Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

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 1                           Wednesday, 6 July 2011

 2                           [Initial Appearance]

 3                           [Open session]

 4                           [The accused entered court]

 5                           --- Upon commencing at 3.04 p.m.

 6             JUDGE HALL:  Yes, Mr. Registrar.

 7             THE REGISTRAR:  Good afternoon, Your Honour.  This is case number

 8     IT-03-67-R77.4, in the matter of Vojislav Seselj.

 9             JUDGE HALL:  Thank you, Mr. Registrar.  Good afternoon to

10     everyone.

11             Mr. Seselj, are you hearing me in a language you understand?

12             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am hearing you in translation

13     into the Serbian language, which is the only language that I understand.

14     Here they have been inventing some new languages, Croatian, Bosnian, and

15     what have you, but I only understand the Serbian language and I shall not

16     allow my native tongue to be insulted by being designated B/C/S or some

17     similar designations.

18             JUDGE HALL:  Well, inasmuch as you do understand me, do I take it

19     that you represent yourself in this initial appearance today?

20             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I shall be representing myself

21     also in all coming cases regarding contempt.  I have planned another

22     seven cases, another seven proceedings to take place for contempt of

23     court, in addition to this one.

24             JUDGE HALL:  Well, notwithstanding that, you may have heard this

25     before, I would begin by reminding you that you enjoy the right to remain

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 1     silent at all times during these proceedings.  And I will begin by

 2     briefly outlining the background to this case and the charge contained in

 3     the order in lieu of indictment issued against you, which for simplicity

 4     I would refer to as the indictment.

 5             On the 24th of July, 2009, in case number IT-03-67-R77.2, the

 6     Chamber found Mr. Seselj guilty of contempt for knowingly disclosing

 7     confidential information pertaining to three witnesses in a book and

 8     sentenced Mr. Seselj to a term of 15 months' imprisonment and ordered him

 9     to remove the book from his web site.  During the course of the appellate

10     proceedings in that case, the Chamber ordered Mr. Seselj to remove

11     several confidential filings as well as the book from his web site.  On

12     the 3rd of August, 2010, the Office of the Prosecutor filed the urgent

13     motion under Rule 77 concerning violation of orders of the

14     Appeals Chamber before the Appeals Chamber, seeking, among other things,

15     an order in lieu of indictment against Mr. Seselj for violating the

16     orders of the Appeals Chamber to remove the confidential filings and the

17     book from his web site.

18             On the 15th of October, 2010, that part of the Office of the

19     Prosecutor's motion was referred to this Chamber.  On the 31st of January

20     and the 17th of February, 2011, this Chamber issued orders in case number

21     IT-03-67-R77.3 ordering Mr. Seselj to remove confidential material from

22     his web site.  On the 31st of January, 2011, this Chamber issued an order

23     in case IT-02-54-Misc.4 also ordering Mr. Seselj to remove confidential

24     items from his web site.  On the 9th of May, 2011, this Chamber issued

25     the confidential decision on failure to remove confidential information

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 1     from the web site, noting that each of the filings and books that

 2     Mr. Seselj had been ordered to remove pursuant to the orders of this

 3     Chamber and the Appeals Chamber remained available on the web site and

 4     initiating contempt proceedings against him for knowingly and wilfully

 5     failing to comply with the Chamber's orders.  The indictment was appended

 6     to that decision.

 7             Mr. Seselj, according to the indictment you're charged with one

 8     count of contempt of the Tribunal, punishable under Rule 77(A) and

 9     Rule 77(A)(ii) for knowingly and wilfully failing to comply with the

10     Chamber's order to remove confidential information from the web site.

11             At this point I would invite you, Mr. Seselj, to formally

12     identify yourself by name and how otherwise you are known and identified.

13             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am Dr. Vojislav Seselj,

14     university professor and the greatest enemy of the Tribunal at The Hague.

15             JUDGE HALL:  Thank you.  Is there anything else you wish to add

16     by way of identification?

17             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, there are many things that I

18     could state, for instance, that I'm the only indictee who managed to tear

19     apart the ICTY, that the ICTY has lost all moral and professional

20     credibility in the proceedings conducted against me.  I could talk all

21     day long about the results and the successes of my nine-year-long

22     struggle with the Tribunal in The Hague.  I'm not sure that you are

23     prepared to listen to all that, Your Honour.

24             JUDGE HALL:  Thank you.

25             Mr. Registrar, again, I would -- would you be so kind as to read

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 1     out Articles 20 and 21 of the Tribunal's Statute.

 2             THE REGISTRAR:  Yes, Your Honour.

 3             "Article 20:  Commencement and conduct of trial proceedings.

 4             1.  The Trial Chambers shall ensure that a trial is fair and

 5     expeditious and that proceedings are conducted in accordance with the

 6     Rules of Procedure and Evidence with full respect for the rights of the

 7     accused and due regard for the protection of victims and witnesses.

 8             2.  A person against whom an indictment has been confirmed shall,

 9     pursuant to an order or arrest warrant of the international tribunal, be

10     taken into custody, immediately informed of the charges against him and

11     transferred to the international tribunal.

12             3.  The Trial Chamber shall read the indictment, satisfy itself

13     that the rights of the accused are respected, confirm that the accused

14     understands the indictment, and instructs the accused to enter a plea.

15     The Trial Chamber shall then set a date for trial.

16             4.  The hearing shall be public unless the Trial Chamber decides

17     to close the proceedings in accordance with its Rules of Procedure and

18     Evidences.

19             Article 21:  Rights of the accused.

20             1.  All persons shall be equal before the international tribunal.

21             2.  In the determination of charges against him, the accused

22     shall be entitled to a fair and public hearing subject to Article 22 of

23     the Statute.

24             3.  The accused shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty

25     according to the provisions of the present Statute.

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 1             4.  In the determination of any charge against the accused

 2     pursuant to the present Statute, the accused shall be entitled to the

 3     following minimum guarantees in full equality.

 4             (A) To be informed promptly and in detail in a language which he

 5     understands of the nature and the charge of the cause against him.

 6             (B) To have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of

 7     his defence and to communicate with counsel of his own choosing.

 8             (C) To be tried without undue delay.

 9             (D) To be tried in his presence and to defend himself in person

10     or through legal assistance of his own choosing.  To be informed if he

11     does not have legal assistance of this right and to have legal assistance

12     assigned to him in any case where the interests of justice so require and

13     without payment by him in any such case if he does not have sufficient

14     means to pay for it.

15             (E) To examine or have examined the witnesses against him and to

16     obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under

17     the same conditions as witnesses against him.

18             (F) To have the free assistance of an interpreter if he cannot

19     understand or speak the language used in the International Tribunal.

20             (G) Not to be compelled to testify against himself or to confess

21     guilt."

22             JUDGE HALL:  Thank you, Mr. Registrar.

23             Mr. Seselj, would you confirm the information that I have that

24     you are in receipt of the indictment in your own language.

25             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I have received the

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 1     indictment, but it was as far back as on the 12th of May.  So I can see

 2     that this provision of the Statute is not being honoured, namely, that

 3     there should be no delays in my trial.  It was -- it was on the 9th of

 4     May that the indictment was issued and it was submitted to me on the 12th

 5     of May, so that some two months have already elapsed in fact for this

 6     initial appearance of mine to only take place today.  It was not

 7     scheduled, Mr. Hall, within a reasonable period of time.

 8             JUDGE HALL:  Your observations about delay are noted, Mr. Seselj.

 9             Now, you have the right to have the indictment read out in its

10     entirety or you may choose to waive that right.  Which do you prefer?

11     What is your choice?

12             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Hall, I waive none of my

13     rights.  I insist that the indictment be read in extenso so that the

14     public would see what it is that the Tribunal does because the public is

15     quite aware of what it is that I am doing but it is not aware exactly

16     what it is that the Tribunal is doing.

17             JUDGE HALL:  Well, bearing in mind the public interest in this

18     matter, I am going to invite the Registrar to read out the public version

19     of the indictment.

20             THE REGISTRAR:  Yes, Your Honour.

21             The Order in Lieu of an Indictment.

22             "Vojislav Seselj born in 1954 in Sarajevo, Republic of Bosnia and

23     Herzegovina, and currently on trial before the Tribunal is charged with

24     one count of contempt of the Tribunal pursuant to Rule 77(A) and

25     77(A)(ii) of the Rules as detailed below" --

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 1             THE INTERPRETER:  Please slow down for the benefit of the

 2     interpreters.

 3             THE REGISTRAR:  "Vojislav Seselj was ordered to remove various

 4     documents revealing confidential information the number a number of

 5     protected witnesses from case number IT-03-67 from his web site.  The

 6     documents to be removed included three books authored by Vojislav Seselj

 7     and five filings made by him in case number IT-03-67-T, case number

 8     IT-03-67-R77.3 and IT-03-67-R77.2A.  Vojislav Seselj acknowledged receipt

 9     of the Appeals Chamber's decision and the Chamber's orders to remove the

10     confidential information from his web site on 5 January 2010 and

11     2 February 2011 and 21 February 2011 respectively.  As of 9 May, the

12     three books and the five filings remained available on Vojislav Seselj's

13     web site.

14             "The charges:

15             "By his acts and omissions Vojislav Seselj committed contempt of

16     the Tribunal punishable under this Tribunal's inherent powers and

17     Rule 77(A) and 77(A)(ii) of the Rules for knowingly and wilfully

18     interfering with the administration of justice by failing to remove from

19     the web site confidential information in violation of orders of the

20     Chamber."

21             JUDGE HALL:  Thank you.

22             Mr. Seselj, the Rules provide that in proceedings --

23             THE INTERPRETER:  Please slow down for the interpreters to finish

24     the reading.  Thank you very much.

25             JUDGE HALL:  I'm sorry.  That under Rule 77(E) you would be

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 1     called upon to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty on each count of the

 2     indictment within ten days from the initial appearance.  Under

 3     Rule 62(A)(iii) you may decide to immediately enter such a plea, and I

 4     also need to point out to you that should you fail to enter a plea at the

 5     initial appearance or any further appearance, the Trial Chamber under

 6     Rule 62(A)(iv) shall enter a plea of not guilty on your behalf.

 7             So my question to you now is whether you are prepared to enter a

 8     plea today?

 9             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Hall, over these nine years I

10     never was a factor who procrastinated proceedings against me.  The

11     proceedings were delayed either by the OTP or by the Trial Chamber.  I am

12     ready to enter a plea today and I say that I'm not guilty.  At the same

13     time, I challenge the right of the Tribunal at The Hague to conduct

14     proceedings for contempt against me because contempt of court proceedings

15     absolutely cannot be conducted for an indictee accused for the gravest

16     crimes and not in the common-law system or in the continental system

17     either.

18             JUDGE HALL:  Thank you.  So we have noted that you have entered a

19     plea of not guilty.

20             [Microphone not activated] I'm sorry, my microphone was off.

21             To remind you that you are of course -- it is open to you, of

22     course, to change your plea at any later stage of the proceedings.

23             I return to a matter that I raised at the very beginning, and

24     that is the question of legal representation.  Is it the position that

25     you are representing yourself?  Would you be so good as to confirm that?

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 1             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I represent myself in this

 2     case as well.

 3             JUDGE HALL:  Well, I am to remind you that self-representation is

 4     a qualified right under the Statute and the Rules provide that the

 5     Trial Chamber may, if it decides to do so in the interests of justice,

 6     instruct the Registrar to assign counsel to represent your interests.

 7             Now, again under the Rules, within ten days of this initial

 8     appearance you shall be provided in a language that you understand copies

 9     of the supporting material accompanying the indictment.

10             On the 23rd of May you signed a proces-verbal indicating that you

11     received 16 documents which were referred to in the Chamber's decision on

12     failure to remove confidential information from the web site of the

13     9th of July, 2011.  Additionally the Chamber hereby directs the Registry

14     to provide the accused with its Rule 33(B) submission dated the 24th of

15     June, 2011, as well as the annexes thereto within ten days from today.

16     And I remind you, Mr. Seselj, that these materials are to remain

17     confidential.

18             I am also to remind you that preliminary motions under Rule 72(A)

19     are to be filed within a ten-day period once you have received all of the

20     supporting material in accordance with Rule 66.

21             Mr. Seselj, are you in a position to today to say how long you

22     would need to prepare your defence?

23             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm ready for the trial right away,

24     but there is a problem, Mr. Hall.  Whether the problem is solved or not,

25     I'm prepared for the trial.  You can schedule the trial as early as

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 1     tomorrow.  I sent a letter to the Registry on the 13th of June in which I

 2     informed them that in this third case against me for contempt of court I

 3     shall be representing myself and that I have a designated Master of

 4     Juridical Sciences, Dejan Mirovic as my legal advisor and

 5     Nemanja Sarovic, Bachelor of Jurisprudence, as my case manager.  I

 6     requested the Registry to make it possible for my legal advisor and for

 7     my case manager to visit me immediately prior to my initial appearance

 8     and to be present today in the courtroom.  I asked that the Registry to

 9     that effect pay their travelling expenses.  You know that there is a

10     decision by the Trial Chamber in the main case to the effect that the

11     Registry shall finance my defence as of the day of the adoption of that

12     decision to the tune of 50 per cent, which would normally be assigned to

13     the defence of the accused who has an assigned defence counsel.  I am

14     contesting this decision of the Trial Chamber, but it has gone into

15     effect and the Appellate Chamber has confirmed it.  So that the minimum

16     which was to be observed by the Registry was to pay the travelling

17     expenses of my legal advisor and my case manager in order for them to

18     visit me and to attend this initial appearance of mine here today in the

19     courtroom.

20             Yesterday I received a letter by Anna Osure, deputy of the Legal

21     Assistance and Detention Affairs Unit and she said, in connection with my

22     letter, that they have taken note of the fact that I shall be assisted by

23     Mr. Mirovic and Mr. Sarovic, but none of the two gentlemen can be allowed

24     access to confidential materials or privileged communication.  But we are

25     talking about my legal advisor from the main case, who does already have

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 1     privileged communication with me and with whom I can establish daily

 2     telephone communications by safe telephone under number 9.  So he already

 3     has privileged status in the main case.  He also had such status in the

 4     two previous contempt of court cases and now he does not.  Nemanja

 5     Sarovic has been my case manager for a long time also in the main

 6     proceedings conducted against me and also was that in both cases for

 7     contempt of court.  They say that the Registry should make all the

 8     necessary basic checks with positive results, that yesterday on the 4th

 9     of July, in other words, they received the results of the basic checks

10     and given specific issues that that raised, they were in no position to

11     admit Mr. Mirovic as a privileged legal advisor until they received

12     additional information.

13             As far as Nemanja Sarovic is concerned, in connection with his

14     status, they are still -- or namely, the President of the Tribunal has

15     still not reached a decision pursuant to my appeal which I filed many

16     months ago which has to do with his status, both in the main proceedings

17     and in these contempt of court proceedings.  In the end they say that I'm

18     not entitled to financial resources, as financial assistance in the case,

19     nor to the travelling expenses of my legal advisor.

20             In addition, and I quote:

21             "The Registry has not been satisfied that the initial appearance

22     justifies deviation from the guide-lines of the Registry, especially in

23     the absence of an order by the Trial Chamber for the attendance of your

24     associates in the courtroom."

25             Mr. Hall, in all civilised countries in the world it is the basic

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 1     right of the accused to have at the initial appearance his legal advisor

 2     sitting at his side, whether as defence counsel or legal advisor; that is

 3     the fundamental right.  And they are denying that right to me here.  That

 4     is why I demand that the Trial Chamber that you are a member of

 5     immediately adopt a decision -- rule in this case and order the Registry

 6     to honour the privileged status of my legal advisor Dejan Mirovic and my

 7     case manager Nemanja Sarovic, and to make it possible for them to visit

 8     me within reasonable intervals of time for the duration of this process.

 9             I was never unreasonable in that sense and I was never visited by

10     my advisors more often than once a month even in the main proceedings.

11     And in these secondary proceedings perhaps it will be necessary for them

12     to visit me once or twice during the entire case to assist me.

13             The fact that I have decided to self-represent does not literally

14     mean that I have to be alone.  The fact that I am self-represented means

15     that I am the first and the main -- the principal in my defence team but

16     I have to have assistants.  In some cases I have to have investigators,

17     et cetera.  In this case I probably should not be requiring any

18     investigators.  I had a problem in the last case of contempt of court.  I

19     brought ten witnesses.  I asked the Registry to make it possible for me

20     to prepare, to proof, those witnesses.  This Registry prevented

21     Mr. Mirovic and Mr. Sarovic from coming.  I never prepared those

22     witnesses at all, in any way.  That is scandalous.  No matter what the

23     first-instance judgement may be in this process, it has to crumble before

24     the Appellate Chamber when I tell them that I had not been given the

25     chance to prepare my witnesses.  These are things which actually

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 1     discredit the Tribunal much more than I myself am able to discredit it in

 2     the courtroom.  The Tribunal is discrediting itself the most, very often

 3     because of the cavalier attitude of the Registry.

 4             That is why I'm asking you as a Pre-Trial Judge and the

 5     Trial Chamber that you are a member of to make it possible for me in

 6     preparing the main trial to be able to communicate under privileged

 7     conditions with my legal advisor, with my case manager, and for the

 8     Tribunal to defray their travelling expenses.

 9             JUDGE HALL:  Thank you.  Of course the Trial Chamber is obliged

10     to resolve such matters as remain unresolved and which are properly

11     before it as distinct from those matters which are within the sole domain

12     of the Registry and which have at the other end of the spectrum have not

13     been resolved at the appellate level.  So we've noted everything that you

14     would have said today, Mr. Seselj.

15             Are there any other matters you wish to raise before we take the

16     adjournment?

17             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, Mr. Hall, I would like to

18     raise two issues.  The first question has to do with the conditions of

19     detention.  I am placed on the floor of the Detention Unit where

20     immediately after the -- his isolation was abolished,

21     General Ratko Mladic also arrived.  We socialise with him, we play chess,

22     we spent time with him.  However, the day before yesterday he had his

23     repeated -- his further initial appearance and he refused any possibility

24     of being represented by anyone from the list of the Registry and insisted

25     on exclusively his two chosen Defence counsel who he trusts.  And today

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 1     the decision arrived that General Mladic should be moved from our floor

 2     to some other floor, whatever.  It is not of consequence, within the same

 3     building.  And this decision was motivated by the assumption that

 4     General Mladic, by socialising with me and by playing a lot of chess with

 5     me, came under my influence and that I actually influenced him to refuse

 6     all the attorneys on the list of the Tribunal and to insist only on

 7     Milos Saljic, an attorney-at-law from Belgrade, and

 8     Professor Alexander Mezyaev from Moscow who he both absolutely trusts.  A

 9     certain Aleksandar Aleksic was tried to be imposed on him and some other

10     people.  It is true, I did say to him, You cannot absolutely have any

11     confidence in anyone from the list of the Tribunal.

12             JUDGE HALL:  Apart from the obvious fact that the arrangements at

13     the Detention Centre are the responsibility of the governor of the

14     Detention Centre, my question was I thought you were talking about that

15     you had a complaint in terms of your own detention, if you would confine

16     yourself to that.

17             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I was about to explain that,

18     Mr. Hall.  I personally am frustrated by such behaviour.  I have some

19     feeling of guilt that Mr. Mladic actually had to be moved on my account.

20     That is what frustrates me and a frustrated person cannot adequately

21     defend himself in court proceedings.  I have to steer clear of any

22     frustration.

23             Secondly, as you are perhaps the only Judge with whom I shall be

24     communicating as of this July until the summer recess of all of the

25     Tribunal generally, I demand, this being the ninth year that I've been in

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 1     detention, to be also granted annual leave.

 2             JUDGE HALL:  Is there anything else that you wish to raise?

 3             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This will suffice and I am raising

 4     this question of my annual leave before you because probably I will not

 5     have any contacts with the Trial Chamber in the main case until the

 6     closing arguments.  This was announced in their last decision, and who

 7     knows when that will be.  So I am asking you to grant me annual leave and

 8     many indictees here have been granted annual leave, and that was actually

 9     the term used in decisions when they were granted provisional releases.

10     Hadzihasanovic, the Muslim indictee, and Kubura, Kubura were -- these two

11     gentlemen were given such leaves.

12             JUDGE HALL:  I was going to ask for your assistance in explaining

13     for the purposes of the record and for the -- and so that the Registry

14     would fully understand what you're asking for, but did I understand you

15     to mean what is otherwise referred to as provisional release?  Is that

16     what your application is?

17             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm using it in that context and I

18     invoke the fact that that expression was already used for provisional

19     releases in the Hadzihasanovic/Kubura case.  That decision also stated

20     that they were being given annual leave for a month.  Please bear in mind

21     the fact that I have been here uninterruptedly for eight years and that

22     this has violated all world standards as to the length of detention.

23     Needless to say, there is also the fact that no one can guarantee for me.

24     The only guarantee for me can be me, myself, but you have to deal with

25     that problem.  These rules say guarantees must be provided.  There is no

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 1     one who can provide guarantees for me, so there is a legal lacuna there.

 2     But you, as the judge in charge, must deal with that legal lacuna in

 3     keeping with general legal principles.  What if someone is in no position

 4     to be provided any guarantees by anyone?  I am not going to ask for

 5     guarantees from the treacherous pro-Western regime in Belgrade.  I have

 6     no one else to turn to and I have been here for an accumulated period of

 7     eight years of detention.

 8             JUDGE HALL:  Can you assist me in this regard, Mr. Seselj, should

 9     I interpret what you said, orally and without previous notice, to be your

10     application for provisional release or do you intend to file a formal

11     motion seeking provisional release?  Did you understand my question?

12             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I understand, Mr. Hall, I

13     understand fully.  I will file no written application whatsoever.  You

14     know that in proceedings an oral application uttered in the courtroom has

15     the same legal force as a written motion --

16             JUDGE HALL:  Yes --

17             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- this has been recorded and it's

18     up to you to decide.

19             JUDGE HALL:  Yes, I understand that.  I just want to be clear

20     that what you said constitute your oral motion.  So the Chamber is seized

21     of it.  Thank you, Mr. Seselj.

22             And with that we would adjourn these proceedings to a date to be

23     fixed.  Thank you.

24                           --- Whereupon the Initial Appearance

25                           adjourned at 3.40 p.m.