1 Tuesday, 19 January 2010
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, could you please
6 call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you and good morning, Your Honours. This
8 is case number IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
10 Today is Tuesday, the 19th of January, 2010. I would like to
11 greet Mr. Seselj as well as all the representatives of the OTP, as well
12 as everyone helping us in this courtroom.
13 Mr. Seselj, today we were supposed to have a hearing with a
14 protected witness, so I will not give his or her name, but I can always
15 give the number. It was V-026. Over the last three weeks I personally
16 made sure that this witness could appear in order to not find ourselves
17 in a situation where the witness would not be able to appear today.
18 Unfortunately, over the last three weeks we had the court recess, and
19 within the Registry, as well as within the relevant local authorities,
20 some people were not in a position to follow up on this case on a
21 full-time basis, which means that last week when the witness appeared, we
22 did not have yet a clear vision as to whether this witness was in a
23 position to come or not. And I only learned at the end of last week,
24 that is on Thursday or on Friday of last week, that the witness had
25 undergone an operation, and therefore he would not be in a position to
2 This item of information was sent to us just a few days before he
3 was supposed to appear here. We found out that he had an operation, and
4 we were not aware that he was about to have an operation.
5 Given this surgical operation, he cannot travel at the moment,
6 and he will need a couple of weeks in order to recover from this
7 operation and to be in a position to appear. So this witness V-026 will
8 not appear today or tomorrow and possibly not in the coming weeks. So we
9 will make sure that with the witness unit we follow up the situation to
10 see when he will be able to appear. If he cannot come to The Hague, we
11 will have a videolink, and if he can come to The Hague, of course he will
12 appear in this courtroom.
13 So this is a new outcome. As I said, I tried to deal with this
14 and to follow up on this matter, but we only heard this information
16 There's another issue as well which does not allow us to prevent
17 those problems is that the witness unit gets in touch with the witness
18 only once they have received an official notice from the appearance here.
19 And it's only after that, that the witness unit can get in touch with the
20 witness or with his or her family to see whether they can appear. And of
21 course this is regrettable, because I don't see why the witness unit
22 could not call before the official notice and tell them, "Okay, a
23 notice -- an official notice will be handed down to you. And would you
24 be in a position to come?" This could be done on an informal basis, but
25 this process is so cumbersome that we are trying to have a translated
1 version from this notice of appearance and the overall notice before we
2 actually launch any measure with the witness, which is why sometimes we
3 do not have any witness before us.
4 So I wanted to give you this information so that you are not
5 surprised, because I assume that as the Prosecutor, as myself, you
6 probably prepared the appearance of this witness, and we find ourselves
7 in the situation where we do not have any witness.
8 As for next week, there is no problem. As far as we know,
9 another witness will appear. It is VS-029, so we will not have another
10 witness not appearing. And the legal expert will deal with the witness
11 following VS-029.
12 You know that we have to make sure that we plan in advance to
13 make sure that witnesses appear. This is very complicated, and we have
14 to be very particular, but if we do not want to waste any time we have to
15 look at every detail. However, we are not going to waste any time,
16 because we will be able to touch upon administrative issues.
17 Last week we have realised that when we couple administrative
18 issues and appearance of a witness could lead to the following
19 consequence: Namely, that we do not have enough time to hear the
20 witness. Given that this morning we have a few minutes, actually, we
21 have about an hour and a half for administrative issues, and I believe we
22 might just as well deal with those first because next week we will have
23 our priority which will be hearing Witness VS-029, and we will not deal
24 with any administrative issues because the priority will have to be the
25 witness, and the administrative issues should be priority number two.
1 Given that we have time at the moment for administrative issues,
2 we might as well use the time that we have at hand. From a personal
3 point of view I will have two questions to deal with, but I would prefer
4 if you started with administrative issues, Mr. Seselj, so please go ahead
5 with the ones that you wanted to touch upon today.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have seven
7 administrative issues to raise, and this time I'll have to expound at
8 greater length about them, and I hope you have the patience to hear me
9 out. So I'm going to tackle these issues one by one if you allow me to
10 do so.
11 First of all, with respect to the witness that was supposed to
12 appear today, gentlemen, Judges, you have been informed and received
13 documentation prepared by the Prosecution and were able to see just how
14 many problems there were concerning this witness. My associates have not
15 had any contact with him for a long time now and they have not
16 endeavoured to do so from the time that you said that neither the
17 Prosecution nor the Defence was allowed to contact the witness. However,
18 from the latest documents and particularly from the statement made by the
19 witness published in the press, and I think you've received a photocopy
20 of that press article, the statement he made to the press, we see that
21 the witness has said that the Prosecution had forced him in an earlier
22 trial to give false testimony and that those preparations lasted for a
23 month and a half. I think that is a very serious allegation, and while
24 the witness is recuperating, I think that the Trial Chamber should
25 appoint amicus curiae who would undertake an investigation and inquiry to
1 establish what this is all about.
2 The witness was exposed to threats from the Prosecution that he
3 would be held responsible if in everything else -- if he failed to repeat
4 what he said in the previous trial in this trial against me to protect
5 the witness. And because of his serious health situation I think that
6 these -- this preparation could have been done earlier on and that the
7 amicus curiae could inform you what this is all about. And I think that
8 this time round you would find somebody who was unbiassed to be the
9 amicus curiae if you accept my proposal.
10 The second point is this: Last time, at the last appearance, I
11 was told --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, first point, you
13 touched upon this issue, and I wanted to touch upon it as well but from
14 another angle.
15 As for this very witness, you talk about a press release that I
16 have not read. The Court Officer will look into this, but I do not have
17 this before me, and I'm not aware of this statement, but we will look
18 into this.
19 You say that given what he said, the Chamber should appoint an
20 amicus curiae. The three Judges are going to look into this request, but
21 I should like to remind you of something that may have failed the
22 attention of those following the trial. Maybe not you but others.
23 Before the trial, you made a request for a contempt of court
24 against Mrs. Carla Del Ponte, as well as against some of her
25 collaborators, and you were saying that the OTP had put pressure on some
1 of the witnesses. This motion or request was dealt with by the Chamber
2 chaired by Judge Robinson with Judge Bonomy and myself. The Chamber
3 chaired by Judge Robinson ruled on your motion. As far as I can
4 remember, I will quote the main tenets.
5 The Robinson Chamber ruled that witnesses named in your motion
6 would be heard by the current Chamber made of myself, Judge Harhoff, and
7 Judge Lattanzi, and this current Chamber will hand down a ruling at the
8 end of the hearing of all those witnesses, which means that de jure the
9 current Chamber is still the one dealing with this issue. And this in
10 turn means, and I'm sure you realise that, that when witnesses appear, I
11 ask them questions about the way their statements were taken, how it
12 happened, did they sign anything, and so on and so forth, and this is
13 always in this spirit that I ask my question, and this is what I will
14 carry on doing, and this is what my colleagues will carry on doing when
15 other witnesses appear.
16 So as for point number one, there is already a reply which is the
17 decision of the Robinson Chamber. This is still relevant, and the
18 current Chamber is still the relevant Chamber for this issue, and this
19 current Chamber is not going to pass this on to any other instance.
20 I believe that this was useful to remind you of this, because
21 that way you are aware that we are still in charge of this matter when
22 dealing with any OTP members that could be involved in this process, and
23 at the end of the trial we will hand down a ruling.
24 So this is for point number one. Now if you want to touch on
25 point two, please go ahead.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. President, it
2 wasn't my intention to challenge those proceedings, and I'm quite sure
3 that you and your colleagues of the Trial Chamber will do the job
4 properly, but I thought that this model could be of assistance in later
5 examination of this witness, but it isn't something that I would insist
6 upon. So as far as I'm concerned, this witness is very important to me.
7 The most important witness for my case, for my defence case, saying that
8 the Prosecution used unacceptable means to instrumentalise the witness,
9 and so I should like to have a very profound in-depth examination and
10 inquiry of this witness, but I have nothing against your interpretation
11 of this whole issue, so you can take it free me that I will not persist
12 in what I have proposed.
13 The second point is additional argumentation with respect to your
14 position taken that in this case we cannot apply the new Rule
15 92 quinquies. And one of the basic principles, as far as I'm concerned,
16 of criminal law guarantees that not a single rule can be applied
17 retroactively to my detriment. So we cannot apply 92 bis, ter, or quater
19 Now, in this particular case we had a situation in which the
20 Prosecution insisted that transcripts be admitted into evidence from
21 other trials because it wasn't satisfied with its examination-in-chief
22 during this particular case. We had an example of that this summer.
23 Next, the Prosecution insisted that the witness statements which
24 it compiled itself be introduced into evidence, and they referred to
25 92 ter or quater and sometimes to Rule 89. Not even Article 89, which
1 states that every document can be admitted into evidence - I'm giving a
2 free interpretation of that - does not imply that we can admit something
3 that was compiled and is a creation of the Prosecution.
4 When we say documents, when documents are referred to, we mean
5 relevant documents from the relevant time, whether it be a court
6 appearance or proceedings or statements given to certain organs, and so
7 on and so on, but from the relevant material time, and not something that
8 is created by the Prosecution itself endeavouring by this product to
9 confirm and support the indictment which it cannot support in any other
11 And then something new has cropped up. The Prosecution is
12 seeking to have admitted into evidence an interview by a witness who was
13 examined as a suspect. That has never ever happened anywhere. And
14 that's what they're trying to achieve here. It's like this: Every
15 witness whom you -- to whom you say, "You or suspect," is no longer a
16 witness. Everything he says, he says as a suspect or as an accused in
17 some other proceedings in case, and it's an old law that holds true in
18 criminal law that somebody who is a suspect or accused has the right to
19 lie in his own defence. A large number of suspects and people who have
20 been accused of something, maybe more than 50 per cent even, in front of
21 a policeman or an investigating judge or a prosecutor lies by placing the
22 blame on others, and nobody can prosecute him for that.
23 And now we had a case here where a man was interviewed three
24 times by the Prosecution over a long period of time as a suspect, and he
25 fended as well as he could to get out of the situation and pass the blame
1 on to somebody else and to relieve himself of the blame by accusing
2 somebody else. And then the Prosecution says, Now, what you've just told
3 us defending your own position, you're going to say that same thing in
4 another trial in support of the indictment against such and such a
5 person. So those are absolutely impermissible methods. All right if he
6 says these things in the courtroom, but if he doesn't say this in the
7 courtroom then the Prosecution tells him, Well, we're going to ask that
8 the transcript and document of his interview be admitted into evidence.
9 So that is my objection there.
10 Now, the third point, Croatian television, on the 15th of
11 January --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, as for point two,
13 there will be part of an answer because the Prosecutor for last week's
14 witness has asked for its written statement to be admitted, and so the
15 Chamber will rule on this.
16 You have also mentioned the retroactive effects of Rule 92 bis
17 and ter and quinquies as well as quater, stating that there could not be
18 any retractive application. We have already dealt with this issue at
19 length, but for those following the trial, of course, they need to have
20 all information. I'm sure that you know of Rule 6(D) of the Rules of
21 Procedure and Evidence saying that modifications will enter into force
22 seven days after their publication so -- but this is without prejudice
23 for the accused. So the question is whether there is any prejudice for
24 the accused, and this has to be looked into.
25 I have not yet identified the case. I understood that the
1 Appeals Chamber has been asked or will be asked to deal with this issue
2 through a pending issue that has been brought before the Appeals Chamber.
3 So I'll wait to see what the Appeals Chamber will say.
4 When we looked into this previously, I said that I had raised
5 this issue during the Plenary meeting, which had led to the adoption of
6 this new rule, and I had asked a very clear question regarding the
7 retractive nature of this rule, this new rule.
8 So this is a concern that we have within the Chamber. And
9 through the ruling that we will hand down regarding last week's witness,
10 this Chamber will either unanimously or through a majority ruling will
11 deal with the issue that you have touched upon.
12 Please move to point three.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Croatian television, on the 15th of
14 January, 2010, in a broadcast called "TV Calendar," evoked reminiscences
15 of Zeljko Raznjatovic Arkan. And on that occasion the editor of the
16 programme - so it's not some irresponsible statement - but the editor
17 said that Zeljko Raznjatovic Arkan at the end of 1999 conducted
18 negotiations with The Hague Tribunal, and I assume they mean the
19 Prosecution, although it was said that -- Hague Tribunal, about a
20 possible bargain, plea bargaining to lift responsibility from him and put
21 it onto someone else with insinuations that after coming into contact
22 with The Hague Tribunal the Milosevic regime was liquidated.
23 Now, I'd like to propose to the Trial Chamber to demand and
24 request of the Tribunal to give us a detailed report in which they will
25 state whether there was any contact with Zeljko Raznjatovic Arkan or not;
1 and if there was, to explain to us what it was all about, what was
2 discussed, what the contacts were about, and to provide us with all the
3 documents about that.
4 This is a very important matter for my case in view of the fact
5 that Zeljko Raznjatovic Arkan is stipulated in my indictment as one of
6 the members of the joint criminal enterprise for which I'm being accused.
7 The fourth point is linked to that third issue, and it is this --
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wait a minute. On the third
9 point, I'm not -- I don't know anything about a fourth, but first of all,
10 I would like to speak immediately on the third point.
11 It is true that Arkan is in the indictment as a member of a joint
12 criminal enterprise. It is also true that several witnesses, several
13 statements, speak about his role, which was a very important one in
14 committing certain crimes. It's also true that an accused must have a
15 disclosure of any document which has to do with one of the persons who is
16 indicted either under 68 of the rules or under 66, Rule 66 of the rules.
17 So to your knowledge, Mr. Seselj, is there, as Mr. Seselj says,
18 after this broadcast of the Belgrade television, are there documentation
19 of the Prosecution which establish a contact with Arkan with a promise
20 eventually if there is a collaboration of anything, or is it first news
21 as it is for me? Is it the first time you hear about that now?
22 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your --
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Earlier -- let me now respond to
24 the question by the Presiding Judge. Please have patience, and I will be
25 brief in my response.
1 There were some intimations in the public that something of that
2 nature had occurred.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wait a minute. Mr. Seselj, I
4 gave the floor to Mr. Marcussen, who may say something, and after that
5 you will able to respond. Or do you prefer to bring some new element
6 immediately in order to make Mr. Marcussen's answer easier?
7 Right. Mr. Marcussen, please answer, and then Mr. Seselj will
9 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honour, to me, personally, this is as new
10 information as it is to the Bench, and I, first of all, will note that I
11 do not see the relevance of any of this to the case.
12 The Prosecution has complied with its disclosure obligations and
13 have given the -- have given extensive documentation to the accused under
14 Rule 66(A), under Rule 66(B), and under Rule 68. And the only issue is
15 whether or not the Prosecution have any documentation to be disclosed.
16 Now, the Prosecution is not -- the Prosecution is not going to
17 reveal who it had had contact with in the course of its investigations,
18 and this is not something for the accused to look into. We will
19 undertake -- we have undertaken to comply with our disclosure
20 obligations. We will undertake to look if there's anything that needs to
21 be disclosed in the light of this information, but it is not for the
22 accused to demand the Prosecution to give any accounts of what kind of
23 investigation it does, who it speaks to, or anything like that.
24 So that's our position on this, but as I said, I firmly believe
25 that we have disclosed everything we have to disclose to the accused.
1 Certainly we have done our utmost to comply with that. Your Honours will
2 remember that we have received -- we have disclosed more than 300.000
3 pages of documents on one occasion to him at his request in hard copy.
4 Of this is in addition to our compliance with all sort of other
5 disclosure obligations we have. So I'm fairly confident that we have
6 given the accused everything he could possibly dream of, and I'm -- can
7 say without equivocation that we have done everything we possibly could
8 to ensure disclosure to the accused of everything he needs.
9 So those are my submissions on this point, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I'm going to give
11 you the floor, but you, too, in order that you could answer completely to
12 Mr. Marcussen, I wish to quote Article 70(A) of the real -- rules, and I
13 shall read it slowly:
14 "Notwithstanding the rules of Article 66 and 67 above, the
15 reports, memoirs or any other document -- notwithstanding the provisions
16 of Rules 66 and 67, reports, memoranda or other internal documentation
17 prepared by a party, its assistance or representatives in connection with
18 the investigation or preparation of the case are not subject to
19 disclosure or notification under those rules."
20 Therefore you have the floor now.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, first of all a
22 remark in passing. The Prosecution has disclosed immense quantities of
23 materials to me, but it is my impression and the impression of my
24 associates that they simply put together everything that they came
25 across, and 90 per cent of the materials are not relevant. It's just
1 ballast. But that's immaterial. In the case of Zeljko Raznjatovic
2 Arkan, the rule that you quoted, Mr. President, Rule 70, simply does not
3 apply. That is man who is listed as a participant of the joint criminal
5 Secondly, this is a man who is described in the indictment as a
6 person whose men, Arkan's men, as part of the Serb forces committed
7 crimes in the Hrid neighbourhood in Zvornik. That's in my indictment.
8 Killing 20 Muslim civilians. And I am held responsible for that crime.
9 It's not Arkan; it's not his deputy; I am held responsible. And that's
10 why the Prosecution is duty-bound to submit all those documents to me,
11 and I insist on it. The Prosecution does not have the right to cover up
12 any contacts with Arkan if they had any.
13 The Prosecution is duty-bound to inform me about any
14 conversations with any witnesses if anything crops up that might be of
15 interest to me. They regularly provide me with notes from the proofing
16 sessions. These are matter of course conversations, and they supply this
17 material to me. And when we're dealing with big fish of this kind, they
18 don't give me this kind of information. I just don't see the logic of
20 Arkan was listed in my indictment for Bijeljina before Bijeljina
21 was deleted from the indictment. In the pre-trial proceedings, and in
22 accordance with the decision of the previous Trial Chamber when evidence
23 is called on the pattern of conduct and the joint criminal enterprise,
24 witnesses are called who saw Arkan's crimes in Bijeljina, and I have to
25 defend myself against those accusations.
1 You have seen how much I'm insisting on the distance between
2 Arkan and myself which was there. I did not investigate Arkan's crimes
3 outside of the scope of Bijeljina and Zvornik because I was not
4 interested in them in the scope of this trial, and you introduced into
5 the record pursuant to Rule 92 quater various statements, including a
6 statement by a JNA colonel. I think that his name is no longer under
7 seal, but I'm not sure so I'm not going to mention his name. He died, at
8 any rate.
9 You admitted into evidence his statement where he testifies about
10 Arkan's crimes in Erdut, Dalj, and other places, the execution by firing
11 squad of some prisoners. I never dealt with it. I am presenting this
12 now to give you a better picture of how my record of my trial is --
13 contains a lot of information about Arkan, because I'm held responsible
14 for Arkan's crimes here, and why should I accept that?
15 Now let me move on to item number four, which is even more
16 important. I --
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wait a second. So you have now
18 spoken about the third and fourth question, which in fact is only one
19 question. So if I understand you rightly, you are saying --
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] [Overlapping speakers] [Previous
21 translation continues] ... dealt with item number four.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. Well, please finish
23 about the fourth, and then I'll be able to tell you what I think.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Now, after my cross-examination of
25 the witness that we heard last week, in the Serbian media Arkan's deputy,
1 Borislav Pelevic, spoke to the Serbian media confirming that he was in
2 Zvornik at the relevant time and that he was in Bijeljina. So he took
3 part in the operations there together with Arkan, and he claims that I am
4 trying to shift the blame on Arkan. He claims that I am accusing Arkan
5 of killing 20 Muslims, saying that this is all a heinous lie on my part
6 and that I am, in fact, attacking him, and so on and so forth. I had to
7 put this to you now because I do not have a way to respond to Arkan's
8 deputy in the Serbian press.
9 I did not accused Arkan of anything. I was trying to put
10 distance between myself and Arkan, and Arkan's crimes have been
11 attributed to me. I didn't even know that Arkan killed 20 Muslim
12 civilians in Zvornik before I read it in my indictment. Arkan did not
13 report to me.
14 Can I go on since --
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen is doing his early
17 morning callisthenics here in the courtroom.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Why do you wish to intervene?
19 MR. MARCUSSEN: I wish to put on record that the accused is using
20 the Court's time to engage in public relations activities. He is making
21 statements which really are directed at the press. He's responding to
22 something that's taking place in the press which has nothing to do with
23 this case, and in my respectful submission that should not be allowed.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Right. So, Mr. Seselj, you are
25 now telling us that after last week's hearing the press in your country,
1 in a story, an article, spoke about things which had been said by the
2 number two of Arkan, Borislav Pelevic - I'm not sure how to pronounce
3 it - who allegedly would have confirmed that he was indeed in Bijeljina
4 and in Zvornik, but that yourself question -- implicate Arkan in a way to
5 dodge your own liability.
6 Mr. Marcussen says it's -- it's not to be done. So what did you
7 actually want to do?
8 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I also have something to say.
9 Maybe there is a nexus, but not on the basis of things which may have
10 been published in the press and which shouldn't be discussed in this
11 trial. We can't start discussing everything which is written by
12 journalists everywhere in the world every day, Mr. Seselj.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Therefore, Mr. Seselj --
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I didn't really bother you
15 about the information from the press related to my name all that often
16 where I faced a situation where I have to just watch everything that is
17 said about me with my hands tied behind my back, and people just write
18 anything that comes to their minds, anything they want to.
19 This is important because it pertains to the trial itself. Let
20 me try to explain to you the nexus, Judge Lattanzi. The nexus is very
21 simple here.
22 Arkan's crimes in Zvornik and Bijeljina have been attributed to
23 me here, while the volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party were in
24 Zvornik in April. The only crime against the Muslim civilians is the
25 crime that is -- that was committed by Arkan. There were no other
2 In the indictment I'm charged with some other crimes in late May
3 and throughout June, but this has nothing to do with me because the
4 Serbian Radical Party volunteers were no longer in Zvornik. This is the
5 only time when my volunteers were in Zvornik, and Arkan's crimes were
6 attributed to me as part of the joint criminal enterprise.
7 Now, Arkan's deputy, Borislav Pelevic, was not prosecuted
8 criminally at all. Why? Because his party was an instrument of
9 Djindjic's regime until the end of 2003. Well, we can see more of the
10 callisthenics on the part of Mr. Marcussen, but I would really like to
11 deal with this because this is a serious matter which has bearing on
12 myself and on this trial.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wouldn't it be better to let
14 him finish what he has to say and then you can reply?
15 MR. MARCUSSEN: My point is that there's nothing to reply to.
16 There's not going to be anything said which is going to be replied to.
17 Either the accused can bring his evidence during his defence case on
18 these issues, or he can explain the relevance as he was asked to. He's
19 not. He's now diving into some other conspiracy theory trying to
20 attribute responsibility to other people. The case is very clear. These
21 charges are being laid against the accused in the indictment for a number
22 of reasons. One of them is that they are part of a joint criminal
23 enterprise. He's therefore charged with those crimes. It's very clear
24 to the accused. He's simply engaging in a dialogue that is not intended
25 to inform the Trial Chamber of anything but is part of public debate
1 going on outside the courtroom, and we have wasted enormous amounts of
2 time on these sort of things in the past, and there really is no point to
3 continuing with that.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen, you see no
5 nexus. I personally see one, and I will explain how and why.
6 Before coming to the hearing this morning, I was looking on the
7 site of the Tribunal, last information we could [indiscernible], and I
8 discover that in Sarajevo there is a new indictment by the competent
9 Chamber versus military staff, military personnel, battalion commander
10 who has to do with the Srebrenica case, which means that both in Croatia
11 and in Serbia and in Bosnia-Herzegovina the courts continue to
12 investigate and continue to prosecute the authors of those crimes,
13 whatever their level of responsibility may be, specifying that in
14 The Hague we have accused who were in the highest responsibility posts,
15 but there are others. And therefore the deputy of Mr. Arkan, I don't
16 know what he did or what -- reproach to him, but it may even be that
17 there will be no indictment against him. It may happen that there will
18 be one. Therefore, there's always a nexus. Therefore, we have seen a
19 week ago also that trial took place in Belgrade where accused were
20 sentenced. This judgement is now being translated, and I'm waiting for
21 the translation to see exactly on -- for which reasons these people have
22 been sentenced. What was their -- how they belonged to the Territorial
23 Defence. Were they voluntary? Were they a member of the JNA? I don't
24 know. This judgement will enable me to better understand what happened.
25 Now I'm just discovering that a person who was a deputy of Arkan was in
1 Zvornik, therefore it's interesting. I'm not just going to brush this
2 away because you say there is no nexus. I say there is a nexus because I
3 am a professional Judge specialised in criminal law, and that's the
5 So, Mr. Seselj, would you please finish what you wanted to say.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, what Mr. Marcussen
7 says, that I'm shifting the blame to another, it's really heinous. I
8 never have done that. I never tried to shift blame on other people, but
9 I have the right to show that there was a distance between myself and
10 some other people. You cannot ascribe to me any kind of closeness within
11 a joint criminal enterprise with people with whom I was on hostile terms,
12 and actually it was a threat to my life because of that hostility. There
13 were open threats that I would be killed, but I'll leave that aside.
14 What Judge Lattanzi insisted on, the issue of the nexus,
15 Mr. Marcussen did not let me finish.
16 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Excuse me, but I have to ask you
17 a question. Do you believe really, honestly, that these matters, these
18 questions which you are asking are administrative matters or questions,
19 and not questions which have to do with the substance of the case? Such
20 aside the question of what is published in the press and which from this
21 point of view poses the problem of whether we should talk about it here.
22 But do you really believe that these are matters which are administrative
23 questions which should be discussed during a hearing which is devoted to
24 administrative matters? I have some problem with this.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I think it is an
1 administrative issue. This is a Status Conference of sorts, and it is
2 your duty, Judges, to hear of my health status and my mental status,
3 after all. This is not a trial that is conducted out of time and out of
4 space. This trial affects its whole context in realtime, and it is
5 affected in turn by its context, because you cannot eliminate that
6 influence of your context.
7 And let me finish with my effort to prove the nexus where I was
8 interrupted by Mr. Marcussen.
9 Less than two years ago Tomislav Nikolic received Arkan's deputy
10 Borislav Pelevic into the Serbian Radical Party, and the latter assisted
11 him later on in his attempted putsch. And a couple of days ago I learned
12 that in addition to the meeting between Tomislav Nikolic and
13 David Tolbert in Budapest that while the parliamentary Assembly of the
14 council of Europe met in 2007 that Tomislav Nikolic met with
15 Carla Del Ponte, and the eyewitnesses say that they were engaged in a
16 very cordial conversation. This is my information that's been verified,
17 and I am trying to tell you, Judges, that behind the screens espionage,
18 political factors play a role in this trial, how they affect this trial,
19 in a way obstructing it, in fact.
20 I faced the western intellegence services, the Serbian tycoons,
21 and the Serbian mafia. The King of the Serbian tobacco mafia, Sane, who
22 instructed Borislav Pelevic, and I'm trying to show this to you. Arkan's
23 deputy who himself admits that he took part in the fighting in Zvornik
24 and Bijeljina is now trying to blame me of shifting the blame to Arkan,
25 and it says in my indictment, You are charged with what Arkan did. This
1 is an administrative issue. What kind of an issue is it? Perhaps it's
2 not an administrative issue, perhaps you're right, but I had to raise it.
3 I couldn't raise it in the course of our examination of a witness. That
4 is an ideal situation. We don't have a witness. We have enough time for
5 me to share this with you.
6 If you think I didn't have to share this with you, well, that's a
7 different matter. I will not share anything with you in the future, but
8 I felt this need to tell you this.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I wish to stay on
10 administrative questions, and I wanted to ask you what is the conclusion
11 of points three and four? Is this a verbal motion which you are making
12 to request the Chamber applying the rules, obliges the Prosecution to
13 disclose to you all the materials or elements which have to do with the
14 negotiations between Arkan and the Prosecutor's office, possibly with
15 Borislav Pelevic, his deputy who met Mrs. Carla Del Ponte, according to
16 you, yourself, or even Mr. Tolbert, is this what you are actually asking
17 for by a verbal motion, in which case that is indeed an administrative
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Precisely, Mr. President. Your
20 interpretation is correct. I said that the fourth item is connected with
21 the third. The fourth item just provides additional arguments to support
22 my request from item number three, to show how serious this issue is for
23 me. For me, it's very serious. And I think that the Prosecution must
24 provide me with this information, and that they have to give me
25 information finally about the meeting between David Tolbert and Nikolic.
1 They tried to deny it, and later on they just glossed it over. And I --
2 they also have to give me information about the meeting between
3 Tomislav Nikolic and Carla Del Ponte, if there are any notes about this
4 meeting. It is not mentioned in Carla Del Ponte's book, unfortunately.
5 May I now move on to item number five?
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Right. Okay. Point five.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen is in a semireclining
8 position. I wasn't sure whether he was going to get up again or not.
9 Gentlemen, Judges, you've already been informed that the Registry
10 rejected my request to hold a press conference prior to the elections in
11 the municipality of Odzaci.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj. I have to
13 interrupt you because I wanted to move this point -- to talk about this
14 point under another angle, and I wanted to tell you straight away what
15 was my point of view so you can develop your own point of view then.
16 A week ago we were seized of your verbal motion in the framework
17 of administrative questions since now you are doing verbal motions, and
18 you don't have a [indiscernible] collaborator who are preparing your
19 motions, therefore, you do so -- you present them verbally, and we have
20 to hearing for administrative matters.
21 A week ago the Chamber told you that you had to follow procedure,
22 which is to say, one, seize the Registrar; two, await his decision; and
23 two [as interpreted], eventually, if it is not in your favour, you can
24 question it with the President.
25 A week ago the Chamber told you that taking into account the
1 dates it was an emergency, an urgent matter, and myself a week ago, on
2 Thursday and Friday, liaising with the Court Officer wanted to know
3 whether the Registrar had made a decision.
4 When I arrived at the crack of dawn at my office, I still wasn't
5 apprised of this decision. When I arrived around 6.00 in my Chambers, I
6 opened my computer, and I discovered with great surprise that the
7 spokesperson of the Tribunal - I have the document here - had indicated
8 that the Registrar had rejected the request, motion, without explaining
9 the reasons, and that the accused was now in a position to see the
10 President. But what I disliked intensely was that the spokeswoman who
11 normally has three different hats - because there are three different
12 organs there, Registry, the Chambers, and the Prosecution, the
13 Prosecutor's office - had told the press who had quoted the Tribunal
14 rejected the request, the Tribunal, and I say the Tribunal rejected
15 nothing. It is the Registrar who rejected a request; not the Tribunal.
16 The Registrar, who is one of the organs of the Tribunal. And now there's
17 a play on words.
18 Therefore, while the spokeswoman should have known that you had
19 this possibility technically speaking to seize eventually the Chamber,
20 and I find extremely unpleasant, number one, not to have been apprised of
21 the content of the decision; and, two, to discover by the spokeswoman
22 that it was the Tribunal who made the decision. There we are.
23 So I wanted this to be put on record because at least -- the
24 least of things by even courtesy, politeness, would be to inform the
25 Chamber of the content of the decision, and to date I still do not know
1 at all what were the reasons why it was rejected.
2 Right. Mr. Seselj.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'll be very brief
4 on that issue. I requested the legal officer, Registrar of this Tribunal
5 to find the decisions of the Registrar at the beginning of 2004 and end
6 of 2003 and to provide it to the members of the Chamber in English and in
7 Serbian to me for me to quote something very briefly, since the Registrar
8 in this decision, which he rejects my request or motion for a press
9 conference, to hold a press conference, and the main argument he puts
10 forward there in favour of his decision is that for seven months I have
11 been -- I was prohibited at the end of 2003 and beginning of 2004 all
12 communication with my family, with my friends, with my associates,
13 banning me from having any visits, and so on.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, because of what I
15 said just now, I have just been given the ruling. So please proceed.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Here we have it, the decision which
17 was provided to me on the 9th of January, 2004. On page 2, the last two
18 paragraphs. Bearing in mind the fact that the activities in the
19 post-electoral period, that is to say, the elections in Serbian had
20 already been held, my party had a large number of votes, a third of the
21 deputies in the Assembly. So bearing in mind that the post-electoral
22 events will probably lead to the fact that the political party and the
23 supporters of the accused will ask for his further engagement in
24 post-political activities linked to the parliamentary elections in Serbia
25 held on the 28th of December, 2003, and considering that great attention
1 is placed on public information and information about the fact that the
2 accused is in a position whereby he can help the campaign without
3 impediment for the parliamentary elections in Serbia while these were
4 currently underway or post-political activities, in both cases as a
5 consequence undermine the mandates of this International Tribunal to
6 contribute to the repeated establishment and prevents a peace in the
7 former Yugoslavia.
8 So my contacts with the party with respect to a possible
9 formation of the government undermine, as it says here, the establishment
10 of peace in Yugoslavia, and this was signed by David Tolbert, and
11 Tomislav Nikolic met him in Budapest.
12 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note they did not have the
13 text of the decision.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] As of the 9th of February, the
15 decision is repeated and adds that that bearing in mind that at the
16 parliamentary elections in Serbian - and that's to be found on page 2 -
17 held on the 20th of December, 2003, the party led by the accused won 82
18 of the 250 seats in the Serbian Assembly, and so and so forth. It goes
19 on to speak about my involvement, and so on and so forth.
20 So you can see the kind of arguments that are set out here and
21 the kind of arguments that are used whereby my basic human rights and
22 civil rights have been denied and placed in jeopardy. They say I must
23 not contact, have any contacts with my party, not to give them any
24 suggestions as to who to negotiate with, and so on and so forth, about a
25 post-electoral coalition government. And now referring to that decision
1 from 2003 and 2004, they are expounding their decision now to prevent me
2 from contacting the public with respect to the local elections in the
3 municipality of Odzaci.
4 So that is the model according to which the Registrar is working,
5 and I have been exposed to that kind of work for seven years now, so you
6 needn't be surprised why I use the words I did when I wrote to the
7 secretary -- to the Registrar using the words I used. No human being can
8 take conduct of this kind those were the issues I wish to raise, and I
9 have two more in this regard.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, what I would like
11 to know is whether you have referred this to the President of the
12 Tribunal to challenge the decision of the Registrar.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, no I didn't want to raise the
14 issue because I knew that there was a plot afoot. I tried at the
15 Status Conference to raise these issues on several occasions, and every
16 time Judge Agius interrupted me, shouted at me. So you needn't be
17 surprised why I retaliated the only way I could, with a nice title
18 mentioning his name in one of my books. If you look at the transcript
19 from the Status Conferences, you'll see when I raise an issue, this is
20 it. When I raise the issue of the Registrar's conduct towards me - and
21 the Status Conference is the main place in which I can complain about my
22 conditions in detention - he goes mad, goes quite red in the face, blue
23 in the face, and then attacks me in all manner of ways and then switches
24 off my microphone. So what I respect with this Trial Chamber is you've
25 never switched my microphone off when you don't like what I'm saying.
1 And he goes quite mad, switches off my microphone and seals my lips in
2 that way.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. What about point
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] When we finished with the
6 examination of the witness last week, I was taken to the -- to prison as
7 usual, and there was a new incident awaiting me there. It was staged to
8 my mind to support the negative decision taken by the Registry. I did
9 not cause the incident. When I entered the prison building, the guard
10 who met me in the prison told me that I had to rub my hands with some
11 chemical that was beside the door, the explanation given that this was a
12 disinfectant of some sort aimed at preventing the new flu from spreading.
13 First of all, I'm not somebody who moved around town, walked
14 around cafes or the streets and then came into the prison. I came from
15 the court building, and I wasn't able to shake hands with anyone here.
16 The guards tie me up at the entrance and untie me when they bring me to
17 the floor here. The Trial Chamber members are five metres away from me
18 so couldn't affect me. The Prosecution which is far more dangerous in
19 that sense is 15 metres away from me. The Registry is quite a distance
20 from me and so is the guard here. I have absolutely no contact with
21 anybody, and now they want me to rub my hands with some chemical
22 substance. I said, Give me a tap and running water and soap, and I'll
23 wash my hands. No, they insisted on this chemical. Now, they have been
24 poisoning me for years here, and they say that my liver has suffered, the
25 doctors say because I'm fat. I'm not fat at all. I can get up and show
1 you. I'm not thin, but I'm certainly not fat, so that can't be a reason.
2 So medicine can't explain why, but I don't want to use any chemicals to
3 rub on my skin. So then they took me to an isolating -- an isolation
4 cell in solitary confinement. They locked me up until the following day
5 at 1.00. Then they unlocked the door. No explanation was given for that
6 either. I assumed that they unlocked the door because my friends learnt
7 about all this, that I had been placed in isolation. How they learnt
8 about it, I don't know. When I rang up my home my wife told me that she
9 had heard that I was placed in a solitary confinement cell, that I was
10 isolated. So that's what they did, they created an incident out of
11 nothing. Who can force me to rub an unknown chemical with my own hands
12 on my own skin, why? I don't want to do that. I have a tap in my cell.
13 I have a shower, and that is enough. And I've been vaccinated against
14 swine flu to boot. I was one of the first to be vaccinated against the
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, regarding this
17 point, I will tell you the following because it is a topic that I'm very
18 well aware of because I dealt with it.
19 As you are aware, at one point in time in Europe there was an
20 increase in cases of swine flu, and all local health authorities have
21 dealt with this by taking the relevant measures, and within this Tribunal
22 and within the detention unit, the Registrar worked on this issue and
23 worked with local health authorities, and it has been decided to install
24 some devices to wash one's hands because it seems that the virus is
25 transmitted through contact, and so this device is also just outside this
2 Why did they force you to rub your hands and wash your hands?
3 Well, perhaps you can remember what happened last week. My colleague,
4 and I hope that he doesn't have flu, was coughing. We do not know
5 whether amongst us others could have been affect by the virus. But at
6 one point you put on the ELMO a document that was a statement from the
7 ex-JNA colleague. This document was touched by the usher. We also gave
8 to the usher some documents, which means that this document was handled
9 by the Judges, by the usher, and then the document was given back to you,
10 which means that if one of the Judges is infected by the virus and if one
11 of those Judges touches a document and then this document is put before
12 you and you touch it, then the virus can actually move on, hence the need
13 for you to rub your hands with this chemical substance. I do not know
14 the composition of this substance, but this -- the objective is to
15 protect yourself, to protect the security officers, and to protect your
16 fellow inmates and to protect the guards of the detention unit. So this
17 is for protection means.
18 Perhaps we are doing too much, but it's better to be safe than
19 sorry, because in my own country last week 28 people died of swine flu or
20 of the flu virus.
21 So this is the only answer I can give you. As for point number
22 seven, please proceed.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have to say
24 something before point six. You and your Judges, colleagues, are here on
25 a voluntary basis, all members of the Prosecution, too, and the
1 Registrar, too, and members of the guards are here voluntarily. If you
2 wanted to, you could be elsewhere. The only person who is not here
3 voluntarily is me. I am a prisoner here. And what holds true for you in
4 terms of your work responsibility need not be a responsibility for me.
5 They could have tied my feet and hands with chains. They could place me
6 on the floor, shut my mouth up and rub me all over with this chemical
7 substance. It is my elementary right whether I'm going to use a
8 medicament or not. I was vaccinated twice last month the first time
9 against the seasonal flu, and the second time against swine flu. And I
10 inquire myself when the flu vaccinations are going to start every year
11 because I don't need to catch the flu here. It would hamper me in many
12 of my activities. So I inquire about that every year, and I have the flu
13 vaccine every year, and that is sufficient defence from all types of flu,
14 from both types of flu. I don't know what affects this chemical can
15 have. What you put on your skin enters through the skin into the body
16 nobody has given me a reasonable explanation as to what is wrong with my
17 liver. Some factors have been upset. Even doctors from Serbia say it's
18 not alarming but something is happening to my liver, so why would I now
19 expose myself to new chemicals, new chemical substances? It's enough
20 that I am being fed by food that you would not even give to pigs. You
21 should see the kind of food they bring into the prison, and I think even
22 the healthiest person will fall sick after eating the food. Potatoes
23 that are cooked, then packed, then frozen, then defrosted for hundreds of
24 years in the civilised world, defrosted potatoes are not used because
25 nitrates become nitrites during the night and they are poisonous once
1 potatoes are defrosted. I'm not going to do that now. If they take me
2 to a tap and give me a piece of soap, I will be happy to wash my hands.
3 But I refused to use chemicals, and they can keep me in a solitary
4 confinement cell, until time immemorial. Now last time when I handed
5 over the three newly published books of mine, Judge Harhoff asked me to
6 provide them in electronic form, and this was repeated by the Registrar
7 in contact with my case manager. However, I inquired. I called up the
8 legal advisor to Boris Aleksic, and he -- my legal associate, and said
9 that electronic version is with Mr. Krasic and Mr. Jerkovic and that they
10 are willing to disclose it to the Tribunal once it normalises their
11 status as legal advisors and when they can serve me and assist me in The
12 Hague Tribunal. And when they are able to come and see me, they will
13 bring in the electronic version of those three books, and that's all I
14 had to say today.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 Mr. Marcussen, any administrative issues from your point of view?
17 MR. MARCUSSEN: No additional issues. I thought in light of the
18 second point that the accused made that he supplemented his arguments as
19 to 92 quinquies. If I may just state one brief thing on the record for
20 Your Honours' consideration in that regard.
21 It's the Prosecution's submission that this rule is, to a large
22 extent, is a codification to the existing case law. The existing
23 jurisprudence is somewhat wider and continues to exist in addition to the
24 rule, but the rule, as it exists now, is merely a codification of
25 important parts of the jurisprudence, and therefore the underlying
1 principles will be applicable even if the rule itself does not apply
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Marcussen.
4 Mr. Seselj, from a personal point of view, I would like to touch
5 upon two issues.
6 First point, the books. Last week you gave us books, the content
7 of which I do not know. I have looked at the books, and they have 109,
8 110, 111. It looks therefore that you have written 111 books of the
10 Secondly, I could see that from an external point of view, they
11 were very well-drafted, that they were very user-friendly, that you have
12 a way of finding the pages very quickly. So everything is well done.
13 Given that those books are in the Cyrillic alphabet, I do not
14 know what is their content. I have seen that sometimes my name or the
15 name of my colleagues do appear, so I drew the conclusion that some
16 decisions that we've handed down are incorporated in this book, but I
17 could not look into this any further.
18 I've looked at the cover page, and you had said to us that it had
19 to do with three of our colleagues. And from then on I've been waiting
20 for the Registry to give us a summary translation of the content of those
21 books. However, I asked myself the following question, and I didn't
22 really talk about this with my colleague because it's really from a
23 personal point of view. As a Judge I see that you are writing books on
24 Judges, and that you may well be able to write a book on myself, on my
25 other two colleagues, and by doing so you put Judges under pressure,
1 whereas in fact a Judge should be in a position to work in a serene
2 manner. A Judge could feel, Oh, well, I may be exposed to having a book
3 published, and there could be some sort of catchy title to that book
4 involving what I'm doing. So this is the problem. And I will not push
5 this reasoning any further, because I do not know what those books are
6 made of, but this could be subject of concern. So this was my first
8 Second point, and I will have to go back in time for the
9 following reasons: Last week we witnessed a difficult hearing because at
10 some stage you challenged the witness, and you challenged his or her
11 counsel, and so the Prosecutor raised some objections, and the counsel
12 did as well, and there were harsh words that were exchanged.
13 So what do I have at hand to make sure that we have a peaceful
14 trial as the President of this Chamber, because I'm supposed to police
15 this trial. I only have two means at hand. I have a blue button which I
16 can press to stop you from speaking to the outside world, but not within
17 the courtroom, and when I press on this button I'm sometimes wondering
18 whether it's going work or not. So this is a very basic system, because
19 I cannot stop you from shouting.
20 The second means that I have at hand is to send you out of the
21 courtroom, but there again this is a serious decision, and I have to look
22 into this carefully, and I have to take into account all sorts of
23 factors. The image of international justice, as well as the physical
24 safety of the security officer who will escort you outside of the
25 courtroom or who will expel you out of the courtroom. And I want to make
1 sure that no physical violence will happen. And in order to expel
2 someone from the courtroom you can also use tear gas, but also know the
3 condition of your lungs, and in your specific case this would not be
5 I also have to take into account the fact that you don't have
6 several officers, security officers around you. Today you only have one.
7 So I will have to take into account all those criteria. In a split
8 second I have to make a decision while you are shouting and the counsel
9 on the other side is shouting. So this is very difficult for me. And
10 this is what I experienced last week, and I do not want to experience
11 this again.
12 And after this brief of going back in time, I would like to then
13 move to a question that has already been ruled upon by the Chamber. In
14 order to avoid this the Prosecutor in its various writings said, you
15 should assign counsel to Mr. Seselj in order to avoid those problems.
16 It is true. That would be the easy way out. It is very easy for
17 a Judge not to have to deal directly with an accused and to only deal
18 with a counsel who is amenable, who is courteous, and everything happens
19 in the best possible case, but this is not the way I conceive justice. I
20 believe that justice should be rendered while the accused is there, and
21 if the accused is in a position to defend himself, he or she should be in
22 a position to take the floor. And this is why I've always been in favour
23 of this solution which is to allow you to defend yourself. This is a
24 right that has been given to you. But with rights you also have
25 obligations, and it is your duty to explain calmly what you want to put
1 across like you did for the seven points, and when you are calm I can be
2 calm, and I can focus on the substance of your points. Otherwise, I have
3 to deal with law and order within the courtroom, which will stop me or
4 prevent me from listening to the substance of your points and the
5 substance of this trial, because these are evidences that are brought by
6 the Prosecutor, and these are the statements and the evidence given by
7 witnesses. Everything else is a waste of time.
8 The fact that we did not assign counsel to you was very difficult
9 as a decision, given that part of the doctrine states that an accused
10 should be assisted by counsel. So this was not an easy decision that was
11 taken, but we did make this decision. And I can compare your situation
12 with other accused. You are the only one to have this sort of behaviour.
13 The late Milosevic was never shouting, was never raising his voice when
14 in the courtroom. Every time Mr. Karadzic appears I'm trying as much as
15 possible to listen to the hearings, and we are dealing with a courteous
16 man. He doesn't raise his voice. And everything happens in the best
17 possible scenario.
18 So could you please try in future to only take the floor when
19 necessary. Last week you took the floor, and it was really spot on.
20 Whereon you reminded us that we have to be careful that in Zvornik the
21 Serb Radical Party did not really have a base because Zvornik is in
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and you were very right to intervene and to remind us
23 of this point, because a Judge could actually make a mistake by thinking
24 that the HDZ from Croatia had implanted political parties in the Republic
25 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and perhaps that the -- perhaps the Serb Radical
1 Party had done the same. So you were very spot on there. But when you
2 take the floor just to say that one should not listen to so-and-so or
3 that the witness is a bogus witness, you really have to avoid this sort
4 of thing, and you should take the floor on the substance of this trial,
5 because this is what is important here. And I really do hope and I beg
6 you to remain calm, not to interrupt whoever is speaking and to speak
7 only when necessary, and then you will see, everyone will listen more
8 carefully to what you have to say. Because when you have all sorts of
9 words, of harsh words exchanged, then this could actually be detrimental
10 to your trial.
11 I did not ask to be put on this trial. We were asked -- or I was
12 asked because there was no further solutions. The Chamber had basically
13 thrown in a towel. So I did accept, even if I have another trial going
14 on at the same time.
15 Last week, Mr. Seselj, I arrived at 6.00 a.m., I started the day
16 at 9.00 a.m. in this courtroom, and I finished at 19.30. So I was here
17 in this building for 12 hours. I did not have time to eat. It is
18 exhausting. And then we have incidents within the courtroom, and this is
19 what I want to avoid in the future.
20 So please listen to what I have to say. It is in your own
21 interest, but also in everyone's interests, even if you challenge the
22 legality of this Tribunal, but you've already said so, this is not
23 surprising for anyone. I remain courteous. I listen to you, and some
24 people may feel that I give you the floor too often, I listen too much to
25 you, but I really want to say the following: Mrs. Carla Del Ponte,
1 talking about tracing criminals in page 593 of her book, when she talks
2 about pressures on witnesses, she says that she talked about this with
3 Mr. Kostunica. Mr. Kostunica had said that as part of the Tolimir case
4 pressures had been put on some witnesses, and Mrs. Carla Del Ponte
5 explained that she was going to listen to this point of view, which means
6 that those -- my two colleagues actually took a step back from my
7 position. This is what she said. But why am I checking on this?
8 Because the decision of the Robinson Chamber has to be effective on our
9 Chamber. And so when you are challenging the Prosecutor on witnesses, I
10 have to deal with that, even if Mrs. Carla Del Ponte doesn't agree with
12 So I have a very difficult mission here which has been the
13 subject of a protest from the former Prosecutor, from yourself, coupled
14 with a behaviour in the courtroom. It means that sometimes I really
15 wonder what I'm doing here. If I'm here it is to make sure that
16 international justice is rendered as much as possible and as well as
17 possible, but all the protagonists have to uphold the rules, and they
18 must at least have a courteous behaviour towards each other. So please
19 try to remain courteous, and this is how we will best listen to you. So
20 this is what I wanted to say to you, Mr. Seselj.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I say something? May I say
22 something in this regard? First of all, I would like to assure you,
23 Mr. President, that whenever you decide to expel me from the courtroom,
24 that there will be no incidents, because I don't want to fight the
25 guards. It's the armed force of the United Nations, and if ten guards
1 are not enough, they'll bring in another 20 or 30.
2 Perhaps at times I might give them the pleasure, yet again, to
3 have to carry me whenever they violate my rights as a prisoner, but you
4 may rest assured that every time you decide to expel me from the
5 courtroom there will be no incidents.
6 You say that I shout from one side of the courtroom and the
7 Prosecution shouts from the other side. I am quite amazed that you have
8 not admonished the Prosecution that you might expel them from the
9 courtroom. If you look at the transcripts and if you do a statistical
10 analysis to see who tried to interrupt whom, you will see that the
11 Prosecution tried to interrupt me much more often than I did them.
12 I also treated the witness very properly. I'm always very
13 careful when I'm dealing with the witnesses. Even if those witnesses are
14 false witnesses, I'm still very nice to them.
15 Let me remind you that the incident occurred because the lawyer
16 who entered the courtroom with the witness acted improperly. And when I
17 started shouting, it was because he intervened improperly in my
18 examination, because the only right of that lawyer was to protect the
19 witness from incriminating himself and nothing else, and he started
20 making political speeches. At one point Madam Lattanzi drew his
21 attention to the fact that I was right and let me remind you of that. I
22 don't see any incidents there apart from the improper conduct on the part
23 of the lawyer.
24 Secondly, well, this is your rhetorical A, B, C. In every
25 courtroom lawyers try to achieve the best possible affect with their
1 speeches. Sometimes you say something in a raised voice, sometimes you
2 lower your voice, but you have to admit that I never use any abusive
3 language in the courtroom, and you never had to stop me without me
4 complying with your request. I always stop when you tell me to. So I
5 really can't see what the point of your remark is. I am always awaiting
6 your decision, and if you decide to impose counsel on me, you know what
7 my response will be.
8 I am not afraid of anything. I cannot be taken by surprise here
9 by anything, and nothing frightens me. Through this trial I have been
10 able to achieve all my goals. Everybody in the world knows that this --
11 that I'm tried on trumped up charges by the Prosecution. There -- there
12 are no foundations for the charges and for any conviction. As far as I'm
13 concerned, this trial is over. You can do whatever you want. You can
14 expel me from the courtroom. I will never come back.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, I don't have any
16 intention of expelling you out of the courtroom. What I wanted to say is
17 using the tone you're using today, this is fine. I'm not asking for
19 Now, it is time to finish. We will meet next week for the
20 hearing which will take place Tuesday, and I believe that will be in the
21 afternoon, after 1400, quarter past 2.00. So Witness VS-29. So I wish
22 you a pleasant day for the rest of the day.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 10.34 a.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 26th day
25 of January, 2010, at 2.15 p.m.