1 Wednesday, 11 June 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.48 p.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you please
7 call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you and good afternoon, Your Honours. This
9 is case number IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
11 This is Wednesday, June 11, 2008, and I greet the representatives
12 of the OTP, our witness, as well as Mr. Seselj and everyone helping us.
13 I have an oral decision to deliver. It requires private session.
14 The witness is here, and I don't have a problem with this, because no
15 names are mentioned. There's only a number that is mentioned.
16 So let's move to private session, Mr. Registrar, please.
17 [Private session]
11 Page 8042 redacted. Private session.
13 [Open session]
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're now in open session.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you can put your
16 headset back on. Thank you for your patience.
17 Mr. Seselj, you have the floor. So far, you've used up 21
18 minutes. You have one hour and thirty-nine minutes left.
19 WITNESS: PERICA KOBLAR [Resumed]
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Seselj: [Continued]
22 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Koblar, you described during the
23 examination-in-chief a locality at Golo Brdo and these bunkers where you
24 were together with your group. You described heavy artillery fire at
25 these bunkers, and then you made statements to the contrary in several of
1 your statements, as a matter of fact.
2 In the statement that you gave to the OTP in 2004, you say that
3 these bunkers were very well built, and in other statements you say that
4 these bunkers were poorly built. What is the truth, then?
5 A. I beg your pardon. Yes, yes, thank you, now I can see. I'm
6 waiting for the translation to come out.
7 Q. Are they interpreting into Bosnian for you?
8 A. Yes. I stated clearly, in both statements to the OTP and in the
9 statement that I assume you do have, that these were exceptionally strong
10 bunkers, which means that this artillery fire that went on for two hours,
11 at least, before the attack of the police of the Army of Republika Srpska
12 and the Chetnik unit of Vojislav Seselj, or, rather, Brne Gavrilovic,
13 they started crumbling these bunkers. I never said that they were poorly
14 built. I just stated that these bunkers -- or, rather, that from these
15 bunkers, we could not see the attackers.
16 Q. All right. Were these fortified or unfortified bunkers?
17 A. Fortified.
18 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] Could I please have 0021-5347 on the
19 screen? That is the statement that Mr. Koblar gave on the 19th of
20 February, 1994, on the official premises of the Military Security Service
21 of the 101st Motorised Brigade.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, the Registrar is
23 telling me that the text is not on the screen.
24 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] Well, Judges, for the OTP, it is a
25 15-minute job to load it up in e-court, and this is a major omission on
1 their part; not to have done that, that is.
2 Q. On page 2 of that document, of that statement of yours, it says:
3 "In view of the fact that the bunkers had not been fortified, we
4 all sought shelter in one bunker, rather, five or six of us."
5 So you keep repeating that they were fortified, the bunkers were,
6 and that is what you said to the OTP investigators in 2004, and ten years
7 before that you say that the bunkers had not been fortified. How come
8 there is this contradiction?
9 A. There is no contradiction whatsoever. In the statement that I
10 made, my unit after escaping from the camp, I said that these were Serb
11 military positions at Golo Brdo and that the bunkers were exceptionally
12 fortified. As for the context that you are referring to, I don't know.
13 Q. Where does it say in your statement that these were Serb military
14 positions? In the statement that you gave in 1994 to the
15 Military Security Service of the 101st Brigade, you made no reference to
16 that. Do you remember that statement of yours?
17 Let the OTP show you that statement. I request and demand that
18 the OTP be instructed to have this statement handed over to the witness,
19 and it's not my fault that e-court is not functioning.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can we have it on the ELMO,
22 MR. FERRARA: For the record, I read that Mr. Seselj said that it
23 was a major omission on the OTP, on their part, not to have done that,
24 regarding to the up-load the statement into e-court. I want to specify
25 that it is not the obligation of the OTP to put a statement in e-court.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Ferrara. I had
2 noted that myself.
3 But now we have the text on the ELMO, so, Mr. Seselj, you have
4 the floor.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Secondly, they insisted that I
6 appoint a person who would be trained to use e-court systems on my
7 behalf, and they even made that offer to me, to train to be able to use
8 e-court. And now all of a sudden it is not the obligation of the OTP to
9 upload this. Now, who is saying the truth here? You can conclude that
10 for yourselves.
11 Q. In this statement of yours that has been placed before you, you
12 can see that there is no reference to Serb bunkers whatsoever, and on
13 page 22468, line 8, on the second page -- could you please place the
14 second page on the ELMO -- it says that the bunkers were unfortified and
15 that, therefore, you all sought shelter in one bunker, or, rather, five
16 or six of you did. Do you have this in front of you now?
17 A. I do.
18 Q. How come I don't? Oh, yes, I see it now, yes, line 8. See, it's
20 "Since the bunkers were not fortified, we all sought shelter that
21 one bunker."
22 So you said they were not fortified, right, and now you're saying
23 they were well fortified, the bunkers?
24 A. Accused, have you read the statement in its entirety?
25 Q. You're not supposed to put questions to me. I am putting
1 questions to you. You explain to me why, in 1994, 14 years ago, you said
2 that the bunkers were unfortified, and four years ago that they were
3 fortified, and today you repeat that they were fortified. Why? And you
4 cannot address me as "accused." Let me make that abundantly clear.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
6 continues]... sir, answer.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Unfortified bunkers, from the point
8 of view of the BiH Army, mean that we could not defend Golo Brdo from
9 those bunkers in any situation. After two or three hours - I don't know
10 how long this went on -- I am going to speak at this pace in order to
11 give the interpreters time to interpret. The shelling from Lukavica and
12 from the surrounding hills where the Serb artillery was, led to the fact
13 that these bunkers had to crumble, so that is the context. Now, you have
14 been trying to find another context, but this is the context in which
15 this statement was made.
16 Q. You invented something else now, that the shelling went on for
17 two or three hours, whereas in this statement from 1994, you say that
18 shells were falling for 40 minutes and that you were in hiding that long,
19 and that you could not go to different bunkers. And when there was a
20 lull in the shelling, then "we went to different bunkers." Look at this
21 statement of yours. That's what it says. When was it that you were
22 fabricating or inventing things, then or now?
23 Did you all seek shelter in one bunker?
24 A. Seven of us. That is clearly stated.
25 Q. Is it stated that you remained in hiding for 40 minutes?
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Question from the Prosecutor.
2 MR. FERRARA: I think this kind of language is not appropriate to
3 a cross-examination, saying that the witness is inventing something or
4 fabricating something. I ask the Trial Chamber to warn the accused to
5 use appropriate language for cross-examination.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, if there's a
7 contradiction, ask him why there is a contradiction. You're not here to
8 draw the conclusion that he invented this. If you find that there are
9 contradictions, confront him with these contradictions, and it will be up
10 to the Trial Chamber to draw the conclusions.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, what you are
13 allowing here is the witness putting questions to me and that he is
14 addressing me in an inappropriate manner, and I have to intervene
15 personally to defend myself from that. He's supposed to answer
16 questions, and nothing more than that. He's not here to put questions to
17 me. I am asking him why it says in his statement that the shelling went
18 on for 40 minutes and now he says that it went on for two or three hours.
19 Everything that I am doing now has an interior logic of its own
20 which is still hidden to you, but it will not remain hidden for very
22 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, the Presiding Judge
23 of this Trial Chamber asked -- told the witness twice that he was
24 supposed to answer, so now you are saying things that are not exact at
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, furthermore, you
2 should tell the witness the following: "You made two statements, one
3 saying that the shelling lasted for 40 minutes, and the other one, that
4 the shelling lasted for two to three hours," and then you should tell
5 him, "Explain and tell us why there is such a difference." And then the
6 witness will explain or answer, rather than saying immediately that he's
7 making up things or fabricating all this. Maybe he's got a reason to
8 explain why there's this difference.
9 Go ahead.
10 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Where were the shooting points facing?
12 A. Towards Hrasnica, the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
13 Q. In the statement that you made on the 19th of February, 1994, the
14 statement that you made to the same service, but this is a longer
15 statement, one that is 34 pages long, why did you state that these
16 bunkers did not have any loopholes at all; why?
17 A. Because the entrances to these bunkers, and these bunkers and
18 these loopholes, were actually made of rocks facing Sarajevo. We could
19 not use that, except for one MRUD, and you know what that is, and that
20 could not have been used at all.
21 Q. That is a mine? What is this MRUD?
22 A. Yes, it is a Claymore mine. You know that full well.
23 Q. In the statement that you made on that day, but on many more
24 pages, on page 600653168 is the number, you stated that these bunkers had
25 not been adapted to firing at all and that they do not have loopholes for
1 shooting. And now you say that there were loopholes, but that they were
2 facing in another direction. Now, what is the truth?
3 A. I am repeating once again --
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, he cannot address me
5 this way. He has to answer questions. He cannot say, "Accused, I am
6 repeating to you once again."
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, answer the question
8 put to you by the accused. He's asking you about the bunkers, to know
9 whether there were those loopholes or not, whether they were facing
10 Sarajevo or not.
11 I'm a bit lost at the moment. I have no idea where the accused
12 wants to take us, but he obviously has his own logic.
13 You were there, you were in the bunker, so you're the best one to
14 tell us exactly what the bunker was like. So just tell us quietly
15 whether there were loopholes or not. You don't have to worry about
16 anything. Just answer the questions.
17 Mr. Seselj, you may resume, and try to elicit the evidence that
18 you want to elicit.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In the statement that this witness
20 made on that same day in 1994, it says, and we have it before us on the
21 screens, it's towards the end of the second paragraph:
22 "I have to note here that while touring the positions that we had
23 arrived at, I established that the bunkers were not adapted for a
24 situation of firing. They do not have loopholes or gun-holes, and there
25 was no shelter in front of them in order to be able to fire securely. It
1 is my assessment that these bunkers were only used for the accommodation
2 of people and for their rest."
3 That is what the witness said in 1994, and now the witness is
4 saying something completely different. Now he is saying that these were
5 old Serb bunkers that were facing in the opposite direction, that used to
6 be made by Serbs and used against the Muslims, and that's why their
7 gun-holes faced the other positions. So that's the contradiction
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I will try to
10 explain this as briefly as possible.
11 Since we, the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in respect of this
12 important feature above Sarajevo, Golo Brdo, we arrived there to guard
13 that feature, there is no contradiction involved, because this statement
14 was given from my very own point of view as a member of the Army of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina. From those positions, from those gun-holes, none of
16 us could defend ourselves. Why would we be defending ourselves from the
17 direction of Igman, Bjelasnica, or Hrasnica, instead of defending
18 ourselves from the direction of Ilidza, Blazuj and Hadzici?
19 There is no contradiction involved, because I think that Mr. --
20 now I'm going to say "Seselj," is better acquainted with total national
21 defence, and to suggest questions like this to the Court is actually just
22 an attempt to suggest one's own views, because it was well known who was
23 the aggressor at the time and the attacker, on the one hand, and, on the
24 other hand, who was defending themselves, whereas I and my 24 colleagues
25 at Golo Brdo could not defend ourselves from these bunkers. And I said
1 all of this to your man, who is a greater man than you are,
2 Branislav Gavrilovic, because he proved himself a man during the course
3 of the war, at least at the time that I was taken prisoner.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I see, Judges, that you are quietly
5 listening to the witness lecture you. Maybe you even learned that
6 lesson, but still you should not allow the witness to act in this way.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you might not like
8 the witness's answer. As far as I'm concerned, his answer is perfectly
9 logical. This position in Golo Brdo was above Sarajevo. He realised,
10 when he was there, that from his position, he could not defend himself
11 from these bunkers. He is providing a technical explanation for this,
12 and he is saying that it was important to make a distinction of who was
13 the enemy of whom.
14 You might not be happy with his answer, and you put other
15 questions to him to question what he's saying. And this is why you jump
16 out of your skin, because you are saying that he has said this already to
17 Gavrilovic. So he's consistent in what he's saying.
18 Please proceed.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I didn't doubt that you would
20 find this very consistent, because you're on the opposite side, and what
21 is not consistent to me, by the logic of things, has to be consistent to
22 you. This is completely logical to me.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are not on the opposite
24 side. We have a witness here who is providing his account of the story.
25 He might be telling the truth, he might be lying, but at first hand he
1 has taken the solemn declaration and we assume that what he is saying is
2 truthful. You may disagree entirely with what he's saying, and you are
3 making his life difficult by putting your questions to him. That is why
4 these proceedings unfold in this manner in an adversarial system in this
5 courtroom. It is not because a witness does not provide answers in line
6 with what you expect from him that you need to accuse the witness of
7 something. You might be right, he might be right. He might be wrong,
8 you might be wrong. We will see at the end of this trial.
9 For the time being, he's providing us with his version of the
10 facts, which is logical. And the way he talks about it, it's for you to
11 demonstrate that this illogical. This is what you did yesterday when you
12 discussed the issue of the tunnel under the airport. This was very
13 interesting, and your questions were very interesting. I found them
14 extremely relevant, and it did shed some light on some of the issues. I
15 didn't say so yesterday, I didn't say that your questions were out of
16 context. Today, I'm saying the same thing. Your questions are extremely
17 interesting. The witness is answering in a different manner to what you
18 expect from him, and you can say to him, "I disagree with you," and move
19 on to another topic.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I see you are encouraging the
21 witness in the insolence he already displayed. Well, then, you explain
22 to me, Mr. President, why he said in 1994 that the bunkers had no
23 gun-holes at all and now he says they had gun-holes but they were facing
24 the opposite way. And that they were not fortified bunkers but bunkers
25 to accommodate personnel, and now he says they are fortified. Why isn't
1 it indicated in the statement to Bosnian authorities that those used to
2 be Serb bunkers?
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you will never
4 manage to confuse the Bench, however talented you are. Let me pick up
5 the question again, and you will see that what you are trying to
6 establish comes up against what the witness is saying.
7 Witness, if I have understood you correctly, there is a hill
8 above Sarajevo. Answer by saying "yes" or "no."
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Golo Brdo, where I was arrested,
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. On this hill, there
12 are some bunkers?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Nine.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Nine bunkers. Now, over time,
15 these bunkers had been placed there for what reason; to defend who
16 against whom?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those bunkers were built by the
18 Army of Republika Srpska.
19 I will give the interpreters a breather.
20 Until the day I was captured, that was the 17th of July, they
21 changed hands more than once. I hope you understand.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. Nine bunkers
23 were built by the Republika Srpska in order to defend themselves against
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know whom they were
1 supposed to be defending themselves from. Those bunkers were built in
2 order to attack Sarajevo.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The
4 Republika Srpska has built nine bunkers in order to attack Sarajevo. The
5 gun-holes were in which direction, in the direction of Sarajevo or on the
6 other side?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Facing Sarajevo, yes.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So the gun-holes pointed in the
9 direction of Sarajevo? In other words, if you were to place artillery
10 pieces or guns, these would shoot in the direction of Sarajevo. When you
11 reached the bunkers, well, the bunkers were still there, weren't they?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, both the bunkers and the
13 gun-holes faced Sarajevo.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. Please proceed,
15 Mr. Seselj.
16 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Why, in the statement given to Muslim authorities, you said the
18 bunkers had no gun-holes?
19 A. I gave my statement to the Military Security Service of my unit,
20 the 101st Brigade, not to Muslim authorities. In that statement, I'm
21 saying this again, it is clearly stated -- I don't remember how many
22 pages there are in that statement -- why I was giving that statement.
23 And you're saying this is a contradiction, but it all depends on your
24 point of view.
25 We were supposed to defend Golo Brdo, not to shoot at Sarajevo
1 from Golo Brdo.
2 Q. Why, in the statement from 1994, did you say that those bunkers
3 had no gun-holes?
4 A. They had no gun-holes in case of attack by the Serb Army or
5 Chetnik units.
6 Q. It says here they had no gun-holes whatsoever and they were not
7 adapted to cases of gunfire, and the space around them had no cover for
8 protection. You said in your opinion, they were there only to
9 accommodate personnel in times of rest. If they were made for rest and
10 to accommodate personnel, they are not facing any side in particular.
11 And let me tell you, Judges, that a bunker is a defensive
12 structure, not an offensive structure. It cannot be built to attack
13 something or someone. A bunker is not a tank to roll on caterpillars.
14 A. Let me clarify this. From that feature, Golo Brdo, there was
15 never any artillery fire. That hill, Golo Brdo, was an elevation
16 overlooking Ilidza from which one could see Lukavica, the airport, all of
17 Sarajevo, the neighbourhood of Ilidza. The only thing that was not
18 visible was Blazuj and Hadzici. Blazuj and Hadzici, though, were under
19 the control of the Serb Army. Therefore, that hill, Golo Brdo, was used
20 by the Army of Republika Srpska to control the road of Mount Igman that
21 was used to bring humanitarian aid into Sarajevo, to control the
22 Sarajevo Airport --
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I understand what you
24 are saying. Mr. Seselj doesn't want understand what you are saying.
25 You're saying that if there were an attack from Blazuj or
1 Hadzici -- I apologise for my pronunciation -- which were under Serb
2 control, you could not defend yourselves because there were no gun-holes
3 pointing in that direction, since they faced the Sarajevo Airport and the
4 rest of the area.
5 This is what I have understood. Am I right in this?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Absolutely correct.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am in awe, Mr. President, at your
9 understanding. I am too dumb to understand why it's written here that
10 those were not combat bunkers at all, that they had no gun-holes, they
11 were only bunkers used exclusively as shelter. It's not clear to me
12 because I'm too dumb.
13 Q. Second question: Since we've established I'm dumb, it's easier
14 now to proceed. You said that after this artillery attack, you returned
15 each to your own bunker. You were not alone in one bunker, were you?
16 A. No.
17 Q. What was it, then?
18 A. I said that in the first bunker -- you can read that in the
19 statement -- in the first bunker there were three men, in the second
20 bunker two, but at the moment of the artillery attack, we were seven. So
21 in that bunker in which I was, together with Hilmija Numic, and I'll be
22 waiting for the interpreters, after the beginning of the artillery attack
23 we were in the second bunker which is on top of Golo Brdo. And when
24 there occurred a lull and the bunkers crumbled in, we caved in, we
25 transferred to the third bunker which is at the very end of Golo Brdo.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, one point I'd like you
2 to clarify for the Bench.
3 The nine bunkers that were built by the Republika Srpska,
4 according to what I've understood, but maybe I have misunderstood, these
5 bunkers were designed to help -- were designed to be able to shoot at
6 Sarajevo and the airport, and the Serbs could shoot from there. That was
7 the initial purpose of this bunker, and that's why there were gun-holes
8 on it; is that right?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In my view, and I would appreciate
10 it if you could allow me to indicate on the monitor what it looks like,
11 approximately, the purpose of that Golo Brdo was to control the airport,
12 the Igman road, and to control the arrival of humanitarian aid into
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] To control, if need be, by
15 shooting at those people that got into the way of the control?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Absolutely. And Richard Holbrooke
17 wrote in his book, and "The War," I believe, is the title, said that the
18 first American officers to get killed were killed by fire from Golo Brdo
19 on the Igman road.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I hope you understood,
21 Mr. President, that it was not possible to shoot from Golo Brdo at
22 Sarajevo, because there's no such weapon. You could possibly use a
23 Howitzer of 203 millimetres, but that sort of thing does not fit into the
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I never said there was any heavy
1 artillery on Golo Brdo.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] You are interfering with my
3 dialogue with the Judges, and that is not allowed either.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Proceed, Mr. Seselj.
5 Mr. Seselj, to avoid wasting any time, the witness is telling us
6 that Richard Holbrooke, in his book, explained that American officers
7 were killed and shot at from Golo Brdo. I don't know anything about
8 this. The witness is saying this. You probably know more about this
9 than I do.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm not interested in that, Judge.
11 I'm not interested in how American officers died. I wish many more had
12 died. They got killed because they strayed into a minefield and their
13 vehicle ended up in an abyss. They did not get killed by fire from
14 Serbian positions. It doesn't matter how they got killed. I only wish
15 more of them had got killed.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, Mr. Seselj. There
17 might be a mistake in the translation into French. I have the feeling
18 that you are saying that not enough people were killed, more should have
19 been killed. This is what I understood, but maybe you didn't say this.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I said I wish we were fortunate
21 enough to see more of them get killed, because the greater American
22 losses, the less repression there would be on the rest of the world.
23 That's what I said.
24 Q. You said this fire lasted for half an hour, that --
25 MR. FERRARA: Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Ferrara.
2 MR. FERRARA: It is really inappropriate, this kind of conduct by
3 the accused. It's not a cross-examination, it's not a question. I don't
4 know what it is. It is a political speech or something else, but I don't
5 think it is something that should happen in the Tribunal.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, the
7 cross-examination -- during cross-examination, you should put questions
8 to the witness to call into question what he has said when he answered
9 the questions of the Prosecution. All the rest is inappropriate.
10 Please proceed.
11 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
12 Q. In this 1994 statement, you said that the shelling lasted for
13 half an hour and that the shooting was directed at the bunker in which
14 you were, and then the shooting stopped. When the shooting stopped, you
15 went outside the bunker, you left the bunker. And then a little further
16 on, you go on to say that you went to your own bunker, taking up a shirt
17 and a leather jacket, because nearby you could hear explosions. And then
18 you go on to say that they were explosions caused by hand grenades.
19 Is that what you said?
20 A. I don't know what it says in that statement, because it was given
21 several days after I fled from the camp, but once again you're trying to
22 put words into my mouth. Things that I uttered, but you're trying to
23 interpret them and put them in your own way, and you can't do that.
24 I'm here to testify about what I lived through, what I saw.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Why don't you intervene,
1 Mr. President? Why doesn't he answer my questions? Were hand grenades
2 thrown or not, were there hand grenades explosions or not? This is
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The witness is -- the question
5 is: "Were hand grenades used, yes or no?" You answer by saying "yes" or
6 "no," even if the accused is trying to make you change what you said
7 during your first statements. Either you stand by what you said in your
8 statements or you change your view. You can say "yes," "no," "I
10 Please proceed, Mr. Seselj.
11 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
12 Q. I'm waiting for the answer to my question, which was: After the
13 shelling, were there explosions, hand grenade explosions?
14 A. I don't know what a hand grenade sounds like when it explodes or
15 a [indiscernible] or whatever, but the explosions were less strong than
16 the previous ones.
17 Q. You were in the bunker and you heard these explosions close by;
18 is that right?
19 A. Around -- at Golo Brdo.
20 Q. Not at Golo Brdo, but in the vicinity. That's what you said in
21 your statement; isn't that right ? It says:
22 "In my immediate vicinity, explosions could be heard, and I
23 didn't know what had caused them. It was only later on that I
24 established that they were hand grenades exploding."
25 That's your 1994 statement.
1 Now, the statement that you gave to The Hague investigators in
2 2004, on page 4 of that statement it says:
3 "My rifle was next to me, and I stayed in the bunker for about
4 ten minutes, long enough to button up my shirt and put on my leather
5 jacket. My rifle was next to me, and I could hear explosions at that
6 time which had not come from artillery pieces but from hand grenades or
7 hand-held launchers."
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. So your bunkers were shot at either by hand-held launchers, which
10 were popularly known as "Zoljas," those were hand-held rocket-launchers,
11 right, or hand grenades?
12 A. I don't know what it is in the army, but it could be Zoljas,
13 hand-held rocket-launchers, or it can be what we called a Tromblon, a
14 rifle-launch grenade, or rifle-propelled grenade, but I'm not a
15 specialist in weapons and military matters.
16 Q. All right. Whether it was a rifle-propelled grenade or a hand
17 grenade or a hand-held launcher, because you don't use the word Tromblon
18 or rifle-propelled grenade anywhere, but they were -- that was firing in
19 the vicinity of your bunker, wasn't it ?
20 A. Yes. Can I explain to you --
21 Q. You've answered. You said "yes." So hand pieces were used to
22 target your bunker? There wasn't any shooting from rifles; you didn't
23 hear anything like that, did you? Did you hear a single bullet being
24 fired from a rifle?
25 A. No.
1 Q. All you heard were hand grenades; right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. So the Serb soldiers approached your bunker and started throwing
4 hand grenades at it, or they targeted it from a distance of 200 metres,
5 at most, with hand-held rocket-launchers, so when you use a
6 rifle-propelled grenade, that would be firing at a distance of 200
7 metres, 300 at the outside limit. That's when you fire close up, close
9 A. Are you going to ask me a question or what?
10 Q. I am making an observation, and I expect you to give a yes-or-no
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, please answer the
13 questions accurately.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Would you repeat the question,
16 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] No, I won't, because this kind of
17 insolence I'm not going to tolerate. The Trial Chamber can tolerate you,
18 but I won't.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, can the Trial Chamber then
20 ask the question again, repeat the question for me, please?
21 MR. FERRARA: The witness is asking to repeat the question. I
22 don't see any kind of insolence, also because I don't see the question,
23 also. And if you can read the transcript, I don't see a question; I see
24 like a kind of a statement without any question.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I didn't quite
1 understand the question, so put the question again.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, I'm not going to repeat the
3 question and ask it again, because you're just wasting my time. This
4 whole machinery is put in place to waste my time. I'm going to move on.
5 I'm not interested in what the witness is going to answer, what answer
6 he's going to give. It's quite clear to me and it's quite clear to the
7 public, and that is enough for me.
8 Q. Now, shooting at your bunkers had to be -- had to cause certain
9 losses. Hand grenades are being thrown into your bunker right from
10 nearby, or rifle-held grenades or hand-held rocket-launchers. How come
11 nobody was killed in your immediate vicinity from the effects of all that
12 shooting? Tell me that, then.
13 A. Mr. President, we are going to come back now to the previous
15 Q. No. Answer the present one.
16 A. Let me answer that question as well. How --
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Don't allow the witness to do this.
18 Let him answer how come there were no losses from this direct fire.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, the question put by
20 Mr. Seselj is an interesting one. When Mr. Seselj puts good questions, I
21 say so. When he puts bad questions, I say so also.
22 He has asked the following question: How is it that in light of
23 the attack and that there is shooting with Zoljas, rocket-launchers, that
24 you are inside the bunker, there are no victims on your side? That's the
25 question he's put to you.
1 I could have put that question to you also, because this is a
2 question of a technical nature. What do you have to say to that?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That question has been answered
4 already. That question has already been put by the gentleman concerning
5 positions of the bunkers. The answer to the question, why there were no
6 losses, lies precisely in the fact that the bunkers were positioned in
7 such a way that none of us in the BH Army was able to see. I've said
8 that in my previous answer, I believe.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This is what I had understood.
10 Given the position of the gun-holes and the attackers, when they arrived
11 and started shooting with their weapons, first of all, their shots could
12 not penetrate the bunker because there were no gun-holes, since they were
13 coming from another direction, which explains why no one was hit, since a
14 bunker is designed to protect even if you shell it with heavy shells.
15 Grenades could not have been thrown inside, since the gun-holes faced the
16 other way.
17 This is what you've just said, isn't it?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Exactly. That was the answer to
19 the prior question about this contradiction concerning bunkers on
20 Golo Brdo.
21 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Did the Serbian soldiers come from the direction where these
23 gun-holes were, allegedly, although they didn't exist, or from the
24 direction where the entrance to the bunkers is?
25 A. Serb units came at these first two bunkers, where the four of us
1 were, did not come. It was the unit of Branislav Gavrilovic that came
2 from the direction of Ilidza.
3 Q. Answer my question, please. A Chetnik unit is always a Serb
4 unit, and when that Serb unit arrived, brimming with Chetniks, did it
5 come from the direction of the alleged gun-holes or from the direction
6 where the entrance to the bunkers was located? Answer that.
7 A. Mr. Seselj, I don't understand why you identify all Serbs with
9 Q. Because every honourable Serb is a Chetnik. Answer my question.
10 You didn't come here to learn --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, the question is not to
12 know whether there were Chetniks or whether it was a Serbian unit. This
13 is another problem. Right now, we are looking at a technical problem.
14 You have fighters coming, headed by Gavrilovic. We know that on
15 your side there are no casualties. Mr. Seselj says that since the
16 loopholes are looking at Sarajevo, the entrance must have been on the
17 side of the attackers. This is what he's saying. It might be right, it
18 might be wrong, but he's asking you where the attackers came from. You
19 said exactly that they were coming from a direction that seemed to be on
20 the opposite side of the loopholes, but was there -- on that side were
21 there the entrance doors to the bunker?
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] There were no doors, there was just
23 an entrance to the bunker, something that was dug, a little entrance that
24 was dug into the bunker. There were no doors on any of the bunkers.
25 Let the witness answer from which direction the Serb soldiers,
1 the brave heroes, appeared and captured him.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I really have to
3 make a distinction here. The Army of Republika Srpska came from the
4 direction of Blazuj and Hadzici, whereas the unit of
5 Branislav Gavrilovic, the Chetnik unit, came from the direction of
6 Ilidza; that is, the segment that we were not able to see at all. The
7 Army of Republika Srpska, on the other hand, and the military police of
8 the Army of Republika Srpska came from the direction of Blazuj and
9 Hadzici, another area that could not be covered from bunkers. I want to
10 make that really clear, because Branislav Gavrilovic's unit is one thing,
11 the military police of the Republika Srpska and the Army of Republika
12 Srpska are another thing.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges, I think this makes no sense
14 at all, and you keep tolerating it. I'm asking where the Serb soldiers
15 who captured him came from.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, don't say it makes
17 no sense and you're tolerating it. The witness is giving up his
18 explanation. He is saying that there are two directions, one coming from
19 Republika Srpska and the military police who left Blazuj, and came from
20 Blazuj, and that's the first unit. And he says there's another unit
21 headed by Gavrilovic, and according to him these are Chetniks, and he
22 says that they come from Ilidza.
23 I fully understand what he is saying. Maybe you're having a hard
24 time understanding what he is saying, but this is exactly what he is
25 saying. If you do not agree with this, tell him that there was only one
1 unit and not two. You may be right. But he is giving us his
2 explanation, and his explanation is perfectly understandable.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am in awe at your perfect
5 understanding. The witness said in the statement there were no gun-holes
6 at all. Here, he said there were gun-holes. I keep persistently asking
7 one and the same question and wasting my own half hour. From which
8 direction did the Serb soldiers come from, the direction where the
9 gun-holes were or the direction where the entrance to the bunker was?
10 And he goes into the tactical situation on the battlefield and the axis
11 of movement of various Serb units. What kind of thing is this?
12 I am asking: Where did the Serb soldiers who captured him come
13 from; from up front, where the gun-holes were, or from the back, where
14 the entrance to the bunker is? It's a simple question, and he keeps
15 avoiding the answer, and I know why he's avoiding the answer.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, let me tell you. The unit of
17 Branislav Gavrilovic came from the direction of Ilidza, where those
18 already overgrown gun-holes looking at Sarajevo existed, looking also
19 towards Hrasnica and the airport, so they came from the direction from
20 which none of us in the bunker could be seen, because the entrance to the
21 bunker faces the Ilidza road.
22 I don't know how else to explain it. Maybe the Prosecutor will
23 enable me to draw it, what this Golo Brdo looks like. Did you have any
24 occasion to see it?
25 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
1 Q. I climbed it.
2 A. You even went up there?
3 Q. Yes, I did go up there, and I saw the place where you were
4 defeated, and I publicly commended Branislav Gavrilovic on the brilliant
6 A. And Brne is a ten-times greater man than you are.
7 Q. Now, what is this? The first bunker they came across, Brne's
8 soldiers alone without Brne, because they were led by Zuti, that's the
9 nickname of the soldier who was Brne's deputy, his nickname was Zuti, the
10 first bunker they came across was the one in which three of your fellow
11 combatants were, Zivko Krajisnik, Robert, and Rusmir. Was that the first
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. All three of them, these soldiers killed with hand grenades?
15 A. That's not correct. That's a pure lie on your part.
16 Q. It's true. They killed them with hand grenades, and then you,
17 who were in the second bunker, surrendered, and another three of you,
18 including that Serb, Despotovic, also surrendered. You said here that
19 you recognised the body of Rusmir Hamalukic?
20 A. Can I ask you, Mr. President, to slow these things down, because
21 things are being suggested to me here, things that are lies. I came here
22 to testify about what was true, what happened, not to deal with these
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you told us what
25 happened with Robert, Rusmir and Krajisnik. You gave us your
1 explanation. Mr. Seselj is entitled to give another explanation. He is
2 entitled to that, and he just gave us his explanation. He said that in
3 the attack on the first bunker, the attack was headed by Zuti. And
4 during this attack headed by Zuti, hand grenades were launched, and
5 according to him, your comrades were killed by these hand grenades. This
6 is what he is telling us, and he is asking questions to you about this.
7 Either say that you agree or you don't agree.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand, Mr. President, what
9 he is saying, what he is putting to me, but please do not allow us to
10 jump from one subject to another, because he's just trying to impose his
11 own opinion both on me and on you. Please give enough time for what he's
12 saying to be interpreted to you, because I understand him, and then we
13 can go back to the first bunker, the second bunker, and a third bunker.
14 The first and the second bunker was captured by Brne's Chetniks,
15 and a third bunker was captured by the police of Republika Srpska.
16 That's the point, because this is not a bazaar, this is a court of law,
17 and some kind of procedure has to be respected.
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Witness, in order to maintain respect and
19 decorum in this courtroom, we have repeatedly instructed both parties not
20 to accuse witnesses of lying, and so therefore I would suggest that you
21 abstain from accusing Mr. Seselj from lying as well.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you're entitled to
23 give us your version of what happened. You're under oath, so you must be
24 telling the truth. However, the accused is entitled to give another
25 version of the facts. Even if you don't like it, he is entitled to say
1 that he does not agree with your version, and you must answer his
2 question, all his questions. And in the end, the Bench will decide who
3 was right, whether it was you or him.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course it's not up to me to
5 judge, but I'd just like you not to allow this tempo to proceed, him to
6 proceed at this rate. I don't know the speed at which the interpreters
7 can interpret and what they're interpreting to you, what you're hearing
8 from the interpreters.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Don't worry. Our interpreters
10 can follow. They can follow you when you're talking. The interpreters
11 are interpreting simultaneously. I can even follow Mr. Seselj, even
12 though he's speaking extremely fast. When we lose track of what is said,
13 you know, and when something's missing, we have a little caret on the
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have that on my screen.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You don't have the transcript
17 in English in front of your eyes? Well, if you do, you know, you can see
18 that when people speak too fast, interpreters can't follow anymore, and
19 our court reporter, this person at the back of the room, is trying to
20 write down everything we're saying, and if he can't catch what we said,
21 he puts a carat. And then we have to slow down. But otherwise, we don't
22 have to.
23 Mr. Seselj, you can continue.
24 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
25 Q. During the examination-in-chief, you stated that
1 Rusmir Hamalukic's body was -- that a postmortem was conducted on it, and
2 that was in 1994; right?
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. You said you recognised him because of the red pants he was
6 A. Whether they were red or not, I don't know, but the
7 identification was done in the presence of his mother and wife.
8 Q. Was DNA analysis done?
9 A. There was no need, because the relatives, both his wife and his
10 mother, were there and they recognised him.
11 Q. All right. Now, how did you manage to come by Rusmir Hamalukic's
13 A. Rusmir Hamalukic's corpse, I think whether it was exchanged or
14 however, I don't really know, but perhaps a month later.
15 Q. So the Serb Army gave up his body, right, handed over his body?
16 A. The Army of Republika Srpska.
17 Q. The Serbian army handed over the body of Zivko Krajisnik and this
18 other man, Robert, whatever his surname was; right?
19 A. Kahrimanovic, yes.
20 Q. The Army of Republika Srpska handed over their bodies, too, and
21 an autopsy was conducted. Now, when you talked to The Hague
22 investigators, did you tell them this autopsy had taken place, because I
23 can't see that from your statement?
24 A. I did not say "autopsy," I said -- not "autopsy," autopsy is one
25 thing. What I said was identification on the basis of -- you're a better
1 lawyer than I am, I assume, or perhaps I'm better than you. I don't
2 know. But, anyway, identification was conducted on the basis of certain
3 elements which the family --
4 Q. We dealt with identification. You took part in the
5 identification process. Now, when those bodies were handed over,
6 ex officio, an autopsy had to be conducted; that's always done.
7 A. Don't involve me in political matters.
8 Q. Did an autopsy take place? Do you know about that?
9 A. I don't know that and I'm not interested.
10 Q. Autopsies aren't political, usually. Right, you say you don't
11 know whether an autopsy was conducted.
12 But, Judges, the Prosecutor has not taken the trouble to access
13 the autopsy findings to see whether they were killed by explosion, by a
14 rifle, if they were killed on the spot, or whether any of them had their
15 throats slit.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, Mr. Seselj is
17 addressing an important technical matter.
18 In 1994, a long time after these people passed away, when corpse
19 were exchanged, because unfortunately at the time corpses were exchanged,
20 three corpses were shown to the relatives of Mr. Rusmir Hamalukic, and
21 you're saying that the body [as interpreted] the body. Well, in the
22 past, you know, I've seen a number of -- you say the family recognised
23 the body, and so I've seen a good number of bodies in my own time, and I
24 would like to know what could be recognised in this body. There could
25 have been an autopsy, maybe, but if you only have the skeleton left,
1 well, sometimes if you've got bullet holes, you might determine the
2 impact of the bullets on the bones, but if you only have a skeleton and
3 if the bullet hit no bone, then it's extremely difficult to determine the
4 cause of death. There's a good number of problems here. Then,
5 furthermore, after months or years, the face is changed or is gone. It's
6 very difficult to recognise a body. That's a first problem.
7 Now, according to you, the family recognised it 100 per cent?
8 How were they so sure?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Zivko Krajisnik was recognised --
10 well, you can check this out through the commission searching for --
11 state commission searching for missing persons of Amor Masovic, on the
12 basis of which if, because I don't deal in medicine, if it was indeed an
13 autopsy, then it was conducted, and judging by the bones, they could see
14 that some 20 bullets had pierced the body, mostly through the bones.
15 Now, Rusmir Hamalukic's body was identified on the basis of,
16 first and foremost, well, his relatives. That is to say, his wife and
17 mother recognised him, recognised his corpse. And my contribution was
18 only inasmuch as in that mass of bodies that were there, I possibly
19 managed to recognise something which reminded me of Rusmir Hamalukic
20 because Robert Kahrimanovic was identified by his family while I was
21 still in the camp. So that I can't go into medical details. Don't ask
22 me about those.
23 Q. But this is an important point. You said at least 20 bullets had
24 hit Robert Kahrimanovic and you could see that based on the traces on the
1 A. I didn't say that.
2 Q. The people who conducted the autopsy did that?
3 A. I'm talking about Zivko Krajisnik. I saw Copo kill him before my
4 very own eyes.
5 Q. I'm not interested in what you saw. I'm interested in the
6 results of the autopsy. First of all, you said that you didn't know
7 whether an autopsy had been conducted and that was a political question.
8 Now we see that an autopsy was indeed carried out and that the traces of
9 20 bullets were found in a body.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges, it is scandalous that the
11 Prosecution should bring in a witness testifying about alleged killings,
12 whereas autopsies were carried out on those bodies without the autopsy
13 findings being presented to us, because if the people were killed by hand
14 grenades, offensive hand grenades, they have several thousand metal
15 pieces, many of which must have lodged in the bones, and therefore should
16 be found on the basis of an autopsy.
17 Now the witness says, first of all, he doesn't know whether or
18 not an autopsy was conducted. Then he tries to renege and say that it's
19 a political issue, and then he says, yes, there was an autopsy and that
20 allegedly traces of bullets were shown. Well, I don't know. What is all
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Ferrara.
23 MR. FERRARA: Here we have an eyewitness, and here we have an
24 accused that says that he doesn't want to know what the witness watched
25 but want to know what the witness know about autopsy of somebody.
1 Mr. Koblar is not an expert in forensic medicine, so I don't know -- I
2 don't understand why he's asking a question on autopsy and not on what he
3 watched when he was there.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I thought I understood
5 that when the bodies were brought back, at one point in time you were
6 involved in the identification process. Is it true, yes or no?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was called to the identification
8 by the State Commission for Exchange.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You saw the bodies?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Apart for
11 Robert Kahrimanovic, who was identified earlier on while I was still in
12 the camp. He was identified by his family.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Could you tell us
14 what state the bodies you saw were in? What was left; hair, bones, some
15 flesh, rotten flesh? This is horrible, of course, but what did you see?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, how can a corpse look a year
17 after death? I think the question should be addressed to
18 Mr. Amor Masovic or someone from the State Commission, somebody that
19 deals with medicine and is better versed in medicine.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
21 continues]... the body of this person a year after his death, what was
22 left? Was it just a skeleton or was there some flesh left? What did the
23 body look like?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What remained were parts of the
25 uniform, what remained on them. There was something there. But the
1 body, well, it was a skeleton, although there were some other pieces
2 there as well, bodily parts, parts of -- now, let me repeat, I'm not an
3 expert, I'm not an expert in medicine, so I can't really explain it.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. But you were not
5 alone. There must have been a forensic officer with you or a police
6 officer who was there to make reports, to note that on this body, for
7 example, there are bullet holes, that maybe the femur is fractured, and
8 so forth and so on. Was there a person noting everything down.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A forensic pathologist, as far as I
10 remember. Yes, the forensic pathologist, the president of the
11 State Commission, Amor Masovic, his two deputies, the relatives of the
12 people. I can't remember the name now of the pathologist from the
13 Faculty of Medicine. Patogija, I think his surname was, Patogija.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So reports must have been
15 drafted, and this report must be somewhere. Maybe Mr. Seselj has it. If
16 the report exists, the conclusions in this report must be there, so to
17 know whether they were killed by a bullet or rather killed by a grenade
18 or something else. The Bench has nothing. You know, that's the
20 So, Mr. Seselj, please continue.
21 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Who killed Robert Kahrimanovic?
23 A. I don't know. I never saw the man.
24 Q. In the statement given to The Hague investigators, you said that
25 he was killed by a soldier of the Army of Republika Srpska. Somebody who
1 didn't belong to Brne's unit, then?
2 A. We were lying down in a position like this [indicates]. Just
3 imagine yourself.
4 Q. I'm not interested in your lying-down position. All I'm
5 interested in is on page 6 of your statement to The Hague Tribunal, you
6 said that Robert Kahrimanovic was killed by a soldier of Republika Srpska
7 and four Chetniks jumped up to prevent the killing; right? Four of
8 Brne's soldiers, right, that you call Chetniks?
9 A. How else can I call them?
10 Q. Well, all honourable Serbs are Chetniks. There's no doubt about
11 that. I'm not defending myself from that. But, anyway, four of Brne's
12 soldiers jumped up to prevent the soldier from another unit from killing
13 Robert Kahrimanovic, but he nonetheless killed him because he shot him in
14 the spine with a bullet?
15 A. I don't know if it was four of them who jumped up or ten of them
16 who jumped up.
17 Q. That's not important. The important thing is that you stated
18 that he was killed by a soldier of Republika Srpska?
19 A. Didn't you say a moment ago that they were killed by hand
21 Q. I'm talking about your statements and pointing out the
22 contradictions in them now. How was Rusmir Hamalukic killed, then?
23 A. I cannot say, because I didn't see it happen.
24 Q. In the statement you gave here to the military security organs,
25 you state that at that moment, one of the Chetniks shot a burst of
1 gunfire and killed Zivko and Rusmir, and that is on page 4 of that
2 shorter statement of yours to the Muslim authorities.
3 May we have it on the overhead projector, please, so that you
4 Judges can see how the witness is lying.
5 A. You seem to use the word "lie" every other word.
6 Q. This is the first time I've used the word since you've been
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, Mr. Seselj, just a
9 minute. Mr. Seselj, the Trial Chamber has told you over and over again
10 that you're not supposed to say that a witness is lying. You can say
11 that there are contradictions, but as to drawing the conclusion of lying
12 or not, this is up to the Judges to do so. Right now, the witness is
13 giving up his version of the facts. You might have another one. Give
14 him your version of the facts, and according to his answers we will try
15 and determine where the truth really lies.
16 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] Please, could page 4 from the
17 shorter version of the statement given to the Muslim authorities be put
18 on the overhead projector.
19 The witness has just stated that he didn't see how
20 Rusmir Hamalukic was killed, whereas in the statement he says he did see
21 it. And that is somewhere in the middle of the page, a little above the
22 middle perhaps.
23 Do we have it on our screens now? It hasn't appeared on my yet.
24 Ah, here it is.
25 Q. Now, he says: "At that moment ..."
1 Do you see where it says that, Mr. Koblar?
2 "At that moment," it's where the arrow is, "one of the Chetniks
3 shot a burst of gunfire and killed Zivko and Rusmir."
4 And now you say that you didn't see when Rusmir Hamalukic was
5 actually killed, so what's the truth of it?
6 A. I don't remember this statement.
7 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] Could you move down the page so we
8 can see the bottom.
9 Q. Is that your signature, or perhaps the Prosecution forged it, at
10 the end -- the bottom of the page?
11 A. You don't have to move this. I can see it.
12 Q. Do you understand Serbian? It's at the bottom, the bottom of the
13 page. Is that your signature down there?
14 A. Yes, it is.
15 Q. So you signed this statement which you don't recall, and you said
16 in it that one of the Chetniks shot a burst of gunfire and killed Zivko
17 and Rusmir; is that correct? Zivko and Rusmir.
18 A. Could you remind me of the date of the statement?
19 Q. The date is the 19th of February, 1994, in the official premises
20 of the Security Service of the 101st Motor ised Brigade.
21 A. Two days after I fled from the camp, the minefield, and you want
22 me to remember what I said, what I said exactly at that time? I told
23 The Hague Tribunal, to the OTP, that I saw with my very own eyes who and
24 in what way killed Zivko Krajisnik. And now this statement and this
25 investigation was conducted by Cedic, Sacir, Sacir Cedic, a man who held
1 me in custody and detention, because he asked me to sign some statements
2 because I fled, or rather crossed sides rather than escape.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, we shall not waste
4 time. We have a document here that has been signed by you, and the text
5 is unambiguous.
6 You say they were both killed by a burst of gunfire, which means
7 that you saw them, when you made your statement before the investigators
8 in 1994. This is very clear and very accurate. Now you have come here.
9 You have not said the same thing. This is a problem which the accused
10 has highlighted.
11 When you gave this statement, you were not sure of what you were
12 saying and you said that, or is it that you were very sure and now you're
13 not so sure? This doesn't mean that you're lying. You can be sure of
14 something today and in a week's time be less sure about it. This can
15 happen to anyone.
16 What do you say to the contradiction that Mr. Seselj has
17 highlighted? This doesn't mean that you're a false witness and that you
18 are lying. There is a contradiction here, and I'm sure you have an
19 explanation for it. What is it?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As for this statement and the
21 military authorities, in an article that I wrote in Sarajevo, I never had
22 the opportunity of reading. As far as this statement is concerned, I had
23 15 minutes' time. I was given 15 minutes to sign all the pages, because
24 all I wanted was to go home to see my mother, my sister, my brother, and
25 not to --
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So the explanation you provide
2 is as part of the investigation, the investigator typed up this
3 statement, and you signed it quickly, without reading it again? That is
4 the explanation you give?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In 2000, in the year 2000 -- or,
6 rather, in 1999 or 2000, I'm not quite sure which, I asked to see -- to
7 be shown this statement. This same man, Sacir Cedic, told me that I had
8 voluntarily spent the time in detention and that I can't -- they wouldn't
9 give the statement to me because it was given voluntarily.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If you understood something from
11 what the witness just said, well, good luck to you.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment. We'll get back
13 to this point after the break.
14 We must have a break now, and we're going to have a 20-minute
16 --- Recess taken at 4.20 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 4.47 p.m.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As far as the countdown is
19 concerned, you have one hour left, Mr. Seselj.
20 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Now, Mr. Koblar, we are going to look at the statements of the
22 people who took you prisoner at Golo Brdo together.
23 Could we please have document number 1 on the ELMO so that the
24 witness could see the statement and the public as well, because this
25 should be broadcast over the internet so that the public could see it.
1 This is a statement of Miroslav Skoric, nicknamed Zuti, that's
2 the man who was addressed as "Major" that you mentioned.
3 MR. FERRARA: Your Honour, I want to put on the record that the
4 OTP has received the statement about two hours ago, or maybe less, in
5 Serbian, and that's all.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 Mr. Ferrara, I notice, and this is something you're able to see
8 also, that this was sent by Mr. Seselj's associates on the 11th of June
9 at 11.54, which would explain why you received it two hours ago.
10 Is that right, Mr. Seselj, number 1?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No. This is the document that I
12 received yesterday at two minutes past 2.00. It is the document marked
13 with a Roman numeral I. I got it yesterday at two minutes past 2.00, and
14 I had to read it first in order to decide whether I should use it or not.
15 Last night, after finishing my work, I waited for one hour and
16 fifteen minutes for transportation. So I could read the document only
17 this morning, and it was then that I decided I would use it in
19 Today, when I came to court, I gave it to the Registrar straight
20 away so that it could be copied and distributed. So the speed was
21 maximum, it couldn't have been any faster.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Please proceed.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We don't have it on the first
24 screen. Have you put it properly? Oh, so that's what is not broadcast
25 to the public.
1 Q. In these first paragraphs, so that we don't waste any time,
2 please follow it, you have it in front of you, he says that he took part
3 in the armed conflicts in Bosnia-Herzegovina from the very beginning,
4 that his nickname is Zuti, and that he is well known by that nickname,
5 and that Ilidza, Blazuj and Hadzici were fired at by the Muslims, as were
6 other parts of Serb Sarajevo, and he talks about this big action of the
7 Army of Republika Srpska.
8 You see that in the statement, don't you? Then Miroslav Skoric,
9 nicknamed Zuti, says of himself:
10 "At the time, I was commander of the Intervention Company of the
11 Tomo Veljancic Igman Brigade, military post code 7006."
12 This unit that you called Brne's Chetniks, that was an informal
13 name, whereas this is its formal name. Are you challenging that, do you
14 doubt that?
15 A. Of course I doubt that.
16 Q. He says that he commanded that unit, and he said that it was a
17 unit of the Army of Republika Srpska. And then he said:
18 "There were no volunteers from elsewhere, from other republics or
19 from Serbia, or volunteers of the Serb Radical Party."
20 Was it your impression that some of those soldiers who had taken
21 you prisoner were from elsewhere, not from Bosnia-Herzegovina?
22 A. Pajkovic, himself, is not from Bosnia-Herzegovina.
23 Q. Pajkovic is from Berane, like you, but he lived in Sarajevo.
24 Pajkovic is from Berane, and that is why he treated you so badly,
25 considering you to be a traitor, because the Bozovics are a famous Serb
1 family in Berane and your mother is from the Bozovic. Your mother comes
2 from the Bozovics; right?
3 A. Yes. She's Montenegrin.
4 Q. What about Pajkovic?
5 A. From Brne's unit, the only thing I knew was that Brne was from
6 Sarajevo. And I recognised another man, who's name I'm not going to
7 mention now, of course I won't, he still lives in Sarajevo and he just
8 gave me an eye signal showing me that there was no chance of survival for
10 Q. Why didn't you want to mention his name?
11 A. Because he lives in Sarajevo.
12 Q. What does that have to do with anything? Is the situation there
14 A. Of course they're civilised, but what about the situation for
15 Bosniaks in Republika Srpska?
16 Q. They were always more civilised than in Sarajevo for Serbs.
17 Didn't you kill 6.000 Serbs in Sarajevo during the war? It's in official
19 A. Have you forgotten mathematics?
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note, we cannot keep up with the
21 speed of the questioning.
22 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Witness, you have to allow the interpreters
23 to catch what you say, so please observe a small pause. You have been
24 doing that very well until now, but I see that you get carried away
25 sometimes. But try and respect the pause.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note, the questions have to come
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just go on praising the witness. I
4 join you in praising the witness, Judge.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, no one is saying
6 that we are complimenting the witness. This is in your mind. You are
7 confounding him on a number of issues, which I think is extremely
8 important, and I shall address this, because this cannot be set aside.
9 Witness, this Zuti makes a statement. For Mr. Seselj, we will
10 see what it contains. But in this statement, something technical is
11 mentioned, something which he cannot have made up, the fact that his unit
12 was number 7066. This can be checked on the VRS lists. This is
13 something that can be checked. He can't have made this up, not something
14 like that.
15 If, in fact, his unit was an official VRS unit, why did you say
16 that on the one hand, there was the VRS and, on the other hand, there was
17 the Chetnik unit?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, in addition to
19 myself, three other men were taken prisoner. They are alive.
20 Dragan Despotovic, who crossed over to the Army of Republika Srpska in
21 camp; then Hasib Krslak and Hilmija Numic. They were taken prisoner by
22 the military police of the Republika Srpska. They survived. As for
23 myself and my three fellow combatants, we were taken prisoner by the
24 Chetnik unit of Branislav Gavrilovic. I stated that clearly because,
25 after all, I do make a distinction between Chetniks and Serbs. I never
1 identified or did I allow other people to identify Serbs with Chetniks,
2 Croats with Ustashas, or Muslims with balijas.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 Mr. Seselj, on several occasions today, I don't know what the
5 matter is, you call the Judges into question. You say that we are on the
6 witness's side. We don't take anyone's side. The witness answers the
7 questions, you put your questions, and we shall see, in the end, what we
8 believe the witness is saying. This is how it works.
9 Please stop accusing all the time. If you do not agree, file a
10 request for impeachment. If you -- otherwise, just stop saying that we
11 are taking sides.
12 My colleague has put a question which is of a purely technical
13 nature, and you turn around and say, "He's taking the witness's side." I
14 don't understand.
15 You have noticed that we put questions to the witness. We try to
16 understand, with the help of the Prosecution, with the help of the
17 witness, and with your help. We try to be completely neutral. We try to
18 understand. The Prosecution has its case to present, you have your case
19 to present. We shall see, in the end, where the truth lies. This is why
20 there are legal proceedings like these.
21 Please proceed.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I do hope that you noticed the two
23 substantive answers given by the witness. First of all, the witness did
24 not manage to identify a single soldier in this unit that took him
25 prisoner as a soldier outside -- from outside the territory of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, except for this Pajkovic, who was born in Ivangrad.
2 But my information says that he lived in Sarajevo, too, just like this
3 witness was born in Ivangrad, called Berane beforehand, and now he lives
4 in Sarajevo. That is one thing.
5 Secondly, when I put to him the official name of the unit that
6 was popularly known as "Brne's Chetniks," he said that that's not true,
7 he said that that was a lie, whereas the official name of the unit was
8 the Intervention Company of the Igman Brigade, Tomo Veljancic, military
9 post code 7066. The OTP can check that out, and I think that the
10 Trial Chamber has the right to instruct the OTP to check that out, and
11 that will simplify matters.
12 Here we are questioning witnesses without any kind of
13 investigation taking place beforehand. We don't even have the autopsy
14 findings of the three men who got killed at Golo Brdo, so all sorts of
15 stories can be bandied about. We would know the cause of death had a
16 proper postmortem been carried out.
17 Now I'm going to continue --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I don't disagree on
19 what you've just said, but I must say that if you feel that after what
20 Mr. Zuti wrote to you, that his unit was part of the Company number 7066,
21 which is a code name, what would have prevented you and your associates
22 from sending a letter to the authorities to ask them officially that this
23 be confirmed, i.e., that this unit was a member of the VRS at the time?
24 Why haven't you done this? They would have responded by giving you a
25 list, and you would have brought this list as evidence.
1 I'm not saying that what you are saying needs to be dismissed.
2 The best proof of it is that I put the question myself to the witness, to
3 clearly emphasise it, and say, "Be careful, there might be a problem
4 here," the problem which you raised yourself. The witness challenges
5 this, but technically speaking you can say that this unit, first of all,
6 was made up of people who were locals and not from Serbia, this is what
7 you've said, and they were a part of the chain of command of the VRS.
8 So that's it. There's no point in getting all worked up and
9 getting irritated. All we're asking you to do is put questions of a
10 technical nature and not be biased and think that the Judges are not
11 listening to what you are saying. It's quite the opposite. We do
13 Please proceed.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, for years now the
15 Army of Republika Srpska has not been in existence. Its entire
16 documentation was transferred to Sarajevo. That is where the occupiers
17 set up a unified Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and we do not have any
18 possibility of addressing the occupying forces or the forces that are
19 under the control of the occupiers. Bosnia-Herzegovina is still a state
20 under occupation. Formally, it is internationally recognised, but it is
21 not an independent state. A Western governor is in power there, Lajcak.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you are right to
23 say this. We know that the archives of the VRS have been transferred to
24 Sarajevo. You are saying that Bosnia-Herzegovina is in a very specific
25 legal situation. Fine, but why -- what prevents you from writing a
1 letter to the High Representative if you believe that he's the competent
2 person so that this person, you know, would intervene with local
3 authorities in order to provide you with the lists? You can do this, you
4 can write a letter. And if you run into any difficulties, then you can
5 seize the Trial Chamber so that the Trial Chamber can step in. First
7 Second thing now, and you said it yourself. Bosnia-Herzegovina
8 has an army at the moment, so why can't you just write to the Minister of
9 Defence, asking him to have access to the archives? If he doesn't answer
10 your letter, seize the Trial Chamber, and then we will request these
11 documents to be disclosed to you. And they have to do it because of the
12 cooperation agreements.
13 This is the procedure that exists. You can do this. If for your
14 defence, for cross-examination purposes, you run into problems, seize the
15 Trial Chamber of these problems.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the basic problem of
17 this trial, and many other trials before this Tribunal, is the fact that
18 the OTP doesn't really carry out any investigations. All of this was
19 supposed to be done in the investigation stage, so if an assertion is
20 made that three soldiers of the Muslim army were killed, then all the
21 postmortem findings should be brought here.
22 Secondly, I would rather die than write a letter to Lajcak. I'm
23 certainly not going to do that. But a few years ago, I asked the
24 Trial Chamber, and you were a member, I asked that documents be provided
25 to me under subpoena, all the documents pertaining to my name from the
1 archives of the secret police, military and civilian, from the
2 Federation, and from Croatia, America, England, France and Germany. And
3 the Trial Chamber denied me that, and that is a fait accompli, as far as
4 I'm concerned. So now I'm continuing my work in the knowledge that I
5 will never receive this material. Of course, had I received this
6 material, I would have had a lot more documents, whereas this way I am
7 compelled to look for eyewitnesses.
8 I was not on the spot. I had to find people who were on the
9 spot. I had to find the people who took this man prisoner, this witness,
10 and to hear their side of the story, and that is what I'm using now. I
11 cannot humiliate myself and ask the enemy of the Serbian people for help
12 in the proceedings that are instituted against me, and I'm not going to
13 do that. So, please, let me continue now.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, continue. At least
15 I gave you my answer, as far as procedure is concerned. I told you that
16 you have the possibility of seizing the Trial Chamber. You don't want to
17 do this. You told us why. Everything is on the transcript. I'm not
18 going to comment on this. But you know that in terms of the procedure,
19 you have the possibility of seizing the Trial Chamber.
20 Please continue.
21 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Again we are going to skip this part where Mr. Skoric explains
23 how this unit, as an elite unit, was used to break through enemy lines
24 and take strategic positions, and so on and so forth. Then he describes
25 this attack against Golo Brdo, and he says:
1 "The order for this operation was given to me by Colonel
2 Spasoje Cojic, the staff of the Igman Brigade. The following units took
3 part with us: The Intervention Platoon of the Igman Brigade; the
4 Armoured Mechanised Company of the Ilidza Brigade, better known as the
5 Serb Guard, Ilidza; the Reconnaissance/Sabotage Platoon Munja of the
6 Igman Brigade. Have you heard of the names of these units?
7 A. I only heard of the unit of the Igman Brigade.
8 Q. Only of the Igman Brigade, as such?
9 A. Yes, only that.
10 Q. Do you doubt that Mr. Skoric was in the Intervention Company,
11 Tomo Veljancic, of the Igman Brigade?
12 A. In the BH Army, we also have about 50.000 people who are
13 registered as belonging to the BH Army from Day 1, and in actual fact
14 they were outside, out of Bosnia, or in basements, or who knows where.
15 If this is Plavi, he could have been registered I don't know where, but,
16 I mean, he couldn't have been a member of the Army of Republika Srpska.
17 Q. Why did you never mention in your statements to the Muslim --
18 don't interrupt me. If the Judges are not going to warn you, I'm going
19 to warn you persistently. You are not supposed to interrupt me.
20 A. I said --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note, we cannot interpret this.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, Mr. Seselj does not
23 need to intervene. I already told you that as far as procedure is
24 concerned, you are here to answer the questions put to you by the
25 accused. The procedure is very different from the procedure that exists
1 in your country. The legal proceedings are different in your country,
2 but here the accused is asking the question and you're supposed to just
3 answer his questions, and nothing else. This is, of course, under the
4 control of the Trial Chamber, because we want to make sure that no time
5 is wasted and that the questions are relevant. And he's also supposed to
6 ask you questions that are not offensive. This is the only control we
7 have. Otherwise, he's entitled to ask all questions he wishes. And your
8 right is to answer the questions, even if you don't agree with them, even
9 if you're not happy with them, if you feel hurt. The question was put to
10 you, and you must absolutely answer the question, either by "yes," "no,"
11 "I don't agree," "You're right," "You're wrong." That's the rules of the
12 game here. The people who invented these rules of procedure decided that
13 it would work this way. There was another possibility, which was to
14 allow the Judges to have a major role, but that was not chosen, so this
15 is the rules of the game.
16 Defence is asking questions to you. You're supposed to answer
17 these questions, even if you don't like them. These are the rules that
18 were designed, and we have to play by the rules.
19 So, Mr. Seselj, continue.
20 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Answer my question. Why, in neither of these two statements to
22 Muslim military authorities, did you mention that the soldiers who
23 captured you had signs with skulls and bones? Why isn't it in any of
24 these two statements?
25 A. It has to be there.
1 Q. Well, it's not. Let the Prosecution help you and find it. It's
2 not there. One statement is more than 30 pages long, the other one is 9.
3 This is not there. The Prosecution can use its technology to find that
4 very quickly, whether there is any reference to skull and bones.
5 You claim, if I understand you correctly, that you mentioned
6 these signs with skulls and bones, and you claim it's in the statement?
7 A. It should be there.
8 Q. So you're not that sure anymore?
9 A. It should be there. I will repeat what I said a moment ago. I
10 know what should be in the statement, but I had no occasion, neither with
11 the Prosecution or the investigative authorities of my unit, to reread it
12 before signing it.
13 Q. So let's see how Zuti describes this action on Mount Igman. He
14 gives a brief overview of your whole story about your capture at
15 Mount Igman. This is the other side of the story:
16 "The action on Mount Igman began with artillery preparation, and
17 I --"
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, Mr. Seselj. I
19 don't want to cut you off, but you asked a question earlier that's
20 extremely important and I wish to come back to it.
21 Mr. Seselj justly noted that in your statement, a 1994 statement
22 made to the authorities of your country, and when you escaped and came
23 back, you did not mention the skull-and-bones insignia. This is quite
24 surprising. Why is that? The investigators who met with you and tried
25 to find out what happened, you know, any investigator must absolutely ask
1 the victim, and you were the victim in this case, whether he had any
2 elements to identify the perpetrators. And when you carry out this kind
3 of investigation, you have to ask the victim how the perpetrators were
4 dressed, what kind of weapons they had, whether they had emblems,
5 insignia, patches, and so on. These were the questions that they were
6 supposed to ask, and apparently these questions were not asked.
7 Now, was it because they were so convinced that these were
8 soldiers from Republika Srpska and not from a Chetnik unit that there was
9 no doubt about this, because that could explain why no questions were put
10 to you on identification, or maybe they were in a frame of mind and they
11 just were not concerned at the time to know exactly who did what.
12 Now, after that, you met with people from the OTP. In your
13 statement of 2004, April 22nd and 23rd, there we have mention of the
14 skull-and-bones emblem. When I saw this, I wondered. You know, I'm
15 fully transparent, contrary to what Mr. Seselj believes, I'm neither for
16 one side nor the other. I don't side with anyone. I just want to get to
17 the truth. So when I saw this, I said to myself, why is it that
18 suddenly, when the witness has his -- is bringing us his document for the
19 Red Cross and his injuries and so on, why is it that we have this
20 document suddenly? So this is my question to myself: Did the witness
21 volunteer this to the OTP or is it the OTP who showed the emblem to the
22 witness so that -- to ask him, "Did you see this," or, "You did see this
24 So please tell me. When the investigator, in 1994, put questions
25 to you, did he mention this emblem to you? Did he address this problem
1 of the skull and bones?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] While I was under investigation and
3 in detention in my own unit, there was one, quote/unquote, "truth" that I
4 was supposed to sign; namely, that the platoon of 20 Serbs betrayed
5 Golo Brdo, and I mentioned that in the statement. But in that statement,
6 there should also be --
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, thank you. This
8 hadn't escaped me. I really wondered why was it that he is going to be
9 detained by his own friends. That was one problem, and obviously no one
10 thought about this. Maybe Mr. Seselj was going to address this, but up
11 until now nobody had addressed this.
12 You are detained because your own side believes that maybe
13 people -- there were traitors, and you're suspected of having betrayed.
14 And you're saying now that you believe that the investigation was very
15 biased. Thank you, you're being very specific now. So their purpose was
16 to find out whether there had been betrayals or not, rather than trying
17 to find out who were the perpetrators of these crimes; is this what you
18 were trying to say?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Roughly, or maybe in other words,
20 but in the same sense, to maintain the truth that 20 Serbs betrayed
21 Golo Brdo, and that was later covered in the press and it was --
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, yes, but the Judges
23 are here to understand. Otherwise, they wouldn't be Judges.
24 The second thing: When you met with the OTP, people from the
25 OTP, in 2004, tell us whether it is the OTP who showed you this
1 emblem [indicates] on the photocopy that you signed, or did you volunteer
2 this photocopy and bring it yourself?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I brought an article that ran in
4 series that also carried some photographs. That's a liberty I gave to
5 the editor of "Vecernje Novine" newspaper, to insert some photographs.
6 And in that article there is one photo, I don't know where it comes from,
7 depicting Chetniks carrying weapons, and the first time I saw these
8 photos was perhaps a month ago, when I got into contact with the OTP to
9 decide whether I should come here to testify or not. Nobody imposed it
10 on me or showed it to me.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very good, very well.
12 So you're saying that the skull and bones thing, this
13 skull-and-bones insignia, is something you volunteered, and no one told
14 you anything about it; you spoke about it?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I spoke about it from my memory.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I hope that you,
17 too, have before you this long statement of the witness, some 30
18 densely-typed pages. Perhaps it would be even 100 pages with different
19 spacing. It must be translated into English. The Prosecution gave it to
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No, I don't have it.
22 Now, Mr. Seselj, once again, I think sometimes there are
23 misunderstandings, because you don't know what we have on the Bench.
24 Today, for this witness, the Prosecutor gave us a file with all the
25 exhibits that were to be shown to the witness, and in this file there was
1 the written statement of 2004. But as to the statement made to the
2 Muslim authorities in 1994, which was disclosed to you, it was not
3 disclosed to us. We don't have it on the Bench. This is how things
5 You know many things, because the Prosecutor sent many documents
6 to you and disclosed them to you, and if you think that we have it, we
7 know about it also, but we don't. The only thing we have is what the
8 Prosecution gave us, and the Prosecutor did not give us the 1994
9 statement. I just don't have it.
10 So I believe that this is why we have such misunderstandings.
11 I'm trying to give you as much information as I can. I'm telling you
12 exactly what we do, what problems we run into, what questions we would
13 like to ask. We are fully transparent here on the Bench.
14 You raised your hand. What did you want to say, sir?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I just wanted to draw your
16 attention, Mr. President, that you are taking over the terminology of the
17 accused, referring to Muslim authorities. This is a statement or
18 statements that I gave to legal investigative authorities of the Army of
19 Bosnia and Herzegovina before the Dayton Accords.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I agree with you, I agree with
21 you. I fully agree with you, but we mention Muslim authorities because
22 at the time when you escaped, you escaped from Kula and went back to the
23 101st Motorised Brigade. It's not a Serbian unit; it's a Muslim unit.
24 We have three components; Croat units, Muslim units and Serbian units.
25 This is how you must interpret the way we use "Muslim." On the field,
1 there are three sides, Croats, Serbs or Muslims, which is why I use this
3 Mr. Seselj, please resume. I apologise for having cut you off,
4 but I wanted to really address the skull-and-bones insignia problem,
5 because I believed it was very important. I wanted to get to the bottom
6 of this and understand what really happened, but resume.
7 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
8 Q. In this long statement on 34 densely-typed pages, that's about
9 100 pages of journalistic typing, you describe in detail all the soldiers
10 who captured you, and the emblems they wore, and you mentioned cockades
11 with two-headed eagles. Why didn't you mention the skull and bones
13 The Prosecution had time to check it. They didn't find it,
14 either, and now we see it's not there. I have no time to read it all to
15 you here, but it is absolutely not there. You did not mention that any
16 of these soldiers had the skull-and-bones sign. Why?
17 A. In that statement, there has to be even the name, the Chetnik
18 unit of Brne Gavrilovic, Pla ve, Copo and Pajkovic.
19 Q. It's not Plave, it's blue. It's Zuti, yellow. A man with blonde
20 hair is Zuti.
21 A. That's what you say. He was referred to as "Major," actually.
22 Q. Yes, it is there that it was the Chetnik unit, but there is no
23 reference to skull-and-bones emblem. There is no dispute that they were
24 called Chetniks and they called themselves Chetniks. That's not in
25 dispute, but there is no reference to the skull and bones.
1 A. Well, it's not my problem. If it's the Chetnik unit of
2 Brne Gavrilovic, if Copo, Pajkovic and Major are mentioned, there should
3 be also a detailed description - you say there is - of these people, plus
4 the other one whom I didn't name here. It has to be there in the
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The Prosecution had more than half
7 an hour to find the reference to skull and bones. I can only note they
8 didn't find it. I really cannot dwell on this.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
10 MR. FERRARA: There is no reference to skull and bones, and there
11 is no reference to cockade with two eagles, as the accused says. So
12 there is no reference to any kind of insignia in this statement, so the
13 accused is misunderstanding the statement of the -- it's on line --
14 page 59, line 1 and 2. He didn't describe any kind of insignia.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Ferrara, I don't really
16 understand. Mr. Seselj says based on the 1994 statement, that the
17 witness mentioned cockades and gave details. And in the document which I
18 don't have, unfortunately, but which you must have and which must have
19 been translated into English, I hope, you say that there is no mention --
20 Mr. Seselj said that --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj says that there's no
23 mention of the skull and bones there. This is what he's saying, anyway,
24 but you have the document, so you can check. I can't check because I
25 don't have the document.
1 MR. FERRARA: Your Honours, Mr. Seselj said a different thing.
2 He said the witness described soldiers with cockade, two eagles, so
3 soldiers that were not SRS member of Chetniks unit. It did not describe
4 people with skull and bones. The truth is that the witness didn't
5 describe any kind of insignia in the statement. There is no description
6 of eagles, of an insignia, badge, skull or bones. There's nothing to do
7 with the description of their uniform.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Please resume.
9 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Since we established there is no reference to skulls anywhere, I
11 will look for the cockades later. I'm really not interested in that now.
12 It's important that the Prosecutor confirmed there is no reference to
13 skull and bones, which was the point the witness made in
15 I started to summarise for you the description of the situation
16 given by Miroslav Skoric, nicknamed Zuti, in the course of the action on
17 Mount Igman. He says:
18 "The operation on Igman started with artillery preparation ..."
19 That's where you agree:
20 "... and I led my unit in an attack against fortified enemy
21 positions on Golo Brdo elevation. Some 200 metres away from enemy
22 bunkers, we were waiting for the artillery preparation to finish. In
23 order to approach as unobserved as possible, I selected four soldiers,
24 whom I led, to capture the bunker. I decided on this tactic after
25 reconnoitering the terrain, when I noticed that everything was mined with
1 directional fragmentation mines."
2 You noticed that as well, these mines:
3 "When we got to the bunker, we saw three dead enemy soldiers."
4 That's what Zuti says:
5 "We saw some more dead in the trench that was part of the bunker.
6 Since the bunker was closed, we didn't know if there was anyone inside."
7 In your opinion, is this a truthful description given by Zuti,
8 who captured you at Golo Brdo?
9 A. I did not say that the Major had captured me, but Pajkovic. And
10 in this statement from the other side of Igman, from the side that they
11 had come, because they came from the direction of Ilidza, they could
12 see -- they could see, because on Golo Brdo there were just two
13 directional fragmentation mines, and they could not see any dead
14 soldiers, because they had captured them and they were alive when
15 Pajkovic brought me. All three of them were alive.
16 Q. Now turn to the second page, please, and we'll go through the
17 statement further on.
18 Zuti goes on to say:
19 "After my call to surrender, from the bunker a rifle was thrown
21 That's the bunker where you were:
22 "And immediately afterwards, a man came out, and I asked him
23 whether there was anyone else in the bunker. He said that he was alone
24 and that his name was Perica Koblar. He added that he was a Croat by
25 ethnicity, although nobody asked him that."
1 Is it true that you declared yourself as a Croat?
2 A. No, it isn't. And let me repeat, I was not captured by the Major
3 but by Pajkovic.
4 Q. All right. The Major says he captured you. And did you ever
5 declare yourself as a Slovene?
6 A. Well, I suppose he got a medal for that.
7 Q. Did you ever declare yourself as being a Slovene?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. When was that? When did you declare yourself as being a Slovene?
10 A. I think that was in 1997, when I was at the elections, and I
11 didn't declare myself; it was other people who wrote that in, who made
12 that entry, and said that my ethnicity was Slovenian. I was at the
13 independent candidate selection.
14 Q. So they put that entry there against your will, against asking
15 you your opinion?
16 A. Right.
17 Q. But you never publicly declared yourself a Slovene?
18 A. After 2000, I did, yes.
19 Q. And in 1996, you did not?
20 A. Well, I don't know why I would do that in 1996. The only
21 document that you can obtain from 1996 or that you could find in 1996 was
22 the OSCE document, when I was head at the electoral staff of the late
23 Vladimir Srebrov.
24 Q. I haven't got any documents. I'm just leafing through some
25 papers. All I'm interested in is: When was it that you declared
1 yourself a Slovene?
2 A. I can't remember.
3 Q. Or was that in 1996? That was the first year after --
4 A. Not in 1996.
5 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] I received a fax earlier on, and
6 could this be shown to the witness. It is a report from the Founding
7 Assembly of the Inmates Association of Bosnia-Herzegovina, camp inmates.
8 Q. Do you remember the founding meeting of the detainees of
10 A. Well, since you're that informed, do you know what happened
11 before that?
12 Q. There was a big scandal. A Muslim evinced hatred to everybody
13 who was not a Muslim.
14 A. Well, then it should become clear to you, why I declared myself a
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you have just told
17 us that you have received a document. Maybe you got it during the break.
18 In that case, the Prosecution has not been made aware of it. You should
19 and must disclose to the Prosecution any document you're going to be
21 Mr. Ferrara, you didn't get this document?
22 MR. FERRARA: No, Your Honours.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I use this just by
24 chance now, because the witness claimed that he did not declare himself
25 in 1996 as a Slovene, and here on page 2, if you turn it over to
1 page 2 -- I'm not interested in the document at all. This woman doesn't
2 seem to understand me either. [In English] Turn on the second page in
3 this document.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's also on the web page.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] You see, I have to speak that
6 odious language.
7 Q. You see here, your statement is being quoted, where you say:
8 "First of all, I'm a Slovene, a Catholic, but that did not
9 prevent me ...," et cetera, et cetera.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, Mr. Seselj. One
11 always has to be wide awake in your presence, because you say so many
13 You just said -- you just mentioned this awful language. Which
14 language are you referring to?
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] English. The usher doesn't
16 understand me, and to save time I had to speak up in that horrible
17 language. What can I do? I didn't want to do that. It just escaped me,
18 Mr. President, and I withdraw everything I said in that hateful language.
19 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] So you understand English?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's not go into a discussion
22 on language.
23 Proceed, Mr. Seselj.
24 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
25 Q. At that Assembly, did you declare yourself, publicly, that you
1 were a Slovene and a Catholic?
2 A. A Catholic, yes; a Slovene, no.
3 Q. So is what it says on this web page not true?
4 A. Not where it says that I'm a Slovene, no.
5 Q. All right. Return the document. I'm not interested in what you
6 are at all.
7 A. Well, I don't know why you're asking me.
8 Q. Because you said didn't declare yourself that way in 1996, where
9 we see that you did, in fact?
10 A. So you're playing around you, playing around with me?
11 Q. Listen, you're such a useful witness as far as I'm concerned that
12 even if I'd wanted to invent you as a witness, I couldn't have done a
13 better job. You've been god-sent here and serve my purpose perfectly.
14 But let's go back to page 2 of the statement of Mr. Miroslav Skoric. He
15 goes on to say they took you back to hand you over to the military
16 police, and now he describes an interesting moment, an interesting
17 detail. He says -- have you put the document back to page 2, page 2 on
18 the ELMO? Is it on the ELMO?
19 He says:
20 "My unit left the positions taken control of and it was replaced
21 by units from the other echelon, whose sole task was to take control and
22 retain the positions gained. Within the composition of those units were
23 people from Blazuj, and they were exposed to sniper fire from Golo Brdo.
24 In order to avoid possible problems in escorting the prisoners, we put a
25 flak-jacket on him."
1 Is that true, that they put a flak-jacket on you so that when the
2 other soldiers went down from Igman with you, you wouldn't be threatened,
3 your life wouldn't be threatened?
4 A. Did you use the singular or the plural?
5 Q. I am asking you whether the Serb soldiers who had captured you
6 put on a flak-jacket to -- for your safety.
7 A. But you said "prisoners," you used the word "prisoners" in the
9 Q. I am using the second-person plural as an individual, as --
10 that's a mark of my good behaviour. I said: Did they place a
11 flak-jacket on you? I didn't say "flak-jackets," as relating to more
12 people. I said "flak-jacket" in the singular, so don't waste my time.
13 A. Brne did that, the Major did that, Copo did that and Pajkovic.
14 The flak-jacket, a transportation sack, a military sack - I don't know
15 what it's called - and I had to carry an M-84 or the sower of death, as
16 we used to call it in Sarajevo, over my left shoulder.
17 Q. So that I could -- you could resemble a Serb soldier?
18 A. Well, wearing a black shirt and black trousers, could I have
19 resembled a Serb soldier?
20 Q. Well, you could have appeared like a Serb soldier because they
21 gave you a flak-jacket and a powerful weapon. There were other Serb
22 soldiers who did not have the proper uniform.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers kindly slow down, and could
24 the witness repeat his answer? It's too quick to translate. Thank you.
25 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
1 Q. That's not an answer to my question. Did they provide you with a
2 flak-jacket to torment you or to protect you or, rather, to camouflage
3 you if you came across somebody who wanted to take revenge on you? So
4 were you given a flak-jacket to wear and heavy weapons to torment you or
5 to save you? Just answer me that.
6 A. To carry as a mule.
7 Q. So you served for carrying a machine-gun and a flak-jacket, so
8 that was a form of torture, was it? Say that, then. So they tortured
9 you by giving you a flak-jacket, whereas they say they gave you a
10 flak-jacket to wear to protect you. You say it was torture. All right,
11 fine. The Dutch police provide me with a flak-jacket here. They say
12 they're protecting me. I consider that they are torturing me with that
13 flak-jacket, but that's a matter of personal opinion.
14 Anyway, you got the flak-jacket before you met
15 Branislav Gavrilovic?
16 A. That's not true.
17 Q. All right. You say it's not, then it's not. It says here --
18 Zuti says that Branislav Gavrilovic, Brne, at that time was being treated
19 from the serious wounding in his abdomen and spine, and he found it
20 difficult to move. So in the company, he dealt with the training of new
21 soldiers. Did you ever notice that Branislav Gavrilovic was a man who
22 had been seriously wounded? By the way he moved and walked, his
23 behaviour, did he give the impression of somebody who had been seriously
25 A. I told you yesterday and I'll repeat that again today. When he
1 was introduced, the Major introduced him, and he said, "This is
2 Branislav Gavrilovic, Brne, a Chetnik vojvoda of Vojislav Seselj's, for
3 whom we thought, we, the BH Army, thought that he was dead, was left
4 lying dead at Zeljo Stadium."
5 Q. Where you surrounded his volunteer unit at the beginning of the
7 A. No, I'm talking about November 1993, when an attack was launched
8 on --
9 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't catch the attack on
11 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
12 Q. That wasn't the attack on Grbavica; it was April/May 1992; is
13 that right? They were different battles?
14 A. I don't know what you're talking about.
15 Q. All right, fine. You thought he was dead. Well, luckily, he
16 survived. And, finally, not to spend too much time on Miroslav Skoric's
17 statement, he goes on to say the following:
18 "After the war, I heard and read quite a different version of the
19 events linked to Golo Brdo as presented by Perica Koblar. I was
20 unpleasantly surprised, especially as the enemy side also knows that in
21 addition to Koblar, in previous actions and later actions I behaved in a
22 soldierly fashion towards all the prisoners, seven or eight of them,
23 which was the total number. They are alive and well. In conformity with
24 military procedure, they reached their homes."
25 And at the end of the statement, he says that he agrees that I
1 use his statement in the Court and that he was ready to be a witness of
3 A. The Major can come in, you can face him here in person. Brne is
4 the only man who can claim something, who can state something, whereas
5 everything that the Major states in that statement, the flak-jacket was
6 put on me after Krajisnik had been killed and Rusmir had been killed, and
7 then Brne took me away to the military police.
8 Now --
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, yesterday, when you
10 answered the questions put to you by the Prosecution, I was very
11 surprised by them, in terms of their logic. Sometimes in life, there are
12 irrational things that happen, but if you address it from a purely
13 logical standpoint, some people were captured and a number were executed.
14 Strangely enough, you were not executed, so this raises a question: Why
15 was he not executed like the others? Out of the four, three died, and
16 the fourth miraculously spared. Why is that the case? This is what a
17 reasonable judge may well ask.
18 After that, we find out, this is something you've said already,
19 that this group will protect you, since when you were taken to the
20 premises of the military police, Gavrilovic says to the others that you
21 should not be mistreated and so on and so forth, even though you were
22 mistreated. This is what you said. And then something else crops up.
23 Zuti, I don't know if what he -- if he's telling the truth or
24 not, but whatever the case may be, this flak-jacket is mentioned, and you
25 confirmed this. You say "yes." So I don't understand anymore.
1 You were one of the four men that were captured in the bunkers,
2 and strangely enough, you are spared. And after that, you are given a
3 flak-jacket to protect you from whom? Who can shoot at you, since you
4 have just said that there were no Muslim units on the spot? So why were
5 you given a flak-jacket? I find this difficult to comprehend. I'm sure
6 you are going to shed some light on this, but how is it?
7 Of course, when the police arrests an individual, this individual
8 is being protected and given a flak-jacket because one is afraid that
9 some people might want to take a shot at him. This is a well-known
10 technique. At the time, who could have made attempts at your life, since
11 three were killed by members of the group and it's that same group which
12 kills those three men who, strangely enough, are going to protect you by
13 giving you a flak-jacket? I don't understand. Please tell us.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, let me repeat.
15 At Golo Brdo, one co-fighter of mine was killed straight away.
16 Down there in front of Brne, two others were killed. I was spared
17 because I brandished a pistol, whereas the flak-jacket and all the rest
18 of it wasn't given to me to protect me, but so that they could see how
19 much I could take. Who would they be protecting me from? There were no
20 snipers over there, because that's the area of Mount Igman and the
21 BH Army -- not the BH Army, but the de-miners started arriving in the
22 region after the reintegration of the Sarajevo municipalities, only after
23 that. And what the accused is trying to emphasise, that's obviously a
24 way of making little of the witness and the Court, to put a flak-jacket
25 on to torture.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That's another question. You
2 are saying that you were a given a flak-jacket to test you, to see how
3 much time you could wear it. I don't know. I have worn a flak-jacket,
4 like many people, in special circumstances, but it doesn't weigh 100
5 kilos or 50 kilos. It's bearable by any standards, so I don't
7 If they wanted to test you, what does this mean?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let me repeat again.
9 In the context of what it says, I didn't say that somebody
10 tortured me. I said that it was put on me to see how much I could take,
11 not for Brne, or Copo, or I don't know who else, the Major, to torture
12 me, because that white Golf car -- well, we stopped off and had a break,
13 to have a cigarette, and then we continued on our journey to the military
15 Now, what the gentleman, the accused, is trying to highlight this
16 torture business, I assume you're torturing him here in Scheveningen.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If what you're saying is true,
18 namely, that when you were captured the group killed four people --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Three people, Interpreter's correction.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] -- I find it difficult to
21 understand how the fourth is spared, for what reason. Why is he given
22 cigarettes? I think you even said that you were given coffee and you are
23 being pampered, you are being given a flak-jacket. I don't understand.
24 Why did they do all this just for you, why?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know whether this was
1 interpreted to you yesterday, when I was saying that Brne kicked
2 Zivko Krajisnik twice, and after that, with his fingers, he hurt his
3 nostrils, and after that he gave him a pistol to kill the Ustasha, as he
4 said. And when he didn't do it, then he gave me the pistol, and I took
5 the pistol. And that very same second, Brne took the pistol and ordered
6 the execution. In other words, it's not that I'm trying to portray
7 myself here as a super hero or this or that. Quite simply, the man, and
8 I'm talking about Brne --
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Here again, this is not
10 understandable. You are being asked to kill your comrade. You are being
11 given the pistol. Logically, he would have just waited for you to pull
12 the trigger, but you say, strangely enough, he picked up the pistol
13 instantly. That's not very logical, either. Why? Because he was afraid
14 that you might shoot at him and shoot him. Maybe he was right, maybe you
15 were going to shoot him. We don't understand. He gives you the pistol,
16 asks you to shoot, and then in a split second takes the pistol away
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The same pistol was first in
19 Zivko Krajisnik's hands. At one moment, I nodded to Zika, in order to
20 avoid Pajkovic's knife, and Brne noticed that, I guess, then he took the
21 pistol and proffered it to me. I pointed it at Krajisnik, Brne took the
22 pistol from me because if we were to apply logic to this, if you were to
23 give a prisoner of war a loaded pistol, then he'd use it. I would use it
24 against myself, if nothing else. That is what the police of Republika
25 Srpska knows, the Major knows, Pajkovic knows, Copo knows, as mentioned
1 by the accused, and he said that I was the only one that Brne got off his
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Proceed.
4 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
5 Q. You should know, since you did your military service, and I see
6 that you even got a degree in Political Science from the university, that
7 everyone who took part in this war knew full well that according to the
8 Criminal Code of the former Yugoslavia, it was strictly prohibited to
9 kill civilians and to kill prisoners of war; isn't that right?
10 A. The only thing that I can hold against Brne is --
11 Q. Is that an answer to my question? I am asking you whether you
12 know that everyone had to know that the Criminal Code strictly prohibited
13 the killing of prisoners of war.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. So Brne had to know that, like all the other men from his unit,
16 that the law strictly prohibited this; right?
17 A. Just like you.
18 Q. That's not an answer to my question.
19 A. Dusan Domazet taught you something, I think.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges, what kind of an answer is
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Who is Dusan Domazet? I don't
23 know who this person is.
24 The question Mr. Seselj has put to you is this: Whether
25 according to the Criminal Code in force, they could try war criminals; do
1 we agree?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
3 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
4 Q. In your view, Branislav Gavrilovic, Brne, Miroslav Skoric, Zuti,
5 and all the other members of this Intervention Company of Tomo Veljancic,
6 knew that it was a crime to kill a prisoner of war; did they know that?
7 A. Why are you asking me that?
8 Q. Well, what do you think about that? Were they aware of the fact
9 that this was a crime?
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] He's putting a question to you.
11 If prisoners of war are killed, this means there can be a penalty; is
12 this right?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, however the accused
14 asks me whether Brne, Major, Copo and Pajkovic knew that. How could I
15 know what four other men knew or thought?
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you say, then, that you
17 can't answer the question. Very well.
18 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Did all the people in your army know that it was prohibited to
20 kill prisoners of war?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Yes. Is it then a sound proposition that if all the Muslims in
23 the army knew that it was prohibited to know -- that it was forbidden to
24 kill prisoners of war, that all Muslims and all Croats knew that as well?
25 A. I don't deal in suppositions.
1 Q. All right. If your story were true, namely, that Brne's men
2 really killed three prisoners of war after they were taken prisoner, and
3 now they have a fourth one, how crazy should a man be if he already
4 committed a serious crime that even carries the death sentence, according
5 to Yugoslav law, to leave the only witness alive, give him safe passage
6 to the military police, and then visit him for another six days in prison
7 and bring him cigarettes and other gifts? Look, any criminal who'd kill
8 three men would kill a fourth one so as not to leave an eyewitness
9 behind. Now, explain this.
10 Why did they kill three prisoners and then they left you alive so
11 that you could testify about the crime some day? What's the logic in
13 A. Ask Brne, because Brne is the one who sent me greetings during
14 1997 and 1998, during the election campaigns, from one of your presidents
15 from the Dobrinja municipality. I mean, president of one of the
16 municipal committees of the Serb Radical Party who saw Brne and who sent
17 me greetings in Sarajevo through this man.
18 Q. So what does this have to do with anything? Did he consider you
19 to be a friend? Is that why he sends greetings?
20 A. Well, ask Brne.
21 Q. Well, Brne gave me a statement, too, and I left it as the fourth
22 one for today. So I have Brne's statement about this same event, except
23 that I left it for the end as a real treat. So if you don't eat up too
24 much of my time, I hope that we get to this treat.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, for your
1 information, you have approximately 30 minutes left.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Did you plan a break,
3 Mr. President, because it's already 6.00 now.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment. We might not have
5 to have a break. One or two breaks. One, it's so riveting that I forget
6 about the breaks, and the interpreters need breaks.
7 I've been here since 6.00 in the morning, and I can go on through
8 the night.
9 We shall now have a 15-minute break and resume at a quarter past
10 6.00, because we have to finish with this witness today. We shall resume
11 again at a quarter to [as interpreted] 6.00.
12 --- Recess taken at 6.00 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 6.17 p.m.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed.
15 I believe that you have 30 minutes left, not a minute more. This
16 is what the Registrar just told me.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I will do my best, that we finish
18 before 7.00, but you know that that doesn't depend on me only.
19 Could we please see on the ELMO this document number II, Roman
20 numeral II.
21 Q. You know who Rajko Golijanin is; right?
22 A. The surname is familiar, the name not.
23 Q. He states here that he knows you well. He gave you a
24 statement -- he gave me a statement that arrived yesterday, and he
25 describes there -- let's try to move through this statement faster, if
1 you don't mind, and all of this in order to finish today so you don't
2 have to come back tomorrow. Now, you deal with that.
3 He describes here when he was mobilised in the Army of
4 Republika Srpska, that he was trained for reconnaissance, and then he
5 says in the second paragraph, during the fight for Golo Brdo, he was at
6 the communications centre, the barracks in Blazuj. He also says that
7 Branislav Gavrilovic at that time was in very poor health, and he asked
8 him to drive him and to help him on that day.
9 Do you remember the driver who drove Brne to you?
10 A. No, because Brne was perfectly healthy. The way he kicked
11 Zivko Krajisnik twice so forcefully, an ill man, a wounded man, could not
12 do that.
13 Q. I'm asking you: Do you know who drove Brne to you when you were
14 being taken down Igman?
15 A. No.
16 Q. All right. Golijanin tells us here that Brne was mostly
17 interested in what was going on with his co-fighters from the unit under
18 the command of Zuti, and he told him to drive him to the road, "to the
19 road that our fighters are going to reach when they come down from
20 Igman," because he wanted to greet them.
21 Now could you please show the third paragraph on the ELMO.
22 Now, Golijanin says:
23 "The fighters were arriving but I realised that they were
24 bringing a person who had a flak-jacket and was not carrying a weapon.
25 This caught my attention, and then I realised that it was an enemy
1 prisoner of war. I didn't understand then why he wore a flak-jacket, but
2 when I looked at him, he seemed familiar. I remembered he was a waiter
3 from a Sarajevo cafe, but I didn't remember which one. Only later, I
4 realised that Miroslav Skoric, Zuti, had taken off his own flak-jacket or
5 taken another soldier's and that he gave it to the prisoner in order to
6 keep him safe."
7 That is what he says, and you don't remember this man, that he
8 was in Brne -- with Brne when you got down there?
9 A. No.
10 Q. All right. In paragraph 4, he says:
11 "Since all the soldiers from the unit that was commanded by
12 Miroslav Skoric, Zuti, gathered together, he decided that we transfer the
13 enemy soldier to the barracks in Blazuj. In the car with me were
14 Miroslav Skoric, Zuti, Branislav Gavrilovic, Brne, and the enemy prisoner
15 of war.
16 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter cannot keep up with this pace.
17 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
18 Q. So you claim that Brne was driving, and this man states that he
19 was driving and that Zuti, Brne and you were in the car?
20 A. Brne was driving. It's a Golf, with two cars [as interpreted].
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Slow down, both of you, slow
22 down. The interpreters are having a hard time.
23 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
24 Q. This is why this statement is interesting. He describes that he
25 took you to the barracks in Blazuj, that Zuti handed you over to the
1 officer in charge, and that he, Golijanin, took Brne to Ilidza, and then
2 he says, and this is important, this is particularly important in his
3 statement, the last paragraph on the first page and then we are going to
4 turn to the second page:
5 "I saw Perica Koblar another time after the war. That happened
6 in 1996, at the time of the first elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina after
7 the war. As a representative of the Serb Renewal Movement, I took a
8 helicopter that belonged to the international forces from Sarajevo to
9 Banja Luka, where there was a political meeting that was organised by the
10 OSCE. Perica Koblar was in the same helicopter, who had set out to the
11 same meeting in the capacity of an independent candidate for the
12 Parliament of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina."
13 Do you remember this helicopter flight to Banja Luka?
14 A. In 1996, I flew to Banja Luka as head of the Election Staff of
15 Vladimir Srebrov.
16 Q. Possibly, but do you remember the helicopter flight? Did you
17 take this helicopter?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Do you remember that Golijanin was in the same helicopter with
21 A. No.
22 Q. All right. He remembers you and he says that you were in the
23 same helicopter. I would not have known of this helicopter had Golijanin
24 not written to me about this. We haven't mentioned the helicopter here
25 yet. All right.
1 Now, this is what Golijanin says:
2 "Since Koblar's statements to Sarajevo newspapers that I read do
3 not correspond to the truth at all, and I am an eyewitness to that truth,
4 I asked him why he gave the journalist that response. He answered me,
5 'It had to be that way. What can you do?' The following persons were
6 also in the helicopter, and they can confirm these words:
7 Mirnes Ajanovic, president of the BOS party, and his vice-president whose
8 name I do not remember, as well as Fadil Hadzic, president of the Workers
9 Party, as well as a few representatives of other parties."
10 Do you remember this conversation with Golijanin on the
12 A. Not the conversation. The only conversation I remember, and I
13 don't remember the last name, was the one with Todor, who was president
14 of the Municipal Committee of the Serbian Radical Party in Sarajevo. I
15 don't remember Golijanin.
16 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the question.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On that helicopter, there were
18 usually at least 15 of us, the representatives of all political parties.
19 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Do you know this Mirnes Ajanovic?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Was he with you in the helicopter?
23 A. I think he was.
24 Q. Do you know Fadil Hadzic, president of the Workers Party?
25 A. I cannot recall Fadil.
1 Q. Rajko Golijanin claims that; that you were in the same
2 helicopter, that you talked about it, and that that is the explanation
3 you gave him. It had to be that way. What can I say?
4 A. That's not true, and in 1996 I did not give any statements to any
5 newspaper in Sarajevo in relation to the war.
6 Q. You made statements already in 1994 and 1995?
7 A. Not in 1994 -- yes, in 1994, a statement was recorded about the
8 escape, and that is the only thing that is there, and then also what was
9 published by a Catholic weekly. There was a report.
10 Q. So it was on TV and in the Catholic weekly. See? So
11 Rajko Golijanin is very well informed. Tell me, so you were in Serb
12 imprisonment for seven months?
13 A. From the 17th of July, 1993, to the 17th of February, 1994.
14 Q. Is that seven months? Was my math right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Was any Muslim prisoner in prison for more time than you?
17 A. Well, as for those that I found there, it is certain that at
18 least 70 stayed on after I left --
19 Q. Who were there?
20 A. -- that I found at Kula and who were there after I escaped.
21 Q. Is it true that the Muslim authorities didn't want to exchange
22 you at all, although the Serbs were offering you for an exchange?
23 A. Vladimir Srebrov and I both had our suspicions that this was a
24 political question, namely, that the Serbs would not release us, because
25 allegedly later on after the escape, it was said whenever
1 Vladimir Srebrov and I were requested, and these exchanges, the Serb
2 authorities asked for 50 or 100 Serbs from Sarajevo respectively.
3 Q. Isn't it true that you never escaped from Kula, but the Serb
4 authorities let you stroll over to the Muslims?
5 A. Do you realise how -- how senseless this question is?
6 Q. I think that what is far more senseless is that they should keep
7 you there in prison for a long time and nobody expressed any interest in
8 you, and nobody needed you, and why would the Serbs keep you in prison
9 forever and the Muslims didn't want to exchange you?
10 A. In that case, why would they bring me to the Muslim positions if
11 they knew that they would kill me? I'd have to explain who I was and
12 what I had done with all the messages of the International Red Cross.
13 Probably somebody would have broken my back.
14 Q. You weren't sent to the Muslim positions, you were sent to
15 UNPROFOR positions, to the positions of the UN forces, and then the UN
16 forces took you in and handed you over to the Muslim authorities; isn't
17 that right?
18 A. That is not right. General Smith was at the airport then, and
19 then the Serbs, after my escape, asked General Smith -- allegedly, they
20 said that I was a Serb soldier who got lost and reached the airport, and
21 then my messages sent to the Red Cross saved me from having UNPROFOR
22 return me to Kula. And they contacted the International Committee of the
23 Red Cross to check my identification number, the one that you saw
25 Q. What I have here is your birth certificate, too, and your
1 mother's certificate. I have found everything about you.
2 A. You obviously have everything, but still there's still something
3 lacking, as far as you're concerned.
4 Q. Don't be rude. Behave yourself here. You know, you cannot make
5 statements like that.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, no comments, please.
7 Refrain from comments. Let the accused put questions to you. Refrain
8 from comments. It's useless. When Mr. Seselj makes comments, we also
9 tell him to refrain from it.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you are giving him a lot of
11 latitude in harassing witnesses and victims and turning them into guilty
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, the cross-examination
14 procedure is such that the accused is entitled to check your credibility.
15 This is what the procedure allows. He can ask you very embarrassing
16 questions. This is provided for in this procedure, and we have to live
17 with it. He's not insulting you. As long as he's not attacking the
18 honour of your family and so on, he can ask all the questions he wants.
19 He can ask questions to you as to how you escaped. He can put questions
20 to you regarding the ensuing detention after that to try and prove his
21 case. He's entitled to it.
22 Please proceed, Mr. Seselj.
23 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
24 Q. And then when the United Nations turned you over to Muslim
25 authorities, you were so suspect that the Muslim military authorities
1 arrested you?
2 A. They did not arrest me. That's one. And, two, concerning my
3 escape, you already saw an official document from the International
4 Red Cross. You saw the official document of the state commission, and
5 you can check, because you have so many connections. You can also check
6 with Skiljevic, who was then director of the Kula Prison.
7 Q. I'm not interested in those things. I'm interested -- to whom
8 did the UN forces turn you over?
9 A. At my personal request, because General Smith insisted that I
10 must wait for the morning and that in the morning I go to a third country
11 by plane, with mediation of the International Red Cross --
12 Q. I really don't want to know about this. Tell me, briefly, to
13 whom did the UN forces turn you over? What Rupert Smith told you, I
14 don't want to know.
15 A. To the BH Army.
16 Q. To whom, your unit, 101 Brigade?
17 A. No, to the Dobrinja Brigade that was close to the airport.
18 Q. And who took you in there?
19 A. The security officer on duty.
20 Q. And where did they put you up?
21 A. First I called my mother on the phone, and then they locked me up
22 in the basement.
23 Q. They locked you up in the basement?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And you were not arrested?
1 A. No, they shut me there, and nothing was said to me.
2 Q. Well, usually when somebody is locked up in the basement, it's a
3 form of arrest. If you don't want to call it arrest, let's say that they
4 deprived you of liberty as they locked you up in the basement.
5 A. Well, if you want to use legal terminology they deprived me of
6 liberty for that night.
7 Q. Well, deprivation of liberty, in legalese is called arrest. And
8 after that night, where did they take you?
9 A. The next day, men from my unit came, but prior to that I showed
10 Ismet Hadzic where the Serb positions were.
11 Q. And where did they take you then?
12 A. To my unit.
13 Q. And where did they put you up then?
14 A. In the room where the police was stationed.
15 Q. And how much time did they spend talking to you?
16 A. I really don't know. You have that statement. I think there is
17 a date on that statement, when it was completed, when the investigation
18 was completed.
19 Q. I'm asking you how much time you spent in the interview with the
20 investigative authorities, the military police of the 101 Brigade.
21 A. 15 to 20 days.
22 Q. You escaped on the 7th of February; right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. For 12 days, you were locked up, plus that 1 day in that unit
25 from Nedzarici -- where did you say they were from?
1 A. Dobrinja.
2 Q. Okay, Dobrinja Brigade. That's 21 days. From the 7th of
3 February, if you add 21 days, that's 10th of March. Did I do the sums
4 right? That was not a leap year.
5 So on the 10th of March, the interviews with you were completed,
6 and the statement is dated 19th February, so it was ante-dated?
7 A. Which statement do you mean?
8 Q. The one you gave to the Muslim military authorities, the one we
9 showed here.
10 A. I've already said I don't know what the date on that statement
11 is, but at least 15 or 20 days I spent writing.
12 Q. Very well, very well. I believe you now, unlike what you said
14 Where were you accommodated while the interviews were going on?
15 A. By day, the first few days I was in those rooms with Sacir Cedic,
16 and then I was taken over by two investigators. And by day I would be
17 outside of the barracks and in the evenings I wrote my statement.
18 Q. Where?
19 A. In the apartment.
20 Q. Which apartment?
21 A. Mine.
22 Q. Where is that apartment?
23 A. In the building where you said you were as a student.
24 Q. 27 July, 61?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. That's not where I lived when I was a student.
2 A. You said yesterday you lived there.
3 Q. It's not a students' hostel, you know. So when the interviews
4 were all over, you signed that statement?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. So on that statement, there should be -- the date should be the
7 10th of March or thereabouts, but we see, on the first page of the
8 statement, "19 February." On that day, 19 February, you gave the
9 statement voluntarily and with your full mental capacity; is that
10 correct? That's written on the first page of the statement.
11 A. No, no, it's not that statement.
12 Q. This other one in small lettering, this is 34 densely-typed
13 pages, it couldn't be any denser. You signed that statement; that's your
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Is that the statement you wrote in hand and then they retyped it?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. So this statement, I suppose, took two days only to type; there
19 are only -- there are 100 standard pages?
20 A. It took me ten days to write. It was in agreement with the
22 Q. Why, then, does it say that on 19 February, you see it in the
23 preamble, on the premises of the Service of Military Security of the
24 101st Motorised Brigade, you gave voluntarily and in your full mental
25 capacity to the authorised officer, et cetera, when it was completed
1 within 20 days?
2 A. That's something you should ask of the commander of the
3 Security Service and the officer in charge in the 101st Brigade.
4 Q. Even that is a satisfactory answer. Now, explain, why are there
5 two statements with different texts, but dated the same day, 19th
6 February, 1994, and you signed both of them? One statement has a larger
7 spacing. I can show it on the ELMO. You signed it. You signed every
8 page and you signed at the end. And the other page is 34 densely-typed
9 pages, also signed by you. The date on both of them is 19 February. Why
10 were two statements made? I can't understand this.
11 A. This second statement was given to the Commission for
12 Investigation of War Crimes.
13 Q. When?
14 A. End of February -- sorry, not end of February. Not before the
15 20th of March.
16 Q. But it doesn't say it was made on the 20th of March. It says it
17 was made on the 19th of February. There's no such date in March.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you have ten
19 minutes left.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I hope you noticed
21 that I did not waste this time for nothing, although ten minutes are
22 left. You see very mysterious things are happening, things that we did
23 not know before. That's why I devoted some attention to that, concerning
24 the statements given by this witness. Everything is so mysterious, it
25 couldn't be any more mysterious.
1 Since only ten minutes are left, I have here a statement by
2 Mladen Popovic, who also --
3 Q. Have you heard of him? Is that Copo?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Who is he, then?
6 A. I've never heard that name.
7 Q. You don't know Copo's name?
8 A. No.
9 Q. He gave a statement here. We can show it on the ELMO, although I
10 don't want to spend time on it. I want to move on to
11 Branislav Gavrilovic, Brne's statement, and finish with that. His
12 statement is completely identical to Zuti's statement concerning the way
13 you were captured and transferred to the military police.
14 Do you want to see it?
15 A. No need.
16 Q. You don't doubt that it's identical?
17 A. Why would I doubt it? If it's identical to the Major's, it can't
18 be -- what Major said that he found, three dead men, can't be true.
19 Q. Okay. Let's move on to the statement of Branislav Gavrilovic,
20 Brne. I have two of his statements, but we can't go through both of
22 You can put the first page on the ELMO. Branislav Gavrilovic,
23 Brne. Number 4. [In English] First page.
24 [Interpretation] He makes a distinction between the time when he
25 was a volunteer of the Serbian Radical Party and, on the other hand, when
1 he joined the unit Tomo Veljancic at Ilidza. I don't suppose it's very
2 interesting for you. We'll leave it aside.
3 Let's move on to page 2. You see here the details of
4 Branislav Gavrilovic, his career during the war, until the time he joined
5 the unit Tomo Veljancic, and he says due to poor health, injuries to his
6 spine and stomach, the command of the unit was taken over by Zuti. We
7 see that on the second page.
8 On the following page, number 3, paragraph number 2, he says:
9 "In the unit, there were no volunteers of the Serb Radical Party.
10 The unit was made up of the Serbs from that part of Sarajevo and those
11 who had fled from the Muslim part of Sarajevo and became duty-bound to
12 join the military."
13 Then he speaks about the training in the Savo Derikonja Training
14 Centre, and then he speaks about the operation at Mount Igman. Brne says
15 he followed the operation from the communication centre of the Command of
16 the brigade and that he was there with Mile Staka, assistant commander of
17 the Igman Brigade. Have you heard of him?
18 A. No.
19 Q. He goes on to describe --
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Ferrara.
21 MR. FERRARA: Yes. It's not very clear, the situation with these
22 statements of Gavrilovic. The accused disclosed to us two statements
23 just during the last break. On the first page of this statement is a
24 statement of the 11th of June, 2008, so it's today, faxed today at 1.54.
25 The second page of this statement is another statement faxed yesterday,
1 10 June 2008 at 2.00. That was given on the 9th of June, as you can
2 check at page 4 of the statement, and I received this sort of
3 authentication or something on the 10th of June. Page 5 of the
5 So I don't understand how many statements we have, when they were
6 given, when they were -- and also this first statement was -- sought
7 authentication in a different date, also it's today.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, can you explain
9 this to us, these two statements?
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]...
11 said that there are two statements. First I got the longer one that
12 begins with the second page marked "2" in hand, and then I asked for an
13 additional statement and I got it on one page, where Branislav Gavrilovic
14 stated very clearly when he was a volunteer of the Serb Radical Party and
15 when he moved on to Ilidza, because I noticed it was missing from his
16 main statement, and that was the only reason.
17 The larger statement arrived yesterday. This one -- the other
18 one arrived today. I said that there were two statements.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So there are two statements,
20 one which is dated the 10th of June, which comprises several pages, and
21 today's statement, which is only one page long.
23 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
24 Q. We are on page 3 now. Towards the bottom of that page,
25 Branislav Gavrilovic, Brne, describes how he went out to meet his fellow
1 combatants, to congratulate them on their victory, and he says that along
2 the whole way he was coming across various soldiers of various units of
3 the Army of Republika Srpska, and after a while Skoric and members of his
4 unit showed up. "I noticed," he says, "that they were leading a prisoner
5 wearing a flak-jacket."
6 So you got that flak-jacket before you met with him? You got it
7 already at Golo Brdo?
8 A. Not true.
9 Q. He says it's true. Brne is a greater man than I, and I believe
10 everything he says.
11 A. He's certainly a greater man than you, but this statement is not
13 Q. How tall are you?
14 A. I'm speaking about human beings.
15 Q. I'm asking, how tall are you?
16 A. 172.
17 Q. You could be a little shorter than that. And he says:
18 "When all the fighting men gathered together, Skoric ordered that
19 they all return to base near Ilidza, and the fact that I came by car, I
20 used to transport the prisoner to the barracks in Blazuj. Skoric turned
21 over the prisoner to the military police in Blazuj, and I returned."
22 So he confirms in his statement what his other fighting man said,
23 so that's not true, I suppose.
24 A. It's not true, and I hope the Prosecution will call another two
25 survivors who were there with me, who will confirm that Brne took me to
1 that prison. He threatened Despotovic, he didn't hit anyone, but he
2 said, "If I had arrested you, you would not have lived."
3 Q. Who said that?
4 A. Brne.
5 Q. To whom?
6 A. Those three of my other fellows who were arrested by the military
7 police of Republika Srpska.
8 Q. So why did he leave you alive so that you can testify how his
9 fellow combatants killed three of your men?
10 A. You have to ask Brne. I have to say that again.
11 Q. You said in examination-in-chief that I commanded that unit;
13 A. I didn't say that you --
14 Q. What did you say?
15 A. I said I was captured by the unit of Branislav Gavrilovic, Brne,
16 and that he, himself, said --
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, we have a statement by
18 Mr. Gavrilovic which is worth what it's worth, but he says that when he
19 arrived, you were already a prisoner and you were wearing a flak-jacket.
20 This is what he says. And after that, you were taken to the military
21 police. This is his version. Maybe he's telling the truth, maybe he's
22 lying; I don't know. This is what we have.
23 Mr. Seselj is putting questions to you. You stand by your
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course, and I wish to repeat
1 again. The three other men are alive who saw Brne bring me to prison, to
2 Blazuj, and he didn't mistreat those three men. He just said, "Had I
3 captured you, you wouldn't be sitting there now." Those men are alive.
4 I don't know about Dragan Despotovic, but the other two, my fellow
5 combatants, are, thank goodness, alive and well.
6 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
7 Q. During examination-in-chief, you said Branislav Gavrilovic, Brne,
8 led a unit which was under my command. That's what you said in the
9 examination-in-chief, and that must be in the transcript somewhere.
10 A. A Chetnik unit of Branislav Gavrilovic, whose god, whose
11 number-one man is Vojislav Seselj, and when he threatened
12 Zivko Krajisnik, he said that not Mladic, not Karadzic, not Krajisnik
13 could save him, because you are the be-all, end-all, the god in Sarajevo
14 and the Republika Srpska.
15 Q. First of all, we in the Serbian Radical Party and the
16 Serbian Chetnik Movement never mention God's name in vain. There are no
17 gods among us, and I would be very proud if this unit of Brne's and that
18 Intervention Company was under my platoon. That would make me very
19 proud. Unfortunately, it was not.
20 During the examination-in-chief, you said that Brne at one point
21 in time swore at Mladic, Krajisnik and Karadzic; isn't that right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Why didn't you say that in any other statement of yours, that he
24 cursed Mladic's, Krajisnik's and Karadzic's mother?
25 A. Those words were addressed to Zivko Krajisnik, and when he swore
1 at Karadzic and Mladic and Krajisnik, that was in the context of the fact
2 that Zivko Krajisnik couldn't be saved by anybody.
3 Q. I'm asking you now, if that is something very vivid, you have a
4 Serb soldier, Serb officer, commander, who at a given point curses the
5 mother of the main commander of the Army of Republika Srpska, the
6 president of Republika Srpska and president of the National Assembly of
7 Republika Srpska, as far as I'm concerned that is something that is
8 lodged in one's memory. But you don't mention that in any of these two
9 statements given to the Muslim authorities or in the statement that you
10 gave in 2004 to The Hague investigators. You mention that cursing and
11 swearing for the first time during yesterday's examination-in-chief.
12 A. It must be in the first statement after I fled from Kula.
13 Q. The cursing of these people's mothers is not mentioned in any of
14 the statements.
15 MR. FERRARA: Your Honours.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, your time is up.
17 Mr. Ferrara, what were you saying?
18 MR. FERRARA: That is exactly what the witness mentioned in the
19 statement he gave to the ICTY investigator, page 5 of the statement,
20 paragraph 12, where he says that Brne said:
21 "You Serb bastard, no Krajisnik, Karadzic or Mladic will save you
22 now. In fact, Karadzic, Krajisnik and Mladic, they are nothing in
23 Bosnia ..."
24 And so on.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this is really quite
1 unbelievable. Nowhere in any of the statements does it say that this
2 witness said that Brne swore at Mladic, Krajisnik and Karadzic and cursed
3 their mother. That is the worst type of swear word that you can use in
4 the Serbian language. It's quite another thing to say they could all
5 fuck off, Krajisnik, et cetera. You can say that when you're having a
6 sort of loose exchange with someone, but I'm afraid that this was not
7 properly translated.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, we have to stop now
9 because we are five minutes away from the end.
10 On paragraph 12 of the statement, what Brne would have said about
11 Momcilo Krajisnik, Karadzic and Mladic, but you are right to say that
12 nothing is mentioned about the mother. All right, that is --
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have to tell you one more thing.
14 I'm afraid of this translation in English, and I'd like to know
15 what expression was used in English. If the expression was used that
16 begins with the letter "F," then that certainly doesn't have the same
17 meaning in Serbian and English. In English, that is a swear word,
18 something ugly is mentioned, whereas in Serbian this has become the
19 vernacular. When you say "zajebancija," it means it's a joke, it's just
20 joking around, and in fact in English you can use perhaps a more vulgar
21 term for "joke." But if the word was used that I think was used was
22 actually used, then it has quite a different meaning.
23 The witness did not say that Karadzic's mother was invoked and
24 that the swear word cursed their mothers.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You are raising an
1 objection on a potential translation issue, so we shall ask the
2 Translation Department to translate paragraph 12 of this statement, to
3 translate from B/C/S into English.
4 Mr. Ferrara, do you have any redirect?
5 MR. FERRARA: No, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I'd like to thank you,
7 since you've stayed here for two days. On behalf of the Bench, I would
8 like to wish you a safe journey home, and I wish you all the best in your
9 future endeavours and teaching.
10 I shall ask the usher to escort you out of the courtroom.
11 [The witness withdrew]
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm now addressing the
14 We don't have time to bring the witness into the courtroom and
15 ask him to take the solemn declaration. He was waiting outside, and we
16 thought that he might be able to come in. So, Mr. Mundis, what about the
17 witness for tomorrow?
18 MR. MUNDIS: The witness that's currently listed on the schedule,
19 who was to start testifying today, will be available to testify tomorrow,
20 Your Honours.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Mundis.
22 I believe you've asked to have two and a half hours. With all
23 the objections and interruptions, if you have two and a half hours and
24 Mr. Seselj has two and a half hours, we will need at least two days,
25 which means that the witness will have to stay on until Tuesday. Can you
1 check this with him, to see that he is available?
2 MR. MUNDIS: We will attempt to do so tomorrow morning,
3 immediately prior to the witness testifying. I don't believe he's any
4 longer in the building. We'll endeavor to do that first thing in the
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
7 For the time being, we have two and a half hours for the
8 Prosecution and two and a half hours for Mr. Seselj, but experience has
9 shown us that two and a half hours plus two and a half hours equals five
10 hours, but it will be longer than that and the witness will have to stay
11 on until next week.
12 It is now 7.00 and time to adjourn.
13 Mr. Seselj.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just briefly, according to reliable
15 information, that witness can't wait to stay in The Hague the whole
16 weekend, over the weekend.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All the better. We will have
18 no problems, therefore.
19 It is now 7.00. See you tomorrow.
20 Let me remind you that we shall start our hearing at 9.00
21 tomorrow morning, so make your arrangements, Mr. Seselj. Make sure
22 you're here at 9.00 tomorrow.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 12th day
25 of June, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.