1 Tuesday, 6 March 2012
2 [Prosecution Closing Statement]
3 [Open session]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is open. Please
7 call the case, Mr. Registrar.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you. Good morning, Your Honours. This is
9 case number IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
11 Today is Tuesday, the 6th of March, 2012. Let me greet everybody
12 in the courtroom. I'll give the floor to Ms. Biersay without further
13 ado, who's going to continue with her arguments on behalf of the Office
14 of the Prosecutor and will say some more about Exhibit 1200.
15 MS. BIERSAY: Good morning, Your Honours.
16 Yesterday before I concluded I was describing to the
17 Trial Chamber the series of SRS press conferences that the accused gave
18 during this period of May and June of 1992, and specifically in and
19 around the time that non-Serbs were being tortured and murdered at the
20 Ekonomija farm and Ciglane factory in Zvornik.
21 Now, yesterday I talked about a rally that was given by the
22 accused and other members of the SRS, and that rally was published on the
23 28th of May, 1992, and according to the report it said "yesterday." So
24 the rally happened exactly before these crimes were being committed.
25 Now, I don't know what Mr. Seselj is talking about. And if he has
1 something to say on this issue, it should wait until he has his ten hours
2 to use.
3 So not only were non-Serbs being killed around the time of that
4 May 27th, 1992, rally; they're also being killed by Seseljevci around the
5 time of other press conferences, like the ones in May -- at the end of
6 May, 1992, around the same time that a group of Seseljevci murdered
7 88 non-Serbs at the Drinjaca Dom Kulture in Zvornik. And again, when he
8 gave a press conference on June 4th, this is around the same time that a
9 group led by Seselj's Vojvoda Vidovic murdered 22 non-Serb men and women
10 in Ljesevo, Ilijas. And when he gave the other one in June -- on
11 June 11th, 1992, that's around the same time that 740 non-Serbs were
12 being massacred in Karakaj and Gero's slaughter-house.
13 Poisoned by the accused's persecution propaganda, the accused's
14 Seseljevci and other forces were unleashed to the epicentre of ethnic
15 conflict and violence. In the crime bases where his volunteers were in
16 the field of operations, Serb forces committed crimes.
17 Now, to be clear, his Seseljevci need not be physical
18 perpetrators for him to be found guilty of the crimes charged; it is not
19 required. However, crimes were often committed by volunteers associated
20 with the accused and he honoured these perpetrators again and again. And
21 to some of them, he gave the very special title that he himself had, that
22 of Vojvoda. He filled his Vojvodas, he filled his Seseljevci, and he
23 filled Serb forces with his hateful propaganda, which they took with them
24 to the front lines.
25 His ability to offer a fighting force was a significant
1 contribution to the common purpose of the JCE and it was a substantial
2 contribution to the commission of the charged crimes. He had the
3 influence, he had the authority to promise practical assistance to Serb
4 forces throughout the former Yugoslavia. And as Mr. Marcussen explained,
5 consequently, because of this ability, other JCE members - suffering from
6 manpower shortages - appealed to him for volunteers. And that set forth
7 in Exhibits P226, P652, and P239, for example.
8 The accused promised and delivered volunteers to
9 Eastern Slavonia, including Vukovar; to the Krajina; to Western Slavonia;
10 and throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. That he could both make and keep
11 such promises undermines any claim by him that he was a political figure
12 disconnected from military organisation and operations.
13 His persecution propaganda served to facilitate his contribution
14 of manpower. His inflammatory public statements were used to recruit
15 volunteers. His visits to the front lines strengthened their
16 indoctrination and were used to reinforce the branding of non-Serbs as
17 threats to be removed.
18 In one -- and the Trial Chamber should take in account, this is a
19 public speech that he gives to his Seseljevci. And by "public," I mean
20 it's being televised, that he gives to his Seseljevci before sending them
21 to the Vukovar front lines. And in a minute I'll ask that P17 be played.
22 Now, in this clip the accused called the volunteers going to Vukovar, he
23 called them Serb Chetnik heros and emphasised that they were fighting in
24 an ethnically Serb army and for Serbian land.
25 And at this time I'd ask that P17 be played.
1 [Video-clip played]
2 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover]
3 "Reporter: ... is the common struggle together with the
4 Yugoslav People's Army for the final liberation of Vukovar. To the
5 question if the volunteers would be sent to Grubisno Polje, one of the
6 deputies of the volunteer detachment replied that Vukovar had priority
7 over other regions. Here is what Branko Vasiljevic told us.
8 "Reporter: How old are you?
9 "BV: 58.
10 "Reporter: Where are you from?
11 "BV: Nis born and bred.
12 "Reporter: And where are you going?
13 "BV: I'm going to help the brothers ...
14 "Reporter: Are you alone?
15 "BV: ... brothers in arms. No, I have two sons.
16 "Reporter: Are they here too?
17 "BV: They came 10 to 15 days ago. One is in Borovo and the
18 other one in Knin. My uncle was a commander, so blood is thicker than
20 "Reporter: Mr. Seselj held a speech in front of a group of
21 volunteers standing in line and said the following on that occasion.
22 "Seselj: God bless you heros!
23 "Volunteers: God bless you too!
24 "Seselj: Brothers Serbs, Serb Chetnik heros, you are going to
25 the war today!
1 "Today you are going to liberate the Serbian Vukovar and defend
2 the Serbian Slavonia. You are going to join hundreds of thousands of our
3 volunteers. You are leaving from all parts of today's reduced Serbia to
4 restore the glory of the Serbian arms. You will co-operate with the
5 Yugoslav army units, since this is our army. Most of all, it is the
6 Serbian army, considering the ethnicity of its officers and its struggle
7 for the salvation of the Serbian country and Serbian territories.
8 "Reporter: Mr. Seselj finished with the words: 'Good luck,
9 guys. See you in Vukovar.' Do these words mean that he too will join
10 the volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party is yet to be seen."
11 MS. BIERSAY: Many of the Seseljevci units established,
12 recruited, and organised by the accused participated both during 1991 in
13 combat operations to seize and cleanse parts of Croatia as well as parts
14 of BiH in 1992. The Seseljevci were deployed to vital and difficult
15 areas. The scope of the accused's volunteer recruitment and deployment
16 was vast. It was vast in terms of the significant numbers of volunteers
17 mobilised to the front line, in terms of the geographic area they
18 covered, and in terms of their notoriety for brutality against non-Serbs.
19 Now, Your Honours, I have -- we have prepared a slide
20 illustrating some of the places to which the Seseljevci were deployed.
21 And at this time I'd ask that the slide be displayed. And it's based on
22 a number of sources and I'd be happy to provide those separately to the
23 Trial Chamber, but the core of it, it's based on the P217, P218, and the
24 statements by and evidence of the former SRS senior members as well as
25 other evidence.
1 And you can see that -- and as the Trial Chamber is well aware,
2 the Seseljevci were deployed throughout the crime-base areas and the
3 pattern municipalities. So you see them clustered around Vukovar.
4 They're also in and around Vocin, Zvornik, Greater Sarajevo, and
5 Herzegovina, where Mostar and Nevesinje are located, Bijeljina,
6 Bosanski Samac, and other places like the Krajina, which is in the -- on
7 the western side of that slide, which can be removed at this time.
8 The accused himself, in Exhibit P342, has put the number of
9 Seseljevci as high as almost 30.000 and he admitted that he contributed
10 around 10.000 volunteers to the common purpose in BiH alone. As early as
11 May 1991 - and this date -- that date, that's around the time that the
12 Seseljevci participated in the killing of Croat police officers in
13 Borovo Selo. Around that time according to -- according to P1275, there
14 were already 15.000 Chetniks in the accused's ranks. Between January and
15 July of 1992, more than 6.000 Seseljevci were stationed and trained at
16 barracks in Belgrade before being deployed to the front. Vojvoda
17 Branislav Gavrilovic, aka Brne, and I'll discuss him a little bit more
18 shortly, he established volunteer training centres in Greater Sarajevo
19 through which at least 1500 Seseljevci passed during the course of the
20 war. And that's just one small area.
21 The evidence, including Exhibits C10, P1275, P54, and P1000, has
22 proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused made a significant
23 contribution of thousands of Seseljevci to facilitate the crimes charged
24 in the indictment. And I'd also refer the Trial Chamber to P1219.
25 Now, this was a massive organisation, and so the accused had
1 machinery in place to handle that. And his SRS and SCP Crisis Staff and
2 war staffs were created to spear-head his deployment of volunteers.
3 Senior members of the SRS war staff recounted that as leader of both the
4 SRS and the Serbian Chetnik Movement, the accused made all important
5 decisions concerning their policies and operations. The accused
6 appointed Witness Petkovic as head of the War Staff and Rankic was the
7 deputy head. And their admitted statements, for example, P1074, P1076,
8 and C11, describe how the accused maintained complete power over the
9 Crisis and War Staffs. Witness Rankic, for example, noted that:
10 "Seselj had absolute power and made all the decisions himself."
11 One of the functions of the SRS War Staff was to co-ordinate
12 arming and training of the Seseljevci with other JCE members. And again,
13 high-ranking members of the SRS War Staff, like Rankic and Petkovic,
14 visited training camps to arrange for the arrival and deployment of
15 volunteers. The accused also visited and inspected volunteers at
16 training centres, and that has been mentioned by Mr. Marcussen. He
17 highlighted Exhibit P528, in which the accused addressed volunteers at
18 the Erdut training centre, telling them that Serb Chetniks had laid down
19 their lives in the defence of Borovo Selo. He also told volunteers that
20 wherever there were Ustasha, they should be killed and expelled because
21 it was all Serbian territory.
22 The accused gave similar orders to volunteers in private, and,
23 for example - I'm not going to say the name of the witness. I will cite
24 the exhibits pertaining to the witness - he directed one volunteer to
25 cleanse everything in a particular area and "to kill Muslim civilians
1 without mercy ..."
2 And that's described in Exhibits P1129, pages 218 to 219; P1128,
3 at page 2; and P1112, at page 11. And they have to be read together as
4 the Trial Chamber will understand.
5 The evidence beyond a reasonable doubt shows that the accused was
6 more than a recruiter of volunteers for the JNA. This quasi-military
7 politician exercised his authority and influence over each and every
8 aspect related to the volunteers, even though he did not have operational
9 command over them.
10 He decided where his volunteers were deployed and he deployed
11 them in units, so not on an individual volunteer-by-volunteer basis.
12 Discrete units identified as Seseljevci. Unit commanders were appointed
13 by the accused or the SRS War Staff that he controlled. And this is
14 shown, for example, in Exhibit P227, which was sent by a member of the
15 War Staff to a TO and required that the TO "co-ordinate with our unit
16 command" as a condition of sending the volunteers. So we will send you
17 volunteers, but you must co-ordinate with our unit command in order for
18 that to happen.
19 Witness Petkovic, in Exhibit C18, explained that the War Staff
20 decided to send a unit, for example, under Vojvoda Debeli's command to
21 Bosanski Samac in spring 1992. And it was the accused himself who chose
22 the commanders of that unit. And more specifically, I'd refer the
23 Trial Chamber to paragraphs 49, 53, and 56. The accused personally
24 approved the sending of volunteers for the operations in Zvornik and
25 Mostar. Petkovic described how the War Staff supervised local
1 Crisis Staffs, SRS boards, and commanders, but "there was only one
2 leader, and that was Seselj."
3 Once in the field, the accused's volunteers were generally
4 subordinated to the local TO, to the JNA, or VRS, or MUP units, but the
5 accused received regular reports about field activities, both through the
6 War Staff and through direct reporting by his commanders at the front
7 lines. They telephoned him. They visited the Belgrade SRS/SCP office to
8 meet him in person. And as a result of those close contacts, he could
9 and he did intervene in field operations as he deemed necessary. And I
10 would refer the Trial Chamber to, for example, Exhibit P59; P688, at
11 paragraph 50; Exhibit P1074, at page 49; and Exhibit P1058, at
12 paragraph 21.
13 Witness Glamocanin, in Exhibit P688, described the accused as
14 having "command and control" over volunteers in the field. The
15 SRS War Staff had the authority to issue orders to its units in the field
16 regarding, for example, where the units would be deployed and when they
17 should be withdrawn. I would refer the Trial Chamber to Exhibit P221.
18 Witness Rankic, again in Exhibit P1074, confirmed that regrouping and
19 redeployment orders were given by the SRS War Staff to an SRS commander
20 in Vocin. Likewise, Seseljevci of the Kragujevac Chetnik detachment,
21 they were ordered by Rankic to participate in a joint operation to
22 forcibly take over targeted villages in Croatia. And again, I'd refer
23 the Trial Chamber to Exhibit P253; P225; and C11, page 12.
24 The accused also had the power and influence to intervene
25 personally to assist his volunteers in the field. For example, as shown
1 by intercept Exhibits P513 and 514, one of which I'll play in a moment,
2 when the accused wanted to have a group of his volunteers commanded by
3 Vojvoda Gavrilovic rescued from an ambush in and around Sarajevo in
4 April 1992, he threatened Serb political and military leadership in BiH
5 that if they weren't pulled out, he would withdraw all his men from the
6 front lines and "never deploy them again."
7 And so at this time I'd ask that Exhibit P513 be played, and it's
8 an intercept so it's not a video.
9 [Intercept played]
10 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover]
11 "Seselj: This is Vojislav Seselj. Could I speak to
12 Branislav Gavrilovic?
13 "Unknown male person: Yes, sir. One moment, please.
14 "Gavrilovic: God bless you, Vojvoda.
15 "Seselj: God bless you. What's going on there?
16 "Gavrilovic: Well, Vojo, our men are down there in the town, you
18 "Seselj: How many of them?
19 "Gavrilovic: 18. 18 are left.
20 "Seselj: Are they surrounded?
21 "Gavrilovic: Sorry?
22 "Seselj: Are they surrounded?
23 "Gavrilovic: They've been surrounded since the beginning. The
24 volunteers have left down there to get them out and we don't know about
25 anything happening down there.
1 "Seselj: You're wounded, right?
2 "Gavrilovic: Yes, in my leg.
3 "Seselj: What's the wound like?
4 "Gavrilovic: Well, the bullet went through but I'll be all
5 right. There won't be any problems.
6 "Seselj: Have you been given any medical attention?
7 "Gavrilovic: Yes, yes, everything's fine.
8 "Seselj: Look, I've just called Pale. I can't find Radovan and
9 nobody can find him.
10 "Gavrilovic: Yes.
11 "Seselj: But I've left a message that if they don't get our men
12 out, we'll withdraw all our men from the front lines and we'll never
13 deploy them again.
14 "Gavrilovic: All right.
15 "Seselj: You know. Please don't lose your nerves ...
16 "Gavrilovic: The people ...
17 "Seselj: ... don't get into arguments with your men offhand.
18 Only try to find as many men as possible to get these out, you know.
19 "Gavrilovic: Well, they're constantly being deployed to get them
20 out all the time.
21 "Seselj: We'll clean these things up when it's more peaceful.
22 "Gavrilovic: All right, Vojo. How's your health?
23 "Seselj: It's not bad. Please try and have as many people sent
24 over here as possible.
25 "Gavrilovic: Well, all right. Everyone's active and sending
1 people down there. We'll see, something will come out of this.
2 "Seselj: All right.
3 "Gavrilovic: Right, cheers ...
4 "Seselj: Do you have this number here?
5 "Gavrilovic: I do, I do.
6 "Seselj: Well, all right. Please let me know then. I can
7 barely get through here. I have been calling this number for over an
8 hour. I can barely get through.
9 "Gavrilovic: All right.
10 "Seselj: It's probably easier for you because not everybody's
11 calling this number.
12 "Gavrilovic: All right. All right.
13 "Seselj: So please let me know what's going on.
14 "Gavrilovic: I'll let you know. Cheers.
15 "Seselj: Hang in there."
16 MS. BIERSAY: And of course his men were rescued and in intercept
17 P514, which I won't play, Momcilo Mandic recognises and acknowledges that
18 Seselj has just called from Belgrade. And he gave -- he passed on the
19 information that that group should be pulled out and they were. And all
20 of this illustrates the accused's power to direct volunteers on the front
21 line and to enforce his will with other JCE members.
22 This was not a recruiting sergeant or agent for the JNA. He was
23 much more. He knew where his Seseljevci were deployed. He received
24 information from the front lines. He communicated with them. He
25 communicated with other leaders of the Serb forces. And he decided when,
1 where, and how his Seseljevci worked with other Serb forces. In other
2 words, the accused was not recruiting and deploying volunteers at arm's
3 length. He was intimately involved in every aspect of inspiring them to
4 his cause and deploying them to commit crimes.
5 On the 13th of May, 1993, reflected in P1219, the accused held a
6 press conference to announce his promotion of Vojvodas, a ceremony held
7 as war raged in BiH. And the Trial Chamber previously saw that at the
8 beginning of the presentation as video P255. The accused continued to
9 hold large-scale rallies and celebrations of Chetniks to evoke their
10 bloody past and their crimes against non-Serbs, including Muslims. The
11 evidence shows he publicly promoted men who committed crimes throughout
12 the former Yugoslavia.
13 Now, I'd like to show the Trial Chamber - and if we could please
14 show it now - a slide listing the Seseljevci who were promoted to Vojvoda
15 by the accused because you will hear some of the names again. And this
16 is just to give you a little context for those names when they pop up.
17 In Vukovar, Milan Lancuzanin, aka Kameni; Miroslav Vukovic, also
18 at Vukovar, aka Cele; Branislav Gavrilovic, aka Brne; Branislav Vakic.
19 In Bijeljina and Brcko, Mirko Blagojevic.
20 In Bosanski Samac, Srecko Radovanovic, aka Debeli.
21 In Zvornik, Miroslav Vukovic, aka Cele.
22 In Greater Sarajevo, Vasilije Vidovic, aka Vaske; Slavko Aleksic;
23 Branislav Gavrilovic, aka Brne; and Nikola Poplasen.
24 Now, as the Trial Chamber has heard, there are repetitions of
25 certain names and he redeployed them from one crime base to the next.
1 Wherever Seseljevci went, crimes were committed. Wherever
2 Vojvodas went, crimes were committed. Often it was the Seseljevci
3 committing those crimes, the Vojvodas committing those crimes.
4 And from the very start of his persecution campaign, the accused
5 was well aware that his impact through his contributions was, indeed,
6 significant and substantial. He describes in Exhibit P1180 how it showed
7 how successful the Serbian Chetnik Movement was because Croats and
8 Muslims sometimes weren't sleeping in their houses because they heard
9 that the Chetniks were coming.
10 But Biljana Plavsic really described the core of the accused's
11 impact. He motivated Serb fighters and he frightened non-Serbs, and she
12 said in Exhibit P1310:
13 "He came to see us, visited the front; his presence meant a lot
14 to the men. The troops would talk about his visits long after he would
15 leave. On the other hand, news that he was at the front would act as a
16 great demoralising factor for our enemies."
17 He knew the impact he had. He knew it from the thousands of
18 volunteers he successfully raised and deployed to implement the common
19 criminal purpose. He knew it from the crowd responses at his rallies.
20 He knew, and that is why he never stopped using his hate propaganda as a
21 weapon and why he has not even stopped today.
22 Through his hate propaganda, the accused relentlessly promoted
23 the forcible establishment of ethnically Serb territories encompassing
24 significant parts of Croatia and BiH. He inspired fear and hatred in
25 Serbs that non-Serbs were their enemies. He then used this fear and
1 hatred of non-Serbs to create and to aggravate an atmosphere conducive to
2 violent acts against targeted non-Serbs.
3 Through his campaign of recruitment, organisation, and deployment
4 of volunteers, he assisted the other Serb forces in their fight for the
5 creation of separate Serb-dominated territories in Croatia and later in
6 BiH, all the time co-ordinating the activities of Seseljevci with other
7 JCE members. He encouraged and instigated groups and individuals within
8 the Serb forces, including Seseljevci. And this has been proven beyond a
9 reasonable doubt and the time has come for him to be held accountable for
10 his crimes.
11 In conclusion, the accused cannot suppress the evidence, and that
12 evidence shows that his Seseljevci and Serb forces worked together to
13 commit the crimes charged in the indictment. And ethnic cleansing was
14 accomplished by using the same tactics again and again and again.
15 Non-Serb villages were shelled and destroyed. Areas seen as rightfully
16 Serb were forcibly taken over by Serb forces. Non-Serb families were
17 ripped apart as children and men -- as children and women were isolated
18 from men, rounded up and either sent to camps where they were abused,
19 raped, and killed, or were forced to flee for their own safety. And
20 non-Serbs were prevented, by fear or force, from returning to their
21 homes, many of which - along with their religious and cultural sites -
22 had been plundered or destroyed.
23 That is what the evidence shows.
24 At this time, Your Honour, I will turn the lectern over to my
25 colleague Ms. Hochhauser, and she will describe how these tactics were
1 replicated in Vukovar.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning, Ms. Hochhauser.
3 You have the floor. You may proceed.
4 MS. HOCHHAUSER: Thank you, Your Honours, and good morning.
5 Before the conflict began, the people of Vukovar municipality in
6 Croatia lived in a prosperous, generally peaceful multi-ethnic community.
7 By November 21st of 1991, those same citizens of Vukovar were intractably
8 divided by ethnic hatred. They had lost loved ones, their homes, and
9 their city to shelling and violence aimed at driving them out of Vukovar.
10 The crimes committed in Vukovar municipality were committed in
11 furtherance of the common purpose of the joint criminal enterprise and
12 the Serb forces - the JNA, the local TOs, and volunteers, including
13 Seseljevci - were the perpetrators of those crimes.
14 Just as they had throughout other targeted areas of Croatia,
15 beginning in August 1991, and just as they would go on to do in targeted
16 areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Serb forces wreaked havoc on the
17 lives of the people of Vukovar in pursuit of their common goal of an
18 ethnically homogenous Serb nation.
19 The accused, along with the other political and military leaders
20 that were members of the joint criminal enterprise charged in this case,
21 saw Vukovar as strategically important to the achievement of their common
22 goal. The accused spoke of Vukovar's exceptional significance to Serbia
23 and the Serbian people, calling it, in P1208 at page 10, "equally
24 Serbian" as Belgrade.
25 The accused characterised the battle for Vukovar in
1 discriminatory terms, describing the municipality as "the most powerful
2 Ustasha stronghold" upon which Serb victory would depend.
3 As shown here in a clip from P298.
4 [Video-clip played]
5 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover]
6 "J: How significant is the liberation of Vukovar for Serbia and
7 the Serbian people?
8 "S: It is of exceptional significance, exceptional. This is the
9 most powerful of Ustasha strongholds. Once Vukovar is taken, Ustashas
10 have no chance of saving either Osijek or Vinkovci. There is nothing to
11 stop our forces. Vukovar is the key line that needs to be broken
12 through, that needs to be captured, and ... that if Vukovar falls here,
13 if Slunj falls in Serbian Krajina, then Tudjman's Ustasha regime in
14 Zagreb will fall too. And that is why this battle is decisive."
15 MS. HOCHHAUSER: The JCE's persecutory campaign in Vukovar was
16 clear. As JNA General Panic said, in Exhibit P261 at page 219, Vukovar
17 would be "a Serb enclave," or in the words of the accused, at P1186,
18 page 6, "that town will be the capital of Serbian Slavonia, Baranja, and
19 Western Srem." And added: "The Serb people have to return there."
20 Indeed, as discussed earlier by Mr. Marcussen, the SAO SBWS had
21 already been created in June 1991 and a government led by JCE member
22 Goran Hadzic had been formed in August and September 1991. So to
23 implement their common purpose in Vukovar, the JCE members sent Serb
24 forces and structures controlled by them in large numbers and those
25 forces and structures supported one another.
1 The largest part of Vukovar, including the areas of Ovcara and
2 Grabovo, were situated within the zone of responsibility of the JNA's
3 Operational Group South. The importance of Vukovar to the common purpose
4 of the JCE was further reflected by JCE member Adzic's order, assigning
5 the JNA elite Guards Motorised Brigade to Vukovar on 30 September 1991.
6 The Guards Motorised Brigade was a premier unit of the JNA. Its
7 personnel were carefully selected, they were highly trained, and they
8 were well equipped. And after 7 October 1991, it was under the command
9 of Mile Mrksic.
10 On 10 October 1991, the Assembly of the SAO SBWS, led again by
11 Goran Hadzic, attached the local Serb TO officially to the JNA. The
12 Seseljevci didn't arrive in Vukovar of their own accord. The Vukovar TO
13 sent a request for volunteers to the SRS War Staff, and it was the
14 accused who decided that the unit which would go on to be called the
15 Leva Supoderica Detachment, which I will refer to, Your Honours, as LSD,
16 to Vukovar in response to that request.
17 The LSD arrived in Vukovar in early October, and it was primarily
18 composed of Seseljevci, many of whom were natives of the area, including
19 Milan Lancuzanin, aka Kameni, commander of the LSD and later a Vojvoda.
20 Other fighters in the detachment were recruited elsewhere by the SRS
21 War Staff. And as expert Theunens and Witness VS-012 both discussed,
22 those Seseljevci - sent from elsewhere - were equipped and trained in
23 association with MUP Serbia, under the authority of JCE members Stanisic
24 and Simatovic, and often in co-operation with JCE member Arkan, as well
25 as by the JNA, under the authority of JCE members Kadijevic and Adzic.
1 P250, signed in Sid on 18 October 1991, demonstrated
2 unequivocally that the TO recognised and incorporated the LSD under the
3 command of Kameni.
4 P199, the decision on the continuation of the assault operation
5 on Vukovar, signed by Mile Mrksic on 29 October, specifically identifies
6 the LSD as being under the command of Mrksic and the JNA. And the JNA on
7 the ground in Vukovar took pride in the seamless co-ordination and
8 integration into the JNA of the TO and volunteers, as can be seen in the
9 clip of this interview with Major Sljivancanin of the JNA in Vukovar.
10 And I'd ask now that P291 please be played.
11 [Video-clip played]
12 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover]
13 "Major, could you please describe briefly today's combat
14 activities here in this area.
15 "VS: Well, all the units in the territory of Vukovar are
16 fighting under the unified command of the 'South' Operations Group and
17 command of the Yugoslav People's Army, which is very important.
18 Volunteers often say: 'You never mention us,' and then I think we're all
19 of the same kind and we fight under the same command ... everyone,
20 whoever comes ... we equip them right away, prepare them for combat, and
21 include them in the units of the JNA. They carry out combat activities
22 side by side with other soldiers. The enemy, that is, the Ustashas, are
23 completely defeated ..."
24 MS. HOCHHAUSER: The accused was actively and intimately involved
25 in the events in Vukovar and with the actions of his Seseljevci once they
1 arrived there. Vojvoda Branislav Vakic and Vojvoda Branislav Gavrilovic,
2 aka Brne, were also sent to Vukovar with Seseljevci units. And the
3 accused appointed Slobodan Katic, an experienced fighter from Belgrade,
4 as the leader of the Seseljevci who were sent from Belgrade and
5 subordinated him and his unit to the LSD, which, of course, was in turn
6 subordinated to the local TO.
7 Witnesses Petkovic and Rankic both stated that the accused kept
8 in close contact with Kameni and communicated with him directly, as with
9 his other commanders in Vukovar. According to Witness Petkovic, both
10 Katic and Kameni treated Seselj -- treated the accused, excuse me, as
11 their commander. And they both went to SRS headquarters regularly to
12 speak with him.
13 At the time of the conflict, the accused also took great pride in
14 the lock-step co-ordination between his men in Vukovar and the JNA and
15 TO, and he boasted of the Seseljevci's significant contribution to the
16 achievements of the Serb fighting force there.
17 And I'd ask you now to play, as we can see in P185.
18 [Video-clip played]
19 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover]
20 "We painted almost all the helmets over. Wait a second! One of
21 those army helmets ... you know what, guys, I am used to everybody being
22 silent while I am talking. Perhaps you still haven't developed this
23 habit, but I have. We've painted two-headed Serbian white eagles on the
24 helmets and the army officer, Captain, Major, commands our people. And
25 by co-ordinated action, Kameni, our chief commander in Vukovar, plans the
1 action in co-operation with the army major in the evening, and they carry
2 it out the following day. Because of soldiers deserting from their
3 units, the army did not have enough manpower to go from house to house
4 and take them over, so our people did that. Army strikes with tanks,
5 mortars ..."
6 MS. HOCHHAUSER: Your Honours, I believe there was an additional
7 line that would have ended there and so I'll read it from P185, which was
9 "Army strikes with tanks, mortars, and howitzers, and our people
10 go from house to house and conquer it."
11 The accused himself said in his "Death of Yugoslavia" interview
12 that during the siege he met with -- the siege of Vukovar, he met with
13 Mrksic and he met with Sljivancanin, and he even claims to have taken
14 part in the combat there, as can be seen in P644, a clip from P644, which
15 we'll play now.
16 [Video-clip played]
17 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover]
18 "I had meetings with General Mrksic, who was the commander of the
19 Guards Brigade which participated in the operations to liberate Vukovar
20 and who commanded our volunteers. Our volunteers were under the direct
21 command of the Chetnik Vojvoda Kameni, Milan Lancuzanin, also known as
22 Kameni, and he was under the command of General Mrksic, commander of the
23 Guards Brigade. I met with him there, spoke to him, inspected the
24 forward lines with him, and so on. He even gave me an army helmet there,
25 onto which I stuck the Chetnik symbol of the double-headed white eagle.
1 This helmet was too small for my head and they later asked me how come
2 the army didn't have any bigger models."
3 MS. HOCHHAUSER: Your Honours, the TO members and volunteers who
4 populated the ranks in Vukovar also had the perception that the accused
5 was linked to them. And this is demonstrated, for example, by
6 Exhibit P25, which is Katic's letter to the SRS War Staff dated
7 9 December of 1991, in which he signs his signature as the -- excuse me,
8 along with his title as the SRS "Chetnik Commander of Vukovar." And he
9 writes in that letter to the SRS War Staff to "propose warriors for
10 promotion." And as Your Honours would expect, some of the people he
11 proposed were fighters from the LSD, along with -- fighters like Kameni,
12 the commander; Kinez, who it notes was the commander of the LSD's
13 1st Assault Platoon. But Katic's letter also requests promotion from the
14 SRS Crisis Staff for the members of the TO who the Seseljevci had fought
15 alongside, such as TO members Vujovic, the commander of the local TO;
16 Vujanovic, the chief of the local TO; and Peranovic, commander of the
17 Petrova Gora TO detachment, along with others.
18 Finally, the accused's visits to the front line in Vukovar also
19 ensured that he was well informed and in communication with his men
20 there, his Seseljevci, to whom he was providing constant support and
21 moral -- and encouragement. As the accused himself said during his
22 testimony in the Milosevic trial, which, as the Chamber well knows, is in
23 evidence as Exhibit P31, and this is said at page 542, the accused said:
24 "I went to Vukovar twice while the struggle for liberation was
25 going on. I saw everything. I was at the front lines. I visited almost
1 every street. It is impossible that there was something there that I
2 didn't see."
3 The accused's contribution to the joint criminal enterprise's
4 mission and to the Serb forces in Vukovar was not limited to supplying
5 the manpower. The accused also lent the power of his words, and as
6 Ms. Biersay touched upon in relation to Vukovar, the accused's speeches
7 in and about Vukovar were hateful, they were violent, and the evidence
8 has proven that they had a searing and motiving effect on those who heard
9 them and not just the Seseljevci. His speeches stoked their ethnic
10 hatred and division and they were not just political speeches.
11 The accused was a self-styled military man, and when he appeared
12 in Vukovar he toured that front line wearing a helmet, as you've heard
13 him say, a bullet-proof jacket, and a special JNA camouflage uniform
14 generally worn by high-ranking officers, which was specially made for
16 And, Your Honours, I can point you to Exhibit P1058,
17 paragraphs 45 through 46.
18 According to Witness Rankic, as Sljivancanin briefed the accused
19 in Vukovar during his tour of the front line, he called the accused
20 "President" in fronted of all those gathered. And the JNA and police
21 organised his transportation and his security.
22 The effect of all of this, of course, was to boost the accused's
23 influence over the Serb forces he addressed, to lend credibility to his
24 words, and to show that the other authorities in Vukovar -- acting in
25 Vukovar, the other authorities under the control of other JCE members in
1 this case supported the violent and ethnic agenda that the accused
3 Now, there is no doubt, there is no doubt, that the crimes
4 charged in Vukovar actually occurred. As will be discussed below -- or
5 as I will discuss now, even the accused admits that the crimes happened,
6 and so instead in the brief that he filed he claims that neither he nor
7 his Seseljevci can be linked to them.
8 Now, to begin with, even the accused, while not acknowledging his
9 own responsibility, acknowledged in an interview, which is in evidence as
10 P1225, in fact, re-published by the accused in 1995, that in
11 Vukovar - and these are his words - there was "excessive use of artillery
12 and unrestricted firing of shells without any tactical purpose."
13 That admission is supported by the witness evidence and
14 adjudicated facts which proved that Croatian homes were bombed, that
15 shelling was "indiscriminate" and seemed geared "to wipe out any life
16 from the area." And that's from Exhibit P268 at paragraphs 8, 9, and 15.
17 Targets included the hospital, kindergarten, graveyards, markets, and
18 school buildings. And the shelling continued, as VS-002 described at
19 6461, even as the Croats put up little resistance.
20 Witness Covic, in P844, page 7, said:
21 "They shelled the entire city irrespective of where the defenders
22 were located."
23 And on 18 November 1991 when Vukovar fell to the Serb forces, the
24 entire city had been razed to the ground. That destruction was not
25 justified by any military purpose, but, Your Honours, there was a
1 two-fold criminal purpose. Because in addition to the physical
2 destruction of Vukovar, the JNA shelling was the means by which large
3 numbers of non-Serbs were forcibly transferred and deported out of the
4 municipality. And, Your Honours, I'll leave this still from P289 as I
5 continue to discuss this topic, but you can see in P289 not only the
6 physical destruction to the town but the lines of people, of residents of
7 that town, forced out of it.
8 Now, the accused is responsible as a JCE member for the effects
9 of the shelling and the bombing, even though he himself was not making
10 the tactical decisions. What happened in Vukovar is a classic example of
11 the JNA tactics observed by the European Monitoring Mission in P412 at
12 page 14 and as described earlier by Mr. Marcussen. The JNA in Vukovar
13 terrorised the population with heavy artillery and then the JNA-backed
14 and armed undisciplined irregulars, Seseljevci amongst them, moved in.
15 So he is responsible because Seseljevci were already active in fields of
16 operation across Croatia as part of the Serb forces, and he is
17 responsible because for at least a significant portion of the time the
18 JNA was bombing Vukovar, Seseljevci were already under the command of
19 Kameni, who was already under the direct command of Mrksic, who was under
20 the control of Kadijevic and Adzic of the JNA.
21 As the accused himself agreed in P644 at pages 12 through 13, the
22 JNA could not have taken Vukovar by "shelling alone." And so war was
23 waged "street by street" by volunteers and the TO, including the
25 The Seseljevci, along with the other volunteers and TO,
1 contributed to the forced flight in another way as well, by creating an
2 atmosphere of uncertainty, an atmosphere of fear and ethnic hatred which
3 reinforced the need to leave, reinforced the fact that non-Serbs had no
4 choice but to leave if they wanted to survive. For example, according to
5 Witness Emil Cakalic, at transcript page 4954, the song "Slobo, Slobo,
6 there will be plenty of meat, we will slaughter the Croats," "resounded
7 throughout Vukovar" and was sung "especially by volunteers."
8 And I'd ask that P -- the video P58 which demonstrates what he's
9 describing be played now.
10 [Video-clip played]
11 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover]
12 "There will be plenty of meat. We will slaughter the Croats.
13 "Against the Croats ..."
14 MS. HOCHHAUSER: And that was the song that can be heard sung by
15 the volunteers you saw marching through P58.
16 The accused's propaganda, as described by Ms. Biersay, labelling
17 every --
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection, I have to intervene now.
19 The Prosecutor quoted the words from one song, she quoted it, and you can
20 see that from the English transcript. "Slobo, send us salad, there will
21 be meat, we will slaughter the Croats." The interpreter, however,
22 provides completely different verses, i.e., "Croats, we will slaughter
23 you." How come that the interpreter can create the closing argument for
24 the Prosecutor? Please remove that interpreter instantly. These are
25 completely different verses that entail different implications.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation]
2 MS. HOCHHAUSER: I'm sorry, Your Honour, I didn't get an
3 interpretation of what you just said.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can you hear me in English?
5 MS. HOCHHAUSER: Yes, now I can.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I would like you, please, to
7 ask a replay of --
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 1110 to 1120, that is where you
9 have that.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And I ask the interpreters to
11 interpret what they hear.
12 MS. HOCHHAUSER: Yes.
13 [Video-clip played]
14 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover]
15 "There will be plenty of meat. We will slaughter the Croats.
16 "And singing a tribal song against the Croats ..."
17 MS. HOCHHAUSER: May I continue? The interpretation --
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges, I believe that this should
19 entail repercussions. This was not played to the end. But I remind you
20 the Prosecutor very precisely quoted the verses from the song that was
21 sung. At the same time the interpreter, the Croat, provided a totally
22 different interpretation from a song that I have never heard before. To
23 you, this may sound and look similar; however, the implications are very,
24 very different.
25 MS. HOCHHAUSER: Your Honours, if I may, it's
1 Witness Emil Cakalic at transcript page 4954 that gives the quote -- that
2 the song:
3 "Slobo, Slobo, there will be plenty of meat, we will slaughter
4 the Croats" resounded throughout Vukovar and was sung especially by
6 The interpretation that I get in English of P58 is exactly that,
7 but in any case, if there are small language differences or language
8 differences from the interpretation, I present to you P58 as an example
9 of this type of song. So may I continue?
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you will have
12 ten hours to plead, so you will have an opportunity to take up this topic
13 again, and you can challenge the words of the Prosecutor when time comes.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Antonetti, I'm not contesting
15 what the Prosecutor is saying. The Prosecutor quoted a somewhat shorter
16 and very true version of the song that was sung by the column. My
17 objection is of an administrative nature. You are duty-bound to issue an
18 order for somebody from the service to listen to the interpretation into
19 the Serbian language, to convince yourself that the interpreter very
20 deliberately provided a very different interpretation. One song is:
21 "Slobo, send us salad, there will be meat, we will slaughter the
23 However, the song that was provided by the interpreter of his own
24 will states:
25 "Hey, Croats, we will slaughter you, we will slaughter half of
1 you and the rest we will give to the dogs."
2 Do you understand how very, very different the implications of
3 these two songs are? This is not a licencia poética of the interpreter.
4 This is a deliberate deceit. This is not an objection against the
5 Prosecutor's words. This is an administrative objection as a result of
6 the false interpretation, and I have the right to urgently object and you
7 have to undertake measures on my objection. Or maybe you can tell me
8 that I am telling nonsense, you can do that. But this is not something
9 that I should be dealing with in my closing argument.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. Good note has been
11 taken of what you said, and the translation unit will be asked to verify
12 and to write a report about this interpretation issue.
13 Mrs. Prosecutor, you can go on.
14 MS. HOCHHAUSER: [Microphone not activated]
15 I apologise. In addition to the discriminatory and persecutory
16 songs that rang throughout Vukovar, as we've just heard and seen, the
17 accused's propaganda, labelling every Croat as an Ustasha, infected the
18 mind-set of the Serb forces in Vukovar and to them the evidence has shown
19 every Croat was an Ustasha, and volunteers openly killed unarmed Croats.
20 For example, Witness Stojanovic, in P528, paragraphs 40 to 41,
21 stated that Kameni issued an order to kill any Croats and further that
22 "volunteers engaged in cleansing the area told us that when they found
23 Croats, they killed them on the spot, armed or not, because they did not
24 have time to take them to Velepromet, where there was a collection centre
25 and a prison. Kameni himself ordered our group, which guarded houses, to
1 execute any Croats we found on the spot."
2 Witness Stojanovic went on to describe seeing Seseljevci "from
3 Kameni's group" beat and then slit the throats of five unarmed Croats in
4 front of about 30 people. According to Witness Stojanovic, the JNA
5 called in Kameni and Kinez, his deputy, as a result but they were not
6 arrested and they remained in command of the LSD. And that,
7 Your Honours, is at P526, paragraphs 26 and 27.
8 Stojanovic, Witness Stojanovic, confirmed this information in
9 both P526, which was -- which he gave in August 2004, and again in P528,
10 his statement from June 2006. And for further discussion of the
11 credibility of those -- and reliability of those written statements, I
12 refer the Chamber back to our discussion in the brief and the
13 argumentative appendix.
14 VS-034 also confirmed the Seseljevci's brutal treatment of
15 detainees and gave evidence that he was ordered by Kameni to murder
16 detainees. And, Your Honour, for that I refer the Court to
17 Exhibits P1058 at paragraphs 39, 42 to -- 42 and 43, and P1056,
18 paragraph 31.
19 The violence and persecutions in Vukovar committed by the Serb
20 forces, and specifically by the volunteers and Seseljevci, was open, it
21 was accepted, and it was exacted without fear of repercussion from the
22 accused or from any other political and military leader who controlled or
23 contributed to those Serb forces and who are the named JCE members in
24 this case. And of the few non-Serbs who remained by the end of the siege
25 of Vukovar, many were later forcibly transferred out by the bus-load,
1 some to Croatian areas of what remained of Croatia; and others across
2 borders to Serbia and then on from there. And although the accused later
3 publicly questioned the JNA shelling tactics, Your Honours, he may not
4 rely on that now to escape criminal responsibility because the evidence
5 has proven that he supported the implementation of the JCE's common
6 purpose, the JCE's common plan by any means possible, including the
7 occurrence of crimes such as the wanton destruction of the town. And
8 thus, in Exhibit P1225 at page 6, in the same interview where he
9 criticises the JNA tactics of overusing artillery, he added that he would
10 "always celebrate the liberation of Vukovar."
11 I now turn specifically to the murders, torture, and cruel
12 treatment and persecutions at Ovcara, Grabovo, and Velepromet on the
13 19th to 21st of November, 1991. Again, these crimes are so well
14 established that they are simply undeniable. As the accused said during
15 the testimony of Vilim Karlovic, and I quote the accused:
16 "I am not challenging the crime. I have never challenged it. A
17 terrible crime did take place and there's no doubt about that."
18 So again, unable to challenge the crime, the accused denies any
19 link to the physical perpetrators in his final submission. But the
20 accused is responsible for those crimes because the Serb forces were
21 still in control and operating during the time-period when the crimes at
22 Velepromet, Ovcara, and Grabovo occurred. He is responsible because his
23 Seseljevci were amongst the physical perpetrators and are both linked to
24 him and to other JCE members through the TO and the JNA, and he is
25 responsible because the other physical perpetrators themselves, JNA, TO,
1 and other volunteers, are linked to his fellow JCE members.
2 The continued co-operation of these Serb forces on the
3 19th to the 21st November is demonstrated by the evidence in numerous
4 ways. For example, members of the JNA knew that the TO and volunteers
5 were exacting violence upon the non-Serb prisoners of war throughout the
6 siege of Vukovar. And there are extreme examples of this throughout the
7 record. For example, when JNA Major Lukic was told about Seseljevci
8 looting and cutting off the ears of a prisoner, and he chose not to
9 punish them because volunteers were needed on the front lines. And for
10 that, Your Honours, I can refer you to Exhibit P857, at paragraphs 57 to
11 58. Or Sljivancanin's 19 November warning about Velepromet that
12 "Chetniks are slaughtering there."
13 Despite the knowledge of what was happening, Sljivancanin
14 deliberately prevented access to the hospital by the Red Cross until the
15 detainees had been taken from the hospital and were on their way to the
16 JNA barracks. And it was the JNA that re-routed the detainees to the
17 Ovcara hangar from the barracks after a meeting at which including JNA,
18 TO, and members of the SAO SBWS government, including JCE members such as
19 Arkan and Hadzic, were present. Some members of the JNA were then at the
20 barracks, participating in the beatings itself, while others took no
21 action to stop it.
22 Miodrag Panic, the highest-ranking JNA officer on the scene,
23 left. The JNA military police who were supposed to be there to protect
24 the detainees withdrew at Mrksic's order.
25 The testimony of Josip Covic also illustrates the co-ordination
1 and the clear chain of authority that was still in effect at Velepromet
2 on 20 November 1991. He told of how the JNA and TO together drove
3 people, including civilians, the elderly and infirm, and hors de combat
4 fighters, away from the hospital, the Vukovar hospital. He told how the
5 men were then separated by TO members and then it was a JNA officer who
6 ordered them taken to Velepromet. Once at Velepromet, a group of
7 detainees were separated out and civilians allowed to point to some
8 amongst them, after which the TO called Seseljevci to take those selected
9 people behind the hangar and to kill them. One Seseljevac slit a man's
10 throat in front of the rest of the detainees.
11 As Covic himself was beaten by people he described as Chetniks, a
12 JNA officer called the men beating him away, not to stop them from
13 beating him, which he testified nobody there tried to do, but to go
14 fulfil another one of their orders. A JNA major then ordered Covic and
15 the other detainees onto buses to Sremska Mitrovica.
16 Victims Emil Cakalic, Vilim Karlovic, and Dragutin Berghofer
17 similarly told what occurred at Ovcara and they are corroborated by
18 others, by victims, perpetrators, and observers alike, including
19 Vesna Bosanac, JNA officers Vukasinovic and Vojnovic, and protected
20 witnesses VS-051, 16, 21, 65, 2, and others.
21 The testimony of these witnesses which proved so unassailably
22 that the crimes occurred also prove the accused's guilt for the murders
23 and abuses at Ovcara and Grabovo beyond a reasonable doubt. The evidence
24 proved that when JNA Witness Vukasinovic arrived at the hospital on the
25 20th of November with the buses that had been ordered by
1 Major Sljivancanin, the commanders of the TO detachments, including
2 Miroljub Vujovic, Stanko Vujanovic, and Kameni, were there with their
3 fighters along with Sljivancanin. Men of all ages, including the
4 wounded, the elderly, and minors, were taken and herded onto buses. They
5 were brought to the JNA barracks and eventually to the hangar at Ovcara.
6 Kameni, along with others, escorted the first group of buses.
7 With the JNA present, detainees were forced to run through a
8 gauntlet of TO and volunteers, who some described as Chetniks, who beat
9 them and taunted them, and as VS-016 recounted at transcript 11129,
10 taunted them with ethnic slurs such as: "Beat the Ustasha cunts."
11 Inside that hangar, members of the JNA, TO, and volunteers
12 including people who were identified as Seseljevci, beat the detainees.
13 VS-065 reported that Stanko Vujanovic, Miroljub Vujovic and Seseljevac
14 Kameni were the TO commanders on the scene.
15 Some of the beaters wore the Chetnik insignia and had the four Cs
16 on their caps or wore fur hats. Someone blew a whistle to indicate when
17 beatings should stop and start. And they sang persecutory songs like
18 "Bring out the salad and we'll have meat because we're going to slaughter
19 the Croats."
20 And that was from the testimony of Mr. Karlovic at
21 transcript 4779, the quote.
22 One survivor recalled watching a man beaten to death while he was
23 forced to sing Chetnik songs and to lick the boots of his attacker.
24 Beatings lasted for several hours, and sometime after 2100 hours,
25 TO commander Miroljub Vujovic ordered the first group of detainees out of
1 the hangar and into a trailer bound for Grabovo and the pit that had
2 already been dug. Several trips were made bringing additional prisoners
3 of war to their deaths.
4 Witnesses VS-016, VS-065, and Stoparic, at transcript 2357 and
5 2360, identified people who were members of the LSD as being among the
6 volunteers -- I'm sorry, as being among the volunteers, TO, and JNA
7 members who brought the detainees to the pit. And the same combination
8 of forces also made up the firing squads who shot and in some cases
9 stabbed the detainees to death. According to VS-002, when they ran short
10 on ammunition at the pit, Vujovic, the TO commander, went to the JNA to
11 get more. And that can be found at transcript 6549.
12 The evidence thus proves beyond a reasonable doubt that Kameni
13 and the LSD, along with the other TO commanders and their fighters, were
14 part of the organised removal of people from the hospital overseen by the
15 JNA, and that they followed the prisoners from there under the protection
16 of the JNA, which was still clearly in a position of authority, they
17 followed them to Ovcara and ultimately all the way to their death at the
18 Grabovo pit. And those events clearly demonstrate that the accused is
19 linked to the physical perpetrators of those crimes.
20 Your Honour, the lengths that the accused goes to in his brief to
21 distance himself from those physical perpetrators betrays a willingness
22 to assert as facts information that is wholly unsupported in the record
23 and without basis in truth. His efforts to deny his link to those crimes
24 are remarkable in his submission -- to deny his links to those crimes in
25 his submission are remarkable for their lack of credibility.
1 First, the accused claims that there were no more SRS volunteers
2 in Vukovar when the crimes at Ovcara, Grabovo, and Velepromet were
3 committed. Now, aside from the extensive witness evidence already
4 discussed, which places the LSD and its Seseljevci still in Vukovar,
5 still taking orders from the TO and working with the JNA at the time when
6 the murders and abuse occurred, there is definitive documentary evidence
7 that the accused's assertion is not true and that is at Exhibit P41.
8 Mrksic's order regulating the issue of resubordination and the return of
9 the home units. This order clearly shows that on the 20th of November,
10 when the Serb forces, including Seseljevci, were committing those crimes,
11 the LSD was still in Vukovar and still subordinated to the JNA.
12 Next, the accused asserts in his brief that no SRS volunteer has
13 been linked to any crime, and to back up this assertion in his brief, the
14 accused incredibly disavows his connection to his Vojvoda Kameni and the
15 fighters under his command, now drawing a distinction between Seseljevci
16 sent to Vukovar from elsewhere and those from Vukovar and its environs.
17 He even relies in his brief on the assertion that Kameni was just a
18 reserve JNA member from Vukovar and not a member of the SRS.
19 Your Honours, would this be a good time to take the break?
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have been sitting for
21 approximately an hour and a half. We shall have a break and resume
22 around ten minutes to 11.00. We shall have a break at 12.25 and have a
23 break because a new Judge is being appointed today. That should last
24 20 minutes or so. And after that, we will resume after the swearing-in
1 --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.
2 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed.
4 You may proceed.
5 MS. HOCHHAUSER: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Your Honours, when we broke I was turning to the accused's next
7 argument in his brief in which he disavowed his relationship to Kameni
8 and the Seseljevci under his command and relied on the assertion that
9 Kameni was just a reserve JNA member from Vukovar and not a member of the
10 SRS. And while Kameni was from Vukovar and was a reserve JNA officer, it
11 is indisputable that he was a Seseljevac, whether or not he was a member
12 of the SRS, which in fact anyway he was. He commanded Seseljevci, he
13 reported to the accused, and there is an unbreakable link between Kameni
14 and the LSD and the accused. And for that I would draw the Chamber's
15 attention, in addition to the videos that we already saw where the
16 accused mentions Kameni and the other testimony discussed, to
17 Exhibits P255, page 3; P185, page 1; transcript 3429 to 3435;
18 Exhibit P288, page 1; transcript 5075 to 5077; and Exhibit P217, page 3;
19 and in fact to the accused's own testimony in Milosevic about Kameni's
20 SRS membership. Of course, Exhibit P31 at page 627.
21 Seselj's order, the accused's order, appointing Kameni Vojvoda
22 commends him -- commends Kameni as having been with "the Serbian Chetnik
23 Movement since its establishment." And describes him as the "commander
24 of Leva Supoderica Volunteers Unit of the Serbian Radical Party and
25 Serbian Chetnik Movement." And that is at Exhibit P217, page 3.
1 The accused's connection not just to Kameni but to every fighter
2 under Kameni's command in the LSD was so well established that, as
3 Ms. Biersay mentioned earlier, even the JNA referred to the fighters in
4 that detachment by the name Seseljevci in official communications. And I
5 would point to Exhibit P41, page 2.
6 Now, the accused in his brief next makes a legal argument that
7 the judgement in the case of Mrksic, Sljivancanin, and Radic, that in
8 that case there was not sufficient evidence to find a JCE had been proven
9 beyond a reasonable doubt, the accused argues that that precludes this
10 Chamber from finding him responsible for the crimes in Vukovar under a
11 JCE or, in fact, under any other theory.
12 The Mrksic Trial Chamber found no joint criminal enterprise had
13 been proven between those three accused in relation to the limited common
14 purpose alleged in that indictment which was "the persecution of Croats
15 or other non-Serbs who were present in the Vukovar Hospital after the
16 fall of Vukovar."
17 And that's from the Mrksic indictment, Your Honours, at
18 paragraphs 5 through 7.
19 The JCE, the joint criminal enterprise, charged in this case is
20 defined by a different common purpose, that of the permanent forcible
21 removal, through the commission of the enumerated crimes, of a majority
22 of the non-Serb population from approximately one-third of the territory
23 of Croatia and large parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to make it
24 part of a new Serb-dominated state.
25 And, Your Honours, that's of course in this indictment,
1 paragraph 6.
2 So the existence of the JCE in this indictment aimed at a
3 significantly larger geographic area, a more broadly defined population
4 with a differently defined common purpose is not affected by that
6 Next, the Mrksic appeals judgement does not preclude this Chamber
7 from finding the accused guilty of persecution as a crime against
8 humanity for the killings at Ovcara and Grabovo, as the accused argues in
9 his brief that it does. His argument -- his argument is that the
10 Appeals Chamber's finding in Mrksic that the killings did not have a
11 nexus with the widespread and systematic attack on the civilian
12 population constitutes an effective estoppel for this Chamber, and that
13 is not correct.
14 First, the subjective knowledge of the physical perpetrators is
15 not crucial to determining the liability of the accused pursuant to the
16 JCE. The Mrksic Appeals Chamber had to determine there whether the
17 physical perpetrators' subjective knowledge fulfilled the nexus
18 requirements of crimes against humanity because at that point the Chamber
19 was focusing on whether the accused were guilty of aiding and abetting
20 rather than committing those crimes. However, when the mode under
21 consideration is JCE, it is the JCE members' subjective knowledge which
22 is relevant, irrespective of whether the physical perpetrator has that
23 knowledge. And for further discussion of this point, I would point the
24 Chamber to the Milutinovic judgement at paragraphs 158 to 162.
25 The accused and his fellow JCE members in this case, including
1 the JNA commanders Adzic and Kadijevic, and also including Arkan and
2 Goran Hadzic, both of whom, the latter two, played critical roles in the
3 hand-over of the prisoners of war to the TO and volunteers directly as
4 well as the JNA members, they all had knowledge that there was an attack
5 on the civilian population and that the attacks committed by the physical
6 perpetrators were part of that attack. The evidence of the knowledge of
7 the JCE members in this case is set out at length in the Prosecution's
8 final trial submission, final trial brief, at, amongst others,
9 paragraphs 136 to 146, 181 to 182, and 194 to 195.
10 Second, this case is distinguishable from the Mrksic case on its
11 facts. The widespread and systematic attack on the civilian population
12 in this case has a greater geographic and temporal scope, and therefore
13 purpose, to the attack considered in Mrksic. The attack in this case was
14 against the non-Serb population, as I've said, in one-third of the
15 territory of Croatia and a significant portion of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
16 compared with an attack limited to the civilian population of Vukovar in
17 that case. A much broader range of factors are thus relevant to
18 determining whether the underlying crimes at Ovcara and Grabovo have a
19 nexus to this widespread and systematic attack against the civilian
20 population, as defined in this case. And the evidence in this case
21 demonstrates that the JCE members aimed to rid a large geographic area of
22 all non-Serbs, whether civilian or otherwise. The Ovcara and Grabovo
23 victims' status must be considered in the context of acts committed
24 against those non-Serbs as a whole.
25 This Chamber consequently heard significantly different evidence
1 than the Mrksic Chamber regarding the removal of and crimes committed
2 against the targeted non-Serb population of Croatia and of
4 Now, as I previously noted in relation to Vukovar during the
5 siege and as is discussed in the Prosecution's final trial brief at
6 paragraphs 108 to 125, in relation to the larger Croatian campaign, other
7 murders, abuse, and persecutions against both hors de combat non-Serb
8 fighters and civilians had already been perpetrated as part of the larger
9 campaign of persecutions throughout the region and they would go on to be
10 perpetrated throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina.
11 The primary consideration for all of these victims was that they
12 were non-Serb. That the physical perpetrators at Ovcara and Grabovo
13 singled out for harsher treatment those who they perceived as being
14 hors de combat doesn't sever the required connection in this case on this
15 evidence to this attack as it has been defined.
16 Thus, whether the Chamber is looking at these killings through
17 the lens of the JCE or whether the Chamber is considering the other modes
18 of liability, like aiding and abetting or instigation, the Mrksic
19 Chamber's findings are not binding because that Chamber examined whether
20 the acts of the physical perpetrators had a nexus with a completely
21 different attack, one that was of a much smaller scope and a much smaller
23 If the Chamber should nonetheless find that no crimes against
24 humanity have been proven under Article 5, the accused is still
25 responsible for the murders, torture, and cruel treatment at Ovcara and
1 Grabovo under Article 3.
2 The accused is also charged with the direct commission of
3 persecution for his speeches regarding Vukovar, one made in Vukovar and
4 one made in Sid, and I will address his claims regarding these charges
5 briefly now.
6 First, the accused is charged in regard to the speech he made in
7 Sid on 7 November 1991, in which he stated that the Serb TO of the
8 SAO SBWS was at work in the region and that as a result "this entire area
9 will soon be cleared of Ustasha." His words were reported in the
10 "Politika" article that's in evidence as P1285, as he intended that they
11 would be reported since he made the statement at a press conference.
12 At the time, Sid had temporary barracks set up to arm volunteers.
13 It was close to the front in Vukovar, and the accused made the statement
14 as part of his press tour en route to Vukovar to encourage the troops
15 there just at the time when Serb forces were gearing up for a final push
16 and tensions were running especially high.
17 Regarding the accused's infamous statement that "no Ustasha shall
18 leave Vukovar alive," the accused now adamantly denies ever making the
19 statement and relies heavily on the Mrksic Chamber's discussion of
20 VS-027. But in his brief, the accused misrepresents that Chamber's
21 opinion of that witness's evidence. At paragraph 364, the Mrksic
22 Trial Chamber expressed certain concerns about aspects of the testimony,
23 but noted that they accepted parts of the testimony, where it was
24 corroborated by credible, independent evidence. And in this case,
25 Your Honours, that testimony, the testimony that the accused said while
1 in Vukovar before its fall, that "no Ustasha shall leave Vukovar alive,"
2 is corroborated by credible, independent evidence, evidence which was not
3 heard in the Mrksic case. The statements of Zoran Rankic, a close
4 associate of the accused, who gave evidence, in Exhibit P1074 at
5 paragraph 69, that he was with the accused throughout his trip to Vukovar
6 and recalls the accused pronouncing "not one Ustasha is to leave Vukovar
8 He recalls him making this statement to at least 50 people,
9 including volunteers, TO members, and officers of the Guards Brigade,
10 including Sljivancanin and Radic. And people fired in the air in support
11 of his words.
12 Rankic's statement in P1074 in this regard is unambiguous and it
13 should be relied upon, and he acknowledged the accuracy of that
14 statement -- of P1074 in multiple subsequent statements. And for further
15 discussion again of Rankic's credibility, I would refer the Trial Chamber
16 to the final trial brief, paragraphs 3 through 7, and the argumentative
18 There is further corroboration from VS-016, who also heard the
19 accused repeat those words as he stood on Nova Ulica, next to the LSD
20 headquarters. The accused declared that "not a single Ustasha should
21 leave Vukovar alive" to the gathered group, which included Seseljevci,
22 including Kameni and others, policemen, JNA soldiers, TO members, and
23 other fighters. And in response to the accused's statement, the fighters
24 all raised their rifles as a sign of approval.
25 And that, Your Honour, is from VS-016's recounting. At
1 transcript 11121, 11171 to 72, 11288.
2 Witnesses' differing recollections of the exact circumstances
3 under which the statement was made by the accused suggests that the
4 accused, as he is wont to do, repeated those words in some variation
5 throughout his visit. And additionally as discussed in the brief, the
6 Prosecution's final trial brief at paragraph 155, the crimes at Ovcara,
7 Grabovo, and throughout Vukovar can be directly attributed to those who
8 heard his remarks or those under the command and influence of other
9 people who heard them.
10 The accused's strenuous denials that he ever uttered these words
11 are all the more unreliable since in his 84 bis statement in front of
12 this Chamber - at transcript 1921 to 1922, while denying that he made the
13 infamous statement specifically to troops in Vukovar - the accused was
14 forced to acknowledge that it was possible that "at somewhere, sometime,
15 I said something like that."
16 And it was telling when testifying in the Milosevic trial at --
17 in P31 at page 581, he used the very same phrase:
18 "It was always my standpoint that the Ustasha had to be defeated
19 and that not a single Ustasha could leave alive, but that they should all
20 be caught."
21 Witness Stojanovic, himself a Seseljevac, who was motivated to
22 join the war effort by one of the accused's speeches, as he explained in
23 P528 at paragraph 8, reported that the accused's audience understood his
24 message when he spoke. As Stojanovic said at -- in P528 at paragraph 12,
25 he understood that:
1 "One of Seselj's objectives was to cleanse parts of Croatia that
2 he considered to be Serbian land."
3 And referring to the other fighters that heard the words -- that
4 heard Seselj's words with him, Stojanovic said:
5 "Other people understood it the same way."
6 The accused understood and intended the persecutory nature of his
7 statements. And as he himself conceded in an interview in Exhibit P50,
8 page 8 [sic], his statements against non-Serbs and calling for the
9 expulsion of non-Serbs could have caused those who listened to him to
10 hate non-Serbs.
11 And nor were these his only such statements. Seselj made other
12 similar statements in Vukovar, the accused did, in Vukovar which provoked
13 equally strong reactions. VS-034 recalled, in P1058 at paragraph 46,
14 watching the accused address the soldiers in Vukovar, and saying that:
15 "Ustasha should be expelled."
16 And recounted how the volunteers responded, and what he said was
17 that the volunteers responded by singing:
18 "Croats, we shall slaughter you, slaughter you a bit but give you
19 to the dogs more often."
20 And, Your Honours, that concludes the portion of the presentation
21 on -- regarding the charged crimes in Vukovar municipality, and I would
22 like to now hand the floor over to Mr. Mussemeyer, who will be addressing
23 the pattern municipalities of Vocin, Bijeljina, Bosanski Samac, and
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning, sir. You may
2 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Your Honours, the JCE members and their forces
3 implemented their common purpose similarly throughout the regions they
4 targeted, as Mr. Marcussen has explained. Four key patterns were
5 repeated throughout the conflict, these were: First, arming and military
6 training of Serb local population; second, volunteers and paramilitaries,
7 including Seseljevci, arrived in the area; third, Serbs took over the
8 municipalities and created separate Serb authorities; and fourth, Serb
9 forces, including Seseljevci, committed crimes, including killing of
10 non-Serbs, forcible transfer, detention and mistreatment in facilities
11 controlled by local authorities, and destruction of cultural monuments.
12 The repeated occurrence of the same patterns demonstrates that a
13 common plan developed and executed by the JCE members was behind the
14 take-over of these municipalities.
15 The patterns of implementation of the JCE happened first in
16 Croatia. Evidence of those patterns, and the accused's involvement in
17 implementing them, goes back to the arming of Serb forces in Borovo Selo
18 and the arrival of Seseljevci there. My colleague Ms. Hochhauser
19 described the crimes that were later committed nearby, in Vukovar, and
20 similar events were repeated in the Bosnian crime-base locations. These
21 patterns carried through from the Serb campaign in Croatia to the crimes
22 in Vukovar and then to the first pattern municipality in this case, which
23 is Vocin. The pattern of events was similar and some of the perpetrators
24 were even redeployed from Vukovar to Western Slavonia.
25 After the crimes in Vocin, as Mr. Marcussen discussed, the JCE
1 members shifted their focus from Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The
2 same patterns carried through there. They were seen in the
3 municipalities of Bijeljina, Bosanski Samac, and Brcko, and then the same
4 forces and some of the same fighters would implement the common purpose
5 in the Bosnian crime-base municipalities.
6 The accused and his Seseljevac were involved in the
7 implementation of the common purpose in all four municipalities.
8 I will now summarise the events in Vocin.
9 Witness Maretic testified that local Serbs in Western Slavonia
10 started arming themselves after the elections in Croatia in 1990. By
11 August 1991, paramilitary formations and a local Serb TO were present in
12 the area. That month, Serb forces took over Vocin. Witness Matovina
13 testified that local TO leader Boro Lukic occupied the police station in
14 Vocin, took down and burned the Croatian flag, and hoisted the Serbian
15 flag in its place. Shortly afterwards, armed Serb forces occupied Vocin.
16 Shooting from machine-guns and automatic weapons could be heard. When
17 the shooting stopped, Lukic told Croats to surrender their weapons. Serb
18 forces searched Croats' houses for weapons.
19 Soon thereafter, Serbs established separate Serb authorities in
20 the SAO Western Slavonia. On 27 September 1991, the commander of the
21 TO municipal staff of Podravska Slatina ordered that regional departments
22 of Vocin police station be formed. The new departments were staffed by
23 Serb officers who served in the Croatian police before. Most Serb police
24 officers did not return their weapons when they left the Croatian police.
25 In October 1991, paramilitaries, including Seseljevci and
1 White Eagles, arrived in Vocin by civilian buses. The commander of
2 Seselj's men was Radovan Novacic. Other Seseljevci, after taking part in
3 conquering and destroying Vukovar, were deployed [sic] to
4 Western Slavonia. The JNA armed these Seseljevci and paid their
5 salaries. The volunteers had a very bad reputation among the local
6 population. They walked around with weapons, came into courtyards asking
7 for alcohol. They scared the local inhabitants.
8 The accused visited his volunteers in Vocin in late November
9 1991. In Sekulinci Lager he gave a speech to his volunteers, and yet,
10 after his visit, tensions rose and the Seseljevci actually became more
11 violent and started killing civilian Croats.
12 Crimes had occurred throughout the Serb campaign in
13 Western Slavonia. 22 civilians were killed during the Serb forces'
14 attack on Cetekovac, Cojlug, and Balinci. Volunteers abducted non-Serbs
15 and brought them to Sekulinci Lager where they were maltreated and even
16 killed some detainees.
17 At the beginning of December volunteers torched Croats' houses.
18 Around the 4th December, four young Croat men who had to perform forced
19 labour for Serb forces were killed by Seseljevci. By 8 December 1991,
20 ethnic Croats had entirely vacated the nearby municipalities of Grubisno
21 Polje and Daruvar due to the conflict.
22 In the night from the 12th to the 13th of December, 1991,
23 45 elderly non-Serbs were murdered. We viewed Exhibit P435, showing
24 victims whose bodies were mutilated and some were burned.
25 Witness Matovina, the police officer supervising the criminal
1 investigations after the killing, discovered during his investigations
2 that Seseljevci were among the perpetrators. Witness Kulic corroborated
4 Serb forces blew up the Catholic church in Vocin. We have seen
5 Exhibit P437, a video-clip showing the ruins of the church. Houses at
6 Vocin were torched and looted. The day after the explosion
7 Witness Matovina came to Vocin and he testified that it "looked like
9 After the crimes in Vocin, many Croat inhabitants fled the
10 village. A list of refugees who fled Vocin is in evidence as
11 Exhibit P434.
12 In his closing brief, the accused denies that there was a pattern
13 and that the JCE existed in relation to Vocin.
14 But he did not contest that the events happened in Vocin, which I
15 just summarised. His Seseljevci were in Vocin, he visited his volunteers
16 there. The accused did not contest the killing of 49 non-Serbs in Vocin,
17 but he disputes that his men were involved in the crimes. However,
18 Matovina, Maretic, Kulic, VS-018, and VS-033 all provide evidence which
19 demonstrate that the Seseljevci perpetrated crimes in Vocin, just as they
20 had in Vukovar and throughout the JCE campaign in Croatia.
21 I will now turn to the events in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992,
22 which show the same characteristic pattern I described in the beginning,
23 namely, arming and military training of local Serb population; arrival of
24 volunteers and paramilitaries, including Seseljevci; Serbs taking control
25 over the municipalities and creation of separate Serb authorities; the
1 commission of crimes.
2 This pattern repeated in the Bosnian municipalities relevant to
3 this indictment, the first of those municipalities was Bijeljina.
4 The take-over of Bijeljina was led by the accused's Vojvoda
5 Mirko Blagojevic. Here on Exhibit P737, you can see his role during the
7 [Video-clip played]
8 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover]
9 "Shoot at the ...
10 "Mirko Blagojevic: I am the president of the Serbian Radical
11 Party Regional Board. We actually control all the accesses to the city
12 and all exits from it too, and we control approximately 75 per cent of
13 the city."
14 MR. MUSSEMEYER: The accused and Blagojevic discussed the
15 take-over and ethnic cleansing of Bijeljina before the war.
16 Witness VS-1028 overheard a conversation in the Café Srbija where they
17 discussed how to cleanse Bijeljina of non-Serbs. They agreed to kill
18 non-Serbs and agreed that anybody who remained and was not loyal would be
19 expelled to Turkey or Croatia. Vojvoda Blagojevic, together with Arkan's
20 men, then organised arming and training of the local population.
21 Arkan's men were deployed in the surrounding areas of Bijeljina
22 before the conflict began. The accused admitted that JCE member
23 Biljana Plavsic brought Arkan and his men to Bijeljina. Along with the
24 deployment of paramilitaries, JCE members began creating separate Serb
25 institutions in Bijeljina. Republika Srpska Minister of Interior
1 Momcilo Mandic instructed police commanders, among them the chief of
2 police from Bijeljina, to prepare for separation, including arming of
3 Serb police officers and the police station. And I refer to adjudicated
4 fact number 179. Witness VS-1035, a Muslim police officer, had to sign a
5 declaration to be loyal to the Serbian SUP.
6 The take-over of Bijeljina started on the night of the
7 31st of March, 1992. VS-1028 realised that his Serb neighbours left
8 their homes before the attack. Blagojevic commanded the Seseljevci who
9 participated in the take-over. He and his men co-operated with Arkan's
10 men and JNA units. The accused boasted on several occasions that
11 Bijeljina was liberated by Vojvoda Blagojevic and his men, for instance,
12 in Exhibits P682; P685, page 11; and P1242, page 10.
13 During the take-over, many non-Serb civilians were killed. A
14 member of Blagojevic's unit known as Suma killed a father and two sons.
15 Arkan's men killed members of the Sabanovic family and one of Arkan's men
16 can be seen in this slide abusing their bodies.
17 And when the fighting was over, Witness 1035 was ordered to
18 provide protection to the people who collected the corpses in the streets
19 and cellars in Bijeljina. He testified that they collected 48 bodies.
20 Many non-Serb inhabitants were arrested and mistreated by the
21 MUP. In Batkovic camp, close to Bijeljina, prisoners were regularly
22 beaten and subjected to forced labour. Some were killed. The horrible
23 conditions in the detention camps in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including
24 Bijeljina, were noted by this Chamber in its first adjudicated facts
25 decision number 293 and 297.
1 And Serb forces destroyed non-Serb religious and cultural
2 monuments. Expert Riedlmayer's report shows that monuments throughout
3 Bosnia and Herzegovina were systematically destroyed. In Bijeljina, all
4 15 non-Serb religious and cultural monuments were damaged, and 12 of the
5 Muslim religious buildings were either completely destroyed or almost
6 destroyed. Riedlmayer often found a huge garbage container where the
7 mosque has one been.
8 I will now show five characteristic examples of the destruction
9 of cultural monuments in Bosnia. The examples are all taken from
10 Exhibit 1045, the annex to Riedlmayer's report. And I will show
11 pictures -- two pictures from before and after the destruction.
12 First picture. This first example is the destructed Krpic mosque
13 in Bijeljina. The picture on the left shows the mosque before the
14 destruction and the picture on the right how the place of the mosque
15 looked after the destruction. On the second after-destruction photo, you
16 also see a garbage container Riedlmayer talked about during his
18 The second example is the Azizija mosque in Brcko. You see --
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges, this is a show for the
20 public, first and foremost. Therefore, I would kindly ask Mr. Mussemeyer
21 to say about every mosque when it was actually destroyed. It is very
22 important for this to be known. I'm sure that he has the data about
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's absolutely not normal for
25 you to interrupt the Prosecutor during his presentation, and I would tell
1 you the same if you had the floor. The accused is supposed to speak last
2 and he speaks last in order to be given the opportunity to challenge what
3 has been said before, and in particular things like the Prosecutor has
4 shown pictures of this kind and that kind, et cetera. And this has
5 already been said when the expert witness testified about these mosques.
6 You made the same remark then.
7 So the Chamber knows perfectly well that there may be a problem
8 in the dates.
9 Mr. Prosecutor, you can go on.
10 MR. MUSSEMEYER: The second example is the Azizija mosque in
11 Brcko. You see how the mosque looked before the conflict and what
12 remained. You see in the picture on the right an empty place.
13 The third example shows the before and after picture of the
14 Azizija mosque in Bosanski Samac. Again, you see a huge garbage
15 container on the empty place where once the mosque was standing.
16 The next two examples refer to destroyed Catholic churches, and
17 again you see the situation before and after destruction. The first
18 picture shows the Roman Catholic Parish Church of the Most Sacred Heart
19 of Jesus in Bosanski Samac. What is interesting on the after-destruction
20 picture is the undamaged Orthodox church opposite to the empty place
21 where the Catholic church used to stay.
22 The last example is the Roman Catholic Parish Church of
23 St. Anthony the Hermit in Gorice, in Brcko.
24 In his closing brief the accused contested that his men
25 co-operated with Arkan's men during the take-over of Bijeljina. However,
1 Witnesses VS-1028 and Gusalic described the Seseljevci's co-operation
2 with Arkan's men in Bijeljina.
3 The accused challenges the credibility of VS-1028, asserting that
4 the witness expected to be provided with means to live abroad if he
5 testified against the accused, but the accused ignores that the witness
6 testified that he got his residency permit in the country where he lives
7 today without the help of this Tribunal and before he testified in this
9 Further, the accused is correct that local Seseljevci led by
10 Mirko Blagojevic participated in the take-over of Bijeljina where they
11 committed crimes. It is irrelevant that these Seseljevci were not from
13 The accused was directly involved in the take-over. He met with
14 Blagojevic to discuss ethnically cleansing Bijeljina and bragged that
15 Blagojevic liberated the municipality, as I already mentioned. And after
16 the take-over and crimes in Bijeljina, Blagojevic still shares the
17 accused's ideas of Greater Serbia and celebrated the JCE members'
18 persecutory campaign.
19 I will now turn to the events in Bosanski Samac.
20 The pattern that Vojvoda Blagojevic helped implement in Bijeljina
21 were soon repeated in Bosanski Samac. The JNA armed local Serbs in the
22 Bosanski Samac region to advance the common purpose of the JCE. In
23 addition, the local MUP leadership sent 20 Serbs to a MUP training camp
24 for special training. On 29th February, 1992, local Serbs created a Serb
25 municipality of Bosanski Samac, which is Exhibit P670. This led to
1 conflict because non-Serbs in the area did not accept the Serbian
2 proclamation that the entire territory was theirs.
3 Shortly after the first take-over in North-Eastern Bosnia, the
4 first Seseljevci arrived in Bosanski Samac by JNA helicopter from a
5 Red Berets training camp in Serbia. The night before, the head of the
6 Red Berets, JCE member Frenki Simatovic, had visited the camp to instruct
7 the Seseljevci on their upcoming task in Bosnia.
8 Days later, in Bijeljina, ethnic Serbs temporarily evacuated
9 Bosanski Samac and then Serb forces took over the municipality. As local
10 Serb leader Blagoje Simic informed the JNA, a Crisis Staff was
11 established and paramilitaries and police took control of the most
12 important facilities in the town. Their goal was to ethnically cleanse
13 Bosanski Samac.
14 Seseljevci Srecko Radovanovic, aka Debeli, and
15 Slobodan Miljkovic, aka Lugar, were among the paramilitaries who
16 participated in the take-over as the accused admitted in the Milosevic
17 case. The accused appointed Debeli Vojvoda in May 1993. He contests
18 that Lugar was an SRS member when he was in Bosanski Samac. But
19 Exhibit P1041 shows that already in 1991 Lugar had asked the accused to
20 become a Seseljevac and went to Slavonia as a member of the SRS.
21 The consequences of the take-over for non-Serbs from
22 Bosanski Samac was drastic. A good example which demonstrates the
23 atmosphere and the discriminatory measures taken against non-Serbs after
24 the take-over is an order signed by Stevan Todorovic of the local public
25 police station which is in evidence in P673, and I will quote it. It
1 says, first:
2 "It is forbidden for three or more Muslims or Croats to gather
3 together in public places."
4 Second: "Any such group should be first warned, and if the
5 offence is repeated, the participants should be apprehended and
7 Third: "For the fulfilment of this order, the commander of the
8 military police platoon and the commander of the public safety stations
9 are personally responsible."
10 Because of this order, Muslims could not even have funeral
11 processions, as Witness Sulejman Tihic testified. Along with these
12 discriminatory measures, other indictment crimes were commonplace in
13 Bosanski Samac.
14 This Chamber has judicially noticed that Serb forces set up
15 detention facilities in Bosanski Samac which were full of people who had
16 no weapons and nothing to do with arming or armed groups. More than
17 1.500 non-Serbs were detained at sites including the TO building and the
18 secondary schools in Bosanski Samac and the Omladinski Dom in Crkvina.
19 The detainees were abused and some were murdered. Witness Tihic
20 and VS-1000 testified that one of the worst perpetrators was Seseljevac
21 Slobodan Miljkovic, aka Lugar. Lugar participated in a massacre in
22 Crkvina where 16 non-Serb prisoners were murdered and killed the prison
23 inmate nicknamed Dikan.
24 As occurred throughout Bosnia, non-Serb religious sites were also
25 destroyed in Bosanski Samac. Here I refer, for instance, as we have just
1 seen, to the Catholic Parish Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
2 which was completely destroyed. The Orthodox church across the street,
3 however, was undamaged, suggesting that the Catholic church was
4 intentionally targeted.
5 In his closing brief, the accused alleges that Seseljevci are not
6 linked to the perpetrators of the crimes in Bosanski Samac. However,
7 this link is clearly demonstrated by Witnesses VS-1058, VS-1000, VS-1010,
8 and Sulejman Tihic.
9 I will finally turn to the events in Brcko.
10 Seseljevci under Blagojevic arrived from Bijeljina to Brcko.
11 Also, Arkan's men participated in the take-over of Brcko. Before the
12 paramilitaries arrived, Witness 1033 observed JNA helicopters landing at
13 the barracks and soldiers wearing red berets leaving the helicopter.
14 Later he saw Red Berets training local Serbs in self-defence. The JNA
15 distributed weapons to local Serbs, street signs appeared indicating
16 Brcko was now part of a separate Serb region, SAO Semberija and Majevica
17 or SAO Serbian Krajina.
18 On 30th April 1992, Serb forces started to take over Brcko by
19 blowing up the two bridges over the Sava River. The actual fighting
20 began during the night of the 2nd May 1992. Arkan's men and Seseljevci
21 under Blagojevic participated in the take-over, as they already had in
22 Bijeljina. A JNA aircraft bombed the town, while the attack on Brcko was
23 carried out by groups of mixed members of Serb forces, military police of
24 the JNA, Serb volunteers, Red Berets, and Seseljevci. This has all been
25 testified by Witness VS-1033.
1 The crimes which characterised the JCE campaign also occurred in
2 Brcko. The day when the take-over began, policemen and soldiers
3 massacred a group of civilians outside the local market. Witness VS-1033
4 observed similar situations to the photos showing Goran Jelisic killing a
6 Many people died in the area and Witness 1033 personally
7 witnessed soldiers dumping bodies from a refrigerator truck into a mass
8 grave. Non-Serbs were detained at Luka camp in the Brcko harbour area.
9 Blagojevic and his Seseljevci arrived at the camp. Blagojevic gave
10 speeches and his men tortured the inmates in his presence. One
11 Seseljevac carved a cross into the forehead of a Muslim inmate with a
12 knife. And one member of Serb forces, Goran Jelisic, tortured inmates
13 and bragged that he had already killed 97 non-Serbs.
14 Expert Riedlmayer --
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection, again there is a huge
16 problem with the interpreter. Here Mr. Mussemeyer said Blagojevic and
17 Seseljevci arrived in the Luka camp, and the interpreter says Blagojevic
18 and Seselj arrived at the camp. Are you going to tolerate, to keep on
19 tolerating that interpreter? Please listen to the recording in the
20 Serbian and look at the transcript to check what Mr. Mussemeyer actually
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, what you hear in
23 your language -- we don't know what you hear because what we see is the
24 screen with the transcript in English and we hear the French
25 interpretation. So what you hear is not of our knowledge. Therefore,
1 if, as you just said, the Prosecutor has said that Blagojevic and the
2 Seseljevci arrived, whereas you heard that Blagojevic came together with
3 you, yes, indeed, there's a difference between these two sentences. But
4 what did the Prosecutor say, that the -- that Blagojevic came with the
5 Seseljevci or that he came with Seselj?
6 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I did say with Seseljevci. He did not come with
7 Seselj himself, but he come with Seseljevci, Seselj's men.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. In that case I will
9 ask the interpreters to clearly distinguish between the men of Seselj,
10 the Seselj's men, and Seselj in person.
11 You can go on, Mr. Prosecutor.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, you are now mocking
13 my objection. You're making fun of it. We are not talking about whether
14 the interpreter is going to make a distinction between myself and
15 Seselj's men. It's a more important issue as to whether the interpreter
16 is going to interpret properly or not. You are taking every opportunity
17 to mock me, but you're actually mocking the Hague Tribunal, not me.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, no one turning
19 you -- is making fun of you. You made a remark and the Chamber has noted
20 your remark, and I have invited the interpreters to be quite careful.
21 Mr. Prosecutor, you can go on.
22 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I will now discuss the destruction of cultural
23 monuments in Brcko. Expert Riedlmayer has listed 21 damaged cultural
24 monuments, 12 Muslim and 9 Catholic religious buildings in Brcko. Seven
25 mosques were completely and one almost destroyed. Three were heavily and
1 only one was lightly damaged. From the damaged Catholic churches, seven
2 were heavily and two lightly damaged.
3 In his brief, the accused alleges that the crimes in Brcko were
4 not linked to him or to Seseljevci from Serbia. The evidence actually
5 shows the participation of Blagojevic and his Seseljevci in the take-over
6 and the torturing of detainees in Luka camp by Blagojevic's unit. The
7 implementation of the common purpose in Bijeljina and Bosanski Samac was
8 followed by its implementation in Brcko. Some detainees in camps in
9 Samac were subjected to the patterns of the JCE in all three
10 municipalities: Arrested and detained in Samac, then transferred to
11 Brcko, and transferred again to Bijeljina when the conflict reached
13 In sum, municipalities throughout Bosnia and Croatia were
14 subjected to discriminatory, illegal arming, the arrival of the
15 Seseljevci units and other paramilitaries, Serb take-overs of power and
16 crimes. These patterns of implementation of the JCE which began in
17 Croatia continued in the Bosnian crime-base municipalities. My colleague
18 Ms. Iodice will now discuss the first two of those municipalities and
19 explain the implementation of the JCE members' common purpose in Zvornik
20 and in Greater Sarajevo.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Madam. You
22 have the floor for the rest of the presentation.
23 MS. IODICE: Thank you, Your Honours. Good morning.
24 The crimes committed in Zvornik were in furtherance of the common
25 purpose of the JCE. The evidence proves that on the 8th of April, 1992,
1 Serb forces, including Seseljevci, attacked Zvornik. Over the following
2 months, Serb forces turned the multi-ethnic society of Zvornik into a
3 purely Serb municipality starting by expelling non-Serbs, looting and
4 destroying their property, and culminating in the mistreatment, torture,
5 sexual assault, and murder of hundreds of non-Serbs.
6 The attack on Zvornik was prepared well in advance by members of
7 the Serb municipal authorities, which were established by the SDS in
8 Zvornik with the support of the DB Serbia, the JNA, and the SDS of BiH.
9 These authorities were controlled by JCE members, including
10 Veljko Kadijevic and Radovan Karadzic. The common purpose of the JCE
11 members was to ethnically cleanse Zvornik of its non-Serb population and
12 create a Serb-controlled area. The attack was carried out by Serb
13 forces, including Seseljevci sent by the accused.
14 The Seseljevci formed part of the hierarchical SRS/SCP structure
15 controlled by the accused and operated in co-operation with or under the
16 command of other Serb forces and municipal authorities, which were under
17 the command and control of other JCE members, including Radovan Karadzic.
18 In his brief, the accused claims that the crimes committed in
19 Zvornik were not part of a common purpose and that no JCE was in
20 existence. The accused ignored the evidence on the record, which proves
21 beyond a reasonable doubt that crimes were committed in furtherance of
22 the common purpose and that the accused is responsible for them.
23 These claims are even contradicted by the admissions of the
24 accused, as it can be seen in an interview he gave before the indictment
25 against him was issued, where he explained how the JCE members had
1 planned the take-over of Zvornik long in advance. This is Exhibit P644,
2 time code 01:05:13 through 01:07:30.
3 [Video-clip played]
4 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover]
5 "Well, in May 1992, Milosevic finally took absolute control over
6 the Yugoslav People's Army. This is when a new constitution of the
7 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was declared and when he formally,
8 actually and inherently became the main person in the state - the man who
9 decides everything. This Zvornik operation too was planned in Belgrade
10 and the Bosnian Serb forces took part in it as they had more manpower.
11 However, the special units and the most militant units came from this
12 side. These were police units, the so-called Red Berets. These were
13 special units of the Serbian State Security Service. They were
14 volunteers from the Serbian Radical Party, Arkan's volunteers and another
15 smaller group of volunteers also under the control of the police. The
16 army was not very involved in this operation. For the most part, it
17 provided artillery support where needed. The operation had been planned
18 long in advance, there had been lengthy preparations for it so there were
19 no anxious calls of 'Hurry-up, we need this or that urgently!'
20 Everything was well organised and carried out until the hostilities
21 ended. Later, when looting began, no one was able to control it.
22 "LS: Whose idea was it and how well was it prepared?
23 "VS: This was thought up by key persons from the State Security
24 Service, including Franko Simatovic, Frenki, and he was one of the
25 persons who carried it out. There was some other people too, but I
1 forgot their names. Our volunteers gathered in Loznica, which was their
2 focal point from where they headed to Zvornik. They were led by
3 Vojvoda Cvetinovic and he received orders directly from the special unit
5 MS. IODICE: Zvornik is located in Eastern BiH on the banks of
6 the Drina River, demarcating the border with Serbia. Zvornik had a
7 number of bridges, main roads, and a railroad connecting Serbia with
8 Serb-populated areas further west in BiH. Because of the strategic
9 location, the municipality of Zvornik was important for the creation of a
10 Serb-dominated area.
11 The take-over of Zvornik realised three of the strategic goals of
12 the 12th of May, 1992, discussed in Exhibit P966. Strategic goal
13 number 1, the separation of the Serb people from the two other national
14 communities. Strategic goal number 2, the establishment of a corridor of
15 Serb-controlled land spanning from Serbia through Bosnia-Herzegovina to
16 Serbian Krajina. Strategic goal number 3, the elimination of the
17 Drina River border between Serbia and Republika Srpska.
18 The local Serb leadership followed the policies of their leaders
19 in BiH to implement the common purpose in Zvornik.
20 First, at least by October 1991 Crisis Staffs were set up.
21 Second, the local Serb leadership established separate municipal
22 authorities and a Serb police force pursuant to the Variant A and B
23 instructions. Variant B was implemented in December 1991, when the SDS
24 established the Serb municipality of Zvornik, and Jovo Mijatovic, who
25 openly spoke of the plan to exchange populations to create mono-ethnic
1 areas, was chosen as its president.
2 Third, the Bosnian Serb leadership monitored the implementation
3 of its policy decisions in Zvornik. As a representative of the
4 Bosnian Serb Assembly, Mijatovic was in contact with the SDS Crisis Staff
5 at the level of BiH and with JCE members Radovan Karadzic,
6 Momcilo Krajisnik, and Biljana Plavsic. But updates also came from the
7 SDS in Zvornik, as it kept the SDS leadership informed of its progress in
8 the implementation of the instructions in the municipality.
9 At the same time, the Serb authorities started military
10 preparations for the implementation of the common purpose, assisted by
11 the leadership of the DB Serbia, under the control of JCE member
12 Jovica Stanisic, and in co-operation with other institutions under the
13 command and control of other JCE members, including Karadzic's SDS in
14 BiH, Kadijevic's JNA, and the accused's SRS/SCP.
15 For example, in October 1991 the SCP Mali Zvornik, which had
16 frequent contacts with the SRS/SCP in Belgrade, organised a group of
17 volunteers to be sent to Darda in Croatia for military training. At that
18 time, Rade Kostic from the DB Serbia was the head of the police for the
19 area where the training was held.
20 After the adoption of the Variant A and B instructions DB Serbia,
21 the JNA, the TO, and the SDS intensified the provision of weapons to
22 local Serbs in Zvornik.
23 For example, between December 1991 and March 1992, the DB Serbia
24 provided weapons to Zvornik from Croatia through Rade Kostic and
25 Marko Pavlovic and with the assistance of JCE member Radmilo Bogdanovic.
1 Bogdanovic, assisted by Kostic, also provided weapons from Belgrade after
2 meeting with the SDS leaders of Zvornik.
3 The involvement of DB Serbia in the arming and training of Serbs
4 in Zvornik is shown by this slide and is based on Exhibits P1039, P1144,
5 P1029, P1028, P1027, P1077, P1085, and the testimony of VS-037.
6 As we can see, Pavlovic referred to Kostic as his boss while
7 Kostic was subordinated to Milan Tepavcevic, who was Jovica Stanisic's
8 deputy. Tepavcevic was responsible for the Zvornik military operations
9 and met regularly with the local police commander who co-operated with
10 Bogdanovic and Kostic to obtain weapons.
11 Also the Zvornik MUP started arming Serbs by handing out weapons
12 licences in an uncontrolled way, while other Serbs received weapons
13 through the police or JNA reserve forces. Since the Muslims of Zvornik
14 were dismissed from the JNA reserve forces, the distribution of weapons
15 to JNA reservists meant arming only Serbs.
16 Once parallel political and military structures were in place,
17 the local Serb leadership in Zvornik finalised the preparations for the
18 take-over by arranging the deployment of Seseljevci to Zvornik and the
19 move of Arkan and his men from Bijeljina to Zvornik.
20 The Serb municipality of Zvornik requested volunteers from the
21 SRS/SCP a few days before the take-over. Shortly after, Witness Rankic
22 and another member of the SRS War Staff, together with Vojin Vuckovic,
23 aka Zuca, and his brother Dusan, aka Repic, met with representatives of
24 the Serb municipality in Mali Zvornik to discuss the deployment of the
25 Seseljevci. They agreed that the Seseljevci were going to be equipped,
1 armed, and incorporated in the TO, but would remain together as a unit
2 and were going to be lodged at the Karakaj shoe factory in Karakaj -- at
3 the Standard shoe factory in Karakaj.
4 The accused approved the deployment of Seseljevci to Zvornik and
5 admitted, in Exhibit P1233, that he had a high control -- a high degree
6 of control over them.
7 Two days later, a group of Seseljevci under the command of
8 Vojin Vuckovic, aka Zuca, arrived in Karakaj. This is confirmed by
9 victims detained at the Standard shoe factory and is shown in
10 Exhibit P305, which should not be broadcast.
11 This is a sketch of the Standard shoe factory prepared by
12 Witness VS-1013, whose evidence will be discussed later on, showing that
13 Seseljevci, under number 1, were in fact lodged at the Standard shoe
15 Seseljevci and other members of the Serb forces committed crimes
16 in Zvornik. In his brief, the accused claims that the crimes alleged in
17 the indictment have not been proven and that he is not linked to any of
18 the perpetrators. The accused also claims that his Seseljevci withdrew
19 from Zvornik after the fall of Kula Grad. The accused's claims are
20 contrary to the evidence on the record and should be rejected.
21 For the detailed identification of the groups of Seseljevci that
22 took part in the take-over of Zvornik and their link to the accused, I
23 refer back to paragraphs 291 through 298 of the Prosecution's closing
24 brief, and I will now highlight the evidence proving that Seseljevci
25 linked to the accused perpetrated crimes in Zvornik.
1 The evidence proves beyond a reasonable doubt - and the accused
2 does not contest - that Seseljevci participated in the attack on Zvornik.
3 Together with Arkan's men, the Seseljevci forcibly displaced and murdered
4 non-Serbs. The JNA forces under Tacic's command provided artillery
5 support during the attack.
6 On the 5th of April, 1992, Radio Zvornik announced to the
7 inhabitants of Zvornik town to take shelter for their own safety.
8 VS-1062, her husband and two sons, and their neighbours took shelter in
9 the basement of the building where she lived. They were all unarmed
10 non-Serb civilians. On or about the 9th of April, 1992, a group of
11 Arkan's men stormed into the shelter and forced all the men out. A group
12 of Seseljevci entered the shelter and took the women and children away,
13 while the men were lined up against the wall. VS-1062 heard gun-fire
14 from the location where the men were standing. VS-1062's husband and
15 sons and all the others were never seen again. They were executed by
16 Arkan's men.
17 VS-1062 --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Please slow down for the sake of the
19 interpreters. Thank you.
20 MS. IODICE: VS-1062 and the other women and children were put on
21 a bus and deported to Serbia.
22 The testimony of VS-1062 is clear. Arkan's men and Seseljevci
23 co-operated to murder able-bodied non-Serb men and to expel women and
24 children from Zvornik. VS-1062 explained to the Court how, first,
25 Arkan's men burst into the shelter and took all the men out; then a
1 different group, who introduced themselves as Seseljevci and wore
2 different uniforms, escorted the women and children away while Arkan's
3 men executed the men. VS-1062 also explained the pattern followed by
4 Arkan's men and Seseljevci at transcript 5958. Quote:
5 "These men were going from house to house, from door to door,
6 killing men."
7 The success of this pattern was recorded by JCE member Mladic in
8 his diary, Exhibit P1347, when, briefed by Marko Pavlovic, he noted that
9 volunteer formations "led by Arkan and Seselj" "enjoyed exceptional
11 The accused claims that VS-1062 did not mention Seseljevci in a
12 statement given to the BiH authorities in 2003. This claim is baseless
13 and should be dismissed. VS-1062 denied that the 2003 statement to the
14 BiH authorities which is not in evidence is hers. She denied ever having
15 contacts with the authorities of BiH and ever living at the address
16 indicated on that statement.
17 VS-1062 also did not recognise the signature. These crimes and
18 Seseljevci's participation have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
19 Even though the accused is contesting the participation of
20 Seseljevci in the murder, he admits, for example, at transcript 1933,
21 that Seseljevci participated in the attack together with other Serb
22 forces. The accused admitted that the SRS municipal committee in Loznica
23 organised a group of Seseljevci for the take-over of Zvornik and one of
24 the Seseljevci guarding VS-1062 and the other non-Serbs before they were
25 forcibly displaced stated that he hailed from Loznica.
1 The evidence of VS-1062, VS-1013, VS-038, Boskovic, Jovic, and
2 VS-1087 proves beyond a reasonable doubt that as a result of the attack
3 by the Serb forces, which included Seseljevci, non-Serbs fled out of fear
4 or were rounded up and deported to Serbia and many of them were killed.
5 Your Honours, would this be a good place to stop?
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can you continue for another
7 seven minutes?
8 MS. IODICE: Of course.
9 After the fall of Kula Grad on the 26th of April, 1992, non-Serbs
10 who had remained hiding in Zvornik were arrested as they tried to flee
11 towards Muslim territory and taken to the detention facilities as in the
12 case of Witnesses VS-1013, VS-1015, and Fadil Kopic, or were arrested in
13 their homes as in the case of VS-1063. These witnesses were taken to the
14 detention sites at the Standard shoe factory and Ekonomija farm and later
15 on were transferred to the Ciglane factory. During the detention at
16 these sites, they were brutally abused, tortured, and murdered by members
17 of the Serb forces, as specified in paragraphs 316 through 330 of the
18 Prosecution's closing brief.
19 Amongst the perpetrators the victims identified the Seseljevci
20 from Kraljevo, including Vojvoda Cele, Miroslav Vukovic; Major Toro;
21 Pufta; and Sava; the Seseljevci from Loznica; the Yellow Wasps, including
22 Vojin Vuckovic, aka Zuco, and his brother Dusan Vuckovic, aka Repic; and
23 Pivarski's men, including Stojan Pivarski and Zoks.
24 These groups are linked to the accused and operated in
25 co-operation with or under the command of other Serb forces and municipal
1 authorities which were under the command and control of other JCE
2 members, including Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic.
3 After the take-over, the volunteer units were incorporated into
4 the Serb police and TO, later VRS. The Loznica's group was incorporated
5 into the police. Zuco's Yellow Wasps, Pivarski's men, and others were
6 incorporated into the TO/VRS. The volunteers were housed and paid by the
7 Serb TO and by the Serb municipal authorities.
8 The victims' identification of their abusers has been established
9 beyond a reasonable doubt. The victims spent long periods of time in
10 detention. They learned personal details of their attackers. They saw
11 them day after day. They learned what unit they belonged to directly
12 from them, as VS-1015 also explained at transcript 5406.
13 Witnesses VS-1013, VS-1015, Kopic, and VS-1063 all suffered and
14 witnessed severe abuses by the Seseljevci from Kraljevo and Loznica over
15 an extended period of time.
16 At Ekonomija farm, for example, VS-1063 saw a group of Seseljevci
17 take out a detainee. They shot the detainee in the legs. They carved a
18 cross into his flesh and broke his arm before taking him back into the
19 room, where they stabbed him and shot him to death. At Ciglane, both
20 Kopic and VS-1015 testified that Pufta cut off Cirak's ear and stabbed
21 him. On that same day, Pufta and Sasa then drove Cirak away and shot him
22 to death. On that same day, Pufta, together with Sasa, cut a crescent
23 tattoo off Enver Dautovic's arm with a knife. Sasa then congratulated
24 Dautovic, saying:
25 "You fared well, but if you had been yelling louder you would
1 have ended up with Cirak ..."
2 And this can be found at transcript 5435.
3 The crimes committed at these detention facilities were so grave
4 and gruesome that the witnesses could never forget what they saw and will
5 always remember the perpetrators. VS-1013 observed his abusers for
6 almost three months, from his arrest and transfer to the detention centre
7 at the Standard shoe factory to the day of his transfer from the
8 detention centre at Ciglane factory to the Batkovic camp.
9 While cleaning the premises at the Standard shoe factory, VS-1013
10 read the names of the groups of Serb forces on the doors of the rooms
11 where they were lodged, including the Seseljevci from Kraljevo, the
12 Loznica group, and military police.
13 Amongst the Seseljevci from Kraljevo, VS-1013 recognised Cele
14 whom the prisoners had to address as Vojvoda and whom the accused held in
15 high esteem. VS-1013 stated at transcript 5210 how the prisoners were
17 "A special man will come by. He will talk to you. You mustn't
18 look him in the eyes and you must address him with Vojvoda, sir,
19 honourable Vojvoda sir."
20 Vojvoda Miroslav Vukovic, aka Cele, is not the only Seseljevac
21 identified by VS-1013. For example, VS-1013 saw Major Toro's SRS
22 identification card and in June 1992 heard that Seselj had promoted Sava,
23 Zoks, and Pufta.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We need to stop now because the
25 Judges need to go into the room downstairs for a swearing-in ceremony.
1 We shall return towards ten to 1.00 or so. This is not something in our
2 control. This is our last break for today.
3 --- Recess taken at 12.23 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 12.55 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed.
6 Madam Prosecutor, you may proceed.
7 MS. IODICE: Thank you, Your Honours.
8 Before we broke, I was describing the evidence of VS-1013, who
9 testified that the detainees were told that the Vojvoda would visit them.
10 The evidence of VS-1013 is credible and reliable, despite the
11 accused's allegations. VS-1013 explained to the Court that he did not
12 explicitly mention Seseljevci in his 1993 statement to the authorities of
13 BiH, but he mentioned the same people, the same nicknames.
14 Later, when he gave a statement to the ICTY in 1996, which, as he
15 said at transcript 5303, was the only official statement he gave, he did
16 his best to recollect every detail.
17 Other witnesses also recognised the same perpetrators as members
18 of the Seseljevci. For example, Witness Kopic who spent almost
19 three months in detention in Zvornik recalled that some members of the
20 Kraljevo group, and Zoks, glorified Seselj as their leader.
21 VS-1015 observed and identified members of the Seseljevci
22 throughout the almost three months he spent in detention, from his arrest
23 on the 7th of May, 1992, to his transfer to Bijeljina in mid-July 1992.
24 While detained at Ciglane factory, VS-1015 was regularly forced
25 to loot by the Seseljevci.
1 VS-1015 recognised Zoks and a man addressed as Vojvoda as those
2 who beat him and beat Nesib Dautovic to death at Ekonomija farm. The
3 evidence demonstrates that the person identified by VS-1015 as Vojvoda is
4 Miroslav Vukovic, aka Cele. The accused has claimed that the man
5 referred to as Vojvoda was instead Dusan Vuckovic, aka Repic. This claim
6 should be rejected. The accused confronted VS-1015 with a 1993 statement
7 given to the BiH authorities, where VS-1015 referred to the Vojvoda he
8 identified as the man present at the beating and murder as Vojvoda Repic.
9 VS-1015 explained to the Court that he never heard anyone refer to the
10 man he identified as Vojvoda with the nickname or surname of Repic and he
11 might have used this nickname by mistake. And I refer the Trial Chamber
12 to transcript 5458.
13 VS-1015 carefully described the man he addressed as Vojvoda. He
14 recalled that Vojvoda had a beard. He recalled that Vojvoda wore some
15 sort of trainers, as he said at transcript 5413, the sort of shoes that
16 elderly women usually wear. These same details are confirmed by VS-027,
17 who recalled, at page 114 of Exhibit P868 and transcript 14607, that Cele
18 wore some sort of women's trainers. The accused himself admitted that
19 Cele limped at transcript 5359. It has been established beyond a
20 reasonable doubt that the man participating in the beatings and murder at
21 Ekonomija farm together with Zoks was Miroslav Vukovic, aka Cele.
22 The accused, in his brief, has also admitted that Cele was in
23 Zvornik until the 17th of May, 1992, confirming his opportunity to take
24 part in the murder of Nesib Dautovic which occurred on or about the
25 12th of May, 1992.
1 The accused also disputes VS-1015's identification of Seseljevci,
2 claiming that VS-1015 did not mention their affiliation in his 1993
3 statement to the BiH authorities. VS-1015 explained to the Court that he
4 heard members of the Serb forces refer to the Kraljevo group as
5 Seseljevci. And he also explained that his 1993 statement was given in
6 haste and it is only two pages long, while he gave a much more detailed
7 statement later on to the ICTY.
8 For these reasons, the evidence proves beyond a reasonable doubt
9 that the crimes charged at the Standard shoe factory, Ekonomija farm, and
10 Ciglane factory were committed by the Serb forces, including Seseljevci.
11 Once Zvornik town was cleansed of its non-Serb population, Serb
12 forces started displacing all non-Serbs from settlements around the town,
13 as detailed in paragraphs 302 through 309 of the Prosecution's closing
14 brief. Systematically, between the end of May and the end of June, 1992,
15 non-Serbs were forced out of their homes at short notice. Able-bodied
16 men were separated and forced to detention facilities, where they were
17 severely mistreated, abused, and murdered because of their ethnicity by
18 members of the Serb forces, including Seseljevci.
19 By August 1992, Zvornik and most of the towns along the
20 Drina River had been ethnically cleansed in furtherance of the common
21 purpose. In May 1993, the accused admitted, in Exhibit P1218, how
22 Zvornik, "where many Muslims used to live, is now flooded with Serbs."
23 As Mr. Marcussen had already described in detail, the non-Serb
24 population of Drinjaca-Kostjerevo was amongst those who were forcibly
25 displaced from Zvornik municipality at the end of May 1992.
1 Your Honours heard that women and children were displaced while
2 the men were detained at the Drinjaca Dom Kulture, where they were
3 brutally beaten and murdered.
4 Witness VS-1064 identified the perpetrators of the murder from
5 their uniforms and called them Chetniks, explaining that by "Chetniks" he
6 meant Seseljevci. He repeated at transcript 8738 to 8739:
7 "That's how I view Chetniks, how I see them. Now, if there's
8 someone else, another Chetnik Vojvoda, for instance, who had special
9 insignia ... then I wouldn't say that they were Seselj's men. I would
10 say that they belonged to this other man. But we know of no other man
11 who was involved in this or meddled in Vojislav Seselj's business. Now
12 that there are Chetniks in Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, and all over the
13 place, we know of only one boss, one head."
14 The identification of these perpetrators as members of the
15 Seseljevci has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
16 The non-Serb population of Setici, Djulici, and other
17 neighbouring villages suffered the same fate. After being forced out of
18 their homes by Serb forces, including VRS, police, and paramilitaries,
19 women and children were expelled while the non-Serb men were separated
20 and taken to the detention facility in Karakaj technical school. After
21 being detained for a few days, all non-Serb detainees, approximately 740,
22 were executed. Some were murdered at the Karakaj technical school, some
23 at Gero's slaughter-house. Some of the perpetrators of this crime,
24 namely, the Yellow Wasps, Pivarski's men, and the Loznica's group, formed
25 part of the hierarchical SRS/SCP structure controlled by the accused, as
1 just discussed.
2 The Yellow Wasps, like other paramilitaries in Zvornik, were
3 arrested in July 1992 as they had started looting Serb property as well.
4 They were shortly after released and redeployed.
5 The accused has on several occasions sought to distance himself
6 from the Yellow Wasps. And as the serious crimes committed by them were
7 soon publicly known, the accused denied any affiliation to them to avoid
8 political liability, as Witness Rankic stated in Exhibit P1074. However,
9 when the head of the TO, Marko Pavlovic, had complaints about the
10 Yellow Wasps' behaviour, he directed them to the SRS/SCP in Belgrade and
11 the accused responded to these complaints by redeploying the Yellow Wasps
12 to Skelani instead of calling them back to Serbia or dismissing them.
13 Pivarski's men were also a group of Seseljevci. Its commander,
14 Stojan Pivarski, held the rank of major in the SCP, while his deputy
15 Ivan Korac, aka Zoks, held the rank of captain.
16 And if we could now move shortly in private session.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You really have to move to
18 private session? Can't you do it otherwise? Because normally in closing
19 arguments I like it to be public.
20 Okay, let's move to private session and we'll see whether we
21 should lift the confidentiality of it later on or not.
22 Please, Mr. Registrar.
23 MS. IODICE: Thank you, Your Honours.
24 [Private session] [Confidentiality partially lifted by order of Chamber]
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in private session. Thank
2 MS. IODICE: The accused has claimed, based on a list of members
7 (redacted) VS-038's
8 membership to either group is anyway irrelevant. The evidence proves
9 that these groups worked together and eventually were arrested together.
10 We can now move back to open session, Your Honours.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges, I believe that there's no
12 reason for this to remain in private session. It should be made
13 available to the public, and I think this should be done urgently because
14 I don't want the Registry to redact the version that is to be broadcast
15 to the general public.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] After deliberations, we are
18 concerned because we want to avoid possible identification of a protected
19 witness, and the Trial Chamber observes that as of line 16 until line 19
20 there may be elements that might identify a witness. Therefore, we are
21 going to make public lines 14, 15, 16, until "Yellow Wasps," and then
22 from "the Yellow Wasps," from that mention, it's going to be redacted
23 until line 19 up to the word "Zoks."
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have an objection to this. Who
25 can identify a protected witness on the basis of this? A code has been
1 used and only some information from the field have been provided that
2 pertain to a period 20 years ago. This is something that only
3 additionally smears the whole process. Why shouldn't all this be
4 broadcast? There's no rational reason why this shouldn't be broadcast.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber is of the
6 view - and I could express a personal opinion in this matter - the fact
7 that it is said that he arrived into the unit commanded by Pivarski in
8 May 1992 could be something that might identify VS-038. So this is the
9 decision by the Trial Chamber, but the remaining lines will be public.
10 Madam Prosecutor -- yes, Mr. Registrar.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have an additional demand then.
12 Since my legal advisors cannot follow the transcript -- ever since
13 Marina Raguz left my Defence team, we no longer have the key that would
14 allow us to directly follow the transcript. My legal advisors help me
15 based on the public broadcast and they send their opinions to me by fax.
16 Already today I have received the entire transcript from the trial
17 yesterday. Since you eliminated this from the public transcript, I
18 demand that the Registry now finds the way to print for me and make it
19 available to me until tomorrow this part that is not going to be publicly
20 broadcast because I need it, I need to use that.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber invites the
22 Registrar to give to the accused the redacted part, give him a hard copy,
23 whatever he may want to use it for.
24 Let's move back to open session.
25 [Open session]
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in open session. Thank you.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed,
3 Madam Prosecutor.
4 MS. IODICE: The Loznica group was also linked to the accused
5 and, as stated above, the accused admits that the SRS municipal committee
6 in Loznica organised a group of Seseljevci for the take-over of Zvornik.
7 The link of Yellow Wasps, Pivarski's men, and Loznica's group to
8 the accused is proven beyond a reasonable doubt by Witnesses Rankic and
9 Jovic, whose evidence is corroborated by Witnesses Drazilovic, VS-027,
10 Alic, VS-036, VS-038, and Exhibit P971.
11 Crimes of the same nature were also committed at Celopek
12 Dom Kulture, where non-Serb men were transferred after being expelled
13 from their homes in Divic by members of the army and police, following
14 the same well-established pattern. VS-1065 detailed in his evidence the
15 severe mistreatment, sexual assault, torture, and murder to which the
16 inmates at Celopek were subjected. He identified the perpetrators as
17 Dusan Vuckovic, aka Repic; Major Toro; Pufta; and Zoks. For example, on
18 one occasion Repic selected some prisoners and carved crosses on their
19 forehead with a knife.
20 On Bajram day, a Muslim holiday, Repic returned to Celopek
21 Dom Kulture, selected fathers and sons amongst the detainees, ordered
22 them onto a stage, and forced them to engage in oral sex. He then
23 started shooting at the detainees on the stage and killing them.
24 The accused did not contest VS-1065's evidence. He stated that
25 VS-1065 testified truthfully. As shown above and detailed in
1 paragraph 291 of the Prosecution's closing brief, these perpetrators were
2 linked to the accused.
3 After the displacement of non-Serbs from Divic, it was Kozluk's
4 turn to be cleansed. Initially, Muslims in Kozluk were allowed to stay
5 in their homes. However, non-Serbs were intimidated, abused, and killed
6 by the Serb forces which occupied the town. Those forces included men
7 under the command of Marko Pavlovic, Zoran Subotic, Arkan, Pivarski,
8 Zuco, Niski, and Captain Dragan. Despite having complied with the order
9 of handing over their weapons, on the 26th of June, 1992, the Muslims
10 were forced onto buses and trucks and deported to Serbia. Those who
11 refused were killed. The Serb forces that carried out the displacement
12 included members of the army, police, TO, Arkan's men, and Yellow Wasps.
13 With the cleansing of the last non-Serb villages, the
14 implementation of the common purpose in Zvornik had entered its final
15 stage. Exhibit P1347 proves how a few days after the deportation of the
16 non-Serbs from Kozluk on the 30th of June, 1992, Branko Grujic announced
17 to JCE members Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic that the Zvornik Serb
18 leadership had "successfully implemented the President's," Karadzic,
19 "decision to settle Divic and Kozluk with our children." "Our children,"
20 namely Serbs.
21 That the crimes committed in Zvornik were part of the JCE common
22 purpose is also evidenced by the large-scale destruction of mosques and
23 religious institutions carried out by the Serb forces after the take-over
24 of Zvornik, as detailed in paragraphs 345 through 348 of the
25 Prosecution's closing brief.
1 A few examples demonstrate that the intent behind the destruction
2 of Muslim religious property was to erase the existence of Zvornik's
3 Muslim population. In Divic, the historic Dervis lodge was destroyed and
4 a junked lorry was placed on the top of the graves of two Muslim saints.
5 An Orthodox church replaced the Divic mosque. The sites of the destroyed
6 Rijecanska mosque and Begsuja mosque in Zvornik and the mosque of
7 Mehmed-Celebi in Kozluk were used as rubbish dumps. The destruction was
8 carried out by the Serb TO because they were symbols of the Muslim
9 culture and not for military purposes, as testified by VS-037 and VS-038.
10 To conclude, the evidence discussed proves beyond a reasonable
11 doubt that the crimes charged in relation to the municipality of Zvornik
12 were committed by members of the Serb forces, including Seseljevci.
13 These crimes were an integral part of the common purpose to ethnically
14 cleanse Serb-targeted territories in BiH of its non-Serb population and
15 create a Serb-controlled area.
16 I will now turn to the Greater Sarajevo area.
17 The crimes committed in Greater Sarajevo were part of the common
18 purpose. The evidence proves beyond a reasonable doubt that a JCE was in
19 place and that its common purpose included the take-overs of Ilijas,
20 Vogosca, Novo Sarajevo, and Ilidza, and the resulting crimes committed by
21 members of the Serb forces, including Seseljevci.
22 The Seseljevci formed part of the hierarchical SRS/SCP structure
23 controlled by the accused and, as in Zvornik, operated in co-operation
24 with or under the command of other Serb forces and municipal authorities,
25 such as the JNA, TO, and later VRS and MUP, which were under the command
1 and control of JCE members, including Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic.
2 The accused claims that the crimes committed in Greater Sarajevo
3 were not part of the common purpose and that no JCE was in existence.
4 These crimes should be rejected.
5 I'm sorry, Your Honours, I meant these claims should be rejected.
6 Sarajevo was a key location in the pursuit of the common purpose.
7 At the 8th Session of the Bosnian Serb Assembly in February 1992, JCE
8 member Karadzic explained the importance of Sarajevo, saying, quote:
9 "Leaving Sarajevo, where there are 215.000 Serbs including
10 Yugoslavs, where there are great riches, if we left Sarajevo, well, we
11 should be hanged," and this is found in Exhibit P949.
12 Karadzic's position was reflected in the strategic objectives of
13 the Serb people in BiH on the 12th of May, 1992, Exhibit P966, when the
14 establishment of Serb control in and around Sarajevo was deemed essential
15 to the achievement of the first and fifth of the strategic objectives,
16 namely, the separation of Serbs from Croats and Muslims and the division
17 of Sarajevo into Serb and Muslim parts.
18 The accused has attempted to distance himself from the SRS in BiH
19 and from the Vojvodas active in the Greater Sarajevo area. His claims
20 are contrary to the evidence and should be dismissed.
21 The accused has admitted in Exhibit P199 [sic] that at least from
22 May 1992, the SRS had a branch in BiH, and he has stated in Exhibit P1219
23 that the SRS was "the second political party in the territory of the
24 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia."
25 The accused has also admitted, in Exhibit P1215, having "a
1 considerable number of volunteers" in Sarajevo. This is confirmed by
2 other evidence on the record, for example, Exhibits C10 and P836, proving
3 that significant numbers of Seseljevci were sent to Ilijas, Vogosca,
4 Ilidza, and the Jewish cemetery near Grbavica throughout the war. The
5 Vojvodas present in Greater Sarajevo came from that area and the accused
6 has confirmed his link to them before the indictment against him was
7 issued. He stated in Exhibit P644, page 14, quote:
8 "Grbavica was saved by our volunteers, mainly by Vojvoda
9 Slavko Aleksic. You've heard of Slavko Aleksic. He's still at the
10 Jewish cemetery. He is our member of the central homeland
11 administration, the highest party leadership, and he's been there since
12 the first day of the war. What he managed to save stayed Serbian and no
13 one else could take it. There was also Vojvoda Branislav Gavrilovic, aka
14 Brne, and Vojvoda Vasko in Ilijas."
15 In furtherance of the common purpose, Serb leaders in
16 Greater Sarajevo started implementation of the Variant A and B
17 instructions, creating Crisis Staffs and Serb-only Municipal Assemblies.
18 The implementation of the instructions in Novo Sarajevo was confirmed by
19 Vojvoda Slavko Aleksic in Exhibit P1102. Aleksic at the same time had an
20 important role in both the SRS and the SDS.
21 Similarly, in Ilidza, the proclamation of the Serb Assembly on
22 the 3rd of January, 1992, was in accordance with the SDS Main Board
23 instructions of the 19th of December, 1991.
24 On the 24th of March, 1992, the creation of the Serb
25 municipalities of Vogosca and Rajlovac was announced at the 12th Session
1 of the Assembly of the Serb people in BiH. Finally, right before the
2 outbreak of the conflict, the Ilijas SDS separated the municipality from
3 the district of Sarajevo and annexed it to the so-called Serb Autonomous
4 District of Romanija.
5 Like in other parts of BiH, Serb leaders started military
6 preparations in Greater Sarajevo, in furtherance of the common purpose.
7 While in October 1991, the council of the SDS was discussing the need to
8 start military preparations, JCE member Karadzic, referring to the
9 impending war in Sarajevo and the prospect of the disappearance of the
10 Muslim people "from the face of the earth," stated that "there are
11 20.000 armed Serbs around Sarajevo," and this can be found in
12 Exhibit P502, page 7.
13 A Serb police force was set up throughout Greater Sarajevo.
14 Shortly after the 3rd of April, 1992, the Novo Sarajevo MUP formed a Serb
15 MUP station at Vraca. In Ilidza, just prior to the outbreak of the war,
16 the head of the Ilidza special police disbanded the existing ethnically
17 mixed reserve police force and set it up again with only Serb
18 policemen [sic]. In Ilijas, Serb policemen assisted by Serb policemen
19 from other municipalities took control of the police station.
20 The SRS significantly contributed to the military preparations in
21 Greater Sarajevo. In Exhibit P1319, Vojvoda Slavko Aleksic stated that
22 although the election of Alija Izetbegovic made it difficult for Serbs to
23 arm themselves, he did his best to ensure Serbs in Novo Sarajevo did not
24 fall behind.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, please.
1 Let's move back into closed session.
2 [Private session]
17 [Open session]
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session, thank
20 MS. IODICE: Going back to the SRS contribution to the military
21 preparation in Greater Sarajevo, Branislav Gavrilovic, aka Brne,
22 explained, in Exhibit P1000, how, upon his return to Greater Sarajevo,
23 his Seseljevci were armed by Major Krstovic, commander of the Sarajevo
24 city defence. Brne also admitted, in Exhibit P999, capturing the
25 TO warehouse in Ilidza where 50.000 weapons were located, bragged about
1 disarming Muslims, and explained how these weapons "contributed to the
2 defence of all Serb people from Sarajevo jihad fighters."
3 Brne's statement mirrors the accused's efforts to associate
4 Bosnian Muslims with Islamist fundamentalists.
5 Nikola Poplasen also played an important role organising and
6 arming Serbs in BiH. The accused admitted this in Exhibit P218, when he
7 promoted Poplasen to Vojvoda in March 1994.
8 The efforts of the Serb leaders to prepare militarily for the
9 implementation of the common purpose can be summarised in the words of
10 the Ilijas deputy to the Assembly of the Serb people in BiH, who less
11 than a month before the attack by Serb forces on Ljesevo confirmed Serbs
12 in Ilijas were prepared for war in Exhibit P966.
13 "We are organised and I have asked the TV to come and record how
14 well organised for the war we in Ilijas are, how our defence lines are
15 organised. It is true, yes, that we have stolen a lot of goods. We have
16 a lot of provisions down there to live on ... we have cut off and mined
17 the railway line and no one can now get into Sarajevo. We have mined the
18 motorway too. We shall do our best to prevent the enemy from ever
19 getting to Sarajevo from the direction of Zenica, and anyone who tries
20 the upper route will also meet his end."
21 Serb forces, including Seseljevci, committed crimes in
22 Greater Sarajevo.
23 As in other areas of BiH, once parallel political and military
24 structures were set up, Serb forces, including Seseljevci, attacked and
25 took control of the municipalities. The evidence proves beyond a
1 reasonable doubt that in the course of and following the take-overs in
2 Greater Sarajevo, non-Serbs were expelled, killed, detained or put under
3 house arrest, mistreated, and otherwise persecuted.
4 Detainees were subjected to forced labour in dangerous conditions
5 at the front lines, where on multiple occasions they were used as human
6 shields. Non-Serb property and cultural monuments were systematically
7 plundered and/or destroyed. In his brief, the accused claims that the
8 crimes alleged in the indictment have not been proven and that he is not
9 linked to any of the perpetrators. These claims are contrary to the
10 evidence on the record and should be rejected.
11 For the deployment of Seseljevci to the Greater Sarajevo area and
12 for the identification of the Vojvodas fighting with their Seseljevci in
13 the area and the link to the accused, I refer back to paragraphs 255
14 through 263 and 358 through 375 of the Prosecution's closing brief. I
15 will now highlight the evidence proving beyond a reasonable doubt that
16 Seseljevci perpetrated crimes in Greater Sarajevo and that these
17 perpetrators were linked to the accused.
18 The evidence of Witnesses VS-1111, VS-1055, Mujo Dzafic, and
19 Exhibit P451 proves that the attack on Ljesevo was carried out by the
20 VRS, members of the Ilijas TO, and by a group of Seseljevci led by
21 Vojvoda Vasilije Vidovic, aka Vaske.
22 Contrary to the accused's claims, it has been proven beyond a
23 reasonable doubt that Vasilije Vidovic, aka Vaske, and his Seseljevci
24 took part in the attack on Ljesevo together with members of the Ilijas
25 TO, resulting in the forcible displacement of the non-Serb population and
1 the murder of 22 non-Serbs.
2 VS-1055 explained how in the afternoon on the 5th of June, 1992,
3 he recognised Seseljevac Vaske and TO member Ranko Draskic amongst the
4 members of the Serb forces that captured him. He saw Amir Fazlic falling
5 to the ground, shot in the head, when Vaske approached him with one of
6 his Seseljevci. Earlier that day, while the shelling was still ongoing,
7 Ranko Draskic had taken part with other TO members in the murder of
8 another 21 non-Serbs.
9 The accused claims that VS-1055 did not mention Vaske's presence
10 in his 1992 statement to the BiH authorities. VS-1055 explained that his
11 1992 statement was given immediately after the trauma he had experienced
12 and with time he remembered more details. In any event, the accused has
13 admitted in Exhibit P644 the presence of his commander Vaske at the
14 Ilijas front. It has been established beyond a reasonable doubt that
15 Vaske was amongst the Serb forces that took over Ljesevo and murdered
17 In April 1992, in Svrake, Vogosca, Serb forces including the
18 special unit led by Rajko Jankovic, attacked the village, rounded up its
19 non-Serb population, displaced women, elderly, and children, while
20 detaining able-bodied men. The implementation of the common purpose was
21 so successful that JCE member Ratko Mladic noted in his diary, on the
22 6th of June, 1992, that there were "no more houses or inhabitants in
23 Svrake," and this can be found in Exhibit P1346.
24 Would this be a good moment to stop, Your Honours?
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, indeed. So we shall
1 continue tomorrow starting at 2.15 p.m.
2 Since then, I wish you all a very good afternoon.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.43 p.m.,
4 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 7th day of
5 March, 2012, at 2.15 p.m.