1 Monday, 4 October 2004
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Open session]
4 --- Upon commencing at 10.00 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: So good morning, everybody. Mr. Registrar, could
8 you call the case, please.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, good morning. Case number
10 IT-03-67-PT, the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Seselj, can you follow the proceedings in a
12 language that you can understand?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] For the time being, yes.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Appearances. Prosecution.
15 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Good morning, Your Honour. For the
16 Prosecution it's Daniel Saxon. My name is Hildegard Uertz-Retzlaff, and
17 we are accompanied by case manager Ana Vrljic.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you and good morning to you all. Standby
19 counsel, good morning to you.
20 MR. VAN DER SPOEL: Good morning, Your Honour. Tjarda van der
21 Spoel, standby counsel.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you and good morning to you.
23 So I will start with the usual formality, explaining the purpose
24 of reasons for Status Conferences such as this one. The last Status
25 Conference was held on the 14th of June. The Trial Chamber is required,
1 under Rule 65 bis, to hold a Status Conference every 120 days to organise
2 exchanges between the parties, to ensure expeditious preparation for
3 trial, and to allow the accused to raise issues in relation to his mental
4 or physical condition.
5 As I did on previous occasions, I'm just making it clear from the
6 very outset of the Status Conference that this is a Status Conference, and
7 both parties have a duty to adhere strictly to the purpose of the Status
8 Conference. I do not have any intention to allow either of you to go
9 beyond these limits as established in Rule 65 bis, and I will not hesitate
10 to take whatever actions are necessary at any given moment if the
11 proceedings are abused of or an attempt to derail them is there.
12 I will start with the agenda proper, and of course the matter
13 which is of the utmost importance at this stage and which is pertinent to
14 every Status Conference is the ongoing process of disclosure. As I will
15 explain very shortly, there are two main problems that have arisen and
16 continue to arise, and the time has come to decide on these issues.
17 As introduction, however, let me start by saying that in this
18 ongoing process of disclosure, the Prosecution has filed four reports.
19 The first one was filed on the 23rd of July of 2003. The second was filed
20 on the 12th of February of 2004. So when we had the last Status
21 Conference on the 14th of June, there were only two such reports
22 available. Since then, another two reports have been filed. The third
23 report concerning disclosure, which is partly confidential, was filed on
24 the 13th of July, 2004. And very recently, a few days ago, on the last
25 day of September, the 30th of September, the Prosecution filed its fourth
1 report concerning disclosure.
2 Because of the date, the proximity of the date of the filing of
3 this fourth report, I want to make sure that the accused has received a
4 copy of it.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I did receive the fourth report of
7 the Prosecution.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Okay. I thank you, Mr. Seselj.
9 And following that, I just want to confirm the following, please,
10 although I -- don't take it that I am doubting your words in -- as
11 indicated in the fourth report, but I want to make sure that the following
12 information is correct: I am informed that you filed or you attempted to
13 file 81 witness statements in CD-ROM format, of which 23 are in Serbian
14 language and that mention the accused's name. This you tried to do on the
15 5th of July, 2004, and the CD-ROM was rejected by the accused.
16 It is your submission, I take it, that you consider your
17 obligation under Rule 66(B) fulfilled. Then you attempted to file -- to
18 deliver to the accused 70 statements in CD-ROM format of which 32 were in
19 the Serbian language -- are in the Serbian language and mention the
20 accused's name. You tried to hand these on the 20th of July, 2004. This
21 is information, both this and the previous one, the disclosure of which
22 arises under Rule 66(B). Again, once more you informed this Trial Chamber
23 that the accused rejected the CD-ROM and that you consider your
24 obligations under Rule 66(B) fulfilled.
25 Then we have 19 witness statements in hard copy that mention the
1 accused's name. Again, this was disclosed under Rule 66(B) on the 21st of
2 July, 2004. These have been handed over to the Trial Chamber for -- to be
3 redacted prior to being disclosed by -- to the accused. This matter is
4 pending before the Trial Chamber, and we are going through them to see if
5 they need to be redacted and to what extent.
6 Then there is a potential -- what you describe as potential Rule
7 68, in other words, exculpatory or mitigatory material in hard copy in
8 English and in Serbian related to the Croatian part of the case. This you
9 disclosed on the 19th of August 2004. According to the information that
10 you give me, this material was accepted by the accused.
11 Then there is potential Rule 68 material in seven CD-ROMs relating
12 to what you describe as "opposing forces." This you attempted to disclose
13 on the 3rd of September, 2004. You informed me that the accused rejected
14 these CD-ROMs and that you consider your obligation under Rule 68
16 Finally, also I suppose arising or in the wake of the decision of
17 the Appeals Chamber to revoke our decision, previous decision or
18 interlocutory decree relating to the Vojvodina element in the indictment,
19 on the 3rd of September you disclosed a hard copy of analysis of Vojvodina
20 population census in Serbian. This was on the 3rd of September. You
21 informed me that the accused accepted the material.
22 Now, going through all the documentation of the case and previous
23 reports, I think there are two issues that have now come to a head and
24 that need to be addressed thoroughly by you and the Trial Chamber and
25 decided upon before we can even proceed any further. As you know, one of
1 the basic reasons of the pre-trial stage is precisely the disclosure
2 process that is imposed by our system, by our Rules, and it would be a big
3 mistake for this Trial Chamber to ignore the fact that there are
4 difficulties in this disclosure process, difficulties that have to be
6 The first difficulty is the fact that the accused continues to
7 refuse anything which is not in hard copy, that is, anything that is in
8 electronic format. The problem arises, insofar -- in the light of the
9 following two facts: First, that he rejects this material when it is
10 handed to him in CD-ROM format or in any other electronic format while you
11 consider your obligation under whichever Rule is applicable to have been
12 fulfilled. This matter needs to be cleared up, because if it is
13 fulfilled, then we have to move a step forward and decide how best to
14 ensure that we can proceed forward preparing for the trial. If your
15 obligations cannot be considered to be fulfilled, then we also have to
16 find a remedy to ensure that they are fulfilled. So this is the first
17 issue that has to be decided.
18 The second issue relates only to basically Rule 68 disclosure in
19 that while the accused pretends that even in the case of Rule 68,
20 disclosures -- the material disclosed ought to be disclosed in his own
21 language or a language that he understands. Although you have been
22 forthcoming and cooperative, I must say, you still maintain that under the
23 Rules you do not have an obligation to disclose Rule 68, to translate Rule
24 68 material into the accused's language if it is not in that language now.
25 I think this is the second point that needs to be decided, because
1 obviously on the outcome of such decision depends the other decision,
2 whether you are fulfilling your obligations of disclosure under the Rules
3 or not.
4 It's important that these two points be decided at the earliest
5 possible time. I have given this matter a lot of thought, and I think --
6 I think we cannot really pretend to proceed efficiently with the pre-trial
7 stage until and unless these matters are decided.
8 Since these issues are, of course, vital, I am not going to
9 suggest that together with the other two Judges composing this Trial
10 Chamber we will proceed to our decision without giving you an opportunity
11 to be heard.
12 The situation, as I see it, is as follows: The accused has made
13 his position very clear. He has stated, "You cannot force me to accept
14 anything which is not in the hard copy, and you shouldn't be disclosing to
15 me Rule 68 material in a language which is not my own language."
16 I am going to give the accused the option to go first if he wants
17 to go first, not today orally because this is something that needs to be
18 addressed in writing and thoroughly, but I will ask the accused whether he
19 would like to file submissions in writing on this matter or whether he
20 wants to rest it as it is and as I have explained it to the Prosecution,
21 and then economise on time and allow you or give you the opportunity to
22 explain to this Tribunal how, notwithstanding the fact that the accused is
23 rejecting these disclosures, you would consider yourself to have fulfilled
24 your obligations under the Rules.
25 Mr. Seselj, would you like to be given the opportunity to file
1 written submissions on these two matters that are interrelated and both --
2 both relate to disclosure or your rights to disclosure under the Rules, or
3 do you prefer to leave it at that and pass on the bucket to the
4 Prosecution to file written submissions arising out of your objections and
5 your refusal to accept these documents? If you want time to think, I will
6 give you time to think.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Agius, we have a different
8 problem here. At the last Status Conference you asked me to submit to you
9 in writing all my objections to these proceedings and to inform you about
10 the problems that I face in relation to preparing my defence. I did that
11 on ten handwritten pages, densely written, as part of submission 37. I
12 have the impression that you have not read this at all. Hans Holthuis,
13 the Registrar of the Tribunal, he deceived you in relation to the content
14 of this. Allow me to finish.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I am not going to allow you to finish because this
16 Status Conference is not meant for speeches. This Status Conference is
17 dealing with legal matters. I want to know from you a simple yes or no.
18 This is a legal matter and has got nothing to do with the pages that you
19 submitted earlier which contain no proper and thoroughly legal
20 submissions. I'm asking you whether you want to avail yourself of the
21 facility that I am offering you to submit submissions in writing, legal
22 submissions, on whether there is anything at law which comforts your
23 pretended right to refuse the matters or the material that the Prosecution
24 is trying to disclose to you in electronic format and also in addition to
25 whether the pretended right to have material translated or interpreted,
1 translated into your own language arises also under Rule 68 or not. If
2 you don't want to avail yourself of that opportunity, tell me no. If you
3 want to avail yourself of that opportunity, tell me yes. But I only want
4 an answer yes or no from you, no speeches. Otherwise, I'll cut you off.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I will never declare myself to you
6 in terms of yes or no. Do not put questions like that to me because they
7 have nothing to do with law or the science and practice of law.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So I am going to decide this matter here and
10 Following the explanation that the Pre-Trial Judge made earlier
11 on, the accused is being given three weeks within which, if he so wishes,
12 he may submit, within the parameters of the Rules and directives, written
13 submissions covering the legal issues involved in the disclosure in
14 electronic format and translations of documents of material disclosed
15 under Rule 68.
16 The Prosecution will have a further three weeks within which to
17 respond and present their case, particularly explaining why, according to
18 them, their obligations of disclosure under Rule -- under the applicable
19 Rules, are being fulfilled. The Trial Chamber then will collegially
20 decide these issues, these two issues.
21 Next item is something that goes beyond. It's still related to
22 disclosure but goes beyond what we have just discussed, and it's just the
23 Trial Chamber and the Pre-Trial Judge giving information to the parties.
24 There was, as you remember, a confidentially -- a confidential motion
25 filed way back on the 23rd of April, 2004. This was Prosecution's
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 submission of additional information concerning protective measures for
2 vulnerable witnesses.
3 In response to the Trial Chamber's decision of the 11th February,
4 2004, which granted the Prosecution's request for the issuance of a
5 non-disclosure order under Rule 53(A) of some witness statements that had
6 to be disclosed under Rule 66(A)(ii) in which decision we ordered the
7 Prosecution to provide more information to enable the Trial Chamber to
8 determine the request for pre-trial protective measures, as I said, the
9 Prosecution filed the confidential motion on the 23rd of April, and this
10 submission provided general background information relating to the dangers
11 involved in the present case, according to the Prosecution, due to the
12 behaviour of the accused and provided more detailed information in
13 relation to specific witnesses for whom protective measures were sought.
14 At the last Status Conference, the accused stated that with
15 respect to the protective measures sought by the Prosecution, his position
16 was that the Office of the Prosecutor has no reason to assume that he
17 could disclose documents that are explicitly described as not public or
18 that he could disclose names of protected witnesses.
19 The position, I suppose, is still the same. If -- we have not
20 received any further documentation on this or any further submissions on
21 this. The Trial Chamber, or I in particular, was, during the past months,
22 involved in the drawing up of the decision in the final judgement in the
23 Brdjanin case. As soon as that case was over, I have started working on
24 this pending motion. I need to discuss it further with the other two
25 Judges to see whether it's going to be a collegial decision or whether
1 it's going to be only my decision. We are in the final stages of such
2 discussions, and now that the Brdjanin case is over, I expect that we
3 should be able to hand down this decision within a very short time. We
4 are also doing our utmost to ensure that once it is handed down in the
5 English language, it is translated immediately in the Serbian language and
6 made available to the accused.
7 The reason why I earlier on also raised the question or the
8 urgency of the need to decide on whether disclosure is being carried out
9 according to the Rules relates also to another motion that was filed in
10 27th July, 2004, it's a notice for non-disclosure of names and other
11 identifying information. As I said the previous one, we are in a position
12 to decide now because we are at an advanced stage. This one, I have gone
13 into it, and I think at this stage we cannot proceed with even considering
14 the merits of this motion, because as it is, during the last Status
15 Conference the accused himself made a request to the Trial Chamber to
16 order the Prosecution to disclose by the 14th of August copies of all
17 Prosecution witnesses that mention the accused, and that prior to
18 disclosing any witness statement in redacted form that this be submitted
19 in toto to the Trial Chamber for approval.
20 As I tried to explain to you, I mean until I had received the
21 fourth report on disclosure by the Prosecution I had prepared to address
22 this matter, in other words, the motion of the 27th July, thoroughly in
23 the course of this Status Conference. However, since most of the
24 documents that the Prosecution tried to disclose as promised, as
25 undertaken, have been refused by the accused and now it needs to be
1 decided whether this refusal is justified and whether the disclosure is
2 legal or not, I think this matter has to be put forward, adjourned to when
3 we are in a position to deal with it. So the discussion on this motion is
4 being adjourned till after our decision on disclosure of electronic
5 material and translations under Rule 68 -- Rule 68 disclosure is
6 definitively decided upon either by this Trial Chamber or by the Appeals
7 Chamber, as applicable.
8 I come to Rule 65 material. 65 ter, I apologise. This matter I
9 brought up during the previous Status Conference, and I think we need to
10 take stock of where we stand now, because again this is another area where
11 we need to register some progress. I also acknowledge that there are some
12 difficulties, and some of the difficulties are also related to the points
13 I mentioned earlier.
14 You will recall that at the last Status Conference the Prosecution
15 stated that it had prepared a draft of the pre-trial brief and that a
16 draft -- also of a draft witness list and draft exhibits list. It also
17 stated that it did not want to disclose these since they were not -- they
18 had not yet reached the final stage. This was almost four months ago.
19 Prosecution stated at the time that its assessment was that it had
20 63 viva voce witnesses and 40 92 bis witnesses, and currently - when I say
21 "currently," it means at the time in June, mid-June of this year - around
22 about 900 exhibits.
23 The accused, according to my records, entered a declaration that
24 his intention was to contest each of the 92 bis witnesses that you
25 intended to bring forward. I take it that he was not only -- that his
1 requirement is that these persons, these individuals be brought forward to
2 give evidence here so that they can properly be cross-examined,
3 cross-examined by him.
4 According to the Prosecution, according to your declaration in
5 June of this year, during the last Status Conference, you anticipated also
6 that the number of exhibits would increase substantially depending if the
7 accused -- depending on whether the accused agreed or did not agreed with
8 the agreed facts which were proposed by the Prosecution.
9 You will recall that we had started brushing the question of
10 agreed facts during the last Status Conference, and I realised that the
11 accused could be heading towards a difficult situation by even being asked
12 to deal with these matters when he has a right to remain silent and also
13 not to make any statements which could possibly incriminate him, and I
14 stopped him. I'm glad that he stopped, and I am making it clear at this
15 point in time that I will not allow any further discussions during this or
16 any later Status Conference on possible agreed facts. This is a matter
17 that I am going to leave entirely up to you and in which I am not going to
18 be -- get involved any further.
19 During the last Status Conference, Madam Prosecutor and the other
20 members of the Prosecution team, you also informed me that you anticipated
21 that you would be able to file 65 ter material, that basically what I
22 mentioned earlier, the pre-trial brief, list of witnesses, list of -- and
23 exhibits list, et cetera, by the end of the year, and I urged you to try
24 and bring this date forward. Now, I honestly believe that what I
25 mentioned before in relation to the problems that we have with regard to
1 disclosure need not interfere with your preparations and fulfilment of the
2 requirements under Rule 65 ter. I don't think the two issues ought to --
3 should be mixed, and one should not have a bearing on the other.
4 So could I ask you, Madam Prosecutor, to update the Trial Chamber
5 on, first, whether your anticipated list of 65 viva voce witnesses stands
6 or whether you have revised this list. That's number one.
7 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, the list basically stands.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Secondly, whether you are going to stick to your
9 request to bring forward 92 bis witness statements.
10 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. What is your position with regard to the
12 objection of the accused in relation to this, your request, and whether
13 you object to their being brought forward for cross-examination --
14 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, we --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: -- brought forward for cross-examination, or are you
16 going to leave this in the hands of the Trial Chamber?
17 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, we can make in relation to each
18 and every witness a specified argument whether we concede that
19 cross-examination should be allowed for this and that witness and for
20 others not. So we would make -- in our submissions, we could make for
21 each and every witness --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let me make it -- let me make it very
23 clear at this stage. When you come to this stage of fulfilling your
24 obligations under the Rule 65 -- Rule 65 ter, you still need to indicate
25 the -- all the details regarding these 40 92 bis witnesses that you
1 propose to bring forward. The question as to whether you will be
2 authorised to bring forward these witnesses under Rule -- Rule 92 bis will
3 remain unprejudiced. We reserve the right to decide on that issue as we
4 go along. As well, obviously, questions related to the accused's right to
5 have these witnesses brought forward, in any case, for cross-examination,
6 even if the examination-in-chief is substituted by Rule 92 bis statements.
7 So all these matters will be left in abeyance pending eventual
8 determination by the Trial Chamber, but you will need to indicate all the
9 relative details in your list of witnesses. All right? Do I make it
11 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: We will do that.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Saving, of course, any protective measures that will
13 be put in place or will be in place between now and when you file the Rule
14 65 ter documents.
15 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I can already say that the
16 pre-trial brief we will file this month, and the witness list we can file
17 as soon as we have the protective measures decision. The exhibit list
18 will take a little bit longer. We have not received anything in writing
19 from Mr. Seselj in relation to agreed facts.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I said please don't raise the matter again. I think
21 last time -- I don't think this matter should be raised, at least not in
22 my presence. Not in my presence.
23 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: I only --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I think, to be honest, at this point in time, since
25 the accused is unassisted and he has decided to defend himself, it would
1 be making a very big mistake if he responds to you on agreed facts.
2 I made it clear to you last time, and I'm making it clear to you
3 this time: Don't respond unless you decide not to agree with me. I think
4 you would be making a big mistake if, without the proper legal advice, you
5 try to respond to the matters submitted to you for acceptance as agreed
7 I will not deal with this matter any further, so please don't
8 raise this matter any further. We may -- we may -- I might ask you for a
9 final update at the Pre-Trial Conference when we come to that and if I am
10 still in charge of the case, but until then, I am not going to have this
11 matter discussed again during any of the pre-trial Status Conference.
12 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I didn't intend to discuss this
13 matter. The only thing I wanted to convey to you, that because there is
14 no agreement on anything, the witness -- the exhibits list will take
15 longer and we cannot make it in October. That is what I wanted to point
16 out to you.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I prefer it that way rather than have the
18 accused, without proper legal assistance, be asked to answer on what he
19 agrees to and what he doesn't agree to and then find himself later on
20 faced with his acceptance of certain facts as arguments used against him.
21 And I will protect the accused because that's my duty and my
23 So -- so basically we've covered this. I would expect you, then,
24 to proceed along your statement in relation to Rule 65 ter material.
25 With regard to the pre-trial brief, this, I suppose, will be in
2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, of course, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And I would recommend to you that you start
4 working on the translation into B/C/S as early as possible so that it can
5 be handed to the accused without undue delay.
6 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, we -- the Prosecution has a duty
7 to file it in English and the Registrar has actually the undertaking to
8 translate it.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: What I mean to say is please liaise with the
10 Registrar to make sure there is no delay, even though I know that this is
11 not your responsibility. And Registrar is here, present -- a
12 representative of the Registrar is here present in the courtroom, and I'm
13 sure that he will refer this to the Registrar. The Trial Chamber solicits
14 the Registrar to give priority to translating the pre-trial brief into the
15 language of the accused as early as possible.
16 You may sit down.
17 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I wanted to mention -- in
18 relation to disclosure, I wanted to update you on two points. First of
19 all, on the 30th of September, we tried to disclose another set of Rule 68
20 materials, four CD-ROMs, and it was rejected again on that same day.
21 And secondly, if you are interested, it's always a question
22 whether something needs to be translated into English, and we actually
23 have prepared and could show it to you today an interview with the accused
24 which shows that he clearly understands the English language.
25 If you want to see it now, we could do it now.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 JUDGE AGIUS: What kind -- what kind -- is it a video recording
2 or --
3 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. It's a video recording of an interview.
4 It's about two minutes and it actually shows that he can communicate in
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's see it.
7 [Videotape played]
8 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, just for the record, it's -- the
9 ERN number of this -- this video is V0005068. So for reference.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you tendering it in evidence or not? You don't
11 need to.
12 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: No. No. Actually, it's enough that it was
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Anyway, I'm not going to ask the accused to comment
15 on that because the question is not whether he understands English or not
16 at this point in time. That may become relevant later on, but the
17 question is whether he is, under the Rules, entitled to have Rule 68
18 material disclosed in a language that he understands, in his own language
19 or not. I think that is what is in issue for the time being, but of
20 course the Trial Chamber acknowledges the -- what you are trying to prove
21 by means of this video recording, namely that the accused does understand,
22 according to himself, at least, does understand some English.
23 Okay. I think I will not return to that matter again.
24 There is another issue that we -- we need to --
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Agius.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Seselj.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I wish to say something about this.
3 I think you cannot deny me this right. I think that it is completely
4 absurd what the Prosecution is doing. I am a slightly educated man. I
5 have had some education so I have learned a little English, only enough to
6 be able to communicate with these guards of yours. But because you heard
7 me say three simple phrases in English, for you to conclude that I can
8 study legal text in that language, a substantial legal text, that is
9 something I cannot comprehend. And I do have the right to say something
10 about it, however, you keep stopping me. You don't stop the Prosecutor.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Because, Mr. Seselj, you don't need to explain all
12 this to me or to the Trial Chamber. What -- what we have seen here and
13 what you have stated, I don't think at the present moment any of this is
14 important, because as I said, it's a question of whether you have a right
15 to have Rule 68 material disclosed in your language or whether the
16 Prosecution can pretend to fulfil their obligations under Rule 68 to
17 disclose them only in the English language or whichever language they may
18 have it. So that's the question of whether you know English. How much
19 English you know is completely irrelevant for the purpose of the exercise
20 that I particularly have to embark upon. So don't worry about how much
21 English you know. You have your rights under the Statute and under the
22 Rules, and they will be respected. If the decision of the Trial Chamber
23 is that they need to be translated in your own language, they will be
24 translated in your own language.
25 Earlier on, in one of the previous Status Conferences, we
1 discussed the accused's submission. He numbers his submissions, and this
2 is very convenient for the purpose of the Pre-Trial Chamber. I'm
3 referring to submission number 37, filed way back in July of 2004.
4 The question is -- or refers to an earlier matter that the accused
5 had raised, namely he was asking the Registrar to furnish him with all the
6 jurisprudence of the Tribunal. By "jurisprudence," he was also meaning
7 not only decisions but also parties' submissions in his own language and
8 presumably in hard copy. And the Registrar or the Deputy Registrar at the
9 time had answered his request on 11 June, that is a couple of days before
10 the last Status Conference, stating that in order to be able to comply
11 with the accused's request, the Registrar -- the Registry would have to
12 provide with thousands of documents amounting to tens of thousands of
13 pages and that this was neither practical nor reasonable. The Registrar
14 was, however, amenable and also able to accommodate a more limited and
15 focused request.
16 You recall that I had allowed a brief discussion on this issue,
17 particularly explaining two matters: One, that this is basically a matter
18 to be resolved between the accused and the Registrar and that the Trial
19 Chamber would involve itself in this issue only insofar as the rights of
20 the accused to be able to defend himself could be at stake.
21 You will recall also that we went -- I gave the accused the
22 opportunity to explain in a little bit more detail his grievance
23 particularly in relation to the disclosure of case law, of decisions of
24 this Tribunal, and you will recall that he had particular complaints with
25 regard to some decisions of this Tribunal that had not been given to him
1 presumably at the time, and I think that was the position because they had
2 not yet been translated into B/C/S or they were still being in the process
3 of being translated into B/C/S.
4 I have, in preparation for this Status Conference, tried to check
5 what the situation is. I haven't really checked on what has been
6 disclosed because I think I can ask the Registrar to update the Trial
7 Chamber formally, formally during the Status Conference. There was one
8 problem that I discovered, actually, and that is that the Kupreskic
9 judgement, which was delivered quite some time ago, had not yet been
10 translated. I made further inquiries to see if some progress could be
11 reported on this matter. I learnt this morning that there are good news
12 also on Kupreskic, and I now call on the Deputy Registrar present in this
13 courtroom to update the Trial Chamber on what has been furnished to the
14 accused in accordance with the -- or along the lines indicated in the
15 previous Status Conference.
16 If you could update the Trial Chamber, please, the Pre-Trial
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, I can inform you that we delivered
19 the following translations, Serbian translations of the following
20 judgements: The judgements in the Jokic case, the judgements in the
21 Deronjic case, and the judgement in the Simic case, the judgement in the
22 Mrdja case, the judgement in the -- the appeals judgement in the Krnojelac
23 case, the judgement in the Babic case, the judgement in the Nikolic
24 case --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Which Nikolic? Momir? Dragan?
1 THE REGISTRAR: Dragan Nikolic. The judgement in the Mucic case,
2 the judgement in the Obrenovic case, and the judgement in the Cesic case.
3 I can tell you as well that I have here --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment before you proceed any further. Did you
5 -- are you in a position to confirm that the Appeals Chamber decision
6 reversing our -- the interlocutory decree on the Vojvodina element and the
7 -- has been -- whether it has been disclosed or given to the accused in
8 his own language?
9 THE REGISTRAR: I can confirm that, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And what else were you going to state?
11 THE REGISTRAR: I have here in my hands a list with all the 48
12 translations -- in B/C/S translations of judgements we have at this point
13 in time, and if -- we can deliver this list to the accused, and if he
14 needs some of these judgements, if he still does not have one of these
15 judgements, he can simply ask us and we will deliver him these judgements.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Usher. Is it in English?
17 THE REGISTRAR: It's in B/C/S.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: It's in B/C/S. So, Usher, could you please hand
19 that to the accused.
20 At this point, Mr. Seselj, if there are still any other judgements
21 that you require -- I know that you require them all. If there are any
22 judgements that have not been handed down to you in your language, could
23 you please bring that to my attention, and I will work on it.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Agius, the representative of the
25 Registry has not said - or at least I did not hear it - what his answer is
1 to your direct question as to the Kupreskic judgement. Does this
2 judgement exist in the Serbian language? He hasn't mentioned it. They're
3 avoiding giving me this judgement for special reasons. Because this
4 judgement was made several years ago.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Registrar, please. What is --
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I do have some information myself, because I
8 checked, but I don't know if you have come prepared to furnish -- to
9 provide the Trial Chamber with this information. Yes.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the Translation Unit informed me --
11 informed me that they can deliver the translation within this week.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Within this week. Okay. So the position is -- this
13 is the information that I was given, too, but I mean, I had no possibility
14 of confirming it with the translation unit. But I am informed, and the
15 Registrar confirms it, that within this week you should be given -- handed
16 a copy of the Kupreskic judgement.
17 So I haven't gone through that list. I haven't seen it, actually,
18 I don't know if there are any other judgements that are missing, that have
19 not yet been handed to you. If there are, please bring them to my
20 attention, and I will make sure that they are handed to you at the
21 earliest possible, as I promised last time.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Agius, there are many judgements
23 missing. The Krstic appeals case, the Blaskic appeals case, and so on and
24 so forth. However, I wish to draw your attention to another problem.
25 Every time before a Status Conference, two or three days before, I receive
1 several judgements from the Registry, and then I get nothing until the
2 next Status Conference. Then they give me a few more to show that they
3 have fulfilled at least a part of their obligations. Their obligation is
4 to disclose to me or send to me all the judgements as soon as possible,
5 because I have to become familiar with the jurisprudence of this Tribunal,
6 especially in view of the fact that this is a specific jurisprudence which
7 I have not been able to familiarise myself with anywhere else. I will
8 have to submit a pre-trial brief. I have to familiarise myself with the
9 jurisprudence of this Tribunal to see what it looks like in practice. I
10 know what it's like in theory on the basis of the Rules, but I have to see
11 what it looks like in practice. And it is your duty to make it possible
12 for me to familiarise myself thoroughly with the jurisprudence of this
13 Tribunal. If a hundred thousand pages are a problem for you, they're not
14 a problem for me. I can study a hundred thousand pages. I have studied
15 thousands of pages all my life. You say it's not rational. It is
16 rational for me to have everything at my disposal.
17 When the Prosecution delivers to me their motions, in my
18 submission number 37 I quoted many of them but I don't have any of these
19 decisions, any of these judgements. How then can I challenge the position
20 of the Prosecution unless I get all this material in Serbian where I can
21 find arguments to oppose what the Prosecution is saying? They rely on God
22 knows what, and all I can do is take their word for it because there is
23 nothing else I can rely on. That is why I have to familiarise myself with
24 the entire jurisprudence of this Tribunal exclusively in the Serbian
25 language because this is the only language I understand, and it all has to
1 be in writing in hard copy.
2 As for searching the database of the Prosecution, I submitted a
3 request to the Registry to allow me to hire somebody I trust to search
4 this for me, someone who is skilled at working on a computer, and then
5 this person could search the Prosecution database that they make
6 available. But although this summer you changed Article 68 of the Rules,
7 subparagraph (1) is also something that is favourable to me because the
8 first paragraph is not brought into question. Everything has to be
9 delivered to me in hard copy and in the Serbian language.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I realise that a hundred thousand pages will
11 not be a problem for you, Mr. Seselj. In fact, you've spent the last five
12 minutes saying a lot of words without giving me the answer I requested
13 from you.
14 I just said if there are any other decisions in that list that you
15 have not yet received, and you mentioned one or two only, then please let
16 me know. So go through that list. Not now, later on. If there are any
17 other decisions included in that list which should be made available to
18 you in your language and they haven't yet been made available to you,
19 bring that to my attention. I'll try to find out why this is so and make
20 sure that they are handed to you as soon as possible.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Agius.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I think the matter ends there. Go through it, and
23 when you have further information for me, then make me aware of it, give
24 me the details, and I will do the rest. But there is no point in
25 discussing it any further. You can rest assured that if you require all
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 the decisions of this Tribunal in your language, you will get them all.
2 It's not a question of hard copy because they exist in hard copy, and it's
3 not a question of volume. That's not my problem. And there should be no
5 There are maybe a few other things left. I just wanted to make
6 sure that everyone is aware that the appeals decision on the interlocutory
7 -- Appeals Chamber's decision on the interlocutory appeal concerning
8 jurisdiction was decided on the 30th of August, and this reverts us back
9 to the position as it was previous to our decision. In other words, as
10 far as the indictment is concerned.
11 The question on the rights of the accused to -- the question on
12 the accused's motion for provisional release was decided. I am not aware
13 of any appeal on that. If there has been one, I would be glad to know.
14 And that brings us to the last part of the Status Conference. As
15 I said in the beginning, I am bound to inquire on the state of the
16 accused. I'm referring only to your state of health and the condition of
17 detention. We'll start with your state of health. Is there any matter
18 related to your health that you would like to bring to my notice,
19 Mr. Seselj? And then we'll talk about the condition of detention
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Are you going to make it possible
22 for me to raise some status related questions? I have two status related
23 questions that are very important and that are more important than the
24 condition of my health.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's take them one by one, yes. Start with the
1 first status question.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Agius, you talked about my
3 submission 37 a few minutes ago. By your decision dated the 6th of July,
4 you gave instructions that my submission 37 should not be disclosed to the
5 public, with the argumentation that is not contained at all in my
6 submission 37. You forbade it to be made public on the basis of something
7 that does not exist in submission 37. That is what I've been trying to
8 tell you from the very beginning of this Status Conference. You have been
9 given something completely different and --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I have cut you off. And if you're trying -- if I
11 did that and you're trying to make public what I said will not be public,
12 you will not be given a chance. So if you want to make further
13 submissions on this, file them in writing, Mr. Seselj.
14 Next point.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I had no intention of disclosing
16 something that you forbade to be disclosed. But I would like to draw your
17 attention to something; namely, you forbade the publication of something
18 that simply does not exist in my text. Please read my submission 37 and
19 you will see that that, on the basis of which you forbade it, simply does
20 not exist in my text.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Move to the second point.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] On the 19th of August, I received
23 some material from the Prosecution on the basis of Rule 68. This is
24 material that is open to the public, and it was handed in earlier on to
25 Slobodan Milosevic, as it says here, and the Prosecution believes that
1 these -- this material can be of an apologetic nature. It's supposed to
2 be exculpatory, but this is the word they used.
3 It contains only quotations from certain documents. Since these
4 documents are very important for my defence, and the statement of Zivota
5 Panic is particularly relevant - he confirmed here that all the volunteers
6 of the Serb Radical Party were within the JNA and that they were very
7 disciplined - I insist that all these documents be handed over to me in
8 their entirety, not only certain quotations, because perhaps these are not
9 the most important quotations, perhaps these are not the most important
11 Secondly, I insist that the Prosecution supplies me with all the
12 material they have about the war activities of the Serbian Guard that was
13 established by Vuk Draskovic and the Serbian Renewal Movement. It
14 consisted of Belgrade criminals. Because this material will be very
15 important for my defence. I have learned for a fact that they have a lot
16 of such material from Gospic, from Bosnia and Herzegovina, et cetera, et
17 cetera. So in order to prevent any kind of confusion and any kind of
18 confusion regarding the role of different factors in this war, I ask you
19 to instruct the Prosecution to provide me with all this material.
20 So anyway, if they provide me with any material, they should do so
21 in the entirety of those materials. So if they left out a particular
22 sentence and so on and so forth, then I can say, "Well, you've left out a
23 particular sentence, and so on," but I believe it is impermissible in
24 serious court proceedings to give only sections of documents or quotations
25 rather than the entire documents.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know if Mr. Seselj knows this or not, but
2 basically we don't see -- none of the three Judges receive copies of what
3 is disclosed to you. We don't get copies of those, of that material. So
4 basically I have a note here that potential Rule 68 material in hard copy
5 in English and Serbian related to the Croatian part of the case was
6 disclosed to you on the 19th of August and that you accepted that
7 material, but I don't know what it is.
8 So what I suggest is the following: I will now address the
9 Prosecution and see if you are in a position to respond to Mr. Seselj's
10 request here and now. If not, I will invite Mr. Seselj to file a proper
11 motion addressing particularly this material about which I know absolutely
12 nothing, because we don't receive this material, and then you will have an
13 opportunity to respond. I don't know which one you prefer.
14 But are you in a position to deal with Mr. Seselj's submissions or
16 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour, I can actually do that.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, okay.
18 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: In relation to the documents where Mr. Seselj
19 mentioned that he received only quotations from larger documents, that is
20 correct. It's actually quotations from witness statements of sensitive
21 sources where we have already indicated in our general submission how we
22 would do disclosure. We have already mentioned that we would not disclose
23 the entire statement of these sensitive sources in other cases but just
24 bring the quote that relates to Seselj. And the same material was
25 provided to Mr. Milosevic, and he also didn't get anything else than
1 quotes from these statements.
2 In relation to the Serbian Guard, Vuk Draskovic, we disclosed what
3 is Rule 68 or potential Rule 68. The fact that other groups unrelated to
4 Mr. Seselj commit crimes throughout the territory of the former
5 Yugoslavia, I can't see how that can, in any event, be exculpatory for
6 this accused. Therefore, we do not intend to provide this material.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Seselj, I think this calls for a proper motion
8 on your part, because I don't know what, in actual fact, for all intents
9 and purposes, it's as if you're talking at cross-purposes, because since
10 we do not receive the material that is handed to you, we are not in a
11 position to -- we are not in a position to really know what needs to be
13 I think first issue that needs to be decided relates to this
14 material that was disclosed on the 19th of August, whether the abridged or
15 redacted or whatever information disclosed suffices according to the Rule
16 or whether it's the case of disclosing more or the entirety. That's the
17 first thing that needs to be decided.
18 And secondly, your request as it relates to -- I don't know which
19 movement you mentioned. One needs to see whether that falls under Rule 68
20 or not, and if it doesn't fall under Rule 68, whether it's something that
21 can be researched in the Prosecution database if you're given this
22 assistance, researched under Rule 68(i), or whether it has to be disclosed
23 under some other kind of -- under some other Rule.
24 So please file an ad hoc motion so that I can then communicate to
25 the Prosecution and decide these issues, because they are not necessarily
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 related, the one to the other. The first one relates to what has already
2 been disclosed; the other relates to material that has not been disclosed
3 and which you pretend to have disclosed, which the Prosecution is telling
4 you this is not -- has got nothing to do with you or with the case. So we
5 need a proper motion.
6 Your state of health. Are there any particular complaints that --
7 or matters you would like to raise in regard to your health?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Agius. Today several times
9 you stated that I was pretending, and then you stated that I speak for a
10 long time and I do not say anything, especially not in respect of what you
11 had asked me about, and this caused additional suffering in my part and in
12 addition to all the suffering that your robes cause me.
13 If you're going to prevent me from speaking again, I have decided
14 to look at you all the time regardless of how great and deep my suffering
15 may be. However, I must say that what you stated today is not really
16 something that a Judge in any court in this world should say.
17 I defend myself as I deem most expedient for these proceedings. I
18 know that this is going to cause additional hatred on your part and on the
19 part of the Prosecution, but that is your own affair.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. With regard to your condition of
21 detention in the unit, do you have any complaints?
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: So that basically brings an end to today's Status
24 Conference. The next one will be convened in accordance with the Rules,
25 that is within 120 days from today.
1 The Pre-Trial Chamber stands adjourned, and the Status Conference
2 stands adjourned.
3 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned
4 at 11.16 a.m.