Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

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 1                           Tuesday, 12 June 2012

 2                           [Pre-Trial Conference]

 3                           [Open session]

 4                           [The accused entered court]

 5                           --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.

 6             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.

 7             Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.

 8             THE ACCUSED:  I couldn't hear anything.

 9             THE REGISTRAR:  Thank you.  And good morning, Your Honours.

10             This is case number IT-03-67-R77.4, In the Matter of

11     Vojislav Seselj.

12             THE ACCUSED:  Nothing.

13             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.  Good morning to everyone in and

14     around the courtroom.

15             Mr. Seselj, can you hear in Serbian?

16             THE ACCUSED:  I couldn't hear anything.

17             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I -- I suppose I have to talk just so that you

18     can test whether you have the translation.

19             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I can hear it now.

20             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.

21             Mr. Seselj, I would like, first of all, to make sure that you

22     feel fit for this hearing, as far as your health is concerned.

23             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] First of all, I'm absolutely not

24     going to talk to you about my health.

25             Secondly, I feel fit to take part in this deliberation.

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 1             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Thank you.  That's all I wanted to hear.

 2             Now, we have had a pre-trial -- and a first and further

 3     appearance already in which we have already also spoken to some extent

 4     about certain requests you had.  And the Trial Chamber has already, in

 5     fact, agreed to your proposal to have one Defence witness; namely,

 6     yourself, taking the witness-stand.

 7             It was decided in the Scheduling Order of 29 May that Mr. Mirovic

 8     would be allowed in the courtroom to do the main examination.  Now, I --

 9     I cannot see him in the courtroom, and we have had correspondence about

10     this.

11             What -- what is your position in this regard right now?

12             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I believe that there are no basic

13     presumptions for this hearing to be held today because I have been denied

14     the right to legal assistance.

15             First of all, I submitted a request for the disqualification of

16     Judge Kwon.  And you, Mr. Trechsel, didn't give me an opportunity to give

17     the statement of reasons for that at the last Status Conference held on

18     the 17th of April of this year.

19             And, also, I haven't been informed about any ruling taken on that

20     motion.  And unless this is resolved, whether based on my oral or written

21     motions, there can be no hearing.

22             Now, as to the issue of scheduling, you have announced that

23     Dejan Mirovic can examine me in-chief.  However, on the 29th of May, I

24     received a letter from the Registry.  I can give you an English version

25     of that.  Would you be so kind to give it to the Registrar.

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 1             The letter shows that the visit of Mr. Mirovic has been approved.

 2     In all other cases, legal advisors just come without any previous

 3     announcement, which is not the case in my case.  It says that the

 4     Registry is unable to compensate for his travel expenses.  If it is

 5     established that Mr. Mirovic's presence is required, there is an

 6     additional provision that the Court might cover his expenses.  When you

 7     issued this order, the liaison officer said that she had received a

 8     message from the Registry that Mirovic would have his travel expenses

 9     covered.

10             However, in this decision of the Registrar of the 25th of May, it

11     is said that Mr. Nemanja Sarovic had not been assigned to this case as a

12     Case Manager, which means that his potential visit cannot be carried out

13     in privileged conditions.  Nemanja Sarovic was my Case Manager in both

14     first contempt of court proceedings.  I advised the Registry that he

15     would be the legal manager in a third proceedings as well.  The secretary

16     said that he hasn't been assigned by him.  Why does the Registrar have to

17     assign him to me?  I assigned Nemanja Sarovic myself, and this is my

18     indisputable will.  The Registry does not have the right to dispute my

19     will.

20             I submitted a witness list in good time, pursuant to 65 ter Rule

21     in which I stated and laid out general terms of my testimony.  I asked

22     for ten hours, whereas, you granted me two hours for

23     examination-in-chief.  However, I was denied legal aid for me to

24     participate in this hearing today successfully.  My wish was to have my

25     Case Manager and legal advisor yesterday so that we can draw up a list of

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 1     the questions that I'm going to be asked, which is the standard procedure

 2     at this court.  I wanted both of them to be present here in the courtroom

 3     and to stay with me tomorrow so that we can agree about the possible

 4     appeals because we all know very well how this Court operates and what

 5     its intentions are.

 6             As for the issue of travel costs, that's not an issue that is

 7     directly related to financing the legal representation.  My main trial

 8     was absolutely irregular because my right from Article 21 granting me

 9     remuneration for the preparation of proper Defence was denied.  I never

10     asked for any money for these auxiliary contempt of court proceedings.

11     All I'm asking is for the travel expenses to be covered.  All these three

12     trials for the contempt of court involves something that I committed in

13     Belgrade, not in The Hague, and these are not war crimes or crimes of

14     genocide, or crimes against humanity, or violations are the

15     Geneva Conventions.  Those were the crimes that you have made up and

16     qualified them as contempt of court.  And if I committed these felonies

17     in Belgrade, then I should have been tried in Belgrade, pursuant to the

18     territorial principle.

19             Again, you don't want to listen to me.

20             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Mr. Seselj, I am indeed interrupting you because

21     you are talking about the merits and that is not the moment to do this.

22     You will have ample occasion to do that later on in the course of this

23     trial.

24             I want to address your objections.  The two you have mentioned

25     first.  As to the recusation --

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 1             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Why don't you allow me to finish.

 2             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  [Overlapping speakers]  Mr. Seselj, no.  No,

 3     Mr. Seselj.  I direct this trial and I say when, who is going to speak.

 4     And, at this moment, I am addressing two points that you have raised, in

 5     order to have some order, and have one point dealt with after the other

 6     so that we do not mix it up and get lost.

 7             You have challenged Judge Kwon orally here in the second -- in

 8     the Further Appearance.  But as have you been made aware and as you

 9     definitely know, certainly know, such a challenge must be presented in

10     writing with reasoning.  You have not presented such a motion.  And,

11     therefore, this Chamber had no reason to address this issue at all.

12             So this is not a valid point.

13             As to the scheduling, the Chamber is also aware of the situation,

14     and it was also -- it did also receive the letter that you have given us

15     in copy.  And here, again, we have taken a decision.  We have allowed

16     Mr. Mirovic to come here, and we have denied Mr. Sarovic to be brought

17     along because this is such a simple case that there is no justification

18     and certainly no need for a Case Manager.

19             These are my answers, the answers of the Chamber, to your first

20     objection.

21             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] First of all, Mr. Trechsel, nowhere

22     in the Rules of Procedure does it say that a request for disqualification

23     has to be submitted in writing.  Take a look at Rule number 11.

24             Therefore, an oral objection has the legal validity of a written

25     motion.

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 1             Secondly, you say that this is a simple case.  Why didn't you

 2     finalise it a year ago?  Why have you been delaying it for a whole year

 3     if it is so simple?  Why didn't you do it in an efficient manner?  Why

 4     are you violating my right to have an efficient trial?

 5             You could have finalised this in chamber and just sent me the

 6     ruling by mail.  This case is not simple.  This case has no precedent in

 7     no legal system of the civilised world, nor in the customary

 8     international law, nor in the Statute or the Rules of Procedure of the

 9     permanent International Criminal Court.  This is yet another example of

10     the wilful behaviour of this Court.

11             I did not go into the merit of this case.  I said that if you are

12     trying me, 2.000 kilometres from the place where the crime took place,

13     then the minimum concession should be that you pay for the travel

14     expenses for my Case Manager.  I'm the only one whose Case Manager was

15     facing these kind of problems, and I'm not going to allow that; or, if

16     you decide to pursue that course, then you're going to try me

17     in absentia.

18             This is what I had to tell you.

19             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Well, that is -- it is, of course, your choice

20     ultimately whether you participate in the trial or not.  It is a right

21     that you have.

22             As far as the challenge is concerned, the request to disqualify a

23     Judge, this Chamber has made you aware of this in the order on matters

24     raised by the accused during the Further Initial Appearance of 24 April.

25     And I may recall that it says, noting in relation to the second

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 1     statement, that Rule B(i) of the Rules provides that:

 2             "Any party may apply to the Presiding Judge of a Chamber for the

 3     disqualification and withdrawal of a Judge of that Chamber ..." and, "...

 4     the Presiding Judge shall confer with the Judge in question and report to

 5     the President."

 6             And further the Chamber considered that the grounds for such a

 7     challenge need to be substantiated.

 8             Now, you were even ordered to file any written substantiation of

 9     the second statement and you have not done that.  So the Chamber must

10     reject your objections at this point.  You simply did not validly

11     challenge the impartiality and the independence of Judge Kwon.  And that

12     ends the discussion on this point, Mr. Seselj.

13             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, that can't end the discussion

14     if I have counter-arguments.

15             First of all, nowhere is it stated that a written request is

16     required.

17             It says that every -- each party can request the

18     disqualification, withdrawal, of a Judge.  And at the end of the order,

19     you say that you're ordering the accused to give a written explanation of

20     the other statement within seven days after this order has been received

21     in a language that he understands.

22             So it says:  It might be necessary to do this.  I submitted a

23     request.  The request became part of the record.  The request has to be

24     answered by decision.  It has to be accepted or dismissed.  I tried to

25     provide an oral explanation of the request.  You prevented me from doing

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 1     so.

 2             You are now offering me the possibility of perhaps providing a

 3     statement of reasons in writing.  I don't want to do that.  And that is

 4     because in the last paragraph of your order, it says:  You might have to

 5     submit a request.  I won't submit a written request.  I provided a

 6     request in -- orally, and you interrupted me, and you like to do that

 7     today, too.  You like to emphasise the procedural role you have to play.

 8     You decide about everything.  But there is someone who is putting you on

 9     trial.  You're putting me on trial and the public is putting you on

10     trial, and we will see who fairs well in that trial.

11             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  We are not here to argue, Mr. Seselj.  The

12     Chamber has taken a decision, and that's it.  Later on, you may appeal

13     any judgement of this Chamber, but this discussion now is over.  We're

14     not going to go back and forth, exchanging or repeating, rather, the same

15     arguments.

16             We are also not coming back on our decision that Mr. Mirovic is

17     allowed to be here, but not Mr. Sarovic, the other lawyer -- the other

18     person that you wanted as a Case Manager.  This Chamber has examined the

19     question of whether there was any serious need for a Case Manager in this

20     case, and this case is so very simple that the Chamber concluded there is

21     no such necessity.  And, again, that -- that is a decision of this

22     Chamber, and it is not going to be changed.

23             Does it change your attitude?  Do I have to assume that you then

24     refuse to take part in the trial and waive your right to be present and

25     to defend yourself, in fact?

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 1             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Trechsel, how can you say that

 2     your Chamber's decision won't be amended?  How do you know that in

 3     advance?  It can also be re-examined at my request or the request of some

 4     other party.  And you must always bear in mind the possibility that it

 5     might be changed.  How do you know that it will never be changed?  How

 6     can you know that in advance?  What kind of a Judge are you?  What sort

 7     of legal system do you come from?

 8             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I take your point.  I will consult with my

 9     colleagues.

10                           [Trial Chamber confers]

11             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  We will adjourn for a break of five to ten

12     minutes.

13                            --- Break taken at 9.25 a.m.

14                            --- On resuming at 9.32 a.m.

15             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  The hearing is resumed.

16             Mr. Seselj, the Chamber has deliberated, taking into account what

17     you have said this morning, and it has concluded that it stays with its

18     decision.

19             So you will be able to make statements as a witness, and you will

20     be questioned by the Presiding Judge of this Chamber, and you will have

21     also the opportunity to make final submissions.

22             This is our decision, and this -- having said this, I would like

23     to ask you about your final submissions.  How long do you anticipate that

24     you will wish to address the Chamber?

25             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In the absence of my legal advisor

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 1     and Case Manager, I'm not able to testify because there is no one to

 2     conduct the examination-in-chief, and without the possibility of directly

 3     consulting them, although I speak to my legal advisor regularly over the

 4     phone, I nevertheless need to have direct contact with him.

 5             So without such assistance I cannot present my Defence, and

 6     without such aid from Mr. Dejan Mirovic and without the assistance of

 7     Nemanja Sarovic, my Case Manager, I cannot present any final submissions.

 8             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Mr. Seselj, it is for the Chamber to determine

 9     how the procedures are held, and the Chamber has determined that it will

10     hold a trial.

11             This brings our Pre-Trial Conference to an end, and, as we have

12     announced previously, we shall immediately proceed to the trial itself.

13             You have received the Order in Lieu of Indictment, Mr. Seselj,

14     and you have access to all the documents referred to therein.  So we come

15     to the phase where the Defence presents its evidence, and I invite you,

16     as you have announced, to take the witness-stand.  I can, and my

17     colleagues, do the examination as is normally done in proceedings,

18     according to the continental system, which is not very different from the

19     former Yugoslavian system, actually.

20             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm not able to present the Defence

21     case.  And you cannot examine me against my will.  The system in this

22     Court is very different from the European continental system and from the

23     system in place in Serbia, or, rather, in the former Yugoslavia.  You

24     cannot examine me if I do not agree to that.  And you will not examine me

25     today.

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 1             I won't take the witness-stand because I haven't been given the

 2     possibility of preparing the Defence case.  So you may hand down your

 3     Judgement immediately.  I've saved you a lot of time.  You had planned to

 4     work until 7.00 in the evening, the whole day.

 5             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  I -- I have to correct you in one point,

 6     Mr. Seselj.  Also, according to the continental system, an accused has no

 7     obligation whatsoever to make a statement.  And you have, indeed, the

 8     right not to make a statement.  It means that you waive the right to

 9     present evidence, and that you can absolutely do.

10             Do I also take it that you also waive the right to present final

11     submissions to the Chamber?

12             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I haven't waived any of my rights.

13     I haven't waived the right to present a Defence case, and I haven't

14     waived the right to present final submissions before the Trial Chamber.

15             I am complaining in public because I haven't been given the

16     possibility of preparing my Defence case in an adequate manner.  Because

17     what is happening to me is something that has never happened in any other

18     cases that have appeared before The Hague Tribunal.  I'm not waiving any

19     rights, but I don't want to participate in any proceedings until I'm

20     given the possibility of having my legal advisor, Dejan Mirovic, and my

21     Case Manager, Nemanja Sarovic, present and until I am given the

22     possibility of having contact with them.

23             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Well, Mr. Seselj, it is for the Chamber rather

24     than for yourself to interpret your own behaviour.  And you may say that

25     it is not a waiver, but the fact is that you have the opportunity now and

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 1     you do not want to use it.  And that is your right, in fact.  I mean,

 2     there is no obligation for you.

 3             Do you have anything to add?

 4             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, yes, I could take the

 5     witness-stand, but I am afraid that you will trick me at any moment.  So

 6     this is why I need to prepare with my legal advisor and Case Manager in a

 7     timely manner, because I don't trust you, any of you.  I don't trust any

 8     of the Judges of The Hague Tribunal because I'm aware of the fact that

 9     there is not a single decent man who would accept to become a Judge at

10     this Tribunal, and it is for this reason that I don't trust any of you.

11             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  Your last sentence, Mr. Seselj, is offensive,

12     and I must protest against that, and I regret that do you not trust the

13     Judges of this Tribunal, but I don't think there's much that we can do

14     about this.

15             If there are no further issues -- do my colleagues want to add

16     something?  No.

17             Well, then ...

18                           [Trial Chamber confers]

19             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  The Chamber will have another break for

20     deliberations, and the hearing is adjourned for about five to ten

21     minutes.

22                            --- Break taken at 9.42 a.m.

23                            --- On resuming at 9.54 a.m.

24             JUDGE TRECHSEL:  The hearing is resumed.

25             The Chamber, after having deliberated, has decided, as follows:

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 1             It will now adjourn the hearing, to be resumed on Monday morning,

 2     18th of June, at 9.00.  The basic rules for the hearing are not changed;

 3     that is to say, the Chamber maintains that Mr. Mirovic is welcome in the

 4     courtroom to question Mr. Seselj, as an accused witness, but no

 5     assistance by a Case Manager is warranted.

 6             And this is also meant as a warning.  In case, Mr. Seselj, that

 7     you will persist in the attitude you have displayed today, the Chamber

 8     will go on with the trial.  It will not change the basic rules.  But it

 9     gives you a last chance to ponder over the attitude you will take in this

10     case.

11             With this, the hearing is adjourned.

12                            --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 9.57 a.m.,

13                           to be reconvened on Monday, the 18th day of June,

14                           2012, at 9.00 a.m.