me is Mr. Andrew Corin.
2 He is a member of the Office of the Prosecutor. He works in our
3 leadership team. He is an historian by trade, but he is employed as a
4 researcher for the Tribunal. It would be of assistance to the Prosecution
5 to have him present to answer questions to me if the Court would allow
7 JUDGE MUMBA: He's sitting there to assist you?
8 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes. He is not going to testify at any point in
9 the trial.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: I don't think there is an objection from the Defence
11 counsel. He is merely like one of the members of the public sitting in.
12 JUDGE SINGH: Well, I think basically he is his advisor, and that
13 would seem to be in order.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: The Bench doesn't see any objection, so he can sit
16 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you. How do we have the witness brought in?
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, the witness can be brought in. Actually, after
18 this one, the practice of this Trial Chamber is to have the witnesses
19 already sitting before the Judges walk in, because the Chamber expects
20 that all the Defence counsels and all the accused persons have been
21 counselled on how to behave in a courtroom.
22 I've been reminded. I wonder whether the Prosecution did have
23 copies for us of the report with the paragraphs in.
24 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes, we do. They have been given to the Deputy
25 Registrar, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you.
2 [The witness entered court]
3 JUDGE MUMBA: I see Defence counsel on her feet.
4 MS. BAEN: I'm sorry, Your Honour. I have one question. We were
5 just wondering when we should be prepared to deal with the motions. Are
6 we doing that this afternoon, or when did the Court intend to do that?
7 JUDGE MUMBA: We will deal with that at a later stage. The Court
8 will indicate, because we are still going through with the decisions.
9 Some will be oral. Some will be in writing.
10 MS. BAEN: Okay. Thank you, Your Honour.
11 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, there is one brief matter
12 on the issue you raised when you first walked in, namely, the issue of the
13 Prosecution's examination of this witness. I fully understand what the
14 Chamber has said, as does Mr. Koumjian, of course, and I wonder if the
15 Court or the Chamber would be minded to grant a little more latitude to
16 Mr. Koumjian to widen a bit the examination-in-chief than perhaps you had
17 envisaged. There is just one reason for that. I know that the Court has
18 the report and has read it and so on. I think the main purpose of my
19 learned friend's, Mr. Koumjian's, examination-in-chief was not to go
20 through it in rote-like fashion and just putting out what is already there
21 but to highlight aspects of it that are important to the Prosecution.
22 There are various aspects, for instance, that we are concerned with and
23 want to make sure there is good evidence on; for example, the Territorial
24 Defence system and other matters like that. So, therefore, may I request
25 that Mr. Koumjian be given just a little more latitude to expand a bit on
1 his examination-in-chief for that reason.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Trial Chamber has no objection to that.
3 I'm sure that counsel has understood the intentions of the Trial Chamber,
4 and I'm sure he will take reasonable latitude in examination-in-chief.
5 I've also asked the Registry to formally file the ones with
6 paragraphs, but we can go ahead and use it.
7 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. We fully understand that brevity is
8 absolutely essential.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Thank you. You may proceed, counsel.
10 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, is there a necessity to give that
11 report an exhibit number?
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Let me ask the Registry. It hasn't been formally
13 numbered by the Registry, has it?
14 THE REGISTRAR: No, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: So it has to be. So that is the first purpose.
16 So I will ask the witness to take the solemn declaration, please.
17 Please make your solemn declaration.
18 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
19 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
20 WITNESS: ROBERT DONIA
21 JUDGE MUMBA: You may sit down. Counsel, proceed, please.
22 Examined by Mr. Koumjian:
23 Q. Mr. Donia, just as a way of explanation, Her Honour indicated,
24 prior to your arriving, that she doesn't want the report to be repeated in
25 detail. The Trial Chamber has read the report, and we're going to just
1 very briefly go over it here in Court and then the Defence will
2 cross-examine you.
3 A. I understand.
4 Q. First, Mr. Donia, are you the author of a report submitted to this
5 Trial Chamber entitled Bosanski Samac and the history of
7 A. Yes, I am.
8 Q. And did you sign a copy of that report that was delivered to the
9 Registry this morning?
10 A. I did not sign it this morning. I signed it several weeks ago, I
12 Q. Okay. Did you sign the copy with the numbered paragraphs this
14 A. No, I'm afraid I did not.
15 Q. Okay.
16 MR. KOUMJIAN: I don't know if that is necessary. Does the Court
17 need a copy signed with the numbered paragraphs?
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. He can sign it right in front of the Court.
19 THE WITNESS: I can sign this copy here.
20 MR. PANTELIC: Excuse me, Your Honours, may I have a word, please,
21 just for a matter of qualification about which document are we talking
22 about with paragraphs, because we have a report without paragraphs. So if
23 that is the case, we would very much appreciate to have a copy.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, counsel. I wonder if the Prosecution did make
25 enough copies for --
1 MR. KOUMJIAN: We did make copies. Apparently the Defence did not
2 get them, but they can be distributed.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: They can be distributed right away. The reason is
4 that during the trial and for purposes of the judgement, we shall use the
5 report with paragraphs, because it's much easier to go to the points using
7 THE INTERPRETER: Could the interpreters have a copy as well?
8 MR. PANTELIC: And just another matter, Madam President. I would
9 like to have a clarification from the Prosecutor's side. This report with
10 paragraphs, is it actually the same with the one that we were provided?
11 Because I would very much like in future not to have at the last minute
12 delivery of this kind of document. I believe that everything is okay, but
13 just a matter of principle. Thank you.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: I'll ask the Prosecutor to confirm that it's the
16 MR. KOUMJIAN: I will represent that it is the same. Simply,
17 yesterday afternoon Mr. Donia and Mr. Corin went through and put the
18 paragraph numbers in the electronic copy we had of the report, and there
19 are, to our knowledge, no other changes. There are certainly no
20 substantive changes in the report. And that was because the Trial Chamber
21 indicated yesterday they preferred paragraph numbers.
22 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you very much, my colleague.
23 MR. KOUMJIAN: Could I ask the usher to deliver a copy to
24 Mr. Donia for him to sign.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Please go ahead.
1 MR. KOUMJIAN:
2 Q. Has the witness signed the report?
3 A. Yes.
4 MR. KOUMJIAN: And, Your Honour, does the report -- should it then
5 receive an exhibit number?
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can we have a number from the registry
8 THE REGISTRAR: This shall be Prosecution Exhibit P1.
9 MR. KOUMJIAN:
10 Q. Mr. Donia --
11 JUDGE MUMBA: I'm sorry. Before you go ahead, is this an
12 attachment, or what is this?
13 MR. KOUMJIAN: That, Your Honour - I believe I'm looking at what
14 Your Honour has in your hands - is the copy of the PowerPoint slides that
15 the witness prepared for presentation.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: For oral presentation. So the report is the one
17 which we have numbered. Okay.
18 JUDGE SINGH: Just one minute, please. Professor Donia, do you
19 wish to make any corrections to this report?
20 A. Your Honour, there are few typographical errors in the report as
21 it stands, and I probably could make those corrections, but they are very
22 few and I don't really care at this time to make corrections.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Counsel can proceed.
24 MR. KOUMJIAN:
25 Q. Mr. Donia, did you prepare this report to place the events of this
1 indictment in a historical context?
2 A. Yes, I did.
3 Q. And in preparation for your testimony, did you prepare a
4 PowerPoint slide presentation?
5 A. Yes, I have.
6 Q. Is the computer on and are you prepared to use that now?
7 A. Yes, I am.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Will counsel and the witness please observe a
9 pause between questions and answers, please.
10 MR. KOUMJIAN:
11 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... this indictment is a part of
12 began in the early 1990s. Can you show the Court the map and explain
13 Yugoslavia at the time of the start of the conflict in 1990, the Socialist
14 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
15 A. Yes. This is a map of Yugoslavia as it existed largely from 1945
16 to 1990, showing the six republics that made up the former Yugoslavia.
17 Just to identify the community of Bosanski Samac on the map, the arrow
18 points to it here right at the point where the Bosna River flows into the
19 Sava river. The six republics of the former Yugoslavia all had a single
20 nationality that was a numerical majority, with the exception of Bosnia
21 and Herzegovina. Bosnia and Herzegovina alone of these republics had no
22 nationality with an absolute majority.
23 Q. Can you explain in Bosnia-Herzegovina what was the national mix
24 that existed at the start of the conflict?
25 A. In 1991, the spring of 1991, a census was taken in all republics
1 of the former Yugoslavia, which is the accepted manner of looking at the
2 national composition of Yugoslavia as it existed in 1991. And for Bosnia
3 and Herzegovina, the breakdown is displayed in this chart in the left-hand
4 columns, and the particular composition of the municipality of Bosanski
5 Samac is shown in the right-hand column.
6 The most numerous nationality with a relative majority but not
7 with an absolute majority in Bosnia was that of the Muslims, 43.5 per cent
8 in the Republic, but of course a much smaller percentage, only 6.8 per
9 cent, in Bosanski Samac. The name of this group is the Bosnian Muslims,
10 but in September of 1993, the leaders of the group met in Sarajevo and
11 voted to change the name of the Bosnian Muslims to the Bosniaks. So
12 there's occasional confusion about the name of this group, but throughout
13 this report they will typically be referred to as "the Bosnian Muslims."
14 The second group within Bosnia and Herzegovina was the Serbian
15 nationality, with 31.2 per cent and 41 per cent in Bosanski Samac. The
16 least numerous of the three major nationalities was the Croats in Bosnia,
17 with 17.4 per cent, but they were in the relative majority in the
18 municipality of Bosanski Samac.
19 The identity of Yugoslav was used by people who either did not
20 wish to declare themselves of any given nationality or were from a mixed
21 marriage or out of various reasons chose not to identify themselves that
23 Q. Just to clarify that, in the census of 1991, how was nationality
25 A. Nationality was self-ascribed; that is, there was a question:
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and the English transcripts.
1 What nationality do you belong to? And the respondent was offered several
2 options, and these were the four most common options. I should add too
3 that some people who responded that they were Yugoslavs did so because
4 their first and primary loyalty was to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
5 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, as a matter of the procedures the
6 Court wants to follow, the first map which was shown a few moments
7 ago - and we could probably go back to that on the PowerPoint - the
8 Prosecution would like these maps - this and there's 14 others - to be
9 admitted into evidence. Can we have this marked? And also the Trial
10 Chamber should have hard copies there. And we will submit a large copy
11 for the Registry -- or the Registry has copies.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Any objection from the Defence?
13 MR. PANTELIC: No, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you.
15 Can we have the number?
16 Counsel, is it easier to collectively number the parts, give it
17 one number and then say A, B, C, D or /1, /2? How would you like the
19 MR. KOUMJIAN: Sure. Whatever is most convenient. Mr. di Fazio
20 suggests that -- there are going to be, I believe, 15 maps we will present
21 during this testimony, 14 on the PowerPoint and two through the ELMO. May
22 they be marked People's 2? Excuse me. That was my previous practice.
23 P2A through -- et cetera.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. That will be easier.
25 THE REGISTRAR: The map shall be numbered Prosecution's Exhibit 2.
1 MR. KOUMJIAN: 2A?
2 THE REGISTRAR: 2A -- B, C, D.
3 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you.
4 Q. When you talked about the ethnic mix of Bosnia, you indicated that
5 Bosnia was rather unique because it did not have a national majority of
6 any one particular ethnicity; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. How were the various nationalities or ethnicities distributed
9 within Bosnia?
10 A. I believe the answer to that question depends upon the degree of
11 magnification with which one looks at the map. And I know this is a map
12 that's actually quite busy and perhaps challenging, but such a map is
13 necessary to capture the complexity.
14 Bosnia and Herzegovina was divided into 109 municipalities, and
15 this map shows each of those municipalities. It gives a colour to each
16 municipality based on the largest single nationality and represents the
17 remaining nationalities as bars.
18 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, may this map be marked People's
19 2B - excuse me - P2B.
20 THE REGISTRAR: This map shall be marked Exhibit P2B.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Now, is that map 1, or which one?
22 MR. KOUMJIAN: This is the second map. This is the one that's on
23 the screen now. It should be marked on yours "map 2."
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Okay. Yes. Thank you.
25 THE WITNESS: Having said that, the towns of Bosnia were almost
1 all ethnically mixed. Many rural villages consisted of only -- members of
2 only one nationality. Most municipalities were organised around a
3 significant town or city, so they would then be surrounded by villages
4 which in many instances were inhabited by persons of only one nationality.
5 I would add that there are a couple of places where there are
6 areas of almost pure membership by one nationality. The area up in the
7 extreme north-west part of Bosnia is almost solidly Muslim. The area in
8 western Herzegovina here is virtually pure Croat. And there are a couple
9 of areas which are virtually pure Serbian in this area here along the
10 border with Croatia.
11 MR. KOUMJIAN:
12 Q. You've talked about municipalities. Just to expand on that a
13 little bit, is there some confusion that sometimes a town and municipality
14 have the same name? Can you distinguish between the towns and
16 A. Yes. The municipalities usually bore the name of the city or town
17 which was the headquarters for that municipality. So in most cases,
18 looking at these 109 municipalities, there is both a name -- name of a
19 town and the name of a municipality carrying that name.
20 Q. Did these municipalities have -- were they important as far as the
21 governmental structure of Bosnia? How was Bosnia structured
23 A. The municipalities had been the fundamental governing local unit
24 of administration from really late Ottoman times, that is, from the
25 nineteenth century forward. The number of municipalities expanded; that
1 is, the divisions were cut more closely in the course of the socialist
2 period, from 1945 to 1991. But the concept of a municipality was the
3 manner in which the governance of Bosnia and Herzegovina took place from
4 the nineteenth century onward, although there were different names
5 assigned to the unit under different regimes.
6 Q. Mr. Donia, in your report you comment upon what you characterise
7 as a popular explanation for the conflicts associated with the break-up of
8 Yugoslavia. The Trial Chamber has the report, but can you briefly
9 summarise your views on that popular explanation for the cause of the
11 A. In the early 1990s, policymakers and journalists, primarily
12 outside observers, developed the idea that the history of Bosnia and the
13 former Yugoslavia amounted to ancient tribal hatreds, deeply rooted
14 animosities between these national groups that went back many centuries
15 and in some cases even millennia. I believe there is no evidence to
16 support that viewpoint going back to anything beyond the -- earlier than
17 the middle of the nineteenth century, and even at that time these tensions
18 between nationalities emerge only gradually, and on specific cases, often
19 with outside provocation or intervention.
20 Q. Can you explain where the peoples that constituted Bosnia in the
21 1990s originated from?
22 A. The scholarly community has no single agreement on that point, as
23 this map clearly shows. At the same time, most scholars agree that the
24 Slavs, south Slavs, originated broadly in an area between the Baltic and
25 the Black Seas, which today would be part of Poland and Ukraine.
1 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, may the map that's currently on the
2 screen be given an exhibit number.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, please.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution's Exhibit P2C.
5 MR. KOUMJIAN:
6 Q. When we talk about the three principal nationalities of Bosnia,
7 are all of these Slavic groups, Slavic ethnicities: the Muslim, the
8 Bosniak, Serb, and Croat?
9 A. The peoples, the south Slav peoples migrated into south-eastern
10 Europe between the fifth and the eight centuries, and unlike other peoples
11 who migrated into that area, they were agriculturalists and they stayed;
12 they were not simply migratory tribes. And consequently, they entered an
13 international environment which was governed by empires to the east and
14 west, and they were subject to being Christianised from Rome to the
15 west - that is, Christianised in the Catholic version of the Christian
16 faith - and from Constantinople to the east. So in the course of the
17 ninth through the fourteenth centuries, the south Slavs established local
18 kingdoms. There were several of them in the region, and we've addressed
19 here just the Croatian kingdom, the Serbian, and Bosnian states.
20 Q. Did these -- excuse me. Did these medieval kingdoms, did they
21 play a role in the political agendas or were they used in the political
22 agendas of the various national groups in the 1990s?
23 A. Yes, they did. I've spared the Chamber the three maps, but maps 4
24 through 6, which are a part of my report, will show that the territories
25 that these states governed broadly overlapped. And in fact, at one time
1 the Croatian kingdom ruled, or at least claims to have ruled, all of
2 Bosnia, and the Serbian empire at one time ruled much of Bosnia, so that
3 the territories of these three empires at various times constituted the
4 maximum claims that would be made in the nineteenth and twentieth
5 centuries by nationalist intellectuals and politicians seeking to create
6 larger Croatian, Serbian states.
7 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, the Trial Chamber and Defence counsel
8 have copies of these three maps. They are labelled "medieval Serbia,"
9 map 5; "medieval Bosnia," map 6; and expansion - excuse me - "medieval
10 Croatia," map 4; "medieval Serbia," map 5; and "medieval Bosnia," map 6.
11 May these three maps be given exhibit numbers.
12 THE REGISTRAR: The first map mentioned shall be Prosecution's
13 Exhibit P2D, the second one shall be Prosecutor's Exhibit P2E, and the
14 third one shall be Prosecutor's Exhibit P2F.
15 MR. KOUMJIAN:
16 Q. Mr. Donia, did Bosnia ever fall under the rule of foreign empires?
17 A. After the medieval states had been established and had been in
18 existence for some centuries, they were confronted by invaders really from
19 the east and west. The most significant for Bosnia was the Ottoman
20 empire, which engaged in conquests from Asia, the current area of Turkey,
21 and in the fifteenth century the entire area of the, let's say,
22 eastern-south Slav realm gradually came under Ottoman control.
23 From 1463, approximately, until 1878, Bosnia was therefore under
24 the administration of the Ottoman empire, which was an Islamic power, and
25 therefore became a part of that, let's say, circle of influence.
1 Q. I'll just remind you to pause after my question.
2 Did the Ottoman rule have an effect upon life in Bosnia?
3 A. It certainly did. I think it's first worth mentioning that it had
4 a profound influence on the mythology, folk mythology that came to be
5 widespread in Bosnia and in Serbia after 1389.
6 In 1389, the forces of the Serbian state, aided by various allies
7 in the region, fought a battle with the Ottoman forces called the Battle
8 of Kosovo, and this immediately became the subject of folk mythology that
9 has had a profound influence on the entire region.
10 The battle itself was probably indecisive. The state of Serbia
11 survived for another 70 years after this, but in mythology, this became a
12 choice posed to the Serbian Prince, to choose between a heavenly kingdom
13 and perish or to retain earthly realm. He chose the heavenly kingdom,
14 with the promise that at some point that the Serbian state would be
15 restored in its former grandeur. And this legend of the Kosovo battle
16 became recited in folk poetry and folklore for centuries after that in the
18 Q. This battle, the Kosovo battle, was between who, just to be clear?
19 A. The Kosovo battle was principally between the Ottoman Empire, the
20 Ottoman forces, and the forces of the Serbian King. However, there were
21 Christian forces on the side of the Ottoman Sultan, and there were various
22 other allies of Serbia, including the Bosnian state forces on the other
24 Q. Did Ottoman rule have an effect upon the religious composition of
1 A. Yes, it did. The -- at the time that the Ottomans entered Bosnia,
2 the population consisted of members of the Bosnian Church, the Catholic
3 Church, and Serbian Orthodox Church. In the first 140 years of Ottoman
4 rule, there were large-scale conversions to Islam. The consequence of
5 that was that Bosnia became a land of three principal religions:
6 Catholicism, Serbian Orthodoxy, and Islam.
7 Q. Did a fourth minor religion also appear in Bosnia?
8 A. Yes. There was a migration of Jews from Spain, having been
9 expelled from Spain after 1492, who found the relatively tolerant
10 religious environment of the Ottoman Empire to be more accommodating than
11 elsewhere. And the population or the Jews, Spanish-speaking Jews,
12 Sephardic Jews, moved principally into the cities, most of them into
13 Sarajevo, sometime after 1540.
14 Q. Were any other population changes affected during the Ottoman
15 rule? Did you cover that?
16 A. Yes. No. The -- there were many population changes owing to
17 migration, and the most important, probably, was the migration of a large
18 number of Serbian Orthodox into two border regions. Really, it was the
19 border region on the Habsburg or Austrian side of the boundary and the
20 Ottoman side of the boundary. And these people were recruited with
21 promises of some element of religious autonomy and the use of land in
22 exchange for services as essentially frontier warriors. So this left a
23 considerable swathe of territory with a large number of Serbian Orthodox
24 people in what is today Croatia and then up in north-western Bosnia as
1 Q. What was the name in the local language for this border region?
2 A. This was called the Krajina, K-r-a-j-i-n-a, and on the Austrian
3 side of the border it was called the Vojna Krajina or military border. On
4 the Ottoman side of the border, it is most commonly called the Bosnian
6 Q. Did nationalist movements in Europe in the nineteenth and
7 twentieth century have an effect upon Bosnia?
8 A. Yes. Nationalism had a profound effect on Bosnia and its peoples,
9 and this can be dated largely to the last half of the nineteenth century,
10 from approximately 1850 to 1870 onwards.
11 Nationalism was largely not indigenous to Bosnia. It gained a
12 foothold first of all in Serbia, to the east, and became the driving force
13 behind the rebellion of the Serbs against Ottoman rule, starting in 1804,
14 and the advancement of the Serbian state throughout the nineteenth
15 century. It also took root in Croatia, to Croatian lands to the
16 north-west and south in the nineteenth century.
17 But starting at about the time period I indicated, there were
18 efforts to promote these nationalist movements within Bosnia. They began
19 as efforts to claim the whole of Bosnia for one group or another. In
20 other words, Serbian nationalism in the nineteenth century was not limited
21 simply to Serbian Orthodox believes, it was an effort to incorporate all
22 Bosnians within the Serbian nationality. Likewise, the Croatian effort
23 took that direction.
24 Q. In your report, you indicate that there are four developmental
25 steps from conversion to modern nationalism. Can you describe those four
2 A. Yes. Very briefly, the first step, of course, is the
3 identification with a particular religion or conversion.
4 The second step is the development of a religious community based
5 on that religious affiliation; that is, association with a church, the
6 adoption of religious practices.
7 The third step, then, is the development over time of cultural
8 characteristics and practices which are not necessarily related to
9 religion but are practised by the religious community, and in that way,
10 the religious community becomes more, let's say, self-contained and
11 becomes an ethnic group.
12 The fourth step, then, is true modern nationalism; that is, the
13 adoption of a political viewpoint or programme which many members of that
14 group share.
15 Q. I will remind you to please pause again before answering.
16 Did nationalism give rise to any specific political movements in
17 the region?
18 A. There were, in fact, many, and the first political movement was
19 really that of the Greek population of the Ottoman Empire, dating to the
20 late eighteenth century. Greeks aspired to create a Greek state by
21 rebelling against the Ottoman Empire with its capital at Constantinople,
22 and this was known was the Megali Idea.
23 When the Serbian rebellion began in 1804, it soon also adopted a
24 programme or plan to expand that Serbian state to all territories that
25 were inhabited by Serbs, however Serbs were defined in this particular
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and the English transcripts.
2 The most -- best known of these programmes from the nineteenth
3 century was that of the one-time Serbian Prime Minister, Ilija Garasanin,
4 who in 1844 published a programme, promoted a programme which became known
5 as Greater Serbia. I've quoted in the paper a couple of the basic
6 concepts which reflect the notion that Greater Serbia, in Gorasanin's
7 view, was to be an inclusive notion, was to include -- he particularly
8 mentioned Muslims, to win them over to the Serbian political ideal. The
9 Greater Serbian ideal, in other words, was one that was typical of Balkan
10 nations that were rebelling against Ottoman rule and establishing their
11 states in this time.
12 Q. Did these political movements, in particular the movement
13 regarding the Greater Serbia, draw inspiration from any folk mythology or
15 A. Well, first of all, it drew great inspiration from the legend of
16 Kosovo, and the folk poetry became the source of much of the, let's say,
17 inspiration in the spirit of romanticism at the time, and that was
18 augmented by the poetry of Petar Petrovic Njegos, the ruler of Montenegro
19 in the first half of the nineteenth century, who was a kind of an epic
20 poet and incorporated -- wrote a very intense and emotive poem called the
21 Mountain Laurel. It is a kind of emotive Serbian nationalist piece of
22 literature highly regarded by literary scholars, but it also included --
23 the essential story in that poem is the slaughter of some Muslims at an
24 event that took place a century earlier in which they were offered the
25 option -- these Muslims were offered the option to convert or be put to
1 the sword. And so that had a very distinct anti-Muslim dimension to it at
2 the same time that this glorified the Serbian nationalist ideal.
3 Q. Did the rise in nationalism in Europe during this period have an
4 effect upon the Bosnian Muslims?
5 A. The Muslims of Bosnia at this time - that is, the nineteenth
6 century - had come to distinguish themselves from the other Muslims in the
7 Ottoman Empire by virtue of their Slavic tongue - they principally spoke a
8 Slavic language - but they did not at this time develop a national
9 movement comparable to the Serbs and Croats. And from this period, from
10 roughly 1800 until, say, 1960, the Muslims -- rather, the leadership of
11 the Muslims insisted that they were a religious community rather than a
12 nation, rather than a nationality. Some of their leaders, particularly
13 after 1900, were drawn to the Croatian and Serbian nationalist programmes
14 and declared themselves as Serbs or Croats. This set up, in a sense, a
15 competitive recruiting situation between the Serb and Croat nationalists,
16 each of which was trying to persuade the Bosnian Muslims that they were
17 truly Serbs or truly Croats. And that situation prevailed largely, as I
18 say -- to some extent it carries to the present day, but it lasted until
19 at least 1960.
20 Q. How did Ottoman rule come to an end?
21 A. In 1878, after a rebellion of peasants in Bosnia, the Congress of
22 Berlin awarded to Austria-Hungary the right to occupy and administer
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina. So from 1878 until 1918, Bosnia was a part of the
24 Austro-Hungarian Empire or the Habsburg Monarchy.
25 This map, which I'm sure you'll give a number to in a minute,
1 shows that at that time, the River Sava constituted the border, the
2 boundary between Austria-Hungary proper and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
3 Q. Before we mark the map that's currently on the screen, I believe
4 there is one map in the sequence that we skipped over. I don't know if
5 you have a copy of that in front of you. It's labelled The Revolutionary
6 Years, 1804-1887.
7 A. It's not part of this presentation, no.
8 Q. For clarity, it would be better to mark that. If you could
9 briefly explain what that is. Do you need to have that on the ELMO?
10 A. No. That map simply shows the -- what I alluded to earlier;
11 namely, the expansion of the Serbian state to the south in the course of
12 the nineteenth and early twentieth century.
13 MR. KOUMJIAN: May that map be given an exhibit number?
14 THE REGISTRAR: This map which is titled Serb Examination, The
15 Revolution Years shall be marked Prosecution's Exhibit P2G.
16 MR. KOUMJIAN: May the map on the screen be given an exhibit
18 THE REGISTRAR: This map titled The Balkan Peninsula shall be
19 labelled Prosecution's Exhibit P2H.
20 MR. KOUMJIAN:
21 Q. Can you show on this map where Samac is, please.
22 A. Right about there.
23 Q. Can you explain whether the area, Samac and the area around it,
24 had any strategic influence to the Habsburg Empire?
25 A. Well, the Sava River is a large, wide river. Its present average
1 width at Bosanski Samac is 260 metres. So crossing the Sava River is a
2 major challenge for any military force. The obvious requirement is that
3 there be bridges.
4 When Austria-Hungary entered Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1878, it did so
5 with substantial military force and entered Bosnia at six different
6 crossing points, four of which were to the north, all of them located on
7 the Sava River. And one of the four crossing points on which the Habsburg
8 troops crossed was the bridge at Bosanski Samac.
9 Q. What happened to Bosnia following the end of the Austro-Hungarian
10 empire after World War I?
11 A. In the course of World War I, the movement to create Yugoslavia,
12 that is, a linking, joining, of all the major south Slavs nationalities
13 into a single state, with the exception of Bulgarians, this movement
14 gained momentum. And on December 1st, 1918, the Prince Regent of Serbia,
15 Aleksandar, proclaimed a royal state to be known as the kingdom of the
16 Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, and he did this with the support of the
17 Croats and Slovenes who had formed committees for this purpose.
18 This is a map of the first Yugoslavia, as it's called, which was
19 really brought together by constituent parts of Serbia, the Habsburg
20 empire, and the Habsburg -- integral part of the Habsburg empire,
22 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, may the map on the screen which is
23 labelled map 9 on the materials before you be given an exhibit number.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, I think it was previously labelled.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: What is the number, then?
1 THE REGISTRAR: P2H.
2 MR. KOUMJIAN: No. I think this is a different map.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: It's a different map.
4 MR. KOUMJIAN: P2H was map 8.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Was map 8, yes.
6 MR. KOUMJIAN: This is map 9.
7 THE REGISTRAR: It shall be labelled Prosecutor's Exhibit P2I.
8 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you.
9 Q. Mr. Donia, did the internal boundaries of this royal Yugoslavia
10 change over time?
11 A. Yes. They actually changed several times in the course of the
12 existence of the Yugoslav royal state from 1918 to 1941, looking at the
13 first configuration here in which the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina was
14 accepted as one of the component parts, and its status was confirmed in
15 the 1921 constitution and then abolished, for all practical purposes, in
16 1924 as a part of the royal centralisation.
17 In 1929, the now king, Aleksandar, proclaimed a royal dictatorship
18 and decided to carve up the country along lines that had no relationship
19 to nationality, nor to the historical precedents that existed at the time,
20 and consequently created nine what were called banovina. And these are
21 the nine banovina. We'll see here that Bosanski Samac was blessed with
22 being at the intersection of three of these banovinas. These banovinas
23 took their names after the ban, which was a medieval governor, and were
24 named after geographic features, principally rivers. So this was an
25 effort to, if you will, de-nationalise the internal composition of
2 This proved to alleviate national tensions only temporarily, and
3 in 1939, under considerable threat, pressure from Germany and Italy, the
4 state was reconfigured again. In negotiations between the leader of the
5 Croatian Peasant Party and the royal government, a distinctly
6 Croatian banovina was created, as we'll see here.
7 I'm sorry. You need to do the map, don't you?
8 MR. KOUMJIAN: Why don't you go back to the other map for a
10 Your Honour, may the map on the screen which is labelled map 10 on
11 the materials before Your Honours be marked as an exhibit.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Map 10 shall be marked Prosecutor's Exhibit P2J.
13 MR. KOUMJIAN: And may the next map - Mr. Donia, please - showing
14 the Croatian banovina in green, may that be marked as an exhibit.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution's Exhibit P2K.
16 MR. KOUMJIAN:
17 Q. Does the map on the screen, Mr. Donia, represent the expanded
18 Croatian banovina?
19 A. Yes, it does. The idea behind this internal organisation was to
20 provide the Croatian nationality with a territory which it considered to
21 be inhabited by most Croats. And just to show the location of Bosanski
22 Samac in this configuration, it falls in the western - I'm sorry - eastern
23 protrusion of the Croatian banovina, as shown by the arrow. These were
24 long and difficult negotiations in the spring and early -- or summer of
25 1939 and led to this agreement, which also proved to be unsatisfactory to
1 most people. But this arrangement lasted from 1939 until April of 1941.
2 Q. Was this particular configuration of the internal borders of
3 Yugoslavia, was it unique in the history of Bosnia regarding the internal
4 borders of Bosnia?
5 A. Well, the familiar triangular shape of Bosnia, as it had become
6 recognisable in the late Ottoman and Austrian periods, vanished with the
7 creation of the banovinas in 1929, and this particular realignment
8 effectively divided Bosnia between Serb and Croat national aspirations.
9 It came to have great significance in the 1990s because Croatian
10 nationalists, and perhaps no one more than Croatian President Franjo
11 Tudjman, viewed this map, this division, as the minimum acceptable outcome
12 of the conflict for Croatia.
13 Q. What happened to royal Yugoslavia in World War II?
14 A. Despite some efforts to avert -- many efforts to avert war, the
15 Yugoslav state was invaded, attacked, by Germany and Italy in April of
16 1941. The Royal Yugoslav Army offered only ineffective resistance, and
17 within weeks, Yugoslavia, as it existed between the wars, was divided
18 between German and Italian occupiers and carved up amongst neighbouring
19 states, as well as internally. This map shows the division, with the
20 sections to the south being annexed to Bulgaria, sections to the north
21 being incorporated in Germany or in Hungary, and a few areas to the
22 immediate far west being be incorporated in Italy.
23 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, may this map, map 12 in the materials
24 before Defence counsel and Your Honours, be marked as an Exhibit.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Map 12 shall be marked as Prosecutor's Exhibit
2 MR. KOUMJIAN: There's just a little confusion. I believe P2K was
3 the map of the Croatian banovinas; is that correct? Map 11 was marked
4 P2K; correct?
5 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, that's correct.
6 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you.
7 Q. Where does Bosanski Samac appear on this map of the division of
8 Yugoslavia during the occupation?
9 A. As long as the arrow lasts, it's right here at the confluence of
10 the Bosna and Sava Rivers. It is therefore in the German zone of
11 occupation; the Italian zone being to the south of this line and the
12 German zone to the north of the heavy black line that's drawn on the map.
13 Q. During the war, was there an independent state set up in Croatia
14 and did this have an affect on the people of Bosnia, particularly the
15 Serbian people of Bosnia?
16 A. The German and Italian occupiers installed a regime in Zagreb
17 which consisted of extreme right-wing Croatian nationalists, relatively
18 few in number, but it gave them substantial powers of administration. And
19 then they gave this group known as the Ustasha most of Croatia and
20 virtually all of Bosnia-Herzegovina to rule over and they formed the
21 so-called Independent State of Croatia. It was, in fact, in no way
22 independent. It was totally dependent on German authority in particular,
23 but it carried the name of Independent State of Croatia and immediately
24 set out to propagate violence against various groups in the territory
25 under its control, but principally against Serbs.
1 There was a systematic campaign by the Ustasha which had three
2 prongs to it, if you will: to expel Serbs, to kill Serbs, and to
3 convert -- and/or to convert Serbs to Catholicism. The Ustashas
4 established concentration camps; they exterminated the vast majority of
5 the Jews living in territories under their control, and many thousands of
6 Serbs, probably at least a hundred thousand at one camp alone, and also
7 attacked those Croats who opposed their policies, and, I should also add,
8 Romany, gypsies.
9 Q. Can you move to the next slide, please.
10 A. This is just a picture of the leader of the Ustasha, Ante Pavelic
11 here, with Hitler and Goering, who was really a -- without Hitler, he
12 could not have ruled.
13 Q. How did the Ustasha regime treat Muslims? What was the relations
14 between Ustashas and the Muslim people populating Bosnia?
15 A. While their approach to Serbs was violence and extermination, the
16 Ustasha tried to court the Muslims and put out the viewpoint that the
17 Muslims were the most pure Croats, the flower of the Croatian nation, and
18 appointed several Muslims to high positions in the Independent State of
19 Croatia. So they in fact destroyed, for example, Orthodox -- Serbian
20 Orthodox churches in several locations, but at the same time they built a
21 mosque or took an existing building and converted it to a mosque in
23 Additionally, under German sponsorship, a separate Muslim division
24 was created, the 13th Muslim SS division, which had uniforms that marked
25 its members as distinctly Muslim and honoured the religious practices of
1 the Muslims. This unit was formed in 1943. It was pretty much disbanded
2 by 1944. But in the interim, while it was in existence, some of its units
3 engaged in widespread violence against Serbs in eastern Bosnia and left
4 what clearly was a trail of death and violence and mayhem behind them.
5 I think the general attitude towards Muslims was to try to bring
6 them into the fold of the Croatian state, and particularly early in the
7 war there was some success experienced by the NDH in this, and it
8 certainly led many Serbs to identify Bosnian Muslims with the NDH, the
9 Independent State of Croatia, in the socialist and post-socialist years.
10 Q. Were there groups within Yugoslavia at the time that resisted the
11 Nazi and Ustasha occupations?
12 A. Almost as soon as the atrocities against Serbs began in the summer
13 of 1941, there were rebellions, uprisings, by Serbs in a couple of different
14 parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina. These, in their first weeks, had the
15 character of spontaneous resistance, but they became systematised,
16 organised, into two movements, and the first of these was the Chetnik
17 movement, led by Draza Mihailovic.
18 Mihailovic had been a colonel in the Royal Yugoslav Army. He
19 assembled a small number of former royal officers in the hills of western
20 Serbia and formed a movement called the Chetniks. This is Mihailovic, who
21 borrowed both the notion of Chetniks and the beard from the units,
22 irregular units, of Serb volunteers that had fought against the Ottoman
23 empire in the nineteenth century and against other enemies in the Balkan
25 The Chetnik programme was essentially a restoration of royal
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and the English transcripts.
1 Yugoslavia under the Karadjordjevic dynasty, the king that had been in
2 power before, and it assumed a distinctly anti-Muslim tone as well. In
3 seeking to expand or re-establish a Serbian-dominated Yugoslavia, the
4 movement adopted ideologies which were recognisably greater Serbian. It
5 was a somewhat decentralised movement in its early years, and numerous
6 atrocities were committed by units in Bosnia against Bosnian Muslims.
7 Q. Did these movements, terms, "Ustasha" and "Chetnik," continue to
8 have significance to people in the 1990s?
9 A. Well, I would say they assumed a renewed significance after having
10 dropped out of usage for much of the socialist period. The term "Chetnik"
11 came to be used by Croats and Muslims to describe the Serbian forces in
12 the wars of the 1990s, and the term "Ustasha" came to be used by Serbs to
13 describe the coalition of Muslims and Croats, or those two groups working
15 If I can turn briefly to the Partisans, which is the other
16 movement that arose, led by Josip Broz Tito. The Partisans were
17 Communist-led, and they insisted on trying to promote a programme of
18 national equality; that is, equality of all the nations. Their ranks in
19 the early months of the resistance were largely made up of Serbs, but not
20 exclusively so. As the war went along, their numbers swelled and their
21 ranks were filled out by many non-Serbs, many Muslims and Croats. The
22 Partisans insisted on the strongest possible resistance to the Germans, in
23 particular, and even at substantial cost to their own forces and suffering
24 the retaliation of the Germans against civilians, they carried out a
25 vigorous campaign of harassment and resistance. They became distinguished
1 from the Chetniks, who had a theory that there would be an allied invasion
2 of the Balkans, and therefore, they, the Chetniks, should preserve Serbian
3 lives for that great moment to aid the allied invasion. Consequently,
4 they increasingly collaborated with the occupation forces, lost much
5 credibility, and ended the war really in disarray, having pretty much
6 become identified with national extremism and lack of effective
8 Q. During World War II, were there atrocities committed on the
9 territory of Bosnia?
10 A. I think one could look at these groups and say that there were
11 atrocities committed by all sides. By far, the most systematic and
12 numerous atrocities were committed by the Ustasha and the Independent
13 State of Croatia, numerically against Serbs; in percentage terms, probably
14 against Jews. As I've indicated, other groups also engaged in
15 atrocities. The Muslim SS division, the Chetniks against Muslims and
16 occasionally Croats, and the Partisans against political opponents,
17 principally toward the end of the war, but there were also episodes of
18 Serbs within the Partisans engaging in individual acts of violence against
19 other nationalities.
20 Q. Did this history of World War II, in your view, have an effect
21 upon events as they transpired in the 1990s in Bosnia?
22 A. I think that despite all the references to medieval mythology,
23 nothing was more important than World War II as the historical background
24 for the events of the 1990s. It became the rallying point for propaganda
25 by various sides, and the revival of the terminology, the references to
1 the atrocities, and the efforts to, in a sense, re-enliven these
2 animosities from the period 1941 to 1945 are, in my view, the most
3 important historical backdrop to the events of the 1990s.
4 Q. When World War II ended, what kind of regime was established in
6 A. May I show my pictures of Tito first? This is just the Supreme
7 Command of the Partisans, and Tito's favourite square-jawed profile.
8 In 1945, the Partisans, led by Tito and with the assistance of the
9 Soviet army and western aid, prevailed and established a socialist
10 Yugoslav state. It was originally modelled - that is, from 1945 to 1948 -
11 very much on the Stalinist model of the Soviet Union. Its goal was rapid
12 and heavy industrialisation, and to that end, it wanted to recreate a
13 Yugoslavia that looked in, let's say, contour somewhat like the previous
14 Yugoslavia but was based not what it called on bourgeois rule but rules by
15 the working class, which meant the Communist Party.
16 This map has already been entered, I believe, into evidence.
17 Yes. It was our first map.
18 The point I would make in looking at it is there are some
19 exceptions, but the second Yugoslavia, as map, looks a lot like the first
20 Yugoslavia. It's made up of constituent elements that are based on
21 historical precedent: Slovenia to the north, Croatia here wrapped around
22 Bosnia, Bosnia and Herzegovina in its triangular form.
23 A significant difference is the territory of Serbia. And in the
24 post-war creation of socialist Yugoslavia, Serbia was established as three
25 separate parts: the area of Serbia proper and then two autonomous
1 provinces, the Vojvodina to the north and Kosovo to the south; the
2 Vojvodina with a substantial Hungarian population and Kosovo with, in
3 fact, a majority population of Albanians. So that if you look at the map
4 of Serbia from 1920 -- 1918, 1919, you'll see that it was roughly the same
5 size but here it had in fact attached to it -- carved out of it, if you
6 will, or attached to it, depending on whose viewpoint one takes, the
7 autonomous provinces.
8 Q. How did Muslims in socialist Yugoslavia come to view their own
9 ethnicity or nationality?
10 A. I mentioned earlier that the Muslims for the prior century or so
11 had regarded themselves as a religious community. In the 1960s, the
12 Bosnian Muslims themselves began to assert claims that they were a
13 nationality. In other words, they went through a process of national
14 awakening that was very similar to those of the Serbs and Croats in the
15 nineteenth century.
16 They received support in this effort by the Communist Party, and
17 the Communist Party both of Yugoslavia and of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And
18 the reason for that support was that the party, then known as the League
19 of Communists, saw in the Bosnian Muslims something of an alternative, a
20 buffer, if you will, to mitigate the tensions between Serbs and Croats and
21 also to recognise the, let's say, national aspirations of all large groups
22 in Yugoslavia.
23 Q. Did the Communist Party in Yugoslavia view nationalism,
24 particularly between -- among Serbs and Croats as a threat to the state?
25 A. The League of Communists was involved both in encouraging national
1 identity for most of the period of socialist Yugoslavia and at the same
2 time trying to cut off or extinguish any excesses of national political
3 expression. So on various occasions, several occasions, the party took
4 measures against people in the leadership who were viewed as national
6 In 1966, this action was taken against Aleksandar Rankovic, the
7 then head of the secret police. In 1971, it was taken against a group of
8 Croatian nationalist leaders within the party. And in 1983, it was taken
9 against a group of Bosnian Muslims known as Young Muslims, headed by Alija
11 So the party was engaged in -- I love the analogy of a choke
12 chain. It was prepared to sponsor and encourage identity based on sound
13 cultural precedent but at the same time trying to prevent political
14 excesses based on those national claims.
15 Q. Just for the sake of perhaps the difficulty of interpretation by
16 the choke-chain analogy, you mean that it would give the parties a length
17 of rope so that they couldn't go too far? Would that be correct?
18 A. That's correct.
19 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, I'm through with most of the
20 presentation, but I have a substantial, a very substantial portion
22 JUDGE MUMBA: We shall take our break. It's now 1100 hours, and
23 we shall resume the proceedings at 1130 hours.
24 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 11.30 a.m.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Prosecution is continuing.
2 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. Mr. Donia, in the 1970s, 1980s, was there also a revival of
4 Greater Serbian ideology?
5 A. In general, nationalism gained renewed life in the 1970s and 1980s
6 in Yugoslavia. And particularly after Tito's death in May of 1990, many
7 of the constraints on more extreme nationalistic expression fell away.
8 And so there was a revival of Croatian nationalism and Slovenian
10 In the late 1980s, there was a distinct revival of Serbian
11 nationalism in forms that were -- that called upon historical precedent
12 but also invoked some new understandings of the recent past. And so
13 the -- Belgrade in the 1980s became sort of a centre for expressions of
14 Greater Serbian ideals, many of which were at first directed toward the
15 perceived threat to Serbian interests in Kosovo to the south. But by the
16 latter part of the 1980s, these also came to include expressions of
17 Serbian interests in Bosnia and some very denigrating views of the Bosnian
19 Q. How did this Greater Serbian ideology portray Bosnian Muslims and
21 A. Much of the perception of Muslims was centred around the idea that
22 they were in fact Serbs who had betrayed the Serbian nation by -- some
23 centuries or generations ago by converting to Islam. They were therefore
24 apostates and should either be reconverted to orthodoxy or punished in
25 some way.
1 The Croats were portrayed based largely on their World War II
2 precedence, their behaviour within the independent State of Croatia, and
3 the Muslims and Croats together were viewed as making up this Ustasha
4 element which had been so repressive and threatening to Serbs.
5 Q. Did this revival of Serbian nationalism have any noteworthy
7 A. One of the most vivid manifestations of it was the exhumation of
8 the remains of Prince Lazar, who had perished at the battle of Kosovo in
9 1389, and his remains were taken on a tour of Serbian Orthodox monasteries
10 throughout the former Yugoslavia, and in each place celebrated as a sort
11 of way of re-enlivening that mythology and expressing a claim to Serbian
13 Additionally, within Bosnia, within Herzegovina, actually, some of
14 the victims in World War II had been simply -- bodies had simply been
15 deposited in caves, about 30 different caves throughout Herzegovina.
16 These remains were exhumed, brought to nearby villages - typically
17 municipal seats - and then brought together to Belgrade in a long ceremony
18 and sort of major reburial, which is kind of a symbolic re-establishment
19 of the link between the World War II victims and Belgrade as the national
21 Q. Was this revival of nationalism used by any politicians to gain
22 political power?
23 A. It was endorsed and exploited by Slobodan Milosevic in his rise to
24 power within the League of Communists of Serbia. I think it's important:
25 He did not start this. He did not originate this nationalist revival.
1 But he embraced it and encouraged it, first in an episode in Kosovo in
2 1987, and then in a number of subsequent speeches and actions which were
3 designed to -- which had the effect of bringing Milosevic together with
4 the Serbian nationalist movement and in a sense putting him as its
5 political head.
6 Q. You used the term "League of Communists." Just for clarity, can
7 you define what was the League of Communists?
8 A. Yes. The League of Communists was the name for the Communist
9 Party of Yugoslavia, which it received in 1953 after the split between
10 Tito and Stalin.
11 Q. How was the Communist Party organised in Yugoslavia? In other
12 words, was it organised only on a national level or was there a breakdown
13 on the local or republic level?
14 A. In the course of the 1970s, with the increasing decentralisation,
15 the League of Communists -- the League of Communists was always made up of
16 a national, that is, a party at the level of the federal state, and at the
17 republics. But in the 1970s and 1980s, these republican League of
18 Communist organisations came increasingly to represent the interest of
19 their republics and became more autonomous of the centre.
20 In January of 1990, the party League of Communists held an
21 extraordinary congress which was designed to resolve the many tensions,
22 disagreements about the future of Yugoslavia. The League of Communists of
23 Slovenia walked out of that conference and effectively brought to an end
24 the functioning of the League of Communists of the Federal Republic of
25 Yugoslavia. This left the only institution holding together -- only major
1 institution holding Yugoslavia together as the Yugoslav National Army,
2 which is known in the acronym as the JNA.
3 Q. To go back and clarify one point you made, you mentioned that
4 Slobodan Milosevic rose to power through the League of Communists. Are
5 you speaking of -- in particular, did he rise through the republic level
6 Serbian League of Communists or the federal level?
7 A. Milosevic rose to power within the League of Communists of Serbia
8 and became its president in, I believe, 1987 and then the president of
9 Serbia in 1989. He renamed the party the Socialist Party of Serbia, but
10 it was the direct descendent of the League of Communists of Serbia.
11 Q. What was the relationship between Milosevic, whom you mentioned as
12 the president of Serbia, and the JNA, which you have described as the last
13 remaining strong federal institution?
14 A. This relationship evolved over time. It changed over time. When
15 Milosevic rose to influence within the League of Communists of Serbia, he
16 had no particular influence over the JNA. But with his ability or his
17 success in achieving a change of leadership in the two autonomous
18 republics or provinces of Vojvodina and Kosovo and a change of leadership
19 in Montenegro, he was able to acquire four of the eight votes as loyal to
20 him on the governing federal institution, the collective presidency. With
21 four of those eight votes, he was in a position to effectively stymie
22 initiatives from other players in Yugoslavia, and the leadership of the
23 JNA increasingly turned to Milosevic and his allies for guidance. The
24 generals who have written about this speak about a state without a head;
25 that is, the presidency being essentially unable to arrive at decisions,
1 and therefore they became a military force without a state head to serve.
2 In that situation, Milosevic gained influence and, respectively, the other
3 players in the presidency lost it.
4 Q. You've referred several times to "the presidency." Can you
5 briefly describe that institution in the post-Tito period.
6 A. After Tito's death, by constitutional provision, the collective
7 presidency was made up of one representative of each republic and one
8 representative from each of the two autonomous provinces of Serbia. So it
9 was an eight-member body. And then there were other bodies. But that was
10 the central executive institution of the federal Yugoslavia after Tito.
11 Q. Thank you. Can you advance your slide, please.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. In 1990, were there elections in the former Yugoslavia?
14 A. Yes. In the aftermath of the collapse of the Federal League of
15 Communists, each republic scheduled elections at the republican level.
16 There were numerous plans for an election at the level of Yugoslavia, but
17 they were never held. Consequently, elections were held in all republics,
18 starting in March and running through December of 1990. In all republics,
19 nationalists, or those sympathetic to nationalist aspirations, prevailed.
20 The first elections were held in Slovenia and Croatia in March and
21 April of 1990, and the candidates that prevailed in those elections were
22 known to favour moves toward independence of those two republics from
23 federal Yugoslavia.
24 The elections in Bosnia were held November 18th, 1990, and the
25 existing legislation on the books from the Communist era was not
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and the English transcripts.
1 hospitable to multiparty competition in these elections, and so the
2 Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as was the case with the other
3 republics, moved forward with legislation to hold elections in Bosnia
4 later in the year.
5 They also decided at that time on the offices to which these
6 candidates would be elected, and they came up with a seven-person
7 presidency, that is, following the model of the federal presidency, with
8 two members to be selected from the Serb nation, two from the Croat
9 nation, two from the Muslims, and one from the category of "other." The
10 problem or challenge that that posed was that each voter in Bosnia was
11 given seven votes. So a Serb voter, for example, could vote not only for
12 two members of the presidency in the Serb category, he or she could also
13 vote for two candidates in the category of Muslims. And this decision had
14 the effect of bringing those supporting nationalist candidates together in
15 support of one another.
16 Q. Can you briefly describe the political parties that were
17 contesting the elections in Bosnia in 1990.
18 A. There were many parties that contested the election. I'll mention
19 only five briefly. First of all, the League of Communists of Bosnia and
20 Herzegovina changed its name to League of Communists, Social Democratic
21 Party, and entered the election as one of several parties seeking power.
22 A second party that also had no national programme, a programme in
23 favour of no nationality, was the reformists who supported a programme of
24 economic reforms backed by the then-prime minister of the Federation of
1 The other three major parties were nationalist parties, each
2 identified with one of the three national communities. The Croatian
3 Democratic Community, known as the HDZ in its acronym, was organised by
4 and supported by Croats in Bosnia; the Serbian Democratic Party, or SDS,
5 was the representative of the Serbs who organised it; and the SDA, or
6 Party for Democratic Action, although it contained no name to this effect,
7 was the party favoured by many Bosnian Muslims.
8 Q. Can you describe what happened during that election campaign?
9 A. The nationalist party leaders quickly realised that they could not
10 afford to alienate one another, and so they arrived at a series of verbal
11 agreements known as inter-party agreements in which they, first of all,
12 agreed not to attack one another during the election campaign. They
13 further agreed on the division of key offices should the three of them
14 together emerge victorious in the November elections, and they agreed in
15 principle that they would not just extend this to not just the level of
16 the republic but to the level of the various municipalities in which they
17 would compete.
18 So the election campaign was - which was conducted from about
19 August until November of 1990 - was one in which the nationalist parties
20 attacked the League of Communists, Social Democrats, and Reformists. That
21 was the target of their criticism and their attacks, and successfully they
22 attempted to identify those parties with the old order. And since this
23 was a time of considerable economic disaster, really, in the former
24 Yugoslavia, those appeals were received very well.
25 The Nationalists did not in substantial measure attack one
1 another, but they did articulate their disagreements on one fundamental
2 issue, and that was the future constitutional relationship of Bosnia and
3 Herzegovina to Yugoslavia.
4 Here the Croatian party, the HDZ, looking over their shoulders at
5 their colleagues in Croatia, favoured making Yugoslavia into a
6 confederation, as they called it, in other words, loosening the ties of
7 the federal state for Bosnia, while the Serbs, the Serbian Democratic
8 Party held to the position that Yugoslavia was a federal state, that that
9 was a minimum acceptable position for the Serbs, and it had to remain a
10 federal state.
11 The Muslim party, the SDA, tried very hard to carve out a middle
12 ground. And in the report I've given you, one of many quotes from Alija
13 Izetbegovic in which he tried to avoid making a decision between those two
14 alternatives and keep all the options open until after the election.
15 Q. When you say the SDS policy was a federal Yugoslavia, the position
16 of Bosnia in its relationship with Serbia, could you just briefly clarify
17 that, explain it.
18 A. Yes. Just to go back a few years, the -- many Serbian
19 nationalists in Serbia proper favoured strengthening federal Yugoslavia
20 constitutional provisions because they viewed the 1974 constitution as
21 giving too much autonomy to other units in Yugoslavia. However, in this
22 campaign, the Serbs of Bosnia drew the line at preserving the
23 constitutional status of Yugoslavia as it was. They then went on to say
24 that if others withdrew from the notion of federal Yugoslavia, they
25 wavered in their favour of Yugoslav federal, that they would then create
1 or favoured creating their own Serbian state to consist of some remnants
2 of the former Yugoslavia.
3 Q. What was the result of the -- sorry. Let me back up just a
5 Can you just put the events in 1990 that were occurring in Bosnia
6 in context to what was happening overall in Eastern Europe? Can you
7 briefly comment on that?
8 A. Well, of course -- communism was collapsing throughout Eastern
9 Europe, and multi-party elections were being held in most -- all
10 countries, really, of Eastern Europe. Consequently, what we're looking at
11 as a large picture is the collapse of communism and the emergence of
12 alternative political projects, most of them adopting at least the
13 rhetoric and the constitutional terminology of Western European and North
14 American democratic precedence.
15 Q. What were the results of the 1990 election in Bosnia?
16 A. The nationalists together, the three nationalist parties, won a
17 decisive victory, an unexpectedly strong victory, and so it now became
18 their responsibility or privilege to turn their campaign successes into
19 governance. They did so by elaborating the inter-party agreements that
20 they'd reached during the election campaign. So they, for example, made
21 the president of the Presidency the leading vote-getter or the -- to be
22 nominated by the leading party. That was Alija Izetbegovic. The
23 president of the Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina was the second leading
24 vote-getter; that was Momcilo Krajisnik. And the third leading party got
25 to nominate the president of the government or cabinet minister, and that
1 was, as I recall, Franjo Boras.
2 They further extended this arrangement to the level of the
3 municipalities so that each municipality, based on the voting that had
4 taken place for its municipal assemblies, would know exactly what party
5 should fill what functions. And since each municipality also had a
6 municipal assembly from socialist times, that ranged in size from 27
7 deputies, I believe, to 130. This meant that the arrangement, the
8 tripartite arrangement, the cooperation between the national parties,
9 would be, in principle, extended down to the level of the municipalities.
10 This worked well for about six weeks, and then really from the
11 very first sessions of the assembly severe disagreements began to develop
12 between the SDS, Serbian party, on the one hand, and the SDA and the HDZ,
13 on the other hand. In the new arrangement, the SDS gradually dropped its
14 emphasis on preserving a federal Yugoslavia and instead started to
15 articulate Greater Serbian ideals in more explicit form.
16 Q. You indicated that the tripartite agreement extended down to the
17 municipal level. I'd like you to expand on that a little bit and explain
18 how the Serbian party, the SDS; the Muslim party, the SDA; and the Croat
19 party, the HDZ, cooperated, at least on one occasion, on the municipal
21 A. The first level of cooperation was agreement on who would get what
22 office. The president of the municipal assembly was to be chosen by the
23 largest vote-getting party. The vice-president of the assembly was to be
24 chosen by the second party or the president of the so-called executive
25 board was to be chosen by the second party. Since these municipalities
1 were so different in composition, the specific arrangement became quite
2 complicated but, nevertheless, followed a formula agreed upon by the party
4 As time went along, the principle of apportioned power was
5 extended even to municipal workers, so that the SDS would claim that so
6 many workers had to be Serb; the SDA would claim that so many had to be
8 Within the Serbian -- within the municipal assemblies, what this
9 meant was that frequently deals would be cut between party leaders and
10 simply enacted by municipal assemblies, or if one nationality or party had
11 an absolute majority in the assembly, it would simply make the decision in
12 advance and the assembly became effectively a rubber stamp for the
13 majority party.
14 Q. You've mentioned the municipal assembly and executive board.
15 Could you assist us in this case by describing how, in general, municipal
16 governments were organised in Bosnia at this time? What did it mean,
17 municipal assembly and executive board?
18 A. The municipal assembly was the supreme body in each municipality.
19 As I've indicated, these were large and frequently cumbersome bodies.
20 They were designed in the socialist area to accommodate participation
21 rather than facilitate decision-making.
22 The chief executive body for each municipality was the executive
23 board, and that body had -- was in charge of the day-to-day operations of
24 government and supervision of government employees and so on.
25 Q. Can you discuss -- you discussed the breakdown of the inter-party
1 agreement. Can you discuss what the goals of the Croatian nationalist
2 party were?
3 A. The goals of the HDZ evolved and changed rather dramatically over
4 time in the course of 1991. At the given 1991, the HDZ of Bosnia strongly
5 supported a Bosnia that would be, as I say, part of a confederation, and
6 it's in promotion of, let's say, Bosnian distinctiveness, was allied with
7 the SDA.
8 At the same time, the president of Croatia, Franjo Tudjman, was
9 interested in acquiring all of Bosnia for Croatia or recognising that that
10 was impossible or unlikely, reaching some sort of an agreement whereby
11 Croatia would acquire part of Bosnia, perhaps in compensation for other
12 territorial changes. To that end, he met with President Milosevic in
13 Serbia in 1991, and the two of them sought but did not arrive at an
14 agreement on the division of Bosnia between them.
15 Starting in late 1991, the HDZ, the Croatian party, began to
16 support a much more separatist viewpoint and formed an organisation that
17 was territorially distinct.
18 Q. What was the Muslim or SDA policy regarding the territorial
19 integrity and the constitutional future of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
20 A. The SDA, in the first instance, supported Bosnia and Herzegovina
21 as an integral concept. That was their primary point of orientation.
22 They did not want it to be divided or in any way have its, let's say,
23 sovereignty limited.
24 It also -- the party came to the view or adopted the view that
25 Bosnia and Herzegovina wanted to stay in Yugoslavia unless Yugoslavia
1 began to shrink by virtue of the defection, and Yugoslavia thereby became
2 to look more like Greater Serbia by virtue of being absent Croatia,
3 Slovenia, and/or Macedonia.
4 So the leader of the SDA, Alija Izetbegovic, was a part of the
5 group that sought to cobble together an agreement. But in the long run,
6 if the other republics left Yugoslavia, it was clear that it was no longer
7 the party's position that Bosnia should remain a part of the Yugoslav
9 Q. What was the SDS, or Serbian Nationalist Party's, position
10 regarding the future of Bosnia?
11 A. The SDS increasingly promoted separate institutions that were
12 Serbian dominated, or in fact SDS dominated, within Bosnia-Herzegovina.
13 In April of 1991, the SDS sponsored a movement to create an association of
14 municipalities of the Bosnian Krajina, which came to encompass most
15 municipalities in north-western Bosnia. They then later, in the fall of
16 1991, sponsored, promoted, the creation of separate entities called
17 Serbian administrative units or territories, or SAOs, and each of those
18 was involved in dividing or reapportioning some of the boundary lines of
19 municipalities, so that more municipalities were Serb majority and more
20 and more Serbs or Croats and Muslims were effectively left in these
21 smaller rump municipalities which would be clearly dominated by these
22 regional units.
23 Q. Can you go to the next slide, please. Mr. Donia, can you discuss
24 how defence, national defence, was organised in the socialist era in
25 Yugoslavia and the effect that it had on the outbreak of the conflict in
1 the 1990s.
2 A. Yugoslav defence theory really grew out of World War II and the
3 Partisan experience. And that experience, of course, was the resistance
4 of an inferior force against the foreign invader. So a two-tiered system
5 of defence arose in socialist Yugoslavia. The first was the institution
6 of the JNA itself, the Yugoslav National Army, which had responsibility
7 for defending the whole territory of Bosnia -- or of Yugoslavia against
8 foreign invaders. But the second tier was that of the Territorial Defence
9 forces. This really came out in its modern form after 1968, when the
10 Soviet Union had invaded Czechoslovakia and the Yugoslavs were wanting to
11 ensure that they had the means to repel a foreign invasion of that type.
12 The Territorial Defence forces, which are known as TO, TOs, were
13 under the administration of the republics, the republican ministries of
14 defence, and the theory was that in the event of an invasion, these local
15 forces should be able to repel, hold off, or harass a foreign invader for
16 an indefinite period of time, hopefully while the Yugoslav National Army
17 could acquire total victory over an invader. To this end, the various
18 local Territorial Defence units were organised in communities and in
19 factories and in offices and were given light arms at their place of
20 organisation. So an office might have three or four pistols in its
21 inventory of arms, but a factory might have, in fact, rows of weaponry,
22 light arms, with which they could seize instantly in the event of an
24 In 1988, the JNA underwent a reorganisation, and did so again in
25 January 1, 1992. And in each of those reorganisations, the JNA and -- the
1 JNA sought to move the control of the Territorial Defence forces more
2 closely under its control and away from the republics. And in the summer
3 of 1990, the JNA ordered that all arms of the Territorial Defence units be
4 brought into its armouries, under its control; thereby effectively
5 disarming Territorial Defence units. These orders were largely followed,
6 although some local Territorial Defence forces were able to acquire arms
7 from elsewhere and themselves continued to acquire these weapons. But
8 from that point on, there was a certain, let's say, differentiated role of
9 the Territorial Defence units.
10 In a very broad picture, when armed contention began in 1992, many
11 of the Territorial Defence units that were in Serb-majority municipalities
12 became effectively Serbian local units, many of those Territorial Defence
13 units in Croat-majority municipalities became effectively Croat units, and
14 those in Muslim or mixed units tended to become the backbone of what was
15 organised on April 15th, 1992 as the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
16 Q. Where did the officer corps and soldiers come from that
17 constituted these TO forces?
18 A. They were locals who typically had been through their JNA service
19 and were working in the appropriate factory or office. At the higher
20 levels, they were more closely related to the JNA and effectively under
21 its command.
22 Q. As rivalry between the nationalist groups rose following the
23 elections, did any parties take steps to arm themselves?
24 A. In the course of 1991, all parties, all nationalist parties,
25 undertook efforts to arm their local units. The Muslims formed a group
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and the English transcripts.
1 which started -- could be dated back to May of 1991, and probably had
2 achieved some level of operational status by January of 1992.
3 The HDZ, with strong assistance from Croatian forces, organised
4 the HVO, the Croatian army, and was much more successful than the Muslims
5 in both acquiring arms and distributing them to local units.
6 By far the most successful, largest build-up of arms was done by
7 the SDS, and it was done for them with the cooperation of some - not all,
8 but some - officers of the JNA. Starting in the summer of 1991, while the
9 war in Croatia was just beginning, arms were distributed from JNA
10 armouries to local SDS committees, to Territorial Defence forces, in
11 communities that had Serb majorities. And even in cases where there was
12 not a Serb majority, typically small units were established; so that by
13 the spring of 1992, the arms balance in Bosnia strongly favoured the
14 Serbian side.
15 There was one step in this process, however, which really tipped
16 the balance, and that was the decision in December of 1991 of Slobodan
17 Milosevic to order the JNA in Bosnia to become a purely Bosnian force.
18 And in the various accounts provided by his political advisor, Borislav
19 Jovic, we know that he made the decision to negotiate independence with
20 Macedonia but asked the commanders of the JNA to take all Bosnian
21 conscripts within the JNA, transfer them to Bosnia, and at the same time
22 to take the non-Bosnians who were stationed in Bosnia and move them out.
23 So this set up a situation where, from December of 1991 onward, the
24 overwhelming majority of military force in Bosnia was under control of the
25 SDS and the JNA and its manifestation as the leader of this Bosnianised
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Counsel, as we had said earlier on that we didn't
3 need the details which are already in the report, and we have observed
4 that that is what we are actually getting, can we move on and wind up with
5 this opinion? Because it doesn't help the Trial Chamber --
6 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: -- in its use of time to give an oral presentation
8 of what the report already contains. So can you move on and wind up,
9 please, at least before the end of the morning.
10 MR. KOUMJIAN:
11 Q. I hope it will be helpful to the Trial Chamber to briefly discuss
12 the steps that were taken regarding the movement towards independence in
13 Bosnia, giving us specific dates in each of these steps. And perhaps you
14 might move on a couple of slides now.
15 If we were to skip the Serbian autonomous districts - you
16 mentioned those - and start with the declaration of sovereignty of the
17 Assembly. What was the declaration of sovereignty of the Bosnian
19 A. On the 15th of October, 1990, the Bosnian Assembly voted to
20 proclaim Bosnia and Herzegovina a sovereign state.
21 MR. PANTELIC: Excuse me, Mr. Donia. It was 1991, I suppose.
22 A. I'm sorry, 1991, yes. This slide is in error. Thank you. Yes.
23 This declaration was taken in extraordinary circumstances, because
24 the Assembly had in fact adjourned and the Croatian -- the HDZ and SDA
25 delegates lingered afterwards and reassembled to adopt this proclamation.
1 In addition, earlier in the day a very heated exchange had taken place in
2 which Radovan Karadzic had suggested that a road to war would mean the
3 extermination of the Bosnian Muslims, and Alija Izetbegovic responded by
4 citing that as the reason that the Bosnian Muslims would find it difficult
5 to remain in Yugoslavia.
6 Just moving to the declaration -- steps towards independence, the
7 European Community asked a commission of experts to recommend to it a
8 policy on recognition of the former -- of the republics of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the Badinter Commission invited those applications
10 on the 17th of December, 1991. And on the 20th of December, 1991, the
11 presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, by a vote of 5 to 2, with the two
12 SDA members in opposition, voted to apply to the Badinter Commission for
13 independence. That decision was rendered on the 15th of January, 1992,
14 and the European Community insisted on a referendum in Bosnia. That
15 referendum was held on February 29th and March 1st, 1992. It was
16 boycotted by the vast majority of Bosnian Serbs and therefore led to a
17 near unanimous referendum vote in favour of independence. On the basis of
18 this referendum, the European Community expressed its intent to recognise
19 Bosnia and Herzegovina on April 6th, 1992, and the US followed on April
20 7th, 1992.
21 MR. KOUMJIAN:
22 Q. Can you briefly describe the countersteps that were taken by the
23 Serbian SDS party to these moves towards Bosnian independence. Perhaps
24 you can move to slide -- point 6 on your slide, just go through those.
25 A. Yes. Well, again briefly, on 20 October, 1991, five days after
1 the declaration of sovereignty, the Serbian SDS delegates within the
2 Bosnian assembly withdrew and formed their own assembly known as the
3 Assembly of the Serbian People of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and they voted
4 to hold their own referendum on the 9th and 10th of November, 1991, on
5 forming a separate Serb republic and staying within Yugoslavia. After
6 this referendum produced a favourable vote, they then voted on the -- I
7 believe it was the 20th of December, to prepare for the formation of a
8 Bosnian Serb republic. And on the 9th of January, 1992, they did in fact
9 declare that republic. On the 28th of February, 1992, they adopted a
10 constitution for that republic, and on the 7th of April, after the
11 deputies on the Presidency of Bosnia had resigned, they declared the
12 Bosnian Serb republic -- Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina an
13 independent state.
14 Q. When did the Serb representatives to the Presidency resign from
15 the Bosnia-Herzegovina Presidency? That was Ms. Plavsic and Krajisnik --
16 excuse me, Mr. Koljevic. I stand corrected.
17 A. They resigned following the recognition on April 6th.
18 Q. Moving on to the next point on your slide, point 7. Can you
19 describe how the SDS party, the Serbian party, planned to implement its
20 strategy at the local level?
21 A. The SDS ordered its local boards to form Serbian assemblies which
22 would be limited to Serbs and members of the SDS and to proceed with a
23 series of actions to essentially separate themselves from the government
24 of Bosnia-Herzegovina. They did this in a directive dated December 19,
25 1991, which outlined to variants of the situation depending on whether
1 Serbs were in an absolute majority in a municipality, which they labelled
2 as Variant A, or whether they were in -- lacked an absolute majority,
3 which they labelled as Variant B.
4 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, I have a document that has been on the
5 Prosecution Exhibit list, I believe, as C5; that is, the Variant A and B
6 documents entitled Instructions for the Organisation and Activity of
7 Organs of the Serbian People in Bosnia and Herzegovina in Extraordinary
8 Circumstances. It bears the ERN number, the version that I have, 00359936
9 on the first page. That's the translation. I have attached to it the
10 B/C/S version which is labelled -- bears the ERN number 00252738 on the
11 first page and 00252747 on the last page.
12 May this exhibit be marked and admitted into evidence?
13 JUDGE MUMBA: May I ask the Defence?
14 MR. PANTELIC: Objection, Your Honours. At this stage, we know
15 only that we have a document before us. It is obviously too far from this
16 point to the point where this document can be -- can be understood as the
18 In addition, we already took some measures to contact with the
19 Prosecutor's office with regard to the verification of these documents in
20 order to facilitate the work of this Trial Chamber, to check the
21 authenticity of these documents, and then to come out with a joint, I
22 would say, position regarding the authenticity of these documents, and in
23 due course it will be delivered. It will be filed to this Trial Chamber.
24 So in conclusion, we, as Defence, don't think that this document
25 can be admitted as the evidence for the following reasons: This document
1 is not an official document. There is no signature. There is no seal.
2 It's just a plain photocopied document. So for the moment, we would like
3 to object that this document could be admitted of evidence. In the course
4 of these trial proceedings, we shall discuss this issue. Thank you.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Are you making this presentation on behalf of all
7 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Yes, I do believe. Yes.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: All right. Thank you. So your point is that you
9 haven't checked it out yet?
10 MR. PANTELIC: Madam President, we have checked this document, and
11 we believe that this document is a - I don't know - sort of draft or
12 unofficial document. We don't know from where, when, and how it was
13 obtained, who prepared this document, because we cannot follow. There is
14 no, I would say, substantial elements of this document to be concluded.
15 For example, there is no signature. There is -- we don't know who is the
16 author of this document. There is no seal. So we are in the process,
17 with the Prosecutor's office, to find out that, and then, accordingly, we
18 shall inform the Trial Chamber. Thanks so much.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Prosecution.
20 MR. KOUMJIAN: I understood from the Defence opening yesterday
21 that they were questioning the authenticity of this document. This is not
22 the original document with a seal, although it does purport to be a
23 document of the Serbian Democratic Party Main Board, and understanding
24 that this may be in dispute, the authenticity of this document -- by the
25 way, it's -- on the bottom of the last page it's -- although it's not a
1 signature, it indicated "SDS Crisis Staff."
2 I would ask to question Mr. Donia. He may have some relevant
3 information regarding his knowledge of this document that may bear on its
4 authenticity and the Court's determination of whether to admit it.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: So you want the witness to discuss it?
6 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: And does the witness have information where he
8 obtained it or who made that document?
9 MR. KOUMJIAN: It's a document that's rather famous or infamous in
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Okay. Proceed. Let us see whether or not that will
12 clear the problem.
13 MR. KOUMJIAN: I don't know if we should perhaps -- well, did
14 we -- can we at least mark it for purposes of --
15 JUDGE MUMBA: For identification. For identification only.
16 MR. DI FAZIO: Your Honours, please, might I suggest that perhaps
17 it be provisionally produced or marked for identification, given a number
18 in the sequence of the exhibit numbers, and subject to later
19 substantiation it could be formally tendered into evidence. But that
20 would enable this witness to comment on it in the meantime.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. It will be marked for identification only.
22 And the sequence -- you can follow the same sequence, but it will be
23 marked for identification only. It won't be an exhibit. Then the witness
24 can discuss it, and then we'll see what --
25 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Madam President. Only one suggestion: Maybe
1 we could also mark this with an "R," with the name "R," like a reserve or
2 something, just to know which documents we have to discuss or the issues
3 and origins of these documents.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: No, no, no. It has a title, I take it?
5 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: It has a title, and for purposes of the proceedings
7 it will be marked ID whatever number, and that's all.
8 MR. PANTELIC: Okay. It was my position just to facilitate this.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the document shall be marked for
11 identification purposes P3.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: No, it wouldn't be P3. It will be ID3.
13 MR. KOUMJIAN: I'm not aware of the procedures the Court wants. I
14 presume the Court does not want me to actually put any marking on the
16 JUDGE MUMBA: No. Doesn't it have a title?
17 MR. KOUMJIAN: It has a title which I read into the record
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The only mark should be the ID number.
20 MR. KOUMJIAN: I can mark the ID number.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: If you can mark that.
22 MR. KOUMJIAN: Okay. Thank you.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: We can refer to it as ID throughout until perhaps at
24 a later stage it can be discussed.
25 MR. KOUMJIAN: I'm hand writing "ID3" on this. Perhaps this could
1 be shown to the witness to verify that we're talking about the same
2 document. Thank you.
3 Q. Mr. Donia, do you recognise this as -- the first page as a
4 translation of the document that you discussed which we have -- you have
5 referred to as the Variant A/B plan?
6 A. Yes, I do.
7 Q. When did you first become aware of this document? Not this
8 particular copy, but the document in general.
9 A. I became aware of the A/B plan in the course of 1998 while I was
10 conducting research on events in Sarajevo -- in the city of Sarajevo after
11 1990, in the lead-up to the war. And I first came across it in a
12 publication called Slobodna Bosna, Free Bosnia, which published this
13 document, as it stands here before me, on the 22nd of March, 1992.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Can I just have a clarification? When you talk of a
15 publication, is it a book or a newspaper?
16 THE WITNESS: Newspaper. I'm sorry. It's a weekly magazine. I
17 think it was bi-weekly at the time.
18 Slobodna Bosna began publication in-- I think on the 1st of
19 November, 1991.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: So it was produced in this weekly newspaper, weekly
22 THE WITNESS: Yes.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: And you photocopied it from there?
24 THE WITNESS: Yes I did. And the particular variant or version
25 that was published in Slobodna Bosna in early 1992, a period of just about
1 three months after the purported date on the document, also included
2 certain steps in the implementation of the directive that pertained to the
3 city of Sarajevo. It listed, for example, the members of the Crisis Staff
4 for the city of Sarajevo, which was one of the things that is directed of
5 the local boards in this document. It also assigned two various members
6 of the SDS Crisis Staff specific activities by paragraph which matched
7 those in the document itself.
8 The reason this interested me at the time was that I was seeing
9 the rather sizeable and deep footprints of its implementation in Bosnia and
10 Herzegovina after the 1st of the year, essentially after the 1st of
11 January, 1992.
12 In footnote 140, I have included that information in very brief
13 form. I didn't go to any length because it's really -- it's hardly
14 Bosanski Samac, but there were -- the directive was followed. It was
15 implemented on the ground in the Sarajevo municipality of Ilidza, in the
16 Sarajevo municipality of Ilijas, in the Sarajevo municipality of Old Town
17 or Stari Grad, and this particular directive, apparently from the accounts
18 of it, touched off considerable turmoil within the SDS and found many
19 people who were not eager to implement it. And I've cited here, as part
20 of footnote 140, the resistance in the Serbian municipality at Centar.
21 JUDGE SINGH: Dr. Donia, if you can just pause there for a
22 moment. We were trying to establish or show the authenticity of this
23 document, and you referred to this Slobodna Bosna, which is published
24 weekly or bi-weekly. Just one or two questions on that.
25 Did you retain a copy of that newspaper, or do you know where that
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and the English transcripts.
1 can be found, or have you put a date to that newspaper?
2 THE WITNESS: Yes, I do have a copy. I do have it at home, and I
3 was able to acquire another copy of that article here.
4 JUDGE SINGH: You have the original magazine?
5 THE WITNESS: I have a photocopy, yes.
6 JUDGE SINGH: But not the magazine itself.
7 THE WITNESS: I don't have the magazine, no. I came across it in
8 an archive in Sarajevo.
9 JUDGE SINGH: I see. Could that be made available, do you think?
10 THE WITNESS: It would be available to the Court, certainly.
11 JUDGE SINGH: Yes.
12 MR. KOUMJIAN:
13 Q. Just to clarify something, this document indicates --?
14 MR. KOUMJIAN: I don't believe that we have copies for the
15 Court -- it might be helpful to the Bench to have a copy of the document
16 during questioning.
17 JUDGE SINGH: Perhaps in the meantime, Dr. Donia, could you tell
18 us something about the publishers of this magazine, this newspaper, who
19 they were?
20 THE WITNESS: This was a group of -- thank you, Your Honour, for
21 the question.
22 The founders of Slobodna Bosna were a breakaway from a
23 long-standing publication called Nasi Dani, and they published -- in their
24 early months of existence, they were almost exclusively focused on
25 scandals associated with the various political parties. They still are.
1 They're still publishing in a very similar vein.
2 So they, for example, in November published the purported SDS
3 plans to siege -- to besiege the city of Sarajevo and published various
4 other party documents which they believed would be embarrassing or
5 compromising to the nationalist parties. It was an anti-nationalist
6 publication, which in those days was directed principally against Serbian
7 nationalist statements of the SDS.
8 JUDGE SINGH: [Microphone not activated] I take it you photocopied
9 it yourself?
10 THE WITNESS: Yes, I did.
11 MR. KOUMJIAN:
12 Q. The document indicates on the cover page that it is strictly
13 confidential; is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. So it was your understanding that the magazine had obtained this
16 through some other source. It wasn't itself the intended recipient of the
17 document; is that correct?
18 A. That's correct. It did a great deal of that, yes.
19 Q. What is it that you know about the document that makes you
20 believe, if you do -- first let me ask you: Do you believe that this is
21 an authentic document, that it was written under the authority of the SDS
22 Crisis Staff?
23 JUDGE MUMBA: No. I don't think the witness, even though he's an
24 expert, can he answer that, because he has already described how he
25 sourced this document, and we have pursued the magazine's proprietary and
1 what the character was, so I don't think you can ask the witness that.
2 MR. KOUMJIAN: I'll rephrase the question.
3 Q. What do you know about this document that would indicate that it
4 was in fact implemented in -- let me go back a step.
5 Do you know of any instance where SDS leaders referred to this
7 A. Yes. I guess -- I mean, my -- as an historian, I'm looking at
8 what happened, and I see this as a broad characterisation of events that
9 were executed on the ground. That's my view of it.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. So that's your opinion when you read this.
11 And then you observed what was going on, your opinion was that whatever
12 was going on was following this document.
13 THE WITNESS: Yes. That's correct, ma'am. That's correct, Madam
15 A. And I would, in answer to your question, counsellor, note that
16 Radovan Karadzic, the President of the SDS in 1995, in fact spoke,
17 reminded the members of the SDS at one of the -- I believe the 50th
18 assembly meeting about -- he pointed with pride to the party's early days
19 in executing Variants A and B, Variant A in communities where they had a
20 majority, and Variant B in communities or municipalities in which they did
21 not have a demographic majority.
22 MR. KOUMJIAN:
23 Q. Can you describe how this plan distinguished between those two
24 types of municipalities, Variant A, Serbian majority; and Variant B where
25 Serbians did not have a majority?
1 A. Yes. May I be permitted to refer to the document at this point?
2 Is that --
3 JUDGE MUMBA: It is still called ID3. Yes, you can refer to it.
4 Counsel, you do understand what the weight of this evidence is at
5 this stage? Because the Defence, as they have said, they are yet to
6 verify this document because -- from what has been said so far, it doesn't
7 look like it would be admitted into evidence unless some other evidence
8 comes up to back up the authenticity and the reliability, let me say.
9 MR. KOUMJIAN: That's part of what I intend to elicit from
10 Mr. Donia, why this document should be admitted, why it is reliable and
11 why the evidence is overwhelming that this was SDS policy.
12 MR. PANTELIC: Excuse me, Your Honour. I don't think, with all
13 due respect, that Mr. Donia is an expert who can be of any relevance to
14 the authenticity of this document. May I suggest to my learned colleague,
15 to the Prosecutor bench, to follow the following idea:
16 MR. KOUMJIAN: The SFOR, or the investigators, can talk about
17 where this document -- this is what his job is as a historian, to judge
18 whether documents -- whether items that he received is authentic. That's
19 one of the very basic things a historian does in deciding what weight
20 should be given to something, whether it's backed up by evidence that
21 would indicate that it is authentic or a forgery. I understand the
22 ultimate decision is with the Trial Chamber, but I believe Mr. Donia has
23 evidence that could be helpful to the Trial Chamber in that regard.
24 MR. PANTELIC: Just a few words, Madam President.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
1 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you very much, my dear colleague, for your
2 suggestions, but I would be very happy to see one of the official reports
3 from the Prosecutor office regarding the manner and way how this document
4 was seized. That's a legal point of view. This point of view is rather
5 academic or historical, or we can have a panel here on that issue.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Actually, it is limited to that, Mr. Pantelic.
7 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you so much.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: It will be limited to that, yes.
9 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you very much.
10 MR. KOUMJIAN:
11 Q. I'm not sure if you recall my question but, Dr. Donia, we were
12 talking about what actually the plan -- how it distinguishes between the
13 two types of municipalities.
14 A. There are a few things that are common to both types. And the
15 first thing that's common in this document to both types, variant A and
16 variant B, is to create a Crisis Staff of the Serbian people. And the
17 document prescribes the members that are to make up that Crisis Staff.
18 The second thing that it has in common, both variants, variant A and
19 variant B, is to proclaim an assembly of the Serbian people.
20 MS. BAEN: Excuse me, Your Honour. Maybe we didn't understand
21 your ruling, but it seems now that the witness is going into the contents
22 of the document, and I'm understanding the Court to say that you're not
23 allowing this into evidence until authenticity is approved.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: It is his opinion that he is giving to the Court,
25 based on what he thinks the relevance of this document is. That is his
1 own opinion, and it's not binding on the Trial Chamber.
2 MS. BAEN: Okay, but he is reading from the document, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: He can go ahead, because it has got ID3.
4 MS. BAEN: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Because I'm sure you're aware that even after a
6 document has been accepted as an exhibit, it can still be excluded.
7 You're aware of that procedure?
8 MS. BAEN: Yes, I'm aware of that, Your Honour. We just wanted to
9 note that he is giving an opinion about the contents of the document, so
10 we just wanted to, for the record, tell you that we object to that, but we
11 understand the Court's ruling.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, but I did say that he's giving his own
13 opinion. That's all.
14 MS. BAEN: Yes, Your Honour. We understand. Thank you.
15 A. The difference between variant A and variant B lies in the
16 assignment of functions to the Municipal Assembly. In the variant B, it
17 really -- the directive, as contained in the document, is to form a
18 parallel or alternative government to co-exist with the government
19 prescribed -- what exist in those municipalities. And it's in variant B
20 that in those municipalities which -- in which the Serbs are not in a
21 majority, in which it's really quite easy to follow the implementation of
22 this strategy to follow in various municipalities of Bosnia and
23 Herzegovina. The reason for that, as I take it, is that in variant A the
24 Serbs were already in a majority in the Municipal Assembly, and the
25 compliance with the document would consist principally of creating a
1 Crisis Staff and taking certain preparatory measures.
2 In variant B, on the other hand, there were always members of
3 other parties present, and in some cases there were reporters present. So
4 that, for example, in the Prijedor municipality, one can follow the
5 composition of the Serbian Assembly, made up precisely of the members as
6 prescribed in the document, and the composition of the Crisis Staff, as
7 noted in the document, or directed in the document, and furthermore, the
8 assignment of certain responsibilities to members of the Crisis Staff
9 within a few days of the time that the document was purportedly
10 distributed from the central board.
11 In other words, my feeling is that this policy was implemented
12 from the 1st of January, 1992, and by the end of May, 1992, it was
13 implemented in virtually every municipality of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It
14 has -- and I can see in the documentation that I've looked at that it's
15 been implemented in -- variant B in at least a dozen of those
17 MR. KOUMJIAN:
18 Q. So in your view, would it be correct that you thought the
19 historical evidence indicates that the plan was implemented as written by
20 the SDS in many municipalities?
21 A. Yes. I think to be fully accurate, I would certainly vouch for
22 that -- believe that that's the case for variant B.
23 Q. Where would Bosanski Samac fit in under the variant A/variant B
25 A. Because Bosanski Samac did not have an absolute majority of
1 Serbian population, it would be a variant B municipality.
2 Q. From your knowledge as a historian, a person familiar with the
3 events in the region, is this document something that has been widely
4 discussed and is well known?
5 A. From the 22nd of March, 1992 on, it was very widely discussed and
6 became almost universally known amongst politically aware people in
8 Q. Have you been aware of any attempt by leaders of the SDS
9 previously to indicate that this document was not authentic, that it was
10 not an authentic written outline of their plan for Bosnia?
11 A. I'm not aware of any effort by SDS leaders to argue that it was a
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Are you trying to prove it negatively?
14 MR. KOUMJIAN: I think --
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Because nobody said it wasn't their document,
16 therefore ... Is that the --
17 MR. KOUMJIAN: I think it's a legitimate inference that if someone
18 says I signed a document and I don't say anything to deny it, that there's
19 an inference that I'm accepting it.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: But the witness never fessed any official --
21 MR. KOUMJIAN: I'm not sure --
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, because from his evidence --
23 MR. KOUMJIAN: I'm not sure that that's true.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: No. Leave it at that. From his evidence, he
1 MR. KOUMJIAN: Okay. Do you know --
2 JUDGE MUMBA: So please proceed. No, no. Do you want to make
3 any --
4 MR. KOUMJIAN: Does Your Honour want me to proceed on the next
5 topic, or would you like to break now?
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. It's almost 1.00. I just wanted to find out
7 how many more minutes, because we're supposed to wind up --
8 MR. KOUMJIAN: I'm trying to speed it up, and --
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Because the problem with you, Counsel, is that
10 you have been told that all these details are in the report.
11 MR. KOUMJIAN: If you give me an amount of time, Your Honour, I
12 can shorten it to as much -- if you give me, say, at most a half hour,
13 I'll be sure to finish; if you tell me less, I'll be sure to finish in
14 less time.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Because it's really a waste of time. Everything --
16 and this report is quite detailed. It's quite detailed.
17 So we'll adjourn. Before we rise -- we will continue tomorrow,
18 but I think the Trial Chamber will give you 15 minutes tomorrow so that
19 the cross-examination can start.
20 Before we rise, I would like to inform Mr. Simic that the Registry
21 is working out on the laptop. They are trying to find one which has no
22 other programmes and then he can be provided. And also the Registry is
23 also looking into the aspect of the bed. So in the meantime, we'll just
24 be sitting up to 1300 hours and see whether we shall have further
25 developments in those two issues.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and the English transcripts.
1 MS. BAEN: Thank you very much, Your Honour. Thank you.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Okay.
3 JUDGE SINGH: Professor Donia, I would just like to perhaps ask
4 you to consider one other matter. If you look at this identification
5 document that you have given us, at the end of it, it says "SDS Crisis
6 Staff." It bears no name. That's the translation in English that I'm
7 having a look at.
8 A. I'm sorry, Your Honour. Can you give me a --
9 JUDGE SINGH: It says "SDS Crisis Staff" in this translation.
10 A. Yes.
11 JUDGE SINGH: It bears no name of any official.
12 A. That's correct.
13 JUDGE SINGH: From your point of view, I do not know that you have
14 seen similar documents, but do documents emanating, say, from such a
15 source like the Serbian Democratic Party or, for that matter, the other
16 two parties in Bosnia-Herzegovina -- have you seen signatures to such
17 documents, or are these for distribution, bearing no signatures? If you
18 would just consider that and perhaps answer that tomorrow.
19 A. Yes, Your Honour, I will.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: The Court will rise.
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.02 p.m.,
22 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 12th day of
23 September 2001, at 9.30 a.m.