1 Wednesday, 14 September 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.07 a.m.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, may I ask the estimate of the time for
7 the remainder of your cross-examination.
8 MR. NICE: I would hope to finish at the end of tomorrow. To some
9 degree dependent on the brevity or length of the answers of the witness,
10 but come what may, I'll probably make decisions simply to bring matters to
11 a conclusion. The longer his answers it may be the less topics we'll
12 cover, but I'll do my best one way and another.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Nice. Please continue with the
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, I would like to tell
16 you something important and very briefly. Several days ago Mr. Nice asked
17 concrete evidence and proof about two things: That I spoke about
18 Srebrenica, the crime in Srebrenica, earlier on, previously, and that
19 previously I explained my attacks on Mr. Milosevic. I have brought all
20 those concrete pieces of evidence. They are marked quotations, very
21 brief, in these books, and I can hand over these books to the Tribunal if
22 you so desire. I have them here in front of me.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Seselj, let both sides, both the Prosecution
25 and the accused, have copies of your -- the documents which you say
1 reinforce the evidence that you have given, and then they will decide how
2 to use it. Do you understand? If the accused wishes to use it, then he
3 can use it in re-examination. If Mr. Nice wishes to use it, he can use it
4 in cross-examination.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In that case, Mr. Robinson, your
6 service should take this over. The quotations are all marked, and they
7 should translate just those portions that have been highlighted in both
8 these groups of books. Everything is highlighted. The quotations are
9 very brief, and they can have it translated during the course of the day.
10 I don't know how else we can get round this because I'm not in a position
11 to be able to do that. If you order your service to take over the books
12 straight away, then they can be placed at the disposal of both Mr. Nice
13 and Mr. Milosevic in the course of the day.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, that will be done.
15 MR. NICE: That would be very helpful. The sooner we have the
16 photocopies, the sooner I'll be able to integrate questions about them
17 with the questioning I planned.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. It's essentially for the parties to move on
19 this, Mr. Seselj.
20 MR. NICE: Well, Your Honour, in those circumstances, if he'd be
21 good enough to make the books available to me, I'll get copies for myself
22 and for the accused done probably within half an hour.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Nice. That's very helpful, yes.
24 Yes. Would the court deputy please have the books passed over to
25 the Prosecutor.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those four books, with the portions
2 marked, explain the matter about the attack on Mr. Milosevic. The other
3 three books have characteristic places where I speak about the crime in
4 Srebrenica far before. So not to have them mixed up.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Nice.
6 WITNESS: VOJISLAV SESELJ [Resumed]
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice: [Continued]
9 Q. May we look at another extract from your interview from "The Death
10 of Yugoslavia" programme. For the interpreters, we are at 25F. If we can
11 play the tape, please, on Sanction.
12 [Videotape played]
13 MR. NICE: There it goes. No volume. No volume on this for me.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: We'll start again, please.
15 [Videotape played]
16 MR. NICE: No, start again.
17 [Videotape played]
18 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] Milosevic helped Karadzic a great
19 deal, without a doubt. And had it not been for Milosevic's aid who knows
20 how it would all been with Republika Srpska and Republika Srpska Krajina.
21 But many things in 1991 were slipping outside the control of Milosevic.
22 He was always hesitating, hesitating to proclaim the nation, proclaiming
23 autonomy of Serbian Krajina and so on. He was hesitant on the issue of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina as well, he was hesitant with regard to proclaiming a
25 separate republic, blocked many other initiatives. And many he didn't
1 succeed in stopping, blocking. At the same time, he provided assistance.
2 He provided assistance continuously, that's a fact, and had it not been
3 for Milosevic's help, who knows how all this would have appeared.
4 Milosevic always made an effort to install his people in key positions in
5 order to better control. He never liked Karadzic's nationalism, the
6 renewal of Serb traditions, and so on. And he always tried to prevent
7 that, thwart that."
8 MR. NICE:
9 Q. Were you able to hear the text or the words?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Is this a passage where you were telling the truth?
12 A. Well, there's something that is overemphasised in this text and
13 that is the personification aspect. When I say Milosevic assisted
14 Karadzic, helped Karadzic, I'm talking about the Republic of Serbia and
15 the authorities in the Republic of Serbia helping the authorities in
16 Republika Srpska. So this kind of personification was customary in
17 Serbian political life, and one should bear that in mind, and one should
18 view that within the context in which it was uttered. So this type of
19 personification was very widespread and customary, quite usual. But it is
20 true that the authorities in Serbia, and indeed Mr. Milosevic, helped
21 Republika Srpska and Republika Srpska Krajina, and every Serb helped as
22 far as they were able. Anybody who refused was a traitor of the Serbs,
23 there is no doubt about that.
24 Q. Then contained in this passage you say that the accused Milosevic
25 was hesitating to proclaim the nation. Later on, at the end, you said
1 that, "He never liked Karadzic's nationalism, the renewal of Serb
2 traditions, and so on. He always tried to thwart that."
3 What was it about Karadzic's nationalism that he apparently
5 A. Well, I'm giving a general assessment here. Now, what
6 Mr. Milosevic didn't like with respect to Mr. Karadzic, you'd have to ask
7 Mr. Milosevic that first and foremost. These are my impressions. This is
8 my position as an observer of their relationships. I can give you a
9 characteristic example: Mr. Milosevic constantly advocated partisan
10 traditions in political life in Serbia. Mr. Karadzic, on the other hand,
11 was an advocate of Chetnik traditions, and it was on that basis that a
12 civil war was waged in Yugoslavia amongst the Serbs themselves. During
13 World War II, for example, two anti-fascist movements, they spent more
14 energy fighting one another and their mutual conflicts than fighting the
15 Germans and the German servants, lackeys. So those are the main
16 dimensions which I talk about. However, specifically speaking, I couldn't
17 tell you. I'm making a political assessment and evaluation. It is true
18 that there was constant tension between Mr. Milosevic and Mr. Karadzic,
19 for example; that's true too.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you help me, Mr. Seselj, with what you mean by
21 "partisan traditions."
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it's like this: In World War
23 II, on the territory of the former Yugoslavia, there were in existence two
24 anti-fascist movements, the partisan and the Chetnik movement. The
25 partisan movement was under the leadership of the communists and the
1 Chetnik movement was under the leadership and control of the emigres
2 Yugoslav government which was in London, residing in London, and so this
3 Chetnik movement was mostly made up of nationalists, whether Serb or
4 Yugoslav nationalists, whereas the communists wished to take advantage of
5 the struggle against the occupier to bring in a socialist revolution at
6 the same time, and unfortunately, they succeeded in doing that.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
8 MR. NICE: May that clip with the transcript be given an exhibit
9 number, please.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit 888.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Seselj, may I ask you, when you say that he
12 never liked Karadzic's nationalism, you're not saying that he himself was
13 not a nationalist but simply that he never liked the kind of nationalism
14 that Karadzic exhibited?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Mr. Robinson. What I'm saying
16 here is this: I am implicitly stating that Mr. Milosevic was not a
17 nationalist and he truly never was a nationalist, and Radovan Karadzic is
18 a nationalist and that is why Radovan Karadzic was always politically
19 closer to me than Mr. Milosevic. I'm very clear on that point. In the
20 conflict between Milosevic and Karadzic, I was always on the side of
21 Karadzic, although between myself and Karadzic there were some problems
22 because Karadzic was politically closer in line to Kostunica, Djindjic,
23 and the group of the old dissidents of the Belgrade intellectuals with
24 whom I had certain frictions and even conflicts. So they are very
25 complicated political relationships. We were never one political or
1 ideological block; there were always internal strifes.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: What is the essence of the nationalism that both
3 Karadzic and yourself supported?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the essence, the defence of
5 Serb national interests. My nationalism was always deeper, more profound
6 and better founded than Karadzic's nationalism, for example. You know, I
7 was always more radical than Karadzic on many issues. However, our
8 orientation was a nationalist one, nationalistic, which means the defence
9 of Serb national interests, but I was in favour of the global project of a
10 Greater Serbia whereas Mr. Karadzic was never in favour of a Greater
11 Serbia. What he wanted was a community of Serb lands, for example, in
12 which you would have Serbia, Montenegro, Republika Srpska, Republika
13 Srpska Krajina, and at one point in time he transformed his own party into
14 a Serb Democratic Party of the Serb lands, Serb territories.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And I could have done that -- I
17 could have accepted that as a minimum condition --
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Seselj, for the explanation.
19 Mr. Nice.
20 MR. NICE: I'll probably be turning comprehensively to the Greater
21 Serbia issue tomorrow, if that helps. Could that last clip be given an
22 exhibit number.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: It was.
24 MR. NICE: It was. Sorry, I missed it. In which case, then let's
25 move on to what for the interpreters will be 25H, and if the transcript of
1 this video can be distributed. This is an amateur, I think, video.
2 It's --
3 [Videotape played]
4 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] It is the end of March, and the
5 year is 1995.
7 "Vojislav Seselj is addressing the Serbs from Glina rallied
8 around, only four months before the Storm operation started.
9 "Milosevic needed us both in 1991 and 1992. Besides, Slobodan
10 Milosevic was helping the western Serbian countries at the time, Serbian
11 Krajina as well as Republika Srpska. Serbian Krajina and Republika Srpska
12 were established with his help. Besides that, he gave us, Radicals,
13 weapons for 30.000 volunteers we were sending off to almost all the fronts
14 where they were most needed. He also gave us buses, uniforms. He put the
15 whole barracks in Bubanj Potok at the disposal of the Serbian Radical
16 Party, for volunteers. We haven't forgotten that. And also in the first
17 days after the battle in Borovo Selo, when we were transporting the
18 weapons across the Danube to the Eastern Slavonia on rafts by night, that
19 weaponry we got from the police warehouses and Serbian Territorial Defence
20 warehouses pursuant to Milosevic's order. We returned Milosevic the
21 favour. We supported him when he was having the toughest of times.
22 "Plan Z-4, Zagreb-4. A humiliation for the Serbian people from
23 the very beginning! What does Zagreb have to do with us the Serbs?! If
24 this is a Z-4 plan, then it should be implemented in Zagreb! Let them
25 tear and divide Zagreb instead! No plan can be accepted by the Serb side
1 if it envisages integration of the Serbian Krajina into Croatia. Well,
2 we, the Serbian Radicals, have sent 3.500 volunteers to the western Lika
3 near Divoselo, Citluk and Pocitelj.
4 "He will probably attack western Slavonia, if he decides to do
5 so. Or perhaps Slunj, to merge with the 5th Corps, if the Serbs do not
6 destroy the 5th Corps before that. But --"
7 MR. NICE: I can go right to the end but it may be helpful if we
8 just pause it and then complete the tape.
9 Q. At this time, March 1995, your relationship with the accused was
10 what; good, bad, or indifferent?
11 A. It was very hostile. On the 29th of January, 1995, I left the
12 prison in Belgrade where I had spent four years. In March --
13 THE INTERPRETER: Months, I apologise.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- there was a great tournament and
15 tour of Srpska Krajina. I felt that there was a Croatian attack on
16 Serbian Krajina being prepared. I had received certain information
17 already that the Americans were involved and the American --
18 MR. NICE:
19 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... your relationship. Now, if
20 we look at the first part of the answer -- we'll come and look at the rest
21 of it when we play the rest of it, but it's probably helpful to see it in
22 parts. You give a number of facts about the accused helping Western
23 Serbian countries at the time, giving you weapons for 30.000 volunteers.
24 Was that accurate?
25 A. I explained that issue to you, who provided the volunteers and how
1 the volunteers were sent. However, here I'm concentrating my attack on
2 Mr. Milosevic himself and I am ascribing to him everything that was done
3 by other levels of power and authority; the federal authorities, the JNA,
4 over which he did not in fact have any control. So what I'm doing here is
5 making an artificial -- painting an artificial picture which is black and
6 white to make my attack on Milosevic as concentrated as possible, so I'm
7 not mentioning Kadijevic, Adzic or anybody else.
8 Q. You're speaking to Serbs from Glina, and you're speaking about how
9 you sent off your 30.000 volunteers heroically to the battlefield, and
10 you're saying they were given their weapons by or on the order of the
11 accused. How is that going to harm him?
12 A. Well, it can do so in a very simplified black and white picture.
13 It can compromise him politically because at that time I'm already feeling
14 that there would be Croatian -- Croatian aggression and American help and
15 the passive reaction. When Vance's plan was adopted for Serbian Krajina,
16 Yugoslavia became duty-bound and took on the obligation in the case of a
17 Croatian attack to militarily intervene to thwart that attack, and under
18 those guarantees the Serbs from Krajina agreed to the Vance Plan.
19 However, here we can feel, or they can feel that Croatia is getting ready
20 to destroy Serbian Krajina with America's help. That's what they feel on
21 the one hand, and on the other hand the passive approach to the Federal
22 Republic of Yugoslavia and Serbia towards that. And when Tudjman attacked
23 Western Slavonia and then the Knin Krajina, Serbia did not intervene.
24 Q. This isn't addressed to your supporters, to loyal Serbs, and
25 you're saying to them that Milosevic did everything he could to help, and
1 you set it out in detail, and you say actually, "We returned Milosevic the
2 favour, we supported him when he was having the toughest of times." The
3 position is you were telling the truth on this, weren't you?
4 A. Not quite. I am waging a propaganda war against Mr. Milosevic
5 here. Had he -- if really helped -- that he helped Republika Srpska
6 Krajina, that is a fact because the federal authorities helped. But I'm
7 -- what I'm doing here is carrying out a personification and ascribing to
8 his person the actions of all the structures of power from Serbia and the
9 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and that's the whole point of this.
10 That's the essence of the matter. So I stand by what I said and explained
11 here, how the volunteers were sent out, how they were armed, and so on and
12 so forth. I stand by that. But what I'm trying to do here is to
13 overemphasise the attack on Milosevic and thereby to paint this black and
14 white picture and that we helped him when he was in a very difficult
15 position, that is --
16 Q. So who was the even better friend of the Serbs who actually made
17 the weaponry available, and why didn't you name that person? Who was it
18 who had more power than the accused and was able to bring these things
20 A. Kadijevic and Adzic were totally out of Mr. Milosevic's control.
21 The volunteers went out within the JNA, but for me they were no longer
22 important. Politically, they were totally insignificant for me at that
23 time. Mr. Milosevic was then president of Serbia. A man from his party,
24 Zoran Lilic, was president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The
25 Croatian action against the Serb Krajina, with American assistance, was
1 being prepared, so I am attacking Milosevic directly. This is a question
2 of propaganda and political skills, not actually resorting to facts.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Nice, help me with something. Where is the
4 reference to the better friend?
5 MR. NICE: No, there's not a reference to the better friend. I
6 have suggested to him that the friend of the Serbs is the accused as he's
7 describing him, the man who armed them. He's saying it wasn't the
8 accused, it was the other forces, so it's my question - the words don't
9 appear there, I think - who is the better friend who actually did these
10 services for you, and we've now had his answer.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
12 MR. NICE: Can we play the rest of the tape, please.
13 [Videotape played]
14 MR. NICE: I'm not getting any translation.
15 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] ... win back even what we did not
16 manage to recover in 1991. And then to complete liberating everything
17 that is ours --"
18 MR. NICE: Press on, please.
19 [Videotape played]
20 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] -- Zadar, Karlobag, and finally to
21 finish with Gospic because we have special motives for that, further on to
22 liberate Karlovac where the majority of population has always been Serb,
23 to liberate the entire Western Slavonia all the way to Virovitica. There
24 is no other way. We can exchange territories, but always those of the
25 same value. If Maslenica is so important to Tudjman, we will give it to
1 him and he can give us the Dubrovnik coast stretch, let us say. That is
2 the only the way in which we can exchange territories. We want -- we want
3 the whole Pakrac. That is the only way clever politicians should
4 negotiate territories.
5 "Bothers and sisters Serbs. We, the Serbs, shall win. We cannot
6 lose, we must not lose. What we manage to preserve as Serbian now, shall
7 always remain Serbian. If we lose even a bit of our territories now, that
8 will never be Serbian again. Serbian Krajina is not a part of Croatia.
9 Serbian Krajina shall never be Croatian!
10 "But, we should immediately move towards the first phase of
11 unification, the direct and immediate unification of Republika Srpska and
12 Serbian Krajina into a unique country, Western Serbia and Banja Luka as
13 the capital. We must not allow to be torn apart and divided by others.
14 Serbia will exist for as long as its children are loyal to her, may the
15 Greater Serbia live!"
16 MR. NICE:
17 Q. That passage, insofar as it contained facts, was it accurate? Not
18 very many facts. It's mostly expressions of hope, but anything in it that
19 you now disavow?
20 A. No. There is nothing I would disavow here except for one thing.
21 At that time, I said that if we lose Serb territories, the Serb Krajina,
22 it will never be Serb again. I said that by way of a warning. Although
23 we have lost that temporarily and the Serb Krajina is under Croatian
24 occupation nowadays, I'm convinced that some day it will be Serb again and
25 that we are going to liberate all of Serb Krajina from Croatian
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 occupation. We will try to do so by peaceful means, but --
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
3 MR. NICE:
4 Q. We're concerned with what you were advancing in 1995. We see that
5 you were speaking of the unification of Republika Srpska and Serbian
6 Krajina into a unique country, and you go on to speak of Greater Serbia.
7 Your intention that those should be linked and linked to Serbia? Was that
8 your intention?
9 A. No. The intention was to link up the two wholes and set up an
10 independent state that would be called Western Serbia. Further on in the
11 future, there -- they could be united. I'm criticising the authorities of
12 Serbia because they have an overly constructive attitude towards the
13 Western powers. That is the thrust of my criticism. This was the
14 position of the Serb Radical Party, uniting Republika Srpska and the Serb
15 Krajina into a single state so that it would be easier to defend Serb
17 Q. On this tape, at least 90 or 95 per cent of the facts that you
18 describe are accurate, and you say it's only the degree to which you
19 emphasise the accused that needs to be reviewed or revised; is that right?
20 A. Well, I don't know whether the translation was faithful, but my
21 speeches, inter alia, were directly aimed against Mr. Milosevic. I
22 attacked his constructive attitude towards the Western powers. It would
23 be necessary for you to play the entire speech here. Then everything
24 would be clear. But you just get bits and pieces that you think support
25 your own thesis and that is an improper way to proceed. Had you played
1 the entire speech, everything would have been clear.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Where in this speech do you say you attack
3 Mr. Milosevic, or is it your contention that that attack is to be found
4 somewhere else?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Nice doesn't want to play that
6 part of the speech to you. Mr. Nice doesn't want to play that part of the
7 speech where I attack Mr. Milosevic. He selected only certain fragments
8 that he believes may support his case, but he doesn't want to play the
9 entire speech. If you were to hear the entire speech, then everything
10 would be quite clear.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Leave it to Mr. Milosevic to bring that to our
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you remember what you said in the speech that
14 was critical of Mr. Milosevic? Because this definitely is not, in my
15 view. Your explanation doesn't give me any impression that this is
16 critical of him.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Bonomy, I cannot recall each and
18 every one of my speeches when I held hundreds of speeches. On this
19 particular occasion, the Serb Krajina, I made at least 30 speeches. I
20 started from Knin and I went all the way to Okucani. This was a tour
21 going from one town to another, and I made speeches everywhere. Mr. Nice
22 should play the entire speech. During those years, the end of 1993, and
23 in 1994, and in 1995, and 1996, wherever I went I resorted to extreme
24 propaganda and attacked Mr. Milosevic all the time.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: For my part may I make it clear that it's a totally
1 unrealistic suggestion that every word of every speech made should be
2 played when there are relevant parts in it on which it's quite appropriate
3 to concentrate.
4 MR. NICE: Your Honours, may this clip and transcript be given an
5 exhibit number.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit 889.
8 MR. NICE:
9 Q. We'll now look at something different, an existing exhibit, which
10 the interpreters will find at 25I and is Exhibit 643, tab 5. We're going
11 back now to 1991, back in the chronology, to which the previous speech
12 referred, but we're now back to a contemporaneous document.
13 If you'd like to look at this document. It's not a very long
14 document. And from the 1st Military District on the 18th of October,
15 1991, it comes from Major General Mile Babic. And it says so far as
16 material, second paragraph -- if we can put it on the overhead projector.
17 That's it. Bit further down the page.
18 "During several consecutive contacts with Arkan, he stated that
19 the weaponry, ammunition, mines and explosives had been supplied by the
20 MUP of the interior and the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Serbia
21 and that he'd been distributing them to Territorial Defence staffs in
22 Erdut, Sarvas, Borovo Selo with records of the issued weapons being kept
23 and updated."
24 Now, you know about these things, about Arkan. You've told us a
25 lot about him. Is this true?
1 A. How do I know whether this is true or not? First of all, I don't
2 know whether this is an original document or a forgery. I don't know who
3 this General Mile Babic is. I never met that person. This has to do with
4 the Serb Volunteer Guard of Zeljko Raznjatovic Arkan and I always kept my
5 distance from him. As a matter of fact, we were engaged in a profound
6 conflict. But you certainly have no documents to prove that the
7 volunteers of the Serb Radical Party received weapons from the police.
8 As for whether this is an original or a forgery, that is a
9 different matter.
10 Q. The document's already been produced as an exhibit and its
11 provenance and its genuineness has not been challenged. And you told us a
12 great deal about your extensive knowledge of all these things.
13 You know -- you know of no evidence, of no document, of nothing
14 that would suggest this is incorrect where it shows the Ministry of the
15 Interior, the Ministry of Defence supplying Arkan, do you? So it may be
17 A. No. The Ministry of Defence certainly did not have any weapons or
18 ammunition. I'm sure of that. Whether Arkan had some channels in the
19 police or not can be the subject of a special investigation, but obviously
20 an army general here probably engaged in security, because it says
21 security organ of the 1st Military District. He is questioning Arkan, and
22 he is presenting his own doubts. He is saying on the basis of several
23 consecutive contacts with Arkan, Arkan stated that he received weapons
24 from the police. Was Arkan telling the truth? Where is the proof that
25 Arkan was speaking the truth? You would have to see in police warehouses
1 whether he was actually given weapons. And you take for -- take it as a
2 simple truth, the fact that Arkan stated this to Milan Babic.
3 Q. The MUP and Ministry of Defence at that time would have been
4 responsive to this accused Milosevic, and he would have thus, in my
5 suggestion to you, have been responsible for the provision of these things
6 to Arkan just as, in your interview, he was responsible for ensuring that
7 you were armed. That's the truth and you know it, don't you?
8 A. No. That's not true. Arkan had such sophisticated weaponry that
9 he certainly could not have got it from police warehouses. He obtained it
10 from abroad for sure, because every one of his soldiers had a state of the
11 art Heckler. That's not what the police had. That's not what the army
12 had. Arkan did not get money from the police. And he was such a strong
13 criminal and he was unchallenged. He never had a shortage of money. And
14 there is one way in which he got money; he actually made prominent
15 businessmen from Serbia pay up to him.
16 Q. Mr. Seselj, you heard the Judges ask, or His Honour Judge Robinson
17 ask me earlier how long I'm going to be, and of course if you make very
18 long answers where short ones will do, you will restrict the number of
19 questions I can ask. If you'll take the opportunity to ask short
20 questions [sic], we'll cover more ground.
21 Now, just before I turn from this document, it may help you to
22 know that it was provided by Serbia and Montenegro. You suggest it's a
23 forgery, or may be. Do you have any reason to believe that Serbia and
24 Montenegro has been providing this Court and this Office of the Prosecutor
25 with forged documents?
1 A. Yes. After the putsch of the 5th of October, a Mafia government
2 was established in Serbia of Western mercenaries, and they started
3 systematically persecuting all their political foes, especially
4 Mr. Milosevic and his family. They persecuted his wife. They also
5 brought criminal charges on the basis of trumped up charges. They
6 persecuted his son and made him go abroad, and recently it was proven that
7 they were a lie. Everything that the authorities did after the 5th of
8 October 2002 against Mr. Milosevic was very dirty, very perfidious, and
9 they resorted to all possible means.
10 As for your fear that you're not going to finish my examination by
11 tomorrow, well, you know, Mr. Nice, we haven't got anything in common
12 there. As far as I'm concerned, I like it better in the courtroom than in
13 a prison cell. I could go on coming until the New Year, as far as I'm
15 MR. NICE: Your Honours, I'm going to invite the Court to be much
16 firmer in restraining this witness from doing anything other than answer
17 questions. We've spent so long in this Court listening to inappropriate
18 observations, either from the accused or from witnesses, sometimes I
19 become, or we all become, too tolerant. I would press the Court to
20 restrict him simply to answering questions. The information I gave him
21 was given neutrally and designed to assist him to abbreviate his answers,
22 not to give him an opportunity to start making comments.
23 Q. Now, as to forgery of documents, Mr. Seselj, please confine your
24 answer, if you would be so good, as to help us with this: Do you know of
25 any particular documents that you say the government, the more recent
1 government, has forged in order to mislead this Court?
2 A. I don't know about any concrete ones, but at a press conference
3 that was published in my book The Chetnik Vojvoda in Front of The Hague
4 Tribunal, that is volume 51 of my collected works, I talk about a group of
5 officers of the army of Yugoslavia who were given the task to forge
6 official documents so that some things that were perhaps done by members
7 of the military would be blamed on the police. Truth to tell, that had to
8 do with Kosovo and Metohija, but if they were doing it in that sphere,
9 they could have been doing it in this other sphere as well. About a month
10 before I came to The Hague, or perhaps 15 days before I came to The
11 Hague. The entire conference is published in my book.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: We have the essence of your answer, which is that
13 you have no evidence of any particular documents that you say the more
14 recent government has forged.
15 MR. NICE: Safe to say, Your Honour, and I'm grateful to the
16 witness for saying this:
17 Q. You tell us, Mr. Seselj, that there was a group of officers of the
18 army given the task to forge official documents. Is that the VJ
19 commission that prepared material in relation to events in Kosovo after --
20 after March 1999? Is that the body that was aimed to forge documents?
21 A. No. No, I cannot say that. Now you are trying to generalise my
22 statement, the one I made at the press conference.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let us move on. We have the answer.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: I have to say I'm interested in this because --
25 because it's been a feature of earlier evidence and it has a bearing on
2 MR. NICE: You see --
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, let us hear you, Mr. Seselj, on this
5 MR. NICE: With Your Honours' leave:
6 Q. It's not a point of generalising it, Mr,. Seselj. I'd like you
7 to particularise it. You've told us about a group of army officers and
8 we've heard about a group of army officers that included, for example,
9 General Gojovic, and General Delic was engaged in it, and various others,
10 and they had a big organisation to put together material in 2000 to cover
11 events in Kosovo. Now, this is the only group we've heard of. Is this
12 the group that you know was forging documents?
13 A. No. At this press conference I mentioned the names of some
14 officers, but their ranks were up to the rank of colonel. That can be
15 seen in my book The Chetnik Vojvoda Before The Hague Tribunal. This was
16 after the 5th of October, after some police generals were removed. And
17 some police generals did take part in the putsch of the 5th of October,
18 2000. Among some of the army generals, there was some fear. They were
19 afraid that they would be indicted before The Hague Tribunal, et cetera,
20 and some things that they thought might be relevant for indictments they
21 ascribed to the police, and that's what I said at that press conference of
23 If you wish to see that, you can. It's available. But now to
24 speculate any further on the basis of one statement, that is impossible.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: You've been able to locate various volumes already
1 today. You've been able to identify this particular volume. Do you have
2 it in The Hague?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have it here in The Hague but I
4 didn't look for it. Mr. Bonomy, I can bring it in already tomorrow.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: It may be helpful if you were able to identify the
6 passage that relates to this for tomorrow, thank you very much.
7 MR. NICE:
8 Q. Let me turn to something a little different -- oh, no, just before
9 we do and in case you don't find the extract, can you give us an example
10 of the deceit that these officers practised; i.e., what was it they made
11 up, how was it they changed history? Can you give us an example?
12 A. Again you're generalising. What do you mean that they were
13 forging history? If the members of the military were responsible for a
14 particular act, they were trying to blame the police for it.
15 As for General Delic, I don't think that he participated in any
16 such thing. He is a very brave and courageous person and officer, an
17 honourable man, and I don't think that he would have anything to do with
18 any such thing.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: It would help me, though, Mr. Seselj, if you were
20 able to give an example of an incident which -- for which responsibility
21 was transferred from the army to the police.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're expecting me to be
23 omnipotent. From the 5th of October onwards I was an opposition person,
24 and I was in constant clash with the new pro-Western regime.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: You have accused Mr. Nice a number of times this
1 morning of generalising. Now, what is it you're doing other than
2 generalising if you make such a sweeping statement and can't give an
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can show you the contents of my
5 press conference from the beginning of 2001, and I can give you other
6 examples, but as a politician in political life you bet I can generalise,
7 and I did generalise so many things.
8 Mr. Nice is not a politician here. He is a prosecutor, an
9 international prosecutor, at that.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I think it would be wrong to let that go.
11 You're not here either as a politician. You're here as a witness dealing
12 with matters of relevant interest in relation to grave accusations and it
13 would be useful if you did not use the arena for political grandstanding.
14 MR. NICE:
15 Q. Can we look at another exhibit which is an excerpt from a book.
16 It's, for the interpreters, 27. We provided a much larger Serbian text
17 for context and re-examination if any. It was just one passage that I
18 want to explore with the witness.
19 The book, I think, was published in January 1992, and is headed
20 "Politics as a Conscientious Challenge," and Mr. Seselj, if you've got the
21 marked passage, which I hope you have, there is this extract which you can
22 explain for us. You said: "As for Milan Babic --" English on the
23 overhead projector, please. Just the first page, Mr. Nort, will do, I
24 think. I'll find it.
25 It begins "As for Milan Babic ..." Sorry it isn't marked. 145,
1 page number, Mr. Seselj. I'm sorry that wasn't marked in advance.
2 It has you saying this, that: "As for Milan Babic, we do not have
3 a special alliance - we are personal friends, but Milan Martic is also a
4 personal friend of mine, and I never gave priority to one over the other,
5 and I was deeply affected, deeply hurt when I found out that they were in
6 discord ..."
7 First of all, is that a correct reflection of your position in
8 January 1992?
9 A. Yes. That reflects my position from January 1992. I considered
10 Milan Babic and Milan Martic to be my personal friends. I was very sorry
11 that they were in a latent conflict, and several times I tried to bring
12 about a reconciliation between the two. In the meantime, I've changed my
13 mind about Milan Babic and now I consider him to be a thoroughly dishonest
14 and dishonourable person.
15 Q. We've heard about that and we may come back to it. The next
16 little passage we've got, though, comes from the mouth of Captain Dragan
17 where he says this: "The Chetniks of Vojvoda Seselj - I do not know if
18 that is the right wording. They were young men who decided to join the
19 resistance through the Serbian Radical Party." This is on page 146. I'm
20 grateful. "I had several of them in my units and they proved themselves
21 to be exceptional soldiers, absolutely loyal. Several of these young men
22 participated in the battle for Banija, which was certainly a decisive
23 battle led by Special Units of the Krajina MUP, which were under my
24 command at the time."
25 Is Dragan right in saying that your Chetniks served under him?
1 It's in your book, you see.
2 A. A number, I don't know exactly how many, went to his training
3 centre. Captain Dragan, however, is lying when he says he was in command
4 of the battle for Banija. He was never in command of any combat unit nor
5 was he ever in a place where there was shooting and where he could get
6 killed. He is simply boasting here, exaggerating his role in the war.
7 According to what I know, he never saw combat.
8 Q. This was published in a book where you both participated.
9 MR. NICE: Your Honours, may this be exhibit, please.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
11 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit 890.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is not correct, Mr. Nice. The
13 book contains our interview for the Duga newspaper on page 149. This was
14 done by journalist Liljana Habjanovic Djurovic, and it was published in
15 the Duga of the 4th of January, 1992. She interviewed both of us and then
16 compared our responses to the same questions.
17 It wasn't I who introduced Captain Dragan into my book. I simply
18 transmitted in my book this interview published in Duga where our
19 responses were put together.
20 MR. NICE:
21 Q. Can we look at the next exhibit, which is another book extract
22 dealing with your relationship, number 28, dealing again with Babic and
23 with Dragan.
24 This is a book of yours, when it comes to you. It's your book
25 "Current Political Challenges" published in October -- well, Belgrade
1 1993, I think. And if you'd go, please, to the short passage that's been
2 highlighted with the figures 1 to 5. You said these things, and we'll
3 just look at them quite quickly.
4 If the usher can get the English version on the overhead
6 You said: "I went three times to help Milan Babic. I went when
7 Jovan Raskovic tried to bring him down."
8 It says that you had gone to a fervent rally in Knin where they
9 tried to bring Babic down by force. You went when Dragan went to brim him
10 down, calling his soldiers from the front to bring Babic down, and you
11 clashed with Dragan. And you said: "As long as I thought that Babic was
12 acting in the interest of the Serbian people and for the benefit of the
13 Serbian cause, I always unreservedly supported him.
14 "... I consider Babic to be an intelligent man and a talented
15 politician. And I am sorry that the Serbian Krajina lost ..." him.
16 Now, you've said some very bad things about Mr. Babic while you've
17 been here. Just, please, point, so we can understand it, to why it is
18 you've changed your mind. Just summarise it shortly.
19 A. This is correct that I went to Knin on several occasions, and what
20 it says about the conflict between Babic and Raskovic, Babic and Martic,
21 Babic and Captain Dragan and so on. However, Milan Babic has proved to be
22 a dishonourable man. After the elections in 1993 and in early 1994, we
23 formed a coalition. We were supposed to have a coalition government of --
24 because that was the third largest party, our party, and Babic's was the
25 strongest party, and we signed an agreement in Belgrade, in the press
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 centre, that he would be the Prime Minister, and we distributed all the
2 ministerial portfolios and then he simply trampled on our agreement
3 without consulting us, and he entered into a coalition with Borislav
4 Mikelic. And in our view, he lost all honour and honesty. We had no
5 further respect for him. And then Milan Babic turned up here as a man who
6 entered into a plea agreement with the OTP and agreed to testify falsely
7 against others in order to have his sentence reduced.
8 Q. His evidence is going to be weighed by the Judges, you see, not by
9 you. And you've been expansive in an account of your own courage and
10 bravery. Do you understand, Mr. Seselj, that Mr. Babic came and gave
11 evidence against his interest, knowing that he would be imprisoned and
12 separated from his family. Do you regard that as an act of courage in a
13 man if he's telling the truth? Tell us.
14 A. No. You tricked Milan Babic. You promised him that maybe he
15 would not be indicted if he testified falsely against Mr. Milosevic and
16 some other people, and when he did that dirty job then you arrested him.
17 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... and I'm going to ask you,
18 please, since you choose to use a word like that, "tricked," without
19 getting excited, just give us the evidence upon which you rely for that
20 assertion. And if you have none, would you be good enough to say so.
21 A. I do have evidence. You interviewed Milan Babic more than once.
22 You told him he was a suspect and that it was possible that an indictment
23 would be raised against him. You offered him cooperation. In fear of an
24 indictment, he agreed to testify falsely against Mr. Milosevic. After he
25 had done this dirty job, he was indicted anyway. You can ask him now
1 whether he's disappointed or not.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: You're being asked for the evidence for this
3 assertion. You're not being asked to just repeat the assertion.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The evidence is in the transcripts
5 of the interviews of Mr. Milan Babic. Mr. Nice asked me why I had changed
6 my attitude towards Milan Babic. I explained this. Now you're asking me
7 to provide evidence. Why would I need evidence to change my position,
8 evidence on paper?
9 JUDGE BONOMY: That's a perversion of what's actually taking place
10 here at the moment, with all due respect to you. You're simply being
11 asked to state what the evidence is on which you claim that the
12 Prosecution tricked him, and so far you haven't identified any. And if
13 you haven't any to identify, we'll move on.
14 MR. NICE: We'll move on, and perhaps we can have this exhibited.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, let it be exhibited.
16 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit 891.
17 MR. NICE: Just to -- Mr. Nort.
18 Q. Just so that we can follow a little bit more of your relationship
19 with these parties and in particular with Captain Dragan, we'll play
20 another short clip when the transcript has been distributed.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Could the interpreters have a reference, please.
22 MR. NICE: I'm so sorry. Yes. It's 28A. I'm going to try -- for
23 your assistance, I'm going mostly straight through the list, but -- for
24 their assistance. I beg your pardon. I shouldn't talk to them directly.
25 [Videotape played]
1 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] During the inspection of combat
2 position, Captain Dragan came. Let's see what it looked like when they
4 "What joint combat? We sent a dispatch to the President ...
5 "And where is he located?
6 "No, he's not there. He went over there.
7 "The first day of the combat, Monday, the first day of the
8 combat, what happened then?
9 "And where is he located?
10 "No, he is not there, no, no, no. He went over there. Uzelac.
11 Where is the guy with the --
12 "No, he's there.
13 "Captain Dragan objected because he was against the Chetniks.
14 "Commander, come here. We won't argue.
15 "No, but you agree that I would not --
16 "For him Babic is the hero. I'm just a workout instructor.
17 "You got us involved in politics, and you shouldn't have.
18 "If the truth is not useful in wartime, you must not say it.
19 "Well, you must have made a conclusion yourself.
20 "I did make a conclusion.
21 "There are other battlefields for Captain Dragan in Western
22 Slavonia. They yearn for experienced commanders over there. There are
23 also battlefields in Eastern Slavonia and elsewhere.
24 "But the captain came here first.
25 "Well, he came here, and he has done a lot here ...
1 "Listen, you have Milan Babic here. He's your hero.
2 "Listen, you must not put it that way.
3 "You declared him a hero.
4 "Today you are turning the army against the Krajina Prime
6 "He is a coward and a betrayer who has broken up our unit, who has
7 broken up Knin.
8 "You are the one who is breaking it up, you are breaking the
9 battlefield right here, and you should not have come to inspect ... You
10 are the one who is breaking the battlefield. It must not be done.
11 "Please, since this is my territory, I would --"
12 MR. NICE:
13 Q. Please just pause it there. Do you remember this exchange with
14 Dragan about Babic?
15 A. I mentioned this conversation a few days ago. This is a tape shot
16 on the first front line near Benkovac where I was visiting the Serb
17 positions. Captain Dragan suddenly turned up, evidently wishing to meet
18 me. That was my visit to Knin in November 1991 when I was invited by
19 Milan Babic to save him from Captain Dragan.
20 Q. Is it clear that you were entirely on the side of Babic at this
21 time, although you go on to say you came to make peace between Babic and
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And you were opposed to what the man Dragan was doing?
25 A. Yes. Captain Dragan tried to get the army to rebel at the front
1 lines, and he was going to have a rally against Babic in Knin, attempting
2 to carry out a coup d'etat. I gave two interviews on the radio, one on
3 the state radio of Knin and the other on the youth radio of Knin, and I
4 spoke very sharply against Captain Dragan, because even after our meeting
5 at Benkovac, he continued doing what he was doing.
6 I think that my interviews on those two radio stations were key in
7 preventing Captain Dragan from carrying out his coup d'etat.
8 MR. NICE: Your Honours, to save time, the rest of the transcript
9 is available. If it can be produced in full, it's only another couple of
10 slides but every side saves time. If that can be done, and I'll put a
11 question to the witness.
12 Q. On the material we've looked at just recently, the truth is that
13 you were against Babic in this Court, whatever may have been the political
14 history after 1993, but you're against Babic in this Court simply because
15 he's given evidence against this accused, aren't you, and contemporaneous
16 material gives a more accurate picture of your judgement of him at the
18 A. That is not correct. I definitely turned against Milan Babic in
19 1994 when he unilaterally trampled on our coalition agreement. After
20 that, we never met again until 2003 when he turned up here in the
21 Detention Unit of The Hague Tribunal. We had no contact before his
22 testimony against Milosevic. That is not correct. My attitude towards
23 him was negative from before, but of course his false testimony against
24 Mr. Milosevic is an additional reason for my negative attitude towards
1 MR. NICE: May this then be exhibited, please.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit 892.
4 MR. NICE:
5 Q. This comes -- this comes from your book "The Chief of the General
6 Staff on His Knees," tab 29 for the interpreters. Yes, it's on page 172,
7 Mr. Seselj. If you'd be good enough to go there.
8 MR. NICE: More pages provided for context and examination and so
9 on but I don't need to ask him very much.
10 Q. In this book of yours published in 1993, you said this when asked
11 if Martic had rejected volunteers in Krajina. You said: "He never --
12 Milan Martic never rejected the help of volunteers in the Serbian
14 A journalist said that he, the journalist, was in Knin when Martic
15 stated on television that fighters from other theatres of war had been
16 contacting him and the army had refused to take them on.
17 And you said: "Please, we were in coordination with Martic during
18 the attack on Krajina. In agreement with the Main Staff and General Mile
19 Novakovic and Milan Martic, the minister of the interior, we sent 3.200
20 volunteers between three to four days and there had never been any
21 problems with our volunteers and never had Milan Martic stated that our
22 volunteers hadn't gone there -- needn't have gone there." I'm grateful.
23 And then: "As for crimes, Milan Martic had never --" later on
24 about Leskovac. "As for crimes, Milan Martic has never been engaged in
25 criminal activities and I would not connect him to this." And you said
1 that he had a conflict with Arkan that shouldn't be confused with his
2 relationship with volunteers.
3 But back to the first larger answer, is it right that you sent
4 3.200 volunteers within three to four days?
5 A. Well, I said that here a few days ago and that we did this in
6 agreement with the representative office of the Republika Srpska Krajina
7 in Belgrade, and I confirmed that here, that this was done in agreement
8 with Milan Martic and General Mile Novakovic. And that's what you said
9 Mr. Milosevic was doing based on some statements, but this is what
10 actually happened. This is correct.
11 When the Croats attacked Citluk, Divoselo, and some other Serb
12 villages, we sent 3.500 volunteers there. They arrived there and were
13 deployed there, but then through a diplomatic initiative the Croats halted
14 their attack and that's why they never participated in the fighting. I
15 was trying to explain this here the other day. Thank you, Mr. Nice, for
16 corroborating the truth of my testimony.
17 Q. There are various accounts on things sometimes before the Court
18 because in due course it may be the Court will be able to decide where the
19 truth lies including from your statements.
20 MR. NICE: May this one be exhibited, please.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: There's only one English page in this but there are
23 several --
24 MR. NICE: Provided for some greater context.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: So should exhibition be confined just to the Serb
1 -- the relative Serb part along with the English translation?
2 MR. NICE: I'm in the Court's hands. The witness has occasionally
3 complained about lack of context and so we've sometimes produced rather
4 more pages.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let's do the whole thing.
6 MR. NICE:
7 Q. Now let's look at something --
8 THE REGISTRAR: Sorry, Mr. Nice. That will be Exhibit 893.
9 MR. NICE:
10 Q. Number 30, please, for the interpreters. Maybe here there may be
11 a few more passages to look at than have been marked, Mr. Seselj, but I
12 see that there are one or two things that I wanted to raise with you again
13 this morning. So that may take just a second or so to find.
14 A. Nothing is marked in my copy.
15 Q. First of all, if I can find it, in the English -- this is a speech
16 you made on the 11th of November of 1993. Do you see that?
17 A. Yes.
18 MR. NICE: If the Court will be good enough to go to the second
19 page in the English.
20 JUDGE KWON: What's the title of the book?
21 MR. NICE: The title of the book is "The General on His Knees," I
22 think. "The Chief of the General Staff on His Knees." If the Court would
23 go to the end of the second page and to the end of the very long
25 Q. And if you, Mr. Seselj, would go, please, to what I think will be
1 page 288, roughly in the middle, at the end of a paragraph, we find you're
2 saying this to the audience when you're complaining about various bad
3 things that have been done by way of forgery, and you then say this,
4 three-quarters of the way down: "It's the best proof of what kind of
5 forgeries the police use, and the best proof of our claim that the police
6 have a great deal of control over some state organs -- state organs in the
7 Republic of Serbian Krajina and their Bureau in Belgrade."
8 Then this: "You already know what they do in Eastern Slavonia and
9 Baranja. The Red Berets operate as a paramilitary formation of the
10 Serbian State Security Service under the command of Mihalj Kertes and
11 Franko Simatovic called Frenki and some other people from the Serbian
12 Ministry of the Interior."
13 You know what I'm going to ask you, Mr. Seselj, don't you. Is
14 that true?
15 A. This is a press conference that I held in the headquarters of the
16 Serb Radical Party sometime in November. This is the 11th of November,
17 1993, after Ljubisa Petkovic, the vice-president of the Serb Radical
18 Party, had been unmasked as an agent of the state security whose aim was
19 to break up the party. In his possession, we found a vehicle and a
20 traffic licence. The police allowed him to use its vehicle.
21 I kept Ljubisa Petkovic in my office and invited two television
22 crews, Politika and Studio B, and interviewed him about this. And now I'm
23 telling the journalists what happened - this is the bit that you skipped
24 here because you're not interested in it - and then I am attacking the
25 state security service which is trying to destroy our party. And at the
1 end I say that the police tried to assassinate me, because there had been
2 a traffic accident and I, as the head of a group of deputies, was in a
3 vehicle driving along Knez Mihailo Street in front of the American embassy
4 in Belgrade -- you don't want to hear my response.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, you're not answering the question. The way
6 this system works is you're supposed to answer the questions you're asked,
7 not tell us what you want to tell us. And the question was very simple:
8 Is the statement true or not? Why can't you deal with that?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But my response cannot be complete
10 if I don't give you the context. You're avoiding the context. I am
11 here --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Why don't you start by telling us whether it is
13 true or not and then add any explanation you feel is necessary. Is that
14 not a better way to do it?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because, Mr. Bonomy, I have learned
16 through these ten days that if I give you that kind of answer, you'll
17 interrupt me and say thank you, you've answered the question. However, an
18 incomplete response is not a true response, and it can be misused to
19 support something that is quite the opposite of what I'm testifying to
20 here. Here I am attacking the state security service by all means,
21 because I have discovered that my closest associate was an agent of
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I simply note that you have not answered the
24 question in spite of being given every opportunity to do so.
25 MR. NICE:
1 Q. Mr. Seselj, the documents -- the --
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have replied.
3 Q. -- documents have been provided for you, for the accused, and for
4 the Court --
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Seselj, let's be clear about this. You gave
6 an explanation. You put the matter in context. What do you say now as to
7 the question which was put regarding the last sentence in that paragraph,
8 the Red Berets operate as a paramilitary formation of the Serbian State
9 Security Service under the command of Kertes and Frenki and some other
10 people from the Serbian Ministry of the Interior. We have allowed you to
11 give your explanation to put it in context, but what is the answer to the
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Here I am constructing an artificial
14 institutional link between the fact that this unit, the Red Berets,
15 existed in Srpska Krajina, that for a time it was commanded by Frenki, and
16 that Frenki was a high-ranking official of the State Security Service of
17 Serbia. I'm constructing this in order to strengthen my attack. This is
18 evident. There was no institutional link, but I constructed one, because
19 I wanted to strike the strongest possible blow against the SDB.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see. Yes, Mr. Nice.
21 MR. NICE:
22 Q. You see, you and the accused and other witnesses for the accused
23 are saying that the Red Berets didn't come into being until 1996, and here
24 you are in 1993 giving an account voluntarily at a press conference in
25 your own political hall that completely matches the evidence from the
1 video of the Prosecution. What you said here is true, isn't it? Let's
2 just break it down into two parts: The Red Berets were a paramilitary
3 formation, weren't they?
4 A. The Red Berets were not a paramilitary organisation. The Red
5 Berets in Serbian Krajina were a special unit of the police of Srpska
7 Q. In 1992, 1991, when? This --
8 A. From 1991 until the fall of Srpska Krajina, there was a unit of
9 the police of Srpska Krajina which was popularly referred to by the people
10 as the Red Berets.
11 Q. By the police or by the Serbian State Security Service? Do you
12 mean the Serbian State Security Service?
13 A. It was a unit of the police of Srpska Krajina, and I am
14 attributing that unit to the SDB. And during those years it wasn't only I
15 myself who did that. People from other opposition parties did that, from
16 the so-called non-governmental organisations and pro-Western media. Quite
17 simply, that kind of mood prevailed. It's your problem that you wrote an
18 indictment based on our public statements and not on the basis of
19 documents and facts.
20 Q. You see, in a lot of your interviews at the time, as we can see,
21 you were alert to the illegality and problems of paramilitary units
22 because you were always saying that your men were not paramilitary units.
23 You'll see that later. And here you are making a positive assertion that
24 the Red Berets were paramilitary. That's because they were. They were a
25 straight, unlawful, paramilitary group created by this accused, disturbing
1 the peace of the former Yugoslavia, and you knew that.
2 A. No, that is not true. The Red Berets were never a paramilitary
3 organisation. I know full well what a paramilitary organisation means.
4 It's always in a negative context. And here, when I wish to insult
5 somebody, I call them a paramilitary formation, because that's a very
6 strong insult, which means criminality, war crimes, and a whole lot of
7 other things to boot within that concept.
8 Q. Finally on this passage, the group that existed between 1991 and
9 1993 when you made this statement at a press conference had been headed by
10 Frenki Simatovic, as you said.
11 A. I'm not quite sure that throughout that time he was at the head,
12 but he was a volunteer in the police of Republika Srpska Krajina, and he
13 was in charge of intelligence, and at one point in time he was head of a
14 unit, but I couldn't tell you from what date to what date, but it's no
15 secret that he was there as a volunteer.
16 Q. So the things we saw on the video of the ceremony at Kula camp
17 being said by Simatovic begin to look as though they were true, don't
19 A. On the video we saw Simatovic proud of his participation in the
20 war, him and his combatants. And the traditions of his participation in
21 the war he links up with a unit that was formed in 1996, because everybody
22 wants to have certain traditions to which to refer to, some glorious past.
23 But formally speaking, institutionally speaking, the unit was a component
24 part of the SDB and formed in 1996. It was not institutionally within the
25 service of the State Security Service of Serbia before that, and you have
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 no evidence or proof to show the contrary.
2 Q. Mr. Seselj, the last part of your answer about whether evidence
3 exists is not for you to say, and typically it wouldn't lead to another
4 question from me, but since you make that point, just help us: The video
5 that we've seen, which is evidence of what Simatovic said and of the
6 accused standing there, listening to every word and reviewing the
7 officers, and Stanisic speaking, do you want to say in some way that
8 that's a forgery or construction since you say we have no evidence? Do
10 A. I don't believe -- or, rather, I can't say whether it's a forgery
11 or not, but that's no evidence. Frenki is referring to his own war past,
12 which he considers to be glorious, as he does his combatants, and that's
13 the only conclusion I can draw from that particular video.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Seselj, let's be clear about this. The last
15 sentence, you say, is a misdescription of the Red Berets. You have
16 mischaracterised them as a paramilitary formation of the state security,
17 Serbian state security, and you did that deliberately because you wanted
18 to insult, you say, the Serbian Ministry of the Interior.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes. I did it intentionally,
20 deliberately, to strike a blow against the security service, because from
21 this entire text, over several pages, you can see how profound and deep
22 the conflict was. In a political sense, they were after my head. They
23 were trying to destroy the Serbian Radical Party by various secret,
24 clandestine police means. And my response is brutal. You couldn't have a
25 more brutal response, and at the end of the text I even accuse them of
1 trying to assassinate me. And the fact that there was really an accident,
2 that there was a police car in front of me which turned unlawfully and
3 that my driver crashed into it, and I did injure my head and had some
4 blood going down my face and head in front of the American embassy, which
5 was slightly demeaning for me, actually.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: So at the time you were in conflict with the
7 Serbian Ministry of the Interior, they were after you, and this is the --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: -- explanation for this mischaracterisation of
10 the Red Berets as a paramilitary formation of the Serbian State Security
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I wanted to insult them. I
13 wanted to inflict a blow. I wanted to have a reaction from them and to
14 make then generally mad.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: All right. Thank you.
16 We are past the time for the break. We will adjourn for 20
18 --- Recess taken at 10.37 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 11.04 a.m.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Nice.
21 MR. NICE:
22 Q. In the same --
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please, may we just clarify one
25 issue. Mr. Seselj brought in seven of his books because Mr. Nice asked
1 him to do so or, rather, he asked to see evidence about the fact that
2 Mr. Seselj had previously spoken about certain matters, the attacks on me,
3 Srebrenica, and so on and so forth.
4 You said that the parties should be supplied with these documents
5 so that we see who is going to ask what, but I don't think that should be
6 at the expense of my time. Mr. Nice sought this evidence, so it is his
7 duty to spend his time to ask questions, because I am not challenging
8 Mr. Seselj's testimony here, it is Mr. Nice who is challenging it. He
9 asked for evidence, he received evidence, so he can ask the questions.
10 Now, if I have to use my time for re-examination on this, then that would
11 be improper as far as the proper use of my time is concerned. I have now
12 received these photocopies of the seven books.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, do you intend to follow up on this
16 MR. NICE: Well, when I've read them I may indeed follow up on it,
17 but the accused's point is entirely misconceived. Where witnesses --
18 sorry, nothing else. I may follow up on it, yes.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just let me know, because I have an interest in
20 seeing what is in the documents.
21 MR. NICE: We will probably have reviewed them by the next break.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
23 MR. NICE: But more probably tomorrow will be the time I will deal
24 with it.
25 Q. Can we stay with the same document, which is the extract from The
1 Chief of the General Staff on His Knees, and Mr. Seselj, would you please
2 go on now to what is in English page 5, and what is marked in your
3 version. It's to be found on page 290.
4 We see -- we see halfway down the page quite a long passage which
5 I must read to you and then ask you some questions about it. It reads as
6 follows. I'm going to start just above the markings on the photocopy:
7 "What the public didn't know --" further up. Above that, please.
8 "What the public did not know is that our volunteers also fought
9 with special police units from Serbia and the Yugoslav army, which would
10 cross the Drina and Danube from Serbia and take part in fights."
11 Just pausing there, is that sentence true?
12 A. Well, you would have to read that entire portion, Mr. Nice. It's
13 not that simple. If you don't want to read it, I'll read it, with the
14 Court's indulgence.
15 Q. Mr. Seselj, it's a very simple question. I'm going to ask it once
16 more. If you can't answer it shortly, we're going to move on. Do your --
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, I think to be fair to the witness he
18 has to be allowed to put it in context. He is saying it's not a question
19 that admits of a simple yes or no, and that is so in some cases.
20 MR. NICE: Well, Your Honour, a witness can always say that, but
21 in this case the question to which I would be grateful for an answer is a
22 simple one at this stage.
23 Q. Did volunteers fight with special police units from Serbia and the
24 Yugoslav army which crossed the Drina and Danube from Serbia and took part
25 in fights? It seems to me a very simple question, if I may say so.
1 A. No. What I say here is that volunteers fought in the units of the
2 former JNA, the Territorial Defence, the army of Republika Srpska Krajina,
3 and the -- those two republics. And then, wishing to attack, I go on to
4 speak about the special police units and -- and army units, and I
5 highlight Frenki, and I overemphasise the conclusion on the basis of the
6 fact that Frenki --
7 Q. Is this sentence -- I'm so sorry.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I -- just before you do that, though, what I
9 think Mr. Seselj is drawing attention to is the immediately preceding
10 passage which says, "Everybody knew that our volunteers fought within..."
11 and then it says, "the units of the Yugoslav People's Army, the
12 Territorial Defence of the Serbian Army of Republika Srpska and the
13 Republic of Serbian Krajina," and then it goes on to say, "as well as
14 within the Serbian police of these two Serbian republics." And then it
15 contrasts that knowledge with, "What the public did not know is that our
16 volunteers also fought ..."
17 Now, you say, if I'm understanding you correctly, Mr. Seselj, that
18 that is an entirely inaccurate statement, what follows.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What follows is my attack on the
20 state security service within that same context here, and you can see that
21 a large number of pages, in actual fact, is devoted to that attack, and I
22 combine truthful facts and my imagination and through that combination I'm
23 telling my sorry.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, what I have difficulty with here is that
25 you're contrasting what everybody knows with something of which you claim
1 intimate knowledge and you're therefore likely to mislead your audience,
2 are you not?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it's like this: In a
4 political struggle and in a propaganda campaign, sometimes your goal is to
5 inflict damage on the enemy by partially misleading the public with
6 respect to certain facts. That is a legal propaganda tool in political
7 settling of accounts.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
9 MR. NICE:
10 Q. Without beating about the bush, you lied to the public in order to
11 achieve political end. Is that what you're saying?
12 A. No. You're lying to the public. I waged a propaganda war against
13 Mr. Milosevic.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Seselj, we have spoken about this on many
15 occasions. You are not to characterise the Prosecutor as lying. We have
16 been through that before. He's putting his case. Thank you.
17 MR. NICE:
18 Q. Well, on the basis that this sentence is therefore untrue, let's
19 read on the next sentence, shall we, follow it through? "Mr. Vakic, the
20 Serbian Radical Party member, is here. He is also a prominent member --
21 commander of our volunteers, who received the following letter of thanks
22 from the Serbian Ministry of the Interior Special Purposes Unit: 'To the
23 commander of the Old Serbia Volunteer Detachment, the Duke Branislav Vakic
24 from Nis for the successful operation during the fight for the freedom of
25 the Serbs in Republika Srpska.' This was issued in Bajina Basta on the
1 25th of May, 1993, after the fight near Skelani. It was signed by Franko
2 Simatovic, also known as Frenki. He is presently the head of the Serbian
3 State Security Service Intelligence Administration. This is the original
5 So may we take it that you were standing there, waving a piece of
6 paper at your audience? Is that what you were doing?
7 A. This was at a press conference. The document is not an original
8 one. There was some document which was brought in by Branislav Vakic when
9 the volunteers returned from the front. Then they handed over to the
10 border authorities of the police a certain quantity of weapons which they
11 did not return. And that is the only fact here. All the rest is
13 Q. Pause. The document, because we've only got sort of your account
14 here at the moment in this book. When you address the people, ladies and
15 gentlemen, treating them in a respectful way, and you tell them, you say,
16 "Mr. Vakic is here, a prominent commander of our volunteers," and you read
17 out the letter of thanks from Frenki, well, showing that they were
18 subordinated to and working for Frenki.
19 Did Vakic resist your giving this description of events?
20 A. First of all that, does not mean that they were subordinated to
21 Frenki, and they weren't subordinated to Frenki. Secondly, Vakic did have
22 some piece of paper to which was attached some kind of memorandum. I
23 can't remember exactly what that piece of paper was, but it served a
24 useful purpose for us at the press conference within the context of
25 everything that we presented against the State Security Service of Serbia.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, at -- can I take it that it was an accurate
2 statement at that time that Frenki was in office as the head of the
3 Serbian State Security Service Intelligence Administration?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was -- I say here today he is
5 head of the Intelligence Administration of the State Security Service, and
6 that is the 11th of November, 1993, that we are talking about. So
7 according to my information then, he was at that time the head of the
8 intelligence department. What he was before that I can't say for sure.
9 And so I'm attacking him at that point in time, assuming that as head of
10 the Intelligence Administration he was one of the main men in the secret
11 propaganda war against the Serbian Radical Party. And I assume that he
12 launched that drive, and I'm trying to do him as much harm as possible by
13 inflicting counter-blows, and that's the only truth in all this.
14 Now, perhaps Mr. Nice doesn't like the methods that I used to do
15 that. That's another matter entirely.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: The difficulty for me again is trying to understand
17 how this is a counter-blow.
18 MR. NICE:
19 Q. You see, let's just deal with the document, the piece of paper
20 that you read from, quoted from. I'm afraid I haven't had this prepared
21 in enough numbers, it can be done in due course, but perhaps the usher can
22 put -- yes, they will be done in a second, but perhaps we can put that --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Bonomy, would you like me to
24 answer that question of yours?
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, I'd like to hear the answer. How is it a
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Bonomy, it's the end of 1993
3 we're talking about here, when the state security service en masse was
4 arresting volunteers belonging to the Serbian Radical Party and issuing
5 public statements, statements for the public showing on television
6 enormous stockpiles of weapons, and the thesis they are promoting is that
7 that was seized from the volunteers arrested. We are being accused of
8 different things; war crimes, looting, crimes of different types and
9 general madness. There is nothing that they didn't ascribe to us. And I
10 am returning that, and I am saying to the police now you're seizing the
11 weapons that you provided them with. So I am defending myself and
12 defending the party from annihilation. And what happened later on? One
13 month later all those volunteers, once the pre-election campaign was over,
14 were released. No -- none of them were sentenced.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: But, I mean, forgive me for having read on a little
16 in this, but the theme of this is for you to explain is that the Serb
17 Radical Party volunteers were acting with official approval. That's what
18 this is about as I read it. Now, that aligns you with the government, and
19 I have difficulty understanding how this is a put-down of the government.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, the volunteers went to
21 war as soldiers of the JNA. After recognition of independence of Croatia,
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina, on the 6th of April, they stayed in the JNA until the
23 19th of May. After the 19th of May, they did not go through the JNA any
24 more, via the JNA, they went by reporting individually and joined up with
25 the army of Republika Srpska. Some even joined the police of Republika
1 Srpska and other people did this in groups. They would make contact and
2 leave. So this was no longer with the approval of the authorities in
3 Belgrade, or their permission, but the authorities could not stop this
4 process because they didn't cross the Drina River with weapons, they
5 crossed as civilians and joined up in the military formations once they
6 were over the river. So that's it. And that was the time when we were in
7 conflict over the Vance-Owen Plan. Mr. Milosevic, for instance, was
8 demonstrating a high degree of cooperativeness with the Western powers
9 with respect to that plan whereas I am trying to thwart that.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Does that mean, then, that when you say, "We were
11 acting through the formal organs of the Serb government," that that's an
12 inaccurate statement for the period after May 1993?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In that way, I wish to create
16 additional problems for Mr. Milosevic, to force him to explain to his
17 diplomats, the ones he contacted from the West, to explain this.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Also, Mr. Seselj, you would ascribe the same
19 significance to the statement, "This is meant for you to say that the
20 volunteers went to fight completely officially." Is that true or false?
21 That's the next line.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After the 19th of May, 1992, they
23 went officially within the composition of the JNA. Or rather, after the
24 19th of May --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Before the 19th of
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- and then after the 19th
3 individuals went unofficially as civilians to Republika Srpska and joined
4 up to the army of Republika Srpska there then. That's what I want to say.
5 MR. NICE:
6 Q. Well, just -- I'm sorry.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, I'm finished.
8 MR. NICE:
9 Q. Let's just look at the document that you've described as some sort
10 of document because you published it in your magazine, and it's on the
11 overhead projector at the moment.
12 MR. NICE: And if the booth could focus on the -- if the booth
13 could focus the screen on the picture or the document there. Can it be
14 enlarged? Can you now enlarge, magnify it? Thank you. More, more, more,
15 more, more. That will do.
16 Q. This is the document you were reading from, isn't it?
17 A. Well, look at the stamp at the bottom. Why is --
18 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
19 A. -- the stamp cut off here?
20 Q. It's your magazine, you tell us. But this is the document you
21 were quoting from, and you published it in your magazine. Come along,
22 read it out for us, will you?
23 A. Well, I haven't got it in full here.
24 Q. Well, you read out what's on the screen, please, for us.
25 A. Well, why don't you read it out, Mr. Nice?
1 Q. It's not for you to ask questions. It's not for you to run the
2 evidence. This is a document from your magazine --
3 A. Well, may I have the entire document for me to read.
4 Q. You may in due course, but at the moment I'm asking you to read
5 something from your magazine on the screen. Will you do so?
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just read what is on the front page, Mr. Seselj.
7 Interpreters --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You must provide me with the entire
9 document for me to be able to read the heading and everything else. Then
10 I will give you it in full. What is this, hide and seek? I'm sure there
11 is something in the title that Mr. Nice likes very much, and then I'll be
12 able to explain how it came about.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Seselj, you don't determine how the evidence
14 is managed in the case. The Prosecutor has asked you a question. He has
15 asked you to read it. Are you saying you're not going to read it?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Somebody -- well, I'd like to draw
17 your attention to what it says. It says: "Is giving --" The Ijekavian
18 dialect is used. That is very important. "Dodjeljuje," "Is bestowing a
19 certificate of gratitude to Vojvoda Vakic Branislav for his success," and
20 the "success" is in the Ijekavian dialect as well, I-J, "and cooperation
21 during combat in the struggle for the freedom of the Serb people in
22 Republika Srpska. Bajina Basta, the 25th of May."
23 MR. NICE:
24 Q. Signed apparently by?
25 A. Can you see who signed it?
1 Q. I'm asking you.
2 A. I don't know whose signature that is. Quite possibly it's
3 Frenki's but I'm not quite sure. How should I know what his signature
4 looks like?
5 Q. Is this the document that you read out to your audience on that
6 day in November 1993, and you then published it in your magazine, on each
7 occasion presenting it as genuine, didn't you?
8 A. At that time, I presented it as an authentic document, but now I
9 assert that it is not an authentic document and that its original doesn't
10 exist, because had this been an authentic document of the SDB of Serbia,
11 it would not have said "dodjeljuje" in the Ijekavian, and it wouldn't have
12 said "uspjehe," again in the Ijekavian. It is impossible for the State
13 Security Service of Serbia to use anything but the Ekavian dialect, and
14 that is perfectly clear to anyone in Serbia.
15 Now, what confuses you now is the confusion that I had then, and
16 then it is on the basis of this confusion that you issue false
18 If you look at the stamp, you will see that it is an institution
19 that doesn't exist. The stamp testifies to that.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: When you talk about your confusion then, does that
21 mean that you did not deliberately mislead your audience and that you also
22 thought the document was genuine?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I knew it wasn't authentic, but
24 that's the method that was customary then in political conflicts in
25 Serbia. The Democratic Party did something very similar to me. They
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 found my signature on one document, they attached it to another one by way
2 of a photocopy, and then they pretended that it was my document. Perhaps
3 it may seem strange to you, but that was the usual thing in our political
4 life then. And I know what Mr. Nice has in store for us. Probably he's
5 got something written up here that he likes and then we are going to see
6 what it is.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: How did you actually get the document?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Who knows how the document was made.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: The question is how did you get it?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, probably somebody in the party
11 made it. How should I know? That was 12 years ago.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
13 MR. NICE:
14 Q. Somebody in your party forged a document by Simatovic, you
15 presented it as genuine to your party members, and then you reinforced the
16 falsity by actually putting it in the magazine. That's how you treat your
17 party members, is it?
18 A. Yes. Yes.
19 Q. All the time or just sometimes?
20 A. No. I'm engaged in a propaganda war here, and you're the one who
21 is lying, Mr. Nice, but I'm indicating two facts to you which clearly show
22 that the document cannot be an original document. And had somebody
23 brought criminal charges against me then, those two facts would be
24 evidence in a court of law that this could not have been an original
25 document. It cannot say "dodjeljuje" or "uspjehe". It can only be
1 "dodeljuje" and "uspehe" in the Ekavian. So now you're asking me to
2 remember all the details, and we thought we were just being politically
3 clever at that time, 12 years ago. And now you want me to come up with
4 all the details, yeah, we sat down and then we started carving all this up
5 and --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: It comes ill from you, Mr. Seselj, to try to brand
7 the Prosecutor as a liar having just, as a complete generalisation,
8 accused everyone involved in politics at that time in Serbia of misleading
9 the public.
10 MR. NICE: I'm going to have to come back to this document because
11 there is more material about Vakic that I want to deal with, but the
12 accused -- the witness seems to think that in some way I am controlling
13 the screen. I am not able to control the screen, but if the technical
14 booth would give us the bit right at the top of the document so that -- or
15 if the usher -- Mr. Nort can deal with that, then he can just read the bit
16 at the top that's worrying him.
17 No. That seems to be the wrong way. How about the other way?
18 There we are.
19 Q. Now, this is the bit at the top that you wanted -- that you
20 thought somebody was keeping from you. Just read the bit at the top
21 before we forget the point.
22 A. What it says here is "Special Unit for Special Purposes of the MUP
23 of Serbia." First of all, it is impossible for it to say "Namjene" in an
24 official document of the Republic of Serbia. It has to be Ekavian. So
25 there is no such unit either. It is obvious that this is not an official
1 document. It would say "Special Unit for Special Purposes of the State
2 Security Service of Serbia." Before that, it would say, "The Ministry of
3 the Interior of Serbia." The document itself shows that it is a mockery.
4 I don't know what else to call it. It's something totally lacking in
5 seriousness. It's supposed to enrage people.
6 Look, Ijekavian is not used officially in Serbia. Not a single
7 authority in Serbia uses Ijekavian. So that's why the document was
8 written this way, in order to generate confusion and --
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
10 MR. NICE:
11 Q. Well, we'll come back to Ekavian-Ijekavian later, probably
12 tomorrow, we'll come back to this document later today, and I have a
13 couple of other documents I want us to look at, but let's go back to the
14 present exhibit, the 11th of November statement. The Court has already
15 read ahead a little bit, but for the sake of the record I must now move on
16 to the next sentence.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I get a photocopy of this
20 document that was on the ELMO a few moments ago?
21 MR. NICE: It will be down in a couple of minutes if -- it's down
22 now. It's provided now. It's not marked yet, so I'll deal with it
23 probably after the break in more detail.
24 Q. Right, let's go back to where we were. If the usher would be so
25 good as to make sure we're back to the previous document at page 5 of 16,
1 as we're taking time, and we'll read on. So page up or camera down,
2 whichever it is.
3 "He is presently the head --" further down, please. "He is
4 presently the head of the Serbian State Security Service Intelligence
5 Administration. That is the original document. We also have a number of
6 other documents out of which we have presented only several here. This is
7 meant for you to see that our volunteers went to fight completely
8 officially, that they were assigned with weapons --" it says they, but
9 "^ sic weapons, ammunition and other military equipment in a regular way
10 and that they also returned it in a regular way. For example, here is the
11 proof that the Ministry of Interior Special Purposes Unit received war
12 booty from our volunteers near Skelani," and there is a list of what they
13 got: One, probably mortar, and another of 82 millimetres, a certain
14 number of bullets, number of other types of weapons. You can see this one
15 as well after the press conference. There is a stamp of the Special
16 Purposes Unit on it. There are also receipts for the weapons of the
17 volunteers who returned from the front. All of this proves that the
18 Serbian Radical Party volunteers cannot be in any way accused of belonging
19 to any paramilitary organisation. Their commanders in battlefields, their
20 chief commanders were Obrad Stojanovic near Skelani, while in other
21 battlefields, in Eastern Slavonia, for example, it was Mihalj Kertes, one
22 of the main commanders of the Red Berets who are now trying to establish a
23 reign of terror in Eastern Slavonia and who are trying to hide the
24 evidence of serious crimes committed by some corrupt individuals from the
25 regime lines, such as Goran Hadzic."
1 Just pause there then. Is this truth or fiction in this last
2 passage we read?
3 A. First of all, you've got a mistake in here. It's Obrad
4 Stevanovic. To the best of my knowledge he was a volunteer.
5 Q. And he was a witness here. We've seen him. Yes. And he was, was
6 he not, indeed, and that man, who was a witness here, Obrad Stojanovic,
7 it's the top of page 6 and it's the third line, I meant to correct it and
8 I was looking for the original to be sure of it, that man acted as a
9 commander-in-chief, whatever he may have said here, at the lines, didn't
10 he? Not as a commander-in-chief, as a commander.
11 A. Look, he was a volunteer there, and he commanded some unit as a
12 volunteer. Like others, Frenki was a volunteer, Badza was a volunteer,
13 and now I put Mihalj Kertes in on purpose, although he was never at the
14 front line, or actually he never participated in the war. But I'm trying
15 to create confusion there on purpose. To the best of my knowledge, Obrad
16 Stevanovic did spend some time there for a while as a volunteer.
17 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... the effect of confusing your
18 audience? What are they going to go away and do apart from scratch their
20 A. Well, you see, many people were scratching their heads, Mr. Nice,
21 but you see, even unwillingly, 12 years later, I've caused a good effect.
22 You believed this, and you issued an indictment on that basis, and you see
23 it falling down now as if it were made of cards. You cannot base an
24 indictment on hearsay. I'm just giving the names of all sorts of
25 political officials whose names I knew at the time. I didn't mention
1 others because I didn't know their names.
2 Q. Please stop. The question I asked you was what was -- what was
3 your audience going to gain from this. I asked it in slightly different
4 words, but it was clear. What was the purpose of lying to your audience
5 in this way?
6 JUDGE BONOMY: The question you asked was actually, and I think a
7 more pointed one, what was the purpose of confusing the audience?
8 MR. NICE: I'm sorry, yes. I'm grateful to Your Honour, yes.
9 Q. What was the purpose of confusing your audience?
10 A. My purpose is to present the participation of some policemen as
11 volunteers in the war as their institutional participation in order to
12 deliver a blow to Mr. Milosevic at the time when he was being highly
13 cooperative with the Western powers in seeking peaceful solutions that I
14 considered to be wrong for the Serbian people. That's the point.
15 On the other hand, I attacked them because they are arresting my
16 volunteers left, right, and centre. They're also breaking up my party,
17 again on the basis of some kind of false documents and false arguments and
18 God knows what kind of forgeries they used against us. We are striking
19 back using the same methods. Perhaps ours were much milder than what they
20 did to us.
21 Q. Very subtle stuff, isn't it, if I may suggest on the basis your
22 answers being accurate, very subtle stuff because on this passage you
23 haven't mentioned the accused directly at all, have you? You've gone for
24 all sorts of other people; Frenki and Stevanovic and Kertes. Or is the
25 reality this, that what you said here was true, as it has been in so many
1 of these passages of your books that we've looked at where they damn as
2 culpable this accused and the apparatus he controlled?
3 A. This cannot accuse Mr. Milosevic, because I was engaged in a
4 propaganda war, and you got evidence today that this was indeed a
5 propaganda war, and that in that propaganda war I resorted to the methods
6 explained. You got the evidence today, and you don't want to show it to
7 the Trial Chamber. Let's look at that too.
8 What was my objective? To publish everything I ever stated with
9 many contradictions. One day I thought historians are going to study all
10 of this, and on the basis of that they're going to understand all the
11 things that were going on. But now you want to look at all these volumes
12 and volumes of mine, and over 50 have been published so far. You'd just
13 like to extract what --
14 Q. If it be the case that Obrad Stevanovic before this Court denied
15 ever being in Bosnia, for example, that would be wrong, wouldn't it? As a
16 volunteer or in any other capacity. If that's what he did, that would be
17 quite wrong, wouldn't it?
18 A. Then it's incorrect, right.
19 Q. Let's --
20 A. Because I never saw him anywhere, either in Bosnia or in Krajina.
21 But he was a high-ranking police official that I knew of, and it was
22 convenient for me to attack him then.
23 Q. You can't have it every way. If you look at that sentence, "Their
24 commanders in battlefields were Obrad Stojanovic near Skelani ..." The
25 first part of the answer is yes, he was there. He was -- as a volunteer.
1 Your second answer is that if he denied it, that would be wrong, and
2 you're now trying to build a defence for him.
3 When you said he was there as a commander, you were telling
4 something that you knew to be true, didn't you?
5 A. No. No. I am not trying to defend him.
6 Q. Let's move on to something else. At the bottom of page 6 of 16 in
7 the English, and for you it will be towards the middle or bottom,
8 probably, of page 291, you do turn to the accused, Mr. Milosevic. Let's
9 see what you say about him.
10 Bit further down. Thank you very much.
11 You say this: "However, the Serbian Radical Party has bitterly
12 fought the whole year long against the criminal state-financial Mafia that
13 is in power in Serbia and in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. We have
14 been gradually unmasking that Mafia, beginning from the Minister scandal,
15 all the way to the General scandal. We've been unmasking all of them and
16 now the time has come to unmask the main criminal named Slobodan
17 Milosevic. Nothing in this country can be stolen on such a high level
18 without his permission and his knowledge."
19 Well, what did you mean about all that? We'll just pause. We'll
20 read the rest in a second, but what did you mean by all that?
21 A. Well, you see that I am attacking Mr. Milosevic as fiercely as
22 possible, ruthlessly, to the very end. All the affairs that happened in
23 Serbia over those years, I ascribe to him. For example, the ministers
24 affair is the one that he personally unmasked. Our role was an
25 unimportant one. The affair with the general is the one with Zivota
1 Panic, is one that I personally unmasked.
2 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... from you, shall we, of life
3 at the time. You -- earlier on in this article you explain the way you
4 were attacked, and in the other article I think the way you were nearly
5 killed and so on by organs of the state. It certainly was a case of a
6 police state at this time, wasn't it? People could attack politicians in
7 the way that you've described. Not a lot of point in describing it in any
8 other way, is it? It was a police state.
9 A. It was not a police state. The accident was an accident. Had
10 they wanted to kill me, they would have killed me or I would have been
11 seriously wounded. It seemed that the car in front of us skidded, we hit
12 into that car, and I just hit my head on the roof, and it was a very small
13 wound with very little bleeding, and again this was a good opportunity for
14 me to attack Mr. Milosevic and his government for that too.
15 Q. And all the other attacks that were mounted on you at the time to
16 which this whole speech was a rebuff or a correction, all these other
17 attacks, forged documents and all sorts of other things about Petkovic,
18 you wouldn't say these were the actions of a criminally police state,
19 would you, or would you?
20 A. No. This was not a criminally police state. You see, the
21 behaviour of the secret police in our political life is a legacy of the
22 past from the old communist regime. There was an inertia involved. It's
23 a fact that the police did deal with the opposition parties. The police
24 had their own people in all opposition political parties, and they were
25 gathering information about activities, about the leadership, et cetera.
1 They did the same thing in the Serb Radical Party too. But we managed to
2 unmask their main people in our party leadership, and we managed to throw
3 them out of the party.
4 Q. The description of activities of the police in respect of
5 opposition parties I must suggest to you is the clearest acknowledgement
6 that this was indeed a police state. And when we come and look at the
7 passage we've just been looking at, we see you describe it as being, in
8 addition to that, a Mafia state, a crime-based state. Was that true?
9 A. First of all, the FBI in America also tries to infiltrate
10 different organisations by sending in people of their own, even the trade
12 Q. Mr. Seselj --
13 A. Further on --
14 Q. -- please listen to the question. Please listen to the question.
15 When we look at the passage we've come across, you describe it as a
16 crime-based state, as a Mafia state. Was that true?
17 A. The Mafia started appearing over those years, that's true, and
18 what I'm trying to do here is to portray all these bad things, including
19 the Mafia activities, as being organised by Mr. Milosevic. It is true
20 that the Mafia activity was felt there, but my propaganda trick lies in
21 the fact that I tried to ascribe all of this for Mr. Milosevic, and I
22 accuse him of everything that is negative; that which is truly negative,
23 that I'm exaggerating, and so on.
24 Q. If he wasn't responsible for all the criminal activity of the
25 Mafia state, for what part of it was he responsible?
1 A. First of all, he cannot be personally responsible for anything
2 because he did not have any of this within the scope of his authority, but
3 it is a fact that within the Socialist Party of Serbia there were people
4 who were engaged in Mafia criminal activity, and the Mafia that rose
5 during his years in power ultimately carried out a coup d'etat against
6 Mr. Milosevic. That's a fact too.
7 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... the end of this passage.
8 "What could Jezdimir Vasiljevic, or Dafina Milanovic steal from Serbia?
9 How could they succeed in robbing the people and the state without the
10 consent of Slobodan Milosevic and without his support? The question is:
11 Where is that money, the money that was stolen from people, from old
12 foreign exchange savings, from the Loan for the Recovery of Serbia, the
13 Loan for the Economic Recovery of Serbia, from all the privately owned
14 banks, especially where is the money, the foreign currency obtained
15 through the speculations with the primary issue of money. It's gone to
16 Cyprus and to other banks."
17 You're here describing a movement of money of which we've heard in
18 evidence, you see, Mr. Seselj, and you're ascribing it to the accused, and
19 he was responsible, wasn't he?
20 A. All the negative things that were going on, both in actual fact
21 and that that was simply fabricated, is what I ascribed to Mr. Milosevic.
22 Your investigators kept looking for his alleged money in Cyprus and all
23 over, and they found nothing. What I'm saying here is what all the
24 pro-Western media in Serbia wrote about, all the pro-Western parties.
25 These were standard accusations again the Milosevic regime over several
2 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... so much in this document that
3 may help us, but I have only a limited time. If the Chamber would go,
4 please, to page 9 in the English, and in -- I'm afraid this hasn't been
5 marked but perhaps you'll find it. It's to do with Arkan, and it's at the
6 top of page 9 in the English. You should be able to find it by reference
7 to BBC. I think it's probably part way down page 292 for you. And it
8 says this: "For example, Radovan Stojicic, also known as Badza, with his
9 members of the unit for special purposes took over the silo in Brdasin.
10 Several hours after that, Arkan dashed in with his men, they recorded
11 everything with video cameras, staged a fight, and it looked like they had
12 done it. There were more examples. The worst thing is that the MUP units
13 and Raznjatovic's Serbian Volunteer Guard collected the booty in
14 tow-trucks. The war booty was collected with tow-trucks and resold here
15 in Serbia. Besides, how come Arkan has a jeweller's shop in the city
17 Just very briefly, is it right that Arkan was in a position to and
18 did bring booty back in the form of war booty to Belgrade and sold it and
19 made himself rich on it?
20 A. Yes. Arkan was capable of doing that, but I am trying to directly
21 link him up with the police here, expecting to hurt Mr. Milosevic in that
22 way as well. To my knowledge, that was correct. Badza, as a volunteer,
23 headed a unit of members of the Territorial Defence and took this very
24 important silo in Brdasin that was a combat position. Several hours later
25 - I was not an eyewitness but to the best of my knowledge - Arkan dashed
1 in, pretended that there had been fighting, and then he liked showing this
2 video footage in Belgrade later.
3 Q. Next passage, please. Page 10 in the English, and for you the
4 page where you start off, I think, with an answer that says, "Regarding
5 Milosevic himself --" it's probably on 293, I think, and you say:
6 "Regarding Milosevic himself, we do not have any documents. But we do
7 have documents about his closest associates. For example, about the high
8 officials in the Serbian Ministry of the Interior, we have documents
9 regarding the Deputy Minister Stojicic, Badza, we have documents in
10 connection with the head of the State Security Intelligence Administration
11 Simatovic, Frenki. These documents are here, I have just presented them
12 to you. His signature! There is also Mr. Vakic, who fought under the
13 command of the high officials from the Serbian State Security Service.
14 Documents cannot be found in relation to everybody, but they can be found
15 for many ..."
16 Asked "How much will that influence the image of Serbia?" You
17 said: "Slobodan Milosevic, in the first place, harms the image of Serbia
18 in the world." I think it's harms, it's crossed -- I think it is. "The
19 most important for him is to preserve the one-party power in Serbia, that
20 is the power of his own party, not caring about what troubles people may
21 have to go through because of that."
22 Is that true, all of that last passage?
23 A. It is true that I did attack Mr. Milosevic in this way. As for
24 the events that befell Serbia that time, in order to interpret that you
25 would have to engage in scholarly work, and I used everything I could to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 attack Mr. Milosevic at that time. You have presented here just a very
2 small portion of everything I said about him at conferences, at rallies,
3 et cetera. I was engaged in a campaign against Mr. Milosevic at that time
4 which was unseen in the Balkans before that professionally, according to a
5 methodology that had been elaborated by Foreign Institutes for Special
6 Warfare. Nobody did it better than I did, let me tell you that too.
7 Q. I see. But it's quite true that you show your approach to
8 Milosevic, and the question is whether in fact you showed it in full here
9 or whether there was any margin reflected by the dishonesty or the
10 propaganda. Would you turn over, please, in the English to page 11, and I
11 think in the Serbian it will be to page 294, I think, and we can see how
12 it is that you actually in this speech gave an attack on him. You say
13 here: "Slobodan Milosevic led an honest and patriotic policy last year.
14 If you remember, we revealed some scandals last year, but throughout the
15 whole current year, we have been revealing many scandals involving
16 Milosevic. The whole summer we struggled with him concerning the
17 replacement of the generals --" there's a bit that's difficult for us to
18 read in the English, don't worry about that. "The Supreme Defence Council
19 has not adopted the state committee's report because Zivota Panic somehow
20 has a hold --" I'm going too fast, I think -- "has a hold over Milosevic.
21 Simply, they were sharing the booty. In Vukovar only, Zivota Panic
22 confiscated $7 million of foreign currency. Nobody knows where the money
23 has disappeared."
24 And then you said this: "Milosevic acted as a patriot last year.
25 He helped the Serbs in the Serbian Krajina. This year, however, he
1 started leading defeatist policy and we have been working on unmasking
2 that policy. He first accepted the Vance-Owen Plan and then he enabled
3 people from his own party, especially Radmilo Bogdanovic, the League of
4 Communists - Movement for Yugoslavia, where his woman rules the roost, and
5 the Yugoslav Army Security Service to plot in the Serbian Krajina."
6 Now, there's a description of your political view including your
7 view of the accused's wife. Aren't you there actually stating your
8 position about this accused in a way that didn't need you to make up
9 documents or anything like that?
10 A. I did indeed set out my then standpoint about Mr. Milosevic, but
11 some things are exaggerated. I told you what happened to the money from
12 Vukovar. I continue to assert that the money from the Vukovar bank was
13 taken away by Aleksandar Vasiljevic and that it disappeared. However, I'm
14 attacking Zivota Panic here because he was the commander of the military
15 district, and it was under his command that the forces were in Eastern
16 Slavonia. But the person who actually stole the money was Aleksandar
17 Vasiljevic. Whether it was precisely 7 million marks or dollars I don't
18 know, but several million marks or dollars were taken away by Aleksandar
19 Vasiljevic and that is a fact.
20 Furthermore, I say here that the basic conflict started when
21 Milosevic had adopted the Vance-Owen Plan. Then I attack his wife.
22 Q. Yes, you attack his wife. Just a minute. You're allowed, of
23 course, to say things which constitute attacks on other people. Having
24 accused Panic of taking 7 million marks, you now want to say that it's the
25 former witness here who gave evidence adverse to the accused, Aleksandar
1 Vasiljevic. Can you please just point to the piece of evidence that
2 enables you to make that accusation since you make it?
3 A. That's what I know. I have no material evidence but I said that
4 publicly in Serbia before my arrival in The Hague.
5 Q. Mr. Seselj, we know that you say things for propaganda purposes
6 that are wholly untrue. Now, you've said this about Aleksandar
7 Vasiljevic. Can you point us, please, to a single piece of evidence to
8 sustain that very serious allegation.
9 A. I can tell you several facts. The first fact is that this money
10 was in the Vukovar bank. And what sort of evidence are you look for,
11 Mr. Nice, documents?
12 Q. You tell us then what the evidence is that shows it was
13 Mr. Vasiljevic -- General Vasiljevic.
14 A. The money was in the Vukovar bank, that's a fact, when Vukovar
15 fell. This money was confiscated by the JNA. This money was taken away
16 from Vukovar by General Aleksandar Vasiljevic.
17 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
18 A. Ask the commander of the 1st Guards Brigade, for example, who took
19 the money away.
20 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
21 A. This money, according to the legislation in force, had to be
22 handed over to the so-called military service of the National Bank of
23 Yugoslavia, because all money acquired by the army in any way had to be
24 handed over to the military service of the National Bank, whether it was
25 war booty or some other kind of income or revenue. Whatever money came to
1 the army had to go through that service. The bank -- the military was not
2 allowed to have any revenue apart from the revenue paid through that
3 service of the National Bank. However, I assert that this money was never
4 handed over to that service of the National Bank and yet it was taken away
5 from Vukovar by Aleksandar Vasiljevic. I stated that in public in Serbia
6 before my arrival in The Hague. It's easy to attack Zivota Panic now that
7 he's dead. Why he didn't initiate proceedings against Aleksandar
8 Vasiljevic for the theft of the money, I don't know.
9 Q. Mr. Seselj, you made the allegation against Mr. Panic when he was
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. What action did he take?
13 A. In that year, I attacked Zivota Panic because of a large scale
14 financial affair in Belgrade, because he made it possible for his son and
15 his son's private firm, Kentaur, to be one of the chief suppliers of the
16 army. I raised the issue in the Federal Assembly, I started a campaign in
17 the press, in the media, and because of that campaign Zivota Panic had to
18 be replaced. There was a commission headed by the minister of defence,
19 Pavle Bulatovic, and I handed over the documents I had to that commission.
20 I did have papers to prove that. That's why the title of the book is The
21 Chief of the General Staff on His Knees. I was proved to be right and
22 soon afterwards General Panic was dismissed.
23 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I don't think it's an answer to the
24 question but I'm going to press on.
25 Q. Last question on this document which, let me make it clear, I may
1 be asking as with other documents to be accepted as true in parts where
2 you say things adverse to the accused, can we go to page 14 in the English
3 for your then stated perception of the way things operated in government.
4 This is on page 296, I think, in the Serbian.
5 A. What page is that in Serb?
6 Q. I think it's 296. And there are a number of passages that I want
7 to summarise really. In particular, towards the bottom of page 14 on the
8 English, about a third of the way up, which I'll try and find for you if I
9 can, you say this of Cosic. You say in a sentence that begins: "But that
10 option didn't suit us. Cosic, being Milosevic's instrument, was much
11 bigger a danger for us than Milosevic himself, because Cosic still had
12 influence in the international public."
13 Can you find that sentence?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And then it reads on: "The fight with Milosevic, regarding the
16 replacement of these generals, lasted the whole summer. Milosevic had to
17 give in. He did it very reluctantly, but he did replace those generals
18 together with a number of other honourable and capable officers. We
19 announced in June that we would overthrow the Sainovic government, and we
20 gave him a three-month period to show whether his government was capable
21 of changing anything to the better in Serbia. Since it turned out that it
22 wasn't able, we openly started overthrowing the government. The most
23 difficult thing for Milosevic was that we unmasked his role in the Banja
24 Luka issue. If we say that the Socialist Party of Serbia took part in it,
25 as well as Radmilo Bogdanovic, who is the power behind the thrown of the
1 regime in Serbia, if we say that the League of Communists - Movement for
2 Yugoslavia took part in it, and if we say that the Yugoslav Army Security
3 Service took part in it, then we should only have drawn the picture of
4 Slobodan Milosevic on that big board in the Assembly ..."
5 Now, just a couple of things. Is it right, as you say here of
6 Cosic, that he was Milosevic's instrument?
7 A. You know, this is a political assessment. It's hard to say
8 whether he was an instrument or not. The facts are that with the fall of
9 Milan Panic, Cosic was weakened considerably. And at one point he adhered
10 to the will of the ruling party. He tried to nominate the judges of the
11 constitutional court on his own, but this did not get through the
12 Assembly. And then he adopted the nominees of the Socialist Party, and
13 they were elected. We, as the second strongest political party, were a
14 little afraid of a sudden cooperation between Dobrica Cosic and
15 Milosevic's party. We made use of a situation in which the pro-Western
16 parties in the Assembly instituted a motion to topple Panic. So we
17 decided that either we would replace Cosic or the republican government
18 would fall. That's how we forced the socialists to accept the replacement
19 of -- we had initiated that much earlier. I cannot say whether Cosic was
20 an instrument or not. My assessment, my political assessment from that
21 time was that he was, yes.
22 Q. What was the Banja Luka issue that's referred to on the foot of 14
23 in the English?
24 A. I'll tell you the facts that were in existence. Based on those
25 facts, I made accusations. The facts were as follows: Part of the
1 soldiers of the army of Republika Srpska rebelled in Banja Luka against
2 the central government of Radovan Karadzic, and they blocked Banja Luka
3 for several days. The situation was very difficult. In the Federal
4 Assembly, bearing in mind the bad relations between Mr. Milosevic and
5 Mr. Karadzic, I attacked various government structures from Serbia, saying
6 that they supported the coup d'etat perpetrators. This was a
7 construction. However, it is true that there was an attempted coup
9 Q. And just before I move from this document, although I will come
10 back to Vakic, before I move from this document, is the position that the
11 accused used you to do his dirty business for him sometimes when he wanted
12 things achieved, pressure put on the government of that kind?
13 A. No. Never could Mr. Milosevic force me to do anything. Never
14 could he make me do anything, and never did I do any dirty business for
16 MR. NICE: Could this be exhibited, please.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
18 MR. NICE:
19 Q. And as to the document that's been placed on the overhead
20 projector --
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let's just get the number.
22 MR. NICE: Yes.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit 894.
24 MR. NICE: I will return to the --
25 JUDGE KWON: How about the certificate?
1 MR. NICE: Can I return to that article after the break because
2 that and one other document we may have to look at.
3 Can we now distribute the next document, which is, for the
4 interpreters, number 31 and --
5 Q. Now, you understand, don't you, Mr. Seselj, that included in my
6 and the Prosecution's allegations against you so far as material to this
7 indictment, not your own, are the facts that you were a propagandist
8 spreading hate of the kind that could lead to the commission of the most
9 serious offences really known to man. You've understood that allegation,
10 haven't you?
11 A. This allegation is false. I understand that too.
12 Q. And the second thing is that you were allowed by the regime, of
13 which this accused was in control, to spread the messages you spread or,
14 to use your terminology, he actually instrumentalised you because it
15 served his own interests. You understand that allegation, don't you?
16 A. That is not correct. That is not true. That regime never
17 instrumentalised me. Anything I said I spoke on my own behalf and on
18 behalf of the Serb Radical Party of which I was the head. No one ever
19 gave me permission to say things or prohibit me from saying other things.
20 At that time, there was no possibility for anyone either to make
21 me say something or stop me saying something.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Seselj, is it possible that the regime might
23 have used you, instrumentalised you without your being aware of it?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. That's impossible too.
25 Everything I said fitted into my own ideological concept which I advocated
1 for many, many years before Mr. Milosevic came to power in Serbia, and for
2 this reason I was systematically persecuted by the former communist
3 regime. My books were banned, I was imprisoned, and so on.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
5 MR. NICE:
6 Q. To make it quite clear, Mr. Seselj, in case I haven't made it
7 clear before, the Prosecution's position vis-a-vis you is that you were a
8 lethally dangerous weapon that was allowed to operate in the territory of
9 the former Yugoslavia by this accused, generating ethnic hatred. Do you
10 accept that?
11 A. I never disseminated ethnic hatred. Whenever there were
12 discussions of inter-ethnic relations, I only set out the truth, the
13 historical truth and the current truth about contemporary events.
14 Q. This document we're looking at is headed "I Accuse Milosevic." It
15 comes from November the 12th, 1993. And if the Chamber would be good
16 enough to go to page 12 in the English, and if you would go to the last
17 page, I think, page 85 in the Serbian. You find a question that begins:
18 "You think you didn't incite crime?" Do you find that question at the top
19 of the page? It may be on the previous page. It's possible that it's on
20 the previous page. "You think you didn't incite crime?"
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Who is asking that? It's rhetorical or --
22 MR. NICE: It's an interview.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: An interview, oh.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You still haven't told me where it
1 MR. NICE:
2 Q. I'm sorry, it's on page 83 or 84 and it's from the question from
3 the interviewer, "You think you didn't incite crime?"
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Page 12.
5 MR. NICE: Page 12 for us, page 83 --
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: At the bottom of page 12 in English.
7 MR. NICE:
8 Q. Can you find it, Mr. Seselj?
9 MR. NICE: Your Honour, it may be that we haven't copied that
10 page, and if so, that would be entirely my responsibility.
11 Q. I'm just going to read you a passage. See if you can find this.
12 There is a question you were asked by journalists, "You think you didn't
13 incite crime?" and you say, "I never incited crime." You were then asked
14 a question: "How did you then think your idea could come true, division
15 with Italy on the borderline Karlobag-Ogulin-Karlovac-Virovitica?" When
16 you find that question, please --
17 A. I don't have it here, Mr. Nice.
18 Q. It would appear to be some shortcoming in the matching. I don't
19 quite understand why.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: It's also odd that you should think it's on the
21 last page of the Serbian whereas it's far from at the end of the English.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, we'll take the break now.
23 MR. NICE: Yes, thank you.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: We will adjourn for 20 minutes.
25 --- Recess taken at 12.16 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 12.41 p.m.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Nice.
3 MR. NICE: My apologies for the fact that the B/C/S wasn't
4 available the first time, caused by my discovering another passage I
5 wanted to read and not appreciating that it hadn't been presented in the
7 Q. You have the passage before you now that begins in the English at
8 the foot of page 12 with the question in the Serbian, "You think you
9 didn't incite crime?" You answered the interviewer, "No, I never incited
10 crime." You then went on. The interviewer asked you: "How did you then
11 think your idea could come true - division with Italy on the borderline
12 Karlobag-Ogulin-Karlovac-Virovitica?" And you said this: "Maybe I did
13 incite war. Not even that, I thought, I was convinced and I am convinced
14 today that had there been no betrayal at the army top, had we had a free
15 state leadership, we would have finished it in one stroke without the war.
16 Had the army immediately withdrawn from Slovenia when I requested in a
17 rally on Trg Republike Square to withdraw from Croatia to the
18 Karlobag-Ogulin-Karlovac-Virovitica line, everything would have finished
19 straight away. There would have been no war."
20 That was your position then. I suppose --
21 A. Well, it would have been a good thing if your interpreter had this
22 text in Serbian, because the interpreters are translating from the English
23 and it doesn't fully correspond.
24 Q. Is there a material difference, before we take time on this?
25 A. Well, no material difference, but it's not faithful to the
1 original, if you care about that at all.
2 Q. The next question is, and you can read from the Serbian original
3 the answers. I'll read the question, you read the answer.
4 Question: "You spoke a lot against the people of other
5 ethnicities and of dismissing and persecuting such people."
6 Your answer was?
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: The Prosecutor is asking you the answer.
8 MR. NICE:
9 Q. Could you read --
10 A. "Well, that's not a war crime." That was my answer.
11 Q. Next question was: "But your intonation could have incited many
12 people to commit war crimes." And your answer, please read it in Serbian.
13 A. "No. It could have incited people to hate."
14 Q. So you were engaging in activity that could have incited members
15 -- sorry, citizens of the former Yugoslavia to hate one another, yes?
16 A. No. You have misinterpreted the previous question. The
17 journalist says, "You have spoken a lot against people of other
18 ethnicities and dismissals and persecution of those people." My response
19 was, "That's not a war crime." But here the journalist is referring to
20 specific persons. I attacked a group of people by name. These people
21 were in Belgrade, although they were of other ethnicities, mostly Croats,
22 and they participated in the propaganda war against the Serbian people.
23 This was a group of journalists, and I enumerated them by name, and they
24 were not only Croats.
25 Q. The next question was: "It's a thin line between hatred and
1 crime," to which you replied?
2 A. "I hate many people but I haven't tried to kill them for that
4 Q. You were asked, "Because you might not have been in such a
5 situation - had you been in combat --" I don't think I need go beyond
6 that. Well, no, we'll just finish these two questions. "Had you been in
7 combat and someone stood before you unarmed..." you answered?
8 A. There's a mistake here. As this is a newspaper interview, it says
9 here: "I was in the war, and I interrogated prisoners of war," but it
10 must have been "talked to prisoners of war" or "interviewed them."
11 I did have conversations with prisoners of war once or twice. I say in
12 the prison in Knin or in Borovo Selo, for instance. I visited the prison
13 in Knin in November 1991. There were Croat prisoners there and also
14 arrested Serbs. I visited both groups. I spoke to them. Those people
15 are still alive, and they can testify to the fact that I did not say a bad
16 word to anyone. I asked them how they were being treated.
17 Q. The journalist said, "There's no document that Hitler ordered to
18 kill Jews, either." And to that you replied at the top of our page 14,
19 please read the answer.
20 A. I say there were orders, and that's correct. And I go on to add:
21 "Although perhaps orally, according to witness testimonies. There were
22 specific consequences and the person in authority had to be held
23 responsible. I was never in authority in any state."
24 Q. "You were close to the authorities," you were asked, "you can't
25 deny that." And you said, "What does it mean to be close to the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 authorities?" And you were asked, "It means to be an influential person,"
2 and you gave an answer, "How did that influence manifest itself?"
3 The reality is, Mr. Seselj -- it's only the first part I want to
4 ask you about on this document. The reality is you were giving hate
5 speeches and they were an instrument to get or led to people committing
6 these crimes as it happened in the interest of this accused. Did you not
7 appreciate that?
8 A. I deny that categorically. First of all, I did not hold
9 hate-filled speeches. If I did say something in hate-speak, it was
10 against particular individuals or groups, not people in the abstract. And
11 these speeches were never meant to incite anyone to commit crimes. You
12 have not a shred of evidence to prove that.
13 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... of this document. The first
14 page in both English and Serbian, and the first long answer. Now, this is
15 of course in your book, so you can see the format of it. If necessary,
16 you can explain it.
17 Having dealt with how you were arrested on the 20th of October,
18 and the police had arrested many members of your party throughout Serbia,
19 you were asked, "... is it time to present your evidence that you intend
20 to use more tactics?" And you said this: "We have already presented some
21 evidence. Several times I said we had no paramilitary formations, however
22 what I didn't say is that our people waged war within the army units and
23 Serbian MUP units on almost all battlefields --"
24 A. Where do you find this?
25 Q. First page. First page of the document in the B/C/S.
1 A. That's the previous document. It's not the same document.
2 Q. Well, it's from the same book, and I'm hoping -- you've now got
3 it. So good.
4 A. It's not the same book, it's not the same document. The previous
5 was a continuation of five interviews, and this is a continuation of four.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: There must be some confusion here, because for us
7 it's in the same document.
8 MR. NICE: Yes.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: And that may explain why the pages don't seem to
10 match. So something has to be done to put this in order.
11 MR. NICE: I will check it at the end of the day.
12 Q. But you give this answer: "We have already presented some
13 evidence. Several times I said we had no paramilitary formations, however
14 what I didn't say is that our people waged war within the army units and
15 Serbian MUP units on almost all battlefields - on their own - never so
16 far. And they were often under the command of Kertes, Stojicic, and
17 Frenki, whose name I don't have here at the moment but he is head of
18 intelligence in the Serbian SDB. Our volunteers cannot be accused of any
19 crimes and those who were arrested aren't all members of the SRS," and so
21 So here you're making it again quite clear that your units were on
22 almost all battlefields under Kertes, Stojicic and Frenki. True or false.
23 A. This is a long interview I gave to the Nin journal I think in five
24 installments, and I am repeating the same thing. You can see from the
25 interview that there was systematic arrests of members of the Serb Radical
1 Party, for the most part volunteers, and on my part I accuse and attack,
2 and it's true that I did say that. But it's also true -- everything I
3 said is true, that is about why I said that and in what context. The only
4 way I could oppose this police action was to attack vehemently, to shoot
5 between the eyes, because their accusations were false as well that the
6 volunteers had committed crimes, looting, and so on.
7 MR. NICE: May those parts be produced as an exhibit. May we
8 arrange at the end of the session to ensure that the filed documents are a
9 single pack in line with what the Judges have had?
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
11 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit 895.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, perhaps when you have done the review
13 later, Mr. Nice, it may be better to have them as separate.
14 MR. NICE: Re-issue it. Yes, certainly.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: You gave us two documents. Are you about to go on
16 to the other one? I mean, we have two separate things here. But
17 everything you've asked about, so far as the English is concerned, is in
18 one of them. So if this confusion is not sorted out here no doubt it will
19 continue and generate three or four filings before it's sorted out.
20 MR. NICE: The original document before the Court had extracts
21 from two chapters in English and one of those only in B/C/S. The
22 additional document you had provided is the second translation in B/C/S, I
24 Can we, because there are a couple of outstanding issues --
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, did you give it a number?
1 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 895, Your Honour.
2 MR. NICE: The witness raised questions about the copy of Velika
3 Srbija in which the certificate said to have been signed by Frenki was
4 displayed. That, I think, is now available for distribution.
5 JUDGE KWON: That is the document Judge Bonomy had referred to.
6 MR. NICE: I'm sorry, I didn't realise that's what Your Honour was
7 referring to.
8 Q. Can we very briefly, please, look at this because it's available
9 for re-examination. If you'd look, please, at the article that surrounds
10 the pictures of the document, in fact it's documents, there's more than
11 one document, I haven't got time to go into them, said to have reflected
12 service by your men. You see that the article, if we look at the English,
13 the article as a whole, if you've got the article there in your magazine,
14 is headed "The foundation of the Serbian Chetnik movement." Is that
16 A. No, I haven't received that article. What I have received is
17 "The War Path of Branislav Vakic."
18 Q. Yes, that's fine. If we move over, please, I want to get a couple
19 of extracts, you see a cross heading, page 3 of the English, "Baptism of
20 Fire." Could you find that, please. That's on -- it's on page 63 -- no.
21 I can't see the page numbers, I'm afraid. It's hard to see. But it's on
22 the right-hand side of the second or third -- the right-hand side of the
23 first sheet. Do you see that, "Baptism of Fire"?
24 A. Yes, I've found that.
25 Q. Then if you go to the first quotation of Branislav Vakic at the
1 foot of our page 3, he says: "The volunteers travelled from Apatin to Nis
2 on a regular bus route on the Nis-Ekspres. I set off in my own car with
3 five of my fellow fighters. In Apatin we were welcomed by one of the
4 Chetnik unit commanders, now the Chetnik Vojvoda Jova Ostojic. Under
5 cover of darkness, we crossed the Danube in boats. The Ustasha boats
6 patrolled the Danube. It was difficult and risky to cross the Danube at
7 the time. The now deceased hero Vukasin Soskocanin waited for us on the
8 other side." And so on. Is that part of Vakic's account published in
9 your magazine correct?
10 A. Well, I think that's right. He does tell of his experience.
11 Q. Insofar as your magazine was publishing what Vakic was saying, was
12 it publishing, as you understood it, a truthful account of his involvement
13 in fighting outside Serbia?
14 A. Listen, it's like this: This article was written, according to
15 Vakic's account, by Nikola Dinic and Dragoljub Stamenkovic. I never read
16 the article but I can read it now together with you, if you like, and then
17 I can tell you where Vakic is right and where he is possibly not right, if
18 there are such portions, but you must also bear in mind --
19 Q. We don't have time for all that. I'm going to ask that the
20 document be produced when I've looked at one more excerpt, and if you'd be
21 good enough to turn over, it's about four sheets, I think, well, one, two
22 -- on the fourth sheet you'll see a cross-heading saying "Eastern
23 Bosnia." It's on the English page 14 and about -- probably in the Serbian
24 text about ten or 15 lines down, this is recorded: "... I found out that
25 Kuljanin was a communist and an officer of the state security service.
1 Today, he is in the Vlasenica garrison command. Meanwhile, the 63rd
2 Parachute Unit from Nis was deployed in Skelani."
3 Is that accurate? In your magazine, you see.
4 A. I can't find that.
5 Q. Under the "Eastern Bosnia," sheet 4, right-hand side, underneath
6 one of the documents signed in respect of service over -- in another
8 MR. NICE: Your Honours find it at page 14, about ten lines up --
9 eight lines up.
10 Q. If you can't find it --
11 A. Tell me which paragraph, please.
12 Q. Under "Eastern Bosnia." It's under the paragraph headed "Eastern
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And it's halfway -- towards the end of that paragraph, actually,
16 so it may be on the right-hand side column, and it refers to the 63rd --
17 yes, there we are, we can see it.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And it says that, "Meanwhile, the 63rd Special Parachute Unit from
20 Nis was deployed in Skelani." Is that true or false? It's in
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Is it true or false?
22 A. I don't know exactly how these events evolved. This must have
23 been 1993, after the seizure of a group of Muslims in a train in Strpci
24 where the railway runs from Belgrade to Bar, and to the best of my
25 knowledge, a unit of the police from Serbia on that occasion entered
1 Republika Srpska and secured the eight kilometres so that there was not a
2 repeat of what happened with this group of 20 Muslims who were taken off
3 the train and killed in the surrounding parts of Visegrad. So that is one
5 The other possibility is that this was at the time when the Muslim
6 units from Srebrenica had broken through towards Skelani and started to
7 attack Bajina Basta. However, I can't interpret now somebody else's
8 article and what somebody else says.
9 Q. Finally, then, go to the end of the next paragraph, which I think
10 you'll find is on the next page, and if the Chamber will go to page 15.
11 He speaks at the end of this page about being frequently summoned for
12 talks at the Serbian MUP special forces, personally meeting commander
13 Obrad Stevanovic and his deputy Simatovic. Is that right? Were people
14 like Vakic in regular contact with Stevanovic and Frenki?
15 A. How should I know that if I wasn't there?
16 Q. Very well.
17 A. In this -- just a moment, please. Just a moment. I have some
18 knowledge about this.
19 Now, if we're talking about sending out this unit, the unit that
20 secured the Belgrade-Bar railway line, then it entered the territory of
21 Republika Srpska along with permission from the authorities of Republika
22 Srpska. Then that could have been providing security for the eight
23 kilometres of railway line, and it is a generally known fact that at that
24 time a police unit from Serbia entered Republika Srpska because the
25 Belgrade to Bar railway line which passes through Serbia and Montenegro
1 throughout its length with its eight kilometres also passes through
2 Republika Srpska.
3 Q. Thank you very much. We may or may not have time to deal with
4 that issue, I know you've raised it before.
5 MR. NICE: Your Honours, this is the magazine that produces the
6 document. There was a question about seeing the article as a whole. My
7 proposition to the witness is going to be that what he said in his press
8 conference about Vakic was accurate insofar as it dealt with deployment of
9 Vakic outside Serbia. May this copy of the magazine be produced, please.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Yes.
11 MR. NICE: Thank you very much. Could it have a number.
12 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit 896.
13 MR. NICE:
14 Q. And on the same or similar topic, may we look at another document,
15 which is an extract from the Belgrade Telegraf, which we have the document
16 itself, or a photocopy of the document itself, and we have an interview
17 here between Miladinovic and Vakic. And although we can look, I think, on
18 the first page, you see an answer by Vakic where he says: "These claims
19 are serious." It's on our first page in English. "These claims are
20 serious ..." Do you see that paragraph? It's the second paragraph in, I
21 think, second column in. Yes?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And in the second sentence of that, he says: "The late Vukasin
24 Soskacanin invited us to Borovo Selo and there we got weapons, Thompson
25 rifles from the then JNA --"
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. "-- at the beginning of November 1991 --"
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. "-- we, the Serbian Chetniks, were invited by the JNA and entered
5 Vukovar via Negoslavci. At that time, we were given weapons by Veselin
6 Sljivancanin, a major in the then JNA, and cooperated with it, that's the
7 Yugoslav army." That's all true, what he was saying in this newspaper
9 A. Yes. However, I'd like to draw your attention to something that
10 is very important. You claimed, referring to some of my statements
11 against Mr. Milosevic, that in Borovo Selo we received weapons from the
12 police, and here Vakic is confirming that those Thompsons, produced by
13 Zastava, came to us from the JNA, from the Territorial Defence warehouse.
14 He's not being quite precise there, in actual fact, but here is evidence
15 going against your thesis a moment ago.
16 Q. Next column for you, bottom of the column; next page for the
17 Court, top of the page. Vakic says: "At the beginning of 1992, the JNA
18 invited us to send our volunteers to the Krajina. I sent a large group of
19 volunteers from this part of Serbia to JNA barracks in Bubanj Potok ..."
21 A. Where is that?
22 Q. It's at the -- on the first page, it's at the foot of the third
24 A. I found it, yes.
25 Q. That's true, isn't it?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Then we go to the next -- the same -- the same paragraph. He
3 says: "During six months from January to July, more than 6.000 volunteers
4 were stationed and trained in these Belgrade barracks and then sent to the
5 region near Drnis, Divoselo, and Pocitelj." True? That's in Croatia, of
6 course. True?
7 A. It cannot be correct. He's made a mistake here, because he says
8 that in those six months from January to June 1992, whereas Divoselo and
9 Pocitelj occurred in 1993 as far as my memory serves me. So he's mixed
10 this up a bit, or perhaps the journalist in his interpretation did,
11 because that's what often happens in newspaper interviews, that an
12 abridgement is made by the journalist according to his own logic and then
13 things like this happen. As far as I remember, Divoselo and Pocitelj
14 happened in 1993, and that is not when they went from the barracks in
15 Bubanj Potok.
16 Q. Stay on the same page for the English, left-hand column, towards
17 the top of the column there's an answer beginning, "At the beginning of
18 1993 ..." Halfway down that answer, we see this: "There were not enough
19 weapons and uniforms for all of us. I sought help from Perisic, who was
20 then commander of the 3rd Army, went to Skelani to meet him three times.
21 He promised and supplied uniforms for fighters, underwear," and so on.
22 That's true isn't it?
23 A. Probably, yes. But look at what it says here. Just a minute,
24 Mr. Nice. Don't skip over things. It says, "From Skelani I went to see
25 him three times -" that is him, Perisic - "and he promised and really did
1 supply me with uniforms for 80 fighters, underwear, some food, a set of
2 night vision binoculars that I needed. I did not receive any weapons from
3 him," it says.
4 Q. We go on down to --
5 A. So an incomplete answer is always an incorrect answer.
6 Q. The next question and answer - I'm trying to get through this
7 quite quickly - the next question leads to the answer from Vakic: "Even
8 then, everything wasn't right. As early as 1992, our prominent
9 volunteers, Zoran Doderovic and Milan Cuk, were killed by the JNA.
10 Colonel Ljubisa Beara, Officer Vinko Pejcic and Major Ostojic were
11 involved in that."
12 And then the next part of the answer says: "By the way, Beara is
13 the man who organised the famous 'September 1993' Banja Luka coup meaning
14 to overthrow Karadzic."
15 Now, two things: Beara is the man of course now indicted for
16 Srebrenica, and the September 1993 Banja Luka coup is the incident for
17 which you were blaming the accused in -- on the documents we've recently
18 looked at. That's correct, isn't it?
19 A. Look at this here. My accusation was on the basis of assumptions,
20 constructions, and so on and so forth, whereas the Banja Luka putsch has
21 not been elucidated yet and nobody has yet told us what happened there
22 exactly. To the best of my knowledge, the SK Movement for Yugoslavia
23 really was involved and up to 1993 it was a generals' party. There were
24 most generals and officers of the former JNA forming that party and it
25 forcibly took them into their ranks. Now, whether this is true or not is
1 a question that remains unanswered. Ljubisa Beara was the head of the
2 military service for security of the Main Staff of Republika Srpska.
3 Quite obviously those services were involved in the Banja Luka putsch, but
4 nobody ever elucidated and cleared matters up completely, and I made
5 guesses, I construed matters, and it served my purpose at one point to
6 attack certain people from Serbia, but I didn't attack Mr. Milosevic for a
7 putsch and didn't accuse him of the putsch on that occasion. And you can
8 find my speech from the Federal Assembly. I make no mention of him in
9 that particular speech.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Before you -- sorry. Before you move on, going
11 back to that last question, which -- previous one which Mr. Seselj
12 elaborated on, I can understand why. I didn't understand it until I read
13 it again, but you put a question that Perisic had promised and supplied
14 weapons for 80 fighters. In fact, the document says uniforms and in fact
15 he made the point that weapons were not supplied and it would be as well
16 to check -- to correct the transcript on that.
17 MR. NICE:
18 Q. Can we just move on then from where we were in the answers,
19 although I'll come back to Beara and the accused in a second probably.
20 The next question and answer ask if he mentioned cooperation with the MUP
21 of Serbia, and Vakic said: "There's much cooperation. In battles from
22 Skelani to Srebrenica, we fought alongside the special forces of the MUP,
23 under the command of Obrad Stevanovic, the third man in the Serbian MUP.
24 I had excellent cooperation from him on the Skelani battlefield. He had
25 his headquarters in Bajina Basta, and I would travel from Skelani to talk
1 to him. I would go to him whenever I needed something, and he would issue
2 orders about where one should go. From the beginning of April until 25th
3 of May last year, we fought alongside the special forces of the MUP."
4 Then over the page in the English, it continues: "A little later,
5 the MUP of Serbia invited us to prepare ourselves and, if need be, fight
6 together with them. We responded to the invitation. I gathered the men
7 and we went to a training centre on the Tara mountain during July and
8 August last year. At that time, I was in contact with Frenki of the MUP
9 special forces. The moment I gathered a sufficient number of volunteers,
10 he would send an official MUP bus from Belgrade to Nis. From Nis my
11 volunteers left for Tara to undergo training. At that time, I had about
12 400 people from Nis ... and from there Chetniks and volunteers with MUP
13 special forces were supposed to set off towards Srebrenica or Gorazde if
14 the Turkish converts launched a major offensive."
15 Now, is all that, to your knowledge, true?
16 A. You're asking me to comment somebody else's text, but you must
17 bear in mind that at the time in Serbia, and Vakic's cooperation with the
18 MUP could have been realised just in two cases; in the case of protecting
19 those eight kilometres of the Belgrade Bar railway line or at the time
20 when the Muslim units attacked Bajina Basta.
21 Q. That's not what it says, is it?
22 A. That is the only possibility of him cooperating with the MUP
24 Now, bear in mind one more thing. When you give an interview --
25 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. -- for television --
2 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... if I may say, so please stop
3 using volume. The suggestion that this is the only basis upon which his
4 cooperation could have been realises is not borne out by the text, it
5 wasn't borne out by what you said in the press conference, it wasn't borne
6 out in the other document we looked at in your own magazine, I suspect.
7 Now, what this account of Vakic is is exactly as you said in the press
8 conference about the high level of cooperation. Is that because it's all
9 true? And Stevanovic was indeed - Obrad Stevanovic, a witness here - was
10 indeed a commander at the front?
11 A. First of all -- first of all, I'm telling you this now: Vakic
12 followed the policy of hostility towards the Socialist Party of Serbia and
13 the authorities of Serbia. Therefore, many of his statements here were
14 overemphasised too, exaggerated. You don't want to hear the answer. You
15 do not want to hear an answer.
16 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... didn't mention this before.
17 You remember I said to you was Vakic there in the --
18 A. What, which?
19 Q. When you were giving the account of -- when we were asking you
20 about your press conference which reveals that Vakic was the audience.
21 A. Did I tell you that Vakic wasn't there?
22 Q. You told us nothing whatsoever about his being with you in the
23 business of misleading people.
24 A. You are not giving me the opportunity of answering your questions
25 at all. He was sitting at the press conference with me. He was there
1 with me. And that's when I said those things that were discussed. And
2 the interview dates back to that time. And his interview is within the
3 frameworks of our settling of accounts with the authorities in Serbia. It
4 falls under that heading. And there's no doubt there, if there was --
5 really was contact between him and Obrad Stevanovic, then it could have
6 occurred only at the point when Obrad Stevanovic went to protect the part
7 of the Belgrade-Bar railway line or when the Muslim attack on Bajina Basta
8 was refuted. So those are the only two instances when this could have
10 Q. Very well.
11 A. I don't know of any third case or instance.
12 MR. NICE: Could the newspaper article be produced, please.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
14 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit 897.
15 MR. NICE: I shall have to deal with matters much more briefly
16 with documents to support. Sometimes I shall put things without
17 documentary support and see what the witness says about them.
18 Q. Is it right that your group in any sense liberated the area around
19 Srebrenica, your men liberated the area around Srebrenica?
20 A. In 1993, when the Muslims at the beginning of the year broke
21 through into Serb villages around Srebrenica and when a large number of
22 civilians was killed, then two groups of volunteers of the Serbian Radical
23 Party went to help out the Serbs over there and the Serb army, and at that
24 time I toured the front line around Srebrenica. That was at the beginning
25 of 1993. I was at the funeral of the civilians who were killed, held in
1 Skelani, and so on.
2 Q. Have you ever expressed the view that Milan Martic may have sold
3 himself out to Milosevic on the basis that Milosevic promised he'd
4 nominate him as a candidate for the Presidency of the Republic of Serbian
6 A. At the end of 1993, when the Serbian Radical Party entered into a
7 conflict with the Socialist Party of Serbia and Mr. Milosevic, Milan
8 Martic, with a group of officials of Republika Srpska Krajina, issued
9 publicly a statement in which he attacked the Serbian Radical Party and
10 myself personally. And we then attacked Martic in the same way and to the
11 same extent. So whether this was in response to the attack, that is not
12 impossible. When Milan Martic was put forward as a candidate for the
13 president of the Republic of Srpska Krajina, the Socialist Party of Serbia
14 publicly supported his nomination or candidature. And I think that there
15 were activists of the Socialist Party who went to Srpska Krajina to
16 support him over there.
17 Q. Did you describe Martic as Slobodan Milosevic's vassal?
18 A. That's not improbable. I might have said that to be insolent
19 towards him and give him equal measure for the insults he hurled at us.
20 Q. Is that because it's true that these men or this man was the
21 vassal, the puppet of this accused?
22 A. No. Milan Martic was not a vassal, and he was not a puppet of
23 Mr. Milosevic. However, he was on better terms with Mr. Milosevic and the
24 authorities in Serbia than Milan Babic was. And the authorities in Serbia
25 were better disposed to Martic. They didn't like Babic. The authorities
1 in Serbia didn't like Babic because they thought he was inconstructive,
2 too radical, even extremist, and so on and so forth, those were the
3 rumours circling about him.
4 Q. In your account of what happened at Srebrenica, did you make it
5 plain that you fought on many fronts with Frenki?
6 A. I never met Frenki anywhere nor did I fight him anywhere, until I
7 met him here in The Hague prison. Frenki was a volunteer in Srpska
8 Krajina. That is where he led a unit which wore red berets on their
9 heads, and part of the volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party were
10 sent --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't understand the question, Mr. Nice, "... did
12 you make it plain that you fought on many fronts with Frenki?" Now, is
13 that as an ally or an enemy?
14 MR. NICE: As an ally.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the witness has misunderstood the question.
16 MR. NICE:
17 Q. Mr. Seselj, the suggestion is that at some stage you may have
18 acknowledged, may have said that you fought together with, alongside
19 Simatovic in the area around Srebrenica. Did you say that? Was it true?
20 A. No. I never said that. Find me where you say I said that, that
21 we fought with Simatovic around Srebrenica. I never said that. However,
22 in 1993, I could have attacked Simatovic for various things, in 1994 and
23 1995 as well, right up until that major conflict lasted. If Branislav
24 Vakic really did have contacts with Obrad Stevanovic and Frenki with
25 respect to Srebrenica, it could have been only in two instances, and I
1 state that quite categorically.
2 Q. We can just distribute this. This comes from a book, "A Red
3 Tyrant from Dedinje." That's a book of yours, isn't it?
4 A. Yes.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could the interpreters have the tab number,
7 MR. NICE: Sorry, yes. The tab number is 36. It may be -- we'll
8 just see what the witness says about it.
9 JUDGE KWON: It says 35 and 36.
10 MR. NICE: 35 and 36, yes. But if you ...
11 Q. The quotation that I have in mind is to be found in the papers
12 given to you on the first sheet of text, I think. No, it's on page 100.
13 If you see the page numbers in the bottom, left-hand corner. Go to an
14 answer that heads -- is headed: "On his personal cooperation with the
15 army and the police, Vojislav Seselj stated the following ..." Do you
16 have that?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. "We cooperated on the issue of war in the Republic of Serbian
19 Krajina and Republika Srpska. We received weapons from them. We received
20 them from the army too," and so on. And then it goes on at the end: "Our
21 men liberated the entire area around Srebrenica and they closed in on
22 Srebrenica. Further, we also fought on many fronts with Frenki
23 Simatovic ..."
24 Now, it doesn't say in the -- in the way I've read it out there
25 that he was with you in Srebrenica, so it may be that that needs some
1 adjustment, but is it right that you fought on many fronts with Frenki
3 A. Well, look, as long as the fighting was going on for Republika
4 Srpska Krajina, the volunteers from the Serb Radical Party were there
5 too. From that point of view, it can be considered to be correct, but you
6 can see from here that I'm attacking the police as well. A realistic fact
7 is that we got weapons from the army and now I'm twisting that and saying
8 we got it from the police. Why would we be getting it from the police
9 when everybody else got it from the army and all the volunteers were
10 within the JNA?
11 And thirdly, in 1991 the JNA could have mobilised the entire
12 police of Serbia and sent them to the front line under the command of the
13 then generals. That was in accordance with the then law and constitution.
14 Q. My suggestion to you, and I'm sure you'll understand it, is that
15 there is no reason for this subterfuge where you're giving accounts of
16 things like this and what you're saying is true, and you're trying to deny
17 it now because you know the damage it's doing to this accused. That's the
18 reality, isn't it?
19 A. That is not correct. I am not here to protect the accused. The
20 accused brought me here as a Defence witness to testify truthfully about
21 the facts, and it was his calculation that the facts would work in his
22 favour. The fact is that long ago we did not really choose our weapons
23 when fighting against the accused.
24 MR. NICE: The witness has denied the accuracy of this passage.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't know how fair it is to put
2 this kind of question, because the atmosphere here has to do with
3 Srebrenica and the question of 1995 has to do with Srebrenica. Obviously
4 all the questions that are put to Mr. Seselj here have to do with 1993,
5 not 1995. So I don't think that the questions should be that confusing.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, I don't find them confusing, I
7 have to say.
8 MR. NICE: Your Honour, although I've been hoping to restrict the
9 amount of material produced, he's given an answer to the effect that some
10 of the things here he said were untrue, so maybe this document should be
11 produced as well.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Let it be produced.
13 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit 898.
14 MR. NICE:
15 Q. And can we press on --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: I -- perhaps I'm missing something here, but the
17 point the accused has made, this document was published in 1993.
18 MR. NICE: Yes.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: And the relief of Srebrenica that's being talked
20 about there occurred when?
21 MR. NICE: 1993.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
23 MR. NICE: It's not 1995. Shall we move on to -- Your Honours,
24 just give me one minute.
25 Q. Yes. Can we look, please, at this document, and for the
1 interpreters, number 43. This comes from your book "The Witch from
2 Tolstoj Street." The passage that we've had copied, and it's only a short
3 passage, can be found on page 231 in your text. It's about a third of the
4 way -- halfway down, thank you, where you say this of Arkan: "As for
5 Zeljko Raznjatovic, Arkan, he is the man of Slobodan Milosevic. By the
6 mere fact that he is the man of Radmilo Bogdanovic and Radovan Stojicic,
7 Badza, Milosevic --" full stop. "Milosevic cannot attack his own man.
8 Why can't they try Arkan? Because they would then have to try Arkan's
9 boss Badza. In this war, Arkan served as a cover-up for Badza. Arkan did
10 nothing without the regime in Serbia being aware of it. To try Arkan
11 means to try yourself. That is the position of Slobodan Milosevic."
12 Well, those are your words in 1994. Are they true?
13 A. Yes. In 1994, I tried to link Arkan to Mr. Milosevic as much as
14 possible in order to damage Mr. Milosevic politically as much as possible.
15 I had no proof of that. Truth to tell, Arkan was on good terms with Badza
16 and that was well known. However, I used that fact in order to trouble
17 Mr. Milosevic politically. At that time, Arkan was so powerful that even
18 the authorities didn't dare deal with him. He had great
19 extra-institutional power; a lot of money, a criminal organisation, and so
20 on. Even the authorities, the government, was afraid of clashing with
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: In the question "Why can't they try Arkan," who
23 is "they"?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "They" is the authorities. I
25 already told you about the case when I talked to a police inspector who
1 came to talk to me on account of my accusations to the effect that Arkan
2 had killed a certain Eso Lero from Belgrade. That police inspector told
3 me that they had a lot of indications but they could not present evidence
4 against Arkan. They didn't dare take steps against him.
5 Now, what happened. No one dared testify against Arkan, even
6 people who had knowledge. He also had some people from the regime who he
7 had bribed successfully and who protected him.
8 MR. NICE:
9 Q. Your -- your observations here are quite clear that there's a
10 reason he can't be tried and that's because it would uncover the
11 connections between him and the top of the regime, which is a pretty
12 serious allegation against the regime in any event.
13 A. It's a very serious accusation, just like all my accusations
14 against Mr. Milosevic from that time, but --
15 Q. Are you saying that Arkan was sort of above control? Did he run
16 the war himself perhaps? Did he start the war? Did he answer to no one?
17 What is your position on Arkan?
18 A. No. Arkan, when he joined the war, had double motives. On the
19 one hand patriotic, because he was a brave man. And I think that he
20 really did have certain patriotic inspirations. But in addition to that,
21 Arkan's a criminal, the greatest criminal in Serbia, at that, and he could
22 not curb that even in times of war. So his inclination towards crime
23 became even more emphatic then.
24 Arkan was really close to Badza. I told you during the first days
25 of my testimony that Badza was killed on account of tobacco trafficking,
1 and I told you who killed him, to my knowledge. So Badza was not averse
2 to taking part into such things either, abusing his high office in the
3 police. What is emphasised here and what cannot be proved is the link
4 between them and Mr. Milosevic on the other hand from that point of view.
5 What I am construing here is an attack against Mr. Milosevic by relying on
6 some realistic facts that actually could support that. However, when you
7 try to work out an indictment on that basis, you see that that is no basis
8 for an indictment. This can be used in political battle, but when you try
9 to deal with it in a court of law, you see it as untenable.
10 MR. NICE: Your Honours, I'd ask this document be produced.
11 Q. And Mr. Seselj, let me make it quite plain to you: My suggestion
12 to you is that when you were saying that effectively Arkan was the accused
13 man via Badza, you were simply revealing the truth, and you knew it, and
14 you know it now.
15 A. No.
16 Q. Let's look at another document.
17 A. That is not true.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Seselj, you say that your whole purpose in
19 this passage that we are looking at was to embarrass Mr. Milosevic by
20 linking Arkan with him.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. That was the purpose of this
22 interview, like of a series of other interviews that I gave over those
23 several years. I personally am convinced that Mr. Milosevic never
24 actually met Arkan. However, some people in the authorities were in
25 cahoots with Arkan. That's a fact too. All of Arkan's power was outside
1 the institutions but often based on bribing some people from the regime.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: And in relying on these and other documents with
3 your speeches and interviews, you say the Prosecution has misdirected
4 itself in that it has failed to distinguish between statements which you
5 make for political purposes and statements which actually represent facts.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes. I insist on that,
7 because everything that was said in the heated Serbian public political
8 debate, said by me and other Serb politician, that cannot be taken for
9 granted, and a serious indictment cannot be based on that. That is
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Does that cast doubt on your evidence as a whole?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, it is for you to
13 judge. I am counting on the court of history. I'm convinced and I take
14 as a point of departure the fact that this trial remains as a very
15 significant trial in history irrespective of its outcome. What I care
16 about is the judgement of history about my role, about my honesty, about
17 my integrity, about my honour, et cetera. What your judgement is going to
18 be is your own affair. Your judgements are also subject to public
20 MR. NICE:
21 Q. Mr. Seselj, I'm afraid the next exhibit --
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: We need a number for the last one.
23 MR. NICE: Sorry, a number for the last one, I'm grateful.
24 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit 899.
25 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Seselj, this sort of attack, you said these
1 attacks are responses to the conspiracy of the government and arrest of
2 your volunteers. Could you give us the number of volunteers who had been
3 arrested at that time and how -- during how long period were they arrested
4 at that time?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot give you an exact number,
6 but there were quite a few. Dozens, I would say. Srem, Backa, Sabac,
7 within Serbia proper, et cetera. And they were kept in prison for about a
8 month as a rule. They were all released. As far as I can remember, later
9 on there were no trials against any one of them.
10 All of this happened during the time of the election campaign, on
11 the eve of the elections in 1993, when we wanted to overthrow Nikola
12 Sainovic's government and Mr. Milosevic dissolved the national Assembly
13 when he realised that the government would fall. The regime took
14 repressive measures against us, and we responded in any way we could think
15 of. Whatever crossed our mind we used as political ammunition against the
16 regime. You know, that is a state of despair when at moments we even feel
17 powerless, when we think that the regime will succeed in destroying our
18 party, when among my closest associates I start feeling fear.
19 MR. NICE: The next --
20 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
21 MR. NICE: The next exhibit I don't have in English but I'll deal
22 with the exhibit tomorrow, but if, with the leave of the Court, we can
23 just lay a paragraph with Mr. Nort's assistance, I will point out the bit
24 I want - that bit - on the overhead projector.
25 Q. And this comes from your book "Serbian Spouses Ceausescu" published
1 I think in 1994. Published in 1995, but I think the passage we're looking
2 at is 1994, and if it can go on the overhead projector, please.
3 Could you start reading at the -- the end of the first page. Just
4 read it out to us nice and slowly, where you say: "I have prepared myself
5 for The Hague, bypassing Milosevic." Do you see that passage?
6 A. I can barely read this, and I don't really have it in front of me.
7 It's not the right reference. You haven't given me the right reference.
8 Q. Can you --
9 A. I cannot see it in front of me.
10 Q. [Previous translation continues] "... myself for The Hague,
11 bypassing Milosevic. Can you imagine the following scene at The Hague
12 trial?" Can you see that? Maybe further up the page?
13 A. I still can't see that. I haven't got that in front of me, no.
14 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
15 THE INTERPRETER: Could the interpreters have the tab number as
17 MR. NICE: It's tab number 44.
18 THE INTERPRETER: 46D.
19 MR. NICE: Just try that passage, I think.
20 Q. It may be this passage we want you to look at. Yes.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. At the beginning, Carl Druga [phoen] said -- can you read that for
23 us, please, where it says, "I prepared myself for The Hague."
24 A. Journalist's question is: "The foreign media have been writing
25 that Slobodan Milosevic is preparing you for The Hague." That's the
1 question. And I give the following answer to that question: "I have
2 prepared for The Hague apart from Milosevic. Can you imagine the
3 following scene at The Hague trial: I'm sitting in the dock, and I keep
4 sitting -- and I keep a seat right next to me empty, reserving it for
5 Milosevic." And then another rhetorical question, that's what follows:
6 "How can Milosevic send me to The Hague without previously sending
7 Radmilo Bogdanovic, Mihalj Kertes, Jovica Stanisic, Radovan Stojicic
8 Badza, Franko Simatovic Frenki, and others?" This is an interview after I
9 was released from prison.
10 Q. This is in 1994. What was it that connected in your mind this
11 accused and Kertes, Badza, Frenki, and Stanisic?
12 A. First of all, the key question is what was it that motivated
13 certain foreign and -- journalists at home. Why was Milosevic preparing
14 me for The Hague?
15 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... because, you see, you've
16 identified there what might be thought a number of people said to have
17 been in a joint criminal enterprise, and you did it in 1994. Now, I
18 wonder what it was in your mind that connected these people before
19 indictments were issued. Tell us, please.
20 A. What was in my mind was that Slobodan Milosevic was preparing me
21 for The Hague. First, I demonstrated that I was not afraid of The Hague,
22 because after these speculations I made a telephone call to The Hague
23 myself, and I'm sure that you have evidence that I called two or three
24 times. Now, what is in my mind? You are not in a position to compel me
25 to answer the way you want me to. I am retaliating here against
1 Milosevic's attack, and this provokes laughter in the public, and I say
2 off I go to The Hague and I'm keeping Mr. Milosevic a seat right next to
3 me. And of course people laugh. And then I attack the key people in the
4 police force. Radmilo Bogdanovic was minister of police in 1991. Mihalj
5 Kertes was head of the federal SDB, Jovica Stanisic of Serbian SDB,
6 Radovan Stojicic Badza the chief of the intelligence service within the
7 SDB, then Franko Simatovic. I'm giving a list of all the top officials
8 from the SDB at the time.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, we'll have to follow this up tomorrow.
10 MR. NICE: I'll produce the document with English translation.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: We will adjourn until tomorrow at 9.00 a.m.
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.,
13 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 15th day of
14 September, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.