1 Wednesday, 11 February 2009
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 8.32 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, can you call the
6 case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you and good morning, Your Honours.
8 This is case number IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus
9 Vojislav Seselj.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
11 Today is Wednesday. I'd like to greet the representatives of the
12 Prosecution, the accused, as well as all the people assisting us in the
14 Could you ask the technician to come and put my monitor on
15 because my screen seems to be turned off.
16 First of all, the agenda for today. We shall bring the witness
17 in in a moment and move into closed session because we might need to
18 address the issue of protective measures. The Prosecution will have an
19 hour, and Mr. Seselj will have an hour.
20 After that, the Trial Chamber will hand down its decision on the
21 request for adjournment. I will therefore read out the decision which
22 has been handed down by the majority of the Bench, and I shall read out a
23 paragraph of my dissenting opinion.
24 After that, if the Prosecution wishes to say something, it will
25 say something. If Mr. Seselj would like to say something, he will say
1 something then.
2 But before we address that issue, as far as the last witness is
3 concerned, because there was a visa problem with this witness and
4 therefore he's not coming, what have you planned?
5 MR. MUNDIS: Good morning, Your Honours.
6 I have just some very scant information at this point in time
7 with respect to Witness VS-1029. The information that we have available
8 at present is that he will be issued a passport -- or the passport will
9 be issued on Friday of this week. The witness is currently living
10 outside of Bosnia and Herzegovina. My understanding is that the passport
11 would then be couriered to the witness, arriving in his hands on
12 Saturday. Once he has that passport with the number in it, we would then
13 proceed to deal with any visa issues that might be required. We would
14 expect, under the best-case scenario, that is, if the passport is in fact
15 issued and the witness receives it, that he would be in a position to
16 travel on Monday.
17 I would ask, given the distance for which he is coming, that we
18 not put him into the witness box on Tuesday, but that we make
19 arrangements to sit either on Wednesday or, to be on the safe side,
20 Thursday of next week. We would not be in a position, I don't think, due
21 to the logistics, to have the witness available on Tuesday, but certainly
22 I think, as of right now, he would be in a position to testify on
23 Wednesday, although, to be on the safe side, Thursday would be a better
24 bet. And I, of course, will keep the Chamber and Mr. Seselj informed.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, as far as Witness VS-1029
1 is concerned, how much time have you planned?
2 MR. MUNDIS: The estimates for that witness are one hour and
3 thirty minutes for the direct examination. That's one and a half hours.
4 Of course, we'll try to do the direct examination as quickly as possible,
5 and once we've had a chance to meet with the witness, usually that also
6 enables us to reduce the time estimate. But I would think between one
7 hour and one hour and thirty minutes for the direct examination.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In any case, if you reckon
9 there could be a risk, rather than having him come in on the Thursday,
10 you could even have him come in on the Tuesday.
11 MR. MUNDIS: My understanding is that if the passport is issued
12 in a timely manner and everything can be arranged, that the witness could
13 travel on Monday and perhaps rest on Tuesday. Given that we're sitting
14 in the afternoons, I would venture to say that the witness could be
15 available on Wednesday at 2.15 to commence his testimony, and that way we
16 could guarantee that he'd be finished by Thursday. But, again, that's
17 partially dependant on the Bosnian authorities, and the courier service,
18 and VWS and the host state in terms of getting everything that's
19 required, needed, but I do believe that he would be in a position to
20 travel on Monday, and we would be able to put him in the box to testify
21 on Wednesday at 2.15.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Seselj.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have another administrative
24 matter to deal with, so I'm not going to interfere with what the
25 Prosecutor has told us now, that they have problems with their very own
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, the translation is
3 not working, so you have to start again. I can't hear what you're
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have another administrative
6 matter to raise. I'm not going to interfere with the problems that the
7 Prosecution has with their own witnesses. However, this is a crime-base
8 witness on a location that is no longer in the indictment, so again,
9 we're dealing with the question of the unreasonable use of time by the
10 Prosecutor and, of course, the Prosecutor's expectation that their time
11 is going to be extended and how by the Trial Chamber. But we'll deal
12 with that when the time comes.
13 Yesterday and the day before yesterday, my legal adviser
14 Zoran Krasic sent me four 1-page documents. I asked the Registrar to
15 have this copied for the members of the Trial Chamber and for the OTP.
16 These four documents additionally confirm that last week the false
17 witness perjured himself.
18 The 30th of July, 1990, is the first document. The police
19 station of Mali Zvornik issued a certificate stating that for the day of
20 the 3rd of August, a gathering of the Serb Chetnik Movement was announced
21 to the police station, and you see that this was done on a regular basis.
22 It would be held at the cultural centre, so indoors, not outdoors. So
23 this kind of gathering could be organised only if it is reported --
24 announced in advance to the police. And the cultural centre could not
25 organise it or, rather, could not allow their premises to be used if this
1 had not been reported to the police beforehand. And the document was
2 signed by Slobodan Gavrilovic, the director of the cultural centre, and
3 Janko Lakic, the President of the Serb Chetnik Movement in Mali
4 so this is a contract on the use of the big hall that has 200 seats, not
5 80, as the witness had lied, and this has to do -- deal with the
6 loudspeakers and the money that was supposed to be paid for the use of
7 that hall.
8 Now this cultural centre is called the Library of the 17th of
9 September, because in the meantime these cultural centres were abolished
10 as one of the remnants of the cultural concept from the communist days,
11 and this is a certificate from the 9th of February this year, confirming
12 that the Municipal Board of the Serb Radical Party, according to the
13 documentation available, did not organise any kind of promotion of the
14 Serb Radical Party at the cultural centre of Mali Zvornik from the 1st of
15 March until the 31st of March, 1992, and it says here that the hall takes
16 221 persons or, rather, that's the number of seats. So there was no
17 Radical meeting at that time that was given.
18 The fourth document of the police station of Mali Zvornik, dated
19 the 9th of February, confirming -- or, rather, stating --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speaker please be asked to read
21 slower, says the interpreter.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] As we look at the records for 1992,
23 we see that there were no claims -- rather, no request to organise public
24 gatherings in the territory of the municipality of Mali Zvornik by the
25 Serb Radical Party in the period from the 1st of March until the 31st of
1 March, 1992, et cetera.
2 Another piece of information: Zoran Krasic found a video of the
3 gathering that was held on the 3rd of August, 1990, and he is prepared to
4 bring that video so that it would be displayed here in the courtroom if
5 the Trial Chamber so wishes. It is 1 hour 40 minutes long, so you can
6 see for yourselves exactly what was said at this gathering in 1990 or,
7 rather, whether the interpretation of all these speeches about a Greater
9 Of course, my legal adviser Zoran Krasic is not going to allow
10 any kind of humiliation, rather that he send it through someone else or
11 cede the material to someone else. Since he is still my legal adviser,
12 in spite of all the efforts made by the OTP to eliminate him, he can
13 travel to The Hague
14 be shown, and then after that public viewing, you can get it as a
15 present, and then you can check all the technical details and see whether
16 it is an authentic recording.
17 That is what I had to say to you, and now I expect the OTP to
18 present their tangible evidence that the Serb Radical Party had any kind
19 of gathering organised in March 1992 in Mali Zvornik.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] First of all, the Trial Chamber
21 has noted what you've just said. In the absence of Judge Lattanzi, we
22 refer to our Rules of Procedure and Evidence because we are able to hold
23 this hearing in the absence of a judge. When Judge Lattanzi comes back,
24 I will ask her, as well as my colleague Judge Harhoff, who's here today,
25 to see whether Rule 91 for perjury can be applied, since this article
1 provides that if the Trial Chamber has serious reasons to believe that
2 the witness has knowingly and deliberately provided a false testimony or
3 if the Chamber feels that the Prosecution has a conflict of interest, can
4 appoint an amicus curiae. Therefore, the witness may be charged with
6 If there is an indictment to be issued, then the Trial Chamber
7 needs to refer the case to another Trial Chamber. We have to look at
8 these four documents which, according to you, establish that there has
9 been an official document stating that in 1990, this meeting or rally was
10 to be held; however, in March 1992, according to the document that stems
11 from the police department, no application was made to hold a rally at
12 the time.
13 We now have these documents. The Trial Chamber will deliberate
14 on the matter, and we will let you know what we decide as regards this
15 issue. We will, of course, wait for the Prosecutor to give us his view
16 on this.
17 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 We were under the impression that we were going to be dealing
19 with the witness at the initial part of today's hearing. Mr. Marcussen,
20 who dealt with this issue last week, will be in the courtroom later this
21 morning, perhaps before we break for the day, to put some additional
22 information before the Trial Chamber concerning this incident. So we
23 would ask that he address you later today.
24 Thank you.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's move into
1 closed session.
2 [Closed session]
11 Pages 14142-14232 redacted. Closed session.
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're now in open session.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 In open session, the Trial Chamber will read out the disposition
1 of a decision concerning the motion filed by the Prosecution, a motion
2 for adjournment.
3 Pursuant to Articles 21 and 21(4)(C) of the Statute of the
4 Tribunal, and 54 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, the majority of
5 the Bench - Judge Antonetti provides a dissenting opinion - adjourns the
6 hearing before the Trial Chamber of the testimony of the other
7 Prosecution witnesses until such a time that the Trial Chamber has stated
8 otherwise. The dissenting opinion of the Presiding Judge of the Chamber
9 is recorded today, as well as this decision, decides to hold the hearings
10 on a regular basis during the time of the adjournment in order to deal
11 with housekeeping matters.
12 I will not read out my entire 14-page dissenting opinion. This
13 would take approximately an hour. I will just read out the conclusion of
14 this dissenting opinion so that Mr. Seselj is aware of my position.
15 By way of a conclusion to this dissenting opinion, I hold that
16 the Trial Chamber should have, to begin with, before ruling on any
17 adjournment for which it could not estimate the length of time, should
18 have postponed any such ruling on the motion, as far as those few
19 remaining witnesses are concerned that are the subject of intimidations
20 and allegations of intimidation. The following questions should have
21 been settled as follows:
22 A. Pursuant to Rule 77(C)(iii) of the Rules of Procedure and
23 Evidence, initiate a proceeding in respect of some allegations, (redacted)
2 To prosecute and try some of the witnesses who have refused to
3 come and testify as soon as possible.
4 Thirdly, invite or ask the Prosecution to file written motions
5 with a view to tendering into evidence the statements of some of the
6 witnesses pursuant to Rules 89 and 92 quater of the Rules of Procedure
7 and Evidence.
8 Fourth point, after which, i.e., paragraphs 1 and 3, estimate
9 what final decision should be taken in respect of the written motion
10 filed by the Prosecution to adjourn the trial by factoring in the idea
11 that other witnesses have been in the same situation and that they have
12 testified before this Trial Chamber. Whatever the case may be, it would
13 be highly desirable for the parties in question, in the event this
14 decision is challenged, that these people lodge an appeal so that the
15 Appeals Chamber can clearly state whether this trial should be
16 interrupted or not or should be able to resume, notwithstanding the
17 pending procedures, i.e., a case of contempt before the Tribunal, since
18 the accused has been in detention since the 24th of February, 2003
19 that in a few days' time he will have been detained in The Hague for six
20 years without him being tried definitively, when there are only seven
21 hours left to the Prosecution to close its case.
22 I would like the Registrar to deliver an order to redact item 1
23 of my conclusion, which concerns a witness because in this proceeding,
24 between what is ex parte, between what is confidential, between what is
25 public is all rather complicated.
1 Briefly, Mr. Seselj, the majority of the Bench - you have
2 understood that I did not share this view - has decided to adjourn
3 sine die the testimony of the remaining witnesses, which means that there
4 will be only one witness who's going to come and testify. He was not
5 concerned by these proceedings, and after that, the Trial Chamber will
6 wait for the decisions to be taken by another Chamber.
7 So please read the decision handed down by the Chamber and my
8 dissenting opinion quietly and peacefully and see whether you have any
9 interest in lodging an appeal. But that's your responsibility.
10 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The legal officer of the
12 Chamber has reminded me of this. We will, nonetheless, hold our hearings
13 to deal with housekeeping matters at regular intervals in order to have a
14 progress report, so to speak, on these proceedings.
15 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I say something now?
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Seselj.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges, this trial has lost its
19 integrity a long time ago. It lost its integrity because of a long
20 parade of false witnesses called by the Prosecution. You were able to
21 convince yourselves, clearly and indisputably, in the falsehood of all
22 this evidence after each of my cross-examinations.
23 Prosecution witnesses are divided into those who did not say
24 anything against me, in support of the charges against me - there are
25 some witnesses like that, including Muslims and Croats - into those whose
1 entire evidence was false, which I proved effectively in the courtroom,
2 and those who lied a little bit, as instructed by the Prosecution, by
3 adding things to their prior statements, and I refuted all of that with
4 absolute efficiency today, as you could see, because the witness found
5 himself in a very harrowing situation, trying to support what the
6 Prosecution added to his evidence.
7 It's completely clear to me that this trial can never be ended
8 naturally, regularly, legally, lawfully, because if it ended that way,
9 you would have to decide to acquit me and to judge that I should be paid
10 a compensation for all the years in this dungeon and the trial, but it's
11 absolutely clear to me that the US
12 never reconcile themselves to a lawful and natural and regular end to
13 this trial. They will do everything, and they have already succeeded in
14 instrumentalising most of the members of the Trial Chamber. They will do
15 everything to make it impossible for this trial to be ended in a regular
16 way, even if the Trial Chamber writes in the judgement that I personally
17 killed John Fitzgerald Kennedy and dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima
18 and that's completely clear.
19 The Judges, who agreed to be instruments of political players
20 above this Tribunal, are following their own conscience, their own
21 convictions, and their own interests, and I'm not interested in that.
22 I will make sure that this whole thing be public. It can last
23 for another six years, but it will not end the way the outside architects
24 of this trial have designed.
25 You know that I am here on the basis of accusations by the late
1 Zoran Djindjic. Carla Del Ponte admitted to that. You know how
2 unfounded the indictment is. Nothing was left of that indictment.
3 The Prosecution has an hour and fifteen minutes left -- sorry,
4 six hours and fifteen minutes left. There is not a shred of evidence
5 that any pressure was exerted against a single Prosecution witness. You
6 take an example, a Prosecution witness whom I completely destroyed here.
7 (redacted) He says that
8 there were no direct threats, but in Serbia there is such an atmosphere,
9 people are being killed, intimidated, and it's a general atmosphere that
10 threatens him. All the other conduct he has experienced towards him was
11 polite and kind.
12 Now the Prosecution is using this to request an adjournment, to
13 move for an adjournment, but how and until when? (redacted)
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, Mr. Seselj, you are
3 raising a legal issue. You are mentioning another case which by
4 definition is a confidential one, so I'm not supposed to know where -- at
5 what point they are.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, a public version was
7 published of that decision, and the spokesperson of the Tribunal stated
8 that to the public. I'm not referring to a single name.
9 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, the Chamber is no longer
11 seized of this issue, as the Chamber has withdrawn about all things
12 pertaining to contempt of the court, so we are seized of basically
13 nothing about those books.
14 Yes, Ms. Dahl.
15 MS. DAHL: I'm requesting a redaction beginning at line 14 of
16 page 104 because the name of the book itself has been redacted from the
17 public filings regarding the contempt charge, and it's inappropriate that
18 it should be -- the alleged breaches should be exacerbated by Mr. Seselj
19 telling the public to go get the book from his web site.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. The filing is
21 confidential, Mr. Seselj.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The title of my book cannot be
23 redacted because it was published in public and the public needs to know
24 why these parallel proceedings are being instituted against me here, and
25 I absolutely oppose redacting that part. If you redact that, I refuse to
1 discuss the matter any further. I'm really not interested in anything
2 anymore then. My further dialogue with the Trial Chamber with regard to
3 any other matter becomes pointless.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, there is a motion,
5 a confidential one, by the Prosecutor about the book. That's all. I
6 have my opinion, but I cannot express it, and so the practice in this
7 court is that anything that's confidential must be redacted. You can
8 think whatever you want about this, but I am bound, just like my
9 colleague Judge Harhoff.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, Mr. President, I
11 showed that book in court several times. When I would mention the entire
12 title of the book, then you would redact it. And later on, I realised
13 that I should not read the entire title on account of one name, and then
14 you wouldn't redact it from the transcript or from the video footage. So
15 that book was controversial only because of a single name in its title.
16 I didn't mention that. (redacted)
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Right. Well, Mr. Seselj, this
19 is a point of detail.
20 Please conclude, because I have another trial to attend to. You
21 have about three to four minutes left. Do you have anything to add?
22 And I want to add that Mr. Marcussen will come next time because
23 we're running short of time. We had asked him to come next time.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please, I'm leaving those three
25 minutes to Mr. Marcussen so that he can state whether he found any
1 evidence to the effect that a rally of the Serb Radical Party was held in
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, Mr. Seselj is done. The
4 only question, Mr. Marcussen, is in light of, and following the request
5 of the Chamber, were you able to find any elements to indicate that there
6 was a meeting in Mali Zvornik in 1992, the month of March 1992?
7 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, pursuant to a request that was made
8 on Thursday, the Prosecution has been taking a number of steps to
9 identify the material that the Trial Chamber has requested, and I think I
10 should just briefly outline what has been done.
11 The Prosecution has reviewed its in-house press material. Field
12 offices in Belgrade
13 look at press material, and we have made efforts to review the accused's
14 books. There have been identified material about a rally in Mali Zvornik
15 in August 1990 and another rally in March of 1993, 1993. There have not
16 been any material identified as regards to a rally in March 1992. The
17 information about the two rallies comes from books of the accused.
18 It's, of course, the Prosecution's position that not -- that the
19 accused has not necessarily published all his speeches, and therefore
20 there might be speeches which have not been published. And to the extent
21 that the accused has published speeches, they might not reflect fully
22 what was said at the -- during the various speeches. But we have not
23 found any documents other than what -- or any other evidence, other than
24 what the Trial Chamber already has received about the meeting in
1 Thank you, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. So there was a
3 meeting in 1990 and 1993, but you did not find out anything about a
4 meeting in March 1992. So that's what you're saying.
5 All right. Please conclude now because we are running over time
6 now, Mr. Seselj. If you'd like to, we can continue next time.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just a single sentence.
8 I think that it is obvious here that this had to do with the
9 false witness because there was no gathering of the Serb Radical Party in
10 1992 in Mali
11 instituting contempt proceedings against this false witness, but also,
12 the same kind of proceedings should be instituted against persons at the
13 Office of the Prosecutor of The Hague Tribunal, why they brought this
14 kind of person in without checking his allegations.
15 1990 and 1992 is not one and the same thing, and now
16 Mr. Marcussen is insinuating a bit to the effect that he doesn't know
17 what was stated in the speech. I have already dealt with this with my
18 legal adviser Mr. Zoran Krasic, but that doesn't really matter now. The
19 most important thing is that in 1992, there was no gathering of the Serb
20 Radical Party in Mali Zvornik, not in 1992 at all, and not before the war
21 broke out. That's the essence of the indictment in that part.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I pointed out earlier the
23 Chamber shall deliberate on this. So you will inform us about the
24 witness who will come next week or the following week. We have one
25 witness left, and then we will inform Mr. Seselj immediately.
1 MR. MUNDIS: I will indeed do so, Mr. President. In light of the
2 fact that we don't expect the passport until Friday, late Friday, in the
3 country where the witness is living, we are likely to be notifying the
4 Chamber on Monday as to developments, but we would anticipate either
5 bringing him Wednesday/Thursday of next week or the following week,
6 depending upon the factors which I have outlined this morning. But I
7 will endeavour to keep the Trial Chamber and Dr. Seselj fully informed as
8 to when the witness will appear.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Give me the code so I know what
11 witness we are talking about. Give me the code for that witness.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, you have received it in
13 the list. I think it's VS-1029.
14 MR. MUNDIS: That's correct. It's Witness VS-1029, and pursuant
15 to the Chamber's decision today, once that witness has been heard, then
16 we will be adjourned.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
18 I'd like to wish you a nice end of day.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.18 p.m.