1 Wednesday, 17 February 2010
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall hear this session in
6 open session. Registrar, can you call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: This is case number IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor
8 versus Vojislav Seselj. Thank you.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar. Today is
10 Wednesday. I would like to first of all greet the witness that I can see
11 on the screen, Mr. Seselj, Ms. Biersay, Mr. Marcussen, their associates
12 and all the people assisting us.
13 I would like to tell Ms. Biersay that she has had 47 minutes so
14 far and you have one hour and 13 minutes left since you have been granted
15 two hours, and we must not waste any time because Mr. Seselj will have
16 two hours and time is valuable. I shall give you the floor straight away
18 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you, Your Honour. I will try to use far less
19 of the time that the Court just indicated just so that we can be sure to
20 be finished today.
21 WITNESS: WITNESS VS-067 [Resumed]
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 [Witness testified via videolink]
24 Cross-examination by Ms. Biersay: [Continued]
25 Q. Good morning, Witness. I would just like to take a step back to
1 yesterday. Now, we -- close to the end of yesterday we were talking
2 about the April 1st Assembly session. The speech that Mr. Seselj gave in
3 the Assembly as well as the media coverage that followed. Now, after
4 that Assembly session, as you told the Court, Mr. Seselj came to
5 Hrtkovci; correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And after you learned about his speech on the 6th of May, you
8 decided very clearly that it was time for you and your family to leave
9 Hrtkovci; correct?
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. And in order to do that, you took certain steps to obtain
12 official records; correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. As you were undertaking those preparations, getting the
15 documents, and I don't want to talk specifically about the documents yet
16 because I will ask that we move into private session to discuss that more
17 in detail, but I wonder if you could describe to the -- the Trial Chamber
18 the general atmosphere as you were trying to get these documents. Was it
19 a calm environment or was it not? Could you describe the atmosphere in
20 which you were trying to get these documents in order to prepare for your
22 A. Well, in simplest terms, we were upset by the very fact that we
23 had to take steps that were actually contrary to what we wanted to do. I
24 doubt or at least I don't know --
25 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] I cannot hear the witness at all. I
1 heard Madam Biersay very well, but I can't hear the witness at all.
2 Could the witness please say a few words to see if we -- yes, I
3 can hear him.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So I would say in brief that people
5 were upset. There was fear. There was uncertainty. So that would be
6 it, in briefest terms.
7 MS. BIERSAY:
8 Q. Now --
9 A. And, of course, the uncertainty as to the final outcome. The
10 thing that made it easier for us was that we were able to get our
11 documents very quickly, the documents that we needed to cross the border.
12 Many of those who had decided to leave did not have passports or other
13 documents that they had to procure from the authorities. All that was
14 done very quickly. It was like on an assembly line, I would say.
15 Q. I'd like to follow up on two things that you said. The first is
16 that you said that you and your family were feeling upset about having to
17 do this because it was contrary to what you wanted to do. Now, what do
18 you mean by contrary to what you wanted to do?
19 A. What I meant was that I didn't actually want to leave my
20 homeland, to put it quite simply.
21 Q. And the second thing --
22 A. I wanted to stay there, to stay where I had spent most of my
23 life. That's what I really wanted, but given the circumstances, it
24 appeared that any such wishes were pure delusion. I was quite convinced
25 that given the circumstances, I could not stay there - now I'm talking
1 about myself and my family - without incurring a risk of something
2 untoward happening to us.
3 Q. You also described that many others were also trying to obtain
4 documents. Who -- generally speaking - you don't have to give names -
5 but what type of people were trying to leave Hrtkovci around the time
6 that you were trying to get together these -- these documents to leave
7 Hrtkovci? Were the many others that you talked about --
8 A. I -- I take it that you want me to tell you what ethnic group
9 they belonged to, those people who tried to obtain the documents and
12 MS. BIERSAY: Your Honours, we'd request a redaction for the last
13 sentence, because we believe it may tend to identify the witness.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please prepare a redaction
16 MS. BIERSAY:
17 Q. Are you -- are you able -- you said many others. Are you able to
18 estimate -- perhaps you can, perhaps you can't, but are you able to
19 estimate the number of people who -- non-Serbs who were leaving around
20 the time that you were preparing to leave?
21 A. As far as I know, I set off and some of the people I knew had the
22 documents they needed. At the time, the most important document was the
23 passport. And some people, maybe 10 or 15 people that I saw in the
24 Ministry of the Interior premises, the police administration in the
25 municipality of Ruma, did the same thing as I did. They didn't have the
2 When I set off, I was there with about ten people. There were
3 about ten people with me. In that same time period, several dozen people
4 set off.
5 Q. Before the May 6th speech by the accused, were there non-Serbs
6 who had already left Hrtkovci?
7 A. Yes. Some had left already, and I know that a couple -- a few of
8 them had left before I did.
9 Q. And --
10 A. And maybe two or three families - I can't give you the exact
11 number - had left even before that speech held by Mr. Seselj.
12 Q. So just -- just to be clear, approximately -- as far as you know,
13 approximately how many people left before the May 6th speech?
14 A. As far as I know, two or three families. I'm not quite sure
15 about the number left before the speech, but not many at any rate. I
16 know specifically one family that had left, and I heard later that maybe
17 one or two families had left. I don't recall that clearly because a long
18 time has passed, but I know for sure that not many people had left. I
19 didn't have any other information.
20 Q. So compared to before the -- if we're comparing before the
21 speech, May 6th, and after the speech, when did most of the people --
22 when did most non-Serbs, as far as you know, start leaving Hrtkovci?
23 A. Many more left after the May speech.
24 MS. BIERSAY: At this time, Your Honours, if we could please go
25 into private session briefly.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, private session,
3 [Private session]
11 Pages 15463-15464 redacted. Private session.
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours.
17 MS. BIERSAY:
18 Q. I'd now like to move to the trips that you began to take between
19 Hrtkovci and Croatia
20 When did you begin going to Croatia
21 A. On the 13th of May, I set out in two vehicles. There were five
22 of us in those two cars. On the 13th of May, in the morning, and then in
23 the afternoon of that same day, we reached Zagreb.
24 Q. I don't want you to say specifically who was in the -- the cars
25 with you, but were your family members with you or other people who were
1 trying to leave Hrtkovci?
2 A. There was only one distant relative in that group of people. The
3 others were acquaintances.
4 Q. Were they also non-Serbs who were looking for houses for exchange
5 purposes in Croatia
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. When you first went on this trip, did you try to have any
8 meetings in order to -- in an effort to help the non-Serbs back in
9 Hrtkovci as far as making their situation known?
10 A. Well, I could just say that I did talk with some people or quite
11 a number of people about my own intentions. I wasn't trying to talk
12 anybody into trying or doing the same thing that I was going to do, but I
13 said that I had decided and that it was my sense that we were living in
14 such circumstances where we were not safe and that I believed that it
15 would be good to leave Hrtkovci and to try to move to Croatia.
16 Q. What --
17 A. In view of the fact and -- and the nature of my work, I had
18 contacts with a lot of people, so I cannot really remember exactly with
19 how many people I discussed this, but it was definitely a number of
20 people. I primarily talked about my own intentions and decisions.
21 Q. Did you at any time try to inform the media about what was
22 happening in Hrtkovci?
23 A. I did, but only after I reached Croatia. We tried and we
24 succeeded, I think. We managed to make an appointment to be received at
25 the office of the then president of Croatia, Mr. Tudjman, and we were
1 received at his residence by one of his advisors. We spoke with him
2 about how good it would be to inform the media, primarily the foreign
3 media, and that it would be a good thing and perhaps a blessing for them
4 to appear there and to prevent any possible outbreak of violence.
5 At that time, those few first days in Zagreb, and since the
6 telephone lines were not working properly with Serbia, we found out
7 through Macedonia
8 that there was violence raging in the village, that many houses were
9 burned, and then this prompted us to take the steps that I talked about.
10 However, this information proved to be incorrect. There were no houses
11 set on fire. There was more or less some violence, but that could be
12 described as just incursions into homes in the form of a warning, and
13 there was some bombs thrown into yards. I heard that some people had
14 been beaten.
15 I didn't see any of this, but it is something that was discussed
16 at that time. The information that we did get through Macedonia
17 to be incorrect. The ones about the burning and the beatings, that was
18 actually not correct.
19 Q. Is it fair to say that from May 13th until you finally moved that
20 you were going back and forth between Hrtkovci and Croatia to find a
21 place to live in Croatia
22 A. Yes, that is correct.
23 Q. What reports, if any, would you get from your wife when you would
24 go back to Hrtkovci? Did she report anyone coming to the house and
25 asking to move in?
1 A. Yes, that is precisely the information I received. There were
2 few visits of people that she didn't know who were persuading her, or you
3 could say even suggesting to her to exchange their homes, which happened
4 to be in different places in Croatia
5 were quite polite, I would say, and made their suggestions in a civilised
6 and peaceful manner, but she told me that there were also several who
7 behaved in a threatening way. This is what she told me when I came back
8 after my first visit to Croatia
9 Q. Did there come a time that someone offered to protect your house
10 24 hours a day?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And could you --
13 A. Mr. Aleksa Reljic [as interpreted] from the Serbian Renewal
14 Movement visited me at my house and offered to talk, and he offered
15 24-hour protection for me, my family, and my house. He said that this
16 would be provided by two armed men.
17 There were some others. There was another man, not from Hrtkovci
18 but from Ruma, who suggested that I move to his house with my family and
19 that would be how he could protect me from any possible attacks.
20 Q. Did you feel safe enough with those offers of help to change your
21 mind and stay in Hrtkovci?
22 A. Excuse me. No, I didn't feel safe. Well, I did think that that
23 kind of protection would prove to be a good thing if necessary, but the
24 offers that were made to me, I did not really consider sufficient reason
25 for me to change my decision to leave. Even the armed protection or the
1 relocation that were offered to me, I did not consider that to be
2 something lasting, nor could it be a permanent sort of solution for me.
3 Q. On what approximate date did you finally arrange an exchange, a
4 house exchange?
5 A. The house exchange was organised in the period from my first
6 visit to Croatia
7 exact date, it was a long time ago, but all that was necessary from the
8 legal point of view was done in order to be able to make this exchange.
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mrs. Biersay, on page 12, line 14, I think the
10 witness said Aleksa Ejic and not Reljic, and so just for the purpose of
11 the record you might wish to clarify this.
12 MS. BIERSAY:
13 Q. Mr. Witness, the last name of the person who offered you
14 protection, is the last name Ejic, E-j-i-c?
15 A. That is correct.
16 Q. Now, I'm not going to -- because of the time issue we have I'm
17 not going to go into the detail of the exchange. I expect that you'll be
18 asked about that later. What I do want to ask you, however, is you had
19 gotten your papers in order for your family; correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And eventually you were able to arrange for an exchange of
22 houses, one in Croatia
23 Hrtkovci; correct?
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. And your family members also prepared and in fact did leave
1 Hrtkovci with you; is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. That would include your -- your two parents?
4 A. My parents, my wife, my daughter, and me.
5 Q. How old were your parents when you had to leave Hrtkovci?
6 A. I have to work this out. I'm sorry for the pause.
7 Q. I understand.
8 A. I think that my father was about 75 or 76, or 73 or 74. I don't
9 want to use too much time on this. And my mother was a couple of years
10 younger. So that was more or less their age.
11 MS. BIERSAY: May I have one moment, Your Honours.
12 [Prosecution counsel confer]
13 MS. BIERSAY: At this time, Your Honours, I'm prepared to end my
14 examination here with a respectful request that perhaps ten minutes can
15 be accorded me if we have enough time and if the Court deems appropriate
16 after Mr. Seselj's examination.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you have the floor.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. First of all, I have
19 something to say. I am not in agreement with this demand by Ms. Biersay.
20 It's an impossible demand, because this is a Court witness, and my word
21 has to be final in relation to the Prosecutor. Ms. Biersay cannot have
22 the last word. So this is why I'm first asking you to deny this request.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, Chamber witnesses
24 are in a legal situation in which they are in total control by the
25 Trial Chamber. However, the parties, the Prosecutor and yourself, have
1 the possibility to ask them questions under the control of the Judges,
2 obviously. It could be, but that's only an assumption, that one of your
3 questions may lead the Prosecutor to ask another question as this has to
4 do with the collection of evidence or the -- looking for the truth. So
5 it's just an assumption. She said maybe, but we don't know. It will all
6 depend what you are going to say. But even on this assumption, if she
7 ever takes the floor again, the Trial Chamber, from the point of view of
8 fairness, may decide to give her the floor again, and that's why I think
9 that without further ado you may proceed now.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. I just wanted to check
11 if my procedural rights are still being violated. They are being
12 violated, but I will continue.
13 Cross-examination by Mr. Seselj:
14 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. VS-067, I'm interested primarily why you
15 asked for protection measures. Why are you testifying anonymously in
16 these proceedings? Who is threatening you? Who are you afraid of?
17 A. I requested protective measures for a simple reason --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Hold on, Mr. Seselj. The
19 Trial Chamber decided that the protective measures which were granted are
20 of a permanent nature and are not to be questioned. So your question
21 should not be put, but if you want to waste your time, that is your
22 problem. In that case, your questions must be put in closed session, but
23 I'm going to confer with my colleagues on that.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, first of all, the
1 Chamber, after deliberating on this, authorises Mr. Seselj to put
2 questions about the protective measures, but that shall be done in closed
3 session. And the Chamber wants to stress right away that this measure is
4 final regardless of the questions and the answers.
5 So, Registrar, let's move into closed session, and Mr. Seselj can
6 put his questions.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, no. No, no, no. Gentlemen,
8 Judges, I did not ask for a lifting of the protective measures. I'm
9 interested in why the witness requested protective measures, because I
10 believe that he's not threatened in any way. If you're asking for these
11 questions to be put in closed session, then I have absolutely no interest
12 in putting these questions to him. I'm not going to put a single
13 question to him that would require going into closed session. I'm not
14 interested in truth in a private session, because this is something that
15 is not accessible to the public, and something that is not accessible to
16 the public cannot constitute truth.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. We will remain in
18 open session, and you will ask other questions other than the ones
19 regarding protective measures.
20 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] May I give my personal opinion?
21 I think the Defence is entitled to ask these questions in open session to
22 test the credit worthiness of the witness, and the problem of remaining
23 measures is not in question.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Hold on. Let me confer with my
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, the majority of Judges in
3 Trial Chamber, Judge Antonetti and Judge Harhoff, feel that if questions
4 can be put on protective measures, they can be put in closed session, not
5 in open session. There you have it.
6 So, Mr. Seselj, you said that you are going to move on to
7 something else. Go ahead.
8 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
9 Q. You talked about two waves of refugees that appeared in Hrtkovci.
10 In my opinion, and now I'm asking for your opinion on the same, you could
11 not really clearly differentiate between these two waves. In the
12 beginning people came from all different parts of Croatia because it was
13 impossible for them to remain. Am I correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And the second --
16 A. Yes, you are right to the extent that people did arrive from all
17 parts of Croatia
18 Q. And people were arriving from those areas where there was no
19 fighting. They were not arriving from the area of the republic of the
20 Serbian -- Serbian Krajina which were under Serbian control. They were
21 coming from Zagreb
22 immediate combat activities. Am I correct?
23 A. I did meet several such people, and they did not come from areas
24 affected by combat.
25 Q. All right. Then there was a major exodus of Serbs from
1 Western Slavonia
2 Western Slavonia fell under Croatian control almost entirely except for
3 Pakrac and a -- other than Okucani and an area around Pakrac; is that
5 A. Yes, I think so.
6 Q. And then there was a large group of Serbian refugees literally
7 from the front. Many men were in uniform. Some were carrying weapons.
8 Is that whom you were thinking of when you said that refugees were coming
9 with weapons?
10 A. To tell the truth, I don't know if they were arriving from
11 specifically the areas that you are referring to, the ones with arms.
12 It's possible that they were.
13 When I was talking about the first wave of refugees, I was not
14 aware that any of them were -- was in possession of weapons or that any
15 of them behaved violently.
16 Q. All right. Now, I do allow for the possibility in this second
17 wave in this major exodus from Western Slavonia that some people did have
18 weapons. However, I'm interested in this: When some of them arrived at
19 Hrtkovci and then they were accommodated, some in empty houses because
20 their owners were abroad working; is that correct?
21 A. There were a lot of people from Hrtkovci who were working abroad.
22 Q. Entire families in Germany
23 correct? These are the four countries where they most frequently went.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Their homes were often empty, so when we're talking about forced
1 entry, what we're talking about, first of all, were these empty homes.
2 They are other people's homes, and this does involve interfering in other
3 people's property, but they were already empty.
4 A. Yes. Well, it's possible that those houses were empty, some of
5 them, but in most of them other family members such as parents of those
6 people lived in those houses. As far as I know, there were few of those
7 houses that were entirely empty.
8 Q. Yes, but we have cases in which the police --
9 MS. BIERSAY: I'm sorry.
10 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
11 Q. -- would interfere months later.
12 MS. BIERSAY: I would just ask that there be a pause. Mr. Seselj
13 is speaking before the translation is finished, and it's difficult to
15 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
16 Q. But on several occasions the police, and I have police records
17 and reports, and I published quite a few of them in a book of mine. I
18 must not mention the title of the book because the transcript would be
19 redacted immediately. I don't know if you've heard about the book. But
20 all the police interventions for the most part had to do with evicting
21 the refugees from empty houses. I'm not aware of a single case in which
22 refugees had moved into a house where somebody was already living, the --
23 forcibly entered, and then the police threw those people out.
24 A. I know about cases that you are unaware of.
25 Q. Well, I didn't see any such cases mentioned in the two statements
1 that you gave to the Prosecution.
2 Now, tell me this: When the Serb refugees arrived, the second
3 wave, the refugees that carried weapons, some of them, and they found
4 accommodation, some in an empty house. They would move in with their
5 family. Some asked to be allowed to move into a house where there were
6 already people living, to join the household. Some of them were in
7 collective accommodation. So they were all -- accommodation was found
8 for all of them in Hrtkovci; is that right?
9 A. Yes, for some of them.
10 Q. And they started living in Hrtkovci in a way; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, as for the weapons that they had brought with them, did they
13 continue carrying them? For instance, they go to a cafe with a rifle
14 slung across their backs? Were there such cases?
15 A. Well, I don't know whether it was those people who carried
16 weapons or not. That's something I don't know.
17 Q. But did you see people carrying weapons just like that, as they
18 walked through the village, rifles?
19 A. Well, not rifles. I saw pistols that they carried in their
21 Q. Well, yes, you carry a pistol on your belt and one would assume
22 that they had appropriate permits for them. A lot of people in Hrtkovci
23 had permits to carry pistols?
24 A. Well, I don't know if they had permits or not.
25 Q. Yes, but if you carry a gun on your belt, you keep it under your
1 coat. I often wear a gun when I'm free, when I'm not in gaol, but I
2 always carrying it concealed under my suit jacket.
3 Did they parade those weapons openly, or were you able to notice
4 from time to time that some people were carrying pistols on their
6 A. Well, whether they paraded openly with weapons or not, I'm not
7 sure that you could actually use that term, but I'm absolutely sure about
8 what I saw. I saw some people, a few people, I don't know the exact
9 number, with their weapons tucked inside their belt.
10 Q. Well, you could see me in Belgrade
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the speakers please
12 speak one at a time.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I say in the belt, I meant the
14 kind of belt that is worn by the police and the military, in the holster.
15 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Well, when somebody carries a pistol in a holster, that is not a
17 threatening way to carry a pistol. The pistol is in the holster, and
18 whoever is authorised to do that can check whether appropriate permits
20 What is important for me is that nobody carried rifles in cafes,
21 on the green market, as they walked around the village. I mean, rifles,
22 automatic rifles, weapons like that.
23 A. I didn't see anyone with a rifle.
24 Q. Thank you very much. I am very happy with your answers. You are
25 a very good witness.
1 You could see somebody with a hunting rifle or a shotgun going
2 hunting. So it's not really horrible if you see a person with a rifle in
3 certain circumstances. Am I right?
4 A. Yes, of course, if these people are hunters.
5 Q. Yes, but you're never in a situation to check whether this person
6 is a hunter and whether he carries a rifle because he wants to hunt
7 animals or whether he wants to kill his wife's lover or something like
8 that; is that correct?
9 A. Those who carried rifles the way you describe it, I knew them,
10 and I knew for a fact that they were hunters.
11 Q. Thank you very much for your answer. Now, the situation in the
12 whole of Serbia
13 refugees. In April 1992, the official number for refugees in Serbia
14 160.000 people. Am I right?
15 A. Yes. There was a considerable number. Now, as for the figure
16 that you give me, I'm ready to accept it.
17 Q. The appearance of this large number of refugees is a cataclysmic
18 occurrence by its very nature. Am I right? It's akin to a flood or an
19 earthquake. Is that similar to that situation? All of a sudden you have
20 this influx, this flood of 160.000 refugees, and there were in fact many
21 more of them because some never registered. They simply went to live
22 with their families. Are you aware of those cases?
23 A. I know that a large number of people came into Serbia. I know
24 that from the media reports. Now, I don't know the figure and there's no
25 reason for me not to take your figures at face value, and I'm sure that
1 an influx of such a large number of people caused significant problems.
2 I'm sure that it caused great deal of difficulties for the Serbian
4 Q. You are an intellectual. Let me ask you a question that calls
5 for your expertise. Am I right when I say that when you have a disaster
6 such as an earthquake, a major fire or a flood, do other regulations
7 apply then? Is it possible then? Is it allowed to move into a house
8 that doesn't belong to one in order to find accommodation, and is it not
9 the case that other citizens whose houses are not affected by the
10 disaster to take in those whose houses had been destroyed, because there
11 are such regulations that apply if there's an earthquake or a flood or a
12 major fire.
13 MS. BIERSAY: I stand because in this one --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mrs. Biersay.
15 MS. BIERSAY: -- question, Mr. Seselj has asked three or four
16 questions. And so I wondered if it would be -- if he could break them
17 down into individual questions to assist the witness.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. --
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This is a man who has proven that
20 he is an intellectual, that he's a reasonable man, that he is much more
21 reasonable than the average witness called by the Prosecution, by
22 Madam Biersay, and there is no reason to humiliate him by making me break
23 down the question. I'm sure that he's understood me.
24 Q. So if there's a major earthquake, fire, or flood, is it quite
25 logical? Do these rules not apply in the human community, that people
1 who were affected by it to be accommodated in empty houses and apartments
2 or to be housed -- housed in apartments of those people who were not
4 A. In natural disasters that you're talking about, because of
5 solidarity or humanity, it is quite logical and natural for these people
6 to be housed.
7 Q. And the authorities, the local authorities and the authorities at
8 the state level, have to consider the situation and see where it would be
9 most propitious to house those people, because those people cannot just
10 stay outside in the street with their children in the snow and the cold.
11 A. Yes. It's normal for the authorities to do that, and it's also
12 normal for the citizens to do that.
13 Q. Very well, then. Let us then consider an excerpt from the book
14 that was shown -- authored by me that was shown to you as
15 Exhibit 1062 ter. It is called "The Words of a Member of Parliament."
16 You were able to see this, and you were also able to see the transcript,
17 the original, 1062 ter. It is a broader transcript that shows you that
18 there was a debate in the Assembly about the refugees.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. That was on the 1st or on the 2nd of April, 1992; is that right?
21 Well, the date is not important. Do you see from the first part thereof
22 that I actually engaged in a debate with some of the members of the
23 parliament from the Serbian Renewal Movement and the Serbian socialist
24 party and from the democratic party. You can see that from the shorthand
25 record of the session of the Assembly who spoke before I did and who
1 wanted the refugees to be banned from employment, from getting permanent
2 employment, and from buying property in Serbia. Did you see that?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Very well. Then we don't have to read those parts. The
5 Prosecution has seen this, and so has the Trial Chamber because it has
6 been translated into English.
7 So first of all, I have a debate with them, and I oppose their
8 demands to prohibit the refugees from getting employment, and I also
9 oppose their demand that the refugees should be prohibited from buying
10 property in Serbia
11 A. Yes. According to this text it is correct.
12 Q. And then I engage in a debate with Antun Skenderovic, and in one
13 of the interventions I, in fact, say at page 173 in my book:
14 "If Croats are expelling Serbs en masse in Croatia, what are
15 Croats in Serbia
16 many Croats as were expelled by the Serbs -- by the Croats -- by
17 Franjo Tudjman in Croatia
18 And that would be the exchange. They can go to Zagreb."
19 Have you been able to read this part? It's at the top of the
21 A. Yes, I can see that.
22 Q. So for all intents and purposes, I advocate retortion here as an
23 MP of the opposition. Do you remember how many MPs were there from my
24 party, the Serbian Radical Party, in the Serbian parliament or Assembly?
25 A. Well, I can't really recall the number.
1 Q. Well, it was just me. I was the only one. Do you recall now?
2 Did I refresh your memory?
3 A. Well, not really, but I have no reason to -- not to trust what
4 you're saying.
5 Q. And then Antun Skenderovic stands up. You remember him. He was
6 the president of the Croatian party in Serbia. It's the Democratic
8 Community of Croats in Vojvodina. More or less that was the -- along
9 those lines.
10 A. Yes, it was along those lines and it existed, but I don't recall
11 that gentlemen, so I don't know if it's relevant at all or not.
12 Q. And then I answer. Please look at what I'm saying.
13 Mr. Skenderovic should know that under the international law
14 there is the principle of retortion or in Serbian, retaliation. If a
15 state expels members of a national minority from its territory to another
16 state where the majority of those people who suffered that fate live,
17 under international law retaliation can be applied and counter-eviction
18 of the members of the minority in the state where the other parties in
19 the majority can be effected. After all, such exchanges of population
20 are nothing new, globally speaking. After all, if we had grounds to
21 expel I don't know how many hundreds of thousands of Germans for
22 collaboration and for serving the Nazi Germany, Croats have many more
23 reasons to be expelled because Germans could not dream of the kind of
24 crimes that Croats had perpetrators -- perpetrated.
25 You said that this principle of retortion was not humane at all.
1 A. Yes, something along those lines. That's what I said.
2 Q. Well, I agree with you, but you cannot really say that
3 international law is humane, can you?
4 A. Well, if there is such a provision in international law, the one
5 about retortion, then it would be my opinion that this law is not humane
6 at all.
7 Q. Yes, I agree with you. But for instance, the Western powers
8 accuse Serbs of doing reparation [as interpreted] against Albanians in
9 Kosovo. Maybe you think they have cause for that but that's not
10 important. The Western powers say the Serbs threaten Albanians in
11 Kosovo, let's bomb Serbia
12 way of retaliation. Is that is not retortion? A 3-year-old child was
13 killed in my neighbourhood, Milica Rakic. Is that retaliation? Cruel,
14 inhumane, but it's there.
15 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you are giving an
16 international law lecture to the Judges or to the entire courtroom. This
17 is not a cross-examination what you're doing.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Madam Lattanzi, you have shown that
19 you understand me best and you protected my procedural rights. I'm not
20 lecturing anyone. This witness spoke about the fact that the retaliation
21 is inhumane. I agree with him, but the fact that retaliation is inhumane
22 does not mean that it does not apply under international law.
23 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Have you read anything by Pearl Buck, an American writer? She
25 wrote about 20 novels.
1 A. Are you asking me? No, I haven't read any.
2 Q. Twenty of her novels have been published in Serbian. In one of
3 her novels she describes what the Americans did in World War II. She
4 devoted a whole novel to that. The Americans took all the citizens of
5 Japanese descent and interned them for preventative reasons. We know a
6 lot about Hitler's concentration camps. We know less about American
7 concentration camps. They put all of their citizens of Japanese descent
8 in concentration camps during the Second World War as a preventative
9 measure. Were you aware of that?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Well, in Serbia
12 concentration camps during the war.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I read Pearl Buck
14 when I was young, like everyone did. I'm surprised to see that the
15 Americans threw Japanese into gaols. Weren't these administrative
16 retention camps? Are you sure that the word "concentration camp" was
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, please, what's the
19 difference between a collection centre and a concentration camp where you
20 have guards and you're surrounded by barbed wire in both cases?
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The difference is huge, but we
22 will not spend time on this. Please proceed.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, the Ustashas had this
24 infamous camp, Jasenovac, in which 700.000 Serbs and 60.000 Jews and
25 35.000 Roma were killed. They call it a collection camp, not a
1 concentration camp. So terms are merely used to hide the real nature of
2 things. That's what words are used for.
3 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
4 Q. So now the key sentence that I say by way of conclusion of my
5 debate with Skenderovic, and I say what Madam Biersay tried to gloss over
7 And let us not forget, Mr. Skenderovic, the current regime in
9 So I'm criticising Milosevic's regime as being too lenient. Is
10 that correct?
11 A. Yes, you could say that.
12 Q. After the next or some other elections when the power in Serbia
13 is changed, there will be no forgiveness. Pursuant to that same law
14 according to which Tudjman expelled Serbs from Croatia, we're going to
15 expel Croats from Serbia
16 are doing in -- the Croats are doing in Slankamen where they're offering
17 their old, dilapidated houses to Serbs in exchange for their wonderful
18 houses on the Adriatic
19 and other places will not sleep peacefully until they move because Serb
20 refugees from Zagreb
21 be given roofs over their heads, and they must be compensated for the
22 damage they sustained when they were expelled from their homes.
23 Is it clear to you that I am here representing the position of
24 the opposition that would shortly come to power, and I'm publicly stating
25 what the opposition would do once they assume power. Is this clear to
1 you as an intellectual? There is no doubt, isn't there?
2 A. No, there is no doubt about what you are saying.
3 Q. All right. Very well. There is no need to go into that any
4 longer. Some things are repeated. And you saw at the end, on the
5 7th of April, that the president of the National Assembly,
6 Aleksandar Bakocevic, distanced himself from my debate and he said that
7 that was not the general position. Did you see that?
8 A. Yes, I'm just looking at that now. This is under the heading
10 Q. Yes. He quotes an excerpt from what I said and distances himself
11 from that. I don't want to stay on that too long. If you've seen that,
12 then we can move to something else.
13 A. Yes, you can move to something else.
14 Q. All right. In relation to this meeting or rally in Hrtkovci
15 which you did not attend; is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. So you didn't hear all the things that I talked about?
18 A. No, I didn't.
19 Q. In a number of my books I published this address from the
20 Hrtkovci rally. The last time in a book whose title I cannot tell you,
21 but the book is very popular among the Serb public. It has been promoted
22 in all the municipalities in Serbia
23 downloaded from the internet, and I was sentenced to 15 years [as
24 interpreted] in gaol for that book here, but I'm proud of that. I have
25 spent a lot of time in gaol. I was arrested by various regimes.
1 A. Yes, yes. That was something that was written about in the
2 Serbian media.
3 Q. And you remember that I was proud of every single gaol.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, there might be a
5 mistake on the record. You said you were convicted and you received a
6 15-months' prison term. I believe it was 15 months, not 15 years.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I think it seems to me that it was
8 15 months, but you never know here. 15 months easily turns into 15 years
9 here. But it doesn't matter to me, 15 months or 15 years, it's all the
10 same to me, but it's all right for this error to be corrected in the
11 transcript. I agree with that.
12 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
13 Q. All right. On page 151 in that book -- actually, somewhere from
14 page 149 to page 155, I publish this Hrtkovci speech in its entirety. We
15 had the opportunity to see that often here. So this was a programme
16 speech which I gave during an election campaign for the first federal
17 elections in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Do you remember that
18 election campaign for the federal elections?
19 A. No. No, I don't remember, but I don't have any reason to
20 remember that.
21 Q. I'm going to remind you. On the 27th of April, 1992, after the
22 Western powers recognised the independence of Slovenia, Croatia
23 Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Macedonia
24 was proclaimed consisting of Serbia
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And a constitution was adopted of the Federal Republic
3 reminded you of the events now?
4 A. Yes, you have.
5 Q. In that speech, which was of a policy or a programme nature, I
6 state numerous things that have to do with the political situation. I
7 mostly deal with the political competition, and in one part of the speech
8 I refer to our intentions in relation to the members of the Croatian
9 ethnic minority. Now I'm going to read to you that part of the speech,
10 and this is what I say. This is on page 151 so that the Prosecution can
11 find their place.
12 If Tudjman expelled more than 200.000 Serbs, one part of them is
13 going to come back to the area of the Serbian Krajina, but a part cannot
14 find accommodation there. We have to provide a roof over their heads to
15 those Serbs, and we have to feed those hungry mouths. We don't have
16 money to build new buildings and homes. We don't have the possibility of
17 creating new jobs for them. All right, then. If we don't have that
18 opportunity, then each refugee Serbian family should be given the address
19 of one Croatian family. And then the police, what will they do? The
20 police will do as the authorities decide, and we are going to be in power
21 soon. So all the refugee Serbian families, will come, will come, and
22 knock on Croatian doors and give those Croats their addresses in Zagreb
23 and other places. Yes, yes, they will. There will be plenty of buses.
24 We will take them to the border of the Serbian lands from where they can
25 proceed on foot unless they leave of their own accord.
1 And then I'm talking about some traitors of the Serbian people
2 and so on and so forth. I'm referring to some of those parties and so
3 on, but this is not of importance in these proceedings.
4 Isn't it clear from this passage that as part of the election
5 campaign and making a promise about something that we will do when we
6 come to power. I understand that you don't like this. You are against
7 this from the bottom of your heart, but I'm asking you as a man, as an
8 intellectual, isn't it clear from this that I am promising what we will
9 do once we gain power? I am not moving into action to put this into
10 force before we have come to power. Isn't that clear from what I have
12 A. Yes, from what you have read that is clear.
13 Q. All right. Some people told you that I read a list of persons
14 that should be expelled from Hrtkovci; is that correct?
15 A. Yes. I mentioned that this was something that I was told. Given
16 the fact that I did not attend your rally, I just said what others told
18 Q. Have you heard of Milan Zilic?
19 A. No.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, listen carefully to
21 what I'm saying, because it's important for the Judges and for the
22 Prosecutor also and for the Defence. That goes without saying.
23 Mr. Seselj is the subject of an indictment based on a number of
24 elements, one of which is a speech he purportedly gave in Hrtkovci on the
25 6th of May, 1992. Mr. Seselj then reproduces a speech in his book,
1 speech which he gave before the Serbian Assembly session, before the
3 After having read this, it seems that he stated as follows: If
4 the Serbs are expelled from Croatia
5 asks these Serbs to be welcomed by Croatian families. Serbian families
6 should go to the police stations which will tell them which Croatian
7 flats they must go to. At the time, he says that, he is not in power
8 since this is part of a future political platform of his.
9 You seem to be a well-educated man. You seem to be aware of a
10 lot of things. The words of Mr. Seselj at the time, were these conveyed
11 to you in the manner he has just exposed to you?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I heard it the way it was just
13 said. And from what I understand of the whole matter, what is in dispute
14 is that Mr. Seselj, here in this attempt to present the whole thing, is
15 using the word "if and when they come to power," meaning Mr. Seselj and
16 his party. When they come to power, then this would be implemented, what
17 follows in the text. And according to the positions stated here, it
18 sounds like a platform, a political programme that would be implemented
19 when Mr. Seselj comes to power.
20 I think that Mr. Seselj formulated this question in such a way so
21 as to emphasise that fact, if ever.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Right. I think we're going to
23 take the break. It's 10.30.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President. Mr. President, just
25 a couple of seconds. I would like to ask the witness, because he has
1 already been given or will be given nine documents that I have given to
2 be photocopied. Perhaps he can go over the documents during the break.
3 He doesn't have to read everything. I marked some things also for the
4 Prosecutor and the Trial Chamber. I am also expecting some 20 pages to
5 be given to me of the transcript of the conversation of my team with
6 Ostoja Sibinic and so I would like to have that copied. We're not going
7 to use the entire document, only certain sentences from those documents.
8 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, let me express again
9 my caveat here, as always, regarding the presentation of such documents.
10 There is no need for me to repeat the reasons why. Thank you.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I see on the
12 documents that there is one which arrived on the 16th of February at
13 13.54 hours, i.e., yesterday. You know that the witness, I'm not going
14 to repeat his -- say his name, was due to come, but you've known that for
15 a long time. So why do you at the last minute ask for this type of
16 document? They have not been translated. Well, obviously the witness
17 knows your language and will have no problem understanding it, but to
18 really convey your system of defence. You know, if we had had that
19 document translated either into English or French, we would have been
20 much more efficient in our understanding of the document, and that's why
21 Mrs. Biersay has risen, to say that she doesn't have the document in her
22 language either. Isn't that right, Mrs. Biersay?
23 MS. BIERSAY: That's correct. And what is also very concerning
24 is now we will discuss documents that we're unable to read, and we're
25 putting them to a witness who has protective measures, and we have
1 absolutely no idea what's in them. So I would propose that if we discuss
2 any of them, that we do so in closed session.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, Mrs. Biersay, however,
4 you do have an advantage over the Judges, i.e., you have people with you
5 who work in B/C/S, and during the break maybe we can check that with
6 these people, which I cannot do because we do not have somebody available
7 who can help us at the last minute, but you do have such a person, don't
9 MS. BIERSAY: Your Honour, to the extent that we have a break, it
10 should not be considered a working hour or opportunity for the
11 Prosecution. We, too, like Mr. Seselj, are entitled to a break, and it
12 is not conceivable that we can possibly go through with any substantive
13 eye over these documents. It is just not possible. This is about
14 ambush, and Mr. Seselj is a master at it, and we object to it.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Right. Your objection is on
16 the record. We're going to take a 20-minute break.
17 Mr. Seselj --
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Sir, I agree with Ms. Biersay in
19 one thing. I am the greatest master here at The Hague Tribunal, and the
20 Prosecution has been aware of that for a while now, and that's why they
21 cannot get the upper hand with me. I have these papers, documents, in
22 order to be able to put some questions. I'm not going to tender these
23 documents, and I'm going to be very careful not to uncover or reveal the
24 identity of this witness. This is all that you can expect from me. You
25 have to keep in mind continuously the fact that I am alone here in
1 The Hague
2 manager, a rented flat or apartment in the house or in The Hague, and I
3 could just be issuing orders, "Please submit this to the Trial Chamber.
4 Please submit this to the Prosecutor." I cannot do everything myself.
5 This is a vast number of administrative work. Ten Prosecutors have
6 changed here, and can you imagine how many people they have to back them
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, in light of the
9 time it takes to have translations done, the Chamber has made a decision
10 restoring the possibility for Mr. Krasic and Mr. Jerkovic to assist you,
11 and has asked in its decision that their expenses be covered by the
12 Registry as being part of the expenses for the defence of the accused.
13 Now, regarding Mr. Jerkovic, my understanding according to press
14 articles is that he's no longer with you.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Slavko Jerkovic left my
16 team as of the 29th of January. He didn't tell me the reasons why he
17 left. We didn't have any contact after that. But the reason is evident.
18 I haven't paid him for a full seven years. I didn't have anything to pay
19 him with. He's a professional lawyer, and he must make a living. So I
20 understand him absolutely for leaving.
21 I don't know what the press is writing. The only time I receive
22 of any news or papers is when my wife comes to visit me, so I don't know
23 what has been written in the press. But Slavko Jerkovic is no longer a
24 member of my Defence team. All I have left now is Mr. Zoran Krasic who
25 has been forbidden to have confidential communication with me,
1 Aleksic and Marina Raguz as case manager, but they're not able to be with
2 me in The Hague
3 been able to come and see me for a year and a half. The last time he was
4 here they placed us in a gas chamber and were recording our conversation
5 by a video camera the whole time.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In any event, Mr. Krasic can
7 come back to see you. This is part of the decision. So please refer to
8 our decision and read it.
9 So let's now take a break, a 20-minute break.
10 --- Recess taken at 10.40 a.m.
11 --- On resuming at 11.06 a.m.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We're back in session. I'm
13 going to read the provisions of the decision regarding Mr. Krasic and
14 Mr. Jerkovic so as to try and correct a slight mistake.
15 In the system, here is what it says:
16 "The Chamber authorises Mr. Zoran Krasic and Slavko Jerkovic to
17 assist the accused in public session in the face of presentation of
18 evidence, exculpatory [as interpreted] evidence, in the case -- if this
19 presentation were to be made."
20 So Mr. Krasic may assist Mr. Seselj, but at the time when
21 exculpatory evidence is presented. Should the case arise because as you
22 know there are several options and several procedural possibilities.
23 That being said, and secondly, regarding the question of
24 non-translated documents. The Chamber obviously does not have the
25 translation of these documents and it could be that some confidential
1 information is included regarding protected witnesses. We don't know
2 anything about that, and we do not want to be surprised by the mention of
3 documents which would infringe on our decision either made here in this
4 Trial Chamber or made in other Trial Chambers. So the accused may refer
5 to this document as it was said that it would not be admitted. The
6 accused can say, I have a document saying this and that, et cetera. And
7 I think that the witness has received the documents by fax, so he can see
8 the document in his language. But this document shall not be put on the
9 screen for the sake of protecting potentially protected witnesses.
10 So you may use the document, but you are instructed not to refer
11 to anything that could infer the identification of protected witnesses.
12 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Sorry, without referring to the
13 problems I have with the use of this document, I would like to say that
14 my position, as the accused, the Defence, and the Judges know, is
15 slightly different from the one which was just mentioned by the
16 Presiding Judge. So I'm not going to refer back to the whole matter. I
17 just wish to ask again this question which I have already asked, and I
18 wish to stress my reservations about the presentation of these documents
19 and the ways to doing it and the procedure that is followed, as I see it,
20 is not the right one if these documents are presented by the accused.
21 That's all. Thank you.
22 JUDGE HARHOFF: Just for the record, I go back to the
23 Presiding Judge's reading out of the decision which we have rendered on
24 the authorisation to Mr. Krasic and Jerkovic, because there is a slight
25 error in the translation. The transcript shows on page 38, line 3, that
1 Mr. Krasic and Mr. Jerkovic will be authorised to assist the accused in
2 public sessions during the presentation of evidence, and then it says
3 "exculpatory evidence." This is a misstatement of the contents of the
4 decision, because the idea was to allow these two associates of
5 Mr. Seselj to be present in public hearings during the Defence case, and
6 that is different.
7 Thank you very much.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can I say something? Does that
9 mean that they cannot attend the secret sessions or hearings?
10 JUDGE HARHOFF: We don't have secret sessions, but we have
11 sessions in -- we have closed sessions, and you are right in stating that
12 Mr. Krasic and Mr. Jerkovic shall not be given access to those sessions.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, then they will have no access
14 at all.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen.
16 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, I was just going to ask for
17 clarification of one point with respect to the order. I think it is
18 self-evident from what has been said, but is our understanding correct
19 that the privileged communication of Krasic and Jerkovic have not been
21 JUDGE HARHOFF: That is correct.
22 MR. MARCUSSEN: So, Your Honours, if -- this is something that we
23 may have to come back to, because otherwise the communication between the
24 accused and these two people is subject to monitoring by the Registry so
25 I don't know how this would function in practice but it's something that
1 I guess we will come back to if -- if we get to a Defence case and they
2 will be present.
3 JUDGE HARHOFF: The issue of monitoring --
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I'm for sure --
5 JUDGE HARHOFF: The issue of monitoring is for the Registrar to
6 deal with, and what the Chamber has done is to try and be of assistance
7 in ensuring that Mr. Seselj could benefit from the presence of Mr. Krasic
8 and Jerkovic during public sessions in his Defence case, because we
9 understood that there was also a financial problem in that they were
10 unable to pay for their travel, and this is where the Chamber has wished
11 to extend its assistance to Mr. Seselj's Defence.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I can see that you've really
13 assisted me well so that I would be able to look at them as if they were
14 some 25-year-old pretty girls and so that I should enjoy it. Well, once
15 I become a total moron, then it will become possible, and I am not there
16 yet. I am not even remotely on the road to becoming a total moron,
17 although you're trying to turn me into one for seven years, but that's
19 Should I continue with my cross-examination?
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed. You've already
21 used up 25 minutes, and you have one hour and 34 minutes left.
22 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
23 Q. I asked if you were familiar with the name Milan Zilic.
24 A. And my answer to you was that I'm not.
25 Q. He was the president of the steering committee for the
1 establishment of the Serbian Radical Party in Hrtkovci, and he actually
2 made introductory remarks on the our rally there. So if you were unaware
3 of his name, you were unaware of the existence of the steering committee.
4 Is that so?
5 A. I didn't know about that.
6 Q. He was the only person who mentioned any names at the rally. He
7 mentioned the names of the people who had already left Hrtkovci and some
8 of them were members of the Croatian National Guard Corps. That's what
9 he said specifically in his speech and I have his speech here in this
10 book. You didn't hear that?
11 A. No.
12 Q. You thought that he read out the names of the people who are
13 supposed to be evicted and expelled, or that I did so.
14 A. Well, more or less that would be the case.
15 Q. Fair enough. You said that you were aware of only three families
16 that had left Hrtkovci having first exchanged their property before the
17 rally, three or four families. Is that so?
18 A. Yes. Well, two or three, but it's immaterial.
19 Q. Fair enough. At page 120 of my book I quote a report by
20 Natasa Kandic from December 1993. It's at page 120. You don't have that
21 but the Prosecution has it. It's the third paragraph marked with
22 number 2. By the 1st of May, 1992 --
23 MS. BIERSAY: Excuse me. Mr. Seselj is referring to one page in
24 a very large book. I asked him yesterday which pages he planned on
25 using. He toll me all 1.000 of them. So we do not have a complete
1 translation of this book, and I don't know if the Court does, but the
2 Prosecution does not. So I'd like to correct that for the record.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges, I was convicted and
4 sentenced to 15 months in prison because of this book and nobody here at
5 the Tribunal has a full translation of this book yet. I was convicted
6 because of the way I look, not because they read the book. Nobody has
7 read this book. This is a shame for this book. I don't care that you
8 haven't translated it. You received it three years ago. It's your
9 problem entirely. I handed it to you personally here in court, yet you
10 don't want to translate it. Well, I'll translate it. You will have to
11 wait for my translation, but I'll do it.
12 Q. So Natasa Kandic says -- it's a very short quote here.
13 By the 1st of May, 1992, around 40 Croatian families had moved
14 out for family reasons and because of their views on the war in Croatia
15 Some of the families sold their property and some exchanged their
16 property with the Serbs from certain areas in Croatia.
17 So you say three families, Natasa Kandic says 40 families.
18 40 families times the average of four members per family, that would be
19 about 160 members. So could that be the case?
20 A. It could be.
21 Q. I don't want to argue with Natasa Kandic here, whether she says
22 the truth here or not, but all too many -- too many times she doesn't, so
23 it's hard to trust her even when she does.
24 A. Mr. Seselj, can I ask you one thing? In this quote from
25 Natasa Kandic, does -- is it specified what time period she's talking
1 about, when those families moved out?
2 Q. That's by the 1st of May, 1992.
3 A. But when did it begin?
4 Q. Well, when Tudjman won the elections in 1991. I don't know. But
5 the time period is until the 1st of May.
6 A. Well, until the 1st of May. If it's -- if it covers
7 approximately one year, as you've indicated, then I can tell you that
8 this information is completely inaccurate.
9 Q. You stated here to Ostoja Sibincic was a member of the Serbian
10 Radical Party and then you corrected yourself when the Presiding Judge
11 warned you that in a report produced by the State Security Service
12 tendered by the Prosecution it is indicated that he was a member of the
13 Serbian Renewal Movement. So you're not sure anymore that he is a
14 member -- that he was a member of the Serbian Radical Party?
15 A. If you listened carefully to what I said, I said that I thought
16 he was a member of the Serbian Radical Party and that was not a statement
17 of fact on my part.
18 Q. Yes, but you state that as a fact in your statement, the
19 statements that you signed, the statements that the Prosecution wrote for
21 A. Yes, but, Mr. Seselj, if you followed closely what I had said
22 yesterday, I said that he -- I thought that he was a member of the
23 Serbian Radical Party.
24 Q. You said --
25 A. Sir, I did not ask Mr. Sibincic whether he was a member of the
1 Serbian Radical Party or any other party.
2 Q. Yes, but when the Judge asked you how many parties there were in
3 Hrtkovci, you said the Serbian Renewal Movement, the Socialist Party, and
4 the Serbian Radical Party; is that correct?
5 A. Yes. Something along those lines.
6 Q. And you failed to mention the Democratic Alliance of the Croats
7 of Vojvodina or whatever it was called, and they had a much stronger
8 committee in Hrtkovci than the SPO
9 Croatian party, the Croatian party representing the Croatian minority had
10 its branch in Hrtkovci. Is that so?
11 A. Mr. Seselj, I don't know anything about that, and if there was
12 such a branch or -- of the party I was not a member.
13 Q. I'm not accusing you of being a member. And even if you were a
14 member, that's not a problem. You have an absolute right to be a member
15 of any party.
16 A. Well, I don't see that as an accusation. I see that as a
17 statement of fact. But I really don't know anything about that party.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The speakers are kindly
19 asked to speak one at a time.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you are claiming that and if you
21 have arguments to corroborate those claims, I cannot contradict you.
22 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Well --
24 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Seselj and Mr. Witness, again we get remarks
25 from the interpreters that they are unable to follow you if you overlap.
1 So please, both of you, observe a short pause between questions and
2 answers. Thank you.
3 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Could you please look at the papers that you have been given
5 during the break. Document marked with the Roman numeral X.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. It's a transcript of an interview with Ostoja Sibincic conducted
8 by the members of the team assisting me with my defence. Can you see
9 that document.
10 A. Just a moment. I'm looking for it.
11 Q. It's the last one that you got. It has 60 pages.
12 A. I don't have that document in front of me, no.
13 Q. Yes, and --
14 MS. BIERSAY: And neither does the -- neither does the
16 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Now the Registrar has told me you don't have it. Then I'll leave
18 it aside for later. I can see the Registrar is now distributing this
19 document to the Trial Chamber. Well, you will receive it. It doesn't
20 matter. Let us go back to that document later. But now, could you
21 please look at those documents that -- as they are arranged, from
22 number 1 onwards. The first document is a transcript of an interview
23 with Dragan Krekic conducted by the team assisting in my defence. Do you
24 know Dragan Krekic?
25 A. I knew the Krekic family.
1 Q. Very well. Here -- well, what is his ethnic background?
2 A. Well, I don't know exactly, but I assume that he -- I assume that
3 he's a Croat, but I'm not sure.
4 Q. Well, he could be a Serb of Roman Catholic faith.
5 A. Yes, he might.
6 Q. But at any rate, he is a Roman Catholic. That's not
7 controversial, is it not?
8 A. Well, I really don't know what his religious affiliation is. I
9 could only perhaps read it here.
10 Q. It's a very -- it's an ample document, so we won't be going
11 through all of it. Could you please look at page 6. He attended the
12 rally, my rally.
13 A. Yes, I have page 6 here with me.
14 Q. You have a portion of the text marked, and members of my team ask
15 him whether he saw any armed people in the village, bearded Chetniks with
16 bandoliers, automatic rifles and so on, and he says, Well, they were not
17 wearing bandoliers, but there were people with beards and cockades, and
18 he denies that there were any people with rifles. They may have had
19 their sidearms, pistols, but you could not see that. I don't know.
20 And then the question is whether there were any carrying swords,
21 and he says, "No, I didn't see any."
22 Did you hear any reports that armed persons were present at the
24 A. Well, I can only confirm that I heard that there had been armed
25 people there. I was told that they were members of your personal guard
1 or escort.
2 Q. Well, did they openly wave their weapons or was it just assumed
3 that they were armed because they were my escorts?
4 A. From what I heard, those people who were your escort carried
5 weapons visibly. So I say again, this is what I was told. Now, whether
6 this is true or not, I was not at the rally, and I was not an eyewitness.
7 I cannot say it.
8 Q. Fair enough. Did you hear that at that rally I said that all the
9 children from mixed marriages should be killed?
10 A. No. Nobody told me that.
11 Q. There was a witness here who testified under oath and with
12 protective measures who claimed that he personally heard at that rally
13 that I said that all children from mixed marriages should be killed. You
14 didn't hear that?
15 A. When I received information as to what you had said there, nobody
16 ever told me anything of the sort.
17 Q. Let us look at the next document. It's a statement by
18 Slavko Kulundzic. Do you know him?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. He worked in the State Security Service.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And as a member of the State Security Service he was in charge of
23 Hrtkovci. He went to Hrtkovci quite often, did he not?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And for the most part, the people in Hrtkovci knew that he was
1 working for the State Security Service, although it's supposed to be a
3 A. Well, I knew that.
4 Q. Could you please remove the papers because of the microphone.
5 A. I'm sorry. Well, I knew that he worked in the police, and now
6 whether everybody else knew, they probably did.
7 Q. You can see the marked parts of his statement. It says that --
8 well, he claims that there were no armed people at the rally, that there
9 were some people wearing cockades and Serbian traditional caps and fur
10 caps, but that he didn't see any weapons. That's the penultimate and the
11 last paragraph.
12 A. On what page?
13 Q. On page 1.
14 A. Yes, I see that.
15 Q. He says none of the members -- none of the people that attended
16 the rally was armed, and nobody carried bandoliers and rifles, that's for
18 A. Yes, I can see that.
19 Q. At page 2 he says, some ten days later -- it's the middle
20 paragraph that's been marked here. Some ten days after the rally, the
21 first rumours started being circulated in the village that
22 Vojislav Seselj had read some kind of a list of people who would be --
23 who would have to leave Hrtkovci. So it was only some ten days after the
24 rally. And could you please look at page 3.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. The second paragraph. It's been marked. It says one of the
2 pieces of misinformation that was launched was that Ostoja Sibincic was
3 allegedly one of Seselj's men in Hrtkovci and that he co-ordinated the
4 action to expel Croats from Hrtkovci. And then --
5 A. Yes, I can see that.
6 Q. And then the next marked passage, it says:
7 "As far as I know, he was not a member of the Serbian Radical
9 So this jibes with the document that the Presiding Judge
10 Antonetti showed you yesterday. Is that right?
11 A. Yes, yes.
12 Q. Let us now look at the third document. Did you ever hear of a
13 certain Jovo Zunic?
14 A. No.
15 Q. This is one of the Serbs, refugees from Croatia, from Podravska
16 Slatina, and who came to Hrtkovci. If you look at the bottom of page 1,
17 he describes how it came -- actually, he described that he had already
18 left Slatina and then he went to this place called Veliko Gradiste. This
19 is on the Danube
20 A. Yes, more or less.
21 Q. When you go from Smederevo along the Dunav -- Danube toward
22 Kladovo one of the places is Veliko Gradiste?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. This is quite a distance from Hrtkovci?
25 A. Yes, it is.
1 Q. He spent some six months there. He got a job there. He didn't
2 have a house. He didn't have a flat. And he says:
3 "I worked in an agricultural farm, and one day I was called by
4 Milan Fumic, the owner of this house where we were sitting now, and if I
5 wanted to have a house I should go to Hrtkovci to look."
6 Did you know Jovo Zunic?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And he says Milan Fumic was a Croat from Hrtkovci.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And he was -- he summoned Zunic to Veliko Gradiste. In Veliko
11 Gradiste he got information from somebody about his house in
12 Podravska Slatina, that he had to leave and so he called him and asked to
13 meet in order that they would discuss the exchange of their houses. And
14 then Jovo Zunic says, I had no choice whether I wanted to or not. I only
15 had one small room in Gradiste, four by four, four of us, two sons,
16 myself and my wife. I didn't even know where Hrtkovci was until I came
17 and saw that, and then when he suggested we do an all-for-all exchange, I
18 said I agree to the exchange but I don't have any documentation. I came
19 without any papers. Whatever I said, I don't have this document, I don't
20 have that, I don't have this. All he said was that that was his problem.
21 When I agreed he said -- and said that I do agree to the exchange, he
22 took out from his pocket all my papers which were prepared in advance. I
23 was flabbergasted. I just stopped and I looked, and he said, Zunic,
24 there are no problems at all for an exchange. You don't have any debts
25 anywhere. He said you just have some utility outstanding debt, utility
2 MS. BIERSAY: Your Honours, excuse me. Excuse me. Mr. -- Mr. --
3 I'm not sure what the point of this is. Mr. Seselj is reading the entire
4 portion of the statement. What exactly is his question? He should put
5 the proposition to the witness and have the witness answer. This is a
6 way of circumventing the ruling -- prior rulings of the Trial Chamber
7 with respect to the use of these types of statements that we get at the
8 last moment that are untranslated.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, to alleviate the
10 objections could you summarise what the document states and put your
11 question, please, because if you read all the pages you are wasting your
12 time which is valuable, and this may give rise to an objection by the
13 Prosecution. So you can say Mr. Zunic states this in the document, you
14 summarise what he says and then you put your question to the witness,
15 because the witness actually has the document.
16 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
17 Q. VS-067, is this possible that Milan Fumic went to Croatia
18 learned about this fine house that was abandoned because the man with the
19 family had fled, and then with the help of Croatian authorities got all
20 the paperwork done and then came to the man and said, Let's do the
21 exchange? Is this something that was possible?
22 A. Your question is whether that was possible?
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. I really don't know if it's possible for something like that to
25 happen or not. I can't know, but perhaps you could ask Mr. Fumic if
1 things proceeded in quite that way. I cannot know whether he was able to
2 obtain all the necessary papers in Croatia that related to the property
3 of Mr. Zunic in Slatina, i.e., in Croatia. I don't know. I really don't
5 Q. All right. Let's now look at the fourth document. The fourth
6 document is a statement by Zeljko Dosen.
7 Have you heard of Zeljko Dosen?
8 A. If that gentleman came from Platicevo then I did hear about it,
10 Q. He came from Rijeka
11 A. No, I don't know that man.
12 Q. He describes here that he and his brother, as Serbs, had to leave
14 had a visit by Stipo Plejic and his brother Ivan Plejic from Hrtkovci in
15 October 1991. Have you ever heard of Stipo Plejic and Ivan Plejic?
16 A. Yes, I heard of them.
17 Q. And they had all the information about the house in Rijeka and
18 Zeljko Dosen says to a question by my mother where they got information
19 and our address in Rijeka
20 from the settlement where I was living through the local branch of the
21 HDZ. Is it possible that the ruling party in Croatia, the Croatian
22 Democratic Community Union
23 for exchanges?
24 A. Honestly, Mr. Seselj, I don't know anything about that, whether
25 the Croatian Democratic Union received any kind of information about
1 that, whether the Croatian authorities issued any information like that.
2 I really don't know. It doesn't sound likely to me, but I do stand by
3 what I said before.
4 Q. Since he was living in Hrtkovci from 1991, on page 5 he says
5 something else that is interesting to me. Could you please turn to
6 page 5.
7 A. I'm just doing that.
8 Q. We have something marked on that page. He mentions Aleksa Ejic
9 here now, who told him that the president of the Serbian Renewal Movement
10 was in Hrtkovci and that together with Sibincic he had founded an SPO
11 branch in the village, but that Ostoja recently submit his resignation as
12 president of the local board, but he was still in the SPO. Do you see
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And that Ejic and Sibincic were good friends. Do you doubt what
16 he said here about Ostoja Sibincic's membership in the SPO?
17 A. No. If this or true what Mr. Ejic says here, I cannot really say
18 anything else.
19 Q. Now we have this transcript. Do you have this transcript now of
20 the conversation with Ostoja Sibincic of 60 pages?
21 A. No, I don't have it yet.
22 Q. Well, I would just like to put one more question. You don't even
23 have to look at the document.
24 A. I have just received a copy of this transcript.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, Ms. Biersay seems to be
1 apologising for something. Let's see why she's apologising.
2 MS. BIERSAY: Directing my attention to the Trial Chamber, we are
3 moving for exclusion of any discussion or presentation regarding this
4 document. This is, I believe if we're talking about transcript 10, it
5 appears to be a transcript of a conversation with Mr. Sibincic by
6 members -- an interview by members of Mr. Seselj's Defence team. It
7 bears a date of 2007. We received this only moments ago and we object to
8 the use of it. We have had this name come up time and time again with
9 respect to this crime base. Mr. Seselj has waited for the last witness,
10 and he waited until the Court had actually commenced, and he delivered
11 this -- this 60-page document in Cyrillic, and we'd absolutely move that
12 it be excluded from any presentation until it has been translated fully,
13 for the Court's benefit in addition to for the Prosecution's benefit.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mrs. Biersay, we don't even
15 have six witnesses left before the end of the Prosecution case. In legal
16 terms, as far as I'm concerned, this is completed already, because the
17 witnesses will be taking the stand are witnesses of the Court. So the
18 burden of proof no longer rests on your shoulders. That's the first
20 Second point, Sibincic, who I don't know, we've never seen him,
21 is mentioned in your documents as a person who was a member of the
22 Serbian Radical Party, and he purportedly took part in the expulsion of
23 the Serbs in that settlement. Therefore, this is in support of your
24 case. The Defence now, with this document he received at seven minutes
25 past 9.00, we have a paper trail of this, will discuss this. I don't
1 know what questions he is going to put. This Sibincic was someone who
2 could have been called by the Prosecution, and now you are objecting.
3 You may have information. If you do, you must mention what it is.
4 MS. BIERSAY: What I'm objecting to, Your Honours, is the use of
5 a document that has not been provided to the Court or to the Prosecution
6 in advance so that we can assess it in a language that we understand.
7 Despite the fax line that claims that this was sent today or yesterday or
8 whatever it was, this is a statement taken by members of the Defence
9 team, the accused's Defence team, and it's signed 2007. So my point is
10 that this was purposely held back for the sole intention of surprising
11 the Court, and we think it's inappropriate, and it's on that basis that
12 we make the motion.
13 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I am sorry, but I must once
14 again reassert my position as regards these documents.
15 I agree with the objection raised by the Prosecution, if that
16 weren't clear enough until now, ever since the beginning of this trial.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I shall ask my colleague
18 Judge Harhoff what he thinks about this.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber has
21 deliberated on the matter. The Trial Chamber holds, first of all, that
22 this document will not be admitted since the accused has said that he
23 will not ask for this document to be tendered.
24 Second point: The Trial Chamber, in agreement with the
25 Prosecution, feels that it does not have all the information enabling it
1 to understand this document which is drafted in a language that the
2 Judges do not understand, but the Trial Chamber in the majority holds
3 that the accused may put a question to the witness based on this
4 document. He should avoid reading the document and just say, "I have
5 received 60 pages a moment ago from Mr. Sibincic. The latter says,
6 regarding a particular topic," and you sum up in two lines what he has
7 said and then you put your question. That way we don't have a problem.
8 Now, if the accused is lying when he sums up the content of the
9 document, then he exposes himself to a contempt procedure. He would have
10 then forged the truth on the basis of a document. This is just an
11 assumption I'm making.
12 Mr. Seselj, please put your question to the witness. Do not read
13 the 60 pages, please. Otherwise, we will still be sitting here at the
14 end of the week. Sum up what the person is saying regarding the
15 particular point which interests you. You are not going to be reading
16 the 60 pages, are you?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I can read at the speed of
18 light, so I managed to do it.
19 Why is this document so interesting to me? Here Ostoja Sibincic
20 describes his view of all the events in Hrtkovci. Unfortunately, we will
21 never have an opportunity to see him because Ostoja Sibincic died last
22 year, but in 11 places in this statement he says that he was never a
23 member of the Serbian Radical Party --
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I'm sorry, but
25 you're giving us some information which I didn't have. You're telling us
1 that Mr. Sibincic died last year. Very well. This is something that is
2 totally new to me. The Prosecutor, Mrs. Biersay, may have known about
3 it, but we didn't. If he died last year, you can ask to have this
4 document translated and then ask to have this admit pursuant to
5 Rule 92 quater. That is something which our procedure entitles you to
7 That said, since he has died, he cannot come, and if in his
8 statement there is exculpatory material, I don't see why you should be
9 prevented from mentioning this.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, it's not a good
11 thing that Ostoja Sibincic died. I'm sorry that he died.
12 Secondly, I do not recognise Rule 92 quater, and I will never use
13 it. I don't recognise it even when the Prosecution uses it and the
14 Tribunal accepts it -- the Trial Chamber accept it. It's a matter of the
15 wilfulness of the Trial Chamber and this Tribunal. I just need some
16 confirmation in the cross-examination. I'm interested in what the
17 witness will say when I put to him that in 11 places, and I cannot give
18 you the exact pages, Ostoja Sibincic mentions that he was not only just a
19 member but the founder of the Serbian Renewal Movement in Hrtkovci, that
20 he had nothing to do with the Serbian Radical Party until 2005. I wanted
21 to ask the witness to look at page 10, the last sentence where he
22 confirms that he had nothing to do with the Serbian Radical Party. And
23 previously it was said that he was a member of the SPO in Hrtkovci, and I
24 just wanted the witness to tell us what his position was in regard to
25 that, and I also wanted to show -- I put my question. I put my question.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
2 continues] ... the question, he's got page 10. We've got page 10 as
3 well. We don't know what's in it because we don't understand but your
4 witness -- the witness understands so put the question to him.
5 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Do you believe Ostoja Sibincic when he says in 11 places here,
7 and an example is the one on page 10, that he was not a member of the
8 Serbian Radical Party and that he was the founder or a founder of the
9 Serbian Renewal Movement?
10 A. This question is addressed to me as the witness?
11 Q. Yes.
12 A. Well, this is quite different from what I said. I thought -- and
13 I really don't see any reason why I would dispute the -- or doubt the
14 assertions by the late Mr. Sibincic. Excuse me. I don't have any
15 evidence to the contrary.
16 Q. Does that mean that you withdraw your assertion that he was a
17 member of the Serbian Radical Party, which is in your statement, and this
18 is something that you also said at the beginning of your testimony
20 A. At the beginning of my testimony yesterday, I said that I thought
21 that he was, but according to these documents which have been presented
22 or these transcripts, it's quite clear that I was mistaken.
23 Q. Thank you. I have now finished with the statement by
24 Ostoja Sibincic and this could have been done without any of these
25 complications, which I think are being created for me here deliberately.
1 Anyway, now you said that after this rally of mine, Aleksa Ejic, as the
2 president of the Serbian Renewal Movement, and he became that after
3 Ostoja Sibincic, offered armed protection. Is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. According to your statement, he offered two guards every day who
6 would be securing your house 24 hours a day; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. I believe you. I don't dispute that. What I'm interested in
9 though is how come that Aleksa Ejic had so many armed men so that he
10 could deploy them to guard your house 24 hours a day. If you had two men
11 on two -- on eight-hour shifts that would be six men a day. So you would
12 need to have at least ten armed men in order to do that. Do you agree?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. You couldn't do it with less. How come that he had so many armed
15 men to offer just to you, to you and your family? If he had armed men at
16 his disposal, he probably would have needed them for some other purpose.
17 I mean, this would be a sensible thing to conclude, wouldn't it?
18 A. Yes. I really don't know what other purposes he would have had
19 for these men. I'm just saying what transpired between me and
20 Aleksa Ejic.
21 Q. You know that Aleksa Ejic was not working in the police?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. He's not a police official who could send policemen to offer you
25 A. I assume that he wasn't thinking of policemen when he made this
2 Q. Aleksa Ejic was not an army officer, an officer of the Army of
4 A. As far as I know he wasn't.
5 Q. And he couldn't deploy soldiers to guard your house, could he?
6 A. Right.
7 Q. Aleksa Ejic was not an owner of some company that was involved in
8 a personal and facility security, no such firm existed?
9 A. It didn't exist nor was it known that he had any such kind of
11 Q. But Aleksa Ejic had available armed men and he could assign a
12 number of these armed men to guard your house 24 hours a day for a longer
13 period of time; is that correct?
14 A. That is correct to the extent that he said that he would offer
15 two men which would guard my house throughout that period for 24 hours a
16 day. I don't know whether this was going to be some kind of long-term
17 security arrangement or was it only meant to cover some kind of period of
18 imminent danger. I'm not sure exactly what he was thinking. I don't
19 know whether this was a long-term thing or not.
20 Q. Well, all right, but it was for at least 10 to 15 days, wasn't
22 A. Yes, possibly he was thinking of such a period.
23 Q. All right. But we won't speculate exactly as to the period that
24 he meant. For as long as you were in danger.
25 Are you aware that Aleksa Ejic, as the president of the local
1 board of the SPO
2 for Hrtkovci?
3 A. No, I don't know that.
4 Q. And that later as a member of the Serbian guard he fought for a
5 while at Boracko Lake
6 A. This is something that I'm hearing for the first time.
7 Q. All right. Did you hear of Pero Sijacki from Ruma?
8 A. I don't remember the first and last name. Perhaps you can give
9 me a little more detail.
10 Q. He was a deputy in the Assembly of Serbia representing the SPO.
11 He was a prominent official of that party in the Municipal Board in Ruma.
12 This is your home municipality, isn't it?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Could you please look at document number 5. It provides some
15 interesting information. His statement is very short but we're only
16 going to comment on a part of it. This is a document marked with the
17 Roman numeral V.
18 A. I have it.
19 Q. Here he talks about when the SPO in Hrtkovci was established,
20 this was in 1990, who was the president, and says:
21 "The first president of the local board in Hrtkovci was
22 Ostoja Sibincic, and Aleksa Ejic was elected as secretary of the local
23 board. The two of them at that time were on very good terms and they
24 would always come to the meetings of the Ruma Municipal Board together."
25 Have you found it? This is the first paragraph.
1 A. Yes, I have it.
2 Q. And then he says: "When Sibincic resigned he was replaced by
4 In paragraph 2 Sijacki says:
5 "In early 1993, Aleksa Ejic reported as a volunteer and a member
6 of the Serbian guard which was part of the SPO. He volunteered to go to
7 the front in Herzegovina
8 Have you found that part?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And then he says when they were in the front, the commander in
11 the field was Boro Ante, a major of the army of Republika Srpska, under
12 whose command everyone was. And then he says the Serbian Renewal
13 Movement at that time, through the Serbian guard that it established,
14 assembled and sent volunteers to the front in the Republic of the Serbian
15 Krajina and Republika Srpska, and then he says that 180 volunteers went
16 with them from Ruma, Novi Sad
17 Ruma is your municipality and Sremska Mitrovica is the
18 neighbouring municipality. Isn't that right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Can you please turn to the next page. He says that the Serbian
21 Renewal Movement organised the departure of volunteers and the officials
22 of the party saw them off in Belgrade
23 was a report published and a photograph on the last page of the "Serbian
24 Word." Did you know that that paper existed?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. It says that the Serbian Renewal Movement published that paper,
2 and he says that it published a story from the Nevesinje front line about
3 the Serbian guard fighting. You can see that, that he says it -- he says
4 that the Serbian Renewal Party was always proud of the Serbian guard and
5 the fighters, and we never disputed the fact that they fought.
6 And he says:
7 "The name of our unit was the Serbian guard and the only insignia
8 we wore on our patches were the emblems of the Serbian guard. We members
9 of the Serbian guard were under the immediate command of Zvonko Smajlic.
10 We were stationed in various huts at Boracko lake and then we would go
11 wherever we were needed."
12 And we're not going to read this anymore, but we can see that
13 Aleksa Ejic was not only an official in the Serbian Renewal Party but
14 that he was also a fighter in the Serbian guard. Is that correct?
15 A. Yes, that's correct.
16 Q. Is my conclusion then logical? I'm looking at Madam Biersay
17 doing the calisthenics. She keeps getting up and sitting down. So is it
18 true, then, that Aleksa Ejic did have a certain number of the Serbian
19 guard members in Hrtkovci that he could assign to guard your house
20 24 hours a day, round the clock, not -- not in terms of for 24 hours, but
21 it was 24 hours every day. We don't know how many days. We -- there was
22 some conjecture here that it may have been 20 or 15 days. Is this the
23 only logical conclusion then?
24 A. Based on the text that you read out to me, the text that I was
25 able to follow, in 1993 Mr. Ejic went to join the Serbian guard. I was
1 not there at the time.
2 Q. Please, it's early 1993 when, according to Pero Sijacki, he went
3 to the front line to fight and the Serbian guard was established as early
4 as in 1991.
5 You must have heard about the man called Giska. Have you heard
6 about Giska, the first commander of the Serbian guard?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Rodzo Bozovic Giska?
9 A. No, I've never heard of him, but -- or at least I don't recall
10 having heard of him.
11 Q. Well, if you don't recall, I'm not going to dwell on that any
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, Judges, Aleksa Ejic
14 was heard here. He testified in open session, but unfortunately I did
15 not have Pero Sijacki's statement then so I couldn't question him about
16 it, but we've already dealt with this whole issue of Boracko Lake
17 fought there and all that so I just wanted to comment that here in open
18 session and I'm not going to tender anything into evidence anyway.
19 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Then we have a document, number VI. You heard about
21 Dragan Mihajlovic?
22 A. Let me just find this document. Dragan Mihajlovic, which
23 Dragan Mihajlovic?
24 Q. He was the president of the Municipal Board of the Serbian
25 Renewal Movement in Ruma from early 1991 until late 1993. And --
1 A. No. No, I don't know him.
2 Q. You can see here in the first paragraph that I marked, he says
3 that Ostoja Sibincic was the president of the local board of the Serbian
4 Renewal Movement in Hrtkovci and that Aleksa Ejic was the secretary. Can
5 you see that?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Can you see on page 2 that again this statement has been
8 certified by the court, as have always statements that I tender -- that I
9 use here.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Very well. So this is just one more argument to support the
12 thesis that you've already accepted in fact.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, about the question
14 of certification, you know that Ms. Lattanzi has already told you that
15 certification does not necessarily mean recognising the authenticity, and
16 she's perfectly right in doing that. However, I have already asked you
17 and you have not heeded my request. I've asked you if in Serbian law the
18 fact of making a forged certificate is something that is liable for
19 prosecution, and I had asked you to give me the number of the article and
20 the name of the related law, and you have never answered my question.
21 Now, if you were to provide us with this information, then the Judges
22 could take it into account because it means that if somebody submits a
23 written statement may be liable to prosecution if the statement is proven
24 to be forged. And the fact that there is a seal, that the testimony was
25 labelled by an administrative or judicial authority can give some
1 substance to this testimony under, of course, the reservation that it can
2 be forged.
3 So that's what I mean, because each time the problem may arise
4 again with this seal which you mention and that my colleague has referred
5 to, saying that it is not valid for her.
6 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I'd like to clarify that on
7 other cases the accused himself has recognised the fact that the seal is
8 there to certify only that the signature is authentic, not the content.
9 So that is the core of the matter. This is a document which has been
10 drafted, one does not know exactly how, which has been brought before a
11 court or another local authority, and here what is certified is that the
12 signature is indeed the signature of the person who has signed the said
13 document and that's all. So it's not about certifying the very contents
14 of the document.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen.
16 MR. MARCUSSEN: Maybe I should wait with my intervention until
17 the accused have had a chance to respond to Your Honour's question.
18 So -- and I see the accused has his microphone on, so I'll wait for his
19 answer first.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. Mr. Seselj, I don't
21 want to spend the whole day talking about this. What counts, I think, is
22 the substance.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges, I have told you several
24 times that the authenticity of the signature is certified. Just as
25 nobody is verifying the veracity of the statements taken by the
1 Prosecution, by the same token, nobody does that in my case. There is
2 the crime of perjury in Serbia
3 that we see people prosecuted for perjury, and we have seen how many
4 patently false witnesses we had here - of course I'm not referring to our
5 current witness - and nobody did a thing. So this is simply a
6 certification of the authenticity of the signature, the fact that it was
7 precisely that person that gave the statement.
8 Now, as to whether the statement is accurate and true, that is
9 something that is to be decided later, but we now have ten statements
10 that all say that Ostoja Sibincic was a member of the Serbian Renewal
11 Movement in the local board. Had he been a member of the Serbian Radical
12 Party, he would have stood next to me on the platform at the rally. He
13 may have been somewhere in the crowd, but I never met him in my entire
14 life. Nobody has any shred of evidence to prove that I met him at any
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen, for the sake of
17 time Mr. Seselj agrees with Judge Lattanzi so maybe we're making
19 MR. MARCUSSEN: Which indeed is a good thing, Your Honour. I
20 feel obliged to put on record that the Prosecution is of the view that it
21 does not matter whether or not the statements that the accused is
22 presenting are stamped or not. The fact is that he has not tendered any
23 of these statements and nothing is in evidence, so it would be an error
24 to consider these statements and the contents of them until they have
25 been tendered into evidence. Moreover, as we have seen with this
1 witness, the witness has not confirmed anything else than, yes, it is
2 correct that the statement says this, that, and the other. So there's no
3 evidence presented as to whether or not the contents of the statement are
5 So I put this on record at this stage because I think it is an
6 important issue that will have to be dealt with in the light of the way
7 the accused has conducted all of his cross-examination and in light of
8 the fact that he has handed up quite an array of documents during all of
9 his case. Our position is unless he tenders it into evidence during his
10 case -- his Defence case, he has presented no evidence whatsoever when he
11 has proceeded in this way. Thank you, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I quite agree with you,
13 Mr. Marcussen.
14 Proceed, Mr. Seselj.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] As if -- I am not interested in
16 what Mr. Marcussen has to say, as if he had called any evidence here in
17 the seven years, and he hasn't, just false evidence.
18 Q. I would like you to look at the remaining three statements. Have
19 you heard about Dragan Trifunovic? He's from Hrtkovci. He still lives
20 there. He was the principal of the school, and he was a member of the
21 Socialist Party at the relevant time.
22 A. Yes, of course I've heard about him.
23 Q. He himself claims, as regards Ostoja Sibincic, the same thing
24 that the other people say, that he had nothing to do, at the bottom of
25 page 2, that he had no links with the Serbian Radical Party, that he was
1 not a member. And at page 2 at the bottom.
2 A. What's the number? Is it number 6?
3 Q. That's Dragutin Trifunovic, at page 2. That's document
4 number VII
5 A. Document number VII
6 Q. At the bottom of page 2 it says that Ostoja Sibincic was a member
7 of the Serbian Renewal Movement, and it says at the bottom of the page
8 that he was never a member of the Serbian Radical Party and that he had
9 nothing to do with it. Have you been able to find it?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. What we can find interesting here since he was a prominent figure
12 in Hrtkovci; is that correct?
13 A. Well, as the principal of the school I would agree with you.
14 Q. He was the principal of the school, one of the most respected and
15 prominent people there. Would you agree with me?
16 A. Yes, I would agree with you that he was one of the best known
17 people there.
18 Q. You can see this thing that's marked on page 4. He claims that
19 Tadeusz Mazowiecki -- have you heard of Tadeusz Mazowiecki?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Was he the Special Rapporteur of the European Community or of the
22 United Nations for Human Rights? That's correct; right?
23 A. Yes, I know that.
24 Q. Well, he says that Mazowiecki personally took part in the
25 launching of this whole scandal about Hrtkovci. Can you see that here?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And that a reporter by the name of Branka Jovanovic, from the
4 hear that Mazowiecki got involved in this whole Hrtkovci affair?
5 A. No, never. This is the first time that I hear something like
7 Q. Could you please look at the eighth document. Do you know
8 Dobrosav Markovic.
9 A. Yes, I've heard about him.
10 Q. He says that he was the president and the deputy president of the
11 local commune of Hrtkovci for eight years.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And that the first exchanges of property began in August 1991.
14 Is he telling the truth?
15 A. As for the exchanges of houses in August 1991, I know nothing
16 about that, Mr. Seselj.
17 Q. Can you please go to page 2.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And again we look at the marked paragraphs. He says that in
20 1991, Ostoja Sibincic and Aleksa Ejic founded the Serbian Renewal
21 Movement and that -- then that the Democratic Alliance of Vojvodina
22 Croats established its chapter in autumn 1991, and that Bela Tonkovic,
23 the president of the party, himself attended this event. Have you heard
24 about that rally?
25 A. Yes, I did but I did not attend it.
1 Q. You heard about Bela Tonkovic?
2 A. Yes, I did. Now, whether he was there -- well, I haven't heard
3 anything about that. I did hear that there was a meeting, the meeting
4 that you're mentioning.
5 Q. Did you hear about Josip Cindric?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Dobrosav Markovic says that he was elected the president of the
8 local chapter of the Democratic Alliance of Vojvodina Croats in Hrtkovci.
9 And he says that the Democratic Alliance of the Vojvodina Croats in
10 Hrtkovci was a more serious party, much better organised than any other
11 party in the village, and this could be seen from the founding meeting
12 which was attended by about a hundred people, whereas the Serbian Renewal
13 Movement had about seven or eight people and the Serbian Radical Party a
14 bit more. Is that possible?
15 A. I really can't tell you anything about the figures. Whether this
16 is possible or not, I really don't know.
17 Q. And he says that the Serbian Radical Party did not exist at that
18 time in Hrtkovci. Can you see that he said that?
19 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: In the previous
20 question it was not the Serbian Radical but the Serbian Socialist Party.
21 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
22 Q. You can see the paragraph that's marked on the same page.
23 A. On the same page.
24 Q. It begins with the words: "The Serbian Radical Party did not
25 exist at the time in Hrtkovci."
1 And now do you know that Dobrosav Markovic moved out of Hrtkovci?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. We had a witness here who testified in public session,
4 Aleksa Ejic, who claimed that we, the Serbian radicals, chased
5 Dobrosav Markovic from Hrtkovci. And he gave this statement to my
6 associates in response to Aleksa Ejic's testimony, and he says:
7 "As regards my departure from Hrtkovci, I have to say that I'm
8 astonished by what Aleksa Ejic said about my departure, that I was forced
9 to leave by the Serbian radicals. I went -- I left Hrtkovci because of
10 my children, so that I could afford them better education, and I offer --
11 I offered to -- I took the offer of a man who offered me some money for
12 my house. There was no pressure for me -- forcing me to leave Hrtkovci."
13 Is this an acceptable statement to you, that he was not forced to
14 leave Hrtkovci by anyone?
15 A. Well, I don't see any reason why it should be unacceptable. I
16 heard that he had moved out from Hrtkovci, and now as to whether it was
17 under pressure or not, I didn't hear anything about that. I even met him
18 in the period following his departure. He never mentioned any
19 coercion -- or, rather, I didn't meet him. I met his wife, whose parents
20 live in Croatia
21 would have told me had there been any coercion.
22 Q. Well, you can see what happened. Dobrosav Markovic went on TV.
23 You know that the Serbian state TV is broadcasting all -- the whole of
24 the trial, everything that goes on in public session?
25 A. Well, yes. I heard about that. I don't know whether it's the
1 whole of the trial.
2 Q. Well, he saw the trial on TV, what Aleksa Ejic said as he
3 testified, and he got in touch with my associates and wanted to give them
4 this statement when he heard what he said in his testimony.
5 Now we have a very important document. It's not a document that
6 was generated by my Defence team. This is the document bearing the Roman
7 numeral IX. At page 1 is the request of Gordana Pop Lazic, a deputy in
8 the National Assembly, pursuant to our demand that we be given a
9 certified copy of the shorthand minutes of the session of the Assembly on
10 the 14th of November, 2007, and that's what we sent on the 12th of
11 February, just now. Have you been able to find it?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You say something in your statement and in your viva voce
14 testimony, you repeated the same thing, that a delegation came to
15 Hrtkovci from Belgrade
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You say that a delegation from Belgrade came to Hrtkovci, that it
19 included Vesna Pesic, and this is when you learned that your name was on
20 the list of people who should leave.
21 I never heard that my name being called out or -- and I never saw
22 a list of people with the names. Some people did see the list of names
23 and they said that it contained my name.
24 You confirmed yesterday that Vesna Pesic did arrive as part of
25 that delegation in Hrtkovci; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
6 MS. BIERSAY: Excuse me, Your Honour.
7 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
8 Q. -- there was a debate --
9 MS. BIERSAY: I'm unsure, but I would ask that -- just in an
10 abundance of caution that that be redacted for reasons I'm sure the
11 Trial Chamber understands. And I will be happy to explain.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, it cannot be redacted. There's
13 no reason for the redaction. It was in public session.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mrs. Biersay, what is it that
15 you would like to redact? There was a trial that I was not in charge of,
16 the trial of Mr. Seselj about this book. In theory, the trial was made
17 public, and the book must have also been mentioned publicly. A
18 Trial Chamber declared that Mr. Seselj was guilty of having disclosed in
19 this book the identity of three protected witnesses, if memory serves me
21 Mr. Seselj has lodged an appeal. I don't know what is the status
22 of the appeal, so for the time being he's presumed innocent as is the
23 appellant, and the appeal is pending. And it probably was the case. I
24 don't think that there was such a thing as a secret trial. If that was
25 explained during the hearings, why should we say today, well, no, all of
1 this must be made confidential. I mean, it's hard for me to follow.
2 What is it that you would like to redact exactly?
3 MS. BIERSAY: Mr. Seselj has just described a reference in his
4 book that he has attributed to this witness. It is -- I'm not talking
5 about the contempt trial. I'm talking about him referring to parts of
6 his book that reflect the past statements given by this witness which was
7 exactly the issue at hand.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. So you're saying
9 that in the book there's the name of the witness, and so all you have to
10 do is read the book with about the ten names and there is a risk that the
11 witness may be identified. You are right in saying that. I'm going to
12 ask my colleagues whether we need to have that redaction made or not.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, in that part of the
14 book the name of this witness isn't mentioned at all.
15 MS. BIERSAY: That's not the issue. The issue is not whether the
16 name of the witness was mentioned. The issue is whether there is
17 information contained in the book that tends to identify the witness, and
18 I believe that issue has been addressed.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This witness yesterday in public
20 session that was seen by the whole of the Serbian public mentioned Vesna
21 Pesic's arrival in Hrtkovci, saying that he heard on that occasion that
22 his name was on the list of people who should go. This was discussed
23 yesterday in open session, and this is why I want to address this with
24 this witness, nothing else.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, you're allowed to ask the
1 question. The only problem Mrs. Biersay has is that you said earlier
2 that the name of the witness is in the book. That's all. And that,
3 according to me, is where the problem lies. You should not have said
4 that the name of the witness was in the book.
5 Mrs. Biersay.
6 MS. BIERSAY: The information -- he's correct. I -- not the
7 name, the name's not in the book but because of the type of information
8 and attributing it and other information about the witness in the book,
9 that's what tends to identify the witness. So that's what I'm drawing
10 attention to.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please, I'm not going to read the
12 book. I mentioned the book in order to tell you how this debate in the
13 National Assembly came to be. Nemanja Sarovic, a deputy in the National
14 Assembly, quoted a part of that book in public. It was broadcast live on
15 TV. He quoted that part of the book where Vesna Pesic was mentioned, and
16 Vesna Pesic reacted as if burned, and she said several times that she
17 never went to Hrtkovci at all, and you can see those parts marked here.
18 That's what Vesna Pesic said in the National Assembly before millions of
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, I understand, Mr. Seselj.
21 In the document which is now translated, this is something which shows
22 that Vesna Pesic did not come, and this has nothing to do with the
23 witness we're hearing now except about the fact that the witness may not
24 agree, but that's another issue.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] There is. It is linked with this
1 issue, because this witness said that he learnt that his name was on the
2 list of people to be expelled when Vesna Pesic came to Hrtkovci. It's in
3 his statement, and that's what he testified yesterday in public session.
4 At page 4, could you please look at what is marked here. Vesna Pesic
5 says, "I have never been in Hrtkovci." It seems that you are confusing
6 people here. She told Nemanja Sarovic that he was a liar and she said --
7 used all other kinds of offensive language.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, put your question
9 and we'll see whether through your question there is a risk that the
10 witness may be identified. I'm not able to say that for the time being
11 because you haven't asked your question yet. We know that you have
12 written a book. We don't have the title of this book. We know that you
13 have been sentenced. We know that we have this document which appears to
14 be an official document, and the whole discussion is to know whether, yes
15 or no, Vesna Pesic has come to Hrtkovci. And you would like the witness
16 to confirm or not what he may have said before about the coming of that
17 delegation. Is that what you're trying to establish?
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. And I asked the witness to
19 read --
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, then please ask your
21 question because unless you put the question, I don't know whether there
22 is a risk of the witness being identified. And if so, then we'll redact
24 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
25 Q. From this certified copy of the shorthand minutes of the session
1 of the National Assembly, were you able to see that Vesna Pesic denies
2 ever having gone to Hrtkovci at all, and that the man who says she was
3 there, she tells him, "You're a liar. This is your usual way of doing
4 things. Can you prove any of your allegations?" Can you see that in the
5 marked part or do I need you -- do I need to read all of it to you?
6 A. No, there's no need.
7 Q. She says, I have never been in Hrtkovci in my life. It seems
8 that you're confusing people here. I don't know. Maybe some other
9 person was here and I have never put any foot in Hrtkovci at all, in any
10 place that is called Hrtkovci. This is your custom. You stand at the
11 lectern -- not only you but many of your colleagues stand here and simply
12 say a lie and then if nobody objects, then that's how it is. It goes
13 down in record.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I didn't say that.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Page 73. From line 12 to 15.
20 Yes, proceed, Mr. Seselj.
21 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
22 Q. And then Vesna Pesic goes on to say, It's like if you blame a
23 puppy for scratching the car. That's your style. Lying is your style.
24 First of all, you lied. You can see that Vesna Pesic is really at the
25 end of her tether. So could you please prove that I commented anywhere
1 anything about Hrtkovci? My name has nothing to do with it. Perhaps you
2 will find some other name, but you will never find my name in anything
3 that is related to Hrtkovci.
4 Have you seen that part?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Does it look to you that Vesna Pesic is really flabbergasted, at
7 the end of her tether?
8 A. Well, first of all, it does appear to me --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The witness is kindly
10 asked to speak into the microphone.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I could say that this
12 rhetoric is not in line with what Madam Pesic used normally, at least not
13 as far as I know her.
14 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Well, what does it tell us then? Do you then doubt the
16 authenticity of the shorthand notes?
17 A. No, I do not. I'm simply taken aback by this style, this
19 Q. Well, in light of that, does it not appear to you that she was
20 really very upset?
21 A. Well, she does appear to be excited and upset because of the
22 claim that she had to challenge here.
23 Q. Can you see in some other places that she repeats that she had
24 never set her foot in Hrtkovci?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Through to the end of the transcript?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now I would like to ask you not to leaf through it, not to
4 shuffle the papers because of the microphone. It -- what would you say
5 in this regard --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, Witness. We shall
7 have a break now, but very quickly, in your statement which I have before
8 me, the second statement, the 2006 statement, in paragraph 12 you say
9 that Vesna Pasic was, as you believed, head of the democratic party and
10 that at that time her views were different from those of the socialist
11 parties or radical parties, and you say the delegation came to Hrtkovci.
12 "I was not in Hrtkovci at that time, but my wife told me that a
13 delegation had come." One could therefore conclude that she did come.
14 When this delegation came, you were not there. It was your wife who told
15 you or must have told you. What do you have to say to that?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's why I would say that --
17 well, I can only assume because I can't recall with any certainty. Now,
18 whether this was my wife who told me or somebody else. The only thing
19 that I know is that at that meeting or when a delegation from Belgrade
20 arrived, if any arrived, in fact, because this is also challenged here, I
21 couldn't say anything because I did not attend it. Somebody did tell me
22 that Mrs. Pesic was there, but it's obvious then that that person did not
23 tell me the truth.
24 Q. Now, if we take into account --
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's have our 20-minute break,
1 and the Registrar will tell me how much time Mr. Seselj still has.
2 --- Recess taken at 12.32 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 1.00 p.m.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
5 We only have 45 minutes left now.
6 Mr. Seselj, according to our countdown, you have 30 minutes left
7 approximately. I know that the Prosecutor requires five minutes for it's
8 housekeeping issues.
9 MS. BIERSAY: I know the schedule is quite full, Your Honour, but
10 to the extent possible, I wondered if I could perhaps have five minutes
11 to address some brief issues with the witness.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. Mrs. Biersay will
13 have five minutes, Mr. Seselj five minutes perhaps also, and
14 Mr. Marcussen five minutes. So you should really finish at half past
15 since you had 30 minutes. It is now 1.00. Please proceed.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, from my reckoning, I
17 have 39 minutes left. I kindly ask you to ask your own Legal Officer how
18 much time I have left precisely.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Registrar will let me know
20 how much time you have left. Please proceed. Mr. Seselj, let me remind
21 you that the Trial Chamber had handed out a decision and stated that the
22 objections could be taken off your time, just for your information.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, then, if you're taking time
24 from my allocated time on account of objections, it's not fair. All my
25 objections were to the point, and you're not deducting time from
1 Mrs. Biersay.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Proceed.
3 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Mr. VS-067, we were talking about Vesna Pesic now during the
5 break. I was puzzled by what you'd said, namely that what
6 Mrs. Vesna Pesic said at the national parliament was not like her.
7 A. Yes. I said it was not her style.
8 Q. And you are familiar with her style?
9 A. From what I had heard her saying, and that's not much because I'd
10 left Serbia
11 Q. And what mental state does a person have to be in, a person like
12 Vesna Pesic, in order to react like that in the parliament, at a session
13 that is broadcast to millions of viewers, to blow her fuse completely?
14 She must have been in a difficult mental state. I don't mean any kind of
15 sickness, but I mean a high degree of irritation.
16 A. Possibly.
17 Q. She was very hard-hit by an incident of slander that she been in
18 Hrtkovci and involved in some sort of scandal, whereas she had never been
19 in that place.
20 A. Whether she had understood that as slander or simply an untruth,
21 I don't know.
22 Q. Well, you know what it's like when somebody says untrue --
23 somebody says something untrue about you. It's slander. It's
24 defamation, and that's how she understood it, obviously. But she thought
25 it came from the Serbian Radical Party, that they had invented, made up,
1 her visit to Hrtkovci. That's what it was all about, wasn't it? I see
2 that you seem embarrassed yourself, and I quite understand.
3 A. I'm embarrassed inasmuch as my statement given to the
4 investigators may be wrong in that passage. That's why I could be
6 Q. Do you agree that both your statements to OTP investigators and
7 your evidence yesterday -- would you please stop shuffling the papers,
8 because we can hear it amplified.
9 Do you agree that the two statements you gave to the OTP
10 investigators and the evidence you gave yesterday is full of things that
11 you had heard from other people, and you're not even able to name those
13 A. I suppose you mean mainly the passages where I said to the
14 investigators that Mr. Sibincic had been a member of your party and what
15 I stated about the arrival of Mrs. Pesic to Hrtkovci. Do you mean that?
16 Q. Well, there are many things you say you heard from other people,
17 but you don't know who exactly. You said you heard from someone you were
18 on a list.
19 A. Yes, yes. I heard about that. Whether I was really on the list,
20 I never received any confirmation by way of reading the list.
21 Q. Yes, but you ascribe that list to me. You say that I'm supposed
22 to have read that list at the rally.
23 A. That's not what I'm saying. That list could have been given to
24 you. You didn't necessarily make the list.
25 Q. But you take it for granted that the list existed. Somebody gave
1 it to me, and I read it out.
2 A. I didn't say you read it out. I said that some names were read
3 out from a list. Whether they were really read out or whether they were
4 read out by you, I never made any claims one way or another.
5 Q. I told you that Mr. Zilic, the secretary of our board, read out
6 the names of people who were no longer living in Hrtkovci and who were
7 allegedly part of the Croatian Home Guard, a paramilitary formation.
8 That's what they heard, and that's what I put to you.
9 Have you heard of Blagoje Dudic?
10 A. Blagoje Dudic, with a D? No. No, I haven't.
11 Q. He is from Hrtkovci. On the 17th of January, 1992, he came to
12 Hrtkovci from Zagreb
13 house had an area of 164 square metres, and he had to swap with a man in
15 Have you got this document that I received at 1342 hours?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. On the second page of that document it says that when he came to
19 Serbian Radical Party. He became a member in Ruma. He gives the number
20 of his membership card, and he says that the Municipal Board of our party
21 in Ruma gave approval that a local board be established in Hrtkovci, and
22 ten members of the Serbian Radical Party gathered, established the board
23 and elected him chairman, and they decided to hold a rally in May. He
24 also says they invited him to the come to the rally -- they invited me to
25 come to the rally because it was a major holiday, St. George's Day.
1 You know why I decided to put this to you? Because he describes
2 in the second highlighted paragraph how the police guarded the rally, how
3 they provide security. You know that every rally, every gathering had to
4 be announced to the police. You know that?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And everyone had to give at least 48-hours' notice. And he
7 describes that a couple of hours before the rally the commander of the
8 police station in Ruma came to his yard, Toma Milic [phoen]. You know
10 A. No.
11 Q. He asked him about the organisation of security, and Dudic
12 answered that the rally had been announced properly, and they expected
13 the police to provide security at the rally, like they do for all other
14 citizens. And then the police commander said what if an incident
15 happens, and Dudic answered, "Then we are going to grab you by the neck,
16 as a policeman." And then I'll read:
17 "After that, Milic called for the police to come and they came
18 several hours later, in full equipment with gas masks, and they provided
19 security for the entire rally until the end. Dr. Seselj came directly to
20 the rally. After the rally he had to move on immediately, and to my
21 great regret, we had no opportunity to talk with him before or after the
23 Since you say you did not attend the rally yourself, do you know
24 that a large number of policemen in full equipment provided security?
25 A. No, I don't know that.
1 Q. Well, Dudic said they did. Where were you at the time of the
2 rally of the Serbian Radical Party?
3 A. In Hrtkovci.
4 Q. Were you far away from the venue of the rally?
5 A. Rather far away.
6 Q. You were not able to hear the public address system at the rally
7 or the music before the rally, none of that?
8 A. No. I was far enough not to be able to hear any of that.
9 Q. You said something else in your statement that's very
10 interesting, and you repeated that yesterday in the courtroom in open
11 session, namely that your ancestors were Albanians. Is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Albanians are the ancestors of all the people in Hrtkovci who
14 later declared themselves as Croats, almost all of them.
15 A. Certainly a part of the population.
16 Q. I am rather well read about this, and you said that your
17 ancestors, Albanians, settled in Hrtkovci following the Carnojevic leader
18 who led a lot of the Serbian people from Austria. You say that -- in
19 fact, many of your ancestors were killed in Valjevo by the Ottoman Turks
20 who caught up with them. You know that?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And your Albanian ancestors came to Hrtkovci and Nikinci, to a
23 Serbian area, and they lived along with the Serbs like brothers.
24 Albanians, Christians, always had brotherly ties with Serbs.
25 A. I can say they lived in harmony.
1 Q. Although you were Catholic and most of the Serbs around you were
2 Orthodox Christians; correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And your ancestors became Serbified, so to speak. They forgot
5 the Albanian language and became Serbs. You lived there as an ethnic
6 group for 300 years.
7 A. Yes, approximately that long.
8 Q. But certainly in the 20th century something happened. They
9 forced you to declare yourselves as Croats suddenly.
10 A. That's not when it happened. My ancestors declared themselves as
11 Croats, perhaps even as early as the beginning of the 20th century, not
12 towards the end.
13 Q. I didn't say towards the end of the 20th century. I said early
14 20th century, and I suppose as an intellectual you know that. It was
15 after year 1900, after the first Croatian Catholic Congress in Zagreb
16 You heard about that Congress?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Catholic bishops made the decision at that time that all
19 Catholics who speak the Serbian language are of Croat nationality, and
20 that's the beginning of this Catholic policy. And then gradually they
21 started forcing you to declare yourselves as Croats, although you had
22 originally arrived as Albanians, and you lived rather well in a Serbian
23 environment as Albanians for 300 years. You enjoyed a good life.
24 A. Well, based on what my grandfather used to say, and my father,
25 I'm not aware that any problems existed.
1 Q. You know from history that the last Ottoman siege of Vienna
2 in 1683; correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And it lasted seven years, and the Polish King Jan Sobieski broke
5 down that siege?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And in a big counter-offensive, the Austrian army expelled
8 Ottomans from Hungary
9 as Skopje
10 A. As far as I know.
11 Q. That's when our Serbian ancestors and your Albanian Christian
12 ancestors took up arms to help, and since the main General, Piccolomini,
13 fell victim to plague and died, the new Austrian commander was not able
14 to stop the Ottoman counter-offensive.
15 A. That's not the information that I have, this withdrawal of the
16 Austro-Hungarian empire.
17 Q. It was not Austro-Hungarian empire. It was just Austria
18 A. Austria
20 Q. Well, the consequence of this big Vienna war was that the
21 Austrian army expelled all the Muslims from Hungary, Vojvodina and
23 A. Whether they were expelled or they withdrew, I don't know.
24 Q. Well, both happened. Large numbers pulled out with the Ottoman
25 army, and a large number was expelled. We can agree on that. Do you
1 know that at that time there came a massive resettlement, including of
2 your ancestors.
3 A. You mean Serbs moved in to your area.
4 Q. Yes. Large numbers of Serbs came under Carnojevici. Have you
5 heard Eugene
6 the Austrian army. In 1690, with the Austrian army he entered Bosnia
7 came all the way to Sarajevo
8 A. I don't know about the torching of Sarajevo, but I do know about
9 this great infiltration of the Austrian army.
10 Q. And when he pulled out of Bosnia
11 Serbs, Catholics and Orthodox alike, joined him, and he settled them in
13 A. Well, to be quite frank, Mr. Seselj, this is the first time that
14 I hear about something like at that but I'm not challenging it.
15 Q. The Sokci minority, they are Catholics who live in Vojvodina, and
16 they say that they are Croats. That's how they say.
17 A. I don't know if they're of Serbian origin or not, but I do know
18 that they now declare themselves as Croats, but again I'm not challenging
20 Q. You heard about the Bunjevac minority?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. It's a separate ethnic group that it -- it has its own tradition
23 and culture.
24 A. Yes, in the north of Backa.
25 Q. Yes, in the north of Backa but some of them lived in Lika too.
1 A. Yes, I think so.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The speakers are kindly
3 asked to speak one at a time.
4 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Do you know that Bunjevci are originally from the Neretva valley,
6 from the Buna river valley, in fact, in Herzegovina?
7 A. I don't know that.
8 Q. Well, the name Bunjevci would indicate that.
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: And Mr. Seselj again, please observe a small
10 pause between question and answer.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. We will make pauses.
12 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
13 Q. You know that the Turks governed Lika at the time of the greatest
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And the Austrian army expelled the Turks from Lika; is that
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. But unlike in Hungary
20 pulled out, too, or were expelled, quite a few of the Lika Muslims
21 remained in Lika. You are familiar with that, are you?
22 A. No, that is the first time that I hear something like that.
23 Q. And then they had to convert by force. They had to convert to
24 Catholicism for the most part, but some of them took Orthodox religion.
25 For instance, you have Orthodox people from Lika whose last name is
1 Atlagic, a Muslim last name.
2 A. I don't know that.
3 Q. And do you know that in the first half of the 18th century --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen.
5 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, we've had situations like this
6 before where the accused is cross-examining a witness on things which at
7 best are peripheral and then towards the end of his time he comes to
8 points that seem more essential to the matters here. So I would suggest
9 that maybe the accused be advised to get to the point.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, we are -- we
11 control the usefulness of your questions. In other words, the questions
12 you ask are intellectually speaking interesting but in light of the
13 indictment of lesser importance. Your time and ours is extremely
14 valuable, so if you put questions and the answers are "I don't know but I
15 don't deny it," you know, this can go on forever in light of your
16 knowledge of historical events which the witness does not share so he
17 cannot contradict you and he will just say "yes" in reply. So if you
18 just wish to repeat what we -- you have already said, we know that
19 already. So why should you insist further?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, if you've allotted
21 time to me, I am trying to use that time to the best of my ability, as
22 best as I can, but if I have to keep justifying why I ask some questions,
23 in a very proper way if I am engaged in an intellectual dialogue with
24 this witness who is way above the intellectual level of the witnesses we
25 have had so far here, and if the witness himself said that the ancestors
1 of the Croats who live in Hrtkovci today came as Albanian Catholics
2 together with Serbs, he opened up the possibility for me to pursue this
3 line of questioning, to clear this things up, things that are important
4 for my defence, because I think they are important, and I don't have to
5 notify either the Prosecution or the Trial Chamber why I deem something
6 to be important for my defence.
7 The Prosecution has been asking really peripheral, nonsensical
8 questions, wasting our time and nobody's warning them.
9 This is important for the key argument of my defence case. I
10 have only one question of this sort and then I will finish this chapter,
11 if you allow me to. If not, then --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed if you have a
14 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Since you are an educated person, of course you're not an
16 historian but I assume that your knowledge is deep there too, have you
17 heard that in the first half of the 18th century, so in 17 -- around
18 1725, that all the Bulgarians who were Catholics moved out of the
19 Bulgarian areas under Turkish government and moved to the area of
21 A. No. No. Mr. Seselj this is the first time that I hear something
22 like that.
23 Q. And their descendants are forced to declare themselves as Croats.
24 A. No. I've never heard about that.
25 Q. So today they are turning Bunjevac -- the Bunjevac people, who
1 are of Serbian origin but they have their own separate culture and
2 tradition, and Bulgarians into Croats, just as they turned you Albanians
3 into Croats in Hrtkovci. So is this a similar process? If what I have
4 been putting to you is correct?
5 A. Whether the Croats exerted any pressure on my ancestors to
6 declare themselves as Croats, well, I really don't know that.
7 Q. No. It is my argument that this was not done by the Croats but
8 by the Roman Catholic Church.
9 A. Well, the Roman Catholic Church, whatever. Whether it insisted
10 on them declaring themselves as Roman Catholics or -- or, rather, as --
11 in terms of their ethnic background, I really don't know anything about
13 Q. Do you know in the former Yugoslavia
14 were about 1 million Serb Catholics living there?
15 A. No. This is the first time that I hear something like that.
16 Q. Well, if that's the case, we're not going to dwell on that.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could I please be given the
18 remaining time.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, it's 1.30. You have five
20 minutes left.
21 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
22 Q. I have a document here that was submitted to me by the
23 Prosecution. It's an excerpt from one of my books. The number is
24 0626-4255. It's a statement by the wife of the man with whom you
25 exchanged houses. I'm not going to mention the name because that might
1 disclose your identity. You have it in the bundle of documents that you
2 received, and the Registrar can help you.
3 It's not my document, so it doesn't bear any Roman numerals. The
4 number on the document is 0626-4255. Have you been able to find it?
5 A. I'm still looking.
6 MS. BIERSAY: Your Honours, if I may, this was inserted in your
7 binders. It's an extract from Mr. Seselj's book.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We will not specify the title of
9 the book because we want to protect the identity of the witness. We
10 don't want to be bothered by going into private session.
11 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Have you been able to find it, Witness?
13 A. No. But you can tell me what it's all about.
14 Q. I would like to elicit your comments on some of the parts
15 therein, the parts that I highlighted. The statement has been translated
16 into English and I cannot be criticised on any account now. She
17 describes how her entire family, her husband had died in the meantime,
18 was forced to leave Podravska Slatina in order to save our lives. This
19 is what she said.
20 A. No, I can't -- I don't have it. I don't have it, but I'm
21 listening to you.
22 Q. Okay. I'm going to be reading it because the Judges and the
23 Prosecutors can follow it in English.
24 "We were very frightened. First a rich local man was killed. He
25 was the only glassmaker in the area where lots of things were being
1 constructed. He was killed at the edge of the village, and then arrests
2 occurred daily. One day they would arrest this man. The next day they
3 would arrest another. And it became obvious that we could no longer live
4 there and that we had to flee."
5 Have you heard about this kind of horrible persecution that the
6 Serbs suffered at the hands of the Tudjman regime in Croatia and that
7 this was the reason why they had to flee?
8 A. Yes, I heard that pressure was exerted on some of the Serbs in an
9 effort to make them move out of Croatia
10 Q. Did you hear that some Serbs were killed in the process?
11 A. I don't know whether there were many of them, but I did hear that
12 some were killed indeed.
13 Q. Now, let us contrast this with the situation that you faced. It
14 was probably not very pleasant for you when this huge massive Serb
15 refugees arrived in Hrtkovci, and you were not very happy when you heard
16 about me advocating retortion. I'm quite aware of the fact that it
17 wasn't pleasant for you, but we in Serbia
18 was one murder, but the perpetrator was prosecuted. Stefanac was killed
19 and it was an ordinary crime. He was not killed because he was a Croat.
20 You know that his murderers were prosecuted.
21 A. I don't know what was the motive for his murder.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The speakers are kindly
23 asked to speak one at a time.
24 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Well, we have evidence here. I called evidence here, and I also
1 wrote in my book about the sentences they received and so on. I'm not
2 going to maltreat you with that.
3 We have no evidence that the authorities arrested Croats and
4 exerted pressure on them in this manner.
5 A. I don't know about any such cases.
6 Q. Do you know about any cases where Croats were fired simply
7 because they were Croats, if they worked in state-owned companies or in
8 the civil service or public services?
9 A. I don't have any such knowledge up until the time when I lived
11 Q. So the wife of the man who exchanged his house with you --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I must cut you off here for a
13 shortage of time.
14 Mrs. Biersay, can you please be as quick as you can. We'd like
15 Mr. Seselj to be able to ask some further questions if he has any.
16 MS. BIERSAY: Yes, Your Honour. You'd like me to do -- to ask
17 questions now.
18 Further Cross-examination by Ms. Biersay:
19 Q. Mr. Witness, during his cross-examination, specifically at
20 provisional page 19 of the transcript, line 15, Mr. Seselj asked you
21 whether or not you were aware of cases that -- where the police
22 intervened, where refugees moved into houses that were occupied by people
23 from Hrtkovci. Do you remember that series of questions?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And you said that there were cases of that happening. Is that
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now, Mr. Seselj didn't ask you to describe those cases, but could
4 you please describe that for the Trial Chamber, and please, if you think
5 the information will identify you, please let us know and we'll request
6 to be moved into private session.
7 So what cases are you aware of, and can you discuss it in public
9 A. I can. I can. I would only perhaps insist on not naming names.
10 Is that acceptable?
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Go ahead.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know of a few cases where the
13 police was called, and after they came, the police either prevented
14 people from being driven out of their homes or they did not succeed,
15 either because they did not arrive in time, or -- I cannot think of any
16 other reason. They did not arrive in time.
17 MS. BIERSAY:
18 Q. I don't want you to give the name, but did you have a family
19 member who was, in fact, forced out physically from his house? Did you
20 have such a family member?
21 A. Yes, an uncle of mine.
22 Q. Now I'd like to address the last thing. Are you aware -- well,
23 first let me back up. You have been asked lots of questions about
24 Ostoja Sibincic. Now, in your testimony, what I understood you to be
25 saying was that based on the information that you had at the time, you
1 believed him to be associated with the Serbian Radical Party. Am I
2 correct in understanding it that way?
3 A. Yes, yes. Your understanding is correct.
4 Q. Are you aware that in August of 1992, Mr. Seselj held a -- that
5 there was a press conference held by Mr. Seselj in which he demanded that
6 Ostoja Sibincic and others arrested in Srbislavci, former Hrtkovci, be
7 immediately released? And that was in August of 1992. Are you aware of
8 that press conference at all?
9 A. No. This is the first I heard of it.
10 MS. BIERSAY: And for the record that would be 65 ter 1559.
11 Your Honour, I have no further questions.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
13 Mr. Seselj, for the sake of fairness, do you have any questions
14 to put to the witness?
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, as far as this conference is
16 concerned, it really makes no sense that it was not provided by
17 Mrs. Biersay in the file.
18 MS. BIERSAY: Objection. What does he mean by it wasn't provided
19 in the file? It's a 65 ter number that's accessible in e-court, and the
20 Court has it in a language it can understand.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, do you have any
22 questions to the witness about the Sibincic arrest in which you may
23 have -- you are said to have intervened to get him released?
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have something to say about this
25 first part. The fact that I interceded on his behalf to have him
1 released, I would do that again. But the fact that I want someone to be
2 released because he's being politically persecuted does not mean that the
3 man belongs to my party. It's a nonsensical question. Why would I
4 bother about that? Another point by Ms. Biersay is important.
5 Further Cross-examination by Mr. Seselj:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Do you know of any case where a Croat was
7 expelled from Serbia
8 leave and leave their property behind? Not cases where people felt
9 uncomfortable and then decided to swap properties. Everybody would feel
10 uncomfortable if thousands of refugees flowed in, Serbs and Croats alike.
11 But do you know of any case where a Croat or a Croat family were expelled
12 by a decision of the state authorities, they had to leave their property
13 behind and go to Croatia
14 A. No.
15 Q. Very well. Another short question. Is it obvious to you that an
16 incomparably greater number of Serbs had to leave Croatia than Croats who
17 had to leave -- or who left Serbia
18 A. Well, if you take into account the numbers that you quote, then
19 it's obvious.
20 Q. And under those circumstances, when an exchange of property takes
21 place, is it obvious that Croats who swap property with Serbs from
23 masses of Serbs who left Croatia
24 and had their houses bombed? Is it obvious that you Croats had a much
25 larger choice than Serbs?
1 A. Well, you could say that.
2 Q. Isn't then a logical consequence that the Croats who were
3 swapping property had a much better deal of it than Serbs, because they
4 could pick and choose? Maybe some of them made mistakes and made wrong
5 choices, but isn't that a logical consequence of the situation on the
6 market? The supply, the Serbs who were offering their property for
7 exchange, were much more numerous than the Croats.
8 A. I think that's logical.
9 Q. I'm happy with your testimony. I think it was fair.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I'd like to thank you
11 on behalf of the Trial Chamber for coming to bring your testimony. You
12 may now leave the office in which you're sitting.
13 [Witness's evidence via videolink concluded]
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now before I quickly give the
15 floor to Mr. Marcussen, the Trial Chamber announces that next week we
16 shall not have a witness in light of medical problems that some of them
17 have, but the following week we will have a witness, and the week after
18 that we shall be sitting in the afternoon.
19 Very quickly now, Mr. Marcussen, if you may, because my colleague
20 and myself, Judge Harhoff and myself, in a few minutes are dealing with
21 another case.
22 MR. MARCUSSEN: Thank you, Your Honour. There were at the --
23 Your Honour's questions at the beginning of the testimony of the witness
24 were very much based on the statements that the witness had given to the
25 Office of the Prosecutor, and I wonder whether for the completeness of --
1 the complete understanding of those parts of the testimony of the witness
2 it would be appropriate to admit those statements into evidence, and I'm
3 therefore suggesting to tender those statements into evidence.
4 That was my first point. My second point is at page 56,
5 beginning at line 18 today, the issue came up as to the current status of
6 the case, and it was said that the remaining witnesses were Court
7 witnesses and that the Prosecution no longer had a burden of proof.
8 The Prosecution's position is that the Prosecution case is not
9 closed. The Prosecution hasn't closed its case, and we will be
10 presenting further evidence in the case. And of course, and I'm sure
11 this might be either a translation issue or simply just in the heat of
12 the battle, but the burden of proof obviously rests on the Prosecution
13 until the end of --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Okay. What else do you have?
15 Very quickly. This -- I'm very interested to know.
16 MR. MARCUSSEN: It's at page 54, line 16.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is it that you're going to
18 present? What further elements do you intend to present as you no longer
19 have any witnesses?
20 MR. MARCUSSEN: We're going to tender further Prosecution
21 exhibits. There will be further motions, and the remaining witnesses are
22 still being presented as part of the Prosecution case. The Prosecution's
23 presentation of evidence isn't closed. That's my point.
24 Now, the last point --
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I quite agree with you on this.
1 MR. MARCUSSEN: I have been advised that it would be maybe --
2 another point. It would maybe advisable that C -- Exhibit C-20, which is
3 the pseudonym sheet of the witness, should be placed under seal. It was
4 not yesterday.
5 And then my -- my very last point, if we could move very briefly
6 into closed session, Your Honours, or private session, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, please, private
9 [Private session]
1 [Open session]
2 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honour.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I will not take into account what
4 Mr. Marcussen has just said, because it has nothing to do with this Trial
5 Chamber but another Trial Chamber.
6 Secondly, I oppose strenuously the admission of statements that
7 were drafted by the Prosecution and signed by this witness. It is
8 contrary to every procedural rule, be it in common-law or in
9 continental-law systems. We had a witness who testified viva voce here,
10 and this statement cannot be admitted into evidence.
11 If you happen to admit it, then it will be yet another instance
12 in which my procedural rights are being violated.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As I have said, normally
14 speaking we will hear a witness in two weeks' time. I hope he can come.
15 There are very few witnesses left. We have difficulty bringing them
16 here. We will keep you abreast on a day-to-day basis. Thank you.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.49 p.m.
18 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 2nd day of March,
19 2010, at 2.15 p.m.