1 Wednesday, 27 February 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have a problem with my headset.
10 Actually, I don't have a headset. I don't have a problem with my headset;
11 I just don't have a headset.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Today, we are Wednesday, the
13 27th of February, 2008. I'd like to greet the representatives of the
14 Prosecution, Mr. Theunens, Mr. Seselj, as well as all the people assisting
15 us in the courtroom.
16 Before I give the floor to Mr. Seselj, who has already had an hour
17 and 48 minutes, i.e., he has three hours and 12 minutes left, if I'm not
18 mistaken in my calculations, I would just like to tell you that the
19 Prosecution handed over to us three DVDs on the interview of
20 General Panic. I spent the best part of yesterday, in the afternoon, and
21 this morning to listen to these DVDs. This does amount to quite a number
22 of hours. So these three tapes should be translated and provided in hard
23 copy in the language of the accused, or at least has been said in B/C/S be
24 disclosed to the accused, and if the accused wishes to use that
25 afterwards, we need to have this in English and this needs to be
1 transcribed into English.
2 So check this out with the Registrar and see how you can proceed,
3 but this is the way that we should deal with this matter. Otherwise,
4 Mr. Seselj will have to -- Mr. Seselj has always refused to watch these
5 DVDs. Even if he had accepted, he would have to spend 42 hours watching
6 all these interviews, which accounts for a great deal of time, whereas
7 when you read this in hard copy, it's so much easier. That's all I can
9 I tried to address it from different angles, but I believe that
10 the best solution is to provide these interviews in their entirety. Of
11 course, you could select those interviews, but then the accused might say
12 that you've edited the DVD. So to avoid any problem, I think it's better
13 to give him the entire interviews from beginning to end.
14 Mr. Marcussen.
15 MR. MARCUSSEN: Thank you, Your Honours.
16 As I indicated yesterday, we will -- we are prepared to undertake
17 this exercise and make sure that this is transcribed, in particular in
18 light of the way the allegations were being levied -- or potential
19 allegations were being made against the Chamber, if the Chamber were to
20 make any sort of decision as to what parts could be transcribed and not
21 transcribed for the accused. So I think it's a much safer way to proceed
22 this way.
23 I would address two things, though. One, as I mentioned
24 yesterday, the Office of the Prosecutor do not have these transcripts
25 done. We work, ourselves, with the audio and video versions of a number
1 of these interviews. We will be doing this exercise on this particular
2 occasion, but I do need to stress that we will not have the capacity to do
3 this with every single recording or thing that the accused might in the
4 future find it interesting to get. But we appreciate the Chamber's
5 indication to us on this particular point, and we understand the
6 particular importance that the Chamber see in General Panic's suspect
7 interview, and we will do our best to get this done as quickly as
9 And we thank Your Honours for your understanding.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
11 Mr. Seselj, you have the floor now so that you can resume your
13 WITNESS: REYNAUD THEUNENS [Resumed]
14 Cross-examination by Mr. Seselj: [Continued]
15 Q. Mr. Theunens, as you have looked through many relevant legal
16 documents of the SFRY concerning the defence of the country and the role
17 of the armed forces in the defence system, do you agree that everyone in
18 Yugoslavia, including officers, privates and all citizens, were familiar
19 with the basic norms of the International Laws of War as concerns the
20 prohibition of killing prisoners of war and civilians, mistreating people,
21 looting, and everything else that happens in war, but is considered to be
22 a war crime?
23 A. Your Honours, from the documents I reviewed, I can conclude that
24 the provisions of International Laws of War, including the Geneva
25 Conventions, and the importance of these provisions was emphasised, for
1 example, in the 1982 All People's Defence Law, as well as in the 1985 Law
2 on the Service in the Armed Forces. There was also particular regulation
3 that applied to the SFRY armed forces, which was the 1988 regulation on
4 the application of the provisions of International Laws of War by the SFRY
5 Armed Forces.
6 I also know that -- and this is specified in the 1982 All People's
7 Defence Law, that the entire population was trained in the doctrine and
8 implementation of the doctrine of All People's Defence Law, but I cannot
9 draw any conclusions as to the extent the population or the SFRY,
10 including the members of the armed forces, were familiar with the
11 provisions -- with these provisions.
12 Q. Can you indicate at least one crime which is specified as such by
13 the International Laws of War and is not provided for in the provisions of
14 the Criminal Code of Yugoslavia? Is there a single crime not sanctioned
15 by the Criminal Code of Yugoslavia?
16 A. Your Honours, the Criminal Code of -- the 1990 Criminal Code of
17 the SFRY is included in my report. I'm just checking the date. It's
18 Chapter 16 of the 1990 SFRY Criminal Code, and it can be found on English
19 page 46 of part 1 of the report, and indeed the list includes, as far as I
20 can review it, all the main provisions of the International Laws of War.
21 So page 46, part 1.
22 Q. Can anyone who has committed a war crime, killed a prisoner, for
23 example, killed a civilian, raped a woman, looted something, or done
24 anything else of that nature, can anyone in such a situation use as an
25 excuse the fact that he didn't know this was prohibited? Can a
1 perpetrator say, "Yes, I did kill a prisoner. I didn't know this was
2 prohibited"? Is that possible?
3 A. Your Honours, I'm not a legal expert, but from my own military
4 education, I remember that this cannot count as an excuse.
5 Q. So anyone -- to conclude from your response, anyone who committed
6 a war crime knew in advance that it was a punishable offence and that he
7 would be held responsible sooner or later, if he was of sound mind, of
8 course. I'm not referring to a madman here, but someone who is mentally
9 in a fit state would know that he had done something punishable; is that
11 A. Your Honours, again just an answer from the common-sense point of
12 view, I think most people who commit crimes are well aware, at the latest
13 afterwards, that they committed a crime, but still crimes are being
15 Q. Are you aware that according to the criminal law of Yugoslavia,
16 the offence of not reporting a crime is also punishable as a criminal
17 offence? For example, if somebody sees someone committing a murder, or
18 rape, or looting, and fails to report that person, by that very fact that
19 person becomes an accomplice, the fact that he has not reported it.
20 A. Indeed, Your Honours, this is, for example, also specified in the
21 1988 regulations on the application of International Laws of War in the
22 Armed Forces of the SFRY, which is 65 ter number 51, and more specifically
23 this can be found in Article 21 of this 1988 regulation.
24 Q. You spoke about the armed forces of Serbia and quoted the relevant
25 provisions of the law -- or rather the Serbian Constitution of 1990. Then
1 the Prosecutor tried to introduce only part of the text of the
2 Constitution into evidence, and I intervened and asked that the entire
3 Constitution be admitted. You know that the Constitution contains Article
4 135; are you aware of that, Mr. Theunens?
5 A. Yes, Your Honours, I'm aware of Article 135 and the two paragraphs
6 included in that article.
7 Q. In Article 135, it says that the rights and obligations which the
8 Republic of Serbia, which is part of Yugoslavia, has under this
9 Constitution and which according to the Federal Constitution are realised
10 in the Federation, shall be realised in compliance with the Federal
11 Constitution. That's what it says in that Constitution, and one of the
12 main obligations and competences of the Federation was defence; isn't that
14 A. Your Honours, this is indeed the first paragraph of Article 135,
15 but I think that in the context we are discussing it, it is also relevant
16 to include the second paragraph of Article 135 of the Serbian
18 Q. Please read it, Mr. Theunens, if you have it before you.
19 A. I don't have it in front of me, Your Honours.
20 Q. Well, this other article cannot derogate this one. In 1999 [as
21 interpreted], Serbia enacted a new democratic constitution. It first
22 enacted a new constitution, and then we had multiparty elections. Up to
23 then, we had had the communist system, unlike Croatia and Slovenia, which
24 had elections
25 first and then enacted the constitution. In Serbia, the regime thought it
1 was preferable to first introduce a democratic constitution and then have
2 multiparty elections, and the Constitution was adopted by referendum.
3 That constitutes its democratic legitimacy. And in this Constitution,
4 Serbia had to prepare for all possible outcomes, including the dissolution
5 of Yugoslavia, and it encompassed all the constitutional and legal matters
6 that had to be included. But then it says that the rights and the duties
7 prescribed by the Federal Constitution shall be regulated by the Federal
8 Constitution. Am I right, Mr. Theunens; yes or no?
9 A. Your Honours, before answering the question, on page 6, line 22,
10 it should read "in 1990" instead of "1999", and to answer the question of
11 Mr. Seselj, I am not a legal expert, nor a constitutional expert. All I
12 mentioned earlier was that, indeed, the first paragraph of Article 135
13 corresponds with what Mr. Seselj said in relation to the prevalence of the
14 Federal Constitution in relation to the Constitution of the Republic of
15 Serbia. However, the second paragraph of the article also reserves the
16 right for the Republic of Serbia to have its own legislation prevail in
17 case of violation of the SFRY Constitution by another republic or in case
18 of violation of what is called the interests of the Republic of Serbia.
19 And I'm actually -- I'm paraphrasing now. I see that the text of the
20 article is now visible on the screen. But, no, it's actually a different
21 article or a different law we're looking at.
22 Q. You're wasting a lot of my time with needless matters. You said
23 something about the Federal Constitution and its provisions, according to
24 which a member of the armed forces -- actually, every citizen fighting the
25 enemy with a weapon or some other -- in some other way is a member of the
1 armed forces. We discussed the system of All People's Defence which
2 existed in the former Yugoslavia.
3 In 1991, the country was evidently under threat. There were
4 internal enemies and external enemies; first of all, Germany and the
5 Vatican, and then they were joined by the USA, Great Britain, France, and
6 other countries which wanted to break up Yugoslavia. There were also
7 internal exponents for foreign forces, especially the Vatican and Germany.
8 I'm referring to the leaderships of Slovenia and Croatia. They were
9 conducting a separatist policy.
10 Was it the duty of every citizen of Yugoslavia to participate in
11 the struggle against the internal enemy who was bringing into question
12 territorial integrity and wanted to topple the constitutional order by
13 force; doesn't that follow from the Constitution?
14 A. Indeed, Your Honours, that follows from the Constitution and All
15 People's Defence Law. However, the Constitution and the Law also explain
16 how citizens are to participate in the struggle against external or
17 internal enemies who threaten, among other things, the territorial
18 integrity of the SFRY. And, for example, the emphasis is made on the role
19 of the armed forces, so the way how the armed forces are to operate, their
20 structure, their composition, the things they can do, the things they
21 can't do. All this is regulated by law, and these laws do not foresee the
22 participation of, for example, volunteer units in the defence of the
24 Q. Can any law envisage every circumstance that might arise in
25 practice? Is there such a law anywhere in the world which can envisage
1 every possibility that might arise and list it so that whatever happens
2 cannot be illegal? Is there any such law?
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Marcussen.
4 MR. MARCUSSEN: We get out into areas of speculation and things
5 that the expert cannot answer. The line of questions that have been put
6 have been mainly submissions by the accused. If he wants to spend his
7 cross-examination time that way, I don't really have any objections to
8 that. But this particular one is getting out of bounds, in my view.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I didn't intervene
10 because I thought that you were going to sum up your submissions by
11 putting a question to the witness, and the witness would have said either,
12 "I agree," or, "I disagree with you." But your last question involves
13 speculation, so is of no particular interest. It goes without saying that
14 a law cannot provide for all the situations that might occur.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This expert has stated more than
16 once here that he is not an expert on legal matters, and yet he dares
17 carry out a legal analysis of over 200 pages, and his legal analysis is up
18 to the same standard as his expertise as a lawyer, as he doesn't have
19 elementary legal knowledge. He thinks that whatever is not expressly
20 permitted by the law is in fact banned, whereas in fact only what the law
21 expressly bans is banned. How can I teach him that when they didn't teach
22 him that at the military academy? He says it's not provided for by law,
23 for political parties to participate in the formation of armed forces.
24 Well, every citizen can do that under the law. In the spirit of All
25 People's Defence on temporarily occupied territory, it's the duty of every
1 citizen to join in the guerrilla fight, even if there are no units around.
2 If nothing else, they can attack the enemy in the street or pour poison in
3 their coffee.
4 So I oppose the objection by the Prosecutor, because it's
6 Q. When the country found itself in a state of crisis with a strong
7 internal enemy supported by foreign forces, was it under the Constitution
8 the duty of every subject, including every political party, to participate
9 in every possible way in the defence of the territorial integrity and
10 constitutional order of the country? Was this the duty of every political
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Marcussen.
13 MR. MARCUSSEN: The question has been asked and answered, and the
14 witness is not accepting the answer he has been given, which is, yes, but
15 provided that certain steps were taken at the highest level of the state
16 in order to make these citizens act lawfully when they engaged in combat.
17 This has been said two or three times already by the expert, and the
18 answer is just not being accepted. We should move on to something else.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. If it's rejected, we'll move
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, please proceed. The
22 question has already been asked on several occasions. Please proceed.
23 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
24 Q. You stated more than once, when asked by the members of the
25 Trial Chamber during your examination-in-chief, and also in your testimony
1 in other cases, you said that you did not deal with the military
2 organisation of the other side, the opposing side, the Croatian
3 separatists, the Muslim separatists and so on; isn't that correct,
4 Mr. Theunens?
5 A. Your Honours, I think that the way the question is asked is a bit
6 misleading. In the other cases, in the other trials, I had to testify or
7 I was requested to prepare an expert report, the tasking was always that I
8 had to address the role of a particular group, and this happened to be
9 always -- for the Milosevic trial, it was the SFRY armed forces. In the
10 Martic trial, it was the forces of the SCO Krajina and subsequently the
11 RSK; and in the Vukovar trial, it was the Gas Motorised Brigade. I was
12 asked to address the role of these organisations, and when carrying out
13 that task, I considered it not necessary to address the role of any other
14 parties in the conflict.
15 Q. How is it possible, Mr. Theunens, for you to represent correctly,
16 objectively and impartially the overall military organisation of
17 Yugoslavia, of the Serbian people, covering -- without covering in your
18 analysis what happened on that plane -- what happened in that domain on
19 the opposing side? Why didn't you say the paramilitary formations
20 appeared first in Slovenia, then in Croatia, and only then among the
21 Serbs; isn't that essential for your expertise?
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This is an important question I
23 have wanted to put to you. I'm impatient to know what your answer is
24 going to be.
25 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, my report is not intended as a
1 conflict analysis. It analyses the role of one particular party in the
2 conflict. Now, I didn't -- or I don't consider it necessary, when
3 analysing the role of one party and the way how that party operated its
4 internal structure, the composition of that party, the relation of the
5 various components within that party with the other aspects of the
6 structure as well as with outside organisations or individuals, that in
7 that context there is the requirement to also address what the other
8 parties in the conflict may have done. It's not a question of looking at
9 action-reaction, and so on and so on. It's just a question of looking at
10 one party, in this particular case the SRS/SCP volunteers, and how they
11 interacted with the SFRY armed forces, i.e., the JNA, and what remained of
12 the TO of Croatia, I mean by that the self-established local Serb TO, as
13 well as other forces like the VRS and the SVK.
14 There is no need -- there was no need to explain or to talk about
15 ZNG or HDZ forces or MUP or the Slovene TO in order to address or to
16 understand what SRS volunteers were doing in the conflict and how they
17 interacted with the JNA but also with the SRS war staff. That would be
18 another subject matter.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Theunens, a few days ago you
20 showed us on a map where the JNA was positioned in Croatia, and if I
21 remember correctly, you indicated three positions on the map which,
22 according to you, were where the Serbs were located in Croatia, and this
23 is what you had explained to us. You said that they had been redeployed
24 because there were Serbs in that part of the country. This is how you saw
25 things. But when you provided this answer, I was asking myself whether
1 these positions could not be due to another fact, i.e., the presence of
2 the Croatia Army in these areas, and that in that case, if the expert only
3 looks into the ethnic composition to understand that the JNA's position
4 there, without addressing the other forces and without addressing the
5 positions of the other forces, there's something missing. So this is a
6 question that's now been put to you by the accused, which is the question
7 I have for you also.
8 Why, in your study, did you not look into the situation of the
9 other side to draw comparisons thereof and to draw conclusions thereof?
10 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, the map, which is visible now on the
11 screen, is actually a graphic representation of what Borisav Jovic, who
12 was the outgoing chairman of the SFRY Presidency, and Slobodan Milosevic,
13 on the 5th of July, 1991, discussed with General Kadijevic. Jovic does
14 not address the role of the Croats. Jovic just says that the JNA has to
15 be concentrated along a line with a western limit, an eastern limit and a
16 southern limit, in order to have the JNA concentrated in areas with a Serb
17 presence. Jovic doesn't talk about the Croats, so the map as I drew it in
18 the courtroom is only a representation of what Jovic says. It doesn't
19 address the behaviour or the activities of the force on the Croatian side.
20 It is clear that the end state, as it is explained by Kadijevic in
21 his book, when he talks about the situation that exists at the end of what
22 he calls the second stage of the second phase, when he says that all Serb
23 areas have been liberated, with the exception of a part of Western
24 Slavonia and so on and so on, it is clear that this end state is the
25 result of a conflict where two parties are involved. But it was not my
1 ambition to analyse the entire conflict. I only addressed Kadijevic's
2 book -- or I used Kadijevic's book in connection with contemporaneous
3 documents, the letter by Kadijevic or the order by Kadijevic and the
4 letter by Adzic before 1991 to show how the mission of the JNA had been
6 That is the only goal I pursued, which is, I think, a very modest
7 goal, and is far less ambitious than really analysing the entire conflict,
8 because in that case obviously I would also have addressed the role of the
9 Croatian forces, their organisation and their activities.
10 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Mr. Theunens, had you ever dealt with scientific or scholarly
12 work, you would know that not a single social, political or military
13 problem can be successfully viewed without looking at the historical
14 context and that all phenomena in society have a cause-and-effect
16 Now, your alleged research you directed in just one direction,
17 towards one segment, you just looked at one side, and it is impossible to
18 understand the cause and effect and to take in the entire historical
19 context; right?
20 A. Your Honours, as I've tried to explain, this report is not about
21 cause and effect. This report is about the role of a particular group and
22 the relations that particular group had with particular individuals. And,
23 I mean, looking back at my education and just -- just looking at my
24 bookshelf at home, there are plenty of books and studies from various
25 scientific level where it is perfectly possible that -- or which study
1 only one party that participate in a conflict. There may be, for example,
2 an analysis about the -- I don't know, the conflict in Vietnam, which
3 obviously will talk about the two parties, but there are also plenty of
4 studies on the organisation, structure and the role of the Viet Cong, as
5 well as there are different studies, books, on the role, organisation,
6 failures and so on of the US Armed Forces, and I would see this report in
7 the same context.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Theunens, whilst listening
9 to you, I was thinking of a video we saw not with you here but with other
10 witnesses, and in that video we see a young woman who is leaving Belgrade
11 to go to Vukovar, and she explains why she is going. If you like, we
12 could watch that video again, and when you do so, a lot of questions come
13 to your mind. Does this lady go to Vukovar because she's heard speeches
14 of Mr. Seselj and that's why she's going, or is she going to Vukovar
15 because she is a member of the SRS and she's received political
16 instructions, or is it the case that, as a simple citizen, an ordinary
17 citizen of Serbia, she thinks that she will defend her homeland by going
18 to Vukovar, or is she going there because of what happened to her family
19 during the Second World War, and so on and so forth.
20 A lot of questions can be asked about the behaviour of this,
21 quote/unquote, "fighter," but if you look at her participation in the
22 struggle only through the perspective of affiliation to the SRS, then this
23 might be a restricted interpretation of a participation in the struggle,
24 and that's what scientific approach is all about. You have to examine all
25 possibilities before reaching a conclusion with a certain level of
1 certainty, because if you only look at one side of a problem, without
2 addressing the others, then you risk making a mistake.
3 So what do you have to say to this?
4 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, in part 1 of the report, there is a
5 section number 3 which deals with Serbian volunteers and paramilitaries in
6 general terms. It's correct that I have not addressed -- or I have not
7 studied the particular motivation various volunteers may have had to
8 participate in the conflict. I think that would be outside my field of
9 expertise because it would be first and foremost, in my view, a study in
10 psychology and a use of propaganda, and when I say "psychology," group
11 psychology, which is obviously outside my field of expertise.
12 I think that the information I have included and the documents I
13 have reviewed in this section 3 of part 1 of the report is sufficient to
14 understand the development of the issue of volunteers and how it was
15 handled by the authorities in the Republic of Serbia, especially during
16 the latter half of 1991.
17 In part 2 of the report, in section 2, I do limit myself to SRS
18 volunteers -- SRS and SCP volunteers, but again I have not attempted to
19 make an inventory in order to determine why somebody, whoever, somebody
20 from Serbia or maybe somebody who came back -- a Serb immigrant who came
21 back from, I don't know, Germany or Canada, wherever, why that person
22 decided to join the conflict, but I limited myself to studying and
23 analysing how the SRS organised, trained or participated in the training,
24 participated in the finance, dispatched, and so on the volunteers which
25 were affiliated to it.
1 And I would really like to emphasise the importance, for example,
2 of the articles I include in the report, articles published in the
3 magazine "Velika Serbia," which is the SRS party magazine, because these
4 articles show very well what the motivation -- what the driving factor is
5 for volunteers who join the SRS, to participate in the conflict, and which
6 ideology they were implementing while participating in the conflict.
7 So the report only studies one particular group of volunteers, and
8 they were in the conflict, and these volunteers are volunteers from which,
9 from studying the documents, it is that they are affiliated with the
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 Mr. Seselj.
13 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Since you weren't ready to look at the cause-and-effect
15 relationship and the circumstances which forced the Serb population in the
16 Slovenian villages to seek volunteers from the Serbian Radical Party,
17 because where would the Serbian Radical Party be able to send its
18 volunteers if those volunteers weren't something that the people of those
19 places desired to have among them? Now tell me this, please: All Serb
20 fighters in this war who said of themselves that they were Chetniks, were
21 they necessarily volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party?
22 A. No, Your Honours, they were not, but I think when you look at my
23 report, from the references I use, from the sources, it is obvious that
24 there these statements like "Chetniks" and so on are not statements they
25 make without any factual basis.
1 Q. But here in your report, you introduced documents in which
2 Chetniks are mentioned, and there are no indices that those Chetniks were
3 in fact volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party; isn't that right?
4 A. Your Honours, if Mr. Seselj would give me -- would show me a
5 specific document or would give a reference for a document, we could
6 discuss it in detail.
7 Q. Well, you had that report by the officer, the security officer of
8 the Guards Brigade reporting to the Federal Secretariat in Belgrade. You
9 presented that here, and he said that the Chetniks killed prisoners of war
10 in some places. Do you remember that document?
11 A. Indeed, Your Honours, I remember that document, but in the same
12 paragraph the drafter of the document also makes reference to Mr. Seselj
13 and the speeches of Mr. Seselj. So I think we can conclude from that that
14 the drafter knows very well what he wants to say when he used the term
16 Q. In that same document, the author sets out the problems, how he
17 sees them, what he sees as being problems, and then he lists them. And
18 among others, he lists my speeches, and some Chetniks, and some other
19 problems. He puts that all in one heap. But where is there an indicator
20 that those Chetniks were, in fact, volunteers of the Serbian Radical
21 Party? You can see that the author is ideologically coloured, that he was
22 probably a communist --
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, can you give us the
24 number of that document?
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I have it here somewhere.
1 I've set it aside. But I don't want to waste too much time. That's my
2 biggest fear. It's a document that was already presented here in court
3 and signed by Lieutenant Colonel Dragoljub Dakic, I assume -- Dukic,
4 Dukic. It's a document under number 649. But, you know, I don't want to
5 go into that. I'd just like to discuss the problem, rather than looking
6 at paper, because we lose a lot of time looking at paper. But, anyway,
7 it's on the second page of that particular document, and this lieutenant
8 colonel enumerates what is being tolerated unjustly. He says
9 nationalistic ideological symbols, songs, speeches of Vojislav Seselj, the
10 liquidation of prisoners of war by the Chetniks, and so on and so forth.
11 Q. Sir, you see there before you a communist officer who doesn't like
12 anything that's nationalistic, and then in his report, he introduces
13 alleged cases of liquidation of prisoners of war, but he doesn't say who,
14 what, where, who liquidated them. A security officer must file a criminal
15 report straightaway. There was no criminal report. Did you ever wonder
16 why there was no criminal report, whereas the lieutenant colonel says
17 that's what happened too? This happened before the fall of Vukovar; isn't
18 that right? This is a report sent out before the fall of Vukovar, is that
19 correct, on the 7th of November, 1991, in fact; isn't that right,
20 Mr. Theunens?
21 Did you ever wonder, did you ask yourself why there are no detail,
22 detailed information there? Did this communist think the whole thing up,
23 imagine the whole thing about the liquidation of prisoners of war? And if
24 there had been liquidations, then he must have said, "So-and-so
25 prisoners were liquidated by so-and-so. I filed a criminal report with
1 the authorities, the District Court." There's none of that, nothing, just
2 a bare assertion which is not commensurate to what a lieutenant colonel
3 should be doing. Do you agree with me?
4 A. Your Honours, from this particular document we cannot conclude
5 whether a criminal report was filed or not, and if it was filed, by whom.
6 In the course of the investigation of -- for the Vukovar case,
7 numerous requests for assistance were sent to the Republic of
8 Serbia-Montenegro and subsequently to the Republic of Serbia to ask them
9 for reports, including criminal reports, on crimes that had happened or
10 allegedly happened during the operations in Slavonia, Baranja, Western
11 Srem, but we rarely received a particular response. This document, for
12 example, was only received by the OTP after March 2006, because that's why
13 this particular document, 65 ter number 649, is included in the addendum
14 to the report.
15 And I think to conclude my reply, it's important to note that
16 Mr. Seselj characterizes the chief of security at the Cabinet of the SSNO
17 as a communist officer who doesn't like nationalists, because I think that
18 summarises very well the problem we were seeing within the armed forces at
19 that stage, where recruits or conscripts do not want to serve in the JNA,
20 i.e., in the legal armed forces because they consider the JNA a communist
21 army, and therefore prefer to serve in party-controlled volunteer units
22 who follow or who adhere to an ideology which is, as Mr. Seselj calls it,
23 characterized or known as nationalistic.
24 Q. Well, you know, Mr. Theunens, that one of the reasons for the
25 unsuccessful mobilisation was that people didn't want to wear the
1 five-pointed red star, isn't that right, as a communist insignia; wasn't
2 that one of the reasons for which the mobilisation proved unsuccessful?
3 A. Indeed, Your Honours, but it's not just the symbol that counts, it
4 is everything that's behind that symbol. The five-pointed red star became
5 a symbol of something which was not appreciated or which was actually
6 rejected -- I correct myself, which was rejected by these volunteers who
7 prefer to serve in party-affiliated volunteer groups.
8 Q. Was it the communist officers who were the problem, who were
9 members of the League of Communists Movement for Yugoslavia? Can you
10 quote an example anywhere in the world where an army formed its political
11 party, and a communist one at that? When the League of Communists
12 disintegrated, the committee of the League of Communists within the JNA
13 made the decision for them to form their own political party, and that
14 party went to the elections in 1990 and was unsuccessful. Do you know
15 about that?
16 A. Your Honours, I have heard about the establishment of a party
17 called -- I'm not sure about the name, but it had the name -- it included
18 also the Party for Yugoslavia, and indeed there were efforts done in the
19 armed forces to include as many senior officers as possible. But
20 otherwise, communism was not introduced in 1990. Tito's vision of
21 communism existed throughout or applied throughout the existence of the
22 SFRY, and hence the defence doctrine of All People's Defence which was
23 introduced in 1968.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, the problem we have
25 here on the Bench is that we have already started this trial for quite
1 some time and we haven't heard any witnesses who were also volunteers and
2 could have told us how everything worked. That's a handicap for us. In a
3 way, you come too early, considering evidence we could have heard if
4 volunteers had testified before you.
5 Having said that, the question put to you by Mr. Seselj may be
6 significant for the future. The accused is asking you the following:
7 Apparently these volunteers wanted to serve in the armed forces, in
8 general, but they were hostile to the JNA, represented by the five-pointed
9 stars and whose officers were former communist officers, and basically the
10 JNA was the representative of a system that was in the process of
11 changing. There was some lack of confidence in the JNA, and these
12 so-called volunteers wanted to stick together, and they didn't have any
13 military training. Then that might explain some of the problems that
14 occurred later on. But apparently this occurred because -- or as a
15 reaction against the JNA and maybe not because of anything related to a
16 greater Serbia.
17 When these witnesses come and testify, we'll ask them, we'll ask
18 them why they became volunteers. But as far as you're concerned, although
19 in your report you only studied part of -- parts of the issues, based on
20 the conclusions of your report, can you tell us whether these volunteers
21 joined because of a greater Serbia or did they join because they wanted to
22 defend their nation, their homeland? And did they decide to form groups
23 of volunteers because they -- as a sort of reaction against the JNA that
24 was representative for the past? Can you please give me an answer.
25 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, the problem arises when you use the
1 term "greater Serbia" and then you ask, "Or did they join because they
2 wanted to defend their nation?" The question is, what is their nation,
3 because the JNA stood for all the nations and nationalities in Yugoslavia,
4 as did the SFRY armed forces, whereas based on the documents I reviewed
5 while preparing this report, volunteers who joined groups affiliated to
6 the SRS/SCP were driven by Serb nationalism. At least that is what I can
7 conclude from, for example, the interviews that are -- or the articles
8 published in "Velika Serbia," the party magazine of the SRS, where, for
9 example, Vojvodas or other volunteers are interviewed, and they all talk
10 about the requirement to protect the Serbs, the threats by the Ustashas
11 and the Turks, I mean these are derogatory terms, and so on. They don't
12 talk about the requirement to defend Yugoslavia, so that is the problem.
13 Instead of wanting to fight into the multi-ethnic JNA, even though
14 that multi-ethnicity was changing over time, they prefer to fight for a
15 particular cause, which is the Serbian cause. And they feel that, at
16 least in the beginning, the JNA is not serving that cause well, and
17 therefore they choose to fight in their own groups, and the cause being
18 the Serbian cause.
19 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Well, isn't it obvious that the Serbs were under threat with
21 Tudjman's rule and that that was the reason for the volunteers from Serbia
22 to come to the rescue before the JNA was involved in the conflict at all?
23 What happened first, let's look at that, the armed conflict between the
24 JNA and Tudjman's paramilitary formations, or the conflict between
25 bare-handed Serb people who didn't want to subjugate themselves to
1 Tudjman's paramilitary formations and asked for the assistance of
2 volunteers from Serbia? Which?
3 A. Your Honours, this is a question where, depending on the source,
4 there are different answers. It's obvious that when you ask a Serbian
5 source or when you consult a Serbian source, you will get a completely
6 different reply than when you consult a Croatian source.
7 My understanding, from comparing the different sources, is that
8 actually the Serbs in Croatia, when they felt that Croatia was becoming
9 independent and when they saw that the HDZ was gaining influence, they
10 started to arm themselves, for example, in the Krajina; and, for example,
11 they took control of certain police stations or they said that, "We don't
12 accept Croatian symbols anymore," independent of whether Tudjman was
13 already elected as a president.
14 It is correct also that the statements, the public statements
15 Tudjman made, were not very helpful to increase the confidence of the
16 Serbs to live in an independent Croatia. That's one of the problems, the
17 use of the media on both sides, where media in Serbia increased ethnical
18 fears, and actually the authorities in Croatia did nothing to calm down
19 these fears or to provide trust to the Serbs who felt threatened.
20 Q. What kind of an expert are you if you don't know that the official
21 name of the general's party is the League of Communists Movement for
22 Yugoslavia? So, in fact, you didn't deal with the role of that party at
23 all in the armed forces and in the war, isn't that right, because you
24 don't even know the official name?
25 A. Your Honours, I remember the name of the party now, but I have not
1 seen, when studying -- I mean, when looking at the documents I included in
2 the report, and other documents, I have not come across information that
3 convinced me of including information on the League of Communists Party
4 for Yugoslavia into my report.
5 Q. You here sent the OTP -- and when I said "you," you are the
6 Prosecution, because not much difference between you and Mr. Marcussen.
7 The document is under number 604, 604. It's a confidential document
8 signed by Lieutenant Colonel Milan Eremija sent to the Command of the
9 military District -- or rather the 1st Military District. And he mentions
10 there problems in the village of Lovas or the killing of prisoners because
11 they were forced to go into the minefields and clear up the minefields
12 with their own bodies, physically, and he is asking for the disarming of
13 the paramilitaries, especially the Dusan Silni, Chetniks, and Arkan's men,
14 Arkan's soldiers, and that organs of authority that should be included
15 into that action, and the organs of the Republic of Serbia. It is a
16 document of the 23rd of October. So there is some certain -- some
17 Chetniks who weren't in the JNA, is that correct, on the 23rd of October,
18 1991? Can we see from this that there were Chetniks who were not in the
20 A. Not specifically, Your Honours. He doesn't -- Eremija doesn't
21 state that -- I mean, he uses the term "paramilitaries," but it's not
22 clear whether these Chetniks or other paramilitaries are part of the JNA
23 or the local Serb TO or not.
24 Q. Had you studied that, you would know that the JNA wasn't in the
25 village of Lovas at all, but you weren't interested in that. Now, why
1 would he ask for the disarmament of a part of the JNA, why would he do
2 that, when we definitely asserted that at the end of October, all the
3 volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party in Slovenia were in the JNA?
4 After September, we didn't have any volunteers anywhere outside the JNA,
5 and you agreed with that, did you not? So these Chetniks mentioned here
6 by Eremija cannot be volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party; am I right
8 A. Your Honours, there are several questions included in this
9 question. First of all --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen.
11 MR. MARCUSSEN: There's a problem, in my view, with the question,
12 because it presupposes that the premise for the question is correct,
13 namely, that there was no JNA in the area. Now, I don't want to make
14 submissions on this because I don't want to influence the witness's
15 answer, but I just want to point this out on the record. Then we can deal
16 with it later.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't understand where your
18 objection lies, Mr. Marcussen. I really don't understand the objection.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, if I understand
20 correctly, you're saying that in that particular area, there was no JNA,
21 so you are certain of it, apparently. That's the premise you use, there's
22 no JNA there.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, on page 2, for
24 example, of the report, the penultimate paragraph, Lieutenant Colonel
25 Eremija says that in the village of Lovas, there was the Territorial
1 Defence of Lovas and the Dusan Silni Detachment. That's what Lieutenant
2 Colonel Eremija says. And I claim there were no volunteers of the Serbian
3 Radical Party there even if a JNA soldier happened to lose his way and
4 find himself there, because I know exactly where the volunteers of the
5 Serbian Radical Party were at the time.
6 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, according to documents I reviewed,
7 Lovas was located in the zone of responsibility of the unit of Colonel --
8 of Lieutenant Colonel Milan Eremija, i.e., the 1st Proletarian Guards
9 Mechanised Division. Whether at the time of the crime in Lovas there was
10 a physical presence of members of that unit in Lovas, we cannot establish
11 from this document.
12 In order to reply also to the previous questions of Mr. Seselj, I
13 know from documents and other information related to the Guards Motorised
14 Brigade in Vukovar that at times they removed volunteers from their zone
15 of responsibility even when these volunteers were subordinated to the
16 Guards Motorised Brigade, because in one case they discovered that the
17 volunteers were not behaving well, and the Guards Motorised Brigade
18 decided, "Well, we get rid of that."
19 And there's, for example, information that members of the
20 anti-terrorist unit of the Guards Motorised Brigade were involved in
21 disarming a small group of volunteers and kicking them out of the area.
22 I'm not able to see the other questions that were included in the
23 previous question of Mr. Seselj, but, anyway, Eremija states about the
24 role of the Dusan Silni Detachment, as well as Tiolovac [phoen], in the
25 crime in Lovas. He doesn't mention Chetniks in that particular context of
1 the crime in Lovas.
2 Q. Mr. Theunens, there were two groups of volunteers that the 1st
3 Guards Brigade removed from Vukovar, although they had previously been
4 under its command, but those groups were not volunteers of the Serbian
5 Radical Party. Did you find anywhere information showing that these were
6 members of the SRS, the ones removed for indiscipline? Have you found
7 that information anywhere?
8 A. No, Your Honours, but I didn't -- unless something went wrong with
9 the translation, but I didn't claim that they were volunteers of the
10 Radical Party that were removed by the Guards Motorised Brigade. I don't
11 remember the affiliation of these volunteers that were removed by the
12 Guards Motorised Brigade.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj.
25 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
1 Q. You ignored a very important source from which you could have been
2 able to see, for example, that a certain Jovan Kulic could never have been
3 a volunteer of the SRS, and therefore you've falsely represented him. You
4 could also have clarified which Chetnik Vojvodas were promoted to that
5 rank because they were volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party and which
6 were granted that title because they had fought on various fronts within
7 part of the regular armies of the Army of Republika Srpska or the Serb
8 Krajina and then later on joined the SRS and were granted that title
9 because of their merits, yet now you say you felt no need to apply to the
10 SRS to gain access to their archives because some members of the OTP felt
11 uncomfortable there. I assume you would not have introduced yourself as a
12 prosecutor, but as an objective expert who wanted to write an expert
13 report objectively. You are, in advance, narrowing down your sources, and
14 one can see here that you have no idea about the military organisation or
15 the events surrounding military organisation in the course of this war.
16 So that is a fundamental, methodological omission on your part.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Theunens, can you answer?
18 THE WITNESS: I will only answer to what I understand to be the
20 I don't agree that I ignored important sources. I think, for
21 example, that even more than the documents on the SRS war staff, the
22 articles that were published in "Velika Serbia" are essential to
23 understand not only the role of the Radical Party and Mr. Seselj in the
24 dispatching of volunteers, SRS volunteers, but more specifically the
25 ideology that is driving these volunteers while they're participating in
1 the conflict. And, for example, the information on Jovan Kulic, I drew
2 that from 65 ter number 958, which is an article published in number 12 of
3 "Velika Serbia," and I'm just looking for the title. It's called "Diary
4 of a Volunteer in the Kragujevac Chetnik Detachment," by Srecko
5 Radovanovic where he mentions his activities as an SRS volunteer, if I'm
6 not wrong, in Eastern Slavonia as well as Western Slavonia and other
8 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Theunens, Srecko Radovanovic doesn't say anywhere that
10 Jovan Kulic was a member of the Serbian Radical Party. He even represents
11 him as a captain first class, isn't that right, and that it's a Chetnik
12 detachment of volunteers from Kragujevac. Kragujevac sits in the centre
13 of Serbia and Jovan Kulic comes from the north of Vojvodina somewhere, so
14 he didn't belong to the Kragujevac Volunteer Detachment by virtue of his
15 origin. How come you didn't observe that? Srecko did cooperate with him
16 but Pulic [as interpreted] did not belong to the volunteers of the Serbian
17 Radical Party. It wasn't the party that sent him there.
18 A. Your Honours, it is correct that Jovan Kulic does not originate
19 from Kragujevac, he originates from Novi Sad, which is indeed located in
20 Vojvodina. However, the article, and it would maybe be helpful to see it,
21 indeed shows that Kulic and Radovanovic are cooperating, and I think it's
22 even mentioned in the same line, and one could draw from that the
23 conclusion that actually Kulic also part of that Kragujevac Chetnik
24 Detachment. Now, how he became a member, I cannot draw any conclusions on
1 Q. Mr. Theunens, you remind me of a historian who, when writing a
2 study, doesn't feel like digging in archives, so he uses newspaper
3 articles. You are unable to make a proper selection of sources. In your
4 view, a newspaper article has an equal value to an authentic document,
5 isn't that right, and its journalists who write newspaper articles?
6 A. Your Honours, I believe the article is published in a party
7 magazine which is, according to the information found in the party
8 magazine, has been found and is edited by Mr. Seselj. I believe that that
9 information is worthwhile to consider in the context of a report that
10 discusses the role of organisations, volunteer groups and others
11 affiliated with that party in the conflict.
12 Now, as to the importance of open source, including newspapers in
13 research, I think that is another discussion.
14 Q. Where does it say, Mr. Theunens, that I participated in editing
15 "Velika Serbia"; where did you find that information?
16 A. Your Honours, when you take the -- you have the magazine and you
17 take the first page, there is the editorial and it lists who are the
18 journalists who participate in the magazine, where it is printed and so
19 on. At least in one of the issues of "Velika Serbia," and I can give you
20 the ERN of that page, 0116-2337, it says that it's established and edited
21 by Mr. Vojislav Seselj.
22 Secondly, Article 78 of the Statute of the SRS, which is 65 ter
23 number 1990, states that "Velika Serbia" is the SRS Party magazine.
24 Q. Why are you lying, Mr. Theunens? It doesn't say anywhere here
25 that I established and edited the magazine. It just says that I'm the
1 founder and publisher, founder, the person who set it in motion, and the
2 publisher, the owner, that is. Where does it say that I edited
3 "Velika Serbia"?
4 A. Your Honours, I believe that Mr. Seselj and myself are talking
5 about the same thing. Maybe in the translation, certain words have gone
7 Q. Well, the founder and publisher is not the editor. "Velika
8 Serbia" always had an editor-in-chief. The first one was Srjan
9 Glamocanin. He was followed by Sinisa Aksentijevic, and now it's Elena
10 Bozic-Taljan [phoen]. Three editors-in-chief took their turns in that
11 position, and my name is nowhere to be found there. Why would I, as a
12 president of the party and deputy, also edit the party newspaper? I can't
13 do everything in the party, can I?
14 A. Your Honours, to come back to the origin of the question, the fact
15 that Mr. Seselj claims himself or states himself that he's the founder and
16 the publisher, in my view, when doing my analysis and applying the
17 intelligence cycle, i.e., checking the reliability of the source and the
18 credibility of the information, allowed to conclude for me that articles
19 on the activities of SRS volunteers published in "Velika Serbia" were an
20 important and reliable source in the context of the report I compiled.
21 Q. I catch you lying and then you want to answer some other question.
22 Well, let's move on to a third one, then.
23 We have already established --
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a second. I don't feel
25 that the witness has lied, because what is the problem? We are faced with
1 this "Velika Serbia," the official magazine of the SRS, which results from
2 the implementation of Article 78 of the statute of that party.
3 Mr. Theunens, have you looked up, in order to determine whether
4 articles could be written in this magazine outside of any control of the
5 party or was there a control on the content of the magazine by the party?
6 So, politically speaking, were the journalists independent politically
7 from the party, the party being the publisher of the magazine? This
8 question may be a bit complex. You may say that you are not in a position
9 to answer or else you may answer.
10 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, I'm not in a position to answer, but I
11 can only, I mean, provide this information, and that is that the articles
12 on the role of SRS volunteers are corroborated by other reports I have
13 seen, and, for example, one report by Srecko Radovanovic, actually this
14 article -- this is 65 ter number 958. The text can also be found in a
15 report Radovanovic sent to the SRS war staff. Yes, I was looking for the
16 65 ter number, but I don't remember that by heart.
17 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] May I go on?
18 Q. Mr. Theunens, you also mentioned the decision on disbanding the
19 Serbian -- the Chetnik movement of 1994, isn't that right, but you omitted
20 to quote the reasons why the Serbian Chetnik movement was being disbanded.
21 Do you remember those reasons?
22 A. Your Honours, I remember that I write about -- or that I include
23 the date for the abolishment of the Serbian Chetnik movement, and this is
24 on page 32 of the second part of the report, English page 32, but, no, I
25 haven't included the reasons why. But maybe they can be found in 65 ter
1 number 2042, which I use as the source of this information on the
2 disbanding of the Serbian Chetnik movement.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judge, sir, can that be put on the
4 screen, that document? I wasn't going to deal with it, but now I think
5 it's important.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, please, could we have
7 this document displayed, number 2042.
8 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Theunens, would you be so kind as to read out the reasons
10 listed for the dissolution of the movement, 1, 2, 3, and we'll see if
11 there are any on the following page.
12 A. Okay. First:
13 "Today, all the volunteers fighting for the freedom of the Serbian
14 people are called Serbian Chetniks, regardless of whether they are members
15 of the Serbian Radical Party or not.
16 "2. The nature of the Chetnik movement is deeply patriotic and
17 freedom-loving, but now when it is well established, it should not be
18 placed into a party-related, ideological or political framework.
19 "3. The Chetnik movement today is completely realised because it
20 is universally accepted by the entire Serbian population in all Serbian
21 states as a position, orientation and tradition."
22 Q. And on the next page?
23 A. "4. Powerful Serbian armies were formed in the endangered Serbian
24 states and their unity, in terms of leadership and command, should not be
1 Then we shall have to go to the next page:
2 "5. The enemies of the Serbian people tried to abuse the formal
3 organisation of the Serbian Chetnik movement as proof of their claim that
4 paramilitary organisations are active in the Serbian states, although
5 Chetnik volunteers acted exclusively under the command of the Serbian Army
6 in the war.
7 "6. The duplicating of the boards of the Serbian Radical Party
8 and the Serbian Chetnik movement in the internal structure of the party of
9 the Serbian radicals caused occasional misunderstandings and struggle over
11 "7. Members of other political parties also joined the Serbian
12 Chetnik movement, which caused collision in their political work."
13 Q. Are you aware, Mr. Theunens, that in Republika Srpska and in the
14 Republika Srpska Krajina, starting from 1991, various Chetnik
15 organisations were formed which had nothing to do with the Serbian Radical
16 Party and its section entitled the Serbian Chetnik Movement?
17 A. Your Honours, in my report I have included information on
18 Nikodin Cavic, who was, according to the report by Colonel Tolimir, the
19 chief of security and intelligence administration at the VRS Staff, the
20 president of the SRS in Banja Luka, so Bosnia-Herzegovina. I have also
21 included a document from the chief of the SRS war staff to Nikodin Cavic.
22 Articles, for example -- there's an article in "Velika Serbia"
23 on --
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please, Judge, sir, that's not an
25 answer to my question. He's just wasting my time. I want the witness to
1 answer my questions, not to talk about other matters and tell stories that
2 have nothing to do with my question.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen.
4 MR. MARCUSSEN: The witness should allow -- the witness should be
5 allowed to answer the question, or the accused must put some short
6 questions that the witness can answer in short.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. I've noted that when the
8 question is very lengthy, the answer may be lengthy as well, so perhaps
9 that short questions might lead to short answers, or else you're wasting
10 your time.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] What the witness tried to represent
12 as his answer is a story about the Serbian Radical Party, about
13 Nikodin Cavic who was its founder in Banja Luka, and so on and so forth.
14 My question was: Is the witness aware that beyond the reach of the
15 Serbian Radical Party and its Serbian Chetnik movement, starting in 1991,
16 on the territories of the Republika Srpska and Republika Srpska Krajina, a
17 rather large number of independent organisations sprang up which referred
18 to themselves as Chetnik, or "ramna gorski" [phoen], and they had nothing
19 to do with SRS, and the witness can answer that with a simple yes or no.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please answer.
21 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, I'm aware of that, but the reason I
22 gave the other information is that I included -- I was very careful not to
23 include such information in my report, because indeed there were different
24 groups using the name "Chetnik." However, I wish just to conclude, to
25 draw your attention to a statement -- public statement Mr. Seselj made in
1 June 1991, where he states that the SCP had established a Chetnik command
2 in Romanija, and that is 65 ter number 267 to be found on page 166 of the
3 second part of my report.
4 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
5 Q. I remember, Mr. Theunens, that statement of mine from 1991. But
6 as you have heard of it, did you check whether such a Chetnik command was
7 actually established in Romanija at that time, or was I making a statement
8 for propaganda reasons saying that the Chetnik command had been formed?
9 That was the year before the war in Bosnia. I had heard that the Muslims
10 had formed a paramilitary organisation, and the green berets, and to
11 counter them I said that the Chetnik command had been established in
12 Romanija. But did you investigate whether it was actually been done? No,
13 you didn't, did you?
14 A. Your Honours, I looked -- Your Honours, I looked into -- I looked
15 at -- I checked for information which would allow to corroborate or deny
16 this statement made by Mr. Seselj, and I have not been able to identify
17 such information, so I cannot draw any conclusion as to whether this
18 Chetnik command in Romanija became active or not, and if it became active,
19 when it became active. But there is, for example, the article -- the
20 interview with Slavko Aleksic, a Chetnik Vojvoda. Slavko Aleksic was the
21 commander of the Novo Sarajevo Chetnik Detachment who stated that even
22 though initially he was a member of the SDS, he quite soon joined the SRS
23 and organised his own -- in consultation with the SRS in Belgrade,
24 organised his own chapter of the Serbian Chetnik movement in his area.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Theunens, the problem that
1 any reasonable Judge may have regarding this is that Judges may observe
2 that many crimes have been committed by a number of various individuals
3 who might, and I insist on this, "might," might have been members of
4 political parties, and listening to your answers we discover that there
5 were volunteers on the ground who had different political affiliations.
6 There were volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party, but there were also
7 other volunteers. There were other volunteers. So there might be some
8 confusion in the mind of people who would not be sufficiently informed
9 about the various aspects of the Chetnik Movement, because in 1991, as we
10 can see, the Chetnik Movement is related to many various things, whereas,
11 as we heard, the leaders of this movement didn't want to control anything
12 else than what they had under their control. And apparently many efforts
13 were made to allege that a number of things that were not done by them
14 were done by Seselj's volunteers.
15 So it is quite important to examine everything that was done in
16 various areas and determine what was a crime and what was not a crime; and
17 if this has been done, then there is no problem alleging that a given
18 political party may be responsible or not.
19 So this is, you see, this is the issue as far as that kind of
20 thing is concerned.
21 What can you tell us about this, as an expert?
22 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, I'm conscious of the problem, and what
23 I have attempted to do, while drafting the report, is to always make the
24 distinction. And when, for example, the term "Chetnik" was used, to
25 always verify whether the use of that term referred to any linkage which
1 would be relevant in the context of my report, i.e., linkage to the SRS,
2 members of the SRS or the SRS war staff, or including Mr. Seselj. And
3 when I talk about SRS volunteers in various areas, I have included
4 documents from various sides, if I can express myself that way. There
5 will be military documents, but there will also be documents from the
6 radical party, including "Velika Serbia" articles.
7 In this context, the two orders, the order number 125 and the
8 order number 425, and they are 65 ter number 1841 and 2030, and they have
9 been tendered, these orders, where people -- where senior volunteers are
10 proclaimed Chetnik Vojvoda, are extremely helpful in this context, because
11 for each of the volunteers they include a short CV, including the areas
12 where these volunteers were active, and as well as information on their
13 relation with the SRS or the Serbian Chetnik Movement or the SRS war staff
14 while they are active as volunteers. And this is really -- this has
15 really been the -- yeah, the driving factor while compiling the report, is
16 to always make the distinction between claims like Chetniks or other
17 volunteers and information where a factual link between the volunteers and
18 the SRS can be established. And I hope that this is also visible while
19 reading the report.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right.
21 We'll carry on after the break. It is 10.30. We'll have a
22 20-minute break.
23 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 10.51 a.m.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have resumed our hearing.
1 Mr. Seselj.
2 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. Theunens, do you know that some other political parties in
4 Serbia, in taking over the Chetnik traditions, proclaimed Serbian Chetnik
6 A. Your Honours, I'm not familiar with that.
7 Q. So you don't know that the popular party of Milan Paroski
8 proclaimed some 15 Chetnik Vojvodas, and the Chetnik Vojvoda from World
9 War II joined them. His name was Markovic-Tularski, Milos
10 Markovic-Tularski. I'm not quite sure with regard to his first name, but
11 the surname is certainly correct. That is a Chetnik Vojvoda who, towards
12 the end of the war, joined the partisans, and the communists after the war
13 didn't touch him because of that, but there were a number of public
14 attacks on him, and within the National Populist Party he proclaimed some
15 15 Chetnik Vojvodas. Do you know that the Serbian Realist Bloc, in
16 accepting the Chetnik traditions, proclaimed Sinisa Vucinic as a Chetnik
17 Vojvoda. Have you ever heard of that?
18 A. Your Honours, I'm familiar with the name Milan Paroski. Now, when
19 I used the term "vojvoda" in my report, I always verified whether these
20 were Vojvodas that had been -- or Chetnik Vojvodas that had been
21 proclaimed by the SRS, and the source I used for that were the two orders
22 discussed earlier, order number 124 and number 425, which have been
23 tendered in evidence.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Theunens, the new piece of
25 information we have here, which was not contained in your report and which
1 so far I knew nothing about, is that the term "Vojvoda" was given by other
2 political parties, other than the SRS. Can you confirm this?
3 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, while preparing my report, I came
4 across the use of the term "Vojvoda" with names I could not link to the
5 Serbian Radical Party, and these may well be Vojvodas who may have been
6 proclaimed by other parties or maybe self-proclaimed Vojvodas who said,
7 "Well, from tomorrow on, I'm a Vojvoda." But I don't think it has any
8 direct relevance for my report, because as I mentioned, in my report, when
9 I use the term "Vojvoda," I have made sure that we're talking about
10 Vojvodas who have been proclaimed by the Serbian Radical Party, and more
11 specifically by an order signed by Mr. Seselj.
12 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Mr. Theunens, you've just inadvertently answered my next question
14 now. You said that you came across, in the documents, the existence of
15 self-proclaimed Chetnik Vojvodas, and that's precisely what my next
16 question was going to be. But you've already answered that question now.
17 But what does that mean, Mr. Theunens? Does that mean that the Chetnik
18 tradition took root and was not localised to just one political party?
19 That's the essential question, as far as I'm concerned, because you can
20 see there was a number of political parties that followed those
21 traditions, even the Serbian -- the Vuk Draskovic Movement to Serbian
22 renewal, although they formed the Serbian Guard paramilitaries, but they
23 followed Chetnik traditions, too, did they not? Do you know about that?
24 A. While preparing the report, Your Honours, indeed I came across
25 various information indicating that what was called "Chetnik tradition"
1 was quite popular among the nationalistic political parties and was used
2 as a kind of, yeah, motivation or ideology for their volunteers or their
3 own organisations.
4 Now, as I said earlier, I have been very careful in my report to
5 make sure that when I use the term "Chetnik," it can always be linked
6 through documents to the SRS war staff. I did not concern myself, in my
7 report, with the indiscriminate use of the term "Chetniks" by groups who
8 had nothing to do with the SRS or the SRS war staff.
9 Q. Mr. Theunens, it's important to me that you confirm here that
10 there were different Chetnik groups that had nothing to do with the
11 Serbian Radical Party and that there were quite a lot of other parties who
12 all -- which also revived the Chetnik traditions and were guided by them.
13 Is that a correct observation here on my part?
14 Don't think about it and wonder what Mr. Marcussen is going to say
15 to your answer. Just confirm what I've just said. You can't wriggle out
16 of this. You have to confirm.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen has got nothing to
18 do with this, for the time being. Mr. Theunens, please answer the
20 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honours.
21 My answer is that I've come across information indicating that
22 groups not affiliated with the SRS also used the terms "Chetnik" and
23 "Chetnik tradition."
24 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Now, do you know, Mr. Theunens, that the Serb adversaries in this
1 war, and it was a civil war, in essence, the Muslims, Croats, called or
2 referred to all Serb soldiers "Chetniks." They even referred to the JNA
3 as the "Serbo-Chetnik Army." Are you aware of that?
4 A. I am aware of the use of, in general, derogatory terms to
5 characterize or to identify the opposing side by all sides in the
6 conflict, including the use of "Chetniks" by the opposing side, i.e.,
7 Croats, Bosniak or Muslims and others.
8 Q. Can we deduce from that a joint conclusion, which is that when it
9 is said somewhere that certain Chetniks performed -- perpetrated a war
10 crime, for example, that does not automatically mean that those Chetniks
11 mentioned were automatically the members of the Serbian Radical Party;
12 would you agree with that? It doesn't mean that automatically, unless you
13 provide proof and evidence of that.
14 A. I would agree with that, Your Honours.
15 Q. Very well. If you say you agree, Mr. Theunens, in the end you're
16 going to agree with all my theses. I can see that coming.
17 Now let's take a look at this list of Chetnik Vojvodas that you've
18 mentioned quite a number of times, and it is Exhibit 1841.
19 Firstly, I notice, Mr. Theunens, in your report, and perhaps it's
20 a question of poor translation, but no difference is made between the word
21 "order" and -- "naredba" and "naredjenje," the two words. Is there a
22 distinction between these two words, meaning "order" in your language?
23 A. Your Honours, I haven't understood the words Mr. Seselj wants to
24 use. I mean, I heard "order," and the second word I haven't heard.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, please repeat your
1 question, and if possible spell out the word in your own language, the
2 word which means "order" and the word which means "command."
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I don't think I need
4 spell it out. "Naredjenje" can be a concept which is used in our country
5 in a sense of "command," an order, a naredjenje, to attack a stronghold.
6 "Naredjenje," an order to carry out an attack, to withdraw, whereas
7 "naredba," an order, can be a legal attack which can be general and
8 individual. So one legal act, that can be referred to as "naredba" can
9 regulate certain matters. For example, I, as president of the Serbian
10 Radical Party, have the right to issue a "naredba" order that at the
11 headquarters, party headquarters, smoking is to be prohibited in all
12 offices. This is "naredba," it's not a command act.
13 Perhaps the distinction does not exist in the English language.
14 I'm not an expert in English for me to be able to say. But it cannot be
15 "order." It is used -- the word "order" here is used in the sense of
16 command, as far as I know.
17 Now, I hope you're not going to discount that from my time, this
18 explanation I've given.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen.
20 MR. MARCUSSEN: I just on the record want to point out a problem
21 that has come up several times. Here the witness is -- I'm sorry, the
22 accused is testifying as to the meaning of certain words. He cannot do
23 that at this stage, and I just -- if the accused wants to put this sort of
24 thing in evidence, he must bring some evidence at some point in time. But
25 I just wonder about confusion down the line that reference is made by the
1 accused to statements he's made during cross-examination of various
2 witnesses as evidence in this case of any fact. So I say this to alert
3 the accused to this issue so that he can properly prepare his defence.
4 Thank you.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Marcussen.
6 Mr. Seselj, you have understood what the Prosecution has said.
7 The witness can only answer a question. So you have understood what this
8 is about, Mr. Theunens. Did you establish any distinction between the
9 order and the command? An order, according to Mr. Seselj, has more of a
10 legal meaning, i.e., an instruction which needs to be complied with,
11 whereas seemingly the word "command" would be less of a binding nature,
12 anything that comes under the meaning of that word.
13 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, according to SFRY Armed Forces
14 doctrine, there's no distinction between an order and a command, except
15 that a command is of a lower level. Looking at the hierarchy of orders
16 that can be given, we start with instructions. Then we have directives.
17 Then we have orders. Then we have commands.
18 Now, in the context of the proclamation of Chetnik Vojvodas, I
19 have not made a distinction. I would just like to add that the key issues
20 in relation to these proclamations, orders as I translated them, for me is
21 that they show the linkage between certain individuals and the SRS war
22 staff or the SRS as a political party, as well as the areas where these
23 individuals were active with SRS affiliated volunteers and what they were
24 doing there. It also shows that people who were given the title or
25 promoted to Vojvoda held a position of authority among their fellow --
1 among the other SRS volunteers. That was, for me, the main reason to
2 include -- or the key reason to include these orders on the proclamation
3 of Chetnik Vojvodas, and whether these were orders or commands and whether
4 there's a legal distinction or not was not my first preoccupation.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj.
6 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Theunens, Tomislav Nikolic, who was proclaimed the Chetnik
8 Vojvoda under number 12, where did he have authority over other
10 A. Your Honours, it would be helpful if we would see the document.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That is document 1841. But you're
12 going to take up too much of my time, looking at it now.
13 MR. MARCUSSEN: I think we have to move to the next page to see --
14 for the expert to be able to answer the question.
15 THE WITNESS: It is correct that the CV that is given for
16 Tomislav Nikolic does not provide information on whether or not he was in
17 charge or he led volunteers. I do wish to draw the Judges' attention that
18 on the third line from the top of the page, it is said that in the
19 beginning -- or this is the second line:
20 "In the beginning he organised and fitted out the volunteer units
21 of the Serbian Radical Party and the Serbian Chetnik Movement, he led and
22 actively participated in the battles in Slavonia where he
23 demonstrated ..."
24 And so on and so on. The use of the word "led," for me indicated
25 that he was in the position of authority and that, yeah, he was leading
1 people or volunteers.
2 Q. It doesn't say "leading" here, it says "predvodi." When the word
3 "predvodi" is used, it is a political term meaning being a head. It
4 doesn't say command. He wasn't in command, but he was courageous and
5 brave in fighting, and that's why he was proclaimed a Chetnik Vojvoda.
6 But he wasn't the commander of a volunteer unit.
7 A. Your Honours --
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Marcussen.
9 MR. MARCUSSEN: The accused is testifying again.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, I've noticed this.
11 Mr. Tomislav Nikolic, who is a person who is seemingly quite well
12 known, particularly a while ago, now he is declared a Vojvoda. And
13 according to your report and according to what other witnesses have said,
14 we are to understand that a Vojvoda is some kind of a military chief. In
15 this case, it looks as if we are told that this gentleman had perhaps
16 taken part in fighting in Slavonia, where he would have demonstrated a
17 great deal of courage, but we are not under the impression that he
18 commanded a unit.
19 Mr. Seselj indicated that in English, "led" means that he headed
20 these men, but this doesn't mean that he is commanding the men. So can
21 one be a Vojvoda without necessarily be heading a military unit, and is
22 that not a ceremonial distinction which does not call for or does not have
23 any consequences on anyone's administrative, political or military career?
24 To add to this, in item 13 I see that this person was commanding a
25 unit. This is what's written here. In item 13, "Ostojic," Ostojic was
1 commanding a unit, but the person before him, Mr. Nikolic, seemingly was
2 not commanding a unit.
3 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, Mr. Seselj himself defined or gave his
4 definition of the term -- of what he understood under "Chetnik Vojvoda" in
5 an interview that was published in his book "There are many idiots," or
6 it's a chapter that's called "There Are Many Idiots" in his book "Through
7 Political Galimatias," which is to be found in footnote 170 at part 2 of
8 my report, English page 72, where Mr. Seselj says -- sorry, that's 65 ter
9 number 1848. Mr. Seselj says:
10 "The title of Serbian Chetnik Vojvoda is the highest Chetnik title
11 and it is difficult to find a correlation between it and an army rank.
12 The closest would probably be the rank of major general. A Chetnik
13 Vojvoda commanded units up to the size of a division. Perhaps these
14 explanations for the public are not a bad thing."
15 I do agree that Mr. Seselj says "commanded," i.e., that he
16 probably makes a reference to history, and it could be the Second World
17 War or earlier existence of Chetnik Vojvodas. As it is in the military,
18 not every general major is in command of a unit. However, what I've tried
19 to explain in the report is that people who are proclaimed Vojvoda are put
20 in a position of authority, in particular in relation to the other
21 volunteers, which means that you -- in this kind of de facto situation
22 with volunteer units, detachments which are organised according to
23 military lines but are not always formalised in that way, that one can
24 lead people without commanding them. And I see "lead" more as a moral
25 authority, especially in the context of the ideology that is being applied
1 or that is being followed or adhered to by these volunteers.
2 So I agree that a distinction can be made in the context of
3 Chetnik Vojvoda between leading and commanding.
4 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Do you know, Mr. Theunens, that in World War II as well there were
6 Chetnik Vojvodas who never commanded a single Chetnik unit? Are you aware
7 of that?
8 A. Your Honours, I have read about the Second World War and how it
9 developed in the territory known as the SFRY, including the existence of
10 Chetnik Vojvodas. I was not aware -- I'm not aware of any specific
11 examples of Chetnik Vojvodas who were not in command of Chetnik units.
12 Q. You therefore have not heard of Chetnik Vojvoda Dobroslav Jevdevic
13 and that French spy, Yves Tomic, heard of him, the member of the French
14 intelligence, he heard of him, and knew that Dobroslav Jevdevic dealt with
15 political issues and negotiations and so on and so forth. And you'll find
16 that in the transcript. You said you followed the testimony of that
17 French spy, Yves Tomic. Did you say that yesterday?
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, I know. Beforehand, I knew
19 that Mr. Marcussen was going to raise an objection.
20 Mr. Seselj, Mr. Tomic, the expert, testified. Admittedly, this
21 expert did work for the Ministry of Defence in France, he told us so, but
22 for you to conclude that this gentleman is a spy, I think it's a far cry
23 from this. Why not? But you need to be able to provide evidence, and I
24 understand why Mr. Marcussen stepped in. He's saying -- yes, Mr. Seselj.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I don't assume, Mr. President,
1 that in Western countries it's a shame being a spy. We are inundated with
2 these things where spies are the number one figures, James Bond and
3 onwards. It's shameful to be a spy in Serbia, but in Western countries
4 people boast of the fact that they are spies.
5 But let's leave that aside. It's not essential.
6 Q. Was I in command of any Chetnik unit before Vojvoda Momcilo Djujic
7 proclaimed me a Chetnik Vojvoda? Do you know about that?
8 A. From the documents I reviewed while preparing the report, I've --
9 I can conclude that certain volunteer -- SRS or SCP volunteer detachment
10 were deployed upon the orders of Mr. Seselj. And when I draw this
11 conclusion, I draw it from the statements of the people who were in charge
12 of these volunteer detachments.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think that you must
14 give me at least one hour of my time back which this witness intentionally
15 has wasted. I'm asking him whether he knows that I was in command of a
16 Chetnik unit before Vojvoda Djujic proclaimed me to be a Chetnik Vojvoda,
17 does he have any information to that effect, and his answer was that he
18 has information that I ordered somebody over there to deploy in a certain
19 locality, et cetera. What's all that about? He's just gobbling up my
20 time without answering my questions, and this is a serious problem. That
21 was the same thing with Oberschall and Yves Tomic and it's repeating
22 itself. And is it the Prosecution that is systematically preparing its
23 witnesses in that fashion?
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Maybe there's some
25 misunderstanding here. From what I understood, Mr. Seselj is asking you
1 whether you saw any documents that established that he had commanded
2 volunteer units in the way a Vojvoda commands his men, and you answered by
3 saying, "Yes," seemingly, and you said that you had reviewed a number of
4 documents, and you indicated that you did have documents that established
5 that Mr. Seselj did send volunteers on the ground. So that is the way in
6 which you answered this question. So you have not avoided his question.
7 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have to reformulate
8 my question.
9 Q. Did I call myself -- self-proclaim myself Chetnik Vojvoda? Did I
10 deserve that by having commanded a Chetnik unit prior to that, before
11 that, before I was given the title?
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, we now have a very precise
14 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honours, and I apologise for missing that
15 part of the question.
16 No, I didn't come across any information indicating that
17 Mr. Seselj was in command of Chetnik units prior to the 28th of June,
18 1989, when Momcilo Djujic, who was the chairman of the movement of Serbian
19 Chetniks of Ravna Gora, proclaimed him Chetnik Vojvoda.
20 And, excuse me. The document that explains the motives for Djujic
21 to appoint Seselj -- Mr. Seselj to -- or to proclaim him a Chetnik Vojvoda
22 can be found on page 73 of part 2 of the report, and is 65 ter number 88.
23 Q. Does that mean, Mr. Theunens, that the title of Chetnik Vojvoda
24 can have some military equivalent from a captain first class to major
25 general in rank, and you quoted me there, but it does not necessarily have
1 a military equivalence, so it needn't be strictly related to any military
2 functions and the performing thereof; am I right in saying that?
3 A. Indeed, Your Honours, I will repeat myself, that it doesn't have
4 to mean "command," but from looking at the documents included in the
5 report, I draw the conclusion that a Vojvoda is a position --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, Mr. Theunens. You've
7 been asked a very specific question, and I'll ask it again on my own
9 Is it possible to be proclaimed a Vojvoda without having had a
10 military command prior to that? Mr. Seselj is giving you his own example.
11 He was proclaimed a Vojvoda, whereas he had no military command.
12 Therefore, the answer should be "yes" or "no."
13 THE WITNESS: The answer is "yes." Indeed, the answer is "yes."
14 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Look at the list, 124, on the proclamation, and answer this
16 question first: Why, very often in your report, instead of using the term
17 "proclamation" being proclaimed a Chetnik Vojvoda, you use the term
18 "promotion" instead of "proclamation"?
19 A. Your Honours, I use these terms interchangeably. Why? Because
20 from looking at the short CV that was included in -- for each individual
21 in the proclamation orders, and at the same time looking at the position
22 held by these individuals, the fact of being proclaimed a Vojvoda also
23 included a promotion, in my view.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You are a Belgian national. You
25 speak French as well. You know that there can't be any confusion between
1 "proclamation" and "promotion." The impact of these two events are not
2 the same. We can review all the Vojvodas here, starting with Aleksic at
3 number 1, and apparently some of them were proclaimed Vojvodas without
4 receiving a promotion. Let's take the case of Nikolic, the most
5 significant case. He was proclaimed a Vojvoda, but what did it bring to
6 him? He did not receive any promotion, did he?
7 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, the orders indeed state "I proclaim."
8 Now, I didn't see such an important distinction between proclaiming and
9 promoting. The effect is that from the day they are proclaimed Vojvoda,
10 these people identify themselves or are identified by others as Vojvodas.
11 Now, I don't claim that it included an increase in pay, rank, or military
12 rank or whatever. No, I just state that from the day they are proclaimed
13 Vojvoda, they consider themselves, and also the others, in particular the
14 volunteers that are part of the detachments, as a Vojvoda.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's take number
16 10, Kameni. He was the commander of the Leva Supoderica Volunteer Unit.
17 He was proclaimed a Vojvoda. Did he change anything in his military
18 activities? What did it bring to him? What promotion would he have
20 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, I haven't come across documents
21 indicating any participation of Lancuzanin in the conflict after 1992. So
22 when he's proclaimed a Vojvoda in 1993, it's difficult to draw any
23 conclusion as to whether the proclamation to Chetnik Vojvoda has any
24 military impact for Lancuzanin.
25 However, for others, Slavko Aleksic, I think he's number 1 on the
1 list, there we -- I see from the other documents I have consulted that
2 he's considered a self-proclaimed Vojvoda by the Command of the Sarajevo
3 Romanija Corps. And I've also included in my report a document where the
4 Command of the VRS Sarajevo Romanija Corps provides a very negative
5 assessment of this whole Chetnik Vojvoda proclamation ceremony and the bad
6 affect it has in his view on overall morale and discipline. And that
7 document, that specific is included in my report.
8 Maybe we can Slavko Aleksic, number one. It's on the first page.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, can you please
10 display number 1.
11 THE WITNESS: Aleksic is the commander of the Novo Sarajevo
12 Chetnik Detachment already prior to being proclaimed Vojvoda, but from the
13 documents, VRS documents including the Sarajevo section of part 2 of the
14 report, we can see that he is considered or he is called a Vojvoda, or a
15 self-proclaimed Vojvoda, after being proclaimed a Vojvoda. So it has
16 something implications on the level of authority the person has or his
17 level within the structure.
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Seselj, hold on, because I'm unsure about the
19 importance of this issue of whether a Vojvoda is someone who has commanded
20 Chetnik units in battle. Now, I understand you to mean that normally the
21 title of a Vojvoda is awarded to someone who has led Chetnik forces in
22 battle and has done so convincingly, but you also then seem to say that,
23 in your own case, you were appointed a Vojvoda without having ever taken
24 part in active battle and without having commanded a Chetnik unit.
25 In the letter in which you were appointed, and I'm quoting from
1 the letter of 28 June signed by Momcilo Djujic, it does say that: "You
2 have joined the first combat ranks to fight for freedom for the Serbian
3 people and the restoration of the Serbian state." And it goes on to say
4 that you have recognised the -- or you have been recognised for your
5 "heroic struggle and resolute conduct." And yet if you go on on the next
6 page in the expert report, you will see that according to the SRS
7 documentation, the rank of Chetnik was used during the conflict in Croatia
8 and BiH "to honour volunteers who had distinguished themselves during
9 battle." And I'm quoting from page 74 of part 2 of the expert's report.
10 Now, my question to you, Mr. Seselj, is: What is the significance
11 of a Vojvoda having fought in battle? Why is it important for us to
12 understand that sometimes apparently Vojvodas can be appointed even if
13 they have not taken part in active combat?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The first part of your question,
15 with respect to my proclamation, well, there's "combat" mentioned,
16 "fight" mentioned, it's my dissident struggle, why I went to prison, why
17 my books were banned, and why for years I was persecuted. It wasn't an
18 armed struggle, but it was an important struggle, because as a Serb
19 nationalist I was resolute in fighting the communist regime. Now, on the
20 basis of that, Vojvoda Djujic thought that I merited the title.
21 Now, here, from this proclamation, what you can see is this, that
22 the Chetnik Vojvodas were not proclaimed with this title in order to
23 command units, but they received the title of Chetnik Vojvoda
24 subsequently, once they had proved themselves successful in commanding
25 units. Some of these people were officers holding ranks. Kameni --
1 Lancuzanin Kameni was a reserve first class captain by rank; Slavko Crnic
2 was a major of the Army of Republika Srpska; Slavko Aleksic was a
3 lieutenant; Nedeljko Vidakovic, lieutenant again. So some of them had army
4 ranks, others didn't. But after so many years, and this dates to 1993, so
5 they were fighting for two years already and were in command of certain
6 units, as a mark of recognition for their heroic struggle and discipline,
7 I give them this title. It didn't mean any promotion, it didn't carry
8 along with it any promotion, nor did anybody have to recognise it. The
9 title itself was an honourable thing to be proclaimed. He could command
10 after that or never command anybody after that. But it's a token of
11 respect, and people refer to that person as
12 "Vojvoda," just like the British title "sir," and then people refer to
13 somebody who has been knighted as "sir." So on the basis of his merits he
14 is given the title of Vojvoda and then people refer to him, when
15 addressing him say "Vojvoda." And he has a certificate saying that he is
16 truly a Chetnik Vojvoda, so it's outside any military hierarchy.
17 And taking my example and the example of Tomislav Nikolic, we can
18 see that we gained this title as politicians, not as commanders.
19 Afterwards, we'll get to what I ordered and what I could order
20 once the war had already broken out, but the title of Chetnik Vojvoda is
21 something that I was given far before any war broke out; in 1989, in fact.
22 So that's the crux of the matter and the essence of it, and I
23 think that needed to be explained.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Theunens, we've just
25 listened to this rather long statement of Mr. Seselj, and from what I
1 understand, that according to him this is an honorary title that is given
2 to someone after the events. It's a title that may be used that the
3 holder of this title, because this person might still be in command of a
4 particular unit, but that is not necessarily the case. Do you agree with
5 this explanation or not?
6 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, the party statute of the SRS in
7 Article 85, and this is 65 ter number 1990, actually explained that
8 Vojvoda is a rank, and this is on page 74 of my report, so I don't agree
9 with the definition Mr. Seselj gives. I think that even though he doesn't
10 include a military promotion as to a military rank which is recognised
11 within the SFRY Armed Forces, the attribution or the -- of the title or
12 rank of Vojvoda increases the authority of the particular volunteer among
13 his other SRS volunteers within his volunteer group, and he uses that
14 title during battle. And the other parties that are involved, for
15 example, the VRS, are aware of the title being used and don't necessarily
16 recognise it and call him then a so-called Vojvoda. But it's more than an
17 honourific title.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Apparently we are -- the
19 question is now whether this is a title or a rank. Our expert witness
20 tells us that under Article 85 of the party statute, it is a rank.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It has to be shown here. I can't
22 have all the papers before me, Judge, sir. If he told us what number it
23 is, let's see it here.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, can we have document
25 1 --
1 MR. MARCUSSEN: 1990, I believe.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, 1990. Article 85 just
3 quoted by the witness.
4 MR. MARCUSSEN: It's on page 7 in the English version.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judge, sir, you can see that we're
6 being misled here. In Article 85, it says the title of Vojvoda can be
7 granted to an individual who cumulatively meets the following conditions.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, please read Article
9 85 in your own language, because in English we see the word "rank."
10 Please read it out in your own language, and the interpreters will
11 translate it for us.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The original word is "zvanje." Let
13 the interpreters confirm, it's a "zvanje," not "rank"...
14 THE INTERPRETER: "Zvanje," literally means "location," the
15 interpreters note.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] ... can be granted to a person who
17 achieves the following -- who fulfills all the following conditions: As
18 distinguished fighter in all fields of the Serbian peoples struggle for
19 Serbian national rights. So that means in all domains, the political
20 domain, the cultural domain, it doesn't have to be an armed struggle, for
21 the defence of Serbian national rights. And then a distinguished fighter
22 for the defence of Serbdom and the honour, dignity, culture, and
23 traditions of the Serbian people, that he is respected in his living and
24 working environment, that he's a participant in combat, a model soldier
25 and officer, at the time when the Serbs are conducting their defensive
1 war, in times of war, whenever war is waged. But you can also become a
2 Vojvoda when there is no war.
3 This article is so clear that it solves all the problems being
4 created by the Prosecution.
5 JUDGE HARHOFF: My question to you a while ago was: Why is it
6 important for the Chamber to understand this distinction? What is the
7 significance in relation to your case?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The expert keeps insisting that
9 acquiring the title of Vojvoda brought new power to a person. My case is
10 that acquiring the title of Vojvoda brought no particular power, only
11 honour. That's my case, and that's why it's important, Judge.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Theunens, when Mr. Seselj
13 read out Article 85, the interpreter from the French booth used the word
14 "titre," "title" and not the word " grade" or "rank." Therefore,
15 according to Article 85, "title," then, not a rank is being awarded; and
16 if it's a title, it does not imply that someone will receive a promotion,
17 be in command of anything, or it doesn't mean the same thing. What do you
18 think, because you speak French as well as English, you're perfectly aware
19 of the difference between "rank" and "title"?
20 THE WITNESS: Indeed, Your Honours, there is a distinction. I
21 mean, it's a different word. In English, it was translated as
22 "vocation." But when I come back to the report, I -- and I will just
23 summarise that, I do not claim that when somebody becomes -- is proclaimed
24 Vojvoda that suddenly he's put in command of a unit. As we can see from
25 the proclamation order, some of these people were already in command. The
1 least we can say is that the proclamation to Vojvoda confirms their
2 position of command, if they were in command before, and if not, the least
3 one can say -- or in addition one can also say that actually it confirms
4 their authority over the volunteers. And that was, for me, the most
5 important aspect in the whole debate over Vojvodas and the authority and
6 the powers they had.
7 Looking at the volunteer groups or detachments, the SRS volunteer
8 detachments, how they were organised, how they operated, I believe that
9 it's of key importance to know that certain people who were in command of
10 these detachments were actually confirmed by Mr. Seselj or their authority
11 was being confirmed through the proclamation to Chetnik Vojvoda, and that
12 this proclamation to Chetnik Vojvoda also had an effect on the respect and
13 the authority these Chetnik Vojvoda enjoyed from their volunteers in their
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen.
16 MR. MARCUSSEN: If I can just suggest that I think we -- there
17 might be a discrepancy in the English and the French translation of the
18 word "zvanje," which is used in the English transcript at page 65, line
19 14, and I don't blame the interpreters, who have to do this on the fly. I
20 was going to suggest that maybe the Chamber direct the CLSS to file a
21 short note which explains these terms so we have that on the record and
22 allow the interpreters time to come up with a right definition in both
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, we'll ask the CLSS to
25 provide a translation of this word.
1 But let me come back to your previous answer, Mr. Theunens. You
2 stated that the rank or title of Vojvoda gives authority to the holder of
3 this title. In normal times, I would agree with you, but when you look at
4 a document, when you find a document that proclaims someone to the rank or
5 title of Vojvoda a few months or a few years after the events, then it
6 does not add up.
7 Let's take the case of Kameni. Unfortunately, I don't have the
8 document in front of me. That's why I do not like working with the
9 e-court system. It's really a handicap for me, as a judge, because if I
10 had the document in front of me, I would have been able to check
11 immediately on what date this order was issued by Mr. Seselj for the
12 proclamation of these Vojvodas.
13 When he was proclaimed a Vojvoda, the Vukovar events had already
14 taken place, so it was not going to give him any additional authority.
15 THE WITNESS: I agree with Your Honours in relation to Lancuzanin.
16 The order dates from the 13th of May, 1993. But when I say "authority,"
17 it is authority within this organisation of the Serb Radical Party
18 including the volunteer detachments this Radical Party has in the field.
19 It is true that we have no information on the participation of
20 Milan Lancuzanin in the conflict after 1992. Now we can only speculate on
21 what the title of Vojvoda meant in practice for Lancuzanin.
22 But the reason why I spoke about authority among the volunteers
23 who were part of the detachment the Vojvodas were in charge of, I was
24 referring to people like, for example, Aleksic who were already in command
25 of a detachment prior to the proclamation to Vojvoda as well as
2 I also put in my report that the people in charge -- or it were
3 the Chetnik Vojvodas who were in charge of SRS volunteer detachments. Even
4 if they were proclaimed SRS detachment --
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me interrupt you, because we
6 are spending a lot of time on this.
7 If you take the case of Aleksic, I would agree with you if the
8 proclamation indeed gave him additional authority as a commander, but to
9 establish that, we would have need to check -- need to check that as soon
10 as he was proclaimed Vojvoda, the unit he belonged to or the services he
11 belonged to gave him additional tasks, a promotion, and I don't have this
12 information, I don't have it. What I have is your statement, and what you
13 tell us is not supported by any evidence.
14 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, when I use the word "authority" in the
15 context of volunteer detachments, I use it in a less formal way than you
16 use it. It has to do with, yeah, authority in the sense of authority as a
17 human being among these volunteers. We see the volunteers were part of
18 Aleksic's detachment, see that their commander is being confirmed by the
19 president of the Radical Party, who is the basis for their ideology and
20 the reason why they participate in the conflict, see that their commander
21 is being confirmed not only in his position as commander, but he's
22 actually given an additional call it title or rank by the president of the
23 party, and that's what I mean by the authority of the Chetnik Vojvoda
24 among his volunteers. It's an informal thing with, of course, effects in
25 practice on the functioning of that individual as a commander of a
1 volunteer detachment.
2 Q. Mr. Theunens, are you able to answer the following brief questions
3 with just a "yes" or "no," please? Did Slavko Aleksic, a volunteer whom
4 the Serbian Radical Party from Serbia sent from Serbia to fight at the
5 Sarajevo front; yes or no? Was Slavko Aleksic a volunteer?
6 A. I'm not sure about the translation, but Slavko Aleksic was born in
7 Sarajevo and he was not sent to Sarajevo by the SRS, but he joined -- I
8 think the article in "Velika Serbia" stated that he was first a member of
9 the SDS. He was unhappy with the SDS, and he then sought contact with the
10 SRS in Belgrade and established a local department of the Serbian Chetnik
11 Movement in Sarajevo.
12 Q. I must ask you once again to give me short answers.
13 Do you have information showing that the Serbian Radical Party, in
14 the unit commanded by Slavko Aleksic throughout the war, and that was a
15 company of a certain brigade of the Sarajevo Romanija Corps, that the
16 Serbian Radical Party sent a single volunteer to that unit ever?
17 A. Your Honours, I don't -- I'm -- I don't have such information.
18 However, I believe that it would be helpful to show or to have a look at
19 65 ter number -- one second. I'm just looking for the 65 ter number in my
20 report. Yeah, I will come back with the 65 ter number later.
21 But, anyway, there's an article, a "Velika Serbia" article on
22 Slavko Aleksic and it describes also the circumstances how he became in
23 charge of his volunteers, and actually -- yeah, I will find it -- I will
24 find it later.
25 Q. Why talk for so long, Mr. Theunens, when you have not a shred of
1 evidence that a single volunteer was sent to that unit by the Serbian
2 Radical Party? As for Mirko Blagojevic, a volunteer whom the Serbian
3 Radical Party sent from Serbia to Bijeljina to fight, was that so; yes or
4 no, please?
5 A. Based on the statements Mirko Blagojevic made, and I believe that
6 you, yourself, Mr. Seselj, made statements on the involvement of -- on the
7 role played by Blagojevic in Bijeljina, that is correct.
8 Q. That's correct that we sent him to Bijeljina from Serbia to fight
9 or that we did not send him? Which is correct?
10 A. That he was -- I mean, what is correct is there was a link between
11 Blagojevic and the Serb Radical Party, and I want to -- I think it's
12 better if we use documents to illustrate what we are trying to say. That
13 is 65 ter number 1032, where Mr. Seselj -- this is a press conference on
14 the 9th of April, 1992, where Mr. Seselj identifies Mirko Blagojevic as
15 the chairman of the Serbian Radical Party, regional board for Northeastern
17 Q. Mr. Theunens, this is all being broadcast on the internet. The
18 public is following the way you are undermining my cross-examination. I'm
19 asking you a very concrete question. Did we send him to fight from Serbia
20 or was he from Bijeljina, born in Bijeljina, where the war found him?
21 That's the essence of my question.
22 A. Your Honours, based on my recollection, Blagojevic was from the
23 area, so he was not sent from Serbia. But what I'm trying to -- I'm
24 trying to explain the links between the role or the participation of
25 Blagojevic in the conflict in Bijeljina and the Serbian Radical Party.
1 Q. Mr. Theunens, don't explain things I'm not asking you about. My
2 questions are quite concrete. I had links with Vladimir Seks, the speaker
3 of the Croatian Parliament, because he was an anti-communist dissident
4 before the war, so he visited Belgrade and socialised with me, but we were
5 not on the same side in this war, so what does that mean?
6 According to your documents, did the Serbian Radical Party ever
7 send a single volunteer from Serbia under the command of Mirko Blagojevic?
8 A. Your Honours, there are two questions, I think, because I think
9 the first question deals with the linkage between Blagojevic and the
10 Radical Party, and the second question deals with whether or not the
11 Radical Party sent volunteers to Bijeljina.
12 For the second part -- --
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please, Mr. President, put a stop to
14 this. I don't have the patience to listen to this. I didn't put two
15 questions now, but only one: Did the Serbian Radical Party ever send a
16 single volunteer under the command of Mirko Blagojevic? That was my
17 question. You are tolerating this waste of time. I ask that he answer my
18 questions with precision.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, did the Serbian Radical
20 Party send Blagojevic to Bijeljina as a volunteer of the party, yes or no?
21 THE WITNESS: Do we mean by "send" that he was sent from Belgrade,
22 or do we mean by "send" that he participated in the conflict in Bijeljina
23 as a person in charge or in command of Serbian volunteers, SRS volunteers?
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This again is a language
25 problem. "Sent," to send. According to your report, we get the feeling
1 that certain people were leaving Serbia to get to the ground outside of
2 Serbia, so there's a move, but in the recent time we have also heard
3 evidence that allows us to believe that certain local people like Kameni,
4 for example, that certain locals were joining the Serbian Radical Party,
5 so these people joined the party, they are not sent.
6 THE WITNESS: I understand the question better now, Your Honours.
7 Blagojevic was from the area, and Mr. Seselj himself stated that,
8 "It were not our units from over here, i.e., from Belgrade, but our local
9 members from over there did it," headed by Mirko Blagojevic.
10 Mirko Blagojevic is a Vojvoda. And this is an expert which is mentioned
11 on English page 179 of part 2 of the report.
12 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Did Mirko Blagojevic, after the 13th of May, 1993, when he was
14 proclaimed the Chetnik Vojvoda, ever participate in a single battle after
16 A. I haven't come across any documents indicating participation of
17 Blagojevic in battles after his proclamation to Chetnik Vojvoda.
18 Q. There is no doubt that the next on the list, Branislav Vakic was a
19 volunteer of the Serbian Radical Party who was sent to the front from
20 Serbia. After he was proclaimed the Chetnik Vojvoda, however, do you have
21 a shred of evidence that he participated in the war again after his
23 A. Your Honours, it would be helpful if I could see the document.
24 Q. The document is in front of you. Here it is on the screen. Let
25 them turn the next page in English. You can see it in the Serbian.
1 A. Your Honours, I haven't come across any documents indicating that
2 Vakic -- or showing Vakic's participation in the conflict after his
3 proclamation to Chetnik Vojvoda on 13th of May, 1993.
4 Q. Please answer "yes" or "no" so we can move faster. With regard to
5 Nedeljko Vidakovic, was he a volunteer of the Serbian Radical Party who we
6 sent from Serbia to Herzegovina to fight in the war? He's the fourth on
7 the list.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute before the witness
10 Mr. Seselj, if you go one by one to each of the people on the
11 list, you will waste a lot of time. I remind you that you are left with
12 less than two hours. So if you have important topics to address, you had
13 better do that. If you list all these people, it will take quite a lot of
14 time. It's for you to decide, of course, but it's your free choice, but
15 I'm calling your attention to this.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this is very
17 important to me because it provides the answer to innumerable questions.
18 But I ask that you and your colleague, Mr. Harhoff, issue a decision
19 making up for the time that has been wasted by the -- by the attitude of
20 the witness. We have wasted a lot of time because of his extensive
21 replies and avoidance of responding to my questions.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
23 continues]... give additional time, depending on the useless speech, as
24 you call it, of a witness. It is for the person who is asking the
25 questions to take into consideration the personality facing him and doing
1 what has to be done in order to control the answers of the witness. So
2 when you put very lengthy questions, and I already told you this, it calls
3 for lengthy answers. If you want answers by "yes" or "no," put short
4 questions to the witness so as to enable him to answer by "yes" or "no."
5 But you cannot take advantage of a lot of time spent by the witness in
6 answering, you cannot take advantage of this to ask for additional time,
7 because in that case the Prosecution would do the same. It's for you to
8 think about this beforehand.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I keep thinking, Judge, and I
10 think at the speed of light, but then I have to wait for a long time until
11 I get a reply, and then the reply is never direct. But if you want to
12 tolerate this, I have no choice but to continue. I don't have much
13 choice. I think it's very important to go through all these Chetnik
14 Vojvodas in order to show that about half of them were volunteers from
15 Serbia who went to fight at the front and that half were local people who,
16 due to their merits in the war after they joined the Serbian Radical
17 Party, were honoured with this high title. That's the essence.
18 Q. Mr. Theunens, you received three binders of documents yesterday. I
19 asked you to go through them. I hope you have, and I hope that you can
20 answer a few questions based on these binders. The Trial Chamber also has
21 them, and I think there's no need to go through the documents one by one,
22 because all the documents make up a whole.
23 Have you studied these documents, first of all, the ones you got
25 A. Your Honours, I reviewed the documents and I noted that especially
1 in the third binder, there is a lot of translations lacking.
2 Q. Is it clear to you, from the translations you did get and the
3 documents you did get, that all these documents refer exclusively to the
4 participation in the war of three persons: Slavko Aleksic, Branislav
5 Gavrilovic-Brne and Vasilje Vidovic? Is that clear to you?
6 A. Yes, Your Honours.
7 Q. From these documents, can we indubitably see that all three men
8 were within the structure of the Army of Republika Srpska throughout the
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen.
11 MR. MARCUSSEN: A number of these documents are not dated, so it
12 is actually difficult to make any conclusions in that regard. And a whole
13 lot of -- the majority of the documents are actually outside the
14 indictment period. They are from 1994 and 1995 and later dates. There
15 are also documents from 1992 and so on, but I just wish to point this out
16 so there's no confusion later on about what the record actually is,
17 because we're not apparently going through these documents, but we're
18 talking about 183 documents in bulk, from the way the questions are being
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You are very aware of the
21 proceedings in this Tribunal. I'm asking you whether Slavko Aleksic has
22 had an indictment against him.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I know, Mr. President. I can
24 answer, if you're interested, Mr. President. I can answer straightaway.
25 None of those three were ever indicted by this Tribunal. These three
1 individuals, as Chetnik Vojvodas, gave me all their documents, or rather
2 they provided my assistants with them, and gave me the right to use them
3 in these proceedings. The Prosecution ascribed certain crimes to them. I
4 claim that they are falsely being ascribed these crimes, and I have
5 brought documents which show that they were never -- the volunteers of the
6 Serbian Radical Party in the area at all, but they were fighters and
7 commanders of the Army of Republika Srpska, and all the documents testify
8 to that.
9 Just one of them came to the Sarajevo battle front, Branislav
10 Gavrilovic-Brne, as a volunteer, and as a volunteer of the Serbian Radical
11 Fighting, he took part in the fighting for Grbavica. Once Grbavica was
12 liberated, the volunteers went back to Serbia and he stayed on in
13 Sarajevo, because that's where he was born. And then he went to Ilidza,
14 formed some combat group over there, fought over there. He had problems
15 with his relationships and with his senior officers, superior officers,
16 but at that time he was no longer a volunteer of the Serbian Radical
17 Party. And I brought along with me these three binders with documents to
18 eliminate, with one gesture, all the counts in the indictment for
20 At the relevant time in the indictment, none of these people were
21 volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party. What they were were officers of
22 the Army of Republika Srpska, and that's what these documents show, and
23 that's what I wanted to ask this witness. If I were to take it document
24 by document, we would go on until the autumn, counting with the speed of
25 which I am receiving answers to my questions.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I now under the background. Can
2 you now put your question, please.
3 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
4 Q. On the basis of these documents and military booklets that are
5 attached there, can we see that all three men were soldiers of the Army of
6 Republika Srpska throughout the time of the war, Mr. Theunens?
7 A. Your Honours, tab 119, which is in binder number 2 -- I'm just
8 taking an example, but tab 119 in binder number 2 states -- this is the
9 document for Branislav Gavrilovic states, and I will read it out that,
10 okay, permission is given and so on:
11 "For the purpose of Serbian volunteer units which are part of the
12 MUP, the Ministry of the Interior for Serbian municipality of Ilidza, the
13 overall command of the SAO Romanija volunteer units, Branislav Gavrilovic,
14 will receive and train Serbian volunteers."
15 So this is one example showing that a group of Gavrilovic, at
16 least at the time of the document, 1992, is not part of the VRS but is
17 part of the forces controlled by the Ministry of Interior.
18 Now, in my report, when looking at the Sarajevo section, I do not
19 conclude that these four SRS/SCP volunteer detachments that were operating
20 in Sarajevo were outside the authority of the VRS. I only conclude that
21 there were quite regularly problems with these units or with these
22 detachments. And, for example, in the binder there are a lot of documents
23 on Vaske. These documents correspond with the documents I include in my
24 report, that Vaske was commander of, sometimes it was called a battle
25 group, Vaske's battle group or Vaske's platoon, whereby this platoon had a
1 military post number and was a unit which belonged to the Ilijas Light
2 Infantry Brigade of the VRS. Notwithstanding that fact, there were
3 problems with Vaske, and these problems are discussed in the report.
4 And, for example, one of these problems has to do with the
5 relationship between Vaske's unit and UNPROFOR, where we see that there is
6 an order coming from Mladic, so the chief of the main --
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. We'll come to
9 Mr. Seselj, put your questions, please.
10 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Mr. Theunens, from these documents can we see that Slavko Aleksic
12 and Vaske Vidovic were officers of the Army of Republika Srpska, and
13 Branislav Gavrilovic-Brne, during that period of time, that he belonged to
14 the police of Republika Srpska? Do you confirm that, then, because you've
15 already said some of it? At the time, did they have anything at all to do
16 with the Serbian Radical Party in Belgrade in matters of manpower for
17 their units, replenishment of manpower with volunteers, let aside the fact
18 that they were members of the Serbian Radical Party and in their living
19 environments acted in that fashion? But in their units, were volunteers
20 sent from Belgrade? Answer me that. Do you have a single piece of
21 evidence to show that?
22 A. I have not come across documents that indicated that the Serbian
23 Radical Party sent volunteers from Belgrade, but the documents I have
24 included confirm that there were other links between these volunteer
25 detachments and the Serbian Radical Party.
1 Q. Which other links?
2 A. Well, these volunteer detachments are, first of all, in VRS
3 documents and even some MUP documents. They are always identified as
4 radicals or they have particular names like the Brnotovsi [phoen], or the
5 Novo Sarajevo Chetnik Detachment, or similar names which show that
6 actually the political affiliation of these groups has a particular
7 importance in relation to their activities. If they had no links
8 whatsoever with the Serbian Radical Party, they would just have been
9 considered volunteers or of unit X, Y or Z of the VRS.
10 The fact, for example, that Vaske's unit is identify by "Vaske" in
11 the documents is quite unusual. When studying JNA and VRS documents, I
12 haven't seen any other references to units being identified by the name of
13 their commander. The use of the term "detachment" is unusual, because
14 normally you would have a military-sized unit, a platoon, a company, a
15 battalion and so on.
16 We spoke earlier about articles in "Velika Serbia." There is
17 very, I think in this context, an interesting article in the activities
18 and the situation of Slavko Aleksic and how he established his group.
19 There is also an article in "Velika Serbia" on -- if I'm not wrong, on
20 Branislav Gavrilovic and how his unit, in August 1993, is disbanded on the
21 orders of the VRS Main Staff, and then he joins the unit of Vaske. And
22 these units have names which are quite uncommon in the military context.
23 Q. Mr. Theunens, the Serbian Radical Party from Serbia, did it send
24 Vasilje Vidovic to Ilijas to the war?
25 A. Your Honours, it would be helpful if we could see the earlier
1 promotion order to Vojvoda for Vidovic, which is 65 ter number 2030. It's
2 the order number 425, or the proclamation order.
3 MR. MARCUSSEN: If Your Honours have the binders, the Prosecution
4 binders --
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen.
6 MR. MARCUSSEN: -- you will find this document in binder 1,
7 two-thirds down in the binder.
8 THE WITNESS: So under "Vidovic" we see that he's a member of the
9 Serbian Chetnik Movement. The document does not indicate on whose
10 initiative or on whose instruction he returned to Sarajevo after being
11 involved in the conflict in the Knin-Benkovac area.
12 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
13 Q. And why would he return home at somebody's initiative? Isn't it
14 natural that once the war ended in Krajina, for him to return home? Isn't
15 that natural?
16 A. Well, Your Honours, if he had been a member of the armed forces,
17 then he would have followed the orders his superiors in the armed forces
18 would have given to him.
19 Q. Well, you know that after the Vance Plan, the JNA withdrew from
20 Serbian Krajina and that all the volunteers withdrew with it, and then the
21 volunteers went home, they went to their homes; isn't that right,
22 Mr. Theunens? A volunteer won't continue in an army unit, doing his
23 military service, when he did that long ago and completed it long ago?
24 A. Your Honours, from documents discussing actually -- or there is at
25 least one document, a report by a security organ, which mentions a
1 Vasilije Vidovic born in Ilijas in connection with the crimes in Skabrnja.
2 I cannot claim that it's the same individual. But, in any event, this
3 Vasilije Vidovic was in Skabrnja as a volunteer, so -- and as we have
4 discussed extensively during the previous days, volunteers did not -- were
5 not always formally part of the armed forces, so their redeployments do
6 not have to be part of a formal redeployment of the armed forces
7 consisting of JNA and TO. And I do not agree with the conclusion that
8 after the Vance Plan, the JNA withdrew from Serbian Krajina, because we
9 know from the documents it was a formal withdrawal.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Theunens, this proclamation
11 order whereby Vidovic becomes a Vojvoda, we know that after 1992 he is on
12 the battleground at Ilijas after he became a Vojvoda. When the order 425
13 is given, he's still there, and he shows exceptional courage and
14 dedication in the battle, in the battles. But in this document, we find
15 no indication that he's a member of the VRS. He's not a member of the
16 VRS. And what the accused states is that the person mentioned in the
17 documents, in the three binders, are people who are members of the VRS but
18 who do not relate to the -- who are not under the authority of the Serbian
19 Radical Party.
20 THE WITNESS: Indeed, Your Honours --
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And I'd like to finish my
23 So these qualities, these virtues that made him a Vojvoda, whether
24 it's a title or a rank, are related to his activities since 1991, since he
25 fought in Knin. He participated in battles in Knin, so this is a reward
1 for Vidovic's military past. This results in his being awarded the title
2 or rank of Vojvoda, and there is no explicit indication that nowadays he's
3 a member of the VRS.
4 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, it is not worthy of note, in the
5 context of this report, that the proclamation order does not make any
6 reference to Vidovic's possible role within the JNA or the VRS. However,
7 his connection with the VRS can be established from other documents.
8 As I mentioned earlier, his unit is sometimes known as "Vaske's
9 platoon" or "Vaske's battle group" or "the sabotage platoon." It has a
10 military post number within the VRS Ilijas Light Infantry Brigade, and the
11 details on that can be found on page 231 to 234 in my report.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Before the break that
13 will be taken at 20 past, Mr. Seselj.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I have one more question, and
15 then I would like to tender some documents.
16 Now, the next one is 425, Radovan Radovic who was proclaimed a
17 Chetnik Vojvoda in 1994.
18 Q. Radovan Radovic, was it the Serbian Radical Party from Serbia
19 which sent him to Bileca to take part in the war?
20 A. Your Honours, I have not been able to identify information that
21 would allow to draw such conclusion, so I can't say whether it was Radical
22 Party or not. I haven't seen any documents indicating it.
23 Q. And do you happen to know that Radovan Radovic was already a
24 celebrated commander in Herzegovina, at the head of a unit of the army of
25 Republika Srpska, with the rank of officer, and that in 1994 he became a
1 member of the Serbian Radical Party, and after having become a member in
2 1994, he was proclaimed the Chetnik Vojvoda for his war merits?
3 A. That is possible, Your Honours. Now, it would be very helpful for
4 me if I could see a document, for example, that links Radovan Radovic to
5 the VRS.
6 Q. Well, why would I show you those documents? You're a Prosecution
7 expert. You can look for the documents. You're avoiding documents, in
9 Now, Judges, gentlemen, I would like to tender the exhibit before
10 the first break. 2042 was the number, and it is the decision on
11 disbanding the Serbian Chetnik movement as a section of the Serbian
12 Radical Party. And I'd also like to tender a document under one number, a
13 single number, or rather the three binders.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're going to work one document
15 at a time.
16 So, Mr. Registrar, document 2042 -- Mr. Marcussen, you have an
18 MR. MARCUSSEN: The three binders contain a whole lot of documents
19 which haven't even been translated yet. Maybe at least if the three
20 binders go in, they should be marked for identification. I think it
21 should also be made clear that the purpose for which these documents are
22 being admitted is only to understand the answers and questions about this
23 and not necessarily -- the documents are not being admitted for the truth
24 of their contents.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The 2042 has been translated
1 into English, so he can receive a number. Mr. Registrar, please.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour, 65 ter number 2042 will be
3 Exhibit number D16.
4 JUDGE HARHOFF: "60" or "16"?
5 THE REGISTRAR: D16.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think a priori no
7 document is to be believed, and when you admitted documents which were
8 proposed by the Prosecutor, you did not say whether you accepted them as
9 truthful or not, as the Trial Chamber. You will come to assess that at
10 the end, so you will be able to assess whether these documents are
11 truthful or not. But such a large number of documents, 186, in fact, prove
12 just one assertion made by the Defence, and that is that Slavko Aleksic,
13 Vasilije Vidovic and Branislav Gavrilovic-Brne, for that part of their
14 participation in the war which is mentioned in the indictment, were not
15 volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party sent from Serbia to
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Just that one thesis by the Defence is confirmed and
17 borne out by those documents, although the contents are diverse.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen.
19 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, that is the core of the issue here.
20 The documents do not show that. The documents show that there was a
21 relationship between the JNA and the VRS and these particular three
22 individuals. That is common ground. There is no -- this is in the
23 expert's report. It is part of the Prosecution's evidence that that is
24 indeed the case. There's no dispute on this matter, there's actually no
25 reason to put in evidence on this issue at all.
1 There is no evidence in this about whether or not the -- these
2 people were sent by the SRS, and that's a concern I have about the
3 relevance that the accused wants to say these documents have.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We had not yet reached the stage
5 of looking at these documents one by one, so the D16 has been admitted.
6 What other documents would you like to tender, Mr. Seselj?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] As one document, I propose the three
8 binders to be taken as one document. Those binders contain a total of 186
9 documents which relate to the most diverse matters of daily military life,
10 but which are a cumulative testimony of the fact that these three men were
11 officers in the structure of the Army of Republika Srpska, and one of them
12 within the frameworks of the police of Republika Srpska, and I'm not
13 challenging what Mr. Theunens said, that Branislav Gavrilovic belonged to
14 the police at one time.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Theunens, the documents
17 which are in those three binders, you have reviewed them, all of them,
18 haven't you? These documents have a link with three individuals, you
19 confirm this, with the names of three individuals?
20 THE WITNESS: To a large extent, Your Honours, I believe there
21 is -- there are a number of documents which are unsigned, undated,
22 unstamped, they are handwritten. Okay, they mention the name, but ...
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, all right, but the
24 Prosecution also tendered documents without dates, signatures, and which
25 are handwritten. This is not a sufficient reason to dismiss a document.
1 But my question is whether or not these documents determine the fact that
2 these three individuals were members of the VRS. This is the question.
3 This is the goal of the Defence.
4 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, when we look at tab 145, binder number
5 2, Your Honours, okay, we discussed Branislav Gavrilovic. Now, it
6 mentions the 1st Volunteers Regiment, Savo Derikonja. I know from looking
7 at other documents, and they are discussed in my report, that Savo
8 Derikonja is actually an SRS volunteer detachment. Now, I have not been
9 able to establish whether or not the SRS kept on sending volunteers to the
10 detachment after 1992, but the document, as such, looked at it in
11 isolation, or just in the context of the binder, may lead to misleading
13 There are, for example, a number of commendations for Vaske, for
14 Aleksic, included in the binders. These documents may well be authentic.
15 However, all I wish to mention is that --
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, all right, but the tab 145
17 is a document which comes from the Ministry of the Interior of Republika
18 Srpska. Its date is the 14th of December, 1993, and it certifies that
19 Gavrilovic, the commander of the 1st Volunteers Regiment, Savo Derikonja
20 has donated the following weapons and ammunitions to the Ilidza Public
21 Security Station, and then we have the list of weapons and ammunition. So
22 this document establishes that Gavrilovic has given weapons to a police
23 station. As for the conclusions, we'll see later on.
24 But among these documents, are there documents which, according to
25 you, are perhaps not authentic? Are there forged documents? You are the
2 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, I must say that yesterday afternoon,
3 time went fast, and after all 180 documents, I checked the documents. I
4 also checked -- compared the documents with what is in my report. And as
5 has been pointed out, overall there are no big problems. I have not been
6 able to determine that there were fake documents in the binder -- in the
7 binders, sorry, the three of them.
8 I just want to caution that as with any document, it could be
9 misleading to just look at the document in isolation. As you point out in
10 relation to 145, okay --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But this is the role of the
12 Judges. Do not interfere with the work of the Judges. The Judges are
13 highly-experienced professionals who are quite able to read a document and
14 relate a document to the other documents admitted in this case.
15 So regarding the documents we are discussing now, are they
16 relevant, are they authentic, reliable, not forged? But we are not
17 discussing their weight, because their weight will be examined at the end
18 of the trial. The value of those documents, according to Mr. Seselj, as
19 evidence comes from the fact that, according to him, it shows that these
20 people were members of the VRS and had not been sent by the Serbian
21 Radical Party.
22 So, Mr. Marcussen, you maintain your objection?
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Marcussen, before you answer the question, I
24 have another question that I would like to hear your answer to, and that
25 is: Does the Prosecution contest the allegation made by the Defence, that
1 these three gentlemen were indeed members of the VRS? Is that a contested
3 MR. MARCUSSEN: No, Your Honours. I apologise if that wasn't
4 clear. This is quite clear when you look at part 2 of the expert's
6 It's being shown that the volunteers on the ground were being
7 affiliated with various structures on the ground, the JNA, the VRS, the
8 MUP, and they were -- they were subordinated to these structures on the
9 ground. The documents here are being forward as evidence of that. That
10 is not contested.
11 The documents are also being put forward for the proposition that
12 you can infer from those, at best, that the volunteers had no relationship
13 with the SRS. There's no indication in any of the documents, as far as I
14 can see, that the documents can speak to those issues. There's no --
15 there's no evidence about that issue at all in those documents. So the
16 documents are irrelevant to that issue.
17 So to sum up, the documents are relevant to an undisputed issue
18 and they are irrelevant to the second issue they are being put forward to
19 as proof of.
20 JUDGE HARHOFF: Let's discuss this after the break.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just one minute, please.
22 There might be a misunderstanding, because the Serbian Radical
23 Party is being mentioned here. I'm not contesting the link between these
24 people and the Serbian Radical Party. These three men formed the Serbian
25 Radical Party in Sarajevo. They established it there in 1992. However,
1 they were not sent from Belgrade to go to war there; but as the locals of
2 Sarajevo, they joined the Serbian Radical Party who moved from the Serbian
3 Democratic to the Serbian Radical Party, Slavko Radovic. The other ones
4 were volunteers in other places. Branislav Gavrilovic was in Slovenia and
5 we find him in Trpinja, and I signed for him saying that he was the
6 commander of volunteers over there. The Prosecutor presented that
7 evidence. Vaske Vidovic was in Serbian Krajina as a volunteer of the
8 Serbian Radical Party. That's not contested, either. But none of those
9 three arrived from Belgrade to Sarajevo to lead volunteer units as a
10 member of the Serbian Radical Party and their volunteers from Belgrade,
11 and that's what these documents show.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber will
13 deliberate over the break. But to sum up, there are two pieces of
14 information that are not unchallenged. Both parties agree on this:
15 A, these three people are members of the SRS and, B, they belong
16 to the VRS. So much for the two points on which both parties agree.
17 We shall have a 20-minute break.
18 --- Recess taken at 12.32 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 12.54 p.m.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have resumed our hearing.
21 The Trial Chamber will hand down an oral decision on the request
22 for admission of documents, which are contained in three binders.
23 The Trial Chamber were seized by the accused Seselj of a request
24 to tender a number of documents into evidence. These are contained in
25 three folders. According to the accused, these documents will testify to
1 the fact that three people are purportedly members of the VRS, and it is
2 for this reason that he has asked for these to be tendered into evidence.
3 The Prosecution has submitted that it was opposed to this
4 admission. The Prosecution, however, does not challenge the fact that
5 these three individuals in question were members of the VRS. The
6 Prosecution indicates, furthermore, that these three people were also
7 members of the Serbian Radical Party.
8 The accused responded by he did not challenge the fact that these
9 three individuals were those people who founded the SRS in Sarajevo.
10 Under these conditions, the Trial Chamber holds that the purpose
11 sought by the accused, i.e., to establish that these three people were
12 members of the VRS, is not challenged by the Prosecution, and therefore
13 there is no reason to admit these documents, other than laying an even
14 heavier burden as regards the number of documents tendered. There will be
15 quite obviously in this trial a great deal of documents to be presented.
16 On these grounds, the Trial Chamber dismisses this admission.
17 Mr. Seselj, you wanted these documents to be admitted to establish
18 that these individuals were members of the VRS. As this is not
19 challenged, there is no reason to admit these documents insofar as in the
20 judgement, if the question arises, the Trial Chamber can then simply refer
21 to the transcript, and on the transcript we read that the Prosecution did
22 not challenge the fact that these three people were members of the VRS.
23 Now, as far as the fact that these people are members of the SRS,
24 this hasn't been challenged, either.
25 So much for our decision now.
1 If you feel that some documents could perhaps be challenged as
2 regards certain items, you can then, of course, ask for these documents to
3 be admitted. You can put questions to the witness on these issues to the
4 witness, and you can even show these documents to other witnesses if you
5 feel that these documents are of some importance.
6 Now, if we look at the countdown, you've had three hours and 20
7 minutes, Mr. Seselj, and you have exactly one hour and 38 minutes left.
8 I shall now give you the floor back.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, the fact that you have given
10 me the floor, I hope it doesn't enter into my time, what I'm going to say
11 in comment of your decision. It will not be taken from my time?
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No, this will not be included.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, nothing is clear to
14 me now. What is the basis of my responsibility for any events in Sarajevo
15 mentioned in the indictment? The Prosecution accepts that these three men
16 were members of the Army of Republika Srpska or the police of Republika
17 Srpska. The expert did not say, expressly in his report, that the three
18 of them were sent as volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party to Sarajevo
19 from Belgrade and that the Serbian Radical Party sent its volunteers to
20 their units. They are members of the Serbian Radical Party. Is that the
21 basis of my responsibility? Am I to be held responsible for every crime
22 committed anywhere by any member of the Serbian Radical Party? Is that
23 the basis of my responsibility? I understand nothing here.
24 JUDGE HARHOFF: The implication of the Chamber's decision is that
25 the Chamber accepts that the three gentlemen were not sent from Belgrade,
1 but operated out of Sarajevo, where they were members of the local SRS
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In that case, I think that that part
4 of the indictment referring to Sarajevo must be dismissed, because if I'm
5 to be held responsible, I can only be held responsible for those men I
6 sent to the front from somewhere in Serbia, and, sent by me, they
7 committed crimes there. So indirectly I'm responsible for that crime.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, I can answer your question.
9 You can be held liable for people whom you've sent. If you did not send
10 these people, you are not responsible. But do not overlook the fact that
11 you are held responsible under the indictment for the JCE or under the
12 JCE, and if these individuals, even if they are not directly under your
13 control as regards form 3 of the JCE, you could be held responsibility for
14 all their acts, i.e., the crimes they committed. So this is the answer I
15 can provide you with right now. This is what Mr. Marcussen wishes to say,
16 I believe.
17 MR. MARCUSSEN: Indeed, Your Honour. I'm concerned if there's any
18 confusion about the allegations being levied about -- against the accused,
19 as he's representing himself. Maybe I should just, in very short terms,
20 make clear that the Prosecution's joint criminal enterprise, JCE,
21 allegation is that as of about the spring of 1991, there was a common plan
22 in place which included a number of senior Serb leaders, including the
23 accused. That plan included the creation of what the accused has referred
24 to as a greater Serbia. There was a criminal component to this plan,
25 which was to create a mono-ethnic Serbian state, so part of the plan was
1 to expel and forcibly transfer non-Serbs out of areas of Croatia and
3 The accused contributed to this campaign in a number of ways. He
4 made speeches which created the conditions for -- of an atmosphere which
5 allowed for these crimes to be committed. He contributed men to the
6 campaign that was carried out. They are the two main components of the
8 Now, these men that were put into the conflict areas by the
9 accused operated in conjunction with other Serb forces, so the basis for
10 this -- for the indictment is crimes committed by a big group of people,
11 and the accused contributed to this campaign.
12 Some of the specific crimes charged were committed by the men
13 under, in our view, the accused's control. Other crimes might not have
14 been committed directly by any of Mr. Seselj's men, but it is our case
15 that he is responsible also for those other crimes because they were part
16 of the same criminal plan that Mr. Seselj adhered to. And, therefore, in
17 the context of the specific crime sites, such as Sarajevo, there will be
18 issues about who committed the crimes, but it is important to make clear
19 to the accused that he is charged with the responsibility for all the
20 crimes that were committed pursuant to this scheme of creating a greater
22 Now, the accused is smirking, and I take from that that he is
23 fully aware of what the allegations against him actually are, but I hope
24 that this boils down what the nutshell of the JCE case is for the accused,
25 and also clarify the issue of who the perpetrator -- the relevance of the
1 issue of the perpetrators. And I repeat this. Our case is that the
2 crimes charged in the indictment were committed by members of the SRS/SCP
3 or by other members of other forces operating in the relevant areas, and
4 that responsibility under the JCE theory flows to the accused because of
5 his membership of a joint criminal enterprise among a group of leaders in
7 These crimes -- the accused is linked to these crimes either
8 directly through his men or through men belonging to other structures that
9 link up to the leadership level. That's one of the -- that's the first
10 type of JCE that's alleged in the indictment. The second one is that
11 there was a joint criminal enterprise between the accused and his men on
12 the ground. So there are two -- these two alternative JCE theories set
13 out in the indictment. And then, of course, in addition to that, we have
14 planning, ordering and instigating and aiding and abetting charge in the
16 Now, if there is a need, and that is for the Judges to maybe
17 consider, but we would be happy to provide a short written submission
18 which sets this out more clearly if there's any issue about whether the
19 pre-trial brief that has already been filed and the opening statement is
20 clear on this point, because obviously these are key issues that have to
21 be absolutely clear.
22 Thank you, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, Mr. Marcussen has
24 just summed up what you are being charged with. He has provided his point
25 of view. He has mentioned, more specifically, the case of Sarajevo, that
1 crimes may have been committed by people who were not members of the
2 Serbian Radical Party, but given the joint criminal enterprise, you will
3 be held responsible for these. This is what the Prosecution has
4 stipulated, so that you understand the problem fully.
5 So I shall give you the floor back.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I understand this very well, Judges,
7 but then another problem arises.
8 According to their theory of joint criminal enterprise, I was in
9 the narrowest circle of conspirators, because they base their JCE on what
10 used to be conspiracy theory in law. A JCE is a new construct. So I am
11 in the innermost circle of conspirators, with Slobodan Milosevic,
12 Radovan Karadzic, Ratko Mladic, Milan Martic, Veljko Kadijevic, Blagoje
13 Adzic, and others. As I am in the innermost circle of conspirators,
14 within this alleged JCE, why this selection? I am then responsible for
15 all the crimes committed on the Serbian side in these wars, so why are any
16 crimes then deduced? I have aspirations to be responsible for all these
18 When the indictment was being extended under the presidency of
19 Judge Agius, I asked that all the Serbian crimes in this war be ascribed
20 to me. I protest now because the number of my crimes has been reduced. I
21 demand that I be indicted for all the crimes committed on the Serbian
22 side, because only then can the case of the Prosecution concerning a JCE
23 be upheld. I'm being discriminated against here. I am being subject to
24 prejudice. Why should I not be in the innermost circle of conspirators?
25 I always thought I was more important than Slobodan Milosevic,
1 Veljko Kadijevic, Blagoje Adzic, Radovan Karadzic, Ratko Mladic, and
2 Milan Martic. I always considered myself to be more important than them,
3 so I consider this an insult. The number of crimes has been reduced in my
4 case, and I demand that I be accused of all crimes committed by all Serbs
5 in these wars because I'm in the innermost circle of conspirators in the
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, as forms of responsibility
8 are concerned, crimes committed in certain municipalities, it is they who
9 decide, so if you want them to add more crimes on the list, in terms of
10 your responsibility, well, the Prosecution can amend its indictment with
11 the authorisation of the Trial Chamber whenever it so wishes. Let me add,
12 with the Chamber's permission.
13 So for the time being, the scope of the indictment is very
14 precise, particularly as regards Sarajevo and the surrounding area. As
15 Mr. Marcussen indicated, he has said that to what extent you would be held
16 liable, and I am purposefully using the conditional tense.
17 You may resume your cross-examination.
18 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Mr. Theunens, I was surprised by the fact that you paid so little
20 attention to the existence of the League of Communists Movement for
21 Yugoslavia, but you are aware that retired JNA generals established that
22 party; right?
23 A. I am aware of that in general terms, Your Honour. I would not be
24 able to provide any names of retired JNA generals who established that
1 Q. Does the name of Admiral Branko Mamula mean anything to you? He
2 was the Minister of Defence before Kadijevic.
3 A. Indeed it does, Your Honour, and I also remember now the acronym
4 for the party. I think it was the SKPJ.
5 Q. The League of Communists, the movement for Yugoslavia, that is, do
6 you know that these generals were hard-line communists who wanted to
7 preserve the communist system in Yugoslavia?
8 A. Your Honours, this is outside the scope of my report, and I
9 remember, in general terms, what the SKPJ was supposed to -- the goals the
10 SKPJ was pursuing, but I would not be able to provide an answer to this
11 more detailed question.
12 Q. That should have been covered in your report, because you speak of
13 the total military organisation of Yugoslavia and the Serbian people in
14 this war, the overall organisation. You include everything; the JNA, the
15 Army of Republika Srpska, the Srpska Krajina, the volunteer units,
16 paramilitary organisations, and yet you leave out the most important
17 element, the League of Communists, the movement for Yugoslavia. Do you
18 know that the League of Communists, the movement for Yugoslavia, had its
19 biggest stronghold in the security service of the JNA?
20 A. No, I'm not familiar with that, Your Honours.
21 Q. Do you know who was the chief of the security service of the JNA
22 in 1990, 1991 and up to 1992?
23 A. Your Honours, if we talk about the Security Administration of the
24 SFRY Armed Forces, then the name is Aleksandar Vasiljevic.
25 Q. Aleksandar Vasiljevic. Do you know that the Security
1 Administration developed a plan to topple the leadership both in Croatia
2 and in Slovenia and in Serbia as well, and for the army to take power in
4 A. Your Honours, I've seen general information in press reports on
5 that topic. I haven't been able to find, for example, original documents
6 or firsthand reporting on those allegations.
7 Q. Do you know that the security service of the JNA was much stronger
8 and more dangerous within Yugoslavia than the civil State Security Service
9 and even took over much of its work?
10 A. Your Honours, I'm not familiar with that. I know that on the
11 civilian side, there was such accusations, as well as on the military side
12 there were accusations of the opposite, especially when Mr. Milosevic --
13 after Mr. Milosevic became president of the Republic of Serbia, but again
14 that's based on press reporting, secondary or third-hand sources. I
15 haven't seen any firsthand reporting on these allegations.
16 Q. You, as an officer of the Belgian Army, know full well what
17 special psychological warfare is, do you not?
18 A. Your Honours, I'm familiar with the concept of psychological
19 operations, which is nowadays also known as information operations, but
20 it's not conducted, at least in the armed forces of NATO countries, by
21 intelligence service. They may provide assistance, for example, in
22 assessing the target audience, but it is other services who are
23 responsible for conducting such operations. But -- and just to finalise,
24 I know from the doctrine that within the JNA it was the Security
25 Administration who was responsible for conducting psychological
2 Q. You ought to know what a trigger event is in Western military
3 terminology. Do you know that?
4 A. No, Your Honours. The military regulations and doctrine and
5 documents I've consulted, I don't remember seeing the use of the term
6 "trigger event."
7 Q. Well, you don't know that either, then. Do you know that -- well,
8 if you're not familiar with the term, you probably don't know anything
9 about the way it's applied. But do you know that the security service of
10 the JNA organised the planting of explosives in the building of the Jewish
11 community in Zagreb in order to have the explosion ascribed to Tudjman and
12 his regime?
13 A. Your Honours, I have seen press reports on the alleged role of
14 the -- of officials of the Security Administration of the SFRY Armed
15 Forces in such attacks, and I believe that there was also a reference to
16 an operation which was known under the -- or an alleged operation known
17 under the name "Labrador," but I haven't seen any firsthand documents or
18 sources or, yeah, information from the official organs on these events
19 which would allow me to confirm whether the press reports are correct or
21 Q. Apart from the Labrador affair, have you heard of the Opera
23 A. Indeed, Your Honours, there was a lot of press reporting,
24 especially in Slovene and Croatian press, on these two alleged affairs.
25 Q. Are you aware that the security service of the JNA organised the
1 planting of explosives in the Jewish cemetery in Zagreb, in the Mirogoj
2 Cemetery, the Jewish part of that?
3 A. I'm just waiting for the transcript.
4 Your Honours, I would provide the same answers I did before. I
5 have seen reports on these alleged attacks in the media. There was a lot
6 of attention for those things in various media, but that's all I can say.
7 I never looked into it, I never saw any official documents or other
8 firsthand-source information on these alleged events.
9 Q. Is it clear to you that the security service of the JNA, by these
10 explosions in Zagreb, tried to additionally compromise Tudjman as
11 anti-semitic because his anti-semitic statements were well known from
12 before and this was just supposed to be icing on the cake; is that clear
13 to you?
14 A. Your Honour, I don't want to give the impression that I want to
15 correct Mr. Seselj, but I believe the correct name is the Security
16 Administration of the SFRY Armed Forces, just to avoid misunderstandings
17 in the transcript, but to answer the question, I have no additional
18 information as to what I've seen in press reports at the time.
19 Q. Do you know that that security service of the JNA, or the Security
20 Administration, it all comes to the same thing, artificially produced
21 crimes on the Serbian side also in order to compromise Serbian
22 nationalism, for example, in the same way that they tried to compromise
23 Croatian nationalism by explosions in the Jewish cemetery?
24 A. No, Your Honours, I haven't seen such reports. I have seen
25 reports on crimes by forces operating under JNA control in the area of
1 Skabrnja and Nadin, and these reports were compiled by security organs of
2 the JNA units in the area, and they were actually corroborated by reports
3 of other JNA units or officers, so -- which indicated actually that the
4 events described in the reports of the security organs did happen.
5 Q. Are you aware that General Aleksandar Vasiljevic brought the
6 paramilitary unit called the White Eagles to Western Slavonia?
7 A. No, Your Honours, I'm not aware of that.
8 Q. Are you aware that General Aleksandar Vasiljevic stole several
9 million German marks from the Vukovar Bank after the liberation of
11 A. Your Honours, I've heard Mr. Seselj utter that accusation at
12 several occasions. I know that Aleksandar Vasiljevic spent some time in
13 prison in 1992, but to the best of my recollection, I don't think he was
14 ever convicted for this alleged crime.
15 Q. You know that this vast amount of money went missing from the
16 Vukovar Bank?
17 A. Your Honours, I've seen conflicting reports on that issue, because
18 I seem to remember one report where it was said that money went to --
19 yeah, to the appropriate authority within the SFRY, and as Mr. Seselj
20 claims, there were also reports that indicate that the money did not end
21 up where it should have ended up.
22 Q. As a military expert, you ought to know where that money was
23 supposed to end up. If it's war booty, where ought to have
24 General Vasiljevic handed in that money? You're the military expert, not
25 me. I'm just a stupid politician who knows nothing.
1 A. Your Honours, what happened or did not happen with money that was
2 allegedly found in Vukovar is outside the scope of my report. I -- while
3 studying the role of SRS/SCP volunteers in Vukovar during the relevant
4 time period, I did not come across information that linked these
5 volunteers to the money that was allegedly taken from Vukovar or any other
6 information in relation to that money that was allegedly in Vukovar.
7 Q. Why are you now mentioning volunteers in connection with that
8 money? Volunteers didn't steal money anywhere. It was -- well, these
9 volunteers were honourable men, following my model. You are a military
10 expert who studied the JNA and the TO in depth in the former Yugoslavia,
11 you were an expert witness in other cases, Martic and the Vukovar Troika.
12 So as an expert, you ought to know the following: When, in armed
13 fighting, an army takes money, any money belonging to the opposing side,
14 where must the security officer in charge hand over that money, according
15 to military regulations? You've studied all the military regulations, I
17 A. Your Honours, I'm familiar with, in general terms, with the
18 procedures that apply to the collection of war booty, which means that war
19 booty has to be registered and then has to be stored and guarded. And
20 following the -- once the conflict is ended, and we talk, for example, in
21 that context also of the exchange of prisoners, certain measures can be
22 applied to, for example, hand back certain parts of war booty, in
23 particular when we talk about a significant amount of money. But those are
24 just general principles, and I would not be able to refer to a specific
25 SFRY Armed Forces regulation in that context.
1 Q. According to the then valid regulations, the money ought to have
2 been handed over to the military service of the National Bank. Have you
3 ever heard of the existence of an institution called the Military Service
4 of the National Bank of Yugoslavia? This is a trap. Beware. Don't
5 immediately say "yes."
6 A. The answer I wanted to give was "no," but maybe I have to say
7 something else now.
8 Q. You didn't hear; right. Well, you didn't hear of it; right. It
9 seems to me that I appear to be a better military expert than you, at
10 least when it comes to the Yugoslav and Serb armies. The money was never
11 handed over to the Military Service of the National Bank.
12 Now, do you know that Vasiljevic was in Vukovar at the time
13 Vukovar was liberated?
14 A. Yes, Your Honours, I know that Vasiljevic visited Vukovar
15 sometimes around the 18th or the 19th of November. 1991, excuse me.
16 Q. Do you know that General Vasiljevic personally issued orders that
17 200 Croatian prisoners be handed over to the civilian authorities in
18 Eastern Slovenia, Baranja and Western Srem?
19 A. No, Your Honours -- I'm sorry for the transcript. No, Your
20 Honours. On the contrary, based on the information I saw while working on
21 the Vukovar trial, the circumstances for the hand-over of the 200 Croatian
22 prisoners, or even more than 200, did not involve General Vasiljevic.
23 Q. Since you were an expert witness in the Vukovar Troika trial, tell
24 me who, by name and surname, ordered that 200 civilians be handed over --
25 or rather 200 prisoners, they weren't civilians, prisoners, they were
1 prisoners of war, to hand them over to the civilian authorities, who
2 issued that order? It wasn't established during the Mrksic, Sljivancanin
3 and Radic trial. The judgement was passed, but that remained unknown. So
4 who ordered that?
5 A. Your Honours, I would like to refer to the doctrine when answering
6 that questions -- that question. The 1988 SFRY Armed Forces regulations
7 on the application of the International Laws of War by the SFRY Armed
8 Forces, and actually they state the same as the Geneva Conventions, state
9 that prisoners of war are under the powers of -- under the control of the
10 detaining power. They are not under the control of an individual, a
11 military commander or any other officer, but of the country that has taken
12 these people prisoner of war. And I think that is sufficient in this
14 Q. Those prisoners of war, Mr. Theunens, did not go to Ovcara
15 themselves of their own free will. Ovcara was not a place provided for to
16 accommodate prisoners of war; isn't that right? The prisoners of war had
17 to be transported to the state prison in Sremska Mitrovica, and one wing
18 was set aside for that purpose; am I right there? Is that correct?
19 MR. MARCUSSEN: There are at least three different questions on
20 this one; how did the prisoners move around, should they have been taken
21 to a specific prison, was capacity set aside in the prison to accommodate
22 the prisoners. If the accused wants to go into these details with this
23 witness, he has to put one question at a time.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, please try to put
25 your question in such a way that you obtain one answer, because if you ask
1 your question in such a way that the witness has to give four answers,
2 then the witness, as well as the Judges, may get lost.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, well, this witness
4 came here quite disoriented. We could see that today. I can't add to
5 this state of his.
6 Q. Do you know that the JNA took all prisoners of war from Vukovar to
7 the prison in Sremska Mitrovica, they were sent there; do you know that?
8 A. Your Honours, I know that orders had been given to do so. Now, to
9 what extent these orders were implemented is another question.
10 In addition to Ovcara, Ovcara had been used as a transit area for
11 both prisoners of war as well as women who were evacuated from Vukovar
12 during the previous days.
13 Another question was about Sremska Mitrovica. Indeed, for
14 example, the members of the so-called -- or the Mitnica Battalion, the ZNG
15 Mitnica Battalion. The ZNG, who surrendered on the 18th, they spent the
16 night of 18th and 19th in Ovcara and then were escorted as prisoners of
17 war to Sremska Mitrovica.
18 On the 19th and 20th, a group of people who were to be evacuated
19 from Vukovar spent the night at Ovcara, guarded by the JNA. And then on
20 the 20th, in the afternoon, more than 200 patients of the hospital of
21 Vukovar were escorted by members of the Guards Motorised Brigade, as well
22 as a few members of the local Serb TO, to Ovcara, where they were handed
23 over to members of the local Serb TO, including members of the Leva
24 Supoderica Volunteer Detachment.
25 Q. Why were these prisoners of war handed over to the Territorial
1 Defence, which had always been separated from the Guards Brigade? That's
2 the key question. Who issued that order? Who ordered that? If all the
3 POWs were to go to Sremska Mitrovica, who then ordered that 200 of them
4 were to be separated and handed over to those territorials, who ordered
5 that? Do you know that?
6 A. Your Honours, as I mentioned earlier, the prisoners of war were
7 under the control at that time of what remained of SFRY, which means, in
8 practice, they were under the control of General -- at that time Colonel
9 Mrksic, who was in command of OG South. It was his unit that had taken
10 the prisoners from the hospital. It was his unit that was to bring the
11 prisoners from the hospital to Sremska Mitrovica, i.e., to implement the
12 evacuation agreement that had been signed before in Zagreb.
13 Q. As you're a member of the OTP, why is it that the OTP didn't bring
14 forward General Aleksandar Vasiljevic as a witness of the Prosecution in
15 the trial of the Vukovar Troika? He appeared in the Milosevic trial. Why
16 didn't they call him to testify in the Vukovar Troika trial, when he was
17 in Vukovar during the liberation and when the prisoners were executed?
18 Answer that, please.
19 MR. MARCUSSEN: That's not --
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen.
21 MR. MARCUSSEN: That's an irrelevant question.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Why is it not relevant?
23 MR. MARCUSSEN: It's not relevant to any facts in this case,
24 why -- whether a certain witness was called or why the witness wasn't
25 called. And I'm not even sure that the witness can actually answer the
1 question as to why the decision was taken not to call the witness, but
2 that's a different thing. But it's irrelevant to the factual
3 determination of this case, why a certain witness isn't called.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, regarding the fact that
5 Aleksandar Vasiljevic was not called to witness in the so-called Vukovar
6 trial, to testify in the Vukovar trial, is not among -- is not for you to
7 answer, as the Prosecutor just said, but you're a member of the
8 Prosecution here, and this case has existed, the so-called Vukovar case.
9 The case gave rise to a judgement, but this Chamber has discussed this
10 case in depth, so we are concerned by this case.
11 How, then, can such a major character, I mean Vasiljevic, didn't
12 testify? And I continue my question. Apparently his name is not on the
13 witness list. I don't know whether he's alive or not. I really don't
14 know. But this is the kind of questions that we have.
15 As a military analyst, do you have an opinion about this?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let me just add, he's alive, he
17 couldn't be more alive, and he's trembling that he might be -- might have
18 to be held accountable for some crimes.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So he's alive. All right.
20 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, even though I was a member of the
21 Prosecution team in the Vukovar investigation and the Vukovar trial, it
22 was not me who decided about which witnesses were to be called, when, and
23 how and so on. And so I think the best person to ask that question is
24 Mr. Douglas Max Moore, who was a senior trial attorney in that case.
25 I would also like to draw the honourable Judges' attention to the
1 fact that, well, if the OTP didn't call Mr. Vasiljevic, he could have been
2 called by the Defence if he was such an important person, he could have
3 even been called by the Chamber, but nobody called Mr. Vasiljevic. The
4 only thing I remember from the trial is that at one moment in time, one of
5 the Defence attorneys came with this kind of conspiracy theory to blame
6 Vasiljevic of the crimes in Ovcara, whereas, well, he was not called as a
7 witness, and he could have still been called by the Defence.
8 Looking -- from purely viewing the military documents, especially,
9 I mean, the documents in relation to the activities of OG South, its
10 existence, its structure, and especially its relation with the local Serb
11 TO including Leva Supoderica and the Petrova Gora Detachment on the 20th
12 of November, I didn't see any information or any other -- any information
13 indicating a role whatsoever for Mr. Vasiljevic or General Vasiljevic in
14 the events that led up to the killing or execution of 200 -- of over 200
15 people in Ovcara.
16 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Mr. Theunens, do you know that my closest colleague from the JCE,
18 the joint criminal enterprise, General Veljko Kadijevic, lives in Moscow
19 and that he's been given political asylum in Russia? Are you aware of
21 A. I am aware of the fact that Mr. Kadijevic now lives in Russia,
22 Your Honours.
23 Q. Do you know that General Kadijevic recently gave an extensive
24 interview to Belgrade Television?
25 A. I heard of the interview, Your Honours, and I think it has to do
1 with a new book Kadijevic published, but I haven't -- I'm not familiar
2 with the contents of the interview, nor of the book.
3 Q. And did you hear that in that interview, General Kadijevic and the
4 whole of the Serb public was able to see that, and the Croatia and Muslim
5 public, for that matter, that he said that General Vasiljevic, as the head
6 of the Security Administration, did not inform him that in Ovcara a crime
7 had been committed against prisoners of war?
8 A. I'm not familiar with the interview, but taking into account the
9 position that Kadijevic held in 1991 and 1992, it would be rather
10 surprising if Kadijevic has to wait until 2007 or 2008 in order to
11 announce or to complain that his subordinates, including Vasiljevic,
12 allegedly did not inform him of the crime at Ovcara.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] A question on my behalf.
14 General Kadijevic, who resides in Moscow today and writes books
15 and answers television interviews, apparently his name is mentioned in the
16 indictment as a member of the joint criminal enterprise, on an equal
17 footing -- yes, his name is there. I've just checked. We find the names
18 of Milosevic, Kadijevic, Adzic, Mladic, Stanisic, Simatovic, Stojisic,
19 Martic, Adzic, Karadzic, Krstic, Mrs. Plavsic and Mr. Arkan, who is no
20 longer alive today.
21 As far as you know, is there an indictment against him, against
23 A. Was the question an indictment against Kadijevic, Your Honours, or
25 THE INTERPRETER: Kadijevic, correction of the interpreter.
1 THE WITNESS: I'm not aware of an indictment against
2 Mr. Kadijevic. I am aware that at the time, I believe an investigation
3 was started, but I don't know what the follow-up of that investigation
4 was, but at this time there is no indictment against Kadijevic.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis or Mr. Marcussen,
6 there is an indictment mentioning the names of a number of people. Some
7 of these people have been judged, others are fugitives. And then we come
8 to the name of Kadijevic, who is alive. There has been no indictment
9 against him?
10 MR. MUNDIS: No, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] With your permission, Mr. President,
13 might I say that it's even more of an important question, why an
14 indictment was raised against Aleksandar Vasiljevic, although he was the
15 head of the administration for security in the JNA throughout that time.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Expert, you do not have to
17 answer. Anyway, I see Mr. Marcussen on his feet.
18 MR. MARCUSSEN: This is irrelevant to this case, and there are
19 issues of prosecutorial discretion involving these sort of things that
20 this witness can't answer, but it has nothing to do with the facts of this
21 case, I respectfully submit, and we shouldn't go into it.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, "why an indictment was
23 not raised against."
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you still have five
25 minutes to go.
1 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
2 Q. You know, Mr. Theunens, that General Vasiljevic was arrested in
3 1992 and that he was imprisoned for a time, and that he was liberated in a
4 strange way and pensioned off, and then he was reactivated in 1999. Do
5 you know about that?
6 A. Yes, Your Honours, but I would not be able to corroborate or
7 explain the information given by Mr. Seselj said Kadijevic was "liberated
8 in a strange way," because I don't know the circumstances of his -- the
9 ending of his time in prison.
10 Q. Not Kadijevic, Vasiljevic.
11 A. Yes, Vasiljevic.
12 Q. Well, it was proved that he had committed great crimes and planted
13 great crimes on others, and then he managed to escape prison, so that's
14 obvious, because as the chief of the Security Administration, which
15 covered the whole of Yugoslavia in terms of intelligence and
16 counter-intelligence, he had dossiers on all the more important personages
17 and could blackmail anyone. I know that's evident, isn't it, obvious.
18 Just can't blackmail me.
19 MR. MARCUSSEN: I have to object to this. This is irrelevant to
20 the case again, and making these sort of allegations against people who
21 are not on trial here is utterly inappropriate and should not be allowed
22 to continue.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Expert, General Vasiljevic
24 is alleged to have been imprisoned in 1992. Are you aware of this, of his
25 being in prison?
1 THE WITNESS: Indeed, Your Honours, he was in prison in Serbia
2 after having been put on trial there, and then at one moment in time he
3 was released. He was pensioned off, together with a large number of other
4 JNA officers. And then in 1999, during the NATO Kosovo bombing campaign,
5 he was reactivated in a senior position, I think acting head of the
6 Military Security Service, and the activation order was signed by
7 Mr. Milosevic, who was then president of the Federal Republic of
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You said that he had been tried.
10 In other words, he was acquitted?
11 THE WITNESS: I don't remember the exact details, Your Honours.
12 I've seen one press article which stated that none of the charges could be
13 proven, but I'm not sure to what extent that article is correct. I don't
14 know whether he was acquitted, but he was released quite early, that's
15 what I remember, quite soon.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Last question, as we're coming
17 to the end of the hearing.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Instead of that, I'd like to make a
19 comment or objection, Mr. President.
20 I think that this is highly symptomatic, that is to say, that the
21 Prosecution wasn't interested at all in the case of General Vasiljevic,
22 they weren't interested in that, however they cooperate very successfully
23 with him in fabricating false documents. So I'm sure that the OTP would
24 have had to have been interested in the Belgrade trial of
25 General Vasiljevic and to have -- come by all the documents and be well
1 informed on the subject.
2 I was president of the Serbian Radical Party at the time with just
3 one member of Parliament, and they're taking me to task for that, whereas
4 they are completely ignoring the head of the security of the JNA who was
5 involved in everything, many crimes he perpetrated for political reasons
6 in order to topple the regime and Belgrade and Zagreb, and the Prosecution
7 seems to be uninterested in all that. So I think the Trial Chamber should
8 instruct the Prosecution to gather all the documents related to the
9 General Vasiljevic trial, because my associates cannot come by those
10 documents in Belgrade; they come up against a wall when they try to do so,
11 and pursuant to Rule 68, it would be valuable material, as far as I'm
12 concerned, for me.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. In view of this request by
14 the accused, I'm asking the OTP whether you have a copy of the sentence
15 that was given at the end -- when General Vasiljevic was acquitted.
16 MR. MARCUSSEN: I will have to look, Your Honours. I do maintain
17 the position that these things are irrelevant, and it is inappropriate for
18 the accused to make these sort of allegations. With this particular
19 witness, there's no problem. With the previous witnesses that have been
20 here, there's no problem, but it sends out a message that witnesses who
21 are going to come here are going to be bullied, and we should maintain a
22 proper decorum in court so we can proceed with this case in a proper
23 manner where witnesses can come and give their evidence in future under
24 proper conditions.
25 Thank you, Your Honours.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just ten seconds, please,
2 Mr. President, just ten seconds of the time.
3 General Aleksandar Vasiljevic, in the indictment against
4 Slobodan Milosevic, is quoted as one of the members of the joint criminal
5 enterprise, and he is not in my indictment. Now, the person who wrote
6 that knew full well that Slobodan Milosevic, in the cross-examination,
7 would spare him the most difficult questions, and he knew that in my
8 trial, I would not take care of Vasiljevic's feelings at all, and that's
9 why he's not among the JCE in my indictment, whereas he was in the
10 indictment against Milosevic. I would certainly not spare him.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right, I'm going to check on
13 It is 10 to 2.00. Tomorrow we resume at 8.30 a.m.
14 Mr. Seselj, you're probably left with a little more than an hour.
15 I'll tell you tomorrow.
16 So tomorrow at 8.30.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.,
18 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 28th day of
19 February, 2008, at 8.30 a.m.