1 Monday, 30 May 2005
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Open session]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.25 p.m.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please. Microphone,
6 please, for judge and counsel. Thank you.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Now, I just want to make sure -- it's for logistical
8 reasons that the accused doesn't like you that much and you are too near
9 him. So -- yes, bring the accused, please. Bring in the accused.
10 [The accused entered court]
11 JUDGE AGIUS: So, Madam Registrar, could you call the case,
13 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. Good afternoon, Your Honour.
14 This is Case Number IT-03-67-PT, the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you and good afternoon to you.
16 Mr. Seselj -- help him with -- one moment. Let me say something.
17 Are you receiving -- are you receiving interpretation or not?
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I can't hear anything through my
20 [In English] You can check it.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no, we believe you, Mr. Seselj.
22 Yes, I will repeat my question. I want to make sure that you are
23 receiving interpretation in your own language.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. If at any moment there are
1 problems with interpretation, please draw my attention immediately. Okay.
2 Thank you.
3 Appearances for the Prosecution.
4 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Good afternoon, Your Honour. My name is
5 Hildegard Uertz-Retzlaff and I appear here with my colleague, Daniel
6 Saxon, and we are accompanied by the case manager, Ana Vrljic.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, and good afternoon to you and your
9 The accused defends himself. There is stand-by counsel. Could
10 you just confirm your presence here in the courtroom, please.
11 MR. VAN DER SPOEL: Good afternoon, Your Honours, Tjarda
12 van der Spoel, stand-by counsel.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you and good afternoon to you too.
14 I will just go through the usual formal routine, namely to confirm
15 that according to Rule 65 bis the pre-trial Chamber or the Pre-Trial Judge
16 is bound to hold a Status Conference every 120 days to organise exchanges
17 between the parties and to ensure the expeditious preparation for trial
18 and to review the status of the case and allow the accused the opportunity
19 to raise issues and in relation to the status of his case and also in
20 relation to his mental and physical condition. The last Status Conference
21 was held on the 31st of January, 2005, and therefore we have just in the
22 limit -- within the limit of the 120 days.
23 I will go through the agenda which I have prepared for this Status
24 Conference more or less along the same lines as in previous ones, and I
25 will deal first with the status of the case.
1 I must say that since the 31st of January, 2005, that's the last
2 time we had a Status Conference, I had to deal with no less than 41
3 filings coming from Prosecution and Defence. When I say "filings," I
4 refer to motions, requests, responses, everything. Most of these filings
5 have been dealt with. There are some -- there are some pending. I will
6 go through them, and I must also make it clear that out of the ones that
7 are still pending, quite a few are ready, already signed by me after that
8 they were agreed upon by all the Judges, all the three Judges. They have
9 not been filed, for they are awaiting translation in the Serbian language.
10 So let's start with the first one. The first of these is a
11 Prosecution -- is a decision which I signed a few days ago. On the
12 Prosecution motion for non-disclosure of names and identifying
13 information. This is regarding the motion number -- this is the --
14 regarding the motion number 30 filed by -- on the 26th of March, 2004, by
15 the accused, in which he made a number of requests to the registry of the
16 Tribunal, amongst which was the request that the Prosecution disclose to
17 him the statement of all witnesses in all cases before the Tribunal who
18 mention his name in any context during testimonies before the Prosecution.
19 Anyway, this has been decided. As I said, I signed it already.
20 You will receive it in the next few days once the translation has been
21 carried out.
22 Then there is also a Prosecution motion for leave to amend the
23 indictment. Again, this was pursuant to an ad hoc motion forthcoming from
24 the Prosecution, to which you responded. This decision was as well agreed
25 to by the three Judges. I have signed it. It is awaiting translation.
1 And as soon as the translation is in place, you will receive -- a copy
2 will be filed and you will receive a copy of it.
3 Then there is a motion which -- sorry, a draft decision which
4 deals with a motion which goes quite some time -- but it is fundamental to
5 the finalisation of the pre-trial stage. This is dealing with different
6 motions relating to the electronic disclosure of documents to the accused
7 and to the translation of documents. This is something that we discussed
8 amongst the -- amongst us, the Judges. A draft has been prepared, and
9 at -- and it has been circulated to the other two Judges for their
10 feedback. As soon as I have the feedback from the two -- the other two
11 Judges, I will proceed with whatever needs to be done. And if necessary,
12 by signing the decision, which will then be translated and handed over to
13 you. But this is one of the matters still pending but mature enough --
14 mature enough and a draft decision is already in place.
15 Then another thing -- another matter that is pending is a request
16 by the accused. I will refer to it as submission number 67. Submission
17 number 67, which was filed on the 15th of December, 2004, in response to
18 the Prosecution's pre-trial brief, which was filed the day before. The
19 Prosecution responded to your submission, Mr. Seselj, on the 18th of
20 January. A draft has been prepared, and I have received comments from the
21 other two Judges. The draft is being dealt with again, reviewed. And as
22 soon as it is ready -- I mean, there should be no problems because
23 basically there is agreement on the outcome. It's just some cosmetic
24 modifications that have to be made. As soon as that has been done and
25 approved by the other two Judges, I will sign it, it will be translated,
1 and it will be handed down to you. But there is nothing left to be done
2 except to effect these cosmetic modifications.
3 Then there is the Prosecution's third motion for protective
4 measures for witnesses during the pre-trial stage. This decision has been
5 signed but it is not yet -- in other words, the decision has been agreed
6 upon by the three Judges, I've signed it, but it's awaiting translation.
7 And as soon as it is translated, it will be handed -- it will be properly
8 filed and handed to you.
9 Incidentally, while we are at this -- in the decision that I have
10 signed, we are deciding or we are disposing also of the Prosecution's
11 fourth motion. In other words, we have combined the third motion and the
12 fourth motion together, and you will find the outcome on both motions when
13 you receive the decision, which should be in a very short while.
14 Incidentally, in the meantime on the 26th of May, you filed
15 another motion for protective measures, which is referred to as the fifth
16 motion for protective measures. This motion, we have not yet sat down to
17 look into, the three Judges. It's been only filed four days ago. We'll
18 give it our attention as soon as possible.
19 Then you were aware at a certain point in time the Prosecution
20 precisely on the 10th of February of this year filed a confidential and
21 ex parte motion. I had ordered the Prosecution to inform you that such an
22 ex parte and confidential motion had been filed because I considered that
23 you had a right to know that such a motion had been filed. The decision
24 has been prepared. Again, there is agreement between the -- between the
25 Judges. Some cosmetic changes that need to be made to the draft. Still,
1 it's in the hands of one of the Judges, and as soon as I get it back from
2 him, I will sign the decision and it will be translated and handed -- and
3 you will be notified of the outcome. It will still remain confidential
4 and ex parte and the decision will also be confidential, but you will be
5 informed of the outcome of the -- of our decision.
6 Then there is a -- what is referred to as submission number 77.
7 This is a submission which you filed, Mr. Seselj, on the 22nd of March.
8 The Prosecution filed their response on the 11th of April. The draft has
9 been circulated; it's in the hands of one of the Judges. And as soon as I
10 have a feedback from that particular Judge, we'll decide what the
11 situation is. This is, to put everyone in the picture, a request made by
12 Mr. Seselj for the issuance of a subpoena in the hands of the governments
13 of the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Austria,
14 Hungary, Croatia, and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, for the
15 production of the Trial Chamber for all documents that are in the
16 possession of their respective intelligence services mentioning the
17 accused or the Serbian Radical Party, especially information relating to
18 the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, including statements, plans,
19 programmes, transcripts, and intercepts from the first appearance of such
20 mentioning until present. As I said, the draft is ready. There's only
21 one remaining feedback to come from one of the Judges.
22 The same applies to another request that you made, Mr. Seselj,
23 which I call -- refer to as submission number 78. This you filed on the
24 same day, on the 22nd of March, 2005, and the Prosecution responded it --
25 responded to it on the 11th of April, 2005. The request by Mr. Seselj is
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13 English transcripts.
1 for the issuance of a subpoena to His Holiness Pope John Paul II, who is
2 now deceased, all cardinals, archbishops, bishops and dignitaries of the
3 Roman Catholic church for the production to the Trial Chamber of all
4 documents and information in its possession relating to the conflict in
5 the former Yugoslavia, including statements, plans, programmes, and
6 stenographic records from the beginning of the pontificate of the late His
7 Holiness Pope John Paul II until present. As I said, the draft is ready
8 as soon as I get the feedback from the third Judge, I will proceed with
9 handing down or signing the decision.
10 There is, then, another submission by Mr. Seselj pending, that's
11 submission number 79, which is a request by the accused to this Trial
12 Chamber to issue a binding order subject to penalty, pursuant to Rule 54
13 of the Rules of Procedure. Basically this again was filed on the 22nd of
14 March, 2005, responded to by the Prosecution on the 11th April, 2005. And
15 in his submission the accused requests this Trial Chamber to issue a
16 subpoena to the Office of the Prosecutor for the production to him of all
17 documents on the formation of the Serbian Guard and Panthers, paramilitary
18 groups and their participation in the conflict in the former Yugoslavia.
19 Finally, there is Defence submission number 89 -- or accused's
20 submission number 89 which was filed by the accused on the 5th of April,
21 2005. It's called request of the accused to Trial Chamber II to issue an
22 order to respect the rights of the accused in the Detention Unit, and an
23 order forbidding the prevention and hindrance of Dr. Vojislav Seselj from
24 preparing his Defence.
25 The registrar was requested to -- in response to this motion or
1 submission, I requested the registrar - and that includes also the
2 commandant of the Detention Unit - to file a response to parts of this
3 submission, which in the -- in my opinion and also in the opinions of the
4 other two Judges required clarification and some explanation from the
5 authorities responsible for the Detention Unit. The response was filed
6 to -- was filed on the 27th of May, and in it there is an explanation
7 which the registrar or the deputy registrar -- deputy registrar gives to
8 the trial -- pre-trial Chamber as regards the complaints -- the various
9 complaints raised by the accused.
10 Before I go any further on this, I just want a yes or no answer
11 from you, Mr. Seselj. I have the copy in English, obviously. I want to
12 make sure that this has been translated and handed -- and delivered to
13 you. This is the response that was filed by the deputy registrar on the
14 27th of May, last Friday. Just answer yes or no. That's all I want to
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. However, I'm going to
17 challenge the truthfulness of that submission -- response.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. While we are at this, I think that I went
19 through it -- I went through it last Friday when it was handed to me, and
20 I discussed it with my staff as well to see whether it covers everything
21 that I needed to cover. I think that you should be given time to respond
22 to this in writing. How much time do you think you require?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am ready to reply orally in a few
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, all right. Then if you are ready to reply
1 orally in a few sentences, please do. Will you be able to finish your
2 submissions in five minutes?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Quite sufficient, yes.
4 The Registrar of the Tribunal and the head of the Detention Unit
5 have confirmed my basic allegations in the motion. The fresh air coming
6 in to me is doing me harm because it's dry air; there's no fresh air
7 coming in from outside which has made my asthma worst, and I have been
8 suffering from asthma for the past 20 years. So it is very difficult for
9 me to speak, too, because the external air is very humid. And this
10 humidity has made my state of health worse and is hampering my defence. I
11 spend every night sleeping as if I was in a sauna because unless I open
12 the upper half of my window, there's no other air coming in.
13 The other problem is that in my cell today I had to keep the light
14 on all the time. The cell is dark, even in the month of May. There are
15 several days when you have to keep the electricity lights on if you want
16 to do any work. So the cells are rather dark in the building that has
17 been rented from the Dutch government compared to the United Nations
19 And third, the response made by the detention head is not true,
20 that is to say my cell -- they say that my cell is not furthest away from
21 the bathroom, but I can tell you that it is. It is furthest from the
22 bathroom, my particular cell. My particular cell is the one that's
23 furthest, and that's a problem for me in view of a back operation that I
24 had and some recidivism, and the detention physician can bear this out.
25 My disk hernia has been repeated and electromagnetic resonance can show
1 you this, the findings. And I have given the detention physician these
3 So these are all reasons I would prefer to be accommodated in the
4 United Nations building and not the building that has been rented out by
5 the Dutch prison. It is true what the registrar says and the head of the
6 Dutch Detention Unit, is that most prisoners like the United Nations
7 building because they have fresh air coming from outside, they can do
8 sport more frequently. They like that. Now this isn't something that I
9 need. Nobody who is in the Dutch building suffers from asthma; I do
10 suffer from asthma and that is why I insist I be returned to the building
11 belonging to the United Nations.
12 That's all I have to say. Thank you.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I thank you, Mr. Seselj. I can assure you that
14 the pre-trial Chamber takes -- has already taken your complaints very
15 seriously and will continue to do so. In other words, this is not the end
16 of the story. I am glad you have further elucidated your -- or elucidated
17 your complaints. This is a matter which I will not deal with alone. I
18 will be dealing with it together with the other two Judges. We'll meet
19 shortly to discuss the -- your original submission and this response and
20 also the transcript of your intervention of today. And we'll either
21 proceed to decide the matter or we will provide in the interval before our
22 decision as may be required, which does not exclude a possible visit by
23 the three of us to the Detention Unit to see with our own eyes what the
24 situation is. So thank you.
25 I now move to the second part of the agenda, which is matters
1 related to disclosure. As you may have noticed, and I'm sure you did,
2 in -- while dealing with the motions a few minutes ago, I did mention that
3 there are matters relating to disclosure, particularly matters raised by
4 the accused and also matters raised by you regarding to non-disclosures
5 that are, so to speak, pending, they have been decided, but you will know
6 of the outcome in the next few days once the translations are in place.
7 However, in this part of my agenda of today, I will deal with the rest.
8 You will recall that on the 11th of February of last year I
9 granted an order authorising the non-disclosure to the public pursuant to
10 Rule 53(A) of some witness statements that fell under Rule 66(A)(ii), and
11 in fact I'm dealing first with this genre kind of disclosure, the
12 disclosure under Rule 66(A)(ii).
13 On the 21st of December of last year, then we rendered our
14 confidential decision on the Prosecution motion for protective measures
15 for witnesses during the pre-trial phase or stage. Attached to that
16 decision was a confidential and ex parte annex A, which sets out the
17 reasons for the protective measures of each potential witness. And the
18 protective measures included the delayed disclosure of certain potential
19 witness identity to the accused until no later than 30 days from the firm
20 trial day -- trial date.
21 The situation hasn't changed. Of course there is the third and
22 fourth motions on protective measures, which will be -- as I explained,
23 they have already been signed, they are awaiting translation, amalgamated
24 together and there you will have additional information on Rule 66(A)(ii)
25 disclosure. However, at this point, I would like to know whether you have
1 anything further to state. I'll start with the Prosecution. Mr. Saxon.
2 MR. SAXON: Thank you, Your Honour. At this time we have nothing
3 further to add. We are anxiously waiting the decisions which we will read
4 as they come out and comply with them.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
6 And as regards yourself, Mr. Seselj, please limit yourself to
7 disclosure under 66(A)(ii).
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have already on several occasions
9 let you know at Status Conferences that were held that I'm not reacting --
10 I don't react at all to the requests made by the Prosecutor with respect
11 to keeping certain witnesses secret one month before the trial, because I
12 consider that an attempt on the part of the Prosecution to involve me into
13 a dispute in the matter so that the beginning of trial should be prolonged
14 as much as possible. I want the trial to go ahead as soon as possible. I
15 have spent two years, three months in detention here. International legal
16 practice does not allow for anybody to be in detention longer than two
17 years without the start of trial, except in some very exceptional -- very
18 exceptional and important cases and reasons.
19 There is no reason in my case. What can be the reason? That the
20 Prosecution is incapable of going ahead? That's not my affair. That the
21 Prosecution hasn't got any proof and evidence? That's not something that
22 I can deal with either. And I am happy about that. That there's not a
23 courtroom available? I don't care. These are not things that I have no
24 deal with. I want the trial to go ahead as soon as possible. The
25 Prosecution has not sent me all the material that it has been duty-bound
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 to send me pursuant to Rule 66 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
2 They say they have their own problems. Whether it's in electronic format,
3 whether it's in English, or some other unknown reason. I'm not interested
4 in any of that. I would like to insist that I'm given the documents as
5 soon as possible. I accept only a matter that is set out in paper form,
6 in writing, or videocassettes. And third, I have made a request for all
7 documents of this Tribunal to be sent to me where my name is mentioned in
8 any other case before this Tribunal.
9 The Prosecution has responded by saying that that would mean
10 several thousand pages. What does that matter? I don't mind that it is
11 several thousand pages. You are duty-bound to send me that material. So
12 there is no reason -- justified reason that you should not send me that
13 material and that the Trial Chamber could agree to. You have to disclose
14 that material and send it to me. Fourthly, I never disclosed a single
15 piece of evidence that I got from the Prosecutor where it says it is
16 confidential, and the Prosecution can confirm that, I'm sure.
17 So you have absolutely no reason to doubt -- at least not yet.
18 Maybe one day you will. But the fact that you assume something could
19 happen, you cannot refuse on those grounds to submit those documents to
20 me. And once again, the conclusion to be drawn from all this by me is
21 that the Prosecutor is not trial-ready. It's not ready to go to trial and
22 that it is intentionally therefore dragging its feet.
23 I have had something else from sound sources, from the
24 Prosecution, and some attorneys have confirmed that working on other
25 cases. The Prosecution is thinking about joining my case and indictment
1 with cases and indictments or trials and indictments against Milan Martic,
2 Goran Hadzic, Jovica Stanisic, and Franko Simatovic, nicknamed Frenki.
3 There are no points in common among our indictments. If my indictment is
4 to be joined to anyone's, then it is Kadijevic and Blagoje Adzic and so on
5 where the volunteers for which I am responsible went to the JNA, not to
6 the police. This is just an illustration, an example.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Skip this part because it's not before us now. I
8 don't know what you're talking about. If there is ever an attempt by the
9 Prosecution to join your case with others, you will have every opportunity
10 to deal with that. But I'm not going to allow you to deal with that or
11 deal with a matter that has not yet met -- not even materialised but it
12 hasn't even been ventilated as yet. So let's not discuss that.
13 You have actually made your point on various issues relating to
14 disclosure, not only under 66(A)(ii), but also under 66(B). What I need
15 to add is that you will recall that during the 14th June, 2004 Status
16 Conference, pursuant to a request which you, Mr. Seselj, made under
17 Rule 66(B), we had ordered the Prosecution to disclose copies of all
18 Prosecution witnesses that mention your name and that prior to disclosing
19 any witness statements in redacted form to protect the identify of a
20 witness, those be submitted in toto to the Trial Chamber for -- Pre-Trial
21 Chamber for its approval of the redactions.
22 As a result, the Prosecution filed a confidential and partly ex
23 parte motion for non-disclosure of names and other identifying
24 information, where it submitted to the Trial Chamber 19 statements of
25 witnesses in full - in other words, without any redaction - and then also
1 the proposed redactions to them.
2 Furthermore, on the 13th of August, 2004, the Prosecution filed
3 the -- what's known as the Prosecution notice of delayed disclosure
4 pursuant to Rule 66(B), where it notified that it would delay completion
5 of the disclosure of all witness statements that mention the accused until
6 the trial issues a decision on the motion. This matter is pending before
7 the -- before me. And as I hinted to earlier on, I will be issuing a
8 decision on the 27th July, 2004 motion, that's the first of the two, very
10 There is then the matter of 65 ter material, this disclosure
11 related to the pre-trial brief. As you know, the Prosecution filed its
12 pre-trial brief on the 14th of December of 2004. And in the accompanying
13 documents, the Prosecution submitted that it would provide a witness list
14 after protective measures were in place. The Trial Chamber decided on a
15 first and second protective measures. The last decision relating to the
16 second protective measures motion was dated back to the 21st of December
17 of last year. And since then, as I stated, or earlier on, the Prosecution
18 has filed a third, fourth, and recently a fifth motion for protective
19 measures. As I mentioned earlier, the third and the fourth have been
20 decided; they are waiting translation. The fifth, not yet.
21 Mr. Saxon or whoever, are we to expect further motions for
22 protective measures in the pre-trial -- relevant to the pre-trial stage?
23 Because we have had five and that seems to me to be precisely the limit of
24 what one would expect now that you even have the pre-trial brief in place.
25 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, at this time the Prosecution has no plans
1 to file additional motions for protective measures. However, should a
2 need arise, the Prosecution would at least certainly like to reserve its
3 right to make an appropriate motion. Again, only if a particular need
4 arose, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. We'll see to that, but please keep in
6 mind that now that you have the pre-trial brief in place that -- now that
7 the accused has replied in one way or another to your pre-trial brief in a
8 fashion that he thought fit in the circumstances, that's -- the question
9 of protective measures should be closed once and for all. I don't -- I
10 don't expect any further motions for protective measures unless there is
11 really the need and unless this need has arisen in the interim, in the
12 meantime, because otherwise I would expect you to be in a position to
13 close that particular chapter. I assume that you know exactly who your
14 witnesses are going to be.
15 I come last not least to Rule 68 material, exculpatory material.
16 We have discussed this at length during previous Status Conferences.
17 What's the position from your point of view? Have you concluded that
19 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, the Prosecution's position is that it has
20 complied and continues to comply with its obligation to disclose material
21 under Rule 68. However, there is additional material -- as you know, this
22 is an ongoing obligation.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, of course.
24 MR. SAXON: And obviously the disclosure of additional material
25 will also depend upon, Your Honour, the Trial Chamber's decision that we
1 expect to receive soon.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
3 And incidentally I will give you the floor on this if you want to,
4 Mr. Seselj, but want I have to say is this matter on the mode of
5 disclosure under all the respective articles applicable to disclosure will
6 be dealt with in the decision that I have prepared and which will be
7 handed to you very -- to you and to you very shortly. We -- in that
8 decision we are dealing once and for all, we hope from the Trial Chamber's
9 point of view, as to what needs to be disclosed and how, in what manner.
10 And then of course any one of you, because I can't say how we have decided
11 it, be it the Prosecution or the Defence, if you don't like what we decide
12 you have the option to file an appeal.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. I only wish to state that the
14 Prosecution has not fulfilled its obligations under Rule 68 of the Rules
15 of Procedure and Evidence as regards the disclosure of exculpatory
16 material. I continue to insist that this disclosure can be done only on
17 paper and through videocassettes. I do not know what your decision is,
18 but if your decision is different I still abide by my position. That's
19 all I have to say.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Seselj, and I appreciate you
21 keeping your answer and comments concise.
22 There are very few other things left. Let me assure you of
23 something, Mr. Seselj, that the other two Judges and myself of course meet
24 regularly to deal with the various motions that we get, both from the
25 Prosecution and from you. Some of course are my exclusive domain as
1 Pre-Trial Judge, others need to be agreed to and decided collegially.
2 There is one matter that I can assure you of and that is something -- and
3 that is the following, that we are, the three of us, giving this case our
4 top priority, trying to bring it to trial as quickly as possible. You are
5 not the only person who was aware of how long you have been here; we are
6 also aware of how long you have been here. And we are doing our utmost to
7 accelerate the momentum so that we can bring the trial -- your case to
8 trial at the earliest possible. That I can assure you of. I am doing it
9 at a personal level, on my own, and I am doing it also collegially with
10 the other two Judges whenever the opportunity arises. This is why I am
11 hammering on you to try to bring to a close whatever you may have pending.
12 I also look to my right and address you and appeal to you to try and be as
13 constructive as possible. Each motion that we receive needs time to be
14 discussed, thought about, and decided. So very much depends on what you
15 come up with and what you come up with. Some of the decisions that we
16 will be handing down will in all probability end up in appeal, not all of
17 them, but in all probability they will end up in appeal.
18 We are doing our utmost to get this case to trial as soon as one
19 of the other cases finishes. And we're talking of some cases coming to an
20 end towards the end of the case -- of the year. However, the case will
21 come to trial only if the pre-trial stage has reached full maturity and
22 all that needed to be decided has been decided. So I appeal to your good
23 sense, both of you, to do your utmost to finish or help the Trial Chamber
24 bring this pre-trial stage to the -- to an end the earliest possible. If
25 there are matters that you hinted at about which I know absolutely
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13 English transcripts.
1 nothing. I can assure you, I hear rumours like you do, but rumours remain
2 rumours until they materialise into something more concrete.
3 Until there is what you refer to as a move by the Prosecution to
4 amalgamate your case, to join your case, with those of others, we can't
5 discuss it. But I can assure you that if that will be the case, then you
6 will receive all the opportunity that is necessary for you to enable you
7 to give your views on the matter. But I can't open the doors for
8 discussion on that issue until there is something -- something concrete.
9 And I can assure you as far as I know there is nothing concrete, at least
10 for the time being. It may happen tomorrow for all I know, but I don't
11 discuss things with the Prosecutor or her office. So I am the last one to
12 know what she may have -- what she may have in mind. But whatever she has
13 in mind, you will have every opportunity to make your presentations.
14 I think you, as regards the status of the case, you have made
15 submissions. If you wish to add anything, I will give you the floor,
16 Mr. Seselj, but if it's just for the sake of repeating what you've already
17 said, I think we can foreclose on that. But please feel free to air your
18 concerns on the status of the case if you have anything else to say, apart
19 from what you have already stated.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have several other status issues
21 to raise, which are very important in my view.
22 First of all, in a nutshell, I would like to respond to you as
23 regards these submissions. It is only the submissions of the OTP that
24 delays the beginning of the trial because it is they who deal with
25 questions of disclosure and protective measures, and this really can delay
1 the start of trial. None of my submissions are such that they delay the
2 start of trial, because even had the trial started you could have dealt
3 with them in the course of the trial. This refers to the issuance of a
4 subpoena, the documentations of the other -- of the various intelligence
5 services at the Vatican and so on and so forth. This does not prolong the
6 start of trial.
7 However, I wish to object that a full seven months has elapsed
8 since the Prosecution filed its motion to amend the indictment and I have
9 not yet received a decision. This is a threat to the legal security of
10 the accused. In no case has so much time elapsed from the filing of a
11 motion to amend the indictment until the decision. Even today I have not
12 heard from you on this issue. I am in a quandary now. I don't know
13 whether to prepare to defend myself according to the old amendment --
14 indictment or should I get ready for the new amended indictment. This is
15 causing costs. I have done a lot of work preparing for the amended
16 indictment in order to prove that the Prosecution is trying to impute to
17 me crimes committed by Vuk Draskovic and Zoran Djindjic.
18 Furthermore, I have not yet received the documentation pertaining
19 to the jurisprudence. I cannot properly do my job as my own Defence
20 counsel unless I have at my disposal the entire documentation relating to
21 jurisprudence. The Prosecutor and the Trial Chamber in every decision or
22 submission refer to the case law, and I do not have these documents at my
23 disposal so I cannot respond on time and efficiently. I cannot deal with
24 my own defence properly unless I have the case law at my disposal, and I
25 have insisted on more than one occasion that it be delivered to me.
1 Furthermore, there is a huge problem with the funding for the
2 Defence. You have received a report from the registry containing false
3 information to the effect that I have not cooperated sufficiently on this
4 issue. This is untrue. I have submitted a full details about my
5 financial situation. However, they're asking the same information from my
6 mother, my relatives, my whole family. They do not want to provide this,
7 and I do not want to force them to. The registry has to come to a
8 decision based on my own financial situation, not that of my immediate and
9 extended family. In this way, the registry is violating the provisions of
10 international law.
11 Furthermore, they say that there is secret financial information
12 about -- or rather, that information about the cost of other Defence cases
13 is confidential. There can be nothing confidential about this because
14 this is information about money belonging to the United Nations provided
15 to fund a Defence -- the defence in various cases. There are huge
16 differences here, discrepancies. There are cases where millions of
17 dollars were spent and cases where much less was spent. Somebody will
18 have to explain why these discrepancies arose. However, I have to have
19 reliable information about the costs of the Defence in every other case,
20 otherwise the members of my expert team, my legal advisors and so on, will
21 refuse to work for me anymore because I have not paid them yet. This
22 problem has to be solved urgently.
23 Furthermore, I have two more issues to raise. The stand-by
24 counsel that you appointed against my will. Between him and me there is a
25 conflict of interest. I will illustrate this. First of all, I have
1 submitted a large number of motions and submissions in which I used
2 abusive language about this stand-by counsel. The registry returned some
3 of these to me because of the insulting expressions they contained. Yes,
4 they were insulting; that is true. What can I do about it? And that they
5 were returned to me. However, I published them all in my book, The
6 Devil's Apprentice, Pope John Paul II. This is a book, The Devil's
7 Disciple, and this is a book about the conflict of interest between me and
8 Mr. Van der Spoel, the counsel appointed by you.
9 Furthermore, from my legal advisors I have initiated proceedings
10 before the Dutch courts against this stand-by counsel. Find other
11 interpreters. I cannot help you.
12 And thirdly, on my web site on the Internet which is in my name
13 there is a text containing very abusive language about lawyer van der
14 Spoel. All this is evidence of a deep conflict of interest. You informed
15 me that Aleksandar Lazarevic filed a lawsuit against me and that conflict
16 of interest was therefore established. However, this lawsuit was never
17 initiated. He had no basis on which to initiate it because I never
18 slandered him. In this case there is a much deeper conflict of interest,
19 there has been to be, and you cannot ignore it.
20 I wish to tender this book as evidence. Please tell the
21 representative of the registry to take it from me. This is very important
22 because here I have included the text from the rally in Hrtkovci. This is
23 the entire text from the videocassette, and it is evidence in the case
24 pertaining to Vojvodina. I was prepared to discuss this with the
25 Prosecution, but the Prosecution will not let my legal advisors attend
1 their meetings. They are avoiding me. They don't want to face me. I
2 continue to insist on this. Maybe we could have eliminated many charges
3 from the indictment and speeded up the proceedings if I had had the
4 opportunity of providing this evidence to the Prosecution. However, the
5 Prosecution is avoiding me like the plague. Why are they avoiding me and
6 why are they avoiding only me? Why are they afraid only of me? I am not
7 going to bite them. I don't bite.
8 Another problem I would like to put forward concerns the
9 possibilities of preparing for my Defence in the Detention Unit. During
10 these two years and three months, I have prepared intensively, and I am
11 still preparing a submission as regards the special form taken by my
12 Defence. I am studying extensive literature, historical legal and other
13 literature, and this work is underway. I have about 500 pages of
14 handwritten notes. A month ago I applied to the warden of the Detention
15 Unit in writing to be allowed to photocopy this so I can send the
16 photocopy to my legal collaborators so that they could review the notes
17 and type them out and send me text in typewritten form so that I can
18 submit this to the Prosecution. However, for a month now the Detention
19 Unit administration has been silent. Everybody's ignoring me. I'm not
20 being permitted to work on my own Defence. All I need is a photocopying
22 The registry is also refusing to register my legal assistants and
23 advisors. I have the impression that the Trial Chamber has failed to
24 fully understand on what the registry's insisting. The registry's
25 insisting on my legal advisors to fulfil the conditions that have been put
1 in place for Defence counsel, that they should be lawyers or -- either
2 attorneys at law, rather, or professors at the university. No other legal
3 advisors are being asked to fulfil these conditions. I fulfil these
4 conditions, so I can act as my own Defence counsel. My legal advisors are
5 people I have confidence in, people who will follow my instructions. And
6 you have seen how well they are working; they are working better and
7 better. Because at the outset you had some objections to their
8 submissions, but now they have become more skilled, and they are doing
9 this better than Defence counsel in many other cases.
10 But I'm being denied the possibility of contacting them, receiving
11 visits from them, instructing them, having privileged telephone
12 conversations with them. I have no possibilities open to me. I'm being
13 discriminated against compared to all other detainees. How long is this
14 discrimination going to go on? That's all I wanted to say to you.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Seselj. Let's take them one by
17 With regard to the motion to amend the indictment, I -- you must
18 have missed what I said in the very beginning of this Status Conference.
19 This was the second point I made. I said that the decision on that motion
20 is ready, even signed, not only agreed upon by the three Judges but
21 signed. It's awaiting translation, and as soon as it's translated, it's
22 handed -- it will be handed to you.
23 Re the funding of your Defence and the verifications that are
24 being made by the registrar. This is -- does not fall within the domain
25 of the Pre-Trial Judge unless it's brought formally to the Trial Chamber's
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 attention based on the effect it may have on your ability to prepare your
2 decision. This matter has been brought to the Trial Chamber as you know
3 and we have handed down a decision on this. If there are further
4 representations that you would like to make, please do them in writing.
5 At the same time, I need to draw your attention to the part of the
6 Rules dealing with complaints, namely Rules 84 to 88, which spell out the
7 procedure that you need to follow when you have complaints relating to
8 your state of detention or matters related thereto.
9 With regard to stand-by counsel you have, as you said, filed a
10 large number of motions, some of them were returned to you, as you
11 correctly said, not only because of the kind of language that you mention
12 but also because it obtained obscene language. Others were accepted by
13 this Trial Chamber and were decided collectively. And the end result
14 being that for the time being, at least the stand-by counsel stands.
15 With regard to the complaint that you make regarding the
16 possibility of preparing your own Defence by being allowed the possibility
17 to have these 500 pages photocopied and sent to your so-called legal
18 advisors, I would suggest that you raise -- I mean, you can't raise it
19 with me for the time being because I have no authority over the commanding
20 officer to order him to make photocopies. This is something on which I do
21 not have -- I do not have jurisdiction. I take it that the commanding
22 officer knows exactly what is allowed and what shouldn't be allowed. And
23 if you have a confirmation from the commanding officer that this is not
24 possible, in other words that they cannot photocopy the 500 pages of -- or
25 whatever the number is for you, then please inform me formally, and I will
1 try and find out if there is any other possible solution to that. That's
2 the only thing that I can tell you. Otherwise, I cannot bypass what is
3 provided for in the five rules I told you -- I mentioned earlier, Rules 84
4 to 88, try to stick to that.
5 Again, the matter -- last matter that you raised relating to the
6 registrar's reaction to your request to have your legal advisors
7 registered. Again, that is a matter that I think we may have dealt with
8 it and decided it already in one of the decisions handed or it may be
9 included in the decision that -- in one of the decisions that we have
10 pending that has been drafted already dealing with that. I'm not 100
11 per cent sure, but I can check later.
12 In any case, first complaint goes to the proper channel to where
13 it should be addressed. The registrar, as you know, has an obligation to
14 refer the matter to the President. And I cannot arrogate to myself, or to
15 the pre-trial Chamber for that matter, matters that are by stat -- by the
16 Rules reserved for the President. It's simply not done and we cannot do
17 it. We will intervene only where it is a matter that is reserved to us
18 and that is when we feel that your rights to defend yourself are being --
19 are being affected by some decisions which you may consider to be adverse,
20 adverse. But first, go to where you need to go before you seek remedy
21 from the Trial Chamber. And I can assure you that if according to the
22 Rules we can intervene in any matter, we will intervene. I can assure you
23 that the three Judges that are dealing with your case at the pre-trial
24 stage will leave no stone unturned in dealing with matters that they can
25 deal with to ensure that you receive a fair trial and that your trial
1 comes up as the earliest -- at the earliest possible.
2 The -- there are also other matters that I would like you to
3 address if you feel like, and that is matters relating to your state of
4 detention. More or less you have dealt with one area, and that's the --
5 the question of your cell where you are being detained. Now, a question
6 of light, distance from toilet facilities or shower facilities, and your
7 express desire to be moved to the other section of the Detention Unit.
8 Is there anything else that you would like to raise relating to
9 your state of detention?
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] As for the detention, my return to
11 the United Nations building would solve all the problems.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And I don't lay down conditions as
14 to what building, what floor, et cetera. I don't mind, no conditions, any
15 cell in the United Nations building would solve all my problems for me.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. As regards health-related
17 matters, if you want to go into private session to discuss this, we go
18 into private session, because I don't like discussing matters relating to
19 the health of an individual in open session. It's not matters for public
20 consumption. But it's your choice. You tell me what your preference is.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Agius, you know full well that
22 as a politician I'm well familiar with the public having known about my
23 health. I have told you what my problems are. The problem of asthma will
24 be solved fully if I'm returned to the United Nations building. The
25 problem of my spine and back will also be solved if I go back to the
1 United Nations building. The problem of my eyesight and having to work in
2 dark conditions will also be solved if I'm returned to the United Nations
3 building. I have no other serious health problems for the moment.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: In this section where you are being kept in
5 Scheveningen, in the Detention Unit, who else is being kept in that
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] A large number of detainees, almost
8 30: Momcilo Krajisnik, Milan Martic, General Stanislav Galic, they're all
9 there and many others. You know, most of the people being there like
10 being there; they prefer being there than in the United Nations building
11 precisely because they have the outside air, the fresh air. In the other
12 building it is dried air which is filtrated into the cells, so you don't
13 need external ventilation. So what healthy people like, they like having
14 fresh air; but for me who suffers from asthma, I would prefer to have
15 other filtered air because there's too much humidity in the open air
16 outside, and as an asthma patient I suffer from that, and I have to take
17 medicines and drugs for asthma, and you can check that out with the
18 physician. He is administrating therapy all the time, but the therapy is
19 not sufficient since I have been in the building I am now. It was
20 sufficient when I was in the United Nations building. I never complained
21 of asthma.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: You are receiving treatment -- in other words, when
23 this matter of your --
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: -- is being given attention, appropriate attention
1 from the physician's point of view?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I have no complaints there,
3 none on that score. I have my medicaments. I take them in the morning
4 and in the evening. During the day, as it is pollen allergy season, I
5 take medication against allergies, pollen allergies. But the general
6 conditions that prevail there make it difficult for me to breath because I
7 have to close my windows during the night and sleep in a closed up room.
8 Somebody who doesn't suffer from asthma doesn't know what it's all about.
9 If I were to open my windows, I would have very great difficulty
10 breathing. And when I close the windows, it's as if I'm sleeping in a
12 JUDGE AGIUS: How long have you been in this section? When were
13 you moved?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Since February. Since February,
15 yes. And I understood this as a measure of retaliation on the part of the
16 registrar and detention head when I spoke about the large costs in the
17 canteen and so on and so forth. I thought this was a sort of revenge and
18 a punitive measure. But that doesn't matter, whether it's a punitive
19 measure or retaliation or whatever for something I said. The question is
20 that the conditions for my health are worse here, and my health has
21 deteriorated since I have been accommodated in the building.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I suppose if the commandant wanted to take revenge
23 on you he wouldn't have moved you to a place where practically it seems
24 everyone else would like to be. So let's leave it at that for the time
25 being. This is a matter I will take up with my two colleagues, Judge
1 Antonetti and Judge Parker, immediately and you will hear from us on this
3 Is there any other matter that you would like to raise related
4 your health that you would like us to --
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: So that brings an end to today's Status Conference.
7 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I don't like to delay this
8 Status Conference, but I would like to mention a few facts that relate to
9 trial preparation.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
11 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Despite the claims to the contrary from the
12 accused, we are basically trial ready. As soon as the decisions are with
13 us that you have mentioned earlier on today, we will disclose a lot of
14 materials that were on hold. We will be able to file our final witness
15 and final exhibit list as soon as we know about our motions on protective
16 measures and the amendment.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Right.
18 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: So -- but I want to also mention something
19 that Dr. Seselj raised and it's actually official. Today we filed a
20 motion with the Martic Trial Chamber and requested a joinder of the Martic
21 case with Stanisic Simatovic and Seselj case.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Can you repeat them, repeat the names, please.
23 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Milan Martic, Jovica Stanisic, and Frenki
24 Simatovic; that's one case.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Uh-huh.
1 MS. UERTZ-RETLAFF: And the Seselj case. We have filed this with
2 the Martic Trial Chamber because this trial was the first to start
3 according to the overall scheduling. And as soon as our filing which was
4 done today with the registry, we will file with the other two Trial
5 Chambers concerned these motion as a notification.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: So the filing is in this case that you have filed
8 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: The filing is in the Martic case.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: In the Martic case.
10 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I see.
12 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: But we will notify the Seselj Trial Chamber
13 and also the Stanisic/Simatovic Trial Chamber of our filing.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Martic is before which Trial Chamber?
15 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: It's Trial Chamber I. It's Judge Orie
16 presiding. But you will receive a copy tomorrow as soon as we know that
17 our filing is registered with the registry.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So the position is -- you've heard it
19 now. What you had -- the rumours you had heard have materialised. So
20 there is this application for a joinder. As soon as you receive your --
21 you're notified of it, you will be -- probably you will receive
22 communication from the Martic Chamber, I would imagine, but we will give
23 you every opportunity to make your presentations.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'd like to say something in that
25 regard, with your permission.
1 I don't know why the representative of the Prosecutor --
2 Prosecution forgot to mention Goran Hadzic. Does it mean that they gave
3 up the idea for a joinder with the Goran Hadzic indictment? Goran Hadzic
4 is a fugitive; he is at large. I know where he is and who is looking
5 after him, and I am convinced that they will never catch him and hand him
6 over, which means the beginning of trial will be prolonged again. So that
7 is a very important reason why I am against it.
8 The second reason is this, and I will energetically oppose to it
9 to the end. I have nothing to do with police officials, Jovica Stanisic
10 and Franko Simatovic, Frenki. I was in conflict with them all the time. I
11 never sent my volunteers to their police units or their formations or
12 whatever. I always sent my men to the JNA. I have nothing to do with
13 Milan Martic at all. I would find more of a common language with Milan
14 Babic than I would with Martic.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Seselj, I would suggest to you to keep your
16 mouth shut. Don't jump the gun. Wait until you receive whatever
17 documentation you receive and then if -- whatever you have to say, say it
18 after you've taken advice, because sometimes you open your mouth and you
19 do more harm to yourself than you can imagine.
20 I dispense you from having to explain about Goran Hadzic or
21 whatever. I don't want to know that. The matter will be raised if
22 necessary, when and if necessary it is raised.
23 So I bring this Status Conference to an end. The next one --
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Judge, would you allow
25 the Prosecution to tell me whether it is true that Goran Hadzic is being
1 linked and joined to the other two cases in the indictment. This is an
2 important thing that I need to know. Why do I have to be the last person
3 to learn about this? Why is it in the Milan Martic case and not my own
4 case? Why does that mean? Why am I not being informed?
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I cannot put the question to the Prosecutor,
6 Mr. Seselj, because the Rules would prohibit me from doing that.
8 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, it's not a problem to simply say
9 we have not requested a joinder with Goran Hadzic because he is a
10 fugitive. It doesn't make sense to join with someone who isn't here.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Anyway, the Status Conference comes to an end here.
12 What will happen in due course stands to be seen now because obviously
13 there is this new thing and one has to see whether the case remains in my
14 hands, if there is a joinder, whether it remains in my hands or whether it
15 falls out of my hands or whether the other cases come in this -- something
16 that stands -- stands to be seen -- dealt with later on.
17 But in any case there will be another Status Conference in your
18 case, Mr. Seselj, within the prescribed period of 120 days. The Status
19 Conference is concluded here. Thank you.
20 --- Whereupon the Status Conference
21 adjourned at 3.43 p.m.