During cross-examination before the Hague Tribunal, Prosecution witness Robert Donia says Radovan Karadzic became involved in Serb separatist activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina even before the possibility of maintaining Yugoslavia had ceased to exist.
Answering the indictee’s questions during cross-examination, Donia, an American historian, testifying at the trial of Radovan Karadzic before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY, said he considered Bosnian Serbs to have been “separatists”.
“You formed various associations of municipalities, which had separatist political intentions in the first months of 1991. Those were so-called Serb autonomous regions. In the meantime, you became involved in establishing relations with military forces which promoted separatism,” Donia said.
Karadzic is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violation of the laws and customs of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1992 to 1995.
Among other things, the indictment alleges that he took part in the establishment of and support for political and state bodies of Bosnian Serbs, paramilitary forces and volunteer units, which he used as a means of executing a joint criminal enterprise with the aim of permanently removing Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats from the territories claimed by Bosnian Serbs.
When asked by Karadzic if staying in Yugoslavia was “the option preferred” of the Serb people in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1991, Donia answered affirmatively.
Donia said the second goal if the federal republics of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina declared independence was to keep all territories on which Bosnian Serbs were in the majority, in a so-called “Greater Serbia”.
Karadzic asked the witness if he considered that the outbreak of the conflict in Croatia in 1991 had an impact on the development of fear among the Serb people in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Donia accepted this.
“The events that took place in Croatia affected all Bosnians. However, I deny the statement that the Serb people is a homogenous body, whose members do not differ from each other and can be represented by one voice or one individual. I know you are governed by this idea in your life. This idea is the central point of your belief. However, some Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina had different stands towards the conflict in Croatia,” the witness said.
The cross-examination of Donia is due to continue on Tuesday, June 8 this year.