1 Thursday, 5 June 2008
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.14 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you please
6 call the case.
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, Mr. Registrar.
11 This is Thursday, June 5th, 2008. I would like to greet the
12 representatives of the OTP, Mr. Seselj, the Registrar, and everyone
13 helping us, notably the interpreters.
14 The hearing is starting a bit late, 45 minutes late. It was
15 scheduled for 8.30.
16 Mr. Seselj, do you have any idea why we're so late?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The reason is a trivial one,
18 Mr. President.
19 Late last night, when they were locking up, I was told that the
20 transport would be at 7.45. They tell me every evening when I will be
21 transported the next day. However, today at 7.25 the guard came by and
22 said that the transport was arranged for 7.30. Now, I wasn't able to
23 finish my toilet in five minutes, I needed eleven minutes. So at 7.36, I
24 was ready. However, the Dutch police had already left. I suppose they
25 had somebody else at that same time and didn't want to wait for me. So
1 that's the only reason. Afterwards, everything took its turn, and when
2 they finished everything else, they came to fetch me.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I will ask the
4 Dutch police for explanations. I will ask them why they left, whereas
5 their mission was to drive you, even if you were a bit late.
6 But we will now resume the hearing of our witness. We need the
7 blinds to be dropped because of the protective measures that were
9 Mr. Seselj, you have one hour and fifteen minutes left for this
11 The Registrar just told me that you have one hour and forty-five
12 minutes left. I had cut you short by 30 minutes, but I do hope that we
13 will finish on time with this witness.
14 We are in Courtroom II because other trials are sitting in
15 Courtroom I and Courtroom III, and these trials could only be
16 accommodated in these two other courtrooms, which is why exceptionally
17 we're sitting in Courtroom II.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning, Witness. Our
20 apologies for this late start. There was, unfortunately, a logistical
21 problem, and because of that we were delayed, slightly delayed, which is
22 why you had to wait for this hearing to start, just like we did.
23 Mr. Seselj, you have the floor.
24 WITNESS: WITNESS VS-1055 [Resumed]
25 [The witness answered through interpreter]
1 Cross-examination by Mr. Seselj: [Continued]
2 Q. Witness VS-1055, we're now going to deal with your first
3 statement for a bit, the one you gave to the State Security Service, and
4 then later on to the Municipal Centre for Research into War Crimes which
5 was dislocated [as interpreted] to Breza.
6 In the first part of that statement, and may we have the
7 statement on the overhead projector, please, for the witness to be able
8 to see it on his screen. Anyway, in the first part of that statement you
9 speak about general political conditions and circumstances in Ljesevo
10 before the war broke out, and you talk about the events in the
11 Serbian Democratic Party, and the Serbian Democratic Party is the one you
12 blame for everything that happened later on, in fact, because you say
13 that the Serb extremists were the core of the extremist organisation of
14 the Serb population. You name names. They were local functionaries of
15 the Serbian Democratic Party. And you speak about the Crisis Staff that
16 was set up for Ljesevo. But there's not a word here -- have we got it on
17 our screens now, page 1 of the statement? No, we haven't.
18 I think that the Prosecution should have a copy for the witness
19 to use, not to have to answer questions off the top of his head.
20 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, this is a reoccurring issue. The
21 accused is to come prepared for his cross-examination. If he wants to
22 use statements, he really should bring them. He has been provided by the
23 Tribunal with logistical support, and he has a big -- and we have also
24 provided a copy -- but the court officer, I think, has been a provided a
25 copy and would help, but I do think Your Honours should direct the
1 accused to prepare his own documents.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have prepared all my own
3 documents, but in just one copy, and I don't intend preparing other
4 copies. It's 0338-0381 is the ERN number, and it's your duty to prepare
5 the document for our screens. All I'm obliged to do is to state the
6 number. I have no intention nor do I have the possibilities of
7 photocopying documents, and I don't want to prepare you for stating the
8 documents I'm going to use that you disclose to me. So this is a
9 previous statement by this witness, and that must be available in the
10 courtroom. And you must have disclosed it in that binder of yours so
11 that the Judges could have it before them, but you failed to do that, so
12 that the Judges can follow the witness statement and everything else.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Hold on, Mr. Seselj. We'll not
14 waste any time.
15 You're giving us a document with an ERN number. Theoretically,
16 if the document was up-loaded in e-court, it should be found using that
17 number, but this is theoretical, of course. Of course, unfortunately
18 practice is more complicated than theory.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Are we going to have that pulled up
20 on our screens?
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We now have it on
22 the screen. Go ahead.
23 MR SESELJ: [Interpretation]
24 Q. As I was saying, I summarised the introduction of your statement,
25 not to waste time on the details, so I'm now asking you, Mr. VS-1055,
1 what was the first national party that was organised in
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina on the eve of the toppling of the communist regime?
3 A. I think it was -- the party that was founded first might have
4 been the Party of Democratic Action.
5 Q. That party was organised months before the Serbian Democratic
7 A. Perhaps.
8 Q. Do you know that the Party of Democratic Action, the SDA, already
9 in 1981, had formed an organisation called the Patriotic League?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. 1991. Do you know that the Patriotic League had its
12 paramilitaries called the Green Berets?
13 A. I heard about that.
14 Q. You heard about that; okay. So at the very least, your
15 representations here, that it was only the Serbian Democratic Party that
16 was to blame, is just a one-sided view?
17 A. You're talking about Bosnia-Herzegovina. I was talking about my
19 Q. Well, in your village, did the SDA party exist?
20 A. It did exist, but there were no Green Berets or whatever you
21 called them.
22 Q. You didn't have any Green Berets?
23 A. No.
24 Q. But the SDA party did exist?
25 A. Yes, it did.
1 Q. And that party armed at least a part of the Muslim population on
2 the territory of Ilijas municipality; right?
3 A. I don't know about that.
4 Q. And in the house of somebody you know very well is where that
5 party was formed? I don't want to mention his name, not to have any
6 problems and have to go into private session.
7 A. I'd like you to name names.
8 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] Well, I don't want to name the name
9 now, or could we just go into private session for a few seconds, then?
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, private session,
12 [Private session]
7 [Open session]
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're now in open session.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers kindly be asked once again
10 to slow down, please. Thank you.
11 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
12 Q. In your statement, somewhere in the middle of the first
13 paragraph, you go on to say that the Serbian Democratic Party started to
14 prepare a Chetnik organisation as well, is that right, and that it began
15 arming the Serb population?
16 A. That is right, it did begin arming the Serb population.
17 Q. The weapons arrived from Ilijas?
18 A. Most of the weapons arrived from Ilijas, but I mention the
19 weapons coming from Josipovic, who it was the commander of the barracks,
20 and he pulled them out from Ljesevo, Malesic, Cekrcici, [Indiscernible],
21 handed the weapons around to the Serb population.
22 Q. And that was when the JNA withdrew from Visoko; right?
23 A. When it was moving out of Visoko.
24 JUDGE HARHOFF: You are aware that everything you are saying is
25 being interpreted into English and French. The interpreters are unable
1 to follow the speed of your conversation with the accused, so I kindly
2 ask you to observe a short pause between the question before you start
3 answering. Is that understood?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I got carried away. I do
6 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
7 Q. In that first paragraph, you speak about all the events that took
8 place at Ilijas municipality which were before the clash of the 4th of
9 June, isn't that right, and you're looking at it in a one-sided way? The
10 Serbian Democratic Party you said organised the Chetniks, will arm the
11 population, the JNA supplying weapons to the Serbs. That is the point of
12 what you say there; right? Am I right when I say that, Mr. VS-1055?
13 A. Yes, you are.
14 Q. Do we have to read that whole paragraph or can we make the
15 conclusion that its basic contents are contained in those three points?
16 A. Which ones?
17 Q. The first paragraph, the long first paragraph.
18 A. It's about Ljesevo here.
19 Q. The whole of Ilijas. Do we have to read it all?
20 A. Let's read it all.
21 Q. You want everything read out?
22 A. Well, the vital points, as far as you're concerned.
23 Q. Well, I have extracted the vital points, and it is this: That
24 you claim that it was the Serbian Democratic Party, led by extremists,
25 and that it organised the Chetniks, and that the JNA provided the Serbs
1 with weapons?
2 A. That's right.
3 Q. That's the substance of that paragraph of yours. You mention
4 many people, Serbs who, in your opinion, took part in all that; isn't
5 that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Right. Now, there is no mention here by you of the fact that
8 Vasilije Vidovic, nicknamed Vaske, brought in 20 armed men, volunteers,
9 from Knin to Ilijas. There's none of that here, and that was the most
10 important piece of information which you provided to the Court during the
11 examination-in-chief. So why did you not tell your police that
12 Vaske Vidovic brought in 20 armed Chetniks to Ilijas?
13 A. I remain -- I stand by my statement of yesterday, when I said
14 that Vasilije Vidovic had a group of men, 20 or more people, in Ilijas
15 and that that group attacked my village. Now, why I did not make that
16 statement, I don't really know why I didn't say that, but I don't think
17 that I was tardy in responding.
18 Q. You're not answering my question. Did the arrival of 20 men from
19 Knin, armed Chetniks -- was that sufficient -- a sufficiently important
20 piece of information that you had to tell the Muslim police that, but you
21 failed to do so?
22 A. I don't say I didn't say it. They all saw it, they all knew
23 about it.
24 Q. Well, they must have known everything else that you told them
25 about, but nonetheless you told them about it. They knew all these
1 officials of the Serb Democratic Party better than you did, the ones you
2 told them about?
3 A. Most probably, they did.
4 Q. Well, why would they need your statement, then, in which you
5 mention Aleksandar Rostovic, Kojo Glisic, Trivko Radic, Nedzo Boskovic,
6 Dusko Balordas [phoen], Slobodan Glisic, Bozo Boskovic and so on, a lot
7 of names, Ratko Kakuca? Why would they need all that information and
8 there's no Vaske Vidovic with his 20 Chetniks?
9 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, please.
10 Mr. Seselj, I have a problem. In order to understand or to
11 assess whether the testimony this witness gave yesterday is in compliance
12 with the statement or not, I need to have the statement in English.
13 Otherwise, you're having a private conversation with the witness, you're
14 challenging what he is saying, but I cannot take this into account. I'm
15 not able to know what's really going on.
16 I don't know how to solve the problem. Maybe you should have
17 asked the CLSS to do something about it, but we need to find a solution.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Madame Judge, I didn't ask for
19 anything. The Prosecution has it in English. The problem is that they
20 didn't provide you with it.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No, it seems that the
22 Prosecution does not have the translation into English.
23 Mr. Marcussen, could you tell us about this?
24 MR. MARCUSSEN: Indeed, Your Honours, we do not have a copy of
25 the statement that's being shown on the screen now. That is the 1993
1 statement. However, the contents of that statement is exactly the same
2 as the one from 2000 -- from 1992, so Your Honours can maybe refer to the
3 translation of the 6 November 1992 statement for the translation. The
4 only difference, as far as I know, is that there is one sentence added at
5 the end of the 1993 statement which says that the witness is willing to
6 give evidence before other courts or something to that effect, but
7 otherwise the two statements are identical.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges, I had two possibilities
9 before me, either to read the entire text or to summarise and save time,
10 and look at the main points of paragraph 1. Since you do have it in
11 English, then they could have placed the statement given to the
12 Security Service in 1992. I assume that this is the statement given to
13 the Centre for Research into War Crimes. They are identical; it's just
14 been retyped. So, in fact, you do have the first paragraph in English.
15 Now, if you want me to read all this out and then the
16 interpreters can repeat it all, we can do that, but we'll lose a lot of
18 Anyway, in paragraph 1, the witness describes his vision of the
19 overall situation in Ilijas municipality and blames the leadership of the
20 Serbian Democratic Party for everything that happened there, and there is
21 absolutely no mention, not a single word, about Vasilije Vidovic coming
22 with 24 Chetniks from Knin. And my point is this, and I'm going to ask
23 the witness a question:
24 Q. Subsequently, you lied pursuant to somebody's instructions, that
25 Vaske Vidovic came with 20 Chetniks from Knin; right?
1 A. I did not tell any lies.
2 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, it's inappropriate to put to the
3 witness he's lying.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, before accusing
5 anyone of lying, things are very complicated. It seems that there's a
6 mystery; try and get to the bottom of things.
7 You are right, in the 1992 statement this is not mentioned, so
8 just ask him why, and why it crops up later on.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I've already asked him that. I
10 asked the question, and he didn't give me a direct answer. He's going on
11 about something else, that Vaske Vidovic participated in an attack on his
12 village, and we haven't got to the attack yet.
13 Q. Do you know who Samir Margetic is?
14 A. Samir Margetic, I don't know the first name, Samir, but I do know
15 the surname, Margetic, and I think it's Boro's brother, a man who was
16 killed on the Knin battle front, and on the death certificate it said
17 "Fell for his fatherland." And in Ilijas, we say "gave his life for the
19 Q. All right. But do you know when he was killed?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Well, he was killed while the fighting was going on in
22 Kninska Krajina; right?
23 A. In Ilijas at the time, everything was calm, but he was killed in
25 Q. He was killed in Benkovac during the fighting there?
1 A. I don't know about that.
2 Q. After the Vance-Owen Plan, there was no fighting?
3 A. I don't know about that, either.
4 Q. All right. Anyhow, that happened at the end of 1991, and you do
5 know -- you are aware of the fact that at the funeral of Samir Margetic,
6 Vaske Vidovic arrived with another five volunteers of the Serbian Radical
7 Party from Knin, in fact from Benkovac, and you had heard they were
8 there, perhaps you even saw them. Anyway, it was at the end of 1991.
9 They arrived wearing uniforms. They had pistols at their belts, and at
10 the funeral itself of Samir Margetic, a unit of the Yugoslav People's
11 Army had a salvo -- a salute salvo?
12 A. I wasn't at the Margetic funeral.
13 Q. But you must have known that that happened at the end of 1991?
14 A. I know that he was killed. I saw the death announcements, but I
15 don't remember the date of his death, when he was killed.
16 Q. All right. But do you know that Vaske Vidovic and another five
17 volunteers arrived with travel documents of the JNA, giving them
18 permission to carry weapons and setting out their destination and the
19 reason for their travel?
20 A. I don't know about that.
21 Q. All right. But, anyway, then the fact that these five
22 volunteers, with Vaske Vidovic, were present at Samir Margetic's funeral
23 at the end of 1991, you abused that fact to present a lie subsequently
24 and state that Vaske Vidovic came with 20 Chetniks at quite a different
25 period of time; isn't that right?
1 A. Vaske Vidovic stayed in Ilijas with a group of 20 Chetniks.
2 Q. You lied about that subsequently, because nowhere in any of the
3 records do we find the names of these Chetniks, and the Prosecutor could
4 have come by those records. They could have had everything at their
5 disposal. However, not a single Chetnik with Vaske Vidovic arrived in
6 Ilijas when he returned.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, the Judges are not
8 saying that you lied. However, could it be possible that you confused
9 things, that you mixed things up? It seems obvious that Vaske went to
10 the funeral of Samir Margetic at the end of 1991, so they came all
11 dressed up, with weapons. Mr. Seselj is stating it, so there's no reason
12 to challenge this. Then later on, you see Vaske Vidovic again. So years
13 later, did you say at the time, "Oh, they were there," and then later on
14 you say, "Oh, they were also there when the village was attacked"? Is
15 that what could have happened, or are you absolutely sure that Vidovic
16 did come with the 20 Chetniks when this -- we know this from what you
17 said on November 6, 1992, because at the time of course your recollection
18 was better, so you could have said then that he was there with 20
19 Chetniks coming from Knin, but you don't say that in 1992. But maybe
20 years later you said, "Well, he must have been there."
21 So please tell us, are you 100 per cent sure or not so sure?
22 We're not talking about lies, because that's another problem.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm certain, 100 per cent. I saw
24 those people more than once. I saw them sitting and drinking in the
25 tavern called Stella in Ilijas, over a month. They were there for over a
1 month when I was there.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yesterday, when I was listening
3 to you, I had a question in mind, and I'll ask it right now.
4 These 20 people, if they stayed, where did they sleep? This is a
5 question that I wanted to put to you yesterday, but now that I have an
6 opportunity to ask it, I'll ask it. Where did they sleep, where did they
8 Okay, here you're saying that they're having coffee. Fine, but
9 where do they sleep?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think I said yesterday that they
11 were accommodated, some of them in the apartment of Vasilije Vidovic and
12 others in the house of Vasilije Vidovic in Podlugovi, which is a rather
13 large house.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
15 Mr. Seselj, please resume.
16 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
17 Q. In the statement you gave to the investigators of the ICTY in
18 2004, you did not say that these people were put up in the house and in
19 the apartment of Vaske Vidovic. You said, instead, they were put up in a
20 number of apartments.
21 A. Well, you could put it that way even now.
22 Q. You could put it any way you like; right?
23 A. No. One group was certainly in Vaske's apartment. Another group
24 was certainly in the house at Podlugovi. I didn't go to count them,
25 whether all of the 20 were sleeping at Vaske's address.
1 Q. How could they have spent nights in the house in Podlugovi when
2 it was not finished, that house?
3 A. It's not true. It was finished. There was a restaurant on the
4 ground floor, and there were rooms upstairs.
5 Q. They were not fit for inhabitation?
6 A. I didn't go there, but my -- but his father and mother lived
7 there for years. How could they have done that if the rooms were
9 Q. You stated that Vaske Vidovic drove away a whole transport of
10 fuel belonging to the JNA from Visoko to Knin?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Where did you learn this?
13 A. The book, "The Nemanjici of Ilijas," written by a former judge of
14 the Municipal Court in Ilijas, Velemir Adzic.
15 Q. And you read in that book that Vaske Vidovic drove away that
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Well, you're lying again, and I'll show now.
19 Be so kind, we'll show one page by one on the ELMO. This is the
20 book "The Nemanjici of Ilijas," and you'll see what kind of liar this
21 witness is.
22 JUDGE HARHOFF: The fact that the witness provides information
23 which may not be completely the same as the information in the statements
24 does not necessarily mean that he lies. Lying is a willful act of
25 deception, and you must allow room for witnesses not being able to tell,
1 with exact precision, the events that took place 15 years ago. So please
2 refrain, professionally, from intimidating the witnesses.
3 Thank you.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judge, I'm not intimidating anyone
5 here. This witness never mentioned in his earlier statements any
6 confiscation of oil transports from Visoko to Knin, and he said earlier
7 in his testimony that it was done by Vaske Vidovic. And now he tells us
8 he read that in the book of Velemir Adzic called "The Nemanjic Family in
9 Ilijas." I got a hold of that book. Here you see the cover page. Can
10 you turn the page, please, now? That is the blank page after the cover
11 page. Let's go on.
12 Q. So on this page, towards the top, it says it was well known that
13 on the Knin theatre of war, there was participation by fighters from
14 Ilijas, such as Vasilije Vidovic and others, and Margetic. In this
15 theatre of war, the Serb units needed badly the fuel they did not have.
16 That is why the military command of Ilijas dispatched one transport of
17 fuel from depot 27 of the logistical base in Misoca, accompanied by
18 members of this special unit. And then it goes on to enumerate 20 of
20 Do you see their names? Do you see "Vaske Vidovic" anywhere? Go
21 through the whole list.
22 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Seselj, I'm sorry to intervene here again. I
23 thought you were going to explain to me and to prove to me how the
24 witness is lying, because to me, to be told that you are a liar, is
25 intimidating. You can tell the witness that what he tells is incorrect,
1 fine, and you can prove that what he says is incorrect. But if you're
2 implying that he's lying, that's a criminal charge, you see, and there's
3 a difference between not being able to put it -- to get it right, on the
4 one hand, and, on the other hand, willfully lying to this Court.
5 So again, acting as a professional counsel in court, you should
6 refrain from intimidating a witness by calling him a liar, if you don't
7 mean to have him charged with lying and deceiving justice.
8 Do you understand what I'm saying?
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am convinced, Judge, that you
10 will prosecute him, as the Trial Chamber, because you've already been
11 able to ascertain that he is lying. Why would I prosecute him? I cannot
12 prosecute all the liars of this world.
13 JUDGE HARHOFF: I have seen no signs of lying here.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] He invoked the book "The Nemanjic
15 Family of Ilijas," that he read in that book that Vasilije Vidovic, also
16 known as Vaske, drove away a transport of fuel from Misoca to Knin. I
17 put to him that book, where you can see that it was not Vaske Vidovic who
18 did that, that it was done by the JNA, that an NCO of the JNA headed that
19 transport along with a special unit whose members are enumerated one by
20 one. Vasilije Vidovic is not among them.
21 Q. Have you found his name there?
22 A. Vasilije Vidovic is not mentioned here, but it doesn't mean he
23 wasn't in Knin Krajina when the fuel was transported.
24 Q. What are you saying?
25 A. I'm reading to you what it says. The Knin battlefield was well
1 known in its participated fighting men from Ilijas, such as
2 Vasilije Vidovic, Vaske, and Samir Margetic. In that theatre of war, the
3 Serb units badly needed the fuel, so the Serb units needed fuel. It
4 doesn't mean that Vasilije wasn't there. In this list of 20, he's not
5 included, that much I see.
6 Q. But you said in examination-in-chief, and you said earlier in
7 cross-examination again, that you read in this book that Vasilije Vidovic
8 drove away a transport of fuel from Misoca to Knin. We have the book to
9 which you referred, and you can see that you were not telling the truth.
10 A. I've read this text we're all looking at, I really read it, and I
11 believe that --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I don't want to put
13 you in a difficult situation, but I would like to pick up on what you
15 You said that Vaske had taken part in some fuel transport, and
16 this is what you said. Then you say that this seems to have been
17 confirmed in a book that was written by someone, seemingly, and that this
18 is not challenged.
19 Now, Mr. Seselj reads this book and realises that there is a list
20 of people who took part in this fuel transport in this book, and the name
21 of Vaske is not mentioned. How can you explain this?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've read this book, and I noted
23 that Vidovic was on this team. It's true that I didn't have the book
24 itself. It was reprinted in certain publications. Maybe I did not read
25 everything in detail, but I would like to read the book itself.
1 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Do you see the name under number 20 as part of this special unit?
3 A. I do.
4 Q. What's the name?
5 A. Marinko Vidovic.
6 Q. Did you maybe make a mistake, mistaking Marinko for
7 Vasilije Vidovic?
8 A. I couldn't tell. I would like to leaf through the book, if the
9 Court allows it. I think that perhaps in the rest of the book, there
10 might be another paragraph about this fuel transport.
11 Q. It says:
12 "Fifteen days later," below, "another transport of fuel was
13 dispatched to Banja Luka, and it was escorted by the following:"
14 Then follows a list of 14 persons, headed by Radinko Ristic and
15 other names. Do you see that?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. So this fuel transport was not to Knin, it was to Banja Luka?
18 A. We never discussed this, anyway.
19 Q. We didn't. That's why it's important for me to say something
20 about this now.
21 In Misoca, there was a large depot of the JNA; correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. There was a lot of fuel there used for wartime reserves?
24 A. I suppose so.
25 Q. Two transports were sent from that depot within 15 days, one to
1 Knin, another to Banja Luka; can you see this from this book?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Can it be seen that these fuel transports have nothing to do with
4 Vasilije Vidovic?
5 A. Well, he should be involved in the first transport. I should
6 need to look at the rest of the book. And we never discussed the second
7 transport, anyway.
8 Q. Well, you can look at the rest of the book when you go home. We
9 don't have time for that here now. Please return the book to me.
10 Let's go back to your statement. Can the prior statement of the
11 witness be put on the ELMO, please.
12 After the general background information about the situation in
13 Ilijas before the war, where you don't mention Vasilije Vidovic or the
14 alleged arrival of 20 Chetniks from Knin, you move on to describe the
15 conflicts in Ljesevo in the second paragraph. Is it the case that before
16 this fighting in Ljesevo, there were some other skirmishes in the area of
17 Ilijas municipality?
18 A. In the territory of Ilijas municipality, you could hear shooting,
19 but I don't know of any specific incidents.
20 Q. You're not aware of the clash of the 3rd of May, where around 10
21 Serbs were killed? That was about a month earlier.
22 A. I heard of that fight, but I don't believe it was in Ilijas.
23 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] I would now like the statement we
24 saw yesterday by General Josipovic. I gave it to you yesterday.
25 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, the witness said that he had heard
1 about the incident and he didn't -- but he didn't see it, so I doubt
2 whether the statement which is going to be shown, which is about this
3 incident, can take us any further. The witness has said he doesn't know
4 anything about it.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, if the witness
6 knows nothing about it, what is the point of addressing this issue?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] To establish, first of all, whether
8 he is aware of it or not, Mr. President. The fact that he said at first
9 blush that he didn't know about it does not mean anything. The purpose
10 of cross-examination is to jog his memory and find that he maybe does
11 know about it.
12 Q. You know who General Josipovic is; correct?
13 A. General Josipovic was the commander of the barracks in Visoko,
14 the man who withdrew the weaponry from the barracks in Visoko and
15 distributed it to Serbs in Cekrcici, Ljesevo, Ljubnici, Podlugovi, and
16 another place.
17 Q. But it was at a time when the Muslim leadership in
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina had already violated the constitution, and despite the
19 opposition of the Serbian people, declared independence?
20 A. I don't know. I know that they pulled out the weapons and
21 distributed it.
22 Q. Of course it was distributed to the loyal part of the population.
23 Of course they're not going to leave it to the green ones in Visoko.
24 A. Whom do you call loyal?
25 Q. Well, your community declared independence,
2 A. It was an aggression against Bosnia-Herzegovina.
3 Q. No, that's an aggression of the Muslim leadership against
5 A. That's according to you. Bosnia-Herzegovina is an
6 internationally-recognised state.
7 Q. Well, it was recognised by those who do as they please throughout
8 the world, because they have the power.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers both slow down, please.
10 A. Well, I am talking about events independently of international
12 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
13 Q. You talk about the arming of the Serb people. The Muslims were
14 the first to arm themselves and declare independence.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, please. The
16 Prosecutor is on his feet. Mr. Marcussen.
17 MR. MARCUSSEN: It was primarily an attempt to get the witness
18 and the accused to stop talking over each other. The accused cut off the
19 witness in the middle of an answer. That was the first reason.
20 The second reason is I don't think this line of questioning is
21 relevant to the case at all. This is about crimes that were committed in
22 a specific location, and this dispute between the two, the witness and
23 the accused, about the political developments is irrelevant to the case.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber would like to
25 tell both the witness and the accused to slow down.
1 Now, as far as a connection between the crimes mentioned and the
2 indictment, that Mr. Marcussen has stipulated that he doesn't see in what
3 way this is relevant, it is for the accused to demonstrate this, please
4 avoid political issues, current political issues. If you wish to discuss
5 these, refer to the political situation at the time.
6 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
7 Q. In the first paragraph of the statement, you see that
8 General Josipovic says that on the 3rd of May, 1995, an attack took place
9 in Ilijas municipality from the directions of Visoko and Breza. Do you
10 know of that attack?
11 A. I do not.
12 Q. It was an attack by the Muslim armed forces, and
13 General Josipovic says that at the time the Territorial Defence of the
14 municipality of Ilijas was used first?
15 A. In Ilijas municipality -- I was in Ilijas municipality. I wasn't
16 in Breza or Visoko at the time.
17 Q. But you should know that the pretext for the event was the -- or,
18 rather, the cause of it was the situation in Ljesevo, that is to say,
19 your village, and do you know that previously negotiations had taken
20 place between the president of the municipality of Breza; have you heard
21 of Salka Opacina?
22 A. Yes, I have.
23 Q. Was he the mayor of Breza?
24 A. Yes, he was.
25 Q. What was Dr. Jevric in Ilijas?
1 A. I don't know what Dr. Jevric was nor do I know him at all. And I
2 doubt that he's from Ilijas anyway. If he were from Ilijas, I would have
3 known him.
4 Q. Do you know there were negotiations conducted because
5 Salka Opacina gave an ultimatum that the Serb population from Odzaci
6 should hand over their weapons; do you know about that?
7 A. I don't know about that, that's the first time I've heard about
9 Q. And are Odzaci part of Ljesevo?
10 A. They are two or three kilometres away from where my place is.
11 Q. So it's the same local community, isn't it?
12 A. The Odzak and Ljesevo local communities, they are two
14 Q. But one local community, one local commune?
15 A. Yes, that's right.
16 Q. And the majority of population in Odzaci was Serbs, right, and in
17 Ljesevo Muslims?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. The Muslims of Ljesevo did have weapons, the Serbs in Odzaci had
20 weapons; is that right?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Do you mean to say that the Muslims in Ljesevo did not have
2 Q. First of all, let me say that before you, we had a witness here
3 who said that the Muslims in Ljesevo did have weapons, but that some of
4 them fled to Visoko and Breza with their weapons.
5 A. What I know is that the Muslims of Ljesevo in my part of Ljesevo
6 did not have any weapons.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] You see, Judges, when we come to a
8 situation like that, we have two witnesses testifying about the same
9 situation, and one of them says the Muslims were armed, the other says
10 the Muslims were not armed.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, Mr. Seselj. I
12 will first of all ask the Registrar to redact line 15, 16 and 17 of
13 page 25, because one could perhaps identify the witness. I assume that
14 Mr. Marcussen was on his feet for that same reason.
15 Mr. Marcussen.
16 MR. MARCUSSEN: No, I was on my feet because the accused started
17 to make submissions rather than just putting questions. He made his case
18 with respect to differences between testimony and --
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, put your questions
20 and don't make statements. You know this as well as I do. Don't make
21 any submissions.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I drew your attention to the
23 fact. If you're not interested in that, then I withdraw it, because we
24 had a witness who said that the Muslims were armed, but some of them
25 fled, and now we have a witness here who says that the Muslims weren't
1 armed at all, and that is why this document is important to us.
2 Here, General Josipovic claims that the meeting between
3 Dr. Jevric and Salka Opacina was held on the 30th of April and that they
4 didn't manage to reach any kind of agreement. And that on the 3rd of
5 May, the attack began of the Patriotic League and Green Berets from three
6 directions, Visoko, Banija, Ljubnici --
7 Q. Do you know where Ljubnici is?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And then the Visoko-Cekrcici-Odzak axis, and the
10 Breza-Vrbovik-Odzaci axis, and the attack began with an artillery assault
11 which lasted for 30 minutes, and you didn't hear that artillery attack at
12 all, did you; is that it?
13 A. You could hear some of it, but for a short time and far away, not
14 in Ljesevo.
15 Q. Well, Ljesevo wasn't engulfed by that. We see the places that
16 were, and the assault didn't last long, just 30 minutes. Now, here
17 General Josipovic states that in the region of Feature 715, the village
18 of Dobra -- do you know where the village of Dobra is?
19 A. The village of Dobra, it's the first time I'm hearing of it.
20 Perhaps we have a different name for it, perhaps the village you mean is
21 a village in the Visoko municipality.
22 Q. I see. Now you have the names of nine Serbs who were killed on
23 that occasion. Do you see that there, do you see the list of names?
24 A. Yes, I do see the names of some people.
25 Q. All right. Now turn to page 2.
1 Zoom down, please. Thank you.
2 Now, General Josipovic says the following: In the area of
3 Odzaci, the village of Odzaci, which is the same municipality as Ljesevo,
4 a battle went on for several hours. And that's two kilometres away from
5 you; right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, on the village of Odzaci, from the back, and from the
8 village of Ljesevo, it's the Muslim part so he thinks it's the same
9 commune as well, fire was opened continuously.
10 Do you know that from this village of Ljesevo in which you were
11 too, do you know that they opened fire on Odzaci when Odzaci was
13 A. There's no question of that whatsoever.
14 Q. So you're denying it?
15 A. No question of that at all.
16 Q. And what about this: Do you know where Boric is, where it says
17 the same region?
18 A. It's a forest.
19 Q. About 200 metres from Ljesevo; is that right?
20 A. Yes, towards Ilijas.
21 Q. Anyway, General Josipovic says that it was from the Borici region
22 that mortar support was provided at the village of Odzaci; that is to say
23 that the Muslims attacked Odzaci with mortars; is that true?
24 A. What I wanted to say is this is funny, but I don't really --
25 Q. Well, go ahead, just say it.
1 A. It's not true.
9 Q. All right. General Josipovic goes on to say the battle ended at
10 1800 hours of that same day and that a truce was agreed then, and that
11 then intensive talks began about the Muslims surrendering weapons,
12 Muslims from Ljesevo, because the Muslim attack on Odzaci was
13 unsuccessful, they didn't manage to disarm the Serbs, and now it's the
14 Serbs demanding that the Muslims be disarmed; is that right?
15 A. I know nothing about that.
16 Q. Was the request made for the Muslims of Ljesevo to be disarmed?
17 Do you know that the Muslims from Ljesevo were asked to lay down their
19 A. I said that they surrendered their weapons, part of the police
20 weapons that they had, and that all this was done in proper fashion. We
21 discussed that yesterday.
22 Q. All right. You said yesterday that they surrendered their
23 weapons, whereas a moment ago you said there were no weapons?
24 A. I told you the kind of weapons there were yesterday, how many
25 weapons and where the weapons came from and went.
1 Q. All right. Now, it's quite obvious here that the Serb forces
2 considered that the Muslims had not handed over all their weapons; isn't
3 that right? We can see that from what General Josipovic writes here.
4 A. That is what General Josipovic writes.
5 Q. All right. Now, then the attack on Ljesevo started, and you said
6 that it started on the 4th of June; is that right?
7 A. Yes.
8 JUDGE HARHOFF: Please remember to observe a small pause between
9 question and answer. It is almost impossible for the interpreters to
10 follow you, and the result is that we don't get your answer right, nor do
11 we get the accused's questions right.
12 Thank you very much.
13 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
14 Q. And you, yourself, said that the shooting went on for a long time
15 on all sides; that you could hear explosions, grenades exploding, or as
16 far as my information tells me, it was just mortar fire, not grenades.
17 Anyway, you describe that in your statement. However, you keep quiet
18 about one point, and it is this: That three Serbs were killed in that
19 attack. Did you know that three Serbs were killed in the attack?
20 A. No.
21 Q. And this particular Serb, Novo Rasevic, about whom you claim took
22 he took part in your arrest, in fact was killed on that same day, as well
23 as Miodrag Vukovic, Novo Rasevic and Budimir Stanisic, and you claim that
24 Novo Rasevic took part in your arrest. And here General Josipovic states
25 that they were killed at the doors of Arif Masnopita's house and that
1 they were killed by Arif Masnopita and two other Muslims; is that
2 correct? Is that true?
3 A. Of course it's not. May I be allowed to finish what I wanted to
5 In our village, there was never a man called Arif Masnopita, and
6 I doubt that there was one at that time. But you can check it out.
7 Q. What was his name, then?
8 A. I don't know his name.
9 Q. Might it have been Atif?
10 A. I don't know that this killing took place at all.
11 Q. Are you denying the fact that these people were killed?
12 A. No, I did not say -- I don't know about this killing.
13 Q. Is there a man called Atif Masnopita?
14 A. No.
15 Q. And what about Asim Masnopita? Well, then it's Asim, and not
16 Arif but Asim.
17 A. I doubt that. I don't believe this statement by Josipovic.
18 Q. And you don't know]believe that the three Serbs were killed in
19 Ljesevo that day?
20 A. I can assume that they might have been, but I don't know
21 nothing -- I don't know anything about that.
22 Q. And how can you say, then, that you recognised Novo Rasevic among
23 the men who took you out of the shelter, who arrested you, captured you
24 and took you away, when Novo Rasevic died in battle that day?
25 A. Novo Rasevic, if he was killed and if this is true, then he was
1 killed after my arrest and transport to the camp.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I now have the statement given
3 back to me, the statement that the witness gave to the security services.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, yesterday, as I was
5 listening to you discussing the shooting, I wondered whether a battle
6 hadn't pitched the Green Berets and the Muslims against the Serbs. I had
7 no further information, but now it seems that three Serbs were killed.
8 Unless they committed suicide or killed each other, we may well wonder
9 whether these three Serbs were not killed by the opponent. That cannot
10 be called into question.
11 Now, it seems that, (a), among one of the people who arrested
12 you, one of them has died. Did he die before or after? If he died
13 before your arrest, then what you are saying poses a problem. If he died
14 afterwards, this means that the shooting continued, the fighting
16 Witness, what can you say about this?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If he was killed, he could have
18 been killed after having arrested me. However, about any fighting or his
19 death, I have absolutely no information. I don't know anything about
20 that, because I'd already been arrested.
21 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Mr. VS-1055, the shelter you were arrested -- where you were
23 arrested, how far is it from the place where 20 Muslims were executed?
24 A. Between two and three kilometres.
25 Q. I see, between two and three kilometres.
1 A. Thereabouts.
2 Q. Anyway, you state that this man, Ranko Draskic, was one of the
3 men who arrested you, and the Prosecutor has presented data to the effect
4 that Ranko Draskic had taken part in the execution of a group of 20
5 Muslims two or three kilometres further off from the place where,
6 allegedly, he arrested you, so now I'm wondering this: This man Ranko
7 Draskic, did he take part in your arrest or did he take part in the
8 execution of the group of 20 Muslims? He couldn't have taken part in
9 both events, so could the Prosecution clear up that problem and see what
10 they're charging me with?
11 A. The place where I was arrested was quite certainly attacked from
12 the Ilijas axis. Now, the forces -- the Serb forces of Vasilije Vidovic
13 and his company, his group first of all captured us and then set off
14 further afield. So that happened later that same day.
15 Q. Let's take a look at what you state in your statement.
16 Have we got it on the overhead projector?
17 You said yesterday that in the attack, the Serbs used their
18 artillery; is that right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Do you stand by that statement?
21 A. Well, there was shooting there where mortars, shells, grenades
22 were falling.
23 Q. Well, mortars isn't part of our artillery weaponry. Did you do
24 your military service?
25 A. Yes, I did.
1 Q. Well, you should have learned that mortars are infantry weapons,
2 not artillery weapons. You should have learned that during your military
4 A. Quite possibly. I say I don't know about that, but there were
5 artillery pieces or weapons as well.
6 Q. So there were artilleries apart -- weapons apart from the
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. All right, fine. Now, you say in your statement on the 4th of
10 June, 1992, towards the evening in Ljesevo -- or, rather, shooting
11 started at Ljesevo from all types of weapons. They opened fire from all
12 sides, and "we saw that we had been surrounded and that serious things
13 were -- and terrible things were taking place. Together with my brother
14 and my neighbours, we were in front of Mahmut Fazlic's house, we fled to
15 the cellar, and throughout that time they kept shooting at it. The
16 chances of us escaping were negligible, because the whole area was
17 attacked by Pans and other artillery weapons."
18 So in 1992, in your statement there, no mention is made of
19 artillery, and now you're adding -- no mention is made of artillery, and
20 now you're adding it there. The more time goes by, you're going to
21 introduce heavier weaponry in your statement and you'll end up with an
22 atomic bomb, I don't doubt.
23 Then you said: "We spent the night in great fear." So the
24 shooting started towards evening, and the whole night you lived in fear.
25 Now, if the Serbs started the shooting and if there was no
1 response from the other side, no retaliation, why would they wait for a
2 whole night? I assume they could have taken control of Ljesevo within 15
3 minutes, so it's quite obvious that the fighting went on throughout the
4 night, the whole night?
5 A. There's no question of any fighting going on.
6 Q. Well, why would the shooting have lasted the entire night, as you
7 say, then?
8 A. Because they were shooting. You should ask them why they were
9 shooting, those Serbs.
10 Q. Well, they were shooting because you did not wish to surrender
11 your weapons, and two enemy armies cannot survive in one area. It's
12 either one or the other that is going to win. You couldn't defeat them a
13 month earlier, and now they came to defeat you; isn't that how it was?
14 A. No, it's not.
15 Q. I see, it's not. So you use -- you were using the proverb that
16 the anthropologists found in some African tribe at a very low level of
17 development. "It's a good thing when we attack the neighbouring tribe,
18 kill the menfolk, take the womenfolk away, their property, and it's bad
19 when they attack us and kill our menfolk and take our womenfolk away."
20 That's the same logic that you apply. A war happened, and there were
21 crimes committed on both sides in a war, and I don't justify the crimes
22 that took place in Ljesevo. Both sides get killed and so on.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you're making
24 submissions again. I'm sure Mr. Marcussen was about to say this. You're
25 making submissions. There's challenge on artillery, on the fighting. Of
1 course, the Judges noted this. It did not escape them.
2 Witness, please, you're saying that when you were with other
3 people, when you spend the night with them, you heard artillery shots,
4 but as far as you know there was no fight. Your friends did not shoot,
5 there were no Green Beret, there were no Muslim units fighting against
6 the Serbs at that time. At least that's what you're saying; right?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's true.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Please continue.
9 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
10 Q. You go on to describe how you spent the whole night in fear
11 because of that firing. In the morning, you heard Chetnik voices. So in
12 your eyes, all the Serb soldiers were Chetniks; no discussion about that?
13 A. The men who arrested us were Chetniks.
14 Q. All right. And you say that you expected them to enter the
15 basement. Some of you attempted to escape. They gave up. And when the
16 Chetniks arrived, you got out, with your arms in the air. They jumped
17 you immediately and fell you to the ground; is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And you said the Chetniks were led by Vasilije Vidovic, nicknamed
20 Vaske. You were not quite so emphatic here that he was there on the spot
21 outside your shelter. You say he led the Chetniks, and one draws the
22 conclusion that he actually led the attack on the village; correct?
23 A. Vasilije was outside our basement, as I said yesterday.
24 Q. Well, let's see when you lied, either in 1992 or yesterday. You
25 say that the Chetniks ordered you to look down, but still you recognised
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, don't say "let's
3 see when you lied." First make a demonstration, and at the end you could
4 say, "Did you say the truth, "yes" or "no, rather than saying from the
5 onset, "You lied and I'm going to prove it to you."
6 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
7 Q. You say you recognised four men, Vlajko Lizdek, nicknamed Vlaja,
8 Novo Rasevic, Novo Panjic, and Ranko Draskic; correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. We've seen that Novo Rasevic died that day, got killed, whereas
11 the other three were never part of Vaske's unit.
12 Let's take, please, the lists that we had with the previous
13 witness, the list of members of those three platoons of the
14 Territorial Defence Company. I have it somewhere here if you don't have
15 it. Here are the lists.
16 Are you sure that you recognised Ranko Draskic among the four?
17 A. Yes, I am.
18 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] Can you show him the lists, one by
19 one, and we'll stop on the third list.
20 Q. Let me inform you immediately, I have lists of members of the
21 Territorial Defence from Ljesevo. It's three platoons. This is the
22 first list.
23 Turn to the next page. The second and the third lists. Towards
24 the bottom, it says: "Commander of the 3rd Platoon, Ranko Draskic."
25 This list is dated 16 May 1992. Ranko Draskic is commander of the
1 3rd Platoon, whereas Vasilije Vidovic was commander of a special platoon
2 later known as Vaske's Platoon. We'll see that from other documents.
3 How could have Ranko Draskic been under the command of
4 Vasilije Vidovic when they were not in the same unit at all?
5 A. They jointly attacked the village with joint forces.
6 Q. If they attacked with joint forces, then each unit must have been
7 deployed in a certain place. Their soldiers did not mix, did they?
8 A. They attacked the village with joint forces.
9 Q. I have here up to page 78. It's much more than I will show you.
10 I have the workbook, the log of Vaske's Platoon, and on the cover page we
11 see the title: "The Wounded and the Fallen." And on page 22, "Tasks for
12 the Soldiers," and at the end -- do you have this? I gave it to you.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecutor is on his feet.
14 Mr. Marcussen.
15 MR. MARCUSSEN: I was just going to ask the accused to let us
16 know where this document can be found so we can follow. I am guessing
17 that it's from the binder that he has indicated he's going to use, but
18 what tab?
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Which tab is it under, please?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's tab 1, and the document is the
21 one we'll look at now, pages 78 and 79. So could you please put them on
22 the ELMO. It contains a list of all the members of the unit commanded by
23 Vaske in 1992. On that list, none of the four names of the men the
24 witness claims arrested him can be found.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, help us. We have
1 three binders. Tell us which binder -- in which binder it is and where
2 it is.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please, this is binder number 1.
4 It's marked "D1." So in the binders, you will find the documentation I
5 presented to you during the testimony of the military expert. It
6 contains evidence that Vasilije Vidovic, Ranko Dobrilovic
7 [as interpreted] and a third one were continuously either in the JNA or
8 the Army of Republika Srpska throughout the war, and they were part of
9 the units of those armies. You refused to admit it into evidence.
10 However, it is useful for me to at least show this witness one of these
11 documents, because this is a workbook of Vasilije Vidovic from 1992. You
12 can have the original for your inspection, if you wish. It's kept by my
13 very good friend, whom I trust implicitly, in Belgrade.
14 Vasilije Vidovic, he provided me with all that. It's a list of 54
15 members of his unit from 1992. And could the witness please find the
16 four names of the men he claims were commanded by Vasilije Vidovic.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have the list. It's a
18 handwritten list with 54 names, starting with "Vidovic, Vasilije" as
19 number 1. And there's a number. It must be the ID of the soldiers or
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges, these are probably numbers
22 of their military service booklets. You have, at the end, six men
23 without these numbers. They probably didn't do their military service
24 yet at the time or didn't have these service books.
25 Please go through the whole list. You will see that
1 Vlajko Lizdek, Novo Rasevic, Novo Panjic, and Ranko Draskic are not
3 Turn to the next page, please, for the witness to see.
4 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, it would seem -- it would seem that
5 there are dates on these lists, and if Your Honours look, they seem to be
6 lists from the 10th of May, 1995. So it's well after the time period
7 that we are talking about here. This is a good reason why the accused
8 should be requested to give us precise indications of the documents that
9 he used so we can be able to detect these sort of things in time so we
10 don't waste time on them in court.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, the Prosecutor is
12 telling us that there might be a mix-up with this list, at least
13 regarding the date. What elements do you have that could prove that this
14 list of 54 people corresponds to the very period when these fights
15 occurred in that town?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please, on page 2 you have the
17 date, 4th April, 1992, on page 2, and what is added in hand was in 1995.
18 Do you see this on the sideline, on the margin? Well, this is the
19 workbook of Vaske Vidovic that he used throughout the war, and this is a
20 list of soldiers ending with September 1992. This has all been torn from
21 one workbook to be presented here, so you can see easily what was entered
22 at what time.
23 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, the time might be up for the break,
24 so maybe we can verify this, but it seems to me that this is a
25 chronological workbook that runs through an extended period of time, and
1 the part of the book that is now being presented to the witness concerns
2 a period that's subsequent to the incident that we are talking about in
3 the indictment. But maybe we can look at this closer during the break.
4 The accused might want to check this, and we can look at it as well.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's have a
6 20-minute break.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have to tell you this: This is a
8 book that Vaske Vidovic kept throughout the war. Maybe it's a bit
9 scruffy, but it's complete. You see, you even have shifts and
10 replacements from 1992, ending with September. So when the soldiers went
11 to positions, rotating, it's all recorded. It's obviously a workbook
12 divided by topic. But everything that Vaske Vidovic wrote down during
13 the war in this workbook, it's authentic, historic material.
14 His unit began to self-organise and was joined in June to the
15 Ilijas Brigade of the Army of Republika Srpska. But what's important is
16 that nowhere in the book will you find a person who is not from Ilijas or
17 one of the surrounding places. It's important, because Vasilije Vidovic
18 never had any volunteers from Serbia. You can see this from the
19 workbook. The witness can go through the list and see if there is a
20 single name of a person who is not from his locality. He knows these
21 surnames; he should, at least, like Serbs know Muslim surnames.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. During the break,
23 the Prosecutor will have time to delve into this. I believe that he must
24 delve into the entire first binder. There are page numbers, and we see
25 that there are other pages with dates and so forth and so on.
1 Well, we'll have a 20-minute break now.
2 --- Recess taken at 10.35 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you have 45 minutes
5 left. Go ahead.
6 Mr. Marcussen.
7 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, I object to the accused using this
8 list in the way he's trying to use the document, or the workbook that he
9 was using with the witness before the break.
10 From my review of the dates that can be found in the various
11 documents, it would appear that these records do not date from the time
12 that's relevant to the witness evidence. Now, I don't -- yeah, basically
13 the accused would have to call Vasilije Vidovic here to explain to the
14 Court what these records are. It's very difficult to see, but the dates
15 that are found in all of the workbooks seem to be from 1994-1995, where
16 there are dates, or from -- clearly from months that are not relevant to
17 the time frame that this witness is giving evidence about. And I can go
18 into that in more detail, if Your Honours would like, but --
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I looked at
20 pages 78 and 79. You said that there was a date that could prove that
21 this was in 1992. I looked for it desperately and couldn't find it.
22 The Prosecution is raising a very serious objection, saying that
23 according to him, this does not correspond to the period where the
24 witness was -- it doesn't correspond to the period where the witness
25 actually was in Vaske in places, so there is doubt.
1 So how are you saying that you're so sure that this list of 54
2 names corresponds to those who are actually there when all these events
3 that we're interested in occurred?
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, you should then look
5 through the whole book, the whole notebook, because it is a notebook in
6 which everything important was recorded from 1992 until 1996, when the
7 Serbs left Ilijas after the Dayton Accords.
8 So take a look at page 5, for example. You'll find the name
9 "Srdjan Kalas" there, son of Radoslav. He said -- received a decoration
10 medal from Major Tepic by decree of Karadzic, and then was killed in the
11 action to liberate Misoca in August 1992, for example, killed by an enemy
13 The previous page, there's another name there, a man called
14 Slavko, with no other information provided. The page before that is a
15 page that relates to Nadan Andric, and page 1 -- or, rather, number 2, as
16 it is here, Vasilije Vidovic, who was commander of that platoon, and his
17 military post 7419/17 [as interpreted] is mentioned, and his platoon had
18 a separate military post, 7491/17. And if you go on after page 5, you
19 have Slavko Kulac, Dragan, killed at Zuc in November 1992. Then you come
20 across someone else on page 7.
21 JUDGE HARHOFF: Can I just ask you, Mr. Seselj, if you go back to
22 page 2, where Vidovic's details were, you made reference to the number on
23 the top of the page, 7491/17. At the bottom of that page, there's a
24 date, "8 June 1995." Would that not suggest that this entry was made in
25 June 1995?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right. You have it in
2 English. Quite right. This was added on in 1995, and it says:
3 "During combat, the following was wounded in the right leg by an
4 enemy shell 8th of June, 1995."
5 And this notebook refers to all those years. It's the only
6 working notebook or diary kept by Vasilije Vidovic or, rather, this
7 soldier, Nadan Andric, whose name and particulars are on page 3 and this
8 is his handwriting. So over those few years, he recorded everything that
9 was most important for that platoon. All the soldiers who were in the
10 platoon are recorded there whenever they became members of the platoon,
11 then those who were killed, those who were wounded, what weapons were
12 issued to them, and so on and so forth. And you can look at the entire
13 notebook and find all that information. Perhaps it wasn't kept in the
14 best possible way, it's not a neat notebook, but it contains a lot of
16 You can see here, for example, that Vasilije Vidovic joined the
17 Army of Republika Srpska on the 4th of April, 1992. That is recognised
18 there. And then later on you have a photocopy of his military booklet,
19 where you have the same information, when he was a member of the Army of
20 Republika Srpska, his years of service there are recorded.
21 JUDGE HARHOFF: If I understand this correctly, the issue is
22 whether the list that is included in pages 78 and 79 was included in the
23 book in 1992 or at a later stage.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] According to Vidovic, this whole
25 integral list was compiled in September 1992. But before this list, if
1 you look at it, there's one name on every page, so that was the primary
2 composition of the unit until page 14 -- or 13, rather. You have just
3 one name per page. Later on, you have a number of names on one page,
4 from page 14 onwards, page 15 and so on. But when you look at the whole
5 notebook, you'll notice that it contains all the names of the men who
6 were ever in Vasilije Vidovic's unit.
7 So the Prosecutor can look at all the names recorded in the book
8 to see where they came from, whether they were from Ilijas and the
9 surrounding parts or from somewhere else, from Serbia perhaps. So I
10 can't put this notebook in the order in which I would like it to look.
11 It looks in the authentic way that it was written, that's what it is, so
12 what you see is what you get.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen.
14 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, in my respectful submission, we
15 cannot be satisfied that the list that the accused wants to put to the
16 witness reflects the composition of the unit at the relevant time.
17 Judge Harhoff has already pointed to page 2, where there's a
18 date, 8 June 1995. At page 7 -- sorry, that's incorrect. If
19 Your Honours go to page 12, you will see that that appears to be a record
20 that's made on the 3rd of October, 1994. The record on page 13 seems to
21 be describing events on the 11th of April, 1995. For example, page 20 is
22 about something that happened on the 12th of October -- sorry, about
23 something on the 4th of August, 1994.
24 If we look at the workbook that's found under tab 3, which begins
25 at page 59, Your Honours will see that there are no names -- sorry, there
1 are no years mentioned there, but it seems to be a record that pertains
2 to something that occurred between the 28th of September, in an unknown
3 year, so not the relevant month, until December at some year.
4 If Your Honours look at page 71, you will again see -- which is,
5 of course, a few pages before the pages that the accused wants to use
6 with the witness, we have a date, the 14th of October, 1995. Then, of
7 course, we have, on page 77, the date that I mentioned earlier, the 10th
8 of August, 1995.
9 And if Your Honours then go to the subsequent pages, the next
10 book that's found under -- or two books, the book that I found under
11 tab 7, at page 87, we have a whole series of entries from 1995, beginning
12 on the 26th of June, 1995.
13 So in my respectful submission, it would appear that these
14 records have been made subsequent to the events, and certainly we cannot
15 be satisfied that the lists that the accused wants to put to the witness,
16 seemingly to impeach him, is a record --
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, we understood you.
18 As things stand, Mr. Seselj, the Trial Chamber has suspicions as
19 to this list. It is it seem that this -- whether this list does
20 correspond to 1992, and this for several reasons.
21 First, I note that this notebook was -- there are different
22 entries in this notebook made by different people, because we have all
23 sorts of handwritings.
24 Secondly, there is no order to the pages. Page 79, which you
25 seem to say is an essential document as far as your case is concerned
1 because it's a list of people, and then if you move to page 80, the next
2 page, you find out that here there is a date and it's 1995, March 1st,
4 So there is a big problem here, which means that between page 79
5 and page 80, three years were spent with no entries whatsoever. So there
6 is suspicion on this document. It does not mean that I'm saying that
7 this list does not date back to 1992, but there are great uncertainties
8 about it.
9 Ask your questions, please, and we will assess the answers,
10 taking into account all these parameters.
11 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I also wanted to say that on
12 page 76, the list starts with number 18, whereas on page 73, it ends with
13 number 10. And there's also a number 11, but it's left blank. Regarding
14 74, there's no number. Regarding page 75, no number either. So there,
15 again, we're jumping from the 10th to the 18th, so it's very puzzling.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] What can be understood here for
17 certain is the information recorded there, the entries made, and let's
18 take page 20 that the Prosecutor referred to. The entry there is that
19 Branislav Stojanovic was killed at Toljenka [phoen] on the 4th of August,
20 1994. So something is missing there, and what is missing might have been
21 pulled out of the notebook. Now, if something has been pulled out of the
22 notebook, I can't reconstruct it. I can't put in another page to fill in
23 the gap. So there are various lists of weapons issued and lists of
24 everything, but quite obviously the notebook was kept from 1992, because
25 the information dates from 1992 onwards, who was killed in 1992, who was
1 wounded in 1992, and so on. So if the notebook was kept by somebody who
2 wasn't very intelligent and wasn't very well educated, but had nice
3 handwriting, you can't hold it against him or against the notebook. It's
4 one platoon; it's not a brigade or a division, it's just a platoon.
5 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Seselj, that's your
6 testimony. We would need to hear a witness here who will testify to what
7 you are saying. How can we work this out? You're not a witness at this
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Madame Judge --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you have understood
11 what the issue hinges on. Put your question to the witness, and we will
12 assess the outcome of this in line --
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]...
14 during the examination-in-chief, and he repeated that today, that those
15 alleged 20 Chetniks who came with Vaske from Knin and stayed in Ilijas,
16 and that they left Ilijas at the end of war, that's what he said. So
17 they must have been there throughout.
18 Now, the most important point in this whole notebook is can we
19 find the name of a person who is not from Ilijas and the surrounding
20 parts, and if you can, whether it's one or two names or can you find
21 twenty names of people who are not from there? And my question could be,
22 although I didn't mean to dwell on this for that long because we'll have
23 more evidence about Ilijas - I have photocopies of military booklets here
24 and some other documents as well - Vasilije Vidovic provided me with his
25 whole platoon archive, the complete archive, so we can go through
1 everything, and the fact that many things are lacking there, which I
2 would like to have seen there, what can I do about that? I just want the
3 witness to answer, having looked at this list of 54 men, whether there's
4 a single surname for which he can state it was not from those parts.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, to save time, you
6 are saying that Vidovic gave you all these documents. Does this mean
7 that you intend to call this person named Vidovic as a witness?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I've already used some of
9 Vasilije Vidovic's statements, and he is on my witness list, Defence
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, so a number of
12 issues can be confirmed through this witness.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, my question is a very short
14 one, and the witness can give a yes-or-no answer. And if the answer is
15 "yes," then he can tell me which surname is not from those parts.
16 Q. Do you consider, Mr. VS-1055, that on this list of 54 names,
17 there are people there who, judging by their surname, are quite obviously
18 not from those parts; that is to say, Ilijas, Vogosca, Visoko, Breza, up
19 to Zenica and Sarajevo, for example?
20 A. I have before me page 2. 38, what is this?
21 Q. 38 is Faruk Dzafic, son of Mujo.
22 A. I'm sorry, I meant 35.
23 Q. 35 is Ratko -- well, I can't read this. "Zletic," [phoen] is it?
24 I really don't know what that letter is.
25 A. Serbia.
1 Q. That man is from Serbia. Ah, it says "Aleksic."
2 A. Well, there are millions of Aleksics in Bosnia and in Serbia.
3 Q. Anyway, the surname is Aleksic. Any other surname?
4 A. Civcic.
5 Q. Are there no Civcics in those parts?
6 A. I don't know of any.
7 Q. Are you quite sure there aren't any?
8 A. Well, I don't know about them.
9 Q. Any other doubtful surnames?
10 A. Number 50.
11 Q. Miroslav Krstic, you mean?
12 A. Yes, that surname I don't remember having encountered in the
13 Ilijas region. And then there's Radovanovic as well.
14 Q. No Radovanovics either?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Do you know Miroslav Radovanovic from Sarajevo, he was an advisor
17 to Radovan Karadzic and later on a national deputy of the Serbian Radical
18 Party in Republika Srpska?
19 A. No, I've never heard of him.
20 Q. Well, do you know about that handball player from Sarajevo?
21 A. I knew a Radovanovic from Banja Luka.
22 Q. Well, my chemistry teacher in the first year in Sarajevo was
23 called Milica Radovanovic, so how can you say that there are no surnames
24 of Radovanovic in Bosnia?
25 A. Ah, well, you said Bosnia but you asked me about Ilijas.
1 Q. I said from Zenica to Sarajevo. Ilijas, Vogosca, Visoko, that
2 general area.
3 A. Well, I gave my answers on that basis, too.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're going too fast.
5 Yes, Mr. Marcussen, did you want to say the same thing?
6 MR. MARCUSSEN: No, I just wanted to point out that the witness
7 was not asked about whether these were surnames that were found in
8 Bosnia, but in specific locations, but maybe that was cleared up. It's
9 at page 49, line 2, that the question is found.
10 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] All right. Let's not waste any more
11 time on that. Let's go on through your statement. It's much more
13 Q. Mr. VS-1055, you stated that after you were taken out, led out of
14 that shelter, one of the men who were with you was wounded, and when
15 Vaske Vidovic and the blonde man appeared, one of them shot that man;
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. So it was Amir Fazlic who was killed in that way?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Then why do you describe it quite differently in your statement?
21 It's page 2 of your statement.
22 Do you have a more legible copy?
23 You say here that when you decided to try to escape, one person
24 managed; two returned, one of them wounded. And then those four
25 allegedly Serbs show up, and then you mention names.
1 In your statement, you say that you were taken back to the
2 shelter again and that this Amir Fazlic was killed in the shelter?
3 A. Not Amir Fazlic. He was not killed in the shelter.
4 Q. Give us a more legible copy, perhaps in the other document. This
5 one was given to the security service, the State Security Service. Do
6 you have a better document?
7 You say here in your statement:
8 "They ordered us to put our heads to the ground and look down,
9 probably so that we can't recognise them. Still, I recognised
10 Vlaja Lizdek, Novo Rasevic, Novo Panjic, and Ranko Draskic. They pushed
11 us into the basement and threatened to liquidate us. There, in the
12 presence of us all, they killed the wounded Amir Fazlic."
13 So you say they pushed you back into the basement and killed
14 Amir Fazlic in the basement.
15 A. They did not kill Amir Fazlic in the basement. They killed him
16 outside the basement, while we were still standing.
17 Q. Did they first push you in the basement and then kill him?
18 A. First they killed Amir while we were still standing, so we were
19 first taken out of the basement, lined us up. They killed him, and then
20 they pushed us back in the basement.
21 Q. But you don't mention that Amir was killed by Vaske and his
22 blonde escort; you mention these four men.
23 A. Maybe I failed to mention it, but I said it in the statement
24 given to this Court.
25 Q. So the statement given to the Muslim authorities could be false?
1 A. Maybe the text is -- the formulations may differ slightly, but
2 the statement is correct.
3 Q. So why don't you mention here this man in uniform who came in and
4 introduced himself as an officer of the Seselj guard?
5 A. I probably didn't make that statement, I didn't mention it.
6 Q. So when did you remember that officer of the Seselj guard?
7 A. Well, time does its work.
8 Q. Do you mean the time makes you remember better?
9 A. This statement was given immediately after the traumas that I
11 Q. Do you mean that with the lapse of time, you've started
12 remembering things you didn't remember before, including those things
13 that didn't happen?
14 A. It did happen.
15 Q. Why do you say that Vaske Vidovic drove a white Golf? You say
16 you saw him in a white Golf, and he never drove one, he says.
17 A. Vaske Vidovic was in a blue --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's mistake, interpreter's
19 correction. It is a blue Golf all the time.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I read that it's white, so it's
21 blue, you're quite sure?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
23 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] Put on the ELMO, please, the
24 statement of Vasilije Vidovic given on the 3rd of June this year. It's
25 very brief.
1 Q. Here is what Vasilije Vidovic says --
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen, I see what
3 objection you're going to raise. This Vidovic is going to come to --
4 called to testify, and the accused seemingly has his statement.
5 Mr. Marcussen.
6 MR. MARCUSSEN: I was going to ask the accused to indicate what
7 tab in the binder this comes from so we can follow the translation.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's not in the binder and will not
9 be tendered into evidence. You told me yesterday that there is
10 absolutely no need to provide for photocopying the statements that won't
11 be tendered. If you changed your mind again, then I will provide it for
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You don't wish to have it
14 tendered. You are just showing the document to the witness. Is that it?
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I've said that I will never again
16 tender anything into evidence, because you refused the documents I
17 offered at the time of Expert Theunens' testimony. I don't think we need
18 raise this issue again. I want to put what Vasilije Vidovic says.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, Mr. Seselj.
20 Every time you raise this issue again, the Trial Chamber, when
21 Theunens' testimony was heard, we refused one of the documents. That
22 document posed a problem. We've never denied you any document. We can
23 only admit the document if the document has been translated. If the
24 document is reliable, if the document is relevant and has some probative
25 value, and the document has to be shown to the witness, in that case we
1 admit it.
2 So I would like to correct what you're saying. We have denied
3 you nothing. It is just that when a document is being admitted, it has
4 to meet a number of criteria, and those are the rules I've just set out.
5 In addition, this document, which we are discovering and seeing
6 for the first time, I assume that it has a stamp on it and that certifies
7 the signature. It has not been translated into English, and that is why
8 the Prosecutor is raising a well-substantiated objection. And this
9 document is being used to say, "Well, this is the statement of
10 such-and-such. I'm showing it to you. In this document, the person says
11 this and that in paragraph 2 of page 4, for instance. What do you think
12 of this?"
13 Mr. Marcussen.
14 MR. MARCUSSEN: Indeed, Your Honour, that is the problem, and I
15 apologise that we have to spend time on this, but the fundamental problem
16 here again is that the accused has not respected Your Honours' ruling
17 that he has to notify us, before cross-examination begins, of the
18 documents he intends to use. This is another document that we have not
19 been notified of.
20 This happens repeatedly, and there's no reason why the accused is
21 not complying with Your Honours' guidelines on this issue.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So this occasion arose
23 yesterday. You may have received it a few minutes ago, but if you'd had
24 the document for a few days already, why wasn't the Prosecutor informed
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I meant to provide
2 it for copying yesterday, but when you said that there was no need to do
3 that, I didn't provide anything, although I did have another two or three
4 interesting documents. If you are saying now that I should provide it
5 for photocopying earlier, I will do it in the future, but of course a day
6 in advance or an hour in advance, because that's the way I receive these
8 I'm short on time with my preparation for Defence.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, something positive, at
10 least. So photocopy the documents beforehand so that the Prosecutor has
11 it in due time, that the Prosecutor has time to look at it and see what
12 questions can be raised.
13 Every time there is a document you wish to use, ask the usher to
14 photocopy the document and hand it over to the Prosecutor. Then we will
15 have no problem with this.
16 Nonetheless, as you are using this document, put the questions
17 relating to it.
18 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Vasilije Vidovic puts three main things related to your
20 testimony. Of course, he does not refer to your testimony, itself, but
21 to the certain points you made. He says, in paragraph 1, that the
22 beginning of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina found him in his house in
23 Ilijas; that Serbs there, educated by their -- informed by the experience
24 of Serbs in surrounding places, self-organised in order to protect
25 themselves, he says. He had with him his relatives, friends and
1 neighbours from Ilijas. There were also Serbs who had fled from Zenica,
2 and that in his unit there were no outside volunteers from the territory
3 of another republic or anybody speaking in the Ekavian dialect of Serbia
4 proper. He says the only person who spoke the Ekavian dialect of Serbia
5 proper was my "kum," Vladimir Dobricic, a reporter of the Danube News
7 Now, he was the commander of the unit who was always officially
8 called "Vaske's Platoon," as he says, or is the truth what you remembered
9 subsequently and you couldn't remember in 1992?
10 A. What Vaske's writing is a blatant lie. He will probably have the
11 opportunity to come to this Court, and I volunteer to confront him.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And the witness, does he have the
13 right to call somebody a liar, to call something a lie? On the contrary,
14 I believe the Defence has some latitude in cross-examination. However, I
15 don't mind.
16 Q. Vasilije Vidovic goes on to say:
17 "If somebody claims that in my unit there were volunteers from
18 outside speaking in Ekavian dialect or that I had brought some people
19 from the battlefield in Benkovac, where I had been earlier, then that
20 person does not know me or has never seen me during the armed conflicts."
21 Is this true?
22 A. Vaske Vidovic and I know each other very well, and it's not true,
23 what is written there.
24 Q. When were you born, which year?
25 A. 1958.
1 Q. Is Vaske older?
2 A. A couple of years.
3 Q. How many years?
4 A. He's perhaps three or four years my senior.
5 Q. Well, it says "two years" here, but it doesn't really matter.
6 A. It really doesn't.
7 Q. Why did you lie that Vaske Vidovic was wearing glasses?
8 A. He did.
9 Q. Here's what he says here:
10 "Anyone who claims that I had in my units volunteers from
11 Benkovac --"
12 JUDGE HARHOFF: Here we go again. It is not professional of you
13 to continue characterising the witness as a liar, unless you're able to
14 prove that he is deliberately lying. He may be mistaken about the fact
15 of whether a person was wearing glasses or not, but that is not
16 tantamount to lying. The same goes for the witness. The witness should
17 also refrain from characterising people who are not present in this
18 courtroom as liars.
19 Is this clear to both of you?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much.
22 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I have a question to put to the
23 witness concerning the glasses. Maybe I misunderstood yesterday.
24 I had understood yesterday that you said he didn't really need
25 the glasses, he was just wearing them to pass himself off as somebody
1 else. Did I understand you correctly?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]...
4 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 MR SESELJ: [Interpretation].
6 Q. Vaske Vidovic says about this:
7 "Anyone who claims that I had volunteers from Benkovac in my unit
8 is telling a complete untruth, just as anyone who claims that I wear
9 glasses for my sight. I've never worn glasses to improve my vision, just
10 as I don't wear them today at the age of 54."
11 You claim this is not true?
12 A. I claim this is not true.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. As regards the
14 glasses, yesterday you said that he wore glasses, but were these
15 sunglasses or proper glasses, because you can wear sunglasses without
16 needing reading glasses which you are wearing at the moment. When you
17 talked about the glasses, which glasses did you mean; did you mean
18 sunglasses or reading glasses?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The glasses were like those worn by
20 Draza Mihajlovic, identical, so he was impersonating Draza Mihajlovic.
21 It may have been a negligible dioptre, but he did wear them.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But Draza Mihajlovic had
23 reading glasses or sunglasses?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For his sight.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] These were white lenses?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj.
3 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Do you know that the Muslims of Ilijas who had already been
5 working on the police force were called upon to continue working in the
6 police of SAO Romanija?
7 A. I don't know that.
8 Q. Do you know that since they refused, a peaceful division of the
9 police force was agreed?
10 A. I don't know about that, either.
11 Q. Then you probably don't know that the weaponry, communications
12 equipment and vehicles were divided equally?
13 A. I know that some weapons were distributed. I spoke about it a
14 little yesterday. About equipment and cars, I don't know.
15 Q. Do you know where Ljubina village is?
16 A. Ljubina village, we call it the upper parts, is towards Srednje.
17 Q. When the police force was divided, is it the case that the
18 Muslims organised new premises of their force in the primary school?
19 A. I don't know. Ljubina is between 15 and 17 kilometres away from
21 Q. But Ljesevo, Misoca, Luka and Ljubina were covered by this new
22 police force?
23 A. I really don't know anything about it.
24 Q. Did these Muslim policemen ever appear in Ljesevo?
25 A. Communication was impossible if -- once Ilijas was occupied by
1 the Serb police after this division.
2 Q. Do you know what was the official name of Vaske's unit?
3 A. I don't.
4 Q. I have here another statement by General Josipovic, and I'm going
5 to use it in the cross-examination of the forthcoming witnesses. He says
6 that the real name of the unit, Vaske's unit, was the Motorised Platoon
7 of the Assault Battalion, and he confirms that the military post number
8 of that unit was 7491/17. Could that be correct, in your opinion?
9 A. What is the date of that statement of the general's?
10 Q. The 3rd of June, 2008.
11 A. I see.
12 Q. The statement was given for the purposes of this
14 A. I think that Josipovic would not have given that statement in
15 June 1992.
16 Q. Well, what would he have said in June 1992? Go on, then.
17 A. I don't know what he would have said.
18 Q. How could you say that General Josipovic was the commander of the
19 garrison in Visoko?
20 A. Because I knew that he was the commander in Visoko.
21 Q. Dragan Josipovic was never the commander of the garrison in
22 Visoko, nor was he in Visoko at all. Dragan Josipovic, in June 1992,
23 came from the 36th Mechanised Brigade from Subotica to Han Pijesak and
24 was deployed there in the Ilijas Brigade.
25 A. Josipovic was the commander of the barracks in Visoko.
1 Q. Josipovic claims he was never in Visoko.
2 A. Well, that can be established.
3 Q. Well, yes, and I suppose that the Prosecution will establish that
4 because you're a Prosecution witness.
5 A. Perhaps.
6 Q. You said during the examination-in-chief that the brother-in-law
7 of Fazlic was a relative of Moammar el-Gadhafi and that his surname was
8 Gadhafi too?
9 A. Yes.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, to avoid wasting any
11 time and a lot of confusion, a while ago Mr. Seselj talked about a
12 document that came from Josipovic. He said that Vaske and other men
13 belonged to the unit numbered 7491-17, which would tend to mean that
14 these men belonged to a military unit. So I went to check Mr. Seselj's
15 document instantly, those documents which are in his binders, and since I
16 react very promptly, I can see that Andric, Nadan, one of the soldiers,
17 is mentioned as belonging to this unit, 7491-17, who seemingly, on the
18 13th of December, 1992, was wounded in a settlement called Golo Brdo
19 Dzukija [phoen]. So this document establishes that there was a military
20 unit in 1992. So much for this.
21 Does it change anything to the answers you will give to us?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We should look at the date when
23 that unit was established.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That's another question
25 altogether. But Vaske's unit may be seen as an official unit that
1 reported to the VRS, since we have an official number for this unit?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It might have become an official
3 unit at some point. I don't know.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. I just wanted to
5 mention this.
6 Mr. Seselj, it seems that as far as the remaining time still
7 allotted to you, you would have 30 minutes left, normally speaking. We
8 have spent 21 minutes discussing the documents because there were a
9 series of objections. Theoretically, that time is taken off your time,
10 so you would have nine minutes left. Since we are not too pressed for
11 time today, I want to mention this. You have 20 or so minutes left, and
12 use them purposefully, please.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm not quite clear, Mr. President,
14 how it is that you can deduct that procedural discussion about documents
15 from my time. That procedural discussion was opened by the Prosecutor,
16 and if that was not in order, then you should deduct it from his time.
17 All you should count is the effective time I took in cross-examining the
18 Prosecution witness. Everything else is deducted from other people's
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, submissions on a
21 document presented during cross-examination, when questions are put to a
22 witness, this is not the right procedure. This has to do with the merits
23 of the case, and we are not talking about procedural matters here. This
24 is a matter of some substance.
25 When you show a document, you should anticipate the Prosecutor's
1 objections, if any. You should bear all of this in mind, because if
2 there is an objection, normally speaking, your time is numbered.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, how then -- what
4 happens when the Prosecutor produces documents during the
5 examination-in-chief and I make my observations and objections; how is
6 that time not deducted from the Prosecution time? He's given a total
7 number of hours or time, whereas different criteria are being applied to
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
10 continues]... you challenge this document, there is an exchange of views,
11 and if you challenge it, too bad for the Prosecution. But if your
12 objection is unfounded, then there's no reason why the Prosecutor should
13 be prejudiced.
14 So in this particular instance, Mr. Marcussen's remarks on these
15 documents were founded, well founded, since he reminded us that there is
16 a procedure relating to the disclosure of exhibits in English.
17 This is what I had to say to you. Please proceed now.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, then. I'm not going to
19 make any more comments, or objections, or present any more documents. I
20 will behave in line with your increasing restrictions, because if I have
21 to be anxious over whether the Prosecutor will intervene during my time
22 and then spend that time of mine, then there's no sense to that.
23 You've introduced all sorts of rules that never existed in this
24 Tribunal, where many rules like that did exist, but you can do what you
1 Q. I asked the question, and you said that the brother-in-law of
2 Vasilije Vidovic was a distant relation of Moammar el-Gadhafi and that
3 his surname was Gadhafi, too?
4 A. Yes, I did say that, and that was the rumour going 'round the
5 entire municipality.
6 Q. So you don't know that for a fact, but you heard the rumours
7 going 'round?
8 A. I heard that his surname was Gadhafi, yes.
9 Q. And so having heard that somewhere, you're presenting that as a
10 fact, as the truth here, are you? And I put it to you now that the
11 brother-in-law of Vasilije Vidovic was called Abdul Salaam Salas [phoen]
12 and that he was no relation to the Libyan President Gadhafi at all. So
13 who's right, you on the basis of the rumours you heard, or I, who have
14 the information at hand?
15 A. Well, if you're right, there's no problem there, but that doesn't
16 change the facts, the situation, the fact of why I'm here.
17 Q. Oh, yes, it does, and you'll see how it does just now.
18 Abdul Salaam Salas for years was in the diplomatic mission of Libya in
19 Belgrade. He was an officer of the Libyan army. And the sister of
20 Vasilije Vidovic is married to this man. As a Serbian woman of the
21 Orthodox faith, she converted to the Islamic faith, and Vaske's nephews
22 are Muslims. And I met his sister and his brother-in-law, and we were on
23 very friendly terms in Belgrade.
24 Now, you take this same man, Vaske, who had no prejudices at all,
25 his sister having married a Muslim, a Muslim from an orthodox Islamic
1 state such as Libya, to boot, who observes all the religious rites of his
2 faith and whose nephews are Muslims, you accuse him of destroying the
3 mosques of Ilijas?
4 A. Yes. Vidovic, Vasilije Vidovic, as far as I heard, did destroy
5 Ilijas' mosque, and against his brother-in-law, his sister and nephews, I
6 have absolutely nothing against them and wish them all the best in life.
7 Q. But I have a document here which was issued by the
8 [indiscernible] of the Islamic community of Sarajevo in which it states
9 that at the end of 1992, the mosque in Ilijas was destroyed. And at that
10 time when the Ilijas mosque was destroyed, Vaske Vidovic and his platoon
11 were at the front, at the Nisic Plateau, where they were sent as
12 reinforcements to the Serb forces there facing the Muslim onslaught in
13 that part of the country. So Vaske Vidovic and his unit weren't in
14 Ilijas at all when the mosque was destroyed, and you are accusing him of
15 having destroyed the mosque?
16 A. I heard that Vasilije Vidovic had destroyed not only the mosque
17 in Ilijas but also all the mosques which existed in Ilijas municipality,
18 that is to say, Ljesevo, Visoca [phoen], and so on and so forth.
19 Q. Who did you get that from?
20 A. I heard that from people who came from Ilijas after the
21 Dayton Accords.
22 Q. Can you give us the names of the people you heard this from?
23 A. Yes, I can.
24 Q. Go on, then.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, sir. You've
2 been granted protective measures. If you give someone's name, a smart
3 journalist will be quick to identify this person and ask who might have
4 said that, and in that case your name would be mentioned.
5 Let's redact line 7, page 66.
6 Let's move into private session so that you can give these names.
7 Registrar, can we move into private session, please.
8 [Private session]
6 [Open session]
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're now in open session.
8 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
9 Q. In the statement you gave to The Hague Tribunal investigators in
10 2004, you acknowledged the fact that a division did take place, that is
11 to say, that the Muslim and Serb police separated, whereas a moment ago
12 you denied any knowledge of that separation.
13 In paragraph 12, in fact, you state the following --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, please. Mr. Seselj
15 is moving on to another topic. The question relating to the mosques is
16 an important one.
17 Witness, you said that you heard rumours to the effect that Vaske
18 had destroyed some mosques; amongst others, one in Ilijas. It so happens
19 that --
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I be allowed to say something?
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just one moment. Let me
23 It so happens that Mr. Seselj has proof of this. I don't know.
24 He seems to be saying that according to his evidence, Vaske and his unit
25 were elsewhere. Therefore, if they were elsewhere, it is difficult to
1 understand how they would have destroyed the mosque. But in addition,
2 the accused seems to have a letter provided by the Islamic Community, to
3 the effect that the mosque was destroyed at the end of December, from
4 what I understood, and not in June. And in December, Vaske is no longer
5 there, he's on the front line, he's elsewhere. So those people who told
6 you that, were they 100 per cent sure about this, did they just convey
7 the rumours they'd heard?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was no mention of the date
9 here when the mosque was destroyed. In talking to people, when we spoke
10 about the suffering of both sides, I asked specifically why the mosques,
11 and then they said, "Vaske did that with his men."
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have no letter
13 from the Islamic religious community. All I have is an excerpt from one
14 of their publications, "The Medzlis of the Islamic Community in
15 Sarajevo," and the portion related to Ilijas Dzemat District, where it
16 says that the mosque was destroyed, as they say, at the end of 1992,
17 using the word "Konac." And that in 1996, it was reconstructed with the
18 help of the Egyptian government and that the people now refer to it as
19 the Egyptian mosque. So I have no letter, I just have the photocopy of
20 part of the publication, but what was important to me was the date of the
21 mosque destruction, and I have information from Vasilije Vidovic himself
22 that at that time he was at the Nisic Plateau with his unit. That's the
23 essence of my question on this issue.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The witness has answered the
1 Please continue, Mr. Seselj.
2 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
3 Q. In paragraph 12 of the statement to The Hague Tribunal, you
4 said -- allegedly said the following:
5 "When the Serbs formed their own police force in Ilijas, the
6 Muslims and Croats decided to do the same, and the police station was to
7 be located in Ljesevo. At the time of the split, the Serb police had
8 given us Muslims and Croats half of the ammunitions they had. Contrary
9 to the Serb police, we were not organised at all. We didn't know who to
10 put in charge, what to do in case of attack, et cetera. We decided that
11 our police commander was to be Omer Spahic, who lived in Ilijas. We told
12 him over the phone about all the problems we had, like not having enough
13 staff to do the job, what to do in case of an attack, et cetera."
14 That means that you knew that the police force had been split,
15 you knew that a Muslim police force had been established, and that the
16 commander of the police force was Omer Spahic, and you said "we decided,"
17 so you took part in that. And a moment ago in the cross-examination, you
18 said you had no idea about any of that.
19 A. Well, I do not have any idea about all that, and when I said
20 that, I wasn't speaking in my own name.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen.
22 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, the question that was put to the
23 witness was whether or not he was aware that the Muslims had been -- the
24 Muslim policemen had been invited or asked to be part of the SAO Romanija
25 police force and thereafter had left, and the witness said that he did
1 not know about that. He did not say that he did not know about the split
2 in the police, and he testified during direct examination to this
3 yesterday, so it's a mischaracterisation of the witness's evidence.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Everything Mr. Marcussen said is
5 not true. Please, look at the transcript and you will see. It was the
6 initial question in that set of questions that was followed by the
7 question if he knows that the police was divided, where the headquarters
8 of the police were. He even said that not a single Muslim policeman
9 appeared in Ljesevo. He said it in front of you people 15, 20 minutes
10 ago. Do you remember that detail when I asked him if a single Muslim
11 policeman appeared in Ljesevo? He said he had never seen any.
12 What is the Prosecutor doing, and how come you tolerate it all?
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're not tolerating anything.
14 We are listening to your question, we are listening to the Prosecutor's
15 objection. When the Prosecution asks questions, you also raise
16 objections, and we listen to everything. We're not here to tolerate
18 Reformulate your question, please, so we can understand whether
19 there is a problem or not.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Why would I formulate my question,
21 I wonder. I mean "reformulate my question." My question was clear. I
22 caught the witness in a contradiction. I showed him his own statement
23 from 1994. He doesn't confirm what he was saying. He denied it all
24 here. He said he knew nothing about that Muslim police, he never saw a
25 single Muslim policeman in Ljesevo after the division.
1 Why should I reformulate anything. I won't.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj asked me, if I remember
3 correctly, about the police in Ljubina, which was 15, 17 kilometres away
4 from me, and about them I said I knew nothing, and I really know nothing.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] My question was whether he had ever
6 seen a Muslim policeman in Ljesevo, a policeman of the Muslim police
7 force after the division.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The police in Ljesevo, after the
9 division, did not operate.
10 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Why are you complaining to The Hague investigators here that,
12 unlike the Serbian police -- unlike the Serb police, you were not
13 organised at all, you didn't even know who to appoint as commander, and
14 then you say, "We decided that our police commander should be Omer Spahic
15 from Ilijas?" Is that what you said?
16 A. It was not possible to form the police right there, right then,
17 and Omer Spahic, from the police force you are mentioning, is from
19 Q. And you decided he should be your commander?
20 A. Yes, but active in the area of Ljubina.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, your time is --
22 you've already used two hours. Your time is up, your cross-examination
23 is over. If you have one last question, put your last questions quickly.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm not going to ask any more
25 questions, and I will think about whether I'm going to ask any questions
1 of future witnesses. It's my entitlement to decide not to conduct any
2 cross-examination at all. I'll think it over during the weekend, because
3 this has already turned into some sort of mis-treatment and some kind of
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I will give you my answer
6 later, but after the witness left the courtroom.
7 Mr. Marcussen, any redirect?
8 MR. MARCUSSEN: No, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
10 Witness, then, on behalf of my fellow Judges and myself, I'd like
11 to thank you for having come to testify for the Prosecution. I wish you
12 all the best, and I wish you a safe return home.
13 I will now ask the usher to please escort you out of the
15 [The witness withdrew]
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I told you that I
17 was going to answer what you just said.
18 You are entitled to ask questions during the cross-examination,
19 which is what you did during the time that was allotted to you. The
20 Prosecutor had two hours and you also had two hours, so you had the same
21 amount of time. Therefore, there's no problem here.
22 Secondly, during the questions you asked, the Prosecution raised
23 a number of objections linked to the fact that they were given the
24 documents at the very last minute or not even given the documents at all.
25 You gave us your reasons for this. I'll give you credit for it. It is
1 true that if you obtain yourself a document at the last minute, it is
2 quite normal that you can't give it ahead of time to the Prosecution.
3 Yesterday, you said at one point in time you wanted to make
4 photocopies and there was a problem, the photocopies could not be made.
5 Very well, we will try to do better next time. We are trying to solve
6 problems as they come up, and in the interests of all, of course, and in
7 the interests of yourself also.
8 The Trial Chamber knows that you have some material problems to
9 defend yourself; you're alone, you don't have an entire staff there to
10 make photocopies for you in realtime, whereas the OTP does. We know this
11 and we take this into account, which is why sometimes we allow you to do
12 a number of things that we would never allow elsewhere, because we do
13 take this into account, the fact that you are representing yourself.
14 However, this being said, how are you mistreated so far regarding
15 your case, when you were trying to challenge the reliability of witnesses
16 or the merits of their testimony? We let you -- you were very free to
17 ask all questions you wanted to ask, and sometimes the Trial Chamber also
18 picked up on a number of issues that you might have neglected and asked
20 So what you said earlier surprises me. I don't quite understand
21 why you're complaining, but I will give you the floor. But, please, tell
22 us what your problems are, but very calmly.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am always, constantly, composed
24 and calm. You have told me now for the first time, although we are six
25 or eight months into the trial, that all the time used by the Prosecutor
1 to present justifiable objections is taken from my cross-examination
2 time. You have directly infringed upon my right to due process. Nothing
3 the Prosecutor says can be taken away from my time. But since you have
4 made that decision, then I have very calmly, very rationally, in a very
5 composed manner --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. Maybe you have
7 not understood me correctly, and if there's a misunderstanding, let's get
8 to the bottom of things immediately.
9 I believe that a few days ago -- a few weeks ago, actually, the
10 Trial Chamber issued an oral decision regarding the time allotted to the
11 parties when far-fetched objections were raised. I don't have it here,
12 but I'm sure the legal officer will help me find it. But we said that
13 when there were objections that were not grounded, then the time spent on
14 this objection would be taken out of the one who raised this unfounded
15 objection in the first place. Why is that? Very simple. Just imagine a
16 situation where either the Prosecution or yourself would just stand up
17 all the time and raise objections, totally ungrounded with no reasons
18 whatsoever, and then the other party would have to answer, the Judges
19 would have to rule on the objection. This could be a huge waste of time,
20 which is why we issued this oral decision drawing everybody's attention
21 on the problem.
22 There are objections raised by the Prosecutor which are grounded
23 and there are objections which you raise that are also grounded, but
24 sometimes the Prosecutor raised ungrounded objections and sometimes you
25 did the same. I don't have the list here with me, but this is all I
1 wanted to say. I don't want any misunderstanding on this issue.
2 Furthermore, earlier I was told that the time spent on objections
3 amounted to 21 minutes. I kept you abreast of this, I told you about
4 this. I told you that theoretically this time should be deducted from
5 your own time, but I told you it won't be deducted and I'll give you an
6 extra -- you'll still have 20 minutes. So I did not deduct anything from
7 you. I even said that we had some time and we were not pressed for time,
8 so we were not going to look at the watch that closely. I did not,
9 therefore, sort your objections to put on the one hand the grounded ones
10 and, on the other hand, the ungrounded ones.
11 It is true that sometimes you make well-grounded objections and
12 they're sustained, and sometimes you don't and we tell you about it, but
13 the same applies to the Prosecutor, and sometimes he's not too happy with
14 it, but he knows exactly what the Rules are.
15 Maybe there is a misunderstanding in what I had said earlier, but
16 I want to say that today no time was deducted from your time regarding
17 objections. You used up all of your two hours.
18 Did you get -- did you understand this or do you want me to
19 expound on this? I don't want any misunderstanding between the
20 Trial Chamber and yourself.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have three things to tell you, if
22 you insist.
23 First of all, in my assessment, I did not use two full hours.
24 Second, the first decision you made is discriminatory. It
25 applies only to me. If I make unjustified objections in
1 cross-examination, I bear the consequences, but if the Prosecutor makes
2 unfounded objections during cross-examination, he bears no consequences.
3 And, third, today for the first time you put forth this theory
4 that whenever I show a document here and the Prosecutor objects, if the
5 objection is justified, all the procedural discussion about that document
6 is theoretically, as you put it, deducted from my time. This is the
7 first time I hear of such a theory.
8 Even in cross-examination, if I raise procedural issues or I
9 address the Trial Chamber, even that should not count against my time.
10 Why don't you look who, in these past eight months, made more relevant
11 comments, the Prosecutor or I. I guarantee to you that three-fourths of
12 my comments were certainly relevant.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I have the oral
14 decision here on the screen, and let me read to you two of the "noting."
15 "Noting that at this stage of the procedure, the Trial Chamber
16 notes the very important time spent by the accused for submissions during
17 the examination-in-chief, whereas these submissions should be made during
18 the cross-examination; noting that fairness of the proceedings require
19 that when such interventions are made this time should be deducted from
20 the time allocated to the accused for his cross-examination."
21 So this decision was aimed at your interventions during the
22 examination-in-chief, but there could be exactly the opposite also.
23 There could be the same kind of interventions from the Prosecution during
24 the cross-examination, submissions that would be made or interventions
25 that would be made without any grounds, and because of fairness, of
1 course, we need to have -- to do the same thing regarding time for both
2 parties, you're absolutely right, because it's during the
3 cross-examination, if the Prosecutor is making an objection that is
4 overruled, this time is not deducted from my time.
5 It is true that it is a problem that does exist, and there is no
6 solution right now to it. The Trial Chamber has not discussed this, and
7 it's true that you have raised a real problem here, but in the future you
8 could always make a comment once, twice, or three times to the
9 Prosecutor, saying that he's making a mistake and it's ungrounded, but
10 it's true that if he continues, there could be sanctions handed down.
11 So this is what I want to say. When you have two hours for your
12 cross-examination, the Trial Chamber would like this time to be spent
13 wisely and purposefully. When the Prosecutor raises his objection, we do
14 not want him to make you -- put you off track. If the Prosecution makes
15 ungrounded objections, of course he will be sanctioned. But if, at the
16 same time, you're also dealing with other problems, for example, that
17 have to do with a document, this is what happened now, you just showed a
18 document to the witness, the Prosecutor raised an objection and you said,
19 "This is procedure," and I said, "No, this is the merits," because
20 normally, according to the Rules, the document should have been disclosed
21 to the Prosecution and should have been translated in one of the working
22 languages of the Tribunal, which was not the case regarding this
23 document. So the time spent on this document is to be blamed on you.
24 It's because of you that all this time was wasted. It's not the
25 Trial Chamber's fault or the Prosecution's, because you did not play by
1 the Rule there.
2 Now, you told us why you didn't do this. You gave us your
3 explanation, and we accepted your explanation. But just imagine, if you
4 don't abide by the Rules, if you continue giving us documents that are
5 not translated, that were not disclosed to the Prosecution, if you've had
6 these documents for quite a while, of course the Prosecution is going to
7 rise to its feet and is going to raise objections, and we waste time,
8 which is why the Trial Chamber asks you to do your utmost to make sure
9 these documents be disclosed in time to the Prosecution. You undertook
10 to do this. We will have photocopies, then, and if possible we would
11 also like to have translations.
12 And I noted, and I want to congratulate you for this, you know,
13 in the three binders you gave us, Mr. Vaske Vidovic's notebook regarding
14 this period of reference was translated into English. Thank you. Then
15 there's no problem.
16 You can ask for all the documents who are translated to be
17 admitted, and you can tender them if you want, but I don't want any
18 misunderstanding between us.
19 You did raise a problem, there is a problem, and I don't have a
20 solution yet. It is true that if the Prosecution is wasting time, I
21 don't really know what the solution could be yet. Remember that this
22 goes both ways, anyway. The decision that was issued is applied to the
23 two parties. If the Prosecution is deliberately wasting time, he will be
24 sanctioned. This works both ways.
25 These procedural matters are extremely tedious and are taking up
1 a lot of time. I would like us to spend all the time we have listening
2 to witnesses, looking at the documents, listening to your questions,
3 listening to the Prosecution's questions, rather than spending time and
4 hours and hours on procedural matters, because in the end the judgement
5 will not be rendered on procedural matters, it will be rendered on the
6 merits of the case, on documents, on statements, on questions and on
7 answers, not on the fact, you know, that such-and-such party was deducted
8 a couple of minutes here or there.
9 This is all I had to say to Mr. Seselj. Rest assured,
10 Mr. Seselj, the Trial Chamber never intended to limit your Defence. You
11 have the right to ask questions. You take advantage of this right, of
12 course, but in order to use this rightfully, the right logistics need to
13 be in place. We need to have the documents, and when we have a text
14 shown to us in Serbian, we should have a translation so we can know
15 what's in the text. Otherwise, we have to trust you blindly, and so does
16 the Prosecution, because they don't have the translation either. And
17 like the witness said very justly, "It is true that I have this
18 paragraph, but I would like to read the rest of the book to know the rest
19 of the story." But we couldn't do this because, in the first place, we
20 didn't have the book and we didn't have the other pages.
21 So as you see, there are some problems here. It's true that when
22 you -- a person representing himself in this situation, there are
23 material problems that crop up, but I think they can be solved if
24 everyone is ready to do so.
25 Do you want to take the floor again?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, Mr. President, you've put
2 some things upside down, topsy-turvy. The witness said here that he
3 read, in the book "Ilijaski Nemanjici" by author Adzic, that
4 Vaske Vidovic organised the transport of oil and fuel from the military
5 depot to Knin, and you should have asked the Prosecutor where that book
6 was, because the witness relates to this written source. The Prosecutor
7 examined the witness, and in 2004 he held proofing sessions, so the
8 Prosecutor knew that the witness would state this, so why didn't you ask
9 to see the book, where the book is?
10 I managed to find the book between yesterday and today, and this
11 morning, by fax I was sent five or six pages from the book, and now it
12 seems the problem is on my side for not providing the whole book. The
13 whole book deals with the war, not just this oil transport by train.
14 That's only mentioned on one page in the book -- of the book. And now
15 you said the witness said that correctly, and can I see the whole book?
16 Well, it's just one train load. One barrel doesn't make the entire book.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll give the floor to
18 Mr. Marcussen. But what you're telling us regarding this book, you are
19 well aware that Judges do not know what the Prosecution disclosed to you,
20 we don't know what the contents of this is. So since we didn't know
21 this, we could have thought that this book had been disclosed by the
22 Prosecutor to yourself, so both parties knew the content of the book and
23 the Judges knew nothing about it. This is what came to my mind at first.
24 And then also I said that maybe the person involved had read the
25 book without telling the Prosecution about it, about having read this
1 book. But since you had a document on this matter of fuel transport
2 which seemed to go again -- which seemed to be in favour of what the
3 witness was saying, I didn't decide to go into that because obviously
4 with the book, there seemed to be elements that were contradicting what
5 the witness was saying. But then you say, "Why didn't you ask for the
6 book to be produced, given or presented?" First, I didn't ask for that
7 because I didn't know whether the book had been disclosed or not, and the
8 only thing interesting here was on the fuel transport. And according to
9 the pages we saw, it does seem that the unit in charge was not Vaske's
10 unit, so there was no need to talk about all this.
11 Mr. Marcussen, maybe you wanted to take the floor on this.
12 MR. MARCUSSEN: I just wanted to point out that I did not object
13 to the use of this document, so the arguments are irrelevant.
14 Your Honours are talking about other objections.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, now this issue of the
16 book is over now. Mr. Seselj would like to say something else?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] You mentioned what we wasted time
18 over. Well, precisely over the comments made by the Prosecutor with
19 respect to the translated document, the document that was handed over in
20 December. I think it says here when the document was submitted for
21 translation, and it has indeed been translated into English. So that's
22 what the discussion was about, and now the Prosecutor made the objection
23 that in several places in the document, dates are mentioned from 1994 and
24 1995. That's what the debate was about, and you said that that debate
25 should be theoretically deducted from my time. I don't know what theory
1 that is, but, anyway, everything was translated and prepared in advance,
2 and the Prosecutor received a well-ordered binder and list.
3 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Seselj, as far as I understand the rules that
4 we have been applying so far, the general rule is that time spent on
5 discussion of documents brought by a party is deducted from that party's
6 time. This is, I think, a very natural rule of criminal procedure, and
7 the only issue, therefore, remains to determine whether the objections
8 raised by the Prosecution, in relation to the documents that you brought,
9 should perhaps be characterized instead as a discussion on procedural
10 matters. Now, I don't think that this would be appropriate in this case,
11 because the discussion we had was about the authenticity and the correct
12 construction of Vidovic's book, but, nevertheless, the Presiding Judge
13 decided not to deduct the time we spent on that.
14 So you were given the full two hours, and so I think although
15 there may be some complaint in the end, you suffered no prejudice, you
16 suffered no harm in your right to cross-examine this witness.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I claim that never, up 'til now, a
18 second of the Prosecutor's time was deducted that we spent discussing my
19 appropriate or inappropriate objections and comments to the way in which
20 the examination-in-chief was being conducted or documents presented,
21 never a single second.
22 You're now telling me about a new rule, it seems, a rule that
23 never existed.
24 So far what happened was this: The Prosecutor's time was
25 counted -- just the effective time of examination-in-chief of the witness
1 was counted. Even the time when the -- the time it took to place the
2 document on the screen was deducted -- or, rather, was not counted as
3 being his time, the Prosecution's time. Now you're telling me of a new
4 rule, it seems.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I think we need to
6 check the transcripts. I can't say whether you are right or wrong, but
7 empirically speaking, I have the feeling that when the witness -- when
8 the Prosecution calls a witness and shows documents to this witness, you
9 object and say, "Well, there's this and that in the document." I have
10 the feeling that while you are making your comments, this time is taken
11 off the Prosecution's time. I might be wrong. The Registrar can tell us
12 what the case is.
13 I have the feeling that oftentimes this is taken off the
14 Prosecution's time. We can improve on this system, of course. I'm not
15 saying that we have the best system in the world. The system can be
16 improved upon with the help of your comments. And I don't have the
17 feeling, and this was said by my colleagues a while ago, that the
18 Prosecution, or you, for that matter, have suffered from your time being
19 narrowed down. I stand to be corrected, but for the time being, I don't
20 think you have been prejudiced in any way.
21 Now, in addition, Mr. Seselj, imagine you are to address an
22 important issue. The Judges will take it off their time when they want
23 to put questions, so rest assured, if you address a crucial issue, you
24 must know that the Bench will put questions and that no time will be
25 taken off if there are objections. What we are interested in is getting
1 to the truth, and getting to the truth means sometimes that one has to
2 accept a number of constraints, i.e., not always watch the clock. But we
3 need to have rules also.
4 Since we need rules, let me specify that we will hear two
5 witnesses next week who have been scheduled. The first witness has not
6 been granted any protective measures; is that right?
7 MR. MARCUSSEN: That is correct, Your Honours. There will be an
8 application for protective measures, so I just wanted to make sure that
9 the name is not being mentioned today.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I shall not quote any names.
11 We will be hearing two witnesses, and I shall not give any names.
12 According to our schedule, the first witness will be heard for two hours,
13 the second also, and so the Prosecution will have two hours and the
14 accused will have two hours. The first witness will come back on the
15 next day. When we have finished with the first witness, we will hear the
16 second witness. This is what has been planned.
17 Now, as far as protective measures are concerned, you are going
18 to be applying, in writing, I assume, for protective measures, or are you
19 going to apply for these protective measures now, orally? In that case,
20 we can move into private session.
21 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, a motion might already have been
22 filed. I'm unsure what has been done this morning.
23 I'm at --
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
25 MR. MARCUSSEN: We could make an oral application, I guess, but I
1 would just need five minutes to consult with my colleague.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Open session, please.
3 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Private session, please. You
5 will have the floor. Just wait to hear what he is about to say, because
6 I'm like you, I am just finding it out now. So there is a written motion
7 that has been filed, that we don't have, but you can still --
8 [Private session]
17 [Open session]
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're now in open session.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I will give you the
20 floor, but let me just specify that when an issue relating to protective
21 measures is mentioned at the last minute, the Trial Chamber, and this is
22 something I've done in previous cases, when last-minute events arise, the
23 blinds are then dropped. The witness comes into the courtroom. We put
24 questions to the witness. You have the floor, the Prosecutor has the
25 floor, and the Trial Chamber settles the matter one way or another. We
1 don't know. This can happen.
2 In certain cases, during the proofing session the witness says
3 something which changes the situation. In that case, the Trial Chamber
4 needs to apply this procedure at the last minute. This is what can
5 happen sometimes in the best of cases.
6 Mr. Seselj, you have the floor.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In my opinion, more and more
8 improbable things are happening here.
9 Yesterday, we heard a case where the witness waited in front of
10 the courtroom while we were discussing the introduction of protective
11 measures. The motion was filed by the Prosecution on the 30th of May,
12 and it was handed -- or, rather, the translation of it was handed to me
13 the day before yesterday. So it was the day before yesterday I learned
14 about it, and I raised the issue yesterday, and I waived my right to
15 those seven days in which I could have stated my views. I could have
16 said yesterday, "It is my right to think about this matter for seven
17 days," and then respond. So I waived that right of mine.
18 Then the right that I had to appeal within seven days, you
19 curtailed it to just one day, reduced it to just one day, so I could have
20 done that until 8.30 last night, for instance. And, of course, I didn't
21 do that because I had more important things to do rather than writing
22 that request, because I thought in advance that you would reject it.
23 Now, today you are allowing the Prosecutor to say that, "The
24 witness which has been announced for next week is not a protected
25 witness, but we are preparing a written motion for protective measures to
1 be put in place." Now, if the Prosecutor is preparing a motion, he might
2 file it tomorrow. When is that motion going to be translated into
3 Serbian when we have the weekend coming up? So I would have this in
4 Serbian on Monday, perhaps, if they work over the weekend, and then I
5 promise that I'll keep quiet, wait for the seven-day deadline, and then
6 I'll appeal and write my response, and then you won't be able to hear the
7 witness on Tuesday. Otherwise, the Prosecutor will have to table two
8 motions, one motion to enforce protective measures five years after the
9 witness was placed on the witness list, and the second request, that the
10 Trial Chamber should urgently make a new ruling whereby my right to
11 respond within seven days is reduced to the right to, let's say, 15
12 minutes. I propose you just give me 15 minutes to state my views.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you are giving me
14 the opportunity to discuss it. I reflected on it during the night.
15 First of all, the Prosecution calls witnesses to testify. The
16 Prosecutor needs to tell the witness that there will be a proofing
17 session, and the witness might be coming on a Saturday. This is a
18 working assumption. And then at the last minute the witness will tell
19 the Prosecution this and that happened. What does the Prosecution do in
20 that case? The Prosecution files a motion in writing, if he has the time
21 to do so. Otherwise, at the start of the hearing the Prosecution will
22 say that it needs protective measures.
23 This can happen. This is a real-life situation. This can happen
24 to you also. Maybe a witness will say to you, "I have a problem and I
25 need protective measures," and he tells you this at the last minute. So
1 at the last minute, you will do the same thing. That is my first answer.
2 My second: As far as protective measures are concerned, Rule 75
3 is designed for this particular situation. Rule 75 specifies this, and I
4 shall read it out as follows so that you understand the system well:
5 "A Judge or Chamber may, proprio motu, or at the request of
6 either party ..."
7 Which means that a Trial Chamber, irrespective of what the
8 Prosecution may think or what you may think, can decide to grant
9 protective measures, and there is no need to ask either party's opinion.
10 Proprio motu, the Trial Chamber can grant protective measures. This
11 means that when a witness is waiting in the parlour and when in the
12 courtroom we say that the blinds need to be dropped, to my mind this has
13 to do with a discretion of the Trial Chamber, irrespective of the
14 Prosecution or the Defence's opinion. That is a first working
15 assumption. The second would be that the Trial Chamber knows nothing
16 about anything at all. The Prosecution and the Defence both file a
17 motion in writing. This is the purpose of Rule 75. Otherwise, Rule 75
18 would have stated that a Trial Chamber can, after having obtained
19 information from the Prosecution and from the Defence, grant these
20 measures. This is not mentioned in the Rule in question.
21 The Rules of Procedure is designed to ensure protection, and we
22 bear the parties in mind.
23 Don't forget one thing, Mr. Seselj. The protective measures are
24 granted not in favour of the Prosecution or of the Defence, for that
25 matter. The measures are granted in the interest of the witness. It is
1 for the witness to ask for these protective measures. It is not for the
2 Prosecution to initiate this request, but in certain cases the
3 Prosecution feels that this is not a problem, the person -- and the
4 witness feels that this is not an issue, but the Trial Chamber feels that
5 this is an issue and can, proprio motu, grant these protective measures.
6 This is all enshrined in Rule 75. Read this Rule again. Rule 75
7 addresses the Trial Chamber, the Prosecution, the Defence, the accused,
8 but first and foremost the witness, who is at the center of this.
9 I don't know if you'd like to take the floor again. Otherwise,
10 we will adjourn.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber really has
12 enormous powers, but those powers it is duty-bound to use in the
13 interests of justice. The trend that obviously exists now is that almost
14 all witnesses who appear in this trial will be testifying secretly under
15 a pseudonym.
16 Now, we had cases here of witnesses who had protective measures
17 put in place until they appeared in the courtroom, and then it turned out
18 that nobody ever asked them whether they wanted protective measures or
19 not, but the Prosecution introduced this of its own. We had cases of
20 that kind, too.
21 Then there were cases of witnesses who showed here the motives
22 that they were falsely testifying about and the privileges they enjoy for
23 giving false testimony. I don't want to mention the names of those
24 witnesses or their pseudonyms.
25 And now we have a new trend, that every next person coming in
1 should enjoy protective measures in this courtroom. Something always
2 happens, something always turns up, and what it is, we see actually
3 trivialities. Nobody is in any danger, or threatened in any way, or in
4 jeopardy, or can have any negative repercussions, so don't keep saying,
5 as you've done in the past, that I will have that same right.
6 Nobody can be a Defence witness who does not have the integrity
7 to say, "I wish to testify about everything publicly, in open session, I
8 wish to tell the truth, regardless of where that will lead me and what
9 will happen." Those are the kind of Defence witnesses that I intend to
10 bring in here. Anybody ashamed to testify or anybody frightened of
11 testifying cannot be a Defence witness, cannot be one of my witnesses.
12 Now, how you're going to act, given that situation, what you're
13 going to do is, once again, your own affair.
14 The Prosecution seems not to be able to find its way. It's
15 running around like a blind chicken in the yard.
16 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, you have the floor.
18 MR. MUNDIS: The Prosecution objects to any kind of suggestion
19 that witnesses have been false witnesses or false testimony has been
20 given, particularly with respect to those witnesses for whom protective
21 measures were granted. It is outrageous for the accused to come into
22 this room and argue that the very witnesses who are the most vulnerable
23 and those for whom the Trial Chamber has issued protective measures gave
24 false testimony. That is a very, very dangerous thing for the accused to
25 say, and with all due respect, Your Honours, I think it's time for us to
1 break for the week.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, the Trial Chamber
3 on several occasions has told you, as Mr. Mundis has just said, not to
4 say this. When I give you the floor, I cannot put Scotch tape on your
5 mouth, I can't do that, and you take the floor. You have been warned on
6 several occasions.
7 The witnesses take the solemn declaration. They testify. You
8 put questions to them, you can highlight a number of contradictions,
9 failings, lies in certain cases, that's your job as part of the
10 cross-examination, and the Trial Chamber will draw its own conclusions.
11 However -- and you are quite right, protective measures shouldn't
12 be granted to all and everyone. You know this full well. You know that
13 the Prosecution had filed applications to be given granted protective
14 measures for some of its witnesses. In certain cases, these measures
15 were granted; in others, not.
16 The Trial Chamber is guided by the sole protection of the witness
17 if these fears are justified. This is the way we work. We decide in
18 light of the submissions of the Prosecution and your submission.
19 Once again, on behalf of my colleagues who've told you this many
20 a time, stop saying that we are in the presence of false witnesses or the
21 upcoming witnesses will be false witnesses. We do not know anything
22 about this.
23 It is only right at the end that we will know.
24 The Registrar is looking at me because the tapes have stopped.
25 We shall meet again on Tuesday, and we will begin at a quarter past 2.00.
1 Thank you.
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.50 p.m.,
3 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 10th
4 of June, 2008, at 2.15 p.m.