1 Tuesday, 22 January 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.19 p.m.
5 [The accused entered court].
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, kindly call the
7 case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case number
9 IT-03-67-T, The Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
11 Very well. Today is the 22nd of January, 2008. My greetings to
12 Ms. Dahl, to Mr. Seselj, to the witness and to all the people helping us.
13 Before moving for a few moments to private session, let me say
14 this: Today we are in Courtroom II, a rather small courtroom where you
15 can't have many people in the public gallery since all the other
16 courtrooms are taken up by trials with multiple accused. There is indeed
17 a trial that is finishing. Therefore, we were given this courtroom,
18 Courtroom II, and I believe we're going to stay here tomorrow as well
19 because of the other hearings.
20 This being said, since we are in Courtroom II there is a problem
21 for Mr. Seselj's fax machine because he is an expecting a fax and the
22 machine had been set up for the purposes of Courtroom I. As for Courtroom
23 II, they're drilling through walls, installing cables, but it is not going
24 to be ready before Thursday.
25 So I don't know, Mr. Seselj. Are you going to be sent any faxes
1 today? If so, we'll have to find a solution. Either we'll have to go and
2 get them or you yourself will have to get them yourself. I have no
3 ready-made answer. I know you wanted to say something about this.
4 You have the floor.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, well, I avail myself
6 of this opportunity since your advisor from the registry has already
7 established contact with my legal advisor and he refused to send any
8 documents by fax without my consent. To the fax of the registry, that
9 is. On this occasion, I address my legal advisors telling them to send
10 these documents that were supposed to send to me straight away to the
11 registry fax. They're going to see this on the Internet now and I assume
12 that by the next break they will have sent these documents.
13 Could you please instruct the Mr. Doraiswamy to receive this on my
14 behalf. I think that that is the easiest way of resolving the matter.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Registrar, the
16 legal advisors of Mr. Seselj are going to sent documents and they'll have
17 to be picked up and handed over to Mr. Seselj. Good.
18 This is going to be easy to solve.
19 Let's move to private session for a few moments, please, Madam
21 [Private session]
11 Pages 2516-2518 redacted. Private session
1 [Open session]
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're in open session.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Dahl.
4 MS. DAHL: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 WITNESS: GORAN STOPARIC [Resumed]
6 Examination by Ms. Dahl: [Continued]
7 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Stoparic. Did you participate in military
8 operations in Nevesinje in 1992?
9 A. I called this Nevesinje, not in the town of Nevesinje itself but
10 in the surrounding area, below Mount Velez, yes.
11 Q. Were you asked to gather volunteers to participate in military
12 operations there?
13 A. I don't understand your question. In order to clarify the matter
14 for you, when I took part in the operations in the area of Mount Velez,
15 Podvelezje, I spent a day in Nevesinje in order to get there. My base was
16 at Grab, as it is called. It is a bit above Trebinje, and that is where
17 we were asked to go out and help in the operations that were away, out of
18 Grab. We -- in Grab we were under the command jurisdiction of another
19 brigade but we were sent to help out another brigade. I think it was the
20 Nevesinje Brigade. If that's what you meant by whether we were asked to
21 come in and help as volunteers, then yes.
22 Q. In your unit, were there volunteers organised by the Radical
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Who was the commander of the unit?
1 A. The commander was Vojvoda Vakic, from Nis.
2 Q. Can you estimate approximately how many Radical Party volunteers
3 were under the command of Mr. Vakic?
4 A. The number varied. Some people went home and then new people
5 would be brought in, but I don't know exactly. I think it was more than
6 100, but I cannot say. Please don't take my word for it. I don't know
8 Q. Can you tell me what other units were present in that area that
9 were organised by the Radical Party?
10 A. Well, in that area, we were the only one, as far as I know.
11 Somewhere else there was another unit too, but it was somewhere else. We
12 did not have contact with them. I think Ljuba Ivanovic commanded that
13 unit. I'm not absolutely sure of this. My understanding was while we
14 were there that we were quite sufficient in that area. There were units
15 in Trebinje itself, units of the Serb volunteer guard, or whatever they
16 were called, organised by the SPO. And, of course the regular army, yes.
17 Now, whether there was some other volunteer units there, probably,
18 but I don't know about them.
19 Q. During this period, can you tell me whether Muslims were expelled
20 from the area or the villages around Nevesinje?
21 A. Yes, yes. They were leaving. They were leaving, at any rate.
22 There were individual cases of repression or whatever we call it. I think
23 I've already told you that over there, I never experienced everything in
24 an organised fashion, namely that somebody would issue a command saying go
25 to a particular village and expel the Muslim population, but they were in
1 jeopardy due to the fact that they did not have communications with the
2 BiH army. One or two or three villages were within the Serbian enclave.
3 I personally was in a few of these villages, in passing, in a car.
4 Q. Do you know whether volunteers under the command of Vakic
5 participated in expulsions of Muslims from these villages?
6 A. Yes, some went, but as I already said, on their on bat.
7 Q. Can you describe for me how the expulsions took place?
8 A. I was not a direct participant in such events. But what I saw and
9 what was a logical conclusion on my part was, was that two or three men
10 would simply get into a car, go to a village, stop by a house, they would
11 be offered coffee. Even if they wouldn't do a thing, that itself would
12 intimidate the Muslims. Over there you could usually see only women and
13 children and some elderly people. The younger ones, in my opinion, were
14 either hiding somewhere in the woods in the area or in a way they had
15 joined the BH army in some way and were active in its activities somehow.
16 I don't know though. Once, I even saw one or two houses on fire there.
17 My assumption is that one of us, the Serbs, had set the houses on fire,
18 but I cannot really point a finger at anyone.
19 Q. Were women or elderly persons cursed or beaten?
20 A. I have already told you that I personally did not take part in any
21 such thing, but quite frankly, had I participated in something like that
22 myself, perhaps I would have resorted to. Well, I don't know.
23 By the very fact that territorially, they were not linked up with
24 the territories that were under the control of the Muslim army, the BH
25 army, they were already frightened enough. I allow for that possibility,
1 that perhaps there was some physical mistreatment too.
2 Q. Are you saying with your testimony that the civilians were so
3 frightened that they would flee simply upon the arrival of Serb forces
4 such as the volunteers?
5 A. Well, you see, they cannot know at every point in time who is a
6 volunteer and who is a member of the army of Republika Srpska or the army
7 of Republika Srpska or anything. So many were members of the army of
8 Republika Srpska and they wore a kokarda, if that is a Chetnik symbol, or
9 I don't know. There would be some other small element that would be
10 reminiscent of volunteers. However, the local people could make a
11 distinction between volunteers and local members of the army by their
12 accents. It's the same language, but we who come from Serbia have a
13 different accent. They can recognise whether they were born there or
14 whether we had come from Serbia.
15 I am sorry. I have already forgotten by now. Now, what was your
16 question; were they frightened when they would come in. It doesn't matter
17 what kind of army goes through the village. I went through a few Muslim
18 villages several times, or a few hamlets, rather. It was visible. Men
19 would usually be running from the yards and hiding somewhere behind the
20 walls. However, we would see that, we would registry that and nothing.
21 We'd just go by. No one opened fire. Although I believe that sometimes
22 some people did open fire at these patrols with hunting guns or something
23 like that. However, I personally did not experience any such thing, so I
24 cannot tell you about it in any greater detail.
25 Q. Can you describe the activities of Captain Jovanovic's volunteer
2 A. I don't know Captain Jovanovic.
3 Q. Do you know what his unit was doing in the area?
4 A. I'm telling you, I don't know Captain Jovanovic. Oh, you mean
6 Q. I'm sorry. Ivanovic.
7 A. If we're talking about the same terrain, I was with him in the
8 same unit once but that's not the area where I was together with him. Now
9 we're talking about Podvelezje, Nevesinje. I don't know what his
10 activities were. Like ours, I assume, protecting the positions.
11 Now what they did when there was no active combat, I don't know.
12 Q. I'm asking you if you know what they were doing during the active
14 A. The same thing we were doing, taking part in combat. I'm not
15 quite sure that I have understood you right, I mean, your question.
16 Q. Were you aware of local people who joined the unit in which you
17 were participating in?
18 A. That was customary. When we would come to a particular terrain,
19 we would be joined by the local people. Not that many of them because,
20 after all, they had military service there with the local army, the army
21 of Republika Srpska. But a certain number would always join us. We
22 needed them in a way, because, after all, these are people who are
23 familiar with the area. We had just come there. We were not familiar
24 with the area. So this had a practical purpose, too, the fact that we
25 would take in a few people precisely from that area.
7 (redacted). As a matter of fact, I noticed, now, what
8 should I call them? His countrymen in a way. I mean the people from that
9 area stood in awe of him in a way. He is a big man. I think that he had
10 his own truck before the war and I think that he was a driver who had his
11 private business. So he is this big man. People out there were saying --
12 I can't remember what it was that he himself said, but there was a certain
13 dose of respect vis-a-vis him.
14 Q. Did you ever brag to you that he had committed crimes against
15 civilians in the area of Nevesinje?
16 A. Well, as for bragging, that's what fighters are prone to do. I
17 mean, they brag a lot. Because in that way, they think that they are
18 scoring points in a particular unit or in the general setting that they
19 were in. During the war that was quite popular.
20 I cannot remember exactly now. I know that he was saying
21 something, but I cannot recall this very instant. I cannot remember a
22 particular detail right now. It is very hard to remember all of these
23 things too. Well, what he said, he did say. At any rate I'm going to
24 convey this to you as, well, yes, there was knowledge to the effect that
25 he had done something there, and it is not only that I had this knowledge
1 but the local people had this knowledge too. As a matter of fact, people
2 did know ...
3 Q. Are you aware of any SRS volunteers punished for mistreatment
4 against civilians in this area?
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. Mr. President, this is
6 an incorrect question. The question wasn't asked first whether a
7 volunteer of the Serbian Radical Party had committed any war crime, first
8 of all, so the Prosecutor can't imply that some crimes actually occurred
9 and were perpetrated by the volunteers and then ask whether they were
10 punished. Let's hear from the witness whether the volunteers of the
11 Serbian Radical Party to the best of his knowledge had committed any crime
12 in the first place.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Dahl, you just skipped one
14 step before putting that question. Before that, you have to identify the
15 authors crimes, the perpetrators, so you have to go step by step.
16 MS. DAHL:
17 Q. Mr. Stoparic, are you aware of any SRS volunteers who committed
18 crimes against civilians in the area of Nevesinje?
19 A. Ms. Dahl, you're asking me in open session to name names. I have
20 already done that when we spoke about Vukovar for people that I had heard
21 about or learnt that they had done something. And we were just speaking
22 about a man, a particular man and how I know whether he did something or
23 not. Now --
24 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, let's go into private session so that
25 Mr. Stoparic can identify names that he does not wish to mention in open
2 [Private session]
11 Page 2527-2536 redacted. Private session
17 [Open session]
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Dahl, the floor is yours.
19 MS. DAHL: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Ms. Dahl.
21 MS. DAHL: Let me -- thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. Let me ask Mr. Stoparic to look at exhibit number 1885; that's the
23 65 ter number. It's at tab 40 of the Court binders.
24 Mr. Stoparic, would you prefer a paper copy?
25 A. [In English] Yeah.
1 MS. DAHL: May I ask the registrar to give the witness a paper
2 copy. I'm handing 65 ter exhibit 1885 to the witness.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Dahl, to save time and help
4 us not to have to read the whole document, could you please summarize this
5 document, saying, in this report coming from the command brigade -- coming
6 from Commander Gusic in date of August 3rd, 1993. This is what has been
7 said. And then will you ask the question. This is the technique that is
8 traditionally used, and this morning, while reading the -- Mr. Seselj's
9 examination by Mr. Milosevic, Judge Robinson thought that this was a bit
10 lengthy and asked the parties to proceed is such a manner.
11 So just sum up quickly the document and ask the position of the
12 witness, please.
13 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, this appears to be a report by Colonel
14 Gusic, commander of the Nevesinje Brigade, signed also by a Captain
15 Milenko, also known as Uco, commander of Dragi Lazarevic [phoen] regarding
16 the report of soldiers of this unit killed or wounded in Podvelezje. It's
17 a report directed to the Serbian Chetnik Movement, Serbian volunteer
18 detachment, Belgrade. It is dated 3 August 1993 from Nevesinje and
19 reports on members of the detachment from Trebinje in June 1992,
20 specifically June 25.
21 Q. Mr. Stoparic, can you confirm whether this appears to be as
23 A. When you show me this document that was the first time that I saw
24 it. But I have no reason to doubt that this is an original document. It
25 is quite customary, in other words, for reports to be sent on casualties
1 in the way in which people got killed and according to our law, our
2 combatants, when they seek their disability pensions in Serbia, they need
3 to have a description of the event to base their applications on. What
4 they also require is a stamp of the military post office, of the military
5 garrison which is involved. It cannot be the stamp of the Radical Party.
6 It has to be the military garrison's stamp to validate the application,
7 and this is the way it was done in this particular report, mentioning the
8 families of the killed, and my name is also indicated in this report in
9 that context.
10 MS. DAHL: May I ask that the document be marked for
12 THE REGISTRAR: That will be MFI P28.
13 MS. DAHL: And if I can turn to exhibit 2118 --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wait.
15 MS. DAHL: -- which is at tab number 40.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, Ms. Dahl.
17 What did you want to say about this document, Mr. Seselj?
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the accused, please.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this document is from
20 a time when Mr. Stoparic had no longer been in Herzegovina, was no longer
21 in Herzegovina. According to his statement at the beginning of the
22 examination-in-chief at that time he should have been in the area of
23 Brcko. We are talking about the 3rd of September, 1993. At that time,
24 Mr. Stoparic was not there, not at that place. He was there in 1992, as
25 we heard from his statement and this is over a year later. So that this
1 is a report which was obviously made in order to regulate the combatants'
2 status questions. This is it not a document from the time about which
3 Mr. Stoparic is giving his testimony.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you yourself
5 conducted investigation committee, so you are an expert when it comes to
7 If you read this one properly, which I doubt somehow, you would
8 have realised that the name of the witness is to be found in this
9 document. He is indicated as being having been wounded and hospitalised,
10 and this won't have escaped you. The witness said here that at some point
11 he was wounded, injured, so there is a direct link between the document
12 and this witness who was injured. The very title of this document is
13 report on soldiers of this unit killed or wounded in Podvelezje.
14 So let's not waste time, Mr. Seselj.
15 Please proceed, Ms. Dahl.
16 MS. DAHL: If I may, Your Honour, the next document is 65 ter
17 Exhibit 2118. It's the addendum or addition to the report, and if I may
18 have the paper copy tendered to the witness. You will find it at binder
19 tab 42 and I will summarize briefly.
20 It is, again, a -- marked as an addition to the report compiled by
21 the author of the document we just discussed submitted to the Serbia
22 Chetnik Movement, Serbian Volunteer Detachment, it is dated Nevesinje, 19
23 May 1995 entitled addition to the report on the troops from this
24 detachment killed and wounded in Podvelezje. It describes combat
25 activities on 26 June 1992, discusses who was wounded, including
1 Mr. Stoparic, and it is signed by commander Lieutenant-Colonel Zoran
2 Perkovic. The document is dated 1995.
3 I'd request that it be marked for identification and I would ask
4 Mr. Stoparic if the document appears to be as I've described it.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Did you understand the
6 question? Have you seen this document, Mr. Stoparic? We can see your
7 name in it, under number 1.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that is precisely that. In
9 addition to the report, and that is what it says, on combatants killed and
10 wounded. I am there in the first place. I don't know why, perhaps
11 because I was deputy commander. Although, Your Honours, there is a
12 mistake in respect of my birth date, 17th of January, 1958. It should be
13 17th of January, 1960, in fact.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. This is noted.
15 Mr. Registrar, a number, please.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, MFI P29.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Dahl.
18 MS. DAHL:
19 Q. Mr. Stoparic --
20 A. I'm sorry. Actually, I said 1968, 17th -- the 17th of January,
21 1968. Everything else is correct here except the year.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This document described your
23 situation as a wounded soldier. Why was it sent to a political party?
24 I'm trying to understand.
25 Do you have an explanation for that or not? Indeed, if you were
1 wounded, you were entitled to a military disability pension, unless the
2 political party would also give you financial support. Do you have an
3 explanation for that?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know whether the political
5 party gave any financial assistance. They probably endeavoured to assist
6 the families of any killed or wounded combatants in the sense of providing
7 information as to what they should do. Possibly also in financial terms.
8 But it is quite possible that they have precisely such data in their
9 archives which they can gain access to and use whenever they are
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I also notice, because, you
12 know, nothing escapes me, I also noticed in this document that this
13 document was also addressed to the 8th Motorised Brigade, apparently, of
14 Bosnia and Herzegovina. It seems to be the brigade that was literally in
15 charge of the unit that you were in. Is that so? Is this an accurate
16 description of the situation?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
19 Let's move on.
20 MS. DAHL: Let me next play a video-clip. It's 65 ter number
21 6066. And it is an interview of Mr. Seselj conducted by Laura Silber in
22 March 1995 in which he is reflecting on activities during the war.
23 Q. Mr. Stoparic, what I'm going to ask you to do is please listen to
24 what Mr. Seselj says and then tell me whether or not your understanding of
25 the operations he describes is consistent with what Mr. Seselj says.
1 MS. DAHL: This is clip B, and it will be a compilation of several
2 clips that I will play in succession and ask Mr. Stoparic to comment on
4 [Videotape played]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could the interpreters working
6 from Serbian and working into English or French, could they translate so
7 that we can check the translation that we see on the bottom part. In the
8 future, whenever we have a video clip with Mr. Seselj or anybody else
9 speaking Serbian, I'm requesting, demanding from the interpreters that
10 they translate and not just to make do with what can be found on that
11 strip in English, because sometimes that can cause problems.
12 We're going to start again, and I'm demanding from the
13 interpreters that they interpret.
14 THE INTERPRETER: [Previous translation continues]...
15 Interpretation. It is even too fast to read out the subtitles, let alone
16 interpret it into French. Thank you.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm asking the interpreters to
18 listen to what Mr. Seselj says and to give a live interpretation.
19 The interpreters are telling me that it is too fast, but we're
20 going to try, all the same.
21 Let's start again.
22 [Videotape played]
23 "THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] In 1990, we were not acquiring
24 weapons, we were only enlisting volunteers and occasionally when necessary
25 from time to time we would send them to the front but those were very
1 small groups. In 1991 we began organizing volunteers on a larger scale
2 and sending them to already established front lines, particularly to
3 eastern Slavonia here in the east of the Republic of Serbia Krajina. Our
4 volunteers gave a very good account of this, especially in the battle in
5 Borovo Selo which took place on the 2nd of May 1991 when they defeated
6 stronger Croatian forces, Croatian police and para police forces. We were
7 getting weapons from Milosevic's police from the then -- first from the
8 then minister of internal affairs Radmilo Bogdanovic and when he was
9 replaced from his successor. We were also getting all the weapons from
10 the warehouse of the Territorial Defence. They were old American Thompson
11 guns which had been withdrawn from use long time ago. There were also M48
12 guns, the so-called Tandzare guns. Therefore it was pretty much
13 everything out of date that the army had already stopped using a long time
14 ago and was kept somewhere in the warehouses of the Territorial Defence.
15 They felt sorry to destroy all, so they just gave them to us, but it was
16 with those weapons that we" --
17 THE INTERPRETER: And the interpreter could not catch the end of
18 this statement.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Ms. Dahl, your
20 question, please. I remind you that you have already used five hours and
21 20 minutes, so you are 20 minutes beyond the time you were given
22 initially. You have to complete this, because if we are too generous, we
23 may run into problems.
24 So please complete your examination-in-chief. But put your last
25 questions first.
1 MS. DAHL:
2 Q. Mr. Stoparic, with regard to the weapons, the source of weapons in
3 cooperation with Mr. Milosevic identified by Mr. Seselj, is that congruent
4 with your understanding?
5 A. I have no reason whatsoever to doubt this, what Mr. Seselj says.
6 I think that he is quite right.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, we've just heard
8 Mr. Seselj, who said this, I'll be very slow because every word he says in
9 this interview may prove relevant later on.
10 In the beginning, in early 1990s they dispatched some volunteers
11 and then in 1991 there was a larger number of volunteers who were sent.
12 That's what he said. But that's not my question.
13 However, he addresses another problem, which is the arming of the
14 volunteers and this is what he said. He said the volunteers received
15 weapons from Milosevic's police. He gives the name of minister Bogdanovic
16 and describes the quality, the poor quality of weapons. They're obsolete
17 Thompson, M48, they're really obsolete.
18 My question upon listening to him in the interview is whether the
19 weapons given to the volunteers were given to them just before the
20 volunteers were taken over by the JNA, because I believed that all of the
21 volunteers were gathered in this, and this is from memory, in Potok, in a
22 location called Potok and when the volunteers were gathered, were they
23 given their weapons by the Radical party, to go then to the collection
24 point, to be sent to the units, or did the volunteers go to a collection
25 point and they were later given their weapons, issued their weapons.
1 Can you tell us more about it? So I mention all the
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To the best of my knowledge, which
4 is not a lot, I don't know much about 1990, but what Mr. Seselj is saying
5 about the outdated weapons and the various Thompson and outdated Tandzare
6 guns, this is absolutely true. It is true that in the beginning we were
7 supplied in this way. That is just my opinion and I cannot give you any
8 proof. It was initially organised by the police, that is the information
9 which I have, part of those weapons actually ended up in the arms of the
10 Serbs who lived in Croatia. Initially it was distributed, it was
11 precisely this weaponry that was distributed to the party members of the
12 SDS. This is the way in which it was done and I have no reason to doubt
13 that this is the way in which it took place at that point in time, as
14 Mr. Seselj said. Later, when the army got more modern weaponry, this was
15 organised in another fashion. It was by the Yugoslav Peoples' Army, the
16 Yugoslav Peoples' Army provided every individual with better resources.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
19 continues] ... The floor but let's be on the same wavelength and make sure
20 we understand each other.
21 You just said that the police would issue weapons. Now listening
22 to you, I started imagining the fact that the police would issue weapons
23 to citizens who were either reservists or would later become volunteers.
24 These people, these individuals would then later go to collection points
25 to be then assigned to JNA units. That's one possibility.
1 There is another one. When there were volunteers, and said to the
2 political party they were members of what their intentions were, did that
3 political party that had received weapons from the police, did that body
4 issue weapons to the volunteers.
5 Third possibility, you have volunteers who leave their homes
6 without any weapons, did they go to collection points where weapons were
7 brought to them by members of the political party or by the JNA or other
9 So as far as you know, which would be the case that would apply
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have very scant knowledge about
12 that, precisely owing to the fact that as long as the police was involved,
13 especially in the early periods of 1991, that was top secret to us. We
14 had no way of knowing whom they were arming and why they were arming
15 them. It is a fact that the weapons came from the police depot and many
16 times the army actually denied that they had such weapons in their
17 warehouses. Everything was conducted under a top secret regime.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
19 continues] ... Able to answer, but let's take your personal situation.
20 When you became a volunteer, when were you issued a weapon and who was it
21 issued by?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I got weapons in the temporary
23 barracks that had been set up in Sid at the time. I joined as a volunteer
24 member of the Territorial Defence of Slavonia Baranja and Western Srem and
25 I was given the weapon by the JNA.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As far as you were concerned,
2 you are telling us that you were issued a weapon by the JNA in this
3 temporary barracks, and what kind of weapon was it?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I remember exactly, lorry drove up
5 to the barracks. We were lined up outside the barracks. We had already
6 set up a number of platoons and squads and we all knew that we would be
7 attacking the village of Tovarnik. That's when the lorry drove up and the
8 officers or the non-commissioned officers of the Yugoslav Peoples' Army
9 opened up crates with weapons. We cleaned it, we degreased the weaponry
10 and checked it for good order and that was all. Probably some records
11 were also kept or some minutes were kept on that procedure.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What weapon did you get, an
13 M48, a Kalashnikov or a Thompson, what did you get?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was given an M70 gun, rifle, which
15 you call a Kalashnikov.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Did you want to -- what did you
17 want to say exactly?
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm not going to insist on this
19 adamantly, but I should like to draw your attention to the fact that the
20 question of relevance arises here. The indictment in all practice is not
21 all that precise because the alleged joint criminal enterprise started
22 prior to the 1st of August, 1991 according to it, so that my participation
23 according to it lasts until September 1993, whereas these are events which
24 took place much earlier. When we talk about 1992 -- 1990, we were
25 persecuted in Serbia because of sending volunteers and this is a time
1 which deals with the period prior to the JNA's clashing with the Croatian
2 paramilitary forces. This is as far as the indictment is concerned, but I
3 don't insist very much on this.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj pointed out that
5 1990 is outside the time-frame of the indictment and he fails to see any
6 relevance to this topic.
7 But maybe we can move on to something else.
8 MS. DAHL: Yes, Your Honour, there is another video-clip regarding
9 Mr. Seselj's assertions about the source of his weapons.
10 So let's play clip E, which is the next clip in 65 ter number
11 6666, which is a composite.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Again I'm telling the
13 interpreters to do what they did, is to interpret what can they can hear.
14 "THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] That was all with Milosevic's
15 knowledge, there is no doubt there, and a few from the police at the time
16 with whom we established cooperation, were Radmilo Bogdanovic, Mihalj
17 Kertes, and others. Franko Simatovic called Frenki and so on, who was the
18 commander of the Red Berets later and so on. Then from the General Staff
19 we mostly worked with General Domazetovic, who was at the time the deputy
20 chief of the General Staff and the head of the personnel administration,
21 if I remember correctly, but we also had contacts with lower ranking
22 officers and so on. It all depended on the need and the situation. Our
23 volunteers would come to Belgrade to the Bubanj Potok barracks, and there
24 they would put on uniforms, they would be issued with weapons and busses
25 and from there they would go to where they were needed. And they were
1 under the command of the Yugoslav Peoples' Army as soon as Yugoslav
2 Peoples' Army got involved in the conflicts."
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. For the transcript,
4 we could not hear the journalist's question very well. But we were able
5 to here Mr. Seselj's answer perfectly.
6 Ms. Dahl.
7 MS. DAHL:
8 Q. Were there members of the Radical party staff present at the
9 distribution of weapons at Bubanj Potok?
10 A. I remember once in the Bubanj Potok barracks we were visited by
11 Zoran Drazilovic. He even issued with kokades there, but whether he was
12 literally there where the weaponry was being distributed, that I cannot
13 claim with certainty. I don't know why he would have been there. That is
14 the obligation of some of the officers who were present there but he did
15 come to visit us and he would stay there for a while. I was there twice.
16 I was there for one week for a short training course and then we were sent
17 to the field from there to the airport and then to the field.
18 Q. To your knowledge, was Ljubisa Petkovic ever present when weapons
19 were being distributed?
20 A. I don't know that. I cannot say anything about that.
21 Q. Are you aware of whether or not any weapons were stored by Radical
22 Party members in Sid to be distributed?
23 A. I don't know whether members of the Radical Party kept it in Sid.
24 What I do know is that at a certain point in time a small amount of
25 weaponry was kept in the garage of Milenko Petrovic but it was forwarded
1 on. But it was not organised by the Radical Party. It was organised by
2 the MUP of Serbia.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, you mentioned a small
4 detail that may not be that relevant but is relevant to me.
5 You said that you were given a kokade. I suppose that's the
6 kokade representing the political party; is that right.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We already referred to kokades. A
8 kokade is a symbol hailing from the Second World War, generally a symbol
9 of the Serbian army which is worn on the cap. There are different
10 variants and there are different designers of the kokade. We were all
11 issued with one at the time by Zoran Drazilovic. That was in the Bubanj
12 Potok barracks, and I remember well that he said, lads, don't put it on
13 now. After you leave you can put it on your caps and your heads but as
14 long as we're here we have to respect our host and we have to wear his
15 emblems and not any different ones.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now the official emblem of the
17 JNA, wasn't it this five-point star?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it should have been, but very
19 quickly, I believe at the very outset of the war this changed. This was
20 for a very short period, but officially, yes, that was the emblem of the
21 JNA, and when I served the regular army, it was the five-pointed star.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you became a volunteer and
23 joined this volunteers unit, did you have this kokade, kokarde and a
24 five-point star or only this kokarde?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We got weapons and equipment from
1 them, all the necessary equipment from uniforms to everything else. But
2 we did not get any emblems from them. Sometimes they would be already
3 sewn on the uniforms, the patches would be already sewn on to the
4 uniforms, but not on our caps. The caps had a five-pointed star already
5 as a component part of the cap. So we were issued the five-pointed stars
6 when we were given these caps in that sense, yes.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You received that kit, the
8 equipment, pants, socks, weapons. Did you -- did you have a helmet and
9 did you have this five-point star engraved, embossed in the helmet?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. It may now be time
12 to have a break.
13 Ms. Dahl, normally the examination-in-chief is over. Is that so
14 or not?
15 MS. DAHL: I'm sorry, I don't understand your question. I had one
16 or two follow-up questions of Mr. Stoparic and would like to have the
17 videos marked for identification.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, one moment. Yes, we'll
19 come back to this.
20 First numbers for the video-clips, Mr. Registrar.
21 THE REGISTRAR: That will be MFI P30.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Excellent.
23 Ms. Dahl, I'm going to try and be as clear as possible, because
24 sometimes I thought you did not understand me. It may be my fault. I'm
25 taking on the responsibility for it.
1 So back to the topic. The Trial Chamber decided to give you five
2 hours for the examination-in-chief. Presently we've nearly reached five
3 hours and 30 minutes, so you're 30 minutes beyond the initial time
4 allotted to you, which is not admissible [as interpreted], because
5 otherwise, the balance would not be respected in the proceedings. So I
6 repeat, when a party is given a finite amount of time by the Trial
7 Chamber, the party has to comply with the time restraint. It is ruled out
8 that they get additional time, because this may carry certain
9 consequences. It so happens that you're already 30 minutes beyond your
10 time. So you have to put an end to your examination-in-chief. You said
11 that you had one or two follow-up questions. Fine. Okay. But after
12 those two, are you done?
13 MS. DAHL: I will conclude my examination in accordance with the
14 Chamber's instructions.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So if we have a few minutes
16 left, put these one or two follow-up questions and then your
17 examination-in-chief will be completed.
18 Go ahead.
19 MS. DAHL: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. I want to turn your attention, Mr. Stoparic, to preparations for
21 going into action at Bosanski Grahovo and Livno. With regard to a
22 kokarde, did you receive a similar instruction from Ratko Mladic about how
23 to wear that?
24 A. What do you mean, in terms of similar use?
25 Q. Well, General Mladic visited you then; correct?
1 A. Yes, I remember that. Kresits is the name of the place, and it
2 was a factory for manufacturing some agricultural material, as far as I
3 remember correctly. But as for the kokarde, he said that we should carry
4 it in our hearts, not on our heads.
5 Q. Did he give you instructions about how to treat civilians when
6 taking Livno?
7 A. As far as I can remember, he said that up to Livno, he is not even
8 interested in pets. That's what he said, ironically, and in Livno he said
9 that we should take care of civilians. Not more, not less. Literally
11 Q. What did you understand him to mean when he said that on the way
12 to Livno he was not even interested in pets?
13 A. How did I understand this... That he wasn't interested in the
14 prisoners probably.
15 Q. Did you understand that they could be killed?
16 A. I personally, yes.
17 Q. What was the ethnic makeup of Livno?
18 A. I don't know. I think that the vast majority of the population is
19 Croat but I'm not sure. Before the war I had never been to Livno, never
20 in my life.
21 Q. And what was your understanding of the meaning of Mladic's
22 instructions to take care of the civilians in Livno?
23 A. Well, I didn't even try to understand him. For me, he was a
24 legend. What he said, that is the way I thought things should be. It
25 wasn't only me. It was everybody. He said that in Livno we should take
1 care of civilians. Probably not to be cruel towards civilians. At any
2 rate, to take care of civilians. We all know what that means.
3 Q. What was your understanding of what he said regarding caring your
4 hat in your heart instead on your head?
5 A. Well, he's not the only one who used to say that. Many JNA
6 officers -- well, then he was not a JNA officer. Maybe he was. I can't
7 remember exactly. But many of the officers, in view of the training and
8 education they had, they did not give an oath to Serbian state but to
9 Yugoslavia and many thought that the kokade was not needed, rather the
10 five-pointed star and it was my understanding that what he meant, the fact
11 that you like Serbia and are a Serb, you should bear that in your heart,
12 it doesn't have to be on your head, that was my understanding of it. I'm
13 going to give you this other observation that was there. There was also a
14 technical problem on account of kokades. If a Croat would happen to see
15 you through his sights and if he would see me with a kokade and another
16 one with a five-pointed star, I think he's going to kill me first.
17 Q. Was that because it represented you or identified you as a
19 A. Well, the Croats called all the Serbian soldiers Chetniks, but I
20 would have been an ideal target for him.
21 MS. DAHL: With that, Your Honour, I will conclude my examination.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Ms. Dahl. We will
23 now break for 20 minutes.
24 Could Mr. Registrar do what needs to be done to get the faxes that
25 were sent by Mr. Seselj's associates and hand them over.
1 I am being told that Mr. Seselj's has already received his faxes.
2 That's one problem off the list.
3 And we will meet -- we'll resume in 20 minutes.
4 --- Recess taken at 3.55 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 4.21 p.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The hearing is
8 Now before giving the floor to Mr. Seselj for the
9 cross-examination, let me talk about the problem with the videos and their
10 interpretation. I'm asking both parties, Prosecution as well Defence, the
11 following: When they intend to show a video, they must hand it to the
12 Interpretation Service before the hearing, this video, saying that they
13 intend to play the video.
14 Therefore, the interpreters can hear and see the video beforehand
15 in order to be able to interpreted it in court.
16 Secondly, we gave some MFI numbers to these videos. The Trial
17 Chamber has noted the observations of Mr. Seselj and can only admit these
18 videos when it will have the script in English of what was said in that
20 This is the way we will proceed.
21 These technical problems have been taken care of. I will now give
22 the floor to Mr. Seselj for his cross-examination.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Seselj:
25 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Stoparic, we're going to start with some
1 parts of your CV that I'm particularly interested in.
2 From the documents we managed to find out some basic information
3 about you up until 1990. Sometime in May 1990, you were wounded in a
4 clash with Albanian terrorists in Kosovo and Metohija, isn't that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And then you were treated at the military medical academy in
7 Belgrade. Was that at the VMA or some other hospital?
8 A. The VMA inter alia.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note, it is too fast and there is
11 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, I cannot follow the questions and answers
12 because of the overlap of the speakers, and I request that Mr. Seselj be
13 reminded to slow down and an allow a pause for the interpretation of his
14 question and likewise the interpretation of the answer.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, absolutely. This is a
16 well-known problem here in this Tribunal. When two people speak the same
17 language you must absolutely give some time in order for the interpreters
18 to be -- to have time to translate the question before the answer starts,
19 and the same for -- otherwise the interpreters can't follow, and the
20 Judges can't follow either.
21 So Mr. Seselj and Mr. Stoparic, please make sure that you wait
22 between the question and the answer.
23 Go ahead.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I will try to do that.
25 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
1 Q. My direct question, Mr. Stoparic, after your medical treatment,
2 you returned to Sid, right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. That was in 1999?
5 A. Probably.
6 Q. What did you do then?
7 A. At that time, for about a year, I was still busy with medical
8 treatment. I practically have to have this bandage on my hand for almost
9 a year and every two months I went to the institute where employees of the
10 MUP of Serbia are treated medically and then they would extend my
11 sick-leave. As for my salary, I went directly to the SHA base in
12 Batajnica myself in order to collect my salary and after that, I already
13 became entitled to a disability pension. It wasn't too big but ...
14 Q. So after completing your hospitalisation because you stayed there
15 for a bit over a year, you were -- you had paid sick-leave as a member of
16 the reserve force of the police?
17 A. That's right.
18 Q. And after that, when that was completed, you got the status of a
19 war invalid?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Since when have you had this status, in tentative terms?
22 A. I don't know exactly. I don't have it any longer. I don't know
23 if now.
24 Q. Why not?
25 A. There was a review and I was not in the country, and I received a
1 decision stating that I had to be present for the review. That is the
2 usual procedure. For a year, year and a half you are a war invalid, and
3 that you go for a general review and then you get a permanent document,
4 but I couldn't do it because I wasn't there.
5 Q. So sometime in 2000 you obtained the status of a war invalid?
6 A. Roughly. While I was in the state of obtaining this status
7 during the course of that year, I don't know exactly when.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter did not hear the question.
9 A. Yes.
10 MS. DAHL: [Previous translation continues] ... There's inadequate
11 pause between the question and answer.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Absolutely, you're speaking
13 much too fast, both of you. So please allow for a pause between the
14 questions and the answers.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Now I'm going to exercise even
16 stricter control over myself.
17 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Tell me, how big was this disability payment, roughly?
19 A. Well, I am not going to speak in dinars because that changed, but
20 I'm going to go speak in terms of Euros. Well, I don't know. About 50
22 Q. One could hardly live on that, could one?
23 A. Yes. It's pretty bad.
24 Q. Did you do anything else in order to be able to survive?
25 A. No. Well, I had two brothers who helped me.
1 Q. They practically supported you?
2 A. Practically, yes.
3 Q. And how long did that go on?
4 A. I don't know. I don't know until when that went on.
5 Q. Approximately.
6 A. Well, afterwards my hand got better so I would do something, if
7 possible, but literally it went on until I left Serbia.
8 Q. I'm not going to ask you what country you live in. I'm really not
9 interested in that. But tell me, when did you leave Serbia, what year?
10 A. I think 2004.
11 Q. 2004?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. So for all of four years, you lived on roughly 50 Euro a month and
14 on the assistance you received from your two brothers. That was a very
15 hard life, wasn't it?
16 A. Well, you were there yourself at the time and you know --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note, both people are speaking at
18 this time.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Life was like that.
20 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
21 Q. From then onwards, you were in a western country. From 2004
22 onwards, did you ever return to Serbia?
23 A. No.
24 Q. That means that for all of four years now you have been abroad?
25 A. Roughly.
1 Q. I don't want to disclose your place of residence in any way. I
2 would just be interested in your way of life over these past four years.
3 Namely, are you staying at a hotel?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Do you have an apartment of your own?
6 A. It's still not mine.
7 Q. It's paid by the Office of the Prosecutor of the International
9 MS. DAHL: I'm not seeing the relevance of these questions.
10 Perhaps the relevance was in the last question, but -- so I withdraw the
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am questioning the credibility of
13 this witness, Mr. President, and I did not put a single question that is
14 not in keeping with procedure.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The objection had been
16 withdrawn, so you can condition.
17 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Now what is it that I'm interested in now. Is it paid for by a
19 foreign government, by The Hague Tribunal, or a third party. You don't
20 even have to say who the third party is.
21 A. I'm the third party. I'm paying for it myself.
22 Q. What is your current revenue?
23 A. Well, to tell you exactly how much money I make every month, well,
24 that's relative, because I have a company of my own and I never know how
25 much money I'm going to make.
1 Q. Now you have a company of your own abroad?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. It works well?
4 A. Well, I opened it only about a year ago, but I managed to repay my
5 loans and ...
6 Q. I see.
7 MS. DAHL: [Previous translation continues] ... The
8 question/answer is speeding up again and I'm seeing that they're
9 overlapping the interpreters, and I would like to be able to follow the
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Absolutely. Mr. Seselj,
12 please, take care of that.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am sorry, Your Honour. It's not
14 Mr. Seselj's fault. I understand him before there is an interpretation,
15 so I give fast answers. I'll do my best not to do that in the future.
16 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
17 Q. In the previous three years before you opened this company, what
18 is it that you lived on?
19 A. For a while -- well, it is not a secret that I was in the
20 relocation programme of this Court.
21 Q. And you lived on their donations, contributions, monthly
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Can you remember how many money that was per month?
25 A. If this is not against some rules here, I can say.
1 Q. No, it is not against any rules.
2 A. Well, that would be 30 Euro per day, quite literally.
3 Q. That is about 90 Euro a month, right?
4 THE INTERPRETER: 900 Euros a month, interpreter's correction.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
7 Q. For those three years?
8 A. No, no. I became independent earlier on. I opened a company a
9 year ago, but before that, I took a job so I made my own money.
10 Q. And how long did this status of yours go on when you lived only on
11 the assistance provided to you by The Hague Tribunal?
12 A. Well, I would say about two years.
13 Q. Two years. And could one live normally on 900 Euro a month?
14 A. Well, I did. I tried. It wasn't really that much money in the
15 west, but one could live a normal life. It's not that I did not have many
17 Q. So now you're not enjoying the status of a witness that the
18 Tribunal takes care of, that is to say, a witness that is supported by the
19 Tribunal and giving him certain amounts of money or whatever?
20 A. No, no.
21 Q. You're a foreigner, although you're resident in a foreign country
22 and nothing more than that?
23 A. Precisely.
24 Q. You were brought in for an interview by the OTP before this
25 testimony. Is that right? That was on the 3rd of January, this year.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You were asked here to the headquarters of the Tribunal and they
3 started preparing you for your evidence.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. How long did these preparations last?
6 A. Well, up until the testimony started itself, a day before that.
7 Q. How many days was that? Every day up until the testimony?
8 A. Every working day.
9 Q. How many hours per day?
10 A. I think for as long as the hearing takes place here, so it's not
11 the entire day.
12 Q. About four hours?
13 A. Something like.
14 Q. And during these preparations there was a problem?
15 A. What problem do you mean?
16 Q. You were not prepared to confirm that at the first rally of the
17 Serb Radical Party in Sid, I used the Hitler salute to greet the persons
18 present there?
19 A. I never said that.
20 Q. But that is what was in your statement that the OTP made you sign,
22 A. Well, you see, Mr. Seselj, I am sorry for addressing you.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, you're answering a
24 question at every meeting and I cannot recall exactly what the question
25 was and how come this comparison came up with Hitler, probably with the
1 speed involved and everything. I would never say that a Serb resembled
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] What was said here specifically was
4 that I used the Hitler salute to greet the persons present there.
5 MS. DAHL: I have two objections. First, Mr. Seselj is
6 mischaracterizing what the statement says, and second, he interrupted the
7 question and did not let him finish giving the explanation he was giving
8 to the question.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Let's go back to this
10 Hitler salute, Hitler greeting. Could you say in which paragraph of the
11 written statement this is mentioned?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm referring to page 2 of the OTP
13 document dated the 7th of January 2008, the third paragraph, where it says
14 that I addressed the masses as Hitler.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. But this document comes
16 from the proofing between Prosecution and the witness. And the witness
17 must have changed either a word or a sentence that was in his 2006
19 Maybe Ms. Dahl could tell us in which paragraph in the 2006
20 statement we can find this.
21 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, it is at paragraph 55 which is on ERN
22 number 06031470, and if you'd like I could find the e-court number if
23 you'd like it displayed.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I hope that this is not being taken
1 from my time.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. On paragraph 55, it says
3 that Seselj addressed the crowd like Hitler.
4 Please continue, Mr. Seselj.
5 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Did you say that I really greeted the masses of people present as
7 Hitler or not?
8 A. In the preparations for this trial I noticed the same thing and I
9 tried to give an explanation. During the proofing with the Prosecutor,
10 never ever would I say that of a Serb, that he resembled Hitler in any
11 way. It is only possible that there was this comparison made in the heat
12 of the speech or whatever.
13 Q. But, Mr. Stoparic, allegedly you signed this statement. Does that
14 mean that you did not read it before having signed it?
15 A. I did read it but not as carefully as I did the second time.
16 Q. So you didn't read it?
17 A. Well, it is very hard to go on for hours and you can barely wait
18 to stop and go and take a rest.
19 Q. So you were not focussed?
20 A. Possibly.
21 Q. There were therefore other omissions in the same way in this
22 statement, right? There were some things that you didn't want to have in
23 your statement that found their way into the statement?
24 A. There is that possibility.
25 Q. During the first day of the examination-in-chief you stated here
1 that you do not recall when the first rally of the Serb Radical Party --
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. This problem of
3 the Hitler salute, could the witness please look at paragraph 55 in his
4 own language and could he please read out in his own language what is
6 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, I'm tendering the signed original.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, please, could you look
8 at paragraph 55.
9 In the middle of this paragraph, after the word "radnike," there
10 is the sentence that starts with "Seselj."
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I see that.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you please read it out
13 loud in your own language and we will get the interpretation.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Seselj greeted the persons gathered
15 there like Hitler and he was" --
16 Shall I go on?
17 "Asking the Croats to leave Serbia."
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
19 Mr. Seselj, you have the floor.
20 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
21 Q. During the examination-in-chief by the Prosecutor, you stated that
22 you did not remember when this rally of the Serb Radical Party in Sid took
23 place exactly, right? You don't know whether it took place in 1991 or
25 A. Yes, yes. Now I really don't know when each rally took place
1 because it wasn't that there was only one rally. There were several.
2 Q. Yes. But the Prosecution made you sign this; namely, that this
3 rally took place in the summer of 1991 and you did sign that. Because you
4 were not focussed enough; is that right?
5 A. Well, it's not that I have to say this every time that I wasn't
6 focussed enough. Of course I tried to be focussed.
7 Q. But you omitted that?
8 A. Well, I don't know whether it was an omission or an oversight. I
9 don't know the exact date and perhaps I gave a tentative one.
10 Q. I will give you the exact date. The first rally in Sid was held
11 on the 15th of May, 1992, during the election campaign for the federal
12 elections. Have I jogged your memory now?
13 A. No. You haven't, because I really cannot remember.
14 Q. All right. I'm stating that piece of information here now because
15 it's contained in the archives of the Serb Radical Party and this can be
16 checked with the authorities in Serbia because every rally has to be
17 registered with the police. Every public gathering has to be registered
18 with the police. This rally took place on the 15th of May 1992 according
19 to the information of the Serb Radical Party the municipal committee in
20 Sid was established on the 5th of November, 1991. That is to say, after
21 you went into the war.
22 Over here, the Prosecution insisted that you went into the war
23 because you were inspired by the speech I made at the rally that was held
24 a year later. Is that right?
25 A. I really don't know when that rally was held. But I'm almost
1 convinced that I had heard you before going into the war.
2 Q. You could have heard me on television too, right?
3 A. Possibly.
4 Q. I was part of TV shows, radio shows like any other politician?
5 A. Possible, that's quite possible. Because were quite popular.
6 Q. Mr. Stoparic, you took part in the war on several occasions. Did
7 you personally -- are you personally proud of your participation in the
8 war? You personally with your conduct, your behaviour and so on and so
10 A. Well, I was never sorry that I did go.
11 Q. You were never sorry, right. Now from the Prosecution here you
12 were given something to sign and they say that you made a -- a step which
13 was a mad step to join up. Now, does that correspond to what you said or
14 is this something that was put in by the Prosecution arbitrarily?
15 A. Well, when you --
16 MS. DAHL: [Previous translation continues] ... Your Honour, could
17 we have the paragraph number?
18 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Paragraph 4. N06031337, in the same step.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, please, this is the
21 problem: When we read paragraph 55 at paragraph 4, we get the feeling
22 that in Sid you heard Mr. Seselj's speech, the speech he gave on the
23 football field; and that was in the summer 1991.
24 And then on paragraph 4 we see that either in August or September,
25 you go and volunteer. Mr. Seselj has just told us that this speech was
1 held on May 15th, 1992, later on.
2 So if you left in September 1991 to volunteer, then this has
3 nothing to do with the speech. What's the real story? You see in your
4 own language you signed a document saying that it was in September 1991
5 and there's a logic with paragraph 4. But if the speech was held on May
6 15th, 1992 for the regional elections, then this could -- this is a
7 problem. A Judge would wonder about this, which is normal.
8 So if as it says in paragraph 4, you know, you volunteered, we'd
9 like to know whether you volunteered just out of your own accord or did
10 you volunteer after having heard a speech?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've already said several times that
12 by getting to know about Mr. Seselj and his concepts, some of his
13 concepts, well, it's not essential for me whether I heard it a year later
14 or not. He was making speeches even before that and I always said that
15 he's not the only person that inspired me and that is only because of
16 Mr. Seselj and his programme that I went to war. There's something that
17 is called patriotism which prompted me and the fact that I believe many of
18 the things that Mr. Seselj said, that's the truth of it, and what I said
19 that it was as describing it as an insane step, I did say that, because
20 well, not my decision to go to war. I'm proud of going to war, but it was
21 an insane decision to go and be killed, to go and die.
22 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Since you are proud, Mr. Stoparic, of your participation in the
24 war - and I congratulate you for that, very sincerely - did you consider
25 during the fight for the liberation of Vukovar yourself to be a part of
1 some monstrous plan, and after the fighting ceased, did you consider this
2 in Vukovar to be part of a monstrous plan which I devised or somebody
4 A. Well, I really don't know whether anybody devised a monstrous
5 plan. I personally did not feel to be a part of any monstrous plan, no, I
6 personally did not feel myself to be part of that.
7 Q. Mr. Stoparic, as a man who was at one time a member of the Serbian
8 Radical Party but no longer are, but as somebody who is proud of your
9 wartime past and your past as a combatant, did you consider that I
10 personally tricked you by any of my public appearances or by delivering
11 any of my speeches?
12 A. I personally was dis -- have been disillusioned with all the
13 relevant politicians of the day.
14 Q. You were probably disillusioned with respect to the consequences,
15 the unsuccessful fighting, the routing that the Serbs experienced in
16 Serbian Krajina and in Kosovo.
17 A. Yes, that too, and the loss of territory.
18 Q. Yes. But do you consider that I lied to you and other people in
19 striving for the defence of Serbian Krajina Republika Srpska and the
20 defence of Kosovo and Metohija?
21 A. I consider to this day that had fate made you president, had that
22 been the destiny, things might have looked very different.
23 Q. Well, thank you, Mr. Stoparic, for that trust and confidence.
24 So what your answer is is that you don't think that I lied to you?
25 A. I don't think you lied to us. You said what you felt and it's up
1 to us -- it was up to us to believe you or not. I personally did believe
3 Q. But the Prosecution slipped in something that they wanted you to
4 sign and --
5 THE INTERPRETER: May the interpreters have a reference, please.
6 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
7 Q. That I became part of the monstrous plan of Slobodan Milosevic,
8 and that is to be found in paragraph 6. It says: "Hence I cannot
9 reproach myself that much, even now, for becoming part of Slobodan
10 Milosevic's monstrous global plan."
11 A. Well, I was speaking about you, not about Mr. Milosevic.
12 Q. Does that mean that a monstrous plan on the part of Slobodan
13 Milosevic did exist whose goal was to liberate Vukovar from the Croatian
14 paramilitary forces?
15 A. Probably I didn't. But I didn't use that word in association with
16 Vukovar. Probably it referred to all my disillusionment and
17 disappointment, but let me add something. There is some culprit, someone
18 to blame, and as I feel that I have been let down, then it is Milosevic.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers kindly slow down once again,
20 thank you.
21 A. Well, I know that we were brave enough and had enough weapons.
22 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Well, where, then, lies the monstrosity of this alleged -- yes,
24 yes, I will do my best. I get carried away, but I will nonetheless do my
25 best again.
1 Does that mean that some monstrous general plan, global plan
2 existed on the part of Slobodan Milosevic whose component parts are both
3 you and I, that we are component parts of that plan, or do you hold it
4 against Milosevic for being at the head of Serbia during those years and
5 the Serb people were unsuccessful in their fighting?
6 A. Of course I hold it against him. Not only was he not successful
7 in his battle, but we all know what happened to the Serbian people. As to
8 the monstrous plan, well, it would be a very bad thing if Milosevic as the
9 president of state did not have a plan for all those many years. Now
10 somebody -- some people refer to this plan as monstrous. I do not,
11 Mr. Seselj. I have changed some of my visions and opinions, the ones that
12 I held when I was 23 years old and I don't say that sometimes it is
13 difficult for me to go back to say what I thought in 1991 and to
14 distinguish between what I feel today. They are intermingled, but I'm
15 sure you will understand that.
16 Q. As a volunteer, you reported to the territorial defence of
17 Slavonia Branja Western Srem directly, is that right?
18 A. Yes. It was by chance that I heard one day that they had offices
19 in Sid.
20 Q. At that time the Serb Radical Party did not have an office.
21 A. In that same office, when the TO of Slavonia Branja and Western
22 Srem left, then the offices became the offices of the Serbian Radical
24 Q. But that was because otherwise, this was a building where the
25 political parties had their offices. Is that right?
1 A. Yes. The Socialist Party had its office there, too, and various
2 other parties as well.
3 Q. Yes. And now here from the Prosecution they slipped in a document
4 for you to sign saying that this -- these representative offices of the
5 Territorial Defence of SBWS existed in parallel. Or, rather, Eastern
6 Slavonia and Western Srem and the seat of the Serbian Radical Party. Is
7 that right?
8 A. The Serbian Radical Party at the time was already being
9 established or perhaps it had already been informed, but that was in
10 Mr. Milenko Petrovic's private house so perhaps this went on parallel to
12 Q. Now, I am putting to you the following: That the Serbian Radical
13 Party in Sid in the house belonging to Milenko Petrovic was established on
14 the 5th of November, 1991, and furthermore, that it was only in March 1992
15 that it was given state offices by the Sid municipality in the building of
16 the former committee where otherwise the other political parties were put
17 up, this being vital movement and renewal movement and all the others?
18 A. Well, I don't know what parties exactly.
19 Q. But am I right in what I'm saying in general terms?
20 A. Well, I don't know the exact date when these offices were given
21 over to political organisations, but that's not difficult to check out.
22 Q. Certainly. The municipality has it on their records when it gave
23 out the offices to the different parties because it was a regular act in
24 conformity with the laws. Every political party had the right to be given
25 offices, premises if it had a Municipal Board in the municipality in
1 question, isn't that right, and then this was reduced to parliamentary
2 political parties because 300 parties registered and then it was only the
3 parliamentary parties that were able to get state-owned premises. Isn't
4 that right?
5 A. Well, it was probably like that. And of course it depended on the
6 respect that the political parties had at a local level. If it was a
7 large party it didn't matter that in other towns they weren't as strong
8 but if they happened to be strong locally.
9 Q. All right. So we've dealt with those questions and we will move
10 on to another area, another set of questions.
11 For a time you were in the war?
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before we move on to something
13 else, this is a very important question, because there are two different
14 situations. If, in September 1991, you volunteer in the premises of the
15 TO without there being a -- an office of the Serbian Radical Party, then
16 the conclusion that can be drawn is that at that time the Serbian Radical
17 Party has nothing to do with the fact that you volunteered in September
18 1991, but maybe you went there in September 1991 to the TO's offices, to
19 the office and there was an office of the political party and an office of
20 the TO and then the situation is very different.
21 Earlier Mr. Seselj told us that Petrovic set up the Serbian
22 Radical Party on November 7, 1991, almost two months after you
23 volunteered, and that his party had a premise in that very building in
24 March 1992. So things here are very different and the consequences are
25 very different.
1 So to your recollection, could you tell us how things were
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And I've always said that --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Excuse me, I want things to be
5 very accurate, because in my -- the way I look at criminal law, there's no
6 approximation. Things are very specific and very accurate. We cannot
7 have any margins for interpretation. This is very important. You
8 volunteered, in brackets, to the TO in November 1991, and I want to be
9 absolutely convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that the day you went to
10 that office there was only the TO there and no other political party. The
11 accused told us that the premises were given to his party in March 1992,
12 six months later.
13 So what exactly can you confirm?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have already said that I started
15 out as a volunteer of the Territorial Defence of Slavonia Branja Western
16 Srem and I never mentioned that my first engagement was in the
17 organisation of the Serbian Radical Party.
18 Now, as far as the dates are concerned, I really don't know. I
19 have no reason to doubt anyone not to believe them and without the
20 offices, the Serbian Radical Party existed in my town.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right.
22 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
23 Q. The Serbian Radical Party existed for almost four months before
24 given premises. We have an official piece of information that it was
25 established on the 5th November 1991 but that's after you went to war.
1 Mr. Stoparic, I'm not interested in this first involvement of
2 yours because you weren't a volunteer of the Serbian Radical Party at the
3 time nor did you have anything to do with the volunteers. However, you do
4 mention something else, the training at Lipovaca, for instance. What has
5 this Lipovaca got to do with the Serbian Radical Party or Serbian Chetnik
6 Movement? Can it have any connections at all. Anything to do with them?
7 A. Well, I don't know what the Serbian Radical Party has with the
8 training camp. I have already said who conducted the professional
9 training course. It's somebody who didn't look like a radical nor did he
10 introduce himself as a radical. But from there, from that camp we were
11 sent to Supoderica.
12 Q. Then it says in your statement something else, that you had some
13 Chetnik instructors or rather instructors from the Chetnik Movement and
14 they probably looked like Chetniks, but did you have any proof and
15 evidence to show that from the Serbian Chetnik Movement they were within
16 the Serbian Radical Movement?
17 A. No, that's not how they introduced themselves or presented
19 Q. That means that in paragraph 22, what it says there, that was
20 something put in, slipped in by the Prosecution because it's something
21 that they needed to do because what is mentioned here is the Serbian
22 Chetnik Movement and of course when you the Serbian Chetnik Movement in
23 this way, then this associates one with the Serbian Radical Party and its
24 component parts, but that's what you actually meant to say. Isn't that
1 A. Well, I said that a number of people introduced themselves as
2 being Chetniks, members of the Chetnik Movement if I can put that way.
3 And, Mr. Seselj, we both know that it's not the Serbian Radical Party
4 who's the only one that had a section of the Serbian Chetnik Movement.
5 Many people did and I met or, rather, I saw various ID booklets from
6 Serbian Chetnik Movements.
7 Q. That's what I wanted to hear from you without giving a leading
8 question and suggesting the answer. But, anyway, thank you. So when
9 somebody's referred to as a Chetnik, that in principle means absolutely
10 nothing with respect to belonging to the Serbian Radical Party, for
11 instance, or its section of the Serbian Chetnik Movement. Am I right in
12 saying that?
13 A. Usually when you see a bus going past with volunteers and if it
14 has a poster with your image on it, then that most probably is something
15 organised by the Serbian Radical Party. But I have to be quite honest.
16 There were various sections, so-called sections, but if somebody
17 introduces himself as a Chetnik then I'm not anybody in authority to
18 question them or ask for their IDs. I just take what he says at face
20 Q. All right. So the Serbian Radical Party, with this training in
21 Lipovaca, could not have had any links with that, anything to do with
22 that. That's all I'm interested in. I don't want to go into the other
24 A. Well, I don't know for sure. All I do know is that I went from
1 Q. So you don't know that this was linked to the Serbian Radical
2 Party. That's what I want to know. That's what I'm interested in.
3 A. All I know is that the guys who were there were from the Serbian
4 Chetnik Movement.
5 Q. Some Chetnik Movement?
6 A. Yes. They didn't say which particular one.
7 Q. Yes, I will slow down again.
8 Now, later on, as a reservist of the First Guards Brigade,
9 according to your statement, you were transferred to the Leva Supoderica
10 Detachment, the Territorial Defence of Vukovar. Isn't that right?
11 A. That entire group from that place that was called Lipovaca, we
12 went there, except the people who they asked before sending them whether
13 they were afraid and if they were afraid, they could step down.
14 Q. Now, in the Supoderica Detachment, you found the citizens, locals
15 from Vukovar, you found the volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party and
16 you also came across other volunteers who did not belong to the Serbian
17 Radical Party. Is that the truth of it?
18 A. Yes, there were people --
19 Q. That corresponds to what you said in your examination-in-chief,
20 your testimony during examination-in-chief?
21 MS. DAHL: [Previous translation continues] ... Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Ms. Dahl.
23 MS. DAHL: The accused interrupted the witness's answer. I'd like
24 him to be able to finish.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, please finish your answer,
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what the question was
3 at this point. 200 questions have been addressed to me. You have to tell
4 me which particular question you're referring to.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, it was the question on
6 page 63 [as interpreted], line 5. You said, yes, there were people and
7 then there's some dots or question marks.
8 Mr. Seselj, would you mind asking the question again.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I hope you won't take this away from
10 my valuable time.
11 My question was: Did Mr. Stoparic, in the Leva Supoderica
12 Detachment, find people who were the local people of Vukovar, people who
13 were volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party, and people who were
14 volunteers but not from the Serbian Radical Party and he gave me an answer
15 in the affirmative.
16 So I only noted that that corresponded to his statement which he
17 gave during the examination-in-chief and that was all that was to it, as
18 far as I can recall.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So what is your answer,
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is true that in the Leva
22 Supoderica Detachment there were people who were locals, local people of
23 Vukovar or from the surroundings and also there were people from the
24 Serbian Radical Party who had arrived there in an organised fashion as
25 well as other people who joined it.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment. I'd like to go
2 back to this topic addressed by Mr. Seselj, because I'm trying to see, to
3 dissect everything you said and I want to avoid any confusion or
5 You spoke about the three instructors or the three people who
6 instructed the volunteers. You give their names. I'm going to mention
7 one of them. I'm sure that's going to help you remember, because you said
8 Ljubo Ivanovic is the name. He was a Chetnik captain from Nis and you
9 said that he was the one in charge, the boss. And I discover that this
10 captain was later killed during the war.
11 In paragraph 24, you explained that when he was killed there was
12 his funeral in Nis and you said that Mr. Seselj sent a letter after he
13 died. I'm trying to reconstruct all of this, because, you see, what I
14 want to know is whether the investigators tried to get you to say certain
15 things that you would later have signed without realising the import of
16 what you have said.
17 Do you remember this Captain Ivanovic? He was an instructor.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have said that
19 Captain, not Jovanovic, but Ivanovic was there, that he had introduced
20 himself as the person who would be explaining some things that we needed
21 when -- in fighting. I also said that another person going by the
22 nickname of [indiscernible] did all the other instructing, and he seemed
23 to me to be the more competent person --
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. This captain,
25 Captain Ivanovic was he, as far as you know, a member of the Serbian
1 Radical Party?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At that particular moment, in
3 September, October of 1991, I'm not quite sure, I don't know. I just know
4 that there was this Serbian Chetnik Movement.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So why did you tell
6 the investigators that when he died in combat, he -- Mr. Seselj sent him a
7 letter? How do you know that? Why would Mr. Seselj have sent a letter
8 because of the funeral?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I was at that funeral
10 myself, and there were very many people attending the funeral after this
11 man had been killed. This letter was sent by Mr. Seselj and it was
12 publicly read out to all of us as a sign of gratitude for his contribution
13 in the battles that had been conducted for the offence [as interpreted] of
14 the Serbian lands.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You attended the funeral, you
16 were present when the letter was read out. We don't have the letter. Was
17 it a letter that paid homage to a member of the Serbian Radical Party or
18 was it to pay tribute to a captain who was killed in combat?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You asked me, Honourable Judge,
20 whether I knew that he was a member of the Serbian Radical Party in 1991.
21 This funeral took place several years later, and I don't know about 1991,
22 and I cannot say about 1991.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judge, in order not to lose time, I
24 can clarify this.
25 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Ljuba Ivanovic --
2 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, Mr. Seselj is interrupting the witness.
3 I'd like him to be able to finish his answer.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I will give Mr. Seselj the
6 But could you complete what you were saying, Witness?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I simply said in answering your
8 question whether he was a member of the Serbian Radical Party in 1991, I
9 don't know that. I know that he introduced himself as a member of the
10 Serbian Chetnik Movement. Later I came to know him better and I took part
11 in some actions together with him. Then he was a member of the Serbian
12 Radical Party and was killed in Herzegovina in combat as a member, but I
13 don't know whether he was one in the first moments when I had met him
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Seselj.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judge, we shall deal with that
17 question when we deal with the question of Herzegovina.
18 Indeed Ljuba Ivanovic joined the Serbian Radical Party in 1992 and
19 went to Herzegovina as a volunteer but I leave that for when we deal with
20 the question of Herzegovina. What is of the essence here is that if he
21 was in Lipovaca at that time he could not have had any connections with
22 the Serbian Radical Party. Because a political party is an organisation
23 with a fluctuating membership. One can be a member one day and not the
24 next. It is not something that is unchangeable and it is open to
25 fluctuating, but we shall deal with that question when we come to the
1 question of Herzegovina.
2 MS. DAHL: [Previous translation continues] ... These are
3 submissions, not questions and I ask that we return to examining the
4 witness rather than making submissions.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Seselj, you should
6 have told the witness, if I were to tell that you Mr. Ivanovic joined the
7 Serbian Radical Party in 1992, would you agree with that or not? Then the
8 witness could have said, I don't know, yes, you're right, et cetera.
9 Let's move on. It is now in the transcript that in Mr. Seselj's
10 view, Captain Ivanovic joined the Serbian Radical Party in 1992. That's
12 Please proceed.
13 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
14 Q. I just wanted to explain to the Bench why I'm leaving this for
15 later. What is much more important for me is for us to deal with this
16 question, and this is because my time is running out fast, is the question
17 of Vukovar. The commander of that unit, of the Leva Supoderica unit was
18 Milan Lancuzanin. Was he not?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. He was a reserve captain first class, right?
21 A. Yes. Perhaps he had a higher rank. I'm not sure.
22 Q. This is what I remember. Captain first class because reserve
23 officers could go -- only be promoted up to that rank in the former
24 Yugoslavia. He was already the commander of the TO when the Guards
25 Brigade arrived there and when the volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party
1 came. Is that right?
2 A. He was a local. He is a local. He had participated in some
3 operations in the vicinity of Vukovar even before we arrived in Vukovar.
4 Q. Yes. Let us dwell on this question of Chetniks in Vukovar some
6 You know, Mr. Stoparic, from the time that the radical party --
7 Serbian Radical Party was set up on the 23rd of February, 1991, that no
8 supreme organ of the Serbian Chetnik Movement ever convened or met? Is
9 that right?
10 A. I don't know that. Shall I continue?
11 Q. Yes.
12 A. I know that you tried to register a party with that name, under
13 that name and later you registered the Serbian Radical Party. Now,
14 whether any supreme or high organ existed and if was called that, I don't
16 Q. Let me refresh your memory, Mr. Stoparic. We tried to register
17 the Serbian Chetnik Movement in 1990 when the other political parties
18 registered also. That was in August 1990 and the regime denied us to
19 register on the 23rd -- on the 23rd of February, 1991, we had a congress
20 of unity of unification in Kragujevac where the Serbian Chetnik Movement
21 unified with most of the boards of the Serbian Radical Party and the
22 Serbian Radical Party was established. Is that true?
23 A. Something of the kind transpired, yes.
24 Q. Well, it is odd to my mind that you had never heard after the
25 Serbian Radical Party had been set up in February 1991 that at the summit
1 an organ, a special organ of the Serbian Chetnik Movement convened. You
2 have not heard -- you had not heard.
3 A. No.
4 Q. Well, it is so because nothing of the kind existed. Had something
5 of that kind existed, you would have heard?
6 A. Yes. It would have been in the media, probably.
7 Q. As regards Chetnik emblems in Vukovar, you refer to kokades. Did
8 the Serbian Radical Party ever produce any kokades or emblems of its own?
9 Or are we referring to kokades that were manufactured by different
10 manufacturers and were sold in the streets of Belgrade and other Serbian
12 A. All these symbols, the kokades or even emblems with words or with
13 the letters SCP, Chetnik Movement, could be bought around the railway
14 stations questioning the streets and [indiscernible] in the streets, that
15 is how I obtained my first kokade.
16 Q. Do you know for a fact that the Serbian Radical Party or the
17 section of the party, the Serbian Chetnik Movement, itself produced some
18 of these or commissioned these with the manufacturers, some specific
20 A. I do not remember anything of the kind. May have happened, might
21 have been the case.
22 Q. But had it been the case, you would have known of it?
23 A. No. I only had occasion once to get a kokade from Zoran
25 Q. Yes.
1 A. Actually it was from Ljubisa Petkovic, not Zoran Drazilovic.
2 Q. It happened to me when I went to see the combatants at the front
3 line to fill my pockets with kokades that I had bought from street vendors
4 and then hand them out to the combatants who wanted to have them.
5 A. This was also done by Radovoj [indiscernible].
6 Q. And many other people and this was because none of us could bear
7 the sight of the five-pointed star as a communist symbol, is that right?
8 A. Yes. We called ourselves reservists, Chetniks. The reserves
9 called themselves Chetniks and the others were referred to as parties
10 as --
11 THE INTERPRETER: Will parties please not overlap.
12 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
13 Q. But the soldiers, when they got their caps they would actually
14 tear off the five-pointed stars from their caps, off their caps. They
15 didn't want to wear it?
16 JUDGE HARHOFF: May I remind both parties but particularly the
17 witness to observe a pause. Maybe you should train yourself to count to
18 five after Mr. Seselj has spoken before you speak yourself. Thanks.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand.
20 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
21 Q. There were different types of kokades. Is that so?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Depending on the particular manufacturer who marketed them?
24 A. Yes. Depending on what all kokade they would base their design
1 Q. Do you remember my wearing a kokade when I came to see the
2 combatants at the front?
3 A. Yes, sir, probably.
4 Q. On my chest?
5 A. Yes. I also wore one very often.
6 Q. Did you ever see me with a skull and bones kokade?
7 A. I cannot say that, although I did have one like that.
8 Q. Not that I'm ashamed of that Chetnik tradition. The skull and
9 bones was on the Chetnik kokade during the guerilla fighting against the
10 Turks in Macedonia, was it not?
11 A. I don't know. I'm not that conversant with history. That was one
12 of the versions.
13 Q. But the position of the leadership of the Serbian Radical Party
14 was that not being ashamed of its past, we still consider this skull and
15 bones to be outdated, something which was not befitting and we avoided
16 using it?
17 A. Yes, you are quite right. That was what I asked Mr. Milenko
18 Petrovic when he was the president in Sid. Once at the annual reunion,
19 assembly of the Serbian Radical Party in Sid, the section of the Serbian
20 Chetnik party paid tribute to me or honoured me and the citation said For
21 his contribution to the fight in the -- in all the Serbian lands, it was
22 blue, and at a certain part of this citation you could see the skull and
23 bones emblem and I asked Petric, seeing that this is a symbol that is
24 being avoided, why is it on these certificates of honour given to me, and
25 it was also awarded to some other combatants, other participants in the
1 war. Other things were also given, for instance, paintings, works of
2 arts, et cetera.
3 Q. Yes, the leadership of the party avoided to do this, but if a
4 member wore one, we did not apply any political sanctions, right?
5 A. I don't remember. There were different kokades. I as a
6 participant never really paid attention. I never said to anyone, Look,
7 you are wearing Djujic's kokade, you are wearing Seselj's kokade, you are
8 wearing Draskovic's kokade, et cetera.
9 Q. This was up to the free will, to the free choice of every soldier
10 of every combatant, to wear what they pleased?
11 A. In the units that I was part of, yes.
12 Q. And the army officers sometimes tried to prevent that practice
13 and -- but mainly did right, right?
14 A. They tried, but if the overwhelming majority was against, they
16 Q. So in order not to undermine the combat morale, they simply
17 tolerated that?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Was there ever a mass production of traditional old Chetnik
20 standards, flags, with this skull and bones or with such standards, such
21 flags appeared, was this just a very unskilled manual product?
22 A. I don't know about mass production. I have one at home which I
23 paid a lad to make for me. It had the skull and bones emblem and it was
24 written with faith in God, freedom or death, Chetnik from Srem, and I
25 often gave it to people, to wedding parties in my city and they would
1 often carry it in front of the wedding party. It was used and that is how
2 I saw it.
3 Q. But these were all just single products. I mean, some people were
4 more skilled and the others made them in a more primitive fashion, but you
5 could hardly find two same ones?
6 A. These black Chetnik flags, yes, one could hardly find two same
7 flags of that kind.
8 Q. Sometimes they were used by the volunteers of the Serb Radical
9 Party at their own initiative but also they were used by many other
10 combatants, right?
11 A. Well, I told you, say a man would have a wedding party the next
12 day, he would be getting married, and he would have 200 guests and he
13 would ask me to lend my flag to him.
14 Q. I just wanted to clarify this. It's not something that it was the
15 exclusive property of the Serb Radical Party and its section of the Serb
16 Radical-- the Serb Chetnik Movement. Is that right?
17 A. Well, I don't know whether that was compulsory when you joined the
18 section that you'd get a flag and things like that. I'm not aware of
20 Q. As a matter of fact, when you became a member, you didn't get
21 anything else except for a membership card of the Serb Radical Party,
23 A. Well, I don't know. Later on they also issued this little booklet
24 saying the Serbian Chetnik Movement section.
25 Q. But this was done by local functionaries at their own initiative?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. There wasn't a central organisation of this kind?
3 A. I didn't see anything that.
4 Q. You talked about fighting in Vukovar and about my visit. You
5 described me touring the front line. You described that at one point in
6 time I even shot at the enemy positions from the front line.
7 A. At Prvomajska Street.
8 Q. I was shooting at this blue building where the members of the
9 Croatian paramilitary forces were.
10 A. Well, on the other side, that was considered to be area that was
11 not in our hands.
12 Q. I seem to remember this blue building. Maybe it was a supermarket
13 or something like that.
14 A. Well, there was this building that we used to call the mini
15 market. So as far as I can remember, you were a bit further away from
17 Q. It was at the front line of the Croat positions, right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And the Croat --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note that it is impossible to
22 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
23 Q. You said that I gave encouragement to the combatants.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, we're being asked by the
25 interpreters for to you slow down. It's hard for them to keep up. Page
1 74, line 8. Please continue.
2 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Did I insist on maximum discipline of the volunteers of the Serb
4 Radical Party and the other soldiers that I came across?
5 A. It is correct-- or, rather, of course, you never encouraged a lack
6 of discipline, that is not something characteristic of you. You were
7 saying things like, Fight an honourable fight and bear in mind the legacy
8 of honourable Serb soldiers, something along those lines.
9 Q. Now I'm going to try to interpret what it was that I was saying
10 and then you are going to confirm to me whether that was the way it was or
11 not, because I remember this better, and it also has to do with a great
12 many times that I spoke.
13 Did I say at the front line, Fight like heroes, but show chivalry,
14 behaving humanely towards prisoners, civilians on the other side, women
15 and children like the Serb Knights did through history? Was that roughly
16 what I was saying?
17 A. I am aware of such speeches of yours. Now, literally whether it
18 was in that order, well, I wouldn't mind saying that that's the way it
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment.
21 Witness, we're now addressing important issues about Vukovar. Do
22 you confirm hearing from Mr. Seselj personally that prisoners, women,
23 children, had to be protected? Did you hear him say that?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We have just clarified that, that
25 Mr. Seselj tried to remind me of the speeches that he was making at the
1 time, and how it was that he was speaking. As I'm saying, it looks like
2 that but I did not say yes precisely. That's what I remember. I remember
3 that quotation, that sentence precisely in that way.
4 At any rate, he came to give us encouragement. He did have a
5 certain system in terms of how he did this. What Mr. Seselj said now, I
6 really don't see why I wouldn't believe him, that that is exactly what he
7 was saying, but I don't remember.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But as far as you can remember,
9 did he say that prisoners, women and children had to be protected?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've just said, Your Honour, that I
11 do not know in which way he spoke, but at any rate I don't remember the
12 speech in Vukovar that he was calling upon us to go and shoot someone,
13 execute someone, no.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You can't therefore remember or
15 say precisely that Mr. Seselj would have in his public speeches at the
16 time, including in Vukovar, addressed the fact that prisoners, women and
17 children had to be protected?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I did not attend the
19 public gathering in Vukovar. All of this, I mean we heard Mr. Seselj and
20 perhaps someone else too. As he walked, as he toured the front line this
21 was very short. Whether he made a speech afterwards in Vukovar, I don't
22 know, but that is not literally the speech. Quite simply, he would be
23 talking to a group of people around him in a very loud manner
24 characteristic of him and then he was saying these things, and now he
25 explained this one sentence that he stated, but I cannot say yes, that is
1 exactly what you said. But I know that I do not remember that then at
2 that time when he visited Vukovar that he said, Go out and if you have
3 some prisoners, go out and execute them. No, he didn't say that, either.
4 I hope that you understand this now.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, please continue.
6 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
7 Q. What I tried to do now, to quote myself, I cannot give a verbatim
8 quote after so many years, either. Did this correspond to the essence of
9 all the things I said before the combatants? There was no speech in
10 Vukovar but did I talk to people, isn't that right, as I toured the front
12 A. Yes, yes, yes. Surrounded by commanders.
13 Q. Does what I said to you now correspond to the essence of what I
14 was saying there? I'm not asking for you verbatim confirmation of every
15 one of my statements. I cannot do that myself, let alone you. Was this
16 the essence of what I was saying, that the prisoners should not be
17 mistreated and...
18 MS. DAHL: The witness has been asked and answered the question
19 several times that he doesn't recall Mr. Seselj saying this. I think that
20 this is repetitive.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You said that you
22 did not remember. But Mr. Seselj is dealing with the essence of what he
23 might have said.
24 So what can you say about this?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was my understanding of
1 Mr. Seselj's visit to Vukovar that time that he came to boost our morale
2 and it was not my understanding that he was trying to talk us into doing
3 something evil. I never heard you say something like that ever, go out
4 and kill whoever.
5 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
6 Q. All right. You mentioned that when I was touring the front line
7 that we came across seven dead Croatian paramilitaries, seven, four plus
8 three policemen, that is?
9 A. Well, I'm not sure now, but we had liquidated them the previous
11 Q. In combat?
12 A. Right.
13 Q. So they were not caught and executed. They were killed in
14 combat. It's important for me to have that established here. I mentioned
15 that these corpses should be burned. Do you remember that I said burned
16 or did I say buried?
17 A. I remember that you used that word in order to prevent a disease
18 from breaking out, that they should be gotten rid of, burned.
19 Q. As an experienced soldier, Mr. Stoparic, you should understand
20 that if somebody had burned seven or nine corpses there that all of
21 Vukovar would have smelled?
22 A. They were not burned.
23 Q. Well, I'm not that stupid not to know the burning of seven or nine
24 corpses causes disastrous problems for the people who are there.
25 A. Well, quite simply, well, I don't even know why it was that I
1 remember that. Probably I was listening and I needed to hear you,
2 actually you -- I thought that you would really praise us for this kind of
3 action, but after that, I realised that we didn't do everything right.
4 Now, why this is in my thoughts, the word "burned," I really don't want to
5 accuse anyone, believe me. I just seem to remember that.
6 Q. What I remember is that I said that the corpses should be buried
7 as soon as possible in order to prevent a disease from breaking out.
8 A. I cannot say that I wasn't the one who made a mistake or perhaps
9 later on when recounting this, somebody had perhaps added a sentence of
10 their own, that's the assumption, but I really had no intention of
11 including something that you had not said. After all, it is 1991 and one
12 has to remember all of that now.
13 Q. However, the point was to prevent the outbreak of a disease.
14 A. Not only of a disease, but also the cattle would start eating
15 corpses if they were there for too long.
16 Q. Pigs?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Dogs?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. All right. You mentioned -- I'm going to put one more question to
21 you and probably it is time to take the break, and then after the break
22 we're going to move on to the situation regarding Ovcar.
23 You mentioned that when a year after the liberation of Vukovar,
24 there was a celebration, it was in the centre of town, wasn't it?
25 A. By the hotel.
1 Q. I was there too?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. After this celebration, we went to Stanko Vujanovic's cafe, we
4 were invited there, right?
5 A. Yes. I sat there, too. No, not quite literally close to you but
6 a few tables away.
7 Q. I was there and then my associates from the leadership of the
8 party and then Captain Radic -- Major Radic afterwards.
9 A. I don't remember Radic exactly.
10 Q. There were some other officers and I remember him, too.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note, both people are speaking at
12 the same time now.
13 Interpreter's note that a considerable portion is missing now.
14 A. I just heard about this from him, that you promised to have a
15 drunk when we win. Otherwise, you don't drink; I know that.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Dahl.
17 MS. DAHL: [Previous translation continues] ... Can we ask
18 Mr. Seselj to go back a couple of questions, because the interpreters
19 indicated that they were unable to follow the speaker, and the overlap has
20 prevented an accurate record.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Seselj.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I hope that, Mr. President, this is
23 not being taken from my time, because what I'm worried about the most is
24 the amount of time that I will have available. I want to have all details
25 clarified during the cross-examination of this witness. But briefly I'm
1 going to repeat this.
2 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
3 Q. When the first anniversary of the liberation of Vukovar was being
4 commemorated, I come to a celebration in the centre of town. After that,
5 we were invited to the cafe owned by Stanko Vujanovic. Then we sat there,
6 we talked, we had a few drinks, most of them soft drinks, perhaps somebody
7 drank alcohol, too, and then we went our separate ways. That's the
8 essence. Is that right? I interpret this right, your words?
9 A. As far as I can remember, that is the way it was.
10 Q. When I was in Vukovar, while I was touring the front line, did you
11 walk all the time along with these people who were going with me?
12 A. The last thing I saw was when you wanted to shoot and when little
13 Dzo - do you remember little Dzo - Dzo Valjarevic [phoen], do you remember
14 his nickname, whatever his real name was? He stood in front of you and
15 you said to him, No, you are so small that you cannot protect me if
16 anything should happen and them probably Kameni send him -- rather, went
17 to the front line.
18 Q. Little Dzo at the front line stood in front of me in order to
19 protect me from enemy fire, right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And I made a bit of a joke, saying that you are so small that you
22 cannot protect me, something like that?
23 A. Yes, yes.
24 Q. However, there is another thing that is important for me. Since
25 you were over there among the escorts at the front line, did you ever hear
1 me during the fighting for Vukovar during that visit, that I had a meeting
2 with the officers in Stanko Vujanovic's house? Have you ever heard of
3 anything like that? I really don't know how long you stayed in Vukovar
4 at all and where you went.
5 A. Well, I spent a night there, somewhere near the front line. I'm
6 going to remind you that during the night by that house, the agricultural
7 air force of the Croatian side threw a heater full of explosive. We
8 thought that that was because of your visit.
9 Q. Yes. But it was said that that is why it was done, because I was
10 there, and Milorad Albijanic [phoen], an official from some Serb
11 association from Kosovo slept there with me?
12 A. I don't know.
13 Q. Later on there was a joke that I just turned to the other side and
14 went on sleeping and he got up and could not sleep any longer, so we
15 laughed about that the next day. And then there is this photograph as
16 well of the well-known Serb photographer as I'm washing my face naked to
17 the waist in front of that house on the following morning.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's time for the break.
19 Mr. Seselj, you will resume after the break with the problem of
20 the photograph. It's 20 to 6.00.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can your -- can your staff have
22 these documents distributed? I have copies for the members of the Trial
23 Chamber and a copy for the Prosecutor and a copy for the witness. I gave
24 these documents on the 3rd of January to have them translated, but the
25 Mr. Doraiswamy told me that it can only be translated by the end of
1 January, and I need to use this during the cross-examination of this
2 witness, so could he please be given a copy so that he could prepare for
3 that, too, and could the Prosecutor and the members of the Trial Chamber
4 be given copies as well?
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The document is being handed
6 around and we will resume after the break.
7 --- Recess taken at 5.43 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 6.01 p.m.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed.
10 Mr. Seselj, just before the break, you handed us eight documents
11 and told us that these eight documents couldn't be translated by the
12 translation department, the CLSS. I understand that the CLSS was unable
13 to translate this. But when this happens, before the hearing, you can
14 give these documents to the Trial Chamber and the Prosecution, even in
15 B/C/S, so that the Prosecution can get ready for it, and the
16 Prosecution -- in the Prosecutor's office, you know, there are people who
17 speak B/C/S and who can know exactly what the document is about and then
18 they can get prepared. That way you're sure that the Prosecution will not
19 raise an objection regarding this -- any document. Of course, I'm not
20 blaming you. You asked for the CLSS to translate this early in January
21 and they were not able to do that. We'll try to make do.
22 Just tell the witness, Take this document. In such-and-such
23 paragraph, you can find this or that. What do you think of it. And then
24 we will see what the scope of the document is.
25 Ms. Dahl.
1 MS. DAHL: I'm sorry, I object to Mr. Seselj using these documents
2 without providing a copy that is in one of the working languages of the
3 Tribunal. I can't read them, and therefore, he can't use them. Sorry.
4 We've had sufficient recesses during January that he could have pointed
5 out these exact ones to put priority on them or even announce the problem
6 at the beginning of today's session to have rough translations made. And
7 I don't think it is appropriate to shift the translation burden to OTP
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, may I be allowed to
10 say something on the subject?
11 Judges, I think that the same yard-stick should be applied to me
12 and to the representative of the indictment, to the Prosecution, and
13 towards me, that yard-stick should be even boarder, because in these
14 proceedings I must be privileged, as the accused, compared to the
15 Prosecution with all its apparatus standing behind it. And I would like
16 to remind you that when we had Oberschall, the expert witness, that the
17 Prosecution, the day before the hearing, provided a document about his
18 interview and testimony without even providing me with the additional
19 documents in English to this day, the part that I -- that I launched a
20 protest for them being in English, and I said why were they in English so
21 I don't use them.
22 Secondly, I don't have to base my examination on these documents
23 at all, but you must apply the same criterion to me and to the
24 Prosecution. That is the bare minimum of a requirement.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber believes that
1 the criterion should be the same on both parties.
2 Now, without putting the blame on anyone, on January 3rd you sent
3 these documents to the translation department. That was 20 days ago, and
4 this document has not been translated, even though 20 days have elapsed.
5 It's not your fault.
6 Secondly, Prosecution is telling us that it raises an objection
7 because it did not obtain the document in one of the Tribunal's working
8 languages. You're absolutely correct in saying so, Ms. Dahl. But the
9 translation department belongs to the Registrar. The Registrar is a body
10 in this Tribunal. So is the -- the OTP, so are the Judges. Obviously the
11 Tribunal is not functioning correctly. It's not up to the accused to be
12 subjected to this failure. So we need to kind some kind of practical
13 solution, and the practical solution is that in the future, Mr. Seselj, if
14 he has documents in Serbian which were not translated, he will hand them
15 over to you as quickly as possible, and it will be up to you to find a
17 As a professional, even if you don't know anything about the
18 document, just like I do, wait for the questions, wait for the answer of
19 the witness, and then we can see, on a case by case basis, what is the
20 context of this document.
21 We don't know yet what the question is going to be. We have no
22 idea what topic the accused is going to deal with; but as a professional,
23 I can face any situation. I'm not going to be put off balance just
24 because suddenly I'm handed a document in a language that I cannot read.
25 I know the question will be translated, I know the answers -- the witness
1 is going to answer, and since the cross-examination will continue
2 tomorrow, you and everyone helping you will have the possibility of
3 translating the document overnight, and you can ask additional questions
4 during the re-direct.
5 It is true that we're working in two official languages, but there
6 are some situations where, of course, you're not to blame, I'm not to
7 blame, but unfortunately, the translation department was not able to do
8 the job. We're not going to stop the trial, saying let's wait for these
9 documents to be translated and have questions about these documents.
10 I don't see what you could say as an answer, but you have the
12 MS. DAHL: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 My suggestion is that we have the translations completed
14 overnight, perhaps. We have not heard what the delay is or what the
15 anticipated time to translate them is, or we can also go into private
16 session. Because I think it's unsafe to proceed where I am unable to
17 anticipate problems based on a review of the document and I consider, with
18 respect, that we serve different roles and that the willingness of the
19 Bench to proceed with a document it can't read is distinctly different
20 than disadvantaging the Prosecution's ability to articulate proper
21 objections and protect sensitive information and avoid error.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I be allowed to say something?
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, these eight
24 documents, are these statements, testimonies? It seems that it is the
25 case so that these documents have been certified and authenticated.
1 Could you tell us what these documents about? Are there mention
2 of protected witnesses in them? I know nothing about these documents.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, Judge. First of all, I'm
4 categorically opposed to the request made by the Prosecution, and then I'd
5 like to remind you, once again, that in the cross-examination of expert
6 witness Oberschall, well, I conducted the cross-examination without having
7 received a proposal of the very important documents to this day which the
8 Prosecution brought forth at the very last moment during the proceedings.
9 Secondly, here we're talking about statements by a bus driver; his
10 name is Nikola Tumic; Drago Mrdja, Savan Vidovic, Zoran Medic, Mrko
11 Tutsakovic, Semo Cojdar, Bogdan Petrovic, Vaso Djurdjovic. That is to
12 say, statements which were given before a court in Serbia and have been
13 authenticated, and from it, we can see that these were bus drivers and, as
14 such, they sent back all of the volunteers, took back of the volunteers,
15 the volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party, from Vukovar to Serbia
16 immediately after Vukovar's liberation, and Vukovar was liberated on the
17 18th of November. And they transported the volunteers on the 18th, 19th,
18 and 20th of November, taking them to Serbia. And Ovcara took place in the
19 night between 20th and 21st of November.
20 So I wanted to use this document -- these documents in the
21 cross-examination of this witness. If you're not going to allow me to do
22 so, I won't insist. I will throw them away. I'm just asking to be
23 treated equally with -- as -- an equal attitude towards me and the
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're right in telling us about
1 the Oberschall precedent, and you're telling us these are bus drivers.
2 We're going to relate how they drove the volunteers back.
3 I have a excellent memory, and I do remember that at one point in
4 time you told us that, regarding Vukovar, the volunteers came back before
5 the events that occurred during the night from the 20th to the 21st, and
6 these documents obviously -- or seem to prove that your volunteers had
7 left the premises before crimes were committed.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In the night between the 20th
9 and 21st, the crime took place at Ovcara, the execution of 200 Croatian
10 prisoners, and the volunteers were on their way back on the 18th, 19th,
11 and 20th, just to be precise on that score.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, that is absolutely what I
13 said. I said that, according to you, these documents would prove that the
14 volunteers had left the premises before the crimes were committed. That's
15 what I said. Maybe there was a translation error.
16 So, please, ask your questions, starting from this and we'll play
17 it by ear.
18 At this point in time, I have no reason to believe that these
19 documents are authentical, and then according to the content, with the
20 questions and the answers of the witnesses, we will see. The witness was
21 there, he was on the premises, and he can confirm whether these documents
22 seem to be telling the truth or not.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But I have a number of questions to
24 ask and we'll get to that in due course.
25 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. Stoparic, indirectly you told me that you had never heard of a
2 meeting of mine with the officers of the Guards Brigade in Stanko
3 Vujanovic's house when I visited Vukovar during the war. Have I
4 understood that correctly?
5 A. I don't remember that.
6 Q. You heard of a meeting like that? But you do remember meeting in
7 Stanko Vujanovic's cafe one year after the liberation of Vukovar. Is that
9 A. Yes, I understand that.
10 Q. Perhaps you don't understand the gist of my question. I'm asking
11 you so that you could give me an answer because there's a false witness
12 who has moved this meeting a year forward in Stanko Vujanovic's cafe.
13 That's why I needed your answer, just to let you know why I'm insisting on
14 this. You know Milan Lancuzanin, Kameni, the commander of the Leva
15 Supoderica Detachment, you know him well?
16 A. I could say that, well yes.
17 Q. Was he a strict commander?
18 A. He was to me.
19 Q. What about towards others, I assume that he was strict towards
20 them too?
21 A. I'm talking about myself as a commander of a platoon.
22 Q. All right, fine. Did he prohibit any type of mistreatment of
23 prisoner of war their execution the maltreatment of women, children,
24 anything like that?
25 A. He never ordered any mistreatment and if he would learn about
1 something, and the example of this unfortunate Topola.
2 Q. Expelled him from the detachment?
3 A. Yes, he did.
4 Q. Could he have done anything else but to send him away?
5 A. Well, he couldn't have shot him. All he do have done was send him
7 Q. And Topola was suspected of having killed a young girl. Is that
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You tried to investigate that but did not succeed?
11 A. Well there was intensive action going on.
12 Q. You mean the intensity of the fighting to investigate fully?
13 A. Yes, that's right it was forgotten. The man was forgotten.
14 Q. But anyway he was sent away. He stayed in Vukovar. But he wasn't
15 in Leva Supoderica?
16 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers kindly slow down, please, for
17 the benefit of one and all. Thank you.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, you're speaking
19 much too fast. As Judge Harhoff told you, advised you, count to five
20 before you start answering.
21 JUDGE HARHOFF: And can I add, that these proceedings will not
22 make any meaning unless the Bench is able to understand what is being
23 said. So in your own interests, try and keep it slow.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours. Yes, I
25 will do my best, and I'll wait to see the translation come up on the
1 screen. My adrenaline is up.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
3 continues] ... for answering you said something that almost -- that
4 surprises me and I would like to look into this.
5 Regarding Topola and Kameni, you're saying -- you say they
6 couldn't do anything. So in military terms I'm quite surprised. If a
7 serviceman commits any kind of thing, you know there are procedures.
8 There can be an investigation, there's a military prosecutor,
9 investigative judge. I even think that in wartime, I haven't looked into
10 the military code of the former Yugoslavia, but I think that you could
11 have martial courts, you know, that are convened immediately and that try
12 the accused immediately and if there is a capital punishment, the accused
13 can be executed if found guilty.
14 So when you say that Kameni and Topola could do nothing, could you
15 please give me an explanation.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, Your Honour, to paint
17 the picture. Kameni, as the commander, or he was komandir. And myself
18 as the platoon commander. He appointed me as platoon commander and at
19 that time I wasn't even a reserve officer. He was a reserve officer and
20 he had some knowledge; and I should have had because I did my regular
21 military service. But what I want to say is this, the point of what I'm
22 saying is this, we as officers, we're not professional officers of the
23 Yugoslav People's Army most probably a professional soldier or an officer
24 of the Yugoslav People's Army would now how to behave and what to do but
25 quite simply the situation was such that there was many actions going on
1 and perhaps Kameni did send up this information to his superiors. I don't
2 know about that, but I said that he could not do anything. There was
3 nothing he could do. He couldn't take over the power in his own hands and
4 that he penalise, be the judge and jury in this case and punish someone.
5 So the best thing he could do was to exclude him from the unit, to send
6 him away. There was no other practice open to us that we knew about. We
7 weren't trained as active duty officers ever.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well thank you for your
10 Mr. Seselj.
11 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Stoparic, do you happen to know that during all these wars
13 that there was ever a court martial sitting and that anybody was executed
14 for any crimes committed?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Did anything like that happen on the Croatian or the Muslim side
17 have you ever heard of anything like that happen?
18 A. I doubt that anything like that ever happen.
19 Q. So we agree that in this war, court martials did not operate
20 anywhere and nobody was executed for any crimes or offences. Is that
22 A. No, I know of no example on any side.
23 Q. All right, fine. Now we can lament over the fact that that was
24 not the case. But that's how things stood. Very well, Mr. Stoparic.
25 Now let's go back to the question of Ovcara. You know that when
1 Vukovar was liberated on the 18th of November, that the JNA immediately
2 endeavoured to reduce the number of men in the area because much of the
3 man power was hampering normalisation of life in the area?
4 A. They tried to establish civil control or civilian control in town
5 and immediately after the fall of Vukovar the Guards Brigade was
6 withdrawing from the territory and another brigade coming in.
7 Q. Yes. And they started transporting the volunteers back to Serbia.
8 Isn't that right?
9 A. Yes they did start that in Leva Supoderica over several days.
10 Q. In three days.
11 A. It was disbanded many stayed on but during that week many left.
12 Q. But in the space of three days the bulk left for Serbia?
13 A. Yes, the bulk did.
14 Q. There were those who wanted to stay on and live in Vukovar. Isn't
15 that right?
16 A. Yes, I myself remained for a time precisely because I didn't need
17 organised transport because I lived 30 kilometres away from my own home.
18 Q. But that's why they didn't manage to write down your participation
19 war in the Guards Brigade because the Guards Brigade withdrew, so you had
20 to go to Belgrade to command there. Isn't that right?
21 A. Well, I did get some certificate a certificate of some kind in
22 Velepromet proving that I was member of Leva Supoderica, but I gave that
23 to a corporal in the guards brigade who paid out my salary during my stay
24 in Vukovar.
25 Q. A moment ago you mentioned little Dzo, Mali Dzo who was a
1 volunteer. Do you remember that he stayed on to live in Vukovar?
2 A. He lived in Vukovar for a years. I think Solobodan Katic too?
3 Q. Yes, Slobodan Katic lived in Vukovar.
4 A. He got married?
5 Q. Slobodan Katic was in the Territorial Defence of Vukovar,
6 something like that. And Mali Dzo -- little Dzo opened a book shop, did
7 he not?
8 A. Yes.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes I will slow down. I will slow
10 down but my promises might seem to be a little funny when I forget to keep
11 my promises during the heat of the cross-examination.
12 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
13 Q. I for example remember that at the headquarters of the Serbian
14 Radical Party, we presented little Dzo with many of my books to sell in
15 his own book store and that he could finance his livelihood. We didn't
16 ask him to give us any money from the sale of those books. I remember
17 that detail. Slobodan Katic stayed on to; you confirmed that yourself.
18 And his function in the Territorial Defence? Well, he requested
19 Ljubisa Petkovic to put forward the promotion of certain officers; isn't
20 that right?
21 A. Yes, we saw a document to that effect, I believe.
22 Q. Yes we did. We saw a paper to that effect. Now Ljubisa Petkovic,
23 to whom could he have made that proposal except to the corresponding
24 service in the General Staff? Was there anyone else he could make those
25 proposals to?
1 A. Well, I think that's what I said, something along those lines.
2 Q. Fine. So it was common knowledge that Ljubisa Petkovic,
3 representing the Serb Radical Party, was in charge of contacts with the
4 General Staff, liaising with the General Staff, and that he had firm
5 cooperation with the head of the personnel department or the department
6 for mobilisation, whatever it was called. But everybody knew about that;
7 isn't that right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. That he could make proposals like that? All right, fine.
10 Now, you have described here the behaviour and conduct of Kameni
11 when the crime of Ovcara took place. You were an eye-witness, were you
13 A. I don't know that a crime had been committed. I didn't know at
14 the time. All I knew was that something was going on .
15 Q. But Kameni was very excited, he was angry, he was nervous, right?
16 A. Well, you could describe it that way.
17 Q. And by his demeanour he showed that something terrible had
18 happened, which should not have happened in any -- under any
20 A. Let me explain. I socialised with Kameni after the war a lot,
21 almost on a daily basis, so it is difficult for me to testify at times
22 because I don't want to say something that he told me about later on. But
23 even what he told me later on coincides with what I saw at the time.
24 Q. Now did Kameni always condemn the crime?
25 A. Yes, he always said that it was quite ludicrous.
1 Q. That it should never have happened?
2 A. Yes, that kind of meaning.
3 Q. Now do you link Kameni with the crime? Do you think that Kameni
4 could have taken part in that crime since you knew him very well?
5 A. I said many times and I think I repeated it here in court that it
6 is my personal conviction that he was not involved, and I even try to
7 speak about judgment from Serbia where it says that he didn't kill anybody
8 there or whatever it says in the judgment. I just read about it in the
9 papers, in actual fact.
10 Q. And how much did you know at that time about the situation in
11 Serbia? Was it quite clear to at that time that the special regime court
12 in Belgrade had actually convicted the innocent Kameni to -- sentence him
13 to 20 years of imprisonment only in order to create an artificial link
14 between me myself as his friend and Ovcara. Is that clear to you?
15 A. I'm almost certain and I'm almost convinced that he is innocent
16 and as to the wanting to establish a link, I cannot say anything about
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you wear two hats.
19 You're an accused but, at the same time you're also representing yourself
20 as a lawyer. And now I'm addressing the lawyer in you.
21 You mentioned this judgment convicting Kameni. I have this
22 question. In Serbia, judgments in criminal cases, do they have to be
23 reasoned or is there absolutely no grounds given, because if he was
24 convicted to 20 years, I suppose that that had to be reasoned. One has to
25 account for this conviction.
1 So my question is a simple one. This judgment, in theory you must
2 have it, is it a reasoned one or not?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judge, that judgment was reasoned in
4 language that was not quite coherent, but the most important thing is that
5 it was overturned by the supreme Court both in relation to the part which
6 refers to Kameni and that the entire -- that there was a new trial. This
7 new trial is still going on. So this orchestrated judgment was
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, so you're telling us that
10 the Supreme Court ordered a new trial which would explain why there is
11 currently a trial going on. So legally speaking, we do not know whether
12 Mr. Kameni is guilty or not.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Legally speaking we don't know. But
14 here the witness is not speaking as a jurist. The witness here appears as
15 an eye-witness to certain events, and he is actually relating his own
16 experience in that connection and the information that he has in that
17 connection. Of course, I have the right to put him some questions that
18 are a bit more leading in the cross-examination stage.
19 Q. Mr. Stoparic, did the Leva Supoderica Detachment have any
20 connection with Velepromet?
21 A. I went to Velepromet several times to replenish our food supplies
22 and for such things there was always the military police there and some
23 representatives of the civilian authorities. But I don't know of any
24 links of the kind that you ask about.
25 Q. So Velepromet was a depot, a warehouse, a place where prisoners of
1 war would be detained before being dispatched to the prison in Sremska
2 Mitrovica. Is that right? Are you following me?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Where the civilian authorities of Slavonia Branja Western Srem et
5 cetera? You never even posted guards there from your detachment, right?
6 A. No, we were combatants we were combatants, we were sentinels at
7 the front line.
8 Q. So you confirm my statement that there was no connection between
9 you and Velepromet except that you went there to get your supplies and
10 necessities for daily life?
11 A. That's right.
12 Q. And if you did take a Croatian soldier prisoner you would then
13 assign him to Velepromet?
14 A. Yes, to the military.
15 Q. To the military and the army would take them where it was -- he
16 was to be taken?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And you never kept a soldier yourself prisoner?
19 A. That's right.
20 Q. As I understood your statement Topola actually snatched a prisoner
21 from Velepromet?
22 A. Later.
23 Q. You said in the examination-in-chief that in a way he stole this
24 prisoner, snatched him as it were, from the place?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. So this has nothing to do with your detachment?
2 A. When he snatched this prisoner -- I apologise, I don't know
3 precisely or exactly, but I think it was on saint -- on the archangel's
5 Q. That is the 21st of November. That is the day of the liberation
6 of Vukovar? That is after Ovcara, right?
7 A. He was not a member -- a member after that?
8 Q. That is several days after the liberation of Vukovar?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you know that Saint Archangel Michael is celebrated on the 21st
11 of November?
12 A. That is not my patron saint, but this person actually snatched a
13 prisoner and took him as a gift to the person whose patron saint of -- he
14 was celebrating.
15 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter is unable to follow the
17 MS. DAHL: Your Honour. I would like this to be more than a
18 private conversation between the witness and the accused. I really need
19 them to allow for interpretation, otherwise, as the Judge Harhoff
20 mentioned before, it excludes the Bench from receiving the information.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, we were -- you were
22 very fast here in dealing with this topic, which is an important one.
23 This Topola, Witness, it seems to appear, from listening to
24 questions and answers, that he stole something from a detainee in
25 Velepromet. But the theft and the date of the theft seems to coincide
1 with the Saint Michael's day, the archangel's day, which is later than the
3 Therefore, when Topola did this theft, he no longer belonged to
4 the Leva Supoderica Detachment. Apparently most of the members of the
5 detachment had left in buses, and he stayed with a legal status that we
6 shall determine later on, but on that day, he was no longer a member of
7 the unit you were in charge of.
8 Is that how we should understand things?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Several days before the official
10 fall or liberation of Vukovar, he was removed by the unit commander.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And why was he removed? Not
12 because of the theft in Velepromet, because that occurred later, didn't
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. He was removed because the --
15 he was suspected of having raped a girl, a women, and having thrown her
16 into a well.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That's the reason why he had
18 been removed. And if we understand Mr. Seselj's questions properly, the
19 theft in Velepromet occurred after the date of the 21st. Anyway, after he
20 had been removed.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So I think that is a little
23 clear now.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Perhaps it is my fault, Judge, for
25 speaking too fast. He snatched a Croatian prisoner. He unlawfully took
1 him out of the Velepromet warehouse intending to kill him. That is the
2 sense of Mr. Stoparic's statement in the examination in chief. It was not
3 a theft of property. He unlawfully took out a prisoner. It was a figure
4 of speech.
5 He took him out unlawfully and that took place several days after
6 the fall of Vukovar. That is what is of the essence for us right now. So
7 not even that event can be associated with the Leva Supoderica Detachment,
9 A. The only link is that he went into the house of this person who
10 was celebrating and that he was a member.
11 Q. And the only link is that the Chinese who was -- that Kinez who
12 was in your staff actually saved this prisoner?
13 A. He informed us of what was happening but nobody dared actually
14 speak back, talk back, contradict Topola.
15 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter is very sorry but the
16 interpreter did not actually hear the witness.
17 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Stoparic, did look at these statements which I gave you during
19 the break?
20 A. I asked to but I was not allowed to take them out of the
21 courtroom. I did take a look while I was waiting for the Bench to come
23 Q. You see that this -- these are statements of bus drivers who were
24 taking volunteers back to Serbia?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Did you notice here that the driver explicitly say that the bulk
2 of the volunteers were from the Serbian Radical Party; that they were
3 disciplined, that none of them had weapons; that they were escorted at all
4 times by the military police; that they were searched on entering Serbia;
5 that even official dogs would be used for searches. That is to say
6 trained dogs who could detect weapons by smell, the smell of the grease
7 used to lubricate the weapons or the smell of black powder and similar.
8 Did you see that here?
9 A. I read the first two statements completely.
10 Q. They are similar more or less. You could give your comment on the
11 basis of these first two statements. Do you think that they are truthful?
12 A. How the volunteers fared when they were going home from Vukovar is
13 something that I don't know, but it is certainly my experience when I was
14 passing through Serbia on a bus as a volunteer that there were always
15 strict controls including of weaponry both when we were going into the
16 terrain and vice versa it would be carried out, I mean these checks by
17 either the civilian or the military police, and this is also indicated by
18 the driver. And what the driver says is most probably true, that this is
19 the way they were taken back to Serbia.
20 Q. Not a single volunteer was drunk, according to these statements
21 right? Also during the searches there was no -- there were no grounds to
22 detain or arrest any of them or similar?
23 A. They probably had nothing on there which was prohibited. They
24 were not drunk or I'm not sure. Maybe they may have been celebrating
25 because of the fall of Vukovar.
1 Q. They also say, some of the drives that they have no technical
2 goods with them. Was there any control to establish whether anyone of
3 them had stolen any washing machines or cooking ranges or TV sets.
4 A. Yes, it was.
5 Q. After the fall -- or liberation of Vukovar, was it strict -- was
6 it strict in connection with the liberation of Vukovar?
7 A. At this border crossing point where they were crossing there was
8 control and check carried out but near Sid there at the border it was more
9 relaxed. Later it grew into a more strict border crossing point.
10 Q. Could anyone take out any stolen goods?
11 A. At this crossing yes, but not always.
12 Q. Do you know of any instances of Serbian Radical Party members
13 exporting anything stolen from Vukovar?
14 A. Well, had I seen that?
15 Q. No, had you seen that or do you know for sure that they did
17 A. In an organised fashion --
18 Q. Yes, because something of value has to be organised. If is it of
19 no value can you put it your pocket, but we're talking about some more --
20 some technical equipment that is worth more, then it had to be organised?
21 A. Well, I didn't see anything of the kind.
22 Q. So you didn't see that.
23 Well, Mr. Stoparic, upon returning to Vukovar, according to your
24 statement, in the beginning of year 2000 joined the Serbian Radical Party,
1 A. I'm not quite sure what the date was when I became a member of the
2 Serbian Radical Party, but I know that that took place at Milenko
3 Petrovic's house, which does not mean that there was an office already in
4 place, but this is where I saw him.
5 Q. We do not need the exact date. Was it in the beginning of 1992?
6 A. I don't know. I may have been joined even in Vukovar.
7 Q. In Vukovar?
8 A. I cannot remember. It may have been the case.
9 Q. Yes it could have been that, because Kameni also joined in
11 A. Well, maybe, I'm not quite sure where I joined.
12 Q. Did anyone prescribe the obligation for all members of the Leva
13 Supoderica Detachment to have to join the Serb Radical Party was that
15 A. Well, we the commanders, the komandiri, we all did that as a rule.
16 Q. But was anyone forcing you, did anyone coerce you do to that or
17 did you do that on a voluntary basis because you wanted to?
18 A. No, I wanted to. I explicitly wanted to.
19 Q. And the next time you went to the front as a volunteer of the
20 Serbian Radical Party, right. That -- we're now already talking about
22 A. Yes, I did go. I don't know to which terrain.
23 Q. I shall remind you that was the unit which was led by Branislav
24 Vakic in Herzegovina. Did you not?
25 A. Or perhaps before that, perhaps I was before that in -- I took a
1 flight from Belgrade to Bihac and then from Bihac we went -- I went to
2 Bosansko Grahovo and that terrain, and that is quite possible that that
3 took place before that.
4 Q. Could have you gone to Bosanski Grahovo as a member -- as a
5 volunteer of the Serbian Radical Party or a member of some other
7 A. From Bubanj Potok to the airport and then to Bihac.
8 Q. But not as a member of the Serb Radical Party?
9 A. With a mediation of the Serbian Radical Party.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, you're going too
12 Before going go back to that question I realised that Mr. Seselj
13 asked a question and you didn't quite answer it and it may be a relevant
15 He asked you whether all volunteers who were members of the
16 Leva Supoderica Detachment were members of the Serbian Radical Party. You
17 answered at line 6, page 102, Yes, the commanders. But I would like to
18 know - and I think that was the meaning of the question - did all the
19 members or were all the members of that unit members of the Serbian
20 Radical Party, or were there some like you or others but not all of them,
21 as far as you know. Were there members in that unit who were not members
22 of the Serbian Radical Party?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. Not all of them were
24 members of the Serb Radical Party. Many perhaps belonged to other
25 parties. But most of them did not belong to a single party, quite simply
1 people who considered themselves to be patriots and wanted to go into the
2 war availed themselves of the opportunity provided by the Serb Radical
3 Party to be sent to the front line. Now whether they joined up later, I
4 don't know.
5 So members of Leva Supoderica did not necessarily have to be
6 members of the Radical Party and we did not put questions like that, who
7 was a member of whose party.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You answered in part, saying
9 that there were in that unit members who belonged to other political
11 However, were there in that unit soldiers who did not belong to
12 any political party, none at all? But as they were patriots they had
13 decided to join that unit? Because you can be a patriot without being a
14 member of a party.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can you give us any names of
17 soldiers in that unit who were not members of any party?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can. An exceptionally good and
19 brave man from Novi Sad, a squad leader, his name was Sasa. He was not a
20 member of any party and I don't believe he is to this day.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't think I should move on to
23 the question of Herzegovina because I assume that we don't have much time
24 left for today so I would like to move on to that tomorrow. Judge, would
25 you please be so kind as to tell me how much time we have?
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I can see the clock. Ten
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Stoparic, you know that the Serb literary language consists of
6 two dialects: The Ekavian and Ikavian?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You were born in the Ekavian area. You always spoke Ekavian,
10 A. Yes. That's the area I was born in and that's how I speak.
11 Q. But you do understand Ikavian?
12 A. Yes, I do.
13 Q. And there's also some new self-styled Croatian words that were
14 artificially inserted in the language and that neither you nor I
15 understand, right?
16 A. Sometimes when I watch Croatian television it does happen that I
17 don't understand something, but in the context of a sentence I tend to
19 Q. Do you know what the word Postrojba means?
20 A. Unit.
21 Q. Do you know what Satnija means?
22 THE INTERPRETER: Kindly slow down.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues] ...
25 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Regiment? No, Mr. Stoparic, it means company.
2 A. I know it's a military term.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wait a minute, Mr. Seselj,
4 because the words in your language are not in the transcript. It might be
5 important for them to be. Then have you got to spell the words then it
6 will be noted in the transcript, it will be recorded; otherwise you can
7 see the sign showing that the word is not recorded and it's ignored.
8 Of course, if you think it is important, if you don't, you can go
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It is very important, Judge.
11 First of all, I asked Mr. Stoparic whether he knew what the word
12 Postrojba means; he did know although this is a newly invented Croatian
13 expression. He said that it meant unit. And then I asked him whether he
14 know what Satnija means. S-a-t-n-i-j-a. He didn't know. His answer was
15 that it meant regiment and I said to him that it meant company.
16 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Now what is the rank of Satznik? It must be captain, right?
18 A. Yes, well, if Satnija is company then it has to be up to major at
19 the most.
20 Q. It cannot be anything else -- captain. Mr. Stoparic, you do not
21 use these terms Tocno, Promoviranje, Pozornost. Do you know what these
22 words mean, the word Pozornost?
23 A. To look carefully, to observe carefully.
24 Q. To be careful, to pay attention but you don't understand -- but
25 you don't that expression?
1 A. I don't.
2 Q. Now, when the Prosecutor was preparing you for this evidence, they
3 were proofing you for days, four hours a day for several days. They gave
4 you a statement to sign where, if they gave you a statement that included
5 Satnija, Pozornost, Kolovoz, Ozujak, would you have corrected that
6 straight away, would you have said immediately that could not have been
7 your statement because you never spoke that way?
8 A. Well, I speak the Serbian language. I can understand Kolovoz as
9 asphalt or road but I don't speak that way.
10 Q. Kolovoz means August in this sense, the month of August.
11 A. It also means road.
12 Q. Yes. So you would warn the Prosecution to the effect that these
13 are not your words and that they could not be included in your statement?
14 A. Well, I don't talk that way so how can that be my statement.
15 Q. You would have said straight away, Ms. Dahl, I don't talk that way
16 and it cannot be in my statement. Is that what you would have said?
17 A. Most probably that is what I would have said.
18 Q. However, what I have here is your statement.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, please. Mr. Seselj
20 is now addressing an important issue which is the technique used in
21 examination. If I understood properly, the accused noted in your
22 statement, signed in your own language, that there were words that you
23 would not use and you named quite a few of them. These words can be
24 found, however, in your witness statement, in your language, which is
1 So based on that, if what has been said is right, I have a
2 question as to the way your statement was drafted. The investigators,
3 when they were listening to you, did they first listen and then drafted
4 the written statement but by putting into it words that you would not use,
5 such as -- or words that a Croat would use. Is that how things happened?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The investigators have interpreters
7 along with them. They put questions, I answer, and then these
8 interpreters interpret at that same moment into English and into what you
9 call B/C/S.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We've got the names of these
11 interpreters. They are here in the paper. Were they interpreters who
12 would tend to use - how shall I put it? - B/C/S or Serbian?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I intervene, Judge? I think it
14 is important.
15 I quoted the following terms or, rather, from the internal
16 memorandum, it says the 10th of December, 2003. It should say the 10th of
17 December, 2003, rather than Prosinac. It is sent by Gary Saxton and
18 Dolijan Barag [phoen] and it says: Additions to the statement of
19 Goran Stoparic. And then there is sections 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, these are
20 paragraphs of his statement. Do you have that document? It is marked.
21 Now will I manage to read this: 03456748, 03456751. I just have that
22 designation. It's a total of six pages.
23 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, if I may. I have an internal memorandum
24 dated 10 December 2003 from Gary Saxton and Dolijan Barag. It is not a
25 statement signed by Mr. Stoparic but an internal memorandum recording an
1 interview and notes. I -- it's in e-court as 65 ter Exhibit number 7035
2 and can I give you the English version. I believe it was translated at
3 some point for disclosure purposes. It is not something that the witness
4 reviewed and signed for correction of dialectal differences.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Indeed this internal memorandum
6 is not signed so the witness is not aware of it.
7 Mr. Seselj, if you refer to this internal memorandum, the witness
8 is not involved because this memorandum only deals with the OTP. That
9 records what the witness may have said, so I'm returning this document to
10 the Prosecution.
11 Yes, Mr. Seselj.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judge, I am aware of the fact that
13 the witness did not directly participate in writing any one of these
14 statements that is being ascribed to him. You can see that from the
15 differences between his oral testimony and what is written in the
17 However, in these addenda the direct speech is used and the
18 witness allegedly says: I was not involved in politics before the war; I
19 was neither a Chetnik nor a communist. I don't know exactly when the
20 office was opened. In the beginning of the war there weren't any
21 Vojvodas, and so on and so forth.
22 So these are direct quotations of his words that cannot correspond
23 to the original. That is why I intervened. As for him not taking part in
24 any one of the statements, we've already seen that here in the courtroom.
25 MS. DAHL: I'm sorry, Your Honour, I think that Mr. Seselj is
1 labouring under a misunderstanding. The process that produces a
2 memorandum like this is a recollection of statements made by a witness
3 written by -- into English originally by the investigator who's
4 interviewed the witness to record the recollection of the interview. It
5 is then translated into a language the accused understands for disclosure
6 purposes. It does not purport to be a verbatim description in the
7 original language of the witness. The investigators, of course, endeavour
8 to capture as accurately as possible what the witness has said but the
9 reason that we go to the formality that we have, for instance, in the
10 statement signed and initialed on every page by the witness in 2006, is to
11 try to capture the original words and language used by the witness.
12 That's not what this document purports to be.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Ms. Dahl.
14 Yes, Mr. Seselj, we want to avoid any misunderstanding for you or
15 all other people. In fact, there are two categories of documents. The
16 first category is his witness statement written in his language,
17 translated into English and he signed each and every page of it. In other
18 words, in theory, his written statement has been read again by him before
19 he signed it and he read it again in his language so that the contents of
20 it is supposed to be known to him, which would mean that if, in this
21 written statement translated into his language, there are words that are
22 more B/C/S than Serb words, that can come from the translation and the
23 witness may not have noticed it. That's the first category of documents.
24 The second one is the document mentioned just now by Ms. Dahl
25 following the interview with the OTP. There was a internal memorandum
1 drafted in English, then translated into B/C/S and disclosed to the
2 Defence. So I think that's how things are to be understood.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judge, by your leave, may I say that
4 the witness told you a few moments ago that these interviews were so
5 exhausting that at the end he could hardly wait to sign all of that, so
6 that it would be all over and done with. That is the essence of my
7 intervention, that the witness actually was not even interested in
8 checking whether everything in the statement corresponded to the essence
9 of his words.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This will be my last question
11 and then we will end this hearing.
12 Witness, you heard everything that was said. When you signed this
13 written statement in your own language, did you take the time to read the
14 entire document or did you just sign because you were told, Sign here and
15 it's accurate?
16 Could you tell us exactly how it happened, how you signed the
17 document written in your own language?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, either somebody would
19 read it out to me or I would read it myself.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But you don't remember? You
21 don't remember whether it was read out to you or whether you read it to
22 yourself? You cannot be accurate about this?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When something is read out in the
24 English language, the interpreter would read it out. When it was in my
25 language, then I would read it.
1 MS. DAHL: Your Honour --
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judge, may I notice something. You
3 see that what happens is that the witness even signs statements in
4 English, that the interpreter interprets for him right there on the spot,
5 and the witness does not have any proof of the text being exactly what the
6 interpreter is telling him by way of an interpretation.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Dahl.
8 MS. DAHL: I was wondering whether the presiding Judge's question
9 related to the 2006 statement or some particular statement because
10 Mr. Stoparic is now --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] 2006.
12 Very well, it is five after 7.00. The interpreters are going to
13 be upset if we continue, so we will resume tomorrow at 2.15.
14 See you tomorrow at 2.15 and we will continue this
15 cross-examination. Thank you.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.05 p.m.,
17 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 23rd day of
18 January, 2008, at 2.15 p.m.