1 Thursday, 4 December 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 8.32 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, can you kindly call
7 the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
9 everyone in and around the courtroom.
10 This is case number IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus
11 Vojislav Seselj.
12 Thank you, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
14 Today is Thursday, the 4th of December, 2008. I would like,
15 first of all, to greet Mr. Tihic, the representatives of the OTP, as well
16 as their associates. I would like to greet Mr. Seselj, as well as all
17 the people assisting us in this courtroom, the Registrar and the usher,
18 without forgetting the interpreters.
19 We shall resume the cross-examination today. Mr. Seselj, you
20 have one hour and 15 minutes left, according to the calculations made by
21 our Registrar. I shall give you the floor for the rest of your
23 WITNESS: SULEJMAN TIHIC [Resumed]
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Seselj [Continued]
25 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. Tihic, right up until 1990, you were a member of the League
2 of Communists, right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And then you saw that the party had in fact not been a success,
5 it had fallen through, you didn't see any prospects there, but you
6 waivered with respect to becoming a member in one of these
7 newly-established parties?
8 A. Well, could you let me answer that question?
9 Q. But not too long.
10 A. It's difficult to say just "yes" or "no," so I'd like to explain.
11 I had a dilemma for a long time because I lived in a time and
12 system that were different. My father was a partisan. I'm from a
13 partisan family, and the party of the day was the organiser of the
14 uprising, and there was a tradition linked to the party which existed at
15 the time, so I was facing a dilemma in my family, too, whether I should
16 go and join up with one of the other newly-established parties. And when
17 I saw that the League of Communists could not survive and that, because
18 of all the baggage it had with it and all the various processes that were
19 developing, it would have no clout and no power, I opted for the Party of
20 Democratic Action, first of all, because I thought that that party would
21 devote most of its activities to Bosnia and Herzegovina, not to only one
22 nation, one ethnic group, but Bosnia-Herzegovina as a whole, whether it
23 was in a Yugoslavia
24 in that particular party, they did not have a platform of forming
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina as a state, but to protect the rights and freedoms of
1 the people living within it.
2 Q. But at the beginning, you had a great deal of reservations
3 towards the Party of Democratic Action, the SDA party, and its leader,
4 Alija Izetbegovic; isn't that right?
5 A. No, I didn't have any reservations or special dilemmas.
6 Actually, my dilemma was whether I was going to join that party or
7 whether I was going to remain in the League of Communists. But I saw
8 that the League of Communists was incapable of fulfilling and meeting up
9 the times that were coming, so I thought that of all the Bosnian parties,
10 it was the SDA party that would most be able to do that.
11 Q. And you had problems with people in Samac who formed branches of
12 the SDA; you didn't consider that they were worthy of your trust and
14 A. Well, that's not right. It was just that people -- it was people
15 who didn't understand politics and weren't engaged in politics in those
16 times. They were people that had secondary-level education without any
17 political experience, experience in economic matters and so on. And when
18 I was on the ticket, the other people there were mostly tradesmen, people
19 who had various skills, bakers and so on.
20 Q. But that was later. That was when you already became a member.
21 But you were wavering, because you considered that they weren't people
22 who enjoyed particular respect in Bosanski Samac?
23 A. Well, they were ordinary people, working people.
24 Q. Mr. Tihic, the Prosecutor disclosed a document to me, I wouldn't
25 have got it otherwise, a text of yours called "Remembrance." And I use
1 that word "sjecanje" because you use the "ch" in the spelling. It should
2 be "sjecanja." But you wrote it for the State Commission for Collecting
3 Data about War Crimes?
4 A. No, I wrote that when I emerged from the camp, because as time
5 went on, I thought that I was beginning to forget things and the order
6 and sequence of events, what happened in what camp, so in order not to
7 forget those events or, rather, mix them up and put events that took
8 place in one camp into another, I wrote this book, "Remembrance," which
9 would help me to remember the sequence of events, how they followed each
10 other chronologically.
11 Q. Well, it helped me to get a better knowledge of your life and
12 experience, because they have severed my contacts with my associates, so
13 it was only on the basis of documents provided me by the Prosecution that
14 I was able to prepare this cross-examination.
15 But, anyway, on page 2 of that very extensive text, 60 pages, you
16 say you attended the founding assemblies of all -- or, rather, the
17 promotional meetings of all the parties that were set up in
18 Bosanski Samac, and then you say that this party, the Party of Democratic
19 Action, didn't suit you. And I'm quoting you now:
20 "It was mostly a group of people who did not enjoy any particular
21 respect in the environment of Samac, and people who had come into Samac
22 from other places. So they were ordinary people, and various activists
23 talked to me and we discussed becoming a member of the SDA. They offered
24 me the post of president, if only I would accept becoming a member of the
25 party," because they thought that if you joined, you would draw in the
1 more respected citizens of Sarajevo
2 that's your assessment about the SDA when it was formed?
3 A. Well, mostly all the parties at the beginning had this kind of
4 problems with the membership, and when power was set up, they found that
5 they had a lack of well-educated people with political experience.
6 Q. Then you thought about joining the Liberal Party, led by Rasim
7 Kadic; right?
8 A. Yes, and those were the dilemmas that I spoke about. I had this
10 Q. But you were disillusioned by that party, too, and then you gave
11 up on the idea?
12 A. Well, I almost came to the party building to join up, but then
13 they issued a statement, a proclamation, which reminded me of the
14 political work of the League of Communists, because it was Rasim Kadic
15 was only present at the establishment meeting of the SDA. Because he was
16 there, they criticised him for that.
17 Q. Well, you thought they weren't tolerant enough?
18 A. Yes, that's right, because it was quite normal that as a member
19 of one party, you would attend founding meetings of other parties.
20 Q. I understand you completely, because I attended these Democratic
21 Party when it was formed, but it was -- nothing was furthest from my mind
22 than to become a member of that party.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers kindly be asked to slow down
24 and speak one at a time. Otherwise, it's impossible to interpret. Thank
1 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Seselj and Mr. Tihic, once again I'm sorry to
2 interrupt you. The interpreters are having such a hard time following
3 you, so please, both of you, slow down, speak slower, and please do
4 observe a short pause between question and answer. Thank you.
5 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
6 Q. You say here that at the first elections, only 50 per cent of the
7 Muslims voted for the SDA; right? The rest voted for the other parties?
8 A. Well, that was on the basis of the results that were achieved.
9 The Bosniak electorate could vote for four MPs, four seats, and the SDA
11 Q. In the second part of 1991, you began to help the SDA in its
12 work, and sometime in autumn you became a member; right?
13 A. No. I had become a member earlier on, in 1990, but in 1991 I was
14 elected president of the Party of Democratic Action.
15 Q. Well, it says here "1991," and then somebody corrected that and
16 put "1990." So you say the autumn of 1990?
17 A. Yes. I was on the ticket, on the party ticket, and the elections
18 were on the 18th of October; that is to say, before the 18th of October,
19 I became a member of the SDA in 1990.
20 Q. It was already clear then that the communists would lose the
21 elections, and it was your goal to bring as many respected members of the
22 community into the SDA?
23 A. Well, that wasn't only my objective. Many prominent citizens,
24 Bosniaks, tried to prevail upon me to join the SDA. They said, "You're a
25 lawyer. It's easier for you. We have -- we work for the state, but
1 we'll join up later on."
2 Q. In September 1990, the founding meeting in Bosanski Samac was
3 held, at which Alija Izetbegovic took part?
4 A. Yes, that's right, he did.
5 Q. Yesterday, I was surprised to hear one of your answers, your
6 answer, in fact, to my last question before we broke for the day, when
7 you said that you never supported Adil Zulfikarpasic, Muhamed Filipovic,
8 and their Bosniak-Muslim organisation, whereas in your statement on
9 page 3, I see the following, you say that several days before this
10 assembly at which Alija Izetbegovic took part, and then I quote you:
11 "There was a rift in the party when Adil Zulfikarpasic and Tunjo
12 Filipovic separated." Tunjo Filipovic. "Tunjo," that's the nickname for
13 Muhamed Filipovic, "and that created a dilemma for me, whether to join up
14 with the party because at that time I preferred their views, and that was
15 the reason why I did not join the SDA membership publicly on that
17 So those are your own words. You say here that you preferred
18 their political positions and that you supported them?
19 A. Well, that was one of the dilemmas, why I had to decide whether
20 or not to join the SDA party, because Professor Muhamed Filipovic was a
21 respected figure, personage, Zulfikarpasic, too. We had that on one
22 side, and Alija Izetbegovic was very popular on the other amongst the
23 people. So I gave the matter a lot of thought. And then we had the
24 personage of Fikret Abdic looming, but that did not mean that I supported
25 some of the late activities of Muhamed Filipovic and Zulfikarpasic, such
1 as the agreement you mentioned yesterday, the agreement with Milosevic,
2 the historical agreement as it was referred to, and I said that I did not
3 support that.
4 Q. Adil Zulfikarpasic was a very prominent personage among the
5 Serbian people as well until his death two or three years ago; do you
6 agree, he was well respected?
7 A. He was well respected among the Bosniaks, among the Serbs and the
8 Croats, because he was a person of great tolerance. He was an emigre who
9 helped Bosnia and Herzegovina and the political prisoners even before,
10 before the times of communism, and among others Mr. Izetbegovic, and then
11 he set up the Bosniak Institute in Sarajevo.
12 Q. But he was a very prominent democratic and not burdened by
13 religious fundamentalism?
14 A. Yes, he was a great democratic.
15 Q. All right. We agree on that point. Now, you really do say here
16 that as the elections grew near, you had to decide, and in the meantime
17 Fikret Abdic joined the SDA as well. And then there were large rallies
18 that were held in Foca and Velika Kladusa, magnanimous meetings, and you
19 decided to join the party then?
20 A. Those dilemmas went on throughout 1990 for a few months, seven or
21 eight months, in fact, and certainly those meetings and the fact that
22 prominent Bosniaks had joined up with the SDA tipped the scales, and I
23 joined too.
24 Q. And here on page 3, you say that the Muslims of Samac, from a
25 distance, viewed the activities of the SDA. Some supported it and were
1 in favour -- well, mostly quiet support -- and the other section of the
2 population publicly opposed it?
3 A. The Muslims of Samac, like the majority of Bosnians, liked
5 provided security and safety, both social and in every other respect, and
6 they were not able to accept changes as quickly. And if I had the
7 dilemma, and if I can say so, I understood things better than the
8 ordinary man in the street and it was a dilemma for me, then they had an
9 even bigger one. So the Muslims of Samac liked Yugoslavia, and the
10 Bosniaks generally in Bosnia-Herzegovina liked Yugoslavia, and even in
11 Bosnia and Herzegovina you still have streets named after Marshal Tito
12 and remembrances of Avnoj, the anti-fascist, liberation of Yugoslavia
13 so on, and many Muslims joined up the 4th --
14 Q. Many Muslims joined the 4th Detachment under the 17th Tactical
15 group; isn't that right? We talked about that yesterday.
16 A. Yes, some Bosniaks did join up, those who still thought that the
17 JNA was an army belonging to us all. They believed in Yugoslavia and
18 that it could be preserved, and those who had been linked to the security
19 structures previously and the army especially so.
20 Q. But there's another factor. The Muslims of Samac were never
21 prone, in the majority, to any religious fundamentalism. They were not
22 prone to place religion up above everything else in the life of the
23 society. Of course, that doesn't mean they weren't good Muslims. They
24 were good Muslims, some more, some less, but they always took into
25 account religious tolerance, right, and couldn't be compared to certain
1 environments in Bosnia
2 A. Well, you see, our historical experience, when it comes to life
3 in Bosanski Samac and that general area, we lived with the Serbs and the
4 Croats, and our life together was positive. We always kept our
5 traditions and our religion, but there were no expulsions, no
6 persecution. That's how I behaved, and that's how all the other Muslims
7 of Samac behaved.
8 Q. A large number of these Muslims did not like the policies of
9 Alija Izetbegovic. Alija Izetbegovic was already well known as an
10 Islamic fundamentalist and a pan-Islamist; right?
11 A. Well, you saw the outcome of the election. After all, at that
12 time, when people were still not fully aware of what was going on,
13 50 per cent supported the SDA, the list that I talked about, the ticket
14 that I talked about. It really did not include the best people. That is
15 to say that the SDA and Alija Izetbegovic won half of the votes in towns.
16 However, it's the SDP
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina. It wasn't Alija Izetbegovic. Whereas in Samac, the
18 Bosniak Muslims, that was the case only in town. The SDA or the HDZ and
19 the SDS
20 Q. Let us not evade the essence of my question. Do you agree with
21 me that a large number of citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Muslims
22 included, believed that Alija Izetbegovic represented the hard-line
23 Islamic option, that he was a fundamentalist and pan-Islamist?
24 A. I do not agree that it was a large number. It was a small number
25 of the citizens, and that is shown by the outcome of the election,
1 because the SDA did win about three-quarters of the Bosniak Muslim vote.
2 Q. But that was significantly contributed to by the fact that the
3 three nationalist parties got together and people thought that this would
4 strike the right kind of balance. If these parties stayed together, then
5 their negative aspects would be neutralised and they would have to seek
6 compromise and lead Bosnia and Herzegovina with a proper understanding?
7 A. Well, now, why people voted the way they voted, we can discuss
8 that for quite a while, can't we? And in the late President Izetbegovic,
9 they saw a victim of political persecution, and people tend to express
10 solidarity with people like that.
11 Q. No doubt he was a victim of the communist regime, and he was held
12 responsible for the text that he hadn't even published before that.
13 A. Yes. He was held responsible on account of what was called
14 "verbal offences." What he wrote was always taken out of the context of
15 what he was trying to say, and he was sentenced to harsh sentences that
16 he did not deserve.
17 Q. I don't know whether you know, but the first petition that was
18 organised in favour of Izetbegovic and his group came from my hands. Do
19 you know that?
20 A. I didn't know that. I know about the Belgrade intellectuals.
21 Q. Before the Belgrade
22 Komiza on the island of Vis
23 well-known sociologists, and it was a gathering of sociologists, and I
24 initiated this petition that was signed by sociologists from Serbia
1 that he was convicted and spent time in prison for no reason whatsoever?
2 A. You've been saying yourself, sir, he was not a fundamentalist, he
3 was not an extremist. You wouldn't have signed a petition for a man who
4 was a fundamentalist and an extremist. He was a free thinker. At that
5 time, you weren't allowed to write what it was that you thought, and that
6 is why he was held responsible.
7 Q. I think that everyone can think whatever they want and they can
8 publish their thoughts. However, if the thoughts are bad, then they
9 should be subjected to public criticism. People shouldn't be sent to
10 prison because of that. That was my position in view of Izetbegovic.
11 A. I agree, but he was not an extremist or a fundamentalist. You
12 know, in the war, where Izetbegovic was in power, there were no mass
13 crimes. He prevented that kind of thing.
14 Q. Already in 1980, this notorious Islamic declaration of his was
15 published. This was in 1989, in actual fact. And after that, it was
16 published several times. After that, there were other editions, too.
17 I'm just going to show you, by citing a few examples, that he was a pan
18 -Islamist and a Muslim fundamentalist.
19 I have here before me the first volume of the selected works of
20 Alija Izetbegovic that was published in 2005. However, up until then,
21 this book had been published several times. Do you agree?
22 A. Yes, it was published before that.
23 Q. As far as I can remember correctly, the first time was in 1989.
24 A. I think you're right on that.
25 Q. Slobodan Masic, who was an independent publisher, published it?
1 A. I don't know about that.
2 Q. All right. He says in his book that his objective was to create
3 a synthesis of ideas --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment. Gentlemen, the
5 interpreters are complaining. Since you are both intellectuals, we are
6 able to follow the question and the answers, because we understand the
7 question very quickly and we know which way the answers will go. But the
8 interpreters' job is somewhat different, and every time they lose track,
9 and you can see this on the screen, that they're having a hard time.
10 So once again, Witness, you are also a culprit. Please wait
11 before you answer. You may feel that we understand your language, but we
12 don't understand your language. We understand which way the questions
13 and the answers are going, but we follow, but the interpreters can't keep
14 up, and the court interpreter -- the court reporter will have to leave
15 blanks on the transcript.
16 Please proceed, Mr. Seselj.
17 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Already in the preface of this Islamic declaration of his, he
19 speaks of his objective; to create a synthesis of ideas that are
20 otherwise heard in different parts of the Islamic world and, as he says,
21 and now I'm quoting --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note, we do not have the text.
23 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
24 Q. "To move on from ideas and plans to organised action in order to
25 have this implemented. The struggle for new objectives does not start
2 This is on page 130:
3 "On the contrary, the history of this struggle already knows its
4 sahids and the pages that were written about suffering and victims.
5 After all, this is the result of the sacrifice made by individuals and
6 groups. The magnitude of the tasks and the difficulties calls for
7 organised action on the part of millions."
8 Tell me, please, he speaks of sahids here. These are martyrs of
9 Jihad, of the holy war for the faith; those are sahids, right?
10 A. I do apologise for the speed at which we've been speaking.
11 I think that it's Mr. Seselj who's been setting the pace, and then I tend
12 to hurry a bit too much as well.
13 Mr. Izetbegovic did not, in a single one of his texts, call for
14 violence. A sahid is a person who lost his or her life on God's path, as
15 it is said. It can be in war and in peacetime for certain objectives, or
16 the faith, Islam, et cetera. However, not in a single book, including
17 this one, "The Islamic Declaration," is there any reference made by
18 Izetbegovic about some movement that would mean violence. He believed
19 that the Muslims had to be changed, that they had to adjust to the
20 changed situation in the world, that in a way time has left them behind,
21 that they were not following contemporary processes either in scholarly
22 or societal matters. That is what he spoke about at many Islamic
23 conferences, when he addressed criticism to the Muslims of the world
24 because they were not adjusting. He was a man of coexistence, tolerance.
25 Q. Mr. Tihic, please, let us speak in more specific terms with
1 regard to particular matters.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note, could all other microphones
3 please be switched off. There is a great deal of background noise and we
4 can't hear the speakers.
5 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
6 Q. We know that in the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in the
7 Muslim-Croat federation, calls all the Muslims who lost their lives
8 during the war sahids and their cemeteries are called Sahidsko Mezarija?
9 A. No.
10 Q. How come you can say "no"?
11 A. Well, I'll explain now. In our federation, references are made
12 to the sahids and to the soldiers who got killed. Both terms are used.
13 So sahids and killed soldiers are persons who lost their lives during the
14 war. They were buried together. They were buried at cemeteries,
15 "mezarluks," and people called them "sahidluks" [phoen].
16 Q. Mr. Tihic, you were quite clear now. In the law it says, sahids
17 and killed soldiers. Sahids refers to killed Muslims, and killed
18 soldiers refers to killed soldiers. Perhaps some Serbs got killed in
19 your army as well, and who knows. Who knows what other ethnic
20 backgrounds were there. Perhaps a Jew got killed, or who knows who else.
21 However, the word "sahids" refers to all Muslims who got killed. You
22 see, they lost their lives for the faith. They're holy warriors.
23 A. That is not true.
24 Q. All right. If it's not true, let's move on.
25 A. It is not true, because sahids who lost their lives and soldiers
1 who lost their lives, this pertains to Muslims, who can be sahids as
2 well. There are Bosniaks who are atheists as well. There are
3 "sahidluks" where Serbs are buried, too. At Kovaci, for instance, there
4 are Serbs who also got killed, who fought in the Army of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina at the very outset. There were about 20 per cent of
6 the members of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina who had other ethnic
7 backgrounds, and it is only natural for such persons we cannot use the
8 term "sahidi." I think that not even the Bosniaks are sahids.
9 Q. Mr. Tihic, Mr. Tihic, all right, they're not, but there are very
10 many of those who are sahids, which is proof that they took part in a
11 religious war and that they are martyrs are fell for the faith. From
12 that point of view, they are paid tribute to, and I'm not opposed to
13 that, but let us establish the facts. And their kinsmen respect them for
14 that and the official authorities respect them for that. They are
15 martyrs who fell for the faith, which means that they took part in a
16 religious war. A religious war, in Islamic tradition, is called "Jihad,"
17 and this Jihad is what Izetbegovic mentions in his "Islamic Declaration";
18 is that right?
19 A. No, that is not right.
20 Q. If it's not, we'll move on.
21 A. I have to answer why it is not the case.
22 Q. Well, okay, go ahead.
23 A. They got killed while defending Bosnia-Herzegovina. They
24 defended their country, they defended their people, they defended their
25 family, they defended their own lives. It is not only on account of
1 faith, as you've been saying. See, many people who got killed were not
2 even practicing Muslims.
3 Q. It is Alija Izetbegovic who is refuting what you say. On
4 page 131 of the "Islamic Declaration," I quote --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note, we do not have the text.
6 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
7 Q. "People and individuals who espoused Islam are incapable after
8 that of living and dying for any other ideal. It is inconceivable that a
9 Muslim would make a sacrifice for an emperor or a ruler, no matter what
10 his name may be, or for the glory of a nation, party, or anything of the
11 kind, because according to the strongest possible Islamic instincts, in
12 this he recognises a kind of paganism and idolatry. A Muslim can lose
13 his life only with the name of Allah on his lips and for the glory of
14 Islam, or he can flee from the battlefield."
15 That is what is stated in Alija Izetbegovic's book. Have you
16 read that book of his?
17 A. Yes, I have read the book. However, you are taking -- you are
18 just taking some excerpts out of context apart from the substance of that
19 book and the message conveyed by the book. You can do that with any
21 Q. Mr. --
22 A. Wait a minute. I haven't finished yet. In every book, you can
23 find some sections that have a different meaning when taken out of
25 Q. Mr. Tihic, precisely on this day in 1644, I believe it was,
1 Cardinal Richelieu died, and he said a well-known thing, "Give me just
2 one word, one line, from any piece or body of writing, and I will find
3 cause for him to be sent to the gallows." I agree that this is a
4 dangerous thing. However, this involves a large number of quotations,
5 and the book itself is called "The Islamic Declaration." I cannot read
6 the entire book for you.
7 Now, the OTP has the entire book translated into English, and
8 they can submit this to the Trial Chamber, if they haven't already, so
9 who wishes to read the book, can read the book.
10 However, since the OTP has also been showing just brief excerpts
11 of your interview to TV Novi Sad yesterday, we did not view it in its
12 entirety, it's impossible to present everything in its entirety here, I'm
13 compelled only to deal with a few quotations. For example, yet another
14 quotation from part of the Declaration where Izetbegovic advocates an
15 Islamic order, and he says:
16 "The briefest definition of 'Islamic order 'defines it as the
17 unity of faith and law, upbringing and force, and the spiritual community
18 of the state, and voluntariness and coercion."
19 These are his words, and everyone in Bosnia knew that; Bosniaks,
20 Muslims, Croats, Serbs, et cetera. And then he moves on to say:
21 "As the synthesis of these components, the Islamic Order has two
22 basic postulates: the Islamic society and the Islamic authority. The
23 first is substance and the second is form of the Islamic Order. The
24 Islamic society without an Islamic authority is an unfinished one, it is
25 impotent. Islamic authority without an Islamic society is either utopia
1 or violence."
2 And most importantly Izetbegovic says here:
3 "A Muslim, for the most part, does not exist as an individual.
4 If he wishes to live and to live on as a Muslim, he has to create a
5 setting, a community, an order for him. He has to change the world or he
6 will be changed himself. History does not know of a single Islamic
7 movement which was not at the same time a political movement. It is due
8 to the fact that Islam is a faith, but at the same time it is a
9 philosophy, a morality, an order of things, a style, an atmosphere; in a
10 word, an integral way of life. One cannot believe in an Islamic way and
11 live and govern in a non-Islamic way or have fun in a non-Islamic way."
12 You see that this is an Islamic fundamentalist writing this,
13 according to his very own ideology; right?
14 A. Will you allow me to respond now?
15 Q. I've been letting you respond all along. I've just been asking
16 you questions, and you're providing the answers.
17 A. Well, now you put a question that is perhaps a page long. It
18 contains different statements that I do not agree with, you see, and lest
19 there be a wrong impression involved, you're referring to, say, page 131.
20 The book has 150 pages. You quoted here two or three pages.
21 Q. Mr. Tihic, they take one sentence out of a speech of mine and
22 they ask me to spend my life in prison. They asked that I be sentenced
23 for life, you see.
24 A. May I just finish, and may I just make a comment? May I just
25 make a comment in terms of what you have been stating?
1 You know, the personality and the works of the late Izetbegovic
2 cannot be viewed only in the quotations from a certain book. His entire
3 life is the life of a humanist, of a tolerant man, who suffered and was
4 held accountable because of his thoughts. There is no extremism or
5 fundamentalism in the case of Izetbegovic. There is no intention of
6 forcing others to behave the way he wants them to. He was always in
7 favour of a Bosnia-Herzegovina where the Serbs and the Croats and the
8 Jews and everybody else would be equal and where they would respect one
9 another. That is in the spirit of Islam as a faith.
10 Q. Mr. Tihic, I have no intention of insulting either you or
11 Alija Izetbegovic. We were opponents in war, and I'm now asking you
12 questions based on quotations. It's up to you to answer, and I have no
13 reason to believe you have any reason to be angry with me.
14 On page 145, Alija Izetbegovic draws this conclusion. I quote:
15 "Certainly, one must make the conclusion about the
16 incompatibility of Islam and Islamic systems. There can be no peace or
17 coexistence between Islamic faith and non-Islamic societal institutions.
18 Assuming the right to order the world its own way, Islam clearly excludes
19 the possibility of action of any foreign ideology in its own area. If
20 you think this is a call to tolerance, that's your right."
21 On the next page, he says:
22 "There is no secular principle. The state is supposed to uphold
23 the moral concepts of religion."
24 This is a well-known view of Alija Izetbegovic, isn't it, because
25 his book has been published in many editions and had a wide audience.
1 Every semi-literate man in Bosnia-Herzegovina, be it Serb, Croat or
2 Muslim, has read it.
3 A. May I answer? President Izetbegovic has written books, and as
4 you said, there is a collection of his books that he wrote in different
5 periods of his life. "The Islamic Declaration" belongs to an earlier
6 period. And President Izetbegovic, like any man, changed over his
7 lifetime, changed his thinking, his views, which is perfectly logical,
8 just like you did, just like I did, just like all of us do. I could give
9 you excerpts from other later books and quote many things that reflect
10 the real personality of Izetbegovic as a humanist who advocated peaceful
11 coexistence and tolerance.
12 When he withdrew from politics, he got congratulations from the
13 president of the US
14 they feared him but because they respected him as a man who represented
15 peace, negotiation, agreement.
16 Q. Do you know what regard I have for Jacques Chirac or Bill
18 have the right to be different.
19 "The Islamic Declaration" is the major work of Alija Izetbegovic,
20 that is his main work, the work of his life. That is indubitable. This
21 is what he says about the upbringing of the people:
22 "The upbringing of the people, especially the means of mass
23 influence, radio, television, radio and film, should be in the hands of
24 the people whose Islamic moral and intellectual integrity is beyond
25 reproach. It must not be allowed that these media fall into the hands of
1 immoral people who would transfer their own deviations to others. What
2 would we do if the TV tower sends to the people completely contradictory
4 In keeping with these views that he held, the State Television in
6 A. No, it is not.
7 Q. All right. Let's go on. On page 154, he says:
8 "Were it not for the --"
10 "There can be no Islamic order without independence and freedom
11 and vice versa. There is no independence and freedom without Islam.
12 This last position is important. The Islamic order can be permanent only
13 if it is a sign of freedom conquered, if a people has found itself, then
14 found its internal force without which it cannot fill this freedom with
15 content and preserve its independence."
16 And then he is goes on to say:
17 "The real support that the Islamic people gives to the regime in
18 power is in direct proportion with the Islamic character of that power.
19 It is therefore the lesser, the farther the regime is from Islam.
20 Non-Islamic regimes, therefore, remain completely without this support,
21 and thus willy-nilly have to seek support from foreigners."
22 And now, when Alija Izetbegovic pushes this ideology at any cost,
23 even at the cost of war, and seeks independence for Bosnia-Herzegovina --
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, first and foremost,
25 for everything to be clear, let me tell you that we are not here to try
1 Mr. Izetbegovic.
2 Secondly, regarding relevance, you have read this declaration.
3 Fine. It would be good to know when it was written, whether it was
4 written before Mr. Izetbegovic was head of state or while he was heading
5 the state, because it would be very different.
6 Now, regarding relevance, what are you trying to demonstrate with
7 this book?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm trying to demonstrate the
9 nature of authority and government that Alija Izetbegovic tried to
10 inaugurate in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and I'm demonstrating that the
11 Serbs, not even at the cost of their lives, wanted to reconcile
12 themselves with that government. For speculative reasons, the Croats
13 supported him at first, but then went to war with him in 1993. And
14 finally, even today's efforts of politicians in Bosnia to annul Republika
15 Srpska, to turn Bosnia and Herzegovina into a unitarian state, follow
16 this thrust of Islamic and pan-Islamic domination, and you chaired the
17 trial here, Mr. President, of people indicted for engaging Islamic
18 Mujahedin in the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and you had the occasion
19 to familiarise yourself with the crimes of these Mujahedin. You have
20 evidence of the involvement of al-Qaeda in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and there
21 is al-Qaeda network in Bosnia-Herzegovina still today. You heard about
22 Abu Hamza and many others. You heard a witness testify about an
23 intelligence centre in Kiseljak.
24 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I must say that
25 personally, I still do not understand what is the relevance to your
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I want to demonstrate that for the
3 Serbian people, there was only one option; to stay within Yugoslavia
4 to create their own state in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
5 The Serbian people could never, by any means, reconcile themselves to the
6 regime led by a man whose major work I just represented to you through a
7 few brief quotations.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, Mr. Mussemeyer.
9 The witness would like to answer, because I believe that he is being
10 called upon. But you wanted to say something, Mr. Mussemeyer?
11 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I don't want to prevent the witness to answer.
12 I have only a short observation.
13 Mr. Seselj is, like usual, quoting from documents which he did
14 not provide to the Prosecution before. This is unprofessional.
15 Thank you.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] First of all, I have to respond to
18 what the Prosecutor just said.
19 I said to the court officer to convey to the Prosecution that I
20 would be using the statement of Mr. Tihic made available to me by the OTP
21 and the book of Alija Izetbegovic, "The Islamic Declaration." I said
22 that -- I conveyed that verbally to the court officer, and I thought it
23 was arranged. Now, where would I photocopy this document to give it
24 again to the Prosecution, and where would I photocopy the book that the
25 Prosecution certainly has? You do have that book, and you must have read
1 it. And when you examined Sefer Halilovic at length, that book was also
2 used. There are a thousand pages of that examination of Sefer Halilovic.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mussemeyer, I believe that
4 the OTP must have Mr. Izetbegovic's book. If you don't, I mean, that
5 would be quite incredible. Maybe you don't have it yourself, but I
6 believe that the OTP has it. Right?
7 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I agree with this, and I'm not sure that we have
8 it, but I think we have it. But it would be professional to provide the
9 Prosecution, before the cross-examination starts, that the accused has
10 the intention to quote from this book, that we can prepare ourselves.
11 And for the -- it is true that we got information from the Registrar just
12 before we started this morning that Mr. Seselj is willing to quote from
13 Mr. Tihic's [sic] memories just to assist the Trial Chamber. These
14 memories are part of the Prosecution exhibit list. They are
15 number 65 ter 2094, and I think it should be moved into evidence, because
16 the accused is quoting from this, and therefore it has to go into
18 Thank you.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Witness, you wanted
20 to answer. Please, you have the floor. You've listened to what
21 Mr. Seselj said regarding the relevance of his line of questioning. I'm
22 not going to sum up what he said. You know exactly what he said just as
23 well as I do. But what did you want to say? You have the floor.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, I wanted to respond
25 to your question addressed to Mr. Seselj when that book was written.
1 The book, "The Islamic Declaration," was written approximately 20
2 years before Alija Izetbegovic was elected president. That is the first
3 thing I wished to say.
4 Now, what kind of a book was it? Because of that book, he was,
5 among other things, indicted, and you heard from Mr. Seselj a moment ago
6 that he had voiced his support to Alija Izetbegovic himself during that
7 trial and protested against that trial. That book was the subject of a
8 trial in which Mr. Seselj was, in a way, involved.
9 These stories about al-Qaeda, these are fabrications against
10 Bosnia and Herzegovina. That is a country in which Bosniak Muslims, as
11 an autonomous people, have lived for hundreds of years together with
12 Serbs and Croats, and they adjust their behaviour to the environment in
13 which they live. There is no extremism or fundamentalism there,
14 especially not al-Qaeda. Not a single terrorist act, not a single attack
15 has been registered in all this time against any building, against any
16 individual, against any representative of the International Community
17 where the Muslims live. All these stories are part of a propaganda that
18 is an attempt to justify crimes and everything that happened in Bosnia
19 and Herzegovina
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Tihic, the only question
21 that sums everything up is the question I will ask myself.
22 You have responsibilities with the SDA, so as far as you're
23 concerned, could you tell us whether, at the time of Mr. Izetbegovic, the
24 SDA was a religious political party or a secular political party, among
25 which members that were of a certain religion could exist? In a
1 nutshell, that's the question.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Party of Democratic Action was
3 a secular party, not because I say so but because that is written in its
4 programme, its platform, its declaration, and it's in the document of
5 registration of that party. And it was also secular in its action, in
6 its work for Bosnia and Herzegovina as a state of equal peoples. It was
7 said clearly at its founding Assembly that Bosnia and Herzegovina can be
8 neither Serbian, nor Croat, nor Muslim. It belongs to all those three
9 and other peoples who feel the same way.
10 It is true, at the time of its founding, it was also struggling
11 for ethnic and religious rights of the Muslims. It was one of our
12 objectives, because the Muslims were not recognised under their name,
13 "Bosniaks," and some other rights that other people in Yugoslavia
14 were not granted to Muslims yet.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for your answer.
16 Mr. Seselj.
17 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Tihic, you have said that Alija Izetbegovic never advocated
19 violence in "The Islamic Declaration." I can refute that immediately.
20 On page 162, he says, I quote:
21 "Emphasising the priority of religious moral renewal cannot mean
22 nor can be interpreted to mean that the Islamic order is achievable
23 without Islamic government. This position only means that our path does
24 not start with conquering power, but with conquering people, and that
25 Islamic renewal is, first of all, an upheaval in the area of upbringing
1 and only then politics. We have to preach politics first. We have to be
2 politicians and then soldiers. Our weapons are books and words. When
3 will these means be joined by power? The choice of this moment is always
4 a specific question. It depends on a number of factors. Still, one
5 general rule can be observed: The Islamic movement should and can
6 proceed to take over power as soon as it is numerically strong enough not
7 only to topple the current power, but to build a new Islamic power. This
8 is very important, because destruction and construction do not require
9 the same degree of psychological and material preparation. Going too
10 early in this is as dangerous as going too late."
11 Am I right?
12 A. You are certainly not right, and you are never right with regard
13 to Mr. Izetbegovic.
14 Mr. Alija Izetbegovic speaks of spiritual renewal here, because
15 in the past 50 years the Bosniak Muslims, like other peoples, had been
16 under an atheist government, and he's speaking primarily of a kind of
17 spiritual renewal, revival.
18 Q. You deny that Alija Izetbegovic was a pan-Islamist,
19 ideologically, and here I have proof on 164 that he was a pan-Islamist.
20 He says:
21 "In one of the thesis for the Islamic order of today, we stated
22 that an actual function of the Islamic order is the aspiration to gather
23 all Muslims and all Islamic communities in the world. In today's
24 circumstances, this aspiration means a struggle to create a greater
25 Islamic federation from Morocco
1 Central Asia
2 And then on the next page, 165, he goes on to say:
3 "How does it happen that this popular pan-Islamism, indubitably
4 present in the form of the feelings of the masses, remains without any
5 influence on the actual policies of Islamic states? Why does it remain
6 at the level of feelings? Why doesn't it rise to the level of awareness
7 of a common Islamic fate?"
8 And then he goes on to explain. Is it proof of his pan-Islamist
10 A. It is no proof of anything of the kind. He just states his view
11 on the condition of Islam throughout the world, including various
12 countries with various dictatorships that exist in the world. That's
13 probably what he meant to say, but it's very difficult for me to comment
14 here and now, "The Islamic Declaration" of President Izetbegovic, in the
15 context of your quotations and excerpts taken out of the whole, the
16 entirety of his life's actions and work. It was very different from what
17 he was 20 years later, when many circumstances changed.
18 Q. Mr. Tihic, you are the successor of Alija Izetbegovic, at the
19 head of the SDA party. You are the legate of his ideology. Even in the
20 middle of the night, if awakened suddenly, I can always answer questions
21 about great Serb nationalists, whose successor I am, from Laza Kostic and
22 other great figures and what they stated in their major works, and in the
23 same way I expect you to know well the ideology of your predecessor and
24 your spiritual father, if I may put it so. This is his -- the major work
25 of his life. He answers this question in this way, and I quote:
1 "The answer to this question lies in the fact that contrary to
2 the feelings of popular masses, there is the action of educated people,
3 educated in the West, and they were pan-Islamists. The actions were
4 contrary to feelings, and in this sense any action will remain
5 impossible. Contemporary pan-Islamism is, in fact, an aspiration to
6 harmonise feelings with action. The state determines the character and
7 the fate of Islamism in today's world."
8 And then he comes down heavily upon various Arab regimes of
9 secular character; the Syrian, Iraqi, Tunisian, et cetera. Everything of
10 secular nature is a target of his attacks. He is seeking a
11 fundamentalist regime; isn't that correct, Mr. Tihic?
12 A. No, it isn't, that's not so. Mr. Izetbegovic spoke about the
13 lack of unity among the Muslims in the world. He spoke about that very
14 frequently and said that the Muslims were not -- did not profess
15 solidarity, the rich Muslims with the poor Muslims, and it was especially
16 President Izetbegovic who was opposed to dictatorship. And what you
17 mentioned, Syria
18 they were dictatorships, they were Soviets.
19 Q. I visited some of those countries, for instance, Syria, I was in
21 character, highly secular and religiously tolerant; whereas the countries
22 that are an example, as far as Alija Izetbegovic is concerned, like
24 examples, good examples.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, to try and streamline
1 these questions, it seems -- we stand to be corrected. However, it seems
2 that Mr. Seselj is putting forward the idea that the Serbs in
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and amongst others, those in the Republika Srpska,
4 got together and joined forces because they feared an Islamic state as
5 part of a pan-Islamic order. This is the underlying theory behind
6 Mr. Seselj's questions.
7 You are a major player in all of this. What do you think about
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is not correct. Mr. Seselj is
10 attaching too great an importance to the book, "The Islamic Declaration."
11 In the life and work of Izetbegovic, Izetbegovic himself, it doesn't have
12 that importance. And Mr. Seselj said that he was opposed to the -- to
13 taking Izetbegovic to trial. The Serbs, in 1990, when they voted -- or,
14 rather, the Serbian party called upon the Serbs to vote for Izetbegovic
15 on the Izetbegovic ticket, and to vote for him personally. Why would
16 they do that? Why would they call upon the Serbs to vote for Izetbegovic
17 if Izetbegovic was some sort of fundamentalist who wanted to see a Muslim
19 In his life and work, from his birth to the death, none of that
20 existed, and what Mr. Seselj is saying now is politicising and justifying
22 The conflict came about because the Serbs wanted to remain in
24 Bosniaks, too, for that matter, but not because of Alija Izetbegovic's
25 book and not out of a fear that he could impose some sort of society
1 which would -- especially not an Islamic society. We all know that in
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that could never be the case. It could not be the
3 case and should not be the case anywhere, let alone in
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina, where there are at least three ethnicities that have
5 lived together for centuries. Nobody could accept that; none of the
6 Muslims. The Bosniaks could not accept a society of that kind, because
7 we've been living in a different environment for hundreds of years. We
8 have Orthodox, we have Catholics, we have Jews. So there is no grounds
9 and support for that kind of an idea, nor did the idea ever exist.
10 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Mr. Tihic, I believe you've heard of a prominent intellectual who
12 stood up in defending the freedom of thought of a certain man who thanked
13 him for that, and he addressed him in the following words. He said,
14 "Sir, you are saying stupid things throughout, but I will fight to my
15 last breath for your right to say those things, those stupid things."
16 Now, I did not think that Alija Izetbegovic's "Islamic
17 Declaration" was not a serious text. I always thought that it was. But
18 I was an adversary of ideas contained in that Declaration. Nevertheless,
19 I considered that Alija Izetbegovic had the right to present his views,
20 and that is why I defended him, as I would defend anybody else who is
21 taken to task for his beliefs.
22 Now, when his beliefs and his thinking is inaugurated through a
23 political movement, and when it becomes a concrete and specific political
24 goal, then you must understand that there are people who did not agree to
25 live with things like that.
2 the rump Yugoslavia
3 A. No, that is not right, it is not the way you say it. Nowhere in
4 Izetbegovic's political activities were goals opposed that were contained
5 in the "Islamic Declaration," either in the Party of Democratic Action or
6 anywhere else, and President Izetbegovic, on the one hand, held the -- he
7 had his books on one side and his political programme on the other. What
8 he wrote and what he thought about, especially when those thoughts are
9 extracted and put out of context, they can take on a different meaning
10 than the meaning intended by Izetbegovic, although what Mr. Seselj
11 quoted, all those things can be interpreted in quite the opposite manner,
12 quite different to what Mr. Seselj is doing. And when it came to the
13 survival of Yugoslavia
15 formed Yugoslavia
16 preserve it. The Bosniaks could not do that. And we did everything in
17 our power to preserve Yugoslavia
18 put forward the proposal for a staggered federation and confederation,
19 and we knew that we would be the ones to suffer most in the war, and we
21 Q. Mr. Izetbegovic -- Mr. Tihic. I misspoke and said "Izetbegovic."
22 That was a slip of the tongue. Mr. Tihic, your party, already in 1991,
23 started preparations for the war. You set up the Patriotic League, the
24 Green Berets, and you as the president of the municipal branch of the
25 party in Bosanski Samac, also took certain steps, and you testify about
1 that in this statement of yours. On page 7, for example, you say that
2 you organised professional seminars, you from the municipal boards, that
3 you sent people to be trained in sabotage, and that's to be found on
4 page 7 of your statement.
5 And among those people from Sarajevo who came to train you, there
6 was Sefer Halilovic. You say that, too. He was among them, and you say
7 that on page 7. Then you complain and go on to say that there was great
8 pressure for you to start arming yourselves, and you mentioned names of
9 people, Muslims who insisted upon that most, like Hakija Banacic [phoen],
10 Mitar [indiscernible], Kemal Bobic, and so on, and you say they did
11 nothing specific, but asked that somebody else to that.
12 "We didn't have the money and funds to arm ourselves and all the
13 activities to raise funds fell through because the people of Samac did
14 not want to give money, make donations, and so on two occasions we
15 managed to collect about 3.000 German marks, which was not enough, and at
16 the same time we set up the Crisis Staff in the party, and the Command,
17 and compiled all the documents, such as a war plan," et cetera, and
18 similar things.
19 So you had a war plan, too, didn't you, Mr. Tihic? That's what
20 you say, you say you had one .
21 A. Well, what Mr. Seselj read out is something that I put into my
22 statement and testimony already, because I said that the JNA handed out
23 weapons to the Serbs and that the Croats were busy arming themselves, and
24 that these arms were coming in from Croatia
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mussemeyer.
1 MR. MUSSEMEYER: It might be a matter of translation, but it is
2 said in the version I have, in the English version, it is not a war plan,
3 it said "a military plan." That for me makes a difference, but it might
4 be by reason of translation. Thank you.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It says "ratne" plan, war plan.
6 The interpreters can check that out for you, "ratne."
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Tihic will confirm this
8 straight away.
9 In your statement, you mentioned a war plan or a military plan?
10 This could be two different things, and one might be the same as the
11 other, but it might not.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what it says. In
13 actual fact, it was a plan of defence, a protection, protection for the
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judge --
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Bosniaks in Samac made up
17 7 per cent of the population, you see, so they could not defend
18 themselves. There were 42 per cent Serbs and 44 per cent Croats, and the
19 Serbs were armed to the teeth, as they say, by the JNA. The Croats were
20 armed in their own way. So all we could do was draw up documents and
21 make plans to try and protect ourselves. Whether it was called a defence
22 plan or a war plan, I really don't know, but the substance is the
23 essential point.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judge, it was mostly the Muslims
25 who were prevalent in town, not in the municipality. There was not a
1 single Muslim village, but in town the Muslims were in the majority.
2 May Mr. Tihic be shown his statement, and on page 7 it says
3 "ratne plan." I'm sure he can't remember. I believe him, but when he
4 sees that, then he will see that it was indeed that he did say "ratne
5 plan," "war plan," if you don't believe me.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, sir.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It doesn't matter what it was
8 called, whether a war plan, a military plan, or a defence plan. The
9 important thing is what we wanted with that plan. And by devising that
10 plan, we made a list of activities about how best to defend ourselves if
11 there was a war conflict, but we had no offensive actions contained in
12 that plan. We didn't say we would attack anybody, or occupy anybody, or
13 take control of anything, or destroy anything. We were just faced with a
14 situation and an environment in which we had to do something. And the
15 plan that we devised could not help us, because we weren't armed, there
16 were much fewer of us, and we weren't armed as much as others.
17 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Why did you need 200 kilograms of dynamite? You could have blown
19 up the whole of Samac with that. It says here that you procured 200
20 kilos of dynamite. Why did you need that then, Mr. Tihic?
21 A. I said in my statement that some people from Croatia
22 in that dynamite, and the dynamite remained there.
23 Q. Because the army stepped in on time?
24 A. It wasn't used, nor did anybody have the intention of using it.
25 They brought it in from somewhere in Croatia, and it was stored there, it
1 was there, and when the army came, it took it away.
2 Q. So they were a step ahead of you; is that right? Now, you say
3 here you appointed Alija Fitozovic as commander, and then you go on to
4 say that because he was prone towards alcohol, he didn't rank highly in
5 his environment, but his image didn't rank too low, either. He was said
6 to be sympathetic with the Croats, which wasn't bad at the time, but at
7 any case "in view of my influence in the party and among the people, I
8 could replace him at any time and revoke his decision, and that is why I
9 was not afraid of his extremism." Is that right?
10 A. When we compiled the plan for preparations, the plan to prepare
11 our defence and protect the population with it, at that time I talked to
12 some Bosniaks who had officer ranks, ranks of reserve officers, and I
13 asked them whether they would accept to help out. They weren't keen to
14 do so. They weren't keen to be included in any of this. There was fear,
15 generally, for security reasons and so on and so forth. But Fitozovic
16 did accept, and he was one of the reserve officers. And Albania
17 Fitozovic didn't do anything bad. Let me make that clear.
18 Q. I didn't say he did. Anyway, on page 9, you go on to say the
20 "In keeping with an invitation from Alija Izetbegovic, the
21 Muslims," and you're speaking about the Muslims of Samac, "except for a
22 number of local traitors, did not respond to doing any military service
23 or any service in the reserve force."
25 A. There was a call-up, an invitation for that. If you'll allow me
1 to finish my answer. President Izetbegovic did tell us not to respond to
2 the call-up and do any military service in the Yugoslav People's Army,
3 because the army was already at war in Slovenia and Croatia
4 Muslims of Samac mostly respected that.
5 Q. And those who responded to the call-up, you called traitors; you
6 say that yourself?
7 A. Well, that's what people called them.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj has moved on to
9 another topic. I would like to get back to Fitozovic, who in your
10 statement is mentioned as a captain in the JNA. You mentioned that he
11 was a reserve captain, and it is easy to understand why you had appointed
12 him, because he was an officer. That's the first point.
13 The second point, as far as I can see in your statement, is that
14 under Fitozovic's bed was discovered -- explosives were discovered that
15 had been hidden under the bed, but we can also see, and this you added,
16 that he had gone to fetch them from the Croats.
17 Was there an agreement between the Muslims and the Croats, an
18 understanding between the two, some providing the arms and the explosives
19 to the others?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Had there not been any agreement --
21 well, I did not take part in the drawing up of any agreement. There are
22 individual cases, and one of those cases, one of those examples, was that
23 Fitozovic went to Slavonski Brod, for instance, and received that from
24 the Croats. But the explosive was never used. It was just found there
25 in his home. I don't know where he kept it.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, but he gets the explosives
2 from the Croats. In other words, does he buy them, does he pay for them
3 on the black market? He buys these explosives from Croats who sell them
4 to him or does he go to see them between, inverted commas, "a cooperation
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, he received it free of charge.
7 It was there in Slavonski Brod without any agreement.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Is this something that is
9 commonly done in the Balkans, to give people weapons free of charge?
10 Well, what was the Croat interest in providing that? For the war in
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, probably it was an attempt to
13 help the Bosniaks in arming themselves in their defence, that kind of
14 thing, because at that time there was -- the JNA posed the danger. It
15 was the JNA who were a danger to both the Bosniaks and the Croats, and
16 that's why they supplied that.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
18 Mr. Seselj.
19 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
20 Q. On page 11, you say that your opinion was that the Croats were
21 always greater friends to you than the Serbs, which was shown through
22 history and subsequent events; right? Now, please do explain to me, when
23 were the Croats better friends to you Muslims, without going into this
24 latest war?
25 A. You know, I meant the crimes that, through history, the Serbs
1 committed against the Muslims in the Second World War.
2 Q. Where?
3 A. You know, in Eastern Bosnia, you know what the Chetniks of
4 Draza Mihajlovic did.
5 Q. I know of only one case of a mass crime against the Muslims in
6 Foca, and I'm not aware of any other one, and you are not, either.
7 A. I am. Do you want me to tell you about the crimes in Gorazde in
8 1942 [Realtime transcript read in error "1992"], you know, when they
9 brought Muslims to the bridge and when they slaughtered several thousand
10 Muslims? And, you know, the partisan detachment from Montenegro
11 prevented that. They did not allow the Muslims to be slaughtered.
12 Q. There was only one crime against the Muslims in Foca committed by
13 the Chetnik vojvoda Pavle Djurisic from Montenegro. In the Second World
14 War, most of the Muslims were among the Croatian Ustashas and the
15 Domobrans. A lot of Croats were in Hitler's SS Handzar division. There
16 were some Muslims in the so-called village militias, but they were just
17 guarding their villages. There were Muslims in the partisans, a
18 considerable number, and also there were about 10.000 Muslims who were
19 Chetniks. So in the Second World War, Muslims, after all, were not all
20 in favour of one single option. They divided into different options.
21 However, when we go back to your statement --
22 A. Can I just respond to what you said just now?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Do.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I would just like to correct
25 something on the record. I think you mentioned, Mr. Tihic, the crimes
1 committed in 1942, and the record says "1992." I think you wanted to
2 respond, Mr. Tihic.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, there were many crimes
4 that were committed by the Chetniks against Muslims in Eastern Bosnia and
5 elsewhere in Bosnia
6 into all of that, but Muslims, intellectuals and others, signed an
7 important petition in the Second World War in 1941, in which they
8 condemned the Ustasha movement, and they asked that the Serbs be
9 protected from the crimes that were being committed against them in the
10 Second World War by the Ustasha authorities at the time.
11 So it's not the way Mr. Seselj is putting it, that Muslims were
12 only in favour of the Croatian side.
13 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Were there Chetniks who were Muslims?
15 A. Most of the Muslims joined the partisans. Some did join the
16 Chetniks, some did join the Ustashas, but most of them were in the ranks
17 of the partisans.
18 Q. All right. Let's be more specific here. On page 12 of your
19 statement, you said you went to negotiate with Lieutenant-Colonel
20 Nikolic. He was commander of the 17th Tactical Group, right, and you ask
21 that the JNA be removed from the location of Uzarija, and you say:
22 "We mentioned as our reason the reaction of the Croatian side,
23 namely, that they could shut off the bridge, and for Bosnia that is the
24 only access or road to Europe
25 that we knew that arms for Bosnia
1 bridge, so if there were to be a check-point next to Uzarija, imports of
2 arms would be prevented."
3 You say that yourself. You were bothered by the JNA unit near
4 Uzarija because it hindered the import of arms from Croatia into Bosnia
6 A. Well, you see, in Bosnia and Herzegovina the JNA quite legally
7 armed the Serbs. All the Serbs were being armed, and they used all their
8 capacities to serve the purposes of the idea of a Greater Serbia. The
9 Muslims were trying to protect themselves so that they would not all get
10 killed, and this weaponry arrived through -- from Croatia through
11 Bosanski Samac, too. I'm not concealing that. I was not involved in
12 that, but it was a thing that people knew, that this happened across this
14 Q. You Muslims would have been armed, too, if you had responded to
15 mobilisation call-ups; right? Serbs received call-up papers, and then
16 they had weapons distributed to them. Had you responded to the call-up,
17 you would have also been issued with personal weapons; right?
18 A. No, that's not right. Just a minute, please, let's wait for the
20 No, they got weapons even without mobilisation call-ups on the
21 basis of ethnic grounds only.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Tell me, please, how much time do I
23 have left?
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, it's time for our
25 break. It's already 10.00. We've been sitting for an hour and a half
2 We'll have now a 20-minute break.
3 Let me tell you that according to the Registrar, you have ten
4 minutes left, Mr. Seselj, so please try to focus on -- please try to
5 focus your questions, because you only have ten minutes left. We meet
6 again in ten minutes [as interpreted].
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Wait a minute. If I remember
8 correctly, the Prosecutor spent a bit more time than was envisaged, a bit
9 more than two hours. I would need an additional ten minutes, in addition
10 to these ten minutes, if possible, and if you also establish that the
11 Prosecutor also overstepped his time limit. I have some other important
12 questions to put to Mr. Tihic.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You'll have 20
14 minutes after our 20-minute break. We'll break for 20 minutes.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction earlier, it was a
16 20-minute break, not ten minutes.
17 --- Recess taken at 10.02 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 10.25 a.m.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session
20 after this break, and I give the floor to Mr. Seselj.
21 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Now, in this statement of yours, you say how you were conducting
23 these campaigns to collect funds from 200 private entrepreneurs from
24 Samac to pay for the SDA and the reserve police during the guards and
25 also to have bread for dinners and so on. Your detachment already
1 started patrolling Samac, didn't it, Mr. Tihic?
2 A. Should I answer?
3 Q. Yes.
4 A. This statement of mine shows that we had collected a total of
5 3.000 marks, which was insufficient. Arms could not be bought from that
6 money. We used that here for fuel, per diems, bread for the reserve
7 policemen. We also provided some compensation, because Serbs and Croats,
8 as reserve policemen, did not respond to call-ups from the reserve public
9 security station, and very often there was no security on the bridge
10 across the Sava River
11 of Bosniak ethnicity. We only had guards at the entry points into Samac.
12 There was no patrols. These check-points were there at night in the fear
13 that someone would enter Samac during the night and commit crimes.
14 Q. However, in your statement, you say the second group consisted of
15 Rahid Pavic [phoen], Ibrahim Salkic, Dedo Halilovic, Aziz Hecimovic,
16 Osman Mesic, Pasaga Tihic, Esad Hadzimujagic, Fuad Jasenica and others.
17 Nevertheless, most of the concrete work was done by Izet and Alija.
18 That's Izetbegovic, right, who went to Slavonski Brod, to Metaric [phoen]
19 and Piplovic, and this is in Croatia
20 kilograms of explosive from there, and another time 10.000 bullets, 20
21 grenades, some anti-tank shells. Izet also, on one occasion, agreed upon
22 and received from the party 30 automatic rifles and 5 pistols.
23 During Ramazan, Senahid Memic once came before the mosque, a man
24 from the party, because along the road to Samac his truck broke down.
25 "Then I organised the goods to be loaded onto a different truck." Then
1 there was the veterinary station -- that belonged the veterinary station:
2 "Smajlovic transported the weapons to the destination, and for
3 that service we got 20 automatic weapons and 2.000 bullets. In that way,
4 we already had 50 automatic weapons. With these weapons, we equipped a
5 platoon that patrolled town with hidden weapons primarily in vehicles.
6 Depending on the situation, we had several patrols and then we covered
7 all entrances into Bosanski Samac."
8 Is that right, Mr. Tihic?
9 A. Let me provide you with an answer. All the weapons that we had,
10 all the weapons that we ensured, you just referred to them now, these
11 were some automatic rifles, Klashnikovs. In relation to -- or, rather,
12 in comparison to weapons of others, it was negligible. These weapons
13 were in vehicles, it was not publicly displayed, and during the night we
14 covered the entry points into Bosanski Samac. These guards of ours were
15 trying to prevent bad things from happening at night, because different
16 people would come to Bosanski Samac and different rumours were going
17 around. And we did all of this in agreement with the police, the chief
18 of police, who could not ensure a sufficient number of policemen in
19 Bosanski Samac for protection.
20 Q. What was his name?
21 A. Vinko Dragicevic.
22 Q. A Croat; right?
23 A. Yes, Vinko Dragicevic is a Croat. He was the chief of the Public
24 Security Station in Bosanski Samac.
25 Q. All right. On one occasion, a patrol of the JNA entered
1 Bosanski Samac and disarmed your patrol, and you erected barricades
2 straight away. Alija Fitozovic organised this, and you say here in your
3 statement that this happened without your knowledge?
4 A. After the JNA patrol came in and did what is written here, that
5 is to say, when they seized the weapons from one of our patrols, Alija
6 Fitozovic -- well, this caused the citizens to feel upset, and Alija
7 Fitozovic organised barricades, although I was clearly against that, and
8 I stated that clearly and said that that was not a good thing. I said
9 that was not our method of struggle, that these barricades could only
10 lead to problems. And there had already been barricades in Serb and
11 Croat villages. I thought that this was not a good thing. And the very
12 next day, we removed that, and the president of the SDS and the HDZ
13 called upon all the citizens to do that and to remove all these
14 barricades from Serb villages, Croat villages --
15 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the end of the
17 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Before that, you fired at the patrol of the JNA that went to
19 Bosanski Samac. Osman Mesic fired at it. He did not hit anyone. You
20 say that he fired into the air, but in the direction of that patrol. And
21 then that patrol went away, and you were afraid that the JNA would come
22 back with stronger forces, and you removed the barricades immediately,
23 and you were also afraid that the 4th Detachment would be activated. Is
24 that right?
25 A. Let me answer.
1 Q. Please go ahead.
2 A. I was against barricades.
3 Q. That is what is stated here.
4 A. I was against barricades. That is to say, I believe that this
5 was not a smart thing to do, and I wanted to have these barricades
6 removed the same morning. That was not a good thing, and that was
7 demonstrated by the fact that Osman Mesic fired into the air in the
8 direction from where the military police was coming in, and that could
9 lead to a conflict. Also, there was the 4th Detachment there. There
10 were armed Serbs who could fire at the backs of those who were in
12 So this was a stupid and irresponsible move, and I did my best to
13 have these barricades removed as soon as possible; not because the JNA
14 would come -- well, perhaps on account of that, too, but primarily
15 because I thought that this was not a good thing, generally speaking.
16 It's not a good thing for a town, for any place, to have barricades there
17 and to have check-points of that kind.
18 Q. You believed that nothing could be achieved through barricades?
19 A. I thought that was wrong.
20 Q. However, when you removed the barricades, then you joined in a
21 daily cooperation with the HDZ by way of preparations, and you say:
22 "Cooperation was reflected in agreements reached between
23 political representatives, daily contacts between our commander and their
24 commander, and at the first meeting in Prud."
25 They agreed with you that a joint Crisis Staff should be
1 established; is that right?
2 A. No, no. I have to answer this, because this is very important.
3 I came to this meeting after it had started, and I saw that only
4 the representatives of the Bosniaks and the Croats were there and that
5 the intention was to establish a staff for the municipality of Samac
6 consisting only of Croats and Bosniaks. I then said that I was against
7 that, that we could not have only two peoples establishing a staff, that
8 the third people had to be made aware, too. Then the staff was not
9 established. I personally was against that, and it was not established.
10 Q. It says here you insisted that the two staffs continued existing
11 in parallel; that Alija Fitozovic remained the commander of your staff
12 and on that occasion the Croats gave you one PAP semi-automatic rifle
13 against anti-tank mines and grenades.
14 A. I was against the establishment of a staff for Bosanski Samac
15 municipality consisting only of Bosniaks and Croats. I wanted the Serbs
16 to be included. I wanted it to be a real Territorial Defence.
17 Q. All right. After that meeting, you get another shipment of
18 weapons from Croatia
19 automatic rifles, 2 mortars, several Zolja, hand-held rocket-launchers,
20 right? That's what Zoljas are?
21 A. From Croatia
22 Q. No. These are a new 50, so in total you have 100 automatic
23 rifles now?
24 A. Allow me to finish. Those 50 rifles, I said, should be brought
25 to the Staff of the Territorial Defence, because it had been formed by
1 that time. Until then, there had been no TO Staff. I was afraid that
2 these automatic rifles would be distributed to civilians, that they would
3 be used outside of any control, and I wanted them to be turned over to
4 the TO Staff. And that was done. And then two days later, Samac was
5 attacked and those weapons were found there.
6 Q. Your statement says something different. It says:
7 "Most of the weapons were immediately distributed in the TO
8 Staff, mainly to Muslims, and several to Croats."
9 Here it is on page 14 of your statement. So these weapons did
10 not remain in the Staff. You immediately distributed them at the Staff.
11 A. The fact is --
12 Q. I believe every word you said.
13 A. We have to let the interpreters finish.
14 The fact is the weapons were turned over to the Territorial
15 Defence Staff. Now, to what extent, within those two or three days
16 before the attack on Samac, those weapons were successfully distributed,
17 whether most of them were or not, I don't know. All I know is that when
18 Samac was attacked, some of those weapons were found at the Territorial
19 Defence Staff, which was a legal institution, and it was legally
21 Q. How can that TO Staff be a legal institution when it was outside
22 any control by the JNA? Only a territorial defence under strict control
23 of the JNA was legal, under the decision of the Presidency of the SFRY.
24 A. No, that's not the way it was, that's not the way it was. The TO
25 Staff was appointed by the Republic Staff of Territorial Defence. It was
1 completely legal. And the Command of the TO Staff was under the
2 Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and they acted upon their orders.
3 Q. What happened in Samac, when you were captured, you called that
4 war, and you say perhaps 15 to 20 days before the war, there was a clash
5 between members of the 4th Detachment and members of the reserve police,
6 and you state the names of those involved in the clash, and we see that
7 there were Muslims on both sides, both in the 4th Detachment controlled
8 the JNA, and the reserve police controlled by you, and you gave us the
9 name of the Muslims in the reserve police; Mesad Mesic, Nizam
10 Ramusovic -- no, no, reserve police, Adis Izetbegovic, Sead Srna, and one
11 policeman from Hasici?
12 A. A Croat.
13 Q. Croat, all right. And on the other side, Nizam Ramusovic, Mesad
14 Mesic and Daniluk [phoen], that one could be a Serb, right, in the 4th
15 Detachment. So on both sides in that first skirmish, there were Muslims;
17 A. You see, those were members of the 4th Detachment -- we should
18 wait for the interpreters. Members of the 4th Detachment were
19 provocative on that day. They were shooting at a tavern where there were
20 members and followers of the SDA, and at the time as they were shooting,
21 a police patrol came by. And not knowing who's shooting and what
22 happened, and thinking that they were the target, they started fire.
23 Q. What's interesting, Mr. Tihic, is that only three members of the
24 4th Detachment were wounded, two Muslims and one Serb, and that none of
25 your reserve policemen were wounded. And now you say they were the first
1 to shoot. Maybe they really did shoot first, but in the air. But they
2 got shot there. All three of them were wounded.
3 A. I have to wait for the interpretation.
4 The police patrol heard and saw shooting. They didn't know
5 whether they were the targets, whether they were going to be missed or
6 shot, so they fired back. But the fact is the people from the 4th
7 Detachment started shooting first. It is an unfortunate incident, but
8 those from the 4th Detachment shot first, and the people who were coming
9 in that direction could not know if that was shooting in the air, so they
10 fired back. And so it happened that these people were wounded.
11 Q. And you, when you were captured, Mr. Tihic, had an automatic
12 rifle and a pistol on you; right? You hid the pistol, and the automatic
13 rifle was taken away from you?
14 A. When I was captured, I was in the house of Mica Pavlovic, a
15 neighbour of mine, without any weapons. But earlier on, I had been
16 issued with a pistol and an automatic rifle that were back there at my
17 house, and they were taken away when my house was searched.
18 Q. Mr. Tihic, by all appearances the JNA arrested you quite legally.
19 You had weapons, you were an insurgent, and everything was legal except
20 the frequent beatings that you were subjected to after your arrest. That
21 part I condemn, too, and I believe the people responsible for beating you
22 and the other prisoners should be held accountable. Why they are not
23 held accountable is a question best addressed to the Prosecution, but the
24 intervention of the JNA was legal and your arrest was legal because you
25 were armed, you were members of armed units. Whether you had the weapons
1 on you or not is not particularly important here.
2 A. May I answer?
3 Q. Go ahead.
4 A. It was not a legal attack of the JNA against the town of
5 Bosanski Samac. It was not legal for the JNA to come to occupy the
6 police station, to occupy the municipal building, to drive out all the
7 officials who were non-Serbs, all the policemen who were non-Serbs. And
8 speaking of the JNA, it could have remained where it had been, in Serbian
9 villages, but it was not supposed to change the government. It was not
10 its job to change the government, all the more so because nobody was
12 Q. In your examination-in-chief, you described how JNA helicopters
13 arrived and brought some members of special units, that is, soldiers you
14 called specialised soldiers, and they were in fact soldiers who had gone
15 through specialised training and were to be the core of the 4th
16 Detachment; do you know that?
17 Do you know that among these soldiers who were brought by
18 helicopters of the JNA, there were also people from Bosanski Samac who
19 had been previously sent to training and then came back together with
20 soldiers from Serbia
21 A. I told you all I know about these helicopters. I told you that a
22 Serb person came to my office, told me that two helicopters had arrived,
23 brought these members of special units from Serbia who imposed the terror
24 on those villages, beat up some guards even. Now, who was in those
25 helicopters, whether that included people from Bosanski Samac who had
1 gone to some special training, I don't know.
2 Q. Well, I do know. You don't have to believe me. And then you go
3 on to say:
4 "I later learned that the Red Berets were part of the police
5 force in Serbia
6 Now, only the fact that these soldiers were wearing red berets,
7 although it was indubitable they were members of the JNA and had arrived
8 by JNA helicopters, is enough for you to link them with the special unit
9 of the MUP of Serbia
10 berets; is that correct? What is the connection of the Serbian police
11 force with these people who came by helicopter and wore red berets?
12 A. I told you. They came by helicopter. They were wearing military
13 uniform. I was told that they were Red Berets. I thought they were part
14 of the Serbian police force. Now you're telling me they were not.
15 Q. Do you know that some units of the JNA also wore red berets?
16 A. I don't know, but they came as part of the JNA, as part of the
17 army. Whether they were formally under the control of the JNA or the
18 police, that's something I don't know.
19 Q. And then you mentioned Zvezdan Jovanovic, because you had
20 information that he worked for the police later, and you know very well
21 that it's possible that he had been in the JNA, then in Arkan's
22 Volunteers Guard, and then moved on to the police force. When this
23 special unit was established in 1996, many former Arkan's men joined that
24 unit. They also looked for some volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party,
25 but since we were in fierce conflict with the regime, we refused. But
1 Arkan's men joined that unit.
2 And now you say Zvezdan Jovanovic was a notorious criminal, he
3 killed and robbed, et cetera. But nobody could say, in Serbia
4 Zvezdan Jovanovic, that he was a robber. Not even at the trial for the
5 murder of Prime Minister Djindjic could anyone say that.
6 A. I'm saying that he robbed and that he was a criminal on the basis
7 of what he did in Bosanski Samac. One of my relatives filled in, on his
8 orders, blank driving licenses that had previously been seized from
9 Muslims. My relative was a civilian. He typed out illegal driving
10 licenses for Zvezdan Jovanovic, put stamps on them so that
11 Zvezdan Jovanovic could take out these cars to Serbia.
12 Q. When was that?
13 A. In 1992.
14 Q. When?
15 A. In April/May.
16 Q. Before the withdrawal of the JNA from Samac? That's absolutely
18 A. That's the same way they seized rifles, weapons. They forged
19 licenses to carry weapons. They took out all sorts of equipment from
20 trucks. They looted machinery. The local Serbs did not dare to protest,
21 because these were dangerous people.
22 Q. Mr. Tihic, I am absolutely certain that there was no major
23 looting. There may have been petty theft and pilfering, but nothing
24 looted left Bosnia-Herzegovina before the JNA left. The looting began
25 after the JNA left, but you were not in Samac then. You are telling us
1 about hearsay. Whether that man was really Zvezdan Jovanovic or not,
2 that's in great doubt. I have no reason to defend him, because I have
3 never seen him in my life, but all of Serbia knows that he was not a
4 criminal, that he was not a robber. He was a very professional soldier.
5 Whether he killed Djindjic or not, I personally do not believe it. The
6 trial took place in very suspicious circumstances. One day, the truth
7 will come out. Certain things were fabricated, and before the trial, the
8 police executed two key witnesses, this man Siptar and the other Lukovic.
9 Those are facts, Mr. Tihic.
10 A. May I answer?
11 Q. Go ahead.
12 A. The fact is that these two units, these specials, were also
13 robbers and looters. They looted the private property of citizens. They
14 looted the socially-owned property of enterprises. And Zvezdan Jovanovic
15 was one of them. I know that.
16 Q. From hearsay?
17 A. From talking to Bosniaks, from talking to Serbs. Later on, of
18 course, when all this was in the past and when we talked, and even Serbs
19 told me how they had tried to stand up to it, but they did not dare to
20 because these were dangerous people, as I said.
21 Q. This is all hearsay. You know that, but never mind. Do you know
22 that after the withdrawal of the JNA, this 4th Detachment that belonged
23 to the 17th Tactical Group, grew into the Semberija Brigade of the army
24 of Republika Srpska? Are you aware of that?
25 A. [No verbal response].
1 Q. We have an occasion to talk while the Judges are busy, because my
2 time is running out.
3 A. I want the Judges to hear what I'm saying.
4 Q. They'll read it later.
5 A. Mr. Seselj, you told me --
6 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] One minute, Mr. Seselj.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, we were computing
8 the time with the Registrar. You have almost used up all of your time.
9 You have one last question, and then we will put an end to the
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I have, I have asked my
12 question, and now I'm waiting for the answer of Mr. Tihic, who didn't
13 want to answer until he was sure you were listening.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You told me that all I know about
15 looting is hearsay. I know about it firsthand. They robbed me,
16 personally, these specials. They took me to my home and they made me
17 turn over valuables to them.
18 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Who? You mentioned Lugar?
20 A. Lugar was there, too.
21 Q. And in the statement you gave to the investigators of the OTP,
22 you said Lugar was a blonde, fair-haired man?
23 A. We did not dare look at these people in the face. As soon as
24 they showed up, you had to look down, and you were not allowed to look at
25 them carefully. When they showed me the picture, I recognised him, but I
1 said, "I'm not quite sure." But I did identify him. He was stalkier
2 then, and especially since he was wearing a uniform.
3 But let me answer the question about the 4th Detachment which you
4 say grew into a Brigade of the VRS. I did hear the same thing, that this
5 4th Detachment later grew into a Brigade.
6 Q. The Posavina Brigade. And as for this Lugar man, your statement
7 says he was blonde. And I met him quite by chance once in my life, and I
8 know that he had jet black hair. He hasn't been alive for a long time
9 now and it doesn't matter, but he had black hair.
10 A. Lugar was the worst criminal there. He beat me up very badly. I
11 don't know about his hair. I was very frightened of him, but --
12 Q. You know what I meant to say. Human memory is not quite
13 reliable, Mr. Tihic, especially after such a long time. I believe that
14 somebody beat you up badly. You would not have made that story up, not
15 at this length. I believe that you were beaten. But after a certain
16 time, people are inclined, in their thinking, to ascribe their suffering
17 to some people about whom they learn only later.
18 Now, it's difficult to identify, name by name, all the people who
19 beat you, but do you agree that you blame most the man who was the chief
20 of the Security Service, and he is the one who should identify
22 A. Lugar beat me up several times, personally.
23 Q. Never mind. He's not the subject of our conversation.
24 My final question, and this is my final question: Do you agree
25 that for all the beatings that you suffered from the first time you were
1 captured until you were exchanged, that the main culprit and the main
2 person responsible was the chief of the Security Service?
3 A. There are a number of culprits.
4 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] But it's up to him to find who the
5 perpetrators were and who the culprits were, but you and I both know who
6 that is.
7 Thank you, Mr. Tihic.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Tihic, I have a follow-up
9 question I would like some details.
10 Questioned by the Court:
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In your municipality, the TO
12 was set up. You explained this. This TO is made up of Muslims. There
13 were weapons, 50 pistols and more rifles and so on. Fine. We see
14 exactly what happened. We know that the captain in charge had set up
15 some barricades. You were against that. Fine.
16 But now I would like to put a question to the legal expert, to
17 the lawyer. Obviously, all this was happening in April 1992. As far as
18 you know, did the Republic of Bosnia
19 tell us when the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
21 A. Bosnia and Herzegovina organised a referendum on the 29th of
22 February and the 1st of March, 1992, that is, and the European Union
23 recognised Bosnia-Herzegovina on the 6th of April, 1992
24 on it was recognised by all the other countries. And on the 20th of May,
25 it became a member of the United Nations.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And on the 19th of May, the JNA
2 withdrew, and until the JNA withdrew, Mr. President, it could not have
3 become a member of the United Nations.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You just mentioned
5 dates, dates that are extremely important, of course.
6 On April 6th, 1992
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Therefore, if I understand correctly, the TO started
8 operating after April 6th, 1992
9 the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
10 is that it?
11 A. The Territorial Defence existed before, within the framework of
12 the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, with the proviso that the
13 JNA for a year beforehand had disarmed the Territorial Defence and taken
14 the weapons away. Now, in that Territorial Defence, the army of the
15 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina was established later on, from the 6th of
16 April onwards.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj took the floor and
18 said that the JNA withdrew on May 19th. I believe that you must agree
19 with him on this date of May 19th. However, as a lawyer, don't you think
20 that the JNA should have withdrawn as early as April 6th, 1992?
21 A. Well, it should have withdrawn already on the 1st of March, when
22 the referendum on independence was held and when Bosnia-Herzegovina, to
23 all intents and purposes, became independent in official terms. But the
24 JNA did not even withdraw on the 19th of April, when it officially should
25 have done so, but they stayed on for a long time after that.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You are saying that
2 it should have withdrawn in March already?
3 A. Well, looking at it from a formal standpoint, the results of the
4 referendum were proclaimed, the citizens declared themselves in favour of
5 independence, so the JNA had nothing to look for there anymore. It was a
6 foreign army from that moment on.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I'm sure we will
8 have occasion to return to this issue at a latter stage.
9 Mr. Mussemeyer, do you have any redirect?
10 MR. MUSSEMEYER: There's no need to redirect. But as for the
11 personal notes of the witness has been quoted extensively, I think it
12 should be moved into evidence.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In other words, from what I
14 understood, the witness wrote a book. I believe you quoted the exhibit
15 number on the 65 ter list. If I remember correctly, that should be 2004.
16 Is that the right number, 2004? 2094?
17 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Exactly.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So I shall turn to my
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] 2094, Mr. Mussemeyer, that is
22 the book which you wish to tender; is that right?
23 MR. MUSSEMEYER: The title is "Personal Notes of the Witness
24 Sulejman Tihic." I will see what it says on the first page. It starts
25 with "Memoirs," but I cannot see more, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Would you like Mr. Tihic's
2 statement to be tendered into evidence, the one we have before us, which
3 was taken on - I'm just checking the date --
4 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Yes.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. You wish this to be
6 tendered also into evidence. In other words, you want two documents to
7 be tendered into evidence.
8 Registrar, can we have -- Mr. Seselj.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] First of all, it is absolutely
10 impermissible for the statement to be admitted into evidence that the
11 witness gave to the OTP. He testified viva voce, and all those
12 statements given previously to the OTP go directly into the waste paper
13 basket, whereas this is a document that was compiled far before the
14 testimony itself, and this is, for example, a document that could be
15 taken in under 89 ter. This is a typical document that could be
16 subjected to that Rule, and not the statement given to the OTP and is
17 written by the OTP. This is written personally by the witness,
18 Mr. President, and the statement he gave to the OTP was written by either
19 the Prosecutor or the investigator, based on the proofing session or
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mussemeyer.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It cannot be admitted into
24 MR. MUSSEMEYER: The reason why we took this statement was the
25 order of the Trial Chamber of the 7th of January, 2008, where it was said
1 that we could come back with a 92 ter statement from the witness which is
2 consolidated. We consolidated this statement, and after each paragraph
3 it is said where we quoted from. It has been translated into the
4 witness's language, and the witness read, made corrections, and then
5 signed it.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, it is important for
7 you to remember that initially the Prosecutor wanted to hear this witness
8 as a 92 ter witness, and the Trial Chamber at the time had asked the
9 Prosecutor to provide it with a consolidated statement. And it is you,
10 you yourself, who intervened and who said that you wanted Mr. Tihic to
11 come and testify viva voce, in light of the role he had played and the
12 position of this gentleman.
13 The Trial Chamber had said that we would deliberate on the
14 matter, which we did, and the Trial Chamber agreed to what you had asked
15 for and decided that this witness would come and testify as a viva voce
17 So this is how things stand. We understand now that you are
18 telling us that what counts, when a viva voce comes to testify, is the
19 transcript and not the statement.
20 I shall turn to my colleagues to see what needs to be done.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have to tell you this: Any
22 possible admittance of this statement into evidence would be a trick,
23 because I was told that the witness would be testifying viva voce. I was
24 preparing for that. He's testifying viva voce, and I cross-examined him.
25 And now if, by some unfortunate circumstance, you were to admit his
1 former statement under 92 ter, then that would be a unique example of a
2 witness who testified viva voce and under 92 ter, and then I would
3 consider myself to have been duped and tricked.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I shall turn to my colleagues
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber, after having
8 deliberated, as you could see, decides: (A), that the personal notes
9 entitled "Memoirs" or so-called memoirs, are admitted. The Registrar
10 will give us a number for this.
11 However, as far as the 92 ter statement is concerned, the Trial
12 Chamber does not grant the Prosecutor's request.
13 Could we have an exhibit number, therefore, Registrar, for
14 Mr. Tihic's notes.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours. This document shall be given
16 Exhibit number P681. Thank you, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
18 Mr. Tihic, your testimony has come to an end. Personally and on
19 behalf of my colleagues, I would like to thank you for having come to
20 testify, for having taken the time to come and testify in this case, and
21 I would like to thank you for the answers you provided to the questions
22 put to you by the Prosecution, by Mr. Seselj and by the Bench. We wish
23 you a safe journey home, and we wish you all the best in your future
25 I shall ask the usher to escort you out of the courtroom, but my
1 colleague has something to add.
2 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 I just wanted to add to what the Presiding Judge has just said,
4 the expression of our deep compassion for the pain and the suffering that
5 you have endured. It seems that you have suffered more than most, and
6 the Chamber recognises the courage and the efforts you have taken to come
7 here and testify again about this. And we wish you, as we wish all
8 witnesses who have been exposed to suffering during the war, our best
9 hopes for the life in the future for all of you.
10 Thank you.
11 [The witness withdrew]
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before we move into closed
13 session, I have something to say. Mr. Mundis will then have the floor.
14 Mr. Seselj, yesterday I stepped in at one stage because when you
15 spoke, you talked about demanding something, and I had said that this
16 might be a question of semantics, due to the translation of what you had
17 said. You then stepped in and said that in your country, this could
18 arise, you could step in and intervene during the proceedings and say
19 that you demanded something.
20 After having looked into the matter, it seems that you were
21 partly right. Lawyers in Serbia
22 I wanted this to be on the record. I wasn't challenging anything
23 when I said this yesterday, but in civil law countries I believe things
24 are very similar to the way they happen in your country. The accused
25 make requests, and one responds to these requests. In exceptional
1 circumstances, demands are made when an accused, for instance, wishes to
2 have a lawyer. That is a demand, per se, and the Bench needs to respond
3 to that.
4 This is what I had to say to you to make sure there is no
5 ambiguity whatsoever. I am concerned about the fact that these
6 proceedings should unfold in the best possible conditions, as smoothly as
7 possible, and that the witnesses are able to respond as they should.
8 This is our objective, an objective we share with all the people
10 This is what I had to say about this matter.
11 I would like to move into closed session now, because I would
12 like to know what our schedule is.
13 Mr. Mundis, was that why you were on your feet?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have something to say briefly in
15 open session, before you move into private session.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please do.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, yesterday I received
18 a request from the Prosecution that a written statement of VS-1033, under
19 92 ter, be admitted, and it was on the 19th of November, that is, the
20 date of the request, and it was handed to me yesterday. And I
21 categorically oppose it, because I consider there is no reason why this
22 witness should be heard under 92 ter and that he should come in here and
23 be heard viva voce.
24 Now, referring to all the arguments that I have put forth umpteen
25 times as to why I do not accept anything under 92 ter, I don't want to
1 repeat myself and take up more time, but those arguments stand.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As has occurred previously, we
3 shall look into the matter. Sometimes we stand by what we say.
4 Sometimes we agree to what you are saying. We shall let you know very
5 quickly, and we shall hand down a decision on this matter.
6 Mr. Mundis, let's move into closed session or not?
7 [Private session]
11 Pages 12693-12701 redacted. Private session.
3 [Open session]
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Did I hear this right? In the
5 morning next week, in the morning?
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Absolutely, we're sitting in
7 the morning, Tuesday morning at 8.30. We'll tell you as soon as
8 possible, maybe this afternoon, as early as this afternoon, about the
9 time allocation. But I believe from what the Prosecutor said, that these
10 will be witnesses that will not take up a lot of time.
11 Yes, you have the floor.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I've just remembered,
13 Mr. President, what it was that I thought was important. May I say it
15 In advance, I'm absolutely opposed to having the Prosecution time
16 extended for their case, because I have proof that the Prosecution has
17 not used their time so far rationally.
18 For example, these last two witnesses, from the point of view of
19 the indictment and from the point of view of what it is that they are
20 trying to prove, these last two witnesses were brought here for no reason
21 whatsoever. You see that both have nothing to do with the indictment
22 issued against me. Mr. Tihic did not contribute at all to providing
23 evidence of a pattern of behaviour in Bosanski Samac. He just told us
24 the story of his fate or destiny, and that's it. As for
25 Mr. Fadil Banjanovic, he also spoke about the crime base, and it is two
1 months removed from the period when volunteers of the Serb Radical Party
2 were in the territory of Zvornik
3 two witnesses that were brought here totally unnecessarily. They were
4 useful for me, but not for the Prosecution. This is a strong argument,
5 from my point of view, that no additional time should be given to the
6 Prosecution for presenting their case.
7 I could give you a series of examples in relation to previous
8 witnesses that were also used, and there was no point in doing that, from
9 the point of view of the indictment, that is.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] From what I understood, the
11 Prosecutor told us it was just a working assumption, he's thinking about
12 it, but if he is asking for additional time, he will submit a motion.
13 This motion must be grounded with motivations and so on, and I'm sure you
14 will be allowed to reply also. But right now, this is just a working
15 assumption, that they might need an extension. Nothing has been set as
16 of now, and the Trial Chamber hasn't been seized of any motion as of now.
17 This is where we stand.
18 So I would like to thank you all, and we will resume on Tuesday
19 morning, 8.30 a.m.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 11.40 a.m.
21 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 9th day of
22 December, 2008, at 8.30 a.m.