1 Tuesday, 23 October 2007
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Open session]
4 --- Upon commencing at 8.58 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, kindly call the
8 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you and good morning, Your Honour. This is
9 case number IT-03-67-PT, the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. Today is
11 Tuesday, and I greet all the people in the courtroom, Ms. Dahl,
12 Mr. Seselj, and all the people helping us in our work. This is a Status
13 Conference and this is bound to be the last one before the Pre-Trial
14 Conference which is going to take place on the 6th of November. At the
15 last minute, I decided to convene the Status Conference on the ground that
16 this courtroom had become free because there was a cancellation of a
17 witness in another case. This Status Conference is going to make it
18 possible to put an end and to finalise some issues that were still
20 Before we go into the agenda, Mr. Seselj, I want to address my
21 condolences to you since your mother has deceased. I was told about it
22 when you were visited by your wife, and at the time I told the Legal
23 Officer that if you wished to apply for provisional release in order to
24 attend the funeral of your mother, as far as I was concerned, I would be
25 in favour of it. So this is what I wanted to convey to you. Once again,
1 my sincere condolences for this tragic event.
2 Let me now move to other items that have to do with the Status
3 Conference. First of all, Mr. Seselj, only this morning I realised that
4 on the 17th of October you had sent a document that was filed with the
5 registry regarding the certificate provided by -- to associates of
6 Slobodan Milosevic confirming the existence of certain suspicions
7 regarding witnesses who testified or could have testified in the Milosevic
8 case. And in your submissions I found this morning you explained why you
9 were against the proceedings governed by Rule 72 -- 92 ter. I'm somewhat
10 surprised by your arguments. I am under the impression that you do not
11 quite understand the principle underlying this rule or the application of
12 it. I'm going to say what I have already said because it may be that the
13 Prosecution may wish to call witnesses under Rule 92 ter.
14 The proceedings ruled by this provision is as follows: When a
15 witness has provided a written statement, the Prosecutor may apply for the
16 implementation of the 92 ter proceedings by filing a request or a motion
17 for admission of the written statement, but also with a phase of
18 cross-examination. As a result, the accused, therefore, you in this
19 instant case, you can personally -- you'll find yourself in a situation
20 when you're not prejudiced because you are entitled to cross-examine the
21 witness as to the contents of his written statement. Moreover, through
22 other questions you can challenge his credibility if you are of the view
23 that the witness is not credible in the statements he made.
24 Therefore, the Rule 92 ter proceedings do not mean that a written
25 statement will be automatically tendered into evidence and admitted
1 without any cross-examination. There will in any case be
2 cross-examination. The only advantage there is in this proceeding is that
3 we can save time because instead of having the Prosecutor asking
4 questions, the answers of which we already find in the written statements,
5 the Prosecutor will only ask the witness whether he would answer in the
6 same way now as he did in the written statements. And the witness will
7 answer yes, and that's it. So it's very fast. It's a very speedy way of
8 proceeding because the time devoted to the Prosecution's questions is very
9 limited. The Prosecutor will only ask the witness whether he or she would
10 say the same thing if he or she were asked the same thing again; and
11 secondly, whether any -- they wish any changes to be made. However, the
12 Prosecutor can ask of the witness some specifications, some more details
13 about answers, and can produce some documents. However, the time devoted
14 for cross-examination which was scheduled initially does not change
15 inasmuch as this witness is part of the 65 ter list. For instance, if the
16 Prosecutor had planned two hours for the witness and then for some unknown
17 reason the Prosecutor were to change the witness, there was supposed to be
18 a viva voce witness into a 92 ter witness, then the Prosecution will not
19 use the two hours, maybe only 20 or 25 minutes. However, that Defence
20 will keep the two hours that had been granted to the Defence. You will
21 keep your two hours for cross-examination. This is what I wanted to tell
22 you because in your submissions I realised that you entertain some fears,
23 and I do not think that they are founded because you do not quite grasp
24 the way this rule is implemented, because it is a rule that fully
25 guarantees your rights. You are free to cross-examine the witness, and it
1 is only at the end of the cross-examination that at the request of the
2 Prosecutor and further to possible objections by the Defence, that the
3 written statement would be admitted in whole or part. Or, as the case may
4 be, would be dismissed. Therefore, prior to the cross-examination there's
5 no admission of the written statement under Rule 92 ter. A written
6 statement is only admitted after cross-examination and after the Trial
7 Chamber has heard your observations.
8 So this is what I wanted to tell you, Mr. Seselj, on this question
9 that has been worrying you for a long time. I can understand that you may
10 have some fears, but these are not justified because you do have
11 cross-examination. There's no Rule 92 ter in the absence of a witness or
12 in the absence of cross-examination. You can have the floor if you have
13 something to say.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judge, I have every respect for you
15 trying to save time during this trial, but you cannot save trial at the
16 expense of my procedural rights. The Prosecution over these five years
17 has saved an awful lot of time, and now it faces a deadlock. That's not
18 my fault that they're facing a deadline. Now, in view of the fact that
19 statements under 92 ter are not statements written by the witness but they
20 are statements written by either the investigators or the Prosecutor,
21 there's no reason for me or there's no sense in me cross-examining that
22 witness. It would be better for me to cross-examine either the Prosecutor
23 or the investigator. Here in court a mummy will appear, some mummy, some
24 zombie, who is going to answer in the affirmative saying that the
25 statement is his, whereas he won't have any idea of the contents of that
1 statement. And to add to that somebody will dictate what his answers to
2 my questions should be through his headsets and there's no sense in that.
3 And the main reason why I'm opposed to the introduction of witnesses under
4 Rule 92 ter and 92 quater were introduced into the Rules of Procedure and
5 Evidence last year, and I have been here since the 24th of February, 2003.
6 At the last Status Conference, I quoted a provision from the Rome
7 Statute of the International Criminal Court according to which procedural
8 rights to my detriment cannot be amended retroactively, and I am going to
9 adhere to that. Rule 92 ter and Rule 92 quater cannot, therefore, be
10 applied in Anglo-Saxon or in continental law, that is impossible or in any
11 dominant legal system is there any room for behaviour of that kind. But
12 if you insist upon that, of course I don't have the possibility of
13 preventing you, but you then have the possibility of saving a maximum
14 amount of time because all the Prosecution witnesses can be admitted under
15 92 ter and 92 quater. I will refuse to cross-examine any of them, and you
16 can get through this trial by the 15th of November or the end of November
17 at the latest, and then that is a maximum saving of time with my
18 cooperation because you have my full cooperation that way. I won't be
19 cross-examining witnesses like that, and you on the basis of the
20 statements written by the Prosecutor can bring in your own judgement. And
21 I think for the history, the history of international criminal law, this
22 precedent would have enormous importance and would resound and I'm sure
23 that in the next 300 or 400 years this will be quoted in textbooks of
24 international criminal law and in scholarly texts and scientific work.
25 Now, since I've shown to you on the basis of the statements of
1 associates of Mr. Slobodan Milosevic that my concerns are justified, I can
2 tell you that the third associate Zdenko Tomanovic has promised to write a
3 statement along those lines, although he didn't happen to be in Belgrade
4 so he wasn't able to do that on time so that I could attach his statement
5 along with my written submission. I hope to do that in due course
6 subsequently. It's up to you to weigh up the matter and to decide.
7 Whatever you decide, I shall respect your decision, but I don't have to
8 implement it fully. I will respect it in that I will continue to take
9 part in these proceedings, and that I will sit calmly while the witnesses
10 file by, the witnesses under 92 ter, 92 quater can't file past the
11 courtroom here, so we're not going to be able to establish whether they
12 ever gave those statements; and we've had experience in other trials
13 according to which many witnesses of that kind have absolutely no idea of
14 what it says in their own statements.
15 So as I say we can complete the trial very quickly and I won't do
16 anything on my part to slow down that speedy rounding off of the trial and
17 you can do what you like.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Seselj, I've been
19 listening to you carefully, and I do understand what you're saying. It is
20 not my intention at all to admit 92 ter statements without there having
21 been cross-examination, but I have to go down into the details of it all
22 because you said some things that might be confusing to those who are not
23 aware of our proceedings in this Tribunal. You said, and you are right in
24 saying so, you said that written statements are drafted in English and
25 signed by witnesses. And from what you say - and this is where you may
1 not be quite right - according to you, you say that the written statements
2 in fact reflects what the investigator would have said and not what the
3 witness would have said. This is, I think, worthy of some of my comments.
4 As you know, the proceedings in this Tribunal are of a mixed
5 nature, part of common law and part of continental law. In your country,
6 as in mine, the investigative process is controlled by a judge, which is
7 not the case here. Here investigations are conducted solely under the
8 control of the Prosecutor. So what happens? When there is a witness, a
9 witness who speaks B/C/S, he or she meets with the investigator of the
10 Office of the Prosecutor, generally investigators are former policemen
11 hailing from various countries, and sometimes during the interview there
12 may be a representative of the OTP who will also or sometimes ask
13 questions. Based on that there is -- an interview, a discussion between
14 the witness and the OTP. Such discussions may go over several days, up to
15 ten days. It is not uncommon to see that such interviews have taken two,
16 three, four were or five days. And following the interview which is
17 recorded, what is going to happen? The investigator drafts a written
18 statement, and the statement is supposed to contain all the statements
19 made by the witness and the witness's answers to the questions put by the
20 investigator. It may happen that it is a document with several pages, ten
21 or less sometimes. The witness will sign the document, a document that is
22 drafted in English. The translation into B/C/S will be done later or
23 sometimes it is at the same time. When it is a document of several pages,
24 the translation may eventuate later. Whatever the case may be, when the
25 witness signs, he's supposed to know in his own language what is contained
1 in the document because the witness has the help of an interpreter.
2 Therefore, when the witness signs, he's supposed to be aware of the very
3 contents of the document.
4 The fact of saying that he has signed while investigators may have
5 added some paragraphs to his statement, this is what seems to be contained
6 in the submissions or in Mr. Rakic's statement is of course for surprise
7 for me or concern because Mr. Rakic seems to suggest that witnesses in the
8 Milosevic cases, some 12 of them, said that things had been added on to
9 their statements by investigators. So -- well, I'm not in a position to
10 check that because I do not have before me the written statements and the
11 transcripts of their testimonies with cross-examination conducted by
12 Slobodan Milosevic, but this is what Mr. Rakic is saying in his letter.
13 In the event that this would be true, and it's only a possibility,
14 I'm saying that conditionally, since you have the possibility of
15 cross-examining yourself and you are in the courtroom, you have before you
16 the written statement. Therefore, through your questions you can tell the
17 witness, Well, you said this in paragraph 4. Is this what you stated or
18 not? The witness will then be able to say yes or no or will be able to
19 say that he's amazed to find that in his statement. That shows the
20 relevance of cross-examination, since it makes it possible for you to put
21 questions based on the written statement. And if it turns out that the
22 witness says, No, I've never said this, it was just put into the statement
23 by the investigator, the Trial Chamber could call the investigator to ask
24 them for explanations because then we would be in a blatant case of
25 perjury or forging.
1 All this to tell you that cross-examination under 92 ter enables
2 the accused, should they entertain doubts as to the contents of a written
3 statement, to ask all necessary questions so that the truth can be shown.
4 This being said, the two individuals showing some suspicions do so without
5 thinking -- or seem to believe that some questions were prompted by the
6 Prosecution during cross-examination were prompted to the witness
7 following the questions put in cross-examination. Last time I told you
8 that technically speaking this seems to be an impossible thing to be done,
9 but these people having doubts or suspicions, this could actually arise
10 from the proofing session. You may not know this, but I think you do.
11 Prior to a testimony before a witness comes into the courtroom there is a
12 habit here, custom, for what it's worth. The Prosecution can meet with
13 the witness before the hearing takes place. Therefore, the Prosecution
14 and the witness meet 24 hours or 48 hours before the testimony in order to
15 prepare for the testimony. And it is likely to think that during the
16 proofing session the Prosecutor is going to tell the witness that he's
17 going to put specific questions based on the witness statement and will
18 ask the witness to answer in the same way as he or she has done before, at
19 the time of giving the statement. This is maybe the reason why you
20 believe that the witness answers to -- answers prepared questions, but
21 actually the answers are already contained in the written statement. Only
22 in exceptional cases do we have answers that were not initially in the
23 written statement, and then you may be alerted to it and this may lead you
24 to ask more specific questions during cross-examination.
25 So I went really into the details of the proceedings to tell you
1 how things really worked in practical terms. It so happens that I'm one
2 of the Judges in this Tribunal who's been sitting non-stop in several
3 cases for the last four years, which gives me a practical experience.
4 Using these proceedings, I'm used to witnesses and what I'm telling you is
5 only example of situations I've been confronted with. And they are all in
6 compliance with the Rules and the practice of this Tribunal. Admittedly,
7 the Tribunal could have made it impossible to have proofing sessions
8 before testimony, but this was not done. This may be regretted but it was
9 not done. Therefore, we have to live with it. But you too, Mr. Seselj,
10 when the time comes for you to call your witnesses, you will have a prior
11 meeting with every witness before the hearing and you will be able to
12 consider with those witnesses the questions you want to put to them.
13 Then, depending on the answers given by the witnesses during proofing, you
14 will adjust your questions.
15 Indeed, this procedure used by the Prosecutor can also be used by
16 the accused, and you can do the same.
17 Do you want to say something?
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. Judge, I completely understand
19 that the -- this procedure, or rather, procedure at this Tribunal is a
20 mixture of Anglo-Saxon and continental legal systems, but what comes under
21 Rule 92 ter is not the result of this marriage between the two systems.
22 It is something that has been artificially appendaged to that mixture. 92
23 ter does not exist anywhere, either in Anglo-Saxon law or in the
24 continental legal system. Nowhere in the civilised world does that exist.
25 I'm not sure that it even existed with Stalin and Hitler either.
1 You still haven't answered my main objection. I don't have any
2 legal certainty here, I don't feel certain and safe legally. I came to
3 The Hague in February 2003, several days after the indictment was raised,
4 convinced that I would be given the legal means that after an indictment
5 can be raised the Rules of Procedure and Evidence cannot be changed to my
6 detriment. Now it seems that I cannot rely on the law because the Rules
7 are being endlessly changed to my detriment, and this Rule 92 ter is the
8 most flagrant example of the amendment of the Rules of the proceedings
9 retroactively. I was not present when any of the Prosecution witnesses
10 were interviewed or when their statements were compiled, and that is why
11 this is disqualified to begin with. Where I was not present or one of my
12 representatives or perhaps Defence counsel, nothing can hold water before
13 the Court, only the statement given, the testimony given. You know that
14 according to the Rules you can have statements, depositions, taken, that
15 is possible. Or the person can attend -- was -- had the right to attend
16 but didn't wish to attend. So whenever a statement is taken without
17 representatives of the Defence, it cannot be admitted as a document of the
18 Court. You said that they were retired policemen who took these
19 statements. In my country, a statement taken by a policemen without the
20 presence of a lawyer cannot be made a court document. What policemen
21 write is absolutely of no value for the Court and that is the same in your
22 country, I'm sure, as it is I'm sure in the Anglo-Saxon legal system
23 because testimony has to be made in the courtroom. The witness has to
24 state what he has to say orally in court.
25 Now, as I am not assured all the legal status to protect me here,
1 then you can deal with it. But I'm not going to cooperate. I'm going to
2 cooperate by being present when you engage in this action, but I'm not
3 going to cooperate to the extent of acting as if I was actually
4 cross-examining the witness properly. So look at the whole situation.
5 All the witnesses can give statements under 92 ter, and as I said by the
6 end of November you will have completed the whole case, but then please
7 don't say that I have had a legal certainty and that I have been secure in
8 the legal rights accorded to me in this court.
9 Now, referring to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal
10 Court, you cannot amend the rules retroactively to the detriment of the
11 accused, so, please, I would like to hear your opinion with respect to
12 that particular issue, and as it is stated in the Rome Statute.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
14 continues]... In saying that the Rules change and that the provisions
15 that are amended in the Rules have -- operate retroactively, you are
16 absolutely right. This is the way things happen because, you know this as
17 well as I do, amendments were decided upon by the Judges, were introduced
18 into the Rules, and they have a retroactive effect. This is true for Rule
19 92 ter. You are right in saying that the Trial Chambers apply the
20 provisions, the amended provisions, retroactively. But here again once
21 more, I want to reassure you, at least try to reassure you, even if I
22 don't succeed in doing so, but this is no reason for not tackling the
23 issue. There are guarantees in enshrined in Rule 92 ter. There are three
24 of them, actually. I'm going to read this out again to you. All this to
25 tell you that we do have the guarantees in place.
1 First of all: "The Trial Chamber may admit in whole or in part
2 the evidence of a witness in the form of a written statement."
3 This sentence alone goes to show that the Trial Chamber is under
4 the obligation of examining the written statement, since it can admit it
5 in whole or in part. But this Rule also says or specifies the conditions.
6 There are three conditions.
7 First condition: "The witness is present in court." Do not
8 forget that the witness has made an oath, as taken an oath, and he will
9 testify under oath. So the first condition is that the witness is
10 present. Second condition, the witness is available for
11 cross-examination, this is what I told you earlier on, and any questioning
12 by the Judges. Therefore, the Judges, too, play their part. The Judge is
13 not just sitting passively watching this sort of tennis match between the
14 Prosecution and the Defence. They are not spectators, they do play a part
15 in these proceedings. You may trust the Judges. They are going to read
16 the statements, they are going to ask themselves certain questions, and
17 they are going to put questions to witnesses, notwithstanding the fact
18 that the Prosecution or the Defence -- in the event that the parties would
19 not put specific questions. So that's the second guarantee or safe-guard.
20 The third safe-guard is as follows: "The witness attests that the
21 written statement or transcript accurately, accurately, reflects the
22 witness's declaration and what the witness would say if examined."
23 This is an additional safe-guard. The witness is asked, were he
24 or she to have to answer questions regarding the written statement,
25 whether they would say the same and they have to say "yes" under oath,
1 solemnly; if they were to say "no," that's the end of it. So this is the
2 system in place, the way it operates. I can understand that you entertain
3 some doubts as to certain witnesses, which is an additional reason for
4 cross-examining these witnesses because you challenge some potential
5 witnesses. That's one more reason for telling them, Look, you said this,
6 give me an explanation. On the other hand, not forget either that there
7 is another factor which I have mentioned already. The 92 ter proceedings
8 usually come into play after you've had viva voce witnesses. It would be
9 inconceivable that there would only be one or two 92 ter witnesses in
10 order to support the allegations made by the Prosecutor in the indictment.
11 Normally speaking, you should have viva voce witnesses. 92 ter
12 witnesses - at least that is my experience that makes it possible for me
13 to tell you so - generally speaking, 92 ter witnesses are victims most of
14 the time, victims who come to speak about what they've experienced. And
15 only very, very rarely do you have witnesses, although this is made
16 possible by the Rules under 92 ter (B), but only very rarely so, when the
17 witness comes to speak to the acts or conduct of the accused. So that's
18 possible, too, but it is only very rarely used. In fact, these
19 proceedings apply to witnesses who have been crime base victims and they
20 do not speak to challenge the direct liability of an accused. So this is
21 the spirit and the letter of the law.
22 I want to say this to you, Mr. Seselj. When this Rule is
23 implemented, it is under the control of the Judges and the Judges are
24 going to ask themselves the same questions as you may ask yourself: Is
25 this a credible witness? Does the witness tell the truth? Is his
1 statement relevant? Does it have probative value? Only then -- the
2 Judges can, and I would even venture to say they must ask questions in
3 order to ascertain that the very conditions set out in Rule 92 ter would
4 not prejudice the accused. I can very well understand that you want to
5 challenge this, that you might think that you're going to be harmed in
6 this, but this would actually not be fair for the Judges that you might
7 think that Judges would go along in a system or with a system that would
8 prejudice the accused in any way. That's not how I see the work of a
9 Judge. If you feel that you're being harmed or prejudiced, I can make
10 sure that this prejudice is dismissed and that you are restored in your
11 rights. This is what I wanted to tell you.
12 We will now move on to another topic -- yes, unless you have
13 something to say. Mr. Seselj, you have the floor.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] There are three things I would like
15 to say, Your Honour. You have confirmed that at this trial the Rules of
16 Procedure are retroactively amended, but I would like to hear you say
17 whether you believe it's possible to retroactively change the Rules to the
18 detriment of the Prosecution, that's an essential question. And among the
19 92 ter witnesses the Prosecution said that there will be many insiders,
20 not victims, but associates, people who gave statements because they were
21 threatened with indictments being brought against them. I can provide you
22 with examples of such witnesses. You mentioned as a guarantee that this
23 witness takes the solemn declaration -- well, the solemn declaration isn't
24 an oath. The solemn declaration is an idea in the Serbian language is
25 something very strange. That's the case with the Croats, Serbs and the
1 Muslims and it has to do with the communist regime when such a declaration
2 was taken. For example, in the pioneer's association, the pupils in the
3 first class of school were collectively received into that communist
4 organization, and they then gave a solemn declaration according to which
5 they would be faithful to Tito, the communist dictator. And rest assured
6 that no single witness who takes a solemn declaration here finds this
7 solemn declaration something that would prevent him from lying. An oath
8 is something else. If a man takes an oath and then commits perjury, well
9 such a man would really be terrible, but -- although there are such cases.
10 But a solemn declaration has never bound anyone for this Tribunal. I can
11 guarantee that you can consult people, Serbs, Croats, or Muslims from our
12 area or Albanians, and they will all tell you the same thing. They will
13 all find the idea of a solemn declaration something derisory. If you
14 continue to insist on this -- well, I have already told you what my
15 position is. You can call many such witnesses, all the witnesses can be
16 such witnesses, their statements can be admitted as 92 ter witnesses, I
17 have no means of preventing that nor would I try to prevent that, apart
18 from doing what I have already done, saying what I have already said, I
19 won't repeat such arguments in the future. But if such witnesses are
20 brought here I won't cross-examine them and no one else can cross-examine
21 them on my behalf. As a Judge you can examine such witnesses and your
22 colleagues on the Bench can examine them, although that's not a guarantee
23 for me. Although there's nothing negative I can say about you.
24 Personally, I can't say that you haven't acted correctly, quite the
25 contrary. I have certain objections to certain matters. You've seen that
1 in my recent submissions, but I can't say that you haven't acted
2 correctly, but there are other Judges. Let me mention Judge Moloto. Here
3 in this courtroom he asked a witness who testified about the events in
4 Serbian Krajina. I'll paraphrase this. You Serbs from Serbian Krajina,
5 why didn't you move out in 1990 when you knew that the Croats didn't like
6 you there and you would have avoided the war by doing that? Judge Moloto
7 asked such a question in the courtroom, so what kind of guarantees can I
8 have if such Judges appear here? I have many other examples I can provide
9 you with. There are no guarantees, so why should I trust Judges in
10 advance? I don't trust Judges in advance. Perhaps a Judge surprises me
11 by being very correct and then I have to admit the fact that the Judge has
12 acted correctly, but I don't trust Judges in advance. Why should I? I
13 tried to be an intellectual and to be an intellectual means to always
14 doubt. Let me remind you of what Descartes said, I doubt things, my doubt
15 is proof of my existence, so I have good reasons to have certain doubts
16 when we are dealing with 92 ter witnesses. Do as you see fit, but I have
17 told you what my position is.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have two observations to make.
19 On what my -- first on what my colleague, Judge Moloto said, well I don't
20 really know what he said. Now, regarding this solemn declaration, maybe
21 here we have an ambiguity. In the solemn declaration the witness is
22 confirming, after having taken an oath. So first he declares that --
23 solemnly that he will tell the truth, and then afterwards he's asked
24 whether if he was asked these questions again he would say the same thing.
25 So this solemn declaration comes after taking an oath.
1 On the second item regarding what you called insider witnesses,
2 may I remind of our Rule 6(D) in the Rules of Procedure. Rule 6 is
3 amendment of the rules. In paragraph (D) it says as follows:
4 "An amendment shall enter into force seven days after the date of
5 issue of an official Tribunal document containing the amendment but shall
6 not operate to prejudice the rights of the accused or of a convicted or
7 acquitted person in any pending case."
8 Rule 6(D) provides for retroactivity of an amendment, but also
9 provides for this retroactivity to be subjected to the fact that the
10 accused must in no way be prejudiced. And given this, as I said earlier,
11 it is obvious that if Prosecution is requesting for Rule 92 ter to be
12 applied for an important witness, the Trial Chamber must of course say no,
13 and this has happened, it happened to me. I've already requested a
14 witness to be viva voce, to make sure that the accused would have
15 guarantees as to his rights. So here again, Mr. Seselj, you must trust
16 the Bench, even if sometimes the Bench may be -- may fail, as you said, or
17 make mistakes. But when the -- when Prosecution is asking the Bench for
18 92 ter to be applied, the Judges will automatically check whether the
19 witnesses are such that this procedure may be applied, they will check
20 whether the witness is not of a nature that obliges, that forces, the
21 procedure to be done with an examination-in-chief and a cross-examination.
22 This is what is required in Rule 6.
23 Ms. Dahl, you have the floor.
24 MS. DAHL: Thank you, Your Honour. I wanted to make some remarks
25 regarding the application of Rule 92 ter in this case. We will bring all
1 of our witnesses viva voce, and because of the need to use courtroom time
2 expeditiously and the anticipated limits on the length of the Prosecution
3 case, we will seek to supplement their oral testimony with statements in
4 writing or prior transcripts, as permitted by Rule 92 ter. The Rule does
5 not draw a distinction between important witnesses or less important
6 witnesses, and in fact all of the witnesses are important; they offer
7 testimony as to all of the elements of the crimes with which the accused
8 is charged.
9 We disagree with the Pre-Trial Judge's view that the written form
10 of statement can be admitted only after cross-examination --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, Mrs. Dahl. Maybe
12 you misunderstood me when I said that there are 92 ter witnesses as a
13 general rule normally they're victims. Of course they're important
14 witnesses, they're very important witnesses, but a victim is not a witness
15 that may challenge directly the accused. However, a witness, what we call
16 here an insider witness, so a witness belonging to a military unit or to a
17 paramilitary unit is a witness of another nature. This witness is much
18 closer than -- to the accused than a witness may be -- than a victim may
19 be. So there's a difference that needs to be made. Of course all
20 witnesses are important, but in their ranking you have different
21 gradients. So I wanted to say this because I believe that you were -- you
22 had misunderstood me in the first place.
23 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, I don't believe that there's a
24 misunderstanding about what you said. I think that the disagreement is on
25 the application of the Rule, with respect. We will bring all of our
1 witnesses and seek to admit testimony in writing to supplement their
2 courtroom time. We will allocate more courtroom time for witnesses who
3 will testify directly to the acts and conduct of the accused. We would
4 anticipate that that cross-examination would take longer as well.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. I'm reading what
6 you have just said at page 20, line 10, you're saying that you will bring
7 all witnesses, which is fine, but you will seek to admit testimony in
8 writing, but this is out of the question, Mrs. Dahl. When there is a viva
9 voce witness, it's only the direct examination and the cross-examination
10 and the transcript of this that is -- exists. There is no written
11 statement. Don't mix procedures. Viva voce witness is a witness coming
12 into the courtroom where no statement is being admitted, and I will refuse
13 this. I can say it right away. Now, if you choose to go for Rule 92 ter,
14 then of course the written statement will be admitted. So let's not mix
15 things up. When a witness comes in this courtroom to testify viva voce
16 and you've scheduled two hours for this witness, the in chief will be --
17 there will be an in chief for examination and a cross-examination, but no
18 admission of a written statement. This is unheard of. However, if you
19 bring a witness here and state prior to his testimony that he will testify
20 under 92 ter, he may - and then I say he may - there may be a written
21 statement but only after the fact and not before. I think this is how the
22 system works.
23 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, this is a point of serious disagreement
24 because I believe that in this Tribunal --
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, you may not agree, but
1 this is my opinion. I am part of a Trial Chamber that will have to rule
2 on this, and we will not admit written statements when a witness is coming
3 to testify as viva voce. This is an accusatory procedure with an
4 examination-in-chief and a cross-examination, together with the documents
5 used that will be integrated into evidence and as evidence, and the
6 statement is left aside and is not admitted. However, if you want this
7 written statement to be admitted, then you must use Rule 92 ter or Rule 92
8 quater if the witness has passed away or is not able to come and testify.
9 But this is how it works. You don't have a procedure where you have a
10 viva voce witness and then after the fact you're asking for the written
11 statement to be admitted. And why is that? Well, if you are calling a
12 witness to testify for two, three, or four hours, you will put questions
13 to this witness, of course using his written statement, but you will not
14 go into all the items that are in this written statement. And the accused
15 will cross-examine out of the questions that have been put to the witness
16 during the in chief. And then if you're asking for the written statement
17 to be admitted as evidence, there will be in this written statement some
18 topics that will not have been debated in court. And this -- I've been a
19 Judge here for four years. I have never admitted a written statement, as
20 you seem to be wanting to do.
21 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, the procedure authorised by the Rules does
22 not preclude viva voce witnesses from having their testimony supplemented
23 by a written statement. I'm not seeking to offer redundant evidence, but
24 if I only have a limited amount of court time, then I need to rely on the
25 procedures available in the Rules to supplement their written [sic]
1 testimony. The accused has the opportunity to conduct his
2 cross-examination based on both the oral testimony and the written
3 statement; that is why the written statement is tendered for admission
4 into evidence prior to the commencement of cross-examination. That is
5 followed in every other trial of which I am aware, and it is not
6 inconsistent with the Rules.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No, no, I don't know where you
8 say that this is happening. But I can tell you as far as I'm concerned I
9 have never seen this procedure implemented with a witness coming in,
10 Prosecution asking questions in chief, then we have a cross-examination by
11 the Defence, the Prosecution is showing documents to the witness and of
12 course the Prosecution will ask these documents to be admitted into
13 evidence. But unless it's a 92 ter witness, I've never seen the
14 Prosecution come and ask for the written statement to be admitted right
15 away. I have never seen this happen and it has never been done, as far as
16 I know. But what may happen, however, is that during the
17 cross-examination the accused may challenge the credibility of the
18 witness, and then can ask for the written statement to be admitted in
19 order to show that the witness is not credible. This may happen, but what
20 you're telling me I've never seen. You may ask for it, of course, but --
21 and the Trial Chamber will rule, but you know my position. Maybe we can
22 move on to something else.
23 MS. DAHL: One thing, all of our submissions to date have forecast
24 this method of using court time efficiently, and it is no different than
25 the witness coming into court and saying, Yes, this is my statement, and
1 then tendering the witness for cross-examination. I recognise that there
2 are some parts of a witness's testimony that should be presented orally to
3 make sure that their testimony is complete, but if you want to have this
4 case fairly presented regarding the Prosecution's evidence in under 150
5 hours, then we need to supplement the oral testimony with written
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, would you like to
8 answer what Prosecution has just said or not?
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Judge. First of all, I would
10 like to agree with you that this debate of ours can be narrowed down to
11 Rule 6(D), which states that an amendment shall not operate to prejudice
12 the rights of the accused or a convicted or an acquitted person in any
13 pending case. This is a pending case since February 2003, that is to say
14 from the day the indictment was raised and my first appearance before the
15 Court. That is pending. The case started, the proceedings started,
16 although the trial did not start yet, and I hope there's no challenge to
18 Now, the question remains of whether the retroactive application
19 of 92 ter jeopardizes my rights as an accused or not. I claim that it
20 does. It does jeopardize my rights because I wasn't present when the
21 witnesses were interviewed, when their statement was taken. I wasn't able
22 to hear whether a witness was threatened that an indictment would be
23 raised against them if he fails to agree to make the statement. I wasn't
24 able to hear whether any money was offered or an apartment or house in
25 some third country so that he could take refuge there with his family,
1 whether he was offered employment as an enticement. Those are all methods
2 that the Prosecution uses in order to get witnesses, and I have a problem
3 because they promised employment or money to certain witnesses and didn't
4 keep their promises. And then these disillusioned witnesses don't wish to
5 come in and testify. I know there are some cases in point like that. So
6 I'm saying that with the application of Rule 92 ter my rights and
7 interests are being jeopardized, they do come under threat, and let's see
8 what your position is, do you think that they do not?
9 What Ms. Dahl has just said shows that the Prosecution, in fact,
10 wishes to apply a mixture of the Rules of Evidence and hearing witnesses
11 viva voce and 92 ter. They would like to may a new marriage, a new
12 mixture, that every witness is viva voce, a little bit viva voce, and a
13 little bit under Rule 92 ter. That's what they want to do, and we can see
14 that from these numerous requests that they have made and this is
15 something that Ms. Dahl confirmed here. And I need to know in advance for
16 each and every witness whether he is going to be a viva voce witness and
17 will be a viva voce witness in his entirety or is he a 92 ter witness and
18 will be heard exclusively under Rule 92 ter. They have to clear that up
19 before the start of trial and before the witness appears here in court. I
20 have to know whether he's a viva voce witness or whether he's a 92 ter
21 witness. If he's a viva voce witness, then I will prepare to
22 cross-examine him very extensively. If it's a Rule 92 ter witness, I will
23 ignore his testimony. However, if all witnesses are going to be a mixture
24 of Rule 92 ter and viva voce, then we have a new terrible problem raising
25 its ugly head here, and I hope that you're not going to agree to their
1 requests and won't give in to those requests; that would be the most
2 terrible thing, not something that even I could have imagined was going to
3 happen. Although any apocalyptic vision is something that my brain can
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
6 Ms. Dahl, I have a question. I should have put it to you before
7 but I was thinking of other things, so I didn't. When you're going to
8 call a witness, X or Y or Z, normally speaking, at least this is the way
9 your colleagues work. They inform the counsel, the Defence counsel,
10 beforehand - in this case you'll have to tell Mr. Seselj since he's
11 representing himself - you've got to tell them that this is going to be a
12 viva voce or a 92 ter witness. This is generally what all your colleagues
13 do. Are you planning to do the same?
14 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, I disagree with the premise of the
15 statement that my colleagues are applying labels to witnesses. We have
16 already on file more than 60 applications for admission of evidence in
17 writing, and I know the number because I just recapitulated all of them at
18 the Court's direction, there are 64 of them plus there are additional
19 motions under Rule 92 quater. All of our witnesses will come to court and
20 we will seek to admit additional evidence in writing to supplement what
21 they say in court. Now, it may be that the efficient use of courtroom
22 time limits their testimony to the following questions: Is this your
23 statement? Would you say the same thing today under oath if you were
24 questioned -- if the same questions were put to you, would you give the
25 same answers? That will be exceptionally brief. We will disclose in
1 advance the statement, the relevant exhibits that we will tender through
2 the witness, and it will follow the pattern that we have already set forth
3 in the 64 motions that have already been filed before the Chamber. The
4 Pre-trial Chamber has not issued any decisions on those motions, and in re
5 capitulating them and in view of Mr. Seselj's express desire to exercise
6 his right to cross-examination, we will not proceed on the basis of Rule
7 92 bis which is to accept written statement in lieu of oral testimony.
8 The Rules fully authorise the presentation of viva voce evidence and the
9 admission of additional evidence of the witness in writing, and that is
10 how we will proceed.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Well, I take due
12 note of what you have said. My colleagues will have an opportunity to
13 discuss this, and we may come back to this during the Pre-Trial
14 Conference, which leads me to talk about the composition of the Bench.
15 Mr. Seselj, I am used to full transparency, I have always been
16 fully transparent and I shall remain so. A Trial Chamber is going to be
17 established so that as early as on the 6th of November there will -- there
18 can be a Pre-Trial Conference with a Chamber; and on the 7th and the 8th
19 of November, we'll have the preliminary statement by Ms. Dahl and by you.
20 You will be speaking on the 8th of November.
21 Now, what is the make-up of the Trial Chamber? The President of
22 the Tribunal sees the Secretary-General of the United States [as
23 interpreted] so that two Ad Litem Judges be nominated and appointed. They
24 are currently in the Bench of the Delic case. The President of the
25 Tribunal asked the Judges to be appointed by the 15th of October. We are
1 beyond that date and we still have no answer from the UN
2 Secretary-General. Whatever the situation may be, we shall have an answer
3 and we shall, therefore, have a Trial Chamber, and I will be the Presiding
4 Judge as of the 6th of November.
5 As I told you last time, there are several cases and there are
6 only three courtrooms, so I really had to fight to make sure that the
7 three days, 6th, 7th, and 8th of October [as interpreted] would be days
8 that we would have Courtroom I or Courtroom III for. Now, as to the
9 coming days after the 8th of November, for the time being there is no
10 absolute certainty, but in theory we should be able to start with the
11 first witnesses on the 4th of December, the Tuesday; on Wednesday, 5th of
12 December; and on Thursday, 6th of December. Thereafter, we might have
13 Tuesday, 11 December; Wednesday, 12; and Thursday, 13 of December. And
14 then we would resume in January after the winter recess.
15 One thing is basically certain. The dates of the 11th, 12th, and
16 13th of December are sure. As to the 4th, 5th, and 6th of December, it's
17 on a stand-by basis because it may be that one of the Ad Litem Judges may
18 be taken up by another case; if this is so, we could have another -- we
19 could have a solution provided for by the Rules. Because when a Judge is
20 absent for a justifiable ground, the proceedings may continue with only
21 two Judges. It is not necessary to have the three Judges of the Bench, be
22 it only in the Milosevic case you sometimes had two and not three Judges.
23 But of course the absent Judge is informed by the Presiding Judge of what
24 happened during the hearing, and the Judge receives the transcript and
25 their related documents discussed during the hearing.
1 So this is a possible, if not likely, schedule. Therefore, the
2 Prosecution will have to prepare witnesses for the -- or the first witness
3 for the 4th of December.
4 As a result, Ms. Dahl, I'd like to draw your attention to the
5 following problem, and it's entirely up to you; however, I have to speak
6 to this. As you know, we'll only have three hearing days in a week for
7 two reasons, because this was requested by Mr. Seselj so that he can
8 represent himself. Another reason is that I, myself, I'm sitting on
9 another case, and I'm not going to have ten hearings a week, sitting on
10 two cases. So there should be, therefore, less hearing days. As a
11 consequence, we can only sit three hearing days a week, and it's very
12 clear in my mind, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. But I have a
13 problem. If you were to call a witness on Thursday who is scheduled to
14 testify over two days, that witness will have to stay here in The Hague on
15 Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday; in other words, he will have to stay
16 here for those days with accommodation to be paid as well as allowance for
17 the witness. In order to avoid this type of situation, please take into
18 account that you have make sure that you call witnesses during those three
19 days without them having to stay on unduly. How? Well, you can plan a
20 witness for three days. He could sit -- he could testify for two days and
21 the second one for one day, or still a witness to testify over three days.
22 But if you call two witnesses for the three days, one taking two days and
23 the other one two days as well, inevitably it will spill over. I know
24 it's not an easy thing to do at all. You have to be extremely precise,
25 like clockwork. But if you are in the OTP, you can incorporate all these
1 factors so that you avoid having a witness who stays for days on end which
2 has financial repercussions.
3 So I don't think it is impossible to do so regarding a number of
4 witnesses. You can make sure that over a three-day week you have two
5 witnesses, one to testify over two days and the other one over one day.
6 It may be that you only have witnesses who testify for a day. You could
7 then have three witnesses in that week. At any rate, I seem to understand
8 and I think you said so yourself already, you also want to use the time
9 efficiently, you want to be efficient in court time. So a hearing day is
10 four hours, if you remove all procedural matters that may arise. So in
11 four hours you should have two hours for your examination-in-chief and the
12 Defence would have two hours for their cross-examination, so that's
13 manageable. And two hours, that's quite a lot for a witness. Therefore,
14 you can call three witnesses per week, provided each witness does not take
15 up more than two hours for the direct examination because if you do so
16 Mr. Seselj will have the same time as you. So if you need three or four
17 hours for a witness, he too will have the same amount of time. So it's up
18 to you. You have to take that into account, see to it. I could always
19 with my colleagues, with the fellow Judges, give you some instructions,
20 some guide-lines in this matter, but it would be disastrous to have the
21 end of the day on Thursday and for us to tell the witness that he has to
22 come back only on Tuesday, the next week, he would have to wait. So
23 wisdom would have it that in a week a witness, if you plan two days for
24 him or her, you call him on Tuesday and Wednesday then have another
25 witness on the Thursday. Don't start the one plan for two days for him to
1 start on the last day, but you know this as well as I do. This is just
2 an observation, knowing how difficult it is, because you have to take into
3 account the availability of the witness as well as the scheduling
4 requirements. But the I'm sure we'll have an opportunity to get back to
6 Earlier on you mentioned 150 hours. I don't know what the Bench
7 will decide when we have the Pre-Trial Conference, will it be 150 or 120
8 hours, I can't tell you right now, because this is a decision to be made
9 by the full Bench. In this regard my fellow Judges will have their say,
10 but as far as I can see your request seems to be a reasonable one, quite
11 an appropriate one. But of course if you are given 120 or 150 hours,
12 Mr. Seselj will have the same amount of time, since we have the principle
13 of the equality of arms prevailing here. So the Judges will sum up the
14 hours, as provided in the Rule 65 ter chart and will see whether the
15 number of hours should be reduced or increased. But at first sight, it
16 seems that we should spend the first half here of 2008 with the
17 Prosecution case, and we should start the Defence case of course
18 notwithstanding submissions under 98 bis, after the summer recess, so in
19 August. And the last six months of 2008 and maybe the first quarter of
20 2009, so this is the general outline, but I'm sure that this will be
21 discussed again during the Pre-Trial Conference. My fellow Judges will
22 have to make a determination as well, and sometimes, you know that well,
23 Trial Chambers reduce the time. And if the Prosecution is not happy with
24 it, they will file a motion for -- to reconsider or a motion for
25 certification of appeal, and then the Appeals Chamber will have to say
1 whether the Trial Chamber applied its discretionary power properly or not
2 and did not make any mistake. So this is what might happen if there were
3 to be challenges. But to be clear, I believe that Trial Chamber I had
4 initially granted 81 hours to the Prosecution, I may be wrong about this,
5 but I seem to remember that number.
6 Very well. So this is what I wanted to say regarding the Bench
7 and its composition. As soon as the President of the Tribunal hears from
8 the UN Secretary-General, he'll issue an order establishing the
9 composition of the Trial Chamber, and this order will of course be made
10 known to Mr. Seselj as soon as it is issued so that Mr. Seselj be informed
11 of the composition of the Trial Chamber.
12 Before the break, we have another ten minutes left.
13 Yes, Mr. Seselj, you have the floor.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I won't need ten minutes, Judge.
15 First of all, in principle I am -- I hear that you say that the Ad Litem
16 Judges will be appointed, and I'm amazed that in less than a month they
17 will be able to get to know all the files and documents of this court, but
18 that's just my surprise and amazement that I wanted to express. But I'd
19 like to draw your attention to some other things that haven't been
20 fulfilled. You took the decision whereby the names of a certain number of
21 protected witnesses should be disclosed to me 30 days prior to the
22 commencement of trial; that has not been done. And in my opinion,
23 sanctions should be taken now against the representatives of the
24 Prosecution and you could perhaps along those lines prohibit them bringing
25 those witnesses because they failed to disclose their names a month before
1 trial. I don't know what other measures could be taken that would not
2 jeopardize my rights in the proceedings.
3 Secondly, not all the exhibits have been disclosed to me,
4 especially the confidential ones, and some expert reports as well. You
5 will recall that there was a decision whereby the confidential part of
6 Theunens's expert report should be disclosed to me 14 days before the
7 start of trial, that was not done. They did, however, disclose part of
8 that report by the expert witness, but not the confidential parts and the
9 part that was left out last time; that has not been disclosed. And I have
10 not received material pursuant to Rule 68(i). The Prosecution recognised
11 in its document that it has to provide me with 400.000 pages, and they
12 tried to disclose them to me on e-court, in electronic format, or in
13 English, but they have not done what they said they would do to date. I
14 am still receiving certain exhibits and documents exclusively in English.
15 Sometimes I receive empty files. There are 150 such to date and some --
16 for some exhibits they say that they're going to postpone disclosure,
17 there are quite a number of those, several hundred, in fact, which have
18 not yet been disclosed. So that job has not been completed, and I don't
19 know whether under such conditions the proceedings can begin at all.
20 Now, as far as I'm concerned, I'm trial-ready, and we could go
21 ahead tomorrow. I won't do anything to raise any objections, but I'd just
22 like to tell you that the Prosecution has not met the prerequisites,
23 procedural ones, for the start of trial.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you raised various
25 issues. I'll deal with them later on, but there's one thing I'd like to
1 deal with in the time remaining before the break, it's not very long
2 indeed. On the 16th of October, 2007, I issued a decision on the motion
3 by the Prosecution to reconsider the decision on protective measures. I
4 shall not go into the contents of the decision on protective measures,
5 since it is a confidential decision. However, in this decision I took a
6 decision as to the meaning to be given by the expression "30 days before
7 the final date for the commencement of trial." In the decision I said the
8 said expression had to be understood as meaning 30 days before the date
9 set for the commencement of the Prosecution case.
10 Therefore -- well, the beginning of the Prosecution case is due to
11 begin on the 4th of December. The 30 days before that date make it
12 compulsory for the Prosecution to disclose the list at the latest on the
13 4th of November. We're not there yet. So this is a reasoned decision.
14 That may be the reason why you did not have it translated into your
15 language. And in this decision I ruled on this matter of the 30-day
16 time-limit. As far as I'm concerned, before the first Prosecution witness
17 arrives, you need to have the list of these witnesses of the protected
18 witnesses whose names and other particulars you do not yet know. So this
19 matter, this issue, is dealt with in the 16 October 2007 decision that
20 explains what is to be understood by the expression of the 30-day limit,
21 that is, the 30 days before the first Prosecution witness comes. If for
22 some extraordinary reason we were not to sit on the 4th of December, of
23 course the date would be accordingly shifted. But I can tell you that for
24 the time being we plan to sit on the 4th of December because by then the
25 Judges will have been appointed.
1 You said how admiring you were of the fact that in a matter of
2 days the Ad Litem Judges could familiarise themselves with the entire case
3 file. Mr. Seselj, I have to tell you that further to Rule 65 ter (L)
4 I've prepared for the Ad Litem Judges a report that I am under the
5 obligation of giving them. It is ready. I only have to put the Judges'
6 names and to sign it. This report will inform my colleagues of the entire
7 proceedings until now and will inform them of the decisions issued so far.
8 I'll speak about the Status Conferences, the amendments of the indictment,
9 the preliminary motions, the special defence, the agreement on facts, the
10 issue of financing the defence, the problems related to the disclosure of
11 exhibits, protective measures, the issue of transcript under 92 bis, 92
12 ter, and 92 quater, the issue of contempt, Rule 77, practical matters
13 regarding trial management, problems to do with translation, transport of
14 exhibits, the e-court system, et cetera. In other words, the Judges will
15 receive a complete and comprehensive report taking stock of the
16 proceedings so far. Therefore, after reading the record, the Judges will
17 be fully apprised and fully operational. This is what I wanted to tell
18 you. It is now 10.30. We're going to break for 20 minutes and we shall
19 resume in 20 minutes' time.
20 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 10.52 a.m.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed.
23 Mr. Seselj, I would now like to deal with the question of your
24 associates. I don't know where you stand now. I don't know whether they
25 will assist you during the trial. Among the three associates, did you
1 tell the registry which one was lawyer in Belgrade? Do you have any
2 problems? Is Mrs. Ragus here? So could you tell us where you stand right
3 now. I want to deal with this issue because I felt that you had to be
4 helped. So what can you tell me as far as your associates are concerned?
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, first of all I have to
6 comment on something with regard to what you were saying just before the
7 break, with your leave, I will be very brief, and then I could answer your
9 Six months ago I was very surprised by your very correct approach
10 to the procedural problems in this case; that was the case at the first
11 Status Conference in March. Now I'm quite surprised by your
12 interpretation of your own decision which is against the legal provisions.
13 At the beginning of the proceedings -- well, the beginning of the
14 proceedings I thought should begin with the Prosecution's opening
15 statement. Now you're saying that the beginning of the proceedings
16 commences on the first day that the Prosecution starts to present its
17 case, call its witnesses, and that's what I wanted to say. I'm surprised
18 by this position, but I'll move on.
19 My associates won't be present in The Hague in the course of the
20 proceedings. They'll be in Belgrade. They'll comply with their usual
21 duties, they'll do what they do to make a living, and when they have free
22 time and to the extent that they do have free time, they'll assist me with
23 my defence. I'll have phone contact with them, because the question of
24 how the defence will be financed has not been resolved. It hasn't been
25 solved because the registry set some impossible conditions for me to meet.
1 If you like, I could go into greater detail with regard to what the
2 registry's asking of me. I don't know whether you have seen the
3 registry's letter of the 28th of September of this year, it consists of
4 six densely typed pages and it's signed by Martin Petrov, assistant for
5 legal affairs. And you can see in this letter why your decision on
6 financing the Defence won't be implemented. I'm asked to inform the
7 registry of the property situation with regard to my entire family, and
8 the registry says on the basis of that information, on the basis of the
9 resources available to you, the registry shall take -- shall deduct
10 certain costs in relation to the Defence that should be financed by the
11 applicant. Documents on the house that my family lives in, it belongs to
12 my family, they want the title for the house, they want to see how much
13 was paid by my mother for the house. It's a house that she inherited, and
14 they want to see how many funds we used for renovation. This house was
15 bought 20 years ago. It's impossible to obtain such documents. Even if I
16 wanted to obtain such documents, it would be impossible to do so. In the
17 1980s and 1990s, buying private property in Serbia was something that was
18 done by paying in cash alone; it wasn't done through bank accounts,
19 through intermediaries. Tax wasn't established on the basis of the price
20 reported, it was done on the basis of an official assessment. So am I to
21 inform the registry of how my mother obtained the financial resources to
22 buy such property? Well, this is ridiculous. I'm not going to deal with
23 some such request.
24 Something similar has been asked of my wife. According to the
25 information I provided the registry with, my sister and two aunts now live
1 in the house that is the property of my wife because we did an exchange,
2 as my family is large, I have four sons, a wife, a sister-in-law, two
3 grandsons. My mother gave us a greater, a larger, house and my wife gave
4 her sister, my sister, a smaller house. They are now asking for documents
5 that show that my wife paid for the house with her own financial
6 resources, house she got from her father, that she had aid from my sister,
7 that she obtained funds for the renovation, extension of the house. Well,
8 my wife didn't even want to give me such information when I was in
9 Belgrade, let alone now that I've been absent from Belgrade for five
10 years. The information here is incorrect. The house I live in is a house
11 of 300 square metres. 12 times 10 metres are the dimensions of the
12 foundation. That's the space that can be used, but they also included two
13 garages and a basement and a two terraces around the house as if that
14 should be included. That would add up to a total of 437 square metres.
15 And now, since I don't have a vehicle of any kind, I had two, one
16 was a Toyota from 1990 and another was a Volvo from 1995. The Toyota
17 isn't road-worthy and the other one, the other vehicle, was sold by my
18 son, he needed the money for his family. Now they want me to provide them
19 with information on the vehicles owned by other family members. My wife
20 in the meantime has bought a car, but you don't think she's going to
21 provide me with information about that, do you, so that I could forward
22 such information to the registry; I won't do that.
23 Then they are asking for other information. I'll summarize this.
24 I don't want to go into detail. Since I informed the Tribunal of
25 something, you know when I was imposed stand-by lawyer,
1 Aleksandar Lazarevic from Belgrade for a certain period of time, well I
2 then engaged investigators who looked into his family history and how he
3 was engaged so that I could discredit such an imposed lawyer. I did that
4 successfully and he himself asked to be withdrawn. He said he would
5 prosecute me because there's a conflict of interest, and as soon as this
6 matter was dealt with he didn't even think of filing a complaint against
8 In one of the submissions to the registry I stated that I had paid
9 20.000 euros to obtain all that information. And now the registry is
10 asking me to provide information on whom I paid the sum to. They want
11 bank statements. (redacted)
16 Now I'm asking for a photocopy of the passport to show, demonstrate, that
17 this investigator travelled to Macedonia. So they want to know who this
18 investigator is and how this investigator obtained such information.
19 That's what they are most concerned with. And naturally they want bank
20 statements, but I didn't use banks to make such payments. Perhaps it
21 didn't even cost a full 20.000 euros, but I rounded this figure up. It
22 certainly cost a certain amount. It was certainly necessary to pay a
23 certain sum of money.
24 I have provided information on my property. I won't do that for
25 my family property, and if you can read through the entire text - I don't
1 want to go into everything, it's a little tiring - you will then see that
2 impossible conditions have been set for me. So I have drawn a conclusion
3 from this, and my Defence will, quite simply, not be financed; I can see
4 that. They have known since I arrived in The Hague 22 of my books have
5 been published -- many more have been published; in fact, 30, over 30, but
6 those books were published by the Serbian Radical Party. I didn't receive
7 a fee of any kind, and the party usually distributes these books freely
8 because the purpose of the books is to engage in propaganda against the
9 Tribunal. There are scientific conferences that are held and when they
10 are sold the price is symbolic. The books cost less than it cost to have
11 them printed. Now they want certificates about the books sold, about the
12 situation in the warehouse, and so on and so forth, and they even want me
13 to provide them with bank statements on the transactions of the committee
14 for the Defence of Vojislav Seselj; in 2003 or 2004 I provided them with
15 such statements, with such bank statements. And I then provided them with
16 a detailed work-plan of the committee for my defence. This isn't a
17 committee that's defending me before the Tribunal; it's a committee for my
18 defence before the international public. And there I listed the tasks of
19 the committee. Firstly, in front of the Serbian -- in front of Serbia and
20 in front of the international community they are supposed to demonstrate
21 the illegal foundations of the Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. That's
22 in my letter to the registry of the 7th of December, 2004, submission 62.
23 Secondly, its purpose is to present arguments to demonstrate that
24 this is an anti-Serbian Tribunal, and this can be seen from the ethnic
25 affiliation of the accused and from the judgements in which general
1 political and historical facts are erroneously interpreted. And then I
2 also mentioned Zionist factions led by George Soros, Ms. Albright, and so
3 on and so forth; and I also mentioned the fact that as an accused my
4 rights should be respected and the Tribunal and its bodies systematically
5 violate my rights and its purpose are also to contact international
6 organizations. It should also organize scientific and legal conferences
7 to discuss all the aspects of the case against me, and they are also to
8 discuss the illogical premises of the Tribunal that pose a risk to
9 international law as a whole.
10 The first such conference was on the 21st of September, 2003.
11 There have been over ten such conferences, over ten in Belgrade, and a
12 certain number of conferences in Serbia, too.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, this is very
14 interesting, but regarding the proof of your lack of financial resources
15 of indigence, I must draw the conclusion that until now you have not
16 provided the registry with what it required. You have told us at length
17 what -- why you didn't, but one question I should have asked you is the
18 following: I guess that your wife files a tax statement. Does your wife
19 file a tax statement and are you on this tax statement also? And if
20 that's the case, then in this document we must find your financial
21 situation as far as taxes are concerned. So does your wife file a tax
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, first of all, the documents my
24 wife has are documents I have no access to. I will never have access to
25 them unless someone in my name takes them from my wife by force.
1 Secondly, all official documents of official bodies of the Government of
2 Serbia are documents that the registry has. I never had a single secret
3 bank account. All the accounts I had were open. They can obtain such
4 information from the MUP, from the Ministry of Finance, from the inland
5 revenue, and so on and so forth. I've provided information, all
6 information, about my own property. I did that a few years ago. I'm now
7 being asked to do something that doesn't concern me personally. What I'm
8 being requested to do concerns people whose will I cannot control, even if
9 they are my closest relatives, because none of them participated in any of
10 my alleged war crimes. And my wife and children don't want to live in a
11 tent, they don't want to sell the house to finance my defence. They're
12 not prepared to do that. And the house, given its surface, isn't larger
13 than what one needs. It's nothing luxurious. The registry could have
14 looked into all of these matters, and I believe that the registry has done
15 so. But this letter wasn't drafted in good faith in order to solve the
16 problem. It just presents an obstacle that is insurmountable. Your
17 interpretation is not correct. I didn't refuse to provide the registry
18 with all the information they required. I provided them with all the
19 information they required about my own property, but I don't want to look
20 into the property situation of others, even if they are my closest
21 relatives, and no one can ask me to do that.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, if I understood you
23 right, as of today, even though this decision on financing occurred some
24 months ago, your associates still are not paid and because of this they
25 will not come to The Hague; that's the conclusion you drew from this,
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Perhaps the interpretation wasn't
3 quite right. The interpreter said that they hadn't been paid because they
4 wouldn't be coming to The Hague. It's the reverse they won't be coming to
5 The Hague because they're not being paid for their work. They will
6 continue to assist my defence to the extent they can do so in their free
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. I've just identified an
9 important problem. Last time when we met we talked about the
10 transportation of your documents for the hearing, and the possibility was
11 that one of your associates would come to get them, transport them,
12 circulate them, and bring them back. But if you have no associate, no one
13 can transport these documents and we have another problem. So on December
14 4th, how are you going to solve this issue of transportation? If you come
15 with 10 or 12 binders, who is going to carry them and transport them if
16 you have no associates present in court?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The registry has to solve that
18 problem. You probably received their letter dated the 30th of August
19 which I was provided with on the 7th of September. They say that the
20 transport of this material is impossible, and I believe that it is
21 possible if the registry and the Dutch police demonstrate good-will. In
22 the van they used to transport me around, well they have a lot of room for
23 a lot of material, as you can see. I have a larger brief-case now and the
24 binders I will be provided with -- that I will need for cross-examination
25 have to be provided for me. So this will represent an expense for the
1 registry. Perhaps they will have to pay a Dutch policeman a little more.
2 Perhaps they will need another two security guards, but this is a problem
3 that they have to deal with, that they have to solve. My documents must
4 be with me at all times, and if there is someone who is carrying these
5 documents for me, I have to be able to see this person. I don't want
6 anyone tampering with my documents. These are problems that the registry
7 can resolve very easily if they don't want to complicate matters.
8 According to this letter from the registry, you can see that they were
9 just creating difficulties. John Hocking, the deputy registrar signed
10 this submission. They want to create difficulties, but these difficulties
11 can be avoided. I'm not asking for anything impossible to be done.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This is what I will do. I will
13 have a new meeting with them to try and find a solution to this problem.
14 As you are -- from what you're telling us, I note that your associates are
15 going to stay in Belgrade and you're going to be alone here in The Hague.
16 I would like now to come back to what you said earlier regarding
17 the beginning of the trial. You seem to be surprised that the date on
18 which the trial starts is when the first witness comes. Chapter 6 of the
19 rule is titled: "Trial," and there is a section 1 and section 2 you have
20 the whole procedure of the trial and you have Rule 82, which deals with
21 joint and separate trials; then Rule 83: Instruments of restraint, this
22 is irrelevant in our case; but as far as Rule 84 is concerned, however,
23 here you have the case presentation because you have the opening statement
24 in Rule 84.
25 "Before presentation of evidence by the Prosecutor, each party
1 may make an opening statement."
2 Therefore, Mr. Seselj, this is how the trial occurs. When you
3 look at Rule 84, you see that the trial will start with Rule 84, opening
4 statement, and then you have Rule 85: Presentation of evidence with the
5 witnesses. This is how it occurs. Therefore, the trial -- the start of
6 the trial is provided for in section 2, case presentation, and as far as
7 I'm concerned the 30 days start running before the first witness is
8 called. This is how the rule should be interpreted. However, I must tell
9 you that there are no rules in the regulation that set the date for the
10 beginning of the trial; it's only a matter of interpretation of these
11 rules. When you look, however, at national practices and what is done in
12 national jurisdictions, the hearing -- the trial starts when you have the
13 first hearing with the first witnesses, when the accused starts answering
14 questions, and so on. This is when the trial starts. Trial doesn't start
15 while it's still in the Status Conference procedure; this is only a
16 procedural step. The trial starts when you have the opening statements
17 provided for in Rule 84 and then the presentation of evidence with
18 witnesses. But I wanted to mention this, but I must say that it is true
19 that the Rules of Procedure and Evidence are not very specific as to the
20 start of the trial, and you have to really look at the title of section 1,
21 case presentation, as well as section 1 of chapter 6 to note that the
22 trial is provided for in the regulation but nothing is said about the
23 beginning of trial. But normally, beginning of trial is when you have the
24 presentation of the cases, of course with the calling of witnesses.
25 This, I hope, answers your question as to the beginning of trial.
1 Then there's another important issue that I would like to address,
2 which is the translation of your book. This is what happened. You wrote
3 a lengthy book, more than a thousand pages, written in Cyrillic. The book
4 was turned over to the registry for translation because it is a right
5 you're entitled to. Now, our translation services, through a letter
6 written by the registry, told me about a problem. Their problem is that
7 it is absolutely impossible to translate such a large book, such a long
8 book. Furthermore, they said that one person can translate four pages a
9 day. So for a book of that length you see that translation will take an
10 extremely long time, and to translate such a book according to the
11 practice, obviously would take a year if there was only one person working
12 on the translation. And even if you recruit a translator and pay him
13 3.000 or 4.000 euros a month, altogether the Tribunal would have to spend
14 between 30.000 and 40.000 euros to translate the book. So your book
15 really was a problem for us.
16 And secondly, asking only the index to be -- a table of contents
17 to be translated, I found out that there were chapters that may have a
18 great importance for your case. So I ruled, and in my ruling I asked you
19 to tell us which paragraphs and which pages in that book which may be
20 relevant to your case. So this is what I meant by my ruling. However,
21 despite the fact that this book should be translated, I don't see how we
22 could find a solution to the problem. The research done to find out
23 whether the Tribunal had already translated books showed us that before
24 2001 only two very short books had been translated, and this was before
25 2001. We also found out that two other books had been translated outside
1 the Tribunal and were just reviewed by our linguistic section. Therefore,
2 before 2001, that was eight years ago, only two very short books were
3 translated by our services; and since then, no book whatsoever was
4 translated by our services.
5 This is how things stand now. I fully understand that in your
6 book there may be chapters that the Bench must know about and which you
7 may use during your cross-examinations. But have we solved the problem?
8 Of course as far as you're concerned you may -- maybe have some kind of
9 publishing contract with a British publisher in order for this publishing
10 house to translate your book and publish it in the US or in the UK or
11 wherever, and then we would have an English translation. But apart from
12 this, unless you translate it yourself -- but you told us earlier that you
13 were an indigency, so I believe it's totally impossible that you could
14 translate this yourself. So I don't see how you could find a solution.
15 Now, Mr. Seselj, is that an infringement on your rights as an
16 accused? This is an administrative problem, a logistics problem. This
17 would force the Tribunal to spend money that it does not have. The
18 translation department is ready to translate some chapters, but you must
19 tell the translation services what chapters need to be translated. It's
20 up to you to tell them. This is your case and I'm not supposed to
21 interfere with your case. At one point in time I'm sure that in the table
22 of contents I saw a chapter called "Greater Serbia," now, this may be
23 relevant to your case and then you can ask the registry to have this
24 translated by CLSS. I just briefly reviewed the table of contents and I
25 was under the impression that your book scans the whole era. It's
1 probably extremely interesting, but I'm sure that in the book there are
2 paragraphs or chapters that are fully relevant to your case but it's up to
3 you to identify them. I think that the book is more than 500 pages long.
4 So asking for 500 pages to be fully translated is a daunting task, it's
5 almost an impossible mission.
6 Mr. Seselj, you have the floor. What is your solution? What can
7 you tell us as far as this is concerned?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judge, the first time the registry
9 talked to me about exhibits and Defence documents and that they should be
10 translated on time, I informed the representative of the registry that I
11 would have a total of approximately 10.000 pages of relevant documents
12 which needed to be translated. Of those 10.000 pages there are two books,
13 numbering 1.000 pages each, and the rest are various other documents
14 relating to various trials, legal proceedings, people who committed crimes
15 that are being ascribed to me, ranging up to official documents and
16 statements testifying to the fact that persons who have been accused of
17 certain crimes were not volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party and that I
18 could possibly be behind them on the battle-field. So the exhibits and
19 documents as opposed to the Prosecution, I have reduced them to the most
20 relevant and the most necessary; I have made a selection. And since I
21 stand accused here of a crime that never existed before in international
22 criminal practice, and that is hate speech -- speech of hatred and
23 inciting hatred, hate speech, that is why I have to defend myself against
24 this crime of hate speech. It is my thesis that I never applied hate
25 speech despite the fact that anyway I questioned the existence of such a
1 crime in the first place.
2 The book about Roman Catholic crimes and -- related to the
3 Croatian people proves that the Croats of today are a nation that has been
4 thought up and that hate speech is impossible if you want to prove that
5 such a nation does not exist. The Croats of today derive from the Serbs
6 upon which Catholicism was imposed, just as the Muslims were derived from
7 Serbs to whom Islam was imposed in previous centuries and they all speak
8 the Serbian language. It only happened to us Serbs that those parts of
9 the changing their nation under religious threat become the
10 representatives of an artificial nation. Can you imagine French people in
11 France taking on Islam and say they are no longer French men their Muslims
12 by virtue of their nationality and ethnicity. So through this book I
13 prove the facts, I say that these converts, turncoats, after a long period
14 of time are regularly used as instruments in the hands of the Serb's
15 enemies, the Vatican, Austria, Hungary, Turkey, America, the European
16 Union, and ultimately the NATO pact. They are always somebody else's
17 instruments against the Serb's enemies. So without this book in its
18 entirety, I am not able to prove that in a proper manner. I have
19 published thus far 101 books, and of those 101 books I am getting ready to
20 demand that only two books be translated. One is the Ideology of Serb
21 Nationalism, in which I have concentrated all my nationalistic and idea
22 logical viewpoints. The Prosecution has already had a third of that book
23 translated based on its own selection and supplied me with those parts but
24 I would like the other two-thirds of that book to be translated as well
25 because if you reject the translation of the book the project of an
1 artificial Croatian nation and the Roman Catholic church then there's no
2 pointed in me presenting you any other evidence and documents. I will be
3 using documents when I come to examine witnesses and whether you're going
4 to accept them and admit them into evidence is irrelevant as far as I'm
5 concerned because exhibits have never been disqualified in advance,
6 Defence exhibits and documents in advance, as you did with this book. So
7 I ask that your decision be thought out again.
8 Now, as far as translation is concerned, I don't know what the
9 methods used here are and that for a whole working day only four pages are
10 translated. I know that in my country the situation is quite different.
11 I know that you can bring other translators from outside for much less
12 money, much less than the exaggerated money being paid to translators here
13 for whatever reasons, I don't want to enter into that, I will of course
14 defend myself even if the book has not been translated, but then no
15 Defence documents will be translated either because I won't submit them
16 anyway, so that's the situation we will be facing. I have no other way of
17 responding to this.
18 You said up to 1991, or rather, 2001 only two books have been
19 translated and that afterwards no other works were translated. My
20 information tells me differently. I know that Simo Zaric's book has been
21 translated in the trial of the Samac group. I know that other books were
22 translated for other trials, whereas the Prosecution translated for me and
23 sent me two books by Borislav Jovic which have almost nothing to do with
24 this trial. The first book is "The Last Days of the SFRY" and it numbers
25 about 500 pages and the other book is his book about Slobodan Milosevic
1 where he continues his inter-party conflict with Milosevic in the book
2 because Milosevic threw him out of the Socialist Party. So these books
3 are relevant and they should be translated and sent to me it seems, but
4 books which are a reflection of my entire ideology don't seem to be
5 relevant, well don't translate them then, whereas you have translated
6 those two. There are textbooks that have been translated by the military
7 academy, the command and staff academy textbooks, and general -- training
8 schools for generals. Those textbooks have been translated,
9 constitutions, laws have been translated, whereas the registry has refused
10 and you have refused to have what I consider to be exceptionally relevant
11 translated. So I don't know how that is possible.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I'm not refusing
13 anything. You say that I'm refusing things. No, I don't. That's not the
14 problem. You have a book that is 1.000 pages long, 1.000 pages, and
15 you're even planning a second book. And I'm just learning this. This is
16 why Status Conferences are useful because it makes it possible to really
17 identify problems. So there is a second book also 1.000 pages long
18 apparently, but you say one-third of it has been translated by the OTP and
19 there are two-thirds of it that have not been translated. And you think
20 this book is important because it expresses your views, your ideas on
21 nationalistic ideology, so this book, too, could be relevant. Your two
22 books might be relevant, I agree with you on that. And needless to say,
23 if they were translated, it would be a useful thing to do. But the
24 problem is that for them to be translated you need to be able to do it.
25 You need the resources. You explained to me that altogether for your
1 Defence you had 10.000 pages. If I understood properly, there are at
2 least 2.000 pages taken up by the two books, so there would be another
3 8.000 pages devoted to other matters, topics, which too seem interesting
4 to me. You talked about judgements against individuals who were alleged
5 to have committed crimes, and you say they do not belong to your movement.
6 Of course all this is interesting, and it would be only normal for such
7 documents to be tendered into evidence. Yet, the question that is arising
8 here is as follows: Does the registry find itself in a situation where it
9 can really translate 10.000 pages? For the time being the answer that was
10 given to me by CLSS is that they can't do it. They told me that they'd
11 made an extra effort in order to recruit people on a provisional basis for
12 all your submissions to be translated and for all the OTP motions to be
13 translated into your language or so -- or the expert reports so that you
14 have all the evidence you need. But listening to you, I am under the
15 impression that this part of your own defence was, if not ignored, or at
16 least not taken enough into consideration. Very shortly I shall have a
17 meeting with the CLSS and other organs in this Tribunal in order to find a
18 way out, what can be done to comply with your rights. But believe me, and
19 I'm saying this again, I never intended to curtail you of any rights, but
20 I as you or as the Prosecutor, we may be faced with insurmountable
21 problems. And if that is the case, we have to find practical solutions or
22 even pragmatic solutions. And if you want to be practical or pragmatic,
23 one of the solutions would be that out of the thousand pages in your book
24 you would select some parts, some chapters which are particularly useful
25 to your case. Indeed, Mr. Seselj, do not forget. I said this again --
1 I've said this already, but I have to recall you, that in the last
2 instance when the Bench will have to determine itself on the basis of the
3 Prosecution evidence and on the basis of the Defence evidence, they will
4 have to rule beyond reasonable doubt, and their findings will be based on
5 documents, on book excerpts, on witness testimony, and also on everything
6 that came out of the questioning and the adversarial system here playing
7 out in court. Then, either by way of footnotes, references can be made to
8 your books. And if it is a particularly important point it will be in the
9 body of the trial judgement. But you are the only one who knows what is
10 relevant, I don't, because I do not know the book. All I know about it is
11 the table of contents. You gave an outline of your thesis and you said
12 that it was a useful thing for you. I do not doubt it, but what I'm
13 saying is that if one wants to appreciate the relevance of it one must be
14 able to read what you have written and one needs the translation of what
15 you have written, failing which when a witness is called, for instance,
16 expert Oberschall, you will have to cross-examine and possibly contradict
17 him and also if your book is not translated because the Prosecutor will be
18 on her feet and will say that they have not received in English the
19 translation of relevant paragraphs. And the Bench will also be totally
20 confused in the ignorance, in the dark.
21 So I'll meet again with CLSS, and during the Pre-Trial Conference,
22 because that's also one of the purposes of such a Pre-Trial Conference, I
23 shall tell you the outcome of the meeting, what the registry can commit
24 itself to. I am trying to find a solution that would satisfy you because
25 the worst thing would be for you to believe, be it for one minute, that
1 you are prevented from defending yourself. I've said that a number of
2 times and I say it once again, never was it my intention. I shall do
3 everything that is possible for you to have the feeling at the end of the
4 trial that you were listened to and that you were able to defend yourself;
5 otherwise, you would have been right to say that you were prevented from
6 defending yourself. So please look again into this matter. I will
7 discuss this with the registry, and during the Pre-Trial Conference I
8 shall deal with this again. Because I think that this issue had some
9 repercussions because you said that you were not going to give your
10 documents for e-court purposes, for them to be filed, if your book was not
11 translated. Was that some kind of reprisal or retribution or because you
12 wanted to show your discontent, I don't know, Mr. Seselj, but know that
13 witnesses who are called and you wish to cross-examine them with your own
14 documents sooner or later will need those documents. So I just remind you
15 of this point.
16 Yes, Mr. Seselj.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judge, I have absolutely no
18 intention of any reprisals or measures of retribution, and I'm not in a
19 position to do so, although maybe I would apply a reprisal if I was in a
20 position to do so, but I'm not. Because you have the whole situation
21 under your control and I'm not complaining about that. In 2003 already I
22 sent the Prosecution here in the courtroom, in this courtroom and some
23 other courtroom, I brought into court and the guards carried it with their
24 very own hands 80 of my books, first editions. They were soft-cover books
25 and a little narrower than the present ones. And the Prosecution has had
1 almost five years to read through all those books and to set aside certain
2 portions and excerpts as Prosecution documents. So I went out of my way
3 to be very correct and proper. I brought the books myself and handed them
4 over to them, and much of those books have been translated and I think
5 that you've already received those translations in English. They are my
6 interviews to newspapers, debates on television, speeches in the Assembly,
7 speeches at political meetings, and so on and so forth. That's what those
8 books comprise. Now, if I was malicious and had ill-intent, I would
9 insist that all these books be translated in their entirety because the
10 Prosecution selected excerpts, but I'm not malicious. All I'm asking for
11 is two basic fundamental books be translated, they're not by speeches, not
12 my interviews on television or anything else, they are books I wrote with
13 my own hand and which almost wholly express my entire ideology, the
14 ideology that I advocate. And in my opinion you should be just in your
15 conduct, and to be just in your conduct does not mean merely assessing the
16 resources of the registry, but how much the Prosecution has been able to
17 supply documents and how many documents were able to be translated into
18 English or a few of them from English into Serbian. I'm a very modest man
19 with respect to the Prosecution. I have modest means, but I would have
20 the right to insist upon the same amount, which I'm not doing. I've
21 reduced everything to a total of about 10.000 pages. So the problem is
22 easily resolved. There are very serious agencies dealing in translation
23 and speak off the bat, but in Belgrade if you have an agency to translate
24 anything it costs 10 to 20 euros, so if there was good intent on the part
25 of the registry they would have asked around to see where the most
1 suitable agencies exist and then calculated the costs based on that.
2 Those translations are professional, but it's not up to me to secure them.
3 That is the duty of the registry, and it is up to you to assess whether my
4 attitude to that is serious, whether I have selected relevant documents,
5 or whether those documents at first blush are irrelevant.
6 Now, these two books at first glance are highly relevant. They
7 are not important for the cross-examination of many Prosecution witnesses.
8 They are, however, very important for the cross-examination of the expert
9 witnesses, the Prosecution expert witnesses that are going to be called.
10 They are very important for that, and they're also very important for the
11 Defence case, for presenting evidence in the Defence case and for
12 examining the Defence witnesses and Defence expert witnesses. Without
13 them, you cannot view the whole. You cannot enter into the succus of the
14 subject matter. And the books explain all my speeches and all my public
15 appearances. It is on the basis of reading those two books that you will
16 know in advance which testimony of which witnesses are false or not,
17 because every witness and testimony is false which is not consistent with
18 the ideological views that I put forward in those books and my ideology
19 convictions are extremely nationalist in character, and I am very proud to
20 be considered the greatest living Serb nationalist, but it is not in
21 the primitive terms that the Prosecution is trying to prove on the basis
22 of many false witnesses to whom answers were suggested, false answers at
23 that. So the problem is one that can be solved if there was good-will on
24 the part of the registry. Now, whether you're going to solve it or not is
25 up to you to decide. So I'm not applying reprisal measures, I consider it
1 to be completely absurd to provide you with other documents to be
2 translated if you haven't translated the two key books.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, whilst listening to
4 you I have just discovered another problem, a new one, and Ms. Dahl might
5 express her view on this. You mentioned the experts who are about to come
6 and testify and I suppose you had in mind expert Oberschall because he
7 would really have looked into everything you have written and dissected
8 everything. If he is to testify, you're entitled to cross-examine him of
9 course, but as part of the equality of arms and the fair trial, you would
10 be entitled to call your own expert in order to contradict the
11 Prosecution's expert, and your own expert will, no doubt, support his
12 views on this book. So under the principle of equality of arms, how could
13 we make sure that there is this parallel attitude and the equality between
14 the parties if this important issue which has to do with your speeches and
15 their scope, a matter that will be used or mentioned by expert Oberschall,
16 if you can't adduce an opposite type of evidence. So that's the problem.
17 How does the Prosecution feel about this?
18 MS. DAHL: If the question relates to the matter of translation,
19 Mr. Seselj is confronted by the same challenge that every other accused in
20 the Tribunal faces, which is marshalling his evidence to present his
21 Defence case in the working languages of the Tribunal. I agree that he
22 may wish to present his own expert testimony. We look forward to
23 reviewing any material that he may develop in support of such testimony
24 and we'll exercise our right to cross-examine the expert, both as to
25 qualifications and opinions.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I suppose -- I
2 assume, but I don't want to go into your Defence strategy, so you don't
3 have to answer this, but I suppose this famous book, and that is 1.000
4 pages long that you want to have translated, is going to be something that
5 is -- would be used by your Defence expert, if any. So what is your view
6 on this?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Some of the experts will certainly
8 refer to that book, but, or rather, two books will be the basis of my
9 examination of witnesses. I have informed you that I intend to spend a
10 lot of time when presenting my case on my examination, both the
11 examination-in-chief carried out by legal associates and for the
12 cross-examination. You know there's no possibility of adequately
13 discussing the question of hate speech without those two books, and that
14 also concerns the joint criminal enterprise because the ideology in those
15 two books is my ideology, it's not the ideology of any of the others
16 accused for a joint criminal enterprise. They are the inceptors of an
17 ideology from the communists up until those who rob banks. I have to make
18 a distinction here. I have to isolate my own view of the world, my own
19 ideology, my own wartime objectives, and I have to make a distinction
20 between these positions and the positions of those for whom you have said
21 that they were my associates, but some of them are my sworn enemies, some
22 have tried to assassinate me, eliminate me. So I have to proceed in this
23 manner -- in fact, I don't, if you don't allow me, I don't have to do
24 anything, but if you want a fair trial, then you have to make this
25 possible for me. I don't know how else I should proceed. I don't have to
1 defend myself of -- from rape, murder, the destruction of some religious
2 site. The Prosecution doesn't allege that I was present when this was
3 done, when such things were done; the Prosecution says that others did
4 this while following my ideology or my speeches or other examples that I
5 provided through my conduct, so I'm not going to be dealing with
6 exhumations or proof of rape. But I have to deal with what I have been
7 indicted for.
8 As far as these two books are concerned, well I would use these
9 two books to contradict the thesis that I was involved in a joint criminal
10 enterprise with Veljko Kadijevic; with Blagoje Adzic, the Chief of the
11 General Staff; with the chief of the secret police, Stanisic; the former
12 president, Milosevic; many others. How can I refute this if you don't
13 make it possible for me to do so?
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, on the 11th of
15 October you filed a motion to reconsider my decision of the 24th of
16 September, 2007. So technically speaking I can react to this, but the
17 Trial Chamber that is about to be created can also answer. So please, I
18 urge you to supplement your submissions, and there will be of course a
19 reply from the Prosecution. Do develop your submissions and be much more
20 specific in order to demonstrate that there are in your book paragraphs,
21 themes, chapters that are necessary to your Defence case; otherwise, if I
22 look at the submissions you mentioned, Mr. Krasic is the one who drafted
23 the submission, only mentions the issue of relevance only superficially.
24 So it might be necessary to really go to the details of it so that the
25 Trial Chamber by way of a decision may order the registry to have the book
1 translated, because it goes to the very foundation of your Defence case.
2 So see this, discuss this with Mr. Krasic. I, for my part, will
3 meet with registry services to look into the matter. I, therefore, will
4 not make a decision right now because I feel that the Bench must take the
5 decision. Of course the Prosecution will answer, but you can supplement
6 your submissions by doing what you did here, by going into details, and by
7 quoting examples. In its wisdom, the Trial Chamber, if it so feels, of
8 course I can't speak on behalf of my fellow Judges, if it feels that the
9 book must be translated, it may be in a position to order the book to be
10 translated. This is all I can say right now, but once again I am telling
11 you that nobody has any intention of preventing you from exerts your
12 rights, and this is a good transition to move to another problem which I'm
13 going to try and solve as well, as much as it is possible.
14 You talked about it earlier, this is the disclosure under Rule 68,
15 disclosure of exhibits. Last time you said, I suppose you will say the
16 same thing today, you said that you had a Prosecution document indicating
17 that there would be 207.000 documents that could be exculpatory documents
18 falling under the scope of Rule 68. To see more clearly in this, Rule 68
19 was amended on several occasions. It was adopted on the 11th of February,
20 1994, revised on the 30th of January, 1995, amended on the 12th of July,
21 2001, amended again on the 12th of December, 2002 -- 2003, and amended
22 again on the 28th of July, 2004. There are two relevant provisions, one
23 (i) and (ii). And (i) says this: "The Prosecutor shall as soon as
24 practicable disclose to the Defence any material which in the actual
25 knowledge of the Prosecutor may suggest the innocence or mitigate the
1 guilt of the accused or affect the credibility of Prosecution evidence."
2 So that's very clear-cut. As to (ii), the other provision, it
3 says this: "Without prejudice to paragraph (i), the Prosecutor shall make
4 available to the Defence in electronic form collections of relevant
5 material held by the Prosecutor together with appropriate computer
6 software with which the Defence can search such collections
8 So the Rules are very clear in this matter. Anything that is
9 exculpatory or that is likely to have an effect on the indictment must be
10 disclosed to you in hard copy and in your own language. That -- this
11 arose from the latest amendment on the 28th of July, 2004.
12 I believe that I have identified the problem. On the 30th of
13 September, 2004, in other words, two months after the latest amendment
14 which brought in the issue of the electronic search, the Prosecutor in
15 charge of the case - it was then Ms. Hildegard Uertz-Retzlaff - sent to
16 Mr. Van der Spoel, who was the stand-by counsel at the time a letter, in
17 which she said that there were seven CD-ROMs and four DVDs containing
18 documents that could be exculpatory in nature. And this letter mentions
19 Rule 68 without mentioning, however, (i) or (ii). That was the mistake
20 made then by the Prosecution. This letter had been sent to your counsel,
21 with whom you had absolutely no dealings, and it says that as far as the
22 four DVDs were concerned, together possibly with the search engines, had
23 to do with the 5th Military District, the 9th Knin Corps, Captain Dragan,
24 civilian defence, General Raseta, the KOS, the Military Naval District,
25 the Martic police, the SAO Krajina police, the Serb guards volunteers, the
1 VRS, as well as the White Eagles. So this is what your counsel knew. As
2 to the seven CD-ROMs, they dealt with the BH army, the Ministry of
3 Defence, of the Interior, of the BiH, with the Green Berets, with the ZNG,
4 with the Croatian army, with the MUP of the Croatian police, with the HOS,
5 and with the milicija.
6 Since then, since then, this issue was not formally solved
7 inasmuch as you say there are 207.000 documents and you want to have them.
8 I issued a decision several months ago inviting you specify to Ms. Dahl
9 some key words that would enable her to search among the 207.000 documents
10 the documents that might be under the scope of the (i) of Rule 68, and
11 Ms. Dahl had told us that she was absolutely willing to carry out this
12 search for you and to convey the results of it to you, provided of course
13 you gave her some clues or key words to identify the documents.
14 Now, what is the state of play right now as I can see -- of course
15 I can be wrong. But on the 30th of September, 2004, officially -- it was
16 not Ms. Dahl because she came in later, so she's not really personally
17 responsible for this problem, but the Prosecution without really making
18 any distinction does not make any difference between the (i) and the (ii),
19 because if it had done so it would not have said that among the DVDs and
20 the CD-ROMs there were exculpatory documents. Now, to date I fail to see
21 how, but Ms. Dahl may have the key to this problem, how the Prosecution
22 could tell you these are the documents falling under the (i) provision of
23 Rule 68, because that would be tantamount to saying that the Prosecution
24 would work for days, for months on end sort of reading through the 207.000
25 documents, would work on sorting them out, and telling you, This is an
1 exculpatory document that may have an impact on you and may jeopardize the
2 Prosecution case. So this is the state of play. What can we do? Because
3 as I see things, in the coming weeks or months the Prosecution can keep
4 trying to disclose this to you, that's one possibility; the other
5 possibility would be that you, yourself, starting with some key words,
6 what I had in mind, for instance, was the White Eagles or other key words,
7 you could ask the Prosecution to give you all the documents proving that I
8 have nothing to do with this. You could ask the Prosecution to identify
9 for your sake the documents found in the seven CD-ROMs and the four DVDs.
10 But failing this which is only a practical or a pragmatic measure, if you
11 see the principle of Rule 68(i), since this matter has been in abeyance
12 for five years, I think this is just wishful thinking. The Prosecution
13 cannot tell you today that among the 207.000 documents there are so many
14 which are exculpatory.
15 Madam Dahl, do you want to supplement what I've just said in
16 relation to this problem, which is a real problem, and I cannot deny that
17 problem, neither can anybody else?
18 MS. DAHL: Yes, Your Honour. I first want to correct the notion
19 that there are 207.000 documents. That's an estimate of the number of
20 pages. The spreadsheet of the ERN -- the evidence numbers relates to
21 17.894 documents that result from very broad search criteria, in some
22 cases single words or single groups represented, for instance, by the
23 maritime military district.
24 I want to take a step back with respect to electronic disclosure
25 and the practice of Defence counsel. Generally, Defence counsel have
1 asked for more rather than fewer documents in an electronic format rather
2 than paper and in any language so that they may themselves, armed with
3 their own knowledge of relevance and the theory of defence, investigate
4 and explore and search the electronic collection. That modality of
5 offering electronic collections persisted in this case until the ruling
6 this summer that Mr. Seselj should receive material strictly within Rule
7 68(i) in paper and in Serbian. He may, if he wishes, print at his expense
8 all of the documents that have been made available to him in electronic
9 form. It is not necessary for a fair trial for the Prosecution to
10 undertake that burden.
11 And indeed, the material that has been disclosed to him under Rule
12 68(i), has been done in compliance with the ruling this summer. And as
13 material comes within our actual knowledge, we print it, we make sure it's
14 in a language accessible to him, and we disclose it.
15 Now, the letter that Your Honour referred to was also offered to
16 Mr. Seselj, and he rejected it. So we are at the eve of trial because of
17 his deliberate unwillingness to make use of the information being made
18 available to him and his insistence on an interpretation of the Rules and
19 a change in the procedure that he stands alone in.
20 So I don't have a more specific solution. The registry, as I have
21 noted before, has offered to make printing facilities available to
22 Mr. Seselj. We have the Excel spreadsheet of the 17.894 documents. Those
23 are indexed by their registration numbers, and if he wishes unstructured
24 information in paper format, which frankly I find less accessible and less
25 useful than the electronic search terms, as a self-represented accused he
1 is within his right to make those decisions, regardless of how unwise they
2 may prove to be.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. You gave us some new
4 elements, so the debate focuses on 17.894 documents and not 207.000
5 because it is 207.000 pages representing 17.894 documents.
6 Mr. Seselj, Mrs. Dahl has been telling us that since the Chamber's
7 ruling Mrs. Dahl has disclosed under Rule 68(i) all documents that are
8 relevant, and as for the rest she's telling you to carry out the
9 electronic search or have your associates do the electronic search in
10 order to know exactly what is relevant, what is useful to your case. I'm
11 sure you have another opinion as far as this is concerned, and I will now
12 give you the floor.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as the Prosecutor's
14 office is permanent, I'm not interested in the fact that
15 Hildegard Uertz-Retzlaff left, that Ms. Christine Dahl arrived, that's
16 their problem. They're all the same to me. They're representatives of
17 the Prosecution, and I'm trying to show that this is a political
18 Prosecutor's office. It's a false office. Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff said that
19 the Prosecution had identified 207.000 pages of potentially exculpatory
20 material. When she says "identified potentially exculpatory documents,"
21 exclusively refers to Rule 68(i), exclusively. Rule 68(ii) makes no
22 mention of identification of potentially exculpatory documents. It
23 mentions access to collections of Prosecution material, various kinds of
24 documents, some of which might be exculpatory but none of which have been
25 identified as such yet. These are important distinctions to make.
1 There's no reason for confusion. If the Prosecution identifies something
2 as exculpatory material, well that's been identified as such forever. All
3 the documents you mentioned as -- and the contents you mentioned, well
4 these are important documents, even the marine section is important. They
5 participated in land operations. JNA admirals were judged here for being
6 involved in land operations. There was a general who was indicted for the
7 Dubrovnik battle-field, but in many judgements rendered by the Appeals
8 Chamber in particular, it's stated that the Prosecutor is an official
9 acting on behalf of international justice. I can provide you with
10 information on these judgements. As I said, an official of international
11 justice who has two equally important duties. The Prosecutor must
12 prosecute those, the accused of war crimes, and must also find potentially
13 exculpatory material and provide the accused with this material in good
14 time. You must ask the Prosecution to prove that during this five-year
15 period the resources which they had and everything else was used to find
16 potentially exculpatory documents in the same way that they used these
17 resources to prosecute me and to obtain evidence against me. They have to
18 convince you of this fact. They haven't done so, but in spite of that,
19 they continue to violate their obligations. Ms. Hildegard Uertz-Retzlaff
20 identified 207.000 pages, and I'm requesting that I be informed of this
21 material because she herself stated or wrote that this was potentially
22 exculpatory material. A new Prosecutor has arrived and says she has no
23 idea about this, and so now I'm supposed to feel sorry for the Prosecution
24 or the Prosecutor because the Prosecutor doesn't have time to read this.
25 I believe that the Prosecutor has to provide me with this material even if
1 the Prosecutor doesn't read through it because this material has been
2 identified. And the only way I can be provided with this material is if
3 the material is provided to me in hard copies and in the Serbian language.
4 If they haven't done this for five years, that isn't my problem, it's
5 their problem. If they don't hand over 207.000 pages of potentially
6 exculpatory material, well then my basic rights as a defendant have been
7 violated. I can't defend myself without those 207.000 pages, and I don't
8 want those -- the number of those pages to be reduced to 206 or 205.000
9 pages. It's said that there are 207.000 pages.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Since the decision of July 7,
11 2007, how many documents have you disclosed as hard copy to Mr. Seselj
12 under Rule 68(i)?
13 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, if I may take a minute to see if I have
14 that information available.
15 [Prosecution counsel confer]
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I am told that we have to have a
17 break, and can you give me the answer after the break, please. We need to
18 have a 20-minute break, and we will resume in 20 minutes.
19 MS. DAHL: Yes, I will endeavour to.
20 --- Recess taken at 12.20 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 12.40 p.m.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed. We have
23 but one hour.
24 So, Mrs. Dahl, you were supposed to tell me how many documents you
25 disclosed to Mr. Seselj under Rule 68(i).
1 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, we don't keep our records in that fashion.
2 I can tell you that we have disclosed ten receipts as cover letters to
3 anywhere between 1 and approximately 40 documents. We've put over 3.000
4 documents responsive to the search terms Mr. Seselj gave us at an earlier
5 Status Conference onto the electronic disclosure system. Those are
6 readily available today, but I'm sorry I'm not able to tell you the number
7 of documents. We don't keep track of those kinds of statistics.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine, Mr. Seselj, Mrs. Dahl is
9 telling me that she disclosed a number of documents, notably after
10 research made, an electronic search made, out of key words that were
11 provided by you.
12 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, if I can give a temporal time-period you
13 asked me how many documents we had disclosed since this summer. So my
14 answer was limited to disclosure after approximately June 2007.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.
16 Mr. Seselj, do you agree with what Mrs. Dahl just said?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Microphone not activated]
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone for Mr. Seselj.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, I do not agree, Judge, because
20 Ms. Dahl is intentionally and tendentiously leading us astray with respect
21 to Rule 68(i) and (ii). She keeps repeating that they have enabled me
22 some sort of search I am not interested in any search, and I would like to
23 stop talking about those searches. Mrs. Dahl is only partially right when
24 she said as from the summer from the Prosecution they sent me between 1
25 and 40 potentially exculpatory documents.
1 Now, between 1 and 40, perhaps we could reduce that and say some
2 20 or maybe even less. I can't give you an exact number, but as far as I
3 recall there certainly weren't more than 20, and one document was by
4 Miroslav Radic, an expert defence --
5 MS. DAHL: May I ask Mr. Seselj to lower his voice. I cannot hear
6 the translation due to the volume of his voice in the courtroom.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, could you please speak in a
8 lower tone of voice, please, Mr. Seselj.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, there's no sense in all this,
10 Judge. Perhaps it would be best if I didn't say a word. Well, imagine a
11 courtroom in the world where the accused or his Defence counsel is
12 cautioned for speaking too loud, where does that exist? Nowhere in the
13 world would you have a situation like that. It's only here in The Hague
14 that this kind of thing happens to me while I was testifying as a witness
15 in the Milosevic trial and here again during these proceedings.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, please, when we
17 speak interpreters must translate, and sometimes it's difficult to
18 understand when you have both the direct voice and the interpretation in
19 the headset. Possibly we could not even hear you and just listen to the
20 translation, but unfortunately we hear the translation and also your voice
21 because your voice is heard in the courtroom and sometimes it's very
22 difficult to understand what you're saying because of this. Let's go back
23 to the issue of the documents, please.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judge, my voice is sometimes louder,
25 sometimes weaker. It's usually always quite loud and strong, louder than
1 the voices of others. I try sometimes to speak more quietly, sometimes I
2 forget to put in the effort to speak more quietly, but if somebody's going
3 to interrupt me all the time because of that, then what will this look
4 like? If the problem is in the headsets, then the Prosecutor should get
5 more high-tech headsets which will isolate all the other sounds in the
6 courtroom except the sound coming in through the headsets. I suppose that
7 would be a solution.
8 But anyway, I was sent one exculpatory material from a defence
9 expert Miroslav Radic in the trial of the Vukovar three, well, that's how
10 the trial was colloquially known, it was otherwise Mrksic, Sljivancanin
11 and Radic, the Prosecutor versus those three; so I hope you don't mind me
12 calling them the Vukovar three and a number of other documents were
13 provided me which relate to Vuk Draskovic and some others I can't
14 enumerate them all now but certainly there weren't more than 20 documents.
15 So the truth is somewhere halfway between the 1 and 40 mentioned by
16 Ms. Dahl. I don't know how many there were, I didn't count them, but I
17 did put them in some sort of order and selected some. So that is a
18 negligible number if we compare it to the several thousand that the
19 Prosecution has at its disposal, which the predecessor to Ms. Dahl
20 identified as potentially exculpatory material.
21 Now, for the Prosecution this is potentially exculpatory material
22 as far as they're concerned and it's up to me to choose what is really
23 relevant and what I consider to be exculpatory for me and the other
24 documents that I can reject. But it is their duty that whenever they have
25 an idea that something could help me in my defence and could be
1 exculpatory to provide me with those documents. That's their obligation,
2 but they're not fulfilling their duty or their main duty with respect to
3 the disclosure of documents, Prosecution documents, in this case.
4 I still haven't received all those. There are several hundred
5 documents missing. Some they categorised as postponed disclosure
6 documents, others they tried to serve me with exclusively in English, and
7 others did not exist. Just the file with the number 65 ter so-and-so.
8 Now, I wrote all this down very pedantically and sent letters to the
9 Prosecution telling them exactly what they sent us, and I returned all the
10 documents in English and separated all the documents that were exclusively
11 in English, but they did not comply with their duty fully either in that
12 regard, and I'm sure you'll remember, Judge, that you made it incumbent
13 upon the Prosecution that together with the pre-trial proceedings of the
14 Prosecution that I should receive the judgement in the Brdjanin trial
15 which explains the concept of joint criminal enterprise in a novel way,
16 but they still haven't sent me that, that's just part of the judgement.
17 And now I am asked to respond to their pre-trial brief and you have given
18 me a deadline which is I think the 31st of October for me to do that. So
19 how can I do that within that deadline when they keep referring to
20 Brdjanin and the judgement and the concept of joint criminal enterprise,
21 whereas I don't have that and I should have it in order to be able to
22 state my views and respond.
23 And on a number of occasions, I have shown that they're not
24 conscientious in performing their duty and that they're not giving me
25 their -- what they should be, either with regard to Prosecution documents
1 or exculpatory material or anything the Court rules. They've just started
2 doing that yesterday ad hoc, the transcripts of testimonies of certain
3 witnesses in other trials. Two witnesses, for example, in the Prosecutor
4 versus Slavko Dokmanovic, that particular trial and one other witness, I
5 forget now whether it's the Samac trial, but it doesn't matter. They've
6 just started doing that. And they have to translate the many, many
7 documents that they have in Serbian and provide them in hard copy. And
8 there's only one sanction that you can apply vis-a-vis the Prosecution,
9 and that to reject any potential Prosecution witness for whom they have
10 not got a set of documents attached. So no witness can be brought in to
11 testify here if he was a witness in other trials and if I haven't been
12 provided with the transcript of the testimony of that person -- that
13 person in Serbian. Then that person, that witness, cannot come in to give
14 testimony here. It seems that they have had dealings with corrupt
15 lawyers, but let me tell them, I'm not going to allow that to happen. So
16 if I can be figurative and say that I'm going to stick to the letter of
17 the law.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine, Mr. Seselj. I'm trying to
19 move ahead regarding this very important issue, which for the moment we
20 don't have a solution. It is true that disclosure of documents suffered
21 from a drawback which came from the fact that this disclosure is done
22 without the Judge's control. So when Mrs. Dahl is sending documents over
23 to you, I have no idea what she's sending. This is what -- actually,
24 because there's nothing in the Rules providing for this, and a great
25 number of Judges do not want to interfere with the disclosure between
1 parties. And because of this, sometimes you suddenly unearth problems at
2 the very end. At the time I could have found out and I was member of
3 Trial Chamber II and I could have found out that Mrs. Uertz-Retzlaff's
4 letter telling you that four CDs and seven DVDs were being sent over to
5 you and that this letter was going to create problems because at the time
6 you did not want your stand-by lawyer Mr. Van der Spoel and he did not
7 want to receive these CD-ROMs and DVDs. If the Judges had been aware of
8 that at the time and had been aware of what was written in this letter I
9 would have found out immediately that there was a problem in relation to
10 Article 68(i). The fact that this is done outside a Judge's control does
11 lead to these kind of problems.
12 Secondly -- what can we say now? When you have -- when you have a
13 lawyer - and this is not your case - but when you have a lawyer and
14 Mrs. Dahl said this very justly earlier, the Rule provides for the
15 lawyer -- the Prosecution to send the documents in electronic form to the
16 lawyer, and then it's up to the counsel to try to search through these
17 electronic documents to try and find which ones are relevant to the case
18 as far as Article 68(i) is concerned. But the problem is that you have a
19 right not to have a lawyer. This was a right that was recognised last
20 year in December. Now -- and before unearthing this problem of the
21 207.000 pages -- problem has been unearthed belatedly but it exists now
22 and hasn't been solved yet.
23 Now, earlier Mrs. Dahl quoted two examples -- or one, actually,
24 the Brdjanin case, where for the joint criminal enterprise alleged in the
25 indictment Mr. Seselj was to have the judgement in his own language and he
1 may believe that this comes under Rule 68(i) as far as his case is
2 concerned. I want to note that Prosecution did not disclose the -- this
3 appeals judgement. Then proprio motu let me mention another example.
4 The --
5 MS. DAHL: Your Honour --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You want to answer this,
7 Mrs. Dahl?
8 MS. DAHL: To facilitate the translation of relevant authorities,
9 we filed a book of authorities that included extracts of the relevant
10 provisions in the Brdjanin appeals judgement. I knew that it would take
11 some time for CLSS to translate the entire judgement, but I endeavoured to
12 make sure that that information was available to Mr. Seselj. All of the
13 paragraphs that we cited that are either outside the Yugoslavia Tribunal's
14 jurisdiction or are new and therefore remain to be translated, are within
15 our book of authorities. That, I believe, is pending translation for
16 Mr. Seselj.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine, thank you.
18 But another example which I'm quoting. Recently a Trial Chamber
19 made -- ruled on the Vukovar three, and so far this judgement did not
20 recognise the existence of a joint criminal enterprise, so this judgement
21 may be extremely interesting for the accused. Will Prosecution disclose a
22 copy of this judgement because Vukovar is in the indictment?
23 MS. DAHL: It is not our obligation to translate and disclose to
24 Mr. Seselj the trial judgements. We prepared the book of authorities as a
25 courtesy to help ensure a prompt starting date and to avoid translation
1 delays associated with the entire appeals judgement. I would note that
2 the theory in the case and the accused related to a military structure;
3 that is different than this case.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me come back to Vukovar
5 because you did not answer that.
6 In the indictment against this accused, mention is made of
7 Vukovar. It so happens that with regard to the Vukovar three the JCE had
8 been invoked and the Trial Chamber decide that it was not there. So this
9 might be -- this judgement might be relevant for this accused. Don't you
10 think that under Rule 68(i) he should be disclosed this judgement?
11 MS. DAHL: No.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
13 Yes, Mr. Seselj.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judge, well this is the first time
15 in my life that I have to agree with the representative of the
16 Prosecution. The judgement as far as the Vukovar three are concerned
17 should be sent me by the registry, not the Prosecution; but the
18 Prosecution is duty-bound to provide me with part of the judgement from
19 the Brdjanin trial because you issued that order. It was an official
20 order from you that they send it to me, just like -- now, had you made the
21 same ruling with regard to the Vukovar three, the Prosecution would have
22 had to do so, too, but in this case it's not the duty of the Prosecution
23 but the registry. And I need both judgements. Because if no joint
24 criminal enterprise existed in Vukovar, how come I'm there? When Vukovar
25 was liberated I happened to be in Knin which is several hundred kilometres
1 away from Vukovar. So if there's no joint criminal enterprise, there's
2 nothing over there, as far as I'm concerned, of course. So that judgement
3 is absolutely necessary. You're either going to issue an order to the
4 registry to provide me with the document or the Prosecution, but otherwise
5 it's not the duty of the Prosecution to do so unless you specifically
6 order it to.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're going to move to private
8 session for a few seconds because I want to tackle an issue.
9 [Private session]
5 [Open session]
6 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
8 Well, I'm hoping to get some news. Last time I'd asked you to
9 sort of get together, hoping that if there was a meeting it might make it
10 possible to reach an agreement as to certain crimes and this would curtail
11 the need for the calling of specific witnesses. The fact that these
12 crimes happened does not involve your own liability in any direct way
13 because you pleaded guilty and you negate any connection or deny any
14 connection between the authors -- the perpetrators of the crime and
15 yourself. So I made an order and I thought that the OTP was in favour of
16 such a meeting.
17 Has any progress been made, Mr. Seselj?
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, no meeting took place. I
19 expressed my readiness to meet on condition that my legal advisors, case
20 manager, and five basic investigators also take part, so I'm ready to have
21 that contact. I'm ready to have the contact last several days and to
22 present certain documents which testify to the unfounded character of
23 parts of the indictment.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What about you, Ms. Dahl? So
25 Mr. Seselj was in favour of a meeting provided his advisors were present
1 as well as his case manager.
2 MS. DAHL: The record of the prior Status Conference differs as to
3 what Mr. Seselj said. I asked for him to provide me with a letter about
4 the topics he was willing to discuss and whom he would wish in attendance
5 by name. He said he would never send such a letter and the matter ended
6 there. He is at a distinct disadvantage being unrepresented. He would be
7 required to have the formalities provided for in the Rules regarding
8 warnings and the making of an official record of the interview. If there
9 are places where Mr. Seselj, having been duly warned, is willing to make
10 statements, we will certainly receive that information from him, but we
11 will use what he says against him to secure a conviction.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, Madam Dahl --
13 Ms. Dahl, is saying two things: You were to send her a letter stating the
14 points to be discussed with her; secondly, she's telling you that if ever
15 there was such a meeting, it would be recorded, and since it is important
16 and that what you may say during that meeting with the Prosecution, may be
17 recorded. And she added that it could be possibly held against you.
18 What do you have to say?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judge, I assume that you're fully
20 conscious that the interpretation of Ms. Dahl is not truthful. You issued
21 a ruling after the Status Conference, and at the Status Conference I said
22 that I was ready to talk, that I was ready to have a meeting with the
23 representatives of the Prosecution, but I did not express the wish for
24 that. I have no wishes in that regard. I never want to see in my life
25 representatives of this Prosecution. I have no wish to see them at all,
1 but I do have the readiness to do so. I am ready to talk in order to
2 rationalise resources, in order to convince the Prosecution how -- what
3 failures they have in their department and to give up on certain parts of
4 the indictment which would make this trial simpler. And so when I show
5 them the documents that I had nothing to do with crimes in Herzegovina,
6 for instance, and the people who were accused of the crimes over there
7 have nothing to do with me, if I show them that I have nothing to do with
8 ascribed crimes in Sarajevo, in Zvornik, in Vukovar, if I were to show
9 them in Vojvodina there was no attack on the civilian population let alone
10 a systematic and widespread ones, then they could give up on the whole
11 indictment, of course had there not been a political motive to raise the
12 indictment in the first place and that western powers didn't stand behind
13 the indictment for their own interests.
14 So I'm ready to do that, but I'm not asking and have no wish or
15 desire to see them. I have certain conditions, and it was my condition
16 that the whole encounter be taped by video-camera, that was my condition
17 expressed at the Status Conference. If you will recall, and it was only
18 under those conditions that I was ready to discuss anything with them,
19 that everything is taped and recorded and that my legal advisors, legal
20 associates, are there of course, the investigators to be paid their per
21 diems and costs for coming here, otherwise I have nothing that I need to
22 write to the Prosecution in that regard. The initiative is up to them.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I can see that, in fact, you are
24 very close to one another since you asked the meeting to be recorded;
25 Ms. Dahl wanted that, too. So there is an agreement. The only problem is
1 the issue of your advisors, your associates, who are now in Belgrade. If
2 they were to come, of course their trip must be paid for and they must
3 have an allowance. That's part of the decision on financing the Defence.
4 Third point, I can't remember, but Ms. Dahl might be quite right
5 on this. At the latest Status Conference you would have said that you
6 needed to know what the meeting was going to be about, and if she knew the
7 items she could organize such a meeting as long as she had the topics.
8 And apparently she was expecting you to send her a letter listing the
9 various items. Well, you've numbered them. You spoke about Vojvodina,
10 about Sarajevo, Zvornik, et cetera, so there are a number of items, but it
11 may be that a letter would have made it possible for Ms. Dahl to organize
12 the meeting. Well, I did what I could so that the parties, Prosecution
13 and the Defence, agree on facts or on issues of law. Should there be an
14 agreement, you could notify this to the Trial Chamber.
15 I had also told you that it was really important for both parties
16 to have this type of meeting. I told you that experience shows me that 80
17 per cent of trial time is devoted to crime base facts and 20 per cent to
18 the real issues, namely, the liability or not. And I thought that it was
19 better to spend most of the time on the issues related to liability if one
20 could have an agreement on the facts that there was looting or
21 destruction, anything that is unfortunately intrinsic to any conflict.
22 And I wanted the trial to be useful, most of the time being devoted to the
23 issues of liability. This is the reason why I issued the order. It's not
24 too late for you to meet. It's up to you to make a move. I've done as
25 much as I could in this matter.
1 There's another 30 minutes left -- yes, Ms. Dahl.
2 MS. DAHL: Yes, Your Honour, I had two matters of housekeeping
3 that I thought should be raised.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Go ahead.
5 MS. DAHL: Mr. Seselj submitted number 328, a consolidated version
6 of his special defence, and I note that at the last two pages, 9 and 10 of
7 the translation, he indicates that he has submitted it to the Trial
8 Chamber and within our two paragraphs with requests for relief or judicial
9 action. The matter itself, the submission, has not been filed to cause it
10 to be a motion before the Trial Chamber. It was actually just served on
11 the Prosecution. So I would think that the Registrar needs to file it and
12 present it as an item for judicial action before the Chamber. That's
13 number 328.
14 Second, with regard to the second amended indictment, the Chamber
15 will recall its decision of 14 September. There were issues left for the
16 Prosecution to take action upon, and on 28 September we filed a notice of
17 compliance. There were four questions that needed resolution concerning
18 several paragraphs. We had proposed in paragraph 4 a time-frame for the
19 accused's leadership of the Serbian Chetnik Movement in response to the
20 decision at paragraph 22. At paragraph 7 of the indictment we included an
21 enumeration of the crimes that were a foreseeable consequence of the
22 accused's attempt to permanently expel Muslims and Croats in order to
23 create a state dominated by Serbs, which he refers to as Greater Serbia.
24 Paragraph 14 is -- represents the Prosecution's redaction of
25 language rejected by the Chamber in paragraph 33 of the decision
1 concerning the Prosecution's allegations regarding intent and awareness of
2 risk. Finally, paragraph 34 of the indictment presents the proposed
3 resolution of the allegations concerning plunder that were put to the
4 Prosecution in the decision of 14 September. I bring this to the
5 attention of the Chamber because we've asked for an order to be entered,
6 directing the registry to file the second amended indictment, and we will
7 supply the corresponding annexes. I want to just tidy up the housekeeping
8 because the decision left open several questions and the Prosecution has
9 made its choices consequent upon the decision. Then that requires
10 Chamber's approval.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We shall issue an
12 order on the amendments that you made following our decision of 14th
13 September, 2007. So there is a one half-hour left.
14 Yes, Mr. Seselj.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I would first like to respond
16 to what Ms. Dahl has said. My consolidated submission on special defence
17 was forwarded to the Trial Chamber and to the Prosecution and were also
18 provided to the registry, and it was for the registry to make copies and
19 to provide the Chamber with a copy and the Prosecution with a copy, not
20 just the Prosecution. According to the rules on special defence,
21 submissions are only provided to the Prosecution, not to the Trial
22 Chamber. On this occasion, I forwarded a copy to the Trial Chamber, as I
23 believed it was essential for you to be familiar with it, as we're dealing
24 with your order to have such submission filed.
25 Then secondly, Ms. Dahl also commented on certain other things
1 which shows she knows nothing about the concept, the idea, of Greater
2 Serbia. If she read through my two books, "The Ideology of Serbian
3 Nationalism" and "The Roman Catholic Project of an Artificial Greater
4 State," well everything would be clear to her and she would abandon her
5 pursuit of such an indictment because I never pursued policies according
6 to which Serbs, Catholics, and Serb Muslims, were to be expelled from the
7 territory of the imagined Greater Serbia. I was interested in awakening
8 the national consciousness of Serbs who were Catholics and of Muslims who
9 were -- and of Serbs who were Muslims, since these people had been put
10 outside or expelled from their maternal nation.
11 So with your leave, Judge, before we conclude, I have three other
12 issues I would like to raise. The first issue concerns a problem created
13 by the Prosecution recently. They exerted -- by exerting pressure on
14 potential Defence witnesses and by requesting that they come for another
15 meeting with the Prosecution. We're talking about people whom the
16 Prosecution interviewed several years ago. (redacted)
25 MS. DAHL: We need to go into closed session, please.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're giving names again. Yes,
2 you're giving names again.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I apologise. It's not necessary to
4 move into private session. These are names of Prosecution witnesses.
5 These are potential Defence witnesses --
6 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, Your Honour --
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And their names are mentioned in my
8 criminal file -- criminal complaint.
9 MS. DAHL: [Previous translation continues]...
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, Ms. Dahl. Here's
11 the problem, Mr. Seselj gave a few names and I have time to issue a
12 redacting order because we have a time lag of 30 minutes. He's mentioned
13 three names because he says they are Defence witnesses so I am entitled to
14 give the names. And you? What do you say? Are they your witnesses?
15 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, it would be inappropriate for me to
16 discuss protected witnesses or to acknowledge whether or not witnesses who
17 are protected are, in fact, people who Mr. Seselj has identified. We have
18 been through this problem before. I'm not going to play the game with him
19 when he puts out a game and sees whether we react. This is a neutral rule
20 designed to protect all witnesses from his attempt to ferret out
21 protective measures.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, Ms. Dahl is right.
23 I'm going to explain to you why. She has her witnesses and you may not
24 know some of them because the obligation to disclose their names to you
25 comes 30 days before commencement of trial. You have your own witnesses,
1 they may be the same, we don't know, and the very fact that you would give
2 a name might, might, indeed, harm the protective measures because it could
3 be that one of the witnesses has been granted already a pseudonym and
4 protective measures. So please, don't state any names. Just say Mr. X,
5 Mr. Y, or Mr. Z, that would be much more simple.
6 I'm going to issue a redacting order for the three names to be
7 redacted because they could be protected witnesses, and I cannot risk
8 disclosing names, but just give any names by saying X, Y, Z. That's no
10 Go ahead, Mr. Seselj.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judge, I object to such position, to
12 your position. I mentioned the names of potential Defence witnesses. I
13 also mentioned their names in the criminal report I filed. Any time I
14 mention the names of potential Defence witnesses, Ms. Dahl can't get up on
15 her feet and ask for the transcript to be redacted because she assumes
16 that perhaps we're also dealing with witnesses of their own.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I agree with you. You are
18 entitled to state names of potential Defence witnesses. I fully agree
19 with you, I fully agree, but, Mr. Seselj, a situation may arise where,
20 without you knowing it, the names you give of potential witnesses are the
21 names of Prosecution witnesses who have already been granted protective
22 measures without you even being aware of it. That's the problem, you see.
23 We don't want to prevent you from stating names. It's just that we might
24 find ourselves in a situation where you might state your intent to call
25 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 witnesses, among whom we might have people who are
1 already Prosecution witnesses without you knowing it.
2 Do you understand the problem?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't, Judge. Your interpretation
4 is quite unacceptable because when I mention a name -- well, it seems as
5 if I can't mention a single name because it's possible that a Prosecution
6 witness might be at stake, someone whose name hasn't been disclosed. In
7 the course of my case, I'll be mentioning a number of names.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You know what must have happened
9 in practical terms, the Prosecutor, the investigator, went to collect
10 testimonies. They met with people, and witnesses probably made
11 statements. You, yourself, through your associates, you went there and
12 you met with individuals, with witnesses, and it may be that some of them
13 had already been contacted by the OTP. And these individuals may have
14 already given statements. There may be situations in which these
15 individuals had not told you that they had already given statements, and
16 you in good faith - and I fully agree with everything you said - you
17 were -- went out to search for witnesses and you tell me, I've got this
18 one, that one, and the other. Fine. But these people, Mr. X, Mr. Y,
19 Mr. Z, I don't know whether these people will apply for protective
20 measures. I don't know yet.
21 Secondly, these people whose names you mention, they may have been
22 granted protective measures already once. You don't know about it.
25 MS. DAHL: [Previous translation continues]...
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Don't allow Ms. Dahl to interrupt me
2 now. I want to tell you about this and then you can redact the entire
3 transcript after that.
4 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, if I may propose briefly if Mr. Seselj
5 needs to discuss specific names of individuals, we can of course always go
6 into closed session. There's nothing to prevent him identifying people
7 and discussing them; it's only a question of whether it's public and
8 whether he makes the speech in public about it as opposed to a
9 presentation in closed session.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, my concern, Mr. Seselj, is
11 to make sure some witnesses are protected, whether they are Defence or
12 Prosecution witnesses. So whenever you want to mention names, I'd rather
13 we move to private session, even the confidentiality were to be lifted
14 later, if the name you mention is not at all relevant as far as protective
15 measures are concerned.
16 So, Mr. Registrar, let's move to private session.
17 [Private Session]
11 Pages 1667-1668 redacted. Private session
18 [Open session]
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We only have 13 minutes left.
20 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have the floor.
22 [French on English channel]
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- We could be dealing with a
24 protected witness for the Prosecution --
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We had no interpretation because
1 of a mix-up in channels.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't understand this. It's
3 intolerable. It's tolerable that I can't mention anyone's name in open
4 session, not even the name of the Pope, because anyone in the world could
5 be a potential Prosecution witness with protective measures, but I must be
6 allowed to mention all names unless the Prosecution has informed me in
7 good time that such and such a person is a protected witness. I can't
8 mention the name of a single family member either. I can't mention the
9 names of my friends, of my legal associates. Perhaps they are also
10 protected Prosecution witnesses. I can mention anyone's name unless the
11 Prosecution has informed me of the fact that such and such a person is a
12 protected witness.
13 And there's one other thing, I can do it when I know that someone
14 is a protected witness and will be testifying against me in a month or
15 two, but a prior Prosecution witness appears in open session, I have the
16 right to ask that witness about the behaviour of this other person without
17 mentioning that he's a protected witness against me because I know that
18 his conduct was of a certain kind. Judge, I don't understand what's
19 happening here. I can mention anyone's name without saying that it's a
20 protected witness. I may even mention the name of a protected witness,
21 but I must not reveal the witness's role. I can mention the witness in
22 another context. I can say such and such a person threatened me, such and
23 such a person threw a stone at me. I can mention the person's name, even
24 though he might be a Prosecution's witness, a protected witness. But
25 unless I say such and such a person is a Prosecution's witness and is
1 protected, I haven't violated the Rules. It is elementary. If you don't
2 allow me to mention anyone's name or if every time I mention a name we
3 have to move into closed session, well these proceedings are just
4 nonsensical, then I just won't defend myself.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just one thing, Mr. Seselj. You
6 know that we have this 30-day rule. So as of December 4th we'll have the
7 first witness, which means on November 4th, just a few days from now, you
8 will get the list of protected witnesses. And then all those who are not
9 on the list, you'll be able to mention them. If your own investigators
10 have determined -- have found witnesses in the field in your
11 cross-examination you can say, Sir, you said this and Mr. X is saying
12 exactly the opposite.
13 Mrs. Dahl.
14 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, respectfully I disagree with the
15 interpretation and advice you're giving to Mr. Seselj of what would be
16 appropriate once he is giving the list of protected witness. First I want
17 to make clear that some witnesses have delayed disclosure consequent on
18 the date of their testimony rather than the commencement of the
19 presentation of evidence. Second, many witnesses because of the
20 victimisation that they have suffered are to be referred to solely by
21 their pseudonym and in an abundance of caution given the nature of the
22 allegations against Mr. Seselj that we tread very carefully and precisely
23 upon what is considered appropriate when identifying people in session.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, you're absolutely right.
25 We have another category of witnesses. We have witnesses whose names will
1 be disclosed to you just 30 days before they testify. So we could have a
2 witness scheduled for March and you will be told the name of this person
3 in February. This is what the Rule provides for, Rule 75. And then of
4 course you may not know that these people are protected, and if you reveal
5 their name by accident and if Prosecution notes that this is a person for
6 which she has asked protective measures and non-disclosure 30 days, she
7 will ask for a redaction of the name or she will not, she may not. But
8 this is the rule and this is what is provided for in the Rules. So she is
9 right, but you are also right because to the extent that you may mention
10 names of witnesses, that even though you may not know yourself that they
11 are protected witnesses to which protective measures were granted. So it
12 is very complicated. I fully understand that and I'm trying to convey
13 this to you.
14 As far as possible, try not to mention any names. If you want to
15 mention a name, well ask for private session just for a few seconds. Just
16 tell us, I want to talk about Mrs. X, is there a problem? If Prosecution
17 said, There's no problem, you can mention her name, you can say Mrs. X in
18 open session. If there is a problem, you will say just X without giving
19 the name. This is how it should work, Mr. Seselj. But your approach is
20 partly right but Mrs. Dahl is also right. There are Prosecution witnesses
21 that have requested protective measures to be granted, and it's up to her
22 to make sure that this is done. And as Judge, I have to make sure that
23 these witnesses are safe.
24 You had two other topics to mention, so please hurry because we
25 only have five minutes left.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judge, I'm very grateful to you for
2 having explained to me the fact that I won't have a defence of any kind.
3 You've done it very clearly and it doesn't make sense for me to say
4 anything now if I can't mention a single name because perhaps one fears
5 that that individual is a protected Prosecution witness, and if I can't
6 mention the names of potential Defence witnesses either because some will
7 request protective measures, well not a single Defence witness will ask
8 for protective measures. They'll be proud to testify for the Defence
9 here, and only criminals will ask for protective measures because they
10 won't have physical threats, they'll only have the danger of being
11 designated as disrespectful individuals in Serbia.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
14 MS. DAHL: I have to object to this persistent attempt to impugn
15 the integrity of witnesses who appear before the Tribunal. I have to say
16 that there is no such thing as a Defence witness or a Prosecution witness;
17 this is a search for truth and justice. These are witnesses of the
18 Tribunal. It is wrong to brand people who come before this Tribunal as
19 criminals or cowards. To vilify these people publicly is part of
20 Mr. Seselj's campaign against the Tribunal and it needs to stop here.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, when a witness
22 comes, the witness will take the oath, make the solemn declaration saying
23 he will tell the truth. If he's lying, he could be prosecuted for
24 contempt, so he's under oath. And during your cross-examination you're
25 entitled to test and challenge the credibility of this witness. You may
1 even try and corner him to saying that he is doing a perjury, but that's
2 your right, you're entitled to that. But out front, you know, before
3 these people take the oath you cannot say anything about them, saying that
4 they're going to lie or maybe you believe that they're going to lie, but
5 we don't know it and it's up to the Trial Chamber to decide what -- how
6 credible a witness is. If the witness does a false testimony, the witness
7 will be prosecuted and this has already been done here. So we're not
8 trying to prevent you from defending yourself. You know that very well.
9 MS. DAHL: Your Honour --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But we have protective measures
11 that are in place -- Mrs. Dahl.
12 MS. DAHL: I'm sorry, but it's worse than that. Mr. Seselj uses
13 this Status Conference to send a message to people who are preparing to
14 come and tell the truth before this Tribunal that they will be branded
15 traitors, that they will be branded liars, that frightens people and it is
16 wrong to send that message out of this courtroom in an attempt to dissuade
17 people from coming before this Tribunal under oath to tell the truth.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
19 Mr. Seselj, what can you answer?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, it would be best to declare
21 that the proceeding is secret, you should prevent me from attending it,
22 and you can just send me a judgement by post. And everything you have
23 said, Judge, and especially what Ms. Dahl has said, leads me to draw
24 that -- draw that conclusion. You can have a secret proceedings, you can
25 forbid me from attending the proceedings, and send me a judgement,
1 whatever it may be, by post. There's no other way to proceed because what
2 you are doing here today is scandalous. I have the right to tell any
3 witness that he is lying and that his testimony is false. I have that
4 right. And when cross-examining that -- such witnesses, I'll use the same
5 means that the Prosecution uses when cross-examining Defence witnesses in
6 all cases, I'll use all those means. I know very well what Geoffrey Nice
7 did with Defence witnesses in the Milosevic case. I know, I know
8 everything by heart, and I will demonstrate that here in the courtroom.
9 But presenting these false witnesses, you won't succeed in that. All the
10 Prosecution witnesses are false witnesses, that's the main thesis of my
11 case. No one will prevent me from saying that.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Nobody is challenging your
13 right, your right to say that these are false witnesses, nobody is
14 challenging that. However, that is what Mrs. Dahl said very justly, some
15 people are coming to testify. If you are going to say out front that Mr X
16 or Y are false witnesses, they will not come here to tell the truth. They
17 will be prevented from that. Mrs. Dahl and you both want people to come
18 here to tell the truth. If Mrs. Dahl was saying exactly -- doing exactly
19 the same things, saying Mr. Seselj's witnesses are false witnesses, you
20 would be the first one to protest, and justly so. So we will have
21 witnesses coming. We do not know whether they'll be telling the truth.
22 They will take the oath. You will do your cross, Judges will ask
23 questions. Mrs. Dahl will ask her own questions during the direct
24 examination. This is how it will happen.
25 I now have to stop here. It's quarter to 2.00. There's another
1 trial starting this afternoon. There are questions pending, and they may
2 be mentioned during the Pre-Trial Conference held on Tuesday, November 6,
3 and we will then have the opportunity of meeting again. Thank you all.
4 --- Whereupon the Status Conference
5 adjourned at 1.47 p.m.