1 Wednesday, 2 May 2007
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Open session]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, please call the
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honour. This is case number
9 IT-03-67-PT, the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Today is the 2nd of May, 2007.
11 Good morning to everybody. Good morning to the representatives of
12 Madam Prosecutor.
13 Good morning, Mr. Seselj.
14 And good morning to all the people helping us in this courtroom.
15 Good morning, in particular, to the interpreters.
16 As you know, today is our third Status Conference. Before
17 dealing with the points I plan to speak to today, I will ask for
18 appearances because I can see that Mr. Saxon is not with us today. So I
19 would like to meet those who represent the OTP today. Please, the
21 MS. DAHL: May it please the Court, my name is Christine Dahl, I
22 am a new senior trial attorney on the case. With me today is
23 Sanja Bokulic and Ulrich Mussemeyer and Klaus Hoffman.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, thank you, Madam. Let me
25 greet you since you are the senior trial attorney in charge of the case
1 as of now.
2 Today, I shall first endeavour to meet the various points raised
3 last time by Mr. Seselj before I turn to other subjects.
4 Mr. Seselj, last time you raised a host of issues, and since then
5 I have had various, several, working meetings with the registry in order
6 to try and find answers to those questions.
7 At the last Status Conference, you raised the fact that allegedly
8 in the United States $70.000 would have been seized and supposedly they
9 belong to you. I put the question to the registry. I wondered whether
10 it was not the registry that had done this or whether there was a Judge
11 in this Tribunal that would have issued an order for this bank account to
12 be frozen.
13 I received an official answer from the registry. To their
14 knowledge, nothing was done by this Tribunal; therefore, this action
15 could only have been carried out within the framework of something
16 external to this Tribunal. It may have been done by the European Union
17 or by the USA, but then, if so, if there was something done from outside
18 the Tribunal, you must have been informed of it.
19 You know that when assets are frozen, the holder of the account
20 is informed, at the very least by his or her bank, or by the authority
21 requesting the measure. Therefore, you should normally know who blocked
22 your accounts. You had those accounts in the United States, but please
23 know that this did not come from this Tribunal, not from the registry,
24 not from a Judge who would have ordered your account to be frozen.
25 So this is what I'm able to tell you on this issue. If you want
1 to take the floor, I will gladly allow you to speak; otherwise, I'll move
2 to another topic.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Antonetti, it is, indeed, quite
4 possible that there is no formal decision on freezing that bank account;
5 but as you know, in the West there is a widespread practice of making
6 informal decisions in the wings which may have far-reaching consequences.
7 There are two things that I find very symptomatic. Firstly, the
8 account is frozen after I have informed the registry in writing that I
9 was a holder of that account. I handed over to the registry all the
10 information and all of my assets and property; after that, the account
11 was frozen.
12 Secondly, I have it in writing from the American Consulate here
13 in the Netherlands, a certificate that the money was seized.
14 This was given to the Serbian consul in The Hague at his insistence….
15 and there were no legal grounds for seizure; with a clause that I could
16 use the money solely to pay the American lawyer who would defend me
17 before the Hague Tribunal.
18 I can bring this to the following Status Conference. I can have
19 it sent to you, whichever way you like. There is a document like that in
20 English, and that is a fact. Therefore, I am talking about two facts. I
21 never said I had this document from the registry formally requesting
23 As you know, decisions have been made by both the American
24 authorities and the European Union to block the bank accounts of all
25 fugitives from justice indicted by the Hague Tribunal, but there is no
1 decision to block or freeze the accounts of those indicted before the
2 Tribunal, especially since this money is from 1989, and that is before
3 the war every broke out. I wanted to use part of the money for paying
4 for my defence, but the money has been seized, the assets have been
5 frozen, and I have nothing else to say except if perhaps you want me to
6 have that document forwarded to you for you to see.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much for the
9 Second issue you raised last time. You said that at the first
10 Status Conference, the conference had not been broadcast to your country
11 so that many people were deprived of watching the Status Conference. I
12 was quite concerned about this because if what you'd been -- what you'd
13 said was true, that would be intolerable.
14 I was told the following by the registry: As you know, this
15 Status Conference is being filmed by cameras; that's the reason why you
16 have cameras all around the courtroom. However, the actual broadcasting
17 outside of this courtroom can happen in two ways. First, it can go
18 through the web site of the Tribunal, through the internet, where you
19 have the three courtrooms that are scheduled, and somebody who's outside
20 who wants to follow the proceedings can click on the courtroom he or she
21 is interested in to have both sound and image.
22 And then there is an NGO, Domovina, which takes it upon itself to
23 broadcast various excerpts.
24 I was told by the registry that, as far as they were concerned,
25 they did not put any obstacle to having the Status Conference broadcast.
1 And if there was any problem, it must have been a technical problem, and
2 so far the registry could not explain the source of the problem. But
3 they promised to look into the matter. And I will keep you informed as
4 soon as I know what the technical problem was.
5 However, regarding this non-government organisation in charge of
6 broadcasting various passages filmed in the courtroom, there I have no
7 power. So this is what I wanted to tell you regarding this issue you
8 raised last time, and you quite rightly raised last time.
9 Third point, you mentioned it was something to do with the cell
10 and the adjacent cell in which you would be allowed to inspect your
11 documents also during night-time. The registry told me they had looked
12 into the matter from all angles, and that it had appeared that there was
13 a technical problem; namely, that the wall separating your cell from the
14 one next to yours - that could be used as a library by you - was 1 metre
16 I will go and see you, as I promised. I will go and see you on
17 site very soon. I can't check now whether it is, indeed, 1 metre wide;
18 but if it is so, well, of course one will have to break through the wall
19 to make an opening, and 1 metre -- well, you'll need some kind of
20 mechanical equipment to do it.
21 So this question has been put to the technical services of the
22 registry, but to date I have not been told of any further developments.
23 Here again, as soon as possible, you will be informed. But I was led to
24 believe that so far you can only access in the middle of the night, you
25 can't -- you cannot access this other room, which can cause problem for
2 Do you have anything to say to this, about this cell come
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, Mr. Antonetti. I've already
5 said everything that I had to say about that.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
7 You had raised another issue, that of interpretation and
8 translation. With regard to translation issues, I met with the service
9 in charge of translation, and CLSS conveyed the following to me by way of
11 This service has currently 24 people who translate documents from
12 B/C/S into English, and it has 14 staff members working from English into
13 B/C/S or into other languages. But all of the staff members have to work
14 on all the cases before this Tribunal. There is no special team assigned
15 to your case. But this -- the odd 30 people can, depending on various
16 priorities, translate immediately some documents, provided some priority
17 is explained to them.
18 I also asked how long it took for a translator to translate a
19 given amount of pages. The following has been said to me: If one has to
20 translate four pages, you need one translator a day. So one translator
21 can only translate four pages. But once the translation has been done,
22 revision comes into play; in other words, the translator who has done the
23 translation is going to pass on the document to somebody else who is
24 going to check the translation. In other words, when you, yourself, file
25 a request for 40 pages, say, it means that the translator will need ten
1 days to translate the document. Obviously, based on priorities, several
2 translators can be assigned to the job at any given time. Based on this
3 figure, you can imagine all the problems that may arise in terms of
5 Something else was said to me. There are many pages waiting to
6 be translated. CLSS does its best for the parties and the Trial Chamber
7 to be able to receive translations in due time, but they cannot do more
8 than what they can, given the means they have received.
9 At any rate, one thing is very useful for all, it is to know that
10 to translate four pages, you need one translator working one day. This
11 is a very relevant point which had to be conveyed to you, because last
12 time you had explained to me that you wanted, needed, to be able to read
13 judgements by the International Tribunal for Rwanda and that you had to
14 resort to private translators, since CLSS had not been able to provide
15 you with the judgements in their translation.
16 Therefore, if you want to be made aware of the way the
17 translation service operates, there is a document in English. I'm not
18 aware whether it exists in B/C/S, but it may exist in B/C/S. It is a
19 practice direction on the translation services of the registry. This
20 document explains, sets out the way the service operates, how priorities
21 are established; it may be of use to you. I will ask the registry to
22 send a copy to you very shortly so that you be informed of the way the
23 translation service operates. It is a practice direction that was
24 adopted on the 16th of November, 2006.
25 So this was regarding translation matters.
1 Last time, you raised the issue of 40 folders that you did not
2 want to receive. They are, in part, connected of course with a decision
3 by the Appeals Chamber issued recently regarding disclosure in electronic
4 format. I'll come back to this later, but I wish to speak with you about
5 the contents of the 40 folders because I received a list. They're not 40
6 folders, there are exactly 38 of them. So I pondered and I asked myself
7 what they might be inside those folders.
8 There is a first part, folders 1 to 10, and they include
9 documents relating to witnesses scheduled by the Prosecutor. So these
10 are folders -- folders by witness. There is an alphabetical list: AB,
11 BC, CD, DE, EG, KL, MN, V -- VZ. So all in all, you have ten folders.
12 Among them, I found out that you had the prior statements by the
13 witnesses, and most of the time they were in English and had not been
14 translated into B/C/S, which of course is going to raise a problem
15 because they would have to be translated into your language. But there
16 are other folders including translations into B/C/S. So you have ten
17 folders concerning witnesses which are scheduled to appear.
18 Folders 11 and 12 concern expert witnesses: Ewa Tabeau,
19 Oberschall, Riedlmayer and Stankovic. All the expert witnesses are to be
20 found in these two folders, and there again I noted that there were
21 transcripts in English, apparently without translation.
22 Folder 13 includes documents, six of them, which have to do with
23 judicial notice. Apparently, they are in English and B/C/S, so there'll
24 be no problem there.
25 Folder 14 is an important one for you because it contains, under
1 Rule 68 of the Rules, anything that can be exculpatory. There's a
2 CD-ROM; I don't know what's on it. There's a document entitled "What is
3 Proposed by the Serbs," and then there are other documents. I'm not
4 going to go into the details of the documents, but they may be extremely
5 relevant for you.
6 Folders 15, 16, and 17 contain documents relating to the
7 Krajisnik testimony which he did during his trial. These are transcripts
8 in English, not in your language.
9 Folders 18, 19, and 20 are judgements following judicial notice.
10 So there are three folders.
11 Folders 21 contains testimonies of 15 witnesses who seem to be
12 spread between your case and Slobodan Milosevic's case. So there would
13 be 15 statements or testimony. Some are in English, not translated.
14 Folder 22, this concerned another witness: Reynaud Theunens.
15 Folder 23 concerns two other witnesses.
16 Folder 24 is made up of various witnesses who testified in other
17 trials, but who mentioned your name; as a result, you have their witness
18 statements. So this is for folder 24.
19 Folder 25, you will find in this folder transcripts of various
20 hearings under 65 ter, but they are in English, not in B/C/S.
21 Folder 26 contains Prosecution's requests and applications from
22 2003 to 2006.
23 Folder 27 also deals with the requests or applications; they are
24 all in English.
25 Folder 28 deals with the counsel who had been assigned as a
1 stand-by counsel; everything is in English.
2 Folder 29, decisions from 2003 to 2006 by -- issued by
3 Trial Chamber II probably.
4 As to folders 30 and 31, oddly enough they contain legal
5 documents: memos on points of law, joint criminal enterprise, the lack
6 of bias of Judges, protective measures, a series of documents - of legal
7 documents that is - that are to be found in folder 31.
8 Folder 32, it relates to Witness VR017, same -- it also concerns
9 him in the following folder.
10 Folder 34 contains transcripts of the Simic trial.
11 Folder 35, transcript of the Simic trial in English.
12 Folder 36, you find various documents, administrative or
14 Folder 37 contains documents regarding other witnesses.
15 And lastly, you have a folder containing transcripts of the Milosevic
16 trial and other documents.
17 So here you have the 38 folders or binders.
18 So now what is Mr. Seselj's situation? These binders are very
19 important for you. You can go about them in two ways, but you may
20 yourself be of a different view. Let me tell you how you could do --
21 tell me -- let me tell you about the two ways, and then you will convey
22 to me your standpoint. So for now, the 38 binders are in possession of
23 the registry. The first solution would be as follows: As soon ...
24 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As soon as you have your three
1 assistants or associates in addition to Ms. Regus, the registry will take
2 the 38 binders to the Detention Unit and you, assisted by your associates
3 and Ms. Regus, you could sort the documents contained therein in order to
4 select those that seem necessary, indispensable, to you. So that could
5 be one solution.
6 The second solution would be the following: Since the
7 Prosecution has transmitted and disclosed under Article 68 a certain
8 number of documents to counsel, then I could request from Prosecution to
9 transmit to you officially these documents.
10 Those are two ways we could deal with the matter and which would
11 enable us to solve the question, besides the other item of disclosure,
12 which I will talk a bit later.
13 So on these points, Mr. Seselj, do you have now a position, a
14 very clear-cut position, concerning these 38 binders?
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Antonetti. David Hooper
16 was never my attorney. His material are not materials of my defence.
17 From this survey of yours, it was my understanding that most of his
18 material consists of documents he received from the Prosecution.
19 Sometimes, perhaps, some of these documents may have been submitted to me
20 as well. I don't know which ones were and which ones weren't, but
21 handing documents over to David Hooper is not handing them over to my
23 I suggest that you either burn them completely, all these
24 documents, or return them to the Prosecution. I'm not interested at all
25 in whether David Hooper did something for my Defence and whether he got
1 some confidential information, whether he obtained something fundamental
2 and whether this can be disclosed to the Prosecution or not. I'm not
3 interested in that at all.
4 I am very happy to say right now that David Hooper can join the
5 Prosecution against me. I will never receive David Hooper's materials.
6 I will receive all the materials submitted to me in a proper way - on
7 paper and in the Serbian language - from the Prosecution, from the Trial
8 Chamber, from the registry. I have been perfectly clear on that.
9 From this we can see, Mr. Antonetti, that a vast amount of
10 material has never actually been handed over to me, especially not in
11 accordance with Rule 66 and even more so in accordance with Rule 68. I'm
12 grateful to you on a precious bit of information that you gave to me just
13 now. You confirmed that Hooper several times on my behalf, without my
14 knowledge and approval, met up with the Prosecution in accordance with
15 65 ter and that there are records of such meetings. This is proof, as
16 far as I'm concerned, that he was an instrument of the Prosecution
17 because if he attended such meetings without my consent, that means that
18 he had the consent of the Prosecution. So this is what I really find
20 I would like to have these records but in the Serbian language.
21 However, I'm not going to take them from Hooper. I insist that the
22 Prosecution provide me with them in the Serbian language so that I have
23 yet an additional argument to prove that the proceedings against me are
24 irregular and certainly cannot be just.
25 As for disclosure, you said that that problem would be examined
1 later during this Status Conference, so I am going to deal with this in a
2 substantive matter later on when you put it on the agenda. As far as
3 Hooper is concerned, I think that things are quite clear. Also, my legal
4 advisors are not going to take over his material, we're not going to look
5 at it, we are not going to leaf through it. It simply does not exist for
6 us. What exists for us is only what I received through official
7 channels. Every time I sign receipt of each and every document. I never
8 refused to sign for receiving a particular document.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So your position is
10 now perfectly clear and I am now going to ask Prosecution's position, ask
11 the Prosecution what its position is. I have listed a while ago the 38
12 binders and their contents, and obviously it seems clear that a certain
13 number of documents must be transmitted to the accused under Article 68
14 or under Article 66.
15 You have actually satisfied this obligation by transmitting a
16 great number of documents to the counsel who had been designated and
17 which the accused voiced protest and contested the appointments. So
18 these documents have never been seen or received by the accused because
19 he received -- he refused to receive them and he hasn't received them.
20 So he challenged this.
21 Without entering into details, taking the binders concerning
22 witnesses whose name start by A and B, several witnesses therefore, and
23 the statements, written statements of these witnesses or documents which
24 may have been attached to the written statements, were transmitted in
25 English in these binders and transmitted to counsel. Therefore, in
1 theory, the accused has no knowledge of these documents.
2 Also, in the same way, in the case of binder 14, some documents
3 have been transmitted or communicated under Article 68. The accused have
4 never seen them and they are -- since they have been transmitted, they
5 have remained in the binder without the accused having knowledge of them.
6 So taking into account two decisions made by the Appeals Chamber
7 and the fact that the accused may defend himself - and I'll come back
8 also on the question of the electronic disclosure - it appears that
9 Prosecution should transmit to the accused the documents under Article 66
10 and 68 as provided for in the Rules. So who would in the Prosecution
11 team answer, give its position on this question?
12 MS. DAHL: Thank you, Your Honour. It appears that
13 Professor Seselj may not be aware of the most recent decision of the
14 Appeals Chamber of 17 April 2007, in which the Chamber approved the
15 electronic form of disclosure. I say this because --
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I will talk about
17 this in a moment, so then you will have all the elements. Concerning
18 electronic disclosure -- you may sit down. I will give you the floor
20 The Appeals Chamber made on the 17th of April, 2007, a decision,
21 according to which the Appeals Chamber confirms the position of
22 Trial Chamber I, which had decided that the documents could be disclosed
23 in the electronic form. The Appeals Chamber then reminded -- recorded
24 the fact that it was for the Chambers to exercise their discretionary
25 power recognised by case law of the Appeals Chamber, that this
1 discretionary power, which is recognised to the Chambers, should be
2 examined possibly under the angle of manifest error which could cause a
3 prejudice to the accused. The Chamber recalls that in the case of a
4 discernible mistake, each Chamber has a discretionary power, except in
5 the case of a discernible error.
6 Chamber -- Trial Chamber I has -- Trial Chamber I committed a
7 discernible mistake, the Appeals Chamber answers no. Inasmuch as
8 Trial Chamber I had indicated in its decision that disclosure would be
9 done by the electronic way inasmuch as the accused would have had at the
10 time a counsel.
11 Therefore, the Appeals Chamber rightly so concluded that there
12 had been no mistake by the Trial Chamber I which would have allowed after
13 that to give a favourable answer to the request of appeal certification
14 performed by the accused. This being said - and this is very important -
15 the Appeals Chamber decided -- wanted to specify in its decision in
16 paragraph 20 -- I shall read slowly paragraph 20 which will be translated
17 in Mr. Seselj's language. I quote, and this will also be translated in
18 English, paragraph 20, which is fundamental:
19 "This being so, the Appeals Chamber remarks, observes, that if it
20 doesn't conclude in the present decision that the Impugned Decision had a
21 mistake, contained a valuation mistake, nothing prevents it -- nothing
22 prevents Vojislav Seselj to request an amendment of the decision to the
23 Trial Chamber newly seized of the case, which Chamber could, indeed,
24 decide exerting its powers to follow a different approach concerning
25 management of the proceedings."
1 Therefore, the Appeals Chamber rejected appeal of the accused,
2 but invited the accused to make a new request, to formulate a new
3 request, so that he may in the future -- he may have in hard copy the
4 documents provided for under Article 68 and 66.
5 Therefore, Mr. Seselj, I think I understood last time, but I'd
6 like you to tell me again today, you are requesting, therefore, from the
7 new Trial Chamber, for which I am the Pre-Trial Judge and for which I
8 have the power under Article 73 to decide on this matter, to disclose to
9 you in the future all documents under Article 66 or 68 in hard copy.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Antonetti, I can submit a
11 request to you orally to review the decision made by the previous
12 Trial Chamber, and my legal advisors can also write this up and they will
13 probably do so. I have already received the ruling of the
14 Appeals Chamber dated the 17th of April with a few days of delay because
15 of the translation. I can't remember the exact date when I received it,
16 but the date is registered in the registry.
17 In all legal systems, there is a possibility for the body in
18 charge, according to standard procedure, that is to say in a legal way,
19 pass a decision that cannot be carried through. For example, the
20 Trial Chamber can pass a decision that I have to stand on my head
21 throughout the proceedings in this courtroom. That decision cannot be
22 carried through. The Trial Chamber can also decide that I receive all
23 documents in the Chinese language; theoretically that is possible but it
24 is undoable.
25 It is equally undoable to pass a decision that I receive
1 documents in electronic form. I do not use a computer. I do not use
2 this form. I'm never going to use a computer. I'm an old-fashioned man.
3 I write everything in my own hand, with my own pen, and every day I write
4 about ten pages or so. Your translators need an entire working day to
5 translate four pages, and I write more than ten pages and one of my pages
6 is like two journalist's pages.
7 Now, what happens? The Trial Chamber is before an obvious
8 dilemma. They are either going to renew this decision to have everything
9 disclosed to me in electronic form and then the proceedings will take
10 place without my participation. I will sit in the courtroom quietly.
11 You are all going to hear these witnesses, and I will just sit there
12 quietly, and you are going to pass your judgement. That is one solution.
13 I'm prepared for that. You see, my basic motive is that I strictly abide
14 by legal principles and that I be remembered in the history of
15 international law and justice in that way.
16 There is another solution that your standpoint presented at the
17 first Status Conference, Mr. Antonetti, in accordance with what you
18 decided together with your colleagues from the Chamber, that you
19 re-examine the old decision and look at a new one, making it incumbent
20 upon the OTP to deliver all documents to me in writing, on paper, and in
21 the Serbian language.
22 I fully commiserate with the suffering of the registry in terms
23 of translation. If they have 30 translators, let them employ 300
24 translators. It is not really my problem. It's not something that has
25 to do with me and that I have to resolve it; it's the problem of this
1 Court. If you do not have enough translators, if you have 30, then
2 employ 300. If 300 is not enough, make it a thousand. You could have
3 done all of that within these four years -- four years and three months
4 at that. They could have done all of this, and they did nothing about
5 it. Why not? Because they were quite sure, they in the OTP and they in
6 the registry, that I would have counsel imposed on me, that I would not
7 have a right to my own defence, and that then they could do whatever they
8 wanted to do.
9 Now, all of these documents have piled up, and I insist that I
10 receive all the documents involved, and I'm going to wait for another
11 four years. Perhaps I'm going to wait for another 14 years. I don't
12 think that I'll be waiting for another 40 years, I don't think I'd live
13 to see that. But I'll wait for another 14 years or whatever it takes. I
14 came here to wait, didn't I? I'm not displaying any kind of impatience.
15 They are impatient. They want to get a judgement as soon as possible
16 without doing anything. I am just so patient. Look, the years have been
17 going by and I've been patiently waiting. I hope that I will live to see
18 the day that they meet all their obligations vis-a-vis the Trial Chamber
19 and vis-a-vis myself.
20 Mr. Antonetti, the Office of the Prosecutor on the 6th of
21 November - you probably have this - submitted a review of all material
22 that was disclosed to me according to Rules 66 and 68 and a list of
23 material that I rejected because they were in electronic form or in the
24 English language; that is why I refused to receive them. On the basis of
25 this, I infer that there is a vast body of material that has not been
1 disclosed to me at all. It's perhaps 200.000 or 300.000 only in
2 accordance with Rule 68, and I insist that I receive all of this because
3 the OTP has to bear in mind that Rule 66 and Rule 68 have equal legal
4 force. You cannot do what the Prosecutor would like to do, and that is
5 to push forth and give priority to Rule 66, while disregarding Rule 68,
6 where, by definition, the Prosecutor is an officer of international
7 justice. He has an equal obligation to find exculpatory material and
8 incriminatory material. Their obligations are the same on both scores,
9 but obviously no one has persuaded the OTP of this so far.
10 Also, I insist that I receive the transcripts of all testimonies
11 of all witnesses in all proceedings, all of those who mentioned my name
12 at least once during the course of their testimony. I submitted that
13 request - when was it? - three years ago, whatever. The Trial Chamber
14 instructed the OTP to hand this over to me, but they haven't done so yet.
15 Then they tried to evade this responsibility and then they said, He
16 doesn't need the testimony of witnesses related to Kosovo because that is
17 not part of his indictment. I need all of this, though.
18 Look at the Milosevic case, the Milutinovic et al case, look at
19 Kosovo where my name was mentioned in a false context. I am proving in
20 this way my thesis regarding the instrumentalisation of false witnesses.
21 A witness there mentioned Seselj's paramilitary formations and there
22 absolutely weren't any; and then there are some Muslim witness who are
23 talking about Seselj's White Eagles, which is contradicto in adjecto. It
24 is absolutely impossible. And in this way, I am refuting the basic
25 thesis of the Prosecution. Therefore, I insist on all of this.
1 As for Rule 66, since the Prosecution has professional witnesses
2 who have appeared in several cases, I insist that I be given the
3 statements of all these witnesses, also the interviews conducted by the
4 investigators with these witnesses, and all their statements -- rather,
5 all their testimonies, including cross-examination, on paper in the
6 Serbian language because I reckon it is easiest for me to catch them out
7 when they lie. They testify in one case and they mention my name, then
8 they appear in my case, and then they accuse me of the same things that
9 they accused other people of previously. That is very important for my
10 defence. Without the assistance of the OTP, I cannot do this
12 The Prosecution has to put all of this on paper and have it
13 translated into the Serbian language, if you want to have a serious
14 trial. You know there is this intention on the part of the OTP to
15 shorten trials. In the Milosevic trial, Geoffrey Nice twice stated
16 explicitly that he wants all the remaining witnesses to be treated as
17 92 bis witnesses, and he even invented another thing - you can find this
18 in the transcript - he even invented Rule 92 bis and a half as a rule for
19 saving time, but time cannot be saved in contravention of the interests
20 of justice. The interests of justice are more important than saving time
22 You waited for four years? I'll wait for another four years.
23 I'll wait for you. Translate all of this into the Serbian language, put
24 it all on paper, and the trial can start. Without that, I do not see how
25 the trial can start.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Well, I am now
2 going to ask the Prosecution. The situation is the following.
3 Mr. Seselj has just presented his request. He had already done so
4 several times with his arguments. He announced that his legal counsel
5 would address soon a request so that the decision of the Appeals Chamber
6 may be applied so that the present Chamber, for which I am the Pre-Trial
7 Judge under Article 73 and for which I have all powers, should reverse
8 its decision and quash completely the decision. So as soon as I will
9 have received this written request, Prosecution will answer, of course,
10 and I will then give out my decision.
11 Of course you can imagine what sort of decision I will probably
12 be led to take, but one has to respect the procedure. As from the
13 decision which I will have made, there may be on the Prosecution's side,
14 if the Prosecution has not followed a request for certification of the
15 appeal and the Appeals Chamber might then have to say whether my decision
16 has no manifest discernible error resulting in prejudice for the accused.
17 But looking at matters more serenely, the following assumption,
18 the accused should have in hard copy in his own language all the
19 documents provided for under Article 66 and 68. For the moment, I do not
20 know exactly what -- how far the situation reaches, what is the extent of
21 the situation. I suppose that took -- during the years which have
22 passed, the accused will have received some documents in English and in
23 B/C/S, but that it happened, I think in particular in the months before
24 the opening of the trial, that the Prosecution transmitted to counsel the
25 documents in question. And therefore, there is a real problem; that is
1 to say that the accused has not received all the documents provided for
2 under Article 66 and 68. Since now the situation is the following, the
3 accused is defending himself without counsel, which means that normally
4 if my decision goes this way, the trajectory of the documents, the
5 direction of the documents, will be from Prosecution to the accused
6 directly without any intermediary or counsel. So I suppose that the
7 Prosecution is going to review all the documents and verify all this and
8 it's going to take a certain time.
9 But today, is the Prosecution in a position to give us some
10 clarifications on this matter?
11 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, in preparation for handling this case, I
12 studied carefully the two prior transcripts of the Status Conferences
13 this Court has held. We will endeavour to make information available in
14 a manner that is accessible to Professor Seselj that is consistent with
15 the practice of the Tribunal and the need to serve the interests of
16 justice expeditiously and avoiding unnecessary work. There is a matter
17 here of disagreement regarding Professor Seselj's assertion that he has
18 not received material. When he says he has not received material, what
19 he means, in fact, is that he has rejected it. He has wilfully blinded
20 himself because he does not like the form and the content of the material
21 because it is not to his liking. There is a fundamental disagreement
22 with whether or not Mr. Seselj uses a computer. Prior to turning himself
23 in to the Tribunal's jurisdiction and arriving in The Hague in 2003,
24 Professor Seselj publicly announced that while in the Detention Unit in
25 Scheveningen, he would be using his laptop to write books. And if I may,
1 Your Honour, play a video-clip of the interview with a journalist from
2 February 2003. This was produced by BK Telecom. I'm going to play first
3 the introduction where the journalist welcomes Professor Seselj to the
4 studio, and then I will switch to the portion in which the journalist
5 asks Mr. Seselj what he will be doing with his time while in detention.
6 The pertinent portion of the video includes a synchronised transcript.
7 Unfortunately, due to the press of time, I did not have the entire video
8 transcribed. The first clip is approximately 30 seconds, and then I will
9 switch to the second clip.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So we have to
11 switch on to video. Press the video button.
12 [Videotape played]
13 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Let us go back to your stay in
14 Scheveningen, how will you organise your time there?"
15 Interpreter's note: The sound is too poor to interpret.
16 MS. DAHL: Your Honours, if I may, because the interpreters
17 indicated the sound is poor, I will put on the synchronised transcript to
18 assist the interpreter.
19 [Videotape played]
20 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Tell me, you won't be watching
21 television. Will you be using a computer? How will write those books?
22 "I don't know that is possible. I have not yet been able to find
23 that out. I have a laptop.
24 "Journalist: That is good for communication, too.
25 "Vojislav Seselj: One cannot communicate, the internet is
1 certainly switched off. Whether it is possible to keep the laptop in the
2 cell, without it being connected to the internet, that is another
3 question. We will have to see that."
4 MS. DAHL: The point of the presentation, Your Honour, is to
5 indicate that Professor Seselj should not be permitted to disable
6 himself. If he wishes material in paper, he can simply push the print
7 button and extract whatever material he wishes to have in paper format.
8 We will, of course, provide a full response in writing upon receipt of
9 his submission to disturb the prior Trial Chamber's order.
10 I would note, however, that there is a disagreement regarding
11 whether the propriety of electronic disclosure was conditioned by the
12 prior Trial Chamber upon the presence of counsel to assist
13 Professor Seselj. In fact, the decision was rendered at a point in time
14 where Professor Seselj was representing himself, as now. The decision
15 regarding counsel was later on -- several months later.
16 So I don't think that that presents a good reason to require a
17 change in circumstances. However, in formulating our response, we will
18 be mindful of the volume of material that complying with his request
19 would require and also the Chamber's indication of a preference for a
20 subset of the material in paper form; for example, perhaps the exhibits.
21 I believe that there is a way to find a middle ground that permits this
22 case to be tried in an expeditious fashion and to avoid unnecessary
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Dahl, you have produced an
25 excerpt in which Mr. Seselj says that he can use a computer. He wants to
1 write a book. But in writing a book and representing oneself in a trial,
2 it's not quite the same thing.
3 So in order to represent himself in these trial proceedings,
4 normally speaking, he would need to know the 2.827 documents that are
5 mentioned in the 65 ter list. He would need to know them in his
6 language. And I think this is basically the gist of the decision that I
7 will have to issue in hard copy as well.
8 And although I was part of Trial Chamber II but I was not then
9 the Pre-Trial Judge; therefore, I did not follow very closely the phase
10 of disclosure of documents to Mr. Seselj. I do not know today which
11 among the 2.827 documents the ones that he received directly and which
12 documents went through the counsel that had been assigned to him. I do
13 not know that, and you yourself may not know it either.
14 But regardless of the 2.827 documents, there's another series of
15 documents which you were bound to disclose to him under Rule 66 of the
16 Rules. I have in mind the transcripts in which his name is mentioned,
17 various testimonies or statements from other trial proceedings -
18 Krajisnik, Milosevic, and other trial proceedings - in which he was
19 involved. So that -- that represents quite a number of documents. And
20 under Rule 68, he is also to be informed and receive all documents that
21 might be exculpatory for him.
22 So I'm not aware of the situation as such, and this situation has
23 to be clarified. In order to do so, I'm going to give the floor -- or
24 I'm going to invite Mr. Seselj, through his external associates, to help
25 me so that I can issue a decision shortly; but supposing the decision is
1 favourable to Mr. Seselj's case, what does this mean for the OTP? How
2 much work does that represent for the OTP?
3 I have another problem. If I were to find out that Mr. Seselj is
4 going to be faced with a mountain of documents which is going -- which
5 are going to be disclosed to him, if we want to have a fair -- for a fair
6 hearing and under the principle of equality of arms, he's going to need
7 quite some time to read them. And he's been waiting for his trial to
8 begin for years.
9 So this is the situation as it prevails today. I listened to you
10 with great care. I watched the video excerpts, and I read between the
11 lines. I have a feeling that you are still in the phase of electronic
12 disclosure; it's easier for you but not at all easier for the accused.
13 And I believe that you want to raise this issue again with the Appeals
15 So do you maintain that you want to disclose documents in
16 electronic format?
17 MS. DAHL: I share the Chamber's concerns with getting this case
18 ready for trial with affording Professor Seselj adequate time to prepare
19 himself and the need to move forward. We will review his request and the
20 burden that altering our obligations under the Rules and the practices of
21 the Tribunal would present and report back to the Tribunal -- to the
23 With regard to the status of disclosure, we will not seek to rely
24 on the fact of prior disclosure to the lawyer whom Professor Seselj
25 rejected. We are prepared to re-disclose material out of an abundance of
1 caution to ensure that he has the facilities for preparation of his
2 Defence. That said, however, it cannot be permitted to allow Professor
3 Seselj to disable himself and wilfully refuse to make available training
4 and procedures that have been the foundation for the function of complex
5 international criminal trials.
6 Regarding the volume of material that is subject to disclosure
7 under the Rules, I have three responses, conditioned of course on waiting
8 for an opportunity to review and make a proper submission in writing to
9 Professor Seselj's filing. The first is we are reviewing the exhibits
10 and the witnesses to make sure that the case is narrowly tailored, that
11 we present the most compelling evidence in the most concise format
12 consistent with proving the allegations against the accused. Second, it
13 may be that disclosure made in other cases that was tendered to Professor
14 Seselj's then-counsel was over broad and not strictly required under the
15 Rules. We will review the material to determine how best to satisfy our
16 disclosure obligations.
17 I appreciate the difficulty of large and complex cases; however,
18 that is the nature of these proceedings. It is a large and complex case.
19 And while Mr. Seselj may wish that the case against him was smaller, it
20 remains the scope that it is and we will prove the allegations that have
21 been made with the evidence that we have. He can elect to waive his
22 right to review evidence that we have available for him in electronic
23 format because he wishes to narrow his preparation to perhaps simply the
24 exhibits that have been listed thus far or the expert reports and their
25 annexes. The difficulties of self-representation are great and we will
1 do what we can within the Rules and the procedures of this Tribunal and
2 the orders of the Chamber to facilitate a fair trial and to make this
3 happen in a timely basis.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, Mr. Seselj, at this
5 juncture I'm going to give you the floor. You have heard the senior
6 trial attorney. I will need your filings very soon regarding disclosure
7 in hard copy and in your language of all items under Rule 66 and under
8 Rule 68, because this is the cornerstone of this trial. You explained
9 that perfectly yourself. You have two positions. You can attend the
10 trial proceeding as a spectator, without doing anything, without saying
11 anything, because you would not have had the documents in your own
12 language in hard copy; or, as you pointed out since I've been the
13 Pre-Trial Judge, you do take part in the proceedings but making the
14 demands that the Rules allow you to make.
15 You have the floor back following what was said by the
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Antonetti, this morning when I
18 saw an entirely new Prosecution team, I was glad, in the belief that
19 Mrs. Retzlaff and Mr. Saxon were removed because of their lack of
20 ability. I was beginning to believe that this new Prosecution team would
21 be far more able. Unfortunately, I'm now disappointed having heard the
22 new senior trial attorney. Unfortunately, I forget her name. I'm sure
23 that with more time I will be able to memorize her name. I simply didn't
24 write it down at the beginning of the Status Conference. I hope she
25 doesn't take offence to this.
1 But she keeps making the same mistakes as the previous OTP teams
2 have already made. About two or three years ago, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff
3 insisted that documents should be delivered to me in English, saying that
4 I knew English. Here in this courtroom, in much the same way, she showed
5 footage of one of my interviews with a foreign journalist, a long time
6 ago, in English, the simplest most basic possible kind of conversation or
7 exchange. Let me see, 8, 12, 14, 16 years of education, well, one can
8 only assume that I have learned enough English to exchange a couple of
9 basic phrases with a journalist which still doesn't prove that I'm able
10 to receive official documents in English. Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff made
11 herself ridiculous in the courtroom, even the previous Pre-Trial Judge
12 had to laugh when she showed that material.
13 Now we have this new OTP team showing us this TV footage where I
14 am on record as saying that I had a laptop; I did. I no longer have one.
15 I even had two, but I lent them to my sons before I came to the Tribunal.
16 You can't possibly think that I'm such an idiot as to not to be able to
17 switch on a computer, connect to the internet or play some chess on my
18 computer. I can type with all ten of my fingers. I have qualifications
19 as a teleprinter in addition to all my other qualifications. You are
20 twisting things around here. You are saying that I am refusing training.
21 Yes, I'm refusing training. I am an inmate. It is not my duty to accept
22 that I be trained. Had I not been trained earlier to take a shower early
23 in the morning, to change my clothes every day, to wash my hands as often
24 as I can every day, I don't think it would be you or your duty to train
25 me now. You say one move on a computer is sufficient, I should just
1 press a button and I can get all these documents on paper. Why don't you
2 press that button? Why don't you make that move? Why don't you bring it
3 to me on paper but that is not essential, is it. You know full well what
4 the essence is. You want to disclose this material to me on DVD. You
5 want me to hear the voice instead of reading the letter. You want
6 testimony and evidence from other trials where transcripts have not yet
7 been translated. You want to hand it to me in audio form, on tape, and
8 for me to listen to it. My calculation is I would need 400 days to
9 listen to it all, provided I listen to this material eight hours a day.
10 I'm not falling into that trap. You have managed to make most of
11 the lawyers defending people at this Tribunal fall into this trap. You
12 want them to say they know English. It turns out, in the end, they have
13 no idea about English. They looked at documents in English, they didn't
14 even understand the first thing about those. All they cared about was
15 making a killing. Many of them don't even listen to those tapes or to
16 the transcripts.
17 Well, I'm different. I want to go through it all. I need it on
18 paper. I'm perfectly able to type on a typewriter using all ten of my
19 fingers. Every time I wrote anything, even while I was still free before
20 I was put in prison, I typed all of my pieces. I first wrote them and
21 then typed them up.
22 Well, I don't want to be involved in any of that. I don't want
23 any tapes. I don't want to be driven mad by you. 400 days, eight hours
24 per day, no one could possibly remain sane.
25 When I get things on paper, I go through them pretty quickly. I
1 just mark out what I believe is important and I leave out the rest, which
2 is the essence really. When you get a tape, you can't do a selection and
3 then it's even slowed down, this is courtroom time, and then people are
4 being warned all the time to slow down because interpreters can't catch
5 up, because people can't follow, and it's slow down, slow down all the
6 time. I've looked at those; I know exactly what they're like.
7 I cannot have you do this. I need it all on paper so that I can
8 steadily prepare for the trial, and so that I can use paper copies to
9 mark out the essential bits and leave out what I don't believe is
10 important. I can use the margins to -- to put my comments there. I
11 can't use a computer screen for something like that, can I?
12 That is the essence of this problem and this something that you
13 know full well. I'm not even sure why you showed this footage. I
14 believe that you misused this Status Conference by showing that piece of
15 footage; it is simply quite unbelievable. But I've seen that before,
16 I've been through that before. Just because of those couple of phrases
17 that I said in English once a long time ago; therefore, this doesn't
18 particularly surprise me, to be brutally frank.
19 But I can't have it. I simply will not accept this. I need
20 everything on paper. I need everything in the Serbian language, and I am
21 fully entitled to this. I'm entitled to this as an accused and as a
22 human being. I want it all on paper. A document does not exist as long
23 as there is no printed copy. You can film documents later on, which is
24 something they did when I was heavily into science. It wasn't possible
25 to scan documents back then, but still if you show a document to someone,
1 you need to show a paper copy, a printed copy, and the same applies here.
2 Instead of the OTP making it easier for me to prepare my defence,
3 they keep requesting that I make it easy on them. How is that possible?
4 This is what the bone of contention is here. You're still hoping
5 that the Trial Chamber will eventually come along that will instruct me
6 to receive everything in electronic form or in English. Maybe a
7 Trial Chamber like that will come along, who knows, but nobody can make
8 me do it. Nobody can force me to accept that.
9 And I want no training. You want to train me in something that
10 you would like to have me trained in. It is not in my interests. It's
11 about you. I'm being told to go to the internet, but everything that was
12 done on a computer was done on my behalf by the secretaries in my office.
13 I've never done it myself. I won't do it now. I'll never need this for
14 as long as I'm alive. Why would I make my days in prison any -- any
15 bitterer than they are already? I'm not prepared to do that.
16 Secondly, I identified your weakest link. You are falling into
17 your own trap. You spent the last four years doing nothing. You are
18 running out of time. You are saying, I'm hoping that you will curtail
19 the number of witnesses or evidence or exhibits or amend the indictment
20 again, whatever. All I'm hoping for is to beat you in this trial in a
21 clear way. I will prove that your indictment is a false one, that your
22 witnesses are false, that everything is false, and that I will simply
23 walk away a free man. That's all I'm hoping for.
24 When you extended the indictment, I didn't oppose that. Do you
25 remember the transcript when we had a Status Conference here talking
1 about your initiative, your application to have the indictment extended?
2 I said, Please, make a list of all the war crimes that occurred anywhere
3 in the former Yugoslavia, just in order to have this trial start as soon
4 as possible, and then you can extend it or shorten it any which way you
5 like. And then later on, you asked for me to be put in touch with
6 Stanisic, Frenki Simatovic, Martic and Goran Hadzic. You've been
7 manoeuvreing like that so frequently over the last four years, and then
8 it turns out that there are only two witnesses that Martic and I have in
10 What were you thinking about? That I should be left without a
11 proper defence in a trial with multiple accused and then each have two
12 counsel, and I am denied my fundamental rights as an accused just because
13 there were no common points between the indictments. All these are
14 things that you did, not me. You used these mechanisms. I was revolted
15 by your behaviour and by your actions, that were against the law. I
16 never did anything against the procedure and against the law and against
17 the provisions.
18 Now you end up facing a situation where you need more
19 translators, you need to employ them. You need to put it all down on
20 paper. You need to submit it all to me in Serbian because a document
21 that is not a printed copy and that is not in Serbian, is a document that
22 for me simply does not exist and never will.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, Mr. Seselj, you have
24 explained something that you have been saying for several months, if not
25 years, so this is of no surprise to me. Do send a request in writing as
1 quickly as possible to me. We will have a reply by the Prosecution, and
2 I will issue a decision. But you must have understood what my position
3 was on this in the matter of disclosure.
4 It is 10.30. For technical reasons we have to make a break, a
5 20-minute break, and we shall resume in 20 minutes' time.
6 --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 10.48 a.m.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed,
9 following this 20-minute break. I shall proceed to deal with the
10 problems we identified in the previous Status Conferences and today.
11 Mr. Seselj, as I said last time, in the history of this Tribunal,
12 this is the first time that an accused is representing himself. There
13 was a precedent, it was Mr. Milosevic, but Milosevic had with him
14 associates and a liaison officer who was the go-between between him, the
15 Prosecution, and the registry. You do not at all intend to have this
16 liaison officer, so that there can be no direct dialogue between the
17 Prosecution and you; this dialogue goes through me, which is a further
19 Last time I dealt with the issue of Mrs. Regus, I shall come back
20 to this, and I also spoke about your legal advisors. I can see already
21 that when we have the actual trial proceedings in the active phase of
22 these proceedings, you can remain alone, that's a fact, but last time I
23 told you that it would be useful for you to have your associates close to
24 you so that they can help you in various ways. First, they can check on
25 the transcript, what has been translated into English, because there may
1 be mistakes in the transcript, and whilst you're listening to me, whilst
2 you're looking at the Prosecutor, and whilst you're watching the screen,
3 you can't do everything. So no doubt you will need your assistants to
4 help you in that.
5 You also need them to be given documents. They can, if need be,
6 provide you with information that may arise as a witness testifies. You
7 will also need them to ask them to do some research because suddenly an
8 idea might have crossed your mind, and since you're alone, you can't do
10 So I'd like to know the following: How do you plan whilst the
11 trial is on to seek assistance? Did you decide to remain alone, on your
12 own, or do you intend to have with you in the courtroom your assistants?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Antonetti, I would first just
14 like to say two words in view of what you stated, that there are no
15 direct contacts between myself and the Prosecution. There was this one
16 contact. After the further initial appearance and the first
17 Status Conference held on the same day, it was attended by
18 Carla del Ponte, guards took me to Carla del Ponte's office.
19 Carla del Ponte asked me whether I was prepared to talk to the
20 Prosecutors. I said that I was prepared to talk on the condition that my
21 legal advisors attend the meeting and that the entire conversation be
22 recorded on video.
23 After a while, I cannot remember how much time passed by, perhaps
24 a month or two, I got a proposal in writing from the Office of the
25 Prosecution -- Prosecutor to have this conversation take place; however,
1 I had surgery, so I couldn't go through with this. But then I got
2 another offer from them later, saying that we can have a meeting without
3 my legal advisors present and then they said that perhaps one could
4 attend but not more than one. I wasn't the one who avoided these
5 contacts. It was the Prosecution that avoided these contacts.
6 I thought that even in that stage, when talking to them, we could
7 have done away with a lot of the counts in the indictment, the false
8 statements, the false witnesses, and so on and so forth. This would have
9 saved a lot of time for them as well, the OTP, but they didn't want to do
10 it; they shied away from that. I never evaded any meetings with the
11 registry. However, I don't want to have a liaison officer of mine who
12 would be their officer. That is what I find unacceptable a priori.
13 However, whoever the registry send to me to talk to me, I would
14 invariably receive them and I never refused to talk to them; that will be
15 the case in the future as well. However, I do not accept that some
16 official from the registry be a go-between, between myself and the
17 Prosecution. No. If the Prosecution wants to see me outside the
18 courtroom, they can. My legal advisors, the head of the investigation
19 team, the case manager, and so on, they can bring as many officials as
20 they want. We can discuss anything. But they are running away from
21 that. It seems that they are sort of afraid of that.
22 Secondly, as far as the trial itself is concerned, you remember,
23 Mr. Antonetti, that I repeated my insistence that I should sit in the
24 first row of these seats that are for the Defence so that visually I
25 would be on a footing of equality in respect of the Office of the
1 Prosecutor; that is important for the Prosecution witnesses who will
2 appear here. It is also important for Defence witnesses so that they
3 would not be intimidated. I don't want to seem as if I were a little
4 mouse sitting in the back of the gallery and the Prosecutors would be
5 dominating the room. I think that my legal advisor and case manager
6 should be in the courtroom all the time; however, they cannot do that
7 until the question of financing my defence is resolved.
8 The registry has been avoiding this issue all the time. They
9 have constantly been refusing my requests. So far the only thing they
10 accepted is to pay 1500 euro to the project leader which is not enough
11 for living in The Hague. And also 1200 euro for an apartment where the
12 legal advisors would live, as if they were doing some kind of a service
13 to me. I asked for them to pay for this apartment so they wouldn't pay
14 for hotels and it's easier for all the documents to be in one place and
15 they would be in one place, too, so they could go home together and so on
16 and so forth. This, as a matter of fact, cut the expenses of the defence
17 and the obligations of the registry; however, the registry has refused
19 Until the question of the Defence is resolved, it is impossible
20 for my legal advisors to sit here with me in the courtroom. Because they
21 have to live on something. They have to make a living, they have to
22 support their families. They have to give up on their other professional
23 commitments in Belgrade as members of parliament and they have to devote
24 themselves exclusively to matters related to my defence.
25 I said to the representative of the registry, the last time it
1 was John Hocking, the Deputy Registrar, I said to him that we can find a
2 simple solution. What is the monthly salary of lead counsel and
3 co-counsel in another case, and then if that sum can be divided into
4 three that can be the salary for my legal advisors. I'm prepared to
5 participate, in part, in the costs of my defence in line with the money I
6 have. Of course I cannot use my frozen assets and I shall certainly not
7 engage an American lawyer. I am actually negotiating with an American
8 lawyer in order to take to court in New York, the United Nations, not
9 even the Tribunal. So perhaps for that I could retain a US attorney for
10 maltreatment, the hunger strike, and so on and so forth.
11 But hurry-up then. Have this money transferred to me because I
12 am going to transfer that money straight away to that lawyer in New York
13 and then I won't have any money left. I can sacrifice that money, but I
14 cannot give in to an ultimatum to retain a US lawyer here.
15 Secondly, I have had enormous expenses over these past four years
16 and I owe a great deal of money to my legal advisors and to the members
17 of the expert team for assisting the Defence. They have already threaten
18 me twice in writing that they would stop working on my defence if I did
19 not pay them and I have no means for that. The Statute guaranties
20 resources for my defence. Resources are primarily money. Money is the
21 equivalent of all resources. It is the equivalent of the value of the
22 legal advisors and the technical work needed and translations and
23 photocopies and what have you not. The registry is still refusing this.
24 I complained a few times to the President of the Tribunal about
25 the registry, and every time the President of the Tribunal told me that
1 this was up to the Trial Chamber. So it is up to you, Mr. Antonetti, and
2 your colleagues to decide on this matter. I have exhausted all my
3 possibilities. It is pointless for me to go on writing to the registry
4 on this particular subject. The registry has particularly avoided
5 providing me with information on what the costs were of the Defence in
6 all other cases that were financed from the budget of the United Nations,
7 or rather, the budget of this Tribunal. This information has to be made
8 public. The money of the UN has to be spent publicly and cannot be kept
9 away from the eyes of the public.
10 Also, I asked for information to be provided to me what the cost
11 was for the UN of the stand-by counsel, the imposed counsel, the members
12 of their teams. There were two teams, Hooper's and Van der Spoel's.
13 Also they denied me this information. I also asked for information to be
14 submitted to me as to what the costs of the Prosecution were in my case
15 so far and I didn't receive that information either. This information is
16 indispensable in order to see what the expenses for my Defence would be
17 in an impartial ways. Of course those costs and expenses will be lower
18 than the costs of other cases and of the Prosecutor because I'm
19 representing myself and I have already given up on my own fee to benefit
20 this court. So my work doesn't have to be paid for, but the work of all
21 other persons has to be paid for. I'm prepared to participate in
22 payments for their work but with the money that I have available and
23 every day I have less and less money.
24 I have this other bank account in Canada, and I withdrew money
25 from there and I was prepared to invest it in my Defence; however, I had
1 to spend this money on supporting my family as this went on for four
2 years. What could I do? It was half the amount or even less than what
3 is on the account in New York and I still have the so-called old
4 foreign-exchange earnings in Belgrade.
5 You probably don't even understand what this is. All our savings
6 from the communist period are frozen and are paid in very small amounts
7 every year, and this will go on until 2017 or whatever. I had a car as
8 well. In the meantime, my family sold this car so that they could live
9 off that too and then there is nothing. The court has to pay for
10 everything else. The court doesn't have money -- It's not my fault that
11 the court doesn't have enough money. The registry has less and less
12 money; it's not my fault. Why are there -- why are your sponsors not
13 responsive? Why don't they pay you money or why doesn't somebody else
14 pay you money? These are problems that the court has to resolve, the
15 registry, not me. But without resolving the problems of financing the
16 Defence, my legal advisors cannot stay in The Hague, they cannot be
17 present in the courtroom, and they cannot fully dedicate themselves to
18 working on my case. What they did so far, they did parallel to all their
19 other duties. This was a work of lesser importance for them. They
20 practically did all of this by way of a hobby and they did a great deal
21 of work at that.
22 In terms of quality, they did a better job than the Prosecution.
23 In terms of quantity, we cannot even compare. You may object and say
24 that I have too many submissions, but if you look at all my submissions
25 made to the Court and if you look at all the pages submitted by the
1 Prosecution, you will see that there is this enormous advantage on the
2 side of the OTP. They produced a lot more material and distributed it to
3 various addresses, at that. So there is this problem of financing that
4 has to be resolved.
5 Mr. Antonetti, when your Trial Chamber deals with that, then I
6 will definitely give you an answer as to whether I'm going to be alone in
7 this courtroom or not. If the problem is not resolved in line with the
8 Statute, I will certainly be in the courtroom on my own.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, very well. You listed a
10 series of problems in your answer. I shall endeavour to resolve these
11 problems. The first problem is that you filed an application in order to
12 be in a position like the Prosecution in the first line. You consider
13 that you should not be at the bottom of the hall. You told me last time,
14 but we discussed other subjects and I hadn't discussed it with the
15 registry but I am going soon to discuss it with the registry.
16 Now, on this question at this stage I have to tell you this
17 because I too, I had considered, estimated, that the accused should be
18 ready, should be close, should be close to their counsel, indeed, and the
19 registry at the time in another trial had let me know that for security
20 reasons it was not possible. I did not quite understand the security
21 reasons. I don't think you are going to assault me or assault anybody
22 here, nor any witness, nor Madam Prosecutor or her assistants. So I did
23 not very well understand the position of the registry on this score. In
24 my country, the accused are close to the Judges, in presence of their
25 counsel. Lately I have seen in the United States a trial concerning a
1 terrorist who was seated a few yards from the Judge who was presiding at
2 the hearing. So I -- what I was told needs to be explicited [as
3 interpreted] and I will discuss the matter with the Registrar. And I
4 will see to it that you would be as close as possible. I think it is
5 obvious, but perhaps for others it is nonsensical.
6 Therefore, this matter is going to be examined by myself and the
8 You also said that on your side, for your part, you would be in
9 favour of having your associates in the room and you also mentioned about
10 the problem of remuneration for these assistants. It is on the agenda
11 and I am immediately going to review it. Last time I spoke with the
12 Registrar on this topic and I invited the registry to seize the legal
13 advisor of United Nations of this problem, this problem for the Defence
14 of an accused. Because as you know, if the Rules has provided for this
15 help for the counsel, nothing has been provided for the case where an
16 accused is defending himself. The only precedent was in the Milosevic
17 case where Mr. Milosevic had some associates, some liaison officers, and
18 this was therefore -- there was a process put in place by the registry in
19 order to remunerate the people in question. But for the moment this
20 question is not solved. So the goal for the Pre-Trial Judge is to
21 identify what are the problems which are hindering the beginning of a
23 I now have spoken about the electronic disclosure and the
24 documents. That is a major problem and I'm going to solve it.
25 A second problem is the question of your associates or legal
1 advisors, which I think is also an important problem. I have seen that
2 on a document you indicated that you have 25 associates or legal advisors
3 and I wondered whether these 25 individuals were working for you gratis
4 or whether those are people which you are trying to indemnify as much as
5 possible. I thought I understood, in your answers, that you have to pay
6 certain expenses to the members of this team. This is what I understood
7 from what your -- what you said, and if I didn't understand you rightly,
8 please tell me later.
9 Among the 25 individuals, we have their names on different
10 documents, I do not know this or that person. It starts by
11 Mr. Tomislav Nikolic, and it finishes by Mrs. Marina Toman, Jerkovic,
12 Vucic, Todorovic, Krasic, Radeta, Radovanovic, Bozic-Talijan, Maric,
13 Vukovic, Nadoveza, Sarovic, Terzic, Migati, Blagojevic, Jojic, Zobenica,
14 Savic, Stojanovic, Mihajlovic, Marina Ragus, Momir Markovic, and
15 Mihajlovic, Marina Toman.
16 Among all these individuals, I thought there might be either law
17 teachers or counsel or jurists or students, law students. Could you give
18 me at your own level, although you have no obligation to do so, who they
19 are? I'm just inviting you to tell me if among the experts for your
20 Defence there are some law professors, students or jurists, and so on.
21 Could you tell me?
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Antonetti. My expert team
23 consists of 25 persons. I have been disclosing their names all the time
24 on my submissions. I submitted a separate submission to the registry,
25 acquainting them with the fact that these are going to be persons who
1 will in a way be made aware of confidential material, and that they are
2 duty-bound to preserve that confidentiality.
3 My expert teams consists of two parts: A legal team and a team
4 of investigators. The legal team consists of two lawyers.
5 Nemanja Sarovic is their assistant, and Zoran Krasic, Aleksandar Vucic,
6 and a few others who have degrees in law. For me, they carry out legal
7 work. First of all, they write submissions in accordance with my
8 instructions. Investigators work in the field.
9 I believe that my case before this Tribunal is perhaps the most
10 complicated one, not only in terms of the fact that a new crime was
11 invented, rather, the commission of a crime through hate speech which
12 never existed in international law before, but also because my alleged
13 crimes are spread through the territory of three states. After the
14 Slobodan Milosevic case, there is not a single case in which the alleged
15 crimes of the accused person involved were committed in such a widespread
16 fashion. That calls for a larger number of investigators, especially
17 because I had not heard of some of these crimes before I saw them in the
18 indictments. For example, Borah in Herzegovina, Lipovaca or Lipovica,
19 whatever its name is, and so on.
20 That is why I need a larger number of investigators. I have
21 given them specific locations. I am not asking for a monthly salary to
22 be paid to all members of my expert team. What I'm asking for is that a
23 budget be set for the Defence, because of the complexity of this case, in
24 the pre-trial stage and also in the trial stage, that is called the
25 Prosecution case, then also in the trial stage when I present my own case
1 and call my own witnesses, and of course in the appeals stage. Because
2 that is what the registry has done in other cases, too.
3 Then some of my legal advisors would allocate that money,
4 depending on the efforts made by individuals aimed at my defence, it
5 would be Mr. Zoran Krasic. You find his name on most of the documents
6 that I have been sending to you, that is the man who did most of the work
7 together with me on my defence until now.
8 I'm not asking for a salary for all, but have a budget set for
9 the Defence. The pre-trial stage on the basis of such, such, and such
10 indicators is worth this much, I can pay this much, the registry has to
11 pay the rest. So it's the language of numbers. All of this can be
12 established through very precise methods. And in order to do that, we
13 have to have comparative information from other cases, otherwise it is
15 Therefore, I ask you not to be confused by the number of members
16 of this team. For example, on this team I have typists as well. I have
17 people who are engaged in technical matters, who are looking for
18 different books and newspapers in libraries, for instance, and so on and
19 so forth. So this is a wide range of people that I have engaged.
20 Everyone has a role of their own. For example, Tomislav Nikolic
21 is carrying out work on my behalf before the bar of the Netherlands, the
22 bar of England, where I initiated proceedings against the stand-by
23 lawyer, the imposed lawyer, and then within that team he also
24 communicates on my behalf with the European court for human rights, the
25 committee for human rights of the United Nations. He writes to the
1 Security Council. He also writes to other associations that deal with
2 human rights. He is in contact with foreign diplomats and so on and so
3 forth. Everyone has a role of his own, but I am in charge of all of that
4 from here, from The Hague, and I am not asking - and I repeat this - that
5 every one of them be paid a salary. Let a budget be set for the Defence,
6 and then the lead Defence advisor would allocate those resources,
7 depending on the needs involved.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for these
9 specifications which will enable to progress and better understand the
10 problems we have at hand. In your team of 25 individuals, there's a
11 distinction to be made between the jurists, those who draft the
12 applications, and you mentioned Mr. Zoran Krasic and one also -- the
13 names we see in the motions. You spoke of Mr. Tomislav Nikolic, who is
14 your representative for the -- for several institutions, but in
15 particular - and this caught my attention - I had seen up to now, you
16 indicated that there were also people who were performing investigations
17 on -- in the field and to prepare the witnesses which you will call when
18 you will present your own evidence.
19 And I think the Statute is very clear on this. You should have
20 the facilities for -- within the principle of the equality of arms. So,
21 therefore, these people, even if you defend yourself alone, these people
22 have to be paid. So there -- again, there is a real problem, and I am
23 going to seize the registry of this problem.
24 And you said, rightly so, a while ago that each time you asked
25 the registry, you appealed to the President of the Tribunal, who sent you
1 back to the Chamber - and you're perfectly right - anything which can
2 obstruct or hinder the exercise of the rights of the Defence is within
3 the competence and jurisdiction of the Chamber. And here you have indeed
4 presented a real problem, which is the retribution of those who perform
5 inquiries for you within the framework of your Defence, investigators, I
6 mean, the counsel represent the accused, and there is a certain global
7 sum which is provided for so that counsel can then pay their
8 investigators or experts.
9 Now, in this case we are in another framework, another system,
10 and for the moment we see that there is a legal void, vacuum, a legal
11 vacuum which has to be made good, and I'm going to look at this problem
12 with the registry to solve these questions. We're going to have a
13 working meeting on this question, and you can count on me to see that
14 matters will go forward, because here again this is an element which
15 might hinder good proceedings of this trial, and this is a very important
16 element for what is provided by the Statute, which is that you should
17 have the facilities which are necessary for your Defence.
18 Since we also have to review the question of the assistants and
19 of Mrs. Regus, it is true that personally, just like you, I consider that
20 what has been provided for is really very -- a very small sum, 1.500 euro
21 for Mrs. Regus and 1.200 for an apartment, which should shelter four
22 people. And that this is not within 1.200 euros that you can find an
23 apartment or a flat which could have four people. So we have here a real
24 problem, and I'm going to discuss it again with the registry.
25 A while ago when I spoke of a liaison officer, perhaps we didn't
1 understand each other. The term "liaison officer," I get the feeling
2 that on your side, you are diffidence of the idea of a liaison officer
3 who would be appointed by the registry and who would be an agent of the
4 registry. Right?
5 So, Mr. Seselj, I have to tell you that for the last three years
6 I've been here, I can certify to you that the registry is really worthy
7 of all praise, and they are perfectly neutral towards anybody. The
8 registry has no bias at all, neither for the Prosecution nor -- even less
9 for the accused. And if they wanted to designate a liaison officer, you
10 have to know that the person who would have this task would not be an
11 agent, an informant, somebody in the hand of the Registrar or the
12 Prosecution or the Chamber. It would really be someone independent, as
13 are all the civil servants of this registry with whom I had the honour to
14 meet and to discuss with. They are people who are very praise-worthy and
15 who discharge very well their mission under the Statute and the Rules.
16 But if there is a real block, which I could understand for
17 psychological reasons or subjective reasons, there might be another
18 solution which would be to have you designate that person who would play
19 the role of a go-between between the registry and the Prosecution and the
20 Chamber, an interface in this case.
21 I'm proposing this for you to think about. I'm going to talk to
22 the registry to see if there's a feasibility of designating, without
23 talking about Mrs. Regus or the three assistants, somebody else who could
24 be your spokesman, spokesperson, and who would play this role between the
25 registry, the Prosecution [as interpreted], and yourself. But this
1 person will have to do so against retribution. Of course, not free of
2 charge, not gratis.
3 So there I'm going to be obliged to examine this question very
4 soon with the registry to see if it's possible financially to have this
5 agent, liaison officer, appointed, which brings me to talk about the
6 situation of Mrs. Marina Regus, who still hasn't been paid and who
7 normally would be your case manager, as they say here in English.
8 I know that you had entrusted her to the registry, who was
9 supposed to examine and give an agreement and so on. Personally, I see
10 only advantages the fact that this lady may be as soon as possible in The
11 Hague -- may come as soon as possible in The Hague and help you in your
12 work in the contacts which she will have with you, if need be.
13 At this stage, this is what I'm telling you now, this means
14 meetings with the registrar, between me and the Registrar, to try and go
15 forward to make some headway because if you defend yourself, it doesn't
16 mean - I'm going to give you the floor - that you have to do everything
17 from A to Z. You will, of course, have to be helped in your several
19 I am now giving you the floor, Mr. Seselj.
20 THE INTERPRETER: To the court reporters, replace "Prosecution"
21 by "administration" the last time it was said about the interpreter.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- would be my case manager and
23 she's ready to travel to The Hague as soon as a salary is determined for
24 her, which would be a minimum salary compared to her education. She is a
25 political scientist, a graduate of the Faculty of Political Sciences, and
1 she's proficient in English. She must be paid in accordance with her
2 qualifications. 1.500 euros is a minimum salary within the ICTY,
3 according to my information. This is humiliating for a case manager, and
4 you know perfectly well that one cannot survive in the Hague on that sort
5 of salary.
6 Secondly, I have very good objective reasons for my diffidence
7 towards the registry and I will name just one, Mr. Antonetti. Late in
8 2003 and in the first half of 2004, for a full seven months I was
9 forbidden to use the phone at all or receive visits, including visits by
10 my family. I was barred from any contact with the outside world.
11 Do you know how that was explained? The first information was I
12 would have had a way of influencing good election results for my party,
13 the Serb Radical Party, and the second explanation was I had previously
14 been known to get in touch with journalists. And then explanations
15 followed on paper signed by David Tolbert, who is now the Deputy
16 Prosecutor and was at that time the Deputy Registrar, saying that my
17 party had garnered a lot of seats in the parliament at the elections.
18 Therefore, it was in the best interests of preserving the peace that they
19 should try and prevent me from having any influence in future
20 negotiations on who would be elected to form part of the government.
21 This is on paper and the whole thing lasted for seven months.
22 How should I now be expected to trust a registry acting like that? Or,
23 for example, last year they accept this request from the OTP to cut off
24 my phone again, to freeze my accounts, and to cut me off from my family.
25 My cousin died and my son-in-law died, and I had no contact with my
1 family just based on the suspicion that I had mentioned a protected
2 witness, and I was only mentioning the name of whom I had previously and
3 formally heard that he had testified in other cases for the OTP. And I
4 told members of my party in Novi Sad, they are in peri-Novi Sad, which is
5 the capital of the province of Vojvodina in Serbia to cut all their links
6 with him because the previous pro-Western government had enlisted his
7 assistance on building up certain facilities.
8 The OTP never told me that he would be a witness in my trial to
9 begin with, so that gave rise to this severe discrimination. Special
10 measures were imposed on visits by my wife because purportedly I had
11 given away names of protected witnesses to her, although up to that point
12 in time I had not found out about a single protected witness name. It
13 was only at a later stage that they disclosed to me seven or eight names
14 of such protected witnesses, which I never shared with anybody else but
15 my legal advisors. None of those protected witnesses can possibly
16 complain that I tried to use my influence and affect them in any way
17 through my associates.
18 After all of what happened, I can hardly trust the registry to
19 have any good intentions.
20 On the penultimate day of my hunger strike, Hans Holthuis
21 guaranteed to me, in writing, that I would receive all the documents on
22 paper and in the Serbian language. One month later he tells me there was
23 a misunderstanding. I was not authorised to provide any such guaranties
24 on behalf of the OTP, he says. What sort of registrar is that and how
25 can I possibly trust him? Whatever he -- guaranties he offers in the
1 future, I will just laugh in his face -- which he lost for me. He lost
2 face and he lost all credibility by that single action.
3 You know, there are people in this Tribunal, Judges, Prosecutors,
4 members of the registry, they come from their own jurisdictions. They
5 often came across criminals and people who were just uneducated thugs.
6 They think they can apply the same principles here, but they can't.
7 The time is long gone when criminals appear before this Tribunal.
8 That was at the beginning of the Tribunal's work. The people appearing
9 now are the most prominent people, the most prominent Serbs, also
10 belonging to other countries involved in this war, but most of the
11 accused that stand trial here are Serbs, between 70 and 80 per cent. The
12 most prominent Serbs from the 1990s are appearing before this Tribunal.
13 Well respected Serb citizens and you simply can't afford to treat us like
14 this. Some may agree to go along with that. I for one never will.
15 I felt the need to provide this detailed explanation about my
16 mistrust of the officials of the registry, which doesn't mean that I will
17 refuse future contacts with them. I will never refuse any contacts.
18 If there is something important to be discussed, I will ask for
19 the conversation to be taped and to have the transcript later on. This
20 is something that I did once and they did eventually submit to me a
21 transcript in Serbian. That was in the autumn of last year sometime.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, for providing your
23 explanation regarding the mistrust you have with regard to the registry
24 and you explained why. I shall have no comment on the merits, but
25 personally speaking I must convey to you that the Detention Unit, as it
1 functions, is under the competence of the warden of the Detention Unit
2 and the Registrar and they both are entitled to have your conversations
3 tapped. But there must be good reasons for that, reasons connected to
4 security issues. I don't think you want to escape from the Detention
5 Unit, otherwise it would be hard to understand why you surrendered to the
6 Tribunal in the first place.
7 I shall be very clear with you, Mr. Seselj. In my eyes, you are
8 presumed innocent. You have all your rights, your civic and civil
9 rights. The only difference there is between you and a person who would
10 be outside, free, is that you are in detention because this Tribunal is
11 seated in The Hague and because you have been indicted. This is the
12 reason for your detention.
13 But the fact that you are in detention must allow you to use your
14 rights, certain rights, and when I found out that, during the election
15 campaign of your party, you had been restricted in your rights, I was
16 very surprised. That's all I can say to you on this point.
17 Regarding your associates, you said that Ms. Regus is qualified
18 and that her situation should be looked again by the Registrar. With
19 regard to the equality of arms principle, the Prosecution, too, have a
20 case manager and at the very least one could expect is that your case
21 manager should have the same pay as the Prosecution case manager. There
22 should be no dual standards here. I don't know what the salary is of an
23 OTP case manager, but I shall look into this and I will not allow any
24 discrimination in this respect, rest assured. But it's true to say that
25 the case manager is a person whose qualifications, whose university
1 qualifications, is rather low. It is not expected of a case manager that
2 they should be graduated from university. There may be a solution for
3 Ms. Regus. Please think it over.
4 If this person became the interface between you and the registry,
5 your own liaison officer, that might be a solution. In a way, if you
6 look at a work contract, that could be a possibility, which I am going to
7 review with the registry. I shall see how we could arrive at a solution.
8 Indeed, gradually, I realise that this is an issue which might be a major
9 hindrance to the smooth unfolding of our trial proceedings. So I shall
10 endeavour to solve this problem, the problem of legal advisors, of Ms.
11 Regus, of payment as quickly as possible. It may be that the Trial
12 Chamber could issue a ruling if the obstacles are such that we have to
13 issue a decision with regard to the rights of the Defence.
14 I also wanted to deal with the issue of confidentiality. You and
15 your Defence expert team have been filing requests which have been
16 registered with the registry and I agree with you when you mention a name
17 it is impossible for you to know initially whether the person you mention
18 is a protected witness or not. And there is a real problem here that
19 calls for some accurate explanations by me to you. You must know, Mr.
20 Seselj, that the Rules allow the Prosecutor to file ex parte
21 applications; that is, applications that only concern the Prosecution and
22 the Trial Chamber without the accused being informed thereof.
23 Let me give you an example. Under the Rules, it is allowed for
24 the Prosecutor to ask the Trial Chamber for leave to disclose to the --
25 disclose to the accused the name of a witness and their statement only
1 one month before the said witness comes to testify. In other words, I
2 did not count them all, but it could be that the Prosecution --
3 Prosecutor has a number of witnesses whose existence you're not aware of.
4 You will only learn the names of the witnesses and the contents of their
5 statements one month before they appear to testify.
6 Let's take a case. Imagine the Prosecutor wants to call a
7 witness, say, in February 2008. Under the Rules, you will learn of the
8 witness only in January 2008, that is, one month prior to their
9 testimony. It may be that the witness is in a list or in a motion that
10 you are going to file so that his name may be mentioned therein. So
11 there could be like a -- some overlapping there, but I have no solution
12 right now to this contradiction, as it were.
13 With regard to the proceedings, you can have various types of
14 requests or applications. You have public applications that are
15 registered straight away by the registry and everybody can access them.
16 There may be requests that are confidential ones. In such a case, the
17 person filing the request must write in it that it is a confidential
19 Let's take a theoretical case. Let us assume that you want to
20 have a medical examination in hospital in The Hague, but there is a
21 problem. You then file a request, but you do not feel the need in doing
22 so of telling the public opinion that you're going to have an X-ray, for
23 example. So you entitle your request "confidential request." Any
24 confidential element is not disclosed to the public.
25 Parties are also free to file requests that are ex parte
1 requests. You, too, have that possibility. You can address a request to
2 the Trial Chamber without the Prosecution being aware of it, but you then
3 have to say it and you have to entitle your request "ex parte request,"
4 and vice versa.
5 There can also be requests of motions that are confidential for
6 the other party; that is, a motion that can be notified to the other
7 party, but part of the motion that could be an annex will be ex parte.
8 So it's quite complicated, you see. So together with your legal
9 advisors, with Zoran Krasic, for instance, you have to look into all
10 this, so that we're not faced with problems later on.
11 So this is for the time being what had been decided and this is
12 now what I'm going to change. What had been decided was that when you
13 were going to file a motion in your own language, the motion was not
14 recorded by the registry. It was turned over to the translation service
15 and it was recorded by the registry only after it had been translated
16 into English. So there is a bit of a shift in time, a time lag. And
17 there is really a danger, in my view, inherent to this.
18 If -- let's imagine you file a motion in your own language to
19 explain a given topic to the Trial Chamber, you could speak about your
20 health condition which calls for some medical intervention and it goes to
21 translation and it remains there for several days on end, whilst your
22 motion is an urgent one and needs to be acted on immediately. From now
23 on, all motions filed by you will be recorded with the registry and will
24 be passed on to the translation service. Once the document has been
25 translated, it will be turned over to the Trial Chamber and to the
1 Prosecution. But I believe it is fundamental when you file a motion, in
2 keeping with the proceedings, it must be recorded. I know why this
3 decision had been made, but I think we have to turn over that page and
4 move on because initially there had been motions which could have been
5 regarded as frivolous, and a number of your motions were not recorded.
6 You gave us a lengthy explanation on this issue. You said why you had
7 behaved in the way you had.
8 Now we move on. This is behind us. You have a new
9 Trial Chamber, you have a new Prosecution team, and we've spent a number
10 of hours over the last three Status Conferences. And I never felt
11 attacked/assaulted by what you said. What you said did not prompt me to
12 react in any way. I fail to see why I should be concerned regarding your
13 motions. But in this respect, I'll ask you for an explanation on two
14 points so that this good atmosphere which is now setting in may develop
15 as positively as possible.
16 Mr. Seselj, I've noticed that sometimes when you speak, you speak
17 quite loudly. Has it always been like that since you were a child, or is
18 this due to the fact that you are in a courtroom and that you want to
19 speak loud and strong? Could you tell me whether the volume of your
20 voice is connected to this atmosphere of the courtroom or are you used to
21 speaking like this?
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Antonetti, perhaps you're not
23 familiar with this, I was a university professor. I am used to
24 expressing myself loud and clear.
25 Secondly, I'm a professional politician. I spoke at countless
1 rallies. Perhaps this is an occupational risk in a way in my line of
2 work. Two of your colleagues from the Trial Chamber were also on the
3 Milosevic trial where I appeared as a witness. Sometimes they had
4 trouble dealing with the volume of my voice, sometimes it's a technical
5 problem. We should have a technician lowering the volume if the
6 perception of my voice is that it is too loud. I'm sure this problem can
7 be resolved in a technical way. That is certainly not my intention.
8 That's one thing that I can say.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. This is what I
10 thought, but you just said so.
11 Secondly, and then we'll finish on this issue. On several
12 occasions, I noticed that you do not address me as "Judge Antonetti" but
13 "Mr. Antonetti." As a rule in all jurisdictions, Judges are addressed
14 not with their names but with their titles: Mr. President, Your Honour,
15 and so on. I know that Mr. Milosevic addressed the Presiding Judge of
16 the Chamber with his name, but personally I'd rather you said "Your
17 Honour." But if you insist on using my name, as you wish. I could call
18 you "Mr. Professor" or "Mr. Seselj," just as you wish. But please
19 clarify this for me. Why do you use my surname? Why don't you say
20 "Your Honour"?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Judge, I'm addressing you by
22 your name with no intention whatsoever of offending you. I have had
23 extremely unpleasant experiences with previous Pre-Trial Judges. If you
24 look at the transcripts, you can see that at the outset I addressed the
25 first and the second Pre-Trial Judges as "Mr. President," but in the
1 English transcript -- or "Mr. Judge." In the English transcript, it says
2 "Your Honours." In the Serbian language and in our tradition, this has
3 negative connotations, connotations of submissiveness, even connotations
4 of sycophancy. It is quite unpleasant. People from my country laugh
5 when they look at the videos of trials here where people address the
6 Judges as "Their Honours." Even if our literary tradition, this habit
7 has been ridiculed and is considered to be below human dignity.
8 I have absolutely nothing against addressing you as "Mr. Judge"
9 but only as long as we can have the very same wording in the English
10 transcript without making me seem submissive, a sycophant or ironic for
11 that matter. For as long as you run this trial in a proper way,
12 Mr. Judge, you will have no inconvenience whatsoever from me. You can
13 rest assured of that. If you want me to continue to address you like
14 that, please deal with the transcript. I don't want that phrase in the
15 transcript again, "Your Honours." I don't want to see that again.
16 The former President of the Republika Srpska, Biljana Plavsic,
17 was indicted before this Tribunal and the first morning she appeared
18 here, she said "Good morning, Your Honours," and for years the Serbian
19 public ridiculed her for that. That's how pathetic it sounded, believe
20 me. We need to ensure that there's an accurate interpretation.
21 As to how you address me, please just make it respectful. I have
22 so many qualifications that I'm not much flattered by any used or not.
23 What I really prefer is my family name, and that is what I'm really proud
24 of. I see no problem with that. It is certainly also my desire that you
25 do not take my address to you the wrong way.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Seselj. Thank
2 you, and I had understood it properly, you had no evil intention with
3 regard to me. I tried to fulfil my mission which is to be a totally
4 impartial --
5 THE ACCUSED: [Previous translation continues] ... at all right
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. I'll say it again.
8 Mr. Seselj, thank you for what you said. I take due note of the
9 fact that there is no bad intention towards me, and I'm all the more
10 moved since I, as a Judge, do try to fulfil my mission for impartiality
11 respecting all and sundry. I just wanted to put it out in the open so
12 that this problem is solved once for all. Because for the last three
13 Status Conferences, as I said, the climate is excellent, and I hope it
14 will remain so in the future.
15 Let us proceed. I'm now turning to the Prosecution because under
16 the principle of equality of arms, the Prosecution, too, must do their
17 job, must be able to work as efficiently as possible.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm sorry.
19 If I may, there is one thing that I would like to address
20 briefly, and that is the rest of what you have just said about protective
21 measures. If memory serves me - and I don't have the documents on me
22 right now - eight times the OTP requested protective measures in relation
23 to certain witnesses, and the Trial Chamber, if I remember correctly,
24 ruled that the names and other information should be disclosed to me a
25 month before the beginning of trial and not a month before the testimony
1 of the actual witness.
2 Secondly, as far as ex parte documents submitted to you are
3 concerned, I know that this is an entitlement of the parties to these
4 proceedings based on the rules. However, whenever it is necessary for me
5 to file a motion, prior to your ruling, it would be meaningless to file
6 any such motions ex parte. For example, the OTP can submit something to
7 you ex parte that is a matter of your internal communication between the
8 Chamber and the OTP, something that doesn't affect my rights as an
9 accused. If it's not something that has to do -- that has any bearing on
10 my rights as an accused, then there's no need to do it ex parte.
11 Secondly, the OTP are really pushing the envelope in all these
12 witnesses requiring protective measures. I'm not sure if this has
13 happened before, but it certainly is likely to happen at some point; for
14 example, that my investigators get in touch with such and such a person,
15 they talk to the person and ask the person to be a witness in my Defence
16 case, and this person is already on the OTP list, possibly even a
17 protected witness for the OTP, and we simply don't know it. It's a
18 possibility. And that's what happens when the OTP start pushing the
19 envelope in terms of protecting their witnesses. And then the witness
20 finally comes along, appears in the courtroom, and all these protective
21 measures are suddenly dropped.
22 Finally, Mr. Judge, two years ago, I believe sometime in May or
23 June, the OTP in full secrecy filed a motion to start proceedings against
24 me for contempt of court. As far as I remember, you were part of that
25 Trial Chamber, and the Trial Chamber ruled that the motion be dismissed.
1 I still to this very day don't know what this was about. This was a
2 Kafkaesque attempt to institute proceedings against me and for me to be
3 tried for something, and I have no idea what this was about.
4 When the whole thing was over, a court official informed me in a
5 single sentence that the OTP had pressed for these proceedings to be
6 started against me, and that the Trial Chamber dismissed this. I think I
7 am fully entitled to know exactly why the motion was thrown out,
8 particularly because according to the Rules, I was fully entitled before
9 the Trial Chamber ever ruled to address the motion by the OTP. I think
10 that my rights in that particular case were violated in a blatant manner.
11 There are other problems surrounding the issue of protective
12 measures. For example, there was this one witness, the OTP requested
13 that the witness testify via videolink. I opposed this, their argument
14 being the witness was ill, so they submitted this medical certificate
15 about the witness's alleged illness, bearing no name of a medical
16 institution, doctor, or an official stamp.
17 At a Status Conference that I didn't attend, which took place
18 during my hunger strike, the OTP claimed that they had simply cancelled
19 out that information, erased that particular bit of information, in order
20 to protect the secrecy and to protect the witness. They gave the name
21 away, they disclosed the name to me, but they feel the need to protect
22 the secrecy of the doctor and the medical institution, someplace or other
23 in Croatia, that issued this certificate.
24 It really is quite mind-bending, isn't it? Not to mention the
25 fact that they claim someone is simply too old to travel here to testify;
1 some people are afraid of flying; some people have stomach trouble; some
2 people are suffering from pneumonia; all sorts of things like that. They
3 are really pushing it too far with all these protective measures.
4 Of course, when we have victims of rape or sex-related crimes, I
5 do understand that fully. But if there is nothing to indicate that a
6 witness is at risk, why just request protective measures for nothing? It
7 is safer for a witness sometimes to have his name known, to have his name
8 made public, than those kept secret.
9 Nothing could ever clear my name if anything happened to a
10 witness who was known to be supposed to appear in my trial and testify
11 against me and if it suddenly became known that I had done something
12 against this witness. So if all these names are kept secret, of course a
13 certain degree of unpleasantness may occur every now and then, but that
14 doesn't necessarily mean that I'm responsible for that.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. I will now turn to the
16 Prosecution, but I'll also answer what you've just said concerning
17 protection measures. Indeed, the Chamber is seized of several motions
18 concerning protection measures. I want to let you know immediately,
19 Mr. Seselj, and also I want to tell the Prosecution what my position is
20 for the moment in the managing of these motions.
21 As I told you during the first hearing, I discovered by being a
22 Pre-Trial Judge in this case there were a certain number of motions which
23 were not yet answered, and I sorted out these several motions. I
24 examined them one after the other, and there are two categories of
25 motions. The first category which is going to need decisions of the
1 Chamber for which I am the Pre-Trial Judge and which have to do with
2 protection measures concerning several witnesses. In the coming days,
3 decisions will be rendered.
4 And there's another category of motions which is in stand-by, as
5 they say in English, for which I consider that it would be appropriate
6 for the Chamber - I'm talking about the Trial Chamber - to rule because
7 those are motions which have to do with the substance of the case file.
8 For example, the question of admitting your -- your own deposition in the
9 Milosevic case. That has to do with the substance of the case, and I
10 cannot myself with the Judges of the Trial Chamber III take a position
11 while the two other colleagues who will have to judge with me might have
12 different views.
13 Therefore, there are a certain number of motions which, because
14 they have to do with the substance of the case, have to do with the
15 merits of the case, are of the competence of the Trial Chamber itself.
16 There are also motions which are -- I would call them technical
17 in such a way that -- and I say protection measures. Those can be
18 decided upon as from now. I listened to you carefully and I intended,
19 actually, to review the two motions concerning video conferences for
20 witnesses who would be either ill or aged, too old, to come. I have seen
21 your pleadings in this matter. You were opposed to video conferences for
22 these witnesses. You questioned at least for one of them the fact that
23 there was no medical certificate issued and, in particular, you argue
24 that a video conference would not enable to cross-examine that witness.
25 I have had -- I have seen in other trials a practice of video
1 conferences, and it's true that between a video conference and the fact
2 of having the witness here, it's preferable to have the witness present.
3 But the video conference has also an advantage which is to enable certain
4 witnesses to -- not to have to travel by air because of their state of
5 health and so on.
6 So the Chamber has to check whether these conditions are true
7 before allowing a videolink. But you have to know, Mr. Seselj, that
8 nevertheless when there is a videolink, the accused may
9 counter-examine -- cross-examine without any problem. There is
10 practically no technical difficulty because this happens in a realtime,
11 and you can see on the monitor the witness, and this procedure of the
12 videolink is satisfactory generally.
13 But in the two cases you have indicated, I will check in-depth to
14 see whether it is true that it is impossible for these two witnesses to
15 come in person. As you know, because of the age of certain persons, it
16 may be difficult for them to travel. But all this has to be attested to
17 by a medical certificate. Therefore, on these two matters I'm going to
18 review the matter in-depth.
19 I also noted that, as a principle, you are against protection
20 measures. This is what you have described in your pleadings. You know
21 that protection measures exist in other countries, and a Tribunal has
22 defined the procedure by Rule 75. So there are -- there is some leeway
23 where the Chamber may have and other cases in which we have absolutely no
24 leeway. It's the case of witnesses who have already had protection
25 measures in other cases.
1 For instance, let's us imagine that a witness may have been a
2 witness in the Milosevic case with protection measures. The protection
3 measures in question which was granted to this witness will have the same
4 effect for a witness in your case. On there, I can strictly do nothing.
5 The Chamber is tied -- has its hands tied by the measures decided by the
6 other one.
7 Now, in which case do we grant protection measures? We grant
8 protection measures when the witness has objective reasons, perhaps in
9 certain cases also subjective reasons, to fear for himself or his family
10 because of bearing witness because of his deposition. So this, of
11 course, is reviewed and is examined, and it is true that, for instance,
12 if a politician is called as a witness and requests protection measures,
13 one can be surprised, because normally it is a person who presents
14 himself in public, and therefore I don't see why he wouldn't do so in
15 front of court.
16 There are other people - and I see that you actually opposed this
17 and this surprised me - that was about victims in the case of a sexual
18 assault which requests protection measures so that their own tragedy be
19 not known, either by their own family, because sometimes the members of
20 the family don't know anything about it, or even the neighbours. And in
21 that case, the Chamber grants the request in the interest of the victim
22 who doesn't want what has happened to him or her be known outside the
23 courtroom. You have this type of witness which, as a rule, will be
24 granted these protection measures.
25 Where the Chamber decides on protection measures, it -- it is
1 always motivated, reasoned, with good reason, it's not just by chance.
2 You have a request from the Prosecution, there's an answer of the
3 accused, and the Judge rules either in favour or against the request or
4 against the motion.
5 Now, Mr. Seselj, you have to know also that yourself, when you
6 will call your own witnesses, I don't know who your witnesses will be,
7 but it's possible that some witnesses who will want to come here, speak
8 in your favour, may say, Yes, I agree to do so, but I need protection
9 measures. And therefore, you yourself may be led to ask for protection
10 measures for the witnesses.
11 The history of this Tribunal is very telling. In all the cases
12 which have been touched here, there have been protection measures in
13 favour of Prosecution witnesses but also in favour of the witnesses of
14 the accused, protective measures.
15 This is what I wanted to tell you in general concerning
16 protective measures which, of course, need to be reviewed case by case.
17 I give you the floor.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Judge, I really don't know what
19 kind of interpretation you received, but I fully agreed as far as victims
20 of sex crimes were concerned that protective measures were needed.
21 Perhaps the interpretation you received said the opposite.
22 I, as a legal man, truly justify that, and in my country if
23 protective measures are applied, then it is in family law, marital
24 relations, and with a view to victims of sex-related crimes.
25 At first, I did not oppose motions of the Prosecution for
1 protective measures. You can see that from the case file. I started
2 opposing that only when it was my assessment that the OTP had really
3 overdone this. Testifying by videolink, introduce protective measures,
4 is indeed envisaged by the Rules of Procedure and Evidence; however, the
5 Rules clearly show that this can be done only in exceptional cases
6 because otherwise the principle of public trials is infringed upon.
7 The tendency enforced by the OTP is that this should turn into
8 customary practice. Very soon testifying without protective measures is
9 going to be the exception rather than the rule. Before you know it,
10 videolink is going to be the rule, too.
11 I know from other cases, the accused told me and their lawyers
12 did, too, that sometimes it happened that videolink witnesses had a
13 prompter in front of them who would prompt the kind of answer that they
14 were supposed to give, or another person altogether would appear and
15 testify in the name of the said person, an actor would appear, and so on
16 and so forth. Not to go into the question of intelligence services, the
17 Muslim service, the Croat service, and many others that were involved in
18 preparing false witnesses. That is why I insist that in the future as
19 well this should be an exception.
20 There is also the principle of hearing direct testimony and
21 having a public trial. These are very important principles. Judge, you
22 are trying me, you and your colleagues are trying me, but the public is
23 judging you. These are two parallel processes, and they cannot evolve
24 without -- one cannot evolve without the other. That is why closed
25 sessions have to be the exception rather than the rule and with strict
1 control as well.
2 The number of protected witnesses has to be brought down to a
3 minimum, and testimony by videolink should be allowed when one sees that
4 for objective reasons anything else would be impossible rather than
5 having things done the way OTP is used to having them done.
6 Since you raised a very important issue, I would like to present
7 yet another problem. At the last Status Conference, part of our hearing
8 was in closed session. If you look at the transcript, you will see there
9 was no need to go into closed session then. From May last year onwards
10 at some other Status Conferences, again a few times we would go into
11 closed session, and it was obvious that there was no reason for going
12 into closed session.
13 I think that whenever a request is made to move into closed
14 session, that very strong reasons have to be presented for that, and I
15 have the right to challenge those reasons. And then it is the
16 Trial Chamber that decides whether closed session is required not, not
17 like in some other cases and other hearings where they are more often in
18 closed session than in public session.
19 Since you mentioned the Slobodan Milosevic case, what happened
20 was that the witness did not ask for protective measures at all - this is
21 Dragan Vasiljkovic - and the protective measures were dropped
22 immediately. He walked into the courtroom and said, I never asked for
23 this. And there was a few others. Aleksandar Vasiljevic came as a
24 protected witness and then he testified in public; Zoran Lilic, too. I'm
25 just talking about what the public knows and what was disclosed. I'm not
1 going into the other things that remained a conspiracy. There are some
2 absurd situations and without any reason for that.
3 For me, it is of vital importance to have public testimony heard.
4 This is of paramount importance because it is only in that case there is
5 a point to a trial. If the main part of a trial is going to take place
6 in closed session with protected witnesses, why have a trial at all?
7 Protected witnesses can send their statements, and you can phone me and
8 tell me what your judgement is, and that's it.
9 The point of a public trial is that the public judges the
10 Trial Chamber. Any judgement, even when it becomes final, can be
11 criticised, can be challenged by legal scholars. And for this scholarly
12 public to be able to criticise the Trial Chamber, the Prosecutor, the
13 content of the judgement, and so on and so forth, they have to have
14 maximum information made available to them. That is why I'm not asking
15 you to rule out these two provisions of the Rules in totality, but I'm
16 just saying that they should be applied only to a minimum, a minimum that
17 is justified by very strong arguments.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I have noted what
19 you have said. It is true that during the last hearing I requested a
20 closed session because, if I remember, there were some motions from the
21 Prosecution which were confidential and which concerned certain protected
22 witnesses. Therefore, to be sure, [indiscernible] I preferred to go to
23 closed session so that the name of the witness would not be disclosed in
24 a public hearing. This was the reason why I had requested passage to
25 closed session. But you will see that today, it is not the case.
1 I am now addressing Prosecution, and I want to ask the
2 Prosecution within the framework of the preparing of this case, which I
3 am trying -- in which I'm trying to solve all the problems which we have
4 or the obstacles, it would be fit for the Prosecution, on the one hand
5 concerning the list of the witnesses and exhibits of Rule 65 ter, check
6 that the witness list is, indeed, a list which is up-to-date because
7 there is some pressure concerning certain crime places. All this has to
8 be up-to-date. So please check that the list of witnesses is up-to-date.
9 As for the list of exhibits for the Prosecution, the 2.827
10 exhibits, I have faced the following problem which I had explained to you
11 last time. These 2.827 exhibits are not put in chronological order.
12 Just as Mr. Seselj, I work on documents after document, one by one, and
13 when there is a problem, I take my binder and I look at the document.
14 And when the documents are in chronological order, it's easier to see
15 where one stands.
16 Would it be possible for you - it shouldn't be too complicated -
17 to review the 2.827 documents and place them in sequence, in
18 chronological order, with number 1 being the oldest document and
19 number 2.827 being the most recent document. Perhaps, I don't know,
20 1994, 1995, and number 1 as being the first one. So present your list
21 differently. And once this will have been done, put an extra column
22 where you would indicate for each document the dates when the document
23 was transmitted or disclosed to Mr. Seselj.
24 For instance, let's take document number 1, I don't know what
25 document it is, but document number 1. This document was transmitted to
1 Mr. Seselj in English and in his language at what date, so that I won't
2 at a given moment discover that there are some documents which have not
3 been transmitted or disclosed. Of course it means a lot of work, but
4 this work will enable you to re-position properly these documents
5 chronologically and also to check thoroughly that there hasn't been any
6 mistake concerning the disclosure of the documents in question. Because
7 in certain cases this could have certain consequences, repercussions.
8 I know that there is one column, the first one, with the figures,
9 the numbers of the documents; the second one is a description of the
10 documents; the third gives the date; the fourth is the ERN number in
11 English for the -- the next one is the ERN number for the B/C/S versions;
12 and the following is the type of document, whether it's a video or
13 whatever; and finally, the name of the witness with which and through
14 which the exhibit will be presented. So there has to be a column added
15 to that which will indicate the date at which the document or exhibit was
16 transmitted or disclosed to the accused.
17 It would have been also a good idea to add one more column, if
18 it's feasible according to the means you have at hand, to add one more
19 which would indicate document by document the references to the
20 paragraphs of the indictment. This document corresponds to which
21 paragraph of the indictment?
22 For instance, just at random, as I see it the document 2.231 is a
23 photograph. The date is unknown. Normally this photograph should be put
24 through a witness VS026. So the extra column would say at what moment
25 the photograph in question was transmitted to Mr. Seselj and the other
1 one would say that this photograph refers to this or that paragraph of
2 the indictment, which would then be extremely useful for the handling of
3 the documents.
4 There is also the pre-trial brief, and I have heard what you
5 yourself have indicated, Mr. Seselj, and after that I will stop this
6 hearing because I have this afternoon another hearing. I have another
7 case which I have to preside upon this afternoon. So, Mr. Seselj, I
8 would call to your attention in particular the pre-trial brief of the
9 Prosecution which has to be reformatted according to the new events which
10 have happened, the crime places, the reference to document -- the
11 redaction of the number of crimes, and all this translated into your own
12 language. You will have, yourself, the possibility to answer in writing,
13 and this may need a certain time. We are here in the system, it is very
14 different from what you may have done in your own country because when
15 the Judges rule within their deliberations at the end of the trial, they
16 rule on the basis of the indictment, on the pre-trial brief which is a
17 form of indictment, a very developed indictment, and also on the basis of
18 witness statements during the trial, during the trial, during the --
19 during the -- during the cross-examinations and the pleadings, the
20 arguments, and within this framework the Judges will have to examine
21 closely the pre-trial brief as well as the answers given by the accused
22 to the arguments of the pre-trial brief. Therefore, this shows the
23 interests for an accused to answer to the pre-trial brief because this
24 pre-trial brief touches upon legal questions, factual questions, and the
25 fundamental question of the responsibility of the accused. And if the
1 accused does not answer, says nothing, there is a sort of imbalance in
2 what is called the equality of arms. I know that when this trial started
3 you were having a hunger strike and you refused to answer, and so on, but
4 since we are re-starting on a new basis, I ask you very specifically to
5 pay attention to the need to answer to this pre-trial brief because your
6 written answer will, in fact, be the essentials of your defence. And
7 this will be a very useful instrument, very useful tool. I'm not asking
8 you to take a position now, but I want to be very aware about this
9 question which is fundamental, fundamental because the pre-trial brief
10 supports the indictment and there's a development, a detailed
11 development, of the arguments of the Prosecution.
12 All the more so as the pre-trial brief, as I say just by memory,
13 there are about 3.000 documents, but the pre-trial brief refers to 500
14 documents which are mentioned, which means that yourself, in your
15 filings, you may criticise the references made to the 500 documents in
16 question and also the arguments presented.
17 I also call your attention to the fact that the pre-trial brief
18 of the Prosecution begins by a chapter concerning your role as a leader
19 of propaganda in Greater Serbia and all the details are given after that.
20 Therefore, from there, your interest is to answer in writing to this,
21 although if you don't answer this, I can't oblige you to do so. But as a
22 Judge, I have the duty when I see that there is an imbalance between one
23 side and the other to try and re-establish balance so that no prejudice
24 is suffered.
25 This is what I really wanted to tell you, and I'm now asking the
1 Prosecution to reformat, as I said, the pre-trial brief and the
2 documents, but today I cannot give a date for the beginning of the trial
3 because of the number of problems which have not been solved and which
4 are obstacles, serious obstacles, to the beginning of this case, and in
5 particular the case of disclosure or communication of documents in hard
6 copy and in the language of the accused as well, of course, as the
7 question of the help the accused needs with the legal assistants and so
9 So we have to conclude now.
10 Mr. Seselj, do you want to have the floor on something? We will
11 of course meet again in about a fortnight or three weeks.
12 And I will also give you the floor, for the Prosecution. Yes.
13 So, Mr. Seselj, would you like to say something on another
14 subject before we close this session?
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. I wish to inform you that I
16 would be very interested in responding to the pre-trial brief, but the
17 last time the OTP filed a pre-trial brief I faced an enormous number of
18 references that the OTP invoked in their footnotes, whereas I did not
19 have the documents available to me at the time. These references were
20 related to rulings in other trials, often having to do with interlocutory
21 appeals. Those in reference to judgements were easier for me to deal
22 with because I received copies for those for the most part, although the
23 OTP were behind with that, too.
24 Next they invoked judgements made by the International Criminal
25 Tribunal for Rwanda and I simply don't have the references. That is why,
1 Mr. Judge, I would like you to rule that the OTP submit to me all the
2 references that they invoke in addition to their pre-trial brief. If
3 they can't deal with that, they should reduce the number of references,
4 of things that they reference in their footnotes. In order to be able to
5 respond, I should have the references in my possession, I don't and
6 therefore I can't. The OTP don't seem to have that. They should be
7 translated into Serbian. Many of them are in Serbian, but I think the
8 registry should be ordered to submit that to me. The last time I filed a
9 motion written by hand in which I enumerated all the documents invoked by
10 the OTP in their pre-trial brief that were not available to me. This is
11 a very serious problem.
12 Also, Mr. Judge, I would like you to hand me a deadline for this
13 response to the pre-trial brief, and if I could have a month for that.
14 This is somewhat longer than is usual for a deadline like that.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You will have a
16 month, but starting as of the time when the pre-trial brief is finalised
17 with references to documents in chronological order, and it must be made
18 sure that the pre-trial brief has been updated factoring in the amended
19 indictment. And once this document has been prepared, it will be
20 recorded, and that's the time when the one-month deadline will start.
21 But it is one month as of the time when that document will have been
22 translated into B/C/S. It has to be in B/C/S for the accused to be able
23 to respond to it.
24 In conclusion, I'm turning to the Prosecution, if they want to
25 say something.
1 MS. DAHL: Thank you, Your Honour. Very briefly I have three
2 questions. You changed the procedure regarding the Registrar filing
3 Mr. Seselj's submissions prior to the translation, and I wanted to
4 clarify. My understanding is that the calculation of time for response
5 would be triggered by the translation rather than the filing in
6 Mr. Seselj's language.
7 The second is that we will be able to --
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Absolutely. Absolutely. It
9 will be starting as of the time when the translation is recorded.
10 MS. DAHL: The second is I wanted to bring up the fact that the
11 Appeals Chamber in the Brdjanin case issued a relevant decision regarding
12 the theory of liability that applies to this case in joint criminal
13 enterprise. It's important that that judgement be translated with all
14 deliberate speed to make it available to Mr. Seselj. We are reviewing
15 the indictment as well as the pre-trial brief to confirm that we are
16 fully within the law as enunciated by the Appeals Chamber. This is a
17 matter that we had foreshadowed in our pre-trial brief.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, this didn't escape me
19 because, as you know, in the Brdjanin case, the Appeals Chamber had to
20 look into this matter, into the issue of joint criminal enterprise, and
21 it is of course in the interest of Mr. Seselj to know, to be made aware,
22 of the Brdjanin appeals decision in his own language.
23 I shall ask the translation service to tell us when they will be
24 able to convey to you the Appeals Chamber judgement, but the Prosecution,
25 too, will have to see whether there's need to change anything in the
1 indictment or in the pre-trial brief following the recent case law, and
2 that Brdjanin appeals decision of course goes without saying.
3 MS. DAHL: We will undertake to review the suggestions to improve
4 the information contained in our exhibit list and continue to report back
5 to you. Our hope is that the case is ready for trial in November of this
6 year, and we'd like to work toward that date.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You are telling us
8 that you are working towards the date of November 2007.
9 Mr. Seselj has heard this date just the same as I did. I will do
10 everything I can personally so that we can start as early as possible,
11 but everybody will understand that there is a series of hurdles to get
13 I pledged to see you every two to three weeks. As soon as I know
14 when the next Status Conference is going to take place, we shall convene
15 a hearing. I will report to you the outcome of my meetings with the
16 Registrar, see whether we could make some headway on certain issues and
17 also to tackle other issues which I haven't yet had an opportunity to
18 look at.
19 MS. DAHL: Very briefly, it occurs to me also that the
20 disposition of the pending motions relating to the method of reception of
21 evidence will greatly assist us in finalising trial preparations,
22 including giving the Chambers information regarding the method of
23 testimony and exhibits. So to the extent that the pending motions are
24 now at issue with Mr. Seselj having responded, we would appreciate a
25 ruling on them as quickly as possible.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Ms. Dahl, I
2 listened to Mr. Seselj with care earlier on when he said he really wished
3 to meet with the OTP as long as they wanted to meet with him. Mr. Seselj
4 explained to us that he sees no problem in that, provided he be assisted
5 by his associates, by the people working with him. I think this is where
6 the hurdle is, and it really is minor.
7 So please, talk about this to Ms. Carla del Ponte, tell her that
8 the Pre-Trial Judge has taken due note of the fact that the accused is
9 willing to meet with the OTP, but in order to do so he wants to be
10 assisted by his associates, by the people he works with, to prepare for
11 trial, which seems to me to be quite an acceptable claim.
12 MS. DAHL: We're very willing to consider whatever suggestions he
13 has regarding meeting and to listen carefully to the suggestions that he
14 might propose and consider those as part of the pre-trial process.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The time has come
16 to adjourn. Thank you. Thank you to all the people who helped us during
17 the hearing. We shall meet again shortly.
18 --- Whereupon the Status Conference
19 adjourned at 12.43 p.m.