1 Thursday, 2 October 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 8.31 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, can you call the
7 case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
9 This is case number IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus
10 Vojislav Seselj.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
12 Today, we are in open session. We are Thursday, the 3rd [sic] of
13 October, 2008. Let me first of all greet the witness, as well as
14 Ms. Dahl, Mr. Mundis, and their associates and all the people giving a
15 helping hand to the OTP, as well as the Registrar and the usher.
16 We shall resume the examination-in-chief.
17 Ms. Dahl, you have one hour left, and I shall give you the floor
18 straight away.
19 WITNESS: WITNESS VS-038 [Resumed]
20 [The witness answered through interpreter]
21 MS. DAHL: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 May we move into private session?
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Registrar, please.
24 [Private session]
11 Pages 10171-10192 redacted. Private session.
8 [Open session]
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're now in open session.
10 MS. DAHL:
11 Q. After Mr. Drazilovic gave the speech about fighting for the
12 Serbian people, did he lead the volunteers in the taking of an oath?
13 A. Yes, he read -- I can't remember whether he read or he spoke off
14 the cuff. He uttered the words of the oath, and then we repeated it
15 after him.
16 Q. Were the volunteers issued membership cards?
17 A. Yes. We would go into an office one by one. Now I'm speaking on
18 my own behalf. I provided my personal details there, all of them, and
19 then I was issued with a membership card of the Serbian Chetnik Movement.
20 Q. Did the oath pledge allegiance to the Chetnik Movement?
21 A. Well, as far as I remember the words of the oath, the Serbian
22 people were mentioned in it, patriotism, fatherland, defence of Serbian
23 people; words to that effect, as far as I can remember, that was
25 Q. At Mr. Drazilovic's introduction, were you given information
1 about party politics?
2 A. No, he didn't touch upon daily politics. He spoke about the
3 general situation in different parts of the former Yugoslavia; that is to
4 say, he spoke about fronts, the situation at the front and the like, but
5 he didn't say anything about daily politics.
6 Q. Were you given information about the purpose of the military
8 A. Yes. The purpose of our engagement was to defend the Serbian
9 people from the opponents of the Serbian people; that is to say, the
10 Muslims specifically in this particular case. As we were going to
12 Q. What information were you given about the possible deployment
14 A. Well, we were given that information in an informal conversation
15 with these two volunteers who had already been engaged in Bosnia
16 that conversation, they told us about the situation, what it was like and
17 what we could expect in Milici and in Gorazde. That is to say, they
18 provided that information to us.
19 Q. When you say "they" and "those two volunteers," who are you
20 referring to?
21 A. There were two members of the Serbian Radical Party there who
22 were in charge of taking care of us and transporting us to our
23 destination. These two men were specifically in charge of the group that
24 went to Milici. I know that because I, myself, went to Milici. They
25 were with us the entire time, and they took us to Milici.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Dahl, you have 15 minutes
3 MS. DAHL: Your Honour at the outset of the examination, I
4 thought I might need an additional half an hour, but if I may reserve
5 that request until the end.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It won't be possible, given the
7 time constraints. We won't have enough time, because we do have
8 housekeeping matters that Mr. Seselj wants to raise once this testimony
9 is over. So please do endeavour to finish within 15 minutes.
10 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, I note the exception that I would have to
11 take about dealing with housekeeping matters in lieu of leading
12 substantive evidence on the charged crimes, and I'd request at the end of
13 the examination to reconsideration.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I do agree with you, I agree.
15 MS. DAHL:
16 Q. Did you have informal conversations with Mr. Drazilovic after the
18 A. Yes. After this ceremony, he stayed with us for a brief amount
19 of time. He didn't talk to me personally, but since we were standing
20 there in a group, he talked to all of us, giving us advice for our own
21 good, as he put it.
22 Q. And what advice did he give you and the group with which you were
24 A. He said that we need to realise that there was a war going on
25 there and that that was serious business, that we have a very serious
1 enemy against us, and that we should expect no mercy from that enemy,
2 especially us being volunteers from Serbia. His advice was not to allow
3 to be captured alive. It was better to commit suicide than allow the
4 enemy to capture us, because that was the better solution for us. But
5 just as nobody would have mercy towards us, we shouldn't have or we
6 shouldn't show any mercy toward anyone else.
7 Q. What did you understand that to mean?
8 A. I took it to mean, since he didn't speak explicitly of any
9 particular group, I thought that that meant that we shouldn't have any
10 mercy toward our enemy, the Muslims specifically, because according to
11 him everybody was enemy.
12 Q. Did Mr. Drazilovic convey the idea that you, meaning you and the
13 group, should kill everyone on the other side?
14 A. He didn't say that we should kill everybody. He said, and I
15 remember that well, that we shouldn't show any mercy toward our enemies,
16 and that was said very clearly.
17 Q. Did he say that you should take prisoners?
18 A. As for that, there were no explicit instructions. Once again, I
19 repeat, just as nobody would have mercy towards us, which meant that we
20 would certainly be killed, similarly we needed to do the same and not
21 show any mercy towards our enemy, just as if we would have been killed if
22 we were to be captured, they should have been killed if they were to be
23 captured. That's what "no mercy" meant.
24 Q. As part of the induction process, were you given any instructions
25 on the requirements of the Geneva Conventions?
1 A. No, we received no such instructions.
2 Q. Are you familiar with how the Radical Party was recruiting
4 A. Well, there was propaganda broadcast on television. All
5 officials, headed by Mr. Seselj, in all of their public appearances said
6 that every Serb patriot needed to put himself in the service of the
7 defence of the Serbian people, and along those lines everybody knew that
8 the Serbian Radical Party was sending out its volunteers, and it was very
9 easy to join volunteers via them. This took place through various of
10 their speeches and public appearances, and there was a lot of that in the
12 Q. Did you hear Mr. Seselj give a call to arms for Serb patriots?
13 A. Yes, I heard that many times, that each Serbian patriot needed to
14 go and defend the Serbian people. It was no secret that his party sent
15 volunteers to the war zones; not that it was not a secret, he was proud
16 of that, and he bragged about that; so it was no secret whatsoever.
17 Q. And to be clear, these were Serb people in war zones outside of
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. To your knowledge, was there a screening process that
21 disqualified people who had criminal charges or criminal convictions from
22 serving in the Radical Party's volunteer units?
23 A. As far as I know, such a process did not exist. All of us who
24 came there that day to the headquarters of the Serbian Radical Party were
25 eventually sent to the fronts, so I didn't hear of any such thing.
1 Q. Did you learn from members in your unit whether they had criminal
3 A. Yes, yes. I learned from many of them, when we talked, that a
4 lot of them had had problems in Serbia
5 were to go and serve their prison sentences, that some of them were still
6 on trial. So there were many such cases.
7 Q. Did you hear of any instances where the Radical Party lawyers
8 helped people avoid prison in favour of military service in a volunteer
10 A. Yes. A man who was there with me had a problem with the
11 judiciary. His mother was in contact with the people from the Serbian
12 Radical Party who were helping her to resolve the problem.
13 MS. DAHL: If I may briefly go into private session.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, please, Mr. Registrar.
15 [Private session]
11 Pages 10199-10208 redacted. Private session.
21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in open session.
23 Cross-examination by Mr. Seselj:
24 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. VS-038, when did you come into contact with
25 the investigators of The Hague Tribunal for the first time?
1 A. To the best of my recollections, I think that was in 2005.
2 Q. How did that come about?
3 A. I called up the offices of The Hague Tribunal in Belgrade
4 asked to have a meeting with them.
5 Q. And that was in 2005, was it? But what was the reason for you to
6 ask for a meeting?
7 A. The reason was because I wanted to talk to them and to give a
8 statement about my knowledge of the events in the war in
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina in which I took part.
10 Q. Can you look at me while you're answering my questions? Can you
11 do that?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. It would be a great source of satisfaction, and I think we'd have
14 a better dialogue that way.
15 A. I do apologise, and I will.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment. Witness, are you
17 quite sure that this was in 2005 or 2003? I have a statement that is
18 dated 3rd and 5th of July, 2003.
19 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, I object to the accused's instruction to
20 the witness that he has to look at him. The witness is here to provide
21 information to the Trial Chamber.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, I will address this
23 afterwards. But as far as the date is concerned, Mr. Seselj put the
24 question to you and asked you when you first contacted the OTP, and you
25 said, "2005." I have before me a statement which is signed by you, which
1 is dated 2003. That's what's written on the document. Are you making a
2 mistake or not?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it's my mistake. I'm sorry, I
4 didn't remember the year properly, but there is written evidence about
5 that. So it's 2003, and it was my mistake.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You're a witness of
7 the Court. You may look at the Bench, you may look at Mr. Seselj, but
8 you don't have to. You do as you please. It's not you who is going to
9 ask you which way you need to turn your head. If you wish to look at
10 him, you may look at him, but you don't have to. And if you wish to look
11 at Ms. Dahl, you may, but you don't have to.
12 Mr. Seselj, please proceed.
13 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
14 Q. You gave a general answer. It was too general, when you
15 explained your reasons for calling up the offices of The Hague Tribunal.
16 But what was the pretext, the reason? Now, you -- the President just
17 said that that statement was in 2003, but what was it that you remembered
18 and wanted to tell The Hague Tribunal investigators, actually?
19 A. Well, first of all, I was on the battle front. I had seen a
20 great deal of events and took part in many of them. That's the first
22 Secondly, knowing Serbian legislation, and I don't have too much
23 confidence in that, in the laws -- in the judiciary, actually, I didn't
24 want to be tricked and be responsible for things that I had nothing to do
25 with. I didn't want to fall into a trap, so I wanted to recount the
1 things that I knew about and things that would probably be checked out
2 from all sides; and I wanted to be sure that I was not going to be held
3 responsible for some things that I hadn't done, nor had I taken part in
4 them. I didn't want to fall into that trap.
5 Q. If I understand you correctly, it was for preventative reasons
6 that you contacted them, so that other people wouldn't do that.
7 A. Well, nobody has any reason to report me. I did not take part in
8 anything that was against the law in Bosnia, anything illegal. However,
9 I was afraid of false accusations; being abducted or things like that.
10 Q. But you didn't have a concrete motive to be included in the trial
11 against me or the proceedings against me, since in February 2003 I was
12 already arrested on the basis of an indictment raised against me?
13 A. Yes, that was my motive, to be part of the proceedings against
14 you, because unfortunately it was your party that I had a great deal of
15 unpleasantness and problems from. So that was my motive for becoming
16 involved in the proceedings, to say what I knew.
17 Q. Was that because, as you claim in 1992, the Serbian Radical Party
18 sentenced you to death?
19 A. Yes, that's right.
20 Q. And do you know of any other cases whereby the Serbian Radical
21 Party sentenced someone to death, apart from you?
22 A. No, I don't know of any other case where a Serbian volunteer was
23 sentenced to death.
24 Q. So you're the only case of that kind?
25 A. To the best of my knowledge.
1 Q. Does that mean that throughout the war, you were the greatest
2 problem for the Serbian Radical Party, so that the party had to pass a
3 death sentence on you?
4 A. All I know is about my case. If there were others, I have no
5 knowledge about those others.
6 Q. And when you reported to the offices of The Hague Tribunal --
7 well, actually, you called them up, is that right? That's what you said?
8 A. Yes, that's right.
9 Q. Then they called you to come to their offices; is that right?
10 A. Yes, they -- I left a contact telephone number, and then they
11 phoned me up after a short period of time and set up a meeting for me
12 with them in the offices of The Hague Tribunal in Belgrade.
13 Q. How long did that first meeting last?
14 A. The first meeting, as far as I remember, lasted for a short
15 while. I don't remember exactly how long, I can't be precise, but not
16 long; maybe an hour at the most, an hour and a half.
17 Q. And did you sign a statement after that?
18 A. I gave a statement to a gentleman there who questioned me, but I
19 can't remember whether I actually signed a statement or not. But I'm
20 sure that you have documentation about that, so you can see whether I
21 signed or not, because I don't remember.
22 Q. In 2003, how many times did you go to the offices of The Hague
23 Tribunal in total?
24 A. Unfortunately, I can't remember. As far as I recollect, I was
25 there a number of times.
1 Q. How many statements did you sign in 2003?
2 A. I can't remember that either. As I said, you have the
3 statements, so you can see and check how many of them I signed, because I
4 can't remember, myself.
5 Q. Well, I know how many times you were there and how many
6 statements you signed, but I'm just verifying your memory. If you can't
7 remember things that happened five years ago, how can you remember things
8 that happened fifteen years ago? That's right, isn't it?
9 A. Well, that all depends. It depends on the importance of those
10 things. Giving a statement in the offices of The Hague Tribunal in
12 doesn't have the same weight.
13 Secondly, at the time, I didn't give it much thought. I didn't
14 think it was important for me to remember how many times I'd signed
15 something, or given a statement, or things like that, because I knew that
16 written traces would remain, my statements would remain. They can't
17 disappear, so it's very easy to find out. So I didn't make any special
19 Q. What did you expect to be given once you'd made your statements
20 to The Hague Tribunal, given in return?
21 A. I didn't ask for anything in return, nor did they offer me
23 Q. Two years before that, you asked for Croatian citizenship and the
24 possibility of moving to Croatia
25 A. Yes, I did table a request for Croatian citizenship, I did make
1 that request, because there was a possibility of my moving to Croatia
2 but that specifically has nothing to do with The Hague Tribunal.
3 Q. Let others decide whether it has anything to do with that or not.
4 But your efforts to obtain Croatian citizenship were unsuccessful; right?
5 A. I did receive Croatian citizenship.
6 Q. When?
7 A. In 2005.
8 Q. So four years later. You had to wait for four years?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. When you came into contact with The Hague investigators, you had
11 already been waiting for Croatian citizenship two years and had lost all
12 hope of being granted it?
13 A. When I put in my request for Croatian citizenship at the Croatian
14 consulate in Belgrade
15 the process was a long one and that it could last for quite a long time.
16 So the time could be as long as two, three, four years. That would be
17 quite normal.
18 Q. How many times did you go to the Croatian Embassy in Belgrade
19 seeking Croatian citizenship?
20 A. I went once to see what I needed, what papers I needed. Then I
21 went a second time to submit those papers. And then I went a third time
22 to pick up the decision on Croatian citizenship.
23 Q. When did you inform the embassy that you had had contacts with
24 The Hague
25 which would be used in the trial against me?
1 A. If you mean the Croatian Embassy, nothing like that ever
2 happened. I never had any contact with them, nor did I provide them any
3 information like that.
4 Q. Did you ask that protective measures be provided to you by
5 The Hague
6 have no knowledge of your statement, and that your identity be kept
7 secret from me, the accused, up to a month before trial?
8 A. When I received information that I would be a witness in your
9 trial, I talked to the investigators and asked to be granted protective
10 measures, which I am enjoying now.
14 MS. DAHL: Objection.
15 Your Honour, we need to go into private session for family
16 matters, and I would ask that the last question and answer be redacted.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I shall confer with my
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] First of all, let me oppose that,
21 There is absolutely no reason -- I haven't mentioned a single
22 name yet. I am just trying to challenge the credibility of this witness,
23 and nothing else. When we get to some names that may reveal his
24 identity, then I'm going to tell you about that.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall remain in open
2 session, (redacted)
4 Therefore, we shall redact this portion of the transcript.
5 You may proceed.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
7 continues] ... move into closed session, because I'm going to take a
8 while dealing with that.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's move to closed session,
11 [Private session]
11 Pages 10218-10230 redacted. Private session.
1 [Open session]
2 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
3 Q. You said in examination-in-chief that the JNA called on
4 television conscripts and reservists who had specialised in air defence
5 to report to them because that was the specialty that they needed the
6 most; correct?
7 A. Yes, and the call was made on radio and television.
8 Q. And I would like to remind you now that the JNA never issued such
9 call via any media. They did not call any reservists of any specialty.
10 This never happened, because the Serbian regime on purpose made the
11 mobilisation that was attempted at the time more complicated; correct?
12 A. I don't know about that. This was a call issued by the Novi Sad
14 Q. Well, the Novi Sad Corps could not call reservists on its own.
15 It could have been done only by the Ministry of Defence or something of
16 that sort. And for a unit to be calling up reservists on its own, I
17 don't think that that can happen in any country in the world. Correct?
18 A. I don't know, but I know that this happened.
19 Q. I know that you invented this up, because in 1991, the JNA did
20 not need reservists at all, not of the air defence specialty. Why would
21 they need them, because Croatia
22 any aviation, so what would they need the specialty for, the air defence
23 specialty? They needed -- they needed tank operators and artillery
25 A. Well, I was specialised to use the special anti-aircraft gun
1 which had three kinds of ammunition, and that could be used by -- against
2 different kinds of weapons.
3 Q. You didn't say that they needed your military specialty. You
4 said that they needed air defence, and --
5 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, this question and answer is going too
6 fast for interpretation, and I'm noticing a degrade of the transcript,
7 and I would ask you to ask the witness and the accused to allow for a
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please go less fast. It's
10 difficult for the interpretation and the transcript to keep up, and so we
11 have these gaps in the transcript. So could you please slow down,
12 Mr. Seselj.
13 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
14 Q. So anti-aircraft defence includes light artillery, heavy
15 anti-aircraft artillery, and rocket units. The army did not need any of
16 those, and any machine-gun operator could be easily trained to use light
17 anti-aircraft artillery. I personally fired from such weapons, and it
18 wasn't difficult at all. Correct?
19 A. Well, I had training on that gun in the duration of six months.
20 Q. So you invented that the JNA called up people of your specialty
21 and that you reported to them, but they didn't want to take you in? For
22 a reason totally unknown to me, you invented this up; correct?
23 A. No, that's not correct. I went to my military department. I
24 reported to them. I submitted my military booklet to them and told them
25 why I had come, and they said that they would call me. So there must be
1 some written trace concerning that. I did not invent this. That's how
2 it happened.
3 Q. Since you gave two statements to The Hague investigators in 2003,
4 did you provide any other statement to them later on?
5 A. I gave a statement in 2006, and in between I think that I had a
6 couple of interviews in the office of The Hague Tribunal, but I can't
7 remember. I didn't try to remember how many times I went there and when,
8 because I believed that there would always be some written trace and that
9 it would be easy to trace it.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Between 2003 and 2006, Your
11 Honours, I don't have any information indicating that this witness talked
12 to The Hague
13 notes were disclosed to me. For some reason, this is all kept secret, if
14 there were such contacts at all.
15 Very well. We shall now look at the documents that were provided
16 yesterday by the Prosecutor.
24 (redacted) So let's move on to closed session, and can you redact line
25 14 of page 64.
1 [Private session]
11 Pages 10235-10267 redacted. Private session.
19 [Open session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honour.
21 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
22 Q. When you were arrested, all of you in Zvornik, this large group
23 allegedly under the term "paramilitaries," do you know that at the
24 beginning of August, on behalf of the Serbian Radical Party, I myself
25 held a press conference at which we supported your arrest, because we
1 presented a whole series of facts and information about the crimes that
2 you had perpetrated in Zvornik? I don't mean you, personally, but that
3 whole group of men who was arrested. Are you aware of that?
4 A. No, I'm not aware of that.
5 Q. Well, I'm surprised to see that after you were set at liberty,
6 that you went to the Serbian Radical Party and reported there as a
7 volunteer, saying that you wanted to go to some other front, some other
8 battlefield. How do you explain that?
9 A. I've already explained that, the reason and my motives for going
10 to Zvornik. And those same reasons hold true. That's why I wanted to be
11 a volunteer of your party.
12 Q. When you came to the Serbian Radical Party, did you take your
13 military booklet with you?
14 A. I really can't remember whether I took my military booklets with
15 me or not.
16 Q. Every volunteer --
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, Mr. Seselj. I was
18 going to put the question to you this morning, Witness, but I need to put
19 it to you.
20 You were arrested in Bijeljina. This was part of an
21 investigation. It seems that a decision had been taken to arrest all
22 paramilitary formations. You explained this to us. You say that some
23 people had been beaten up, and you must have understood at the time that
24 some individuals were accused of committing crimes of a political nature.
25 You seem to get through all of this, since you are set free. Now, the
1 first thing you do is to go to the Serbian Radical Party, knowing full
2 well that the Serbian Radical Party might have been involved in some of
3 these crimes via some individual. This was not a lesson for you, since
4 you decide to become a member of the SRS straight away. I honestly don't
6 As soon as you were set free, you go straight to the Serbian
7 Radical Party.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Not again. He never was before.
9 He went to Zvornik of his own accord. He didn't go through the Serbian
10 Radical Party.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So why do you go to the Serbian
12 Radical Party?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My motive for going was this: I
14 went in order to prove to the people around me that I wasn't a traitor.
15 My mother was a Croat. I had a lot of problems because of that, so I was
16 forced to choose either one side or the other. And I spent too little
17 time in Zvornik, too short a time in Zvornik, just a few days in actual
19 Secondly, I was arrested and sent back. So I had to join the
20 volunteer units again and the first chance I got to appear in my
21 environment to see -- to show them that I was a volunteer and that I was
22 on the Serb side. So that was my logic at the time, which doesn't mean
23 that knowing everything I do today, I would do the same thing now.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
25 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
1 Q. You've just invented this piece of information, that the children
2 from mixed marriages were threatened in any way and in Pancevo anybody
3 threatened anyone on an ethnic basis, regardless of the fact that your
4 mother was a Croat, she couldn't have had any problems at all, especially
5 married to a Serb; so why would somebody intimidate her or threaten her
6 in this multiethnic community that Pancevo was? And in Pancevo, the
7 Serbs barely -- a little over 50 per cent of the population there are
8 Macedonians, Romanians, Slovaks, Croats, and who knows how many other
9 ethnicities; isn't that right?
10 A. Unfortunately, there was pressure exerted and there were
11 provocations, and the things that I experienced and that I heard that
12 other people had experienced, too, well, they were perfidious forms of
13 intimidation, things that were very hard to prove; and my mother suffered
14 abuse and threats, so -- well, I'm not saying that in Pancevo, there was
15 any Serbian terror that reigned over other ethnicities, but that there
16 were instances of that, that's true.
17 Q. Now, explain this to me. I'm astounded, I must say. When you
18 told Zoks that somebody was mistreating your family by ringing them up on
19 the phone, you said that Zoks intervened from Zvornik and that everything
20 stopped after that. Is it possible that you actually stated that?
21 A. Zoks knew what my situation was like. I told him about it. He
22 knew what situation I was in, and all he said was that he would deal with
23 the matter. How, in what way, I don't know, but he promised to do
24 something about it.
25 Q. That means that Zoks at that time had greater power than
1 Slobodan Milosevic; wouldn't that be right then?
2 A. Well, it was like this: It wasn't that the whole of Pancevo
3 intimidated my family and troubled my family and mistreated it. This
4 came from certain circles that don't number thousands but perhaps a
5 dozen, so we knew where the threats came from and who organised them. So
6 it wasn't very difficult to deal with the situation and solve the
7 problem. He probably knew who to call and who to tell that I was on the
8 right side, if I can put it that way.
9 Q. That means that Zoks belonged to this circle of powerful men who
10 were able to mistreat many people throughout Serbia, the whole of Serbia
12 A. Well, let me repeat, that was the situation in Pancevo. In
13 Pancevo, there were branches of the Serbian Radical Party, for example,
14 and different parties, for that matter, boards or branches or whatever
15 they're called. Now, whether he was a powerful man or not, I don't know;
16 probably not, because he couldn't put a stop to any mass mistreatment or
17 threats. But sometimes all you need is a word to the wise, a phone call
18 here and there, and settle matters.
19 Q. Do you know the president of the District Council seated in
20 Pancevo, Petar Jojic?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Do you know that he was a high-ranking police inspector, having
23 the rank of colonel, and that he worked as a lawyer later on?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Well, I don't suppose you think that Petar Jojic was at the head
1 of an organisation that would ring up people who were Croats or from a
2 mixed Croatian-Serb marriage to intimidate them?
3 A. I have no knowledge about that.
4 Q. All right. Now, let's take your military booklet. Did it record
5 your participation in the war when allegedly, in the second half of 1992,
6 as a volunteer of the Serbian Radical Party, you took part in providing
7 security for the bauxite mine in Milici? Was that recorded in your
8 military booklet?
9 A. No.
10 Q. And do you know that all the volunteers of the Serb Radical Party
11 had the years they spent in war recorded in their military booklet, and
12 on some occasions they even got certificates stating that they took part
13 in the war?
14 A. I heard a bit about it, but I don't have any direct knowledge.
15 Q. Could you please -- could you please describe Zoran Drazilovic,
16 what he looks like physically?
17 A. Well, he had a beard at the time. He talked just like any other
18 person, but I really wouldn't know what the colour of his eyes was. His
19 height was average, normal.
20 Q. Was he taller or shorter than me?
21 A. Well, you're a very tall man. I don't think he's taller than you
23 Q. Was he as big as I am?
24 A. Not that big.
25 Q. Did he wear glasses? Is there anything else you can say?
1 A. Well, at the time when I saw him, he didn't have glasses on.
2 Q. Never in your life did you see Zoran Drazilovic. I've known him
3 since 1986, and he never took glasses off, and they called him "Cica"
4 because he looked like Draza Mihajlovic; he was almost identical to him.
5 All volunteers, all members of the Serbian Radical Party of the Serbian
6 Chetnik Movement know of that and even the public at large knew about it,
7 and you're not in a position to describe what he looks like, and you said
8 here that he had allegedly said something to him. Never in your life did
9 you see Zoran Drazilovic; right?
10 A. That's not right.
11 Q. You saw Zoran Drazilovic without glasses? You could have only
12 seem him when he was asleep. That's probably the only time when he took
13 off glasses. Otherwise, no one has ever seen him without glasses.
14 A. Well, specifically, I wear glasses, but now I have contact
15 lenses. On days when I wear glasses and when I talk to someone,
16 sometimes I just take those glasses off and put them in my pocket for a
17 while, and then again I put them on. I put them on, so that really
18 doesn't mean anything.
19 Q. Well, fortunately we're in open session now. All members of the
20 Serb Radical Party, everyone in Serbia
21 never be seen without his glasses. Everybody knows that. But let's not
22 dwell on that any longer.
23 Please tell me, what does a membership ID of the Serbian Chetnik
24 Movement look like, the one that you allegedly got from Draskovic?
25 A. As far as I can remember, to the best of my recollection, it
1 looks like a calling card. It's about that big [indicates]. It is
2 white, and it said "Serb Chetnik Movement." I think there was a coat of
3 arms there, too, a number, and there was the name and surname.
4 Q. And the text, what colour was the text on that membership ID?
5 A. I don't know. I don't know whether it was black or blue.
6 Q. And if I tell you now that already in 1992, no membership cards
7 were being issued for the Serb Chetnik Movement, and that had been the
8 case for quite a while, and it's only membership cards that were issued
9 for the Serb Radical Party, what would you say to that, what would your
10 comment be?
11 A. I never saw a membership card for the Serb Radical Party. This
12 was a membership card for the Serb Chetnik Movement.
13 Q. Why didn't you keep that membership card of the Serb Chetnik
14 Movement? It really would be invaluable here in court.
15 A. Well, at that time I did not know that I would be before this
16 kind of a court. Otherwise, I certainly would have kept it.
17 Q. So we don't have any evidence by way of your military booklet.
18 You don't have this membership card of the Serb Chetnik Movement. And
19 why is your name not recorded anywhere in the records of the Serb Chetnik
21 I have statements of Ljubisa Petkovic and Dusica Nikolic with
22 regard to this matter. They checked it.
23 A. I don't know what to say to that. I claim that I am a member,
24 that I was recorded there at that office, and why it cannot be found, I
25 don't know.
8 Q. This written evidence was supposed to be provided to us by the
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall redact. Reference has
11 been made here which could identify you. Please prepare the order,
12 Registrar. Thank you.
8 (redacted) And the information they obtained was that it is total
9 nonsense that the volunteers could have been receiving 300 Deutsche mark
10 per month at the end of 1992, because generals of the Army of Republika
11 Srpska did not have that in 1992. They had 100 Deutsche mark, and
12 towards the end of 1993 it got even lower than that.
22 Ms. Dahl.
23 MS. DAHL: [Previous translation continues] ... that the accused
24 disclose this particular statement if he's going to use the contents to
25 cross-examine the witness.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] A slip of the tongue. The last
18 time I talked to my associates was on Sunday at 4.00 in the afternoon, to
19 the best very specific. Sunday, 4.00 in the afternoon. You can check at
20 the Scheveningen prison.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So Sunday at 4.00.
22 Yes, Ms. Dahl.
23 MS. DAHL: Could I have a ruling on the request for the
24 disclosure of the statement, because it would appear that what he is
25 cross-examining is based on his associate's statements, not a statement
1 by a witness.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No. According to what I've
3 understood, this is a conversation that took place, but it's not a
4 statement, per se. So there is no statement. This is information which
5 his associates gave him verbally. We have no document.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm convinced that they took
7 written statements and had them verified, but I don't have it. And since
8 I don't have it, it cannot be disclosed.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So he doesn't have it.
10 MS. DAHL: May I ask, if he does get such a statement, that he
11 discloses it, and if he's going to cross-examine a witness, that he does
12 not imply that he has something that he does not, in fact, have. He can
13 cross-examine regarding information, but attributing it to another source
14 I don't think is fair to the witness or to people who are listening to
15 the proceedings and trying to understand the basis for the information.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Ms. Dahl, with this issue
17 you are raising another question.
18 During your cross-examination, when you ascertain something on
19 the basis of a statement, and in the interests of justice, this document
20 needs to be provided and disclosed. Otherwise, you could just say
21 anything that comes into your head, "X, Y, Z saw X, Y, Z, gave him a
22 statement, and in the statement there is such-and-such a point," and then
23 you put your question.
13 I don't know what else to say.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you're speaking too
16 Ms. Dahl.
17 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, all of this is in public session and has
18 been the subject of prior redaction orders, so perhaps we ought to redact
19 this as well and move into private session so that there can be continued
20 exchange of this information.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed with your
6 cross-examination, Mr. Seselj.
7 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj.
20 Ms. Dahl.
21 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, the information being elicited now in
22 cross-examination was in private session previously because it tends to
23 identify the witness because of the deployment of a small number of
24 people. I would like to go into private session and have the last
25 passage, starting with "the mine in Milici," redacted.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please, this really makes no sense.
2 I am going to stop this cross-examination if you go on mistreating me
3 this way.
4 So a small number of people and the witness can be identified.
5 No. If there are more than three people present, the witness cannot be
6 identified, let alone here, where there are 50 people present. The
7 witness, himself, said that 50 volunteers of the Serb Radical Party were
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I told you
10 beforehand that all you need is to have a competent journalist around and
11 he is perfectly able to identify the witness. I'm speaking to you as a
12 professional judge, and we had better redact this portion, because it
13 doesn't prejudice you in any way.
14 Please proceed.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The only thing is that most of this
16 trial against me is taking place as a secret trial, but it seems nobody
17 cares about that anymore.
18 And I have another question. I'm really fed up with this
19 cross-examination. I keep being interrupted all the time.
20 Q. Witness, you made a statement in 2003, and you refer to your
21 participation in the war operations in Ilidza. In these two statements,
22 you do not mention Branislav Gavrilovic, Brne, at all. And then in your
23 statement from 2006, you do mention him. You mention that you met up
24 with him, but that this was a proper meeting during which you agreed not
25 to interfere with what it was that he was doing, and then he said that
1 he'd leave you alone.
2 Now, during the direct examination, you say that at Ilidza you
3 had to ask him about everything. Could you explain that to me now? In
4 two statements from 2003, there is no mention of him. In 2006, a
5 benevolent statement, a benevolent formulation. And now it turns out
6 that Brne was the master of Ilidza and that you had to ask him about
8 How did this development come about in your train of thought?
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Dahl.
10 MS. DAHL: I'm sorry to interrupt, Your Honour. This is a matter
11 that was disclosed in private session previously, so the
12 cross-examination should be in private session as well.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, this issue had been raised
14 in private session. So if we are to use the same format, Gavrilovic and
15 Brne, whom I don't know, could again, in the presence of a competent
16 journalist, provide information that could identify the witness. We are
17 always talking about the same thing.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In that case, Mr. President, I
19 withdraw my last question. I'm not interested at all in what kind of an
20 answer the witness is going to provide. I insist that he give no answer,
21 and I'm going to stop this cross-examination because I believe it has
22 become senseless.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have a follow-up question for
24 you, Witness.
25 Questioned by the Court:
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj does not wish to
2 continue putting questions to you. Explain to me why, in the case of
3 Gavrilovic, you didn't mention it straight away and you only mentioned it
4 afterwards? Why is it that you talked about this individual when
5 initially you didn't?
6 I shall move into private session, because I thought we were in
7 private session. Please redact this, Registrar, and we shall now move
8 into private session.
9 [Private session]
11 Page 10285 redacted. Private session.
11 [Open session]
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I will give you the
13 floor, but before I give you the floor, I have a personal concern. I'm
14 sure my colleagues will share it with me.
15 In the light of what has happened recently, I am lost when it
16 comes to your answer to the Prosecutor's request for you to have a lawyer
17 imposed on you. I thought I understood that the request was going to be
18 put to the Court and registered, and today all I can say is I haven't
19 seen anything coming. So will there be such a request -- or, rather, an
20 answer to the request that was made?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I submitted my
22 response to the motion on Friday to the Detention Unit guards. My
23 response has about 70 pages, and it has an addendum of some 150 pages or
24 so. I can't remember. But I gave it to the guards that were assigned to
25 the visitors' hall on Friday a.m. when my legal advisers were there, and
1 I'm really surprised that you haven't received it yet because today is
2 Thursday and it should have arrived at the Registry on Friday.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll ask our legal assistant to
4 check to see what has happened with this response. I suppose it was sent
5 for translation. Can you check? At least as soon as this will be
6 translated, the Court will be in a position to give a decision.
7 Now, Mr. Seselj -- well, first Mr. Mundis.
8 MR. MUNDIS: Perhaps very briefly on this same issue,
9 Mr. President, while an inquiry is being made as to the status of that,
10 if we could also at the same time perhaps get an indication from CLSS as
11 to when that filing might be available, in light of its roughly 220
12 pages, based on what Mr. Seselj said. I think that might be helpful as
13 well; simply not a confirmation that it's been received and is being
14 translated, but if we could get a rough estimate from CLSS as to when
15 that might be available. That would be extremely helpful.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Indeed, and this is why,
17 Mr. Mundis, I did say that the Court will give a decision once we have
18 received the translation. But obviously at this point in time, we cannot
19 tell. Maybe once our legal assistant can tell us, then we will decide.
20 I mean, 230 pages this might take some time, indeed. So we must wait for
21 some time, and we must wait for the translation.
22 Mr. Seselj, what are the other issues?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have announced three questions to
24 you, and I still have three questions. I didn't complete one of the
25 questions last time -- or, rather, there are new aspects concerning it.
1 First of all, Mr. President, you remember, back while you were
2 just a Pre-Trial Judge, that on one occasion I raised the issue of
3 discrimination against me when it comes to visits to the Detention Unit.
4 I am the only incarcerated person, being there for almost six years, who
5 is allowed visits only by his closest family members, closest family
6 members. Three legal assistants used to be able to come just for the
7 last two years, not previously, and then in 2004 the Registry made it
8 possible, and then again in 2006, for two chosen members of the Serbian
9 Radical Party to be able to visit me. Nobody else could come and see me,
10 and this is how it remains to this day.
11 All of the people whom I wanted to see were rejected, except for
12 a friend of mine from Berlin
13 his visits were banned as well.
14 Now, a few days ago, I contacted the Registry with a request to
15 change the names of the official representatives of the party who would
16 be visiting me and to have three persons visit me rather than two;
17 namely, Dragan Todorovic, Milorad Nimdjic [phoen] and Nemanja Sajovic
18 [phoen]. The Registry responded to me that only two persons can visit me
19 again. So once again, this is a case of discrimination against me.
20 The Registry asked that these two persons file a statement that
21 they would respect all rules concerning the visits. My wife, Jadranka
22 Seselj, brought on Monday the statements of Nincic and Masovic; and she
23 also brought whatever dailies were available when she left Belgrade
24 well as the latest book by Kosta Cavoski, "Chameleon." The guards gave
25 me the newspapers and the book by Kosta Cavoski, but not the statements
1 that simply vanished into thin air. I could not inform the Registry that
2 those were the two people that would be visiting me in the future, if
3 they didn't allow three persons to visit me, and that they would abide by
4 the rules concerning the visits. Somebody confiscated these statements
5 without informing me and without providing any receipts about the
6 confiscated statements.
7 I had to raise this issue with you because I am an incarcerated
8 person and you, as the Trial Chamber, are duty-bound to take care of such
10 Now, I also spoke about the search that was conducted in the
11 summer. 250 Euros were seized from my person, even though there was no
12 notification that such a thing would be done. They did it, nevertheless.
13 That's fine, I can live without these 250 Euros. But what I have to tell
14 you is this: In the reply by the Registry, after I wrote to the
15 President of the Tribunal concerning this improper behaviour, the
16 Registry claims that only one computer diskette was confiscated from me,
17 saying that there were no marks on it. And on that disk, there was some
18 information provided by the Prosecution under Rule 65 ter and so on. I
19 have a record of the confiscation, stating that two diskettes were
20 confiscated from me.
21 One is described as a CD-ROM without any labels. All it says is
22 "Public IT 03-67, OTP, exhibits admitted, MFI'd on the 3rd and 8th of
23 April, 2008."
24 And then it says: "Public IT 03-67, OTP exhibits admitted or
25 MFI'd on the 3rd and 8th of April, 2008." I received that from the
1 Prosecution. I didn't bring it in illegally into the Detention Unit.
2 The Prosecution can confirm that.
3 Now, the second diskette is described in the following way in the
4 second record, because one of them was found in the extension of my cell,
5 where I spent my time, and the other one was found in the warehouse. So
6 the second one is described like this: This is handwritten: "CD-ROM
7 without a label. Handwritten, case IT-03-69, Exhibit 6001 and Exhibit
8 6057. Who could provide this to me except the Prosecution? Why don't
9 you check with the Prosecution, whether they disclosed this to me.
10 Now, there are two problems there. First of all, they are
11 confiscated from me the diskettes that I had received from the
12 Prosecution, and then they are lying and saying that they had confiscated
13 only one diskette, where I have proof showing that they had confiscated
14 two different diskettes.
15 Now, this is what the Registry and Registrar lied about. Since
16 he is not a witness, I'm not exerting pressure or anything like that. No
17 need to warn me. So the Registrar lied when addressing the President of
18 the Tribunal.
19 Now, the third matter. Last time, I spoke about the problems
20 that had happened after the decision of the Registrar based on
21 suspicions, mis-information and some other facts about denying me the
22 so-called privileged communication with my legal advisers, both during
23 their visits and on the phone. "Privileged communication" means without
24 supervision, without wire-tapping. That's what it means, the word
5 Mr. President, you said that you would rule today on this motion by
6 Mr. Mundis, and there is no ruling in the transcript about redacting
7 that, and the Registrar did it on his own, and it was taken out of
8 yesterday's broadcast of the trial.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I'm going to answer
10 to each individual issue you have raised, but when it comes to this last
11 comment, (redacted), I do remember that yesterday my
12 colleague said that the name should not be mentioned, and neither should
13 you have put a qualification to it.
14 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] All I wanted to say was
15 yesterday I did not say anything on this. I said something a few days
16 ago. It was the Prosecutor who asked that, and I do remember that the
17 Judge had said -- maybe you didn't hear what he said, but he said
18 something. He said to redact it.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It was obvious to me that this
20 had to be redacted, and I was referring to what my colleague was saying,
21 and it has to be redacted. And the same happens here, when we come to
22 line 17 on page 121. It's got to be redacted.
23 I do not know all the ins and outs and twists of this showdown
24 with this individual. It is not our problem. We should not be vested
25 parties. It's always very sad if you have an argument with someone when
1 you go through life; but I believe this individual, just like you, is
2 presumed innocent and neutral, and I don't see why we should name it as
3 (redacted), so this has to be redacted. And for me,
4 there was no ambiguity on this.
5 You can now proceed, Mr. Seselj.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But for months now, a perfidious
7 campaign is in place against me, that I'm either threatening or
8 endangering someone, be it protected witnesses or political figures.
9 Well, how come I never attempted to implement any of those threats? I
10 allegedly constantly threaten somebody, and there is not a trace of any
11 implementation of such threats. Everybody's alive and kicking, nothing
12 is happening to anybody, and I'm constantly portrayed as a person who's
13 threatening or intimidating somebody and so on.
14 First of all, the Prosecution was saying that I was intimidating
15 protected witnesses and witnesses in general, and now we see some
16 marginal political figures -- I'm not going to mention any names, but
17 please do not redact what I said -- marginal political figures claiming
18 that I'm trying to assassinate them from The Hague. Well, how long is
19 this campaign going to be waged against me? How can I assassinate
20 anybody from The Hague
21 of my codes had been broken into, and how am I supposed to do that now?
22 And there is this campaign against me, and I have no protection against
23 this campaign. And none of those people that I allegedly threatened has
24 been harmed in any way. Nobody has yet been attacked in this trial
25 against me. It is just that some people claim that they were harassed on
1 the phone, and nothing more than that. Nobody was threatened, ever,
2 except that we have to trust some people when they say that they received
3 telephone threats or that somebody was inquiring about somebody. This is
4 really ridiculous.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, let me come back to
6 the issues you have raised and any details.
7 All the problems that occur in the detention centre are for the
8 Registry and under his authority. This is what the Rules and Regulation
9 tells us. And if you want to oppose, it has got to go through the
10 Tribunal's president, and I think that, because this is what I've seen
11 myself, when those 250 Euros were taken from you, you opposed this and
12 you went to the President, and he's the one who's got to settle that
14 Now, when it comes to the two CD-ROMs that were taken from you,
15 and here again you blame the Registrar, this is under the Court's
16 authority, the Chamber, because these two CD-ROMs, from the figures you
17 have given us, these are CD-ROMs with papers and evidence the Prosecutor
18 gave you. So I'm really, myself, surprised to see that the detention
19 centre staff members would take the view that they can take them away
20 from you and that they could seize them. So we're going to question the
21 detention centre on this, because they are going into your own rights.
22 Now, when it comes to the visits, under any penitentiary system
23 across the world, and I have known many of them, there is one key
24 principle, which is to guarantee family relationships for the prisoners
25 so that they can keep high morale and they can cope and face the
1 situation, and for that very reason family members are authorised to come
2 and visit the prisoners. In some cases, other individuals can come as
3 well. These could be imams, popes, and so on for spiritual support. And
4 then we have also other visitors who could be authorised those who come
5 from dedicated volunteers groups, and in some cases other individuals as
7 As it happens, you are a politician, and you, in your political
8 activity, you still want to meet the people from your party. Now, you
9 found a first way, which was to meet your colleagues through your legal
10 assistant. That's one way for you to meet these parliamentarians. And
11 then there were other individuals you wanted to meet as well.
12 From what you've said, and I really listened carefully to what
13 you said, the Registrar was not opposing the fact that two would come,
14 but then at the very last moment you asked for three to be able to come
15 and visit you and suddenly that brought the whole system to a halt.
16 Now, if you take the view that your civil and civic rights cannot
17 be fully developed, well, go to the President, and this is an issue for
18 him, because for the Chamber there's no impact, no consequence of
19 politicians coming to visit you, in your Defence here. That's a
20 different problem. It's not for the Court here to settle that issue.
21 It's to be settled between you, the Registrar and the President.
22 I personally, I must confess, have no problem in you meeting any
23 politician who would want to come and visit you, but that's my personal
24 opinion. I am not the President, nor am I the Registrar, and I'm not the
25 Prosecutor either, so this is my answer. My colleagues can take the
1 floor as well, if they so wish, to fulfill what I have just said. Your
2 key spokesperson in this case is the President, and you have to go to the
3 President to oppose what's happening.
4 I am not saying this because I want to shun that responsibility
5 from me, but there is the Rules and Regulations, and according to the
6 text it is the President that is competent in this case and not the
7 Court. The Court would only be -- the Judges would only be if your right
8 for Defence were not respected.
9 Now, since we still have a little time ahead of us, you told us
10 on Tuesday that you decided, yourself, to stop having any contact
11 whatsoever with your colleagues, and hence you were not receiving any
12 information. I want to tell you, very officially, that the Registrar has
13 taken a measure, which is to control your communications as well as what
14 you are receiving. Now, I have a problem with the second part, because
15 under the Regulations, this is not possible, but when I read this in
16 English, they mention "monitor," and then maybe it could be possible.
17 Now, we have to double-check this.
18 When it comes to monitoring phone conversations, you know, I
19 don't know -- I told you right from the very first day I was here, I did
20 say that the Rule and all the administrative authority to monitor phone
21 calls, I had suggested at the plenary assembly to delay that possibility,
22 not to give it to the Registrar, because I thought that this was against
23 the Defence rights and individual freedom, because this is something that
24 could only be ordered through a Judge and not an administrative
25 authority. This was my proposal. It was not carried, and hence,
1 according to our Rule here, the Registrar, for specific reasons, can
2 decide by himself to monitor your phone conversations. That's all I can
4 Now, as you know, you can take this to the President, you can
5 oppose this measure. You are telling me you're not doing it. That's for
6 you to decide.
7 Mr. Seselj, I also want to say, because I'm not trying to run
8 away from problems, the decision you have taken which is a result of a
9 string of events, and I really deplore them and -- you know, because I
10 want you to concentrate on the witnesses, I want you thus to be dedicated
11 to the Prosecution case and not all these housekeeping peripheral issues;
12 but if you keep on saying and doing what you've just said, which is, "I
13 do not want to have any contact with my legal advisers anymore," and if
14 the Judges realise that you're no longer in a position to defend
15 yourself, then the very issue of having an attorney will come about --
16 will come again, because if we want to have a fair trial, you need to
17 have a lawyer or to have access to a defence, and if because of your
18 position you cannot defend yourself and you fall into hopelessness and
19 helplessness, then the Judges cannot stay idle and not react.
20 I hope that you will be able to seize the President of the
21 Tribunal very quickly of this matter and that we can resume our normal
22 proceedings. It's in your own interests. It's in the interests of this
23 trial, it's in the interests of justice to get to the truth, and in the
24 interests of all and every one.
25 So that's all I can tell you as things stand. I don't fully
1 control all the events.
2 Would you like to add something, Mr. Seselj?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, the latter one is really
4 shocking, Mr. President, it appears shocking. In the last two days, even
5 without the assistance of legal advisers, I assume that I've managed to
6 show you just how superior I am in relation to the Prosecution, the
7 entire Prosecution. You saw how the last OTP witness fared, and imagine
8 if I had had the assistance of legal advisers and constant contact with
9 them, and if I had received a couple of fresh statements.
10 So please don't rule in advance. Even when I'm alone, entirely
11 alone in the universe, I'm still much more competent than the entire
12 Prosecution taken together, and you will see that for yourself in the
13 next several months that remains until the end of the Prosecution case.
14 That cannot be a reason for you to deny me the right to represent myself,
15 because there will be no Defence whatsoever if you ban me from doing
16 that, if you deny me that right.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I agree entirely with the
18 witness, your cross-examination in this case, and you only need to look
19 at the transcript. You complained at least three or four times about not
20 being able to contact your associates, so I inferred that you were
21 handicapped by this. But now you're saying, "No, we need not worry about
22 that." I've noted this, and if you feel that you can continue in this
23 way and represent yourself and cross-examine the witnesses with
24 everything you have at your disposal, right, but then don't turn 'round
25 every time and say, "Well, I have not been able to contact my associates
1 and they were not able to send me anything," because in that case we have
2 the feeling that you suffer from shortcomings.
3 Now, as things -- next week, I believe, I stand to be corrected,
4 I believe a witness is coming to testify. I shall not mention the
5 witness's name because I don't know whether this witness has been granted
6 protective measures. The Prosecutor, I think, has asked for three hours
7 to hear this witness. In three hours, we will hear the witness. I think
8 we will be able to manage that next week, since we have a three-day week.
9 Mr. Mundis.
10 MR. MUNDIS: Yes. Thank you, Mr. President. That's correct with
11 respect to the witness scheduled for next week.
12 I do, however, want to return to a couple of issues that have
13 just been raised concerning the outstanding motion concerning the
14 imposition of Defence counsel.
15 We would again reiterate our request that we be informed by the
16 Registry as to the amount of time that is expected with respect to the
17 English language version of Mr. Seselj's response, and I say that
18 because, of course, on the hearing on the 26th of August this year, at
19 pages 9814 and 9815, when the issue of the amount of the time available
20 to Mr. Seselj came up, you will recall the Prosecution didn't object to
21 Mr. Seselj being given more time; but of course we had at that point in
22 time asked for the proceedings to be adjourned due to what we thought
23 would be the length of time required for him to file his submission. And
24 to the extent that the English version of that or the official version of
25 that from CLSS in English and/or French will require several weeks, if
1 not months, to prepare; we very well may be returning to that issue, and
2 I simply want to be as open and transparent as possible. So we would
3 again ask for that information as quickly as possible.
4 Second --
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, we've known each
6 other for a few years now, and we've had the pleasure of being with you
7 in a number of trials. I know that when you speak, you make a lot of
8 sense. I don't know if I misunderstood you, but from what I understood,
9 given that the translation might take several weeks and maybe several
10 months, you would wish to adjourn the proceedings again? Is that what we
11 need to understand?
12 MR. MUNDIS: We need the information from CLSS in order to allow
13 us to make a determination as to whether or not the fact that it might
14 take several weeks or even several months very well might be considered a
15 new fact that would put us in a position where we might need, and I'm
16 stressing "might," need to revisit the issue as to the adjournment. Our
17 concern as expressed on the hearing on the 26th of August, 2008, again
18 9814 and 9815 of the transcripts, were that the entire motion very well
19 might become moot if the trial proceeds, and --
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, as you can see, I
21 know you well and I had understood your question well. As far as a stay
22 of proceedings is concerned, this has already been settled by the
23 Appeals Chamber. Of course, you may file an application again, but the
24 Appeals Chamber has ruled on the matter. As far as I'm concerned, I
25 don't see why I should change my position because CLSS will take a while,
1 as I believe that they are going to speed things up. I don't think it's
2 going to take months, weeks or months.
3 On the other hand, Mr. Mundis, your departments are well staffed.
4 There is on your staff people who are conversant in B/C/S. I believe
5 there's someone sitting in the courtroom who is a B/C/S speaker, so ask
6 this person to read the document, summarise it, and see what's important
7 in it.
8 MR. MUNDIS: That's actually my next point, Mr. President,
9 because of course we don't get them until they're translated; so I would
10 respectfully request that the Registry be directed to provide us with a
11 copy in the Serbian language immediately, because there again could be
12 material relating to witness issues that we need to know about as quickly
13 as possible. So I would again ask that we be given the document in
14 Serbian and that the Registry inform both the accused as well as the
15 Trial Chamber and the Prosecution as to how long they expect CLSS to
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I shall confer with my
18 colleagues, and we can determine the matter straight away.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On an exceptional basis, so far
21 the Trial Chamber has made sure that the Prosecution has no extra time,
22 since it needs in this case to have access to B/C/S text. The Trial
23 Chamber is bearing in mind a number of issues that relate to this
24 witness, and this is an exception. We ask the Registrar to disclose to
25 you straight away a copy of the document in B/C/S, so through its oral
1 decision today.
2 Mr. Seselj.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, just briefly, I wanted to
4 take up what you said a moment ago before Mr. Mundis took the floor.
5 Mr. President, my Defence case is really handicapped with the
6 cessation of my cooperation with my legal advisers, my associates. Now,
7 the fact that I'm handicapped, in the sense of resources to defend
8 myself, doesn't mean that you need to apply euthanasia. They cut off my
9 right leg, so I'm hopping on my left leg. They cut off my right hand, so
10 I'm dealing as best I can with my left hand. But that cannot be a reason
11 for withholding my right to a proper defence.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right, Mr. Seselj, I've
13 listened to you well, but just give me one instance in which the Trial
14 Chamber has prevented you from defending you in any way? For the time
15 being, I don't see any, but I stand to be corrected.
16 Mr. Mundis, what did you want to add?
17 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, it comes to the point, actually, that
18 you raised a few moments ago and now which Dr. Seselj has again put onto
19 the record. The Prosecution position is that it needs to be very, very
20 clear, in terms of potential appellate issues, the issues surrounding
21 counsel. If the accused is unable to present his defence because of the
22 circumstances and situation which we now find ourselves in, then we
23 clearly are further in a position where counsel is warranted. We can't
24 have it both ways, where Dr. Seselj says he's been hindered, but at the
25 same time refuses to communicate with his associates and/or says that he
1 can proceed anyway. We simply can't have it both ways, because this
2 will -- I can assure everyone this will cause huge problems on appeal.
3 We need to get the issue of counsel resolved as quickly as
4 possible, and the accused cannot claim, on the one hand, that he's being
5 hindered and hampered and, on the other hand, refuse to accept the
6 assistance of his own associates and/or to appoint counsel to represent
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I'll give you the
9 floor. I had anticipated this with my preliminary remarks.
10 If, on the one hand, you are saying that you cannot represent
11 yourself, then this is a door open to the following: Everybody is going
12 to turn around and say to you that you need a counsel. It's as simple as
13 that, and everybody understands that.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] He didn't say that I couldn't
15 defend myself. I'm just saying that my Defence case is being made more
16 difficult with the Registrar's behaviour being the way it has been. I've
17 been a dissident for many years, an anti-communist dissident in
19 imprisonment for my speeches or for what I wrote, but it never, ever
20 happened under the communist regime that I was supervised, my
21 communication with my lawyer, never. That never, ever happened. Perhaps
22 they did supervise me, but they did it secretly. They didn't dare show
23 that they were actually supervising me, if they did; and I'm quite
24 certain that all my discussions with my legal associates were listened in
25 to, but they didn't dare let that be known. Now they've told me that
1 they are listening in to my conversations, so I'm not going to have any
2 more, and they can't use any of the things that they intercepted during
3 the time that they did this secretly. That's what the communists did.
4 I always had the right to unimpeded, unsupervised communication
5 with counsel, even in the communist regime. And in the civilised world,
6 nowhere do you have the possibility of supervising communication between
7 an accused and members of his Defence team, the inner circle of his
8 Defence team.
9 And listen to this: This is a problem for the entire trial, in
10 actual fact, because it jeopardises the whole concept of a fair trial.
11 But it's not me that's jeopardising it, it's the Registrar. I'm not the
12 one who has produced this situation. It was the self-will exercised on
13 the part of the Registrar.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis.
15 MR. MUNDIS: That's incorrect, Mr. President. Again, the
16 decision taken by the Registrar is not in the public domain and it's not
17 something that the Prosecution is privy to. However, based on the press
18 statement that was issued, it is clear that the course of action the
19 Registrar took was due to the determination made by the Registrar that
20 the accused had abused this privilege. So for him to stand here and
21 blame this on the Registrar is unacceptable. The Registrar took this
22 decision because the Registrar determined independently that the accused
23 and his associates had abused the privileged communications that they
25 The Prosecution will agree with Dr. Seselj that what's happening
1 here is an impediment to a fair trial, and that extends equally to the
2 Prosecution. And this is why we have suggested in the past, and as I
3 flagged up a few moments will likely do in the very near future, we will
4 again ask that this proceeding be adjourned until the counsel issue is
5 resolved. And if that means through the Appeals Chamber, so be it.
6 There is a great deal at stake in this case, and this counsel
7 issue and the issues surrounding the problems with witnesses is a serious
8 one, and the Prosecution is on the verge itself of making arguments or
9 submissions that we very well might not be getting a fair trial
10 ourselves, and this issue needs to be resolved; and the trial will need
11 to stop in order to resolve it one way or the other.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, for once the
13 Prosecution agrees with you when it says that if your telephone lines are
14 being tapped, this may have an impact on the fairness of the trial. This
15 is the Prosecutor's position. The best thing to do would be to appoint a
16 counsel for you. This is what the Prosecution is saying.
17 Second point. What I'm telling you is this: I don't have all
18 the information relating to this matter. The Registrar did not discuss
19 this with the Chamber, did not inform the Chamber about it, and took this
20 decision without consulting us. It seems that the Registry had
21 information coming from your former right-hand man and things mentioned
22 with the major, that when you were on the phone with him, you discussed
23 political matters.
24 In light of this, the Registry felt that this telephone line was
25 provided to you by this Tribunal to prepare your Defence and not to
1 discuss any other matters. And as far as I'm concerned, this is what led
2 to the Registrar's decision. But there is not only that ground, there's
3 another ground which I had rather not address, which is connected to the
4 witness. The fact that your conversations are being tapped just means,
5 from the Registrar's standpoint, that you do not use this telephone line
6 for reasons other than your Defence. If, for instance, you phone up
7 Mr. Krasic to tell him that he needs to work on such-and-such a witness's
8 testimony, then this is part of your Defence, and that is not a problem.
9 But if you tell Mr. Krasic that during the parliamentary
10 assembly, a bill will have to be amended, then you are no longer talking
11 about the same thing, and I'm sure you understand what I mean.
12 As I see things, I don't know what the Prosecutor is going to do,
13 but I think there are going to be new motions filed, new applications,
14 new Appeals Chamber decisions. The trial was making progress. We've
15 heard 40 witnesses so far, and the Prosecution needs 10 or so hours to
16 finish its case.
17 Mr. Seselj, we have five minutes left before we finish.
18 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I'd like to add something as
19 regards the decision taken by the Registrar.
20 We were advised of the fact that the Registrar sent a letter to
21 Mr. Seselj's associates, asking them to provide further explanation.
22 They responded to the letter, but did not respond to the questions, and
23 that is why the Registrar took its decision. This is what we were
24 advised of. This was no arbitrary decision taken by the Registrar.
25 Thank you.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I just want to tell you one thing
3 briefly here at this point.
4 David Tolbert was for years the deputy secretary of
5 Hans Holthuis, so deputy Registrar; and in that capacity, every month
6 over a seven-month period he -- and this was in 2004, he prohibited me
7 from having any contacts at all with my family, with my friends, with
8 everybody, both telephones and visits. So for seven months, I was in a
9 state of absolute isolation.
10 One of the explanations given was that my party, the Serbian
11 Radical Party, had achieved a very good result at the parliamentary
12 elections, and so there was the danger of me influencing the
13 establishment of the formation of a new government which wasn't in the
14 interests of peace, and this Tribunal was set up to promote peace in the
15 Balkans. And after a certain amount of time, this same man,
16 David Tolbert, left the Registry and became the Deputy Chief Prosecutor,
17 Carla Del Ponte's Deputy Chief Prosecutor, and there you have a flagrant
18 example of this feedback relationship, a very strong one, between the
19 Secretariat and the OTP, Prosecution. And now to have me allow the
20 Registry to intercept my communications and listen in, I'm not going to
21 do that. Even if they do, they're not allowed to use that if they do it
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You can perfectly well state
24 all of this and challenge this decision and submit it to the President of
25 the Tribunal.
1 Yes, Mr. Mundis.
2 MR. MUNDIS: Two very quick points. I'm aware of the time.
3 First of all, I want to make it absolutely clear that when I
4 spoke earlier about the fairness issues with respect to the trial, I was
5 referring to the abuse of the privilege by the accused as found by the
6 Registrar and not necessarily the monitoring of his communications that
7 goes to the issue of fairness, and that relates to fairness from the
8 Prosecution perspective.
9 Secondly, in light of the fact that the Registrar's decision or
10 letter to the accused is apparently not a public document, I do want to
11 put on the record part of what was contained in the Registry's statement
12 announcing this to the press, in which it was found, quoting from the
13 Registrar's letter, that there were reasonable grounds, and I'm quoting:
14 " ... reasonable grounds to believe that the privilege is being
15 abused in an attempt to interfere with or intimidate witnesses or
16 interfere with the administration of justice."
17 Those are the publicly-stated grounds that Mr. Holthuis relied
18 upon in making the determination that the privileged communications would
19 cease, and I think it's important that that is it not necessarily relate
20 to any political activities of the accused, at least with respect to
21 what's in the public domain that's contained in this letter. And so his
22 findings are based on reasonable grounds to believe that there's attempts
23 at interference or intimidation of witnesses and/or interference with the
24 administration of justice, and those are the publicly-stated reasons why
25 this privileged communications has been temporarily withdrawn or
1 suspended by the Registrar.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Simply, to make sure that
3 everything is clear, I had not heard of any press release which refers to
4 one of the rules of our Rules which entitles communications to be
5 regulated, when there is interference or intimidation of witnesses. I
6 have a personal question.
7 How does the Registry know that there is a case of intimidation
8 of witnesses? That said, it is now time to stop.
9 Mr. Mundis, you would like to add something?
10 MR. MUNDIS: VWS is part of the Registry, of course, so in light
11 of the fact that the Registrar controls VWS, there very well may have
12 been independent sources of information from VWS going to the Registry
13 that supported the Registrar's decision; so that would seem to be the
14 source of that.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We want everything to be quite
16 clear on the transcript.
17 To date, the Trial Chamber has not been seized of any report
18 filed by the VWS as regards witness intimidation; never, ever. If such a
19 report is in support of the Registrar's letter, it would have been
20 important for us to see this, but we have never seen any such thing.
21 We shall resume next week, and I believe we are sitting in the
22 morning. We shall resume on Tuesday at 8.30.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.56 p.m.
24 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 7th day of
25 October, 2008, at 8.30 a.m.