1 Thursday, 26 March 2009
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Open session]
4 --- Upon commencing at 8.36 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, please call the
8 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, good morning, Your Honours. This is
9 case number IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
11 Mr. Registrar. Today we are the 26th of March, 2009. I would like to
12 greet Mr. Mundis, his associates as well, and I would like it to greet
13 Mr. Seselj. And as well, all the people assisting us in and around the
14 courtroom. Mr. Registrar, Mr. Usher, ladies and gentlemen in the
15 interpreting booths, and the court reporter.
16 So I'd like to greet all of you.
17 Today we are here for a Status Conference. The next hearing will
18 be after consulting the planning of the hearings in the month of March, I
19 realised that there are a lot of cases on the schedule, which means that
20 our next hearing will take place in the month of May. And I would like
21 to say that the Status Conferences usually take place every 120 days. I
22 tried to organise things that we see each other more often but the
23 schedule is such that it won't be possible to organise hearings,
24 Status Conferences every two weeks, which I wanted, but I would like to
25 talk about something in private session. So Mr. Registrar, could you
1 please move into private session.
2 [Private session]
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are now in open session.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Seselj, I
18 wanted to talk today in the first place about your health. Upon reading
19 the articles that are published regarding this trial and yourself, I
20 noticed recently that in an article published in Belgrade, there was a
21 mention of a health issue. I was never informed of anything of the sort
22 and I would like to ask you if you can confirm to us that everything is
23 fine or that you are suffering from some kind of ailment.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'm in sufficiently
25 good health to be able to continue participating in the proceedings. My
1 health cannot be reason for interrupting the proceedings. I don't know
2 which article you are referring to from the Belgrade press, but from
3 August last year, I had my blood tested six times and the results each
4 time were rather poor regarding the functions of the liver. They are AST
5 and ALT
6 considered normal, and I had an ultrasound examination of the liver which
7 showed that my liver is large. That is what the doctor told me. This
8 need not mean anything in itself. That is all that information I have
9 about my state of health.
10 I have here the last -- is this the last one? The -- this was
11 the latest result of my blood test which shows these figures. And I can
12 show it to you, if you are interested.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Seselj. Given
14 what you just told us, the Trial Chamber will request the medical -- the
15 physician from the UNDU to inform us of what is going on because, of
16 course, we have the responsibility of making sure that your health is
17 okay. So I wanted to check this with you.
18 And secondly, it is something that I have to say in response to a
19 motion that you've sent us not long ago regarding an article which
20 appeared in Los Angeles Times on the 1st of March, 2009. The
21 Trial Chamber following this motion that you have filed in writing to us,
22 and I have it before me, and the Trial Chamber renders the following
23 decision. I will read very slowly in order that you may understand very
24 clearly what we are saying in this decision.
25 The Trial Chamber was seized by the motion 414 from the accused
1 registered on the 16th of March, 2009. In this motion, Mr. Seselj is
2 mentioning a press article that was published in the Los Angeles Times on
3 the 1st of March, 2009, according to which the accused Jovica Stanisic --
4 Jovica Stanisic. I will spell Jovica, J-o-v-i-c-a. Would have
5 collaborated with the American Secret Services (CIA), the court reporter
6 never heard of the CIA
7 her. According to which, the CIA
8 confirming the contribution -- constructive contribution of
9 Jovica Stanisic to its work.
10 Mr. Seselj is requesting, therefore, that the Trial Chamber hands
11 down an order in order for all the documents that were sent to the
12 Tribunal by the CIA
13 further delays.
14 The Prosecution responded on the 19th of March, 2009, by saying
15 that the motion is no longer founded because of the erroneous character
16 of the information on the basis of which it was established.
17 The Trial Chamber deliberated on this and considers that it would
18 be proper to ask to the Prosecutor, first of all, if he is in possession
19 of the said documents.
20 According and following the answer obtained by the Prosecutor,
21 and depending on their answer, the accused would have to address his
22 motion to the competent Chamber to find out whether the Trial Chamber, or
23 rather, the Trial Chamber that's dealing with the Simatovic and Stanisic
25 If these documents were indeed filed confidentially to the
1 Tribunal, the Trial Chamber presiding the Simatovic and Stanisic case, in
2 that case, seems to be in fact the proper channel to decide whether there
3 is a legitimate interest for the accused to have access to the said
5 This is our oral decision. It's an oral decision which firstly
6 is requesting if the Prosecution indeed has these documents, and if
7 indeed the Prosecution has the documents they will have to answer
8 consequently, and with respect still to this oral decision handed down by
9 the Trial Chamber, Mr. Seselj will have to seize the competent Chamber,
10 which is not this Trial Chamber, but rather the Trial Chamber presiding
11 over the Stanisic and Simatovic case.
12 So that's what I had to say with respect to this decision.
13 Mr. Prosecutor, do you have something to add on this first part of the
14 oral decision?
15 MR. MUNDIS: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honour. And to
16 everyone in and around the courtroom. The Prosecution at this point in
17 time has nothing to add. We will be filing something consistent with the
18 Trial Chamber's oral decision.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you very
20 much. Mr. Seselj, you've understood what I've just said. The
21 Trial Chamber has nothing else to add.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, it is my conviction that
23 there's no need for me to try and persuade you as to my interest in these
24 documents if they exist, since Jovica Stanisic is one of the high-ranking
25 members of the alleged joint criminal enterprise where my name is
1 mentioned, that is the first level of this joint criminal enterprise.
2 Apart from Milosevic, Karadzic, Mladic, there is Jovica Stanisic's name
3 and my own.
4 I have endeavoured through the Prosecution case so far and the
5 statement of the accused at the very beginning and also testifying in
6 Slobodan Milosevic's case to present data showing that it is impossible
7 for us to be a part of a joint criminal enterprise once we analyse our
8 mutual relationships. The hostility between Jovica Stanisic and myself,
9 for instance. If what has been published in the Los Angeles Times then
10 it is for me absolute evidence that Jovica Stanisic and myself could
11 never have been a part of a joint criminal enterprise. We could only
12 have been on opposing sides because the CIA would certainly never provide
13 such favourable, in inverted commas, in quotations marks, "favourable"
14 comments about me. The very thought that it might say something good
15 about me is absolutely impossible.
16 I wish to remind you Mr. President, that I have asked several
17 times, even during the pre-trial proceedings, that a subpoena be sent to
18 the intelligence services of the United States, Great Britain, France,
20 in which my name is mentioned. The Trial Chamber in those days said that
21 I myself should try and get hold of those documents, and if I failed,
22 then I should address the Chamber. Through my associates I have written
23 to the governments of these governments with the exception of the
24 Government of Croatia
25 only to the Western governments, and we only received an answer from the
1 American government. In principle they agreed, but they asked for this
2 to be paid. We could not pay for it. So it was up to the Trial Chamber
3 to get these documents, and I haven't forgotten that I made such a
4 request several years ago and I think I mentioned this to you in the
5 pre-trial proceedings. And these documents could be extremely important
6 for me.
7 I will address the Trial Chamber in charge of the
8 Stanisic-Simatovic case with the request that these documents be
9 disclosed to me. However, if they do not have these documents but only
10 the OTP, the OTP is a unified institution for the entire Tribunal. It
11 has one segment in this trial and another in different trials, and the
12 OTP is subject to decisions of all the Trial Chambers. And if you make
13 such a request, then the OTP should necessarily provide those documents.
14 If the OTP has those documents, then it must provide them to
15 these proceedings. There's no need -- there's absolutely no course for
16 them to be concealed from these proceedings. I have provided photocopies
17 from an internet site of the Los Angeles Times in which this article was
18 published, and I've also provided you from the Serbian press all the
19 articles commenting on this to show you how important this issue is for
20 me. That is as much as I had to say about this.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, we will expect the
22 Prosecution to give us a response in writing, and you will then make a
23 request to the Stanisic Trial Chamber.
24 Mr. Prosecutor, I have a personal request to make to you, but it
25 also concerns the Trial Chamber. It would seem that the tribunal of
2 decision. It would seem that in this judgement some convictions were
3 made, Miroljub Vujovic was convicted, and there were also five acquittals
4 of five people which one of them was Milorad Pesic [phoen]. This
5 question was pending before the court of Belgrade following a judgement
6 that was rendered in 2005 but that was dismissed by the Supreme Court.
7 So the trial had restarted. It would be interesting to obtain this
8 judgement, I don't know if you have it or if you can try to get it, but
9 if you have it or when you get it I would really appreciate to obtain a
10 copy of the said judgement.
11 MR. MUNDIS: It's been requested, Mr. President, from the
12 authorities in Belgrade
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you very
14 much. Yes, Mr. Seselj.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]
16 ... is pronounced, it was only the oral part of the judgement that was
17 rendered in court and it hasn't been submitted in writing to the parties.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There seems to be a problem
19 with the translation. I couldn't hear the French translation. Can you
20 start again.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I wanted to say that I
22 immediately expressed my own interest as soon as I heard that the
23 judgement was rendered in the Ovcara proceedings, and my associates were
24 told that only a summary of the judgement was read out in the courtroom,
25 and that the entire judgement hasn't been completed yet and it hasn't
1 been submitted in writing to the parties in the proceedings. That is
2 constitutional practice in the Serbian jurisdiction; that is to say, that
3 the judgement is not written until the day it is rendered and then it is
4 written after that day with additional argumentation. What is important
5 is that the only two volunteers of the Serb Radical Party who were
6 indicted, Slobodan Katic and Marko Ljuboja, they were acquitted. And
7 Milan Lancuzanin Kameni, who was the commander of the Levo Supoderica
8 detachment, and the first time he was tried he was convicted to a 20-year
9 sentence on the basis of testimony provided by false witnesses, was now
10 sentenced to six years because he was in Ovcara and he himself is now
11 challenging that. However, he did not take part in the liquidation.
12 Now, why it is six years, that is something I haven't seen yet. Is it
13 because he did not report the crime or is it that someone said that he
14 took part in some of the beatings of some of the detainees right there on
15 the spot? That is something I don't know.
16 And you remember the well known Ceca, who we mentioned here
17 several times, now he has been sentenced to five years in prison and the
18 first time he was sentenced to 20 years. I think that this judgement is
19 very important for these proceedings here because it is part of the
20 evidence that the volunteers of the Serb Radical Party have nothing to do
21 what happened in Ovcara. Even their commander, who then was not a
22 volunteer of the Serb Radical Party, but even he did not take part in the
23 liquidation. He was convicted of some minor crime and it remains to be
24 seen which one because the press did not publish why it was that he was
25 sentenced, as far as I know.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We all await the
2 judgement, I hope they will be fast in delivering it to us.
3 For a few moments we shall move into private session because I
4 need to address the issue of motions concerning protected witnesses, and
5 I do have to move to private session for that purpose. Please,
7 [Private session]
11 Pages 14452-14456 redacted. Private session.
11 [Open session]
12 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'm convinced that
14 the legal system of France
15 with regard to this matter. A statement made before an investigative
16 judge, and a statement given before the police can be admitted into
17 evidence directly, and these witnesses do not have to come and testify
18 only if the statement before the police or before the investigative judge
19 was given in the presence of the accused or Defence counsel of the
20 accused, and then the Defence counsel had the opportunity to take part in
21 the examination. The accused can give up on his right to have legal
22 counsel present. And if he is not challenging that, all of it can be
23 applied in that way. However, an investigative judge, whenever hearing
24 someone, has to provide timely information to Defence counsel when the
25 hearing will be held, at which venue, and he has to make it possible for
1 Defence counsel to attend the interview and to take part in the
2 proceedings. I'm sure that this is identical in France, Italy
4 law, common law as it is called. Over there, not a single court would
5 admit in criminal proceedings the kind of statements that are served here
6 by the OTP. That is to say, a statement that was written up by the OTP
7 itself without the presence of the Defence and without the possibility of
8 cross-examination. That cannot hold water in England or in the USA
9 is only possible in civil proceedings in England. I mean, that is what
10 is written in textbooks of procedural law in England because the values
11 involved in criminal proceedings are far too great, the freedom and
12 liberty of the accused which far supersedes any kind of material claim.
13 So this kind of admission of evidence cannot be carried through. If a
14 witness was heard in a regular manner and if the Defence was present,
15 that is different.
16 You referred to the Nuremburg trials, however, as experienced
17 lawyers, Judges, you know that these were unlawful proceedings. Hitler's
18 henchmen deserve to be impaled, to have little pieces of flesh torn off
19 their bodies if you take into consideration the crimes they committed.
20 Hitler's henchmen deserved all of that. However, from a legal point of
21 view, their proceedings were not lawful.
22 First all of they were not tried by an international court, they
23 were tried by a court consisting of the four victorious powers; the
24 Soviet Union, Great Britain, the United States of America
25 Not a single other country could take part in the proceedings.
2 proceedings but was not allowed to do so, and it did give some kind of a
3 contribution to the victory of the allies.
4 Secondly, there were no appeals proceedings. This was a
6 Now, there are some things that were resolved better there than
7 have -- they've been resolved here. The accused could have taken any
8 lawyer in the world and the court would have paid for that. No counsel
9 was imposed on any one of the accused from a list provided by the
10 Registry, and the accused had to get all the documents in the German
11 language. Whereas I have been in a dispute with the OTP over language
12 issues for five years. There were things that were resolved better there
13 than over here over here.
14 However, the Nuremburg Tribunal cannot be an example because it
15 was not an international court. It was a Tribunal of the victorious
16 powers that was carrying out a retaliation over the vanquished, so it was
17 an aggressive war that was involved there. Hitler's henchmen were held
18 responsible there for waging war, and not a single crime was ascribed to
19 them that had not been committed before the 1st of September, 1939
20 although there was burning down of the synagogues, mass killing of Jews
21 and so on. However, before the 1st of September, 1939, nothing was taken
22 into account that happened then. So I have many examples, but I think
23 that truly invoking the work of the Nuremburg Tribunal would not be the
24 right precedent to invoke because this was not an international court.
25 In order for this court to be regular, to have been established
1 in a regular way, that is to say through an international covenant of
2 several states not a security counsel of the UN. If it would be the
3 right kind of international court that should be there like the one based
4 on the statutes of Rome
5 is instituted.
6 This Tribunal does not have as its basic task the establishment
7 of justice but to maintain the peace, whereas that is a political
8 objective, to attain peace. To attain peace is a political objective of
9 someone who likes peace; and achieving war is the objective of someone
10 who likes war. However, basically, these are not legal objectives, and
11 that is why there are so many Serb accused persons here and so very few
12 Croats, Albanians, Muslims and the others, because the Serbs were always
13 the obstacle to the establishment of Pax Americana in the Balkans, as a
14 counterpart to Pax Romana. Just the way the Roman Empire dictated the
15 peace conditions to everyone else in the world, that's what the Americans
16 have been doing. So that's kind of situation we are dealing with now.
17 I'm going back to the essence of the problem now. It is
18 impossible to admit into evidence a statement made by a dead witness if
19 this statement was not made in a regular way. Even the rules here show
20 how affidavits are taken, for instance. So that an authorised official
21 of the court can see that and a representative of the Defence and a
22 representative of the OTP. It is only in that way that affidavits can be
23 taken. What the OTP took as statements is rubbish. That can go straight
24 to the rubbish bin. It's nothing. Because the OTP is one of the parties
25 in these proceedings and what they write up as a statement is only a
1 continuation of the indictment, and the entire indictment is not
2 evidence. It is something that is challenged. Nothing that is written
3 by the Prosecution can be treated as evidence. Whatever is evidence has
4 to be independent of the Prosecution.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you say that
6 anything that has been received by the OTP can be thrown into the garbage
7 bin but I return this against you. Anything you may have received from
8 your own witnesses, does it have to be processed in the same way?
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, that is why I have
10 no intention of asking you to admit directly into evidence statements of
11 my witnesses. During the Defence case, I used the statements of my
12 witnesses to have a more effective cross-examination, and every Defence
13 witness will come here into the court to testify. I won't take
14 statements for a single one of them and file it instead of his testimony.
15 Of course I will be taking certain statements, they will be much
16 shorter than those taken by the Prosecution, and I will distribute them
17 to members of the Chamber and the Prosecution for them to prepare to
18 cross-examine that witness. So I will inform you in advance what the
19 subject of the testimony is. But only what the witness orally states in
20 the courtroom has the value of evidence, which you will later judge.
21 All evidence cannot be of equal value. Anything that I were to
22 write and my witness were to sign, you would laugh at it, I'm quite sure.
23 Now, why would you laugh or ridicule the statement that I write on behalf
24 of my witnesses. I expect you to ridicule the same sort of statements
25 produced by the Prosecution because it's the obvious goal of the
1 Prosecution for me to be convicted. Their assignment is not to let me
2 free ever. There's no doubt about it. So much animosity has been
3 demonstrated, which proves this.
4 Of course, that is not my aim to get out of here at all cost. My
5 aim is to defeat the Prosecution regardless of consequences. That is my
6 goal and that is why -- what I'm doing and I'm satisfied I think I'm
7 doing it very successfully.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Regarding the 92 quater rule,
9 let me tell you, but I'm sure you know, that the Trial Chamber had
10 dismissed the motion regarding VS-037.
11 Mr. Mundis.
12 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Just one or two very
13 brief points in response to the issues raised by Mr. Seselj. Rule 89
14 which governs general provisions indicates in subparagraph(a) that the
15 Chamber shall apply the rules of evidence set forth in this section of
16 the rules, and shall not be bound by national rules of evidence. And as
17 a result, we would submit, the accused's arguments as to what the status
18 of the law is in Serbia
19 the United States of America, or the United Federated States of
21 provisions that are clearly set forth in Rule 89(a).
22 In addition, Rule 89(c) indicates that the Chamber may admit any
23 relevant evidence which it deems to have probative value. And those
24 provisions, we would submit, when read in conjunction with 92 quater,
25 clearly support the admission of those statements in this case.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. All this legal
2 discussion is now on record. I believe you had three topics you wanted
3 to address, Mr. Seselj. You may proceed.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have to respond. First of all,
5 I'd like to reply to what Mr. Mundis has said. It is true that this
6 Tribunal is not obliged to follow the legal procedure in any other
7 country. However, there is something which is a general legal principle.
8 This Tribunal cannot act contrary to the whole world, and if something is
9 not possible in the whole world, it cannot be possible here. That is
10 ridiculous. If in the whole world there is a general legal principle
11 that testimony in criminal proceedings has to be oral, viva voce, except
12 in exceptional cases. A man may be numb, he is unable to answer
13 questions, he may testify in writing then, or maybe the language they use
14 with their hands can be translated by someone if somebody is mute. Those
15 are the only exceptions.
16 Of course, this Tribunal can do all kind of things contrary to
17 the principles of the whole world. But there are consequences for all
18 people who allow themselves the liberty to violate these general legal
19 principles and that is the condemnation of the professional public which
20 is anyway highly critical of this Tribunal.
21 Is it possible to try people on the basis of statements written
22 by the Prosecution? Rule 89, and especially 89(f) is being abused by
23 some Trial Chambers and by the Prosecution regularly. Yes, it is indeed
24 true that the Chamber may receive any evidence which it considers to be
25 of probative value, but with a certain number of caution, the
1 Trial Chamber could take this into consideration. We have had a host of
2 such documents here, and if you remember well, they were always in my
3 favour. Not one of those witnesses accused me of anything, but later on
4 through the Prosecution statements this was adjusted.
5 But what the Prosecution of this Tribunal writes cannot be
6 evidence. That is the principle. Nothing that the OTP writes cannot be
7 covered by Rule 89. It cannot. And what this Prosecutor writes is of no
8 value. It can only be of value as a charge, as a request, but -- as a
9 motion, but not as evidence. Nothing that the Prosecution says or writes
10 is evidence. It may only interpret somethings. It may express its views
11 about the evidence. It may try to persuade you that they have provided
12 sufficient incriminating evidence, but what they themselves say is not
13 evidence and nowhere in the world is it.
14 Of course, as we are talking about civilised democratic countries
15 where the rules of legal procedure are observed, let us recall Hitler's
16 regime. Even under Hitler's regime, Georgi Dimitrov was entitled to
17 defend himself and to win, and to defeat the regime in the courtroom.
18 But here, a kind of machinery appears to be established which is
19 grinding, grinding all the time and now this machine has come across a
20 problem that it is unable to grind so easily. And the machine is
22 Your Honours, you're witnesses of this process of cracking in the
23 OTP's machinery. The proceedings have not been halted here because I
24 exerted pressure on witnesses or intimidated them, but it has been halted
25 because the machinery of the OTP has cracked and we are waiting for it to
1 be repaired, which is obviously impossible. This broken machinery cannot
2 be repaired by anyone, and Mr. Mundis is aware -- has been aware of this
3 for some time.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you wanted to
5 address three issues. Which are they?
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, that is just one matter, or
7 rather two. We've already covered one because I, too, was going to
8 address this request for the application of 92 quater.
9 I have received a request, a motion from the Prosecution of the
10 28th of January. I received it on the 16th of March, for the change of
11 evidence lists and for the admission of that evidence into the file.
12 This is a public document. We are talking about Hrtkovci under 95 ter.
13 In the course of -- I'm sorry, 65 ter.
14 During the examination of the expert, Ewa Tabeau, I used certain
15 data. I used data as to who of the Hrtkovci inhabitants said they were
16 Croat at the census of 1991, and at the census of 2002 as Serbs. And now
17 the Prosecution is bewailing the fact that they were unable to obtain
18 those figures, and they are supplying us with their correspondence with
19 the Government of Serbia and somebody's response which was sent allegedly
20 from the ministry of foreign affairs, but it is not signed. This is the
21 response dated the 12th of December, 2008, the office for contacts with
22 the -- for contact of the OTP in Belgrade
23 they say that they don't have those figures and that they cannot provide
24 them. And now the Prosecution wants this to be admitted into the file.
25 This is not evidence against me. This is evidence of the
1 incapability of the OTP. What is this doing in the file? If the
2 Prosecution wanted to abrogate my evidence, then they could have gone
3 through the list to see the people that I have indicated have changed
4 their statement of nationality, and then those people can tell
5 representatives of the OTP whether they indeed declare themselves
6 differently, and that would challenge what I had said. That would be the
7 correct procedure. But this, what the Prosecution has done, is simply a
8 demonstration of its lack of ability. They are addressing an employee in
10 now the OTP is complaining.
11 I, too, am bewailing the tragic abilities of the OTP. You are
12 not capable. But let me add, the regime in Belgrade is hostile towards
13 me and they are doing everything they can to make my position more
14 difficult, and still I'm managing to obtain certain information. How? I
15 have infiltrated myself into the structures of the regime and they are
16 asking an incapable regime to help them and they can't. They asked for
17 my police files that are 30 years old and they gave them everything.
18 They didn't conceal anything. But in this case they cannot. An
19 incapable regime and an incapable OTP.
20 And what is the Prosecutor proving? It is proving that the
21 regime is incapable and he, too, is incapable. That's fine. But they're
22 encumbering the file, there's no reason for you to accept such
23 encumberment of the file. If they want to deny what I stated here, let
24 them look for witnesses, let them look for evidence. The fact that they
25 can't find witnesses and evidence is at their -- to their detriment only.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, I don't have the
2 28th January motion, so I'm just here relying on my memory of it.
3 Indeed, when Ms. Ewa Tabeau testified there was a long discussion on the
4 1991 census, and Mr. Seselj was the one who introduced it based on the
5 2002 census which seemed to show that people who declared they were
6 Croats 1991, declared themselves as Serbs in 2002. There were questions
7 and answers by Ms. Tabeau and that had shown what I've just said.
8 Thereafter, you filed a motion to apply for leave to change the 65 ter
9 list and you tried to obtain from the official authorities in Serbia
10 information that seemed to deal with the 2002 census. And you received
11 nothing from the authorities. Is that how the situation was?
12 MR. MUNDIS: Not quite, Mr. President. You will recall during
13 the cross-examination, the accused put questions to Dr. Tabeau that he
14 told us came from material that was obtained from the census data
15 provided by the Serbian authorities. As a result of that, we once again
16 sent a request to the Serbian authority to ask them to provide us this
17 with information, and perhaps to explain how it was that when they had
18 not provided the information to us, they had apparently provided it to
19 the accused.
20 And attached to that 28 January, 2009 filing is our request for
21 the assistance to the Serbian authorities, as well as the English
22 translation of their response. And in that English translation of the
23 response, the Serbian authorities informed us that that information was
24 not submitted to the Office of the Prosecutor, and in fact, and I'm just
25 pulling up the language of that response, the Serbian authorities
1 indicated that the Republican Institute of Statistics noted that:
2 "It had never provided to anyone the individual data from the
3 1991 census, nor from the 2002 census, not even to the Defence expert
4 witness for case number IT-03/67, Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj."
5 We will make the original Serbian language response available to
6 the accused. He has indicated that the document was not signed. Of
7 course, that's because what we attached to the pleading was the English
8 translation of the letter that we received from the Serbian authorities.
9 And I've asked one of my colleagues to print out the Serbian version, the
10 original of this letter which clearly has a signature, and I've asked
11 that that be brought down to the courtroom and perhaps we'll be in a
12 position to provide that to Dr. Seselj before we adjourn for the day
14 But the fact of the matter is, he cross-examined the witness,
15 purportedly upon information that he received from the Republican
16 Institute of Statistics
17 pleading clearly indicates that the Republican Institute of Statistics
18 did not provide that information to either the OTP nor to the accused,
19 the Defence expert witness for Mr. Seselj. And that's what that motion
20 is about. And we are seeking to add the request for assistance, the RFA,
21 as well as the response to the exhibit list and for that to be admitted
22 into evidence.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I'm going to give
24 you a floor in a minute but I understand the problem a little better now.
25 Indeed, during cross-examination you had argued and presented several
1 arguments that we listened to very carefully, and you said that you had
2 obtained this information from Serbia
3 Later on the Prosecutor checked with the said institute which said that
4 it never provided information to anybody, to the OTP or to yourself. You
5 had material available, maybe you got it from somebody else.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the only thing that
7 matters here is whether the information that I presented was true or not.
8 All the rest is pointless.
9 How could I have obtained this information? I could have --
10 well, there's a pretty big window at the warehouse of the Republican
11 Institute for Statistics. I could have crawled in there through --
12 during the night and I could have gotten all my -- all the documents that
13 is I needed. All information is kept for three years and I could have
14 found someone who was supposed to burn this material after three years
15 and then he could have gotten the material that I wanted just before it
16 was supposed to be burned.
17 There are hundreds of ways for me to obtain this material. Why
18 would I explain that to anyone? I'm not duty-bound to do that.
19 There is just one thing that is important here, whether what I
20 presented in court was true or not. The truth could have been
21 established by the OTP. Maybe they did, maybe they contacted these
22 people and now they don't want to say this because they are ashamed.
23 They are ashamed of answers in the affirmative. That's the only thing
24 that matters, whether it's true or not.
25 I'm not tried here for illegal possession of documents of the
1 Republican Institute of Statistics of Serbia. I got this in a magic way
2 and that magic way is going to remain a secret.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I'm not going to
4 insist, but the problem for the Judges when it comes to assessing the
5 probative value of your cross-examination including that argument that
6 you submitted to us, that could have been interesting and very attractive
7 if you base your arguments on official documents. For instance,
8 information provided by the institute for statistics, then, you have a
9 very high probative value. However, if your submissions as developed in
10 the courtroom are not supported by official documents, inevitably the
11 probative value is going to be reduced. That's the problem.
12 The OTP, the Prosecutor in their approach must have factored that
13 in because obviously that was a problem for them because the Prosecution
14 case seems to be challenged by your arguments, therefore the Prosecutor
15 wanted to ascertain whether the said document existed or not, and they
16 were unsuccessful because the institute said they had submitted nothing.
17 So that is where the problem lies. Everybody did their best.
18 The Prosecutor did his job, asked whether there were statistics available
19 from the institute. As to the Trial Chamber, they do their best to
20 listen to everybody. And you, you say, I've got the documents, I've
21 obtained them, but I'm not going to tell you where from. You are
22 perfectly free to do so. And you are right. This part of the
23 proceedings, which is the Prosecution case, the Prosecutor has to prove
24 that they have a case. So it's not for you to do their job. I agree
25 with you on that.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, during the
2 cross-examination of the Prosecution expert Ewa Tabeau, I used official
3 documents. Except in one particular case. At one point in time, I
4 presented some specific data, such and such a citizen of Hrtkovci in 1991
5 declared himself to be a Croat and in 2002, a Serb. The Republican
6 Institute for Statistics did not write up a single document in this
7 regard. They just have mere figures. The population, the total figure,
8 such and such a number of Serbs, such and such a number of Croats. In
9 1991, in 2002, that's it. That is application of a classical statistic
10 method in a census.
11 However, in addition, what can be found out is something that is
12 found out by looking at specific material. You know, when a census is
13 carried out in order to have a proper check carried out, an ordinary
14 pencil is used to write a name on a document. And all of that is erased
15 when machines start dealing with the data, because machines don't deal
16 with individual names. However, in order to check an individual census
17 taker, then you have to have all the names there. And then you will look
18 at a sample of what he did, and then you will have to see whether what he
19 did was truthful and accurate. People who study statistics and censuses
20 know how this is done.
21 So since these names did exist and since I was interested in
22 Hrtkovci and since there was a census in 2002 and in 2003 an indictment
23 was issued against me, I had time to investigate the matter. I presented
24 that and I carried that out very efficiently and very effectively, my
25 cross-examination of the Prosecution expert, and the Prosecution almost
1 regretted having called the woman in the first place.
2 Now, the Prosecution is lamenting at this late stage why they did
3 not obtain this same data, and they could have. Since I mentioned this
4 in court, the OTP could have gone from one citizen to the other, thank
5 God they are still alive, they still live in Hrtkovci peacefully without
6 any kind of disturbance, just as they hadn't been disturbed before
7 either. The OTP could have gotten them to write up their very own
8 statements to say, Yes, this is what I declared myself in 1991 and this
9 is what I declared myself in 2002, and that is my inalienable write and I
10 don't have to explain myself to anyone. The OTP could have checked the
11 truthfulness of information in this way.
12 However, the OTP complains here because they are not as capable
13 as I am. So what can I do about that? Well, I did not expect them to be
14 as capable as I am.
15 JUDGE LATTANZI: In my view, the problem is as follows:
16 you are right in that any doubt that you instil in the Judges’ minds
17 might help your case. But still, you cannot act as though your
18 statements should be taken for granted. This doubt you want to
19 instil must be well-grounded in order for us to start doubting the
20 evidence presented by the Prosecution. I just wanted to clarify this for
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Judge Lattanzi, I
23 fully understand what you are saying, but this is something quite
24 marginal in relation to the part of the indictment relating to Hrtkovci.
25 I must draw your attention, in those days you were still not a Judge of
1 this Tribunal. Mr. Antonetti was a member of the Trial Chamber, which in
2 2004 instructed the Prosecution to reject and erase from the indictment
3 all the charges about Hrtkovci, or to prove that there was an armed
4 attack there, an attack against the civilian population.
5 The Prosecution appealed this. The Appeals Chamber said that
6 this should be re-included and that it should be solved during the
7 proceedings whether there was an attack or not.
8 You have seen from the proceedings so far that there was no
9 attack against the civilian population in Hrtkovci. There was sporadic
10 incidents. What international war law or humanitarian law is defined as
11 an attack, there was no such attack. And I'm sure you must be aware that
12 that segment of the indictment has to be dropped. If there's no attack,
13 there's nothing.
14 All this is marginal, it's negligible. It is just gaining time
15 on the part of the Prosecution and this is my sort of witty response. I
16 have given myself this liberty to do this. Now, I don't know what to do
17 except to joke a little with the Prosecution. I must admit to that.
18 What else can I do?
19 The gist of the matter is whether there was an attack on Hrtkovci
20 or not. There was no armed attack. What are we going to talk about in
21 connection with Hrtkovci? Whether I had a rally or not. Whether I
22 frightened children by my appearance or not. There was no attack. An
23 attack must be under Article 5 of the Statute of the international court
24 of such a level and intensity as all the other crimes listed there.
25 This is something that this Tribunal has not dealt with at all so
1 far. The Croats expel 400, 500.000 Serbs from Croatia. Some of those
2 Serbs come to Hrtkovci. They exchange property, and then those local
3 Croats were frightened, and then a couple of hundred Croats leave and go
4 to Croatia
5 with her. So what the Prosecution is say now is quite marginal. That's
6 why I'm not making much of an effort in that connection.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your second issue?
8 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, just perhaps before we move on to the
9 next topic, I do now have -- with my grateful assistance of the
10 Registrar, I do have the original of the letter that is attached to the
11 Hrtkovci filing that we've been discussing and I would ask that the usher
12 please provide this to this Seselj. It's a letter dated 12 December,
13 2008, and the English translation is the document that's annexed to the
14 28 January 2009
15 or so.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have this. This is in the
17 Serbian language and there's no signature, there's just a stamp. You
18 said that the signature was on the English copy. I have received this.
19 MR. MUNDIS: There are at least initials, if not a signature, on
20 the bottom of the document right above the stamp, if you look closely.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, the Trial Chamber
22 will have a look at the document. Mr. Registrar, can you please give the
23 document -- or Mr. Usher, can you please give the document to the
24 Trial Chamber.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]
1 ... official document, there must be the complete name typed out or by
2 computer, and a signature. Not an initial. An official document of such
3 importance cannot be initialed. That is ridiculous. How can we identify
4 who initialled it? Initialing is something for internal use. Your boss
5 may initial something for you or if you have already signed a document
6 then you may initial each page so that your signature may be recognisable
7 and nothing more than that. This doesn't mean anything.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, we have the
9 document in B/C/S, it has been printed and the coat of arms is there.
10 The typing is perfect, yes. There is a stamp. In theory there should be
11 a signature but there's none. All there is is -- well, some letters.
12 This cannot be regarded as a regular administrative document. We should
13 have the name of the author, his or her signature. But there is a number
14 D4038/2008/9, so this is an official document, admittedly, but the one in
15 charge of the department - after all, it's a document sent to this
16 Tribunal - would be worthy of a signature, be it only out of respect for
17 this Tribunal.
18 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I really have nothing further to add.
19 As we've indicated, we submitted a request to the authorities in Belgrade
20 and this is the response that they provided to us as a result of our
21 request for assistance. And I'm certainly not in any position to
22 speculate as to why or why not a signature appears on this document.
23 It's simply, we asked them for assistance and this is the response that
24 we received.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
1 Your second topic, Mr. Seselj.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's move back into private
14 session. Let's move into private session. I have things to tell you
15 that have to be said in private session.
16 [Private session]
13 [Open session]
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you cannot talk
24 about this topic openly in open session. I have to proceed to redaction
25 of what you just said publicly and I can say it in open session without a
1 problem. Your trial for the time being is suspended. It is adjourned
2 while awaiting a decision coming from another Trial Chamber. This is
3 what I want to say to the entire world. And I can say that personally
4 I'm quite worried about it. That's all.
5 Yes, so what did you want to add?
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. But Mr. Seselj, I
20 already told you that you can talk about this in private session but you
21 cannot mention all this in open session because another Trial Chamber is
22 seized with that case, so that's all I have to tell you.
23 So that portion will have to be redacted.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, then move into closed
25 session. I really am interested in what this is all about.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's move back
2 into private session.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I could not leave this
4 Status Conference without finding out what this is all about.
5 [Private session]
11 Pages 14480-14484 redacted. Private session.
14 [Open session]
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Now we are in open
17 session. All the points that were on the agenda for today were dealt
18 with. I would like to mention that we don't have the next date, the date
19 for our next Status Conference.
20 I forgot to mention this morning that Judge Harhoff was not able
21 to be with us this morning because he was taken by some other
22 professional occupations, and I wanted to say that during the
23 Status Conference, a third judge can be absent, according to the Rules.
24 This being said, if Mr. Mundis doesn't have anything else to add,
25 this hearing will be adjourned and an order will be sent for the next
2 Mr. Mundis, do you have something else to add?
3 MR. MUNDIS: Not today, thank you, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I would like to
5 thank all the parties and we will reconvene soon. The hearing is
7 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned at
8 10.19 a.m.