1 Tuesday, 17 February 2004
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Open session]
4 --- Upon commencing at 11.04 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Madam Registrar, could you call the case,
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honour. Case number
9 IT-03-67-PT, the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
11 Dr. Seselj, can you follow the proceedings in a language that you
12 can understand?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] For the moment, yes. For the
14 moment, yes.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
16 So appearances for the Prosecution.
17 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Good morning, Your Honour. For the
18 Prosecution it's trial attorney Daniel Saxon, and my name is Hildegard
20 JUDGE AGIUS: And I am about to inform you, Mr. Seselj,
21 officially, although I am aware that you have been made aware of this
22 already, that Mr. Aleksandar Lazarevic is no longer standby counsel, not
23 because you requested his removal, but because as a consequence of what
24 you stated during the last Status Conference, he decided to take a
25 criminal action against you for slander, and that created a status of
1 conflict of interest, and he would no longer remain as a standby counsel.
2 So he has now been replaced by a Dutch lawyer, Mr. Tjarda Eduard van der
3 Spoel, as per decision of the Registrar dated the 16th of February, 2004.
4 Mr. van der Spoel is Dutch, as I explained earlier on. He was
5 lead Defence counsel in the case of Jean Kambanda, the former Prime
6 Minister of Rwanda in the proceedings which were conducted before the
7 International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. He was sworn in as an
8 attorney in Rotterdam way back in 1982 and he specialised in criminal law.
9 He is a member of the Dutch bar association, a member of the board, in
10 fact the treasurer of the Dutch Association of Defence Counsel and
11 chairman of the board and co-founder of the Rotterdam Association of
12 Defence Counsel.
13 Mr. van der Spoel, I suppose, has already been made aware of the
14 terms of reference that this Tribunal set out when Mr. Lazarevic was
15 appointed. If it's not the case, please speak out, Mr. van der Spoel. I
16 want to welcome you on board. You are not and you have not been appointed
17 as Defence counsel for the accused. In fact, the accused has a right to
18 obtain legal advice from a counsel of his own choice, provided this is
19 done in fulfilment of the requirements of our Rules.
20 So once more, welcome. I recognise your presence here in the
22 I will proceed with stating for the benefit of the public, in
23 particular, the reasons for this Trial Chamber holding a Status
24 Conference. The last Status Conference was held way back on the 29th of
25 October, 2003. In terms of and pursuant to Rule 65 bis of our Rules, the
1 Trial Chamber is required to hold a Status Conference not later than 120
2 days after the previous Status Conference, and the purpose of such Status
3 Conferences is to organise exchanges between the parties to ensure the
4 expeditious preparation for trial and to give an opportunity to the
5 accused to raise issues in relation to his or her mental and physical
6 condition, as well as conditions relating to his detention.
7 And I want to start this Status Conference by making a direct
8 reference to a matter that was raised by the accused during the last
9 Status Conference, following which the Trial Chamber indicated that it
10 will be taking direct interest, investigate the matter, and if necessary,
11 hold an additional Status Conference.
12 When we approached the end of the previous Status Conference,
13 Dr. Seselj complained that, with regard to his health condition, he needed
14 surgical intervention and had been ignored, with the result that for three
15 months he had not been given any attention at all and that he complained
16 that this situation could no longer be tolerated and was being detrimental
17 to his health. I did investigate straight away, immediately after the
18 Status Conference, only to find out that, albeit it was true that he
19 needed a surgical intervention, yet he was fully aware, as from a day
20 previous to the Status Conference itself, that an appointment had been
21 made for him for the week after to have this surgical intervention carried
23 I have a report from two persons indicating that Dr. Seselj was
24 fully aware that this matter was being attended to and that it would have
25 been resolved the week after. I do want to register my regret that you,
1 Dr. Seselj, took advantage of the situation and instead of complaining
2 that this could have taken a shorter time, you misled the Trial Chamber
3 into believing that this matter was not receiving attention when you were
4 actually aware that it was and that the appointment for surgical
5 intervention had already been fixed and it had been brought to your
7 I hope that in your future dealing with this Trial Chamber, with
8 me in particular, as a Pre-Trial Judge, you will be more honest and not
9 try to mislead me or the Trial Chamber into believing things that are not
10 true. And I send my message right.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Your microphone.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your interpretation does not
14 correspond to the facts. Are you going to allow me to say what I have to
15 say now? First of all, I waited three months for that surgical
16 intervention, and there is no country in the world wherefore such an
17 operation you have to wait for three months.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Stop. I will only allow you to explain
19 why you had been told a day before that there was an appointment for your
20 surgical intervention, and instead of giving that information, passing
21 that information to me as the Pre-Trial Judge, you hid that from me. You
22 just complained that you had been waiting for three months, without
23 telling me that you were aware that the intervention was going to take
24 place the week after. If you have an explanation for that, come forward.
25 If you don't, shut up.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I did not hide anything from you,
2 and it was to be expected, as in all other cases, that in preparing for a
3 Status Conference, you gather the necessary information as to the health
4 of the accused, who is to appear before you. Secondly, I officially was
5 not informed --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Stop.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- about the surgical intervention.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Stop. Are you denying that you had been made aware
9 that the surgical intervention was going to be carried out the week after?
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I am denying that. The nurse
11 told me that it might be the following week, just as she told me that on
12 two or three previous occasions, that it could be in a week's time and
13 wasn't in a week's time. So officially, I was not made aware of that, and
14 it is the head of the Detention Unit who, as a rule, informs the accused
15 about that, and not a nurse, who has no means of influencing the course of
17 JUDGE AGIUS: It's not for you to decide who tells you what. I am
18 informed, and I have no reason to doubt the information that I have been
19 given, that you were formally informed by the nurse and maybe by others,
20 that the surgical intervention was on schedule for the week after, and
21 that closes the matter, as far as I am concerned, and I am advising you
22 not to take this attitude with me, as the Pre-Trial Judge in this case,
23 because I will react.
24 The first matter on the agenda for --
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have something else to say.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: You will speak only when I let you speak,
2 Dr. Seselj.
3 The first item on the agenda is issues related to disclosure, and
4 I will first inform you that the Prosecution filed its second report
5 concerning disclosure, which was partly confidential, and in it, the first
6 thing that transpires is that the Prosecution indicates that
7 Rule 66(A)(ii) disclosure has not been completed because the Prosecution
8 sought the non-disclosure of some witness statements in the motion of the
9 10 September 2003 and were awaiting for the Trial Chamber's decision.
10 You can refer this to transcript page 125. The Trial Chamber
11 issued its decision on the 11th February, and in it, it decided two
12 things. First is that the Trial Chamber granted the request for the
13 issuance of a non-disclosure order under Rule 53(A), and secondly, it
14 ordered the Prosecution to provide more information to enable the Trial
15 Chamber to determine the request for pre-trial protective measures. I
16 checked earlier on today whether you have been served with a copy in your
17 own language of this decision by the Trial Chamber. I am informed that
18 you have been served with a copy today, and that is unfortunate, because I
19 precisely made sure that this decision was handed down on the 11th of
20 February, in order to enable you to have it served with it in advance,
21 well in advance of this Status Conference. Unfortunately, it didn't. I'm
22 just advising you that if you feel aggrieved by this decision, you have a
23 right of appeal and rather than discussing it here, you should make use of
24 that right, should you decide to do so.
25 With regard to the second part of that decision, I will come to
1 that later on in another part of today's agenda of this Status Conference.
2 Now, with regard to disclosure relating to Rule 67 material, in
3 the course of the last Status Conference, the accused provided the
4 Prosecution with a document of approximately 80 pages in the Serbo-Croat
5 language, under Rule 67(A)(ii)(b) relating to a special offence. Although
6 the Rule mentions that the Defence shall notify of Prosecutor of its
7 intent to offer a special defence, I had asked to be provided with a
8 courtesy copy, as one can read through the transcript of the last Status
9 Conference. The Prosecution did not object, and I'm grateful for that.
10 And the 80 pages supplied, forwarded by Dr. Seselj have now been
11 translated and a copy of the translated version was handed to me on
12 Monday, the 9th February. I have it here. I have started reading it. I
13 haven't finished as yet.
14 The Prosecution pointed out in its second report concerning
15 disclosure that it too is reviewing Dr. Seselj's document, with a view to
16 determining the factual and legal issues that are in dispute. This
17 determination will help the Prosecution to produce a list of exhibits and
18 begin disclosure of exhibits for trial pursuant to Rule 66(B). This
19 process also helps the Prosecution to produce its final pre-trial brief,
20 even though I must state that we are quite far from having reached that
21 stage as yet.
22 In addition, in the course of the last Status Conference, the
23 accused provided the Trial Chamber with three books which he alleged will
24 support his defence. Although the Prosecution indicated in Court that
25 they wanted to have copies, which would be provided by the accused at the
1 next Status Conference, my legal staff inform me that they have been
2 informed by the Prosecution that they do not require any further -- any
3 copies of these three books for the time being.
4 So that is the position relating to Rule 77 material, as far as
5 disclosure is concerned.
6 I think that before I move to Rule 68 material, I will stop here
7 for a moment. I will ask you, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, if you have any remarks
8 to make on disclosure under Rule 66 and under Rule 67, and I will then
9 give the floor to Dr. Seselj.
10 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour has summarised the situation
11 correctly except for one little detail. The document that we received
12 from the accused was actual 294 pages long, so much more than you
13 indicated. And we have reviewed this document, but -- and now fully
14 understand the nature of the accused's defence and we will focus
15 accordingly. What can be said already that the accused put forward, a lot
16 of speeches and publications and parts of the speeches --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm sorry to interrupt you. Let's not discuss the
19 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Okay.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Please try to -- both you and Dr. Seselj, this is a
21 Status Conference and we will restrict it to what is basically related to
22 a Status Conference. The merits of the document, be it 80 or 273 pages.
23 I have it here, as I explained, I haven't -- I have started reading it,
24 but I'm still far away from being fully aware of its contents. Will come
25 up for discussion if and when. It may come up for discussion later on, if
1 it is necessary and if it is brought within the agenda of this Trial
2 Chamber in its pre-trial stage. If you have comments to make on that
3 document, please do it formally when you are completely in a position to
4 do that and when I, as a Pre-Trial Judge, am also in a position to follow.
5 At the present moment, I am not in a position to follow because this has
6 been handed to me only a couple of days ago, as I tried to explain. And
7 it requires time for me to go through it. I want to go through it
8 accurately, not missing a single word, and then when the time is ripe to
9 discuss it, if we come to that, then we will discuss it.
10 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I did not intend to go into the
11 merits of this document. I only wanted to indicate that it will take a
12 lot of time translating matters addressed in this document, and you will
13 therefore have to understand that we need some time to really reflect and
14 analyse everything that is brought forward. That is actually -- that is
15 what I wanted to mention.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. That's fair enough. And the same applies to
18 Yes. Dr. Seselj, do you have anything to state with regard to
19 Rule 66 and Rule 67 disclosure?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It is very difficult for me to state
21 my views, in view of the fact that this pre-trial Chamber, some eight
22 months ago, made a decision with respect to my request for the transcript
23 from all the Status Conferences, and the Trial Chamber decided to send me
24 videotapes of those conferences. But I have not received them up until
25 the present day, from the last Status Conference, although your service is
1 capable of providing the transcript as soon as a Status Conference is
2 over. And I learnt that when a special judge came from Belgrade to tell
3 me. So I consider this to be yet another way of impeding me in conducting
4 this process.
5 I would have to have had this aide-memoire in the form of tape,
6 and the transcripts from the Status Conferences, the previous judge,
7 Mr. Schomburg, did supply me that on time. Now something has changed in
8 that respect. So why haven't I received the videotape of the last Status
9 Conference when you all know full well that that was necessary to me to be
10 able to prepare for this particular Status Conference.
11 Secondly, let me say that I did receive the material that we're
12 discussing today, and although I was just provided it half an hour before
13 I left the Detention Unit to attend the Status Conference, I nonetheless
14 have succeeded in reading through the documents. It is the decision with
15 respect to the non-disclosure of material provided by the Prosecutor based
16 on Rule 66(A) and Rule 68 and protected measures and also 68, the
17 disclosure of exculpatory material. Now, I have no particular remarks to
18 make with respect to that ruling except to say that I do have a comment
19 with regard to the definition of the defence, the concept of defence.
20 My defence before this Tribunal is conducted by I myself, by
21 myself alone. There can be no standby counsel who will make up my defence
22 team unless I allow him to do that. And secondly, on the 26th of May,
23 2003, I submitted to the Appeals Chamber an objection to the decision to
24 provide me with a standby counsel, and I have not received an official
25 response from the Appeals Chamber to the present day, and I don't consider
1 a letter from the Senior Legal Officer as a response. Now, if my
2 objection has some formal drawbacks, then it is up to the Trial Chamber to
3 say that it rejects it because of the form it was written in, but I do not
4 accept being appointed a standby counsel.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Dr. Seselj, you have -- you can keep on rambling and
6 objecting to the appointment of the standby counsel. I can assure you
7 you're not going to dissuade the Trial Chamber to go back from its
8 decision or to go back on its decision. It's not up to you to accept or
9 not accept the standby counsel. He's there. And Mr. Lazarevic would
10 still be here had he not decided to take criminal action against you. I
11 can assure you, he would still be here. And Mr. van der Spoel will remain
12 here, irrespective of whether you like him or not or whether you want him
13 or not. That is the decision of this Trial Chamber, to have a standby
14 counsel, and if you don't like it and you have -- or you think you may
15 have a remedy, you can make use of that remedy, but I am going to stop you
16 as far as that matter is concerned.
17 With regard to the rest, you are right that -- I agree with you,
18 the decision of the 11th February should have been communicated to you
19 before. But as I said, as far as this Trial Chamber is concerned in
20 relation to the Status Conference of today, if you don't agree with that
21 decision, then file an appeal. You have a time limit within which you can
22 file an appeal, and the matter will be determined then by the Appeals
24 With regard to Rule 68 disclosure, I'm coming to it now.
25 Regarding Rule 68 material disclosure, I have the following to
1 state: First of all, I suppose you are all aware that Rule 68 has been
2 amended as a result of -- or by the plenary of the Judges of this Tribunal
3 way back in December, and the amendments took effect in the same month, if
4 I remember well, on the 24th of December.
5 In the second -- in its second report on disclosure, the
6 Prosecution discussed - I must say, I'm using the word "discussed" because
7 you did - the recent amendments to Rule 68, and what the Prosecution
8 considers to be the implications as such amendment as regards disclosure
9 of exculpatory material and other disclosures contemplated under the new
10 Rule 68.
11 The Prosecution explains in its report how it understands the
12 Rule. According to the Prosecution, the Prosecution is now obliged to
13 disclose only that material whose exculpatory character it is actually
14 aware of, and it also contends that no open-source material, such as media
15 articles, published books, would be included, as such materials are easily
16 accessible to the accused.
17 The amended Rule, according to the Prosecution, narrows down the
18 definition of exculpatory material by deleting the words: "In any way
19 tends to," language that existed in the old Rule. And then finally, the
20 Prosecution submits that amendments codify the use of the electronic
21 disclosure system which enables or would enable the accused to search the
22 OTP's, Office of the Prosecutor's collections. According to the
23 Prosecution in that respect, or in this respect, Dr. Seselj's refusal to
24 utilise computers may give rise to a problem, but according to the
25 Prosecution cannot hinder the implementation of the second paragraph of
1 Rule 68 as amended.
2 As a result, or in consequence of this interpretation of Rule 68
3 by the Prosecution in this case, the Prosecution came out with some
4 suggestions, and I want you to follow carefully what I am saying here,
5 because this is of fundamental importance.
6 The Prosecution states that it will continue disclosing
7 exculpatory material that is in its actual knowledge. Then it states that
8 the accused will have access, with the amendments to Rule 68, to new
9 material, in quotes: Through conducting a search through the electronic
10 disclosure system. However, the Prosecution also acknowledges that the
11 system is not yet fully operational for at least another six to eight
12 months. Therefore, the Prosecution offers to continue searching the new
13 material for exculpatory material until the electronic disclosure system
14 is fully operational. And finally, the Prosecution submits and suggests
15 that even when the electronic disclosure system is fully operational, it
16 will not contain a hundred per cent of the Office of the Prosecutor's
17 evidence collection, as it does not contain Rule 70 material, that is,
18 sensitive witness statements, and the Prosecutor undertakes to perform
19 updated electronic searches on exculpatory Rule 70 material and to
20 disclose this material to the accused, in accordance with Rule 68(C).
21 I want to make myself very clear that it is not and it will not be
22 regular for me, as the Pre-Trial Judge, to pronounce myself now on your
23 interpretation of the newly amended Rule 68. You have an obligation,
24 under Rule 68, as it had been amended. Try to make sure that you read
25 that Rule well. And the Trial Chamber will intervene only if your
1 application of Rule 68, when it comes to disclosure, is alleged not to be
2 regular. But I am not here to give you advice on how Rule 68 should be
3 applied by you. You apply Rule 68 material, and if Dr. Seselj has reason
4 to believe that you have not applied it well or in accordance with the
5 law, then I will make a pronouncement as to what Rule 68 means. And I
6 would also suggest that this is not a matter for interpretation.
7 Interpretation comes into play only when the Rule itself is unclear. And
8 I don't think at the present moment that Rule 68 is unclear. I will
9 certainly draw your attention to the second part of Rule 68,
10 paragraph (B), which significantly starts with the words: "Without
11 prejudice to paragraph (A)." In other words, nothing contained in
12 paragraph (B) should diminish from the rights that Dr. Seselj and any
13 other accused has to have exculpatory material disclosed under
14 paragraph (A) of Rule 68. Beyond this, I am not prepared to go for the
15 time being.
16 The other matter, of course, relates to the second part of
17 Rule 68, the problems you envisage and that I suppose you envisage
18 rightly, when it comes -- or when we come to the stage of disclosure in
19 accordance with that paragraph, that is, disclosure in an electronic form
20 of the material to which paragraph (B) of Rule 68 refers.
21 Now, at this point in time, I think it will be premature and
22 completely out of place to discuss whether this will constitute a problem,
23 to what extent it will constitute a problem, and how we could solve it,
24 because you yourself admit that the electronic disclosure system will at
25 least require another six to eight months to be put in place, and that
1 will happen. By the time that happens, we will have had at least one more
2 Status Conference, if not two. So we will deal with that problem as we go
3 along, and I am sure that we will find a practical -- a practical solution
4 to that, but I don't think it's the case of discussing this any further
5 during today's Status Conference, because it will be a sheer waste of
6 time, not knowing exactly what's going to be entailed and what the
7 situation will be like in eight months' time or even later.
8 As far as I am concerned, this closes the discussion from the
9 Chamber's side on Rule 68 material. I will now address you, madam, if you
10 have any remarks to make on Rule 68 material. But please avoid mentioning
11 or raising the matter related to electronic disclosure system or the
12 interpretation or the proper meaning of Rule 68 at this stage.
13 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. We just have filed our position in
14 writing. There's nothing to add to this, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
16 Dr. Seselj, do you have any comments with regard to Rule 68
17 disclosure? And I will also request you to refrain from referring to
18 disclosure in an electronic form, as required by the new paragraph (B).
19 That will be dealt with at a later stage, if at all. Do you have any
20 remarks with regard to Rule 68 disclosure?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I have been refraining for
22 more than half an hour, or you turn off my microphone. But I have to get
23 a copy of amended Rule 68 in order to be in a position to state anything.
24 But I haven't got it yet. I'm in a very difficult situation here, indeed,
25 because the Court is ignoring me. You did not tell me why you did not
1 submit a video-recording to me, and I have the Rules here dated the 20th
2 of March, 2003. Since then, if there have been any amendments, I have not
3 been informed about them. So how can I state my views now? I have to get
4 the amended Rules first, and then perhaps the best thing would be for you
5 to postpone this Status Conference for another three days so that I could
6 state my views, because I have no idea what is written there. I have Rule
7 68 here, the one that was valid until March 2003, and I have Rule 68 bis.
8 But this paragraph (B), or (C), if the interpreter interpreted this
9 correctly, I have never seen this before. I am not in a position to
10 consult my legal advisors, as I have been prohibited from using the
11 telephone, and for two months now I have had no contact whatsoever with
12 anyone except for the prison guards. I can have a look at it straight
13 away. You see, I react very quickly. Just give me a copy now and I will
14 be able to state my views. But you have to provide me with the document.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Registrar, how easy is it to have a copy of
16 the new Rule 68 in the Serbo-Croat language provided to the accused?
17 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, just I may be of assistance.
18 The Rule is actually within -- the new version of the Rule is actually
19 cited completely in the motion that we filed -- in the report that we
20 filed, and therefore --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: And therefore --
22 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: -- Mr. Seselj is in a position --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: What do you have to say about that?
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I'm not in a position to say
25 anything. If the Prosecution is quoting a Rule, I have to take their word
1 for it. I do not take the word of the Prosecution for anything,
2 especially not in view of a false indictment against me. I am not going
3 to invoke the interpretation of the Prosecution of this Rule. I want to
4 have the Rule itself. I want an official Court document with the amended
5 Rule. Without it, I cannot invoke it in any way. If I trusted the
6 Prosecution, then, ha, where would that lead me to.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. But I am not going to entertain any more
8 complaints now on this, because it transpires that although you told me
9 you are not aware, you were not aware even that this Rule had been
10 amended, you had every indication that it had been amended. And you could
11 have asked, since you decided to defend yourself, to be provided with a
12 copy of this newly amended Rule, and you apparently didn't. So I can't
13 help you there. All I can do is to make sure that you are handed a copy
14 of this Rule as soon as possible, but what you say is no justification for
15 me to postpone or adjourn this Status Conference.
16 Second, other matter that you mentioned. I mean, I am going to be
17 very short, concise on this. This video-recording. I am not aware of
18 your request to have a video-recording, and of course, you will have a
19 video-recording of the last Status Conference, and also of this Status
20 Conference, as soon as possible. The other thing I want to say is that
21 you are the first person I have met, Dr. Seselj, who needs to look at
22 himself on the screen to remember what was stated during the Status
23 Conference in order to be able to prepare for the subsequent Status
25 With that having been said, we move to the next question, and this
1 relates to disclosure of Rule 68 material in particular, because I attach
2 to this problem a lot of importance. And this is the language problem.
3 During the last Status Conference, Dr. Seselj insisted on more than one
4 occasion that every document provided to him must be in his own language,
5 including -- and particularly including Rule 68 material. On that
6 occasion, I had pointed out two things.
7 The first was that the accused has a right to file a proper motion
8 in which the Trial Chamber will decide whether the material needs to be
9 translated in a language that he understands or not. And the OTP was also
10 advised that service of material on the standby counsel, who is not acting
11 in a representative capacity, cannot substitute for service on the
12 accused. Now, this latter statement still stands, and, Mr. van der Spoel,
13 I would like you to take notice of that. And the other thing that I wish
14 to register is that, to my knowledge, the accused has not filed a proper
15 motion relating to this language problem.
16 Then in its second report on disclosure, the Prosecution discussed
17 the problem again and suggested the following solutions: According to the
18 Prosecution, and according to its interpretation of Rule 68, this would
19 mean that all potentially exculpatory material must be translated into
20 B/C/S and -- must be translated into B/C/S, and if this is so, this would
21 create an onerous and unnecessary burden on the Office of the Prosecutor.
22 As a result, they make the following suggestions, namely, to translate the
23 specific text from each document that is exculpatory into the language of
24 the accused and provide these translations and the source to the accused.
25 According to the Prosecution, this system would allow the accused to
1 receive the actual exculpatory material in the Serbian language without
2 overtly taxing the limited resources of the Prosecution.
3 I would like -- if you have any further comments on this, you are
4 welcome to make them, but I wouldn't imagine that you have.
5 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: No, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. So I address you, Dr. Seselj, on this
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I do have something to say.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Which is definitely of great importance to you. Go
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. I'm just waiting for the
12 interpreter to finish. According to these Rules, everything that I --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Speak slowly, because if you speak at a fast rate,
14 you will create difficulties for the interpreters. So speak slowly.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. But I'm always very
16 anxious, because you have frustrated me with the way you behave. I always
17 think that you're going to switch off my microphone. Everything I raise
18 orally, verbally, at a Status Conference has the legal validity, or
19 rather, legal significance, of a written submission.
20 Secondly, last year I did inform the Court that I request that all
21 Court documents be supplied to me, and that includes the Prosecution,
22 because the Prosecution, in the broader sense of the word, is part of the
23 Court. And I insist that all these documents be provided to me in the
24 Serbian language, that is, the only language I understand. Quite simply
25 I'm not going to receive anything else that you send me. I have properly
1 signed for everything that you sent me in the Serbian language.
2 As for you, your task is to accuse me and to convict me. You can
3 try me in any language. You can do anything. And that is what I take as
4 my point of departure that you can do anything but I know what I do not
5 have to do. I never have to receive a single document in a language I do
6 not understand. And you will have to translate everything into
7 Serbo-Croat ultimately, because it is your duty to provide me with all of
8 that. That is my law, according to all international documents, according
9 to the international covenant on civil rights, and I'm never going to give
10 up on that. I'm not interested in your problems. I already told you,
11 engage another thousand translators and interpreters. I guess you can get
12 the money from people who will willing to finance you. Your problems are
13 your problems. I am not burdening the Prosecution with my technical
14 problems, and the Court should be interested in my technical problems.
15 As for that video cassette, Judge, I have here a ruling of the
16 Trial Chamber that I get video-recordings of each and every Status
17 Conference, and also, once the trial begins, that I get all the trial
18 recordings every day and that I have the exact minutes and seconds shown
19 when things were said. So that if I possibly lodge an appeal, that I can
20 say exactly on which day, at which hour, and at which minute somebody said
21 something. I have a copy of that. You must have a copy of that. If I
22 have the facilities, I'd photocopy it for you in prison and I'd send you a
23 copy. There is no point in accentuating this question of language any
24 more. It is crystal clear. Everything has to be provided to me in a
25 language which is the only one I understand. The other day the
1 Prosecution tried to send me I think 57 documents on computer diskettes.
2 Again, I cannot accept that. I cannot receive that. How can I deal with
3 these diskettes? Everything has to be on paper. Paper is the basic
4 material that courts throughout the world deal with. What is not on paper
5 is considered non-existent. If there is a replacement for paper then it
6 is only in order to have things handled as easily as possible, but then
7 ultimately all of that has to be on paper as well so it could serve its
8 purpose. So finally everything has to be on paper and everything has to
9 be in the Serbian language. If you have other technical problems, let
10 them open me an office. I am my own defence counsel. Let them open me a
11 defence counsel office at the Detention Unit. I'm in a single cell, like
12 all the other detainees. That's no problem in itself. But the problem is
13 that I have nowhere to store these piles of documents that are being
14 served on me.
15 So according to Rule 68, it is your duty to disclose to me in good
16 time, as soon as you get in possession -- in your possession any
17 exculpatory materials. If you do not do that, there are sanctions
18 provided for in Rule 68 bis, unless that Rule has been amended in the
19 meantime as well. Please bear this in mind. This is a serious Court and
20 this process is too.
21 You are referring to its historical importance in the document
22 that was handed to me today, so in this historical process, do not only
23 ask the accused to become familiar with the Rules of a court through the
24 documents of the Prosecution. This is quite a compliment that you're
25 actually paying me. When I came here, when I set out to come here, first
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 and foremost, I knew that this would be a historic trial, no doubt.
2 Again, according to Rule 66, all documents have to be provided to
3 me, everything that is related to my trial, and I insist that all of this
4 be provided to me.
5 The Prosecution said that I did not submit a request for that, and
6 I'm submitting it right now. It was not a priority for me then. It is a
7 priority for me now, especially because I've received information that the
8 Prosecution will not be trial ready before 2006. So I want to deal with
9 everything in good time, so I ask that these documents be provided to me
10 so that I would have enough time. So this is another request I have for
11 the Prosecution.
12 That is what I wish to say, Your Honour, about this particular
13 question, that is to say, acting in accordance with Rule 68, and thank you
14 for not having interrupted me this time.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Rule 68 does not require, Dr. Seselj, disclosure in
16 your language. Other Rules do, but Rule 68 doesn't. And in order to be
17 concise on this, I would suggest that you be given a copy of the Trial
18 Chamber II's decision in the Brdjanin case on the application of Rule 68
19 disclosure and a translation in -- and translation in the language of the
21 Registrar, this is a decision which was handed down by the
22 Brdjanin -- in the Brdjanin case.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I just say
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I did not give you permission to speak as yet. I
1 will when I have finished, Dr. Seselj. And please do try to remember that
2 I am the Judge here and you are the accused, and that this is no special
3 case and it will not be dealt with as a special case. If you consider it
4 as a historic case, you may be eluding yourself or leading yourself in an
5 alley which I call delusion of grandeur but it is like any other case and
6 it will be dealt with like any other case. So please don't get keyed up
7 on it. You will be dealt with like every other accused here and your
8 rights will be the same as they are sanctioned by our Rules, and no more
9 than that. Anyway, I will give you a copy, Madam Registrar, at the end of
10 the sitting of this decision, and you will then have it -- make sure that
11 it is available also in the language of the accused and have it sent to
12 him at the Detention Unit, because it's a decision which is important as
13 far as the disclosure is concerned.
14 With regard to another matter that was raised by Dr. Seselj in his
15 remarks, and that is his refusal of two CDs that were offered to him on
16 the 9th of February, 2004. I am informed that one of these CDs contains
17 the records of public hearings concerning the events in the Ovcara farm in
18 November 1991, and the other CD, the installation software of the search
19 engine Z search [phoen], version 4, which is needed to view these
21 But I am informed that without prejudice to its further rights at
22 a later stage, the Prosecution will print out hard copies of these public
23 hearings concerning the events in the Ovcara farm. Roughly we're talking
24 of a hundred pages or so. And they will be handed to you in paper form.
25 Let me come now to pending motions. There is the motion filed by
1 the Prosecution for non-disclosure of materials provided pursuant to
2 Rule 68(A)(ii) and 68, and for protective measures for witnesses during
3 the pre-trial stage. As I stated earlier on, the Trial Chamber has issued
4 its decision on the 11th of February, granting the request for the
5 issuance of a non-disclosure order. That's in terms of Rule 53(A). And
6 ordering the Prosecution to provide more information to enable the Trial
7 Chamber to determine the request for pre-trial protective measures.
8 Now, it is clear that the first part can only be dealt with
9 outside this Trial Chamber if, and only if, there is an appeal. With
10 regard to the second part, the Trial Chamber will make an assessment, will
11 assess the Prosecution's request for protective measures in more detail
12 when it has received more information as we try to point out in our
13 decision of the 11th February. Do you have any remarks on this latter
15 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: No, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. Thank you. This does not really
17 concern you for the time being. It will concern you if we receive
18 further -- further information. You want to say something else. Yes, go
19 ahead, Dr. Seselj, but please try to be short.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. I think that this does have to
21 do with me and concern me. First of all, not a single gesture on my part
22 or a position on my part have I challenged the identity of any protected
23 witness whatsoever, nor have I ever brought into question the
24 confidentiality of evidence that has been deemed confidential. And I
25 shall abide by that to the end and keep to that obligation. The
1 Prosecution has no reason to doubt at all that I could ever disclose the
2 name of a protected witness or any confidential material, and I do not
3 think that there is any reason for the Prosecution, except if it wishes to
4 gain time, which I think is their basic reason, to insist upon that at
5 all. It is not in my own interests to do that. Why would I want to do
6 that? I am quite convinced that here in the courtroom I will win the
7 witnesses, whether they be protected or not. I will win over them. And,
8 Your Honour, it is the same decision. Please take a look at page 3.2.
9 You speak of the historical importance of this case, and not I myself.
10 And I'm just agreeing with you here and supporting your position on that
11 point. I have not come here with delusions of grandeur. But it is your
12 position and your attitude. Perhaps you will help me build up some
13 delusions of grandeur. But it says here the historical importance of this
14 case and I agree with you there. So you attack me even when I agree with
15 you, let alone when I don't agree with you, so I don't think that is
16 proper at all. Thank you.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. So we will await for further information from
18 you on the -- as a basis for the protective measures that you seek and
19 then we will hand down our decision later on.
20 Now, the second matter in respect of pending motions or pending
21 matters is the accused's objection to the indictment which was filed on
22 the 15th of January, 2004, even though it is dated 24th of December, 2003.
23 Now, the Prosecution responded on the 29th of January, 2004. And
24 the translation, I understand, has been filed on the 10th of February,
25 2004. I want to make sure, first and foremost, that you, Dr. Seselj, have
1 been served with a copy in your language of the Prosecution's response.
2 Just answer yes or no.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: As a consequence, now I can state that the Trial
5 Chamber, and that's the collegial Trial Chamber, not just me, but the
6 other two Judges as well will start its deliberations on this matter, and
7 when we are in a position to hand down our decision, we will hand down our
8 decision. I can state here that there are some very important matters
9 raised in both the accused's objection to the indictment and the
10 Prosecution's response, which require particular attention by this Trial
11 Chamber, and we will give all these matters utmost attention.
12 Are there any other matters that you would like to raise? I will
13 start with the Prosecution first.
14 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, actually, Mr. Saxon would like
15 to address you on the pending motion that you just referred to.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Which pending motion?
17 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: The pending motion on the form of the
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. All right. Yes, Mr. Saxon.
20 MR. SAXON: Thank you, Your Honour. First of all, the Prosecution
21 would like to correct an error in the response that it filed --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, because I will have to go to that first.
24 MR. SAXON: Your Honour --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Yes.
1 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, the Prosecution has noted an error in
2 paragraph 21 to its response to the accused's objection to the indictment.
3 If I could direct your attention to that paragraph. It is on page 10 of
4 the Prosecution's response.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
6 MR. SAXON: The second sentence of that paragraph begins with the
7 word: "Accordingly," and reads this way: "Accordingly, the Prosecution
8 has fully and properly pled the jurisdictional prerequisites for crimes
9 against humanity with respect to counts 10 and 12 of the indictment."
10 The word "12" is an error here, Your Honour. That should be "11."
11 JUDGE AGIUS: So it should read: "And his complaints based on the
12 principle of nullum crimen sine lege in paragraphs 10 to 11 above."
13 MR. SAXON: No, Your Honour. I'm speaking about the following
15 JUDGE AGIUS: "Accordingly, the Prosecution has fully and properly
16 pled the jurisdiction prerequisites for crimes against humanity with
17 respect to counts 10 and 11 of the indictment."
18 MR. SAXON: Correct, Your Honour, and we wanted to draw your
19 attention and the attention of the accused to that error.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Okay.
21 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, in addition, the Prosecution has prepared
22 an oral submission regarding the merits of some of the objections made by
23 the accused to the indictment, and with your leave, I will make that
24 submission. It will take five to ten minutes.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Go ahead.
1 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, the accused argues in his objection to
2 the indictment --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Let me make one thing clear, Mr. Saxon, that I do
4 not expect Dr. Seselj to be prepared to respond to your oral submissions
5 today. This was not expected and not exactly normal. So I will not ask
6 him to respond today. If need be, we will have another Status Conference,
7 in the course of which he will respond.
8 MR. SAXON: Very well, Your Honour. Thank you.
9 Your Honour, the accused argues in his objection to the indictment
10 that this Tribunal cannot have -- cannot exercise its jurisdiction under
11 Article 5 of the Statute over the crimes alleged in counts 10 to 11 of the
12 indictment. These are crimes that were alleged to have occurred around
13 the town of Hrtkovci which is located in the Republic of Serbia. The
14 accused alleges that no armed conflict occurred in the Autonomous Republic
15 of Vojvodina. Therefore, no jurisdiction lies.
16 Your Honour, the standard for this Tribunal's jurisdiction over
17 Article 5 charges was set by the Kunarac appeal judgement, case number
18 IT-96- --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm going to stop you, because this is not regular.
20 I don't think that the Status Conference is meant to cover such
21 submissions. If you have further submissions in addition to what you have
22 already filed, please reduce them into writing, have them translated into
23 the language of the accused, and then the accused will have an opportunity
24 to respond further to these additional submissions. But I'm not going to
25 reduce a Status Conference to a debate on pending -- on the contents, on
1 the merits of pending motions. That's not the purpose of a Status
3 MR. SAXON: Very well, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Are there any further matters that you
5 would like to raise from the Prosecution's side?
6 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: No, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
8 Are there further matters that you would like to raise,
9 Dr. Seselj?
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I do have several matters that
11 I have to raise today, because they are of the nature of a Status
12 Conference. And Your Honour, a moment ago you said that I should be
13 provided the ruling in the Brdjanin case with respect to the exculpatory
14 material to be provided in the Serbian language. You know that
15 Mr. Brdjanin has his attorney, and pursuant to the Rules, all attorneys
16 must know either English or French. Now, as I am defending myself, I
17 don't know why I need it, although of course I would like to read it,
18 because I don't myself have to know English. Now, if I have to know the
19 English language, then it's your duty to teach me English. My rights --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I will interrupt you, because when you try to reduce
21 the proceedings to ridicule, like you are trying to do now, I will stop
22 you. I am the Judge. You are the accused, Dr. Seselj. There are the
23 Rules and you will have to stick by the Rules, and I will apply them and
24 if it needs be to shut you down completely, I will shut you down
25 completely. If you don't want a copy of the judgement in the Brdjanin
1 case, which I kindly offered you, you won't get it. If you don't want it,
2 I won't give it to you.
3 Go ahead.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Nothing was ever ridiculous to me
5 here, Your Honour. No ridicule at all. Nor was anything funny to me. I
6 have not laughed throughout this Status Conference, so I don't see why you
7 started today's Status Conference in so much anger. I assume that some
8 reason for that exists, but I don't think that I caused that. I would
9 like to receive that document. I'm just drawing your attention to the
10 fact that it cannot refer to my own case.
11 Secondly, I should like to inform you that there have been
12 violent -- great violations of my rights as the accused and a person in
13 detention. I have been deprived the right of any visits and any contacts
14 at all.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I will stop you here. If you have reasons to
16 complain about the way you are being treated in the detention, you've got
17 remedies. The remedies are not to bring them up in the course of a Status
18 Conference. The remedies are in accordance to the Rules that you have,
19 which regulate the Detention Unit, and in particular, the right that you
20 have to have direct access to the President of this Tribunal, under
21 Rule 19(A) of the Rules. But it is not within my jurisdiction as the
22 Presiding Judge or as a Pre-Trial Judge to tell the commandant of the
23 Detention Unit how to deal with you. So I will only deal with matters.
24 You can mention these matters here in the Status Conference. Just
25 mention, and I will tell you: Yes, you can go ahead, or no, you can't go
1 ahead with discussing this matter here in the Status Conference. You have
2 a right to appeal directly to the President of the Tribunal.
3 So I hope I have made that clear to you. This is not a forum for
4 you to discuss everything that comes to your mind. This is a Status
5 Conference, and we will discuss only matters which are related and
6 pertinent to the Status Conference.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, practice in Court so
8 far speaks otherwise. I would like to remind you that at the last Status
9 Conference you asked me whether I had any comments to make with respect to
10 the conditions of detention and I said that I did not because I did not at
11 the time. Now when you know full well that I do have a lot of objections
12 to make, you wish to avoid that. Therefore, I assume that that Rule might
13 have been changed from the end of October to the present day perhaps, and
14 pursuant to Rule 65 bis(A)(ii) I do enjoy the right to speak on issues
15 which I consider to be linked to the trial and my case, including my
16 health, both physical and mental. And you're now preventing me in doing
17 so, because you know full well that in my particular case, international
18 law has been violated, I have been condemned to death, and had I been
19 condemned to death, my family would not have been allowed to visit me, and
20 that is what has been done here. You don't want to hear about that. If
21 you want to prevent me in saying all this then I won't bring the matter
22 up. But I have the impression, Your Honour, that your nervousness and
23 anger seems to want to provoke some reaction on my part, a turbulent one,
24 and then this to be cause for an incident to arise and for me to be taken
25 out of the courtroom. No, Your Honour. I should like to tell you that
1 nobody can provoke me in that manner because I am in full control of
2 myself. So there's no need for you to show anger. If I'm accused here, I
3 don't show anger towards you or towards the Prosecution so there's no
4 reason for you to demonstrate anger either, unless you're motivated by any
5 personal reasons which I do not know about. So do you still abide by what
6 you said that you're not going to allow me to speak about the conduct of
7 the Registry towards me? I'm not complaining of the Detention Centre but
8 the Tribunal that has unlawfully set itself out as an institution. I have
9 not been disciplined, I'm not being sanctioned, but I am being kept in
10 total isolation because my political party was very strong at the latest
11 elections and the decision to isolate me says that the problem is that we
12 won 82 seats in parliament.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Seselj, this is not a political platform. I
14 will not allow you to make any political speeches. If you have specific
15 complaints regarding your detention, I ask you mention them and I will
16 immediately tell you this is something that is pertinent to the Status
17 Conference, this is something which is not pertinent to the Status
18 Conference. This is something for which you have a remedy under Rule 19
19 of the Rules, of the applicable Rules. So let's not waste time. If you
20 have specific complaints, do mention them and we will deal with them one
21 by one.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I would like to have this paragraph starting from
21 page 32, line 22 -- sorry. Line 24 to be redacted, to be redacted, and
22 that basically means also that members of the public are being prohibited
23 from repeating or relaying to others what the accused has just stated with
24 regard to another detainee.
25 Dr. Seselj, you have no right to speak like you did with regard to
1 any other detainee, and I will stop you immediately the moment you try
2 again. Plus, this will not be relayed outside this courtroom. When you
3 try to be -- decide to be honest with this Trial Chamber, this Trial
4 Chamber will treat you better.
5 Yes. Go ahead.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] You, Your Honour, have several times
7 said here already that I should be honest and act accordingly, act
8 honestly, which would imply that I have not been honest thus far. So
9 quite simply I have to protest about conduct of this kind on your part. I
10 have been continuously honest. I am defending my own rights here to the
11 best of my ability, and also adhering to the Rules and Regulations in
12 conformity with the Statute of the International Tribunal, although I
13 challenge the legality of that Tribunal which is also my right. And you
14 have repeated several times to me here that attorney Lazarevic has brought
15 up criminal action for slander against me as if that is something against
16 me. It just demonstrates the kind of man Lazarevic is, not what I am
17 doing, but you are presenting this that I seem to recognise in this
18 contact some very negative emotions expressed through your own words. So
19 I think you'll be the first to testify in my advantage if Aleksandar
20 Lazarevic brings this criminal action to Court. And I don't think there
21 will be any trial on that and you as a Judge yourself know full well that
22 for what I say here during the proceedings in defence of my rights I
23 cannot be taken to court criminally before another court, especially not a
24 national court, let alone the fact that I only spoke the truth.
25 However, there are some other problems here, Your Honour, so you
1 can interrupt me straight away, and whenever you interrupt me, I accept
2 that quite calmly and don't proceed, because I'm afraid that you'll become
3 even more nervous. On the 20th of October I tabled a request to the
4 Registry that the International Tribunal should take part in the financing
5 of my defence. To the present day, I have received no response from them
6 and my legal advisors are already asking to be paid, and this is an
7 enormous money because they did a lot of work in drawing up the document
8 that numbers 300 pages that the OTP is referring to and the motion with
9 regard to the indictment and whether other potential defence witnesses and
10 their calling [as interpreted]. So I demand that my defence be financed
11 in the extent to which the International Tribunal is duty-bound to do so,
12 bearing in mind the conducts of this Tribunal in all the other cases and
13 that it be applied to my own. Because my legal advisors will no longer
14 wish to work for me if I don't pay them, so what am I going to do then?
15 How can I come to terms with the enormous mechanisms that the OTP has at
16 its disposal. Secondly, I can say with satisfaction that you have already
17 legalised in an indirect way the work of my legal advisors by the fact
18 that the documents compiled by them in my own name and signed you are
19 taking into consideration. So you should draw the attention of the
20 Registrar not to mistreat me in that way and to agree with them so that I
21 can have communication provided for by the Rules that nobody can prevent
22 me in having when they isolated me and brought the decision to isolate me
23 and not to allow me to talk to anybody except my legal advisors and the
24 consul. I asked to talked to my legal advisors and the guards offered me
25 Aleksandar Lazarevic. So they have curtailed that right as well.
1 And I'm bearing in mind a historical legal example. When Adolf
2 Hitler took Georgi Dimitrov to trial under the false indictment to -- for
3 setting fire to the Reichstag, Georgi Dimitrov, in front of
4 Hitler's court, was given the chance to defend himself and to defend
5 himself successfully and no legal principle was overruled with that. I
6 have no chance here. There was always somebody who is angry, who raises
7 his voice, who interrupts me, and with respect to my own rights, this
8 Tribunal is far worse than Hitler's court that took Georgi Dimitrov to
9 trial. So that is my professional opinion as to that question as a legal
10 man myself, Your Honour. Even if there was somebody else sitting here, I
11 would have that same view and hold that same opinion. Why are you afraid
12 of my words? Why are you always redacting things from the transcript? I
13 have experienced here that you, from my written submission that I sent to
14 the Trial Chamber, deleted certain words that I used there. Once it was
15 photocopied, there was white ink written up over it and it was thrown out
16 in the translation. I don't know that there is a single court behaving in
17 that way. And I did not mention a protective witness. I did not bring up
18 any protected piece of evidence or material which would come under the
19 Rules in this respect and could not be accessible to the public.
20 So here it seems that from one case to the next, conduct changes
21 and is not aligned with the law. It is sometimes aligned with personal
22 interests, personal animosity, open hatred at times and so on and so
23 forth. And I really don't know how long this is going to last. And
24 finally, I should like to say the following to you: I am ready to have my
25 case go to trial immediately. I have tried to have legal advisors; you
1 haven't let me have them. I have tried to have the court participate in
2 the payment for my defence. There's no response, which means rejection.
3 So there's nothing left for me to try and do. And I'm ready for the trial
4 to go ahead tomorrow if necessary. I have nobody to table my submissions
5 to. You have isolated me from my family and so that is a fait accompli,
6 as far as I'm concerned, and this is an indication for the public of what
7 kind of Tribunal this is. And I'm not going to write to the President of
8 the Tribunal with my complaints. I will remain isolated rather than have
9 to write a letter to him, and you can draw the conclusions you wish to
10 draw. I am ready, I'm trial ready. We can go to trial tomorrow, and
11 you'll see that the Prosecution won't be ready even by 2006 because they
12 raise the indictment first and then began looking for material to
13 substantiate their case subsequently, and this has brought them into a
14 situation where they don't know what to do with the indictment itself.
15 They had political interest to raise the indictment but they now don't
16 have the legal arguments to substantiate it. So that's what happened in
17 this case. So if that's the case for your dissatisfaction and your
18 terrible anger then I understand you. But I'm not -- that is not
19 something that angers me because I have come here to win and I shall win
20 because I have more forcible arguments than the Prosecution does. And
21 through the force of argument I am going to win.
22 You have supported the head of the Detention Unit not to allow to
23 photocopy a single material for me and I can say that I can have the right
24 to photocopy any material for my defence but my associates won't be able
25 to circulate it if it is confidential, and I have to inform you what --
1 who those individuals are so that they should not disclose these matters
2 and not be held in contempt of Court. Now, where am I going to photocopy
3 this material? I would have more material to supply the OTP with but I
4 cannot do so because I cannot photocopy any documents. So we can either
5 normalise the situation here to enable a normal trial or that will be it.
6 And let me conclude by saying the following: It is far more to my
7 advantage the hatred you have shown towards me, constant interruption,
8 constant deriding, isolating me from my family and the public, that is far
9 to my advantage. It is a -- rather than if you had an offensive of
10 graciousness sticking to the rules, enabling me to enjoy all my rights
11 perhaps in that way you would be disarming me. However, this way you have
12 strengthened me in my conviction that you're not a proper Tribunal, that
13 you're an unlawful organ -- institution who through a criminally --
14 criminal act was set up by the Security Council and that that organ is not
15 capable of bringing this process to a close against me because it just
16 doesn't know how to proceed. You're conscious of that, so you haven't
17 written that this is a process of historical significance. You are quite
18 aware of the fact that generations of legal men are learning a lesson of
19 how they should proceed in court cases, using this case as an example.
20 I'm not going to table any more submissions. There's no reason
21 for me to do that. There's no need for me to burden the OTP. If they
22 disclose some materials, well and good. If they don't disclose anything,
23 they haven't got any money to translate them, or whatever, they don't have
24 to do so. Let the trial begin. Let's see what the OTP has at its
25 disposal. And then you'll come to see that the Prosecutors themselves
1 have nothing in their hands, nothing at their disposal, and that is why
2 everything that you've been doing for the past year and everything that's
3 being happening here for the past year is because you're faced with a
4 situation of that kind.
5 Thank you nor not interrupting me this time.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. For the record, the part of Dr. Seselj's
7 speech relating to his request to the Registrar to have, according to him,
8 his legal advisors be paid from the funds of the Tribunal be singled out
9 and copied to the Registrar for his attention in case the matter is still
10 pending or needs his attention to it. But for the record, I think the of
11 representation, as far as Dr. Seselj's request to have counsel appointed
12 for him, has been already dealt with at various levels in this Tribunal
13 and there are decisions in accordance to which the Registrar is expected
14 to act.
15 With regard to your state of health, Dr. Seselj, are there any
16 matters or any matter that you would like to raise?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, at every Status Conference you
18 and your predecessor have been putting this question to me, and then you
19 accuse me of having hidden certain things from you in relation to my
20 health. I never hid anything. The vague statement made by the nurse that
21 there may be an operation next week, that is no appointment. You know
22 full well how appointments of that kind are made. But perhaps I made a
23 mistake for having complained about my health at all. Perhaps it would
24 have been more in line with the kind of court this is for me to remain the
25 way I am, without an operation, and let me go on for as long as I can go
2 Secondly, at four Status Conferences - this is the fourth - and at
3 the Initial Appearance, I put the question of mental suffering forth
4 because of the clothing I have to wear, in view of your Rules. Judge
5 Schomburg said that he would provide me with the Rules that governs the
6 clothing that is worn in the courtroom by all involved. I have not
7 received these Rules yet. Last time when I talked about that problem, you
8 laughed, and that is a very serious problem for me. And you have to
9 persuade me that I have to suffer for this, watching you wear this kind of
10 Roman Catholic robes and so on. Because in my court, no such -- in my
11 country, in the courts in my country, no such clothing is worn. Judges
12 and everybody in court wear decent civilian clothes.
13 Please don't misunderstand me. Please take this quite seriously.
14 The Court has to take a position of principle about this. Who established
15 this, on what basis, and for what reasons, and why precisely such attire?
16 That is so frustrating to me. You see, after the Judges and the
17 Prosecutors and the standby lawyer and the Court officials appear in such
18 clothing, I expect to be boiled in a cauldron after that, tortured,
19 killed. That is the kind of thing that comes to my mind, this kind of
20 attire that you wear. It is just like an SS or Gestapo uniform, as far as
21 I'm concerned.
22 The history of my people has identical experience with this kind
23 of clothing worn by the Roman Catholic Inquisition and also the experience
24 we've had with the Gestapo, the SS, et cetera. So once and for all,
25 please take a stand with regard to such matters, and don't say that I am
1 dealing with this frivolously. I'm not. I'm not dealing with any of this
2 frivolously. The Court has to take a position on this and explain why it
3 is precisely so.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Thank you, Dr. Seselj. The Court will do
5 nothing about this, what you have mentioned. If it is a problem to you, I
6 am afraid you will have to live with it. And if my predecessor, Judge
7 Schomburg, said that he would provide you with the Rules that govern the
8 clothing, et cetera, I am reversing that decision. I will provide you
9 with nothing. These are our robes, and if you don't like them, look in
10 some other direction.
11 Anything else before we rise? So I declare this Status Conference
12 to come to an end now. The next Status Conference will be convened in
13 accordance with the Rules, that is, within 120 days from today. Thank
15 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned at
16 12.35 p.m.