1 Thursday, 12 June 2008
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, can you call the
6 case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you and good morning, Your Honours. This
8 is case number IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Today, we are Thursday, the
10 12th of June, 2008. I would like to greet the representatives of the
11 Prosecution, Mr. Seselj, as well as the Registrar, the usher, and all the
12 people assisting us in this courtroom.
13 We have a witness who is about to enter the courtroom. I believe
14 that Mr. Mundis would like to say something. But before that, I would
15 like to remind Mr. Mundis of the fact that the Trial Chamber has asked
16 him to give us an updated list of all the witnesses that you are going to
17 call based on your 65 ter list. We need this list, and I personally need
18 this list also because I need to see whether or not we need to take some
19 time off the Prosecution's time, given that some witnesses have stated
20 that they wish to be Defence witnesses. So this may have an impact on
21 your time allocation. I need to have this list as soon as possible.
22 I know that this takes a lot of time, you need to check some of
23 the data, but I had asked to have this months ago already.
24 Mr. Mundis.
25 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Good morning, Your Honours, and to Dr. Seselj and everyone in and
2 around the courtroom.
3 With respect to the request, I will endeavour to have that to the
4 Trial Chamber by Tuesday of next week. I will, as I've indicated before,
5 state that the Prosecution position is that notwithstanding the fact that
6 some of the witnesses have indicated that they would prefer to be Defence
7 witnesses, that, in and of itself, is not sufficient reasons for the
8 Prosecution to remove those names and that the list that we will be
9 providing is substantially the same list that has been filed earlier with
10 the Trial Chamber. But I will provide an updated list that obviously no
11 longer contains the names of those witnesses who have already testified.
12 As Your Honours are aware, several weeks ago, following some
13 discussions on the issue and the providing of a lengthy list to
14 Dr. Seselj, he specifically requested the disclosure of a large amount of
15 video material in the Prosecution's possession. This video material
16 excludes suspect interviews or any other taped interviews of any
17 witnesses or suspects. I do have today with me in the courtroom 11 hard
18 drives -- 11 hard drives containing approximately 3.000 gigabytes of
19 data. This represents approximately 6.600 hours of video material. We
20 are in a position to disclose that to Dr. Seselj today.
21 I understand, from a logistical point of view, that there may be
22 some issues with the Detention Unit concerning this material. It's in
23 five boxes on a trolley immediately behind me.
24 Before disclosing this, however, the Prosecution would
25 respectfully request a specific order from the Trial Chamber directing
1 Dr. Seselj, number one, to return all of this material, these hard
2 drives, to the Office of the Prosecutor upon the completion of these
3 proceedings. That's point 1. We would also ask for an order directing
4 Dr. Seselj not to copy this video material and, number three, a specific
5 order directing Dr. Seselj not to disclose this material to anyone who is
6 not associated with his Defence team.
7 I also feel duty-bound to place on the record the fact that the
8 overwhelming bulk of this video material was provided to the Office of
9 the Prosecutor by commercial broadcasting companies and, therefore, is
10 subject to applicable copyright with respect to this material. Our view
11 is that the only, and I stress "only" legitimate use for this material by
12 the accused is for the preparation of his case.
13 I point this out because there are indications that Dr. Seselj in
14 the past has published some of the witness statements taken by OTP that
15 have been disclosed to him, and some of these statements have been
16 published in his books. And in our respectful submission, in light of
17 the purpose for which this material -- this video material is being
18 disclosed, and because it is subject to various property rights by the
19 commercial broadcasters who provided it to the Office of the Prosecutor
20 for purposes of investigation and use at trial, it would be
21 inappropriate, in our view, for Dr. Seselj to use this material for any
22 other purpose; for example, creation of documentaries or other broadcasts
23 or rebroadcasts of this material simply on the grounds that it was
24 provided to him by the OTP. That is not, in our respectful view, an
25 appropriate use for this material, and we would specifically ask the
1 Trial Chamber to issue an order to the effect that, again, this material
2 needs to be returned, that it is not to be copied, and it is not to be
3 disclosed or in any other way broadcast or turned into commercial
4 documentaries, or commercial films, or in any other way rebroadcast.
5 So we would ask for an order from the Trial Chamber to that
6 effect, and we believe that that is a prudent course of action, given the
7 history of some of the other material that has been disclosed to
8 Dr. Seselj and which has subsequently worked its way into the public
9 domain as a result of publishing and other steps taken by Dr. Seselj.
10 Thank you, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have two questions of a
12 technical nature to put to you, Mr. Mundis.
13 The first question is this: If these copies are given to
14 Mr. Seselj, can he forward them to his associates in Belgrade, according
15 to you, so that they can watch these videos, which represent 6.000 hours
16 of viewing time? Mr. Seselj, of course, can't view these images for
17 6.000 hours. No individual can view these images for 6.000 hours. So as
18 he can't do it himself, from a technical point of view, he will give us
19 his point of view, but I anticipate this. I'm just asking you whether
20 according to what you have just told us, he is entitled -- if the
21 Trial Chamber were to grant this, if he is entitled to transmit this or
22 disclose this material to his associates. That's my first question.
23 MR. MUNDIS: The answer to that is "yes." As I indicated before,
24 it would be a legitimate use of this material for Dr. Seselj and members
25 of his team to review this material. And, again, we fully understand the
1 amount of time. That was one reason why we produced a multi-hundred-page
2 spreadsheet of this information. And you will recall Dr. Seselj said he
3 wanted all of it.
4 It is a huge amount of material. It is in an electronic format
5 that would allow it to be watched by way of computers. The earlier
6 spreadsheet that we gave him, which again was, I believe, 700 or 800 --
7 more than a thousand pages, provides detailed information about what's
8 contained on the videos that are on the hard drives. But it's a simple
9 question of using a cable, just like any other external hard drive,
10 plugging it into the computer, and by way of various media players that
11 are installed on computers, viewing the material. It would certainly be
12 a legitimate use for his associates to review the material. It would
13 not, in our respectful view, be a legitimate purpose or use of this
14 material if it were to be rebroadcast or turned into movies, or
15 documentaries, or anything of that nature, for the simple reason that the
16 material is subject to copyright laws and was provided to the Office of
17 the Prosecutor by commercial broadcasting entities for purposes of use in
18 investigative purposes or at trial.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The second question now, which
20 is partly illustrated by your previous answer. You have a spreadsheet
21 which represents some thousand pages, in which you have given a list of
22 all the videos contained in these images so you can follow. Now, at the
23 OTP I'm sure you have received videos from different sources, some videos
24 which were in the public domain and other videos which were of a private
25 nature, and you quite rightly mentioned this, with property rights,
1 commercial property rights, intellectual property and copyright issues.
2 So let's assume, because I don't have the spreadsheet in front of me so I
3 don't know where these videos come from, but let's assume that a
4 commercial company, let's take the case of the BBC, for instance, that
5 shot a report somewhere, the BBC has rights, has broadcasting rights.
6 Therefore, the BBC can demand of the person who might broadcast some of
7 its images, rights, so this may give rise to a problem.
8 On your spreadsheet, do you have clear references to these
9 videos? Have you indicated which videos are protected by copyright? And
10 the commercial firms that gave you these videos have said to you, "We are
11 prepared to give you these videos if they are not broadcast outside and
12 if you are prepared to pay for the copyright." Strictly speaking, they
13 could not object to these videos being broadcast in the courtroom, but
14 they can have something to say if these images are used in a commercial
16 So my question is a very simple one. On this list you have
17 prepared, have you clearly made a distinction what videos are in the
18 public domain and which videos could give rise to copyright issues?
19 MR. MUNDIS: No.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So this is a real problem. My
21 colleague has also a question to put.
22 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Mundis, I just wanted to ensure that when you
23 hand over the material to the accused, that there is a tool by which it
24 is possible to identify one of the entries in the registry that you are
25 giving into the video. Is it possible, when you sit with your list in
1 front of you and you come across a piece that you want to see, can you
2 then actually go from there and find the relevant spot in the CDs?
3 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honour, each of the various -- each of the 11
4 hard drives has an index of what is contained on that hard drive, so the
5 overall index that's a thousand pages long, in effect, has been broken up
6 into what is on each of the hard drives. So it is certainly possible to
7 look at the index for what's contained -- which files are on that hard
8 drive and then go to those files on the hard drive based on the ERN
9 number that's set forth on the index and which is the file name, if you
10 will, for each of the various clips.
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: So you can confirm that it is possible to
12 actually identify the material and find it on the CD-ROMs? Otherwise,
13 6.000 hours of video is useless, unless you have a very efficient tool to
14 find the pieces you want to see.
15 MR. MUNDIS: Absolutely, Your Honour, and this is precisely why
16 the first step of this process was the production of an index that would
17 allow Dr. Seselj to select whatever it is he wanted, and it was his
18 choice -- I stress that it was his choice for all of this material.
19 We're certainly not -- I'm not walking in here and dumping 6.600 hours of
20 video material on an unrepresented accused. This is material he
21 specifically asked for after we produced a detailed index that would
22 allow him to select whatever it is that he wanted, and it was partially
23 because of the fact that he demanded or asked for all of this material
24 that gave rise to our request that this material not form its way or make
25 its way into any commercial broadcasts or any other use of this material
1 that would be improper, in our respectful views.
2 Let me just make one other very brief comment about that use of
4 As the Presiding Judge has clearly indicated, some of this
5 material came from sources other than commercial broadcasters, such as a
6 victim or perhaps a witness who had a videotape of something that they
7 handed over to us. That would be subject to property rights in the same
8 way as something that was owned by the BBC, and so the real issue here is
9 that virtually all of this material someone owns the copyrights to, and
10 the fact that it may have been used in a trial here or put into the
11 public domain by way of broadcasting does not mean that it can then be
12 used for commercial purposes by anyone else.
13 And so our view is notwithstanding the fact that there's not a
14 tick box or a specific indication as to each of these videos, our view is
15 the only legitimate use for this material is for purposes of the trial or
16 perhaps for investigative lead purposes. This material is not being
17 disclosed so that Dr. Seselj can branch off into the broadcasting or
18 movie-making industry, following in the wake of his publishing career.
19 That is not, in our view, a responsible or legitimate use of this
20 material. It must be put to some kind of forensic use, and that is the
21 purpose for which it's being disclosed today, and that is why we have
22 specifically asked for an order that would include a provision that the
23 material be returned, that it not be copied, and that it not be disclosed
24 or rebroadcast outside of Dr. Seselj's team, in order to preserve the
25 property rights of the individuals who provided the material to the
1 Tribunal for specific forensic purposes.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My colleague has a question.
3 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I wanted to know, in B/C/S or in
4 English, the spreadsheet. Is the spreadsheet in B/C/S or in English?
5 MR. MUNDIS: The spreadsheet is in English, Your Honour. It
6 would take a considerable period of time to translate this spreadsheet
7 into B/C/S. That would simply, in our respectful view, not be a good use
8 of our limited translation resources in order to undertake that kind of
10 I will state, however, that because many of the videos relate to
11 names, place names, dates, that it is possible, simply by looking at
12 these spreadsheets, to identify and narrow down what it is exactly that
13 we're looking for. And of course the original spreadsheet was provided
14 in English, and at the time when Dr. Seselj indicated that he would
15 accept these videos, he did indicate on the record that he would accept
16 the videos in their original language.
17 Much of this material, the actual videos themselves, are in
18 B/C/S; not all of them, of course. Many of them are also Western
19 broadcasts that are of a variety of languages, German, French, English,
20 et cetera.
21 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I have another question. You
22 said that these videos can be made available to Mr. Seselj's associates.
23 I wanted to know whether you mean all Seselj's associates or Mr. Seselj's
24 associates who have a confidentiality status.
25 MR. MUNDIS: We would submit that it would be the latter
1 category, Your Honours, those who have the confidentiality status, as
2 Your Honour has put it.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I shall now give the floor to
4 Mr. Seselj. As far as I know, this is the first time in the history of
5 justice that in the course of a trial, material is being disclosed which
6 may give rise to copyright issues. Therefore, legally speaking, this is
7 extremely complex. Mr. Seselj, I'm sure, will shed some light on this.
8 Mr. Seselj, what is your position on this? Would you like to
9 file submissions after what's been said? I'll give you the floor now.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I'd like to state my views
11 orally and to round off that question.
12 First of all, I have never published so far or disclosed to the
13 public, put in the public domain, any document that I received from the
14 Prosecutor, the Tribunal, or the Registry which is confidential in
15 nature, and I'm only bound by this -- the confidential nature of the
16 documents if the Registry writes something confidential which relates to
17 my state of health, for example, or my status, or anything like that,
18 with regard to my hunger strike, the financing of my Defence and so on
19 and so forth. Then the Registry can't make it incumbent on me to keep it
20 secret, so that is an abuse on the Registry's part.
21 As a rule, the Trial Chamber can proclaim something to be
22 confidential, and so can the OTP proclaim a document of its own as
24 Now, I never published any documents like that. In my books, I
25 published exclusively documents from the public domain.
1 Now, as far as the interviews are concerned which the Prosecution
2 conducted with various individuals -- with suspects, that is to say,
3 suspect interviews, I made public those documents if the suspect would
4 bring in -- were to bring in the video himself and then allow us to put
5 that down on paper. Then I did that, and I have the right to do that,
6 because the suspect decides whether he's going to make his interviews
7 accessible to the public or not. You can't conduct a suspect interview
8 and then tell the suspect, "You can't show that to anyone." That's
9 absolutely impossible. And that is how I published the interview with
10 Ljubisa Petkovic, for example, in my book entitled "The Devil's Disciple
11 and the Criminal Pope, John Paul II." I also published certain documents
12 that I came by from third parties, some interview statements and so on
13 and so forth, but that has nothing to do with the relationship between
14 the OTP and me and the Tribunal and me. That is up to my investigators
15 to find as they see fit.
16 Now, the specific question here is this: The Prosecution intends
17 to disclose to me a large quantity of videos, hard drives and so on, and
18 is seeking certain guarantees. First of all, it has asked that these
19 materials be returned after they've been used, and I don't think there's
20 any dispute there. Secondly, they want to ensure that that is not
21 published for commercial purposes. I didn't have that intention at all.
22 I don't engage in making documentary films, at least not so far, and it
23 is not my intention to do so in the future, so the Prosecution can rest
24 assured on that score. And I'm not mad enough to publish something like
25 that and then have to pay copyright and reduce myself to pauper status.
1 Thirdly or fourthly -- I don't know which point I reached, three
2 or four, but I'm going to have to make certain copies of some material
3 that I consider should be used during these proceedings. I'm going to
4 have to set that aside from that bulk of material over there because I
5 can't carry all that bulk.
6 Everything that I intend to use during the Defence case or in my
7 cross-examination of the Prosecution witnesses, I have to copy and
9 Fourthly or fifthly, whatever point I've reached, the 6.000-odd
10 video hours of material is not something that my associates can look
11 through. I have quite a big team of investigators and other legal
12 advisers who are not registered here. They're also working for me. But
13 it's a vast amount, and I'm going to have to have a whole team looking at
14 it and examining it. But all of them have not directly signed their
15 services to the Registry or anything else, but I'm responsible if they
16 violate any rules and regulations, and they have other things to do. So
17 the OTP is protected on that part. But, anyway, within a reasonable
18 space of time, a lot of people will be needed to get through that whole
19 material, and they will go through it and adhere to the principles of
20 confidentiality as applied.
21 And I think that this is much ado about nothing. It is
22 sufficient for the Prosecution to set out all the specific points for
23 which these materials cannot be used, cannot be copied, et cetera,
24 et cetera, and that's it, and everything shown in the courtroom, in
25 public, will be on my web site, and the Prosecution can't prevent me from
1 doing that. Everything that came out in court is on my internet web
2 site, and I think even yesterday's testimony and the cross-examination,
3 because my web site is the most popular in the world. What can I do
4 about it? That's a fact.
5 So as I say, only the material I use in court will no longer be
6 subject to any copyright and cannot be protected because it is in the
7 public domain and I can make it public, so I think we can stop the
8 discussion there, except that I can't have this material carted 'round
9 with me. They put a flak-jacket on me and all the rest of it, so maybe
10 I can carry it in my teeth. That's the only way I can do that. I can't
11 roll that roller around everywhere, and it should be delivered to me in
12 the detention centre. My advisers will come in at the end of the month,
13 and they will have to transport it to Belgrade, to a safe place, and when
14 the trial is over, say, in ten years' time and all the proceedings are
15 completed, we'll see how we are going to use that.
16 Now, as we're having an extensive procedural debate, I have an
17 issue to bring forward at this point.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I heard you and --
20 I heard what you said, so when you will have all this, you undertake not
21 to disclose to the outside. I heard you well, but there were two things
22 which you said which surprised me.
23 You said that, "The OTP will give all this to me at the end of
24 the proceedings." Maybe I misunderstood what the Prosecution said, what
25 Mr. Mundis said, but I understood that as soon as we rendered a decision,
1 he would immediately disclose all this material to you; not at the end of
2 the proceedings, but right away, as soon as possible. So this would be
3 disclosed to you as quickly as possible. However, once you're done using
4 it, once the trial is over, you must give all this back to the OTP.
5 But you added something else. You said that 10 years from now,
6 when everything's over, you intend to use all this material, so the issue
7 of copyright is not settled, obviously. Please explain, what do you mean
8 when you said that you're going to use it ten years from now?
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I think that the interpretation you
10 heard was disastrously bad. It was my understanding that the OTP was
11 offering that to me today, and I said that they should send it to prison
12 rather than having me lug this in my teeth, because I go to prison with
13 my hands tied and handcuffed.
14 Secondly, I said that I take it upon myself to return it to the
15 OTP when the trial is over, and the trial will be over in about ten
16 years, whatever. You see how slowly this has been moving along; 115
17 witnesses of theirs and 115 witnesses of mine, so that's at least three
18 years to go, and then the appeal, and then a possible review, and who
19 knows how long all of this is going to take, and who knows before what
20 court this trial is going to end if this Tribunal closes down in 2010.
21 So that is what I had said, knowing what would follow afterwards.
22 So I really think that the interpretation you heard is
23 disastrous. I simply cannot understand that that's the way they
24 interpreted it to you, the way you have interpreted it just now.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I fully understand what you
1 meant now. Thank you.
2 We have been seized by this oral motion. We have heard
3 Mr. Seselj's comments, and the Trial Chamber will issue its decision on
5 Let's now bring the witness into the courtroom.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Something else you would like
8 to address, Mr. Seselj?
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I've already informed you
10 about that, that I have to bring up a problem.
11 Last week, we were short of time, but the problem, although not
12 that important, is rather important, in my view, after all. After all,
13 you know that you are the only instance that I can address in terms of
14 irregular conditions of my time in custody in the Scheveningen Prison.
15 The problem occurred the week before last. Upon your
16 instructions, upon one of your orders, Ljubisa Petkovic, one of my key
17 Defence witnesses, was arrested. He was brought to the Detention Unit.
18 My group -- we are not in the same group. My group went out for a walk
19 on Friday the week before last. Ljubisa Petkovic appeared at the window.
20 He waved, and I waved back from the yard, and I shouted out to him, "Hang
21 on." Then the head of the prison guard barged in and sent us all back to
22 our cells, not only me, all of them, and he cut our walk short.
23 I have to tell you that at least one hour of walking in the fresh
24 air, and in Serbia and in civilised countries it is two hours, is an
25 inalienable right of detainees and prisoners. Nothing can bring that
1 into question. The fact that I am shouting in the yard does not mean
2 that I should be banned from walking, or because I raised my hands. No
3 one can stop me from walking or prohibit me. It was not only me.
4 There's nine of us in that group, and all of us were sent back to our
5 cells. So that's the way it was on that day.
6 The beginning of the following week, I think it was Monday, yet
7 again we went out for a walk. Ljubisa Petkovic no longer appeared on the
8 window. They probably scared him over there as well. Who knows what
9 they did to him, and I already thought that they had taken him to another
10 part of the building from which you could not see the yard where people
11 walk. All of a sudden, a prison guard in uniform appeared at the window.
12 Usually, once a month they climb up onto the roof to see what the
13 situation is like, so that a helicopter would not land or that somebody
14 would not try to escape from the roof. As I saw him on the roof this
15 time, I shouted to him if there's a ball up on the roof, that he should
16 throw one down. There were football and basketball balls up there from
17 previous years, and then when the inmates are playing ball, sometimes one
18 of the balls ends up on the roof. And he looked around on the roof and
19 he said, "There isn't a single ball here."
20 All of a sudden, the supervisor of the prison guard again rushes
21 into the yard. His name is (redacted). This time, he only interrupts my
22 walk, and he takes me back to the cell for no reason whatsoever. My
23 understanding was that somebody was asking to see me, the doctor, the
24 warden or whoever, and that's why I left. Otherwise, I would not have
25 gone. Next time, I said that I would not walk on my own two feet. He'd
1 have to carry me on his own back.
2 The third problem happened after Ljubisa Petkovic had arrived
3 here, and he arrived practically without anything. And he barely weighs
4 20 kilograms, he is so light, and I asked the guard who was on duty on my
5 floor to take ten telephone cards to him, and in writing I submitted a
6 request to the warden to have a little bit of money transferred from my
7 bank account to Ljubisa Petkovic's account. Three days later, the
8 telephone cards were returned to me, and the warden sent a letter -- the
9 deputy warden, a certain (redacted), because the warden retired, he said that
10 that was prohibited because all contact between Ljubisa Petkovic and me
11 is prohibited. So what kind of a contact is that?
12 This is not the first time that I helped another inmate to the
13 best of my ability, and it is customary, after all, that prison inmates
14 help each other out in this way.
15 I think that what happened was something truly incredible and
16 that it requires an intervention from the Trial Chamber itself.
17 I must say that as far as the previous warden was concerned, we
18 did have some problems with him, and I would occasionally speak of
19 problems with him, but the communication was rather favourable. There
20 weren't any incidents in prison. The warden knew how to take a stand in
21 the right way, more or less. But since he retired, this (redacted) who has
22 taken over is doing all sorts of things.
23 I really think that things have become unbearable this way.
24 I've talked only about the problems that concern me personally
25 and this one problem that concerns my entire group, and it seems that I
1 was to be blamed for all of it, and that is why everyone was deprived of
2 a walk on that day.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In what you said, there is part
4 of it that the Trial Chamber knew already about and another part that is
5 very new to us and that we're just discovering here now. Let's talk
6 about it.
7 The Trial Chamber decided that Mr. Petkovic should not have any
8 contact with you, since Mr. Petkovic as of now is a witness. He was a
9 Court witness, a Chamber witness, and because of this he's not supposed
10 to contact anyone. This is what we had told the administration of UNDU.
11 And you told us that you wanted to give him some money and some
12 telephone cards. That's what you just said. But since you're not
13 supposed to contact this person, giving him money might be a problem.
14 And we were informed of this, actually.
15 I do not know the financial situation of this person. If he has
16 financial problems, he must tell the warden about it, and the warden will
17 tell the Trial Chamber about it. He can call. He is allowed to get
18 money transfers from his family. This is normal, this is possible.
19 However, this question of waving -- you know, making signs and so
20 on, well, this should not have occurred if, at the UNDU, things were
21 designed in such a way that this would not be possible. Obviously, it
22 did happen, it's not very serious, but they decided to adjourn your
23 walks. I don't have much to say about this. It's their own problem at
24 the UNDU, and it's not up to the Trial Chamber to manage your detention
25 arrangements. It's up to -- it's their problem and it's their
1 competence, and I can't say much about this.
2 However, we will ask the warden to explain why there was a
3 contact at one point in time between the two of you.
4 Now, regarding this problem of the ball that ended up on the
5 roof, that's very minor, it's a minor incident, and it's true that it
6 should have been settled easily.
7 What you said is on the transcript now, and the Registrar is made
8 aware of all this in realtime, and he will find a solution. But the
9 Trial Chamber reaffirms that as of now, Mr. Petkovic is not supposed to
10 contact you for any reason whatsoever.
11 So I believe that this explains the situation.
12 I will convey the answer of the prison warden regarding all these
13 issues. We all agree on the fact that in a detention unit, it is best
14 for everyone to work in good cooperation; wardens, inmates and so forth.
15 Now let's bring the witness in the courtroom, please.
16 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis -- Mr. Dutertre, the
18 witness doesn't want any protection measures; right?
19 MR. DUTERTRE: [No interpretation]
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You do confirm that there is no
21 protective measures required?
22 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So this means that the witness
24 can be brought into the room without closing the blinds?
25 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Yes, that's what he said.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Okay, let's bring him into the
2 courtroom and we will ask him about all this.
3 [The witness entered court]
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning, sir. Let me
5 check whether you hear me in your own language. If you do, please say
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, before you take the
9 solemn declaration, I have a few questions to ask.
10 The first one: Before you came, the OTP had asked for protective
11 measures for you, and recently we just heard that you no longer wanted
12 protective measures to be granted. Could you tell us why you had asked
13 for protective measures and why you no longer want them?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because I wanted to prove before
15 all and before my own people that as far as the statements of mine are
16 concerned and what happened during the war, I wanted to prove things and
17 I wanted to show what justice is, because --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So this is a
19 personal decision. Nobody told you what you were supposed to do; you
20 decided this yourself. You were not threatened and no one exerted any
21 pressure? No one told you, "Do this," or, "Do that"?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Sir, have you
24 already testified in front of a court on the facts that -- on the events
25 that occurred in the former Yugoslavia or is it the first time that
1 you're testifying?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the first time that I'm
3 testifying here.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please give me your name, sir,
5 and date of birth.
6 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter cannot hear the witness.
7 There's too much background noise.
8 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Witness, the interpreters did not hear your
9 name, so would you please repeat it.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Sejdic, Safet. I was
11 born in 1969 in Visoko.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You were born in 1969. Could
13 you give us the month and the day?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 10th of November.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Do you have a job at the
16 moment? If so, which one?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. At present, I work in the
18 Public Transportation Company. I work on the maintenance of tram lines.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please read the solemn
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
22 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
23 WITNESS: SAFET SEJDIC
24 [The witness answered through interpreter]
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You may sit down.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me give you some
3 information. Let me tell you that there may be a problem or there may
4 not, but the Prosecutor is going to ask questions to you for two hours
5 and a half, and the accused will also ask questions for two hours and a
6 half, and the Judges will probably have questions, so we won't finish
7 today, which means that we will have to resume on Tuesday, next Tuesday.
8 Is this a problem for you, to stay over the weekend?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It does not constitute a problem.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No problem; very well.
11 The Prosecutor must have told you this already when he met with
12 you, but I will repeat it anyway. You will answer questions put to you
13 by the Prosecutor, and he will also show you documents. You must answer
14 his questions as accurately as possible so that we can assess your
15 answers. If you do not understand the meaning of a question, ask the
16 Prosecutor to repeat the question and reformulate it.
17 After this stage, the accused on your left, Mr. Seselj, will put
18 questions to you. He is entitled to do this by the procedure, and he
19 will ask questions to check your credibility and also put questions on
20 the evidence that you will have given when answering questions from the
21 Prosecutor, and the accused will have as much time for his questions as
22 the Prosecutor had. The three Judges on the Bench in front of you will
23 also ask some questions from time to time to shed some light on problems
24 or clear some problems.
25 We break for 20 minutes every hour and a half for technical
1 reasons. The tapes -- the video and the audiotapes need to be changed.
2 We started at 9.00. Therefore, the first break is scheduled for 10.30.
3 If at any point in time you don't feel well, you feel uneasy, you
4 want the proceedings to stop, just raise your hand and ask me to stop and
5 to adjourn the hearing for a moment, and we'll do so. If at any moment
6 also you'd like to talk to the Judges, to the Bench, please do so. We
7 are here to -- we're also here to answer any question that a witness may
9 But you are now in the hands of justice. You are the witness of
10 justice. You've taken the solemn declaration. This means that now
11 you're no longer going to have any contact with the representatives of
12 the OTP or with the Defence, nor with the Judges, of course. We're not
13 supposed to have any contacts with you.
14 I'm saying this because you'll be staying here over the weekend,
15 because your testimony will resume on Tuesday, but that means that during
16 the weekend you are not supposed to have any contact with anyone, except
17 of course with your relatives. You can talk to your relatives on private
18 matters only, of course.
19 I needed to say all this to make sure that this hearing would run
20 smoothly and serenely. Serenely, I insist on this.
21 Mr. Dutertre, you have the floor and you may start the
23 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you. I will take the floor
24 very serenely.
25 Examination by Mr. Dutertre:
1 Q. Good morning, Mr. Sejdic.
2 A. Good morning.
3 Q. Thank you. We've already had some information regarding your
4 identity and your occupation. I will ask you one first question on your
5 general background, if I may use this word.
6 Where did you live in Bosnia-Herzegovina when the war started?
7 A. I lived in the area of Vogosca in Semizovac. Svrake is the name
8 of the village. It is the municipality of Vogosca.
9 Q. How long had you been living in Svrake?
10 A. For some 20-odd years.
11 Q. How far is Svrake from Sarajevo?
12 A. About 12 or 13 kilometres.
13 Q. Could you tell us, Mr. Sejdic, what was the ethnical makeup of
14 Svrake, your village, before the war started in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
15 A. It was a pretty village. That is my favourite town. That's
16 where I grew up, that's where I went to school and so on.
17 Q. I will reformulate my question. Could you tell us what was the
18 ethnical origin of the inhabitants? Were there more Serbs, more Muslims,
19 more Croats? Give us the ethnical makeup of your village, please.
20 A. There were Serbs and Croats and Muslims. There were also some
21 Roma and so on.
22 Q. Could you tell us which group was in the majority, if there was
24 A. Well, there were more Serbs. It was predominantly Serbs.
25 Q. Thank you. Could you give us your ethnical background?
1 A. I'm a Roma by ethnicity.
2 Q. Are you -- what is your religion, please?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Tell us, what is your religion?
5 A. Muslim.
6 Q. Thank you. Were you married in 1992?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did you have any children? If "yes," how many?
9 A. I had a son on the 18th of March, 1992.
10 Q. In 1992, did you have any other children, apart from this son?
11 A. I had a daughter in 1993.
12 Q. Thank you. Do you have any siblings?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Could you tell us how many brothers, how many sisters?
15 A. I have three brothers and a sister.
16 Q. Where did your parents live in 1992?
17 A. The village of Svrake.
18 Q. I'm done with this first line of questions, and I will now try to
19 give the chronology of what happened to you during the conflict. And
20 after that, I will pick a number of incidents, and we will go into detail
21 regarding these incidents. So first I'll ask you some questions just to
22 have a general idea of what happened to you during the war, and I will go
23 into details later.
24 The first question: What happened early -- at the beginning of
25 the month of April 1992 in your village?
1 A. At the beginning of the month of April 1992, Muslim and Serb and
2 other -- how should I put this -- forces started grouping in order to
3 start this war and things like that. However, allegedly they didn't want
4 to have a war there with the Muslims and the Serbs, and they started
5 saying that there should really be no incidents, so they kept meeting up
6 until they actually started three days later.
7 Q. Can you tell us what you mean by "after three days they started;"
8 could you clarify this? I'd like to get back to this idea, namely, what
9 happened to your village. In April 1992, what happened in your village,
10 in April 1992?
11 A. In 1992, the war began. Serbs from the surrounding places, from
12 the hills, started an attack on Semizovac and the village of Svrake.
13 They fired from all sides. The Muslims did not have that much power to
14 defend themselves or to move any -- organise any forces to defend
15 themselves because they had no weapons.
16 Q. When you say "this village," you mean your village, the village
17 of Svrake; is that right?
18 A. [No verbal response]
19 Q. Did you personally have any weapons?
20 A. No.
21 Q. For how long did the Muslims in your village resist this attack?
22 A. They resisted for about two days, as much as they could.
23 Q. After they put up a resistance, can you tell us where the Muslim
24 men of your village were taken by the attackers?
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. This type of question
1 is not allowed. The Prosecutor cannot ask where Muslims were taken by
2 Serbs when the resistance was crushed. He can ask what happened when the
3 resistance was crushed. We don't know yet that the Muslims were taken
5 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] All right.
6 Q. Once the resistance had ended, can you tell us what the attackers
7 did with the Muslim men of your village?
8 A. The attackers took women and children on one side and men on the
9 other side. They took the men to the Semizovac barracks.
10 Q. Once you were in the Semizovac barracks, what happened then to
11 these men?
12 A. Some were taken there, and they asked those men to surrender any
13 weapons if they had been issued with weapons, and when these men
14 surrendered, some threw down their arms, others had no weapons, those who
15 did not have any weapons were left there. Those who had had weapons were
16 taken to other prisons.
17 Q. What happened to you? Were you with these men in Semizovac, had
18 you stayed in Svrake? What was your fate?
19 A. I took my wife and child and set off towards Semizovac, where the
20 others were going, too, across the bridge. Some of the Serbs knew that I
21 had not been issued with any weapons and that I wasn't involved in that,
22 so I went to Semizovac. There were buses there outside Kulin Dvor, near
23 Kuzman house in Semizovac.
24 Q. And then you stayed in Semizovac or did you go elsewhere? What
1 A. Two buses were provided to go towards Srednje, carrying women and
2 children and elderly and infirm men and men who had not been issued with
3 any weapons, et cetera.
4 Q. If I understood you correctly, those villagers that went out set
5 off for Srednje. Could you tell me, who were the forces who were in
6 charge of Srednje?
7 A. The Serbs were there.
8 MR. DUTERTRE: Page 27 --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note, the villagers.
10 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation]
11 Q. What did the Serbs in Srednje do with you when you got there?
12 A. One of their commanders came out and said that men should be
13 separated from women and children.
14 Q. Once that was done, what happened?
15 A. We men saw before that one bus that was riddled with bullets.
16 There was blood all over. The glass was shattered. All the bus was
17 strafed with bullets. It used to be a public transportation bus.
18 When we started coming out, the women and children started
19 crying, and that chief man could not bear to watch that. He said
20 everybody should turn back into the bus and the buses should turn back
21 towards Semizovac, towards the barracks.
22 Q. Very well. Just to clarify, you and your family, you went back
23 in the direction of Semizovac; is that right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. On the return journey in the direction of Semizovac, can you
1 describe to us what happened?
2 A. There were two vehicles of the Serbian Army, Volkswagen Golfs.
3 One was in front, the other one was behind. The two men who were driving
4 the bus were Muslims. That one Muslim veered suddenly towards Korita
5 village. That was Muslim territory and Muslims lived in that village.
6 So he made a sharp turn with the bus towards that village, so that these
7 two buses did not go to Semizovac eventually.
8 Q. So you managed to slip away, these two cars that were escorting
9 you, and this was under Muslim control. How much time did you spend in
10 Korita, which was under Muslim control?
11 A. I spent about 20 days there.
12 Q. And after 20 or so days, where did you go?
13 A. Well, I was told, since I belonged to an ethnic minority, as a
14 Roma person -- there were also some Muslims and I believe a few Croats, a
15 few. I don't know exactly. They provided joint guard duty to prevent
16 Serbs from coming into that village, but they didn't let me, my brother,
17 or my father to participate in this guard duty because maybe they didn't
18 trust us.
19 Q. I understand that in Korita, seemingly people didn't trust you
20 because you were a Roma. Where did you go then?
21 A. Yes. They told us that it was quiet and peaceful in Semizovac,
22 that anyone who wanted to go home could go home, and that those who had
23 family in Sarajevo may go there, that it was free passage.
24 Q. Just one point I'd like to clarify. Between Semizovac and
25 Svrake, what distance is there?
1 A. The distance between Semizovac and Svrake was perhaps five, ten
2 minutes' walk.
3 Q. So you were in Korita, and you've told us that the people in
4 Korita told you that things were quiet and peaceful in Semizovac. What
5 did you do then? Did you go to Semizovac, did you go elsewhere, did you
6 go to Sarajevo? What did you do?
7 A. My father said since he had family in Sarajevo, his father,
8 mother and sisters were there, that we should go to Sarajevo, but we
9 should first go to Semizovac and then on to Sarajevo, if possible.
10 However, when we came close to Semizovac, when we reached the point of
11 the former post office and near Kuzman's house, we stopped. We were
12 approached by Mr. Nebojsa Spiric.
13 Q. I'd just like to go back a little. When you say that you went to
14 Semizovac, can you tell us who precisely accompanied you? Who were you
16 A. Me, my father, my mother, two brothers, my sister, my wife and
18 Q. And then we understand that in April, your village got attacked,
19 resistance was put up for three days, and then you went to Semizovac and
20 then on to Korita, where you stayed for 20 days. So when you returned to
21 Semizovac and when you see Mr. Nebojsa Spiric, what time period is this?
22 Is this the month of May, end of May, beginning of June? Can you tell us
23 this, please?
24 A. I cannot recall exactly the date, but it was 20 days after the
25 beginning of the attack on Svrake, when they drove us away to Srednje and
1 when we arrived at Korita village, so it was 20 days after all that.
2 Q. You mentioned that on the return journey, you met Nebojsa Spiric.
3 Who is Nebojsa Spiric?
4 Let me begin by a precise question. What ethnicity is he?
5 A. He was a Serb.
6 Q. Who was he with, if he was with anyone? Maybe he was alone, but
7 if he was with anyone, who was with him?
8 A. He was standing there with Miro Kuzman. He was standing, and he
9 saw us coming; me, my father, my mother, my brother and sister. He
10 approached us and he recognised my brother. And knowing that my brother
11 had been in the Territorial Defence on the Muslim side, and when they
12 were capturing Svrake village my brother had been in the
13 Territorial Defence on the Muslim side, he had been issued a weapon by
14 the Territorial Defence, and they recognised him as one of those who was
15 standing on the bridge outside Svrake to prevent Serbs from coming in.
16 Q. Having recognised your brother as someone who had guarded the
17 Svrake bridge, what did Mr. Spiric do?
18 A. Mr. Spiric approached and told my father and my mother that my
19 brother should follow him and that after questioning he would be released
20 to go home, that they shouldn't worry.
21 Q. And did Mr. Spiric in fact detain your brother --
22 A. He took my brother, interrogated him for a while. He told us to
23 go home. We said we wanted to go to Sarajevo. He said it wasn't
24 possible, "You have to go home. Nobody will do you any harm. I
25 guarantee that." But we had known Spiric from before the war. He was
1 one of the local Serbs. We knew him as one of the neighbours. Even
2 before the war, he was active. He threw his weight about. He liked to
3 get into brawls and fights. He was something like a local gangster.
4 Q. We shall get back to details concerning Mr. Spiric later on. I'm
5 just trying to provide you with an outline for the moment.
6 If I understood you correctly, you then go back home with your
7 family. You go back to Svrake; is that right?
8 A. No, to Semizovac.
9 Q. Very well. Can you clarify this for us, please. Your house is
10 in Svrake or Semizovac, or is it one of your relatives who has a house in
11 Semizovac? I understood to begin with that your house was in Svrake. Is
12 that right?
13 A. Yes. I was in my old grandfather's house. I lived in Svrake
14 with my wife and child, whereas my father had a house on the crossroads
15 in Semizovac. It was like a municipal flat. He had two rooms, a
16 bathroom and a hallway. And during the attack on Svrake, my father
17 joined me in my house, because over there -- sorry. In Svrake, most of
18 our Muslim population was there, more than in Semizovac.
19 Q. You've just said -- maybe I misunderstood you. You've just said
20 that you returned, after having seen Mr. Spiric, to Semizovac. You also
21 had a house in Semizovac; is that what I should understand? Could you
22 specify this, please?
23 A. It was my father's house, that flat that I just described.
24 Q. Very well. Did you see Mr. Spiric again on that day after he had
25 taken your brother away?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Where did you see him again?
3 A. When we set off towards our home, on the crossroads in Semizovac
4 there was a police station, a public security station from before the
5 war, and in that police station in Semizovac, that's where Spiric took
6 him. But some of the Serbs, like police, started beating him up. We
7 watched that, and we came up to Spiric and said, "Please don't beat him,
8 don't touch him." He told us to go home quietly, that nothing would
9 happen to my brother, that he will release him later.
10 Q. So did you go back home then?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Once you were home, did you see Mr. Spiric again on that day?
13 A. He told us not to leave our home, and later he told to -- he came
14 to tell us about my brother, that he was in detention, that nothing would
15 happen to him. My parents started crying. We all started crying. We
16 told him, "Please, Mr. Spiric, don't let any harm come to him. He is
17 innocent. We are all innocent." He said, "Don't worry, no one will lay
18 a finger on you, and stay in your home."
19 Q. Apart from that, what did Mr. Spiric tell you? Did he give you
20 any instructions? What did he tell you?
21 A. He just said that my brother was in prison in Vogosca and that
22 nothing bad would happen to him. That's all.
23 Q. Did any other Serbs come to your house on that day?
24 A. No, no one, only Spiric who came to the door.
25 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to jog
1 the witness's memory, if possible. This relates to a particular topic.
2 This refers to the 92 ter interview. In English, this is on page 12, in
3 paragraph 49, and I would like to read this out now. Let me start:
4 [In English] " ... on the first day, we are back in Semizovac.
5 Later on, while Spiric was still at our house, Novo Divljanovic and
6 Mico Colakovic came and took us to Semizovac to do our first work for the
8 [Interpretation] Is this what you stated, and is this what
9 happened, Mr. Sejdic?
10 A. Yes. I wanted to emphasise that later, when Spiric left,
11 Novo Divljanovic came and told us that we had to go to sweep the streets
12 of Semizovac, that we were going to be something like a labour platoon,
13 doing work for them.
14 Q. What did you do? What did this work consist of?
15 A. Well, we cleaned the rubbish in Semizovac. We cleaned some of
16 the premises where their troops were to be accommodated. We took out the
17 rubbish from the bunkers. There was one bunker down there. Then we
18 cleaned one of their coffee bars where they gathered. We swept the
19 streets in Svrake around the building of the local commune. There was a
20 shop; we cleaned that as well. We removed the rubbish containers,
21 et cetera.
22 Q. How long did you do this job for? How long did it last?
23 A. It was a one or two days' job.
24 Q. And you continued doing this afterwards? Can you tell us?
25 A. Yes. After that, we went on to clean their yards, their gardens,
1 their fields where they were supposed to do the sowing, we chopped wood.
2 And then they took us to be part of a labour platoon digging trenches,
3 preparing defence lines, and we remained in that labour platoon.
4 Q. You said that you cut some wood and cleaned up the fields, and
5 then after that you were asked to go and dig trenches. Can you tell us
6 when you started digging the trenches? Let me rephrase it the other way
8 For how long were you involved in domestic chores, and when did
9 you actually start digging the trenches?
10 A. There was not much time. We did that for one or two days, and
11 then they took us to the lines from Njavocici [phoen] village near
12 Vranjak. They took us up there when they captured a certain a line.
13 They wanted to form a base there from which to prevent Muslims from
14 attacking. They held that line up there and they took us there to dig
16 Q. For how many months, years, did you have to do this type of work
17 along the frontlines?
18 A. From that day on, we did that throughout the war. Wherever some
19 work needed to be done, we had to go there and stay there and work.
20 Q. Can you give us a day or a year, to be more precise? How long
21 did you stay in these work patrols?
22 A. Well, from that day in 1992, when it all started, it went on all
23 the way. Until 1994, I was in that labour platoon.
24 Q. After 1994, where were you assigned to, what did you have to do?
25 A. Then I went with Mr. Rajko Jankovic, when he was the commander of
1 the frontline and commander of the Semizovac Battalion. I had to
2 accompany him and carry ammunition, food and water for his Intervention
3 Platoon. And during their actions and attacks on Muslim trenches, I had
4 to pull out the wounded and carry them to safety, et cetera.
5 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would just like to
6 refresh the witness's memory again concerning a few dates just before the
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, please go ahead.
9 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] So the 16th and 17th of October,
10 2006. I'm referring to these interviews on page 20 in English, paragraph
11 109. Let me quote:
12 [In English] " ... beginning of the war until 23rd July 1995,
13 when I was transferred on the orders of Rajko Jankovic to the
14 Intervention Platoon of the Semizovac Battalion."
15 [Interpretation] Is this what you stated, Mr. Sejdic, and have I
16 described the events in the right chronological order?
17 A. Yes, yes, that's the way it was. From 1994 until 1995, I was
18 with that man. I had to join him and his unit transferring from the
19 Labour Platoon.
20 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] We can have the break now.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall have a 20-minute
23 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 10.53 a.m.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed.
1 Mr. Dutertre, you have the floor.
2 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. Mr. Sejdic, you told us that until 1995, you worked in the Labour
4 Platoon, then were transferred to the Intervention Platoon. This
5 Intervention Platoon, is it a combat unit, a labour unit? Please tell
7 A. It was not a labour unit. It was Ranko Jankovic's
8 Intervention Platoon, and that was a special unit of his, and they went
9 and launched attacks.
10 Q. Could you tell us why you were transferred to this
11 Intervention Platoon?
12 A. [No interpretation]
13 Q. I will ask the same question again, or seemingly so.
14 From the beginning of the war until you were transferred to this
15 Intervention Platoon, did you work on a voluntary basis; yes or no?
16 A. I didn't understand the question.
17 Q. Did your work on the Labour Platoon on the frontline and then
18 your transfer to the Intervention Platoon, was this something that you
19 did voluntarily?
20 A. No, no.
21 Q. Paid?
22 A. No.
23 Q. So could you tell us why you did all this work and what made you
24 do all this work?
25 A. Well, because that's what they demanded. I was captured there
1 with my family, and they just said to me that I had no choice but to
2 follow their orders and to do what they told me. And they said that if I
3 tried to escape or anything else, my wife and children and parents would
4 be in danger.
5 Q. What do you mean by "danger"? What did they mean by "danger"?
6 A. Well, if I tried to escape to my own side, the Muslim side, to
7 become one of their soldiers or anything like that, they told me that I
8 didn't even need to try that because they would kill my mother, father,
9 wife, child, everything. That's how they threatened me.
10 Q. I will now try to briefly sum up the different events that you
11 told us about, and you will tell me whether I understood what you told us
13 Your village was attacked in April 1992, your village of Svrake.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The Prosecutor does not have the
15 right to recapitulate in this way. It's up to him to question the
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I disagree with
18 you. The Prosecutor is fully allowed and entitled to review what the
19 witness has just said and ask him whether what he has understood is
20 correct. It's absolutely appropriate. You may ask questions after
21 having reviewed the questions answered.
22 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. Mr. Sejdic, the village of Svrake, your village, was attacked in
24 April of 1992. The villagers put up some resistance for two to three
25 days. Then you are sent to Srednje via Semizovac, through Semizovac.
1 From Semizovac -- no, from Srednje, you're sent back to Semizovac. On
2 the way to Semizovac, the two buses managed to slip away from their
3 Serbian escort and managed to reach Korita, which was under Muslim
4 control. You stay there some 20 days, and you are told that everything
5 is quiet in Semizovac. And for this reason, you go back to Semizovac.
6 On the way, you meet Mr. Spiric, who arrests your brother. Then you are
7 forced to do chores for a couple days. Then, until 1995, you're forced
8 to do labour within a work platoon first, and then you're transferred to
9 Mr. Jankovic's Intervention Platoon. Have I summed things up correctly?
10 A. Rajko Jankovic.
11 Q. Rajko Jankovic. Let's now return to some items that we have the
12 background in mind, and let's go back to the attack on your village and
13 what was happening right before.
14 The first question: Were there any members of the SDS in Svrake
15 before the village was attacked in 1992?
16 A. Do you mean the local Serbs or the ones who came in ?
17 Q. Local Serbs, members of your village.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Could you give us some names, names of the villagers from Svrake
20 who were members of the SDS? Give us their names, please, so the Judges
21 can know about this.
22 A. Yes. Perhaps I won't be able to remember all of them, because
23 it's been a long time, but roughly, Ilija Crnogorac, Nedjo Djukic,
24 Nenad Boskovic. Then there was Zarko Mumalo, Blagoja Mumalo, and then
25 there was Novo Divljanovic and Major Djukic, Cetko Jovicevic,
1 Dragan Jeremic, Nenad Kuzmanovic, Jevto Vlahovic, Djukic, Jevto, or,
2 rather, Jevto Djukic, Miro Kuzman, and the others. I can't remember any
3 more names just now.
4 Q. People whose name you mentioned, are these people who lived in
5 your own village or did they also live in surrounding villages?
6 A. Mostly from Semizovac, Israk [phoen] and Donja Vogosca,
7 Srenjko [phoen]. Around Semizovac, basically, and Svrake. They were
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I listened to what you
10 said very carefully. You gave us a list of people who belonged to the
11 SDS, but how did you know that they were members of the SDS, how can you
12 say that?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, yes, they were people who
14 were the main people when I was captured there. I know they were those
15 locals, my former neighbours, as were -- and they would take us into
16 custody and the other people, take us off to the prisons.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, but your answer raises new
18 problems. You say that they escorted you when you were taken into
19 custody, but one can conclude from this that the SDS was at the head of
20 this operation?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the Serbs. Well, SDS, I
22 don't know. What does "SDS" mean?
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You just said that you don't
24 know what SDS is, but when you were answering Mr. Dutertre's question, he
25 asked you, "Who were the members of the SDS," and you gave a list. So
1 maybe there's a mistake here. This is where it comes from, this
2 misunderstanding. When the question was put to you, you were asked --
3 you probably understood that you were asked the names of the people who
4 arrested you and not the people who were members of the SDS.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were people who were mostly,
6 from 1992 to the end of the war, were locals, my neighbours, those people
7 who I knew, and I stated that those were the people and gave their names.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Dutertre, you have the
9 floor, but I believe there's a problem here.
10 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] I will try to shed some light on
11 this, Your Honours.
12 Q. Mr. Sejdic, do you know what is the Serbian Democratic Party?
13 A. Well, no, I don't know exactly what this means, this
14 Democratic Party thing. All I know is that they were Serbs, quite
15 simply, and I know these individual Serbs, the ones I knew. And I gave
16 you their names, those who were the local villagers in my village, whom I
17 knew very well.
18 Q. The list of the people you mentioned is the list of the people
19 who detained you at one point in time; is that it?
20 A. Not only me, but all the other people too.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. First, the Prosecutor
22 asked the witness who the members of the SDS were in Svrake, and the
23 witness gave us some names. Then it was established that the witness
24 does not know what the Serbian Democratic Party is, and then the
25 Prosecutor says to him, "They were the people who detained you." And we
1 saw how the situation evolved from what the witness previously said, and
2 now the Prosecutor is putting something new to the witness that wasn't
3 mentioned. The witness obviously mentioned the Serbs he knew by name.
4 He didn't say that all those Serbs had incarcerated him. Maybe they did,
5 but that's not what he said. So the Prosecutor cannot ask leading
6 questions in that way.
7 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] It's not a leading question. This
8 is what I recall from the French translation of the answer of the
9 witness. Maybe the translation was faulty, maybe I misunderstood. I'm
10 not going to make this a matter of principle.
11 Q. Witness, please, this list you gave us, is it the list of all the
12 Serbs in your village, is it the list of the people who arrested you?
13 Could you tell us exactly what this list corresponds to?
14 A. That is the list of names of people, Serbs, who were in my area,
15 who were the main people at the time and responsible for the Muslim
16 people. At the time, they exerted pressure on my local people, my Muslim
17 neighbours, and they detained them, incarcerated them, took them away,
18 and so on.
19 Q. Thank you. When your village was attacked, could you tell us
20 which units attacked the village? And I'm talking about April 1992.
21 A. Our village was attacked by -- from Semizovac, from the direction
22 of Krivoglavci, Donja Vogosca, and all the other places.
23 Q. If you know, could you tell us which units attacked? Was it the
24 regular army, were they volunteers? Were you able to identify what these
25 units were, since the attack went on for two to three days and then the
1 attackers went into the village? So were you able to identify who the
2 attackers were and the units?
3 A. Well, the attackers were the local Serbs.
4 Q. Were there units of the Serbian army, regular army?
5 A. Yes. Some of them were in the barracks over there where the
6 soldiers were, and they were with them too.
7 Q. You saw these soldiers taking part in the attack? Did you
8 eyewitness this or is it something that you heard later on?
9 A. That was what I heard later. I didn't see it.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. The Prosecutor is once
11 again asking a completely impermissible question. Until the 19th of May,
12 the only regular army was the JNA, and along with it the
13 Territorial Defence, so he can't ask if they were units of the regular
14 Serb army. Where does he get the regular Serb army from? It's either
15 the JNA or it was the Territorial Defence, or there were some units
16 outside the JNA and the Territorial Defence.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This is May 19, 1992; right?
18 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] No, April 1992.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine, April 1992. In April
20 1992 -- Bosnia-Herzegovina was recognised by the UN on May 22nd, 1992,
21 unless I'm wrong. So normally at this moment in April, the army is the
22 Army of the former Yugoslavia.
23 The Prosecutor was putting questions to the witness to know
24 exactly what he knew about the army, who was part of it, and which units
25 were in the attack. I understood that you were try to elicit this from
1 him, and he's saying "Serbs" as an answer. Maybe you can try and elicit
2 this through other questions, maybe with the uniforms, the dress and so
3 on. If you feel that maybe he's forgotten a number of things that he
4 already had said in his statement, you can jog his memory.
5 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. Mr. Sejdic, when the Serb attackers entered the village, your
7 village, the first question: Could you tell us whether they were all
8 dressed similarly; yes or no?
9 A. No, no, they weren't all dressed the same. Some wore the old
10 type of army uniform. Others were dressed in civilian clothes or their
11 own uniforms, just perhaps the top part would be one kind of uniform and
12 the trousers something else.
13 Q. Did you know the uniform of the JNA at the time of the attack,
14 you knew what it looked like?
15 A. Well, it was the old type of uniform that was worn before the war
16 in the army. I know what it looks like.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. Did you do your
18 national service within the JNA? How long?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A year.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you are fully
21 able to distinguish a JNA uniform, since you wore one, from another
22 uniform that would not be a JNA uniform?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
25 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you. I wanted to ask this
1 follow-up question. Thank you.
2 Q. So soldiers entered into the village. Some were wearing JNA -- a
3 JNA uniform. Can you tell us how the others were dressed?
4 A. Well, they were dressed in black camouflage uniforms. They
5 belonged to Rajko Jankovic, his men. They had special uniforms, black
6 ones, and the rest wore army uniforms of the former army. So those who
7 had them wore them, and they were the specials, mostly. Others who did
8 not have any special uniform had military uniforms or the uniform of the
9 former army.
10 Q. Among the people dressed in JNA uniform, did you see any
12 A. No, no, I didn't see any officers.
13 Q. Could you tell us where Rajko Jankovic comes from?
14 A. Rajko Jankovic is Semizovac, Vranjak village.
15 Q. And his ethnicity?
16 A. He's a Serb.
17 Q. Apart from these soldiers dressed in JNA uniforms and Rajko's
18 men, Rajko Jankovic's men, did you notice any other soldiers that would
19 belong to other units?
20 A. Well, they all wore the same clothes. From Vogosca and Ilijas,
21 that area, from the direction of Semizovac, as they formed groups, they
22 wore similar clothes, the old SMB olive-green-type uniform and the other
23 military uniforms, except for the specials. The specials had camouflage
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you are talking about
1 special units. Listening to you, I noted that some had black uniforms,
2 so could you describe, if you remember, of course, how these people were
3 dressed, what kind of gear they had with them? Could you give us some
5 You said, yourself, these are special units, so how were they
6 special? What made them different between them and those in SMB uniforms
7 or those dressed in plainclothes? What was so special about them?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were young people, and they
9 wore this special equipment. They wore those uniforms, and the older
10 ones, the Serbs, the locals, that is, who were a little older, they wore
11 the old type of uniform, those who hadn't been taking part in combat or
12 any actions and so on. So the older people went to stand guard at the
13 frontline, in the trenches, and so on.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You are saying that these were
15 young people, but were they armed? And if they were armed, what kind of
16 weapons did they have?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, they had automatic rifles,
18 they had pistols, hand grenades, and they had jackets on.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Do you mean flak-jackets or
20 just jackets to be protected from the cold?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Vests or flak-jackets.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Did they have anything on their
23 faces or could you see nothing on their faces?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Some of them had some sort of black
25 paste and put it on their face or eyes, and they would have some bandanas
1 'round their heads, the younger ones.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] A small point of detail, but
3 this could be of interest. These young people had black marks on their
4 faces? You actually saw that? Are you quite sure?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] How many were there in that
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] About 15 of them with that kind of
9 thing when they would go into an attack.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Did you hear them speak with
11 one another or not?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Would you repeat that question,
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] These 15 young people dressed
15 in black, did you hear them say things, speak to each other? Did you
16 hear them talking to one another?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, no. They just -- well, they
18 were smiling, laughing. They were pleased to be going into battle and
19 fighting, and they put this black creme on their face and these bandanas,
20 black ones, 'round their heads, tied 'round their heads. But they
21 laughed. They were happy to go.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] According to you, did these
23 young people come from the area or do you think they came from elsewhere?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, mostly they were from the
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
2 Mr. Dutertre.
3 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. Regarding this particular point, you say "mainly from the area."
5 Among the attackers, did you see that some of the units were not from the
6 area, some Serbs who were not from the area?
7 A. Yes. When these from Semizovac -- when the units were sent out
8 to an attack, then from Ilijas, Vogosca and that area, the groups would
9 meet together, and then they would go up to the frontline together to
10 take control -- or take over the Muslim trenches.
11 Q. I'll specify my question. When your village was attacked in
12 1992, did you notice the presence of Serb units that were not from the
13 area or that came from the surrounding area?
14 A. Yes, yes, there were, from the Ilijas area, Ilijas and Vogosca,
15 that general area.
16 Q. Were there any units that, according to what you were able to see
17 or not, that came from other areas and not from the surrounding area,
18 other areas other than Ilijas or the municipality of Vogosca?
19 A. Well, yes. There were some refugees who had fled from Visoko,
20 Zenica, Kakanj, and they came to some of their platoons over there, the
21 main ones. They joined up with them when they left the places they lived
22 in before.
23 Q. Did you see whether there was any artillery in April 1992 around
24 your village that could have shot at your village?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Was this artillery used against your village at the time of the
3 A. Yes, it was used.
4 Q. Who was in control, who was in command, who triggered the use of
5 artillery fire?
6 A. I don't know exactly who was using it because these sowers of
7 death and Howitzers and those anti-aircraft guns were on all these hills.
8 Now what's the name of this anti-aircraft -- I can't remember exactly
9 now. Anti-aircraft sowers of death or something like that.
10 Q. Thank you. Do you remember the names of those Muslims coming
11 from your village who were arrested?
12 A. Yes, I do remember.
13 Q. Can you give us these names?
14 A. Ekrem Piknjac; Muftic, Mujo; Skando, Ekrem; Esad Muratovic;
15 Esad Fejzovic; Karaga, Himzo. Then there was Idriz, Ahmo Zigic, Bego
16 Kerla, Esad Fejzovic, Ahmo Fejzovic --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note, we have great trouble
18 understanding the witness. Could all other microphones please be
19 switched off because of background noise. Thank you.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Salko Tiric, Avdo Tiric and the
21 rest. I cannot remember exactly at this moment.
22 MR. DUTERTRE: I would like to display Exhibit number 1689 on the
23 65 ter list, Your Honour, please.
24 Q. Mr. Sejdic, have you seen this document before?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. When did you see it for the first time?
2 A. I first saw this when I made that statement.
3 Q. Which means when?
4 A. The beginning of the war. I knew these people from the beginning
5 until the end of the war.
6 Q. Can you specify, please, did you see this document at the
7 beginning of the war or do you know the contents of this document since
8 the beginning of the war? These are two different things.
9 A. I knew these people at the beginning of the war.
10 Q. When did you see this document, the one that's on the screen, for
11 the first time?
12 A. Well, when I made that statement.
13 Q. Can you tell us exactly when?
14 A. I gave the statement at the end of the war in 1995.
15 Q. Can you confirm that according to the title of the document, this
16 is a report that was issued after a commission visited Svrake? This
17 commission was in charge of providing a list of vacant houses?
18 A. Could you please repeat that.
19 Q. Can you confirm that according to the title of this document,
20 this is a report that was established after a commission visited Svrake?
21 This commission established that there was a number of family houses that
22 remained vacant -- can we move to page 3 in B/C/S, please.
23 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Mr. Dutertre, what is the date
24 of this report, please?
25 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] This is on page 3.
1 Can we display page 3, please. Perhaps we could put this on the
2 ELMO. Can we have page 3, please.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Prosecutor, please.
4 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] This must be on page 2. It's on
5 page 3. There it is.
6 Q. Mr. Sejdic, can you confirm that the date of this document, which
7 is mentioned on the document, is "Vogosca, 14th of October, 1992"?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Mr. Vlaco, Brane; Krunic, Boro; Jovicevic Dusko. Do you know any
10 of these members of the commission?
11 A. I know them.
12 Q. Among these three people, which ones do you know?
13 A. All three of them.
14 Q. Who is Mr. Brane Vlaco?
15 A. Brane Vlaco was the main person for the prison in Vogosca.
16 Q. Can you tell us who the two other people were? What kind of job
17 did they have?
18 A. Jovicevic was in the office at the command. He was a logistics
19 man or something like that.
20 Q. And the third individual, Boro Krunic?
21 A. Boro Krunic was something like that, too, at the Command. I
22 don't know what exactly.
23 Q. Do you know the ethnicity of these three people?
24 A. [No verbal response]
25 Q. Thank you. I'd like to get back to page 1 in e-court.
1 Mr. Sejdic, do you know the names of the people who are described
2 as being the former owners, i.e., the list of people on the right-hand
3 side here, starting with Alija Beslija right down to Zahid Skamo? Do you
4 know these people?
5 A. I know these are my people, Muslims who lived in the area of
6 Svrake and Semizovac before the war.
7 Q. Thank you. Do you know some of the people whose names are
8 mentioned on the left-hand side, starting with Srpko Stanisic right to
9 Mihajlo Kapikul, from 1 to 19?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Can you tell us which are the people you know, and give us the
13 A. I know Srpko Stanisic. I know Jovan Djukic, Vinko Knezevic,
14 Tonka Knezevic, Jefto Djukic, Srpko Stanisic, Milorad Budesa,
15 Slobodan Crnogorac, Jovo Arnautovic, Nenad Kuzman, Sretko Cetkovic and
16 Mihajlo Kapikul.
17 Q. What is the ethnicity of all these people?
18 A. Serbs.
19 Q. Do you know what they were doing during the conflict between 1992
20 and 1995?
21 A. At that time when the attack against the village of Svrake
22 started, and Semizovac, they were there in Svrake and they were the ones
23 who were bringing people in, the persons on the list that I mentioned.
24 They were the persons in charge at the time.
25 Q. Can you confirm that below the title, there's a sentence that
1 stipulates that those people whose names are listed in the left-hand
2 column are occupying the houses of those people whose names are mentioned
3 on the right-hand side?
4 A. Would you please repeat that question for me as regards the
5 right-hand side.
6 Q. Can you confirm that this document, if you look at the first
7 sentence below the title, mentions that those people from 1 to 19 on the
8 left-hand side are occupying the houses of those people whose names are
9 mentioned on the right-hand side of the document?
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This is a leading question, totally
12 leading, and the witness confirmed. I waited on purpose to see what the
13 witness would say. The sentence that is above the list is -- reads as
15 "As for the free buildings," meaning empty houses, "they were
16 taken by the following citizens."
17 So obviously some citizens took empty houses, and they have
18 accommodation. So empty houses were taken over by citizens who already
19 have their apartments and houses. It is not that they were in need of
20 accommodation. That is the essence of what is written here.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have understood, I have
22 understood. I shall say something, because we need to settle this
23 matter, which is an important one.
24 Witness, we have a list which was established in October 1992,
25 namely, a few months after the attack on the village. We see that on
1 this list, former owners, the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 are no
2 longer there and new people are there. The same applies to number 11,
3 12, 13, 14, 15, 16. So some Muslim people are no longer there, and their
4 houses are occupied by other people, whose list of names we have.
5 It so happens that when you answer the question of the
6 Prosecution, you said those people who are occupying these houses --
7 well, you know them, Stanisic, Djukic, for instance, you know a few of
8 these people, and it so happens that these people are Serbs. While
9 listening to you, I wondered the following: These flats are vacant
10 because the owners have left in circumstances which you described to us.
11 These flats, since they are vacant, have been occupied by other people,
12 but these other people whom you knew, who were Serbs, before the month of
13 April, they had their own houses, didn't they? So why is it that
14 Mr. Stanisic, for instance, take number 1, who must have lived somewhere,
15 comes to occupy the flat of Alija Beslija? Can you explain this to us?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They took houses. If the houses
17 were good, they would take them up and they would take these houses and
18 the things that were in there, and they would take the things to their
19 own houses. And then they kept the houses for their own refugees that
20 would come in from Muslim-controlled territories. If they fled or if
21 they were exchanged or whatever, later on when they would come there to
22 this area, then they would put them up in those houses that had been
23 abandoned and that they had taken.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So we have 14 Serbs who had
25 houses or flats and who came to occupy other houses which belonged to
1 Muslims, either because these houses were nicer, but when they left their
2 own houses, those houses were occupied by other Serbs who came from
3 elsewhere. Very well, but there is a hitch which I am about to mention.
4 Mr. Stanisic, number 1, who had a house, I don't know his house.
5 We don't know. Perhaps we should have gone there to have a look. Maybe
6 we will go there. He leaves his house to go and occupy Mr. Beslija's
7 house, but the house which he leaves belonged to him, doesn't it? And
8 when he leaves his house, he's going to leave it to unknown people who
9 come from elsewhere. Does this seem normal to you or logical?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Maybe you misunderstood what I was
11 saying in response to that question. They were taking these houses when
12 the houses were full of things, and they took the things from the houses
13 and they kept the houses for when their refugees would come in, and then
14 they would put them up in those houses. Say, if they had family members
15 or relatives coming in, then they would put them up in those houses.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So I do well to put questions,
17 because we discover things that are unexpected.
18 Stanisic's house, when the commission comes and mentions that he
19 is a person occupying the house, one can infer from that that the Serbs
20 are occupying these places. But now you are giving another explanation.
21 You are saying this is not quite that. You are saying that Stanisic took
22 what was inside Beslija's house, I'm anticipating, I don't know, perhaps
23 a television set, furniture, chairs, to bring it back to his house, and
24 other Serbs came to occupy Stanisic's house? Is that how we are to
25 understand what you've told us, which of course does make it more
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's what I said.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So why did the commission, who
4 came in October 1992, write down Stanisic's name when, according to what
5 you are saying, it's another Serb family that lives there, maybe, and why
6 is it that the commission doesn't write down the name of the other Serb
7 family then, because Mr. Stanisic is still living in his own house.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] These are just the names of the
9 persons who took those houses then; that is to say, they took these
10 houses in the sense of keeping them for their own refugees when they
11 would come in so that these refugees could live there. I did not say
12 that they lived there, themselves, and that they kept them in that way.
13 The houses, I mean.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That makes it even more
15 complicated. You say that they looked after the houses; in other words,
16 they were looking after these houses temporarily. And when the people
17 came back, they transferred the title deeds to the new people who came to
18 live there. This is very complex.
19 Mr. Dutertre, you have the floor.
20 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I thank
21 you for having clarified all of this.
22 Q. I'd like to address a topic. The people who are listed here as
23 being former owners and who are on the right-hand side of this document,
24 can you tell us whether these people left at the time of the attack or
25 whether some of them were still there when you came back, and,
1 alternatively, when did they leave?
2 A. This question worries me a lot, because I said that these people
3 who were there then, that was at the beginning of the war when the
4 Muslims were taken away from those houses, that is when these persons
5 came, the ones that I put on this list. They took those houses. If the
6 houses were rich, as I said, they would take away things from these
7 houses. And when their own refugees would come, then they would give
8 these houses to their own refugees to stay at those houses, to live
9 there, because their houses had been taken, perhaps, when there was
10 fighting on the other side and when the Muslims expelled them. Then they
11 would come, and then somebody would come on a tractor or on a truck. If
12 they had things, then they'd put them in that house and they'd --
13 Q. Hold on. My question was the following: Did the former owners,
14 previous owners, Mr. Alija Beslija, as they'd come and so on, did they
15 leave right after the attack in April 1992 or did some leave their house
16 between April 1992 and October 1992, which is the date at which this
17 document was drafted?
18 A. Well, they were expelled, they were taken away. They were taken
19 away from their houses, and then other people lived there. Nenad
20 Kuzmanovic lived in Skamo's house.
21 Q. Thank you, it's clear. When you say "this moment," you mean the
22 attack, you mean April 1992?
23 A. Yes.
24 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like this
25 document to be tendered.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges, this document cannot be
2 admitted into evidence at all. First of all, in the heading there is no
3 reference to the organ that has set up this alleged commission. There is
4 no stamp. There is no registration number, and there is no signature.
5 The witness saw this document for the first time when it was
6 shown to him by The Hague investigators. In actual fact, this is no
8 Perhaps the Prosecutor typed this up himself on a typewriter and
9 showed it to the witness. Perhaps all of this really happened the way
10 it's put here. Perhaps there indeed was a commission. But this document
11 is not proof of the existence of any commission.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber will consult.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll ask the Prosecutor would
15 he like to respond.
16 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Yes, a couple of things.
17 First, the OTP does not fabricate evidence, to start with.
18 Secondly, if there are questions as to when this commission was created
19 and so on, all this has to do with the weight that the Trial Chamber will
20 give to this document. Therefore, I believe that this document should be
21 tendered and admitted.
22 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Prosecutor, will you be able to authenticate
23 the document?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's my document, and there
25 is a signature there on my documents, on the statements that I made.
1 However, it's been a long time. That is to say, after the war -- I don't
2 know what I ate 15 days ago, let alone remember all the things that are
3 contained in all these documents of mine.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Prosecutor, could you tell
5 us where you obtained this document and how?
6 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] I can't tell you right there,
7 offhand. I believe that I could tell you later on.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll give it an MFI number.
10 JUDGE HARHOFF: [Previous translation continues] ...
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be MFI P463.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have another objection, an
14 additional one.
15 How can the authenticity of this document be established at all,
16 or of any document that doesn't have a heading, a letterhead, a stamp, a
17 signature, the name of an organ that may have established a commission?
18 Where does the authenticity of this document lie?
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, let's not waste any
20 time. The document can only -- is not authentic because it's got the
21 stamp and signature. There are documents that are neither stamped, nor
22 signed, and can be originals and authentic. Authenticity does not have
23 to do with having a stamp or a signature, which is why we asked the
24 Prosecutor to tell us exactly how this document came into his hands.
25 We will give it an MFI number. It doesn't mean that it's been
2 Please continue, Mr. Dutertre.
3 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] I'll come back to this, this
4 question which is quite relevant and legitimate, but let me move on to
5 something else. Let's talk about forced labour.
6 Q. You said that you had to do some chores for two to three days and
7 then you were transferred to a work platoon, where you were not paid, and
8 that you were not working there voluntarily. Could you tell us how many
9 people were in this work platoon you were transferred to in 1992?
10 A. We were around 15 to 20 men.
11 Q. Would you tell us the ethnicity of these people who were making
12 up this work platoon with you?
13 A. Only one of them was Croat. The rest were Muslims.
14 Q. Did your colleagues in this work platoon get -- were they paid?
15 A. I don't know that exactly.
16 Q. Do you see them actually get paid? Did either one of them tell
17 you at one point in time that they were paid?
18 A. No, nobody told me.
19 Q. What's your impression? Do you think that they were working
20 there freely or that they had to work, they were forced to work?
21 A. They did not work voluntarily. They had been captured, and they
22 were pressed into it. We had to do what they told us.
23 Q. Mr. Sejdic, you told us the kind of pressure that had been
24 exerted on you. Could you tell us what kind of pressure was exerted on
25 the other members of this work platoon?
1 A. Well, everything that happened to me was happening to them as
2 well, the others. It was the same for me as it was for them.
3 Q. What would have -- what could have happened to them if they had
4 escaped or tried to escape?
5 A. They couldn't escape. Even if they had managed to escape, they
6 would have been executed or beaten up, killed.
7 Q. And what would have happened to their family if they had escaped?
8 A. Well, they always told us that whenever we went to do forced
9 labour, to dig trenches, or whatever else they told us to do, they would
10 tell us always, "Don't even think of escaping. You know what lies in
11 wait for you. Your own people could kill you and we could kill you. And
12 don't forget you have families still in your homes. We would kill them
14 Q. Very well. Did this -- were there always the same people in this
15 work platoon from 1992 to 1995 or did it change?
16 A. Yes, it was always the same people, at least until Mehmedovic,
17 Idriz; Tiric, Avdo; and Skando, Nermin got killed during the attack on
18 Zuc, and we were taken to be used as live shields, human shields. That's
19 when Avdo Tiric and Nermin Skando were killed, and Idriz Mehmedovic was
20 killed then, too.
21 Q. Could you give us the name of the other people? You gave us the
22 names of the people who died, could you give us the names of the other
23 people making up this work platoon?
24 A. Yes, I can. Meho Osmanovic -- let me remember all of us, because
25 I feel a bit lost. There was my father, Sejdic, Kasim. There was Nijaz,
1 Avdo -- sorry, Ahmo, Ahmo was his name. I mentioned Nijaz already.
2 Q. Could you give us the names and surnames so that everything is
4 A. Edin Muratovic, Meho Osmanovic, Ahmo Zigic, Nermin Skando,
5 Mujo Muftic, Mujo [as interpreted] Muftic --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, the second name is
7 Meho Muftic.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't remember all of them now.
9 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Maybe I could use a document to
10 jog the witness's memory, if I may, to jog his memory on the makeup of
11 his work platoon.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Go ahead.
13 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Paragraph 58, page 13 of his
14 92 ter statement, dated 2006, 16 and 17 October, 2006. I quote:
15 [In English] "There were about 25 of us in the platoon. They
16 included Idriz Mehmedovic; Nijaz Mustapic; Mujo Muftic; Meho Osmanovic;
17 Edin Muratovic; Ahmo Zigic, who died when a shell hit him near the church
18 at --"
19 A. He got killed.
20 Q. "Remzija Sejdic, my uncle; Reso Zukic; Fadil Zukic; Huso Cebo,
21 Safet Cebo."
22 [Interpretation] Are these the names?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Thank you. Who was in charge of your work platoon? Who was
25 heading this platoon?
1 A. Jankovic was the chief for us, whereas Nedjo Djukic was the one
2 who took us to various jobs. That labour platoon was commanded by
3 Nedjo Djukic.
4 Q. Could you tell us the ethnicity of Nedjo Djukic? We already know
5 the ethnicity of the other one.
6 A. [No interpretation]
7 Q. What was the role of Rajko Rajic, if he had one?
8 A. Rajko is not Hadzic. Rajko is Jankovic. And there's another
9 Rajko, his surname eludes me now.
10 Q. Maybe it's a problem of pronunciation. I'm talking about
11 Rajko Rajic?
12 A. Rajic, that's correct.
13 Q. What was the role of Rajko Rajic in this work platoon, if he had
14 a role to play?
15 A. He was in charge of us. The other Rajko appointed him as a
16 logistical man or something. He was the one who took us to the various
17 sites where work needed to be done. He would take us there and bring us
19 Q. Do you know whether there were other work platoons, apart from
20 yours, in the area?
21 A. Yes, in Vogosca, Ilijas, there were another two labour units. We
22 were never put together with them.
23 Q. As far as you know, these two other work platoons, were they made
24 up of volunteers or people who were forced to do labour, just like you?
25 A. Those were captives, people who were taken to prison first and
1 then taken to the frontlines. When they needed trenches to be dug fast,
2 they would bring those people, too, but we were never really put
3 together, the two groups.
4 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Please have document 1637 of the
5 65 ter list on the screen, please.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Dutertre, is it in the
7 binder? I can't find it.
8 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Normally, it is. Let me try and
9 find it in my own binder.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Go ahead, please.
11 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Very well.
12 Q. Witness, have you already seen this document?
13 A. I don't think this document is familiar. I can't remember
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. Again we have a
16 document without any markings on it, and again the thought crosses my
17 mind that the Prosecutor typed it himself. We don't have a registration
18 number, although there is a place for the registration number. Below the
19 word "Signature," there is a name of Branko Vlaco, but there is no
20 signature or stamp. Where did he get this from?
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, this is very
22 serious what you're saying. You're saying that, "What crosses my mind is
23 that the Prosecutor typed it himself." You're accusing him of forging
24 documents, making up documents and presenting them as evidence. I don't
25 think you understand the scope of what you're saying.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, remember only how
2 the Prosecutor treats documents that are used in cross-examination
3 without ever tendering them into evidence, and each of my documents has
4 been certified in court and authenticated. If there is no
5 authentication, then how does the Prosecutor even imagine he can use it?
6 What other thought could cross my mind? There is no registration number
7 that we can check it in the register. There is no signature, there is no
8 stamp, there's nothing.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, this document in
10 B/C/S -- Registrar, this document in B/C/S, could you scroll it up,
11 please, so we see what's on the bottom of it. Nothing, obviously,
12 nothing more. Very well. No stamp on this document.
13 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I have something to say.
14 Mr. Seselj, I said earlier that every time you made a reference
15 to your documents, the documents that you're showing, I said something,
16 and I'd like to say it again. You're saying that your own documents are
17 certified and authenticated. I want to state once again that it is only
18 the signature of the person who made the statement that has been
19 certified, the signature and not the document itself.
20 I'm just saying this for the transcript. I don't need your
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, to answer you,
23 because you raised a problem regarding the document and it looks like
24 you're hinting that the Bench has double standards in admitting documents
25 from Prosecution and not yours, I'm not speaking here on behalf of the
1 Bench, I'm talking for myself. The documents that you obtain through
2 your associates regarding witnesses that you intend to call, well, as far
3 as I'm concerned, these documents have all indicia of reliability
4 required, and personally I would have admitted them. So let things be
5 very clear.
6 There are no double standards here as far as the admission of
7 documents is concerned, their indicia of reliability. It could be either
8 the content of the document, it could be various mentions, it could be
9 stamps, a registration number, signatures. There's a whole series of
10 elements that go towards the reliability of a document, and in the
11 documents that you showed us, there were indicia of reliability; names,
12 surnames of the people who had signed the document, certification of
13 their signature. As far as I was concerned, that was enough.
14 As for the content, that's something else. Probative content,
15 this is something that we will discuss at the very end of the case. But
16 if the documents, there is prima facie admission according to a number of
17 elements, relevance and the assessment -- provisional assessment of the
18 indicia of the content and indicia of reliability. This is the way I
20 And here for this document here, there is no signature, no stamp,
21 no registration number. However, on the positive side, we have the name
22 of a person, Brane Vlaco, warden of the prison. Apparently, this seems
23 to deal with prisoners, we have a series of names here, and the witness
24 may identify these names, if need be, so this is relevant. Now as for
25 the probative value, this will be assessed later on.
1 This being said, Mr. Dutertre, what was your question? I
2 completely forgot your question.
3 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Well, I hadn't asked my question
4 yet, and I wanted to add that the Prosecution believes that -- submits
5 that the fact that Mr. Seselj is saying that we're fabricating evidence
6 is absolutely unacceptable.
7 Then I would like an MFI number for this document, and then I
8 will later on, just like for the other document, tell the Trial Chamber
9 exactly where this document comes from.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Dutertre, you always need
11 to say exactly where the documents come from, but please note that as far
12 as there were other documents that were attached to this document,
13 because it says "List 1," there are two receipts and notification. So
14 this document does not seem to be unique and single. It seems that there
15 were other documents that were attached to it. So we'd like to know how
16 you obtained it and what was attached to it.
17 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] I'll do this.
18 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Yes. You should do this ahead
19 of time so we wouldn't waste time.
20 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mrs. Lattanzi. I heard
21 you well.
22 Q. Mr. Sejdic -- could we please scroll the document up?
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a problem.
24 Mr. Dutertre, my colleague is telling me that it's time for the
25 break. We'll have a 20-minute break, and maybe during those 20 minutes
1 you'll be able to trace the origin of these documents.
2 One last break for the day, and we'll resume in 20 minutes.
3 --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 12.35 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have resumed our hearing.
6 Mr. Dutertre, if there are no procedural issues, you should be
7 able to finish your examination-in-chief.
8 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] I hope that this will be the case.
9 How much time do I have, exactly? Perhaps you could let me know.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I shall confirm this, but
12 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Mr. Sejdic, this document has a date, the 30th of August, 1992,
14 29th of August, 1992, and at the bottom of the document we see the name
15 of Mr. Vlaco, Branko [Realtime transcript read in error "Vinko"].
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. This document mentions the fact that eight prisoners were taken
18 to Zuc to work there. Do you know any of these people, i.e., on the list
19 of prisoners?
20 A. I don't know these people, but I heard of them, and I heard that
21 Vlaco was the warden of the prison then and that he took them to the hill
22 called "Zuc."
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Dutertre, you have one hour
24 and two minutes left.
25 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
1 I can see that on page 67, line 18, it says "Vlaco, Vinko"
2 instead of "Vlaco, Branko."
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Excuse me, I didn't hear how many
4 minutes the Prosecution has left?
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It hasn't been recorded. One
6 hour and two minutes is the time you have left.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] There is a mistake on page 68,
9 line 3, I shall not get back to that.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me repeat. The Prosecutor
11 has one hour and two minutes left.
12 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 On page 67, line 18, I said Vlaco, Branko, and not Vlaco, Vinko.
14 Q. Mr. Sejdic, can you give us the details of -- please, I'd like an
15 MFI number for this exhibit first.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can we have an MFI number,
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be MFI P464.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The number is MFI P464.
20 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. Mr. Sejdic, you touched upon this a little, but I would like you
22 to go into this in detail. Could you tell us what kind of jobs you were
23 asked to do? I understood that you had to dig trenches. You also
24 mentioned that you acted as a human shield. What else did you have to
1 A. From the beginning of the war to the end of the war, for me,
2 everything that could possibly be done in terms of work, I did. I dug
3 trenches, chopped wood, did digging work in the gardens and yards. We
4 carried wood for their heating for the winter. We swept streets, we did
5 cleaning. When there was not too many attacks on the frontlines, they
6 would take us home sometimes, when there was time, because they never
7 really allowed us to have any rest or to have any time free. We had to
8 do whatever they told us to do.
9 Q. You mentioned the pace of your work. Did you have to work all
10 the time, on a regular basis, often, rarely, every day? Could you
11 specify, please?
12 A. Whatever they pleased, non-stop. Whatever they needed done, they
13 took us.
14 Q. And when you weren't working, were you free in your own house,
15 were you being detained? What was your status when you weren't working?
16 A. For a while, we were staying in our homes, and this man,
17 Nedjo Djukic, would come to collect us, or maybe Rajko. They would give
18 us orders as to what needed to be done. They would drive us to the site.
19 And sometimes when they were pleased with the work that we did, when we
20 dug the trenches very quickly, in good time, they would sometimes take us
21 home to see our women and children. Sometimes, though, we would work for
22 a month on end without seeing our families.
23 Q. On these occasions when you were on the frontline, well, you
24 couldn't work all the time, 24 hours a day, I assume. Were you guarded,
25 were you detained somewhere, were you free to move around? What was it
2 A. Close to the Command in Semizovac, near Kulin Dvor, they had a
3 small house, and they kept us there. Whenever they needed something done
4 on the frontlines, they would pack us up into a truck, take us there, and
5 that's it.
6 Q. I shall now move on to another topic. I'd like to focus on the
7 person named Vasilije Vidovic. Who is Vasilije Vidovic, Mr. Sejdic?
8 A. Vasilije Vidovic, nicknamed Chetnik, also known as Vaske, if you
9 want me to describe him, I will.
10 Q. I shall ask other questions in the meantime. Did you see him
11 with your own eyes during the conflict between 1992 and 1995?
12 A. Yes. I used to see him all the time while he was in that area
13 where the combat operations were taking place 1992 to 1995, I was always
14 there with Rajko's unit, and his unit was also there, so I was able to
15 see him.
16 Q. Can you give us place names on the frontline where you saw him?
17 A. Wherever there was a line that needed to be taken control of,
18 near Nabozic, or near Srednje or up there towards Zuc hill, he would
19 always come with all his equipment and his men.
20 Q. Do you remember where and on what date you saw him for the first
21 time, approximately?
22 A. The first time I saw him was in 1992, sometimes -- three or four
23 months into 1992, when his unit was being set up, he was with that
24 Ilijas Battalion. So when Rajko went to the frontline and when he would
25 be taking control of those Muslim trenches, then the two of them would
1 join units and go into attack that way.
2 Q. Can you describe to us how he was dressed, as a rule?
3 A. You mean Vaske?
4 Q. Yes, I mean Vaske.
5 A. He had long hair. He was shortish. He had a cap, and then his
6 hair went down behind the cap. He wore a black camouflage uniform like
7 the men who pilot aeroplanes. That's the kind of one-piece black uniform
8 he had. He also had a rather short-barrelled rifle. He had a sword as
9 well, and the rest; a pistol and a bulletproof vest.
10 Q. Was he wearing any insignia, and if he was, could you describe
12 A. Yes. He had a cockade on that cap of his, on that particular cap
13 that he wore, and also he had a ribbon, blue, yellow or red. It depended
14 on the kind of ribbon they would put when they went into action, when his
15 soldiers went out to attack, so that they would know who they are.
16 Q. Could you describe the cockade you've just mentioned?
17 A. A cockade, one knows what a cockade is like. It's not like I'm
18 the only person whoever saw a cockade. It is well known that it's those
19 two eagles, something like that. You know what it's like.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you are saying that
21 everybody knows. The Bench doesn't know, so it's for you to tell us what
22 it is.
23 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] I was going to say this.
24 Q. Witness, I want you to explain to the Bench how you remember this
25 cockade. Could you describe it accurately to the Judges?
1 A. It looks like a kind of eagle, and then on the sides there is
2 this, you know, cockade. It's sort of like this [indicates], they put it
3 this way.
4 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] I note that the witness has
5 indicated, with a thumb and forefinger, what the insignia looked like.
6 Q. What colour was it?
7 A. Well, I cannot remember the colour exactly. I mean, please,
8 don't misunderstand me, but it's not that I was just looking at the
9 cockade. I was memorising the man involved, what he looked like, and I
10 wasn't really paying much attention to the cockade.
11 Q. Very well. How did Vasilije Vidovic get around?
12 A. He had his own people, and he had his own hardware, so to speak;
13 Howitzers, tanks, anti-aircraft -- now, what were they called, those guns
14 with three barrels on trucks? The trucks were camouflage ones. They
15 were painted in black and green. Flags were on them with the two crossed
16 swords and a skull, Vaske's flags on some trucks, and Vaske would usually
17 have his own jeep. At first, it was black, and there was this eagle
18 emblem on it, and the thing with the skull and the two swords, that black
20 Q. You've mentioned a jeep. What do you mean when you use this term
21 "jeep"? What do you mean by that? This may be a language issue.
22 A. It was a four-wheeled vehicle. It's called a jeep. People call
23 it a jeep. Mercedes, I think. I don't know. Like what the UN had,
24 those jeeps.
25 Q. How often did you see this jeep of Vasilije Vidovic's?
1 A. Well, I saw it for as long as I was there. I always saw that
2 vehicle of his, because when you see his vehicle, then it means that you
3 see Vaske, too, arriving or going out on an attack. I would always see
5 Q. Was there anything else, other than the flag, on his vehicle?
6 A. No, it was just that, and it's this emblem of theirs, let's put
7 it that way. They'd put a ribbon on that antenna when they drive.
8 Sometimes he put a yellow or a blue or a red one out there. It depended
9 when they went out to attack.
10 Q. And on the vehicle itself, had Vaske put anything, other than the
12 A. Yes. He had a skull, the skull of a Muslim. During an attack at
13 Crna Rijeka Visoravan, then Vaske Vidovic had a skull on his vehicle. It
14 was a Muslim's skull.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, a skull could be an
16 insignia, or was it a skull, a head that had been cut off, and the head
17 was on the vehicle? Is that what you mean?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They had this skull on Vaske's
19 automobile. Beforehand, he had this skull, but when the attack on
20 Crna Rijeka Plateau took place, then he had another one, a real one that
21 he cut off a Muslim.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So this was a skull with only
23 the bones and the teeth? Was there any skin on it and hair? This sounds
24 horrendous, but I think you should say things as you saw them. You are
25 saying that this was the head of a Muslim, but it might be a skull which
1 he picked up somewhere and took it to place it on the bonnet of the car.
2 What entitles you to say that this is a skull belonging to a Muslim?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll just explain briefly.
4 When you asked me whether he had some other emblem on the car, I
5 omitted to mention that he had this skull, without hair or anything, on
6 the car. But later on when there was this attack at Crna Rijeka Plateau,
7 then he cut off some Muslim's head, and he put that head on the car next
8 to that skull so the people would know that Vaske did that and that it
9 was Vaske's car.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So at some point on the
11 vehicle, there was the skull and the head that had been chopped off?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Dutertre.
14 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. So was Vaske the only person to have this kind of vehicle with
16 what you've just described on it?
17 A. Yes, he was the only one.
18 Q. What was the unit he commanded called?
19 A. Vaske's "skalamerija" [phoen], hardware.
20 Q. Could you explain to us what's on the record here, Vaske's
21 "skalamerija"? Could you explain it to us with a paraphrase? Could you
22 tell us what this means?
23 A. Oh, it was those vehicles of his. When he would come with his
24 troops and the vehicles, that's what they called them. It was Vaske's
25 unit, and it was supposed to be called Vaske's Unit, but they would say
1 Vaske arrived with his "skalamerija."
2 Q. What reputation did Vaske's unit have?
3 A. What do you mean by "reputation"?
4 Q. What reputation -- what idea did people have of this unit of
5 Vaske's men, of what they were doing? Were they notorious, were they
6 deemed to be good fighters?
7 A. [Previous translation continues] ... get near Kulin Dvor,
8 Jankovic's command, that is. When they were supposed to go out to attack
9 or something, they would whistle, they would be merry, they would shout,
10 they would laugh, they would put this black paint on, they would put
11 different insignia on. They would simply be getting ready to attack.
12 Q. And during the attacks, how did they behave, compared with the
13 people of the other side? How did they behave?
14 A. How did they behave? Well, of course everyone knew how they
15 behaved. It was helter-skelter. They seemed crazy, brainless. I don't
16 know how to put this. That is how they attack. Whoever they'd get their
17 hands on, whoever they'd capture, they'd kill, slit their throats.
18 That's what they did.
19 Q. Where was Vaske's unit based, primarily, in what location?
20 A. Their base was in Ilijas, near the hotel, the Ilijas Hotel, the
21 former hotel. They held this hotel as their own rooms, whatever, their
22 command, Vaske's, sort of.
23 Q. Could you give us the names of some of the members of Vaske's
24 unit, if you remember?
25 A. I know they called one Okil [phoen] Sladjan. The nickname of
1 another one was Zenica. The two of them were the worst. Then the
2 others -- well, I knew a few of them. I knew them by sight, but I could
3 not -- I could not remember, because basically then I was not allowed to
4 be among his soldiers, because Rajko did not let him have us. He didn't
5 get us together.
6 Q. Who gave Vaske orders? Who was his superior?
7 A. Well, Dragan Josipovic was his boss, to him, and Rajko Jankovic.
8 So Dragan Josipovic was their boss, and Major Radic was
9 Dragan Josipovic's superior. Dragan Josipovic was in Sonja's building,
10 the camp there. It was called Dragan Josipovic's sort of command.
11 Q. Can you tell us who this Dragan Josipovic was? Was he a
12 professional soldier, was he a volunteer, did he have a rank in the army?
13 Could you be more precise, please?
14 A. Yes, yes. I think -- I mean, please don't misunderstand me, but
15 I think he had some rank in some army before the war, and when he got
16 there to that command at Sonja's with his main person there, Radic, it
17 means that the two of them were then -- well, they had some kind of
18 ranks, say, from earlier on, and Dragan was like Rajko Jankovic. He was
19 a bit thinner than Rajko Jankovic. He was about as tall as I am. He
20 wore a one-piece black camouflage uniform, and he just had a pistol on
22 Q. What rank did he have?
23 A. I beg your pardon?
24 Q. What rank did he have?
25 A. I think that his rank was, say, that of colonel or major, or
1 something like that, one of the two. It is one of the two.
2 Q. The unit he commanded, according to what you remember, was it a
3 unit made up of professional soldiers or volunteers? Can you shed some
4 light on this, please?
5 A. Well, it was -- it was a unit of professional soldiers and of
6 volunteers, and he was in charge.
7 Q. I shall now move on to another topic.
8 You mentioned that you were used as a human shield. In what
9 location for the first time were you used as a human shield?
10 A. When this human shield happened for the first time, it was when
11 the attack against Zuc was launched, because -- let me try to remember
12 now. Nobody really felt like dates or anything like that. I mean, you
13 didn't really feel like doing anything, because when Zuc was falling, I
14 was wondering whether I would stay alive. So at that moment when the
15 attack on Zuc took place, they used us as a human shield, and that is
16 where I was wounded. If necessary, I can even show you where. I'm not
17 embarrassed, I'm not ashamed.
18 Q. That won't be necessary. Thank you. Can you tell us
19 approximately when this happened? Just give us a date, approximately,
21 A. I think it was the end of 1993, around the end of 1993, say
22 almost 1994, something like that.
23 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to jog
24 the memory of the witness on this particular point, if you'd allow me.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, if he doesn't remember.
1 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] On page 15, paragraph 73 of the
2 92 ter interview of the 16th and 17th of October, 2006, and he mentions:
3 [In English] "... 3, my work platoons and other work platoons
4 were used as human shields when first the BiH Army launched an attack on
5 elevation 830."
6 [Interpretation] According to the previous paragraph, we know
7 that elevation 830 is in Zuc.
8 Q. Is that right, Mr. Sejdic?
9 A. Yes, that's right, that's right. When the BH Army started its
10 attack against the Serb feature 830, the Muslim elevation was 850. So
11 when they started taking this feature elevation, there was this strong
12 attack, and the Serbs who were commanders at the frontline could not stop
13 the BH Army momentarily until the Intervention Platoons arrived later,
14 the specials. And among the specials were Jankovic's people and Vaske's
15 people, Dragan Damjanovic's men and the rest.
16 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Just for the sake of the record,
17 on page 77, line 25, it's probably my fault. I started out by saying,
18 "At the end of the summer, 1993. We can only see the number "3."
19 Q. Mr. Sejdic, who ordered you to act as a human shield in Zuc?
20 A. On that occasion, Dragan Damjanovic was someone we knew. I think
21 that first he was worse than Vaske, until I found out who Vaske was. So
22 at the time in Svrake, when Svrake was being taken, he was even worse.
23 When he grouped these people when they were taken to prisons, he was the
24 worst then. However, he held the Svrake frontline where the Serbs were.
25 They held the hill of Zuc, and on that day when Zuc started to fall, he
1 came from down there with his men, and there were all of us who were on
2 the work platoon, and there was this place where they brought us to dig
3 trenches and communicating trenches, and then they would stop our
4 digging, but then they would send us ahead so that the BH Army would not
5 shoot at us. They didn't want them to get killed. They wanted us to get
6 killed or they didn't want the BH Army to shoot. So that was that attack
7 against us on the work platoons, at Zuc, I mean. That's when
8 Dragan Damjanovic -- out of us, the 25 men who were running back when
9 this attack took place, he personally executed 25 men.
10 Q. We'll get back to this. When you say that there were several of
11 you, there were several work patrols that were used as human shields, so
12 where did the other work platoons come from? You were there, but where
13 did the other ones come from?
14 A. The other work platoons were located in the area of Ilijas,
15 Vogosca. In Vogosca -- well, around Vogosca, there were these villages,
16 and they were bringing these people in when they were arresting them,
17 when the attack took place; that is to say, from 1992 onwards. And --
18 Q. Just a minute. What did they say to force you to act as a human
19 shield? Did they threaten you? What did they tell you?
20 A. When they let these people out, then they had brought us the
21 previous night to dig communicating trenches there and dugouts, and we
22 didn't know that there were some other people on the other side of Zuc
23 who were also digging trenches and communicating trenches. However, when
24 they brought these people in, they had this container, and that's where
25 they put these people. And they took us down to Semizovac.
1 In the evening, when we would finish, they would take us down to
2 Semizovac, Jankovic's men who were on the work platoon, that is to say,
3 me and my father and the others that I already mentioned. They would
4 take us back, and that evening when we came to work there, then we saw
5 these men in that container as we were passing by. It wasn't too far
6 away. That's where they took us. That's where I saw these men in the
7 container. However, when the attack took place, when they were fleeing
8 from the frontline or from that container towards Vogosca, back down,
9 because they had nowhere to run up, they had to run back, and then when
10 their units came to help out at their frontline, then this
11 Dragan Damjanovic and the others started forcing us ahead. And then at
12 that moment, some people got killed in this attack, and I was wounded
13 there. And I was running from up there, but at that moment as I was
14 running, Dragan Damjanovic was hollering at the rest of the men, cursing
15 at their Turkish mothers and saying, "I'm going to slaughter all of you,
16 kill all of you. Go back, go back."
17 Q. Very well. Let's try and look at this step by step.
18 If I understood you well, you were used as a human shield with
19 others from work platoons, and you said -- you mentioned that at one
20 point in time, Dragan Damjanovic killed 25 people. Could you tell us why
21 Dragan Damjanovic killed 25 people who were used as human shields, just
22 like you were, if I've understood you right?
23 A. Yes, you understood it right. He killed 25 people. He executed
24 them, these people from the work platoon, from Vogosca. I mean, they
25 held those people there in that container, and he executed them because
1 he was upset because the Muslims had already taken some trenches at that
2 elevation of theirs. So he was upset because his line was falling, and
3 at that moment when they were running back, then he got angry and started
4 shouting and cursing their Turkish mothers, their balija mothers, and he
5 said, "I'm going to kill all of you, slaughter all of you. You are not
6 going to survive. If my people are getting killed, you're going to get
7 killed too." That's what he said.
8 Q. Was Dragan Damjanovic the only one shooting or were there others
9 shooting the 25 people of the Vogosca work platoon?
10 A. Yes, another man was with him, Vlado Cetkovic. He was commander
11 of the line at Zuc. And before the war, he lived in the village of
12 Svrake, where I lived too, and I know him very well, Vlado Cetkovic.
13 Q. Which unit did Vlado Cetkovic belong to?
14 A. Well, he belonged half to Vogosca and half to Svrake, those that
15 held the line at Zuc at that time. He was the commander of the frontline
17 Q. When these people were executed, could you tell us how far you
18 were from this?
19 A. Well, maybe I was, say, 50 metres away from them.
20 Q. When this happened, was Vaske there also?
21 A. No. Vaske came later. He came later with his unit.
22 Q. Could you tell us who Avdo Tiric is?
23 A. Well, Avdo Tiric was from my work platoon. When we just began
24 working at the beginning of 1992, I mentioned his name, and
25 Nermin Skando, too, and they were in the work platoon at the time
1 together with us. But they were in Vogosca -- sometimes they were taken
2 in Vogosca to do labour and at other times where we were, depending on
3 how many men they needed where.
4 Q. Tell us what happened to them on that day, the day where you were
5 used as a human shield for the first time.
6 A. The two of them were killed during the attack or the fighting at
7 Zuc hill. I don't know whether it was the Muslims' army who hit them or
8 the Serb army. Anyway, the two of them were killed. From what side, I
9 can't say.
10 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'd like to jog the
11 witness's memory on this point.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Go ahead.
13 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Page 16, paragraph 82 of the
14 92 ter statement dated 16, 17 and 20 October 2006. I'm talking about a
15 written statement:
16 [In English] "I am also an eyewitness to the killings of these
17 two men."
18 [Interpretation] You're talking about these two men in this
19 paragraph, this is Avdo Tiric and Nermin Skando, and I quote:
20 [In English] "The Intervention Platoon was running down the hill,
21 not too far from the Vogosca group, away from the Bosnian Army
22 trenches --"
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] They told me this was paragraph 82,
24 but I don't see that in paragraph 82. Perhaps it's some other number.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Is this paragraph 82?
1 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] I'm reading paragraph 82, and I
2 stopped my quote to say that the two people mentioned are Nermin Skando
3 and Avdo Tiric mentioned on paragraph 81. Maybe I could just say that
4 this is paragraph 81 and 82. That would make things more clear.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] I continue:
7 [In English] "... Cetkovic opened fire on Avdo and Nermin. I
8 could see that Damjanovic was angry because of what had happened in the
9 battle. My work platoon found these two additional men when we were
10 burying the other 25."
11 Q. Is this what you stated at the time? Do you confirm this?
12 A. Yes, I do confirm it, because when I was escaping from up there,
13 up on the hill, I saw Dragan there and this other man. What's his name?
14 I've just forgotten his name.
15 Q. I read "Dragan Damjanovic and Cetkovic."
16 A. Cetkovic, that's right, I saw the two of them when they were
17 shooting Avdo Tiric and Skando, Nermin. Now, I don't know whether they
18 were alive at that point or whether they were already dead, whether they
19 had been hit by one of ours or one of theirs, but I saw them shooting at
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. This isn't reminding
22 someone, this is contradiction between what the witness said during
23 examination-in-chief and what the Prosecution wrote as his alleged
24 statement under 92 ter. The witness said quite clearly here that he did
25 not see --
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you can come back
2 to this during your cross-examination.
3 The important thing here, Witness, is the following: It seems
4 that you buried 27 people altogether, the 25 who had been -- according to
5 what you say, who had been killed at first, and the two others who were
6 killed later on. So do you confirm that yourself, you, with your
7 comrades, dug a grave for those 27 bodies, to put these 27 bodies in
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I stand by that, I confirm that,
10 that we dug them in one grave. All those 25 people were put in one
11 grave. Skando, Nermin and Avdo Tiric, we took to Semizovac, next to the
12 mosque, and buried them there because they were from the village of
13 Semizovac and Svrake.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have an objection again. These
15 are procedural objections and not the subject of cross-examination.
16 When the Prosecutor quote what the witness said in his alleged 92
17 ter statement which was prepared by the OTP by compilation of various
18 excerpts from other statements, then the witness says, "I saw Damjanovic
19 and Cetkovic shooting at Avdo and Nermin, but I didn't know whether they
20 were already dead at the time or not." So the witness now leaves open
21 the possibility of the fact that Damjanovic and Cetkovic were actually
22 shooting at dead people, so this puts the witness in a very difficult
23 position, and that is the substance of my objection. The witness has a
24 duty to the Prosecutor to confirm what is being suggested to him by them,
25 and when he speaks on his own, he's quite frank, and says he didn't see
1 when Damjanovic and Cetkovic were killed but that they were killed up at
2 the front line and he doesn't know which side they were killed by. Now,
3 if you think that is all right procedurally speaking, then you go on,
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This had not escaped me, and I
6 do confirm that you could have gone back to this during the
7 cross-examination. So we'll deduct from the time you had for
8 cross-examination, starting at line 10, page 84.
9 Mr. Prosecutor, we had an answer from the witness, and we need to
10 shed some light on this.
11 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Of course, and contrary to what
12 Mr. Seselj says, the witness is not -- does not have to confirm all my
13 questions. He is free to answer, of course, the way he wishes to answer.
14 Q. Mr. Sejdic, when you saw Avdo and Nermin being shot by Damjanovic
15 and Cetkovic, were they standing up, were they kneeling, were they lying
16 down; what do you remember?
17 A. I saw it when all the people who were running downhill, that
18 Cetkovic and Dragan Damjanovic started shooting at them, and they started
19 falling down. And at the point in time while I was running, and what
20 Mr. Seselj is saying, that it's not correct about the statements, he
21 couldn't turn round straight away either. While I was running away and
22 was afraid, I don't]didn't know whether I saw myself at that point in
23 time, but I did see that they were shooting at the two of them and the
24 other 25 people, because why would Skando, Nermin and Avdo Tiric have
25 been killed, then? So I don't see the reason.
1 Q. So you were running downhill? So were you above them, behind
2 Nermin and Avdo, or downhill, in front of Nermin and Avdo? Could you
3 tell us exactly where you were?
4 A. I was to the left of them while I was escaping, running down the
5 hill. Let me explain. Running down the hill this way [indicates], I was
6 to the left, and they were down there [indicates], a little further down.
7 And while I was running, I was supposed to come up to this hill where
8 they were, to pass by that way, because you could only go down that way
9 where all the other men were fleeing.
10 Q. What distance was there between Damjanovic and Cetkovic, on the
11 one hand, and Nermin and Avdo, on the other hand?
12 A. Not far.
13 Q. What about you; how far were you from them?
14 A. I've already stressed that I was at about 50 metres' distance
15 from them when I saw it.
16 Q. Thank you. Mr. Sejdic, do you think you saw Mr. Seselj during
17 the conflict in Sarajevo from 1992 to 1995?
18 A. Just as I see him now, Mr. Seselj. And he can look me in the
19 eyes carefully so that I can look at him carefully. He was at the
20 Crna Rijeka Plateau. He, together with Mr. Karadzic and Mr. Mladic,
21 Rajko Jankovic, Dragan Josipovic, they stood by the tanks there.
22 Do you remember me, when I was carrying the ammunition and
23 passing by your tanks?
24 Q. Witness, please. Had you already seen Mr. Seselj before? This
25 is the first time you saw him?
1 A. I saw him before once on television, when he was talking to his
2 people and raising the uprising. I saw his face. But I'll never give up
3 what I say, that I saw him at that plateau. That's why I'm stating this
4 publicly and telling him -- looking him in the eyes, that I saw him there
5 with my very own eyes.
6 Q. When you saw him at the plateau, Rijeka Plateau, could you tell
7 us exactly when it was?
8 A. That means that was between 1993 and 1994, when the attack on the
9 plateau took place, when all the soldiers were there and everybody who
10 was from Ilijas, Vogosca, Rajlovac, Ilidza, all the men gathered together
11 there. They came to the Crna Rijeka Plateau from all directions when the
12 fighting started towards Olovo and Crna Rijeka.
13 Q. You said that you had already seen him on television, if I'm
14 right. How long before was it when you saw him? How long was it before
15 the time when you saw him in 1983 [as interpreted] or 1984
16 [as interpreted]?
17 A. I didn't understand the question properly, what you actually
18 meant. Do you mean on television or when I saw him --
19 Q. Television. You said you saw him on television first. When was
21 A. I saw him on television while I was in the work platoon, on one
22 occasion when they let me go home to visit my wife and children. I can't
23 say they didn't give us time to go home and that was normal. We had our
24 television set at home. My wife always liked watching television, so
25 when I went home to see my wife and children, I happened to see him at
1 the protest rally in Serbia, together with Vuk, that -- what's his name,
2 Vuk Draskovic or whatever. He was shouting to his people out there when
3 he made a speech or took part in the rally or whatever.
4 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Page 87, line 6, it's 1993 and
5 1994, and not 1983.
6 Q. Now, you said you saw him on the plateau. Was this -- his visit,
7 was it announced?
8 A. I don't know.
9 Q. How far were you from him, from him and from Mr. Radic and
10 Karadzic, whom you've also mentioned?
11 A. I was about 30 metres away from them on that plateau, where they
12 were at the Crna Rijeka plateau, when the tankists [as interpreted] shot.
13 I was passing by as a member of the work platoon. I was carrying
14 ammunition and food and water for the men. I went with them.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One short question, sir.
16 You were part of this labour patrol. How were you dressed?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Civilian clothes.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Dutertre.
19 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation]
20 Q. How many people were around Mr. Seselj?
21 A. About 30. They were on the tanks or standing next to him. There
22 were some soldiers. Vaske's and Jankovic's men were behind him, some
23 were standing around. Vaske's skalamerija or hardware turned up because
24 they attacked Crna Rijeka with whatever pieces they had.
25 Q. Could you tell us how Mr. Seselj was dressed that day?
1 A. I didn't see exactly what he was wearing, because he was
2 surrounded by other people. I saw Mladic and Karadzic in uniform, the
3 SMB olive-green camouflage uniforms from top to bottom. Mladic had
4 binoculars in his hands, and he had a belt with a pistol at his belt,
5 attached to his belt. Karadzic was standing there --
6 Q. I'm only interested in Mr. Seselj. How long did you stay there?
7 A. Not long. I was just passing by, taking Rajko's and other
8 fighters' ammunition, food and everything else I was carrying and had to
9 rush off to them.
10 Q. Did you hear what this person which you've identified as being
11 Mr. Seselj said?
12 A. Well, he was saying, "Hit the balijas and Turks in their flesh.
13 Go ahead, brother Serbs, hit them. Don't leave anything alive in front
14 of you." That's what he said.
15 Q. Was Vaske there?
16 A. Yes, he was.
17 Q. How -- what made you believe that this was Mr. Seselj? You said
18 that you could see his clothes. He was surrounded by too many people.
19 A. I saw his face. I saw his glasses. I saw him just like I'm
20 looking at him now and can see him now.
21 Q. How sure are you that this was Mr. Seselj?
22 A. How sure am I? Well, I'm so sure that I can come here and tell
23 him that I saw him with my own eyes, that he was him, to his face.
24 Don't -- I would like to ask the distinguished guest not to laugh
25 at me. I don't want to look at him. I haven't got a lot of patience
1 with all this, because this isn't just ordinary examination about
2 nothing, it's important, and all the time that's gone by --
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you found the solution
4 yourself. Don't look at him. Watch the Bench, watch the Prosecutor.
5 Don't look at him. I can't stop him from grinning or not being -- not
6 agreeing with you.
7 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Sejdic, when did you mention to the OTP that you saw
9 Mr. Seselj that day on the plateau? When did you mention that to the OTP
10 for the first time?
11 A. When did I mention that? Are you asking me when I mentioned
12 that? Could you repeat your question, please.
13 Q. When did you tell this to the OTP, the fact that you had
14 identified Mr. Seselj at the Rijeka Plateau?
15 A. When I said it, when I told you? Well, it's in my statement,
16 I think, when I said this, when I gave the other statements too.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have an objection. I demand that
18 the Prosecutor remind him when he previously said it. And this is a
19 procedural objection.
20 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] You can ask this question during
21 your cross-examination.
22 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] I believe I'm done with my
23 questions, Your Honours, and on time.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
25 We have a few minutes left before we adjourn. I believe that
1 Mr. Seselj's cross-examination will thus start next week, but I do have a
2 few additional questions to ask Mr. Sejdic.
3 Could you remind us when you were freed? When were you released?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I was released? I was never
5 released. I escaped from Ilidza at the end of the war in 1996, or
6 whatever year that could have been. So from the end of 1995 or in 1996,
7 that's when I managed to escape, when the Serbs were leaving Rajlovac,
8 Vogosca, Ilidza, and when the Green Berets were entering the area of
9 Vogosca from Sarajevo, when the Blue Convoy route was open and I managed
10 to escape.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's go back to
12 the plateau and the day you saw Mr. Seselj.
13 According to what I understood, there was fighting going on. If
14 Karadzic, Mladic and tanks were there, there must have been some
15 significant fighting going on. Could you shed some light on this?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can. What do you want me to
17 explain, Judge, sir?
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. I'm talking about this
19 episode of the plateau, when you saw Mr. Seselj with Karadzic and Mladic.
20 You said that there were tanks, there were troops, so I deduct from this
21 that some significant fighting must have been going on. What was this
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can tell you that because I
24 was there personally. They were shooting from everything, from the
25 tanks, cannons, mortars, machine-guns. They were shooting from all
1 sides. They were attacking the villages, those units of theirs, after
2 the artillery. After the artillery had done its shooting, they went
3 around the villages, killing everybody they came across. They would
4 seize food, the tractors, trucks, whatever they found by the houses, in
5 the garages, and so on.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. This is general,
7 but I would like to know who exactly they were attacking. Given the
8 concentration of these high-profile personalities, what was the target
9 and what was the purpose of the attack?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the object -- the target was
11 because Crna Rijeka was linked up to Olovo and Tuzla, and that's where
12 the soldiers were, the Muslim soldiers in the Crna Rijeka Plateau, in
13 Ogniste [phoen] and the surrounding villages, holding the lines and
14 preventing a Serb attack on their village. However, as the Serbs were
15 stronger at the time, they were stronger in their attacks and had more
16 tanks and everything because they'd all met up at the plateau, Vaske's
17 people, the tanks, the artillery from Ilijas, Rajlovac, Vogosca, all the
18 people from there. They all gathered on that plateau there.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] From what I understood, you
20 were in civilian clothes. You were probably not the only one helping to
21 carry ammunition. If I am mistaken, I stand to be corrected, but you
22 were carrying ammunition and shells to where the artillery fire was?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I was carrying the ammunition
24 following Jankovic's Intervention Platoon. I was carrying their
25 ammunition. If they found it heavy to carry something, they would let me
1 carry it. When they arrived, they had their own ammunition in their own
2 truck, and their truck's name was the 150 or whatever the truck was
3 referred to. It had a tarpaulin, it was a big truck, and they would load
4 up crates of hand grenades that they throw from their shoulders or backs
5 with mortars and mortar shells. All this was in the -- on the trucks,
6 and we had the kind of equipment where you could fit three hand grenades
7 in, and I would carry their ammunition and food and I would run after
8 them. And when they needed anything, any ammunition, I would hand it to
9 them, I would be at the ready. And if anybody was shot, I would have to
10 pull them out on the territory.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My last question: According to
12 you, Mr. Seselj stayed for some time, for a long time, during the entire
13 operation? What do you remember?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I went on ahead, following the
15 Intervention Platoon, they remained down there, and I don't know when
16 they met up. I couldn't go back there, because his men were advancing
17 forward and I had to follow them.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Irrespective of Mr. Seselj,
19 were there any other people who were not members of the VRS who were
20 there, I don't know, maybe as visitors, observers, onlookers? Were there
21 other people there or was Mr. Seselj the only person, apart from the
22 VRS Main Staff or Mr. Karadzic? Were there any other people, apart from
23 Mr. Seselj?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't see any other people like
25 that. All I saw was them and their army, and Karadzic's and Mladic's
1 intervention men who were standing with them.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, bodyguards, I saw
3 their bodyguards.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The famous Vaske whom you
5 mentioned, was he there?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, he was.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] He was there. Very well.
8 Witness, it is now time to stop, because there will be another
9 hearing in this courtroom. I would like to remind you of my
11 You are not to contact anyone before next week. Next week, we
12 shall start at 8.30 on Tuesday morning. We shall be sitting in the
13 morning, which means that you might be able to leave in the afternoon.
14 That said, Mr. Mundis, what is the schedule for next week? From
15 what I understood, I shall not quote any names, because if there are some
16 protected witnesses, but I believe at first hand that we will be hearing
17 Witness 1060. Is that right?
18 MR. MUNDIS: Actually, Your Honours, as a result of the fact that
19 Mr. Sejdic will continue, we are going to push off Witness 1060 into the
20 following week, so that the schedule for next week would be Mr. Sejdic
21 finishing his testimony and then moving on to Witness 1012, which was the
22 witness who was scheduled to go Wednesday and Thursday of next week,
23 after 1060. So we're moving 1060 to the following week. We will finish
24 Mr. Sejdic and then move into 1012 for the rest of the week.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
1 Like that Mr. Seselj is advised of the schedule. We will hear
2 Witness 1012.
3 The legal officer has just told me that as far as Witness 1012 is
4 concerned, we have planned an hour and a half for the Prosecution's
5 examination-in-chief. You have noted this, Mr. Mundis, have you?
6 MR. MUNDIS: I have indeed. Thank you, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I wish all and everyone a nice
8 evening, and we shall meet again on Tuesday morning at 8.30.
9 Thank you. The Court stands adjourned.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,
11 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 17th day
12 of June, 2008, at 8.30 a.m.