1 Thursday, 13 March 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.34 p.m.
5 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Good afternoon to everybody. Could the
6 Registrar please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon. This is Case Number IT-97-24-T,
8 the Prosecutor versus Milomir Stakic.
9 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And the appearances, for the parties.
10 MS. SUTHERLAND: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Nicholas Koumjian,
11 Ann Sutherland, and Ruth Karper for the Prosecution.
12 MR. LUKIC: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Branko Lukic and
13 John Ostojic for the Defence.
14 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Well, Judge Schomburg is still ill and unable
15 to come to court. For the same reason as stated yesterday, considering
16 that there are still Defence witnesses in The Hague who are waiting to
17 testify, it is in the interest of justice for Judge Argibay and I to
18 continue sitting under Rule 15 bis to hear these remaining witnesses, even
19 in the absence of Judge Schomburg.
20 For the record, I would like again to ask that both parties and
21 Dr. Stakic himself formally register their consent to this procedure for
22 today's hearing, 13th March, year 2003. Starting with the Prosecution,
23 Mr. Koumjian.
24 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes, Your Honour, the Prosecution consents.
25 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And the Defence.
1 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour, the Defence consents.
2 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And Dr. Stakic, do you have any objections?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you.
5 Therefore, considering that Judge Schomburg is still not available
6 to sit in this case today because he continues to be ill, Judge Argibay
7 and I, being satisfied that it is in the interest of justice to do so, and
8 again, based on the consent of the parties and Dr. Stakic himself, hereby
9 order pursuant to Rule 15 bis of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, that
10 for today, the hearing continue in the absence of Judge Schomburg.
11 Well, there are just a few procedural matters to be dealt with
12 before the witness is brought in. Firstly, the schedule for today and
13 tomorrow. It is now confirmed that we will be able to sit tomorrow in
14 Courtroom Number I from 5.00 to 7.00 p.m. And in this regard, I would
15 like to thank you, Madam Registrar, and all participants for their efforts
16 that made it possible for us to work tomorrow.
17 There are two witnesses remaining for this week, Witness 043, who
18 has been in The Hague since last week, and the expert witness, Srdja
19 Trifkovic who apparently has some scheduling constraints.
20 Mr. Lukic, is it your intention to conclude with the testimony of
21 Witness 043 before starting with Mr. Trifkovic, or it will be necessary to
22 interrupt Witness 043's testimony to accommodate Trifkovic's schedule?
23 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, our intention is to finish with the
24 witness 043 first, and then to start with the testimony of the expert
1 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you. And the OTP?
2 MR. KOUMJIAN: However the Defence wants to proceed.
3 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Therefore, we shall continue hearing Witness
4 043 this afternoon, followed by Mr. Trifkovic. And we shall hopefully be
5 in a position to sit tomorrow afternoon in order to finish the expert's
7 As far as the next week witnesses are concerned, the Defence
8 undertook to tell the Court by Thursday, that is today, the order of the
9 witnesses for the next week. In order to assist the Defence, the Court in
10 it's turn has ordered to call in addition to the military expert four
11 witnesses for the next week.
12 Mr. Lukic, do you have any additional information on the
13 availability of the remaining witnesses?
14 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour. We just contacted with the Victims
15 and Witness Unit, and one of the newly proposed witnesses who is confirmed
16 by the Chamber will be here hopefully on Monday. He should come to The
17 Hague on Saturday, and we are trying to contact the priest who lives in
18 the US. And concerning the Witness 058, we called his house this morning,
19 but nobody was answering at that time. So our case manager is in the
20 Defence room, and he is trying to contact this gentleman. So we have to
21 admit that there is nothing final with this witness yet. And we hope that
22 the Witness 089 will come the next week.
23 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Did you contact him?
24 MR. LUKIC: We spoke with him yesterday, and the problem is his
25 health, as we informed the Court. He is diagnosed with leukemia, and he
1 is under certain treatments which causes him to feel even more sick. But
2 he will try to interrupt these medications and not to receive them the
3 next week. In that case, he would be able to come to The Hague.
4 Otherwise, he would probably not be able to travel.
5 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: So you are certain only about one witness?
6 MR. LUKIC: And the General.
7 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Yes, the General and one witness. As to the
8 rest, three witnesses, you have no reliable information and you are not
9 sure --
10 MR. LUKIC: Not yet.
11 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: -- Whether they will come to The Hague or not.
12 MR. LUKIC: We hope that we'll have until the end of today, this
13 working day.
14 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Well, once more, I would like to ask you to
15 inform us about the situation and about the availability of these
16 witnesses. And let the Court know in which order they will come.
17 MR. LUKIC: The new witness will testify on Monday.
18 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: On Monday, yes.
19 MR. LUKIC: Then the General will testify on Thursday and Friday.
20 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Does the OTP have any comments on this?
21 MR. KOUMJIAN: No, except to say that we're -- we hope we can
22 finish these two witnesses this week, but I don't think it's clear that we
23 can. So it's possible we may have to finish one of these two witnesses in
24 The Hague on Monday.
25 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Well, let us try our best.
1 Now I would like to remind the parties that the Registrar handed
2 out a document entitled "problematic documents" to both parties last week
3 indicating where there were still some problems or issues with various
4 Prosecution and Defence exhibits. The Court would encourage the parties
5 to try and resolve these issues as soon as possible. In this regard, I
6 would like to say that yesterday, I omitted to admit the document that has
7 been provisionally numbered Exhibit S406A/B into evidence. Are there any
8 objections to admitting this document into evidence? Mr. Lukic.
9 MR. LUKIC: We don't have any objections, Your Honour.
10 MR. KOUMJIAN: We move it into evidence.
11 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Therefore, the document is admitted into
12 evidence as Exhibit 406A/B respectively.
13 Are there any other matters that the parties would like to raise
14 at this moment? I have not seen any moves. Now we can continue with the
15 evidence of Witness 043.
16 Madam Registrar, can we please go into closed session for this
18 [Closed session]
12 Pages 13516 to 13573 – redacted – closed session
7 (Open session)
8 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Well, our next witness, or the next Defence
9 witness, is Dr. Srdja Trifkovic. I take it that there is no protective
11 MR. OSTOJIC: Correct, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: For this witness. Could the usher -- usher is
13 working very efficiently.
14 And for the record, Madam Registrar, I would like to take into
15 account that on the part of the Defence, Joanna Korner is here with us.
16 And case manager --
17 MR. LUKIC: Danilo Cirkovic, Your Honour.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Dr. Trifkovic, can you hear me in a language
20 you understand?
21 THE WITNESS: Yes, indeed I can, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Could you please read the solemn declaration.
23 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
24 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
25 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you. Please be seated.
1 As Dr. Trifkovic is an expert witness appearing in the Defence
2 case, Mr. Ostojic, please, the floor is yours.
3 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
4 WITNESS: SRDJA TRIFKOVIC
5 Examined by Mr. Ostojic:
6 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Trifkovic. As you know, my name is John
7 Ostojic, and along with Mr. Branko Lukic and our case manager, Danilo
8 Cirkovic, we represent Dr. Milomir Stakic.
9 A. Good afternoon.
10 Q. I'm going to ask you a series of questions here today, if at any
11 time, sir, you do not understand my question, please feel free to advise
12 me and I will attempt to clarify the question so that you may understand
13 it and give us a full and complete answer. Is that fair enough?
14 A. Fair enough.
15 Q. Sir, for the record, can you give us your full name?
16 A. My full name is Srdja Trifkovic. I sometimes go by the name of
17 Serge, but my official name if Srdja Trifkovic.
18 Q. For the purposes of a personal background, can you share with us
19 your date of birth, place of birth?
20 A. My date of birth is July 19th, 1954, in Belgrade, Serbia, as it
21 was at time Yugoslavia.
22 Q. Your current citizenship and residency?
23 A. I am a US citizen residing Highland Park, which is a suburb of
24 Chicago in Illinois.
25 Q. The Defence has asked you, Dr. Trifkovic, to prepare a report
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 relating to the events leading up to and including the period of 1991 and
2 1992 in the Prijedor Municipality. Is that correct?
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. I'm being asked, and I've frequently been asked this, to advise
5 you, but mostly it's my fault, that we should attempt to make a pause
6 between the question and answer since we both are speaking English, and
7 the translators as well as our court reporters are unable sometimes to
8 keep up, and we would hate to have anything overlap. So I would ask you,
9 sir, to the extent possible that you pause before giving us your answer to
10 my question.
11 A. Very well.
12 Q. Did you prepare such a report giving us the background history as
13 well as the events that preceded and included that during the Bosnian
14 crisis and the Prijedor Municipality during the period of 1991 and 1992?
15 A. Yes, I did.
16 MR. OSTOJIC: I believe, Your Honours, that that report has been
17 filed with the Court as well as tendered to the Office of the Prosecution.
18 Do you have that report, Dr. Trifkovic, with you today?
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, may I make it clear straight away
21 there's no objection to this report being admitted.
22 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Then Dr. Trifkovic's report be admitted into
23 evidence -- excuse me. And if there is no objection on the either party,
24 the expert report of Dr. Srdja Trifkovic filed in this case on the 3rd of
25 March, year 2003, with the Registry, pages D14.754 through D14.804 is
1 admitted as Exhibit D92A.
2 For the record, the report is admitted in the English language
4 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour. If I may proceed. Thank
6 Q. Dr. Trifkovic, within the report that we were just discussing that
7 you captioned and title "Events in Prijedor, 1991, 1992, In the context of
8 the Bosnian Crisis, A Background Report," that is indeed the title of your
9 report. Correct?
10 A. Yes indeed.
11 Q. Within that report, sir, you also attached your curriculum vitae
12 as annex 1. Correct?
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. If I may, just share with us your educational background, the
15 degrees that you had attained and approximately when it is that you
16 attained them.
17 A. I obtained my first BA degree in international relations at the
18 University of Sussex in Great Britain in 1977. I obtained my second BA in
19 political science at the University of Zagreb, Croatia, in 1987. And I
20 obtained a Ph.D. in modern history at the University of Southampton in
21 Great Britain in 1990. I also pursued post doctoral research at the
22 Hoover Institution at Stanford University in California in 1991, 1992.
23 Q. Can you share with us, Dr. Trifkovic, what languages you can
25 A. Serbian is my mother tongue. I'm a native speaker. I also speak
1 English and understand and use in my research French and German and
2 Russian. I also have some limited conversational ability in Dutch,
3 Italian, and Bulgarian.
4 Q. Sir, over the course of your career, have you ever been published?
5 MS. KORNER: If it helps, Mr. Ostojic, you can lead on all of
6 this. There's no objection.
7 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you.
8 MS. KORNER: It should just speed things up.
9 MR. OSTOJIC:
10 Q. Doctor.
11 A. Yes. In fact, so extensively, that I would have to ask you to
12 clarify whether you are referring to journalistic publications or refereed
13 publications, i.e., scholarly quarterlies and books.
14 Q. Share with us exactly your work in the last 15 to 20 years with
15 respect to any writings that you participated in or publications. Are all
16 of them reflected in your annex 1 to your report that has been admitted
17 into evidence?
18 A. Frankly, no. What we have there is a select bibliography, and
19 because so many articles, particularly as part of my regular work for
20 chronicles, magazine, and other print publications remain unclassified
21 that I frankly do not have the record of all of them. But all of the
22 refereed publications, books, book chapters, and edited books have been
23 quoted in my CV.
24 Q. Tell us -- share with us --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel and witness please break
1 between question and answer.
2 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you. My apologies.
3 Q. Share with us, Dr. Trifkovic, if you will your current employment
4 and if you don't mind share with us your employment history.
5 A. For most of my working life, I have combined a journalistic and an
6 academic career. I started in journalism as a broadcaster with the BBC
7 world service, with the Yugoslav service as it was then, back in 1980.
8 During those six years at BBC, I moved also to the world service as a
9 producer in what was, again at that time, talks and features department.
10 And also in 1985, I worked as a subeditor in the world service newsroom.
11 In 1986/7, I was for a year with the voice of America in
12 Washington D.C. And thereafter, the southeast Europe correspondent based
13 in Belgrade for the weekly magazine "US News" and "World Report," and also
14 a stringer for the "Washington Times," which is a daily newspaper, during
15 which time I was also associate editor of the Belgrade fortnightly
16 magazine "Duga."
17 After my year at the Hoover institution, in addition to my
18 journalistic activities, I was also engaged in political consultancy with,
19 among others, crowned Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia, Republika Srpska,
20 the now former president of Yugoslavia Dr. Vojislav Kostunica, and a
21 variety of private companies seeking to do business in that part of the
23 In 1986/7, I was a visiting professor of international relations
24 at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas. In 1987 -- sorry, in
25 1996/7, correction. In 1997/98, I was at Rosehill College, South
1 Carolina, and since the summer of 1998, foreign affairs editor of
2 "Chronicles," which is a monthly magazine published by the RockFord
3 Institute in Illinois. Within the institute since March of 2000, I have
4 also been the director of the centre for international affairs.
5 During this time, in addition to my regular monthly column for the
6 magazine, and weekly world affairs commentary for the website, I have
7 continued to publish for other publications, including related to the
8 Balkans, the entry on the Bosnian war in the Almanac of World Politics
9 published by the Oxford University Press in 2001.
10 Q. Thank you. Let me if I may just turn specifically to our case
11 here. In preparation of your report, can you share with us what materials
12 and sources you reviewed?
13 A. In view of my extensive experience and personal as well as
14 professional interest in the wars of Yugoslav secession, the primary
15 source was, of course, my accumulated and varied collection of experiences
16 both concerning personal contacts and primary and secondary sources. But
17 more specifically, I also read a number of articles from various Bosnian
18 newspapers and magazines related more specifically to the situation in the
19 area of Prijedor, most notably Kozarski Vjesnik, and a whole host of
20 articles from the Sarajevo press, both daily and weekly, pertaining to the
21 situation in 1991 and early 1992, as well as a number of academic studies,
22 books published in the English language over the past few years, notably
23 by people such as Bob Hayden, Paul Shoup, Susan Woodward and others.
24 Q. Specifically to the best of your recollection, can you list the
25 publications that you also reviewed other than Kozarski Vjesnik involving
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the Prijedor Municipality or the events that transpired in 1991 and 1992
2 in the Prijedor Municipality.
3 A. I was supplied by a whole host of articles translated or not from
4 Oslobodenje, from Darne, as well as book chapters by a number of former
5 commanders of the Muslim forces in the early days, even before the war
6 actually broke out.
7 Q. Sir, is it true that you were also given a copy of the fourth
8 amended indictment as it relates to Dr. Milomir Stakic?
9 A. To the best of my recollection, I actually printed it out from the
10 ICTY website.
11 Q. Fair enough.
12 MR. OSTOJIC: Just for housekeeping matters, Your Honours, the
13 materials that Dr. Trifkovic indeed -- and I ask that he verify it,
14 include 65 ter exhibits that have not yet been admitted into evidence.
15 And for our purposes now, if I may suggest, I'll just identify them. They
16 are in a binder. They are Defence 65 ter exhibits 1 through 249, as well
17 as 65 ter Defence exhibits 285, 287, and 288. And we would be asking if
18 the Court wishes to have Dr. Trifkovic look at the three binders to his
19 left to verify that those are the articles that he's reviewed, and then we
20 would be moving to admit those into evidence.
21 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Of course Dr. Trifkovic is welcome to look
22 through these binders and exhibits, but it seems to me it's too much for a
23 short observation.
24 MR. OSTOJIC: In the interests of time, I recognise that. I
25 believe that we used a similar procedure with respect to Robert Donia. If
1 necessary, we'll go through each one, we don't have a problem.
2 Q. Dr. Trifkovic, would you mind, to your immediate left, there are
3 three binders, and if you could just take a quick perusal of the documents
4 there and identify or verify for us whether you've actually reviewed those
5 documents in connection with the preparation of your report that has been
6 admitted into evidence here today.
7 A. Obviously the perusal has to be very quick, but short of a
8 miraculous replacement of materials in the binders, I rest confident that
9 these are the materials.
10 MS. KORNER: Is there by any chance a list of what these documents
12 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes, Your Honour, that's a list that can be found on
13 our 65 ter Defence submission of the 18th of November, 2002, which
14 identifies by number the actual article as well as the title of the
15 article, and subsequent to that the translation of the articles as was
16 assisted by the unit translating them. Again, for the record the 65 ter
17 numbers are 1 through 249, as well as Defence 65 ter number 285, 287, and
19 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, for the moment, we're not going to make
20 complaint. But we were given this last week. We weren't told it had
21 anything to do with this witness. And there's nothing to indicate in the
22 witness's -- expert report that he ever looked at any document other than
23 those he mentioned. So, Your Honour, for the moment I'll leave it until
24 we have a look at it and see what they are.
25 MR. OSTOJIC: Certainly I'd like to proceed but I don't want to
1 debate the issue. I think his report clearly in the footnotes identify
2 various sources including those that are included in the Defence 65 ter
3 submissions, but we can address that at some other point I guess.
4 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: We'll address this issue later on. Please do
6 MR. OSTOJIC:
7 Q. In addition, Dr. Trifkovic, to your personal experiences, your
8 education, and your experience in the field of history, academic history
9 and political science, and the materials that you've identified that you
10 reviewed, did you also, sir, review a report by Robert Donia submitted by
11 the Office of the Prosecution?
12 A. Yes, I did.
13 Q. Were you also given, sir, Mr. Donia's testimony as it related to
14 the Stakic case?
15 A. What I reviewed was a long and a short version of Professor
16 Donia's report. I did not review his oral testimony in the case.
17 Q. And let us go right to the heart of the matter if we may. Can you
18 describe the situation by way of background in the former Yugoslavia
19 leading up to 1990 by starting with describing to us the 1974
21 A. After a period of economic and political liberalisation in the
22 late 1960s, which was marked by an increase in investment activity and
23 general prosperity, Yugoslavia was politically shaken by several events in
24 the early 1970s. First of all, there was the nationalist awakening in
25 Croatia, later known as "the Croat spring." Then there was Tito's day of
1 reckoning, with economic liberalisers in Belgrade. And the 1974
2 constitution is the result of what in the political and economic sense was
3 a retrenchment of the old party, political structures.
4 The restatement of the commitment to the peculiar Titoist brand of
5 Marxist Orthodoxy exemplified in socialist self management and the very
6 cumbersome decision-making structure of both political and economic
7 bodies, and perhaps most importantly, to our purposes, de facto
8 confederalisation of the Yugoslav federation, including the granting to
9 the two autonomous provinces within Serbia, Kosovo and Vojvodina, de facto
10 status of republics by giving them seats on the collective presidency
11 and -- both of the party and of the state, and giving them de facto veto
12 powers that were enjoyed by other republics, too.
13 All of this made some sense from the narrow party political
14 viewpoint of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, for as long as there
15 was the ultimate arbiter in the person of Josip Broz Tito to mediate
16 disputes and to legitimise both his personal autocratic rule and the
17 one-party dictatorship of the League of Communists, albeit some would say
18 that compared to other communist regimes, it was a velvety dictatorship,
19 but dictatorship nevertheless. But with Tito's death in 1980, the
20 ultimate arbiter was removed, and the whole edifice started grinding to a
21 halt unlike some of the more responsible political leaders of the 20th
22 century, and notably Francisco Franco Bahamonde, Tito belonged to those
23 dictators who didn't particularly care what would happen after their
24 departure from the scene.
25 It is not only me, but many other Yugoslav commentators from
1 different sides of the ethnic divide who may disagree about various other
2 aspects of policy in the 1970s and the 1980s, but they all agree that
3 Tito's attitude was comparable to Louis XV, "apres moi le deluge," after
4 my deluge.
5 Throughout the 1980s, the proof of this lamentable legacy of
6 Titoism was best manifested in the inability of the system to reform
7 itself from within. Because of the consensual decision-making structure
8 that was mandated by the 1974 constitution, and at the same time, because
9 of the widely differing levels of economic and cultural development and
10 widely different interests and perceptions among the ethnic groups in the
11 former Yugoslavia, it was well nigh impossible to make hard decisions
12 about hard choices that faced the country and to overcome the accumulating
13 problems both in the economic and the social and the political sphere that
14 came to a head with the collapse of the Berlin wall and roughly a decade
15 after Tito's death, resulted in the breakthrough of centrifugal forces
16 that sought Yugoslavia's disintegration.
17 One could say that throughout the 1980s, to come back to your
18 question, thanks to the legacy of the 1974 constitution, in the
19 institutional sense, and the legacy of Josip Broz Tito in the personal
20 sense, Yugoslavia was on an automatic pilot to self-destruction.
21 Q. Were there guarantees at that time for the different ethnic
22 compositions or groups within the former Yugoslavia? And we're talking
23 about the period immediately prior to 1990.
24 A. It should be remembered that the 1974 constitution was a strictly
25 party political constitution that postulated the continued and open-ended
1 existence and monopoly of power by the League of Communists and all of its
2 subordinate bodies. So even though the constitution did provide a whole
3 host of guarantees which in the case of minority rights and protections
4 were quite detailed, sometimes ridiculously so, so that entering some
5 multi-ethnic town in Vojvodina, you may see traffic signs in four or five
6 different languages, nevertheless the crucial issue which concerned the
7 right to self-determination was defined as residing with the constituent
8 nations of Yugoslavia and not with the territorial administrative units
9 comprising the Yugoslav federation.
10 In addition, even the theoretical right to self-determination of
11 the constituent nations, within the terms of that constitution, remained
12 theoretical because the mechanism for the exercise of that right was not
13 specified, and, at least by implication, was deemed unlikely to ever be
14 exercised in the future.
15 Q. Help me understand historical, when did the Muslims become
16 recognised as a constituent people in the former Yugoslavia?
17 A. The question is somewhat complex because throughout the history of
18 the distinct ethnic group in Bosnia-Herzegovina that came into being from
19 the members of the Islamised Slavic indigenous population, and to a much
20 lesser extent, the newcomers from other parts of the Ottoman empire, under
21 the Ottoman rule, there was no question of their classification as an
22 ethnic group in its own right. They were bona fide citizens of the Uma,
23 the Caliphate, the Ottoman empire. And by virtue of Islamic context, were
24 fellow citizens of other Muslims wherever they may reside, whether it be
25 in North Africa, Mesopotamia, or Anadolia. And the assumption was that a
1 Slavic Muslim of Bosnia, by virtue of religious affiliation, had more in
2 common with a fellow Muslim anywhere else in the Ottoman empire than with
3 his Christian neighbour, orthodox or Catholic, doesn't matter, who spoke
4 the same language and shared the same blood.
5 After the Austrian occupation of 1878, an attempt was made by the
6 viceroy of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Baron Benjamin von Kallay in the 1880s and
7 1890s to construct the Bosniak identity. And this experiment proved very
8 appealing to the Muslims, but at least in theory, it was supposed to apply
9 to all people who lived in Bosnia regardless of their denomination,
10 regardless of their religion.
11 The experiment did not prove long-lived, and it certainly did not
12 affect Serbs and Croats who by that time certainly started feeling an
13 integral part of the wider community of the Serbs to the east and the
14 south, and the Croats to the west and the north.
15 MS. KORNER: I'm very sorry to interrupt the doctor. But I wonder
16 where you're going. Your Honours will recall that we were prevented from
17 leading any evidence going prior to 1990 when Dr. Donia was called. Your
18 Honour, the question was really a fairly simple, straightforward one.
19 When did the Muslims become recognised as a constituent people in the
20 former Yugoslavia.
21 We've now gone all the way back to 1878. Your Honours, I don't
22 mind. I understood that Dr. Trifkovic had to get away, and that he
23 therefore wished to finish his evidence tomorrow. I have already
24 indicated to Mr. Ostojic the length of time that I will require to
25 cross-examine him. His report has gone in. If Mr. Ostojic, however,
1 wishes to pursue this and wishes to take longer, then that's a matter for
2 him. But then Dr. Trifkovic will be aware he will almost certainly have
3 to remain on Monday or at least return at some later time.
4 THE WITNESS: The answer is in 1961.
5 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Ms. Korner, I got your point. And really, the
6 Bench advised the parties and the historian expert of the parties not to
7 go deep in the history in order to save time. We are interested mainly in
8 the recent history and in the events which help us to understand better
9 what was going on in the former Yugoslavia since 1990, and especially in
10 1992. That's why I ask you to limit your questions to that period. And
11 you, Dr. Trifkovic, to limit your answers to the relevant period
12 established in the indictment.
13 THE WITNESS: Fair enough, Your Honour.
14 MR. OSTOJIC: Your Honour, if I may just make a point of comment,
15 if we look at how long Dr. Donia took and purportedly that he confined his
16 questions and answers to that period, I think the limited time that we're
17 given, and we'll accept that limited time, and we understand the
18 circumstances, but I certainly don't accept counsel standing up and
19 objecting. The question was clear. There's no objection to the
20 question. And we will attempt to move as quickly as possible.
21 It was my not intention to go to the Ottoman empire. It is
22 covered in the report. I'll confine my questions to that period of time.
23 However, it's our view that in order to keep it in proper context, that it
24 is necessary at times for Dr. Trifkovic to refer to the historical
25 significance of various things such as the 1974 constitution, as well as
1 when the Bosnian Muslims were considered a constituent nation within the
2 former Yugoslavia in order --
3 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Sure, but I ask, and I advised you, to be as
4 short as possible.
5 MR. OSTOJIC: Fair enough. I'm trying my best, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you.
7 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you.
8 Q. I think, Dr. Trifkovic, you told us 1961. Briefly, with respect
9 to that date, prior to 1951, my last question I trust on the prior period,
10 were the Muslims of the former Yugoslavia a constituent nation?
11 A. The point I was trying to make earlier is that 1961 was the cutoff
12 point when they came Muslims with a capital "M" to use the parlance of
13 Tito's Yugoslavia from the time. But they were certainly treated as
14 Yugoslavs, ethnically not committed or nondeclared. And the point I was
15 trying to make is that their proclamation as a nation that carried a
16 confessional adjective carried a lot of semantic confusion, and that that
17 semantic confusion could have been avoided if previous rulers of Bosnia
18 been more careful and more mindful of the implications of the attachment
19 of a strictly confessional label to the name of an ethnic group.
20 I'm aware that we don't have time to dwell on this in detail, but
21 at the same time I think it's important to bear in mind that what happened
22 in 1961 with this formal designation was an act of communist volunteerism
23 par excellence. No reasonable person would deny that the Muslims as they
24 were known from that time on were an ethnic group in their own right with
25 their mentality, with their historical memories, with their political
1 interests. But that the choice of the Titoist establishment in the
2 selection of the term was most unfortunate.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 Directly, let me ask you this: Since 1938, when was the first
5 multiparty elections in the former Yugoslavia?
6 A. In 1990.
7 Q. What led to the November 1990 elections?
8 A. The collapse of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia that had
9 been on the cards for some years previously, but became fully apparent at
10 the 15th congress of the LCY in January of that year.
11 Q. Again, being reminded to pause. I'll attempt to do so. What if
12 anything was the significance of the November 1990 elections and why?
13 A. The significance was that the three ethnically-based parties, the
14 SDA, the HDZ/BH, and the SDS created a coalition in order to defeat the
15 renamed and formally restructured League of Communists. It is indeed
16 counterintuitive, but it makes a lot of sense, as I tried to point out in
17 my report, that the three parties that were very different in their
18 self-perception and their views of the future nevertheless entered a
19 tactical electoral alliance in order to get rid of the old lot and turn an
20 altogether new leaf. So what we had after the November election was a
21 tripartite coalition that entered into power-sharing arrangements at all
22 levels, both the government in Sarajevo and the municipalities.
23 Q. We're maybe getting a little quicker than I needed at this
24 moment. Were there other parties, political parties, that sought office
25 other than the three ethnic parties that you described? And if I may
1 just -- can you tell us what those three ethnically-based parties are and
2 tell us whether there were other parties that existed at that time.
3 A. The three ethnically-based parties were the SDA,, the Party of
4 Democratic Action; the Croatian democratic alliance of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
5 HDZ/BH; and the Serbian democratic party, SDS. We also had the renamed
6 communists led by Nijaz Durakovic, and we had the League of Communists
7 movement for Yugoslavia. It was a more doctrinaire party that claimed the
8 legacy of Titoism and was mainly supported by Partizan veterans and YPA
10 We had the alliance of reform forces led by then federal Prime
11 Minister Ante Markovic. And we had a whole array of smaller parties, most
12 of which did not obtain electoral -- rather parliamentary representation.
13 In fact, except for the ones that I've mentioned, I cannot recall others
14 that got into the assembly at that time.
15 Q. Now, the result of the elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina and former
16 Yugoslavia in November of 1990 resulted in a new power structure, as you
17 mentioned, three party coalition. Correct?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. Share with us how it worked and for how long it worked.
20 A. In the early months, it worked surprisingly well. In fact, the
21 proponents of the old regime were making very scary predictions about the
22 suggested inability of what they called nationalist parties to work
23 together. But in the period from November of 1990 until roughly the
24 summer of 1991, maybe for over half a year, the distribution of posts at
25 different levels proceeded relatively smoothly with a Muslim becoming
1 president of the collective presidency, a Croat becoming the prime
2 minister, and a Serb, the speaker of the assembly. And this pattern was
3 replicated through local agreements at the municipal level between the
4 three parties, depending on the ethnic composition of a given locality.
5 Q. When if at all did the tripartite coalition begin to have --
6 experience problems and why?
7 A. There is no cutoff date, but with the declaration of independence
8 by Croatia and Slovenia and the rising violence in Croatia, it became
9 obvious that the six-republic Yugoslavia as it had existed between 1945
10 and that time was no longer viable. With the prospect of the secession of
11 two republics, Croatia and Slovenia, the Muslim leadership increasingly
12 started talking of their intention to secede from rump Yugoslavia, of
13 their refusal to remain in the reduced Yugoslavia of four republics, and
14 the Serbs equally assertively talked of their determination not to be
15 taken out of the Yugoslav framework against their will.
16 So I would suggest that the symptoms of the breakdown in the
17 summer of 1991 were external to Bosnia-Herzegovina in that the divergent
18 views of the future were contingent upon the developments, primarily in
19 Croatia - Slovenia doesn't really come into this - developments over which
20 the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina had very little control. In addition,
21 the Tudjman regime in Zagreb had a vested interest in fanning the embers
22 of conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina, because at that time creating a
23 tactical alliance with the Muslims, who he otherwise disliked and
24 despised, was an exercise as far as he was concerned as politics of the
25 art of the possible.
1 Q. You mentioned, sir, the inner party agreement and the posts that
2 were initially obtained following the November 1990 elections. Can you
3 tell us to the extent that you know how many levels of government there
4 were post-November 1990?
5 A. There was the republic, there were the regions, and there were
7 Q. So those three forms of government existed, and people were
8 essentially elected to each of those posts. Correct?
9 A. Except for the regions where the nominations were based on the
10 already-elected bodies.
11 Q. Can you describe for us in a little more detail how the interparty
12 agreement worked and whether or not it worked on all three levels of
13 government, namely, the republic, regional, and municipal levels.
14 A. The first symptoms of serious tension in the functioning of the
15 agreement occurred in the summer of 1991 in relation to the distribution
16 of posts within the Ministry of the Interior, MUP. It is only with
17 hindsight that we know the extent to which the SDA activists had started
18 preparing for the possibility of armed conflict several months before this
19 tension became apparent, and it is only with hindsight, with the knowledge
20 that we have today, that we can fully understand the reasons that guided
21 the SDA-led Ministry of the Interior to risk the breakdown of the
22 agreement, or at least the tensions within its application, for the sake
23 of controlling the mechanism of the interior ministry both in the centre,
24 in Sarajevo, and to the greatest possible extent at the level of
1 But nevertheless, in answer to your question, the real breakdown
2 occurs in October of 1991, specifically on the night of October 14th,
3 15th, when the Croat and Muslim deputies in the middle of the night and
4 without Serb deputies being in attendance adopted the memorandum on
5 independent and sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina.
6 Q. We'll get to that in a moment, Doctor. Let me just if, I may
7 focus, the question on the following, with the Court's permission: Do you
8 know what the chamber of equality of nations is and how does it play a
9 role in Bosnia-Herzegovina and specifically the effect it may have on the
10 Prijedor Municipality in 1992?
11 A. The chamber that you mention never came into being. And I stand
12 corrected: This was another reason for the tensions in the summer of
13 1991. It was a body that was envisaged under the amendments to the
14 constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina enacted in the summer of 1990,
15 amendments, by the way, that paved the way to the multiparty elections
16 four months later.
17 Under those amendments, a separate chamber was supposed to be
18 created within the Bosnia-Herzegovinian assembly that would be composed of
19 equal numbers of Serb, Croat, and Muslim deputies. I believe there were
20 supposed to be 20 of each, but I would need to check this. And that any
21 decision dealing with the constitutional issues and legal issues that may
22 affect the rights of the constituent nations of Bosnia-Herzegovina could
23 be referred to this body by at least 20 deputies in the chamber of
24 citizens in the BH assembly, and that only with the agreement of this
25 chamber and with the acceptance of the proposed legislation by the
1 representatives of all three constituent nations would it be possible to
2 take the draft back to the assembly for further debate and eventual vote.
3 This was really supposed to be an insurance policy for
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina's constituent nations against the possibility of two
5 ganging up against one. Oddly enough, in the summer of 1990, there were
6 some Muslims who believed that this body could also offer them a modicum
7 of protection against the possibility of Serbs and Croats getting together
8 in order to engineer some kind of split or partition. But in the event,
9 by 1991, a tactical alliance was in the making between Croats and Muslims
10 for different reasons. We may get into those later on. And they refused
11 to proceed with the establishment of this Chamber which was a source of
12 endless complaints and deep mistrust on the Serb side.
13 Q. Immediately prior to the war in Croatia, was Bosnia-Herzegovina
14 part of what was considered at that time the former Yugoslavia, as a
15 republic state?
16 A. It most certainly was.
17 Q. And during that time, as a member of the former Yugoslavia, it
18 being a republic state, was there a decision made by any political parties
19 as to what position should be taken in a conflict by a seceding former
20 republic, namely Croatia?
21 A. There was a great deal of ambiguity, and one might even say
22 duplicity on the part of the SDA. On the one hand, many public statements
23 were made to the effect that the Muslims would remain impartial and
24 neutral in the Serb/Croat dispute that by the summer of 1991 escalated
25 into a shooting war in Croatia. On the other hand, however, as early as
1 March 1991, political decisions were made to start creating a paramilitary
2 Muslim militia, and even before the first shots were fired in Croatia, in
3 early June of 1991, this was given full political imprimatur of the top
4 SDA leadership.
5 By June of 1991, with the secession of Croatia and Slovenia
6 clearly on the agenda, Izetbegovic's view was fairly faithfully reflected
7 in his memorable statement that he would be prepared to sacrifice peace in
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina for the sake of independence, sovereignty, but he would
9 not be prepared to sacrifice independence for the sake of peace.
10 As far as the SDS was concerned, it's posture was throughout this
11 period largely reactive, which reflected its essentially -- essential
12 preference for the status quo, i.e., Bosnia-Herzegovina should remain
13 within Yugoslavia, any Yugoslavia. And as far as the HDZ is concerned,
14 they were hardly an autonomous body within Bosnia-Herzegovina, to all
15 practical intents and purposes, their policy was created in Zagreb. And
16 their view was that they would pay lip service to Bosnia's independence
17 and territorial integrity as the first step to what they themselves and
18 everybody else knew was their long-term objective, which is either to
19 attach the whole of Bosnia-Herzegovina to a Greater Croatia, or else to
20 have a de facto annexation of the majority Croat areas of western
21 Herzegovina and the Sava River valley to Croatia.
22 Q. Dr. Trifkovic, you mentioned approximately 25 minutes or so ago
23 the memorandum on sovereignty. Can you tell us when that was passed and
24 the circumstances surrounding its ultimate implementation.
25 A. The memorandum was the subject of a heated debate in the four days
1 preceding the illegal vote on the night of October 14/15th, and it was
2 prompted by the involvement of what goes under the name of the
3 international community, and was primarily at that time limited to what
4 until the end of 1991 was the European Community.
5 Q. Doctor, I apologise to interrupt. But when you say October 14th
6 and 15th, that is also of 1991. Is that correct?
7 A. Yes, correct.
8 Q. Thank you. Please proceed.
9 A. The Serb deputies claimed that the assembly was not authorised to
10 put this issue to the vote without the agreement and the participation of
11 the Serbs, and when the debate was adjourned on the evening of October
12 14th, Serbian deputies simply left assuming that this was the end of the
13 proceedings for the day. But Croats and Muslims were surreptitiously
14 informed to reconvene, one might say, conspiratorially and in the middle
15 of the night and to carry the vote by simple majority.
16 I am not a constitutional lawyer, and so I can only limit my
17 comments on this particular episode to the opinion of people who are, such
18 as Robert Hayden, who has no doubt that this move was both illegal and
19 illegitimate. What I can say is that in political terms, it was
20 tantamount to throwing a gauntlet to the Serbs effectively telling them
21 that the principle of consensual decision-making is out, that the
22 principle of simple majority rule is in, and that an effectively
23 revolutionary act was performed on that night with which they will have to
24 live whether they wanted it or not.
25 MR. OSTOJIC: I'm not sure if the Court wants me to proceed now or
1 if there's any...
2 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: [Microphone not activated]
3 MR. OSTOJIC:
4 Q. Sir, there was an issue in our case specifically relating to a
5 referendum that was ultimately called for in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Can
6 you tell us about that. When it was, how it came into being, and why was
7 it called?
8 A. The referendum was the direct consequence of the encouragement
9 given by the Badinter commission created by the European Union to the
10 republics of the former Yugoslavia to apply for recognition and the
11 deadline of January 15th was given.
12 Q. Of 1992. Correct?
13 A. Of 1992.
14 Q. Thank you. I apologise.
15 A. The Badinter commission further postulated two things, one that
16 because the will of the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina had not been clearly
17 expressed, this verification ought to be done by the means of a
18 referendum. And secondly, that in future arrangements, and I quote from
19 memory: "Minority rights of the Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina would have to
20 be respected."
21 Now, this was a doubly alarming development as far as the Serbs
22 were concerned because in Croatia it was already decided by the Tudjman
23 regime that they would be denied the status of a constituent nation under
24 the Croatian constitution. Let us remember that both in Croatia and in
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Serbs were, in the case of Croatia, one of two; in
1 the case of Bosnia-Herzegovina, one of three constituent nations.
2 Suddenly in Croatia, they faced the situation of being reduced to the
3 level of an ethnic minority overnight. And in the case of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the proposed rules of the Badinter commission, and
5 also the substance of a referendum threatened to do the same, i.e., in
6 constitutional terms, they lose the status of a constituent nation and
7 they lose the right to consensual decision-making on issues of vital
8 importance to the future of the three constituent nations and of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina as a whole.
10 In practical terms, the referendum, which is an inherently
11 unsuitable mechanism for ethnically mixed environments was suggested
12 because it was clearly the mechanism which, if based on the simply
13 majority of 50 per cent plus 1, as Izetbegovic interpreted it to mean,
14 meant the exclusion of one whole group. In this particular case, the
15 Serbs, but because of the peculiar arithmetics of the Bosnian situation,
16 that could have also meant Serbs plus Croats versus Muslims deciding in a
17 referendum to carve Bosnia up and disintegrate it or Serbs and Muslims
18 outvoting the Croats and deciding to remain part of Yugoslavia.
19 Either way, referenda are taken by constitutional scholars to be
20 appropriate, especially in simple majority is required, only in monoethnic
21 environments to decide on issues such as in the case of Italy in 1947
22 whether it would be a republic or a monarchy and so on. The referendum on
23 Bosnia's sovereignty and independence on February 29th and March the 1st
24 was no more than a population census. And its inherent illegality and
25 illegitimacy was compounded by the fact that only 62 per cent of
1 registered voters turned up, and 61 point some voted in favour, which
2 means that even in terms of the accepted principle of established
3 democracies, that two-thirds majority would be required to alter
4 constitutional arrangements was also disregarded, all of which provided us
5 with the fuel for raised expectations on one side and the dark foreboding
6 of the denial of all rights and the interest in these proceedings on the
8 MR. OSTOJIC: Shall I proceed? Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. What was the SDS, and the Serb, the ethnic Serbs reaction, to the
10 referendum of February 29, March 1st, 1992?
11 A. There was no immediate reaction, because at that time,
12 negotiations were preceding under the auspices of the Portuguese diplomat
13 Cutileiro who was working closely with the EU chief negotiator Lord Peter
14 Carrington, that sought to rearrange Bosnia-Herzegovina into a de facto
15 federation of three ethnically-based cantonal units. The Serbs were
16 prepared to contemplate the possibility of Bosnia-Herzegovina's
17 independence, provided that this was accompanied by international
18 guarantees that internal rearrangement of its constitutional principles on
19 the basis of three ethnically-based units would be supported by the EC or
20 EU, and accepted by the other two parties.
21 In the event it was accepted by the HDZ but rejected by the SDA
22 [Realtime transcript read in error "SDS"], for reasons that would probably
23 need more detailed elaboration than the time allows us now, and the result
24 was, I believe, on 28th of March, the walkout of Serb deputies from the
25 joint assembly which was preceded, of course, on the 9th of January, 1991,
1 with the creation of the Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which in
2 itself was the reaction to the SDA/HDZ request for EU recognition.
3 I'm afraid with this question, we moved -- we jumped across
4 several other intermediary stages.
5 Q. Yes, and we'll address those. Dr. Trifkovic, before you is a
6 monitor, and specifically on page 79, line 10, it states that "this was
7 rejected by the SDS." I believe your testimony was that this was rejected
8 by the SDA.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. So it's just a mistake in terms of what they heard or how you may
11 have said it. Correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. In fact, what was the position of the SDS?
14 A. The position of the SDS in the aftermath of what we can now call
15 the historic night of October 14th/15th was that the Serbian people of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina will not be taken out of Yugoslavia by force and will
17 not be prevented from exercising its legal and constitutional rights as
18 guaranteed both by the Serbian and -- sorry, the Yugoslav and the
19 Bosnia-Herzegovinian constitution.
20 An immediate reaction took the form of the plebiscite of the Serb
21 people in Bosnia-Herzegovina on November 8th, but it is important to
22 remember that the plebiscite, unlike the referendum, did not represent an
23 attempt to undermine the Bosnia-Herzegovinian political and constitutional
24 framework; it had the character more of a declaratory and symbolic
25 collection of the will of the Serbs in the republic. Likewise, the
1 proclamation of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina on January 9th
2 of 1992 was a reactive move, reactive to the stated intent of European
3 Community to recognise Bosnia and the stated intent of the SDA/HDZ
4 coalition to seek that recognition. And it still by virtue of postulating
5 the Bosnia-Herzegovinian framework did not seek the separation of the
6 Serbian political entity from the BH framework. That, in actual fact,
7 came later in the summer of 1992.
8 Q. Let me -- if I just may interrupt and clarify two points in our
9 historical continuum. When you say that the memorandum of sovereignty was
10 October 14th and 15th of 1991, the reaction or the response by the Serbs,
11 namely the SDS, was this plebiscite on November 8th of 1991. Correct?
12 A. Correct, except that it wasn't just an SDS plebiscite. Other
13 political groups, some of them hitherto opposed to the SDS as well as
14 other nationalist parties as they called them, came out in favour of
15 Yugoslav framework, notably the League of Communists movement for
16 Yugoslavia, and a host of influential social and political organisations
17 such as the veterans' association, Savez Borez [phoen].
18 Q. Now, explain to me, if you can, the formation and proclamation of
19 the Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that was a response to what
20 exactly? Why did the Serbs form their own republic on the 9th of January,
22 A. That was the response to the deadline for the request for
23 recognition of Yugoslavia's former republics which was the 15th of January
24 of 1992 and the declared intention of the rump presidency and the rump
25 leadership in Sarajevo, "rump" meaning the SDA/HDZ coalition, to seek that
1 recognition. Having ascertained that their protests and their demands for
2 the respect of constitutionality and legality were in vain, the Serbian
3 leaders opted for what one might term extra constitutional course, but
4 ever after October 14th, everybody was acting extra constitutionally and
5 extra legally.
6 So whereas in isolation, that act did not have its basis in the
7 1974 constitution or the 1990 amendments, it is impossible to look at it
8 in isolation from the developments that had preceded had. And most
9 notably, the decision by the rump BH assembly to act illegally and
10 unconstitutionally three weeks previously. I'm talking about the
11 plebiscite. To act illegally and unconstitutionally starting with the
12 night of October 14th, 15th.
13 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you.
14 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Before we conclude, I would like to tell the
15 parties that Madam Registrar informed me that we could sit from 1600
16 [Realtime transcript read in error "1400"] to 1800 hours in Courtroom III
17 tomorrow instead of 1700 to 1900 hours in Courtroom I. In this regard,
18 may I ask Madam Registrar will it be possible to sit an extra hour in Room
19 I from 18 to 19?
20 THE REGISTRAR: First of all, it's from 16 hours to 18 hours, and
21 not from 14 to 18. Regarding a third hour of hearing, so far I don't
22 think it's possible. I will again double check, but I wouldn't count on
23 this third hour for tomorrow.
24 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Okay. Then what will be of option of --
25 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I think we better raise this. I don't
1 know. Dr. Trifkovic as I understood it was due to testify Wednesday. It
2 was then put back until Thursday. I'm told by Mr. Ostojic that
3 Dr. Trifkovic cannot be here after tomorrow. He will not be concluded at
4 the rate we're going in chief. I don't know even know that we're going to
5 finish in chief tomorrow by the rate we're going. But he certainly --
6 cross won't be concluded in two hours tomorrow. So it's up to Your
7 Honours to either order Dr. Trifkovic to come back on Monday or whatever
8 is the appropriate solution.
9 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Yes, Mr. Ostojic.
10 MR. OSTOJIC: I'm just merely waiting for my -- yes. Thank you.
11 Your Honour, Dr. Trifkovic, we believe, is obviously an important witness
12 for the Defence. And in the entire historical and political perspective
13 offered here. Another solution may be is that we request, as opposed to
14 order, Dr. Trifkovic to come the week after the 21st, which I understand
15 his schedule may permit. However, we know and understand, and we are
16 committed to concluding this case on the 21st of March as ordered and
17 agreed to by the parties.
18 I don't necessarily and would not like to impose an order on
19 Dr. Trifkovic. And I committed personally to him that he would be
20 complete this week. Some of this is obviously outside our control in
21 light of the prior two witnesses that we had. But I would accept any
22 suggestion the Court has, and perhaps we can ask Dr. Trifkovic himself
23 since we are no longer able to have contact with him what exactly his
24 schedule is and how he can assist us in that vein.
25 THE WITNESS: On Thursday on Friday next week, I have
1 long-scheduled lectures at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, and
2 the University of Toronto which if cancelled, and they had been advertised
3 in advance, and will not be catastrophe, of course, but would create
4 embarrassment and inconvenience. So I don't know if you will indeed
5 conclude the proceedings by the 21st, if there is any possibility of this
6 not being so, I would be happy to re-present myself on Monday --
7 MS. KORNER: I'm not quite clear, what's wrong with next Monday is
8 the lecture is the end of next week. What is wrong -- Monday is, in fact,
9 the 17th of March. And if the lecture is at the end, certainly
10 Dr. Trifkovic won't go beyond the Monday, provided I get the amount of
11 time that I told Mr. Ostojic I need.
12 THE WITNESS: What I didn't emphasise is that I, as it happens,
13 have to earn my daily bread, and that my absence from my day job which is
14 at the "Chronicles" magazine at the Rockford Institute which has already
15 been somewhat reluctantly accepted by my editor will request my presence
16 for the conclusion of the May issue of the magazine and the editing of the
17 website. I know that these are mundane personal issues that may be of no
18 particular relevance to the Court. But they matter a great deal to me
20 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: But, Dr. Trifkovic, you know, you were informed
21 beforehand about your testimony before the Tribunal. And the Bench hoped
22 that the Defence explain you the specifics of testimony before the Court
23 and the delays that are possible. So you had to reserve some extra time.
24 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I certainly did do that because I came
25 on Tuesday morning. And I was told that the three full days, Wednesday,
1 Thursday, and Friday, would be more than ample. I actually spent a whole
2 day Tuesday and whole day yesterday and most of the day today just waiting
3 for this moment to come. So --
4 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: I understand your difficulties. But the
5 Defence had to organise the order and the time of witnesses in a more
6 proper way.
7 THE WITNESS: If I have any choice in the matter, I would rather
8 be back in Rockford to complete the issue of the magazine on Tuesday and
9 Wednesday, and cancel my lectures and fly back rather than stay until
11 MR. OSTOJIC: With all due respect to the Court, we were ordered,
12 and we tried painstakingly through the court officer to explain the
13 situation with the witnesses. But the Court called two judicial
14 witnesses, specifically. And it was our understanding that those
15 witnesses would take no longer than a day. And it transpired the first
16 witness took far longer which we anticipated. The second witness also
17 took far longer than it should have. And I understand the Defence brought
18 the witness in anticipation that he would testify. We obviously didn't
19 anticipate the Court maintenance for this Friday because we haven't had
20 one in several months. And previously when I spoke to Dr. Trifkovic in
21 February and prior to that, it was these three days that we scheduled him
23 We believe that the two options that are available are the one
24 that Dr. Trifkovic suggests, coming later in the week next week, although
25 I have to check with my other witness. The Court in its discretion may
1 open the deadline of March 21st so that Dr. Trifkovic can come back on
2 March 24th to conclude his testimony. That's certainly up to the Court to
3 make that decision.
4 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Let us explore the possibility to have
5 Dr. Trifkovic's testimony next week. Let us think about that. And
6 tomorrow we come again to this question -- to this issue.
7 MR. OSTOJIC: I do have one other question if I may, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: No.
9 MR. OSTOJIC: No, thank you.
10 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Dr. Trifkovic, until your testimony here is
11 concluded, you may not contact the representatives of either the Defence
12 or the Prosecution.
13 THE WITNESS: I understand that.
14 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Please be back tomorrow at -- we agreed, yes,
15 at 1600 hours to continue with your evidence in this case. You're
17 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
18 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And one last question to the Defence.
19 Mr. Lukic, do you have any new information on the Defence witnesses for
20 the next week?
21 [The witness stands down]
22 MR. LUKIC: First of all, we contacted the Witness 089. And now
23 it's definite that he is not going to come the next week. We could not
24 convince him because of his illness, and we didn't have a right to try to
25 endanger his health.
1 Regarding the other witness, 058, who was also examined by a
2 doctor today. We couldn't find him. So hopefully, we'll try tonight, and
3 we'll have the definite answer tomorrow whether he's able to come or not.
4 Also due to his sickness.
5 And to be able to schedule Dr. Trifkovic, we would like to know
6 whether this trial would be finalised on the 21st or, as we heard some
7 rumours, that it might be prolonged in the week of 24th with the Trial
8 Chamber witness. So if that week would be open, maybe we can put
9 Dr. Trifkovic in that week. If not, we'll then have to deal only with the
10 next week. And in that case, maybe we could ask Dr. Trifkovic to consent
11 to testify the next week.
12 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: I have heard any [sic] rumours. So let us
13 return to this issue tomorrow.
14 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: The trial stays adjourn until tomorrow, 4.00
16 p.m., Courtroom Number III.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
18 at 7.23 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday,
19 the 14th day of March, 2003,
20 at 4.00 p.m.