1 Wednesday, 23 January 2008
2 [Open session]
3 ---Upon commencing at 2.22 p.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you please
6 call the case?
7 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you and good afternoon Your Honours, this is
8 case number IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: Very well. This is Wednesday and I welcome the
10 witness, Ms. Dahl, Mr. Seselj and each and everyone in this courtroom.
11 We are now to continue with the cross-examination. The Accused so far has
12 used up 1 hour and 26 minutes. Prosecution had used 5 hours and 32
13 minutes; therefore, the Accused still has 4 hours and 6 minutes for the
15 Mr. Seselj, you have the floor.
16 WITNESS: GORAN STOPARIC [Resumed]
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 Cross-examination by Mr. Seselj [Continued]:
19 Q. Mr. Stoparic, we never met directly, you and I, before?
20 A. No. We never spoke to each other, did we, as far as I could
22 Q. I think we shook hands several times. When in a crowd of many
23 other people when I shook hands with lots of other people, that was
24 probably it but we never talked, as far as I remember.
25 A. Yes, that's what I said. When you came to Sid we shook hands in
1 the office.
2 Q. Mr. Stoparic, according to your answer during the examination in
3 chief, you went to the Herzegovina battlefield with Vakic in 1992; is that
5 A. Not literally with him. Actually, he was already there before me,
6 and as far as I heard from him he took over the unit from Oliver. And
7 afterwards with a group of volunteers I went to Belgrade, I asked
8 Pasilovic [phoen] or someone else for an accompanying letter inviting, or
9 rather asking for state transport vehicles so that we wouldn't have to pay
10 money for reaching our destination, so I was a little late. He was
11 already there when I arrived.
12 Q. And you had free transport, right, because you were volunteers?
13 A. Yes, we were given a letter to that effect.
14 Q. I see. Now Vakic with his volunteer unit was included straight
15 away into the unit of the army of Republika Srpska, right?
16 A. Absolutely correct. On a daily basis as commander he would go to
17 Trebinje for discussions every morning, and sometimes I'd go with him.
18 Q. You mean for reporting?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And he would be told on that particular day what his unit was
21 supposed do?
22 A. Yes. Tasks, guidelines, food, everything.
23 Q. So you were at Grabinje -- Trebinje, right?
24 A. Yes, Grab is a military facility. It's a forward, I think it was
25 called a forward military facility or whatever.
1 Q. Well, your task to begin with was to guard the border area of
2 Trebinje facing Dubrovnik; is that right?
3 A. Not only to guard it but to reconnoiter and do reconnaissance work
4 as well.
5 Q. Ljubo Ivanovic, nicknamed Ljubo Chetnik, was the head of a platoon
6 or a squad, is that right, of reconnaissance men?
7 A. He arrived later on with a group of people.
8 Q. He joined up with Vakic, did he?
9 A. Yes, in the same facility.
10 Q. Branislav Vakic will be a Defence witness. So he provided you
11 with quite a bit of information. He says that Ljubo Ivanovic had the task
12 of supervising the area which is called Bobanj.
13 MS. DAHL: Following the cross-examination on statements yesterday
14 by the accused who had collected these materials and gave them to us, I'd
15 like to point out the Chamber's prior decision on proper
17 If the Accused or myself for that matter, wishes to cross-examine
18 a witness, under the Trial Chamber's guidelines, it is inappropriate to
19 put to the witness the source of the information being conveyed, and I'd
20 refer to paragraph 26 of the 15 November 2007 order in which the Chamber
21 states: "The party cross-examining a witness may show the witness the
22 information obtained from a previous on the condition that the source of
23 the information is not identified."
24 I would suggest that a reasonable interpretation of that direction
25 includes not telling the witness, I heard this from so and so, did he tell
1 me right, or is it correct that that information that I got from so and so
2 is true?
3 In this instance Mr. Seslj has volunteered to the witness an
4 individual who will be called -- whom the Defence intends to call as a
5 witness as the source and then asked the witness questions concerning that
6 information. I believe that violates the Chamber's guidelines on
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have something to say. I think
9 that this is an unreasonable interpretation by Ms. Dahl. Not a reasonable
10 one because your ruling referred to the previous witnesses which have
11 already testified in Court. And before Mr. Stoparic, we just heard expert
12 witness Oberschall. Now, I'm talking about someone who is the commander
13 of a unit in which Mr. Stoparic was himself at the Herzegovina
14 battleground, and I do have the right to mention his name and what he says
15 about it. It's not a violation of your guideline and ruling because I'm
16 not mentioning any previous Prosecution witnesses and then asking the
17 witness to comment on what anyone of them said.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, I do not have this ruling
19 before me. I'm going to be given it by a legal officer, but you are
20 entitled to speak about his commander. However, you could have avoided
21 saying that he was going to be one of your witnesses, because if you do
22 so -- as you did so you are creating a situation which should not be taken
23 into account by the witness. He doesn't need to take into account whether
24 his chief was going to be a Prosection or Defence witness, but proceed
1 THE ACCUSED SESELJ: I think Mr. President, that there is nothing
2 more natural than for Branislav Vakic and other people that I proclaim to
3 be Chetnik Vojvodas for the things they did in the war, to come in as
4 Defence witnesses. Secondly, he won't be a protected witness. I'm not
5 going to have a single protected witness.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, I agree with you. You can
7 choose your witnesses as you please, but you do not want to induce a
8 specific behaviour to a witness. No need to tell him that that man is
9 going to testify after he does because if you do so, you pressurize him.
10 He may well think, Well, if I say something the other one might think or
11 say the opposite. So this is not to your advantage technically. No need
12 to tell this witness that somebody is going to come and testify who might
13 contradict what this witness says because if you do so, you pressurize the
15 Go ahead.
16 MR. SESELJ:
17 Q. Now, Ljubo Ivanovic was the commander of a squad as we said which
18 took part in reconnaissance work in the are that was called Bobanj; that
19 is to say between Popovo Polje and the sea. Do you remember that?
20 A. I personally knew Ljubo Ivanovic, and I do know that he came to
21 Grab. Now, whether the place is called Bobanj or not I'm not quite sure,
22 but I'm almost certain that he spent one or two nights in Grab we were all
23 the time so that I considered that he was a separate unit working for the
24 same interest.
25 Now, please believe me when I say I was promoted to Mr. Vakic's
1 deputy, but through the documents that I kept, that meant manpower,
2 procurement of resources, and anything more serious with the negotiations
3 of the coming -- Trebinje, that's what Mr. Vakic did, if I can put it that
4 way. Although, he didn't hide anything from me so that it is possible
5 that he was our forward department in a way.
6 So perhaps I knew this, perhaps I didn't. I see no reason not to
7 say that he was there because we were there for the same thing.
8 Q. Ljubo Ivanovic was a JNA soldier in the fighting in Slovenia, do
9 you know that, in 1991?
10 A. Ljubo Ivanovic, in the first two actions was in Leva Supoderica as
11 well. I think he was -- that. A very brave guy was killed by the name of
12 Vlada Lukic in that first operation. Later on every unit that was led by
13 Mr. Ivanovic, he would call the unit Vlada Lukic in memory of that man.
14 Q. Ljubo Ivanovic was already prominent and known as a courageous and
15 brave fighter, right?
16 A. Well, I have seen many fighters, but --
17 Q. He was famous among the soldiers?
18 A. He was among the top 12, yes.
19 Q. Ljubo Ivanovic, carried by this fame of his, just could not accept
20 Branislav Vakic being an authority above him; isn't that right?
21 A. Well, I didn't remember that, but between the two of them there
22 was a conflict of interest. That is true, and you've just reminded me of
24 Quite simply Ljubo Ivanovic, at least that's what I think, and
25 it's not nice to speak ill of the dead, ever, but he thought that he knew
1 more and knew better than Vakic.
2 Q. And there was this tension constantly towards Vakic, his tension
3 towards Vakic.
4 A. Yes, as I say, there was a conflict of interest.
5 Q. And at one point Ljubo Ivanovic separated from Vakic and left the
6 unit with a group of fighters; isn't that right?
7 A. I'm just waiting because I'm waiting for the interpretation. I
8 know that Ljubo Ivanovic was at another post and that sometimes he would
9 sleep where we were. But the conflict wasn't that they hated each other,
10 at the time officially there was this other unit, another group of
11 volunteers and he was with them. But I can't-- I'm not quite convinced of
12 that now.
13 Q. Ljubo Ivanovic left Vakic --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sorry for interrupting you. I
15 have the ruling now in front of me. I'm going to read paragraph 26 of the
16 said ruling: "The cross-examining party can confront the witness with
17 information obtained from a previous witness provided the identity of the
18 source is not identified."
19 This is what you reminded us, Ms. Dahl, but if you have a strict
20 reading of this paragraph, when it says a pervious witness in my mind,
21 that is a previous witness who has testified. If a witness has testified,
22 indeed the accused can say to a witness, Somebody came here to testify, I
23 don't give you the name, who said, for instance, there were three trucks.
24 You said there were two. Who's right? That's how it should take place.
25 So when it says here "previous witness" this is not about a
1 witness whose testimony is not even known.
2 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, I agree with the notion that one should
3 not disclose the source of a previous witness' testimony, but I think that
4 the principle embodied in this is that the prior testimony has an
5 assurance of accuracy because it has been put before the Chamber under the
6 supervision of the Chamber and under an oath or affirmation as to its
7 truthfulness, that imbues the testimony with some quality that makes it
8 worthy to challenge the current witness with discrepancies and to confront
9 a current witness with it.
10 The bringing forth of information derived from someone who has yet
11 to make an appearance before the Chamber is of a lesser quality. And it
12 may be that the individuals that Mr. Seselj has gathered his information
13 from do present themselves to the Chamber for examination, but it
14 compromises as you've said before or puts pressure on the current witness
15 to bring in un-tested information and attribute it to the source in order
16 to cross-examine.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You see, the problem is that
18 you're both right. We can have the following situation: Let me go back
19 to this example with three or two trucks. Let us imagine that a witness
20 said I saw three trucks. Mr. Seslj has his own Defence witness, and he
21 knows because he was told so by his investigators that that witness had
22 two trucks. So in this case, in this very hypothetical case, Mr. Seselj
23 could say, Well, witness, you said that you saw three trucks. I have a
24 witness who says that he saw two.
25 So he can test the witness without giving the name of that other
1 witness of course. So really on a case by case basis you're both right,
2 but it is really on a case by case basis you're right to say that when a
3 witness has made a solemn declaration, what he says might be relevant and
4 it can be tested, confronted with what another witness says here. But
5 here we have a case where this -- that other witness has not testified
7 So the Trial Chamber does not know him at all, but the Defence
8 knows that on this or that point there may be a contradiction between that
9 other witness and this one. So the accused can say I have information
10 that enabled me to say that what you say here may not be right. So then
11 he has an answer from this witness, and later on when that other witness
12 comes to testify you can always cross-examine him or her.
13 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, let me suggest that the purpose of
14 cross-examination can be achieved simply by asking the witness: Weren't
15 there two trucks. And then if the witness denies that he's been
16 confronted with the information and is not contaminated or pressured with
17 the idea that a hundred other people who saw the accident said there were
18 two trucks because that really isn't the point of confronting the witness
19 with how many witnesses disagree with him so much as what is his
20 recollection of the facts to which he is testifying.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Seselj, you
22 have the floor again. So far you mastered the technique of
23 cross-examination. I know that you conducted several investigation
24 committees and that you know very well what the procedural rules are.
25 Please take our rulings into account, take into account the current
1 discussion and do your best. If ever there's a problem, we'll have an
2 objection by the Prosecution and the Trial Chamber will settle the matter.
3 You have the floor.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have to note that
5 Ms. Dahl said something nebulous, something that I have never heard
6 before. Let me remind you. She said that the testimony of previous
7 witnesses are considered to be correct because they took the solemn
8 declaration and so on. That is all nebulous.
9 Now, when the proceedings are over it is up to you as the Trial
10 Chamber to assess what testimony was true, what was not, what was more
11 true, less true or what the testimony was like anyway. So it's not the
12 order of witnesses testifying that determines whether a testimony is
13 correct or not. I never thought that I would hear anything like that said
14 in this courtroom.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I did hear what she said, but I
16 believe that she meant to say that a witness who has made a solemn
17 declaration, such as this one, when they say something it has a certain
18 value. The fact that they testify under oath carries automatically with
19 it that it is imbued with a certain value. It is not necessarily the
20 truth but it has a certain value. I think that was the meaning of what
21 Ms. Dahl said.
22 But let's move on to other questions now.
23 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. Stoparic, let's now make a slight digression here. Do you
25 consider when somebody says in this courtroom, I take the solemn
1 declaration, I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth that that is a
2 true oath, just the same as when the oath is, I solemnly swear, in your
4 A. When you say "swear," that is binding.
5 Q. That's a proper oath.
6 A. Yes. In Serbian legislation in Serbia and in the army that's what
7 it is like. Now this is a solemn obligation, this declaration, and I
8 accepted it and I know that I am quite responsible.
9 Q. I'm not asking about you, but abstractly.
10 A. Well, yes, all right.
11 Q. When somebody says, I hereby declare, doesn't that remind you of
12 our primary school in the pioneers movement of children there when we
13 pledged to our dictator Tito?
14 A. Well, I did the same when I was a pioneer.
15 Q. And then we made jokes on the subject later on?
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, Mr. Seselj.
17 Indeed, you have tackled this issue in other hearings.
18 Witness, you have taken an oath, you read the text of it, but we
19 are privileged because we know that -- we know that you have been a
20 witness before other courts, including national courts. There too you
21 took an oath. So do you make any difference in your mind between
22 testifying before domestic judges or before international judges? Is
23 there a difference or not in your mind, or does the oath that you took,
24 the solemn declaration, does it have the same value?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In a way here, it's a little
1 differently constructed, but as a man, as a human being if I read it out,
2 then, to a certain extent I consider that I have sworn, as I would in
3 Serbian, so I'm conscious that I can -- that legal proceedings can be
4 taken against me for every word that I say that is not --
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
6 continues] ... That the three Judges you have in front of you would be
7 domestic judges, would that change anything to the answers you give to
8 Mr. Seselj's questions?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I do not wish to change my
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
12 Please proceed, Mr. Seselj.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was important to testify there.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I just wish to
15 impress upon the Court that no one among the Serbs, Croats, Albanians,
16 Muslims and Macedonians who appear before this Court to testify do not one
17 of them consider this solemn declaration to have the strength of an oath.
18 An oath is a sacred act. When -- this reminds all the people of the
19 communist times when actually one cracked jokes about solemn
20 declarations. Solemn declarations would be used in the pioneers league
21 which was the communist organisation of the youngest and in the communist
22 army of the former Yugoslavia. This is what I wish to say and now I shall
23 proceed with my cross-examination.
24 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
25 Q. So I have impressed it upon you that according to my information
1 Ljubo Ivanovic, with a group of combatants, left Vakic's unit and then
2 headed in the direction of Mostar. Do you know that?
3 A. I don't know in which direction he went.
4 Q. Well, he appeared eventually in the Borackori Lake and this is
5 where he was killed, right?
6 A. I don't know exactly when he was killed. I believe but it doesn't
7 have to be true, he may have been by Boracko Lake, but he may have taken a
8 furlough and gone home and then he reappeared at Boracko Lake but it
9 doesn't have to be exact.
10 Q. But he died near Boracko Lake in Bora Antelj's unit. Did you
11 hear about Bora Antelj?
12 A. Yes, I have heard about that name, that of Bora Antelj, but I
13 don't know where exactly he got killed, but I did go to Nis to his
15 Q. You said that a message of mine was read out there at that
16 funeral. Could that have been a cable, a telegram?
17 A. Yes, a telegram.
18 Q. If I remember correctly, it could only have been a cable because I
19 could not sent a letter because the funeral took place after a very short
20 while. So it was a telegram with my condolences to the family on account
21 of the death of Ivanovic?
22 A. Yes. You offered your gratitude for his contribution to the
23 fighting. It was a telegram offering your condolences and I don't know
24 whether it indicated that his promotion --
25 Q. No, posthumously, no, but he was promoted to any rank.
1 A. No, I don't agree. There had been posthumous promotions.
2 Q. Yes, in history, but not when I'm concerned.
3 A. It's true, Mr. Seselj. I thought that that may have been the
5 Q. Why am I saying this? I cannot find it in the records of the
6 Serbian Radical Party that I sent any telegrams then because we
7 meticulously record all our public appearances, but it is possible because
8 although he had left the volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party and
9 joined another unit that we had nothing to do with, I remember another
10 case. Have you heard -- had you heard about Mirko Lavadinovic, Uca?
11 A. Well, Uca rings a bell, but I don't know whether that's that
13 Q. Mirko Lavadinovic, Uca, is from Belgrade, and he was a volunteer
14 of the Serbian Radical Party in villages, Slavonian villages north of
15 Vukovar, and as our volunteers would go there to the front for about a
16 month, and they would go home for a rest, for a furlough, when his group
17 left for home, he remained. He stayed on and joined Arkan's unit, and he
18 got killed as a member of Arkan's unit. And irrespective of the fact that
19 he had abandoned the Radical Party volunteers, it is my opinion that he
20 got killed in defending the Serbian people and I went to attend his
21 funeral, because I consider that to be my morale obligation. I knew him,
22 I knew that he got killed fighting for the freedom of his people, and at
23 that funeral I also met with Arkan, although we had a long-standing
24 animosity obtaining between us and sometimes overt hostilities so I do not
25 rule out the possibility that I sent a telegram to the family of Ljubo
1 Ivanovic, but by that time he had no longer been our volunteer or our
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. This is a
4 statement. This is not a question. You should have said, Witness, did
5 you know that I sent a telegram, that I went to the funeral. Then he
6 would have answered yes or no. But you're testifying right now.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I was just about to ask that
8 question, Judge.
9 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
10 Q. The fact that I sent -- possibly sent this telegram, can it be
11 treated in this way: I knew him, I knew that he had been killed at the
12 battle front and regardless of the fact that he had parted ways with our
13 volunteers, I paid a certain tribute to him?
14 A. Mr. Seselj, had that been not so, would you have had any
15 volunteers in the period after that at all?
16 Q. But you think that what I'm saying is plausible or do you think
17 that it was so?
18 A. I see no reason why he shouldn't be honoured for the period in
19 which he fought, even if he was a member of another unit, he was on the
20 Serbian side in a way.
21 Q. Yes.
22 A. Yes, he did not join the national guards?
23 Q. Yes. Mr. Stoparic, Vakic at Grab was given the orders to go to
24 the area between Nevesinje and Velez with his unit at Podvelezje?
25 A. Yes, this is Podvelezje, it's called Podvelezje. This is a
1 plateau. It is quite high ground in respect of Nevesinje. It is quite
2 forbidden terrain.
3 Q. And that was of strategic importance for the Serbian army?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And Vakic was issued orders to penetrate Muslim positions and take
6 Podvelezje, right?
7 A. What happened in the terrain, we were the striking fist of what
8 was going on. There were also armoured resources and other units
9 participating but we were the striking fist of that penetration.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could the parties please not overlap.
11 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
12 Q. You were there during that operation?
13 A. Yes. I would like to say that it was not the entire unit that
14 went there. We didn't have enough transport means but the number of
15 people who could be transported by what means we had and that group was
16 divided by Vakic into two parts. He led one group and I was in charge of
17 the other group so that the path which was the coordination which was
18 actually the axis of our operation, I was on the left side of that road
19 and Mr. Vakic was on the right side in or advance towards enemy forces but
20 we communicated via radio of course.
21 Q. Before you put in an attack you had artillery support, did you
23 A. Yes, the standard artillery preparation.
24 Q. How long did that last? Was strong?
25 A. I don't remember.
1 Q. But it was strong?
2 A. Yes, it was. There was also friendly fire, casualties.
3 Q. So you put in an attack and our artillery had not stopped with its
4 fire at -- yet?
5 A. That is the system which is usually applied. The artillery stops
6 after five minutes and then the infantry advances attacking and as we were
7 trained and we exceptionally courageous, we wanted to advance and to
8 approach the enemy as -- to be as near him as possible during the
9 artillery preparation.
10 Q. And you succeeded in defeating the enemy and taking his positions?
11 A. I found out about the success of the action in hospital because I
12 was among the first who got wounded.
13 Q. In view of the artillery preparation there certainly were no
14 civilians in those villages?
15 A. I'm always inclined to say civilians were there only in the very
16 beginning of the war when not even our enemy knew how to conduct himself,
17 how to comport himself, but later in the second year when everybody had
18 formed their armies and the JNA was in the withdrawal stage, at that point
19 in time if the front line was a village, all these civilians would have
20 been moved by the respective sides in order for them to avoid being
21 exposed to danger, so I'm sure that at that point there were no
22 civilians. If there were any, they would have remained there on their own
24 Q. Yes. So were combat actions, I expected where there is already
25 artillery preparation, the civilians whether they are Muslims, Serbs or
1 Croats are evacuated.
2 A. This is quite normal procedure only in the very beginning at the
3 very beginning of the war something different could have happened.
4 Q. But this was well into the war, right?
5 A. Yes, it was.
6 Q. So it would be folly to expose one's own civilians to enemy fire,
7 to one's own fire?
8 A. Yes, many times I was in charge of the artillery weapons and fired
9 it myself and I never had the intention of firing at any targets which I
10 did not consider to be military targets.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, Mr. Seselj is
12 addressing very technical and very military aspects. There's no problem,
13 but you just confirmed that you had directed artillery fire. That seems
14 that you also are very component in this respect.
15 When artillery is shooting, and when the -- the people know that
16 there are civilians, are they supposed to shoot and fire on houses where
17 they know that there are civilians?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I tried to explain, Your Honours.
19 To direct artillery fire in the Serbian language means to be a direct
20 combatant at the very line of contact with the enemy and to also be in
21 charge of adjusting the fire, so I was directing the weaponry fire and
22 using the fire-power of the heavy military hardware.
23 Of course, I, as a soldier, at the very front line, had no reason
24 whatsoever to bomb or to shell or to have the commander of the artillery
25 unit shell a target which I need not -- needed not to have destroyed.
1 What I needed was to prepare the field by artillery fire.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
3 continues] ... Well, but in what you're saying obviously there's two
4 elements. There's a reconnaissance group that is going to recognise where
5 the targets are and then this group will give an order to the artillery
6 men to fire. But if the reconnaissance group notices or finds out that
7 there are civilians, what happens then?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That group would immediately report
9 back to the command, inform the command.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And what would happen next?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Usually the reconnaissance group,
12 and I used to be the leader of such a group, the commander, would seek out
13 a target. If we are talking about simply reconnaissance without combat
14 action. I just locate a target for a future action. But we are talking
15 about combat actions, ongoing combat actions themselves, then you don't
16 have the possibility to target civilians with artillery fire, nor is that
17 the objective. You just try to direct your fire to targets which are
18 facilities from which fire is received.
19 So military facilities, in a nutshell.
20 I cannot say that at times a school was not a military facility.
21 Sometimes it would be a pill box, a nest, a machine-gun nest and used as
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's take a simple example.
24 Imagine there is a village, in this village there is enemy forces
25 either are in or around the village. But in the village there are also
1 women, children, elderly people who stayed in the village. What should
2 the reconnaissance group and what should the artillery group do?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If it is our objective to attack
4 that village and take the area and we know that there are civilians in it,
5 several days prior to our action we reconnoitre the area and we identify
6 the actual targets and we shell the front lines. The front lines are
7 usually 300 metres away from the first row of houses, and the second line
8 of enemy's positions is in the first row of houses usually there -- there
9 are no civilians there and it is not logical for civilians to be there.
10 They are in the rear of the village, which we never shell but we do shell
11 that part of the village once we have advanced to the front part of the
12 victim but by that time the civilians will have been evacuated.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
14 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
15 Q. According to information Mr. Stoparic was a single Muslim civilian
16 killed during the attack at Podvelezje. Do you know that any Muslim got
18 A. There is a fact which I have repeated many time and it is
19 absolutely true. I, as a Serbian soldier, in uniform, whether I call
20 myself a Chetnik or not, that is of no consequence, and whether I came
21 there organised by the Radical Party or some other organisation or the
22 police, I have a uniform and I'm a clearly identified person. I have the
23 patch identifying me clearly and that is of course because the enemy can
24 have similar or identical uniform and I needed to be identified.
25 But it was very difficult to distinguish a civilian from a soldier
1 at that time in those years. There were many instances of a civilian
2 killing or wounding somebody because he was also armed. In fact I myself
3 was later wounded in Kosovo because I failed to react efficiently to a
4 civilian who was ten metres away from me and took out a Kalashnikov and
5 almost killed me. Sometimes it was very hard to make this distinction but
6 I don't know of any case of somebody actually shooting, executing a
7 civilian on purpose, and when the artillery was active and the riflemen
8 were active this is the same thing, the same practice.
9 Q. If I understood you well, not all the Muslim soldiers at that time
10 wore uniforms, had uniforms?
11 A. That is correct.
12 Q. They were not provided with enough uniforms.
13 A. I said it was difficult even in the thick of battle to make a
14 distinction between a civilian and a soldiers. At a certain point of time
15 I would notice a piece of weaponry and civilians arms and at that moment
16 that person was no longer a civilian to me but I have to approach him to a
17 distance of some ten metres in order to be able to identify the
18 difference. We never had any members of our unit that were in civilian
19 clothes. In Mufti they could have sweatsuits on when they were not in
20 combat but not in combat.
21 Q. During your actions was a body of a Muslim woman or a child
22 found? And I'm speaking about Podvelezje. You finished your combat
23 action, you took the Muslim positions in Podvelezje, you conquer them and
24 then did you find out whether a child or a women had been killed?
25 A. When? What was the target, the objective of our action was
1 achieved when we took that area. I was in hospital, in Nevesinje in a
2 makeshift hospital so that I did not have the honour to actually celebrate
3 the successful action because I had been wounded but nobody informed me of
4 any such case. I don't know that that happened.
5 Q. But had it happened would you have been informed, do you think?
6 A. Yes, immediately. After the cessation of the combat actions it
7 was not only I who was wounded among Vakic's men. There were others and
8 there is a list of the wounded and dead. In fact, a soldier committed
9 suicide. This is not indicated in the list because he was so severely
10 wounded we tried to evacuate him. We established visual contact with him
11 but he activated a grenade and committed suicide. It was our practice not
12 to indicate this in our reports. We did not want Milosevic's regime to
13 create any problems for us on that account.
14 Q. It is it stated here, it was slipped in, in -- in your statement.
15 The question of this unit so that one could draw the conclusion that there
16 were three units of volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party at the same
17 time. One was led by Vakic, the other by Oliver Denis Barret and the
18 third by Ljubo Ivanovic.
19 A. I said I'm quite absolutely certain that Vakic took over the Grab
20 facility from Oliver Denis. He was withdrawn back to Belgrade and the
21 other one continued. Yes, Ljubo Ivanovic stayed on with his unit which he
22 called Chetniks, but he was always a Chetnik. At the same time it is
23 impossible for them to have been there -- well, Denis had already been
24 withdrawn. So I don't believe that I ever said that it was at the same
1 Q. That's what I wanted to hear from you. Very well. Because what
2 I'm doing is refuting what they made you sign here.
3 Mr. Stoparic, do you know why Oliver Denis had to leave the unit?
4 A. No, no. I don't know whether he is the only one who left the
5 unit. Maybe he withdrew all the men who were under his command and Vakic
6 maybe came in later. I don't know because I had joined up later.
7 Q. Do you know that in Podvelezje at the end of May 1992 there was an
8 assassination against me?
9 A. An attempt?
10 Q. Well, an assassination was carried out, but it was unsuccessful.
11 A Muslim threw a grenade at me.
12 A. I know that.
13 Q. Do you know that Oliver was in Podgorica then?
14 A. I personally do not know that but I heard about it from the media.
15 Q. Oliver Denis Barret was wounded then. He had wounds in the lower
16 part of the abdomen and in his legs.
17 A. I heard about that.
18 Q. That was the reason for his withdrawal to Belgrade and for Vakic
19 to come in his place. That could have been the reason if you don't know
20 with any certainty?
21 A. Well, I don't know but of course if the man was wounded it is only
22 reasonable for him to be withdrawn.
23 Q. As for Ljubo Ivanovic the Serb Radical Party never sent volunteers
24 to his unit. Do you have any information that they did?
25 A. You think that then in that terrain, somebody sent additional men.
1 Q. Yes.
2 A. I don't think so. Because if Branslav Vakic was the commander and
3 if part of our unit is at a forward post, if it is, he only could have
4 done this through Vakic. He could have received replenishment or anything
5 like that. I personally went from Grab to Podgorica to the railway
6 station and I met people, all of this in coordination with the Montenegrin
7 police and I brought them to the border. This was a few times. There
8 were very few volunteers, but at any rate the Montenegrin police requested
9 this kind of escort.
10 Q. However, if Ljubo Ivanovic left Vakic it's impossible for Vakic to
11 send him replenishments. Isn't that logical?
12 A. Well, it shouldn't be that way, but not a single clash of their
13 interest is it grater than our common interest. I believe that if Ljuba
14 had complained to him in any way, if he said that he needed help in terms
15 of weapons or whatever, I mean, if Vakic was in a position to do that he
16 would have done it and if I were in a position I would have done it too.
17 Q. If Ljubo Ivanovic had lamented somewhere, saying, We are
18 surrounded, help, everybody would have come to help him?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. All right. You do not have any proof that Ljubo Ivanovic -- that
21 the Serb Radical Party sent volunteers to Ljubo Ivanovic. That is
22 important for me. In June your unit was engaged in Podvelezje and, at the
23 same time, was there a unit of volunteers of the Serb Radical Party on the
24 13th of June that was operating in the territory of Mostar? Have you
25 heard of such a unit?
1 A. In the area of Mostar? On the 13th?
2 Q. The 13th of June.
3 A. 13th of June.
4 Q. Here in the indictment it says that on the 13th of June there were
5 volunteers of the Serb Radical Party. The so-called Seselj's men and the
6 Serb forces were in action and among them there were some of Seselj's men
7 too. Have you heard of any such thing?
8 A. I don't know anything with any degree of certainty.
9 Q. Had something like that happened, you would have to know if you're
10 a volunteer from that unit.
11 A. Well, if it was our forward post, of course I would have to know.
12 Q. Did you hear that there, in some of the villages that are called
13 Zalik, Potoci, Put, Livac, Vrapcici, and others, 88 civilians were taken
14 prisoner and that they were taken to the stadium in the village of
15 Vrapcici, detained there and killed?
16 A. This is the first time I hear of this.
17 Q. Is it possible that this was done by the volunteers of the Serb
18 Radical Party?
19 A. I cannot make any assumptions because this is the first time I
20 hear of this.
21 Q. First time. And their bodies were found in Borak at a garbage
22 dump and some bodies were found in Sutine, I think, some were killed in
23 Sutine and thrown into a pit by the Neretva. Have you heard of that?
24 A. These names tell me that I never ever went there.
25 Q. Yes. The Prosecution gave me a document, a document of the
1 cantonal court from Mostar where it says that the indictment was issued
2 against 30 Serbs, all them were locals from Mostar and the surrounding
3 area, that is to say Herzegovina, and there's not a single one from
4 Serbia. Is it possible that they were volunteers of the Serb Radical
5 Party then?
6 MS. DAHL: [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. Seselj is
7 referring to a document and I was wondering if we could request that he
8 identify the document that is he using, please.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Seselj, could you tell
10 us exactly what document you're talking about? Where does this document
11 come from? What is the date of this document?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] At this moment I don't have it in
13 front of me but this is a document that was provided to me by the
14 Prosecution and it has one of their 65 ter numbers. It is the indictment
15 of the cantonal Court in Mostar or rather the cantonal prosecutor's office
16 in Mostar. They can find out straight away through their computers. I
17 cannot carry everything around Judge. Look at all the packages I already
18 have. If I were to carry everything that the Prosecution gave me, half of
19 this courtroom would be packed. However, I am giving you the name of the
20 document, a indictment against 30 Serbs who were suspected of having
21 committed murders in Uborak and Sutine. The Prosecution gave me this key
22 argument for wiping out this part of the indictment because there is not a
23 single one of them who is from Serbia. If they find it, fine, if they
24 don't, fine again. What matters to me is that this witness never heard of
25 the crime in Uborak and Sutine and at the relative time he was there and
1 he was in the volunteer unit, and I don't care about anything else.
2 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
3 Q. When you went out to Podvelezje, was Nevesinje by then already
4 firmly under Serb control?
5 A. We stopped in the centre of town at a hotel. We had a rest -- had
6 a coffee, had some -- took a rest and then we saw the unit of Colonel
7 Medji [phoen]. I think that he was supposed to be something -- well, not
8 our commander but he is a man who had to do some of the technical matters
9 involved. He also gave us some radio communications for this action that
10 we carried out as we were sitting in this hotel in the centre of town. Of
11 course, the town was in Serb hands although it was full of refugees from
13 Q. Serbs?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Nevesinje was never under Muslim control, right?
16 A. As far as I know, it wasn't.
17 Q. From the very beginning of the war it was under Serb control
18 incessantly, right?
19 A. Nevesinje, Ljubina, Trebinje, all of it.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note, the pace is too fast.
21 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
22 Q. The indictment says --
23 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not catch the exact
25 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
1 Q. The Serb forces took control of Nevesinje.
2 A. In order to make a comparison for you it would be the same thing
3 if you were to say on such-and-such a date, such-and-such Serb forces took
4 control over Banja Luka. It was always in Serbian hands. The population
5 was Serbian, too, well, a certain percentage, but it is not that it was
6 necessary to have any fighting for the city.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please be asked to slow down,
8 interpreter's note.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There's an important point I
10 want to make. Seselj's men, who are in the indictment, I mean, many
11 people refer to Seselj's men. You were on the field, so what exactly does
12 this mean to you, this phrase, "Seselj's men"?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Quite sincerely, many times, as I
14 passed through Republika Srpska, and believe me I can list the names in
15 Republika Srpska where I was not during the course of the war, so this has
16 nothing to do with the volunteers of the Serb Radical Party in many other
17 units within the army of Republika Srpska I was there. Then I would see a
18 group of people in the street calling themselves Seselj's men. Never did
19 I -- well, I was always skeptical. I know that a group would have to be
20 organised by the Serb Radical Party. They'd have to have a facility given
21 to them by the army, and anyway they had a different organisation. It
22 wasn't that I -- the discipline wasn't that ideal but it certainly did not
23 resemble the crowds I would see in the street, saying, oh, we are Seselj's
24 men. Quite simply many people identified themselves in that way. I don't
25 know why. Probably in the name of -- probably with the name of
1 Mr. Vojislav Seselj that was very popular.
2 So, just as I cannot identify a brigade in terms of it being from
3 Posavina or Semberija and telling one soldier from another, I really could
4 not identify, someone who'd belonged to a volunteer unit who operated in a
5 particular area and called himself a Seselj's -- a man of Seselj's. I
6 have to be honest about this.
7 I personally never considered myself to be a man of Seselj's. I'm
8 not fighting for Seselj. I simply believed that Seselj indicated
9 something to me that I had not been aware of throughout history, that was
10 a danger involved. I considered him to be my political leader in the
11 sense of my future victory in the war and I thought that he was the
12 representative of Serbia.
13 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Well, we see that a radical is going to become the president of
15 Serbia, not I, but my deputy Tomislav Nikolic is going to be the president
16 of Serbia. He's only a step away. Isn't it not possible that there were
17 some self-styled groups that introduced themselves as Seselj's men, ten or
18 15 people would get together and say, We are Seselj's men. Is that
20 A. Well, it is not that they proclaimed themselves that but the
21 locals would call them.
22 Q. Maybe they themselves did that?
23 A. Well, maybe they themselves did that too. These emblems, the Serb
24 Chetnik Movement, Racak, say at a check-point you'd stop and you could buy
1 Q. Perhaps somebody just wore spectacles and they thought that this
2 person would have be a man of Seselj's?
3 A. No, I don't think so. He'd have to be smart too.
4 Q. Or perhaps he would have to weigh 120 kilograms?
5 A. I don't know.
6 Q. Did you hear that the Serb forces in the area of Velez took
7 prisoner -- took 76 Muslim civilians prisoners and took them to Nopolje
8 [phoen] in the area of Zijemlje to the elementary school. They separated
9 the men from the women and children and killed them and their bodies were
10 found in Teleca Lastva. Have you ever heard of any such thing?
11 A. Did this happen in this war or in the Second World War?
12 Q. Supposedly in this war. I will tell you when. Around the 22nd of
14 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the date.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Believe I don't know anything about
17 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
18 Q. They said were Serb forces and among them, Seselj's men?
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Slow down.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Should I continue?
21 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Then it says that women and children were taken to the Kilavci
23 heating plant in Nevesinje and that 44 of them were killed by a pit near
24 Lipovaca. Have you ever heard of that?
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Indeed.
14 Mr. Registrar.
15 Continue, Mr. Seselj.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let me finish before I forget. I
17 listened to someone who was from that area and who was probably there in
18 the relevant area, but -- at the relative time but I didn't hear of
19 anything like that from him either.
20 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Did you hear of this Lipovaca and women and children killed?
22 A. Unfortunately in my work afterwards I did see women and children
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note, could the speakers please
25 slow down.
1 MS. DAHL: Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're just too fast. The
3 court reporter can't keep up, so that the answers are not recorded and
4 neither are the questions.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I shall repeat, Mr. President.
6 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Is it possible that volunteers of the Serb Radical Party
8 participated in this, those who are called Seselj's men, without you
9 knowing anything about that. Is that possible?
10 A. Whoever claims that that happened placed a date to it. You have
11 already said and we have already seen masses of documents here when it was
12 that we were in Grab and so on. Now I don't know whether all of that can
13 be linked up. I as deputy commander at Grab have no idea about this.
14 Q. They even say that five women were transferred to the resting
15 facility in the Konjic municipality of Boracko Jezero and that they were
16 later killed there. And that this rest house was in the hands of the Serb
17 forces, Seselj's men, and they used it as a military base. Did you ever
18 hear of volunteers of the Serb Radical Party at Boracko Jezero, the lake
19 of Borac?
20 A. Well, while I was there I heard of the lake, but I'm not saying
21 that I heard of something like an Ovcara having happened there. Do you
22 know what I'm saying? Well, maybe I even heard this through the
23 communications, but I was never there. I cannot say anything about that.
24 Q. Did you hear of Draskovic's Serb Guard being active there?
25 A. Yes, I did see the Serb Guard, of course.
1 Q. Was there constant tension and animosity between our volunteers
2 and the Serb Guard?
3 A. Well, there was no love lost between us.
4 Q. Did Vakic ask for the volunteers of the Serb --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note that we could not follow the
7 A. I spent two nights in Leotar.
8 JUDGE HARHOFF: Please repeat the question. It was not taken up
9 by the interpreters.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Do you know, Mr. Stoparic, that Branislav Vakic requested the
12 mayor of Trebinje, Bozidar Vucurevic, to have the members of the Serb
13 Guard under the command of Branislav Lajnovic, Dugi, be thrown out of
14 Trebinje because of a lack of discipline; otherwise, they had been put up
15 at the Leotar Hotel and they by behaved in a rowdy way?
16 A. I was just about to answer before the judge interrupted because
17 they didn't understand the question.
18 Two or three times the commander would send me to Trebinje for
19 something and I didn't have to go back straight away. He would give me an
20 evening off, right? And then I would spend the night at the Leotar
21 Hotel. That happened a few times. The Leotar Hotel was a base for
22 soldiers that we called Draskovic's men. What the difference was between
23 them and us was that they all had identical uniforms, insignia, that is to
24 say that they a sponsor who bought this from them it is it not that the
25 army it to them from a nearby brigade. They were much better equipped.
1 As for some of their arrogant behaviour, I heard about that but quite
2 simply I saw them there and it is not illogical that they behaved
3 arrogantly because they were not engaged in intensive fighting. They were
4 sitting there and looking for girls in town, so it is possible that there
5 were different people there. I cannot remember the exact details, whether
6 Branislav Vakic asked for them to be relocated or not. Even if that was
7 the case, I would not be surprised to hear that.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment. Drazilovic's men,
9 were they JNA members or did they belong to a paramilitary unit or still
10 to the Territorial Defence?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Whether they had signed a loyalty
12 oath to anyone is something I don't know. It would be very strange that
13 somebody to gravitate there as a paramilitary next to the brigade command,
14 but in that war everything was possible, so I don't know. I can't say.
15 They took the best place for its base. We were sleeping in some
16 dilapidated military institution high up, whereas they were in town with
17 their cooks, kitchens, tea, coffee and so on.
18 So were they the paramilitary, well-paid soldiers by someone, I
19 really don't know.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yesterday or the day before
21 yesterday, I can't remember, you talked about command and control. I have
22 a very simple question for you: These men, Drazilovic's men, who were
23 they controlled or commanded by? You may know; you may not.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Draskovic's men. Drazilovic is one
25 man. Draskovic is something else.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They considered Vuk Draskovic to be
3 his political leader and the SPO and they had their commanders, platoon
4 commanders, many of them deceased now, people from the Belgrade underworld
5 criminals and they were the people who established that army.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This Draskovic man, who --
7 which political party or formation did he belong to?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] His party was called the Serbian
9 Renewal Movement, SPO.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Party of Serb renewal.
11 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Have you heard, Mr. Stoparic, of the killing of 11 civilians,
13 Muslims on the 26th of June, 1992 or around about that date from the area
14 Rustak Luna [phoen], captured in Teleca Lastva, they were held and
15 tortured in the primary school in Zijemlje seven were taken off and
16 killed. Their bodies were found in the pit in Zijemlje. Have you had
17 heard of that killing?
18 A. No. I have never heard of those villages.
19 Q. Is it possible that the volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party
20 took part in these killings without you knowing about it?
21 A. Well, if they were in my unit, then it would be impossible that I
22 didn't know about it.
23 Q. Thank you, Mr. Stoparic.
24 Now, do you know, Mr. Stoparic, that Oliver Denis Barrett was an
25 Albanian and that his real name is Mujo Bunjaku?
1 A. I don't know what his real name is but I did know that he was an
2 Albanian. I even thought that when he was unfortunately killed in front
3 of his house or something, that perhaps the Albanians had killed him.
4 Q. It wasn't the Albanians who killed him. It was the Serb
5 criminals, because he lived with the former wife of one of the mafia
6 members. His name was Vaso Pavicevic, so he organised an ambush out of
7 jealousy and that's how he came to be killed.
8 So an Albanian was a Chetnik Vojvoda, as I proclaimed him. Is
9 that right?
10 A. That's right.
11 Q. Now do you know that the mother of Branislav Vakic is a Hungarian
13 A. No.
14 Q. Vakic never told you about that?
15 A. Well, perhaps he did but ...
16 Q. Have you heard of Radovan Novacic?
17 A. Yes, I have.
18 Q. Radovan Novacic was the commander of the volunteers of the Serbian
19 Radical Party in Western Slavonia, do you know that?
20 A. I wasn't in Western Slavonia so ...
21 Q. But did you hear of that, have you heard of him?
22 A. Maybe later on if you add something, it might help me.
23 Q. Right. Do you know that Radovan Novacic was a Croat?
24 A. Mr. Seselj, in my unit, just to paint the picture what happened in
25 my small platoon, which didn't number more than 25 men, it wasn't an
1 ethnically Serb platoon. Many volunteers were from Novi Sad. Now,
2 whether they Ruthenians, Slovaks, and even Croats, what their reasons were
3 for coming there, for joining up as volunteers, I don't know, but we took
4 them in, we accepted them and they didn't demonstrate in any way that they
5 didn't deserve to be with us.
6 Q. Does that mean that volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party did
7 not display national intolerance at all?
8 A. It's like this. I attended funerals in Backa Palanka, for
9 instance, of the volunteers of the Serbian volunteers who were killed in
10 Herzegovina. The names were Istvan, for example, and all the other
11 Hungarian names and we had no pretensions vis-a-vis them.
12 Q. You mean tensions, not pretensions, you used the wrong word, I
14 A. Well, yes, that's right. And even if I went somewhere else to
15 another area, then later on I would mobilised him by ringing him up on the
16 telephone and tell him where he would be. It's not an obligation. I'm
17 just saying we're going into the area, into the field and if he wanted
18 come to Belgrade.
19 Q. Ante was the name of Radovan Novacic. Now, do the Serbs have the
20 name Ante, not Antonije but Ante. Have you ever heard of a Serb with the
21 first name Ante?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Very well, Mr. Stoparic. Now let's briefly move on to the
24 question of Brcko. Now, you were there, as you said during the
25 examination-in-chief, you were the commander of the volunteer unit which
1 was called the Novi Sadski or Novi Sad volunteer. We called it the 7th
2 Novi Sad Volunteer Company and the military post and stamp that was
3 devised in the barracks for us had the 7th Novi Sad Detachment on it.
4 And that unit had nothing to do with the Serbian Radical Party except that
5 some of its members might have been a member. Isn't that right?
6 A. That particular unit had nothing to do with the Serbian Radical
7 Party except, for example, Milenko Petrovic would organise something in
8 the Sid municipality, organise assistance in the sense of cigarettes,
9 clean underwear, not to bring it just to me but to the Brcko hospital,
10 too, and that was political work on the part of the Radical Party in the
11 form of assistance and so other -- well, not parties but sometimes - and I
12 can't say that I didn't use my personal collections sometimes with
13 Mr. Milenko and issue a cry for help and say, We need good men, have you
14 got any and then he'd try and do something if all of his men hadn't gone
15 off, because people who took part in the war had always been sent
16 somewhere, so he tried to do something to help out, so we did have that
17 type of cooperation but not officially. Officially we were not a unit
18 organised by the Serbian Radical Party in Belgrade or [indiscernible] all
19 the wartime staff of the Serbian Radical Party send volunteers to your
20 unit, did it? We were duty-bound to take the IDs or military booklets of
21 every person that volunteered, we would take it to the security officer,
22 [indiscernible] Milenkovic, the brigade commander as well and then they
23 would decide whether the man could be taken in or not and then I would
24 take him into my unit. So many people were members of the Serbian Radical
25 Party. Many were members of other parties. Many weren't members of any
1 party. We would also take in from the people from Republika Srpska
3 Q. But nobody came officially as a volunteer of the Serbian Radical
4 Party sent by our wartime staff. Is that right?
5 JUDGE HARHOFF: You have to observe the pause between answer and
6 question. You will, as a lawyer, Mr. Seselj, recognise the importance of
7 everybody being able to understand what is being said here.
8 And, Mr. Witness, please wait before you answer the questions.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I continue? At one point in
10 time we also needed assistance, so a man by the name of Bakic -- and I
11 would mix him up with Vakic. He was from Backa Palanka and he said that
12 he was a radical, for instance. I know that several years ago when I saw
13 him for the last time he was working in the customs office and he brought
14 in a group of men from Backa Palanka and the surrounding areas.
15 Now, whether they became informed in the party, the Radical Party
16 office about that -- because that is possible too, you know, people would
17 come into the offices and they said, Well, we have a hot spot over here so
18 volunteers are needed and things like that and you will agree with me that
19 you as the head of the radicals, you wouldn't mind where the volunteers
20 went if they came of their own accord and wanted to go, if they were
21 fighting on the Serb side.
22 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
23 Q. In this trial I want to distinguish between the volunteers of the
24 Serbian Radical Party that we sent from Belgrade to the front from any
25 other volunteers so -- because this is a false indictment that I have to
1 defend myself against, so I assume you understand that, too.
2 Now you heard that Branislav Vakic took part in breaking through
3 the corridor at Brcko, right?
4 A. Branislav Vakic?
5 Q. Yes. Do you know when the corridor was broken through?
6 A. Towards the end of May, I believe. When I arrived in Brcko the
7 surrounding area of the hospital had already fallen and we thought, Ha,
8 now we have a corridor, so before me, there was the Vojvoda from Bijeljina
9 who was involved in that corridor. As to Branislav Vakic, I don't know.
10 Quite possibly. Why not?
11 Q. Branislav Vakic was there for a short time while the corridor fell
12 and then he left the area. What was important? To link up the Banja Luka
13 area with the rest of Republika Srpska, right?
14 A. The corridor was not only important for the people in Republika
15 Srpska but it was an extremely important thing for the Knin Krajina area.
16 Q. For the whole of the Serbian Krajina?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You mentioned Mirko Blagojevic and he was from Bijeljina, was he
20 A. I mentioned him in the sense of liberating the town of Brcko,
21 before me, that is. He was there before me. Mirko Blagojevic's units
22 were in Brcko before me.
23 Q. Mirko Blagojevic is from Bijeljina, is he not?
24 A. As far as I know he's from Bijeljina.
25 Q. He's a member of the Serbian Radical Party, is he?
1 A. He ought to be, should be, yes.
2 Q. But the Serbian Radical Party from Belgrade never sent him
3 volunteers, did it?
4 A. Well, I don't know that and I don't see why it should because he
5 had enough.
6 Q. From Semberija, his own people, right?
7 A. Well, during a time he was as strong as the Panthers, for example.
8 Q. You mentioned someone else, that unfortunate man, Goran Jelisic.
9 Now, Goran Jelisic, to the best of your knowledge, did he have anything to
10 do with the Serbian Radical Party?
11 A. As far as I know, and how I got to know Goran Jelisic, I already
12 had my office in -- well, we were given a whole pavilion, in actual fact.
13 He stormed in one day with several other people and asked that we take him
14 in as volunteers in my unit, and I was informed, as is customary, the
15 security officer about that. He was Major Krstic. He agreed, of course,
16 I took him in. But he was just there for two weeks and then he left and
17 then he turned up with some Arkan fighters and he paraded through town.
18 Now I don't know that he can have anything to do with the Radical Party at
19 all. I don't think he is a member of the Radical Party.
20 Q. Did you hear that he acknowledged in front of this Court that he
21 had killed 16 prisoners in the prisoner camp lorry in Brcko? What was the
22 name of the camp?
23 A. Luka, yes.
24 Q. Yes, I meant Luka camp in Brcko.
25 A. Well, I didn't hear him owning up. I heard a lot of that before,
1 about that before. I read the judgment because it was interesting because
2 I knew him personally, and I read the judgment of Dragan Ivanovic [as
3 interpreted] too. That's all I know about this Tribunal.
4 Q. Yes. Right. Is it possible that those killings in the Luka camp
5 can have anything at all to do with the Serbian Radical Party?
6 A. As far as I know, he said that Biljana Plavsic appointed the chief
7 of that camp or something like that.
8 Q. He mentioned Biljana Plavsic, did he?
9 A. Yes, but I read about it all a long time ago.
10 Q. All right, Mr. Stoparic. Let's not dwell on the question of Brcko
11 any more and move on. Now we have a very interesting area, an interesting
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Are you planning a break,
14 Mr. President, now or ... because I have another area to cover, a set of
15 questions which will take up a little more time.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. We should have had the
17 break in five minutes time, but we can have it now. It is 20 to 4.00.
18 We'll start again at 4.00.
19 --- Recess taken at 3.40 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 4.11 p.m.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing can resume.
22 I will give the floor to Mr. Seselj to continue with his
24 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Mr. Stoparic, I'm going to have a few unpleasant questions for you
1 now, but I suppose you expected that of me, I'm sure, right? It's not
2 taking you by surprise.
3 Now, after your warfaring in Brcko, according to your statement,
4 and I'm quoting your statement, the one you gave to the Prosecution, let's
5 see what paragraph. Perhaps it is not essential but we'll find it if need
7 Anyway, somewhere near Teslic --
8 MS. DAHL: If the witness is going to be questioned on his
9 statement I request that he be given a copy of it. This is actually the
10 original, I'm sorry.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 Mr. Seselj, if you ask a question he should have the document
13 right before his eyes. It would be easier.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, I won't, Judge. I'd just like
15 to remind him -- well, I didn't know about this earlier but I'd like to
16 remind him that he said himself to The Hague investigators that after the
17 war in Brcko, near Teslic he moved with a group of Serbs, he crossed over
18 on to Croatian territory and fought with the Croats against the Muslims.
19 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Is that what you said?
21 A. That is the absolute truth.
22 Q. True, right. Then we don't need to look at the statement.
23 A. But I have to give you a explanation because it wasn't literally
24 changing over to the HVO, Croatian Defence Council. It was a cooperation
25 by the brigades, the Serb forces, whole Serb forces were in Zepce and
1 that's near Zavidovci. And so from Teslic from the school facility there
2 and at the time it was used as the seat of the military police in Teslic,
3 I was sent there, attached to a brigade, a company there, where, in joint
4 action -- it wasn't the Croatian army there. It was the Croatian Defence
5 Council there, just to paint this image of how close our actions were,
6 they -- we slept one house next to the other and then we would make an
7 evening dinner together, barbecue together.
8 Q. Mr. Stoparic, that means you went there on assignment, does it?
9 A. The Serb forces.
10 Q. By -- on orders?
11 A. Yes, with Serbian insignia and together with the HVO because there
12 was the danger, which is something I learned afterwards, there was the
13 threat of -- well, I like to joke about this and say that the love between
14 the Croats and Muslims dissolved and then there was the danger that from
15 Zavidovici and even Zenica, large Muslim forces destroy that Croatian
17 Q. Is that the Medzik enclave?
18 A. No. It's Zepce.
19 Q. Right, Zepce. And how long were you fighting there for?
20 A. A little under a month.
21 Q. And that was in 1992, was it, towards the end of 1992?
22 A. I don't know the exact date. It was autumn. There wasn't any
23 snow, so if it were already winter, it would have been snow, there would
24 have been snow over there.
25 Q. Then late autumn?
1 A. I know that I went from Brcko with some 20 men.
2 Q. How long did you stay there for?
3 Yes, I will make pauses. I have been cautioned again.
4 How many days did you stay there for?
5 A. Less than a month.
6 Q. And did they pay you for your military involvement there? Did you
7 receive a salary of any kind?
8 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness repeat his answer.
9 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Was it from the Croatian side or was it a regular salary from the
11 army of Republika Srpska that was paid out to you?
12 MS. DAHL: The interpreters made a request to have the witness
13 repeat his answer to the question of whether he was paid for his military
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Absolutely. Line 19.
16 Mr. Seselj, you were so fast in your question that we did not get
17 the answer. Could you please ask the question again.
18 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] Mr. Stoparic said that in Brcko he
19 was paid out for that part of his military involvement. Now I'm
20 interested in hearing whether it was a regular salary as a soldier of the
21 army of Republika Srpska or ...
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Hold on, Mr. Seselj.
23 Mr. Stoparic said he was paid at the Brcko barracks, but when he
24 was answering, he was answering a question, a question that you asked on
25 line 19 at 16 hours and some seconds. But the question was not recorded
1 on the transcript, so ask the question again, please. Ask him, Were you
2 paid for that period of time?
3 Or I'll ask the question myself.
4 We have a problem with the transcript. It is not on the
6 So, Witness, please, were you paid at the Brcko barracks?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not receive a salary at all
8 on -- in the area of Zepce but in Brcko and it wasn't anything that was
9 explicitly calculated for that period of time. The end of the month came,
10 the beginning of the next one, and it was time for my salary.
11 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
12 Q. So if I've understood you correctly, you received the same salary
13 as you would have done if you had spent all that time at Serb positions
14 within the framework of Serb forces in Republika Srpska, right?
15 A. Yes. No bonuses or extra remuneration of any kind. We would make
16 jokes later on because we had two or three men who were lightly wounded,
17 luckily, and --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, this is very complicated.
19 Judges are jurists and they will have to make decisions according to what
20 you're saying and according to the questions and the evidence and we're
21 certainly discovering that -- that you participated to a military
22 operation against the Muslims with the HVO.
23 So the question that springs to mind is, to which army it
24 belonged, JNA, Republika Srpska, some kind of autonomous unit, military
25 unit? What country, what command were you under at the time?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I answer?
2 I believe, Mr. President, that you're confused on account of some
3 facts and you will be even more confused when I tell you that I was also
4 later with the Muslim army in this war.
5 What I'm something now is that I was a member of the army of the
6 Republika Srpska of the Semberska or the 2nd Semberija Brigade. This was
7 agreed at a higher level by the Serbian authorities and the military
8 command with the Zepce enclave in which there was a brigade of not the HVO
9 but the Croatian Defence Council and we helped them.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Before that, we had been enemies.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you were with
13 Republika Srpska. But was it the JNA that had told you to join
14 Republika Srpska? What happened? I remind you that you had a military
15 booklet that normally you were a soldier of your country and the official
16 army of your country was the JNA. And suddenly you're telling us, fought
17 for Republika Srpska. So I'm trying to understand.
18 How could you shift from the JNA to the army of Republika Srpska?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know, Your Honour, at what
20 particular moment the JNA left the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
21 The Republika Srpska set up its own army which was called the army of the
22 Republika Srpska just as the other side had established its own army and
23 the Croatian portion of the people had their own Croatian Defence Council.
24 In Brcko I signed what was given to me, a batch of documents by
25 the mayor. Ristanica, it involved dual nationality, and I was recognised
1 in nationality of Republika Srpska and my own citizenship of the Republic
2 of Yugoslavia. On that basis I voluntarily became a member of the army of
3 Republika Srpska and was the commander of the unit which was called the
4 7th Volunteers, Novi Sad Company.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On your military booklet, I did
6 not see that mentioned. Why is there no entry of this on your military
8 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, I have Mr. Stoparic's military booklet
9 here in the courtroom.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If you moved to Republika
11 Srpska, normally there should be mention of this, that you were placed
12 with this Republika Srpska at one point in time. This Republika Srpska
13 that would set up within Bosnia and Herzegovina and there is no mention of
14 this in your booklet.
15 Can you explain why?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you give this military booklet to
17 me and put it on the ELMO here, I will show you that it does exist.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Here is your booklet.
19 MS. DAHL: For the record, Your Honour, it's 65 ter exhibit number
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judge, as we are by now already
22 discussing a document which was submitted by the Prosecutor, I do hope
23 that you will add that much time to the time remaining available to me for
24 my cross-examination because every minute is precious to me, believe me.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. But you raised the
1 problem in the first place and it is absolutely normal that we should look
2 into it. Either we just consider that what you are saying is of no value
3 so we are doing all this exercise in your interest. Otherwise, you know,
4 I can just hand that document back to the Prosecutor and you can have your
5 own time. I don't really understand, you know, this problem with the
6 allotment of time. You raised a problem. We're trying to look into it to
7 see whether or not the soldier at the time depended on you or not. It
8 seemed that it did not because he was in Republika Srpska. This is what
9 we're checking at the moment.
10 Witness, please, you had the stick in hand at the moment. Could
11 you show us with that stick the seal of Republika Srpska in the booklet?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you see, Mr. President, all
13 these stamps here, can you see the difference between this type of stamp
14 and this type, the other type of stamp in terms of their sizes?
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, this is the stamp which I
17 received for a terrain organised by the Serbian Radical Party in Bubanj
18 Potok. The JNA is authenticating that I was engaged during that period in
19 that particular terrain. That's it. It is 1992. Is it not according to
20 the rule actually above this where we have the year 1993 indicated. It
21 doesn't really matter whose stamps these stamps but not always stamps were
22 actually stamped in the booklets. One was given certificates.
23 This stamp says military PO, post office 7400, Brcko and this one
24 is different. The other one is of the army of the Republika Srpska, from
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you're saying
2 that the stamp on the right-hand side, the second one on the right-hand
3 side, is the stamp of Republika Srpska?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This one in the second line in the
5 second row, that is the JNA, the Yugoslav People's Army stamp.
6 Can I be of assistance, Judge?
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The Yugoslav People's Army,
9 according to its regulations, exclusively used the Latin script as the
10 script for official communication, and the army of Republika Srpska uses
11 the Cyrillic script, and it is already on that basis that you can
12 distinguish between a stamp that comes from the JNA and the one deriving
13 from the Republika Srpska.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So to end this, could you show
15 us with the stick which one is the stamp of Republika Srpska?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Indicates].
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So they're five all together.
18 And the one in the top, in the middle is the one from the People's Army of
19 former Yugoslavia, is that it?
20 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, for the record, this is page 27 in the
21 e-court document. It has been marked for identification as exhibit 22.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Now let's get the
23 military booklet back so that we can hand it over to the Prosecution, and
24 Mr. Seselj can have the floor to continue with his cross-examination.
25 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. Stoparic, it was important for me just to have you confirm the
2 allegation that for a while you fought on the part of the Croatian army,
3 on the side of the Croatian army against Muslims, and now you describe the
4 circumstances. You stated that in the beginning of 1993 you actually
5 excluded from the Serbian Radical Party, is that right?
6 A. Yes, I did. I said that I was excluded from it. Whether I
7 mention that particular date, I'm not sure.
8 Q. In paragraph 122 of your statement of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th of
9 August, 2006 in The Hague, paragraph 122 it is stated that: In 1993, after
10 the Brcko campaign, I received a letter at my address in Sid from the
11 Serbian Radical Party's regional board for Srem and in that letter you
12 were informed that you were expelled from the Serbian Radical Party.
13 Do you confirm that statement which you gave here to the
14 investigators of the Tribunal?
15 A. I confirm that that was the way in which I was expelled from the
16 Serbian Radical Party.
17 Q. In another place somewhere else you said that you had you
18 forgotten the reasons and here you stated that it was written in the
19 letter that your conduct was not correct, that you did not behave
20 correctly, that you were not in line with the party and that you
21 obstructed the work of the Serbian Radical Party.
22 A. Remember precisely, it was obstructing the work.
23 Q. Yes. Now follow me carefully. Was your expulsion associated with
24 the fact that we learned that you had fought with the Croats against the
25 Muslims, was that the reason why you were expelled from the Serbian
1 Radical Party?
2 A. Mr. Seselj, I apologise for addressing you personally. It is
3 quite clear to you yourself that I did not fight on the side with the
4 Croats. It was in concerted action for the sake for some loftier aims
5 which emanated from the agreement reached between the Republika Srpska and
6 the Zepce enclave. I was wearing the insignia of the Republika Srpska as
7 a Serbian soldiers. Even the Croatian soldiers greeted me, Good morning,
8 Serbian soldier.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Please do not overlap.
10 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
11 Q. I shall remind you now, Mr. Stoparic, at the time when the
12 conflict erupted between the Croats and the Muslims, do you know that I
13 publicly advocated the position that the Serbs should reach agreement with
14 the Muslims against the Croats and that the leadership of the Republika
15 Srpska actually pursued a policy of an alliance with the Croats against
16 the Muslims? Do you know that?
17 A. It may have been so. You may have advocated that particular
18 position but I was a member of the army of Republika Srpska, an officer of
19 the army of the Republika Srpska according to orders.
20 Q. I'm not disputing that but that was directly opposite to the
21 policy pursued by Serbian Radical Party.
22 Let me remind you of another thing. At that time I went to Pale
23 to talk with Radovan Karadzic to try and persuade him that a much better
24 solution was to try and reach an agreement with the Muslims and with
25 Izetbegovic and not with Boban, rather than with Boban Bobanj and the
1 Croatian community of Herceg-Bosna, which is what Karadzic actually did
2 with Mate Boban. I talked on TV Pale, the state television of Republika
3 Srpska and I presented this position of mine, saying that it was in the
4 Serbs' interest to strike an alliance with the Muslims and not with the
5 Croats. Are you aware of that, did you know anything about that?
6 A. I waited for the translation.
7 I know one thing. This is exactly happened. We Serbs struck an
8 alliance with the Muslims and I personally was in the area of Velika
9 Kladusa where I trained Muslims. I assisted Muslims in concert, in
10 coordinated action in this fight against the 5th Corps of Alija
11 Izetbegovic. Also with the Croats I -- when the position was changed I
12 participated with the Muslims in a fight but not against the Croats but
13 against the Muslims again.
14 Q. But this is something else, Mr. Stoparic. There, you were on the
15 side of Fikret Abdic against Izetbegovic's army, right?
16 A. Fikret Abdic had seceded and created his own enclave in Krajina
17 had his own army which we wholeheartedly supported and we fought against
18 the notorious 5th Corps and even more notorious brigade whose --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Which -- the name of which the interpreter could
20 not hear because of the overlap.
21 MS. DAHL: I'm observing that Mr. Seselj is interrupting the
22 witness's answer and that there is again overlap that is preventing
23 interpretation. I would like to be able to follow the evidence being
24 presented to the Chamber.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, let the witness
1 finish his answers. His answers are quite elaborate and long, and if you
2 cut him off he cannot finish his train of thought.
3 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] One observation, something that
4 we need to understand things better.
5 Witness, when you're talking about the Serbs, I don't understand
6 whether you're talking about the Serbs from Serbia, that was still the
7 Federal Republic at the time, or whether you're talking about Serbs from
8 Republika Srpska. Could you please make that specific every time? You
9 belonged to a unit of Republika Srpska, and you continued to the end to
10 belong to a unit of Republika Srpska? Is that it?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Madam Judge, when I refer to the
12 Serbs I'm referring to all Serbs. In the period under consideration I was
13 a member, in fact, an officer of the army of Republika Srpska. That is
14 what I'm talking about. I didn't quite get it, whether I remained a
15 soldier of the Republika Srpska until the very end, no, I belonged to
16 another formation which may have belonged to the same group. They may
17 have been units from Krajina or some other units from Serbia.
18 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you. Something else
19 now. You're saying that at one point in time, because of an agreement
20 that occurred higher up, you cooperated with the Croatian Defence Council
21 of Bosnia-Herzegovina against the Muslims, the Bosnian Muslims. You
22 confirmed this.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is absolutely true, and I'm
24 surprised of the fact that this is mentioned for the first time in this
1 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] But that was in the framework of
2 cooperation and not under the command of the Croatian Defence Council. Is
3 that it?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the Zepce area, in that little
5 town proper there was a command of the Serbian forces with a general and
6 there was a huge house set aside for that particular purpose where the
7 Serbian flag was hoisted.
8 Some 500 metres away from that there was another just as huge
9 house with the Croatian flag flying and a Croatian general in charge.
10 That was on their terrain. They were actually occupied, although we did
11 not engage in any combat with them. After this cooperation had ended we
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, please, I come back to
14 what Mr. Seselj was saying. He made a speech in Pale where very openly he
15 opposed Karadzic, who wanted to join the Croats against the Muslims and in
16 Mr. Seselj's speech - we don't have it yet but we may have it some day -
17 Mr. Seselj is opposing this idea.
18 Did you -- how did you hear about this speech among all the Serbs
19 that were there? Was there a discussion about all this? Because there
20 was really a problem of substance here. There was cooperation with HVO
21 while, at the same time, high -- higher officials of Serbia were of the
22 opposite opinion, and so this could lead to complications within your unit
23 and maybe breakups.
24 So did this speech of Mr. Seselj have any incidence or not?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Cooperation at least in the Zepce
1 area was severed in less than a month. So my actual involvement lasted
2 for about three weeks and it was not resumed later. It is possible that
3 Mr. Seselj had influenced the political and military leadership of
4 Republika Srpska to change the decision, but what had happened had
5 happened. There was side-by-side cooperation. We fought side by side.
6 It may now sound absurd, whereas a day before that, we had shelled one
8 Politics; that's it.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you're saying that the day
10 before you were shelled and then the day after you were -- you agreed to
11 attack another enemy. Is that what you're saying?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, yes, perhaps I am
13 portraying of sort of caricature of the events. Of course, these
14 negotiations lasted for sometime before that. When we arrived there with
15 our hardware and our technical equipment they assigned us to some quarters
16 where we could stay. They gave us - the Croats, that is - their own
17 houses where we could be billeted. We were shelled by the Muslims from
18 Zavidovici and I believe that we had a joint action targeting the
19 Krivaja-Zavidovici plant which was a pre-war large manufacturing plant.
20 Actually what I know, we did fight side by side with the Croatian
21 fighters, and there were anecdotes about the -- some of our wounded
22 fighters who would go to the military hospital to be treated. Their
23 actual discharge papers from the first medical facility where they had
24 been treated in Zepce had the chequered flag, the stamp with the chequered
25 Croatian flag.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
2 Mr. Seselj.
3 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
4 Q. According to what you have just now said, you spent a maximum of a
5 month, participated for a month in this alliance between the Serbian and
6 Croatian forces against Muslims?
7 A. As far as I could see here, the alliance was broken at the
8 initiative of the brigade from Bosanski Brod. We know how much they
9 suffered at the hands of the Croatian army, and they could not agree to
10 fight with them side by side, so it all started quickly, ended quickly.
11 We get out of that terrain and left them there.
12 Q. Mr. Stoparic, that could have been something of a local nature.
13 However, I am reminding you that the war conflict between the Croats and
14 the Muslims and the Serb leadership of Republika Srpska firmly stood by
15 the Croats. It lasted much longer all the way up to the Washington
16 accords between Izetbegovic and Tudjman. Remember that?
17 A. I think that are you right, Mr. Seselj. I'm talking about the
18 Zepce area, but this cooperation went on for a long time in the territory
19 of Mostar.
20 Q. And not only Mostar but also in Central Bosnia in some parts
22 A. As far as I can remember, yes.
23 Q. The Serb army was saving the Croats in Vares, right?
24 A. I heard something about that, but I wasn't there.
25 Q. They sent hundreds of buses to get the Croats out who had been
1 under Muslim pressure?
2 A. We usually did help the Croats.
3 Q. Now I wanted to put a brief question to you, only because you did
4 not state anything specific here, what it was that was improper in your
5 behaviour, why you were not towing the party line, why were you impeding
6 the work of the party, why you were expelled.
7 Your participation in the official alliance between Republika
8 Srpska and the Croat community of Herceg-Bosna against the Muslims. I'm
9 not accusing you because you went there. Do you understand me? You took
10 part in that there as a soldier of the army of Republika Srpska. However,
11 in this way, did you violate the party policy, that a decision therefore
12 had to be made regarding your expulsion? I'm asking about that. I hope
13 that I said all of this slowly enough.
14 A. As far as I can remember, Nikola Vasic, who was then an MP by
15 then, a Member of Parliament, an important person in the municipality of
16 Sid and the Serb Radical Party there, at one meeting he accused me of
17 cooperation with the DB. Perhaps that has something to do with it,
18 although I don't know of anything to do with the DB. And quite simply,
19 after that, it wasn't only me. Other people, too. I mean, there was this
20 purge, and things have remained the same way to this day. However, there
21 was this obstruction of work. And -- now was it Nikola or whoever signed
22 that that did not go into this further, it is possible that I could have
23 known about this because I was allowed to appeal the decision with the
24 Main Board, so that's it.
25 I mean I'm not saying Nikola Vasic or you or the Main Board. I'm
1 not saying that you were guided by that. I mean, precisely what you were
2 saying just now. I mean, I cannot. I personally, I mean I have not
3 quarrelled with anyone personally there. It is not that someone would
4 have expelled me for personal reasons. I don't see that possibility.
5 Well, quite simply, the reason was as far as I can remember now,
6 obstruction of work.
7 Q. Mr. Stoparic, does that mean that you do not recall or that you
8 think that you were not told explicitly that your participation officially
9 in the Croatian Serbian alliance in Bosnia was the reason for your
10 expulsion. You cannot confirm that that was specifically stated?
11 A. Well, I cannot. I can remember an exchange of views with Nikola
12 Vasic that he was accusing me of cooperating with the state security in
13 Serbia. In what sense, I don't know. I didn't want to listen because I
14 thought it was stupid. Well, yes, later on I was in the units of the
15 state security but that was a lot later.
16 So the real reason, believe me, Mr. Seselj, believe me, after the
17 expulsion --
18 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not understand what the
19 witness said.
20 A. I really don't know what the reason was, but I dealt with it. I
21 was an invalid for two years and it took me two years to realise that I
22 was no longer a healthy person and then it took me two years to realise
23 that I was no longer a radical.
24 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
25 Q. You cannot confirm that this was the reason for your expulsion?
1 A. I can not confirm or deny it.
2 MS. DAHL: I would like the witness to be asked to repeat his
3 answer about what happened after the expulsion because the interpreter
4 didn't understand the witness's answer and I think it should be placed on
5 the record.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. After the expulsion, what
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that after I was expelled
9 quite simply I needed a certain period of time to have my wounds heal, if
10 I can put it that way. It took my two years to realise that I was an
11 invalid, for instance, after I had been wounded and also when I was
12 expelled from the party, it took two years for that wound to heal, and I'm
13 not saying that I did not vote for Mr. Seselj's party twice in the
14 elections. So it took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that
15 I was no longer a radical. And as for the reason what Mr. Seselj is
16 saying now, that does make some sense but I do not remember that somebody
17 put it that way to me and also I am surprised that somebody knew at about
18 me having taken part in such actions.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As far as you know, are there
20 other comrades, other friends of yours from that unit that was fighting
21 the Muslims with the Croats who were also expelled from the Serbian
22 Radical Party or were you the only one to be in that situation?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Out in the terrain, I always call it
24 that when we go out into action, when we acted in coordinated fashion in
25 Zepce with the Croatians there was this acquaintance of mine whose name I
1 didn't know and I don't remember the other people and I don't think they
2 were from Serbia, either, so I don't know whether some of them were
3 members or whether they had been expelled later on in their own towns. I
4 never talked about it with anyone.
5 For a while I was ashamed of that participation.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So if -- what you remember is
7 that you received a letter saying that you had prevented or obstructed the
8 work, the activity of the Serbian Radical Party. Is that the reason to be
9 found in the letter?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I remember the following sentence.
11 Because of obstruction of work.
12 Now, I don't know whether something else was mentioned in that
13 letter. I was so angry, Mr. President, that I crumpled that letter. It
14 hit me straight in the heart, as we Serbs would say.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
16 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Maybe this was not put right here, not literally as you had put
18 it. However, in your statement, in paragraph 122, it says that in the
19 letter it said that you did not behave correctly, that you were not in
20 line with the party and that you obstructed the work of the Serb Radical
21 Party. That's the wording from this statement that was given to me by the
22 OTP that is allegedly your statement.
23 Does this correspond to the truth?
24 A. Right now I used the word obstruction. Obstruction is precisely
25 what you referred to just now. It is possible that in that interview I
1 remembered better and put it right, and we're all aware of the fact that
2 it is obstruction and what you read out is identical.
3 Q. In order to cut this unpleasant topic short - I hope it was
4 unpleasant for both you and me - let us state that you stated that you do
5 not rule out the possibilities that that was the reason why you were
6 expelled from the Serb Radical Party. You cannot remember precisely, but
7 that may have been the reason?
8 A. Since we know that your position was in opposition to that
9 cooperation, I do not rule out the possibility that that was the way in
10 which you punish people who took part in that cooperation even against
11 their will.
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Stoparic.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, could you please be
14 so kind as to tell me how much time I have left because I will have to
15 regroup the issues I have left, if possible.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm going to ask the legal
17 officer to tell us how much time has been used up by Mr. Seselj already.
18 It's going to take a few minutes. In the meanwhile, you can continue.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judge, please before you move into
18 private session, may I state my views with regard to the matter, if
19 possible. Because, really, I think that there were too many private
20 sessions so far anyway.
21 The only guarantee of a fair trial is keeping this trial public
22 and I have no interest in examining in private or closed session.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, to avoid any
24 misunderstanding that might create problems with the Trial Chamber later
25 on, private session, its purpose is to protect individuals, be they
1 victims or witnesses or people who might sooner or later bear the
2 consequences of what was said earlier on publicly.
3 Therefore, we need to be cautious. That's all. We don't want to
4 prevent you or to deny you a public trial. It is just to protect
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber has decided
13 that should the accused address this issue, it should be addressed in
14 closed session.
15 So, Mr. Registrar, let's move into closed session. Private
17 [Private session] [Confidentiality partially lifted by order of the Chamber]
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're now in private session.
19 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, may I please ask whether the broadcast has
20 been redacted beginning with the topic that Mr. Seselj --
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This is being done.
22 MS. DAHL: Thank you.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, now you can put any
24 question you want.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] First of all once again, I strongly
1 protest at this violation of the fairness of this trial that I'm being
2 denied the elementary right to have a public trial although I guaranteed
3 in advance that I'm not going to mention any names (redacted)
11 Pages 2698-2702 redacted. Private session
7 (redacted), according to you statement you were
8 deployed along the part of the front line towards Sarajevo, right?
9 A. Something like that, yes.
10 Q. How long did you say in the area?
11 A. Also for a month.
12 Q. A month, right. Now along that long journey, route, were there
13 any foreign observers who could record your passage that way?
14 A. I don't know. Possibly.
15 Q. All right. Now, in the area you did not have any serious combat
16 operations, did you?
17 A. Well, no, that's not quite true. There were a operations going
19 Q. But a little bit of sporadic fire?
20 A. Well, we had some dead, so it's not just sporadic fire.
21 Q. How many people killed?
22 A. One person was killed but there were some others who were
23 wounded. There was heavy artillery preparation by the Foreign Legion,
24 French Foreign Legion. It is a good thing that we were not all killed
25 when they hit us.
1 Q. So the Foreign Legion used artillery and hit you?
2 A. It was the French contingent and they were Legionnaires as far as
3 we knew.
4 Q. Why were they shooting at you?
5 A. Because they were protecting that sector.
6 Q. So it means that a member of your unit was killed by French fire
7 coming from the French Legionnaires?
8 A. Most probably.
11 Pages 2705-2709 redacted. Private session.
9 Q. And you went your own way and pursued your own private matters?
10 A. Yes, for a while I was not engaged militarily at all.
11 Q. In 1999 on the eve of the US aggression you and the majority of
12 the Skorpions were called to join the Serbian police reserve force, right?
13 A. In fact, the commander of the Skorpions himself with all these
14 heroes of his and his body-guards came to my house and asked me to get
16 Q. And you reported to the SAJ, the special anti-terrorist unit?
17 A. He told us that we were part of the SAJ, that this had been
18 already finished.
11 Pages 2711-2714 redacted. Private session.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, the Trial Chamber
15 has admitted your testimony in the Milosevic case and in that case,
16 Mr. Milosevic asked questions on all these topics that you have
17 addressed. I did not remember whether this was in closed -- in private or
18 open session. I think it was in open session, so if this was done in open
19 session in the Milosevic case, it should also be in open session in this
21 Could you please tell me whether you testified about all this in
22 closed, private or open session?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, my entire testimony
24 in the Slobodan Milosevic trial was in open session. Had anyone tried,
25 the Bench or the Prosecutor, to force me to give my testimony in closed
1 session I would have stood up and left the courtroom immediately,
2 irrespective of any threatening consequences.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I got the message.
11 Pages 2717-2721 redacted. Private session.
5 Let's move back into open session.
6 [Open session]
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would have
8 something else and now I cannot assess on the basis of that decision of
9 yours whether it should be done in public or secretly. So don't be
10 surprised. (redacted)
20 [Private session] [Confidentiality partially lifted by order of the Chamber]
17 So it's up to you to do it the best way possible. If we realise,
18 then, that something is wrong, we can address the issue and retrieve the
19 situation as it happens.
20 But let's move back into open session.
21 You are very experienced when it comes to investigations and
22 questioning; I realise that. You are very well aware of the import of
23 what you do, what you say. Therefore, make sure that everything happens
24 without any problem. Let's move back into open session.
25 [Open session]
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're in now open session.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But then don't -- then don't,
4 Mr. President, don't take it back now. I really do have to say now what
5 it was that I had announced.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's go back into private
8 session because obviously you failed to understand.
9 Let's move back into private session.
10 [Private session] [Confidentiality partially lifted by order of the Chamber]
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're now in private session.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. There are two ways to go
13 about it. Either we tell you to put your questions, and we may think at
14 some point that there is a problem, we would then move back into private
15 session and redact. Or, we work in private session and we can lift the
16 confidentiality depending on what would be said. As to the need for oral
17 proceedings, I think the first solution is the better one for you.
18 I don't know whether you understood me properly. I gave you an
19 example. (redacted)
25 Did you understand me now?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I understand you, Mr. President.
2 You do remember that a while ago, in principle, I accepted the
3 qualification that I was the worst man in the world. However for the sake
4 of legal history, and this trial will go down in that history, I want to
5 leave the impression of proper gentlemanly behaviour even if I stand
6 accused here. That is why I don't want to resort to any kind of trickery
7 to impede the order that you establish here, not I.
8 Sir, may I continue now?
9 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Mr. Stoparic, you know a bit of English, don't you?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Do you know what "trigger event" means?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Do you know what a trigger is? A trigger is a trigger, like on a
15 gun a pistol, an event is an event, right.
16 So what would a trigger event be? In military terminology, it is
17 a staged event, a rigged event that is used to justify, say, an aggression
18 a military intervention. Hitler on the border with Germany organised an
19 attack against his own gendarmerie, border police, whatever, and then he
20 accused the Poles and on account of that carried out an aggression against
21 Poland, right.
17 A. As far as I know, after what happened in Srebrenica, in a way,
18 NATO bombed some positions of the army of Republika Srpska.
19 Q. Let me remind you, not some positions but relentlessly for days,
20 all of Republika Srpska?
21 A. Also, after these events in Kosovo, NATO bombed the federal
22 republic of Yugoslavia in order to prevent a further escalation of this as
23 was stated publicly. I really don't know very much. I was never a spy or
24 a counterspy, and I did not sit behind closed doors writing down what
25 Kameni said or what somebody else said. That was not my job. And I don't
1 like that. Sometimes I like to watch crime movies, but I'm not too
3 Now are we victims of an international conspiracy or a conspiracy
4 of a group of several people? Sometimes when I was down there that's what
5 I thought. However, now that I'm abroad. Well I was never ashamed to say
6 that I was a Serb, but it is very hard for me precisely because I have
7 very little information. As a simple man I can just say that I have my
8 suspicions. So I'm sort of in between. I cannot say yes, it is possible,
9 and I cannot say no either because I'm not a person who will say, Yes I'm
10 100 percent a victim of an aggression. And, on the other hand, when I
11 look at some of the things that many people said, not only you, I really
12 start doubting things.
13 Do you accept this as an answer?
14 Q. Mr. Stoparic, you know this command structure of the Skorpions
15 very well, don't you? You know them very well, and you know the luxury
16 and the wealth they live in, right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. This wealth could not be obtained through a soldier's salary no
19 matter how big it is?
20 A. It was a good salary but you cannot really buy a Ferrari and there
21 were Ferraris.
11 Pages 2728-2729 redacted. Private session.
11 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I have a problem,
12 because now and not just now you've done this for a long time. You're now
13 being a witness yourself, you're testifying yourself. So please go back
14 to asking questions of witness.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, a few moments ago I
14 was answering your question. I was not testifying in my own trial. You
15 asked me something, and I gave you an answer, why it was that I was
16 insisting on these facts. And I reminded you that it was the witness who
17 had spoken about this.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, maybe you could ask
18 who is this Natasa Kandic. I don't know who it is. I have no elements on
19 her. I have nothing on her. Could you remind us of who she is?
20 Maybe the witness may help.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, if ask you him the questions,
22 Mr. President, I'm sure he'll tell you.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I don't want to ask questions
24 because then you're saying that I'm taking up your time. So you have all
25 the time you were allotted.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I hope that none of your
2 interventions means deduction from my time, that it is deducted from my
3 time. If I'm right, well, tell me, put me right. It is not deducted?
4 Well, if it is not deducted, then I'm jeopardised as the accused.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me tell you, when you are
6 allotted one hour, you have one full hour. But if Judges take the floor
7 during that hour, this is not deducted -- this is not taken into your
8 time. This is deducted from your time.
9 So you will have -- if you were given one hour, you will have one
10 full hour for questions and answers, and when Judges take the floor this
11 is not part of your time, which means that I investigate and ask questions
12 on Kandic for five or ten minutes, you will not be deducted these five or
13 ten minutes, and I would much rather that you go into the question.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Perhaps the interpretation wasn't
15 correct. I was told that it would be deducted from my time if you ask the
16 question; whereas earlier on I understood it that whenever you asked the
17 questions, that time is not deducted from my time.
18 So which is it? Is it not deducted?
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The truth -- you know, the
20 truth is that when a Judge asks a question, this is not part of your
21 time. This is not deducted from your time.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] So that is counted as my time?
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, yes, this is your time
24 because you're asking questions.
25 Let me tell you how things work, Mr. Seselj. Ms. Dahl used up
1 some five hours and some minutes, and you will have the same amount of
2 time; five hours and 32 minutes. When Judges ask questions, the time
3 taken for those questions is not part of those five hours and 32 minutes,
4 which is why this hearing will go beyond the five hours and 30 minutes.
5 When I ask questions, this is not taken out of your time. This is
6 Judges' time and not your time.
7 You have five minutes and 32 minutes for questions and answers.
8 Did you understand that?
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Now I have understood you exactly.
10 But before your last statement, this latest statement of yours, I was
11 receiving the wrong interpretation. The interpreter was saying quite the
12 opposite and you can check that out. The interpreter explained throughout
13 that your interventions were deducted from my time. You can check that
14 out. You have a service to do so.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It was just an error.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Now, I'm going to ask Mr. Stoparic who Natasa Kandic is.
19 A. Natasa Kandic is the president of the fund for humanitarian law in
20 Belgrade. She has office in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Pristina and Podgorica.
21 And probably in Sarajevo.
22 Q. That fund is officially a non-governmental organisation. Is that
24 A. Yes. Officially a non-governmental organisation.
25 Q. And you know that that fund received enormous financial notations
1 [as interpreted] from the western governments and non-governmental
3 A. People said that it was Soros financing it.
4 Q. Soros most of it?
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. You wanted to
6 say that the question was not recorded.
7 MS. DAHL: [Previous translation continues] ... in the creation of
8 the record, and I think that the witness and the accused have resumed a
9 very fast pace and should be reminded to slow down.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Remember, that when you
11 speak too fast, you see that there are these little triangles that show up
12 on the screen, showing that the answer was not recorded, or the question
13 was not recorded; for example, on line 24.
14 So please start again.
15 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
16 Q. I asked you whether you knew that the fund for humanitarian law,
17 in formal terms, is a non-governmental organisation which is led by Natasa
18 Kandic it is financed from western sources, the western governments, and
19 non-governmental organisations. And your answer was that, as far as you
20 knew, most of the funding came from the Soros foundation. Is that right?
21 A. Yes, I know this all from the media. I don't know it personally.
11 Page 2736 redacted. Private session.
4 Now, sir, Mr. Stoparic, we're now going to broach a new question.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And I think we could go back into
6 open session, Mr. President, if you agree.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Public session -- open session,
8 excuse me.
9 [Open session]
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're in now open session.
11 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Stoparic, you mentioned during the examination-in-chief -- I'm
13 not going to mention any names, so you don`t have to ask for closed
14 session. I'm not interested in names. I don't care about names at all.
15 That members of the Serbian Radical Party in the 1990s took part in the
16 persecution of Croats in Kukujevci. Is that right?
17 A. As far as I know, I did speak about that, but not as a witness but
18 as somebody who listened, heard about that from other people, and I said
19 what I remembered.
20 Q. You mentioned the Croatian family of Kopoci in Kukujevci, right?
21 A. Yes K, Kopic.
22 Q. And according to your statement a group of the Serbian Radical
23 Party arrived at the Kopic house, Kopic family's house and persuaded them
24 to leave Kukujevci, right?
25 A. Yes, but I repeat that I did not talk to any Kopic family person.
1 It's what I heard about from you know who.
2 Q. Yes, and I'm not going to mention names. Now I investigated this
3 statement of yours. You know that I have people who help me, whom I can
4 rely, who are very reliable, and I myself received an enormous amount of
5 material from the Prosecution. And now I know that the Prosecution will
6 regret having sent me some of those documents. This is a book called "How
7 My People Died." Have you ever heard of this book? This is a photo
8 copy, unfortunately I don't have the original?
9 MS. DAHL: May I ask Mr. Seselj to please read out an identifying
10 mark. It is not visible in the record to hold up photocopies. We need to
11 know what he is referring to.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This book, are you going to
13 tender it into evidence?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'm sure it will be
15 offered up to you by the Prosecution. But, on the first page of this
16 document it says -- there is an ERN number, 01141837. The author of the
17 book is Marko Kljaic, the Vicar of the Roman Catholic Church in
18 Petrovaradin. You know that Petrovaradin is part of Novi Sad. It is the
19 outskirts of Novi Sad.
20 A. Yes, I know that.
21 Q. Anyway, he wrote a big book, published it, and he devoted it
22 Dr. Franjo Tudjman, that's the inscription, who was the president of
23 Croatia, right? It's dedicated to him you can see that on page 5 of the
25 Now that book has a total of almost 500 pages. On page 277?
1 MS. DAHL: Your Honour.
2 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] -- Which has the following number --
3 MS. DAHL: [Previous translation continues] ... 65 ter number
4 02154 so that the Bench may follow.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Ms. Dahl.
6 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
7 Q. On page 277 of that book, and the ERN is 01142103, it says,
8 there's a heading there. A list of expelled Croats from Kukujevci from
9 1991 to 1994. And this list contains 332 names, and it takes up a full
10 eight pages. Of course, just not to have any misunderstanding the book is
11 highly tendentious, and it is my thesis that not a single Croat was
12 expelled from Serbia or Vojvodina as part of Serbia. Now he compiled a
13 list in fact of all the Croats who, from 1991 to 1994 left Kukujevci.
14 Do you wish to have a look at that list perhaps there is not a
15 single name of Kopic on that list. No one by the name of Kopic on that
16 list and you have the list on your screen.
17 A. I don't need to see the list. I understand what you're getting
18 at. Perhaps I made a mistake. Perhaps the man wasn't from Kukujevci but
19 from another village.
20 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't catch the name.
21 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation].
22 Q. Mr. Stoparic for me to travel around Vojvodina looking for the
23 Kopic family?
24 A. But we all know that these are villages bordering on each other so
25 I might have made a mistake because the villages had the same structure as
1 Kukujevci. So I confess if I said Kukujevci, not because you prove that
2 the man's name isn't on the list, and the list need not be correct and
3 that can be checked out where these Kopics were it wasn't just one family,
4 one Kopic family so possibly they were in the other village, Veberac.
5 Q. So I'm going to have to check out Veberac overnight, Mr. Stoparic,
6 you're going to force me to do that, but I have a list here of expelled
7 Croatian families from Geberac; however, this relates to 1996 and what was
8 this man Kopic's first name?
9 A. The father was Ivica Kopic.
10 Q. I see, Ivica Kopic from Gibarci, Cepin, that's part of Gibarci, is
11 it, possibly.
12 A. That's Titova 10 Street, Titova Street Number 10.
13 Q. Well, I don't know whether's Titova 10. That's what it says here,
14 Titova Z. I found it that I found Ivica Kopic in the list from Gibarci,
15 so you partially right. But the Catholic priest, Marko Pijajic, who did
16 this very neatly and pedantically with respect to the Croats that moved
17 out, said that this was according to the 1996 census. That's what he
18 based it on. Kopic, Ivica, so he moved out and re-settled in Cepin,
19 whereas he was in Gibarci, Titova Street, which means he wasn't from
20 Kukujevci. Isn't that right?
21 A. Well, I said that I had my doubts whether he was actually from
23 Q. Right, then he went to Cepin, and Cepin is a place in today's
25 A. I think it is too, I'm not sure.
1 Q. He exchanged his property for the property of some Serb family?
2 A. Probably.
3 Q. Nowhere in this book which represents a detailed list and
4 description of the various incidents did I find the fact that in his yard
5 somebody threw a hand-grenade?
6 A. I understand what you want to say, what you're saying. When I
7 mentioned a hand-grenade, I didn't claim that I was close by and saw it.
8 I just learned about it from somebody else so that this whole story about
9 Kukujevci, Gibarci, and so on is something that I can categorically say is
10 not based on my own personal knowledge, and I apologise; but Mr. Seselj
11 you'll agree that if somebody tells a lie 100 times it become the truth,
12 so in my statement there might be a truth which is not something that I
13 conceived it wasn't thought up by me.
14 Q. Does that mean that are you retracting your statement according to
15 which the members of the Serbian Radical Party in a certain way through
16 persuasion and so on and later on by throwing a hand-grenade forced Ivica,
17 what was his name, Kopic to move out of Gibarci. That's not from
18 Kukujevci anymore. It's not in Gibarci. Are you retracting that as
20 A. Well, I said all the time that this is something that I heard from
21 others. The only thing that I can say is reliable is what I can claim
22 that I saw with my very own eyes.
23 Q. So what you said in this courtroom is not reliable, is that it?
24 Is that right?
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Was I interrupted by you, Your
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, could you give us
3 the paragraph of the witness's statement that's involved here.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This was in the
5 examination-in-chief. I cannot tell you right now. I do not have the
6 transcript before me. I'm not talking about his statement. I'm talking
7 about the witness's testimony here in the courtroom. I stopped looking
8 just at his statement. I believe we have agreed that everything in his
9 statement is untrue, because he failed to repeat most of it here in the
10 courtroom. So I'm basing my questions on what he stated in the courtroom
11 only because his statement is totally out of place because if I were to
12 list everything which is in the testimony and does not correspond to his
13 testimony in court, we could go on all day for hours on end discussing
14 it. I'm not interested in his statement as such anymore because it is no
15 longer a posit to my case.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Looking at the statement, I
17 note that the Kopic family is mentioned on paragraph 86 as well as 87.
18 That says in 1992, in Gibarci, the Kopic family was targeted by the Black
19 Troika, et cetera.
20 So, witness, you have the statement in front of you. Ms. Dahl
21 gave it to you earlier. So what you're saying there at paragraph 86 is
22 this hearsay, did you hear that from someone else?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It should be read in total it should
24 not be extract from its context. I never said, Yes, I was there, and I
25 saw that but always including in my interviews with the investigators, I
1 just related my information because the investigators ask you do you have
2 information and whether you had learned of some things.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Dahl.
5 [Private session]
11 Pages 2745-2746 redacted. Private session
6 [Open session]
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're in now open session.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Now that we're in
9 open session, you seem to have used up three hours and 50 minutes. All
10 together you had been allotted five hours and 32 minutes so just do the
11 math. All together you have about an hour and 30 minutes left tomorrow
12 for the rest of your cross-examination.
13 But we will recompute this accurately but you have about an hour
14 and 30 minutes left.
15 Once we're finished with the witness tomorrow, we will have a
16 break, a 45-minute break for technical reasons because I will be on
17 business elsewhere. We will have a break at 3.45 and resume at 4.30.
18 Normally after this witness the expert Tomic is scheduled, so we will
19 start with the examination-in-chief of Mr. Tomic tomorrow. And, of
20 course, we will continue next week with that -- this other witness.
21 Mr. Seselj.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have a request and
23 I should like to promise to you in advance that I will have such a request
24 only in connection with the expert witness Theunens and perhaps another
25 expert witness. I'm not going to abuse this in respect of regular
1 witnesses but in respect of witnesses I need more than scheduled time.
2 The Prosecution has allotted two hours for the
3 examination-in-chief for the expert witness Yves Tomic and two for the
4 cross-examination. I should like to ask you to allocate four hours to me
5 for the cross-examination because I believe that this is a very important
6 subject; this is the concept of Greater Serbia and it does require much
7 more time to be discussed.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. In the decision we
9 made on January 15, we decided to give you four hours. So we anticipated
10 your request. So you will have four hours.
11 Very well. Ms. Dahl.
12 MS. DAHL: I think it would be appropriate to advise the accused
13 that the Chamber also allocated four hours for the Prosecution, that way
14 he can plan his preparations accordingly.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
16 So, Witness, we will meet again tomorrow for the hearing in the
17 afternoon, starting at 2.15.
18 Thank you.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.05 p.m.,
20 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 24th day of
21 January, 2008, at 2.15 p.m.