1 Wednesday, 4 March 2009
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, please call the
7 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you and good afternoon, Your Honours.
8 This is case number IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus
9 Vojislav Seselj.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
11 Mr. Registrar.
12 Today, we are Wednesday, March the 4th, 2009. I would like to
13 greet Ms. Biersay, Mr. Mundis, and all their collaborators. I would also
14 like to greet Mr. Seselj, as well as all the other people who are helping
15 us in and around the courtroom.
16 This hearing was not part of the programme at the beginning of
17 the week, and we were not able to hold it because, as you know, this
18 witness was supposed to come a few days ago, but because of his health,
19 because of some health issues, he was not able to come, and we now have
20 the certainty that the person will be able to come and testify, and this
21 is why we have informed Mr. Seselj immediately so that he is aware of the
22 fact the witness was to come today to testify.
23 So as to the decision on the adjournment, this is the last
24 witness who will come to testify. So this is where we are today.
25 Mr. Seselj, would you like to add something before we bring the
1 witness in?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Presiding Judge. I do
3 have something to say.
4 I believe that the Prosecution has to inform both the Trial
5 Chamber and me about the health condition of this witness and the reasons
6 why he did not testify in time. I think that this is very important, and
7 generally speaking I'm not quite sure that he did have health problems.
8 I think that this was a game played by the OTP and that they were
9 actually unsure whether they would call this witness or not, up to the
10 last minute, because the OTP is aware of all the possible consequences of
11 the appearance of this particular witness.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, please rest assured
13 that I will put the questions, the necessary questions, to the witness,
14 and I will also ask him to tell us about his health when he is here at
15 the Bar. And I would like to -- and, of course, for that part we will go
16 into private session. And these questions may be of interest to you, so
17 you will obtain a very -- very shortly, you will obtain answers to your
19 Now, please, Mr. Usher, could you please bring the witness in.
20 I would like to remind the Prosecution that they will have one
21 hour for the examination-in-chief, and Mr. Seselj will have as well one
22 hour. This is what the Chamber decided, given the health of the witness.
23 [The witness entered court]
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Good morning
25 [as interpreted], sir. Before I proceed, I would like to ask you to give
1 us your name, your date of birth.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Alija Gusalic, born on the 3rd of
3 March, 1968.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your current
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A labourer.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, have you ever testified
8 before a tribunal on facts that took place in the former Yugoslavia or is
9 this the first time that you are testifying?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I testified twice.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you testified twice. Could
12 you tell us in which cases, if you know, trials?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Once, it was here, in the case
14 against Mr. Milosevic, and once in Tuzla.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And in Tuzla, it was against
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Against Fikret, Piklic. Actually,
18 I don't know the surname. The first name is Fikret, and his nickname is
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I have more
21 questions for you, but I would like to put them in a private session.
22 Mr. Registrar, could you please move into private session.
23 [Private session]
11 Pages 14284-14288 redacted. Private session.
18 [Open session]
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're now in open session.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very well.
21 Witness, can you please read the solemn declaration.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
23 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
24 WITNESS: ALIJA GUSALIC
25 [The witness answered through interpreter]
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, sir. You
2 may sit down.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
5 Sir, just some very brief explanations. You will have to answer
6 to questions that will be put to you by Ms. Biersay. She may also show
7 you some documents, and we've allowed a maximum time of one hour for
8 this. And also during that period of time, the Judges, who are sitting
9 before you, may also put questions to you. Once that -- the questions
10 put by Ms. Biersay are over, Mr. Seselj, who is sitting to your left,
11 will also put some questions as part of a cross-examination, and this is
12 according to the rules and regulations of this Tribunal, and you know how
13 things go because you testified in the Milosevic case, and you know very
14 well, if you will remember that you had to answer questions that were put
15 to you by both parties.
16 So please try to be clear, to be precise, when you give your
17 answers. And if you don't understand a question, please do not hesitate
18 to ask the questioning party to put the question to you again. And if at
19 one point -- some point in time you don't feel very well, please let
20 us -- we are here to assist you as well.
21 This is what I had to say.
22 Ms. Biersay, you have the floor.
23 Yes, Mr. Seselj.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have another preliminary
25 objection, because the witness stated that at a certain point he had
1 taken the witness stand in a trial in Tuzla.
2 I have no trace of having been submitted this bit of information
3 by the OTP in my papers, so I should like the OTP to tell me whether they
4 have submitted this to me, and if so when, and what.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Biersay.
6 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 I will read from a February 23rd, 2009 letter that we sent to
8 Mr. Seselj, and in that letter we told him:
9 "Today," being the 23rd of February, 2009, "the witness informed
10 the Prosecution that he testified in Tuzla in either 2001 or 2004," more
11 likely 2004. "We have requested the testimony."
12 And that is in a letter that we submitted to Mr. Seselj after we
13 met with the witness in proofing last week.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. But, Ms. Biersay,
15 the Tuzla testimony you don't -- you didn't have it. Did the witness
16 tell you this when you met with him on the 23rd of February; is that
18 MS. BIERSAY: It's correct that we learnt about the Tuzla
19 testimony on the day that we met with the witness, the same day of the
20 letter, February 23rd, 2009, and we have also submitted the formal
21 request for transcripts of that testimony, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
23 Mr. Seselj.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Presiding Judge, Ms. Biersay's
25 letter, in itself, I do appreciate all of her letters, I'm making a
1 special collection of them, but it cannot substitute documentation on the
2 testimony of this witness. If it was only on the 23rd of February that
3 the Prosecutor learned that this witness had testified in Tuzla, and
4 today is the 4th of March, the OTP did have time to obtain the complete
5 documentation, the complete file from Tuzla, and to submit it to me.
6 Tuzla is not at the end of the world, and I need this for my
8 The Prosecutor does not have time to translate it into English,
9 but they still speak Serbian in Tuzla and I can read it.
10 And please warn the witness -- caution the witness that he can
11 only answer the questions and cannot interfere with our discussions here.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, please, do not
13 interrupt Mr. Seselj when he is speaking.
14 Mr. Seselj, the representative of the OTP told us that when she
15 learned, on the 23rd of February, that the gentleman testified in Tuzla,
16 she sent a letter immediately to the authorities so that the transcript
17 could be sent. She also told us that she did not get the transcript yet.
18 Is that correct, Ms. Biersay?
19 MS. BIERSAY: That's correct, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So this is what
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Presiding Judge, I think that
23 that is no excuse for the OTP. They could have obtained it by courier.
24 They could have sent their courier to Tuzla, have a photostatic copy of
25 the testimony made and brought to The Hague. What does it mean? We
1 asked for it and we didn't get it. I mean, this is not the first time.
2 Remember Kulic and several other similar witnesses, and I never got those
3 documents later, because once the testimony's over, I mean, the
4 testifying, everything is forgotten. So I insist to be -- obtain this
5 testimony from Tuzla in order for me to be able to use it in my
6 cross-examination. This is my right, and my rights cannot be trampled
7 upon by a simple statement to the effect, "We asked for it and we did not
8 get it."
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I do not know how
10 things function in Tuzla, how they go in Tuzla, but let's suppose that
11 this is taking place in Paris, and then on the 23rd of February the
12 accused informs Ms. Biersay of this. Ms. Biersay would have informed the
13 French authorities in order to get not a transcript, because we don't
14 have a transcript in France, but to get the judgement or something like
15 that, and, believe me, it would take a few months before she would get
16 the document. And in Italy, it would be probably the same thing; maybe
17 worse. So that's all we have right now. We can say that it's
18 unfortunate, yes, but that's what it is, that's what we have, that's the
20 Yes, Ms. Biersay.
21 MS. BIERSAY: In accordance with the Court's ruling with respect
22 to the time, the one hour, I will ask for some flexibility, Your Honours,
23 in the form that my questions are in, and I will, in advance, tell the
24 Court that I will be skipping certain transitional components of the
25 witness's testimony in order to fit it within the hour.
1 Examination by Ms. Biersay:
2 Q. Mr. Gusalic, could you tell the members of the Trial Chamber
3 where you were born?
4 A. Gornji Sepak, Zvornik municipality.
5 Q. Where did you grow up, for the most part?
6 A. In Bijeljina.
7 Q. Could you tell us where Bijeljina is, in relation to the Republic
8 of Serbia?
9 A. It is upstream the Drina River, some four kilometres upstream.
10 Q. What is your educational background?
11 A. I completed primary school, eight grades. Then for another three
12 years, I went to a civil engineering or construction school. So I went
13 to school for 11 years, and I'm a worker, construction worker.
14 Q. Could you describe for the Trial Chamber the ethnic composition
15 of Bijeljina? Was it one ethnicity more than another?
16 A. Muslims, Serbs, and Croats lived in Bijeljina. The majority
17 population in Bijeljina were Muslims, and in the surrounding villages
18 they were Serbs, the majority population. And we got along very well
19 until the war.
20 Q. You, yourself, were you married at some point?
21 A. Yes, I was married twice. My first wife was a Serb, and the
22 second one as well, she was also a Serb. And currently, I'm not married.
23 Q. And what is your ethnic background?
24 A. I'm a Muslim.
25 Q. You described to the Trial Chamber that these different
1 ethnicities got along. Did there come a time when that changed?
2 A. Yes. Several months before the war broke out, it was disastrous.
3 Everything had changed totally.
4 Q. Could you describe in what way things changed?
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness sit closer to the microphone,
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Some uniformed and armed people
8 started walking about. That was a couple of months before.
9 MS. BIERSAY:
10 Q. Who -- how were these people dressed?
11 A. These were the people, the Territorial Defence, and the
12 infiltrated Serbs who trained people, reportedly the former JNA.
13 Q. The person who held -- in that period that you're now describing,
14 you say before the war, are we talking 1992?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. The person who held the position of mayor, do you know what
17 ethnicity that person was, mayor of Bijeljina?
18 A. I think that he was a Serb. I'm not sure. I was not engaged in
19 politics, so that I just don't know.
20 Q. What about the commander of the police; do you know that person's
21 ethnicity, what it was at the time?
22 A. A Serb.
23 Q. Did there come a time when there were letters calling up
24 reservists in 1992?
25 A. Yes, but only one people, only the Serbs got them. I have three
1 brothers, and I am the fourth, and we didn't get any calls.
2 Q. Did you serve any military service in the JNA?
3 A. Yes, for ten months.
4 Q. I'd now like to direct your attention to a village by the name of
5 Amajlije. Where is that village in relationship to Bijeljina?
6 A. It is some three to four kilometres from Bijeljina, up the Drina
8 Q. Was it on the Republic of Serbia side or on the Bijeljina side?
9 A. The Bijeljina side, up the Drina, upstream the Drina River,
10 because the Drina connects Serbia and Bosnia.
11 Q. What, if any, military training -- in the time-period that you're
12 talking about before the war started in 1992, what type of training do
13 you know, if you know, happened at that -- in that village?
14 A. That is in 1992. There was training involving the Arkan's men
15 and Seselj's men from Serbia. They were training the local Serbs in
16 order for them to attack Bijeljina.
17 Q. Do you know the name of someone called Mirko Blagojevic?
18 A. Yes, very well.
19 Q. And in 1992, at the beginning of 1992, did he have any political
20 affiliations that you're aware of?
21 A. Yes. Mr. Seselj actually designated him his vojvoda of the
22 Radical Party, the Radicals.
23 Q. Specifically in 1992, do you know whether or not
24 Mr. Mirko Blagojevic was a member of the Radical Party in Bijeljina?
25 A. Yes, yes? What position, if any, did he hold --
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I was checking your
2 age, and in 1992 you were 25 -- 24 years old, 24 years old. So if I'm
3 not mistaken, you were married to a Serb woman; is that correct?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Twice, yes.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You've also told us
6 that you were not politically engaged. Tell us, how is it that you knew
7 that a certain person was involved in a certain political party, that
8 another person was involved in another political party? How did you know
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] People talked about it. People
11 talked about who was what.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Where; is that coffee shop, or
13 on the stadium, or on the street, on television? Where, where could you
14 hear this? At the hairdresser's?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For example, Mr. Seselj spoke out
16 in public, that there was a Radical Party, that he was a Chetnik. And
17 about Mirko Blagojevic? Well, people talked about him in cafes and so
18 on, whereas Mr. Seselj was a politician and he was for the Radical Party.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Sir, if I
20 understand you correctly, in 1992 you had heard of Mr. Seselj, and
21 Mr. Blagojevic was saying that he belonged to Mr. Seselj's party; is that
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know him personally.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
25 Ms. Biersay.
1 MS. BIERSAY:
2 Q. Are you aware of whether or not Mr. Seselj visited the Bijeljina
3 area in the first part of 1992?
4 A. I don't know the date, but he did visit on one occasion, and
5 there was a big rally in Bijeljina in front of the municipal building. I
6 don't know the date.
7 Q. Did that happen --
8 A. I attended that rally, in fact.
9 Q. Did that rally happen before the war started or after the war
11 A. Before that.
12 Q. Now, going back to Mr. Blagojevic, was he associated in any way
13 with a cafe in Bijeljina?
14 A. Yes, he had a cafe called "Srbija." I think it was his, that he
15 was the actual owner of it.
16 Q. Did that cafe have a different name before the war started? You
17 don't have to tell me the name, but was there another name?
18 A. He used to be called -- it used to be called "Foco," and after
19 that, "Srbija."
20 Q. How soon before the war was the name changed to Cafe Srbija?
21 A. A few months, I think, but I'm not sure exactly. It was just a
22 few months.
23 Q. Did there come a time in Bijeljina, again in that 1992 period
24 that we're discussing, when local Serb men were armed?
25 A. Yes, they were armed. The garrison was theirs, everything was in
1 their hands.
2 Q. And what individuals, if any, associated with the Serb Radical
3 Party, participated in the arming of the Serb men in Bijeljina?
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. This is a leading
5 question. The question should be, "Were there persons from the Serb
6 Radical Party also participating in the arming?"
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Biersay.
8 MS. BIERSAY:
9 Q. Did you understand the question that I asked?
10 A. Could you repeat it now, please? I was listening to what the
11 general was saying.
12 Q. Fair enough. Could you tell me what members of the Serbian
13 Radical Party participated in the arming of local Serb men?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection again. This is now
15 impertinent. It's not "what members," but "did any members." "What
16 members" implies that there certainly were some.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Biersay, why don't you put
18 a broader question to the witness, such as who was arming -- who was
19 armed, rather, and then -- otherwise it's really leading, as we say.
20 MS. BIERSAY:
21 Q. Could you tell us the names of individuals who were arming local
22 Serb men in Bijeljina?
23 A. Do you want me to tell you the names?
24 Q. Yes, please.
25 A. It was Mr. Seselj, Arkan, and Mirko Blagojevic among the local
1 people. I know him well, personally. They were the ones arming people.
2 But all of it was from the former Yugoslavia, so all the weapons that the
3 Muslim people, the Croat people, the Serb people, everyone had bought for
4 the former Yugoslavia, they appropriated all that for themselves.
5 Q. I'd now like to direct your attention to March 1992. Now, I know
6 that a lot happened in March 1992, but what I'd like to ask you about are
7 those events -- immediate events that caused you to be hospitalised.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. This question again is
10 impermissible. First let's see what the events in Bijeljina were, what
11 actually happened to the witness, if anything, and not, "Did you end up
12 in hospital because of that?" What sort of question is that?
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Biersay.
14 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before the witness left the
16 hospital, something must have happened, so take it chronologically,
18 MS. BIERSAY:
19 Q. In relation to this event that happened with you being
20 hospitalised, could you describe for the Trial Chamber how it is that you
21 ended up in the hospital in March 1992?
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] How would he know or, rather, how
23 would she know? How does Madam Biersay know that he ended up in hospital
24 when he hasn't had the chance to say that in the courtroom? How can she
25 know that?
1 MS. BIERSAY: [Previous translation continues]... 65 ter summary,
2 for example.
3 Your Honour, if he continues to interrupt, this will take longer,
4 and if the Court is willing to shorten his time, then I can certainly ask
5 these questions again.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, let Ms. Biersay do
7 her job, and during the cross-examination you may ask that question.
8 Ms. Biersay.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] As you're asking me to tolerate
10 Madam Biersay's leading questions, I'll do that, but then the
11 cross-examination doesn't make sense.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Biersay is not going to put
13 leading questions. That is not the problem. Some events took place in
14 Bijeljina, and apparently the witness was the victim of these events, so
15 we have to establish what happened, who did what, were there some people
16 belonging to the Serb Radical Party; if so, who were they and so on.
17 That's what's really important.
18 Ms. Biersay.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, Mr. President, I am
20 concerned about the basis of your knowledge that this witness was a
21 victim in Bijeljina. How do you know he was a victim? The OTP has lied
22 to you.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please. We'll
24 see, we'll see. Let's see, let's establish things.
25 Very well. Ms. Biersay, please proceed step by step. Otherwise,
1 Mr. Seselj will continue to raise objections.
2 If I was carrying out the cross-examination, or, rather, the
3 examination-in-chief, in ten minutes I would solve that problem, but you
4 are putting questions, so please proceed.
5 MS. BIERSAY: Well, Your Honour, I'm trying to ask questions.
6 Q. Mr. Gusalic, could you describe to the Trial Chamber when it was
7 that you were shot in March 1992?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] How do we know that he was shot,
9 Mr. President?
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Biersay, are you doing it
11 on purpose or not? All the questions you are putting are leading. All
12 you have to do is just say, "Tell us, sir, in March, what happened?" And
13 then he will tell you, "Somebody shot at me in March." And then you take
14 on and you continue. Do you understand, Ms. Biersay, or not?
15 You stem of the common law system, so you know very well that
16 when it comes to leading questions, you may put them, but in a very
17 delicate way. You have to avoid asking leading questions during the
18 examination-in-chief. So you can ask the question of the witness, what
19 he was doing in the month of March 1992, and then he can explain to you
20 that there was an attack, and then you can start asking questions about
21 various details. Otherwise, Mr. Seselj is not going to stop. As soon as
22 you put a leading question, he will raise an objection.
23 So once again, I would like to remind you. Personally, I think
24 that this witness could have been a 92 bis witness. I do not understand
25 the position of the Prosecution to, at all costs, bring this witness.
1 You might have reasons that I don't know of. And we also know how the
2 witness is feeling. We should not really stress him out too much. And
3 we also know very well that he came to testify according to a guide-line,
4 and knowing very well what happened in Bijeljina, and that's all we have
5 in our minds.
6 So please proceed, Ms. Biersay.
7 MS. BIERSAY: As the Court is aware, I have one hour in which to
8 do the examination. I'm trying to be very focused. I have previously
9 met with this witness and asked him what happened in 1992, and there's a
10 lot that happened in 1992. So for the Court's benefit and for
11 Mr. Seselj's benefit, I am trying to be as focused as possible.
12 Mr. Seselj has repeatedly interrupted me, and it's a very simple
13 question with respect to this witness. I am trying to jump over certain
14 events to get to what I think the Trial Chamber is interested in hearing.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Please proceed.
16 MS. BIERSAY:
17 Q. Have you ever been in the hospital in Bijeljina as a patient?
18 A. Yes. I was wounded on the 31st of March, 1992, at 0815 hours
19 when the Chetniks shot at us, the Radicals, in front of Cafe Srbija.
20 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber what you were doing or trying to
21 do at the time that you were shot?
22 A. I wanted to throw a hand-grenade into Cafe Srbija.
23 Q. And how did you try to do that?
24 A. I had been in Cafe Srbija an hour before, and downstairs they
25 were all armed, Seselj's men, Arkan's men, Mirko's men, ready to attack
1 Bijeljina. They were going to occupy it.
2 Q. Could you describe to the Trial Chamber why you decided to go to
3 Cafe Srbija with the -- was it a bomb or a hand-grenade?
4 A. It was a hand-grenade, hand-grenade.
5 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please.
6 Witness, you had this hand-grenade before, when you went to
7 Cafe Srbija? When you understood that they were going to attack
8 Bijeljina, did you already have the hand-grenade, or did you obtain it
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I obtained it. There are two
11 cafes. One was Srbija, the other one was Istanbul. They were some 50 or
12 60 metres away from each other. A few days before that, a hand-grenade
13 had been thrown into Cafe Istanbul.
14 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I have another question.
15 How did you understand, when you went to Cafe Srbija, how did you
16 understand that the people there were Arkan's men, Seselj's men,
17 Blagojevic's men, that they were ready to attack Bijeljina? From what
18 did you gather that impression?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I arrived in Cafe Srbija,
20 there were two guards standing outside in camouflage uniform with rifles.
21 I think that was proof enough. When I went down there, it was chalk
22 full, it was crowded with armed men. I could tell that they were Arkan's
23 men and Seselj's men because they spoke with different accents than we
24 did. Their accents were those that people from Serbia had, and I knew
25 [indiscernible]. I had grown up there.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter is not sure of the last name
2 mentioned by the witness.
3 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 MS. BIERSAY:
5 Q. For how long did you stay hospitalised after you were shot?
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please. I
7 thought that Ms. Biersay was going to ask you some questions that I
8 actually had in mind.
9 First of all, talk to us about that hand-grenade. Where did you
10 go and get it?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the Cafe Istanbul.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So if I understand
13 correctly, you were 24 years old, you were married to a Serb woman, and
14 you see some people in a cafe, and then you get this idea to go to Cafe
15 Istanbul to go get a hand-grenade in order to throw it in the
16 Cafe Srbija; is that what happened?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Why did you do it?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because a hand-grenade had been
20 thrown into Cafe Istanbul, and there was civilians in there. Serbs,
21 Muslims, everyone visited the Cafe Istanbul. In Cafe Srbija, there were
22 armed men inside. There were no civilians there. They were the people
23 who wanted to do what they did in the former -- or, rather, the present
24 Bosnia. They made a massacre.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see. So you wanted to
1 revenge, because what had happened at Cafe Istanbul? You decided to act
2 alone and to go and to throw a hand-grenade in Cafe Srbija as a
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Because I had been in the
5 cafe, and when I was there, Mirko Blagojevic told me that I was not
6 wanted there in that cafe. I asked him, Why? Is it because I'm a
7 Muslim? And he said, I didn't say that. And then I left, and those
8 armed men remained there in the cafe.
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: So it was in order to prevent the attack on
10 Bijeljina that you expected; was that the reason?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it could be. Yes, you could
12 say that, because had I thrown the hand-grenade into the cafe, the
13 Chetniks who had arrived in Bijeljina and in Bosnia from Serbia might
14 have been killed, I might have been killed too, but the other people, the
15 population, would have been left in peace, and they could have continued
16 their lives normally.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So if we understand
18 correctly, you throw the hand-grenade, somebody shoots you, and then
19 you're injured.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Oh, well, I don't understand
22 anything anymore, then.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not throw the hand-grenade
24 into the cafe. I didn't succeed in my intention, because some 15 or 10
25 metres away from the cafe, they shot me.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you were at a distance of 15
2 metres, but were you inside the cafe or outside?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In front of the cafe, before I
4 reached it.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see. So you were outside.
6 So when they saw you come, they shot you?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Did you fall to the ground?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did. My horse also fell,
10 because I was riding a horse.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see. So you were riding a
12 horse, but nothing happened to the horse. You fell from the horse, and
13 nobody came to help you? You were just left there injured on the ground?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The shooting started. The horse
15 was wounded. I never found it afterwards.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see. Who brought you to the
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was when both sides started
19 shooting. I managed to get out, and a man took me to hospital in his
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see.
22 Ms. Biersay, so now we're at the hospital. You can take it from
24 MS. BIERSAY:
25 Q. For how many days did you stay in the hospital?
1 A. Nine days, a whole nine days.
2 Q. Directing your attention to -- did anyone come into the hospital
3 that mistreated you in any way?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Who mistreated you?
6 A. The hospital -- well, it was the hospital. The shooting had
7 already started, but the hospital was in the hands of the Muslims for the
8 first two or three days. After that, it was occupied by the Chetniks.
9 Q. Now, you said that you were mistreated while you were in the
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. First of all, Madam
12 Biersay asks who mistreated him in the hospital. The witness says that
13 the hospital was in Muslim hands, and then two or three days later the
14 Chetniks arrived. And then she asks, "Who mistreated you in the
15 hospital," and the witness did not confirm that he was mistreated. If
16 you find this acceptable, I won't object anymore.
17 MS. BIERSAY: I'm directing the Court to page 28, line 2.
18 "Q. Did anyone come to the hospital that mistreated you in any
20 "A. Yes."
21 Now that he has said that he was mistreated, I'd like him to
22 answer the question about who mistreated him.
23 Q. Could you tell the Trial Chamber who mistreated you in the
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That response was not given in the
1 Serbian language here. The transcript is your affair, but the witness
2 was clear. He said that he was in the hospital, the hospital was in
3 Muslim hands for three days, and that the Chetniks then arrived. He
4 didn't say a word about mistreatment.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you spent three
6 days in the hospital, and the hospital was in the hands of the Chetniks,
7 so you were mistreated after those three days?
8 No? Well, could you please explain, then. When you were
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't spend three days in the
11 hospital, I spent nine days there. For three days, the hospital was in
12 Muslim hands. After the fall of the hospital, when the Chetniks took it
13 over, that's when the mistreatment began.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, thank you. Now it's
16 MS. BIERSAY:
17 Q. Who mistreated you?
18 A. Shall I tell you the name or --
19 Q. The name, yes.
20 A. Mirko Blagojevic, with two others.
21 Q. Could you describe to the Trial Chamber how he mistreated you?
22 A. He broke the infusion tubes, the drip tubes, and then he stuck
23 something into my wound. He said he would come back to vent his feelings
24 on me. He mentioned the village of Amajlije.
25 Q. What did he say about the village of Amajlije, Mirko Blagojevic?
1 A. He said that whoever had been taken there had never come back
2 alive. That's what he said.
3 Q. Could you describe to the Trial Chamber whether or not the
4 hospital was visited by any known politicians?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Who were these people?
7 A. President Ms. Plavsic, Fikret Abdic, Arkan.
8 Q. After Mirko Blagojevic put something in your wound, as you
9 described it to the Trial Chamber, did you see him again?
10 A. Yes. When Fikret and Ms. Plavsic arrived, he was the man leading
11 the group. He came there.
12 Q. Did he say anything to you or do anything to you?
13 A. I didn't understand your question. Do you mean in the hospital?
14 Q. Yes, in the hospital. Did he say anything to you during the time
15 that he was with the other people you mentioned, Plavsic, Abdic, Arkan?
16 A. He said that all this had been done by para-armies and that the
17 JNA would arrive and calm things down, and that's what happened in the
19 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness speak up, please, and come a
20 bit closer to the microphone.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't know which of these three
22 people told him that. I don't see that.
23 JUDE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, indeed.
24 Witness, who told you this?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Ms. Plavsic and Abdic said that.
1 They were in a group all together and they were all talking.
2 MS. BIERSAY:
3 Q. When were you -- how is it that you came to be released from the
4 hospital after the nine days that you mentioned?
5 A. Arkan, Arkan had me discharged. He said that I was to go home,
6 that nobody would touch me. But he also said that I was not to leave my
7 home at all.
8 Q. Would you describe that as some kind of house arrest, or was it
9 something else?
10 A. What it was was waiting for them to come and slaughter me. That
11 is what it was, to slit my throat. I was released from there, but told
12 not to go anywhere; stay put.
13 Q. Did you stay at home?
14 A. Yes, I did, for a while.
15 Q. After the while that you just described, why did you leave home?
16 A. Well, I received a letter which scared me, and I fled.
17 Q. What did the letter say that scared you?
18 A. It was just a couple of sentences. It said: "Turk, the time has
19 come for you to pay for what you have done to us." I don't know what it
20 was that I had done to them, and it was signed: "Chetniks," because those
21 who wrote that letter did not want to actually sign their actual names,
22 so it was just signed, "Chetniks."
23 Q. Were you arrested after you left your home?
24 A. Yes, after some time, after some time. I'm not sure how much
25 time after that.
1 Q. Who arrested you?
2 A. The allegedly civilian police then, the MUP, which at the time
3 was supposed to be good for me.
4 Q. Was that the only time that you were arrested?
5 A. No. I was caught then, and then I spent some time there - I'm
6 not sure how much - and then I managed to escape from the MUP.
7 Q. When you say "time there," do you mean the MUP, you were kept at
8 the MUP?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And after you escaped from the MUP, you were again arrested at a
11 later time; is that correct?
12 A. Yes. Yes, after a month or two, or, rather, a month and a half.
13 I do not know the exact date, but that was about the time.
14 Q. Who arrested you on the second occasion?
15 A. They were masked, in uniform and masked.
16 Q. Where were you taken when you were arrested?
17 A. To the MUP again.
18 Q. Were you told why you were being arrested this time?
19 A. Nobody told me anything. They just hit me, and nobody asked me
21 Q. For how long were you kept at the MUP?
22 A. Four days, which seemed like four years.
23 Q. On the fourth day, did any other prisoners join you at the MUP?
24 A. Yes, three of them.
25 Q. What was their ethnic background, if you know?
1 A. They were also Muslims.
2 Q. Do you recall any of the names of those three people?
3 A. Ejup Smajic, Zlatar, and Ferid Zecevic.
4 Q. How were they treated at the MUP?
5 A. They were treated exactly the way I was. Nobody asked us
6 anything. They just kept hitting us.
7 Q. After your fourth day at the MUP, were you taken somewhere else?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Where were you taken?
10 A. They put some stockings or some bags on our heads, and they told
11 us that they were taking us to Amajlije.
12 Q. Before they put the stockings or bags on your heads, were you
13 able to see what kind of vehicle you were going to be put in?
14 A. No.
15 Q. And who else was taken with you?
16 A. Ejup Smajic, Zlatar - I'm not sure of his name - and --
17 Q. Are you talking about the same three people who were brought into
18 the MUP?
19 A. Yes, yes.
20 Q. And were you, in fact, taken to Amajlije, like you had been told
21 you were going to be?
22 A. No. They drove us to the Batkovic camp.
23 Q. And could you describe for the Trial Chamber what that Batkovic
24 camp looked like once you were able to see?
25 A. It consisted of two hangars. People would be placed in either.
1 There was a barbed wire fence. There were two guardhouses. They drove
2 the people inside. There were two tents outside, because not all the
3 people could fit into the two hangars, so there were these two tents
5 Q. How long were you kept at the Batkovic camp?
6 A. The first time, for about three months.
7 Q. During those three months, were you able to estimate
8 approximately how many prisoners were being kept there?
9 A. About 2.000, give a take a few, more or less.
10 Q. Could you tell the Trial Chamber the approximate period of time
11 that you were there? What months of 1992, the first time?
12 A. I think it was June or July. I know that it was very hot.
13 Q. Going back to the approximate number that you just described for
14 the Trial Chamber, of those people, were you able to tell what the ethnic
15 composition was of the 2.000 people?
16 A. They were predominantly Muslims, most of them were Muslims.
17 There were a few Croats, too.
18 Q. During your first -- the first stay, the three months you just
19 described, could you -- did you come to learn from what villages some of
20 those people came from?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Which villages? Sorry.
23 A. Vlasenica, Bratunac, Zvornik, Brcko, Brezovo Polje, Kalesija,
24 Tojcici. There were many places. Actually, there were people from
25 different places, all over.
1 Q. And just to orient the Trial Chamber, where is Batkovic compared
2 to Bijeljina?
3 A. It is some five or six kilometres away from Bijeljina, in the
4 opposite direction from where Amajlije is.
5 Q. When you were there for the first time, "there" being Batkovic,
6 the Batkovic camp, did you see any elderly prisoners?
7 A. Yes, there were quite a few elderly people, and children.
8 Q. What about women?
9 A. There was one woman.
10 Q. Of these approximately 2.000 people, were you able to estimate
11 how many of them were civilians and how many of them were not civilians?
12 A. They were all civilians. There were perhaps two prisoners whom
13 they called "Green Berets." All the rest were civilians and
14 infirm/helpless people.
15 Q. Do you know who the commander of the camp -- the Batkovic camp
17 A. It was a warrant officer from Novi Sad, but I've forgotten his
18 name again.
19 Q. Before, you described this -- that you believe the approximate
20 start of your detention was in June of 1992, and you described how very
21 hot it was. Could you tell the members of the Trial Chamber if anyone
22 died because of the conditions in the Batkovic camp?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And approximately how many people died from the conditions of the
1 A. About a hundred of them, and a large number also, perhaps ten of
2 them, succumbed to the beating. Of the three men who came with me, two
3 succumbed to the beating, died from the beatings, Zlatar and Ferid
4 Zecevic. They were killed, and I and Ejup Smajic survived.
5 Q. Were you beaten while you were in the Batkovic camp during those
6 three months?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. How often were you beaten?
9 A. Five times a day, and sometimes more than that. It was
10 breakfast, lunch, dinner, lining up, and then hitting us at night as much
11 as they possibly could.
12 Q. What did they beat you with?
13 A. It would be better if you asked me what they -- what they didn't
14 beat us with.
15 Q. But could you give some examples of what they -- what they used?
16 A. Chains, sticks, handles, axe handles. They tested all of that on
17 us, and then eventually they would use stones, and I had to kneel to make
18 it possible for them or easier for them to hit me with stones.
19 Q. Why did you have to kneel?
20 A. Because they were small people and not exactly brawny, and I was
21 a big one, and they were unable to hit me in the head when I was -- while
22 I was standing on my feet.
23 Q. What injuries did you get from all that beating?
24 A. Fractures. My ribs were broken, two on this side, three on this
25 side [indicates]. My arm was broken, my back. I have eight stitches on
1 my head. And there is more. Some of it is still visible.
2 Q. What food, if any, would you get during those three months?
3 A. Just some beans, bean soup that had already gone bad. How could
4 you eat it? I didn't even eat it. They would beat me and then just give
5 me something to eat, like to a dog.
6 Q. The people who were beating you, what ethnicity were they, as far
7 as you could tell?
8 A. Serbs.
9 Q. Were they --
10 A. And, regrettably, they were -- there were also two Muslims who
11 also beat the prisoners. Why did they do that? To save their own skin.
12 Q. Were you ever mistaken for being dead during the first three
13 months that you were detained at the Batkovic camp?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] What kind of a question is this,
15 Judges? Did the accused [as interpreted] ever think that he was dead?
16 These questions are senseless. How can the witness think himself dead?
17 MS. BIERSAY: That was not the question, and I'll rephrase it.
18 Q. Did other people believe that you were dead because --
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Okay, it is the interpreter's
20 mistake, and I withdraw my objection, because what the interpreter had
21 said was whether the witness had thought himself dead. That's why I
22 objected, and I withdraw my objection, Madam Biersay.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There's a mistake in
25 Please proceed, Ms. Biersay.
1 JUDGE HARHOFF: Ms. Biersay, could you please elicit also with
2 the witness if he is able to inform us about who the Serb prison guards
3 were; JNA soldiers, volunteers, or any identification that the witness is
4 able to give us.
5 MS. BIERSAY: Certainly, Your Honour.
6 Q. Could you describe for the Trial Chamber how it is that other
7 people thought you were dead?
8 A. I was taken out four times with the dead. As they were taking us
9 out, I would move a leg or an arm, and then they would say, This one is
10 alive, and then they would take me back. And this happened four times.
11 Q. Now, before I turn your attention to the question that
12 Judge Harhoff posed, could you tell the Trial Chamber whether or not you
13 were put in a certain group while you were in the Batkovic camp?
14 A. Yes. There were always ten of us in a group, which they called
15 "the specials." Now, what they considered specials, I don't know.
16 Perhaps that we were specially reserved for beatings. Maybe that was why
17 they called us that.
18 Q. Now, directing your attention to the question of -- are you able
19 to describe the uniforms, for example, that the people who were beating
20 you -- the non-prisoners who were beating you, do you remember any of
21 those uniforms that the people beating you wore?
22 A. There were different uniforms. There was the uniform of the
23 Yugoslav People's Army, there were camouflage uniforms, black uniforms
24 which the -- which the local Serbs calling themselves "Arkan's men" wore.
25 There were all manner of uniforms.
1 Q. During the time that you were detained during the -- the first
2 time at the Batkovic camp, did the ICRC ever visit that camp in the three
3 months that you were there?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Were you ever registered with the ICRC during the first three
6 months you were kept at the Batkovic camp?
7 A. They did not register me and these other nine specials. They did
8 register the elderly and the children, but we were hidden. We would be
9 taken a kilometre or two away from the hangar. So they would always be
10 informed when the ICRC would come, and then they would hide us before
11 they came.
12 Q. Were you mistreated in any way while you were hidden from the
14 A. Yes, the ten of us would always be separated, and they took us to
15 this facility where they used to keep their cattle before, which was
16 called the "Cardak" [phoen], and they did all sorts of things,
17 unimaginable things, something that would never occur to a normal person,
18 to us while they kept us in that facility.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have a question.
20 This camp, the Batkovici camp, I'm looking at these documents,
21 but we don't see any mention of that camp. And in the brief, we see, in
22 the footnote, two or three times -- but I'm talking about the brief. I'm
23 not talking about the statement. In the brief, the witness -- of the
24 witness, it is said, with respect to the occupation of the city, on the
25 footnote 238, it is said that the volunteers circled and attacked
1 Bijeljina. It is also said, on footnote 241, with regard to the
2 participation of Blagojevic, that he took part in various assaults. And
3 it is also said, on footnote 244, as regards Cafe Srbija, where
4 Mr. Seselj would have come to that Cafe Srbija. That's all we see.
5 So you spent almost one hour talking about the camp, whereas in
6 the indictment and in the brief, it is not mentioned at all. You can do
7 whatever you wish, of course.
8 MS. BIERSAY: As the Court is aware, we are presenting this
9 evidence to show the pattern of crimes, and I understand that this is not
10 specifically alleged in the indictment, and this is a dropped crime site,
11 as the Court is aware. So the testimony is meant to show patterns of the
12 crimes committed, as we stated.
13 And if I could direct the Court to the 65 ter summary, there
14 was -- these events are described therein.
15 Your Honour, I'm looking at the clock, and I'm not sure if the
16 Court would prefer to take a break --
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have something. Just may I be
18 allowed to say something before the break?
19 Mr. President, because we have been informed that there is a
20 doctor present in the courtroom, I demand that during this break the
21 present physician examine the legs of this witness. On one of his legs,
22 I suppose it is his left leg, he should have a scar from a gun-shot --
23 or, rather, a pistol wound. We would like the doctor to tell us that,
24 whether in addition to that pistol wound, there is a bayonet scar,
25 bayonet wound scar. This is something that can be easily ascertained by
1 any physician by just a visual examination. A wound from a bayonet can
2 heal, but it cannot but leave a visible scar.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, it's an interesting
4 request, but procedurally speaking, the doctor does almost nothing. In
5 other words, this is a doctor who either makes certificates or he can
6 also give an injection, but he is not a treating physician. If we ask
7 him to do so, he will definitely refuse to come and examine the witness
8 in this fashion.
9 Now, you told us, Witness, that you were beaten, your bones were
10 broken. Do you have on your leg a scar of a bayonet?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Is it visible?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]...
14 wounded, and it is visible.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The witness is confusing the wound,
16 pistol wound, and a stab by a bayonet. He's confusing these two.
17 Perhaps it wasn't interpreted correctly.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, you told us that when you
19 were at the hospital, while you were there, Mirko Blagojevic came with
20 his bayonet, and then he stabbed you with his bayonet, he put the bayonet
21 inside your wound. Was it that same wound at your leg? Did he put the
22 bayonet inside or did he just sort of --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]...
24 stabbed, yes.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, I see. Did he pierce your
1 skin, did he cut through your leg?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I was wounded, the bullet
3 exited the wound, so I was first shot and there was an entry and exit
4 wound, and then he stabbed me in that wound, precisely.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, when we talk about
6 an entry and exit wound on the leg, if the artery has not been hit, there
7 is no surgical intervention. The wound is just externally dressed, and
8 it heals very quickly. So a scar -- a scar from a pistol wound --
9 MS. BIERSAY: Objection.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, my colleague is
12 right, it is something that you may put during your cross-examination.
13 You will have the opportunity to do so while you cross-examine.
14 So at present, right now, actually, we can only conclude that the
15 witness was injured, and we can conclude that he told us that Blagojevic
16 put a bayonet through his wound. That's all.
17 Yes, Ms. Biersay.
18 MS. BIERSAY: Very quickly, I want to make the record that the
19 witness, in this courtroom, never said "bayonet." Mr. Seselj is using
20 items from the statement, injecting it, and then creating a false issue.
21 That is the subject of cross-examination. But the bayonet was mentioned
22 for the first time by Mr. Seselj in this courtroom.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this is simply not
24 true. I have jotted down that the witness mentioned the bayonet.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Biersay, you're making a
1 mistake, unless I'm completely mistaken, but I thought -- I thought I
2 heard that the witness told us that while he was at the hospital,
3 Mr. Blagojevic took a bayonet and stabbed him in the wound.
4 So, Witness, you are the only person who can really shed some
5 light on this. Did you actually say that Mr. Blagojevic put his bayonet
6 in your wound?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Whether it was a knife or a
8 bayonet, to my mind, that is the same thing.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see. So a bayonet or a
10 knife, for you it's the same thing.
11 Very well. Let's take a 20-minute break.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is the same.
13 --- Recess taken at 3.51 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 4.16 p.m.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Biersay, please proceed.
16 MS. BIERSAY:
17 Q. Where were you taken after the three months of detention at the
18 Batkovic camp?
19 A. To Doboj, to a small camp there at Usora in Doboj.
20 Q. Was that a camp like the Batkovic camp?
21 A. No, it was smaller than that, with fewer people in it, but it
22 also consisted of hangars.
23 Q. And were you kept as a prisoner there in that camp as well?
24 A. Yes, but we were beaten less.
25 Q. For how long were you at the camp in Doboj?
1 A. Eleven and a half months.
2 Q. Did that camp have another name?
3 A. Usora.
4 Q. In addition to being beaten as well at that camp, were prisoners
5 made to do any forced labour?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. What kind of forced labour?
8 A. All kinds of work that a man can do, from chopping wood, working
9 in warehouses, digging trenches, pulling out dead Chetniks.
10 Q. What do you mean by "pulling out dead Chetniks"?
11 A. When there was shooting when there were clashes, we would pull
12 out the dead. Some Chetniks, others Muslims, so my answer was not
13 entirely correct.
14 Q. Where was it that you pulled out --
15 A. In the surrounding villages, at the front-lines around Doboj.
16 Q. And is that true for both -- you used the word "Chetniks." Was
17 that true for Chetniks as well as Muslims?
18 A. The dead, yes, those who were dead.
19 Q. After being detained in Doboj, were you taken somewhere else?
20 A. Yes. They took us back to Batkovic because of some big exchange.
21 Q. And how long did you spend in Batkovic for the second time?
22 A. Three months.
23 Q. When were you finally released?
24 A. On the 8th of November, 1993.
25 Q. And how do you consider that day, November 8th, 1993?
1 A. It's another birthday for me, a second birthday.
2 MS. BIERSAY: At this time, the Prosecution has no further
3 questions, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, thank you, Ms. Biersay.
5 Just one additional question to the witness. You said, very
6 quickly, that Mr. Seselj held a rally in March 1992, that's what I
7 understood, in Bijeljina. Is that correct?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said before the war broke out in
9 Bijeljina, which was before March 1992.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In what year; 1990, 1991, 1989?
11 Which year?
12 THE INTERPRETER: The witness said "1992."
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 1992, before the war broke out,
14 1991 or 1992, a few months -- three months before.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. And you told us
16 that --
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It started in Bijeljina on the 31st
18 of March.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So it was before. And did you
20 go to that rally?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. All the citizens went there.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Everybody was there, and
23 Mr. Seselj also --
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All the citizens, yes. He made
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Did you listen to his speech?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I listened for a while, and then I
3 left. Later on, a fight broke out, as I heard.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And after that, there was a
5 fight, a fight. Now, this is getting interesting. So there was a fight
6 between whom and whom?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was a fight between Serbs and
8 Muslims. He made them quarrel by his speeches.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And was the police there or
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. It was a normal situation at
12 the time. There was no war in Bosnia as yet.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see. So it wasn't the war
14 yet. So if what you are saying is true, and I am insisting on the "if,"
15 if indeed this rally took place, this speech was held, whether you know
16 it or not, at the time, in order to hold a political rally, did one have
17 to ask an authorisation from the police?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He had all of that in his hands.
19 He went wherever he wanted to go and did whatever he wanted to do. He
20 held it all in his hands.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see. And you said, "I went
22 to the rally, I did not stay."
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]...
24 but I didn't stay there until the end.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. And you were
1 absolutely certain it was in 1992?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was a few months before, either
3 1991 or 1992. It was either in late 1991 or early 1992.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] End of 1991, early 1992. You
5 don't remember. You also don't remember how you were dressed? Did you
6 wear a coat, did you wear jeans, did you wear something warmer?
7 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see. Were there any
9 reporters there?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]...
11 me? What do I know? Yes, I suppose.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And to your knowledge, were
13 there any press releases afterwards about the meeting, any articles as to
14 the meeting? Did you see them?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I told the gentlemen that I was no
16 politician and I didn't read that, but of course it was broadcast on
17 television as well.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Would you be able to explain to
19 us, why is it that of all the witnesses that were heard on -- who were
20 heard on Bijeljina, nobody mentioned that rally?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because they're afraid, and they
22 all went there in hiding, but I'm not afraid because I never, ever want
23 to go back to Bijeljina.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You say that they were fearing
25 something. I see.
1 THE WITNESS: [Previous translation continues]... anymore, but
2 those people there are afraid to speak out, they're afraid to say
3 anything. I love my country, Bosnia, I love my people, but there's no
4 place for me there anymore, unfortunately.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very good. Thank you.
6 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Witness, do you remember if,
7 during the rally, if it was spring-time, was it winter-time? How were
8 people dressed; do you remember? Was there any snow on the ground?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, the weather was normal.
10 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] So it could have been spring or
11 early spring? Could it have been between winter and spring?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have no idea. How do I know what
13 the weather was like?
14 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Very well. But if you don't
15 remember, you don't have to remember it. I'm just asking. Thank you.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you have one hour.
17 I give you the floor.
18 Cross-examination by Mr. Seselj:
19 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Gusalic, do you still live in Iowa, in the
21 A. That's not your problem.
22 Q. You should address me politely.
23 A. I don't have to speak to you politely, and neither do you have to
24 speak politely to me.
25 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note it is impossible to
1 interpret overlapping speakers.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Tell him he has no right to ask him
3 [as interpreted] where I live. I would like to ask the Court that.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj has the right to
5 cross-examine you and to challenge everything you have said. We know
6 that you do not live in the Netherlands, and the rest is not very
8 Yes, Ms. Biersay.
9 MS. BIERSAY: Your Honour, Mr. Seselj has not shown any relevance
10 for this question. If we are going to go into the whereabouts of this
11 witness, where he lives, I would request that we do that in closed
12 session. But my first argument is that it's completely irrelevant.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] First, this is not a protected
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We can proceed, Mr. Seselj.
16 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Do you still live in the state of Iowa in the USA?
18 A. At the moment, I'm living in Bijeljina.
19 Q. In Bijeljina? When did you leave Iowa? You have to answer that
20 question. When did you leave the state of Iowa in the USA?
21 A. When I divorced my wife, after the trial.
22 Q. You also broke American laws?
23 A. How do you know that?
24 Q. Don't comment on that. Address me with a polite plural form.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, please proceed.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Perhaps you didn't hear that, Your
2 Honours. The witness said, "Well, you see how you know that," addressing
3 me with the singular "you."
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Witness, don't say "tu,"
5 "you" to the accused. He's using the plural, so use the same plural,
6 because he's using the "vous," and this is just to show that you respect
7 him. It's a mark of respect. You understood.
8 Yes, you can proceed, Mr. Seselj.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness come closer to the
10 microphones, please.
11 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Did you come into conflict with American laws while staying in
13 the USA?
14 A. Not in conflict.
15 Q. Were you arrested?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You received a court order prohibiting you from coming within a
18 certain distance of your ex-wife, a court injunction, a restraining
19 order, because you maltreated your wife?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And you broke the injunction and were arrested. After that, the
22 police found you drunk driving; is that correct? And that's why you were
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could there be a pause between question and
25 answer, because the interpreters cannot interpret the answers when
1 there's no pause.
2 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
3 Q. And --
4 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Seselj, once again we run into the problem
5 that the interpreters are unable to follow what you say, each of you,
6 because there's overlap between question and answer, and that makes it
7 impossible for the translators to follow you. And if the translators
8 cannot follow you, then we cannot follow you either. So please make an
9 effort, both of you, and especially you, Mr. Seselj, because you are well
10 accustomed to the system here. Do not put your question before you are
11 sure that the translation of his answer has been completed.
12 Thank you.
13 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Did the American newspapers also write about your arrests?
15 A. I don't know.
16 Q. Have you heard of the journal "Cityview" published in Des Moines?
17 A. I don't read English, so I don't know.
18 Q. What's the name of the town where you lived?
19 A. I don't remember.
20 Q. You don't remember. Very well. But you were arrested for drunk
21 driving, for breaking a restraining order from coming close to your
22 ex-wife, and so on; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Were you ever convicted of a misdemeanor in Bijeljina?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Never?
2 A. No.
3 Q. I have information that in 1990 and 1991 alone --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Witness, can you speak
5 louder, because the interpreters have problems hearing you. Please come
6 closer to the microphone and speak louder.
7 Cross-examination is a very difficult moment. You have just come
8 to realise that, because Mr. Seselj is talking about your private life
9 and he seems to have a lot of information. So as you can see, it's a
10 very difficult moment, so please be calm and answer the question.
11 Mr. Seselj, you can proceed.
12 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
13 Q. You've just said that you have never been convicted for a petty
14 offence, for a misdemeanor, in Bijeljina?
15 A. What do you mean under "petty offence"?
16 Q. That you were before a misdemeanors magistrate.
17 A. You are saying that I killed somebody, slaughtered someone?
18 Q. No. You don't go before an examining magistrate for that.
19 According to my information, in 1990s -- in 1991, you were convicted of a
20 misdemeanor three times.
21 A. Just once. That was in 1987.
22 Q. According to my official information, you were convicted or
23 punished, and, mind you, I'm not interested in 1987, just the 1990s. So
24 in 1990, on the 26th of February, the decision number is 755/90, you
25 violated the public law and order law, and you were punished because of a
1 physical assault on another person; is that correct?
2 A. Yes, "vous" with a "tu," the singular you, if you say so, then
3 it's correct.
4 Q. I say it's correct. I have an official document.
5 A. No, I don't think it is so.
6 Q. Then on the 1st of August, 1990, the number is 600, 1990 --
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Biersay, I believe you're
8 to repeat what you've already said, i.e., you do not have this document;
9 is that what you were going to say?
10 MS. BIERSAY: That's correct, Your Honour. I'd like to make a
11 record of it. Thank you. Could I ask for a copy of it, at this time,
12 from Mr. Seselj?
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Biersay, Mr. Seselj told us
14 a few weeks ago it might not be -- it might not have been you, but maybe
15 one of your colleagues. He said that he asked the authorities get some
16 information about the situation -- the criminal records of a whole set of
17 witnesses, and he showed us a B/C/S document in which -- in this
18 document, the authorities gave information for each witness concerning
19 the various offences, with the record number, and I presume Mr. Seselj is
20 reading this document.
21 Is that it, Mr. Seselj, is this correct?
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, no, Mr. Presiding Judge, this
23 is another document. This document refers exclusively to this witness,
24 and that should have been found by Madam Biersay, and that is why I'm not
25 giving her this. But she can check by telephone, referring to these
1 numbers, whether these convictions were indeed made on account of
2 misdemeanors involving violations of public law and order. It was Madam
3 Biersay's duty to obtain these, not mine. I'm not going to assist her,
4 especially not now, after this interruption in the proceedings. I'm not
5 going to assist her in this way. It is not my duty to do so.
6 I have established that in just these two years before the war,
7 he was convicted of a misdemeanor two or three times for violating the
8 public law and order, and his body is full of scars because he was in
9 brawls on a daily basis, fighting daily, as it were.
10 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] If the witness does not confirm,
11 do you believe we can take your words as being the truth, or would it not
12 be better for you to give us the document, translate it in English, so
13 that we have something to use? I cannot automatically believe in what
14 you're saying if the witness cannot confirm that.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Madam Lattanzi, you must know --
16 you must know that I don't expect you to believe anything that I say.
17 I'm not really trying to convince you that I'm telling the truth.
18 First, the witness did confirm that he had been convicted in
19 1990. That's in response to my first question. To my second question,
20 he said, "Yes, it is so, if you say so." That's what he responded to me.
21 A third piece of information which I have also refers to a conviction for
22 a misdemeanor. We shall see what the witness will have to say.
23 I know that you have come here with a predetermined concept, that
24 you know in advance how this process will end, no matter what my
25 cross-examination will be like. That is why I'm not trying hard. What
1 is important for me is that the public should see that I have refuted the
2 entire testimony of this witness, and then I --
3 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] You do not deserve any answer
4 from me, Mr. Seselj.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I do not agree with
6 what you have said. I am speaking for myself. I'm not speaking on
7 behalf of my colleagues. I'm speaking for myself. I'm in a trial and
8 I'm trying to understand what happened at the time. I'm trying to assess
9 what the witness said. I'm listening to the Prosecutor, and I'm
10 listening to the accused. That's it. And it's based on all that that I
11 will be able to make up my own mind.
12 I thought I understood, because you showed us the first document,
13 that the second document you have in your hands is a document coming from
14 some authority, giving you information about the past history of the
15 witness. Even if we accept that he has -- he's responsible for some
16 petty offences, prior petty offences, nevertheless he is a witness.
17 So please proceed now.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I am showing here,
19 through my questions, that the witness's answers -- what the conduct of
20 this witness in Bijeljina had been like before that incident which took
21 place outside Srbija Cafe. It is obvious from his entire dossier that he
22 was involved in countless brawls and fights, that he was known for his
23 asocial behaviour. That is my thesis. But you keep interrupting me, and
24 I have the impression that the Trial Chamber does not like the efficiency
25 of my cross-examination, that they do not like the effects that I'm
1 achieving, and I assert that the entire testimony -- I put it to you that
2 the entire testimony of this witness is false, and I'm trying to prove
3 that, but you keep intervening.
4 Madam Biersay should have obtained this in the first place.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, nobody wants to
6 interrupt you, but, Mr. Seselj, what I'm telling you, looking at you
7 right in the eyes, if you ever -- if there's anything that leads you to
8 believe that you cannot trust me, just make a request, if you have the
9 slightest impression that I am going in this direction. Otherwise, you
10 can proceed. You can impeach.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President -- Mr. President, as
12 if I were that naive a person, as if it were possible to find anyone at
13 this Tribunal who is better than you. Mr. President, you let me speak in
14 this courtroom, in contrast to others, who jump to their feet in rage
15 whenever I ask for the floor. But I do have this critical attitude
16 towards the Trial Chamber, particularly in respect of your colleagues.
17 But I'm not going to ask for the recusation of any of you, because
18 I think that all of the rest would be worse than you and your colleagues.
19 That is my experience here.
20 I'm not going to ask for any recusations, but on the other hand I
21 will always openly say what I think in a very decent tone, a courteous
22 tone, without any offensive expressions, and I expect that you will
23 listen to something which may be unpleasant but that I feel have to say.
24 So please allow me to proceed with my cross-examination.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Okay, you can proceed.
1 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
2 Q. On the 20th of May, 1991, were you, by a decision of the
3 Misdemeanors Court in Bijeljina, number 7875, were you convicted for a
4 misdemeanor involving a violation of public law and order for especially
5 impertinent conduct? Do you remember that?
6 A. You said a couple of minutes ago that I was lying. I've never
8 Q. I didn't tell you that you were lying. It is one thing when I
9 tell the Trial Chamber that you are lying, but in addressing you, I never
10 said that you were lying, and these are two different things which you
11 have to appreciate.
12 I understand that you have problems with understanding some
13 things. I can see that from some other indicators in your biography, but
14 this is something you have to understand. When I address you, I never
15 use any offensive terms. It is my right to give the Trial Chamber a
16 general qualification of your testimony in my view, and you must bear
17 that in mind.
18 So, tell me, is this true?
19 A. No, it is not.
20 Q. Very well, fine. Do you know that a criminal report was filed
21 against you and that you were tried, together with another 160 persons,
22 Muslims who participated in these war events in Bijeljina in 1992; do you
23 know that?
24 A. No, I don't know that. This is the first time I hear it from
1 Q. That the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Centre for Public
2 Security in Bijeljina, the 18th of May, 1995, filed a criminal report
3 with the Municipal Public Prosecutor, with 161 people in the file, and
4 you are in place 161, and on the basis of that report, there was an
5 indictment? You don't know about that?
6 A. In Republika Srpska?
7 Q. Yes, Republika Srpska.
8 A. That is -- that is not -- that was not a recognised state.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Now it is a recognised state.
10 Judges, the OTP should have obtained this document also and
11 should have given it to me rather than have me look for it because all
12 these documents concern this witness and his testimony. Very well.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, why didn't you keep me when I
14 was arrested by you, if I was convicted of these things?
15 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Look, I'm asking you questions, and I shouldn't answer your
17 questions. You should answer mine.
18 There was something which surprised me in today's
19 examination-in-chief. You said that you had completed eight grades of
20 elementary school and then a construction school after that?
21 A. Yes, three years of construction school after that.
22 Q. So construction school. Civil engineering school is what you
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. According to my information, it was only primary school that you
2 A. No, I only have a few exams to finish.
3 Q. So you didn't actually go to school, but you took some exams?
4 A. That is what I said.
5 Q. No, that is not what you said. You said that you had finished
6 primary school and three years of construction school after that.
7 According to my information, you didn't finish any kind of a construction
8 school. After primary school, you did not pursue any other education.
9 A. Yes, it was a construction school, and for joiners, for
11 Q. I have some data regarding to your education. I'm not going to
12 disclose all of it, because we will have to move into closed session, but
13 I can see that you had all Cs or Ds, except for physical education. Do
14 you remember that?
15 A. Yes, of course.
16 Q. Of course, yes, of course. You can see that I looked into all of
17 these things. Witness, you are good, you are good.
18 A. Yes, yes.
19 Q. You see, I looked into all of that. You said in your statement,
20 which you gave to the Prosecutor in The Hague in 1997, in the first
22 "I completed elementary school when I was around 15 years of
24 You never mention any secondary construction school, but you say:
25 "My father and my brothers are construction workers, and it is
1 from them that I learned this trade."
2 So there was no construction school. Why did you have to come up
3 and make up one today?
4 THE INTERPRETER: Will the speakers please not overlap. The
5 interpreter did not hear the answer of the witness.
6 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
7 Q. You said today that you saw me in Bijeljina, holding a rally of
8 the Serbian Radical Party?
9 A. Yes. Yes, I did.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Excuse me, Mr. Seselj.
11 Mr. Witness, your answer was not heard and recorded. Mr. Seselj
12 asked you whether you went to a construction school, so you have to
13 answer. Whether it's "yes" or "no," but we need an answer.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did complete it. This is
15 the -- a construction -- rather, a course, a course for construction and
16 joiners, construction workers and joiners.
17 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Was it a school or a course?
19 A. It was a course, so I completed normally elementary school and
20 then subsequently attended this construction school for construction
21 workers and joiners.
22 Q. You never mentioned in your statement a construction school. You
23 say that your father and your brothers were construction workers, and
24 that from them you learned the trade. You never referred to a school.
25 A. It should be there, it should be there.
1 Q. But it is not in your statement.
2 A. It should be there, it should state where I completed that
4 Q. Let's move on. You said that you attended a rally of the Serbian
5 Radical Party held by me in Bijeljina several months prior to the war;
7 A. Yes, before the war, that's right.
8 Q. Is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Well, I'm telling you there was no meeting at all of the
11 Radical Party in Bijeljina before the war. The first meeting in
12 Bijeljina I held in 1993, in the spring, outside the municipal building,
13 and you were not there.
14 A. Outside the department store.
15 Q. Wait, wait a minute. In the statement which you gave to the OTP
16 of The Hague in 1997, second page, last paragraph, you say:
17 "I know Vojislav Seselj from television, but I have never seen
18 him in Bijeljina."
19 A. I never personally talked to him like now.
20 Q. No, this is what you stated: "... but I have never seen him in
22 A. No.
23 Q. But that is page 2nd [as interpreted] of your statement, the
24 penultimate paragraph.
25 A. It's not written down well, then, it was not noted properly.
1 Q. It was not noted properly. And you said that there was a fight
2 at that rally also?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. One of the previous witnesses talk about a brawl in Mali Zvornik
5 in 1991, so now it seems that there was a brawl, a fight, at every
6 meeting of the Radical Party?
7 A. That's the way you were.
8 Q. Well, thank you. That's nice, if that's the way we were. Let's
9 go on.
10 You also referred to a hand-grenade which was thrown into the
11 Istanbul Cafe?
12 A. Yes.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Witness, I asked you many
14 different questions on this famous rally a while ago, because this
15 question is -- this issue is very important. It is mentioned in
16 Article 22 of the indictment, and it raises a major problem, as far as
17 I'm concerned.
18 You said a while ago, under oath, and I asked you a whole bunch
19 of questions, and I asked you whether you were absolutely sure that you
20 went to this March 1992 meeting in Bijeljina, and you said, "Yes." And
21 you gave us many details concerning the fight afterwards, et cetera. I
22 had seen that in your 1997 statement, you had not mentioned this.
23 Therefore, I ask you a question: What does that mean? Are you sure of
24 what you're saying or you really don't remember?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I remember well, but not in March
1 1992. It was before March. In March, the conflict broke out in
2 Bijeljina, so it was a couple of months before those events, in late 1991
3 and early 1992, several months before that, because he went through all
4 of Bosnia, holding rallies.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I did, but not in 1991.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, you were preparing the ground
7 for your work.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Witness, if it was proven
9 that Mr. Seselj never went to Bijeljina in 1992 and 1991, what would you
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] How can you say that it wasn't when
12 it was, that he didn't when he did? And I know that personally.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Okay, fine.
14 Mr. Seselj, please proceed.
15 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
16 Q. You said here that a hand-grenade had been thrown into Cafe
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Do you remember who threw the grenade?
20 A. A guy from Dvorovi. His name was Goran or Zoran or something. I
21 only know that he was a Serb.
22 Q. Yes. But according to official information of the MUP in
23 Bijeljina, the hand-grenade was thrown by Aleksandar Zekic, called
24 Andalaga, as --
25 A. From Dvorovi.
1 Q. But you said Goran from Dvorovi, and the name is Aleksandar and
2 the surname is Zekic and his nickname is Andalaga, from Dvorovi, and this
3 was some ten days prior to the eruption of the conflict?
4 A. A couple of days.
5 Q. At least ten days. So the chief of the SUP, the chief of the
6 police in Bijeljina, Predrag Jesuric, did you hear about him?
7 A. Yes. He is a Serb, the chief of the police in Bijeljina.
8 Q. He arrested this Andalaga, Aleksandar Zekic, and took him to
9 Tuzla. Did you hear about that?
10 A. Yes, I did.
11 Q. In Tuzla, the Muslims were always not only the majority but were
12 also dominant because throughout the war Tuzla was never in Serbian
13 hands. It was in Muslim hands; is that true?
14 A. Yes, it is true.
15 Q. So ten days before the war, Predrag Jesuric, the chief of the
16 police, acted according to standard procedure, quite normally, accepted
17 the Serb who had thrown the grenade and sent him to Tuzla to the Regional
18 Correctional Centre; is that correct?
19 A. That is what you say.
20 Q. But is it true? You just confirmed it's true?
21 A. Well, I don't know.
22 Q. Very well. You said that in that incident, some Muslims were
23 wounded; is that correct?
24 A. There were both Muslims and Serbs. Seven people were wounded in
1 Q. Do you remember what Serb was wounded on that occasion?
2 A. I don't know.
3 Q. Have you heard of Goran Vasilic, known as Kriska?
4 A. No.
5 Q. He was a well-known basketball player; is that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And he was wounded in the Istanbul Cafe on that occasion?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. So both Serbs and Muslims went to Cafe Istanbul. So this man
10 threw a hand-grenade into the cafe and wounded both Serbs and Muslims.
11 After that, he was arrested and convicted and served his sentence in
12 Republika Srpska. Are you aware of that?
13 A. I'm not aware of it. I wasn't interested.
14 Q. Did you know that a girl was wounded there? Her name was Sofija.
15 She was a Serb?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Was that girl, Sofija, a Serb wounded by the hand-grenade?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. So the hand-grenade wounded both Serbs and Muslims. The thrower
20 of the hand-grenade was arrested, sent to Tuzla, tried, and served a
21 prison sentence; are you aware of that?
22 A. I'm not aware of that. I wasn't interested in it.
23 Q. Well, the OTP should have been interested in this and
24 investigated it. Very well.
25 Now you are saying or, rather, speaking of an incident that
1 occurred in front of Cafe Srbija. Are you aware that this cafe was on
2 the ground floor and that it was on two levels; there was another cafe in
3 the basement? Are you aware of that?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Are you aware of the name of the cafe in the basement?
6 A. It used to be called "Foco." At that time, it was called
8 Q. No, "Srbija" was the name of the cafe that was on ground level,
9 on the ground floor, that was Cafe Srbija; is that right?
10 A. Well, it's all one and the same.
11 Q. There were two cafes?
12 A. Well, it was all one cafe.
13 Q. The cafe in the basement was called "Marlboro," and it was held
14 by a Muslim who is a friend of Mirko Blagojevic. Did you know about
16 A. No, I really didn't.
17 Q. You didn't know about that; very well. All right, if you didn't
19 When you set out riding your horse to throw a hand-grenade, who
20 gave you the hand-grenade in Cafe Istanbul?
21 A. A friend of mine.
22 Q. What was his name?
23 A. Goga.
24 Q. And Coso was with him, wasn't he?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Did you know Coso as well?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. So they gave you a hand-grenade?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And you mounted a horse; is that right?
6 A. Don't mention Coso's name. The man is dead, so now is not the
8 Q. But he was with Gogo [phoen] when you got the bomb?
9 A. The hand-grenade. I got it from Gogo, not from Coso.
10 Q. Was Coso there?
11 A. Well, he was in the cafe, but he wasn't there.
12 Q. Well, according to my information, the two of them were in the
13 cafe. It doesn't matter which of them put the hand-grenade into your
14 hands. I'm not going to deal with Coso here. But you took the
15 hand-grenade, mounted a horse, and galloped towards Cafe Srbija; is that
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And you swung out your hand with a hand-grenade?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. The Serbs standing in front of Cafe Srbija saw you?
21 A. Yes, the armed ones.
22 Q. And Mirko Blagojevic personally was there; right? Was
23 Mirko Blagojevic himself there?
24 A. There was more than one man there.
25 Q. Mirko Blagojevic pulled out his pistol and fired at you; is that
2 A. They fired rifles.
3 Q. But you were hit by one bullet from a pistol in the leg?
4 A. Well, a hundred people came to the camp, claiming to be the one
5 who had wounded me.
6 Q. But you were hit only with one bullet?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And it came from a pistol?
9 A. I don't know what it came from. It's the doctors who know.
10 Q. Well, the bullet came from a pistol, and it caused an entry-exit
11 wound in your leg?
12 A. I wasn't at all interested what weapon was used to fire it.
13 Q. You threw a hand-grenade, but you forgot to pull out the pin; is
14 that right?
15 A. I didn't manage to throw it.
16 Q. But it landed in front of the cafe. Where was the hand-grenade?
17 A. It fell. It fell down when I fell from the horse.
18 Q. It fell in front of the cafe, but you didn't have time to pull
19 out the pin?
20 A. It fell down on the ground, but not in front of the cafe.
21 Q. Did you know you had to pull the pin out?
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The interpreters cannot follow
23 you. Please slow down.
24 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Mirko Blagojevic pulled out a pistol and shot you in the leg, and
1 you then fell from your horse; is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And then the Serbs from Cafe Srbija approached you and took you
4 to hospital; is that right?
5 A. That's a lie.
6 Q. Well, who took you to hospital?
7 A. Who took me to hospital?
8 Q. Yes.
9 A. A Muslim with a car.
10 Q. There weren't any Muslims nearby at the time, just the Serbs from
11 Cafe Srbija.
12 A. But I didn't come close, Mr. Seselj.
13 Q. Yes, you did. Had there been firing from automatic weapons, no
14 one would have approached me.
15 A. Well, I was between two lines of fire, and I crawled out by
17 Q. You were hit at a quarter past 8.00 in the evening?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And the skirmish between the Muslims and the Serbs began at 9.00?
20 A. That's when it started.
21 Q. Forty-five minutes later?
22 A. Well, that's a lie.
23 Q. Well, then who could have pulled you out of the crossfire?
24 A. I did that by myself.
25 Q. You didn't do that. It was the Serbs who collected you and took
1 you to the hospital.
2 A. No, you can't convince me of something that didn't happen.
3 Q. And the horse was not injured.
4 A. Yes, the horse was injured.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] From a logical point of view,
6 well, we can imagine, you are mounted on your horse, galloping fast,
7 maybe - we don't know - and you're about to launch your hand-grenade.
8 One of the Serbs, Mirko Blagojevic, shoots you and you fall off your
9 horse. And if there is no one else, so you can very easily understand
10 the reaction of the Serbs. They could have killed you immediately, or we
11 don't know, because you were about to throw a hand-grenade. So there is
12 a mystery there, because it seems that nothing is happening, and you tell
13 us a Muslim brought you back. There might be another explanation. There
14 may be shootings left and right between the Muslims and the Serbs, and
15 you took advantage of this situation to flee and go to the hospital. Is
16 this possible, is it not possible?
17 I wasn't there. You were there. You're the only one who can
18 tell us really what happened.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I'm trying to explain this to
20 Mr. Seselj.
21 When I was wounded, the Chetniks standing in front of Cafe Srbija
22 were firing because they thought I would throw the hand-grenade. And
23 when I came some 15 or 20 metres close to the cafe, they fired, and I
24 fell from my horse. Then the Muslims from Cafe Istanbul also started
25 firing, and I was caught in the crossfire, but I managed to crawl out on
1 my own, and after that a Muslim took me to hospital. Mr. Seselj, on the
2 other hand, claims that it was a Serb who took me to hospital.
3 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
4 Q. The street between Cafe Istanbul and Cafe Srbija is quite narrow,
5 isn't it?
6 A. Well, it's a normal width of street.
7 Q. Well, it has a narrow pavement, there are two lanes?
8 A. There's a bus stop nearby.
9 Q. But not in that street?
10 A. Yes, in that street.
11 Q. Between Cafe Srbija and Cafe Istanbul, there's no bus stop?
12 A. Yes, there is.
13 Q. There is; all right. Do you know that this horse, some ten days
14 later, was seen grazing in the nearby parks near the bus stop, the
15 Cafe Srbija and so on, until someone took it away?
16 A. I don't know that. I didn't see it. I didn't have an
17 opportunity of seeing it.
18 Q. And do you know that I learned about this event a few months
19 later, and do you know that Mirko Blagojevic was one of the best marksmen
20 in the former Yugoslavia, and his specialty was firing from a pistol?
21 A. Well, you're all specialists in that.
22 Q. Did you know about Mirko Blagojevic? Well, I'm very skillful in
23 handling a gun, but a rifle -- that may be something you find amusing,
24 but do you know that Mirko Blagojevic was one of the best marksmen from a
25 pistol in the former Yugoslavia?
1 A. I don't know that.
2 Q. You don't know?
3 A. Well, maybe because he's yours, you think he's always the best.
4 Q. Well, he always was one of the best men in Bijeljina. Are you
5 aware that a few months later, when I learned of this event, I severely
6 criticised Mirko Blagojevic, because when he saw you charging on a horse
7 with a hand-grenade, he shot you in the leg, thus risking hitting the
8 horse as well? I told him that he should have shot you in the head and
9 then the horse would have been safe. Did you hear of that?
10 A. No, but knowing you --
11 MS. BIERSAY: Objection. It is inflammatory and Mr. Seselj has
12 no -- that has no place in this courtroom.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's only evidence that you were
14 in charge of all the events in Bosnia.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is not --
16 Judges, this is not inflammatory. It's a fact which happened, and I
17 might call Mirko Blagojevic as a witness in this trial.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'd like that.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And then he will testify to all
21 MS. BIERSAY: Your Honours, this is a veiled threat and is
22 inappropriate in this courtroom. It's inappropriate in general, but
23 certainly in this courtroom and should not be tolerated.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This is no threat.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Biersay, I don't really
1 understand your objection.
2 Mr. Seselj recognises that he knew Mr. Blagojevic. That's the
3 first thing.
4 Secondly, he said that two months later he criticised Blagojevic,
5 asking him -- telling him that -- asking him why he did not kill him.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honours, that's an
7 admission on my part. I think he should have killed a man charging at
8 him with a hand-grenade, not shoot him in the leg and risk injuring the
9 horse. So my reaction is quite normal. It would have been a pure
10 self-defence -- a form of self-defence.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed.
12 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Later, you said that when the conflict broke out, for the first
14 three days the hospital was held by the Muslims; is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Well, for how many days did the conflict in Bijeljina continue?
17 A. Well, three days, around three days.
18 Q. It may have been four?
19 A. Yes, it may have been four. I was in hospital the whole time, so
20 I don't really know.
21 Q. Is it was only on the fourth day that the Serbs took over the
23 A. Well, the hospital was the last place to fall.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, this is very valuable
25 information, seen from the aspect of other witness testimony, because
1 this witness says that the conflict lasted four days.
2 May I continue?
3 Q. Now, you were brought to hospital, you have an entry-exit wound,
4 and you're bleeding; is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. So the first thing they did in the hospital was to give you a
7 drip. They were afraid you would bleed to death; is that right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Then they saw that the artery was not injured, and they dressed
10 your wound; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And after a while, the bleeding was staunched?
13 A. Well, not right away.
14 Q. Well, when did the bleeding stop?
15 A. A few hours later.
16 Q. A few hours later. And that first night, you had the drip;
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. When the bleeding stopped, why would you still have a drip the
20 next day? What was the reason?
21 A. I had lost a lot of blood.
22 Q. But why would you have a drip for three days? You had a normal
23 meal, so you received food, water, teas and so on?
24 A. I had lost too much blood.
25 Q. Well, you know what, I know a little about these things, and I
1 have been given drips for 20 days at a time, you know. You arrived
2 there, you lost a lot of blood, you were given a litre, two litres, or
3 four litres of solution. Your wound was dealt with, the bleeding
4 stopped. Why would the drip be kept for three days?
5 A. Ask Dr. Kicanovic and the other doctors that.
6 Q. Okay, I'll ask him. On the fourth day, as you say,
7 Mirko Blagojevic arrived?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And you were still -- you still had the drip?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And he then toppled over that drip thing?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Well, you've made all this up, because on the fourth day you were
14 no longer receiving a drip; is that right?
15 A. Well, what do you look at when you're lying down?
16 Q. Well, I'm looking at you. You did not have a drip at that time.
17 Mirko Blagojevic did not come to see you in the hospital at all, he did
18 not visit you at all, and you made up that he stabbed you with a bayonet
19 where your wound was because you have no bayonet scars on your leg, or
20 knife scars. You have only the traces of an entry-exit wound made by a
21 pistol, and as the artery was not damaged at all, your wound needed only
22 superficial treatment. And now show the bayonet traces here in the
24 A. Should I take my shoes off?
25 Q. Well, let Their Honours decide, but you have no traces left by a
1 bayonet on your leg, no scars.
2 A. Mirko Blagojevic was not in the hospital? You've got that
3 written down as well?
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're not going to ask you to
5 remove your clothes, to take off your clothes. If I were in my country,
6 there would be no problems. You would be able to show your legs to
7 everybody. But with the Rules we have here, it's far more complicated.
8 You say that you have the trace of a bayonet.
9 Please proceed.
10 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
11 Q. You said that you spent nine days in the hospital; right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. So on the 31st, in the evening, you were taken to hospital?
14 A. Before the 1st -- 31st.
15 Q. And you were there until the 9th of April?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And then you say that Arkan had you discharged from the hospital?
18 A. Yes, in person.
19 Q. We will have to wait for the Trial Chamber, because I think it is
20 very important for them to also hear this.
21 Does this mean that Arkan personally discharged the patients and
22 the wounded from the hospital?
23 A. No.
24 Q. But on the 9th of April, Arkan could not have been in Bijeljina
25 at all, because already on the 7th of April, he had already been in
1 Zvornik, and on the 8th of April, he personally participated in the
2 battle for Zvornik. It is impossible for Arkan to have been in Bijeljina
3 on the 9th of April, it is impossible.
4 A. It is possible.
5 Q. And you say that he personally, Arkan, that is, discharged you
6 from hospital?
7 A. And Mirko -- in order for Mirko not to finish me off.
8 Q. So Arkan was saving you from Mirko. And we have hundreds of
9 pieces of evidence to the effect that at that time, Arkan was fighting in
10 Bijeljina. How can there be two Arkans, one in Bijeljina and one in
11 Zvornik? How is that possible?
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you just said
13 something. You said that Arkan wanted to save you from Mirko Blagojevic.
14 For what reason?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because this one wanted to kill me.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And Mr. Arkan, being so kind,
17 wanted to help everybody?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know whether he was good,
19 whether he was kind. Why that criminal wanted to save me then, I have no
20 idea. Whether these are their Chetnik games or what, I really can't say.
21 I really don't know. To show his good face, like they have saved
22 someone, and they have killed so many people on the other hand.
23 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Had Mirko Blagojevic wanted to kill you, he could have done that
25 on that day. If he stabbed you with a bayonet in your wound, in your
1 leg, he could also have stabbed you in the heart.
2 A. But according to him, I did not deserve to be killed quickly. I
3 was to be tormented for a long time.
4 Q. So he was to stab you a little every day with a bayonet?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And how many stabs did you get in total?
7 A. Just one. You want to be precise.
8 Q. How come, then, that he just stabbed you once and not -- during
9 those days, and then Arkan concluded that you should be released, set
10 free to go home?
11 A. Well, house the arrest, rather.
12 Q. What do you mean house the arrest? There were guards outside
13 your house.
14 A. There was guards. There was a garrison, in fact, outside my
16 Q. So it was important for Arkan for you to be released?
17 A. Not Arkan, but the White Eagles. Do you know who the
18 White Eagles are?
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm trying to -- where is the
20 rationale there?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I couldn't even go to the toilet,
22 in fact.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Witness, I'm trying to see
24 where is the rationale in what you are saying. This famous Srbija Cafe,
25 where Arkan, if I got it correctly, used to meet with Mr. Seselj's men
1 and other people, this cafe, according to what you said, was attacked by
2 a person, you, yourself, who was mounted on a horse with a hand-grenade.
3 I just imagine very well how the people in the cafe felt, knowing that
4 you were going to throw a hand-grenade on the cafe. And all of a sudden,
5 amongst all the people in this cafe, one comes to rescue you, Mr. Arkan,
6 and the other one, Blagojevic, comes to bother you and to stab you with
7 his bayonet? From a logical point of view, I have problems in
8 understanding that.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is a very good question.
10 Nobody has asked me that.
11 When I set out to throw the grenade, nobody asked me who it was
12 that I wanted to throw the grenade at, who was down there in Srbija Cafe.
13 Seselj's men, Arkan's men, and armed men, armed troops who were prepared
14 to attack Bijeljina, to perpetrate crimes, were there, and the local,
15 Mirko Blagojevic, I mean, his men. There were no civilians, there were
16 no children, women. There were armed people down there, armed men from
17 Serbia, and locals, and Bosnian Serbs.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I agree with you, Mr. Witness.
19 But if you did what you said, i.e., to throw a hand-grenade, these people
20 may also want to take their revenge, including Arkan, who could also have
21 been wounded by this grenade. But instead of that, he came to rescue
22 you, and the other one came to bother you with his bayonet. That's where
23 I have problems understanding, but everything is possible.
24 Mr. Seselj, please proceed.
25 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Let us move on.
2 A. Arkan did not save me.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Shall I continue?
4 Q. Mr. Gusalic, you said that the cafe was full of Arkan's men,
5 Seselj's men, Mirko's men, and troops?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Is that logical, for a significant military force to be
8 concentrated in a cafe?
9 A. It is possible. You can see that it is possible.
10 Q. It is possible. According to my information, there were no
11 Arkan's men in Bijeljina at all before the conflict broke out. It was
12 only on the next day that Arkan came to Bijeljina, and he had a total of
13 30 men, including himself, and he joined in the fighting. So you made up
14 that Arkan's men and Arkan had come before that, and you also invented
15 that Arkan's men and Seselj's men were training people in Amajlije?
16 A. That is made up?
17 Q. Yes. There were no Arkan's men, no Seselj's men, in Amajlije.
18 A. And who was there, pray tell?
19 Q. The Territorial Defence and the JNA.
20 A. Sir, but you trained them.
21 Q. I trained them?
22 A. Your men.
23 Q. My men trained the JNA?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. I had the experts to train the Territorial Defence; is that what
1 you're saying?
2 A. Yes, that is what I said.
3 Q. All right. If that is what you think, you can testify according
4 to what you feel is the truth.
5 A. Not what I -- no, it's the truth.
6 Q. All right, if you say it's the truth. Secondly, during that
7 conflict, within Bijeljina there were only Radical Party members from
8 Bijeljina with weapons. Not a single member of the Serbian Radical Party
9 from Serbia was there. This is what other Muslim witnesses have stated
11 A. That means --
12 Q. But when Arkan came to Bijeljina on the 1st of April, he came to
13 Dvorovi, where the Serbian Territorial Defence was concentrated, and from
14 where it set out to clash with Muslim armed formations; whereas, in the
15 centre of Bijeljina, the only resistance being offered to the Muslim
16 forces was that by Serbian Radicals, led by Mirko Blagojevic, and there
17 was nobody else there but the Serbian Radicals and Mirko Blagojevic. So
18 you made it up that Arkan had been in Bijeljina at that time; is that
20 A. No, it is not right.
21 Q. Fine, if it is not. You said that I, Arkan, and Mirko armed the
22 Serbs. So where did you get that information?
23 A. People said so.
24 Q. Where did we get the weapons?
25 A. Well, you're asking me?
1 Q. Who said so, the women in the barber shop?
2 A. Yes, the women in the barber shop. People said so.
3 Q. So people were saying that I, Arkan, and Mirko were arming the
5 A. Yes, what we had contributed towards for 50 years, all of us
6 together, the Muslims, the Serbs, and the Croats.
7 Q. But you're talking about the JNA depots, and we took them over,
8 according to you?
9 A. You took everything over. It was all yours.
10 Q. Thank you. That is very interesting. Fine.
11 A. You took it all.
12 Q. You said that -- no, let's skip over this, because I have no
13 reason to dwell on this.
14 You said that later you were taken to Batkovic camp?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Is that correct?
17 A. But you did not manage to perpetrate your ethnic combination [as
18 interpreted], the one that you were bent on.
19 Q. Leave that aside. I'm not interested in that for now. You say
20 that Serbs beat you in the Batkovic camp; is that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And did the detained Muslim prisoners also beat you in the
23 Batkovic camp?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Which ones?
1 A. Two of them.
2 Q. What were their names?
3 A. Fikret Piklic, and Dzemal Zahirovic.
4 Q. Dzemal Zahirovic?
5 A. Yes, that's what I said.
6 Q. And Piklic, Fikret?
7 A. Yes, that's right.
8 Q. Why did these two detained Muslims beat you? And they beat you
9 viciously, didn't they?
10 A. Not only me. They beat all the inmates in the camp.
11 Q. Dzemal Zahirovic and Fikret, Piklic beat you up viciously because
20 Q. And because you assaulted a lad, the other Muslims beat you up;
21 is that correct? Isn't that correct?
22 A. What an animal you are.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges --
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Witness, don't you feel
25 well? Do you need a break?
1 Okay. So then we shall have a 20 minutes' break.
2 --- Recess taken at 5.25 p.m.
3 [The witness stands down]
4 --- On resuming at 5.52 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So we resume, Mr. Seselj, and
6 the Trial Chamber has decided to redact that part in the transcript where
7 (redacted), and this has nothing to do with this case,
8 and we will also redact the three sentences I have mentioned.
9 Let us now bring in the witness. Could the usher go and bring in
10 the witness.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Presiding Judge, before the
12 witness enters, will you allow me to comment on your decision on
13 redacting this passage to express my opposition to that decision.
14 Mr. President, this witness claims that in the Batkovic camp, he
15 was systematically beaten by Serb soldiers and guards. That is not true.
16 He was beaten almost to death by his compatriots there, also prisoners of
17 the camp, for the reasons adduced here, and that basically refutes the
18 veracity of his testimony. That is why I am against that being redacted
19 or expunged from the transcript.
20 If we are going to redact every detail, every bit of information
21 which calls in question the veracity of the entire testimony, what's the
22 point of cross-examination, then?
23 But these are well-known facts. All the Muslims who were in that
24 collection centre for prisoners or detention centre, they all know that.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, we will move on to
1 a private session for just a few minutes.
2 [Private session]
11 Page 14366 redacted. Private session.
12 [Open session]
13 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
14 Q. You spoke here about the food the prisoners in the Batkovic
15 collection camp were given. You said that they gave you beans which had
16 gone bad?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Is it correct that you received exactly the same food as the
19 Serbian guards guarding you every day?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. When you got beans, did they get beans also?
22 A. Well, how should I know that?
23 Q. Well, did you see food being distributed to them?
24 A. How could I see that?
25 Q. Did they eat there or did they go to eat somewhere else?
1 A. How would I know? I was imprisoned inside.
2 Q. Well, you were there; I wasn't.
3 A. But I was inside the hangar. How would I know what the Serbian
4 soldiers were eating?
5 Q. According to my information, the food prepared for you and for
6 them was identical, and you'll recall that beans were the favourite food
7 of soldiers in the former JNA; is that correct?
8 A. Well, normal beans.
9 Q. Well, why would these be abnormal?
10 A. Because they would keep it there for ten days and then distribute
11 it to the prisoners.
12 Q. Why would they keep it for ten days?
13 A. For it to go bad.
14 Q. So they did that on purpose?
15 A. Yes, they did.
16 Q. Did they ever make you eat straw?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. How did you eat straw?
19 A. I'm speaking for myself. They made me eat straw.
20 Q. Well, I'm asking you about you. Did you eat it?
21 A. I tried to, but I couldn't. It was very hard.
22 Q. Well, how could they make you eat straw when we all know that
23 it's not possible to eat straw? It's a bit odd.
24 A. It sounds odd. It's -- yeah, it's sad.
25 Q. Well, how much time did you spend in total in Batkovici and in
1 Usora, near Doboj? When were you released from Batkovici?
2 A. On the 8th of November, 1993.
3 Q. So you spent more than a year and a half there, some of the time
4 in Batkovici, some in Doboj?
5 A. Yes, 16 or 17 months.
6 Q. Was there a Muslim who was there for longer than you were?
7 A. I wouldn't know that.
8 Q. According to my information, no one was there for longer than you
9 were. Is that possible?
10 A. Well, it's possible. Everything is possible.
11 Q. According to the information I have --
12 A. But I don't believe that's correct.
13 Q. According to my information, which comes from Serb sources, the
14 Serb authorities offered the Muslim authorities an exchange more than
15 once, but the Muslim authorities refused to take you. Is that possible?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Why?
18 A. Because my side asked for me in every exchange. I was always
19 near the top of the list, but you wouldn't let me be exchanged.
20 Q. How is it possible for other Muslim prisoners to spend two or
21 three months there, at the most, with rare exceptions - only a few of
22 them were there for longer than that - and you spent more than a year and
23 a half there? How do you explain that?
24 A. I don't know what prison inmate was there for only two or three
25 months. They were all there for a year or so, or five or six months.
1 Q. It's not correct that they were there for a year. You said they
2 came from all over the place?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Well, these are not just villages, these are towns and
6 A. Both towns and municipalities.
7 Q. Vlasenica and Zvornik are towns?
8 A. Yes, but they also came from the surrounding villages.
9 Q. All right. Did the Muslim authorities hold it against you that
10 by your impetuous throwing of a hand-grenade on Cafe Srbija, the conflict
11 in Bijeljina started a few days earlier than planned?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Do you know that the conflict had been planned for the 6th of
15 A. I don't know.
16 Q. When international recognition of Bosnia-Herzegovina was
18 A. Well, that is what you planned.
19 Q. Are you aware that there was an order issued by Alija Izetbegovic
20 that on that day, the take-over of the barracks and other facilities
21 should begin?
22 A. I didn't know that.
23 Q. Did you know that there was a Muslim Crisis Staff of Bijeljina
24 planning all this?
25 A. No. That's all lies, it's all lies.
1 Q. It's all lies, it didn't happen at all? Are you aware where the
2 Muslims got automatic weapons from, and snipers?
3 A. Are you referring to the hunting rifles they had?
4 Q. No, my question is very precise, automatic rifles and snipers.
5 A. I don't know.
6 Q. Were the Muslims armed with those weapons?
7 A. I don't believe anyone had that.
8 Q. Do you know where Gvozdevic is?
9 A. Gvozdevic?
10 Q. Yes, Gvozdevic.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Was there a conflict there between -- among Muslims, between
13 Muslims themselves, when some set out to wage war against the Serbs and
14 others opposed this?
15 A. I'm not aware of this.
16 Q. All right. You're not aware of it. Are you aware -- were you
17 given any medical examinations after you left Batkovici, after you were
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Where?
21 A. In the Tuzla Garrison.
22 Q. Do you have the medical records from that?
23 A. With me, you mean?
24 Q. Not with you. Did you hand them over to the OTP?
25 A. Nobody asked me to.
1 Q. Nobody asked you to? Did you state that, in fact, you never even
2 visited a doctor after that?
3 A. You misread what I said. I said I had never been to see a doctor
4 before the war.
5 Q. On page 8, in paragraph 3 from the bottom, the penultimate
6 sentence or, rather, in this whole paragraph, you say that your left arm
7 was broken in Batkovic, that three -- that your spine was damaged in
8 three places, that you had a scar from an iron that was pressed against
9 your arm, that you had injuries on your chest, that you had several bones
10 broken, and that you had scars from cuts on your skull, and you say you
11 don't know that your skull was broken. And you say after that, I never
12 visited a doctor. And now it turns out that you were examined in Tuzla?
13 A. Yes, I was examined then and also in 2004, in Tuzla, when there
14 was a trial. That was when a doctor examined me again.
15 Q. And The Hague investigators never asked to see your medical
17 A. No, they didn't. It all has to be -- it can all be proved.
18 Q. I know it can all be proved if there are documents available.
19 A. Yes, and it's my opinion.
20 Q. Well, I don't doubt it. In my view, you here are an
21 impersonation of international justice. You are what international
22 justice relies on, so when I imagine international justice, I see your
23 face. What I am interested in is why the OTP did not ask to see your
24 medical records. Did you find this strange?
25 A. No, I didn't find it strange. Why should I find it strange if I
1 feel well?
2 Q. It's not about how you feel now, but what you looked like
3 immediately after leaving the Batkovici Collection Centre. Your entries
4 were then fresh, and medical documentation might corroborate your
5 statement, if your statement is true; is that correct? And then I could
6 not object to anything; am I right?
7 A. [No interpretation]
8 Q. Did the Muslims authorities hold it against you that you made a
9 statement for Serbian TV while you were in Batkovici?
10 A. Why would they hold it against me? They knew why I was making
12 Q. Well, why?
13 A. Because I was forced to.
14 Q. They forced you to make statements for TV Bijeljina five times?
15 A. Well, I didn't count, but it was more than once.
16 Q. Well, here on page 10 you say "about five times"?
17 A. And for some Russians and I don't know who else.
18 Q. Well, why would they choose you of all people to make those
20 A. I don't know exactly.
21 Q. There were more eminent people in Batkovici; right? Muslim
22 political leaders, and military leaders, and so on; is that correct?
23 A. Are you referring to inmates?
24 Q. I'm referring to prisoners.
25 A. Yes, there were.
1 Q. There were more eminent people than you; is that right?
2 A. But the ten of us were special.
3 Q. Why would they select you, of all people, to give statements five
4 times for TV Bijeljina?
5 A. Well, they probably made others do it as well, those eminent
6 people you're mentioning.
7 Q. Well, I didn't hear on TV Bijeljina that Muslims from Batkovici
8 kept appearing. Why would they choose you, of all people, if you
9 constantly had wounds and scars and bruises from beatings? Wouldn't that
10 be odd?
11 A. I didn't understand your question.
12 Q. Well, if in the Batkovic Collection Centre you were constantly
13 beaten and maltreated --
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. This left traces on your head, face, hands and so on?
16 A. Yes, of course.
17 Q. Well, then, would you be suitable for showing on television, for
18 Serbian propaganda, that Batkovic is a nice place, that the Muslims are
19 responsible for the war, and so on?
20 A. Well, it was like a hidden camera, and they made me talk.
21 Q. You didn't know they were filming you?
22 A. Well, I don't know whether they were filming me or not. Maybe
23 they weren't. They made me talk.
24 Q. They took you to the TV station in Bijeljina?
25 A. A newspaperman, TV crews.
1 Q. Did they take you to the TV?
2 A. Well, radio, television, I don't know. They did film me or
3 record me. Whether it was a TV or something, I don't know.
4 Q. Well, explain this to me. Newspapermen arrived in Batkovici,
5 journalists; right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And they chose you?
8 A. There were people with ties.
9 Q. So they selected you and took you to Bijeljina, to the television
11 MS. BIERSAY: Forgive me, Your Honours. I'm just trying to
12 understand if Mr. Seselj is speaking of the first Batkovic detention or
13 the second one, after Doboj.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you went to do the TV in
15 Bijeljina, was it the first time or the second time?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Doboj.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Was it the first time or the
18 second time, Mr. Witness, because your answer was not recorded.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Second time.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The second time, okay.
21 So, Mr. Witness, I'm a judge who is wondering. I'm not here to
22 consider that what the Prosecutor or Defence says is necessarily the
23 truth. I'm just trying to understand what is the rationale or the logic
24 in what I hear the witness say. Maybe the Prosecution or the Defence
25 might not like it, but I'm just doing my job.
1 If you were beaten, as you say, with all the wounds you mentioned
2 which have been seen by the judge in Tuzla, who did his job properly by
3 asking for some medical examination, how come the authorities of the camp
4 selected you to speak before the TV, while you could have said to
5 everybody, Well, this is what happened to me? Do you have an answer to
6 this question? Because this is something you may ask yourself.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I need a second.
8 Could you repeat the question, please?
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I will repeat slowly my
11 You said you were beaten in the Batkovic camp. That, we
12 understood. And we know that you went to the TV stations. I would like
13 to understand how someone who has been beaten, someone who has wounds and
14 traces, may be shown on TV. That's what I'm trying to understand.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know whether it was a TV
16 crew and whether they were filming me for TV directly, but I went to all
17 their interrogations to say how I started the war.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And you told them what happened
19 to you, you told them you had been beaten, or did you not say anything?
20 And one may understand if you did not say anything, because you were a
21 prisoner. I understand that.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But -- but to whom could I say
23 something when it was all the same? The Serbian Republic was taking me
24 to the Serbian journalists. It was all under their authority, so what
25 could I say?
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.
2 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Did you make a statement for a foreign TV crew?
4 A. That was the first time I was in Batkovic, the first three
6 Q. In the first three months. What country were these foreigners
8 A. I think they were Russians.
9 Q. Did you tell them?
10 A. It was in the village of Trnovo, not in Bijeljina. They took us
11 outside Bijeljina.
12 Q. Did you tell them that you had been beaten in Batkovic?
13 A. Well, who could I tell?
14 Q. Well, the journalists, you could tell the journalists. The
15 foreign journalists, you could have told them, whether they were Russian
16 or from somewhere else. That would have been an occasion for you to say,
17 I'm being beaten here. The journalists would have done their job
18 professionally, I suppose.
19 A. Well, how do I know who comes from where and who's what?
20 Q. But they were foreign journalists?
21 A. I was a prisoner, I was beaten, and you expect me to say that I'm
22 being beaten while I'm still a prisoner? Who would have the courage to
23 say that?
24 Q. Well, explain this to me: In those first three months, that was
25 when you got the most beatings?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And you were all wounded?
3 A. Those first three months, yes.
4 Q. And full of bruises?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. So why would they choose you, of all people, to show to a foreign
7 TV crew?
8 A. Well, they had a go.
9 Q. For you to say that you had not been beaten, and people can see
10 you're covered in bruises?
11 A. Well, they dressed me up. I was nicely dressed, as I am now.
12 Q. And they beat you on the head as well; is that right?
13 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the witness's
15 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Well, explain how they beat you with a five- or six-kilo stone or
17 rock. You say they hit you with chains, with rods, with hoe handles, and
18 with a five- or six-kilo stone. What did this look like?
19 A. Well, a small man, he was short, he couldn't reach me, so I had
20 to kneel down for him to be able to hit me, and there's an
21 eight-inch-long scar, a long scar, and a lot of small scars.
22 Q. So let's be patient about this. This is a small man, holding a
23 five- to six-kilogram stone?
24 A. Exactly. This is a stone from the Drina.
25 Q. So it is like we use for sauerkraut, and he's holding you with
1 two hands?
2 A. Yes, he cannot hold it in one hand only.
3 Q. And he told you to kneel?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And then when you knelt, he hit you on the head with it?
6 A. Exactly.
7 Q. How many hits, with such a big stone, can one take on the head
8 without actually dying?
9 A. Well, the man -- man is the biggest animal, and he can take a
11 Q. But you called me an animal a little while ago.
12 A. Yes, but in this particular case, I was referring to myself.
13 Q. So he was hitting you. And did he continue to hold this stone in
14 his hand?
15 A. Well, ask him.
16 Q. So a second time, a third time, this five- to six-kilogram stone?
17 A. I didn't count the number of hits.
18 Q. How many could there have been?
19 A. Well, you count. You think about it. How many could you take?
20 Q. Well, I think my skull would have been fractured with the first
21 hit, although my head is the strongest in Scheveningen.
22 A. Well, it is not stronger than mine, it is not tougher than mine.
23 Q. Well, it is very, very unpleasant if one gets hit with a five- to
24 six -kilogram stone in the skull. One's skull breaks, simply.
25 A. Yes, that's correct.
1 Q. Did yours break?
2 A. No.
3 Q. And if one's skull breaks, one is unable to move, because the
4 brain is contused and certain centres in the brain are also disrupted?
5 A. Yes, but the heart is strong and it continues to beat.
6 Q. And did they hit you in the heart with the stone, too?
7 A. No, no, just in the head.
8 Q. Can the heart substitute the brain in such a situation?
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: Where are we going with this?
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If this is not improbable to you,
11 it is really something that I find very improbable, that a small man
12 should take a small -- a stocky man should take a five- to six-kilogram
13 stone, tell the witness that he is to kneel, and then hit him repeatedly
14 with that stone in the head. If this is something that you do not find
15 improbable, incredible, in fact, I do.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There are 2.000 inmates --
17 JUDGE HARHOFF: It would all depend on the strength of the
18 perpetrator, but my point is more general. Are you contesting the fact
19 that the witness was beaten while in Batkovic, is that the point?
20 Because then I would like to be sure that this is what you think.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Harhoff, it is obvious that he
22 had been beaten up. What is problematic is who the protagonists of the
23 beatings were and the manner in which he was beaten, and the details, how
24 this beating -- what this beating looked like.
25 In order for us not to elaborate on the details, in order for you
1 not to have to redact the transcript like you did a while ago, let us
2 leave it aside. But there are methods of beating, after which one
3 doesn't survive or continues to live in a wheelchair, and then there are
4 methods of beating which leaves certain consequences, but the person, the
5 victim, can continue to live a relatively normal life. Not all beatings
6 are the same.
7 This kind of beating that this witness is describing is
8 fantastic, from the aspect of his capacity to walk on his own two feet
9 into the courtyard -- courtroom, to have coordinated movements, which
10 shows that his brain is not physically damaged, and so on and so forth.
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: [Previous translation continues]... that the
12 witness is alive.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Witness, I have listened
14 with great attention to what you said, I have read your statement, and if
15 actually someone tried to beat you with three or four or five kilos rock
16 and tried to beat you on the head, any doctor or any nurse would say --
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Five or six. Mr. President, I
18 apologise for interrupting, but he did say five or six.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, even five or six kilos,
20 or even one kilo, let's take one kilogram. With a one-kilogram rock on
21 the head, this may create a trauma. Did you take any X-rays after that
22 of your skull or not?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, I only have scars.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Okay, fine.
25 Okay, Mr. Seselj, I believe you have about eight minutes left.
1 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] All right.
2 Q. We mentioned Goga and Coso. You said that Goga had given you a
3 hand-grenade in the Istanbul Cafe and that Coso was present, and then you
4 said that Coso is dead, that he has been dead for a long time. How did
5 Coso die?
6 A. You don't know how he died?
7 Q. No.
8 A. He didn't die. He was killed.
9 Q. How was he killed? Tell me. Why should I know if I wasn't
10 there? I'm asking you.
11 A. Well, I was in hospital at that time. He was massacred.
12 Q. Where?
13 A. In his house.
14 Q. In his house?
15 A. After the fall of Bijeljina, he was fleeing --
16 Q. And are you aware of the fact that Cosa's sister has given a
17 statement for Sarajevo's "Oslobodjenje" to the effect that he had died a
18 natural death?
19 A. Cosa died a natural death?
20 Q. This is what his sister said for the Sarajevo paper
22 A. That is a lie.
23 Q. This is a lie?
24 A. It's a big lie.
25 Q. So his sister was lying?
1 A. All the people know how Cosa died, as you put it, died.
2 Q. Well, his sister stated for a Muslim paper in Sarajevo that he
3 had died at home a natural death.
4 A. I apologise to the Trial Chamber, but I have to say that
5 everything was cut off this person, his male member, everything. He was
6 massacred. And in the end, a woman, a member of Arkan's unit, killed
8 Q. When did she kill him?
9 A. Then. I don't know what the date was. I was in hospital.
10 Q. A woman member of Arkan's unit?
11 A. That is what I heard.
12 Q. How come, when Arkan's men had left on the 6th of April from
14 A. We don't understand each other at all. I'm talking about the
15 first three or four days.
16 Q. So was he killed during these first two or three days, and by a
18 A. Yes, and massacred, and they cut him up in pieces, because he,
19 too, was quite a strong man.
20 Q. Fine.
21 A. And he could take a lot.
22 Q. In your statement --
23 A. He could take even more than I could.
24 Q. In your statement, you said that the Serbian authorities or,
25 rather, the Serbian troops - you didn't exactly say who - had taken your
1 wife, your brother, and your daughter to the JNA barracks and put them in
2 a refrigerating unit?
3 A. My wife, my son, and my brother is what I said.
4 Q. No, you said your wife, your brother, and your brother's
5 daughter. What kind of a refrigerating unit did they put them into?
6 A. What kind of refrigeration do they have, the JNA?
7 Q. Well, where they keep the meat, that refrigerating unit. How
8 long did they keep them?
9 A. As long as until they told them where I was hiding.
10 Q. How long was that?
11 A. For several hours.
12 Q. They held them in this refrigerating unit. And why were you that
13 important, first to be released from the hospital by Arkan, and then they
14 took such pains in order to reach you?
15 A. As I told you, they let me go, but I was under home arrest. And
16 then when you saw that I was fleeing, you tried to get hold of me.
17 Q. Who is put into in-house arrest in war conditions?
18 A. You put me.
19 Q. In house arrest. All right, if you say so. Do you know where
20 the company Jugauto or Dzugauto is? What was it's name; do you know?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Have you heard about such a firm?
23 A. No.
24 Q. And where was the camp of the Green Berets of the
25 Patriotic League?
1 A. I don't know.
2 Q. You never heard about it?
3 A. No.
4 Q. You said that the shooting started immediately after you had been
5 wounded and fell from your horse?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. But according to the information that I have from people who
8 participated in these events, and these are all members of the Serbian
9 Radical Party that I belong to and people whom I trust and believe, after
10 that Alija Saracevic -- do you know him?
11 A. I've heard of him.
12 Q. What was he there then?
13 A. He was driving the horses.
14 Q. Where?
15 A. He had riding horses or, rather, racing horses.
16 Q. So he didn't have a buggy with horses, but he had racing horses,
17 and he was a member of the Party of Democratic Action?
18 A. I don't know that.
19 Q. You don't know that, but do you know that then the Muslims from
20 the Cafe Istanbul set out towards the nearby mosque and that Alija
21 Saracevic distributed their weapons from the mosque?
22 A. I don't know that.
23 Q. It was taken from the mosque to SDA headquarters and distributed
25 A. I don't know about that.
1 Q. Do you know where the SDA premises are?
2 A. I don't.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Will the speakers please not overlap.
4 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Do you know that the Muslims had a sniper's nest on the Zita
6 Promet Sajlum [phoen]?
7 A. I don't know.
8 Q. It was activated that very same night. Do you know who was
9 killed first that night?
10 A. I don't. I don't know that.
11 Q. You don't. It was Serbian civilians who first got killed by
12 Muslim weapons.
13 A. I don't know that.
14 Q. The first four people who got killed were Serbian civilians, Serb
15 civilians. You don't know their names?
16 A. So there were also Serb civilians?
17 Q. Yes, sir, the first people who got killed were four Serb
18 civilians, and then the conflict flared up. So you don't know that
20 A. No.
21 Q. Fine. Do you know who Hasan Tiric is?
22 A. Yes, I do.
23 Q. What did he do there?
24 A. Where?
25 Q. In Bijeljina, during the conflict.
1 A. I don't know that, but I know him.
2 Q. You don't know that he was in command of the Muslim forces?
3 A. There was no Command to speak of.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, last question,
5 because you don't have any time left.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, thank you. I have more or
7 less achieved what the intention of my cross-examination was. I would
8 have a couple more questions, but as I've been limited, I'm not going to
9 embark on this new cycle of questions.
10 There would be two matters which I would wish to raise as
11 administrative matters, so I would ask you to bear that in mind.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fair enough.
13 Ms. Biersay, any additional questions?
14 MS. BIERSAY: No, Your Honours. Thank you.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Witness, on behalf of my
16 colleagues, I would like to thank you for coming here in difficult
17 situations, as a witness. We would like to say that we have a lot of
18 compassion for all your suffering during your detention, and we hope you
19 will be able to continue to work, despite all that. And I wish you a
20 safe trip back to your -- to the country where you live.
21 And I would like to ask the usher to walk you out of the
23 [The witness withdrew]
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Okay, Mr. Seselj, you have two
25 administrative points.
1 Mr. Seselj, let me tell you that given the decisions taken at the
2 majority by the Chamber, we will have another hearing with you on
3 Thursday, March the 12th, to deal with other administrative issues that
4 might be raised between now and March the 12th. In the meanwhile, there
5 may be other issues.
6 And I give you the floor now.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This won't take long, but now I
9 have three objections.
10 First, Mr. Presiding Judge, now you, and during the hearing of
11 some of the previous -- several previous witnesses, your colleague
12 Harhoff expressed sympathy, compassion, with the Prosecution's witnesses
13 who obviously lied when testifying, or most of their testimony was false,
14 and there's no evidence at all that they were victims, as they sought to
15 portray themselves. This is exactly the kind of witness that we have
16 here. This was the initiator of the armed conflict in Bijeljina. He was
17 wounded, but anyone can be wounded in war. He was in the Batkovici
18 Detention Centre, but there is no proof whatsoever that he was ever
19 beaten up by the Serbian authorities in the Batkovic Centre. But there
20 is evidence that he was beaten up by somebody else. And I believe that
21 this, in a way, prejudges the assessment of their testimony.
22 It is my opinion that you assess and are to assess all the
23 testimonies in the end, not immediately. And when you do that, perhaps
24 you will have occasion to assess whose testimony is indeed sincere, and
25 whose isn't, and who was really a victim and who wasn't. So -- and I'm
1 sure that you would also admit that whenever I saw that somebody was
2 indeed a victim, I treated them with the utmost consideration. In my
3 view, this particular witness could not have been a victim.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I don't know how my
5 words were translated, but my compassion and sympathy went to the
6 sufferings, but sufferings may take various forms.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. If that does not amount
8 to a prejudging an assessment, I have nothing against it.
9 Secondly, what I wish to express is my opposition to the
10 Prosecution's request --
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: This has nothing to do with prejudging. This is
12 simple human compassion for anyone who has suffered the treatment that
13 these people claim that they have been subjected to. Whether it was
14 Serbs or Muslims who administered these beatings to them, I don't care,
15 but I find it very appropriate that this Court is also able to show a
16 human face towards those who have suffered and in whose interests we are
17 here. This goes for the Prosecution's witnesses, as it will go exactly
18 to your witnesses if they have been subjected to beatings. My sympathy
19 and my compassion has no inclination towards one or the other.
20 Anyone, your witnesses or the Prosecution's witnesses, or
21 somebody else's witnesses, who has suffered this deserve a word of
22 compassion from the Judges, and that's all.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, but you must bear in mind that
24 the extremely arbitrary criteria for the filing of indictments against
25 Serbs, Muslims, and Albanians actually put the Trial Chambers into a
1 situation to express their compassion towards either real or alleged
2 victims, Muslims, Croats, Albanians, and very rarely Serbian. But after
3 this one has happened, Mr. Harhoff, after the acquittal of Haradinaj of
4 all charges, and the conviction of the Serbian political military and
5 police leadership for their alleged crimes in Kosovo, this Tribunal has
6 really lost all credibility. That is my position.
7 The second thing which I wish to say is to voice my opposition to
8 this public document, the OTP's motion for Milan Deronjic's statement to
9 be accepted under 92 quater and to add a document to the list on the
10 basis of 65 ter -- of the Rule 65 ter. It is stated here that you
11 received this on the 10th of September, 2008, and I was only given it at
12 this break. So in order to not treat you with written motions, written
13 submissions, and as I have no cooperation with my legal advisers, I am
14 not going to write them -- I have not been written by them, but I am
15 going to write them in a very brief form by me. I'm going to write them
16 in my own handwriting.
17 Miroslav Deronjic has been introduced as a witness after his
18 death. He was a false witness in more than one trial, and the Trial
19 Chamber forgave him his participation in the crime of shooting prisoners
20 in Srebrenica in 1995. He made a deal whereby he got only ten years in
21 prison only for the shooting of 65 unarmed Muslims in Glogova in 1992,
22 although Deronjic admitted having participated in planning the
23 shooting -- the execution of the prisoners in Srebrenica, but he was
24 forgiven this, and in return he -- he had to testify falsely against
25 other people in other trials. And then he died of cancer of the bones,
1 which went forward very fast, and this happens to people with a guilty
2 conscience. Deronjic was rather well educated, he was intellectual, and
3 he brought himself into this sort of situation. So I categorically
4 object to the introduction of this material and to it's being admitted
5 into evidence under Rule 92 quater. And Your Honours can make -- the
6 Judges can make their own decision. Let it only be put on the record
7 that I oppose this. Especially those witnesses who plea bargain and
8 agree to testify against others in order to have their sentences reduced
9 can be given no credibility at all, they cannot be trusted at all.
10 In this case, Miroslav Deronjic got to know me here in prison,
11 and I him. We had never met before. And now his testimony is being
12 tendered. I don't have Bratunac in my indictment at all, and he's
13 testifying to events in Bratunac. There are no volunteers of the Serbian
14 Radical Party there.
11 Pages 14392-14396 redacted.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's go into private session,
6 and I will explain to Mr. Seselj what he wanted to know.
7 [Private session]
11 Page 14398 redacted. Private session.
17 [Open session]
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Mundis.
19 THE REGISTRAR: We're now in open session.
20 MR. MUNDIS: Just one very quick point of clarification,
21 Mr. President.
22 The hearing on the 12th of March, I assume, is an inter parte
23 status conference, if I'm not mistaken. I just want to make sure of that
24 so that we make sure that someone from the Prosecution is present. If
25 it's a hearing to be held just with Mr. Seselj, then obviously we won't
1 be here, but --
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's a hearing. It's like a
3 regular trial. The three Judges will be present, the Prosecutor, the
4 accused as well, and during that hearing we will talk about housekeeping
5 matters. We will not talk about witnesses. We'll just talk about
6 housekeeping matters.
7 Yes, Mr. Seselj.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have to ask, Judges, why you
9 don't tell Mr. Mundis that he shouldn't put senseless questions. There
10 are no grounds in the Rules for a session attended only by the Judges and
11 the accused. Everything that is not part of the trial can only be a
12 status conference, and if you're keeping an in-camera session, then the
13 accused and the Prosecution have to be present. I don't think that a
14 session can be held with only the accused or only the OTP present.
15 Mr. Mundis should have learned that at university.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I don't fully agree with you,
17 Mr. Seselj. The Trial Chamber may have decided to make an ex parte
18 hearing with you, without the Prosecutor, it's also possible, but that's
19 not what we're doing.
20 Very well. So it is almost 7.00 p.m. I would like to thank all
21 the parties today, and we'll meet on the 12th of March at 12.30
22 [as interpreted].
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: 8.30.
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.,
25 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 12th day of
1 March, 2009, at 8.30 a.m.