1 Tuesday, 30 March 2010
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing -- Mr. Registrar,
6 could you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: This is case number IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor
8 versus Vojislav Seselj.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
10 This is Tuesday, March 30th, 2010, and I welcome everyone here,
11 Mr. Seselj, all members of the OTP, and everyone helping us.
12 The Trial Chamber is first going to issue an oral decision on the
13 Prosecution's motion dated March 23rd, 2010
14 to meet the requests of Mr. Zupljanin and Stanisic to access all
15 confidential material in the Seselj case. The Trial Chamber, after
16 having deliberated, decides that the dead-line will be April 6th, 2010.
17 The Prosecutor must file its submissions by then. That's the first
19 Let us now move into closed session, and I would like to ask the
20 usher to please drop the blinds.
21 [Closed session]
11 Pages 15827-15852 redacted. Closed session.
17 [Open session]
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're now in open session.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. In open session
20 let's raise the blinds.
21 In open session we still have three Court witnesses. Out of
22 these three, there are two for which we received medical records which
23 are such that obviously they will not be able to testify, which means
24 that we still have one witness to hear. The Trial Chamber is considering
25 hearing him in early May, but we will soon issue a Scheduling Order to
1 this effect.
2 Given this, this will be the last witness heard and then the
3 Trial Chamber will move to the Rule 98 bis procedure, but there will also
4 be a Scheduling Order for this procedure. This is just to give you an
5 idea of the schedule ahead. The last witness which should be heard, if
6 it turns out that he cannot come because of his health, then we will have
7 no witnesses left for -- Prosecution witnesses and Court witnesses of
8 course. This is where we stand today, and therefore we will probably
9 soon hear Mr. Seselj on Rule 98 bis in May as well as the Prosecution.
10 Mr. Seselj, we have some time left. Do you have any housekeeping
11 matters you would like to raise? You have some time, so take advantage
12 of it.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, things have cropped up now.
14 First of all, I still have not received any information as to what
15 happened to your order for The Hague Tribunal expert to examine the
16 health condition of Witness 008 with regard to the origin of his disease
17 and whether it was his disease that actually prevented him from
18 participating in the war. If memory serves me well, the dead-line was
19 February for the order to be executed and for the witness to be examined.
20 This is very important. If the report of The Hague expert is --
21 corresponds with my statement with regard to that witness, I believe that
22 you will be duty-bound to start the proceedings for contempt of court
23 against that witness. Second of all --
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a second, Mr. Seselj.
25 Regarding Witness 008, I'm slightly taken aback that you did not receive
1 the expert witness because from memory, if I remember correctly, this
2 report had been disclosed. And I would like to ask Madam Registrar to
3 confirm it -- the Legal Officer to confirm it to me, but I think that it
4 was disclosed, if I remember correctly, but actually don't have it here.
5 But if I remember correctly, the expert witness told us that the injuries
6 that this witness sustained, the eye -- the injuries to his eyes could
7 have been caused during the war and that, furthermore, he also suffered a
8 degenerative illness, or suffered from a degenerative disease, and that
9 he may have had this disease during the war as well. This is what the
10 expert confirmed. Nevertheless, at the time of war, while the war was
11 still taking place, he was able to see. That's what the expert told us.
12 This has been disclosed to us in the month of November 2009, it may have
13 been lost. But you should have this report. I'm very surprised if you
14 did not get this report, if you didn't get it. So we will check to see
15 what may have happened with the report, but we believe that you should
16 have it.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I don't have this
18 report. What knows what else is being kept in the evidence, in the body
19 of evidence, without me knowing anything about it. That was the first
21 Secondly, since you indicated a possibility for the statements of
22 the witness who didn't testify be admitted into evidence, I found two
23 more passages from the French legal school that at a certain time was
24 provided to me by the late Dragan Tasic, a member of my team who died two
25 years ago. In order to support my opposition to be entered into
1 evidence, anything that has to do with the previous two statements, let
2 me quote the following. Faustin Healy [phoen] in his book "Criminal Law"
3 says the following:
4 "Every debate before the court must be an oral one. That is one
5 of the fundamental processes of the criminal procedure. Only oral debate
6 can make the truth accessible and visible because it puts the witnesses
7 and the accused one opposite the other. It removes all the illusions and
8 presents only the bare facts as they truly are. It can only create
9 explanations and revelations. Admissions and lies and truth. Any
10 written debate is cold, reserved, and formatted. Even if it may serve
11 for the purpose of collecting evidence to serve in the debate, it is not
12 an actual debate itself. Debate about the facts and evidence and the
13 truth can only be conducted orally."
14 Another legal theoretician Gorf in his work, assessment
15 evaluation of evidence before the court says --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Would the accused please start the quotation
17 from the beginning.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Previous translation continues] ... "-- as much as
19 it is necessary to hear the evidence, the truth will come between this
20 countering of witness and the accused. Only such statement become live
21 evidence, whereas written statement is a dead piece of evidence."
22 As Delagraseli [phoen] says, "a written statement throws a veil
23 over testimony and leaves only a shadow behind."
24 There is also a binded [as interpreted] decision by a French
25 court cassation court of France, dated 27th June, 1990. It was published
1 in a journal for criminal law number 265 on page 678. It reads as
3 "The principle of oral statement, the highest court in France
4 that deals only with crimes prohibits a statement given by the witness
5 during investigation to be read either in full or in part, and that
6 should be done to the judge not only -- never to the prosecution."
7 Whereas here you have statements written by Prosecution in many
8 instances, and even the witnesses who were extremely hostile towards me
9 often questioned the veracity of certain parts of their statements. So
10 these are additional arguments that corroborate my absolute objection to
11 the admission of any previous statement into evidence. I believe that
12 this kind of an admission will jeopardise the legality of the whole
13 proceedings regardless of what is written down in the Rules. The Rules
14 of the Tribunal are the matter for arbitrary decisions by the Judges.
15 What is written in the Rule is not written in the Roman law that are the
16 fundamental principle and no case law in the world recognises. Only in
17 property civil litigations can written statements can be admitted. This
18 is absolutely unacceptable in criminal law. Also in the continental law,
19 a statement given during an investigation in the presence of the Defence
20 and the accused, with a possibility for the two of questioning the
21 witness and asking him counter questions can be admitted into evidence.
22 So this is what I wanted to tell you.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, your position is
24 noted in the transcript, but let me ask the following. The opposition
25 that you have regarding the statements given to the OTP, do you also
1 oppose -- are you also opposed to the statements that are received by
2 your own associates on the 14th and 11th of August, 2008, regarding the
3 witness in question? Do you also object to the admission of statements
4 received by your associates?
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm a man of principles. I have
6 never requested for statements given to my associates to be admitted.
7 I've never requested that. I've used those statements only during my
8 cross-examination as a factual matter on which my cross-examination can
9 be based. I can't put questions off the top of my head, I have to have
10 something in writing, and that is why the statements were obtained in the
11 first place. The statements obtained by the Prosecutor are statements
12 which tried -- convinced the Judge to prove the indictment and then are
13 used both by myself and you to carry out examination in the courtroom, to
14 prepare ourselves. That's the sense in the meaning of the statements
15 obtained by the Prosecutor. That allows me to know in advance what the
16 witness is going to testify about, and that's the long and the short of
17 it. Violating procedural rules in the Milosevic case, who did not have
18 adequate representation, means that the practice was launched here for
19 those statements to be admitted left, right, and centre. Another
20 Trial Chamber that's unsuccessfully started my case, they wanted
21 90 per cent of the statements to be admitted from bar table, and you know
22 about that. The Prosecutor spoke about that very openly, and they had
23 the Trial Chamber at their disposal headed by Mr. Alphonse Orie who were
24 prepared to do that. Ninety per cent they wanted to bar table without
25 any witnesses. Here you have admitted a lot of statements, but there is
1 one thing that I regret, and I regret the fact that you allowed one of
2 the main culprits for the crime in Ovcara to walk through that courtroom
3 like he was walking through a park. The colonel who was the commander of
4 the 80th Motorised Brigade withdrew the military police in order to
5 enable the execution. And he was here, the Prosecution witness pursuant
6 to Rule 92 ter. It was a walk in the park. You knew that I would not
7 cross-examine him, and instead of him sitting here instead of me, I have
8 to take responsibility for his crimes and the crimes of I don't know who
9 else. And that's one thing I still begrudge you.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
11 Mr. Seselj, you just talked about Ovcara, and I would like to ask
12 you what your position is. The Chamber has three decisions rendered in
14 So we have these three judgements. Can you tell us if you object as to
15 those judgements be admitted into evidence. And for your full
16 information, I would like to tell you that we received the last judgement
17 regarding - and I say this off the top of my head - a certain Sveta, who
18 was convicted in Belgrade
19 detailed judgement, which details the law, et cetera. So everything is
20 in that judgement, and we have three judgements of that kind. Would you
21 object that these judgements be admitted into evidence?
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I don't know what it is about
23 regarding this most recent judgement. But in principle I have nothing
24 against the judgements rendered by the Belgrade court be admitted into
25 evidence, especially in view of the fact that the main judgement is to my
1 benefit. It's a first-instance judgement, as far as I know. There was a
2 first-instance, then the second-instance court decision which ordered
3 re-trial. I don't know whether the first-instance a new judgement has
4 been rendered. I don't know who this Sveta is. But there are --
5 nevertheless, in principle, I always believe that any court judgement can
6 be beneficial. And I would like to draw your attention to the fact that
7 according to this latest judgement not a single volunteer from the
8 Serbian Radical Party was convicted for executions, neither it was Kameni
9 or anyone who was in his unit. The only one who was convicted was the
10 man known as Kinez. I think that his name was Predrag Milojevic, but
11 that was done based on false testimony by two associate witnesses. I
12 asked numerous times why no one found cartridges from his handgun that
13 were allegedly used to kill the prisoners in Ovcara. Kinez wore the red
14 star throughout the war. I don't know who is guilty or who is innocent.
15 I wasn't there. I have no will to go into any investigation about who
16 the perpetrators were. Here under the code-name 051, a man appeared, a
17 retired colonel, who had been ordered, who was re-engaged, and he was
18 sent to carry out the executions at Ovcara along with two other colonels.
19 But there is no written trace when they were re-activated, whereas we
20 have an abundance of evidence that they were involved in this. He we
21 also have no information about Aleksandar Vasiljevic, who was in charge
22 of the military security service, and the military security service was
23 responsible for all these prisoners.
24 So the Ovcara case is not closed yet. One day everything will
25 surface. I personally don't care who took part in that crime or not. It
1 has nothing to do with my trial because there was not a single volunteer
2 among them that I sent to Vukovar. But why is it that the masterminds
3 were never tried? That's the question for me. I heard about Ovcara only
4 two years after the event, and that is when the Croatian newspapers
5 started writing about it. There were people who knew about it. There
6 was a town commander of Vukovar. There was a camp commander in Ovcara,
7 and they appear here as witnesses against me. Where is the logic in
8 that? In response to your question, I have nothing against the Belgrade
9 judgements being entered into evidence because they do show something.
10 They might be refuted, they might be verified, but they are a kind of
11 document that has validity, whereas what the Prosecution writes are no
12 documents at all. These documents only demonstrate the methodology
13 implied by the Prosecution.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, since you are here,
15 you are present, as you saw, earlier we had granted a delay up until the
16 6th of April for the Prosecutor to submit his submissions, to file his
17 submissions. And this is in response to the Zupljanin/Stanisic
18 request -- motion. Do you object that the counsels for Stanisic and
19 Zupljanin be given information which were gathered in your trial so --
20 and also confidential elements that were gathered during the case -- your
21 case? That is to say protected witnesses, closed session hearings, they
22 would like to have access to everything. Would you please give me your
23 position on that.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm waiting for the interpretation
25 to be over. You may find it strange for me to keep quiet a long time
1 after you finished. Not only do I not object. I agree fully that the
2 Mico Stanisic Defence and the Stojan Zupljanin Defence should be provided
3 with all documents that they've requested, all documents, confidential
4 testimony, and the rest. The OTP has sent me a few other requests; for
5 example, the Mrksic and Sljivancanin Defence teams to be provided with
6 statements of some of the witnesses which were provided to my team
7 members. I'm talking about General Miodrag Panic's statement and the
8 Colonel Vukasinovic's statement, as far as I can remember. And I don't
9 object to that either. I don't object for those statements to be
10 provided to the aforementioned Defence teams. In principle, whenever the
11 Defence team of some other accused before this Tribunal requests
12 documents pertaining to these proceedings, I don't object. I am in
13 favour of the full transparency of any case and the availability of the
14 entire file to all the other Defence teams. I personally have nothing to
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Would you like to
17 talk about something else? Do you have another topic to raise?
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The only thing that I would still
19 like to say, if you have just one more witness, I would like us to be
20 able to hear him sooner. Why do we have to wait until the 4th or 5th
21 May? I suppose that next week you will not be here because of Easter,
22 but there are a few more weeks before the end of April. So why don't we
23 do it sooner? Why do we have to wait until May?
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The problem is actually we
25 don't know how the witness will feel. We did our best, but we cannot do
1 what we cannot do. Since the month of January we were trying to have all
2 these witnesses here, it's very difficult times, we're trying to do our
3 best. But for now, as you know, health issues may change. So for the
4 time being, apparently this person will be able to be present at the
5 beginning of the month of May but not before.
6 Mr. Marcussen, would you like to raise some points? Do you have
7 any issues to raise?
8 MR. MARCUSSEN: Thank you, Your Honour. Two points. The first
9 point is that on the 18th of March this year the accused filed a request
10 for any interviews conducted by the Office of the Prosecutor with
11 Tomislav Nikolic. I propose to make an oral response to that, so we
12 don't have to burden the record with a written response.
13 Your Honours, this is obviously one of these requests that are
14 part of the accused's manoeuvring against his political opponents in
16 Prosecution's normal practice to confirm or deny whether or not the
17 Prosecution have spoken or interviewed any particular person, but in
18 light of the circumstances of this particular request the Prosecution
19 wishes to inform the Court that we have not -- we have not spoken to
20 Tomislav Nikolic.
21 The second issue I wish to address with the Court was one that
22 came up --
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a second, please,
24 Mr. Marcussen. So are you telling us - and this is very important - that
25 the OTP never had any interviews with Tomislav Nikolic?
1 MR. MARCUSSEN: We have no interview with Tomislav Nikolic.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
3 MR. MARCUSSEN: The second issue was one that, in a way, has come
4 up before. But today you asked the accused whether or not he would be
5 opposed to the admission into evidence of certain local statements or
6 statements rendered by courts in the region that we're concerned with.
7 And the Prosecution would like to seek guidance from the Trial Chamber as
8 to for what purpose the statements would be admitted into evidence.
9 Thank you.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I will hand the
11 floor to Mr. Seselj, but it is obvious that when a Trial Chamber decides
12 to admit statements, it is in the interests of justice and so that the
13 truth can be heard. No other reasons of course.
14 MR. MARCUSSEN: Sorry, Your Honour. I -- maybe that wasn't
15 clear. What I'm not asking about is not the statements -- oh, I'm sorry,
16 I seem to have been -- misspoke. The issue is -- oh, I obviously
17 misspoke. Let me start all that over.
18 My request is the purpose for the admission of the judgements
19 from local proceedings. Today there was mention of judgements rendered
20 in the Vukovar cases, and there have been other -- there have been talk
21 of judgements from the Belgrade
22 Chamber were to admit those statements -- those judgements, what would be
23 the purpose of their admission?
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I will explain right away. I
25 thought that there were three judgements, but in fact we have two
1 judgements. And these judgements were -- actually, are ten-page-long
2 judgements, approximately, and they talk about how the events took place
3 at the hospital and what happened in Ovcara, how people -- what were --
4 what was the participation of people at Velepromet, et cetera, et cetera.
5 So all the elements, all the technical elements are there, such as, for
6 instance, it was established that 18 calibres were assessed, meaning that
7 there was at least 21 shooters, and all this is explained very clearly in
8 the judgements. We can see what was the role played by people, and it is
9 in the interest of justice - and I do not see why we should deprive
10 ourselves from all that work that was accomplished by Serb judges who
11 rendered justice in an independent way from materials that they had and
12 that they quoted because they quoted decisions that were even rendered
13 here by this Tribunal. So it can be useful so that we can understand the
14 events better.
15 MR. MARCUSSEN: So if I understand correctly, the Chamber would
16 be intending to use the judgements as substantive evidence in the case?
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That is correct. Just like the
18 Trial Chamber, according to the Rules, can conclude things, can conclude
19 matters, from judgements that were brought by this Tribunal as well. And
20 we can -- we find interesting facts. We can see who did what under oath,
21 who testified, how did the proceedings take place. So we have pages and
22 pages of very interesting -- it's a very interesting judgement, so I
23 would like to invite you to read these judgements.
24 MR. MARCUSSEN: Thank you for that, Your Honours. We will, in
25 all likelihood, make a written submission on this issue.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very good.
2 Mr. Seselj, I believe that you wanted to say something with
3 regards to Mr. Nikolic.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. The
5 Prosecutor, as usual, is not right. Tomislav Nikolic used to be the team
6 leader assisting my Defence. I never said that he gave an interview to
7 the Prosecution. But at least on one occasion in Budapest he met with
8 David Tolbert [Realtime transcript read in error "Gobillard"] who was
9 first Deputy Registrar of the Tribunal and then Deputy of the Chief
10 Prosecutor. And he also met Carla del Ponte in Brussels at least on one
11 occasion. They had a very cordial conversation. That was saw by
12 witnesses. I demand that from Carla del Ponte and David Tolbert an
13 official declaration is sought to the effect of confirming whether they
14 met with Mr. Nikolic and what was the subject of their conversations. If
15 Mr. Marcussen doesn't have the interview, that doesn't mean that they
16 didn't meet. I understand that he doesn't have the interview, but there
17 must be some notes about these meetings. I don't think that the two of
18 them would meet with Mr. Nikolic without leaving any notes behind. I can
19 see no other motive for that other than this trial against me.
20 One more thing concerning this witness who eventually is not
21 going to testify at all who appeared here today, but is not going to
22 testify. You have his 2006 statement. At the end of this statement you
23 will find a list of documents that the Prosecution --
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a second, Mr. Seselj.
25 Before you talk about the other witness, I would like to go back to
1 Mr. Nikolic and Mr. Tolbert. Tolbert is spelled T-o-l-b-e-r-t, not
2 Gobillard, as we can see it in the transcript. Mr. Tolbert is somebody
3 who is very well-known in this Tribunal. There we are. Now his name is
4 written in the transcript correctly.
5 Secondly, Mr. Prosecutor, it would seem that Mr. Seselj would
6 like to have the notes that may have been taken by the OTP following the
7 meeting with Mr. Nikolic, not during the meetings because there was no
8 interviews actually formally, but Mr. Nikolic may have met Mr. Tolbert
9 and also may have bumped into Madam Carla del Ponte. That's what he
10 would like to know. If you have something, please let us know; but you
11 may also tell us, Upon research we did not find any notes whatsoever.
12 MR. MARCUSSEN: The accused --
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If I may add just one more thing.
14 I insist on statements being requested from Carla del Ponte and
15 Mr. Tolbert about those meetings. Let them provide their official
16 statements about those meetings. They may have spoken about weather,
17 about romance, the nights on the Danube
18 them put that in writing on at least half a page.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
20 Mr. Marcussen.
21 MR. MARCUSSEN: The accused's motion is actually requesting for
22 detailed information of any interview and audio recording of any such
23 interview and detailed description on the context of any meetings.
24 That's the request by the accused. I'm not aware of any notes. We may
25 look for it, and if we have anything, we will determine whether or not it
1 is disclosable if we have it. We understand this then to be a request
2 under Rule 66(B), and we will treat it as such, but I think the motion
3 can be denied irrespective of what the accused have said today. And I
4 believe this issue has been brought up several times before the Court and
5 these things about the meeting. But we will look, and we will inform the
6 accused if there is anything we need to disclose. And we can also inform
7 him that if we don't think we have anything that needs to disclosed so
8 that he can renew his application if he finds necessary.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Marcussen, I
10 completely agree with you. Please do everything you can to see if you
11 have any documents of the type, and hypothetically, of course, I have no
12 concrete evidence. While Mr. Nikolic was defending Mr. Seselj, some
13 interviews or meetings may have taken place between the OTP and
14 Mr. Nikolic without the knowledge of the accused. So if that took place,
15 then there is a problem. There is a dysfunction. And of course nobody
16 can deny that fact.
17 MR. MARCUSSEN: Maybe the accused could provide us with a date
18 where this particular meeting is supposed to have taken place. That
19 would assist us actually in finding the information.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you're asking this,
21 and it's probably because you have elements, you know things. According
22 to you, when did this happen? If it happened after your divorce, if I
23 can call it so, with Mr. Nikolic, then there's no problem. But there is
24 a problem if it happened to be when you were still with Mr. Nikolic, you
25 know, and when he was campaigning for your party and when his name was on
1 your -- as one of your Defence counsels. When was -- when did it happen?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'm absolutely not
3 interested in the possible contacts between Tomislav Nikolic and
4 The Hague Tribunal after our divorce, as you call it. I'm absolutely not
5 interested in that. They can talk about whatever they want to talk now.
6 However, Tomislav Nikolic met with Carla del Ponte in Strasbourg during
7 the session of the Council of Europe. After the meeting with
8 Carla del Ponte, unbeknownst to me and without my consent, submitted an
9 amendment requesting for the proceedings against me to start as soon as
10 possible, and you mentioned at one of the Status Conferences what the
11 Council of Europe
12 in my interest to start the proceedings as quickly as possible. It was
13 in my interest for all the procedural foundations to be in place. And as
14 a Trial Chamber you made the decision that it would not be counted that
15 my proceedings would start at the moment when the OTP deliver their
16 opening speech, but rather when the first witness appeared two months
17 after that because the Prosecutor had not even met all the conditions for
18 the proceedings to start. Do you remember our argument about that? I
19 insist and I'm going to request from the Trial Chamber to subpoena during
20 the Defence case both Carla del Ponte and David Tolbert. And I'm going
21 to ask them to tell them -- to tell us about that. I'm asking for the
22 Trial Chamber to ask for statements both from Carla del Ponte and
23 David Tolbert as to when they met and what they discussed. And
24 David Tolbert met with Nikolic in Budapest on the occasion of a meeting
25 of the Commission of the Council of Europe even before that. Maybe a
1 year or two before that. I can't give you the exact date, but I'm sure
2 it can be found. There was a session of the Council of Europe which took
3 place in Budapest
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I thank you for all
5 this -- all these details that you have just given us, but I can answer
6 right away. During the pre-trial proceedings, it is true that at one
7 point in time I did mention this resolution of the Council of Europe,
8 resolution made so that you could have a speedy trial. But let me rest
9 assured that it is not because of this that your trial started. You know
10 me, Mr. Seselj. No one can force me into doing something I do not want
11 to do. And at the time when it was decided to start this trial, when I
12 remember that you were asking for six more months to prepare yourself, I
13 said, No, let's go ahead. The trial must start. And when I said that
14 the trial would start, no one - and I insist no one - intervened in order
15 to make me change my mind. No one would ever do that. I can guarantee
16 that when your trial started, it started, but it was not because of any
17 pressure exerted by of the Council of Europe or anyone exerting any
18 pressure. On my own I decided to start the proceeding at a certain date
19 without anyone forcing me to do anything. And the first person who would
20 try to exert any pressure against me isn't born yet; I can tell you that.
21 Your trial started without anyone intervening. And of course not because
22 of Mr. Nikolic that would have been manoeuvring behind your back --
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President --
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Overlapping speakers] [Previous translation
25 continues] ... of course not.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Previous translation continues] ... however, the
2 problem is entirely different here. In principle it is possible for the
3 Defence team members to meet with members of the OTP, but they are not
4 allowed to do that unbeknownst to the accused that they represent, and
5 especially they can't do that unbeknownst to the accused who represents
6 himself. And this is the problem that I keep on insisting on. He was
7 the head of my Defence assistance team. He met with Carla del Ponte.
8 There are witnesses who saw them chatting very amicably, and I didn't
9 know anything about that, and I insist on being provided with information
10 about that. It's very simple for you to request statements to be
11 forwarded to you from Carla del Ponte and David Tolbert, and that would
12 be the simplest thing to do. We don't need to wait until the entire
13 Defence case is over. After my opening statement and my testimony, I'm
14 going to ask you to subpoena both Carla del Ponte and David Tolbert, and
15 I'm not going to even hear about calling any other witness before that
16 happens, and bear that in mind, please. And I'm going to tell you
17 something else that you might find of some interest, I believe.
18 I've mentioned a statement that this witness who has not
19 testified today provided on the 14th of June, 2006. At the end of that
20 very lengthy statement there is a list of documents which that witness
21 allegedly handed over to the OTP, and the OTP submitted those documents
22 both to yourselves and to myself. And under the remarks it says that
23 those documents are the testimony, are the evidence that there was indeed
24 a joint criminal enterprise because the Serbian Radical Party and its
25 War Staff and I personally had their disposal confidential documents that
1 belonged to the state at the time. And now look at the titles of those
2 documents, please. Everything is marked as state secret. A draft of the
3 decision on the Defence plans in the Socialist Republic of Serbia dated
4 back to June 1979. This is under tab 19 in the binder provided with
5 today's testimony. So this is just a draft decision -- and not a
6 decision, it is a preparatory document possibly leading to a decision.
7 And God knows from what garbage bin that was pulled out from. In 1979 I
8 resided in Sarajevo
9 my compulsory military service. In June 1979, I was preparing to defend
10 my doctoral dissertation. In 1979 this is. Furthermore, the Presidency
11 of the Socialist Republic of Serbia, that's under number 17, a proposal,
12 not the decision, but the proposal on the decision to establish the
13 defence plan for the Republic of Serbia
14 February 1981.
15 Furthermore, under 35 an analysis of an exercise called Sumadij,
16 All People's Defence. After that, minutes of the inspection of defence
17 and self-protection preparations in the self-interest community of
18 employment in Belgrade
19 republican committee on the work of the SRS of Serbia, the Socialist
20 Republic of Serbia
21 the inspection of defence and self-protection preparations in the
22 municipal committee on finances pertaining to the work relations. Under
23 number 50, the year is 1988, the place is Svetozarevo, the Municipal
24 Assembly of Svetozarevo, which is now Jagodina, the municipal committee
25 on economic committees, minutes on the inspection of defence and
1 self-protection preparations --
2 JUDGE HARHOFF: I think we are --
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] You're losing patience, are you
5 JUDGE HARHOFF: No, I'm not. I thinking that we are far into
6 your providing testimony and evidence in your trial. This is perfectly
7 legitimate, but not at a moment where we're discussing administrative
8 matters. So save your powder for the time when you have to burn it off.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you're making a
10 mistake --
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Sir, sir.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Overlapping speakers] [Previous translation
13 continues] ... we said that we would admit the statements, we would enter
14 them into evidence. But we did not say that we would enter into evidence
15 the elements handed over by the witness, notably if these are very old
16 documents dating 1979 or 1981. We never said that. Now, you can write
17 submissions to challenge these exhibits. But at the moment we were not
18 going to enter these documents into evidence. This was not our logic.
19 So maybe you made a mistake. Maybe you confused the -- you mixed up the
20 statements with the documents. We only talked about the statements, not
21 the documents.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the titles of these
23 documents constitute an integral part of the last statement from 2006.
24 I'm not testifying at the moment. I'm just raising a procedural
25 objection to the conduct by the OTP. From this, Your Honours, you will
1 understand how I am truly sorry for not having an opportunity to examine
2 this witness. If you have no patience to listen to the titles of these
3 documents, there's another one from 1980 issued by the committee for
4 finance in Uzice on the inspection of the financial issues relating to
5 the national defence. Then Municipal Assembly of Kragujevac sending to
6 the republican committee for labour is sending meeting minutes of 40
7 different municipal organs. Then 61, an inspection report of defence and
8 self-protection preparations in the institution for planning, development
9 of the municipal of the Danube
10 dated September 1989. Then confidential Official Gazettes of Republic of
12 I just picked one randomly. This is an Official Gazette from 1984; it's
13 issue number 1, containing the decision on distribution of funds from the
14 postal savings deposits aimed for development in Serbia. So you see how
15 many documents there are, and each and every one of them is marked either
16 confidential of All People's Defence or state secret. In the witness's
17 statement it is said that he had stolen these documents from
18 Ljubisa Petkovic -- actually, from his office at the Serbian Radical
19 Party war staff. I am truly and really sorry for not having an
20 opportunity to put all these documents to this witness and to ask him
21 from which garbage bin he obtained these documents, whether it was him or
22 somebody from the Prosecutor's office. This is proof, or allegedly that
23 I was in collusion at the time with the Serbian regime because it was a
24 regime who provided me with these confidential documents for safekeeping.
25 You see how grotesque this trial is and to what things the OTP is
1 resorting to. You tell me now that you've already decided to admit this
2 into evidence. You can take any decision you please.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, we said that the
4 Trial Chamber can enter into evidence the statements, statements made to
5 the OTP as well as statements made to you. This is all we said. Now, we
6 never said that we would enter into evidence the documents. Now, as far
7 as these documents are concerned, these documents that you're
8 challenging, when you will present your case, when you will testify, you
9 will have the opportunity to re-visit these documents, even if they're
10 not entered into evidence. Your trial is fair. The rules are abided by,
11 and you will have ample opportunity to challenge these documents. These
12 documents have not even been entered into evidence yet. You're
13 challenging them way ahead of time. You don't even know whether they
14 have been admitted or not. As far as I'm concerned, since these
15 documents were not presented viva voce to a witness, I really don't see
16 how they could be entered into evidence. But this is my position of
17 course, and maybe my fellow Judges don't share it. But at least my
18 position is now on the record.
19 I believe it will be time to put an end to this. The tape is
20 almost finished. We will file a -- we will render a Scheduling Order for
21 the next witness and probably also for the Rule 98 bis procedure. And in
22 the meanwhile the Trial Chamber will render a few decisions that are
23 still pending.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] One more thing that I need to ask
25 you or an issue to raise. How much time will you give me to submit my
1 motion as per 92 [as interpreted] bis rule? I will need about four hours
2 for that.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We have not
4 discussed this among each other, but I have given it some thought, and I
5 will suggest to my fellow Judges that you may have one full day, 4 hours
6 and 30 minutes, because that's the length of a hearing. And then on the
7 next day the Prosecutor will also have 4 hours and 30 minutes. So let me
8 remind you, Mr. Seselj, that the Rule 98 bis procedure is a common law
9 procedure -- at least it's inspired by common law. It does not exist in
10 civil law, but it only has one purpose. It is there to check that the
11 evidence provided by the Prosecutor might, for a reasonable trier of
12 fact, any -- beyond any reasonable doubt lead this Judge to render a
13 guilty verdict. So the decision will be made only on -- based on the
14 elements provided by the Prosecution and not on the documents that
15 provided by you. Of course you know exactly what this rule is all about,
16 but you will have one full hearing day to mention all this. But don't
17 waste any time. You will have to find -- demonstrate that the Prosecutor
18 has not proven anything beyond any reasonable doubt.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, first of all when it
20 comes to giving the same amount of time to me and to the OTP, I would
21 like to draw your attention to the Milosevic case law. Mr. Milosevic had
22 more time than the OTP. When he was in his Defence case, the OTP had
23 only two-thirds of the time given to Mr. Milosevic because the
24 Trial Chamber bore in mind that Milosevic was representing himself and
25 the OTP had a lot of people, maybe ten of them filed through the
1 courtroom representing the Prosecutor's case. Why am I telling you this?
2 I'm telling you this because it is necessary to give me more time after
3 the Prosecutor has had his time; that's why I'm suggesting that you give
4 me four hours, you give the OTP three hours, and then another hour to me
5 because our working days is 4 hours and 5 minutes, let me remind you.
6 And the condition has to be that neither I interrupt the Prosecutor and
7 the Prosecutor not interrupting me. The Trial Chamber should let us go
8 through our motions uninterrupted. I need three -- four hours, the OTP
9 needs three hours, and then I will need only hour. And I think this is
10 the only rational solution to reach.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I understand you correctly
12 you say that you need three hours. The Prosecutor then takes the floor,
13 and then you need one hour to reply.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I need four hours. Four. I need
15 four; the OTP needs three; and you should give me another hour. Which
16 means I should have five hours against the Prosecutor's three hours.
17 It's not the Prosecutor's final brief. It's just a response to my
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We will take a look
20 at the Milosevic case law on this.
21 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] It's a bit strange that the
22 accused, Mr. Seselj, can quote the Milosevic case to criticise. But now
23 you are quoting the Milosevic case law to back your own case.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen.
25 MR. MARCUSSEN: When I heard your --
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mrs. Lattanzi, it's only normal.
2 What I can use from the Milosevic case, I'm going to refer to that; and
3 what was negative practice over there, I'm going to criticise and I'm
4 going to ask you not to apply that. It's only normal. I wrote a book, I
5 personally wrote a book, it's not just a collection of documents. The
6 book is over 1.000 pages long and deals with the violation of procedural
7 rights in the Milosevic case. I had all the transcripts at my disposal,
8 transcripts of public sessions, and I wrote over 1.000 pages, and I
9 listed all the violations of his procedural rights. I learned on his
10 case and I have mastered the procedure much better than any of the
11 Prosecutor team has ever done.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen, to finish?
13 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, the burden that the accused or the
14 Prosecution have to lift at the 98 bis stage is obviously different. And
15 actually I had in mind that maybe the accused needed three hours and we
16 need six hours in light of the fact that we actually have to make a
17 showing that there is evidence that a Trial Chamber could rely on;
18 whereas all the accused needs to do is get up and say there's no evidence
19 of this fact, that fact, and fact.
20 The other point I wanted to raise was just I assumed that there
21 would be at least some time from the last witness until the 98 bis
22 hearing will take place for the parties to prepare. Is that correct?
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, if the last witness is
24 heard early May, there will be two to three weeks. We're not going to
25 wait forever, of course not. You'll have two to three weeks, no more. I
1 mean, it's been six years now, so you've had time to prepare.
2 MR. MARCUSSEN: Two, three weeks will certainly --
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Over seven years, more than seven
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I thank everyone, and we will
6 meet again at one point in time, and court is adjourned.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.23 p.m.