1 Wednesday, 8 October 2008
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, can you call the
6 case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you and good morning, Your Honours.
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 Wednesday, the 8th of October, 2008. I would like
12 to greet all the people present in the courtroom; Mr. Ferrara, who is
13 leading the witness, Mr. Mundis, as well as all the people assisting them
14 in the courtroom. I shall also like to greet Mr. Seselj, and in a few
15 moments I shall greet the witness when he walks into the courtroom.
16 I seize this opportunity to ask the Registrar to give me the
17 countdown and tell me how much time Mr. Ferrara has had so far.
18 Very briefly, a housekeeping matter: I would like to tell
19 Mr. Mundis that the Trial Chamber intends to resume its hearings as of
20 Tuesday, the 6th of January, onwards. The winter recess lasts after
21 that. In other words, we would resume our hearings during the winter
22 recess period.
23 As you know, the Judges have decided to use the courtrooms
24 whenever they are available, and this might occur during the winter
25 recess, which will be the case for this trial. We can therefore resume
1 on the 6th of January quite smoothly, which means that we would stop
2 calling witnesses as of the 15th of December.
3 This is what I wanted to tell you so that you can adjust your
4 witnesses schedule accordingly.
5 Mr. Seselj.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would just like to draw your
7 attention to the fact that the 7th of January is Serbian Orthodox
8 Christmas, and I demand that we do not work on that day because we,
9 honourable and honest Serbs, celebrate Christmas in prison on that day,
10 the 7th of January.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No problem. We can then sit on
12 the following Friday. That is not a problem. We cannot have a hearing
13 on the 7th of January. We would resume on the 6th of January, have no
14 hearing on the 7th, and have a hearing on the 8th and 9th of January.
15 That is not a problem.
16 Let's bring the witness in now and ask him whether he has done
17 his homework. Mr. Ferrara, you will then have to ask him whether he has
18 completed the chart and how many names he has identified, because I
19 assume you are going to ask to have the document tendered into evidence.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As far as the countdown is
22 concerned, the Registrar has just told us that you've had one hour and
23 fifty-six minutes, so you have one hour and four minutes left.
24 [The witness entered court]
25 WITNESS: ALEKSA EJIC [Resumed]
1 [The witness answered through interpreter]
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning. You may sit
4 THE WITNESS: Good morning. Thank you, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I shall give the floor to
6 Mr. Ferrara now.
7 MR. FERRARA: Thank you, Your Honours.
8 Your Honours, before going to the list we gave to the witness, I
9 feel yesterday we forgot to request to tender into evidence the
10 article -- the press report we discussed at the end of the hearing.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, you're quite right.
12 Registrar, can we have an exhibit number for the press article.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter --
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment. Yes.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The Prosecutor has to explain what
17 makes this newspaper article relevant. It's not an interview with the
18 witness. If it were an interview with the witness, I wouldn't mind at
19 all. However, this is an OPED [phoen] article and we haven't heard the
20 journalist who wrote the article, so how can we admit it into evidence?
21 If we can take for granted everything that is published in the
22 newspapers, then there will be no end to that.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, according to the
24 case law of the Appeals Chambers and the Trial Chambers, we can admit
25 documents, even if the author of the document in question is not present.
1 All that is needed are elements in this document that can be linked to
2 the indictment, in terms of relevance and probative value. There needs
3 to be a degree of some probative value.
4 You would like to respond, Mr. Ferrara?
5 MR. FERRARA: Your Honour, I agree with you, and I want to
6 highlight something else.
7 During the testimony of Witness VS-61 concerning the same part of
8 the indictment, the Hrtkovci case, the Trial Chamber showed its interest
9 in what was reported at the time in the local and the international
10 press. I remember that the Presiding Judge pointed out the importance of
11 this press article. I have here exactly the quote of the hearing of the
12 25th of September, 2008. For the reference of Mr. Seselj, the transcript
13 is 100 to 113, 100 to 24 [sic], and for this reason the Prosecution has
14 created a press package that is included in the court binder sent to the
15 Trial Chamber and to the accused, containing numerous press articles
16 related to the events occurred in Hrtkovci in May 1992. All these
17 articles were published from May to August 1992, except one that is an
18 interview with the accused on the same matter. It was published on 19
19 July 1993. They are all related to the intimidation and expulsions of
20 the Croatian population and non-Serbian population in Hrtkovci, and my
21 request is to tender all these documents into evidence. I can give the
22 65 ter number of these articles. For the record, the first one is 1350,
23 1524, 1544, that is the one we discussed yesterday, 1878, 1309, 1310, and
24 the last two are two documents, number 7270 and 7272. That's not -- are
25 not still added to the Prosecution exhibit list. My request is to add
1 these new documents to the Prosecution exhibit list, due to the relevance
2 and probative value, and to tender into evidence the entire package.
3 THE COURT: I shall confer with my colleagues.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Ferrara, the document we
6 saw yesterday, which is document 1544, well, the Trial Chamber decides to
7 admit this document, and we shall ask the Registrar to give it an exhibit
8 number, because we feel that it is relevant to some degree and there is a
9 link, as one says in English, and this may have some probative value.
10 However, the other documents, 1350, 1524, 1878, well, I think we need to
11 address these documents in the presence of the witness.
12 Now, we shall give an exhibit number to this one document for the
13 time being. Registrar, please.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, 65 ter 1544 will be Exhibit
15 number P550.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Ferrara.
17 MR. FERRARA: We'll discuss these documents later with the
18 witness, Your Honours.
19 Just for the record, I want to repeat the transcript reference
20 that I don't see in the transcript. It is the hearing 25th September
21 2008. The transcript page is 10021, line 13; 10022, line 4.
22 Examination by Mr. Ferrara: [Continued]
23 Q. Mr. Ejic, did you read the list that you received yesterday from
24 the Trial Chamber?
25 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor, I have read it several times, and I'm facing
1 a bit of a dilemma.
2 Your Honours, by your leave, I wish to address a request -- or,
3 rather, I have a remark to make.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Please go ahead.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 I would like to ask the OTP, for the sake of expeditiousness,
7 when they send documents to me and when they put questions to me in
8 relation to something like this, I think that we lose time in this way.
9 It's a bit too voluminous. There's a lot of information contained here,
10 over 700 numbers, and the list is annex 11, "Hrtkovci, known victims."
11 Now, what does "known victims" mean? Are these victims of physical
12 abuse, mistreatment, or victims of psychological abuse and violence?
13 Also, could a question be put to me more specifically in relation
14 to a particular name and surname and a particular address, who was
15 exactly meant? This way, I'm facing a dilemma. I've read a lot of names
16 that are the same, the same last names, entire families. I can tell by
17 the last names that some of them are in Hrtkovci to this day.
18 As for destination, a lot are missing, and I know that many of
19 these people are still in Hrtkovci, they still live there. So is this a
20 list of victims of psychological violence or physical torture only, such
21 as ejection and so on?
22 I also added a few names that I'm aware of persons who are not on
23 this list. Finally, my own name is on the list, and I will explain in
24 relation to that addition, what persons this has to do with and what it
25 is that happened to them.
1 Thank you.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Ferrara, we have a problem.
3 MR. FERRARA: Yes, Your Honour. I apologise, because maybe
4 yesterday my question was not very clear.
5 Q. When you say "known victims," the indictment concerning Hrtkovci
6 is an indictment for persecution, so the known victims are victims --
7 people who were forced to leave Hrtkovci in 1992 because they were
8 expelled or because they were maltreated and so on. So when we say
9 "known victims," and the expert will recommend this list and they will
10 tender the report, of course we'll be more clear on this point. We
11 intend -- people that were forced leave Hrtkovci, so this is the main
12 question, if you know that some of the people on this list were forced to
13 leave Hrtkovci in 1992, and of course it's possible that they were
14 forced -- they were able to come back later on at a time?
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have a very serious objection. I
17 mean, all of my objections are serious, but this one is particularly
19 Mr. Ferrara, counsel for the Prosecution, referred to the content
20 of the indictment and the crime of persecution that I have been charged
21 with. I believe that it is indispensable for it to be explained to the
22 witness what the crime of persecution is in accordance with Article 5 of
23 the Statute of the ICTY. This witness is not a lawyer. He's certainly
24 os not aware of that. The crime of persecution is very specifically
25 spelled out and defined, and it has to do with specific actions that
1 constitute persecution or actions of a similar nature which are identical
2 in terms of intensity to those mentioned, because here the witness is
3 brought into a situation to explain himself and interpret what he means
4 by "persecution."
5 For example, yesterday, if Rade Cakmak said something to a man at
6 the meeting of the Council of the Local Commune, this person took this to
7 be an insult, a threat, and then he left Hrtkovci. That is not
8 persecution. There is a crime that is persecution, and if you ask the
9 witness about that, then you have to explain to him what is meant by
10 "persecution" in accordance with the Statute of the ICTY.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Ferrara, can you explain to
12 the witness, in simple words, what the accused has just talked about? He
13 said in his list that some people were still there, so there might be
14 mistakes in the list. He doesn't quite understand the difference between
15 those people who left of their own free will, those people who were
16 forced to leave, and those who were encouraged to leave because they were
17 afraid, and that would come under the heading of "Persecution." That is
18 difficult for a lawyer and even more difficult for someone who is a
19 farmer. So could you explain this to him in a simple fashion, what it is
20 exactly you expect from him?
21 MR. FERRARA: Yes, Your Honours. As I say, I think the best is
22 to be clear is to read exactly to the witness what the accused has to
23 face on this part of the case, so it was the indictment related to
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Paragraph 33, that's it. I assume
1 that the OTP should pay me for helping them.
2 MR. FERRARA: We'll see what can we do.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, don't try and be
5 MR. FERRARA:
6 Q. Mr. Ejic, the accused, in paragraph 33 of the indictment, "in May
7 1992, Vojislav Seselj came to Vojvodina and met with associates in the
9 them with death if they did not leave the area."
10 "On 6 May 1992
11 Hrtkovci, calling for the expulsions of Croats from the area, reading a
12 list of individual Croat residents who should leave for Croatia.
13 "As a result of this speech, a number of Croat residents decided
14 to leave Hrtkovci. After the speech, supporters and associates of the
15 accused, including members of the SRS
16 began a campaign of ethnic cleansing directed to non-Serbs, particularly
17 Croats in Hrtkovci.
18 "During the next three months, many non-Serbs were harassed,
19 threatened with death, and intimidated, forcing them to leave the area.
20 Houses of Croats were looted and occupied by Serbs. Serb families were
21 being displaced from other parts of the former Yugoslavia, often occupied
22 the homes of those Serbs who had been compelled to leave. By his
23 participation in these acts, Vojislav Seselj committed deportation, a
24 crime against humanity, inhuman acts, that is, forcible transfers, a
25 crime against humanity as well."
1 Now, is it clear to you what kind of a crime Mr. Seselj is
2 accused of concerning your village? And so I repeat my question: In
3 this list that you have read, do you know some people who were forcibly
4 expelled from Hrtkovci or who were -- who decide to leave Hrtkovci due to
5 the threats that they received in that period of time?
6 A. Your Honour, the honourable Prosecution, now the question is
7 clear to me. I can only circle a few numbers or, rather, a few names
8 here and a few names that I've added myself. The names that I added are:
9 "Bagi, Josip; Tkalac, Jelica; Tkalac, Franja; Pakic, Vlado; Pakic
10 Rosalija." I put circles around the following: Vuksanic, Branko and
11 Vuksanic, Nikola; the village doctor and his father. Another person,
12 Fumic, Marko.
13 The other persons from this list, I can just say that I know
14 their last names and, I can say that it is true that most of the persons
15 on this list carried out an exchange and went to Croatia or even beyond,
16 further abroad.
17 That is my response to your question.
18 Q. Can you tell us these other names of these persons that carried
19 out an exchange?
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, those people that
21 exchanged property, I don't know whether you know this or not, which ones
22 were the ones that voluntarily exchanged their property without being
23 influenced by anything, and those that decided to carry out an exchange
24 because they had to? Are you able to make the difference?
25 I'm telling you this because in 1991, 1992, in the beginning,
1 some people may have felt that in light of the situation, in light of
2 what might happen, it might be better to leave without anybody asking
3 them to leave in any way. These people left of their own free will.
4 Were there any of these or not? Only you can tell. Are you able to make
5 this difference or not?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yes, and I do have
7 information that there are persons who carried out voluntary exchanges at
8 the very beginning. Later on, everything that happened was either under
9 duress, or out of fear, or the motive was the following: "My friends
10 left, my family left, so I'm going to leave too." I'm aware of two
11 examples from the very beginning of persons who did this voluntarily.
12 That's the Jogar [phoen] family. I think they carried out an exchange
13 for a property in Zagreb
14 waterworks maintenance in the local commune. He confirmed that as well.
15 Also, I know from earlier on, from the daughter of the -- rather,
16 the daughters of Mr. Jogar lived in Zagreb earlier on, so that led him to
17 sell his house, and he had this opportunity to carry out an exchange.
18 And then there's the family Olidenko [phoen]. That man's daughter also
19 lived in Zagreb
20 aware of who carried out an exchange voluntarily. I believe that
21 everything else was done either out of fear or under different types of
23 I have no specific evidence, hard evidence, except for a few
24 cases where I was personally present; namely, Fumic, Marko, then Tkalac,
25 Zenica, Franja. Specifically, as far as Marko Fumic is concerned, he had
1 been attacked and threatened by death. The police recorded this and
2 certain action was taken. Tkalac, Zenica, and Tkalac, Franja, they also
3 carried out an exchange, but earlier on their house had been attacked. A
4 grenade had been thrown at their front door, facing the street.
5 A few persons who had been tortured physically remained,
6 nevertheless. I know the family -- well, they're related to me, too. It
7 is Jozika, my wife's brother, Bagi, and this family that I also added to
8 the list. They were thrown out and attacked physically: Pakic, Vlado;
9 Pakic, Rosalija. To this day, they lived in Hrtkovci, but for a few days
10 they were out of their house. There is a police record of that, too.
11 The police stopped the culprits from stealing things from them, and then
12 they were returned to their home.
13 That is what I can confirm in relation to this list.
14 Q. Concerning this Marko Fumic --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
16 MR. FERRARA: Your Honour, I'd like to move in closed session
17 because I want to use a document coming from the Serbian Archives.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's move into private
20 [Private session]
11 Pages 10410-10411 redacted. Private session.
3 [Open session]
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're in open session.
5 MR. FERRARA:
6 Q. You can continue, Mr. Ejic.
7 A. As for the Marko Fumic case, I know the following:
8 On that day, I went to visit his brother, Milan. I had business
9 dealings with him. It was towards the evening, and in front of the house
10 of Marko Fumic I noticed that there were two or three police cars parked
11 and a policeman or two in front of his house. When I went to his
12 brother, Milan
13 to the police station in Ruma to give a statement, and since he needed to
14 go with his own car, and the police was going to drive him in the police
15 car, he needed somebody to drive his own car in order to be able to come
16 back home. His brother couldn't do it because he was busy, he had some
17 other previous engagement, so I offered to do it, which means -- or,
18 rather, Marko told me that he was told to bring the car documents and to
19 have somebody drive his car.
20 At the police station, I waited in the corridor, and I heard from
21 Marko and I also saw an unfamiliar person wearing a camouflage uniform
22 when they went to the bathroom. That's when I saw them. They put some
23 questions to me at the police station. They wanted to know to what
24 extent the village was informed about this event. I answered that I
25 supposed that the village knew about this, because later on I heard that
1 neighbours reported to the police that some unfamiliar people came to
2 visit Marko. It was reported by Dobrosav Markovic and his wife, Violeta.
3 They saw that, they reported it to the police, and then the news spread
4 throughout the village.
5 What seemed striking to me in this note, which I consider not to
6 be correct, was that a sniper rifle was found in Marko's house. It is
7 true that a rifle was found, but it was an air gun. Later on, when Marko
8 left, I bought that rifle off him, and that caused me to have problems as
9 well. This is how I know what kind of rifle he had.
10 Q. Maybe there's a misunderstanding, because in the English version
11 the sniper rifle is in the possession of Ostoja Sibincic, because I don't
12 know what you read exactly -- did you read exactly? I read in my version
13 it's Ostoja Sibincic from Hrtkovci was in collusion with them and gave
14 them information on Croatian extremists in Hrtkovci. "He was found in
15 possession." I think "he" is Ostoja Sibincic who was found in possession
16 of a sniper rifle, not Marko Fumic.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's how it says in the Serbian
18 version as well.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise. I then
20 misinterpreted. I thought that it was found in Marko Fumic's house. I
21 hereby correct myself.
22 What I know from Marko Fumic himself, who shortly after these
23 events moved to Croatia
24 issued a death threat to him on that occasion. They threatened to
25 eliminate him. And even as he was on his way to the bathroom, in the
1 corridor, one of these men threatened him, telling him that he had to
2 move out from Hrtkovci or else he would be eliminated. And then it was
3 done on another occasion as well, since the first one wasn't successful.
4 After this interview, we went to visit a friend who is a lawyer
5 in Ruma and who used to work at the Secretariat earlier, so we explained
6 the case to him and asked for his advice, and he told us that it would be
7 best for him to carry out an exchange because he couldn't guarantee his
8 safety or help him in any way concerning this problem.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] While you were answering
10 questions by the Prosecution, I was having a look at the document. I was
11 therefore looking at the document, and I saw the following: There is a
12 whole series of events taking place, and they will trigger the departure
13 of Croats, Croat residents. This document shows that there are
14 individuals carrying out certain actions, and a whole lot of events are
15 being described here. It seems that the local authorities are doing
16 their best, and when the authorities realise that some people are
17 forcibly expelled, investigations are carried out and the judicial
18 authorities take action. This is not chaos, nor anarchy, because
19 judicial authorities take action and decisions are made by judges.
20 The person who wrote this document simply explains that
21 perpetrators were released by the judges due to the issue of refugees,
22 very numerous refugees, and that there may be some reaction from the
23 refugees, so they are released.
24 This report also indicates that members of the Radical Serb
25 Party, for instance, on the 1st June 1992, will play a specific role.
1 Still in that document, members of the Voluntary Serb Guard are
2 referred to, and, for example, on the 11th of May, 1992, they kidnapped
3 several refugees. The report concludes by saying that the behaviour of
4 the members of the Voluntary Serb Guard is problematic.
5 To your knowledge, Witness, who are these people? Who are the
6 members of those -- this voluntary Serb guard, who are they, because it
7 seems that they are playing an important role here, so who are they,
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm not aware of
10 that, and I think that this information has been made up, that there were
11 no such situations in Hrtkovci. At least I'm not aware of them.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Were you saying that it was
13 fabricated, because it's written in that document?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not aware of that, Your
15 Honours. And I correct myself, the part where I said that it was made
16 up, fabricated. If it says so in the document, I'm simply not aware of
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Still in the document, of
19 course, my fellow Judges and myself will review that document more
20 in-depth, but it says that in your area, TO members came, TO members from
21 Krajina. The document indicates that they, too, occupied Croat
22 apartments and so on, and it seems that they also carry out specific
23 actions. This document says that there are paramilitary forces.
24 Again, to your knowledge, did these individuals actually come?
25 This is in the third paragraph before the end of the document.
1 We're in open session. Maybe we should move to private session.
2 Let's move back into private session.
3 Mr. Registrar, let's move back into private session.
4 [Private session]
11 Page 10417 redacted. Private session.
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're now in open session.
24 MR. FERRARA: Your Honours, I'd like to tender into evidence also
25 the list marked by the witness.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have not received the list marked
2 by the witness.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We would like you to show the
4 list to Mr. Seselj. He needs to have a look at it.
5 Madam Usher, could you please show the list to Mr. Seselj so that
6 he can have a look at the markings.
7 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Registrar tells me that you
9 will receive a copy just after the break, but you will be shown the
10 document right away.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Once I see this document, I will
12 give you my position. I can't go over it in a very short period of time.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Okay, fine. We'll discuss this
14 again after the break, and during the break a copy will be made
16 Mr. Ferrara, please proceed.
17 MR. FERRARA: Thank you, Your Honours.
18 Q. Mr. Ejic, you mentioned Rade Cakmak. Who is Rade Cakmak? No,
19 you said yesterday "Rade Cakmak." My question is another one.
20 Do you know if Rade Cakmak and/or Ostoja Sibincic were arrested?
21 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I am acquainted with Rade Cakmak, and I know that
22 Ostoja Sibincic, Rade Cakmak and some other people, such as
23 Mirko Paunovic, and I also think the son of Rade Cakmak, that all of them
24 were arrested during the reign of Prime Minister Milan Panic, who ordered
25 them to be arrested due to acts that they committed.
1 Q. For -- do you know the charge?
2 A. What I know was violence towards other persons, instigation of
3 violence, and unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.
4 MR. FERRARA: Mr. Registrar, please, can we have on the screen
5 the document bearing the 65 ter number 1615.
6 Q. Can you read this document? Not loudly; on your own.
7 Are these the weapons that were found in the possession of
8 Ostoja Sibincic? Do you know it? It is a receipt of a search.
9 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor.
10 MR. FERRARA: Your Honours, I'd like to tender this document into
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Can we have a
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number P552.
15 MR. FERRARA: Mr. Registrar, please, can we have another document
16 on the screen. It is 65 ter number 1610.
17 Q. Please, can you read this document on your own? Do you know if
18 these were the weapons that were found in the possession of Rade Cakmak?
19 A. I can confirm that I have only heard that weapons were found on
20 him, but I can't confirm the details contained here, whether they're
22 MR. FERRARA: Your Honours, I'd like to tender this document into
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can we have a number, please.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number P553.
1 MR. FERRARA:
2 Q. Do you know if they were convicted of the crimes charged,
3 Rade Cakmak and Ostoja Sibincic?
4 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I know that they were convicted. They spent a
5 long time in detention, too, and that time was taken into account when
6 sentencing them. I heard that Sibincic was sentenced and then that the
7 sentence was suspended. It was a two-year sentence, and that's how long
8 he spent in detention. There were two separate trials. One was
9 concerning violence and instigation to violence, and the other trial was
10 for weapons possession. I don't know about the other case, whether he
11 was sentenced and whether he served the sentence, the other case being
12 the one for firearms possession. That's all I know about these two
14 MR. FERRARA: Mr. Registrar, please, can we have on the screen
15 the document bearing 65 ter number 1837.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] For the purposes of the
17 transcript, I'd like to record that this judgement issued by a tribunal
18 describes the conviction and sentences of imprisonment for Sibincic as
19 well as Cakmak. However, such sentences are suspended.
20 In the reasons why these people are being convicted, it is
21 referred to, the unlawful possession of weapons, but there is nothing
22 about political motives. So it seems that what is being described here
23 is individual behaviours, individual conducts. Nothing is said about the
24 wider political context at the time. Nothing to that effect is
25 indicated. However, forcible exchanges of apartments are referred to,
1 but we don't know who's behind all this. At least the judgement remains
2 silent on that issue.
3 So please put your question to the witness.
4 MR. FERRARA:
5 Q. Is this the conviction which you referred to before?
6 A. Yes --
7 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the rest of the
8 sentence because there is paper shuffling.
9 MR. FERRARA:
10 Q. Can you repeat your answer?
11 A. Yes, yes, that is the judgement that I'm aware of.
12 MR. FERRARA: Your Honours, I would like to tender these
13 documents into evidence.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's give this judicial
15 document an exhibit number, please.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number P554.
17 MR. FERRARA:
18 Q. You say that the arrest of Ostoja Sibincic and Rade Cakmak was
19 ordered by the Minister of Interior, led by Mr. Panic, I think. Do you
20 have a meeting -- did you personally have a meeting to the Minister of
21 Interior to discuss what was happening in Hrtkovci in 1992?
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection.
23 Mr. Ferrara is misinterpreting the witness's statement. The
24 witness stated, and I wrote that down, that the then federal
25 prime minister, Milan Panic, issued an order for their arrest or, rather,
1 ordered their arrest. He did not mention any Minister of the Interior or
2 Minister of Foreign Affairs.
3 MR. FERRARA: You're right, it was a misunderstanding.
4 Q. When you refer to this order of arrest issued by the
5 prime minister, how do you know that the prime minister was interested in
6 the arrest of this Ostoja Sibincic and Rade Cakmak?
7 A. Well, I know he was interested on the basis of what I knew from
8 the public domain, from the media. Also, from the information obtained
9 from a delegation that then visited the Minister for Human Rights, and
10 afterwards the federal SUP
11 going on in Hrtkovci. I imagine that it was on the basis of that
12 information, too, that he ordered the arrest of those persons, Sibincic
13 and Cakmak.
14 Q. How did you inform the federal SUP?
15 A. Pero Bjegovic, one of our residents who was a policeman at the
16 federal SUP
17 schedule this kind of meeting. I cannot remember exactly who it was that
18 had received us; but I know that we then presented the facts concerning
19 the behaviour of Sibincic and people around him, the violence that was
20 involved, mentioned Rade Cakmak and many other things that were happening
21 at the time in Hrtkovci.
22 A note was compiled concerning all our remarks, and I assume that
23 what followed soon afterwards way this intervention by Mr. Panic to have
24 these two arrested.
25 Q. When you say "he made it possible for us to schedule this kind of
1 meeting," who participated in this meeting? You, of course, and after?
2 A. Samo, Nedeljka; Karlac, Vranja; Karlac, Marija; Momic, Slobodan
3 [Realtime transcript read in error, "Milosevic" and somebody else. I
4 can't remember all the names now. Five or six of us attended this
5 meeting. Previously, this group had been to see the minister. I think
6 his last name was Grubac. Then we went to the federal SUP.
7 MR. FERRARA: Your Honour, I think there's an error --
8 THE COURT: Mr. Ferrara, one moment. To enable you to get
9 yourself organised, I'd just like to tell you that you have 30 minutes
11 MR. FERRARA: Thank you, Your Honours.
12 Your Honours, in the transcript, I think one of the participants
13 of the meeting was not Slobodan Milosevic. Maybe in the transcript there
14 is some mistake.
15 Q. So you say Karlac, and Slobodan, and --
16 A. Slobodan Momic, yes.
17 Q. Who was the minister at the time? Sorry, the minister --
18 A. I'm not 100 per cent sure, but Minister Grubac was the Minister
19 for Human Rights or something like that.
20 Q. And the Minister of Interior?
21 A. I don't know about that.
22 Q. Do you know what happened to Ivan Stefanac?
23 A. Yes, I do know. People talked about it, and I know about it from
24 the media too. What happened to him was murder on the road between
25 Hrtkovci and Nikinci. Official proceedings were instituted in relation
1 to this case. He was run over by a passenger vehicle several times, and
2 it was deemed manslaughter. Mijat Stevanac was a resident of Hrtkovci.
3 Before the murder, he lived in Hrtkovci.
4 Q. Is it Ivan or Mijat, the first name?
5 A. Stefanac. I know him by his nickname, "Mijat." Now, whether
6 "Ivan" is his real name, I cannot confirm.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges, we have already had
8 documents here concerning the trial of his murderers, and on the basis of
9 that we know that his real name is Mijat. The Prosecutor should
10 familiarise himself with all the documents that have been introduced
11 until now, and it is only then that he can continue his examination.
12 MR. FERRARA: Your Honours, the Prosecutor is perfectly familiar.
13 The statement is indicated "Ivan," in the documents it is indicated
14 "Mijat," so it's important for the witness to clarify. Don't worry,
15 Mr. Seselj, about that, the [indiscernible] of the Prosecutor with the
17 Q. Can I show you some press articles?
18 Please, Mr. Registrar, please can we have on the screen the
19 65 ter number 1350.
20 Do you remember this open letter that was written to the
21 residents of Hrtkovci, indicated in this article?
22 A. Yes, I do remember. I know that this is my former neighbour or,
23 rather, neighbours, Musa and Branka Jasarevic. I cannot recall all the
24 articles, it's been a long time, hasn't it; but I know what this is
25 written about and I know the persons in the photograph who are described
1 in the article.
2 Q. Who is this person in the photograph?
3 A. The person that can be seen in the photograph, the first one
4 standing there with a pitch fork, is Musa Jasarevic, and in the back is
5 his wife, Branka. I think the picture was taken at the door of their
6 room or some other part of the house.
7 Q. Do you know if they were threatened, or were they forced to
9 A. I know about what happened to me, too. I know that on one
10 occasion, two ladies came to see me. They had a small piece of paper in
11 their hands. They said that they got this from Ostoja Sibincic, that the
12 number of this house said that this was a house that was supposed to be
13 exchanged. I laughed and I said, "Where is your house that you want to
14 exchange?" And then mentioned Slatina or something like that, and I
15 said, "Thank you, but that will not do. If you have something in Serbia
16 then perhaps we can carry out an exchange." They were a bit surprised
17 and they said, "Oh, you're not a Croat?" And I said, "No," and then they
18 apologised and they went further on.
19 As for my neighbour Jasarevic, I heard that there were similar
20 visits that were paid to him. Since they are related to Marko Fumic, I
21 assume that the main motive, in addition to the one that was present in
22 my case, was the fear based on what had happened to Marko. So that is
23 why they opted for an exchange.
24 That is my opinion and knowledge in relation to the Jasarevic
1 MR. FERRARA: Your Honours, I'd like to tender this document into
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number P555.
5 MR. FERRARA: Please, can we have on the screen the document with
6 the 65 ter number 1524.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before you proceed,
8 Mr. Ferrara, can I ask you whether you intend discussing document 7271?
9 MR. FERRARA: Yes, Your Honour, I'd like to discuss that.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Be careful, because
11 the clock is ticking.
12 MR. FERRARA: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't have that document. I have
14 7270 and then 7272.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This is a report stemming
16 from --
17 MR. FERRARA: I read this, 7272. I will not talk about document
18 7271, only 7272.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You don't wish to discuss it?
20 That's a problem, because as far as the procedure is concerned, I cannot
21 talk about a document which you do not discuss.
22 MR. FERRARA: Your Honours, the document is exactly the part of
23 the beginning of the verdict that I tender it. That's the reason why I
24 don't want to discuss it. In any case, Mr. Seselj is aware of this
25 document because we disclosed it to him on the 1st of October, 2008
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Seselj will
2 discuss it; I don't know.
3 Please proceed.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't know what this is all
5 about, Mr. President. I just have here the documents that the Prosecutor
6 had kindly prepared for me for this witness. I cannot keep dragging
7 6.000 documents around all the time, nor can I remember the numbers of
8 all 6.000 documents involved. I have no idea what this is all about.
9 I have a binder here, and in order to carry less, I took out of
10 the binder the documents that the Prosecutor prepared for this witness.
11 MR. FERRARA: You should have the documents --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, normally speaking,
13 you should have this document, since it is in the binder that has been
14 provided to the Bench.
15 This is an indictment issued by the Ruma prosecutor on the 15th
16 of September, 1992, against Sibincic and Cakmak. That is the document in
18 Please proceed.
19 MR. FERRARA:
20 Q. Mr. Ejic, can you read this article on your own? Are you
21 familiar with the article? Have you read it before, at the time?
22 A. I am not familiar with it.
23 Q. Let's move, in this case, to the document with the 65 ter
24 number 1309. Mr. Ejic, are you familiar with this document?
25 A. A lot was written in the newspapers. It's been a long time since
1 then. I can't remember everything. I don't remember this.
2 Q. Which one are you reading; the one below, this one? It has the
3 title "Half of the village ..." in the English. Can you read the end of
4 the article, where you're expressly mentioned? It should be the last
5 paragraph. It's the last column.
6 A. Yes, I have read it. Yes, I've read it, I've seen my name. I
7 know this document from the press. I remember this, now that I have read
8 it. Now that I have read parts of it, that is.
9 Q. Did you give an interview at the time with this statement?
10 A. Yes, I did give an interview. Like many of the persons mentioned
11 here, Dragutin Todorovic and others.
12 MR. FERRARA: Your Honours, I'd like to tender this document into
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's give it an exhibit
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, Exhibit number P556.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One point of clarification,
19 Are you of Hungarian descent or -- is part of your family
20 Hungarian or are you Serb?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I am a Serb by birth.
22 My father is a Serb and my mother is a Catholic from Bosnia. My way of
23 thinking is not ethnic-based. I'm more of a cosmopolitan person. My
24 wife is an ethnic Hungarian.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Your wife was
1 Hungarian; is that right?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yes, my wife is an
3 ethnic Hungarian.
4 THE COURT: Very well.
5 MR. FERRARA: Please, can we have on the screen the 65 ter
6 number 7270.
7 Q. Can you read on your own the first paragraph? It should be --
8 your statement should be there.
9 A. I've read it.
10 Q. Are you familiar with this document? Have you given -- did you
11 give the time and interview to this journalist?
12 A. Yes, I am aware of this, and I remember having given this
14 MR. FERRARA: Your Honours, I'd like to tender the document into
15 evidence. This document --
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] A number, please.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number P557.
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Prosecutor, I appreciate your bringing these
19 things to us, but it would be helpful if you would at least draw our
20 attention to the parts of these interviews which are relevant to the
21 issues that we are discussing here.
22 MR. FERRARA: Your Honour, I think the entire article is related
23 to our case, because it's a long list of interviewed people from Hrtkovci
24 that were threatened or were maltreated, were forcible expelled, so of
25 course I'm asking to the witness only the part that he is personally
1 involved with, because he gave this interview, but the whole article
2 related to the events that occurred in Hrtkovci at that time.
3 JUDGE HARHOFF: And what exactly does the articles show; that the
4 witness confirms that people were expelled from Hrtkovci?
5 MR. FERRARA: Yes.
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: Is that the point?
7 MR. FERRARA: A corroboration of what the witness is saying today
8 in court.
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thanks.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have five minutes left
11 before the break.
12 MR. FERRARA: Please, can we show to the witness the last press
13 article. It is 7272, the 65 ter number.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges, this is not an original
15 article at all. This is a copy of the alleged article. Somebody simply
16 copied it, rewrote it.
17 I did not object to the first article, but since you agreed to
18 admit into evidence newspaper articles, I think that the actual articles
19 should be put forth, rather than something that the Prosecutor claims
20 that is the content of the article. We cannot see it on the basis of
21 this. It has to be a photocopy of the article from the newspaper, and
22 then there has to be a translation into Serbian.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Ferrara, what do you have
24 to say to this?
25 MR. FERRARA: Your Honours, we don't have the original of the
1 article, but it is a transcript, it is indicated the source and the
2 copyright, it is a Chicago Tribune Company and the newspaper is the
3 "Chicago Tribune," so I think it's enough to tender the document into
4 evidence. We have the transcript of the article in the English version,
5 and the translation in the B/C/S version.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I understand correctly, the
7 OTP received the entire article, and based on that, made excerpts that we
8 have. Is that right, is that how things happened? Don't you have the
9 original article? It must be somewhere with the OTP.
10 MR. FERRARA: I will look for it, but I didn't find it by now.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the excerpts, pages 11 and
12 12 are mentioned, so this must have been a 12- to 13-page document, I'm
13 sure. Could you see whether you can find it?
14 Please proceed. No, we're going to have the break now, because
15 it is now 10.30. Perhaps you can check and see whether you can find the
16 entire document.
17 In the meantime, I believe you have something like ten minutes
18 left, maximum. You have 15 minutes left.
19 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 10.58 a.m.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed.
22 Mr. Seselj received the document. Mr. Seselj, do you have any
23 observations on the document regarding the 700 people; 722, to be more
24 specific, plus the 6 that were added by the witness, so 728 in total,
25 those people who would have left from the area? And I believe the
1 Prosecutor has already asked the further document to be admitted into
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I fully agree, I fully agree
4 to have this document admitted into evidence, together with the notes
5 made by the witness, because the witness was one of the most influential
6 political figures in Hrtkovci in the relevant period of time, and if he
7 wasn't able to list more than eight names out of a total of over 700,
8 728, so he circled just eight names of persons who could be said that
9 they left Hrtkovci under threats and so on, then in that light this is,
10 in fact, a Defence exhibit, not the Prosecution exhibit.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could we have an exhibit
12 number, please, Mr. Registrar.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number P558.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 Mr. Ferrara, you've provided a copy of the new document; right?
16 MR. FERRARA: Yes, Your Honour -- no, no, no, Mr. Seselj provided
17 this document to use in the cross, I think.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I thought it came from you.
19 No, it's coming from Mr. Seselj. Fine.
20 Please proceed.
21 MR. FERRARA: Yes, Your Honours. Regarding these articles, my
22 case manager informed me that we will be able to find probably the
23 original in the afternoon, so we can start discussing it with the witness
24 today and --
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll see. There
1 will be a hearing tomorrow, so we can continue tomorrow.
2 Please proceed.
3 MR. FERRARA:
4 Q. Mr. Ejic, please, can you read this document, this article? Are
5 you familiar with it? Did you give an interview to the journalist of the
7 Maybe you can move to the second page, Mr. Registrar.
8 A. I have read it, and, yes, I am familiar with this article. I
9 remember giving this statement to -- to this media outlet.
10 MR. FERRARA: Your Honours, I would like to tender this document
11 into evidence.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We will mark this document for
14 identification, and we'll wait for the rest of the document.
15 Mr. Registrar.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be MFI P559.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I have a short
18 question for you.
19 When you met that American journalist working for this Chicago
20 newspaper, and when you describe all the events which took place for him,
21 when we see the document we can see that some of the things that are
22 described in the article you've also mentioned during your statement,
23 during the answers you've provided, and we also find the same description
24 in other documents. But why didn't the journalist, in his article, why
25 didn't he try and find out who was behind all this? Why didn't he ask
1 you the following: "You've just said that such-and-such events took
2 place. Who are these people?"
3 In the article, armed men are mentioned, but we don't know who
4 they are. During the interview, didn't you know who these people were?
5 When you're a journalist and you want to write an article, of
6 course you want to describe what happened, but then you also want to know
7 who was behind such acts, including politicians, as the case may be.
8 When I take a look at pages 11 and 12 of the article, I can't find this,
9 so my question is: Did the journalist do his job or didn't you know
10 exactly who were the men behind those events or those actions?
11 Sibincic, the famous Sibincic, is mentioned in the article, for
12 instance, and here we are in July 1993, but Sibincic is identified as
13 being a former soldier. We're not saying or we're not reading Sibincic
14 is a member of that particular movement of the Serbian Radical Party and
15 so on. This is not said in that article.
16 So what's your opinion about this?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as far as I could
18 understand your question, the journalist, who interviewed me as well, did
19 not formulate his questions in those terms, "Who are these armed people,
20 what are their names," and so on. I just told him, in general terms,
21 that I knew that the refugees who had come to our town had weapons that
22 hadn't been confiscated at the border. I think it should have been done.
23 I think that those words of mine were reproduced in the article, and also
24 the kinds of weapons that I had in mind when I said that they were armed.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Sorry.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me start again.
2 There are many details in the article, an extraordinary number of
3 details. For instance, Franja Tkalac has his 42-year-old,
4 [as interpreted], we also know who he was married to. There are many,
5 many details, and the more -- the most important thing, which is of
6 course the most important political issue about what's going on. What's
7 going on, well, then the journalist is not interested in that particular
8 issue. And apparently this is a 12-page article, we only have two of
9 them, but it seems that it's a very long article, and of course we need
10 to see what the rest of the article is. And then what you're saying is
11 the journalist didn't ask. I take note of your answer, but I'm quite
12 surprised by it.
13 Let me add that a few names are mentioned, Sibincic among others.
14 It is indicated that he was a former soldier, but of course some other
15 things could have been said about him, although there aren't.
16 That's all I wanted to say, but I wanted it to be recorded in the
17 transcript so that everybody was aware of it.
18 Since I have the floor, I don't want to interrupt Mr. Prosecutor,
19 but a moment ago I was talking about a document which the Prosecutor will
20 not submit. This is a report coming from the Prosecutor, but which has a
21 link with the judgement issued which was admitted. We spoke of that a
22 moment ago, we said both sentences against Sibincic and Cakmak.
23 When a trial takes place, sir, but you know about it, of course,
24 because you were living in that area, when a trial takes place there's
25 first of all an indictment, charges, defined by the local prosecutor.
1 Who's the local prosecutor? In this case, this is the Ruma prosecutor.
2 He prepares an indictment. Looking at the indictment or the list of
3 charges, I see that there is a very specific description of all the
4 events which took place. In particular, in his report he gives names,
5 names of the perpetrators, among which Mr. Sibincic is to be found, and,
6 and I believe this is very important here, the prosecutor describes the
7 offences perpetrated by Sibincic and the others, and he indicates that
8 these were acts against the freedom and the rights of the citizens of
9 other nations or other ethnic groups, and he says this is in violation of
10 Article 61(A), paragraph 1, of the Criminal Code of Serbia. This
11 prosecutor reports to the legal authorities in place at the time. He
12 reports to the judge such offences constituted by crimes with an ethnic
13 connotation, and then he provides a long list of victims.
14 The question that comes to my mind is the following: We have a
15 prosecutor which reports to the power in place at the time. He's
16 pinpointing all the events that are taking place at the time. To your
17 opinion, is the prosecutor doing so on behalf of the Republic of Serbia
18 because he's in fact an agent of the Republic of Serbia
19 fact, expressing his condemnation of what's going on at the time? Now,
20 in your opinion, don't you think that he's trying to show that the
21 authority in place at the time is actually opposed to what's going on?
22 What do you think?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, thank you for putting
24 this question to me. It will be a pleasure to reply.
25 My opinion and that of my many people who submitted criminal
1 complaints against unidentified perpetrators, many of these criminal
2 complaints ended up in the drawers of the prosecution. It is my opinion,
3 and I'm convinced of this based on my own case, is that the prosecutor
4 did not act on behalf of the state in all cases, only when he was forced
5 due to numerous articles and pressures and calls from citizens and their
6 complaints, only when he felt he absolutely needed to do something about
8 If you wish, I can further elaborate and confirm my own belief.
9 I will quote my own case.
10 I was once thrown out of commercial premises that I was leasing
11 from the local commune. I was evicted by a group of seven, the majority
12 of whom were members of the Serbian Radical Party. After I was evicted,
13 I went and reported the case to the SUP
14 duty there directed me to contact the local police force. When I was
15 about to do that, I came out of my house only to come across a police car
16 parked in front of my street. I was shocked. I couldn't believe how
17 expeditious they were, coming to protect me. However, I was told that
18 there was a criminal complaint against me submitted by seven citizens,
19 claiming that I threatened to kill them, brandishing a weapon. They
20 asked me whether I had a weapon. I showed them and showed my license for
21 carrying a weapon. They confiscated the weapon and never returned it to
23 After that, I was taken into the police station, interviewed for
24 some two hours, and then a criminal complaint was filed against me by an
25 inspector or a prosecutor.
1 As for my complaint, it remained in a drawer. And when the trial
2 started, I had to file a private suit against people who had evicted me
3 from commercial premises.
4 Thank you, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I agree with you that for some
6 of the complaints, nothing was done, but in this case the prosecutor did
7 do something. There is a victim with the same name as yours. However,
8 the first name is Kristijan. Is he a relative?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You mean -- that's my son.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Your son was
11 interviewed, because in the prosecutor's report, the statement of your
12 son is mentioned, so you knew -- you knew that there had been a serious
13 investigation and that following that investigation, the prosecutor had
14 information about your son?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours. I don't
16 know what situation you have in mind. Which particular case?
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Kristijan Ejic, you said he's
18 your son, was heard as a witness in that particular case. About
19 Josip Bagi, Rade Cakmak and so on, so there was an investigation carried
20 out by the prosecutor?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I remember now.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You see, nothing escapes me, I
23 see everything, and I noticed that there had been an investigation. So,
24 yes, indeed, maybe some prosecutors put some complaints in the drawers,
25 as you say, but other prosecutors did take action. This prosecutor
1 recorded dozens of victims and prepared an indictment which contains the
2 list of all the victims, so he did his job in 1992, since the indictment
3 bears the date of September, 15th of September, 1992.
4 That's all I wanted to comment upon with you. You've just
5 confirmed that your son was interviewed as a witness and that
6 Mr. Sibincic was charged and sentenced.
7 Mr. Ferrara.
8 MR. FERRARA: Your Honours, I believe that to fully understand
9 the document that we have already tendered the judgement regarding this
10 trial against Ostoja Sibincic and Rade Cakmak, now the Prosecutor asked
11 to tender into evidence also this document, the indictment that you have
12 discussed now.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Can we have an
14 exhibit number for P7271.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. That will be Exhibit P560.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] A bit earlier, the Prosecutor said
17 that he did not intend to tender this document.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, but now he's tendered that
20 MR. FERRARA: Your Honour, also to be clear, these last three
21 documents, number -- the indictment, that is, number 7271, and the last
22 two articles, number 7270 and 7272, are not still included in the
23 Prosecution exhibit list, so I request to add these three documents to
24 the Prosecution exhibit list, due to their relevance and probative value.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'd like to consult my
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber also rises,
4 Prosecution, to add these three documents onto its exhibit list. Let me
5 remind you that as far as document 7272 is concerned, we have already
6 given it an MFI
7 MR. FERRARA: Thank you, Your Honour. And another
8 [indiscernible] on the line -- on page 38, line 5, this article is
9 indicated as published in July 1993, but it's 1992.
10 Q. Mr. Ejic, last few questions. Did you suffer any kind of a
11 persecution for your position regarding these facts that you described
12 today -- in these two days?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Can you describe for us what happened?
15 A. As I have mentioned earlier in my evidence, there was a setup. I
16 was falsely accused when I was evicted from commercial premises. There
17 were proceedings that lasted for a long time, and in the end, to my great
18 joy and pleasure, certain individuals who had accused me, and they were
19 and are to this day members of the Serbian Radical Party, they changed
20 their statement and confessed in court that they had done it for
21 political reasons, that they practically had lied, that it only seemed to
22 them that I had threatened them. Since this suit lasted for a long time
23 and I was harassed, I was visited every two weeks by members of the State
24 Security who interviewed me, and there was also an accusation by Sibincic
25 when his car was blown up, and there was a group of people, and I was a
1 member of that group, who opposed everything, and Sibincic accused that
2 group of that crime. All of us were arrested and taken to the police
3 station. We were kept there the entire night and interviewed. They even
4 brought in an expert with a lie detector from Novi Sad. In the end, they
5 released all of us, having realised, I guess, that it was all false.
6 Following that event, I also had constant visits by members of
7 the State Security. I was frequently searched by police. On one
8 occasion, even a police commander came with two police vehicles early in
9 the morning.
10 Q. Did they find something relevant in your house when they searched
11 you -- your house?
12 A. The first time when they carried out a search, they found several
13 copies -- or, rather, several bullets from my weapon that had remained in
14 a drawer in my room. These bullets had not been confiscated on the
15 occasion when my pistol was confiscated. They also found an air gun
16 which had a sniper on it. They abused it. It was abused by Vukelja and
17 others, who gave a statement saying that a sniper had been found in my
18 house, without clarifying that it was actually an air gun. As a result
19 of that, I had threats by the villagers who were saying, "Aleksa Ejic has
20 a sniper and intends to use it against refugees."
21 In the end, I was forced -- I apologise. Forgive me. I was
22 forced to travel to the South African Republic, which was the only
23 country where one could travel at the time with a tourist visa.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, if you feel emotional
25 about this, we can stop for a few minutes.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I am a bit distressed.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Would you like us to have a
3 short break?
4 THE WITNESS: Yes, please.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's have a ten-minute break.
6 --- Recess taken at 11.26 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 11.38 a.m.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Court is back in session.
9 Do you feel better, Witness? Can we proceed?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I feel
11 better now. We can continue.
12 I would just like to ask you for something. If possible, could
13 you avoid questions in relation to my family? Thank you.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. If there are any
15 questions that concern your family, we shall move into closed session.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
17 MR. FERRARA: So, Your Honours, I don't think I have further
18 questions for this witness.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Ferrara.
20 My colleague would like to put a question.
21 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
22 Mr. Witness, we have been speaking at several occasions about
23 Mr. Sibincic and Mr. Cakmak and others who were active in Hrtkovci in May
24 1992, and my question to you is if you know whether these gentlemen were
25 members of the SRS
1 the SRS
2 time when these events occurred.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, at the time when these
4 events occurred, I am not aware of these persons having been members of
5 the Serb Radical Party. Now, whether they had any direct contacts, I am
6 not aware of that either.
7 JUDGE HARHOFF: And do you know if, at any later point in time,
8 they became members of the SRS
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that I do know in
10 relation to one of these persons, Sibincic. Today he is a member of the
11 Serb Radical Party.
12 JUDGE HARHOFF: Do you happen to know when he became a member of
13 the SRS
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think that it was
15 this year. I don't know the exact date.
16 JUDGE HARHOFF: And my final question: Do you know if any of
17 these gentlemen that we have been mentioning here had an affiliation with
18 another political party around the time when the events occurred in 1992?
19 I mean either a political party or a political movement.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Ostoja Sibincic was in the Serbian
21 Renewal Movement, together with me, at first when these events took place
22 in Hrtkovci.
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much, sir.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I have a question for
25 you. I would first like to read out to you paragraph 124 of the
1 Prosecution's pre-trial brief. This is what the Prosecution says:
2 "Inter-ethnic tension in Hrtkovci increased in 1991, when the
3 first Serbian refugees started arriving from Croatia. The SRS
4 charge of their transport aboard buses to Vojvodina. These refugees
5 needed to report to Ostoja Sibincic, a member of the SRS and associate of
6 Vojislav Seselj in Hrtkovci, since he gave them the addresses of houses
7 belonging to Croats. In some cases, owners were abroad and the refugees
8 settled in their houses. In other cases, the refugees threatened them to
9 force them to exchange their homes with those of the refugees in
11 What the Prosecution is saying is that Sibincic was a member of
12 the SRS
13 colleague is so important. I think we have to -- we need to be clear on
15 At what time exactly did you learn that Sibincic, who is a member
16 of the SRS
17 the time a member of the SRS
18 the SRS
19 was a member. When the refugees arrived he was a member.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm not aware of that,
21 whether he was a member earlier on. What I know today is that he is a
22 member now, that he joined this year or the end of last year. I cannot
23 give you the exact date. At the time when the refugees were coming in, I
24 don't know, maybe he was a member, but I don't know about it.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you are saying that you know
1 that he is a member of the SRS
2 the end of last year or the beginning of this year. Is this because he
3 told you that he's now a member of the SRS and he showed you his card?
4 How do you know this?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I know that on the basis of
6 the statement made by Zeljko Dosen, the president of the local council,
7 and Krasic, Slobodan, my neighbour who told me about that, and I also
8 heard about it from him personally at a meeting this year, when
9 St. Ilija's Day was celebrated. That is the patron saint of our village.
10 So I heard from him personally that he was a member of the party.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In 1992, you can't say?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know about that period of
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My last question: You left for
15 South Africa. Can you tell me at exactly what time you left, the month
16 and the year, please.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] April 1993.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] How long did you stay there?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think somewhat more than three
20 months. My first visa was for somewhat less than three months, and then
21 in the town of Springs
22 more precise information than that, I have my old passport of the
23 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia with which I can document that.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I understand right, you
25 returned in July or August, you returned home, and when you came back,
1 was everything all right? You didn't encounter any problems? You
2 weren't threatened or accused of anything? Was it difficult?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, after my return, I did not
4 have any major problems.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
6 We shall now have the cross-examination, which will last three
7 hours. Mr. Seselj, you have the floor, and this will continue tomorrow.
8 Cross-examination by Mr. Seselj:
9 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Ejic, since when have you been a member of
10 the Serbian Renewal Movement?
11 A. Mr. -- Dr. Vojislav Seselj, I have been a member since the local
12 council was established in 1991 or 1992. I don't know exactly. I think
13 it was 1991, the autumn of 1991.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note, could all of the microphones
15 please be switched off.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And I was a member until the local
17 committee was disbanded. After that, I wasn't a member of any party.
18 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
19 Q. All right. Can you recall the month in which the local committee
20 of the SPO
21 cannot, it doesn't matter.
22 A. I cannot remember.
23 Q. You did know at the time that the SPO was still a markedly
24 nationalist party?
25 A. Yes, I am aware of that.
1 Q. It started out as the most extreme nationalist party on the
2 Serbian political scene; isn't that right?
3 A. That's not right.
4 Q. Which one was more extreme?
5 A. Well, I think the Serb Chetnik Movement and some others.
6 Q. Why was the Serb Chetnik Movement more extreme?
7 A. Well, the main difference is in the fact that the SPO advocated
8 the promotion of nationalist tradition without jeopardising other
9 ethnicities, and it is my opinion that the other movement I referred to
10 did not advocate that. Rather, through volunteers, they provided support
11 for participating in conflicts in Croatia and Bosnia
12 Q. Did the SPO
13 A. The SPO
14 Q. What was the name of the paramilitary formation of the SPO?
15 A. It was called "The Serbian Guard."
16 Q. A few moments ago, in response to the question put by the
17 Presiding Judge as to whether you had ever heard of the Serbian Guard,
18 why did you say that you had never heard of it?
19 A. Well, because I didn't know which guard this pertained to.
20 Perhaps it was some other Serbian Guard, not the guard of the SPO that I
21 know about.
22 Q. The logical answer to the Presiding Judge's question could be
23 which Serbian Guard do you have in mind or there are a few Serbian
24 Guards, so let's see which one it could be; right? You cannot say that
25 you haven't heard of the Serbian Guard; am I not right?
1 A. I don't know.
2 Q. All right. Do you know that Vuk Draskovic, together with his
3 wife, Danica, published the newspaper "The Serbian Word," "Srpska Rec,"
4 for years?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. It was a typical news magazine that came out twice a month?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Do you know that in this newspaper, on the front page
9 Vuk Draskovic published a map in colour of an ethnic delineation of
11 A. Perhaps on some occasion I did see that, too, but I'm not aware
12 of any details.
13 Q. Do you know that Vuk Draskovic was one of the most prominent Serb
14 nationalists in the 1980s, after he published his famous novels, "The
15 Knife" and "The Prayer," respectively?
16 A. Could you put a simpler question to me? Could you explain to me
17 what it is you mean by "Serb nationalism"?
18 Q. Well, a Serb nationalist is a man who fights for the interests of
19 his nation, for national emancipation, for the protection of those parts
20 of his nation that are in jeopardy. That would be it. In the simplest
21 possible terms, that is to say, a person who cares about his people and
22 strives for its interests.
23 A. My answer to your question would be the following: When
24 Vuk Draskovic, as a Serb nationalistic, advocated the promotion of
25 positive Serb traditions, not those of the Chetnik Movement or
1 Draza Mihajlovic and others during the Second World War.
2 Q. Well, who erected the single movement that exists until now to
3 Draza Mihajlovic in Serbia
4 A. The Serbian Renewal Party.
5 Q. And Vuk Draskovic, its long-term president?
6 A. No, not Vuk Draskovic, it was the SPO and he is the president of
7 that party.
8 Q. Well, wasn't he the main initiator within that party to erect
9 this monument?
10 A. Well, that is true.
11 Q. Did Vuk Draskovic give an enormous contribution to the
12 rehabilitation the role of General Draza Mihajlovic in the Second World
13 War; is that not an objective fact?
14 A. Yes, that is true.
15 Q. Did Vuk Draskovic write a novel about the last days of
16 General Draza Mihajlovic? His title is "The General"?
17 A. I've heard about it. I haven't read it.
18 Q. So therefore, Vuk Draskovic renewed the traditions of the Chetnik
19 Movement of the Second World War, the Chetnik Movement of
20 Draza Mihajlovic; right? In some segments, in an even more pronounced
21 way. Perhaps he had a bit more money. We were not able to erect a
22 monument. He did, and he did so.
23 A. I don't understand your question. Could you be more specific?
24 Q. All right. If you don't understand the question, then I'm going
25 to give up on it. It's going to remain in the transcript, and that is
2 Did Vuk Draskovic advocate a restoration of the monarchy? That
3 is what he advocates to this day, at least verbally?
4 A. That is correct.
5 Q. Did Vuk Draskovic advocate the interference of the church in
6 state affairs?
7 A. I'm not aware of that.
8 Q. Were his political rallies attended by prominent members of the
10 A. I did see some of them.
11 Q. At the rallies of Vuk Draskovic, were there often grave conflicts
12 and clashes with the police, where people even lost their lives?
13 A. At one rally, a big one in Belgrade
14 police and the authorities.
15 Q. Only one?
16 A. Well, perhaps some other smaller ones. I remember that one
17 particular rally because on the next day I was in Belgrade myself.
18 Q. On the 9th of March, at the rally in Belgrade, weren't a
19 policeman and a student killed?
20 A. Exactly.
21 Q. In 1992, at the rally of Vuk Draskovic in front of the Federal
22 Assembly, wasn't a policeman killed then?
23 A. Yes, that's correct too.
24 Q. Did the Serb Radical Party ever have such clashes at its rallies
25 that led to deaths, serious injuries, and so on?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. When?
3 A. Well, this year, too.
4 Q. Well, forget about this year. These two, who organised the rally
5 this year, have fortunately already left the Serb Radical Party, and how
6 this conflict was staged is something that remains to be clarified.
7 The Serb Radical Party, while I was in the fatherland, that is to
8 say, before I came to The Hague
9 police anywhere, where injuries were sustained and where deaths occurred?
10 A. I'm not aware of anything like that.
11 Q. You're not aware of it because nothing like that ever happened.
12 Had it happened, you'd have to know about it. Am I not right?
13 A. I don't know if you're right.
14 Q. All right, if you don't know. Anyway, it cannot be said, at any
15 rate, that the Serb Chetnik Movement was more extremist than the SPO,
16 those that have only peaceful demonstrations, peaceful rallies, cannot be
17 any more extremist than those who are always involved in clashes and
18 deaths. How can they not be more extreme? Am I right? Say "yes" or
20 A. Well, perhaps that is proof of acting in concert with the
22 Q. Because of acting in concert with the authorities, there were no
23 clashes. Who was more often in Milosevic's prisons, Vuk Draskovic or I?
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, please go more
25 slowly, because the interpreters are complaining.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right, I'll repeat the
3 Q. Who was in Milosevic's prisons more often, Vuk Draskovic or I?
4 A. I think that you were there more often.
5 Q. Vuk Draskovic was in prison only twice; right?
6 A. I know about this one time.
7 Q. He was once in prison after the 9th of March and once in 1992;
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And never more than a month; right?
11 A. Well, I don't know exactly.
12 Q. Whereas I was in Milosevic's prison four times; right?
13 A. I don't know exactly how many times you were there, but I do know
14 that you were there.
15 Q. So who's in cahoots with the regime, those who went to prison
16 more often or less often? When one acts in concert with the regime, is
17 one of the privileges obtained going into prison, then I am in cahoots
18 with NATO, with the European Union, so I have received this privilege of
19 spending six years in The Hague
20 A. Dr. Vojislav Seselj, in relation to one of my responses, you said
21 that I came out with a thesis. Once again, I'm coming out with a thesis
22 that you acted in collusion with Milosevic and that's why you weren't in
23 prison for a long time and you were not mistreated like Vuk Draskovic
25 Q. All right, very well. The Serbian Guard of Vuk Draskovic, did it
1 have among its members the greatest criminals in Serbia?
2 A. I'm not aware of that.
3 Q. Have you heard of Djordje Bozovic, "Giska," the first commander
4 of the Serbian Guard?
5 A. I heard that he was killed.
6 Q. Did you know that he was one of the greatest criminals, he was
7 greater than Arkan?
8 A. I am not aware of that.
9 Q. Did you know that his deputy was Branislav Matic, "Beli," also
10 one of the greatest criminals?
11 A. I'm not aware of that either.
12 Q. Do you know that a commander of Komite units was Brkic, known as
14 A. I'm not aware of that.
15 Q. Do you know that in a gangster showdown in Belgrade, Beli was
16 killed, following which, under suspicious circumstances near Gospic
17 Giska, lost his life as well?
18 A. As for Djordje Bozovic, "Giska," I did hear that he was killed in
20 I simply don't remember.
21 Q. The Serbian Guard, did they wear publicly a certain type of
23 A. I'm not aware of them wearing publicly a uniform.
24 Q. You have never seen that?
25 A. I saw on television some footage of the Serbian Guard and nothing
2 Q. Did they have cockades on their headgear, traditional cockades?
3 A. A cockade is a symbol from the Second World War, the symbol of
4 the Chetnik Movement led by Draza Mihajlovic.
5 Q. Was that worn by members of the Serbian Guard?
6 A. Yes, they did. I, myself, wore it on one occasion.
7 Q. You mean the Chetnik cockade?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. So you, yourself, renewed Chetnik traditions of Draza Mihajlovic
10 which you criticised me for?
11 A. No, sir. You are wrong about that.
12 Q. I'm wrong; all right. Based on appearance, on physical
13 appearance, such as beards, cockades, camouflage uniforms and so on, can
14 one distinguish between a member of the Serbian Guard of Vuk Draskovic
15 and a volunteer of the Serb Radical Party? If you don't know the person,
16 if you just see two soldiers in a uniform with hats and cockades, would
17 you be able to say which one is a member of the Serbian Guard of
18 Vuk Draskovic and which one is a member of the SRS?
19 A. I don't think that's possible.
20 Q. All right. So it's not possible to distinguish. Now, in order
21 to prove that, let us look at three photographs. I have originals here.
22 Would the usher please be so kind. Number 1, 2 and 3, would you
23 put them in that order, please.
24 I have three photographs taken at the funeral of the deputy
25 commander of the Serbian Guard, Beli, Branislav Matic, "Beli." I think
1 that it was in the summertime. Do you see Vuk Draskovic carrying the
2 coffin of his commander?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You see in front of him a uniformed member of the Serbian Guard.
5 You only see it partially?
6 A. Which one do you mean?
7 Q. Well, the person on the right in uniform.
8 A. Yes.
9 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] The second photograph, please.
10 Q. Now we see Draskovic got tired, he moved to the side. Other
11 people are carrying the coffin. Now you see two persons here wearing
12 camouflage uniforms?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. One of them has a beard, which is a typical Chetnik beard, as
15 I can see. Correct?
16 A. Well, typical? Every beard is typical.
17 Q. Do you see that on their caps, they have cockades? Do you see
19 Don't move it away, because I need to see it too.
20 A. I can't distinguish the symbol.
21 Q. All right. Now, the third photograph published in the papers,
22 please put the third photograph marked as number 3. Yeah. Now, here you
23 see these two men here, and you can see clearly that these are Chetnik
25 A. Yes, it's clear.
1 Q. Do you see that they're not quite identical? Do you see that?
2 A. Yes, there is a difference there.
3 Q. Which means that depending on who manufactured them, they looked
4 differently, there was a difference?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Do you remember that these cockades were sold on the streets of
8 A. Yes, I remember that.
9 Q. Very well. Now we're done with this set of photographs. You can
10 give the original photographs to the Prosecutor as gifts, with my
12 Can we, based on that, confirm that the Serbian Renewal Movement,
13 as a markedly nationalist party, was involved --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a second, Mr. Seselj.
15 Would you like to tender these photographs or not?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, I don't need these photographs
17 at all. Give it to the Prosecutor. He'll need them. Now the problem is
18 the Prosecutor doesn't want those photographs.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Then throw them in the trash can.
20 I'm not interested in them.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Registrar will
22 keep them. There's no number, but Mr. Registrar will keep them anyway.
23 Please continue.
24 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation].
25 Q. Therefore, as a markedly nationalist party, the Serbian Renewal
1 Movement was opposed to the Milosevic regime, but initially they tried to
2 help the Serbs who were threatened in Serbian Krajina and in
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina; correct?
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, the Trial Chamber
5 must ensure that your rights be protected and that you are not prejudiced
6 in the defence of the accused, being yourself. In that spirit, you know
7 that the Prosecution has filed a motion so that a lawyer be assigned to
8 you. If a lawyer had been appointed and had asked for the three
9 photographs to be examined, he would have asked for the photographs to be
10 tendered. Why?
11 Well, because on those photographs, we can see cockades. It is
12 very interesting, and I hadn't noticed up to now, the cockades are
13 different. There are Chetnik cockades, but we can see that they're
14 different. One may conclude from this that at the time those wearing
15 hats, cockades, camouflage uniforms, didn't follow any specific
16 guidelines, that they all were doing what they wanted to.
17 From what you've said to us up to now about the people who were
18 wearing cockades, we understand that there might have been some
19 confusion. You've just highlighted the fact that somebody belonging to
20 the Guard of Vuk Draskovic may have been mixed up with a Chetnik or a
21 member of the Serbian Radical Party.
22 I've asked you if you want to tender these photographs into
23 evidence, and you've said, "No, let's just throw them away." This is
24 your position, but I'm sure a lawyer would have had another position.
25 Now, you carry out your Defence the way you want to, but I wanted
1 this to be recorded in the transcript. I wanted the transcript to show
2 that sometimes, even when all the conditions are met for a specific
3 exhibit to be admitted, you are not asking for a document to be admitted
4 into evidence. But, of course, in theory you have the right not to ask
6 Please continue.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have no need to
8 ask for that, because these are notorious facts. Notorious facts, in
9 law, do not need to be proven. Unfortunately, the Prosecutor, on several
10 occasions when --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I agree, I agree, you saying
12 they are notorious facts, but for the Judges, who did not live in Serbia
13 who were not there at the time, it is not notorious. I didn't know that
14 there may have been different cockades, different camouflage uniforms,
15 beards. For me, it is not a notorious fact, and for these facts to be
16 notorious and for the Judges to indicate in their judgement, if
17 necessary, that there may have been some confusion, that somebody was
18 wearing a particular cockade, that this could have led to the conclusion
19 that he was a member of another movement or another party, what seems
20 obvious for you may not be obvious for Judges who discover, as we go
21 along, that kind of thing. This is the first time that I see two
22 different cockades in one single document, worn by two different persons
23 with very descriptive pictures. That's all I was trying to say.
24 It is up to you, of course. You're in charge of your own
25 defence, but I could not not make you aware of this.
1 A moment ago, I also noted the fact that a document may be
2 interesting in the interests of truth, and that was the prosecutor's
3 report. I raised this in issue when I mentioned that report.
4 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Seselj, I also wanted just to add to what
5 you've just said about notorious facts that there's a difference between
6 notorious facts not having to be proven and such facts being admitted
7 into evidence. So even if notorious facts need not further proof, then
8 you still need to consider whether you want them admitted into evidence.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm the one who is
10 the ultimate decision-maker on my defence case, I'm the one who decides
11 how it needs to be conducted. Since this is the first witness who, at
12 the relevant time, was a member of the Serbian Renewal Movement -- maybe
13 there were others, I don't know about them -- he was simply suitable for
14 me to establish these facts. You can draw whatever conclusions you want
15 about this. Please do not threaten me with imposing counsel on me,
16 because you know that that's a dead-end street. That would mean the end
17 of the trial, at least trial with my presence. You can try me in
18 absentia, you can do whatever you want. Simply do not threaten me
19 anymore. I'm not interested in what your trial would be. You can even
20 try me posthumously. I do not care.
21 Please let me carry on my cross-examination.
22 Q. Mr. Ejic, now that we've established these matters -- I can't
23 remember now what the last question was. Well, I've just remembered it.
24 So you agree that the Serbian Renewal Movement, despite the fact that it
25 was opposed to the Milosevic regime in the first years of war, tried to
1 aid Serbs living in the western parts, in Serbian Krajina, in
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, before Republika Srpska was established and after it
3 was established; am I right?
4 A. Your question is not quite clear to me, but I don't think that
5 you are right.
6 Q. So you're saying that the Serbian Renewal Movement did not try to
7 help the Serbs who were endangered there?
8 A. You have to be more precise. By what means?
9 Q. By sending volunteers, by military means. Vuk Draskovic used to
10 publicly state that there was 60.000 volunteers within the Serbian Guard.
11 Is that right?
12 A. I don't know whether that figure is correct, but the Serbian
13 Renewal Movement, as a party, led by Vuk Draskovic, did not organise
14 this. Vuk Draskovic never did that, nor did he approve that people
15 should be sent on behalf of the party; only that they should go on their
16 own initiative. This is how it came that volunteers went to the front
17 under the name of the Serbian Guard, not under the name of the Serbian
18 Renewal Movement.
19 Q. Is it true that in 1991, members of the Serbian Renewal Movement
20 for days demanded, on the floor of the National Assembly, that the
21 Serbian Guard ought to be declared as the Serbian National Army?
22 A. It is true that the Serbian Renewal Movement advocated that the
23 Serbian Guard should be established and that as an official army, it
24 should be sent to the front to protect Serbs; not individually but as
25 part of state institutions.
1 Q. And who established the Serbian Guard?
2 A. It was established by people who wished so, but they were members
3 of the Serbian Renewal Movement.
4 Q. So the Serbian Renewal Movement has nothing to do with the
5 establishment of the Serbian Guard?
6 A. What I'm trying to say is that this work that you claim that the
7 Serbian Renewal Movement and Vuk Draskovic did is not true.
8 Q. What is not true?
9 A. That the problems are being resolved by military means outside of
10 official institutions and outside of the state attempts.
11 Q. Well, who sent Serbian Guard to Herzegovina, to Krajina, to
12 Cetina, Konjic, Foca, all the places where the Serbian Guard was? Who
13 sent them there?
14 A. It was self-initiative of individual members of the Serbian
15 Renewal Movement, of which I was a member. It wasn't a decision taken at
16 the level of the party.
17 Q. Were you a member of the Serbian Guard?
18 A. Yes, I was.
19 Q. Where did you go to the front?
20 A. In Bosnia
21 Q. Where?
22 A. Can we please go into closed session?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It can't be a secret, where you
24 went on the frontline, it can't be in the closed session.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, let's move to
1 private session -- closed session, rather.
2 [Private session]
11 Pages 10464-10466 redacted. Private session.
1 [Open session]
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're now in open session.
3 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation].
4 Q. Mr. Ejic, was a board of the Serb Chetnik Movement ever
5 established in Hrtkovci? Have you ever heard of that?
6 A. I don't think so. I've never heard of that.
7 Q. It was never established. You're right, it never was
8 established, and I know that. The Serb Radical Party was established --
9 or, rather, the initiative committee was established only in April of
10 1992; isn't that right?
11 A. I think that's right.
12 Q. So throughout 1991, and during the first four months of 1992,
13 there was no Serb Radical Party in Hrtkovci at all; am I not right?
14 A. You're right.
15 Q. When did the first refugees from Croatia start arriving in
17 A. I think it was in 1991, the spring of 1992.
18 Q. Throughout 1991, they kept coming in; right?
19 A. Well, I can't remember, but they did, yes.
20 Q. All right. When the refugees started coming in, certain
21 incidents already started occurring; isn't that right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Sporadic incidents, but incidents nevertheless; isn't that right?
24 We cannot say that someone got killed or that someone got beaten up very
25 badly, but there were quarrels, there were threats, and there were
1 similar incidents; right?
2 A. You're right.
3 Q. Did anything more serious happen? Already in 1991, did it happen
4 that refugees started entering empty Croat houses?
5 A. I think that that happened in 1992, the beginning of 1992.
6 Q. Usually, these were houses of people who had lived abroad for a
7 long time with their families. They worked as guest workers, most often
8 in Western Europe.
9 A. Well, these are houses that were empty at the time and the owners
10 were abroad, and of course during the year they would come and stay there
11 several times.
12 Q. When the SPO
13 elected its first chairman?
14 A. The first chairman when the SPO was established, Ostoja Sibincic
15 was the first president.
16 Q. Ostoja Sibincic. And you were the secretary of that committee;
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Ostoja Sibincic was president of this committee until when?
20 A. Well, I cannot remember exactly, but a month or so, a bit more
21 than that. How can I say?
22 Q. After that, you were elected president of the municipal
23 committee; right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. He resigned because he was too busy; right?
1 A. That's not right. He resigned because he was afraid, when the
2 parties of Hungarians and Croats in Vojvodina were established, so that
3 was his explanation for not being president.
4 Q. What was he afraid of? Were these two parties aggressive, the
5 Croat and the Hungarian ones?
6 A. They weren't aggressive, but why he got afraid, he knows that.
7 Q. Judging by the number of incidents that he was allegedly involved
8 in, one does not think that he was a person who was very susceptible to
10 A. Well, perhaps that is why. Perhaps he was afraid of some kind of
11 revenge or something. That's why he withdrew, maybe.
12 Q. Did you ever have a physical showdown with a Croat, Mr. Ejic?
13 A. I cannot recall.
14 Q. Never in your life?
15 A. Well, maybe. Now, did I know that the person was a Croat or not,
16 well, I don't know.
17 Q. Didn't that even get to a court of law once? Do you remember
18 that; no?
19 A. Well, if you jog my memory, perhaps I'll remember.
20 Q. But without me jogging your memory, you don't remember?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Didn't you beat up a Croat somewhere out in the field, and then
23 he took you to court, and then you apologised in court for that? He
24 sustained light injuries, and then you were fined, because you did not
25 have a criminal record before that.
1 A. If you are referring to the time I worked in Krnjesevci, I
2 remember that I did have a physical clash with a worker whose superior I
3 was. Now, whether he was a Croat, that is something I didn't know at the
4 moment. The clash was due to the fact that he assaulted me physically,
5 and he even used a knife, and I defended myself. However, our law
6 stipulates --
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I don't understand.
8 You are asked whether you remember an incident. When you are tried by a
9 tribunal, that is something you remember your entire life, even if you
10 are just fined for that, because when you come before a court of law,
11 this is something which makes a lasting impression.
12 I remember you say you don't even remember having being tried by
13 a court of law?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my understanding of
15 the question was that what was meant was a clash in Hrtkovci, whereas
16 this clash took place in Krnjesevci. That's 50 kilometres away, and
17 that's where I worked, and it was in 1984, 1983. I can't remember
18 exactly. It's been a long time.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right.
20 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation].
21 Q. Vladan Zrnic, a Croat, and may I even mention in passing that he
22 even had a Croat for a lawyer, Antun Novacic from Pazor [phoen]. Do you
23 remember Antun Novacic?
24 A. I don't remember.
25 Q. You hit him in the head with your fist, and he sustained light
1 injuries. He had a swelling that was as big as a large walnut, and also
2 another swelling on your face that was as big as an eye.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note, the accused is reading. It
4 is very hard to follow, very fast.
5 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
6 Q. You really beat him up, didn't you?
7 A. Well, that's not exactly the case.
8 Q. It was ugly, wasn't it?
9 A. I just defended myself physically. At the time, my law -- our
10 law found me guilty because they thought that I was just supposed to turn
11 around and run away. But he was also held accountable because I accused
12 him of an assault.
13 Q. How is it that he assaulted you?
14 A. He grabbed me by the neck, and after I first started defending
15 myself, he took a knife out, and that's when I hit him in order to stop
16 this attack.
17 Q. Why did you not say in court that he used a knife?
18 A. Well, how come -- I did say so.
19 Q. How come it's not contained in the judgement?
20 A. Well, I don't know.
21 Q. It says here that unfoundedly, you're saying in your defence,
22 that you were attacked, since the Court heard other evidence and
23 undoubtedly established that he was the attacker, that's you, right, and
24 that you punched him in the face several times, the plaintiff.
25 MR. FERRARA: Your Honours, I'd like to know what --
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Ferrara.
2 MR. FERRARA: I would like to know what the accused is reading.
3 I don't have any document here that was disclosed to the Prosecution
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, your information
6 stems from a judgement, I presume, which you have in your possession.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This judgement and the entire case
8 file, it was actually the Prosecutor's duty to submit this to me, as was
9 his duty to provide me with the documents related to the criminal trial
10 of Mr. Ejic in Hrtkovci, after which he was allegedly acquitted, and also
11 he was duty-bound to provide me with the case file based on
12 Ostoja Sibincic's accusation of this witness planting a bomb underneath
13 his car.
14 The Prosecutor was supposed to provide me with these documents.
15 Maybe he didn't know about this first thing. Maybe the witness did not
16 tell him about that during the interview. I don't know about that,
17 because there is no trace in the documents provided by the Prosecution.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This is a judgement, we shall
19 proceed. You admit that a judgement was handed down, Witness?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am not denying that. That,
21 indeed, was the case.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. The judgement was
23 handed down.
24 Let's proceed.
25 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
1 Q. At a meeting of the Serbian Renewal Movement, when
2 Ostoja Sibincic, at his own request, was relieved of the duty of
3 president of the local committee, it was agreed that he would lead a
4 group that would deal with refugees exclusively within your party, also
5 how they would be put up in houses, and actions directed at population
6 exchanges, whereas you would continue to be the formal leader of the
7 Municipal Board of the SPO
8 A. I don't remember that. I don't think that's the case.
9 Q. You don't remember. All right. If you don't remember, I'm not
10 going to insist on it very much.
11 Since these incidents were already occurring in Hrtkovci, why, in
12 1991, as president of the local committee of the SPO, did you not speak
13 out in order to ease these tensions and to find a solution? We have no
14 records of any statements you made in public.
15 A. My first public statement was after the local committee of the
17 proclamation. That was the first time I addressed the public.
18 Q. Who decided that at the end of 1992, the local committee of the
19 Serb Renewal Movement was supposed to be dissolved?
20 A. I decided that.
21 Q. On the basis of what?
22 A. As I was president.
23 Q. According to the statute of the SPO
24 committee cannot dissolve the local committee. It's only a higher organ,
25 the main board in Belgrade
1 dissolved the local committee. It's not the president of that same local
2 committee that can dissolve it.
3 A. I informed the president of the municipal committee about this,
4 and I received his consent orally for doing that.
5 Q. Was the local committee of the SPO in Hrtkovci ever renewed after
7 A. I'm not aware of that.
8 Q. Well, of course you cannot know about that, because it was never
9 renewed. It doesn't exist even today.
10 A. I think that that is the case.
11 Q. You were instructed from Belgrade
12 its dissolution towards the end of 1992, to erase all traces of the
13 participation of your local committee in the mistreatment of the local
14 Croatian population, when many refugees were coming in; isn't that right?
15 A. That's not right. That's an invention.
16 Q. Well, what would be the reason for disbanding the local committee
17 of the SPO
18 local committees and to attract as many members as possible, whereas all
19 of a sudden out of the blue you abolish your own party in Hrtkovci and it
20 is never to be renewed afterwards. Why?
21 A. Because the population felt that the Serb Renewal Movement, since
22 at that time Ostoja Sibincic was a member too, is organising all the bad
23 things that were happening in Hrtkovci, so that was my motive. I wanted
24 to refute and deny in that way, and that is why it was dissolved.
25 Q. So the prevalent view in Hrtkovci at the time was that the SPO
1 organised all these incidents and negative phenomena; right?
2 A. At the very beginning, I have already explained that, I explained
3 what period that was.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right, all right.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, Mr. Seselj. We
6 have to have the break now. I thought we could do away with the break
7 because we had a short break a while ago, but the Registrar just told me
8 that this is not possible because of the tapes.
9 We shall have a break and -- have a 20-minute break, and then we
10 will have three-quarters of an hour left.
11 --- Recess taken at 12.40 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 1.00 p.m.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
14 Mr. Ferrara.
15 MR. FERRARA: Yes, Your Honour. Before we continue with the
16 cross-examination of the witness, the OTP found a web site, archives of
17 the "Chicago Tribune" the original of the newspaper of the articles we
18 discussed before. So I want to tender -- and it is exactly the same as
19 the transcript that the OTP provided before. The MFI is already admitted
20 with the number P559, so I think we can have an exhibit number now.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I understand you correctly,
22 you looked on the web, and on the web site you found the identical
23 document, identical article. You didn't find another one?
24 MR. FERRARA: Yes. It is the official archive of the "Chicago
25 Tribune" on the web site.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't think that there is a
2 single civilised country in the world where you can just take the word of
3 the prosecutor.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, when you tell me
5 something, I trust what you say, and when Mr. Ferrara tells me something,
6 I trust what he says. I don't think he's going to lie. So he went to
7 check the information to see that the article that we have is the same as
8 the one he found on the web. I can't say anything else. You can ask
9 your associates, I don't know through what means because you have no
10 contact with them anymore. You can ask your wife to check this, via
11 Mr. Krasic, that this newspaper has this article. The Prosecutor is
12 telling me this. I can't do any more than that.
13 Mr. Seselj, you have the floor.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, on three occasions
15 here, I have been forbidden any contact with my wife, be it in person or
16 on the telephone. Once, it lasted for seven months, once for two months,
17 and then they said that, "Yes, she can come and visit you, but under
18 strict supervision," which is to say that we were strictly supervised at
19 all times. I can't expose myself to such risks anymore, because my wife
20 will leave me. And I'm a man of advanced age, and if my wife leaves me,
21 I won't be able to find another one, so I can't take any risks. So I
22 won't use her to get into contact with anyone else. And I've been
23 previously accused of that before; falsely, of course.
24 I've had other more important documents that my associates needed
25 to send to me, such as an extensive interview with Ostoja Sibincic, but
1 unfortunately, since we have no contacts, it hasn't been sent to me.
2 Q. Now, Mr. Ejic, are you aware of the fact that Vuk Draskovic and I
3 established the SPO
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Up until that time, Vuk Draskovic was a member of the Serbian
6 National Renewal and I was a member of another party, and then we joined
7 forces into SPO
8 A. I don't know everything, but I know that it was a joint party.
9 Q. And then you know that in June of 1990, we had a conflict and we
11 A. I've heard of that.
12 Q. Then you must know that for almost one month, there existed, in
13 parallel, two parties of SPO
14 was expelled through a majority of votes, and then another one that
15 Draskovic established in Zemun in a restaurant called Roleks and that he
16 also named the Serbian Renewal Movement?
17 A. I don't know that.
18 Q. Do you know that this wing of the SPO that I led at one point in
19 time decided to rename itself into the Serbian Chetnik Movement so that
20 there would be no confusion among the public about two parties that have
21 the same name?
22 A. I don't know that, either.
23 Q. The Prosecution knows about it. They have documents about this.
24 Do you know that from June 1990, and then for the following
25 several years up until 1994 or 1995, there used to be great hostility and
1 enmity between me and Draskovic, in the political sense and in the
2 personal sense, and also between our two parties, the SRS and the SPO
3 isn't this a fact?
4 A. I know about that.
5 Q. It's a well-known fact that there was this great hostility,
6 enmity between us?
7 A. In the sense of disagreeing with the politics.
8 Q. It was to such an extent that we couldn't cooperate on any issue
9 and we had constant verbal conflicts?
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. In the Assembly, in the media, at rallies and so on. Do you
12 remember this rally in Hrtkovci that I held on the 6th of May, that in
13 relation to your party, which is called the SPO, I called or I labelled
14 them the Serbian Movement of Fraud?
15 A. I don't remember that.
16 Q. We can even look at this document disclosed by the Prosecution,
17 which is the transcript of the rally in Hrtkovci. This is Exhibit 01274.
18 Could we put it on the screen, please. Is it going to be brought
19 up on the screen?
20 I still haven't got anything. Please turn to the page marked as
21 405. 405, please, or, rather, 199 are the last digits. That's right.
22 See here the second paragraph, it says:
23 "Some traitors of the Serbian people in Belgrade, members of the
24 Serbian Movement of Fraud, Democrats, reformers," which is the party of
25 the former Prime Minister Ante Markovic, remember them, and then it says
1 "The members of the UJDI and various peacemakers, autonomous from
2 Vojvodina, accuse us of not being democrats, of being fascist. We fought
3 for democracy when they had very high ranks in the communist regime."
4 Do you see that I used here this term "Serbian Movement of
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And when you and Ostoja Sibincic, as local leaders of the Serbian
8 Renewal Movement, when you heard me call your party the Serbian Movement
9 of Fraud, you couldn't have felt well.
10 A. Well, I'm used to such accusations.
11 Q. So you didn't feel very uncomfortable; right?
12 A. No.
13 Q. I'm not right?
14 A. No, no, you're quite right, I didn't feel very uncomfortable.
15 Q. Very well. Mr. Ejic, in this rally I said that Tudjman's regime
16 had already expelled from Croatia
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Do you remember that those were official figures coming from the
19 Commisariate for Refugees?
20 A. I remember the figure reported on the television and the media,
21 it was more than 100.000.
22 Q. And then in early 1992, the figure was already over 200.000;
24 A. Possible --
25 Q. Tell me, please, I think you had occasion to listed to the many
1 stories of these refugees, about how they had been expelled from Croatia
3 A. Yes, I had such occasion, also later when I was the president of
4 the local commune after all of these events, I heard many stories from
5 the refugees themselves.
6 Q. Were there any murders there? Wasn't the family Zajic from
8 A. I can't remember.
9 Q. Were there beatings, assaults?
10 A. Yes, I remember such statements. People were saying that they
11 had been physically abused, that grenades had been launched.
12 Q. Yes. Grenades, items were blown up?
13 A. Yes, that there were murders.
14 Q. And all of that happened before any incident broke out in
15 Vojvodina; correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Now, Mr. Ejic, have you ever wondered how come The Hague OTP
18 never once -- never, ever accused anyone from the Croatian leadership for
19 this mass expulsion of Serbs in 1990, 1991 and 1992; did you ever wonder
20 about that? Isn't that a bit strange?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Isn't it strange to you even nowadays?
23 A. In a way, yes.
24 Q. Is that one of the main reasons why the Serbian people do not
25 trust The Hague Tribunal at all?
1 A. I don't know what Serbian people do you have in mind. You mean
2 refugees or the Serbian people in general?
3 Q. In general. In the beginning of your examination-in-chief, you
4 spoke about how people treated the fact that somebody needed to testify
5 here in The Hague
6 A. Yes, these newly arrived residents from Croatia and Bosnia
7 Q. Isn't that because people do not trust The Hague Tribunal,
8 because had it been a normal, serious court, why would people be opposed
9 to it?
10 A. I don't know exactly why.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, if you don't know, then
12 that's fine.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There's a word that I can't let
14 pass, "a serious tribunal." Witness, you've been here for two days. Do
15 you believe that the Bench does not scrutinize, as it should, everything
16 you say and all the documents that are shown?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it is my impression
18 that this is a serious court and that you scrutinize everything
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I was referring to
21 the Tribunal in general, and I have to confess to you right now that
22 there is a danger that you will become more popular than me in Serbia
23 because you have exhibited a high level of tolerance in these
24 proceedings. Now, when I spoke just now, I spoke about the Tribunal in
1 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I don't understand the relevance
2 of that. What I mean is relevance in terms of your cross-examination and
3 Defence case.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]...
5 examination-in-chief by putting questions about what had happened to the
6 witness in his hometown, where he lives and works, when it became known
7 that he might testify in this case. This is why it is relevant. And
8 then the witness stated here that there were no threats, but there were
9 some provocative questions to the effect of, "Are you going to testify,
10 are you not going to testify, are you paid money for that or not?" This
11 is what came out in examination-in-chief. I can't be blamed for that. I
12 simply followed up on that, and my main objection did not pertain to this
13 particular Chamber but rather to the Tribunal in general, bearing in mind
14 acquittals of certain prominent Muslims, Albanians and so on, without
15 mentioning any names.
16 Very well, I'm not going to dwell on this any longer. I see that
17 you feel uncomfortable.
18 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I still feel -- well, I
19 understand that you always want to have the last word. The issue doesn't
20 relate to the fact whether this Tribunal is relevant or not. The
21 questions that were raised or put to the witness at the beginning of the
22 examination-in-chief, which questions you are referring to, are quite
23 another story altogether. You are putting questions now on the Tribunal,
24 whether this Tribunal is a serious tribunal or not. This is not at all
1 Please proceed, Mr. Seselj.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. I shall continue.
3 Q. Do you remember that in late May 1992, elections were scheduled,
4 the federal ones for the Federal Parliament, and local ones for municipal
5 assemblies in Serbia
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You know that the SRS
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Do you remember that pro-Western opposition parties decided to
10 boycott these elections, such as SPO
11 A. I remember that there were such proposals.
12 Q. Do you remember that both before and after the rally in Hrtkovci,
13 we, the Radicals, continuously held rallies in various towns in Serbia
14 sometimes three or four in the same day? There were brief reports on
15 television on a nightly basis?
16 A. Yes, I remember that from television.
17 Q. Isn't it clear, based on everything, including the nature of my
18 speech and the circumstances of this pre-election campaign, that the
19 rally in Hrtkovci was first and foremost an election or pre-election
21 A. That's how it was billed.
22 Q. You know that the meeting was held on St. George's Day, the 6th
23 of May?
24 A. Yes, I know that.
25 Q. Isn't that the patron saint of numerous Serbs of Orthodox faith?
1 A. I don't know that it's the patron saint day of numerous Serbs,
2 but it is a well-known day among Serbs.
3 Q. That it would not be opportune, politically speaking, to schedule
4 a rally on that day in a large city, when everybody is busy either
5 celebrating their patron saint day or going to the house of those who
7 A. Well, I don't know.
8 Q. At what time of the day was the rally in Hrtkovci scheduled; do
9 you remember?
10 A. It was held in the afternoon hours.
11 Q. It was at around 2.00 p.m.
12 A. Around that time.
13 Q. And in that rally, we gathered our supporters and members from
14 Hrtkovci, Platicevo, Nikinci, Simanovci, Karlovcici, Kupinovo. Are there
15 any other villages in the vicinity? And also Ruma; correct?
16 A. Yes, it's true that people came from elsewhere. I recognised
17 some people from Ruma.
18 Q. But all of those people from elsewhere were actually people from
19 the vicinity; right?
20 A. I don't know.
21 Q. There was no time to go to each individual town. We would simply
22 pick one town and then draw people from the vicinity.
23 A. I don't know. I just told you that I recognised some people from
25 Q. Isn't it clear that we scheduled that rally in order to use that
1 6th of May because there were only 20 days remaining to the elections,
2 and we knew that on that important holiday, there was no point in holding
3 a huge rally because people wouldn't be able to come? That evening, I
4 had to go to the house of my brother-in-law, Svetozar Poljak and my best
5 friend's house because they were celebrating the patron saint's day, so I
6 had to go to these two houses, and the same is true as many of my
7 associates. Isn't this customary in Serbia?
8 A. Can you put a clear question to me, you've said so many things?
9 Q. I insist on the importance of this date, the 6th of May, which is
10 a big Orthodox Serb holiday, St. George's Day. On that day, practically
11 every Serb of the Orthodox faith either celebrates that day himself or at
12 least he goes to see a friend or a relative whose patron saint's day that
13 is. Am I not right?
14 A. Yes, you are right.
15 Q. That's the only thing I wanted to hear from you, that's all. You
16 know when political gatherings are organised, every political party has
17 to report to the police at least 48 hours in advance that a gathering of
18 this kind will be organised; do you know that?
19 A. Yes, I know that.
20 Q. It's the police in Ruma that was in charge for this gathering;
22 A. Yes, that's right.
23 Q. So what would be more natural than this, then? If the Serbian
24 Radical Party had properly announced that they would have this rally held
25 and if there is an increased risk, that the police should send a large
1 group of policemen there, why would one be surprised over the fact that a
2 large group of policemen were there? Am I right?
3 A. No, you are not right.
4 Q. Why not?
5 A. Because at other rallies, I did not notice the kind of security
6 that was there in Hrtkovci on that day.
7 Q. And what are these rallies where you did not notice any such
9 A. In Ruma, Indija, and when I watched rallies on television.
10 Q. Do you know how much security there was when I held the rally in
12 A. I don't know about that.
13 Q. So every time the police assesses the circumstances involved, and
14 then they decide how many people are to be sent to provide security at a
15 political gathering or a public gathering in order to avoid any
16 incidents; is that right?
17 A. Well, that's the way it's supposed to be.
18 Q. You said here that an hour or two before the rally, that a group
19 of uniformed men, in black uniform, arrived on a bus and that they walked
20 through Hrtkovci with weapons in their hands; right?
21 A. I stated that I saw a group of three of them, or two groups of
22 three, so that's six altogether, and then there was this other one by way
23 of an escort, and they walked down the main street before you arrived.
24 Q. Do you know who they are?
25 A. I didn't know.
1 Q. Were they armed?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. How come the police didn't react if they were armed?
4 A. That's what I wondered about then, and that's what I wonder to
5 this day.
6 Q. What kind of black uniforms did they wear, then?
7 A. Well, they were reminiscent of the uniforms worn in the Second
8 World War by the Chetniks.
9 Q. I assume -- what? What is this? When did the Chetniks have
10 black uniforms in the Second World War?
11 A. Well, when the uprising started, under the leadership of
12 General Draza Mihajlovic.
13 Q. Well, did they have uniforms of the Royal Yugoslav Army, not
14 black ones? Have you confused the Chetniks with the Ustashas? Why,
15 then, if Draskovic is a follower of the ideology of the Chetnik Movement,
16 why did Draskovic not prescribe black uniforms for the Serb Guard?
17 A. I don't know.
18 Q. You do know the name of Slavko Kolundzic; right?
19 A. Yes, I know that name.
20 Q. He was the member of the State Security at that time; do you know
22 A. That's the information that I had from him and from others.
23 Q. My associates conducted a lengthy interview with
24 Slavko Kolundzic, and it was published in my book whose title I'm not
25 going to refer to here because the Trial Chamber's going to interrupt me
1 straight away, they are going to redact the transcript, they are going to
2 move into closed session, so I'm not going to mention the name of the
3 book, but it's about the Hrtkovci affair, and 23 pages of the book
4 account for the interview that my associates conducted with Slavko
5 Kolundzic. And he claims that no groups of armed men appeared before,
6 during, or after the rally. Do you think that he has some reason to say
7 something that is not true?
8 A. I don't know.
9 Q. I sent this book to the OTP about ten days ago, and I believe
10 that they have it from before as well, so I have met my obligations.
11 Slavko Kolundzic claims that a group of armed men did appear --
12 or, rather, had a group of armed men appeared, the authorities would have
13 reacted. Is he right when he says that?
14 A. Well, he's right if he's stating that, but I don't know what is
15 meant, specifically.
16 Q. These men who arrived in black uniforms, as you say, three of
17 them and then another three, and there is some Prosecution witnesses who
18 claim that there was a busload of them, did they attend the meeting at
19 all? Did they attend the rally? Did you see them when the rally
21 A. I can't remember seeing them during the rally itself.
22 Q. I stood on the stage, and I didn't see them anywhere. Can you
23 believe me?
24 A. If I didn't see them, well, then I believe you too.
25 Q. You remember this well during the direct examination, that I
1 arrived in Hrtkovci with three cars?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Three cars would be a maximum of twelve people; right?
4 A. Well, perhaps even 15.
5 Q. Well, 15 if they are small. But if they are as big as I am, not
6 more than 12. So in three cars, three drivers, and I'm the fourth one,
7 and then there could have been another eight people; right? Among these
8 eight, did you see anyone with a knife at the belt?
9 A. I saw a young man who said that he was your security detail, and
10 he had a knife at the belt and he stood by the stage.
11 Q. He stood with a knife by the stage? Do you know what kind of a
12 scandal that would be in Serbia
13 rally with a knife at his belt? Did it ever happen at any rally of any
14 political party, that someone would come to attend a rally with a knife
15 at the belt?
16 A. When I said that, I didn't mean it the way you're explaining it
17 now. It was in a scabbard, like a military knife.
18 Q. A bayonet?
19 A. Yes, that's what I meant.
20 Q. Well, he doesn't have a rifle in his hands, so why would he need
22 A. I don't know.
23 Q. Do you know that according to our laws, it is prohibited to have
24 any kind of -- to carry any kind of cold weapon at -- in public?
25 A. Well, that's why I was surprised that they were on the street.
1 Q. Allegedly, they passed through the street before the rally, not
2 at the meeting.
3 A. Well, that's what I said, that they were passing there before the
5 Q. Do you know who Slavko Mirazic is?
6 A. Slavko Mirazic?
7 Q. Slavko Mirazic, then.
8 A. Yes, I know. He's a man who lives on my street.
9 Q. Was he a member of the SPO
10 A. Yes, he was.
11 Q. A witness over here who had the code VS-01136, is that a
12 protected witness? Could the Prosecutor help me on this? Maybe I could
13 mention the name. In his book, he says that Slavko Mirazic, a member of
14 the Serb Renewal Movement, publicly advocated the ethnic cleansing of
15 Serbs [as interpreted]. Is that true, did you hear him advocating that?
16 A. No, I didn't hear of that, and I don't think that would be true.
17 Q. That's what this witness says. 1136 is the code for this
18 witness. Is this a protected witness, Prosecutor? I'm not allowed to
19 say the name.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If this is 1136, it's
21 protected, he's protected. What is important is that it was indicated
22 that Slavko Mirazic was talking about ethnic cleansing, but --
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Advocated it, and this witness
24 confirmed that he's a member of the Serb Radical Movement -- of the SPO
25 at the time. That's what matters to me.
1 Q. You heard the entire rally, you heard all the speeches; right?
2 A. I was present, but I did not pay that much attention to all the
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'd like to go back a little
5 bit, because I'm checking everything that the Prosecutor's written and
6 I'm trying to assess whether what was written is right or not.
7 In paragraph 127, the Prosecutor says you don't have that text,
8 but, trust me, two hours before the speech delivered by Vojislav Seselj,
10 and they had rifles, and they deployed at the very place where the
11 meeting or the rally took place. To your knowledge, did buses arrive?
12 Did you see buses arrive with a lot of people on board those buses, i.e.,
13 volunteers? That's what the Prosecutor writes. Is that true or not, to
14 your knowledge?
15 A. I do not have any knowledge about that, and I did not see that
16 either. What I did see was that a group walked through the main street.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The prosecutor then writes:
18 "In front of several thousands," several thousands in the plural
19 people, among which there were volunteers.
20 I thought you said "we were 300 at most." We examined a document
21 in which the number of 700 was mentioned. The prosecutor speaks here of
22 several thousand people, so were you still 300?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My impression and my first
24 recollection was that that was at roughly about 300, and now in the
25 smaller streets, on the basis of what Kolundzic said also, perhaps there
1 were more, but I really don't know.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] A witness allegedly said to the
3 Office of the Prosecution that, and this is what it says here, that
4 before that speech, the SRS
5 day, had broadcast Chetnik partisan music. My question is, therefore:
6 Before the speech was delivered, was music heard? And if so, who
7 broadcast that music?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot remember. Music was
9 played, but not the entire day. Well, perhaps, but I was not present
10 there. I arrived at the moment when the rally was actually being held
11 or, rather, an hour earlier, what I saw.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, perhaps this is an
13 interpretation mistake, but the interpreter said to me "Chetnik partisan
14 music." That is truly impossible.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No, there was a mistake. The
16 prosecutor says that music was played throughout the day and it was
17 Chetnik partisan music. That's what's written.
18 So there was music, that's what you're saying, but who was
19 playing the music? Don't you know?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, very well.
22 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation].
23 Q. Mr. Ejic, is it perfectly customary at all political party
24 rallies, when the stage is put up at least an hour before the rally
25 starts, isn't it customary to play music?
1 A. Yes, that's customary.
2 Q. Why would it be strange if our initiative committee, the
3 activists of the Serb Radical Party, would play our party's songs,
4 Chetnik songs and things like that?
5 A. I didn't find that strange.
6 Q. It's quite natural, isn't it? Did you listen to my speech
7 carefully at the rally?
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wait. Of course, there was
9 music. It might be quite natural. But the prosecutor uses the term
10 "partisan," which gives the impression that some particular pieces of
11 music were selected with a particular connotation; hence the use of the
12 term "partisan." That's what I'm trying to understand with you.
13 Do you remember, don't you remember? Maybe there were
14 nationalist songs. Are there notorious pieces that are played every
15 time, and were they heard that particular day, or don't you know?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What is customary is, as far as I
17 know, that at rallies of my political party, songs were played beforehand
18 and then the anthem, when the rally would actually start, and Chetnik
19 songs too. I'm not aware of partisan songs.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, in the Serbian
21 version it says that the SRS
22 prepared a stage and played Chetnik music with nationalist overtones.
23 Yes, nationalist overtones. We are a nationalist political party. We're
24 proud of that. But it's hard for you to find any Chetnik songs that asks
25 people to kill other people and things like that. Our songs are songs
1 that love freedom and are in favour of freedom.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Proceed. We still
3 have ten minutes.
4 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation].
5 Q. Mr. Ejic, did you listen to my speech carefully?
6 A. I didn't listen carefully, and I cannot remember all the details.
7 I mean, some I did.
8 Q. Is it possible that, inter alia, in that speech I said that all
9 mixed marriages should be divorced? Of course, mixed marriages between
10 Serbs and Croats.
11 A. I didn't hear of that.
12 Q. Over here, this same witness, 1136 was his code name, claimed
13 that I said that. Did you hear that at this rally I said that mixed
14 marriages should be annulled and children from these marriages should be
16 A. I didn't hear that either.
17 Q. Well, that's what a Prosecution witness said here, too, one who
18 is yet to come. Is it possible for someone to utter something like that
19 at a rally and then to suffer no consequences for that, to have children
20 of mixed marriages killed?
21 A. I think that that is impossible, and it is not customary to say
22 things like that.
23 Q. Did anyone ever state anything like that in public in Serbia
24 public gathering?
25 A. I did not hear of any such thing.
1 Q. Had something like that been said, you would have had to have
2 heard about it, it couldn't have been hidden.
3 A. Well, I don't know.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I would like to
5 insist, because it is important. In the indictment and the pre-trial
6 brief, let me quote here because, you know, Judges check everything that
7 everybody says, and this is my job to do so, this is what's written:
8 "He added --" "Mr. Seselj added that mixed marriages between
9 Serbs and Croats needed to be cleansed and that the children of those
10 marriages should be killed."
11 And in the pre-trial brief, there's a footnote, footnote 441,
12 which refers to the testimonies of two witnesses. You were there. You
13 told us that you didn't hear the speech because that's not what you were
14 interested in. But if somebody says that children have to be killed,
15 this is of course a very strong statement, something that you must
16 remember, so was it said or not?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I didn't hear that.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The problem here is that nobody
20 from the Prosecution would even blush because of the things that are
21 written either in the indictment or in the pre-trial brief, and somebody
22 should blush for that. The Prosecution brings here witnesses who deny
23 the content of the indictment and the pre-trial brief. This is the 41st
24 witness denying the indictment.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, yesterday we studied,
1 and by "studied" I mean it, because we had a very close look at the whole
2 speech, we studied the speech, and I couldn't see a sentence indicating
3 that children should be killed. I didn't see such sentence. You had a
4 look at the speech, like we did yesterday. Did you see that sentence
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I didn't.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well --
8 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation].
9 Q. In that rally held by the SRS
11 A. I don't remember. I don't think that there were.
12 Q. There were Serbs present there, Serbs from Hrtkovci, then Serb
13 refugees, Serbs from surrounding villages, Croats from Hrtkovci, and
14 Hungarians from Hrtkovci; correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And there were absolutely no incidents either among the public or
17 participants of the rally and other citizens?
18 A. I'm not aware of that.
19 Q. The rally ended peacefully, calmly, and after the rally we got
20 into our cars and went back to Belgrade
21 A. I don't know where you went, but it terminated without any
23 Q. The stage was taken apart, the music was turned off, the trash
24 was cleaned; right? If somebody ate seeds, pumpkin seeds or something
25 like that, all of that was discarded; right?
1 A. I don't know. I left immediately, and I don't know what happened
3 Q. Following that, the initiative committee of the Serbian Radical
4 Party grew into the local board of the Serbian Radical Party for
5 Hrtkovci; right?
6 A. I think that, roughly, that's how it was.
7 Q. Do you know when it was that somebody of the Serbian Radical
8 Party for the first time became a member of the local board from
9 Hrtkovci, and did anyone, for that matter, become a member by 1995?
10 A. By 1995?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm going to have to stop you,
13 because we're going to have to adjourn at 1.45 sharp.
14 I'd like to ask a very short question, three seconds only,
15 because apparently Mr. Seselj is not going to talk about the rest of the
16 speech. But I am forced to ask the following question: Still in the
17 pre-trial brief from the Prosecution, and this is a very important
18 matter, it says the following. He quoted the names of Serbs,
19 personalities who were to leave Hrtkovci, your own village, so did
20 Mr. Seselj say that X, Y, and Z had to leave the village, because that's
21 exactly what is written here?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj did not mention names.
23 The first speaker did so.
24 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't catch the name.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well --
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It would be important to hear a
2 brief answer to this question.
3 Q. By 1995, was there any member of the Radical Party in the local
4 commune council? According to my knowledge, there weren't, but I wanted
5 to hear the witness.
6 A. I don't think that there were. I don't remember whether they
7 were members of the Radical Party or not, but those who were members of
8 the council after Ostoja Sibincic came to power, and he became a member
10 Q. But after 1995?
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj -- a brief answer
12 from the witness, maybe.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not aware of that.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
15 Mr. Seselj, you have used up one hour and twenty-five minutes.
16 Tomorrow, you will have one hour and fifty-five minutes. We shall resume
17 the hearing at 9.00 tomorrow morning.
18 Very briefly, Mr. Ferrara, quickly, please.
19 MR. FERRARA: Your Honour, very briefly. The document, the press
20 article, we don't have yet an exhibit number. We have only the MFI
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber will meet
23 later. We will discuss and see if an exhibit number will be given or
24 not. Should we forgot, because we have a lot of issues to cover, please
25 remind us tomorrow morning when we resume the hearing. But we'll give
1 you our answer straight away tomorrow morning.
2 Thank you very much. We'll meet again tomorrow at 9.00.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.
4 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 9th day of
5 October, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.