1 Thursday, 7 May 2009
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Open session]
4 --- Upon commencing at 8.31 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, can you kindly call
7 the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, and good morning, Your Honours. This
9 is case number IT-03-67-T, Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar. Today is
11 Thursday, the 7th of May. I would first and foremost like to greet
12 Mr. Seselj, Mr. Mundis, as well as all his associates, and all the people
13 assisting us in this courtroom. As you know, we are holding a hearing
14 today in order to take stock of the situation and deal with a number of
15 pending issues.
16 This hearing needs to finish at 11.00 sharp because at 11.30
17 there will be another hearing in this courtroom, which I believe also
18 relates to Mr. Seselj before another Chamber. So we will try and speed
19 things up.
20 Before I give the floor to Mr. Seselj for him to address the
21 topics he wishes to address, I would like to say in the name of the
22 Chamber and in my own name, I would like to state the following: As
23 regards a motion filed by Mr. Stanisic, the Trial Chamber on the
24 26th of March, 2009, handed down an oral decision relating to the
25 motion 414 of the accused that had been filed on the 16th of March, 2009
1 asking leave to be able to read a letter that had been drafted by the
2 US Intelligence Services.
3 First of all, he addressed the Prosecution asking the Prosecution
4 if it did have such a letter. After the Prosecution's response, the
5 Trial Chamber is now asking the accused to turn to the Trial Chamber
6 seized of the the Stanisic and Simatovic case, that seems to be the
7 Trial Chamber that is currently able to assess whether the accused's
8 request is legitimate or not.
9 In short, Mr. Seselj, if you wish to access this document, you
10 need to seize the Stanisic-Simatovic Chamber. This is what I wanted to
11 tell you.
12 The second point I'd like to address, which I'm addressing
13 personally, and also addressing on behalf of the Trial Chamber, this has
14 to do with your state of health. I would like to go back in time a
15 little bit. I've always been concerned about your state of health. As a
16 Judge, I make sure that when an accused stands in court, I always make
17 sure that the accused is in a good state of health.
18 At the time Judge Agius was presiding over this Chamber, and you
19 had stated that you suffered from asthma. And much was done to bring in
20 a physician, someone who specialises in these matters, for you to be able
21 to deal with this problem because you had indicated that there was a lot
22 of pollen in your cell which could cause bouts of asthma.
23 So a long time ago, I was much concerned about this. Lately, and
24 I shall get back to this, Mr. Krasic, your associate, had discussed at
25 large your state of health in the press. The Trial Chamber had,
1 therefore, instantly asked the UN Detention Unit physician to prepare a
2 medical report and this medical report stated that all was well. But as
3 a precautionary measure, the Trial Chamber had also turned to a panel of
4 physicians to get a better understanding of your overall state of health.
5 Yesterday this report came in. In short, according to them, you
6 have no problem whatsoever other than high blood pressure, which is
7 something that can be dealt with, and a weight problem. The physicians
8 in question recommend you to go on a diet and to get some exercise.
9 No later than this morning, I discover that you have sent a
10 document written by a physician from your country who seems it to be
11 challenging the report and what has been stated by the doctors at the
12 UNDU, or what has been said by the experts or specialised physicians. So
13 this is a medical issue we need to deal with, but this is not the main
14 topic I wish to address today.
15 What I'm saying now is a personal view. I have realised that
16 your associate, Mr. Krasic, discusses at large in the press that the
17 Tribunal is poisoning you. I must tell you, Mr. Seselj, that I and my
18 colleagues, we have never had any intention whatsoever of poisoning you,
19 so if you have any particular reason, if you have any particular facts,
20 if you have things which can go unchallenged, you should then file a
21 report and turn to the Prosecutor of the Netherlands because then that
22 would amount to attempted murder. And this should not go unpunished.
23 If you have any facts, any information, please seize the
24 Prosecutor in the Netherlands
25 trying to poison you. All of this rests on very little evidence. You
1 should prevent your associate from saying anything that goes through his
2 head in the press. We are all human, you and I. If I die tomorrow,
3 somebody will say that I died because I was ill or because I was old.
4 But if you die tomorrow, this will be something which will have to be
5 dealt with by the state. Somebody will say that you have died because
6 you were poisoned, and I can't let this go unchallenged.
7 When your favourite associate challenges the Tribunal and says
8 that you are being poisoned, I feel concerned by this. There has never
9 been any question of this whatsoever ever. So this needs to be dealt
10 with in a serious manner. Either your associate is just saying anything
11 that goes through his head, and in that case you should stop working with
12 him, or you have facts and then you should file a complaint and turn to
13 the Prosecutor here in the Netherlands
14 Now, we have nine physicians that have prepared this report which
15 you have given us which are challenging what the people at the UNDU have
16 said, and we have to have an oral picture of what your state of health is
17 all about. As far as your poisoning is concerned, do you have anything
18 to say?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, my legal advisor,
20 Zoran Krasic, is quite free to speak for himself. He is a highly
21 respected intellectual, and when he says something, he has grounds for
22 every one of his statements. (redacted)
12 several days ago Jovica Stanisic was brought to the Detention Unit half
13 dead. He was in a half-dead state and he is lying in the Detention Unit
14 now, and he has such black rings under his eyes, such bags under his eyes
15 that they've come down to his cheeks. And if you believe that
16 Zoran Krasic has no reason to sound the alarm with the public, then
17 that's your personal opinion. But you cannot withhold that right of
18 Zoran Krasic's to do that.
19 I have not asked you to set up a commission of physicians. The
20 Trial Chamber did that ex officio. That's how I understood it. Along
21 the lines of duty. And what did this commission of physicians do? The
22 physicians came in one by one. They were very proper in their conduct
23 towards me. They examined me with a stethoscope, they listened to my
24 chest a few times and to my back a few times, they said breathe in,
25 breathe out, and then they used an apparatus for measuring blood
1 pressure, and they examined me manually in the abdominal region. They
2 pressed my stomach, said, Does this hurt here? No, it doesn't. Does it
3 hurt here? No, it doesn't. Now, I don't make things up, I'm not going
4 to say that something hurts if it doesn't, but I'm not a trickster. But
5 there's something that is irrefutable here and that is this: Ever since
6 August, they took my blood for analysis seven times and the findings were
7 bad seven times, all seven times, findings which indicate the liver
8 functions, and the last time was after your instructions to do so. And I
9 have that here somewhere as well. Your order for that to be done. And
10 that was - let me just see - in April.
11 Now, four of the indices state that the liver is not working --
12 not functioning properly, chloride values are up. It should be less than
13 35 -- the ASAT should be less than 35, and it's higher. The ALAT should
14 be less than 45 whereas it's 71. The bilirubin levels must be below 19
15 and they are up to 25, and those are roughly the findings. There's
16 another one that was subsequently done for the liver, because this was a
17 comprehensive blood examination, and it showed that four of the elements
18 were above or below normal values. So something is happening and a
19 doctor cannot say that the reason is just high blood pressure or the fact
20 that I might be overweight.
21 I'm not particularly overweight, I'm not particularly obese. I
22 think that among the Judges of this Tribunal that there -- at least
23 30 per cent are more obese than I am and don't have an upset liver
24 function. So what does that mean, that if somebody is slightly
25 overweight -- well, maybe Mr. Mundis has some liver problems, he is
1 fatter than me. If we were to stand side by side, his stomach would be
2 far larger than mine. So what does that mean?
3 Who is making a joke here? Who is joking with you or with me?
4 There's no explanation why for seven months these findings have been so
5 bad. The results have been bad and nobody took it upon themselves to
6 inquire why they were bad and I know why, because the medical services in
8 is not to treat the inmates but to save as much money as possible on
9 expenses and the Detention Unit seems to be almost bankrupt. Perhaps the
10 Tribunal is almost bankrupt, too, because a month ago a number of the
11 guards were changed and the new guards that have come in wear jeans today
12 because there's no money to buy them the correct uniform.
13 So perhaps that is the reason that inadequate medical care has
14 been provided and it led to what we saw.
15 And the fact that somebody doubts that somebody is trying to
16 poison me, well, I don't exclude that possibility. How are you going to
17 emerge from this trial unless somebody poisons me, and I put in a great
18 deal of effort to thinking about that. How are you going to be able to
19 bring this trial to a close and emerge from this trial without it being a
20 capitulation of The Hague Tribunal. It's easy to pronounce judgement,
21 100, 200 years of imprisonment but you have to have arguments to do that.
22 And the fact that somebody is pulling the strings backstage, I'm not
23 interested in that, but I never doubted the moral integrity of
24 Zoran Krasic and I'm not about to do so now. And I will never give up
25 Zoran Krasic as being my legal advisor.
1 I and my associates in Belgrade
2 regularly with all my medical findings and they consulted a group of
3 highly respected physicians, specialists in their field in Belgrade, all
4 the doctors of medical science. And they find it strange how medical
5 examinations are conducted here. I said I wasn't interested in any
6 bombastic diagnosis or any -- sounding the alarm without the need to do
7 so but just to ask them what their opinion was, and their opinion is as
8 follows: They consider that the examinations of your medical commission
9 are inadequate.
10 Now, I'm not asking any medical examinations from you. I'm not
11 asking you to order any or any medical protection whatsoever. And quite
12 possibly, I will stop taking any drugs in the near future. Any
13 medicines, because I'm quite ready to do that. However, the problem here
14 is as follows: It's a problem of procedure. A problem -- because you
15 have stopped the proceedings unlawfully. Not you, Mr. President, because
16 you voted against, but your colleagues. What you did here has never been
17 seen in the history of the law. And what my aim is here is to have the
18 process, the trial continue. And I'm not interested in sidelining that.
19 Now, whether you are able to continue these legal proceedings and
20 to continue the trial or not, well, acknowledge that in public and call
21 in some other Judges who will start again, start the trial again because
22 the question is whether this trial can continue legally, and you can see
23 how it has been interrupted for several months. In my country, Serbia
24 if you have an interruption, a break of one month, the Trial Chamber is
25 duty-bound to start all over again and start the legal proceedings again
1 and I assume that the same applies in your own countries because that is
2 according to European law --
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, as far as the
4 medical aspect is concerned, I shall confer with my colleagues and look
5 into this in detail. I have noticed that you have emphasised the fact
6 that as far as your blood tests are concerned, there are four items that
7 pose a problem, i.e., the functioning of your liver. We shall see
8 whether this requires a specialist, and if someone needs to conduct tests
9 on your liver. We shall let you know very quickly what our decision is.
10 Let me remind you that this Chamber is very much concerned about this.
11 The second item has to do with the videos. The Trial Chamber
12 will hand down a written decision, but before doing that we would like to
13 hear you on what could be contemplated here. As you know, an
14 amicus curiae has been appointed. There seems to be a -- intellectual
15 property rights as regards these videos that have to be abided by. So we
16 have two alternatives, A, these videos are disclosed to you directly, you
17 watch them in your cell. That said, these videos are not directly
18 related to your case. Pursuant to Rule 66 and 68, you have asked to see
19 these videos because you feel this might be important for your case.
20 You have asked these videos to be disclosed to you. So this is
21 not a problem whatsoever from a legal standpoint and you may receive
22 them, but practically how is this going to work out? Well, we have said
23 that in the first alternative you are handed over these videos. You are
24 given a room at the UNDU where you can watch these videos, but these
25 videos must not leave the UNDU.
1 The second alternative which factors in, the idea that this is
2 very time consuming, and you may have other things to do than to watch
3 all these videos and we could give these videos to Mr. Krasic, whom
4 you've just reminded us you trust entirely, so we could hand these videos
5 over to your close associates if we lift the prohibition or the ban on
6 these videos leaving the UNDU. So in the second case, those people whom
7 you appoint to view these videos will be entitled to view them in a room
8 somewhere in the Tribunal.
9 So what is your view on this?
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have received the report from the
11 friends of the court and there's nothing in at that report that we didn't
12 know before, at least not nothing that I didn't know about before. So
13 what is impermissible is this: It's impermissible to use those videos
14 for commercial purposes. It is impermissible without agreement from the
15 author of the video, they must not be broadcast publicly, I knew that
16 before. Broadcasting them in the courtroom is something that the author
17 cannot stop.
18 If the Tribunal accessed the videos in a legal way, and when I
19 say the Tribunal, I mean the Defence and the Prosecution, then they can
20 be shown in the courtroom contrary to the will of the author and that
21 doesn't go against his copyright. His copyright can be violated only if
22 the videos are shown outside the trial without permission from him, and I
23 never had that intention.
24 However, there are many things here which come under the
25 conditional if. If Krasic this, if Krasic that. It's impossible for my
1 team to work without Zoran Krasic and it will never work without
2 Zoran Krasic. You can stop him from coming in here. You can stop him
3 from visiting me. You can ban him from having an insight into
4 confidential documents, that you can do. But you can never prevent him
5 from being my associate. For as long as I have the right to ring him up,
6 I'm going to ring him up on a regular basis, or you can ban all my
7 telephone conversations, but you can't stop Zoran Krasic being part of my
8 Defence team.
9 Now the videos amount to 6.000-odd hours, 6.600 hours. I can't
10 view all that myself and I'm not going to do that. If those videos are
11 sent me, I will hand them over to my associates to take to Belgrade
12 to view them there and then to make summaries and make excerpts that I
13 might find useful. And they can also be rerecorded for my requirements.
14 Now, if somebody abuses this possibility and does broadcast some
15 of the videos without the author's permission, then he comes under the
16 rights governing copyright, and the violation of that right. Serbia
17 copyrights and it's considered a crime if they are violated. So why all
18 this fear? If you don't want to provide me with that you don't, and we
19 can move on. And why are you providing me with that now if this trial is
20 never going to continue? You are duty-bound to complete the trial by the
21 end of the year, that is what the UN Security Council has instructed you
22 to do, your founder. There's absolutely no chance that the mandate of
23 the Tribunal will be extended, at least not as far as the Security
24 Council is concerned. Perhaps someone else will take you over Aga Khan,
25 George Soros, or whoever. But as far as I know, as far as the
1 Security Council is concerned, they are not going to give you the okay to
2 have the Tribunal continue working, so you have to finish the trial by
3 the end of the year.
4 And what if you don't? What happens if you don't? Some trials
5 are going to begin only this summer, so what happens if they are not
6 completed? Well, the best thing to do would be to execute all the
7 accused without a judgement. What else can you do? So you can give them
8 to me or not, but let's not debate the matter any further.
9 I consider that we have a general view here whereby those videos
10 should not be provided to me. And I'm not going to ask for them, I'm not
11 going to request them. But what would I need the videos for anyway if
12 the trial is not going to be continued, and there's no likelihood of
13 having this trial being continued because everything is slowing down.
14 The fact that there will be another contempt of court case against my
15 associates, I don't think that will come to anything. They have no
16 proof, not a shred of evidence. Not a shred of any intimidation of
17 witnesses, and I have umpteen evidence and proof to show that the witness
18 [as interpreted] forced witnesses to give false testimony and intimidate
19 them against their will.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You have given us
21 your point of view as regards the videos. It's on the transcript and we
22 have this in mind now.
23 Another topic. The Prosecutor on the 8th of April, 2009, I
24 believe you haven't provided any submissions to, has filed a motion for
25 review of a decision which we had handed down dismissing the admission of
1 Mr. Babic's testimony. The Prosecutor had filed a motion pursuant to
2 92 quater at the time. The Trial Chamber had dismissed the Prosecution's
4 The Prosecutor is now filing this motion again, asking the
5 Trial Chamber to reconsider it. You have not stated your views on this
6 at all. You know that dead-lines are to be borne in mind and the
7 documents need to be translated, but as things stand today, what can you
8 say about this?
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, first of all,
10 Rule 127 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence that deals with changes
11 of dead-lines, and it says that if there are valid reasons, the
12 Trial Chamber may either extend or shorten any dead-line period. And I
13 was counting on that when I decided not to respond immediately to all the
14 submissions of the OTP because the translations thereof are anyway late
15 by months. I am not sure if I even received the latest one from Babic
16 and I have them all here with me. Maybe the Babic's one is here as well.
17 Therefore, I prepared myself to present my views orally at the
18 Status Conference as I usually did in the past few months concerning the
19 OTP submissions.
20 You know that there is Rule 95 of the Rules of Procedure and
21 Evidence which reads that: "No evidence shall be admissible if obtained
22 by methods which cast substantial doubt on its reliability or if it's
23 admission is antithetical to, and would seriously damage, the integrity
24 of the proceedings." This rule, to a greater part, refers to all the
25 statements taken by the OTP from witnesses. I have published a
1 1.000-page book containing statements from people from whom the OTP
2 extracted statements in various ways and these people never appeared as
3 Prosecution witnesses. And you know that on many occasions I submitted
4 reports against the OTP for contempt of court. You know that numerous
5 witnesses paraded here, and that even in the case when we had a witness
6 who was most hostile to me, this person denied certain statements
7 submitted here in their names.
8 The statements taken by the OTP are so much unreliable that they
9 cannot be afforded any importance and therefore Rule 95 had to apply.
10 As far as Mr. Babic is concerned, he was the man who stooped down
11 so much morally that he saw suicide as the only way out. Although there
12 was some suspicions here as well.
13 First of all, he was called down by the Prosecution to testify in
14 Milosevic and he was promised in return to be exonerated from criminal
15 prosecution. First he appeared as a protected witness, but when the
16 public realised who he was, he then himself said that he was going to
17 testify in an open session.
18 After he finished his testimony in the Milosevic case an
19 indictment was issued by -- against him, then he was given a proposal, a
20 bargain deal that if you admit certain things, you will -- we shall show
21 leniency. Since they didn't manage to reach an agreement, he was given
22 13 years of prison.
23 Then he was promised some shelter for his family in a Western
24 country. I heard from his wife how they were actually treated in the
25 west. They were in a so-called house prison. They were not free people.
1 Having seen how the fact that he was so gullible, he destroyed both
2 himself and his family and he had no other way out other than to kill
3 himself. However, it may have happened that he didn't kill himself but
4 the only proof that I have constitutes only a reasonable doubt.
5 How can we accept this, because there's bargaining going on here
6 involving Miroslav Deronic, Momir Nikolic, Obrenovic, you know very well
7 who struck a bargain here in exchange for giving evidence and thereby
8 reducing their sentence. How can you ever trust such people? These
9 people were used as instruments to just exonerate -- to exert pressure to
10 get an acquittal. How can you reach justice through bargaining? It is
11 perhaps possible in the Anglo-Saxon system. However, in the continental
12 European system this is something which is not permissible at all.
13 Lately we are dealing with the notion of protected witnesses who
14 actually were accomplices or co-perpetrators of criminal acts. Then you
15 have this nebulous term of joint criminal enterprise so that anyone who
16 took part in war from the Serbian part by default was part of a JCE, and
17 therefore, it opens up a door for some kind of false justice. For that
18 reason I object for the statement of Milan Babic to be admitted into
19 evidence, But it's up to you to decide. If you decide contrary to that,
20 I'm not going to appeal this ruling.
21 You have already admitted many statements taken by the OTP and
22 therefore the innocence of the whole body of evidence has been tampered
23 and damaged long time ago.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Now your position
25 is on the transcript and we know exactly what your observations are
1 regarding the motion for reconsideration.
2 The Trial Chamber will hands out its decision as soon as
4 Let me tell you now for your information, because maybe if
5 translation delay you didn't get this yet, that the Trial Chamber handed
6 out a decision on the motion that you made regarding the restriction of
7 your communications with Mr. Karadzic. Let me read the disposition in
8 this decision, but I would like to state that I also drafted a dissident
9 opinion. In the disposition it says that the Trial Chamber states that
10 as of now it is not competent to look at this motion and to study this
11 motion because of the decision of April 9, 2009, of the Appeals Chamber
12 stating that a Trial Chamber cannot give itself a power that is expressly
13 delegated to another authority and that a Trial Chamber can only
14 intervene to make sure that there is a fair trial after all other
15 possibilities are done, are through.
16 Which means that when there is other recourses in front of the
17 Registry, of the president or the Appeals Chamber, according to the
18 Appeals Chamber, and I state that it is according to the Appeals Chamber,
19 you must first seize the Mr. President of the Tribunal if you are given a
20 go ahead, it's fine. If your motion is dismissed, you can then seize the
21 Trial Chamber -- the Chamber.
22 Therefore, as far as the restriction of communication with
23 Mr. Karadzic is concerned, the Appeals Chamber states, it says and rules
24 that you must first challenge this by seizing the president of the
25 Tribunal of this issue. And you can also read my dissenting opinion on
1 this, of course.
2 So that was what I had to say on this item. I needed to -- I
3 would like to move into closed session for a few minutes to state
4 something. Registrar, could we please move into closed session.
5 [Private session]
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, we are in open
20 Mr. Seselj, earlier I talked about the problems of communication
21 with Mr. Karadzic and then moved on to another topic, but I believe that
22 you wanted to take the floor on this issue, so you have the floor.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I wanted to tell you two things.
24 Firstly, that this problem has been resolved because recently my -- the
25 ban on my contacts with Radovan Karadzic has been lifted.
1 Radovan Karadzic is even allowed -- was even allowed to attend the
2 celebration of the sixth anniversary of my prison term on the 24th of
3 February. Later on there was some comments that there had never been any
4 ban. There was a ban and it was done in writing.
5 What is specially problematic here is the position of the
6 Appeals Chamber. There are two processes or proceedings conducted here.
7 One is criminal and the other is administrative one. I have to
8 participate in the criminal one but I'm not duty-bound to take part in
9 any administrative procedure. If the DU administration cause any damage
10 to me, I'm not obliged to respect their hierarchy and lodge appeals from
11 their head up to the president of the Chamber. It is up to the Chamber
12 to follow closely and see if any of my rights are being violated.
13 If I have a justified reason to contact Radovan Karadzic, if I'm
14 planning to call him as a witness in my trial and he wants to call me as
15 his witness, and then the DU administration puts a ban on that, I think
16 it is my duty to tell that you. If you fail to resolve this issue, then
17 an illegal act will remain unpunished.
18 I don't want to follow the hierarchy of administrative system. I
19 don't have anything to do anything with him. I am here to stand trial.
20 I don't want to be harassed and maltreated by an administrative
21 hierarchical structure that has been set up between the Registry and the
22 DU. I simply won't agree to do that.
23 What is jeopardising my rights in these proceedings I'm going to
24 alert only the Chamber. If you feel that it is necessary for you to
25 react, fine, I'm just recording all these violations that have been
1 taking place for the past seven years.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The topic before
3 last -- before the last topic, I would like to talk about the fact that
4 Mr. Seselj sent a motion to our Trial Chamber in order to have access to
5 all --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Karadzic, interpreter's correction.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] -- sent a motion to our
8 Trial Chamber to have access to all documents. The Prosecution answered.
9 Then on May 4th, Mr. Karadzic filed a new motion to have access to
10 confidential documents and ex parte documents in this case.
11 You did not answer. Could you tell us what is your position
12 regarding Mr. Karadzic's motion asking for access to all documents in
13 your case?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I haven't received that yet. I
15 haven't received Mr. Karadzic's motion nor the response from the OTP, but
16 I fully agree for allowing Mr. Karadzic to review all the documents
17 including the confidential ones that relate to this trial, and that
18 includes even the documents that have not been made available to me.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Your position is
20 now noted down on the transcript and the Trial Chamber of course will
21 take that into account.
22 Last topic now. You know that the Prosecution asked for an
23 increased -- an extension of time. So far we haven't handed down any
24 decision. We are looking at this carefully and we are scrutinizing all
25 the witness statements that are involved in this request for extension of
1 time. We need to know whether these witnesses are as crucial as the
2 Prosecution deems. We need to see what is the added value that they
3 could provide. Also, this is time consuming, I've spent hours on this
4 already. Dozens of hours on this. The Trial Chamber will hand down a
5 decision, but it won't be tomorrow, but it will hand down a decision as
6 soon as possible. This will be a very important decision. Either we
7 will provide extra time for the Prosecution or we won't. And we'll have
8 to give our reasons for this, which is why all this must be done very
9 carefully. It's not because the Prosecution is asking for extra time or
10 anything, that the Trial Chamber should give its blessing and say okay.
11 We are scrutinising everything and that we will hand down the
12 decision as soon as we can. As of now we are still analysing all these
13 statements and as I told you, this is very time consuming.
14 This is all I had to say. I think we've taken stock of all the
15 topics, all pending topics. You now have the floor if you want to raise
16 anything else. And of course I will also give the floor to Mr. Mundis to
17 see whether Mr. Mundis also would like to raise anything.
18 Mr. Seselj, is there anything you would like to talk about?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. The last thing that you
20 mentioned is actually the crucial thing that I have been preparing myself
21 for today's Status Conference. In order for us not to move into a closed
22 session, will you please be kind to look at Annex A which contains a list
23 of 11 witnesses that the Prosecution wishes to examine, and they also ask
24 for a total of 23 and a half hours, although the leftover time, according
25 to the previous ruling, was about five hours.
1 According to this list of witnesses and without mentioning any
2 names, I will go and just mention the number before the witness's name,
3 but I think you can follow that. I will explain why this motion of the
4 OTP is completely irrational and I object to this increase of number of
6 First of all, the OTP was not using its time in an economical
7 way. They brought a number of witnesses that later on turned to be
8 completely redundant. They also brought an excessive number of witnesses
9 who testified about some points that were eliminated from the indictment.
10 Instead of testifying about the JCE and my conduct, they testified about
11 the base of the crime and their testimonies were flawed as well. So that
12 the OTP never distributed their time properly.
13 Now, for these additional witnesses, under number 1 we have a
14 witness who is supposed to testify about Hrtkovci. You have seen,
15 Judges, when we had Reynaud Theunens, a military expert, and he decidedly
16 said that in Vojvodina, including Hrtkovci, there had been no attacks on
17 civilian population. For this court to be -- to have jurisdiction, there
18 had to be an attack. It might be a systematic or widespread, however,
19 there was no attack whatsoever. Particularly in the light of the fact
20 that the Pre-Trial Chamber, in which you sat, Mr. President, concluded
21 that there wasn't even a war conflict in Vojvodina. Therefore, you
22 decided to strike this from the indictment. The OTP appealed, and their
23 argument was that the process itself, the trial will show whether there
24 was any war operation or not.
25 Since there were no attacks in Hrtkovci on the civilian
1 population, it is totally unnecessary to waste two hours to examine a
2 witness who practically wasn't an eye-witness to anything, and you can
3 see that from his statement.
4 Number 2 is a witness whose testimony in another trial was
5 rejected and dismissed as unreliable. You can check that in the
6 Mrksic-Sljivancanin-Radic judgement.
7 Number 3 is a witness whose significance I do acknowledge, but if
8 the OTP plans to call him as a witness in this trial, he never informed
9 him about this until the end of last year. He contacted my associate and
10 he expressed a will to be a Defence witness. He gave a statement to the
11 OTP and this statement was forwarded to me. After that I gave up on my
12 intention to call him as a Defence witness and I'm not going to oppose
13 his testimony. However, his testimony is important irrespective of who
14 is going to examine him. He was a highly positioned official in Zvornik,
15 and he is very knowledgeable about what was going on in that area. And
16 he appeared in some other trials as well.
17 Witness number 4 is to testify about the base of crime at the
18 location that was removed from the indictment. I don't see the reason
19 why this witness should be called other than to annoy Judge Harhoff
20 again. This witness has nothing whatsoever to testify about, and this is
21 going to be another waste of time. This is my opinion.
22 Witness number 5 had appeared in the court. He lives somewhere
23 abroad. I had never had any contact with him. He was here but there was
24 no time for him to testify, then he went away and it seems that the OTP
25 has difficulty locating him. Neither I nor my associate are trying to
1 prevent his appearance here and we are not contacting him at all.
2 But please bear in mind that this witness is going to testify
3 about the alleged incident in Herzegovina
4 testifying about this topic and lots of things have been resolved and
5 light was shed on them. This whole area had nothing to do with the
6 volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party.
7 I'll try to be brief. Witness number 6, this is absolutely
8 unnecessary. I have no objection for him to appear as a Prosecution
10 Similarly, witness number 7, the OTP provided him and his family
11 accommodation for a year or two abroad. However, he was disappointed, he
12 came back and then later on he appeared as a Defence witness, followed by
13 numerous interviews in the Serbian press where he explained in great
14 detail how the Prosecution treated him and what they requested of him.
15 I would really like to see this witness in this court because he
16 will tremendously compromise the OTP.
17 Witness number 8 is a witness who was a Prosecution witness first
18 and then became a Defence witness. If you look at the statement that he
19 gave to the OTP earlier on, you will see that in that statement there is
20 nothing which brings me or the men of the Serbian Radical Party in
21 connection with the crime.
22 Now, I don't mind him coming in to testify. The Prosecution
23 abused him quite a bit, but as I say, I have nothing against him coming
25 Now, witness number 9, I could provide you with a document here
1 given to me by the Prosecution on the 12th of December, 1991
2 his resignation to the war staff, and would one of the ushers come up and
3 hand this over to the Trial Chamber. Would you do that, please?
4 So this is a document which the Prosecution sent me, one that I
5 hadn't had earlier. Now if he is here going to testify about 1992, then
6 this will go against the grain of the Prosecution, and it was in the
7 interests of the Prosecution to find him a job and somewhere for his
8 family to go but they didn't keep their promise, and he doesn't want to
9 collaborate with the Prosecution anymore.
10 Now, witness number 10 also crossed over to the Defence side. I
11 don't mind him appearing as a Prosecution witness because he is
12 testifying about Herzegovina
13 indictment. I'm absolutely convinced of that.
14 This brings us to witness number 11 who was the commander of the
15 volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party in Western Slavonia. After
16 the -- in his statement it says where he was after the Serbs suffered a
17 defeat. Now, as Western Slavonia was thrown out of the indictment,
18 there's no need to waste time with this witness.
19 And if you bring the list down to the witnesses who are
20 absolutely necessary and if you have decided for witness 2 to come in as
21 a Trial Chamber witness, then the Prosecution only needs 15 minutes, I
22 think 15 minutes is quite sufficient. Perhaps I have bored you a bit but
23 I wanted to explain to you in this very vivid form as to why there is no
24 need for an extension of time to be granted to the Prosecution. It would
25 be better for the Prosecution to think about withdrawing the indictment
1 and make up for the time -- the seven years I spent here in detention
2 without a shred of evidence against me. What they are doing is insisting
3 upon wasting time even more, so at the end you'll have to give me much
4 higher financial remuneration than would have been the case had the
5 Prosecution acted more rationally.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Seselj,
7 regarding these 11 witnesses, of course I will not mention their names,
8 just like you didn't mention them. There are three important things that
9 you said and I will sum them up to make sure that there's no
11 First thing which is very important, and it's a small change
12 regarding your behaviour obviously. You told us that as far as witnesses
13 3 are concerned, 3, 6, 7, 8, and 10, even though these were first
14 Prosecution witnesses and Defence witnesses, you see no problem in having
15 these witnesses as Prosecution witnesses. This is the first important
16 item I wanted to mention.
17 Second thing, regarding witness 5, we will look at this closely.
18 You are telling us that according to you, you never had any contact with
19 him, and that allegedly he disappeared. He came and went. So we'll have
20 to take a close look at the situation of number 5.
21 Regarding number -- regarding the other witnesses, 1, 2, 4, 9,
22 and 11, you are telling us that according to you these witnesses are
23 useless, as far as you are concerned. Now, since among them there are a
24 number of witnesses that are going to talk about municipalities that are
25 no longer in the indictment, but we still have the deliberate pattern
1 that may be involved, however. So you gave us your position regarding
2 these 11 witnesses. You restated that as far as you are concerned that
3 these witnesses can come but only in the time provided -- still allotted
4 to the Prosecution, i.e., about five hours. This is now down on the
5 transcript and I believe that everyone will be enlightened by this.
6 Any other topic, Mr. Seselj?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, just some -- something brief.
8 I just want to note that in the transcript I wanted to be recorded that
9 I'm opposed to some of the Prosecution's demands without going into the
10 details. I want that to be on the record because the -- I presented my
11 arguments a number of times. I have the request of the 10th of March
12 that was sent to me on the 20th of April, or rather, it's an addition to
13 the Prosecution request for (redacted) to be heard according to the
14 Rules of Procedure and Evidence. And I've already said why I am opposed
15 to that.
16 Then the Prosecution request of the 7th of April, which came to
17 me on the 20th of April, to review the decision rejecting evidence on the
18 basis of 92 ter given by witness VS-067. Then we have an addition for
19 this witness 67, and then the Prosecution request to -- for Mujo Dzafic's
20 material to be included under 92 quater, and then the Prosecution request
21 to change the list of exhibits and to have admitted VS-063 testimony on
22 the basis of 62 quater.
23 So I am opposed to all those Prosecution requests because they
24 are people who are deceased. Some of the witnesses are deceased, with
25 one exception, and had this trial started on time, then the Prosecution
1 could have brought all these witnesses who are now dead into the
2 courtroom. It's not my fault that the trial was late in starting and
3 that all reasonable time for the completion of the first instance trial
4 to be completed has expired. It's the Prosecution's fault and the
5 Trial Chamber's in the pre-trial stage. Of course this Trial Chamber,
6 too, after it had taken its decision to interrupt the trial.
7 Now, all the other arguments are ones that I have already made
8 saying while I am opposed to the application of Rule 92 quater of any
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Your observations
11 are now on the record. Everything has been noted down.
12 Regarding 92 quater, let me tell you but I think it goes -- it
13 goes without saying but I'll say it again, notably because you are a
14 legal expert. Just imagine, Mr. Seselj, for a minute that among your
15 Defence witnesses there may be a crucial one that could maybe prove you
16 innocent and that makes a statement, relevant statement that might have
17 an enormous probative value that may actually prove your innocence. Just
18 imagine this witness passes away and suddenly you no longer have any
19 means at your disposal. The Prosecution could just say no, I don't want
20 this statement to be admitted under Rule 92 quater. See the problem?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the problem is
22 elsewhere. If these witnesses had given statements in an objective way,
23 then those statements could have been adopted. However, those statements
24 were statements written by the Prosecutor or the investigator which were
25 allegedly read back to those witnesses, but most often they were signed
1 in English. In most of the cases, those statements have absolutely
2 nothing to do with the testimony themselves. They are not actually
3 witness statements. Had it been a statement before an investigating
4 judge with a Defence counsel present, then that would have been another
5 case altogether. But a statement compiled by the OTP itself is
6 absolutely unacceptable.
7 And it's the same for the Defence. The fact that someone gave me
8 a statement, provided me with a statement, well, you know it's
9 theoretically possible for someone instead of me to write 100 statements
10 of deceased persons which will be antedated and represented as having
11 been given when these people were alive. And so who can then establish
12 that they are not original statements? Nobody. There are zero
13 technological possibilities for doing that, and so the court has to avoid
14 such procedure.
15 So only what is said in court can be taken as being relevant or
16 something given in writing, but when the person who was interviewed and
17 wrote the statement, that somebody from the other side is also present.
18 Just when you go before an investigating judge or magistrate, you have
19 the Prosecutor, you have Defence counsel and everything that is said on
20 the record in the presence of the two sides, the Defence and the
21 Prosecutor, is relevant and acceptable as far as the legal proceedings go
22 and need not be repeated in court.
23 But something that is done secretly in the OTP's factory and then
24 what is manufactured is represented as being a piece of evidence, it's
25 senseless to accept anything like that. They are not exhibits, it's not
1 proof, it's not evidence, it's just the long arm of the indictment or the
2 brief of the OTP.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Everything is now on the
4 transcript. Anything else, Mr. Seselj?
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I had expected you to tell me
6 today when the trial will be resumed, but as you've not told me that,
7 then I have no further questions.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you are telling me
9 you want a date at which the trial will be resumed? If you had appealed
10 the decision, then the Appeals Chamber could have ruled on this. But
11 deliberately you decided not to do that. That's it.
12 Secondly, it's a majority decision from the Trial Chamber and
13 it's extremely clear, this majority decision is very clear, the trial
14 will resume when the necessary conditions are met. That's it. So I
15 cannot give you any answer. I can't tell you anything because it's not
16 of my competence. I can't do it.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, if I might be
18 allowed to say one more thing, and it is this: Had I appealed to the
19 Appeals Chamber, then I would have -- that would have been a relaxation
20 for your fellow judges, Judge Harhoff and Judge Lattanzi, and they could
21 say, When the Appeals Chamber rules and decides then we'll go ahead. So
22 that's why I didn't want to do that, that's why I didn't want to lodge an
23 appeal, because I wanted to leave the problem with them. I wanted that
24 problem to trouble them because I do believe that they are people who
25 have consciences and that that problem troubles them. Perhaps I'm wrong
1 on that score, but that was my intention. I did not want the problem to
2 be referred to the Appeals Chamber. I wanted it to stay with this
3 Trial Chamber.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I think you have
5 addressed all the topics on the agenda.
6 Mr. Mundis.
7 Just a minute.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, I apologise for
11 having thus conferred.
12 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning, everyone.
13 The Prosecution has no particular issues to raise this morning. However,
14 I would just like to make one very brief point concerning the accused's
15 response to our motion filed on the 12th of February, 2009, concerning
16 additional time.
17 And that point is as follows: It is our submission that the fact
18 that the accused now indicates that certain witnesses on the annex can
19 appear before the Trial Chamber as Prosecution witnesses really has
20 little relevance to the issue as to whether or not the Prosecution should
21 be given additional time, nor in our respectful view should that in any
22 way impact upon the issue of the adjournment and the reasons therefore.
23 And that's perhaps all I'll say about that at this point in time and we
24 have nothing further for today.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Your position is on
1 the transcript.
2 Everyone has taken the floor -- yes.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The interpreter has been saying
6 Prosecutor, whereas Mr. Mundis uses the term "the accused." So he is
7 referring to what I said and in the transcript on the record it says "the
8 accused" whereas the interpreter is saying "Prosecutor." Now, I've
9 cautioned you about this many times that you have highly -- interpreters
10 who are not of a very high quality, so I'm telling you this again. If
11 somebody who knows Serbian, they can read through the interpretation I
12 was given, read through what Mr. Mundis said and then compare it with the
13 English. And that is not by chance; it's done intentionally.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, there may have been
15 a translation issue, but as far as substance is concerned, I stand to be
16 corrected by Mr. Mundis, if need be. Mr. Mundis is telling us that the
17 mere fact that a series of witnesses 3, 6, 7, 8, and 10, that those
18 witnesses, as far as you are concerned, could be Prosecution witnesses
19 and be called as such, whereas he had stated initially that they would be
20 Defence witnesses. According to Mr. Mundis, this should not be borne in
21 mind when the Trial Chamber assesses how much time the Prosecution should
22 have and how much extra time the Prosecution should have. Have I summed
23 up what you have said accurately, Mr. Mundis?
24 MR. MUNDIS: Yes, you have, Mr. President. But I also indicated
25 that it was our view that the reasons underlying the adjournment that we
1 are currently in also should not be affected by the position that the
2 accused has just taken with respect to those witnesses that Your Honour
3 just mentioned by number.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All this is very clear.
5 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I just want to say
6 something, you should avoid accusing the interpreters in such a manner
7 and refrain from saying that they are misinterpreting some of your words.
8 Errors can be made and their job is a very difficult one. So please
9 refrain from saying such things.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As everything has been said, we
11 shall meet again soon. I can't give you an exact date because it is
12 always difficult to -- I shall give you the floor, one moment. I was
13 saying that we shall meet again soon. We always find it difficult to
14 find a date given the number of trials ongoing at the moment, but as soon
15 as we have a time slot, we shall let you know so that we can take stock
16 of the situation and discuss any pending issue. But we wish to
17 demonstrate that the Trial Chamber wishes to see this trial through in
18 the best conditions possible.
19 Mr. Seselj, you have the floor.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, something very similar
21 happened just now. For instance, in English, Mrs. Lattanzi said that I
22 should refrain in future from saying things like that. Now, I don't know
23 what the words she actually used in French. Whereas the interpretation I
24 received that in future I should refrain from libel of that kind or,
25 rather, she said -- the female interpreter said [B/C/S spoken] and this
1 newly invented word in Croatian "objeda" means "libel." Now, I'm
2 interested in knowing, Judge Lattanzi, whether you actually said that I
3 should refrain from libel. So there you have an example of what the
4 interpreters are doing, and that's not an unintentional mistake.
5 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] No, not at all. I never used
6 the word libel. All I said was that you should avoid from using such
7 terms to describe the interpreters, and you should not say that they are
8 making mistakes deliberately.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, there you are. The female
10 interpreter said that I should refrain from such "objeda" in future, and
11 that means "slander" in this newly composed, newly invented Croatian
12 language, and you can check that out with the Registry. It means
13 "slander," and you can see if I'm right there or not.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I confirm that my colleague at
15 no point in time used the word "libel." She just said that the
16 interpreters, like anyone, can make a mistake, and some mistakes may be
17 made, but these are not made deliberately. The Judges may also
18 occasionally make a mistake. It's not because you make a mistake that
19 this is done intentionally. But you have said this and everything you
20 have said is always scanned and each and every word you say is
21 scrutinised. And I assume that our translation services and
22 interpretation services will do the same.
23 In any case, it's now time to stop since we have had a hearing
24 that has lasted just about one hour and a half. The hearing stands
25 adjourned for today and we look forward to seeing you again soon. I
1 would like thank you all the people present in the courtroom. The Court
2 stands adjourned. Thank you.
3 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned
4 at 9.52 a.m.