1 Friday, 12 September 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Groome.
7 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, before I call the next witness,
8 Mr. Nice had suggested or said to the Court yesterday that it might be
9 necessary to change the order of witnesses. I'd like to inform the Court
10 that it is not necessary and that we will be maintaining the order of
11 witnesses as published two weeks ago, and that would be B-179 next,
12 followed by Mr. Van Linden. At this time the Prosecution would call
13 Mr. Robert Donia to testify.
14 JUDGE MAY: If the witness would take the declaration.
15 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
16 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
17 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. If you'd like to take a seat.
18 WITNESS: ROBERT DONIA
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Groome.
20 Mr. GROOME: Your Honour, I will be using two exhibits with this
21 witness. They are in one binder, however. I would ask that tabs 1
22 through 4 of that binder be assigned a number.
23 We've also included at the back of that binder a copy of CDs
24 containing the entire Assembly minutes. We are simply asking that they be
25 marked for identification. Should the accused or the amici at some
1 further point in the trial wish to work with these documents, at least the
2 foundation will have been laid and they will be readily available. So if
3 I could --
4 JUDGE MAY: So the idea is that the bundle -- the binder we have
5 here should have one exhibit number, is that right, and then the minutes
6 would have a separate number?
7 Mr. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well, that can be done.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit Number 537 and 538 marked for
11 Examined by Mr. Groome:
12 Q. Sir, could I ask you to state your name for the record.
13 A. Robert Donia.
14 Mr. GROOME: And could I ask that the witness be shown Exhibit
16 Q. Mr. Donia, I'm going to ask you to begin your testimony by
17 identifying some of the documents contained in Exhibit 537. If I can draw
18 your attention to the first tab. Is that a copy of your curriculum vitae?
19 A. Yes, it is.
20 Q. The Chamber will be able to read that for themselves. Is there
21 anything not contained on that document that is important for the Chamber
22 to be aware of?
23 A. There are two recent additions to my curriculum vitae. Number
24 one, that effective this fall, October, I will be the DeRoy professor of
25 honours studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor for the fall
1 semester; and second, that I have received a nominal appointment as
2 associate professor of history at the University of Sarajevo.
3 Q. This second, nominal appointment, do you receive any compensation
4 for holding that position?
5 A. No, I do not.
6 Q. I'd ask you to turn to the second tab in Exhibit 537. Can you
7 identify that document, please.
8 A. Yes. This is the report that I prepared at your request,
9 entitled "The Assembly of Republika Srpska, 1992 to 1995, Highlights and
11 Q. Can I ask you to describe in a sentence or two what it was that
12 you were requested to do.
13 A. The Office of the Prosecution asked me to survey the sessions of
14 the Assembly from spring 1992 until the end of 1995 to identify meaningful
15 excerpts that pertain to the leadership of Republika Srpska, that
16 leadership's policies, and linkages with leaders outside of the Republika
18 Q. If I could now draw your attention to tab number 3. Can you
19 please identify that document.
20 A. This is a supplement to the report, which contains a few
21 additional citations, a couple of corrected quotations and translations.
22 And on the last page, a list of errata, errors in translation of the first
23 version of the original report, the most significant of which is the last
24 one on that page, referring to page 82 of the original report, note number
1 Q. Now, sir, your report, is it correct that it is simply a
2 chronological arrangement of excerpts which you identified as being
3 relevant to the fulfillment of your task? Is it just simply arranged
5 A. That's correct. In chronological order by session number as
6 well, yes.
7 Q. Now, in preparation for your testimony here today, did you review
8 your report and create, with members of the Office of the Prosecutor
9 staff, a set of demonstrative exhibits arranging or highlighting some of
10 the more important excerpts according to topic?
11 A. Yes, I did.
12 Q. And I'd ask you to look at tab 4. And can you identify that
13 package of documents.
14 A. Yes. This is the demonstrative aid that I assisted in preparing
15 to highlight certain of the excerpts that are included in the Assembly.
16 Q. I'd now ask you to take a look at Exhibit 538. It's simply been
17 marked for identification purposes. If you look at the very last sleeve
18 in the binder that's before you. Do you recognise what that is?
19 A. Yes. This is a list of the Assembly sessions that I examined,
20 the ERN numbers for B/C/S and English when a translation existed, and an
21 indication of the source of the Assembly transcripts and minutes.
22 Q. Can I ask you to describe or comment on what you know about the
23 source of the material that you worked with in the creation of your
25 A. The transcripts and minutes were turned over to the Office of the
1 Prosecutor in basically two groups. The first was given to the Office of
2 the Prosecutor by Rajko Stanisic in February of 1998. That pertained only
3 to sessions 16 and 50 on the table.
4 Q. What was her position at that time?
5 A. She was Mr. Krajisnik's secretary, I believe, and the secretary
6 of the Assembly.
7 Q. And the remainder of the sessions that you reviewed?
8 A. The remainder of the sessions were turned over to the Office of
9 the Prosecutor in December of 2001 and received in two batches on 18 and
10 21 January 2002.
11 Q. And they were received from what source?
12 A. And they were received from the Ministry of Justice of the
13 Republika Srpska.
14 Q. I'm now going to ask you to turn to tab 4, or I believe you have
15 a copy of that with you. I'm going to ask that we go through the topics,
16 or some of the excerpts according to topic. These will also be displayed
17 on the Sanction system on the screens in the courtroom. I'll give you a
18 second to get yourself organised, and then I'll give my first question.
19 A. Yes. Ready.
20 Q. The first topic I'd like to deal with is in your analysis of the
21 Assembly session minutes, did you find any important excerpts concerning
22 the idea or the importance of a unified state for Serbs?
23 A. Yes. In May of 1994, Mr. Aleksa Buha, reflecting the position of
24 the Bosnian Serb Assembly, stated - and I'm looking at the first entry on
25 the machine here - "Our primary option is unification with Serbia. And if
1 that doesn't fly, then independence."
2 Q. Were there other articulations of this that you identified?
3 A. Yes. There were in fact a large number of them in the Assembly
4 speeches themselves. Some of them referred specifically to the
5 unification of Serbs in the various Serbian areas. Mr. Milan Martic, who
6 was a guest at the 40th session, in May of 1994 the president of the RSK
7 said, "We are one and the same nations, and no matter how many times it is
8 said that we are two republics, two states, we are one nation, and be sure
9 that before long, whether it please someone or not, we will be one state."
10 Q. Are there any articulations by Mr. Radovan Karadzic that you
12 A. Yes. In October 1993, he stated, "... we must propose the
13 complete unity of the Serbian people, including Yugoslavia, the RSK, and
14 the RS."
15 Q. Now, in the course of your review of the Assembly session
16 minutes, did there emerge any -- or were any obstacles to this goal
18 A. Yes. The obstacle that was identified time after time was some
19 actor within the international community. In the 42nd session, in July of
20 1994, Mr. Karadzic referred to one of those actors, namely the Russian
21 deputy foreign minister, as having "... deceived us in Lisbon ... knowing
22 that they wouldn't give us Greater Serbia and unification, knowing that we
23 must do that in steps."
24 Q. Now, when Mr. Karadzic refers to "steps" is -- was there -- or
25 did you identify any portions of the Assembly minutes that identified what
1 was the final goal that these steps would be leading to?
2 A. Mr. Rajko Dukic, speaking in July of 1992, said that "If no one
3 prevents us in the future from being a united state, and that is, I think,
4 our final goal ... with the rest of the Serbian nation."
5 Q. Now, this concept of a unified Serb state, was it something that
6 was unique to simply members of the Assembly session or the Assembly
7 delegates? Was there ever a reference to agreement among other places or
8 other states where Serbs lived?
9 A. In one of the early sessions in August of 1992, Mr. Krajisnik
10 said, "I personally think that the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
11 is a temporary state that will exist until the situation allows all
12 Serbian lands to unite. ... This is not an agreement just among us, but
13 among us and Serbia, and us and the Krajina," and so on.
14 Q. Now, in your study of the Assembly session minutes, were there
15 any -- was there any discussion about the strategy to be undertaken to
16 achieve this goal of a unified Serb state?
17 A. Yes. There was much discussion. The first definitive outline of
18 objectives was passed by the Assembly, the 16th session, on 12 May 1992
19 and became known as the six strategic goals. When this concept was first
20 put forth in that session, Mr. Karadzic outlined what those goals were
21 proposed to be, and the Assembly subsequently voted to adopt them.
22 These goals in a sense come in two parts. The first was a
23 general principle, goal number 1, looking at that first paragraph,
24 "Separation from the other two communities, separation of states."
25 The other five goals each identify a certain specific geographic
1 objective. Goal number 2 identifies a corridor between Semberija and
2 Krajina, Semberija being a location in north-eastern Bosnia and Krajina in
3 north-western Bosnia. This corridor was often referred to as the Posavina
5 The third goal was to establish a corridor in the Drina Valley,
6 that is, elimination of the Drina as a border between two worlds. So this
7 goal actually is the elimination of an existing border that separated
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina from Serbia, from the Republic of Serbia.
9 The fourth goal was establishment of a border on the Una and
10 Neretva Rivers, the Una River running through north-western Bosnia,
11 through the city of Bihac, and the Neretva River in Herzegovina running
12 through the city of Mostar.
13 The fifth goal was the division of the city of Sarajevo into
14 Serbian and Muslim parts.
15 And the sixth goal was the access of the republic -- the Serbian
16 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina to the sea.
17 Q. Of these six goals, do any emerge as reflective or echoing the --
18 your earlier discussion of this goal of -- this final goal of a unified
19 Serbian state?
20 A. Well, in fact, two goals would move -- if realised, would move
21 towards the establishment of a unified Serbian state. Certainly the
22 elimination of the Drina as a border between two worlds would be a step in
23 that direction. And the second goal, a corridor between Semberija and
24 Krajina, would not only link, to look at Mr. Karadzic's words here in the
25 second goal, Krajina, that is, Bosnian Krajina, but also Serbian Krajina
1 in the Republic of Croatia or alliance of Serbian states. So it would
2 link the RSK with the Republic of Serbia, as well as the eastern and
3 western portions of the Republika Srpska.
4 Q. Now, I believe in your introduction about these goals, you said
5 that they were adopted. Can I ask you to explain the procedure that was
6 followed and the significance of the adoption of these goals.
7 A. The Assembly voted, after some discussion which constituted
8 really elaboration of these goals, voted to endorse and adopt the goal.
9 And subsequently we find there are many references to the goals in this
10 and other sessions. Momcilo Krajisnik, for example, explained this
11 relationship that I mentioned earlier later in the session. "The first
12 goal is the most important one, and in relation to all other goals, all
13 other goals are sub-items of the first."
14 And in the 42nd Assembly session, Radovan Karadzic spelled out
15 another formulation of the first goal, which was, "... that is beyond
16 doubt insofar as we want to achieve the first strategic goal: which is to
17 rid our house of the enemy, that is, the Croats and Muslims, so that we
18 will no longer be together in a state."
19 Q. Now, this first goal, did it have another -- or could it be
20 characterised in a different way, another characterisation, aside from
21 ridding "our house of our enemies"?
22 A. Yes. The first strategic goal was also articulated at times by
23 other members of the Assembly as a "gathering in of Serbs from areas not
24 under Serbian control." It was, for example, announced this way by Mr.
25 Ostojic at the 34th session in August of 1993: "We will achieve our goal,
1 the ethnic-geographic continuity of the Serbian people, by means of
2 accommodating refugees, and in fact creating a new demographic policy in
3 the RS."
4 A somewhat similar idea was expressed by Mr. Milinkovic at the
5 same session: "If we want our ethnically pure Serbian state, and we
6 desire it, don't we? If we all know and understand that common life with
7 them is impossible, then we must understand that this map offers it and
8 that people must relocate."
9 Q. Now, that reference to people relocating, is it true that that is
10 a reference to Serbs living in other areas of Bosnia that would have to
11 relocate into Serb-controlled areas?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Now, in addition to the discussion of the goals themselves, were
14 there discussions of how best to implement these goals?
15 A. Yes. Some of these statements in the Assembly sessions are
16 retrospectives. And in one such statement by Mr. Karadzic in January of
17 1994, he is speaking about the conclusions of the Lisbon Conference of
18 February/March 1992 and expresses the view that his preferred way of
19 accomplishing this goal would have been through the implementation of the
20 conclusions of the Lisbon Conference, saying, "If the Lisbon Conference
21 conclusions had been implemented without people getting killed, it would
22 have been easier to withdraw our people from their hearths, for we would
23 have created a state."
24 Likewise, in a more contemporary context, speaking of the time of
25 August 1992, Mrs. Plavsic said, "Therefore we must create conditions for
1 internal military and forced emigration and we cannot do that without
2 territory." That, of course, was a statement made at a time that the war
3 had already begun.
4 Q. Were there -- was there ever any discussion of concrete plans to
5 implement these strategic goals?
6 A. Yes. Mr. Karadzic, in one of these retrospective statements at
7 the 50th session, in April of 1995, referred both to the institutions for
8 separation and seizure of power and their roles. He said, referring back
9 to the 1991-1992 period: "In the municipalities where we were in a
10 minority, we set up secret government, municipal boards, municipal
11 assemblies, presidents of executive boards. You will remember, the A or B
12 variant. In the B variant, where we were in a minority -- 20 per cent, 15
13 per cent -- we had set up a government and a brigade, a unit, no matter
14 what size, but there was a detachment with a commander."
15 Q. Could I ask you now to turn your attention to what role, if any,
16 ethnic cleansing played in the achievement of these goals and any
17 articulations or significant articulations of that that you found in the
18 Assembly minutes.
19 A. Yes. Let me highlight just two. Mr. Pejovic, in April 1993, the
20 first quotation, speaking of East Bosnia -- Eastern Bosnia, specifically
21 Gorazde, said, "That's a single oasis that must be completely cleansed as
22 soon as possible, breaking all Sarajevo's links with the East."
23 And then at the bottom of the page, Mr. Srdjo Srdic, from
24 Prijedor, in 1993, speaking of the Prijedor municipality, said, "They
25 needed to --" speaking of other municipalities other than Prijedor, said,
1 "They needed to cleanse their municipalities the way we cleansed ours."
2 Q. You -- did you identify any similar sentiments expressed by
3 Mr. Radovan Karadzic?
4 A. Yes. In a discussion of the Union of Three Republics Peace Plan
5 in October -- or in 1993, Mr. Karadzic was -- expressed with pleasure,
6 saying, "We have preserved 250.000 places of the living space where
7 Muslims lived."
8 Likewise, Mr. Krajisnik, in January 1994, made a statement,
9 "Believe me, it would be the greatest tragedy if the Muslims accepted to
10 live together with us. You've seen how they ingratiated themselves with
11 the Croats."
12 Q. Could I ask you to continue and then read the next portion of
13 that quote in your report.
14 A. Yes. Okay. "We might lose our state."
15 Q. Could you please place that in context and explain the import of
16 that statement to us.
17 A. Mr. Krajisnik is expressing here the view that, really, to have a
18 Serbian state is to -- is one in which there was -- it would be a great
19 tragedy if -- if people were to live together.
20 Q. Now, in the course of your review of the Assembly session
21 minutes, do you ever or did you identify any time when an assessment is
22 made of progress toward this goal?
23 A. In summer 1992, July 1992, the 17th Assembly session conducts an
24 extensive review of progress to date. And Radovan Karadzic, expressing a
25 -- the viewpoint that, "... we have no further reason to fight; we have
1 liberated almost all that is ours."
2 Q. Now, in that Assembly session, is there consensus among the
3 delegates that Mr. Karadzic is right in saying that in July 1992, four
4 months after the outbreak of conflict, that -- that almost -- that almost
5 all that has been -- territory that was sought to be liberated has been
7 A. Yes, there is. There is a viewpoint that about 70 per cent of
8 the land has been liberated. Several delegates argue individually for the
9 pieces of land, typically those areas which they represent which were not
10 yet liberated and that should be liberated in any final arrangement.
11 Q. Now, was there ever a time that Mr. Milosevic addressed the
12 Assembly of the Republika Srpska?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Can you please tell us when and the circumstances surrounding
15 that address.
16 A. Mr. Milosevic addressed the 30th Assembly session -- I'm sorry,
17 there's an error on this slide. It's -- the date is 5 May 1993. And I
18 believe it was in Pale. The situation was that the Vance-Owen Peace Plan
19 had been proposed by Mr. Vance and Owen in January of 1993, by this time
20 had been accepted by the Croats -- the Bosnian Croats in January 1993 and
21 by the Bosnian Muslims, specifically Mr. Izetbegovic, in April -- or March
22 1993. So the Bosnian Serbs were the lone hold-outs in agreeing to the
23 Vance-Owen Peace Plan.
24 On 1 and 2 May 1993, there was a meeting in Athens in which
25 Mr. Karadzic was subjected to great pressure, by his own account, and
1 finally signed the plan subject to the review of the Bosnian Serb
2 Assembly. It was this meeting, then, that was convened in -- on 5 May in
3 Pale, and present were four heads of governments, Mr. Bulatovic, the
4 president of Montenegro; Mr. Milosevic, the president of Serbia;
5 Mr. Cosic, the president of Yugoslavia; and Mr. Mitsotakis, the president
6 of Greece.
7 Q. Sir, before you go any further, can I ask you to -- in general,
8 Assembly session minutes, were they open or were they closed?
9 A. They were typically open for a brief period of time. The
10 sessions from the 16th session on, that is, May of 1992 on, were typically
11 open for a brief period of time for introductory comments, and then were
12 closed. Journalists were invited to resume their work elsewhere and so
13 discussions were then held in closed session.
14 Q. For this 30th Assembly session, did this follow the same format,
15 partially open in the beginning and then a closed session afterwards?
16 A. Yes, it did.
17 Q. And were you able or did you have the minutes from both the open
18 session and the closed session for your review?
19 A. Yes, I did.
20 Q. And did you have the closed session minutes for all of the
21 Assembly sessions for you review in this work?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Did Mr. Milosevic address the Assembly in open or closed or both?
24 A. He addressed the Assembly in both. He made a -- a brief speech,
25 perhaps five to eight minutes, in the open session and a somewhat
1 lengthier speech, perhaps 20 to 25 minutes, in the closed session.
2 Q. Can I ask you to summarise what it was Mr. Milosevic said in the
3 open portion of the Assembly session?
4 A. In the open portion of his remarks, he identified -- he said that
5 "We have determined or established the goal of Serbian people in the
6 Balkans and that goal is freedom and equality." And he then argued that
7 the Vance-Owen Peace Plan provided freedom and equality to the Bosnian
8 Serbs and, therefore, should be accepted.
9 Q. Can I ask you now to describe what it was that he said in the
10 closed portion of the Assembly session?
11 A. He made a number of opening remarks in which he cited a speech by
12 General Mladic as the critical reason why the peace plan should be
13 accepted and then argued that the plan as it was essentially left nothing
14 of Alija Izetbegovic's Bosnia.
15 He then turned to the question of a goal. And I will just read
16 the first -- if I may, the first few sentences here. "The question was
17 asked, which I really find unacceptable: Whether we give up on our goal?
18 I shall tell you no! We do not give up on our goal."
19 If I may suggest, this translation into English is, I believe,
20 "understandable" but not the best translation. And my translation of it
21 would be that "whether we -- whether the goal be given up. I shall tell
22 you no, the goal should not be given up or abandoned."
23 Going on: "The question, if we look at the plan, is not whether
24 the plan represents completion of the goal."
25 Now, if I could just point out the context of this statement.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 During this presentation in closed session, Mr. Milosevic never defines
2 what the goal is. He is speaking to a group of people, which based on my
3 review of the Assembly sessions, understood a final goal or an ultimate
4 goal to be the establishment of a unified Serbian state, but he doesn't
5 say what he means and I don't know -- I can't say what he meant.
6 It is, however, clear that he now speaks of this goal. And I'll
7 just read the sentences. "The question is, though, whether the plan
8 represents a way towards the final goal. The goal was completed in many
9 aspects, but not in all of them. But, it represents the way towards the
10 ultimate goal, of course it does."
11 So in contrast to the opening presentation that he made, he's now
12 speaking of goals that have not been achieved in full but are on the way
13 to being achieved.
14 He speaks specifically in the second paragraph of this
15 presentation about what he means by those things that have been partially
16 implemented, and he's trying to -- he says here he's answering the
17 question: How do we consolidate the economy in our provinces? "Since you
18 are an Assembly, you probably know that we made a united system of money
19 transfer, that we intend to introduce the same money, that we intend to
20 have every possible link and transaction between the economies, as well as
21 that we are going to stabilise the entire unified area of economy, in
22 which those Serb lands shall belong economically, culturally,
23 educationally, and in every other aspect."
24 He finishes his speech with the thought, "Let me tell you in the
25 end, do not tell us that you feel abandoned. To us who felt your worries
1 all the time. And we did not only mentally feel them, but we solved them
2 and helped with all our powers and with all our capabilities, for the cost
3 of great sacrifices of the 10 million people of Serbia. We shall continue
4 to help you, that is not disputed."
5 Q. If I can ask you a few specific questions. First of all, can I
6 ask you to place that last paragraph of the second paragraph into -- or
7 explain it into a little more detail, the significance of that paragraph.
8 A. He is -- the context in which he's making these -- made these
9 remarks was the context of assuring -- giving a number of assurances of,
10 say, feeling of solidarity or commonness and that those common goals were
11 in the process of being realised.
12 I want to make sure that -- I also turn to this last line of the
13 first paragraph just briefly, if I may. "We should employ our heads a
14 little more, our brains, and we should spill a little less blood." In
15 this presentation, he makes a very forceful plea for the acceptance of the
16 Vance-Owen Peace Plan and states elsewhere that the war should not only
17 stop soon, it should stop now, and portrays very negative consequences if
18 the Bosnian Serbs do not accept the Vance-Owen Plan.
19 Q. Is there anything in his speech or his endorsement that you can
20 find that qualifies or suggests that his endorsement of the Vance-Owen
21 Plan was anything less than genuine?
22 A. I think his endorsement of the Vance-Owen Plan was genuine. The
23 -- based on the speech as I saw it.
24 Q. In the course of his address, does he give an assessment -- or
25 his assessment of the progress towards the ultimate goal?
1 A. Yes. And we have some of it here, but he states that "We are
2 well on the way toward achieving that goal and the costs to the people of
3 Serbia at this point have been substantial and cannot continue to be
5 Q. And what is the -- his interpretation of the role that the
6 Vance-Owen Plan plays in the progress towards that goal?
7 A. His interpretation or his -- his statements say that the
8 Vance-Owen Plan means that the Izetbegovic government is done, that there
9 is no meaningful central government left, and that life in the three
10 Serbian provinces provided for in the plan can be consolidated under
11 Serbian leadership over time in a peaceful manner.
12 Q. Now, if I can change the subject a bit. Are there other excerpts
13 that you've identified in the Assembly session minutes that speak to how
14 the Bosnian Serb leadership perceived their relationship with
15 Mr. Milosevic?
16 A. Yes. Going to the next -- the next slide here. Mr. Karadzic on
17 several occasions reflected upon that relationship, and in August of 1995
18 said, "Milosevic personally told me --" there's an implied quote here:
19 "Zimmerman was here and sought to put down your movement. He wants me to
20 close the border on the Drina. I will never put down my own people." End
21 of implied quote. "I remember that and I've counted on it and I never
22 could have a doubt that the border on the Drina would be closed because he
23 said that he could never put down his own people, and I depended on his
24 word and we all depended on it and I shared this with you."
25 In 1995, at the same -- or a somewhat later session, Karadzic
1 referred to a session in 1991 of the Presidency of Yugoslavia, in which he
2 said, "In 1991 --" and I indicate that there's no indication of the month
3 or time of this statement. "In 1991, we said in the Presidency of
4 Yugoslavia - this was all recorded and remains there - we said that we
5 have a chance to move to our borders, to create a state, that they would
6 disparage us, that they would attack us but they would recognise us.
7 There was neither the masculine strength nor the state vision to do that."
8 Q. Is it clear from the context of that speech who the "they" refers
10 A. The "they," it seems to me the context makes clear is the members
11 of the Federal Presidency of Yugoslavia. I'm sorry, the "they" in the
12 latter part of the quote there clearly refers to the adversaries of the
14 Q. Can I now turn your attention to the next quote that you've
15 identified by Mr. Karadzic in the 54th Assembly session. Can I ask you to
16 explain that and the general attitude of Mr. Karadzic towards
17 Mr. Milosevic.
18 A. In these numerous statements that Mr. Karadzic made, he was
19 consistently loyal to President Milosevic, and this is perhaps a
20 representative statement: "I always told the opposition in Serbia, don't
21 weaken President Milosevic. A weak President Milosevic weakens Serbia.
22 Strengthen him! Praise his every move."
23 Q. In the Assembly session minutes, are there any characterisations
24 by members of the Bosnian Serb leadership with respect to how they
25 perceived whatever guidance or instructions they received from Mr.
2 A. In the 34th session, Mr. Karadzic characterised the relationship
3 in response to an inquiry from another delegate. He said, "I must say to
4 you that they are very cautious with us." "They" being Milosevic and his
5 representatives. "They highly respect us. I cannot say that they don't
6 exert pressure, but they don't exert pressure in the form of ultimatums.
7 They converse with us, and they show great patience with us. They would
8 rather persuade us than to exert pressure. And Milosevic is, I must tell
9 you, cunning as a snake and he has helped a great deal to make things
10 happen in that way. He especially helped with constitutional
11 principles ..."
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: What was the precise inquiry from the other
13 delegate that prompted that explanation?
14 THE WITNESS: The inquiry was a critical one. I can't remember
15 the exact words, but the inquiry was such that it was saying that
16 Milosevic has had far too much influence and we've made a mistake in
17 following his -- his policies, is that not the case? And so the response
18 here of Mr. Karadzic is to refute that impression.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
20 MR. GROOME:
21 Q. Mr. Donia, if Judge Robinson or any of the Chamber has a
22 particular question about something not contained in your report, is it
23 possible for you, during the break, to refer to the actual minutes and
24 return with a very precise answer?
25 A. Yes, it is. I probably would need access to my laptop in which
1 I've indexed all these references, but yes.
2 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Groome, I noticed from this CD, most of the
3 English translation are not available, if you check it later.
4 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour. I will do that.
5 JUDGE KWON: So I think it's important to have the full text to
6 understand the context, in what context it is spoken.
7 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
8 I would just explain that I believe the entire collection is
9 about 10.000 pages. Mr. Donia speaks the language, and part of the
10 process was to identify those portions to be translated. We can certainly
11 have any portion or the entire collection translated, if that's of
12 assistance to the Chamber.
13 JUDGE KWON: I don't think either the entire B/C/S version are
14 not included in this CD, only parts of it.
15 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
16 Q. Can I draw your attention to the 55th Assembly. Did Mr. Djuric
17 make any statement with respect to what Mr. Krajisnik said about some
18 instruction he received from Mr. Milosevic?
19 A. Yes. Mr. Djuric stated, "President Krajisnik said that Milosevic
20 prevented the offensive, so that we couldn't take Bihac."
21 Q. Can you just put that into context. Where is Bihac in Bosnia and
22 what was this referring to?
23 A. This was in reference to the events of very late 1994, in which
24 there was an effort to take Bihac by the Bosnian Serbs or an offensive
25 that was mounted with that apparent goal. And Bihac, of course, is in the
1 extreme north-western -- north-western corner of Bosnia and was held
2 through -- it was one of the six protected areas but also held through the
3 war by the various forces, the Bosnian government or Bosniak forces.
4 Q. Did Mr. Karadzic at some point in one of the Assembly sessions
5 discuss or relay his first encounter with Mr. Milosevic?
6 A. Yes, he did. In October 1995, he described this first meeting in
7 the end of September 1990, recalling it as follows: "We are not inferior
8 in relation to President Milosevic, and never have been. The first time I
9 visited him, just when I understood that we had great power, that was at
10 the end of September 1990, ... I invited Koljevic and Kozic, I took them
11 with me, since I didn't want to go alone. I immediately assumed a status
12 of equality ..."
13 Q. The Chamber has already heard that the -- the Bosnian Serb
14 Assembly ultimately rejected the Vance-Owen Plan. Can I ask you to point
15 to an example of a discussion of the relationship between the Bosnian Serb
16 leadership and Mr. Milosevic post the rejection of the Vance-Owen Plan?
17 A. In 1994, Mr. Karadzic recalled, "I think that everything Slobo
18 says can be accepted, except one thing we have not abandoned. We are
19 leading them to our goal. ... Without Serbia, nothing would have
20 happened. We don't have the resources and would not have been able to
21 make war, and that is seen in disagreements with them. The primary big
22 disagreement was over the Vance-Owen Plan, and that was serious and not
23 any kind of game, but it's better that the people believe it was a game."
24 Q. That quote begs the question about what "one thing" refers to.
25 Were you able to discern what this one thing was, "the one thing we have
1 not abandoned."
2 A. This, I think, apparently is a reference to that goal which is
3 for the Bosnian Serb leadership always consistently meant a unified
4 Serbian state.
5 Q. Did Mr. Karadzic at any time describe the relationship with
6 Mr. Milosevic with respect to his participation in international
7 negotiations on their behalf?
8 A. Yes. He spoke of the Geneva negotiations, which took place in
9 1992 and 1993 at the 53rd Assembly and said, "We have no desire to remain
10 a separate state. At most we would want to unite today and at some future
11 point for Milosevic to negotiate."
12 Then speaking of the impending negotiations, "However, if we form
13 a common, not a united but a common delegation, where naturally Milosevic
14 will be at the head, formally or informally he will be the head -- and in
15 Geneva he was the head every time, it was clear that he was the head."
16 Q. Now, moving to a different topic. Was there ever a discussion
17 about a phenomenon that the delegates had observed about a parallel
18 government existing in Serbia?
19 A. Yes. Mr. Mijatovic referred to that in saying, "We have a
20 vice-president of the government with responsibility for the economy, who
21 sits in Belgrade. ... Someone said the President of the Economic Chamber,
22 a former minister, also sits in Belgrade. We have plenty of people who
23 sit in Belgrade."
24 Q. Was there ever a reference to what authority these people had who
25 were sitting in Belgrade in this other shadow or parallel government?
1 A. Yes. The Prime Minister Lukic, speaking in 1993, said, "We need
2 a certain number of people to sit and work in Belgrade, but we don't need
3 a whole firm of officials and with such authorisations that even the
4 government of this republic doesn't possess."
5 Q. So is the prime minister of the Republika Srpska in this passage
6 complaining that some of this staff, reportedly RS staff in Belgrade, had
7 authority that even he didn't possess?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. I'm going to ask you to look at the next slide and just treat it
10 quite briefly. Were there general statements about the -- or recognition
11 of the dependence of the Republika Srpska on the FRY or the Republic of
13 A. Yes, there were. And Mr. Peric, in February of 1995, said,
14 "Gentlemen, as a person I am worried how to live without Serbia ..."
15 This is a time following the date of 4 August 1994, when an embargo of
16 sorts was imposed and the members of the Assembly were complaining about
17 the failure of support from Serbia.
18 Q. Now, I'm going to ask you to turn to a topic of which the Chamber
19 has heard much evidence, and that is the distribution of arms. Was there
20 ever a discussion about the circumstances under which arms were
21 distributed to the Serb population of Bosnia?
22 A. Yes. There were several such discussions. Among them,
23 Mr. Karadzic speaking in April 1995, "The distribution of weapons was
24 carried out thanks to the JNA."
25 And on the bottom part of the page, General Tolimir, at the same
1 or a somewhat later session, August of 1995, said, "I can only say that
2 active officers secured the material and technical means with which 35 per
3 cent of the population succeeded over four years in holding over 70 per
4 cent of the territory on which lived over 65 per cent of the inhabitants
5 of our enemies."
6 Q. Did there ever come a time when Mr. Karadzic commented on the
7 circumstances surrounding the reassignment of General Mladic to duties in
8 the Knin Corps while he was still a member of the JNA, prior to the
9 separation of the JNA or the former withdrawal of the JNA from Bosnia?
10 A. Yes. Mr. Karadzic in one of his retrospective statements said,
11 "Gentlemen, we got the officers we asked for. I asked for Mladic. ... I
12 took an interest in him, and together with Mr. Krajisnik, I went to
13 General Kukanjac's office and listened to him issuing orders and
14 commanding around Kupres and Knin." General Kukanjac was at that time the
15 commander of the military district that included both Bosnia and Croatia.
16 Q. Now, if I can draw your attention to the 22nd Assembly. And can
17 I ask you to comment on the passage you selected from or spoken by the
18 delegate Dr. Dragomir Kerovic.
19 A. Yes. Mr. Kerovic, again speaking retrospectively in November
20 1992 said, "These problems did not begin yesterday. These problems
21 date --" and he's speaking now of the difficulties of the financing of the
22 VRS, which was a regular topic in the Assembly, and the lack of salaries
23 and support for the VRS, as well as its organisation. "These problems
24 date from October to September 1991, when the first soldiers began to
25 deploy to those territories that in large measure the Serbs control
2 Q. Is this statement a recognition that the JNA, as early as
3 September 1991, had deployed forces to the areas that Serbs eventually
4 would control in Bosnia?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. If I can now ask you to turn your attention to the issue of the
7 payment of members of the VRS Officer Corps by the VJ. Were there
8 expressions of the circumstances surrounding that?
9 A. Yes. And many of these expressions likewise came in the context
10 of discussing the military -- the problems of the VRS and the discrepancy
11 that this payment created. A delegate who is unidentified in the
12 transcript is quoted as saying, "We have to see about these people who
13 Milosevic pays, whether they fight on our side or not. A good number of
14 officers receive their pay there."
15 And Mr. Mijatovic, in May of 1993, next session, said, "We
16 accepted nearly all officers from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia."
17 At the 50th session, at the bottom of the page, quoting General
18 Milanovic, "We did not regard these salaries as charities, nor did we
19 accept them as someone from the benches is shouting, in order to serve
20 them. We received them following an agreement which the RS Presidency
21 made with the Presidency of Yugoslavia."
22 Q. Now, General Milanovic is referring to a specific agreement
23 between the RS Presidency and the Presidency of Yugoslavia. Is there any
24 indication in the -- this session or other sessions about the date of that
25 or any other greater detail about such an agreement?
1 A. The -- as far as the date of such an agreement, no. The -- it's
2 clear it was very early, because a list of -- go on to the next page, the
3 statement of General Mladic, which gave a -- a precise accounting of the
4 expenditures of certain kinds from the beginning of the war to the end of
6 Q. This is a rather lengthy passage, and the Chamber will also be
7 made aware of this passage in a military report. Can I ask you to
8 summarise the most significant figures that Mladic quotes that indicate
9 the level of support that he received or he credits as the Yugoslav army,
10 the VJ, as having provided to the VRS.
11 A. Yes. He actually breaks down the munitions into three categories
12 and in each of those three categories identifies how many were received
13 from inherited supplies, that is, supplies that were in Bosnia-Herzegovina
14 when the war began and under the control of the JNA --
15 Q. Before you give us the specific figures, to what time period is
16 General Mladic referring to when he gives these figures?
17 A. He speaks of the time from the beginning of the war to the end of
19 Q. Please now give us the specific figures.
20 A. And in the -- the first category, infantry ammunition, he
21 identifies a total of 9.185 tonnes, of which only 1.49 per cent was
22 self-produced, 42.2 per cent came from supplies that we inherited, of the
23 former JNA, and 47.2 per cent was provided by the Yugoslav army.
24 Q. In that statement, then, it appears that -- is it almost 90 per
25 cent of the infantry ammunition was provided either from the JNA or the
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. Please continue.
4 A. The same breakdown, then, is provided for artillery ammunitions,
5 26.2 per cent of which came from production; 39 per cent from supplies,
6 which by the previous order would suggest that this was inherited
7 supplies; and 34.4 per cent provided by the Yugoslav army. Likewise, in
8 anti-aircraft production, this third category, "We secured none from
9 production, which means we didn't produce one shell, one bullet. 42.7 per
10 cent came from supplies, 52.4 per cent were provided by the Yugoslav
12 Q. Now, you've said that the -- the topic of how to finance the VRS
13 was a regular topic for discussion. Was there ever a discussion of how
14 war booty or proceeds taken by looting in -- in battle was to be used in
15 this regard?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Please explain.
18 A. Mr. Krajisnik, at the 33rd session, stated, "Through compensatory
19 contracts with enterprises in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and sale
20 of goods from war booty and commercial reserves, making the effort to
21 secure the means for purchase of munitions of war equipment in the Federal
22 Republic of Yugoslavia and abroad."
23 Q. In this sentence is Mr. Krajisnik identifying three sources of
24 funding; one, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia; two, the sale of war
25 booty; and three, their own commercial reserves?
1 A. The first category is enterprises in the Federal Republic of
2 Yugoslavia, yes.
3 Q. Was there ever any discussion in the Assembly regarding the VRS
4 actually conducting an operation on FRY territory?
5 A. Yes. A periodic complaint of several delegates was the number of
6 deserters who were living in the Republic of Serbia, who had fled to the
7 Republic of Serbia and were living there undisturbed. And in the course
8 of the 39th session in March of 1994, Mr. Kovacevic referred to the one
9 operation in which -- quoting beginning the second sentence here, "The
10 Ministry of Defence sent people into all areas of Serbia and Montenegro,
11 sent notices to about 12.000 of those with military obligations,
12 actually, there are about 19.000 of them there."
13 Q. Now, if you could place this into context for the Chamber. What
14 happened? What was the response of the Serbian Republic to the presence
15 of VRS or this type of operation?
16 A. Mr. Kovacevic goes on to spell out that reaction. In summary, he
17 says, "But their return evoked a very negative reaction in the FRY -" in
18 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia - "political parties used it against
19 the ruling parties in Yugoslavia and against the Supreme Command, but the
20 Defence Council of the FRY forbade this approach and completely prevented
21 us from any manner of returning our draftees to our territory." He then
22 proposes a solution, or the only solution as he sees it: "There must be
23 an agreement between Republican President Karadzic and President
25 Q. So is Mr. Kovacevic saying that after this date in 1994, any
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 future return of desertees would have to be by agreement of Mr. Karadzic
2 and Mr. Milosevic?
3 A. That is his statement, yes.
4 Q. Drawing your attention to the 53rd Assembly session, did
5 Mr. Karadzic in that Assembly session ever make a kind of a conclusory or
6 summary observation regarding the relationship between the VRS and the VJ?
7 A. Yes, he did. He stated, "Gentlemen, you must know that we have
8 adopted a structure that depends on Yugoslavia and that it is tied to
9 Yugoslavia in pay, pensions, use of arms and ammunition, et cetera, and
10 though we have paid for a good part of it, we have received a good part."
11 Q. Now, if I can ask you to deal with the topic of paramilitaries.
12 Can I ask you what you found in the -- the Assembly minutes with respect
13 to discussions of paramilitaries and paramilitary formations.
14 A. The -- there are a number of references in the Assembly sessions
15 to volunteers and paramilitaries, and this particular excerpt from the
16 54th session states: "Those volunteers that Zeljko Raznjatovic leads as
17 patriots, I have heard that they achieved success. But in his
18 presentation, General Milanovic said he would not accept this kind of
19 help, which amazes me."
20 Q. Was the word "volunteer" used to describe paramilitary such as
21 Arkan's men or Arkan's Tigers?
22 A. It was used -- it's used that way here and was used in other
23 cases as well, yes.
24 Q. Was there ever a specific discussion with respect to Arkan's
25 activities in Bosnia in 1995?
1 A. Yes, there was, at the 54th session, which is October 1995, a
2 statement by Mr. Vojo Kupresanin, who was the director of the TV of the
3 Republika Srpska. It should be pointed out that Mr. Kupresanin frequently
4 made proposals that were not shared by the other delegates, and just
5 before this he had actually made a proposal for a complete population swap
6 of the Serbs of the Republika Srpska and all the Muslims living in Kosovo
7 and -- and the Sandzak. So he was viewed as a person of hair-brained
8 ideas, if you will. But this one, he made a proposal and received a
9 response from Mr. Djuric, which I think is interesting. Mr. Kupresanin
10 said, "I propose that Mr. Arkan come here and become the commander of the
11 city of Banja Luka. Please, you shouldn't take offence. What he did in
12 Eastern Herzegovina, those were practical results. That which we did in a
13 short time in Novi, he saved Novi, Prijedor, et cetera, and the results
14 were exceptional."
15 That evoked a response from Mr. Djuric, saying, in the second
16 paragraph, "Arkan serves Belgrade's policies, as far as I know.
17 Otherwise, he wouldn't exist."
18 Q. Now, the Chamber has heard comprehensive evidence on the
19 destruction of mosques and other cultural and religious property. Can I
20 ask you to briefly comment on any references that you've found to the
21 destruction of such property?
22 A. In 1993, in considering the events in Bosanska Krupa and the
23 prospect, the possibility of that area returning to control of the Bosnian
24 Muslims, Mr. Miroslav Vjestica said, "We will have to compensate them for
25 everything we destroyed and burn there and the 17 mosques we razed to the
2 Another reference came on 9 May 1993 by Mr. Radoslav Brdjanin.
3 This statement took place just two days after the destruction of the
4 Ferhadija mosque in Banja Luka. And he is responding to the -- he is
5 responding in the Assembly to the -- to his impression that there is a
6 great deal of discussion about that in Banja Luka. The -- "The main topic
7 in Banja Luka day and night is about the mosque. I don't say that we must
8 thank those who destroyed it, but you mustn't complain so much, at least
9 not in our media. For all those who complain, I'll enlarge a postcard in
10 colour and they can carry it with them."
11 Q. Now, if I can change the topic to Srebrenica. Could I ask you to
12 identify for the Chamber the first reference in the Assembly minutes to an
13 appreciation by the Bosnian Serb leadership that if they were to take over
14 the enclave of Srebrenica, that a -- a terrible tragedy would befall the
15 people who were seeking refuge there?
16 A. In 1993, Mr. Karadzic says, "How does that apply to Srebrenica?
17 I think that's a point for us, for if we had entered Srebrenica, those
18 people entering would be those whose families were killed, 1200 Serbs
19 killed; there would be blood to the knees, and we might lose the state for
20 that. Therefore I think Morillon saved us, not the Muslims when he
21 entered Srebrenica."
22 Q. Now, this is two years before the tragic events of Srebrenica
23 unfolded. Can you please place into context what Mr. Karadzic means or
24 what he is saying when he says "We might lose the state for that."
25 A. His reference here is to the prospect of the international
1 community responding in such a way that the Bosnian Serbs -- the Republika
2 Srpska would not be recognised or that it would shrink geographically by
3 some sort of international decision.
4 Q. Was there a discussion about the timing of when -- what happened
5 at Srebrenica, when it did happen? Was there any discussion about the
6 significance of the time that was chosen to attack Srebrenica?
7 A. Yes. In the retrospectives about the Srebrenica events at the
8 52nd Assembly session on the 6th of August, first General Karadzic and
9 then General -- Mr. Karadzic and then General Gvero each reflected on the
10 timing of taking Srebrenica being calibrated to international conditions.
11 Karadzic said, "Had we taken Srebrenica and entered it when Morillon was
12 there -" that would be a reference to 1993 - "they would have bombed us,
13 you know -- you know how, carpet bombing. They would have scorched us."
14 Then he switches his attention to 1995 and says, "The moment came
15 with Directive number 7, I signalled the taking of Teocak, Srebrenica,
16 Zepa, and Gorazde."
17 General Gvero, in the lower part of the page, says in reference
18 to the question of timing, "With the problem of Srebrenica we also created
19 adequate reserves. We accomplished when we assessed that the
20 international community would not react immediately after the events in
21 Western Slavonia, and we entered exclusively because of that." That is a
22 reference to Western Slavonia being taken by the Croatian forces shortly
23 before the -- at that time.
24 JUDGE MAY: Getting back to the previous quotation, there's a
25 reference here to Srebrenica. Karadzic says, "The moment came, and with
1 directive number 7, I signalled the taking of Srebrenica. Everything was
2 signed and we entered in force." Directive number 7, Mr. Groome? Can you
3 assist us to what that is?
4 MR. GROOME: I believe the witness may be the best to be able to
6 Q. Can I ask you to deal with that directive and explain what you
7 know about that?
8 A. I'm sorry, I'm not familiar with the contents of the directive,
9 per se. I am aware of another -- a citation in which Mr. Karadzic says
10 that he signed altogether seven directives, and here he identifies this
11 one as the most important. But I'm not aware of the contents of that.
12 JUDGE MAY: It plainly says that that directive signalled the
13 taking of a number of places, including Srebrenica. "Everything was
14 signed and we entered in force." I assume this is a document you do not
16 MR. GROOME: I cannot answer that definitively, Your Honour.
17 There is another attorney working on that particular part of the evidence.
18 I believe there will be significant evidence about that directive, as well
19 as the others.
20 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
21 MR. GROOME: And I can get more information about it in advance
22 of that witness if the Chamber desires.
23 Q. Can I ask you to continue with this -- with what Mr. Karadzic
24 says about who gave the order with respect to the actual attack on
1 A. Yes. Again, speaking retrospectively, a few months after the
2 events in Srebrenica. "I personally looked over the plans without the
3 knowledge of the General Staff, not intentionally but by coincidence,
4 found General Krstic, and advised him to go into the city and proclaim the
5 fall of Srebrenica, and after that we will chase the Turks through the
6 woods. I approved that radical mission, and I feel no remorse for it."
7 Q. Now, just so it's clear, when he says this, this is long after
8 the -- it's become public knowledge about the thousands and thousands of
9 Muslim men and boys who were massacred in Srebrenica; is that correct?
10 A. That's correct. This is almost to the day two months after those
11 events had taken place and were being well aired throughout the global
13 Q. Did Mr. Karadzic make other statements that indicated his
14 appreciation of the crime that had been committed to the Bosnian Serb --
15 the Bosnian Muslim population of Srebrenica?
16 A. In the session of 6 August, which was about three weeks after the
17 events, he said, "Lieutenant Colonel Milutinovic gives catastrophic
18 pictures to -- pictures to foreign news agencies. These could cost Mladic
19 if they are shown at The Hague. He allows those who wish --" he there
20 being Milutinovic. "He allows those who wish to take pictures of the
21 corpses of women on the streets of Srebrenica and then releases them to
22 foreign media."
23 Q. Is that reference to "shown in The Hague" a reference to this
25 A. It could be, yes. It certainly could be.
1 Q. Can I ask you to comment on what Mr. Dodik said in the 54th
2 assembly session.
3 A. Mr. Dodik was at this time very critical of the Bosnian Serb SDS
4 leadership and made this statement in the Assembly: "And the greatest
5 mistake of the war was Srebrenica and Zepa, and someone has to take
6 responsibility for that. Who is responsible? We legalised before the
7 international community that a safe area can be taken, and then five days
8 later clamored when the protected areas of the RSK was attacked ..."
9 Q. To help the Chamber understand the context of this next excerpt,
10 can I ask you to give us some idea generally when did what happened in
11 Srebrenica become public knowledge and the subject of great media
13 A. The -- generally speaking, the events were covered by reporters
14 right there and became a topic of international media discussion within
15 hours of their taking place and so were fed into, let's say, the
16 international consciousness within a day or two of the time they took
18 Q. I want to draw your attention now to the 53rd Assembly,
19 approximately one month after what happened at Srebrenica occurred. And
20 I'd like to draw your attention to what Mr. Momcilo Krajisnik said with
21 respect to Mr. Milosevic. Before I ask you to deal with that quote, can I
22 ask you to describe for the Chamber what also occurred at the time of this
23 Assembly session.
24 A. This was, I believe, the day of the bombing of the -- or the
25 rocketing of the Markale market in Sarajevo. Just for context, the first
1 NATO bombing began two days later, on the 30th of August.
2 Q. Can you please describe what it was that Mr. Krajisnik said at
3 that time.
4 A. Yes. He said, "We were at a meeting with President Milosevic,
5 that's secret and for now should not leave this circle."
6 Q. Please continue with what he says.
7 A. "That was our initiative --" Let me be clear here that the
8 initiative for the meeting is not what he's speaking about. The
9 initiative that he's speaking about was "that we unite all resources and
10 defend the Republic, looking at what happened in the RSK, we cannot have
11 that approach, and the Serbian bloc must always have a common policy. We
12 must always seek unity for Serbs, for we know that they build their
13 strategy on that."
14 Q. Now, this statement by Mr. Krajisnik at the 53rd assembly, was it
15 made in the public portion of the Assembly or the private portion, the
16 closed session?
17 A. It was made in the closed session.
18 Q. And he's advising that he's had this secret meeting with
19 Mr. Milosevic but that they are not to tell anyone about this meeting.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Can I now draw your attention to the subject of genocide and
22 whether or not the delegates or speakers at the Assembly had an
23 appreciation of the -- the implications of what ethnic cleansing and its
24 effect or its relation to committing a genocide.
25 A. Yes. The word "genocide" occurs many, many times in the Assembly
1 sessions, almost always in reference to the Serb belief that Serbs were
2 the target or object of genocide in the Second World War and were likely
3 to be or had been victims of genocide during the war of 1992 to 1995. The
4 excerpt here from Mr. Dragan Kalinic, who was the Minister of Health of
5 Republika Srpska in 1992, is speaking of Sarajevo when he says, "...
6 knowing --" he's not speaking of Sarajevo, he's speaking in general.
7 "... knowing who our enemies are, how perfidious they are, how they cannot
8 be trusted until they are physically, militarily destroyed and crushed,
9 which, of course, implies eliminating and liquidating their key people."
10 Q. Drawing your attention to one of the earlier Assembly sessions,
11 on the 12th of May, 1992, did General Mladic give an ominous warning to
12 the members of the Assembly gathered at that time?
13 A. Yes. At the same Assembly session which Mr. Kalinic was
14 speaking, he said, "People and peoples are not pawns nor are they keys in
15 one's pocket that can be shifted from here to there. ... Therefore, we
16 cannot cleanse nor can we have a sieve to sift so that only Serbs would
17 stay, or that the Serbs would fall through and the rest leave. Well that
18 is, that will not, I do not know how Mr. Krajisnik and Mr. Karadzic would
19 explain this to the world. People, that would be genocide."
20 Q. If I can draw your attention now to Sarajevo. The first question
21 I have for you: Is there any indication in the Assembly minutes as to
22 when the plan for the division of Sarajevo was first conceived?
23 A. Yes. There are indications of that -- that time. Karadzic,
24 speaking in March of 1994 said, "Before the war, Professor Milojevic,
25 planning what would happen with BH, we planned - and it came about quite
1 similarly - what will happen in Sarajevo, and we considered conquering the
2 Zvijezda Mountain. That would be the border, and the canyon of the
3 Krijava River would serve to link Sarajevo and Banja Luka ... that's a
4 state, that's a well-integrated nation, that was our plan long before the
6 Q. Is there any discussion about the rationale behind the -- the
7 siege of Sarajevo which on its face seems to be somewhat different than
8 what happened or what occurred in other parts of Bosnia?
9 A. Yes. This concept, as I see the various quotations -- citations,
10 evolved somewhat over time and involved two things: Number one, that
11 Sarajevo was to be a hub of Serbian lands connecting the various Serbian
12 territories; and second was the siege of Sarajevo as a way to isolate the
13 city so that the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina did not work. Karadzic
14 said in July of 1992, "Thanks to the Sarajevo battlefield, the government
15 and Assembly and all other organs of Alija Izetbegovic do not function."
16 Going on to the next page, he expressed in October in 1993 this
17 sense of Sarajevo as the hub. "For us, Sarajevo integrates Eastern
18 Herzegovina, Old Herzegovina, and Romanija. Romanija has its market in
19 Sarajevo. Serbian Sarajevo is of inestimable importance."
20 Again, in the 53rd session, he refers to both these concepts in
21 saying, "We cannot abandon Sarajevo, for only there can the Muslims have a
22 good state and we would be shrunk to these three regions of Eastern
23 Herzegovina, Old Herzegovina, and Romanija. There would be nothing left
24 if we don't have our Sarajevo."
25 Q. Is there any discussion about the role that cleansing will have
1 in the campaign against Sarajevo?
2 A. Yes. Speaking -- there's an error on this slide, if I may
3 correct it. The speaker here is Mr. Prstojevic, not Radovan Karadzic in
4 July of 1992.
5 Q. Can I ask you just to spell that last name, since it's unusual.
6 A. Yes, P-r-s-t-o-j-e-v-i-c.
7 Q. Please continue.
8 A. "Furthermore, in the first days, we didn't know if Karadzic was
9 alive. And when he walked among us in Ilidza and embolden us, Serbs in
10 Sarajevo held the required territory under their control and in certain
11 areas extended their territory and drove Muslims from territories where
12 they were effectively a majority."
13 Q. Can I draw your attention to the 56th Assembly session and a
14 quote by Mr. Krajisnik?
15 A. Yes. This is a quote from December 1995, after the Dayton Peace
16 Agreement has been signed and the Assembly is debating whether to continue
17 to apply the first strategic goals to those Serbs who are living -- would
18 be living in areas not under Serbian control. "The mission of this
19 republic and its first strategic goal is for us to divide from Muslims and
20 Croats, and no one has the right to create a strategy whereby Serbian
21 Sarajevo remains in a common state. No one is allowed now to create a new
22 solution to stay together."
23 Q. Was there ever an assessment as to when Sarajevo had been
24 successfully and completely encircled?
25 A. The session of 12 May, the 16th session, contains such an
1 assessment by several speakers. Karadzic summarises, saying, "We hold all
2 our areas, all the municipalities, all the settlements around Sarajevo,
3 and we hold our enemies - now I must and can say - we hold our enemies in
4 complete encirclement, so that they cannot receive military assistance,
5 either in manpower or in weapons."
6 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I have approximately five minutes more
7 of my examination. Would the Chamber wish me to continue or ...
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes, if the interpreters would indulge us, we'll have
9 another five minutes.
10 MR. GROOME: And if I can advise the Chamber. I have word that
11 directive number 7 is available, and it's here. If the Chamber wishes, we
12 can mark it for identification pending the appearance of that witness.
13 Q. Can I draw your attention now to the subject of the -- the siege
14 of Sarajevo as it pertained or affected civilians living in the city.
15 A. Yes. Again, at the 12 May session 1992 in Banja Luka, there were
16 several references to the position of civilians in -- in Sarajevo. On
17 page 43, first of all from Dragan Kalinic, who was the Minister of Health
18 of the Republika Srpska at the time: "Those who plan the Sarajevo
19 operation, the liberation of Sarajevo, or destroying the enemy forces in
20 Sarajevo, will have to plan what to do with the medical facilities. And
21 let me tell you this right now: If the military hospital falls into the
22 hands of the enemy, I am for the destruction of the Kosevo Hospital so
23 that the enemy has nowhere to go for medical help."
24 Likewise, a citation from General Mladic at that same session.
25 The highlighted portion: "We are not going to say that we are going to
1 destroy the power supply, pylons, or turn off the water supply. No,
2 because that would get America out of its seat. But gentlemen, please,
3 fine, well, one day there is no water at all in Sarajevo. Therefore, we
4 have to wisely tell the world it was they who were shooting, hit the
5 transmission line and the power went off. They were shooting at the water
6 supplies. There was a power cut at such and such a place. We are doing
7 our best repairing this. That is what diplomacy is."
8 Q. Can I draw your attention now to the 40th Assembly session on the
9 10th of May, 1994. Did Mr. Karadzic characterise the siege of Sarajevo?
10 A. Yes. This is one of two statements that he made before the
11 Assembly in which he draws a parallel between the siege of Sarajevo and
12 the Berlin blockade. "We must preserve the character of this Berlin
13 Corridor, so that we force them to definitively divide Sarajevo and make
14 compact territory, and we will give them a square metre of woods between
15 Vogosca and Visa for which we will take a square kilometre on the Drina."
16 Q. Can I draw your attention to the word "compact." Is that a -- or
17 a concept, "compact territory," that is used throughout the Assembly
19 A. Yes. It's used principally in relation to the Posavina Corridor
20 and the concept of "compact territory" is referred to also as something
21 that was highlighted in the Graz Agreement of 6 May 1992, between Croats
22 and Serbs -- Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Serbs.
23 Q. Is there ever a time that Mr. Karadzic explains the rationale of
24 what's being done in Sarajevo and Mr. Milosevic's response or -- or
25 opinion about what is being done in Sarajevo?
1 A. Yes. At the 36th session, at the end of 1993, he states - this
2 is the bottom of the page, yes - "The policy of the SDS is to hold onto
3 Sarajevo. This Assembly approved that policy in the strategic goals and
4 it seems to me it was the 5th strategic goal."
5 And jumping to the last sentence, "I have already talked to
6 Milosevic about this. Serbian Sarajevo will be supported by all the 12
7 million Serbs."
8 MR. GROOME: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll adjourn.
10 But before we do, I'm not sure, having mentioned this directive,
11 whether it really is an appropriate time to have it exhibited, since this
12 witness really knowing nothing about it. We'll see if there's any
13 reference to it in cross-examination. And if not, we'll consider the
15 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE MAY: But thank you for producing it.
17 We're going to adjourn.
18 Dr. Donia, please don't speak to anybody about your evidence, as
19 we have to tell all witnesses, until it's over.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE MAY: Twenty minutes, please.
22 --- Recess taken at 10.36 a.m.
23 --- On resuming at 10.58 a.m.
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Before I begin the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 cross-examination, Mr. May, I should just like to say something with
2 respect to the observation made by Mr. Kwon in striving for having an
3 integral comprehensive text and approach to the subject matter. And I
4 should like to stress that over the past hour and a half, during the
5 examination-in-chief, to all intents and purposes, we were only able to
6 see fragments of certain statements made by certain officials or deputies
7 from a very large number of Assembly meetings of Republika Srpska, which
8 cannot in any way provide us with a comprehensive picture, especially not
9 provide us with answers to the basic questions that were raised with
10 respect to them. And prior to today's working day, I was given this
11 binder with a CD in it, and it says that it contains the transcripts of
12 all those meetings. I really don't have the time to look at all those CDs
13 with all the Assembly sessions on them and that is why I think we must
14 bear in mind that this is - how shall I put this? - a highly selective
15 approach to a whole heap of material and the contents of the meetings held
16 from 1992 to 1995. So I don't think that working in this way one can gain
17 a comprehensive picture at all. But, of course, under those circumstances
18 and conditions, I will start off with my cross-examination, of course --
19 because, of course, I do wish to clarify matters within the scope -- the
20 extent I'm able to do so with this selective approach and the time
21 constraints that I have.
22 JUDGE MAY: We will bear in mind this matter, and you should have
23 access to all these minutes, probably in electronic form.
24 Is there any reason why the -- the accused shouldn't have it? It
25 may be that it's been disclosed already.
1 MR. GROOME: It has been disclosed already, Your Honour, and
2 that's why the Prosecution asked it to be marked for identification. It
3 may not only be with this witness that the -- these minutes are relevant
4 but may be relevant in the Defence case itself. So we provided them,
5 they're in a searchable form. We are cognisant of Judge Kwon's comment
6 about translations. It's an enormous amount of material, one that
7 exceeded our capacity to translate entirely, but it's something I will
8 explore and will -- will certainly translate any particular session in its
9 entirety or any particular portion which the Chamber, the accused, or the
10 amici would ask us to.
11 JUDGE MAY: We'll see how we get on. We'll see how many portions
12 need translation. Meanwhile, the accused will have the ability -- should
13 have the ability and be able to search the entire record in case he wants
14 to adduce portions during his own case.
15 Yes, Mr. Milosevic. And you will have more time than is normally
16 allotted. Yes.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I understand that, yes. The point
18 of what I was saying is that the overall activity of the Assembly, the
19 Peoples Assembly of Republika Srpska from 1992 to 1995, which spans many
20 meetings and an enormous number of pages, cannot be presented through a
21 single witness through an hour and a half of examination-in-chief and
22 perhaps, let's say, double of cross-examination. That would be far too
23 superficial if we were to work that way.
24 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
25 Q. [Interpretation] But anyway, Mr. Donia, I should like to ask you
1 several questions to begin with linked to your curriculum vitae, or the
2 B/C/S version zivotopis, curriculum vitae, if you agree.
3 A. Yes, sir.
4 Q. You are a historian. That's right, isn't it?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And in view of the fact that you have the title of Doctor of
7 Science, a Ph.D., was your Ph.D. in history?
8 A. Yes, it was.
9 Q. According to my information, you received your doctorate at the
10 University of Michigan in 1976. Is that right?
11 A. That's correct, yes.
12 Q. Tell me, please: What is your special sphere of interest when it
13 comes to history? What was your Ph.D. in; what subject matter?
14 A. Well, my Ph.D. preparation was in European history with a special
15 emphasis on south-eastern Europe in the modern period, nineteenth and
16 twentieth centuries. And my dissertation dealt with the history of the
17 Bosnian Muslim movement for autonomy in the last decade of the nineteenth
18 century and the first 14 years of the twentieth century.
19 Q. That means that your dissertation dealt with the history of the
20 Muslims at the end of the last century and prior to that the nineteenth
21 century in Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. So we could say you were a historian and an Islamist?
24 A. No, I don't claim to be an Islamisist.
25 Q. I mean -- I don't mean to say that you are, religion-wise. I'm
1 not interested in that. But your field of interest and what you deal
2 with. If it is the history of the Muslims in the early nineteenth and
3 twentieth centuries, it is the history of the Muslims, and that's what I
4 mean to say, in calling you an Islamisist.
5 A. Well, I would define my doctoral work and primary interest
6 thematically as social and political history and have had -- I deal some
7 in that dissertation, and have dealt some professionally, with the history
8 of religion.
9 Q. Very well. And is it true that from 1970 to 1975 you were
10 frequently in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
11 A. I was in Bosnia-Herzegovina from 19 -- let's see, summer of 1974
12 until August of 1975, yes. And I was also there in 1978, but those were
13 -- those were two trips. The first one, I was there for a year; the
14 second one, for about three weeks.
15 Q. At the time, you did research and preparation for your doctoral
16 dissertation; is that right?
17 A. That's correct, yes.
18 Q. And you had a stipend by the Fulbright Foundation; is that right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Tell me, please, once you received your Ph.D., did you become a
21 professor at any of the universities?
22 A. I was an assistant professor of history at the Ohio State
23 University Lima Campus for three years, yes.
24 Q. So you didn't have a career as a professor, a continuous one. As
25 you say associate -- or assistant professor, that was one episode in your
1 life, your professional life. Can we put it that way?
2 A. Yes, that's correct.
3 Q. And is it true that between 1981, until 1998, you didn't actually
4 deal with history in a professional way?
5 A. That's -- that's correct, except as occasional, as I was able to
6 in free time from my other position, which was, I believe, like your own
7 background, in the financial services industry.
8 Q. Well, you worked for Merrill Lynch, did you not?
9 A. Yes, I did.
10 Q. From the beginning of the 1980s, that is to say, until almost the
11 end of the 1990s, if it's from 1981 to 1998, that would be it, wouldn't
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. And you were also vice-president of the company, were you not?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Otherwise, Merrill Lynch, in world terms, global terms, is a vast
17 financial investment company, is it not, with an enormous balance of
18 payments, turnover, et cetera?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And on the board of that company were distinguished individuals,
21 such as, for example, Bob Dole, who was a prominent Albanian lobbyist in
22 the USA, and Joseph Royer [phoen], who was the US ambassador to China, and
23 so on and so forth, a series of other very prominent personages. That's
24 right, isn't it?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. So in this period of 19 years, the critical 19 year, that is to
2 say, from 1981 to 1998, although you received a doctorate in history, you
3 didn't actually devote your professional life to the study of history, did
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. But nonetheless, during that period of time, you did write about
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina. You wrote papers about it.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, in those papers of yours, do you deal exclusively with the
10 history of the Muslims or did you study the history of the Serbs and
11 Croats as well?
12 A. No, I've dealt with the history of Serbs, Croats, Muslims, Jews,
13 all peoples of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
14 Q. Is it true, Mr. Donia, that you were a witness here, an expert
15 witness in fact, in several trials?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. According to my information - and I'd just like to check them out
18 with you, run them through with you - you were in the Galic trial,
19 Brdjanin-Talic, Stakic, Kvocka, Simic, Kordic and Blaskic trials as a
20 witness, were you not?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. These were all trials which had to do with Serbs and Croats
23 exclusively. That's right, isn't it?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. You didn't testify in a single trial against a Muslim, for
1 example, although you are a historian dealing first and foremost with the
3 A. Yes. I have -- I have not testified in any case in which a
4 Muslim was a defendant.
5 Q. So you testified as an expert historian in trials that came
6 before this court against persons who were not Muslims but who were Serbs
7 and Croats, and you are an expert, in fact, for the Muslims and not for
8 Serbs and Croats. That's right, isn't it, Mr. Donia?
9 A. I think I've indicated that I consider my expertise to be both
10 broader than that, in terms of being a social political historian of
11 south-eastern Europe, and also having written about all the peoples --
12 written and lectured, studied all the peoples of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
13 JUDGE MAY: It should also be noted for the record that no case
14 has come to trial with a -- an accused who is Muslim. So it wouldn't have
15 been possible for him to be a witness in such a case. But let's move on.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's a very useful observation,
17 Mr. May.
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let's move on.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Tell me, please, Mr. Donia: In your opinion, what makes you a
21 person qualified to analyse the Assembly meetings of the Assembly of
22 Republika Srpska?
23 A. I have previously used minutes of various Assemblies from
24 Austro-Hungarian times, from the inter-war period from the period between
25 the two wars, and also the socialist period, having had occasion to look
1 at those from time to time and use them in my research work. And I have
2 enough knowledge of the background pattern of events to understand many of
3 the references that take place in the course of these debates, and perhaps
4 at most I'm a bit of a document addict and one of the few people who
5 probably would spend this much time with the very extensive body of
6 debates in the Republika Srpska Assembly.
7 Q. You will agree, I'm sure, that in addition to your historical
8 analysis, the subject that you treat has very marked political elements in
9 it as well. Am I right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. However, you are not a politicologist yourself, are you?
12 A. I am not a political scientist or politikolog. That's correct.
13 Q. And you're not a sociologist either.
14 A. No.
15 Q. However, as far as I can see, the absence of professionalism in
16 political science and sociology does not hamper you from dealing with
17 observations in your analyses with respect to the creation of conditions
18 for the subjects of different meetings which have a very marked political
20 A. Well, I think that's true of really every historian, that one
21 develops a familiarity with a particular disciplinary approach. I think,
22 for example, of Professor Milorad Ekmecic, who was my mentor in Sarajevo
23 when I prepared the -- did the research for the dissertation, who's done a
24 wonderful analysis of the social origins of political movements in the
25 nineteenth century in -- among Serbs in Bosnia. That's a marvellous
1 expertise and yet I would also characterise him as not a political
2 scientist but an historian. So I think the lack of disciplinary degree in
3 a particular social science is not really relevant to my qualifications to
4 analyse these sessions.
5 Q. Very well, Mr. Donia. Now, tell me, are you president of the
6 Foundation of Donia Vakuf?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And the foundation was set up in the 1990s, was it?
9 A. I believe 1997.
10 Q. Where do you get the word "vakuf" from? Does it tie you --
11 connect you to a municipality in Bosnia, or how did you decide on giving
12 the foundation the name of Donia Vakuf? Because as you know in Bosnia
13 there's Gornji Vakuf and Donji Vakuf and so on. So where do you get this
14 title for the foundation?
15 A. Yes. I established the foundation under American tax law as a
16 family foundation, which means that donations can be made to this entity
17 but it -- distributions can only go to -- or most, the majority go to
18 other tax-exempt entities. And in setting up the foundation, I wanted to
19 indicate some relationship to its primary purpose, which is to support
20 projects or the study of the area of South-Eastern Europe, and I thought
21 that a Donia Vakuf sounded enough like the municipality of Donji Vakuf to
22 indicate that relationship.
23 JUDGE KWON: If you could tell me what "vakuf" means in Serbian.
24 THE WITNESS: That's actually a word that is in Arabic form
25 "lakuf" means "foundation." And the "vakuf," which is the
1 Serbian-Bosnian version of it really dates back many centuries. The
2 resources in a vakuf are devoted to the upkeep and maintenance of a
3 particular institution or structure.
4 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. The expression dates back to the Ottoman occupation of those
7 regions; isn't that right, Mr. Donia?
8 A. It actually dates back further, yes. Mm-hm.
9 Q. Tell me, please: Via that foundation, was money transferred from
10 certain Islamic countries to the accounts of the government of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina, paid into those accounts from them?
12 A. No. The only moneys in the foundation came from my personal
13 donations, and the distributions have gone principally to the University
14 of Michigan, St. Lawrence University, a foundation for business
15 development in San Francisco, none of which I would characterise as
16 Islamic countries.
17 Q. Are you aware of the contents of an article published in Vecernji
18 List of Zagreb on the 26th of October, 2000? The author is a Croatian
19 historian, Mladen Ancic, who is an advisor at the Croatian Academy of Arts
20 and Sciences and an associate professor at Zagreb University?
21 A. Yes, I am. The statements in that article are pure speculation.
22 They're fabrications. The donations and distributions of the Donja Vakuf
23 Foundation are filed each year with the American Internal Revenue Service.
24 It is clear from those records that the recipient money where the money
25 came exclusively from me and were distributed strictly to the institutions
1 that I mentioned. I would be glad to share that documentation with the
2 Court if it wishes to do so, but it's very clear those were false
3 assertions in that article, which appeared shortly after my testimony in
4 one of the cases here.
5 Q. Can you comment on what he says? And I will quote, since you
6 have read the article. He says: "The Prosecution in The Hague indulges
7 in very severe historical judgements through its universal historian
8 expert Mr. Donia, who worked for 20 years as a bank clerk." And then he
9 goes on to say that, "His credibility is perhaps best illustrated by the
10 fact that he is connected to this foundation. And it is even more
11 important to say that Donia writes his expert opinions without scholarly
12 apparatus and without mentioning the primary and secondary sources he
14 Can you comment on these quotes from the article by a Croatian
16 JUDGE MAY: You needn't bother about the abuse which appears
17 there. Quite unnecessary to take any notice of the denigrating comments
18 which are made. It probably reflects on the writer, rather than the
19 recipient, in my view.
20 THE WITNESS: The statements are all, in my view, just false and
21 abusive, with the exception of one assertion, that I did indeed make one
22 submission to this Tribunal which was not footnoted, used no scholarly
23 apparatus. That was in the Kordic case. And felt at that time that that
24 was not an appropriate way to cover the historical background that I was
25 asked to cover. That statement is correct. The others, I believe, are
1 just utterly false.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. Donia, please bear in mind that it is really not my intention
4 to insult you. My point was that this Croatian scholar said that you put
5 together your expert opinions without mentioning the primary and secondary
6 sources, without using the scholarly apparatus that's normal. And you
7 have just confirmed this. Isn't that so?
8 A. Yes. I thank you for your observation that you don't intend to
9 insult me.
10 As I indicated, there was one of the presentations or submissions
11 that I made to this Tribunal which did not use scholarly apparatus. The
12 others all have. They are rather richly footnoted and go specifically to
13 sources that are in the public domain and in some cases have been acquired
14 by the Office of the Prosecutor.
15 Q. To round off this topic, which relates to your curriculum,
16 bearing in mind all the circumstances in which you worked over the past 20
17 years or so, your profession and your sphere of interest, do you consider
18 yourself to have an objective approach to the topics that the opposite
19 side asks you to testify about against the Serbs?
20 A. Yes. My goal is to be objective and base any conclusions that I
21 reach or statements that I make on documentable evidence. That's my goal,
22 and I, you know, try my best to fulfil it, both in presentations to the
23 Tribunal and in answering any questions from either side.
24 JUDGE MAY: One thing should be clarified: You put in your
25 question, Mr. Milosevic, that he's being asked to testify about "against
1 the Serbs." The short fact is that you are on trial here, and insofar as
2 he gives evidence against anybody, he gives evidence against you. He does
3 not give evidence against the Serbs or anything of the sort. That should
4 be understood.
5 Yes. Your next question.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. May. If all the
7 minutes of the Assembly of Republika Srpska are some sort of evidence
8 against me, well -- and that from 1992 to 1995.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Mr. Donia, in the introductory part of your expert report,
11 "Assembly of Republika Srpska, 1992- 1995," important moments and excerpts
12 selected by you from material covering all these years, you say that the
13 Assembly, as you call them "the Bosnian Serbs," it's the National Assembly
14 of Republika Srpska, was the leading body which reached decisions through
15 frequent but irregular sessions. And therefore, I ask you: Before
16 analysing these sessions, did you read the constitution of Republika
17 Srpska as the highest legal document of that republic?
18 A. If I may go to the premise of your question first. I've chosen
19 the term "Bosnian Serb Assembly" to describe the body which in fact
20 changed names several times in the course of 1992. It actually began in
21 1991 as the Assembly of the Serbian people of Bosnia-Herzegovina and
22 subsequently changed names. In fact, in the course of constitutional
23 changes to which you just referred, I have read the constitution of the
24 Republika Srpska. It was, of course, the duty of the Assembly to consider
25 and approve changes to that constitution, and there were many debates and
1 such changes implemented in the course of these sessions.
2 Q. Very well. So you read the constitution of Republika Srpska. Is
3 it indisputable that the Assembly of Republika Srpska, as the legislative
4 body, the highest legislative body, functioned in accordance with that
5 constitution, which prescribed for the activities of that body?
6 A. I'm not qualified to make a legal judgement on whether its
7 decisions were in accord with the constitution. In the general sense, the
8 constitution established and defined the jurisdiction of the Assembly.
9 Q. Did you also read the rules, the rules of procedure of that
10 Assembly --
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. -- in order to familiarise yourself with the principles of work,
13 the methods of work, and the way decisions were reached by the Assembly?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Is it indisputable that the Assembly of Republika Srpska, just
16 like the Republika Srpska, was created in the period that you mention and
17 that it worked under conditions of war, economic sanctions, that is,
18 highly unusual conditions?
19 A. I'm sorry, I'm not sure exactly what your question was.
20 Q. My question was: Is it indisputable that this Assembly, just
21 like the whole of Republika Srpska, was created, operated, and reached
22 decisions under conditions of war and economic sanctions imposed by the
23 international community, that is, under specific circumstances?
24 A. Well, there are at least two questions there, and the first
25 concerns the Assembly of the RS, the second concerns the RS itself. And
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 in fact, the two were created at different times and in different
3 The Serb -- the Assembly of the Serbian People of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina, as it was first known, was created on 24 October 1991
5 by the -- those delegates of Serbian nationality, principally from the
6 SDS, who broke away from the Assembly of the Republic of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina to form their own body, although they continued to
8 serve in the other Assembly as well. That was on 24 October 1991.
9 The Republika Srpska was first formed and proclaimed, I believe,
10 on 8 January 1992 as a -- proclaimed independent by the members of the
11 Assembly of the Serbian People of Bosnia-Herzegovina. At those times, the
12 war had not begun in Bosnia. So I would say that portion of your question
13 which asked whether they were created in circumstances of war and
14 international sanctions is not the case.
15 As for the functioning of the Assembly, its functions over the
16 period of time that I've examined were largely under circumstances of war,
17 sometimes high level, sometimes low level of war, except for the -- I
18 think the last session that I've cited, which actually took place
19 following the signing of the Dayton peace agreement.
20 Q. To remove this misunderstanding, Mr. Donia, when I speak of this
21 period, I'm referring to the period which you analysed, that is, 1992 to
22 1995, and the circumstances prevailing in this period. That was what my
23 question was about. As you did not analyse the previous period, but only
24 1992 to 1995.
25 A. The all except the last session took place in circumstances of
1 war. The first session analysed here, the 16th session, which was on 12
2 May 1992, took place before the imposition of international sanctions on
3 -- which I believe was with resolution -- UN Security Council Resolution
4 757 on the 30th of May. Other than that, I would agree that the sessions
5 took place under those circumstances.
6 Q. Very well. Since we agree on this, is it indisputable that in
7 the period you speak of, in spite of the state of war and difficult
8 economic, social, and other circumstances, the sessions were held
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Is it also indisputable that the Republika Srpska and its
12 Assembly were the result of an option chosen by the Serbian people in
13 Republika Srpska, including a referendum? So this was a decision reached
14 by a referendum of the people of Republika Srpska.
15 A. No, it's not indisputable. I would say it's a decision that was
16 -- that was reached by some Bosnian Serbs claiming to speak on behalf of
17 the Bosnian -- or the Serbian people of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the
18 referendum, per se, was not an -- the referendum had a specific content to
19 it which was frequently cited by the RS Assembly leaders as authorisation
20 and justification for their actions, but the referendum itself was really
21 one of -- I think two questions that were posed were questions of
22 independence and being part of Yugoslavia, as I recall. The referendum
23 was not a blanket authorisation for the subsequent development of the
24 Bosnian Serb Assembly. No, it was not.
25 Q. I'm certainly not claiming that, that it was a blanket
1 authorisation for everything that went on in the Assembly. But to be
2 precise, do you feel that through the work of this Assembly, in the period
3 analysed by you, the will of those who at the elections, that is, those
4 who were elected by the citizens at the elections, that they expressed the
5 opinions, needs, and interests of the people? The Assembly was made up of
6 I don't know exactly how many deputies - you have this information -
7 deputies elected at three multi-party elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
8 Isn't that so?
9 A. I'm a little -- I'm not clear on exactly what your question was.
10 If you could -- if I could ask you to formulate it again.
11 Q. I will reformulate it. In the period you analysed, in this
12 period, in the work of the Assembly, was it those individuals, that is,
13 deputies, who were elected at general multi-party elections, elected by
14 the citizens, who expressed the will? They were elected by their
15 co-citizens, and they expressed the will of these citizens. They
16 represented those citizens.
17 A. There's several parts to that question, I think. They -- the
18 Bosnian Serb Assembly, as I've called it, was made up of most of those
19 persons of Serb nationality who were elected to the Assembly of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina at the multi-party election of 18 November 1990. Some
21 Serbs elected as representatives of parties other than the SDS and I
22 believe SPO did not join the Bosnian Serb Assembly. The Bosnian Serb
23 Assembly leaders always claimed to speak in the name of the Serbian
24 people. That was their firm assertion. That was not quite accurate, in
25 view of the fact that some of these persons of Serbian nationality who
1 were elected in 1990 did not join.
2 Now, I think there was another part of your question in which you
3 suggested that these people were representing the will of the people, and
4 I would say that's -- that's never -- never absolutely the case in any
5 representative body. It's hard to know what the will of the people is,
6 even for the deputies of the Assembly. So did they make that claim?
7 Absolutely. Were they doing so? It's not always clear.
8 Q. Did they have a legitimate basis to consider themselves deputies
9 or representatives, as they were elected?
10 A. They had a legitimate basis to consider themselves members of the
11 Assembly of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and took that authorisation
12 as further authority to represent their constituencies in the RS Assembly.
13 Q. Very well. That is your explanation. I don't have a list or -
14 how shall I put it? - classification of deputies according to their party
15 affiliation, but I would ask you to try to recall, because I think you
16 mentioned that Assemblyman Milorad Dodik left the Assembly, Assemblyman
17 Kalinic. As far as I can remember, neither Dodik nor Kalinic were members
18 either of the Serbian Democratic Party nor of the SPO. I think that
19 Kalinic was a member of the Reformist Party or the Party of Reformist
20 Forces or something like that, and Dodik was, I think, a member of the
21 Social Democratic Party or something similar. In any case, he was not a
22 member of the SDS, and there were other such deputies.
23 A. Yes. As I read the record, you're correct about that. Dragan
24 Kalinic was, in his own representations before the Assembly, a member of
25 the Reformist Party. And in -- you can see the echoes of these non-SDS,
1 non-SPO members in the formation of a club of independence in, I believe,
2 February of 1995, which is referenced in the report in that session, that
3 a group of, I believe, seven deputies formed a club of independence.
4 These were people who were -- had become critical of the SDS leadership at
5 that time.
6 Q. Very well. In the second paragraph of your introduction, you say
7 that in spite of everything we have just said, in connection with these
8 deputies, you say that "Despite this, the Assembly approved almost all
9 major measures proposed by the leadership." You wrote that, didn't you?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And you are aware that -- or at least, that's what I understood
12 you to say -- that the largest number of deputies in the Assembly of
13 Republika Srpska belonged to the Serbian Democratic Party, the vast
14 majority of deputies. Is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. So all the others were in a minority, compared to the SDS.
17 A. Yes. And a few joined the SDS in the course of the times under
19 Q. I will not go into that now, but the party that the deputies were
20 elected from was an expression of the will of the electorate, because they
21 were elected. Isn't that so?
22 A. Representatives of that party received the majority of votes from
23 Serbian voters in November 1990, yes.
24 Q. Very well. And it is indisputable that the largest number of
25 leaders in leading positions were also from the SDS.
1 A. They were all from the SDS if by "leaders" one means the
2 president, vice-president of the republic -- or of the RS. Occasionally a
3 minister came from another party. Kalinic was an example of a reformist
4 who became Minister of Health. But very few, very few. Almost all were
5 SDS members.
6 Q. The largest number; that's what I said. Kalinic was a doctor, so
7 he became Minister of Health and he was from the Reformist Party.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And the Assembly, as far as I know, made decisions based on
10 proposals that were formulated in the Deputies' Clubs. Although there was
11 a Deputies' Club of the SDS which made up the vast majority, and then the
12 other parties had their own clubs of deputies, but they were a very small
13 minority. Isn't that so?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Therefore, the Assembly proposed -- tabled bills and voted, and
16 this was a reflection of the -- of the relationship of forces within the
17 Assembly and the parties that these deputies were elected from. Is there
18 anything illogical in what you say, that they, in most cases, adopted the
19 proposals put forward by the leaders? Because they were the majority and
20 they were elected at elections. Isn't that the practice in most
21 parliaments in the world, that those who hold a majority have their own
22 policy, which they adopt?
23 A. The first part of your question, is there anything illogical
24 about it, I would only say that I was often surprised at the unanimity or
25 relative unanimity of votes after many deputies had arisen to express
1 their criticism or opposition to a particular part of a piece of
2 legislation or policy. That was particularly the case, for example, in
3 consideration of the various peace plans that came before the Bosnian Serb
4 Assembly. Many deputies had objections to particular provisions, voiced
5 them, in some cases quite forcefully, but in the final analysis voted for
6 the draft resolution that was presented by the leadership. So that was
7 perhaps some -- not as logical as I might have expected it to be.
8 I would agree with the latter part of your statement, that the
9 practice in most democratic societies is that parties essentially exercise
10 party discipline and acquire the approval of their policies through the
11 appropriate legislative bodies.
12 Q. You yourself say that the sessions were full of -- were
13 remarkably open and often included pointed criticism of this same
14 leadership, Karadzic, Mladic, and others; isn't that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And did you gain the impression, as you reviewed both closed and
17 open sessions, that there was a particularly open discussion at the closed
18 sessions, with sincerity, sharp criticism, and even self-criticism?
19 A. Certainly more open, yes.
20 Q. And they did not refrain from making criticisms at open sessions,
21 criticisms levelled against the leadership; isn't that right, Mr. Donia?
22 A. That happened occasionally. It was much less pointed than some
23 of the comments and typically much less pointed than the comments in
24 closed session.
25 Q. Very well. The first session that you reviewed in this text is
1 the session held on the 12th of May, 1992 in Banja Luka. And you analysed
2 the discussions at that session, the decisions adopted. Though I must say
3 you selected only a very few important issues, as you considered them to
5 A. Yes. I believe -- my own conclusion was that the two most
6 important issues at that Assembly were the confirmation of General Mladic
7 as -- in his appointment as the command -- Supreme Commander of the army,
8 the VRS, and the creation of the VRS, and the establishment of the six
9 strategic goals. Those were the two topics that dominated much of the
11 I must, if I may, make a more general comment about the context
12 and volume of these minutes. I -- I must agree with you, that it's -- it
13 is an enormous corpus of information, and it's, you know, difficult -- I
14 would have loved to have done a 1200-page report on this topic, but I
15 don't think that the -- the panel would have appreciated that or -- nor
16 the Prosecutor. That's not what I was asked to do. But the context in
17 which these statements are made is extremely important, and I've tried to
18 identify the most important topics that were discussed insofar as they
19 were relevant to the charge that I was given and to indicate their, let's
20 say, importance within the particular session. The context -- if the
21 context is so unclear that I couldn't understand it myself, I didn't
22 include it. And in most cases context either will be clear from the
23 particular excerpt or is readily determinable by something close to it.
24 You know, it's a trade-off really between volume and appropriate context
25 that I found I had to make in every single submission -- or entry that I
1 made into the report.
2 Q. Yes. But I'm looking now - and I hope we will as efficiently as
3 possible go through all these sessions - you reduced this session to a
4 couple of quotations., which, as you yourself know, is a handicap if one
5 wants to have an idea of the whole. But let's take -- one gets the
6 impression on the basis of what you said that one of the general
7 principles of your analysis was to choose topics and to address them
8 through sentences which you thought were significant in order to
9 illustrate the significance of the topic, the topics that you considered
10 to be of the greatest importance.
11 Q. I think I lost the specific question there. I tried to select
12 passages that spoke to the key topics and that clearly and insofar as
13 possible clearly express a particular viewpoint or analysis of that --
14 that topic.
15 Q. Well, let me take an example, what you yourself have selected. I
16 didn't have even the physical possibility - absolutely not - to read
17 through those minutes, so I'm looking at what you have produced. And I'm
18 referring now to page 5, and the heading for this session is "Complete
19 Cleansing of All those who are Not Serbs would be Genocide." No one can
20 say anything that cleansing on an ethnic principle would not be genocide.
21 And then you have certain numbers. You say "General Mladic," and
22 then you have some numbers, which I assume are indications of the places
23 on the recording, on the CD. Whereas, General Mladic, during his speech,
24 says the following: "People and peoples are not pawns, nor are they keys
25 in one's pocket that can be shifted from here to there ... We cannot wage
1 war on all fronts nor against peoples. I would like to suggest that we
2 adopt such a wisdom that we will not go to war but that if we are
3 attacked, we will defend ourselves, and we don't want a war against the
4 Muslims as a people or against the Croats as a people but against those
5 who started that war and who pitted these people against us." That is
6 what General Mladic says. He is underlining that he doesn't want a war
7 against the Muslims as a people or against the Croats as a people or
9 But then he goes on to say, "We cannot have a sieve to sift so
10 that only Serbs would stay and all the others would leave. That would be
11 genocide." So he says he doesn't want a war against the Muslims as a
12 people or against the Croats as a people because if that were to be done,
13 it would be genocide. He doesn't mention anywhere what you put in the
14 heading, "Complete Cleansing of All Non-Serbs." There's no reference to
15 "complete cleansing of all non-Serbs." So the heading was your own free
16 interpretation; isn't that right, Mr. Donia?
17 A. Well, the heading is an effort in a few words to capture the
18 major point being made by that particular speaker in all cases. And I
19 think that this is not -- and the writing of headlines is never a perfect
20 art, as you know, but I've tried to capture here the notion of -- that we
21 cannot cleanse nor can we have a sieve to sift. That concept leads me to
22 the headline, "Complete Cleansing of All Non-Serbs would be Genocide," and
23 I think captures much of what -- the essence of what he is saying here.
24 Q. Very well. But you agree that Mladic doesn't mention anywhere
25 "complete cleansing" or any "complete cleansing of all non-Serbs." So
1 this is something that you understood. But in the quotation that you
2 give, he says, "We do not want a war against the Muslims as a people, nor
3 against the Croats as a people"; isn't that right, Mr. Donia? And these
4 words that you have chosen for the heading cannot be found in his speech.
5 A. That's correct. I -- the headline is never a -- or rarely a
6 quotation from the speech itself. It's an effort to summarise the most
7 pertinent point.
8 Q. And is it in dispute, Mr. Donia, that not only does Mladic
9 condemn genocide but he says that something like that would be genocide,
10 but he also expresses absolute -- the absolute absence of any will to wage
11 a war against the Muslim and Croat peoples. Isn't that the gist of what
12 Mladic is saying here? Not only does he condemn genocide but he
13 demonstrates the absence of all will to wage war against the Muslim and
14 Croat peoples.
15 JUDGE MAY: You know, we can all read this, and I think arguing
16 with this witness is going to take up a very long time. You've made your
17 point about the headline, and we can read what it is that General Mladic
19 JUDGE KWON: But, Dr. Donia, if you can explain to us the reason
20 why you specifically excluded that phrase in your excerpts, the passage
21 that "We do not want a war against the Muslims as a people."
22 THE WITNESS: Why I didn't include it in the headline or in ...?
23 JUDGE KWON: No. In -- we went through the excerpts, your
25 THE WITNESS: I see. Yes, the excerpting process, unfortunately,
1 further reduces context, and I regret that that's the case. The primary
2 point that I took from General Mladic's comments was that he understands
3 what genocide is and says that we can't do this, we cannot have a war on a
4 people, either Muslim or Croat. We can't do this; that would be genocide.
5 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
6 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, if it's of assistance to the Chamber,
7 the demonstrative aid was just meant as an aid to managing the report.
8 It's the report that the Prosecution is tendering as evidence, which
9 includes the entire passage that Mr. Milosevic is quoting.
10 JUDGE KWON: Yes. I understand that.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. So it is quite clear that a man who was the commander of the Main
13 Staff of the army of Republika Srpska, who was a soldier and leader of the
14 Serbian people of Republika Srpska, General Ratko Mladic, has clearly
15 stated his position here; isn't that right?
16 A. I think he clearly stated it as of 12 May 1992, yes.
17 Q. I will not go into these various ideas of six principles and
18 strategic goals, as you call them, of the Serbian side in
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina. As you mention this at the same session, tell me,
20 please, Mr. Donia, is there anywhere stated as a goal by Radovan Karadzic
21 the formation of any kind of Greater Serbia, as the side opposite is
22 frequently abusing reference to? Does he anywhere, directly or
23 indirectly, mention the creation of a Greater Serbia?
24 A. If I may go back to the premise of your question, your comment,
25 the term "the six strategic goals," is not mine. It was the term that was
1 used by the Bosnian Serb leadership and all representatives in the
2 Assembly to characterise this particular resolution.
3 It is -- I have not found a reference to Greater Serbia in
4 Radovan Karadzic's statements at the 16th session. As indicated, he used
5 the term occasionally in other contexts, and I believe we had one of those
6 in the highlights. I'm aware of other situations in which he used it, but
7 not within the Assembly sessions.
8 Q. I am not aware of any other situation in which he used that term.
9 I never heard him use it. Could you please indicate in what situation he
10 mentioned it.
11 A. In March -- in March of 1991, Karadzic addressed a rally in Banja
12 Luka. This was at the time that the -- I believe it was March,
13 March/April of 1991, addressed a rally in Banja Luka and explicitly
14 advocated a Greater Serbia. And the comment, I believe, in Srpski -- or
15 in Glas at that time, which is where I learned about this, on the part of
16 the editorial was that this is the first time that Karadzic had openly
17 espoused a Greater Serbian vision.
18 JUDGE KWON: How about the 42nd Assembly session?
19 THE WITNESS: Yes. That's the excerpt in which he -- excuse
20 me -- in which he did in fact use that formulation.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Allow me to find it - if you could
22 help me - this 42nd session.
23 JUDGE KWON: It says page 138 in B/C/S and page 66 in English.
24 THE WITNESS: That's a reference to the note number in B/C/S,
25 Your Honour.
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes. You are right.
2 THE WITNESS: Oh, that's Vojinovic. I'm sorry. That's not
3 Mr. Karadzic, at least in that quote.
4 The next quote -- I'm looking at, right, number 138, the notation
5 138 on page 66, in which he references the discussion with Kozirev in
6 London. "We met with him before the war and asked him if he could accept
7 the external borders of Bosnia-Herzegovina in those conditions, knowing
8 that they wouldn't give us Greater Serbia and unification, knowing that we
9 must do that in steps ..."
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. So Karadzic is saying here "Kozirev" - I found it - "deceived us
12 in Lisbon. We met him before the war, and he asked us if we could accept
13 the external borders of Bosnia and Herzegovina ..." That's what he asked.
14 So Kozirev, "... in those conditions, knowing that they wouldn't give us
15 Greater Serbian unification, knowing that we must do that in steps, to
16 accept internal borders, that it should be a confederation so that we have
17 our republic within that confederation."
18 So the point of this citation, which again has been selectively
19 chosen, is that by talking to Kozirev he accepted the external borders of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Lisbon Plan is common knowledge, on condition
21 that there should be internal borders of the entities within
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Isn't that right, Mr. Donia? And the fact that
23 Kozirev tells him that they won't give them Greater Serbia does not
24 reflect Karadzic's demand for a Greater Serbia.
25 A. It seems to me these words best speak for themselves. There is
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 certainly the possibility here in his meaning that he was in -- in that
2 he's not saying -- not being complimentary of Kozirev, that Karadzic knew
3 they wouldn't give us, that is, the Bosnian Serbs, our first objective,
4 which was Greater Serbian unification. A possibility, but I think the
5 words best speak for themselves.
6 Q. I also think they speak for themselves. That is why I quoted
7 them. But let us move on, not to waste time. Tell me, since a moment ago
8 with respect to Mladic we found that you took for the heading something
9 that Mladic hadn't said when analysing the 17th session of the Assembly on
10 Mount Jahorina - this is the 24th to the 26th of July, 1992 - you select
11 Karadzic's speech and you place as the heading "Thanks to the Yugoslav
12 People's Army and the Territorial Defence we have achieved our war goals."
13 So quite explicitly you place in the heading that "Thanks to the Yugoslav
14 People's Army and the Territorial Defence we have achieved our war goals."
15 And here is what Karadzic says. That is, gentlemen, on the page
16 ending with ERN number 201, the 17th session of the Assembly. It's easy
17 to find, I think. Karadzic, and you quote him: "The Serbian people,
18 after the withdrawal of Yugoslav officers and the enormous number of them
19 who left the area and should not have left it and were not supposed to
20 leave it, but let us question this possibility for them to leave, he
21 rallied the officers who were left behind and who in our opinion have
22 great merit for the complete military triumph of the Serbian people in
23 Bosnian Krajina." And then we have a full stop.
24 And then he goes on. I am not leaving out anything. "Many of our
25 people have suffered, mostly the elderly and the infirm, meaning women and
1 children, who couldn't flee from the Ustasha knife. But essentially the
2 totality of the Serb people have been saved, thanks to at the beginning" -
3 and I underlined the word "the beginning" - "to some" - I underlined the
4 word "some" - "some part of the Yugoslav army but more to the Territorial
5 Defence. And later on, thanks to the army of the Serbian Republic of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina so that the majority of the Serb people have not
7 suffered the fate that our enemy had planned for it."
8 So Mr. Donia, is there any dispute that Karadzic here is speaking
9 exclusively about saving the lives of people, about saving the people? Is
10 that beyond dispute? Mr. Donia, is it also beyond dispute that he says
11 "thanks at first to --" and you have the word "at first to" -- "and to
12 some degree to the Yugoslav army," in the context of what he is saying,
13 and that is saving the lives of people. So how can you place the heading
14 "Thanks to the JNA and the TO we have received our wartime goals"?
15 Please explain that to me.
16 A. Well, I think the headline is an effort to capture the most
17 important concept in each of these quotes. And I am only too happy to
18 have the words of the quote speak for itself -- speak for themselves and
19 be understood by any person reading it or listening to, for that matter,
20 the -- reading the transcript or whatever. I think that's the best way to
21 do this. The headline is meant as a guide. As you know from reading
22 headlines in newspapers, they often are incomplete and try to capture in a
23 couple of words what is a much more complex set of developments that may
24 appear in the story itself. And to that I would certainly plead guilty.
25 That's what I am trying to do here, is to capture what I perceived as the
1 most important concept in the particular statement, and only too pleased
2 to have it read more carefully by someone wanting to find out exactly what
3 the content is.
4 Q. The point here is that he says that the totality of the Serb
5 people, even though women, children, the elderly have suffered, because
6 they couldn't flee --
7 JUDGE MAY: No. Mr. Milosevic, it's going to take a very long
8 time if things are repeated. The witness explains that this -- the
9 headlines are mere -- are supposed to be guides. And I can tell you, the
10 Trial Chamber is not going to be influenced by the headlines. It's going
11 to look at what's in the particular quotations to make up its mind about
13 Yes. It's quarter past. Just a moment, it's quarter past, time
14 for a break.
15 In terms of time, let me just consult.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE MAY: We've considered the time constraints. These are
18 important documents. This is the only opportunity which the accused has
19 had so far to cross-examine about them. We shall allow him three hours in
20 which to cross-examine, and it will be on this basis, that if there is
21 other material which he finds or his associates find in these minutes,
22 when they've had the opportunity of looking at the CD, they will, of
23 course, have the opportunity to put those matters before us at a suitable
24 time. And it may be that the witness would have to be recalled; although,
25 I'd hope that could be avoided.
1 But dealing with matters now, Dr. Donia, I don't know when you
2 were told that you would be here. It may be we -- I haven't worked out
3 the mathematics yet, but it may be that your evidence will have to go over
4 for a short time. Can you be here on Monday, or is that going to be very
5 inconvenient to you?
6 THE WITNESS: Mr. President, with apologies, I have another
7 commitment that --
8 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We will -- we will look at the timing.
9 May I add this, while I have it in mind: On Monday morning,
10 Judge Robinson has a hospital appointment, so Judge Kwon and I will sit
11 under the Rule which permits us in those circumstances to sit as two, and
12 Judge Robinson will rejoin us when it's possible for him to do so. But
13 we'll look at the timing and try and work out how best we can sort it out.
14 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, just some information on the disclosure
15 of the documents. The Prosecution report only deals with the portion of
16 the Assemblies that met during the indictment period. In June of 2002,
17 the entire body of material from the very first session until the 63rd
18 session was disclosed to the accused in a searchable format in his own
19 language. So he's had that body of material for -- in excess of a year.
20 The portion that was served today is just from the 16th Assembly session
21 to the 56th Assembly session, the part -- the portion covered by this
22 report and the indictment.
23 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll adjourn now for 20 minutes.
24 --- Recess taken at 12.20 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 12.43 p.m.
1 JUDGE MAY: We'll ask the accused to try and finish today, but we
2 haven't much more than an hour this afternoon. We will try and get
3 through the cross-examination.
4 If we don't, Dr. Donia, I'm afraid we must ask you to come back
5 at some date suitable to yourself.
6 THE WITNESS: I will be able to do that on a number of occasions,
7 Mr. President.
8 JUDGE MAY: Thank you very much.
9 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I assume that you are
11 fully conscious of the fact that the time you have allotted me for the
12 cross-examination of this witness is quite inadequate, in view of the
13 material presented here through him.
14 JUDGE MAY: We've considered the matter, and that's the time you
15 have available. Now, we're going to ask you to finish this afternoon, but
16 if you can't, then we shall have to ask the witness to come back to allow
17 you your time. But proceed, please.
18 If the legal officer would come up.
19 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Mr. Donia, is it clear, then, from what we quoted from the 17th
23 Assembly session that it was July 1992, that is to say, the first months
24 of the war, when the JNA was not present in Bosnia-Herzegovina at all for
25 some time?
1 A. The session was over three days, 24 to 26 July 1992. At that
2 time, the JNA -- as of 12 May, much of the JNA had been converted into the
3 VRS and was present in Bosnia. Other portions of it had left. And I
4 think the -- perhaps the best characterisation of this -- the situation at
5 this time was given by Mr. Karadzic himself, when he said in one of these
6 excerpts that we're really -- we've accomplished much of what we need to
8 Q. All right. Now, from precisely the statements that you quote,
9 made by Mr. Karadzic, can we see that just a small portion of the
10 officer's cadre of the JNA who were natives to those regions stayed on
11 with those people and formed the nucleus of the later-established army of
12 Republika Srpska?
13 A. A portion of those officers. I don't know if it's a small
14 portion or a -- a large portion. And the -- the VRS had already been
15 formed at this time, of course. It was formed on -- on 12 May. But with
16 those two qualifications, I accept your characterisation, yes.
17 Q. Where, then, is on your part this over-dimensionalised role of
18 the JNA, over-exaggerated role, which is not to be found in what Karadzic
19 says? Because he says, "The Serb people, after the withdrawal of Yugoslav
20 officers and the large number of them who withdrew from this area," et
21 cetera. That's what he talks about. So why in your heading do you place
22 that sentence and attribute a special role to the JNA in that context?
23 A. May I ask which citation you're speaking of?
24 Q. Well, the one you titled "We have achieved our war goals thanks
25 to the JNA and TO," that one. Whereas, he says that the TO preserved the
1 entirety of the Serb people and saved the people, in fact, to avoid being
3 A. Well, I think the headline is a summary. It is not
4 comprehensive. It doesn't capture every essential -- it doesn't cover
5 every word in the text itself and would only say the text itself should
6 speak for itself, and it is to that that I would hope the attention is
7 directed, rather than the headline.
8 Q. Well, Mr. Donia, as far as I can see, looking at the text you
9 presented, only the headings are yours, the titles. All the rest are
10 quotations extracted from the general context of the individual Assembly
11 sessions; is that right?
12 A. The summaries are mine and the headlines are mine. Except for
13 that, those are excerpts from the Assembly sessions, yes.
14 Q. Well, isn't it clear from this, then, that with titles of this
15 kind you place your analysis into the goals set by the opposite side over
16 there? You do nothing more than that, in fact.
17 A. The headlines are an attempt to summarise the most important
18 point of the citation that I've used. They are not authoritative and
19 certainly not complete. They're meant to summarise, not to provide any
20 spin or interpretation of the excerpt itself.
21 Q. All right. But take a look further on, on the next page, in
22 fact, where you give the subject heading, and it is "We Eliminated Muslim
23 Extremists in Krajina." That's your next title or heading. And then you
24 go on to quote him as saying, "With respect to relations with the Muslims
25 in the military sense, they don't want to have any negotiations and rarely
1 do they accept a peaceful life together and await a political solution."
2 And then towards the end of that quotation, he mentions some
3 places where, "unfortunately there were battles and those battles were
4 incited by Muslim extremists, but after their elimination, the remaining
5 people are not in favour of fighting the Serbs."
6 Is that right? Is that what you say?
7 A. I concur with your reading of the citation, yes.
8 Q. Yes. But is Karadzic talking about the elimination or ethnic
9 cleansing of the Muslim people, or is he talking about the problem of
10 Muslim extremists? Which?
11 A. Well, I think both.
12 Q. Where is he talking about the cleansing of the Muslim people?
13 Where did you find that? Where is that to be found in this particular
15 A. I -- in the English language that I'm looking at, I see the word
16 "elimination" twice, and I see the term "Muslim extremists" twice. That
17 would seem to capture the -- probably the major point being made in his
18 citation. Again, I would not take the -- I don't take these headlines as
19 a definitive statement. They're only a guide and meant to make it -- make
20 the quotation itself more accessible and highlight the major point.
21 Q. Well, yes. But it leads in the wrong direction, a guide in the
22 wrong direction, because the -- in the headings you don't quote what
23 exists in --
24 JUDGE MAY: We're going to waste a great deal of time, and you're
25 wasting a great deal of your time arguing about these headlines. It's
1 been pointed out that they're no more than that and it's what is in the
2 quotation which is of significance. And therefore, if we argue about
3 every single one, we're going to take up a great deal of your time.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation].
5 Q. All right, Mr. Donia. Did you anywhere in your analysis, at any
6 point in it, attempt to inform us with the agenda of any of these Assembly
8 A. No. The agendas were proposed and then approved by the
9 delegates. The agenda is always available in the minutes, not the
10 transcripts but the minutes of the sessions, and very clearly speak for
11 themselves. There's nothing, I would say, extraordinary about the
13 Q. Tell me, please: Now, when we look at the next headline of
14 Karadzic's presentation, which is, "Isolating Sarajevo Shows the BH
15 Government Does Not Function," and Karadzic is saying the following:
16 "Around Sarajevo, as you know, the Serbian people will not permit being
17 defeated. We completely control militarily our encirclement around the
18 city, by which we have prevented the forces in Central Bosnia from linking
19 with forces in Sarajevo, for that would have been a catastrophic result.
20 And we will not permit mercenaries and volunteers who are prepared in
21 Turkey, and also in Arab lands, who surely would come for money to fight
22 against the Serbian people."
23 And then he goes on to say: "Thanks to the Sarajevo battlefield,
24 the government and Assembly and all other state organs of Alija
25 Izetbegovic do not function and it is shown that the state of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina never functioned and never was established outside
2 Yugoslavia." Is that right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. So I hope we're not disputing that Karadzic never used the term
5 "isolation", which you used. He explains the causes in the strategic
6 sense of the Sarajevo battleground, and the Serbs didn't actually need it,
7 just like nobody else did.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Tell me now, why do you find the contents contained in the
10 following headline, "The SAOs Were Mechanisms to Resist Izetbegovic's
11 Government"? That's what you say. And then you have a quotation: "Out
12 of fear that we should be governed or dominated by the Izetbegovic
13 government we worked out some political, and less state mechanisms of
14 resistance to abuses of the centre, such that now we have our own state,
15 these mechanisms have followed. Now they come back as a negative echo.
16 We will inform everyone immediately that we are dealing with a born
17 Serbian tendency for autonomy, a tendency to create little principalities
18 and little princes, always with the private interests and never the
19 interests of the people, behind them."
20 A. This statement was made in the midst of a fairly lengthy
21 discussion about the SAOs, and it is -- does not appear in the quotation
22 per se, but the context made it very clear that that's what was being
23 discussed. So as a -- again, a guide to what was being referred to here,
24 I -- I put that in the headline.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, are you suggesting that these
1 headings indicate bias on the part of the witness and a deliberate attempt
2 to -- to mislead?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Of course. Certainly.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, I think in that case you -- that should be
5 put to the witness.
6 Let me put it to you, Dr. Donia. It is being suggested that the
7 headings as a whole that you have used indicate a bias on your part and a
8 deliberate attempt to -- to mislead and misdirect.
9 THE WITNESS: They are, on the contrary, an effort to direct the
10 reader's attention to a key point in the -- in the quotation. There is no
11 intent of bias or no entry of bias into the process of preparing the
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Well, all right, then. In the portion I have just quoted, from
16 Karadzic's speech, is the accent precisely on criticism of the SAOs for
17 which he says are coming -- reverberating back as an echo because it is
18 the Serb tendency of autonomy and the creation of small principalities and
19 little princes with private interest, never the interest of the people
20 behind them? That's what Karadzic said.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. All right, fine. Now, is it true that -- and you mentioned
23 different deputies, Branko Djeric, a man called Milanovic, and so on, that
24 in all their presentations there is criticism of the Crisis Staffs, which
25 were just a short stage in the defence of the interests of the Serb
1 people, because already at the time, in July 1992 they became an opposite
2 feature of themselves and hampering the further development of the Serb
3 state; is that right?
4 A. I believe you've just read from on page 10, note 18 in the
5 Serbian? Is that correct? I recognised it, but ...
6 JUDGE KWON: 17 and 19.
7 THE WITNESS: Oh, I see, both the 17 and 18. Yes.
8 And what, sir, is the question?
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. So they are critical towards the Crisis Staffs and say that "the
11 sources of dissent have become atrophied."
12 A. Yes. They are. Those comments are critical of the Crisis
14 Q. [Interpretation inaudible]
15 You're talking about the 17th Assembly session held in Banja Luka
16 on the 11th of August, 1992. And in the excerpt that you title "Serbs who
17 remain on non-Serb territories are considered to be detainees," and the
18 presentation of Momcilo Krajisnik, and you say that he is coming out in
19 favour of the setting up of a commission composed of all three nations of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina in order to enable each individual who is in one of the
21 closed-off towns to come out into the territory under control of his
23 Now, tell me, in which portion of his presentation do you say
24 that the Serb -- does he say that the Serbs who remain in non-Serb
25 territories are in fact considered prisoners?
1 A. The last sentence goes to that question, Mr. Milosevic. This --
2 this is one of those citations where I think the context -- I tried to
3 provide a fair amount of context, because it wasn't clear without it, that
4 the purpose of this representation by Mr. Krajisnik was to move forward an
5 agenda in the negotiations that would promote the idea of basically
6 freeing those Serbs and non-Serb territories who needed freeing because
7 they were considered prisoners, in his terminology.
8 Q. Well, he talks about international committees for the freeing of
9 prisoners and the prisoner exchanges, the exchange of prisoners. That's
10 what he talks about. And in this quotation, as far as I can see,
11 presented by you at the beginning of the 18th Assembly session, there were
12 prisoners on all sides and mention is made here of exchange of prisoners.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And then you go on to quote the speech made by the late Nikola
15 Koljevic, and the title is "General MacKenzie Was a Friend of the Serbs."
16 That's right, isn't it?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. "Mentioned Sovereignty," is the title in total, and his
19 presentation. But was the substance of it quite different? Because the
20 accent wasn't on the fact that McKenzie mentioned sovereignty but, as
21 Koljevic says, because he had a neutral approach and that through his
22 neutrality he helped the Serb people as well. That's what he is in fact
23 talking about.
24 A. Well, I think he's speaking about McKenzie being a friend of the
25 Serbs insofar as he's neutral, the implication being that other
1 internationals are not, and that he is the first person among the
2 international players to have mentioned sovereignty.
3 Q. Well, that's what he says quite precisely. "He was a Serb friend
4 in so much as he was neutral." And that is quite clear, clearly
5 articulated -- a clearly articulated thought. "He was a Serb friend
6 insofar as he was neutral. That's a man who has gotten most help from
7 UNPROFOR forces through his neutrality, I don't mean he was on our side, I
8 mean that with his neutrality he helped, and you can see that in the fact
9 -- that in the fact that he was fired," replaced. Isn't that so, Mr.
11 A. Those are his words, yes.
12 Q. Now, is it true that from what Srdjo Srdic said, and that is on
13 that same page, page 22 -- no, it's the 22nd session, page 16, actually,
14 it becomes quite clear that the people of the Prijedor municipality did
15 not even ask Karadzic, Koljevic, or Krajisnik what needed to be done in
16 Prijedor in those first days of the conflict, as it was a meeting held on
17 the 22nd and 23rd of November, 1992. He says, "We didn't ask you, or Mr.
18 Karadzic, or Mr. Krajisnik, what we needed to do in Prijedor. Prijedor
19 was the single 'green' municipality in the Bosnian Krajina, and had we
20 listened to you, we would still be green today, Krupa and Prijedor, and
21 Prijedor would not be what they are."
22 So is it clear from that that what was happening over there, they
23 didn't ask Karadzic, Koljevic, or Krajisnik, and that's what somebody from
24 the region stated?
25 A. That's Srdic's statement, yes.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Well, isn't that proof and evidence that many wartime events took
2 place without the knowledge or control of the leadership of Republika
3 Srpska, in fact?
4 A. I would not extend the quote to that conclusion, no.
5 Q. I see. So you're just linking it up with this one example.
6 A. Based on this citation, I can only say that it was -- that
7 statement was made by him and therefore is likely to be the case. But I
8 can't generalise it either. Even for Prijedor, I can't even conclude
9 that this was -- certainly this -- I can't conclude that this was a policy
10 or something that happened widely throughout the RS throughout the war. I
11 can't extend the conclusion that far.
12 Q. And is it true that Mladic, in a portion of his presentation -
13 and you're referring to the 17th session in 1992, held at Jahorina - he
14 speaks about the position of armed Muslims in Cerska and Srebrenica and
15 appeals that other people put themselves in their position -- in their
16 shoes. How would it be for them and if the UN were bringing in observers,
17 with respect to the ammunition -- is indicating that ammunition is being
18 brought to them through the UN. Isn't that so, Mr. Donia?
19 A. I don't derive that from that statement, no.
20 Q. Well, the last line says: " Await when this shipment of 500 to
21 800 shells will arrive," et cetera, et cetera.
22 A. I don't see any reference to the UN.
23 Q. Well, within the context, I assume that's what you're talking
25 A. What context? I'm -- I think the statement is --
1 Q. Well, what ammunition shipment is this all about?
2 A. Well, I -- I think first of all, he's making a statement of, as I
3 look at his statement here, he's trying to get his audience, which is the
4 people in the Bosnian Serb Assembly to get the feeling of being encircled
5 and awaiting a shipment of shells. And in -- this would suggest 500, 800
6 shells is not very much -- in other words, these people are in a desperate
7 situation militarily.
8 Just, if you're suggesting the -- that this is going through the
9 UN, I would only point out that the safe haven resolutions didn't take
10 place until, I believe, May and June of 1993, so the -- there -- I'm just
11 not clear what the UN presence was at this time in Srebrenica and Cerska
12 and I just don't know whether the UN forces were there whatsoever.
13 Q. Very well. Now, you also speak about the 24th session, when the
14 Vance-Owen Peace Plan was announced. Is that right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Is it right that not only the leaders of Republika Srpska but the
17 vast majority of the rest of the deputies expressed their disagreement
18 with the contents of the peace plan?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. However, you devote the greatest attention within that 24th
21 session to the killing of Hakija Turajlic. And of course nobody is
22 justifying that, but your headline says "Assembly Applauds Murder of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina Government Vice-President Turajlic." "Assembly
24 applauds" are the words you use, applauds the murder.
25 Then in the text that follows on page 20, otherwise, 214 ERN
1 number, this passage relates to the killing of Hakija Turajlic the
2 vice-president of the BH government by a Serbian soldier from Bosnia while
3 he was driving an APC. Mladic informs the Assembly, et cetera, et cetera,
4 from Sarajevo and you quote Mladic as saying, "In a vehicle belonging to
5 UNPROFOR -- in the UNPROFOR vehicle were Lieutenant Sartre, a Frenchman,
6 and Vice-President Hakija Turajlic, of that rump government of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Our guys stopped the vehicle and searched them. One
8 of our soldiers killed Turajlic with six bullets." And then it says and
9 here in brackets you put "applause" as if the entire Assembly acquiesced
10 and applauded; whereas, the Assembly makes no comment that way as to the
12 And then Mladic goes on to say - and I'm quoting Mladic -
13 "Please," he says, "don't spread such an anti-UNPROFOR sentiment. There
14 are those who work well. We will submit a staunch protest. I've already
15 ordered a protest be written and submitted to Nambiar. I told them that
16 last time, neither UNPROFOR nor the United Nations are a taxi service nor
17 logistics for Alija Izetbegovic, Franjo Tudjman, nor ours," which means
18 nobody's. "We must, however, be cautious. We must be very, very sane in
19 our heads. I ask you that we not allow one individual to drag us into
21 A. Let me say the term "applause" appears in the transcript.
22 Q. All right. But did Mladic in his presentation condemn the event
23 and ask -- prevailed upon the deputies not to allow them to be dragged
24 into a disaster by a single individual?
25 A. He went both ways. He went -- he urged them not to spread such
1 anti-UNPROFOR sentiment and at the same time indicated his intention to
2 launch a staunch protest with the United Nations for being this taxi
3 service, as he calls it, to Izetbegovic and Tudjman. He goes both ways.
4 He says, "We must be cautious, very sane, and at the same time indicates
5 that he's going to protest the fact that UNPROFOR was -- presumably
6 UNPROFOR was conveying this guy, so he's, I think, on both sides.
7 Q. He says the United Nations are not a service or logistics of
8 Izetbegovic, Tudjman, "nor ours," which means of neither side. And he
9 goes on to say, "We mustn't allow an individual to drag us into disaster."
10 He's talking about the individual who committed this murder. Surely
11 that is clear, and he is not --
12 JUDGE MAY: I think we can read this and we can draw our own
13 conclusions about it. Move on to the next one, please.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. I'm asking you, Mr. Donia, why have you worded the headline as if
16 the Assembly as a whole had applauded the death of an individual.
17 JUDGE MAY: He's given an answer to that. He has referred to the
18 fact that the transcript refers to "applause." Now, that's his answer.
19 Now, let's move on to another one.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Mr. Donia, there were some errors which you yourself have
23 corrected regarding dates. You talk about me addressing the Assembly
24 members at a session held on the 9th of May. You corrected the date,
25 haven't you?
1 A. Yes. As I indicated in my correction during the presentation,
2 this was held on the 5th of May with a long session that spilled over onto
3 the 6th of May, I believe. It was about a 17-hour session, and it was
4 also held in Pale, as I understand it.
5 Q. Yes, certainly, it was held at Pale, and not in Zvornik, as
6 stated here. And it says, "The 30th to the 31st session, 9th of May,
7 Zvornik," and then again on the next page, "9th of May, 1993, Zvornik."
8 Is it -- are you aware to what end, as you quote to me here
9 regarding the goals, what aim or goal of the Serb people was I speaking
10 about? Are you aware of that?
11 A. I can't answer that question. Only you know what you meant when
12 you said that.
13 Q. If you had read the shorthand report, you surely would be able to
14 answer my question.
15 I have here faxes of newspaper articles from that period
16 containing my speeches. Let me just clear one point up: Was there a
17 closed and an open part? I hear for the first time that there were
18 such -- two parts because there were cameras in the hall throughout. I am
19 not aware that there was any closed part of the Assembly meeting, because
20 I spoke twice and both these speeches appeared in the newspapers, so they
21 were not made in closed session.
22 A. The Assembly transcript clearly indicates that the session was
23 closed shortly after your first address to the Assembly. Mr. Krajisnik
24 invited journalists at that point to leave, and there was a break. It --
25 there are a number of references to the fact that some journalists who are
1 people -- I think I cited this in the introduction to the report --
2 journalists who are recording things for our archives remain in the closed
3 sessions. There are some journalists who are recording things for our
4 archives remain in the closed sessions, so I can well believe that there
5 might have been a -- a camera there. I would also point out that there
6 were leaks from this session. It was obviously a fairly full room with
7 you and all the other guests and there was I think both a radio programme
8 and excerpts from your speech that appeared in radio and in the press
10 Q. The press carried my speeches in extenso. Mr. Donia, do you know
11 that when Krajisnik asked for a break after my speech, it was a break for
12 them to hold a Deputies' Club meeting and not a closed session of the
13 Assembly, and at that Deputy Club meeting neither Cosic nor Bulatovic nor
14 Mitsotakis nor myself were present. We waited for hours downstairs while
15 they were holding their Deputies' Club meeting. There was a break after
16 my speech because the deputies applauded my speech and I was expecting
17 them to approve the plan, and then this meeting of the Deputies' Club was
18 organised, where in spite of our request we were not allowed access to.
19 As for the Assembly itself, it was in open session throughout, to the best
20 of my knowledge, and evidence of that is that both my speeches were
21 carried by the press the next day. And I have them here. And as I assume
22 that you have them too, my question to you was: What goal of the Serbian
23 people am I talking about?
24 JUDGE MAY: Dr. Donia, deal with this point about the Deputies'
25 Club meeting. Do you know anything about that, that question?
1 THE WITNESS: Yes.
2 Mr. Milosevic, the events to which you refer, the Deputies' Club
3 meeting, the break, and the indication of a closed session are all present
4 in the -- in the transcripts. They're clearly there.
5 The -- when the session reconvened, there is no indication that
6 the status of it has changed. And I could -- but I could well believe
7 that it may have been an open session. I just don't know. The transcript
8 would not be clear --
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. That is precisely what I'm saying.
11 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness finish. Let the witness finish.
13 THE WITNESS: Mr. President, I wonder if it might be useful to
14 see -- to look at the full text of both of Mr. Milosevic's speeches, the
15 one before the Deputies' Club meeting and the one after the Deputies' Club
16 meeting, to get a notion of what exactly it was that he was speaking
17 about in each of those addresses.
18 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, after the additional binder was
19 prepared, it occurred to us that that probably would be something the
20 Chamber would want. We do have them here, the entire transcript, as long
21 as some colloquy before and after those speeches. And if the Chamber so
22 requires, we'll have the entire Assembly session, since it seems to be
23 quite an important one, fully translated and submitted. But we have
24 everything that Mr. Milosevic said during that Assembly session here.
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well, I wonder if we've really got the time to
1 do it -- deal with it now. It may be that during the adjournment - I
2 think, Dr. Donia, clearly we're not going to finish today - it may be that
3 you could familiarise yourself with those materials during the -- the
4 break, during the time you're not giving evidence, and then when you come
5 back you'll be able to deal with them.
6 THE WITNESS: I'd be glad, to Mr. President.
7 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
8 Mr. Groome, well, you can facilitate that.
9 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Yes. But since I'm sure, Mr. Donia, you read those speeches,
13 didn't you?
14 A. Yes, I did.
15 Q. From the first speech only, I will quote only a part, and from
16 the second a little more than that. And I say in my first speech: "Let
17 me say straight away that I consider that there's no alternative to a
18 decision in favour of peace, a decision for peace and for the
19 reinforcement of the signature put by Radovan Karadzic in Athens is in the
20 interest of the Serbian people in Republika Srpska and in the interest of
21 the whole Serbian people. The basic issue which has been raised from the
22 very beginning - and we have jointly defined what the aim of the Serbian
23 people in the Balkans is - I would say quite briefly the aim of the
24 Serbian people in the Balkans has been and remains to be free and equal."
25 So I say that quite explicitly.
1 Do you remember that, Mr. Donia, when reading the transcript? Do
2 you remember seeing that?
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. And then I go to say: "The offered proposal, in my opinion, for
5 that very reason for the Serb people to be free and equal should be viewed
6 from the standpoint to what extent that freedom and equality is ensured
7 through such an approach."
8 And then I go on to expound certain elements of the plan, saying
9 that "In the provinces which will not be under the control of the Serb
10 authorities and there are still Serbs living there, it is explicitly
11 stated that access will be denied to the HVO and Green Berets and that
12 they will be accessed only by the UN, which means that they will provide a
13 security zone which will make it possible for no one to have to leave
14 their homes, which means that that freedom is guaranteed and a condition
15 that has been achieved in the proposed solution, but it also means that
16 this is a freedom that the Serbian people in Bosnia have won for
18 And then I say that "The plan also restores the status of a
19 constituent people. You remember well that the conflict started when the
20 rights of the Serbian people as a constituent people in Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina were trampled upon, when decisions started to be made without
22 consulting them and without their participation and against their will.
23 This solution, the Vance-Owen Plan, envisages such an equality in rights
24 so that the Serbian people in BH can be said to have restored their
25 position of a constituent people through their struggle." Now, I'm
1 leaving out many things.
2 "Therefore, it is fully and equally in the hands of the Serbian
3 people, as in the hands of other peoples. They have the right and ability
4 to make decisions that decisively affect their destiny."
5 And then I say again: "If that main issue and main goal of the
6 Serbian people in the Balkans, that is, to be free and equal, is assessed
7 from the standpoint of the solutions offered, then we see that it has
8 restored freedom and equality and that after the struggle whereby it has
9 won that freedom and equality, it can decide not to reject its remaining
10 demands but to try and address those requests through peace and not war,
11 at a conference table, through political negotiations, and not by
12 sacrificing more victims. Every sacrifice has a justification if it
13 achieves goals, but it has no justification if the solution offered
14 guarantees freedom and equality."
15 And then I appealed to them to address remaining outstanding
16 problems peacefully and not by war and to confirm the signature Karadzic
17 placed on the agreement in Athens. Therefore, it is quite unequivocally
18 stated that there's no alternative to peace, that the aim is for the
19 Serbian people in the Balkans to be free and equal, and that destiny will
20 be in their hands, as it is in the hands of the other two peoples, and
21 that things should be resolved by consensus. Is that what I said in my
23 A. That is what you stated in your first -- first speech. And in
24 fact, I counted that you used the word "freedom" and the word "equality"
25 each at least eight times in that speech. That was your point, as I
1 indicated in the summary, that the objectives or the -- the goal that you
2 stated in that speech had been achieved by the Bosnian Serbs and,
3 therefore, they should sign the Vance-Owen Peace Plan. I think that
4 content was very clear from your first speech.
5 When we go to the second speech, you used the term "goal" a
6 number of times, many times, several times anyway, without specifying once
7 the terms "freedom" and "equality" with it. So I think one has to look at
8 the other part of the context in which you were speaking.
9 Mr.-- Professor Cosic also spoke and said that the goal of the
10 Serbian people in the Balkans for the last 200 years has been liberation
11 and unification. And the other deputies -- or many of the people who were
12 at this session were accustomed to defining the final goal or the ultimate
13 goal as the unification of Serbs in a single state. As I say, I can't
14 determine what it was that you meant when you used the word "goal" in the
15 second part of that session. Only you can say that. I can only explain
16 to you the context of what it was. So when you ask me what was it, I
17 can't answer that question for you. I can only answer what the context in
18 which you spoke it was.
19 Q. Let me remind you, as this second speech of mine was very brief,
20 and then you will see the context too. There were many very moving
21 speeches about victims and sacrifices, and many people advocated against
22 the plan. I spoke twice. I asked for the floor twice. And this is my
23 second speech. I say, "I will try very briefly, but with the highest
24 possible degree of responsibility to say a few words. But before doing
25 that, I wish to convey to you my impressions. You spoke openly and from
1 the heart. Most of what you said related to the cruelties and injustices
2 of war. In the Serbian people, throughout their history, unfortunately
3 there is too -- there are too many truthful testimonies of the horrors of
4 war. However, all that we heard today regarding the testimony and the
5 horrors of war, all of this can be formed into one single argument and a
6 single statement and message, that the war should cease as soon as
7 possible, that the war should cease immediately.
8 "However, let me go back to the question we are addressing today.
9 The question is not how much horrors -- how many horrors there were in
10 this war. This people has felt this on their own shoulders throughout
11 their history. The question today is whether we should consolidate what
12 has been achieved and through a peaceful process, under conditions of
13 security, achieve what remains to be done, what we call "outstanding
14 matters." There were many outstanding issues, but the plan envisaged that
15 those problems be addressed in negotiations. So whether we should seek to
16 address what we call 'outstanding problems' through negotiation or should
17 we destroy what has been achieved at the expense of enormous sacrifice.
18 That is the real issue that this Assembly should decide. So the question,
19 when talking about the plan, is not whether we are departing from our
20 goals. Of course not. The question is whether that plan represents the
21 path towards the ultimate goal. The plan is not the final fulfillment of
22 the justified demands of the Serbian people, but it certainly represents
23 the path towards the ultimate goal. But now we must make much more effort
24 through our wisdom and less bloodshed. I think that should be an
25 advantage, not a disadvantage. And this Assembly must have the courage
1 and self-confidence under these circumstances on the basis of the plan,
2 which must -- which is a sufficient basis to achieve our goal, rather than
3 committing a tragic error which will cruelly cut across or put an obstacle
4 on the way to success.
5 "Will the Assembly opt for a reasonable or an unreasonable path?
6 I think no one needs to persuade this Assembly about. I think peace is
7 the reasonable, the sensible way. On the contrary, if the slogan is
8 spread about that the Serbs don't want peace, that could only justify
9 crimes against the Serbs, and this is something you should bear in mind.
10 When the road towards peace is being opened, you must explain to the
11 people that they -- why should they sacrifice their lives in even more
12 crueller ways up to now? You cannot explain the reasons to the Serbian
13 people in Bosnia or in Serbia.
14 "And let me say finally, one must sacrifice everything for the
15 people except the people. You cannot sacrifice the people. You do not
16 have the right to do that as an Assembly or as anyone else." That is my
17 entire second speech.
18 And I also have here photocopies of the newspapers that carried
19 that speech the next day.
20 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. Just a moment. What is your
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Mr. Donia, both my speeches were carried by the press the
24 following day. So you can see there was no speech of mine made at a
25 closed session. It was only their Deputies' Club that was held in closed
1 session. The Assembly session was broadcast live. All the citizens of
2 Yugoslavia could watch it.
3 A. I can't assess that. I certainly take your word that that was an
4 open session.
5 The excerpt that you read was, according to the transcript, not
6 your complete speech. It was much of it but not -- it wasn't complete.
7 It wasn't that short. And I think, Mr. President, when we look at the
8 actual transcript of the session it will become evident what was said
9 completely. And I would not say that there's not the most important
10 points covered in what -- what you just read, sir, but it's not the full
12 JUDGE MAY: You can assist us by clarifying what the goal was.
13 THE WITNESS: I -- to me, the -- the nature of this conversation
14 shifted. Mr. Milosevic's first speech was clearly emphasising the goal of
15 freedom and equality for the Serbian people.
16 There then followed these many addresses, including a very, I
17 thought, explicit speech by General Mladic of the horrors of war, but also
18 a great deal of emphasis on the problem -- by other delegates about the
19 problem with Vance-Owen being that it fragmented the Serbian people in
20 Bosnia too much into these Serbian provinces. And I think my own, you
21 know, interpretation of it would be that this called for a different
22 argument. It called for -- and I -- just hearing you recite it now and
23 reading the transcript, at the time there's no doubt in my mind about your
24 passionate desire to have this signed, to have the peace concluded, but it
25 cast the conversation into the arena of the goal that everyone there that
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 was listening would agree on, which was the -- or except perhaps for the
2 guests of one or two delegates, that is the unification of the Serbian
3 people. Therefore, it made sense not to specify what that goal was and
4 have a dispute about what the ultimate goal of the Serbian people was. It
5 was not designed to spell out that goal. It was designed --
6 Mr. Milosevic's remarks were designed to persuade the delegates to end the
7 war and also to nourish their hopes, indicate his solidarity with them,
8 which is in the latter portion of the speech.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Yes. As for solidarity, I do make an intervention and say -- I
11 said, "Don't tell us that you feel abandoned, because we were being
12 reproached that we were abandoning them. I say that we shared all your
13 worries throughout this period. Not only did we worry for you, but we
14 assisted you at the expense of sacrifice by 10 million Serbs. We received
15 several hundred thousand refugees." Do you know that there were 70.000
16 Muslim refugees that we took care of in Serbia, according to our official
17 data? And there were certainly more than that. And several hundred
18 thousand Serb refugees from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. So it was
19 at the cost of great sacrifice by all the people to help achieve peace, to
20 help achieve a just solution.
21 And as I said many times in this speech, that that aim for the
22 Serbian people in the Balkans is for it to be free and equal and that that
23 goal had been achieved, and that is why the plan should be signed. As for
24 a series of points as to why this territory is here and why that territory
25 is over there, it was implied that through agreements among all three
1 sides certain corrections could be made, but at a conference table and not
2 in any kind of war, because whatever three parties agree upon it can be
3 achieved. Is that at issue or not?
4 A. Is what at issue? As I said, I -- I would not -- I am convinced
5 that you passionately and with conviction wanted them to sign this peace
6 plan, and I'm convinced of it listening to you read it today as well as
7 before. But there is another section of this speech in which you share so
8 much their aspirations, their -- their goal that you nourish and explain
9 that you have nourished their project in the past and intend to continue
10 to do so into the future. So that is there as well as the emphasis that
11 you provide on signing the peace plan.
12 Q. Are you saying that I'm talking about our reciprocal solidarity
13 and the links which should continue, regardless of the fact that the plan
14 envisaged an independent Bosnia and Herzegovina, that links should
15 continue between Serbia and Serbs outside Serbia, their entities in Bosnia
16 and Herzegovina? Mr. Donia, do you know that even the Dayton Agreement
17 has a provision on the possibility of special ties between Serbia and
18 Republika Srpska and special ties between Croatia and the Croatian cantons
19 in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in certain stages of the plan even with the
20 Republic of Herceg-Bosna, when it was established? So wasn't that an
21 elementary and legitimate right of both the Serbian and Croatian people in
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina to have special ties with their motherlands, with their
23 mother country? The reference is to economic, cultural, and other ties;
24 isn't it, Mr. Donia?
25 A. This is over two years prior to -- two and a half years prior to
1 the Dayton Agreement. And I don't -- I didn't see any such specification
2 in the Vance-Owen Plan.
3 Q. Very well, Mr. Donia. What I am saying is that this was a
4 continuing topic, that is, the possibility of special ties. And because
5 it was always present from the very beginning, it was reflected in the
6 Dayton Accords. We accepted five peace plans, and each of those peace
7 plans envisaged an independent Bosnia and Herzegovina but with it
8 entities, cantons, or three republics within a union, and then the Muslims
9 and Croats formed the Federation, et cetera, depending on the stages. And
10 in all those five plans, whether it was Vance-Owen, Owen-Stoltenberg,
11 whatever, finally Dayton, all of them referred to Bosnia-Herzegovina and
12 entities within Bosnia-Herzegovina. So we signed five peace plans. Don't
13 you know that, Mr. Donia?
14 A. Yes. I'm aware of the various peace plans and your position
15 on -- on them.
16 I would observe that in the -- in the brief excerpt that I've
17 taken from your longer speech, which is on the first -- at the page for
18 the 30th Assembly, this ERN 9 -- 02989192 that, the description of
19 economic integration in that paragraph is not a description of economic
20 integration between two sovereign states. It's a statement of the
21 integration of Serbs and Serb lands, economically, culturally,
22 educationally, and in every other respect, at a time when you are making
23 the statement that this is only a partial realisation of the goal. It's a
24 step toward realisation of the final goal. I just say that peace plan did
25 not incorporate such a concept of special relations such as you spell it
1 out here.
2 JUDGE MAY: We shall have to -- we shall have to adjourn now.
3 Mr. Milosevic, you have three-quarters of an hour left.
4 Dr. Donia, we'd be grateful if you would come back at a date
5 which can be found. And for those purposes, you can speak to the
6 Prosecution, of course, to make arrangements. And also to look, if you
7 would, at the full transcript of the 30th session that we've been talking
8 about and we'll return to that on the next occasion.
9 Very well. We'll adjourn now until Monday morning.
10 --- Whereupon the proceedings adjourned
11 at 1.46 p.m., to be reconvened on Monday,
12 the 15th day of September, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.