1 Monday, 14 June 2004
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Open session]
4 --- Upon commencing at 10.00 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Could you call the case, please, Madam Registrar.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honour. Case Number
8 IT-03-67-PT, the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Madam Registrar. I welcome you all. But
10 before we proceed any further, I would like to ensure that the accused is
11 able to follow the proceedings in a language he understands.
12 Mr. Seselj, can you follow the proceedings in a language you can
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] For the time being, everything is
15 all right.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Seselj, and good morning to you.
17 Appearances for the Prosecution.
18 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Good morning, Your Honour. For the
19 Prosecution, Mr. Dan Saxon, and my name is Mrs. Hildegard Uertz-Retzlaff.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I also recognise the presence of the standby
21 counsel. Could you confirm that please for the record.
22 MR. VAN DER SPOEL: Good morning, Your Honour. van der Spoel.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, and good morning to you, too. And I
24 recognise also the presence of the accused who is defending himself.
25 The last Status Conference was held on the 17th of February of
1 this year. Today's Status Conference has been convened and is being held
2 pursuant to Rule 65 bis, which requires a Status Conference to be convened
3 every 120 days. The purpose of convening and holding a Status Conference
4 is according to the same Rule 65 bis to organise exchanges between the
5 parties so as to ensure expeditious preparation for trial; secondly, to
6 review the status of the accused's case; and thirdly, to allow the accused
7 the opportunity to raise issues in relation thereto including his mental
8 and physical condition.
9 Before we proceed any further, the Trial Chamber wants to make it
10 clear from the very outset that it has no intention to allow either of the
11 parties to go beyond these limits set out by Rule 65 bis, and advises you
12 that it will take the necessary steps to ensure that these proceedings are
13 not abused of or derailed.
14 I will proceed with the first item on today's agenda, which is, as
15 usual in practically all the other Status Conferences in other cases,
16 relates to issues of disclosure. You are aware that there are various
17 types of disclosure that are dealt with under our Rules, and I am going to
18 proceed by dealing with each one of these separately, starting first with
19 the general disclosure which is dealt with by the Rules under Rule 66.
20 You will recall that in the previous Status Conference of February
21 17, the Prosecution indicated that Rule 66(A)(ii) disclosure had not been
22 completed because the Prosecution had sought nondisclosure of some witness
23 statements in the motion of September 10, 2003, and were waiting for the
24 Trial Chamber's decision. As you can refer to page 125 of the transcript.
25 The Trial Chamber issued its decision on 11 February 2004. The decision
1 was served upon the accused on the 17th of February. That is the same day
2 in which the last Status Conference was held. The accused stated in the
3 previous Status Conference that in the short time that he had available,
4 he had read the decision and had no particular remarks to make, although
5 he did make some submissions on his concept of defence in the light of the
6 fact that he's defending himself.
7 The accused was informed in the course of the last Status
8 Conference that he had the right to appeal the decision within the
9 appropriate time limit. Basically, and this is just to refresh
10 everybody's memory, the decision of February the 11th, 2004, grants the
11 request for the issuance of nondisclosure under Rule 53(A) and orders the
12 Prosecution to provide more information to enable the Trial Chamber to
13 determine the request for pre-trial protective measures. In response to
14 the Trial Chamber's decision which I have just referred to, namely, that
15 of the 11th of February, the Prosecution on the 23rd of April filed a
16 so-called "Prosecution's submission of additional information concerning
17 protective measures for vulnerable witnesses," confidential and partially
18 ex parte. This is the way this motion or submission was filed. The
19 submission further provides general background information relating to
20 what according to the Prosecution were the, or are the dangers involved in
21 the present case according to the Prosecution due to the behaviour of the
22 accused, and furthermore the same submissions provide more detailed
23 information in relation to specific witnesses for whom protective measures
24 are sought.
25 The Trial Chamber is in the course of weighing and reviewing this
1 motion. It is assessing the Prosecution's request for protective measures
2 in more detail. It is aware that this document was served upon the
3 accused already and is not aware of any additional responses or comments
4 from the accused in regard. In other words, the position is that we are
5 still in the process of preparing a decision. This is a decision which
6 is -- will be in all probability taken collectively, myself and Judge
7 Antonetti and Judge Parker. But before I close the discussion on this
8 particular matter, I would like to know if there are any other issues that
9 either the Prosecution or Mr. Seselj would like to address in relation and
10 only in relation to - for the time being we'll deal with other
11 disclosures - in relation to disclosure contemplated by Rule 66(A)(ii).
12 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, there's nothing to add to your
13 summary. It's correct.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, thank you.
15 Mr. Seselj.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I did not want to file a response to
17 that motion of the Prosecution in order to enable the Trial Chamber to
18 make its decision as early as possible, reckoning that the Trial Chamber
19 will act in accordance with the Rules of Procedure. The OTP has no reason
20 to assume that I could disclose documents that are explicitly described as
21 not public or that I could disclose names of protected witnesses. At the
22 last Status Conference I said that I had no intention of doing so. Until
23 the Prosecution finds evidence that I intend to disclose names of
24 protected witnesses or nonpublic material, they do not have the right to
25 machinations of this kind. That is why I ask that the Prosecution, in
1 fact, the Trial Chamber make a decision as soon as possible in accordance
2 with the Rules of the Procedure. It is clear that the OTP is not
3 trial-ready. They have no evidence that would enable them to try this
4 case. And that is why they're trying to delay in every way possible.
5 That is why I do not intend to file a written submission because any
6 written submission would increase this delay.
7 In responding to my submission concerning the indictment, the
8 Trial Chamber acted consistently with the Rules of Procedure, and
9 therefore I expect the Trial Chamber to do so in this case as well.
10 Awaiting this Status Conference, I learned that new amendments have been
11 made to the Rules of Procedure and Evidence between the two Status
12 Conferences, and to this day I have not been informed of the contents of
13 these amendments. I don't know what they are about. Therefore, I request
14 that I be given these amendments as soon as possible. I am prepared to
15 deal with them as soon as possible, that I need to have them.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Seselj. Thank you for both
18 We have -- or rather, I have taken note that you have no desire of
19 making further -- any further submissions on the matter that I touched
20 upon earlier. And I can at this point therefore confirm that we shall be
21 in a position to hand down our decision pretty soon on the protective
22 measures issues as they emerge from the documents that I referred to
24 I have also taken note of your remarks on the amendments that have
25 been put in place to the Rules of Evidence and Procedure since February
1 2004. As you may or may not be aware, I am the chairman of the Rules
2 committee, and I have had an active role in the enactment of these
3 amendments. You will recall that in the course of the last Status
4 Conference you had complained that you had not been given a copy of the
5 Rules of Evidence and Procedure in your own language. I had taken steps
6 immediately to rectify this position, and I'm informed that on the 19th of
7 March 2004 you were provided with a copy in the Serbian language of the
8 entire corpus of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence. Within the -- by
9 the end of this week, I will make sure that you will get a copy of the
10 amendments that have added to the Rules which I can assure you have
11 absolutely no bearing at all on your case or on these particular
12 procedures or any other procedures that may be taking place, one of them
13 refers particularly to the conditions which should obtain -- which should
14 obtain if the Tribunal is to entertain a request by the Prosecutor to have
15 certain cases transferred from here to domestic jurisdictions. But again,
16 you will receive a copy of the amendments in your own language by the end
17 of the week. They are not long amendments, and they can be translated if
18 they have not already been translated into your language. Does that
19 satisfy you?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, that satisfies me now, but I
21 hope that in the future there will be no delays of this kind in submitting
22 or rather providing me with the Rules. But -- because I must be informed
23 as of the date when these amendments are adopted. Three or four months
24 have elapsed now, and I still do not know what these amendments provide
1 JUDGE AGIUS: The first amendment hasn't even come into force as
2 yet. It has still got to be published. I signed it last week anyway.
3 So -- but you will be kept informed. I will ensure that you will be kept
4 informed. There is no chance, as I see it, of any further amendments
5 before the end of July. So you don't need to worry. And if there are
6 further amendments to the Rules as probably there will be, you will be --
7 they will be translated, and as soon as they are translated you will be
8 served with a copy of it.
9 We move to Rule 67 material disclosure. Again, pardon me if I try
10 to refresh everybody's memory, but this makes then it easier for us to
11 progress on the particular issues that we are discussing. In the course
12 of the last Status Conference, the Prosecution informed -- or the Trial
13 Chamber informed the Pre-Trial Judge and acknowledged receiving from the
14 accused a document of 80 pages -- well, actually it transpired later on
15 that it was 294 pages and not 80 pages in B/C/S, under Rule 67(A)(i)(b) of
16 the Rules. Just for the record, I might as well tell you what Rule 67 --
17 this part of Rule 67 is. This is -- provides that within a time limit set
18 by the Pre-Trial Judge or by Chambers, the Defence shall notify the
19 Prosecutor of its intent to offer any special defence, including that of
20 diminished or lack of mental ability, et cetera, et cetera.
21 Although the Rule in reality mentions the Defence or uses the
22 words "the Defence shall notify the Prosecutor of its intent to offer a
23 special defence," I signified my wish to have a courtesy copy of this
24 document which I was eventually given. Sometime later, the Prosecution
25 filed its second report concerning disclosure mentioning that it was
1 reviewing the accused's document that I have just mentioned with a view to
2 determining the factual and legal issues that are in dispute. The reason
3 as put forward by the Prosecution was that it will then help it to produce
4 a list of exhibits and begin disclosure of exhibits for trial pursuant to
5 Rule 66(B). According to the Prosecution, this process would also help it
6 to produce its final pre-trial brief. This is the last I heard from the
7 Prosecution in regard to this exercise, that way back in February they had
8 declared -- they had embarked upon. I would like now a formal update of
9 the position from their point of view regarding the review of this
10 document and the preparation of the lists of exhibits for purposes of
11 disclosure and arrest. Please.
12 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, the document that we received
13 from Mr. Seselj was a very helpful document. We have reviewed it
14 meanwhile, and we actually found that there are -- there is room for
15 agreement on facts that are not in dispute, and therefore we have sent a
16 letter to Mr. Seselj in which we made proposals, actually four very
17 substantial proposals for agreement on facts.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: When did you send this letter?
19 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: We sent this letter on the 28th of May. And
20 if you like, Your Honour, we can provide it to the Court as well. We have
21 here copies of the letter where you can see that we have made four
22 proposals, very substantial proposals for agreement. We have not yet
23 received an answer by Mr. Seselj, but I assume he will answer to this
24 letter. But I assume he will have to consider it carefully. Would
25 Your Honour like to have a copy? We can provide it.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I think that would be useful to have.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. My apologies to the interpreters.
4 Please do draw my attention. I usually switch it off between -- when I'm
5 not speaking to allow -- to not disturb the transmission as much as I can.
7 Yes, but beyond this matter, this particular matter, namely, the
8 proposal to the Prosecution to identify facts and matters which are not in
9 dispute, what else have you done?
10 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: We have actually already a draft of the
11 pre-trial brief that we intend to file, and we also have now a draft of
12 the witness list and a draft of the exhibits list. But it's not in the
13 final stage, and we therefore cannot disclose it. But what we can say so
14 far is that we have on our witness list as of today 63 witnesses who will
15 come to testify live, and 40 92 bis witnesses who will primarily speak
16 about crime base. We have on our exhibits list currently about 900
17 exhibits, but it will be many more, and it will be heavily -- heavily
18 populated with newspaper articles and interviews and statements that
19 the -- Mr. Seselj did during the relevant time. That's a huge amount of
20 exhibits on the witness list, and of course exhumation reports, reports of
21 officers' orders, military orders and the like. But we are not at the
22 moment in a position to disclose all this because it's not in the final
23 stage. We think that by the end of the year, we will file our 65 ter
24 submissions, if the Court allows us to do that.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Seselj.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] First of all, I would like to
2 comment upon the statement of the representative of the Prosecution to the
3 effect that they have three witnesses by now which would -- who would
4 testify live. And 40 92 bis witnesses, which means that --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I think part of the interpretation must have arrived
6 wrong to you or part of what you are saying is not being interpreted right
7 to me. I heard you say "three witnesses," live witnesses. The
8 Prosecution said 66 live witnesses, not three witnesses.
9 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, 63.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: 63. 63.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In that case, I misheard because I
12 heard three. In that case, no comment. But I do have another comment on
13 what the Prosecutor said concerning the 92 bis rule, namely, that they are
14 preparing 40 witnesses who will be deposed, who will not appear directly
15 in front of the Court. I can tell you in advance that I will contest
16 every such deposition, every such statement. In case I am not able to
17 cross-examine the witness directly, even if it concerns only crime base
18 and these witnesses do not incriminate me directly. So that you don't
19 waste your time, and I believe the Court will not be able to accept any
20 such testimony a priori without my cross-examination. Whether it concerns
21 92 bis witnesses or transcripts from other cases because I have studied
22 all the judgements that were available to me and I realise that Defence
23 counsel did not try to challenge witness testimony regarding general
24 circumstances, regarding the crime base, and not their clients in
25 particular. Because I intend to challenge even such general
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 I received this submission of the Prosecution on the 28th of May
3 wherein the Prosecution suggests four agreed facts. I was not able to
4 address the Prosecution in writing on this issue because as you know for
5 more than six months now I have not been able to have any contact with my
6 legal counsel. And it would be natural, you will agree, for me to contact
7 my legal counsel before making a decision on such an important issue. I
8 have been deprived of all contact with counsel and family alike. I was
9 unable to address the Trial Chamber, too, because the Trial Chamber
10 decided against my request for photocopying facilities. Instead it was
11 suggested that photocopying will be done for me. As you know, it is not
12 the accepted practice in this Court. In this case, I cannot send a
13 document to the Prosecution because I have given it up for photocopying
14 without having it in front of me. So I am forced to write in hand. I am
15 prepared to state my view on those four points that are suggested by the
16 Prosecution for agreement as stipulated facts, and if there is no
17 objection on your part I can state my position now.
18 I will try to speak more slowly than is my habit. (Redacted)
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's stop it, because this is going to take a long
17 time, and the proper way to go about it, Mr. Seselj, is not to deal with
18 it here but to consult your counsel. You are not correct in your
19 assertion that you are being prohibited from communicating with your legal
20 counsel. You are fully aware that the restrictions that you have in place
21 at the Detention Unit do not apply to communications between you and your
22 legal counsel as well as diplomatic and consular representatives.
23 So what I suggest is that you try to formulate your position. I
24 think you also need to consult your counsel, your advisors, on these
25 matters. And I am also stopping you now for your own benefit. I don't
1 want you to jump into making statements that can be used against you later
2 on, Mr. Seselj. So take my advice. Go through this document carefully
3 and take your time, discuss it with your advisors, and put down in writing
4 what your position is with regard to each one of these four points. In
5 the meantime, you can have all the time you need for this. I am not going
6 to put a time limit. But the sooner you respond to the Prosecution, the
7 better it is.
8 I also am duty-bound to advise you further that you are not bound
9 to respond to this document. In other words, you have a right to remain
10 silent, here in the courtroom and from your cell in the Detention Unit.
11 In other words, the fact that you have received this does not put an
12 obligation on you to respond. So do take advice before we proceed any
13 further on this matter. I -- this is the first time I'm seeing these
14 documents. I see that the points that are being suggested to you to agree
15 upon touch the core of the case that is being brought forward by the
16 Prosecution. And I think my experience prompts me to terminate the debate
17 on this matter now and give you the opportunity to measure your words and
18 decide whether to respond to this document in the first place in the quiet
19 of your cell, and after having taken proper advice from your advisors, the
20 people you trust.
21 Yes, any further comments on Rule 67 disclosure? Yes, Mr. Seselj.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm afraid that you
23 have not been informed properly about these restrictive measures that have
24 been imposed against me for more than six months. In the decision, which
25 is unlawful, it says that I have the right to contact my legal advisors.
1 But they do not recognise that I have any legal advisors. Maja Gojkovic
2 and Slavko Jerkovic are my chosen legal advisors, but they did not
3 acknowledge them. So I have the result to consult them but they have not
4 been registered. So when I try to call these people through the prison
5 guards and the special telephone that is for that purpose, the guards turn
6 me down. You see, this is a game that makes it impossible for me to
7 prepare my Defence. Your Honour, I appreciate your good intentions and
8 your concern. You don't want me to do anything that will aggravate my
9 position, but believe me I'm a man who thinks right and I can act
11 Even today, I can state my views to the Prosecution in three
12 sentences with regard to the counts leveled against me. Believe me, these
13 will things I will never give up on any time in my life. They are the
14 meaning of my life itself, and I would be the scum of the earth if I would
15 give up on what I have lived for during these first 50 years of my life
16 and these are the things that I'm going to live by for the rest of my
17 life. So may I please state my position now and in that way the
18 Prosecution will also receive --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: No, Mr. Seselj, I'm not going to allow you to
20 proceed any further. Just -- I will reserve for you the position as I
21 stated to you, and then you put your points in writing after having
22 thought about it. But these are matters which should not be discussed at
23 the Pre-Trial Status Conferences.
24 Let's move -- and next time, please, Prosecutor, Madam Prosecutor,
25 I would like to be informed of these exchanges promptly, not...
1 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I also want to exhort you, Madam Prosecutor, to
3 do -- you mentioned the end of the year being able to present the 65 ter
4 documents. May I suggest that you try and bring the date as forward as
5 you can. I know that we are in June, but considering that we're talking
6 only of 63 live witnesses and 42 92 bis, according to you, witnesses, I
7 think you can do better. So I trust that you will do your utmost and
8 report to me as the Pre-Trial Judge in the next Status Conference saying
9 that you have terminated this exercise.
10 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, just to mention, the amount of
11 exhibits will be enormous, in particular when this letter that we
12 proposed -- the four points that we proposed to Mr. Seselj, you will see
13 it's -- when we know the answer to this, the exhibits could be very few.
14 But if it is disputed what is in here, the written evidence, the
15 documents, will be enormous. We have meanwhile actually tasked several
16 experts dealing with these matters, and that's why we need time. It's not
17 so much the witnesses; it's the exhibits that will need lot of time. Most
18 of the exhibits that we are dealing with are actually in the Serbian
19 language, and a huge amount of translation is needed. But of course, we
20 will report to you on the next Status Conference. It's the exhibits, just
21 to make sure.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I never ask for the impossible, but I ask for the
23 optimum. And I do read -- this is why it's unfortunate that I have this
24 document today. I do read what you have in mind here, and had I read it
25 before I wouldn't even have allowed the accused to start answering. This
1 is why I am concerned. The accused is not a lawyer. You are not a lawyer
2 by profession, Mr. Seselj, and this is why I'm telling you be careful
3 before you open your mouth on this.
4 So with regard to Rule 92 bis, it doesn't mean -- I just need to
5 explain to you one thing. Not every request put forward by the
6 Prosecution for the production of evidence under the Rule 92 bis is
7 accepted by the Trial Chamber. I have turned down many such requests and
8 allowed others, depending, of course, most of the time also taking into
9 consideration the position taken by the Defence. So you don't need to
10 worry about the Rule 92 bis for the time being. These are pleasures yet
11 to come, and we will deal with such requests when they reach the Trial
12 Chamber. I cannot pronounce myself any further on the merits of such
13 testimonies because I don't even know who these witnesses are or will be.
14 Rule 68 material, let me go through my records first and point out
15 what I have, and then correct me if I'm wrong. You are aware as I told
16 you last time that Rule 68 has undergone some changes between the first of
17 the Status Conferences and the last Status Conference. And it may undergo
18 some further changes later on in July, which will not affect -- I don't
19 know. I don't think it will affect these proceedings in any case for the
20 time being at least. The first batch of Rule 68 material was disclosed at
21 the Status Conference of the 3rd of July 2003, and that was under the old
22 regime. And then a second set of material was disclosed in the course of
23 the Status Conference of the 29th of October of last year. I take it that
24 the accused acknowledged receipt of these documents.
25 I now refer to you the Prosecution's second report on disclosure,
1 which I mentioned to you earlier. You will recall also that in the course
2 of the last Status Conference I pointed out that in that second report,
3 the Prosecution discussed or tried to discuss or engage the
4 Pre-Trial Judge in discussion on the recent amendments to Rule 68 and the
5 implications for Rule 68 disclosures, in this case, as they were being
6 envisaged or seen by the Prosecution.
7 The Prosecution had explained on that occasion how it understands
8 the Rule as amended; and following some discussion in the course of the
9 last Status Conference, I had made it clear that it was not my intention
10 or the intention of the Trial Chamber, Pre-Trial Chamber, to become
11 involved or comment on the Prosecution's interpretation of the new Rule
12 68. I had made it clear that the reason for my position was that in my
13 mind, Rule 68 as it was and as it is now is clear enough not to require
14 any interpretation. The system of law which I am used to which draws from
15 both common-law and civil-law traditions acknowledges that you speak of
16 interpretation only when the law is unclear and requires interpretation;
17 otherwise, you apply the law as it is.
18 There are, however, certain issues that arose in the wake of the
19 discussions on Rule 68 that I am going to discuss. I'm going to discuss
20 them because I want to be updated basically. With respect to disclosure
21 in electronic format envisaged in Rule 68(B) as amended, I recall that the
22 accused reiterated that he will refuse to receive disclosure of documents
23 which way of computer diskettes or contained in computer diskettes and
24 that he will only accept paper documents. At the time, I had cut the
25 discussion on this issue short knowing or being informed by the
1 Prosecution that the process of disclosure of material under Rule 68(B)
2 was by no means ready and also being aware that even the software was not
3 available at the time. And I had declared that the issue of disclosure of
4 such material falling under Rule 68(B) in electronic format will be
5 deferred to future Status Conferences and as the matter arises. In the
6 meantime, pretty soon after the last Status Conference, namely, on the
7 26th of March 2004, the accused filed his motion number 30 in which he
8 requested a substantial amount of material from the Registry. Most issues
9 in this motion have already been or are being addressed by the Registrar
10 as I am informed. There is, however, one important issue that the Chamber
11 has decided is an issue that needs to be addressed by the parties and
12 subsequently by the Chamber.
13 I am referring to the specific request made by the accused to have
14 access to statements of all witnesses in all cases who mentioned his name
15 in any context during testimonies before the Prosecutor or during
16 testimonies before a Trial Chamber. I'm quoting his words because
17 testimonies before the Prosecutor are better translated into statements
18 made to investigators and to the Prosecutor. Following up on the
19 Chamber's request which was notified to both parties, the Prosecution
20 filed a response to the accused's motion on the 13th of April of this
21 year. In its response, or in her response, I apologise, the Prosecutor as
22 such - correct me if I am wrong, Madam - agrees that the accused should be
23 provided access to such documents, but also touched upon a couple of
24 important issues such as the need for protective measures for certain
25 witnesses, the question of how to disclose this material electronically or
1 in paper, and the question in which language this material should be
3 And I would like you now to update the Trial Chamber because you
4 have presented the Trial Chamber with these problems without offering a
5 solution, and I take it that a discussion on these issues will enable the
6 Trial Chamber to finalise its motion which it has already started working
7 upon from a general point of view, taking a deposition into consideration
8 the position taken by both parties.
9 I will first touch on the first issue that you raise; namely, that
10 in not objecting, as I read you, to the Defence -- to the accused's
11 request, you still want coverage when it comes to protective measures
12 regarding certain witnesses.
13 MR. SAXON: Yes, Your Honour. That is correct.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, but again, that is a very general observation.
15 The Trial Chamber is not in a position to come to a conclusion not knowing
16 who are these witnesses and what kind of protective measures you need to
17 put in place.
18 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, the Prosecution understands that.
19 However, before the Prosecution endeavours to embark on what will be a
20 very large exercise, the Prosecution has stated its position on all these
21 issues and asks that the Chamber make a decision that would obviously also
22 include or incorporate the accused's willingness to receive materials in
23 electronic format which would greatly expedite the amount of work involved
24 in this exercise. So we were waiting for the accused to state his
25 position on these matters in response to the Prosecution's motion and to
1 hear from the Trial Chamber as well.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: But I don't think that is a logical approach. I
3 think we need, Mr. Saxon, to approach it in a different fashion. My first
4 question is, have you terminated the exercise of identifying all the
5 documents that the accused may be referring to in his motion?
6 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, we have done a preliminary search, and we
7 have identified approximately 1.000 documents that would fall within the
8 scope of the accused's request.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Right. That's number one. Please follow me with
10 all the points because we will need to address this matter in an optimum
11 fashion. Number two, have you decided in your mind whether to consent to
12 the disclosure of all these documents in their entirety or only in the
13 relevant parts which refer to the accused?
14 MR. SAXON: As we explained in our response, Your Honour, the
15 Prosecution submits that the proper way forward would be where we have
16 sensitive witnesses who have either concerns about the nature of their
17 testimony, for example, a sexual assault victim, or witnesses who have
18 security concerns, we would submit that it would be sufficient to disclose
19 only the portion or portions of the witness statement that refers to
20 Dr. Seselj, the accused in this case. For other kinds of witness
21 statements where those sensitive issues do not exist, the Prosecution
22 would be willing to disclose the entire statement.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: But have you identified the -- who these sensitive
24 witnesses or witnesses that ought to be protected or statements that ought
25 to be redacted are?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. SAXON: No, Your Honour, we have not undertaken that exercise.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: How many time do you require to do this exercise?
3 Because I'm not going to allow you go through this exercise indefinitely.
4 I know it's a laborious exercise, but if need be get an extra person
5 allocated to the team who will dedicate his or her time to this exercise
6 because we need to do it.
7 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, your suggestion to get an extra person
8 allocated to the team is a decision made well above my pay grade --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I know that, but I am telling you not for you to
10 implement it but to pass on the message.
11 MR. SAXON: That message will be passed on, Your Honour. Your
12 Honour, the trial team at a minimum would need two months to review all of
13 these statements and carefully redact any sensitive materials from them
14 that needs to be redacted.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Then the other question, and remind that as soon as
16 I have covered these points then we have to also decide how this is going
17 to be referred back to the accused for his comments before we take a stand
18 and reach a decision.
19 The second is -- the question of how to disclose this material,
20 electronically or in paper. This is only part of the wider question of
21 disclosure in electronic format or in paper. But for the time being, I'm
22 only interested in these documents that the accused has asked for and
23 which you seem to consent to provide with the usual caveats that you have
24 mentioned earlier. Have you taken a decision on how this disclosure will
25 take place, whether it will take place in electronic format or in paper?
1 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, the Prosecution's submission is that the
2 disclosure should take place in electronic format. You will note that
3 Rule 66(B) does not specify any particular form in which material -- in
4 which access should be provided to the accused. And the Prosecution's
5 submission is that the Prosecution should be able to provide that access
6 in the form that is most efficient, not only to the Prosecution but to the
7 entire Tribunal, Your Honour, and that includes this accused.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I have heard what you had to say. The
9 position is being reserved on this matter after hearing the accused and
10 also after being able to gauge the extent of labour and efforts that such
11 an exercise would entail.
12 Then there is also the question of language, and the question is
13 in which language this material should be disclosed. When it comes to
14 transcripts, I am fully aware that the transcripts exist only in English
15 and in French. When it comes to statements given to the Prosecutor or to
16 investigators of the Prosecutor or to others, I would imagine that there
17 are copies, and sometimes the originals are also in B/C/S. So putting
18 this in one basket, what is your position?
19 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, if I may just interject for a moment, the
20 vast majority of witness statements given to the Prosecution are done in
21 English. So the vast majority of the witness statements that we're
22 talking about here would be, at least in their original version, in the
23 English language. However, in the course of trial preparation, both for
24 this case and for other cases as well, certainly at least a portion of
25 these statements, witness statements, would already have been translated
1 into the language that the accused understands. And so of course, if the
2 Prosecution is ordered to make this material available to the accused,
3 wherever we have a witness statement already in the Serbian language, we
4 will provide that statement or the relevant portion of that statement to
5 the accused in his language.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Right.
7 MR. SAXON: For other materials, Your Honour, we would submit that
8 we would fulfil our obligation under the Rule by providing the statement
9 in the English language.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: So basically, the position as I read it now is as
11 follows -- rather, before I address you any further, I covered the three
12 points that I needed to cover. Mr. Seselj, I address you now. You have
13 heard what the Prosecution has stated. I will certainly provide within a
14 few minutes by giving directives to the Prosecution on how to go about on
15 some of these matters so you are put in a position in which you can then
16 respond to their points and to their proposals adequately. But in the
17 meantime, I would like you to tell me what your position is having heard
18 now for the time being, having heard what the Prosecutor has stated. And
19 take them one by one.
20 With regard to the identification of sensitive witnesses and
21 statements of witnesses that need to be protected, what is your position?
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I guarantee that you will fully
24 abide by the Rules related to witness protection, that I am not going to
25 disclose a single name or single testimony that is protected, and that in
1 this way I will not bring into question the integrity of the witness in
2 any way. Until I break this promise and this guarantee, the Prosecution
3 has no reason to doubt that I will indeed do so. Secondly, I think that
4 the Prosecution should provide me with comprehensive documents, not only
5 those sections that the Prosecution believes pertain to me because perhaps
6 in another part of a testimony there is something that could be important
7 evidence for me in Court proceedings, something that would bring into
8 question some of the incriminations involved. Therefore, it is
9 indispensable to have comprehensive documents.
10 Secondly, it is impossible for the Prosecution to provide me with
11 documents in electronic form, on diskettes, because I have the opportunity
12 of using only documents that are on paper. A document on paper is a basic
13 document. Anything else is mere possession, and not a single Court of law
14 in the world can force an accused person to receive documents in any other
15 form but in paper. I do not have a computer. I do not know how to use a
16 computer, and I insist on receiving documents on paper.
17 And finally, all required documents have to be in the Serbian
18 language because I understand only the Serbian language and not a single
19 other language. And nobody can force me to use any other language. That
20 is what I have to state with regard to that particular question. That is
21 item 3 of my request. But Your Honour, I would have some comments with
22 regard to the other four points. Should I present them straight away or
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Which four points?
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I asked the Registry to submit all
1 judgements passed to date to me. I asked for that several times, but they
2 have been providing me only in succession. However, there are a few
3 judgements that are missing. The Kupreskic appeals judgement, they say
4 they don't have it in the Serbian language, only in French and English.
5 Then also the appeals judgement of Krnojelac, again they don't have it in
6 the Serb language. Then the Obrenovic judgement, again they don't have it
7 in the Serbian language. Some of these judgements were passed several
8 years, like the Kupreskic judgement, I think it's been at least two years
9 or perhaps even longer than that. I insist that this be submitted to me
10 as soon as possible in the Serbian language because I am thoroughly
11 studying the jurisprudence of this Court and I am making every effort to
12 do so. Also, I asked for other judgements to be submitted to me after the
13 20th of January when I submitted this submission because, Your Honour,
14 although I submitted this on the 27th of January they have answered me
15 only just before the Status Conference itself, not when they can do it and
16 when they're supposed to do it earlier on. They know I'm going to raise
17 this at a Status Conference, so then they hurry only before Status
19 Then I also insisted because there are financial problems
20 involved, I asked the Registry to provide me with information about all
21 the expenses paid for the Defence of indictees before this Tribunal. My
22 legal advisors submitted a bill amounting to 200.000 US dollars to me for
23 the past year. I don't have the money to pay for that. I am going to get
24 this in detail, but I handed this over to the Registry only a few days
25 ago, this request put forth by my legal advisor. Also, I asked for all
1 motions to be submitted to me in the Serbian language, all of those
2 provided -- filed by Defence counsel and Prosecution responses to motions,
3 and also Trial Chamber rulings with regard to these motions. Because you
4 see, in all rulings of the Trial Chamber, reference is made to
5 jurisprudence. I have to be familiar with specific jurisprudence. The
6 Registry has rejected this. They did not provide me with the entire
7 jurisprudence. They say that I should specify what I want, and then
8 they're going to provide me with that. You, Your Honour, for example
9 provided me with a valuable document, that is to say, the Brdjanin
10 document that I requested. But I need so many documents because I have to
11 know what I will use for different questions. This is a vast material,
12 but if I am prepared to study this vast material, then it is the duty of
13 the Registry to provide it to me. It is my affair whether I'm going to
14 have enough time to study all of this. Sometimes I work 24 hours a day;
15 sometimes I work even 25 hours a day if I get up an hour early. But my
16 position is that I have to be familiarised with all jurisprudence, all
17 decisions, motions, responses to motions, everything.
18 I have one more point. I asked for all appeals to be provided to
19 me, all of those that were filed so far. And also all the judgements, the
20 appeals on judgements to be provided to me, and also the relevant
21 judgements. I have to know because I am preparing myself for the appeal,
22 and I will point out things that were not decided on properly in some
23 other cases because the Defence did not argue some points that were
24 proffered to them as agreed facts because many lawyers only worked on
25 defending their own client without challenging the general political
1 context and legal context. However, for my case, the most important thing
2 is to challenge the general political and historical context because the
3 Prosecution is not indicting me only with regard to specific crimes, but
4 basically in terms of this general context, as you also put it. I
5 received from the Registry a letter saying that they're giving me a
6 comprehensive report on the work of the International Criminal Tribunal
7 and also the policy of the Registry of paying Defence counsel. I got only
8 one of those two documents, not both. And they claim that they sent me
9 both. And on the receipt I wrote that one of these documents is missing.
10 The other day, the guard wanted to give me a document in the English
11 language, but I did not want to receive it. I don't speak this English
12 language. I don't know this English language, and I'm never going to use
13 it, to learn it, and it's my only private affair.
14 In any case the most important thing is I have available to me in
15 the Serbian language complete legal jurisprudence of this Tribunal.
16 Without that, my defence would be impossible. If it's a question of room,
17 the warden of the Detention Unit has the possibility to accommodate me.
18 There is a room available where all this material can be stored. This
19 should not be a problem for the warden. And if you intervene, he will do
20 so. Because so far I have not even received the bookshelf that the
21 previous Pre-Trial Judge decided somewhere in June or July last year
22 should be given me.
23 Concerning legal counsel, I have to draw your attention again,
24 nobody is dealing with this issue, although at the last Status Conference
25 you ordered that the Registry be provided with a transcript so that this
1 issue is resolved. My legal counsel have not been registered. The
2 Detention Unit treats them as nonexistent, and I have no contact with
3 them. And in the latest decisions concerning restrictions, they tell me I
4 should deal with that with the help of my legal counsel. How am I
5 supposed to do that if I have contact with none?
6 Another point, Your Honour, last time you did not allow me to
7 raise the issue of my standby counsel. Under the ruling of the Trial
8 Chamber of the 9th of May, 2003, standby counsel should be fluent in
9 Serbian. Whereas Mr. van der Spoel has no clue about the Serbian
10 language. Nobody, however, is raising the issue how the secretariat was
11 allowed to violate this decision. When they are concerned, anything goes.
12 And when I am concerned, unlawful restrictions are applied. That's what I
13 had to say concerning my motion, my request. I insist that everything
14 that is available in this Court as a document be made available to me on
15 paper, judgements, appeals judgements, motions, submissions, decisions,
16 orders, et cetera.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Seselj. The position is as I
18 explained it in the decision which followed your motion to which I
19 referred to earlier. There are different compartments. There is the
20 compartment which belongs to the Registrar and the Judge will not
21 interfere in that compartment unless your rights, procedural rights, are
22 being violated. Then there are other compartments which belong
23 exclusively to the Pre-Trial Judge and the Pre-Trial Chamber and later on
24 to the Trial Chamber in which the Registrar cannot interfere. The
25 position is that you asked for certain matters which you consider
1 important for you to have which we have absolutely no jurisdiction upon.
2 The jurisdiction belongs exclusively to the Registrar. I think I made
3 that clear in the decision and the directive that I handed down earlier
4 on. And I will only intervene if there are -- there is inconsistency in
5 the practice of the Registrar or if there is a violation. I have taken
6 note of what you've said, namely that you're still missing some
7 judgements, namely Kupreskic, Krnojelac and Obrenovic. I will inquire
8 into this. Of course I cannot order the Registrar to give them to you,
9 but if you are eventually not given these copies, please do let me know.
10 Other matters which are the exclusive jurisdiction of the
11 Registrar I will not interfere with until I am seized of the matter
12 properly by means of a motion indicating why the Pre-Trial Chamber should
13 intervene. That's the first thing.
14 With regard to -- you mentioned again the question of language. I
15 want you to know that I am very sensitive about your concern on this
16 matter also because I give a lot of importance to the principle that the
17 accused should always be in a position to follow the proceedings, and
18 proceedings does not mean only court proceedings, but also documentary
19 evidence and all that, in a language that he can understand. There are
20 some problems that could arise mainly in view of how some of the articles,
21 including Rule 68 disclosure, material disclosure, is regulated under our
22 Rules. I am quite sure that I did explain to you during one, probably
23 more, previous conferences, that Rule 68 material, on the face of it at
24 least, does not require the Prosecution to disclose the material in your
25 own language. I am also aware that the Prosecution did enter a statement
1 that in spite of this they will do their level best to accommodate you
2 when it comes to this. But I had made myself clear that since this is a
3 matter that attaches to a pretended right, I will not pronounce myself any
4 further until I am properly seized of the matter by means of motion.
5 You may, and I'm telling you this because again you are not a
6 lawyer and you may think you have done one thing while in actual fact you
7 may not have done it the way you think. When you filed your motion number
8 30 in which you had asked for the disclosure of all the testimonies,
9 statements of witnesses or persons that had mentioned you in the testimony
10 or in the statement, you were not actually filing a motion referring
11 necessarily to Rule 68 material. And this is where the problem is. If
12 you are -- not interested, but if you want to proceed with your claim to
13 have all documents, all material disclosed to you, and disclosed to you in
14 your own language, including Rule 68 material, you have to file a proper
15 motion, or at least make a declaration now. Then I will ask the
16 Prosecution and give it time to respond to your request and will decide on
17 your request in due course as necessary.
18 But you need to make or file a proper motion, either in writing or
19 orally, regarding specifically Rule 68 material because you haven't done
20 so so far. You have stated that you want this and you want that and you
21 want this and you want that, but there is no specific motion. And the
22 Trial Chamber, Pre-Trial Chambers cannot actually state that it is seized
23 of the matter. Yes, Mr. Seselj.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I did not file a motion
25 under 68. My motion concerns jurisprudence. And item 3 regards a
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 specific part of past jurisprudence. It does not have to be exculpatory
2 material under Rule 68. It can also be Prosecution material; it can also
3 be neutral to my legal status, my legal position. But I wish in the
4 course of my preparation to become acquainted with that material. All
5 this, therefore, concerns jurisprudence. And as far as I understand your
6 Rules, it is the Registry who is in charge primarily, and they are
7 supposed to give it to me.
8 As for Rule 68, the Prosecution has disclosed a lot of exculpatory
9 material to me so far. So many documents, exculpatory documents
10 concerning the Ovcara case that I am even expecting them to abandon this
11 part of the indictment, so convincing I find this material. Also material
12 concerning Western Slavonia, Zvornik, Samac, et cetera. But they have
13 been insisting to delivering this material to me in the form of floppy
14 disks and CDs, and I refused that whereupon they provided it to me in
15 paper. I am making no further problem. And I expect them to disclose all
16 the exculpatory material to me soon.
17 Now, concerning jurisprudence, I must be absolutely familiar with
18 all the past jurisprudence and I must be able to follow all the current
19 proceedings because jurisprudence is being enriched as we speak every day.
20 There is not a single court or Tribunal in the world whose jurisprudence
21 could be an alternative to me. For instance, you cannot say that the
22 jurisprudence of another Tribunal could replace the jurisprudence of this
23 one. I need to know the jurisprudence of the ICTY. I therefore ask you
24 to address the Registry, which is after all an administrative unit,
25 because they are thwarting my efforts to familiarise myself with the
1 jurisprudence. I have raised this issue today at the Status Conference,
2 but I can also file a written submission if you so wish.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I would prefer if you file a proper motion,
4 Mr. Seselj, with your reasons included. Incidentally, I am just being
5 provided with, because I was not aware of this as I said, the Registrar is
6 not accountable to me for the exercise of what is strictly his domain like
7 I am not accountable to the Registrar for what is strictly my own
8 competence and jurisdiction. I am informed, and I can go through this
9 list briefly with you. I am informed that the judgement in the case
10 against the Samac, the Simic case, in other words, is available in B/C/S;
11 same applies to Milomir Stakic; same applies to Momir Nikolic and Dragan
12 Nikolic; and also, General Talic and Banovic.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Galic, correction. General Galic,
14 not Talic. Talic was not tried.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Galic, General Galic. It may have been a bad
16 interpretation. And final judgement on Banovic, that these are all
17 available in your own language and that you have been -- I just want to
18 make sure that you have been given these copies.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I have received all that.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Then there are three, as you said, judgements which
21 are not yet available in your language, and that is the Kupreskic, the
22 Krnojelac, and the Obrenovic judgements. They are being worked upon. And
23 until they are available in your language, you obviously cannot have them.
24 You'll need to wait until they are available, and I am informed that as
25 soon as they are available in your own language they will be provided to
2 With regard to the rest, as I said, the Registrar has the power
3 and the jurisdiction and the competence to decide certain issues following
4 requests that are made by the accused directly to him. The Trial Chamber
5 does not interfere with these matters and with the discretion exercised by
6 the Registrar unless cause is shown to the Chamber, in this case, the
7 Pre-Trial Chamber, why it should interfere. I notice that the Registrar
8 decided to accede to some of your requests and to reject some of your
9 other requests. If you feel aggrieved now that you have the Rules of
10 Evidence and Procedure in your own language as well, you know what the
11 options are, and you have every right to seek a remedy according to those
12 Rules. Until the Trial Chamber or whoever, because it need not
13 necessarily be the Pre-Trial Chamber, it could be someone else, is
14 properly seized of these matters, there is no further point in discussing
15 them here in the course of the Status Conference. Of course, I did allow
16 you to air your grievances because on the face of it they seem, or you
17 present them as related and as pertinent to your problems in trying to
18 defend yourself. And I will continue to do so. However, I am limited by
19 the separate jurisdiction of the Registrar in which I do not interfere and
20 will interfere only if I am shown cause properly by means of a motion that
21 the Registrar is using his discretion in a way which is tantamount to
22 depriving you from the right to have a fair trial and to prepare an
23 adequate defence.
24 So the position is reserved both with regard to disclosure in the
25 language he understands, particularly under Rule 68. There's no question
1 under Rule 66, the Rule is very specific. It says "in a language that the
2 accused understands." Why those words are notoriously absent in Rule 68?
3 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, with your permission in relation
4 to the disclosure in the format we propose, in relation to the format of
5 disclosure, electronic disclosure, of course we also have Defence counsels
6 here that were not used to this form of disclosure, but there is the
7 possibility to have assistance by a paralegal who could assist Mr. Seselj
8 in reviewing electronic disclosure and searching documents and that is his
9 possibility, to simply request a paralegal to assist him in this. So that
10 should be not be a barrier. And in relation to disclosure in the English
11 language, actually in relation to 66(B), it doesn't say it needs to be in
12 English. But my main point I want to make is the Prosecution actually got
13 the impression that Mr. Seselj is actually able to both to read and
14 understand English and to speak English because we have here a CD with an
15 interview that Mr. Seselj gave during the events to a Dutch TV station,
16 and here he gets the questions in English language and answers in English
17 language, very sensible answers in normal English. So we got the
18 impression that he understands English, at least more than he claims here.
19 And if Your Honour wants, we can play it here.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: You don't need to play it here for the time being,
21 Madam. The -- I don't want to jump the gun. We are discussing issues
22 that are arising, but of which the Trial Chamber, Pre-Trial Chamber is not
23 yet properly seized with. When it comes to disclosure, you have the
24 responsibility of disclosure. I will intervene only, and I will be seized
25 only the moment you disclose material which the accused contests as not
1 being disclosed according to the Rules. In other words, when it comes to
2 question of language, I will intervene only when I am seized with the
3 matter. In other words, because it could well be that you will disclose
4 everything in a language that he understands; it may well be that he will
5 satisfied with what you disclose. So I will not jump the gun. I will
6 take things in the proper order. I appreciate what you have stated. But
7 that comes into issue only if you are not bound to disclose a particular
8 document in the Serbian language, and you disclose it in the English
9 language and the accused comes forward and says that he did not understand
10 the English language, that he wants it to be disclosed in his own
11 language. Then there will be two issues: First, whether he has a right
12 to have it disclosed in his language according to the specific rule which
13 would be applicable, and secondly whether it is of prejudice to him if it
14 is disclosed in the English language now that you are alleging that he is
15 familiar with that language. I don't think we need to discuss this any
16 further. But I am going to give you a time limit of two months to
17 regulate yourself as a follow-up and in the wake, first, of Mr. Seselj's
18 motion number 30, and also along the lines of the discussion that we have
19 had until now, basically sensitive witnesses, witnesses that need to be
20 protected, documents that you may ask to be redacted and so on and so
22 I want also to make one point clear, and this is to pre-empt any
23 further discussion on the matter: There may be documents as I understand
24 you which you would not like to disclose in total.
25 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: And the position that has been taken by Mr. Seselj
2 it seems is that he would prefer them or he would insist that they be
3 provided in total because there may be other elements in them which may be
4 relevant for him. Now, we are discussing a proper motion, motion number
5 30 in which he submitted a specific request. If there are any documents
6 that you need to redact or if there are any documents which you believe
7 should not be submitted in toto, you need to submit them to me, the
8 Pre-Trial Judge in toto indicating what you would like to redact and
9 indicating what you would not like to have disclosed to the accused, and
10 it will be I who will decide whether there will be the redactions that you
11 will request or whether there will be nondisclosure of the nonrelevant,
12 according to you, material in the statements. I am making that position
13 very clear as from now. In other words, before any such disclosure takes
14 place, it will be under my authorisation if it is to be redacted and if it
15 is to be disclosed not in its entirety. Have I made myself clear?
16 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, that's understood, Your Honour. And
17 otherwise we proceed as we have proposed in our submission.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, obviously. But you have two months within
19 which to finalise this exercise. And I'm saying two months first because
20 two months was indicated by your colleague, and also because two months is
21 halfway between this Status Conference and the next. All right?
22 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you for your cooperation.
24 One moment, because I have... So basically, that covers all the
25 points that I had mentioned. As soon as you have finalised this exercise,
1 then we will proceed with our decision. I mean, on the points that are
2 not controversial, more or less we are already prepared. So we will only
3 need to concentrate on the other issues that I mentioned earlier.
4 There are a few things that I want to make sure of. I was
5 informed that -- I have been informed, rather, that you have been provided
6 with the copies of the videotapes of the last two Status Conferences. Is
7 that correct, Mr. Seselj?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I have received these copies
9 with some delay, though. But I do insist that these copies be submitted
10 to me immediately after Status Conferences. Once the trial starts, I am
11 afraid that if I do not get copies immediately, I will not be in a
12 position to do my job properly. As far as I know, the technical
13 facilities are here are such that I can get copies of everything that goes
14 on while I'm still in the court building. This happened when the Special
15 Prosecutor came and the investigator of the special court in Belgrade when
16 they came to interview me in relation to the assassination of Zoran
17 Djindjic, I got the cassettes straight away, immediately after that. May
18 I mention to you in passing, Your Honour, that the Special Prosecutor is
19 not going to prosecute me with regard to that particular case.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, thank you. I just want to confirm that you
21 have received them. When we request them ourselves, we have to wait. We
22 don't receive them within the day, I can assure you, Mr. Seselj.
23 I am also informed, and I just want to you intervene only if I am
24 not connect. I am also informed that the Rules of Evidence and Procedure
25 were handed to you in your language on the 19th of March. And as I said,
1 you will receive the B/C/S version of the amendments as soon as possible.
2 I'll endeavour to have them delivered to you by the end of the week as I
3 promised you.
4 I was informed last week, early last week, that the decision, the
5 Brdjanin decision that I had given relating to Rule 68 had not been given
6 to you as yet, but I then confirmed later on that in the course of last
7 week it was handed to you. And I heard you confirm this because you
8 referred to it earlier on.
9 If there are any other decisions that you are aware of that you
10 need from me, then I can provide you, of course, with them, with the help
11 of the Registrar because obviously I do not keep them in stock myself.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I cannot ask for a specific decision
13 now. But in principle, I've asked for all decisions so that I would have
14 them at hand when I need them so that I could study the jurisprudence of
15 this Tribunal thoroughly because I'll have a few years to do that. As
16 from what I heard, this trial of mine has planned for 2007. So I have
17 ample time to study all of that. But I have to receive all of it in order
18 to be able to study it. I cannot give you any specific details as to
19 which particular document I would like.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, I am not aware of such a date, Mr. Seselj.
21 And very much, things very much depend on the progress that we register in
22 these Status Conferences in the first place, which, as I explained in the
23 beginning, should be limited only to the purposes which Rule 65 bis points
24 out, and not beyond that. The moment things get complicated, I am afraid
25 it won't serve you any good because it can only procrastinate the
1 proceedings. On my part, I can promise you that I have absolutely no
2 interest and no intention in delaying these proceedings. I will do my
3 best to accelerate the process. And I will, as I told you in the very
4 beginning, not allow either of you to transgress the boundaries or the
5 parameters of the Status Conference and will establish deadlines for you
6 if and when necessary so that the whole process can be accelerated.
7 There's one thing obviously that you ought to be aware of. There
8 are six trials ongoing at the moment, and for another trial to start one
9 has to finish. And it is the policy of this Tribunal also to give
10 priority to those cases which have arrived here before others, especially
11 in those cases where the accused is still in detention like you are.
12 As I stated in the beginning of the sitting, one further reason
13 for holding these conferences is to review the status of the accused's
14 case, and more or less what I have just stated covers the matter. I do
15 appreciate that you are concerned that, especially if you have been told
16 that your trial won't start before 2007, that this is a justified concern
17 for you to have. But again, I appeal to you to be as cooperative with the
18 Pre-Trial Chamber as much as you can, and with the rest of the Tribunal as
19 much as you can because it's only in this environment that we can register
20 progress in a way which would guarantee you in anticipation of the trial.
21 Before I ask you to make any remarks on your health, et cetera,
22 are there any other comments that you would like to make regarding any
23 other issues that are related only to the case, the trial, and the
24 preparation of the trial? Not any other matters, in other words. I mean,
25 I will start with you. Do you have any further statements to make?
1 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour. We have one point. And it
2 relates to the recent decision of the Trial Chamber on the motion of the
3 accused's challenging jurisdiction and form of the indictment. We have
4 actually -- we have the intention to amend paragraph 11 of the indictment,
5 but as we have already on Friday filed a notice that we would appeal the
6 Vojvodina aspect, that is, paragraph 12 of the indictment, we would ask
7 permission to wait with the amendment of paragraph 11 as the appeal is
8 still pending because otherwise we would have to amend twice.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Has the appeal or the motion been filed?
10 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, the motion has been filed on Friday, and
11 you have received notice and alternatively request for certification in
12 case the appeal is not --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm going to make myself very clear on this. First
14 of all, I think since -- I was not aware that you had filed a motion, I
15 only was informed that a motion has been filed just before entering the
16 courtroom. I was not aware that it was filed last Thursday or last
17 Friday. And I am not blaming anyone for it; don't misunderstand me. We
18 don't always get informed of a motion having been filed on the same day.
19 Sometimes it's the day after; sometimes it's even two days later.
20 Although you may have the idea of -- you may have formed the idea
21 that this is something that -- in which Mr. Seselj may not have voice and
22 a chapter, it's not correct. Because Mr. Seselj has an interest in not
23 having you exercise a right of appeal if you don't have it. So the
24 question is that I don't even know if he has been served with this motion.
25 Perhaps you can answer that question first.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 The Prosecution filed a motion last Thursday or Friday. When did
2 you file it?
3 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Sorry. We gave it to the Registry on the
4 Thursday, but because there needed to be the translation it was filed on
6 JUDGE AGIUS: It was translated in B/C/S?
7 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: And do you know if it has served on the accused?
9 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: I don't know that.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Seselj, have you received any documents from the
11 Prosecution, end of last week or today, this morning? I mean, it's for
12 that matter.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I received from the Prosecution
14 earlier the document announcing appeal to the decision of the Trial
15 Chamber II on my objection or challenge. I will not challenge this motion
16 so as not to waste time because I believe your decision was right. And
17 the Prosecution cannot prove an international armed conflict in Vojvodina
18 or the warring parties. But I will object to the very appeal of the
19 Prosecution. However, I did not receive this second document. I did not
20 receive their request for amendment of the indictment. And I am surprised
21 a little that they announce their intention to appeal and their intention
22 to amend the indictment at the same time. I suppose they should first
23 wait for the decision of the Trial Chamber on their appeal and then see if
24 they're going to amend the indictment. If by virtue of announcing their
25 intention to amend the indictment they renounce their appeal, I have
1 nothing against it. But I still haven't received this document.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Then it's obviously what you have said;
3 I can understand knowing that you are not a lawyer. And this is why
4 you're not understanding exactly what the Prosecution is trying to do.
5 The Prosecution obviously wants the -- wants to cover itself not knowing
6 if their appeal, which they will file later on, will be rejected by the
7 three Judges that according to the Rule have to decide whether it should
8 even be considered, whether it's in accordance with the Rules. And the
9 reason for doing so is that unless they cover themselves, they may find
10 themselves in the situation where the three Judges appointed by the
11 President will say this is not ritual, this is not according to procedure,
12 you have no right to appeal the way you are appealing or on the ground
13 that you are appealing, and then finding itself, being unable to file an
14 appeal based on another ground or another different part of the Rules
15 because the time limit would have lapsed and they wouldn't have asked for
16 certification in the meantime.
17 I think -- yes. Yes. How much time do the technicians require?
18 We will soon be ready. But five minutes? What?
19 We'll wait until they change the tape. And can we proceed and
20 conclude after that? We have got only one item left on the agenda which
21 shouldn't last long. But I want your okay. Okay? Okay. Thank you.
22 So we'll have a short break of five minutes. We can stay in here,
23 all of us. And when we have the signal that the tape -- a new tape has
24 been placed, we can proceed. Thank you.
25 So I thank you all. The position I was trying to explain, I'm
1 going to be very blunt with you, Madam Uertz-Retzlaff. I was irritated a
2 lot when I saw this motion. I'm not here to give you advice, and I will
3 not give you advice. But I can tell you that the Trial Chamber cannot
4 entertain this request of yours. There are other options that you have
5 open. But I cannot accept a position where you have chosen one way of
6 proceeding, and then you come forward and you tell me, but, I've chosen
7 this one and not that one, because I think this is the right way to go.
8 But if I am not successful, please can you intervene now before it will be
9 too late to keep the other options open for me. No. I will not intervene
10 as a Pre-Trial Judge. If you choose one way, you know of the Latin
11 principle, selecta novia selecta una via non datum recursus ad altera.
12 There is no one stopping you from pursuing also the other way, and there
13 is no one -- I will not stop you from pursuing both way now if you want
14 to. But I cannot especially -- I'm sure you cannot quote me a precedent,
15 but I cannot at this point in time tell you, I will wait like you to see
16 what the three Judges appointed by the President in appeal will decide.
17 And then, if they decide in favour of you, it's okay, there is no point in
18 discussing certification any further. If they decide against you saying
19 that this was not the right way to appeal, then, okay, you will be safe,
20 you will be able to proceed because I have kept the -- what should already
21 be dead alive. So do make your choices. It seems that you have already
22 made one choice. I think you may still be in time of making another
23 choice as well. Then one of them will drop. But don't ask me to resort
24 to this kind of approach because I will not approach it.
25 So the decision is being handed down orally and is the Pre-Trial
1 Chamber has -- the Pre-Trial Judge has taken note of your request and is
2 hereby deciding that it will only be seized to decide on matters related
3 to certification if there is a proper motion asking for certification.
4 But the Pre-Trial Chamber has no authority as such to postpone or prolong
5 the terms established by the Rules for the filing of a motion for
6 certification simply on the pretext that has been put forward by the
7 Prosecution. So on the basis of this, I think you should be able to know
8 how to regulate yourself.
9 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honours. We didn't expect any
10 other decision.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm glad to hear that. I'm glad to hear that.
12 So, Mr. Seselj, the Rule applicable that I read out in the
13 beginning also makes it incumbent on me to ask -- to give you the
14 opportunity to raise issues relating to the case including your mental and
15 physical conditions. I appeal to you to be brief on this, be to the
16 point, and not try to make a political issue out of it because I will stop
17 you. I will want to know what complaints you have. Just mention the
18 complaints, but don't try to make a political speech because I will stop
19 you. Yes.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm surprised by your
21 cautioning because I never made political speeches here. I only represent
22 my rights and my interests in this process.
23 I have three purely status-related issues to raise. The first
24 status-related issue is the following: Carla del Ponte, chief Prosecutor,
25 on the 31st of January gave an interview to Croatian television, and she
1 mentioned my name in this interview in a very negative context. Also, the
2 spokesperson of the court and the spokesperson of the OTP mentioned my
3 name in a negative context several times. On TV Sense [phoen] which is
4 edited by The Hague Tribunal and produced by The Hague Tribunal, also
5 after the last Status Conference they grossly misinterpreted the content
6 of this Status Conference for political purposes. I'm not the one who is
7 trying to politicise this Court. Others are trying to do this.
8 Therefore, I insist that if the spokesperson of the OTP has the right to
9 address the public, if the spokesperson of the Tribunal has the right to
10 address the public, I insist that I be given this same right once a month
11 a press conference regarding the state of the case.
12 Furthermore, in a programme called The Hague Chronicle of TV
13 Sense, this last Saturday on the 12th of June, terrible insults were
14 levelled at the Serb people, the Serb national tradition --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm going to stop you, Mr. Seselj. One question. I
16 am going to stop you. Do you have any complaints with regard to, or any
17 comments with regard to your health? Yes or no. If you have, please,
18 identify them. And if you need to go into private session because of
19 personal matters relating to health, we will go into private session.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have the right to point out three
21 status-related problems, to raise three status-related issues,
22 Your Honour. I did not politicalise this Status Conference at all in any
23 way. Do you allow me --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: No, I don't allow you, Mr. Seselj. I am the
25 Presiding Judge, I am the Trial Judge, and you will do what I say. I am
1 asking you whether you have any remarks to make to the Court on your state
2 of health.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] First of all, I have objections to
4 the translation of the documents. Do you allow me to present that here?
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, with regard to the translation of documents, I
6 certainly allow you to make submissions.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Once a month, I received from the
8 Registry of the Tribunal the unlawful decision prohibiting me to
9 communicate with my family and friends and even with my legal advisors.
10 Twice it happened, on 9th of February and in the month of March, that in
11 the version in the Serbian language the Registrar says that I am indicted
12 for genocide. Check the documents. In the version in the English
13 language, there is no mention of genocide. That is a very grave problem
14 for me. And I don't think that I am politicising things in any way now.
15 Furthermore, I looked at the transcripts of Status Conferences which were
16 submitted to me in the English language. The content was changed of what
17 I was saying, and even the word "Your Honour" was used. That's a word I
18 never used. Because in my country it is a polite form of address and
19 customary form of address to say Mr. Judge or Madam Judge, and that is the
20 same thing that the Muslims and Croats do. And I cannot allow the
21 interpreters to misinterpret my words in such a way. It is sufficiently
22 polite in the Serbian language to say Mr. Judge, and that is the only way
23 in which lawyers and the accused and prosecutors address the Court.
24 Anything else would be different.
25 Since you did not allow me to raise the problem of this total
1 isolation that I have been submitted to last time, I have to raise it
2 again. Mr. Judge, detention is a measure that is imposed so that the
3 accused would not escape, would not destroy evidence with relation to the
4 crime mentioned in the indictment, and also not to affect witnesses that
5 would be involved. Those are the only three reasons why detention is
6 imposed. Detention cannot be abused for preventing an accused to have his
7 own private life. I have my own private life and I have my professional
8 life. Why are both being rendered disabled? Why can I not function from
9 detention in professional terms as I did function previously in my life?
10 In this compilation of Registry documents, an unheard of politicisation is
11 carried out. What it says here is that I am prohibited from any kind of
12 contact because my political party is running in the elections, a
13 candidate from my party is running in the presidential elections, Mr.
14 Tomislav Nikolic --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Seselj, stop, stop. There is an order in place.
16 I have told you this before. There is an order in place by the Registrar
17 ordered by the Deputy Registrar, sometimes, which restricts your
18 communications with the outside world. You're not correct in stating that
19 you are prohibited from your family. You can contact your family, but the
20 order is that this -- your contact with your family will be subject to
21 live monitoring under conditions prescribed by the commanding officer of
22 the Detention Unit. I'm making myself clear. I do not have jurisdiction
23 here and now to enter into the merits or the merits of these decisions
24 which are taken by the Registrar or his deputies, and as they are
25 implemented by the commander of the Detention Unit, commanding officer of
1 the Detention Unit.
2 If you are not happy with these orders and how they are being
3 renewed on a monthly basis, you have a remedy. But the remedy is not to
4 come here and complain. You have a remedy; you can file a proper appeal
5 to whoever according to the Rule is authorised to deal with these matters.
6 And let's stop the discussion here. It's not me who has authorised these
7 restrictions. I cannot intervene in this matter because it's not my
8 jurisdiction. It can be the jurisdiction of the President of this
9 Tribunal if you seek redress from him. But until you seek redress from
10 him, the position is what it is. You are no longer in the same position
11 as you were before you surrendered yourself to this Tribunal. You are a
12 detainee now. So that is the position. And let's bring it to an end.
13 Are there any complaints that you would like to raise with regard to your
14 state of health? And let's leave it at that. The rest you can take up
15 with the persons who are empowered to deal with them.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Of course, it has nothing to do with the trial. And
5 it also has nothing to do with me. There being no further complaints, I
6 declare this Status Conference to end here. Thank you. And the next
7 Status Conference will be convened within the 120-day limit which is
8 provided by the Rule 65 bis. Thank you.
9 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned
10 at 12.08 p.m.