1 Monday, 19 March 2012
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Open session]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.31 p.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE BAIRD: Mr. Registrar, call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honour. This is case number
8 IT-03-67-R77.4, in the matter of Vojislav Seselj. Thank you.
9 JUDGE BAIRD: Mr. Seselj, can you hear the proceedings in a
10 language you understand?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I need some time, Your Honour, to
12 get used to the new technology. Yes, I can hear the interpretation.
13 JUDGE BAIRD: Thank you.
14 Now, before we go any further, Mr. Seselj, I was given to
15 understand that you are not feeling well this afternoon?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well enough to participate in this
17 Status Conference.
18 JUDGE BAIRD: Very well.
19 Well, let me introduce myself. I am Judge Melville Baird.
20 Judge Stefan Trechsel and I were appointed in this case by the President
21 of the Tribunal on the 16th of December, 2011, in replacement of
22 Judges Hall and Morrison. The Chamber has decided that I would conduct
23 this Status Conference today.
24 Now, the background to today's hearing is as follows. An initial
25 Order in Lieu of Indictment was issued on 9th May 2011 and charges
1 Mr. Seselj with contempt of the Tribunal pursuant to Rule 77 for failing
2 to comply with orders to remove from his web site, inter alia,
3 three books and five filings which allegedly include confidential
4 information. At an initial appearance on July 6th, 2011, Mr. Seselj
5 pleaded not guilty to this charge. On the 15th of July, 2011, the
6 Trial Chamber ordered Mr. Seselj to remove from his web site by
7 8th August 2011 a fourth book which allegedly also contains confidential
8 information. This was not done, and in the decision of 21st October
9 2011, the Trial Chamber amended the Order in Lieu of Indictment to
10 include Mr. Seselj's failure to comply with the order of 15 July 2011.
11 On 11 November 2011, a plea of not guilty was entered on Mr. Seselj's
12 behalf at a second further appearance.
13 Now, the Chamber is required pursuant to Rule 65 bis to hold a
14 Status Conference within 120 days after the initial appearance. The
15 purpose of the Status Conference is three-fold: (A) to organise
16 exchanges between the parties so as to ensure an expeditious preparation
17 for trial; (B) to review the status of the accused's case and to allow
18 the accused to raise issues in relation thereto; (C) to allow the accused
19 to raise issues in relation to his mental and physical condition and
20 matters relating to detention.
21 Now, there are currently no pending motions before the
22 Trial Chamber. As was stated during the second further appearance, the
23 Chamber understands that the supporting material to the Order in Lieu of
24 Indictment has been provided to the accused. No further disclosure needs
25 to be made.
1 Now, at this stage, Mr. Seselj, are you in a position to state
2 whether you would be ready to proceed with trial?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Ha, whether I will be ready to
4 proceed. This is in the hands of God, not in my hands. And it is up to
5 the skills of the dark Western powers and their intelligence services.
6 I protest, Mr. Baird, for the fact that this trial did not start
7 a long time ago. It could have started a year ago. There's no reason
8 whatsoever to procrastinate, and since there has been so much delay, I'm
9 inclined to start thinking that some political motives are at stake. If
10 you consider that I violated the Rules and if you believe that the trial
11 is so simple that there is no need to hire an amicus curiae - and I agree
12 with that because there has never been any need to hire him - then there
13 should not have been any reason to wait. We should have started already.
14 I understand that the Judges have been replaced and that the two
15 Judges, Hall and - what is his name? - Howard Morrison, Howard Morrison,
16 did their best to escape this case, given the negative experience from
17 the previous case. But as soon as the Judges have been replaced we could
18 have gone on trial. Why are we not on trial already? Why are we holding
19 a Status Conference instead of the proper trial.
20 As far as I'm concerned, I'm ready for trial but you have to
21 provide me with some procedural prerequisites. The Registry has disabled
22 my communication with my legal advisors. About a month ago I had a
23 scheduled visit of my remaining two legal advisors because Zoran Kasic
24 has been removed from my case. The other two were supposed to visit me,
25 Dejan Mirovic and Boris Aleksic, as well as my case manager
1 Nemanja Sarovic. The Registry wrote me a letter stating that
2 Dejan Mirovic and Boris Aleksic could visit me under privileged
3 conditions and that Nemanja Sarovic, on the other hand, as my case
4 manager, could not do that. There is no single case before this Tribunal
5 in which a case manager has been deprived of his right to participate in
6 conversations between the Defence and the accused. It is only my case
7 that this has been happening.
8 Since I was informed that there would be no privileged
9 communication and there was a room prepared for us, a room that
10 Mr. Karadzic and some other accused often use, the top-class accused who
11 are of most significance for foreign intelligence services, that's why we
12 concluded that every word of ours was being eavesdropped and that's why
13 we did not say a word about any of my cases, including this contempt
14 case. And this is already the third contempt case against me.
15 In this trial this is what I demand. Dejan Mirovic should be
16 able to visit me as well as my case manager Nemanja Sarovic. I have to
17 be able to prepare my defence with them because I need to appear as my
18 own witness in my own defence during trial and possibly invite two or
19 three other witnesses. But I will be able to do that only if I am
20 provided with the right for privileged communication.
21 In my previous trial I brought ten witnesses and I wanted my
22 legal advisors and case manager to be here to prepare the witnesses.
23 This was not allowed and the witnesses appeared in the courtroom without
24 any preparation. Half of the witnesses were not allowed to testify in
25 open court and that's why they didn't want to testify. I hope that this
1 will not repeat because this time I don't intend to call any of the
2 witnesses who have ever enjoyed protective measures. I want to call
3 those witnesses who understand my alleged contempt of court.
4 The fact that I do not respect The Hague Tribunal is old news.
5 The problem lies in the fact whether my contempt of the trial of
6 The Hague Tribunal may be characterised as a crime or not and whether
7 The Hague Tribunal is competent to prosecute this crime because my main
8 thesis is that The Hague Tribunal has proclaimed itself as being
9 competent to prosecute this crime. The Hague Tribunal claims that it has
10 an inherent competency. It may have inherent competency or arrogated
12 This arrogated jurisdiction is based on the right to conduct
13 proceedings on the case and not to describe the characteristics of the
14 crime -- let's put aside the fact that there is a big problem whether
15 contempt of court may be prosecuted and punished as a crime in such
16 cases. I'm not talking about the cases when somebody blackmails
17 witnesses or falsely testifies or perjures themselves. But if somebody
18 discloses a secret is a crime or not, this is a different matter.
19 I have just presented several problems that have hindered my
20 defence and I hope that you will be able to deal with these problems
21 unlike your colleagues in the previous trials.
22 JUDGE BAIRD: Now, this leads me to my second question.
23 Actually, you touched on it slightly when you spoke a while ago. Do you
24 have any intention to call any witnesses during the presentation of your
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would call three witnesses at the
2 outside. They are well informed of the way my internal counsel operates
3 and my activities. But the longest would be my own testimony and in that
4 case I would need proofing by my legal assistant Dejan Mirovic,
5 attorney-at-law, and he would be the one examining me. The
6 cross-examination can be conducted by you or one of your colleagues or
7 somebody from the Prosecution, I don't care. That's not my problem. But
8 in examination-in-chief, I would be examined by my own legal assistant,
9 by my own legal advisor, Dejan Mirovic.
10 JUDGE BAIRD: The Trial Chamber will in due course provide
11 information as to the commencement of the trial.
12 Now, then, Mr. Seselj, do you wish to raise any matter relating
13 to your state of health or your condition of detention at all?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] As for the conditions of detention
15 I have to repeat something I've said at previous Status Conferences and
16 in other cases related to me. The DU administration, now supported not
17 only by the Registry but also by the President of the Tribunal, is
18 stopping me from writing and making my own submissions. I write my
19 submissions in long hand, and for all of the past nine years whenever I
20 write a submission, I asked the guard on duty to make a photocopy for me
21 so that I could submit the original and keep the photocopy as proof that
22 I have indeed made the submission. Now two months ago, the
23 DU administration banned this. Through my legal assistants I complained
24 to the President of the Tribunal and he rejected my complaint. So in
25 future whatever happens, I am no longer able to write anything myself or
1 send anything to the Trial Chamber, to the President of the Tribunal, or
2 the Registry. They prevented me.
3 Why would I write anything if I can get no proof that I submitted
4 it? The only possible proof can be a photocopy, and my submissions are
5 not long, one to three pages at most. But they don't want to do it.
6 They are deliberately making my case difficult for me and putting me
7 under additional stress on purpose.
8 As for my health, the darkest powers in this world, the
9 Western powers, using their intelligence services continue to undermine
10 my health and we'll see what the outcome will be. We'll see that very
11 soon. But as long as I breathe, I will fight against this
12 Hague Tribunal. And as they make the methods against me more
13 sophisticated, my defiance and hatred for this illegal and anti-Serb
14 Tribunal are greater and greater. I don't need to convince you of that,
15 because my current condition has been artificially induced from outside.
16 All the doctors that I asked at the university centre in Leiden
17 said there is no internal physiological reason for my arrhythmia and
18 tachycardia. It couldn't be the condition of my blood vessels or my
19 blood tests. My blood vessels are in perfect condition. I never had
20 increased blood sugar, triglycerides, or anything else that normally
21 causes such problems. All that is happening to me, especially the last
22 incident when the implanted ICD went totally crazy, tells me that
23 somebody is intervening from outside. Somebody is timing the moment when
24 they will end my life.
25 JUDGE BAIRD: Is there any matter that you wish to raise at this
1 stage over and above the matters you have already touched on?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. I would like to hear from you
3 whether you intend to solve the problem of my meetings with my legal
4 counsel and my case manager and whether the issue of proofing of my
5 witnesses will be resolved as well.
6 JUDGE BAIRD: Well, at this point in time, I am simply conducting
7 this Status Conference, but your -- the points you have raised have been
8 noted and certainly there are legal avenues that you could raise these
9 issues through if you so desire.
10 If there is nothing further, Mr. Registrar, at this stage we will
11 adjourn the proceedings.
12 --- Whereupon the Status Conference
13 adjourned at 2.51 p.m.