1 Wednesday, 29 October 2003
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Open session]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.07 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning. Madam Registrar, could you call the
7 case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. Good morning, Your Honour.
9 This is the case number IT-03-67-PT, the Prosecutor versus Seselj.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
11 Good morning, Mr. Seselj. Can you follow what I am saying in a
12 language that you understand?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, for now, but from previous
14 experience, I know that sometimes I'm unable to follow because of poor
15 interpretation. However, at present, I can, yes. But I will tell you
16 when I am no longer able to do so.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Thank you. Please do.
18 Appearances for the Prosecution.
19 MR. SAXON: Good morning, Your Honour. I'm Daniel Saxon,
20 together with my colleague, Ulrich Mussemeyer.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. And good morning to you.
22 I understand, Mr. Seselj, that you are defending yourself. You
23 chose to defend yourself. But as you know, we have appointed
24 Mr. Aleksandar Lazarevic, who I recognise here in the room, in the
25 courtroom. Good morning to you, Mr. Lazarevic.
1 MR. LAZAREVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. I'm
2 Aleksandar Lazarevic, assigned standby counsel for Professor Seselj.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
4 First thing I wanted to state is that there has been a change in
5 the composition of the Trial Chamber, and that's because Judge Schomburg
6 has moved on to the Appeals Chamber. I have taken over the presidency of
7 the Trial Chamber, and for the time being and until the -- your case comes
8 to trial, the Pre-Trial Chamber composition is as follows: Me as the
9 Presiding Judge, then there is Judge Florence Mumba, and Judge Jean-Claude
10 Antonetti. I am also the Pre-Trial Judge for the whole duration of the
11 pre-trial stage, unless there is a change at some point in time.
12 The last Status Conference was held on the 3rd of July of 2003,
13 and as required by Rule 65 bis, we are summoning this Status Conference
14 within the 120-day period. The purpose of Status Conferences is, as you
15 know, to organise exchanges between the parties, to ensure an expeditious
16 preparation for the trial, and also to give the accused the opportunity to
17 raise any matter related to his mental health or general health or
18 physical condition, as well as to the conditions of detention in the
19 Detention Unit in Scheveningen, if there are any complaints in that area.
20 I suggest we start with the first item of the agenda, which
21 is -- relates to issues relating to disclosure. I will state first what
22 is the information that I am in possession of. And if there are then
23 comments, additions, remarks, or suggestions from either of you on this
24 matter, then please you will take the floor as I ask you.
25 Why is the microphone of the accused switched on? It should be
1 switched on when -- when I give him the floor. Okay.
2 So the first matter is issues relating to disclosure. And I will
3 deal first with disclosure of exculpatory material, which is regulated by
4 Rule 68 of our Rules. At the last Status Conference on the 3rd of July,
5 that is, the Prosecution disclosed the first -- the first batch of
6 exculpatory material to the accused, and all the materials were in the
7 Serbo-Croat language. The accused accepted these documents or
8 acknowledged the receipt of these documents. I -- it seems to me that the
9 question arose as to whether the -- any Rule 68 material that is not in
10 the B/C/S language should be provided to the accused in B/C/S, in
11 Serbo-Croat. It has been put to me that the Prosecution stated at the
12 time that it would continue to identify Rule 68 material and disclose it
13 but that it was not prepared or willing to translate that material into
14 B/C/S, as this would be too great a burden to bear. And it also results
15 to me that the accused on this matter stated that he could not work in
16 English and that neither of his two legal assistants can understand
17 English and that he kept insisting that every document provided to him
18 must and should be in the B/C/S language.
19 Let's start with this Rule 68 material for the time being and
20 leave the Rule 66 disclosure until later. What is the position now from
21 the Prosecutors -- the Prosecution side?
22 MR. SAXON: Thank you, Your Honour. Effectively the position of
23 the Prosecution has not changed, and I'd simply like to make a point of
24 clarification in -- in our position regarding the potential burden of
25 having to translate potentially exculpatory material from English or
1 another language into the language of the accused. Actually, the point of
2 the Prosecution was not that this would be a burden too great for the
3 Prosecution to bear but actually would be a burden too great for CLSS, the
4 Translation Unit in the Registry to bear, and that is simply our
5 understanding from our communications with that section of this Tribunal.
6 We have today, Your Honour, to provide to the accused, with
7 hopefully the assistance of the Registry, another packet of material. It
8 is all in the language -- first language of the accused,
9 Bosnian/Serbian/Croat, and we also have a videotape which we had
10 previously provided to the accused under Rule 68 but which Dr. Seselj was
11 unable to play on the apparatus available to him in the Detention Unit.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah. There is a motion which refers to that, yes.
13 MR. SAXON: So we have recreated hopefully a more workable copy,
14 and we have that ready to give to him today.
15 As well, Your Honour, on the issue of material that is not in the
16 language of the accused, of course, I'm referring to material subject to
17 disclosure under Rule 68, the Prosecution is hopeful that it might be able
18 to provide this material to the standby counsel so that the standby
19 counsel could at least advise the accused, Dr. Seselj, as to the existence
20 and the nature of this material. And that would be the Prosecution's
21 suggestion this morning to Your Honour.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Professor Seselj, do you have any comments on
23 Rule 68 disclosure material, or Rule 68 material?
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. I already filed a submission
25 in which I informed you that I'm also prepared to perform my obligations
1 under Rule 68. As my advisors were very successful --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, Rule 67.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- I have prepared some 300 pages
4 of evidence and to this I add 80 published books of mine containing all my
5 speeches in the parliaments of Serbia and Yugoslavia, all my newspaper
6 interviews, all my interviews to radio and television stations, some court
7 proceedings and most of my public speakings at public rallies. I think
8 that this will be a lot of work for the Prosecution, but it is a complete
9 set of materials after which they may perhaps withdraw their indictment.
10 As the OTP is handing over to me exculpatory material at the
11 Status Conference, I also have the right to hand over the materials I have
12 under Rule 67(A)(ii), as regards exculpatory and every other material, it
13 has to be disclosed to me in the Serbian language and I insist this. I
14 will never change my position on this.
15 As for the alleged standby counsel, Aleksandar Lazarevic, this is
16 a very serious problem. And, Your Honour, I have to tell you that
17 tomorrow I will institute criminal proceedings because some crimes were
18 committed when Aleksandar Lazarevic was appointed. This is something that
19 was agreed on when (redacted)
20 (redacted), spent (redacted) holidays in the house of attorney
21 Toma Fila on Lake Ohrid. And through (redacted), Toma Fila communicated
22 with Hans Holthuis, the Registrar, and this is when it was agreed that
23 Aleksandar Lazarevic should be appointed as my standby counsel. Why
24 cannot Aleksandar Lazarevic participate in my defence in any way? Because
25 Toma Fila was the attorney for Zeljko Raznjatovic, Arkan, in legal
1 proceedings against me in 1993 and 1994. On that occasion, Aleksandar
2 Lazarevic was an intern in the office of Toma Fila. I have prepared here
3 my book, which contains the entire documents on the court proceedings
4 instituted and that had to do with me and Arkan. And Fila acted as
5 counsel for Arkan.
6 Secondly, I have also discovered criminal actions in which Hans
7 Holthuis is involved to distribute the money, the funds set aside by the
8 Tribunal for defence between Hans Holthuis, (redacted), and perhaps
9 other people. And 21 attorneys from Toma Fila's office are now actively
10 engaged in 15 proceedings before this Tribunal. I have been in a conflict
11 with Toma Fila and his entire office for more than a decade. Toma Fila
12 was one of the founders of Arkan's Party of Serbian Unity, and the
13 Prosecution is not happy that Maja Gojkovic should be one of my counsel,
14 because she was a founder of a political party, but they don't mind that
15 Toma Fila was also the founder of a political party.
16 Also, I had a conflict with Slavko Jerkovic -- or rather, with
17 the father of Aleksandar Lazarevic, Ljubisa Lazarevic, who is a professor
18 in the faculty of law in Belgrade, and he publicly attacked
19 Professor Ratko Markovic for writing a positive paper about me, a positive
20 report about me when I was up for election as a -- as a professor. I was
21 illegally driven away from that faculty later. The father of
22 Aleksandar Lazarevic is notorious as a professor who -- who falsifies
23 students' exams. He shares an office with Ilija Drazic. Attorney
24 Ilija Drazic is the -- an advisor of the Mafia minister, Goran Pitic. And
25 furthermore, the wife of Aleksandar Lazarevic is a high-ranking official
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 of the present Mafia regime in Serbia, her name is Aleksandra [phoen]
2 Lazarevic, and she is the public attorney there. I will, therefore,
3 institute criminal proceedings because of all these things, and I advise
4 you that never under any circumstances will I agree to have any kind of
5 contact with Aleksandar Lazarevic. I have my legal advisors in whom I
6 have unbounded confidence who are already helping me in my defence,
7 although Hans Holthuis is trying to avoid them at any cost and although
8 the OTP is perhaps afraid of having -- me having Maja Gojkovic as my legal
9 advisor. But that's their problem. She fulfils all the conditions to be
10 my legal advisor. My legal advisor does not have to speak English and I
11 will not be speaking to them in English. They will only be speaking to
12 me. But I insist that they sit next to me in the courtroom so they can
13 assist me during the proceedings, that they can at least turn the pages of
14 documents for me if I ask them to do that.
15 Your Honour, this is as regards that matter. But now I wish to
16 have it entered into the record that -- that my book, "Sudanije Nepokojnog
17 Vojvode" should be entered here. It contains many of the legal
18 proceedings instituted against me by the regime in Serbia including the
19 one involving Zeljko Raznjatovic, Arkan, where Arkan was defended by
20 Toma Fila with his office and Aleksandar Lazarevic, attorney at law, was
21 his intern at the time.
22 Also,"Osmanlijski Sejmeni Na Provnom Fakultetski," which concerns
23 the scandals at the faculty of law in connection with my expulsion.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Mr. Saxon, do you have any objection at all
25 at Mr. Seselj presenting or tendering his -- his book at this stage?
1 MR. SAXON: To disclosing the book to the Prosecution, the
2 Prosecution --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: He contends that it is exculpatory, so --
4 MR. SAXON: We have no objection, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
6 MR. SAXON: Just a point of --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. If you -- if you want to add something,
8 please. I'm sorry for interrupting you.
9 MR. SAXON: I'm sorry. Just a point of clarification for the
10 accused. Rule 67, as it's written, refers to special defences,
11 Your Honour, in particular the defence of alibi or diminished
12 responsibility. And the Prosecution hasn't heard anything that indicates
13 that these books that Dr. Seselj is tendering this morning really deal
14 with these issues. But having said that, given that this -- this is an
15 under -- an unrepresented accused, we are certainly willing to accept it
16 at this point.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I thank you, Mr. Saxon.
18 Professor Seselj, you -- I had asked you to restrict your
19 comments to Rule 68 material disclosure, and you put in several other
20 matters with which we'll deal later. As far as Rule 68 material is
21 concerned, I take it that the position, if it's -- if I were to
22 crystallise it now, is that there is a further batch today that is being
23 disclosed to you and that is in a language that you understand and,
24 therefore, there is no problem as far as today is concerned.
25 When we come to the stage that the Prosecution -- when the
1 Prosecution wants to disclose Rule 68 material, which is not in a language
2 that you can understand, you have the right to file a proper motion,
3 address it to the Tribunal via the Registrar, and we will decide there and
4 then whether this material needs to be translated into a language that you
5 can understand or not. But at the present moment, today, the matter does
6 not arise because what is being disclosed today is in your own language.
7 That's number one.
8 Number two, the question of the appointment of Mr. Lazarevic.
9 That is the responsibility of the Trial Chamber. It's the Trial Chamber
10 that has appointed Mr. Lazarevic. You have every right to refuse audience
11 to Mr. Lazarevic. You have every right not to even look at his face. You
12 have every right to think what you think, what you would like to think
13 about Mr. Lazarevic, but he is there and he is going to remain there as
14 standby counsel, as per our decision of -- of May of this year.
15 As regards your intention to institute "legal criminal
16 proceedings," do as you please. We'll see what these criminal proceedings
17 that you are referring to are and there -- if they have a place inside the
18 agenda of the pre-trial stage, then we will -- we will discuss that.
19 Otherwise, I am not prepared to discuss those matters as -- since I am not
20 yet seized with those matters, you having not "instituted these criminal
22 With regard also to instituting criminal proceedings against
23 the -- our Registrar, Mr. Hans Holthuis, do as you please. Again, this
24 does not form part of the agenda of today's Pre-Trial Conference, and I
25 don't know if it will ever form part of any agenda of any
1 Pre-Trial Conference. If it does, then we will discuss it.
2 As regards any material that you would like to disclose today to
3 the Prosecution, to the Court, which you think is exculpatory, make sure
4 that it is exculpatory and you're free to -- to tender it. Although, I
5 need to advise you that it is very strange that at this stage an accused
6 assisted or unassisted takes that stand. But it's up to you. I'm not
7 going to interfere with your wishes if you want to tender those books or
8 any of them, you're free to do so.
9 So the last thing is about disclosure of Rule 68 material at a
10 later stage. We'll deal with that matter as and when it arises. And
11 it -- I will deal with it only if there is an ad hoc motion, be it verbal
12 or -- or written. But as far as today's sitting is concerned, the
13 question does not arise.
14 Rule 66 material. Do I have a confirmation from you, Mr. Saxon
15 or Mr. Mussemeyer, that Rule 66 disclosure -- material disclosure is
17 MR. SAXON: No, Your Honour. In part that is because the
18 Prosecution is awaiting a decision from the Trial Chamber based
19 on -- related to a motion that was filed in September of this year,
20 related to certain protective measures. It --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Stop there for a time being.
22 Professor Seselj, on the 15th of September, the Prosecution filed
23 a motion, which was dated 10th of September but which was filed five days
24 later. I have information that it was handed to you on the 17th of
25 September. In this motion, the Prosecution is asking the Trial Chamber to
1 authorise them not to disclose to you -- not to disclose to you certain
2 information as is provided by Rule 66(A)(ii), which I suppose, since you
3 have opted to defend yourself, you are familiar with. But if you don't
4 have the Rules available before you now, in front of you,-- the problem is
5 this, that usually one would have expected you to have replied to that
6 motion, having received it on the 17th of September. To my knowledge, no
7 reply has been forthcoming. I haven't received anything. If you have
8 filed anything, please let me know. If you haven't filed anything, please
9 tell me whether you intend to file a reply, a response to that motion, in
10 which case even though the time limit has lapsed, I am prepared to give
11 you a further term, time limit within which you can file your response.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] As that is a question that is being
13 addressed at the Status Conference, I am prepared to provide you with an
14 oral reply. I don't have the intention of providing a written submission,
15 because I have had very bad experience to date. I would write a very
16 lengthy text, and then they would try to return it to me by all possible
17 means. So I will be concise and provide you with an oral answer to that
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Professor Seselj, you have every right, and I
20 appreciate that you are not ignoring my -- my appeal to you to respond to
21 this motion, and I appreciate that you are going to economise everybody's
22 time by responding verbally today. However, since you are bringing up a
23 matter that has been -- has proved a problem to you and also a problem to
24 us, and that is the length of -- of your written submissions, and since we
25 will be seeing each other more often and on a regular basis, I suggest we
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13 English transcripts.
1 try to understand each other a little bit better. The Rules of this
2 Tribunal are binding on you, on the Prosecution, and on me and the other
3 Judges. No one has the right to go beyond or not to apply the Rules that
4 have been created. And the Rules plus the directives that are in
5 existence in virtue -- by virtue of the Rules specify the length that each
6 motion, each document that is filed by either of the parties must observe.
7 There are instances when the party, whoever it is - Prosecution or
8 Defence - needs more space, more pages, and in that case an ad hoc
9 motion -- application is made to the Trial Chamber, and if the Trial
10 Chamber is justified that there is a case for more pages, it will
11 authorise. There are many instances where all Trial Chambers have
12 authorised submissions -- written submissions in excess of the norm. But
13 the Rule and the directive must first be observed.
14 When you file a motion taking the law in your hand, deciding that
15 you need 300 pages and not 10 to present your case or to present a motion,
16 ignoring what the Rules say, what the directives say, and ignoring what
17 the Trial Chamber is bound by, then you're only making it difficult for
18 yourself. So my suggestion to you is you have assumed the responsibility
19 of defending yourself, which is a great responsibility, and you will be
20 respected not only as an accused but also as an accused who has taken in
21 addition the burden of defending himself. But that doesn't give you the
22 right that no lawyer has; it doesn't give you the right that no one else
23 has. And therefore, please stick to the Rules. If you need more pages,
24 let us know and we will decide whether it's the case of authorising you or
25 not. That's number one.
1 But please now let's go back to your verbal or oral response to
2 the Prosecution's motion of the 17th of September and stick to that,
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm bound by the
5 Statute of the Tribunal and by the Rules of Procedure and Evidence,
6 providing the provisions are not contrary to the Statute, since the
7 Statute has precedence. And instructions from the Presiding Judge can't
8 be a legal act which is binding because it can be binding for Judges, for
9 court officials, et cetera. But for me as an accused, these instructions
10 can't be legally binding. And I insist on this. This is a legal matter
11 that no one can respond to. The Presiding Judge cannot say -- cannot
12 limit the amount of pages I can submit, especially if I am -- if we're
13 talking about an objection to the indictment. That is my absolute right.
14 And I assume that in your judicial system this is true too. No one can
15 prevent me from -- to the indictment, especially not by arguing that my
16 submission is too lengthy. This is quite scandalous from a legal point of
17 view, as far as this problem is concerned. On the basis of the experience
18 of all the proceedings before this Tribunal to date, I know that in each
19 case of concealing the identity of a victim I am concealing -- I am
20 covering up a false witness. In the case of Milan Babic, who was a
21 protected witness and later on his identity was disclosed, at the
22 proceedings against Slobodan Milosevic he mentioned my name and he lied.
23 He said that Marko Negovanovic, the minister of defence, gave him a
24 helicopter to visit the Knin battlefield. At that time, Marko Negovanovic
25 wasn't a minister; Tomislav Simic was. I received a helicopter from
1 General Vukovic, the commander of the Knin Corps. And I didn't go to
2 Belgrade with it but I went to Mostar and then to Podgorica. So the
3 question is why is the identity of a witness concealed? In my case, not a
4 single witness is at risk. If I have a false witness who I will make
5 appear before this Tribunal, that's a risk. Each witness has to bear such
6 a risk. The Prosecution has to take this risk too. The Prosecution which
7 appeals to false testimony. So there is no risk for witnesses.
8 But there is another danger: The Prosecution here suggests that
9 my identity should be disclosed and that before the witness appears before
10 the Tribunal --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, because there is -- either you're
12 saying something that doesn't make sense or the interpretation that I have
13 received doesn't make sense.
14 I have here, but there is another danger. "The Prosecution here
15 suggests that my identity" - that's your identity, in other words -
16 "should be disclosed and that the witness appears before the Tribunal."
17 Did you say that or -- I don't know. This is what I have here.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No. The identity would be
19 disclosed to me, the identity of a witness ten days earlier.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's what it says in the
22 Prosecution's submission, and that Aleksandar Lazarevic will know about
23 this identity a month in advancement. So do you know what the danger is
24 in this case? Since Aleksandar Lazarevic is a member of Arkan's Mafia and
25 that Mafia could eliminate a witness since they have enough time at their
1 disposal and in that case the Prosecution could then accuse me of having
2 eliminated a witness because of his testimony.
3 I guarantee that if these proceedings are correct from the point
4 of view of not obstructing my defence, as has been done so far, in that
5 case no one will hurt a single witness, nothing will happen to any
6 witnesses. In Belgrade and Serbia, I've had -- I have been the subject of
7 about 50 proceedings so far. And nothing has happened to any witnesses.
8 Even false witnesses have not been at risk because I've had experience
9 with false witnesses before. You know as an opponent to the regime I was
10 often present in courtrooms and I almost feel uneasy when there is a long
11 pause, I'm so used to such things. As a matter of principle, I am against
12 concealing the identity of a witness or anyone's testimony.
13 And in the nature of criminal acts that are attributed to me
14 shows that there is no need to conceal the identity of a witness, because
15 what can this witness testify about, that I ordered that he should commit
16 a criminal offence? I didn't have any command responsibilities. That I
17 encouraged such a person, that's the substance of the indictment. But why
18 should a witness whom I encouraged, why should his identity be concealed?
19 And if you think I'm going to bring in false witnesses and that I can't
20 prepare to demonstrate that they're not credible, what does this mean?
21 Are you afraid of their testimony? I'm addressing the Prosecution.
22 So there are no persuasive reasons, no convincing reasons to
23 conceal the identity of witnesses.
24 Furthermore, it is stated here that the identity of a witness is
25 concealed from my defence team, my assistants, my legal assistants. I
1 have quite a number of people who are working for me. And what does this
2 mean? I can't inform in good time that such and such a witness is going
3 to appear to testify about certain matters? Then we won't be able to see
4 what there is behind his testimony and try to refute it. I don't have the
5 conditions to what -- so if you insist on these matters and you are not
6 ready for the trial by the year 2005, how can we proceed? You're only
7 obstructing matters, talking about standby lawyers. You're maltreating
8 them this way and that way. I have accepted to talk to you, but you are
9 establishing conditions. You're saying that Maja Gojkovic can't be
10 present as my legal assistant. What sort of a condition is that? This
11 doesn't happen anywhere in the world. Are you to select the person who is
12 assist me in my defence? Do you have any suspicions about her? In that
13 case, issue an indictment against her. You suspect every Serb; I'm well
14 aware of this fact, anyone who doesn't suit you, anyone who will not
15 divide his fee with Hans Holthuis, you doubt -- you have do -- doubts
16 about that person.
17 So Your Honour, in principle I am against concealing the identity
18 of all witnesses, and especially in this case I insist that even if you
19 should decide that someone's identity should be concealed, this person's
20 identity should be disclosed to me in good time so that I can prepare to
21 refute this testimony and so that my legal assistants could be in a
22 situation to provide me with efficient help. Otherwise, such testimony
23 would have no purpose. A witness could appear here and say whatever he
24 wanted to say and I would not have a possibility -- the possibility of
25 attempting to refute this testimony. Naturally, there would be quite a
1 few witnesses of yours for whom I will not be able to prepared. As soon
2 as I enter here, it won't be necessary for me to prepare anything, because
3 I will be able to reveal them immediately, to expose them immediately.
4 There may be people who will be professionally prepared to give false
5 testimony, and in such cases I need some time to prepare myself. I need
6 to talk to my legal assistants over the phone, and this has not been
8 Recently, as the investigating judge interviewed me in
9 Belgrade -- from Belgrade about Djindjic's murder, no indictment was
10 issued because there was no proof. Maja Gojkovic and Slavko Jerkovic were
11 with me and they talked to me in the presence of a court official. And
12 when I said that I was not allowed to provide them with the material that
13 the Prosecution had provided me with, and this material was not
14 confidential - I have three or four binders of material that can be shown
15 to the public - I was prevented from doing this. And instead of the
16 Prosecution telling me why this was prohibited, they tell me that it's not
17 true that that's what the court official told me. It was someone else.
18 It was not a Prosecution official; it was a court official. Why should I
19 make such a distinction? It's no point. I need someone to inform me with
20 the authority of the judicial system, whether it's a court official or a
21 Prosecution official. I didn't provide this material. Although, I wanted
22 to provide this material so that we could prepare ourselves correctly for
23 my defence.
24 The indictment is not substantial and you are not in a position
25 to confront my defence. This document shows that you are afraid of these
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13 English transcripts.
1 criminal proceedings, of these judicial proceedings. Thank you.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Professor Seselj. There are three
3 points that I need to address rising out of -- or four points rising out
4 of your response. Number one is -- I've taken note of the points raised
5 by you, namely that you are objecting on principle against the -- even the
6 adoption of the system of non-disclosure of witnesses' names and
7 statements and that you gave the reasons for -- for this, both general --
8 from a general point of view, as well as from a personal standpoint. I've
9 taken note of those.
10 I have also taken note of the submission that you have made that
11 should the Trial Chamber decide for the motion of the Prosecution, you
12 would still insist on being given notice of the name and details of -- of
13 these witnesses in time to enable you to prepare adequately for your
14 defence, which is a measure that has been adopted by this Tribunal on
15 several occasions and which I see you are already aware of.
16 So the decision on your motion will be handed down in due course
17 as early as possible, but I must advise you that we haven't started
18 working on it precisely because I didn't know what position
19 Professor Seselj was going to adopt in regard. And I preferred to wait to
20 see whether he was going to file a response or not before proceeding with
21 the elaboration of -- of the decision.
22 It was mentioned earlier on with regard to Rule 68 disclosure,
23 and I also extended to Rule 66 disclosure that the Trial Chamber will
24 certainly not be satisfied with disclosure to the standby counsel in
25 substitution of disclosure to the accused. That would not be acceptable
1 to me. The standby counsel has got his terms or his functions spelled out
2 in our 9th May decision, but he is not representing the accused and
3 certainly he is not substituting him in the role of having a right
4 to -- for disclosure of documents under 66 and 68.
5 So having said that, I think I don't need to state any more.
6 Here is the other question: I am used to a system whereby we
7 don't allow the parties to address each other directly; rather, that all
8 submissions and all remarks pass through the Presiding Judge. I apologise
9 to you if I allowed the accused to address you directly. I did so because
10 I saw no objection on your part. If you have an objection to this, it's
11 no big deal; I will just give a solution to -- to the accused. He can
12 address you through me, although not directly. But it's -- usually we
13 resort to that system in order to avoid confrontation, and there shouldn't
14 be across-the-floor submissions, address -- one party addressing the other
15 across the floor, not through the Presiding Judge. So I would like you,
16 if you have not nothing against it, to stick to this rule, which I like to
17 adopt in my -- in my chamber, in my courtroom.
18 In future, Professor Seselj, if you want to address -- say
19 something to -- to the Defence -- to the Prosecution, just tell me, "Dear
20 Judge, I have something, a message for the Prosecution." But say it to
21 me, instead of looking straight into their face, as if you are in a direct
22 confrontation. Let's have some rules of the game that we adopt, because
23 it will be easier for everyone. And as -- as I said, it will make me
24 happier and it will make your life and their life easier, as well as mine.
25 The last part was this: I am aware that during the last
1 Status Conference you did raise the matter that you wanted to speak -- you
2 offered to speak to the Office of the Prosecutor but this offer was
3 declined. The information that I have is that there was a refusal on your
4 part - when I say "your part," I mean the office, not you, Mr. Saxon, or
5 whatever - and the reason being the presence of one -- either the standby
6 counsel or legal advisor that Professor Seselj wanted to be present.
7 I had no intention of addressing it today because I had no
8 indication that it was going to be raised again. But once this matter has
9 been raised, I think I am duty-bound to explore it further.
10 Do I take it Professor Seselj - just tell me yes or no - that you
11 still would like to have an audience with the Office of the Prosecutor to
12 discuss some matters? Just tell me yes or no.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I can't just say yes or no. I
14 could answer your question in three sentences, if that is appropriate.
15 I'm sorry.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Three sentences, one page each.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] After the first Status Conference,
18 I was taken to Carla Del Ponte, the chief Prosecutor, who offered that I
19 speak to the Prosecution. I said, "Very well, but provided that it is an
20 official discussion. It should be recorded and my legal assistants should
21 be present," et cetera. And she replied - and this is still the same
22 sentence, as far as my language is concerned - she said that is how it
23 would be.
24 My objection that I raised at the last Status Conference - and
25 this is the second sentence - is that many months had passed and we still
1 hadn't arranged for a conversation, for a discussion. Then the
2 Prosecution said that they were waiting for the standby lawyer. I don't
3 know why they were waiting for him, because I will never accept -- discuss
4 anything in his presence. And when I provided a written answer to the
5 Prosecution, an answer to their summons and to their date of the 24th,
6 25th, and 26th of September, saying that I was accepting the call to a
7 conversation and that my assistants, Maja Gojkovic and Slavko Jerkovic
8 should be present, my lawyers from Serbia. The Prosecution then said they
9 had nothing against Slavko Jerkovic, but that Maja Gojkovic couldn't be
10 present. If Maja Gojkovic is not going to be allowed to be present,
11 there's no point to the discussion.
12 I hope that I haven't used up more than three sentences.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Saxon.
14 MR. SAXON: Thank you, Your Honour. Your Honour, after the last
15 Status Conference, the Prosecution began to make inquiries and
16 arrangements so that it could schedule an appointment with Dr. Seselj in
17 the Detention Unit so that an interview, a formal interview with
18 Dr. Seselj could commence. We -- the Prosecution then received a letter
19 from Dr. Seselj indicating that the accused wished to have Mr. Jerkovic
20 and Ms. Gojkovic present with him, and also indicated to us that he would
21 not be able to participate in an interview in any case until he received
22 some routine medical treatment that had been scheduled. So the
23 Prosecution replied that - and this is all on the record; I believe the
24 Chamber is aware of the Prosecution's objections to the participation of
25 Ms. Gojkovic in this process - but we were also informed that the routine
1 medical treatment that Dr. Seselj needed had not taken place yet, and so
2 we informed Dr. Seselj that we would be willing to try to schedule an
3 interview again after this medical treatment was completed. And we are
4 still willing to do that, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
6 I put the question and I raised the matter not because the Trial
7 Chamber or I as a Pre-Trial Judge has any right at all to get involved
8 in -- in this. It's something that is exclusively within the discretion
9 of Dr. Seselj or Professor Seselj and you. When I say "you," it's the
10 Office of the Prosecutor or the Prosecutor herself. And I have absolutely
11 nothing to do with that. I raised the matter also because I was informed
12 at least that the presence -- I wasn't aware of the problem that Mr. --
13 that Dr. Seselj raised with regard to one of his legal advisors. As it
14 was put to me, it was that there was a problem and that you were insisting
15 that the standby counsel be -- be present.
16 I would -- not I as a Pre-Trial Chamber -- would not insist on
17 the standby counsel to be present for such an encounter, for such a
18 meeting unless he think that is he ought to be present. But looking at
19 his terms of appointment, I don't see how -- how he fits in if the accused
20 doesn't want him to fit in. So keep that in mind. That is my personal
21 opinion as a Pre-Trial Judge. I don't think the presence or the absence
22 of Mr. Lazarevic ought to constitute a -- an obstacle. So I will leave it
23 at that, making it clear that I am until no way trying to interfere in
24 what is exclusively the domain of the accused and the Prosecution. But I
25 think if you both think that a meeting between the Prosecutor and the
1 accused can be of some kind of -- of some kind of assistance or a positive
2 step forward, then my recommendation is to go ahead with it.
3 Which brings me, Professor Seselj, to something that I am going
4 to be quite abrupt upon. And I have no intention of crossing swords with
5 you on it, but it's a matter that has been put to you already by -- by my
6 predecessor and also by some decisions, including a decision that I gave
7 myself a few days ago, a couple of days ago, on your application or your
8 motion number 21, and that is your insistence to be assisted by the two
9 persons that you mentioned in your motion, that is Madam Maja Gojkovic and
10 Mr. Slavko Jerkovic.
11 The Rules are what they are. The Rules of the Tribunal do not
12 allow anyone - and there are decisions in other cases - this is not
13 something that is happening only in your case. In the Sljivancanin case,
14 for example, Sljivancanin wanted to bring forward as his legal advisors
15 two lawyers from -- from Serbia, from Belgrade. Initially both were not
16 acceptable to the Registrar, and the Rules insist that you cannot -- you
17 as an accused, Mr. Sljivancanin as an accused, Mr. Radic as an accused,
18 and whoever, no one has the right to come here and say, "This is going to
19 be my lawyer in these proceedings." It did -- doesn't work like that.
20 This Tribunal has got its own Rules, which may be good, which may be bad,
21 but we are bound by them. There is Rule 44, which I am sure you are more
22 than familiar with. Stick to it. If you want either Ms. Gojkovic or
23 Mr. Jerkovic as your legal counsel, there is a procedure to be followed. I
24 cannot authorise either of them to be present here unless they have been
25 approved by the Registrar. You may not like the Registrar. You may not
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 like the Rule. You may feel aggrieved. You may feel that your rights
2 for -- to be represented by counsel of your choice are not being
3 respected, but those are the Rules. They have been applied in other
5 I am here to defend you and to make sure that you have a fair
6 trial from beginning to end, and that doesn't mean just the trial. It
7 also means the pre-trial stage. And every day that passes in between the
8 Pre-Trial Status Conferences. And I can promise you that I will do my
9 best to make sure that your rights are respected. But you must also stick
10 to the Rules. There are lawyers who -- who asked to be the
11 representatives of the accused and were accepted, and there are lawyers
12 who for reasons that the Registrar indicated in his decision were not
13 accepted. And there is a remedy for that. When it came to Sljivancanin,
14 for example, the Registrar refused both of them. I advised
15 Mr. Sljivancanin, Colonel Sljivancanin myself to file an appeal direct to
16 the President of the Tribunal, President Meron, which he did. And the
17 decision of the Registrar was revoked and the matter was referred back to
18 him and one of the two has been appointed, pending -- temporarily at
19 least, pending the finalisation of the whole -- of the whole process. But
20 please, don't try to make things difficult for you first and foremost. If
21 there is a Rule, stick to it, even if you don't like that Rule, even if
22 you think it is against your basic rights. It's that Rule. Challenge the
23 Rule if you want. You have every right to challenge the Rule, and there
24 will be a decision if you try to challenge the Rule. But until you
25 challenge the Rule and until you try to -- to file an application seeking
1 the recognition and acceptance of these two persons as your counsel, I can
2 do nothing.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have filed several
4 motions to regulate the status of attorneys Maja Gojkovic and
5 Slavko Jerkovic as my legal advisors or assistants. The term is
6 immaterial. The last time Judge Schomburg tried to make an issue of the
7 terminology because I nominated Maja Gojkovic as my legal advisor and
8 Slavko Jerkovic as my legal assistant. I don't care whether they are
9 called assistants or advisors. In these proceedings, I am defending
10 myself. I am making use of my right under the Statute and the Rules. The
11 Rules do not envisage when an accused is defending himself -- yes, I'll
12 slow down. The Rules do not envisage in cases where an accused is
13 defending himself whether or not he has the right to be assisted by legal
14 assistants in the courtroom or other places connected to the court.
15 However, my legal advisors are not bound to fulfil all the conditions that
16 they would have to fulfil were they my counsel, including knowledge of the
17 English language and the ability to read documents in English. They are
18 only my assistants and they are prepared to meet all their obligations,
19 i.e. safeguarding the confidentiality of documents, protection of
20 witnesses, and everything else that legal assistants and members of
21 Defence teams are bound to do.
22 The Registry has never told me that this is rejected. The
23 Registry is silent on this issue. I wrote to the Registry about ten
24 times, as far as I can recall. Two or three times they gave me only pro
25 forma answers, but mostly they failed to respond. I don't know how a
1 senior legal officer can write to me and say that my objections to the
2 indictment and so on cannot be taken into consideration. I don't
3 understand this. This is not according to the Rules or the Statute.
4 There is a gap here in the law which has to be filled by logical
5 interpretations or, rather, by analogy. And in this case, it would say
6 that if the OTP has the right to have two or three people sitting at their
7 bench, then of course the accused may have two people sitting next to him
8 to assist him. When I came into this courtroom, I didn't even have time
9 to take out all my books, put all my documents in order. There are many
10 things here I need assistance with. I need technical assistance while I
11 am defending myself before this Tribunal. This technical assistance and
12 legal assistance, to avoid being misunderstood -- legal and technical
13 assistance can be given to me by people whom I trust. I trust
14 Maja Gojkovic. She was my Defence counsel on several occasions during
15 trials in Belgrade.
16 I have the book here, "Given Milosevic's main political convict".
17 Maja Gojkovic was my Defence counsel during several proceedings. I also
18 wish to tender this book on this occasion, because the OTP will find
19 elements in it to refute what they say about a joint criminal enterprise
20 in the indictment. Milosevic, Kadijevic, Adzic, and many others cannot be
21 linked up to me. I have proof here that Maja Gojkovic represented me on
22 several occasions before courts. I also have proof in Slavko Jerkovic, in
23 this other book about the faculty of law, also acted as my counsel on
24 several occasion before courts in Belgrade. I am used to cooperating with
25 them during court proceedings. They don't have to be my counsel here, and
1 therefore they don't have to meet the requirement that they speak English.
2 They are the people I understand best and who understand me best. They
3 have already helped me. They helped me to draw up this report under Rule
4 67, which I will now hand to the OTP. This is 67(A)(ii)(b). I am
5 preparing a special defence, and I explain here what I mean by my special
6 defence and therefore I am addressing you, Your Honour, not the OTP
7 directly so they can object. This is a report on my special defence, and
8 I am adducing to this 80 published books of mine. My expert team has been
9 doing good work. I am pleased with them. I give them suggestions other
10 the phone as to how they should work. I have to pay for these telephone
11 conversations myself. I don't have the right to privileged telephone
12 conversations with them, as other accused have. And these are problems
13 I'm facing. But I am still preparing thoroughly for the proceedings.
14 Therefore, I insist that this issue be resolved, and this is the only way
15 in which it can be resolved.
16 It can also be resolved in another way: The Registry can refuse
17 to approve the appointment of my legal advisor and my legal assistant.
18 They can do that under your Rules. The Court may confirm their decision.
19 I can therefore be reduced to the position of an individual. But then at
20 least I have the right to inform the public of what they have done to me.
21 They won't give me assistants. They won't give me advisors. They won't
22 give me a team. I have to do everything on my own in my cell. If this
23 Tribunal finds it -- agrees to have this kind of public image, then all
24 right. I would like to cooperate with Maja Gojkovic and Slavko Jerkovic.
25 You can accept or reject this. In other case, I will continue to
1 represent myself, as I have started. But the public has a right to know
2 what has been done. They have the right to know that I have to oppose
3 this enormous international machinery all on my own.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Professor Seselj, I will just refer you to my
5 decision of the 27th October, which I suppose you have been -- you have a
6 copy of, you have been served with. This was the Trial Chamber's decision
7 on your motion number 21. And I refer you to the paragraph which
8 specifies that if you in addition or in recognition of your right to
9 represent yourself, to present yourself, you require further legal
10 assistance, there is a special procedure that needs to be followed.
11 Follow that procedure, please. And it will go through all the channels;
12 first Registrar. If the Registrar doesn't accept, then there is a remedy;
13 you can go straight either to Trial Chamber or to -- or to the President
14 of the Tribunal, depending on the basis of the -- of the Registrar's
15 decision. But if there is Rule 44, go to that Rule and follow the
16 procedure that is laid in there, because otherwise we will continue like
17 this. You continue complaining, and maybe to an extent you are right in
18 that anyone who decides to -- to defend himself like -- like you have
19 is -- is depriving himself from the useful, sometimes less useful,
20 assistance by -- by counsel. But if you -- if you had decided not to
21 defend yourself, you would have had counsel, co-counsel, and assistant.
22 You have a right to defend yourself. But you must also be prepared to
23 carry the responsibilities, which you obviously are prepared to -- to
24 carry. And you also have a right to have some kind of assistance, but you
25 have to follow the -- the adequate procedure.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 So please, I am going to stop this matter now here, leave it at
2 that. This is my message to you: There is a special procedure. There is
3 a special Rule. Can I ignore that Rule because of what you said? Even if
4 you have 100 per cent right, I still cannot ignore the Rule.
5 And then there is the final thing that I want to make clear to
6 you, that everyone here has got his or her own compartment. I as the
7 Pre-Trial Judge or I as Presiding Judge of the Trial Chamber have got -- I
8 have got a limited jurisdiction. I cannot interfere into the jurisdiction
9 of the Prosecutor or into your -- in your rights, and I cannot interfere
10 in the jurisdiction of -- of the Registrar. The Rules provide a remedy
11 for most instances, not always because there is discretion and discretion.
12 But in this matter, please refer to Rule 44 and stick to that Rule and
13 have a decision by the Registrar, which you then can appeal if you don't
14 like. All right?
15 Let's move to something else. I don't really have anything else
16 to raise myself, unless you want to raise any further matter. And I start
17 with the Prosecution.
18 Is there any other matter that you would like to raise?
19 MR. SAXON: I'm sorry, the only other matter at hand for the
20 Prosecution this morning, Your Honour, is to -- with the assistance of the
21 representative of the registrar to provide this material to Dr. Seselj
22 under Rule 68. And we have two receipts that we would ask him to sign,
23 one for him to keep, one for the Prosecution's records, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I suppose there is no objection on your
25 part to sign such a receipt, Professor Seselj?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
3 There are -- is there any other matter that you would like to
5 MR. SAXON: No, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: No.
7 Professor Seselj, before I conclude, and there are a few minor
8 matters that I would like to ask you about, to make sure that you are
9 being dealt with as -- as you should. Would you like to raise any matter
10 related to your state of health?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Please go ahead.
13 One moment. Do you prefer to say it in open session, or do you
14 want to go into private session?
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Only in public session.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But Your Honour, you didn't ask me
18 whether I had any other status issues to raise, as you asked the --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: [Previous translation continues] ...
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] So I will go into that after going
21 into my health? Yes.
22 Recently I had a thorough medical checkup, so I would like to
23 inform you of the results. First, the result of my blood test; there were
24 no problems. Secondly, my urine test; also no problems. Everything is
25 normal. X-ray of the lungs; no danger. My blood pressure is 135/80.
1 Blood test for Hepatitis B; negative. For Hepatitis C; negative. For
2 AIDS; negative. For the coxaci virus; negative. My EEG shows nervousness
3 of the heart caused by the frustrations and the psychological sufferings I
4 am undergoing looking at your robes, Your Honour. I insisted that the
5 Judges should wear, at least in my proceedings, normal civilian clothes,
6 because I am terribly irritated by your Roman Catholic inquisitorial
7 clothing. I insist on this. I don't think Judge Schomburg understood me
8 and took me seriously. I have lost 18 kilogrammes because of my
9 psychological frustration due to your robes. I don't know how else to
10 explain it.
11 My health problem when I arrived in the Detention Unit, I had
12 been an active sportsman. I had been playing football, and I had -- I had
13 ruptured my muscle in my stomach. And now I can feel all my intestines
14 with my fingers. I have been waiting for an operation for three months.
15 An operation is the only way of resolving this problem. Living with this
16 problem for three months is not easy. I am beginning to think that this
17 perhaps is intentional, because the operation takes only about an hour.
18 All my tests and checkups are all right, so this is no reason not to have
19 the operation. Is this how General Djordje Djukic, Dr. Milan Kovacevic,
20 General Momir Talic and Slavko Dokmanovic were killed? They all died
21 because they did not receive medical assistance on time. In my case, I'm
22 not dead yet, but I can see what the intention behind this is. Why do I
23 have to wait for months for a relatively simple operation? At least in my
24 country it's relatively simple. Had I been arrested as the worst criminal
25 in Belgrade, I would not have had to wait more than a week in the central
1 prison to have this operation. I have the impression that I am being
2 tortured intentionally. Perhaps I'm wrong. Perhaps you have other
3 information. Perhaps you don't see this as a serious problem. For me at
4 present there is no problem more serious than this.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. And with regard to other conditions of
6 your detention, do you have any complaints? Are you otherwise treated
7 well in the Detention Unit?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] As for the Detention Unit staff,
9 they treat me and everybody else quite correctly. I have no objections.
10 But at the last Status Conference, Judge Schomburg promised me a
11 bookshelf. I'm having a lot of problems with books and documents and so
12 on, and this problem has not been solved yet. I have to tell you this.
13 I don't have any other problems in the Detention Unit.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: [Previous translation continues] ... When I said
15 that, there are a few minor things that I am coming to myself, that is one
16 of them. In fact, I wanted to make sure that you have had this bookshelf
17 installed, put in place, and obviously it hasn't happened.
18 Now, Madam Registrar, I want you to block the entire part of the
19 accused's response or remarks on his state of health and conditions of
20 detention, copy it, and paste it and send in an official manner to the
21 commandant of the Detention Unit with an order from the Tribunal directing
22 him to furnish the Trial Chamber with his remarks on Dr. Seselj's
23 complaints, to be filed within -- by not later -- by not later than
24 Friday - by not later than Friday - the date of Friday would be what,
25 Mr. Von Hebel? Today is the 29th, no?
1 MR. SAXON: It's the 31st.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: The 31st. Friday, the 31st. And the understanding
3 is that if in the opinion of the Trial Chamber the matter that has been
4 raised by Dr. Seselj needs to be dealt with by the Trial Chamber itself,
5 then an extra additional sitting of a Status Conference or a fresh
6 Status Conference will be held next week to have a clear picture of what
7 exactly is happening and for any provision that the Trial Chamber might
8 need to take.
9 In particular, the Trial Chamber would like to have a full
10 medical report relating to the condition that Dr. Seselj in his statement
11 states needs to be attended to surgically.
12 So the position is as follows: By Friday, I should have a full
13 report from the commandant. If it is necessary, we will have another
14 Status Conference next week, if I need more information or if I see that
15 things haven't been going as they should. If matters can be solved
16 without the need of a Status Conference, then obviously they will be
17 solved without the need of a Status Conference. Next week I have sittings
18 in the morning and sittings in the afternoon, starting from 9.00 until
19 7.00 -- 9.00 in the morning until 7.00 in the evening, but if necessary we
20 will find time to fit in an extra Status Conference to deal with your
21 health -- your health condition.
22 There were two minor things before I give you again the floor, in
23 case you have other -- other matters that you would like to raise. The
24 bookshelf; I have a note here and which frankly I understand part of it.
25 I don't understand the second part. Bookshelf is needed for your cell, I
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 am told. And now today you're telling me that you haven't -- since the
2 last Status Conference you haven't been provided with this bookshelf?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judge Schomburg promised that I
4 would get a bookshelf at the last Status Conference, but I haven't got it
5 yet. I'm still waiting for it. And this is causing me a lot of problems.
6 Everything is in chaos. There are books and documents everywhere, all
7 over the place. And the cell is not that roomy. I've thrown out all the
8 ballasts from the cell. I've thrown out the ventilator, everything I
9 could throw out. But I don't have enough room in there. It would help me
10 to get better organised for the proceedings. And these are shelves such
11 as exist in the prison already, in the detention unit, but they're not in
12 the cells yet. So I need to have at least the minimum conditions.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. What I am informed is that this will be
14 supplied when the appropriate procedure is followed and the ZATF [phoen]
15 form - I don't know what it is - is completed by the accused requesting a
17 Between -- since the last Status Conference, did you fill in a
18 form asking for a shelf or anything or -- I mean, you have to tell me.
19 I'm not in a position to know.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The form requesting such things,
21 there is no such form in the Detention Unit. I told the chief to -- about
22 this orally, and he told me that he could not provide me with a bookshelf
23 because then he would have to provide one for every accused. There is no
24 form for this type of request. It doesn't exist. There is a form for
25 certain types of requests. Each type of request has its own form, but
1 nothing like this has happened before, so there is no form for it.
2 Your Honour, where there is goodwill, forms are not so important.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Again, my directive is, Madam Registrar, that
4 again this part of the transcript be copied and sent to the commandant of
5 the Detention Unit with a recommendation to look into this matter and
6 ensure that the accused is supplied with the necessary furnishings, be it
7 a bookshelf or whatever, that would put some order -- that would enable
8 him to put some order to his -- to his documentation.
9 This is what happens when you write too many books, Professor.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, apparently it's a good thing
11 that I wrote so many books, because they will help me to oppose this
12 indictment, because everything is in the books.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. There was also another thing: Again, I mean,
14 I am just mentioning this because I want to hear it from your mouth, but
15 you -- are you still objecting to having anything to do with computers and
16 use of a laptop?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I never raised any objection. I
18 simply refused to use those things.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Why do you refuse to use those things?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Because I have the very negative
21 experience before me of other accused and their Defence counsel. Your
22 Honour, I knew at least a month in advance that I would be indicted here,
23 and I talked to other lawyers and other accused when I arrived here. The
24 Prosecution is creating such chaos with disks that are not in good order
25 or have various kinds of computer programmes on them, that they have to
1 use a lot of time and energy in order to use all this.
2 Secondly, I have only a basic rudimentary knowledge of computers.
3 I can type with ten fingers. But I am not so expert in the use of
4 computers that I can solve any problem that arises. So I don't want to go
5 into it.
6 Secondly, I am perhaps old-fashioned, and it's easier for me to
7 concentrate when holding a pen and a paper than staring into a computer
8 screen. It makes my eyes hurt. I can look into a computer screen for
9 perhaps an hour or two at the most, but I can spend 10 or 12 hours with
10 books and papers. So this is not capricious on my part. Maybe
11 Judge Schomburg explained it different last time, so -- well, I will not
12 use this. I will use the means that I feel are necessary and can be
13 useful for me and serve their basic purpose.
14 I also complained about the lighting, but I solved this on my
15 own. My wife brought me cables and lamps, and now I have all these wires
16 all over my cell. I had to solve this in a very primitive manner, but I
17 have solved it. She was unable to bring me a bookshelf, however.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah. But I -- I still hope that by time I will
19 convince you that you can, with your intelligence and your practical
20 approach, learn how to use a computer and you will see for yourself the
21 great advantages, even that there are -- even in preparation of your own
22 defence. I'm pretty sure that if I ask the commandant to provide for
23 lessons to be given to you in the use of a computer, the fact that you
24 only use ten fingers would be no obstacle. And being old-fashioned
25 as -- as you put it, is no obstacle at all. These are easy things, and
1 you can learn how to make good use of a laptop for all -- for a multitude
2 of purposes within -- within a day or two. It's so easy. I'm pretty sure
3 that someone of your calibre of -- a professor with your intelligence --
4 it's like when I wanted to ride a horse the first time. I was told,
5 "Listen, look at the others. They all know how to learn -- they all know
6 how to ride a horse. Why do you think it's difficult?" And I tried it,
7 and it was easy. You will see that it will be easy for you to -- once you
8 decide to give it a try.
9 Now, last but not least, is there any other matter that you would
10 like to raise? And you have half an hour, if you need half an hour.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I just have one question to ask.
12 No, I won't need that much time, no.
13 Your Honour, I once tried to ride when I was ten years old and I
14 fell off the horse. If you continue to conduct the proceedings in this
15 correct manner, there will be no procedural problems as far as I am
16 concerned, because I think that you have behaved very correctly today in
17 these proceedings.
18 As far as the computer is concerned, my decision is definite. I
19 have already organised things in my own way, and I work in the most
20 efficient way I can. My sight is not very good, and that prevents me from
21 working with a computer. I know the basic functions; I know how to use
22 the Internet, et cetera. That's not a problem. But it's not possible for
23 me to spend a long time at a computer.
24 There is another serious problem that I would like to raise at
25 the Status Conference. I have already submitted a written submission to
1 the Trial Chamber requesting the permission to be visited by Vladika
2 Milesevski and Bishop Filaret. These are some of the most -- he is one of
3 the most prominent Orthodox persons, and he's in the bishopry where the
4 Sveti Sava cemetery is located, the Milesevo monastery, which for the
5 Serbian people has great mythical, religious, and spiritual importance.
6 I've already addressed Mr. -- Judge Schomburg, and I think that
7 his response should be re-examined by this Trial Chamber, since according
8 to Rule 70 on the Rules of Detention, it says that not a single -- not a
9 single -- according to Rule 63, I wouldn't be allowed to receive visits,
10 and this can be seen in Rule 66, that attempts -- it claimed that there
11 could be bad influence, that there could be influence on other
12 proceedings, et cetera. There is no reason to prevent the bishop Filaret
13 from visiting for these reasons. They're reasons which don't have to do
14 with the court.
15 The European Union, in the case of Bishop Filaret, who has great
16 authority, forbade him from entering the territory of the European Union.
17 Since this court is exterritorial, I think that I should be granted
18 permission to have the Bishop Filaret visit me, since I know that as the
19 main religious body of the Orthodox Church, that they have decided to
20 support this claim and they have taken certain diplomatic moves to make it
21 possible for Bishop Filaret to visit me. I assume in such a case he would
22 visit all the other Serbs who were detained in The Hague Tribunal. This
23 is something that would be very important for me. I insist that I have
24 the right to this, according to the Rules on Detention, and I will not
25 refrain from making such a claim.
1 This is of great importance for all the other detainees. They
2 have been regularly visited by priests here. They have been visited by
3 other bishops, who are also prominent from Western Europe, from
4 Montenegro, et cetera. But I insist on Archbishop Filaret being allowed
5 to visit me. This would be very significant for all The Hague Tribunal
6 detainees, given that he is a prominent man and someone who by virtue of
7 his authority could give spiritual strength to all the detainees.
8 Naturally, I'm not authorised to insist on this, on behalf of all the
9 other detainees. I'm insisting on this on my behalf. But I would also
10 like to inform you that his presence would be much appreciated by all the
11 other Serbs who are detained here. And I insist on this religious right
12 and this right is guaranteed by virtue of international conventions too,
13 and this right would be respected in all the prisons and courts in my
14 country. No one would attempt to deprive me of this right there, and I
15 insist on being granted this right here too.
16 Why is the name of the Archbishop Filaret on the list of persons
17 being prevented from entering the European Union? Well, because he is a
18 great authority in the Orthodox Serbian Church, and the international
19 community, et cetera, all those who are against the Serbian Church are
20 preventing him from coming here, and this is why I insist that he should
21 be allowed to come here and that he should be enabled to perform a
22 religious ceremony with the Serbs who respect him and who are members of
23 the Serbian Orthodox Church. I know that this is a test for The Hague
24 Tribunal at the whole.
25 And Your Honour, since you have conducted yourself in a very
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 serious way in these proceedings, I think that you will attempt to have
2 this right of mine granted.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Professor Seselj, I certainly want first and
4 foremost to assure you that I attach to this matter great importance, but
5 I also need to draw your attention to the fact that the Trial Chamber, as
6 previously composed, that is, by Judge Schomburg, myself, and Judge Mumba,
7 on the 30th of September, in response -- or following your motion number
8 19, which included inter alia a request to -- to have -- to have Bishop --
9 His Eminence Bishop Filaret visit you and to attend to your religious
10 needs, there was a decision taken on the 30th of September which decided
11 that you certainly have a right to meet with a representative of your
12 religion but there is nothing under the international human rights law
13 that would justify your claim to have a specific religious officer or
14 dignitary to attend to your religious needs. I am informed that you were
15 served with a copy of this decision on the 3rd of October, that's the 3rd
16 of this month. I do not have an indication here in the documentation that
17 I have that you have filed an appeal. Have you appealed against --
18 against this decision?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, such a decision is not
20 a procedural decision. Such a decision is taken on an ad hoc basis, and
21 it can be modified on an ad hoc basis by the same Trial Chamber or,
22 rather, the Pre-Trial Chamber in this case. To the extent that I mention
23 these issues, you will decide on this. Certain circumstances have changed
24 in the meantime. And if I now object and then ask for permission to
25 appeal against this decision, I don't find this right. To ask for the
1 Pre-Trial Chamber to allow me to appeal their decision, yet they took the
2 decision. This is against legal principles, and I have already mentioned
3 this in my objection, which concerns the collision between the Rules and
4 the Statute. But that's another issue.
5 Your Honour, this is a request that I will incessantly insist on.
6 You can take a new decision with regard to that matter, regardless of the
7 fact that the previous decision was such as it was. Because this is not a
8 procedural issue, which would mean that procedural matters have to be
9 respected in this case. This is a problem that has arisen in the course
10 of my life in the Detention Unit. This problem can be solved one way and
11 tomorrow in another way. One day you can solve the problem by opening the
12 window and the next day by putting up the heating. That is something that
13 concerns my life. You can decide whether it should be done from the point
14 of view of general legal principles and from the point of view of
15 international norms. And naturally, in the case, from the point of view
16 of the interests of justice so that the spiritual life of detainees be
17 satisfied. If this isn't contrary to Rule 66 of the detention rules, if
18 there's no danger of fleeing, of posing a danger, et cetera, et cetera, I
19 won't go into everything that is cited under this Rule.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Professor Seselj, again, I will not cross swords
21 with you on this, because my -- my task is not to discuss with any of the
22 parties but to decide on the issues that are submitted. The procedure to
23 be followed is not what you are suggesting. The fact that this may have
24 nothing to do with procedural law or procedural practice is irrelevant.
25 The procedure that needs to be followed is: If you're not happy
1 with -- you're not satisfied with any of the decisions that the Trial
2 Chamber gives, the remedy is to appeal. It's true that sometimes there is
3 certification needed by the Trial Chamber itself before you can actually
4 appeal, but I am promising you that dealing with a matter like this, if
5 you ask for certification, I will grant it and the matter will go to the
6 appeal. But don't ask me to revoke contrario imperio the decision that
7 the Trial Chamber has taken already based on the arguments that you are
8 presenting now, which are basically the same arguments which the Trial
9 Chamber turned down. So what you need is to present the case to a new
10 Court, a new Trial Chamber, that is the Appeals Chamber.
11 There is -- I think you are still in time. And even if you
12 aren't, there is a solution. And I can promise you that I consider the
13 matter of great importance and I will grant you certification so the
14 matter can go to the Appeals Chamber and then they will decide whether
15 it's -- you have any strength in -- or value in your arguments or whether
16 it's the arguments of the Trial Chamber contained in the decision of the
17 30th September which hold water, which are valid. So this is my
19 Don't ask me to revoke a decision that has already been taken by
20 the Trial Chamber, if there is a remedy that is provided for by the Rules
21 themselves. I can promise you, as I repeat, that if you ask for
22 certification, certification will be granted. In other words,
23 authorisation to proceed with -- with filing an appeal.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, does this mean that
25 you have now authorised me to appeal? Because oral authorisation is just
1 as valid as a written authorisation. If you have authorised me to do it,
2 this I will write such an appeal immediately today.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: No. Unfortunately, the authorisation has to be
4 signed not just by me but also by the two other Judges composing the Trial
5 Chamber, and therefore I need an application. But I can assure you that
6 there will be certification forthcoming, because I see no reason why
7 certification should be rejected or -- or deprived, refused on something
8 which is so fundamentally important. So do file a very short, one-page
9 application for certification stating only that this is a matter
10 of -- which is of fundamental importance to you, because it attaches to
11 one of the fundamental rights that is acknowledged by -- amongst other,
12 the European Convention on Human Rights, and certification will follow.
13 Even if there has been -- if the -- even if the time limit has lapsed. I
14 can promise you that. But I can't grant you certification orally now when
15 the decision was taken by the Trial Chamber collegially. Do you
16 understand me?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Anything else you would like to raise?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] As the Prosecution has handed over
20 its material before you here, I would like you to tell the registry that
21 they should take over the material that I have prepared for the
22 Prosecution, pursuant to Rule 67. If they could take charge of this
23 material. I think it should be done in the same manner. They don't even
24 have to sign. The fact that you are present here is sufficient for me.
25 But they should be given this material. They should be provided with this
1 material. This material consists of 294 pages, and I'm informing the
2 Prosecution of my intention to carry out -- conduct a special defence,
3 pursuant to Rule 67, and also that they should take charge of these 80
4 books of mine. And the three books that I have brought here, that I've
5 mentioned today, I would like this to be tendered to the Court, because I
6 will be referring to these books in the course of the trial. So this has
7 to do with "The trials of the restless vojvoda." Then this other book
8 here, and the book on Milosevic, "Political Convict." This is going to be
9 important because my defence will be founded on refuting the Prosecution's
10 claim that it concerns a joint criminal enterprise, which involves myself,
11 Milosevic, and many others.
12 So these books are not for the Prosecution. This is for the
14 And the 80 books and material that I have, the registry should
15 take charge of this material and hand it over to the Prosecution, pursuant
16 to an order issued by you, I will not address them directly.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Professor Seselj.
18 Okay. So the two books -- perhaps Professor Seselj can indicate
19 them more precisely to us with the title of the book, so that we don't
20 confuse the other books with the books that you are handing over to the
21 Trial Chamber.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: These are the two books which are bound in white.
24 If you have the --
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] These are the three books,
1 hard-cover books, and this is for the record: "The Ottoman Turncoats,"
2 and "The trials of the restless vojvoda." These three books are for the
3 record, for the Court. And the 80 books, perhaps I could be assisted, and
4 they should be provided to the Prosecution.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
6 Yes, Mr. Saxon.
7 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, the Prosecution does not object to
8 Dr. Seselj tendering these three books to the Trial Chamber at this time.
9 The Prosecution would simply ask that it also receive a copy of these
10 books as well.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And I think that is a fair statement on the
12 part of the Prosecution.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Copies of these three books? We
14 can do that at the next Status Conference.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's not urgent.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. And I would also ask you for something
18 else, Professor Seselj, which I usually do when -- when either of the two
19 parties - in the Brdjanin case, I've had books coming from all directions,
20 as you can imagine - and usually the approach is as follows: There will
21 be parts from the book that are more important than others. There will be
22 parts that you will not be making use of. But there will be parts that
23 you will be relying upon almost on a daily basis as we go on. My
24 invitation to you as from now is to isolate and indicate those parts from
25 the book that you definitely will be referring to and making use of as we
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 go along so that we have them translated at an early stage. Because as
2 you can imagine, I don't understand the language and I cannot possibly
3 have an interpreter sit here with me and translate verbally those three
4 volumes to me, because my -- my term of office will come to an end before
5 the exercise is concluded. So what I suggest is that you isolate these
6 parts as -- when you have time so that we can have them translated.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have completed this
8 task as far as the 80 books are concerned. This text here -- in this
9 text, I refer to certain parts of these books. These are my public
10 addresses in parliament, public discussions on radio, television, et
11 cetera, everything that in fact forms the essence of the indictment. All
12 of this has been covered, and it won't be difficult at all for the
13 Prosecution to find their way here. Very professional lawyers have
14 processed this for my needs, lawyers from my defence team. So this task
15 has been completed. It's not a task that I have performed for the three
16 books I have mentioned, but when it is necessary, when the time comes, I
17 will --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Work on it. Work on it. Take your time and work
19 on it, on the three books. All right? Because the Prosecution has -- has
20 got the service of staff members of the Prosecution -- of the Office of
21 the Prosecution who speak the language, but I don't. I mean, I -- I have
22 to rely on interpreters.
23 So I think we can bring this session to an end.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Will this material be taken charge
25 of, Your Honour? It will. Very good.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I understand that you are going to hand it over to
2 the Prosecution or that it will be -- you will make it available to the
3 Trial Chamber, which will make it available to the Prosecution. And the
4 understanding is that this notice or document giving notice of special
5 defence that you are tendering, that I will at least have the courtesy of
6 a copy of it. I don't know if I really have the right under the Rule
7 itself, because the Rule mentions notice to be given to the Prosecution,
8 not necessarily to the Trial Chamber, but I would appreciate if I have a
9 copy of it once it is in your possession.
10 MR. SAXON: Very well, Your Honour. We have not received
11 anything yet. But as far as we do, of course.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. But I take it that you are going to receive
14 So that means this Status Conference comes to an end here. If
15 necessary, depending on the response from the commandant of the Detention
16 Unit, if necessary we'll have another Status Conference next week. If
17 not, the next Status Conference will be held within the statutory time
18 limit of 120 days. And I am sure that Professor Seselj will -- will let
19 me know when the time is ripe for the next Status Conference, as he did
20 for the purpose of this Status Conference.
21 So the -- we stand adjourned until the next Status Conference,
22 whenever that will be, if it's next week or -- or in four months' time. I
23 thank you.
24 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned
25 at 10.57 a.m.