1 Wednesday, 1 October 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.32 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, kindly call the
6 case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you and good afternoon, Your Honours.
8 This is case number IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus
9 Vojislav Seselj.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
11 Today, we are the 1st of October, 2008. I'd like to greet the
12 representatives of the Prosecution, amongst others Ms. Dahl and
13 Mr. Mundis, as well as associates. I would also like to greet Mr. Seselj
14 and all the people assisting us.
15 Mr. Seselj, I know that you have a number of housekeeping matters
16 you would like to address. I personally would like to address one such
17 matter; namely:
18 It had been planned to sit tomorrow afternoon. We shall now hold
19 our hearing at 8.30 tomorrow morning. At 12.00, the Judges need to
20 attend an extraordinary plenary session which relates to a legal issue
21 which might be of interest to you, i.e., the fact that a Trial Chamber
22 may be authorised to appoint a counsel in the interests of justice, a
23 counsel for the accused. This plenary session is extremely important,
24 and I therefore wish to attend this meeting, as well as my colleagues,
25 and we shall resume our hearing at 2.00 tomorrow and will run on until
1 4.00. Then we will have had a five-hour hearing, approximately.
2 Today, we will stop at 20 past 6.00 because the Judges need to
3 attend a meeting. There are a lot of meetings at the moment.
4 Since their witness's testimony is high on the agenda, we need to
5 start with this.
6 I know you have three housekeeping matters you wish to address.
7 I know which ones they are. I know why you wish to address the Trial
8 Chamber. But I believe that this can wait until tomorrow, unless there
9 is a housekeeping matter which is so important that you need to address
10 it right now.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, if you've decided that it's
12 going to be tomorrow, then it can remain until tomorrow, but I would like
13 to draw your attention to the following: Because of one of those
14 questions, I'm not in a position to carry out proper cross-examination of
15 this current witness, and you know what this is all about. I wanted to
16 say a few words about that, so --
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please go ahead, then. As far
18 as this matter is concerned, yes, you may address this now.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] So just this one question today,
20 and I leave the other two for tomorrow. Did I understand you right?
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right.
23 Judges, on the 29th of September, I received a letter from
24 Hans Holthuis, the Registrar of the Tribunal, two typewritten pages, and
25 I'm being told in this letter that during the course of one month's time,
1 I will not have the possibility of unhindered communication with my legal
2 advisers; that is to say, that they cannot come and pay me unsupervised
3 visits, and I cannot have telephone contacts with them without these
4 contacts being listened in to.
5 The Registrar does refer to some reasons there. He mentions the
6 request of the OTP to impose counsel on him because allegedly I
7 intimidated witnesses through my advisers and carried out this campaign
8 in that way. One of the important reasons that he refers to are
9 information published in the Serbian media, (redacted)
11 (redacted). Now I cannot contact my legal advisers during
12 the cross-examination of this witness. I have no possibility of
13 receiving anything by fax.
14 I heard a few moments ago that if a fax arrives, that it goes to
15 the Registry first, a fax is made -- a photocopy is made, and then I am
16 given only a copy.
17 I will continue to cross-examine witnesses, and I'm going to rely
18 on my own logical reasoning, without recourse to any other material. I
19 assume I am still superior to the OTP in that respect.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
21 Mr. Seselj, at the end of the week the Trial Chamber -- just one
22 moment, Mr. Mundis. I would just like to respond and then you will have
23 the floor.
24 The Trial Chamber received from the Registry a memo last week
25 that specified that it had decided to listen in on your telephone calls
1 between you and your associates, and this was based on the motion filed
2 by the Prosecution, partly based on witness intimidation. The Registrar,
3 in its memo, indicates that you are the one that has orchestrated all of
4 this, on the one hand.
5 And the second point: During your conversations with your
6 associates at the time, you purportedly addressed other issues, issues
7 not related to your Defence case.
8 Therefore, the Registry has decided, pursuant to the Rules of
9 Procedure and Evidence, to listen in on your conversations. This
10 procedure is part of our procedure relating to detention matters and
11 provides that you are able to challenge this and refer directly to the
12 President of this Tribunal. The Trial Chamber is not seized of the
13 matter. If you wish to challenge this, you must address yourself to the
14 President of the Tribunal.
15 Contrary to what you have said, the memo of the Registry
16 specifies that you are not prohibited from talking to your associates.
17 You can still talk to your associates and talk to them over the
18 telephone. You can ask them to send you documents for your
19 cross-examination and so on and so forth. So the decision taken by the
20 Registry does not preclude you from speaking with your associates and
21 does not prevent you from turning to them to ask them for information.
22 However, does have, of course, something to do with the client-accused
23 privilege; and if this needs to be addressed, this needs to be addressed
24 by the President of the Tribunal.
25 When your associates send you the documents directly, the
1 Registry then picks up the document and gives it to you straight away.
2 The Registry does not look into the contents of the documents, because
3 this correspondence is confidential. The Registry then pick up the
4 documents that have been faxed to you. Nothing is being secretly
5 photocopied in any way. If anyone were to do this, the person would be
6 committing a serious offence.
7 So, so much for this point.
8 The fact that your telephone is being tapped, well, that might be
9 an issue for you. If that is the case, you must seize the President of
10 the Tribunal.
11 Mr. Mundis, I don't know if you wanted to say anything about
12 this. I assume it was.
13 MR. MUNDIS: Could we please briefly go into private session,
14 Mr. President?
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Of course. Registrar, please.
16 [Private session]
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're now in open session.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis.
19 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Two points, very quickly.
21 The Prosecution is not, of course, privy to the letter from the
22 Registrar to the accused, so I'm not familiar with the contents of that
23 letter, other than a press statement that was released. Let me say,
24 however, that as indicated on lines 24 and 25 of page 4, and the first
25 five lines of page 5, it is our understanding that the withdrawal of
1 privileged communications would include documents being transmitted to
2 and from the accused, and to the extent that the accused receives faxes
3 or other documents, it's our understanding that those documents would
4 also be subject to monitoring by the Registry as a form of monitoring
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Mundis, this is not
7 something which I read in the decision handed down by the Registry. What
8 I understood was that the telephone was being tapped. Maybe I stand to
9 be corrected, maybe we need to look into this, but if Mr. Seselj's
10 conversations are being listened in, that's one thing, but if his
11 communications are being monitored, that is another story. But I have
12 noted what you have just told me.
13 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honours, it's my -- it's my understanding, and
14 I stand to be corrected on that point, that all communications are being
15 monitored, and that would include faxes, letters, any form of
16 communication. Otherwise, communication in written form would still be
17 allowed, and that is specifically what is -- what is to be monitored. So
18 I simply wanted to at least put on the record our understanding of what
19 has happened as a result of the Registrar's decision.
20 And the final point, very briefly, just to recall for the benefit
21 of the Trial Chamber with respect to the purported transcripts of
22 conversations between the accused and his associates that he's referred
23 to today, as well as the 23rd of September at our hearing, I do draw the
24 Trial Chamber's attention to page 1414 of the hearings in this case, a
25 status conference on the 20th of August, 2007, in which Mr. Seselj,
1 himself, indicated that his associates were recording the privileged
2 communications that were happening between Mr. Seselj and his associates;
3 and so I would simply like to refresh the Chamber's recollection as to
4 the status conference on the 20th of August, 2007, and particularly
5 page 1414, insofar as that would seem to indicate that his privileged
6 communications were being recorded by his associates for whatever
8 And at this point, I have nothing further, Your Honours, and
9 Ms. Dahl will be leading the next witness.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, we shall call the
11 witness in.
12 The Trial Chamber will scrutinize the Registry's memo. The
13 feeling I have is that the communications had been regulated, but not
14 monitored. We shall address this matter again, and this is something we
15 can address tomorrow.
16 We shall now drop the blinds.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] One sentence?
18 I just want to inform you that I have cut off all communications
19 and contacts with my legal advisers. If I am to call them over that
20 telephone that's being listened in to, it can only be private
21 conversations, political and so on. But with regard to the case itself,
22 I have seized all communication. There will be no such communication.
23 Now, you are going to assess the extent to which this is going to
24 affect the fairness of the trial. It never crossed my mind, and I have
25 no reason to complain to the President of the Tribunal. The minimum I
1 had recourse to, as an accused person, has been abolished altogether.
2 Now the only right that I still have is to walk into the courtroom.
3 Perhaps even that's going to be taken away from me. We'll see.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, the Trial Chamber
5 will look at the Registrar's memo again. As far as I understood things,
6 your communications were being regulated, but not prohibited. We shall
7 look into the matter again.
8 Ms. Dahl.
9 MS. DAHL: Yes, Your Honour. I'd like to have clarified and
10 resolved the question of privileged communication by facsimile with the
11 associates before we begin with this witness. I can discuss that further
12 in private session, but I think that all witness-related security
13 concerns need to be addressed before we allow further privileged
14 communication with respect to cross-examination of this witness.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
16 Mr. Seselj has just told us that there's no communication
17 whatsoever between him and his associates, so there's nothing happening
18 for the time being. This is what he's just told us. So we will not
19 address this again. He has just told us that there is no communication.
20 MS. DAHL: Respectfully, Your Honour, what he said is that he
21 will not discuss case-related matters on the monitored telephone call.
22 He did not say that he would not be using the facsimile machine that
23 delivers information from his associates into this courtroom, and my
24 understanding of what the Registrar is doing is different from what the
25 Chamber explained before.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, are you still using
2 your fax? Is it still working between you and your associates?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
4 continues] ... because the telefax is also under control. This is what
5 this decision implies. And I have already been told, when I came into
6 court today, that every fax I receive will first be sent to the Registry,
7 a photocopy will be made there, and only then would the fax be submitted
8 to me.
9 I think that Ms. Dahl is using time up for useless matters, and I
10 could have raised my two issues had she not spent all this time.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I wasn't aware of any of this.
12 I'm extremely surprised about this fact, that the Registrar is
13 photocopying everything you receive. This comes out of the blue, as far
14 as I'm concerned. We shall check this.
15 We have a witness who's about to walk into the courtroom, who has
16 been granted protective measures. Let's drop the blinds, please,
17 Registrar, and let's move into private session.
18 [Private session]
11 Pages 10108-10127 redacted. Private session.
17 [Open session]
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're now in open session.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Witness, I have a
20 very simple question for you, but I'm looking at the clock, and I said we
21 would have a break. After the break, I'll put my question to you.
22 We shall have a 20-minute break.
23 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 4.18 p.m.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Court is back in session.
1 Ms. Dahl, you have the floor. We are in open session.
2 MS. DAHL: The Presiding Judge had indicated before the break
3 that you wished to pose some questions to the witness. Would you prefer
4 that I proceed?
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, I had a question for you,
7 You told us that you joined the volunteers of the Serbian Radical
8 Party. That's all very well, but what I would like to know is this: All
9 the other volunteers, your comrades, those people that were with you,
10 what was their motive? You explained to us what your motive was. Why
11 were these other people there? Was it because they wanted to defend
13 were monarchists? Why were they there?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Part of the volunteers came from
15 that area, that is to say, from Zvornik or the surrounding area. Others
16 were from Serbia
17 for instance, he liked war. Some people had come either because they
18 liked waging war, because this had become a habit, but then also for the
19 economic benefit, as it were. Some people came on account of patriotism,
20 in addition to that.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What I'm interested in is this:
22 Those that were patriots, out of 100, how many were patriots; 50 or so?
23 How many came because they were patriots?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, if I have to speak in
25 percentage terms, about 20 per cent came for purely patriotic reasons.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So 20 per cent came because
2 they were patriots. Other people came for other reasons. Some because
3 they were interested in war profiteering or 20 per cent as you said were
4 patriots. So I'm sure you were able to talk to these people. What were
5 the reasons for their patriotism?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, they talked about the Serbs
7 being under threat as a nation. They said that the Serbs were about to
8 be exterminated by the Muslims and the Croats. Also, they were saying
9 that Serbia
11 into Serbia
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I understand. What motivated
13 these patriots, did they ever mention the names of high-profile
14 characters, like Slobodan Milosevic? Did they identify with political
15 figures in any way, or was it a personal form of patriotism which didn't
16 have much to do with political figures?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Actually, these are the words
18 of the top people at the time, the people who were in power then.
19 Actually, this is just repetition of their words.
20 At that time, there was this sentence that was repeated time and
21 again that turned into a slogan, "All Serbs in a single state"; that is
22 to say, all Serb territories had to be in a single state.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What politician actually said
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Milosevic, Mr. Seselj and the
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And you said "as well as the
3 others." Which others?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, other politicians who were in
5 power in Serbia
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My last question, because I'm
7 going directly to the point now: Those people that talked about
8 Mr. Seselj, were they great in number or did this pertain to a minority
9 of patriots?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, there were quite a few of
11 them. He has many supporters and many sympathisers. His word carried a
12 great deal of weight then among the people of Serbia because he portrayed
13 himself as one of the great defenders of the Serb name.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you for all
15 your answers.
16 Ms. Dahl, I'll give the floor back to you so that you can
18 MS. DAHL: Let me follow up on a question by the Presiding Judge.
19 Q. What was considered a Serb territory that should be in a Serb
21 A. Well, Serb territories in Croatia, the so-called Serb Krajina,
22 and Serb territories in Bosnia-Herzegovina that were called Republika
10 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, I think we need to be in closed session,
11 and may I ask that the last passage be redacted.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We shall redact
13 line 7, page 25. Page 25 might identify the witness. And then we'll
14 move into private session.
15 [Private session]
11 Pages 10133-10168 redacted. Private session.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.20 p.m.
24 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 2nd day of
25 October, 2008, at 8.30 a.m.