1 Tuesday, 16 February 2010
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.07 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, can you call the
6 case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
8 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-03-67-T,
9 the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj. Thank you.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar. Today is
11 Tuesday, the 16th of February, 2010. I would like to greet all the
12 people present in this courtroom. I would like to greet Mr. Seselj,
13 Mr. Marcussen, Mrs. Biersay, their associates, as well as all the people
14 assisting us.
15 I shall ask the Registrar to move into private session -- to move
16 into closed session.
17 [Private session]
11 Pages 15387-15400 redacted. Private session.
3 [Open session]
4 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, the Chamber also decides
6 to lift the confidential character of questions asked before except for a
7 part whereby the witness could be identified. But the Chamber will look
8 into that in detail and there shall be a decision very quickly about
9 that. Let's proceed with the questions to the witness.
10 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Witness, first we apologise
11 about this interruption. Let's get back to this person from Novi Sad, if
12 I understand you, who came to talk in Hrtkovci in a way which you said
13 was peaceful. On whose behalf did he speak, on behalf of what political
15 A. I know what party that was. I can see the face of its leader,
16 but I can't recall his name.
17 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] He's not present in the
18 courtroom, is he, according to you?
19 A. I don't think so.
20 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you. In your statements
21 you also mention another rally which allegedly took place in the spring
22 of 1992 which you did not attend but which you talk as you heard about it
23 and you heard about the significant parts of those -- of this rally. So
24 I'd like you to tell us a little bit about this rally.
25 A. Very well.
1 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Do you recall that?
2 A. Yes, yes, I know what this is all about.
3 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Yes, you talk about it in your
4 statements. This is not something which I'm suggesting out of the blue;
5 this is something which arises from your statements. So can you please
6 tell us about this rally?
7 A. I can tell you that I did not attend the rally, but I know that
8 of the major political figures in Serbia at the time, Ms. Pesic was
10 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Was there anybody else?
11 A. Some other prominent figures, unfortunately I can't recall their
12 names, were also there. As far as I know, one of the people there is a
13 prominent member of a non-governmental organisation in Serbia
14 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Please tell us which
15 non-governmental organisation it was.
16 A. I can't really tell you. I don't know the name of the
18 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Do you know the name of the
19 accused of this trial in which you're now giving your statement?
20 A. Yes, I do.
21 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Did he ever come to Hrtkovci in
23 A. Did he ever come to Hrtkovci? Yes, in early May 1992.
24 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] At what exact date, if you
1 A. If I'm not mistaken, I stated the 6th of May, 1992, as the date.
2 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Yes, that is correct. That is
3 what is found in your statements. Now, Witness, you talked about this
4 rally, of the speech allegedly made by Mr. Seselj there by hearsay
5 because you did not attend it yourself. What I'm essentially interested
6 in has to do with the question of the list. And essentially the fact
7 that in the list, according to what you're saying, your name was also on
8 this list.
9 So can you confirm that you heard about a list of people who were
10 supposed to go as quickly as possible, go away from Hrtkovci? I'm
11 talking about Croats and Hungarians.
12 A. Yes, I can say again, as I stated before, I never laid eyes
13 personally on that list and I had never read a name on that list of a
14 Croat or a Croatian -- of a Croat or a Hungarian who was to leave
15 Hrtkovci. I only heard about it.
16 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Who did you hear that from?
17 A. From a few people who attended the rally.
21 A. No, no. Those were private conversations.
22 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Did you hear anybody say that
23 someone had allegedly read out this list of names?
24 A. From what I've heard, only a few names were read out. But I can
25 only repeat again, I only heard about it because I did not attend the
1 rally myself. That's all I can say.
2 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you. That we have
3 understood, but I wanted to know something else. When you were told
4 about this, namely that some names had been read out, names were on that
5 list of people that needed to leave as quickly as possible and leave
6 Hrtkovci, were you also told who read out this list at the rally? Or
7 perhaps simply read out a few names on this list. Who was it?
8 A. I can't recall that I was told who read out the names, but truth
9 to tell, I did not consider that a very important piece of information.
10 What I thought important was that such a list exists and that it contains
11 names of people who were supposed to leave. Whether this or that person
12 read out the list, I didn't think was important at the time.
13 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, yes, it is rather
14 important in our eyes.
15 Witness, I have another question for you. I'd like to know this.
16 This is a sentence which purportedly had been mentioned during this
17 rally. Can you remember this sentence and the author of this phrase?
18 A. Which sentence?
19 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I had rather you remember what
20 you mentioned in your statements. I'm still talking about the fact that
21 the people from different ethnic backgrounds, i.e., people who were not
22 Serbs, needed to leave. Do you remember this, that they needed to leave
24 A. Yes, that's correct.
25 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Could you be more specific,
2 A. Well, I was told that Mr. Seselj had said on that occasion that
3 it would be better for Croats from Hrtkovci to leave the place while they
4 still had the opportunity to leave under the circumstances that still
5 prevailed, that means after having exchanged their properties with Serbs
6 that were in a similar situation as we in Croatia or we would leave later
7 with just the bare necessities in a small bag. I think that's what I
8 said in my statement and it was from what I heard about the rally.
9 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Since this sentence is fairly
10 detailed, I'm asking you whether you remember who told you this.
11 A. No, I really can't tell you. It was a conversation among a
12 number of people, people who had attended the rally where it was said.
13 Now, who exactly quoted that sentence, I would be hard-put to remember
14 now and I couldn't remember it even when I was giving the statement. One
15 of these people but I didn't think it was important to try to remember
16 who that was. What mattered to me was what was said, the substance.
17 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Just a few more
19 I would like to address your personal situation now, with a
20 degree of caution, of course, because we are now in open session. You
21 left Hrtkovci, if I remember correctly, at the end of June 1992?
22 A. Correct.
23 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] You resigned from your job well
24 before that, a month and a half or so before that, after this rally. I
25 was wondering --
1 A. Exactly on the 13th.
2 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Let's leave the details aside
3 because we wish to protect your identity. I was wondering why so much
4 time elapsed between your resignation and your departure. Were you
5 forced to resign from your job? Were you pressured in any way to resign?
6 A. I can only repeat what I said in my statement. There were no
7 direct threats, no one person out of those who filed through Hrtkovci at
8 the time and whom I considered to be Serb refugees or Serbs expelled from
10 job or the village of Hrtkovci
11 statement that I gave a few years ago.
12 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Please continue.
13 A. In Hrtkovci, I and a lot of the people had a very good idea of
14 what had happened in Vukovar and some Bosnian towns, that grave crimes
15 had been committed including killing of non-Serbs. And the warnings that
16 we were receiving and that were voiced aloud at the rally at Hrtkovci
17 later and other rallies as well, including on the floor of the Assembly
18 of the Republic of Serbia
19 view of what had happened in Vukovar. And I thought that such warnings
20 and those events could not be ignored. Therefore, I believed that in
21 view of my ethnicity I could be a target and so could my family and that
22 it was wise to take steps to remove that threat; and for me, that meant
23 at the time moving to Croatia
24 unfortunate person who at the time was a citizen of the Republic of
1 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, one last short
2 question. Nonetheless, you said in your statements that your wife had
3 received visits while you were not at home and that these visits
4 indicated that you were being pressured to leave.
5 A. I can confirm only that my wife told me that. At that time, I
6 was often away, travelling between Hrtkovci and some places in Croatia
7 mainly Zagreb
8 been several visits by armed men who were threatening - would be the most
9 precise word - in view of the guns they had and the things they said.
10 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Witness.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I have a follow-up
12 question for you. After that, I shall give the floor to Judge Harhoff.
13 What I'm primarily interested in is this, this speech which purportedly
14 was made and which people told you about, they told you about the content
15 of this speech. What I want to know is: At the time when a rally of
16 this nature was organised, did the local press mention it? Did the print
17 press indicate that such a political meeting was going to be held, or on
18 the 6th of May, 1992, was there not a single journalist present in this
19 room? No one mentioned it, either on the radio or on television? What
20 can you tell me about this?
21 A. About the fact that the rally would be held, I really did not
22 know, either from television or from newspapers, but rumours about this
23 upcoming event had circulated around the village. I don't know who
24 started these rumours, this talk, whether it was announced on television
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We need to redact what you have
4 just said. So what did you learn in fact?
5 A. I heard that a rally would be held in Hrtkovci and that it would
6 be attended by Mr. Seselj, who would also speak.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This is my last question: In
8 your village at the time was there a local newspaper or was there no
9 local newspaper?
10 A. There was no local newspaper.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There was no local newspaper.
12 Did you yourself read --
13 A. [Previous translation continues] ... I mean when you say local, I
14 mean really local. That's how I understand it. I think I understood you
15 correctly. No, we really did not have a local newspaper.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Were there articles in the
17 national newspapers that talked about your village sometimes?
18 A. Up until that time, up until that date, I can't remember any
19 except for one story in a Belgrade
20 mentioned the Ustasha village of Hrtkovci
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In your 2006 statement you said
23 that Mr. Seselj made speeches, political speeches, and that you had heard
24 him. You said you also heard him on television, that it wasn't only him.
25 You said there were other intellectuals also. This is my last question.
1 Before the 6th of May, 1992, had you heard Mr. Seselj make
2 political speeches?
3 A. Well, from what I remember, the Serbian television did not
4 broadcast Seselj's speeches in their entirety. They broadcast only
5 excerpts or short statements as part of a news item on the news bulletin.
6 I really don't recall entire speeches by Mr. Seselj being broadcast on
7 the television in Serbia
8 radio stations, but that again is something I heard from other people.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. I shall give the
10 floor to my colleague who will put his questions to you.
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Mr. Witness, I just have a few questions for you in extension of
13 the thorough examination already conducted by my two colleagues. Could I
14 begin by taking on where the Presiding Judge just left us, namely, in
15 relation to the press coverage of the speeches made by Mr. Seselj.
16 Because I would like to know if you are in a position to tell us whether
17 the rally in Hrtkovci on the 6th of May, 1992, was covered by the press?
18 Do you know if it was?
19 A. Yes, it was. Newspapers wrote about it. I saw an article in the
21 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you. Did you hear anything about the
22 speech that Mr. Seselj held being broadcasted on either local or national
24 A. No, no, that I didn't hear.
25 JUDGE HARHOFF: Great. Now let me get back to the issue that was
1 raised by Judge Lattanzi when she put questions to you about the list of
2 names that were read out by someone during the rally. Because I think I
3 remember from your statement that you said that you had heard that your
4 name was also read out. Is that correct?
5 A. I think I said in my statement that my name was on that list, not
6 that it was read out.
7 JUDGE HARHOFF: So you --
8 A. That means somebody -- somebody who had a peep on that list told
10 JUDGE HARHOFF: I understand. So your name was not read out, but
11 you were told that your name did appear on the list. Now, how did that
12 make you feel?
13 A. To put it simply, it made me feel uncomfortable. The way I saw
14 it, it was a threat and a sort of ultimatum that, quite simply, we must
15 leave; in other words, if my name was on the list we should leave. And
16 at that time I had no reason to believe that we were not on the list.
17 JUDGE HARHOFF: I see. The reason I bring this up is that you
18 also in your statement said that you did not receive any threats
19 yourself. How are we to reconcile these two views? Did you mean to say
20 that you never received any threats directly formulated directly towards
21 you or --
22 A. That's precisely what I meant.
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: Can you please explain with a little more detail,
25 A. When I was giving that statement I meant to say that there was no
1 direct threat, no demand in so many words by a person who would tell me
2 so in my face that I had to go. And certainly it was not said in a
3 threatening tone or intimidating language. Nobody told me in my face.
4 JUDGE HARHOFF: I see. So your testimony is that you felt an
5 indirect threat arriving out of the information that your name appeared
6 on the list, but other than that, you did not encounter any direct
7 threat. Is that the way we should understand you?
8 A. Something like that.
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you. Now, could I then take you to another
10 part in your statement, and indeed also bring you back to something that
11 you have already explained to us in response to some questions put by
12 Judge Lattanzi. It is the part where you said that you took the speech
13 that was held by Mr. Seselj very seriously because you knew what had
14 happened in Vukovar. And I'm referring to paragraph 17 of your statement
15 from June 2004. And you go on to say that you "... heard very precisely
16 what happened in Vukovar and there was no reasons for us not to believe
17 Seselj's words."
18 And I shall ask you to explain in a little more detail what
19 exactly you meant by saying this. What did you -- what have you heard
20 about the events that took place in Vukovar and how did this make you
21 conclude that Mr. Seselj meant business?
22 A. I would like to say, first of all, a few words to the effect that
23 we did hear about that and we had reliable information about what had
24 happened in Vukovar. It's general knowledge that Vukovar was for the
25 most part razed to the ground and many people were killed there,
1 predominantly non-Serbs. Later I heard that quite a few Serbs also were
2 killed there, but this is not the topic of our conversation here.
3 We heard about the events at Ovcara, about the mass execution by
4 firing squad of the captives there. This kind of information -- well,
5 you could consider them to be rumours, but people from Hrtkovci had been
6 conscripted into the Yugoslav People's Army, as it was still styled at
7 the time, who claimed that having spent time in that area, they had heard
8 or seen some things and that lots of people were killed there. On
9 Sarajevo TV, this channel was called Yutel, we were able to see footage
10 of Vukovar at the time and most of the footage showed piles of dead
12 Now, the fact that some -- that numerous people were executed
13 first in Vukovar and as I learned later on in some towns in Bosnia
14 considered that to be a warning sign, something that one should not
15 ignore, something that one should take into account very seriously. It
16 was a serious warning that according to what Mr. Seselj had said at the
17 rally in Hrtkovci, according to what I had been told about that, the
18 warning and the instruction that we should leave Hrtkovci voluntarily
19 while we could, I thought that all this should be taken very seriously.
20 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, Mr. Witness.
21 A. I say "quite seriously." I don't mean to say that we were about
22 to be executed in the same manner as it happened at those execution
23 sites, but precisely what Mr. Seselj allegedly said, and that is that we
24 would be forced to leave our homes with nothing but a small bag in our
25 hands. At that time I considered that to be a serious threat, and I
1 thought that my vital interests were threatened by statements such as
2 that one.
3 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, Mr. Witness.
4 A. I don't know if I really -- if I understood your question, that
5 would be my answer.
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: You understood my question perfectly well and you
7 also answered it very well. But, Mr. Witness, you may be aware that
8 every hour and a half we have to take a short break because the tapes of
9 the recordings from these proceedings need to be changed. So we will now
10 take a break for 20 minutes, so we will resume ten minutes to 11.00.
11 --- Recess taken at 10.35 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are now back in open session
14 and Judge Harhoff will proceed with his questions.
15 JUDGE HARHOFF: Good morning again, Mr. Witness. Can you hear
17 A. Yes, I can.
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: Very well. Before the break we were talking
19 about the reasons why you wanted to take the message that you perceived
20 coming out of Mr. Seselj's speech seriously because you had heard what
21 happened in Vukovar. And you explained that very well.
22 My next question to you would be just why you thought that what
23 Mr. Seselj now said was to be given any weight. What made you think that
24 exactly Mr. Seselj's speech was to be taken seriously? Did Mr. Seselj
25 speak with any authority that demanded that his words were to be given
1 particular importance? Why was it that of all the information that you
2 may have heard at the time, Mr. Seselj's speech appeared to have a
3 special impact on you? Can you explain this to us?
4 A. First of all, I would like to say that at that time Mr. Seselj
5 was or was considered to be a prominent political figure in Serbia
6 the same time, the political party led by Mr. Seselj as far as I knew at
7 the time had its armed wing, the paramilitary formations that took part
8 in the fighting in Croatia
9 information was correct, and indeed it proved to be correct later on,
10 those paramilitary formations took part in the war events where things
11 that could be or that I called executions happened. It is my opinion
12 that those two facts contributed to Mr. Seselj's speech, the one that he
13 held in Hrtkovci at the time, and some other speeches that I took note of
14 either in the press or on TV. I considered that this speech, in light of
15 those two facts, does have a considerable weight.
16 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, Mr. Witness. You're being very clear.
17 Can I just ask you to elaborate a little more on the first of
18 these two elements that you have referred to. You said that the fact
19 that Mr. Seselj was considered to be a prominent political figure in
21 was Mr. Seselj a prominent political figure in Serbia, and let me explain
22 a little more what I'm trying to elicit from you. When Mr. Seselj spoke
23 in public, did he express views that were consistent with what other
24 prominent political figures in Serbia
25 Mr. Seselj's views very much his own personal views that were individual
1 to Mr. Seselj and were not necessarily shared by other persons in the
2 political domain at the time?
3 A. Let me first answer the part of the first question as to why I
4 think that Mr. Seselj was a prominent figure on the political scene. At
5 the time Mr. Seselj enjoyed a lot of media exposure for what he had to
6 say, and he also had another platform to espouse his views in the Serbian
7 Assembly. His party had a large following, and if I'm not mistaken, at
8 that time it was between 10 and 15 per cent or maybe 10 to 15 per cent of
9 the Serbian electorate. So as far as I was concerned, those were the
10 elements that made him a prominent political figure in Serbia.
11 Now, as to whether Mr. Seselj's words were eccentric or whether
12 they jibed with what other political leaders, leaders of political
13 parties in Serbia
14 were not that different. The only difference was that Mr. Seselj's words
15 were always much more direct whenever he espoused his political views.
16 Leaders of other political parties or people who were in the Serbian
17 authorities at the time expressed their views in a much more circumspect
18 manner. Or to be more precise, they expressed them less openly. I'm
19 talking about the political views in light of the political circumstances
20 in the country at the time, and the country was facing break-up or in
21 effect it was already undergoing the process of collapse.
22 I don't know whether I've answered all your questions now. The
23 question was quite long and I'm not quite sure whether I -- I've answered
25 JUDGE HARHOFF: You have, sir. You have been very clear, and I
1 thank you for providing such precise answers.
2 So what you are telling us is that Mr. Seselj was a no-nonsense
3 political figure who was able to express in very direct and clear terms
4 what many other politicians at the time said in a much more convoluted
5 way; is that correct?
6 A. Yes. When I said it was done in a more convoluted way, I meant
7 Mr. Jovic or the late Mr. Milosevic.
8 JUDGE HARHOFF: Right.
9 A. They were the leading politicians in Serbia at the time.
10 JUDGE HARHOFF: And so what was it that the political leaders in
12 Mr. Seselj in much more direct terms, what was the underlying message as
13 far as you could perceive it at the time?
14 A. Let me try and answer this question, although I'm not quite sure
15 that what I'm about to say will be completely accurate. In the Serbian
16 politics, politicians were always saying that they were trying to
17 preserve Yugoslavia
18 Serbian politics, and that the leaders of other republics which were at
19 the time already independent internationally recognised states were doing
20 the exact opposite, that they were trying to break Yugoslavia up. And
21 that one of the instruments for the preservation of Yugoslavia was in
22 fact the Yugoslav People's Army.
23 Now, as to how the Yugoslav People's Army was actually used in
24 the effort to preserve the collapsing state I think is more or less
25 general knowledge. As far as I was able to follow the developments as
1 they were presented on TV or in the press, of course this kind of
2 conclusion could not be drawn. But the events that became quite clear
3 later on showed that the JNA, the Yugoslav People's Army, was put to a
4 completely different use, a use that was much more profitable for the
5 Serbian political leaders at the time. It benefitted them much more, so
6 I'm talking about the people in the government.
7 JUDGE HARHOFF: Right. My question to you, Mr. Witness, was
8 rather more to try and understand how you perceived the underlying
9 message that came out from the political Serbian leadership at the time.
10 You told us that most of the politicians or the political leading figures
11 were speaking in convoluted terms, but that Mr. Seselj was able to cut
12 right through all those words and express in a clear and direct manner
13 what this was all about. So my question to you was: Well, what was it
14 about? What was the underlying message as far as you could perceive it
15 at the time?
16 A. Are you referring in your question to Mr. Seselj only or to the
17 leading politicians in the rump Yugoslavia
18 understood your question. So are you talking about Mr. Seselj
19 specifically or other people too?
20 JUDGE HARHOFF: I apologise for being unclear. My answer to you
21 is that if you're able to make a distinction between what other
22 politicians said and what Mr. Seselj said in terms of the contents, then
23 I would be interested to hear. But my question was actually generally
24 put, namely, from the Serb political leadership what was the underlying
25 message that came out in respect of the way in which the former
2 between what Mr. Seselj said and what other politicians said, that's
3 fine; but if you can't, then I was interested in hearing just how you
4 perceived the programme or the message that was disseminated in public at
5 the time.
6 A. I will try to explain to you now how I saw things. In my
7 opinion, and after all this was said what I'm about to share with you,
8 what this was all about was about all Serbs living in a single state.
9 This could be taken -- an effort to -- for that state to be Yugoslavia
10 but at the same time you could see it as an effort for all Serbs to live
11 in a single state which would be, as it was termed then, Greater Serbia.
12 And some former Yugoslav republics had already become independent states
13 at the time, and in light of that fact, my opinion that it was in fact an
14 effort to create a state which would be inhabited exclusively or in the
15 majority by Serbs, that would be tantamount to Greater Serbia. And that
16 means that parts of Croatia
17 annexed to that state. I don't know if I have been clear enough.
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: Yes. But that -- did that also imply that
19 non-Serbs would have to leave Serbia
20 A. Well, a certain number of people or even a large number of
21 people - I was not aware of the figures at the time - of Serb ethnicity
22 who lived in other republics, primarily Croatia, did leave Croatia
23 relevant time, time relevant for my testimony. Of course I didn't know
24 whether those people had been expelled or simply were refugees who had to
25 flee in face of the fighting. But it is a fact that at the time the idea
1 was already mooted that there should be an exchange of population. And I
2 think that Mr. Seselj spoke to that effect in the Serbian Assembly, but
3 as far as I can recall, he used other terms when he spoke about this
4 issue. He talked about reciprocity, something that we could call
5 reciprocity. So if a certain number of Serbs had to flee for any reason
6 or was expelled from their homes, then Croats who during the war, the
7 ethnic revolutions, lived in Serbia
8 That's how I understood things. If I'm not mistaken, this opinion was
9 not created later, but I think that it was actually confirmed later.
10 JUDGE HARHOFF: Sir, the way in which I understand you -- your
11 testimony just now is that there was an interest on the Serbian side and
12 perhaps also on the Croatian side to expel non-Serbs from the Serbian
13 territory and to expel non-Croatians from the Republic of Croatia
14 there was then a movement to accommodate on both sides people who were
15 expelled from the other side. Is that a correct understanding of your
17 A. I think it is. The only difference is that other terms were
18 used, human re-settlement of the population, humane re-settlement of the
19 population. Well, it's really -- there's no need for us to make any
20 comments as to how a re-settlement can be humane at all.
21 JUDGE HARHOFF: We will get back to that in just a little minute,
22 but if I can return to the question that I put to you just a while ago,
23 namely, what was the underlying message that was sent out from the
24 political leadership in Serbia
25 understanding that I am able to make is that the message that was given
1 from the Serbian political leadership was that non-Serbs should leave the
2 territory which was perceived to belong to Serbs. And I just want to ask
3 you if this is a correct understanding of your testimony or whether I
4 have misunderstood you.
5 A. Your understanding is correct. This perception applies only to
6 the statements of some politicians, not all of them.
7 JUDGE HARHOFF: Was that also the perception expressed by
8 Mr. Seselj?
9 A. Yes, yes. I remember reading somewhere or maybe seeing on
10 television if it was broadcast by Serbian TV a debate in the parliament,
11 where Mr. Seselj stated that the same number of Serbs as had been
12 expelled by Franjo Tudjman from Croatia
14 understanding of justice or maybe some sort of justice.
15 When I mentioned the convoluted nature of some public appearances
16 and speeches, I forgot to say in them the term "humane re-settlement" was
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, sir. I think the issue of whether or
19 not the re-settlement was humane can be left to a later moment. At this
20 point I have no further questions to you and I thank you for your
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, since I have not had my
23 40 minutes, I still have a little bit of time, a follow-up question for
24 you. At some point you mentioned Mr. Sibincic. Can you tell us more
25 specifically who this person was?
1 A. In an effort to give you the most accurate and truthful answer
2 about that man, I have to say I knew him only superficially. He spent
3 his working hours outside of Hrtkovci and would only come back after his
4 work was done. (redacted)
7 As to his ideas about national problems or political problems, I
8 had no idea what he thought up until the time when Mr. Sibincic placed
9 himself or was placed in the role of someone who would first be involved
10 in the effort to admit Serbian refugees, which was commendable, but also
11 later in the role of mediator and the person who pointed his finger at
12 people with whom those refugees should negotiate about a possible swap of
13 property. You could put it in other words, pointing his finger at people
14 who should be pressured to leave.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This Sibincic, what political
16 party did he belong to according to you?
17 A. From what I found out, he was a member of the Serb Radical Party
18 and their leader at the time was Mr. Seselj.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have a last question but I
20 would like to move into private session, otherwise we run the risk of
21 identifying you.
22 Registrar, can we move into private session -- into closed
23 session, please.
24 [Private session]
11 Pages 15422-15423 redacted. Private session.
7 [Open session]
8 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours.
9 MS. BIERSAY: Your Honours, before beginning, I'd like to discuss
10 the article that you just discussed, specifically that article is, as the
11 Court said, 14 May 1992
12 evidence as Exhibit P556, which is also in your binder as 65 ter 1309.
13 And I should draw the Court's attention to the fact that this was an
14 exhibit that was attached to the second statement that was given by this
15 witness. It previously had a 65 ter number of 261, and that would appear
16 on the last page of his 2006 statement to the Court -- to the Office of
17 the Prosecutor.
18 Cross-examination by Ms. Biersay:
19 Q. Good morning, Mr. Witness.
20 A. Good morning.
21 Q. My name is Lisa Biersay, and I appear on behalf of the Office of
22 the Prosecutor. You and I, we have never met before, so I wanted to take
23 the opportunity to introduce myself to you. What I would like to do is
24 to first discuss something that was recently discussed with respect to
25 Mr. Sibincic, and then I'd like to talk more about your personal
1 background and history and then move closer to the events surrounding
2 1992, when you left Hrtkovci.
3 You were asked about Mr. Sibincic's association with the SRS.
4 How is it that you came to have that information about his affiliation
5 with the SRS
6 A. Is that the question?
7 Q. Yes, it is. How did you get that information?
8 A. Well, it was the talk of the village. The village has 2.500,
9 3.000 inhabitants, a relatively small community. News spreads fast and
10 not only news but all sorts of stories and rumours and information about
11 anything that happens anywhere or to any inhabitant, especially if the
12 event in question is so serious. So I did not ask Mr. Sibincic whether
13 he was a member of the Serb Radical Party, but there were people who
14 claimed that he was, even when I asked them directly. But I can't
15 remember now who it was that I asked about it. I think -- I thought that
16 the person who answered in the affirmative when I asked that question was
17 well informed.
18 Q. Do you know the name Rade Cakmak?
19 A. Yes, I know of that name.
20 Q. And how is it that you know that name?
21 A. He was one of the people who had arrived from the territory of
23 I really don't know anything for sure. I can only suppose. He started
24 to be talked about in Hrtkovci as a man who was going to participate or
25 was already involved in the expulsion of non-Serbs from Hrtkovci which
1 had already begun. I never met the man and I have never even seen him.
2 Q. Based on what you know, what relationship, if any, was there
3 between Rade Cakmak and Mr. Sibincic?
4 A. Well, again it's based on what I heard from other people. There
5 existed some sort of co-operation between them. Some people said it was
6 very close co-operation in affairs that I have just mentioned. In other
7 words, a programme of expulsion of non-Serbs from Hrtkovci or getting
8 them to move out.
9 Q. Did --
10 A. I repeat, these are things that I only heard about.
11 Q. I understand, and it's very good that you -- you're precise about
12 the source of your information and the Trial Chamber appreciates that.
13 Could you tell us, if you know, whether or not Mr. Sibincic held
14 an official political position in Hrtkovci in this time-period, April,
15 May, June of 1992?
16 A. Until May 1992 I don't think he held any official position in the
17 local authorities. In that period, that is to say, from mid-May until
18 the final swap of property that I arranged with a Serb from Croatia
19 was away a lot of the time travelling. And what exactly was going on in
20 the local authorities on the local scene in Hrtkovci, I don't know,
21 whether Sibincic had in the meantime acquired a role in the authorities,
22 I really don't know.
23 Q. But by the time you first started making your trips to Croatia
24 find a house for exchange purposes, by that time he was not a local
25 authority or official in any capacity in Hrtkovci; is that correct?
1 A. No.
2 Q. It's not correct or is what I said not true?
3 A. He was not, that's what I meant to say.
4 Q. Thank you. Do you know the name Nenad Canak?
5 A. Yes, the name was familiar, of course.
6 Q. And who is that?
7 A. His views were quite contrary to the prevailing views at the time
8 in what is normally called political opposition. From all I know, he was
9 against what was going on in the former Yugoslavia at the time and in
11 Q. When you say "what was going on," what do you mean by that?
12 A. I meant the break-up of Yugoslavia
14 Q. I'd now like to take you back in time away from those events, and
15 we'll work back -- we'll work our way up to them again. You already
16 described to the Trial Chamber that you were born -- when you were born.
17 You were born in Hrtkovci; is that correct?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. You were raised in Hrtkovci?
20 A. Yes, I finished primary school in Hrtkovci, that's the eight-year
21 primary school; and I went to high school not far away, in a place called
22 Ruma. And I did my university studies in Zagreb.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Be careful, you run the risk of
24 identifying the witness.
25 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. For how long had your family, your family roots, how long had
2 they been in Hrtkovci before you moved in 1992?
3 A. The accepted length of time was three centuries among us. My
4 ancestors settled there during the settlements under the Carnojevici
5 dynasty, when Albanians joined forces with the Austro-Hungarian empire
6 against Turkey
7 withdrawing, those who had fought on the Austro-Hungarian side and feared
8 Turkish Ottoman revenge, and they settled there sometime in the first
9 half of the 17th century. I may be mistaken about the year, but I never
10 thought of it as important enough to go and check. In any case, my
11 ancestors lived there for a long time back.
12 MS. BIERSAY: Your Honours, may I --
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Especially if you look at it from
14 the viewpoint of one lifetime.
15 MS. BIERSAY: At this time may we go into private session,
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, private session, please.
18 [Private session]
11 Pages 15429-15430 redacted. Private session.
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
17 MS. BIERSAY:
18 Q. The first wave of Serb refugees that you described who came to
19 Hrtkovci, were they -- did they appear to be armed people?
20 A. I did not hear or see anything about that.
21 Q. Now, when the second wave came in April -- late April/early May
22 of 1992, were those -- were some of those refugees armed, based on what
23 you could see or on what you heard?
24 A. I did see some of those armed people myself. I heard about most
25 of them, but I saw some of them. Those armed people started arriving
1 either individually or in small groups even before that date that was
3 Q. And -- excuse me. When you say "before," how much earlier?
4 A. Well, perhaps some 10 or 15 days earlier. It's a long time -- it
5 was a long time ago and I can't really recall all that specifically.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I'd like to ask you an
7 important follow-on question. Mrs. Biersay is asking you questions about
8 the arrival of the refugees, and indeed, as she says, there was a first
9 wave and then a second wave. As I'm listening to Mrs. Biersay I was also
10 reading a document and I'd like you to give us your opinion on this
11 document. You're not aware of this document, but it's important for
12 Mrs. Biersay to know because she knows it. This is a report from the
13 Ministry of Interior, Department of State Security, dated 4th of June,
14 1992, and I've got the number for the benefit of Mrs. Biersay, 1399.
15 Now, the Ministry of Interior of the republic of --
16 MS. BIERSAY: I'm sorry, Your Honour, forgive me for
17 interrupting. That's Exhibit Number P551 and it's also in your binder if
18 you'd like to access it.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you. So this is
20 Exhibit P551. All right.
21 So, Witness, the Ministry of Interior is writing a report about
22 the arrival of the refugees and explains at great length that they had
23 arrived from Croatia
24 forces, and so on and so forth, and this was highlighted by Mrs. Biersay
25 in her questions.
1 Now, what I'm interested in is the following. A number of cases
2 were mentioned and there's probably one case that you're not aware of in
3 which refugees arriving from Croatia
4 the authorities, and on the 1st of June, 1992, with the aid of the
5 Serbian Radical Party they went on to create problems in a road which was
6 under the responsibility of the Indjija municipality. Indjija, I don't
7 know where this municipality is located.
8 Now, this report states that measures must be taken. So
9 Mr. Witness, you - and because you have seen the arrival of these
10 refugees, you have seen what was the reaction of the authorities, and
11 unless I'm mistaken, it is stated that there were only two policemen in
12 your locality. However, in some reports those behaviours are criticised
13 and the paramilitary forces, including the Serbian Radical Party's, are
14 also criticised. Now, in your opinion, in June 1992 at the time, on the
15 1st of June, 1992, according to you, was the Serbian Radical Party in
16 total agreement with the authorities of the time, including the
17 president, unless I'm mistaken it was Slobodan Milosevic; or, as you see
18 it, could it be that there were some disagreements? Can you answer this
19 question or not?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's really difficult for me to
21 answer that question in any way that might be considered reliable. I
22 really don't know whether Mr. Seselj and Mr. Milosevic, as the president
23 of Serbia
24 together on some issues. The question that Madam Prosecutor asked me
25 about the first wave of refugees where I tried to respond by saying for
1 the most part these were peace-loving, unfortunate people who needed
2 assistance. But based on what the Serbian Ministry of the Interior was
3 writing about, violent, armed people, I don't know nothing about that.
4 But later on this did indeed happen.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Okay. Well, while I
6 have this document in front of me I'd like to ask you a question related
7 to a previous question I asked you about Sibincic. Now the department of
8 state security, which seems to be very well informed, states, white on
9 black, that on the 15th of May, 1992 --
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm not receiving any
11 interpretation at all. Since you have started talking, I have not heard
12 a single word.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Okay. So we need to be
14 assisted by technology here. Let me ask the question again.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, nothing.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Okay. Let me put the question
17 again. Can you hear? Is it working now? Well, maybe it has to do with
18 a problem of microphone.
19 Right. So, Mr. Witness, as I said, I want to use this document
20 while I have it -- is it still not working?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, perhaps the interpreter is
22 silent. Maybe the interpreter could say a few words and then I could
23 tell you.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Right. Can the interpreter say
25 something so -- make sure as that Mr. Seselj receives the interpretation?
1 Registrar, if there is a problem, maybe we can take a break now.
2 Anyway, we were due to take a break at 12.30, so let's take a break a
3 little earlier than planned and so technicians have the time to fix it.
4 I have an important question to ask and I hope I don't forget about it
5 during the break.
6 --- Recess taken at 12.18 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 12.45 p.m.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
9 Witness, I'm going to put you a question based on this document
10 which you do not know but this is not a problem. The state security
11 department --
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just a moment. Since I don't have
13 the commands for the headphones, I would like the volume for the
14 interpretation to be turned up a little bit. I can no longer do that
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I hope I will be able to put my
17 question. Let me start again for the sixth time.
18 Witness, the state security department says in this document that
19 Mr. Sibincic was at the time, on the 15th of May, 1992, one of the
20 leaders of the SPO
21 Serbian Radical Party.
22 As far as you're concerned, are the SPO and the Serbian Radical
23 Party the same thing?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Is that a question?
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That's my question, yes.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it's not the same.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you're saying, no, no, it's
3 not the same thing.
4 How is it, then, that Mr. Sibincic according to these people
5 well-versed in state security matters say that he is a member of the SPO
6 a leader of the SPO
7 member of the Serbian Radical Party? I'm trying to understand.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The only explanation that I could
9 provide is that I made a mistake. I couldn't say anything else really.
10 So the information that I heard was obviously wrong and not in line with
11 what you've just told me.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall see. I shall draw no
13 conclusions thereof for the time being. I noticed that this document
14 which stems from operatives who are specialists, they established this
15 distinction between those -- between the SPO and the Serbian Radical
16 Party. In the next paragraph, the Serbian Radical Party is mentioned,
17 whereas in the previous paragraph the SPO is mentioned. That's it.
18 Mrs. Biersay, you may proceed.
19 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you.
20 Q. With respect to this exhibit, which is Exhibit P551, just for the
21 record it reads:
22 "Republic of Serbia
23 department, Sremska Mitrovica, state security department centre."
24 Could you describe to the Trial Chamber how far or how close
25 Sremska Mitrovica is to Hrtkovci?
1 A. Is that a question?
2 Q. Yes, that's a question for you, Mr. Witness.
3 A. 15 to 16 kilometres.
4 Q. I'd now like to turn your attention to the Assembly session that
5 you discussed during the questions from the Trial Chamber, and in this
6 regard, in connection to your 2006 statement you were shown three -- more
7 than three, but specifically I want to address three of the items that
8 you discussed in your statement.
9 MS. BIERSAY: First if we could please have 65 ter 1062.
10 Q. And while that is being obtained, it is dated April 1st, 1992.
11 The description is Vojislav Seselj's speech before Assembly of Serbia,
12 published in Vojislav Seselj's book. The English is "Speeches of the
13 Deputy, Belgrade
14 MS. BIERSAY: If we could have the second page in B/C/S so that
15 the witness can see the actual beginning of the speech. And if we could
16 now go to the third page in the B/C/S for the witness's benefit.
17 Q. Mr. Witness, do you generally recognise this speech as the one
18 that you discussed -- one of the ones that you discussed in your
19 statement to the Office of the Prosecutor?
20 A. Well some -- I do recall some of the details from this speech,
21 whether through the media, the press, or TV, I really don't know. But I
22 do recall some of those things.
23 Q. And if I could direct your attention specifically, I believe it
24 is the B/C/S page 5. It would be the second paragraph under the heading
25 "Vojislav Seselj." And I'll read the English which is on page 4, if we
1 could go to page 4 of the English. And the first -- that line reads:
2 "Mr. Skenderovic should know that, in international law there is
3 a principle of retortion, which in the Serbian language means
5 Do you see that, Mr. Witness?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And then moving to the -- in the same section under
8 "Vojislav Seselj," and we could move to the last sentence in the B/C/S --
9 I believe it would still be page 5. In English it's also page 5. And
11 "Croats in Slankamen, Zemun and other places will not be able to
12 sleep a wink until they have moved out ..."
13 Do you see that sentence?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. Madam Biersay, when she
15 asks questions, cannot falsify the text itself and she's doing that by
16 leaving out the beginning of this sentence here, which reads:
17 "After the next or any other elections once the government" --
18 MS. BIERSAY: Objection, Your Honour. This is a point --
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- "changes Serbia
20 MS. BIERSAY: -- if he would like to read that --
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have not completed my objection
22 and I don't think it's admissible --
23 MS. BIERSAY: [Overlapping speakers] -- he can. I am reading the
24 English translation and he can wait for his turn in order to speak to the
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Madam Biersay cannot falsify the
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you're raising an
4 objection. According to the Rules of this Tribunal, nothing relates to
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But I have yet to present it,
7 Mr. President. I began making my objection and Mrs. Biersay then simply
8 butted in, as she usually does. She was supposed to read the beginning
9 of the sentence --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, this might be a
11 translation issue. You interrupted me when I hadn't even finished my
12 sentence. I was saying that you raised an objection. I was saying that
13 objections are not taken into account by our rules. This is an
14 Anglo-Saxon practice where there is a sole Judge and a jury, and
15 objections are made to avoid making an impression on a jury that is not a
16 specialist in any field, and this is how the Judge can rule on the
17 matter. In civil law countries the objection is, in fact, in the form of
18 a remark made by a lawyer or an accused if the accused is
19 self-representing himself when the person in question does not agree with
20 what has just been said. And now you've said that Mrs. Biersay did not
21 quote the text in its full context.
22 Mrs. Biersay as a professional read the passage, but quite
23 rightly she says that in the Anglo-Saxon system this is something which
24 you could have raised during your cross-examination. Since we are all
25 trying to be efficient to establish the truth we can make an effort and
1 not stick to the examination-in-chief and cross-examination strictly.
2 Since this is a different procedure, the witness is a witness of the
3 Court, and therefore answers the Judges of this Court essentially. And
4 you have been entitled, like the Prosecution has, to put questions. Your
5 questions therefore cannot challenge the questions of the Judges.
6 Mrs. Biersay, the problem runs as follows. You have quoted part
7 of the intervention. Seemingly, this part should be read in its
8 entirety. Could you make this effort from an intellectual standpoint to
9 quote what the person has said in its entirety in this discussion with
10 Mr. Seselj where he opposes what Mr. Seselj has said.
11 MS. BIERSAY: My question to the witness, because we are dealing
12 in two different languages, is: Has he found in the B/C/S the part of
13 the sentence that I've read. Once I have that affirmation, I will move
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, did you find this part
16 of the text?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I have.
18 MS. BIERSAY:
19 Q. Now, where is Slankamen and -- and Zemun --
20 MS. BIERSAY: I'm getting a French translation on the English
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Slankamen is a village in Vojvodina
23 and Zemun is a town in Vojvodina, facing Belgrade.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mrs. Biersay, Slankamen is a
25 village in Vojvodina and Zemun is a town in Vojvodina, not far removed
1 from Belgrade
2 MS. BIERSAY:
3 Q. So if I could now read the sentence to you in full.
4 "Croats in Slankamen, Zemun, and other places will not be able to
5 sleep a wink until they have moved out, because we have to accommodate
6 Serbian refugees from Zagreb
7 "Varazdin and other Croatian towns, and put roofs over their heads and
8 compensate them for the damages they have suffered in being expelled from
9 their homes."
10 When you described, Mr. Witness, to the Trial Chamber that you
11 had information --
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, do I now have the
13 right to make an objection?
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is it you would like to
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I wish to say that Mrs. Biersay is
17 again falsifying facts. She must not do that. It says clearly here
18 after these or some future elections, when we come into power, and that's
19 the point of this whole passage, when we come into power, we'll do this
20 and that. That's also the point of what I said in Hrtkovci. When we
21 come into power, we will give each Serbian refugee the address of a Croat
22 and we'll let -- we'll have them swap properties. I am explaining my
23 programme, my platform, and what we will do when we come into power. And
24 this is an obvious example that Mrs. Biersay is falsifying what I said.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mrs. Biersay, I don't have the
1 exact text before me, but it seems that what you are describing is a
2 situation which would be correct if Mr. Seselj were to come to power.
3 This is not a reality. This is what he says.
4 MS. BIERSAY: I understand very well that's what he says. He's
5 testifying instead of raising a legitimate procedural point, and I -- as
6 the Court can see, I'm reading from the English translation. If he has
7 an issue, then he can raise that with the Court or with the witness
8 during his time. The Court can clearly see the sentence that I'm reading
9 from page 5 of the English version at the top of the page.
10 So may I continue?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] One more thing. I think
12 deliberately the English page does not fit the Serbian page because what
13 I am pointed out as being falsified by Mrs. Biersay is on the next page
14 of the English. And these are cheap tricks by the Prosecutor, cheap
15 tricks that have no place in a serious judicial system.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mrs. Biersay, I don't know what
17 the situation is. I assume you are of good faith. What matters is to
18 know what actually happened. Perhaps the witness can answer this. Put
19 your question. I and my colleagues remember what Mr. Seselj has just
20 said, and when he puts his questions I believe he will address us again.
21 MS. BIERSAY: I have a proposal, if Mr. Seselj seems to think
22 that somehow I've -- and the Office of the Prosecutor has doctored this
23 exhibit, I'd propose that the witness read that last sentence in his
24 language, if he's able to.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, that is precisely the point.
1 Why just the last sentence? Why not the one before too? Let the witness
2 read from the sentence that begins with: "After these or some future
3 elections ..." This is the second sentence in this paragraph, and then
4 the sense would not be falsified.
5 MS. BIERSAY: He can have the witness do that during his time.
6 During my time, during the Prosecution's time, I would propose that the
7 witness read it -- the one sentence in his language.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed and put your
9 question, Mrs. Biersay.
10 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you.
11 Q. When you look at this and in the context of what you previously
12 told the Trial Chamber about hearing what Mr. Seselj said about expelling
13 Croats in return for the expulsion of Serbs from Croatia, is this what
14 you meant, this document? Is this what you had in mind, the information
15 in this document?
16 A. That is the question?
17 Q. Yes, yes, it is. That is a question for you.
18 A. Yes, that is what I meant and that is my answer.
19 MS. BIERSAY: At this time we'd move for the admission of
20 65 ter 1062, which is the excerpt from Mr. Seselj's book. We would also
21 tender the complete minutes of the speech, not just of his speech but of
22 the session, and that is 65 ter 1065, and that's where 1062 comes from.
23 So we would tender both of those exhibits at this time.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber always rules
25 on the admission of documents after the cross-examination. We have noted
1 your request.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I agree completely.
3 This is obviously exculpatory material for me, so there's no controversy.
4 It can be admitted now.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No problem. We shall ask the
6 Registrar, since Mr. Seselj so wishes, to give us an exhibit number.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 01062 shall be
8 assigned Exhibit P892. 65 ter document 01065 shall be assigned
9 Exhibit P893. Thank you.
10 MS. BIERSAY:
11 Q. Mr. Witness, you also discussed with the Trial Chamber seeing and
12 hearing about media coverage of Mr. Seselj, and specifically with respect
13 to the April 1st, 1992
14 that was also showed to you -- shown to you in conjunction with your
15 November 2006 statement. And that is currently MFI P16, which is also
16 65 ter 6011 for easy reference in your -- in the Court's binders. I hope
17 you'll be able to see the clip from where you are.
18 [Video-clip played]
19 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This can't be shown for the
22 MS. BIERSAY: I can move on to another topic and we can -- and I
23 hear that it's now ready. So if we could please try to play this.
24 [Video-clip played]
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We didn't have the translation
1 in French. We've seen the English subtitles, but the problem is that we
2 see Mr. Seselj taking the floor but the commentary comes from a
3 journalist. Is her running commentary exactly the same as what
4 Mr. Seselj was saying? I don't know.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, if I may be of
6 assistance. We heard this dispute once before when there was another
7 witness related to Hrtkovci and this videotape. It's all about
8 interpretation. You have it all in the two documents you admitted, an
9 excerpt from my book and a broader excerpt from the parliament
10 transcript. This is an interpretation --
11 MS. BIERSAY: Your Honours, I object to this discussion --
12 testifying by Mr. Seselj. The -- he's absolutely right --
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm not testifying.
14 MS. BIERSAY: -- he's absolutely right that it was previously
15 presented to the Court. The issue was context. This witness has
16 described for the Court hearing about press coverage, and so this is just
17 about that. And I certainly understand that it will be for the Court and
18 the Court only to decide whether or not what is being said about the
19 speech is accurate or not, but the purpose with respect to this witness
20 is to get him to say whether or not this was an example of the press
21 coverage that he described for the Trial Chamber. That's it.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this is an example
23 of the sort of forgery the Prosecution resorts to. This is the programme
24 from the Croatian television that the witness was not able to see in
25 Hrtkovci. The witness could have seen the direct Serbian broadcast from
1 the parliament session and he could hear all that I said and all the
2 other MPs said in the parliament. And the programme from Croatian TV was
3 not something he could have watched in April 1992. However, the Croat
4 journalist is fairer than Mrs. Biersay. He says correctly that I said
5 "after the next elections when we come into power." The Croatian
6 journalist is fairer than Mrs. Biersay, the Prosecutor.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Look, Mr. Seselj, according to
8 what Mrs. Biersay is saying, what she's trying to highlight is the media
9 coverage of things which you may have said. And she's using this video
10 that also includes the comment of a journalist and she's probably going
11 to ask the witness whether he heard the comment made by the journalist or
12 whether he heard your speech before the Assembly. And of course, yeah,
13 there may be a difference here but we'll only find out through the
14 witness's answer.
15 So keep going, Mrs. Biersay, please.
16 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. Mr. Witness, and this time this is a question for you, could you
18 tell us whether this is the type of media coverage of the Assembly
19 session that you described hearing about from other people?
20 A. If you mean what the journalist said, the journalist of the
21 Belgrade TV, that's correct; but precisely this passage that is concerned
22 here, I heard that in its entirety on Belgrade television.
23 MS. BIERSAY: At this time we'd move for the admission of what is
24 now MFI
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. There is no grounds for
1 admission. Still today the Prosecution can ask from the Serbian
2 government a recording of my entire speech in the parliament in 1992
3 because it is all carefully archived, both the transcript and the video
4 recording. The transcript is already in evidence, you just admitted it.
5 A journalist's interpretation cannot replace the original, and the
6 witness just said he heard the speech in its entirety. This is really
7 inadmissible conduct.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, the Chamber decides that
9 a decision shall be made at a later stage. I just wish to say that the
10 comment from the journalist refers to the elections, what's going to
11 happen after the election. That is written black on white, and this
12 corresponds to what Mr. Seselj was saying.
13 Mrs. Biersay, please.
14 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you.
15 Q. I'd now like to turn your attention to the second wave of armed
16 Serb refugees that you talked about previously. I believe that you
17 described when they started coming to Hrtkovci. Could you remind the
18 Chamber of the date that -- as far as you remember it, of that happening?
19 A. That's your question?
20 Q. Yes, it is.
21 A. I think I've already said this before. They started coming in
22 individually and in smaller groups. Armed men of intimidating demeanour
23 started arriving in Hrtkovci even before this speech by Mr. Seselj, and
24 after the speech they were coming in in larger numbers.
25 MS. BIERSAY: Could we please go into private session for this
1 question that I have for the witness.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, please.
3 [Private session]
11 Pages 15449-15455 redacted. Private session.
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right then. The hearing is
18 now over. We'll resume tomorrow at 9.00.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.
20 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 17th day of
21 February, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.