1 Thursday, 10 April 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 8.41 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Registrar, could you please
7 call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case
9 number IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Ms. Registrar.
11 This is Thursday, and I welcome all representatives of the OTP,
12 our witness. I also welcome Mr. Seselj's associates and Mr. Seselj, as
13 well as everyone helping us in this courtroom. We are in Courtroom II,
14 whereas we were scheduled for Courtroom I, but it seems there is a
15 technical problem and this is why we are sitting a bit late, starting a
16 bit late, because of this technical problem, the nature of which I know
18 We have a witness who has been granted protection measures. I
19 would like to ask confirmation from Ms. Biersay. Are there protection
21 MS. BIERSAY: Yes, Your Honour, there are both voice -- there's
22 voice distortion as well as face distortion and the grant of a pseudonym
23 for the duration of the proceedings.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's move to
25 private session, then, for the witness to take the oath.
1 [Private session]
11 Pages 5948-5949 redacted. Private session.
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
18 MS. BIERSAY:
19 Q. Witness 1062, can you tell the Chamber the significance of April
21 A. The 4th of April was our holiday, Bajram, and I had many guests,
22 more of them Serbs than Muslims, because we socialised more with Serbs.
23 We somehow trusted them more, and my husband and my children and I had
24 more friends against -- amongst Serbs than our own people. However, we
25 could not believe at that time what would happen.
1 Q. Could you describe for the Court, what kind of holiday is April
2 4th? Is it a religious holiday or some other kind of holiday?
3 A. It's a religious holiday, an important holiday in our religion.
4 Q. What religion is that?
5 A. The Muslim faith.
6 Q. The events that you just generally described for the Court,
7 occurring on April 4th, do you remember of what year that was?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. What year was that?
10 A. 1992.
11 Q. So just so I understand, on April 4th of 1992, you were
12 celebrating that holiday you just described; is that correct?
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. And --
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. And at this celebration, there are both Serbs and Muslims; is
17 that correct?
18 A. Yes, there were both, but there were more Serbs than our own
19 people, Muslims.
20 Q. Do you know whether or not the Serb friends that you had, whether
21 or not they left that evening?
22 A. Yes, they did. They sat there a while, had drinks, and at -- but
23 nobody gave us an inkling of what they were going to do, or they didn't
24 say, "Look, friend, take care of your children, put them somewhere safe,
25 the Muslims would be attacked ." None of them would say a word so that
1 we could at least save our children.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, these Serbian friends,
3 who were more numerous than the Muslims during this party, left, but did
4 they know that there was going to be an attack? Because they left, but
5 did they know? How did they know?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, they probably knew. In all
7 likelihood, they knew, because they sat there for a while and then they
8 moved out, they moved away. We were asking them, "Tell us, neighbour,
9 where are you going?" And they would say, "We're going off to our
10 weekend cottage." And it was strange to us, how come everybody was
11 suddenly going away for the weekend. And there was even a family who did
12 not have a weekend cottage, but they, too, were going away for the
13 weekend. That's the kind of friends they were.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Biersay.
15 MS. BIERSAY:
16 Q. Did there come a time, Madam Witness, that there were
17 announcements about what residents were supposed to do, as far as going
18 into shelters?
19 A. It was on the 5th and the 6th that the radio announced that we
20 should not go out into the street, that we should go down into shelters,
21 that we should hide, that we should not walk in the street, and that's
22 what we did. We took cover in shelters, and even in the shelters where
23 we hid, many more people died than out in the street, because the whole
24 building, with 22 occupants in it, they all went down into the shelter
25 and they were all killed. Twelve men from my building alone were killed.
1 Q. Just so that I understand, you started going down into the
2 shelter the day after this holiday on April 4th; is that correct?
3 A. No. The holiday was a Saturday. There was a rally outside the
4 assembly on Sunday, and they were saying there would be no war so we
5 shouldn't be afraid, there would be no war at all, but still, just in
6 case, we should go down to the basement or shelters, if there was a
7 shelter. So the 4th was Bajram, and on the 5th they started these
8 announcements that we should go down into our basements.
9 Q. Was there a shelter in your building?
10 A. Yes, there was.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, those who were telling
12 you to go to the basement or these shelters, were they Muslims or Serbs?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. It was on the radio,
14 it was an announcement on the radio.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But radio, which radio? Radio
16 Belgrade or Radio Sarajevo?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Radio Zvornik, because Zvornik had
18 its own radio station.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And who controlled Zvornik
20 Radio? Was it the Serbs or the Muslims?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, at that time before the war,
22 it was independent, it was an independent radio station.
23 MS. BIERSAY:
24 Q. How often would -- well, let me back up. The shelter, was there
25 a shelter in your building?
1 A. Yes, there was.
2 Q. And could you describe it for the members of the Court?
3 A. Do you want me to describe it, all of it? The shelter was a
4 large -- rather large room, and we took cover there, children, women,
5 men. There were 12 grown men among us, there were 2 infants, 3 or 4
6 children of various ages, and there were about 15 or 16 of us women. And
7 suddenly --
8 Q. How often would you go into the shelter? Were you there all day
9 every day or just certain times of day?
10 A. We would be there not so long during the day. We would go home
11 to cook some food and then go back down into the shelter. But we spent
12 all night in the shelter.
13 Q. The number of people that you just described, are those people
14 who all lived in your building?
15 A. No. No, there were two men and two younger men from the adjacent
16 buildings. In fact, one man and two youths from the neighbouring house.
17 Fahrudin and Ekrem took shelter with us, and Senad.
18 Q. Did you know all of these people who were with you in the
20 A. I knew them all, because we had lived next-door to each other all
21 that time. Those were buildings next-door to each other.
22 Q. Do you know whether or not they were Serbs or non-Serbs, the
23 other people in the shelter with you?
24 A. No, they were all Muslims. Only one among us was a Croat.
25 Q. Could you describe for the Court the event involving the blowing
1 up of the door to the shelter? When did that happen?
2 A. I can. On the 9th, it was, the morning of the 9th, around 9.30,
3 10.00 a.m. It was quiet inside, and then suddenly there was such a large
4 explosion, we were all is shattered. And as this explosion happened, the
5 door to the shelter was suddenly opened, and then masked people, Arkan's
6 men, came in. They rounded up the men right away. They lined them up
7 outside against the wall, and then they came in and they introduced
8 themselves. They said, "We are Seselj's men. We came to defend you,
9 whereas Arkan's men are killing you." So they rounded up the rest of us,
10 the women and the smaller children.
11 Q. Let's take it bit by bit. Okay?
12 A. All right.
13 Q. When the door was blown open, the people who came in, do you
14 remember approximately how many of them came into the shelter?
15 A. Quite a few, certainly no less than seven or eight. They stood
16 there in the doorway and led out our people from the shelter one by one.
17 Q. When you say "they let out our people one by one," were they
18 just -- did they lead out the men and women or just the men?
19 A. Only the men. Only the men were led out and taken away. And
20 once the men had been taken away, these men came in and introduced
21 themselves. They said, "We are Seselj's men. We came here to save you,
22 to rescue you."
23 Q. The men who came in later and said they were Seselj's men, were
24 those the same people who had taken the men out first?
25 A. No, they were not. One set had green suits of all colours and
1 Arkan's men had black camouflage uniforms or masked.
2 Q. The men with the masks, are they the ones who led the men out of
3 the shelter?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And you described them as Arkan's men; correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. How do you know they were Arkan's men?
8 A. I know, because I watched them on television, a programme in
9 which Arkan was training his men, and they were wearing the same uniforms
10 that we saw them in. I watched that more than once.
11 Q. After the men in your group were led outside, the people calling
12 themselves Seselj's men came in; is that correct?
13 A. Yes, yes.
14 Q. Were they wearing masks as well?
15 A. No, they were not.
16 Q. After they told you that they were there to save you, what
17 happened next?
18 A. Well, they led us out. They said we had to leave, and they took
19 us to a library room, a sort of community hall for elderly people, where
20 they would play chess and drink tea. We called it the reading room.
21 Q. How far away was this reading room from your apartment where the
22 shelter was?
23 A. Fifty metres perhaps, one hundred metres, not more. It was close
25 Q. I'd like to direct your attention to the point at which you and
1 the group -- other group, and the group of women are being led out of the
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Did these -- did these same men lead you and the women and
5 children out of the shelter?
6 A. Yes, those men who burst into the shelter, rounded us up, and
7 took us into the reading room, and then they went back out and continued
8 to round up other neighbours. Only one of them stayed to guard us.
9 Q. When you were being taken out of the shelter, where were you in
10 the group of people who were being taken out?
11 A. I was the last to come out, and I was about to turn around to
12 look at my children and my neighbours when one of them prodded me with
13 his automatic rifle in the shoulder blade and told me I must not turn
14 around. And as soon as we got out into the road, those men started
15 shooting, and it was clear to us that they were shooting at our people,
16 because they were not shooting at us.
17 MS. BIERSAY: There appears to be a problem with my mic.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My mistake.
19 MS. BIERSAY:
20 Q. Madam, let's take it bit by bit. Okay?
21 A. All right, all right.
22 Q. The person who put the automatic rifle between your shoulder
23 blades, was that person with the Seselj's men's group or with the Arkan's
24 men's group?
25 A. Seselj's men.
1 Q. And when you described the shooting that you heard, who was doing
2 that shooting? Was the shooting -- did you see the Seselj's men
4 A. Arkan's men were shooting.
5 Q. Did you see Arkan's men shooting?
6 A. No, I did not see them shooting. I only -- because they wouldn't
7 let us turn around, I told you. I was about to turn around when that
8 fellow stopped me by prodding me in the back with his rifle, but the
9 others who were up the street, children and women, who were being led
10 away, they were 12. They all saw those dead people, and they couldn't
11 have been mistaken. There were 12 of them. They saw the same thing.
12 These men were going from house to house, from door to door, killing men.
13 Q. You described -- when you were being led out of the shelter, you
14 described that you wanted to turn around to look at your children; is
15 that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. At any point when you came out of the shelter, did you see the
18 men who had been in the shelter with you?
19 A. I saw them lined up against the wall, but the only one I saw was
20 Ivo Kojic, the Croat neighbour from our building. He was the only one
21 that I was able to see before this man prodded me with his rifle. And
22 when we were going out onto the road from the area in front of the
23 building, they started shooting. And I tried to turn around again, and
24 this man hit me very hard. I had a bruise for a long time from that blow
25 with the rifle, the automatic rifle, because I was the last in the group,
1 I was in the back of the group.
2 Q. How long did it take you to go from your apartment building to
3 the reading room that you described?
4 A. Three or four minutes.
5 Q. The place where this reading room is, were there other
6 official-type buildings nearby?
7 A. Yes. It was across from the municipal building, across the road
8 from the municipal building. And in that same yard, there was a general
9 goods store, and these Seselj's men, the ones who were ostensibly good
10 guys, were pretending to be good guys.
11 Q. What did they do, if anything?
12 A. They were shattering the shop windows of that general goods
13 store, taking out things, chocolate bars to give to the children. They
14 took cigarettes to give to us women, but we women refused to take
15 anything from them. The children, however, took chocolate bars from
16 them. And they were like good guys, allegedly guarding us, protecting us
17 from Arkan's men, looting that store to give us things.
18 Q. When you went to that reading room, was there anybody else
19 already there or was your group the first group?
20 A. We were the first to get there. Afterwards, they brought others.
21 They went down the street. They killed all the men they found inside the
22 houses, and they brought the women and children to where we were. The
23 children were screaming, crying.
24 Q. You said that the men were guarding you. Are we still talking
25 about Seselj's men? Are they the ones who were guarding you and your
2 A. Yes. Yes, this man himself said he was Seselj's man, and the
3 ones in the basement also introduced themselves as Seselj's men. The one
4 in the reading room said, "We are Seselj's men. We are guarding you,
5 whereas Arkan's men are killing you." Afterwards, a man came with his
6 pockets full of syringes. We were frightened because we didn't know
7 whether it was poison or drugs, and we were even more frightened. He
8 took the syringes out of his pockets, put them on the table in front of
9 the one who was allegedly guarding us.
10 Q. The person who brought these syringes, was this person wearing a
11 military-type uniform?
12 A. It was a green military-type uniform, a camouflage uniform. It
13 was Seselj's colour.
14 Q. How many Seselj's men were guarding you and the women and
15 children in that reading room?
16 A. One at that time, but they came and went. One was sitting there
17 all the time next to the door, guarding us.
18 Q. Did this Seselj's men have any type of weapons?
19 A. They all had weapons. All of them had automatic rifles or
20 submachine-guns and pistols. I didn't even know what an automatic was
21 until I saw one. I didn't know what it was before.
22 Q. At any point, were any of the women in your group allowed to
23 leave the library or the reading room?
24 A. Yes, yes. Vera Leskovac was there. Seselj might know her. And
25 she recognised a young man and she said to him, "Child, I know you from
1 somewhere." And he said to her, "I know you, too, because you have a
2 daughter in Belgrade." And she said, "Yes, I do." She said where she
3 lived, and this young man said, "I know her very well." And she asked to
4 go home and change.
5 Q. The young man to whom she was speaking, was he wearing any type
6 of military outfit?
7 A. Yes. She asked him where he was from, and he said he was from
8 Loznica. Well, he said, "Of Loznica." He didn't really say what place
10 Q. So this person you just described, this woman, she was allowed to
11 leave the reading room; is that correct?
12 A. Yes, yes, she was allowed to leave, to go home and change take
13 some more clothes.
14 Q. Did she go by herself or was she escorted by someone?
15 A. She was escorted by a woman in uniform. This woman was also
16 wearing a green camouflage uniform. And then Granny Sadeta asked the
17 same thing and they let her go, too. They were the only two allowed to
19 Q. Did they return to the reading room?
20 A. Yes, yes. This woman who was wearing a uniform took them to
21 their home to get changed, and then they came back.
22 Q. What, if anything, did these women who came back say about what
23 they had seen outside?
24 A. They didn't dare say that at the time, but later on, when we were
25 released, Vera said to a neighbour, Zuhara, in Banja Koviljaca, she said
1 that she soiled her pants when she saw all our neighbours lying there
2 dead. She didn't dare say anything in front of them. They wouldn't let
3 us talk among ourselves, only if they asked a question, and they didn't
4 ask us, they asked the children. They would ask the children where our
5 people with the rifles were, where our neighbours were. Well, nobody had
6 weapons. Had they had weapons, they wouldn't have been sitting in the
7 shelter. They questioned the children, not us.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] An essential issue, Witness.
9 Those men who were together with you in the shelter, did they
10 have any weapons or not?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They didn't have even a pocket
12 knife, let alone weapons. Had they had weapons, they wouldn't have been
13 in the shelter.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Second question: The men who
15 were together with you in the shelter, did they belong to the TO or did
16 they have a military status?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, none of them did.
18 MS. BIERSAY:
19 Q. Madam Witness, at any point while you were in the library, the
20 reading room, did anyone tell you what was going to happen to you next?
21 What did they tell you, and who told you?
22 A. They didn't tell us anything, but Arkan came in and said to this
23 Seselj's man that a bus would come to collect us and take us on. Some 10
24 minutes later, the bus did come, and they put us inside, and we went as
25 far as the bridge in Karakaj. There, Arkan got off the bus, and the
1 driver asked, "What are you going to do with them?" We thought they were
2 going to kill us and throw us into the River Drina. That's what we
3 thought. But he said we should go and they should let us go wherever we
4 wanted, we would drop dead on our own, they didn't need to kill us.
5 However, thank God some of us have survived to tell the truth.
6 Q. I'd like to ask you some questions about the people on the bus.
7 When your group got on the bus, were there already people on the
9 A. Just us from the reading room, the driver, and Arkan. They got
10 us onto the bus and drove us off, and then they let us get off the bus in
11 Banja Koviljaca.
12 Q. Were there also men on the bus, other men, not Arkan or the
13 driver, but other men?
14 A. Yes. Arkan got off before the bridge, before we set out across
15 the bridge towards Banja Koviljaca. He got off, but there were other men
16 from other buildings, not from my buildings. Not a single man from my
17 building survived, but there were some from other buildings. Some Serbs
18 helped them and brought them there. I don't know what happened to them
19 later on, because we got off the bus at Banja Koviljaca and then we all
20 went our different ways, finding our way as best we could.
21 Q. While you were on the bus, did you see anyone being removed from
22 the bus before you got off?
23 A. Before we crossed the bridge, yes, there was a dentist. His name
24 eludes me now. I can't recall at present what his name was, and two
25 others. I know one was a dentist or dental technician. They took him
1 off the bus. I can't recall his name now. I was fortunate to remember
2 what my own name was, I was so depressed. Someone who hasn't experienced
3 this can't understand what it was like. That's all I can say. Anyone
4 who hasn't been through this can't believe what it was like. And they
5 talk about reconciliation. What sort of reconciliation? Never. There
6 can be no forgiveness and no reconciliation, ever.
7 Q. The place where you finally got off the bus, where was that? Was
8 that in Bosnia or in another place?
9 A. No, it was in Serbia. Banja Koviljaca is in Serbia.
10 Q. Madam Witness, did there come a time when you returned to
12 A. Seven or eight days later, I came back to check where my family
13 were. I wanted at least to see their bodies, but I couldn't find them.
14 Q. Who did you first go to when you were trying to find the bodies
15 of your family?
16 A. First, they sent us to Dragan Nikolic. He was like some sort of
17 general. First I went to see him. There were guards there. It was in a
18 commercial enterprise, where they were quartered, and the guard went to
19 fetch him. And he came and brought two books with him. One of them
20 contained the names of those who had been killed and the other of those
21 who had been taken prisoner, and he said they weren't on either of the
22 lists, either those killed or taken prisoners, so he said, "They escaped,
23 they ran away." And I said, "Well, how could they have?" There were so
24 many Seselj's men and Arkan's men, how could they run away?
25 And then we went to see Grujic, the president of the
1 municipality. He said, "Go home and take a look. See if they've taken
2 shelter somewhere, but don't go on your own, find someone to go with
3 you." And then a man named Bato came along. He used to socialise with
4 my children a little. He wasn't a regular friend, but they did
5 socialise, and he came along. And the president said to him, "Bato will
6 take you," and Bato took us home. But Dragan sent a truck, this Dragan
7 Nikolic, he sent a truck, and he said, "You can get on the truck with
8 them." But we didn't trust them, we didn't want to get on the truck with
9 them, so we said, "No, no, we'll go on foot." And it's three kilometres
10 between Karakaj and Zvornik.
11 We went on foot and we came to Grujic, and Grujic said we had to
12 find someone and then this Bato came along, and Bato took us along to our
13 building. And when we got to this building, this truck that Nikola
14 [as interpreted] had been sent was parked in front of the building. And
15 there was a man standing on the steps of the building, and he had an
16 automatic rifle pointing, and he said to us, "See how you're lying."
17 There was a pile of rifles there. They said, "See how you're lying.
18 This is what we found, all those guns." Well, I don't know, maybe they
19 put them there. He said, "Look what we found with them." And I said,
20 "No, no, nobody in Zvornik ever had that. We've never seen those guns
21 before, those rifles." And he said, "Do you want to go with them?" And
22 I said, "All right, kill me. Here I am, kill me." And then this Bato
23 challenged him, and he said, "Get away from here," and he said, "Grujic
24 sent me."
25 I had some gold jewellery, I had some money because my husband
1 had had a good job and a good salary, and I said, "Well, let me take this
2 money so I have something to live on," to take this from my apartment.
3 Q. What happened after Bato intervened?
4 A. He let us go, and we went to our apartments, and they switched on
5 the engine of the truck and left. Bato went to the building with us. We
6 went through the rooms, but we found nothing. Everything had been taken
7 away. There was nothing left there.
8 Q. Did you go to the spot where you had last seen your -- one of
9 your neighbours outside after you had been taken from the shelter?
10 A. Yes. They had been lined up against the wall underneath my
11 balcony. That's where they were killed. There were lots of bullet holes
12 there. My husband's cap was there, one of my son's trainers, and there
13 was blood all over. Twelve men, all of them youngish. There was so much
15 Q. After you visited the place you just described, did you stay in
17 A. No. No one could stay. They'd killed everyone. When someone
18 goes from Bijeljina or Tuzla, they took people off buses and killed them.
19 They tricked us. They said we should come and report by the 15th of May,
20 that we should register our houses, our apartments. And on that
21 occasion, they killed a lot of people, when they tricked us by saying we
22 should come and register our property.
23 Q. Madam Witness, when you were being taken from your apartment
24 building to the reading room, did you see any dead bodies at all on that
1 A. Yes, I did. I saw Hakija Sehic, he was a tailor. I saw Izet, a
2 veterinary surgeon. That was on the road from my house. And then when
3 we were on the bus, I saw a man, a woman, and their son, but somebody
4 saved the son. He was lying there wounded, but he wasn't dead. The
5 father of that boy and his mother were dead.
6 And then on our way to Karakaj, every three or four metres, there
7 was someone lying there dead. Some bodies had been covered, some not.
8 MS. BIERSAY: Your Honour, at this time I would request that we
9 move into private session, please.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Let's move into private
12 Witness, would you like us to have a break now or can you still
13 stay seated for a few minutes?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You can, fine.
16 [Private session]
11 Pages 5968-5971 redacted. Private session.
25 [Open session]
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, we are back in open session.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
3 Before Mr. Seselj starts his cross-examination, the interpreters
4 told me that there was a slight problem, because in putting the
5 questions, the witness tends to answer extremely quickly and there's
6 overlapping, and it's very difficult to interpret. So I'm asking all
7 parties to please make a break between questions and answers.
8 Mr. Seselj, we're now in open session. If you want to raise
9 questions that might identify the witness, we will move into private
10 session, but you have the floor.
11 Cross-examination by Mr. Seselj:
12 Q. Madam, I'm really sorry about the tragedy of your life, and I
13 would much rather not ask you anything. However, I still have to clarify
14 something with you.
15 You used to live, as I understood, in the very center of the town
16 of Zvornik.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And on the 8th of April there was fighting in Zvornik, and that
19 was the reason why you and your family and your neighbours took cover in
20 the shelter?
21 A. Yes. In fact, not the 8th, but the 9th, the 9th of April.
22 Q. On the 9th, your door was flung open by explosives, but before
23 that there was fighting?
24 A. Not in Zvornik. There was shooting from Mali Zvornik. There was
25 nothing in Zvornik, itself. In Zvornik, there was shooting on the 9th.
1 Q. Well, it doesn't matter. The date doesn't matter. Maybe you
2 don't even remember precisely.
3 I have here the statement that you gave to the Security
4 Information Service of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Do you
5 remember when the officers of that police service talked to you?
6 A. No.
7 Q. That was on the 4th -- in fact, the 3rd of February, 2003, in
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You remember now, don't you?
11 A. Yes, I remember now.
12 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] I would like to show you that
13 statement, so could the usher please take this document, 0341-9107 and
14 put it on the ELMO, but showing only the document on the ELMO that is
15 visible in the courtroom. It shouldn't go out into the public so we
16 don't have to go into closed session.
17 Do you have that document in your electronic system? I adjusted
18 to your electronic courtroom more easily than your own court management,
19 it seems.
20 Q. May I -- can I ask you a question?
21 A. Yes, I can hear you.
22 Q. Now, you remember that talk with them. Tell me, how many
23 officers were talking to you at the time?
24 A. First of all, let me say that I never talked to any of our own
25 officers. I talked to people from The Hague, the services of The Hague
1 in Sarajevo. Twice, I think, that was all. I didn't talk to our
3 Q. But I have a document from which it is obvious that you did talk
4 to the agents of the Intelligence and Security Service of the Federation
5 of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
6 A. I didn't.
7 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] Can you please show the lady the
8 document so that she can see the signature on both pages, on the bottom
9 of page 1 and then on the second page as well. Could you please put it
10 on the ELMO.
11 I still don't see it on the ELMO.
12 Q. Is this your signature on the bottom of the page?
13 A. No, it is not.
14 Q. Is it then a forgery of your signature?
15 A. Maybe, but my signature is different.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please, since I don't have the
17 original signature of that -- of the lady, I would like to see the real
18 signature of the witness. I suppose she must have provided one for your
19 documentation, for the record.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have here the original
21 signature, when the witness signed the document under seal, and it could
22 look alike. We will show it to the Prosecution and to Mr. Seselj.
23 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
24 Q. I see, Madam, that it's the same signature on the document of the
25 Intelligence and Security Service of the Federation of Bosnia and
1 Herzegovina. It's the same to the signature that you gave for the record
2 to the ICTY. It could be a forgery, but I'm not the one who would forge
3 your signature, because this document was given to me by the Prosecution,
4 and the Prosecution got it from the Intelligence and Security Service of
5 the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the stamp of that service
6 is on the document.
7 So you claim this is not your signature and you never spoke to
8 that service; is that correct?
9 A. That's correct, I never did.
10 Q. What's interesting to me is that you gave a statement here in
11 which you described the details of the events whose victim you were, the
12 events in which your husband and your two sons were killed, but in this
13 document you never mentioned Seselj's men. That's why this document is
14 important to me. However, since you claim that you never spoke to that
15 service, I would like the Trial Chamber to acquaint itself with this
16 document of the Intelligence Security Service of the Federation of Bosnia
17 and Herzegovina, and since you claim this is not your signature, that
18 your signature was forged, I have no further questions, and thank you.
19 Questioned by the Court:
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I do not wish to add
21 anything to the very painful experience you went through, and everyone
22 here in this courtroom has fully understood your ordeal. However, the
23 accused is entitled to challenge what any witness has said.
24 The accused received from the Prosecution a great number of
25 documents, and this document, which bears an official stamp -- well, I
1 don't have the translation into English, but with the stamp I can note
2 that it was drawn up on February 4th, 2003. This document bears your
3 name, your date of birth. You are a protected witness, so I will not
4 give either your name or your date of birth, but in this document there
5 is a description of the events that occurred.
6 Ms. Biersay.
7 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Just a slight correction. The date on the last page of the
9 document is the 3rd of February, 2004, and it might assist the witness if
10 she's reminded that it's a statement that she gave to authorities in
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Ms. Biersay.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I must intervene. I
14 did remind the witness that it's a statement given in Tuzla, and she
15 denied it. I don't think we should force the witness, who is in a very
16 bad state of mind and very bad physical condition, to recall something.
17 I don't think it would be humane. She probably does not believe my
18 sincere sympathy, and I can justify even her hatred towards me, and I can
19 find justification for any hatred that results from such a tragedy. But
20 I don't think that what the Prosecutor did in examination-in-chief would
21 be appropriate.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Ms. Biersay, let me
24 Witness, on February 3rd, 2003, we have a document which seems to
25 bear your signature. This document, dated February 3rd, 2004
1 [as interpreted], also bears an official stamp dated February 4th, 2003,
2 so it seems that the document -- it took at least a month for this
3 document to reach a central organisation that recorded it.
4 You said you never went to Tuzla. Are you absolutely sure?
5 A. I'm sure that to the authorities in Tuzla or to the authorities
6 anywhere in our country, I never said anything about this. It's only
7 that in Tuzla, they called me and came to fetch me in the car. But it
8 was your own officers. If I could see that woman now, I could recognise
9 her. I talked to them.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, Mr. Seselj. I'm
11 trying to shed light on this.
12 You were saying that people from this Tribunal came to get you in
13 a car. These people from the Tribunal, were they speaking English, were
14 they speaking your own language? How many were they?
15 A. They spoke English, they spoke English, and the driver was our
16 local man from Bosnia. He took my passport to make a copy, and it was
17 said that I should come next year, the following year, but I didn't come
18 until now.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I believe that you can
20 understand English.
21 A. No.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No. This person speaking
23 English, how could she convey -- how could she convey what she wanted to
24 say? Who was the interpreter?
25 A. There was an interpreter. There were two of them, one man, one
1 woman. And in addition to them, there was one person from Bosnia who
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. In the car there
4 were four people; yourself, the lady from the Tribunal, the interpreter,
5 and the driver?
6 A. Correct.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And where did you go, all four
8 of you?
9 A. It was in an office in Tuzla. It's towards -- it was an
10 institutional building on the way to Gradina, in that direction.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This office in Tuzla, was it an
12 office of the Tuzla police? What office was it?
13 A. I don't know whose office it was, but we were not there long. A
14 few months after that conversation, the same driver came to fetch me,
15 took me somewhere to have my blood samples taken. He went to my
16 apartment to take my passport to make a copy. He said he would find a
17 Xerox machine to have that copy ready to avoid delays like the first
18 time. But I never went to our authorities, and I never explained
19 anything to our authorities.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You were in Tuzla. Did they
21 ask you to sign a document?
22 A. I signed them and we talked.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You signed this document?
24 A. The one that I just saw? It's not that one -- it's not that
25 document, because that's not my handwriting.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You signed a document, but not
2 this one, because you're saying this is not your signature. But the
3 document you signed, was it written in your own language or was it in
5 A. It was -- I signed in my language, if I signed, when I gave a
6 statement to those people who introduced themselves and showed their
7 official IDs.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. What year was this?
9 What year did you go to Tuzla?
10 A. 2004, because in 2003 I was here, I went here, not to Tuzla. In
11 Tuzla -- they took me to Tuzla later, after I had been here, and I was
12 here in 2003, on the 1st of September, 2003.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Our problem is the
14 following, Witness: We have this document bearing a signature. You're
15 saying this is not your signature?
16 A. It is not.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This document looks very much
18 like an official document. I don't understand your language, but I get
19 the impression that it is very similar to the statement you made to the
20 OTP, except for one crucial element. In this document, there is no
21 mention of any presence of Seselj's men. Seselj's men appear with the
22 documents from the OTP, which is why we have a problem.
23 The question is very straightforward. From the very onset to
24 the -- the very first people to ask you questions about what had happened
25 to your family and to yourself, from the onset did you say that it was
1 Arkan's men and Seselj's men, or did you say nothing regarding the
2 identification of those who perpetrated these crimes?
3 A. I said the same story like today, because I cannot forget my
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As far as you recollect,
6 Witness, and we all understand that such an event will stay etched into
7 your memory forever, but as far as you recollect, can you tell us when
8 you were able to relate everything that had happened to a third party, a
9 person investigating, either authorities from your own country or
10 investigators from the OTP? Could you tell us, as far as you recollect,
11 in what year you started relating all this?
12 A. I gave my first statement in Berlin. At that time, I was in
13 Germany, in Berlin, when I gave a statement.
14 MS. BIERSAY: Your Honour, I'm sorry to interrupt. Could we
15 please move to private session for this portion?
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's move into
17 private session.
18 [Private session]
11 Pages 5982-5989 redacted. Private session.
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So in open session, the Trial
19 Chamber is confronted with the following problem: During the
20 examination-in-chief of the witness, the Prosecutor put questions to the
21 witness based on material collected in September 1996; to be more
22 specific, on the 24th of September, 1996. During the cross-examination,
23 Mr. Seselj has produced a document coming from the security services of
24 Sarajevo, dated the 3rd of February, 2003. This document is stamped.
25 The stamp indicates what the origin of the document is, and the stamp is
1 dated the 4th of February, 2003. It seems that on this second document,
2 the document of 2003, no mention was made of the presence of Seselj's
3 men. Therefore, the accused has shown us this piece of evidence.
4 Now, if we compare this with the document of 2003, and when the
5 two documents were presented to her, the witness does not recognise her
6 signature. And as I expressly requested her to check this, she checked
7 these signatures. On the document, in B/C/S, there is a signature on the
8 first page and a signature on the second page. The witness was not so
9 positive as far as one of the signatures was concerned, whilst saying
10 that she was never interviewed by the official services of the Republic
11 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but that she was only interviewed by the
12 investigators of the OTP. And she stands by this statement of hers.
13 This is how things stand: At the moment, we have still not
14 solved this issue. So, Madam Prosecutor, you would like to put a
15 question to the witness, who met with members of the OTP yesterday, and
16 this was the question which you had put; is that right, Ms. Biersay?
17 MS. BIERSAY: That's correct, Your Honour, and before I request
18 that we move into private session for the question, I'd like to remind
19 the Chamber that 65 ter number 5017 is the 92 bis package that had been
20 previously submitted for admission under that Rule, and from that
21 document, on the face of it, there was a meeting on the 22nd of February,
22 2003, for the signing of that 92 bis package. I just wanted to highlight
23 that for the Chamber.
24 And, Your Honours, at this time if we could briefly move into
25 private session.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's move back
2 into private session, because you would like to mention a fact which
3 could perhaps identify the witness. Is that right?
4 MS. BIERSAY: Yes, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's move back into private
6 session then, please.
7 [Private session]
11 Pages 5993-5995 redacted. Private session.
3 [Open session]
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in open session.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, if you would like
6 to take the floor again and put questions to the witness, or do you have
7 no further questions? It's whatever you feel you would like to do.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have completed my
9 cross-examination, and I said that loud and clear.
10 Now I just want to present my demand that the previous private
11 session, that lasted about half an hour, be made entirely public, because
12 no address was mentioned there. If there is any reason for this current
13 little private session now to remain private because of the address, I
14 agree, but those -- half an hour, sometime ago I demanded that they be
15 made public, because otherwise my rights in this trial would be
16 considerably violated. Without the public nature of the trial, I have no
17 interest in defending myself.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Your application
19 has been recorded. We will see whether lifting part of the private
20 session is justified. We shall see whether this should remain in private
21 session. It should remain in private session as far as the address is
22 concerned, solely.
23 Ms. Biersay, we have finished, unless you have other questions
24 you would like to put.
25 MS. BIERSAY: No further questions. Thank you, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I'd like to thank you.
2 Would you like to add something? I saw that you raised your
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do want to show you the documents
5 that I now recently got from Republika Srpska, and I want to show you
6 that my details are recorded incorrectly. I also have my personal ID
7 card. They changed my name. It's not my real name. I told them I
8 wanted my name recorded properly, and they told me, "You have to go to
9 the Official Gazette and go --"
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Ms. Biersay.
11 MS. BIERSAY: Forgive me. I was anticipating the revelation of
12 some private information, but I don't think we're there yet. Thank you.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, as far as the official
14 papers are concerned which raise questions because your name seems to
15 have been changed, well I trust you, and I'm not going to ask you to show
16 us your passport, because there's no direct link here with what we're
17 discussing. This is not relevant, as far as your testimony is concerned,
18 which relates to what happened in 1992.
19 Therefore, I would like to thank you, on behalf of the Judges of
20 this Bench, to have come to testify in The Hague at the request of the
21 Prosecution. And as my fellow Judge has told you, we feel a great deal
22 of sympathy for you and given what you have lived through.
23 Before adjourning, I would like the usher should escort you out
24 of the courtroom. You can leave the courtroom, because the blinds have
25 been dropped and you may leave the courtroom.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much for everything.
2 [The witness withdrew]
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I shall now turn to Mr. Mundis
4 and ask him what the schedule for next week is to be. I put my -- I
5 asked these questions yesterday already, and I wanted to know whether the
6 upcoming witnesses will be a problem or not.
7 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Good morning, everyone.
9 I'm not in possession of any information that would lead me to
10 conclude that there would be any changes to the schedule as previously
11 circulated. VS-007, as far as I know, will be here to testify next week.
12 In the event that situation changes, the Trial Chamber and Dr. Seselj
13 will be notified as soon as such information comes into our possession.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, if there are any
15 changes, I have absolutely no capacity, no resources, to prepare for new
16 witnesses. I only have the documents for the witness announced for next
17 week and the witness announced for the week after. All the other
18 documents are still boxed. They're not even in binders, because to save
19 room I took them all out of binders and put them in boxes. And until I
20 get the opportunity to sort out the boxes, I cannot even find the right
21 documents for a witness who hasn't been announced so far. I'm only ready
22 for these two that are scheduled.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Of course, this can be
24 admitted. There are two documents for next week and the week after --
25 two witnesses for next week and the week after that. If the next witness
1 cannot come then please call another witness. Given that the cells are
2 being done up at the moment, the accused would not be able to read these
3 documents, so you might want to plan for a third witness that has not
4 been scheduled so far.
5 I've asked you to prepare a list of the videos that could be
6 shown, Mr. Mundis, in case we were to be without a witness. How do
7 things stand?
8 MR. MUNDIS: Well, Mr. President, we are, as I indicated
9 yesterday, still undertaking that review. I'm not sure if we have any
10 category A videos left. This team had divided the videos into category A
11 videos and category B videos. I'm not -- as I just said, I'm not sure
12 there are any category A videos remaining. I will get back to you as
13 soon as we're able to make a final determination on that, and I will
14 revisit the issue as soon as we adjourn for today. But I'm not sure
15 we'll be in a position to show any videos.
16 I, again at this point, do not have any reason to believe that
17 the witnesses scheduled for the next two weeks will not be coming, so
18 I think it might be premature to be planning anything in the event those
19 two witnesses don't come. I will say, however, that perhaps -- and this
20 is also something I'll be getting to a little bit later today. I do
21 envision sending a letter to Dr. Seselj concerning the possibility of
22 meetings with respect to any agreed facts. That has come up again on the
23 record just a few weeks ago. So we may be in a position whereby in the
24 event a hearing were to have to be cancelled for any reason, that we
25 might be -- we might be in a position to use that time in order for
1 myself or members of my team and Dr. Seselj to perhaps have a meeting to
2 discuss agreed facts or any other types of stipulations. So that is
3 something else that I will be, as I indicated, sending a letter to
4 Dr. Seselj on in the next day or two. So that might be another way of
5 constructively using time that otherwise would not be available due to
6 the fact that a witness or witnesses might not appear.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber can only
8 encourage this, all parties, actually, to meet, so that together you tell
9 the Trial Chamber that you agreed on such-and-such facts, and then you
10 can really work on the points that are challenged, because this would
11 really help save time. As an example, talking about Zvornik, for
12 example, there's no challenge about the fact that events occurred in
13 Zvornik. This could be agreed by both parties. The challenge, of
14 course, is who did what, but this is another problem.
15 If both parties can agree as to the fact that there were events
16 that occurred in Zvornik or elsewhere, then it's not necessary to have
17 witnesses come here in the courtroom to talk about these events, except
18 that of course they could come in order to identify the perpetrators.
19 But at least we could avoid talking about some issues.
20 So it's in everybody's interest for Mr. Seselj to meet with
21 Mr. Mundis -- with Mr. Mundis to meet with Mr. Seselj. Mr. Seselj said
22 he agreed to that, in order to look into what could be -- what could be
23 subject to a judicial notice that would be then submitted to the Trial
24 Chamber, and then you could redirect yourself towards the elements that
25 are really specific to your cases, and this would really help save a lot
1 of time.
2 For example, the witness who came earlier, we identified
3 extremely well where the problem lied, and there was no need to spend
4 hours on trying to identify this problem.
5 So please meet, you know, and that can only be very profitable,
6 of course, if you meet in the right spirit. You should not meet with a
7 bellicose spirit, but I've known you for a while and I believe that the
8 spirit governing these proceedings is very correct. So please meet as
9 soon as possible, and there might be some positive outcome to this, and
10 the Trial Chamber is ready to save time.
11 This trial has been dragging on for too long. The accused has
12 been waiting for years for this trial. I personally believe, and I've
13 said this on many occasions, that this trial should have been heard
14 earlier and not at this late stage in 2007-2008.
15 Before we adjourn, Mr. Seselj, would you like to take the floor?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I do have something to say on this
17 subject, and only on this subject.
18 If you had offered me to meet with the beautiful and charming
19 Ms. Biersay, I may have accepted, but since the offer is to meet with
20 Mr. Mundis, I categorically refuse.
21 For five years, I offered to meet with the Prosecution, in the
22 presence of my legal assistants, and that was my only condition for that
23 meeting, to clarify all facts in dispute, to find what we can stipulate
24 regarding certain historic events. The Prosecution refused this, and
25 they blackmailed me. "Yes, we can, but in the presence of a standby
1 counsel, not your legal assistants."
2 Now, when the trial is ongoing and has been going on for a while,
3 I have no reason anymore to meet with the Prosecutor. I don't want to
4 meet with him. Everything is in dispute now. Even the date today is in
5 dispute. This can be no reason to stop the trial or interrupt it. Maybe
6 you are in a hurry, but I'm no longer in a hurry to get anywhere. I've
7 been here for six years now, and I'm in no hurry any longer.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, we've heard you,
9 but I believe that I have to go back in time briefly.
10 Immediately after your initial hearing, you told us that
11 Ms. Carla Del Ponte wanted to meet with you. At the time you accepted,
12 subject to the fact that this meeting be filmed and be carried out in the
13 presence of witnesses, if possible your own witnesses, and Ms. Del Ponte
14 declined, so there was no meeting.
15 At the time when Ms. Dahl took over, took her position, I tried
16 to revive this possible meeting between the two parties. At the time, it
17 seems that you had agreed to it, but for a reason that totally escapes
18 me, Ms. Dahl wasted time and the day she sent you a letter, inviting you
19 for meeting you, you categorically refused to meet with her.
20 A few -- recently, this came back, this whole issue came back,
21 and I thought I understood that you were not really hostile to this kind
22 of meeting, and I believe that it is in this spirit that Mr. Mundis
23 envisaged to send you a letter in order to meet up with you. But now
24 you're saying you no longer want to meet him. I mean, it takes two
25 people to have a meeting, at least. If one is reluctant, what can we do?
1 If you don't want to meet with him, we cannot force you to. However,
2 this is quite regrettable, because, you know, dialogue is always very
3 beneficial. Maybe you disagree with this, and then there will be no
4 meeting and the trial will continue as planned.
5 Out of memory, I say that we gave the Prosecution about 120 or
6 125 hours to present its case. I think it's 120, not 125. You will be
7 granted the same amount of time to present your own case and your own
8 witnesses, so theoretically, unless we run into a disaster, this trial
9 should end next year in 2009.
10 I cannot add anything to this.
11 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I have something to add before
12 Mr. Seselj takes the floor.
13 He is not entitled to choose who he is going to meet with from
14 the OTP. The person chosen -- the person from the OTP that he will meet
15 with is chosen by Mr. Mundis. He cannot pick and choose, and he cannot
16 accept or refuse just because he -- supposedly he would meet with a
17 beautiful lady like Ms. Biersay. That is not acceptable.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I have to clarify two points.
20 If you recall, Mr. President, to the best of my recollection, at
21 the first status conference that you presided over, I think it was in
22 March last year, I reiterated my willingness to have a dialogue with a
23 representative of the OTP under the sole condition that my legal advisers
24 and selected investigators be present. Ms. Dahl hesitated until the end
25 of October. She didn't want that meeting to take place. She took the
1 initiative only a week before the start of trial, and then it was too
3 There's another point I have to clarify. I did meet with
4 Ms. Carla Del Ponte. That was after my plea. That was in March 2003,
5 and it wasn't because I said I was willing or asked for a meeting, but
6 because after the status conference and after I entered my plea, the
7 guards forcibly took me to Carla Del Ponte's office. That conversation
8 was rather short. There was an interpreter there and there was her
9 associate. What was her name? Hartman, Florence Hartman was there. The
10 conversation boiled down to mutual compliments. As for the merits, I
11 said I could discuss beletre [phoen] with her or the weather. Anything
12 else I could discuss only in the presence of my legal advisers, and that
13 was the end of our conversation, so the conversations never took place.
14 As for what Judge Lattanzi said, I don't know what your
15 interpretation was, what you heard, but I was making a joke. I assume I
16 have the right to make a joke, to say something humorous from time to
17 time. I didn't say I would choose who was to meet with me from the OTP.
18 I said I might perhaps change my mind or hesitate had I been offered a
19 meeting with the beautiful and charming Ms. Biersay. As you
20 misunderstood my humorous remark, I now withdraw it.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Regarding the first item you
22 mentioned, I fully agree with you.
23 Mr. Mundis, what Mr. Seselj says is true. He had offered for a
24 meeting, as long as he could have his associates with him, which seems
25 logical, and Ms. Dahl, for a reason that I don't know, did not give --
1 did not follow suit. That's just exactly how it happened, and I'm a
2 witness to this because I was present during the pre-trial -- the status
3 conference, when this was announced. And then later on, a few months
4 later, Ms. Dahl came back on her decision, but Mr. Seselj believed it was
5 too late. I believe that it's never too late in life, but he believed it
6 was too late. That is how things happened.
7 I'd like to thank you all now, and we will meet again on Tuesday
8 in the afternoon, next Tuesday in the afternoon, so at 2.45 next Tuesday,
9 2.45 because my fellow Judges are sitting in the Delic case.
10 So we resume on Tuesday at 2.45. Thank you.
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 11.31 a.m.,
12 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 15th day of April,
13 2008, at 2.45 p.m.