1 Tuesday, 13 March 2007
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Open session]
4 --- Upon commencing at 4.03 p.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam registrar, could you call
7 the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honour. Case
9 number IT-03-67-PT, the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 I'll now ask the Prosecution to introduce themselves. Could we
12 have the appearances for the Prosecution, as I do not yet know you.
13 MR. SAXON: Dan Saxon for the Prosecution, together with my
14 colleague Mr. Ulrich Mussemeyer, to my right; and our case manager,
15 Ms. Ana Katalinic to my left.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 I won't ask Mr. Seselj to introduce himself, as we know who he is.
18 This hearing is a pre-trial hearing, a Status Conference, and in
19 the course of this Status Conference there are a number of items I would
20 like to deal with first of all. I would like to analyse the situation
21 that has resulted in us resuming the proceedings from the very beginning,
22 so to speak. As everyone knows, the accused, who is present, had an
23 indictment brought against him in February 2003. Several days subsequent
24 to that date, Mr. Seselj voluntarily surrendered to the Tribunal at The
25 Hague to face the charges in the indictment. In keeping those conditions,
1 a few days after his appearance at The Hague there was an initial
2 appearance and Mr. Seselj entered a plea of not guilty. So it appears
3 that Mr. Seselj is presumed innocent and it is for the Prosecution to
4 prove him guilty; they have the burden of proof. As he is presumed
5 innocent, the accused has certain rights.
6 Several months after the first initial appearance of Mr. Seselj, I
7 myself arrived at the Tribunal; that was in October of 2003. And I was
8 assigned to Trial Chamber II that was dealing with Mr. Seselj's case. I
9 first of all realised that there were certain number of problems, and I
10 was rapidly able to determine what the main problem was, fact was, main
11 problem was, that Mr. Seselj wanted to represent himself and he refused to
12 be represented by officially appointed counsel, by stand-by counsel.
13 Mr. Seselj then seized Trial Chamber II and informed them of this problem.
14 I personally am quite in agreement with Mr. Seselj with regard to the fact
15 that an accused according to the Statute has a right to represent himself,
16 to defend himself. It was in regard to this principal matter, this
17 principal issue, I expressed a dissident opinion in which I recognised the
18 fact that Mr. Seselj had the right to defend himself, to represent
20 In my personal opinion, I mentioned two items that would allow an
21 international Tribunal to assign counsel against the accused's will:
22 Firstly, if the accused was incapable of defending themselves, and in my
23 opinion that was not the case when it comes to Mr. Seselj, since he had
24 been a professor of law and he was completely capable of defending
25 himself; and the second condition I mentioned was the case in which an
1 accused was mentally unstable and as a result was not capable of defending
2 himself. And yet again I believe that that was not a case applicable to
3 Mr. Seselj. Given those conditions, I expressed my dissident opinion or
4 dissenting opinion and expressed the fact that Mr. Seselj had the right to
5 defend himself.
6 Mr. Seselj continued to fight to defend his fight. It was a
7 difficult struggle because a number of Judges refused to recognise this
8 right. And then unfortunately, Mr. Seselj had recourse to hunger strike
9 which caused significant problems. The Appeals Chamber was seized of the
10 matter, and in its wisdom it recognised the fact that Mr. Seselj had the
11 right to defend himself. As a result, Mr. Seselj is alone in the
12 courtroom today. He is not assisted by counsel, and in my opinion, he
13 will be defending himself -- actually, he will be assisted by legal
14 advisors, and I'll get back to that matter later on.
15 As far as I am concerned, we will never be conceiving the idea of
16 imposing amicus curiae or counsel on Mr. Seselj. Having stated that, this
17 is not the sole problem that caused the conflict between Mr. Seselj and
18 the Tribunal. There was also the issue of the disclosure of evidence.
19 The fact that Mr. Seselj wanted to have documents covered by Rule 65 to 68
20 in his possession. I was completely in disagreement with my colleagues as
21 far as this issue is concerned, since I believed that the accused must
22 have hard copies of the Prosecution's exhibits in his own language,
23 exhibits that the Prosecution will be using when the witnesses are called.
24 As far as this issue is concerned, I will not budge. The Prosecution must
25 have hard copies of all the relevant exhibits in the case. So this is the
1 second issue that I agreed with -- that I agreed on with the accused.
2 So Mr. Seselj had a conflict with the administration of the
3 Tribunal for a certain period of time. Since he wanted to have the
4 facility to defend himself and the principle of equality of arms should be
5 respected, he claimed. As we all know, the procedure we are following
6 here is a procedure based on the common-law procedure. According to this
7 procedure, the Prosecution carries out investigations, collects its
8 evidence, and the accused must also carry out his own investigation so
9 that he can call his own witnesses. According to the principle of the
10 equality of arms, the accused must have a certain -- certain facilities to
11 proceed. We're not in civil-law countries where we have an investigating
12 judge; and as a result the Statute recognised the fact that the accused
13 must have the necessary means to defend himself. When we say the means of
14 defending himself, this means that the accused must be provided with
15 certain material resources and similarly with certain funds. One has to
16 decide how to cover the expenses incurred by the accused in order to
17 defend himself, and as far as this issue is concerned, I rendered an
18 opinion according to which the accused, when defending himself, must be
19 provided with financial assistance by the Tribunal.
20 So these are three matters on which I was in perfect agreement
21 with the accused, and I believe that if these issues had been resolved in
22 good time, we wouldn't be in this situation now, because we are now at a
23 stage for the first time in the history of international law that we have
24 a case that is starting from zero because certain problems weren't or
25 could not have been resolved. The hunger strike of the accused, which
1 came to an end in December, fortunately, will now make it possible for us
2 to resume a dialogue between the Prosecution, the Registrar, and the
3 accused, and as a result the accused will now be able to defend himself to
4 the best of his ability. But we should also point out that in legal terms
5 the accused is presumed innocent.
6 Some time ago the President of the Tribunal asked me to act as the
7 Pre-Trial Judge in this case. I am currently involved in a case. I had a
8 hearing this morning. I have hearings every day, but in the general
9 interest I accepted to deal with this case because I believed it would be
10 possible for me to re-establish a dialogue and make it possible for this
11 case to re-commence, to get started again. There's a long series of
12 problems that have not yet been resolved. The Status Conference will
13 enable us to make some headway, and it will make it possible for both the
14 Prosecution and the accused to prepare themselves as best as possible.
15 What I have in mind in particular the fact that the accused has
16 been in The Hague for over four years now, and the accused has been
17 waiting for his trial to start for over four years. As I was in the
18 chamber that was initially responsible for the case, I was surprised to
19 find out that this case had not yet started, a trial had not yet started.
20 The preparatory stages hadn't been dealt with. There was nothing that
21 made it possible for us to advance, and the result is that the accused has
22 been waiting for his trial to start for over four years, and this seems to
23 be quite extraordinary to me. We have some time before us now. We shall
24 try to make rapid progress and, if possible, to make up for some of the
25 time lost. We'll do our best to ensure that this case can go to trial in
1 the best possible conditions, both for Mr. Seselj and for the Prosecution.
2 The procedure that we are following means that the Prosecution and
3 the accused must engage in a certain form of dialogue. If such a dialogue
4 is not established, the Pre-Trial Judge must intervene; that is the
5 Pre-Trial Judge's role and I'm fully committed to re-establishing such a
6 dialogue between the parties. In the very near future I intend to render
7 a decision on visiting the site so that I can see the material conditions
8 that the accused Seselj is living in and the conditions he has to prepare
9 his defence. So I will be visiting the relevant site to see what sort of
10 problems the accused, Mr. Seselj, may be encountering. As far as I'm
11 concerned, Mr. Seselj, rest assured that I will do everything in my power
12 to re-establish dialogue, to listen to what you have to say and to try and
13 resolve within reason any issues to try and deal with all requests you
14 might have.
15 As far as requests and motions are concerned, I had a look at the
16 number of motions that you filed the last four years, and the figure I
17 arrived at was over 240 motions, an incredible figure. You do have the
18 right as an accused to file motions, but I would like to point the
19 following out to you. If you draft 240 motions, that requires an immense
20 effort. It means you have to use up a lot of time, and what is essential
21 for you is to prepare yourself for the case. And this means you must be
22 fully engaged, fully committed to the case. So I would like to ask you
23 not to use your time to make -- or rather, to file marginal motions,
24 motions that are not essential rather than deal with the merits of your
25 defence case. You are currently in an ambiguous situation. You are an
1 accused but you are also representing yourself, and as you will be
2 defending yourself, you must also show respect for the procedure. There
3 are certain quite legitimate motions, and I provided you with three
4 examples a minute ago. But these have already been dealt with or are
5 being dealt with. You might feel it necessary to file certain motions,
6 but believe me, among the totality of the motions filed there were some
7 that in my opinion were a waste of time for you.
8 At the present moment there are certain number of pending motions
9 that we will be examining at a subsequent date because I believe I will be
10 seeing you every two or three weeks on a regular basis so that we can make
11 rapid headway, and on such occasions we would be able to examine in detail
12 some of the motions. I also intend to ask the Prosecution to review a
13 certain number of motions that they filed while you were in your sickbed,
14 in spite of the fact they continued to inundate the Chamber with motions.
15 We'll have to have a look at all these matters again, but we will have
16 ample opportunity to re-examine this issue of pending motions in an
17 attempt to prepare for the trial in the best possible conditions, both for
18 you and for the sake of the expeditiousness of the proceedings. As you
19 are well aware, both parties and in particular Prosecution, have to
20 respect the provisions of the Statute. The proceedings must be
21 expeditious, but not only expeditious, preparations for the proceedings
22 must be properly done. I will come back to this later.
23 In conclusion, the analysis I have made is as follows. I have the
24 distinct impression, Mr. Seselj, that you found yourself in front of a
25 wall and that having the impression that no one was listening to you, the
1 only solution you found was to go on hunger strike. It's unfortunate,
2 it's regrettable. Everyone must deal with the consequences, draw the
3 conclusions, and it is on that basis that we can start again on a very
4 healthy basis and in such a way that you will be able to take into account
5 all the elements of these proceedings. You know that there is an
6 indictment and it is for the Prosecution to prove the charges in the
7 indictment. And you yourself, naturally, have the right to defend
8 yourself and to present contradictory evidence. For over four years now
9 I've been in a position to observe what was happening in your case,
10 initially when I was a member of Trial Chamber II and subsequent to my
11 membership of that Chamber as well.
12 There is certain positive factors in your behaviour. You
13 voluntarily surrendered to the Tribunal, you started filing motions that
14 could be justified, whenever you were summoned to a hearing your behaviour
15 was quite normal, you testified in the Milosevic case and there were no
16 incidents in the course of that testimony, and so there are a number of
17 factors in your favour, and that you as an accused were quite ready to
18 cooperate with the needs of international justice. However, on the other
19 hand, you felt that you were not being listened to and naturally, as a
20 result your attitude was an attitude that some might have found
21 disrespectful with regard to the Tribunal. But in my opinion, this was
22 the attitude of a man who had the impression that he was not being
23 listened to, a man who had the impression -- who had the impression that
24 his rights were not being respected. Given all those factors, I hope that
25 in the future we will not be facing similar difficulties. There's one
1 difficulty that I noticed that I would not like to skip.
2 After having contested the authority of this Tribunal, the
3 jurisdiction of this Tribunal - this is a matter that has been dealt with
4 by the Appeals Chamber - you were involved in a number of demands for
5 dismissal of Judges. I counted 12 and two Presidents of the Tribunal were
6 also concerned, and I said, well, it's very curious that I'm not one of
7 the Judges who's been -- who was singled out by you. As far as this is
8 concerned, Mr. Seselj, I'll be very clear. Naturally, you have the right
9 for a Judge to be dismissed; that's a possibility. But the Rules state
10 that one dismisses a Judge because he may be suspected of being partial or
11 being biased, and I'd like to state solidly that in this case I am in no
12 way partial. As I have been examining the evidence, I noticed what was
13 included in the case file. I took account of the fact it's included in
14 the case file, and I will be listening to what you have to say in the
15 course of your cross-examinations and the presentation of your case. And
16 it's only at that stage that I will make a decision, like my colleagues
17 who will be members of the Chamber.
18 Mr. Seselj, I shall point out that you must have faith in this
19 Tribunal. The Tribunal has rendered many decisions, and when you have a
20 look at those decisions, when you have a look at the judgements, you will
21 see that certain acquittals were called for and in many cases they were
22 partial acquittals as well. So you must remain convinced of the fact that
23 the Tribunal is an impartial one. I'm an independent Judge. I'm
24 impartial as far as you're concerned, and I will severely examine each and
25 every element of the case. You may request that I be dismissed, but in
1 such case I would be much surprised, because I would fail to understand
2 the reason for which you would be requesting that a 13th Judge be
4 I wanted to point this out to you because this conflict with the
5 Tribunal has taken up a lot of your time, has required a significant
6 effort on your part, and I believe that this is detrimental to your
7 defence. It's important for you to set a new course. You will have
8 sufficient time to prepare. The Chamber in its impartiality and I myself
9 will do all we can to make sure that you're well prepared. And as far as
10 this is concerned, you should not fear anything. You should know in
11 advance that you will be listened to. At this point in time, Mr. Seselj,
12 if there's anything you would like to say, I will give you the floor.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Antonetti, I am sincerely
14 astonished that for the first time in the past four years I hear from the
15 seat of the Presiding Judge a reasonable, mature, legal thinking. I have
16 never heard such thinking from that position before. And in addition to
17 this astonishment of mine, I would like to say a few words regarding what
18 you have said. The 240 or 250 motions were filed within the framework of
19 a struggle for survival. Many of those motions dealt with issues whereby
20 I artificially provoked a conflict of interest regarding stand-by counsel.
21 I made up all kinds of insults. I engaged my legal advisors to make up
22 more so as to make it impossible for that imposed counsel to sit with me
23 in the courtroom. The circumstances forced me to do this. If I had been
24 guaranteed from the beginning the things that you said, that I would get
25 all documents in hard copy in the Serbian language and that I would not be
1 deprived of the right to defend myself, there would have been no problems.
2 I guarantee that. And if these proceedings continue in this direction,
3 I'm not interested in your final judgement. I know I am a Serb here and
4 Serbs are not acquitted here, but I'm not interested in that. What I'm
5 interested in is in correct procedure, that the proceedings evolve in
6 accordance with the Rules and nothing else.
7 However, there are a few more things that are still outstanding.
8 You have seen what the indictment looks like. No normal legal system
9 accepts blackened pages like this in an indictment. If a student were to
10 bring me a paper in this form, I would have flunked him. An indictment
11 has to be consistent and coherent. The Prosecution had four months to
12 re-type this, to put it in order, and to hand it to me for the proceedings
13 to be conducted on the basis of this indictment, and I insist,
14 Mr. Antonetti, that you instruct the Prosecution to prepare a decent
15 indictment, the accusations from which I will challenge.
16 The final pre-trial motion of the Prosecution has still not been
17 submitted to me. There was one on the basis of the first indictment,
18 there was an addendum for the expanded indictment; now that the indictment
19 has been reduced I have not received a new pre-trial submission, and this
20 comes second in the order of priorities that is submitted by the
21 Prosecution in the pre-trial stage. I need the final version of the
22 pre-trial submissions on the basis of which I could respond as the
24 Thirdly, I need a final list of witnesses. There was some
25 witnesses, some of whom died in the meantime, others committed suicide.
1 After all, four years have gone by. Some people have themselves re-traced
2 their steps and will not testify, so that I insist on a clear list of
3 witnesses. I don't also have a clear list of the documents in evidence.
4 I want to see those documents. I don't know which of those documents
5 are -- remain and which have been withdrawn. Also, I have still not been
6 disclosed the vast quantity of documents in Serbian and in hard copy. You
7 mentioned Rule 66 and 67. I would like to mention also 68. According to
8 the first item of that rule, it is their duty to disclose to me all the
9 documents which could be -- contribute to acquittal, because by
10 definition, the Prosecutor of this Tribunal is an official of
11 international justice. His first duty is to indict the suspects for war
12 crimes and second, to find documents of acquittal and to disclose them to
13 the accused. In the first case, I have submitted criminal reports
14 according to which 18 persons who were blackmailed or bribed to falsely
15 testify against me, and this I have confirmed in Serbian courts.
16 As for exculpatory material, it's given to me in English or in
17 form, so instead of assisting my defence, they are making it more
18 difficult and they have to provide it to me in the Serbian language.
19 According to all the provisions of the Rules, there are more than 300.000
20 pages. In four years they could have translated everything, but they
21 haven't done a thing because they were persuaded that a Defence counsel
22 would be imposed on me and their will would be respected.
23 Also, they violated the decision of the Trial Chamber for the
24 names of all protected witnesses to be disclosed to me at least 30 days
25 before the beginning of trial, not 30 days before interviewing the
1 witnesses, but for all the witnesses 30 days before the beginning of
2 trial. They have disclosed, only made the names of six protected
3 witnesses, not to mention that they're overdoing the protection because
4 there are more protected witnesses than there are those who are testifying
5 in public, which is also abnormal for a normal court. You mentioned the
6 financial problem. It was only a few days ago that the deputy spoke to me
7 and expressed his willingness to deal with the problem in time, the Deputy
9 I need to submit my Defence submission three weeks before the
10 pre-trial status. I was told I should submit it in two parts, first --
11 the first part by the 23rd of November and the second part after the new
12 year. This is something that has never happened here, so I haven't
13 submitted any such submission because I'm simply not obliged to tolerate
14 such behaviour. I have submitted at least 12 studies regarding the
15 special defence that I intend to resort to, and this special defence will
16 particularly come to expression when I question the experts of the
17 Prosecution, and I myself will call certain experts. When the Prosecution
18 commented about these studies on my part, they said they had no idea what
19 it was about, they had no idea what these were about, they just saw a
20 large number of pages. It was their duty to study them and to inform the
21 Trial Chamber about their positions and to inform me about their views,
22 instead of just rejecting it, saying it was inappropriate and
23 unacceptable, which doesn't mean anything.
24 I was not allowed to object to the modified amended indictment,
25 which -- and that one has been reduced, but it was not reduced in the
1 expanded part but reduced in respect to the initial indictment. Also, the
2 deadline starts from the time I received the modified amended indictment.
3 Afterwards I found out that that time has to start one month after the
4 submission of supporting material with the indictment. Furthermore,
5 submissions are returned to me because I'm not counting the words.
6 The Security Council passed the Statute of this Tribunal. If the
7 Tribunal were legal, the Statute would be untouchable. Then also the
8 Rules of Procedure are passed by all the Judges in the Tribunal and the
9 instructions regarding the length of submissions are decided by the
10 President of the Tribunal. These are three different institutions and
11 they cannot be of identical weight. The President of the Tribunal, by his
12 legal document, cannot disavow the procedural right of the accused
13 according to the Statute. If I have certain guarantees in the Statute,
14 then the President may only give me a recommendation. You may view me in
15 a negative light, but you cannot deprive me of my basic right.
16 The Judge here tells the Registry to return it to me, but it
17 cannot be returned in that way. If I have violated the procedure, then
18 the Trial Chamber must meet and say the submission is rejected for formal
19 reasons, but this must be a decision of the Trial Chamber and not of an
20 officer of the Registry. If I have overstepped the limit of pages, then
21 the Trial Chamber may say, We will review the first ten pages and not the
22 rest, instead of telling the officer, Just give those documents back.
23 I must admit that sometimes I did on purpose exceed the limit, but
24 on other occasions I had to, especially if I was commenting on Prosecution
25 expert witness reports. If such an expert had a hundred pages at his
1 disposal, I need a hundred pages to challenge those claims.
2 Furthermore, about 40 Prosecution submissions exist about which I
3 have still not responded. While I was on sick-leave the Prosecution
4 submitted to me documents that they wanted to hand to me last summer;
5 however, as these were computer disks, I rejected them. And now they're
6 sending me only the introductory documents on paper but not the disks.
7 I will slow down.
8 On a single page they indicated that there is a computer disk with
9 such and such a number. These even include expert reports. There are
10 five experts, Stijovic, Zoran Stankovic, Ivan Zujic. These are documents
11 from July last year. I still haven't received any of them. Can this be
12 put on paper? They didn't record the expert on tape; they have their
13 statements on paper. These must be provided in the Serbian language;
14 without that, there can be no trial.
15 Then judicial notice of evidence from other cases, et cetera. I
16 would need at least a month to respond to all the Prosecution submissions
17 that have accumulated in the meantime, and according to the Appeals
18 Chamber and the Trial Chamber, the time starts to run from the moment I'm
19 found fit to attend trial. But after that I need a whole month to respond
20 to all these matters.
21 One more brief point, Mr. Antonetti. As far as the criticisms
22 that you have addressed, certainly in my despair I did insult some Judges
23 but I always had an argument. If a Judge is violating my rights, I have
24 no other way of responding except to ask for his dismissal and insult
25 him. No one can frighten me by the possibility of a long sentence, and in
1 my whole life no one could frighten me in that way. But if I am treated
2 correctly, my response is correct. I have never insulted anyone unless
3 someone previously had brutally insulted me, deprived me of a procedural
4 right, then I compare him with Hitler, et cetera. What else can I do if
5 he doesn't respect my procedural rights? I am not interested what kind of
6 position he has about me and what kind of sentence he plans for me. This
7 is, for me, quite irrelevant.
8 You mentioned that a large number of acquittals were passed in
9 this Tribunal, but you know that this applies only to the accused who are
10 not Serbs. In the case of Serbs this does not happen. There is an
11 enormous number of disproportion between the number of accused Serbs and
12 all other ethnicities, and the Serbs are being given incomparably longer
13 sentences than others and I have no illusions about that.
14 And allow me, Mr. Antonetti, it is my right to continue to
15 challenge the legitimacy of this Tribunal but without violating the Rules
16 of Procedure, because my intention is to challenge all the points of the
17 indictment. So through that procedure I will respect the Rules of
18 Procedure and the Statute and the other acts, if they're in accordance
19 with the Statute and the Rules and if they do not violate my statutory
20 rights. On the other hand, I will continue to challenge the legality of
21 this Tribunal, and you know that I have a vast amount of documents in
22 support of this. And in world legal science, these arguments have already
23 been voiced.
24 Thank you very much for allowing me to express these views without
25 interruption for the first time.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Seselj. I must
2 say that, to your great astonishment, on a certain number of points I
3 fully agree with you and we are going to go into them one after another.
4 First of all, there's a point I'm not in agreement with you on and
5 that is when you compare the decisions of this Tribunal against Serbs and
6 others. I can assure you, Mr. Seselj, that in my view that will never be
7 a factor. Be rest assured that you must believe me, that this will never
8 play a part in any of my decisions.
9 Regarding the indictment, it is quite true that you should have an
10 indictment that you can use, and specifically you should have a modified
11 indictment and you should have it in your own language. On this point the
12 Prosecution will respond. A moment ago I was astonished. You showed me a
13 document with entire paragraphs blackened out, and the Prosecution will
14 respond regarding this point. Between you and me there is no difference
15 of view regarding the indictment.
16 Secondly, the pre-trial brief. I share your opinion, and that is
17 the following: Before the proceedings the Prosecution has to prepare a
18 pre-trial brief, and I intend to ask the Prosecution to re-format their
19 pre-trial brief which suffers from two inadequacies. The first is that
20 there was an additional pre-trial brief, so it needs to be re-formatted so
21 that there should be one single pre-trial brief, and in a pre-trial brief
22 I wish to see in a footnote the precise references regarding the names of
23 witnesses and the documents which the brief is relying on. I do not wish
24 to see that at the end of the document, as was the case in annex B.
25 Here too, Mr. Seselj, I do not understand why you were required to
1 respond to the Prosecution pre-trial brief. You have the possibility of
2 responding if you wish, but if you don't wish to do so, you don't have
3 to. You are the master of the proceedings regarding the pre-trial brief
4 of the Prosecution.
5 As a general rule, in this Tribunal - and I've been here for
6 almost four years - I can assure you that the Defence responds to the
7 pre-trial brief. But sometimes they do so in a very succinct form,
8 whereas in my view it is better to have a detailed response. But it is up
9 to the accused to decide. So if you wish to respond, you should; if you
10 don't, you don't have to. And I will not impose upon you the need to
12 Regarding the list of witnesses, here, again, I agree with you.
13 You should have in your own possession a list of Prosecution witnesses.
14 To my great surprise, examining the list of witnesses provided pursuant to
15 Rule 65 ter, I'm going to describe to you approximately -- for the needs
16 of the transcript I need to make these clarifications.
17 The indictment is a three-tier document. The first tier, the
18 first level, is the listing of crimes committed in certain
19 municipalities. There is the municipality of Vocin where the Prosecution
20 originally envisaged - but we'll come back to that - 16 witnesses.
21 Looking at the list, I note that those witnesses have numbers.
22 As you, I would like to know who those people are behind the
23 numbers. Then there's Vukovar, 15 witnesses. Here, again, there are
24 numbers. Third municipality - I apologise for the pronunciation - is
25 Hrtkovci, nine witnesses, only numbers. The fourth municipality, Bosanski
1 Samac, 12 witnesses, only numbers. The next locality is the municipality
2 of Zvornik, 20 witnesses, only numbers. The next municipality, Bijeljina
3 and Brcko, eight witnesses. The next, Mostar, 13 witnesses -- Nevesinje
4 and Mostar. Then again for Mostar itself, seven witnesses, and all of
5 these witnesses have numbers.
6 Consequently, one can imagine that the Prosecution is going to ask
7 for protective measures for those witnesses, protective measures which I
8 will explain straight away. There are actually three broad categories for
10 The first category consists of witnesses - and you referred to it
11 a moment ago - whose names are communicated to you 30 days before they
12 appear. For example, if the proceedings begin in October and November and
13 this type of witness will appear on the 10th of December, then the
14 Prosecution must disclose the name of that witness 30 days in advance. So
15 this is a very special category, and normally there are very few witnesses
16 within that category.
17 A second category of protected witnesses are those who require
18 closed session. With respect to this type of witness, we have, above all,
19 women who were victims of sexual crimes, and this is understandable in
20 view of the nature of those crimes and we have closed session for those
22 The third category of protected witnesses are witnesses who would
23 have a pseudonym, their voice and face would be distorted with the help of
24 technical means, but the audience will be able to hear what they're saying
25 but they won't be able to see them properly.
1 To my great surprise, the first level that I referred to,
2 according to the list I have, consists of -- there isn't a single one in
3 that category. But the Prosecution will inform us about that in greater
4 detail, and perhaps they will provide further clarifications, except,
5 unless, all these witnesses in all these municipalities are in such a --
6 exposed to such terror that they cannot testify without protective
7 measures, which would be quite extraordinary.
8 You referred also to the evidence. Again, I'm fully in accord
9 with you. The documents should be disclosed to you in the prison, in the
10 premises you have, for you to be able to look through them and to prepare
11 your defence. You told me a moment ago that you don't have some of them
12 and that I cannot understand, and I will ask the Prosecution in a moment
13 to give me an explanation for this. You have also mentioned some 40
14 documents that you don't have, and specifically the question of
15 exculpatory evidence. And it is quite astonishing that you don't have
16 such documents. This is a particularly difficult issue because perhaps
17 the Prosecution finds it difficult to distinguish which is exculpatory and
18 which is not. If you don't have any documents of that kind, it may be
19 because the Prosecution feels that there are no such documents that could
20 be exculpatory.
21 So I need to give you some explanations because we have a rather
22 complicated procedure. You are familiar with it, but there may be
23 elements that were never drawn to your attention, and I wish to do that
24 now in my capacity as Judge.
25 An indictment is prepared by the Prosecution after an
1 investigation which they carry out through their investigators, and to the
2 Confirming Judge a whole set of documents is provided. I can talk about
3 this because I was, on a number of occasions, the Confirming Judge. So we
4 have a mountain, a pile of documents, and the Confirming Judge is required
5 to confirm the indictment and to issue an arrest warrant for the accused.
6 I realised from the very beginning that as a Confirming Judge we
7 have a great deal of documents before us but we don't have a list of all
8 those documents. And when I say "a lot of documents," sometimes these can
9 be measured in cubic metres.
10 What does the Confirming Judge do? In your case he should verify
11 that what is in the indictment is prima facie supported by a document, so
12 this is a prima facie confirmation based on documents. I can give you an
13 example. If, in an indictment, it is stated that four persons were killed
14 in such and such a location, there must be a document referring to the
15 murder of those four people in that location. But after that, after the
16 confirmation, and after the accused has pleaded not guilty, the
17 Prosecution will provide the accused with those documents.
18 Now, is he going to disclose all the documents that were submitted
19 to the Confirming Judge I cannot say because there's no list to start off
20 with, and then you will receive documents, and certainly new documents in
21 relation to what the Judges were -- Judge was able to review when he
22 confirmed the indictment. Why? Because the Prosecution continues its
23 investigations, and upon receiving documents they have to disclose them to
24 the accused and you have a mountain of documents in front of you.
25 There's the 65 ter list that we mentioned a minute ago. We'll
1 come back to that in the course of the future hearings. You will be
2 receiving a 65 ter list, and usually you should have the list of the
3 witnesses included and the list of exhibits.
4 What I would be asking the Prosecution to do is as follows, and I
5 will render a decision to that effect to facilitate your defence but also
6 to allow me and my colleagues to have a clear view of the entire case. I
7 will be asking the Prosecution to provide me with charts that will be as
9 Let's take the following example: If we have a witness, for
10 example, from the municipality of Vocin, Witness VS017, for this witness I
11 would like the Prosecution to inform me of the documents that they intend
12 to tender to show to the witness. This should be mentioned by the name of
13 the witness. And then you will know that when the witness appears, the
14 Prosecution will show these documents to the witness and you will be able
15 to cross-examine the witness on the basis of those documents.
16 But I will go even further than that, much further than that. I
17 will be asking the prosecution to act pursuant to 7(1), Article 7(1) of
18 the Statute, and to tell me how they conceive of this criminal liability.
19 In your particular case, I would like to be informed which witnesses and
20 which documents concern the issue at hand.
21 I mentioned a three-tier system a minute ago. We have, firstly,
22 the crime case, the crimes committed in different municipalities, and you
23 have noted, like myself, that in the indictment it states that these
24 crimes were committed either by Arkan's men or by Seselj's men. That's
25 what the indictment says.
1 Then we have the second tier, and naturally witnesses and
2 documents have to establish a link between the crimes that were committed
3 and the perpetrators of the crimes. And the Prosecution that has the
4 burden of proof must provide us with such information so that you yourself
5 may be in a position to defend yourself. With regard to the claim that
6 these crimes have been attributed to men who were under your control or
7 the control of Arkan.
8 Then there is your criminal liability referred to in the
9 indictment and it states that there was a criminal enterprise involved,
10 and it's for the Prosecution to show that there was a criminal enterprise
11 and they should say which witnesses, which experts, which documents will
12 be supporting this claim. But in addition, according to the provisions of
13 Article 7(1), criminal enterprise is one mode of responsibility, but there
14 is another mode of responsibility and that concerns planning, issuing
15 orders, acting or aiding and abetting perpetrators of crimes. So these
16 items that we are concerned with, the pre-trial brief, the list of
17 exhibits, the list of witnesses, and these elements that should be
18 referred to by these documents so that you can act adequately, that you
19 can defend yourself, you can cross-examine witnesses, and then call your
20 own witnesses to question the Prosecution's claims. And as far as this
21 list of witnesses is concerned and as far as the exhibit list is
22 concerned, I see no difficulties when it comes to legitimate claims that
23 you have expressed.
24 As far as the expert witnesses are concerned, a minute ago you
25 said that you hadn't seen anything. I examined the issue of expert
1 witnesses, and I established four categories of expert witnesses in the
2 Prosecution's end. The first category concerns the experts the
3 Prosecution wanted to call, they concerned intercepts, phone intercepts.
4 And then there would be three experts dealing with history and demographic
5 matters. So you have been provided with the three names of the experts
6 who will be called. That's the second category of the expert witnesses.
7 The third category of expert witnesses concerns the three experts
8 who were to deal with autopsies or people who have gone missing. So we
9 would have three experts for that subject matter and then an expert who is
10 an expert on propaganda, something to that effect. And the Prosecution
11 has planned to examine this witness for about eight hours. At this point
12 in time it would be logical for you to have expert witnesses' reports so
13 that you can read through them, study them, because when we have expert
14 reports, the Prosecution requires that the report be tendered into
15 evidence. The Chamber decides on whether it should be admitted into
16 evidence, but naturally it also listens to comments the accused has to
17 make. The accused can say the person's not an expert, it's of no
18 interest, et cetera, et cetera, so in the course of such adversarial
19 proceedings the Chamber decides whether or not to admit the expert report
20 into evidence.
21 If the expert report is admitted into evidence, it's useful
22 because it's not necessary to conduct the examination-in-chief of the
23 expert, because if there is an examination-in-chief of the expert, well,
24 the expert usually repeats what is said in the report. So it's more
25 useful for the accused to cross-examine the witness in such case. So you
1 will benefit from such provisions because when you call your own witness
2 you can proceed in a similar manner. Your expert drafts his report and
3 you then request that the report be admitted into evidence and it's then
4 for the Prosecution to cross-examine the witness. So as a general rule,
5 this is how we would be dealing with expert witnesses.
6 Naturally there are other witnesses that I would place in a
7 different category, in the second category and would concern a category of
8 those who may have committed crimes and in general terms and on the basis
9 of the Prosecution's submissions, I have made a distinction between three
10 categories of witnesses in this field: Witnesses who will be discussing
11 the SRS, and when it comes to these witnesses -- well, I have arrived at a
12 figure of 11 such witnesses. They are witnesses who are going to be
13 discussing the subject of the SDS, there are five such witnesses. And
14 then there is one witness who will be talking about the SRS and SDS
15 relationship, and I've also identified four witnesses who will be
16 addressing various issues.
17 So this is the analysis I carried out with regard to the
18 Prosecution's intentions. Naturally, as there will be a new witness list
19 and a new exhibit list, a new pre-trial brief, I hope that the Prosecution
20 will do all that is necessary to clarify all these matters so that I may
21 advance rapidly in these pre-trial -- at this pre-trial stage so that when
22 the trial starts, you would be fully functional and quite capable of
23 dealing with the numerous witnesses who will be appearing and so that
24 you'll be quite capable of defending yourself.
25 Rest assured, as far as this matter is concerned, you do have the
1 right to have in your possession an up-to-date list of witnesses of the
2 reasons for which some of the witnesses will be testifying under pseudonym
3 and also what is important for you is that you should have the written
4 documents. I personally will be asking the Prosecution to disclose to me
5 all these documents in binders, and I will ask the Prosecution to make
6 it -- to make sure that it's easy for you and the Judges to consult the
7 documents, they should put the documents in chronological order so that we
8 have binders with documents in chronological order. So document P1 will
9 be the oldest document, and the most recent document will be the one that
10 has the highest number. So let's take an example.
11 If you, as an accused, want to know something with regard to
12 January 1993 with regard to what happened at that time, you will then have
13 the binder with all the documents in chronological order. You'll have the
14 documents for January and then you will be able to follow the order of
15 the -- that the documents are in. You will thus be able to prepare
16 adequately for your defence because electronic disclosure, forwarding such
17 documents electronically, is very difficult. It's difficult to work
18 serenely in this way. So we do need hard copies. I totally agree with
19 you. You should have shelves and office space. You will be provided with
20 shelves with binders containing all the relevant documents, all the
21 documents that the Prosecution will be presenting to witnesses. I believe
22 that this is the minimum one could require of the Prosecution. So
23 generally speaking, this would be my initial response to what you said a
24 while ago, and everything you have said, I must say, everything you said
25 seems reasonable to me and I believe that you will now have the
1 possibility to have access to these documents, to these lists, and this
2 will enable you to prepare yourself calmly.
3 I will now perhaps turn to the Prosecution and ask them to comment
4 on various issues, but before I give them the floor, is there anything you
5 would like to say, Mr. Seselj, anything you would like to say with regard
6 to what I have said? Are there any ambiguities you would like to clear
7 up? Any comments you would like to make?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Antonetti, just two matters very
9 briefly. The Prosecution in October provided me and the Chamber a report
10 on disclosure. In their report you can see that they have over 200.000
11 pages of exculpatory material according to Rule 68, but it was all in
12 English or in electronic form. And they were quite simply waiting for my
13 right to defend myself to be violated. I received information from the
14 registry that David Cooper returned 40 large parcels of documents that he
15 received from the Prosecution; I received none of that material.
16 Mr. Antonetti, you are quite right. Everything you have just said
17 is correct. But there's one matter I would like to emphasize. You said
18 that first an investigation is conducted and then on the basis of the
19 investigation an indictment is brought against an accused. That's how
20 things function everywhere in the world if things function normally, but
21 first an indictment was brought against me and then the Prosecution
22 started carrying out an investigation, because if you have a look at the
23 witness list you will see that the old witnesses are only those who are
24 testifying about general circumstances. They appeared in other cases, and
25 earlier on in other cases they almost never mention me. All the witnesses
1 who are accusing me have been -- were interrogated by the Prosecution late
2 after the indictment was brought against me. As far as I can remember,
3 the key witness was interrogated in the year 2006. Prior to that year,
4 they didn't obtain a statement from a single witness who accused me
5 personally of crimes of any kind.
6 So first they brought an indictment against me and then they
7 started digging with their hands and their feet to try and support the
8 indictment; and they then found themselves in a situation in which they
9 had to bribe people, et cetera. My legal advisors are collecting
10 statements from people who were pressured to falsely testify against me,
11 and I'll provide you with the information as soon as I obtain it. This is
12 how the Prosecution works here, you know. So the procedure here is a
13 Kafkaesque procedure. Up until your appearance in the courtroom,
14 Mr. Antonetti, I believe that the procedure was, in fact, Kafkaesque.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I'm a little
16 surprised by what you have said. Perhaps you are right. I'm not in the
17 position to check what you have claimed, but normally - and I'm
18 emphasising the fact that it's normally - when the Prosecution brings its
19 indictment it must also provide written statements from witnesses. On the
20 basis of these written witness statements, and they are witnesses from the
21 Prosecution, well, these statements should support the indictment. But
22 now you're telling me - perhaps you are right - you're saying there are
23 very few witnesses and that now you are finding out that in witness -- in
24 65 ter witness list there are witnesses who appear after the indictment
25 was brought against you. There's a very simple means of checking this.
1 I'll do it at the appropriate time. The indictment was drafted in
2 February 2003. So normally there should be witnesses who are interviewed
3 by the OTP, either in January 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000. They should be
4 found amongst the witnesses. If the 65 ter list shows that there were
5 interviews after February 2003, then you are quite right. That means that
6 they were interviewed subsequently. So this is a way of checking what you
7 have just claimed, but at this point in time, today, I'm not in a position
8 to check this. I don't have the relevant documents, and naturally I'll be
9 asking them to forward them. But for the moment I don't have these
10 documents. I have taken note, however, of what you have said.
11 You also drew my attention to the fact that - yet again I'm
12 surprised by this - you drew my attention to the fact that you were sent
13 200.000 pages in electronic form. This was exculpatory material and it
14 was up to you to find your bearings. I'm a little surprised by this.
15 Firstly --
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 200.000.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I know a decision
18 was rendered by the previous Chamber, according to which it was possible
19 to disclose documents electronically. Exculpatory material must be
20 disclosed in the form of hard copies, and I'm very surprised to hear that
21 there are 200.000 pages. Perhaps the Prosecution will be able to tell me
22 what the correct figure is, because how could you find your bearings? How
23 could you deal with 200.000 pages? It's practically impossible.
24 I'll now turn to the Prosecution. I don't know who is responsible
25 for this case, but we'll have the opportunity of seeing each other again.
1 I would like you first to comment on the indictment. You heard what
2 Mr. Seselj said. Mr. Seselj said that he didn't have an up-to-date
3 indictment in his possession. There were documents, parts of which had
4 been redacted. I'd like to have more information about this matter.
5 Could you shed some light on the matter and re-assure Mr. Seselj with
6 regard to this matter?
7 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, the form of the indictment that is
8 currently in the possession of the accused is the current form as well
9 that is in the possession of the Prosecution and I believe of the Trial
10 Chamber as well. The reason the indictment was created in that format
11 with certain words and phrases redacted was because the previous Trial
12 Chamber ordered the Prosecution to create this document in the interests
13 of clarity after the previous Trial Chamber issued its decision on
14 reductions in the indictment pursuant to Rule 73 bis of November of last
15 year. So that is the current model of the indictment that we are working
16 with pursuant to an order of the Trial Chamber.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So if I understood you
18 correctly, pursuant to 73 bis, the Chamber asked the Prosecution to reduce
19 the scope of the indictment in relation to the number of crimes and
20 certain sites, and as a result you redacted certain paragraphs to be in
21 accordance with the decision. That's fine. But the accused should
22 understand the purpose of this procedure. I'll explain the following to
23 Mr. Seselj.
24 There is a Rule, 73 bis, of the Rules of Procedure. It was
25 introduced a while ago. According to this Rule, the Prosecution can be
1 asked to reduce the scope of the indictment in relation to the number of
2 crimes or the sites where the crimes were committed.
3 Why is this the case? In order to save time, in order to make
4 sure that one doesn't get lost in insignificant detail, and also to make
5 it possible for the indictment to be well-focussed. The provisions of
6 Rule 73 bis, it made it possible on a number of occasions for the
7 Prosecution, at the request of a Chamber, to reduce the scope of the
8 indictment. And naturally, this was to the advantage of the accused
9 because a certain number of crimes were simply deleted from the
10 indictment, and this means that the responsibility of the accused was
11 diminished as a result.
12 Naturally, I will now ask the Prosecution to do the following:
13 You should provide a final indictment to the accused in such a form that
14 the indictment can be read without any problems. It's sufficient to make
15 the text appear without the redactions, without the blackened-out parts,
16 and then the accused will be able to read the indictment without any
18 Isn't that the case, Mr. Saxon?
19 MR. SAXON: We will do that, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm told we need to have a
21 break because the interpreters need a rest. We'll have a brief, 20-minute
22 break now and we will resume in 20 minutes' time. That will also allow
23 Mr. Seselj to have a rest. We will resume in 20 minutes' time exactly.
24 --- Recess taken at 5.28 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 5.50 p.m.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed. I am
2 going to give the floor to the Prosecution again, but there is a subject
3 which I have not addressed and I would like to know the difficulties
4 encountered by Mr. Seselj regarding translations.
5 As you know, Mr. Seselj, the two official languages of the
6 Tribunal are English and French; however, you also know that as an accused
7 you are entitled to receive the documents in your own language. The
8 provisions are as follows, according to my understanding: When you file a
9 document in your own language, the document is sent to the translation
10 section who then translate it into English, and the document is registered
11 with the Registry and distributed after that, and the time runs from that
12 moment on.
13 In the opposite case, when the Prosecution files a motion on
14 whatever subject, it is registered with the Registry and sent again to the
15 translation service, and then you receive the document in your language,
16 and the time to contest the document runs from that moment on, which means
17 that if a document takes a month to be translated, you will be
18 familiarised with it in your own language a month later and then the time
19 will start to run from then on.
20 What I would like to know, sir, is whether you have encountered
21 any difficulties; and if so, which? And as you now have a team of
22 assistants who have been appointed by the Tribunal -- I've seen that you
23 have three plus a person who acts as case manager, so you have four
24 persons assisting you. Your assistants, if you so wish, Mr. Seselj, to
25 assist you during the hearings, may enter the courtroom and then you can
1 ask them for certain documents and so on. If you find that useful, I see
2 no difficulty in the assistants, which have been approved by the Tribunal,
3 assisting you in the courtroom. And if you have anything to ask of them,
4 you can do so. You can ask them to assist you, but that is up to you.
5 I do not know your assistants, but if, among them, there are
6 assistants who know either English or French, perhaps it would be easier
7 for your defence, while waiting for the translation into your language, in
8 the meantime the assistants could tell you there is a motion by the
9 Prosecution in English which says so-and-so, here it is in main lines, and
10 in that way you will be able to react better. And when I render a
11 decision, which will certainly be in French - I don't know whether your
12 assistants are familiar with the French language - but if among them there
13 is a French-speaking person, he can say to you, The ruling is
14 such-and-such. Of course you will receive the ruling in your own
15 language, but this might be useful for you, to know the substance in the
17 So I would like to hear from you what difficulties you have
18 encountered and what we can do to improve the provisions that have been
19 put in place if you still find that they contain certain shortcomings. I
20 give you the floor.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Antonetti, it has been the
22 custom so far for my deadlines for replies to be counted from the day when
23 I received the document in the Serbian language. So there were no
24 problems with the document in the Serbian language, but only if they tried
25 to hand them to me in English or in electronic form.
1 The problems arise with respect to more serious documents to which
2 I do not react myself in my own handwriting; then I need to consult my
3 legal advisors and then the deadlines may be short. I have to send
4 them -- the document to Belgrade, then the usual deadline of seven days
5 needs to be exceeded. And on several occasions I asked for an extension
6 of time. However, if the financial issues were to be resolved, then my
7 legal assistants would be in The Hague continuously. They would give up
8 their jobs in Belgrade. This has not been possible so far. My plan was
9 for them, rather like the advisors of Mr. Milosevic, to sit in the office
10 next to the courtroom and for me to consult them during the breaks. We
11 never considered the possibility of them sitting with me in the courtroom.
12 Three years ago I did raise the issue at a Status Conference, but Judge
13 Agius rejected this categorically. Either you will have Defence counsel
14 or you will defend yourself alone, which is my choice.
15 There is another problem that might arise if my legal assistants
16 were to sit in the courtroom. They do not wish under any case, under any
17 circumstances to wear the robes worn by the Prosecution and Defence
18 counsel. If they were to be allowed to appear in very decent, I underline
19 decent, without extravagance, civil clothing, then I would suggest that
20 they sit next to me.
21 As for the translations, I am very patient. I am waiting for
22 everything to be translated into Serbian for me to respond. I can
23 understand the titles both in English and in French, but the legal content
24 is something else.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you have just used
1 a word which has provoked me to respond. You said with respect to the
2 robes worn by the Judges and the counsel, you said that for you, if your
3 advisors were to be here they would be dressed in civilian clothing. As
4 far as I am concerned, I see no problem. The more so, as you can see that
5 the Prosecutor has an assistant and the lady next to him is in civilian
6 clothing. So there's no problem. But you said that they would be dressed
7 in civilian clothing because you felt that -- maybe I misunderstood you,
8 that to wear a robe is not decent. Maybe I misunderstood you.
9 Let me tell you, Mr. Seselj, that in all the countries of the
10 world, including yours, the Judges wear robes. The advocates wear robes.
11 That is how it is throughout the world. There are some countries, I know,
12 where they wear civilian clothing; this is a matter of choice. One could
13 be here in civilian clothes, but the choice has been made and that's how
14 we appear, in these robes. Therefore, for me, there's absolutely no
15 problem that your assistants sit here. If my colleagues were -- disagreed
16 before, that was their choice. As far as I'm concerned, there's no
17 problem. And as you are defending yourself alone, you need to have access
18 to documents and it is quite normal that your own assistants should be
19 there at your disposal. So if you wish, they will be there; if not, it's
20 up to you to choose.
21 You also told me something which prompts a question on my part.
22 You said that your assistants are in Belgrade and that all this is not
23 simple because you have to send documents to them, which I understand
24 fully. But I thought -- my understanding was that the registry intends to
25 place at the disposal of your team in The Hague an apartment so that they
1 might be present here, which clearly will make it unnecessary for you to
2 have correspondence with Belgrade. According to my understanding, you
3 will be helped by assistants who will be remunerated and who will be
4 accommodated at the expense of the Tribunal, which means that in theory,
5 you can communicate with them on a daily basis, every day. Did you know
6 that or not? I don't know. But that is what I have been told. I have
7 been told that these assistants will be remunerated and lodged,
8 accommodated. And as a result, they will be fully at your disposal to
9 work with you. Did you know that?
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Antonetti, I was just told that
11 an apartment, a three-room apartment with two rooms and a study would be
12 paid, but the question of remuneration for these assistants has not been
13 resolved. All three of my legal advisors are members of the Serbian
14 Parliament and they would resign over there and move to The Hague if they
15 were to be remunerated on a regular basis. I have not been informed that
16 this had been resolved. Only the question of the apartment has been
17 solved and the remuneration for the case manager, and this is something we
18 are not satisfied with because she has a university degree and the amount
19 envisaged is too low.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now you're giving me some
21 information that I was totally unaware of. You tell me that they are
22 elected deputies in parliament. In that case, there is a real problem,
23 because they can't be parliamentarians at the same time and your
24 assistants. Is that the situation?
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] As soon as the question of their
1 remuneration is resolved, they will immediately resign their positions in
2 the Serbian Parliament. But they cannot do that until that problem is
3 resolved, because that is their only means of livelihood, what they
4 receive as members of parliament.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You are quite right, and this
6 is a point that the registry needs to take into account and that their
7 remuneration should be equivalent to what they are receiving now, of
8 course taking into account the living costs in The Hague. So this is a
9 problem that I will keep track of personally to resolve it in your best
10 interest. Therefore, with respect to translations, you are not
11 encountering any particular difficulty, as you have said that you do
12 receive in your language the documents as soon as they have been
13 translated. Is that your position?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Antonetti.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If you should have any problem
16 along those lines, do not hesitate to let me know.
17 Now I'm going to turn to the Prosecution. We spoke a moment ago
18 about the indictment. I would now like you to comment for me the question
19 of protected witnesses. We are in open session. If necessary, we can go
20 into private session, but Mr. Seselj has said - and I myself have seen -
21 that the lists that you have provided to the previous Chamber consisted of
22 numbers for the witnesses. So can you clarify that point for us, please.
23 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, on the witness list that has previously
24 been provided to the accused and to the Chamber, that's correct. They
25 were identified with numbers as opposed to the true names of the witness;
1 however, the Prosecution has provided to the Chamber -- or at the very
2 least, the former Trial Chamber of a list of these numbers and the
3 matching names. The Prosecution has also provided the identities of
4 witnesses on its witness list to the accused for those witnesses who are
5 not -- have not been granted protective measures or are not subject to
6 currently pending motions requesting protective measures. And I must
7 respectfully remind the Trial Chamber that there are two such motions
8 pending, the Prosecution's seventh and eighth such motions.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
10 Mr. Seselj, you have heard the Prosecution. They have just
11 informed me that indeed there is a list with names, but they have provided
12 a list where all the numbers are translated into names and that now you
13 know what the numbers correspond to. And the Prosecution has just told me
14 that motions regarding protective measures are pending and no ruling has
15 been made in the meantime regarding them. So I wish to tell you the
16 following regarding protective measures.
17 You know that you are entitled as an accused to oppose protective
18 measures. The rule in Rule 75 specifies the conditions on the basis of
19 which someone may benefit from protective measures and the accused may say
20 in writing that he agrees or disagrees. What we need now, because we need
21 to re-start the proceedings, the Prosecution needs to give us a
22 consolidated table or list of witnesses for whom protective measures are
23 requested, that is an updated list, and once this list has been conveyed
24 to Mr. Seselj, he will indicate witness by witness whether he agrees or
25 not. And then the Chamber will make a ruling.
1 My question, Mr. Seselj, is: Do you now have in your possession a
2 list with the numbers and the names that have been disclosed to you as the
3 Prosecution tells me? Perhaps there are witnesses that you do not know
4 because there is a procedure envisaging disclosure of witnesses 30 days in
5 advance, and in that case the Prosecution may file an ex parte and
6 confidential motion, and in that case the accused is not au courant. The
7 same applies to you. When you call your own witnesses you may have an ex
8 parte and confidential motion to inform the Chamber that you intend to
9 call such and such witnesses and then you will ask that this be disclosed
10 to the Prosecution only once the person appears. That is part of the
11 regular procedure. What concerns me now is to know whether you have in
12 your position the names of witnesses corresponding to the numbers.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Antonetti, I will not have a
14 single protected Defence witness; I can guarantee that. Secondly, I
15 guarantee that the -- no danger threatens any protected witness of the
16 Prosecution from me, my followers, or anyone else, but that is up to you
17 to judge whether there is any such risk. At the beginning I did not
18 oppose the requests of the Prosecution for protective measures, counting
19 that these requests would be reasonable in scope. However, as far as I
20 remember, they have filed seven motions for protective measures, and the
21 previous Trial Chambers did not rule that the identity of a protected
22 witness should be disclosed to me a month before he testifies. But a
23 decision that the identity of all protected witnesses should be disclosed
24 to me a month before the beginning of trial. So this is slightly
1 So far, six or seven names of protected witnesses have been
2 disclosed to me and not the rest. I think that the focus is on what you
3 just mentioned, a consolidated list of witnesses, protected and
4 unprotected ones, because there is some confusion just now as to which the
5 witnesses the Prosecution will call and which they will not. Some have
6 died, some, the Prosecution has changed its opinion about. Let the
7 protected ones continue to be protected and the unprotected ones appear on
8 the list so that I should know the final list which witnesses will be
9 called and which will not.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In my opinion, it is necessary
11 for you to re-make an updated consolidated list because indeed if
12 witnesses -- some witnesses have died, they should not appear on this
13 list. According to what Mr. Seselj has just said, you have disclosed six
14 or seven names of witnesses, and he is not aware of the others. He
15 doesn't know what the names of those witnesses are; that is what he is
16 telling us. So it leads me to assume that you have made a double
17 distinctions. First of all, there are witnesses "protected" which you
18 will disclose to the accused before trial, and then another group of
19 protected witnesses that -- whose names you will not disclose before 30
20 days before their testimony. Is that right? Is that what you plan to
22 MR. SAXON: That is generally correct, Your Honour. If you will
23 allow me, Your Honour, one -- on one matter the accused misspoke, I
24 believe. On the 10th of July, the 24th of July, and the 31st of July of
25 last year the Prosecution provided in hard copy lists of names of
1 particular Prosecution witnesses who are not the subject of any protective
2 measures. And the Prosecution should be -- excuse me -- the accused
3 should be in possession of those names.
4 And if I may respectfully, Your Honour, make one suggestion to the
5 Court. Before any consolidated list of witnesses is produced, protected,
6 unprotected, or otherwise, would it not be appropriate for the Chamber to
7 review, first for the accused to respond to the Prosecution's seventh and
8 eighth motions for protective measures because these are the only two such
9 motions outstanding; and then for the Chamber to make its decision on
10 these requests, because once a decision can be made, then the Prosecution
11 could more clearly and logically produce a more consolidated list.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
13 Mr. Seselj, the Prosecution tells us that on the 10th of July, the
14 24th of July, the 31st of July they provided you lists of witnesses with
15 their names, and these persons were not the subject of any protective
16 measures. Apparently they also addressed motions 7 and 8 on protective
17 measures requested for the witness, and according to the Prosecution, you
18 have still not responded to those motions. Perhaps it is time for you to
19 respond to motions 7 and 8 on protective measures requested. Perhaps you
20 haven't had time to look at this. It is not urgent, as the trial will not
21 begin tomorrow, but it would be advisable for you and/or your assistants
22 to focus on these matters so you can let us know as soon as possible what
23 your position is.
24 On these points, Mr. Seselj, is everything clear or perhaps you
25 still haven't seen motions 7 and 8?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your question is quite clear and it
2 consists of two parts. Regarding the first part, it is true that I have
3 received a list of witnesses without protective measures, but I must
4 repeat, the focus must be on the consolidated list, the list was from
5 July, but after the indictment has been reduced, we need a new list, a
6 complete list, of both protected and unprotected witnesses. As for the
7 seventh and eighth motions of the Prosecution --
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, you are quite right.
9 Mr. Seselj is raising a real problem. This list was sent in July
10 and it consists of names of unprotected witnesses. Then in the meantime
11 there's a modified indictment, so of all this should be put into harmony.
12 We need to have a precise consolidated list of witnesses because in the
13 previous list there may be names of witnesses who no longer need to come
14 because the Prosecution will not be calling them. I have the feeling,
15 Mr. Saxon, studying very quickly, because I was charged with this file
16 quite recently, I have the feeling which I wish to convey to you that
17 there is a certain delay in respect to events. I should like to give you
18 an example. You know that the rules have been modified regarding 92 ter
19 witnesses. Mr. Seselj must know this. The Tribunal has decided that in
20 the future there may be witnesses that will come under 92 ter, and this is
21 very simple. The witness comes, he confirms that his written statement
22 reflects entirely what he would say, and on that basis the accused
23 cross-examines the witness.
24 To my great surprise, in the submissions you mention the previous
25 rules but not 92 ter, so I said to myself they must have some delay, there
1 must be some delay there. We need to catch up, and your submissions have
2 to be adjusted to the positive rules in force now. And therefore, the
3 list of witnesses must correspond to reality, that is, those witnesses
4 must be those that will come to testify in support of the indictment and
5 whom you really intend to call. Because, as you know, the Status
6 Conference, at least now I am the Pre-Trial Judge and this is a
7 revolutionary step by the Tribunal, the Pre-Trial Judge needs to prepare
8 the trial as best he can; and as such, I'm concerned by these questions if
9 other colleagues were not concerned. I think nowadays everyone has the
10 same view. And to have professional and competent Pre-Trial Judges, this
11 will help us to do our work better, and that means to give to the accused
12 an updated list of witnesses who will indeed be appearing because it is on
13 the basis of that list that the accused can prepare his defence and his
15 MR. SAXON: Very briefly, Your Honour, two points. First of all,
16 with respect to the use of 92 ter, there has been no delay, no lack of
17 progressiveness by the Prosecution. This Trial Chamber has before it at
18 least five or six lengthy very substantive motions for the admission of
19 written evidence pursuant to Rule 92 ter. They've been before the Trial
20 Chamber now since the autumn and those motions were produced at great time
21 and expense, if I may say so, by the Prosecution, beginning shortly after
22 Rule 92 ter was enacted so that this trial could be conducted as
23 efficiently and expeditiously as possible.
24 With respect to the need for a consolidated list of witnesses, I
25 take Your Honour's point that with a reduction in the indictment,
1 particularly with respect to reductions in the crime base, certainly there
2 will be changes in the Prosecution's witness list. The Prosecution could
3 go forward in the near future and produce a consolidated list; however, I
4 must remind the Chamber again that witnesses who are subject to ongoing
5 orders for protective measures or pending request for protective measures
6 could not be identified on such a list. That's the only caveat I must
7 bring to your attention.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
9 As far as this issue that is essential is concerned for the --
10 it's essential for the Chamber; for you, the Prosecution; and for the
11 accused, I've already explained that there are three levels of witnesses,
12 three categories of witnesses who will be called. And there will be a
13 written decision about the matter. I will be asking you to make your case
14 in the most efficient manner possible, and I don't want the Prosecution to
15 call witnesses in whatever order, intermediary witness, crime base
16 witness, I don't want all this to be confused. That would result in a
17 waste of time and of energy. If the procedure followed is correct, if the
18 work is done properly, and I can talk about such matters because I played
19 the role you are now playing a long time ago, if you work properly and as
20 you should you should initially concern yourself with -- concern
21 yourselves with calling crime base witnesses, the so-called crime base
22 witnesses. That would then make it possible for the accused, who is
23 primarily concerned by the two other levels of witnesses, but the first
24 point is also important, but the accused won't have to make such an effort
25 with regard to this category of witnesses.
1 As I said, I will be rendering a decision with regard to this
2 matter, but you should initially call such crime base witnesses, but not
3 just in any manner, not just in any order. The order followed when
4 calling these witnesses should be logical. The order should be the order
5 provided for by the Rules. We should have viva voce witnesses who would
6 be cross-examined by the accused who would be at his disposal the same
7 amount of time granted to the Prosecution. If the Prosecution takes up an
8 hour, the accused has the right to cross-examine for an hour. So you
9 should focus in various municipalities -- and take notes, because what I'm
10 saying now is very important and it will make your task easier.
11 You should focus on two or three viva voce witnesses in these
12 municipalities who, in your opinion, are important witnesses, and then you
13 should use 92 ter witnesses to corroborate the viva voce witnesses. These
14 witnesses would not be subjected to examination-in-chief; they would only
15 be cross-examined. And this system, this procedure, would be completed by
16 using classical 92 bis witnesses. That means admitting written statements
17 into evidence, statements that support, confirm what others have already
18 said. So we have an entire structure with regard to presenting evidence,
19 and this would make it possible for the accused to see what the
20 Prosecution's case is, it would be possible for him to see what the
21 essential witnesses for the Prosecution are, which witnesses are
22 confirming witnesses, and which witnesses are 92 bis witnesses, and then
23 the Defence would use the same system because in my opinion, this is the
24 most efficient system possible.
25 This would make it possible for you to save time, because if
1 there's -- I said a while ago in certain municipalities there are a number
2 of witnesses. For example, for Vocin there are 16 witnesses. If these 16
3 witnesses come to testify viva voce and they come to repeat the same
4 things on 16 occasions, well, what a waste of time. It's not necessary to
5 repeat the same thing 16 times to say that a house was burned. So it's
6 necessary to work in advance in an efficient manner. We have to see which
7 witnesses are essential witnesses in the case of Vocin municipality, which
8 witnesses can give you essential information. You could then use 92 bis
9 witnesses or other witnesses who could corroborate their statements and
10 you could proceed in this manner for each municipality. And the accused
11 could then prepare himself more efficiently for his cross-examination. It
12 would be possible for him to get his assistants involved in a more
13 efficient manner. It will be possible for the accused to find his
14 bearings, because given the voluminous documents, it would be easy to lose
15 track of where we are. It's necessary to see what the Prosecution wants
16 to prove and how the Prosecution intends to prove its case. So that we
17 can, in fact, become involved in these adversarial proceedings, so we need
18 discipline, we need the use of reason, and it is necessary to be
19 efficient. I will be rendering a decision in which I will be asking you
20 to deal with these matters municipality by municipality. And on the basis
21 of the list that you intend to draft, you should inform me of the system
22 that you intend to follow, of the procedure you intend to follow, and the
23 purpose of this would be to save time, naturally, to be better-informed of
24 the questions that will be posed and similarly, when it comes to admission
25 into evidence of documents -- but when it comes to the presentation of
1 documents to witnesses, we don't want to show the same documents to 16
2 witnesses. So this is an efficient manner of proceeding. We'll have
3 sufficient time to deal with these matters again, but I -- I'm now
4 informing you of how I conceive this procedure.
5 The Judges will have to deal with all these elements and to avoid
6 inundating the Judges with documents, et cetera, we have to find an
7 efficient way of working. I know that the Prosecution spends time in
8 saying we need a lot of time, et cetera, naturally, but the time has to be
9 put to good use. Time must not be wasted, and to avoid wasting time, you
10 should present your case in a logical manner. You should have a logical
11 procedure and you should respect the principle of the equality of arms so
12 that the accused can also contest certain items, et cetera.
13 Mr. Saxon.
14 MR. SAXON: Thank you, Your Honour. And again, with all due
15 respect, before the Chamber issues its order on this matter, Prosecution
16 would urge the Chamber to review the submissions made pursuant to Rule 92
17 ter during the autumn, because you will see then the system that the
18 Prosecution had already put in place. In particular there were two
19 submissions with respect to witnesses related to the Vukovar crime base
20 and the Hrtkovci crime base.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, fine. There's something
22 else I would like to draw your attention to. As the Pre-Trial Judge, the
23 Chamber has provided me with all the legal power allowing me to take
24 decisions. The Chamber has given me the power to deal with all motions
25 pursuant to Rule 73. So in theory, there are only two circumstances,
1 legal circumstances in which I have to contact the Chamber, deal with the
2 Chamber. If there's a request for provisional release, I can't decide on
3 that; and secondly, if the accused files a preliminary motion that
4 concerns the form of the indictment, in such case I am not competent deal
5 with such a motion. Only the Chamber is competent to deal with such a
6 motion, but I'm competent to deal with all other matters, with one
8 Currently I'm the member of Trial Chamber III composed of Judge
9 Robinson, Judge Bonomy, and myself, but this Chamber will not be the
10 Chamber dealing with this trial. I have been informed of the fact that I
11 will be the President of the Chamber and I will be assisted by two other
12 Judges who will be members of the Trial Chamber. At the pre-trial stage I
13 cannot decide at this point in time whether statements will be admitted
14 into evidence pursuant to Rule 92 bis, because my colleagues, who will
15 have to rule, must also have their say. But once my colleagues are
16 designated as Judges to be involved in the trial, at a date which I will
17 refer to later -- well, if my Judges say that we can have 92 bis
18 statements, this can only be the case because they have already been
19 provided with viva voce or 92 ter statements. So this means that
20 according to the structure I have described, and that's the fruit of four
21 years' experience in this Tribunal and that's not insignificant, do
22 believe me, but before you think that I'll just allow statements and
23 transcript to be admitted into evidence, let me tell you, that's out of
24 the question.
25 What I would like to know is how you will be approaching the
1 trial, who the viva voce witnesses are, who the 92 ter witnesses are, and
2 who the 92 bis witnesses are. And then on that basis when the Chamber is
3 in a position to function properly, the Chamber will render its decisions
4 on Rule 92 bis. You have a dual margin of manoeuvre. You have the viva
5 voce witnesses and the 92 ter rule. 92 bis is for a later stage, except
6 in the case of witnesses who are deceased, and the Rules allow for
7 admission into evidence in that case. So, for example, I'll provide you
8 with another example.
9 In a recent motion you requested that the transcript of
10 Mr. Babic's testimony in the Milosevic case be admitted. Naturally,
11 Mr. Seselj will express his position with regard to this matter. He'll be
12 for or against it. I don't know what his position will be, but the
13 Chamber seized of the case will decide on whether this should be admitted
14 into evidence or not, not the Pre-Trial Judge. The Chamber, the Trial
15 Chamber, will be composed of myself and two other colleagues of mine. So
16 a decision cannot be taken now with regard to this motion, and that is
17 also the case when it comes to the admission into evidence of Mr. Seselj's
18 testimony in the Milosevic case. You've requested that the transcript be
19 admitted into evidence, but at the time, the accused was in his sickbed.
20 Mr. Seselj has to say whether he agrees to this or not. I don't know.
21 And then the Chamber will decide whether it is necessary to admit this
22 testimony into evidence or not.
23 So it's perhaps necessary to proceed rapidly, but surely. And we
24 must respect the Rules and the spirit of the procedure. So the pre-trial
25 stage has to be an efficient stage, but in my opinion, the substantial
1 decisions that concern the heart of the case are decisions that the
2 Chamber, Trial Chamber, must deal with. And that concerns the date of the
3 trial as well, to be transparent for everyone and for the accused so that
4 the accused understands that I'm not hiding anything from him, that I'm
5 being quite open. There are three courtrooms in this Tribunal: Courtroom
6 I, in which we are at the moment; Courtroom II; and Courtroom III. The
7 courtrooms function continually because there are trials in these
8 courtrooms. We were able to have this hearing in this courtroom today
9 because I believe the Milutinovic case is being held in the morning and at
10 the beginning of the afternoon. So I have a slot, but usually all the
11 courtrooms are occupied.
12 Although the Tribunal only has three courtrooms, that means there
13 are six ongoing trials, but the Tribunal will try to start a seventh
14 trial. By rotating in the appropriate manner, we'll be able to use the
15 courtrooms for these seven trials. So Mr. Seselj's trial will be added to
16 this number; that will be the eighth trial.
17 A minute ago I heard Mr. Seselj asking for at least one month.
18 What I would like Mr. Seselj to tell me - and you are the principal person
19 concerned and as I pointed out a while ago, it's been four years, you've
20 been waiting for the trial to start for four years now and this isn't your
21 fault. You have a lot of work in front of you, Mr. Seselj. You have all
22 these motions that kept arriving. Every day another motion would be
23 filed, so you have to move fast, you have to study them, and you have to
24 respond to them. So you have an immense workload. I don't know how far
25 you have got when it comes to studying the case. As I said a while ago, I
1 have the impression that you are really focused on procedural issues, on
2 secondary matters, and I don't know how far you have got when it comes to
3 the substance of the case but this will require an immense effort because
4 a trial that will go on for at least a year involves a huge amount of work
5 for you, in particular because you yourself will be doing this work. You
6 will be preparing for cross-examination; you will have to study all the
7 relevant documents, hundreds and thousands of documents that will be
8 presented. So it's an immense workload. And since December -- well,
9 there was your hunger strike for a number of days or a number of weeks.
10 You were totally incapable of doing anything. I have discovered that your
11 legal advisors are not here; they're in Belgrade. So this is not a simple
13 What I would like to know is when you believe the trial should
14 start. I would like to hear what your point of view is. When do you
15 believe -- when do you believe you might be fully operational? When do
16 you believe you would be prepared to go to trial?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Antonetti, I need a month, if
18 you allow me, for me to respond to all the accumulated motions of the
19 Prosecution. I think there are about 40 of them, and I have already
20 instructed my legal advisors to work on them. And from today, a month
21 would roughly be sufficient.
22 When all the other procedural matters have been resolved and I
23 have presented them and you have agreed with them, I will be ready to go
24 to trial. I think that every reasonable date has passed. I was in a
25 hurry from the very beginning to have the trial started as soon as
1 possible, and you were a member of the Trial Chamber in 2004,
2 Mr. Antonetti, when I declared at one of the Status Conferences - you were
3 not present then - that I had heard from certain services of the Tribunal
4 that my trial is being prepared for 2007. You will find that in the
5 transcript of one of the Status Conferences in 2004. So they knew even
6 then that the trial could not begin before 2007. I happened to find out
7 through my own channels, and this was recorded during the Status
9 As all reasonable deadlines have passed, this trial from the
10 beginning cannot be fair. I think that in your country, France,
11 Mr. Antonetti, it is impossible for someone to wait four years in prison
12 for the trial to begin; it is not possible in my country either.
13 So when you decide that the trial can begin and the Prosecution
14 fulfils all these procedural issues, a consolidated list of witnesses, a
15 revised indictment, that they disclose everything to me on paper and in
16 Serbian, and the question of financing is resolved, I shall be ready on
17 that very day. Even if I have to read the documents at night non-stop,
18 the day when all these procedural preconditions have been fulfilled, I
19 shall be ready. When that will be, it is up to you to decide.
20 And may I make just one further request. Due to the fact that I
21 am defending myself in this case and for reasons of health, I have already
22 submitted a request for the trial to last in three sittings a week. These
23 are two reasons why I'm asking for this. And I also asked to sit in the
24 front row of the Defence section so that I should be equal to the
25 Prosecution. I made such a request to the previous Chamber but no
1 decision has been rendered about this.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Concerning the
3 three days of hearings, I fully agree with you. This Tribunal has
4 developed the custom of having hearings every day. From Monday to Friday
5 there are hearings with certain consequences regarding the quality of
6 work. You are defending yourself. You are requesting three days a week.
7 This is quite reasonable, the more so as Mr. Milosevic had three days. So
8 there is no reason why the same should not be granted to you, especially
9 as you also have certain health problems.
10 I have to tell you also that if we begin in a month or in a month
11 and a half, at least soon, I am presiding in another case and we have
12 sittings virtually every day, which means that in the other trial, the
13 case of Prlic and others, I would be sitting in the morning and I would be
14 sitting in the afternoon with you, which requires exceptional
15 circumstances. And I fully appreciate the fact that you have been waiting
16 for four years and you have the right to be taken to trial regardless of
17 the consequences this may entail for others.
18 I shall inform the President of the Tribunal of this as soon as
19 possible because he is the one who has to appoint the Judges, and in any
20 event, in view of my own timetable in the other case, we will not sit with
21 you except on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, three days, yes?
22 Perhaps two days. Why not? We need to reflect upon this.
23 Also, the setting into motion of the trial is accompanied by a
24 large number of logistic matters. For instance, the Judges need to have
25 secretaries, offices, and assistants, who will also be present at the
1 hearings. Then there are also financial problems for the registry and so
2 on. I believe that as things stand now it is not possible to try more
3 than six cases and that the seventh would be exhausting all the
4 resources. Your trial would be the eighth and this would cause certain
5 financial problems of which I'm not familiar and which need to be
7 In any case, I have taken note of the fact that you would like the
8 trial to begin as soon as possible, and apparently you would be capable of
9 dealing with all the motions that you have not had time so far to respond
11 Therefore, the Prosecution, with respect to the planning, as the
12 accused has just told us that he would be ready in a month's time, the
13 question for the Prosecution is whether in a month's time you, too, would
14 be able, one, to give us a consolidated list of witnesses and documents,
15 to revise the format of the pre-trial brief in the way I have indicated,
16 and to be ready, generally in a month's time to begin trial.
17 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, one issue that comes to mind is the
18 necessity of certain projects that you have just mentioned. The
19 Prosecution can be ready to commence trial certainly in the very near
20 future; if not within a month, certainly within the next few months.
21 However, I would like to consult with the Trial Chamber regarding two
22 matters that the Trial Chamber has raised. The Trial Chamber has raised
23 the matter of a new pre-trial brief as well as a number of charts that
24 Your Honour wishes to receive, and these charts would show, for example,
25 what documents the Prosecution intends to show to which witnesses; how our
1 Article 7(1) case fits in with our evidence, et cetera, et cetera.
2 Your Honour, all this material, all this knowledge and
3 information, is already in the pre-trial brief that is before you, as well
4 as the motions under 92 ter that are before you. I know that you're
5 familiar with a decision of the Celebici case from the 22nd of June, 1998,
6 where the Trial Chamber held that Trial Chambers of course would never do
7 anything in vain or issue decisions in vain.
8 I would simply respectfully ask the Trial Chamber to revisit
9 whether each of these projects is really required at this point in time,
10 given the amount of time and effort that has already been made by this
11 Prosecution to make this case trial-ready.
12 We can certainly provide a consolidated witness list within a
13 month's time and a better version of the indictment. That would not be a
14 problem, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Celebici is far behind us. We
16 are in a situation where we are going forward, and going forward we need
17 to make the best of the procedure and innovative methods. The table that
18 you have is fine, but it doesn't suit me for the following reasons: I
19 wish to have a list, an updated list, of witnesses with a reference to the
21 As you know, there's the e-court system. What I'm going to ask
22 you - I'm asking you for this orally and it will be confirmed in writing -
23 the 2.827 documents, 2.827, you are going to list them from the oldest to
24 the most recent in date, and the oldest document will be introduced and it
25 should be in the e-court system with a number P1, and the most recent one
1 will be P2827, if it is an updated list. When I say "updated," I mean
2 that the documents have been translated into English and into Serbian.
3 And I wish to have those documents in my office because I am going to
4 examine them.
5 Furthermore, you are going to have a chart prepared for me. I
6 take, for instance, Witness VS1112. This shouldn't be complicated for
7 you, as this has more or less been done. I will have a list of documents
8 that you intend to show to that witness when he comes, one, so that I have
9 a clear idea of the time you believe you will need to call the witness.
10 As I intend to have a Status Conference every 15 days or so, this
11 will allow me, by way of an example, for Vocin, for instance, Witness
12 VS018, among the 16 witnesses, I want to know which will be viva voce, 92
13 ter, 92 bis. There is one who is 1122, but it is up to you to indicate
14 that. And as I need to estimate the time you will use, because under 65
15 ter you need to give me a list of witnesses and the amount of time you
16 envisage for the -- witness 018, you have envisaged three hours. I
17 believe that two hours would be amply sufficient. On the other hand,
18 there are other witnesses for whom I believe that time should be
19 lengthened, but we will deal with that at a future Status Conference so as
20 to move forward.
21 So you have a lot of work ahead of you. There's a certain number
22 of you in the Prosecution. You have the means and you can activate those
23 resources. Leave aside what happened in the other Chambers. I have a
24 different method of work and you have surely understood that. Therefore,
25 on my part you will have very precise directives with which you will
1 conform in such a way that when the trial starts, it will do so under good
3 Regarding the beginning of trial, I wish to inform the President
4 of the request of Mr. Seselj to have the trial begin within four or five
5 weeks' time so that the Tribunal can respond. And as soon as I am
6 informed, I will inform everyone, the parties and Mr. Seselj, about that.
7 What we can do, because we still have many questions to address,
8 I'm going to see with my assistants when we can see each other again, but
9 I can tell you it will be in a fortnight's time when we will make further
10 progress in the preparations for this trial.
11 Before adjourning, because it is also -- it is already a few
12 minutes after 7.00, I'm going to ask Mr. Seselj whether the conditions of
13 detention for the moment are satisfactory for him and whether he has any
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I should previously, Mr. Antonetti,
16 like to ask, as you mentioned another Status Conference in 15 days, could
17 it be in 13 days' time? I have a family visit scheduled. My wife is
18 coming on the 27th, 28th, 29th, and 30th of March. Could it be the 26th
19 or after the 30th of March so I don't have to cancel this visit, if
20 possible, please?
21 As for conditions of detention, I have no particular complaints.
22 The director has said as soon as the trial begins he will give me an
23 office with a fax machine where I will be able to work with my assistants
24 and investigators.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Rest assured, we
1 will not have a hearing when your wife comes to visit. So I have taken
2 note of the dates when she is coming to visit and we will find a date that
3 will be suitable for you.
4 Another question I have to ask you, as it is obligatory, is your
5 medical condition. You can answer in closed session or in public. It is
6 up to you. I will quite understand if you wish to deal with the problem
7 in closed session, but it is up to you.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I will never ask you for a closed
9 session on any issue.
10 As far as my health is concerned, some ten days ago, in the
11 ultrasound examination of my abdomen they found a tumor on my liver. An
12 additional IRM examination shows that it is not a malignant tumor but we
13 need to have some specific blood tests, and a scintigraphy has been
14 planned in the near future, but this will not hinder my readiness for
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Regarding this tumor which is
17 not malignant, I hope, benign, we hope no surgery will be required,
18 because if surgery is required, you will not be able to continue the trial
19 if you have been operated on. So only you can tell me whether you have
20 any information from your doctor because a tumor may be benign but it can
21 also change in character. Do you have any additional information?
22 Because I need to know that for the purpose of programming, scheduling.
23 If, in three months, you need to be operated on, this is something we need
24 to know, the more so, Mr. Seselj, because as Judge I feel responsible for
25 your health. I'm not among those who do not take into consideration the
1 health of the accused. Therefore, I'm very sensitive to these matters and
2 I will not just say, We'll see. So I'm asking you whether you have any
3 additional information regarding the possibility envisaged by the medical
4 body for any surgery or any other intervention of that kind.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In addition to Dutch doctors, I have
6 consulted my doctors in Belgrade, highly respected university professors,
7 and I will also consult my doctors in Russia and France. If the initial
8 diagnosis is confirmed, surgery will not be required, but I hope that in
9 five or six days' time I will have a complete medical report. They have
10 taken blood for these specific analyses, and I think the other examination
11 can be done very shortly. So if these assessments are confirmed, no
12 surgery will be required.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That is good news for me. In
14 any event, let us wait for the additional analyses.
15 The Prosecution, you have the floor.
16 I apologise to the interpreters because we are taking more time,
17 but there are certain matters that we need to regulate.
18 MR. SAXON: Very briefly, Your Honour. I don't know if the Trial
19 Chamber wishes to, in the interests of expediency, provide a deadline for
20 the accused to file his pre-trial brief. That is one matter.
21 Second of all, before we adjourn, the Prosecution wishes to
22 clarify several points that were made very early in this conference. The
23 accused made allegations that members of the Prosecution have engaged in
24 threats or other forms of improper activity with respect to witnesses, and
25 those allegations are absolutely false.
1 Third of all, Your Honour, Your Honour referred to the accused's
2 behaviour before this Tribunal during the past four years, and Your Honour
3 remarked that in his learned opinion the accused's behaviour was quite
4 normal, at least with respect to his behaviour during hearings. Your
5 Honour, the Prosecution has a very different perspective on this matter,
6 and the Prosecution believes that the record of hearings and litigation
7 and decisions by Trial Chambers and the Appeal Chamber of this Tribunal
8 describe a very different situation and --
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Saxon --
10 MR. SAXON: -- we would urge Your Honour --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Saxon, this is not about
12 lighting the fire again. We're starting off from zero, practically from
13 zero. The accused has been behaving quite correctly since 4.00 p.m. He
14 hasn't insulted anyone. He has explained why he acted as he did; it was
15 because he was under the impression that his rights were not being
16 respected, his rights were being violated. The Chamber of Appeal
17 re-instated his rights and he is setting off on a good basis now. All he
18 wants is for his rights to be respected, and everyone may take note of
19 that, the Prosecution in particular. In my opinion, this is how we should
20 be proceeding.
21 Mr. Saxon, in life it's necessary to be able to turn the page, and
22 that is what I believe we have done. This is an efficient Status
23 Conference and we will see when the trial will commence.
24 Secondly, as far as the accused's request -- or as far as the
25 accused's statement is concerned about allegations, well, I don't know,
1 the material is being documented. Once the material is translated, I am
2 told it will take 15 days. It will then be registered in English. I will
3 study the matter, and on the basis of what is stated I will render a
4 decision. A motion will be legally based on Rule 73, and as you know,
5 Rule 77 refers to contempt of court --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Rule 77.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecution will carry out
8 an investigation, but that's not possible as far as you are concerned.
9 The second solution is that the Chamber could ask an amicus curiae
10 to carry out the investigation and to conclude by making certain
11 suggestions. The third solution would be that the Chamber carries out an
12 investigation itself.
13 I have no other information at this stage. Before I can express
14 my position I have to be able to read through the 18 testimonies that will
15 be presented. I know nothing about it. I have to verify that these
16 witnesses are witnesses who are included in your list. I don't know
17 anything about this. And then I will determine my position. So wait to
18 see what the document contains, wait to see what the contents of the
19 written statement is. So for the moment all of this is premature.
20 That's all I can say at the moment. I can't express a position on
21 a document that I'm not familiar with. I'm not familiar with the contents
22 of the document, but you may believe that I will examine it very
24 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, the Prosecution, as you know, has a duty
25 of candour that it must exercise before the Trial Chamber and the
1 Prosecution will continue to exercise that duty thought these
3 Would Your Honour permit the Registry to permit the Prosecution to
4 receive a copy of the accused's submission prior to its translation by
5 CLSS? The Prosecution has staff members who are able to read the language
6 of the accused and the Prosecution is very interested in reading what
7 these allegations say.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. As far as I'm concerned,
9 there is no problem there. The motion of the accused in his language
10 should normally have been filed and then distributed. Others have
11 established another procedure. I don't see why CLSS shouldn't send you a
12 copy of what the accused wrote in his own language. So I'll ask the legal
13 officer to instruct CLSS to provide you with a copy.
14 Very well. I do apologise to the interpreters. It's now a
15 quarter past 7.00, so we are running 15 minutes late. We will meet again
16 in the very near future. I will naturally take into account your wife's
17 visit and I will inform you of a date in the near future on which we'll
18 meet. We'll then be able to see what outstanding matters we have to deal
19 with and I will be able to provide you with any other information.
20 I wish you a good evening.
21 --- Whereupon the Status Conference
22 adjourned at 7.16 p.m.