1 Tuesday, 17 June 2008
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 8.32 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, could you please
6 call the case.
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] Thank you, Registrar.
10 This is Tuesday, June 17th, 2008, and I greet the representatives
11 of the OTP, Mr. Seselj, as well as everyone helping us.
12 We are here to continue the hearing of our witness. It's the
13 cross-examination now. Mr. Seselj sent us a number of documents which he
14 intends to use during this cross-examination, and the OTP also has the
15 documents or can have the documents.
16 We will now bring the witness into the courtroom. Could the
17 usher please escort the witness into the courtroom.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning, Witness. Can you
20 hear me? Very well.
21 The cross-examination will now start, and I will give the floor
22 to Mr. Seselj.
23 WITNESS: SAFET SEJDIC [Resumed]
24 [The witness answered through interpreter]
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Seselj:
1 Q. Mr. Sejdic, we're going to begin with the events in the village
2 of Svrake. You lived in that village when the conflict broke out between
3 the Serbian and Muslim armies, and the conflict lasted two days; that's
4 right, isn't it?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And the Muslims, although they were perhaps less well armed than
7 the Serbs and the JNA, did not wish to surrender right up until the JNA
8 Air Force appeared looming above the village; isn't that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You didn't say that during your examination-in-chief, but I
11 learned that four bombs were dropped on the village from the plane.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Nobody was killed by those bombs, but they did frighten the
14 Muslim soldiers, and after that they decided to surrender; that's right,
15 isn't it?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. During the fighting in the village of Svrake, just one Muslim
18 soldier was killed; right?
19 A. I don't know that.
20 Q. All right. I have some information that tells me that one
21 soldier was killed. But, anyway, you lived in the village of Svrake with
22 your family, and when the conflict broke out, you asked a neighbour of
23 yours, who was a Muslim, to put your wife and small child up in his
24 cellar, which served as a shelter; isn't that right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And he refused; he said there wasn't any room; right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And what do you think, did he refuse you just because there was
4 actually no room or for some other reason?
5 A. Because there was no room.
6 Q. And how many people were in that cellar?
7 A. I didn't go in to see.
8 Q. So you don't know how many people were in his cellar?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Wasn't it logical, if you asked for your wife and small child,
11 for him to say, "Well, let them come into the cellar and I'll stay
12 outside"? Isn't that what any honourable man would have done?
13 A. Well, I don't know that.
14 Q. What's your neighbour's name?
15 A. Mizet Piknjac.
16 Q. Mizet Piknjac?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. All right. Mr. Sejdic, later on, you found -- happened to be in
19 the Muslim village of Korita; right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Where you came by buses?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And how many days did you stay in the village?
24 A. Fifteen to twenty days, thereabouts.
25 Q. And why were only you returned to Semizovac and nobody else?
1 A. I don't know exactly why they sent me back. Probably because I
2 was a Roma.
3 Q. Because you were a Roma, they had this antipathy towards your
4 family and you. Usually, Bosnian Muslims call the Roma "Gurbeti"?
5 A. I don't know what they call them.
6 Q. And did you hear that one of these people who told you you had to
7 leave said, "All we need is Gurbetis over here"?
8 A. No, I didn't hear that.
9 Q. You didn't hear that, okay. But you told the Serbs that when you
10 arrived in Semizovac?
11 A. That's not how I put it. That's not what I said.
12 Q. So which Muslims in Korita told you that you had to go to
14 A. I don't know exactly. I don't know the names of the Muslims.
15 Q. How many of them were there?
16 A. I don't know that either.
17 Q. Well, some people came and said, "You have to go to Semizovac,"
19 A. No, that's not right.
20 Q. Well, how was it, then?
21 A. They said, "Anybody who wants to go to Semizovac and Sarajevo,
22 there's a free place down there. You can pass through. Nobody will do
23 anything to you." That's what we heard. And then my father decided that
24 we should start off towards Sarajevo because we have some family there.
25 Q. Your father went to Sarajevo, but you went to Semizovac?
1 A. No. My family and my father and all of us went towards
2 Semizovac, and if we wanted to go to Sarajevo, we had to go to Semizovac.
3 And there were paramilitary units there, Serbs, Serb paramilitaries.
4 Q. And in Semizovac, you joined a work unit and then a combat unit
5 of the Serb Army, didn't you?
6 A. Not straight away. I didn't join straight away, but when we
7 arrived in Semizovac, Nebojsa Spiric took us into custody.
8 Q. Where did he take you into custody?
9 A. Well, he took us to our houses, kept us in detention there,
10 interrogated us, and took my brother away.
11 Q. Your brother was in the Muslim units; right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And they knew about that?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. He took part in the fighting for Svrake?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And they incarcerated him and then set him free a few days later?
18 A. No, they didn't set him free. They allowed him to report to us
19 at home, to tell us, and then put us in prison in Planina Kuce.
20 Q. Let's look at this. He was free for two days, and then he left,
21 and nobody ever learned where he went; right?
22 A. No. When he came to our house to tell us, he tried to escape.
23 Q. Now, is there any logic in them releasing him to go home for two
24 days and then to have him back in prison? There's no logic there.
25 A. That's what they did, they released them.
1 Q. They let him go home, and then he went somewhere after that, and
2 you don't know where either; isn't that right?
3 A. No. He came to see us, and then later on he was supposed to
4 report to the prison in Planina Kuce. A soldier came to fetch him.
5 However, he tried to escape, and they captured him somewhere up there
6 when they brought him to prison. They took him to Planina Kuce, and we
7 never heard of him later on.
8 Q. As a member of the Work Platoon, you had a salary, didn't you?
9 A. Yes, I did, some little salary.
10 Q. You had a salary?
11 A. No, I didn't take any salary.
12 Q. What did you live on?
13 A. Well, we received some humanitarian aid from them.
14 Q. From whom?
15 A. Well, from the Red Cross or whatever. I'm not quite sure.
16 Q. You received financial assistance from the Serb authorities?
17 A. Right.
18 Q. You were given a certain sum of money, which wasn't a large sum
19 of money, by way of a salary, and every month you would get food issued
20 to you; isn't that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And your family lived on that?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Life was difficult, but it was difficult for everyone else, too;
25 they all lived the same way, right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And your wife, for that first year while you were doing your work
3 assignment, became pregnant and gave birth, thank goodness, to a healthy
4 child, alive and well?
5 A. That's what you think.
6 Q. Well, where did your wife give birth?
7 A. At home.
8 Q. Was she given all the medical assistance she needed?
9 A. I wouldn't put it that way, I wouldn't say so.
10 Q. Did she ask for any assistance and the Serb authorities withhold
12 A. She didn't ask for assistance, nor did the Serb authorities come
13 to our door.
14 Q. You had the right to health insurance throughout the time that
15 you were undergoing your work assignment?
16 A. That depends.
17 Q. Well, you had that right; you had the right to health insurance,
18 didn't you?
19 A. I didn't have that right. If I did have that right, then the
20 whole time I wouldn't have suffered. I would have been --
21 Q. Well, we haven't come to that suffering part, whether you
22 suffered or not, yet. What I'm saying is of your own free will, you
23 joined the Serb authorities, and then of your own free will, you became a
24 member of a combat unit.
25 Now, may we have on our screens document 0220-4652 on e-court,
1 please. I assume e-court is working and the document can be put on
2 e-court. The Prosecution provided me with it. If you don't have the
3 document, then I'll give you my copy.
4 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just one point for
6 Mr. Seselj says that the witness voluntarily accepted to go with
7 the Serb authorities, but during the examination-in-chief, he said that
8 he was forced to go and this was against his will. Could Mr. Seselj
9 please quote the source that he's using to say so, unless it's the
10 document he's showing now or he will show?
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Seselj. It seems that
12 there is a slight problem on the labour done in this unit. Was he forced
13 to do it or did he do it of his own will, freely? You seem to say that
14 he had a salary, but he says that he didn't want the salary. But all
15 elements seem to show that he was free to go. Maybe the document will
16 shed light on this and go in favour of what you're saying.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm going to provide an
18 explanation, but I hope that won't be deducted from my valuable time.
19 A work obligation or assignment was prescribed by law in Serbia
20 and Republika Srpska, and the Muslim Croatian Federation took over that
21 law and the regulation. All citizens that weren't incorporated into
22 their military training assignment were in the work assignment which is
23 parallel to the military assignments, so if you weren't fit for a
24 military assignment, you would have a work assignment, and it has the
25 right to a salary, health insurance and so on. Certain rights are
1 incurred on the basis of that status.
2 Q. So on the basis of that work of yours in the work unit, you
3 received a salary, you were supplied with food, and you had health
4 insurance. Have you seen the document? This was issued by the
5 Command of Military Post 749/12 to which you belonged; right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. So this is a certificate confirming that you were a member of the
8 Army of Republika Srpska as of the 4th of April, 1992?
9 A. Not correct.
10 Q. That's what it says on the certificate. The OTP provided me with
11 that. Whether that's correct, I'm not interested in that.
12 A. That's what it can say there.
13 Q. He was deployed in the Semizovac Battalion, where he still is
14 located, and this certificate is issued for the realisation of the rights
15 to health and social insurance of family members. Wife, Kadira, born on
16 such-and-such a date, and son, Edim, and daughter, Eldina. So on the
17 basis of your work assignment, as members of your immediate family, your
18 dependents had the right to social and health insurance, and this is
19 proof -- the certificate was issued in 1994, when you needed it for some
21 A. I was not issued that certificate and this is the first time that
22 I see that certificate. Now, what you're saying, that I had the right to
23 all these entitlements, I didn't have that right straight away. This was
24 towards the end of the war, and the fact that they gave us humanitarian
25 assistance, they gave us that to help us survive because there was nobody
1 else to work. We had to be alive in order to work.
2 Q. Now turn to page 2 of that document to see what it says there.
3 So here we have a document from the Ministry of Defence of the Republic
4 of Serbia, Department Vogosca, with all the dates and numbers. The date
5 is 1994, which also confirms that you, Mr. Sejdic, were a member of the
6 Army of Republika Srpska from the 4th of April, 1992, and that this
7 certificate is issued for you to realise your rights from the social and
8 health insurance regulations, and members of your family, your wife,
9 Kadira, your son, Edim, your daughter, Eldina, and this certificate
10 cannot be used for other purposes. This was issued by the head of the
11 department of Vogosca, the Ministry of Defence, Jovo Peranovic, and here
12 we have your signature. You received that because that's your signature
13 there confirming it?
14 A. That is not true, sir, that that is the date. I don't agree with
15 this at all.
16 Q. Is your signature on that document?
17 A. It is my signature, yes, but what is typed up above is not
19 Q. All right. If the typing's not correct, then it was the wrong
20 typewriter that was used, but I'm interested to know that that is your
22 A. It could be anybody's.
23 Q. In 1994, you yourself asked to become a member of a combat unit;
24 is that right?
25 A. No, it's not.
1 Q. And then --
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, we have a document
3 here. It's not translated, but I think we can understand what this
4 document is all about. It's a military document. On the left, there are
5 references, numbers. There's a date, 11th of May, 1994. Then we also
6 see your name. It says that since April 4th, 1992, you belonged to the
7 VRS. And there's also mention of your relatives. And on the bottom
8 left, this document seems to bear your own signature.
9 Mr. Seselj has asked you whether this was your signature. You
10 said, "Yes, it is," after which you said something else. So I'll ask the
11 question myself. Does this document bear your signature?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, this is my signature, but it's
13 not the date, and not all this is correct.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When did you sign this
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This document was signed in 1994,
17 going on 1995.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. It seemed that it was
19 signed on May 11, 1994. At least that's the date that seems to be
20 written next to your signature. If the document was signed in 1994 by
21 you, it has to do with something that happened before 1994. And by
22 signing this document, you authenticated what was written above. So
23 there are two possibilities. Either what we have here is a forged
24 document or what you signed here does not correspond to what is written.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The text here -- well, the dates
1 don't correspond to the text, and what's typed out here, as far as I can
2 see, not everything is correct, because what they're saying here is that
3 from 1992 until 1995, when I agreed to be their soldier. I never agreed
4 to be their soldier, nor was I their soldier, from 1992, but that was
5 from 1994 and the end of 1995, when they forced me to become one of their
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Please proceed.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]...
9 I didn't.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The Prosecution has the document in
11 English, and it's up to them to show you the original, because I was
12 disclosed the document by the OTP and I see the -- you can see the ERN
13 number, which means that it should be on e-court. Now, why it's not on
14 e-court, I really don't know.
15 Q. Anyway, Mr. Sejdic, do you know who Meho Osmanovic is?
16 A. Yes, I do know who Meho Osmanovic is. He's my neighbour who was
17 in the work platoon with me.
18 Q. And this man, Meho Osmanovic, was considered to be a decent,
19 honest man; right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And Meho Osmanovic, in 1995, gave a statement to the sector of
22 the state security, the Ministry of the Interior for the Muslim part of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, so may we have 03487511 document, please, up on our
24 screens? It's the ERN number, you haven't got it? What is the
25 Prosecution doing, I have to do their work for them.
1 Now, you're going to show page 1 of the document for us to see
2 the date, and then page 17.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, Mr. Seselj.
4 This document comes from the OTP?
5 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] When we reviewed the documents in
6 order to find exculpatory documents, we disclosed these documents to
7 Mr. Seselj, and then it's up to Mr. Seselj to upload them into e-court,
8 if he wishes to. This is not up to the OTP to do this. The OTP just has
9 to disclose them under Rule 66(B) or 68 and that's it.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. This means that
11 this document was not up-loaded into e-court by the OTP.
12 We have it on the ELMO.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I received this
14 document from the OTP a week ago, a week ago, and that is when they were
15 supposed to upload it into the e-court system. How could I do that? I
16 know how to drive a nail into a wall, but to drive this into a computer,
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis.
19 MR. MUNDIS: Good morning, Your Honours, and to Dr. Seselj.
20 This issue has come up several times and we want to make it very
21 clear that it's not our job to upload documents into e-court for
22 Mr. Seselj. If he wants documents uploaded into e-court, then he needs
23 to take whatever steps or arrangements have been made with the Registry
24 in order to do that. The fact that we disclose material does not mean
25 that we upload it into e-court for his use. It's up to the parties to
1 make sure that material is uploaded into e-court, and if Dr. Seselj
2 needs some training on that, then we can certainly arrange for that to be
3 done, but it's not our job to upload Defence documents into e-court.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. But independently
5 of this, at the OTP do you have the English translation of this document?
6 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Which document are we talking
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The one that's on the screen.
9 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] I can't tell you out of the blue.
10 When we see some documents, some are in B/C/S without translation, and we
11 have a language assistant that could help us and can make a side
12 translation of it, and then we can decide whether it is exculpatory or
13 not. So a document disclosed to Mr. Seselj in B/C/S will not necessarily
14 have an English translation. I can check this, however.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Another mystery. This document
16 that's of May 18, 1995, and I think I understood that Mr. Seselj just got
17 it a few days ago. Why is it that such an old document was only
18 disclosed to Mr. Seselj a few days ago?
19 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] This person making the statement
20 is not on our witness list. When searches are made to try and find
21 exculpatory material using the names of future witnesses, then sometimes
22 documents crop up, and this is when we review them and disclose them in
23 due time. Mr. Seselj obtained this document in due time and can use it.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you may proceed.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I always have the most time at my
3 Q. Now, Mr. Sejdic, let us look at the cover page of this document.
4 We see the number, the date. We see that it's marked "Official Secret,
5 Strictly Confidential."
6 Can we have a look at page 17 now? I think it's 17. Let us see
7 what this man says, for whom we stated that he was an honest man in your
9 "I claim that --"
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note, we do not have the text.
11 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
12 Q. " ... he took part in the Chetnik formations from the
13 Intervention Platoon of the Semizovac Battalion. He took part in
14 fighting at Mount Zuc and in some fighting at the localities during the
15 course of 1993 and 1994. I personally saw him carrying the PM-84."
16 That is that sower of death, right, that machine-gun, PM-84?
17 "And I heard that Vaske Vidovic, because of his good actions in
18 the Chetnik units, called him to join him, that is to say, to join the
19 formation that he commanded."
20 Is this man stating the truth, Mr. Sejdic?
21 A. Mr. Seselj, this is not correct. And what Mr. Meho is saying is
22 what you brought up here in writing with your own notes. That is your
23 procedure and that is how you always defend yourself, with such
25 Q. Do you think I wrote this document?
1 A. I don't know who wrote this document, but this was never true.
2 Q. Wait a moment. Is this your suspicion, that Meho, whatever his
3 last name is --
4 A. Osmanovic.
5 Q. -- that he made this kind of statement?
6 A. Meho Osmanovic was with me in the work platoon. I know that. As
7 for such statements made by him, that he claimed that this was true, that
8 is not true.
9 Q. Please let us look at the signature. Meho Osmanovic, he signed
10 every page. Is this his signature?
11 A. I don't know. I didn't go to school with Meho, so it's not that
12 I knew what his signature was like.
13 Q. All right. I think that you can give that kind of answer, I
14 respect that answer of yours, but do you think that I fabricated this
15 document in order to expose you to some embarrassment?
16 A. As far as I know, we are not here on account of Meho Osmanovic
17 but on account of you and all the members of your groups.
18 Q. We're here because of you, Mr. Sejdic, as well.
19 A. Lies.
20 Q. All of what you say are lies.
21 A. All of what you're saying are lies. If you say that I carried a
22 death sower --
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please, let's not have a debate
24 here with the accused. Please do not debate with the accused, basically.
25 You have the first page of the document. Please, can we see the first
2 Very well. Witness, please look at this document attentively.
3 This document was made on the 18th of May, 1995, apparently; in other
4 words, right after the conflict. It's a statement that was taken on that
5 date, and this person, who is your neighbour, he states some facts. Why
6 would you say that in 1995, he says this about you, because in fact
7 Mr. Seselj has nothing to do with this whole story on the 18th of May,
8 1995? So an investigation was carried out by the authorities of Bosnia
9 and Herzegovina in the Sarajevo sector, and this is what we can see on
10 top. So, in other words, nothing in favour of Mr. Seselj. And this
11 Meho Osmanovic states these facts. Why would he say that? This is what
12 we're trying to understand.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as for this document,
14 I am aware of this Meho Osmanovic, but I don't know who he gave the
15 statement to. As for Meho Osmanovic, he was on the work platoon, and
16 afterwards, in 1995, he did see me with Rajko Jankovic and his unit, as I
17 have already pointed out. I had to do what Rajko told me to do. I did
18 not kill people, I did not slit people's throats, but I did carry a
19 weapon and I did follow him. I've already said that.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. So you do admit
21 that you bore weapons. That's new. That's a new fact, isn't it,
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you bore weapons
25 that you had on you. Did you carry the PM-84, the death device or the
1 death sower?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. It was a PM of
3 Mr. Rajko Jankovic. I carried his weapon and walked behind him. When he
4 went into action, he used the weapon to shoot, not me.
5 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Witness, this is what you told
6 us in chief?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I pointed that out. When I
8 was a member of that unit of theirs, that I walked behind Rajko Jankovic
9 and I carried his weapon; and not only his weapon but the weapons
10 belonging to all the others. Whoever found anything heavy, they'd give
11 it to me to carry.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So, Mr. Dutertre.
13 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] I'm terribly sorry to intervene,
14 but very briefly. Line 12, once again page 16, line 12, there were some
15 inappropriate statements regarding lies. This was already discussed
16 earlier. I will not go into why this is inappropriate, but this should
17 stop and Mr. Seselj should stop mentioning lies. This is causing
18 pressure for the witness that is here and also for the future witnesses.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. The Chamber told you,
20 Mr. Seselj, not to mention lies, not to accuse the witnesses of lying.
21 The Chamber is working on a decision, and from now on the Trial Chamber
22 will redact every time you mention such words. So once again, you are
23 notified. We are asking you to avoid using those words. You have a
24 document. You can put questions to the witness, and if you want to state
25 the witness is not saying the same thing as the document, you can mention
1 it, but that's all.
2 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I would like to know the
3 following: Do you know, when this statement was given, in what
4 conditions was it given?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know whether you're asking
7 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Yes, I understand, but I would
8 like to know if you knew that an investigation was carried out as to the
9 people who took part voluntarily or not in the war, who were Muslim and
10 who may have participated within Serb forces. I would like to know if
11 this statement may have been taken in that context or in those
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know exactly whether this
14 statement was taken in that way, because I don't know about Meho and the
15 others who were on the work platoon with me, when they were examined and
16 when they made statements. I haven't seen that.
17 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] So you knew that investigation
18 was carried out in 1995, investigation carried out by the Bosnian
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. When the war ended, the CSB,
21 that's what it was called in Sarajevo, they would bring in people -- I
22 mean their services that worked worked on the basis of these statements,
23 and they brought in myself and other people who had been prisoners to
24 make statements as to what happened when the village of Svrake was
25 attacked and the other villages from 1992 up until the end of the war.
1 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] But this is not after the war.
2 The date here is the 18th of May, 1995. Are you aware if an
3 investigation was carried out on or about that date?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know exactly. I really
5 could not say.
6 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I am so astonished
9 by what you said a few moments ago that I can hardly recover. I did not
10 tell the witness that he was lying. It's the witness who said that I was
11 lying. And now you are attacking me on account of that.
12 A few times, you told me that I'm not supposed to say that a
13 witness is lying, although the basic proposition of my Defence case is
14 that the Prosecution appears here with false witnesses and false
15 propositions. I understood your threat. I'm always going to say in this
16 courtroom that the Judges are very honourable people, the Prosecutors are
17 even more honourable, and the witnesses are the most honourable of all,
18 and I am the only one who lies in this courtroom. And I'm going to keep
19 pointing that out all the time, so I'm going to do that all the time.
20 There's no need for you to caution me about that anymore. But this is
21 really astonishing. I never said to this witness that he is lying. He
22 said that I was resorting to lies.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note, the speaker is speaking too
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, maybe there was an
1 interpretation error. The Prosecutor may have understood or
2 misunderstood that you were accusing him of lying. You may be right in
3 what you've stated, but I was not only thinking about this particular
4 case or instance. The Chamber does not want you to mention all the time
5 that the witness is a false witness. We will see that in due time when
6 we assess the statements and when we have to evaluate the probative
7 value, but for now we don't know. We have a witness who is here, who is
8 giving us a certain version of facts, and then we have another witness,
9 giving us another version of facts, the only difference being that the
10 witness before us is under oath. The other witness is not under oath,
11 and that's a difference, but there's a contradiction.
12 This witness tells us that he bore arms, whereas the other
13 witness states that he was shooting with the unit, so that's the basic
14 difference. Maybe he is telling the truth, maybe he is lying. I don't
15 know. But it's after evaluating all the elements that we have that we
16 will be able to establish the facts, and at this point in time it is
17 premature to say that this witness is a false witness or not. We don't
18 know at this point in time who is the false witness and who is not, and
19 it is through cross-examination that you will be able to assess the
20 credibility of the witness and that you will be able to put questions as
21 to the substance of the case.
22 This cross-examination started, it is not over yet, so please
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I believe that this is an
25 inappropriate way of interrupting my cross-examination. From this moment
1 onwards, I've already told you, for me all the witnesses here are
2 truth-loving people. Everybody's telling the truth except for me; I'm a
4 Q. Now, I, as a liar, ask Mr. Sejdic whether that means that he
5 never had a weapon issued to him, this M-84, the machine-gun that is
6 called the death sower? You were never issued with this weapon as your
8 A. I was never issued with this weapon as my own, unless I carried
9 Rajko's weapon.
10 Q. So you never had one issued to you in your own name?
11 A. Never.
12 Q. I have another statement here of a very honourable and honest
13 man. Could you show this to the witness? I'm sure they don't have this
14 in e-court, ER025349. I find this number to be strange, so we're just
15 going to quote a small paragraph from that statement.
16 This is a statement made by an honourable man whose name is
17 Kasim Sejdic. That is your father; right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Please, the part that I marked, this is what -- oh, just take it
20 back. Let us see the date of this statement. This is a statement made
21 by your father on the 14th of March, 1996, to the Centre of the
22 Security Services in Sarajevo. That is when the Muslim Army had already
23 taken Ilijas, Vogosca and Ilidza.
24 Now, scroll back down, and I'm now going to quote this paragraph.
25 This is what your father says:
1 "My son, Safet Sejdic, born in 1969, was mobilised by the
2 Chetniks in the Army of Republika Srpska in 1994, and they issued to him
3 a machine-gun, M-84 (death sower), and he went to the frontlines at the
4 hill of Zuc, towards Visnjica and elsewhere. During 1995, he held the
5 lines at Lipa, facing Srednje. He was in the Serb Army until February
6 1996. He received cigarettes and a salary from time to time."
7 This is what your father stated. Could you scroll down so that
8 we see the signature? Is this your father's signature?
9 A. My father would never say something like this. These are lies.
10 You will never prove to me that my father said this.
11 Q. Am I the one who's lying here? Feel free to say so.
12 A. I don't know. My father didn't do this.
13 Q. Since I'm the only liar in this courtroom, then I am the one who
14 lied about this, who typed this up falsely and falsified your father's
16 A. This statement is not true.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, this document bears
18 the signature of your father. Your father seems to confirm what we have
19 seen up until now, that is, that you were on the frontlines and that you
20 had the M-84 weapon. Maybe the person who drafted this drafted this the
21 way it is drafted, but when we read this, coming from your father, we are
22 under the impression that your father says that you were a member of the
23 VRS. He didn't say that you were forced to be a member. Didn't your
24 father ever tell you that he was heard as part of an investigation?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My father never -- my father never
1 said this to me, and I don't know of my father mentioning this, my father
2 saying that I was a member of all of this, that I carried weapons,
3 whatever. He knows full well that my father was with me, and my father
4 knows all the suffering that I went through and all the suffering that he
5 went through; that is to say, whenever I went to the frontline following
6 Mr. Rajko Jankovic and the rest from his Intervention Platoon, he also
7 carried shells, ammunitions, just like I did, so I carried Rajko's
8 weapons. So perhaps when he saw this and when they questioned him, maybe
9 he said that, that I carried this weapon. But all of this, I don't know,
10 really. I really find all of this to be something that I don't know, all
11 these writings.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
13 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Sir, according to me, the only
14 thing that should be clarified is whether you were mobilised or not.
15 That's what I heard in the translation or interpretation. The fact that
16 you worked with the Serb forces on the frontline, which is what you told
17 us during the examination-in-chief, you told us that you bore weapons for
18 a person for whom you worked, you accompanied that person to the
19 frontline, you carried his weapon, so that's nothing new. It's not in
20 contradiction with what you said previously. Now, if you were mobilised
21 because you wanted to go and fight on that side, that's the question, or
22 if there was a forced mobilisation. This is what we should clarify.
23 Maybe it's impossible to clarify that point while reading this statement.
24 I don't know, because I don't speak B/C/S, but would you please try to
25 tell us exactly and precisely what is written on that first line on the
1 document after your date of birth? We can read here "Cetnici su
2 mobilizovali." Is this what we can read here?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that is what is written there.
4 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] And could you please tell us
5 what this means in your daily language, in the language that you
6 understand on a daily basis? What does it mean?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It says here, allegedly, that I was
8 issued this M-84.
9 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] The word "zaduzili," what does
10 that mean?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Issued, "zaduzili," to take
13 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Now, when an army mobilises
14 someone, does that mean that this army is mobilising only those who are
15 already recruited or not? In other words, I would like to know if, by
16 reading this, we can understand that you were mobilised on a voluntary
17 basis or were you forced to join in?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was forced to join that army.
19 This was in 1995, the end of 1995, when they gave me that weapon, and I
20 stated that. In my statement, I said I was a member of their unit, the
21 Intervention Platoon.
22 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] So from this statement, we
23 cannot clearly understand if this was a forced mobilisation or a
24 volunteer mobilisation?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The mobilisation was forced
2 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] But this is not what we have
3 here on the document; right? It's not written. There's the benefit of
4 the doubt. We don't know; right? But from reading this document, we
5 cannot infer that you were mobilised as a volunteer, on a voluntary basis
6 of your own free will, and that you were not forced to join the forces.
7 We don't know; is that right?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I know, I said it
9 correctly, when I was mobilised and when they gave me a weapon. I did
10 not accept it of my own free will. They forced me to do that.
11 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed, Mr. Seselj.
13 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Mr. Sejdic, when it says that you were issued the machine-gun
15 known as "death sower," the M-48 [as interpreted], that means that you
16 sign a receipt with your name, and that's what every soldier does when
17 he's issued a weapon?
18 A. I think Jankovic gave it to me, and I said that at the beginning,
19 when I was a member and when they gave it to me, and I had to because
20 they threatened me. He personally said all sorts of things to me. I
21 know that very well.
22 Q. At one point, with this machine-gun, you could have killed his
23 whole unit?
24 A. Yes, if you think he put a whole round of bullets in my -- a
25 whole clip in my machine-gun. He just gave me a few bullets, and he kept
1 asking me where the Muslims are.
2 Q. Mr. Sejdic, I use the second-person plural, which is the proper
3 way to address somebody. You have used the second-person singular, you
4 have used the "tu" instead of the "vous" in addressing me, so I'm asking
5 you to address me in the proper way, please.
6 Now, tell me, Mr. Sejdic, why would your father tell the Muslim
7 authorities that you had been issued this machine-gun?
8 A. If my father stated this and gave this statement, then he had to
9 say -- well, he had -- they had the statements, he had to say it that
10 way, which means my father did not lie. He gave the statement because he
11 knew that I carried Jankovic's machine-gun, that I escorted him, followed
12 him, and that I carried the gun for him. He knows that very well.
13 Q. Now, you know in this last paragraph of that statement, your
14 father says that:
15 "My words are included in the statement, and I recognise it as
16 being my own, and I sign it with my own hand."
17 Is that your father's signature there at the bottom?
18 A. I'm not quite sure.
19 Q. Can you see that Nedim Curevac, an employee of the city, took
20 this statement, the clerk, and the recorder was Jasna Pasovic? Very
21 well, Mr. Sejdic.
22 Now, we've finished with the document. You can take it away.
23 But is it true that the Muslim authorities arrested you at the
24 beginning of March 1996, after taking over control of that part of
1 A. Arrested me, you mean?
2 Q. Yes.
3 A. I don't remember that the Muslims arrested me.
4 Q. Did they take you into detention and took you to the
5 State Security Station?
6 A. That was when the blue route was open, the convoy known as the
7 blue convoy, when the Muslims were going back to Semizovac and Vogosca.
8 That's when I was taken to the CSB, as it was called, the Centre of
10 Q. And did they find on you an ID -- a military booklet of the
11 Army of Republika Srpska?
12 A. No. I handed over my military booklet and told them the whole
13 truth, how it happened and what happened.
14 Q. Who did you hand your military booklet over to?
15 A. At the CSB.
16 Q. Of the Muslim Croatian Federation?
17 A. Right.
18 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] Could the next document be put on
19 the overhead projector, 00397418. I assume that you don't have this on
20 e-court, either, so we're going to look at page 1 and what it says at the
21 top. 00397418 is the number.
22 Q. This is your statement which you gave on the 14th of March, 19 --
23 or, rather, the 16th of March, 1996, to the Centre of Security Services,
24 the CSB, and you can see here that it says this:
25 " ... is in possession of a military booklet issued by the
1 military post 7033/15 Vogosca by the Army of the so-called
2 Republika Srpska."
3 And then it goes on to say that your personal ID number was
4 recorded there and so on, and what it is. So that's the military post
5 that you denied. Were you a member of that military post?
6 A. I don't know the exact number. I have absolutely no idea about
8 Q. You have no idea; right. Now, do you know who Dragan Gavric is?
9 A. No.
10 Q. You don't know who Dragan Gavric is?
11 A. No, I don't.
12 Q. Well, that's very strange, because he knows you.
13 So let's have document number 7. I sent it in to you this
15 Dragan Gavric, nicknamed Kele. Did you know somebody who was
16 nicknamed Kele?
17 A. I have no idea.
18 Q. All right. If you don't know, let's see, because he knows you
19 well. This is a statement that arrived a moment ago, given by this
20 Dragan Gavric, aka Kele, who listened to your testimony on Thursday. I
21 don't know him, but he contacted my expert team and gave this statement
22 that was authenticated in the administrative service of Bijeljina
23 municipality on the 13th of June. That's where he went to certify it,
24 and I was faxed this this morning. Here's what it says, what Dragan
25 Gavric, also known as Kele, says:
1 "I know Safet Sejdic very well because we slept in next-door beds
2 in the dormitory of the Intervention Platoon of the Semizovac Battalion
3 in Svrake village which was always on the alert in order to respond to
4 the BH Army attacks."
5 Do you remember that man now, this man Dragan Gavric?
6 A. No, I don't, and these documents that you're being sent, I don't
7 know how you come by them, how you're being sent them. Anyone can be
8 sent documents like this.
9 Q. Well, everything that we've looked at so far are documents
10 provided to me by the OTP, including your father's statement.
11 A. I don't know. This document is not correct. I don't know about
12 any of this.
13 Q. Were you a sportsman, yourself?
14 A. No, I wasn't a sportsman.
15 Q. You weren't a sportsman; right? Anyway, Dragan Gavric says that
16 you were a good fighter, and here it says in paragraph 4:
17 "I know exactly that in those battles, he killed a total of ten
18 enemy Muslim soldiers."
19 A. That's a lie.
20 Q. Then he goes on to comment on your testimony in The Hague. We're
21 not interested in that, so we'll skip that over. And then he goes on to
22 say -- Dragan Gavric goes on to say:
23 "I can testify that on the 23rd of February, 1996," and he's
24 talking about you now -- "he was facing a great dilemma, whether to
25 withdraw with the Serbian population, but he stayed on nonetheless, and
1 this resulted in terrible torture and beating by his Muslim neighbours
2 after they had taken control of Semizovac."
3 Now, is that true? Were you beaten by the Muslim authorities
4 when they captured you?
5 A. This document, gentlemen, Judges, none of it's correct.
6 Q. You mean it's not true that they beat you when you were arrested?
7 A. What you're putting to me now in all those questions, and putting
8 to me something about some Dragan and what he said, I have no idea who he
10 Q. Well, he gives us his particulars. He lives in Djureva Jaksic
11 [phoen] Street, Bijeljina, he certified the statement. Now, I've never
12 met him, I've never seen him, but you say you don't know him. Very well.
13 A. I'm astonished how you managed to come by this document, because
14 it seems that everybody gets these documents and sends them to you.
15 Q. Well, you don't imagine that I'm going to explain how I get my
16 documents. I get them from the OTP.
17 A. Well, how you -- can you ask me these questions, do I know this
18 and do you know that?
19 Q. Did you know Mujo Djafic?
20 A. I don't know him, either.
21 Q. Did you know Faruk Djafic?
22 A. I don't know him, either.
23 Q. Now you don't wish to know anyone, I see, as of now on. All
24 right. Do you know who Miroslav Spiric is?
25 A. Miroslav Spiric?
1 Q. Yes.
2 A. Do you mean Nebojsa Spiric?
3 Q. No, this is Miroslav Spiric.
4 A. I don't know Miroslav Spiric. Perhaps that's his father,
5 Nebojsa's father.
6 Q. He says that he's a neighbour of yours and that your house is
7 just a hundred metres away from his own and that he's known you from
9 May we have statement number 8 placed on our screens, please.
10 This is what Miroslav Spiric says, and he now lives in Zvornik. This is
11 what he says, here we are:
12 "I can state that Mr. Safet Sejdic was not forcibly mobilised,
13 nor was anybody from Semizovac or after Svrake being handed over.
14 Everybody could go where they wanted, and Svrake --"
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Dutertre.
16 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Maybe there's a problem here
17 regarding this -- but as of document 8-1, I have no certification on the
18 page. Maybe I'm missing a page, maybe there should be a second page with
19 a certification page that I don't have, unless -- I apologise. There is
20 a second page, but the certification is not on the document itself, and
21 because of this I didn't make the connection. I apologise.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Proceed, Mr. Seselj.
23 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
24 Q. The certification is on the back of the document, and when I am
25 faxed this, then it has to be on two pieces of paper, not on one.
1 Anyway, you say you don't know him, whereas he seems to know you very
3 A. This statement, the statement that he says he -- in which he says
4 he knows me, well, we weren't voluntarily -- or, rather, that means we
5 voluntarily applied to be members of your army. If we were free, we
6 wouldn't be with you; we would be on the Muslim side with the Muslims,
7 had we been free.
8 Q. Well, you already left with the Muslims. You were in Korita,
9 Mr. Sejdic, and then the Muslims didn't want to take you in. They sent
10 you away. They said denigrating things to you and called you "Gurbetis,"
11 that's another phrase for the Roma, but that's what the Muslims in Bosnia
12 call you, the "Gurbeti."
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you're speaking way
14 too fast and we're losing track of what you're saying, so please slow
16 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
17 Q. So you were already with the Muslims in Korita and the Muslims
18 sent you away, they didn't want to have you amongst them, and they called
19 you all sorts of derogatory names, they called you a "Gurbeti" and
20 referred to you as "Gurbeti" and said they didn't want any "Gurbetis"
21 there, and then you went to the Serb side and everybody says you were a
22 brave fighter?
23 A. That's not true. I was brave when you wanted me to bring in your
24 dead and to follow Jankovic, to carry his weapons. So I suffered a great
25 deal from you, so don't keep talking to me about things like this.
1 Q. You came here to testify of your own free will, and you're going
2 to have to take this to the end even if you find it unpleasant.
3 A. I will take it all, because I'm right. Now, what you're saying,
4 I'm not going to say what you want me to say.
5 Q. Your neighbour, Miroslav Spiric, in paragraph 4, let's zoom down
6 that page a little, says that:
7 "Safet Sejdic, throughout the war, was voluntarily on the same
8 side, and in 1994, he left to join the Intervention Platoon at his
9 personal request, where he took part in the most complicated actions and
10 operations. Throughout this time from 1992, he was on the payroll of the
11 Army of Republika Srpska. And I can confirm that because I was the main
12 administrative person in the battalion. And also, Safet Sejdic,
13 throughout the time, took his meals in Kulin Dvor Cafe and was given his
14 regular amount of cigarettes. The Kulin Dvor Cafe was where the Command
15 was, and the restaurant was on the ground floor, where food was issued on
16 a regular basis."
17 Is what Miroslav Spiric says here true?
18 A. As far as I know, and as far as I understand what you're talking
19 about, about the food and the cigarettes, when we went to work they would
20 give us a packet of cigarettes, when we deserved it, that is. And
21 I think that I say that in one of my statements, that I say that when we
22 went to the frontline and when we did something well, they would give us
23 food and let us go and visit our wives and children.
24 Q. All right. Now, this man, Miroslav Spiric, also tried to stay in
25 Vogosca when the Serbs withdrew. Although he's a Serb, he wanted to stay
1 in his own house. However, this is what happened to him, and he says
2 that in the next paragraph. He says:
3 "I am one of the unfortunates who believed that peace had been
4 signed and that the situation would return to normal. However, on the
5 13th of May, 1996, members of the BH Army, under the leadership of
6 Nail Gajovic, beat me black and blue, me and my wife. They even broke my
7 left leg and two of my ribs, and there are documents to prove it,
8 recording it. And I also have to state that after they entered it, after
9 Dayton, the soldiers of the BH Army completed devastated the Serb
10 cemetery. And as far as my son is concerned, whom Safet Sejdic
11 mentioned, they destroyed the monument to him. Safet Sejdic might have
12 fared even worse than me, because they also mistreated him badly and beat
13 him up a lot, these same men, and Sejdic's mother, Razija, told me about
14 that. So Sejdic, because of the beatings, had to spend a couple of
15 months in hospital and barely survived. After such bad beatings which
16 Sejdic survived, I'm not surprised at the way he's testifying."
17 So there you have it. Miroslav Spiric claims that you were
18 brutally beaten and mistreated and that your mother, Razija, told him
19 about that, herself. Is that true and correct?
20 A. Are you trying to congratulate me, to calm me down in this way,
21 reading this out?
22 Q. Why should I try to calm you down? I'm not a psychiatrist. I'm
23 here to cross-examine you.
24 A. I know, but why would Spiric stay on in Semizovac if he was in
25 the Serb Army and if he was one of the main people there? Why would he
1 stay on?
2 Q. Because the peace agreement was signed and he expected the
3 situation to return to normal. He did not commit any crime or anything
4 else, so why would he be afraid?
5 A. But if he knew that his son had committed that act, how could he
6 stay on there, just like I could not remain there had I done whatever on
7 the Muslim side? Nobody would want to take me in.
8 Q. His son was killed in the war. You mentioned his son, and he was
9 killed during the war.
10 A. I know that Nebojsa Spiric was killed and that he was quite
11 aggressive, both before the war and during the war. For his father to be
12 able to stay on there after that, I don't know how that was possible.
13 Q. Why wouldn't his father be able to stay on there?
14 A. Well, everybody knows why.
15 Q. Why?
16 A. Because he was a criminal before the war and he was a criminal
17 during the war.
18 Q. You mean his father?
19 A. No, his son.
20 Q. Why does Miroslav Spiric, his father -- well, everything you're
21 saying about his son is not true, but that's not important now. Now,
22 what would the reason be for Miroslav Spiric not to be able to stay in
23 Vogosca, where his son's grave is located and where his house is located?
24 Why wouldn't he stay in Vogosca?
25 A. Well, a Serb would always defend a Serb and go with a Serb. A
1 Serb wouldn't stay on with the Muslims.
2 Q. He wanted to stay, but they beat him up?
3 A. Well, I can say that I wanted to stay with the Muslims, but I
4 didn't, which means --
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Dutertre.
6 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] The witness explained several
7 times why Mr. Spiric's father could not stay. The question is being put
8 to him repetitively, and I raise an objection here.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Witness, I was listening
10 to you, and a small detail seems to crop up in this statement made by
11 your neighbour, Miroslav Spiric. He states that he was beaten by the
12 Muslim Army, he was beaten as well as his wife, and he is saying this,
13 and he doesn't seem to be the only one. Seemingly, his wife also says
14 so. But he adds a small detail which may have escaped most of you, but I
15 noted it down. He says that you were also beaten and you had to spend
16 some months in hospital after that. So is it true that you did spend
17 months in hospital or is he lying, is it false?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as far as I know,
19 well, this statement -- I mean, I know his father, but what he's saying
20 here, that I was in the hospital, that I was not in hospital, I was at
21 home, when I was beaten up, when the lines fell and whatever, and what
22 they are saying about him and his wife, that he was beaten so badly, I
23 don't know. I wasn't there, so I cannot know about that.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You told us that you were not
25 beaten by the Muslim forces. Very well, but my question is the
1 following: Did you go to the hospital, yes or no?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
4 Proceed, please, Mr. Seselj.
5 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Where were you in May 1996?
7 A. In May 1996? I don't know what kind of a question this is, where
8 I was in May 1996.
9 Q. The question is a very nice one. I'll have to repeat it. Where
10 were you in May 1996?
11 A. What does this question mean, who, what, why?
12 Q. Where were you in May 1996?
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, in May 1996, it's true
14 that if I was asked the same question, I would not know where I was, I
15 would be unable to answer, but you might have a better memory than I do.
16 So answer the question, please. He is asking you where you were in May
17 1996. Answer the question.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot recall the exact date.
19 Where was I in May 1996? I guess it was the end of the war, and I was on
20 the Muslim side in Semizovac.
21 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
22 Q. In May 1996, you were in hospital; isn't that right?
23 A. What hospital?
24 Q. Well, some hospital.
25 A. As far as I can remember, I wasn't.
1 Q. You weren't?
2 A. I wasn't.
3 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] Could you please be so kind as to
4 take this photograph that accompanies this document. Perhaps this one is
5 better than the other one. I expect my associates to send the original
6 colour photograph by e-mail and that Mr. Doraiswamy is going to get this.
7 I hope that my associates are following this and that they will send it
8 during the next break.
9 Q. Do you remember this photograph?
10 A. Yes, I do remember.
11 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] If we could have the colour copy
12 later on, maybe we could wait for it, because it would be more legible.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I don't know what colour would
14 add to this. We have a group of people here with weapons, a group of men
15 with weapons.
16 Please proceed, Mr. Seselj.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Sejdic said that he remembered
18 this photograph.
19 Q. Do you recognise yourself in this photograph?
20 A. I do recognise myself in this photograph. I'm the first one here
21 in civilian clothing.
22 Q. The first one on the right-hand side?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You're holding an automatic rifle in your hand; right?
25 A. Yes. They gave it to me so that they could take a picture of me.
1 If that were to mean that it was the end of the war, if they didn't have
2 time to kill me, then they would have the Muslims kill me.
3 Q. So they took that kind of picture of you on purpose in order to
4 stigmatize you before the Muslims?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Did they expect the Serbian forces to leave Ilijas, Vogosca and
7 Ilidza, and did they expect the entire population to leave, and did they
8 expect the Muslim Army to come there?
9 A. Well, if they expected that, that means that if they left
10 documents and pictures of this kind, they wanted to leave all sorts of
11 things against me because I knew a lot about them.
12 Q. Why would they lie anything about you when you were a hero in the
13 Serb Army?
14 A. That's not true. I was just a hero if I carried your stuff.
15 That's why they called me "Hero."
16 Q. So you were a type of hero of socialist labour; isn't that right?
17 A. I don't know what that means, "socialist." What does "socialist"
19 Q. Socialist labour, volunteer work for the community without
21 A. As far as I know, it wasn't voluntary.
22 Q. Why did you need an automatic rifle, then, for this work? Were
23 you cleaning the dust with this rifle or what?
24 A. Take a careful look at this rifle, whether it's been given to me
25 loaded or not. Can you see a clip?
1 Q. You can see a clip here.
2 A. Well, you can see better, then. Are there bullets in that rifle?
3 Did they give that kind of rifle to me? What do you think?
4 Q. Well, we saw from your father's statement that later on you were
5 even given an M-84, issued with one.
6 A. As far as I pointed out in my own statements, I carried
7 Jankovic's weapon, not my own. It wasn't my own. This is who was
8 carrying an M-84, Jovan Colakovic, he's right next to me, and he told me
9 a thousand times, and he hit me and he shouted at me, saying what I was
10 supposed to do.
11 Q. He hit you, and you stand next to him to have your picture taken?
12 A. Well, I'm not going to stand next to my mother and father and
13 have my picture taken.
14 Q. Why would you stand next to the man who hit you? No one ever
15 laid a finger on you. What about karate, martial arts? Aren't you well
16 versed in that?
17 A. That's a lie too. You're lying again.
18 Q. Yes, I'm lying. I'm the only one here who is lying. At least
19 that is something here we all concur on, the Trial Chamber, the OTP and
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, no, there is no
22 consensus, and I will state it over and over again.
23 Witness, you are telling us that you're in civilian clothes and
24 bearing a weapon. This Jankovic, is it the person on your right, if I'm
25 not mistaken? I believe so.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, this is Colakovic.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Where is this Jankovic person
3 on the picture?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think Jankovic is not here.
5 These are his soldiers who had their picture taken in front of the
6 Command. This is the platoon, his platoon and -- well, where the trucks
7 were, the trucks. It was something like the rolling stock or whatever it
8 was called.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Jankovic is not on
10 the picture?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Jankovic is not in the photograph.
12 I think he was at the Command then.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On this photograph, I see that
14 you are dressed in plain clothes, but I also note, as far as the others
15 are concerned, some are in camouflage dress, others in less obvious
16 clothes. None have any headgear, except for the very -- for one at the
17 very back of the picture with a helmet. We note that all members of this
18 group seem quite young. Most carry weapons, except for the first one,
19 but we can't see very well. He doesn't seem to have any weapons, just a
20 tripod for a machine-gun, but you can't see it.
21 According to what you're saying, the weapon that you are bearing
22 was not loaded?
23 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Proceed, Mr. Seselj. You have
25 ten minutes before the break.
1 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Witness, please, there's
2 something that might have escaped me. You might have already said this,
3 but I would like to know whether -- where and when this photograph was
4 taken, if you remember this.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This photograph was taken in front
6 of the Command in Semizovac, facing Kulin Dvor, where the rolling stock
7 was. That is where the picture was taken, and that is when Jovan
8 Colakovic, the man standing right next to me with this automatic rifle,
9 84 -- I mean the 84 one, that's what they call it. He has these
10 bandoliers on and this rifle. He personally brought me there and put the
11 rifle in my rifle so that that is how I would have my picture taken.
12 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Could you give us a date, if you
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember exactly. I think
15 it was towards the end of the war.
16 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
18 Q. This photograph was taken the spring of 1994; isn't that right,
19 Mr. Sejdic?
20 A. I don't know exactly, as I've pointed out just now. Towards the
21 end of the war, that's when it was taken.
22 Q. You have military trousers on and boots?
23 A. No. These are rubber boots and old, dirty jeans, and a sort of
24 T-shirt or shirt. It was dirty as well. You can see that.
25 Q. Mr. Sejdic, why would this group of soldiers force you to have
1 their picture taken with you; in order to embellish their picture or
3 A. Well, they knew that I would come here or whatever, wherever some
4 day. They wanted to prove the opposite.
5 Q. Since you were an ethnic Roma, the only one in that unit, were
6 there any Croats in that unit?
7 A. I don't know exactly.
8 Q. Do you remember Ninoslav Kaurinovic?
9 A. Kaurinovic was a Croat, but he was not there then.
10 Q. Ninoslav Kaurinovic is the person who kept this photograph, and
11 he sent it to me. Now we are going to see what his statement says.
12 Could we please have document number 6 now.
13 He came to Belgrade --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, are you going to
15 ask for this photograph to be tendered?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, Judge. You know that I'm not
17 going to tender anything.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I will consult my
19 fellow Judges to see whether this photograph could be a Bench exhibit.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, could we please have
22 a number for this photograph as a Bench exhibit.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. That will be Exhibit
24 number C2.
25 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Could we make sure that Mr. Seselj
1 also gives us the colour photograph.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, if we have a colour copy,
3 that would be even better.
4 Proceed, Mr. Seselj.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No need, since the witness
6 recognised the photograph, there's no need for me to provide a better
8 Q. Please, this is very brief, and I hope we're going to deal with
9 it by the time the break begins. Ninoslav Kaurinovic, son of Ante, a
10 Croat, a Roman Catholic, and he came to Belgrade to make a statement on
11 behalf of my Defence, because he wants the truth to be told. He made
12 some comments with regard to some of the things you said during the
13 examination-in-chief. He says for himself:
14 "I was a member of the Army of Republika Srpska from the moment
15 the Semizovac Battalion was established. I was a soldier of the
16 2nd Squad of the 2nd Platoon of the Semizovac Company or the 5th
17 Semizovac Battalion."
18 Is that correct?
19 A. I think that the man who made this statement was not there all
20 the time because he was crazy.
21 Q. He was what?
22 A. He was crazy. He was sort of not right in the head.
23 Q. Why was he not right in the head; because he was in the
24 Serb Army?
25 A. No, he was that way before the war.
1 Q. Do you have proof of that?
2 A. How could I have proof of that?
3 Q. On the basis of what do you assess that someone is crazy or not
4 right in the head?
5 A. Because that's the way he always behaved, and I'm surprised that
6 he is making a statement and saying that he knows everything. He was
7 there like a crazy man, you know.
8 Q. Well, this is what Ninoslav Kaurinovic says:
9 "I know that my neighbours, Semka Zukic and her daughter, were
10 never brought into custody or detained, and that throughout the war they
11 were in Semizovac. Semka worked as a waitress at the Social Centre of
13 So she is challenging what you said:
14 "I know for sure that the soldiers and officers from our unit
15 were not in any way linked to the killing of civilians, which I confirm
16 with full responsibility, and I know personally that Commander
17 Rajko Jankovic, his deputy Nenad Kuzmanovic, and the security man,
18 Rajko Rajic, protected them and took care of them. As an inhabitant of
19 Semizovac and as a soldier, I know with certainty that Vaske Vidovic
20 never entered any one of the buildings of the prison in Vogosca. I've
21 lived in Semizovac since I was born, and I know that there were never any
22 mosques in Semizovac and Kamenica. As for the fighting that took place
23 at the Niksic Plateau that I participated in as well, I can only say that
24 we participated just in the fighting around the village of Zubet. This
25 happened at the beginning of November 1993 around Mitrovdan, and I
1 remember that Srdjan Maunaga got killed and that Ranko Simic,
2 Jovan Colakovic and Safet Sejdic were prominent in that battle."
3 Is this true?
4 A. I have no idea.
5 Q. Who destroyed the mosque in Semizovac?
6 A. As far as I can remember, half of them were destroyed by planes
7 and the other half by Vaske.
8 Q. You see that Ninoslav Kaurinovic says that in Semizovac, there
9 were never any mosques?
10 A. Well, see for yourself whether there is a mosque there and
11 whether there was ever a mosque there. You can check.
12 Q. They say that there was never a mosque in Semizovac, and the
13 Prosecutor can check that, since you are a Prosecution witness. They can
14 check that out and they can give you information by tomorrow.
15 A. Well, Ninoslav Kaurinovic, had he written this, since he lived in
16 Semizovac for so many years, he would have known that there is a mosque
17 in Svrake and that there was always a mosque in Svrake.
18 Q. In Svrake, yes, it is almost an exclusively Muslim village, but
19 in Semizovac there was never a mosque, and that is what I claim too.
20 A. Well, I don't know, Semizovac, Svrake, all of that was under
21 Vogosca. Semizovac was just there across the bridge.
22 Q. Semizovac and Svrake are two separate local communes in the
23 municipality of Vogosca; right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Separate local communes. In Svrake, there was a mosque; in
1 Semizovac, there was never a mosque. And you said that an aeroplane
2 destroyed the mosque in Semizovac and that it was polished off by
3 Vaske Vidovic?
4 A. Semizovac, well, I grew up there. As a child, I knew of
5 Semizovac and Svrake. It's one and the same thing.
6 Q. Oh, please, Mr. Sejdic. As for the village of Svrake, you
7 praised it during the examination-in-chief. You even referred to it as a
8 town. I even thought it was a metropolis. Didn't you say here that it
9 was your native town, that you always considered it to be a town, that it
10 looked like a town? It's in the transcripts.
11 A. I lived in the village of Svrake, but I did point out that I was
12 born in Visoko.
13 Q. It doesn't matter where you were born. What is important is that
14 in Semizovac there was never a mosque, and you claimed that there was a
15 mosque and then that it was destroyed, first by an aeroplane and then
16 finished off by Vaske Vidovic.
17 A. Svrake and Semizovac is one and the same thing for me, and I
18 don't know how to treat it in a different way. I don't know how to point
19 this out. It was my own village. Semizovac, Svrake, Vogosca, that's
20 where I lived, that's where I grew up, and I knew that there was a mosque
21 in Svrake.
22 Q. Well, I could say, for me, Addis Ababa and Kuala Lumpur are one
23 in the same thing.
24 A. Well, I am not a politician, like you are.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber did not go on
1 the field. Normally, Trial Chambers go on the field, and we might go.
2 But there's one point that you might shed light on immediately.
3 Semizovac and Svrake, are these two villages that are side by side and
4 that make up a single locality, or between -- is there any distance
5 between Semizovac and Svrake?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Ah, that's another matter, that's a
7 different question. From Semizovac to Svrake is just 100 metres or so.
8 The village was called "Svrake," and the local commune of -- was
9 Semizovac. It had its own local commune, and the village of Svrake had
10 its own local commune. And the mosque was in Svrake village, so
11 everybody was there in Semizovac from Semizovac, the Serb paramilitaries.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's take a break.
13 It is 10.00.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Before the break, could you
15 instruct the Prosecutor to find, in these many statements by
16 Safet Sejdic, there are five in all -- to locate in which of his
17 statements Safet Sejdic talks about Ratko Mladic, Karadzic and me and our
18 meeting on the eve of the attack on Niksic plateau and Crna Rijeka. As
19 the witness during the examination-in-chief said that he stated that in
20 all his statements, the Prosecutor didn't wish to remind him in which
21 particular statement. Now, since I didn't find this in any of his
22 statements, could you instruct the Prosecution to find that in those
23 statements? And it can even be deducted from my time. I'm willing to
24 have it deducted from my time, but I want them to find what statement
25 that appears in.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Last week, just before the
2 hearing ended, the witness told us that he had seen Mr. Seselj on this
3 plateau with Karadzic and Mladic, but the accused told us that he did not
4 see this in any statement. Was this said, in fact, or did you see this
5 during the weekend?
6 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] I have to wonder why, and I insist
7 on this, that it is not up to us to prepare Mr. Seselj's
8 cross-examination, it's up to him. This is something that has to be very
9 clear here. I, in fact, put the question as to when he had said this the
10 first time, and the witness gave us an answer, and that was the end of
11 that. And now it's up to Mr. Seselj to review all the documents and to
12 see by himself.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It is 10.00, 10.15, actually.
14 Mr. Seselj, you've used up 53 minutes so far, so unless I'm mistaken, you
15 will have one hour and seven minutes left. Unless I am mistaken, that's
16 what I say.
17 And I will first ask Madam Usher to escort the witness out of the
18 courtroom before we take a break, and the Trial Chamber will withdraw for
19 20 minutes.
20 [The witness stands down]
21 Very well. So the Trial Chamber will resume the hearing at
23 --- Recess taken at 10.04 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 10.25 a.m.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Please, let's have
1 the witness in.
2 [The witness entered court]
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. In the meantime, we
4 were able to get the picture in colour, and we notice that the witness
5 wore boots, a blue pair of trousers and a white shirt whereas most of the
6 other people on the photo were wearing a camouflage uniform, with the
7 exception of two people who wore a blue outfit. This is what this colour
8 picture was able to show us.
9 Yes, Mr. Prosecutor.
10 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Your Honour, would it be possible
11 to replace the colour picture with the black-and-white picture? Maybe
12 it's done automatically, or the other way around.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Okay, very well.
14 Mr. Registrar, could you please give us a number for the colour picture,
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit number C3.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
18 Mr. Seselj, please proceed.
19 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] Leave the photograph there, please.
20 Q. Mr. Sejdic, do you know the names of all these soldiers on the
22 A. Yes, I do, but I can't remember all of them just now. I know
23 them all, though.
24 Q. All right. Now, can you point to Sladjan Okilj?
25 A. Sladjan Okilj?
1 Q. Yes.
2 A. [Marks]
3 Q. That's Sladjan Okilj, is it?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. He was killed; right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Do you know when he was killed?
8 A. In 1993, I think.
9 Q. So he died on the 24th of October, 1993; isn't that right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. So the photograph was taken before his death; right? In the
12 summer of 1993, in fact; right?
13 A. I don't know exactly when he was killed, the actual moment, but
14 this photograph was taken towards the end of the war, and I said "1994."
15 Q. You said that this was towards the end of the war, and the war
16 ended in 1995. Here we see Sladjan Okilj, he was alive and well, and was
17 killed on the 24th of October, 1993. Therefore, this photograph must
18 have been taken before the death of Sladjan Okilj. It was, in fact,
19 taken in 1993 and not towards the end of the war?
20 A. I didn't say towards the end of the war. I said "1994." I
21 emphasise this. I didn't know the exact date.
22 Q. Well, a moment ago you said the photograph was taken towards the
23 end of the war and that they took the photograph and put you there to
24 compromise you in the eyes of the Muslim authorities?
25 A. Yes, just as you, "tu," said a moment ago that I was wearing a
1 uniform, and that's not what we see here.
2 Q. Please, I'm warning you once again to behave yourself and not
3 address me with "tu," but "vous." And if the Trial Chamber doesn't want
4 to tell you how to behave, then I have to.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I noticed that the
6 interpreters were saying "tu" at some point, so I guess you spoke to
7 Mr. Seselj by telling him "tu." So please tell him "vous," and that will
8 avoid any further problems. But I also notice that the picture was not
9 taken after the month of October 1993. It also seems almost certainly
10 that this picture was taken during the summer, because you yourself are
11 not wearing very warm clothes, so we can just imagine that this picture
12 was taken from May to September, maybe even all the way through to
14 Very well, please proceed.
15 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just a minor point.
16 If Mr. Seselj has a document testifying about the death of the person we
17 are talking about, it would be perhaps better to shed some light on us.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you told us that
19 the soldier that we see here in the foreground in blue was killed on the
20 24th of October, 1993. You must base this on some facts.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, didn't the witness
22 confirm that? He said "October 1993." Then I reminded him and said,
23 "The 24th of October," and he confirmed that it was the 24th of October,
24 1993. And now, instead of the Prosecution conducting an investigation,
25 which it is duty-bound to do, it should have tested the credibility of
1 all the witness statements beforehand. Now they're asking me to conduct
2 an investigation. He was killed on the 24th of October, 1993. That is
3 an indisputable fact. Anybody else claiming differently has to prove it.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Proceed.
5 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
6 Q. So the photograph was taken before Okilj was killed, so it
7 couldn't have been taken in 1996, just prior to the departure of the
8 Serb Army from these territories. It couldn't have been taken in 1995,
9 either, or in 1994, as you're trying to say now and correct yourself.
10 The photograph must have been taken in 1993; right, Mr. Sejdic?
11 A. Mr. Seselj, as far as this photograph is concerned, as far as I
12 know, 1993, the end of 1993, going on to 1994, that's what I said in the
13 first place.
14 And, secondly, the photograph that you "tu" or, rather, you
15 "vous" are saying about this man having been killed, I stressed a moment
16 ago that he was killed then, but I don't remember, myself, what I had to
17 eat when, let alone this photograph, because I didn't only have to think
18 about a photograph at the time, I had to think about my life and the
19 danger to me.
20 Q. We see here that you still had a work assignment, work duty, not
21 a military duty, but you had this photograph taken with the
22 Semizovac Battalion, the elite battalion?
23 A. Yes, but you said that I was a member of the army and that I
24 took -- was taken with them, and there you have the evidence, you said.
25 Q. Well, we've already established that I'm the biggest liar in this
1 courtroom, and I couldn't see what I see now in the black-and-white
2 photograph. But I have my associates, and they showed me --
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, please don't say
4 that. This is completely inappropriate.
5 Witness, we see 20 people on this picture. Were there other
6 people who were killed from this picture? If you know, tell us.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Zvonko Maric was killed.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You were saying "this person."
9 You have to show it to us with a stick, please.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can. And another of them
11 was killed.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] With the pen, could you please
13 put a cross above the person who was killed?
14 THE WITNESS: [Marks] [Interpretation] Do you want me to cross
15 this out, the one I mentioned a moment ago?
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, please.
17 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So three were killed, as far as
19 you can remember.
20 Can we have another number, please.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. The annotated photograph will
22 be Exhibit number C4.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Seselj, please
25 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
1 Q. What did you say these two soldiers' names were, the ones that
2 were killed?
3 A. This one was called Zekic or something like that, Zeko or Zekic,
4 and the other one was called --
5 Q. You said Zvonko Maric?
6 A. Yes, Zvonko.
7 Q. When were they killed?
8 A. I don't know the exact date, but after Okilj.
9 Q. So we're talking about 1993 now? You're not challenging that
10 anymore now, are you?
11 A. I don't know the exact date, as I said.
12 Q. All right. We're not talking about a specific date. We're
13 talking about the year. It was before October 1993?
14 A. I don't know exactly. It could be 1994.
15 Q. Well, how could it be 1994 if Sladjan Okilj was killed in 1993?
16 A. Well, he was killed before, before them.
17 Q. But he's on the photograph too. You don't assume that somebody
18 brought in Dragan Okilj dead here to take a photograph of him in 1994,
19 God forbid?
20 A. I stress that he was killed afterwards, after the others. The
21 question was whether any other people were killed after him.
22 Q. The question was: Is it -- is there no doubt that the photograph
23 was taken in 1993?
24 A. But the question was whether I knew anybody else who was killed.
25 Q. We've dealt with that. You recognised two other fighters who
1 were killed?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. So is it indubitable that the photograph is 1993, was taken in
5 A. I stressed this again, I said it a thousand times. I said the
6 end of 1993, going on to 1994, and I can't remember everything exactly.
7 That is my answer.
8 Q. All right, fine. But is it true and correct that this
9 photograph, then --
10 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Just one moment, please.
11 Mr. Seselj asked you, Witness, at one point if it is true that
12 Okilj was killed in October of 1993. Unless the transcript is faulty,
13 you've answered, "Yes." Now you say, "I don't know." I would like to
14 know if you know, "yes" or "no," if that person was killed in the month
15 of October 1993, because you did say, "Yes," at some point earlier.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Are you asking me that question?
17 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Yes, sir, Witness, this question
18 is for you.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I said 1993, going on to 1994.
20 I can't remember exactly, but thereabouts.
21 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't see that
22 my colleague wanted to take the floor.
23 I would like it to be clear on the audio, and we can verify this,
24 when Mr. Seselj put the question to you as to whether it is true that he
25 was killed in October of 1993, you said, "Yes," and then after that you
1 said that you don't remember. But at one point in time earlier, you
2 answered by saying, "Yes." So listen carefully to the questions that are
3 put to you, because there are some discrepancies now and this has a
4 certain bearing on the credibility. So please try to be more careful and
5 be precise. Be careful when you listen to the questions and be precise
6 when answering.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Madame Judge, just a moment,
8 please. A brief intervention.
9 The first time I asked the witness when Sladjan Okilj was killed.
10 The witness said in October 1993. Then I went on to ask him, "Was that
11 on the 24th of October, 1993?" So October 1993 was a date first
12 mentioned by the witness and then by me. So the witness answered
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Sejdic, I think we can conclude that this
15 photo was taken sometime before the 24th of October, and I'm not sure
16 that we can get any further, but I have another question relating to the
17 picture, because I see that the combatants here on this photo, they're
18 all wearing a red band on their right shoulder. And my question is if
19 you know what this red piece of ribbon or band signified. You can see on
20 the picture that they all have, on their right shoulder, a piece of red
21 ribbon. What is the significance of that?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can see that. It was placed
23 on the right shoulder when they were going to the Intervention Platoon,
24 into an attack, that they could be distinguished by these bands or
25 ribbons, and if anything happened during the night, that they could be
1 recognised. They could recognise each other by these bands or ribbons
2 and they would be able to recognise members of their unit which would
3 have this mark.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judge, may I be of assistance?
5 JUDGE HARHOFF: Just a minute.
6 Mr. Sejdic, was the red ribbon only for this unit or were there
7 other units carrying a similar ribbon?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The other units used this when they
9 went into an attack, the same ribbons. They would have different
10 ribbons, actually; sometimes yellow, sometimes blue, sometimes red. The
11 colours would change.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, unfortunately on this
13 photograph we don't see if you, yourself, had this ribbon, because the
14 weapon is hiding your right shoulder, so we can't see it. From memory,
15 can you tell us if you as well wore the ribbon?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not on that day. But when we went
17 into an attack, then they would put this on my shoulder, please, when --
18 my shoulder as well, this ribbon, so that somebody wouldn't kill me from
19 amongst our fighters.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Madame Judge, to avoid any
21 mystification over the bands or ribbons, they were important so that on
22 the battle front, Serb soldiers could be distinguished from the Muslim
23 soldiers, because the uniforms might have been exactly the same, that was
24 the only reason. And then the ribbons were changed, for example, "We're
25 going into action today. We're going to have red ribbons, then blue,
1 then yellow." So these ribbons would be changed so that they -- you
2 could distinguish your own soldier and avoid friendly fire.
3 From Vaske's unit, a soldier was killed in friendly fire.
4 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Seselj, how do you know this?
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I'm an expert in military
6 matters, Judge, sir.
7 JUDGE HARHOFF: Is that so?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, truly.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Prosecutor.
10 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] I am noting that Mr. Seselj is
11 testifying, basically. I would like you to ask the witness to put some
12 letters on the picture. So now we only have circles. In a month or two,
13 we won't know who's who, and maybe it would be useful to have letters.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have three circles on this
15 picture. Witness, put a name -- Adil is the first one, so please put,
16 yourself, the names of the people, and then a new number will be given to
17 this exhibit.
18 THE WITNESS: [Marks] [Interpretation] So that's right, you want
19 the exact name?
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. You can write it down.
21 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now it's in blue, so we can't
23 really read carefully. You can say it, and then we will compare it to
24 the transcript.
25 What is the first name, please?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is "Sladjan Okilj" or
2 whatever -- Okilj, anyway [indicates].
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Okilj, Sladjan. Very well.
4 The second name?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Zvonko Blazevic.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Zvonko Blazevic. Very well.
7 And the third name?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Zekic, Zeko.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Zekic, Zeko. Very well. Can
10 we please have a new number?
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the second annotated photograph
12 will be Exhibit number C5.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
14 Mr. Seselj.
15 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Sejdic, can you see on this photograph that these soldiers
17 are not all wearing the same uniforms?
18 A. Yes, I can see that.
19 Q. That means that people wore what they found?
20 A. Yes, what they were given, what uniforms they were given.
21 Q. And is this an M-84, the machine-gun called "Death sower," the
22 one next-door to you?
23 A. Yes, that's your worst soldier, Jovan Colakovic.
24 Q. Come on, Mr. Sejdic, don't talk that way. They're your friends
1 A. They're not my friends, Mr. Seselj. As far as I know, I was
2 beaten most by this man and he threatened me most, and he put the rifle
3 in my hand to have the photograph taken.
4 Q. So that the Muslim authorities could persecute you afterwards?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. In 1993?
7 A. To the end of the war.
8 Q. Well, maybe that was the case.
9 A. That was the case.
10 Q. All right. You're telling the truth and I'm lying. Anyway, you
11 were a member of the Work Platoon as well when you were taken on this
12 photograph here?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And that Work Platoon of yours numbered 25 men, as far as I
15 remember. Right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. So why did they select you from this whole Work Platoon to have
18 your picture taken with them?
19 A. They called me to the Command to load up the ammunition.
20 Q. But why did they ask you to join them in having their photograph
21 taken and give you a rifle?
22 A. Well, you ask your man Jovan Colakovic why.
23 Q. Because, Mr. Sejdic, I've already asked him, because everybody
24 liked you in the unit, and soon after that you became a member of the
1 A. You say they liked me?
2 Q. Yes.
3 A. Well, then why did they mistreat me and beat me and threaten to
4 rape my wife and kill my children?
5 Q. Nobody mistreated you, nobody beat you, and nobody threatened
6 you. You've invented all that to justify, before the Muslim authorities,
7 your participation in the war on the Serb side.
8 A. That's not true. Had they liked me, they would have let me go,
9 together with my Muslims, but they held me prisoner for all those years
10 and mistreated and tortured me.
11 Q. But as you say, your Muslims sent you away from Korita?
12 A. Well, you don't keep saying "your Muslims." I was a Roma,
13 belonged to the Roma ethnicity, the Roma population, and the Roma were
14 not involved in the war at all. And if you asked us, we didn't have our
15 state, we didn't have our representative, we didn't have anybody to lead
16 us. We were slaves from times immemorial, if you're interested.
17 Q. The Serbs were the only people in the whole of the Balkans who
18 were friendly towards the Roma and never persecuted them; right?
19 A. Well, yeah, because when it was World War II, Hitler persecuted
20 the Serbs and the Jews all in one whole, so -- and gypsies were added
22 Q. Well, we never persecuted the Roma or the gypsies, as you call
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers kindly slow down. It is
25 impossible to translate at this speed. Thank you.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, please. The
2 interpreters are having trouble following you. You are going too fast.
3 Regarding this problem that the Chamber is hearing about, the
4 Roma or Muslims, before the war, before 1991-1992, did you ever feel that
5 you were discriminated by someone, as a Roma?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, when I went to school, the
7 children always called me "Gypsy, Roma." My faith cannot be different.
8 I am the person who I am. I follow my faith and I live with my faith,
9 just like everybody else, so I lived the same way.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, religion-wise, and you
11 don't have to answer this question if you don't want to - I'm only asking
12 this as an information - do you have a religion or not?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is it?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm of the Muslim faith. "Safet"
16 is my name. It's a Muslim name that my great-grandfather had and my
17 grandfather. I don't know -- this has been the case since time
18 immemorial. I don't know it was 50 or 70 or 100 years ago, we were all
19 over the world, we the Roma.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But in the former Yugoslavia,
21 all Romas, were they like you, of Muslim faith, or were there any Romas
22 who were Catholics or Orthodox, or were you mainly of Muslim faith?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, we're not all Muslims. The
24 there are some of us who are Catholics and Serbs and Jews and Muslims.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much for this
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.
3 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Mr. Sejdic, where did you attend elementary school?
5 A. In Semizovac, the Ribar Brothers was the name of the school.
6 Q. I see. Since you had these problems before the war because of
7 your ethnicity, were you ever in a position to have to declare yourself
8 as a Bosniak as well?
9 A. I don't know where you come up with questions like that. First
10 you listen to all of this about my previous life, and now you come up
11 with this, that the Muslims hated me, attacked me, whatever, this and
12 that. I stated this, what I did; that is to say, that if I belonged to
13 the Roma population, I could not have been a different person. I am the
14 person I am, and I will remain the same person.
15 Q. Please be so kind as to answer my question. Since you were not
16 coerced, did you feel a need to declare yourself as a Bosniak by
18 A. What else can I be but a Bosniak? What else can I be if I'm
19 called "Safet Sejdic"?
20 Q. Wait a second. Nowadays, the Bosniaks are the Bosnian Muslims
21 who are of Serb origin, but of Muslim faith. But you're a Roma by
22 ethnicity. You're not a Serb, you're not a Croat or a Bosniak. You're a
23 Roma; right? The Roma are a reputable ethnicity that was seriously
24 persecuted throughout history, but they also gave a considerable
25 contribution to European culture. There is not a single European culture
1 that the Roma did not contribute to.
2 A. Your Honour, Judge, I think that I pointed out a few moments ago
3 in relation to the question that he's putting now. If I said that I'm a
4 Roma by ethnicity, my grandfather, my great-grandfather, rather -- I
5 don't even know, I wasn't even born then, they were under the authority
6 of the Muslim people, they were under the authority of the Serb people.
7 Then they would be Serbs. If did they were under the authority of the
8 Croats, they would have been Croats. So I'm saying the way we were, and
9 then I said what my grandfather's last name is, so I bear that last name,
10 as my father does.
11 Q. Mr. Sejdic, please be so kind as to answer my questions. I'm not
12 challenging that your father was an honourable man, that your grandfather
13 was an honourable man. All of that is well and fine. I'm asking you:
14 How come that you were in a position a few years after the war to declare
15 yourself as a Bosniak by ethnicity, that is to say, to push aside the
16 fact that you're a Roma? And I think that there is nothing bad about
17 that, a person being a Roma, just if he's a good and honourable man. Why
18 did you push that aside and why did you declare yourself as a Bosniak?
19 Why did you have to do that?
20 A. Because all the Roma predominantly in Bosnia-Herzegovina -- well,
21 I mean, we've already discussed this. Some were Serbs and some were
22 Croats and some were Jews and some were Muslims, some were Serbs. I've
23 already answered this question. I've said that my population at that
24 time was the way it was, and that's the way things remained. We -- I
25 mean, my family -- how shall I put this? The so-called gypsies, we had
1 to do what the other Muslims did.
2 Q. Did you have to declare yourself as a Bosniak?
3 A. Well, if I'm a Bosniak, then I'm a Bosniak.
4 Q. Did you have to declare yourself to be one?
5 A. Well, I had to. I'm a Bosniak, and I remain a Bosniak. I'm a
6 Muslim, and I remain a Muslim.
7 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] The question was put to the
8 witness in a repetitive way. The witness already explained to us that
9 he's a Roma of Muslim faith, and I object that the same question be put
10 to the witness over and over again.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, if I'm not mistaken,
12 you said that your grandfather was Muslim. What is interesting is to see
13 if originally your family, and tell us if you do know -- has your family
14 always been in that region or area of the world or did it come from
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, my family lived
17 in that village, Svrake, and in the village of Semizovac for years. I
18 was born in 1969. My grandfather and my relatives, of course, they were
19 born before, that is, before I was born. They were always under Muslim
20 authority, and they had Muslim names and surnames, and that's the way
21 things remain to this day.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, I understand, but going
23 back in time, the 19th century, 18th century, 17th century, was your
24 family always there or did they come from somewhere else? Of course,
25 tell us only if you know it. You may not know your family tree.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't know exactly about
2 that, because at that time I wasn't even born, you see. But when I
3 listened to what my father had to say, and my grandfather, they say that
4 officially our origins are in India.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So basically you would be
6 originally from India. All right.
7 Mr. Seselj.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the witness
9 confirmed for me here what it was that I had insisted upon. After the
10 war, he was in a position to declare himself as a Bosniak, although he
11 cannot be an ethnic Bosniak. He's a Roma. What I thought was necessary
12 was to show how he was discriminated against, along ethnic lines, after
13 the Dayton Agreement. That was the core of my question. Why would he
14 declare himself as belonging to a different ethnic group rather than what
15 his grandfathers had been for centuries? This Bosniak ethnicity has not
16 been in existence ever, whereas the Roma have been in existence for
18 JUDGE LATTANZI: I have a question to ask the
19 witness on this.
20 Witness, please, as far as you know, are there people of Serb
21 ethnicity, of Croatian ethnicity, who lived in Bosnia after the war and
22 declared themselves Bosnian -- Bosniak, in the B/C/S meaning of the word,
23 "Bosniak" in B/C/S, because in French it would be what we call "Bosnien"
24 which is Bosniak in English, so were there any people of Serb or Croat
25 ethnicity who declared themselves "Bosnjaci"?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You mean those who were Croats or
2 Serbs after the war, that they were Bosniaks then, that they became
3 Bosniaks, you mean? Could this please be interpreted for me?
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, let's try and clarify
5 this, because it's complicated, because we have problems with translation
6 of different concepts.
7 For the Judges of the Bench, those we call "Bosnian," in French
8 "Bosniak," are people of Muslim faith, and those which we call "Bosnian"
9 in French or "Bosniak" in English, are those who have -- are citizens of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Therefore, you can be a Bosniak, while you're
11 Catholic, Orthodox or whatever, but when you're a Bosnian, it means that
12 you're of Muslim faith. This is the parameters of the question. So what
13 do you have to say to this?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that is to say that the
15 Muslims call themselves the Bosniaks, and the Croats and the Serbs call
16 themselves -- well, I mean, if it's "Bosniak," I mean, of Croatian
17 nationality, then he belonged to Croatia. If it's a Serb, then he
18 belonged to Serbia. So that was it, that is what they were called. But
19 if they lived in Bosnia, I mean there, then they call them "Bosniaks"
20 from time to time as well because they are the mainstay of that state.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
22 Mr. Seselj, proceed.
23 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Since obviously this topic is complicated for you regarding the
25 national and ethnic question, Mr. Sejdic, a few moments ago in
1 cross-examination you said that you did not know this name nicknamed
2 Kele, Dragan Galic, whereas he claims that you slept on two adjacent beds
3 in the dormitory of the Intervention Battalion. Do you still stand by
4 this, that you don't know this Kele?
5 A. I stand by that.
6 Q. All right, Mr. Sejdic, that's well and fine that you stand by
8 Could we now display the statement given by this witness to the
9 OTP in 2006. It is page 28, paragraph 112.
10 Are you in a position to do that? I hope the Trial Chamber at
11 least has this statement. If you have it, we don't have to put it on the
12 ELMO, the statement from 2006?
13 You say here:
14 "Together with me in the Intervention Battalion were
15 Makso Nikolic from Semizovac; Buco from Serbia, who was Rajko Koprivica's
16 son-in-law or brother-in-law; Peka, the former mailman in Semizovac;
17 Zvonko Blazevic, an ethnic Croat." That's the Zvonko you showed a few
18 moments ago who got killed as well; right? Zvonko Blazevic, did he get
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. "... Sladjan Stevanovic from Semizovac; a certain Kele from
22 Visoko; and Ranko Simic, commander of the platoon."
23 In your statement, you refer to this Kele from Visoko, and now
24 you don't remember at all -- you do not remember Kele at all, and you
25 stand by that. So in 2006, you did remember Kele, and that's what you
1 said to the investigators, and now all of a sudden you no longer remember
3 Have you found it? It is page 28, paragraph 112.
4 You have to take my document, then. Well, there you go. If the
5 OTP doesn't want to do their own work, then -- 112 is the number of the
6 paragraph. The OTP really had --
7 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you chose to defend
8 yourself, so you have to do all the work. It's not the OTP that's
9 supposed to do it. If you had counsel, he would be doing the work for
10 you, but unfortunately as things stand now, you were supposed to do the
11 work yourself.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Are you suggesting to me that I
13 find myself a lawyer who would defend me better than I'm defending
14 myself, Madame Judge?
15 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] No, Mr. Seselj. You are
16 entitled to do so, but you must exercise this right in the best fashion
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Madame Judge, I do my best, and I'm
19 not successful in what I'm doing my best in. But if you have in mind a
20 capable lawyer who would defend me better than I am defending myself, I
21 would gladly look into your proposal or suggestion.
22 All right. Have we got it on our screens now, the one-but-last
24 Q. A certain Kele from Visoko, you identified him as a member of
25 this Intervention Platoon, and now you don't remember him; right?
1 A. Maybe it's a different Kele.
2 Q. There was just one Kele?
3 A. Well, if there's just one Kele, then that's the Kele. But you
4 said that he slept with me, that he knew everything about me. How would
5 he not know if he was in the Intervention Platoon.
6 Q. Mr. Sejdic, I did not say that he slept with you. I said that
7 you slept on adjacent beds in the dormitory of the Intervention Platoon,
8 and it was Kele who came from Visoko to Semizovac as a refugee on the
9 17th of July, 1992, and in 1993, he became a member of the Intervention
10 Platoon, where you were one of the most prominent soldiers. That is what
11 he says in his own statement, and you are saying that you don't know him
12 at all, and now you recognised him. Thank you, thank you, so that we
13 don't spend more time on this. Thank you for having recognised him.
14 A. Let me tell you one thing, Mr. Seselj. This Kele that you claim
15 I slept with, I mean, one bed next to the other. See what you know. You
16 are so pleased because you think that it's correct.
17 Q. All right, it's not correct. I accept what you're saying, that
18 it's not correct.
19 A. And these statements, I don't know, on the basis of these
20 statements of mine, you've got these statements, and now, by way of
21 cross-examination through these statements, you are trying to put in all
22 sorts of stories, hearsay, this and that. And where are all these
23 people? Why were they not arrested? If they committed these atrocities,
24 why weren't they arrested? What kind of information are you getting?
25 People were saying Karadzic cannot be arrested, Mladic cannot be
1 arrested. You are the one who knows everything. Why were they not
3 Q. I know everything about them, but I would rather lose my own life
4 than help anyone capture Karadzic or Mladic.
5 A. If I could before this Court, and if my authorities would let me,
6 but I would be willing to lay my own life down in order to have you put
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well and fine. Judges, you are
9 listening to this, and you hear this witness threatening my life, and you
10 don't mind.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, listen you, too. I came here
12 to make a statement.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You came here to testify. The
14 procedure is as such: The OTP calls witnesses, asks questions to these
15 witnesses, and the accused is also entitled to ask questions to the
16 witness. If Judges were managing everything from beginning to end, this
17 would not occur in such a way. But the Judges who devised this Tribunal
18 decided to opt for this solution, which is why we have to follow the
19 rule, even -- that's just the rule. We have to play by it.
20 Mr. Seselj is entitled to ask questions of you, and you are
21 supposed to answer these questions. That's the rule of the game. We
22 cannot do anything about it. And during cross-examination, he's entitled
23 to put questions to you, so please put your feelings aside and just
24 answer questions.
25 Mr. Seselj, proceed.
1 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Sejdic, I'm a little frightened now. I'm worried that you
3 might not kill me -- actually kill me, so my voice might tremble from
4 time to time.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, this was useless,
6 totally useless. You're just adding to the problem. Please proceed.
7 Put questions and refrain from these type of comments, because this is
8 only going to irk the witness and make him react.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. If I don't even have
11 the right to be afraid, what can I say?
12 Q. Mr. Sejdic, we have observed that in this elite unit, the
13 Intervention Platoon of the Semizovac Battalion, there are at least three
14 men who weren't Serbs by ethnicity; you, a Roma, and two Croats. Right?
15 A. Yes, that is right.
16 Q. One of the Croats was killed as a Serb fighter. That was
17 Zvonko Blazevic. And another Croat is now living in Split, and he came
18 to Belgrade to give me a statement. His name is Ninoslav Kaurinovic.
19 That, nonetheless, testifies to the fact that there wasn't any ethnic
20 intolerance in the Serb Army. The Serb Army fought for Republika Srpska
21 against the rift in Yugoslavia, but there was no ethnic intolerance?
22 A. Judges, I apologise. Now, can I ask a question? What were the
23 Croats and the Serbs? Did they have the same cross?
24 Q. Mr. Sejdic, let's leave this matter of the crosses aside. We're
25 not going to debate that point.
1 A. Well, if you say that the two of them -- that everybody was the
2 same, not everybody could have been the same.
3 Q. Mr. Sejdic, do you know that in the Intervention Platoon of
4 Vaske Vidovic from Ilijas, throughout the war there were two Muslims all
5 the time? Did you ever hear about that?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Well, do you believe me when I tell you that there were two
9 A. Well, if they were there, I wasn't in Vaske's unit to know about
11 Q. But do you think I'm lying when I say that now?
12 A. I don't know. I'm not going to discuss that matter.
13 Q. Let me show you, Mr. Sejdic. I have here the original notebooks
14 of Vaske's platoon.
15 Now, could you display this page? We've already had it shown in
16 court here, a photocopy of it.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This document has already been
18 used. Maybe you were not in the courtroom at the time, but we've already
19 seen this document.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The number is 37 and 38. It says
21 Mujo Djafic and Fadil Djafic. Show that to the witness, please. Yes, on
22 the overhead projector.
23 Do we see that on the ELMO? Do you see number 37 and 38, father
24 and son, Mujo Djafic and Fadil Djafic.
25 Q. Can you see that?
1 A. Well, if I say I don't know about this, why are you showing it to
3 Q. Well, just to see that I might not be lying this time.
4 A. Well, if they decided, they must have decided about this, just
5 like for me.
6 Q. Now, if I tell you, and I'm interested in your comment now, I put
7 it to you and tell you that after the withdrawal of the Serb Army, Mujo
8 and Faruk Djafic stayed on in Ilijas, that they were arrested by the
9 Muslim authorities and beaten very brutally, and that Faruk Djafic, the
10 son, that is, soon afterwards succumbed to the wounds he sustained during
11 the beatings, and Mujo Djafic lived for a certain number of years and
12 died recently, would you believe me?
13 A. Sir, I'm not for Mujo or for this other man.
14 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] All right, you're not. Now, madam,
15 you can hand those original notebooks to the Trial Chamber. The Chetnik
16 Vojvoda, Vasilije Vidovic, with expressions of deep respect, is donating
17 that to you. They are the -- as the Trial Chamber, they are the work
18 notebooks that you doubted existed.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, Mr. Seselj.
20 You're giving us these notebooks. The Trial Chamber should tender these
21 as Court exhibits. Let me consult with my fellow Judges.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm not proposing anything, Judges.
24 You can receive that as a souvenir. You can give it to the Prosecutor to
25 test its authenticity or do what you will with it.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Dutertre.
2 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Unless we have specific
3 references, we cannot check whether we've already received a copy of
4 these documents, and therefore I cannot make any submission as to their
5 reliability and as to whether we object or not on their admission right
6 here on the fly in the courtroom. We need time to check all this, and if
7 we don't have the document, we need a copy of the document from
8 Mr. Seselj in order to check things and in order to make an informed
9 decision when the documents will be tendered.
10 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] But if I remember well, the
11 question already came up, and the Trial Chamber decided to answer
12 negatively. I believe that we must first and foremost take a look at our
13 prior decision in order to make sure that we do not issue a contradictory
14 decision today.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I continue with my
16 cross-examination, since time is at a premium and I am afraid that you
17 will deduct all this time from my time?
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, we are not
19 deducting this, but there is a problem. You are giving us six notebooks.
20 Some of these notebooks are connected to Vaske Vidovic, because there are
21 lists with mentions of his name. Furthermore, there are issues that
22 might be of interest to the Trial Chamber; for example, the ethnical
23 makeup of units in the VRS. You have just mentioned that there were two
24 Muslim members, for example.
25 Personally, I would admit these documents. However, if my
1 colleagues disagree, we will not admit them. But we need to have a
2 majority decision. I will consult with my fellow Judges.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. To solve this
5 issue, the Trial Chamber is asking the Registrar to give it an MFI
6 number. And if the person who, quote/unquote, is giving us these
7 documents comes to testify, we will give it a real number, a final
8 number. So please, Mr. Registrar, give us a number for these six
9 notebooks, MFI.
10 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just one number for all six.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour, that will be MFI C6.
13 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. President, on my
14 left, my case manager is telling me that we've never seen this document.
15 Could we please have a copy, when we finally decide on admissibility, so
16 that we can have a useful discussion, an informed discussion? We need to
17 see a copy of these documents.
18 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
19 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Seselj, can I ask you a question?
20 You offered these notebooks to the Chamber, so I suppose you
21 would wish to have them admitted as your exhibit. Is that correct?
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No. I'm just here as a go-between.
23 Chetnik Vojvoda Vaske Vidovic, with sincere greetings to the
24 Trial Chamber, sent the original of his notebooks, which you received on
25 time during Theunens' -- expert witness Theunens' testimony, in the form
1 of a photocopy. It was translated into English. There was a doubt
2 expressed here as to its authenticity. My wife brought it on Friday.
3 The Detention Unit service gave them to me yesterday, and I'm just
4 conveying this from my friend, Vaske Vidovic, as a go-between.
5 I'm never going to ask any document be tendered into evidence as
6 a Defence document, and I've stated that many times. You can do what you
7 will with those notebooks. You can take them home as a souvenir, you can
8 give them to the OTP, you can throw them in the wastepaper basket, but I
9 can't take them back again, I can't send them back again. I really
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. This document will
12 be MFI C6. I will ask the Registrar to make a copy of this document so
13 that it can be handed out to the OTP, which may need it.
14 Mr. Seselj, you have the floor.
15 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Towards the end of the examination-in-chief, Mr. Sejdic, you
17 spoke about the preparation of the Serb units for an attack on the
18 Niksic plateau, and you called that plateau the Crna Rijeka Plateau not
19 the Niksic Plateau because there's a river there called Crna Rijeka;
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Whereas it's the Niksic plateau?
23 A. Well, yes. Crna Rijeka, Niksic Plateau, that kind of thing.
24 Q. Right. And you said that the attack began at the end of 1993 or
25 the beginning of 1994; right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. I came by a precise piece of information which tells me that the
3 attack was launched on the 8th of November, 1993. And when I present
4 that information to you, when I tell you that, do you consider that that
5 is correct?
6 A. I don't know what information you received. I know what I said
7 in my statement. Now, your statements, well, I don't know whether
8 they're correct or not, because you receive them from lists, from Vaske,
9 et cetera, and you bring them in here as a souvenir. And you know what a
10 souvenir means. A souvenir is given to the Muslims, and not everybody is
11 a Muslim in the courtroom here, when you talk about souvenirs, when you
12 say, "Vaske sent souvenirs." All of these statements of yours, using
13 the "tu" --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note.
15 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
16 Q. You keep addressing me in the singular, "tu," and that is
17 beginning to upset me.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, why are you so
19 informal? You are being aggressive in doing so. You are a witness of
20 justice. You're not supposed to use "tu," the informal way of addressing
21 Mr. Seselj. You should use a formal way of addressing him.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, Judge. Perhaps it
23 just came out of my lips. But he addresses me in all kinds of ways and
24 he's laughing at me, and I have to take all that.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If you believe that the accused
1 is being provocative by smiling at you, just don't watch him, don't look
2 at him. Look at the Bench and just answer the question. Keep cool,
3 please. There's no need to get all worked up. Please stay cool. It
4 might be difficult, but please try to do so.
5 Let's come back to the Niksic Plateau. Mr. Seselj, proceed.
6 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Sejdic, I do have to try and convince you that I'm not
8 laughing at you, and if I happen to have a smile on my face, it's an
9 expression of sympathy, because I do sympathise with your bad fate after
10 1996. However, if you consider this to be that I'm laughing at you, I'm
11 sorry for that. You, using the "tu," would like to see me hang from a
12 branch somewhere; right?
13 A. No, I would like you to have left with the Serb Army.
14 Q. Then you wouldn't have had to undergo all the suffering. But I
15 ask you, once again, not to use the "tu." I really find that irritating.
16 Perhaps I have high opinions of myself, but it is a bit irritating to me
17 when someone keeps addressing me in the familiar form of "tu."
18 A. All right, Mr. Seselj, carry on.
19 Q. Now you said that this was at the end of 1993 to 1994. That is a
20 time-frame, a period of time. Now, I looked into this and established
21 when the attack on the Niksic Plateau was, and I came to see that it was
22 on the 8th of November. Do you deny that it was the end of November?
23 The 8th of November is indeed the end of 1993. So it's not in my
24 interests that it should be closer to the indictment period, it would be
25 in my interest that it was in 1994, whereas it was on the 8th of
1 November, 1993. Do you consider that that is not correct?
2 A. I did not say that it was correct or incorrect. In my statement,
3 it says, and I stressed, either the end of 1993 or the beginning of 1994,
4 because I can't remember exactly, but that's what I said.
5 Q. Mr. Sejdic, that is not contained in any of your statements, and
6 I have a total of five statements of yours, two which you gave to the
7 Muslim authorities in 1996 and then to The Hague investigators. I think
8 that was in 1996, too. Then the investigators again in 2004, and then
9 The Hague investigators in 2006. And never did you mention this rallying
10 of the Serb Army prior to the attack on the Niksic Plateau at which
11 Radovan Karadzic -- Karadzic, Mladic and I were there, myself. You never
12 said that. You said that during the examination-in-chief here in court
13 first. Why?
14 A. Because I recognised you, "tu," and I because I didn't remember
15 to emphasise that when you were there and when I saw you because there
16 was no talk about you, "tu," and I didn't know that I would be with you,
17 "vous," or, rather, "tu" here in the courtroom. And when I was on the
18 plateau, the Niksic Plateau, when Dragan Josipovic and Jankovic and Vaske
19 were discussed, and when they came to that attack, I happened to see you,
20 "tu," as I told you the first day in the courtroom.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The witness has now addressed me
22 nine times in the familiar form of "tu," the second-person singular, nine
23 times during what he was saying.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, please, maybe every
25 day in your language when you speak, in everyday language, you always use
1 the informal way of addressing people. Maybe to you, using "tu," the
2 informal way, is commonplace. Is that the problem, that you say "tu" to
4 Mr. Seselj, then don't get all worked up. If he addresses you in
5 such an informal way, it's his way of speaking.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right, Mr. President. First of
7 all, I'm not taking offence at all. If you accept this explanation, that
8 this is the customary way in which the witness speaks, then I'm not going
9 to intervene any longer. See how constructive I am? I relent straight
11 Truth to tell, you did frighten me with a few of your
12 interventions, so I'm more amenable than usually. But what can a person
13 do? In the later years of one's life, one does get to feel weaker,
14 doesn't one.
15 I identified the date as the 8th of November. The Prosecution
16 can check that, because -- well, the date is the 9th of November, and I
17 was helped out there by General Dragan Josipovic, who gave me his
18 statement, and we're going to look through that statement now, as a
19 statement by Vasilije Vidovic, who had taken part in the attack on the
20 Niksic Plateau.
21 Just now, with the assistance of my associates, I looked this up
22 and found out what it was that I did on the 9th and 10th and the 11th of
23 November, 1993, so could we please have document number 9, Roman
24 numeral IX on the overhead projector.
25 This is my book, "Rule the Roost," "Dedinje Dizdar." This is the
1 amended edition from 2002. The cover page can be seen on the overhead
3 Q. And now could you have a look at the following. There is an
4 interview of mine, entitled "Serbian Money in Cyprus."
5 On the 9th of November, 1993, obviously, I was a guest speaker at
6 Radio Stara Pazova. Can you see that, Mr. Sejdic?
7 A. I'm not interested in this paper at all.
8 Q. Very well. Next page, please. On the 10th of November, I spoke
9 at Radio Sabac, and that is where I gave an interview that was entitled
10 "Machine-gun Nests Defend the House of Flowers."
11 Next page. On the 10th of November, I was also in Loznica. So I
12 had two radio interviews, in actual fact. I gave an interview that was
13 entitled "Drina: The Drina River Will Not Be a Border," as it won't.
14 And on the 11th of November, I gave an interview to Radio Temerin,
15 entitled "The Government of the Financial State Mafia." At that time,
16 there was an election campaign going on in Serbia in 1993, and every day
17 I was a guest speaker on radio or TV throughout Serbia, and it never
18 crossed my mind to travel to Republika Srpska, as the campaign was in
19 full sway. On the 15th of September, we started toppling the Milosevic
20 government, headed by Nikola Sainovic, and after a long debate in
21 Parliament that went on for three or four weeks, Slobodan Milosevic
22 dissolved the National Assembly and we had early elections. I did not
23 move out of Serbia on all of those until the election campaign was over
24 in December.
25 Do you believe that, Mr. Sejdic, when I say that?
1 A. How did you find all these excuses, and you went to speak to your
2 Serbs and support them, and now you're trying to say that you did not go
3 to the Crna Rijeka Plateau as well? You didn't have a helicopter, you
4 had nothing, right, nothing to bring you there, at least for an hour,
5 half an hour, and then leave, and attend these governments and what have
6 you not?
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you swore under oath
8 that you had seen Mr. Seselj on that plateau. This is what you told us.
9 Mr. Seselj is now bringing some documents, showing you some documents,
10 establishing that on the 8th, 9th and 10th of November, he was giving
11 interviews here and there. Of course, you're saying that with the
12 helicopter, one can come on the plateau, stay half an hour, one hour, and
13 then leave again and give an interview, of course, but the problem is the
14 following: If Mr. Seselj is showing that he was not there, in his mind,
15 he never came there, but, on the other hand, you state that you saw him.
16 This is where the debate lies.
17 So please proceed, Mr. Seselj.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I was in Vogosca,
19 Ilijas and Ilidza, the first time in 1994 and the second time in 1994.
20 But in 1993, I did not go to that area at all. In November 1993, the
21 attack at the Niksic Plateau started, and in 1994, when I came to the
22 part of the Niksic Plateau facing the Olovo frontline, that was sometime
23 in the spring of 1994. I toured the positions at the frontline, and
24 there was no fighting going on then. Otherwise, at the Niksic Plateau we
25 had a group of volunteers from Serbia, a group of volunteers from the
1 Serb Radical Party. However, they were not moving from Ilijas and
2 Vogosca, but from the completely opposite direction. Olovo was in Muslim
3 hands, and the villages above Olovo were in Serb hands. I just wanted to
4 explain a few things to you, if you're interested. This can even be
5 calculated as my time.
6 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the accused can put
7 documents to the witness, put questions to the witness, but now he's
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, I agree.
10 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] He can do the same thing by
11 putting questions, rather than testifying. He is making a statement
12 right now.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you heard Mr. Seselj
14 say that the first time he went there was in 1994, so what do you have to
15 say to that?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I mentioned that in my statements,
17 that is to say, the end of 1993, the beginning of 1994, so that's it.
18 Secondly, his paramilitary units, that is to say,
19 the mercenaries, Seselj's mercenaries, they arrived just before the
20 attack was to start. They arrived during the night, and I pointed that
21 out in my statements. They arrived on seven buses in the school in
22 Semizovac, and in front of the Kulin Dvor command at Ranko Jankovic's,
23 and that's when these units went to the Crna Rijeka village. They
24 attacked it, actually. So they were getting off trucks, and they wore
25 yellow ribbons or armbands.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges, it is important for the
2 Prosecutor to find where it was that the witness stated this earlier on,
3 because the statements that I have do not contain this about these seven
5 Should I continue with my questions now?
6 Q. In 1994, when I arrived in Vogosca, I was at Ilijas and Ilidza.
7 General Josipovic, he was a colonel then, he toured the Serb positions at
8 Zuc together with me. Your unit was there, too; right? Isn't that
9 right, Mr. Sejdic, it was at Zuc?
10 A. Possibly.
11 Q. Do you remember that you shook hands with me on that occasion,
12 Mr. Sejdic?
13 A. No.
14 Q. You forgot that as well?
15 A. That's not correct.
16 Q. Over the weekend, I consulted my friend Radovan Karadzic, and I
17 asked him where he was on the 9th of November, 1993. And
18 Radovan Karadzic informed me that on the 9th of November, he was in
19 Belgrade, and that there he gave an interview to TV Reuters.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you're giving us a
21 scoop. You're telling us that during the weekend, you saw
22 Mr. Radovan Karadzic, who is wanted by the entire world. Should we
23 understand it that way?
24 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] I would like to add the
25 following --
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I did not see him.
2 I was in contact with him through an intermediary.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, because the
4 sentence, as it is drafted in English on line 17, page 85, it says: "I
5 consulted my friend," so we were under the impression that you had a
6 connection with him. But now you're telling us that it was by other
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]...
9 that we were in contact, Judge.
10 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Mr. President, if we should give
11 credit as to what is said, it should be told clearly, how the contact
12 took place. I would be very happy if Mr. Seselj would -- were able to
13 shed some light on that.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, allow him to finish his
16 Mr. Seselj, go ahead, please.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would provide that information,
18 Judge, but I don't want it to be taken up as my time. I will tell you in
19 great detail how it was that I contacted Radovan Karadzic, but I don't
20 want that to be included in my time. So do you insist on this or not?
21 If not -- well, the Prosecutor insists. I don't know if you insist.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I will consult my fellow
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Chamber will
1 not subtract this from your time. Please proceed.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I instructed my associates to
3 contact certain individuals who are in contact with Radovan Karadzic. I
4 asked them to provide me with information as to where Radovan Karadzic
5 was on the 9th of November. I received information that Radovan Karadzic
6 was in Belgrade, and I thank my friend Radovan Karadzic for having kindly
7 sent me this information.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Please put your
9 question to the witness, then, since on the 9th of November, Mr. Karadzic
10 was not on the plateau.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Since it was not possible for me to
12 take a statement from Radovan Karadzic, because I don't know who could
13 certify that statement, I instructed my legal associates to look up, in
14 the daily press, possible traces of Radovan Karadzic's stay in Belgrade,
15 and they found these traces for me. And here it is on page 6 of document
16 number 9. You have a photocopy from the newspaper "Borba," dated the
17 10th of November, that day.
18 Q. So you have an article stating that in Belgrade,
19 Radovan Karadzic, on the previous day in an interview with TV Reuters,
20 said the Serbs are ready to make territorial concessions. Do you see
21 that? So Radovan Karadzic, on the 9th of November, could not have been
22 at the Niksic Plateau and in Belgrade; right? Isn't that right,
23 Mr. Sejdic?
24 A. Mr. Seselj, I think all of these things that you said about
25 Karadzic, all of these are tricks and lies on your part. So you can hang
1 that around your neck so that you do not forget this as you walk in.
2 Q. Well, we've already stated that I'm not just an ordinary liar,
3 but the greatest liar in this courtroom, but I still have to go on
4 putting my questions to you, although I'm a liar. So try to endure this.
5 A. I'm patient enough as it is. I was so patient after all those
6 years of your provocations. But you saying that you shook hands with me
7 at Zuc, I mean, I would rather shake hands with a rock or a tree than
8 with you, even if I were to get killed.
9 Q. Well, I know that when you fell under the Muslim rule, you
10 regretted the fact that you shook hands, but --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, we have on the ELMO a
12 paper dated 10th of November, 1993, and it talks about the presence of
13 Mr. Karadzic, who was giving an interview to Reuters, and this would be
14 on the 9th of November. So this is a strong element.
15 What do you have to say to this, independently of the fact that
16 there is a certain amount of antagonism between you and Mr. Seselj ?
17 That does not concern us, but we would like to know if what you said is
18 true or, rather, that you, yourself, saw Karadzic, Mladic and Mr. Seselj
19 on that plateau while a combat operation was taking place, and this is
20 what you told us.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I claim that.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that is what I claim.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Okay. So this is what you
25 confirm to us, but we have to establish on what date did you see all
1 this. It would appear that the combat operation took place in the month
2 of November, but in November, Mr. Seselj was elsewhere. Mr. Karadzic was
3 in Belgrade, and that is a problem. How do you resolve -- how do you
4 solve, correction, this problem?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I know, Your Honour, this
6 problem ...
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you cannot answer. Very
9 For the Trial Chamber, I would like to mention that this article
10 can place Karadzic somewhere on the 9th of November, but the interview
11 that he gave, it could also have been done by phone or otherwise. It
12 doesn't necessarily mean that he had to be present in Belgrade. This is
13 what the Trial Chamber may note. I'm just saying this, but please
15 I see that the time is ticking, so we might not be able to finish
16 this witness today.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges, I don't know how a
18 television interview can be given over the telephone, but I'm going to
19 put the following question to the witness:
20 Q. Karadzic said, and this is on the same page, but in the second
22 "We are prepared to talk and re-examine the possibility of making
23 some territorial concessions to the Muslims, especially in Sarajevo."
24 Said Radovan Karadzic in his interview to Reuters Television in
1 And then the quotation continues:
2 "We continue to advocate the continuation of talks, and we are
3 prepared to help the Muslims get a larger part of Sarajevo and some other
4 territories," added Karadzic.
5 Now please look at page 8.
6 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Your Honour, while the page is
7 being put on the ELMO, I would like to note that I did not get these
8 documents prior to the cross-examination.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I had this photocopied before the
10 cross-examination. Now, why the Prosecutor didn't get a copy or why he
11 lost his copy, I don't know. But, at any rate, he certainly received a
12 copy of this.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Dutertre, this document
14 apparently was sent to you at 7.41 this morning, or arrived at 7.41,
15 correction. When Mr. Seselj got it, he gave to the Registry photocopies,
16 and I met them at 8.20 and the Registrar told me that there were some
18 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] I just notice that all these
19 documents were stapled together, so in fact I was not able to find it.
20 Thank you.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Proceed, Mr. Seselj.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This is page 8 of the document that
23 is under Roman numeral IX. It is very clear, and it's very easy to find.
24 What we see here is a photocopy of the newspaper called
25 "Vecernje Novosti," dated the 10th of November. They carried a similar
1 article. Dr. Radovan Karadzic says Bosnian Serbs are prepared to make
2 concessions. In paragraph 2, it also says: "Karadzic said the following
3 in his interview to TV Reuters in Belgrade."
4 Mr. Sejdic, do you think both Karadzic and I were both at the
5 Niksic Plateau and then took a helicopter and went to Belgrade; is that
7 A. I don't know, but you have all the resources one could think of.
8 Q. You mentioned helicopters a moment ago?
9 A. Well, I said "maybe by helicopter," I think that's what I said.
10 Q. Do you know that at the end of 1993, NATO air forces had
11 controlled the airspace above Bosnia-Herzegovina and not a single
12 aeroplane was able to take off without agreement from them?
13 A. Keep that to yourself. As far as I know, you had all the
14 resources at your disposal. Whatever you wanted to do, you could have
15 done. NATO has been looking for Karadzic and Mladic for ages and can't
16 find him. He's in Belgrade, Zagreb, Serbia, wherever, now he's here,
17 then he's there, but you had the resources.
18 Q. I tried to receive similar information from my friend
19 Ratko Mladic, but they're going to be one or two days late, so I won't be
20 able to use that information in this particular cross-examination, but
21 never mind, perhaps it's not essential.
1 I have to take a break now. We're going to take a 20-minute
2 break, and we will resume at 10 to 12.00. And, of course, the hearing
3 will finish at 1.15.
4 Yes, Mr. Prosecutor.
5 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Objection. The question is way
6 too personal.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, I anticipated that
8 already, so I ordered a redaction.
9 We will resume at 10 after 12.00.
10 [The witness stands down]
11 --- Recess taken at 11.53 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 12.13 p.m.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed.
14 Mr. Registrar, please, could you move into closed session.
15 [Private session]
11 Pages 8330-8338 redacted. Private session.
23 [Open session]
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're now in open session.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you have the floor.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have to respond to this assertion
3 made by counsel for the Prosecution.
4 According to 65 ter, the material was submitted to me only in
5 October last year, and on the 6th of November, the trial started --
6 rather, the 7th of November. It was the pre-trial conference that was
7 held on the 6th. And I quite literally prepare for every witness that is
8 to come. I don't have time to prepare for several witnesses at the same
9 time. As they announce that a particular witness will come, that is how
10 I carry out my preparation. When they make the wrong announcement, as
11 was often the case until now, then I prepare for the wrong person. They
12 announced Ivan Grujic, and I prepared for him, and I was snowed under
13 with all these autopsy findings, and lo and behold, they gave up on him,
14 they're not going to bring him at all, and now all of a sudden they're
15 going to bring some colleague of his from work, a lady.
16 I did not have enough time to prepare for these witnesses. Until
17 October 1996, I did not have material from the OTP. For five years, they
18 hoped that I would have an attorney imposed upon me and that they would
19 be able to put in whatever they wanted to. They would have a passive
20 defence, gung-ho, they would insert whatever they wanted to, and that
21 would be it.
22 So, anyway, I am going to continue preparing for each and every
23 witness only when a particular witness is announced, and the Prosecution
24 will have to face the facts; namely, that documents arrive only later.
25 Now I received a document because my associates realised that we
1 were disputing the date of the death of Sladjan Okilj, so can we have
2 this document that I received just now placed on the ELMO and I'm going
3 to put a question to the witness. I have no other way to clarify the
4 dates, and the Prosecution did not carry out the investigation properly.
5 Had they done it properly, they would have given us a review of all
6 dates, they would have said the attack on the Niksic Plateau started on
7 such-and-such a date and so on and so forth. There was no investigation,
8 so now I have to conduct the investigation. So this is a book.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Put your question.
10 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
11 Q. This is the book, "The Nemanjics of Ilijas." The author is
12 Velemir Adzic, and we showed this when (redacted). So
13 please go all the way to page 144. It is page 5 here for us, so that the
14 witness can see there is a list here of the Serbs who got killed during
15 this war. And under number 342 is the name of Sladjan Okilj, father's
16 name Nikola, member of the Reconnaissance Platoon of the 5th Infantry
17 Battalion, born on the 19th of April, 1974, in Vares; got killed on the
18 23rd of October, 1993, in the village of Vis, Zuc, near Vogosca, by a
19 hand grenade that was thrown by the enemy.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, the Prosecutor is
21 on his feet.
22 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] The name of a witness was
23 mentioned, and I would like a redaction because this witness had been
24 granted protective measures.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Which witness?
1 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Maybe I won't say anything because
2 we're not in private session.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I can remember he testified in
4 public. If I've made a mistake, I truly am sorry. The name can be
5 redacted, but --
6 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Are we in private session, Mr. --
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, line 10, page 104, is
9 that it?
10 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Yes, that's exactly it, he had
11 protective measures. I would like a redaction. I would like Mr. Seselj
12 to make sure in the future to check things before he actually mentions
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
15 Mr. Seselj, this witness had been granted protective measures.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I truly am sorry. My mistake.
17 Once again, I'm going to read this out or, rather, I'm going to say -- I
18 mean, with my -- I mean, giving my consent that this be redacted, the
19 book that I'm quoting is "The Nemanjics of Ilijas," written by
20 Velemir Adzic, and on page 144, under number 342, among the casualties
21 from Ilijas and Vogosca, under number 342 there's a reference to
22 Sladjan Okilj, father's name Nikola, member of the Reconnaissance
23 Platoon of the 5th Infantry Battalion, born on the 19th of April, 1974,
24 in Vares; got killed on the 23rd of October, 1993, in the village of Vis,
25 Zuc, near Vogosca; was killed by a hand grenade that had been thrown by
1 the enemy. He was buried at the Ljubina-Semizovac Cemetery."
2 Q. Is that correct?
3 A. Yes, that is correct.
4 Q. Thank you. No need to dwell on this document any further.
5 Now, I have obtained a few more statements by persons whom you
6 know from this war, so, first of all, we are going to have a look at
7 Roman numeral I. That's the number of the statement, the statement of
8 Vasilije Vidovic. And now I'm going to indicate certain sections of this
9 statement to you, and you are going to tell me whether that is true or
10 not. His statement was compiled on the basis of your statement and on
11 the basis of your examination-in-chief.
12 Could you please take this and put it on the overhead projector.
13 Roman numeral I is the number of the statement.
14 First of all, Vasilije Vidovic here denies that he took part in
15 the fighting in the village of Svrake at all. Although you did not say
16 that in your previous statements, on one occasion you did say that he
17 took part in that, didn't you?
18 A. Mr. Vaske Vidovic took part in the beginning when the mosque was
19 destroyed. That's when he came with his artillery and he destroyed the
21 Q. When was that?
22 A. From 1992 to 1993.
23 Q. End of 1993?
24 A. I cannot remember.
25 Q. End of 1992, I mean?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Or the beginning of 1993. Were there any Muslims in the village
3 of Svrake then?
4 A. There weren't that many Muslims left then, because the Muslims
5 were taken away by force.
6 Q. Let's see what Vasilije Vidovic says:
7 "My unit and I, as its commander, never took part in any fighting
8 for the village of Svrake. Throughout the war in the former
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina, I and none of my soldiers ever entered this village.
10 The village of Svrake was in the rear. We only passed by it when we went
11 to the frontline. To this day, I do not know, as I did not know then,
12 what happened in that village. When I returned from medical treatment in
13 mid-May, 1992, I spent some time in Ilijas, where there was no fighting.
14 The first fighting that I took part in with my unit took place near
15 Podlugovo [as interpreted], where the Muslim forces were advancing from
16 the direction of Breza."
17 Is this correct, is this true, what Vasilije Vidovic is saying?
18 A. It's not true.
19 Q. All right. He says further on:
20 "I and the other members of my unit were never called 'Seselj's
21 men' by anyone, nor could I interpret that nickname. People called the
22 soldiers from my unit 'Vaske's Chetniks,' from the very first fight that
23 we took part in."
24 Is this correct?
25 A. As far as I know, they could not have called Vaske as a man of
1 Seselj's. I remember mentioning him as a local man. The mercenaries,
2 Seselj's men, came and joined him at the frontline and the fighting that
3 he took part in.
4 Q. Did these mercenaries belong to his unit?
5 A. Of course.
6 Q. On that list of members of his unit, can you identify the
7 mercenaries who is not from that area?
8 A. I cannot tell you exactly, because people knew -- I mean, I would
9 distinguish them on the basis of their uniforms, insignia, and so on.
10 Q. Further on, Vidovic says:
11 "I have never heard of the existence of this so-called Planja's
12 house. I do not know at all where it is or what it looks like. Also,
13 throughout the war I never had any deputy in the unit."
14 A. That is not true.
15 Q. All right. And now is this true? Vasilije Vidovic says:
16 "I never entered, during the course of the war, any tyre repair
17 shop in Vogosca, and in particular, I did not run this kind of a store.
18 I note that Vogosca and Ilijas are two different municipalities, in terms
19 of military and civilian organisation, and since I and my unit belonged
20 to Ilijas only, even if I wanted to, I could not have been given any shop
21 from the territory of a different municipality."
22 A. That is not correct. Vasilije Vidovic could have run whoever or
23 whatever he wanted, because that is how Josipovic rewarded him. Vidovic
24 knew of Planja's house, the garage, everything else. I think that I have
25 already mentioned all of that. This is correct, it is contained in my
1 statements. And if it is not correct, you can ask the Muslim people, who
2 were in the prisons, whether they knew Vaske.
3 Q. All right. Vaske Vidovic says:
4 "The officer who was my direct superior was
5 General Dragan Josipovic. He was commander of the Tactical Group,
6 commanded the brigades from Ilijas, Ilidza, Rajlovac, and Vogosca."
7 Not only the brigade of Vogosca; is that correct?
8 A. I mentioned in my statement that the commander of the battalion
9 was Dragan Josipovic, near Vogosca, [indiscernible], called "Sonja," that
10 he was authorised in terms of all the axes, Ilijas, Vogosca, Semizovac
11 and the other places.
12 Q. Mr. Sejdic, do you know what the difference is between a brigade
13 and a battalion?
14 A. I don't know. I just know that he was the top man then.
15 Q. Well, he was commander of the Tactical Group that included four
16 brigades -- five brigades -- four brigades?
17 A. Well, if you know that it's four or five, it's got to be more
18 than that.
19 Q. Four brigades.
20 A. Possibly more than that, then.
21 Q. Look at what Vasilije Vidovic says:
22 "No one ever carried ammunition for my unit, because this was a
23 mechanised unit. All the ammunition was on the vehicles."
24 A. I did not say that I carried this ammunition for
25 Vasilije Vidovic. It was for Rajko Jankovic and his combatants.
1 Q. Did anybody else carry weapons for Vasilije Vidovic?
2 A. Others from the work platoon should know that. If they carried
3 this for Vaske, then they should know. I don't know about this.
4 Q. You did not hear of a work platoon being subordinated to him?
5 A. Just like I didn't hear of these two Muslims being on the
6 frontline with him.
7 Q. All right. Now, as for the description you provide for Vaske
8 Vidovic, this is what he says:
9 "As for my personal weapons, I never carried a weapon with a
10 short barrel. Rather, I carried a revolver only. I am not aware of any
11 sabre. I could not enter a single vehicle from my unit with it. I never
12 wore any kind of military overalls. On the traditional flag that we
13 carried around, there weren't any crossed sabres. Rather, it was crossed
14 bones that are in line with tradition."
15 He is referring to Chetnik traditions here.
16 Don't you know that no one ever saw Vaske Vidovic with this sabre
17 that you refer to?
18 A. That is not true, that is a lie. I know full well what it was
19 that he carried and what I saw, and I stated that and I stand by that.
20 Q. All right. What's the point of this sabre in wartime? What can
21 one do with a sabre, except for the fact that it can only bother a man
22 who had been wounded 13 times and who limped visibly?
23 A. Well, you go ahead and ask him. If he wanted to slaughter
24 someone, he would with that sabre. In Crna Rijeka, he slaughtered a man,
25 a Muslim who was a driver, and he cut off his head and he put it on a
1 pole, and then he said, "Finally I got rid of this man." I guess that he
2 harmed him before the war, so he was pleased that he had cut off this
3 man's head.
4 Q. Did you see him cutting off this man's head?
5 A. No, I didn't see him doing it, but I saw the head on the pole and
6 I heard him say that.
7 Q. But you said, during the examination-in-chief, that he put it on
8 the hood of his jeep?
9 A. Yes, later on he put it on the hood of that jeep. When they were
10 leaving Crna Rijeka, then he took the skull and he put it on his jeep so
11 that he could brag as he passed through Semizovac and all the other
12 villages, so that people could see what it was that Vaske Vidovic did.
13 Q. And he already had a skull on that jeep?
14 A. Yes, but that was an older skull. I don't know from what
16 Q. You don't know from what century that skull was? Could it have
17 been a plastic skull, maybe?
18 A. Well, possibly. I did not get any closer to it, and I didn't
19 caress it, certainly, but I saw that it was a skull.
20 Q. All right. I saw that skull, too, and I drove in Vaske's jeep.
21 A. Well, what kind of a jeep was it? Was it enjoyable?
22 Q. Very enjoyable. There was a skull on the hood, and there was a
23 helmet on it, too. Do you remember?
24 A. I don't know about the helmet, but at any rate you enjoyed it.
25 Q. Let's not talk about how I felt. How could you see the skull
1 without seeing the helmet? All of Ilijas, all of Vogosca, all of Ilidza
2 saw on the hood of Vaske's jeep a skull and a blue helmet of the UN.
3 A. It's not true that there was a helmet. There was only a skull.
4 Q. Without a helmet?
5 A. Without a helmet.
6 Q. With my very own eyes, I saw a UN blue helmet.
7 A. Maybe you did, Mr. Seselj, but I didn't.
8 Q. So in addition to this skull, how could you affix the head that
9 had been cut off somebody's body?
10 A. On a pole, where the flag was, the black flag that I've already
11 described. It was on that pole that that head was fixed, and then he
12 drove the jeep.
13 Q. And why, not in a single statement that you gave to The Hague
14 Tribunal or the Muslim authorities, did you mention the fact that this
15 head was placed on the jeep by Vaske Vidovic? That does not exist in any
16 of your statements.
17 A. As far as I know, I said he placed it on a pole, and when the
18 fighting was over in that area, he took the head and put it on his car
19 and drove it.
20 Q. My question to you is: Why, not in a single statement that you
21 gave either to the Muslim authorities or The Hague investigators, did you
22 say that Vaske Vidovic affixed a head that had been cut off to his jeep?
23 A. I think I did mention that.
24 Q. Well, it doesn't exist in any of your statements.
25 A. Well, as far as I know, I did say that.
1 Q. Perhaps you said it. Perhaps this was highly unbelievable and
2 they didn't want to put it in your statement. But let's see what
3 Vaske Vidovic says with respect to that skull, and that is paragraph 2 on
4 page 2 of his statement. He says:
5 "The skull on the hood of my car was a plastic one, and it was
6 brought to me by my friends from a school that had been destroyed. As
7 far as I know, it was a secondary school of some sort in a place called
9 Was there a secondary school in a place called Srednje?
10 A. Yes, there was a school in Srednje.
11 Q. What secondary school was that?
12 A. Well, I don't know the name of the school exactly, but I do know
13 that there was a school.
14 Q. Is it possible that in the biology laboratory, they might have
15 had a plastic skull there in that school?
16 A. How would I be expected to know that?
17 Q. Well, you said that the skull was hundreds of years old,
18 centuries old; right? Anyway, at -- in any case --
19 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Dutertre.
21 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Speculative questions are put to
22 the witness. He cannot answer to this type of questions.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
24 Yes, Mr. Seselj, proceed.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judge, it's important for me to
1 have heard that the witness said that the skull on the hood of the car
2 was hundreds of years old. He can't know whether it was a real one or
3 not. At first, when I saw it, I thought it was a real one, and then I
4 asked around and I was told that it was plastic. When I saw the UN
5 helmet, I found that rather nice, because it wasn't a threat to the
6 Muslim civilians but a threat to the UN soldiers.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When you mentioned the skull a
8 moment ago, what I know is this: You asked how old was it -- how old it
9 was, and I said I didn't know. I said perhaps from times immemorial,
10 perhaps not. So you can't speak that way.
11 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
12 Q. All right. We don't know the origins of the skull. Let's put it
13 that way.
14 A. Well, you know now. You're saying that instead of a real one, it
15 might have been plastic, so that means that you know. You saw it, you
16 saw the helmet. I did not see it. What I saw, I said.
17 Q. All right. I saw it, and Vaske Vidovic says that it was plastic,
18 but it's immaterial whether it was an old real skull or a plastic one. I
19 liked the way it was used as a threat to the UN, but we won't dwell on
20 that point. We'll move on.
21 A. It wasn't a threat to the UN. It was a threat to the Muslims so
22 that they should know, when they see it, who Vaske Vidovic was.
23 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Your Honour, these comments are
24 completely inappropriate. Questions can be put, the witness can answer,
25 but this is repetitive and that's my objection.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, your comment on
2 that skull with regard to the UN is absolutely inappropriate.
4 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Sejdic, did you hear that at the beginning of the summer
6 19 -- that I was almost killed in the jeep where this plastic skull was
7 with the UN helmet; did you hear about that?
8 A. Who are you talking about?
9 Q. I was in the jeep, myself.
10 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the date.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Had I heard that you'd been killed
12 in the jeep, that would have made me very happy.
13 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
14 Q. All right. Well, I'm going to tell you something now, and you
15 confirm whether you know something about that or not.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, the interpreters
17 were not able to catch the date. It was in the summer of 1993, I
18 imagine, but I'm not sure.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 1994, Mr. President, 1994. 1994
20 was the first time I was in Ilijas, and I was in the jeep. I'm providing
21 this information to the witness. And then I asked him whether he had
22 heard anything about that.
23 On my way back from visiting Ilijas, Vogosca and Ilidza, I was
24 also in Hadzici, anyway, I was in a jeep driven by Vaske Vidovic. I was
25 in the front seat. Behind me were Tomislav Nikolic and Nikola Poplasen,
1 and at the very back there was a soldier, and we were going across
3 Q. Do you know where Poljine is?
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. It's an elevation above Sarajevo where the Serbs had to make a
6 new road in order to connect Ilijas, Vogosca and Ilidza with Pale; right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Anyway, from the Muslim positions a Maljutka was fired. Do you
9 know what weapon a Maljutka is?
10 A. I have absolutely no idea. It's a mortar?
11 Q. It's a guided anti-aircraft missile. Anyway, that Maljutka
12 missed our jeep by half a metre, and the news went 'round Vogosca
13 straight away, in Ilijas, Hadzici, Vogosca, how we were targeted by a
14 Maljutka and how we managed to escape, just.
15 A. How could I know about all that? You were driven there, driven
16 back. You toured the lines. Who knows? You might have come across a
17 tank mine, you might have come across a bomb. I know nothing about that.
18 I didn't hear anything about that, and I don't know.
19 Q. But you saw me at Zuc hill. You were deployed with your unit
21 A. Don't repeat that. I said I hadn't seen you there, and I didn't
22 shake your hand.
23 Q. So I'm lying and you're telling the truth?
24 A. I didn't say you were lying.
25 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] I'm saying that I'm lying.
1 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Objection.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On that particular point,
3 Mr. Seselj, in 1994, apparently was in the area on board a vehicle, and
4 some witness can confirm this. Mr. Nikolic would be one of them. And
5 there was another person with him, Nikola Poplasen. If he is driving
6 around and if he is in the area, he must have gone to meet the fighters,
7 and a political figure, when he meets combatants, fighters, he will shake
8 hands with them. So are you absolutely certain you did not meet him at
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not see him in the Zuc area
11 at all, the fact that he says that I was at Zuc and he shook hands with
12 me. No. The day that I said I saw him personally at the Crna Rijeka
13 Plateau, Mr. Karadzic, Mr. Mladic, Dragan Josipovic and the rest of his
14 fighters and bodyguards, that's when I said I saw him, and I stand by
16 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Mr. Sejdic, wouldn't it seem strange to you if I were to say that
18 never during the war did I see General Ratko Mladic in the area of
19 Republika Srpska? I just met him twice, both times in Belgrade and he
20 was wearing civilian clothes. Do you believe me when I say that?
21 A. A moment ago, as far as I remember it, before this statement,
22 when I was saying that you were on the plateau, that Crna Rijeka Plateau,
23 that you were with Karadzic and Mladic and the rest of them, when I said
24 that, you said after 1994, that you did tour those lines.
25 Q. But I wasn't with them.
1 A. As far as I know, you, "tu" were with them.
2 Q. So you don't believe me when I tell that I never met Ratko Mladic
3 in Republika Srpska during the war?
4 A. How could I believe you? Why am I here? I'm here as a witness
5 to testify about what I saw, and that's what I'm saying.
6 Q. All right. Well, I can confirm that you're a very honest witness
8 A. I don't know how to take that, how to understand that.
9 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] All right.
10 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Inappropriate comments,
11 Mr. President. Objection to these comments.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
13 Mr. Seselj.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Shall I continue?
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, go on.
16 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Vaske Vidovic goes on to say that on Zuc hill, there were never
18 any houses. At the foot of the hill, all that existed was several Serb
19 houses, and throughout the time people lived in those houses. Is that
21 A. Who lived in those houses?
22 Q. The Serbs.
23 A. Yes, the Serbs were there, but in only some houses. Some houses
24 were occupied lower down towards Vogosca.
25 Q. But the Muslims weren't in that area at all at the foot of the
2 A. As far as I remember, the Muslims were up at the line, feature
3 850, elevation 850.
4 Q. The Muslim units?
5 A. Yes, at feature 850, and the Serbs were at feature 830.
6 Q. So the position of the Muslim units was 20 metres higher up than
7 the Serb positions, at a higher altitude; right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. So elevation 850 is 850 metres above sea level. From the Muslim
10 positions, and then 20 metres up, the Serb positions could be seen far
11 better than could the Muslims from the Serb side?
12 A. I don't know. I can't say. I didn't draw up any maps, or
13 sketches, or anything.
14 Q. All right. Now, explain to me what sort of human shield that the
15 Serbs employed opposite the Muslim forces. What did this human shield or
16 live wall look like? Human shield, I'm talking about, human shield.
17 A. Well, the human shield was made up of Muslims from the work
18 platoons who had been captured when they were taken to the container
19 which was on the other side; that is to say, nearer to Zuc and the Muslim
20 units than the other side towards Rajlovac and Serbia. So that's where
21 the container was set up, in the Serb zone, and that's where the Muslims
22 were incarcerated overnight. While they were digging and working, when
23 the Muslims weren't shooting, they would let them dig.
24 Now, after that, that is to say, when the attack on Zuc should
25 have taken place and on these Muslims and the rest of us who were there,
1 as I've already said, so that was the human shield. When the attack took
2 place on Zuc, that's when they sent us into the frontlines.
3 Q. Please, you have given me a long answer, but not answered my
4 question. I still haven't been able to understand what this human shield
5 looked like at Zuc. The Muslims were 20 metres higher up than the Serb
6 positions. They were above the Serb positions. The work platoon took
7 part in digging the trenches. That is what a labour platoon does. If
8 you have to do labour, you dig trenches. Now, the prisoners weren't
9 allowed to be in these work platoons. If the prisoners were brought in,
10 then that was a crime. But you were in a work platoon and you weren't a
12 A. Who asked anybody whether they were prisoners or not?
13 Q. That's not the essential part. You're working in a work platoon,
14 and the work you were doing was digging trenches. That's clear to me.
15 You were exposed to risk because the member of a work platoon can also be
16 killed, and perhaps some of them were. But what did the human shield
17 look like? Explain that to me. There are Serb trenches and there are
18 Muslim trenches across the way. The Muslim trenches were 20 metres
19 higher up, at an elevation 20 metres higher than the Serb positions.
20 How, then, could the Serb soldiers use you, from the work platoon, as a
21 human shield? I'm not clear on that, I don't understand it.
22 A. Well, yes, they can.
23 Q. Well, how?
24 A. Well, when the line was falling and the Muslims tried to break
25 through the frontline of the Serb Army, when there weren't enough people
1 from the Serb Army up at the frontlines, and while the reinforcements
2 were arriving, while we were escaping from the shooting, they made us go
3 in front of them as a human shield.
4 Q. How do you mean "in front of them"? If trenches exist, then the
5 distance between trenches was 15 to 20 metres; right?
6 A. No, not 15 to 20.
7 Q. Well, how -- what was the distance?
8 A. Perhaps 100 metres.
9 Q. All right. Let's take the distance between the trenches of the
10 two enemy sides to be 100 metres. The Muslims are on the attack. The
11 Serbs feel that they have too few men, so what did they do then? They
12 took you from the work platoon and place you in front of their lines, in
13 front of their trenches, to protect themselves that way; is that what you
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. How?
17 A. Well, very nicely. They put us in front, when they tried to push
18 the trenches back. The Muslims had already taken two or three trenches.
19 They tried to take them back. They couldn't do that, and then there was
20 an all-out attack. It was a fierce attack from Zuc hill. That means
21 that the Muslims attacked the Serb frontlines. However, they didn't have
22 enough men, and they placed us there so that they could fight to take
23 control of the line again. And as far as I remember, there was a
24 statement given by Alija Izetbegovic to the fact that -- he was asked
25 whether our men should hit the human shield or not.
1 Q. Leave Izetbegovic alone. You still haven't explained to us what
2 a human shield looks like. If the Muslims are on the attack, then the
3 Serbs -- and the Serbs have few fighters and they need you to act as
4 reinforcements, they have to provide you with weapons if you are going to
5 be reinforcements, because if you're sitting in a trench without weapons,
6 then that doesn't mean a thing.
7 A. We weren't in the trenches.
8 Q. Well, what did you do?
9 A. They made us go in front. We were escaping but they made us move
10 forward, and they went along behind us, shooting.
11 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have no problem as
12 to the question, but the question is repeated over and over. The witness
13 answer what he could answer, but I would like to raise an objection
14 because the question is being repeated.
15 THE INTERPRETER: And slow down, please, because it is impossible
16 to translate at this speed.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, don't put the
18 question over and over, unless you really want to highlight another
19 aspect of your question. But I don't see it, actually.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I seem to be the
21 most stupid here. It seems that just -- it's just me that can't
22 understand what this human shield looked like. I'm clear on the fact
23 that the Muslims are attacking and that the Serbs have to defend
24 themselves with very few men. I'm clear that the members of the work
25 platoon are trying to escape. I understand that the army is trying to
1 get them to come back to the trenches, or near the trenches, but how they
2 place them forward as a human shield, I just don't understand that. And
3 how is it possible to have that kind of human shield?
4 Perhaps you understand this. I don't know.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No, I don't understand more
6 than you.
7 Witness, you were there. This term "human shield" is used in
8 this Tribunal quite often. At times, it refers to people digging holes,
9 and at other times it refers to people who are acting as a human wall,
10 under fire. So were you under fire, under Muslim fire, in order to
11 protect the Serbs from the Muslim fire, or were you a human shield for
12 something else? Because when we use this term, "human shield," it also
13 presupposes that there's a creation of an obstacle perhaps for a bullet
14 to go through, so it's a screen stopping bullets to go through. So would
15 the Serbs put you between them and the Muslims so that you would get
16 fired at first and killed?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What was the purpose?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] With the aim of preventing the
20 Muslims to enter their territory. That's why they placed us there, for
21 us to die and they to protect themselves and to shoot at the Muslims from
22 behind our backs or in front of our chests, to shoot at them that way.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But if the Muslims were
24 attacking Serb positions, and you were there in the first lines without
25 any weapons, it is obviously clear that you would get killed first, but
1 this will not stop the Muslim forces from moving on, if they have the
2 intention to take over the position. This is where I'm losing you.
3 What is the purpose of creating a human shield unless it's just
4 to kill people for fun? Please explain.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can explain that,
6 Mr. President.
7 That human shield was composed of us, the work platoon, and when
8 the Serbs started placing us into this human shield and forcing us ahead,
9 there was firing. When the shooting started, we were shot at from all
10 sides. The Muslims at the time said they had come across a human shield
11 and should not shoot, and there were public apologies. Several months
12 later, I saw this on television when Alija spoke about it. So he said,
13 "You have to shoot. Do not allow the Serbs to enter Sarajevo. If the
14 Serbs were to enter Sarajevo, it would be the end of the world." So
15 that's why they placed us there, and the Muslims and the Serbs had to
16 shoot at us, and we were a human shield. That's what a human shield is.
17 When the attack on Zuc was called, he knows what the attack on
18 Zuc means and what it was.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're saying that you were
20 positioned in such a way that both Muslims and Serbs would be shooting at
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
23 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. Sejdic, you were a work platoon of the Semizovac Battalion;
25 is that right?
1 A. Yes --
2 Q. How many men did that battalion have?
3 A. How many?
4 Q. Yes.
5 A. Well, Rajko Jankovic held two or three lines, I think.
6 Q. And the total number of men in the Semizovac Battalion, how many
7 men in all?
8 A. I don't know.
9 Q. Did it have 300 men?
10 A. Well, it had more.
11 Q. All right. Let's say between 300 and 400 soldiers, not to
12 over-exaggerate; right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, the Semizovac Battalion had a work platoon in which you
15 were, yourself?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. The work platoon had 25 members; right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Was that the only work platoon that the Semizovac Battalion had?
20 A. The only work platoon numbering 25 men, and all trace of them is
21 lost. Only seven or eight of us remained.
22 Q. Well, people get killed in wars, Mr. Sejdic. You must know that.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, let me stop you. I
24 see the clock ticking. We have to adjourn because I'm sitting in another
25 trial very soon.
1 According to the computations, you have some 20 minutes left.
2 I'll tell you exactly how much time you have left tomorrow. Maybe
3 Mr. Dutertre will have some redirect.
4 So, Witness, as things stand now, you can be sure that your
5 testimony will end tomorrow morning. I thought that we might be done
6 today. Because of a number of problems, we were not able to finish
8 Let me tell Mr. Seselj that he has exactly 25 minutes left.
9 We will resume tomorrow at 8.30 a.m. Mr. Seselj will have 25
10 minutes. Let's hope that there will be no objections and so forth and so
11 on. Then I will give the floor to Mr. Dutertre for the redirect, and we
12 will finish with this witness and then we will have Witness 1012, unless
13 I am mistaken.
14 So, Witness, you are going to come back tomorrow morning, one
15 more day in the courtroom, but rest assured tomorrow your testimony would
16 last at most one hour. So by 9.30, you will be free to go, and you can
17 catch a plane.
18 Thank you, and let's adjourn, and we will resume at 8.30 tomorrow
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.15 p.m.,
21 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 18th day
22 of June, 2008, at 8.30 a.m.