1 Tuesday, 9 December 2008
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 8.31 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you please
6 call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
8 everyone in and around the courtroom.
9 This is case number IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus
10 Vojislav Seselj.
11 Thank you, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you,
13 Mr. Registrar.
14 This is Tuesday, December 9, 2008, and I welcome everyone in the
15 courtroom. I welcome the representatives of the OTP, I welcome
16 Mr. Seselj, as well as everyone helping us.
17 As you know, we will be hearing a witness that has been granted
18 protective measures. Therefore, I will not give his name. This witness
19 will testify today. This is witness VS-1028. The Prosecution has been
20 granted one hour. Mr. Seselj, one hour.
21 After this witness, we will have a court witness tomorrow,
23 The Trial Chamber said that after questions from the Bench, and
24 that should take about an hour and a half or two hours, the Prosecution
25 will have one hour and Mr. Seselj will also have an hour. And then we'll
1 end the week with a 92 ter witness. So that's the schedule for this
3 I believe that Mr. Seselj has a few housekeeping matters to deal
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I have two issues that I wish
6 to raise, Mr. President.
7 First of all, on Friday, I believe, I received an urgent addendum
8 to the Prosecution motion to end the right of the accused to
9 self-represent, and since this motion has 20 pages, exactly, 7.765 words,
10 more than twice the limit, the usual limit, I need additional time to
11 file my response. I ordered Zoran Krasic, my legal adviser, to draft a
12 response, but my wife, Jadranka Seselj, could only bring the response
13 next Tuesday, next week, so I would like to ask for the deadline for the
14 filing of my response to the addendum to the motion by that time. So I
15 would be able to file it on Tuesday. That's one thing.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Seselj, since
17 your wife is coming next Tuesday and will bring the response, we grant
18 you this motion.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The second request, second motion,
20 I did the rough version this morning. I was caught by surprise by the
21 fact that the Prosecution has given me a confidential decision on the
22 actions taken pursuant to a confidential decision of the Chamber dated
23 the 6th of November. I will not now go into the Prosecution explanation,
24 because it is confidential, but the decision that you actually filed on
25 the 6th of November is not confidential. And here it says that you
1 decided to admit, pursuant to Rule 92 quater, the statement by
2 Ljubisa Petkovic. I have yet to receive them. I am actually quite
3 astonished that you have made this decision, and, secondly, because the
4 Prosecution is already acting upon it, despite the fact that the decision
5 has not been communicated to me.
6 I will, of course, be challenging any decision admitting anyone's
7 statements pursuant to Rule 92 quater, persons who are not available to
8 the Court, who are deceased, and in particular persons who are not
9 available to the Court. You had Ljubisa Petkovic here for four months.
10 You convicted him on contempt of court charges. He was in the
11 Detention Unit, and it is impossible to admit any statements of his under
12 92 quater. If you actually did make this decision, it is contrary to the
13 decision that you communicated to me, rejecting my motion and the motion
14 of the Prosecution, in which we sought the access to the complete record
15 of the proceedings in the contempt of court charges against
16 Ljubisa Petkovic.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm going to answer straight
18 away, but let's move into private session.
19 [Private session]
11 Pages 12707-12712 redacted. Private session.
5 [Open session]
6 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're back in open session.
8 Our witness is about to testify. He's been granted protective
9 measures, so before he comes in, we're going to lower the blinds. They
10 will be raised again once the witness is protected by the screen and has
11 made his solemn declaration.
12 Mr. Registrar, can you lower the blinds and can you fetch the
14 [The witness entered court]
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's move into closed session,
16 Mr. Registrar.
17 [Closed session]
11 Pages 12714-12715 redacted. Closed session.
14 [Open session]
15 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You may proceed,
17 Mr. Mussemeyer.
18 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Examination by Mr. Mussemeyer:
20 Q. Mr. Witness, you have already told us that you were born in
21 Bijeljina. Did you live your whole life in Bijeljina?
22 A. Yes, until the war broke out. I worked in Austria for a time.
23 Q. Did you make your military service somewhere at that time?
24 A. Yes, I did. I did my military service in Pristina in 1984-1985.
25 Q. Can you tell us which unit you were trained at the military and
1 in what arms -- in using of arms were you trained?
2 A. I was light anti-aircraft artillery, which is a three-barrelled
3 20-millimetre cannon.
4 Q. When did you finish your military service?
5 A. In 1985, the month of November.
6 Q. Where did you go after you finished your military service?
7 A. I went to my birthplace in Bijeljina. I didn't have any work. I
8 just did odd jobs. I didn't have steady employment in any firm or
9 anything like that. I worked privately.
10 Q. Have you ever been a member of a political party?
11 A. Yes. In 1991, I was a member of the SDA.
12 Q. Do you know if also other parties existed in Bijeljina at that
14 A. Yes, there were other parties; the SDS, the SRS -- the Serbian
15 Radical Party, that is, the SPD, and several other smaller parties. But
16 mostly the main parties were the SDA, the Serbian Radical Party, and the
18 Q. Do you know who established the Serbian Radical Party at
20 A. Yes, I do. Mirko Blagojevic.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness kindly be asked to speak up,
22 please. Thank you.
23 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
24 Q. Do you know also members of the Serbian Radical Party who were
25 living at Bijeljina at that time?
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, please, when you
2 answer, could you please try to speak loud, loudly, so that the
3 interpreters can hear you. I also noted that the interpreters told me
4 that sometimes you use German words, so please try to only speak your own
5 language, with words of your own language, so that the interpreters don't
6 run into difficulties with words of another language they don't
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, no problem there.
9 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
10 Q. I repeat my question. Do you remember also other members of the
11 Serbian Radical Party at Bijeljina?
12 A. Yes, I do. I remember there was Sumar. That was the nickname
13 for Filipovic. And there was Pero Simic and Tuzlancic, who was the
14 editor -- well, not the editor, but he was the head of Radio Bijeljina.
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Witness. Do you know if the Serb Radical Party
16 had a party office in Bijeljina?
17 A. I don't remember whether it had a party office, but I do remember
18 that they conducted similar discussions in a cafe called Srbija.
19 Q. Did you also go to the Cafe Srbija?
20 A. Yes, I did, because the Srbija Cafe was in my town, so of course
21 I'd go there.
22 Q. Did you always go there alone or were you in company with others?
23 A. I would sometimes go alone, and at other times I would go with
24 other people, with my friends. I was going out with a Russian girl, and
25 I would go and have a cup of coffee with her there.
1 Q. What was the reason for you to go to the Cafe Srbija?
2 A. Because during the war in Croatia
3 started, I was interested in hearing what happened and whether something
4 similar would happen to us in Bosnia
5 Q. For that reason, you had to go to the Cafe Srbija?
6 A. Well, I went for that reason and, well, mostly because the same
7 thing was brewing up in Bosnia
8 interested to hear the latest news, and I went to see what was going to
9 happen and things like that.
10 Q. Did you do this also in the interests of your party?
11 A. I was working in the interests of my party, but also in my own
12 interests and in the interests of my own people, of course.
13 Q. Can you describe us the atmosphere in the Cafe Srbija?
14 A. Already at the beginning, when the war had already started in
16 Serbs; total hatred, in fact. And when it all started in Croatia
17 I think that it was 100 per cent certain that the same thing would happen
18 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the war and all the rest of it, and that they
19 couldn't take it anymore; they couldn't take the non-Serbs, because it
20 was only Serbs that gathered in the Srbija Cafe.
21 A long time ago, all the ethnic groups would gather together
22 there in the cafe, but just prior to the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, there
23 were members of the Serbian Radical Party going to the cafe, and it was
24 only Serbs that frequented it in the end.
25 Q. Did you realise a kind of hate against non-Serbs there? And if
1 so, who pronounced this?
2 A. Of course there was hatred towards the other ethnic groups, the
3 non-Serbs, and this was expressed mostly by Mirko Blagojevic and the
4 other people who led the Serbian Radical Party.
5 Q. Did they say what should happen to the non-Serbs if the war
6 breaks out?
7 A. Yes. They said that anybody who wasn't loyal to the Serbs and
8 the Serbian Radical Party, and Serbs in general, would be killed,
9 slaughtered, and then the rest of those who weren't loyal should be sent
10 to -- the Muslims to Turkey
11 part of Bijeljina shall remain ethnically pure.
12 Q. Was there a specific expression for the non-Serbs used by these
13 members of the SRS
14 A. Yes. They referred to us Muslims as Ustashas. They said we were
15 Ustashas and linked to Croatia
16 that we were balijas, Ustashas, things like that.
17 Q. So also for Muslims, the expression "Ustashas" was used?
18 A. Yes, that's right, that was used.
19 Q. Do you know the ethnic composition of Bijeljina at that time; how
20 many Muslims lived there, how many Croats, and how many Serbs?
21 A. As a town, the town, well, in the municipality I think there was
22 75 Muslims, 20 per cent was Serbs and 5 per cent was Croats and others.
23 The but when I say 75 per cent Muslims, I include the Romas, who were
24 also Muslims.
25 Q. Have there already been clashes before the outbreak of the
1 conflict at Bijeljina?
2 A. There were clashes -- well, not clashes. It's more that the
3 steelworkers were let go who were Muslims. The workers, the
4 editor-in-chief, Jusuf Trbic, of Radio Bijeljina was let go, and other
5 people as well who were Muslims, and you could feel the hatred then, the
6 hatred of the Serbs towards the Muslims.
7 Q. Mr. Witness, what I'm specifically interested in --
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, could you please speak
9 louder? The interpreters are really having a very difficult time hearing
11 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
12 Q. Mr. Witness, what I'm specifically interested is: Can you give
13 me a reason, how is it possible for you, as a Muslim, who grew up in
14 Bijeljina, where everybody knew that you were a Muslim, to go into a
15 Serbian cafe? How is this possible?
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, we need to
24 redact line 14 and after. (redacted)
1 (redacted) everyone will know who he is.
2 Mr. Prosecutor.
3 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
4 Q. A while ago, you mentioned you were going there with a Russian
5 girlfriend. How was this received by the Muslims -- by the Serbs?
6 Excuse me.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] There's no interpretation.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, this was not
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, they didn't like it. That's
11 natural. But I was a young guy, she was a little older, and she was
12 going around with a number of Serbs. She had several boyfriends, and I
13 would go there with her.
14 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
15 Q. Do you know if also other Muslims went to this cafe or worked
17 A. I don't know. I can't remember whether they worked there or went
18 there. I think they did before the clashes in Bijeljina started.
19 Q. So you could go to this cafe without being recognised as a Muslim
20 or as an SDA member; is that true?
21 A. Yes, that's true. That's how it was.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, what did you do with
23 alcohol? I assume that in these cafes, alcohol was served, so what was
24 your attitude towards alcohol?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't understand your question.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Okay. In this cafe, there were
2 Serbs, and I assume that alcohol was served. What did you do?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't drink alcohol when I went.
4 I went to have a cup of coffee. I drank coffee.
5 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
6 Q. Do you know if also Mr. Seselj frequented this Cafe Srbija when
7 he was in Bijeljina?
8 A. Yes, yes, he would come by.
9 Q. Did you see him, and when was that?
10 A. I did see him before -- well, mid-March, he came with
11 Mirko Blagojevic and the other two or three bodyguards or whatever they
13 Q. Did you see him also before this, before March?
14 A. Yes, I did, I saw him before March too.
15 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Mr. President, in the interests of Mr. Seselj, I
16 would like to go into private session for my next question.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's move into
18 private session.
19 [Private session]
11 Page 12724 redacted. Private session.
6 [Open session]
7 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
8 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
9 Q. Mr. Witness, do you remember if Mr. Seselj was in the company of
10 a woman at that time, and what was her name?
11 A. I think her name was Suada. She was a nurse, as far as I
12 remember. I never had any contact with her, nor did I know her before
14 Q. I will come back to the first event when you told us that you saw
15 Mr. Seselj and Mr. Blagojevic at the beginning of March 1992. Do you
16 know what they were discussing about?
17 A. They were talking about killing the Muslims if they weren't loyal
18 to the Serbs, exterminating them, and that those Muslims who remained
19 would be expelled to Turkey
20 Q. Can you a bit specify when was this that you overheard this
22 A. I happened to overhear it in the Srbija Cafe. I was sitting not
23 far from Blagojevic and Mr. Seselj.
24 Q. Can you tell us how far you were away from Mr. Seselj and
25 Mr. Blagojevic, approximately?
1 A. I think it was about four metres away. Anyway, I would hear
2 quite clearly what they were talking about. I think I heard it
4 Q. When this conversation took place, was it in the evening or was
5 it in the afternoon; can you let us know?
6 A. It was in the afternoon, as far as I remember.
7 Q. Do you remember how many persons, approximately, were in the cafe
8 at that time?
9 A. I remember that there might have been 10 to 15 people.
10 Q. Do you remember how Mr. Seselj was dressed that day?
11 A. Mr. Seselj was wearing a suit and a sort of white coat -- well,
12 not actually white coat, but a sort of light-coloured formed coat.
13 Q. Where in the cafe were they, in the corner or in the middle of
14 the cafe? Can you describe this?
15 A. The two of them were standing by the bar.
16 Q. And you could clearly overhear what they were talking about?
17 A. Yes. Yes, I did hear what they were talking about.
18 Q. Did they mention what they would do with the non-Serbs in
19 Bijeljina after the outbreak of a conflict?
20 A. Yes. They said they would kill them, and anybody who remained,
21 they would be expelled to Turkey
22 forced to go to Croatia
23 Serbian Radical Party in that town, the town I lived in.
24 Q. Do you know why they had this plan or what was the aim of this
1 A. The aim of the plan was to cause incidents to break out or to do
2 something in Bijeljina to promote clashes. And an incident did break out
3 there in Bosnia
4 conflicts could start in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you're talking about
6 plans, so we have two situations. We have Mr. Seselj and
7 Mirko Blagojevic, who are standing at the bar of the cafe, and you
8 overheard Mr. Seselj say, "We need to kill them." That's what you hear?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There is the other aspect, the
11 aspect of the plan. Do you think that a plan, such a large-scale plan,
12 can be drafted in a cafe, at a bar?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't think that any vital plans
14 were elaborated in the cafe, but what they were talking about in the cafe
15 is what actually happened in Bosnia-Herzegovina ultimately.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] After having overheard this,
17 and noting what happened later in Bosnia-Herzegovina, you concluded that
18 there indeed was a plan; is that it?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, there was of course a plan to
20 exterminate the Muslims.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Mussemeyer.
22 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
23 Q. Did they also mention units who should participate in this kind
24 of cleansing?
25 A. Yes, they did mention units: Arkan's units, the Yugoslav
1 People's Army, the reservists, the volunteers, and of course the local
2 Serbs who were in the Serbian Radical Party.
3 Q. What was your reaction after you left the cafe?
4 A. Well, I went home, of course, and told my mother what was going
6 Q. You told us you were also a member of the SDA. Did you inform
7 your party members?
8 A. No, I did not inform them, because I didn't trust the members or
9 some members of the SDA party. And the others, the rest, well, they were
10 normally good people. But members of the SDA, the leaders of the SDA in
11 Bijeljina, were not -- it wasn't safe -- they couldn't be trusted. It
12 wasn't safe to tell them.
13 Q. Do you know what happened to other party members later on? Were
14 some lists found, or what happened to them?
15 A. That evening when the conflicts broke out in Bijeljina, all the
16 lists remained with the names and surnames. They remained in SDA
17 premises. And when there was shooting in the evening, the Serbs took
18 those lists. And after that, after the end of the clash in Bijeljina,
19 when it was over, they went from house to house looking for SDA members.
20 They beat them up, and they even killed some.
21 Q. Are you aware if some paramilitary forces were already deployed
22 in the surrounding areas of Bijeljina?
23 A. Yes. Arkan's units were deployed there, I think in the area
24 around the Drina River
25 there, and that they came into town from that direction.
1 Q. Do you remember the date when the conflict started in Bijeljina?
2 A. The 31st of March, in the evening, at about 10.00 or 11.00 --
3 8.00, 9.00, thereabouts.
4 Q. How did this start?
5 A. In front of the Srbija Cafe, which the Serbian Radical Party had
6 provided security for -- or, rather, they had their weapons there, a bomb
7 was thrown -- a hand grenade was thrown into the Stambol Cafe, and the
8 proprietor was Gogic. Well, that was his nickname. Akmedzic might have
9 been his name. Anyway, a hand grenade was thrown into the cafe, and on
10 the occasion two people were injured. One of them was my neighbour. Can
11 I give his name?
12 Q. It's not necessary for me. Can you explain us how did your Serb
13 neighbours react or behave at the day of the attack?
14 A. That evening, since the Serbs were in my neighbourhood, not a
15 single Serb was home. All the lights were off, and they that gone to
16 their villages, where their parents lived, their family, their mothers,
17 where they were born, in fact; they went back to their native villages,
18 and that means that they knew something was going to happen that night.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before we move on to that
20 topic, let me come back, Witness, to this conversation you overheard in
21 the cafe. It is important, because in the Prosecution's pre-trial brief,
22 that was mentioned in paragraph 78, 79 and 80. So what you're saying is
23 extremely important, and it is worthy of some further investigation.
24 So you were in this cafe. You overheard what was said. You
25 spoke about it to your mother, but you did not mention that to the SDA
1 because you didn't trust them, you say. But how is it, then, given the
2 circumstances where you potentially could have been a target, because
3 they wanted to kill all the non-Serbs, why did you not flee immediately?
4 Why didn't you tell your mother that she had to go as well because
5 something very serious is about to happen, is being prepared? So why
6 didn't you do that straight away?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because I had family, my brothers
8 and everybody else. Why should I leave the place I was born in, why?
9 Just because I'm a Muslim? Why? And I hoped that what happened
10 ultimately would not happen.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. But based on what you
12 say, it seems that you heard Mr. Seselj say, "We'll have to kill them,
13 they'll have to be killed," and then the Croats or the -- will be
14 expelled or the Muslims will be expelled to Turkey if they have not been
15 killed. So if what you overheard was indeed said, there's a major risk
16 for everybody, isn't there? Then somebody overhearing this would flee.
17 And you say, no, because you had some relatives. Did you not say
18 anything to your brothers, to all the other relatives, that there was
19 some risk?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course, I doubted that things
21 like that would actually happen. I just couldn't believe it, because
22 President Alija Izetbegovic called for peace, he said that we should
23 go -- we shouldn't go to war against anyone, that there should not be a
24 war in Bosnia-Herzegovina at all. So what I heard, I didn't take
25 seriously enough for me to get into a panic and tell my mother that we
1 should flee and so on. Why?
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So when you overheard that, you
3 didn't take it seriously because they might have been things you say in a
4 bar? You know, in bars, people would say anything.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I did understand what they
6 were saying, but not to the extent that I thought we should flee. Why
7 should we flee, why?
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you thought that this peril
9 was not imminent?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It wasn't that great a peril, that
11 great a danger, because the war hadn't broken out yet.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
13 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I will come back to the moment when the war
14 already broke out or the conflict broke out.
15 Q. Can you please tell us how the Muslim population reacted to these
16 first shootings?
17 A. That was in the evening, and the first shots reverberated, and
18 then a spontaneous group of young men, some 15 or 20 of us, set up some
19 barricades with sandbags and things in the Jugoslavska -- in the JNA
20 Street, Yugoslav People's Army Street, and we tried to prevent something
21 to prevent them from killing our families and so on. So we had a truck
22 and sandbags, and we set up a barricade using that; and we just stood by
23 to see what would happen next.
24 Q. You said "we." Can I conclude that you also participated in this
25 erecting of barricades?
1 A. Yes, I was there. I was there, personally, yes.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, so barricades were
3 erected. We can easily imagine how it all happened, but chronology, the
4 sequence of event, is important.
5 Were these barricades erected after the shooting was heard or
6 were they constructed before, which is not the same thing?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The barricades were erected after
8 the shooting, afterwards, the next day in the morning, at around 9.00 or
9 10.00, 8.00 maybe, not even.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I understand properly, the
11 Muslims were a majority, 75 per cent of the population in Bijeljina. Is
12 that correct?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] How many inhabitants were there
15 in Bijeljina at the time?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think as a municipality, it had
17 33.000 inhabitants, up to 35.000.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In a municipality with 33.000
19 inhabitants, were there only 20 people to erect this barricade?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, not 20. I'm just talking about
21 my area, which was called Gozdavic, Tombak Mahala and Hambar Mahala. So
22 in other parts, barricades were also erected, and in the center of town
23 you had the Serbs, the Serbian Radical Party, Arkan's men, and the
24 Yugoslav People's Army.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So there were other barricades.
1 Well, there where you were on that barricade, did you have any weapons?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes -- no, we didn't have much
3 weapons. We had maybe four automatic rifles and three to four -- or two
4 to three hunting rifles, three pistols, one sniper, and perhaps two or
5 three hand grenades, but nothing much.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed.
7 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
8 Q. Do you know which forces -- which units on the Serb side were
9 involved in the attacks?
10 A. The Serbian Radical Party of Mirko Blagojevic and
11 Vojislav Seselj, and Arkan's men, the reservists, and even, I would say,
12 the Yugoslav People's Army, who was in the garrison there, in the
14 Q. Could you distinguish between these different units? And if so,
15 by which way?
16 A. Arkan's men had modern weapons. They were the sort of specials
17 and were well armed, whereas the Serbian Radical Party was also armed,
18 but they didn't have any special uniforms. So, yes, I was able to
19 distinguish between them, because Arkan's men had insignias, had the
20 tiger insignia on their uniforms, so you could see them. And they were
21 ready and prepared, these Arkan's men, whereas Seselj's men, well, some
22 wore uniforms, others had, well, civilian clothes, jeans, the fur hats
23 with the cockades, things like that.
24 Q. Did you realise a kind of cooperation between Seselj's men and
25 Arkan's men?
1 A. Yes. Seselj's men and Mirko Blagojevic's men, well, people knew
2 a lot of the local inhabitants because they lived in town, they lived
3 there together with us; so they went ahead and the others went behind
4 them. Arkan's men went behind, because this first lot, well, they knew
5 how to move through Bijeljina. They knew Bijeljina, the town of
6 Bijeljina, well.
7 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Mr. Registrar, at this point I would like to
8 have the document 65 ter number 2115 seen on the monitor. And for the
9 witness, it's page 4, which I want to have him shown.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mussemeyer, what is the
11 origin of the document?
12 MR. MUSSEMEYER: The origin is a book which Mr. Seselj gave to
13 the Prosecution on the 29th of October, 2003, together with 73 other
14 books. That day, he gave us 74 books, and it is his books -- the title
15 is "Serbia
16 "On visits to RS and RSK population movements in Eastern Bosnia
17 and in Herzegovina
18 Q. Mr. Witness, I would like you to read where it starts:
19 "Did you believe that Arkan's influence in Semberija is so
20 powerful ..."
21 Did you find it? It's the third paragraph, I think. My B/C/S is
22 not that good. Please read slowly so that the interpreters can follow.
23 A. "Arkan --" maybe it's this bit:
24 "Over the last few months, Arkan was really mentioned in the
25 Western media in the context of the war crimes and in The Hague,
1 et cetera. Did you have any specific with the Western --"
2 Q. I think it's the second dot which you can see on this page.
3 Could you please read this?
4 A. Yes. "I think that Arkan -- I think that Arkan had such strong
5 influence in Semberija, that it was so powerful that he came up against
6 no resistance from the powers that be in Republika Srpska, and if --"
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. The witness obviously
8 doesn't know how to read.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't read Cyrillic.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] He read out, "I think," where it
11 says the word is "do you think that," that's the question, and he said,
12 "I think that Arkan's influence ..." so we're dealing with a question,
13 and then there's an answer where as he was reading the question as being
14 an observation because he's assuming and guessing what the text says.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, Mr. Seselj, but I
16 can't read Cyrillic, so I can't understand these letters of theirs.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Prosecutor, the witness
18 cannot read Cyrillic.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I repeat that?
20 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I'm a bit surprised about that, because I showed
21 him this document yesterday, and I had the impression that he fully
23 Q. Mr. Witness, did you want to say something?
24 A. May I read it again, because the letters were very small, so I
25 couldn't read them properly.
1 Q. Please do so.
2 A. "Do you think that Arkan's influence in Semberija is so strong
3 that none of this is met with any opposition from the official
4 authorities of Republika Srpska, if everything is indeed as you claim?"
5 Q. Could you please also read Mr. Seselj's answer? Read it. It's
6 the following text. Please read it.
7 A. "Arkan has no influence there whatsoever. He only took 29 of his
8 men to Bijeljina. Bijeljina was liberated by the Bijeljina residents,
9 and it was our Vojvoda Mirko Blagojevic that made the greatest effort
10 there. Our volunteers were the first to get there, the first to get
11 organised and carry out all actions."
12 Q. Is this correct, what is said by Mr. Seselj? Does this conform
13 with your experience?
14 A. That is quite true.
15 Q. So it's true that Arkan had no influence in the takeover?
16 A. That is quite true.
17 Q. You say "quite," but not "100 per cent." Is it true? What was
18 the participation of Arkan's men and Seselj's men?
19 A. It is 100 per cent true.
20 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Mr. President, I would like to move this
21 document into evidence.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, can we have a
23 number for this document which originates from Mr. Seselj's book.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours. This document shall be given
25 Exhibit number P682.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honours.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I demand that this entire text be
4 admitted into evidence, not only this excerpt, because the entirety of
5 the text, I think, fully explains what it was that was happening there.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We take note of what you have
8 Witness, I'd like to return to the answer provided then by
9 Mr. Seselj to that question. It appears from the answer that the
10 residents of Bijeljina, led by Mirko Blagojevic, have taken over the town
11 and that apparently Arkan played only a secondary part because he only
12 had 20 of his men with him. But after that, the text does continue, and
13 it seems that Arkan's men committed a lot of offences, like plundering.
14 You were on the ground. What was your impression as to the armed
15 force that took over control of the municipality? Was it made up of
16 Bijeljina residents or Arkan's men?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I just say this? Arkan's men
18 mostly came from Serbia
19 how different it is from the accent of people from Bijeljina.
20 The Serbian Radical Party, with Mirko Blagojevic, was
21 established, and it consisted only of Serbs from Bijeljina and from the
22 municipality of Bijeljina. For the most part -- well, not for the most
23 part. 100 per cent, they were the ones who took Bijeljina, and they were
24 the ones who committed many, many crimes.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You say "100 per cent," so
1 you're speaking about Blagojevic's men?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 100 per cent, Blagojevic. Arkan
3 was just an insignificant person. He didn't know anyone there. He
4 committed some crimes on the basis of Mirko Blagojevic, because
5 Mirko Blagojevic knew that if he did anything, he'd be accused or
6 whatever. So Arkan was just an insignificant person there in Bijeljina.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed.
8 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
9 Q. Mr. Witness, could you, you Muslims, resist these attacks by Serb
11 A. Since we had very few weapons, we could not resist these attacks
12 of the Serbs coming from town, and we had our barricades mostly by the
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, the Prosecutor has
15 just mentioned Serb forces. Well, there's a connotation in there. It
16 could encompass JNA, Territorial Defence, the Bijeljina residents who
17 were a member of the Serbian Radical Party, Arkan's men, et cetera.
18 Those who are the main actors in that operation, who were they? It was
19 said, but it has to be on record. Were they Bijeljina residents, led by
20 Mirko Blagojevic, were they the ones who attacked, or was the attack more
21 coordinated with other individuals?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Arkan's men and Mirko Blagojevic's
23 men launched that attack, so it was mixed forces.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So now you're saying that the
25 attack was carried out by Arkan's men and Mirko Blagojevic's, and you
1 added it was mixed forces. But in terms of unity --
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I tried to say -- well, how shall I
3 put this? They were together, they were in groups together.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So they acted together. But
5 who were the more numerous, Arkan's or Blagojevic's men?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Blagojevic's men were more
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] How many, approximately?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know to what extent, but I
10 know that we were weaker. I couldn't really count, because we ran in all
11 directions, we were withdrawing.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, but were there 50, 100,
13 200, 300 men? Just tell us roughly.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't say. I just know that
15 there were more of them, because -- because we were withdrawing. I
16 couldn't do any counting. I repeat once again, there were more of them
17 than of Arkan's men, because I recognised Arkan's men by their uniforms;
18 and I recognised Mirko Blagojevic's men because they wore jeans, normal
19 clothing, things like that.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
21 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
22 Q. Mr. Witness, you already told us that you had to flee. Can you
23 tell us in which direction you fled, and what did you do later?
24 A. Well, we all fled. I mean, we were all over the place.
25 Everybody fled in different directions. I was fleeing in this direction
1 of my house. I was near the cemetery. That's where I stopped, and other
2 people went in other directions. That is to say, when they attacked
3 front the direction of town. We were not strong enough in order to be
4 able to repel their attack. We were protecting our lives, so we had to
6 Q. When you were at the cemetery, did you observe a specific event,
7 and can you tell us what?
8 A. Yes, yes. I saw Arkan's men kill the Sabanovic family, and their
9 son -- well, I didn't see the son because I couldn't see everything
10 because of the mosque that was in the yard. They killed an Albanian too
11 then, a brother that I knew, and a woman; and I don't know who that woman
12 was. I cannot say what her name and surname were.
13 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Mr. Registrar, could I please have the photo
14 which bears 65 ter number 1038 on the monitor.
15 Q. Mr. Witness, is this the situation you observed or is it a
16 different event?
17 A. This is a different event. On the same spot, an Albanian was
18 killed, the older brother from among the three brothers, actually, who
19 had this "borik" [phoen] shop at the Sabanovic house.
20 Q. In the beginning, you said that you observed the killing of the
21 butcher. Who is this person lying on the ground?
22 A. The person is an Albanian. I said in the beginning that I saw
23 two persons being killed; Sabanovic, Redzep, and his wife.
24 Q. This is not Sabanovic?
25 A. It's not Sabanovic.
1 Q. Who is this? Can you tell me?
2 A. I don't know his name. I just know he's an Albanian, because he
3 had this "borik" shop there for 15 years. I knew him since I was a
5 Q. Wasn't Sabanovic an Albanian?
6 A. Redzep Sabanovic, I think that he was originally Albanian, but
7 he's in a different picture; he and his wife, that is.
8 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Mr. Registrar, could we please have the picture
9 65 ter 1037 on the monitor.
10 Q. Mr. Witness, can you please describe what we see here and if this
11 is the situation you observed?
12 A. Yes. This is Redzep Sabanovic's wife and Redzep.
13 Q. Who is Redzep Sabanovic's wife, who of these killed persons?
14 A. The soldier's kicking her.
15 Q. Can you tell us which unit -- to which unit these soldiers
16 belonged to?
17 A. These soldiers belonged to Arkan's unit.
18 Q. And this is the situation you observed?
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Can we please see again the first picture,
21 Mr. Registrar.
22 Q. And, Mr. Witness, what I would like to know from you, if this is
23 more -- isn't this the same situation, only some seconds before? But,
24 please, you must be certain about this. What we see on the right hand --
25 on the right picture, is this different from what we see on the left?
1 A. This photograph, where the Albanian was killed, was taken before
2 the other one was, where Redzep's wife is, because the wife -- or,
3 rather, this woman was killed later. This same woman was killed.
4 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Mr. President, I would like to move both photos
5 into evidence.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, the photograph on the
7 left is well known. The whole world has already seen this picture. But
8 on the right-hand side, the lady that is looking after -- caring after
9 this Albanian person, is it the same person as the one we see lying next
10 to the person that is being kicked on the left picture, on the left-hand
11 side picture?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That lady that is holding the
13 Albanian is standing -- is, rather, by the wall.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We see her killed, dead, lying
15 on the sidewalk with the two others?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] How far were you from this?
18 Can you tell us the distance in metres?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think approximately about 200
20 metres. I cannot show it now, because the picture's not there, the
21 sketch. One street goes in one direction, the other one goes in another
22 direction, so I cannot show you where it was that I was.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You were 200 metres away. You
24 heard the shots?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did hear the shots.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] These individuals that we see
2 standing, three of them, there's three, one of them is kicking the person
3 lying down and has glasses, the two others have black caps. You say they
4 are Arkan's men. We see there are three of them, and there are two that
5 are actually looking in another direction and checking what's happening.
6 When they shot these people down, did they shoot them point
7 blank, without saying anything?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't say whether they had said
9 anything. I just know that they brought them there, to this wall, and
10 killed them there.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You were 200 metres away. You
12 were hidden; I guess no one knew that you were there, looking at
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I could see. Yes, I was hiding,
15 but I could see. Well, we don't have a sketch here so that I could show
16 where it was that I was and from where I could see this.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, the person taking the
18 photographs, was it one of Arkan's men, because the person taking the
19 photograph is at the very heart of the action. Was he one of Arkan's men
20 or was it just a photographer?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This person was not one of Arkan's
22 men, that's for sure.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] A civilian?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It must have been a civilian, a
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] A photojournalist. Okay.
2 Judge Lattanzi has a question, but do we have numbers for these
3 pictures? The Prosecutor has asked for these photographs to be tendered.
4 Do we have a number?
5 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours. 65 ter number 1038 will be
6 given Exhibit number P683. 65 ter number 1037 shall be given Exhibit
7 number P684. Thank you, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Witness, I did not really
9 understand how much time went on between these two events, because we
10 have two photographs and tow events that occurred one after the other.
11 Could you tell us how long it took from one event to the other?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not that much time between these
13 two photographs, because the first victim was this one [indicates], the
14 Albanian here.
15 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Maybe I have not really
16 understood. I understood that the person we see in the center of the
17 photographs where we have three people lying down, I thought I understood
18 that the person in the middle is the woman standing above the Albanian in
19 the other picture. Is this -- did I understand correctly or did I
20 misunderstand? Is it the same person, yes or no?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You did not understand it
22 correctly. I've repeated this twice already. The woman that is holding
23 the Albanian is by the wall. The other woman that is being kicked by the
24 soldier is Redzep Sabanovic's wife.
25 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] It's another woman. Okay, thank
1 you very much. I've understood correctly now.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, you didn't understand me. I'm
3 saying that the woman that is holding the Albanian was killed, but she's
4 by the wall. The woman that is being kicked by the soldier is
5 Redzep Sabanovic's wife.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You confirm that
7 the woman we see alive on one picture is dead on the other picture.
8 That's what I understand, but I don't believe that my fellow Judge
9 understands the same thing.
10 So let's be very clear about this. The woman that we see
11 standing, standing over the Albanian man, is it the same woman that we
12 see dead, lying next to Mrs. Sabanovic, who is being kicked?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're saying, "Yes." I would
15 like to know whether my fellow Judge understood that the person standing
16 above the Albanian man is the one that we see dead just a few minutes
17 later lying on the ground, because she has the same vest, we see the same
18 skirt, blue skirt, and there's the jumper also that's blue.
19 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I've understood correctly.
20 Thank you.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's time for our 20-minute
23 --- Recess taken at 10.11 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 10.30 a.m.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
1 Mr. Mussemeyer, you have 20 minutes left. We're running a bit
2 late, so please be very careful when it comes to the time you have left.
3 Twenty minutes.
4 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Thank you, Mr. President, for that information.
5 Q. Mr. Witness, you already spoke about the killing of the butcher's
6 son. Can you please describe us again in a bit more details what you
8 A. I saw that the butcher's son - his name was Ado - was running
9 around the mosque, and I just heard a shot and I couldn't see him after
10 that. I never saw him again. I heard that he had been killed and that
11 he was buried together with his parents, in the same grave.
12 Q. Do you know if the Sabanovic family was the only family which got
13 killed during the takeover?
14 A. No. During the attack from the town towards where we were, they
15 killed a family in Hamzica Sokak. That's what I heard from a man who
16 told us they'd killed a family there, and that we had to withdraw because
17 they were attacking from the part of the town towards us.
18 Q. You did not observe this killing of that family you mentioned?
19 A. No, I didn't see it.
20 Q. Do you know which -- to which units the soldiers who did the
21 killing belonged to?
22 A. I don't know, I don't know that.
23 Q. When you observed the killing of the butcher's family, you did
24 not stay there all the time. When did you leave and where did you go?
25 A. At the time, I set out towards my house, in the direction of my
1 house. I was running through the graveyard. I heard shots. I heard the
2 bullets hit the monuments, the tombstones. And then I went home, and at
3 that time Arkan and Seselj's units and Mirko Blagojevic's units stopped
4 by the mosque. They didn't enter my part, the part where we lived, and
5 it was called Tombak Mahala. They had already stopped and didn't enter
6 until the next day.
7 And over the radio, I heard Coso Nargalic, who was asking us to
8 hand over our weapons, those of us who had weapons, to hand them over,
9 and nothing would happen to us and that we were free to go, that nobody
10 would kill us anymore, beat us up or anything like that, and that we
11 should surrender our weapons. He pleaded with us to do that, and that's
12 what we did.
13 Q. Can you please specify who is "we"?
14 A. Those of us manning the barricades, the young guys who were at
15 the barricades at the time, those of us who were there.
16 Q. When you went to your family house, were your family members
17 still there?
18 A. No, no, they weren't there. They had left in the direction of
19 the garrison. It was called training site, Golo Brdo, Poligon. The
20 garrison was called Golo Brdo. And they went there to seek refuge with
21 the JNA, as if they were going to protect them from Arkan's and Seselj's
23 Q. Were you hiding in your house?
24 A. Yes, I was hiding in the attic. It's called an attic. How shall
25 I explain it?
1 Q. When did you leave your house?
2 A. I left my house when my family arrived. Upon returning from
3 Golo Brdo, my mother told me that my friend, Maida, had been taken out
4 and that I had to leave the house because they would search for me, too,
5 come looking for me and kill me. And that's when I left my house, and I
6 never returned.
7 And while -- the next day, when I was leaving my house, I passed
8 through my road. I saw a white Golf car without a license plate driving
9 in the direction of my house. I didn't turn back, nor did I return to my
10 house. I went to live with my sister in the center of town, and that's
11 where I hid. I was in hiding there for a day, so they didn't know where
12 my sister was. And later on, I went to other people's houses and was in
13 hiding until mid-April.
14 Later on, when I'd already left to a third country - it's not
15 important where I went - anyway, to a third country, I found my brother
16 there, who told me he had been beaten up by Arkan's and Seselj's men, and
17 that they were looking for me. They said that unless he came up with me,
18 unless he told them where I was, that they'd kill him and my whole
19 family. And so he had to flee to a third country, too. He had to pay
20 for crossing the border, I don't know how he managed to do that, and
21 escaped to a third country.
22 They beat him up. He lost all his teeth. They did all sorts of
23 things to him.
24 Q. I would like to come back when you went to your house.
25 You told us that your family members already left, and some
1 seconds later you told us you met your mother. Can you please tell us
2 where you met your mother?
3 A. The next day, when everything became calm again and when we heard
4 from Nargalic that we had to hand in our weapons, our people came back
5 from Golo Brdo; and my mother at that point in time told me that they had
6 taken Maida out, that is to say, a friend of mine, and that I ought to
7 leave Bijeljina; I ought to leave town, because Maid was also at the
8 barricades with us that same day.
9 So of the soldiers who came and said they were bringing peace,
10 and tried to enter the hospital - there was a hospital there at the
11 time - they said that nothing would happen, that all they wanted was to
12 get inside the hospital. Well, that soldier, whether he was a policeman
13 who came with Osman before that to try and convince us to hand in our
14 weapons and not to take any action, quite possibly he might have been
15 there. My mother said that he had a black hat on his head and all you
16 could see was his eyes. And so they all issued orders and told all the
17 men to line up in Golo Brdo, to line up, and that that soldier, whether
18 he was a policeman I don't know -- anyway, wearing a cap, he had come in
19 a jeep and he got out, and he looked everyone in the face and watched
20 everyone. And then they took Maid, Maid out, and he was found killed the
21 next day in Sabanovic's cellar.
22 Q. Please explain you think they sorted Maid out of the line.
23 A. Well, I think they took him out of the line because he had been
24 at the barricades and because he had an automatic rifle on him. Well,
25 because he was a Muslim, because of that, because he was with us up at
1 the barricades. And that's what would have happened to me, too, when
2 I -- had I gone to Golo Brdo the next day to take refuge with the
3 soldiers in the Yugoslav People's Army, as it was called then.
4 Q. Do you know if Maid at the barricades disarmed someone from the
5 Serb forces?
6 A. I don't think he disarmed anyone. I think he took the rifle from
7 this policeman. His name was Rajo, I think. I don't know what his
8 surname was.
9 Q. So when you took off his rifle, he disarmed him?
10 A. Yes, I think that was him. I'm not 100 per cent certain, but
11 I think it was him, because later on the rifle was given back to the
13 Q. You already told us that when you left your house, you saw a
14 white Golf coming. Can you tell us, who was sitting in this Golf?
15 A. I wasn't able to see who was there. I think it was soldiers
16 wearing uniforms with black caps on their heads, and they were going at
17 great speed. They were in a hurry to get to my house and find me there,
18 because all the members -- anybody who had been at the barricades of the
19 SDA, they were looking for them. When they found them, they beat them up
20 and that kind of thing.
21 Q. When you left Bijeljina at the end, which direction did you go
22 and what did happen at a specific city which you had to pass?
23 A. While I was hiding, while I was in hiding with my friends, I
24 wanted to go to Brcko because nothing was going on in Brcko at the time,
25 or it wasn't as bad. And I went to the bus station with a colleague of
1 mine to buy a ticket, and at the bus station I happened to see
2 Branislav Filipovic, nicknamed Sumar, whom I've known since childhood,
3 and he was buying a ticket for Belgrade
4 he was looking at the two of us. I turned my head so that he wouldn't
5 recognise me, so I turned my head to avoid a direct face-to-face clash
6 with him. And I bought a ticket that day, and in Brezevo Polje, I heard
7 that the check-points of Brezevo Polje, the control-points there, were
8 manned by the Serbs, and that they searched all the buses. And if
9 anybody was a suspect or was on the SDA list, they would be taken off the
11 I was very lucky at that time, because the soldier who stopped
12 the bus didn't search anyone. I didn't dare look at him, because he
13 might have recognised me. So you had to give your ID card and all your
14 documents if you wanted to cross over into Brcko, but I was very lucky
15 and I managed to reach Brcko.
16 Afterwards, after Brcko, I crossed over into Croatia. And when I
17 crossed to Gunja, I heard that after that crossing of mine, that the
18 bridge had been destroyed from Brcko and Gunja. So then I went off to a
19 third country. "Gunja," GU-N-J-A.
20 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Mr. Registrar, I would like to have the document
21 65 ter number 1052 on the monitor, and have it on page 8 of the B/C/S
22 version and page 11 on the English version.
23 This is an excerpt published by Mr. Seselj in the book
25 from one of the books -- the 75 books which Mr. Seselj gave to the
1 Prosecution on the 29th of October, 2003. And I want the witness to read
2 the two paragraphs from this which starts from the 9th of April.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. I have to correct the
4 Prosecutor, because this has happened several times. The wrong figures
5 were quoted. Exactly 80 books is the number I handed over to the
6 Prosecutor at the end of 2003, exactly 80. So he can't say "75" if it
7 was 80 books.
8 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Mr. Seselj, we checked, and we found only 74
9 books. I always had the impression it was 80. Then we counted again and
10 we could only find 74. That is the reason why I'm always referring to
12 Mr. Registrar, could we please have it.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have to say, in advance, that in
14 the courtroom I handed over 80 books to a representative of the OTP. He
15 counted the books. Now, where the books disappeared to, I don't know.
16 I'm not interested in that. And I think it was in this particular
17 courtroom I handed the books over. I was sitting in the last row, and an
18 OTP representative came up to me and took over the books. The security
19 guard was carrying the books for me from the entrance to the Tribunal up
20 to the courtroom.
21 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Sorry for the correction, but it was in
22 Courtroom II, and I was, myself, in the courtroom. But I don't want to
23 be a witness here.
24 Is there any problem?
25 Just to save time, can the witness be provided with a hard copy
1 to read from this? Is it possible?
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, do.
3 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
4 Q. Please, Mr. Witness, go to page 8, where it starts with the 9th
5 of April.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, please. Yes,
7 please, the ELMO.
8 But this is a text in English. I don't think the witness speaks
9 English. It might be necessary for him to see the B/C/S text on the
10 overhead projector.
11 MR. MUSSEMEYER: We have the B/C/S text, if it could be given.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment. Now it's good, we
13 have it on the screen. Fine.
14 Look at the screen, please, Witness.
15 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Mr. Registrar, could you please go to 65 ter
16 number 03 -- to the ERN number 0346, and then 3835. It's eight pages
18 Thank you. This is the page I mean.
19 Q. And, Mr. Witness, please read, slowly for the interpreters, also
20 that we can all understand, what is written there. Please read the first
21 two paragraphs.
22 A. "The 9th of April, 1992.
23 "Seselj: The Serbian Radical Party welcomes the independent
24 state of the Serbian Bosnia and Herzegovina
25 power to contribute to its internal stabilisation, the administrative,
1 political and economic build-up or construction, and, above all, to its
2 defence from the Ustashas and pan-Islamist hoards. The Serbian Radical
3 Party believes that the Serbian people of Bosnia and Herzegovina
4 masters of their own fate and that the recognition of the independence of
5 the Islamic Jamahirija in Bosnia and Herzegovina by the European
6 Community does not concern the Serbian people. The European Community
7 can recognise the independence and sovereignty only to the territories
8 where Croats and Muslims live in the majority, and we are not interested
9 in those territories.
10 "The Serbian Radical Party hails the fight of the Serbian people
11 for freedom and democracy. This time again we demand from the Yugoslav
12 Army leadership that they discontinue the policy of waiting, the policy
13 of non-interference. In accordance with the exclusive desire expressed
14 by the Serbian people, we are calling on the leadership so that the army
15 remains in their territory and that it operates as the army of Serbian
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, which is the only one to decide to remain within
18 either the Muslim or Croatian Army.
19 "We demand that the army leadership immediately, until the final
20 division, take control over Sarajevo
21 Ustasha groups to wander around the capital of what was Bosnia and
23 into a Serbian and Muslim part."
24 Q. Thank you for this paragraph. Could you please read the other
25 one, the next one, which is much shorter?
1 A. "The Serbian Radical Party will render all kinds of assistance to
2 the Serbian people of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as it has done hitherto.
3 Today's press conference is attended by the president of the Regional
4 Board of the Serbian Radical Party for Northeastern Bosnia, and the
5 president of the Serbian Chetnik Movement over there and the commander of
6 the Serbian volunteers, Mirko Blagojevic. The commander of the Serbian
7 volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party and the Serbian Chetnik ..."
8 Q. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Witness.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. This has been read out
10 so badly that I think that the Prosecutor should have brought in somebody
11 who knows the Serbian language and for it to be read out fluently,
12 because what's the purpose of having a semi-literate read out the text
13 who's never seen the text in his life before? And the witness can
14 express his opinion about what was read out, but this way the text has
15 been distorted.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Notwithstanding what was just
17 said, what is your question, Prosecutor, because two paragraphs have just
18 been read out. What is the question you want to put now?
19 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I think before I come to the questions, I want
20 to mention that here is no place to offend the witness. The accused is
21 not entitled to offend the witness, which he did some seconds ago.
22 Q. My question is: What was the majority of the population in
23 Bijeljina? Can you please let us know? Was it a Serb majority there?
24 A. No, the Muslims were the majority in Bijeljina.
25 Q. And in the second paragraph is mentioned the decisive role which
1 Mirko Blagojevic had in the takeover of Bijeljina. Can you confirm that
2 he had a decisive role there?
3 A. Yes, he did play a decisive role there.
4 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Mr. President, I would like to move this
5 document into evidence.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, can we have a
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be given
9 Exhibit number P685. Thank you, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
11 Mr. Mussemeyer, your time is up. Maybe time for one last
12 question, but you've used the hour that had been granted to you.
13 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Thank you, Mr. President. I only have one last
15 Q. Mr. Witness, if you think back what you overheard in the
16 conversation between Mr. Seselj and Mr. Blagojevic in the Cafe Srbija at
17 the beginning of March, and what happened later, do you see any
19 A. Yes, of course you can see a connection, that what they were
20 talking about in Cafe Srbija came to pass. The area was cleansed of
21 non-Serbs, Muslims and Croats, which means that's it. That's what was
22 discussed and said in the Cafe Srbija.
23 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Thank you, Mr. Witness.
24 Mr. President, this was my last question.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, unless my fellow
1 Judge has a question.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Prosecutor, the Trial
4 Chamber, and we're reminded of it by Judge Harhoff, says this: There
5 were two statements, one given in 2007, but there was a former one in
6 2004, and they're basically the same. Why was there, in 2007, the same
7 statement as the one given in 2004?
8 MR. MUSSEMEYER: It was the intention of the Prosecution to get a
9 new 92 ter statement at that time. It was before Your Honours rendered
10 the decision from the 7th of January, 2008, so it's not in the format
11 which you requested in that decision because it was done before.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 Mr. Seselj, you may proceed.
14 Cross-examination by Mr. Seselj:
15 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. VS-1028, a few times the Prosecutor asked
16 you about the ethnic structure of the municipality of Bijeljina
17 the war, and you keep insisting on the Muslim population being a majority
19 A. That's right, the municipality, the town of Bijeljina.
20 Q. All right. According to the last census in 1991, that was the
21 last census that was organised, Bijeljina had a population of 96 .796
22 inhabitants. Serbs accounted for 57.551, which means that Serbs were
23 59.4 per cent. Muslims were 30.314, which is to say 31.3 per cent.
24 Croats, only 517, which means .5 per cent. Yugoslavs, 4.256,
25 4.4 per cent; and the rest, others, 4.168, which is to say 4.4 per cent.
1 These are officials figure of the 1991 census, and you see that what you
2 have been stating is not true; namely, that Muslims were a majority in
3 the Bijeljina municipality.
4 A. You don't want to understand me or you cannot understand me?
5 You're speaking Serbian, I'm speaking Bosnian. I'm saying that the town
6 of Bijeljina. I'm not talking about the municipality. I'm talking about
7 the town. Cadzavica, Crnaljevo, there are a lot of villages in the
8 municipality of Bijeljina. I was talking about the town of Bijeljina
9 Please, if you don't understand my language, what language should I speak
10 to you?
11 Q. You kept saying "municipality" and "municipality," that's in the
13 A. The town of Bijeljina
14 town, sir.
15 Q. Well, it's not a municipality that takes up half of Siberia
16 is an average municipality.
17 A. It is a municipality that includes Crnaljevo, Cadzavica, Bijelo
18 Polje. The Serbian majority of villages, that is.
19 Q. Please wait for my question. After the fighting for Bijeljina,
20 in which the Serb forces won over the Muslim forces, defeated them, you
21 went to a third country. I'm supposed to keep that secret. Right?
22 A. Of course.
23 Q. All right. And you have been staying in that third country since
24 1992 to the present day; right? To this day, you live in this third
1 A. I live in this third country, but I was in the same one all the
3 Q. So there were two third countries. So there was a third country
4 and a fourth country, actually?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Until what country was the third country and from what year did
7 the fourth country start?
8 A. Up until 1995, it was the third country, and since 1995, it's
9 been the fourth country.
10 Q. Oh, so you still live in the fourth country?
11 A. But of course.
12 Q. Up until 2008, that is to say, for 13 years, you have been
13 struggling to get a residency permit in that country; right?
14 A. I got a residency permit in that country before -- without
15 The Hague
16 still lived in Bijeljina. That's why. I did not make any statements to
18 Q. Wait a bit to hear my question. When was it that you got this
19 residency permit for staying in that third country?
20 A. In 2007.
21 Q. In 2007?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. So for 12 years, you struggled before the state authorities of
24 that fourth country to get a residency permit, and finally, in 2007, you
25 got it; is that right?
1 A. That's right.
2 Q. Right. So that's what I'm interested in. And I see here I have
3 some documentation about that, how many times you were refused. I have
4 the reasons why you were refused. And you kept insisting -- and you even
5 got married there. Your wife had a residency permit, and then you tried
6 to take advantage of that as an argument, and yet again they refused you;
7 right? They refused you several times?
8 A. No. I did get a residency permit. I'm a married man, and I've
9 been living with this woman since 1997, sir.
10 Q. Please, you got a residency permit in 2007. That's what you just
11 said yourself?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Up until 2007, you were struggling to get that residency permit?
14 A. No, I wasn't struggling, because in the third country, when I was
15 there, I got a residency permit. So it's not the residency or the permit
16 that matter. It doesn't matter where I am.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges, I hope you have also
18 received this document that I have. It's 10 pages' long, 10 pages. We
19 see the struggle of this witness to get a residency permit in this fourth
20 country. So if you've already received this, perhaps I shouldn't dwell
21 on it any longer. I hope that the OTP provided you with this, just like
22 they provided me with this document. Could you please tell me whether
23 you indeed have this or not?
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I don't have it.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I insist. I insist that the
1 Prosecution provide you with this document immediately so that you could
2 follow what it is that I'm talking about. I think that that is
3 indispensable for you, because this is of particular importance in terms
4 of establishing the credibility of this witness.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Seselj, it is you,
6 because it is Defence that should present this document.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I got this from the
8 OTP yesterday, yesterday or was it Friday night? I think it was
9 yesterday. No, Friday night. Yes, all right, Friday night, after 1800
10 hours. That's what the OTP provided to me.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mussemeyer.
12 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I have to explain this.
13 I had in mind this document. I had seen it some years ago. It
14 did not pop up with our normal searches, but I was aware that it exists,
15 so I -- it cost me a lot of time to find it. I found it. It was in a
16 different language. It had to be translated into English, and from
17 English into B/C/S. That needed time, and that's the reason why we
18 disclosed it so late. And the disclosure was on Friday evening. This is
19 as far as I remember. We have it now in English and in B/C/S.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, we trust you.
21 There is a document that states that the witness -- it took years for the
22 witness to get a final residence permit. But apart from that, what are
23 you hinting at? Please get to the question.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am going to put my question, but
25 I think that you have to have the document in front of you in order to be
1 able to follow this, because I have to keep this secret, what the country
2 is, and there's some other information that I have to keep secret. And I
3 imagine that the Prosecution is in a position to provide you with copies
4 straight away. If you think that this is not necessary, I'll just move
6 Q. Mr. VS-1028, since eight years -- no, nine years -- for nine
7 years, you had a problem with your residency permit, and since we see
8 here how many times they refused you, and higher instances also discarded
9 your appeals, you complained to different administrative organs,
10 different courts, and this is explained in 10 pages.
11 In 2007, you had this idea to get in touch with The Hague
12 Tribunal and to offer to be a false witness in the proceedings against
13 me; and from The Hague Tribunal you asked, in return, to be helped by
14 them --
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I believe
16 Mr. Mussemeyer is raising to his feet exactly for that. I mean, don't
17 talk about false witnesses. Please try to first highlight that he
18 took -- he decided to initiate the contact with The Hague to offer his
19 testimony and so forth and so on.
20 So Mr. Mussemeyer, please.
21 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Mr. Seselj is referring to 2007. How, then, is
22 it possible that we already have a statement from the witness of 2004?
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, 2004.
24 Mr. Seselj.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't know what kind of
1 translation was received. I said "2004." At least that's what I seem to
2 recall that I said, "2004." I'm looking for it now, but it's
3 disappeared, it's disappeared from the transcript. I don't know how a
4 person can return this transcript. I don't know whether it's possible at
5 all. I said that in 2004, the witness turned to the OTP in The Hague
6 Q. Is that true?
7 A. What year?
8 Q. What year?
9 A. I'm not sure. 2003 or 2004.
10 Q. How did you do that? Did you send a letter?
11 A. Why are you asking me that? You mean why I turned to them in
12 2003 or 2004? Do I have to say why?
13 Q. You're not here to quarrel with me. You're just here to answer
14 my questions. I'm not asking you why it was that you turned to them but
15 how you turned to them. Was it by telephone, letter, or what? Answer
16 that, please.
17 A. By telephone.
18 Q. You called The Hague
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. The Hague OTP, I assume.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And you said that you wanted to be a witness in the proceedings
23 against me?
24 A. Of course, because I had arguments. That's what I said.
25 Q. Did you say straight away then that you were in this foreign
1 country and that you had problems with your residency permit in that
3 A. I didn't say that straight away. I said that -- I said that I
4 wanted to testify against you because I had arguments against you,
5 against your political party, the one that you were in charge of.
6 Q. I assume that you understand that I'm not interested in your
7 arguments against me. Just give me answers to the questions I'm putting.
8 You said during the direct examination what your arguments against me
9 were. I'm not interested in that any longer. Now just answer my
11 When you first phoned them, how did they react from The Hague
13 A. Of course, they accepted that I should be a witness, and of
14 course they came to examine me in that country where I was staying.
15 Q. When they came to examine you, did you say that you had problems
16 with your residency permit in that country?
17 A. I didn't say that. I said that I wanted to be a witness.
18 Q. When did you tell them that you had problems in that country,
19 problems with the residency permit in that country?
20 A. I said that I had problems when they already wanted to return me
21 from that country, because I could not return, because it was dangerous
22 for me to return to my country. They kept trying to send me back to my
23 country. Why would I go back when it was dangerous? I couldn't go
24 anywhere, so I wanted to stay in that country in order to protect myself.
25 Q. I'm really not interested in that.
1 A. Why are you not interested in that?
2 Q. I'm not going to explain this to you why you're not interested in
3 this. Just answer my questions.
4 A. You just want me to give you brief answers in just the things
5 that you're interested in.
6 Q. Yes.
7 A. Why don't you --
8 Q. I don't want to quarrel and squabble with you here and explain
9 things to you.
10 A. You're not interested in details, and I don't want to give
11 answers then.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges, I insist that you make the
13 witness answer my questions.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, this is quite a
15 specific procedure. In your country or my country, things would not
16 happen this way, because in my country, Judges ask questions; and I
17 believe that the questioning is courteous in our countries. But here the
18 Prosecution asked questions, and then the Defence asks questions.
19 And the Defence is asking questions from their own point of view.
20 And Mr. Seselj, with his question, is trying to demonstrate that your
21 testimony, your 2004 testimony, had a hidden agenda behind it, and in
22 order to establish this, he has to put a number of questions to you. It
23 might be very unpleasant, but please answer the questions that are put to
25 Please continue, Mr. Seselj, and slow down, please slow down.
1 You're talking much too fast, and the interpreters are raising the white
3 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
4 Q. When did you complain to the OTP in The Hague that you had
5 problems with your residency permit in that country?
6 A. I complained -- no, I didn't complain. I said that I had
7 problems, that "abschiebung" [phoen] --
8 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note, the witness lapses into
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- so I didn't know where I could
11 be a witness, I couldn't tell them where they could find me, so then it
12 would be important for me to be there for as long as the court
13 proceedings were on. And the trial has been on until 2008, so from 2004
14 until 2007. I wouldn't come 2008 if I had some kind of interest between
15 those two other dates, because I already have a residency permit in that
17 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
18 Q. All right. How many days elapsed between your conversation with
19 The Hague
20 country, up until the moment when you turned to The Hague OTP and when
21 you said that you had problems with your residency permit?
22 A. I don't understand your question.
23 Q. You had this conversation, this interview with The Hague OTP in
24 that country; right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And the result of that conversation was the statement that they
2 wrote up and that you signed; right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Did you say to them straight away then that you had problems with
5 your residency permit?
6 A. I didn't.
7 Q. How many days elapsed from the signing of the statement up until
8 the moment when you said that you had problems with your residency
10 A. I can't remember.
11 Q. Roughly?
12 A. I cannot say. I don't remember.
13 Q. All right. What I have here is information to the effect that
14 you talked to The Hague
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. Given the
16 problem raised, Mr. Mussemeyer, the Trial Chamber would like to have this
17 document, this 10-page document relating to all the difficulties
18 encountered by the witness to obtain his residency permit, and the Trial
19 Chamber will then see whether this document should be admitted, "yes" or
20 "no," but we absolutely need it. Could we please have it?
21 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I think we have one copy in the courtroom. Just
22 one moment.
23 [Prosecution counsel confer]
24 MR. MUSSEMEYER: The case manager will send it to the court
25 officer so it can be printed.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
2 Proceed, Mr. Seselj.
3 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
4 Q. So according to the information I have, on the 24th and 25th of
5 September, 2004, you had this interview conducted with the investigators
6 the OTP; right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. On the 14th of December, 2004, Patrick Lopez-Terres, the chief
9 investigations of the OTP, addressed the authorities of the state in
10 which you wished to obtain a residency permit, and he says:
11 "Reference our letter from the 28th of September, 2004."
12 So if you talked to them on the 24th and the 25th of September,
13 already on the 28th of September they sent a letter to the state
14 authorities of the said country, intervening in your case. I did not
15 receive that letter. The OTP did not give me that letter. They gave me
16 the letter of the 14th of December. That means that immediately when
17 being interviewed by the Hague investigators, you said that you had a
18 problem with your residency permit; is that right?
19 A. That's not right.
20 Q. All right, if you want it that way, but the papers show something
22 "And we wish to confirm that the above-mentioned person is a
23 witness in the case of the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj. The trial
24 will not start before 2006. What is envisaged is that due to the
25 importance of the testimony involved, this person will be asked to
1 testify in other proceedings before this Court. Therefore, we would
2 appreciate it if the relevant authorities would make an exception in the
3 case of this person and the members of his family, in terms of
4 repatriation to ..." and then the country's name is mentioned, "... for
5 at least two years. If you should require an answer, we can confirm it
6 at any given point in time, whether we still count on this person."
7 So they are asking for repatriation to be delayed for two years
8 in your case; right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Obviously, the result of that letter of theirs, you were not
11 expelled from that state. And then in 2007, what a strange coincidence,
12 you sign a new statement for the OTP. I don't have it now. If the
13 secretary from the OTP would be kind enough to find that statement for
14 2007. I assume that she can do that quickly and easily.
15 So in 2007, you get a permanent residency permit in that said
16 country, and you sign a new statement for the OTP?
17 A. That's not right.
18 Your Honour, may I say something? Before I signed this statement
19 in 2007, my wife -- my wife that I married -- the lady I married in 2004
20 was already working full time in that state, and then that state, this
21 town, asked for my wife to work for eight hours; that is to say, that we
22 would not depend on the state, so that I could get this residency. So
23 what I signed in 2007, this statement, has nothing to do whatsoever with
24 my residency and -- well, on the basis of my wife, you can have this
25 confirmed by the state that I was in. I got residency on the basis of
1 the work of my wife and on the basis of my wife, in general.
2 So 100 per cent, what Mr. Seselj is saying is a lie, that it's on
3 account of some interests that I signed this in 2007, so that I could get
4 a new residency permit.
5 Thank you very much.
6 Q. Mr. VS-1028, do you have a passport on you?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Would you show your passport to the Trial Chamber; not -- you can
9 do this through the usher. You don't have to get up, yourself, but just
10 so we can see when this residency permit dates from, as of what date it's
12 A. Well, I don't have it with me.
13 Q. You mean your passport?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. But when I asked you whether you have a passport on you, you
16 said, "Yes."
17 A. I meant I don't have it in the courtroom, but in the room where
18 my wife is staying.
19 Q. All right, fine. Now you're saying that I'm lying. Yes, quite
20 normally. And the Prosecution -- or, rather, the Trial Chamber won't
21 allow me to say you're lying.
22 A. I just want to say that there was no signature in 2007 in giving
23 my statement because of the residency, so that means your information is
24 not correct. I received residency status on the basis of my wife being
25 employed, so that's it, Mr. Seselj.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] At any rate, that piece of
2 information, Judges, would be important for us to see this coincidence
3 between the signing of a new statement and the issuing of a residency
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, we don't know what
6 country this passport comes from, but are you a Bosnia-Herzegovinian
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So this passport must have been
10 issued by the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I assume that that's the
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I was issued a passport in the
13 country in which I reside, in the Bosnia-Herzegovina Embassy there.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have a passport issued by
15 the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it is the embassy of the country
16 where you reside now that issued this passport. But in your BiH
17 passport, your residency permit is not mentioned, because this has
18 nothing to do with it; right?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it doesn't. You can check out,
20 in the country I'm living in and in the town, that in the papers of that
21 state, well, you can take my documents and see on what basis I was
22 granted residency.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Proceed, Mr. Seselj.
24 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Now, you state here a completely wrong piece of information, that
1 in mid-March 1992, as you say, 15 to 20 days before Bijeljina was taken,
2 I was in Bijeljina myself, and you link that up with the following piece
3 of information; that three or four months earlier on, and that's to be
4 found in paragraph 18, that most probably at the end of 1991 I went to
5 the same cafe with a certain Suada person. And you say she was a Muslim
6 and rumours had it that she was Seselj's lover; right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Now, I'm going to provide you with information as to when exactly
9 I was in Bijeljina. I was in Bijeljina on the 9th of December, 1990
10 the very day of the elections in Serbia, and I delivered lectures in the
11 Srbija Cafe. They removed the tables. Lots of people had gathered
12 there, and I had a lecture.
13 Did you attend that lecture, perhaps?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Did you hear about that lecture of mine at the end of 1990?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. The second time I was in Bijeljina was on the 23rd -- or, rather,
18 sometime in February, possibly the 23rd, in 1991, immediately after the
19 Assembly in Kragujevac. And we're talking about February 1991 now.
20 The third time, I just passed through Bijeljina at the beginning
21 of April 1991 on my way to Knin, and with me were Maja Gojkovic and
22 Aleksandar Stefanovic; and we were joined in Bijeljina by
23 Mirko Blagojevic, and we stayed there for just 20 minutes. That's April
25 The next time that I was in Bijeljina, according to the official
1 data of the Serbian Radical Party, only on the 21st of March, 1993
2 a rally -- a party rally was held in front of the municipality building.
3 So those are official data from the Radical Party about my stays
4 and visits to Bijeljina. Are they correct?
5 A. I don't know.
6 Q. You don't know?
7 A. No, I don't.
8 Q. Now, as far as the young lady you mentioned, she was my
9 girlfriend until the end of the 1980s, and certainly people knew about
10 that in Bijeljina, because I would visit Bijeljina from time to time and
11 she would come to Belgrade
12 I'm not going to tell you what her name was, because that's not
13 important. She was not a nurse. What she was was an employee, a clerk
14 in an enterprise; and I saw her for the last time on the 9th of December,
15 1990, precisely at the lecture I held in the Srbija Cafe.
16 And you heard some rumours about my having a girlfriend, and then
17 you wanted, in a way, to say that she was my mistress, lover. She wasn't
18 a mistress or a lover. She was my girlfriend. You wanted to berate it
19 all. I was going out with her publicly in Belgrade and in Bijeljina.
20 And then you mixed up the years.
21 A. No, I didn't mix up the years. You can say whatever you like,
22 where you were and what you did, but I'm certain I didn't mix up the
24 Q. Yes, you did, you mixed them up.
25 A. No, I didn't mix the years up. You can say whatever you like,
1 give us whatever dates you like and write down whatever dates you like,
2 but what I said is the truth.
3 Q. All right. It's quite obvious you're telling the truth?
4 A. Yes, it is.
5 Q. Yes, I think everybody understands that, and it's clear to one
6 and all, except to the Prosecutor.
7 Then you went on to invent that for 15 to 20 days, I was in
8 Bijeljina, and in the Srbija Cafe I sat up in the bar and said how all
9 Muslims should be killed and expelled to Turkey?
10 A. That is true.
11 Q. You invented that. You simply invented that so that in the eyes
12 of The Hague
13 help you to gain a residence permit in Germany; right?
14 A. No, that's not right.
15 Q. Yes, it is. Yes, it is.
16 A. No, it's not.
17 Q. All right, fine. If you say it isn't, let's move on.
18 Now, here in this statement of yours, you present some other
19 incorrect information, from which we can see that in actual fact, you
20 don't know about the situation, you didn't know about the events in
22 A. Yes, I do know about them, because I am a local, I was a local
23 child there from the town, and everything I said is true.
24 Q. You spoke about fighting in Bijeljina. You were a member of the
25 Patriotic League, weren't you?
1 A. No, I wasn't a member of the Patriotic League. What I was was an
2 ordinary citizen of Bijeljina.
3 Q. And you joined the Green Berets?
4 A. No, I never joined the Green Berets, never in my life.
5 Q. Well, did you have weapons during that fighting?
6 A. Yes, I did.
7 Q. And to what unit did you belong?
8 A. To no unit. I was an ordinary citizen. We were at the
9 barricades, ordinary citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10 Q. At a point in time, you took over Bijeljina; is that right?
11 A. No, it isn't.
12 Q. Yes, that is right, and then the fighting in Bijeljina went on
13 for four days.
14 A. That's not correct.
15 Q. How long did the fighting go on for?
16 A. The fighting did not go on for four days. They were just in the
17 evening and the following days. So on the third day, the next day, we
18 handed in our weapons, when Nargalic told us that we should hand over our
19 weapons. So the fighting didn't go on. The fighting just went on, on
20 the 31st in the evening and the 1st, up until the afternoon, and that was
21 the end of it. So when I spent the night in my attic, it was the next
22 day that we handed over our weapons. And then Arkan's men and your
23 forces entered my part of town, which is called Tombak Mahala, sir.
24 Q. Now, listen to me. I have in front of me Vahid Karavelic's book.
25 Have you heard of Vahid Karavelic?
1 A. He was the commander.
2 Q. Commander of what?
3 A. The commander of Bosnia-Herzegovina, I think.
4 Q. He wrote a book, "The Aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina
5 Northeast Bosnia, 1991 to 1992," and in that book he describes of course
6 from his own angle of vision all the events that took place in the entire
9 "The inhabitants of Northeastern Bosnia, through the
10 Patriotic League, the police and the Territorial Defence of the SR BiH,
11 and other defence forms of organisation, set up resistance to the
12 aggressor in Bijeljina during the four-day defence of Bijeljina."
13 A. That's not correct, that's not true. I was in Bijeljina at that
14 time, so I know the situation better than this man Vahid or whatever his
15 name is, the commander. I know better than him. He wasn't from
17 I'm a local of Bijeljina and a citizen of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and
18 I was in Bijeljina at the time. The war was going on from the 31st, in
19 the evening, up until the 1st, in the afternoon. The next day, the
20 following day, the fighting stopped. We handed over our weapons to the
22 the people in the police and the Territorial Defence were Serbs,
23 Mr. Seselj.
24 Q. You're telling me something I'm not asking you about. Is
25 Vahid Karavelic a general, was he a general? A general of the Muslim
2 A. Not the Muslim army, but the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. You're
3 wrong there.
4 Q. I see. Very well. Now, let's see what he says after that. He
5 goes on to say, in addition to saying that the fighting for Bijeljina
6 went on for four days, he goes on to say the following:
7 "The Regional Staff of the Patriotic League of Tuzla at the time,
8 as well as the Municipal Staff of the Patriotic League of Bijeljina were
9 conscious of the overall political and military situation of Bijeljina
10 and the situation in the region further afield. The greatest resistance
11 in defending Bijeljina was put up by the Patriotic League of Bijeljina."
12 A. That's not true.
13 Q. And in the footnote on page 236, he mentioned Alija Izetbegovic's
14 speech at the Congress of the SDA of the BH in Sarajevo on the 6th and
15 7th of September, 1997; and in that speech of his, Alija Izetbegovic
16 commends the Patriotic League and says that it put up the greatest
17 resistance in the defence of Bijeljina?
18 A. That's not true and correct. We weren't able to put up a
19 resistance in Bijeljina.
20 Q. Well, here's what Alija Izetbegovic says. He is commending you
21 and says that the resistance went on for four days.
22 A. That's not true. The resistance was not put up over four days.
23 Q. All right. Now, Vahid Karavelic, on page 236, says something
24 else which is quite important. He says the speedy occupation of
25 Bijeljina was assisted by the psychological and propaganda activity of
1 the aggressor and the antagonisms between the political and military wing
2 of the Patriotic League of Bijeljina.
3 Therefore, he's complaining and says that among your ranks, there
4 was antagonism, antagonism within your ranks between the political and
5 military wing. Is that true?
6 A. No, it isn't.
7 Q. Did you have problems among your own ranks?
8 A. No, we were not in our ranks. We were citizens, and we had
9 rallied together. We weren't a league of any kind. We had no uniform.
10 We were normal civilians, civilians, Mr. Seselj.
11 Q. I hope you're not angry with me for believing Vahid Karavelic
12 more than I believe you.
13 A. Well, he cannot talk about things he didn't see, and I don't
14 think he was there at that time.
15 Q. Let's see what he says further on. He says:
16 "Although the political leadership expressly challenged the
17 military wing, putting up resistance to the aggression, the
18 Patriotic League of Bijeljina put up a four-day resistance, and it was
19 led by Muhidin Bilalic and Haset Tiric, with the remarks that the
20 Patriotic League of Bijeljina had a small numbers of members and modest
21 hunting rifles within its unit.
22 Now, did you know Muhidin Bilalic and Haset Tiric?
23 A. Haset Tiric I know personally.
24 Q. The two of them were commanders of the Muslim forces in
25 Bijeljina, weren't they?
1 A. They weren't the commanders of the Muslim forces in Bijeljina,
2 because there were no Muslim forces in Bijeljina. What there was was
3 citizens, and I'm telling you again, they were the citizens of Bijeljina,
4 citizens. Can you understand the word "citizens of Bijeljina," normal
5 people who were wearing jeans and normal clothing. We never had any
6 insignia or anything like that. We were there, we happened to be there.
7 What you did in Vukovar we wanted to prevent from happening where we
9 Q. All right. Now, who was in command of you there?
10 A. Nobody. We were there on a spontaneous basis. There was no
11 commander. We were there on a spontaneous basis.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you're a bit fast.
13 Witness, the question is as follows. We have been listening to
14 you. You have explained that in Bijeljina, it was the citizens who set
15 up a defence, and you gave us details. That's very good, but it so
16 happens that a book has been written by a general of the army in your
17 country, and he provided another version in that book, saying that behind
18 it all, there was the Patriotic League. So there's a contradiction
19 between what was said in that book and what you say here, and we were
20 trying to unravel this.
21 Did the general overdo it when he related the events, possibly to
22 glorify the Patriotic League, or is it you failing to underline specific
23 factors, because technically speaking it is difficult to understand
24 that -- if there was a defence, there must have been a leader, there must
25 have been somebody leading the defence, or was everybody a leader?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let me tell you this way. I've
2 repeated this several times. We citizens gathered together. That means
3 it wasn't organised. There wasn't a commander or anything like that. It
4 was the citizens of Bijeljina. We gathered together. And Karavelic,
5 writing in this book of his, he wasn't in Bijeljina at all. He could
6 just have, well, written this down. He could just write about -- how
7 shall I explain myself, explain this?
8 He could just write what he'd heard, "It is like this, this is
9 what happened," but there wasn't a war going on in Bijeljina for four
10 days, not fighting for four days.
11 As I've already said, they lasted one evening. At about 10.00,
12 they broke out, on the 31st of March, until the 1st in the afternoon,
13 thereabouts, and then that was all. The fighting did not go on for four
14 days, nor was there any Patriotic League, nor did anybody have a uniform
15 or anything else. It was just the citizens that gathered together. So
16 that's what I'm saying. I was there, and then I can tell you what
17 happened. I can repeat this a hundred, a thousand times. I was there on
18 that particular day.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 JUDGE HARHOFF: [Interpretation] Witness, are you speaking about
21 the town of Bijeljina or about the municipality of Bijeljina
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm talking about the town, the
23 town of Bijeljina, the town. I was in town, the town of Bijeljina
24 Bijeljina is a big municipality as well, including several villages.
25 These villages were around Bijeljina, and most of them were Serb
1 villages; not most of them, 90 per cent. I was born there. I lived
2 there for 27 years up until the conflict broke out. I know every stone
3 in Bijeljina.
4 JUDGE HARHOFF: Hold on a minute. You see, the reason I'm asking
5 is to try and sort out this apparent difference between what the ABiH
6 General Karavelic might have to say and what you might have to say about
7 the same incident, and I was trying to figure out if there might have
8 been extended armed action going on outside of the town of Bijeljina
9 you say that the fight was only going on for one day in Bijeljina town,
10 then my question to you is: Could it be possible that there were still
11 armed fighting going on outside the town of Bijeljina, but still within
12 the municipality of Bijeljina
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Fighting could not take place
14 outside of Bijeljina. It wasn't possible, because there were Serb
15 villages around Bijeljina. So from Tuzla
16 Brcko, no one could have come to help us. So there wasn't fighting in
17 Brcko. They couldn't even dream that -- well, they couldn't come, they
18 couldn't come, because around Bijeljina there are Serb villages. The
19 only Muslim village was Pejocari [phoen], and it's far from Bijeljina.
20 You have to go through Ugljevik, which is a Serb village.
21 I mean, I would like to explain this, but I can't write a book
22 about what happened in Sarajevo
23 book about Zenica or whatever. I was in Bijeljina there on that day, on
24 that date, 100 per cent.
25 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thanks.
1 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
2 Q. All right. So the fighting took place only in the town Bijeljina
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. The book of Vahid Karavelic is a scholarly work, not a book of
6 memoirs. He's writing about a segment of war from his own ideological
7 and political positions, and he even mentions that they tried to help
8 assistance from the outside to the Muslims in Bijeljina while the
9 fighting went on. And then he says:
10 "During the fighting for Bijeljina, the Patriotic Staff or the
11 Regional Defence of Tuzla
12 overall fashion, units in Northeastern Bosnia in order to send them to
13 help the defenders of Bijeljina."
14 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note, we do not have the text.
15 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
16 Q. "An urgent decision was made to set up three battalions; namely,
17 one in Gradacac, responsible person of Husein Huseinagic, commander of
18 the Patriotic League in Gradacac. He's supposed to help the defenders of
19 Bijeljina through Brezevo Polje to Bijeljina, the 2nd Battalion in the
20 area of Zvornik; responsible person, Sakib Halilovic, commander of the
21 Staff of the Patriotic League from Zvornik. He should be sent to help
22 the defenders of Bijeljina-Zvornik. Janja-Bijeljina is the route they
23 should take. And 3rd Battalion in the area of Zivinice, Said Nistovic
24 was responsible, the then-commander of the regional staff of the
25 Patriotic League of Tuzla
1 Bijeljina along the Zivinice-Ugljevik-Bijeljina route."
2 As a participant in this conflict, as a defender, as
3 Vahid Karavelic would put it, were you expecting assistance from the
4 outside while the fighting went on?
5 A. How could we expect assistants when over -- when it is not
6 possible to get there through 10 Serb villages? We didn't have
7 helicopters or planes, so nothing doing, as far as assistance was
9 And, secondly, we couldn't go on fighting. Why would we fight?
10 Well, I mean, we did fight, but how, why? You had 10 villages. Up to
11 Ugljevik, there are 10 villages. Up to Gradacac, it's 10 Serbian
12 villages. Zvornik, Pilica, you didn't even mention that. Who is going
13 to come, from what side? On the other side is the Drina River
14 From where can we get help? He can write whatever he wants out there.
15 So we were left without any mercy. We were at your mercy. You
16 could kill all of us. We were under a siege, like at the river of
17 Sutjeska. If you know history, you should. You were there.
18 Q. Was I at Sutjeska?
19 A. No, no, but you grew up there and you know what happened.
20 Q. This is why Vahid Karavelic explains why you did not get
21 assistance in a timely fashion.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note, we have not been provided
23 with text at all.
24 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
25 Q. "During the preparation of the units on the 2nd of April, 1992
1 the commander at Gradacac submits a report on readiness to move.
2 However, that same night the units stopped for two reasons. The first
3 was the unit from Gradacac was slowed down by the leadership of Brcko.
4 Then the mayor of Brcko said to the commander of the Tuzla
5 Patriotic League Staff the following: 'I am not going to allow the unit
6 to go through Brcko, because after that the JNA would bomb and level to
7 the ground Brcko itself. Let Bijeljina fend for itself.' I talked to
8 the president, Alija Izetbegovic, and he agreed with my positions."
9 So this is one of the reasons why you did not get help from the
10 battalion in Gradacac. The Muslim president of the municipality of Brcko
11 agreed with Alija Izetbegovic not to let that unit go through Brcko; is
12 that correct?
13 A. No, that's not correct. No assistance could come in, because
14 already in Brezevo Polje, there were Serb barricades and bunkers and lots
15 of weaponry. There were lots of soldiers in Bre zevo Polje, so they
16 could not get there because of the JNA, was there, the volunteers, the
18 So around Bijeljina, there were bunkers where the Yugoslav
19 People's Army, volunteers, that is to say, in the direction of Bijeljina
20 from Tuzla
21 was there with large groups of soldiers. I told you, we were under siege
22 and we could not get help.
23 Q. Since this is a scholarly work written by Vahid Karavelic, so I'm
24 referring to page 237, in footnote number 355 he quotes three sources.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note, we do not have the text.
1 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
2 Q. The first one is a statement of Alija Muminovic, given to the
3 author himself. The second source is the book of Sefko Hodzic, published
4 in Sarajevo
5 Izet Hadzic devoted to this topic, and the Master's degree was obtained
6 at the Faculty of Political Science in Sarajevo in 2001. He quotes these
7 three sources, and are you saying that they are all inaccurate?
8 A. They are untrue. I was in town.
9 Q. All right. We are going to move on straight away. You said what
10 you have to say, and we were going to move on.
11 He says the second reason for the lack of success was the delay
12 in the providing of weapons from Sarajevo
13 Patriotic League of Bosnia
14 ammunition and weapons would come in, in February and March. And then
15 when the Regional Staff of the Patriotic League in Tuzla established
16 units to help Bijeljina, it was stated that on the 2nd of April, 1992
17 weapons would arrive in Zivinice. However, just like until then, on that
18 occasion, too, weapons did not arrive. Only a few days later, the
19 Regional Staff of the Patriotic League of Tuzla -- and so on. This
20 doesn't really matter for our purposes. That was already late when you
21 lost the battle for Bijeljina.
22 He mentions as a second reason the delay in providing weapons,
23 and they couldn't arm these three battalions. Do you find that strange,
24 what is written in his book?
25 A. Of course I find it strange.
1 Q. All right. Just another quotation from his book, page 241.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note, we do not have the text.
3 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
4 Q. "After the telephone report of the commander of the
5 Patriotic League of Bijeljina on the 4th of April, 1992, concerning the
6 situation in Bijeljina, the units of the Patriotic League and part of the
7 population of Bijeljina that wished to get out with permission of the
8 commander of the Regional Staff of the Patriotic League of Tuzla, they
9 started getting out in the direction of Brcko and Tuzla, and after that
10 Bijeljina was occupied."
11 So that is to say that you had enough strength to withdraw in the
12 direction of Brcko and Tuzla
13 A. That is not true. I already told you, we, the young men who were
14 on the barricades, we left individually, just like I left and went to a
15 third country, so that's not true. A young man was killed on the
16 barricades when he tried to pass through the Serb forces on foot. Never
17 mind you killed him. A bird could not fly over anywhere.
18 Q. All right. This is what he says here:
19 "After the occupation of Bijeljina, part of the units of the
20 Patriotic League, headed by Haset Tiric, was withdrawing through Teocak
21 and Tuzla
22 Regional Staff of the Patriotic Staff was at the time.
23 "Later on, they were renamed, whereas Muris Ibrahimovic and
24 another group managed to get to the area of Brcko."
25 On the base of this, it would seem that you were in this group
1 led by Muris Ibrahimovic and managed to get to Brcko.
2 A. That's not true.
3 Q. All right. Let's move on.
4 A. May I finish?
5 Q. Go ahead, finish.
6 A. I came on a bus. My colleague and I went on a bus. A colleague
7 who was not in the barricades at all, a regular guy. We passed through
8 on a bus, and on that day in Brezevo Polje, there were no checks. If
9 there were checks, I wouldn't be here today, Mr. Seselj.
10 Q. All right. In footnote 365, he quotes several documents that are
11 in the archives of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the army of the
12 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. That is the official name of your army;
14 A. That was the army later, the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina at that
16 Q. Well, we have what Vahid Karavelic says. Now let us look at some
17 other matters.
18 Over here, you mentioned fighting in Bijeljina, and you said that
19 in Bijeljina, there was the JNA, the reservists, the volunteers of
20 Mirko Blagojevic, and Arkan's men, right; and you called
21 Mirko Blagojevic's volunteers "Seselj's men"?
22 A. No, that was the Radical Party, and you're the president.
23 Q. Yes, I am the president.
24 A. And who does Mirko Blagojevic belong to? He is yours; right?
25 Q. Yes, he's my closest friend and party associate, the president of
1 our party for Republika Srpska.
2 A. So am I lying?
3 Q. About that? No, not at all.
4 A. I never lied anyway. I'm from a family --
5 Q. But what you said about the killing of the Muslims, you invented
6 all of that.
7 JUDGE HARHOFF: Witness and Mr. Seselj, you are overlapping.
8 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
9 Q. All right. Do you know that among the volunteers that you call
10 "Seselj's men," and I'm proud of the fact that you're calling them
11 "Seselj's men," the volunteers led by Mirko Blagojevic, was there anyone
12 from Serbia
13 A. They were all from Bijeljina.
14 Q. All right.
15 A. As far as I know.
16 Q. From Serbia
17 A. Arkan's men were from Serbia
18 this one man from Bijeljina there too. I know him. He's younger than I
19 am. He went to my elementary school. I couldn't -- I could recognise
20 him, but I don't know his name.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note, could the speakers please
22 speak one at a time.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't have too much time left.
24 How much time do I have left? Could you tell me so that I can see what I
25 could deal with?
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Empirically, I believe you have
2 about 20 minutes left, but Mr. Registrar is going to confirm this.
3 I was wrong by two minutes. You have 18 minutes left.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. I hope that I will
5 manage to deal with important things, at least.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sorry, could I have a break now?
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's have a break. Let's have
8 a 20-minute break, and we will resume in 20 minutes.
9 --- Recess taken at 11.56 a.m.
10 --- On resuming at 12.17 p.m.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're back in session.
12 Mr. Seselj, proceed.
13 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
14 Q. I have some information about crimes which according to your
15 testimony were perpetrated by Arkan's men, when the photographs were
16 shown. Now, do you know of any specific piece of information to which
17 Mirko Blagojevic and his men committed any crimes during the battle of
19 A. I know a piece of information to this effect: That
20 Mirko Blagojevic killed -- perhaps killed -- well, 100 per cent -- well,
21 he didn't kill, but he ordered the killing of Nargalic, Coso Nargalic.
22 The other one, the other piece of information is this. My
23 professor, Ferid Zecevic, was proclaimed by you, by the Radical Party and
24 Mirko Blagojevic that he's some kind of Mujahedin, that he's some kind of
25 Islamic army or whatever and that he organised something. Because of
1 that I consider that he either ordered or gave a statement -- or made a
2 statement that he should be done away with, killed. I think that that
3 was in Batkovic camp. That's my information.
4 Q. Just wait a moment. What can Mirko Blagojevic have to do with
5 the camp in Batkovic?
6 A. Well, because nobody knew of Arkan's men 100 per cent. Well, I
7 considered that nobody knew that Ferid Zecevic was some kind of organiser
8 of the Islamic Mujahedin or -- or Coso, because in the past, before the
9 war, Coso and Blagojevic had verbal duals, because Coso was a boxer and
10 Blagojevic was a boxer; and so they had conflicts and clashes, which
11 means that 100 per cent certain Blagojevic is responsible for Coso's
12 death. I don't know who killed Coso Nargalic, but I know he wielded
13 influence on that killing, which means that Arkan's men didn't know who
14 Nargalic was or who Ferid Zecevic was.
15 Q. But you're just making assumptions.
16 A. No, I'm not. I think I'm 90 per cent correct that that's how it
17 was, and that's what I'm saying, nothing else.
18 Q. You think that that's how it was, but you haven't got a shred of
20 A. Well, I have a piece of evidence. When we were at the
21 barricades, Cazim passed by us, Cazim Karadzic, the former colleague -- a
22 former colleague of Mirko Blagojevic. He had been beaten up. He was
23 covered in blood, and we could hardly recognise him.
24 Q. So all those are your assumptions, speculation on your part. You
25 don't know anything for sure?
1 A. Cazim Karadzic was beaten up. I know that for sure.
2 Q. Who beat him up?
3 A. Mirko's men, Mirko Blagojevic's men beat him up, Cazim Karadzic.
4 I repeat once again. That means he was beaten up, they beat him up.
5 Q. When was Cazim Karadzic beaten up?
6 A. In the evening. I don't know where he happened to be.
7 Q. What day?
8 A. On the following day, the 1st of March. That's when he was
9 beaten up. He passed by us, and we couldn't recognise him.
10 Q. Did you say the 1st of March?
11 A. No, I meant the 1st of April. After the conflicts in the
12 evening, when we set up the barricades, he passed by us that same day,
13 and I couldn't recognise the man. I knew him before.
14 Q. Let's stop. Pause there for a bit. Did he tell you that
15 Mirko Blagojevic's men had beaten him up?
16 A. No, he didn't. Mirko Blagojevic said he was in a hotel where he
17 had been beaten up. Mirko Blagojevic happened to be in the hotel where
18 he was beaten up, and he said, "What have they done to you, Cazim,"
19 that's all.
20 Q. So Mirko said to him, "What have they done to you, Cazim"?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And from that, you draw the conclusion that Mirko's men beat him
24 A. Of course I draw that conclusion.
25 Q. Oh, come on, come on, let's move on. If you find that normal and
1 natural, let's move on straight away.
2 Now, do you know that the Serbian Radical Party in Bijeljina was
3 established together by Mirko Blagojevic and Izet Salihbegovic?
4 A. I know Izet Salihbegovic and his late brother, the brother who
5 died and was the proprietor of a cafe opposite the park. I know them
7 Q. Well, do you know that he and Mirko set up the party together?
8 A. No, I don't know that, because I'm not interested in the man at
10 Q. All right. Then we can move on right away.
11 Now, you said in your statement somewhere that in the Srbija
12 Cafe, Arkan's men, Captain Dragan's men, congregated and so on?
13 A. No, I didn't put it that way. I said that Serbs frequented the
15 Q. All right, fine. Now, when did Arkan arrive in Bijeljina?
16 A. Some 15 days before, he was seen around Bijeljina with his unit
17 as he was stationed there.
18 Q. And how many men did his units number?
19 A. I don't know. They appeared in those military "pinskalas"
20 [phoen] or what are they called?
21 Q. You've just invented that, made it all up, and wait for me to ask
22 you the question. Arkan first appeared in Bijeljina in the early-morning
23 hours of the 1st of April, 1992, and he arrived with 29 men?
24 A. That's not correct. Arkan's men and that young man whom I knew
25 came earlier on.
1 Q. Do you know who called Arkan to come to Bijeljina?
2 A. I don't know who called him, but I do know that he was in
3 Bijeljina before --
4 Q. If I tell you that he was called personally by Biljana Plavsic,
5 does that tell you anything?
6 A. No, it doesn't.
7 Q. Do you know that immediately after the liberation of Bijeljina,
8 Biljana Plavsic arrived with Fikret Abdic?
9 A. Yes, he was disloyal, a traitor to his people.
10 Q. Fikret Abdic is not important.
11 A. Yes, he is important. You could say that Fikret Abdic came to
12 Bijeljina, which means he was a traitor of his own people.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers kindly slow down and speak
14 one at a time. They are overlapping.
15 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Well, refrain from proclaiming people traitors, will you, because
17 you, from Brcko, fled to Western Europe. It never occurred to you to
18 fight in the war.
19 Now let's see this: Do you know that Biljana Plavsic,
20 immediately upon arrival in Bijeljina, publicly kissed Arkan? That was
21 public, it was on television.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Do you know that Biljana Plavsic struck a bargain with The Hague
24 Tribunal to be given a smaller sentence, and that she appeared as a false
25 witness in the Momcilo Krajisnik trial?
1 A. No, I don't.
2 Q. We'll move on. Does the name of Ljubisa Savic, Mauzer ring a
4 A. Yes. You killed him.
5 Q. Who killed him?
6 A. You killed him after the war.
7 Q. I killed him?
8 A. No, you Serbs, your own people, not my people. Mauzer was
10 Q. Are you sorry that he was killed?
11 A. I don't know. You would have to ask that question --
12 Q. Now, why would it be important for us here who killed Mauzer?
13 A. I don't know.
14 Q. I just asked you whether his name was familiar.
15 A. Yes, it is familiar.
16 Q. Do you know that Mauzer took part in the fighting in Bijeljina
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. Do you know that Mauzer, after those battles, in cooperation with
20 Arkan, set up the guards that were called the Panthers?
21 A. No, I don't know that, because I wasn't in Bosnia-Herzegovina at
22 that time.
23 Q. You've never heard about that?
24 A. No, never.
25 Q. All right, fine. Now, do you know this: that Mauzer, immediately
1 after the liberation of Bijeljina, took over -- seized power, almost all
2 power, in Bijeljina?
3 A. I heard that, and I'd heard you killed him later on.
4 Q. All right. The fact that we killed him later on, well, that's
5 not it. Well, maybe it's a good idea, maybe it's not. But why is that
6 important, that Mauzer was killed later? Let's focus on my questions.
7 What do I care that Mauzer was killed?
8 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Witness, please try and wait with your answer
9 until you have seen the cursor on the screen in front of you stop,
10 because only when the cursor stops is the translation finished. You see,
11 if you overlap, then we do not understand a word of what you're saying,
12 and then we might as well just close.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise.
14 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
15 Q. As a man from Bijeljina, although you weren't present yourself,
16 do you know, in talking to other fellow townsmen, that after these
17 battles, Mauzer ceased to respect any military and political authority in
18 Republika Srpska, that he set out on his own, he became independent?
19 A. Well, yes, I do know that, and perhaps he was right in doing so.
20 Q. All right. You can continue to support him and say he was right
21 in doing so, but what I'm asking you is this: Do you know that Radovan
22 Karadzic and Ratko Mladic avoided coming to Bijeljina while Mauzer was
23 the main authority there?
24 A. No, I don't know about that.
25 Q. Do you know that Mirko Blagojevic and the Serbian Radical Party
1 were for years in a public conflict with Mauzer?
2 A. I heard about that.
3 Q. All right, fine. Now, do you know this: that Mauzer, in addition
4 to closely cooperating with Arkan, was the vice-president of the
5 Democratic Party of Zoran Djindjic?
6 A. I don't know that.
7 Q. Do you know that after the Dayton Accords, he went out to the
8 elections in Republika Srpska at the head of Djindjic's Democratic Party
9 for Republika Srpska?
10 A. Well, that means that the man was in favour of democracy, which
11 means he was a good man.
12 Q. Well, you go on commending him. It's very nice of you to do so.
13 Now, do you know that after those elections, Mauzer became the
14 main chief of police in Republika Srpska, the deputy to the minister?
15 A. No, I don't know that.
16 Q. You don't know?
17 A. Well, no. Can I tell you something? I'm not interested in
18 Mauzer at all. I'm not interested in the topic at all.
19 Q. All right, fine. Now, many books published by the Muslims, your
20 compatriots, I find the information that main crimes against the
21 Bijeljina Muslims were perpetrated by Arkan and Mauzer.
22 A. Well, that's not right.
23 Q. Well, you go ahead and defend Mauzer.
24 A. I'm not defending Mauzer. All I'm saying is this: If he was in
25 the Democratic Party of Zoran Djindjic, it means he was repentant and
1 that he had opted for democracy. That's all I said. I didn't say I
2 defended him.
3 Q. And he continued in his mafia dealings?
4 A. Well, let me say again --
5 Q. Do you know who looted the whole of Janja?
6 A. I don't know.
7 Q. Do you know that Janja is the largest Muslim village in Bijeljina
9 A. Yes, I do know that. Between Janja and Bijeljina, there are 10
10 Serb villages, and between Janja and Zvornik too.
11 Q. Well, how are you, as a Muslim, not interested in who looted the
12 whole of Janja and expelled the whole of the Muslim population from the
14 A. I know who did that.
15 Q. Who?
16 A. And I know who was expelled from Bijeljina, who expelled the
17 Muslims from Bijeljina and Janja.
18 Q. Who was it?
19 A. It was -- just a moment, just let me remember.
20 Q. Was it somebody who was a self-appointed major, perhaps? Was his
21 name similar to mine?
22 A. Just a moment, just let me take a moment.
23 Q. Well, I'm waiting.
24 A. I knew his name, but I can't remember it just now.
25 Q. Was it Vojkan?
1 A. Yes, yes, Vojkan. He expelled my mother. My mother was on the
2 list too.
3 Q. And what was his surname?
4 A. Djuric. It began with a "Dj" letter.
5 Q. You mean Djurkovic. Do you know Mirko Blagojevic was in conflict
6 with him all the time?
7 A. I don't know that, no.
8 Q. Did you hear that Mirko Blagojevic from the very first day fought
9 against the expulsion and persecution of Muslims from the Bijeljina area?
10 A. That's not true.
11 Q. Well, The Hague Tribunal has public statements made by Mirko
12 Blagojevic in standing up to Mauzer and Djurkovic and I have copies of
13 that here.
14 A. He did stand up to them, but finally he said that we should all
15 be expelled.
16 Q. Do you know Mirko Blagojevic?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You've just invented that.
19 THE INTERPRETER: The speakers are overlapping, and it is
20 impossible to interpret. Could they please slow one by one.
21 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
22 Q. When the OTP people talked to you and proofed you, led by
23 Mr. Mussemeyer --
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, take your time. You
25 are speaking too fast, responding too fast, and the interpreters are
1 complaining once again.
2 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
3 Q. During the proofing session, did Mr. Mussemeyer perhaps show you
4 the public statements made in 1992 and 1993, and the following years, by
5 Mirko Blagojevic in Bijeljina?
6 A. In 1993, well, that was already the area where there were no more
7 Muslims left. I think there was just a small percentage. So the
8 important day is the 31st and the 1st and after that, whereas in 1993,
9 there were no more Muslims there, so whom could he have protected? To
10 protect Muslims, the Muslims had to go up to the line and dig trenches
11 for the Serb forces up at Mount Majevica
12 Q. There were enough Muslims in Bijeljina, and some of them were
13 members of the Serbian army, and Mauzer expelled those, too, from
15 A. That's not true.
16 Q. All right, if you say it's not true.
17 A. It's not true. They had to go and dig trenches. They were
18 forced to go and dig trenches at Majevica.
19 Q. Does that mean that Mr. Mussemeyer didn't show you the public
20 statements made by Mirko Blagojevic?
21 A. I know what Mirko Blagojevic did.
22 Q. That's not what I'm asking you. I'm asking you about the
23 Prosecutor, Mr. Mussemeyer. He's over there, across the way, sitting in
24 the courtroom. He conducted the proofing session with you. Well, if he
25 didn't show you that, he didn't prepare you for this -- for your
1 testimony well enough.
2 A. Well, I prepared myself, and I'm saying what I said, what I've
3 already said. I've talked about it, and that's what I want to talk
4 about. I don't want to talk about Mauzer and what he did.
5 Q. You seem to me to be a little nervous. You're too nervous during
6 your testimony.
7 A. You are swerving from the topic.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, don't fly off the
9 handle. It's useless.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Comrade Judge, he's talking about
11 subjects that I'm not interested in. I'm focusing on my own topic, so he
12 should speak about what I said, not about Mauzer, because when I left
13 Bijeljina, I wasn't interested about what happened afterwards, whether
14 Mirko Blagojevic, in 1993, was saving the Muslims or whether he was
15 persecuting them. I focused my attention from the 31st and the 1st.
16 Well, I wasn't interested in Mauzer at all, nor was I interested in
17 Vojkan Djurkovic. He's on the list. My mother was expelled, too. She
18 was on the list, and that was in the Bosnian papers.
19 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Witness, Mr. Seselj is
20 interested in this. If you don't have the answer, just say, "I don't
21 know." That's it. Unfortunately, you cannot choose the questions that
22 are going to be put to you, the questions that you want to answer. You
23 must answer all questions put to you.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, proceed.
25 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
1 Q. So you only know one thing, what you've invented; that I was
2 sitting in the cafe, up at the bar, with Mirko Blagojevic, deciding on
3 the killing of the Muslims, and on the basis of that you seem to have
4 merited that The Hague Tribunal has managed to procure a residency for
5 you in a foreign country. So that's all you're sticking to. You're not
6 interested in anything else. You weren't interested in the struggle and
7 fight of the Muslims, although you took part a little bit in the first
8 days. Then you beat a hasty retreat from Brcko to the West, and you
9 weren't interested anymore. And now you've come to fulfill what you owe
10 The Hague Tribunal as a mark of recognition and gratitude for them having
11 got you a permit in a foreign country, where you have a good job and a
12 good salary and you couldn't care less?
13 A. Could I say something?
14 Q. You can say whatever you like.
15 A. Judge, Your Honour, I want to say this: What I said here is the
16 truth. Secondly, you can take it -- well, you can take documents from
17 the police in the country in which I'm residing, when you know on the
18 basis of which I was granted a residence permit. So I don't need to give
19 anything back to The Hague Tribunal that I owe them. I obtained my
20 papers in regular fashion through my wife. I am legally married to my
21 wife, and it was through her that I was able to get my papers.
22 I state once again that what Mr. Seselj is saying is not the
23 truth. So whenever you want to see the documents, my file in the police
24 station, on the basis of which I was granted a residency permit. So let
25 me repeat that once again. That's why I'm nervous, because of his lies,
1 because he is not telling the truth. So he does not know how I came to
2 be given my residency papers, so I ask you once again to take my police
3 file, look at the documents, and then we can resolve that issue.
4 Q. You received your papers on the basis of a number of requests
5 made by The Hague Tribunal to the state organs of that country, and of
6 those many requests, one of them has been provided by Mr. Mussemeyer, and
7 it is Patrick Lopez-Terres' letter three days after talking to you and
8 after you had signed the statement. Immediate -- he reacted immediately
9 to protect you as a valuable witness; isn't that right?
10 A. No, it isn't.
11 Q. Well, what does this paper mean?
12 A. That's the paper, but it wasn't on the basis of that paper that I
13 was given residency.
14 Q. Is this a forgery, then?
15 A. No, it isn't.
17 (redacted) documents referring to the request made by The Hague Tribunal and
18 the OTP of The Hague
19 Now, Judges, Mr. Mussemeyer should have brought in the document
20 from 2007 granting this witness permanent residence in the third country.
21 We're lacking a lot of documents, but we do have 11 pages that are very
22 valuable and explain everything to us. So this isn't documentation
23 against this witness, primarily; it is against The Hague OTP and the
24 methods employed by the OTP.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, we need to
1 redact line 5, page 98. There is mention of the country. Line 5,
2 page 98.
3 I believe your time has almost run out, Mr. Seselj. Please
4 resume and finish.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Did I mention the country? I don't
6 think I did. I mentioned it? Well, then it was truly by accident.
7 Q. Mr. VS-1028, the price that you paid in order to get permanent
8 residency is not a high one in your moral framework, but in the moral
9 framework that all honest people are guided by and all of mankind is
10 guided by, it is a very, very high price. It's better not to be alive
11 than to perjure oneself.
12 A. That's not true.
13 Q. In your people and in your religious group, perjury is one of the
14 most terrible crimes, whereas you decided to perjure yourself in order to
15 get a residency permit. We have information attesting to that.
16 A. Can I say something now?
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute.
18 Mr. Mussemeyer.
19 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I realise the accused now is changing from using
20 the words "false witness." He is using other words, but the meaning is
21 the same. He should restrain from this.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, what do you want to
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wanted to say that what he said,
25 I mean, that I got papers on the basis of the fact that I came here,
1 that's not true. You can check that. You can check that. I've said
2 that several times. I didn't get papers on that basis, nor would I ask
3 to get papers on that basis.
4 As for my faith, I am very clear on that. I never lied. I come
5 from a very good family, too. I'm not interested in his faith, but what
6 I say, that is true. You can take the documentation from the police of
7 the country that I am in.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have a question for you in
9 this respect.
10 Based on the documents that we have been given, or based on this
11 document, you went to the country I'm not going to name on the 11th of
12 May, 1992, and you applied for asylum. The application was denied. And
13 based on this document, you then left the country in question.
14 Later on, you returned to that country, and at some point I see
15 this detail in the document: On the 23rd of November, 1999, you
16 explained to an office in that country that you have not left the
17 country. On the 14th of November, 2000, so that's one year later, you
18 introduced or presented a passport, and you allegedly gave your real name
19 then. Does this mean that when you went to that country, you went under
20 a fake name?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I used a different name,
22 because they were looking for me. In 1992, when I came to this country
23 where I had been, a woman told me -- a woman who was there told me that
24 she had heard that I had already been killed, that I was no longer among
25 the living, so I had to protect my life. I had to say something. So
1 since in that country, on that year, it wasn't that only Muslims had
2 fled; Serbs and Croats had sought refuge there too. Many Serbs assumed
3 Muslim names in order to register. So I had to protect myself somehow,
4 so for the sake of my own safety and security, I had to change my name.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. But, sir, you applied in
6 1992 for asylum, and it was a regular application. No problem about
7 that. But later on, in 1995, you returned to that country. Then,
8 obviously, you gave a different name, and you applied for asylum under a
9 different name, and that's the reality of it.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've already explained, I was
11 afraid. I was afraid for my life. I feared for my life, and I explained
12 that to the police of that country, and it says that over there. So it
13 was for the sake of my own safety.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Prosecutor, any redirect?
15 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I have only two additional questions. But
16 before I come to this, I must again make you aware that the accused has
17 used extensively a book which he did not provide before
18 cross-examination. He even did not inform us that he would quote from
19 this book. And for me, this is completely unprofessional.
20 Now to my questions.
21 Re-examination by Mr. Mussemeyer:
22 Q. Mr. Witness, do you know the date, the month, for example, when
23 you got the permanent residence in the country you are living in now?
24 A. On the 25th of May, 2007. I think that was it, the 25th of May,
25 2007. The 25th.
1 Q. And the second statement you gave to us was in November of 2007,
2 so that was some months after you got the permanent residence; is that
4 A. Yes, yes.
5 Q. My second question: Which month in 1992 did you leave Bijeljina?
6 A. I think in April, mid-April, after the conflict.
7 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Just to assist the Trial Chamber, the letter
8 Mr. Seselj was referring to, the letter from Mr. Blagojevic, is from
9 September, the 27th of September, 1992. So the witness has already left
10 in April and Mr. Blagojevic wrote this letter in September. It has the
11 exhibit number -- not the exhibit number, sorry, the 65 ter number 1677
12 and 1678. It's the same document.
13 This is all I wanted to know.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, thank you.
15 This concludes your testimony, Witness. I shall ask the usher --
16 he is not there because he had to take a document out of the courtroom.
17 Before you leave the courtroom, we have to lower the blinds.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I say something at the end now?
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. What do you want to say?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would like to say that what I
21 testified here against Mr. Seselj, I mean, I would like to say that all
22 Serbs or other ethnicities -- well, I really don't know how to put this.
23 I mean, not everybody is the same. And may I also say that I hope that
24 the evil that befell my people and my country never befall anyone.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You're going to be
1 escorted out of the courtroom, but first the usher has to lower the
3 You may leave the courtroom. Let's make sure that the cameras
4 are not turned on.
5 Let's move into private session before you leave the courtroom.
6 [Closed session]
13 [Open session]
14 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Tomorrow, in open session,
16 we'll have Witness VS-44. Of course, since he's a Court witness, a
17 witness of the Trial Chamber, I'll ask him whether he wants to testify in
18 open session, and thereafter the Trial Chamber will have questions for
19 the witness. As usual, I can already sketch out the proceedings: that
20 everybody be prepared; there will be questions on his personal situation;
21 his political involvement in the 1990s; then he will be asked questions
22 regarding the Serb Radical Party from 1991 to 1994; then the issue of
23 dispatching volunteers; relationships between Mr. Seselj and other
24 members of the joint criminal enterprise; questions on speeches made by
25 Mr. Seselj; the issue of financing of the SRS; questions on the part
1 played within the SRS
2 usual questions. Once that is over, the Prosecutor will have an hour,
3 Mr. Seselj too. But since the Judges are basically going to cover the
4 entire scope of all these questions, it may be that you just have
5 residual questions to put, inasmuch as the Trial Chamber will deal with
6 the essential questions during that first stage of the proceedings. We
7 shall endeavour to comply with the schedule in the hope that we can
8 finish tomorrow's hearing with the testimony of this witness.
9 Let us hope that he will arrive today. He was supposed to arrive
10 today, and since he's a witness of the Trial Chamber, nobody will see him
11 before he gets to this courtroom; neither the Judges, nor the Prosecution
12 or the accused.
13 The time has come for us to adjourn. We shall reconvene tomorrow
14 at 8.30. Thank you.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.52 p.m.
16 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 10th day of
17 December, 2008, at 8.30 a.m.