1 Tuesday, 24 November 2009
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 4.00 p.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, can you kindly call
6 the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon to
8 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-03-67-T,
9 the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj. Thank you.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar. Today is
11 Tuesday, the 24th of November, 2009. I would like to greet Mr. Seselj,
12 Mr. Marcussen, as well as the entire OTP team, and I would also like to
13 greet the Registrar, the usher, as well as the interpreters.
14 This hearing today is dedicated to a number of topics on which we
15 have to take stock. These are pending issues, and I wish to inform
16 Mr. Seselj of the fact that the Trial Chamber has recorded a decision
17 yesterday which relates to the assignment of counsel, which relates to
18 the adjournment and to the Prosecution's motion on additional time.
19 Since this decision is 30-odd pages long, it will be translated in the
20 language of the accused as soon as possible so that the latter may be
21 informed about this.
22 Nonetheless, I will inform the parties of the content of the
23 disposition. Prior to that, I would like to tell the parties where the
24 Trial Chamber stands today, since a number of our associates have left
25 and have not been replaced. Since the adjournment of the trial which
1 took place in February, the assistants who were working for us have left
2 one after the other, which means that as things stand today all in all
3 the only person we have left is the Legal Officer who is sitting in front
4 of us. In a trial, normally speaking, to assist the Bench there is a
5 Legal Officer, floating assistant, and three assistants, which means that
6 we are now extremely limited in our resources. The Registrar will have
7 to exert due process to make sure that our team is expanded so that the
8 trial can resume.
9 I would like to say that the Trial Chamber has handed out three
10 decisions: One decision which is of a public nature, one decision which
11 is confidential in nature, and one decision which is confidential and ex
12 parte, which explains why in the public decision certain passages have
13 been redacted, which also explains, Mr. Seselj, the fact that in the
14 confidential decision which will be given to you certain passages have
15 been redacted, and you will not be able to read these. We could not do
16 it in any other way because of a number of constraints which go beyond
17 the scope of what the Trial Chamber is able to do. We are dependent on
18 the Appeals Chamber and another Chamber, and despite our best efforts we
19 have been unable to lift this obstacle, which means that unfortunately
20 you will have part of the decision which you will not be able to access
21 since a number of paragraphs will have been redacted. Nonetheless, the
22 decision for the main part is in there.
23 I have also added an individual opinion of mine which relates to
24 the issue of assignment of counsel, but as an introductory observation I
25 would like to say that I'm not in favour of this kind of practice, i.e.,
1 to hand down decisions ex parte. Unfortunately, the case law has been
2 established here at the Tribunal for a number of years already and you
3 cannot change this from one day to the next.
4 In the disposition the Trial Chamber orders the joinder of all
5 procedures on assignment of counsel, the adjournment, as well as
6 additional time, which means, Mr. Seselj, that we have handed down a
7 single decision which includes all the pending motions.
8 The Trial Chamber orders the accused to communicate to the
9 Trial Chamber a hard copy and, if possible, also an electronic version of
10 anything published in future in his name where the content relates wholly
11 or in part to the current case so that the Trial Chamber may forward it
12 to the Registrar, who will then review the material and determine whether
13 such publications contain any confidential information or not, and thus
14 it identify any Prosecution witness that is protected in this case.
15 This means, Mr. Seselj, that if you publish a new book, the
16 Trial Chamber would like you to communicate or disclose this book because
17 so far all these books that have been published we have never seen. So
18 if you publish a book in future which is of interest to us in this case
19 in which you are being prosecuted, please give us a copy of your book.
20 We will have this copy translated in one of the two working languages of
21 the Tribunal to know whether this book contains any confidential
22 information requiring some form of protection. This is what we are
23 asking you to do.
24 Then the Trial Chamber confirms the dismissal of the rest of the
25 motion on assignment of counsel and the addendum as regards the conduct
1 of the accused outside the courtroom as well as the oral motion of the
2 14th of January, 2009, and the supplemental motion. Which means,
3 Mr. Seselj - this is something I have told you already in the past - the
4 Trial Chamber is not assigning you a counsel.
5 The Trial Chamber grants the motion for review of the
6 adjournment. You had submitted an oral motion for review of the
7 adjournment. The Trial Chamber, therefore, grants your application. The
8 Trial Chamber orders the resumption of the remaining witnesses'
9 testimonies. The Trial Chamber dismisses the motion on extra hours,
10 which means that the Prosecutor will not have any additional time. The
11 Trial Chamber decides to call the following witnesses herself, I shall
12 give you the numbers and not the names, since these are protected
13 witnesses: VS-017, VS-026, VS-029, VS-032, VS -- there's a mistake on
14 the transcript. Let me -- VS-017, VS-026, VS-029, VS-032, VS-067, and
16 The witnesses I have just mentioned, VS-17, VS-26, VS-29, VS-32,
17 VS-67, and VS-1067, these six witnesses will be witnesses of the Court.
18 The Trial Chamber confirms that witness VS-034 will be led directly by
19 the Chamber. The Trial Chamber prohibits the parties, i.e., the
20 Prosecutor and Mr. Seselj, from establishing any contact with those
21 witnesses called directly by the Chamber, namely, witnesses VS-17, VS-26,
22 VS-29, VS-032, VS-034, VS-067, and VS-1067 unless expressly authorised by
23 the Trial Chamber. In other words, if the Prosecutor or Mr. Seselj wish
24 to contact any of these witnesses I have just mentioned, you must seize
25 the Chamber of this matter and file a motion stating the reasons why you
1 wish to contact these witnesses. The Trial Chamber would, of course,
2 hand down a decision on this matter.
3 The Chamber invites the Prosecution to withdraw witnesses VS-050,
4 VS-1033, and VS-1058 on the deliberate pattern of conduct and inform the
5 Trial Chamber within eight days of its position concerning these
7 Mr. Marcussen, therefore, over the next eight days you must tell
8 us whether or not you are going to withdraw these three witnesses which
9 pertain to the deliberate pattern of conduct. The Trial Chamber holds
10 that it has already heard a number of witnesses on the issue of the
11 deliberate pattern of conduct and feels that it is not necessary to call
12 these witnesses. The Trial Chamber decides that witness VS-037 would be
13 the first to appear before the Trial Chamber and invites the Prosecution
14 to arrange for his testimony on the 12th of January, 2010.
15 The only remaining witness of the Prosecution who is not a
16 witness of the Court is witness VS-037. So please make sure he can come
17 on the 12th of January, 2010. Why would it be on this date? Well, it is
18 for the following reason: There will be entire sittings of the
19 Trial Chambers as of that time onwards. Judge Lattanzi will be involved
20 in the Karadzic trial, Judge Harhoff is involved in the Zupljanin case,
21 and I will be involved in the Prlic et al. case, which means that when we
22 sit in this case in the presence of the accused, Mr. Seselj, we have to
23 then make sure that we can all sit in the morning or in the afternoon or
24 vice versa. This is quite tricky to organise, since we have to face an
25 additional problem, and it is for the following reason: In the Prlic
1 case there will also be sitting on the Bench a Judge sitting on the
2 Tolimir case, which poses a problem because four different Judges can
3 only sit in three concurrent trials given the number of courtrooms we
4 have. So since we have these four cases running and ongoing, it is
5 sometimes difficult to find some extra time. But the Registrar will look
6 into this.
7 We also have an additional workload. We are involved in other
8 cases, as I've just said. And since most of the witnesses will be
9 witnesses of the Court, which means that the Judges have to prepare for
10 these witnesses since the Bench is going to be asking the questions, over
11 the next few weeks as of the 12th of January, 2010, onwards we will only
12 be sitting for two days a week. So far we have been sitting three days a
13 week. This would be on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Since there are very
14 few witnesses left this should run fairly smoothly.
15 I would also like to indicate that out of the six witnesses of
16 the Court I have mentioned today, needless to repeat these numbers, as
17 far as three of these witnesses are concerned, we need to check their
18 medical records to see whether these witnesses will be fit to testify.
19 We know nothing today about their medical condition, so we need to have
20 additional information as regards three of these witnesses. Perhaps
21 there are no medical issues, and in that case they will be able to come.
22 Conversely, if their medical condition is such that they cannot come and
23 testify, then we will have to hear them via a video conference system.
24 And maybe they will not be able to come and testify at all, but as things
25 stand today we know nothing about it yet. We need to resume the trial
1 and all this will take time. This is why the first witness will come on
2 the 12th of January, 2010.
3 The Trial Chamber has decided to hand down this consolidated
4 decision because as far as the dismissal of extra time is concerned, as
5 far as the witnesses of the Court is concerned and no assignment of
6 counsel is concerned, all these elements fit in together. We have
7 therefore filed this consolidated decision because we would like the
8 trial to resume in the best conditions possible.
9 I would like to specify two points nonetheless. The Prosecutor
10 as far as his witness, Witness 037 which is a Prosecution witness is
11 concerned, has seven and a half hours left, perhaps even five and a half
12 hours, perhaps even two and a half hours. The time that the Prosecution
13 had had for its re-direct, should that be deducted from the overall time
14 granted to the Prosecution. If this time needs to be deducted, then the
15 Prosecutor will not have seven and a half hours less but much less than
16 that. We are currently working all this out, and we will let you know
17 exactly how much time you have left.
18 Whatever the case may be, the Prosecution has enough time to hear
19 Witness VS-037. As far as the witnesses of the Court are concerned - and
20 I have indicated the numbers of these witnesses - the Trial Chamber will
21 tell the parties how much time they will have to put that question to
22 these witnesses. That said, the Trial Chamber will first put its
23 questions. The Prosecutor will then have time to put his or her
24 questions as part of his or her examination-in-chief or
25 cross-examination, whatever the case may be. And Mr. Seselj will also
1 have time, the same time as the Prosecution has had, to put his questions
2 to those witnesses since he will have the same time as the Prosecution.
3 Just to give you some idea, this may still be changed in the
4 future, VS-017 had been scheduled for two hours; 026, two hours; VS-032,
5 one hour and a half; VS-034, one hour; VS-067, two hours; VS-1067, one
6 hour; for Witness VS-037, two hours. These are the empirical data which
7 we would like to share with you. As of the 12th of January, 2010, things
8 should move on fairly quickly so that we are able to reach the 98 bis
9 rule stage.
10 I would like to specify one point which relates to the book which
11 Mr. Seselj may write in the future. I would like to say that this book
12 would then be disclosed to the Registry. The Registry would then review
13 the book. Someone who is conversant in B/C/S will review the book and
14 identify any potential protected witnesses in the book. And then we will
15 see whether it is necessary to have the entire book translated. I don't
16 think this will be a problem since I don't even know whether Mr. Seselj
17 intends to write a new book at all. That much will depend on him.
18 This is what I wanted to say as a preliminary matter, i.e., to
19 announce that the Trial Chamber has handed down its decision. It may
20 have seemed long to you, Mr. Seselj. We did not stand idle, let me tell
21 you, because even if since the month of February the trial has not taken
22 place, we have deliberated on a great number of issues. We have been
23 able to meet with you on a number of occasions, and we have had to
24 prepare these monumental decisions so that the trial can start again.
25 I know that you may complain about the fact that some paragraphs
1 have -- the reasons for which the trial is going to start again, for the
2 time being some of these paragraphs will not be disclosed to you. But as
3 soon as we are able to lift the confidentiality of some of these
4 paragraphs, you will be informed about these. We have done all we can to
5 provide you with as much information as was possible, but we cannot take
6 it further because it does not -- no longer depends on us.
7 Mr. Seselj, you have the floor if you wish to say something; and
8 after that, I shall give the floor to Mr. Marcussen.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I do have quite a lot to say
10 with respect to that decision of yours. I energetically protest because
11 the Trial Chamber is bringing in a decision which has to do with me and
12 contains ex parte parts, that is to say, it contains portions the
13 contents of which I'm not allowed to know. So you have decided something
14 that concerns me, and I don't know what you have decided. This is the
15 Kafka trial, and the least that I can do is to tell you that that kind of
16 decision, as far as I'm concerned, is non-existent, it doesn't exist.
17 And then you go ahead and make your ex parte decisions, sentencing me
18 with the death sentence, hanging me here on the main square in The Hague.
19 You can make any ex parte decision that you like. It will be self will
20 on the part of the Judges and completely against the law, unlawful, and
21 that does not exist in any modern, contemporary legal system. There are
22 preparatory stages, investigations where certain facts must remain ex
23 parte in order not to jeopardise the investigation, the scene with the
24 facts and so on. But once a Trial Chamber makes a decision, that
25 decision must not be ex parte; it can be confidential for the public for
1 certain reasons, but it cannot be a secret and confidential as far as I'm
2 concerned because the decision concerns me.
3 Now, the fact that there might exist a precedent in some other
4 trial - I don't know in which one because those documents were not
5 accessible to me, case law of The Hague Tribunal was not accessible to me
6 except for the judgements of the first and second instance. Very rarely
7 was I able to look at the texts of some other decisions. But the fact
8 that somebody violated the law before you -- as I was saying, because
9 somebody trampled legal principles before you does not justify you to do
10 the same and follow suit.
11 Now, since you've done that, what I'm telling you now is I don't
12 recognise that decision. I'm not going to appeal or complain; it just
13 doesn't exist. It can't be ex parte --
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: I'm not sure you have fully understood what the
15 Presiding Judge has told you. First of all, there is no part of the
16 disposition of the decision that is ex parte. The contents of the
17 decision has been made available to you and to the public.
18 Secondly, if I'm not mistaken, even in your own jurisdiction in
19 Serbia the possibility of rendering parts of a decision ex parte does
20 exist. So this should not come as a surprise to you. The decision is
21 clear, it's public, and you have been made aware of it.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Harhoff, out of a decision is a
23 statement of reasons and explanation. Now, if I don't know the contents
24 of that, then I cannot apply any legal remedy. How can I complain and
25 appeal that decision if I don't know what the statement of reasons are?
1 I left Serbia a long time ago, and I don't know what the mafia-type
2 regime in my own country has done since then in the meantime since I
3 left. You know that on the 5th of October, 2000, there was the first
4 successful mafia putsch in the history of mankind carried out in Serbia.
5 Under communism in Serbia that possibility did not exist. When I studied
6 law or was professor at the faculty of law, that still did not exist.
7 This in procedural law and in criminal law, that didn't exist, but I
8 wouldn't be surprised if it exists now since I left Serbia because now in
9 Serbia everything seems possible because Serbia seems to be a country
10 akin to Lewis Caroll's "Alice in Wonderland."
11 However, you say the disposition is known to me, yes it is. But
12 I have to appeal and complain about that disposition, and how can I do
13 that if I don't know what your statement of reasons are, how you explain
14 that disposition? And what is it that is so important in those
15 confidential portions that I'm not allowed to learn them either? Why did
16 you then put them in the explanations of reasons? To whom are you
17 explaining this if I'm not allowed to know, if the public isn't allowed
18 to know, the ordinary public particularly not the professional public.
19 Well, who then is allowed to know? Who is going to control your decision
20 then and say, "Well, this Trial Chamber has made a good decision and
21 good, stated valid reasons"? People will come to hear about it maybe in
22 a hundred years' time when the confidentiality is lifted, but who's going
23 to control you? You're trying me and the public is trying you, and you
24 are making a decision with an absolutely confidential parts which I am
25 not allowed to know about and then nobody can judge you. I can't
1 complain, I can't take you to a higher court, although I have far less
2 confidence in that higher-instance court than I have in you here, and I
3 want to tell you that. But it's my formal right to be able to appeal
4 your decision and to complain.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, how could I appeal
6 if I don't know the ex parte parts? Right. I understand legally the
7 question is pertinent, but are you going to appeal from the fact that you
8 have been satisfied concerning the question of the non-imposition of
9 counsel? You didn't want counsel, you don't have counsel. Are you going
10 to appeal on the fact that it was decided to start again the trial? This
11 is what you had requested. So it's difficult for me to understand you
13 Though the Prosecution may appeal and ask for certification of
14 appeal, this may be understood since he -- his arguments were rejected.
15 But the Prosecution -- you will have a copy of the decision. But you,
16 you suffer no damage because on the majority on issues you have been
17 granted what you requested. The question may be asked, the fact that the
18 Chamber decided to call a certain number of witnesses as witnesses of the
19 Chamber because originally they were witnesses for the Prosecution and
20 some have said that they would be Defence witnesses later on. So there,
21 maybe this is something you don't like, but on the rest you have been
22 satisfied on everything you asked. So you can't say that you can't
23 appeal because some parts are missing unless you want to shoot yourself
24 in the foot. Perhaps you want to appeal on the fact that you are not
25 satisfied because your requests were granted?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am astonished. I am astonished
2 by your interpretation, Mr. President. I did not expect any such thing
3 because you had shown very well that you know how to run these
4 proceedings and that you are very knowledgeable in the field of law.
5 This decision that you made, the consolidated decision, that is an
6 omnibus decision, I haven't seen it yet, but it is problematic and you
7 included a whole lot of the demands made by the Prosecution and some of
8 my own. You are right, though.
9 You mentioned here a few decisions that I have to be satisfied
10 with. Last time I expressed my satisfaction over one decision, that is
11 to say, to reject imposition of counsel, to continue the proceedings, et
12 cetera. However, you decided here to exercise censorship over my books.
13 Perhaps I did not understand you fully, perhaps you were not explicit
14 enough. Do I have to provide the Registry with a manuscript of every one
15 of my books before sending it to the printing press, or do I send you
16 copies of my book once it is printed and then you have it checked?
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Maybe there is a mistake in
18 interpretation. There is no censorship. In order to avoid problems, the
19 Chamber considered that it was wise to ask you, at least as a minimum by
20 courtesy, to let us have your own works if you are writing and -- because
21 I don't know your language, we would then have some checking done to see
22 whether by any chance there are some passages which may be confidential
23 in order to avoid any problem for you, in order to avoid any problem.
24 All of this is an assumption.
25 We have preferred for this trial to start the best possible -- in
1 the best possible way. To do this, ask you to communicate your text to
2 be in a position to tell you be careful on this page there is a problem,
3 and this is all we can do. I am not behind you while you are writing.
4 There is no question about censorship. Perhaps you didn't understand as
5 well. What we put in the decision is that there is a request to
6 communicate to us the book if you are writing a book. I don't know.
7 Now, why am I saying this? Because on the book which cause some
8 difficulty for you and which is pending, a case pending the Appeals
9 Chamber, we never read that book. Maybe if at the time you had
10 communicated to us, you had given it to us, or certain passages had been
11 translated for us, we could have acted in a timely way and told you,
12 "There is such and such a problem." So this is to avoid new problems of
13 this kind that we prefer to take this decision in this -- dispositive. I
14 read it to you, the disposition. You didn't read the whole decision
15 because there are about 30 pages and certain passages which you won't
16 have for the moment. It doesn't mean you won't have them one day, but
17 for the moment you can't. But there is no censorship. We simply request
18 you to communicate to us the book, but I'm not going to check behind you
19 in your cell whether you have written a book or not. I'm not going to
20 write the authorities in your country to say, "Caution, you have to
21 confiscate all the books." No. I don't have a right to do so, and it is
22 not in my mind, but it's just to avoid problems in case there would be a
23 publication of a new book that we ask you to communicate your text. And
24 since the three Judges don't know your language, we will look at it very
25 quickly, but if it's written in Cyrillic our checking will be minimal and
1 we will have to ask the Registry to tell us whether there is anything in
2 the book which could be an issue. And if we're told, "Yes, this page
3 there is a problem." We will say, "What did you mean to say here?"
4 That's all. It's not censorship in any way.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, Mr. President, this
6 decision of yours is absolutely unprecedented in the legal history of
7 mankind, unprecedented. Can you indicate to me any similar case? If you
8 do, I will agree with you straightaway. However, no such other decision
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, wait a minute. You
11 are a lawyer, a high-level lawyer, everybody knows this. So there's no
12 reason to praise you, but you know as well as I do that there are some
13 countries who do organise a form of control beforehand. For instance,
14 for the showing of certain films and before giving permission to show
15 such films, the producer gives to a committee the film to obtain a visa.
16 Many countries in the world act in such a way.
17 There are also in certain countries minor, for instance, but
18 others will certainly -- when certain books which can cause a problem,
19 morals problem, for instance, then an order can be given not to publish
20 the book. Don't tell me it doesn't exist. I could give you a horde of
22 In our decision here, we have tried to find a system which would
23 reconcile only aspects of your freedom of speech which recognised by
24 international instruments and the need that we have to make sure that the
25 protected witnesses remain protected. But if you know a better system
1 [indiscernible] then we will listen to you.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, when I say in the
3 entire legal history of mankind, I'm referring to the civilised part of
4 mankind, those that do have a legal history or a history of law. A
5 country like Pakistan cannot have a legal history at all. In very rare
6 periods they had a democracy during the military dictatorship, everything
7 was subjected to censorship. Paraguay also during the rule of dictator
8 Stroessner. Again, everything was subjected to censorship. You know
9 that I was an anti-communist dissident for many, many years in the former
10 Yugoslavia, who was persecuted on account of writing books, and I was
11 sentenced to many years in prison because the police had seized some of
12 my manuscripts while they were still in my bag before anybody had seen
13 them. However, books were not subjected to censorship. It was hard to
14 find a publisher. There were no private publishing houses, but then
15 there were also concealed forms of censorship because a publisher would
16 refuse to publish your book. However, you did not have to ask anyone
17 formally for their consent to have your book published. However, you --
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Seselj, I think that the form of censorship
19 that you are speaking about in legal terms is the censorship where the
20 censor has the power to forcibly remove parts of the scripts from the
21 author. What we are suggesting here is nothing of the sort. You have
22 been convicted for publishing in one of your books information that
23 should not have been published; therefore, it's a reasonable measure that
24 the trial -- that this Trial Chamber takes in asking you to in the future
25 submit your manuscript to us, so as to enable us to check if there is
1 again such information that should not and cannot be published.
2 If it happens, we are not considering to forcefully remove any
3 such part, but what we will do is to address the problem with you. So
4 the censorship that you are talking about is a completely different kind
5 in substance than the measure that we are taking here.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, my colleague is
7 entirely right to say this, and I would like to add -- let's take a case.
8 Imagine that in the future book, if there is to be one, that just by
9 mistake, without actually knowing, you quote the name of a protected
10 witness and that after that we see that there is a problem, we Judges,
11 we'll tell you. We'll tell you, "Caution, be careful on this page, you
12 have mentioned this." Perhaps you would have done so with no bad
13 intention whatsoever. That's all.
14 But if we tell you, "Witness X is a protected witness," and then
15 you communicate his name in the book and you want to maintain the
16 publication, then what would we do, we Judges, we will not ourselves take
17 any action. It will be the Prosecution who will file a motion, as he
18 would have done, and then we will step down because it will be for
19 another Chamber to judge that.
20 But in order to avoid this sort of problem we have thought that
21 it was the better solution, the best solution. If you have a better
22 solution, perhaps the best would be not to write a book so then there
23 would be no problem; but if you do want to write a book, do so, please.
24 What else can I tell you?
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have three more things to say in
1 relation to that, if you have the patience to hear me out.
2 First of all, I don't write all of my own books. Out of these
3 111 titles, I have personally written four books. This is no mean feat
4 if you take into account that all four of these books are 1.000 pages
5 long respectively. The rest are books in which my newspaper interviews
6 are compiled, parliamentary speeches, TV duels, court proceedings, there
7 are three or four books of that time from the times of communism and
8 further on. Since I have been here at The Hague Tribunal, I have been
9 publishing compilations of documents that are accessible to the public.
10 I have already published about 40 such books. Not a single one was
11 controversial, not a single one contained any confidential documents.
12 All of them contained documents that were accessible to the public. You
13 say that I was convicted because of one book. I claim that I was not
14 convicted. I can -- I say that I can -- it can be said that I was
15 convicted only when the decision becomes final. However, the appeal
16 proceedings are underway, and not a single one of these documents
17 contained in that book were inaccessible to the public, not a single one
18 of these documents was confidential, and there is an enormous number of
19 such documents in 1200 dense pages. I was sentenced because if someone
20 were to compare very carefully page 200 and something and page 900
21 something, this somebody may infer who a particular protected witness is.
22 And that is why I was tried and sentenced if you compare this to all the
23 other previous trials for contempt of court.
24 Secondly, I'm convinced that there is something else behind that
25 decision of yours --
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, my colleague has
2 called my attention on this fact because since you are mentioning it, we
3 are all expecting the decision of the Appeals Chamber. If finally the
4 Appeals Chamber considers you innocent, of course the measure we have
5 taken in a preventive way would then be appealed, re-examined at least.
6 So don't worry. Wait serenely for what the Appeals Chamber will
7 decide, and if you do -- if you are acquitted at the Appeals Chamber on
8 this matter, then what we have decided will fall out, will not use it
9 anymore -- I don't understand why you are getting so excited on this
10 particular aspect. You certainly have good reasons to call our attention
11 to these matters.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I'm not getting excited, but
13 I know what the background to that decision is. The Registry or the
14 President of the Tribunal or some third person learnt that I was
15 preparing three books of Tribunal documents accessible to the public
16 whose titles are a problem because in one title I have very bad words to
17 say about the former Judge, Judge Bonomy; and then in the second one
18 about Kevin Parker; and then in the third one about Judge O-Gon Kwon, so
19 that's the problem. I say insulting things about them. Now, if I use
20 wit to make up a title for some book which comes out in Serbia, those
21 Judges can take legal proceedings against me --
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
23 continues]... please know that the Chamber here in this Chamber, nobody
24 would dare do anything on -- under any pressure of any of us three. And
25 I am now telling you - and this is my word as a Judge - that nobody came
1 to tell us, "Mr. Seselj has written three books." I knew nothing about
2 it. You have told us. I knew absolutely nothing about the fact that you
3 have written books about Judges. You're free to do so. So I'm just
4 telling you, the decision we have made is totally disconnected with this.
5 You may believe us or not believe us, but I am affirming and telling you
6 that the measure we have taken did not take into account the fact that
7 you had three books which were now being printed. What is more, if these
8 books are being printed in Serbia what can you think we can do about it?
9 Please believe us when I tell you that this Chamber is totally
10 unaccessible to any form of pressure whence it comes. I have always
11 functioned this way. You may doubt this, but it is the truth.
12 Therefore, the decision we have taken is here precisely in order
13 to ask you to let us have -- let us see a book, but one has taken care in
14 this decision - and you didn't see that - about a book which has to do
15 with this case. Because if you're writing a book on Judge Bonomy, I
16 don't care, I have nothing to do with that. But if you are writing a
17 book which has to do, for instance, with Vukovar, what happened in
18 Vukovar, Zvornik, or any other place which is mentioned in the indictment
19 with the name of witnesses which might be involved, we ask you to
20 communicate to us the text of the book. But you may write whatever you
21 want. There is no censorship. You have total freedom to write on what
22 you want, on whom you want. But if this book has to do only with the
23 indictment because there may be some witnesses, yes. On the other hand,
24 if you're writing a book on experts, ballistics, this you may. Of course
25 you don't need to communicate this to us. What we are interested in is
1 only information which have a link with this case, which is to say this
2 is quite well defined. If you're writing a book on Srebrenica, I am not
3 seized with the Srebrenica events. You see? So since you don't have the
4 decision, you haven't yet seen all this. But when I read request for us
5 it's the books which would have a direct link with this case. A book on
6 Bonomy, we're not interested; on Judge Kwon, we're not interested; on
7 Judge Parker, we're not interested.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Perhaps I wasn't precise enough. I
9 informed you that three of my books have gone to the press, which are
10 collections of publicly accessible documents from this trial. They're my
11 motions and submissions, those of the Prosecutor, and the Trial
12 decisions. And all this is accessible to the public, and they're being
13 printed. Perhaps my advisors and associates will bring in one of them,
14 at least one of them, on Thursday. Maybe they'll all come out in print
15 by Monday, but anyway, they are three books, and in those three books
16 there is nothing that is not accessible to the public, nothing
17 confidential. I'm absolutely certain about that because I keep
18 emphasising to the people who are preparing this material under my
19 instructions that they must not make a mistake, they must not put a foot
20 wrong. It is not my aim to make smaller problems which will hamper the
21 bigger trial. It is my aim to have the trial over as soon as possible --
22 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
23 continues]... to still check for yourself because the problem is that
24 you are the one who will be responsible for what will appear in your
25 name, what will be printed in your name or published. So try and check
1 yet in these books to avoid any problem.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I don't have the possibility
3 of having somebody travel from Belgrade to The Hague all the time.
4 Secondly, the only possibility I have -- my visits by friends
5 have been reduced to a minimum. Only my immediate family has the right
6 to visit me and only two representatives of the Serbian Radical Party
7 have the right to visit me and nobody else. In two or three cases in
8 seven years an exception was made, and then some friend of mine was able
9 to come in, but there were a lot of problems over that. So nobody's
10 allowed to visit me anymore, and I'm looking at my fellow inmates who
11 have many visits. So I'm discriminated against in that respect.
12 Secondly, I don't have the possibility of looking through every
13 book before it goes to press, but I have full confidence in the people
14 working according to my instructions, just like in the book for which I
15 was taken to trial and you see that I took all the responsibility on
16 myself for that. I didn't accuse anybody of anything; I took it upon
18 Now, I'm interested in something else. You have made your
19 decision, and now the decision has to be accompanied by certain
20 sanctions. So what sanctions do you have in mind when I violate that
21 decision? Will I be forbidden to write anything whatsoever? Will I be
22 forbidden to make any telephone calls to Belgrade? Will I be forbidden
23 to have books in my cell? So what sanction is it that you have in mind
24 now if I fail to respect your decision and provide you my books in
25 advance for you to look through them? That's what I'm interested in.
1 Because I suppose every person needs to know what punishment awaits him
2 if he violates a law. You have established a norm, this is a legal norm,
3 an individual legal act and document, which concerns me; but I suppose
4 it's your duty now to tell me what punishment you intend to mete out so
5 that I can assess whether it's in my interests to override that decision
6 of yours or not.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you straightaway you know
8 that I am not the one who will meet in front of a hurdle. Let's take the
9 case of the three books that are going to be printed. We don't know the
10 contents. You tell us it has a compilation of decision of all the public
11 documents, all right, I suppose you are telling us the truth. Your books
12 are published in Belgrade and then the Prosecutor who has got to big
13 means will certainly have a copy. And if he considers that there is an
14 infringement or violation of the protection measures of a witness, he
15 will file a motion to seize the Chamber; and the Chamber will then have
16 to ask another Chamber to take it. Don't count on us to seize in your
17 own cell a draft book. We're not going to go to Belgrade to tell the
18 printer, "Stop what you're doing." No.
19 If you violate the rules concerning protected witnesses, this is
20 your own risk, but you are sufficiently intelligent to remain within the
21 proper way. It may happen again that you -- happen to the Judges of the
22 Chamber that by mistake in a decision the name of somebody he's quoted
23 while the person is a protected witness, it can happen. Sometimes there
24 are mistakes, and good faith has to prevail. If you tell us, "In this
25 book I just realised there is a problem," just let us know and we shall
1 see how to proceed. But if deliberately you publish some information,
2 what could I do about it? I am not in your own conscience. You decide.
3 You have your own fate in your own hands, so if you want to do it, you
4 can do it. But if you are wise and intelligent, you know that some
5 people are protected witnesses and it is better not to mention them at
7 So I don't know, you tell me you'd like to know what are the
8 sanctions of punishment. It is not this Chamber who will impose any form
9 of punishment or sanction.
10 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] This also is my personal
11 opinion, but in the light of your decision and the arguments you have
12 mentioned that you will have the possibility in the confidential version
13 to read this, you will see also that there is a risk of certain
14 behaviour, certain forms of behaviour - this is not yet the case - but if
15 such behaviour were to take place and if it could be considered as
16 persisting behaviour which prevent proper development of the trial in the
17 future, this could be a form of obstruction or filibustering, you might
18 then expose yourself to some risks which is not yet the case. This has
19 been said clearly in the decision, but there could be as a result
20 imposition of a counsel.
21 Therefore, you have to be careful to what you publish or what is
22 published by somebody in your name, your collaborators if they have this
23 possibility. And personally, I advise you to check very well what is
24 written and published.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have fully understood you and
1 there's nothing contentious there. When I publish something, then I run
2 the risk of whether I'm going to violate the rules or not, and the rules
3 state what is in contempt of court.
4 Now, if I publish something that is not accessible to the public,
5 then proceedings for contempt of court may be launched. You can call
6 obstruction some conduct on my part in which I disclose the names of some
7 protected witnesses or give some confidential information to the public.
8 That is obstruction. I agree. That is obstruction. However, if you
9 have made a decision whereby I am supposed to provide my manuscript in
10 advance or before the book goes to the printing press to the Registrar
11 and I fail to comply and I fail to do that and publish the book anyway
12 and then I hand you over the book and I take it upon myself to provide
13 three copies for each member of the Trial Chamber, one copy for the
14 Prosecution, and one copy for the Registrar of each of the books that I'm
15 going to publish in future, so I'll resolve that problem myself. I just
16 heard that the Prosecution's resources have been reduced, so I hear that.
17 So it's not only my resource that are limited.
18 So what I'm doing now is providing you with this information that
19 three books have already gone to the press, they're going to be printed.
20 You have informed me of your decision here today. You have told me that
21 I have to submit before my book goes to the printers a manuscript of the
22 book that I intend to publish, but I'm telling you now that three of them
23 are already with the printers, and I've told you what the contents of the
24 books are. They are trial documents accessible to the public. I have
25 checked that that is so, and those books are going to come out in a week
1 or two. And you say that I have violated your decision because I have
2 not provided you with the manuscript in advance, and then you can look
3 through the books and you will see that there is nothing there that is
4 not accessible to the public which would represent contempt of court.
5 Now, what now? In formal terms I have violated your decision
6 because the books are coming out and have come out, whereas there is
7 nothing controversial in the books. So that's the problem that I want to
8 hear your answer to.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, we would like you
10 to make it short because we would like the Prosecution to take the floor
11 and our time is not unlimited. We all agree that you should disclose the
12 book to us once you have it. There is no censorship and no prior
13 control. As my colleague told you, you must just be careful. If
14 unfortunately when a book is published violation of the status of
15 protected witnesses could constitute a violation of the decision and a
16 counsel will then be assigned to you. This is what we are warning you
17 about; we are warning you to be careful.
18 There's no prior censorship. Maybe you have misunderstood.
19 Please disclose the book to us as soon as it is published, and you have
20 told us that you would hand these copies over to you [as interpreted].
21 So that is not a problem. As my colleague has quite rightly said, just
22 control what your associates are doing because if what is being published
23 has a boomerang effect on you, this could pose a very great problem.
24 Please address the other points you wish to address.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. I will provide you with
1 five copies of those three books as soon as possible, and they'll be
2 coming out in a week. And you'll be able to see for yourselves, and I'm
3 convinced in advance that there is nothing controversial there in its
4 contents. Now that some of the people will be -- will go mad when they
5 hear the titles of the books, that's another matter.
6 But I wanted to say something else. You made the decision and
7 said that the Prosecution will not have more time, and you've now given
8 us some different figures. Now I have reliable information that the
9 Prosecution has five hours and 15 minutes left for the Prosecution case,
10 if you do not count any re-direct or additional examination, and this is
11 something that the Registrar calculated for me seven or eight months ago.
12 Now, the Prosecution, therefore, has just one more witness to call.
13 I'm very happy to have that witness come in as soon as possible,
14 although in formal terms you have not increased the number of hours to
15 the Prosecution, you have taken over the Prosecution witnesses as the
16 witnesses of the Chamber, of the Court. And most of those witnesses have
17 expressed the desire to be Defence witnesses. We've already had cases of
18 that kind. You found one such witness in contempt of court because he
19 did not wish to testify. Whether you're going to have any more such
20 cases, I don't know, I can't say. However, of the seven witnesses listed
21 here, six plus one that is, at least four of them, at least four, have
22 made statements to my Defence team and expressed their desire to be
23 witnesses for the Defence. Many of them have spoken publicly and said
24 that they were badly treated by the Prosecution, that tried to blackmail
25 them and exert pressure on them, and this one Witness VS-206 was taken to
1 a Nordic country, held there for a week with his wife, and since they did
2 not comply with all their promises he asked to go back to Serbia and then
3 contacted my Defence team and described all this. So I'm just drawing
4 your attention to all the things that exist since you've made your
5 decision that's it. I will cross-examine each of those witnesses, but
6 the problem is there, a problem obviously exists.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Seselj.
8 Mr. Marcussen, do you wish to make any observations? We shall
9 hear them now.
10 MR. MARCUSSEN: Thank you, Your Honour. First, let me just
11 inform you that we in addition to the people you already know, Ms. Divya
12 Prasad and Jasmina Bosnjakovic have our -- one of our new interns,
13 Ms. Mandy Stewart with us today so you know who is sitting here on the
14 bench here with me.
15 I don't have many observations to make. We will get back to the
16 Chamber within the next eight days regarding the remaining -- the three
17 witnesses we have been asked about, and we are reading the decision to
18 see whether or not there is a need to seek certification through appeal.
19 We will do that if necessary under Rule 72(C)(ii).
20 One matter I would raise is the Trial Chamber has ordered that
21 the parties cannot contact any of the newly appointed -- or the witnesses
22 that have been designated as Court witnesses. I was going to suggest
23 that maybe the Trial Chamber wish to supplement that order with a
24 direction to the parties that if any of the witnesses contact a party
25 then the Trial Chamber should be notified and maybe also the other party.
1 Because it may of course be that a witness contact one of the party of
2 their own motion, so to avoid any ambiguity as to what the context are
3 with these witnesses that the Chamber wish the parties not contact that
4 might be a good message to put in place.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We actually didn't think of
6 that, but of course since the Trial Chamber trusts the parties, if one of
7 the witnesses - let's take the case of VS-032 - calls Mr. Seselj or calls
8 Mr. Marcussen, you will both of course tell this witness that, "I must
9 not contact you since the Trial Chamber has stipulated that there can be
10 no further contact. So just ask them to hang up.
11 It is very simple. It is not necessary to notify this to each
12 witness. These witnesses will know soon enough that they will be
13 witnesses of the Court. They have been assigned a number and some of
14 them will be subpoenaed. So this is how things are going to happen.
15 They might even have been listening to us today.
16 If that happens to you, Mr. Marcussen, just turn around -- just
17 say, "Sorry," and hang up.
18 MR. MARCUSSEN: Indeed, Your Honour. My suggestion was for an
19 additional measure that the parties notify -- file a notice of any such
20 contact by a witness so that everyone is informed if that were to occur.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall think about this
22 proposal of yours.
23 MR. MARCUSSEN: And also I was going to remark that as a number
24 of witnesses will now be Court witnesses, there's going to be -- it's
25 going to be likely that there would be issues arising as to information
1 obtained by the Trial Chamber in relation to these witnesses in the
2 preparation of their testimony and maybe in the context of preparing
3 their -- making the practical arrangements for the appearance before the
4 Trial Chamber.
5 So the Prosecution just wishes to stress that it would be
6 important for the appearance of how the trial is conducted that there are
7 disclosures to both parties of any information that might impact on their
8 credibility, might mitigate the guilt of the accused, or might be
9 relevant to their testimony in some way. Of course the disclosure rules
10 that normally apply, apply to the parties; but it will be important that
11 some mechanisms are found for sort of Chamber disclosure to the parties
12 of any information that the Trial Chamber needs to elicit from these
13 witnesses in the context of the preparation of their testimony if
14 something come up like that.
15 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Marcussen, the Chamber is not going to
16 conduct any investigation on its own. The Chamber will call these
17 witnesses, and we will then examine them first on the basis of the
18 material that has already been provided to us by the Prosecution. That
19 is the foundation and the basis upon which the Chamber will conduct the
20 first examination. Then each of the parties, Mr. Seselj and yourself,
21 will have the chance to - if I may use the
22 expression - cross-examination, in lack of any better word. And may I
23 remind you that for the purpose of your cross-examination of the
24 witnesses, both parties are obliged to indicate to the Trial Chamber and
25 to the other party which documents they need to -- they wish to introduce
1 or to bring up and to put to the witness during the cross-examination.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen, let me add
3 something. From what I understood from what you said, we shall - as
4 Judge Harhoff has just said - subpoena these witnesses. For three of
5 them at least we have asked to have medical certificates. Of course when
6 these documents arrive, we shall hand these over to you and to
7 Mr. Seselj. If one of the witnesses writes to us and tells us the
8 following, "You have asked me to come at the end of January, I cannot
9 because my mother-in-law is going to be operated on that day," that
10 letter will then be forwarded to you, and it will be forwarded to
11 Mr. Seselj as well.
12 All the contacts we have with these witnesses, these will be
13 formal contacts on the date of their arrival and their medical condition.
14 All of this will be forwarded to you. That is, however, when they come
15 in the courtroom we shall drop the blinds since they have been granted
16 protective measures. We will tell them, "You are Witness 026, you have
17 been granted protective measures because the Prosecution at the time, and
18 so on and so forth. Do you wish to still have protective measures, or do
19 you wish to testify in public?" And if the witness says, "I wish to
20 testify in public," then we lift the blinds, we ask them to take the
21 solemn declaration in open session. And if the person wishes to maintain
22 these protective measures, so be it. That is not a problem.
23 As my colleague has just said, we shall put questions to the
24 witness. You understand the outline of -- what the outline of the
25 questions will be, the outline will always be the same. And once we have
1 checked the major points of his statement, you can then put questions and
2 Mr. Seselj can then put questions, and you may submit documents.
3 Clearly, this poses no problem whatsoever. The Trial Chamber has already
4 proceeded in this way and we all -- we are all seasoned Judges. We are
5 not new to the game since we have been involved in complex trials until
6 now. So that's it.
7 MR. MARCUSSEN: Thank you, Your Honours. That sounds like
8 basically there's going to be no substantive contact between the
9 Trial Chamber and the witnesses, and therefore, these issues -- there
10 should be no concern. The practice of some Trial Chambers have been
11 different, but the importance is just that of course there is no -- that
12 there might be the appearance of any sort of non-disclosed information,
13 but it sounds like that will certainly not arise. That is all I wanted
14 to state for today. Thank you.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So we have addressed all these
16 topics. Mr. Marcussen, therefore, we would like you to call VS-037 on
17 the 12th of January, that is in a few weeks' time. Make sure that the
18 necessary arrangements are being made. If you run behind time, please
19 let the Chamber and Mr. Seselj know, and we will then hear all the other
20 witnesses, VS-34 and the three witnesses pertaining to the issue of
21 deliberate pattern of conduct. Conduct I believe is something in which
22 we have heard a lot of evidence about already. So these would be
23 witnesses VS-050, VS-0133, and VS-0158. I believe we have addressed all
24 the points on the agenda for today. We shall see each other again on the
25 12th of January.
1 Before we adjourn, Mr. Seselj?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Microphone not activated]
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges, I have already informed you
5 in good time that in the beginning of September I asked the Registry to
6 normalise the status of my legal advisors, Zoran Krasic and Slavko
7 Jerkovic and to have travel expenses paid when my legal advisors come to
8 pay me regular monthly visits.
9 For a long time now there haven't been regular monthly visits,
10 but it was much rarer than that because the Registry had refused to pay
11 their travel expenses. The Registrar refused my request on the 10th of
12 September, and I appeal that to -- I appealed to the President of the
13 Tribunal, Patrick Robinson, but then he had recused himself because he
14 was a member of the Panel in the case of Judge Orie when they were
15 brutally violating my rights when they imposed counsel on me. Then his
16 deputy, Judge O-Gon Kwon recused himself yet again because he presided
17 over the Chamber that passed that scandalous decision regarding contempt
18 of court. So it was Judge Mehmet Guney who was appointed as acting
19 President of the international Tribunal.
20 On the 21st of October, he rejected my request, but I received it
21 only yesterday. You see here the stamp when I received this document.
22 So I received this decision with a delay of one month and two days. I
23 would like to inform you now that I have exhausted all administrative
24 possibilities to fight for my rights because this is an administrative
25 procedure, and it is carried out by the Court administration. Now, if
1 you believe that the tenets of fairness in these proceedings call for my
2 having competent legal advisors, as I'm self represented, you decide for
3 yourselves. For the time being, I only have one legal advisor, that is
4 Boris Aleksic. I am satisfied with him, and I have Marina Ragus, who is
5 my case manager, and they will be coming on Thursday. However, I need a
6 few more legal advisors, at least these two, Zoran Krasic and Slavko
7 Jerkovic, who have been kept abreast of these proceedings. And then in
8 terms of the contempt proceedings, I would like to legalise the status of
9 Dejan Mirovic who has a master's degree in law, and he was my legal
10 advisor during the contempt proceedings, and he had paid visits to me in
11 that capacity at that time. That is one matter.
12 Another thing is that I have been informed that the Prosecution
13 filed a reply to my oral motion to stay the proceedings in accordance
14 with the doctrine of abuse of process; however, I have not received this
15 yet, it hasn't been translated into Serbian. Since we probably will not
16 have any more Status Conferences before the 12th of January, as it were,
17 I would like to make an oral motion to you now to give me the right to
18 reply to this motion of the Prosecution. I would write up this reply on
19 five or six pages, at any rate less than ten pages, and I would submit it
20 a day or two after I receive the reply of the Prosecution.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have just conferred with my
22 colleagues. You are entitled to respond to the Prosecution's written
23 submissions. So you may reply.
24 I think we have addressed all the topics for today. The court
25 stands adjourned, and we shall meet again on the 12th of January.
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.25 p.m.,
2 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 12th day of
3 January, 2010