1 Wednesday, 7 March 2012
2 [Prosecution Closing Statement]
3 [Open session]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is in session.
7 Registrar, can you kindly call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honours. This is case number
9 IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
11 Today is Wednesday, the 7th of March, 2012. I would like to
12 greet all the people present in the courtroom, including the
13 representatives of the OTP that shall complete their closing arguments
14 today. I would like to greet the accused present in the courtroom as
15 well as all the people assisting us.
16 Yesterday, as you know, at some point in time we had a problem
17 which related to a translation issue. The Trial Chamber asked to have a
18 report on the matter. The report was sent by the head of CLSS. It turns
19 out that after having read and heard the audiotape in B/C/S, the
20 interpreter in the language of the accused did say, on page 17237,
21 line 9 to 12, "Blagojevic and Seselj's men." The interpreter, therefore,
22 did say "Seselj's men" in the language of the accused and not
23 "Mr. Seselj."
24 You must have misheard, Mr. Seselj. Maybe there was some
25 interference in your microphone, but the interpreter did interpret the
1 words of the Prosecutor correctly. This is what I wish to clarify. That
2 said --
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And what about checking the verse,
4 the song?
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This is ongoing. We shall get
6 a report towards the end of the week. Seemingly according to the
7 information we have obtained, there was a problem concerning what was
8 said because the audiotape may not match the words uttered by the
9 soldiers we saw on the pictures saluting and marching. We will get back
10 to you on this issue at the beginning of next week. I'm awaiting the
11 report at the moment.
12 So much on this issue for today.
13 Madam Prosecutor.
14 MS. IODICE: Thank you, Your Honours. Good afternoon.
15 Yesterday we were discussing the participation of Vojvoda
16 Vasilije Vidovic, aka Vaske, in the battle-fields of Ilijas and Vogosca
17 in the Greater Sarajevo area.
18 Rajko Jankovic's VRS unit worked together with Vojvoda Vaske and
19 his Seseljevci. During one of these joint operations in Crna Rijeka,
20 Ilijas, Vaske killed a non-Serb civilian, as Witness Sejdic testified.
21 The evidence also proves beyond a reasonable doubt that Vojvoda Vaske
22 took part in the destruction of religious property after the take-over of
23 Ilijas and Vogosca. VS-1055 testified that Vaske damaged or destroyed
24 mosques and churches in Ilijas municipality during the course of 1992,
25 including those in Ilijas, Ljesevo, Misoca, and Visoca. The accused
1 claims that the Ilijas mosque was destroyed at the end of 1992, while
2 Vaske was in Nisic. This claim is contradicted by the evidence on the
3 record. Witness Dzafic, in Exhibit P840, describes how, in June 1992, he
4 heard the explosion that destroyed the Stari Ilijas mosque and later
5 heard Vaske's Seseljevci recounting how they had destroyed the mosque.
6 Similarly, Exhibit P1045 confirms that the mosques in Misoca were
7 destroyed in June 1992.
8 With regards to Vogosca municipality, Witness Sejdic testified at
9 transcript 8282 that Vaske destroyed the mosque in Svrake. The accused's
10 attempts to confuse the witness were not persuasive and should be
12 Vojvoda Nikola Poplasen was also active in Vogosca, and
13 throughout the second half of 1992 he was directly involved in the forced
14 labour and exchange of non-Serbs as specified in Exhibit P975 and in
15 paragraphs 408 through 410 of the Prosecution's closing brief. Despite
16 the accused's claims to the contrary, the evidence proves beyond a
17 reasonable doubt that Poplasen's link to the SRS and to the accused was
18 firmly established already in early 1992. In the order promoting
19 Poplasen to Vojvoda, which is Exhibit P218, the accused confirmed that
21 "As of May 1992, he has been performing the duties of the
22 president of the Serbian Radical Party for Republika Srpska."
23 The accused confirmed this again in September 1992 in
24 Exhibit P1205, stating that an SRS branch had already been established in
25 Republika Srpska and Nikola Poplasen was its president.
1 As the accused admitted, another one of his Vojvodas,
2 Slavko Aleksic, was in Grbavica, Novo Sarajevo. In Exhibit P1102,
3 Aleksic admitted arriving at the Jewish cemetery on the 21st of April,
4 1992, and together with his Seseljevci they were "clearing Grbavica." He
5 soon controlled the area of what he defined as Serbian Grbavica, which he
6 explained was one of the most difficult sections of the Serb defence
7 lines, fiercely attacked by the Army of BiH because:
8 "They knew that, if they broke through the lines of the defence
9 at the Jewish cemetery, Grbavica would also fall, and Lukavica and
10 everything else."
11 Soon he gathered around him about 100 Seseljevci, volunteers from
12 Serbia, but also from other countries, as shown in Exhibit P256,
13 summarising the role of Aleksic and his link to the accused.
14 [Video-clip played]
15 "Maggie O'Kane: ... Serbian-held suburb in Sarajevo.
16 "Unknown man: He says: 'Nice to meet you.'
17 "Maggie O'Kane: The militia attracts volunteers from all over
18 the world.
19 "Where are you from?
20 "Zack Novakovic: New York.
21 "Maggie O'Kane: You're from New York?
22 "Zack Novakovic: Yes.
23 "Maggie O'Kane: Aha. How long have you been here?
24 "Zack Novakovic: I was here in the summer, winter, and now with
25 Vojvoda's brigade up on the Jewish cemetery.
1 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover]
2 "Slavko Aleksic: I believe the state as it is now ...
3 "Maggie O'Kane: They are a law unto themselves, converted to the
4 creed of Greater Serbia and armed with the help of Milosevic, but they
5 are not out of the puppet master's control.
6 "Zack Novakovic: Our great Vojvoda leader said that, first of
7 all, Grbavica is ours and Sarajevo will be ours. Our church is there and
8 will be ours again. We lost a lot of lives, a lot of Serbian lives, and
9 that's why we're never going to give it up.
10 "Maggie O'Kane: Who represents your political leadership? Who
11 gave them this authority here?
12 "Zack Novakovic: Again, Seselj, which is a great man from the
13 radical side, and he gave the rank, Vojvoda, to Slavko Aleksic.
14 "Maggie O'Kane: And when you say he's the real defender, what do
15 you mean? The guys in Lukavica say they're the defenders.
16 "Zack Novakovic: No way. I mean, once you see the people when
17 they see Vojvoda, I mean the tears come down. Children run to him. I
18 mean, these people just count on him. They count on Vojvoda, and he's
19 protecting this side so far and he'll be protecting that side.
20 "Maggie O'Kane: And what's he fighting for?
21 "Zack Novakovic: Great Serbia, of course. And Sarajevo first.
22 "Maggie O'Kane: And do you feel you're backed in this by
23 President Milosevic?
24 "Zack Novakovic: That's a whole different story. Me, I like the
25 guy, you know. To me he's a Chetnik, you know. People might say he's
1 communist or whatever, but he's kind of defended us too from the start.
2 "Maggie O'Kane: Thank you very much."
3 MS. IODICE: It was Aleksic's Seseljevci who, together with other
4 Serb forces, took over Grbavica and subjected its non-Serb population to
5 a campaign of killings, arbitrary searches, and plunder, which forced
6 them out of their homes, as detailed in paragraphs 384 through 387 of the
7 Prosecution's closing brief.
8 Another of the accused's Vojvoda, Branislav Gavrilovic, aka Brne,
9 was active in Ilidza municipality. There, the Seseljevci co-operated
10 with the Serb Crisis Staff of Nedjeljko Prstojevic to forcibly expel
11 non-Serbs from the municipality.
12 As the accused admitted at transcript 1935, Brne was transferred
13 to Sarajevo from Slavonia by JNA helicopter. As Brne confirmed in
14 Exhibit P999, this helicopter transfer was arranged thanks to his
15 Vojvoda, Vojislav Seselj.
16 The accused has heavily disputed the evidence of
17 Witness Perica Koblar, who describes the joint VRS and Brne's Seseljevci
18 action to capture Gola Brda on Mount Igman and the capture and murder of
19 prisoners of war. The accused ignored that the same events have been
20 described by Brne himself and by the accused's own periodical,
21 "Velika Srbija," these are, in that order, Exhibit P999 and
22 Exhibit P1000.
23 The evidence shows beyond a reasonable doubt that on the
24 17th of July, 1993, four members of the Army of BiH, including Koblar,
25 were captured by a group of Seseljevci under the command of Brne during
1 an action which "Velika Srbija" describes as one of the typical successes
2 of Vojvoda Brne and his Chetniks.
3 As described in paragraphs 395 through 400 of the Prosecution's
4 closing brief, Koblar was captured by a Seseljevac called Pajkovic, whose
5 presence and role amongst Brne's Seseljevci is confirmed by
6 Exhibit P1000. One of the prisoners of war, Robert Kahrimanovic, was
7 murdered by a member of Brne's Seseljevci immediately upon capture. The
8 remaining three were taken down Mount Igman to a clearing where Brne was
10 Brne was introduced to the prisoners of war as "Chetnik Vojvoda,
11 Branislav Gavrilovic," as described at transcript 8009. The prisoners of
12 war were severely beaten and insulted with the ethnic slur "balija."
13 Brne, upon learning that one of the prisoners of war, Zivko Krajisnik,
14 was a Serb, kicked him, broke Krajisnik's nose with his fingers, and
16 "Repeat that again. Say you're a Serb again and I'll rip your
17 head off."
18 Brne then ordered at transcript 8011:
19 "Take him away. Take the trash away. Kill the trash."
20 Krajisnik was taken a few metres away by one of Brne's Seseljevci
21 and murdered.
22 Another prisoner of war, Rusmir Hamalukic, was killed by
23 Pajkovic. Koblar's evidence is credible, reliable, and coherent.
24 There is no doubt that the Army of BiH soldiers were captured by
25 Brne's Seseljevci. While the accused seems to dispute the insignia that
1 Brne's Seseljevci had, he does not dispute that it was in fact Brne's
2 Seseljevci, he admitted at transcript 8099:
3 "... it was the Chetnik unit ... there is no dispute that they
4 were called Chetniks and they called themselves Chetniks."
5 The detail of the insignia is irrelevant.
6 There is also no doubt that the Army of BiH soldiers were
7 captured alive and then murdered by Brne and his Seseljevci. They were
8 not killed in battle, as the accused claims. The detail of the capture
9 was also recorded by "Velika Srbija," and Brne even bragged about it. He
10 said in Exhibit P999:
11 "We caught four Muslim fighters on the spot."
12 The minor inconsistencies within Koblar's first statement, if
13 any, have been clarified by him during his testimony. He stated how his
14 statement to the BiH military authorities was given only two days after
15 he had fled from detention. He never had the opportunity of reading it
16 and was taken under time pressure.
17 In conclusion, the evidence proves beyond a reasonable doubt that
18 the crimes charged in relation to Greater Sarajevo were committed by
19 members of the Serb forces, including Seseljevci. These crimes were an
20 integral part of the common plan to ethnically cleanse Serb-targeted
21 territories in BiH of its non-Serb population and create Serb-controlled
23 I will now give the floor to Mr. Traldi, who will describe how
24 the same pattern of crimes repeated in Mostar and Nevesinje.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Madam Prosecutor.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Sorry, is this the sixth
2 representative of the OTP to speak?
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Certainly, yes. I hadn't
4 counted them.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]...
6 I was counting. Five were announced and now the sixth one is coming up.
7 Is this possible under your procedure? Five speak as were announced on
8 behalf of the Prosecution. This is the sixth one. Mr. Marcussen,
9 Mrs. Iodice, and others have already spoken.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you are a
11 well-reputed professor of law and -- that the public prosecution cannot
12 be separated. There is a chief prosecutor and then there are trial
13 attorneys, senior trial attorneys. When I have time, I listen to the
14 other cases, and sometimes in the Karadzic case I see new faces, new
15 attorneys, trial attorneys, who come in to lead a number of witnesses.
16 That is perfectly understandable, unless of course they have your
17 intellectual capabilities, which of course is very difficult. So I think
18 the job has to be divided up and that is why there are several people
19 working for the Office of the Prosecutor.
20 Welcome, Mr. Traldi, I shall give you the floor now.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Antonetti, I have to tell you
22 this too. Remember my objection from the beginning, when I said five
23 were not enough. Then you shut me up. And now it turns out that five is
24 really not enough. I'm not only the most renowned professor of law, but
25 I also make very good estimates, almost as a clairvoyant.
1 The Prosecution had the duty to announce at the beginning who
2 would be representing the Prosecution in closing arguments. He announced
3 five and now he should apologise. He should have apologised today saying
4 five of us were not enough, so I brought the sixth. And I know that as a
5 most renounced professor of law, indeed.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen -- let's resume
7 because that is a point of detail.
8 Mr. Prosecutor, you have the floor.
9 MR. TRALDI: Thank you, Your Honours, and good afternoon. I
10 believe if you check the transcript, Mr. Marcussen said there would be
11 five in addition to himself and named all five of us.
12 The crimes charged in Mostar and Nevesinje were part of the joint
13 criminal enterprise. JCE members, including the accused, targeted the
14 region and deployed forces under their control, while those implementing
15 the JCE on the ground created or took control over local instruments of
16 power. When the conflict reached Eastern Herzegovina, joint Serb forces,
17 including Seseljevci, fought under JNA, TO, and VRS officers. Witnesses
18 clearly and repeatedly identified members of those same joint Serb
19 forces, including Seseljevci, as physical perpetrators of the crimes in
20 the area.
21 Since the crimes were part of the JCE and the perpetrators were
22 part of Serb forces on the ground and subordinated to JCE members, the
23 accused is responsible as a member of the JCE.
24 To demonstrate, I will address three issues. I will first
25 explain how JCE members, including the accused, targeted
1 Eastern Herzegovina and created and deployed co-ordinated forces to
2 establish Serb domination of the area. I will then describe the campaign
3 of destruction and murder those forces carried out in Mostar. Finally, I
4 will describe the campaign of destruction and murder which obliterated
5 the non-Serb population of Nevesinje, their homes, their villages, and
6 their cultural institutions.
7 JCE members had targeted the Eastern Herzegovina region from the
8 beginning of the conflict. The region was strategically important, and
9 to control it, JCE members deployed their own forces to Eastern
10 Herzegovina and established and supported forces based in the area.
11 Control of Eastern Herzegovina supported three of the strategic goals of
12 the Bosnian Serb leadership. Goal number one, separation of the Serbian
13 people from the Muslim and Croat communities; goal number four, a border
14 on the Neretva and Una Rivers; and goal number six, access to the
15 Adriatic Sea via Herzegovina. Mostar itself also boasted a significant
16 military infrastructure.
17 On 16 September 1991, the Bosnian Serb leadership declared the
18 SAO Herzegovina, the Srpska Autonomna Oblast of Herzegovina. This
19 included Nevesinje. Just days later, the JNA's Uzice Corps deployed
20 additional forces to the area and General Torbica held a meeting with
21 local Serb leaders where he told them Serbia would fulfil its historical
22 destiny and gain control of territory mirroring the accused's vision of
23 Greater Serbia. The JNA and Serb police then distributed thousands of
24 arms to the local Serb population. These arms were first used often in
25 the combat in Croatia, but once conflict began in Bosnia, the same arms
1 supported the implementation of the JCE in Eastern Herzegovina.
2 As Yugoslavia began to split apart, the JNA, under JCE members
3 Milosevic and Adzic, deployed forces under General Momcilo Perisic to the
4 region in mass. The Red Berets, under JCE members Stanisic and
5 Simatovic, established a training camp in nearby Trebinje for police
6 special operations units and at least one special operations unit from
7 the Trebinje police was deployed to the war in Croatia. And at the
8 beginning of 1992, Serb leaders in Nevesinje established a Crisis Staff.
9 By now, the patterns Mr. Mussemeyer had described were visible in
10 Eastern Herzegovina. The Serb population had been armed and separate
11 parallel Serb institutions had been created.
12 As the Serb forces coalesced in Eastern Herzegovina, life began
13 to change for non-Serb civilians. Members of Arsen Grahovac's
14 Karadjordje unit told non-Serbs they would end up in mass graves if they
15 did not leave Nevesinje. And for non-Serbs like Witness Kujan, life in
16 Nevesinje became "like living in a prison camp." And that's from
17 Exhibit P524, page 4.
18 The accused himself made an enormous contribution to the campaign
19 in Eastern Herzegovina. He had begun targeting the region in early 1991,
20 meeting with Chetnik commanders and establishing co-operation with local
21 Serb leaders, including Karadjordje unit commander Grahovac and local SDS
22 leader Bozidar Vucurevic. The accused went to the region in fall 1991,
23 visiting Nevesinje, Gacko, Trebinje, and Bileca, as well as travelling to
24 the ethnically-cleansed town of Konavle, Croatia, with Vucurevic.
25 Your Honours can see this, for instance, in Exhibits P1162 and P1394.
1 After the accused visited, Seseljevci formed units which went to
2 fight in Croatia, and Croats in the region discussed forming their own
3 volunteer units in response for defence. The accused's targeting of
4 Eastern Herzegovina and co-operation with local leaders is set out in,
5 for instance, Exhibits P163, P524, P880, P881, and P989, as well as the
6 exhibits I mentioned earlier.
7 As Serb take-overs began in BiH, the accused publicly announced
8 he would visit Eastern Herzegovina again, in Exhibits P685 and P1296.
9 When he arrived, he met with Vucurevic and Grahovac. This visit is
10 discussed in Exhibit P524.
11 Like other local Serb leaders across BiH and Croatia, Vucurevic
12 asked the accused for additional manpower to support Serb forces. The
13 accused's Vojvoda Vakic describes this in "Velika Srbija" in Exhibit P55.
14 And on 30 March 1992, the accused gave a press conference in Trebinje,
15 just south of Nevesinje. He called upon Bosnian Serbs to act through
16 their own authorities in their territories to complete what he called the
17 liberation of their territories:
18 "... with the help of the Territorial Defence and Serbian
19 volunteers whom we can send whenever this is necessary. We will start
20 sending these volunteers to Herzegovina in the very near future."
21 That's from Exhibit P1109, page 1.
22 In his brief, the accused attacks Witness Kujan for testifying
23 that the accused was present in Nevesinje in early 1992. But as this
24 evidence shows, the accused did visit Eastern Herzegovina in March 1992,
25 where he called for further conflict and promised to send Seseljevci to
1 the region.
2 When he returned to Belgrade, the accused called for Serb forces
3 to seize "the whole Neretva River valley." That's from Exhibit P1262,
4 page 14. As the accused had promised and as he did throughout the
5 conflict, he then contributed his Seseljevci to the Serb forces in
6 Eastern Herzegovina.
7 On 8 April 1992, the Ministry for Serbs Outside Serbia requested
8 three buses to transport what they called refugees from Belgrade to areas
9 of Eastern Herzegovina, including Nevesinje. That's Exhibit P1070. And
10 war chief staff -- sorry, War Staff Chief Ljubisa Petkovic explained in
11 his evidence that this was merely a ruse to conceal the buses' real
12 purpose: Transporting Seseljevci to the front lines. And that's in
13 Exhibit C16, page 74.
14 The accused deployed hundreds of other Seseljevci to
15 Eastern Herzegovina, where five of his Vojvodas led Seseljevci into
16 battle. The Trial Chamber is referred to Exhibits P54, P55, P843, P846,
17 P889, P1002, and P1311, where the accused and his Seseljevci discuss this
18 deployment themselves. Official records of Serb forces and both Serb and
19 Bosnian police show Seseljevci in the region in, for instance,
20 Exhibits P29, P891, P1008, and P1162. Details about the Seseljevci who
21 were deployed to Eastern Herzegovina are set out in paragraphs 264
22 through 271 of the Prosecution's closing brief.
23 The accused's own war-time statements corroborate this evidence
24 and show his men remained in Eastern Herzegovina at the time of the
25 crimes charged in his indictment. Exhibit P218, in which the accused
1 declared many of his men to be Vojvodas, shows that Vojvoda Tripkovic was
2 still fighting in Mostar on 14 June 1992, and that Vojvoda Baret remained
3 in the area until 31 July 1992, after the massacres at Uborak and Sutina,
4 which I will discuss in due course.
5 Other Seseljevci remained in nearby Eastern Herzegovina, easily
6 close enough to Mostar and Nevesinje to fight and commit crimes there,
7 until well after the crimes charged in the indictment had been committed.
8 In another order declaring his men to be Vojvodas, the accused stated in
9 Exhibit P217 that Vojvoda Vakic fought in Herzegovina in both May and
10 June of 1992, that Vojvoda Radovan Radovic fought in the Neretva valley
11 and Nevesinje in both 1992 and 1993, and that Vojvoda Nedjeljko
12 Vidjakovic also commanded a Seseljevci unit from Trebinje which fought in
13 the region. And Exhibits C10 and P891 confirm that large groups of
14 Seseljevci were in Eastern Herzegovina until months after the crimes
15 charged in this case.
16 Credible witness identifications place these Seseljevci among the
17 perpetrators of crimes. Witnesses Dabic, VS-1067, and Tot were members
18 of Serb forces. Consequently, they were well positioned to correctly
19 identify a particular fighting force's affiliation, whether to one Serb
20 force or another. Victim witnesses VS-1022, Bilic, and Karisik were
21 detained for at least several days and mistreated and had the opportunity
22 to learn identifying information about their tormentors.
23 And indeed, civilians in Eastern Herzegovina knew to fear the
24 Seseljevci. As Witness Stoparic testified, when his Seseljevci unit went
25 through villages, non-Serb civilians would flee.
1 Despite the Seseljevci's crimes, when forces were needed in
2 Eastern Herzegovina, even in 1993, Slobodan Milosevic continued to
3 personally call on the accused, and the accused provided thousands of
4 additional volunteers. He himself declared that he sent Seseljevci to
5 areas right near Mostar at Milosevic's behest, long after he now claims
6 his Seseljevci had left the region. That's in Exhibit P644, page 17.
7 As in Vukovar and elsewhere, the accused has attempted to
8 downplay his contribution to the campaign in Eastern Herzegovina now that
9 he is faced with international justice. He argues that Seseljevci left
10 the Mostar area around 19 May 1992, before the massacres at Uborak and
11 Sutina, and that no significant number of Seseljevci were present in
12 Nevesinje. The evidence I have summarised proves beyond a reasonable
13 doubt that Seseljevci, in fact, remained in and around Mostar and
14 Nevesinje while crimes were committed.
15 The accused's arguments in this respect are unconvincing. First,
16 he asserts that the Seseljevci must have withdrawn from Mostar by
17 25 May 1992 because Vojvoda Ba ret was in Podgorica, Montenegro, with the
18 accused on that date. This assertion addresses only one of the hundreds
19 of Seseljevci in the Mostar area at the time, and another Vojvoda, Vakic,
20 often travelled from Eastern Herzegovina to Podgorica for supplies, as he
21 told "Velika Srbija" in Exhibit P54.
22 Consequently, even if Baret were in Podgorica with the accused on
23 25 May, it would not suggest that Seseljevci were no longer in Mostar at
24 the time. Next, the accused attempts to cast doubt on the
25 identifications of his men. He asserts that Witnesses Karisik, Bilic,
1 and VS-1051 did not mention the accused or his Seseljevci in their
2 initial statements to local authorities. Victim witnesses Karisik and
3 VS-1051 were cross-examined as to why they had not identified the
4 Seseljevci who participated in the crimes against them when they first
5 gave statements to local authorities. VS-1051 explained that the witness
6 was still traumatised when the statement was given and Karisik stood by
7 his identification of Seseljevci under cross-examination.
8 Regarding Witness Bilic, the accused's claim that the witness did
9 not identify Seseljevci is unsupported by any evidence in the record and,
10 moreover, was not raised on cross-examination in violation of
11 Rule 90(H)(ii) and should not be considered.
12 The accused further argues that Witnesses Dabic, VS-1022, and
13 VS-1067 offered only hearsay testimony about Seseljevci. Those
14 witnesses' evidence is admissible before this Tribunal and well
15 corroborated. In this regard, the Chamber should consider particularly
16 Exhibits P887, P889, P891, and P1162, along, of course, with the
17 witnesses' own evidence.
18 The accused also asserts that Witnesses Kujan and VS-1068 were
19 mistaken in identifying his men as perpetrators, but provides no support
20 for this proposition. And he ignores Witness Zoran Tot, his own
21 volunteer, who gave evidence that Seseljevci participated in crimes
22 including the wanton destruction of Mostar.
23 Finally, the accused denies witness evidence that his Seseljevci
24 were present at Boracko Jezero, which I will come to later, even though
25 Vojvoda Vakic informed the Serbian Assembly in 1993 that a Seseljevci
1 commander had, in fact, been killed in Boracko Jezero. And that's in
2 Exhibit P889, page 19.
3 Dispute the accused's denials, it is clear that he and his
4 Seseljevci made a significant and substantial contribution to the
5 persecutorial campaign in Eastern Herzegovina and to the field of
6 operations in which the crimes were committed. As I will next explain,
7 the accused is also linked to the combined Serb forces in Eastern
8 Herzegovina by his contribution to their campaign.
9 These combined Serb forces were directly linked to JCE members
10 including the accused. As these slides show, all Serb forces in
11 Eastern Herzegovina were subordinated to JCE members. Thus, the JCE
12 members, including the accused, are jointly responsible for their crimes.
13 As this first slide reflects, Serb forces in Eastern Herzegovina
14 were initially subordinated to the JNA under General Perisic, which was
15 subordinated to JCE members Blagoje Adzic and Slobodan Milosevic. After
16 the JNA withdrew, Serb forces in the area were led by the VRS Herzegovina
17 Corps, which was under the control of JCE members Ratko Mladic and
18 Radovan Karadzic.
19 Seseljevci in the region were subordinated to the official Serb
20 armies, the accused himself discusses this in his Milosevic testimony and
21 in Exhibit P1002, as were Savic and his police, the Red Berets, the
22 Karadjordje unit, and local Serb forces such as the TO. When members of
23 those forces committed crimes within the common purpose of the JCE, those
24 crimes were attributable to the JNA or VRS commands and thus linked to
25 Milosevic, Karadzic, Adzic, Mladic, and the other JCE members including
1 the accused.
2 As the second slide will reflect, many of the Serb forces in
3 Eastern Herzegovina were also part of hierarchical structures linked to
4 other JCE members. As reflected here, Seseljevci were members of a
5 hierarchical structure headed by the accused. Savic and his police as
6 well as the local Serb TO were part of structures headed by JCE member
7 Radovan Karadzic. The Red Berets were part of a structure headed by JCE
8 members Stanisic and Simatovic. Relevant evidence is set forth on the
9 slide, including Exhibits P410 and P1033 and adjudicated fact 193 from
10 this Chamber's 10 December 2007 decision.
11 Relevant evidence is also summarised in the section of our
12 closing brief discussing the structure of the accused's political and
13 paramilitary organisations.
14 Crimes committed by members of these forces also link to the JCE
15 members, including the accused, through the JCE members atop those
16 hierarchical structures.
17 The accused offers two arguments relevant to the linkage between
18 Serb forces and JCE members in his brief. First, he argues that this
19 Tribunal has not previously convicted a commander or a physical
20 perpetrator for the crimes in Mostar, and he thus cannot be held
21 responsible as a member of the JCE. This is mistaken. There is no legal
22 requirement that a physical or intermediate perpetrator must have been
23 convicted for JCE liability to attach.
24 Second, the accused argues that he cannot be held responsible for
25 the crimes in Eastern Herzegovina because the perpetrators were local
1 Serbs; this is mistaken. What the evidence shows is that members of Serb
2 forces in Eastern Herzegovina, including local Serbs who fought in those
3 forces, are linked to JCE members in two ways. They are dually linked to
4 the JNA or VRS and to the JCE members leading their own hierarchical
5 structures. The JCE members are thus jointly criminally responsible for
6 crimes committed by members of Serb forces in the region, no matter to
7 which specific force a specific perpetrator belonged. For that
8 principle, this Chamber can refer to, for instance, the Brdjanin appeal
9 judgement, paragraphs 409 and 413.
10 With the linkage between the accused and the various Serb forces
11 in Eastern Herzegovina in mind, I will turn to the conflict and crimes in
13 Conflict began in BiH at the end of March 1992. On 2 April, the
14 accused called for Serb forces to "seize the entire Neretva valley" and
15 ensure "a link between Eastern Herzegovina, Romanija, and Ozren." That's
16 from Exhibit P1262, pages 14 and 15.
17 Days later, conflict engulfed Mostar. The SDS ordered Serbs to
18 leave and Serb forces shelled the city ruthlessly. Civilians were
19 killed, including a Croat beaten and murdered by Seseljevci and JNA
20 troops. Seseljevci arrived in nearby Buna and Bjelusine from whence they
21 destroyed and looted villages such as Topla. One of the perpetrators was
22 a Seseljevac named Vranjanac. Vranjanac identified himself as a
23 Seseljevac to other members of Serb forces, and this is corroborated by
24 Exhibits P891 and P1051. The accused's attempt to distance himself from
25 Vranjanac should be rejected.
1 By the end of May, the east bank of the Neretva River had been
2 ethnically cleansed of non-Serbs. In Mostar, non-Serb civilians fled to
3 shelters to escape JNA shelling. Witnesses Bilic, Karisik, and VS-1068
4 described how Serb forces, including Seseljevci, held civilians prisoner
5 in the Zalik shelter and forced civilians to labour while exposed to
6 gun-fire and physical assault. They described how detainees were
7 sometimes taken to the JNA north camp and mistreated and at least one
8 detainee never returned. Serb fighters would tell detainees stories
9 about murdering non-Serbs, and they would tell them the area would one
10 day all be part of Greater Serbia, and they so terrorised the detainees
11 that one witness testified:
12 "You couldn't even hear very well for all of the crying and
13 screaming in the shelter."
14 The indiscriminate and disproportionate shelling of non-military
15 structures in Mostar escalated just before the JNA withdrew from the
16 city. As Exhibits P843 and P846 describe, General Perisic ordered Serb
17 forces including Seseljevci to shell Mostar with no specific targets.
18 Civilians who fled the shelling were mopped up under Perisic's orders.
19 And here I'd refer Your Honours particularly to the evidence of
20 Witness Tot, particularly in Exhibit P843, paragraphs 49 and 50.
21 JCE member Ratko Mladic's notes reveal his awareness that Perisic
22 was "destroying Mostar." That's in Exhibit P1344 at page 7. And the
23 accused's Vojvoda Oliver Baret was present in JNA headquarters during the
24 bombing, co-ordinating between the JNA and the Seseljevci in Mostar. And
25 as Riedlmayer's report and the associated exhibits demonstrate, Serb
1 forces devastated and destroyed non-Serb religious and cultural sites
2 throughout Mostar during this campaign.
3 Earlier in the proceedings, the accused attempted to justify the
4 destruction of Mostar, by stating that the west bank of the Neretva River
5 was in the hands of Croatian forces and the JNA was simply resisting
6 them. Essentially, he argues Serb forces' wanton destruction was
7 justified and defensive. This is incorrect.
8 First, the wanton and indiscriminate shelling of a civilian
9 population can hardly be qualified as defensive. Second, this Tribunal's
10 jurisprudence is quite clear that combatants and their leaders may not
11 shield their violations of international humanitarian law behind an
12 allegedly defensive operation. The critical consideration for the
13 accused's liability is that members of Serb forces for whose crimes he is
14 culpable violated international humanitarian law in destroying Mostar,
15 not his assertion that some of Mostar's territory was under Croatian
16 control when they did so. For that principle, I would refer Your Honours
17 to paragraphs 268 of the Martic appeal judgement and paragraph 812 of the
18 Kordic and Cerkez appeal judgement.
19 Conflict in the Mostar area --
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] There's a very important
21 correction. The interpreter is saying "Mladic" case, but it's, in fact,
22 the Martic case. There is still no judgement in the Mladic case. You
23 should avoid confusing the public.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Correct. The English
25 transcript reads "Martic."
1 Please proceed.
2 MR. TRALDI: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Conflict in the Mostar area continued after the JNA shelled and
4 devastated the city and then turned over its weapons to the VRS and
5 officially withdrew from BiH. When Serb forces suffered casualties in a
6 nearby operation, Zdravko Kandic, the Mostar TO commander who had become
7 a battalion commander in the VRS, ordered Serb forces to round up
8 non-Serbs from East Mostar.
9 Those Serb forces detained, abused, and eventually massacred
10 non-Serbs in three nearby locations: Vrapcici stadium, Uborak junkyard,
11 and Sutina cemetery.
12 We are now showing Exhibit P488, which you can see on your
13 screens. That exhibit shows the Zalik shelter, the JNA north camp, and
14 Vrapcici, Uborak, and Sutina. In the bottom left-hand corner you can see
15 north camp and the Zalik shelter and you can see how a single main road
16 from the shelter leads to Sutina, Vrapcici, and finally Uborak.
17 Serb forces at Kandic's direction rounded up Witness Karisik and
18 other non-Serbs and took them to Sutina cemetery and then to Vrapcici
19 stadium. Eventually, 90 people were held in the stadium in horrible
20 conditions, including women and children. Karisik ate and drank only
21 once in six days. He expected to die. Eventually, Karisik and others
22 were taken out in a van and the others were murdered by the side of the
23 road. Serb forces, including Seseljevci, took other non-Serbs to Uborak
24 junkyard and murdered them as well. Karisik was instead taken back to
25 Sutina where he was beaten but eventually escaped.
1 Chetniks rounded up other non-Serbs at a shelter in Zalik. They
2 were taken to the Sutina cemetery, brutally abused, then taken outside
3 and murdered. Some were forced to assist in dumping murder victims in a
4 mass grave.
5 The massacres at Uborak and Sutina followed a round-up of
6 civilians directly ordered by VRS commander Zdravko Kandic and carried
7 out by subordinate Serb forces. The organised nature of the massacre is
8 evident. For instance, a member of the Serb forces stated when Karisik's
9 group arrived at Sutina:
10 "They're not for here. Take them to Vrapcici."
11 And that's from T8776.
12 Kandic was subordinated to the Bosnian Serb leadership, including
13 VRS commander Mladic. Witnesses identified perpetrators carrying out his
14 operation from various Serb forces, including Seseljevci and their local
15 collaborators. All the perpetrators were subordinated to Kandic,
16 carrying out his orders and consequently linked to the VRS and the
17 Bosnian Serb leadership, and through them linked to the other JCE
18 members, including the accused.
19 The JCE members also implemented their common purpose in
20 Nevesinje. In preparation, Serb leaders armed the local Serb population,
21 removed non-Serbs from local police forces, and replaced the mayor of
22 Nevesinje. Serb forces also set up check-points which deprived Nevesinje
23 Muslims of freedom of movement. These were often manned by Seseljevci,
24 including a man named Kinez, as well as police and members of the
25 Karadjordje unit. Some Serb fighters at check-points can be seen in
1 Exhibit P887, stating that they only recognised the authority of the
2 accused and his fellow JCE member Milan Martic.
3 As a note, some of the evidence regarding check-points originates
4 from Witness Dabic. This witness' credibility is discussed in the
5 argumentative annex to our closing brief, and I will not repeat this
6 discussion every time we rely on his evidence. Regarding Seseljevci's
7 presence at check-points, however, I point out that the witness's
8 evidence is corroborated by official documentation and video evidence.
9 The persecutory campaign in Nevesinje accelerated after conflict
10 started in BiH and reached nearby Mostar. Many Serbs who left Mostar at
11 SDS orders went to Nevesinje and drove Nevesinje Muslims out of their
12 homes. Non-Serbs were killed and others fled to the woods and then out
13 of the municipality entirely to save their lives. These non-Serbs
14 suffered forcible transfer, as is clear in paragraphs 279 through 281 of
15 the Stakic appeal judgement.
16 Earlier in these proceedings the accused asked Your Honours how
17 could they, meaning Serb forces, attack Nevesinje when 90 per cent of its
18 population was Serb anyway ? The actual number was 74 per cent according
19 to the census. JCE members in the Bosnian Serb leadership did not
20 exclude Serb majority municipalities from their persecutory campaign.
21 Instead, they had established specific instructions for targeting Serb
22 majority municipalities, Variant A.
23 As you can see in Exhibit P524, page 5, the same steps described
24 in Variant A were implemented in Nevesinje.
25 And in June 1992, Serb forces implementing the JCE in Nevesinje
1 decided that it was not enough for Nevesinje to be a Serb-majority
2 municipality. It would be made pure Serbian, just the way DB official
3 Mihalj Kertes had described the Drina River valley in Eastern Bosnia.
4 Serb fighters were explicitly ordered to ethnically cleanse
5 Nevesinje municipality. Their operational orders were to "burn down ...
6 destroy everything ... make the villages and people disappear."
7 And that's from Exhibit P880, page 31.
8 As Witness Kujan and others described, Serb forces in Nevesinje
9 carried out those orders with chilling completeness. Beginning in the
10 second week of June, Serb forces under the VRS would shell villages, then
11 enter, loot and burn down homes, massacre any remaining non-Serb
12 civilians, and finally burn down the entire village. By the end of June,
13 the entire non-Serb population had fled or been massacred. Their
14 villages had been destroyed and their holy sites had been either
15 destroyed or seriously damaged.
16 Witness Kujan described the Serb forces' campaign in terms that
17 mirrored their orders, as you will see in this slide show. This first
18 slide shows the orders given to Serb forces in Nevesinje: Burn down,
19 destroy everything, make the villages and the people disappear.
20 One of the most visible things to disappear was non-Serbs' holy
21 and sacred places. Before the war, Nevesinje had one Catholic church,
22 one Orthodox church, and three mosques. Today, only the Orthodox church
23 remains. The other religious buildings have been levelled and turned
24 into parking-lots. You can see the old Nevesinje Catholic church which
25 was completely destroyed by Seseljevci under Vranjanac on this slide.
1 The next slide shows Witness Kujan's description of the JCE
2 campaign. After describing the destruction of non-Serb religious
3 institutions, he explains that Serb forces "wanted to destroy everything
4 that wasn't Serbian, and they did just that." That's from Exhibit P524,
5 page 2.
6 The third slide discusses the pattern of attacks. Witness Kujan
8 "The pattern of these attacks I witnessed was the same. There
9 would be shelling first, then entering the villages, then burning down of
10 some houses. The village would be cleared of people and all movable
11 property would be stolen from inside and outside the homes. Cars and any
12 equipment would be taken away and then the whole village would be burnt
14 That's from Exhibit P524, page 6.
15 And I would refer Your Honours for comparison to the description
16 of Serb forces' tactics during their campaign in Croatia in Exhibit P412.
17 The final slide from Exhibit P524, page 8, shows the consequences
18 of the JCE campaign, non-Serbs fled from Nevesinje. And by 26 June 1992,
19 Nevesinje had been "totally ethnically cleansed of its non-Serb
20 population." The non-Serb villages and people had quite literally
21 disappeared from Nevesinje municipality.
22 As it already had in Vukovar, Zvornik, Greater Sarajevo, and
23 Mostar, the Serb forces' campaign in Nevesinje led to massacres and the
24 torture and cruel treatment of detained persons. Evidence can be found
25 in, among others, Exhibits P483, P487, P523, P524, P525, P880, P881, and
2 One group of Muslim civilians attempting to flee from the Serb
3 forces' campaign was caught hiding in the woods near Teleca Lastva. They
4 were detained, interrogated, and tortured, and some of the women were
5 raped or sexually abused. Seven of the prisoners were taken away by Serb
6 forces, including Seseljevci, and never seen alive again. The survivors
7 were ordered to clean up the blood left over from prisoners being
9 But the crimes in Eastern Herzegovina and perhaps best -- and
10 indeed, in Bosnia as a whole, are perhaps best represented by the stories
11 of Fadila and Mirsada Mahinic. Relevant evidence about the crimes
12 against their group of civilians is set forth in paragraphs 473 to 478 of
13 the Prosecution's closing brief.
14 What that evidence shows is this:
15 In late June 1992, a group of Muslim civilians fled the villages
16 of Presjeka and Kljuna under heavy shelling. Some left behind their
17 elderly parents who knew they would be murdered but stayed behind to
18 avoid slowing down their families and making their escape more difficult.
19 Those who stayed were, indeed, murdered and their bodies were not even
20 identified until 1998.
21 The group that left, including the Mahinics, were captured by
22 Serb forces and held until VRS officer Zdravko Kandic arrived.
23 While they were held, Serb forces and local Serbs taunted the
24 group, saying:
25 "Fuck your balija mothers. We'll kill you, we'll slaughter you."
1 And told one woman:
2 "Shut up, you balija, balinka. You are guilty of being a
4 After Kandic arrived and spoke to their captors, the men in the
5 group were taken away and killed in the Dubravica pit. The women and
6 children, including Habib and Ferida Sipkovic and their 7-day-old baby,
7 were held in the basement of the Kilavci heating plant with no light and
8 no food or water. They were abused by members of the Serb forces, one of
9 whom identified the perpetrators as including Seseljevci.
10 The Mahinics and a few other women were taken away to
11 Boracko Jezero while the other members of their group were murdered,
12 including the baby who the evidence shows had not even lived long enough
13 to have a name. Eleven other victims named Mahinic were killed.
14 When Serb forces were selecting women to take to Boracko Jezero,
15 one Serb fighter looked at the new mother and said:
16 "You see, she's just had a baby ... she's no use to us. Who's
17 going to fuck with her?"
18 The women who were taken away could have had no doubt what their
19 captors intended. And a Serb named Petar Divjakovic then took the
20 selected women towards the motel at Boracko Jezero, where Chetniks told
21 them they would be raped. Women in the group were, indeed, raped and
22 detainees were viciously beaten. Almost ten years later the Mahinics'
23 bodies were found in a nearby mass grave.
24 The Mahinics' story encompasses all of the counts charged in
25 Nevesinje municipality. The villages of members of their group were
1 wantonly destroyed, leaving them no choice but to flee and constituting
2 forcible transfer. When they were captured, the Serb forces tortured,
3 raped, cruelly treated, and massacred members of their group. And they
4 themselves were murdered.
5 The repeated ethnic slurs hurled at them and their fellow Muslims
6 reveal that the perpetrators of these crimes committed the crimes with
7 the discriminatory intent characteristic of persecution.
8 And perpetrators identified as Seseljevci participated in the
9 crimes. These crimes and the others in Mostar and Nevesinje were an
10 integral part of the common plan to ethnically cleanse Serb-targeted
11 territories throughout BiH of their non-Serb populations and to create
12 Serb-controlled areas. Serb forces including Seseljevci followed their
13 orders to make non-Serb villages and people disappear through wanton
14 destruction, forcible transfer, and persecution. Non-Serbs who were
15 tragically captured by Serb forces, like the Mahinics and several of the
16 witnesses in this case, were brutalised, tortured, and murdered in large
18 Next, having discussed the crimes in Mostar and Nevesinje,
19 Ms. Biersay will next discuss how, as non-Serbs began to flee Nevesinje
20 in May of 1992, the accused himself personally committed persecution and
21 forcible transfer against the non-Serbs of Hrtkovci.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Prosecutor. As
23 Mrs. Biersay is going to take the floor, we are going to have a break
24 now, a 20-minute break and we shall resume in 20 minutes' time.
25 --- Recess taken at 3.42 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 4.04 p.m.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
3 You may proceed, Ms. Biersay.
4 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Before starting, I wanted to tell the Trial Chamber that I
6 provided to the Chamber and to the accused a sheet that associates the
7 names of three witnesses with a letter of the alphabet and this is just
8 to ensure that the identities of witnesses are not disclosed when I
9 address nonpublic information. I may not use all the names, but I
10 understand that the Trial Chamber would prefer not to go in and out of
11 private session. So this is my attempt to try to prevent doing that.
12 Hopefully I can make it work.
13 Your Honours, the accused committed crimes in Croatia. He
14 committed crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina. And he also committed crimes
15 in Serbia. In this case, he gave a speech in the village of Hrtkovci on
16 May 6, 1992. That speech ignited the flames of ethnic hatred and forever
17 changed the face of that village. He accomplished exactly what he set
18 out to do: To force Croats out of the village and out of Serbia.
19 Before Yugoslavia started breaking apart, the village of Hrtkovci
20 in Vojvodina, Serbia, was ethnically diverse. It had a Croat majority,
21 as well as Hungarians and Serbs. Witnesses described that there were
22 many mixed marriages between Serbs and Croats or Hungarians. And the
23 people of different ethnicities, they lived together in peace and in
24 harmony. That tranquility began to change, slowly at first, as the
25 village was infected by the violent inter-ethnic conflict in neighbouring
1 Croatia and then in BiH as more and more refugees from -- Serb refugees
2 came into Vojvodina looking for safety and places to live. After the
3 accused delivered his hate speech on 6 May 1992, the changes that had
4 begun slowly in Hrtkovci exploded into ethnic tension and fear.
5 The accused personally brought that tension and fear to the
6 people of Hrtkovci with his hatred. He personally made Croats so afraid
7 that many fled the village soon after. He personally encouraged Serb
8 refugees in Hrtkovci to participate in his persecution campaign against
10 As highlighted in paragraphs 561 and 562 of the Prosecution's
11 closing brief, the evidence shows beyond a reasonable doubt that the
12 accused physically committed persecution through the hate speech because
13 of what he said, who he was, and the context of war in which he made the
15 He targeted Hrtkovci as the place for the May 6 SRS rally because
16 Hrtkovci was majority Croat and was considered "Ustasha" territory during
17 World War II. And not only did he target Hrtkovci as a place for this
18 rally, he targeted the date. He targeted May 6 as the day for the
19 SRS rally in Hrtkovci because it was St. George's Day, a very important
20 Serb holiday. So he chose to spend a significant Serb holiday in a Croat
21 majority village, an event that was advertised with posters and announced
22 on Radio Ruma, transcript page 10337.
23 On the day of the accused's hate speech, he and the SRS set the
24 stage for maximum impact. They purposely filled Hrtkovci with an
25 intimidating atmosphere. Ethnically divisive and intimidating Chetnik
1 music played from a loudspeaker. A large group of armed men wearing
2 black World War II-era Chetnik uniforms arrived and spread throughout the
3 town. A much larger crowd of Serb refugees was present at the rally
4 site. They had all come to see and hear the accused. And there are also
5 some local Croats there as well. This is described at transcript
6 page 10335 and in Exhibits P329 and 1329.
7 The security provided for the rally far surpassed that of any
8 electoral campaign. In addition to the armed Chetnik men, there was a
9 policeman with an automatic rifle in the street at every 100 metres. The
10 level of security provided for the rally was so intense, it reminded
11 Witness Ejic of the times when Tito passed through.
12 A member of the accused's security detail carried what appeared
13 to be a bayonet and stood by the stage. It was clear, clear that the
14 objective was to "create fear, a different psychological atmosphere among
15 the local population." Transcript pages 10335, 10337 to 10338, and
17 A list of prominent Croats in Hrtkovci was read to the crowd.
18 The accused admits in Exhibit P31, pages 1304 to 1305, that a member of
19 the SRS party standing next to him read out the list. And those Croats
20 were labelled as disloyal. During his speech, the accused repeated his
21 rhetoric of hatred and division and pounded his chest. He called for a
22 Greater Serbia. He denigrated Croats of Hrtkovci as Ustasha. He
23 labelled them disloyal enemies of the Serbian people. He accused some
24 Croats as being in the "Ustasha National Guard", branded their parents as
25 disloyal and as having no place in Hrtkovci. He called for Croats to be
1 forced out of Hrtkovci. He shouted: "Let them go to their homeland."
2 He accused Tudjman of driving Serbs from Croatia. And he
3 promised Serb refugees they could move into the Croat houses in Hrtkovci.
4 He encouraged every Serb family of refugees to knock on a Croat door and
5 give its inhabitants an address in a Croatian place outside of Serbia.
6 He delivered an ultimatum to Hrtkovci Croats: Move to Croatia or be
7 placed on buses and be sent to the border, saying:
8 "There will be enough buses. We will drive them to the border of
9 Serb territory and they can walk on from there." And that's in
10 Exhibit P547 at page 4.
11 He instructed "Serbs from Hrtkovci and other villages" to
12 "promptly get rid of the remaining Croats."
13 He promised Serbs that they would overcome economic and social
14 crisis by getting rid of the remaining Croats, and he threatened Croats
15 that "they would have nowhere to return to."
16 Very similar language that he used with respect to the cleansed
17 town of Osijek that I described to the Trial Chamber previously.
18 And what did the crowd do? The crowd applauded and shouted
19 "Ustasha out ... this is Serbia."
20 As addressed in the Prosecution closing brief at paragraphs 559
21 and 562, the accused's May 6 speech constitutes persecution. In his
22 speech, the accused invoked a litany of the same hateful denigration that
23 he used to justify the commission of crimes to achieve the common
24 criminal purpose in Croatia and in BiH. In a book published after he was
25 indicted in this case, the accused produced a partial transcript of that
1 May 6 speech. Even though it is a partial transcript, it fully
2 establishes the accused's intent to persecute Croats through his hate
3 speech, especially given the context in which the speech was given,
4 namely, the raging inter-ethnic conflict in Croatia and in BiH.
5 When the accused finished his May 6th hate speech, he had
6 personally committed the crime of persecution. And despite what he
7 claims, his speech in Hrtkovci was not an innocent election promise. As
8 set out in the Nahimana appeals judgement, especially in paragraph 771,
9 there is no legal protection for hate speech based on conditional
11 This accused delivered a speech filled with ethnic hatred and
12 fear-mongering. He exploited his status and authority to deliberately
13 fuel the tension between local Croats and Serb refugees. He exploited
14 the ongoing violence in Croatia that made both Croats and Serbs
15 frightened. By so doing, he breached the cloak that protects free speech
16 and transformed his hate speech into a crime in and of itself; and for
17 that, he is criminally responsible.
18 His speech violated the Croats' right to dignity and security.
19 The Croats in Hrtkovci who heard his words or heard about them knew that
20 he was not making empty threats. They knew the accused was an
21 influential elected official who publicly flaunted his quasi-military
22 authority inside and outside of Serbia. They knew about the crimes
23 committed by Seseljevci. They knew the accused influenced and controlled
24 Seseljevci, and he was synonymous with his Seseljevci, and they were
25 notorious for their participation in crimes committed in Croatia. And
1 I'd refer to transcript 1545 as well as 15411 and 15412.
2 Immediately after his speech, many Croats began preparing to
3 leave Hrtkovci, showing they felt denigrated and threatened, just as the
4 accused intended. By August 1992, the Serb leadership of the village
5 changed the name of Hrtkovci to Srbislavci to reflect that Serbs were now
6 the majority. That's only three months after the accused's May 6 speech.
7 Even the signposts into and out of the village were changed to
8 Srbislavci. Transcript pages 10382 to 10383 as well as Exhibit P549.
9 But the accused had begun targeting non-Serbs in Vojvodina and
10 Hrtkovci as early as September 1991 during the war in Croatia. And I'm
11 now citing the evidence of Witness A on your sheet.
12 As described in Exhibits P1112, pages 5 to 6; P1129, pages 26 to
13 28, 161 to 163, the accused gave instructions in September of 1991 for
14 how this persecution campaign should be carried out in Hrtkovci:
15 Dismissing non-Serbs from government jobs, threatening non-Serbs
16 through intimidating telephone calls, attacking non-Serbs, attacking
17 their homes, marking non-Serb houses, throwing grenades, and breaking
19 So at the same time he was giving instructions for the
20 persecution campaign against Hrtkovci's Croats in 1991, the accused was
21 also denigrating Croats in Croatia. Serb forces, including Seseljevci,
22 implemented a brutal campaign of persecution against Croats in targeted
23 areas of Croatia. And his persecutorial speeches and the campaign itself
24 were reported throughout Serbia.
25 And it's important to consider what the Croats in Serbia were
1 seeing. Throughout Croatia, JNA tanks rolled, Croat towns shelled,
2 Croats expelled, Croats killed. Croatia was being cleansed of Croats and
3 the accused wanted to cleanse Serbia of its Croats. But this did not
4 happen in 1991 or in the beginning of 1992.
5 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
6 MS. BIERSAY: The accused -- before the May 6 hate speech, it's
7 true that two or three Croat families did leave, and I'd refer the
8 Trial Chamber to transcript page 15461 and 15498. But most of them
9 remained until May 6, 1992, and too many Croats remained for the accused.
10 So his May 6 speech was designed to reach new dimensions of persecution
11 by targeting Croats and sowing fear in the village.
12 The events following the accused's persecution through his 6 May
13 speech proves that he committed forcible transfer and deportation and
14 that he aided and abetted and instigated others to persecute and forcibly
15 transfer and deport Croats from Hrtkovci.
16 Reports of his hate speech and the reaction of the crowd spread
17 through the Croatian community of Hrtkovci. Fear and panic infected that
18 community and news spread, as one would imagine, in a small village. It
19 spread by word of mouth, from person to person, from household to
20 household. And Croats decided they had no real choice but to leave
21 Hrtkovci. The accused had warned them to "clear out of Serbia." And
22 they did. They were so frightened after the speech, they started
23 collecting travel documents and many left.
24 The accused had directed Serbs to "promptly get rid of the
25 remaining Croats in your and surrounding villages." They did. And they
1 cleaned up the Croats who remained in Hrtkovci.
2 The accused intended to and succeeded in instilling fear in the
3 local Croat population against whom he advocated discrimination and
4 violence. His speech aggravated an already tense situation between local
5 Croats and Serb refugees in Hrtkovci. He created an atmosphere so
6 coercive that most Croats could not remain there any longer.
7 Local Croats took the accused's threats very seriously, and they
8 took his threats very seriously because his hate speech was interpreted
9 as that, a threat, a warning sign that simply "could not be ignored."
10 After the speech, Croats began collecting travel documents.
11 "They were standing in queues and waiting, like in embassies."
12 And I'd direct the Trial Chamber to transcript page 9920, and
13 direct the Trial Chamber to the evidence of Witnesses Paulic and VS-061
14 and VS-067 as well as Exhibits 555 and Exhibit P556.
15 And the Trial Chamber heard evidence that Croats began collecting
16 records - like c hristening certificates and marriage records - from the
17 local Catholic church so that they could leave Hrtkovci. Requests for
18 christening certificates and marriage records increased dramatically
19 after the accused's hate speech. Witnesses testified that they left
20 Hrtkovci as a direct result of the speech.
21 So the accused lacks any credibility when he argues essentially
22 that Croats exercised a genuine choice to leave Hrtkovci if they arranged
23 house exchanges. Witness Ejic testified that nearly all those listed in
24 the victim annex to the indictment, which he saw as Exhibit P558, he
25 said: Nearly all of them "went to Croatia or even beyond." Transcript
1 page 10407.
2 He could only find two examples of people who left to Croatia of
3 their own free will because, according to him, "everything else was done
4 either out of fear or under different types of threat." Transcript
5 page 10408.
6 Croats did not choose to leave a community where they had been
7 secure all their lives to go to the middle of a war in Croatia. They did
8 not choose to uproot their lives, families, children, to leave their jobs
9 and their friends, to go to a country being ravaged by a war they had
10 been watching on television. They felt they had to leave because they
11 thought their lives were in danger in Hrtkovci. For those Croats who
12 remained, they remained because they were ready to die for staying there,
13 and I direct the Trial Chamber's attention to Exhibit 555 on page 2.
14 The demographic change underlying the renaming of Hrtkovci as
15 Srbislavci is confirmed by the evidence of Witness Tabeau and the
16 October 1992 report of the UN Special Rapporteu r, and this is
17 Exhibit P982. And paragraph 22 of Exhibit P982 references the ethnic
18 cleansing of Croats from Vojvodina. The demographic change is further
19 corroborated by witness evidence and press articles memorialising the
20 flight of Croats from Hrtkovci. And I've already listed one,
21 Exhibit P555 and P556, just to list a few.
22 Exhibit P555 is an article from "NIN" weekly and it's dated the
23 22nd of May, 1992, so two weeks after the accused's hate speech, and it's
24 titled: "Hrtkovci - a village that is moving, Dr. Vojislav Seselj's
25 programme to move out the non-Serb population from Serbia is becoming a
2 A retired local policeman explained in that article that:
3 "It all began after Mr. Seselj's speech here in the village.
4 Many people have already left the village."
5 So all this evidence proves the impact of the accused's speech
6 beyond a reasonable doubt.
7 So when the accused claims that only eight people were forcibly
8 displaced from Hrtkovci, it is an offensive and gross distortion of the
9 facts. In his erroneous reading of the law, he argues that only those
10 Croats who were physically harmed can qualify as being persecuted or
11 forcibly displaced, and this is inconsistent with the law and the facts
12 and should be rejected. The relevant paragraphs in the Prosecution
13 closing brief can be found at 522, 529, 541, 550, and 555 to 564.
14 I would like now to address the evidence that shows the accused
15 aided, abetted, and instigated persecution and forcible transfer and
16 deportation with his speech.
17 His speech in Hrtkovci must be assessed in the context of all of
18 his other language denigrating Croats. As one example, on April 1st,
19 1992, exactly as the Serb take-overs were being implemented in BiH, the
20 accused used the National Assembly to attack Croats in Serbia. He said
21 Croats should be forced from Serbia in retaliation for Tudjman forcing
22 Serbs out of Croatia. He rejected the notion that there were any loyal
23 Croats in Serbia, and this is reflected in Exhibit P16 which I will ask
24 to be played now.
25 [Video-clip played]
1 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover]
2 "Holding that the argument was not going in the right direction,
3 Seselj asked to speak again. If the Croats are expelling the Serbs from
4 Zagreb, what were the Croats waiting for in Belgrade and in Serbia?
5 According to him, this represents a normal exchange of people in the
6 principles of retortion or, as he explained it, retaliation.
7 Mahmut Memic and Antun Skenderovic acted in response to this.
8 Antun Skenderovic said that Seselj's viewpoints had already been known,
9 but that it was good that that time he presented them from the Assembly
10 floor and thus marked the Croats in Serbia as hostages. Further in his
11 response, Seselj maintained that this regime was too lenient towards
12 Croats and that after the next elections, all of them would be expelled
13 and that not even those living in Serbia would sleep peacefully until
14 they moved.
15 "'By the same right Tudjman used to expel Serbs, we will expel
16 Croats,' said Seselj, adding that he wanted to disperse another illusion
17 about the loyal behaviour of Croats in Serbia, since, he maintained,
18 'They were aiding the Ustashas in this war too.'"
19 MS. BIERSAY: So according to the accused, Croats were "aiding
20 the Ustashas in this war too."
21 And the accused maintained the pressure on Croats in Hrtkovci by
22 making a special, personal appearance in that small village, mustering
23 all the pomp and circumstance and political quasi-military trappings that
24 had become the norm for his appearances. What resulted was a campaign of
25 discrimination, coercion, and violence directed against Croats and some
1 of the perpetrators are linked to the accused. Directly following the
2 accused's May 6 speech, Croats were harassed, intimidated, and threatened
3 in exactly the same way the accused had instructed in September of 1991.
4 "Threats were coming in every day."
5 Hand-grenades were thrown at Croat houses. Dogs were killed.
6 Bomb threats were made. Transcript pages 10777, transcript page 9919,
7 and Exhibits P551, P559, and P64 [sic], to name a few.
8 The evidence shows that through his support and encouragement,
9 the accused's tools, like Ostoja Sibincic, Rade Cakmak, and others,
10 targeted Croats just as the accused intended with his May 6 speech. I
11 refer the Trial Chamber to Exhibit P564, page 5; transcript pages 2471,
12 2475 to 2476; as well as Exhibits P1129, pages 26 to 28; and P1112,
13 pages 5 to 6.
14 Sibincic was one of the organisers of the May 6 SRS rally. He
15 stood on the side of the stage during the speeches that day, and along
16 with others, both he and Cakmak terrorised Croats in Hrtkovci. Both were
17 the accused's men in Hrtkovci. In spring, they travelled to the SRS
18 office in Belgrade where the accused gave him "the green light" to drive
19 Croats from Hrtkovci. The accused had also given the green light to
20 target -- to others to target Croats in Hrtkovci in May 1992. This
21 evidence is reflected in Exhibits P1058, paragraphs 102 and 101;
22 Exhibit P1056, paragraphs 87 to 88; Exhibit P1112, page 12; P1129,
23 pages 27 to 28, and 65 to 66.
24 Many inside and outside of Hrtkovci claimed that Sibincic worked
25 closely with the accused, that he was the accused's right-hand man and
1 that he did all the dirty work of the SRS in Hrtkovci. I refer the
2 Chamber to the testimony of Witnesses Baricevic, Ejic, VS-067, VS-1036,
3 VS-061, and P564, page 5.
4 In August 1992, Sibincic and Cakmak were charged together with
5 three others for committing crimes against Croats in Hrtkovci, but far
6 from condemning their actions or even remaining silent, the accused on
7 the 27th of August, 1992, publicly demanded their release.
8 "Sibincic and the others arrested in Srbislavci, former Hrtkovci,
9 should be immediately released." Exhibit P1202, page 10. And the
10 accused is referring to Hrtkovci as former Hrtkovci mere months after his
11 May 6 speech.
12 With this public demand, the accused showed both his affiliation
13 with Sibincic and he further encouraged and aided and abetted the
14 criminal campaign of persecution and forcible displacement that had
15 occurred in Hrtkovci.
16 Before concluding, I will address some additional claims raised
17 by the accused in his trial brief. First, the Trial Chamber had admitted
18 the statement of Witness A on your sheet as P1112. His viva voce
19 testimony was admitted as P1129. Witness A was cross-examined in that
20 other case. His admitted evidence is credible and reliable. But the
21 accused claims in his brief that Witness A is a Defence witness who
22 recanted his OTP statements during another proceeding.
23 One, I refer the Trial Chamber to the argumentative appendix to
24 the Prosecution closing brief.
25 Two, Witness A's unsworn, unadmitted statements are not evidence
1 in this case. His sworn unadmitted testimony in another proceeding is
2 not evidence in this case. What is in the trial record in this case as
3 reliable and probative evidence are his admitted statement and admitted
5 The second issue I'll address raised by the accused, according to
6 him, he can only be convicted of instigating his followers or
7 sympathisers if there had been a local SRS board in Hrtkovci at the time
8 of the speech because that is the only manner in which he could have
9 exerted any influence. This claim is baseless. There is no legal or
10 factual basis for it and it should be rejected summarily. Even if it
11 were true that the accused did not have a formal local board, he
12 certainly had sympathisers and supporters - the very reason he could and
13 did have a rally in Hrtkovci in the first place.
14 And third, as set out in the Appeals Chamber decision on the
15 31st of August, 2004, in this case regarding the jurisdictional
16 requirement, Article 5 does not require a material nexus between the acts
17 of the accused and the armed conflict, only a connection between the
18 Article 5 crime and the armed conflict. It is sufficient that the acts
19 coincide geographically and temporally with the armed conflict. At all
20 times relevant to the indictment, a state of armed conflict existed in
21 Croatia and the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
22 And the crimes committed by the accused in Hrtkovci are linked to
23 the conflict in Croatia and to his pursuit of Greater Serbia. When the
24 accused committed the crimes in Hrtkovci, a conflict was ongoing in
25 Croatia. Both Serb and Croat civilians suffered the consequences of that
1 conflict and Serbs from Croatia fled to Serbia. The Serb refugees who
2 arrived in Hrtkovci saw Croats in Serbia as a cause of their suffering
3 and tensions rose.
4 And the accused himself makes the link between what was happening
5 in Croatia and Serbia, and he charged Vojvodina Croats with conspiring
6 with Tudjman as Ustashas. For example, on -- the Trial Chamber has other
7 examples, but one example is from the 12th of June, 1992, when the
8 accused declared in a radio interview that Croats "will have to move out
9 according to the principles of reciprocity. I mean, since Tudjman
10 expelled more than 300 [sic] Serbs, what are the Croats in Serbia waiting
12 300.000 Serbs that should be, expelled more than 300 Serbs --
13 300.000 Serbs.
14 Furthermore, as the Trial Chamber has already heard,
15 President Milosevic, president of the republic of Serbia, provided
16 military, police, and political support from Serbia to the conflict in
17 Croatia and BiH. The accused himself, he also gathered volunteers in
18 Serbia and deployed them to Croatia and BiH. Consequently, the
19 jurisdictional requirement under Article 5 is satisfied regarding
20 Hrtkovci in Serbia, and this is highlighted in the Prosecution closing
21 brief at paragraphs 542 to 544 and 548 to 550.
22 The accused has not disputed the drastic demographic changes in
23 Hrtkovci. What he offers are excuses and justifications seeking to
24 disconnect himself from the mass exodus of Croats that his speech caused.
25 None of these claimed justifications undermine the evidence presented by
1 the Prosecution.
2 In conclusion, the very fact that we can today speak of Hrtkovci
3 before May 6, 1992, and after the accused's words on that day highlights
4 how his crimes permanently changed the face of a peaceful multi-ethnic
5 village in Serbia.
6 I will conclude my remarks there, Your Honours, and then I will
7 turn the lectern over to Mr. Marcussen.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation].
9 [Interpretation] You may proceed.
10 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, the accused's individual criminal
11 responsibility for the crimes charged in the indictment has been proven
12 beyond a reasonable doubt. For the accused, Greater Serbia is his
13 raison d'etre. Throughout the trial, the accused has tried to cast
14 himself as the victim of conspiracies and injustice because of an
15 ideological belief in Greater Serbia. He makes these claims to distract
16 attention from what the evidence in this case has proven; namely, that he
17 is responsible for the suffering of tens of thousands of victims who were
18 expelled from their homes, murdered, detained, tortured, raped, and whose
19 villages, towns, and religious sites were wantonly destroyed as a result
20 of his words and his acts.
21 The disintegration of the former Yugoslavia tore its constituent
22 republics apart. So the accused and other JCE members put aside their
23 political differences, and the accused in close co-operation with other
24 JCE members set out to create a Serb-only state.
25 When the Serb autonomous regions were created in Croatia and
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina, the accused began a relentless propaganda
2 campaign to justify the creation of Greater Serbia. The accused's
3 political position allowed him to deliver his propaganda to a wide
4 audience. The same position cloaked his words with respectability. His
5 propaganda was ethnically denigrating and dehumanising. He was a
6 proponent of the idea that non-Serbs who once were neighbours, friends,
7 and family were now subhuman, genocidal, and needed to be expelled from
8 the new Greater Serbia by "all available means," as he said on the
9 5th of March 20 years ago.
10 When he said non-Serbs should fear the Serbs, crimes targeting
11 non-Serbs were soon committed. With his words, he planted the seeds of
12 ethnic hatred and helped them grow into ethnic violence against
13 non-Serbs. The accused crafted his public persona as the commander of an
14 armed force that could carry out his will. Using the SCP and the
15 SRS War Staff which he controlled, the accused recruited and organised
16 thousands of volunteers. These volunteers were so closely associated
17 with him that they were known as his men, Seseljevci.
18 He sent them into Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to support
19 the newly created Serb structures such as TOs in Croatia and the SDS
20 Crisis Staffs in Bosnia and Herzegovina. When the JNA as a result of
21 desertion and the purging of non-Serbs was in need for his Seseljevci, he
22 sent his units to participate in its operations in Croatia. His
23 Seseljevci fought together with other Serb forces that the JNA members --
24 that the JCE members had established and controlled.
25 Through his contacts with other JCE members and through his
1 War Staff, the accused ensured that his Seseljevci were armed, equipped,
2 transported, and deployed. He ensured that they had jobs to go back to
3 and received benefits so they could be deployed. He provided
4 encouragement and moral support with his visits to the front and in his
5 speeches praising their successes.
6 At least from August 1991, the joint Serb fighting force that the
7 accused and other JCE members had created was engaged in a campaign of
8 persecution against the non-Serb population in vast areas -- in vast
9 areas of Croatia where the accused's Seseljevci became notorious for
10 their brutality and crimes.
11 Despite the horrible consequences of the campaign in Croatia, the
12 accused continued his relentless propaganda campaign against Croats. He
13 instigated the commission of further crimes by incessantly equating
14 Croats to Ustasha fascists and he repeated his calls for blind revenge
15 for Ustasha crimes against Serbs during the Second World War.
16 As he intended, crimes were committed. The JNA wantonly
17 destroyed Vukovar and forced most of its non-Serb population to flee. As
18 they had done in area after area that had fallen before, when Vukovar
19 fell, Serb forces, including numerous Seseljevci that the accused had
20 personally decided to send to Vukovar, expelled, murdered, beat,
21 tortured, raped, and abused the remaining non-Serb population.
22 The accused and the other JCE members continued their
23 persecutorial campaign in Bosnia and Herzegovina when it moved for
24 independence. The accused fully supported the continued persecutorial
25 campaign there. He intensified his propaganda campaign against Muslims
1 and Croats. He sent thousands of his Seseljevci to support the newly
2 established Crisis Staffs and TOs in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
3 The accused's threat of rivers of blood became gruesome reality
4 for the non-Serbs when his Seseljevci in Bosnia and Herzegovina
5 participated in the atrocities committed by Serb forces as they took
6 control over Serb-claimed areas. In Zvornik, Greater Sarajevo, Mostar,
7 and Nevesinje, his Seseljevci participated in the systematic expulsion,
8 detention, murder, torture, rape, and other sexual abuse of non-Serbs and
9 the wanton destruction of their property and religious sites.
10 Your Honours, the evidence in this case has proven beyond a
11 reasonable doubt that the accused is responsible for the commission of
12 the crimes that he did not personally carry out, but which were committed
13 by his Seseljevci and members of the Serb forces controlled by the JCE
14 members set out in the indictment because, one, the accused and the other
15 JCE members at least by August 1991 were joined in a common criminal
16 purpose to conduct a widespread and systematic campaign of persecution
17 against the non-Serbs in the areas targeted as Serb land in Croatia and
18 Bosnia and Herzegovina. Two, the crimes were an integral part of this
19 common purpose. And three, the accused significantly contributed to the
20 common criminal purpose by his relentless propaganda and instigation and
21 by the thousands of Seseljevci that he sent to commit and participate in
22 the crimes.
23 The evidence has also proven that the accused committed
24 persecution through hate speech in Vukovar and Hrtkovci. The speeches in
25 these places threatened Croats and were given in the context of high
1 ethnic tension. Those speeches beyond a reasonable doubt deprived the
2 Croats in those areas of their right to safety and deprived them of their
3 right to dignity. Moreover, as a result of the coercive environment that
4 the accused created with his speech in Hrtkovci, as we have just heard,
5 many Croats felt forced to leave the village. And he is therefore also
6 responsible for deportation and forcible transfer.
7 He is therefore guilty for the crimes set out in the indictment.
8 And as set out in the Prosecution's closing brief, he is also responsible
9 for instigating and aiding and abetting the crimes set out in the
10 indictment. And now, proven guilty of these crimes, he must be punished.
11 The accused's crimes in Vukovar, Zvornik, Greater Sarajevo, Mostar,
12 Nevesinje, and Hrtkovci are grave, both in scale and by their heinous
14 His criminal acts and conduct dramatically changed the character
15 of the targeted municipalities from multi-ethnic communities to Serb-only
16 areas by forcibly transferring and deporting tens of thousands of
17 non-Serbs, primarily Croats and Muslims; resulted in the devastation of
18 towns and villages, including Croat and Muslim homes, hospitals, stores,
19 and cemeteries; led to the plunder and encouraged the destruction of
20 religious sites; and caused the murder of 905 people.
21 Not only were the accused's crimes massive in scale, they were
22 also particularly brutal. His acts and conduct contributed to the murder
23 of children, newborns, pregnant women, the elderly, and the sick; crosses
24 carved on the skin of Muslims; the rape of both women and men under the
25 most sadistic of circumstances. His crimes deserve a punishment that
1 reflects their gravity, and there are no mitigating circumstances.
2 The accused's voluntarily surrender should not be considered a
3 mitigating circumstance because it was his legal obligation to surrender.
4 Moreover, in detention and in court his conduct have not warranted
5 mitigation. On the contrary, the accused announced that he was here to
6 "shatter the Tribunal" and he has used the trial as a political platform
7 for his continued agenda of Serb ethnic supremacy. He has made every
8 effort to obstruct the proper functioning of the Tribunal in its search
9 for truth and accountability.
10 The accused has been contemptuous throughout this trial. He
11 persistently verbally abused witnesses in court despite repeated
12 instructions from the Court to cease. He and his associates discouraged
13 witnesses who were connected to the accused during the conflict from
14 appearing and testifying truthfully, in some cases even instructing them
15 on how to disavow their prior statements. And the accused has repeatedly
16 breached orders for the protection of witnesses. These are significant
17 aggravating circumstances.
18 In addition, the accused shows no remorse. Of his propaganda and
19 instigation, he has said before this Chamber, I quote:
20 "And you think that what you were reading yesterday, the quotes
21 from my speeches, and when you showed the clips of my speeches, that I
22 was bothered. You did me a service. You have reminded the Serbian
23 people of what I did over those years and how I gained my reputation
24 amongst the Serbian people."
25 He has also told the Tribunal repeatedly:
1 "I am proud of everything I said then and I am prepared to repeat
2 all of my speeches even today."
3 And these two quotes are from transcript pages 16801 and 16818.
4 And in fact, at the hearing on Monday he said about his words:
5 These "are the words of a genius that I am still proud of even
7 That is at transcript page 48, line 4, and I can provide the
8 Chamber a bit later if needed with the transcript reference to the
9 official transcript.
10 No trial, conviction, and sentence will bring back the lives lost
11 and ruined by the accused's crimes. But this fact just does not justify
12 failing to impose a substantial sentence of imprisonment. The
13 Prosecution recommends a sentence of 28 years to run consecutive to any
14 other sentence imposed on him for his contempt of this Tribunal.
15 That concludes the Prosecution's closing arguments for now. The
16 Prosecution reserves its remaining time for arguments in rebuttal, should
17 it become necessary, after the accused closing argument.
18 I have two matters to just address to the Chamber. One is that I
19 respectfully request that the pseudonym sheet that Ms. Biersay referred
20 to in her submissions be added to the record as an exhibit marked for
21 identification so that it is available for later review of the record.
22 And the second thing is that at transcript page 17145, line 13, the name
23 "Krajisnik" should have been "Karadzic."
24 Thank you, Your Honours.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have something to say.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please.
2 Thank you, Mr. Prosecutor. First of all, Registrar, regarding
3 this document that has been given to us, we'd like to have an exhibit
4 number for it, for us to be able to use it later on.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. That will be Exhibit P1404,
6 under seal.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 The accused's closing arguments are scheduled to take place as of
9 Monday at 2.15. He will have ten hours all included for his closing
10 arguments. Furthermore, the Trial Chamber invites the accused, should he
11 have any documents that he wants to use including the two books that he
12 submitted to the Trial Chamber, one with a red cover, another with a blue
13 cover, I'm not giving the titles, in order to make the interpreters' work
14 easier. Just in case he might refer to pages in these two books, I
15 invite him, therefore, to provide them prior to the Monday hearing
16 through the Registrar so that the interpreters may prepare those pages he
17 might want to use. These two books, the one with the blue cover, the
18 other with the red cover, are new -- are re-prints. Therefore, there may
19 be some changes between the latest book that we had and the one that we
20 don't. So there may be inconsistencies or changes. So if he so
21 wishes - of course he's not forced to - but if he can, he could provide
22 these documents. This is not evidence, of course. These books are
23 merely documents that he might want to refer to if he should feel the
24 need to do so.
25 Equally, when he makes his closing arguments, I should invite the
1 Prosecution to remain silent unless there should be a mistake in the
2 transcript or should the name of a protected witness be named. But of
3 course, the Trial Chamber is free to make sure that doesn't happen. I
4 repeat, closing arguments must be listened to in absolute silence, the
5 same goes for the accused's closing arguments.
6 Before I give the floor to Mr. Seselj -- yes, Mr. Marcussen, do
7 you have anything to say?
8 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, as the Chamber just indicated, the
9 books in question are not in evidence, so the Prosecution would find that
10 it is improper for the accused to be referring to this. There might be
11 certain excerpts of the books that are in evidence as separate
12 Prosecution exhibits. And if the accused makes use of those, of course
13 he's using the record and that is not a problem. But in our submission,
14 he cannot be making reference to material which is not in evidence. He
15 must confine himself to the trial record.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That interpretation is inaccurate.
17 First of all, you stopped me from leading my Defence case. All the
18 documents that I tendered during cross-examination at the beginning of
19 the trial you refused. And after that, I stopped tendering anything,
20 since you have not given me the possibility to lead my Defence case, I
21 put forward to you in good time two of my books. One is "The
22 Roman Catholic Project of the Creation of the Artificial Croatian
23 Nation," and the other one is "The Ideology of Serbian Nationalism." I
24 intend to use certain quotes from those books as an integral part of my
25 closing arguments, not as leading evidence, because whatever I tendered
1 you refused. You did not allow me to make my Defence case. For me, that
2 is over. But instead of recalling things off the top of my head, I
3 intend to read passages from those books.
4 I will not provide those quotes in advance. The translation
5 service can make copies of these books and when I say page so and so,
6 they can find the page. I don't have the ability to provide this. I
7 have no one to help me and the administration of the prison does not
8 allow me to make any submissions because they don't want to make
9 photocopies for me, and photocopies are the only proof I have of
10 submitting something.
11 The reason I wanted the floor is to say this. Mr. Marcussen does
12 not have the right to reserve time. He was granted ten hours for the
13 Prosecution's closing arguments. He didn't know how to use all of the
14 ten hours; that's his problem. I will use all of my ten hours, and I may
15 ask for another two or three hours in addition; that's my right. In all
16 the other cases where the accused is self-represented, he is given
17 advantages in terms of time. For instance, Mr. Milosevic had 60 per cent
18 as opposed to 40 per cent of the Prosecution.
19 In other cases, the accused's time is not limited. You have
20 limited me to the time used by the Prosecution. I will
21 probably - although I don't know yet, I can't estimate properly now - I
22 may well ask for additional time. The Prosecution has the right to a
23 rebuttal. You will decide how much time. But it's not the time that he
24 has spared. Whatever time you give the Prosecutor for rebuttal, you will
25 have to give me the same amount of time to respond to the rebuttal;
1 that's my right. I will not reserve any time from my closing argument
2 and I'm just reminding you that you have to do this. And if you don't do
3 it, even better for me. That's another argument how this Tribunal is
4 humiliating itself. And I prefer to see you losing face --
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
6 continues] ... decision the Trial Chamber has set the amount of hours for
7 each party and made sure to say that closing arguments for either party
8 are but an addition to the briefs that were filed. The Prosecution filed
9 their briefs, so did you. Yours are over 600 pages long. We were
10 infinitely generous towards you and we granted you ten hours, which is an
11 inordinate amount of time. I have no memory in this Tribunal of closing
12 arguments lasting as many as ten hours. Usually much less time is given
13 for the purpose. However, this Tribunal says that in exceptional
14 circumstances following closing arguments the practice is that the
15 Prosecutor may have the floor for specific points, in which case the
16 Defence is also entitled obviously to close the proceedings in speaking
17 last. This is the rule in law on this matter.
18 Closing arguments are closing arguments. You've heard the
19 Prosecution's closing arguments. You're now totally free to speak to
20 whatever topic you decide, but please do not waste the Trial Chamber's
21 time. We therefore will make sure that your time is used in the best way
22 possible for your Defence. But I'm not worried, I'm sure that you're
23 going to make best use of your time.
24 You told us that despite my invitation to give the books to the
25 interpreters, you have decided not to do so. Well, interpreters are
1 wonderful anyway -- make wonders. And I've read the two books, so of
2 course I'll make sure that I can check what you say because I have read
3 over 2.000 pages in preparation for this. And you yourself admitted that
4 this is not in evidence or evidence, but that you will refer to these
5 books. So I see no problem whatsoever.
6 Yes, Mr. Seselj, one last word.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I no longer have the
8 books in English. My legal advisors recently brought me five sets of
9 those books, and immediately, as soon as they entered the prison
10 building, I handed them over to the guards to forward to the Tribunal;
11 three sets for the Trial Chamber, one set for the Prosecutor, and one set
12 for the Registrar. I don't see that I could have done anything more.
13 They could not have brought more than that. And it turns out that their
14 visit, since I was not given the right to privileged communication, we
15 spent two days sitting down talking about anything. We couldn't talk
16 about my case because the conversation was eavesdropped. My Case Manager
17 Nemanja Sarovic was present but we could not have access to privileged
18 communication. Since we didn't have an interpreter to control our
19 conversation, we concluded that the conversation was eavesdropped, and
20 they had the right to do that because at the outset they told us that our
21 communication was not privileged.
22 They brought five sets of books. If they had sent them by mail
23 or if my wife had brought them to the prison, the prison officers would
24 have provided me with just one set and the rest would have been
25 confiscated. Nobody would have ever asked me why I needed five sets
1 because the prison authorities are afraid of my propaganda being spread
2 amongst other detainees.
3 One thing more I need to tell you. I learned yesterday from a
4 document that I had been provided by the Registry was -- that there was a
5 ban on my contacting all the other prisoners, and that was never provided
6 in writing to me. We're talking about Goran Hadzic and some others. Why
7 do I know that that applies to Goran Hadzic? Because Hadzic was in the
8 living room with his family and I was locked up with my legal advisors.
9 This is just unheard of.
10 If there is any reason for that communication to be banned, then
11 I should be provided with an order and an explanation. Why Hadzic of all
12 people? Because in my proceedings I unmasked everything that was
13 happening around Ovcara, and the Prosecution is still insisting on the
14 old story about the military security service, the civilian security
15 service, everybody handing --
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation]
17 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I was saying that
19 the Trial Chamber hasn't banned anything whatsoever and the issue you are
20 raising comes under the competence of the President and the Registry, not
21 us. So what you have just said is on the transcript, but as far as we
22 are concerned, I can confirm that we haven't banned anything whatsoever.
23 That said, since everything has been said, we shall meet again at
24 a quarter past 2.00 on Monday.
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.21 p.m.,
1 to be reconvened on Monday, the 12th day of
2 March, 2012, at 2.15 p.m.