1 Tuesday, 22 May 2007
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Open session]
4 --- Upon commencing at 3.33 p.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, kindly call the
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honour. This is case number
9 IT-03-67-PT, the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Today is Tuesday,
11 the 22nd of May, 2007. My greetings to all the people in the courtroom,
12 to the OTP representatives.
13 Good afternoon, Mr. Seselj.
14 And good afternoon to all the people helping us in this hearing.
15 We have a Status Conference today, and I would like to tell you,
16 Mr. Seselj, that the next Status Conference will be held on Tuesday, 5th
17 of June, at 9.00 a.m., next Status Conference, it will take place on
18 Tuesday, the 5th of June, at 9.00 a.m., in this very courtroom.
19 The agenda today, we have a series of questions I'd like to deal
20 with one by one. First of all, I would like to inform you, Mr. Seselj,
21 that regarding your motion whereby you wanted to be close to the Judges
22 and the Prosecution or close to the witness when they come to testify, the
23 registry has told me that they saw no inconvenience to Mr. Seselj being
24 seated more to the front, but it will have to be in the second row. So
25 you see, the bench that is behind the first one.
1 This can be implemented as of the next Status Conference. This
2 will make it possible for Mr. Seselj to have in front of him, if he so
3 wishes, only his assistants who will be in front of him, behind the first
4 bench, and he will be behind them. Personally, I would have preferred for
5 him to be seated at the first bench, but the registry, for security
6 reasons, has told me that that was not possible. So this is a compromise
7 we arrived at, which is to place Mr. Seselj in the second row, so he will
8 be much closer. Because I can see that in Courtroom I the accused is
9 seated very far from the Bench, whilst in the other two courtrooms, the
10 accused are -- is or are much closer which is much better, since we have
11 the principle of equality of arms there's no reason for the Prosecutor to
12 be closer to the Judges than the accused are.
13 I was told by the registry that the accused in this case will be
14 seated in the second row.
15 This was the first thing. Second thing, Mr. Seselj, it has to do
16 with the motion you filed for contempt to the Court and it concerned
17 Ms. Carla del Ponte and her two deputies or lawyers in this case. You may
18 know it, you may not. The Trial Chamber presided over by Judge Robinson
19 with Judge Bonomy and myself issued a decision on the 15th of May. It is,
20 no doubt, being translated so you may not have had it in your own
21 language, but I'm going to explain to you what the content is.
22 The Trial Chamber unanimously deemed that it was proper to settle
23 this issue at the end of the trial because the proceeding in question will
24 make it possible for you as an accused to raise questions of all the
25 witnesses that are to testify, be they Prosecution or Defence witnesses.
1 Therefore, the witnesses will be under oath, and you will be able to ask
2 them in which conditions their testimony was gathered. And this will have
3 much stronger weight because the witnesses answering your questions will
4 be under oath, as I said.
5 Also, there is another advantage to these proceedings. If it
6 turned out that a witness, especially so for the Prosecution witnesses, if
7 it turned out that they had provided written statements under some kind of
8 duress, pursuant to the Rules you would be entitled to ask for their
9 testimony to be stricken, as part of the proceedings in place to gather
10 testimony when witnesses are under oath. Therefore, the Trial Chamber
11 presided over by Judge Robinson decided that it was proper not to dismiss
12 your motion but to follow the issue very closely, enabling you yourself in
13 person to question witnesses who may have been involved in reproach as you
14 mentioned in your submissions. And only in fine, when all the witnesses
15 have testified will be you be entitled to renew your submissions and the
16 Trial Chamber will then rule having all the relevant material in
17 possession. So this is a decision that was issued recently. You will
18 receive it in your own language if you haven't yet received it.
19 So at this juncture do you have anything to say on this issue; if
20 so, you have the floor.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judge, I have a few things to say
22 with regard to this matter. As for this decision of the Trial Chamber, I
23 haven't seen it yet; however, some of the media in Belgrade already
24 provided brief information about that kind of a decision. In a way, I
25 have been informed beforehand, and I am going to file a motion to appeal
1 for several reasons. First of all, these are two separate crimes. The
2 crime that I have been charged with and the other crime that I am charging
3 the Chief Prosecutor Carla del Ponte with and two of her co-workers. They
4 cannot be tried together with me. The proceedings against them may or may
5 not take place, but there certainly cannot be a joinder of our two trials
6 because otherwise the three of them would have to sit next to me as
7 defendants, and I'm sure you're going to avoid that at all costs.
8 Secondly, Carla del Ponte is leaving this Tribunal in the month of
9 September. No one is going to catch her anymore and bring her before this
10 court to try her for contempt. Once my trial is over - that's going to be
11 towards the end of 1998 - rather, the year is 2008, then it will only be
12 the Trial Chamber that will be operative but there will be no more
13 first-instance trials. So postponing the contempt hearing is a deft
14 manoeuvre to free potential perpetrators of all responsibility. I did not
15 file these charges to make things easier for myself, but rather I want to
16 brand these terrible crimes, I'm talking about Carla del Ponte and her
17 co-workers and what they did are far greater crimes than the crimes I'm
18 being charged with. The practice to date of the Trial Chambers within
19 this Tribunal in terms of contempt was different, but at any rate when
20 there was a case of contempt of court, Trial Chambers would stop
21 proceedings against the accused person concerned and then they would
22 immediately move on to contempt hearings regarding various individuals,
23 sometimes Defence counsel, sometimes witnesses.
24 For example, we remember the lawyer Vujin from the Tadic case as
25 far as I can remember. Then also the attempt to charge the Blaskic lawyer
1 and so on, and then Kosta Bulatovic, a witness in the Milosevic case who
2 didn't want to answer questions put by the Prosecution because the accused
3 was not present at the hearing because of illness and he did not want to
4 take part in proceedings that were held in the absence of the accused on
5 account of his illness. Also, there were cases when persons who were
6 charged with disclosing secrets, or rather, protected documents appeared.
7 For example, certain journalists from Croatia who were charged
8 with disclosing the name of their president, Stipe Mesic, as a protected
9 witness in the Blaskic case. I'm saying this in open court now because
10 the protective measures are no longer in force, all of this is well-known
11 now, and the judgements are not under embargo, they are public as well.
12 So there was never any hesitancy in terms of bringing criminal
13 charges here, however in my particular case, I draw the following
14 conclusion: The Trial Chamber realises that my arguments are very strong
15 and well founded on the basis of the arguments that I presented in respect
16 of Carla del Ponte and her co-workers. They may be sentenced to up to
17 seven years in prison. Yesterday, I filed an addendum to my motion with
18 14 new statements of persons who were heard by investigators from
19 The Hague and who were blackmailed by the investigators and made to give
20 false testimony, to perjure themselves. Among them is the wife, or
21 rather, widow of Milan Babic. As you know, Milan Babic, because he was
22 fed up with giving false testimony in other trials, he committed suicide
23 during the Martic trial. The wife of Milan Babic wrote about all the
24 pressures that he and she and their entire family lived under. The entire
25 family was basically under arrest, not formally but that is the way they
1 were actually treated. Also I have the statement of Zoran Mijatovic, the
2 former deputy of the head of the State Security Service of service. He
3 testifies, or rather, he gives a statement saying that investigators from
4 The Hague Tribunal were trying to force him to artificially link me up
5 with the Yellow Wasps, so that I would be proven to be an accomplice in
6 the Zvornik war crimes.
7 Also there is a series of others. The members of my legal team
8 are still working on this matter, they are still collecting statements
9 from persons who are now reporting about this themselves. Before we were
10 searching for such people but now they are coming to us of their own free
11 will and telling us what kind of pressure was brought to bear on them or
12 how they were threatened or how their services were even attempted to be
13 bought in such cases. So I absolutely do not agree to have any kind of
14 deferral of proceedings with regard to this matter; the Trial Chamber has
15 to accept these proceedings or refuse to conduct proceedings if they
16 believe that there aren't sufficient arguments for this.
17 Since there's an abundance of arguments here, I think it is
18 impossible for the Trial Chamber to rule that my motion should be
19 repealed, and the Trial Chamber wanted to avoid bringing criminal charges
20 against Carla del Ponte towards the end of her career. So those are
21 incontrovertible facts. Now what is sought is a compromise. There will
22 be proceedings but only after my trial is over. No, the proceedings
23 cannot take place then because if my trial starts only in November, it
24 will certainly last until the last days of 2008. It cannot be over before
25 that. The Prosecution needs six months, there has to be a three-month
1 break, and I need at least six months. Judge, what you said is that I
2 will have the right to ask for statements that were made under duress to
3 be stricken from the record; however, that is my not intention. The
4 criminal charges I filed were supported by these statements and by those
5 included in the addendum from yesterday. They're not going to be
6 Prosecution witnesses at all. I am going to cross-examine Prosecution
7 witnesses and prove in that way that they were lying and show how they
8 were pressured and blackmailed.
9 I would like to remind you of the Slobodan Milosevic case. During
10 the trial, in the case of over 40 witnesses, he convinced the
11 Trial Chamber that the witnesses did not know what was in their 92 bis
12 statement submitted by the Prosecution. Mr. Milosevic had the right to
13 cross-examine these witnesses, and he said, You said such and such a
14 thing, and then the witness said, I have no idea, I never said that,
15 somebody else, I don't know, maybe there's a mistake in the interpretation
16 or the translation, and so on and so forth. There were over 40 such
17 cases. Now this Rule 92 bis is subdivided further, but in essence it
18 remains the same.
19 I think that it will only happen in the future when we see how
20 people were mistreated and how they were coerced into perjuring themselves
21 and giving false testimony against me. Maybe these people that I am
22 referring to, whose statements I collected will come to the courtroom if I
23 call them as witnesses but you are restricting my time in advance. You
24 are making me call certain witnesses, or rather, these witnesses rather
25 than other ones that I want to call. So I am spending my time and my
1 resources and so on and so forth. These witnesses should be called by the
2 Court during the contempt proceedings against Carla del Ponte and her
4 The only right way of resolving this would be for the Trial
5 Chamber to set up an independent investigating body or appoint an
6 independent prosecutor, who would then hear all the persons who are
7 mentioned in the criminal report, and who would also hear all the
8 investigators whose names are mentioned in this negative context as
9 persons who resorted to blackmail, pressure, and bribery. Then the said
10 person would either file an indictment on the basis of that or report the
11 whole situation to the Court. In these proceedings I can only be sitting
12 on the sidelines as an interested party. In such proceedings, I would not
13 be the prosecuting or the defending party. I just want to hear this
14 because what happened happened in the investigation procedure of my trial.
15 The independent prosecutor should be here and your Trial Chamber should
16 judge that. That is the only right way to proceed.
17 Secondly, an argument I did not hear from you but that was
18 mentioned in the Belgrade press; namely, that my trial is running too
19 late, so that is why you want to leave these proceedings until after my
20 trial is over. But that is not based on any relevant arguments either.
21 At the last Status Conference, the Prosecutor stated that they will be
22 ready in November to start the trial. Judging by the way things were
23 going so far, it depends whether they will be able to begin in November,
24 so that is in another six months' time and during those six months the
25 Trial Chamber has enough time to act on these charges that I brought, to
1 investigate the facts, to check them out, and to pass a relevant decision.
2 There is no reason to wait, especially because there is the possibility of
3 the accused parties running away, escaping. Carla del Ponte leaves in
4 September --
5 MS. DAHL: Your Honour --
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Switzerland does not have the
7 obligation to hand over its own citizens to this Tribunal. Switzerland is
8 not a member of the UN, and therefore -- Ms. Dahl, please do not interrupt
9 me. I never interrupted you. I never offended you in any way. Please
10 allow me to finish.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, Ms. Dahl, you will
12 have the floor. Let him finish because he's setting forth his reasons and
13 you can respond to what he said --
14 MS. DAHL: The parties' filings are confidential and I move that
15 this session be closed during the discussions of the material that has
16 been filed before the Trial Chamber confidentially. The order is not
17 confidential; however, the submissions of the parties are. The practice
18 direction concerning the contempt proceedings requires that prior to an
19 investigation and prior to a decision that all the material remain
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm going to answer you in a
22 minute, but I'll let Mr. Seselj finish.
23 Please finish, Mr. Seselj.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This cannot be confidential, because
25 I filed these charges publicly and it was published in 10.000 copies in my
1 book, "Either Carla's Witness or Death". All these 10.000 copies were
2 sold out in Serbia and very soon an English edition is going to be
3 published. Also, a scientific gathering was held in Belgrade devoted to
4 this subject. Over 6.000 people were there, and prominent Serbian lawyers
5 presented their views on the matter. And also, the addendum is also a
6 public document and has already been distributed to the media. Not a
7 single one of my arguments can be a secret because I didn't want anything
8 to be a secret.
9 Possibly your answer is going to be a secret, and I am going to
10 honour that if you say officially that it's a secret document, that it's
11 an official secret. But you, making my documents secret, no way. I
12 decided that this is going to be public, I published this, it came out in
13 this book, it came out in the newspaper Velika Srbija, and this was
14 carried practically by all the daily newspapers in Serbia. These persons
15 who you blackmailed to give false testimony went to various Belgrade
16 newspapers for days and then they explained extensively how you treated
17 them. Some of them, like Jovo Ostojic, wrote their own books about their
18 own experience. How can that possibly be a secret? Of course, if you
19 conduct secret proceedings you have reasons for this secrecy. You want to
20 hide some of your own secrets. Such proceedings can be secret; however,
21 as I wrote as a motion, as criminal charges, will never be secret because
22 I would not allow such a thing to be secret.
23 You used to behave that way in some other cases, but you cannot
24 behave that way in my case because there is just this one power, one
25 strength I have and that is the power of the public and nothing more than
1 that. And it is that power of the public that made it impossible for you
2 to bury me a long time ago. You have already buried many others who did
3 not resort to the public; Milan Babic, Deronjic, who died on Friday, if
4 I'm not mistaken, and others. All these people who you instrumentalised
5 to give false testimonies, they committed suicide. One of them committed
6 suicide, he was supposed to be a false witness in my case and he committed
7 suicide sometime this summer. I am not going to mention his name because
8 there is still an embargo on his name, although the Prosecutor did ask for
9 the secrecy to be removed and I don't know whether the Trial Chamber has
10 ruled until now.
11 So you forced one of them to get bad cancer that simply devoured
12 him, the other one hanged himself. So this is what happens with your
13 false witnesses and it is high time for someone to investigate that matter
14 as well. I have given instructions to my legal advisors to talk to the
15 attorneys and family of Miroslav Deronjic to say what kind of pressure was
16 exerted on him. Bratunac is not in my indictment, but when they arrested
17 him, they beat him up. They put him into a barrel of water and so on and
18 so forth. They threatened him here, blackmailed him, threatened him with
19 a life sentence and he gave false testimony in one, two, three trials and
20 all of it added up. You think the public is never going to find out about
21 all of that? Oh yes, they will. I will do my best that they find out and
22 they are going to find out, and you cannot keep such things secret. What
23 your crimes are cannot be kept secret.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The speaker is speaking
25 much too fast.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I have various
2 things to say following your questions and what you said.
3 With regard to confidentiality - and I'm addressing the Prosecutor
4 as well - Rule 77 regarding contempt says nowhere that the proceedings
5 should remain confidential. Therefore, the accused in his submissions is
6 entitled to state publicly or orally what he feels he has to say. So your
7 arguments as to the fact that the proceedings under Rule 77 should be
8 confidential, I can't see that, either in the Rules or in the Statute.
9 You could shed some light on this; I'm all ears.
10 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, I would refer the Court's attention,
11 respectfully, to the Practice Direction issued by the Registrar on 6 May
12 2004 concerning the investigation and prosecution of contempt before the
13 International Tribunal. Paragraph 5 of the Practice Direction
14 provides: "The request for an investigation shall be made ex parte and
15 confidentially before the Chamber in which the contempt allegedly
16 occurred." I have the cover sheet of the filing of Mr. Seselj's motion.
17 It is stamped "confidential," as was the Prosecution's response in
18 direction -- in response to the direction of the Trial Chamber.
19 The cascade of criminal accusations of wrongdoing, of belligerence
20 and intimidation by witnesses are denied by the Prosecution without any
21 qualification, and we should not be made to listen where there is no
22 proceeding pending to adjudicate those facts. Respectfully, Your Honour,
23 this needs to be in closed session to protect the privacy of the people
24 who have been accused from malicious and slanderous accusations that are
25 false and are without any basis in fact. This office does not, has not,
1 and will never bribe, intimidate, coerce, or otherwise seek to improperly
2 influence the testimony of witnesses. Our task is to do justice, and the
3 foundation of that is the truth.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Regarding the Practice Direction
5 by the Registrar, I am only bound by the Rules of Procedure and Evidence,
6 and I remind you that in the Rules there are provisions for the President
7 to issue practice directions. This is Rule 19(B) of the Rules. I'm going
8 to read it out because it is relevant.
9 "The President may from time to time, and in consultation with
10 the Bureau, the Registrar and the Prosecutor, issue Practice Directions,
11 consistent with the Statute and the Rules, addressing detailed aspects of
12 the conduct of proceedings before the Tribunal."
13 But such practice directions as they are issued must be consistent
14 with the Rules. The Rules governing contempt proceedings are to be found
15 in Rule 77 and nothing in Rule 77 says that everything has to happen
17 So on this issue I have a very clear view, there is no place for
18 secrecy in this matter.
19 Now, let me answer Mr. Seselj. Firstly, you pointed out that you
20 had sent us a new list with 14 witnesses. I've just learned it, just as
21 you said so. The Legal Officer of the Trial Chamber immediately told me
22 that you had sent 180 pages in Cyrillic on this issue, and the pages are
23 being translated. This new addendum of yours has not yet been registered
24 with the registry, which accounts for the fact that I was not informed of
1 Of course, clearly, this is information that the Trial Chamber
2 could take into account if it were to review the decision it issued on the
3 15th of May. All the more so, since you told us that among the 15 new
4 witnesses there would be the widow of Mr. Babic, who allegedly mentioned
5 she had been put under pressure, if I properly understood what you said.
6 We issued this decision on the 15th of May. You are still free to file
7 another motion for a review of the said motion and decision, asking us to
8 review our decision, since now you are providing, according to what you
9 said, new information through this addendum. This being said, but you
10 know the proceedings as well as I do, you could also ask for appeal
11 certification, and I can tell you straight ahead that I would be more than
12 willing to grant it. But regardless, from this you conveyed several other
13 pieces of information which would make us believe that the proceedings --
14 that you believe that the proceedings cannot take place.
15 Let me answer your arguments. It is true to say that all things
16 being equal, further to a decision of the Security Council, first-instance
17 trials should be finished by 2008. And as for the Appeals Chamber, it
18 would -- the deadline would be 2010. But there may be situations in which
19 trials would go on beyond 2008, and anything that is parallel proceedings
20 will proceed as well. So you seem to be showing some concern about this,
21 but I can already provide you with an answer which is nearly certain, I
22 mean, we're not going to stop everything overnight in 2009 saying, Now we
23 stop working altogether, and especially because the trials will not be
24 over by then. And then you submitted that since the person in question
25 will no longer be working in this Tribunal, he or she cannot be
1 prosecuted. You're wrong there again, because as you know when it comes
2 to contempt proceedings, the Chamber seized of such proceedings has
3 various means at its disposal. And you know very well that there were
4 contempt proceedings in which the Trial Chamber delivered warrants of
5 arrest to the people, no matter where they lived. So you don't need to
6 have any concern on this.
7 As to the merits on the proceedings, Rule 77 provides the
8 following proceeding. Regarding the investigation, because that seemed to
9 be sort of nagging you, it is either the Prosecutor that carries out the
10 investigation; in this instance it would be impossible, the Prosecutor
11 cannot investigate him or herself. So this possibility is ruled out. The
12 other procedural option that can be envisaged and that I, myself,
13 envisaged, was to have an amicus curiae appointed. He would be in charge
14 of conducting the investigation.
15 And you seem to be sort of pointing to that type of proceeding.
16 You seem to be suggesting this to the Trial Chamber. So if you have an
17 amicus curiae, the person appointed is fully independent. His or her
18 timetable is defined by the person him or herself. They will do what they
19 think necessary. Therefore, this type of proceedings may present
20 advantages but also inconvenience.
21 The other possibility would be for the Trial Chamber itself to
22 carry out the investigation, but in this case also there would be a
23 problem because the Trial Chamber cannot be Judge and party because they
24 would have to examine the OTP witnesses, witnesses in court or out of
25 court. So that's a problem, too. So on the basis of all these factors,
1 we chose an avenue which safeguards your rights, because indeed when a
2 witness comes to testify, let's say a Prosecution witness whom you think
3 pressure was bought to bear on them, you can ask questions of that person
4 who is under oath. And if the witness failed to come because they would
5 not be a Prosecution witness, you -- when you adduce your evidence in your
6 case, you can call them. They can come, and they can testify under oath.
7 And you will be the one conducting the examination-in-chief.
8 Just think it over. Take all this on board. Nothing prevents you
9 from filing new submissions for review over the decision we issued, taking
10 into account that there are 14 new witnesses who've just appeared and whom
11 I didn't know anything about, and I haven't had an opportunity yet to read
12 your submissions but I shall certainly do so as soon as they have been
14 So, so much for this issue, but I'm sure we'll have another
15 opportunity to deal with this again.
16 Now, let me deal with what I see as major obstacles, hindrances,
17 but they could -- they may not be or they have not yet been solved.
18 Unless you want to take the floor, Ms. Dahl.
19 MS. DAHL: Very briefly, Your Honour. I would ask that you direct
20 the Registrar to provide us with copies of the 14 new statements in their
21 form now while we await translation. I think that would make our review
22 of the witness statements more efficient. And I would note that under the
23 Rules, a motion to certify for appellate review by the Prosecution would
24 be due today and I'd respectfully request the Trial Chamber to enlarge
25 that period by at least ten days until Friday, June 1st, so that we can
1 complete our review of the witness statements and take the matter under
2 further consideration in view of the comments you've offered today.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. You have that extension
4 of deadline.
5 Now, let's go back to disclosure under Rule 66 and 68, disclosure
6 with hard copies. Mr. Seselj, you wrote submissions and your motion has
7 been filed; Prosecution has 14 days to answer. So regarding the motion
8 for disclosure in hard copy in your own language of the documents, I'm now
9 asking Prosecution to make haste because as soon as I have these
10 submissions the Chamber will rule on this. However -- yes, Ms. Dahl.
11 MS. DAHL: I'm sorry, I'm finding myself at a loss with regard to
12 the specific motion that Your Honour is referring to because I am
13 presently unaware of a motion regarding delivery of hard copies.
14 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. The assistant told me that
16 this was recorded -- registered on May 17th. If the mail office is
17 working correctly, I'm sure that you have the submission from Mr. Seselj.
18 I have them myself. It's May 17th.
19 MS. DAHL: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine, Mrs. Dahl. You have to
21 stay on top of all these motions, there's many of them coming in. It's
22 sometimes hard to find your way out, and personally 24 hours,
23 around-the-clock, I'm, you know, checking this case to try and keep
24 abreast of things and to make sure that some motions don't fall through
25 and to make sure that I can answer all them.
1 That regarding the issue of electronic -- of disclosure, whether
2 it should be electronic or not, I told you that I found it necessary for
3 the accused to obtain hard copies of all the elements under Rule 66 and
4 68. And the decision I will make will of course be guided by the spirit
5 which I believe should prevail. So that is one obstacle, one fundamental
6 obstacle for the -- for this trial.
7 Now, another obstacle that I will now mention is the issue of
8 payment of Mr. Seselj's assistants. As I told you, Mr. Seselj, I'll be
9 fully transparent with you. I'm doing everything I can to keep you
10 abreast of everything happening. Since -- in realtime because I believe
11 that you must be kept abreast of the advancement of the obstacles that are
12 encountered, notably on this item regarding the payment.
13 So I was with the registry. We had a new working meeting to try
14 and find out how registry may eventually pay your assistants, pay them for
15 their work as well as pay them for the expenses incurred; for example,
16 housing expenses and so on. The position of the registry is the
17 following: The registry is telling me that the Statute in
18 Article 21(4)(b) did not provide for -- provide for legal aid for the
19 lawyer and provided nothing when an accused wants to self-represent
20 himself. And registry is also telling me that, after having analysed the
21 situation and also because of the fact that they are working in -- within
22 budget limits, they cannot pay out anything. This position has always
23 been expressed and was expressed quite some time ago, and I asked them to
24 get information from the legal advisor in New York. And they did this and
25 gave me a copy of a letter dated May 10th, 2007, letter sent to New York
1 regarding this problem.
2 As of now, we have not received any answer to this letter. But
3 this is a very important question. As you know, at your own level you
4 already contested the decision made by registry, you appealed to the
5 President of the Tribunal, who actually said that registry was right, but
6 telling you also that you had to seize the Chamber of this problem. I
7 thought that I could settle this problem quickly; however, today I note
8 that today, May 22nd, the problem is still pending.
9 So you should quickly submit a motion to the Trial Chamber so that
10 the Trial Chamber could rule on this.
11 I'm -- I can tell you that as far as I'm concerned, personally,
12 the way I interpret Article 21 of the Statute is as follows, and I believe
13 that many people neglected this. Article 21(4) says the following, I will
14 read it very slowly:
15 "In the determination of any charge against the accused pursuant
16 to the present Statute, the accused shall be entitled to the following
17 minimum guarantees in full equality," and then the guarantees are spelled
18 out. And what does this paragraph mean? Well, it means that the accused
19 is entitled in full equality, full equality with Prosecution, to
20 guarantees, and guarantees are, as I said, spelled out through (a), (b),
21 (c), (d), (e), (f), and (g), through all those provisions; however, these
22 are minimum guarantees that are provided for because the article says at
23 least, "following minimum guarantees," which means there are initial
24 guarantees that may be granted to the accused. But even if we only look
25 at these minimum guarantees, the Statute provided for the possibility that
1 an accused would self-represent himself or be aided by counsel.
2 The Statute, thus, has provided for the fact that
3 self-representation is possible and automatically this has consequences.
4 Notably, since in these guarantees under (e), it is written that the
5 accused may examine or have examined - and when you're saying "examined,"
6 it means he is examining, himself, the witnesses - and therefore
7 Article 21, as I said earlier, provides the accused with a certain number
8 of rights, including the right to self-representation, which of course
9 entails a number of consequences. And among these consequences, you have
10 the problem of collecting witnesses -- statements from witnesses, the cost
11 incurred by expert witnesses, and so forth. I'm not going to go through
12 the whole list, but this is important.
13 Therefore, Mr. Seselj, you should very quickly draw up a motion
14 regarding this, basing yourself on Article 21 of the Statute. The Appeals
15 Chamber recognised that you had the right to self-representation, but this
16 right that you have entails a number of consequences, notably your
17 assistants and so on. Once the motion is written, Prosecution will have
18 14 days to reply to it, and I myself will rule on this, whatever the
19 position taken by the registry. The registry announced and told me - and
20 it's no surprise to you - that he also intends to get involved in the
21 proceeding. You have made a motion, we'll have a reply from Prosecution,
22 and registry will also intervene. But then a decision will be made.
23 Maybe Prosecution will ask for a certification of appeal, the registry may
24 also ask for the same thing. And in that case, it will be up to the
25 Appeals Chamber to rule.
1 As far as I'm concerned, I said - I said it already and I still
2 state - that any accused has a right to self-representation and that this
3 right, as provided for in the Statute, entails that the accused should
4 have all the facilities required at his disposal to prepare his defence
5 case. This is written in the Statute.
6 So I wanted to mention this, given the -- this pending question,
7 and I believe that this question can only be solved if maybe New York has
8 in the meanwhile told registry that it can pay out and will have given the
9 registry the order to pay out for the expenses and that would be the best
10 solution possible. But if we hear nothing from New York, then the Trial
11 Chamber or possibly the Appeals Chamber will have to live up to its
12 responsibilities. And as far as I'm concerned, I'm ready to live up to my
13 responsibility - I've always been ready to do so - and I will it do this
14 as soon as I get the submissions from all parties.
15 So do you want to take the floor, Mr. Seselj? Then I will give
16 the floor to Mrs. Dahl.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judge, I will continue to be adamant
18 that the International Tribunal finance my defence. It is Article 21 of
19 the Statute that provides me with this right, to be endowed with the means
20 for my defence. In a couple of days I will be filing a motion to the
21 Trial Chamber for the Trial Chamber to rule upon. Of course, should the
22 International Tribunal end up not being involved in the financing of my
23 defence that does not in itself mean that I will not defend myself; I will
24 still defend myself but quite literally on my own. I will have to
25 dismantle my team, I will have to release my legal advisors, and I will
1 not be needing a case manager either. What would I keep one for? I will
2 be entirely alone in the courtroom with no assistants, with no advisors, I
3 will defend myself. It will be down to the Trial Chamber and the Tribunal
4 as a whole to explain how such a trial can possibly be a just and
5 equitable one. That is what I have decided. I will not accept any halfway
6 house solutions.
7 Secondly, it is quite symptomatic that the registrar is trying to
8 hide certain information; how much money has been paid to the lawyers who
9 were imposed to me so far. That is very symptomatic. Why should the
10 registry refuse to disclose the cost of all the other defence cases in the
11 financing of which the International Tribunal has been involved. Why is
12 the registrar refusing to disclose how much money they have spent so far
13 on my case, the investigators, administrative costs, and all the other
14 expenses. This is UN money, and the way this money is used cannot be kept
15 secret. Only those who were involved in murky business might want to keep
16 this secret; they squandered the money or they laundered the money. I
17 don't think that is too far off the mark either.
18 These are symptomatic issues and that is what the whole thing
19 rests upon. People from the registry have come to me several times to
20 negotiate the financing of my defence. These negotiations were always
21 disrupted when I placed the following condition: To know exactly how much
22 the stand-by lawyers in my case cost, how much all the other defence cases
23 cost them, and what the costs incurred by the OTP were. This is where it
24 all stopped, after I raised that, and then they always say that I have no
25 right to having my defence financed. I would have some if I dropped my
1 three questions, but I want to ask those three questions and without those
2 three questions being answered, nobody is in a position to say how much my
3 defence case may cost. These are the only objective criteria that can be
4 used to establish this.
5 What we cannot have is them setting up new rules, setting up new
6 criteria for this, which is entirely subjective. They might as well say:
7 $100. All right, $100 but then prove that the OTP spent no more than
8 $100, or that the International Tribunal awarded no more than $100 in
9 other defence teams in previous trials. Or to prove that
10 Aleksandar Lazarevic, Van der Spoel, and Hooper and everybody else,
11 whoever, was nominated without my consent in my case would be awarded no
12 more than $100. Just tell me that, prove me that. If they got no more, I
13 can live with that, too. I will use up some of my own money and I will
14 use the $100 that the International Tribunal will award me. That's what
15 I'm saying. I'm just trying to put you in the picture to see how drastic
16 this type of illegal behaviour can be.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I will give the floor to
18 Mrs. Dahl in a minute but before so, Mr. Seselj, I have one more thing to
19 add. While you were talking, I was checking Article 21 of the Statute
20 again and we have the question of legal aid in Article 21 regarding an
21 accused that would be no means, no financial means. So in this motion you
22 will have to state exactly what -- what is your financial situation. I
23 remember you told us that you had an account, bank account, in New York
24 that was frozen; you have another account in Canada, but I think that
25 great -- because of expenses incurred, most of the money is gone. And you
1 also explained that you still had some resources, if I understood well, it
2 was a pension or salary, I can't really remember, that was supposed to be
3 paid out to you in Belgrade. Out of all this, I didn't realise that you
4 had enough resources to pay out all these expenses incurred.
5 So to make sure that the registry -- that the registry or
6 Prosecution can test [Realtime transcript read in error "contest"] that
7 you would not have sufficient means, I have of course no system to know
8 exactly what your financial resources are, but in your motion you will
9 have to tell us exactly what is your financial standing. If you have, for
10 example, a certain amount of dollars that could help you pay out, the
11 registry will say, Well, since he wants self-representation, that's his
12 own choice and it's up to him now to pay his own assistants.
13 So in the motion you have to give us all this information to make
14 sure that the -- that the form of your motion is irreproachable and that
15 it follows Article 21 and what is provided for in Article 21. But as I
16 already told you -- I think I already told you this, you know, when I drew
17 your attention on this problem of indigence. But you know case law
18 inside-out, if I may say so, and I'm sure you know that some accused who
19 had assigned counsel, well, for them the registry made a number of
20 decisions to make sure that even though they had assigned counsel, they
21 had to pay out from their own pockets some expenses because the registry
22 took stock of the financial standing of the accused in that case.
23 So with you, registry must know absolutely what your financial
24 standing is in order to say that you could pay out so much money, with
25 maybe 10 or 20 or 30 per cent of it being borne by you.
1 I'm drawing your attention on this; in your motion you must be
2 fully transparent on this issue.
3 Mrs. Dahl, would you like to take the floor on this aspect of
4 things regarding application of Article 21 in the Statute?
5 MS. DAHL: Not presently, Your Honour. I look forward to
6 receiving Mr. Seselj's submissions. I would ask the court reporter to
7 correct the transcript at page 23, line 19, where is the Court's statement
8 was translated as "contest" and in fact the Court said "can test" to allow
9 the Prosecutor and the registrar to test the submissions by Mr. Seselj.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine, fine. Very good. This
11 will be settled. This is obviously -- something that is up to the
13 Before the break now, I wish to deal with another problem.
14 THE ACCUSED: [No interpretation]
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you have the floor.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I just wanted to say one thing, it
17 is one sentence but perhaps a rather long one on the question of
18 financing. Back in 2003, Judge, I submitted to the registrar all the
19 relevant information. I filled in all the questionnaires. I did
20 everything that I could and everything that was necessary. I will mention
21 this again in my submission to the Trial Chamber. I now have a lot less
22 money than I did back in 2003. I was never the one stalling this whole
23 process, it was always the registry.
24 Secondly, there is an obligation to provide legal assistance and
25 this is linked to the presumption of innocence. I'm protected by the
1 presumption of innocence, and it is the presumption of innocence, this
2 very principle, that guarantees me the means for my defence. If I'm not
3 awarded these means, that prejudices the very presumption of innocence and
4 I am presumed to be guilty, to be a criminal deserving of no assistance
5 whatsoever, whereas precisely that, Your Honour, is something that the OTP
6 are yet to prove. The position of the registry being what it is, they
7 would seem to imply that my guilt has already been proven; on the other
8 hand, they're offering me their Defence counsel, their legal assistants.
9 They're trying to infiltrate spies who will eventually end up undermining
10 my defence as they have other people's, other accused's defences before
11 this Tribunal.
12 Once you have a counsel like that you can no longer get rid of
13 him. When you have a Defence counsel, you as an accused, are reduced to
14 the status of an idiot and you're not allowed to say a single word. That
15 was the case with the Appeals Chamber saying that I would be allowed to
16 address the Court only through my Defence counsel and not on my own. That
17 is the very essence of these Kafkaesque proceedings before this Tribunal.
18 Bring them here and do not allow them to defend themselves. We have had
19 only two cases where the accused defended themselves. There were other
20 cases where some of the accused threatened to defend themselves and then
21 all of their requests and wishes were met in terms of who their appointed
22 Defence counsel should be, just to keep them from representing themselves.
23 That is the essence. Fortunately, I have recognised this essence
24 of the problem in a timely manner. I studied all the other trials, all
25 the other cases, and I have prepared myself for my own trial in a timely
1 manner. That is why they have not succeeded in double-crossing me. That
2 is why the OTP are now powerless. That is why they have no evidence
3 against me, and without cooperation from a false Defence counsel, an
4 imposed one, they are powerless to do anything against me at all. They
5 are still expecting things to change. They still have not disclosed a lot
6 of these documents to me in Serbian and in hard copy. It seems that they
7 are just biding their time, waiting for something to finally happen.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. I heard you well, and I'm
9 now waiting for your submissions. I'm looking forward to them.
10 So now before the break, I believe we should deal with another
11 topic which is also extremely important in your case which is the date at
12 which the trial should start. Last time you heard Mrs. Dahl say, for
13 information, that as far as she was concerned the trial should not --
14 couldn't start before November. Since then, I've investigated the
15 availability of courtrooms, I've investigated on the resources of registry
16 to try and make sure that the trial could start as quickly as possible.
17 I'm fully transparent, as I told you and I'm going to tell you exactly
18 what the situation is regarding trials occurring now and trials to come.
19 As you know, there are three courtrooms here. This is Courtroom I,
20 there's also Courtroom II and Courtroom III. So regarding current trials,
21 there's Milutinovic case, which is mainly occurring in Courtroom III, it
22 is scheduled to end - of course this is subject to variations - but it is
23 scheduled to end in mid-2008. After that, another trial might be
24 scheduled. The other trial in Courtroom III, which I preside over, is the
25 Prlic case. This trial will go on throughout 2007 and 2008, which means
1 that Courtroom III is fully booked.
2 So let's move to the other courtrooms. The Boskoski trial just
3 started and is roughly scheduled to last over several months and might end
4 early in 2008. And then another case is scheduled to take place in that
5 courtroom right after that one.
6 In Courtroom I, the Popovic et al. case is underway. Normally it
7 is scheduled, through estimation -- it is estimated to be -- to end by
8 2009, in the first three months of 2009.
9 Now, regarding Courtroom II, there's the Dragomir Milosevic trial
10 going on, and this one should end in November of this year. So this would
11 free up Courtroom II. The Haradinaj trial has also started and will
12 probably continue into 2008. And then there's another case that is to be
13 tried, the Delic trial, and this one is scheduled to run until mid-2008.
14 So now if you look at the statistics, we see that we have 15
15 accused, including yourself, awaiting trial. I'm sure you know it because
16 this is no secret, everybody is well aware of it, is that we still have
17 six fugitives, Mr. Karadzic, Mr. Mladic, Mr. Zupljanin, Mr. Hadzic,
18 Mr. Djordjevic, and Mr. Tolimir. And of course, if they're arrested they
19 will come under trial.
20 So when you look at the schedule of courtrooms and you -- and the
21 only available slot that we have, which is at the end of the Milosevic
22 trial, your case could be tried in November. Of course we have the
23 problem of the courtroom on the one hand, but on the other hand we have
24 another problem which is the resources that need to be mobilised. As you
25 see in a courtroom you've got legal officers, registrars, a court -- court
1 reporter, interpreters, OTP members, the SLOs, so we need -- all this
2 staff is subjected to a budget, a specific budget, and the trial -- this
3 Tribunal can run six trials at once, not seven. And in this -- we need,
4 therefore, to have -- the one trial to be over to start a new one because
5 of budgetary constraints.
6 I've had many contacts with many people, and I am told that
7 November could really be the most suitable date for your trial to start.
8 I know, Mr. Seselj, that you have been detained for several years; I'm
9 well aware of this. I'm well aware of the presumption of innocence also.
10 I know that your trial had started, but for procedural -- for procedural
11 issue regarding the rights of the defence, your trial had to be postponed
12 and it came back to pre-trial stage. So this is the data I have at my
13 disposal and I believe that you must be told about all this information.
14 I don't want to use administrative reasons to hide; I just want you to
15 know what the situation is in full transparency.
16 Now, independently of all of this, of all that I've said, I'm sure
17 that you must understand and that Prosecution must understand that as of
18 now there's still documents that you have not received in our own language
19 that you will have to study in order to defend yourself. And secondly,
20 there's also a pending question, the question of your assistants. Earlier
21 you said that eventually, possibly, you could even defend yourself on your
22 own, but that would not be a fair trial. And I can't say I don't share
23 your opinion, because, you know, in a cell with this procedure I really
24 don't see how you can defend yourself alone; technically, I think it's
25 absolutely impossible.
1 Furthermore, there is a great number of motions - we'll see them
2 later - which are calling for replies, either by you or by your counsel or
3 your advisors. And if you want to be in the best condition possible to
4 defend yourself - and what are these conditions exactly, in the best
5 condition possible? Being in your situation, defending yourself,
6 cross-examining witnesses, directing the proceeding, developing your
7 strategy, investigating, himself, in order to find witnesses, being able
8 also to interview the witnesses and so on. Well, this is going to require
9 great effort from you, and I believe that this is a huge task if you want
10 to go at it alone. I'm sure you need help. I know that you need help.
11 Let me give you an example so you fully understand the magnitude
12 of the effort required. There are several motions regarding expert
13 witnesses. An admission of an expert report has been requested. So an
14 expert report requires the accused and the counsel, if there is one, but
15 of course, you are -- you are your own lawyer, so you have to read and
16 study the expert report. Sometimes it's several hundred pages long. You
17 have to look at all the footnotes also in the expert report in order to
18 prepare for the cross-examination of this expert report.
19 That's a huge amount of work in itself, and it's time-consuming.
20 So to prepare yourself - I'm not talking about the procedure or form - I'm
21 talking about substance. At one point in time, I hope you've already
22 started this, but you will have to pore over all the written statements of
23 all witnesses, pore over all the documents and these are thousands and
24 thousands of pages. So it's a huge amount of work. I believe that you
25 need more than weeks, you need months to get ready. And giving you a few
1 more months to get ready will prove, you know, to be very beneficial in
2 the end. Notably, since I undertook - and I'm sure you've seen that so
3 far I have lived up to my promises - I really undertook to meet with you
4 at least every three weeks in order to look at all the problems. I
5 believe that everything that can be solved upstream will be time saved
6 downstream, if we can manage to solve a great number of problems before
7 the trial in the pre-trial phase, then according to the spirit of the
8 Statute and the text we will have a fair -- a quick trial. Not
9 expeditious, not time-consuming, we will not waste time over procedural
10 questions and so on, as we see so often because we will have been able to
11 overcome all these problems in the pre-trial phase. I've prepared a
12 working schedule where we meet every three weeks or so, and I'm sure we'll
13 be able to save a lot of time in this pre-trial phase preparing for the
15 You told us, and I did hear you well, that the other Trial Chamber
16 had planned to give Prosecution six months and to give you six months
17 also. I believe that Prosecution could even be even quicker. I'll say
18 how later on. Maybe we could save time on the presentation of the
19 Prosecution's case, while of course allowing the Prosecution to present
20 its evidence, but I think we could still save time. As you said yourself,
21 you -- you believe that you will need six months for your own case. But
22 you have to make sure that a lot of problems are ironed out earlier,
23 otherwise we may run into difficulties.
24 I think we should now have a break, a 20-minute break, and we'll
25 resume after the break and you will have the floor. So you can give us
1 your opinion on what was just said. It's now five to 5.00 and we will
2 meet again around 5.15. Thank you.
3 --- Recess taken at 4.57 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 5.16 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The hearing is
7 Mr. Seselj, regarding the issue of the date for the opening of
8 trial, do you have anything to say on this?
9 THE ACCUSED: [Microphone not activated]
10 [Interpretation] The convention of human rights guarantees a
11 minimal and fundamental right to all accused persons, namely trial within
12 a reasonable period of time. The American and the African convention both
13 agree on that. So what is a reasonable deadline within which a trial has
14 to start for anyone accused of any crime, let alone the most serious of
15 crimes, as in this case?
16 In my view as far as my case is concerned - and I'm a
17 record-holder in this Tribunal with regard to this matter - even if I had
18 been provisionally released, the reasonable deadline for starting the
19 trial is way behind us. In Serbia an accused person could spend a maximum
20 of six months in detention prior to trial; in exceptional cases, one year.
21 After the mafia coup of the 5th of October, the puppet regime,
22 pro-Western, was brought into power and now the maximum pre-trial
23 detention is two years. Judge, you were President of a court of appeals
24 in Paris, if I have been informed correctly, and my friend Jacques Berger
25 [phoen] considers you to be one of the top legal man in France. Would you
1 please be kind to tell me what is the maximum amount of time that an
2 accused person should spend in detention in a French prison?
3 What is going on here is something that constitutes a very, very
4 bad precedent. Detention that goes on for this long a period of time
5 makes impossible a fair trial to begin with. Even if I were to have
6 stayed in Belgrade this long, a fair trial would be impossible, let alone
7 under these conditions. I understand all the things you said as to why
8 the trial cannot start before November. I understand courtrooms that are
9 overbooked and so on and so forth. However, there is one thing that
10 remains inexplicable. Why did four and a half years have to go by until
11 now? Why did the trial not start in 2003 within a reasonable amount of
12 time? Carla del Ponte came to Belgrade in February 2003 when I came, and
13 she said that everything was ready for my trial and that it could start
14 immediately. It was the autumn of 2003 that was referred to.
15 In 2004, I asked for provisional release until the beginning of
16 the trial. It was rejected. One of the arguments - I don't want to go
17 into all of them - was that the trial is expected to start in 2004, and of
18 course, the trial did not start. In all fairness, an expanded indictment
19 was issued, or rather, a request was submitted first of all. I did not
20 oppose that because just like the previous charges were false, those
21 charges were false, too. It's all the same to me, how many charges there
22 will be, how many counts there will be, and how many crimes I will be
23 charged with. You know, there is one thing that upsets me a bit and that
24 is when lists of victims are read out and somebody who is not very
25 well-versed in this may think that I am the person to be blamed for these
1 victims, so I don't like the idea of that. However, I must say that I've
2 had a good time, I've had quite a bit of fun over these years as I was
3 watching all the trouble that the Prosecution was going through as they
4 were trying to stage this trial and to see what they would do about this,
5 which really made them sweat.
6 Last year, the indictment was shortened, but it did not include
7 everything that was added in 2005. But half of what I was charged with in
8 2003 was added, which shows that there is really a lack of seriousness in
9 preparing this indictment. So this had nothing to do with expediting the
10 proceedings, that is to say, decreasing the number of locations involved
11 and the number of crimes involved, but the Prosecution realised that none
12 of these crimes have anything to do with me. And the remaining ones don't
13 have anything to do with me either.
14 I got a list of witnesses only the other day, although the Trial
15 Chamber said that all elements that have to do with the crime base in
16 Western Slavonia should be eliminated, Samac, Bijeljina, Brcko, and so
17 on. Yet again, witnesses are repeated on this list, there are about 106
18 of them, crime base witnesses, people who perhaps never saw me in their
19 lives. Again this is some kind of a game they are playing; the
20 Prosecution is not doing its job seriously. When they will start doing
21 their job seriously, I have really lost all hope that they will ever do
22 that. And that is what they attest to with their behaviour here and now.
23 They are just trying to evade their responsibilities in terms of
24 disclosure, they are rendering it impossible for me to resort to my
25 procedural rights and so on and so forth.
1 There were different ways of economising. In 2003, I was prepared
2 to talk to the Prosecutor and I wanted to give them proof that many of
3 these alleged crimes have nothing to do with the volunteers of the Serb
4 Radical Party, so this was this key evidence that precluded any
5 responsibility. Even if a volunteer of the Serb Radical Party had
6 committed a crime somewhere, that would have had nothing to do with me;
7 however, these are crimes that have nothing to do with any volunteers from
8 the Serb Radical Party, as a matter of fact. The Prosecution gave me a
9 list of questions and I put forth a requirement of my own that my legal
10 advisors be present and the Prosecution just dodged that.
11 And then the Trial Chamber, whose member you were too, instructed
12 the OTP to do away with the crimes related to Vojvodina because in
13 Vojvodina there was never an armed conflict. There is no nexus with the
14 armed conflicts in other territories of the former Yugoslavia. In the
15 case law that we see to date, I've read out -- I have read all the
16 judgements and people had to prove that crimes were committed in a
17 particular municipality, not a broader area. And also, there is no
18 evidence that there were any attacks against the civilian population in
19 Vojvodina; there were just some sporadic incidents but not a single one of
20 them in terms of its intensity, social threat, and so on and so forth
21 cannot measure up to Article 5 of the Statute.
22 The Appeals Chamber, nevertheless, returned this with the
23 explanation that these facts had to be proven through the trial. Why? In
24 order to have a more extensive trial, to obtain certain political
25 objectives through this trial, and in order to make the defence
1 increasingly difficult, to give me a lot of work for my defence so that I
2 cannot truly exercise my rights. The methods applied were aimed at making
3 it difficult for me to conduct my defence. Now we are back to square one.
4 My real preparations for my defence began only about three months ago,
5 after I started communicating in a normal manner with my legal advisors,
6 and of course once I recovered from the point of view of my health. And
7 of course I have such a lot of evidence that I can refute each and every
8 count. The Prosecutor needs a lot more time than I do. Of course I'm
9 going to use the next six months in a useful manner, even a year, the
10 question remains whether they will be trial-ready in November at all;
11 however, the OTP is not using its time rationally. They did not display a
12 good-will to do their job, to fulfil their commitments, because had they
13 started doing their job properly three months ago I would have already
14 achieved some results. They did not do what they were supposed to do
15 during these three months, again, they did not redact or revise their
16 lists properly, they still have these dead people on their witness list,
17 and then also they want to introduce hundreds and hundreds of items of
18 evidence and a few days ago they gave Terrence's [phoen] report - that is
19 the expert report I referred to at the last conference when I told you
20 that I didn't get this - and seven or eight pages are blacked out. Why?
21 So that I would not disclose the names of witnesses? Not true. They are
22 trying to disclose -- to hide some descriptions for no reason whatsoever,
23 except to mistreat me. This expert report works to my benefit rather than
24 their benefit. I can assure you of that.
25 So how long will this go on? Until somebody from the OTP is
1 called to account for not doing their job properly, not meeting their
2 responsibilities to the Trial Chamber, to the accused, and to
3 international justice at that. When you took over this case, Judge, you
4 faced many motions for protective measures. Not one of these motions was
5 explained properly, not in a single case did they prove that protective
6 measures were really needed or did they prove that any witness was truly
8 Also, you received several motions that some witnesses testify by
9 videolink. The previous Trial Chamber readily agreed to that, but I ask
10 you to review all of that because the fact that somebody is afraid to
11 travel by plane is not an argument for letting them testify by videolink.
12 If they're afraid to travel by plane, let them travel by bus, by train,
13 let them hitch-hike, let them take a bicycle, but that is not an argument
14 for testifying by videolink. If somebody has pneumonia, he must have
15 recovered by now, what kind of pneumonia is that that can last for a year
16 or whatever. Or if somebody has a headache or somebody is simply old.
17 How can someone who is that old and cannot travel by plane can be a
18 witness in a serious trial? No. For reasons of health such a person is
19 no longer capable of testifying, so what we see here is a true obstruction
20 of justice, abuse of legal proceedings.
21 I refer you to the original doctrine related thereto. This is a
22 magnificent case of that, what abuse of due process is. You could really
23 teach law students what it is in this way. Of course, I'm going to wait
24 for November. I'm going to wait for November of year as well, but as far
25 as some questions are concerned, the Trial Chamber and you as the
1 Pre-Trial Judge have to give me answers. What is a reasonable deadline
2 for the beginning of trial and has it been overstepped? If it has,
3 indeed, been overstepped, and I am convinced that that is the case, what
4 are the consequences involved then? Why then have any proceedings, once
5 the deadline for a reasonable process has elapsed? These are crucial
6 questions that merit a proper answer. Once an answer is given to these
7 questions, then we can deal with concrete details.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I am going to try and answer
9 some of the points you raised to a certain extent. First, that issue of a
10 reasonable time-period. You rightly point out that there is case law,
11 including that by the European Court of Human Rights as to the issue of a
12 reasonable period. Many countries have translated into their legislation
13 the fact that if an accused had not been tried by a certain period he had,
14 ex officio, to be released. The European Court of Human Rights condemned
15 many states for failing to try individuals within a reasonable
16 time-period. However, the same European Court of Human Rights added that
17 the concept of reasonable time-period had to be assessed on a case-by-case
18 basis. Sometimes certain factors, they said, had to be taken into
19 account, certain constraints had to be taken into account.
20 Regarding your personal case, as you know and you said so
21 yourself, I was myself a Judge of Trial Chamber II. When I arrived here
22 in this Tribunal in October of 2003, I was appointed as a member of Trial
23 Chamber II. And I then discovered your existence. Until then, I did not
24 know you at all, and I immediately noted that you had filed and were
25 filing many motions. As a specialist of criminal law, I very quickly
1 concluded that the number of motions you had filed was undoubtedly
2 connected to the fact that your trial was not beginning, and since it had
3 not begun you were going into procedural matters. I sought some
4 information, I wanted to know how things were happening specifically in
5 order to fix a time to open the trial. I was a Pre-Trial Judge in many
6 cases, and I know it is up for the Pre-Trial Judge to seize the Trial
7 Chamber, to say that case is trial-ready and that the trial should begin.
8 But I also noted that there was, within this Tribunal, a coordinating
9 committee with the President of the Tribunal, the Registrar, and the Chief
10 Prosecutor, so as to ascertain depending on administrative, financial,
11 budgetary constraints, work-load when a trial should start.
12 In your case, I immediately realised that the main problems
13 regarding your case were the fact that you wanted to represent yourself
14 and, as you know, I did not agree with my colleagues. I had a dissenting
15 opinion on one of your motions, setting out that you were entitled to
16 represent yourself equally.
17 Regarding disclosure of material, there was a debate within the
18 Trial Chamber, and I had written a dissenting opinion, stating that you
19 should have in hard copy your documents in your own language. It so
20 happens that the Trial Chamber was then -- lost the case and it was given
21 to another Trial Chamber so that I could not deliver my dissenting
23 Thirdly, another major issue was the payment of your assistants.
24 There again I told my colleagues that in my view if you represented
25 yourself, you needed to be aided.
1 So all the topics that have represented obstacles I had sort of
2 noted them a long time ago.
3 Why hasn't your trial started yet? As you know -- and you really
4 pointed to the true reason. The true reason is that the Prosecutor is the
5 one who decides when the case should go to trial. Why so? Because the
6 Prosecutor discloses material to the accused whilst continuing
7 investigations. Therefore, the Prosecutor will at a later stage introduce
8 into evidence transcripts of current cases or parts of judgements or will
9 ask for judicial notice of specific facts. Therefore, the Prosecutor has
10 a strategy. In some countries, including in mine but it might be so too
11 in your country, the Prosecutor is the one who chooses the dates for
12 hearings. He has control over the dates.
13 The Rules, our Rules, are silent on this. We have a tacit rule.
14 We don't know exactly who makes the decision. Normally speaking, it is
15 the trial -- the Pre-Trial Judge who must sort of close a chapter at that
16 stage of the proceedings, say it's over; then the President should appoint
17 the Bench and the Registrar will do everything necessary to get the case
18 opened or the trial opened. In this issue, in this court, you are right;
19 it is not normal that you should have been waiting trial several years. I
20 can only agree with you in this.
21 What has been the practice of this Tribunal? We must spell it out
22 for it to be recorded in the transcript, because I told you I don't hide
23 anything and as an independent judge, I express my opinion, which is as
24 follows. When it comes to choosing dates for opening trials, there are a
25 number of constraints, some of which I have now enumerated, but there's
1 also the fact that the Prosecutor has a total control over disclosure of
2 material and of the time when they say that they are trial-ready. Such
3 conduct or control, however, is subjected to the control by the
4 Trial Chamber and the Pre-Trial Judge. It so happens that the Rules under
5 Rule 65 ter allowed for the pre-trial stage to be conducted initially by a
6 Senior Legal Officer. And in several cases, the Judges were not the ones
7 who were operating on the front line, as it were; it was the Senior Legal
8 Officer who was in charge of preparing the case. They would meet with
9 Defence counsel and the Prosecutor, and would inform the Pre-Trial Judge
10 only later.
11 This is the system that was in place until such time as
12 President Meron appointed a committee presided over by Judge Bonomy and
13 the committee made some suggestions, among which there was one saying that
14 the Pre-Trial Judge had to be on the first line, on the front line, and
15 personally I did not await the conclusions of the committee and its report
16 in order to really devote my time to various cases as a Pre-Trial Judge.
17 And I pressurised the OTP for them to get their case trial-ready. But the
18 very fact that in some files, in some cases, which was also your case in
19 the beginning, the Judges were not the ones in -- on the front line for
20 the pre-trial stage, it was the Senior Legal Officer in charge of it.
21 Secondly, in some cases, whilst the Statute was really quite clear
22 on this when you had an indictment and when the accused was arrested, he
23 was transferred to the Tribunal and he was to be tried quickly. That's
24 what the Statute said. But it happened that the Tribunal started like
25 with a cruising speed that was slower, and then little by little cases
1 were tried one after the other, and this concatenation led to a
2 bottle-neck. What happened then? In some cases, the accused could not be
3 tried straight away; therefore, they applied for provisional release and
4 were provisionally released. We have several cases that you are aware of
5 as well as I am. They were released, provisionally so, and then the
6 pre-trial stage was conducted whilst they were on provisional release; and
7 then thereafter the cases were settled when there was a date for beginning
8 the trial, the accused returned to The Hague and their trial began.
9 You were not able to enjoy this regime inasmuch as you had been
10 arrested while others came after you and were provisionally released. So
11 somewhere you have now been detained for several years and this is a
12 disturbing situation for more than one. This is the reason why in the
13 decision on the contempt of court you haven't yet had the translation in
14 your own language, but we say in this decision that you have been detained
15 for several years, which goes to show that we are not indifferent to your
17 In this instance, there's no expedited procedure under the Rules.
18 The Statute was very clear; trials should be expeditious and you should
19 have been tried after a certain period of time. I, myself, made some
20 suggestions in order to speed this up. I seized the Rules Committee of
21 various proposals, unfortunately they were not followed through. I
22 suggested, among other things, that from the time of the initial
23 appearance to the date of trial opening, there should be, at best, six
24 months which was more than enough. But this was not taken up. Therefore,
25 the Rules do not solve this problem. And I can only, like you, be
1 saddened and regret the situation. And as I said to you earlier on, for
2 numerous reasons, and I'm going to mention one of them later on, the trial
3 cannot start tomorrow.
4 The reason I wanted to mention is the following. You filed a
5 motion regarding the indictment, and you say that you should be entitled
6 to raise a preliminary motion because you challenge the latest indictment.
7 I have to remind you of a few things for it to be understood properly
8 because this is a new problem that has just cropped up. Please take note,
9 if you feel it necessary because everything is very accurate.
10 The initial indictment contained 14 counts. It was written on the
11 15th of January, 2003. You, yourself, arrived in the Tribunal a few days
12 later because you surrendered on the 24th of February, 2003. There was
13 the initial appearance in which you pleaded not guilty.
14 Regarding the indictment of the 15th of January, 2003, you filed a
15 motion on the 24th of December, 2003, and on the 26th of May, 2004,
16 Trial Chamber II, of which I was part, asked the Prosecution to specify
17 the modes of liability held against you and in particular the Prosecution
18 was to tell the Trial Chamber what they understood by the term "commit."
19 On the 1st of November, 2004 - so it took the Prosecution some
20 time to file an answer because the Trial Chamber had made that request on
21 the 26th of May. On the 1st of November, 2004, so you were talking about
22 grounds or reasons, this is one of them, the OTP filed a motion for leave
23 to amend the initial indictment. It was amended whilst new geographical
24 areas or bases were added. I'm going to quote them but you know them as
25 well as I do: The Sarajevo area, Bijeljina, Mostar, Nevesinje and Brcko.
1 Trial Chamber II granted the amended indictment and informed you
2 of your right to raise preliminary motions on the amended indictment. The
3 amended indictment was filed on the 15th of July, 2005. You did not waste
4 any time because only a few weeks later, on the 29th of August, 2005, you
5 filed a motion on the form of the amended indictment. And this is the
6 point where we get into the system which accounted for several problems.
7 On the 23rd of September, 2005, the Pre-Trial Judge issued a
8 decision dismissing your 50-page motion on the ground that the said motion
9 did not -- was not consistent with the Practice Direction, but there was a
10 corollary to the decision. You were allowed to file a new motion by the
11 7th of October, 2005. On the 28th of September, 2005, you filed a motion
12 on the issue of the length of the motion, but in your filings you had not
13 spoken on the merits.
14 On the 20th of October, 2005, you filed another motion for
15 certification on appeal of the decision of the 23rd of September, 2005,
16 and you also asked for an extension of the time-period for preliminary
17 motions, explaining that you needed that time whilst awaiting the
18 translation of some ICTR judgements in Serbian.
19 On the 26th of October, 2005, Trial Chamber II dismissed your
20 motion for certification, whereupon you filed another motion for
21 certification, asking again for an extended time to file your preliminary
22 motions. And I discover that apparently this new motion has remained
23 unanswered. It got lost obviously.
24 Then you were asked to plead to the amended indictment on the 3rd
25 of October, 2005. I remember that because I then followed the
1 Status Conference; you'd asked the registrar - not this deputy registrar -
2 but to read out the entire indictment. I remember that well. And the
3 Pre-Trial Judge asked you whether you would plead guilty or not guilty.
4 You failed to answer, and the Judge thought that further to Rule 62(A),
5 that you had pleaded not guilty. Out of this stage when you look at it,
6 you realise that there were a lot of complications: That apparently one
7 of your motions was not dealt with and also that some motions of yours for
8 certification challenging the form of the indictment had been dismissed.
9 Thereafter, there was - and I was the one who really advocated
10 this - there was a new rule added to the Rules, Rule 73 bis (D). This has
11 an advantage; it allows the Prosecutor to reduce the number of counts and
12 to also fix a number of crime sites or incidents. Based on that, Trial
13 Chamber III ordered the Prosecution to apply the provisions of Rule 73
14 bis. Therefore, the Prosecution removed Counts 2, 3, 5, 6, and 7 from the
15 indictment. And the Trial Chamber indicated that the Prosecution would
16 not be allowed to adduce evidence to crimes committed in Western Slavonia,
17 Brcko, Bijeljina, Bosanski Samac, and Boracko Jezero but that the
18 Prosecution would be allowed to adduce evidence which would not be crime
19 based evidence for the same locations, which is in itself already a
20 further complication.
21 Based on that, there was an indictment that was issued on the 30th
22 of March, 2007, a copy of which you received on the 17th of April, 2007.
23 You, yourself, with the help of your legal advisors, you filed a motion to
24 the Trial Chamber asking for leave to use the relevant rules so as to be
25 able to challenge the indictment, the new indictment.
1 So you filed a motion and the Prosecution will have to supply a
2 response, will be settled, will be determined by the Trial Chamber. I
3 alone cannot issue a decision because this motion is not within the scope
4 of the Pre-Trial Judge alone. This is a jurisdiction of -- under the
5 jurisdiction of the Trial Chamber, which is currently presided over by
6 Judge Robinson, together with myself and Judge Bonomy. But I can tell you
7 as far as your motion is concerned, whatever the response of the
8 Prosecution may be and the attitude of my fellow Judges, I believe that
9 you should be authorised to challenge the indictment, the new indictment.
10 I don't know what the Trial Chamber is going to say, but as far as
11 I am concerned I am very clear. Why so? Because I realised that in the
12 previous proceedings there had already been a motion that had not been
13 translated and it would be only logical that within the framework of the
14 new indictment you should be given leave to challenge it, also because
15 before you had this dispute with the assigned counsel and then you were
16 not in a position to give any instructions to your Defence counsel, for
17 them to possibly challenge the indictment. Therefore, I believe that you
18 should be given leave to challenge the indictment. The Trial Chamber must
19 determine the matter, that decision may again be challenged by you or the
20 Prosecution, and the Appeals Chamber might be seized of it.
21 In other words, this is one further element, a new factor, which
22 leads me to say that it is impossible to start the trial because as I see
23 it this would be prejudicial to your rights because you have the right to
24 say that the indictment is not specific enough, is too vague, and you are
25 entitled to challenge it. This is a right that was recognised to other
1 accused, why not to you?
2 And this is also something that I would say is an element that
3 contributes to delaying the proceedings. The purpose of Rule 73 bis was
4 to save time, and this shows that we're not gaining time or saving time.
5 We're wasting time. We're trying to save time by reducing the counts of
6 the indictment so you have to adduce less evidence, which means that you
7 gain time on the length of the trial but you're wasting time because you
8 open up a possibility for further delays inasmuch as you can challenge the
9 indictment, the new indictment. So I had to take stock of the situation
10 regarding this motion because it is very complicated. You really have to
11 follow everything that happened on a day-to-day basis if you want to
12 understand truly what the hurdles are. And I had to spell this out,
13 because of course, the Prosecution will have to express their views on
14 this, and I can only speak to my fellow Judges about this when I have
15 heard all parties. And of course the point of view of the Prosecution can
16 be possibly sort of replied to by Mr. Seselj; all this takes time, it is
18 So, Mr. Seselj, do you want to say anything to this or do you
19 believe that I really sort of gave a full overview of the situation
20 regarding this motion?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judge, I have one small addition.
22 You have phrased this excellently. It was actually better than my own
23 request. It is quite obvious that you are perfectly familiar with the
24 heart of the matter, but I do have an additional explanation and this
25 explanation has to do with a violation of my procedural rights back in
1 2005, when I was misled by the Trial Chamber in relation to the deadline
2 for my filing an objection to the indictment. The amended indictment was
3 filed on the 15th of July, I believe. This may not be perfectly accurate.
4 I don't have the information in front of me.
5 As soon as August, I think on the 22nd of August, I filed an
6 objection. The objection had been put together before, but I was cut off
7 for two months. I even had no phone lines to use to contact my family.
8 In the Detention Unit, the administration of the Detention Unit, waited
9 for that ban to be lifted, the ban on all my contacts with the outside
10 world otherwise I would have filed the objection as early as July in all
11 likelihood. One thing I didn't know was that the OTP were preparing
12 supporting material for the amendments to the indictment. Nobody had
13 informed me at the time that there was to be supporting material.
14 According to the Rules, the deadline for objections starts on the day any
15 supporting material to the indictment is submitted, and then by the end of
16 that month.
17 The Trial Chamber confirmed that I submitted my objection in a
18 timely manner. This was then thrown out because of the fact that it
19 contained too many pages, but then they did nothing to inform me that
20 there would be further supporting material. I think this constitutes a
21 serious violation of my procedural rights. I reacted once I had obtained
22 the supporting material, but the Trial Chamber decided that I had missed
23 my deadline -- or at least that was the conclusion that Judge Orie arrived
24 at, and thus my request was thrown out.
25 Why do I have the right to object to even an abbreviated of -- an
1 abridged version of the indictment? Because the indictment was not
2 abridged in a rational way; it was mechanically abridged and also in terms
3 of its essence because the number of different counts and charges is now
4 smaller. However, had a rational approach been taken, all the territories
5 over which this International Criminal Tribunal has no jurisdiction would
6 have been dropped such as Vojvodina where there was no armed conflict, for
7 example. And there was nothing linking the clashes in Vojvodina to those
8 in any other parts of the former Yugoslavia and primarily because there
9 was no attack on the civilian population, on nothing that could be
10 compared to the attacks mentioned in Article 5 of the Statute of the
11 International Tribunal.
12 These are three very powerful reasons for me to say that the
13 indictment was not abridged in a proper way. A burden is left that will
14 take up much of the OTP's time. They will have witnesses testifying here
15 about a lot of unpleasant things that they probably experienced in their
16 lives in an area where there were no expulsions, where people exchanged
17 property, and had considerable profit, unlike most of the Serbs who had
18 been driven out. Truth to tell, many of the refugees from Croatia and
19 other republics of the former Yugoslavia came to Serbia. They flooded
20 into Serbia, creating a lot of tension in Vojvodina. I was a politician,
21 there was a pre-election campaign under way, and all I was saying is that
22 our authorities should treat the Croat national minority the same way that
23 Tudjman treated ours over in Croatia; however, our authorities never
24 followed suit. There were no deportations and no expulsions. I wanted
25 reciprocity, but this was not done.
1 In this indictment they list a whole series of incidents, but in
2 terms of sheer force or in terms of magnitude, none of them can be
3 compared to those contained in Article 5 of the Statute. That's why I'm
4 saying that the indictment was not abridged in a rational way. The OTP
5 abridged the indictment based on political and not legal criteria because
6 there is a political interest to stir things up about Vojvodina. Why?
7 Because the American ambassador, the German ambassador in Belgrade says
8 that Vojvodina is about to secede from Serbia, instead of having a
9 systematic debate as to whether Croats were being politically threatened
10 in Vojvodina or not.
11 It is up to you to deal with this with the other Judges in the
12 Trial Chamber but there is one other thing I wish to say. I never meant
13 my objections to delay the start of this trial. Back in 2003 I raised an
14 objection to the indictment in a timely manner, I think as early as April
15 I can't remember exactly, but it was back in 2003. And then this was sent
16 back to me because it contained too many pages and this was against the
17 Rules. My basic procedural rights cannot be violated because of
18 instructions by the Presiding Judge. Instructions are not binding.
19 Instructions are not a binding norm. All right. The trial was meant to
20 begin in the autumn of 2003. I had no intention of raising that objection
21 again and putting it in writing, thinking that it might delay the start of
22 trial. After all, it is my decision whether I would be objecting to the
23 indictment or not. It was quite obvious in 2003 that the trial would not
24 start and then I renewed my request at one of the Status Conferences.
25 Judge Agius gave me new deadline for this objection and told me that I
1 should keep it under or up to 50 pages, which is exactly what I did so I
2 filed the objection.
3 When in 2005 the indictment was amended I bore in mind that
4 previous ruling, that I could file an objection of up to 50 pages. So I
5 did just that again but this time around it was sent back again; it was
6 thrown out and then all the new problems that came up, which is what
7 forces me to re-open this issue now. Why? As an accused, I'm perfectly
8 entitled to use every procedural error made by the OTP or any of the
9 Judges for that matter. I have every intention of using that privilege
10 but it is certainly not my intention to delay the start of trial. I will
11 be adamant about this objection only if the trial really does not start in
12 November. Why should I not be raising the objection? It's just another
13 argument in my favour and I want to see how the Trial Chamber can come to
14 grips with that.
15 If the trial could start tomorrow, I would immediately give up all
16 of my motions, all of my objections, with the exception of the criminal
17 charges against Carla del Ponte and her associates because of the scandal
18 involving false witnesses. I would do everything just for the trial to
19 start as soon as possible. If I had all the time in the world -- there is
20 a saying that our people use from back where I come from: The devil will
21 find work for idle hands to do and that's what I do. I can distribute all
22 the work to my legal assistants, but once I face a courtroom situation I
23 will not have time to deal with procedural matters. But whenever I can
24 use an error made by the Trial Chamber or the OTP to my advantage, I
25 certainly will because I think that is something that definitely benefits
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. For Prosecution, this was
3 submission 287 of April 25, 2007. You must have received it. Did you
4 reply, Mrs. Dahl, please?
5 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, our reply is due tomorrow and will be
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. So this was the first
8 motion that I wanted to deal with.
9 There is another motion, not give any names, but Prosecution filed
10 a motion regarding Witness VS-031 pursuant to Rule 92 ter. The accused
11 has replied, and Prosecution submitted its own reply. The Chamber can now
12 rule, but I have a problem here. As I said earlier - and I will repeat -
13 the Trial Chamber I belong to will not be the Trial Chamber that will try
14 the case. So I wondered whether the pre-Trial Chamber must rule on
15 motions that have to do with the substance of the proceedings; notably,
16 the admissibility of a written statement under Article -- Rule 92 ter.
17 Maybe it would be rather up to the Trial Chamber that will try the case to
18 decide on the matter.
19 Personally, I believe that a certain number of motions may wait
20 for the Trial Chamber to actually decide on them. They're not
21 jeopardising the accused as of now. Because in the end a decision will be
22 made. I wanted this to be said.
23 I'll give you the floor, Mr. Seselj, in a minute.
24 Technically I could give an answer, simple and straightforward;
25 however, maybe this would put my colleagues in front of a fait accompli
1 because we will have made a decision, whereas they might have decided
2 otherwise. Now, I will exactly explain this in a minute. 92 ter, Rule 92
3 ter works as follows. I am the source of this change in the Rules. The
4 Rules were changed on September 13th, 2006, and since then a Trial Chamber
5 can now admit as evidence a written statement in so far that the witness
6 may be called up during the hearing and can be cross-examined by the
7 accused and can answer questions from the Judges, from the Bench.
8 This procedure helps save time. Experience has shown that most of
9 the time viva voce witnesses are just repeating what they already stated
10 in the written statement. We have this written statement. The Prosecutor
11 is asking questions, the witness is answering and basically just repeating
12 what he already said. So in some cases you can save time by admitting the
13 written statement while of course allowing the accused to cross-examine
14 the witness, because the accused must be here in the courtroom. Rule 92
15 ter can be fully understood if you keep in mind a triangle, and in this
16 triangle you would have on the top angle viva voce witnesses who are
17 examined by Prosecution and cross-examined by the accused, and you have
18 other 92 ter witnesses which are talking about the same facts or the same
19 events. But there, there's no need for examination-in-chief; there is,
20 however, need for cross-examination. And then on the very third level,
21 the lower level, is the 92 bis witness. These are witnesses that are only
22 repeating what viva voce or 92 ter witnesses already stated.
23 Let me give you an example to illustrate this. Let's imagine we
24 have a viva voce witness saying that three cows were stolen from him; and
25 a 92 ter witness would explain that his neighbour was a victim and that
1 three cows were stolen from him; and in writing a 92 bis witness says that
2 his neighbour saw three cows disappear. You don't need to have the three
3 witnesses here in the courtroom to repeat the same thing. You just need
4 to have one saying it, comforted, if need be, by a 92 ter and corroborated
5 by a 92 bis. And in the end, everybody saves time, including the accused.
6 Because when he brings his own witnesses he can also use this same
7 pyramidal structure.
8 And Witness VS-031 actually fits into this pattern, but this
9 pattern must be accepted by the other Judges. I have my own opinion, but
10 I don't know what the opinion of my colleagues is. If the Trial Chamber I
11 belong to makes a decision right now, maybe the Judges that will sit in
12 the Bench later, they might not agree with this decision, they might have
13 another opinion. They say you did a lot of 92 ter where this should have
14 been a viva voce witness. This is the dilemma.
15 So, Mr. Seselj, you wanted to speak on this, I think.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Antonetti, I entirely agree that
17 it is premature to rule on the admission of 92 bis witnesses or 92 ter
18 witnesses as well as 92 quater, but there is an additional argument that I
19 would like to raise. The OTP are adamant about this but they never told
20 us who would be testifying to all these issues in court. So far we have
21 witness VS-017, he was the first on the witness list and as an insider
22 witness he was supposed to be the first to be heard at the December trial
23 after the opening arguments of the OTP. He was the first person scheduled
24 to testify as an insider witness. Now him being an insider no longer
25 seems to matter; he'll just be rehashing certain things and we can
1 introduce him as a 92 bis witness. That is what they are saying -- 92 ter
2 witness. That is what they are saying now.
3 Where is the legal logic behind this? Their most important
4 witness is suddenly reduced to the status of an auxiliary witness, and we
5 don't know who will be taking up the vacant spot of an insider witness.
6 There is nothing on that list, there's nobody who will testify about all
7 these issues that were foreseen for VS-017. So what is the whole thing
8 about? I'll tell you what this is about. The former 92 bis rule is now
9 subdivided into a 92 ter and 92 quater. The OTP and their investigators
10 now draft a statement. They believe the witness to not be sufficiently
11 educated, literate, or capable in order to give his own account in open
12 court. The witness is brought in merely to confirm that the statement is
13 authentic and belongs to him, often without understanding the statement.
14 As I said at the Milosevic trial, there were over 40 cases of such
15 witnesses stating this in court: This is not my statement. It was
16 misinterpreted. They misheard what I said. I remember that. There were
17 over 40 such cases in the Milosevic trial.
18 There were things like that happening in other trials, too, but
19 what I've been reading with particular interest is the Milosevic
20 transcripts because they were published in this journal in Serbia, this
21 free-thinking "Serbian Thought."
22 So that's why I'd like them to bring all their witnesses here to
23 testify in open court and then to explain in relation to all of their
24 92 ter and 92 quater witnesses why they did not appear live, and then
25 there can be additional explanations which of the evidence would be
1 detrimental to the accused under 92 ter and under 92 quater. The OTP are
2 deliberately acting in a chaotic manner. They keep submitting new
3 motions, new requests, but they have so far failed to bring order to their
4 witness list to begin with, which is something that you ordered them to do
5 at the first or second Status Conference, Judge, to say which witnesses
6 would be testifying in open court and then all the other witnesses under
7 92 bis, 92 ter, and 92 quater.
8 I will be opposing all of these because I think the only testimony
9 that counts is testimony given in open court, but I'm powerless in the
10 position that I'm in now and I cannot do that. I do, however, believe
11 that the meaning behind the 92 bis, 92 ter, and 92 quater Rules is that
12 they should be applied in exceptional circumstances only. However,
13 exceptional has now become regular for the OTP. There is a danger that we
14 shall see many more witnesses under these three additional rules as
15 opposed to witnesses testifying in open court.
16 At one point during the Milosevic trial, Geoffrey Nice said what
17 they had come up with was 92 bis and a half which I suspect was later
18 transformed into 92 ter. That is how much they wanted to get as much
19 evidence as possible under 92 bis, the old 92 bis, and I think this OTP
20 team is acting in much the same manner. And then they awarded
21 Mr. Milosevic no more than 45 minutes or perhaps up to one hour, rarely
22 more, for the cross-examination of all these witnesses. They tried to
23 stop him every possible way from challenging the credibility of the
24 witness, challenging the witness's facts.
25 Now we see much the same thing at work as far as the OTP is
1 concerned. That is why I support your position that all decisions on
2 92 bis, 92 ter, and 92 quater admissions should be made once the trial is
3 underway and not before and once we have complete witness lists and a
4 complete overview as to which witnesses shall be appearing in open court
5 and which witnesses shall be 92 bis witnesses. And then we can have
6 additional statements admitted under 92 bis, 92 ter, and 92 quater, all
7 witnesses from other trials. As far as evidence given in other trials is
8 concerned, it is impossible to take anything for granted before the OTP
9 bring me the entire transcript.
10 For example, they wanted Deronjic to appear as a witness in my
11 case, although my indictment has nothing whatsoever to do with Bratunac.
12 They wanted Milan Babic to appear in this trial; he was to be their crown
13 witness and they tried to use him to tender most of their documents.
14 There are those two and another four of the witnesses who are now deceased
15 and they are now trying to tender their statements into evidence under
16 92 quater, although so far they have failed to submit their evidence from
17 other trials in which these persons appeared. Get a typist, tell them to
18 listen to all the tapes, and tell them to put it all down on paper in
19 Serbian, the whole thing, then you can submit it to me and only then can I
20 say whether I accept that or not, certainly not before such documents have
21 been served on me. We can't have a serious discussion before you do this
22 and this is no mean feat. I'm sorry you have so much on your plate, but
23 maybe you can do something to circumvent all these complications. Why did
24 you decide to try a person like this? Maybe you didn't know who you were
25 dealing with, maybe you jumped the gun. I hope that now you understand
1 who it is that you are dealing with.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
3 continues]... You mentioned Witness 31, Mr. Seselj. You also talked about
4 Witness 17, well, independently of the numbers and of course, we will
5 mention their names. I now turn to the Prosecution. You heard
6 Mr. Seselj, I think I said the same thing as he did and we will look into
7 this later on. However, I was looking at the document that you prepared
8 regarding the schedule of witness, crime base for Vocin, for example,
9 there were a number of witnesses that had been scheduled or planned. To
10 make sure that we have a speedy trial and useful trial, I intend to ask
11 Prosecution locality -- for each location to provide us with a chart in
12 this triangular shape, this pyramidal shape. What witnesses are planned
13 to be called as viva voce, as 92 ter, 92 ter.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Viva voce, 92 ter and
15 92 bis.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In order for us to see exactly
17 what the pattern will be. If we have a witness scheduled as a viva voce
18 turns into a 92 ter, there might be a reason for this. But here again and
19 Mr. Seselj stated it but I also mentioned it, in this pyramidal pattern,
20 you need to have a lead witness, a viva voce witness, that will be
21 speaking and that will be answering the in-chief. We can't be in a system
22 where we have a location where crime base events happened, we have no viva
23 voce witness. And we just have a 92 bis, for example, or possibly a 92
24 ter, this can't be. So for each location, each area, you have to identify
25 what witnesses will be viva voce witnesses, then of course the accused can
1 prepare his cross-examination at best. You need also to indicate on the
2 schedule what witnesses will be 92 ter and what witnesses will be 92 bis.
3 The accused is entitled to a right, a right that is provided in
4 the Statute, he has the right to cross-examine. This is an absolute
5 right. So this right to cross-examination must be understood as follows,
6 you know, I'm going back to my example of the three cows. You've got to
7 cross-examine the witness that has stated that the three cows were stolen
8 but he's got the right to cross-examine the other witnesses but he's going
9 to waste time, of course, if he's asking the same questions to another
10 witness, which is why, as soon as possible, the accused must have the
11 schedule of witness with the nature of the witnesses, whether they're viva
12 voce, 92 ter, 92 bis, possibly 92 quater. I'll come back to that later.
13 So, Mrs. Dahl, do you need to take the floor? Is it still too
14 early? I fully understand that it might be too early for you.
15 MS. DAHL: I'm not sure, Your Honour, what the question pending
16 is. We have indicated through our submissions our intention to call
17 witnesses in various modalities. Those questions are pending for
18 resolution before the Trial Chamber, and I appreciate the Court's concern
19 regarding important decisions made pre-trial that may influence or affect
20 how the trial is conducted before the ultimate fact-finders.
21 Having said that, I want to return briefly to the Court's comments
22 earlier in recapitulating our position regarding trial-readiness and
23 mention of a November trial date. It is not correct that the Prosecution
24 is unable to prepare and start trial before November. When I mentioned
25 the November trial date at the earlier Status Conference, we were
1 trial-ready a year ago last fall, we are trial-ready now, and my
2 indication regarding the November 2000 [sic] trial date was to ensure that
3 Mr. Seselj had adequate time to prepare. We must not jeopardise the
4 fairness of the proceedings by short-changing his ability to make careful
5 study of the material that has been tendered to him. We have discharged
6 our disclosure obligations in this matter. He has elected to reject the
7 materials that we have prepared and tendered to him, thus depriving
8 himself of the ability to review the materials in detail. We consider on
9 the matter of witnesses that this is a grave decision because we are not
10 dealing with a matter of stolen cows. The case concerns stolen lives, and
11 so we must be careful in our efficiency --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mrs. Dahl, I talked about cows
13 because I did not want to talk about substance, which is why I used this
14 example. Because of course the substance is for trial. I'm here for the
15 preparation of the trial, to make sure that the preparation is at best,
16 which is why I did not want to go into substance which is why I talked
17 about cows. I could have talked about stolen cars, chicken, whatever. It
18 was just an example, an illustration. So please don't go into all these
19 kind of declarations.
20 MS. DAHL: In the consideration of the presentation of evidence
21 and the need to ensure expeditiousness at trial, the Prosecution wants the
22 best opportunity to present its evidence persuasively in a manner that
23 allows fair consideration of the testimony of witnesses as well as
24 adequate opportunity for cross-examination. So we consider the matter
25 most appropriately resolved in time to allow the Prosecution to respond to
1 the needs of the Chamber and to prepare the witnesses for the form that is
2 ultimately decided upon to present the case and move the trial along
3 quickly. We cannot have a quick trial at the -- and sacrifice
4 thoroughness, and your submissions to date regarding the form of witness
5 testimony have shown our willingness to adapt to the Rules of the Tribunal
6 and to attempt to present the case in a way that facilitates fair finding
7 of fact as well as adequate cross-examination to test the veracity of the
8 statements by the witness. So we would appreciate guidance from the
9 Trial Chamber in the terms of ruling on the pending motions so that we can
10 meet our obligations in a timely manner.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I say something?
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Seselj.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] A few moments ago, Judge, as you
14 were looking through this list of Prosecution witnesses, you mentioned
15 that there were a few witnesses who testified about the crime base in
16 Vocin. Vocin is in Western Slavonia. Western Slavonia is out of the
17 indictment now. How come these witnesses appear now on the witness list?
18 Again, they have not been excluded. So now have they been excluded or
19 not? This Vocin is no longer in the indictment. And I still have a few
20 witnesses, crime base, testifying about Vocin. Am I supposed to prepare
21 for their testimony or not? Why have they not been excluded from this
22 witness list? The Prosecution refuses to answer. Also some other sites
23 that were excluded from the indictment are still mentioned.
24 Ms. Dahl said a few moments ago that they stand trial-ready but
25 she says it's my fault because I refused to receive some documents that
1 they tried to disclose to me. What you have here is a very nice review
2 that the Prosecution made on the 8th of November, 2006, and you can see on
3 it exactly what I received, what I did not receive, and why I did not
4 receive it. I did not receive it only because it was on computer CDs. I
5 did not receive it only because it was in the English language or it was
6 not disclosed to me at all, but rather to the imposed counsel, Hooper.
7 This is the best proof of the Prosecution's guilt for the fact that the
8 trial has not started yet. This does not work in favour of the
9 Prosecution; it works against the Prosecution and they made it themselves.
10 This is why the trial hasn't started yet, because over 300.000
11 pages of documents they have to submit to me. Not taking into account the
12 new things like testimonies in different trials, statements of dead
13 witnesses, and so on and so forth. Also not taking into account their old
14 obligation to submit to me all testimonies from this institution that
15 mention my name. This is an old obligation from 2003 or 2004, but they
16 haven't honoured it yet. They haven't done it yet. How can they be
17 trial-ready? Of course they are prepared to start the trial against me
18 tomorrow but only if they not only tie my hands but also shut my mouth.
19 If they could do that, then they would be trial-ready. Now when I can
20 defend myself, they cannot carry out the trial. They say that I refused
21 to accept certain things. It is your duty to give me everything on paper
22 and in the Serbian language, and you have to do this even if I wait for
23 another four years. There will be no trial without that, and you hesitate
24 because you think that something will happen in that field. Nothing will
25 happen. You will either do that or there will be no trial. There is no
1 third option.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. I'm turning to the
3 Prosecution regarding the witness list, the updated list, did you disclose
4 to Mr. Seselj the latest, the updated list as you say in English, which
5 takes stock of the situation as far as the witnesses are concerned, the
6 witnesses you would call if the trial were to start tomorrow, of course
7 taking into account the changes made to the indictment.
8 MS. DAHL: If I may, Your Honour, check with our case manager
9 regarding the status of the translation of the witness list.
10 [Prosecution counsel confer]
11 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, I'm informed that we served on the accused
12 in translation a witness list that reflected the latest modifications as
13 of March 29, 2007.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. In my binder --
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I?
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just wait a minute. I'm going
17 to give you the floor, Mr. Seselj. I just want you to understand. On the
18 30th of March, 2007, the Prosecutor served the indictment -- the amended
19 indictment and there are schedules attached to it, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, you've
20 received it all. In Schedule A, you have the final list of witnesses,
21 revised list, final revised list. But looking at this document it looks
22 as if there were going to be 105 witnesses. You mentioned Vocin earlier
23 on, saying it was in Slavonia and that you didn't understand why there
24 would still be witnesses under the Vocin category. But I'm looking at the
25 list and I see that, indeed, there are witnesses who are scheduled. I see
1 witness numbers, I'm not going to give the names, Witness 18, Witness 33,
2 Witness 50, and others with names. So there is a given amount of
3 witnesses for the said municipality -- or for that one there's one
4 witness, two, three, four, five, six -- yeah, six witnesses for that
5 municipality. There it is. In theory, you should have had the witness
6 list. Was it translated? I don't know, but in principle you should have
8 Yes, Mr. Seselj.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I have received that list and
10 that is what I am talking about, Judge. You have already mentioned six
11 crime-based witnesses related to Vocin, Western Slavonia, but then you
12 also have witnesses testifying about the crime base in Bijeljina, Brcko,
13 Samac, and all of that has been excluded from the indictment. I just
14 remember now a certain Alija Busalic who is not a protected witness, who
15 started the war in Bijeljina, he's there on that list as a crime base
16 witness from Bijeljina. It's not that I care about getting rid of this
17 Alija Busalic, I would be more than happy to cross-examine him here, but
18 you are violating my procedural rights because you are still keeping on
19 the list crime-based witnesses from localities that have been taken out of
20 the indictment.
21 So, Judge, if you found six from Vocin, multiply that by four and
22 then you will see how many such witnesses there are. I'm just speaking in
23 very approximate terms now, I am not being precise enough, but I am
24 referring to the core of the matter, not details. You have an enormous
25 number of witnesses who are testifying about the crime base from
1 localities that were completely excluded from the indictment. What can I
2 do about that?
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
4 Ms. Dahl, Mr. Seselj has just raised a problem. He notices, but
5 of course, subject to more thorough examination which I haven't carried
6 out, it looks as though there were in the list witnesses regarding
7 localities that have been stricken.
8 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, the decision of 8 November 2006 applying
9 Rule 73 bis to the indictment permitted the Prosecution to lead pattern
10 evidence regarding the crimes alleged in the indictment. We have
11 substantially narrowed the witness list in response to the removal of
12 certain crimes and counts from the indictment, but are exercising the
13 prerogative afforded us in the Trial Chamber's reduction of the indictment
14 to lead pattern evidence. We have endeavoured to narrow it and will
15 continue in reflecting on the witness list and the type of evidence to be
16 led to make the modifications that are appropriate without impairing the
18 It will assist us to know the Trial Chamber's rulings on the form
19 of evidence in the motions that are pending decision. That will help us
20 to assess the necessity of witnesses, the overlaps, or as the Court
21 indicated their position in the pyramid. Our witness list presently
22 indicates the form of testimony and the relevance with regard to the
23 charged allegations. If Mr. Seselj considers that the witnesses that
24 remain are excessive in number or will not prove pattern evidence or is
25 willing to stipulate to the crime bases themselves and will agree to
1 adjudicated facts that have been tendered to the Court by motion, we can
2 eliminate and narrow the conflicts to be resolved at trial through the
3 presentation of evidence. He can bring a motion, if he alleges that we
4 have an excessive amount of proof that's in conflict with the decision of
5 last November; but the reduction of the indictment must not carry with it
6 the disablement of the Prosecution to prepare and prove its case.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Dahl, I'm trying to
8 understand. And I can reassure you, I have not looked at the file -- to
9 the substance of the file, but from what I understand, the merit of
10 Rule 73 bis is that it reduces. There were many municipalities in the
11 indictment, and from what I understood now Slavonia is taken out of the
12 scope of the indictment. But the Prosecution changed the indictment
13 accordingly while leaving witnesses from the said municipality in order -
14 and I take up your own words - to show a pattern, pattern evidence, that
15 is, the scope and the repetition and so on and so forth.
16 Is this how I should understand you? But what you prove in
17 relation to other municipalities, do you, so you're going to pile up
18 municipalities or localities, some of which has been taken out of the
19 indictment and for which the accused will not have to be held innocent or
20 guilty, but you will have witnesses from those municipalities who are
21 going to say what happened to them happened elsewhere.
22 Is that your approach?
23 MS. DAHL: When municipalities such as Vocin were removed, we
24 eliminated 26 witnesses from the witness list. In consideration, now we
25 have only six witnesses who will testify as to the pattern of the crimes
1 that they were subjected to.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I say something, Judge?
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Seselj.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I'm astonished by this lack of
5 professionalism on the OTP's side. If we're talking about pattern
6 evidence, that can only be a pattern of my incriminated behaviour or
7 criminal conduct, then there has to be evidence about what I did, not
8 testimonies of witnesses who say that something unpleasant happened to
9 them somewhere and then some of them never even saw me but just heard that
10 I was somewhere out there in the area. What kind of a pattern is that?
11 Pattern of crimes throughout the war? Well, then you could have brought
12 in victims from the Muslim and Croat sides and they could have talked
13 about an identical pattern, sometimes even worse. Whose pattern of
14 behaviour? It has to be a pattern of my conduct in order to support the
15 direct allegations from the indictment.
16 So I am guilty because somebody killed such and such a number of
17 people in Zvornik or in Vukovar and there is this kind of a pattern in
18 other cases, too. You're not making an effort to prove that at all. If
19 you look at this more carefully, the witness list, you will see that many
20 of these witnesses do not directly charge me with anything. They just
21 talk directly about their own tragic war experience, provided it is true;
22 there are some witnesses who talk about things that are not true. So even
23 there the OTP did not observe the decision of the Trial Chamber.
24 I repeat yet again, I would be the happiest if you were to allege
25 that I committed all the crimes committed in this war and to have the
1 trial go on for 20 years and that I eliminate each and every one of your
2 charges and then in this way I emerge victorious from all of this 20 years
3 later and then I would know why I was born. What I'm indicating to you
4 now is a violation of the ruling of the Trial Chamber, you're violating
5 procedure. We're not talking about a pattern of conduct of all sorts of
6 criminals in this war; we are just talking about a pattern of my own
7 conduct as a specific individual who you proclaim to be a criminal in
8 advance and you simply cannot prove that at all. And I am growing old and
9 grey here and you are not capable of proving that.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I will look into this in a more
11 specific way later.
12 But, Mrs. Dahl, you weren't there yet but I told Mr. Saxon who was
13 there that the indictment was like a three-stage rocket. I'm quoting from
14 memory because I don't have the transcript of my own words, but out of
15 memory I had explained that the first stage of the rocket were the victims
16 who were coming here to say what had happened. That's crime base, and
17 this involved a certain number of municipalities. If some municipalities
18 or villages were stricken out, then there's no longer any need to have
19 these witnesses here.
20 Now, second stage of the rocket - and I mean this is the normal
21 way to proceed when you're dealing with legal matters - who committed the
22 crime. And there you need evidence to prove that it is Mr. X, Mr. Y who
23 actually committed the crime, destruction, looting, and so forth and so
24 on. That's the second stage. And this is the approach that must be
25 adopted by Prosecution.
1 Now, the third stage, it's the accused. We need to know the
2 connection to the crimes committed, maybe through those who actually
3 committed the crimes. And in such case, you need to prove the connection
4 between the crime, the perpetrator, and the accused, if the accused did
5 not personally commit the crime. I'm setting aside the JCE which is a
6 mode of liability under Article 7(1), but JCE also must be proved, of
7 course. I had asked your predecessor, Mr. Saxon, how he intended to
8 adduce his evidence according to these three main stages. Now he's gone,
9 you've replaced him, and I'm asking you the same question.
10 Because for the Bench as well as for the accused, this is going to
11 be very important because it helps you adopt a certain procedure and save
12 time. Out -- in several cases, out of experience, I've seen that
13 sometimes we have witnesses coming, everything is mixed up. So I fully
14 understand that Prosecution doesn't fully control who can come at what
15 time and so on. But very logically we would need to have all witnesses
16 from a specific municipality and then hear other witnesses from another
17 municipality and not jump from one witness to the other from one
18 municipality to the other and so on, because then it's a waste of time.
19 Then once evidence has been adduced and then the crimes -- it is proved
20 that crimes have been committed then you need to know who committed the
21 crime and there you need additional evidence. Then you need to have those
22 witnesses that are going to make the connection between the accused and
23 the actual perpetrators.
24 A criminal trial has to follow a specific structure and a specific
25 logic. Prosecution must absolutely prove, Prosecution has the burden of
1 proof. The accused could almost just stay still and wait for the proof to
2 be given, but the accused here can cross-examine. But if he's to
3 cross-examine he must have all the necessary elements at his disposal
4 which is why we have these Status Conferences that help move forward and
5 really understand what problems lie ahead.
6 Unfortunately, we're going to have to sum up, it's already
7 7.00 p.m., but we will soon meet again. In the meanwhile, I will have
8 ruled on the disclosure in hard copy and in the accused's language of all
9 the documents, including those who were in those 40 binders, those
10 notorious binders. So theoretically, very quickly, the accused will have
11 at his disposal all the evidence which will be - I say will - will be used
12 during trial. I mean the documents that will be presented to the witness,
13 the witnesses that we'll be hearing. That's the minimum that the accused
14 must have at his disposal. And this is a hurdle that I must absolutely
15 overcome as quickly as possible.
16 Second hurdle, I mentioned it, it's the financial resources
17 provided to the accused. I'm waiting for his motion. I'm sure he'll be
18 very hasty in doing this. And in this regard I would like to tell
19 Mr. Seselj that on January 3rd, 2006, you made a submission, 104,
20 submission 104 --
21 THE INTERPRETER: 124, Interpreter's correction.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] 124, exactly on this topic so
23 you could go back to this submission, submission 124, to back the new
24 motion that you must file. Now, given the 15-day deadline, maybe when we
25 meet again on June 5th, I will, I'm not sure, but I might have already
1 ruled on this. I've already started to look into this. As soon as I have
2 the position of Prosecution, I will be able to make my ruling and then the
3 second hurdle will be overcome.
4 Now, the third hurdle, it's the problem of the indictment. Here
5 again I'm waiting for a reply from Prosecution. I will, of course, talk
6 about this to my colleagues because we need to make a decision here as a
7 Bench. During the next pre-trial -- next Status Conference, I'm sure
8 we'll be able to go back to some of these topics and I hope that they will
9 have advanced correctly and positively. Those who seem to be stuck in a
10 quagmire, I'll do my best to try and move them forward. And as we come
11 closer to the opening of the trial, we will look at the way the
12 Prosecution will adduce its evidence. I think I understood Mrs. Dahl that
13 you are waiting for some guidance from us, and we will provide you with
14 guidance on this.
15 But now it's 7.00 p.m. I'm sorry that I was so lengthy, and we
16 will meet again very soon.
17 --- Whereupon the Status Conference
18 adjourned at 7.03 p.m.