1 Tuesday, 23 September 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 8.30 a.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, could you call the
6 case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case
8 number IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
10 Today, we are Tuesday, the 23rd of September, 2008. I would like
11 to greet the representatives of the Prosecution, Mr. Mundis, Mrs. Dahl,
12 as well as Mr. Seselj and the Registrar, the usher, and all the people
13 assisting us.
14 The Trial Chamber has decided to sit today in order to address
15 the various housekeeping matters that resulted from the stay of the
16 proceedings over a number of weeks. Therefore, it is important to put
17 this trial back on track, which was interrupted.
18 As everybody knows, the Prosecutor had asked for a stay of the
19 proceedings until such a time that the Trial Chamber decide on the motion
20 of the Prosecution aimed at assigning a counsel for the accused. The
21 Prosecutor, even as the Trial Chamber had decided to continue with the
22 proceedings, the Prosecution then turned to the Trial Chamber and asked
23 it to stay the proceedings until such a time the Appeals Chamber hand
24 down a decision on the adjournment.
25 As you know, the Appeals Chamber has recently handed down its
1 decision, dismissing the arguments filed by the Prosecution. Under these
2 conditions, we have instantly handed down a decision and asked the
3 Prosecution to disclose to us the list of upcoming witnesses over the
4 next few weeks, and we felt that it was important, before hearing our
5 first witness, to review a number of housekeeping matters that are likely
6 to be raised during the hearing that merit our attention.
7 Today, since we will hear our first witness tomorrow, we can then
8 address his testimony without having to deal with administrative matters,
9 which could be time-consuming.
10 Mr. Seselj, as you know, we have not seen each other for a number
11 of weeks now. A lot of things have happened in the meantime. I assume
12 that you have a number of topics you wish to address. Then I will give
13 the floor back to the Prosecution, whom I assume also has a number of
14 issues to raise.
15 Mr. Seselj, I shall give you the floor now. What kind of issues
16 would you like to address which are, of course, of interest to you and of
17 interest to these proceedings?
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I have a large number of
19 questions to deal with, and I want these questions to be looked at one by
21 The first question would be the problem related to my legal
22 advisers. It was first of all caused by the Registry.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note, other microphones are on.
24 Could they please be switched off. Thank you.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] When the trial started, my legal
1 advisers visited me about once a month, and the Registry covered their
2 travel expenses. Almost a month ago, I scheduled a visit by my legal
3 advisers for the 25th and 26th of September, that is to say, Thursday and
4 Friday this week, as if I had anticipated that we would have to restart
5 this trial finally. It just so happened, although I did not have any
6 such information available. This time the Registry refused to cover the
7 travel expenses of my legal advisers, and they did not explicitly state
8 whether this visit would be made possible or not, although the prison
9 administration had provided me with a schedule of their visit very
10 regularly. The Registry sent some letters to me and to the legal
12 First of all, in these letters, the Registry criticises the legal
13 advisers because of some public statements they made. For instance,
14 Slavko Jerkovic, because he stated that The Hague Tribunal was trying to
15 kill me, and that is my personal thesis as well, as well as of my legal
16 advisers, because if you impose counsel on me, that equals attempted
18 Perhaps you don't see it that way, but that is exactly the way I
19 see it, my legal advisers, and the entire Serbian public. Taking away my
20 right to self-defence means liquidation. Even if that was not true, why
21 could my legal adviser not state something like that? Who is there to
22 stop him from doing that? Who is there to forbid him from doing that?
23 The Registry? No way. The Registry invokes the code of defence counsel
24 acting before this Tribunal. My legal advisers are not Defence counsel.
25 It is not their task to guard the reputation of this Tribunal, because
1 both I and my legal advisers believe that this Tribunal has no reputation
2 whatsoever, moral or professional. I'm not saying this Trial Chamber;
3 I'm saying the Tribunal as a whole. It doesn't have professional or
4 moral authority or reputation, and that is my standpoint from Day 1.
5 So I can only have as my legal adviser someone who follows me in
6 that belief, not somebody who is going to oppose me in court and say,
7 "This is a great court, and you, as my client, is disreputable." Not
8 everybody has to enjoy a proper reputation here, both the Court and I.
9 Somebody has to be in disrepute.
10 Now what they hold against me is a statement made to the effect
11 that the Prosecution is prepared to do anything just in order not to lose
12 this trial, even to attempt murder by injecting air into veins and so on
13 and so forth. Then Zoran Krasic is being criticised for having stated in
14 public that Prosecution witnesses are liars, but that's what practically
15 the entire Serbian public believes. Everything was heard in public
16 session, and what was in closed session was even more drastic than what
17 we heard in public session, and that truly corroborated what I just said
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, Mr. Seselj. We
20 will get back to this. Do not address the issue of those witnesses that
21 are lying. If you like, I will address this a little later.
22 For the time being, please only address the issues raised by your
23 associates since this letter was sent by the Registry.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I just quoted what is contained in
25 the letter of the Registrar. If you insist, I won't go on quoting it any
1 longer. See, I'm very constructive. You tell me not to do that, and I
2 don't do it. And I'm even obedient. This doesn't really suit me, but
3 even I have turned into an obedient person now. So there you go.
4 The Registry is trying to disqualify my legal advisers through
5 political arguments. I don't allow that. I don't allow the Registry to
6 lecture my legal advisers as to how they're going to behave in the
7 Serbian public, because in addition to being my legal advisers, they are
8 politicians in Serbia
9 standpoint of their own, which is in accordance with that held by the
10 public opinion in Serbia
11 There is also some criticism levelled against Aleksandar Vucic
12 here. In the meantime, I have dismissed him because I no longer trust
13 him, so he's no longer my legal adviser; and there's no need to have a
14 debate on that.
15 What I'm asking you to do is to protect my legal adviser, and if
16 the Registry did not resolve the question of financing my Defence,
17 although you had instructed them to do so, let them not bring into
18 question even the minimum that was resolved practically in 2000. Make it
19 possible for my legal advisers to come here on Thursday and Friday, to
20 come here to court, and then on Thursday and Friday they can come and
21 visit me at the Detention Unit, as they've been visiting me until now.
22 A second matter. Instead of Aleksandar Vucic --
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment. Please, I shall
24 address the issue right away, and then you can continue.
25 The Trial Chamber was advised of this, and I was advised of this
1 yesterday, as you see, quite recently. I was told the Registrar had, in
2 fact, sent a letter to your legal advisers. I discovered that they could
3 not come, since they had not received a reply. Mrs. Raguz was not
4 concerned by this letter, and admittedly Mr. Krasic and Mr. Vucic --
5 Mr. Vucic's case is now settled, and the third lawyer was asked to
6 provide explanation on a confidentiality agreement.
7 You know as well as I do that when the Registry has vetted your
8 legal advisers, he asked them to sign a paper entitled "Confidentiality
9 Agreement." This is something I've noticed many a time, since I'm
10 informed in realtime of all the articles or interviews given by your
11 legal advisers. The problem rests on what follows.
12 Your legal advisers are members of Parliament that were elected
13 on the basis of a political platform, and as such, as members of
14 Parliament, they are entitled to take the floor. Nothing can go against
15 that right, which is theirs, as they've been elected. They have an
16 absolute right. However, they are entitled to give their opinion and
17 they're entitled to state that this Tribunal is illegal. This is not a
18 scoop, since this is something you have already mentioned. To say it
19 once or twice, that's all very well, but to repeat it over and over
20 again, I don't see that that is very useful.
21 Sometimes, on looking at their speeches, of course we only have a
22 translation of interviews or articles. Sometimes there may be a few
23 mistakes in these. You have noticed that Mr. Jerkovic said that this
24 Tribunal wanted to murder you.
25 First of all, this is something that you know as well as I do,
1 nobody wishes to murder you, and the Judges certainly do not wish to
2 murder you. First of all, Mr. Jerkovic is anticipating a decision which
3 has not been handed down yet, so why does he say this when he doesn't
4 even know what kind of decision will be handed down?
5 Let him wait for the decision to be handed down either to applaud
6 it or to criticise it. But to anticipate this, he says that you're going
7 to be murdered, when he doesn't even know what is going to be decided,
8 and that is not the way things should be. It is not normal that somebody
9 in his capacity should state, in public, that the Tribunal would want to
10 murder someone, which would be a crime. Of course, it is important to
11 pick up on his own words. Maybe he was being witty, maybe he was using
12 metaphors, maybe that was the case.
13 Mr. Krasic on several occasions, has also spoken in a way which I
14 found rather surprising. It is very difficult for somebody like
15 Mr. Krasic or Jerkovic to know and to establish a difference when they
16 take the floor as members of Parliament or as legal advisers. It's
17 difficult to know the difference.
18 The Registrar is also in charge of the legal advisers, from a
19 financial standpoint. The Registrar has done his work and has asked for
20 these legal advisers to provide him with some information. If they
21 breach the confidentiality agreement, then the Registrar is entitled to
22 seize the Chamber and submit the problem to the Chamber.
23 So let's wait and see what your associates have to say to this
24 and how they will respond to the Registrar. I don't know. Your
25 associates are there to help you. They're not there to harm you, and if,
1 through their ill-advised statements, they confuse all and everyone, this
2 is not the way things should be. They have attended the hearing many
3 times, and I was sometimes tempted to talk to them, but I had rather we
4 spend our time hearing the witness.
5 Therefore, I did not speak to them directly, and I did not want
6 to make them feel uncomfortable, since they have a political mandate and
7 it's not for me to interfere with that in any way. So I didn't say
8 anything. But as they're making statements and speeches all the time, we
9 have reason to wonder whether they haven't overstepped their mark.
10 The Registrar is asking them for explanations. It so happens
11 that you had planned for them to come on the 25th and 26th of September.
12 This is something I knew nothing about, since the Trial Chamber is not
13 involved with that. It's unfortunate, perhaps, since it happens at that
14 time. That is all I can say. We are waiting for them to answer the
15 Registry's paper, and then the Trial Chamber will see what it should do.
16 Sometimes we come across situations where the Trial Chamber needs
17 to state that your legal advisers have overstepped their mark. Then, of
18 course, we look into the matter and see whether they still have a mandate
19 to assist you, because your legal advisers are there to help you and not
20 to adversely affect your case. So we are waiting for the response of
21 your associates.
22 The Trial Chamber has been advised of the existence of this
23 letter yesterday, which is something you confirmed this morning, so this
24 is a very recent occurrence.
25 What would you like to say?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, my legal advisers
2 received this letter from the Registry on the 18th of September. What is
3 stated in the letter is that the deadline for their response was the 19th
4 of September. They did respond on the 19th of September, and they faxed
5 their reply to the Registry.
6 The Registry has received their reply, and the Registry does not
7 have the right, before the Trial Chamber rules on this, to prevent their
8 visit from taking place in advance or not to pay their travel expenses.
9 It is my deep belief that the Registry cannot do that, but they are to go
10 it, because the Registry is not an independent judiciary institution, it
11 is an institution of court administration. It is governed by the
12 principles of administrative law, not by principles governing the
13 judiciary, and they cannot enter into procedural matters in this way.
14 I think they cannot. If they did that in some other trials, then it is
15 only even worse for the Tribunal.
16 As for the other questions --
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As far as this particular
18 matter is concerned, the Trial Chamber will meet after this hearing. We
19 will deliberate on the matter, look into the responses they have
20 provided. I know nothing about this at this stage. It's on the
21 transcript, and we shall deliberate on this later.
22 The second issue, which is connected to the first?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I informed the Registry in writing
24 that I have appointed Boris Aleksic as my new legal adviser, and I
25 request that he be allowed to visit on Thursday and Friday and to visit
1 the courtroom, that he be accorded the same treatment as all other legal
2 advisers. The Registry has not informed me of their view with regard to
3 this matter yet.
4 Tomorrow, all three legal advisers and the case manager are
5 setting out on their journey. They'll be in The Hague. Now, what will
6 be done in connection with their trip and whether it will all be in vain,
7 that's a different matter altogether. It was for me to present this
8 problem for you here in detail.
9 And, thirdly, with regard to the first question, at the end of
10 the letter --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment. Mr. Boris Aleksic,
12 which I do not know, who is he? Is he a legal adviser, a lawyer?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] He has a degree in law. He is a
14 member of Parliament of the Assembly of the Republic of Serbia
15 quite a while now he has a member of the professional team for assisting
16 my Defence. So as for his qualities, as a highly-educated legal
17 professional, I truly trust him, and that is why I have given him this
18 trust. That is why he's a member of my team. And for quite a while now,
19 you've been seeing his name on the front page or the cover page of my
20 legal submissions.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It seems, and I'd like to thank
23 my colleague for having drawn my attention on this issue, the Registrar
24 is concerned by the following: Since you are in contact with your legal
25 advisers, who happen to be members of Parliament in the Republic of
2 legal advisers, is it just a matter of discussing your case or is it a
3 matter of discussing political issues; and if that is the case, you are
4 having dealings with them on other matters other than your case, and this
5 is what the issue hinges on.
6 I assume that the Registrar wanted to check this out. It would
7 be inconceivable, and you will be the first to understand this, I'm sure,
8 for this Tribunal to fund a political activity. This would be
9 paradoxical and certainly not in line with the Tribunal's mandate and not
10 in line with the Registry's duties either.
11 Therefore, the Registry has turned to these advisers and asked
12 them whether they were solely involved in your case and not with any
13 political matters.
14 You know as well as we do that a lot has happened on the
15 political scene over the last few months, so this is what this issue is
16 all about.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] My telephone contacts with my legal
18 advisers have been reduced to the use of a single telephone number, the
19 telephone number of Slavko Jerkovic, as opposed to
20 Mr. Slobodan Milosevic, who also defended himself and who had an office
21 with a telephone at his disposal, and he could literally call whoever he
22 wanted from that telephone, whoever he wanted; a potential witness,
23 eyewitness, whoever, and so on and so forth. I am in a situation that
24 I can only call Slavko Jerkovic.
25 When I call Slavko Jerkovic, usually the conversations are
1 attended by the other legal advisers, the case manager and the members of
2 the professional team for preparing my Defence. Then the investigators
3 are there and some other lawyers who do not have the rank of legal
4 advisers but who do carry out very important work for me.
5 I've been in detention for almost six years now, and I do have to
6 have extended arms in Belgrade
7 work of preparing my Defence and cross-examining Prosecution witnesses.
8 Also, I have to deal with administrative matters that are being imposed
9 on me all the time.
10 My conversations with legal advisers are confidential, in
11 principle, and they have to remain confidential. The Registrar says,
12 "You spoke before I did," and -- but that was the third problem that I
13 wished to raise within the context of the first issue.
14 The Registrar says that he has reason to believe that I perhaps
15 made it possible to have the privileged telephone line abused. The
16 Registrar has reason to believe that I may have made possible, et cetera.
17 Just look at the formulation itself. That is self-revealing. On the
18 basis of what is the Registrar saying that? Was he eavesdropping on my
19 conversations? I don't think he's allowed to have intercepts, although I
20 believe that all my conversations have been listened into. I'm deeply
21 convinced of that. But from a legal point of view, no one is allowed to
22 listen in.
23 So I carry out these conversations. Perhaps sometimes a word or
24 two is exchanged about the weather or whatever, so it's not that we only
25 discuss my case. Who can establish that? No one. However, there is
1 this new development.
2 The former head of the team for my Defence, Tomislav Nikolic, who
3 has been recruited in the meantime by some Western intelligence agencies
4 so that he break up the Serbian Radical Party, and this time coincidence
5 is no coincidence, the fact that the OTP asked for counsel to be imposed
6 on me here, so now he is making statements to the effect that I made some
7 political suggestions through that telephone. That's what he's been
8 saying. Now, whether that's true or not, that is hard to establish. But
9 as a rule, a man like that, who loses every moral criterion whatever, his
10 word should not be taken for anything; especially the Registry should not
11 be guided by his statements in the Serbian media. If the OTP has the
12 reason for such suspicions, the OTP can call him as a witness. They can
13 take a statement from him, they can bring him into the courtroom, and let
14 that cooperation be manifested to a maximum here, then.
15 For as long as this is -- this kind of cautious doubt, the
16 Registry has no reason to do anything.
17 You can deny me that telephone line. You can deny me legal
18 advisers as well, members of the Defence team too. I will continue to
19 defend myself even in that case literally on my own. However, do not
20 forget, you are the ones who are in charge of the fairness of the trial.
21 What is more important for you, as the Trial Chamber; to truly
22 show to the public that this is a fair trial or to intervene with regard
23 to some minor abuses like I asked about the weather in Belgrade or
24 perhaps I said something else in passing? Is there a single telephone
25 conversation between a lawyer and a client on this confidential line
1 without something else being said in passing? Is that possible at all?
2 Is it possible for them not to ask each other how they're doing, about
3 the state of their health and so on?
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, things are very
5 clear, as far as we Judges are concerned. You have a telephone line
6 connecting you to Mr. Jerkovic. It's a confidential line, a protected
7 line, and no one should listen in on conversations on that telephone
8 line, because your adviser is in Belgrade
9 you, if he was talking to you, no one would be allowed to listen in on
10 your conversations.
11 Therefore, we Judges believe that all conversations you have with
12 Mr. Jerkovic are protected conversations, are secret conversations, and
13 that no one except for you and your advisers should be aware of the
14 contents of these conversations. This is a principle that no one can
16 I'm listening to you, and I find out things that I was not aware
17 of. Apparently, Mr. Nikolic, who was your main adviser at some point,
18 because you told me during your pre-trial conference that he was in
19 charge of your Defence, so apparently he said in the media that when he
20 was on the phone with you, you would give him political instructions.
21 That's it. I suppose based on that, informed of that, the Registrar had
22 some concerns.
23 You are responding. You are telling that Mr. Nikolic is no
24 longer on your team. He can say things that are contrary to your
25 interests and that what he says should not be taken into account. This
1 is, therefore, a problem that may have existed in the past or may still
2 exist, but in any case, the conversations you have with your advisers are
3 secret conversations. I'm not entitled to find out the content of these
4 conversations, and it's up to you and to your associates to deal only
5 with your case during these conversations.
6 I have no idea what Mr. Nikolic has said, but I suppose that what
7 he said prompted the Registrar to raise a number of issues.
8 Mr. Seselj.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I will be frank. I
11 my unlimited trust for years. The extent of that trust and the
12 confidence I had in him was such that I enabled him to be the main head
13 of the team for my Defence, but that's my personal matter.
14 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I believe that we
15 should talk to -- stop talking about Mr. Nikolic, because Mr. Nikolic is
16 no longer a member of your Defence team. So in this court, no mention
17 should be made of Mr. Nikolic anymore.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I agree that it's over with him in
19 every respect. I will not talk about him any longer, but I also think
20 the Registry cannot bring him up. They cannot bring up what
21 Tomislav Nikolic says to the press. We don't care about that. His
22 personal failure, his personal collapse, is of no interest to us. This
23 is why I asked that these three problems, which come under the first
24 issue, I ask you, the Trial Chamber, to prevent the Registry in any
25 attempt of theirs to prevent me from cooperating with my legal advisers
1 in the future. The minimum of cooperation that I had until now should be
2 left intact.
3 I don't know how the Defence case will be conducted unless your
4 decision on funding Defence case is implemented. As I have said
5 previously, I will not be raising that issue again, and I have gone
6 against my word, and it was wrong of me, and I will not be bringing it up
7 again. But let me tell you, it would be impermissible to prevent you
8 from -- prevent me from communicating with my legal advisers and
9 preventing them from visiting me, because who will assist me if not them?
10 I trust only them, and I will not trust anyone else. That was the first
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you've just said
13 something that caught my attention, even though it might not have raised
14 other people's attention. You said that we would issue a decision about
15 the funding of your Defence, but the decision we are going to issue in
16 due course about the motion of the Prosecution is not directly related to
17 the funding of your Defence. The financing of your legal advisers is a
18 matter that has been resolved.
19 The Trial Chamber held that your legal advisers are entitled to
20 remuneration, as anyone doing any kind of work, and the Registrar in that
21 respect requested a number of data and, among other things, asked you to
22 tell us who, amongst these three, was the one who was an attorney-at-law.
23 Mr. Jerkovic fitted the profile perfectly, but for mysterious reasons,
24 which I completely fail to understand, for mysterious reasons you did not
25 respond to the request. And as a result, the issue is still pending.
1 The Registrar is still paying for the travel expenses of your advisers,
2 but they were not actually entitled to any pay, although they are
4 We may be able to find a solution to this issue. The easiest
5 would be for you to respond to the request made to you by the Registrar
6 at the time. You only had to tell him who, amongst these three men, is
7 an attorney-at-law, has the status of a lawyer. Then the Registrar would
8 move on to the following step. But you failed to respond to this
9 request, and as a result the whole matter is on hold.
10 You stated on your own that our decision blocks the funding of
11 your team, but, no, it's not the case at all. The Trial Chamber has no
12 say in the matter. A decision was issued. According to this decision,
13 you are entitled to have associates, and these associates are entitled to
14 be paid. That's all. We have no say in the matter whatsoever.
15 The proper decisions have been issued. The problem now that
16 needs to be resolved is between you and the Registrar; and the Registrar
17 is simply waiting for you to tell him who is going to be in charge
18 amongst these three men, who is going to be the attorney-at-law. And I
19 always said Mr. Jerkovic fit the profile perfectly, but you did not
20 respond to the Registrar.
21 Here we are, Mr. Seselj. This is a minor matter, of course, but
22 I wanted to make things very clear.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, that's exactly what
24 I have done. I told to the Registry that I agree for Slavko Jerkovic to
25 be in charge of the Defence funding, and I think I have stated that in
1 the courtroom. You can find it in the transcript. I have stated that
2 several months ago. So as far as Slavko Jerkovic is concerned, that
3 matter is over.
4 I don't know what else am I supposed to do, other than stand on
5 my head, to convince the Registry that I have said that. Everything I
6 utter here for the transcript is just as important as any written
7 submission. At least that's how it is in the legal system where I come
8 from. Everything that is uttered in the courtroom is equal to any
9 written submissions given to the Trial Chamber.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I take note of what you've just
11 said, and I'm going to check it out, because if you have indeed told the
12 Registrar that Slavko Jerkovic was to be in charge of your team, in that
13 respect things should be moving ahead. But to be quite frank, I thought
14 that we were still in this situation where no decision had been made
15 because you had not responded to the Registrar's -- to the Registrar's
16 request. But you've just said that you have done so, so we will check
18 One moment, please.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed, Mr. Seselj.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the problem here is
23 somewhat more complex. The Registry evades ruling on financing. That
24 decision should detail what finances are available for pre-trial
25 proceedings, for OTP case and for Defence case. The Registry is evading
1 on that. Their interpretation was that the funding needs to start only
2 once the trial begins, as though the pre-trial proceedings do not exist.
3 The last time we spoke to (redacted), we argued about that.
4 He came to the Detention Unit to speak to me. So there is no goodwill
5 there. And then they ask all kinds of information from me, impossible
6 things. They buried me with letters requiring things that are not
7 possible, and this is why I did not respond to that.
8 Now I would like to turn to the second important issue that I
9 wanted to raise today.
10 You gave me a deadline -- or, rather, you extended the deadline
11 for my submission responding to the OTP request to impose a counsel on
12 me. You extended that deadline by a month. My legal advisers drafted
13 this reply. They will bring it with them and I will see it on
14 Thursday -- or, rather, I will file it on Thursday, that is to say, one
15 day before the deadline expires.
16 However, during the last status conference, even though that
17 wasn't its official name, but by nature that's what it was, a status
18 conference which was held on the 26th of August, I drew your attention to
19 the fact that the OTP motion was not delivered to me in its entirety.
20 Then you ruled requiring the Prosecution to put back some redacted
21 information into the version that was disclosed to me. To this day, I
22 still am not familiar with over 50 per cent of the OTP motions, so I'm
23 replying to you on Thursday while still in the dark. I can only assume
24 what may be in that motion, because some paragraphs are redacted, more
25 than 50 per cent of them redacted. Last time I referred to this as the
1 Kafka-like procedure trial. I'm supposed to reply to something that I am
2 not familiar with, so how can that reply be valid? Of course, I will
3 reply in a certain manner, but that is not a manner that would be
4 tolerated or upheld in a serious legal system.
5 My fundamental right, right to defence, is being attacked here.
6 Somebody is trying to deny my right to Defence by hiding from me the
7 arguments as to why they're trying to deny me that right. You are
8 familiar with these arguments because you received the motion in its
9 entirety. The Prosecution is aware of these arguments. I'm the only one
10 who's not, and I'm the one who has to reply to the Prosecution. I don't
11 think that this would be allowed in the legal systems where you come
12 from, Your Honours: The Italian, French or Danish system. I don't think
13 so. In the 20th or the 21st century, a trial could not be held under
14 these circumstances. This is something unbelievable. This is a model
15 showing globalistic totalitarian judiciary. This exceeds both Hitler and
16 Stalin. Hitler's and Stalin's judiciary were minor things compared to
17 what is going on here, and once again I tell you this is impermissible.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I have to respond,
19 I have to respond. If you say something and if the Judges do not
20 respond, then they seem to be accepting that what you are saying is true.
21 I must tell you, quite frankly, that I myself was very surprised,
22 as you were, when I found out that in civil law countries, the
23 adversarial rule is sacred. Here in this Tribunal, there are
24 confidential and ex parte filings, of which the opposite party is not
25 aware. I must say that when I found out about such procedures, I was
1 astounded, so I looked into the matter further to try and find out why
2 things were organised that way sometimes.
3 And you have an answer in the Rules, Rules 75, regarding the
4 protection of witnesses and victims, because in some cases to protect
5 victims and witnesses, the accused may not, at the beginning, be notified
6 of the identity of some witnesses or some victims, and in some cases it
7 may only be notified of their identity 30 days before the witness comes
8 to testify, or, in some cases, the day the witness comes to testify. It
9 is a practice that is applied in this Tribunal. And beyond the victims
10 and the witnesses, you have to also take into account Rule 70 related to
11 documents provided by states. That's the way things work at this
13 When the motion to impose counsel on you was filed, portions of
14 this motion had been redacted. The Trial Chamber looked into the matter,
15 on my own initiative, because the concept of the adversarial system is at
16 the forefront of my mind, so that's why we asked the Prosecution to
17 provide you with some of the information.
18 But part of the information was not disclosed to you pursuant to
19 Rule 75. Why? Well, because if this information was disclosed to you,
20 this could cause a risk to these witnesses. Whether this risk is
21 subjective or objective, well, now is not the time to deal with this.
22 But the Trial Chamber looked into the matter extremely thoroughly for you
23 not to be harmed in any way. And in the respond you are going to file,
24 and you just said that you will be filing it Thursday; of course, you
25 will not be able to respond to 50 per cent of this motion, but the
1 response you will give on the other part of the motion will allow us to
2 rule whilst being duly informed. If we had believed that your interest
3 was prejudiced because you were not made aware of such-and-such
4 information, we would have made sure that this information was provided
5 to you.
6 So you have to be convinced of one thing. You will not be
7 prejudiced in any way on the substance of the matter because of the
8 redactions that remain in the motion. Please wait for our decision, our
9 ruling. Once the ruling has been handed down, you will be entitled, as
10 the Prosecutor will be, will be entitled to appeal the ruling.
11 So I've just explained to you why some information was not
12 disclosed to you. It's a practice common in this Tribunal, but in your
13 country or in my country, things do not happen that way. But things
14 happen that way in this Tribunal. That's it.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I add something else?
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please do.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, during this trial
18 against me, the Prosecution raised a sub-trial, a trial on the side. In
19 relation to this sub-trial, minor trial, the purpose of which is to deny
20 me the right to represent myself, or impose counsel on me, which is an
21 identical thing, so in that sub-trial the same procedure needs to be
22 upheld as in the rest of the trial. In this sub-trial, the procedural
23 rules cannot be opposite of what they are in the other trial. You said
24 so yourself. The responsibility to protect witnesses, victims and so on,
25 but only within a certain period of time, not in absolute terms, because
1 at some point I need to learn of the names of all witnesses, the content
2 of all their statements and so on. This is why. At some point I also
3 need to learn of the entire content of this motion of the Prosecution.
4 When is that going to happen? I can only hope now that your ruling will
5 be correct and that it would deny the motion of the Prosecution, in which
6 case my basic interest would be protected, but it seems that even in that
7 case I will never learn what arguments they deployed against me.
8 Can anything in this trial, a single piece of paper, a single
9 motion filed, remain secret to me? That's my essential question. I
10 believe that it may not be. No matter what the nature of this trial is,
11 I believe that until the end of the trial, all information disclosed in
12 this trial needs to be made available to me.
13 If some danger stems from the fact that information is disclosed
14 to me, then the OTP has resources to eliminate that danger in their
15 true-and-tested ways, but to deny me forever essential information, you
16 know, perhaps there is something here that the Prosecution is right
17 about, and then you need to make me aware of that so that I would learn
18 it, so I would learn my lesson for the future.
19 Imagine, you are trying me, you are putting me on trial, and this
20 is an indictment, because this is a small-scale indictment in this
21 sub-trial, and imagine the situation where you try me on the basis of an
22 indictment, half of which I'm aware of and half of which I'm not; and
23 that I'm denied the right to learn of one half of the indictment with the
24 same arguments as were used in this motion. So what kind of argument
25 would that be? That is the essence of what I'm speaking about.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me respond on this point.
2 We have an indictment, and the Trial Chamber will rule based on
3 this indictment and not on any imaginary indictment.
4 Secondly, with respect to protected witnesses, of course in due
5 course you will receive their full statements, because these witnesses
6 will come to testify, and if for some reason, some of these witnesses do
7 not show up, and if the Trial Chamber decides to admit their statements
8 under Rule 92 ter/quater, these statements will be admitted and you will
9 be able to read them.
10 In due course, all these documents will be admitted and the Trial
11 Chamber will rule strictly on the basis of admitted documents. It's not
12 possible for the judgement to be based on documents that are not
13 admitted, because if that was the case, yes, we could be talking about a
14 Kafkaesque trial.
15 Yes, of course, you have not received the statements of some
16 witnesses. I agree. But, you see, I'm not afraid to speak my mind.
17 What should have been done -- it's too late now. What should have been
18 done is the following: When you have an indictment confirmed by Judges,
19 this indictment should be accompanied by all documents, and I stressed
20 "all documents," supporting the confirmation of the indictment so as to
21 avoid any kind of ambiguity, because what's the situation? We have an
22 indictment confirmed on the basis of a number of documents, but no one
23 knows whether the supporting documents will be tendered during the
24 proceedings or not, and this is a procedural problem that was never
25 resolved in this Tribunal.
1 What you are raising now would be irrelevant and would not happen
2 if the Judges who drafted the Rules had stated that all supporting
3 documents have to be provided with the indictment, but that's not the way
4 things happened and that's why now you can tell us that you're rather
5 taken aback by the types of documents disclosed to you. You are
6 wondering whether some of these documents will never be disclosed to you.
7 But I don't think so, because when the witnesses come to testify, their
8 statements will be admitted. But, of course, some witnesses listed may
9 not testify, and their statements may then be admitted. But, and I'd
10 like to thank you for raising this issue, if a protected witness, whose
11 identity is supposed to be disclosed 30 days before his testimony, if
12 that witness does not come to testify, is the Prosecution forced to
13 disclose his testimony to you? That's a matter I'm going to address with
14 my fellow Judges. We'll be thinking about this, because I don't think
15 that there is a clear answer to this issue.
16 Here, again, we are dealing with a matter that is extremely
17 interesting, but notwithstanding all these issues, all these problems,
18 when a judgement is handed down, this judgement is based solely and
19 refers solely to admitted documents. The judgement refers to the
20 transcript of the witnesses' testimony at trial. It also refers to
21 written statements admitted under Rules 92 ter, bis, or quater.
22 That's all I can tell you at this stage. I can't go any further.
23 Mr. Seselj, please proceed.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The next issue that I wish to raise
25 is actually my repeated request, repeated on several occasions, for
1 reconsidering one of your decisions. I included now new arguments, so I
2 hope that it is not misplaced to raise this issue again. This has to do
3 with your decision on accepting witnesses under Rule 92 ter.
4 One of the reasons this rule was introduced into the Rules of
5 Procedure, even though it should not pertain to me because my indictment
6 was written prior to this Rule being introduced, so one of the reasons
7 for its existence is the economy of time. I've been saving time for over
8 six years now here, and I think that I have saved so much that I think
9 that it is pointless for somebody else to speak to me about saving time.
10 We have lost one month just now due to frivolity of the
11 Prosecution, sheer frivolity. During this month, we could have completed
12 perhaps four, five, perhaps even six witnesses, which means the trial has
13 been extended at least a month. Now that we have lost this month, I now
14 ask you to reconsider your decision concerning witnesses under 92 ter and
15 perhaps lose another month, but at least not have any more witnesses
16 under Rule 92 ter but, rather, all viva voce witnesses.
17 There are multiple problems here. For example, several days ago
18 I received --
19 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, for it to be quite
20 clear, I would like to say that we have a number of requests for review
21 coming from you. You may submit these requests if you have new facts,
22 not if you have arguments. Thank you.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, it is a new fact that we've
24 lost a month on account of the arrogance of the OTP. On the one hand, we
25 are saving time in violating my procedural rights, because there is
1 retroactive imposition of the Rule that did not exist at the time my
2 indictment was issued. And, on the other hand, out of sheer arrogance on
3 the part of the OTP, time is being squandered. If that is not an
4 argument then nothing doing.
5 But anyway, I'm just going to tell you one more thing so that you
6 have that in mind as well. I got yet another statement of Witness VS-131
7 [as interpreted]. The witness statement is from the 9th of September,
8 I think. He testified earlier on in other cases and so on, and I read
9 that statement. He refers to me in a single sentence, saying that he had
10 heard that in November 1991, I was in Vukovar; nothing else.
11 Now, when you look at that statement, you may easily think that
12 this statement may be a 92 ter statement. However, that statement --
13 that witness had such an important position that there is no way that he
14 can just march through this courtroom under 92 ter. Look at the high
15 office he held. And what office did I hold at that time? This enormous
16 discrepancy has to be my new argument as to why that kind of thing should
17 not be allowed to happen.
18 If you are not in a mood to discuss this question at all, then
19 perhaps we can deal with it that way too. I'm not opposed to that
20 either. It was for me to try once again.
21 And the fourth issue, and I'm going to conclude on that note, I
22 inform you --
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, Mr. Seselj. I
24 believe there must be a mistake on the transcript. It's not Witness 131,
25 it should be Witness VS-1131.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Witness 1131, yes.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You did well to
3 address this issue. In light of the Prosecution's schedule,
4 theoretically this witness is due to come. I shall not give his name,
5 since he has been granted protective measures. But normally speaking,
6 he's due to come at the beginning of November. We shall look into this
7 case again, but a decision has been handed down and it has been stated
8 that this is a 92 ter witness. There's no reason to overturn this.
9 We have noted what you are saying and what the Prosecution is
10 saying, and we shall review the issue. Thank you.
11 Please proceed.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] You decided to agree to the
13 Prosecution motion to include Vesna Bosanac on the witness list. I did
14 not oppose that at all, but I never received a decision from you to the
15 effect that Vesna Bosanac would be testifying under Rule 92 ter. When
16 the Prosecutor submitted that request, I opposed it here in court. Maybe
17 you received that, but I did not. And here in the schedule that was
18 provided to me by the OTP, it says that Vesna Bosanac would testify as a
19 92 ter witness. That is the latest schedule. I think that that is
20 absolutely impermissible.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. My colleague has
22 just told me that this is a mistake. Normally speaking, she should
23 testify viva voce. Furthermore, no decision has been taken as regarding
24 her testimony under 92 ter, so at first sight, when the Judges
25 deliberated on this matter, I believe this witness is going to come to
1 testify as a viva voce witness. I don't know why the Prosecution has
2 stated that this is a 92 ter witness. We shall look into this.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Imagine, Mr. President, when I
4 received this on Friday evening and when I saw that Vesna Bosanac is
5 testifying under 92 ter. Can you imagine what kind of stress I suffered
6 and how long I couldn't sleep that night because of this minor alleged
7 error on the part of the Prosecution?
8 The fifth question --
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment. I said there was a
10 mistake. I don't know.
11 Mr. Mundis or Mrs. Dahl, as far as this witness is concerned, can
12 you shed some light on this?
13 MR. MUNDIS: Good morning, Mr. President. Good morning, Your
14 Honours, and everyone in and around the courtroom.
15 The Prosecution is always endeavouring to reduce the amount of
16 time we spend on witness testimony. It's anticipated that we will be
17 filing a 92 ter request with respect to this witness. We have not done
18 so as of today. If we decide to do that, we will certainly do it with
19 enough notice under the Trial Chamber's guidelines in order to allow the
20 accused to respond.
21 In putting together the calendars, what we simply try to do is
22 try to note as much information as possible so the schedule, on its face,
23 looks realistic. You will note that this witness is down for two days,
24 that was done in the event that the 92 ter request, if we make one, that
25 request would be denied, there would be adequate time on the calender for
1 the witness to complete her testimony. That's why she's down both under
2 92 ter but also holding two dates on the calender so we've got both bases
3 covered. In the event we make the application, there will certainly be
4 adequate time for the accused to respond to our motion, and it's at this
5 point certainly premature to be discussing this at any great length,
6 because we have not filed an application, nor has a decision been taken
7 that we will file an application.
8 Let's, with all due respect, move on in the interests of economy.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So no decision -- no
10 submissions have been filed.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] After all, this is an official
12 document of the OTP that I received, so I have been misled. I believe
13 that you share my view on that matter.
14 And the fifth question --
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment. This is an
16 official document, since it stems from the OTP, but you know as well as I
17 do that this is a preparatory document, preparing for hearings, which
18 holds an approximate value, since in certain cases some witnesses don't
19 come, some witnesses' names are taken off the list. This is a working
20 instrument, a working paper. It does not provide a 100 per cent
21 guarantee. It doesn't mean that one is going to stick to the letter.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The last thing that I wanted to say
23 to you today, that is to say, the fifth question that I wanted to deal
24 with: I inform you now orally that on Friday I'm going to submit a
25 request in writing that you give me certification to appeal your decision
1 of the 11th of September that was submitted to me on the 19th of
2 September, on the basis of the oral request made by the OTP to admit
3 three statements of Witness Nebojsa Stojanovic.
4 I believe that even as far as this Tribunal is concerned, and I
5 have the most negative possible opinion of it, that what happened was
6 unprecedented, along with a witness who testified viva voce, and the
7 Prosecution is not happy with his testimony. They want to admit into
8 evidence his alleged statements that the Prosecutors themselves wrote for
9 him, and investigators too.
10 You made a decision that these written statements can be admitted
11 into evidence in order to challenge the authenticity of Mr. Stojanovic's
12 statement and also the veracity of the content. You said at one point
13 that as for the probative value of these statements, you are yet to
14 assess it.
15 I think that this is something that is absolutely untenable, and
16 if it remains this way, it brings into question the regularity of the
17 entire trial. Well, you're the ones who gave me guarantees here. As far
18 as I can remember, it was Judge Harhoff explicitly, only recently, that
19 when the judgement is being made, only what was stated in court can be
20 taken into account, not what the Prosecution prepared for a witness who
21 they blackmailed, exerted pressure against, promised him, whatever. It's
22 all the same to me. But the witness said that that was not true here in
23 court before all of us.
24 If you think that you have proof to the effect that the witness
25 did not give truthful testimony in the courtroom, then proceedings can be
1 initiated against him on account of perjury, but you don't have such
2 proof. Nevertheless, you want to admit into evidence his alleged
3 statements that were written by the Prosecutors themselves. And in the
4 words of that witness, when signing these statements, he did not even
5 read them. I really find it unbelievable that you made such a decision,
6 so I am going to submit a request for you to allow me to appeal on
7 Friday, and that is, I imagine, my legal deadline. My legal advisers are
8 going to bring me the text.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I shall look into
10 this again. This did not seem to me to be such a vital matter, and I
11 didn't believe that this should be addressed. Of course, you are
12 entitled to ask for a certification to appeal this.
13 You have addressed all the topics you wish to. Mr. Prosecutor
14 and Mrs. Dahl, are there any issues you would like to raise?
15 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. I have three very brief
16 issues to raise, and then I will turn to my co-counsel, Ms. Dahl, for an
17 additional issue or two.
18 First, though, let me -- the first point I simply wanted to
19 make -- the first and second points I want to make relate to issues
20 raised by Dr. Seselj earlier this morning. I think it's important, in
21 the overall context of discussions concerning his legal advisers, to also
22 put onto the record the fact that the legal advisers have also entered
23 into and signed the code of conduct that governs the conduct of Defence
24 counsel appearing before this international tribunal, and whether or not
25 Dr. Seselj likes that fact, they are indeed subject to the code of
1 conduct, having voluntarily signed that document in order to be
2 accredited as his legal advisers or associates. So I do want to put that
3 point on the record.
4 The second point relates to comments made by Dr. Seselj this
5 morning concerning the Prosecution motion to assign counsel and the fact,
6 as he's put it, that 50 per cent of that document would remain ex parte
7 as to him. And, again, simply to put onto the record, I would like to
8 indicate that in our filing on the 28th of July, 2008, paragraph 137, the
9 final paragraph of that pleading, subparagraph (b), the Prosecution
10 specifically asked for the immediate assignment of independent counsel to
11 make ex parte written submissions to the Trial Chamber with respect to
12 the ex parte material; and so I to want to put on the record the fact
13 that we did propose, as part of our motion, that independent counsel be
14 assigned to look at those parts of our pleadings which are ex parte as to
15 the accused, and we had requested that again, with all due respect,
16 immediate assignment on the 28th of July. So I do want to put that point
17 on the record.
18 The final point that I had this morning before turning to my
19 colleague Ms. Dahl concerns the Trial Chamber's decision of 18 September
20 2008, and I don't want to dwell on this at any great length of time, but
21 I would suggest perhaps it might be helpful to the parties for some
22 clarification. And that might not need to be done today.
23 But in light of that decision, the Prosecution, at least, has
24 some concern about the effective decision of that document as it relates
25 to our ability to show exhibits to subsequent witnesses, the handling of
1 exhibits in open court, the handling of exhibits when we're proofing
2 witnesses, et cetera; because it is unclear to us, if that decision
3 relates only to the Registry in terms of dissemination of exhibits or if
4 that means, for example, if we were in open session and we want to show a
5 previously admitted exhibit, would that run afoul of the decision by
6 making those exhibits known to the public, when in fact, at least based
7 on our reading of the decision, the Registry would not be allowed to
8 distribute those exhibits to the public.
9 So we do have some questions and some possible concerns about
10 that, and it might be helpful in the near future to either discuss this
11 or perhaps if the Trial Chamber could issue some clarification with
12 respect to that decision, because to be as transparent and frank as
13 possible, it does cause a little bit of confusion at least for us here in
14 the Prosecution.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
16 Two points, Mr. Mundis. You are quite right in saying that in
17 your motion, you had asked an independent counsel to be appointed. This
18 counsel would have at his disposal all the documents, and I emphasise
19 this, all the documents. This definitely has to be on the transcript.
20 Mr. Seselj, in the Prosecutor's filings, no secret was made,
21 because an independent counsel could have had access to these documents.
22 It so happens that the Trial Chamber decided to the contrary and decided
23 that there was no need to have such an independent counsel. Therefore,
24 these documents have not been disclosed. Mr. Mundis is quite right to
25 remind us of this.
1 The second point, Mr. Seselj, the decision handed down on the
2 18th of September, 2008, I believe you referred to a decision taken by
3 the Trial Chamber regarding the request filed by a country to access
5 The Trial Chamber, in its decision, was extremely clear and
6 stipulated that during the proceedings, no document would be disclosed to
7 anyone, and it is only at the end of the trial that the document will be
8 communicated to third parties that have nothing to do with this trial:
9 Individuals, private individuals, or states. And the decision did not
10 stipulate and never addressed the issue, i.e., that as far as documents
11 which are tendered by the Prosecution, that these documents be not
12 addressed in public.
13 When a document is not under seal and has no reason to be kept
14 secret from anyone, this can be discussed, placed on the ELMO, and seen
15 by all and everyone. So the decision taken on the 18th of September only
16 relates to those documents and exhibits by states or individuals who are
17 outside; in other words, for those parties who wish to establish some
18 form of material communication. But to give a document to someone who
19 wishes to see these documents, well, one can only grant this request at
20 the end of the trial. Nothing prevents the Prosecution or the parties
21 from showing a document in public, either on the ELMO or on the screen if
22 it's in the e-court system, in such a way that the document or the
23 transcript can be seen by the public.
24 Now, if a third party wishes to access these documents, he can
25 just record what is displayed on the screen.
1 I don't know if I have answered your questions.
2 MR. MUNDIS: You have, Mr. President, and the last point is the
3 one that, to a certain extent, causes us some concern.
4 Speaking on behalf of the Prosecution, and I believe probably
5 also Mr. Seselj would share this view, knowing the position he's taken in
6 the past, this would seem to be a slight infringement upon the ability of
7 the public to have access to public exhibits in this trial. And as
8 Your Honour has just indicated, anyone who has the technology or the
9 wherewithal to simply record the proceedings or get a screen shot of any
10 document shown on the ELMO would, in fact, have a copy of these
11 materials, but someone who didn't have that technological capability, but
12 simply made a telephone call to the Registry and said, "I would like this
13 exhibit," would not be in a position to get the document or documents in
15 And so we do have some concerns about the ability of the public
16 to contact the press office and request an exhibit that is not under
17 seal, that is, a public exhibit; for the simple reason that if they're
18 shown on the television and they're broadcast to the public, they are, in
19 fact, public documents, and we fail to see -- with the greatest of
20 respect, we fail to see the difference between someone who can record it
21 and get a screen shot and print the document at home on their computer
22 and someone who doesn't have that ability, who would call the press
23 office and say, "I'd like a copy of this exhibit," and which pursuant to
24 the decision, they would not be able to do that. And so we do have some
25 concerns as to how this decision impacts upon a certain segment and
1 perhaps a large segment of the population who might not have the
2 technological capabilities at hand in order to save and download any of
3 these materials that they might otherwise want.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, I've been here now
5 for five years, and it's the first time, as far as I know, that somebody
6 has asked to see a document; it's the first time ever, so this is an
7 exceptional circumstance.
8 Someone, and in this particular case it's a state, has asked to
9 see a document. Maybe some people in the past have already asked to see
10 a number of documents. Since this is a public trial, people can listen
11 to the proceedings, they can watch, they can print out material, they can
12 make copies if they have enough resources to do so, make copies of
14 Let's take the case of someone who is in a country in Africa
15 would like to dispose of such-and-such a document. This person would say
16 that he does not have a television set and doesn't have a printer. And
17 given where this person is living, he wishes to see the document. This
18 means that he knows that the document exists already.
19 Now, according to the reasoning of the Trial Chamber, which is
20 spelled out in its decision, we have stated that these documents would be
21 assessed by the Trial Chamber at the end of the trial. When the
22 Prosecutor introduces a document, the Prosecutor then asks for the
23 document to be tendered. If the document is then relevant, it does have
24 a certain probative value, which can be higher, lower, or no probative
25 value at all, but this document in itself will or might be challenged by
1 the Defence during cross-examination or when the Defence will call its
2 own witnesses and present its own documents. Then the document that has
3 been admitted will be confronted to the other documents. So a document
4 which we know will have a certain probative value in a particular case
5 may all of a sudden have no probative value at all. So the Trial Chamber
6 does run this risk.
7 Let's assume that somebody would like to see a document and let's
8 say the Trial Chamber grants a request and says, "You may see this
9 document." When the document has not been assessed at all, since the
10 proceedings are still ongoing, and the probative value of the document
11 will only be assessed right at the end.
12 So if we send out a document without having assessed it, we are
13 running a risk because the person who is somewhere in a faraway country
14 will not have these other documents that could challenge the first
15 document, so he could be misled. This is why the Trial Chamber has
16 decided to take this position, and the response will be provided at the
17 end of the trial. If there are other people who wish to see some of the
18 documents, we shall also respond in the same way, and we shall always say
19 that this can only be done at the end of the trial.
20 However, a document which is placed on the ELMO and is discussed
21 at trial, as part of the adversarial system, if someone would like to
22 make a copy, then he's free to do so, he or she is free to do so. That's
23 got nothing to do with the Trial Chamber. The document itself will only
24 be assessed at the end of the trial.
25 A document cannot be disclosed to anyone whilst the trial is
1 still ongoing. What tells you that this document is a true document? It
2 could be a forged document. This document could be challenged during
3 cross-examination by the Defence and by Defence witnesses. At first
4 sight, the document may seem important, but when compared with a whole
5 series of other documents, maybe it's not that important at all. This is
6 why we have taken this decision.
7 Mr. Seselj.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges, I find this debate to be
9 very interesting, because I haven't got the slightest idea as to what all
10 this is about. I never received this request, and I never received your
11 decision in this regard; so could you please briefly inform me as to what
12 this is all about, what state, what document? I believe that then I will
13 find the debate even more interesting.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, but we are dealing with
15 this, we are entering a discussion, but you have not seen the
16 discussion -- the decision.
17 On the 18th of September, 2008, we issued a ruling about the
18 recording of a conversation between Karadzic and Milosevic. We wanted to
19 find out what was in that recording and in all the other recordings. The
20 Trial Chamber issued a ruling stating that this would be disclosed only
21 at the end of the trial. Please wait for the translation of this
22 decision in your own language. You are one of the addressees of this
23 decision, of course, and once you have received the translation, you'll
24 have all the data. But this is a premature discussion maybe, Mr. Mundis,
25 because Mr. Seselj has not been made aware of the contents of the
2 MR. MUNDIS: Perhaps, Mr. President, and we can return to it
3 perhaps in the next day or so. I understand or my understanding was the
4 document had been translated and was to be provided to Dr. Seselj either
5 yesterday or earlier this morning.
6 Let me, though -- I know it's time for the recess. Let me just
7 make two very quick observations, if I might. The first one relates to
8 the statement by the Presiding Judge that this was the first time the
9 Trial Chamber was aware of a request for access to exhibits in this
11 My sense is, if the press office were to be asked to provide such
12 information, that there are a number of regular and recurring such
13 requests. Based on the trials I've been involved in, I personally get
14 numerous requests from the public and the media for access to material
15 that has been openly admitted in trial, so I think that this is an
16 extremely common thing where members of the public contact the press
17 office for copies of exhibits, photographs, videos, other material that's
18 openly played in court, and perhaps there was a translation or an
19 interpretation error; but I do believe that this is an extremely common
20 thing by members of the public.
21 I do appreciate the difference between the Trial Chamber's use of
22 all the evidence and waiting until all the evidence is admitted at the
23 end and weighing up, and that processing of determining the relevance,
24 probative value, et cetera, of each and every exhibit; but our concern is
25 that notwithstanding that process, which is an ongoing one and which is
1 only completed at the end of the evidentiary phase of the trial in toto,
2 our concern remains that an individual member of the public who requested
3 a particular document, photograph, a videotape, other exhibit that was
4 openly admitted, would be denied access to that on the grounds that the
5 dossier, if you will, is not complete because the evidentiary process is
6 ongoing; and that remains our concern with respect to the completely open
7 and public nature of these proceedings and trying to keep the proceedings
8 as open to the public as possible. Obviously, documents or exhibits
9 submitted under seal is a completely different story. The need to
10 protect witnesses is a completely different story. But to be quite
11 frank, we don't see why exhibits that are public should not be made
12 available to the public by way of the press office when a request comes
14 And I understand the process that the Chamber's going to use in
15 weighing up all of the evidence, but our concern relates more to the
16 public access and public nature of the proceedings.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We need to break now, unless
18 Ms. Dahl only wants to take the floor for a few minutes. We have two
19 options. Either you have very little to say and then we adjourn, or we
20 have a break and you can take the floor after the break. It's up to you.
21 MS. DAHL: I regret to tell the Chamber I have a bit more than a
22 little to say, and I think it would be prudent for me to begin after the
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We're going to have
25 a 20-minute break.
1 --- Recess taken at 10.05 a.m.
2 --- On resuming at 10.31 a.m.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are back in session.
4 Ms. Dahl, you have the floor.
5 MS. DAHL: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 I would like to request that we move into private session,
7 because I have a matter to discuss concerning protective measures.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 [Private session]
11 Pages 9866-9875 redacted. Private session.
18 [Open session]
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So, Prosecutor, before we
21 adjourn, I wanted to draw your attention upon the following: According
22 to the calculations made by the legal officer, together with the
23 Registrar, you have had 72 hours and 37 minutes so far. The Trial
24 Chamber granted you 120 hours, which means that you have 47 hours and 23
25 minutes left.
1 Initially, you had planned to hear 100 witnesses. So far, we
2 have heard 38 witnesses.
3 As far as the remaining witnesses are concerned, well, these will
4 have to be heard within these 47 hours and 23 minutes. This is what I
5 wanted to share with you so that you can think about it and give us a new
6 witness list, an updated witness list, notwithstanding all the pending
8 So that things are clear, I would like to thank you for the chart
9 you gave us for the upcoming months, September and to November. You have
10 planned to call a number of witnesses - that's fine - which means that
11 you will undoubtedly wish to call witnesses in December and January. But
12 we will wait until the time comes.
13 Now, having addressed all the issues today, the Trial Chamber
14 will deliberate, and I would like to say that after our deliberations,
15 through our legal officer, who will send you an e-mail, we will tell you
16 what has been decided as regards the protective measures for tomorrow.
17 It seems to me that the Prosecutor needs three hours for its
18 examination-in-chief. Is that right, Ms. Dahl? For tomorrow's witness,
19 is that right?
20 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, I'm planning my examination hopefully to
21 conclude within two hours, because I would like to conclude the witness's
22 testimony this week. Sometimes my estimates are optimistic, but we're
23 not sitting on Tuesday, I understand, because of the holiday, so the
24 witness would be here for quite a bit of time. And I believe that
25 Mr. Mundis would like to address the Chamber on the witness issue.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So we reckon on two hours, and
2 Mr. Seselj will also have two hours for his cross-examination.
3 Mr. Mundis.
4 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 With respect to the issue of the amount of time that remains for
6 the Prosecution case, we will provide an updated witness list for the
7 benefit of the Chamber and Dr. Seselj, but I do want to point out a
8 couple of issues with respect to that.
9 As the Chamber is very fully aware, a number of witnesses who
10 were on the Prosecution list, for lack of a better term, are being
11 contested by the accused, who claims that they are Defence witnesses and
12 should not be Prosecution witnesses.
13 Obviously, that's an issue that the Trial Chamber will have to
14 reconcile at some point in time. Let me say this, however: Leaving
15 aside those witnesses whom the Prosecution believes are extremely
16 important witnesses for the Chamber and must be heard, regardless of
17 whether they're heard during the Prosecution case or if they're called by
18 the Trial Chamber, our view, as I've indicated previously, is that they
19 must be heard before the 98 bis phase. Leaving those witnesses aside,
20 however, in other words, if I were to take those witnesses off of the
21 list in terms of planning, the remaining Prosecution witnesses on the
22 Prosecution list we would have no problem finishing in the 47 hours and
23 23 minutes left available to us and would take the Prosecution case into
24 late January/early February based on the rate at which we've been
25 progressing thus far in this trial. But I do want to alert the Trial
1 Chamber to the fact that it has always been our position that the
2 witnesses whose name appear on the Prosecution list must be heard by the
3 Trial Chamber and must be heard prior to the 98 bis phase.
4 So I will provide an updated witness list, if you will. It will
5 contain the names of a number of witnesses for whom Dr. Seselj has said
6 will be Defence witnesses. It will contain those names of witnesses for
7 whom Mr. Seselj has recently filed a motion concerning their status and
8 the steps that he has asked the Trial Chamber to take with respect to
9 those witnesses.
10 So I will flag that up right up front, and perhaps what I will do
11 is provide, for purposes of planning and so the Chamber can clearly see
12 the time estimates, I will provide two lists; a complete list with all of
13 the witnesses and a second list that has the names of only those
14 witnesses -- or taking off of the first list those witnesses for whom
15 Dr. Seselj is adamant that they be Defence witnesses and Defence
16 witnesses only, and that will be -- will permit the Chamber, at an easy
17 glance, to see the time estimates with respect to both scenarios while
18 the Chamber is deliberating on that matter with respect to the accused.
19 But we will provide these lists. I hope to do that perhaps by the end of
20 this week. But I do want to make clear that we will be providing and
21 circulating two such lists, and I don't believe, leaving aside the
22 witnesses that again, for lack of a better word, are being contested by
23 the accused, putting those witnesses aside for the moment, we certainly
24 would have no problem finishing the Prosecution case with the other
1 But, again, that's going to take us into early February at the
2 rate we're currently progressing. And, again, our view is very
3 forcefully that those witnesses must be heard before the Trial Chamber
4 goes through the 98 bis process in this case.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
6 As far as the current rate is concerned, I can't do more than I'm
7 currently doing. I am sitting in another trial, and I cannot hold
8 hearings around the clock. If people wish to start at 5.00 in the
9 morning, I'm perfectly willing to do so. It's not a problem for me. We
10 can start off at 5.00 in the morning, but of course this will pose a
11 number of logistics problems.
12 Mr. Seselj.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have a few objections to what
14 Mr. Mundis said.
15 First of all, I would like to refer to the information you
16 provided about the time used by counsel for the Prosecution within the
17 120 hours granted to them. I object, because additional examinations or
18 re-examinations have not been included in that time, also the playing of
19 video and audio-recordings in court. I believe that all of that is part
20 of the Prosecution case, and I think that all of that should be included.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, Mr. Seselj, to
22 avoid you from getting lost in all of this. The question -- the
23 Prosecution will raise its question in the time that has been allotted to
24 it. When there have been requests for admissions of the videos, this is
25 part of the Prosecution's case and the Prosecution's time. This is what
1 I need to tell you. But the Registrar must check all this out.
2 I'll give you the floor back again.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Perhaps I even made a mistake. I
4 do not rule out that possibility. But I would like this to be checked
5 out, because the Registry provided me specific information at the end of
6 July, at my request, and I seem to remember that re-examination was not
7 included in the time.
8 However, if I'm making a mistake, I apologise in advance, but I
9 still think I'm not making a mistake. It is not impossible, but I think
10 I am not wrong. And I think that the time we had with this witness, who
11 came with the intercepts of telephone conversations, was not included
12 either. And then we listened to these intercepts and so on and so forth.
13 However, if the Registry checks this, then I'm going to believe that
14 information. If the Registrar corrects me, then I am sorry for having
15 raised the issue in the first place.
16 Secondly, which is far more important as far as I'm concerned, I
17 expect the Prosecution to ask for an extension of time for the
18 Prosecution case, and I tell you in advance that I'm going to oppose that
20 The Prosecution used up too much time irrationally, anyway, even
21 in order to prove the crime base in those localities that have been
22 excluded from the indictment, and in accordance with the ruling of the
23 previous Trial Chamber, it was only a pattern of behaviour that was dealt
24 with in that evidence. Also, there were other witnesses that were a
25 mistake on their part, and they did not really prove anything, and that
1 certainly did not support or could not support the indictment, but that
2 is the Prosecutor's problem.
3 As for these 18 witnesses that keep stating that they are Defence
4 witnesses and assist me in my Defence --
5 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, then, there can be
6 no motion. We will discuss this if there is a motion.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My colleague is quite right,
8 Mr. Seselj. For the time, the Prosecution has not asked to have any
9 extra time, and I'm really quite clear to the Prosecution that as far as
10 the remaining witnesses are concerned, these have to be part of those 47
11 hours that are still available.
12 The Prosecution can file a request -- a motion, and in that case
13 you are able to respond and the Trial Chamber will rule on this, and the
14 Appeals Chamber can also rule on that. I think we all agree on this.
15 For the time being, no motion has been filed with a view to extending the
16 time of the Prosecution. The Prosecution might file such a motion. In
17 that case, you can reply, and the Trial Chamber will rule on it.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm very sorry that I listened to
19 Mr. Mundis so carefully, and I did not miss that implicitly Mr. Mundis
20 stated what the expectations of the OTP were; that these 18 witnesses
21 should be taken over by you as Chamber witnesses. (redacted)
4 (redacted). Whether you're going to deal with others that
5 way remains to be seen. However, if you had taken that path, I have no
6 reason to believe that you're now going to persist in this and that the
7 other 18 are also going to be behind bars.
8 However, that is no way to achieve what the Prosecution wants.
9 You see, if the Prosecution has that kind of case where 18 persons do not
10 want to be Prosecution witnesses at any cost, then they are powerless.
11 Then these witnesses should be Defence witnesses, because obviously that
12 is what these people want to be. Again, we are going to have a situation
13 where all 18 of these witnesses will certainly deny the truthfulness and
14 authenticity of these statements here in the courtroom, those that were
15 written by the Prosecutor and that were represented here as witness
17 You saw the case of Nebojsa Stojanovic; not to go into motives
18 why some things were signed earlier on and why they're now being denied,
19 only those for whom the Prosecution provide residence in a Western
20 country, money to run their own business, a job, to care for their
21 families, they are the only ones who come here and confirm what is stated
22 in their statements.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I'm sorry if I
24 interrupt you, but this is something you have mentioned already. This is
25 familiar to the Trial Chamber. You've told the Trial Chamber already.
1 And you are quite right to mention this, and so is Mr. Mundis.
2 The legal situation is as follows: There are 18 witnesses, and
3 the Trial Chamber needs to take a stance on this. Rest assured the Trial
4 Chamber will rule on the matter very quickly, so you will get an answer
5 to this very quickly.
6 Do you have any other issues you would like to address?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I'd just like to remind you
8 that I submitted this in writing as well. I submitted a motion to you
9 about a month ago including the statements of all of those witnesses. I
10 hope that you are going to rule on that motion of mine as well.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Seselj.
12 We shall meet again tomorrow for the hearing, which will start,
13 as you know, at 8.30, since we are sitting in the morning. The Trial
14 Chamber will withdraw and deliberate, as I have said, and we will get
15 back to you as soon as possible; more specifically, regarding the
16 upcoming witness.
17 I wish you a pleasant afternoon.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 11.16 a.m.
19 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 24th day of
20 September 2008, at 8.30 a.m.