1 Wednesday, 4 June 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 8.32 a.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, can you call the
6 case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you and good morning, Your Honours.
8 This is case number IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus
9 Vojislav Seselj.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
11 Today, we are Wednesday, the 4th of June, 2008. I'd like to
12 greet the representatives of the Prosecution, Mr. Seselj, as well as all
13 the people assisting us in the courtroom today.
14 We have a witness who has been scheduled today, who has been
15 granted protective measures. If there are no changes to the schedule, we
16 shall drop the blinds, bring the witness into the courtroom, and I shall
17 have a few questions to put to him before he takes the solemn
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please, I have a procedural issue,
20 if you give me the floor. Do I have the floor?
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Please proceed.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am surprised, first of all, by
23 this partition here. Second, I'm surprised to hear you say that this
24 witness enjoys protective measures, because I was served yesterday with a
25 urgent motion by the Prosecution for protective measures for VS-55 --
1 1055, dated 28th May, 2008, and the Prosecution gives the rationale for
2 its motion. Maybe you have already made a ruling on this, but if you
3 have, you did so improperly because you did not give me a chance to state
4 my opinion. I have seven days to state my opinion. If you did not make
5 a decision, then this witness does not enjoy protective measures. If he
6 does not enjoy protective measures, then I insist that this partition be
7 taken out of the courtroom.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're going rather too fast.
9 We shall move into closed session, to begin with.
10 Registrar, please.
11 [Private session]
11 Pages 7776-7802 redacted. Private session.
13 [Open session]
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're now in open session.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]
16 MR. MARCUSSEN:
17 Q. VS-1055, what was the ethnic composition of your village before
18 the war?
19 A. The ethnic composition, as far as I understand, was around
20 45 per cent Serbs, 45 per cent Muslims, and some 10 per cent Croats.
21 Q. And how would you describe the relationship between these
22 different groups before the war?
23 A. The relations were good, extremely good. You could even say
25 Q. Did there come a time when things changed so that the
1 relationship between the various groups became different?
2 A. With the developments throughout the country, tensions gradually
3 were heightened, and the action taken by the municipality of Ilijas,
4 which added tension, forcibly annexed the town of Ilijas and the whole
5 municipality to the Serbian Autonomous District of Romanija.
6 Q. What had -- what entity had Ilijas municipality been a part of
7 before the events you just described?
8 A. The municipality belonged to the city of Sarajevo, together with
9 Vogosca, Ilidza, Trnovo, Pale, and Hadzici municipalities.
10 Q. And you mentioned the Serbian Autonomous District of Romanija.
11 Do you know when that was created?
12 A. I can't say precisely when.
13 Q. Was it created before the decision that you just mentioned?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. What parties were in the Municipal Assembly of Ilijas?
16 A. In the Municipal Assembly of Ilijas, the Serbian Democratic Party
17 was represented, the Party of Democratic Action, SDA, HDZ, the Croatian
18 Democratic Union, and in a small percentage, reformist forces.
19 Q. Do you know the names of any of the leaders of these parties in
21 A. The leaders of the Serbian Democratic Party -- the leader was
22 Ratko Adzic. The Party of Democratic Action was led by Fehim Mesetovic.
23 And the Croatian Democratic Union, Jozo Vidovic.
24 Q. Do you remember about at what -- sorry. Do you remember the
25 approximate time that the decision was taken that Ilijas municipality
1 should be part of SAO Romanija?
2 A. I think that was in March, the month of March 1992.
3 Q. Did there come a time when you saw armed formations appearing in
4 your municipality?
5 A. Yes, I did see armed formations appearing in the town of Ilijas.
6 Q. When about was that?
7 A. That started happening at the end of March and the beginning of
8 April 1992.
9 Q. Are you familiar with any of the leaders of these armed
11 A. The leaders of these armed formations, or the leader, was
12 Vasilije Vidovic, nicknamed Vaske.
13 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, I would ask that we move into
14 private session again for a brief moment.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Registrar, private
16 session, please.
17 [Private session]
11 Page 7806 redacted. Private session.
2 [Open session]
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're now in open session.
4 MR. MARCUSSEN:
5 Q. VS-1055, you described where Vaske had been before he reappeared
6 in Ilijas municipality. Did you ever overhear any discussions where this
7 was being talked about?
8 A. Could you repeat that question, please? I didn't understand it.
9 Q. How do you know -- apart from what you've just described about
10 how you know where Vaske had been before he came back to your
11 municipality, have you ever overheard any conversations or anything like
12 that which informed you about where he had been?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. This is an improper
14 question. "Did you perhaps ever overhear any conversations?" That's how
15 it read. Now, what does that mean? A proper question would be, "Did you
16 have any knowledge of," not, "Did you ever overhear any conversations?"
17 I don't assume the witness is going to testify about what he overheard.
18 That's hearsay. But the proper way to put the question is as I put it.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen, rephrase your
20 question. I personally found it difficult to understand the question, as
21 all of this is rather confused, so put a broader question to emphasise
22 what you wish to emphasise.
23 MR. MARCUSSEN:
24 Q. VS-1055, apart from the book that you have mentioned, have you
25 learned of where Vaske was from any other source?
1 A. The office that I worked in was about 60 to 70 metres away from
2 Vaske's flat, and on one occasion, from his flat, most probably without
3 Vaske's knowledge, his father, Jovo, took out photographs from the battle
4 front in Knin, and he boasted about the successes his son had had. He
5 boasted to all the passersby, everybody that went past the shop I was
6 working in. I did not go up to him to look at the photographs, but I
7 assumed that those were the ones, Vaske's photographs from the front,
8 from the battlefield, which his father confirmed to me orally.
9 Q. Could you describe to us how the men -- how the group that Vaske
10 had with him looked?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] How do we suddenly come to a group
12 of people, "the group"?
13 MR. MARCUSSEN: The witness testified that he saw armed
14 formations in his municipality and that these armed formations were
15 led -- and the leader of these armed formations were -- was Vaske. Okay,
16 I can put the question without --
17 Q. If the witness can please describe how the armed formation that
18 Vaske was the leader of looked, if the accused is opposed to the use of
19 the word, "group."
20 A. My information to the effect that they were Vaske's soldiers is
21 derived from the following. All those people were from the Knin
22 battleground and they had come to a funeral of a friend of theirs who had
23 been killed at Knin. His name was Margetic. I don't know his first
24 name, but his surname was Margetic. They had come to attend the funeral
25 and after the funeral, they all stayed on. The population complained
1 about the presence of people in uniform in town, and then one day, over
2 the local radio station, the mayor of the town, Ratko Adzic, informed the
3 population that these people would be staying there for just a short
4 while, that they were there to attend the funeral, and because Vaske had
5 been wounded, and that they would leave and withdraw. But they never
7 They wore various uniforms, but all of them had a belt with
8 knives stuck to the belt.
9 Q. Were they wearing any kind of insignia or -- well, were they
10 wearing any kind of insignia?
11 A. Yes. They had insignia belonging to the Chetnik organisation;
12 that is to say, a skull, or a cockade, or the fur hat, or the sajkaca
13 type of cap, all denoting that they belonged to that organisation.
14 MR. MARCUSSEN: And I'd like if the Registrar would please call
15 up 65 ter number 7222, and if we can go to page 79 of that exhibit. And,
16 Your Honours, it is in your witness folder under tab 3.
17 Q. 1055 --
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. I don't seem to have
19 that tab. All I have is this [indicates]. I was given a binder to go
20 with the previous witness, whereas I don't seem to have tab 3. I just
21 have the exhibit numbers. So could the Prosecutor repeat the exhibit
22 title, because I have no tabs here at all. It hasn't been tabbed.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can you tell us in which tab we
24 can find this? There are two numbers which enable us to locate the
25 document, and can you give us a page number, please.
1 MR. MARCUSSEN: Let me just consult the copy that we have of what
2 Your Honours have been given.
3 Sorry, maybe there are two questions. The page number in this
4 document we need to look at is page 79. The title of the document is
5 "Insignia and Uniforms Worn by Serbian Armed Forces during the 1991 to
6 1995 Conflict." The --
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. To help
8 Mr. Seselj, this must be the document which -- well, you can see in red,
9 on the left-hand side of the document, you can see the number "06323424."
10 THE REGISTRAR: I cannot open it.
11 MR. MARCUSSEN: I'm informed that there's a problem opening the
12 document, so maybe we can use the ELMO instead, if the usher will assist.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, let the usher put it on
14 the ELMO.
15 MR. MARCUSSEN:
16 Q. VS-1055, while we're waiting for these technical things to be
17 sorted out: How many men were there with Vaske?
18 A. About 20.
19 MR. MARCUSSEN: The document is now displayed in e-court,
20 I think, so should we rather proceed with that or the ELMO? I'm at the
21 disposal of the Registrar, really. We'll do the ELMO.
22 Q. 1055, I'm going to show you a series of pictures, and I'd like
23 you to tell me whether or not -- tell the Court whether or not any of the
24 things that have been shown to you were seen by you at the time with
25 Vaske's men.
1 So, first of all, this is from page -- for the record, from
2 page 79 of the exhibit. Did you see this insignia?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Where?
5 A. This insignia was on the vehicle used by Vasilije Vidovic, Vaske.
6 MR. MARCUSSEN: And if we can open the next page of this exhibit,
7 page 80.
8 Q. Did you see this?
9 A. Yes.
10 MR. MARCUSSEN: And if we can move to the next page.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please. You are
12 asking him whether he has seen this. You must ask him where and when.
13 MR. MARCUSSEN:
14 Q. 1055, where was this insignia seen?
15 A. This insignia I saw on the caps and fur hats, the subara of the
16 soldiers I mentioned.
17 MR. MARCUSSEN: And if we can go to the subsequent page, 81.
18 Q. Here we have another insignia. Is this one that you recognised
19 from the time, and if so, when did you see it or where was it seen?
20 A. I didn't notice what was written, but I did notice the emblem,
21 not the words, on caps, on the uniforms, on the subaras or fur hats.
22 MR. MARCUSSEN: And if we can move to page 82, please.
23 Q. Again, the same question: Is this an insignia that you saw at
24 the time, and if so, where?
25 A. All this insignia belonged to those soldiers. Some of them had
1 them as badges, others had them on their caps, yet others had them on
2 their shoulders and so on.
3 MR. MARCUSSEN: Could we move to page 91, please, of this
5 Q. 1055, did you see something like this?
6 A. Yes, that's the fur hat, but I don't think I saw this insignia.
7 Actually, I didn't have the courage to come up close to have a look, but
8 I'm sure that that was it.
9 MR. MARCUSSEN: And if we can go to page 92.
10 Q. Here we have another hat. Did you see something like this?
11 A. Yes, yes.
12 Q. Was that worn by anyone, and if so, who?
13 A. This kind of cap was worn by Vasilije Vidovic, Vaske, in the
14 attack against my village, and I'll come to that later on.
15 MR. MARCUSSEN: And page 93, please.
16 Q. Now, this picture, does that resemble people that you saw at the
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Could you describe in what way?
20 A. You mean the people? Well, they were characteristically wearing
21 this kind of clothing, that is to say, uniform, caps, beards, the
22 insignia, as I described it.
23 MR. MARCUSSEN: Thank you. We're done with this exhibit. I'll
24 request -- or I'll ask that we have the document, or at least the pages
25 that have been shown to the witness be given an exhibit number.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, please.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the pages shown to the witness will
3 be Exhibit P455.
4 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, we will prepare an extract with the
5 relevant pages that we will upload into e-court so we have only the
6 relevant pages as an exhibit under the list number.
7 Q. 1055, did there come a time when roadblocks were set up in your
9 A. Yes. When the Serbian authorities, with the proclamation of SAO
10 Romanija, took control of the police station, that's the time when the
11 roadblocks were set up.
12 Q. When was that?
13 A. That was already at the beginning of May.
14 Q. Who was manning the roadblocks?
15 A. The roadblocks were manned for a time by the locals, the locals
16 of a particular place, because the Stavinja, Podlugovi, and Vratnica
17 roadblocks were set up, in those places, so that the police station of
18 Ilijas, which had been taken control of by the Serb -- the authorities of
19 the Serb municipality of Ilijas.
20 Q. Could you describe -- you mentioned that the Serbs took over the
21 police station in Ilijas. Could you describe what happened?
22 A. I was not near the police station, because I was going about my
23 regular duties on that day. I was in the shop. But I heard that the
24 police forces or, rather, the policemen came from other parts, like
25 Zenica, Visoko. They'd already crossed over into Ilijas territory, and
1 with the other Ilijas policemen they took control of the police station
2 and set up their own people there in leading positions, as commander or
3 the chief of the two services and all the other police services. The
4 Muslims left their work posts together with the Croatian policemen, and
5 an agreement of sorts was reached about the division -- or, rather, the
6 handing out of weapons, whether it belonged to the Territorial Defence or
7 the police force or whatever. But I do know that part of the weapons
8 reached my place, and in charge was the commander of the then-police
9 force, Omer Spahic.
10 Omer Spahic returned to his native village. He hailed from, as
11 we call it, the upper part, which is the Nisicka Plateau, and the person
12 who remained with the weapons was -- well, called him up on the phone
13 once - the telephone was still working. He said he didn't know what to
14 do with the weapons because there weren't enough men, there was no
15 reserve police force, so he didn't know what to do with the weapons. And
16 that conversation, telephone conversation, was intercepted in the post
17 office somewhere by the Serb policemen, and arrived immediately and took
18 away those same weapons. And this action was led by a commander called
20 Q. And what happened when Markovic came?
21 A. Markovic arrived with some of his men, and he demanded that the
22 weapons be handed over. Well, he had heard that the weapons were there.
23 And our people complied; they handed over the weapons just as they had
24 received them.
25 Q. VS-1055, you have described these developments. Did you at some
1 point in time see military equipment being deployed in Ilijas
3 A. I did not see military equipment brought into Ilijas. It had
4 been brought sometime long ago. But we could see from our houses
5 military vehicles moving through the hilly areas, more precisely through
6 the local community of Ljubnici, which borders with Cekrcici towards
7 Visoko, with only the Bosna River between us.
8 Q. I'd like to go back to discuss one more issue with respect to
9 Vaske's group.
10 Were any kind of privileges given to men from his group?
11 A. The men from his group were put up partly in his apartment and
12 some in his house in Podlugovi for all their support, the wine and
13 spirits. They needed food and the rest. It was the teacher of
14 mathematics in Ilijas who was in charge of providing that. He ordered my
15 colleagues to provide all the financial help and assistance in kind
16 whenever their vehicles arrived to pick it up.
17 I saw Milan Bjelica drive a vehicle belonging to an Ilijas
18 company, drive to the Hyper Market led by Momir Andric. Then they went
19 on to banks and other businesses. Wherever the person in charge was a
20 Serb --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat these names,
23 MR. MARCUSSEN:
24 Q. You're being asked to repeat the names that you just mentioned
25 for the benefit of the interpreters.
1 A. So for all their support, they needed the finance, the alcohol,
2 the food, it was Mirko Ostojic, the professor of mathematics in Ilijas
3 who was in charge. That was his job. The people who led various
4 businesses and shops and who provided the goods were Milan Bjelica, the
5 manager in the butcher's shop in Ilijas, and that butcher's shop belonged
6 to Ilpit in Ilijas. Market number 10 was managed by Momir Andric.
7 Ilpit's shop near the bank and the shop in Podlugovi, where the manager
8 was Mirko Andric.
9 Q. Did you continue to work during this period of time?
10 A. I continued to work until the 26th of May, when I was met at the
11 doorstep by Zdravko Djuric, who served me with a decision that I have to
12 turn over my shop to a Serb, Miroslav Delipara. This order was certified
13 by the stamp of the Serbian Democratic Party, and the signature was that
14 of Trifko Radic.
15 MR. MARCUSSEN: And, Your Honours, I would like to call up 65 ter
16 number 4272. No, sorry, that's incorrect. It should be 65 ter
17 number 7229.
18 Q. 1055, we have a document now on the screen. Could you tell us
19 what that is?
20 A. I'm looking at that decision that I mentioned a moment ago.
21 Q. What was the ethnicity of Djuric?
22 A. Djuric was a Serb.
23 Q. Were you told why you had to hand over the shop?
24 A. I've got to mention that all the members of the Serbian [as
25 interpreted] and Croatian ethnic communities, in the health centre, in
1 the ironworks, or in the education system, were replaced because they
2 were Muslims and Croats.
3 Q. And they were --
4 A. And my turn came to --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction. It's not the Serbian
6 and Croatian ethnic communities, but Muslim and Croatian.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were replaced by ethnic Serbs.
8 MR. MARCUSSEN:
9 Q. What did you -- where did you stay after the 26th of May?
10 A. Beginning with the 26th of May, I was at my home in Ljesevo. In
11 that period, I tried to get my family out on the regional road,
12 Ilijas-Visoko. However, at the roadblock at the present border of the
13 Sarajevo-Zenica canton, near the tavern called Izlet there was a
14 roadblock manned by policemen from the police station of Ilijas. They
15 did not let me through. One of them was an active-duty policeman, and I
16 knew him privately. His name was Stanisic. And another young man was
17 with him. They turned me back. This young man, named Cedo, was wearing
18 a uniform of the reserve police.
19 I went back home with my family across the hill. I took my
20 family away to Vrbovik, and I remained to run some errands and finish
21 some business, because I had some small cattle and one cow.
22 Q. Could you explain to the Court, why did you try to send your
23 family away?
24 A. We still had electricity. The television and radio reported
25 daily on crimes being committed in the areas Bijeljina, Zvornik, Brcko.
1 It was clear that those things were coming closer to us, and of course I
2 was looking for safety.
3 Q. And could you tell us, what did you hear about what was happening
4 in those areas?
5 A. Well, every day news came of crimes committed. Television
6 broadcasts showed dead bodies in the streets of Zvornik. It was quite
7 clear that one should run away. The radio reported -- I remember one
8 specific thing, that Arkan's and Seselj's units entered Bijeljina and
9 freed the town from Muslims, as they put it.
10 Q. What station did you get this information from, if you remember?
11 A. The radio and television I had were tuned mostly to Radio and TV
12 Sarajevo, and the reporters reported from the various towns concerned.
13 Q. Could you describe what the situation was like in your village
14 between the day that you sent your family away and the 4th of June, 1992?
15 A. From the time my family left across the hill to Breza
16 municipality, things seemed to be pretty calm. You didn't see much
17 people around. Many had left already. You could say it was calm until
18 that fatal day, the 4th of June, around 1700 hours.
19 There was just one shot heard, which was a sign -- a signal to
20 start firing at our village from all sorts of weapons.
21 Q. Where were you when this shot was fired?
22 A. From my home some 300, 400 metres away. I had a brother who
23 lived there. I started walking there, and on the way a lady neighbour,
24 Salema Fazlic, asked me to have coffee with her. We talked behind a
25 house nearby, drinking coffee, when the firing started.
1 Q. And could you describe the nature of the fire that you talk
3 A. All across the village, shells started falling. You could hear
4 infantry weapons firing, fire from all types of weapons. In the village,
5 there were no armed units to put up any resistance. Instead, we managed
6 to run to the basement of that woman. At first, there were five or six
7 of us, and then other neighbours from nearby houses ran to join us,
8 trying to find some safety in that basement.
9 Q. You mentioned infantry weapons and fire from all sort of weapons.
10 Was there artillery fire as well, as far as you know?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Who were with you in the basement?
13 A. With me in the basement, there were Suad Masnopita,
14 Senahid Fazlic, Salema Fazlic, Amir Fazlic, Mahmut Fazlic, later we were
15 joined by Osman Omanovic, Bulbul, Hasan, Bulbul, Munib, so every moment
16 the number of us in the basement increased.
17 Q. How long did the fire -- the weapons fire last?
18 A. The firing lasted until 3.00 p.m., which was not quite enough for
19 us to run away. We reckoned there would be no more firing, but instead
20 it continued, and it didn't stop this time until we were arrested.
21 Q. Did you see, from the basement, what happened to any of the
22 houses around where you were?
23 A. At one point, Amir Fazlic looked through the blinds, which were
24 down. He peered through the blinds and he saw Munib Bulbul's house
25 burning some ten metres away from us. At that time, we decided to try
1 running away. Amir was the first to go, then Muharem Islamovic,
2 Dzevad Salkic. I was supposed to be the fourth to go. However, when my
3 turn came, Amir and Salkic came back wounded, and I realised that it
4 would be a futile attempt.
5 At that moment, the attackers came close to us, making a lot of
6 noise and racket, shooting, calling to us to come out. We came out with
7 our arms raised. They pushed us to the ground, asking for money,
8 passports. They took all the jewellery off the women, earrings,
9 bracelets, rings, whatever they had. And then they told us to stand up,
10 intending to put us back in the basement.
11 And then Vasilije Vidovic approached, accompanied by a blonde
12 young man. At that moment, Amir, wounded, fell to the ground. He was
13 shot in the head, and that made me suspect that Vasilije Vidovic was the
14 killer, or perhaps the blonde young man who was with him.
15 Q. Let me just stop you for a brief moment. Where were you standing
16 when this happened?
17 A. I was standing outside, and Amir, wounded, had been standing next
18 to me outside the house, on a concrete slab.
19 Q. He was standing next to you outside the house when he was shot
20 and fell to the ground?
21 A. Yes, correct.
22 Q. Did you see who fired the shot that killed him?
23 A. The only people coming towards us were Vasilije and this blonde
24 young man. It could be only one of the two.
25 Q. After this, what happened?
1 A. After that, we were put in the basement again. They obviously
2 intended to kill us, because they were saying, "Get in, get in." They
3 pushed us into the basement, fell us to the ground. Some of them used
4 the occasion to stand on our backs and take photos of themselves.
5 However, then came an order, "Get them out." We walked out, we formed a
6 file, and they took us to Ilijas. At the head of the file --
7 Q. Sorry, we'll get back to this in just one moment. But you said
8 you were being pushed back into the basement because you were going to
9 get killed. Why did you think at the time that you would be killed?
10 A. Because we heard voices saying, "Kill them, burn the place down."
11 MR. MARCUSSEN: Sorry, Your Honour, I'm kindly reminded, and I'm
12 afraid I'll forget if I don't, now ask for an exhibit number for 65 ter
13 number 7229. That is the document that the witness was given on the
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, please. Please
16 allow me to come back to this document. I have a series of questions to
17 put on it, and we cannot admit the document before putting these
19 On the 27th of May, 1992, three people, a commission, comes to
20 assess the stock or the property or valuables you have in your home at
21 8.00 in the morning. Did three people come to your house at 8.00 in the
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were two persons. One was
24 missing and we had to wait for him. It was Jovica Radic who had not
25 come. Zdravko replaced him with Kasim Rozijic [phoen].
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Therefore they looked around to
2 see what kind of goods you had in your house, food stuffs and things, and
3 the like?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I was working in the trade of
5 electrical supplies.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So they counted and numbered
7 the cables, the electric wires, and so on and so forth?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. There was a register of
9 debits and credits, things taken out, sold.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Seemingly, according to this
11 document, Miroslav Delipara, who was in charge of this, he had to take
12 charge of all this equipment?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. He took over the whole shop.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, please.
15 There is the equipment, on the one hand, and goods. On listening
16 to the Prosecutor and you, one has the feeling that there is a transfer
17 of goods of the entire assets. And on reading this document, as a legal
18 expert, I understand that it is the equipment that relate to a decision
19 taken on the 25th, 26th, 27th, which we don't have, was set aside.
20 You were told to leave the house; it no longer belongs to you, it
21 now belongs to Miroslav Delipara, or were you told that the equipment
22 will be entrusted to Miroslav Delipara? This is not the same thing.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Miroslav Delipara became the
24 manager of the shop, and I, as the previous manager, turn over the whole
25 inventory and the goods that were in the shop at that moment. I was
1 replaced as manager because I was a Muslim.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, Mr. Seselj. Let
3 me finish.
4 You have just talked about a manager. You were the manager?
5 When you manage, you manage on behalf of someone. You're not the owner
6 in that case. Who did this shop belong to?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Velepromet Company, Visoko, under
8 the umbrella of Trgopromet, Ilijas.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You were the manager not the
10 owner, therefore, they just changed managers?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So there was a change of
13 managers; do you agree with me?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it was a replacement of the
15 manager. I was removed from my job.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] At the risk of having time
18 deducted, I have to draw your attention to one thing.
19 You have a list of the commission who handled the turnover. Two
20 members of the commission are Muslims, and one Serb woman was with them.
21 Maybe it's not easy for you to assess it yourselves, but since you asked
22 the question, I thought it would be of assistance. Now it's on your
23 conscience whether you would deduct it from my time.
24 So it can't have been the reason, just that he was a Muslim.
25 There must have been another reason.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So there's a change of
2 managers. That's what we are told. A Serb is on the commission; what do
3 you have to say to this?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you see on the decision that
5 number 2 was a Serb who had not come. He hadn't showed up. You see,
6 Rajko Djuric's signature. He put Kasim Rozajic in the place of the
7 missing one. The third men was Mensura Hadzic [phoen], who got the same
8 decision I did, replacing her from her job, just because we were both
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So the number 2 on the original
11 document in your language, we can see that the name has been crossed out
12 and replaced by "Kasim," I can't read it very well, there's a name here.
13 And he is a Muslim, is he?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Kasim Rozajic, yes.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] He's a Muslim, is he?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. He was an assistant in the
17 shop next-door. He lost his job the very next day because he was a
18 Muslim. So all Muslims, not Kasim, Mensura and I alone, but everybody,
19 all the Muslims. Osman Vrcok [phoen] was replaced by Rade Skando
20 [phoen]. Let me not enumerate all the Muslims who were replaced. The
21 whole business was.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Perhaps Mr. Seselj will address
23 this during his cross-examination.
24 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I have a question to put to the
1 This commission was in charge of assessing the inventory and the
2 equipment, or could the commission have people replaced? Did it have the
3 authority to do that?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The decision to replace the people
5 was made by the Crisis Staff of Ilijas, signed by Trifko Radic, the SDS,
6 and these people came to count the goods there. The financial situation,
7 the assets, what was missing, what was there. So that was it.
8 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And the financial situation was
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On the basis of this
12 document -- this document has to do with the inventory, not to do with
13 the change of managers. And you are telling us that as a result of this,
14 a manager was changed, so it's now on the record.
15 This document only aims at drawing up the inventory; do you agree
16 with me here or not?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I do not agree, because you see
18 what it says in that decision? It says: "Decision on bookkeeping and
19 establishing what (redacted) on appointing the
20 commission for the inventory of commodities and other material goods in
21 the shop (redacted)
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] May we have an exhibit number
23 for this document, please.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P456, under seal.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen, you have the
2 MR. MARCUSSEN: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Maybe out of an abundance of caution we should redact, at
4 page 52, line 7, the precise reference to the depot that is in question,
5 just to avoid identifying the witness with such precision.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] As Mr. Marcussen hasn't continued
8 the examination-in-chief yet, so since there's a lull and a pause, could
9 you instruct him that during the next break, he provide me with the
10 transcripts of the testimony of this witness in the other trial that we
11 mentioned at the beginning? I don't want to mention the trial's name, so
12 that we don't have to go into private session, but the Prosecution must
13 disclose that to me.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen, in case you do
15 have the witness's testimony during the trial which was mentioned earlier
16 today, please disclose it to him.
17 You are nodding to the contrary, so this means you don't have it?
18 MR. MARCUSSEN: Indeed, Your Honour, we don't have the transcript
19 of the testimony.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, that can be done in
21 15 minutes by fax, and the Prosecution must provide that. And the
22 Prosecution, I am sure, cooperates very well with that court and we can
23 have it here in 15 minutes.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen, just a minute,
1 I was in your job for decades, and I know that technically
2 speaking, you can send an immediate request to your colleague to ask him
3 to be provided with a copy of the testimony. Technically speaking, this
4 is perfectly feasible.
5 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, two -- a few points on this.
6 First of all, the Prosecution only learned that the witness had
7 testified before the State Court yesterday, so we wouldn't have had time
8 to obtain the transcript.
9 The accused is assisted by -- I think we're now up to 36 people
10 that is on his Defence team. He certainly had the resources to request
11 any kind of information that he wished to receive.
12 We now have the problem that the witness testified with
13 protective measures before the State Court, and it might actually
14 therefore not be quite so easy to obtain this material from the State
15 Court. So there's no way that we can provide the accused with this --
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen, I agree with
17 you, but in this trial you're not the only person present. There's
18 Mr. Mundis and Mrs. Dahl and other people. One of your colleagues can
19 make a phone call and call up the Prosecutor in charge and say, "We have
20 heard that. Can you check this with the Registry of the State Court and
21 see whether this can be provided to us either in English or in B/C/S,
22 whether we can have the testimony." The person at the other end of the
23 line will say either, "Yes," or, "No, I can't because I've nobody to do
24 this and I'm alone. This can be done in two minutes." I'm not going to
25 phone up. Why not? I can, and I can ask the Prosecutor to have this
1 testimony. I can demand it of him.
2 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] As we're on the subject, I'd
3 like to say that if the Trial Chamber requests this from the Prosecution,
4 I understand, but I don't agree with the fact that the accused can say,
5 as he did on line 18 -- page 18, I'm sorry, line 23, that the accused
6 must provide this. It is for the Prosecution to conduct its own
7 investigations, and the Prosecution does its job as it deems fit,
8 hopefully. And it's only the Trial Chamber that can order this; it's not
9 the Prosecutor.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, after my
11 colleague's statement, does this not come under your obligations,
12 Mr. Mundis; i.e., that you are under the obligation to disclose this
13 under Rule 66 and 68, anything which you may have and which you must
14 disclose to the accused? The testimony might be exculpatory. Then it
15 would be under Rule 68. If it's not exculpatory, then it would come
16 under Rule 66. This is a question I have for you, Mr. Mundis.
17 MR. MUNDIS: There's a very short answer to that, Mr. President,
18 and that is if it's in our possession. This material is not in our
19 possession. Therefore, there is no obligation for us to disclose it,
20 because we cannot disclose that which we do not have.
21 Similarly, there is no obligation for us to go out and get this
22 material. If the accused wants it, as Mr. Marcussen has said, he can go
23 and get it.
24 Now, the next problem is a -- or problems would be a series of
25 practical and legal issues that are intertwined. I know, from dealings
1 with the State Court in the past, that if a witness testifies with
2 protective measures, that material will not be given to us in the absence
3 of a court order. That, of course, has to be done by the Chamber of the
4 State Court, which can be done and can be arranged if this Trial Chamber
5 were to issue an order directing them or asking them to do so.
6 I will also make it clear to the Chamber that the State Court
7 does not maintain transcripts. What they can provide us with are
8 recordings of proceedings. There are summary records made, but there is
9 no verbatim transcript made of proceedings before the State Court. So
10 the best we could hope for would be getting tapes that would require
11 orders of this Trial Chamber and an order of the State Court Trial
12 Chamber to make those tapes available. I would expect we could have such
13 tapes or such material in probably two or three weeks, but we certainly
14 are not going to be able to get something faxed to us, nor are we most
15 likely going to be even in a position where I could get audio files
16 e-mailed to me from the State Court. There are practical and logistical
17 considerations involved. As I indicated, this will require orders of
18 this Trial Chamber and of the Trial Chamber of the State Court.
19 But I want to be absolutely clear that our obligation extends to
20 material that's in our possession. We don't possess this. Therefore,
21 there's nothing for us to disclose with respect to this witness's
22 testimony to the accused.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you have heard what
24 the position of the Prosecution is.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges, according to an appeals
1 judgement in Delalic et al, the Appeals Chamber gave a definition which
2 is then repeated in a whole series of judgements to the effect that the
3 Prosecutor of the International Tribunal is an employee of international
4 justice and he has two equally-important tasks; to prosecute suspects and
5 to discover potentially exculpatory material to be disclosed to the
6 accused. Those are two equally-important duties on the part of the OTP
7 of the Tribunal.
8 In this case, it is a witness who's already testified, and I've
9 been provided with all the transcripts before the Special Court in
10 Belgrade for every witness appearing here. The State Court of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina, a court which has an international character of sorts
12 because there are judges from Bosnia-Herzegovina trying there, and each
13 time the Trial Chamber includes one international judge, so the State
14 Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina is a sort of branch office, of sorts, of
15 Hague Tribunal, so a court which is far closer, in organisational terms,
16 to The Hague Tribunal than any other court in the world. And so the
17 Prosecution must provide me with those transcripts.
18 So I'm not asking for something that the Prosecution need not do,
19 but I emphasise it must comply.
20 MR. MUNDIS: There is absolutely no obligation for the
21 Prosecution at this institution to go out and search for exculpatory
22 material. Certainly, under the ICC regime, that is the case. If we come
23 across material and we have material that we identify, we disclose it.
24 We do not go out looking for exculpatory or Rule 68 material, number 1.
25 Number 2, I have indicated we don't have this. Even if I wanted
1 to get it, it's doubtful that I could because of the protective measures
2 that are involved.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber will hand
4 down a decision on this matter. We have heard Mr. Seselj's request. We
5 have heard the comments on the part of the OTP, and we shall hand down a
7 We have five minutes left before the break, Mr. Marcussen.
8 The Registrar has just told me that it is now time to have a
9 break. We shall have a break, a 20-minute break.
10 --- Recess taken at 11.24 a.m.
11 --- On resuming at 11.46 a.m.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] A number of points.
13 We have resumed our hearing. You have approximately one hour
14 left, Mr. Marcussen. Normally speaking, you should be able to finish if
15 there are no procedural incidents.
16 The second point. Mr. Seselj, one point I'd like to clarify as
17 regards seven days. If you were to certify to appeal the decision, the
18 deadline has been shortened to today. So if you file certification to
19 apply, your deadline is today.
20 Second point. The question you have put to the Prosecution, the
21 Trial Chamber has weighed this in light of the Rules. The Prosecution
22 need only disclose those documents that it has, but you can ask the Trial
23 Chamber to have this document disclosed to you. So you need to file a
24 request -- file a motion, and then the Trial Chamber will be seized of
25 the matter.
1 We shall now resume the examination-in-chief. Mr. Marcussen, you
2 have the floor.
3 MR. MARCUSSEN: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. VS-1055, I'd like to take you back to when you were in the
5 basement. You have explained you were in the basement and you thought
6 you were going to be killed, and then an order came in that you should be
7 taken out of the basement. Was anything said at the time about why you
8 should be taken out or at whose request you were being taken out of the
10 A. We heard a voice telling us to come out of the basement, but I
11 did not notice -- or, rather, I didn't hear who issued the order for us
12 to come out of the basement.
13 Q. Was the order just saying you should come out of the basement or
14 were any reasons given why you should come out?
15 A. We were told that we should come outside. And when we went
16 outside, they ordered us to form a column and said that we would be
17 transported to some other place.
18 Q. And could you describe to us where the column went?
19 A. As they ordered us to put something over our heads, a T-shirt, a
20 jumper, or a jacket, or anything, the column set out in the direction of
21 Ilijas. And on part of the road, which we call Polje, another order came
22 to the head of the group, Boro Margetic, that the group should be turned
23 around and directed towards Visoko. So we turned towards Visoko, and on
24 a section of the road an APC came by, and out of it climbed Zoran Rasevic
25 with the intention of killing us. And the leader of the group there
1 opposed this, he prevented him from doing that, and said that Vasilije
2 had said that he needed men for some other things.
3 So we continued on our journey, and we reached a house, Munib
4 Dervisevic's house, where we came across Vasilije Vidovic again, and he
5 was shooting --
6 Q. Sorry. Please continue.
7 A. He shot in the direction of Sidic Nimza's [phoen] house, and he
8 hit the house. We arrived at the railway station by that time, where we
9 came across a large number of Muslims and Croats who had been captured
10 and were grouped there at the railway station.
11 Q. And let me just ask you two questions about Vasilije Vidovic.
12 You said he shot at a house. What did he shoot with?
13 A. He was shooting from his shoulder, so it must have been a
14 Zolja-type weapon.
15 Q. And a Zolja-type weapon, could you explain to us what kind of a
16 weapon that is?
17 A. Well, I'm not an expert in weapons, I used to be a cook in the
18 army, but he shot from his shoulder.
19 Q. Is it a rifle, is it a rocket, is it -- what kind of a weapon is
21 A. A grenade.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note, a Zolja is a hand-held
24 MR. MARCUSSEN: Okay, thank you.
25 Q. Did you see -- did you see how Vasilije Vidovic was transported
1 at this point in time?
2 A. Vasilije went 'round in a dark blue Golf car with a flag on it.
3 It was a black flag with the symbols that I showed you earlier on, on the
5 Q. Did you notice anything in particular in his car?
6 A. On the back seat of his car, there was a television set which he
7 managed to steal somewhere.
8 Q. You were -- when you came to the railway station, were you put in
9 the railway station?
10 A. Yes, this facility belonged to the railway station.
11 Q. You and the other people in the column, were you put in the
12 railway station or not?
13 A. We were at the railway station in Ljesevo, and half an hour later
14 two buses turned up. They boarded us onto the buses and drove us off
15 towards Ilijas. They stopped at the railway station of Podlug, where
16 they tried to put us into the basement of that station. However, that
17 basement was already full, because the Muslims and Croats had been
18 brought there from Ilijas. And they detained us in the old elementary
19 school building, which at that time was used as a -- was being used as a
20 warehouse by the company Iskra from Kranj.
21 Q. Could you describe how the room that you were put in looked?
22 A. The room? Well, we know what a school looks like. It had six
23 classrooms. However, because it was being used as a warehouse, they had
24 bashed through the walls so that the vehicles moving the goods could move
25 along that way.
1 Q. How many people were in the room?
2 A. We were the first people to enter the premises from Ljesevo, but
3 two or three days later, from the basement at the railway station that I
4 mentioned earlier on at Podlugovi, we were -- people were transferred
5 from there who had been incarcerated, and they had been poisoned, because
6 through a little window some sort of bomb or -- smoke bomb had been
7 thrown in. And from the Ilijas community of Bioca, two more buses were
8 brought in with about 100 people, so that the number in the camp by this
9 time had increased to between 130 and 140.
10 Q. Was there anything in the room to sleep on?
11 A. No, just wooden floors, bare wooden floors.
12 Q. What kind of toilet facilities were there, if any?
13 A. The building had no water. There was just one toilet, but there
14 was no water in the toilet either. There were five or six women with us
15 at the time and two children.
16 For the first seven days, we were given nothing to eat, and then
17 after that they would give us half a loaf of bread per person for a
18 period of 24 hours.
19 Q. Who were guarding the people detained at Iskra?
20 A. They were locals, local Serbs who behaved -- well, I have to say
21 this, that they behaved in a proper manner. They were elderly people.
22 The commander was Slavko Risto [as interpreted], and the others were:
23 Veljko Vidovic; Okrilj, Bosko; Simic; Nedzo Milic; Ljubisa Radic. Those
24 are the ones that I can remember at present.
25 Q. Did any local people around Iskra try to help you in any way
1 while you were there?
2 A. Yes. Some people, depending perhaps on their ability, would
3 throw in a loaf of bread, a pack of cigarettes, and there were moments as
4 well when they would get through to us some beet, normally used for
5 fodder, that we ate.
6 Q. How long were you detained at Iskra?
7 A. We were detained in Iskra some three months.
8 Q. At this point in time, did you see Vaske?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Did anyone else come to Iskra that you particularly remember?
11 A. A couple of times, some strangers came in, people we didn't know
12 at least. I remember one particular moment when, in a Fiat 128, of white
13 colour, driven with Vasilije Stolac, two men came from the position where
14 I was looking from. One was a tall man, dark-haired, with a beard and a
15 fur hat, and the other one did not have a beard, a stocky man, no fur
16 hat. And I could see them talking outside. I couldn't see them while
17 they were talking. It was like I had a sound, but no image. They were
18 talking outside the open window about some political developments, of
19 course, from their point of view. They told the commander of the guards
20 to prepare ten men, that they would come to fetch them at 5.00. And one
21 young man was taken away by them immediately. That young man was Bakir
22 Sehic. He was later exhumed after the Dayton Accords in a hilly area
23 overlooking Ljubos, a local community near Ilijas. We found out this
24 young man's name was Mica.
25 Mica entered the camp for a while, and there were some infirm
1 elderly men and people lying down on the ground. He told them, "Get up
2 when an officer of the Seselj's guards comes in."
3 Q. Were ten men taken away?
4 A. No. This was prevented by Slobodan Subotic, an inspector on the
5 police force at the police station at Ilijas. He toured the camp
6 frequently, trying to find a way to organise an exchange, because in the
7 territory of Breza he had some family and his parents.
8 Q. After you had been in Iskra, were you taken somewhere else?
9 A. Sometime in mid-August, one civilian came to the camp,
10 accompanied by Nebojsa Spiric, who was in uniform. He informed us that
11 buses would come and that we would be transferred somewhere in Vogosca.
12 The buses did arrive, and we were transferred to the Svrake camp.
13 Q. And how long were you there --
14 A. We stayed there for another two and a half months.
15 MR. MARCUSSEN: I'd like to show the witness Exhibit 65 ter
16 number 4272. And as we prepare the exhibit, if we could zoom in, before
17 it's being shown to the witness, just on the picture but without the text
18 that I suspect is underneath the picture. And I venture again to suggest
19 that this picture is number 2 in the witness binder. I hope I'm right
20 this time.
21 I think this is fine.
22 Q. VS-1055, is this -- do you recognise the building on this
24 A. Yes, I do. This is a building known as Planja house, where we
25 were kept.
1 Q. How many people were detained in Planja's house?
2 A. Around 20 people from Vogosca were already there in this house
3 when we arrived. That means that together with our group, we were around
4 120 men, because in the meantime, in Ilijas, some exchanges of elderly
5 people had taken place and the women who had been detained were released.
6 Q. How were the conditions in Planja house?
7 A. Compared to Podlugovi, a water tank came to this house. We got
8 one meal a day, usually around 2.00 or 3.00 p.m. for those who remained
9 in the building. However, many people were not there, because early in
10 the morning they were taken outside to do various types of labour.
11 MR. MARCUSSEN: Before we move away from the topic of the house,
12 I would ask for an exhibit number for 65 ter number 4272.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, please, can we have
14 a number.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number 457.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, a short question.
17 I see the house with three levels, three floors. 120 people in
18 there, and in the morning some people work outside. But during the
19 night, how many people were guarding you?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Before I answer this question, I
21 must say that you can't see the basement that was underneath the whole
22 area of the house. The house had security arrangements, locked gates and
23 everything, and systems, so that there were only two or three men in the
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So there were 120 of you, and
1 two to three people guarded you; is that it?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen.
4 MR. MARCUSSEN: Thank you.
5 Q. Who were these guards?
6 A. The guards were members of the army, of the so-called Serbian
7 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Predrag Simic, Momir Damjanovic, one
8 named Balorda, and I can't remember his name, Simica Djuric, Stanko
9 Knezevic, and the commander of this camp was Brano Laca [phoen]. His
10 deputy was Nebojsa Spiric.
11 Q. How do you know they were members of the VRS or the Serbian
12 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina Army?
13 A. Because they changed. Some went to combat duty and then came
14 back after a while, and then their replacements would go on combat duty.
15 And you could also tell by the weapons they had and their uniforms. You
16 could tell they were army men.
17 Q. You described -- you mentioned that people were being taken out
18 to do work. What kind of work were the detainees to do?
19 A. People would be taken away sometime around 7.00 a.m. by a bus or
20 a van. Brano Laco [phoen] would throw everyone outside, and then they
21 would pick out the number they needed for a certain place. The system
22 was, "You, you and you, get in." Men would go out to dig trenches,
23 communicating trenches, to chop wood, to bury the dead, et cetera.
24 Q. Where were these tasks performed, and in particular where were
25 the trenches dug?
1 A. The trenches were dug primarily in localities facing Zuc hill,
2 Orlic, Sedras, Kremes.
3 Q. Were these --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. Witness, let's
5 save time.
6 When you told us what had happened, the fact that you were
7 brought together at the station and then loaded on buses and so on, as I
8 was listening to you I was saying to myself, "Such an operation could not
9 have been put together by just a few persons." It is obviously a
10 military operation. And now you're telling us that you were guarded by
11 the VRS and that some of the detainees were sent off to dig trenches.
12 Very well.
13 You were a victim, you were captured, you were made prisoner, and
14 I'm sure that you can answer my question.
15 According to you, the people who detained you, did they belong to
16 the VRS or were they rogue people operating individually or as a group?
17 What do you feel about this?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, this was definitely the army
19 of the RS, Republika Srpska, that organised this camp. That's certain.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You answered my
22 MR. MARCUSSEN:
23 Q. Just to be sure that we understand the answer: Do you know who
24 had organised the first place you were detained at Iskra?
25 A. No, I don't know who organised that. I only know who brought me
1 there and who arrested me.
2 Q. So your answer, that the camp was organised by the VRS, that
3 relates to Planja's house?
4 A. Yes. I have no information about the Podlugovi camp.
5 Q. You, yourself, did you carry out any kind of labour?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. What tasks did you perform?
8 A. A number of times, I dug at Sedras, Kremes, Mijatovica elevation,
9 but later I stayed on the premises and dug graves for the dead, because
10 every day there were deaths in the area of Zuc, where the VRS was trying
11 to get control of that area and enter Sarajevo.
12 Q. Were the places you were digging trenches, were they close to the
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Do you know of any incidents where detainees from Planja's house
16 were used as human shields?
17 A. Yes. More than once, the VRS organised attacks on the hills I
18 mentioned, Zuc and Orlic, and our men were used as human shields. Many
19 got killed while being used as human shields and while performing labour
20 for the VRS that they were forced to do.
21 If you have no objection, I would like to enumerate a couple of
22 those who got killed, although there were many more. Rasim Avdukic,
23 Hasan Fazlic, Mehmet Sehic, Nermin Skando [phoen], Ramo Hadzic, Nusret
24 Salimovic, Safet Krijeze [phoen], Najl, Durmo, Mujo Sehic, and so on and
25 so forth. There were many of them.
1 Q. Were you, yourself, participating at any instances and being used
2 as a human shield?
3 A. Fortunately, I was not used, myself, as a human shield.
4 Q. So how do you know about these incidents?
5 A. The people who survived, who were used as human shields, would
6 come back to the camp and bring back the dead, those people who got
7 killed and whom I buried myself.
8 Q. While you were at the frontline, did you see Vaske at any point
9 in time?
10 A. Yes, I did. On a hill overlooking Vogosca. It was during a
11 break. Vaske showed up with his men, coming back from the frontline. He
12 saw us, and he just said, "Are you still here?" And he went on his way.
13 There were no problems.
14 Q. What did you understand he meant by that question?
15 A. If you ask me, I thought he was surprised that we were still
17 Q. When did you leave Planja's house?
18 A. Sometime around the 22nd, 23rd October.
19 Q. And where did you go?
20 A. I was reunited with my family in the municipality of Visoko, a
21 settlement of Podvinci, Gorusa.
22 Q. After these events, have you seen Vaske again?
23 A. Vaske Vidovic, the next time I saw him was on television, in a
24 broadcast of Republika Srpska, during the unrest in Belgrade when a mass
25 of people -- a throng was trying to settle scores with
1 Mr. Vojislav Seselj, and newly -- cleanly shaven, very neat,
2 Vasilije Vidovic stood up in his protection, got out his gun and raised
3 it high in the air, intending to shoot.
4 Q. Was it your impression that Vaske was there to protect Mr. Seselj
5 or are you not --
6 A. Could you please repeat that.
7 Q. Was it your impression that Vasilije Vidovic was there to somehow
8 protect Mr. Seselj or was it just a coincidence that --
9 A. No, the only impression you could get was he was a regular escort
10 and bodyguard of Mr. Vojislav Seselj.
11 Q. Did you -- do you know whether Mr. Seselj visited your
12 municipality at any point in time?
13 A. Perhaps I'll make a mistake. It was wartime. Whether it was
14 1993 or 1994 -- where I was living, you could catch the signal of Radio
15 Ilijas, and the author of the programme said that Mr. Vojislav Seselj was
16 visiting Ilijas and held a rally, made a speech in a rally with citizens.
17 This reporter was Gordana Krunic.
18 Q. Did that report mention whether Vasilije Vidovic was also there?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Finally, in your municipality were there any destruction of
21 religious property?
22 A. Yes. When we came back to the territory of our own municipality,
23 there was not a single religious site left standing properly. They'd all
24 been razed to the ground. And in talking to the Serbs who had remained
25 and stayed on living there with us, I learned that this was done by
1 Vasilije Vidovic, together with Boro Margetic, Ranko Draskic, and a man
2 called Vitomir Lazic [phoen].
3 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, this completes the direct
4 examination of this witness by the Prosecution.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have two additional questions
6 to put to you, Witness, please. The first one deals with Vaske.
7 Do you know what happened to this person or did he disappear
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Apart from what I saw on
10 television, I don't know what happened to him, to Vasilije Vidovic, after
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Second question: When you were
13 in the locality, did the Muslims set up a crisis staff of their own in
14 order to deal with what the Serbs were doing to try to control the
15 municipality? So I would like to know whether the Muslims got together
16 at that point in time.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At that point in time in Ilijas,
18 there were no conditions for any rallying or anything like that, or
19 forming a crisis staff, or anything like that. The authorities had
20 already taken control of it.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yourself, did you ever stand
22 guard in your locality with a rifle or some kind of weapon that would
23 have been given to you by the Muslim policemen in Ilijas before the
24 locality was taken over by Serbs?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We stood guard only in front of our
1 own house, with the weapons we had, our own weapons, and they were the
2 pistols that I described. Specifically, the one I had, I had a permit
3 issued by the police, the regular police, until all the trouble started.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But when you were arrested,
5 what happened to the gun?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The pistol stayed in the house
7 where they captured us.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] They found the gun or did they
9 not find the gun?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what happened to the
11 pistol. We had no further information about that.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One last question. A very
13 simple one and straightforward. You told us that later on you met with
14 Vaske, who told you, "Oh, you're still there." When you saw him, could
15 you tell me what he was wearing? If you remember, of course.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He had the standard type of
17 uniform. He used it in the attack on Ljesevo, and he was wearing that
18 same uniform up there, which means that Vaske had the sajkaca type of
19 cap, he had glasses, and he imitated Draza Mihajlovic. Although he could
20 see perfectly well without the glasses. He didn't actually need to wear
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Who is Draza Mihajlovic?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Draza Mihajlovic, through history,
24 the history that I was taught at school, and if that history was correct,
25 he was a war criminal who was condemned and sentenced to death and
1 executed, and from the Chetnik movement.
2 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you. Just one question to you,
3 Mr. Witness.
4 You told us that when Vasilije Vidovic came back from his war
5 experience in Knin, he was escorted -- or he came with a group of
6 approximately 20 persons who, over time, turned Chetnik. My question is:
7 Did you ever see any of these gentlemen later on?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They didn't turn Chetnik, they
9 arrived as Chetniks. They were Chetniks already.
10 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thanks for this clarification, but my question
11 was: Did you run into them at any later point?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I didn't. They were
13 foreigners. They weren't from our parts at all.
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: So they did not stay in the Ilijas area?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] During the war, they most probably
16 were there. But after the war, they left, and we had no further contacts
17 with that group afterwards.
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: Let me be more precise. Did you encounter any of
19 these gentlemen during your detention?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We met just one group when they
21 were coming back. I mentioned that a few minutes ago, when they were
22 coming back from the front, and when Vasilije said, "Are you still here?"
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: So the group of Chetniks that you recognised
24 coming from Knin, upon Mr. Vasilije Vidovic's return, were not involved,
25 as I understand, in the detention of the captives.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The group -- you said "Vasiljevic."
2 Did you mean "Vidovic"?
3 JUDGE HARHOFF: Excuse me, "Vidovic."
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Vidovic's group was there, and it
5 attacked all the villages in the Ilijas area. They had come there
6 precisely to do that, to attack the villages. They came as warriors, as
8 JUDGE HARHOFF: I understand that they were taking part in the
9 conflict. My question was if they were also involved in the detention of
10 the people with whom you were detained. Did you ever see them in either
11 the Iskra facility or later on in Planja's house?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After the arrest, after they
13 arrested people from the village and attacked the village, those people
14 were incarcerated and they no longer appeared.
15 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have until a quarter past
17 1.00. Mr. Seselj, you can start your cross-examination, which will be
18 continued tomorrow.
19 Just a minute. Mr. Marcussen is on his feet.
20 MR. MARCUSSEN: One request of the accused.
21 The accused has notified the Prosecution that he will use
22 documents from Defence exhibit binder number 1 from when the
23 Reynaud Theunens testified. The binder has 63 documents in it. We have
24 not been notified of which documents the accused intends to use, so we
25 would request that the accused maybe, before he uses any of the documents
1 tomorrow, would advise us which documents he intends to use.
2 Thank you, that was all.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Seselj.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Perhaps I will be using all of
5 them. Perhaps I won't use a single one, just like the Prosecution did
6 yesterday, precisely the same way, when you infiltrated those documents
7 related to Nikola Poplasen, whereas they had nothing to do with the
8 witness that was testifying. So that's precisely what I'm going to do.
9 I'm going to give you measure for measure.
10 May I start my cross-examination now?
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So please begin.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This statement arrived just an hour
13 ago. Could it please be photocopied, because I'm going to use it today.
14 It's just two pages' long.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Who was the statement made by?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] By General Dragan Josipovic, the
17 famous general of the Army of Republika Srpska. He was the deputy chief
18 of the General Staff at one time as well.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen.
20 MR. MARCUSSEN: Is this a document we have been notified of? Is
21 it in binder 1, and if so, under what tab? If it has not -- if it's not
22 in binder 1, then we have not been notified of the use of it.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen, I believe that
24 this document was faxed to him. Therefore, it is not in the binder.
25 This is a document which was faxed to him a few minutes ago.
1 MR. MARCUSSEN: Then I would request that we be given a copy of
2 the document and that the accused only use the document during
3 cross-examination tomorrow.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I provided the document to be
5 copied, but I'm going to use it today during my cross-examination.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, can't you use this
7 document tomorrow, because the Prosecution would like to have time to run
8 through it, even though this is a request made by the Prosecution?
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the Prosecutor has
10 all afternoon to study the document and to prepare himself for
11 re-examination, and I had planned -- that was the concept of my
12 cross-examination today, without expecting that the Prosecutor would
13 shorten the time he has available -- he had available to him. I had
14 planned to use it at the beginning of the cross-examination, and the
15 topic does indeed relate to the beginning of my cross-examination.
16 MR. MARCUSSEN: It's difficult to see how the accused could have
17 plans to use the document as a first thing during his cross-examination
18 if he only received it an hour ago. We are continuously seeing these
19 mystery documents appearing at the last minute before any witness gets to
20 move into cross-examination.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] From what I have understood,
22 sometimes Mr. Seselj is very quick, and one needs to follow closely what
23 he is saying.
24 He told us that he had prepared his cross-examination and thought
25 he would start tomorrow. It so happens that we have a little more than a
1 half an hour left, and in order not to waste any time, I've given him the
2 floor. And he is telling us -- I don't challenge his good faith. If the
3 cross-examination had started tomorrow, you would have had the
4 possibility to read this document for the remainder of the afternoon.
5 Since he is starting his cross-examination today, he is not responsible
6 for this. Well, he is telling us that he's going to be using this
7 document. This is what I have understood. I don't think I have made a
8 mistake. If I have made a mistake, I stand to be corrected.
9 You and I don't know what this document contains, but we should
10 respond like any professional and react the right way in the face of such
11 a document.
12 The Judges will confer on the matter.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, the Trial Chamber,
15 after having deliberated on the matter, authorises you to put a question
16 to the witness, but you cannot read out the entire document. You can put
17 questions on the basis of the document.
18 We have a statement given by this general. This is my question,
19 and then you put your question to him and rely on the document.
20 The Trial Chamber does not agree that you read out this entire
21 document, since this document is not going to be tendered into evidence.
22 Since there's no translation, we don't want you to read this document. I
23 don't understand your language. I see that some people here, in this
24 document, it is stated they were born in 1947, 1949. I don't know what
25 the purpose of this list is. You may say that, "In the document I have
1 before me, which you can see, Witness, we see a list of individuals," and
2 then you put your question.
3 This is the decision that the Trial Chamber has --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Please, microphone for the accused.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'd like to remind
6 you that this witness was subsequently -- I was subsequently told that he
7 would be here today. There was supposed to be another witness, and I had
8 to find out where General Josipovic was. I had to locate him and talk to
9 him -- or, rather, my associates had to talk to him, and then I had to
10 talk to him by telephone, and then he gave a statement. The statement
11 had to be certified and authenticated in court, and it arrived a little
12 while ago, and it arrived on time.
13 However, as ever more stringent criteria are being imposed upon
14 me during the cross-examination, I will of course adapt to them, and at
15 one point in time I'll say that there's no sense in conducting
16 cross-examination at all, and that will speed up the trial. I'm ready to
17 do that. That moment hasn't come yet, the hour hasn't struck yet, but
18 it's getting nearer.
19 Anyway, Mr. VS --
20 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, Mr. Seselj. I have a
21 problem with this. You talk about a certified or authenticated statement
22 by the Court. It's not the first time that these statements come in at
23 the last minute, but this is a statement I believe for which only the
24 signature has been certified. The statement itself has not been
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, who can certify the
2 authenticity of the contents of a statement? Who's going to say whether
3 this witness's statement is true or not? Who can authenticate the
4 truthfulness of a statement? Where do you see that being authenticated
5 and certified? What is certified is that the person came into court,
6 himself, and that the signature was authorised in front of the certifying
7 clerk in the court. So that is the sense of the certification, nothing
8 more than that, and I have explained that several times to you already.
9 And I had hoped that you'd understood me.
10 Secondly, I was never in the areas --
11 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I understood that, because I
12 noticed that this was the case the first time 'round, but I want this to
13 be the case every time these statements come in. I want this to be on
14 the record, and every time I deem it necessary, I shall repeat it.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I told you several -- I promised
17 you several months ago that I would not put anything -- tender anything
18 into evidence, so you can rest assured about that.
19 But to interrupt the methodology of my cross-examination in the
20 way you did, I didn't expect that.
21 What papers am I supposed to use? I didn't even have to show
22 this to the Prosecutor or to the Trial Chamber, for that matter. I could
23 have followed the piece of paper, ask the witness, "Is that this, is that
24 this," and say, "General so-and-so says such-and-such." I didn't have to
25 have it copied it for you, that wasn't an obligation on my part, and now
1 you're going to force me not to provide anything for photocopying,
2 nothing to tender into evidence. Now I'm not going to give any document
3 to be photocopied, I going to cross-examine to the best of my ability,
4 and I'm going to choose the methods for cross-examination. If a question
5 is improper, then you can intervene, and, please, you can rest assure
6 that I will never tender up anything into evidence anymore. I've
7 finished with that.
8 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, Mr. Seselj, but you
9 never tender your documents into evidence. You merely use a statement
10 which is in B/C/S, which we cannot read in a language we understand,
11 neither the Bench nor the Prosecution, so don't say things which reflect
12 what is happening here. Thank you.
13 I'm not aggressive towards you in any way. I'm a little bit like
14 you. I have a voice that carries, and when I say things, I can be quite
15 categorical, and I think you can understand that.
16 Everybody has their own personality, as you say, and maybe I have
17 my personality too. It's not a matter of being aggressive; it's just I
18 need to clarify certain points sometimes.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I also hope that at no point in
20 time did you think that I was aggressive towards members of the Trial
21 Chamber. How could I be aggressive towards you at all? You have all the
22 power in your own hands. All I'm doing is trying to fight for a portion
23 of my rights. Sometimes you curtail those rights, sometimes you don't.
24 It's up to you, but I still fight for them.
25 May I be allowed to start now?
1 The Prosecution has achieved its goal. I'll probably not have
2 time to discuss General Vasiljevic's statement because I have something
3 else to deal with.
4 Cross-examination by Mr. Seselj:
5 Q. Anyway, VS-1055, did you at one time give statements to the
6 Muslims organs of power and authority of Bosnia-Herzegovina; did you give
7 any statements to them ever?
8 A. There were no Muslim authorities. I gave statements to the State
9 Security of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10 Q. That's the State Security of the Muslim part of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina; right?
12 A. "Bosnia-Herzegovina," that's what it says there.
13 Q. All right. Anything can be written up on a gate post, but we
14 know what the essence is, and I'm interested in how many times you gave
16 A. Well, now, two or three times.
17 Q. Now I want to know whether it's two or three.
18 A. Well, let's say three.
19 Q. What authorities were there?
20 A. The State Security, the Centre for Investigation of War Crimes in
21 Ilijas, the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICTY. That's it. I don't
22 know, maybe you have more information.
23 Q. You gave a statement to the State Security Service on the 6th of
24 December, 1992; correct?
25 A. Possibly.
1 Q. And to the Municipal Centre for Investigation of War Crimes on
2 the 28th of May, 1993; is that correct?
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. When you gave a statement to this Municipal Centre for the
5 Investigation of War Crimes, did you basically tell the same story that
6 you told us in the courtroom today?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And this story, as you told this -- I know why you are anxious.
9 Because you've testified falsely. There can be no other reason. Don't
10 make a scene here in the courtroom.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, Mr. Seselj. Let
12 me reassure the witness. I also noticed that he is very worried and
13 concerned. Be relaxed, just relax.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Gentlemen, continue, let him
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Don't be afraid or anything.
17 He's just asking a question and you're answering. Everything is running
18 very smoothly. Let's pursue.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm not beating anyone; I guarantee
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You've beaten enough people
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] So I've beaten enough. I'm not
24 going to do it anymore.
25 Q. Where did you give a statement to the Municipal Centre of the
1 Investigation of War Crimes in Ilijas?
2 A. In Breza.
3 Q. And how long was this interview?
4 A. The time it took me to sign the document.
5 Q. So there was no interview?
6 A. It was a state of war. There was no need. There was no time to
7 talk. It was important to save your skin.
8 Q. So somebody else prepared a document and you signed it?
9 A. It's the same statement I gave to the State Security Service.
10 That's the one that I gave to the Centre for Investigation of War Crimes.
11 Q. So you came to Breza, to the Centre for the Investigation of War
12 Crimes, only to put a signature on a paper prepared beforehand?
13 A. It was the same statement that I gave to the State Security
14 Service and that centre. There is only one truth, and papers can be 100.
15 Q. I'm asking you directly. I want a direct answer. So you came to
16 the centre at their request, at their invitation; right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. They had prepared a text of the statement, and you just signed it
19 and went out?
20 A. I knew which text it was.
21 Q. Well, did you have the time to read it?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You've read the text prepared beforehand and you signed it?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. All right. That's all I wanted to know. It's best when you
1 answer very briefly, like now.
2 And the year before, you talked to how many officers of the State
3 Security Service?
4 A. To the State Security Service, I gave one statement.
5 Q. How many officers were there when you gave your statement?
6 A. Two.
7 Q. How long was the interview?
8 A. It was a long one.
9 Q. How long?
10 A. Three, perhaps four hours.
11 Q. There were two officers?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did you know them personally?
14 A. Yes, I knew one. I didn't know the other.
15 Q. What's the name of the one you knew?
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If you give a name -- just a
17 minute, just a minute. It would be best to give the name in private
18 session, because that could help identify the witness.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I withdraw the question. I'm not
20 interested in the name.
21 Q. So when you finished your interview with them, who wrote your
23 A. The statement was written at that time. Nobody wrote my
25 Q. You talked to them for three hours, you said?
1 A. Something like that.
2 Q. And during that interview, one of the officers dictated your
3 statement to the typist?
4 A. I dictated my own statement.
5 Q. Well, three pages cannot be dictated for three hours,
6 Mr. VS-1055.
7 A. It's the interview that took that long, not typing, and at the
8 same time it was being typed out, like today.
9 Q. This thing today, it's LiveNote. It contains every question and
10 every answer. However, what you signed on three and a half pages is not
11 an interview, it's a statement, it's a story.
12 A. A statement, a story, that's what I said.
13 Q. So it was not typed during the interview. Somebody dictated to
14 the typist what to type, and that was not you, was it?
15 A. Yes, it was me. I dictated my own statement to these people. I
16 gave them my statement.
17 Q. You gave your statement to those people, but what you were saying
18 was not the same thing as typed by the typist. She typed instead what
19 the officer of the State Security Service dictated?
20 A. I can't understand a thing you're saying.
21 Q. I know you won't understand a thing I'm saying.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, these questions are
23 technical, but they're essential. There are two ways to proceed. You
24 have been interviewed for three hours with two people. After this
25 interview, one of the persons drafts the statement, types it, and then
1 you sign it. This is one way of proceeding. The other way of proceeding
2 is the following: During the interview, you may say, "On this day, I
3 took out 25 cows," and the person is typing on the laptop or on the
4 typewriter exactly the same thing, saying exactly what you have written,
5 "I took out 25 cows on that day." These are two ways of proceeding, and
6 what Mr. Seselj would like to know and what we would like to know also
7 is: After the three hours of interview with those people, someone
8 drafted a text, typed it. You read it and signed it. Or did it happen
9 in another way?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was like this: The text is
11 truthful. I don't remember at this moment the method of the taking of
12 the statement, the typing itself. What is written there, I don't know
13 what the gentleman is looking at, but it is the truth. If my signature
14 is on it, it's the truth.
15 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
16 Q. I know that the truth is whatever your State Security Service
17 writes and you're ready to sign it. When investigators came from
18 The Hague to talk to you --
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen, I anticipate
20 what you want to say.
21 So, Mr. Seselj, refrain from these kind of comments. They are a
22 waste of time. We understood how the statement was made. Now the rest
23 is of no importance, unless you can really demonstrate and prove that the
24 investigator is the person who told the witness what to say, but this is
25 going to be very difficult.
1 So continue, please.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I thought, Mr. President, that you
3 have already understood that I find it extremely easy to prove whatever I
4 wanted to prove in this trial. I've proven everything I wanted to prove.
5 Q. When was the first time investigators came from The Hague to see
7 A. Investigators from The Hague came for the first time to our
8 place -- well, I can't remember. It was perhaps -- maybe in 2000. I
9 don't remember exactly.
10 Q. Was it 1999, 2000?
11 A. I really can't recall.
12 Q. All right, you can't recall. I expect you won't be able to
13 recall many things from now on.
14 What's written in this paper before me is that investigators from
15 The Hague talked to you for three days, from the 14th through 16th June
16 2004. Is that correct?
17 A. I talked to those people exactly for the time you say, not the
18 whole day each day, but, yes, I cooperated with investigators for three
20 Q. Did you show them that statement that you had given at one time
21 to the State Security Service on the 6th November, it says here, but it
22 was the 6th of December?
23 A. I did not.
24 Q. Who gave them that statement?
25 A. I don't know.
1 Q. Did they come with that statement?
2 A. I was in Sarajevo. They didn't come to my place. I came to see
4 Q. Did they have that earlier statement in their hands?
5 A. Probably they had it.
6 Q. So they had it?
7 A. Well, I don't know.
8 Q. Did they tell you, "We have your earlier statement," or not?
9 A. I don't remember whether they had my earlier statement. I was
10 doing with them the same thing we are doing here today.
11 Q. You were doing all this, so why didn't they put it in that
12 statement? Why doesn't the ICTY statement contain any of the previous
14 A. I have no idea.
15 Q. Did they want to make the interview shorter?
16 A. I don't know. People were doing their work. What do you mean
17 they wanted to make it shorter?
18 Q. In the fourth paragraph of your statement, it says you read the
19 statement earlier to Muslim authorities, in the Bosnian language, and you
20 even made up that language at the time, and it says:
21 "Ever I said at the time is truthful and correct."
22 Do you really use the Croatian variant when you say "correct"?
23 MR. MARCUSSEN: These sort of comments can only serve as
24 provocation to provoke the witness. It's impermissible. There's no
25 reason why the accused is not just putting a question without making
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you said, "in the
3 Bosnian language and even made up the language at that time." This is a
4 waste of time. He's speaking the language of his own country, which is
5 normal. Why say he made it up? He went to school the same as you,
6 learned his own language and speaks his own language.
7 This is pointless, this is a waste of time. We have the
8 Prosecutor on his feet, I have to put everything back on track. Please
9 focus on the essential, go to the essential.
10 You were talking about the fourth paragraph in the statement.
11 This is what we're interested in.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the problem is that
13 he never learned the Bosnian language at school, because that language
14 did not exist when he went to school. It's an issue that's a bit more
15 complicated than that.
16 Q. Do you use the Croatian variant in saying "correct," tocno"?
17 A. No.
18 Q. So why is "tocno" Croatian variant used in your statement?
19 A. It may be a mistake.
20 Q. You mean a typo?
21 A. Possibly, why not?
22 Q. Why precisely in that word should there be a typo?
23 A. Because it's a typo.
24 Q. All right. If it's a typo, why, in that very characteristic word
25 of Croatian you speak, and you say here:
1 "Today I have been asked to provide additional information and/or
2 clarify certain portions of the earlier statement given in the Bosnian
3 language," number such-and-such.
4 So they did not ask you to repeat the statement given on two
5 occasions to the Muslim authorities?
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, Mr. Seselj. You
7 are addressing an important topic, potentially important, the fact that
8 this statement might include Croatian terms which the witness would not
9 have used on his own, and you mentioned the word "tocno" [Realtime
10 transcript read in error "tocno"]. He's saying this is probably a typo.
11 Well, it would have been very interesting to see on the screen the
12 statement in B/C/S so you could show it to the witness. It's not "tocna"
13 but "tocno."
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I hope that will not be taken from
15 my time.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen.
17 MR. MARCUSSEN: I wanted to point out that the version of this
18 statement that the witness signed was the English version, which was read
19 back to the witness. He has signed the English version, so there might
20 be an issue about what terminology has been used in the translation, but
21 the translation was done subsequent to the signature in the statement.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Proceed, Mr. Seselj.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I see Mr. Marcussen is
24 testifying now.
25 Q. Mr. VS-1050 [as interpreted], do you know English?
1 A. No.
2 Q. But you signed a statement in English?
3 A. Well, there must have been a version in Bosnian as well.
4 Q. In that version, there is no signature of yours, and terms are
5 used that you normally don't use. I know this because I'm from the same
6 area as you, and I speak the same as you, and I never used the word
7 "tocno" in my life.
8 A. Neither have I.
9 Q. But what is substantial here? There is a sentence saying that
10 you have read that statement, we're talking about the statement from 1992
11 you gave to the State Security Service, and you say:
12 "Today I've been asked to provide additional information or to
13 clarify some segments of my B/C/S -- or rather Bosnian statement
14 mentioned earlier," ERN number such-and-such.
15 So they didn't ask you to give them a complete statement.
16 Instead, they put to you an earlier statement given to Muslim
17 authorities, and they asked you to provide additional information and
18 clarify a couple of things; is that correct?
19 A. That must be the way investigators work. Nobody asked me
20 anything. It was typed that way.
21 Q. It's a matter of courtesy. It's not that I'm kindly asking you
22 anything, either, although you have shown considerable hostility from the
23 outset. That's not important. What's important is that for the first
24 time we are facing a statement like this.
25 So far, the Office of the Prosecutor always provided complete
1 statements of their witnesses, and even additional ones. There would be
2 three or four witness statements. Now the Prosecution -- please don't
3 let him interrupt me now. I haven't explained this until the end.
4 MR. MARCUSSEN: He's making submissions rather than putting
5 questions, Your Honours.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am expressing arguments of a
7 procedural nature, that's correct.
8 Judges, statements are always compiled in complete form. The
9 witness tells his story. The investigators, based on the story, make a
10 text of the statement, and the witness signs it. Sometimes even three or
11 four supplemental statements are drafted. We have encountered cases like
13 This is the first time since this Tribunal has been in existence
14 that a statement a witness gave to the State Security Service of Bosnia
15 and Herzegovina is taken for granted, and his first and only statement to
16 the ICTY contains a sentence that he recognises everything in the
17 previous statement is correct and he is now only providing additional
18 information and clarifications. This is the first occurrence.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I understood.
20 So, Witness, we have three minutes left, and I will ask -- I will
21 put two questions to you to go to the heart of the matter.
22 You spent three days, from June 14th to June 16, 2004, with the
23 investigators. It was an investigator and a translator. The
24 investigators obviously had the statement made by you to Bosnian
25 authorities, since we have the ERN numbers of the statement. So for
1 three days you discussed with them, you talked with them. Very well.
2 After which -- after these three days, an English text was drafted and
3 you signed it.
4 I would like to know the following: Before you signed, did the
5 interpreter, and I could mention his name but I will not do this, did the
6 interpreter read in your own language all pages that had been drafted in
7 English before you signed the statement or were you handed the document
8 which you signed? This is a simple question.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that this statement was
10 read out to me in its entirety.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You think that the statement
12 was read out to you in its entirety, and then you signed the pages
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges, please, if I have a couple
16 of minutes remaining, I have to say this. This is very important.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have a couple of minutes
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, this is a very important
20 procedural issue.
21 The point is that a prior statement of a witness is being taken
22 for granted, a statement given to Muslim authorities, and details of this
23 statement are recorded here, whereas the statement to the ICTY is not a
24 complete statement and the substance of his testimony. It's only
25 additional information or clarification of certain portions of the
1 statement given earlier to the secret police of the Muslims. And when I
2 insist that the testimony of this witness before a high official of
3 Republika Srpska, before a state court, be given to me, you reject it
4 casually out of hand. We actually do not have a single complete
5 statement of this witness. The witness signs something drafted for him
6 by the State Security Service. The War Crimes Commission only copied it
7 from the State Security Service the next year, and the ICTY/OTP only took
8 note of what was said to the State Security Service and proceeded with
9 additional questions.
10 So, you see, we have no authentic statement of this witness
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen, and we will
13 finish in a couple of minutes.
14 MR. MARCUSSEN: It seems that the accused is trying to make some
15 sort of mystery out of this. We can only speculate what that is. But
16 there's nothing at all inappropriate about the procedure that has been
18 And as to the issue of the signature and the readback of the
19 statement, I'd refer Your Honours to the last page of the statement which
20 have ERN number 0357-7440, which has a declaration by the person who read
21 back the statement to the witness.
22 This is attempts to portray both the conduct of the Prosecution
23 and the orders that Your Honours have given as to how the accused can
24 obtain the testimony of this witness from the State Court are completely
25 inappropriate, and we should simply, in my respectful submission, request
1 the accused to put questions to the witness so we can finish the
3 And I'm sorry I have to take time up in pointing this out, but it
4 is something we have to do in reaction to the accused's conduct.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's time to finish, anyway.
6 The cross-examination will continue tomorrow. Please round it
7 off quickly, Mr. Seselj. I have another trial waiting.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am only letting you know that the
10 Prosecutor is avoiding to explain why this witness did not give a
11 complete statement to ICTY investigators, independent of his prior
12 statements. They could have been provided as attachments, but not
13 incorporated in their entirety to the statement given to investigators
14 from The Hague. This is a precedent unparalleled in this Tribunal.
15 Investigators of the OTP are under the obligation to do their
16 duty completely, in full, and instead they use the statement given to the
17 secret Muslim police 12 years earlier.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, I understood what
19 you said, and we will address this tomorrow much.
20 Witness, you are now in the hands of justice, which means that
21 you should not contact the Prosecution. We will meet again tomorrow for
22 the hearing, which will start at 8.30.
23 Thank you.
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.15 p.m.,
25 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 5th of
1 June, 2008, at 8.30 a.m.