1 Tuesday, 3 June 2008
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 8.31 a.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 morning, Your Honours. This
8 is case number IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
10 This is Tuesday, and I greet everyone in this courtroom. I
11 welcome the representatives of the OTP, Mr. Seselj, as well as everyone
12 helping us.
13 I think I understood that Mr. Mundis wanted to take the floor.
14 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 Good morning, Your Honours, Dr. Seselj, and to everyone in and
16 around the courtroom. I have one very brief point, and I would ask if we
17 could please go into private session.
18 THE COURT: Yes, Mr. Registrar. Could we please move into
19 private session.
20 [Private session]
11 Pages 7681-7690 redacted. Private session.
22 [Open session]
23 MS. BIERSAY: And, Mr. Registrar, if we could now have 65 ter
24 number 4260, please. And as it's loading, this is a map entitled: "The
25 Bosnian Serb Autonomous Areas," and this was published in
1 Official Gazette of the Bosnian Serb people in BiH, Number 1, January
3 Mr. Registrar, in fact, could we have 65 ter number 7013, please.
4 And the description previously read is, in fact, for 65 ter number 7013,
5 entitled: "Bosnian Serb Autonomous Areas." And, Mr. Registrar, if we
6 could zoom in to the area that's next to the number 4.
7 Q. Mr. Witness, directing your attention to this map, do you see the
8 municipality that contains Ljesevo?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And could you describe what municipality that is?
11 A. The Ilijas municipality.
12 Q. And what other municipalities border Ljesevo?
13 A. Breza, Visoko, Olovo, Sokolac, Sarajevo. Those are the
15 MS. BIERSAY: Mr. Registrar, if we could zoom in to that
16 intersection between Visoko and Breza.
17 Q. Mr. Witness, could you point to the area where one finds Ljesevo?
18 A. That's the area here. [Marks]
19 Q. Is that area given a nickname?
20 A. It's called "Ljesevo," but the last part -- or, rather, the
21 western part of Ljesevo was called "Odzak," where the population was
22 mostly Serb.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Would you like an exhibit
24 number for the map?
25 MS. BIERSAY: At this time, we would tender the map, Your Honour.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit number P448.
3 MS. BIERSAY:
4 Q. Now, moving away from the map for a moment, you described
5 generally your background and your schooling for the Trial Chamber. Did
6 you do any compulsory military service?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And with what organisation did you do your military service?
9 A. The Yugoslav People's Army sent me a call-up paper. I received
10 it, and I went to serve my -- to do my military service. At that time,
11 it was one year. I was in the infantry. I served in the town of Gospic
12 for four months and another eight months in Bihac, Bosnia-Herzegovina.
13 Gospic at that time in the former Yugoslavia was in Croatia.
14 Q. What time period did that service cover, from when to when?
15 A. From January 1987 until January 1988.
16 Q. What were your general duties with the infantry?
17 A. As I said, I was in the infantry, in the Escort Platoon. I was
18 manning a machine-gun.
19 Q. In and around that time period in the late 1980s, could you
20 describe for the members of the Trial Chamber what life was like in
21 Ljesevo between the nationalities?
22 A. In Ljesevo, life was good. Inter-ethnic relations were
23 excellent, very good. You could say "excellent." Interpersonal
24 relations were very good. We lived in good spirits, joy. There were
25 many labour actions to build infrastructure. There were constant
1 meetings and rallies of young people and old people. Old people or older
2 people discussed building actions. Younger people met to discuss
3 cultural and sports events. At any rate, relations were very good.
4 Q. Did you belong to any youth organisations?
5 A. Yes, I belonged to the Youth Association. At one point, I was
6 even at the head of that Youth Association, so I know most of the youth
7 activists. They knew me, too. We worked together. We were happy at
8 that time.
9 Q. Were all the nationalities part of your group?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did there come a time that things began to change, as far as the
12 relationship between the nationalities?
13 A. Yes, certainly. When the war had already begun in the territory
14 of Croatia, information began to reach us through the media. People
15 followed it very attentively, young and old. We already knew what was
16 going on, so that people started changing their opinions of one another.
17 And then the war moved on to the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
18 Q. Before you continue to describe that to us, could you please
19 describe for the Trial Chamber the population distribution of the
20 nationalities? Could you give us an approximate percentage of the
21 Muslims and Serbs and Croats who were in Ljesevo?
22 A. In Ljesevo the percentage of Serbs was slightly lower than the
23 percentage of Muslims, and there were very few Croats, some ten houses
24 all in all. That means there were more Muslims, just over 50 per cent.
25 I suppose there is -- there are some kind of statistics that are
1 available, but that was, generally speaking, the composition.
2 Q. Could you describe what change, if any, there was in the
3 leadership of the municipality of Ilijas?
4 A. I was already about to say about the war, when it moved on to the
5 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, we followed it, because it didn't
6 start throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina at the same time, the killings
7 and all the rest, so we followed, through the media, the various TV
8 channels that were available. We were rather well informed of what was
9 going on where, and we wanted to know about our own area, such as the
10 establishment of SAO Romanija. That was the municipality we belonged to,
11 and that's what we were primarily interested in.
12 With the establishment of the Autonomous Area of SAO Romanija,
13 the government changed and the structure of the police and the army that
14 used to be reflective of the entire ethnic composition changed, the
15 leadership changed. Tensions began to rise, and people were losing
16 confidence in the new authorities, because we already had information of
17 what was going on and what objectives they were following.
18 Q. Witness, if I could stop you for one minute. When you say the
19 government changed, could you describe, to the extent you know, who
20 constituted the government of the SAO Romanija?
21 A. Who was in that government?
22 Q. Do you know the names of any of the people who were in the
23 leadership of that government, yes?
24 A. I know that the president of the municipality, Ratko Adzic, was
25 at the head of that government, president of Ilijas municipality.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. The Prosecutor is
2 asking an impossible question of the witness. First she showed the map,
3 and we saw that Ilijas was not in the SAO Romanija. And now she's asking
4 him who was in the government of SAO Romanija as if Ilijas was there.
5 Why would he know, in Ilijas, who was heading the government of
6 SAO Romanija, set aside the fact that even I don't know that, but the
7 witness certainly can't know it.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Biersay, what do you have
9 to say about the objection?
10 MS. BIERSAY: I'll attempt to clarify with the witness.
11 Q. Mr. Witness, when you described the changes in the government, as
12 far as your area becoming part of the Romanija -- the SAO Romanija, what
13 time period are we talking about?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. When did the witness
15 say that Ilijas became part of SAO Romanija? I didn't hear him say that.
16 Have you heard?
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Biersay, please try and
18 clarify this, whether this municipality belonged to the SAO Romanija or
19 not. Does the witness know this; does the witness not know this?
20 MS. BIERSAY: I attempted to with my last question, and
21 Mr. Seselj interrupted. I will again ask the witness.
22 Q. When you describe the change in government and the involvement of
23 the SAO Romanija, what time period are you talking about, Mr. Witness?
24 A. Just before the war directly in Ilijas municipality, changes had
25 already occurred. We knew that Ilijas was already mapped in
1 SAO Romanija, and when the changes in the police structure occurred, we
2 already knew from the media that Ilijas had become part of SAO Romanija.
3 That period was April and May. I don't know the exact date.
4 Q. And April and May of what year?
5 A. 1992.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honours, then the Prosecutor
7 has to clarify from which period the map originates, because we saw from
8 the map that Ilijas was not in SAO Romanija. You had before you a map of
9 Serbian autonomous areas in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Look at the map again
10 and you'll see Ilijas is not on it. Then the question arises: From
11 which period is the map?
12 MS. BIERSAY: The map itself identified as being dated from
13 January 1992. The events about which the witness is speaking pertain to
14 April -- March/April of 1992. Sorry, April/May of 1992. The purpose of
15 the map is to illustrate the municipalities that are listed and to give
16 context for what the witness has described as the integration of Ljesevo
17 into the SAO Romanija.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, can we have the
19 map back on the screen, please. 7013 is the number of the map.
20 MS. BIERSAY: Or P448.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, this map purportedly
22 shows the borders of the SAO Romanija, where the figure "4" stands, and
23 Ilijas is not included in these borders. Could you shed some light on
24 this, please?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I see is that
1 Ilijas municipality is white, meaning not a part of it, but we knew --
2 or, rather, I'm not sure if this is accurate, or maybe the map is wrong.
3 But if Ilijas had not been part of SAO Romanija, then why would have the
4 events occurred and why would all that writing be throughout the
5 territory of the municipality?
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This is your explanation.
7 Please proceed, Ms. Biersay.
8 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. When Ilijas became a part of the SAO Romanija, did you see any
10 other changes in the community of Ljesevo?
11 A. Yes. It was already common knowledge, after the proclamation and
12 the celebration they organised in these areas, and after that the
13 situation changed very fast. Roadblocks were put up in the whole
14 territory of Ilijas municipality, wherever there were boundaries with
15 other municipalities which they had not managed to round off this
16 autonomous area, so roadblocks came up in Visoko, in a place called
17 Cekrcici, which was part of SAO Romanija but not part of Ilijas. After a
18 while, even the bridge was blown up. They blew it up with dynamite in
19 Cekrcici so that there would be no contact with Visoko municipality. So
20 major changes occurred. The people -- the population felt it on their
21 own skin, and there was wide media reporting, and it was well known among
22 the people that the situation was difficult.
23 Q. Mr. Witness, when you say "after the proclamation and the
24 celebration they organised in these areas," what proclamation and
25 celebration are you talking about?
1 A. The proclamation of SAO Romanija. At that time, it was clear to
2 them that they were protected there in Ilijas municipality, which was a
3 bit detached from the city of Sarajevo. I suppose they had felt a bit
4 isolated, but with the rounding off of SAO Romanija, they started to
5 celebrate, and it was clear they were happy that they were now part of
6 SAO Romanija. We heard about these -- we could see these celebrations.
7 Q. When you say "they were protected there," who do you mean?
8 A. I mean the Serbs who lived in Ilijas municipality at the time.
9 Q. In addition to the roadblocks, did you see any changes, for
10 example, in the police force of Ljesevo? And if so, what changes did you
12 A. Roadblocks were set up first at the entrance to Ljesevo. I told
13 you that Serbs, in terms of percentage, were a major group in Ljesevo.
14 And another roadblock was put up on the boundary with Visoko, at the exit
15 from Ljesevo, and thus it was automatically rounded off, and it continued
16 throughout the war. All these lines were there throughout the war.
17 Q. Could you explain to the Trial Chamber what you mean by "rounded
18 off"? When you use that expression, what do you mean by that?
19 A. What do you mean by Ljesevo being rounded off? Could you repeat
20 that question?
21 Q. In your previous answer, you said:
22 "Another roadblock was put up with the boundary of Visoko, at the
23 exit from Ljesevo, and thus it was automatically rounded off, and it
24 continued throughout the war."
25 In that context, what did you mean by "rounded off"?
1 A. I meant the separation lines that passed through Ljesevo and on
2 towards Cekrcici and on towards the hills that surrounded the
3 municipality of Breza. That's what I meant. Ljesevo remained as a
4 village in Ilijas municipality, which also contained Muslims, and they
5 had only one exit towards Vrbovik village, and that's the passage many of
6 them used before all these things happened to get out, before all these
7 things started happening in Ljesevo.
8 Q. Let's go back a little bit, Mr. Witness.
9 Could you describe for the Trial Chamber what changes, if any,
10 there were to the ethnic composition of the police force in your village?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. This question is not
12 permissible. A proper question could have been, "Were there any
13 changes," rather than, "What changes occurred, if any?"
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Biersay, the question was a
15 borderline case, as one says. Could you repeat your question, please.
16 MS. BIERSAY:
17 Q. Did the ethnic composition of the police force in Ljesevo change
18 after the establishment of the SAO Romanija?
19 A. As I've already said, in Ilijas municipality the staff of the
20 police force was replaced, and that automatically deteriorated the
21 situation. There was a great lack of mutual confidence. Ljesevo itself
22 did not have a regular police force. It had a reserve police force, and
23 of course some changes occurred. The main change was that there occurred
24 a rift between Muslims and Serbs in Ljesevo. And after a while, border
25 posts were established. Local guards guarded villages at night, at
1 places where the Serb and the Muslim populations had contact.
2 As for the police force, it was a reserve police force. Those
3 were people of various ethnicities, Serbs, Croats and Muslims who had
4 uniforms as reserve policemen and who had received weapons as reserve
5 policemen in order to keep the territory where they lived under control.
6 If I may continue --
7 Q. Mr. Witness, before you continue, you describe the arms given to
8 members of the police force. Did there come a time when local Serbs
9 became armed?
10 A. As I said, both Serbs and Muslims on the reserve police force had
11 received arms, and they controlled their own respective areas. That was
12 their duty.
13 But if I may elaborate on that to make it clear --
14 Q. Could you describe to us whether or not civilians were also --
15 civilian Serbs were also armed?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] You see, Judges, what is going on
17 here. It is my impression that the witness is speaking honestly and
18 sincerely about his experience, and the Prosecutor can't seem to stop
19 asking impermissible questions. The witness said there were all
20 ethnicities on the reserve police force, and then they were divided. The
21 next question should have been, "Were civilians also armed," and instead
22 she asks, "Were Serb civilians arms?"
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Biersay, he told us that
24 the Serb and Muslim police forces were armed. If you are now addressing
25 the way in which the civilians were armed, you need to put a broader
1 question. "As far as you know, were the civilians armed, yes or no? If
2 so, which ones?" And then he will answer the question and say, "The
3 Muslim civilians or the Serb civilians were armed." Otherwise, you focus
4 instantly on the arming of the Serbian civilians and not on the arming of
5 the Muslim civilians. I don't know, I wasn't there.
6 In either case, he wished to give a broader answer and you cut
7 him short.
8 MS. BIERSAY: As the Trial Chamber is aware, I have two hours,
9 and I am trying to be focused in covering all the points that we need to
10 cover in this very tragic story of Mr. Witness 1111.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed.
12 MS. BIERSAY:
13 Q. With respect to the arming that you just described, Mr. Witness,
14 were civilians also armed?
15 A. I ask to begin from the beginning, to begin telling my story from
16 the beginning, without any special questions, because that sort of
17 interrupts my flow. I lose concentration and don't know where I'm at.
18 So could I please ask you to let me tell the story from the beginning,
19 when the barricades were set up, and I'll tell you how, and then you'll
20 come to the conclusion of how both sides were armed -- or, rather,
21 everything that went on, if that's possible.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, of course we
23 understand that you want to relate exactly what happened, but the problem
24 is that the Prosecutor has a limited time for questions, and so does the
25 accused, so we must immediately go to the essential. And we'll see if
1 anything is missing, and if so, the Judges will put questions to you.
2 We've understood that there were changes, that there were
3 barricades, so we understand very well what was happening.
4 Now, Ms. Biersay is asking you questions about armament, so
5 please answer, and if need be we'll come back to the barricades or other
7 Ms. Biersay, please proceed.
8 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. Is it possible, Mr. Witness, if you could fast-forward to the
10 arming of civilians. Was there arming of the civilians in Ljesevo?
11 A. We Muslims knew that the Serbs had weapons from the
12 Yugoslav People's Army. That's something that we knew about. First of
13 all, a convoy that was returning from Zenica, from the barracks there,
14 was escorted towards Sarajevo. We saw that with our very own eyes from
15 the place we were at. And when they stopped in the area of
16 Ilijas municipality -- or, rather, at the crossroads itself and that some
17 of the vehicles were held back in the Ilijas municipality area, so
18 automatically we knew that the Serbs had received weapons from the
19 Yugoslav People's Army.
20 And during the day -- or, rather, we saw our neighbours moving
21 around with rifles. They stood guard at night and went to take up their
22 shifts during the day to stand guard, and towards the evening we would
23 see our neighbours and so automatically we set up our own watches, our
24 own guards, with the weapons that we received from the
25 Territorial Defence or, rather, the reserve police force, until an
1 incident broke out, an incident took place, in the area of Lug, in
2 Ljesevo, when an APC that was passing through Ljesevo was stopped -- or,
3 rather, it was stopped, and soldiers got out of the APC and started
4 shooting at the houses. And then that incident took place, as it was
5 referred to, and they asked the Muslims to give back a portion of the
6 weapons, or, rather, that we had too many weapons. And afterwards, a
7 meeting of some kind was held and a part of those weapons were given back
8 by the Muslims.
9 I think I might have been a little lengthy.
10 Q. Did the -- the guards that you talk about, did those continue
11 after the disarming incident in Lug?
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Biersay, the witness gave
13 us essential information. I don't know if you noted it down, but at one
14 point in time he said that the Muslims obtained weapons from the reserve
15 police. I believe that you must go into greater depth here. Were these
16 weapons distributed to the Muslim population? This is what the witness
17 seems to say. Could you please go into further detail regarding this?
18 MS. BIERSAY: I'm sorry, is the Trial Chamber asking for a
19 clarification from the witness with respect to the issue of the --
20 Q. Mr. Witness, the Trial Chamber would like you to discuss in
21 greater detail the arming of the Muslims.
22 A. It was like this: Before, well, there was a bit of tension in
23 Ilijas municipality, in Ljesevo itself. Or, rather, when the
24 municipality became divided, that is to say, the SAO Romanija, when it
25 took over power. Now, before that, I know that weapons had been handed
1 out belonging to the Territorial Defence and belonging to the places and
2 villages in Ilijas municipality. So automatically Ljesevo itself, both
3 the Muslims and Serbs were issued weapons -- the weapons they were
4 supposed to be given. That's what I know. And so the Muslims used those
5 weapons to stand guard and stand watch over their houses and the
6 territory they inhabited, and so did the Serbs in their part of Ljesevo.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, yourself, did you
8 obtain a weapon? Did you get a weapon, yourself?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I personally did not.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You did not obtain a weapon?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The weapons were distributed to the
12 Muslims, or, rather, there was a Muslim crisis staff which existed as an
13 organisation, and they stood watch at night. So the Crisis Staff was
14 directly given these weapons, and when you had to go to do your shift and
15 stand watch, you would be issued a rifle to go and stand guard.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yourself, did you guard, did
17 you stand guard?
18 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So when you stood
20 guard, you had a rifle in your hands?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did have a rifle in my hands
22 when I was on guard.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. At the time, you
24 were 25 and you could have been mobilised.
25 Please proceed, Ms. Biersay.
1 MS. BIERSAY:
2 Q. Could you describe that rifle that you had to the Trial Chamber?
3 A. It's like this: May I be allowed to explain?
4 I was saying that we were moving too fast. That's why, so this
5 brings about some misunderstandings. I see that you didn't understand
6 what I said, fully.
7 So before, when the Muslims were given weapons and when they
8 stood guard, that was a more peaceful time. Afterwards, after the
9 incident broke out that I mentioned, there was a lack of trust, that is
10 to say, a portion of the weapons were handed back to the area, which
11 insisted they be handed back; that is to say, the Serb Army, which was
12 patrolling the area with APCs on a daily basis because they already
13 had -- well, they had already had some clashes, they had already started
14 fighting in Breza municipality on the hills around Ljesevo.
15 Anyway, after that incident took place, the Muslims no longer
16 trusted them, and the population started leaving Ljesevo. There was
17 general disarray. The people who stood guard stopped, and the weapons
18 they had with them, they took with them. When the massacre took place, I
19 did not have a rifle.
20 MS. BIERSAY: Witness, one moment, please.
21 Could we go into private session for a moment, Your Honour?
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Move into private session.
23 [Private session]
11 Pages 7707-7749 redacted. Private session.
9 [Open session]
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're now in open session.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] My first procedural issue is this,
12 very briefly, but the second thing I wish to raise will be more lengthy.
13 First of all, a procedural matter with respect to the relevance of this
14 testimony and generally calling this witness to testify in the trial
15 against me.
16 This witness at no point in time mentioned my name. He didn't
17 mention the Serbian Radical Party at all, nor did he mention the
18 volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party. And from the exhibits and
19 evidence which the Prosecutor put to the Trial Chamber and which were
20 admitted into evidence, we can see that somebody else was responsible for
21 this crime.
22 Of course, it's quite clear to me that the Prosecutor is taking
23 proceedings against me, against my participation in the alleged joint
24 criminal enterprise. However, based on these methods, every crime that
25 some Serb committed in this war, or group of Serbs, could be ascribed to
1 me following on from that logic, any crime in any other place, if you
2 adopt that methodology, and I think this requires the intervention of the
3 Trial Chamber. The Trial Chamber must step in and see what you're going
4 to do with things like that. That's the first procedural matter that I
5 wish to raise.
6 May I move on to my second point?
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Regarding this first point of
8 procedure, I will not mention any names because we had a protected
9 witness. If you have some time, however, I believe that you should read
10 paragraph 98 of the Prosecution's brief, which was disclosed to you and
11 which describes the events that occurred in this village. You will see,
12 at paragraph 99, 100, 101, the connection which the Prosecution is trying
13 to set between you and these events. This is all I can say. The answer
14 lies in paragraphs 98 and following. Take a close look at these
15 paragraphs. I'm not going to deal with the contents, but I believe that
16 this is what I can answer to your point.
17 Now, regarding a more legal -- the more legal framework, I drew
18 your attention previously on the indictment. You had listened to me, but
19 I'm not sure whether you really fully understood my gist. Let me say a
20 couple of words about this.
21 As far as the Prosecution is concerned, and regarding the crimes
22 which occurred in a number of municipalities, the Prosecution is blaming
23 these crimes, on a general level, to the Serbian forces, "Serbian forces"
24 being a very generic term, encompassing a number of elements; JNA,
25 Territorial Defence, volunteers, et cetera. And in this respect, at
1 paragraph 7 of the indictment, it is stated, and I quote:
2 "The crimes were within the object of the joint criminal
3 enterprise, and Vojislav Seselj had the knowledge and intention necessary
4 for the commission of each of the crimes, together with the other
5 participants to the joint criminal enterprise."
6 And I will read slowly now:
7 "Alternatively, the crimes enumerated in counts 1, 4, 8, 9, 12 to
8 14 of the indictment were the natural and foreseeable consequences of the
9 execution of the object of the joint criminal enterprise, and
10 Vojislav Seselj was aware that such crimes were the possible outcome of
11 the execution of the joint criminal enterprise."
12 This is on paragraph 7 in the indictment. This is what is stated
13 in this paragraph. So read it again, think about it, and draw the
14 consequences of this paragraph number 7, notably the fact that
15 perpetrators who did not report to you might have committed crimes, if
16 these perpetrators were connected to one of the members of the joint
17 criminal enterprise. That is what is stated in paragraph 7 of the
19 So together with your associates, all the very clever lawyers
20 that work for you, study this extremely carefully, because this is what
21 lies at the heart of the indictment against you. I cannot go any further
22 than this as things stand now. I just want you -- I am just stressing
23 paragraph 7 in the indictment. This answers the question that you raised
24 with the Trial Chamber as regards the relevance of the crimes committed
25 in this municipality and their connection to you.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have the impression,
2 Mr. President, that the indictment and pre-trial brief of the Prosecutor
3 you treat as being some sort of exhibits. They're not exhibits, they're
4 just nebulous. And evidence, you're treating them as evidence. But as
5 I've studied the indictment and the pre-trial brief carefully, and since
6 I see what kind of witnesses, among others, the Prosecutor is calling in
7 this trial, then my conclusion is quite clear and justified; that
8 theoretically it is possible to try me here quite literally for all the
9 crimes that were committed on the Serb side during this war. Now, if you
10 accept that, if you accept the Prosecution arguments which are opposed to
11 the appeals trial ruling in Brdjanin, and I received that ruling a few
12 days ago, then that's up to you. But it's up to me to underline the
13 question of relevance between any crime and me or the Serbian Radical
14 Party. You have to find a link. You have to link us up to the crime.
15 Now, as to the joint criminal enterprise and my possible
16 participation in this alleged joint criminal enterprise, what it has
17 there is still being kept secret by the Prosecutor, although we've
18 already heard the 23rd witness. That's what I wanted to say with respect
19 to the first matter.
20 Now, may I go on to the second, if you have nothing against that?
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The second aspect of what you
22 wanted to say, please.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Prior to the testimony of this
24 witness, you received a binder with certain documents in it, and the
25 Prosecution announced that it would be using those documents. The
1 Prosecution used just a few of those documents during the
2 examination-in-chief, not all of them.
3 Now, in this binder number 2, binder number 2, there are some
4 very important documents which the Prosecutor failed to call up. Now,
5 those documents relate to the wartime role of Nikola Poplasen in Vogosca.
6 Those documents have nothing at all to do with the testimony of the
7 witness we heard here today, because Vogosca is one of the central
8 Sarajevo municipalities, because Sarajevo was first of all divided into
9 the municipalities of Centar, Novo Sarajevo, Ilidza and Vogosca, and then
10 two municipalities, Centar and Novo Sarajevo, were divided into the old
11 town and new town, whereas Ilijas is a suburb of the municipality, which
12 means that they are quite different locations. And now the Prosecution
13 is providing you with a certain number of documents, conscious of the
14 fact that you will read them prior to the appearance of this latest
15 witness. It fails to use the documents, but the Prosecutor is counting
16 on having those documents stay in your memory, because everybody knows
17 that Nikola Poplasen was a member of the Serbian Radical Party and --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, Mr. Seselj.
19 You're talking about a document that I am looking for. Can you tell me
20 where it is, exactly, to prove that -- please give me the number.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's tab number 2. The first is
22 02000625, the first of the series, and then we have 629 and 630.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm a bit lost here at the
24 Bench. Can you please give us the number of the Prosecution's tabs?
25 That would be very handy for us.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, you received that
2 subsequently. Before that, you were given a large file with documents
3 from exhumations and similar things, so the binder included lists of
4 soldiers, the units of the War Staff of the Territorial Defence, and so
5 on and so forth.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Biersay, can you enlighten
8 MS. BIERSAY: I can try, Your Honour. I think he's referring to
9 tab 2 of the first binder that we sent to the Court.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's the big binder.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On tab 2, there's a list of
12 prisoners for July 26th, 1992.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, there are several
14 documents here signed by Nikola Poplasen, as the Republican Commissioner
15 for Vogosca municipality, appointed by Radovan Karadzic, and that was the
16 document that the Prosecution disclosed to me. 625 is the first document
17 that I referred to, 02000625.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. Aren't you
19 talking about documents that the Prosecution would have disclosed to you,
20 but that was not given to the Bench? I can show you what I have. We are
21 not hiding anything from you.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, perhaps you haven't
23 got that big binder with you.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecution gave this
25 binder to the Trial Chamber [indicates], with documents that are
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Do you have tab 2 in that binder of
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In this binder, on tab 2,
5 corresponding to Exhibit 1529, we have a list. That's the first
6 document. Then there are 49 prisoners. Then there is another list with
7 142 prisoners. Then there is a document that is a family association,
8 the relatives of missing persons. It's a document with 28 names of
9 missing persons. A document signed by Branko Vlajko, the director of the
10 jail. And then there is a decision of the War Presidency, dated May
11 31st, 1992. Then a document from Robert Jovanovski, dated January 1st,
13 This is all we have, and there are other miscellaneous documents.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The next one is the one that I'm
15 referring to, and the documents that follow as well. You've found them
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Now, what is my point? The point
19 is this: Those documents have nothing to do with the testimony of the
20 witness we've just heard. The witness was from Ilijas. The documents
21 relate to Vogosca, and that is the central urban municipality of
22 Sarajevo, one of the central ones. And what they refer to is the role of
23 Nikola Poplasen as a wartime commissioner for Vogosca and appointed by
24 Radovan Karadzic in 1992.
25 Everybody knows that Nikola Poplasen was at one time a member of
1 the Serbian Radical Party. He's no longer a member. He was expelled in
2 2003. Everybody knows that he was the president of the Serbian Radical
3 Party for Republika Srpska. But as of March 1993 -- well, up to then, he
4 wasn't our member, and everybody knows that Nikola Poplasen was the
5 president of Republika Srpska and was replaced by the occupying governor,
6 Carlos Westendorp. So those are the generally-known facts, and now the
7 Prosecutor, without anything to do with the testimony of this witness,
8 brings it to your attention that Nikola Poplasen was the commissioner for
9 Vogosca, the Republican commissioner appointed by Radovan Karadzic. Then
10 they bring to your attention the fact that he had broad powers and
11 authority, and in this document you can see that he is describing the
12 work obligations for men and women in Vogosca municipality, among other
14 Next, if you skip over the next page and then you come to another
15 document -- you can skip over the next three pages and then you'll come
16 to a document where he describes all this, and he says how much is paid
17 per work post, per job. And then the document after that, where he
18 decides about the sale of the Tas manufacturers, which were the Golf cars
19 for Serbian Montenegro, for that market.
20 And then you can skip over the next page and you will see a list
21 of Muslim prisoners. Then the following page, the order by
22 Nikola Poplasen to place at liberty Barudzija Zahid, a Muslim prisoner,
23 and that he be exchanged for a Serb, Danilo Orasanin in Sarajevo. And
24 then skip over one page.
25 And then you will come to another order whereby the following
1 prisoners who are Muslims are to be set free, 14 of them, in fact, and
2 that they should be exchanged for the Serbs, 14 of them too. And then in
3 paragraph 2, it goes on to say this order comes into force immediately
4 and it will be implemented by the warden of the prison. So the
5 Prosecutor is telling you once again that Nikola Poplasen stands above
6 the prison warden.
7 And on the following page again, 636, Nikola Poplasen issues
8 another order to release a Muslim detainee named Cerimagic and to
9 exchange him for a certain Serb.
10 Then turn over to the next page, where Nikola Poplasen decides
11 that a certain Salko Halac, currently in solitary confinement, should be
12 equipped and given tools, released for the duration of works on the work
13 supply in Pretis and to give him armed escort and provide with food. It
14 says Salko will work to restore work supply to Vogosca in the company of
15 Pretis. He should be treated fairly, and when the work is over, continue
16 with the current treatment.
17 So these are documents that prove the great political powers
18 Nikola Poplasen have. They are presented to you so that you may make
19 certain conclusions that has nothing to do with the testimony of this
20 witness. I'm not going into whether you actually made these conclusions
21 or not. That is up to you. I am stigmatizing here the unlawful
22 behaviour of the Prosecution, because every document that the Prosecution
23 gives you in a binder, before a certain witness appears, has to have a
24 certain purpose. These documents have an illicit purpose. They inform
25 you that Nikola Poplasen had enormous power. He was later a member of
1 the Serbian Radical Party. He was a high -- he was a ranking official of
2 the party. Therefore, the party must be responsible for it all.
3 Furthermore, Nikola Poplasen is a man who collaborated with the
4 Prosecution. He was even on their witness list at one time. I received
5 his witness statement. Of course, in a way, he misrepresents my role in
6 all these wartime events, and he even mentions personally raping some
7 Muslim women, et cetera, but I'm not interested in all that.
8 The Prosecution gave up calling him as a witness and never
9 actually placed him on the official witness list, but they want, in a
10 shameless way, to show that there was a link between him and me, whereas
11 the link did not exist.
12 When Poplasen was the Republican commissioner for Vogosca
13 municipality and had great powers that this post brings, he had nothing
14 to do at that time with the Serbian Radical Party. And from his witness
15 statement he gave to the OTP, you can see that at that time he had
16 nothing to do with the Serbian Radical Party. He is saying now that he
17 joined the party in 1993, and at the founding assembly of the party in
18 Banja Luka, he was elected its president. He says, himself, that until
19 then, the Serbian Radical Party had only three branches in
20 Republika Srpska, in Banja Luka, in Bijeljina, and he also claims in
21 Sarajevo, but he is very confused about the names there. And that is the
22 state of facts here.
23 But what I think you must not turn a blind eye to this conduct of
24 the Prosecution. The Prosecution gave you certain documents to create a
25 false impression, and I think this behaviour must not remain unpunished.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. As you might have
2 noted, the Judges had not looked at these documents. We obtained them at
3 the beginning of the hearing, and we only looked at the documents
4 presented to the witness.
5 However, this document which we are discovering now but which has
6 not been admitted because the Prosecution did not tender it and it hasn't
7 been shown to the witness, so why was this document in the binder in the
8 first place? If it was there in the first place, it's probably because
9 the Prosecution intended to show it to this witness.
10 Ms. Biersay.
11 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 With respect to the compilation of the binder, as the Court
13 knows, we meet witnesses very shortly before they testify, and we try to
14 be over-inclusive in the exhibits that we anticipate possibly presenting
15 to the witness and later for in-court presentation. This is one of the
16 exhibits that we thought the witness could speak to, and he could not.
17 And we met with the witness, as our proofing notes illustrate, on Sunday
18 and yesterday, after the binder was sent, and it was clear after we met
19 him that he couldn't speak to the -- to that exhibit.
20 Now, I certainly at this point would like to object to Mr. Seselj
21 using the pretext of discussing this document that was not discussed by
22 the Prosecution in any way, using this document as a pretext to launch
23 into his political speeches that he does regularly, and we object to that
24 at this point.
25 The Court considers only evidence presented to it in the
1 courtroom and that's admitted by the Court, and so I take issue with
2 somehow we're trying to surreptitiously give evidence to the Court that
3 is not presented in a proper fashion.
4 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you for this.
5 I must say, Madam Biersay, I was a bit surprised when you
6 concluded your examination-in-chief, because I would have thought that
7 you would use the remaining part of your time to show us the link between
8 this witness's testimony and the indictment against the accused because I
9 had a difficulty in seeing and understanding the relevance of this
10 evidence to the case. And I guess this is what the accused brought up as
12 So at least for me, I would be grateful if you would be kind
13 enough to explain to me what the link or the relevance is between this
14 testimony that we've heard today and the charges against the accused.
15 MS. BIERSAY: In my respectful submission, Your Honour, this was
16 a matter that was not to be explored with the witness, as that is a legal
17 submission, and that is why any evidence pertaining to linkage or the
18 JCE, as outlined by Mr. President as he went through both the indictment
19 and the pre-trial brief, and we believe that the President correctly
20 outlined, in a broad legal framework, the map that we're using in this
22 In that regard, I think perhaps the next witness might clarify
23 for the Court our linkage with respect to the JCE.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I've understood you well,
25 Ms. Biersay, this witness only came to testify to say that this crime had
1 been committed in that municipality. That was the purpose of calling
3 MS. BIERSAY: And with the subsequent documents, and as we laid
4 out in the opening, that Serb forces attacked on the night between the
5 4th and 5th of June, 1992, and that the evidence will show that those
6 connected to the accused, as well as locals, local policemen and other
7 armed men belonging to the Territorial Defence, entered the town and
8 committed crimes. So that is the framework of this segment of the case
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Seselj.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I will now dwell on
12 my second objection. Within the first one, I've said all I wanted to
13 say, and it's up to you to interpret it as you wish.
14 You tell me that as members of the Trial Chamber have not read
15 the documents in the binder. We received that binder last week. It was
16 given to us at the same time. I don't know why it would have been given
17 to you late, if I received it on Thursday or maybe even Wednesday. So
18 you were given a binder with a large number of documents related to the
19 wartime activity of Nikola Poplasen in Vogosca, in his position as
20 Republican commissioner. That is the highest-ranking representative of
21 the executive authorities.
22 Nikola Poplasen collaborated with the Prosecution. He gave them
23 a witness statement and signed it. On the last page of that statement,
24 it says:
25 "If asked to, I'm willing to come to The Hague and testify before
1 the International Tribunal."
2 The Prosecution did not plan him for this case. I heard that he
3 testified in the Krajisnik case, but I'm not interested in that. So the
4 Prosecution will not bring him, but they present here, totally unrelated
5 to the testimony of the previous witness, they present in a binder
6 accompanying the witness's testimony, in fact announcing his testimony,
7 they present documents that reveal the wartime activity of
8 Nikola Poplasen in Vogosca. Whether you read it or not, I only have to
9 take your word for it. That's not important. What is important is the
10 intention of the Prosecution to have you read it and gain a certain
12 We are all humans, made of flesh and blood. We have certain
13 conceptions and preconceptions. We are served a document, we read it,
14 and we make some conclusions in our head. Maybe you're superhuman and
15 immune to that. I am not, I'm a mere mortal, and I make certain
16 conclusions. And I believe this act of the Prosecution is impermissible.
17 Furthermore, if you allow me only two more sentences, Ms. Biersay
18 says that they did not know which documents they would be actually using,
19 so they prepared a greater number, and some turned out to be unusable
20 with this witness. That is not true. The Prosecution have had at their
21 disposal for many years all the statements of this witness, beginning
22 with some statements given to Bosnian authorities and even transcripts of
23 his testimony, on audio record, up to the statement he gave to the
24 Prosecution in 1998. They knew everything about what this witness can or
25 cannot say.
1 These municipalities are two different municipalities. Ilijas
2 and Vogosca have nothing to do with each other. There are no points of
3 contact, and no reasonable person could decide that documents referring
4 to the wartime activity of Nikola Poplasen could be used with this
5 witness, and still they were put to you in a perfidious way, if you ask
6 me, in a binder that was supposed to be used by you in preparing to hear
7 this witness.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation]
9 [Interpretation] I'll start again, I'll start again.
10 I was saying, Mr. Seselj, this document is a document which we
11 were not made aware of beforehand. I only found out about it when you
12 drew our attention to it. Since I am totally transparent with you, as
13 far as a connection is concerned, I don't quite share your views and I
14 shall demonstrate this to you now.
15 This document is signed by Poplasen. I had never heard about him
16 until a while ago. This person is a commissioner in this municipality.
17 He provides that those people engaged in the Serbian units would get
18 50.000 dinars and others would get 40.000 dinars.
19 As a matter of curiosity, I looked into the preamble of the
20 decision, and I discover, and I stand to be corrected, that this decision
21 was taken and based on a decision taken by the Presidency of the
22 Serbian Presidency, number 101338012 on the 10th of June, 1992.
23 Therefore, one can conclude that the Serbian Presidency in
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina took a decision of a general nature, thus requesting
25 the municipalities to give money to some people. This is what this
1 Poplasen has done as regards the Vogosca municipality.
2 However, the document we saw this morning, the document which
3 lists people's names who received 10.000 dinars, is this document part of
4 the decision taken by the Serbian Presidency in Bosnia-Herzegovina? This
5 is a relevant question.
6 I don't have the decision taken. The number of the document is
7 013308012. So I can't answer the question. Maybe we'll be given the
8 document at a latter stage, and maybe we'll be able to establish a
9 connection then, but it's for the Prosecution to demonstrate this.
10 But I can tell you that we have found out about the existence of
11 Nikola Poplasen a few minutes ago. We have found out that he seemingly
12 was a member of the SRS after these dates. You have mentioned this. And
13 we have found out that he could set a budget to pay for the fighters.
14 That's all I can say about this.
15 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] There is something I would like
16 to say on this topic to reassure Mr. Seselj, since on other occasions we
17 may, in effect, read those documents which we have in the binders that
18 are given to us. I'd like to reassure him our judgement will only be
19 based on the testimonies and evidence admitted. It will not be based on
20 any vague impressions of ours.
21 Thank you.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges and gentlemen, I am
24 pleasantly surprised at your full understanding of what I'm saying. That
25 you have not read these documents before is not really flattering for
1 you. Anyway, it is up to you, whether you're going to read them or not.
2 What I'm saying, though, concerns a matter of principle, that
3 these documents should not have been given to you as part of the
4 background material for this witness. Whether you read them or not is a
5 matter of your diligence as Judges.
6 If I had been the judge, I would certainly have read the
7 documents before the witness appeared in the courtroom. But that's not
8 my problem.
9 The problem lies in the behaviour of the Prosecution. What if
10 you had read them? I discovered -- detected this trickery. What if you
11 read them tomorrow? The problem is that you --
12 MS. BIERSAY: [Previous translation continues]... deemed as
13 trickery and this offhand accusation that has no basis at all against the
14 Prosecution, absolutely unfounded, improper, and should not be tolerated
15 in this courtroom.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Ms. Biersay is right, all
17 the more so that in the documents you have mentioned to us, I stand to be
18 corrected, of course, but the fact that Poplasen belonged to the SRS does
19 not seem to be mentioned in the documents we have. You know this, but I
20 did not know this.
21 Now, in more general terms, the Prosecution has thousands of
22 documents that it has disclosed to you. When the Prosecution calls a
23 witness to come to testify, it chooses a series of documents which are
24 then disclosed to you. After that, the Prosecution has a proofing
25 session, i.e., an interview with the upcoming witness, and on one or
1 other document the witness will have something to say; on other
2 documents, he or she won't. Therefore, the Prosecution will not show
3 these documents which it doesn't need.
4 And then there are the time constraints. It is perhaps not
5 possible to show 20 documents in 2 hours. And then if the Prosecution
6 realises that it's running late a little bit, it will decide not to show
7 three, four, five or six documents, and these documents are in the
8 binders, but have not been admitted.
9 As my colleague has just said, our judgement will only rest on
10 admitted documents, not on documents that have not been admitted, but
11 documents which are in a binder that have not been shown to a witness can
12 be shown to another witness.
13 And in addition, Mr. Seselj, in the decisions we've handed down
14 on the admission of documents, the Prosecution -- and you will also have
15 that possibility, to file a written motion and to ask for the admission
16 of documents that have not been shown to a witness under two conditions:
17 (a), that these documents are relevant and, (b), that these documents are
18 reliable, because when a witness comes to testify, we have something like
19 50 documents. The Prosecution cannot show 50 documents. It may show 30
20 or 40, and the 20 or 10 remaining documents can be admitted through a
21 decision of the Chamber if these documents meet the criteria, the
22 above-mentioned criteria.
23 When you call your witnesses, perhaps you will have a lot of
24 documents. You might not have time to show all the documents, and you
25 will file a written motion to ask for those documents that have not been
1 shown to the witness to be admitted, because those documents are both
2 reliable and relevant.
3 That's all I have to say on the matter.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, you said a moment
5 ago that you heard of the name Nikola Poplasen a moment ago for the first
6 time. That is possible. He is third in order as president of
7 Republika Srpska. Radovan Karadzic, Biljana Plavsic, and he was the
8 third. I know the name of just the first, Louis Bonaparte, president for
9 France. I couldn't remember who the second one was. That was a long
10 time ago, whereas these were events that took place in recent years, from
11 the beginning of the war onwards. And he was very important. If you say
12 you hear his name for the first time, that's your affair. However, the
13 conduct of the OTP cannot be justified by anything. This cannot be even
14 a broad selection of documents to go with this witness. In no variant
15 could this document be presented with this witness. It's a Trojan horse
16 that was introduced into the binder, a cuckoo's nest, a cuckoo's egg.
17 Perhaps you haven't read it. That's not what I'm interested in.
18 I consider that the Prosecutor should not have included it into
19 the binder, and it included it into the binder with intent.
20 Now, you're trying to tell me that you have such integrity that
21 you're not going to take it into account. I can believe you or I cannot
22 believe you. I don't think perfect human beings like that exist.
23 I think that human beings exist who make judgements and prejudices on the
24 basis of certain things. I can't say, of myself, that I'm a man without
25 any prejudices. Perhaps people like that in the world exist, but I've
1 never met one. But you cannot convince me that the Prosecution had the
2 right to put those documents into that binder, with -- to go with the
3 testimony of this witness, who never mentioned my name, nor did he
4 mention the Serbian Radical Party or volunteers of the Serbian Radical
5 Party, a witness who suffered a tragic fate, and we were all astounded to
6 hear of that tragic fate.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I must admit that
8 I've just discovered that Mr. Poplasen was third in line for the
9 Presidency of Republika Srpska. I didn't know this, and as you know, we
10 learn something new every day.
11 If this man, Nikola Poplasen, was that important, I would have
12 been made aware of this, because I have read the pre-trial brief, and in
13 the pre-trial brief, which mentions the events that occurred in this
14 municipality, nowhere in this brief does the name -- is the name of
15 Nikola Poplasen mentioned, either in the text of the document or in the
17 That's all I have to say about this.
18 Mr. Mundis.
19 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 I reluctantly rise to my feet to place on the record, once again,
21 the fact that Mr. Seselj is making accusations against the integrity the
22 Office of the Prosecution and, in fact, the integrity of the
23 Trial Chamber and this institution as a whole. This is completely
24 improper, in our respectful views, and with all due respect to the
25 Trial Chamber, we are asking that this be stopped, that this type of
1 behaviour and these types of outbursts, where he makes accusations
2 involving the integrity of this institution, this Trial Chamber and the
3 Office of the Prosecutor, it must stop, with all due respect,
4 Your Honours.
5 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I am sorry. I must also add
6 that Mr. Seselj says that the Judges of this Bench do not understand.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, when you say that,
8 you seem to be laying the blame for everything on us. First of all, you
9 don't know how we work. I have told you that this is the way we proceed,
10 since we don't want to be influenced by anything we discover on the day
11 of the witness's testimony, what documents will be produced, which
12 guarantees our impartiality and this avoids any manipulation.
13 Ms. Biersay and Mr. Mundis also provided an explanation for the
14 fact that this document was in the binder because they suspected
16 Mr. Seselj, do you honestly believe that these three Judges can
17 be manipulated? That would be very serious if you were to believe that
18 the Judges could be affected by the way in which some of the evidence is
19 presented. As soon as we have a document, we wonder where the document
20 comes from, whether it's reliable or not, and so on and so forth. So
21 when you say this, you seem to condemn the Tribunal as a whole. It's not
22 the first time that you do this. But as far as people who are working
23 are concerned, and people like you who want to come up with the truth, do
24 not be biased from the outset and don't think that we are there to harm
25 you. This is totally untrue.
1 Let me tell you that I discovered this document a few moments
2 ago, and I had never heard of Nikola Poplasen until now.
3 It is now -- we shall adjourn, because our time is just about up.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges, I never said that you don't
5 understand. Perhaps the interpretation you got was wrong. I emphasised
6 that I was pleasantly surprised that you understood me well, which is
7 quite the opposite of what you're ascribing to me now.
8 Secondly, whether you can be influenced or not, that's up to you.
9 That's your affair. I've already told you, you can't inflict any more
10 evil on me, and nobody else can either.
11 And the third point is this: This Prosecution took a statement
12 from Nikola Poplasen in which Poplasen accuses me of certain things, and
13 it disclosed that statement to me. And then it gave up on the idea of
14 putting Poplasen on their witness list. Instead of that, instead of
15 bringing him here into court, in a perfidious way they are putting to you
16 documents which have to do with his wartime role in Vogosca, and you
17 justify that. You're justifying the conduct of the Prosecution, with the
18 pretext that it is a broad span of documents, and as there wasn't enough
19 time, the Prosecutor had to narrow the scope down. And then you go on to
20 justify Mr. Mundis' intervention that I am hitting upon the integrity of
21 both the Prosecution and the Trial Chamber.
22 What I'm saying here is this: The unlawful conduct on the part
23 of the Prosecutor, you are trying to find justification for their acts
24 and conduct, and now it seems that I'm to blame for attacking your
1 Now, please explain to me, how is it that I attacked your
2 integrity? Am I to blame for having read all the documents in the
3 attending binder? Where is this attack of mine on your integrity
4 grounded? Let's see. What are the grounds for you for thinking that?
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis.
6 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, again we object in the most vigorous
7 way to the accused's characterization of the Prosecution as being
8 perfidious. The Prosecution is not on trial in this case; Mr. Seselj is.
9 Similarly, in our respectful submission, this Trial Chamber does
10 not have to answer the questions put to it by the accused. This
11 institution is not on trial here. Dr. Seselj is on trial here. And to
12 the extent he continues being obstructionist in making these types of
13 allegations, we respectfully ask the Trial Chamber to take whatever steps
14 are necessary in order to bring these kinds of attacks against the
15 integrity of the Trial Chamber and the integrity of this judicial process
16 to an end.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, what would be the
18 necessary steps, according to you?
19 MR. MUNDIS: Well, Mr. President, perhaps a more vigorous
20 approach in terms of stopping this type of behaviour coming from the
21 Trial Chamber would be one option. Another option, of course, would be
22 the imposition of Defence counsel. And I understand that issue has been
23 raised, and I am well aware of at least the Presiding Judge's views on
24 that point that are on the record, but we will be coming back to that
25 issue in the very near future, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The difficulty we
2 run up against, Mr. Mundis and Mr. Seselj, is that we are talking about a
3 written statement of Nikola Poplasen which I know nothing about, and this
4 written statement incriminates Mr. Seselj. The Trial Chamber knows
5 nothing about this. We are discussing events about which the
6 Trial Chamber knows nothing and has not been seized of. This is the
7 difficulty we run up against.
8 Mr. Seselj, rightly or wrongly, feels that by placing these
9 documents in the binder, the Trial Chamber could be misled. I have told
10 him that this is not the case. The Trial Chamber will never be misled by
11 anyone. This is my answer.
12 Now, I cannot stop Mr. Seselj from speaking, and putting some
13 plaster on his lips, that is something that I cannot do, but the
14 Trial Chamber has not been seized of this issue. And Mr. Seselj has
15 challenged having a Defence counsel. What he says gets out of control.
16 I check him when that is the case, and so do my colleagues, and so do
17 you. So let's let the matter rest for today.
18 Tomorrow, you have another witness who will be heard for two
19 hours. I have not had either the binder or the exhibits for tomorrow. I
20 will have these tomorrow morning at 8.30.
21 Thank you.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.15 p.m.,
23 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 4th day
24 of June, 2008, at 8.30 a.m.