1 Thursday, 1 September 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Nice.
6 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I've asked for the witness to be kept out.
7 I have a short matter to raise that has absolutely nothing to do with his
8 evidence. It relates to the decision on the admission of documents in
9 connection with the testimony of Defence witness Dragan Jasovic, which was
10 filed last Friday and about which we obviously have to give consideration.
11 I'd be very grateful for, as it were, clarification of one issue.
12 I can either put it in the question form, which would be inappropriate, or
13 put it in the issue form, which might be appropriate. The issue is this:
14 Whether admissibility or, rather, admission of the Jasovic Defence
15 material is effective for all purposes and for all time or whether if the
16 Prosecution Jasovic material is admitted into evidence at the rebuttal
17 stage of the case, the issue of the admissibility of Jasovic's material is
18 still open for consideration or whether at that stage the Prosecution
19 Jasovic material, if admitted into evidence, would only go to issues of
20 fact and weight and credibility.
21 Now, that's the issue. As I say, I don't want to -- it's not for
22 me to raise it in the form of a question. It may be that the Chamber will
23 say that the decision is clear on its face. It may be that it would be
24 able to assist us by saying, yes, it's admitted for all purposes and for
25 all time and Prosecution material in respect of Jasovic would only ever go
1 to weight, fact, and credibility.
2 I don't know if the Chamber would be able to assist us sometime
3 today. We would be grateful if so.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, I must give you what is my personal
5 view on this matter.
6 MR. NICE: Yes.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: I do not think it is proper to utilise the
8 Court's time to raise issues of law of that -- of that nature. The
9 Chamber has given its decision, and you must live with the decision. If
10 matters arise, then we'll deal with them, but this habit of the
11 Prosecution attempting to reopen matters that have been decided by the
12 Chamber is something that must stop, in my view.
13 MR. NICE: Your Honour --
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm not ascribing ill motives to you, but the
15 Chamber has made its decision and, in my view, the decision is clear.
16 MR. NICE: Your Honour, it would certainly be entirely, if I may
17 say so, absolutely inappropriate to ascribe bad motives. This is an
18 attempt to clarify issues in our own mind so that we can take our
19 appropriate, if any, next step. If the Chamber feels it can't assist me,
20 then I shall obviously act accordingly. If it feels it can, I would be
21 very grateful.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ex abundanti cautela. What I say is that we take
23 note of what you have said, and if we find it appropriate, we'll respond.
24 Please call the witness.
25 Mr. Nice, I might say that we did consider that matter, and in our
1 view it's admissible for all purposes. The question of weight is another
3 MR. NICE: I'm grateful and I'm actually much assisted. Thank
5 [The witness entered court]
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
7 WITNESS: VOJISLAV SESELJ [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 Examined by Mr. Milosevic: [Continued]
10 Q. [Interpretation] We left off yesterday just before paragraph -- or
11 at paragraph 36 of the Croatian indictment. That's on page 9. Could you
12 please find that.
13 A. I've found it.
14 Q. I'm not going to deal with the preceding part dealing with
15 persecutions, and then comes paragraph 36 that is rather extensive. It
16 says that "persecutions were based on political, racial, or religious
17 grounds and included the following..." Then it goes on to talk about "the
18 extermination or murder of hundreds of Croat and other non-Serb civilians
19 in Dalj, Erdut, Klisa, Lovas, Vukovar, Vocin, Bacin, Saborsko and
20 neighbouring villages, Skabrnja, Nadin, Bruska, and Dubrovnik and its
21 environs, as described in detail in paragraphs 38 to 59 and 73 to 75."
22 Tell me, please, Mr. Seselj, all these references here, do they
23 have anything to do with Serbia or any authorities in Serbia, without
24 going into what really happened or didn't happen?
25 A. In some of these places, crimes indeed happened. In some of those
1 -- in some other places, there were no crimes. For instance, in
2 Dubrovnik there was not a single crime against the civilian population.
3 In the course of the operations to capture Dubrovnik, there was a
4 murder in a village in Herzegovina of certain villagers. It's the village
5 called Kijev Do on the Bobanska plateau, but the man who perpetrated these
6 crimes was a soldier of the JNA, a reservist from Montenegro, as far as I
7 remember, and he was convicted to ten years in prison by the competent
8 military court.
9 On the territory of the municipality of Dubrovnik itself, there
10 were no killings of civilians.
11 As for the departure of civilians from many places, that was
12 organised by the Croatian authorities before the JNA arrived. In some
13 other places enumerated here, crimes indeed happened but Serbia could not
14 have been involved in any way because it was mainly JNA that was active in
15 those areas, and why some of these crimes were never investigated or
16 prosecuted is something that the Trial Chamber could find out from
17 Aleksandar Vasiljevic, chief of the military security, because for all
18 these crimes it was the competent military courts that were in charge.
19 Civilian courts in Belgrade could not prosecute these crimes then,
20 but the civilian court in Belgrade is prosecuting currently some of those
21 crimes. But in fact it is military courts that are in charge for any
22 crimes perpetrated by members of the armed forces and war crimes.
23 Our legislation stipulated very precisely the prosecution of any
24 crimes that fall under the Geneva Conventions, various international
25 treaties and covenants, and in the legislation of the former Yugoslavia,
1 that was stipulated in detail.
2 Q. Mr. Seselj, did the authorities in Serbia, including any agency of
3 the government or myself as president of the republic, did they have any
4 capacity whatsoever to gain insight into what was going on in some of
5 those places that are enumerated here at the time when the SFRY existed
6 and institutions functioned?
7 A. There was no institutional capacity to find out or again this
8 information. There was only hearsay, unreliable reports from the media,
9 et cetera, but there were no institutional channels. Only the federal
10 authorities had such institutional channels or, rather, the authorities of
11 the JNA, through military courts and the state -- or, rather, the security
12 service of the JNA.
13 Q. Now, look at this reference to Serbia in the following subsection
14 of the same paragraph 36. That's subparagraph (b), which refers to
15 "prolonged and routine imprisonment and confinement of thousands of Croat
16 and other non-Serb civilians in detention facilities within and outside of
18 I'm not going to deal with this bit about Croatia, because that
19 has nothing to do with Serbia whatsoever. But it also says, "prison camps
20 located in Montenegro, Serbia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina -" so Serbia is one
21 of these places - "as described in detail in paragraph 64."
22 And now if you turn to page 16 of this same document, you will see
23 what paragraph 64 says. So (d), (e), (f) and (g), as far as I could make
24 out. These subparagraphs contain allegations that served as a basis for
25 many charges here.
1 Look at what it says: (d) -- paragraph 64, subparagraph (d). I
2 think you've found it.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. "Stajicevo agricultural farm in Serbia... approximately 1.700
6 "(e) military barracks in Begejci in Serbia run by the JNA,
7 approximately 260 detainees.
8 "(f) military barracks in Zrenjanin in Serbia run by the JNA,
9 scores of detainees.
10 "(g) military prison Sremska Mitrovica in Serbia run by the JNA,
11 hundreds of detainees."
12 Now, please answer this: Since Serbia is mentioned in all of
13 these subparagraphs, and I hope I haven't omitted anything, and it refers
14 to facilities run by the JNA, did Serbia have any competencies there? Did
15 Serbian authorities have any powers over these affairs that were dealt
16 with by JNA agencies? But also tell me, what is this about in the first
18 A. I can say emphatically that the authorities in Serbia could have
19 absolutely no powers or competencies in these places because all of them
20 were JNA facilities, JNA installations. I never even heard about these
21 installations in Stajicevo, Begejci and Zrenjanin where somebody was
22 detained, but I know about the military prison in Sremska Mitrovica.
23 However, the JNA could bring only prisoners of war to these places. I
24 don't know that a single civilian was among them.
25 A civilian could have been arrested - a civilian, a person who
1 wasn't wearing a uniform. Such a person could have been captured if they
2 nevertheless took part in combat on the side of Croatian armed forces,
3 paramilitaries, et cetera. But a very small number, if any, were tried.
4 They were all of them released quite simply without any charges and they
5 were able to travel wherever they wanted. I think most of them opted for
7 To the best of my knowledge, in the military facilities where
8 detainees were kept, there was not a single murder or killing. And that
9 includes facilities in Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, because the
10 JNA placed some prisoners of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro
11 facilities while they were fighting Croatian separatists.
12 Q. Now, look at this. The conflict was going in Croatia with those
13 attacks on military barracks that were going on, and the conflict was
14 between the existing federal army and the Croatian national forces, and
15 some prisoners were taken in the process, and this is all ascribed to the
16 authorities in Serbia. Could that be true?
17 A. The Serbian authorities could have had nothing to do with it.
18 They had no powers or competencies and they had no effective involvement.
19 Q. Look now at the paragraph 66. It says: "By these acts and
20 omissions, Slobodan Milosevic committed ..." That is to say the fact that
21 the JNA took some prisoners of war in the conflicts in another territory,
22 I committed - look at this - imprisonment, a crime against humanity;
23 torture, a crime against humanity; inhumane acts, a crime against
24 humanity; unlawful confinement; torture again; wilfully causing great
25 suffering; cruel treatment, and so on.
1 First of all, to the best your knowledge, did the JNA torture
2 anybody of these camps or prisons?
3 A. No. All JNA authorities had strict instructions to act in
4 consistence with their regulations. I don't know if there have been any
5 incidents - I haven't heard about any - but I know for a fact there hadn't
6 been any killings. The JNA had its own general enactments and bylaws and
7 rules of procedure and regulations that stipulated precisely how prisoners
8 of war were to be treated. All of these were written in conformity with
9 international rules.
10 There is a reference here to the violation of the Geneva
11 Conventions. That could not be true because there were no international
12 conflicts. Violations of the additional Protocol B could have occurred
13 because what was going on was a civil war, but it is absolutely
14 nonsensical that you could be responsible for anything that happened,
15 imprisonment, torture, inhumane acts, unlawful confinement and wilful
16 causing of great suffering, et cetera. You could have had no involvement
17 or role in that.
18 And I would also like to draw your attention to another thing. In
19 addition to the JNA, some other players are being mentioned here that
20 could not have been under the JNA control at all times. And then a
21 general conclusion is drawn from all this -- or, rather, an inference.
22 Lovas, for instance, Dusan Silni units, Arkan's men, et cetera. A
23 distinction has to be made.
24 Q. I'm talking now about places of confinement or places of detention
25 outside of Serbia. References to Serbia relate only to military
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 facilities run by the JNA, and the JNA as a federal institution is the
2 only one who was in charge, whereas the Republic of Serbia did not have
3 any authority over it. Were Serbian authorities able to enter any of
4 these facilities?
5 A. No, they could not.
6 Q. Now, look at subparagraph (k) of paragraph 36. I am charged with
7 the deportation or forcible transfer of at least 170.000 Croats and other
8 non-Serb civilians from the territories specified above, I'm not going to
9 enumerate them now, and then it refers to their deportation to Serbia.
10 Who was it who deported Croats to Serbia?
11 A. I personally think it's pure fabrication. I never heard of a
12 single Croat civilian deported to Serbia ever. But there are some other
13 things that are completely made up here. For instance, in Ilok there were
14 no combat actions at all, but most civilians still wanted to move out of
15 Ilok, and the media covered it widely at the time. And as far as I
16 remember, there were no armed operations in Ilok at all.
17 Q. Now look at what they refer to in connection with this
18 subparagraph (k). They invoke details described in paragraphs 67 to 69.
19 So look at 67. It reads: "From the 1st of August, 1991, until May 1992,"
20 and that is the period about which they themselves say that the SFRY
21 existed then. So they go on to say, "Slobodan Milosevic, acting alone or
22 in concert with other known and unknown members of the joint criminal
23 enterprise, planned, instigated, ordered, committed," et cetera, et
24 cetera, "aided and abetted the deportations or forcible transfers of the
25 Croat and other non-Serb civilian populations." That is all in -- during
1 the existence of the SFRY.
2 And then paragraph 68: "In order to achieve this objective, Serb
3 forces comprised of JNA, TO and volunteer units including the 'White
4 Eagles,' 'Seselj's men' -" so this is a specific reference to your name -
5 "'Dusan Silni' and 'Arkan's Tigers,' in cooperation with police units,
6 including 'Martic's Police,' SNB -" I don't know what that means but it is
7 probably again -- I don't know what SNB means - "and Serbian MUP and
8 others under the effective control of Slobodan Milosevic or other
9 participants in the joint criminal enterprise, surrounded Croat towns and
10 villages and demanded their inhabitants to surrender their weapons,
11 including legally owned hunting rifles. Then, the towns and villages were
12 attacked, even when those inhabitants had complied with the demands.
13 These attacks were intended to compel the population to flee."
14 And then it goes on to say that they were "... forcibly
15 transferred to locations in Croatia controlled by the Croatian government
16 or deported to locations outside Croatia, in particular Serbia and
18 Mr. Seselj, what can you tell us about this?
19 A. First of all, there was never any plan about the deportation or
20 forcible transfer of the Croatian or any other population.
21 Secondly, there was never an organised or systematic deportation
22 or forcible transfer.
23 Thirdly, there is not a single case where Croats who had
24 previously been armed by the Tudjman regime handed over their weapons to
25 the JNA or to the Territorial Defence or the Serbian police and after that
1 hand-over their villages were attacked. There is no such case, not a
2 single one.
3 Tudjman armed the Croats intensively in areas where the Serb
4 population was in the majority, in the Krajina, and there is evidence to
5 support this. I've already mentioned a case where weapons were found in
6 shipments of flour for the Croats in Knin.
7 The Serbian authorities of the Krajina and the JNA demanded the
8 handing over of those weapons, but nowhere where weapons were actually
9 handed over was there an attack. Such things happened only in Bosnia
10 where, in the village of Glogova, the Muslims handed over their weapons
11 after which 65 helpless civilians were slaughtered and killed. In the
12 conflicts on the former Croatian federal unit, this never happened.
13 And finally, even had this happened, you could not have had any
14 role in it whatsoever.
15 Q. Well, not to speak only of my own role. Could the authorities of
16 the Republic of Serbia or the representatives of its government have had a
18 A. No, absolutely not. There was no organ of the Republic of Serbia
19 who had any kind of competencies there. Only volunteers from Serbia could
20 have been there as part of the JNA and the Territorial Defence. No
21 official players from Serbia could have been present on the ground there.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic and Mr. Seselj, the question and
23 the answer appear to proceed on the basis of what was the de jure
24 position. You just said that Serbia had no competence in that area, but I
25 have to remind you that the indictment proceeds on the basis that there
1 were laws, there were legal competencies assigned, but these were
2 breached. So it's not an answer to the indictment simply to say what the
3 de jure position was. You will see references to effective control. What
4 the indictment is looking at is what happened as a matter of fact before
5 the laws were complied with. Then there would have been no indictment,
6 for the essential allegation in the indictment is that there were laws and
7 legal competencies properly assigned to certain organs but these were
8 breached, and it is the breaches which happened as a matter of fact that
9 the indictment alleges.
10 So I'd invite you to attend to the factual situation, to answer
11 the factual situation. So in addition to saying what the legal position
12 is, then you should also say, if that is your evidence - I cannot say
13 whether it is your evidence - that nothing of that kind happened as matter
14 of fact, and then I think you would be giving what might be a more
15 complete answer to the allegations in the indictment.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Seselj, on a separate matter, who was
17 responsible for killing the 65 Muslim civilians?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Miroslav Deronjic. Miroslav
19 Deronjic demanded -- he was the president of the Crisis Staff of Bratunac
20 municipality, and he demanded that the Muslims hand over their weapons and
21 guaranteed full security for them if they did. They handed over their
22 weapons and then Deronjic attacked the village of Glogova and 65 unarmed
23 Muslim civilians were killed.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I fully understand, Mr. Robinson,
1 what you are talking about, but I assert that de facto no institution and
2 no government body in Serbia took part in breaches of the law on the
3 territory of the Krajina. In those places where there was sporadic
4 breaches of the law -- and these figures here are exaggerated, there's no
5 doubt of it. It's not possible that 170.000 Croats were deported. The
6 Croats mostly left of their own accord, just as the Serbs fled from the
7 territories under the control of the Serb forces. Likewise, the same
8 happened on this side. And of course there were breaches of the law in
9 places, but de facto no official body from Serbia was involved in such
10 breaches of the law.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Serbia cannot be held responsible
13 for something that Arkan's Tigers may have done, Dusan Silni, the White
14 Eagles, and so on. That has nothing to do with the government authorities
15 in Serbia. That's my testimony. Neither formally nor de facto.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. Mr. Milosevic.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Seselj, now that we're discussing this topic - let's leave
19 these quotations aside for a moment - at the time of these civil wars in
20 Croatia and Bosnia, from 1991 until the end of the war, did any Croats or
21 Muslims whose forces were fighting the Serb forces in Croatia and Bosnia,
22 were any of these people expelled from Serbia?
23 A. No, no one was ever forcibly removed or expelled or deported from
25 Q. Was anyone arrested in Serbia because of their ethnicity or
1 discriminated in any way throughout these ten years?
2 A. I guarantee that in Serbia throughout all this time no one was
3 ever arrested because of their ethnic, racial, or religious affiliation,
4 and no one was discriminated against in any way as a citizen.
5 Q. Mr. Seselj, do you remember that in Serbia we had Muslim refugees
6 from Bosnia? There were over 70.000 of them.
7 A. Yes. A large number of Muslims from the area of Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina took refuge in Serbia when war broke out, especially those who
9 had relatives or friends or who were able to find their way to Serbia in
10 some other way. And those who did not were assisted by the authorities in
11 Serbia in the same way that the Serbs who had been expelled or who had
12 fled were assisted. No distinction was made.
13 Q. Was there a single case of someone arriving in Serbia, which was
14 completely peaceful and where there was no fighting, no war, who did not
15 receive protection, who was not able to live in peace like any other
17 A. No. There is not a single instance of anything like that. Let me
18 draw your attention to a characteristic example. During the operations
19 for the liberation of Srebrenica in 1995, a large number -- I can't be
20 precise about the number, but a large number of Muslim soldiers swam
21 across the River Drina and fled to Serbia. In Serbia, they were given
22 decent accommodation, and a few days later they were allowed to leave and
23 go wherever they wanted. It never occurred to anyone to hand them over to
24 the Serb authorities of Republika Srpska. It never occurred to anyone to
25 hand them over to Miroslav Deronjic in Bratunac, for example. They could
1 leave Serbia and go literally wherever they wanted to.
2 Q. That was an entire brigade?
3 A. I can't remember the exact number of men.
4 Q. On the following day, they were visited by all the diplomatic
5 representatives at my request.
6 A. I know for certain that they were given decent accommodation, that
7 they were given decent food while they were accommodated there. Nobody
8 ever maltreated them and they were able to leave and go literally wherever
9 they liked.
10 Q. So it says here that I, because this is an indictment against me,
11 but also the authorities of Serbia deported people and that I thereby
12 committed deportation, a crime against humanity, a grave breach of the
13 Geneva Conventions, and so on. In view of the fact that this trial is
14 public, the citizens of Serbia who witnessed what was happening in Serbia
15 all this time should hear what the charges against me are.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: The indictment is public.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, people can't read this
18 on the Internet, citizens, but a large number of people in Serbia and
19 Republika Srpska is following this on television, and they're all amazed
20 at what it says here.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... that remark
22 because the trial is not to be used for that purpose, to publicise the
23 indictment. It's already public.
24 Please proceed.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. You see, Mr. Seselj, in paragraph (l), and this is something I am
2 charged with, it says here, "wilful destruction of residential housing and
3 other public and historical --"
4 THE INTERPRETER: Could the interpreters have a reference, please.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, the interpreters are asking for a
6 fuller reference. 36(l). I think he just said (l). 36(l).
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, 36 (l). As I'm dealing with
8 36, I thought they would bear this in mind.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Look here: "The deliberate destruction of homes, other public and
11 private property," and so on and so forth, "of the non-Serb population in
12 Dubrovnik and its environs, Vukovar, Erdut, Lovas, Sarengrad, Bapska,
13 Tovarnik, Vocin, Saborsko, Skabrnja, Nadin and Bruska, as described," it
14 says here, "in paragraphs 71 and 77 to 82."
15 Let us now look at paragraph 71, where this is described. It says
16 that this is wanton destruction, plunder of public or private property.
17 So I wantonly destroyed and plundered public or private property.
18 "From the 1st of August 1991 until May 1992, Slobodan Milosevic,
19 acting alone or in concert with other known and unknown members of the
20 joint criminal enterprise, planned, instigated, ordered, committed or
21 otherwise aided and abetted the planning, preparation, or execution of the
22 wanton destruction and plunder of the public and private property of the
23 Croat and other non-Serb population, within the territories of the SAO
24 SBWS ... although these actions were not justified by military necessity."
25 What kind of military force from Serbia was in that area?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. There was no armed force from Serbia active in these areas. It
2 was exclusively the JNA. Sporadically certain paramilitary formations who
3 were outside JNA control did turn up, and there was looting and deliberate
4 destruction but never under orders from the JNA commands. These could
5 only have been isolated incidents, groups turning up to loot. That did
6 occur. But these groups that engaged in looting could have had nothing to
7 do with the government authorities in Serbia either formally or de facto.
8 Q. It's very clear because -- it's very important that you always
9 draw attention to the de facto situation as Mr. Robinson has this aspect
10 in mind.
11 A. Well, looting was a frequent occurrence on both sides. That
12 cannot be denied. It did happen, but this was never organised or
13 systematically carried out by the Serb side, either by the government
14 organs of Serbian Krajina or by the JNA. This was done by spontaneously
15 organised gangs of robbers and looters.
16 Q. It says here from the 1st of August, and this refers to Dalj,
17 Vukovar, Erdut, Lovas, Sarengrad, Bapska and Tovarnik from August to
18 October 1992; and then Western Slavonia from August to December 1991, SAO
19 Krajina from August to December 1991, and these towns are listed again.
20 Tell me, those periods of time from August to October to December
21 1991, who was participating in the hostilities at the time throughout this
22 period in all these locations?
23 A. It was the JNA with the Croatian separatist paramilitary
24 formations throughout this time.
25 Q. Well, it says here that at that time, from August to October 1991
1 during the conflicts in Croatia I committed widespread plunder and
2 destruction not justified by military necessity, that I wantonly destroyed
3 and plundered villages, destroyed and -- intentionally destroyed homes and
4 religious and cultural buildings. When it says here religious and
5 cultural buildings, Mr. Seselj, throughout these events was a single
6 mosque or Catholic church destroyed in Serbia?
7 A. No. In Serbia not a single mosque or Catholic church was
8 destroyed, or any other house of worship. However, in some of these
9 places, such as Vukovar, for example, I know of no building that was
10 destroyed deliberately, either privately owned or religious or any other.
11 Large numbers of buildings were destroyed during the military operations.
12 Even the Orthodox church in Vukovar has been destroyed. I know of no
13 building in Vukovar that was destroyed intentionally, targeted by someone
14 because it was a certain kind of building. But in Vukovar, literally
15 there was fighting for every house, for every building. One could say
16 that the JNA did not have a well developed tactics of taking part in urban
17 warfare, which is why they lost quite a large number of tanks initially
18 and so on. But literally there was fighting for every building.
19 Q. All right. When we are talking about Vukovar, it's a very
20 important subject here anyway, how did these conflicts come about in
22 A. The conflicts in Vukovar came about because the Croatian
23 paramilitary forces surrounded the JNA barracks and started targeting it
24 from different weapons.
25 Secondly, in the area of Vukovar, the Croatian police and
1 paramilitary forces tried to threaten the Serb civilian population.
2 Before the war, it cannot be said that there was any majority population
3 in Vukovar among all the ethnic groups. However, the Serbs were rather
4 numerous. That numerous that even the mayor of Vukovar was a Serb.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Were you in Vukovar at the time? Were you in
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. During the war I was in
8 Vukovar twice, and I was there once before the war, too, sometime in the
9 spring of 1991. That's when it was very calm and peaceful in Vukovar. I
10 freely walked about the streets of Vukovar in civilian clothing without
11 any kind of armed escorts, and there were no incidents whatsoever. During
12 the war, I came twice.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: But were you there at the relevant time in
14 relation to the conflicts alleged in the indictment?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes. Twice during the
16 relevant time. The last time was a month or 20 days prior to the
17 liberation of Vukovar. The first time was about a month before the
18 liberation of Vukovar. It's hard to remember the exact dates but it's not
19 hard to establish them. I always went to the front line, and I saw with
20 my very own eyes that there was fighting literally going on for every
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: I ask the question because your evidence is so
24 Mr. Milosevic, it might be as well if you elicited from the
25 witness the basis for his knowledge in relation to this very wide range of
1 matters that he's testifying about. It will help to make his evidence
2 more credible.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It was my understanding that the
4 witness had presented the basis for his knowledge.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Seselj, please, have you got anything to add to this? You
7 were there on the spot itself. You had your own volunteers within the
8 Yugoslav People's Army. You communicated with citizens. You communicated
9 with officials at the time.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: No, no, Mr. Milosevic. You must ask the witness
11 the question. You're giving him the answers.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, that's the question. Well,
13 I'm asking. He's already enumerated all of that.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. So all these persons, are they --
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let's proceed.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Now, look at this. It says here in subparagraph (l) -- I've
20 already read out 71 to you and you commented on it, and then from 77 to
21 82, it says. Look at 77 to 82. It's an entire page, everything contained
22 in this indictment against me.
23 A. I found it.
24 Q. It's Dubrovnik, as far as I can see. And then it says here from
25 the 1st of October, 1991, until the 7th of December, 1991. Look at that.
1 It seems that I waged some kind of artillery warfare here. It says that
2 Slobodan Milosevic -- that: "... during this same shelling attack,
3 Slobodan Milosevic, acting alone or in concert with other known and
4 unknown members of the joint criminal enterprise --" perhaps I shouldn't
5 read all of this since it's the usual thing -- "planned, instigated,
6 ordered, committed or otherwise aided and abetted the planning,
7 preparation and execution of the wanton destruction or wilful damage and
8 plunder of the public and private property of the Croat and other non-Serb
9 population within the area of the Dubrovnik Republic."
10 Please, Mr. Seselj, was there anyone from Serbia in the territory
11 of the Dubrovnik Republic in any way; directly, indirectly, whatever?
12 A. As far as I know, only I was there.
13 Q. It was my understanding that you were there to tour the
14 Herzegovina front.
15 A. Yes, and I was in the area of Konavle while the fighting was going
16 on. I visited some JNA units.
17 One day I was there where the actual firing squad of a unit was.
18 I saw with my very own eyes that in Konavle not a single house had been
19 destroyed or looted. There were a few cases when I saw some cows that
20 were killed by crossfire lying by the road, three or four cows. Not a
21 single house was destroyed or damaged. The soldiers had strict orders not
22 to touch civilian property. However, when the JNA was withdrawing towards
23 the end of 1991, then there was some spontaneous looting. Probably it was
24 hard for anyone to keep the soldiers under control then, and that is when
25 people broke into private homes and looted property.
1 Q. Let's just get this clear. Who was it that was looting this
2 property in Konavle? Was it soldiers from Serbia, reservists, active duty
3 soldiers? Who was it?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Who was doing this in Konavle?
6 A. To the best of my knowledge, only reservists from Montenegro were
7 there. Recently Milo Djukanovic admitted that some livestock had been
8 stolen in Konavle and taken to Montenegro and now he paid whatever,
9 300.000 euro by way of damages, but nothing came to Serbia. None of this
10 came to Serbia.
11 Also, as regards the shelling of the old town, that happened
12 sometime in the first half of December, because from the old town the
13 Croatian paramilitary forces opened fire at JNA units. JNA units had
14 casualties, fatalities from the gunfire, and then fire was returned.
15 According to international law, the very instant someone abuses a
16 place of worship or any cultural monument as a place for engaging in armed
17 activity, from that moment onwards, such a facility is no longer
19 Q. Mr. Seselj, let's just get this clear. This is what paragraph 81
20 says. I'm just going to read the beginning out to you. It says: "In
21 October 1991, the Serb forces took control of the Croatian towns and
22 villages Konavle, Zupa Dubrovacka --"
23 A. Where's that?
24 Q. 81.
25 A. Yes, yes, I found it.
1 Q. Please, in all these operations around Dubrovnik, in everything
2 that happened around Dubrovnik, can this term be used at all, this term
3 "Serb"? What kind of Serb forces took control of Dubrovnik? So what is
4 written here, "Serb forces," were there any Serb forces?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Was there a single member of any Serb forces in Dubrovnik?
7 A. No. There were no Serb forces there. There were only units of
8 the JNA, only units of the JNA. There weren't any paramilitary forces
9 either or Territorial Defence. In Trebinje, truth to tell, there was a TO
10 unit that was mobilised, but it didn't take part in the operations at all.
11 It was only operations units of the JNA that were taking part.
12 Q. And then reference is made here to all sorts of localities;
13 Dubrovnik, various places around Dubrovnik, the area of Dubrovacka Zupa
14 and so on.
15 Do you know that at that time the minister of defence, Veljko
16 Kadijevic, told all of us that it was not true at all that the army was
17 engaged in any operations in Dubrovnik?
18 A. Yes. The newspapers were full of reports to that effect.
19 MR. NICE: [Previous translation continues] ...
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ...
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Nice, please.
22 MR. NICE: "Do you know at that time the minister of defence,
23 Veljko Kadijevic, told all of us ..." and so on.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic: Not permissible form of
1 MR. NICE: And once more on an absolutely critical issue. So the
2 whole issue is now valueless from the mouth of this witness.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, since you're on your feet, in paragraph
4 77 of the indictment there's a reference to the area of the Dubrovnik
6 MR. NICE: Yes.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Is that a proper reference?
8 MR. NICE: I'm sure it's a proper reference. Let me see how --
9 I'll get an answer for why it was used, if that would help you.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
11 MR. NICE: But may I come back to that a little bit later because
12 I think that, given the history of the drafting of these documents, which
13 goes back over several years, it would be preferable for me to get you a
14 concise and simple answer.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Seselj, were you in the area of Dubrovnik at
17 all during the month of December?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My knowledge about what was going on
21 in the month of December is indirect, but I was in Dubrovnik sometime in
22 the end of September or beginning of October 1991, when the operations in
23 Konavle were going on. I was in Konavle while the fighting was still
24 going on. I was in Popovo Polje. I was in some other localities. I went
25 all the way up to Ljubinje. That's where the front line was, at Cavaska
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic. And no leading questions,
3 particularly on matters that are at issue between the Prosecution and the
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. So, Mr. Seselj, at that time -- or generally speaking, did Serbia
7 have any forces that it could have sent to Dubrovnik even if it wanted to?
8 A. No. Serbia did not have a military force or police unit that it
9 could have sent to the Dubrovnik front line even if it had wanted to. It
10 did not have any such thing.
11 Also, in connection with this mention of the Dubrovnik Republic,
12 there was an initiative by an opposition party in Montenegro to
13 re-establish this republic. However, this initiative was never carried
14 through. That is the historical area of the Dubrovnik Republic, but this
15 Dubrovnik Republic was abolished by Napoleon in 1808. After Napoleon's
16 defeat, it became part of Austro-Hungary or, rather, Austria, and all the
17 way up to 1918 it was within Austria.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you for that information, Mr. Seselj.
19 Mr. Milosevic.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. So, Mr. Seselj, if you look at all the counts mentioned here as we
22 are dealing with them in order, is there a grain of truth in anything that
23 is written here in this alleged indictment of Mr. Nice's?
24 A. No. But what I find of particular interest is that this
25 indictment was issued in Zagreb. I assume that indictments before this
1 Tribunal are issued in The Hague. This is an exception, that an
2 indictment against a Serb, the then president of the Republic of Serbia,
3 was issued in Zagreb. In Zagreb, Croatia, the 23rd of October, 2002.
4 It's all clear. It's all clear to me.
5 Q. We're going to deal with some of the other counts here, although
6 it is quite clear, I believe, to anyone who wishes to read this or to hear
7 this. Please look at paragraph 39 now.
8 Again we see your name there, but I'm not asking you only because
9 your name appears there, but --
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, get on with the questions. This
11 is not an occasion for comments.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, in order to put a question I
13 have to indicate --
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just indicate the relevant paragraph and put the
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Paragraph 39. I have it on page 11 in the Serbian text, although
18 I honour this language used here by calling it Serbian, because it is
19 really below any acceptable level.
20 So it says here that "Beginning August 1991 the Serb forces
21 including the volunteer units 'Seselj's men' and the 'White Eagles' were
22 in control of Vocin. On the 13th of December 1991, while the Serb forces
23 withdrew from Vocin and the surrounding area, they went from house to
24 house, killing a substantial portion of the remaining Croat civilian
1 So these two units are Seselj's men and the White Eagles. A total
2 of 32 civilians were killed by these two units before they withdrew on the
3 13th of December, 1991. The names of the victims are set out in Annex 1,
4 and so on.
5 Do you know anything about this; and if so, can you tell us about
6 this? Was there a volunteer unit of yours there in that area that could
7 have carried out any kind of crime in the area?
8 A. First of all, there were no volunteer units that were Seselj's
9 men. There were volunteers of the Serb Radical Party within the ranks of
10 the JNA who, on orders from the command of the JNA in charge, were
11 deployed in the Territorial Defence of Western Slavonia and were placed
12 under the control of the active army Colonel Trbojevic.
13 Our volunteers had strict political orders from the Serb Radical
14 Party not to have any contacts whatsoever with the White Eagles. I've
15 already said that, to the best of my knowledge, Veljko Dzakula brought the
16 White Eagles to Western Slavonia. How this happened can best be explained
17 by General Aleksandar Vasiljevic. I did not take part in having them
18 brought in.
19 Q. Wait a moment. Who was Veljko Dzakula?
20 A. Veljko Dzakula was the president of the Assembly of Western
21 Slavonia. On one occasion he was arrested in Belgrade on the suspicion
22 that he was a Croat spy, and he was kept in prison I don't know how many
23 days. He was suspected of working for the Croatian intelligence service.
24 Q. On what grounds?
25 A. Well, it was his conduct that gave rise to that suspicion. I
1 don't remember all that very well but I remember the time when he was
2 arrested and I remember why he was arrested.
3 Q. But what you just said, what is it based on, your claim that
4 Veljko Dzakula was the one who brought White Eagles to Western Slavonia?
5 A. I knew that already in 1991. When I was in Western Slavonia, I
6 also avoided all contact with the White Eagles. I didn't meet with them
7 at all. I met with many soldiers, with volunteers of the Serbian Radical
8 Party, with many civilians, both Serb and Croat, but I avoided
9 categorically all contact with members of the White Eagles. They were, in
10 my eyes, untouchables. And wherever they were, volunteers of the Serbian
11 Radical Party were told as a political suggestion, it was only a political
12 suggestion that did not bind them in any way, they could only have been
13 expelled from the party for non-compliance, but they had the political
14 instruction not to contact with the White Eagles.
15 Q. And who controlled the White Eagles at the time? Who commanded
17 A. Veljko Dzakula, as far as I know. Veljko Dzakula pursued his own
18 policy that was distinct from the policy of the leadership of the Serbian
19 Autonomous District of Western Slavonia. And all the time when I was in
20 Western Slavonia, I met with Vukelic, Prime Minister, Mr. Sasic and other
21 members of the leadership, but I never, ever met with Veljko Dzakula,
22 because the policies diverged drastically.
23 Q. It says here that your withdrew -- these units withdrew in
24 December 1991. Were they still there at the time?
25 A. Yes. And their withdrawal was rather chaotic when it happened
1 because the Serb forces could not withstand the onslaught of Croatian
2 paramilitary formations. On one day in the defence of Masicka Sagovina,
3 many volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party got killed in one day and
4 more were wounded. Many were taken prisoners. But I have no information
5 whatsoever that anybody killed Croatian civilians while withdrawing.
6 Q. Well, that's just an allegation put in here by Mr. Nice.
7 A. Well, it looks very nice here, the way it's put without any
8 evidence to support it, but it's not difficult at all to establish who by
9 name --
10 MR. NICE: [Previous translation continues] ... comment in this
11 way on matters that are not his province.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's a little bit on the balance, Mr. Nice, as
13 to whether the witness can say there is no evidence to support it.
14 But, Mr. Seselj, avoid comments of that kind. That may be more a
15 proper comment coming from the accused.
16 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. All right. Mr. Seselj, in connection with what Mr. Nice just
19 commented upon, I will ask you about something that is definitely your
20 province; Seselj's men. Did any Seselj's men exist there as an armed
21 unit, or is it true that there was a volunteer unit or is it simply a lie?
22 A. It is true that an armed unit, Seselj's men, existed, and it often
23 happened that -- that volunteers from the Serbian Radical Party and the
24 unit they formed were referred to as Seselj's men. Locals called them
25 Seselj's men, but there was no such thing as an armed unit officially
1 called Seselj's men.
2 Q. Can I ask you if --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Just before moving on, the start of that answer
4 was, "It is true that an armed unit, Seselj's men, existed ..."
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really don't know what your
6 interpreters are doing. I didn't say that, Mr. Bonomy.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, perhaps we -- it's of some importance, so
8 perhaps --
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is an error by the interpreter.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Seselj is beginning to answer too quickly
11 after the question is posed and that creates a lot of problems.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, here we have -- here we have come to the crux
13 of the -- one of the major problems throughout your evidence. The blame
14 for this difficulty is being placed squarely on your shoulders by
15 answering far too quickly, and we have now an answer that appears to say
16 it is true that an armed unit, Seselj's men, existed. Are you happy with
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I don't want this to happen, but
19 I'm not to blame. I can't accept that.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: It's also the result of another problem in the
21 presentation of this evidence, that this particular question has been
22 asked over and over again and it's inevitable, I suppose, if you ask it
23 long enough, you'll cause confusion -- rather, ask it often enough, you'll
24 cause confusion.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Only one thing is missing here, the
1 word "not." The record currently says, "It is true," whereas Mr. Seselj
2 said, "It is not true." That's what Mr. Seselj said.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well, Mr. Seselj. You see the kind of
4 problem that can arise by answering too quickly. Once again, you must
5 observe a pause before answering Mr. Milosevic.
6 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
7 JUDGE KWON: Just a pause. A long pause is necessary. You always
8 start to answer while the translation of the question is being -- going
10 Proceed, Mr. Milosevic.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Seselj, even those volunteers who were at that time within the
13 JNA, were they under your control?
14 A. In no way could they have been under my control. However, in a
15 certain way I tried to make sure and made additional efforts to persuade
16 them that they should be disciplined, but the only thing I would have -- I
17 could have done to sanction any untoward behaviour was to expel them from
18 the party.
19 Q. Were there any elements from Serbia in Western Slavonia?
20 A. No, there were no elements from Serbia in Western Slavonia,
21 formally or informally.
22 Q. De jure or de facto?
23 A. Neither.
24 Q. Mr. Seselj, do you know any -- anything about the events in Vocin?
25 A. I heard about these events. I even publicly condemned the
1 perpetrators of these crimes. But since that came to fall within my
2 indictment, I don't want to repeat who I condemned. The Office of the
3 Prosecutor has in their possession all my public statements.
4 Q. Well, they charged you on account of your address to the
5 volunteers in Vocin and thereby instigating the crimes that followed; the
6 burning, et cetera.
7 A. They can charge me with whatever they like. They can charge me
8 for Kennedy's murder if they like. It's up to them. But it's a real
9 delicacy for me to tear apart the indictment raised against me.
10 I'm testifying here about your indictment and my knowledge about
11 the events I have any knowledge of.
12 The killing of a certain number of Croat civilians did occur. I
13 don't know the exact number. As soon as I found out about it, I publicly
14 condemned the perpetrators in Belgrade. And I know that General
15 Vasiljevic, who happened to be in Western Slavonia during its fall, did
16 not do anything.
17 I'll give you another fact. One of the commanders of those units
18 that included volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party was Radovan Novacic.
19 Radovan Novacic's father is a Croat. It's not possible that Radovan
20 Novacic, who was a true Yugoslav of truly Yugoslav orientation -- and he
21 was close to Vocin, commanding a company, I think. He was at Vocin and I
22 visited him too. He lost a lot during the war. It's not possible that
23 Radovan Novacic would be killing Croat civilians if his father is a Croat.
24 Father was a Croat and mother was Serbian. He wanted to preserve Croatia
25 within Yugoslavia maybe, but not kill Croat civilians.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. In the transcript on page 10.432, Witness C037 states that some
2 local people told him that your radicals had taken part in causing the
3 exodus of the population on the 23rd of December, 1991, in Pakrac. Have
4 you got any knowledge about this?
5 A. No. You know, this secondhand testimony is always unreliable.
6 I'll give you a specific example. A story circulated or, rather, cropped
7 up in various places in Bosnia and Herzegovina that Seselj was coming with
8 thousands of his Chetniks. He was feeding them some pills whose effect
9 was to keep them awake, able to go without sleep, for a week without
10 eating. They can keep on cutting throats. That's one of the stories that
11 circulated. I am here to talk about facts, not to discuss other people's
13 It's a big problem when you bring witnesses who testify about
14 something that somebody told them. That's nonsense. No lawyer can treat
15 this with any seriousness.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Seselj, I observe that you have given
17 evidence of that kind, and the Chamber -- the Chamber receives it. We are
18 allowed to receive hearsay evidence. The question as to what weight is to
19 be attached to it is another matter.
20 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't really have the impression
22 that Mr. Seselj was giving hearsay evidence, but we can establish that
23 from the transcript.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: He has given hearsay evidence in answer to Judge
25 Bonomy as to whether he was in a particular place in, I think, December
1 1991. He said no, he wasn't there. How did he get the information? He
2 received it.
3 Let's move on.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Another witness was Dzuro Matovina here. He was not a protected
6 witness. His testimony is on page 10996, 7 December 2002. He mentions in
7 his testimony that during attacks on Vocin and surrounding villages
8 volunteers under your command took part.
9 Would you have a direct reply to that?
10 A. There is not a single instance in that war that I was ever in
11 command anywhere. I never even had occasion to have effective command,
12 nor did I have a legal position that would put me in command, nor was I
13 there in the first place when those things happened that we can read about
14 in your indictment. That happened about 20 days after I left Western
15 Slavonia, and it happened in a chaotic situation during the Serb exodus
16 before greatly overpowering Croatian forces.
17 As to the scale of the crime, you can make a judgement only if you
18 compare the number of civilians on the Croat side who were killed with the
19 number of Serb civilians killed during Serbian withdrawal and Croatian
20 conquest of Western Slavonia. I tell you that there are many more Serb
21 victims, but the Office of the Prosecutor here is not interested in
22 hearing it. They didn't prosecute a single Croat for the crimes in
23 Western Slavonia.
24 Q. Well, they didn't prosecute anything for the greatest ethnic
25 cleansing of all, the Storm operation.
1 MR. NICE: It's absurd to think that he doesn't know that what he
2 is doing is contrary to your rules, and the time may come when I will
3 invite the Chamber yet again to ask itself the question whether conscious,
4 repeated disobedience of your rules doesn't invoke reconsideration of the
5 use of assigned counsel. He wants to be his own advocate; he ought to
6 behave like one.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have a problem with the
8 interpretation. I do have a problem with the interpretation. Please.
9 There occurred a problem.
10 I don't know what "opetovano" means.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm not sure what it means either if indeed it
12 were used.
13 Mr. Milosevic, comments are not allowed. You waste the time of
14 the Court in that manner.
15 MR. NICE: Your Honours, I see the time. Can I help with the
16 question that you raised earlier about the drafting?
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
18 MR. NICE: And given the author of the document, of which I, of
19 course, happily accept general responsibility, it would be surprising if
20 there wasn't a precise and perfectly conceived reason for the drafting in
21 the form that you find.
22 And indeed, if the Chamber is good enough to go back to paragraph
23 6 of the Croatian indictment, you will see that the terminology used is
24 very precisely explained there, where it sets out the characteristics of
25 the alleged joint criminal enterprise, and then it says in the second half
1 of the paragraph: "These areas included those regions that were referred
2 to by Serb authorities and are hereinafter referred to as..." and then it
3 sets out the various titles.
4 And so therefore, the adoption for the rest of the indictment of
5 the phrase "Dubrovnik Republic" was simply a use by the drafter of the
6 terminology used by the Serb authorities.
7 Since the Court raised the issue, we have been trying to identify,
8 perhaps to assist you, the particular document or one of the particular
9 documents that may have been in mind at that particular time, and there
10 certainly was, amongst other documents, a document produced in the
11 evidence of Paponjak which may be one of those that was in mind. The
12 Court will have in mind, of course, that Dubrovnik Republic is, from the
13 evidence of this witness himself, a concept well known and regularly used.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Is it only in paragraph 77?
16 MR. NICE: I beg Your Honour's pardon?
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: It is only in that paragraph, 77?
18 MR. NICE: I can't say whether it appears in any other intervening
19 paragraphs, but its use in paragraph 77 was foreshadowed and explained in
20 the paragraph that I've just read out.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: If in other paragraphs you mainly refer to
22 Dubrovnik, I wonder whether there is not some confusion.
23 MR. NICE: Well, I will --
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: I think in other areas you refer to the district
25 of Dubrovnik or simply Dubrovnik or the city of Dubrovnik.
1 MR. NICE: City of Dubrovnik of course might have a particular
2 meaning, referring to the walled and ancient city as opposed to the
3 broader area contemplated by the phrase "Dubrovnik Republic" or if the
4 phrase "area of Dubrovnik" was used, to that term as well.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see. It's in paragraph 67 again. We'll have a
6 look at it.
7 We'll adjourn for 20 minutes.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just before the break, a few words
11 about what Mr. Nice said.
12 He just said that the term "Dubrovacka Republika," the Dubrovnik
13 Republic, is something he uses -- he took over from the terminology of the
14 Serbian authorities. The term Dubrovnik Republic was not used in any
15 terminology of the Serb authorities.
16 MR. NICE: And Your Honours, I should have said it was Poljanic,
17 not Paponjak. It was my mistake.
18 JUDGE KWON: Who was the mayor of Dubrovnik. We dealt with it.
19 MR. NICE: Yes.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: We will adjourn for 20 minutes.
21 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
22 --- On resuming at 10.54 a.m.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yesterday, if you recall, when I put
2 questions in connection with the testimony of Dulovic and Anastasijevic,
3 Mr. Seselj pointed out that he had submitted certain submissions. My
4 collaborators have made copies here. It says number 55 -- submission
5 number 55 and number 56 to the Prosecution. These submissions refer to
6 these two witnesses. Both submissions were made on the 24th of November,
7 2004; almost a year ago. I don't have the translations here, but I
8 assume, as they were handed in over a year ago, that the other side has in
9 the meantime obtained translations.
10 I wish to put a few questions in connection with these to
11 Mr. Seselj, and I tender both these submissions as exhibits because they
12 contain numerous arguments impeaching the testimony of these two witnesses
13 that Mr. Nice called.
14 Could the liaison officer give Mr. Seselj copies. My
15 collaborators have made 15 copies of these documents, both of them, the
16 submissions by Mr. Seselj. It says this was submitted to the OTP,
17 Ms. Hildegard Uertz-Retzlaff, Ulrich Mussemeyer, Daniel Saxon, and in both
18 cases this -- the date was the 24th of November, 2004.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mr. Seselj, have you received the copies?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Please be kind enough --
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: The Chamber has not yet received them.
24 Mr. Milosevic, let me hear again exactly what it is that you
25 intend to do with these documents.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] To put it in a nutshell,
2 Mr. Robinson, I wish to tender them as exhibits. Yesterday, if you
3 recall, on several occasions I quoted the statements made by these
4 witnesses or, rather, their testimonies, and Mr. Seselj mentioned that he
5 had made submissions. He --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Milosevic read more slowly, please.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- of the Rules of Procedure and
9 I have been told by the interpreters to read this to more slowly.
10 The title is "Notice to the accused in this case -- by the accused
11 Mr. Seselj that he intends to present a separate Defence in accordance
12 with Rule 67(A) and (B) of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence."
13 These are two witnesses who made many claims in the course of
14 their testimony here, and --
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Do these documents relate exclusively to these
16 two witnesses or do they cover other matters and other witnesses?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] As far as I'm able to understand,
18 they relate to these two witnesses. However, they mention many other
19 aspects of these matters. They talk about the Vreme magazine and its role
20 and so on and so forth.
21 However, tendering these two documents would save time, because it
22 would make it possible for me to refrain from asking Mr. Seselj many
23 questions in connection with these two witnesses. He has made written
24 submission in connection with the testimony of these two witnesses, so it
25 would save time.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Nice.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, yes.
5 MR. NICE: We would object to the production of these documents to
6 this Court. If they are produced, then I'll have some very specific
7 questions to ask of the witness about the whole purpose of their original
8 production, but I'd rather not go into that now. It's sufficient to
9 observe at this stage that these documents constitute argument by this
10 witness about two other potential witnesses in his case and two existing
11 witnesses in our case.
12 Insofar as he can give evidence of fact about those witnesses who
13 have given evidence in this case, of course that's acceptable. It can't
14 be rejected, couldn't possibly be argued against. But insofar as he's
15 putting together a document, or has put together and now through this
16 accused seeks to lay before you documents of argument about the value of
17 other witnesses, it should be rejected. It's opening the door far too
18 wide to categories of material that shouldn't be before you.
19 It may be you'll need to have a look at the documents a little bit
20 more to see their general nature, but in summary that's what they
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: If it relates to evidence that they have given in
23 there case, wouldn't it be relevant?
24 MR. NICE: Well, a written comment by a witness, saying -- coming
25 in, that means that any witness is going to be allowed to present to you,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 or might be allowed to present to you his own written arguments on why you
2 should reject other witnesses.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: It may not just be comment.
4 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I said insofar as he can give evidence of
5 fact about the witnesses, fine. Let him give the evidence if it's
6 material, if he hasn't already done so. Insofar as it's comment and
7 argument, it's quite wrong for the Chamber to allow witnesses to bring in
8 through an accused's application their own written arguments about
9 existing witnesses.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Nice.
11 Mr. Kay.
12 MR. KAY: It looks almost like a Rule 89(F) application to my eyes
13 that is being made but without actually technically following the
14 procedure of Rule 89(F). That's what it looks like.
15 Aside of Rule 89(F), as documents themselves, I can't provide any
16 argument in line with the Trial Chamber's recent decisions in relation to
17 the admissibility of documents. A decision we had very recently on
18 Jasovic, the earlier decisions we've had in March and April of this year
19 that cause them to be justified as exhibits in relation to production by a
20 witness of exhibits. But as a result 89(F) statement, if it was to be
21 within that procedure, then of course it is capable of being admissible by
22 that means rather than any other means.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, part of the difficulty I have is not
24 knowing what the contents are. One would have to discern the contents.
25 Some of it may be matters of fact. Some of it may be comment. But you're
1 saying irrespective of that it might fall under -- it would follow under
2 Rule 89(F).
3 MR. KAY: It is capable, if the procedure was followed as outlined
4 by the Appeals Chamber of Rule 89(F), it is capable of coming within that
5 class of documentation.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: The witness is here to be cross-examined.
7 MR. KAY: We haven't followed the rules of the procedure according
8 to the decision of the Appeals Chamber, but it falls still to be -- to
9 arise under that.
10 The rules of the Appeals Chamber were that they be served on the
11 Prosecution in advance, the witness be called, he confirm his statement,
12 and then the witness be tendered for cross-examination.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Kay. We'll consult.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Kay, when did you receive a copy of this?
15 MR. KAY: Two minutes ago.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: So your submission is not based on an analysis of
17 the contents of this.
18 MR. KAY: I've been able to read it very, very quickly and see
19 what it is.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, as quickly as I have, I suppose.
21 MR. KAY: Yes.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson. Mr. Robinson.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Before you reach a decision, I
2 wanted to point out a few other facts to you. This is without doubt part
3 of the testimony of Mr. Seselj about these witnesses.
4 Secondly, as to what Mr. Kay said, that it should be submitted to
5 the other side is closed, it was submitted to them on the 24th of
6 November, 2004. And furthermore, there is no obstacle to Mr. Nice
7 cross-examining on this.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: But not submitted to them in 2004 for the
9 purposes of this case. And is there anything in it, Mr. Milosevic, that
10 is anything more than argument, argument and comment?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Of course there is. I'll put a
12 question to Mr. Seselj.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. What is there in these documents as regards facts apart from
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: No, no. Don't put -- you're making your
17 submissions to us now. If we need the witness, we'll ask him to -- we'll
18 ask him to comment, but at this stage we're concerned with your legal
19 submissions for the admission of these documents, and I have asked you if
20 there is anything in it that is more than comment and argument. If it is
21 only argument and comment, I'm not going to admit it. I will not admit
23 JUDGE KWON: So, Mr. Kay, the problem I have with this is that
24 this is not a submission submitted by a witness for -- as his statement.
25 This is an argument of a party. So what is your observation on this
2 MR. KAY: You could still -- Your Honour is quite right in
3 relation to what it is and what its content is, and --
4 JUDGE KWON: So the problem is probative value it has, whether it
5 has any probative value as evidence.
6 MR. KAY: Unless it was put in a form for Rule 89(F), which is a
7 -- because there are facts in there in the sense of what this witness was
8 able to see or what he read and what he concluded from what he read, so
9 what his state of mind was. It hasn't been perhaps drafted in a way that
10 Rule 89(F) would generally recognise such a statement. So perhaps it
11 could come within that procedure, but it has not been brought within that
12 procedure, and I can't see any point which I could improve upon the
13 observation Your Honour made about it containing argument. It plainly is
14 argument within his case. It hasn't been prepared as a Rule 89(F)
15 statement for this case.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, you haven't said anything so far
17 to convince us that this is a statement of a witness, that it is anything
18 other than the argument, the comments of this witness on two other
19 witnesses in his case. Can you point us to anything that is of a factual
20 nature in these documents?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] What is of a factual nature is,
22 inter alia, what Mr. Seselj spoke about yesterday, that these are
23 witnesses who wrote about events in Eastern Slavonia and Vukovar in one
24 way up to a certain point in time, he even mentioned the year 1995, and
25 then after 1995 wrote in a completely different way. And this is a
1 comparison between what they wrote at that time and what they testified to
3 I hope Mr. Seselj can assist me. He even refers to the testimony
4 of one of them before a Special Court in Belgrade.
5 So these are facts, not just arguments and comment.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: The Chamber's ruling is that we will not admit
8 these documents. They are not statements of the witness. They're
9 arguments prepared by him in relation to two other witnesses in his own
11 However, Mr. Milosevic, we will allow you to put to the witness
12 questions relating to matters of fact that arise, that are mentioned in
13 the documents.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Seselj, in this document, in your motion of the 24th of
16 November - number 55, that is - you gave certain quotations. For example,
17 on page 31, paragraph 3 --
18 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note that they have not
19 received the document.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, the interpreters haven't received
21 the document.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] They will receive copies straight
24 What is stated here are facts, Mr. Robinson, facts that pertain to
25 Ovcara and assertions made by a witness here, a witness who testified
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, do you need the statement? Do you need
3 this document in order to put that question to the witness? How does the
4 document assist?
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, the document assists because
6 it practically disqualifies these two witnesses, showing how contradictory
7 their writings were when compared to their statements made here. And to
8 what extent can any serious person rely on the allegations made by them?
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Mr. Seselj --
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: The witness is here to give the evidence. He can
12 give it in answer to the question.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, what I wanted to do,
14 Mr. Robinson, was to save time, not to go through these documents at all.
15 Since this was copied from a book, one has 100 pages. So that's about 200
16 pages of your transcript. That's as long as it would be. The other one
17 is half as long. It's very voluminous material. There are many questions
18 contained in it. We could spend an entire day asking him about these
20 With the best of intentions of saving time, I wanted to have this
21 exhibited and leave Mr. Nice time to put any kind of questions he wishes
22 to in his cross-examination. Of course, that is up to him entirely. I
23 cannot affect him in any way.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: We have passed that now because we have ruled we
25 are not admitting it.
1 MR. NICE: Your Honour, there is an initial problem identified by
2 the very first question that the accused has asked, and I think that,
3 although I'm leaving it to the Chamber, of course, to decide whether and
4 to what extent the document itself may or may not be used by the accused
5 and the witness in this part of the evidence, if the Court goes, for the
6 purposes of argument, to the larger document page 7, I think we'll find
7 the passage that the accused has it in mind to take the witness to, and
8 he's there setting out - I think this is the paragraph probably -
9 "Anastasijevic wrote," and then there's set out presumably something from
10 a newspaper article.
11 If it's intended to get before you the contents of newspaper
12 articles written by Anastasijevic or the other witness, then what you need
13 is copies of those articles. That should have been provided. That's what
14 should have been the evidence. And having it secondhand and through oral
15 testimony is entirely unsatisfactory and makes the process of
16 cross-examination even more difficult.
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Let us hear the question you're putting.
19 And the English page number, with Mr. Nice's help, is page 7.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Seselj, on page 31 here, you quote Anastasijevic, his text,
22 and it says: "The cameras of television reporters filmed a stout officer
23 with a large moustache threatening a scrawny fair-haired representative of
24 the International Red Cross, saying he would throw him into the Vuka river
25 if he persists --"
1 JUDGE BONOMY: I am bamboozled at the moment by the form of
2 procedure that's being adopted here. This document is not admitted. I
3 don't have it in front of me. If you've got questions about matters that
4 Mr. Seselj can deal with from his own direct experience, then they have to
5 be put as questions, not as quotations from you. I just don't follow
6 what's happening here. This is an attempt to use one witness to express
7 views and argument about the evidence given by other witnesses in this
8 case, and I find that a process that is not appropriate. It's a matter
9 for argument at the end of the trial. It's not a matter of evidence, the
10 way it's being conducted at the moment.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, this is not the kind of question
12 that you can ask. This doesn't relate to an issue of fact within the
13 knowledge of the witness. It's not the kind of use that the Chamber is
14 permitting you to make of the document.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: The Chamber, by majority, will not allow that
17 question to be put.
18 Mr. Milosevic, as I said, you may put to the witness questions of
19 fact within his knowledge.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Seselj, yesterday I quoted the original transcript to you. I
22 quoted several statements. I cannot mention all of them now, but you will
23 recall that. Several statements made by witnesses Dulovic and
24 Anastasijevic in these proceedings, and you fully refuted that. By
25 refuting their statements, you indicated certain motions that you sent to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the other side in relation to those particular witnesses. Did you base
2 these motions on some facts that have to do with these proceedings or did
3 you just give your comments and opinions about these witnesses in these
5 A. I presented facts, first and foremost, in these motions and only
6 then comments. Motions -- the motions were actually written by the expert
7 team that is there to assist my Defence. They submitted that to me on the
8 basis of their own thorough investigations. Their investigations involved
9 three aspects; testimony in court proceedings, newspaper articles written
10 both by Dulovic and Anastasijevic, and official police information about
11 their behaviour in the relevant period.
12 Here in these motions there was something that was indicated very
13 emphatically, namely the differences between what Jovan Dulovic wrote in
14 Ekspres Politika while the war was going on and the operations that he
15 wrote about, especially the operations in the liberation of Vukovar and
16 his later writings in Vreme.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. I don't think we are being helped by that.
18 Mr. Milosevic, if you have specific questions which fall within
19 the ambit that I have indicated, then you may put them.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Robinson.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. What are the main differences that you indicate in these motions?
23 A. There is an enormous number of differences in the way in which
24 events were presented during the war and a few years after the war. Also,
25 in Dulovic's case there are enormous differences in terms of what he said
1 in his testimony and the proceedings against you in this Tribunal as
2 compared to his testimony in the Special Court in Belgrade where the group
3 of indictees related to the Ovcara crime is being tried.
4 Q. Could you please tell us what the main differences are in terms of
5 what he said here and what he said in his testimony before the Special
7 MR. NICE: Did he hear the evidence of the Special Court? Was he
8 there himself? Have efforts been made to produce to this Court the
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Milosevic, if witnesses make contradictory
11 statements, then the easy and simple way of establishing that is to
12 produce the transcripts of what they've said on two different occasions,
13 not to lead evidence which sounds at the moment like it's hearsay twice
14 removed from the event.
15 Now, this could be -- this could easily be done in writing and
16 save a lot of time if you gathered the material together. You've got all
17 the information you need from getting hold of the two motions that have
18 been referred to, but it's not going to help us to hear hearsay twice
19 removed about events in two different sets of proceedings.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Bonomy, Mr. Seselj has just
21 explained what his team did, and the list is here at the very end. It is
22 a very -- it is a team consisting of many members and also they are highly
23 qualified and competent. This is a matter of public record as well, the
24 transcripts of the Special Court in Belgrade and also the transcripts of
25 the Tribunal here.
1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Is that a fact, Mr. Seselj?
3 A. Yes, that is a fact.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: That's why, that's why it's a simple exercise for
5 you to do it properly and we should insist on you doing it properly.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, this is an area in which you could
7 have benefited from advice from assigned counsel. I perceive that this
8 could be a matter of some importance to your case, but the way in which it
9 is being handled makes it very difficult for the Chamber to hear it.
10 If you want to show inconsistencies between the evidence given by
11 these two witnesses in a court in Serbia and the evidence that they have
12 given here in this case, that may very well go to their credibility, but
13 how can you possibly do it through this witness? How can we be assisted?
14 You have had enough experience here to know that the way to do
15 that is to present a transcript of the testimony from the two cases. We
16 can have access to the transcript of the evidence here, but we would
17 certainly need to have access to the transcript in the -- of their
18 evidence in the Special Court as well, and that would make your case much
19 stronger as distinct from merely relying on this witness's recollection of
20 what was told to him.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, this witness has just done
22 what you said should be done. He compared the two in order to see how
23 reliable their statements are. I really have nothing to defend myself as
24 far as Vukovar is concerned here. I wish to have the truth established.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: But we do not before us the prior testimony of the
1 two witnesses in the Special Court, which is the point of the comparison.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, Mr. Seselj yesterday,
3 in response to a question I put, said that he submitted these motions to
4 the other side and that they contain many important points in order to
5 ascertain how unreliable the testimony of these witnesses is. So if he
6 mentioned that yesterday, I imagine I'm within my rights to ask why he
7 mentioned this, what he mentioned, and what the main elements of these
8 motions are. He mentioned that during his own testimony. I did not plan
9 in advance to submit these motions. He mentioned them. However, since I
10 consider them to be relevant, I'm asking the witness what they contain,
11 and I think that that is very logical.
12 When a witness mentions a particular fact, you have the right to
13 put subquestions to him related to what he himself mentioned. So I'm
14 asking him what these contradictions are indicating that these two
15 witnesses are totally unreliable.
16 Now, you're not letting him answer those questions, but that is
17 your own affair. I'm just indicating that that is my perfectly legitimate
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, we have been considering the
21 matter because it is an important one. It's important to your case, but
22 the way you have managed it, the way you have presented it is not going to
23 be of assistance. If we were to hear Mr. Seselj give evidence of the
24 discrepancies between the evidence given by those two witnesses here and
25 their evidence given in the Special Court merely on the basis of an
1 analysis done by others, an analysis not done by himself but by others, it
2 would be of very little weight, very little weight. So it's not going to
3 advance your case.
4 What you should do, and I tell you this because it could be
5 vitally important to your case because the discrepancies may be of such a
6 nature that they totally discredit the witnesses, you should get the
7 transcript of the evidence from the Special Court as well as the newspaper
8 writings and present them to us. And as I said, it may very well serve to
9 discredit the witnesses. But doing it through this witness is of very
10 little assistance, because that evidence -- to that evidence we will not
11 be able to attach much weight, even if theoretically, and I can put it no
12 higher than that, the evidence may be admissible as hearsay, it's not the
13 kind of evidence to which we would be able to attach great weight.
14 So this goes to the management of your case, and I am prepared to
15 allow you some time to get the transcript of the -- those two witnesses'
16 evidence in the Special Court and to bring to us evidence, not necessarily
17 through this witness, it could be through another witness, as to the
18 discrepancies. And the discrepancies may be of such a nature that they
19 discredit those witnesses. And that's why I have paid so much attention
20 to it, because these are matters that could serve to strengthen your case.
22 Do you understand what I've said, Mr. Milosevic?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I did, Mr. Robinson. You were very
24 clear. You're asking me to do something that Mr. Seselj has already done,
25 that is to make --
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: No. Let me correct you. He has not done what I
2 just said to you. We do not have the transcript of the evidence from the
3 Special Court here. What Mr. Seselj will be giving is second- or
4 thirdhand hearsay evidence of an analysis done by his experts. And as I
5 said, we will not be able to attach much weight to evidence of that kind.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right, Mr. Robinson. I
7 understand that Mr. Seselj cannot answer these questions now because you
8 do not allow it. But he had occasion yesterday to respond to many
9 allegations made by these witnesses, and he refuted them completely. I
10 really have no intention to deal with all the witnesses that Mr. Nice
11 tried to use to corroborate his unprovable allegations.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, bear in mind what I have said.
13 You have assigned counsel, but you do not make use of them. Nonetheless,
14 the Chamber has a duty to assist you since you are, in that sense,
15 virtually unrepresented. You're representing yourself, and it is a duty
16 of the Court to assist you. That is how it is in the jurisdiction from
17 which I come where an accused represents himself.
18 So bear in mind what I have told you. You can get the transcript
19 of the evidence of these two witnesses from the Special Court, and you
20 can, through an appropriate witness, put it to them so that the Chamber
21 may be alerted to discrepancies and discrepancies of such a nature that
22 their credibility could be affected.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I simply reinforce what has been said and make
24 one individual comment, which is this: That I, speaking for myself,
25 consider the evidence presented in this way to be inadmissible because it
1 has no probative value. I could not consider the evidence presented in
2 this way to be reliable when there's a perfectly simple, straightforward
3 way of producing the actual material which can be directly compared by the
4 Trial Chamber or through the evidence of a witness.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic, next question.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Seselj, we stopped at paragraph 49 of the Croatian indictment.
9 It's on page 12. I hope you can locate it. It says "Vukovar Hospital."
10 It all relates to that event in Ovcara.
11 Tell me, do you know anything about these events and is it correct
12 what's written here?
13 A. I know something about these events because I made efforts to find
14 out, but I'm not an eyewitness. And what I found out is rather reliable,
15 namely that the authorities of the Autonomous District of Eastern
16 Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem asked the JNA that some prisoners from
17 the Vukovar Hospital be turned over to them, with a demand that they be
18 tried for the crimes that they had previously committed over the civilian
19 population of Vukovar. And the information I got is that a certain
20 number, I don't know exactly how many, of those prisoners were turned over
21 to them, after which the prisoners were taken to the farm called Ovcara
22 whereupon the execution of those prisoners occurred.
23 Q. From all that you managed to find out, who was involved? Was the
24 JNA involved in any way?
25 A. According to my information, not a single officer of the JNA was
1 involved, and from what I learned it was some locals who did it who had
2 some outstanding accounts with the prisoners. But I have no direct
3 knowledge about it because I wasn't there.
4 Q. Then we will not delve into this any deeper because you don't know
5 any more about it than was available from media reports at the time.
6 A. I dealt with it because it was one of the charges in my
7 indictment. So I had to research it extensively, and my experts are
8 working on it, and the knowledge I have was obtained actually by my
10 What I know firsthand is that at the time of the execution, the
11 commander of the Guards Brigade was not in Vukovar, but General Aleksandar
12 Vasiljevic was.
13 Q. Very well.
14 JUDGE KWON: What do you mean by "firsthand," Mr. Seselj?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I learned from people who were
16 there, that is reliable information that I got, because I dealt with this
17 question, in a way.
18 JUDGE KWON: From whom did you hear that?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I talked to a large number of
20 people. I talked in particular to the commander of the Leva Supoderica
21 unit, Milan Lancuzanin, also known as Kameni. I couldn't even tell you
22 the names of all the people with whom I discussed it.
23 Just after the event happened, several months after the event, I
24 made intensive efforts to find out if by any chance some volunteer of the
25 Serbian Radical Party was involved.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Go ahead, Mr. Milosevic. We'll hear it.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. But you see, Mr. Seselj, precisely this witness Jovan Dulovic,
4 whom we mentioned before, mentioned on page 11669 that your men, your
5 drunken men, killed people from the Vukovar Hospital.
6 A. That's precisely what I'm doing here. I'm analysing. While the
7 fighting for Vukovar was going on, Jovan Dulovic had only praise for the
8 volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party, and he quoted my statements in
9 his reports, namely that I insist on discipline, on sobriety, and several
10 years later he comes up with totally opposite claims in his writings. He
11 praises Major Jovan Radic as an honourable and honest officer at the time,
12 whereas several years later he invokes his allegedly contemporaneous diary
13 and says that Major Radic was involved in crimes. These are incredible
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Seselj, where can we see these writings?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, you can see that from
17 transcripts. Second, from newspaper articles, and you can address
18 yourself to the state security service of Serbia, which is now called
19 Security and Documentation Agency.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Things that were said at the time which were praise
21 for you or praise for your volunteers, you said, "He quoted my statements
22 in his reports, namely that I insist on discipline, on sobriety, and
23 several years later he comes up with totally opposite claims in his
25 Now, what we should be seeing is a report on the one hand, and a
1 writing on the other hand so that we can see the difference. Now, are
2 these available? Can Mr. Milosevic get them and present them to us?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Bonomy, it's a very big job.
4 That job was done for me by my experts, and this analysis is their work
5 product, a result of their work. They quote the newspaper, the article,
6 the number of the issue, and the date. But I finance my own experts, and
7 I owe them already a lot of money in arrears for their work. I cannot
8 incur additional expense myself to do something that I have already had
10 JUDGE BONOMY: As you know, I did not ask that question. I asked
11 you how Mr. Milosevic could get his hands on the material.
12 You've dealt with the writings, and it must be clear to him that
13 the considerable legal assistance he has will be able to obtain these
14 materials. What about the reports that you quoted? "He quoted my
15 statements in his reports." Who were these reports made to and where can
16 they be found?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Dulovic, in the paper Ekspres
18 Politika of 1991, quotes how much I insisted that there should be no
19 looters or alcoholics among the fighters and that they should not cause
20 any incidents. He is quoting my words spoken in Vukovar. This same
21 newspaper in which he wrote quotes my call to the Ustasha, asking then to
22 surrender so that the conflict can be resolved peacefully, which I made on
23 Radio Vukovar. The paper Ekspres Politika quoted my statements.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: These are all newspaper reports, and again they can
25 be obtained and no doubt you can give the dates of these to Mr. Milosevic,
1 you can pass them to his assistants and obtain the documents.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As you know, as soon as I started
3 testifying in Mr. Milosevic's case I have been prevented from meeting him,
4 and I can say nothing to him apart from what I say in the courtroom. I
5 have no contact with his advisors.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Let's not play games here. You can write down the
7 details. You can pass them to him. You can ask your advisors to do that.
8 There's no problem about giving him basic information to enable him to
9 locate evidence for the production of that evidence in the Court.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All this basic information is
11 contained in the submissions that I gave to the OTP as my special defence.
12 It quotes the papers, issues, and so on.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: That clarifies it all. He has all the information
14 he needs. Thank you.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Mr. Seselj, when you say that everything is contained in these
18 submissions that I'm not allowed to put questions to you about, does this
19 refer what it says on page 51, where you say that Dulovic in his text in
20 Ekspres Politika of the 25th of November, which is certainly later than
21 the 21st of November, does not mention any crimes? However, later on he
22 says that Captain Radic committed crimes. Here he not only does not
23 criticise or accuse him but he praises him.
24 A. Well, Mr. Milosevic, I just said that here a little while ago.
25 This is just one example. He was full of praise for Captain Radic,
1 putting him on a pedestal, and later on he accuses him of crimes. He
2 refers to his so-called contemporaneous entries in a diary whereas I prove
3 here these were written later on on orders from others, and this is what I
4 say in my submissions, inter alia.
5 Q. Very well. Thank you, Mr. Seselj. I hope we shall be able to go
6 into this in greater detail, but what he says in the original transcript
7 from his testimony here on the 16th of October, 2002, on page 11669, he
8 says that your men, while drunk, killed the people from Vukovar Hospital.
9 A. Well, here I prove that he's lying, because I demonstrate what he
10 said about the volunteers in 1991. And he says quite the opposite in the
11 proceedings against you as an OTP witness. And then I go on to
12 demonstrate the contradictions between his testimony in The Hague and his
13 testimony in Belgrade.
14 Q. Dulovic, in the original transcript on page 11668 of the 16th of
15 October, 2002, stated that it was this person nicknamed Kameni, whom we
16 mentioned, who told him about the killing of Croats from the Vukovar
17 Hospital, how they were taken to the Ovcara farm and then on from the farm
18 toward Grabova, where 250 people were killed. He describes him here as a
19 member of your units. Is this correct?
20 A. We have already clarified who Kameni is.
21 Q. I'm asking you about the transcript of Dulovic's testimony in the
22 proceedings here.
23 A. I don't believe he discussed this with Kameni at all. He's
24 inventing this conversation. Kameni was not among those who shot the
25 prisoners in Ovcara. I know that for certain, and I can guarantee it.
1 Q. Very well. Then he couldn't have told him about something where
2 he was not present.
3 A. Yes, certainly he couldn't have.
4 Q. I don't have the page reference here.
5 A. Although Dulovic himself, as far as I can understand from the
6 transcript, doesn't claim that Kameni participated in the shooting. He
7 remembers the name of Kameni so he says it was Kameni who told him what
8 happened. The story is very naive.
9 Q. Are you charged in your indictment with the fact that the
10 so-called Seselj's men were in the volunteer units who, from the group of
11 prisoners held in Velepromet, separated off certain people and killed
13 A. Yes, this is mentioned in the indictment although it has nothing
14 to do with the volunteers of the Serb Radical Party and me personally.
15 You see, for a full two years I have been insisting that the OTP interview
16 me. My only condition is that this should be attended by my legal
17 advisors and videoed. For a full two and a half years, the OTP has been
18 avoiding any conversation with me. My goal, however, is to set out my
19 arguments and evidence ahead of time in order to save time, because it
20 would eliminate certain issues. However, the OTP is avoiding having an
21 interview with me. That is why I have been writing these submissions,
22 putting forward my special defence. I am advising the OTP of what I have
23 at my disposal.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: I am stopping you. Much of what you have just
25 said is not relevant.
1 Ask another question.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. Seselj, in the document concerning Bosnia and Herzegovina, you
4 will see that in paragraph 6 there is mention of some sort of plan to
5 remove non-Serbs from a large part of the territory of Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina, so I'm asking you now, did anyone from the government of
7 Serbia or the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, to the best of your
8 knowledge, have any kind of plan or goal of removing non-Serbs? It says
9 here from a large -- from large areas of the Republic of Bosnia and
10 Herzegovina, but my question is from any part of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
11 A. No. No one from either the government of Serbia either had such a
12 plan or such an intention. The government in Serbia did everything
13 possible to avoid conflicts in Bosnia and Herzegovina and to reach an
14 agreement with the leadership of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian federal unit
15 regarding the future of Yugoslavia.
16 Q. Tell me now, as you have been quite clear about the standpoint of
17 the government of Serbia and the SFRY, did anyone from Republika Srpska
18 have any plan to remove the Muslim population from Bosnia and Herzegovina?
19 A. No. The leadership of Republika Srpska had no such plan. To the
20 best of my knowledge, the leadership of Republika Srpska did everything
21 possible to keep the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina within Yugoslavia,
22 and they insisted on this.
23 The leadership of Republika Srpska, only when it was outvoted in
24 the Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in a counter-constitutional manner,
25 because a decision of that nature could not be reached by outvoting, it
1 had to be reached by a consensus of all three constituent nations, it was
2 only then that all the deputies of the Serb Democratic Party walked out of
3 the Assembly and organised the Assembly of the Serbian Republic of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina. So every subsequent move of theirs was a response to
5 the previous move of the Croats and Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
6 The more evident their separatist moves became, the more the moves that
7 the Serbs made in response led to the separation of these areas from the
8 control of the executive government in Sarajevo.
9 Q. Mr. Seselj, after this, did the leadership of Republika Srpska
10 have any plan to expel the Muslims? I want to avoid putting a leading
12 A. No. The leadership of Republika Srpska, to the best of my
13 knowledge, never had a plan to expel the Muslims. Of course, quite
14 naturally they wanted to have control over as much of Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina as possible, but I'm telling you a very telling fact: In the
16 Serbian army, there was a considerable number of soldiers who were
17 Muslims. For example, in Semberija a considerable number of Muslim men
18 joined the Serb army. These were Muslims whose orientation was towards
19 preserving Yugoslavia, whose interests were very close to the Serb
20 national interests. In Semberija there was a considerable number of
21 Muslims who were soldiers in the Serb army.
22 Q. Do you know that in Semberija there was even a brigade -- a Muslim
23 Brigade in the army of Republika Srpska?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. In connection with these allegations that such an intention
1 existed, I asked you whether there was such a plan in Republika Srpska,
2 and I showed to you a document which has already been admitted in
3 evidence, and that is Karadzic's order of the 19th of August, 1992, which
4 contradicts this, because it orders the prevention of forcible deportation
5 and removal of the population.
6 You read this document here, and you testified that this was the
7 practice at the time.
8 A. I had a number of meetings with the leadership of Republika
9 Srpska; Radovan Karadzic, Momcilo Krajisnik, Aleksa Buha, and others. And
10 according to my direct information, the leadership of Republika Srpska
11 never had a plan or an intention of expelling the Muslims from the
12 territory of Republika Srpska. Their policy was that if the Muslims
13 wanted to leave, they should not be forced to stay. They should not be
14 treated in the way that Izetbegovic's government was behaving, forcibly
15 detaining the Serbs and preventing them from leaving the territory under
16 Muslim control. This was an essential difference between the two
17 leaderships. However, there were individual incidents where Muslims were
18 persecuted, and I testified to some such cases that I knew about.
19 However, these cases occurred without the knowledge and outside the
20 control of the Serbian leadership in Pale.
21 Q. Mr. Seselj, I won't repeat in connection with these paragraphs
22 from the Bosnian indictment what I have already asked you in connection
23 with the same paragraphs in the Croatian indictment, but I draw your
24 attention to the fact that just as in paragraph 22 of the Croatian
25 indictment, in paragraph 22 of the Bosnian indictment there is an almost
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 identical text in which you are mentioned as a participant in this joint
2 criminal enterprise.
3 As you have already answered questions about the almost identical
4 paragraph in the Croatian indictment which also bears the number 22,
5 please tell me, have you anything to add to what you said about this
6 paragraph now referring to Bosnia and Herzegovina and the period that this
7 indictment relates to?
8 A. What is stated here is absolute nonsense. I did not spread
9 inter-ethnic hatred. My attitude toward the Muslims was always brotherly,
10 friendly. I publicly attacked only pan-Islamists, and that this is the
11 case can be seen from the pre-trial submission of the OTP in my case.
12 They say that I threatened pan-Islamists. I started my political debate
13 with these pan-Islamists ten years before the war began, and all my
14 attacks were against these fundamentalists, these pan-Islamists who are a
15 great evil not only in the Balkans but in the whole world. My attitude
16 towards Muslims as such has always been brotherly and friendly. And the
17 Trial Chamber can see the pre-trial brief of the OTP in my case, which
18 contradicts what is stated in the indictment against you when it comes to
19 me and my role.
20 Q. Thank you, Mr. Seselj. In paragraphs 23 and 24 of the Bosnian
21 indictment, it says that -- that's 23. It says: "From 1987 -" and I
22 emphasise 1987, if you can find this paragraph - "until late 2000,
23 Slobodan Milosevic was the dominant political figure in Serbia and the
24 SFRY/FRY. He acquired control of all facets of the Serbian government,
25 including the police and the state security services. In addition, he
1 gained control over the political leaderships of Kosovo, Vojvodina, and
3 Kosovo and Vojvodina I assume are parts of Serbia. Is that in
5 A. No, there is no dispute here. Kosovo and Vojvodina are integral
6 parts of Serbia. And I wouldn't say that you were the dominant political
7 figure. You were the leading political figure, you were the president of
8 the ruling party and the president of the Republic of Serbia. So you were
9 the political figure number 1 in Serbia at the time.
10 Q. I'm asking you now, did I gain control over Montenegro?
11 A. No. It was impossible for you to gain control over Montenegro.
12 The then Montenegrin leadership comprised of Momir Bulatovic, Milo
13 Djukanovic and others came to power in Montenegro by declaring themselves
14 publicly to hold political standpoints close to yours, but that was only
15 when they came to power. Afterwards they waged their own independent
16 policy and I know of a whole series of political conflicts between you and
18 First of all, in 1991, you parted ways publicly as regards your
19 political orientation. I'm referring to you and Momir Bulatovic, and that
20 was in October. I think it must have been The Hague Conference.
21 Q. Yes, The Hague Conference.
22 A. With the mediation of the European Union concerning Yugoslavia.
23 After this, on his return to the country, Momir Bulatovic faced
24 enormous resistance from his own citizens, and he began changing his
25 position. You were unable to persuade him to change his position, the one
1 he expressed in The Hague, but his own citizens convinced him on his
2 return. So he did begin to change it.
3 I know there were -- there were differences, enormous differences
4 when the constitution of Yugoslavia was being drawn up. Two commissions
5 met, I think in Zabljak on Mount Durmitor in Montenegro, to draw up the
6 draft constitution, and they had verbal clashes. However, compromises
7 were reached and the constitution was drafted and adopted.
8 In 1992, there were conflicts, because at one point in time the
9 Socialist Party to which you belonged in Serbia was opposed to Milan
10 Panic's government. But the Montenegrin leadership supported Milan Panic
11 until the last moment. And when Dobrica Cosic was replaced in 1993 on the
12 initiative of a group of deputies from the Serb Radical Party which was
13 joined by the Socialist Party of Serbia, all the parties from Montenegro
14 voted against his replacement. However, we Serb radicals had our deputies
15 from Montenegro as well, both in the Council of Citizens and the Council
16 of Republics; in both houses of the Assembly. And thanks to the deputies
17 of the Serb Radical Party from Montenegro, the replacement of Dobrica
18 Cosic succeeded. And this is a well-known fact. It's common knowledge in
19 Serbia and Montenegro and very easy to check.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you --
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Then --
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Seselj, thank you.
23 It's time for the adjournment. We will adjourn for 20 minutes.
24 --- Recess taken at 12.17 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 12.43 p.m.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. Seselj, in paragraph 24 of the Bosnian indictment, it says:
4 "In his capacity as the President of Serbia and through his leading
5 position in the Socialist Party of Serbia, Slobodan Milosevic exercised
6 effective control or substantial influence," et cetera, et cetera. And
7 then that list is mentioned once again that we've already looked at, the
8 members of the joint criminal enterprise.
9 Now, tell me, please, either as president of Serbia or as
10 president of the Socialist Party of Serbia, what kind of control was it
11 that I exercised, for example, over Branko Kostic, Veljko Kadijevic, Milan
12 Babic, Milan Martic, Goran Hadzic, Momir Bulatovic, Aleksandar Vasiljevic,
13 Zeljko Raznjatovic? First of all, any one of the persons I've read now
14 from this list contained in paragraph 24, was any one of these persons a
15 member of the Socialist Party of Serbia or were they part of any
16 government agency in Serbia and I was president of Serbia?
17 A. May I remind you, Mr. Milosevic, that at that time you were not
18 president of the Socialist Party of Serbia at all. It was Borisav Jovic
19 who was president of the party.
20 Secondly, none of these persons was a member of the Socialist
21 Party of Serbia, and none of them could be under your control. From a
22 party point of view, you could have been under the control of Borisav
23 Jovic. However, you were political figure number one in Serbia, so I
24 doubt that you could have been under his control, speaking realistically.
25 Branko Kostic came to the federal Presidency from Montenegro. If
1 he could have been under anyone's control, it could have been only the
2 leadership of Montenegro.
3 As for these other persons, it is very difficult to imagine that
4 anyone could have controlled them then. These JNA generals, actually
5 starting from 1991, did not even have the control of the Presidency of
6 Yugoslavia above them. When Zdravko Mustac left Belgrade, Arkan lost the
7 person who exercised control over him, and from then on he was
8 independent, a freelancer. In a TV duel with me, he said that he was an
9 institution in his own right. And indeed so. He had great power;
10 financial power, power in the underground. He had this Serb Volunteer
11 Guard under his control, and he was a real danger to all.
12 Q. Further on in paragraph 24, it says: "... influenced the actions
13 of the Federal Presidency of the SFRY and later the FRY, the Serbian
14 Ministry of Internal Affairs, the JNA, the Yugoslav army and the VRS, as
15 well as Serb paramilitary groups."
16 Since you are familiar with all the events from that time, what
17 kind of control or influence can be spoken of in this context, as far as
18 the federal Presidency is concerned, the paramilitary groups, the army of
19 Republika Srpska?
20 A. The federal Presidency had eight members, one from each republican
21 province. Therefore, it was absolutely impossible for you to exercise
22 control over that federal Presidency, nor was it possible for anyone to
23 exercise control over it. When the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was
24 established, the first president was Dobrica Cosic. In all fairness, he
25 was elected at your initiative, but soon there was a clash between the two
1 of you. Dobrica Cosic surrounded himself with people either who were
2 either Americans themselves or worked for Americans. The former US
3 Ambassador Scanlon was engaged professionally in his office. People knew
4 for years that Svetozar Stojanovic was a CIA spy, and I said that in
5 public too.
6 As for the army of Yugoslavia, Dobrica Cosic was the commander of
7 that army, and he issued commands on the basis of decisions made by the
8 Supreme Defence Council, and you were one of the three members of the
9 Supreme defence Council. In addition to yourself, that was Momir
10 Bulatovic as president of Montenegro, and Dobrica Cosic was president of
11 the Supreme Military Council -- Defence Council.
12 The army of Republika Srpska was commanded by the commander of the
13 Main Staff, Ratko Mladic. In nominal terms, Radovan Karadzic was Supreme
14 Commander, but according to my reliable information, Ratko Mladic did not
15 listen to a living soul. He very soon got under Karadzic's -- got out of
16 Karadzic's control too. He never listened to anyone's orders, and he was
17 indeed very, very independent.
18 As for these paramilitary groups, we've already looked at that, if
19 I can reiterate it for each and every one of them individually, but you
20 did not exercise control over any one of them.
21 Q. In paragraph 25, the ways in which this alleged joint criminal
22 enterprise was carried out, the one that you took part in allegedly as
23 well, the ways are described as follows: 25: "Slobodan Milosevic, acting
24 alone and in concert with other members of the joint criminal
25 enterprise..." and then the ways are mentioned: "(a) he exerted effective
1 --" please bear this in mind, because Mr. Robinson drew your attention to
2 this aspect, effective. "-- effective control over elements of the JNA
3 and the VJ which participated in the planning, preparation, facilitation
4 and execution of the forcible removal of the majority of non-Serbs ...
5 from large parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina."
6 So let me put the following question to you: Do you know that, as
7 you say here -- as they say here, some elements of the JNA and VJ
8 participated in the planning, preparation, facilitation, and forcible
9 removal of the majority of non-Serbs from large areas of
11 A. Not a single element of the JNA or the army of Yugoslavia took
12 part in any preparation, planning, facilitation, or execution of the
13 forcible removal of non-Serbs from any territory or did such a plan exist
14 or were there any preparations or was anything done according to some plan
15 systematically, on orders, et cetera.
16 Secondly, I've already testified on the basis of my very reliable
17 knowledge that you could not have control over the JNA while Veljko
18 Kadijevic was minister of defence and Blagoje Adzic chief of General
19 Staff. You could not have control over the army of Yugoslavia either,
20 because, in addition to the fact that Dobrica Cosic, according to the
21 constitution, commanded that army, Milan Panic, the federal Prime
22 Minister, held the portfolio of defence minister. He was both Prime
23 Minister and defence minister. So there was no way that you could have
24 had access to any of this.
25 Q. All right. A few questions ago you mentioned that you took part
1 in the election of Cosic and Panic, Cosic as president of the republic and
2 Panic as Prime Minister, and you also took part in their removal from
3 office. Tell me, what was the attitude of the two of them towards me and
4 towards the Socialist Party of Serbia, and why were they removed from
5 office, Cosic and Panic?
6 A. Open hostility was the attitude they had towards you. From day
7 one they positioned themselves as political opponents, and they wanted to
8 remove you from the political scene, and they showed that with increasing
10 Milan Panic was a candidate at the special presidential elections
11 for the President of Serbia in December 1992 as your most serious
12 counter-candidate, and he won about one-third of the total vote. Dobrica
13 Cosic supported Milan Panic against you, and during the election campaign
14 he attacked your Socialist Party and the Serb Radical Party, opting for
15 the so-called Depos. That was a coalition of pro-Western parties that was
16 heavily defeated in the elections.
17 Q. So in that period of time up to 1993, you've just described the
18 role that Cosic and Panic had vis-a-vis the army of Yugoslavia. Was there
19 any possibility for me to have any influence over the army of Yugoslavia
20 until that time?
21 A. There were no possibilities for that. After Dobrica Cosic, a man
22 from your party, Zoran Lilic, was elected president of Yugoslavia;
23 however, the defence minister was from Montenegro, Pavle Bulatovic.
24 Q. In subparagraph (b) of paragraph 25, it says: "He provided
25 financial, logistical, and political support to the army of Republika
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Srpska." And then it says, "These forces subsequently participated in the
2 execution of the joint criminal enterprise through the commission of
3 crimes which are in violation of ..." et cetera, et cetera.
4 Now, Mr. Seselj, please give a very unequivocal answer although
5 you've been giving unequivocal answers all along. There is no doubt that
6 Republika Srpska was supported, but what about the VRS? What kind of
7 support did I and the political authorities in Serbia give them?
8 A. You in Serbia did not give any support to the VRS. It was the
9 army of Yugoslavia that gave assistance to them as a federal institution
10 at the outset. What was said was that within the overall support and
11 assistance to Republika Srpska, the civilian authorities of Republika
12 Srpska should also be given a particular amount of money that would be
13 used for financing the army of Republika Srpska. Then there were big
14 polemics in Republika Srpska, and the officers of the army of Republika
15 Srpska opposed that, saying that some unconscientious ministers could use
16 that money for other things. For example, they bore in mind the fact that
17 Momcilo Mandic, minister of the interior, was a notorious criminal, as
18 were others. So they sought other ways and means of having this
19 assistance paid more directly. So then the army of Yugoslavia set up a
20 personnel centre whose task was to have that money that had been earmarked
21 as financial assistance be paid out as salaries to officers of the army of
22 Republika Srpska. This personnel centre was well known under a particular
23 number. I cannot say exactly whether it was 20 or 10 or -- it was some
24 kind of a number that was used as its official title.
25 Q. That's correct. Mr. Seselj, tell us, was the aim of this
1 assistance the execution of a joint criminal enterprise, as is claimed in
2 this piece of paper here?
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: No. That's not a permissible question.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Seselj, what was the aim of providing this assistance? What
7 was the aim and purpose of providing this assistance to Republika Srpska?
8 A. From all sides - from the West, from the Arab countries, from the
9 Islamic countries - the Muslim government in Sarajevo was deluged with all
10 the money coming in. Later on a direct armed intervention followed, and
11 in this way it was the Bosnian Croat leadership that was also given
12 assistance from elsewhere. It was simply indispensable to help the Serb
13 people by helping their Republika Srpska, Republika Srpska which was
14 inalienably theirs, undoubtedly theirs, so that they would survive under
15 conditions when their political and military enemies had far more support
16 and financial assistance. This assistance was given to the Government of
17 Republika Srpska. However, one of the concrete aspects of this assistance
18 was the payment of these salaries because, among the officers, it was not
19 a very popular idea to have this assistance channeled to the government
20 too. They were afraid that there would be major delays if this went
21 through the government, that some ministers would engage in speculation as
22 far as this money was concerned, so it was agreed that they would receive
23 this assistance directly.
24 This assistance was never aimed at financing any kind of criminal
25 activities or did the army of Republika Srpska engage in any criminal
1 activity. Crimes were committed during the war. Sometimes the persons
2 who committed these crimes were members of the army of Republika Srpska
3 but this was only in exceptional cases when there were particular
4 incidents but not on orders from --
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: You have answered the specific question about the
6 aim and purpose of providing assistance to Republika Srpska.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. And now, Mr. Seselj, look at subparagraph (c). It says: "He
9 exercised substantial influence over, and assisted, the political
10 leadership of Republika Srpska in the planning, preparation, facilitation
11 and execution of the takeover of municipalities in Bosnia-Herzegovina and
12 the subsequent forcible removal of the majority of non-Serbs, principally
13 Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats, from those municipalities."
14 Immediately follows subparagraph (d), which reads: "He
15 participated in the planning and preparation of the takeover of
16 municipalities in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the subsequent forcible removal
17 of the majority of non-Serbs..." and so on. "He provided the financial,
18 material, and logistical support necessary for such takeover."
19 I cannot really make out the difference between subparagraphs (c)
20 and (d). They seem to boil down to the same thing.
21 Would you please answer this question: How did I try to influence
22 the leadership of Republika Srpska? In other words, I tried to influence
23 them to do what, and what was the extent of my influence?
24 A. Not even the leadership of Republika Srpska itself was able to
25 control the process of takeover of power in municipalities. According to
1 my information, which is direct and reliable, that process was often
2 uncontrolled and certain measures were often taken against the wishes of
3 the leadership of the Serbian Democratic Party or, later, the leadership
4 of Republika Srpska.
5 It began with the establishment of Serbian autonomous districts
6 such as Eastern Herzegovina, Birac, SAO Romanija, SAO Semberija and
7 Majevica, Bosnian Krajina, et cetera. A similar process was taking part
8 with the Croats. They had three such districts; Western Herzegovina, that
9 is Herceg-Bosna; Central Bosnia; and the Croatian Posavina, as they called
11 At the moment when the central authorities in Sarajevo with its
12 unilateral steps abolishing the essential right of the peoples to the
13 status of constituent nation, this process was aggravated and accelerated.
14 I'll give you one example: The leadership of the Serbian
15 Autonomous District of Bosnian Krajina not only did not cooperate with the
16 leadership in Pale, together with Milan Babic they unilaterally proclaimed
17 the unification of Bosnian Krajina with the Serbian Krajina in Croatia.
18 So these things happened spontaneously for the most part. It sometimes
19 happened that Serbs seized power in municipalities where they were not a
20 majority population because they organised themselves better than Croats
21 and Muslims did.
22 The latter two also wanted to seize power, but the decisive factor
23 was better organisation, greater quantity of weapons, and the managing
24 abilities of those who led the whole thing.
25 Q. Let us dwell a little on what I just quoted, because both
1 subparagraph (c) and (d) refer to the preparation and execution of the
2 takeover. Did the leadership of Republika Srpska ever plan some sort of
3 forcible removal of Croats and Muslims?
4 A. They only wanted to have control over as many municipalities as
5 possible. They wanted, in other words, effective power, but they never
6 wanted Croats or Muslims to be forcibly removed or deported from their
7 territory. Not a single order, not a single command, not a single
8 decision was ever made, to the best of my knowledge, by the central
9 Serbian authorities.
10 Q. You're now talking about separate, distinct parts of Republika
11 Srpska, and you mentioned Serbian Krajina, the Republic of Serbian
12 Krajina. Do you know for how long there was no physical communication
13 between the leadership in Pale and the western part, the whole Banja Luka
14 region, until the corridor was made through Brcko?
15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Bosnian Krajina.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know for how long but for a
17 long time there was no communication at all. It was impossible to travel,
18 there were no telephone lines working, and the Bosnian Krajina was
19 completely isolated from the rest of Republika Srpska. Once the corridor
20 was made, then the unified Serb authorities set about getting established.
21 That's the corridor in Posavina.
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. That was in the end of June.
24 A. Probably. I can't remember exactly.
25 Q. Do you remember that at that time, following the instructions of
1 the leadership that had started to consolidate its power in the western
2 area as well, those camps that had existed in the western area were
4 A. Yes. The central authorities made the appropriate decision,
5 demanding that these camps be abolished.
6 Q. And indeed they were by August.
7 A. As far as I know, by August they were all abolished.
8 Q. Do you know how they came to be set up at all?
9 A. Well, the three best-known camps of this type were in the area of
10 the municipality of Prijedor, and it was Simo Drljaca who set them up on
11 his own accord. He happened to be the chief of police there. However,
12 when the existence of these camps became known, they were abolished.
13 Q. They were all abolished by August?
14 A. Yes, to the best of my knowledge.
15 Q. And what about these municipalities where it says here that a
16 takeover took place? Did Serbs continue to hold the leading posts in most
17 of the authorities of these municipalities, or were they previously in the
18 highest positions?
19 A. Yes. They were mostly Prime Ministers or heading those
20 municipalities. So they just -- they took more power than was actually
21 provided for by the legislation.
22 Q. So what did the takeover consist in if they were already in power,
23 the Serbs?
24 A. Well, it was often a matter of conflict between the Muslim
25 leadership and the Serb leadership in the given municipality. It was a
1 race to get hold of complete power over the municipality. The civilian
2 population had already started to arm itself and at a certain point a race
3 began as to who would be the first to gain complete control over the
4 municipality. In those places where Serbs were a majority, it was easier
5 to carry out. Where the Muslims were a majority, it was mainly them who
6 prevailed. In municipalities with the Croat majority, Croats won over,
7 but it sometimes happened that Serbs took over thanks to better
8 organisation and similar advantages.
9 As to the rest of your question, there was no material, financial,
10 or logistical support or help from Serbia. These were mainly spontaneous
11 processes led by the Serbian Democratic Party and financial and material
12 assistance from Serbia was not even needed. In some places a unit of the
13 JNA would be the decisive factor in such a case, because what happened
14 when the war broke out in the federal unit of Croatia, the reservists of
15 the JNA started to be mobilised even in Bosnia. The Muslims initially
16 responded to the call-up, but when their leadership appealed to them not
17 to do so, they stopped. Croats had stopped responding to call-ups even
18 before, and it so happened -- or, rather, so it happened that it was
19 mostly Serbs who responded to the call-up, and thus they had more weapons
20 than both Muslims or Croats. However, the illegal channels of arms supply
21 to both Muslims and Croats also worked very well, so the difference in the
22 level of arming was not important.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. In subparagraph (e), reference is made to the special forces of
1 the Republic of Serbia, but what matters to me more is the second part,
2 which says that these special forces participated in the execution of the
3 joint criminal enterprise through the commission of crimes which are in
4 violation of Articles, and so on and so forth, of the statute.
5 Tell me, did the special forces of the Republic of Serbia Ministry
6 of Internal Affairs take part in any activities within which crimes were
7 committed? You can see it for yourself if you are looking at paragraph
8 25(e). So special forces participated in the execution of the JCE.
9 A. No. There was only one special unit of the Interior Ministry of
10 Serbia at that time. It was the so-called special anti-terrorist unit,
11 acronym SAJ. As far as I know, SAJ was never involved in any fighting
12 outside of Serbia, and in Serbia there was no fighting at all at the time.
13 Q. Very well. Thank you. With regard to this Croatian part of the
14 indictment, you have already told us what you knew about special forces.
15 What about Bosnia and Herzegovina? Is there anything that you would like
16 to add to the explanations you've provided before about these special
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, that is an invitation, that's a
19 very dangerous invitation to Mr. Seselj, would he like to add anything.
20 Be focused in the questions that you're asking. Mr. Seselj, I'm sure,
21 would like to add many, many things. The question is whether they're of
22 assistance to the Chamber in its work. So ask a specific and focused
23 question of the witness.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, I only wanted to save
25 time, because in the Bosnian indictment the qualifications used in the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Croatian indictment about the alleged participation of special forces are
2 repeated, and Mr. Seselj has already said what he knew about it. I'm just
3 asking him whether what he said refers or applies to both indictments or
4 whether there is any difference, whether he had anything to add. But the
5 qualifications are completely the same. Even the numbers of subparagraphs
6 are the same.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. Seselj?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I would just like to say that
9 in the first half of 1992, the Yugoslav People's Army included a certain
10 number of volunteers from the Serbian Radical Party in certain critical
11 areas where they expected their units to be the most threatened. One of
12 such areas was Zvornik. So the JNA engaged volunteers of the Serbian
13 Radical Party exclusively as an addition to its troops, to its regular
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, I'm sorry to interrupt you but it
16 occurs to me that I should you asking you now how much more time will you
17 be with this witness? I had anticipated that you would have completed
18 your examination-in-chief by the end of today's proceedings.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I'm proceeding a bit slower
20 than I thought I would so I can't finish today, because we've only got 30
21 minutes left until the end of today. I will not be able to finish by
22 then. I will try to complete this examination before the end of the first
23 working day that follows, Tuesday.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's Monday. The first -- Monday. The first
25 working day is Monday, Monday afternoon. I believe you have been --
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, then I must have been
2 misinformed, because I thought it would have Tuesday. But whatever the
3 first following working day is, on that day.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Monday afternoon. Well, we're going to hold you
5 to that, Mr. Milosevic.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. I don't know whether Mr. Seselj is informed that the first
8 following working day is Monday.
9 A. Actually, no. And it is important for me to know, because I
10 scheduled a visit of my family for Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.
11 Will I be able to have the Monday two weeks from now free so my family can
12 visit me?
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Are you talking about Monday two weeks from now?
14 We're talking about Monday --
15 THE WITNESS: The second Monday.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, at that time we'll be -- it will be time
17 for cross-examination. I'm not able to say.
18 JUDGE KWON: We are not sitting on Monday.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: We're not sitting on Monday. We're not sitting
20 that Monday. Give us the date. Monday the 12th. We are not sitting on
21 Monday the 12th.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you for that information.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. So a very direct question: These special forces, and you said
1 already there was one anti-terrorist unit, the equivalent of which existed
2 in every republic within the Interior Ministry, did special forces operate
3 in Bosnia and in Croatia?
4 A. No. According to what I know, no special forces from Serbia
5 participated. Only additional troops of the JNA were sent there. Some
6 other groups and individuals were engaged. Biljana Plavsic, for instance,
7 brought Arkan and his men to Bijeljina. Arkan turned up also in Zvornik,
8 from what I know. Yellow Wasps came to Zvornik on their own initiative.
9 That had nothing to do with the JNA. I can guarantee for that. Maybe
10 another smaller group appeared elsewhere as well, but the legal unit from
11 Serbia was not engaged. No legal unit from Serbia outside the JNA was
12 sent anywhere.
13 Q. And were any forces -- when I say "any," I mean regular forces.
14 You're referring to various groups such as the Yellow Wasps who have been
15 tried in Belgrade. So did any regular forces, either of the police or the
16 military, originating from Serbia participate in anything that might be
17 considered to be the implementation of a joint criminal enterprise or a
19 A. No. No forces apart from the JNA, and the JNA withdrew from
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina by the 19th of May, which was the ultimatum given by
21 the Western forces.
22 Q. In connection with the statements contained in the indictment for
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, what was the attitude of the authorities of the
24 Republic of Serbia and my own attitude toward irregular and paramilitary
1 A. It was always negative. You always demonstrated your efforts to
2 suppress the activity of any paramilitary forces.
3 Q. Are you aware of any cases where the authorities of the Republic
4 of Serbia arrested and tried members of paramilitary troops?
5 A. We've already mentioned the trials of the Yellow Wasps. There
6 were many instances where members of these paramilitary formations, when
7 attempting to cross the border, were stopped, disarmed, searched, and so
8 on. At police checkpoints certain quantities of weapons were discovered
9 in their possession and confiscated by the police. I think at one point
10 the police was able to fill their depots and equip themselves with such
11 weapons, replenish their supplies.
12 If I may add, Mr. Milosevic - I think this is important - the
13 Serbian police set up these checkpoints on all roads leading towards
14 Slavonia and Bosnia. And when the hostilities began, probably because
15 they had experience from 1991, they had checkpoints everywhere and exerted
16 the maximum efforts to make sure that no one from Serbia went to
17 flashpoints outside Serbia. And of course there were attempts on the
18 other side to try to prevent the influx of illegal weapons into Serbia.
19 Q. Subparagraph (g) is almost identical to the same statement
20 contained in the Croatia indictment. It says that I "controlled,
21 manipulated, or otherwise utilised Serbian state-run media in Serbia to
22 spread exaggerated and false messages of ethnically based attacks by
23 Bosnian Muslims and Croats against Serb people intended to create an
24 atmosphere of fear and hatred among Serbs living in Serbia, Croatia, and
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina which contributed to the forcible removal of the
1 majority of non-Serbs, principally Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats,
2 from large areas of Bosnia on Herzegovina."
3 So mutatis mutandis, the same allegation contained in the Croatian
4 document resurfaces here. Tell me, please, is this correct and to what
5 extent did the Serbian media influence public opinion in Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina, because this refers to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
7 A. This is simply impossible. There was only one state-run media in
8 Bosnia and Herzegovina --
9 THE INTERPRETER: In Serbia, interpreter's apology.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- the RTS, the Serbian Radio and
11 Television. All other television and radio stations were either privately
12 owned or in the hands of local authorities. All the newspapers were
13 privately owned or, rather, owned by joint stock companies or individual
14 private entrepreneurs.
15 Q. Very well. In general, because you had a very active political
16 life at the time, speaking generally, the state-run media and these
17 privately owned media, did they spread exaggerated stories of ethnically
18 motivated attacks by Muslims on Serbs?
19 A. There was no untrue or exaggerated message. The media conveyed
20 information from the ground. This information was horrifying in its
21 nature, but it was verified and it was true. If this caused unease and if
22 it disturbed the public in Serbia and in Bosnia-Herzegovina, it is those
23 who committed crimes against the Serb people who contributed to this
24 atmosphere, not those who merely conveyed true facts to the public.
25 Q. I think that yesterday you mentioned the first murder that took
1 place in Bosnia and Herzegovina as a result of the tensions that had
2 arisen, and you mentioned the name of Nikola Gardovic, the murder at that
3 wedding you mentioned. I won't go into the details now, but do you know
4 anything about crimes committed against Serbs in the area of Bosanski
5 Brod, to be more precise the village of Sijekovac, in late March 1992
6 before the outbreak of any kind of -- or before the onset of any kind of
7 activities on the Serb side that might provide some kind of justification?
8 A. As far as I can recall, there was a massacre there of a group of
9 Serb civilians in that village of Sijekovac, if I recall the name
10 correctly. I had it noted down somewhere, but I can't find it now.
11 This was the village of Sijekovac near Bosanski Brod. I think 20
12 or 21 Serbs were slaughtered, and these were civilians.
13 Q. The number was 21.
14 MR. NICE: I hesitate to rise yet again but I suppose I might as
15 well draw to your attention that we are now having evidence really with no
16 identified source. The witness seems to recall something, he can't
17 remember the name; and then when he provides a number that the accused
18 don't like, the accused volunteers an alternative number.
19 I shall make my observations through the witness about the quality
20 of his evidence in due course, but this is both generalised and, in part,
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Nice. You will have the occasion to
23 cross-examine the witness.
24 In the meantime, Mr. Milosevic, bear in mind the prohibition of
25 leading questions.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, in your transcript,
2 which is still on the screen, you can see Mr. Seselj's reply: "This was
3 the village of Sijekovac near Bosanski Brod. I think 20 or 21 Serbs were
4 slaughters, and these were civilians."
5 He says 20 or 21 Serbs were slaughtered, and these were civilians,
6 and I simply said 21. He said 20 or 21 before I said 21.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot recall all these figures
8 with precision, but I do remember the crimes in those places.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: You should have left the evidence there, 20 or
11 JUDGE KWON: The problem is how he did come to know these facts,
12 so you should lay the foundation of this evidence. That's the point of
13 Mr. Nice.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, we have been through that with you
15 several times before. It doesn't really make the evidence inadmissible,
16 but we will not be able to attach as much weight to it as we would if we
17 knew how he acquired the information.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, that was about to be my next
19 question. I asked him whether he knew about the crimes against the Serbs
20 in Sijekovac. He said he did. He said that 20 or 21 people were killed.
21 Let's put aside the fact that I said 21 because I have the precise
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. My next question is: Mr. Seselj, how do you know what happened in
25 the village of Sijekovac near Bosanski Brod in late March 1992?
1 A. It's a well-known fact. It's a notorious crime. It was in all
2 the media.
3 Q. Does your knowledge of this originate exclusively from the media
4 or did you have some knowledge from the ground?
5 A. Well, we also had information from the ground. Later on, I
6 travelled to these places, and the local people, of course, remembered
7 this. They cannot forget something like this.
8 This is a fact. The truth of this cannot be relative. It either
9 happened or it did not happen. I tell you it did happen and I have
10 information that it did. The first information arrived through the media.
11 Later on, it was confirmed many times in direct contacts with local people
12 from the area.
13 So there can be no doubt when one is speaking of specific events
14 like this. They either happened or not, but you can't expect me to recall
15 the precise number of people.
16 Q. Mr. Seselj, you mentioned Gardovic and the 1st of March, 1992.
17 Now you mentioned Sijekovac on the 26th of March, 1992. In the meantime,
18 even before this, was there any violence on the Serb side against Muslims
19 or Croats?
20 A. Let me remind you of an even more horrendous crime against Serbs
21 in Posavina in the village of Kostres where more than a hundred Serbs were
22 killed. They were killed by Muslims from a village called Korace or
23 something like that. So this was an even more horrifying crime from that
24 period. It was in early April 1992. And we have more instances like
1 In Kupres, a large number of Serbs were killed; over a hundred.
2 These are not isolated incidents. It happened frequently, in many places,
3 and it indicated the intentions of the Muslim political leadership and its
4 paramilitary formations, the Green Berets. That's the crux of the matter.
5 Q. Very well. You've mentioned the examples of Sijekovac, the
6 village of Kostres. You said in early April a large number, over a
7 hundred, you said. You mentioned the murder of a large number of people
8 in Kupres.
9 A. Over 50, maybe even a hundred was the number killed in Kupres.
10 Q. Very well. All this marked the beginning of the conflicts, and we
11 can see that dozens and hundreds of Serbs were killed.
12 A. In different places.
13 Q. In different places. Up to that time, had the Serbs killed anyone
14 in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
15 A. No, I know of no instance of the Serbs killing anyone. It was the
16 Muslims and Croats who did that.
17 Q. Before that time when these mass murders of Serbs began, did the
18 Serbs respond violently in any part of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
19 A. No. Up to that point, no, as far as I know. And by then
20 everything was already clear; either they would defend themselves and save
21 their homes and their hearths or they would all be killed.
22 Q. And these crimes when hundreds of Serbs were slaughtered, did they
23 take place before the recognition of independence of Bosnia and
24 Herzegovina and some kind of official onset of the conflict?
25 A. This happened at least two days, this murder in Kostres, at least
1 two days before the recognition of the independence of Bosnia and
2 Herzegovina. They knew in the West what was going on and yet they
3 recognised Bosnia and Herzegovina. And this spoiled the Cutileiro Plan
4 which had been adopted. And then independence was recognised and the
5 Muslims simply scuttled it because what did they need the plan for when
6 they already had recognition?
7 Q. Let's just establish this: Before the recognition of
8 independence, hundreds of Serbs were killed.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And no one was killed by a Serb. There were no violent actions by
12 A. Yes. I assert that emphatically, and my information is reliable.
13 Q. I agree with you, Mr. Seselj. I just wanted to hear your opinion.
14 In the Bosnian indictment, paragraph 26 mentions the Serbian Bloc
15 in the SFRY and Borisav Jovic --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's apology: 28.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Branko Kostic, Jugoslav Kostic, Sejdo Bajramovic, and now it says
19 here that I used them as my mediators, my primary agents, and through them
20 directed the actions of the Serbian Bloc.
21 This paragraph is quite long, so I will ask you to read it for
22 yourself. It's paragraph 28, and it says: "From at least March 1991
23 until the 15th of June, 1992, Slobodan Milosevic exercised effective
24 control..." and they are listed here and they are referred to as my
25 primary agents in the Presidency. And it says: "From the 1st of October,
1 1991, in the absence of the representatives of the Presidency from
2 Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the four members
3 ... exercised the powers of the Presidency ..."
4 So first of all, Mr. Seselj, tell me, how did it come about that
5 these members of the Presidency from Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia and
6 Bosnia and Herzegovina were absent?
7 A. Well, the first one to leave was, I think his name was Janez
8 Drnovsek. He was from Slovenia. And then Stipe Mesic and then Bogic
9 Bogicevic from Bosnia and Herzegovina withdrew; after that, Vasil
10 Tupurkovski from Macedonia stopped attending, but the Presidency had a
11 general legal document according to which in conditions of a situation of
12 war and imminent threat of war or a state of emergency, the number of
13 representatives who happened to be in Belgrade could make decisions as if
14 they were all there in these extraordinary circumstances, and this rule or
15 this legislation was in existence.
16 Secondly, these people were not sheep, to be controlled just like
17 that. You cooperated with Borisav Jovic, but he is a strong personality,
18 and you couldn't have commanded him, given him orders.
19 Branko Kostic was the representative of Montenegro.
20 Sejdo Bajramovic was an Albanian but a sincere patriot and an
21 advocate of Yugoslavia. His son was killed in the Mostar war theatre as a
22 JNA officer, fighting the paramilitary formations. Sejdo Bajramovic is a
23 senior cadre. He was a communist, one can hold that against him, but he
24 believed in Yugoslavia to such an extent as an equal community of nations,
25 and he saw the future of his own Albanian nation within it and no one
1 could have influenced him in that direction.
2 Q. It says here in this paragraph: "This 'Rump Presidency' acted
3 without dissension to execute Slobodan Milosevic's policies."
4 Please, Mr. Seselj, the mentioned members of the Presidency, did
5 they act without dissension to execute my policies, and what do you know
6 about this from that period of time?
7 A. First and foremost, there is no such thing as a rump Presidency.
8 According to the constitution, the Presidency was authorised to issue
9 general legal documents regulating its own work and procedure. That was
10 what they did independently. And considerably before the war they adopted
11 a general legal document according to which it could never be a rump
12 Presidency. A member of the Presidency could die, could be taken prisoner
13 by the enemy. For as long as one of them was alive and in Belgrade, he
14 could be the Presidency according to that general legal document which can
15 easily be obtained from Belgrade. It was impossible to have any such
16 thing as a rump Presidency.
17 Secondly, it was also impossible for it to execute your policies
18 without dissension. On the Presidency were people of high personal
19 integrity, people who had their own steadfast political views and a firm
20 desire to preserve Yugoslavia.
21 As for Sejdo Bajramovic, who I knew personally, nobody could
22 influence him to the extent that he would change his own political
23 positions. He was firmly in favour of Yugoslavia. And he did not even
24 regret sacrificing his own son for the future of Yugoslavia. His son died
25 the death of a hero at the Mostar theatre of war.
1 Q. All of this is lumped together here. "Generals Veljko Kadijevic
2 and Blagoje Adzic, who directed and supervised the JNA forces in
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina, were in constant communication and consultation with
4 the accused." Can you explain what this means? Can you tell us what you
5 know about this?
6 A. Well, they probably did have that kind of communication with you.
7 I don't know, I was never present. I didn't know you, I didn't know
8 Adzic, I didn't know Kadijevic. However, I read Borisav Jovic's book and
9 I see that this communication was always beset by various problems. You
10 held different positions.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, The first part of the witness's
12 answer tells us that he doesn't know anything about these people, so how
13 is his answer going to be helpful?
14 But we will break at this point. It's time to adjourn for the
15 day. We will resume on Monday at 2.15 p.m.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,
17 to be reconvened on Monday, the 5th day
18 of September, 2005, at 2.15 p.m.