1 Thursday, 6 May 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [Initial Appearance]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.30 p.m.
5 JUDGE HALL
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honour. Good afternoon to
7 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number
8 IT-03-67-R77.3, The Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj. Thank you.
9 JUDGE HALL
10 Good afternoon to everyone. First of all, Mr. Seselj, can you
11 hear the proceedings in a language that you understand?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I can follow the proceedings
13 in the Serbian language.
14 JUDGE HALL
15 May I have the appearances on behalf of the Prosecution, please.
16 MR. MacFARLANE: Thank you, Your Honour. I'm Bruce MacFarlane,
17 an attorney from Canada
18 proceedings. Thank you.
19 JUDGE HALL
20 Mr. Seselj, do I understand the position to be as it was last
21 week, that you are representing yourself?
22 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] That's how it will remain until the
23 end. I will be representing myself until the very end, and I will
24 continue to do that in any upcoming proceedings that are to be held
25 against me here, and I expect some -- at least ten contempt hearings
1 against me here at the Tribunal. I can guarantee that there will be at
2 least ten. That's what I've decided.
3 JUDGE HALL
4 Today's hearing is a continuation of the Initial Appearance that
5 was convened a week ago. At the Initial Appearance, I outlined the
6 background to the case and the charge contained in the order in lieu of
7 indictment issued against the accused. The accused identified himself as
8 Vojislav Seselj named in the order in lieu of indictment. The accused
9 confirmed that he had received the order in lieu of indictment. The
10 Registrar read out the order in lieu of indictment. The accused was not
11 willing to enter a plea at the Initial Appearance.
12 Pursuant to Rules 63(A)(iii) and 77(E), an accused charged with
13 contempt of the Tribunal shall be called upon to enter a plea of guilty
14 or not guilty within ten days of the Initial Appearance. Today's hearing
15 has been scheduled so that the accused can enter his plea.
16 Now, before proceeding to the plea there are some matters that
17 need to be raised. Mr. Seselj has confirmed that he has chosen to
18 represent himself, but nevertheless I would point out that
19 self-representation is a qualified right under the Statute. The relevant
20 part of which reads that the Trial Chamber may, if it decides that it is
21 in the interests of justice, instruct the Registrar to assign counsel to
22 represent the interests of the accused.
23 Pursuant to Rule 66(A)(i) and 77(E), within ten days of the
24 Initial Appearance of the accused, the Prosecution -- the Prosecutor is
25 obliged to make available to the accused in a language he understands
1 copies of the supporting material accompanying the indictment. This
2 matter was raised at the Initial Appearance. The Prosecutor indicated
3 that he had undertaken some disclosure pursuant to Rule 66(A)(i), and the
4 accused indicated that he would not enter a plea until he received
5 certain documents that the Prosecutor had received.
6 The Prosecutor said that he had disclosed to him Rule 66
7 material, and the accused replied that this did not include documents
8 referred to in the decision of the 3rd of February of 2010.
9 The matter was further addressed in the Prosecutor's response to
10 oral motion for access to additional documents which was filed on the 4th
11 of May, 2010. In this filing, the Prosecutor submits the following: 1,
12 the accused has sufficient information to enter a plea; 2, the Prosecutor
13 further submits that the accused has most of the supporting material and
14 all prior statements by the Prosecution from the accused; 3, that in
15 order to complete the disclosure obligations under Rule 66(A)(i), the
16 Prosecutor seeks an order lifting the ex parte status of some pages from
17 an annex of the Prosecution's motion under Rule 77 concerning further
18 breaches of protective measures filed ex parte and confidentially on the
19 26th of January 2009; 4, that the Prosecutor argues that the remaining
20 documents the Registrar provided him do not fall within the scope of what
21 should be disclosed pursuant to Rule 66(A).
22 The position of the Trial Chamber is that the accused has all the
23 material that he is required to be given in order to enter a plea. It
24 has already established that the accused has received the order in lieu
25 of indictment in a language that he understands. Moreover, Rule 62, 66,
1 and 77 do not imply that the supporting material accompanying the
2 indictment referred to in Rule 66(A)(i) should be disclosed to the
3 accused before he enters a plea.
4 The Prosecutor's response to the oral motion for access to
5 additional documents raises the issue of compliance of Rule 66(A)(i).
6 The accused was not able to review thoroughly what had been disclosed by
7 the Prosecutor at the time of the Initial Appearance and was not clear at
8 that time that the Prosecutor had made what he considered to be full
9 disclosure with the exception of some pages of an annex of the 26th of
10 January 2009 motion.
11 The Trial Chamber will, therefore, allow the accused to make
12 submissions in writing, should he wish, in reply to the response within
13 14 days of receiving the response in B/C/S.
14 The Trial Chamber wishes to remind the parties that Rule 77(E)
15 provides that in contempt proceedings preliminary motions under Rule
16 72(A) are to be filed no later than ten days after disclosure by the
17 Prosecutor to the Defence of all material and statements referred to in
18 Rule 66(A)(i). The response of the Prosecutor indicates that the
19 Prosecutor considers that disclosure pursuant to Rule 66(A)(i) is not yet
20 complete and it seeks a decision of the Trial Chamber as to the scope of
21 that disclosure. Therefore, the Trial Chamber will determine the
22 beginning of the ten-day period within which preliminary motions under
23 Rule 72(A) are to be filed when it has decided upon the matters raised in
24 the response of the Prosecutor.
25 As I mentioned, pursuant to Rule 66(A)(iii) and 77(E), an accused
1 charged with contempt of the Tribunal shall be called upon to enter a
2 plea of guilty or not guilty within ten days of the Initial Appearance.
3 Mr. Seselj, I also need to advise you that in case you fail to
4 enter a plea at the Initial Appearance or any further appearance, the
5 Trial Chamber shall enter a plea of not guilty on your behalf, pursuant
6 to Rule 62(A)(iv).
7 At the Initial Appearance on the 29th April, the order in lieu of
8 indictment was read so I can move on to the plea.
9 Mr. Seselj, you are charged with one count of contempt of the
10 Tribunal, punishable under Rule 77(A)(ii) of the Rules for having
11 disclosed information which may identify 11 protected witnesses in
12 violation of orders of a Chamber in a book.
13 How do you plead to this charge, guilty or not guilty?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Given that not all of the
15 procedural conditions have been met, I refuse to plead. I also request
16 that I be allowed to give an oral response to the Prosecutor's motion.
17 It is my right to provide a response either in writing or orally. Both
18 are equally valid. And I will be very brief, therefore I request that I
19 be allowed to do that today.
20 JUDGE HALL
21 before --
22 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] Yes.
23 JUDGE HALL
24 you prepared to that at this stage? If you are, please proceed.
25 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] As for my plea, I have already told
1 you. Perhaps it wasn't interpreted for you. I refuse to plead today,
2 and I am entitled to that.
3 Now I would turn to the reply of the Prosecution. This will be
4 an oral submission.
5 In their motion on the -- of the 4th of May, which I received
6 yesterday, the Prosecutor actually supplemented the list of my requests,
7 and now I actually insist that I be given, pursuant to Rule 77, the
8 motion dated 26th of January, 2009. Also, the decision, pursuant to the
9 request by the Prosecution, dated the 22nd of August, 1999. Notice of
10 the Prosecution Appeal, the 2nd of September, 2009; I didn't ask for it
11 last time. I'm asking for it now. Appeals brief of the Prosecution,
12 dated 22nd September, 2009, and its corrigendum dated 23rd of September,
13 2009. I didn't ask for that last time. I didn't know that these
14 documents existed. Also the decision pursuant to the OTP appeal, dated
15 21st of August 2009, and 17 December 2009
16 material referred to in these decisions.
17 Although the Prosecution prematurely accepted the arguments of
18 the Prosecution [as interpreted], that they were not duty-bound to
19 provide this material to me and that this was not a prerequisite for me
20 pleading today, I would just like to draw your attention to page 6 of the
21 Prosecution response, paragraph 17, in which even the Prosecutor or,
22 rather, in which the Prosecutor himself gives the arguments which further
23 support what I'm saying now.
24 In there, the Prosecutor says that the documents that I'm seeking
25 do not represent material that can be used for preparing Defence and that
1 the Prosecutor does not intend to use this in the proceedings.
2 Judge, what I do care about what the Prosecutor intends to use in
3 trial? These documents are important for me to prepare my Defence
4 because they show that there was already a secret trial that I knew
5 nothing of, that I only intuitively felt had happened, and something that
6 I was discreetly informed about by my secret friends in the OTP, but I
7 had no evidence to support the fact that it was held. The entire
8 proceedings were held ex parte, and during those proceedings the Trial
9 Chamber rejected the motion to have me tried for contempt of court.
10 The arguments given in the decision of that Trial Chamber
11 represent very important material for me to prepare my Defence, because
12 these arguments were used by the Trial Chamber to explain why they
13 refused to try me for contempt of court. They obviously believed that it
14 wasn't a sound request, that the evidence wasn't solid, and the Trial
15 Chamber believed it was pointless to start a trial based on such a
17 We know that there are motions which both in Anglo Saxon law and
18 continental law rejected because of a minor value in civil cases;
19 whereas, in criminal cases, they can be rejected due to their low
20 importance and insignificant danger that they represent for the society.
21 So if somebody steals something minor from you, say one dollar, it is
22 still a theft but it's pointless to start a trial and to engage the
23 entire system in order to try somebody for that crime. Naturally, amicus
24 curiae is not aware of that because he wasn't engaged due to his
25 qualifications and competency here. He was engaged in order to gain
1 material profit. He was engaged by his friends in the Registry. And
2 then he further on goes to say that these arguments do not mitigate the
3 guilt of the accused and so on.
4 This is ridiculous. If the Trial Chamber has already once
5 decided that they would not act pursuant to the motion to try me for
6 contempt of court, then such a decision suggests that I'm innocent.
7 Well, let's take it that perhaps it doesn't suggest it. That it is
8 perhaps the case of a very minor danger that I represent, that I stole
9 just one dollar, so there's no point in trying me for that. Maybe that
10 was the argument on which the Trial Chamber based its decision. But that
11 mitigates the guilt of the accused and does affect the authenticity of
12 the evidence of Defence -- of the Prosecution which is completely
13 contrary to what the Prosecutor says. So it's pointless for you to deny
14 me access to these documents. If you deny me access to these documents,
15 then you can put an end to these proceedings immediately. I will refuse
16 to respond to this indictment. I will not file my pre-trial brief. I
17 not have my closing arguments. I will do nothing. I insist that these
18 documents to -- be provided to me, or else can you terminate these
19 proceedings as early as tonight.
20 The sooner you give this material to me, the fewer problems there
21 will be. I think that I was quite brief, quite concise, and quite clear.
22 JUDGE HALL
23 Mr. Seselj.
24 Before we proceed further, to -- finally dispose of this question
25 of the plea, having regard to what the accused has said, the Registrar is
1 directed to enter into the record a plea of not guilty on behalf of the
3 It will be recalled when we first appeared last Thursday that the
4 accused -- I indicated that the accused has filed a motion for the
5 disqualification of Judges Kwon and Parker, and the procedure under
6 Rule 15 must now be followed, and until this procedure has been completed
7 there is very little that can be done in -- in -- in this case, and
8 therefore, the Trial Chamber will have to return in due course with
9 information as to when the next stage in this process will resume.
10 Before we take the adjournment, Mr. MacFarlane, is there anything
11 that you would wish to raise?
12 MR. MacFARLANE: Thank you for the opportunity, Your Honour. I
13 don't believe there is anything further I'd like to raise at this stage.
14 Thank you.
15 JUDGE HALL
16 Mr. Seselj, is there anything that you would wish to raise before
17 we take the adjournment?
18 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] Mr. Hall, I have said everything I
19 had to say.
20 JUDGE HALL
21 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
22 JUDGE HALL
23 notified. Thank you.
24 --- Whereupon the Initial Appearance adjourned
25 at 2.50 p.m.