1 Monday, 7 March 2011
2 [Rule 98 bis Hearing]
3 [Open session]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.33 p.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, can you call the
7 case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you and good afternoon, Your Honours.
9 This is case number IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus
10 Vojislav Seselj.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Today is Monday, 7th of March,
12 2011. I would like to greet all the people present in the courtroom,
13 and, more specifically, the members of the OTP, Mr. Seselj, and all the
14 people assisting us.
15 The Trial Chamber would like to specify that it has handed down a
16 whole series of decisions. At the end of last week, a few decisions
17 remain to be handed down. These are currently being deliberated by the
18 Judges. These decisions are of a technical nature. Thanks to the
19 considerable amount of work provided by the Judges and their staff, we
20 have been able to respond to 15 or so motions filed by the Prosecution
21 during the months of December and January.
22 The Trial Chamber bears in mind the speed of the trial and has
23 endeavoured to make sure that we can start on what is called the 98 bis
25 I know that the Prosecutor wishes to take the floor, and I shall
1 give you the floor right away.
2 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honour, just very briefly.
3 The Prosecution wish to put on record that we are prepared to
4 proceed with the 98 bis hearing today and tomorrow, and maybe on
5 Wednesday, although there are a number of motions that are outstanding on
6 evidentiary issues.
7 In normal circumstances, all evidentiary issues relating to the
8 Prosecution's case would have to be settled before proceeding to 98 bis,
9 but in light of the circumstances of the case, as I indicated, we are
10 prepared to proceed. The Prosecution reserve the right, however, to
11 raise any evidentiary issues that arise from the decisions that the
12 Trial Chamber will issue on these decisions at an appropriate time after
13 the 98 bis hearing.
14 As far as I have been able to sum up, there are -- well, there
15 are a number of motions, but they fall into sort of seven general
16 motions. There's an outstanding motion, an oral request, with respect to
17 VS-27's testimony and the admission of exhibits related to his testimony.
18 There are a number of filings relating to the Mladic diaries. The
19 Prosecution has requested certification of a decision rendered on the
20 28th of December by the Trial Chamber in relation to the credibility of a
21 witness. We also have a motion for reconsideration, filed on the 7th of
22 January. Actually, there are two motions filed on that day. The
23 Prosecution is also appending a motion, I believe, for reconsideration of
24 parts of a decision rendered on the 23rd of December by the Chamber, and
25 our motion was filed in this regard on the 21st of January. And,
1 finally, there is some pending issues relating to a motion that was filed
2 on the 15th of April and supplemented on the 29th of June, 2010. It was
3 a motion relating to issues arising from two judgements relating to
4 Vukovar that the Trial Chamber proposed to tender into evidence. The
5 Prosecution, in the context of the litigation about these matters, also
6 sought disclosure of material that the Trial Chamber has proprio motu
7 obtained and consulted. The Trial Chamber has issued an oral ruling
8 dismissing the motion -- I'm told to slow down. I apologise.
9 The Trial Chamber has issued an oral decision in relation to the
10 motion -- or, rather, part of the motion, because the issue that has not
11 been dealt with is the Prosecution's request for disclosure of material.
12 I believe the Trial Chamber has indicated at an earlier hearing that
13 written reasons would be issued, so I will not take up more time at this
14 hearing. We have other things we should move on with. But I just wanted
15 to list the sort of seven categories of pending issues that I believe
16 that we are aware of. And if the Trial Chamber is assisted by us trying
17 to make a more detailed written submission on this, we will, of course,
18 be happy to assist.
19 Thank you, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber has noted
21 that the Prosecution is co-operating with the Trial Chamber. This is
22 something which has been recorded a few minutes ago. We filed the
23 decision relating to the Dan Saxon motion. This was filed just a few
24 minutes ago. We also filed two decisions concerning the Mladic diaries.
25 This was filed a few minutes ago. The other decisions are responses to
1 motions of a technical nature; VS-27, for instance. The Trial Chamber
2 has already deliberated on this motion, and all of this will be filed
3 over the next few hours either today or tomorrow.
4 This is what I wish to tell you, since the Trial Chamber in this
5 case comes up against a great number of motions of a different nature,
6 and we need to reply, which is, in fact, what we do.
7 Mr. Seselj, I shall give you the floor right away. Let me remind
8 you that you have three and a half hours to present your case as regards
9 the 98 bis proceedings. The Prosecution has four hours. And you will
10 have 30 minutes to respond, as part of your 98 bis request.
11 What do you wish to say, Mr. Seselj?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, first of all, I wish
13 to respond to this request made by the Prosecution. I assume that I have
14 the right to do that. Also, I would like to provide you another piece of
15 information that is of an administrative nature.
16 As for the time that you have planned for my 98 bis pleadings,
17 I'm satisfied with four hours, but I would like to recombine it. Could I
18 speak three hours first and then leave three hours to respond to the
19 Prosecution? I believe that that is going to cause no problems for you.
20 Secondly, today it seems obvious as well that the Prosecution is
21 abusing their procedural rights with enormous number of motions and
22 requests that are totally insignificant in relation to these proceedings.
23 You probably remember, Mr. President - you were a member of that
24 Trial Chamber, too, that for a long time conducted pre-trial proceedings
25 in my case. At the time, as I was waiting with a feeling of uncertainty
1 when my trial would start, I responded to practically every motion made
2 by the Prosecution, and on my own side I filed a large number of motions.
3 Quite simply, I tried to use that time in some way through the writing of
4 motions and through giving instructions to my associates as to what they
5 should do, and, in this way, learned the procedure of common law, the
6 Anglo-Saxon legal system.
7 You probably remember that when these proceedings started, I have
8 been avoiding filing any kind of proceedings -- filings in writing so
9 that you wouldn't have to wait for translation into French or English,
10 and then the Prosecution states their views, and then you finally make a
12 Recently, the liaison officer from the Registry filed an entire
13 set of documents for me from these proceedings. I had an opportunity to
14 look at all of this in a relaxed manner, not burdened by those piles that
15 the Prosecution burdened me with intentionally. Eighty per cent is
16 irrelevant to these proceedings. They could have easily done without it.
17 The Prosecution would not have lost anything in this way, if 80 per cent
18 of this had not been filed, and the case would not have been infringed
19 upon in any way. That is why this is a situation that the Trial Chamber,
20 in a way, had to bring to an end.
21 Look at all the time that we are wasting over the Mladic diaries.
22 And, actually, the Prosecution should say right now why these diaries are
23 relevant to these proceedings. However, if that were to be the case, he
24 would feel that he was in deep trouble, and he would have no idea what to
1 Secondly, I have to tell you that the Registry has made it
2 impossible for me to receive a visit of my legal advisers and the case
3 manager. The Registry did all sorts of nasty things.
4 First of all, on the 21st of October, I filed a motion applying
5 to have Dejan Mirovic listed as my legal adviser, instead of
6 Slavko Jerkovic, and they lost that. Also, in that same motion, I said
7 that Nemanja Sarovic would be case manager in these proceedings. And
8 then they said that two of my legal advisers could come, but not the case
9 manager, because they're asking the case manager now to say something in
10 relation to some statements that he had made to the press. Obviously, in
11 a tendentious and malicious manner, they were trying to delay my
12 preparations for the 98 bis proceedings. I'm not complaining. I managed
13 to prepare even without that.
14 However, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that
15 these methods of undermining my defence are being perfected further by
16 the Registry, and there's more and more of them, at that.
17 Now I'm prepared to state my views.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before you respond:
19 Mr. Seselj, the Trial Chamber has deliberated and accords you three hours
20 to present your case, as far as the 98 bis proceedings are concerned, and
21 one hour to reply to the Prosecution, if need be.
22 As you know, we are expecting a decision handed down by the
23 Appeals Chamber pursuant to the Trial Chamber's decision on the funding
24 of your Defence. As soon as the Appeals Chamber decision is issued,
25 everyone will have to comply with it, and more specifically so, the
1 Registry, but we don't know what this decision entails.
2 Mr. Marcussen, you have the floor.
3 MR. MARCUSSEN: The point has probably become moot in one way,
4 Your Honours. I was on my feet to object to the accused getting an hour,
5 basically using one-fourth of his time to respond to the Prosecution
6 submission. He's basically turning upside down the proceedings in this
7 case. He's to show why there's no evidence in the case. We are
8 responding. It's a motion. Normally, there is not even provisions for
9 reply. He cannot know whether or not he would have anything to reply to.
10 But Your Honours have ruled, and obviously the Prosecution
11 respect that. The Prosecution may need some time to sur-reply after
12 that, but we'll see about that at the end of the hearing and make a
13 submission, if necessary, at that point.
14 Thank you.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you now have the
16 floor relating to the 98 bis proceedings.
17 I would ask the Prosecution not to interrupt Mr. Seselj when he
18 is presenting his arguments. You will have ample time to reply
20 You have the floor now.
21 [Defence Submissions]
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges, according to Rule 98 bis, I
23 am making a request that you enter a judgement of acquittal on all counts
24 of the indictment, since it is quite clear that there is no evidence
25 whatsoever that could be used as grounds for a conviction. Nothing was
1 proven in court, and nothing was proven by way of the material evidence
2 provided to the Trial Chamber.
3 In addition to that, I ask that you make a decision that I be
4 paid compensation for having spent more than eight years in detention for
5 no reason whatsoever, for everything that I experienced during this
6 detention, mistreatment, especially in view of denying me my right to
7 self-representation, jeopardising my health, stopping my political career
8 ruthlessly when it was on the ascent.
9 International customary law has many pillars that would support
10 this kind of financial compensation for detainees who spent a great
11 amount of time in detention before a sentence. There is jurisdiction
12 from Rwanda to that effect. However, in the jurisprudence of
13 The Hague Tribunal, no such compensations were made, although certain
14 persons were acquitted. In some cases, an oral agreement was reached
15 between the Office of the Prosecutor and the detainee or the accused who
16 was set free; namely, that the OTP would not appeal the decision if the
17 said accused would not ask for compensation, like Milan Milutinovic,
18 Miroslav Radic. There was also the case of the Kupreskic brothers who
19 were acquitted on appeal, and then they announced that they would file a
20 request for financial compensation. However, they were then cautioned
21 that they were not acquitted because they were not found guilty, but
22 rather because the crime that they were found guilty of was not in the
23 original indictment, so they were warned that if they went on clamouring
24 about damages to be paid, there would be proceedings initiated against
25 them concerning the matters for which they were found guilty and which
1 were not part of their original indictment.
2 Also in the case of Sefer Halilovic and Naser Oric, there were
3 other things that were happening, but I'm not very well versed in that,
4 so I could not really invoke those cases.
5 Since I have no compromise in this respect whatsoever, I ask that
6 you make a decision for a total financial compensation to be paid for all
7 of these eight years, and more than that, that I spent in detention
8 without any legal basis whatsoever, especially bearing in mind the fact
9 that the proceedings against me took place for political reasons only.
10 Of course, there is no need to prove particularly that this is
11 well based. In all legal systems in the world, in all international
12 customary law, in any country where there is a legal system, there is
13 recognition of this adequate compensation or damages to be paid to a
14 person who was detained for no reason whatsoever and who was acquitted
15 after proceedings or after the prosecution would not prosecute any
16 longer. This is a blatant fact, and there is no need to prove that any
17 further. I have already invoked the position of the
18 International Tribunal for Rwanda, and you will be in a position here to
19 state your views in that regard as well.
20 The indictment against me was issued more than eight years ago
21 for political reasons only. That was confirmed by Carla Del Ponte in her
22 well-known book. She mentioned the names of the high political officials
23 who asked for that, asked her to indict me, to arrest me, and this
24 remains in the history of international criminal law; namely, the
25 statement made by the former mafia pro-Western prime minister of Serbia,
1 Zoran Djindjic, addressed to Carla Del Ponte, Take Seselj away and do not
2 send him back. Indeed, it wasn't exactly Carla Del Ponte who took me
3 away. It is for other reasons that I came to The Hague during those few
4 days. But the Dutch police arrested me at Amsterdam Airport, they
5 brought me into prison, and that is where I am to this day.
6 These whole proceedings have shown that I'm not here for any war
7 crimes, but because I -- the Americans, the British, the NATO alliance,
8 and everybody else cannot stand me in Belgrade because they would not be
9 able to carry on the silent occupation of Serbia if I were there. The
10 entire Serbian people is clear about that. And these Western powers
11 certainly don't want me to return to Belgrade ever. But if they can't
12 prevent me from returning some day, after all, they want it to be as late
13 as possible. And if they cannot prolong it, then they want me to stay in
14 Scheveningen until the next parliamentary elections so that their
15 proteges and the false opposition, led by Nikolic and Vucic, that they
16 bring about a victory of Western interests and so that the tacit Western
17 occupation of Serbia remain intact.
18 This indictment issued against me enabled me to become a
19 significant historical personality. These proceedings, which have gone
20 on for eight years, have also enabled me to do the same. No textbook of
21 international criminal law will be written in the future without
22 mentioning and describing my case. What more can a man expect in his
23 modest little life?
24 Certainly, as a passionate fighter, I'm never satisfied with what
25 I've achieved. I always want more. And some are focused on acquiring
1 more and more wealth, but I have always despised that in my life. I want
2 to achieve ever more in the spiritual sphere.
3 The indictment against me is based on false accusations; firstly,
4 that I physically committed some crimes against humanity and crimes
5 against the laws and customs of war. First and foremost, these are the
6 totally unfounded accusations of persecution by way of direct and public
7 ethnic slighting in my political speech given at Vukovar, Hrtkovci and
8 Mali Zvornik. You Judges were able to see that I gave no political
9 speeches in Vukovar during the war.
10 There have been some false witnesses here who have -- here in
11 this courtroom, and it was no problem for me to blow their testimony to
12 shambles. Sljivancanin, Radic, Bojkovski, and some others were allegedly
13 present when I called a meeting in Stanko Vujanovic's house and told them
14 that no Ustasha must stay alive, when I was in Vukovar for the last time
15 on 12 November 1991. But you were able to see that this simply didn't
16 happen; not because I am now giving reasons why I stated something that I
17 stated or why I'm denying that I stated it, but simply the event never
18 happened. As far as I'm concerned, I really would like all Ustashas to
19 be dead because Ustashas are such an evil, they are even worse than
20 Hitler's Nazis. And why would I feel sorry for them if they were all
21 dead? But there was no such meeting. And the witness who claimed that
22 he heard what was said at that meeting was shown in the Mrkic case to be
23 unreliable. And then he came here, he remembered very little, so you
24 were able to see that this statement was actually amended in his
25 notebook. The other witness who was proofed by the same service claimed
1 that I had a rally in front of Vujanovic's house where I gave a speech to
2 the soldiers that had gathered there. And a third one, at a third place.
3 So shells are flying all over the place and exploding, and rockets and
4 bullets, and I have rallies and give a speech in Vukovar. What nonsense.
5 There have been no such political rallies or speeches in Vukovar.
6 The Prosecution strove to prove that at this alleged meeting with
7 the officers, I incited them or instructed them, ordered them possibly,
8 to shoot all captured Croatian soldiers, Ustashas. That is not true.
9 And you have seen a number of other examples where I, at the same time,
10 advocate the respect of international law of war.
11 So there was no meeting held at Vukovar at which I allegedly
12 committed a criminal offence. I, therefore, have not committed the crime
13 of persecution by direct and public ethnic slighting in Vukovar. I did
14 encourage Serb fighters to persevere in their fight and to win, but never
15 in my life did I want anybody to kill, or beat up, or torture prisoners.
16 On the contrary, I have always been fiercely against that.
17 Furthermore, in the indictment I'm accused of committing a crime
18 by giving a speech in Mali Zvornik in March 1992. You were able to see
19 here -- or, rather, I wanted to make a sketch here in the courtroom
20 because I didn't want to say right away that the whole speech given in
21 Mali Zvornik was published in "Velika Srbija" magazine, but you were
22 impatient and intervened to say that this is 1990; we are talking about
23 1992. Well, of course, the meeting or the rally in Mali Zvornik was in
24 1991. After that, there was a fight -- a fist fight, but in 1992 there
25 was no rally at all. So it all relies on one false witness who made up
1 this rally. And based on that, the Prosecution accuses me of directly
2 perpetrating a crime.
3 The Prosecution takes the statement of that one witness for
4 granted. They never made the effort to check whether it really happened.
5 If there was a rally attended by 200 people, and a thousand or 2.000
6 people took part in the fighting after the rally, well, couldn't they
7 have found another witness to corroborate that statement? Only after
8 being ordered by the Trial Chamber to establish whether there are any
9 traces of a rally held in March 1992, then the Prosecution, and I think
10 it was Mr. Marcussen, informed you that they were unable to find him
11 anywhere -- or to find any trace of that anywhere, either in the daily
12 papers or in any other papers. You had the approval for the rally, and
13 the contract with the Cultural Centre, and the statement given by the
14 police station when the rally took place, and everything else. So there
15 is no direct perpetration of the criminal offence of using hate speech.
16 I will speak about the very nature of that criminal offence a bit later,
17 because it has been introduced into the indictment without any foundation
18 under international penal law. Now I will only focus on the facts.
19 Thirdly, it is stated that I committed persecution by giving a
20 speech at Hrtkovci. You were able to see what false witnesses said that
21 I had stated in this speech; that all children from mixed marriages
22 should be killed, that all mixed marriages should be divorced, that I
23 read out the list of people who must be expelled, and so on. And then
24 you saw my original speech. You also saw the report of the
25 State Security Service. They were not sympathetic toward me. And you
1 saw what this speech at Hrtkovci was all about and how many lies had been
3 In the pre-election campaign at Hrtkovci, I explained the
4 programme of the Serb Radical Party, and I said that if we win the
5 elections, that we would exchange populations, because at that time as
6 many as 200.000 Serbs had been expelled from Croatia. They had arrived
7 in Serbia, and then that we would try to find a solution for exchanging
8 houses and apartments with the Croats from Serbia, especially those who
9 became prominent supporters of Tudjman's regime and the
10 Croatian Democratic Union, and so on, and I never denied saying that, as
11 I would never renounce any speech I gave, any text I've written, no
12 interview, and no book I've written, never for my life. But I did have
13 to refute these lies and untruths, so that with regard to the accusations
14 for persecution by any deeds of mine, the Prosecution hasn't achieved a
15 thing. It was a fiasco. It cannot be proved beyond a reasonable doubt
16 that I did any of these.
17 The Prosecution accused me of deportation and inhumane acts, that
18 is, forced transfer, which is meant by that, because I gave a speech at
19 Hrtkovci. But who was deported from there? Nobody. Who was forcibly
20 displaced or transfers? Nobody. You know, Judges, how deportation is
21 done. Somebody has to leave their property, their house, or apartment.
22 They have little time to pack up a little bit, as much as can be placed
23 in a backpack, but sometimes not even that. They are happy to come out
24 of it alive. And you know how forceful transfer is done. But in
25 Hrtkovci, the Serbs who were expelled from Croatia and had to leave their
1 property, they came to that place, and they swapped with the Croats from
2 Hrtkovci who, when they received an offer to exchange their property,
3 were able to travel to Croatia several times to see that property, and
4 then carefully consider whether they would profit due to that exchange,
5 and they regularly fared better in those exchanges.
6 The principle of supply and demand on the market shows that they
7 had to fare better. If 200.000 Serbs had already been expelled from
8 Croatia, who came to Serbia with practically no belongings, whereas a few
9 hundred or perhaps a thousand or two Croats exchanged their property and
10 left for Croatia to live there, well, their numbers were 1 per cent of
11 the numbers of the expelled Serbs, and of course they had to fare better
12 in the process, because everybody who left was able to exchange their
13 property for some other property. That is not deportation. Nobody in
14 this whole world can call that to be the crime of deportation, although I
15 did advocate that exchange of property in my political speeches.
16 Forcible transfer is done within the boundaries of one state. It
17 never happened that, for example, a Croat from Hrtkovci was moved under
18 force to another place in Serbia. There are no such cases. There are
19 fluctuation of populations for economic reasons, for some other reasons,
20 and so on and so forth. Even if there had been a crime, the Prosecutor
21 would have to prove that by its intensity, in terms of its danger for
22 society, in terms of its scale, it was equal to other crimes pursuant to
23 Article 5 of the Statute, which implies persecution in a broader sense of
24 that term. Look at that crime, what cases were used at this Tribunal
25 where that crime was applied, and you will easily conclude that there is
1 no basis to conclude that developments in Hrtkovci should be treated in
2 that way. We clarified the killing of a man, the killing that happened
3 sometime around that time. That was processed by court. There are no
4 ethnically-based reasons for the crime. The reasons were just common
5 crime, and that's all.
6 Furthermore, the Prosecution says that I committed crimes by
7 participating in a JCE as a co-perpetrator. I will dwell on that issue
8 after I have tackled all the individual crimes that I've been charged
10 The next crime I'm charged with is the crime of abetting, and
11 it's inciting crimes. The Prosecution says that I contributed to the
12 perpetrators reaching a decision to commit crimes. Give me one single
13 speech, my speech, by which I incited people to commit crimes. You have
14 a lot of my interviews, TV shows, political speeches on the case file.
15 You won't find any of them in which I advocated crimes -- in which I
16 incited people to commit crimes. I have never attempted to make
17 potential perpetrators to commit crimes. On the contrary, I was always
18 opposed to crimes. I always publicly condemned participants in the war
19 on the Serbian side of whom I heard that they had committed crimes. What
20 other actions besides speeches could have incited crimes?
21 The Prosecution wrote things in the indictment, and then they
22 have forgotten them, and they equally have forgotten to prove any of
23 those crimes.
24 Furthermore, it says in the indictment that I also contributed to
25 the commission of crimes by omission. What omission are those? What did
1 I omit to do? What was my command position? What was my state position
2 where I could have omitted to do something? I delivered speeches to
3 volunteers on the way to the front-line. I instructed them as to how to
4 fight, how to treat prisoners, civilians, women and children. What did I
5 omit? What did I not do? Did I omit to prosecute somebody of whom I
6 heard that they had committed a crime? No, I didn't, because I did not
7 have that authority. I did brandish all the crimes that I'd heard of in
8 my political speeches. I was merciless in that. Sometimes my life was
9 threatened because of that.
10 The Prosecutor is at a loss as to how to define my alleged
11 responsibility for crimes, and that's why it provides you with
12 alternatives. They say, He acted either as an individual or as a member
13 in the JCE. And then it's up to you, Your Honours, it's your headache to
14 decide whether I acted as an individual or as a member of a JCE. They
15 don't take any efforts to come up with any precise definitions. The
16 moment they want to come up with precise definitions, they are at a loss
17 as to what to do, their case falls apart, and that's why they favour
18 general formulae, because such a formulae are all-encompassing and they
19 can cover everything. The moment you specify things, the system breaks
21 You have heard all of their witnesses in the courtroom, all of
22 their experts. Every time I cross-examined them, I came out victorious
23 because I was very specific. I never engaged in general phrases. I was
24 never interested in any of those. My responsibility is defined by giving
25 the alternatives.
1 They say I planned, and they don't say how I planned, where,
2 what. They say that I abetted, and you saw how they tried to explain
3 that. And they said that I helped in other ways in the preparation,
4 abetting, and commission of crimes, and this is where the story ends.
5 How I engaged in any planning, abetting, inciting, how did I do that by
6 participating in the war? Look, war crimes happen in a war, and you
7 cannot say in advance whether somebody is prone to committing crimes or
8 abetting crimes, so every individual participation in a crime has to be
9 proven for that particular individual. There are no general phrases --
10 there is no general phraseology in an attempt to prove that a crime was
12 In the indictment and in the proceeding, the Prosecutor always
13 advocates the following thesis: We know him; this is what he's like.
14 You know me well. That's, indeed, what I am, I'm the worst person under
15 the sun. I'm not even going to dispute that. But, please, prove what is
16 it that I did, specifically. What specific guilt are you ascribing to
17 me? Where did I commit those crimes? Where did I abet those crimes?
18 Where did I cover up those crimes? And as for the fact that I'm the
19 worst person in the world, you can only hate me no end, and that's all.
20 You don't even have to prove that, because I admit that I'm the worst
21 person under the sun.
22 When we talk about individual criminal responsibility or criminal
23 acts, those are something that is so pointless that it actually appears
24 funny, if not tragic. First of all, they charge me with persecution on
25 racial or ethnic basis as a crime against humanity, and within the crime
1 of persecution, they also charge me with the killings of elderly women
2 and children. How many witnesses we've heard here, how many exhibits
3 have been admitted, and there is no single proof that I was ever involved
4 in a killing of a civilian, of a woman, of a child, of an elderly person,
5 there is no single piece of evidence to that effect.
6 I already told you several times in this courtroom that I bear at
7 least a moral responsibility for the behaviour of the volunteers of the
8 Serbian Radical Party, although after the 1st of October, 1991, I didn't
9 have any command responsibility over them. From the moment that they
10 left in an organised manner and joined the units of the
11 Yugoslav People's Army, before that my task was to rally them, to provide
12 them with transportation, and to take them to the Bubanj Potok Barracks,
13 and that's all. I'm not escaping my moral responsibility. If you had
14 proven here in this courtroom that those volunteers that I sent away
15 indeed committed those crimes that you ascribe to me, I would at least
16 suffer moral consequences and I would relinquish my right to participate
17 in political life because I would deem myself morally responsibility. I
18 sent them there, and look what they did. However, the Prosecutor did not
19 prove that volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party that I had sent to the
20 front-line ever committed a single crime anywhere. Not a single
21 killing -- not a single killing was proven. The Prosecutor now says
22 other people committed those crimes and it's one-and-the-same thing, the
23 Serb forces committed crimes, and now I have to be taken to task for all
24 Serb forces. Okay, then. Even if I were taken to task for all them, let
25 me say that I will accept that. Why do you reduce the indictment to
1 several municipalities? Why did you not charge me with all the alleged
2 crimes committed by the Serbs in the war? That would have been too big a
3 bite to chew, especially bearing in mind that on the Croatian side and on
4 the Muslim side, practically you never charged anybody; not anybody
5 serious, that is.
6 The following crime within the crime of persecution as a crime
7 against humanity is a long-term and routine imprisonment. Where did the
8 volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party imprison anybody, and especially
9 where did they do it for a long time and routinely? Did it happen in
10 Vukovar? They didn't. In Zvornik, no. In Sarajevo, no. In Mostar, no.
11 In Nevesinje, no. Why is it then in the indictment?
12 You have led your witnesses who showed in the courtroom that some
13 other people incarcerated and imprisoned people, and there were rumours
14 about some Seselj's men, it was on the grape-vine, or witnesses came who
15 only here in the courtroom remembered that they had heard of Seselj's
16 men, and before, when they provided statements to either Muslim or Croat
17 government authorities, they never mentioned any Seselj's men. Where did
18 the Serb Radical Party members participate in the establishment of
19 inhumane conditions of incarceration in detention camps? No single
20 volunteer of the Serb Radical Party participated in any such thing. The
21 volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party were combat units, combat units
22 alone. Give me a single piece of evidence showing that I sent a single
23 volunteer or group of volunteers to guard detention camps. Give me just
24 one piece of evidence and I will -- I will admit that I'm guilty on all
25 counts of the indictment; killing, torture, and beating of prisoners.
1 The Prosecutor showed a great ambition here, and then they led a
2 few witnesses, and you saw, Your Honours, what those testimonies -- what
3 those statements looked like. One of them identified Seselj's men as all
4 men sporting beards. The others said that they wore cockades. There was
5 no single piece of evidence to prove that they were, indeed, volunteers
6 of the Serbian Radical Party.
7 Where was it that the volunteers of the
8 Serbian Radical Party took prisoners to work on the front-line for
9 prolonged periods of time? It didn't happen? What bodies were in charge
10 of that and could take a decision on that? Was it the Ministry of
11 Justice or the Ministry of the Interior?
12 The Prosecution had a witness whom they had prepared - his name
13 is Nikola Poplasen - and he was a false witness, and he was the one who
14 provided them with a statement to that effect. That statement was
15 provided to me, and I was really curious to talk to Nikola Poplasen here
16 in the courtroom. However, the Prosecution finally gave up on his
17 testimony, did not put him on their witness list. At the time when he
18 was a government commissioner in Vogosca and when he signed orders for
19 prisoners to be taken to work at the front-line, he was not even a member
20 of the Serbian Radical Party. I'm talking about the year 1992. He
21 became a member of the Serbian Radical Party only later, and he became
22 the president of our party for Republika Srpska. Unfortunately, he
23 betrayed the party later on, he agreed to collaborate with
24 The Hague Tribunal, and so on and so forth.
25 What about the sexual mistreatment of civilians during arrest or
1 incarceration? Can you tie any of such events to the volunteers of the
2 Serbian Radical Party? Give me just a random selection of such cases.
3 For example, in Zvornik, some witnesses claim that they were sexually
4 abused in prisoners' camps, and that happened towards the end of May or
5 June, when there were no volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party there at
6 all. In Brcko, for example, Ranko Cesic did something of the sort. He
7 forced prisoners to perform intercourse. Interestingly enough, I read in
8 the judgement, because I read all of the judgements of
9 The Hague Tribunal, he says -- his Defence team says that he had to do
10 that because otherwise he would have been killed or punished by his
11 officers. Every criminal, every villain who committed crimes, war
12 crimes, tried to defend his acts in that way, by saying that those who
13 were in command are responsible. Even Ranko Mrdja, or whatever his name
14 was, he killed over 100 Muslim civilians at Koriscanske, Stijene. He
15 also tried to prove that somebody else ordered him to do that, although
16 after that crime, he was all the time fleeing from the Government of
17 Republika Srpska, and then he made a plea-bargaining agreement with the
18 Prosecution, just like Ranko Cesic and Goran Jelisic as well. Those men
19 who were capable of committing such crimes, what does it cost them to
20 perjure themselves? To my deepest regret, you did not dare bring them
21 over in my case to perjure themselves here, neither them or
22 Aleksandar Vasiljevic or similar people because you knew how they would
23 fare in the courtroom, but they were used in some other cases.
24 Sexual assault at the Lake of Borac. There were female witnesses
25 here, victims, who had suffered that. However, how come volunteers of
1 the Serb Radical Party were at the Lake of Borac? There was the
2 2nd Cavalry Brigade there that was commanded by one of the closest
3 associates of Vuk Draskovic. There was the Serb guard of Vuk Draskovic,
4 also a detachment from Nevesinje, and there were some Red Berets that the
5 OTP wanted to link to Serbia, but, actually, they were a detachment of
6 the Army of Republika Srpska. They got that nickname just because,
7 indeed, they did wear red berets on their heads. Where did you find
8 volunteers of the Serb Radical Party there? We never sent them there, so
9 there were no sexual assaults that you managed to prove either.
10 Your witnesses were heralded in a bombastic way in those
11 summaries that you wrote up yourselves. However, as soon as they would
12 show up in court -- I'm not going to mention any names on purpose,
13 because these include the names of many protected witnesses and I am not
14 going to create a situation whereby you can move into private session. I
15 am going to speak to the extent to which I can be assured that the public
16 hears each and every word that I say in the courtroom today, because only
17 if I have a public trial can I be guaranteed any rights, because the
18 Judges are trying me, but the public is trying the Judges. So let us see
19 who is going to fare in which way.
20 Within persecution as a crime against humanity, I am being
21 charged with the imposition of restrictive and discriminatory measures,
22 also removal from positions of authority, dismissal from jobs, denial of
23 medical care, arbitrary searches of homes. Where was that done by
24 volunteers of the Serb Radical Party? The OTP writes that up in the
25 indictment, and paper can take anything, and if you manage to impose one
1 of your people as my Defence counsel, you would have gotten away with all
2 of that. You got away with a whole lot of things in many other trials
3 because the Defence attorneys were on the payroll of the OTP. Not a
4 single Defence attorney ever filed charges against false witnesses here,
5 false Prosecution witnesses. They pretend to defend their clients to the
6 extent to which they are not going to do anything that the OTP or the
7 Trial Chamber would hold against them. They don't care about the fate of
8 their clients. The clients go to prison, they get lots of money, and
9 everything is fine.
10 Where was it that volunteers of the Serb Radical Party were in
11 positions of authority in the first place? Where was it that they could
12 take any kind of measures in legal or illegal ways? Nothing. Where
13 could they restrict the movement of civilians? Where could they dismiss
14 people from their jobs? Where? The Prosecution did not even call
15 evidence to that effect. You did not have a single witness here who said
16 that a man of Seselj's had laid him off, not a single one. So why is
17 that contained in the indictment, then? Because the indictment was
18 supposed to be a nice story for the public at the time when I was being
19 arrested. Now the time has come for the things that were written up in
20 the indictment to bounce back to the OTP as their boomerang. They
21 don't -- the Prosecution cannot deal with that. This is destroying the
22 very basis of the Prosecution. It shows the methods that the Prosecution
23 resorted to, because as opposed to lawful courts of law, where a
24 prosecutor sincerely wants the truth to be disclosed, here the
25 Prosecution is given an assignment. The Prosecutor is told, You are
1 going to issue an indictment against such and such a person and bring him
2 here, and nobody cares about the truth. The OTP did not check any one of
3 the Prosecution witness statements, and you saw what all of these
4 preliminary statements contained. That is why the Prosecution failed
5 with each and every one of these witnesses in the courtroom. They
6 regretted ever bringing them into the courtroom. They explicitly gave up
7 on some of these witnesses altogether. They told you here -- they
8 officially stated that they would not be invoking their witness
9 statements, and we lost hours and hours questioning these witnesses.
10 If this were a serious Office of the Prosecutor, they would be
11 carrying out a proper investigation. If the OTP tried to find out what
12 the full truth was, these proceedings would never have started. However,
13 finding out what the real truth was would not make the OTP victorious.
14 The OTP does not consider this to be a success of their own, as an
15 officer of international justice. They only want an accused person to be
16 found guilty, regardless of whether that person is actually guilty or
18 Torture, beatings, and robbing civilians. The Prosecution tried
19 to prove that on several occasions, and they never managed to do so.
20 They never managed to prove it in Vukovar. They never managed to prove
21 it in Zvornik or anywhere else.
22 You saw that there is a judgement in Belgrade, a judgement -- a
23 final judgement of the Supreme Court in Belgrade, after retrial, that
24 shows that none of the volunteers of the Serb Radical Party took part in
25 the commission of the crime in Ovcara. You also saw that volunteers of
1 the Serb Radical Party had nothing whatsoever to do with the crimes in
2 Zvornik. Just one of the accused persons in Belgrade, who was convicted
3 in Belgrade, said in the court in Belgrade that he came to Zvornik as a
4 volunteer of the Serb Radical Party, but whether he stayed on there or
5 whether he went back and then came back yet again, that remained unclear.
6 We saw, with regard to deportation or forcible transfer, that
7 there is no way that this kind of crime could have been committed in
8 Hrtkovci. However, that did not happen in any other location either.
9 Namely, the volunteers of the Serb Radical Party were not engaged in
10 deportation or forcible transfer of civilians. They were only engaged in
11 fighting, and nothing else.
12 The next crime is deliberate destruction of homes, other public
13 and private property, cultural institutions, historic monuments, and
14 sacred sites. There is no shred of evidence to the effect that this was
15 committed by the volunteers of the Serb Radical Party.
16 You see, in war operations, property is destroyed, especially on
17 the front-line. That is where houses/apartments are destroyed, sometimes
18 sacred sites as well if they are being used by the enemy for combat
19 purposes. But you have no evidence to the effect that volunteer of the
20 Serb Radical Party destroyed cultural institutions, historic monuments,
21 and sacred sites, although you ascribe that to me as well. Wherever
22 these sacred sites were destroyed, they were destroyed after combat.
23 During combat, they could have been damaged or destroyed only if they
24 were used as military positions. However, in that situation, they are
25 not protected by the Geneva Conventions.
1 As for the violation of laws and customs of war, again you are
2 charging me with murder. Since you did not prove a single murder that
3 was committed by volunteers of the Serb Radical Party, I don't really
4 have to deal with it here now. Then also torture, as violations of laws
5 and customs of war, that is not applicable to volunteers of the
6 Serb Radical Party at all, because you do not have a single case when
7 that kind of thing happened. Also, there is no cruel treatment, saying,
8 Such and such a person did that, and we have also proven that that person
9 was a member of the Serb Volunteer Party or a volunteer. All of this is
10 quite foggy; someone heard somewhere that some men of Seselj's were
12 You cannot base a judgement on hearsay. Didn't they teach you
13 that during your first year of law school? Facts have to be defined
14 thoroughly and precisely, and also beyond a reasonable doubt, at that.
15 If there is the possibility of doubting this, believing that someone else
16 may have done it, then all of this falls into the water. You did not
17 prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt, except for the fact that you
18 hate me no end and that you want to see me convicted at all costs. That
19 is something that is beyond reasonable doubt. And I am not surprised at
20 that, but I am surprised that you allow yourselves to express it in such
21 a way.
22 Again, there is reference to deportation here and forcible
23 transfers as crimes against humanity, crimes that are basically the same,
24 but there are different formulations in the Statute. This was simply not
25 done by the volunteers of the Serb Radical Party. We did not ruthlessly
1 destroy villages here, or pillage them in any way, or carry out any kind
2 of destruction that was based on military necessity. Also, we did not
3 destroy or willfully damage any kind of facilities, and we did not rob
4 private or public property, and there is no proof of that being done by
5 volunteers of the Serb Radical Party. It is true, though, that there is
6 proof of me attacking others for looting during the war, who were taking
7 truckloads of items out of areas of combat. I cannot swear that no
8 volunteer of the Serb Radical Party ever pinched something somewhere
9 which could have been put into a pocket or into one's breast, but -- I
10 cannot swear that. However, there was no organised plunder by volunteers
11 of the Serb Radical Party. That did not happen anywhere, and
12 Serb Radicals did not take part in plundering anywhere.
13 As for our party, we threw out those who legally received
14 presents from the local authorities as a way of expressing gratitude for
15 what happened during the war. You can find evidence of that, because as
16 we sent volunteers, we first and foremost wanted to preserve moral
17 purity. We wanted our reputation to be immaculate. I am grateful to the
18 OTP from The Hague for the fact that I managed to see for myself that,
19 indeed, this moral purity of ours was not infringed upon in any way
20 during the course of the war, and that I managed to convince the world
21 public of that as well.
22 The evidence that was called with regard to all of these crimes
23 is basically irrelevant. Their reliability is nil, their credibility is
24 nil, in view of the indictment, and it is not possible to conclude beyond
25 a reasonable doubt that a crime had been committed and that, beyond a
1 reasonable doubt, that kind of crime could be committed to me,
2 personally, or to members of the Serb Radical Party.
3 Many witnesses were heard here, sometimes eye-witnesses of
4 certain crimes, participants in the conflict, people who heard something,
5 so it is total hearsay. Some witnesses also presented what they learned
6 subsequently. They presented their personal opinions, their personal
7 views. Also, they reached indirect conclusions. We heard lots and lots
8 of all of that. However, what has been proven to have been unlawful, in
9 terms of what I did? I can be held criminally liable only for my own
10 actions, regardless of whether it has to do with something that I did or
11 did not do. You did not even do me the favour of charging me with
12 command responsibility in accordance with Article 7.3 of the Statute and
13 then 7.1 of the Statute. I wish you had charged me with command
14 responsibility. Then I would have had even more fun in the courtroom.
15 As for the conduct that is being ascribed to me as crimes against
16 humanity, it says that it was part of widespread or systematic attacks
17 against Croat or Muslim civilians. As for the volunteers of the
18 Serb Radical Party, they attacked only armed units. The Prosecution says
19 that I knew that the civilian population was being attacked and that my
20 actions constitute part of such attacks. Why did they not prove that,
21 then? First of all, where was it that volunteers of the Serb Radical
22 Party attacked the civilian population? Nowhere. If they did not attack
23 them anywhere or if you did not manage to establish that such attacks did
24 take place somewhere after all, how can I then know that something that
25 never happened did happen after all, and how can I be responsible for
1 something that had not happened in the first place?
2 As for joint criminal enterprise, that is a comedy in its own
3 right. Joint criminal enterprise, by definition, as a form of crime, did
4 not exist in International Criminal Law before The Hague Tribunal was
5 established. At the Nuremberg trial, conspiracy was dealt with,
6 conspiracy for conducting an aggressive war, first and foremost. Joint
7 criminal enterprise is not envisaged in the Statute, either. It was
8 introduced only in the appeal decision in the Tadic case. Not even all
9 the Judges in The Hague Tribunal accepted it. What have I got to say
10 about Judge Schomburg? Actually, what I thought about him, I said in the
11 motion in which I -- which I filed a while ago, because he was a
12 Pre-Trial Judge in my case and I asked for him to be recused. However,
13 he consistently fought against the concept of joint criminal enterprise,
14 and he was saying that co-perpetration was sufficient. However, due to
15 some turbulence of thought, this form went into three different
16 categories. The first category is when crimes are being committed in
17 order to achieve a certain objective of that joint criminal enterprise.
18 The second category has to do with the structure or the system that
19 exists in detention facilities. And the third category is when one of
20 the participants in the joint criminal enterprise accomplishes a
21 forbidden objective or commits a crime that was not initially the
22 objective of the joint criminal enterprise; however, it could have been
23 foreseen that such a crime could be committed.
24 Well, in any war, crimes are possible. Tell me of a single war
25 in which crimes were impossible. In every war, crimes can be foreseen.
1 And who was it -- who gave up on waging war because there was the danger
2 of a crime being committed during the course of that war?
3 I read the judgement of a group of Serbian political leaders and
4 military officers who were found guilty of alleged crimes in Kosovo. I
5 say "alleged crimes" because many of these crimes were simply invented.
6 Some crimes did happen. There is no doubt that they happened. At any
7 rate, the judgement says, about General Lazarevic, that any time he heard
8 of a crime, he requested an investigation, had an investigative judge to
9 go to the site, and so on. All that is acknowledged in the judgement,
10 but it is also said that he is guilty because he continued combat
11 operations even after having learned of crimes. And what about the
12 latest news from Afghanistan? The Americans killed 11 civilians, mostly
13 children, and the American general appears on TV and apologises. Why
14 doesn't he stop all combat operations, having learned of crimes being
15 committed? Why didn't the Americans and their allies stop bombing Serbia
16 in 1999, when a three-year-old girl was killed at Batajnica - her name
17 was Milica Rakic - and when exclusively civilian targets were bombed at
18 Aleksinac, when children were killed at Varvarin, when a civilian train
19 was hit, and so on? Why didn't they stop then?
20 I heard that while the war was going on, crimes had been
21 committed at several places. And when I interviewed at press conferences
22 during the war, I condemned those crimes. And now a crime happens at one
23 place, and this would be a reason for me for not sending volunteers to
24 another place to help the threatened Serbian people? What kind of logic
25 is that? Whoever committed a crime must be held responsible, but we
1 cannot give up defending our own people because somebody on the Serb side
2 committed crimes during the fighting.
3 Since there have been wars on this planet, nobody ever expected
4 combat to stop because crimes have been committed somewhere. Crimes were
5 either punished or were left unpunished. Mostly, it was the latter. But
6 the war went on.
7 It is said -- let me just add something before that.
8 Some courts that mimic the ICTY, such as the Special Tribunal for
9 Sierra Leone, the Special Councils of the Cambodia Court and some others,
10 are trying to introduce the category of joint criminal enterprise, and
11 then a trial chamber, one of the special councils of the Cambodia
12 Court - I think it was in 2008 - decided that the application of the JCE
13 Category 3 is rejected. That was in Process 2 against Khieu Sampan and
14 some prominent officials of the Red Khmer. The conclusion is that in
15 1975, when those crimes were being committed in Cambodia, international
16 customary law did not know this third category of the JCE. This has been
17 contrived by the ICTY as a means to convict people who are totally
19 I'll give you an example of an innocent man who was convicted
20 here. Milan Martic. He is completely innocent, which is obvious from
21 both the first-instance and the second-instance judgement. He targeted
22 Zagreb while the Croats were attacking Knin, so seven civilians got
23 killed. Isn't that a collateral damage? Why didn't the Croats stop
24 attacking Knin? Or maybe they attributed crimes to him that happened
25 somewhere on the fringes of the Republic of Serb Krajina of which he was
1 ignorant until he read about them in the indictment. And there is a
2 number of other examples of totally innocent people who were convicted.
3 There is Momcilo Krajisnik, there is Radoslav Brdjanin, Milomir Stakic,
4 and others.
5 For alleged crimes in Sarajevo, two Serb generals. One gets life
6 and the other 35 years in prison. And on the other side, nobody was even
7 tried. And all crimes that were committed by this -- on the Serb side
8 were also committed by the Muslim side, only in greater numbers; yet
9 nobody was tried. How come?
10 It is said that the purpose of the joint criminal enterprise was
11 that by committing crimes, most Croats and Muslims are moved from parts
12 of the territories of Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Vojvodina. That
13 simply is untrue. Nobody on the Serb side intended to remove the
14 majority of Croats from one-third of Croatian territory. The Serbs only
15 defended themselves. Their rights were threatened.
16 In the 19th century, Croatia, as a Hungarian province, only
17 comprised three counties, the Zagreb county, the Varvarin county, and the
18 Krizevci county, and then pursuant to the Croatian-Hungarian agreement,
19 Slavonia was annexed to Croatia, but all that did not comprise the
20 territory of the so-called Military Krajina which was populated mostly by
21 Serbs, and most of these Serbs were Orthodox, but there were also some
22 Catholic Serbs. In 1881, the Vojna Krajina, the Military Krajina was
23 annexed to Croatia and Slavonia under the condition that the Serbs in
24 this enlarged Croatia and Slavonia be a people fully equal to the Croats.
25 The Croatian federal unit in Communist Yugoslavia was established
1 as a unit with two constituent peoples, Croats and Serbs from Croatia,
2 but then Tudjman came along, took the Serbs -- that right away, there
3 were no longer constituent people, and what should the Serbs have done,
4 but defend themselves, especially given the fact that Tudjman rose to
5 power as the leader of a neo-Ustasha political party, he publicly
6 advocated Ustasha ideology, he renewed Ustasha symbols, and what else
7 could the Serbs have done?
8 The OTP neglects that all crimes in these wars were first
9 committed by the other side. First, Serbs are being killed in the
10 territory of the Croatian federal unit, and then some Serbs started
11 killing; that the same happened in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The first ones to
12 get killed were Serbs, and then some Serbs started killing themselves.
13 On the day of the referendum of the Croats and Muslims about the
14 independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Serbian wedding party was
15 attacked beside the Orthodox Church on Bascarsija, and a man was killed.
16 I don't want to mitigate any crimes committed by Serbs, but the crimes at
17 Sarajevo happened only after 22 soldiers in a JNA convoy were killed
18 which -- and that convoy was withdrawing from the Sarajevo Army district
19 under the protection of the UN.
20 If we leave aside for a moment Arkan's crimes and the shooting of
21 20 Muslims at Hrid, near Zvornik, crimes started at a greater scale only
22 after the Muslims attacked the JNA convoy withdrawing from Tuzla and
23 massacred about 150 soldiers. Of course --
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You've had an hour and a
25 half -- or we have been sitting for an hour and a half and you have had
1 one hour and ten minutes. We shall now have a 20-minute break and resume
2 in 20 minutes' time.
3 --- Recess taken at 4.00 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 4.24 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
6 You may proceed, Mr. Seselj. Do continue.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] When I insisted that, in both
8 cases, crimes first happened on the Croatian or the Muslim side, and only
9 then on the Serb side, it was not my intention to justify Serb crimes by
10 Croatian or Muslim ones. I merely wanted to point out that it was
11 nobody's intentions on the Serb side to commit crimes, and that can't
12 have been the purpose of any enterprise of the Serb political, military,
13 or police structures. Mostly, crimes happened spontaneously, but
14 sometimes also as part of a conspiracy.
15 Ovcara is a conspiracy of a special type. What kind of
16 conspiracy I showed you during the Prosecution case, and I will come back
17 to that today. It wasn't a conspiracy of the top political, military and
18 police leadership of Serbia. So it wasn't the intention of the Serbs to
19 expel Croats or Muslims by committing crimes. The Serbs wanted to
20 preserve the status quo, in terms of International Law. There was
21 Yugoslavia, and the Serbs wanted it to survive because it provided some
22 sort of security to them. Croats and Muslims, for the most part, wanted
23 to leave Yugoslavia, against the will of the Serbs. Who was it, then,
24 who had an illegal objective, from the point of view of the
25 Yugoslav Constitution which was then in force? It was the Croats and
1 Muslims who did. And if there was a joint criminal enterprise, then it
2 was an enterprise of the Croatian and the Muslim side.
3 And what happens here before the ICTY, and why is the ICTY, as a
4 whole, an anti-Serb court? No Croat from Croatia has been convicted here
5 for participating in a joint criminal enterprise. By the way, only three
6 have ever been indicted, and that was exclusively for Operation Storm,
7 and that trial is still ongoing. And for that, they picked people from a
8 lower level. No politician, no statesman, no minister has been indicted.
9 Speaking about Croats from Bosnia-Herzegovina who have been tried
10 here, and whose judgements are in force, nobody has been sentenced for
11 participating in a JCE. Muslims have never even been indicted for
12 participating in a JCE. No serious Muslim has been convicted here
13 either. It was only small fry that took it out on Serb prisoners at the
14 Celebici Camp, but not one high-ranking politician, statesman, or
15 high-ranking military officer, with the exception of Hadzihasanovic and
16 Kubura, who got symbolic punishments compared to the punishments imposed
17 on Serbs by the ICTY.
18 The existence of a JCE was not stipulated in the case of any
19 Albanian defendant. The JCE has been reserved only for Serbs as a form
20 of responsibility. And why? To have Serbs convicted who couldn't be
21 proven guilty otherwise.
22 Who committed crimes, the Serbs who wanted to remain in
23 Yugoslavia or the Croats and Muslims who wanted to leave, get out of
24 Yugoslavia? I know the size of the tragedy for the entire Serb people,
25 because this conflict has mostly been a conflict between Orthodox Serbs,
1 Catholics Serbs and Muslim Serbs. And I offered very strong arguments,
2 irrefutable arguments, that it was really that way during the trial, but
3 I don't have time now to repeat that in detail, and I don't suppose there
4 is a need for that either. But if, by any odd chance, the Muslims from
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina, since their Serb origin is beyond dispute, if they
6 had wanted to remain in Yugoslavia, in the common state, and if the
7 Bosnian and Herzegovinian Serbs had wanted Bosnia-Herzegovina to leave
8 Yugoslavia and a civil war would have ensued, then I assure you that I
9 would have been on the -- I would have sided with the Muslim Serbs,
10 rather than the Orthodox Serbs, because my objective was to preserve the
11 common state, and it was also the objective of many a Serb. I know, for
12 example, about the Slovenians, who are very different from us, and they
13 didn't care much. But all of us who speak the Serbian language are Serbs
14 by origin. Most Croats are actually Catholic Serbs by descent, and the
15 real Croats, who speak Cakavian, are very few. They can mostly be found
16 in Slovenia, Austria, Italy, and they fled before the Turks in the
17 16th century by boats. Those who speak Kajkavian were originally
18 Slovenians, but they were forced by their feudal masters to declare
19 themselves as Croats, and the huge number of Serbs have been forced to
20 become part of the Croatian ethnic body. That's a tragedy of the Serb
21 people throughout the centuries. And those who changed their religious
22 affiliation during the Turkish occupation, or the Austrian occupation,
23 and so on, they also fared tragically. The Albanians have been
24 historically much more fortunate than we Serbs. Most of them converted
25 to Islam, but there are also some Catholic and Orthodox Albanians, about
1 40 per cent, but they all preserved the Albanian ethnic awareness,
2 whereas the Catholic Serbs, pressurised by the Vatican, became Croats,
3 and it wasn't so long ago, either. It was a process that started in
4 1900, whereas the Muslim Serbs under the Communist dictatorship had to
5 become a separate ethnicity. They were officially called Muslims, and
6 during the war they changed their name to Bosniaks. I believe it was in
7 1993 or thereabouts. What does that all mean? And then the Montenegrin
8 nation and ethnicity was contrived, and all that to suit the aspirations
9 of the Western powers to reduce the Serbs to minor power in the Balkans,
10 because we have traditionally been oriented toward Russia because we are
11 a branch of the great Russian people who, 14 centuries ago, came to the
12 Balkans, and we still feel very close to Russia. Russia is our mother,
13 in the most general terms. That's why the Americans hate us, the Brits,
14 the European Union, and everybody else.
15 It goes on to say that the purpose of the joint criminal
16 enterprise is for those areas to become part of a new state dominated by
17 Serbs. This is a totally false and arbitrary formulation. It was the
18 objective of the Serbs to remain in Yugoslavia. Have you seen, Judges,
19 how the Serbs reacted to the first decisions of Tudjman's authorities?
20 When Tudjman took away the status of constituent people to them, they
21 declared their own autonomy. And when he declared Croatian independence,
22 then they declared the Serb Krajina independent from Croatia. Every Serb
23 move, globally speaking, was a response provoked by our opponents. The
24 Muslims were warned that Bosnia-Herzegovina must remain in Yugoslavia
25 because they cannot leave Yugoslavia without a bloody war. We all knew
1 that. Izetbegovic confessed, himself, that he provoked the war, as did
2 Tudjman, by the way, because the war was their chance to gain
3 independence. Croatia, with the assistance of the Americans, has reached
4 its present-day borders, but we all know that in the long term, such
5 Croatian borders will be untenable, impossible.
6 The artificial Dayton Accords constituted Bosnia-Herzegovina, but
7 we know as soon as the foreign factor withdraws from Bosnia-Herzegovina,
8 the Muslims, the Orthodox Serbs, and the so-called Croats, who are
9 actually Catholic Serbs, will go their separate ways because they all
10 want to be separate and independent. And that's natural, because if they
11 are unable to remain a part of a larger community, why should they be
12 detainees of the Western powers in order to prevent the Muslims from
13 turning fundamentalist? And the fundamentalism has been threatening to
14 prevail in the entire Islamic world. Only Libya is yet resisting. But
15 if fundamentalism in the Bosnian Muslims and in the Albanians becomes
16 more deeply rooted in the Balkans, then the West will have a problem, but
17 that is also a trifle compared to what may ensue if religion becomes the
18 main factor in politics and so on.
19 We Serbs know that whenever religion was first and foremost as a
20 national, nationalistic, or ethnic ideal, then we suffered greatly, and
21 they have always been able to sow strife among us. But what we want is a
22 country in which nobody will be asked about their religion and in which
23 we will be able to unify ourselves.
24 The experiment called "The Kingdom of Yugoslavia" failed because
25 of Hitler's invasion from the outside, and then, under the Communists,
1 under the half-century of Communist dictatorship, everything went down
2 the drain, and we will feel the consequences for hundreds of years to
3 come. So it isn't about the creation of a new state under Serb
4 domination, but about the preservation of the existing state.
5 And as for a Greater Serbia, that has nothing to do with either
6 Milosevic, Karadzic, Martic, or you name who. That is an ideology which
7 only I consistently advocated in the Serbian political theatre while I
8 was still a dissident, while I was making a name for myself as an
9 anti-Communist, and it became the programme -- the basis of the programme
10 of the Serb Radical Party.
11 Documents have been shown here that from -- that show that the
12 Serb Radical Party always advocated the unity of Orthodox Serbs,
13 Catholic Serbs, Muslim Serbs, Protestant Serbs, and atheist Serbs. The
14 OTP actually tendered these declarations into evidence, the programme of
15 the Serb Chetnik Movement, the Serb Radical Party, and so on.
16 [Technical difficulties]
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please continue. There was
18 a --
19 [Technical difficulties]
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, there seems to be
21 some noise coming through the headphones.
22 [Technical difficulties]
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] ... and they don't have any other
24 means to tamper that with by -- by interfering with the sound.
25 The way Serb autonomous provinces were formed in Croatia and in
1 Bosnia was just an attempt for them to stay in Yugoslavia and be the fact
2 that will prevent and disable --
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Continue, because the
4 Court Reporter had some trouble. Please continue.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] My goal was the Greater Serbia, but
6 the Greater Serbia that will be created in such a way that the
7 Catholic Serbs and the Muslim Serbs will reach a state of awareness and
8 realise that they are nothing special with regard to their Orthodox
9 brethren. The war that occurred, and the huge number of victims as a
10 result of that war, unfortunately, delayed that ultimate goal for us,
11 because a certain period of time had to elapse for the wounds to be
12 healed, for many bad things to evaporate from the collective memories,
13 those things that happened during the war. But The Hague Tribunal will
14 not be successful in its attempts to apply an asymmetric approach in the
15 prosecution of war criminals so as to show that the Serbs were the
16 biggest villains and the only responsible for war crimes, because many
17 court decisions that were handed down here are nothing but a disgrace for
18 the International Law. The Hague Tribunal will not be in a position to
19 write a new Serbian history book, because many of the conspiracy ideas
20 have been dispelled in this courtroom as well.
21 The creation of Serb autonomous provinces was an attempt on the
22 part of the Serbs to prevent the secession of Croatia and Bosnia and
23 Slovenia. The idea was to send the message to everybody, Maybe you can
24 secede and separate these parts, but not everything.
25 The JNA was a peace offering for Croatian paramilitary
1 formations. Before September 1991, it did not want to get involved in
2 any armed conflicts. They wanted to create a buffer zone, they wanted to
3 be a factor of peace for both warring parties. Its barracks were
4 attacked, its ammunition depots were robbed of their contents. Who was a
5 more fierce critic of the top of the JNA in 1991? Who attacked Kadijevic
6 and other generals more fiercely than me? And then the Prosecutor, just
7 like that, put me alongside them as one of the members of the JCE.
8 It says here that crimes were part of the objectives of the JCE
9 and that I was the one who shared all those criminal intentions. Where
10 is that defined? Where is proof for that? Where is proof that the
11 alleged participants in the JCE wanted the crimes to take place? Where
12 is proof that Slobodan Milosevic wanted crimes, Kadijevic, Adzic, Mladic,
13 Bogdanovic, Jovica Stanisic, Franko Simatovic, Radovan Stojicic,
14 Milan Martic, Goran Hadzic, Milan Babic, Radovan Karadzic,
15 Momcilo Krajisnik, Biljana Plavsic, and Zeljko Raznatovic, Arkan, for a
16 good measure? And, look, I'm with all of them in the JCE and we are the
17 ones who wanted the crimes to take place. Why didn't you prove that?
18 You experienced a fiasco in the Milosevic trial. Milosevic
19 managed to shatter your case, like a balloon, and then he was killed by
20 mistreatment and God knows what else was in the background of that. If
21 nothing else, he was treated wrongly. You put labels on people, and now
22 the question arises, What criteria did you apply to pick those you would
23 charge, as opposed to those you would never charge? Was I more important
24 than Veljko Kadijevic in the war? I would be proud if I had been, but
25 there is no single piece of evidence that I was. I don't have moral
1 justification to take somebody's historical role from them, but to be
2 honest, I really would love that, even if I was condemned to a thousand
3 years in prison. But then, if that were the case, the war developments
4 and the whole war would have looked completely different if I had been in
5 his place.
6 The JNA was so incapable, Tito's Communist generals were so
7 incapable, and you can tell that from all the conflicts that took place.
8 If there hadn't been territorial defence and volunteers, the
9 1st Guards Brigade would still be entrenched in the mud around Vukovar.
10 That's how capable its officers were, and that's how well trained its
11 soldiers were, and that's really ridiculous.
12 This is an arbitrary list. I compare that with the list in the
13 Milosevic case. Some names are not the same. Interestingly enough,
14 there is no Aleksandar Vasiljevic here, whereas Aleksandar Vasiljevic
15 appears there. And I was really happy when I thought that Vasiljevic
16 would be brought here as a witness. Unfortunately, you didn't. Many
17 things would have been much clearer if you had. I was angry with
18 Milosevic because he showed leniency towards Vasiljevic, who testified as
19 a Prosecution witness. You would have seen how he would have fared if he
20 had turned up here.
21 And now the Prosecutor, quite aware that they're not able to
22 prove that crimes were part of the goal of the JCE and that I was the one
23 participating in that goal, introduced an alternative, and they say
24 crimes were a predictable and natural consequence and I was aware that
25 there could be an outcome or a possible outcome of the JCE. Now, look at
1 that formulation.
2 The mere fact that the Serbian Radical Party sent volunteers to
3 defend the Serbian people says that I should have known that crimes would
4 be committed as a natural and a predictable consequence of their
5 participation in the war, and I had to be aware that they were a possible
6 outcome of the realisation of all the goals of the JCE.
7 I just said it, crimes are part of every war. No crime
8 [as interpreted] was ever free of crimes. There is no single war that
9 has ever been wagged without crimes. But when you fight for your people,
10 that is above any type of crime or criminal behaviour. I fight for my
11 people until I am able to defend it. Unfortunately, we were not very
12 successful in that defence because there were big forces on the other
13 side, but we persevered for as long as we could. Some did commit crimes.
14 I could have foreseen that crimes would happen, but I couldn't say, A
15 crime will happen here, a crime will happen there, and those persons who
16 are participating in the war will commit them.
17 We come to the collective participants in the JCE. There's no
18 proof that -- no evidence was led in this courtroom. What makes me
19 connected to all those people on the list? The Prosecution simply
20 ignores that. They thought it sufficed for the names to be listed, and
21 no further proof is needed.
22 And now the Prosecution inserted into the indictment the
23 following formulation, as well as all the other political leaders of the
24 SFRY, the SRJ, Montenegrin, the leadership of Bosnian Serbs: First of
25 all, there were never Croatian Serbs, save for a number of traitors, such
1 as Milorad Popovac, or whatever his name is, and similar people. There
2 are Serbs from Krajina, there are Serbs from Slavonia, there are also
3 Serbs from Zagreb. Croatian Serbs have never existed, unless you want to
4 talk about Catholic Serbs who are forced to declare themselves as Croats.
5 Since Tudjman took power, over 40.000 Serbs in the territory of
6 Serbia converted from Orthodox to the Catholic religion, and immediately
7 thereafter they started declaring themselves as Croats, over 40.000. Can
8 you imagine what kind of pressures they had to bear to do that?
9 All political leaders, all political figures of the SFRY, of the
10 SRJ, Montenegro, Republika Srpska and the Republic of Serbian Krajina are
11 here hereby encompassed in the JCE. There's no way to defend oneself
12 from that. How does one defend themselves from that?
13 And then they go on to say: Among the participants in the JCE,
14 there were also Serb forces, all Serb forces, and this is a common name
15 for the members of the JNA, later on the Army of Yugoslavia, the
16 newly-established Serbian Territorial Defence in Croatia and
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Army of Republika Serbian Krajina, the Army of
18 Republika Srpska, the Territorial Defence forces of Serbian Montenegro,
19 the forces of Serbian police, and the police forces of Republika Srpska,
20 including the State Security Sector, the Ministry of the Interior of the
21 Republic of Serbia, and Serb special police forces of the SAO Krajina and
22 the RSK, commonly referred to as Martic's police, Marticevci, SAO Krajina
23 police or SAO Krajina Milicija, as well as members of Serbian,
24 Montenegrin, Bosnian and Croatian Serb paramilitary forces and volunteers
25 units, including Chetniks or Seselj's men, and you really included all
1 Serbian forces that participated in the war. You did that, and all of
2 us, we were all participants in the JCE. Not a single Serb who, in one
3 way or the other, have participated in the war can be exempt from
4 criminal responsibility. The entire Serbian people participated in the
5 JCE, save for the handful of politicians from pro-Western parties in
6 Serbia and NGOs which were funded from the Western intelligence services,
7 and so on and so forth. All Serbs are participants in the JCE.
8 Judge Kwon signed this as the indictment against me. I'm sure that he
9 didn't even bother to read it. Already as early as January 2003, he did
11 How could this be adopted? Do you, Your Honours, believe that
12 all Serbs who participated in the war were also participants in the JCE?
13 I am sure that you cannot believe that even for a single moment.
14 First of all, on the Serbian side, there was no global JCE.
15 There is no proof of its existence. Even if it had existed, it could not
16 encompass all Serbs. This does not exclude the fact that some Serbs did
17 commit crimes. However, the Tribunal did not try anybody for the alleged
18 crimes in Zvornik but me. The Tribunal did not try anybody for the
19 alleged crimes in Vogosca, Rajlovac, Grbovac, Ilijas but me. The
20 Tribunal did not try anybody for the alleged crimes in Mostar and
21 Nevesinje but me. Well, yes, three officers, of whom two were convicted
22 of crimes in Ovcara were tried, but the count for JCE was not proven. In
23 the Mrksic trial, the Trial Chamber did not accept that the JCE existed,
24 and the Appeals Chamber confirmed that. There is no JCE there. And I
25 was with somebody as part of the JCE in Vukovar. Who was that, who was I
1 with? What kind of nonsense is that? And now I'm aware of -- or,
2 rather, the Prosecution knows that the indictment does not hold much
3 water, so they propose an alternative, alternatives are possible here.
4 First of all, I'm charging you with this and that, and if my indictment
5 is unproven, unfounded, then I will alternatively charge you with
6 something else. It says, alternatively, the individuals and groups did
7 participate in the JCE and they furthered its goals that were created by
8 the Serb groups and individuals for the commission of actus reus of the
9 crimes alleged in this indictment, individuals and groups, and nobody
10 ever specifies what groups. It can be all groups, but if it is not all
11 groups, then some groups, and the Prosecution is not duty-bound to
12 explain what groups.
13 And then they used the term "individuals and groups that formed
14 part of the Serb forces." I did not use anybody. I did send volunteers,
15 members of the Serbian Radical Party, to fight for the Serb people
16 wherever that was necessary, wherever Serbs needed help, and I'm proud of
17 their participation. Almost 200 volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party
18 died in that struggle, and you have not proven for any one of them that
19 they committed a war crime while they were members of the Serbian Radical
20 Party, not for a single one of them, and that's what I'm most proud of.
21 And now you can convict me for Arkan's crimes, Mauzer's crimes,
22 any crimes. I couldn't care less. You cannot convict me for the crimes
23 of the volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party because you did not prove
24 any. You can convict me for al-Qaeda's crimes, for American crimes
25 committed in Iraq, you can find me guilty for whatever you want, but you
1 cannot find me guilty and convict me for the crimes committed by the
2 Serbian Radical Party volunteers because there were no such crimes. You
3 could not prove them.
4 As for responsibility, it says that I am responsible for all the
5 crimes committed by persons that I used or that any other participants in
6 the joint criminal enterprise used, where either the actus reus of the
7 crime formed part of the objective of the joint criminal enterprise or --
8 who was this, anyway? Who did I use? But I did encourage members of the
9 Serb Radical Party to join the volunteers, I did organise the volunteers,
10 and I did send them to the front-line under the command of the JNA, or
11 the Army of Republika Srpska, or the Army of the Republic of the
12 Serb Krajina. That is a fact that I never brought into question. If
13 they did not commit any crimes, what can I be responsible for?
14 However, it says here all the crimes, the actus reus of which was
15 carried out by a person used by me or some other participants. How can
16 you say that? How can you talk about me and Arkan when we were always
17 enemies? We never had our units acting in concert. We did not have
18 anything in common. How did you do that? Come on, give a logical
19 explanation. You don't have a logical explanation, but you are capable
20 of writing this kind of thing. Or it could have been envisaged that such
21 persons could have committed crimes.
22 Now, somebody commits a crime somewhere; for example, the crime
23 in Ovcara. Who could have envisaged that? All the detainees were being
24 sent to Sremska Mitrovica. The military police took them over, the
25 Military Security Service was in charge of them, and then finally a
1 number of buses were singled out and taken to Ovcara, and people from
2 those buses were executed. Who could have ordered that? Even when I
3 came in November 1992 to commemorate the anniversary of the liberation of
4 Vukovar, I did not know about that crime at Ovcara. I found out about
5 that only when the Croatian press started writing about it, and that was
6 sometime in 1993. So who was hushing it up, who organised it? You
7 weren't interested in that. What about the main organiser of that crime,
8 General Aleksandar Vasiljevic? You instrumentalised him here to provide
9 false testimony against Slobodan Milosevic, to provide false testimony
10 against the group of political and military and police officials for
11 Kosovo, and so on and so forth. He was the head of the Military
12 Security Service, not I. When I get to Ovcara, in particular, I shall
13 explain this to you in greater detail.
14 Now, I advocated a Greater Serbia and the border of
15 Karlobag-Ugljen [phoen] -Karlovac-Virovitica. That's true, but nobody
16 else advocated that, no one else except for us from the Serb Radical
17 Party. And now what? Are you going to extend that to include Milosevic
18 and everybody else? You cannot.
19 How miserable things turned out in the Milosevic case for you.
20 That simply went down the drain. In court, Geoffrey Nice gave up on this
21 accusation, in terms of joint criminal enterprise. The Judges were
22 astounded on the foundations of the indictment from that particular point
23 of view.
24 Now let us see how you treat my alleged participation in joint
25 criminal enterprise:
1 "... participated in the recruitment, formation, financing,
2 supplies, supported direction of Serbian volunteers through or with the
3 assistance of the SRS Crisis, then War Staff. These volunteer units were
4 created in supported to assist in the execution of the joint criminal
5 enterprise through the commission of crimes."
6 First of all, we did assemble volunteers. We wanted these groups
7 to have no more than 100 men. Hardly ever were more than 100 men sent
8 out in one group, because roughly 100 men make up a single company. It
9 is easier for people to get to know each other. Perhaps they knew each
10 other from earlier on, and they're easier to command in that way. Also,
11 we did not have professional officers to lead them. These groups were
12 headed by the most prominent fighters. Hardly ever were there any proper
13 officers there. And then they were included in the JNA, or the Army of
14 Republika Srpska, or the Republic of the Serb Krajina. Now, how does
15 that constitute my participation in joint criminal enterprise? So,
16 participation in the war means that that is participation in joint
17 criminal enterprise? That's it?
18 Also, it says here:
19 "Made inflammatory speeches in the media during public events and
20 during visits to the volunteer units and other Serb forces in Croatia and
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina, instigating those forces to commit crimes."
22 How can you say that that is war-mongering? It may have been
23 war-mongering. However, this Tribunal does not include in its
24 jurisdiction the crime of provoking war or causing war. The Western
25 powers evaded that on purpose, because then far-reaching questions would
1 be raised.
2 What does war-mongering speech mean anyway? You called an expert
3 of yours here, Anthony Oberschall. He made up this scale of political
4 speech, and he put mine somewhere around the middle before you here in
5 the courtroom, and you saw how I shattered his expertise, broke it into
6 smithereens. Hate speech, he said he did not look at that category at
7 all, and you brought here -- brought him here to prove my hate speech
8 through his expertise. There was no hate speech. He explicitly
9 responded to my question here, in relation to every crime listed in the
10 indictment. He said that there was no trace of that, that I called upon
11 people to kill, loot, plunder, destroy personal property, public
12 property, sacred sites. Did I call for deportation? No. He said all of
13 that here in the courtroom, a Prosecution expert turned into a Defence
14 witness. You cannot find that kind of thing in any one of my speeches,
15 advocating the commission of crimes. No.
16 Also, civilised population exchanges and advocating that, that's
17 not a crime, sui generis, especially if this is done voluntarily on one
18 side. Not a single Croat from Hrtkovci or other places in Vojvodina was
19 forced to exchange his property. All of those who did not exchange their
20 property stayed on living there, living a normal life. Some of them
21 exchanged their property and fared better, from a material and financial
22 point of view. So even these war-mongering speeches do not hold water.
23 But look at me here in The Hague now. Compare me to Defence
24 attorneys in other cases. Is there any one of them who can match the
25 sharpness of my speeches in the courtroom? So for eight years now, I
1 have been inciting the entire world against The Hague Tribunal here. Is
2 that war-mongering, is that a crime?
3 You know, when you charge someone with inflammatory speech, that
4 is too generalised an allegation. What does that mean? Instigation has
5 to be direct, like in Rwanda. In Rwanda, they were found guilty of
6 instigating genocide. There was this person who was doing it all the
7 time over the radio. He was calling upon the Hutu, the tribe that he
8 came from, to kill the Tutsi, and he called them cockroaches. Where can
9 you find that kind of thing in my case, that I called upon people in any
10 way to kill Croats and Muslims? I called for victory over them. I
11 talked about punishing Croatia, but I explained immediately how peoples
12 and states should be punished for crimes they commit. That is by loss of
13 territory, just like Germany lost its territories. I gave a very
14 illustrative example of all of that.
15 I also gave you a set of my first 80 books. You didn't even pay
16 me for that, although I incurred large expenses on that account. And
17 also in my first defence, I mentioned certain fragments from my political
18 speeches, where I strictly speak in favour of serving
19 International Humanitarian Law, protecting civilians, women, children,
20 prisoners of war and so on. And instead of coming to your senses and
21 withdrawing the indictment in good time, you keep pressing on. It would
22 have been best for you if I died during the course of these proceedings,
23 and that would have meant saving face for you.
24 It seems that I am going to live to see the end of these
25 proceedings, but you are not going to save face. You are standing on the
1 side of those for whom losing these proceedings is a catastrophe. You
2 are trying, in every conceivable way, to lead to a conviction. Anything
3 else would be a defeat for you. If you were a true officer of the court
4 and of International Law, a true prosecutor, you would be behaving
5 properly throughout. You would be trying to prove the truth, and then
6 the proceedings would be brought to an end, whatever end. However, no,
7 you are pressing on, and you are going to bang your head right against a
8 wall, and through no fault of my own.
9 Now, what else is there? You say that I took part in joint
10 criminal enterprise, espousing/encouraging the creation of a homogenous
11 Greater Serbia, encompassing the territory specified in this indictment,
12 by violence, thereby participating in war propaganda and incitement of
13 hatred towards our Serbian people. Where do you have proof of that?
14 Where was it that I encouraged the creation of a Greater Serbia? I never
15 uttered that word, that there should be a Greater Serbia that should be
16 homogenous. I kept saying that it should include all Orthodox Serbs,
17 Catholic Serbs, Muslim Serbs, Protestant Serbs and atheist Serbs. Where
18 did I ask for a homogenous Greater Serbia? Where did I insult any
19 religion? You tried to fabricate that as well, that at the rally in
20 Zvornik I insulted Islam as a religion. Never did I do that in my life.
21 Never did I insult the Catholic religion, either. After all, as far as
22 religion is concerned, there is practically no difference between the
23 Catholics and the Orthodox. There is no difference that would be of any
24 significance to us normal people. But I did speak harshly against the
25 role of the Popes of Rome against the Balkans. I am not doing anything
1 to religion. However, I am speaking about the political role of the
2 Vatican, because it is a state as well, and it is no surprise that they
3 were the first to recognise the independence of Croatia, in direct
4 violation of international public law, because the independence of a
5 state, on the basis of international law, can only be recognised in a
6 territory that is under effective control of its central government.
7 Further on, you say that I participated in the planning and
8 preparation of the take-over of towns and villages in two Serb autonomous
9 provinces, in Bosanski Samac, Zvornik, Greater Mostar, Bijeljina, Mostar,
10 Nevesinje, Brcko, and the subsequent forcible removal of the majority of
11 the non-Serb population from these areas. First of all, where do you
12 have proof of that, that I took part in the take-over of power? In
13 Bosanski Samac at that point in time, there was not a single unit of
14 volunteers of the Serb Radical Party. You tried to represent the unit of
15 the Gray Wolves as radicals, but at that period of time it was only
16 Srecko Radovanovic who was a member of the Serb Radical Party, and no one
17 else, one single person. In Zvornik, it was first the Muslim
18 paramilitary forces that took control over the town, and they armed the
19 worst criminals from that town, which led to panic-stricken Serbs fleeing
20 from the town. Then when a counter-offensive was launched, the Muslims
21 were defeated.
22 In Sarajevo, the Serbs never managed to take over. In the
23 beginning of the war, they controlled a few municipalities on the
24 outskirts of town, and that's the way things remained until the
25 Dayton Agreement. There was no major shift in the population at any
1 point in time. Operations by way of artillery, mortars, snipers,
2 et cetera, were conducted from both sides. I would have been happy if
3 the Serbs had taken over power in Sarajevo, but that was not the case.
4 However had that happened, the Izetbegovic regime would have been toppled
5 and Bosnia-Herzegovina would have remained in Yugoslavia, even in a rump
7 You brought here as a Prosecution witness a man who caused the
8 conflict by throwing a grenade at the Cafe Srbija and thus leading to a
9 Serb-Muslim conflict, and then in that fight the Muslims were defeated.
10 However, there are many towns and villages in Bosnia-Herzegovina where
11 the Serbs were defeated in that conflict, and you didn't charge anyone
12 from the Muslim side; in Mostar, Nevesinje, Brcko. In Mostar, Serbs
13 never took over power.
14 In 1991, the HDZ and the Croat paramilitary forces took control
15 over the main part of the city. The JNA was only resisting them. The
16 west bank of the Neretva River, except for the Heliodrom and the Hill of
17 Hum, was entirely in the hands of Croatian paramilitaries, a lot before
18 the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina broke out. Serbs did not control Mostar at
19 any point in time. In Nevesinje, they were in power when the war broke
20 out, because the population of Nevesinje at the time was about
21 90 per cent Serb, and it was the SPO that was in power then, and they won
22 the elections only in two municipalities in Bosnia-Herzegovina; namely,
23 Nevesinje and Sipovo. And now it is I who planned the take-over of
25 You see how ridiculous all of this sounds. For a person
1 somewhere else in the world, it may not seem ridiculous if they don't
2 know about what was actually going on. However, Serbs, Croats and
3 Muslims are having a good laugh at you because they know full well what
4 was going on in the Balkans.
5 As for Brcko, you saw it was a question of who would get who.
6 The Muslims were the first to get organised and armed, and only then did
7 the Serbs do that. However, when they clashed, it was the Serb majority
8 that prevailed in the surrounding villages, and the Muslims were
9 defeated. Not a single volunteer of the Serb Radical Party took part in
10 this, because are members of the Serb Radical Party from Bijeljina
11 members of the Army of Republika Srpska? They even had their own Chetnik
12 unit. However, they are not volunteers of the Serb Radical Party that I
13 sent from Belgrade. Regardless of whether they were volunteers or not,
14 they did not commit a single crime, not a single one, and I am proud of
15 them too.
16 It says here that I provided financial, material, logistical and
17 political support necessary for such take-overs. Why didn't you try to
18 prove any of that ? Who did I provide financial support to, and from
19 which sources? How do I get the money for providing financial support to
20 Serbs to take over any town in Bosnia or Croatia? Why didn't you do any
21 work on that? Why didn't you call a witness in this regard? Why did you
22 not provide any evidence in this respect? Where did I get the money
23 from? If I was able to buy a crate of beer to the fighters, when I
24 visited them, or if I was able to get a shipment of cigarettes from the
25 factory, and these cigarettes were not even in proper boxes, they were
1 just in big cardboard boxes, that's the kind of support I could give.
2 Which logistical support was I able to provide, except for sending
3 volunteers? But that's not logistical support. That's military support.
4 What logistical support? Did I have warehouses full of weapons,
5 ammunition, uniforms? Nothing, sir.
6 I explained here what the -- with the assistance of some
7 witnesses, how we illegally procured weapons and ammunition, assisted by
8 the late General Pekic and his connections in the General Staff, as long
9 as the JNA was out of the war. After that, it was all easier. We just
10 wanted to collect information about volunteers, vest them to see whether
11 there may be mental cases among them, or criminals and so on, and then we
12 sent them to the Bubanj Potok Barracks to be trained and armed and then
13 we sent them out.
14 And then it goes on to say:
15 "... with the help of Slobodan Milosevic from the Serbian
16 authorities and from Serbs living abroad, where he collected funds to
17 support the aim of the JCE."
18 Where is evidence for that? Support from which Serb authorities?
19 The Serb authorities strove to help the Serbs and the Republika Srpska on
20 the Republic of Serbian Krajina. How did I contribute to that? And they
21 would have been traitors if they hadn’t done that, anyway. From whom was I
22 able to procure aid from abroad? Come on, give us concrete information.
23 How was I an intermediary in that process? This is all totally made up,
25 "Collected funds abroad to support the aim of the JCE."
1 This is so stupid. In 1989, I was in the USA, Canada, Britain,
2 Switzerland, and in early 1991, January/February, I was in Austria,
3 Germany, France, Switzerland and Britain. In early 1990, I went to the
4 USA and Canada again. This was all before the war. In 1989, I toured
5 these countries and gave speeches and made money. This was organised by
6 Serb associations and clubs, sometimes by the Serbian Orthodox Church,
7 then the Serbian Chetnik Movement, and the free world, and so on.
8 Mostly, they charged an entry fee, and then they paid me my fee out of
9 that, and then sometimes there would be wealthy Serbs who would make
10 financial contributions. For whom did I collect that? That is my own
11 personal revenue. I invested part of that into the funding of the
12 Serb Freedom Movement, 1990, then the Serb Chetnik Movement and the
13 Serb Radical Party, but only to make the party operational so it could
14 function. It wasn't such an amount of money that would enable me to fund
15 the Serb wartime efforts. And where's the evidence, anyway? But you
16 don't care that there is no evidence.
17 Then finally you say that my participation in the JCE consisted
18 also in my recruiting Serbian volunteers, and indoctrinated them with
19 extreme ethnic rhetoric so that they engage in the forcible removal of
20 the non-Serb population of the targeted territories with particular
21 violence and brutality. But where's the evidence? My rhetoric may have
22 been belligerent. I'm not saying that it can't have been, because I'm
23 known as a fierce speaker even in peacetime political life, but where
24 is -- can you -- where is a single word of mine with which I advocated
25 the removal of non-Serbs, and especially with particular violence and
1 brutality? Do show that one word to me. By writing this, you only
2 expressed your immense hatred for me and how much I'm in your way, in the
3 way of America, Britain, the European Union and NATO; no more than that.
4 You're saying that I was one of the most prominent politicians
5 and had great political power and influence. Well, not really. In 1990,
6 Milosevic's regime refused to register us. In 1991, in repeated
7 parliamentary elections, because one member of Parliament died, I became
8 a member of Parliament, the only one from my party. Until December 1992,
9 I was the only member of the Serbian Parliament from the
10 Serbian Radical Party. That's not really evidence corroborating the
11 assertion that I was such an influential politician with considerable
12 power and influence. But I did acquire power and influence only somewhat
13 later, and I am still the most prominent politician today. The regime in
14 Serbia is scared of my possible return.
15 Tomislav Nikolic and Aleksandar Vucic travel foreign countries,
16 Western Europe, and visit embassies in Belgrade only to achieve that I
17 don't return to Belgrade before the parliamentary elections because they
18 know if I return before, their traitor party will not even cross the
19 election threshold.
20 Now I am the most prominent politician in Serbia. That's why
21 you're keeping me here. If I were not the most prominent, you wouldn't
22 have indicted me, you wouldn't have arrested me, you wouldn't have kept
23 me for eight years, because what you are doing to me lacks a precedent in
24 international customary law. Mandela was kept in prison for over 20
25 years, but at least they were able to improvise some proceedings against
1 him. You're not even able to do that. Your improvisation is
2 pathetically ridiculous. It is not worthy of serious lawyers.
3 And now let us see about this hate speech, because you've made up
4 this criminal offence. There is no foundation for that in international
5 customary law. And you referred to the Julius Streicher case at the
6 Nuremburg trials. You say that Streicher was sentenced for hate speech,
7 but by doing so, you have only proven that you're ignorant. I'm not
8 saying that Mr. Marcussen is personally to blame for that, because this
9 was drafted by Hildegard Uertz-Retzlaff and it was taken over by
10 Christine Dahl, and she put that forward in the opening of the
11 Prosecution case.
12 Julius Streicher was indicted as the number-one persecutor of
13 Jews. In his paper, he called for the liquidation of Jews, the physical
14 liquidation, the destruction. He personally led the campaign against the
15 Jews. He advocated their torture and killing. He participated in the
16 destruction of synagogues. He was prominent in the Crystal Night, and he
17 was one of Hitler's Gauleiter. That's why he was convicted.
18 But there was an example for hate speech. That's the case of
19 Hans Fritzsche. He was the main boss -- the number-one man of Hitler's
20 radio. He took part in all Hitler's propaganda efforts. He propagated
21 hatred over the radio. It was terrible propaganda. But at the Nuremberg
22 trials, he was acquitted because there was no such criminal offence at
23 the time.
24 On several occasions, I led evidence to the effect that there was
25 no such criminal offence in international customary law. I pointed an
1 example of a debate in the House of Lords in Britain. And the Council of
2 Europe has recently dealt with the issue of hate speech, but they are
3 categorically against pronouncing prison sentences for hate speech. They
4 say it should be countered, but not by prison sentences. There is only
5 one exception in international customary law, and that is racism. That
6 was also the position of the British House of Lords. And the denial of
7 Holocaust, because it was really a terrible crime, the killing of six
8 million Jews, so that many countries introduced legal measures to
9 punish those who denied that crime. Mostly, the countries in question
10 are European countries. I believe that Germany is most prominent in this
11 respect. So that hate speech doesn't really exist.
12 Can it be found in my speeches? What did your experts say?
13 Oberschall, extreme or xenophobic nationalism. Is that a crime, is that
14 illegal? No, nowhere in the world. He used negative stereotypes, but
15 not racist speech and dehumanisation, like the Nazis. That's what your
16 expert says. Is the use of stereotypes a crime? No.
17 Then it says:
18 "... the glorification and the victimisation of his own people."
19 Why shouldn't I glorify my own people? Every honourable
20 Frenchman glorifies the French people. An Italian will glorify the
21 Italian people, a Dane the Danish people, and probably Mr. Marcussen will
22 glorify his people in the Swedish, unless I'm mistaken with regard to his
23 ethnicity, and Ms. Biersay, the American people, because I understand
24 she's American. Is it a crime to glorify your own people? It cannot be.
25 But victimisation is also mentioned by Oberschall. But wait a
1 minute. Isn't it a fact that the Serbs, for four centuries, have been
2 the foremost victims in the Balkans? You brought that wretched Ivo Tomic
3 here, who is of a Serbian-French descent, and he said here that the
4 killing of 700 Serbs, 60.000 Jews and 35.000 Roma in Jasenovac is a
5 fabrication, and he tried to reduce the total number of Yugoslav victims
6 in the Second World War, especially Serb victims, and you saw how that
7 witness fared.
8 Even today, the Serbs are victims. All the monsters of this
9 world are against us. The European Union, America, NATO, they're all
10 against us. We are victims. I'm not glad. It doesn't make me happy. I
11 would be happier if we weren't, but, unfortunately, we are. And is that
12 a crime, anyway?
13 Then it says that in my speeches, there are generalisations and
14 that they're uncompromising. Well, even today I speak rather generally,
15 and I wouldn't be caught in the trap to get lost in this ocean of
16 details, so I kept at a higher general level and uncompromising. Well,
17 I'm uncompromising even today.
18 You remember when Mr. Mandez [phoen], in May or June 2008,
19 offered me the opportunity to talk to me, and that the proceedings should
20 be suspended for that time. You tried to bargain with me. You tried to
21 send me to Belgrade, but then the authorities in Belgrade got scared.
22 You tried to deliver me to Serbia under Rule 11 bis for me to be tried
23 there, but then they cried out loud because they don't know how to try me
24 or for what. And then the regime for Belgrade provided reasons. Just
25 the other day, one of the representatives of the regime said that Vucic
1 and Nikolic protested because they think they would be most threatened if
2 I were to appear in Belgrade even as a defendant, even before court.
3 There can be no compromise between us, and it's your fault. If
4 you had ever shown that you were interested in the truth, if you had
5 shown basic fairness, perhaps. But like this, no way. Either you, from
6 the Prosecution, will be knocked out or I will be, but there can be no
8 And then Anthony Oberschall also said that I used the most
9 basic -- the most usual propaganda techniques. But what else do
10 politicians do? They do it all the time. Threats issued to Serbs, but I
11 didn't threaten Serbs with something that could emanate from me and that
12 would be dangerous to them, but I pointed out to them what danger comes
13 for them from the Americans, from the European Union, and so on.
14 It will be the greatest misfortune for the Serb people if Serbia
15 were to join the European Union. We must prevent that at any cost,
16 because there's nobody there but our enemies. That would be the end of
17 us; especially NATO, if Serb traitors were to take us into NATO. But
18 that's not a crime.
19 The creation of stereotypes, labelling, and what else does
20 Oberschall say? The spreading of untruths and misinformation. But he
21 hasn't proven that assertion. He was told so by his spies in Belgrade.
22 Some people in a pub in Belgrade told him so.
23 And he said that I expected and advocated violence. Well, let's
24 see, what kind of violence? I did expect violence, he says. I did
25 expect it, but I also advocated defence against violence, and defence is
1 also a sort of violence. And those who wanted to break away from
2 Yugoslavia unlawfully used violence, and we could defend ourselves only
3 by violence, by adequate countermeasures. We couldn't use the methods of
4 Gandhi against Tudjman's paramilitaries or Izetbegovic's Green Berets,
5 Patriotic League, and the like. Our enemies would have been only too
6 happy to see us supply the methods of Gandhi. Oberschall especially
7 insisted on the categories that he codified. Hate speech does not exist.
8 And he let you down here in the middle of this courtroom. You paid him
9 good money to make that expert report, and then -- and then he made you
10 fail. He was unable to find hate speech. He couldn't use it as an
11 element of codification at all. And he confirmed here, to each of my
12 questions, that in my speeches, he could not find that I was advocating
13 any of the crimes I was charged with in the territory of Republika Srpska
14 or Republic of Serbian Krajina.
15 And now when you look at this, you will see that the Prosecution
16 insists on the JCE and they insist on my hate speech. And when you put
17 that in the light of the fact that it was not possible to prove that any
18 of the volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party in the course of the war
19 committed a single crime, you will see what stems from that. That I
20 incited all Serb fighters to commit crimes but the volunteers of the
21 Serbian Radical Party. When it comes to the Serbian Radical Party
22 members, I discouraged them from committing crimes. As for the others, I
23 encouraged them to commit crimes. How funny is that?
24 Oberschall told you here in the courtroom that whatever he stated
25 for me in his categorisation is protected by the right of freedom of
1 speech. He said it expressly here in the courtroom, that in the American
2 law system, none of the speeches of mine that he analysed fell under the
3 category for which I could be prosecuted. I couldn't be prosecuted
4 there, but I can be here.
5 He also insisted that threats, verbal threats, are not forbidden
6 in America, that it is not forbidden to advocate inter-state violence,
7 and that it is not forbidden to publicly advocate a change of borders.
8 What do you want from me, then?
9 The Prosecution -- when the indictment was amended and shortened,
10 the Prosecution tried to prove the pattern of behaviour, pursuant to the
11 Trial Chamber's orders, the pattern of behaviour in the territories that
12 were omitted from the indictment; Vocin, Bosanski Samac, Brcko,
13 Borasnica, on Boracko Lake, and Bijeljina. However, when you look at all
14 of the developments in those locations, you will see that there was no
15 one single pattern of behaviour there. The volunteers of the Serbian
16 Radical Party were invested in Slavonia. The JNA abandoned Western
17 Slavonia and left it in the cold. The front-lines broke up under the
18 Croatian offensive. Only when chaos struck and when the Serbs started
19 fleeing en masse, crimes happened in Vocin.
20 We saw a video-clip depicting the Croatian troops entering Vocin,
21 and they found a certain number of Croatian civilian bodies there, and
22 they immediately identified who had done that. It was demonstrated by
23 the Prosecution in the courtroom. They spoke about the White Eagles, not
24 about the volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party or Seselj's men. And
25 during that time, the volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party were
1 engaged in Masicka Sargovina, where they protected the retreat of Serb
2 civilians. Just in one day, 11 Serbian Radical Party volunteers got
3 killed and several were imprisoned, and later on those people were
4 exchanged for Croatian prisoners, and none of them were ever charged by
5 the Croatian Government.
6 On the 11th of April, only Srecko Radovanovic was a member of the
7 Serbian Radical Party with the unit that landed by helicopter. They were
8 included in the 11th Tactical Group of the JNA. At that time, the
9 Serbian Radical Party did not send any volunteers to Bosanski Samac.
10 And as for Brcko, it was not the Serbian forces that attacked
11 Brcko. There was internal in-fighting in Brcko, and the Serbs prevailed
12 in that. At that time, there were no Serbian Radical Party volunteers
13 there at the time. There were Serb Radicals from Loznica, but none of
14 them commited any crimes. Non of them was ever prosecuted for any
16 Borasnica, Boracko Lake. We already saw that there were no
17 Serbian radicals there. There was the Serbian Guard, the
18 2nd Horse Brigade, with Boro Antelj as its leader in Bijeljina. It was
19 not the Muslims who came under attack, as the Prosecution insists. It
20 was the Serbs who came under attack. Mirko Blagojevic was attacked in
21 front of his Cafe Srbija. One Muslim on horseback, with a grenade in his
22 hand, charged against him, and he threw that grenade. And
23 Mirko Blagojevic wounded him in the leg from a pistol, and I criticised
24 Blagojevic for aiming at the man's leg because he threatened the life of
25 the horse. He should have aimed for his head to save and spare the
1 horse. That's correct. Now, is that a crime? No.
2 You led witnesses who allegedly eavesdropped on my conversations
3 in that cafe.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, Mr. Seselj. It's
5 going to be time for the next break.
6 You must have used over two hours and a half. In other words,
7 you'll have some 30 minutes or under 30 minutes after the break. The
8 Court Deputy will tell us exactly.
9 Let's have a break.
10 --- Recess taken at 5.46 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 6.07 p.m.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
13 The Registrar has indicated that Mr. Seselj had had two hours and
14 thirty minutes. Mr. Seselj, therefore, has another 30 minutes, which
15 should lead us on to 20 to 7.00, quarter to 7.00, which means it would
16 probably be better to start off with the Prosecutor tomorrow morning. So
17 we can all have the entire night to prepare for the Prosecution's
18 arguments tomorrow.
19 Mr. Seselj, you have the floor.
20 THE ACCUSED: [No interpretation]
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Microphone.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I will use the half an hour to deal
23 with every specific location for which the Prosecutor alleged that crimes
24 were committed there and that I was responsible for those crimes.
25 Let's first deal with Vukovar, the crime of persecution, which
1 encompasses killings, incarceration of civilians, inhumane treatment,
2 prolonged forced labour, deliberate destruction of homes, institutions,
3 public billeting of Croats. We've already seen that I did not deliver
4 any political speeches when I arrived in Vukovar. I arrived once in
5 October, and the second time was on the 12th of November. It was
6 impossible to hold any political speeches under constant fire coming from
7 the enemy artillery. What killings am I responsible for? We will deal
8 with that in a moment.
9 Incarceration of civilians. Where did the volunteers of the
10 Serbian Radical Party incarcerate civilians in Vukovar? What does that
11 have to do with our volunteers? You say that I am responsible for
12 inhumane conditions, torture, and forcible labour. The Prosecution never
13 even attempted to prove that. Why should I deal with that? What
14 forcible labour?
15 Wanton destruction of homes. First of all, when it comes to
16 volunteers, that never happened. Secondly, the volunteers did not have
17 artillery at their disposal.
18 Cultural institutions, historical monuments, religious
19 facilities. The Prosecution never even attempted to prove any of that.
20 There are two locations which are important here, when it comes
21 to specific crimes. The first one is Ovcara and crimes committed there.
22 200 people were killed there. The Prosecution claims there were 300 in
23 the indictment, and then they also allege that bodies from Velepromet
24 were transferred there, which is a fabrication. The last group of
25 volunteers that somebody selected, according to the list of those who
1 were taken from the Vukovar Hospital, were taken to Ovcara. Those people
2 were arrested by the military police. The military police also took them
3 to the Vukovar Barracks, the military police of the Guards Brigade, and
4 they transferred them to Ovcara, and they handed them over to the
5 military police of the 80th Motorised Brigade there. When the night
6 fell, the execution started. Before that, somebody ordered that the
7 police of the 80th Motorised Brigade should withdraw from that place. I
8 was also under the impression of some fabrications by the media that the
9 prisoners were handed over to the civilian authorities of the
10 Serbian Autonomous Province of Slavonia, Baranja and Srem. The civilians
11 were in the hands of the JNA all the time. They were never transferred
12 to anybody. The prisoners also. There are more prisoners than civilians
13 at Ovcara. There are very few civilians, as a matter of fact.
14 In the Mrksic judgement, a reference is made to prisoners of war,
15 so perhaps for the purpose of these proceedings, we should ignore the
16 civilians. But the crime is equally serious if prisoners of war are
17 killed as well as civilians. A crime is a crime. Who is responsible for
18 the crime? Those who are responsible are those who are responsible for
19 the prisoners, and those were the military officers of the JNA security.
20 Aleksandar Vasiljevic, whom the Prosecutor gladly uses as a false witness
21 in other proceedings, such was the Milosevic case and the case of Serbs
22 accused of crimes in Kosovo, he was in Vukovar on the eve of the
23 execution, and he took a large sum of money from Vukovar. That money was
24 seized from the Vukovar bank. There is no trail of the money thereafter.
25 He reactivated two security officers, Colonels Tomic and Vujic, and he
1 joined them to Kijanovic, and with two or three other officers, he sent
2 them to Vukovar in order to carry out the execution of those prisoners of
3 war and some civilians; all together, 200 people. When the military
4 police of the 80th Motorised Brigade withdrew, the two colonels, who did
5 not belong to the Guards Brigade, appeared on several occasions at
6 Ovcara. Many witnesses confirmed that, the Prosecution witnesses. Some
7 of those colonels wanted to speed things along. Some said that things
8 were done badly and the execution went on. There is no single document
9 which allowed Vujic and Tomic to be reactivated from pension. There is
10 no report that they might have written as to what they had done in
11 Vukovar. They are the ones who carried out the executions. The
12 Prosecutor did not want to carry out any investigations.
13 A question arises here as to why the commander of the
14 80th Motorised Brigade, who was the commander of the area that also
15 encompassed Ovcara, and later on he was the commander of Vukovar a few
16 months after the conflict, why didn't he take any measures? Why didn't
17 he do anything on the following day after the execution, although
18 everybody knew what happened at Ovcara? A team of forensic experts came
19 from the VMA, and they exhumed all the bodies which were killed during
20 the fights for Vukovar. They were all duly buried. Only Ovcara, nobody
21 touched Ovcara. Why is the Prosecution still protecting General
22 Vasiljevic? Why is the Belgrade regime still protecting General
23 Vasiljevic? Because he holds in his hands a number of documents which
24 would be detrimental to the leaders of the regime.
25 When Croatia announced sometime ago that an indictment could be
1 issued against Vasiljevic, one of the leaders, Homen - he is an official
2 in the Ministry of Justice - he stated, It's not a good time. Why should
3 that be done? When Tihomir Purda and two other Croats charged with the
4 killing of Serbian prisoners and the wounded in the hospital were
5 supposed to be extradited to Serbia, the Serbian government decided not
6 to pursue the matter in order for Croats to -- not to pursue the
7 proceedings against Vasiljevic. What kind of a conspiracy is that, and
8 why has this been -- this conspiracy been pursued? Why these officers
9 never signed any statements?
10 Your Honours, you have allowed testimonies of some of those
11 people who are most responsible for the crimes in Ovcara, one of them
12 pursuant to Rule 92 ter. If I were in your shoes, I would immediately
13 issue an order for those people to be arrested here in the courtroom and
14 to be charged with the crimes committed at Ovcara.
15 The volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party fought honourably in
16 the Leva Supoderica Unit. There is no proof for any one of them that
17 they participated in the crimes at Ovcara. Two of them, Slobodan Katic
18 and Marko [indiscernible], were charged, but they were all acquitted in
19 the proceedings. That took place in Belgrade. The commander of the
20 Leva Supoderica Unit, Milan Lancuzanin, Kameni, and his collaborator,
21 Ceca, were charged, but Kameni and Ceca had first -- had spent six years
22 in prison. And Kinez, pursuant to the testimony of two protected
23 witnesses, insiders, participated in the crimes, were falsely accused
24 that he was in Ovcara, and he was sentenced to 20 years of prison. I do
25 not have any doubt that some of these people, that they participated in
1 the crime, but the proceedings were tampered to protect Vasiljevic.
2 Vasiljevic was the darkest figure in the war on the Serbian side. He is
3 a person without any moral scruples, as the subsequent events showed. He
4 is protected from all sides, and it seems that nobody can do anything to
6 Then it goes on to mention the alleged crime at Velepromet, that
7 the Serb forces, with Seselj's men, allegedly killed six prisoners. The
8 OTP base this accusation on the testimony of Witness 051, and this
9 witness tried to present a certain Topola as a Chetnik vojvoda, and then
10 he personally identified him here in the courtroom in a video-clip. He
11 had a red star on his helmet and white straps on his uniform, which is a
12 clear indication that the man is a military police officer. He tried to
13 present him as a member of the Serb Radical Party.
14 Then we heard of seven bus drivers who, on the 18th, 19th and
15 20th November, took volunteers -- our volunteers back to Serbia. Two
16 remained to live in Vukovar, but none was involved in the crime at
18 As for torturing and cruel treatment at Velepromet, the people
19 kept there were prisoners of war. They were guarded by the military
20 police, and Aleksandar Vasiljevic at the top. What has that got to do
21 with the Serb Radical Party? The members of the Leva Supoderica Unit
22 were able to come there individually to supply some provisions because
23 Velepromet was the main supply centre, and nothing else.
24 Then what do the volunteers of the Serb Radical Party have to do
25 with any deportation or forcible transfer? When Vukovar was liberated,
1 it was completely devastated, and the civilians could go where they
2 wanted to. Some wanted to go to Croatia, some wanted to stay. Most
3 Serbs stayed. Some Serbs went to Serbia. Some Croats stayed and lived
4 there relatively normally, to the extent it was possible to live normally
5 in a devastated town. You had a large number of witnesses here, but none
6 was able to provide evidence that the volunteers of the
7 Serb Radical Party participated in war crimes.
8 Especially impressive was the testimony of Colonel Vukasinovic,
9 who unmasked Colonel Vasiljevic and Tomic and Kijanovic, as well as
10 Vujic. And owing to the testimony of Vukasinovic, my job is now much
11 easier with regard to the crimes at Vukovar.
12 Talking about some other witnesses, such as 007, 027, 065, 1131,
13 008, 051, they were unmasked here, utterly unmasked. The OTP, itself,
14 gave up on hearing Witness 008 because it was clear that he was giving
15 false evidence. This witness tried to barter with the OTP until he was
16 led into the courtroom because he wanted to be taken to a foreign
18 Then about Zvornik, my speech at Mali Zvornik is made up, and so
19 is the rally, so I instigated nothing. We heard a large number of
20 witnesses here, and there were also documents from the Muslim side, that
21 helped us to shed some -- shed light on some facts which I admit I even
22 didn't know earlier. Both sides were arming themselves at Zvornik, but
23 the Muslims started much earlier and much more intensively. They were
24 the first to take power in Zvornik and armed all the local criminals.
25 The Serbs had to flee. The Muslims wanted to blow up the dam of the
1 hydro power-plant. Then they wanted to pull down the plant of the
2 so-called Red Mud, which would have called an environmental disaster.
3 Then the tactical group of the JNA, whose commander was at Gucevo, was
4 established. Colonel Radovan Tacic was appointed commander of Zvornik.
5 He commanded an armoured brigade. He deployed an armoured battalion, but
6 had no infantry. That's why the infantry invited the volunteers of the
7 Serb Radical Party. They partly mobilised people from the local
8 municipalities. They also mobilised the reserve police force. And on
9 the 8th of April, they prepared a counter-offensive. Prior to that, the
10 Crisis Staff, which according to the Prosecution witness was twice
11 visited by Biljana Plavsic, established contact with Arkan. They pay him
12 a lot of money, somewhere between 300- and 400.000 German marks, to take
13 part in the Zvornik operation. Arkan arrives in a vehicle with blue
14 flashing lights, with license plates of the federal Ministry of the
15 Interior, and he launches an attack from Karakaj with his 40-odd people
16 and with local TO forces. The Muslims repel his attack, and only in the
17 afternoon the operation led by the JNA starts in which the volunteers of
18 the Serb Radical Party took part. Only one crime is mentioned in the
19 indictment in that period, and that is the shooting of some 20 Muslim men
20 in the Hrid neighbourhood, and the OTP in the indictment admits that it
21 was done by Arkan's men. They say Serb forces among them, Arkan's men.
22 The witnesses who testified here confirmed that they were Arkan's men.
23 The volunteers of the Serb Radical Party had nothing to do with it.
24 Colonel Tacic demanded from the General Staff that Arkan be removed from
25 Zvornik as soon as possible, and that was done within a day or two.
1 After that, the fighting for Kula Grad continued. That's a fort
2 above Zvornik, and it fell on 26 April. After that, JNA units withdraw,
3 and so do the volunteers of the Serb Radical Party. On the eve of the
4 operation, itself, four men appear in Zvornik pursuant to the
5 instructions of the then-boss of the Military Security Service,
6 General-Major Boskovic: Zuco, then his brother Dusan, also known as
7 Repic, Milorad Lukovic, also known as Legija, and Miroslav Bogdanovic.
8 It was their task to arrest a certain Pusula who was suspected of selling
9 large quantities of weapons to Muslims. They were caught by Muslims at
10 the check-point erected toward Karakaj, and Nedjo Boskovic intervened
11 personally on the phone for them to be released. Fadil Mujic, for whom
12 the Prosecution wouldn't call as a witness, but we know from other
13 documents, released the four of them so that they enable him to leave to
14 a foreign country via Serbia. The OTP tried to present them as
15 volunteers of the Serb Radical Party, but they didn't come to Zvornik as
16 volunteers. Only after the fall of Kula Grad did Vojin Vuckovic become
17 commander of the newly-established TO detachment, named after
18 Igor Markovic.
19 Everything that is said to have happened on the 12th of May at
20 the Ekonomija and the 30th and 31st of May at the Cultural Centre
21 Drinjaca, on the 1st to the 5th of June at the brick plant, and then at
22 Gerina Planica [phoen], and then at the cultural centre at Celopek, all
23 of these have nothing to do with the Serb Radical Party. Whether these
24 crimes were really committed or not is something I don't want to go into.
25 If I were indicted of them, I would, but I've never heard of them before
1 I was indicted, so no need to waste any time on that. What matters to me
2 is that there were no volunteers of the Serb Radical Party involved.
3 Sporadically, some witnesses mentioned some Seselj's men, but for
4 them all Chetniks are Seselj's men, everybody wearing a beard is Seselj's
5 man, and everybody wearing a cockade is one. But you saw how they fared
6 in the courtroom.
7 Furthermore, talking about the general area of Sarajevo, the
8 shooting of 22 civilians at Jezero is mentioned, then the crime at
9 Srna Rijeka, near Ilijas, and then on Mount Zuc, near Vogosca, and on
10 Mount Igman, near Ilidza. The OTP claimed that the crimes were committed
11 by Seselj's men. At that time, there were no volunteers of the Serb
12 Radical Party whom we sent from Belgrade to that area, so they weren't
14 Vasilije Vidovic, also known as Vaske, is mentioned in that
15 context, but his unit had no more than 50 members. I showed the diaries
16 of his unit here. Many things are attributed to him; that he was at
17 detention facilities, that he was at the front-line, et cetera. All that
18 is nonsense. This man committed not one single crime during that war.
19 He enjoys my greatest respect, but I didn't send him to that war. He
20 spent the war in his own native town of Ilijas. But I respect him so
21 much that I appointed him chief of my personal security detail.
22 Then Slavko Alic is mentioned. He has nothing to do with war
23 crimes whatsoever, but he's a local of Novo Sarajevo. He was first a
24 member of the Serb Democratic Party and then joined the
25 Serb Radical Party. We are proud of his role in the war, but he was not
1 sent as a volunteer from Belgrade. Nor did we send volunteers to his
2 unit from Serbia.
3 Branislav Gavrilovic, also known as Brne, he was volunteer of the
4 Serb Radical Party in Slavonia, and then he commanded a volunteer unit,
5 which at the beginning of the war was active in the area of Grbavica, in
6 the direction of Hrasno. And when they were surrounded by Muslims, a
7 group of his fighters did, then I tried to get Karadzic or anyone from
8 the leadership of the RS on the phone so that they get help. You heard
9 my phone call to that effect, and that's the only phone conversation that
10 the Muslim Security Service was able to tape and that involves me. But
11 when the volunteers withdrew, he went to his native town and fought in
12 that area. It's a lie that he killed two persons on Mount Igman; namely,
13 Rusmir Hamalokic and one more. The Muslim authorities even had their
14 bodies autopsied after the exchange, but there were no criminal
15 proceedings after that. So all these accusations are total fabrications.
16 Then there are standards accusations of plundering, destruction
17 of religious facilities, then other events at Planina Kuca and others.
18 All that has nothing to do with the Serb Radical Party and its
19 volunteers. And the witnesses in this courtroom have shown that.
20 Then Mostar and Nevesinje.
21 I'm speeding up because I wanted to finish everything I wanted in
22 the first three hours. I'm sorry that the interpreters will have a hard
23 time, but I must finish this tonight.
24 Mostar and Nevesinje. At Mostar, there was a volunteer unit of
25 the Serb Radical Party commanded by Oliver Denis Baret, until the 19th of
1 may when the JNA withdrew. Then that unit withdrew as well.
2 Oliver Denis Baret was in Podgraci with me on the 25th of May when an
3 assassination was attempted. I was hit only by one fragment of a
4 hand-grenade but he sustained grave injuries. Over 60 people were
5 injured on that occasion. But any crimes committed after the withdrawal
6 of the JNA can have nothing to do with the volunteers of the SRS.
7 The Vrapcici Football Stadium, the city morgue, Sutina, and so
8 on, you had here documents of the Cantonal Court of Mostar showing that
9 the perpetrators were locals. Whether they were or were not, I'm not
10 interested. There were no volunteers of the SRS.
11 Another unit of SRS volunteers was in the Nevesinje
12 municipality -- sorry, Trebinje, in May and June of 1992; because after
13 the withdrawal of the JNA on the 19th of May, the Muslims at Podvelezje
14 attacked the Serb forces from behind and there was a lot of shooting.
15 Then Commander Vakic with 19 fighters went to the staff of
16 Colonel Novak Gusic and offered help, and Gusic said, Start fighting
17 immediately, we have nothing to wait for. He said, Every man is
18 valuable. And there were Prosecution witnesses here who confirmed that
19 the location where Vakic's unit was active was far from the places where
20 crimes were committed that are being attributed to me. I'm talking about
21 the crimes at Teleca Lastva, Gnopolje at the Zijemlje Valley, and so on.
22 Various things were said here, various witnesses. Let us
23 remember Vojin Dabic, who, until the last moment, tried to get
24 transferred abroad by the ICTY. He even made up an incident where he was
25 beaten up at Novi Sad, but actually he slipped clearing snow. And he had
1 his friends call him up when he was in The Hague to make it seem as if he
2 were in grave danger if he returned, because he knew that phones lines
3 are being tapped here.
4 We had more false witnesses here, but you saw what the effects of
5 their cross-examination was, or were, actually. They were annihilated.
6 Then the events at Hrtkovci. Deportation and forcible transfer
7 is attributed to me there from May to August 1992. No one Croat was
8 deported or forcibly removed. A large number of over 200.000 Serbian
9 displaced persons from Croatia hit Serbia, and most of all Vojvodina, and
10 every town and village in Vojvodina was full of Serbian refugees and
11 displaced persons. Clearly, the general atmosphere in such a situation
12 could not be good, but nobody ever deported a single Croat. All Croats
13 who left exchanged their property for other property, and it was done
14 legally and is documented in the court. And I always said that we would
15 exchange the property of these Croats with the property of these Serbs,
16 and I relied on the principle of --
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You are three minutes beyond
18 your time, so any time you're using now will be taken off the rest.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Oh, all right. I'll just take a
20 few more minutes.
21 As for the elaboration of Hrtkovci, that will bring me to an end
22 of all I had planned for today. Another five or six minutes will not
23 mean that much, especially if you take away time from that last hour that
24 I have left. Since the Prosecution's reply will not amount to much,
25 maybe I won't even need an hour.
1 This is what the indictment says: that in May 1992, I came to
2 Vojvodina and met with my associates; that I instructed them to contact
3 non-Serbs and to threaten them with death if they do not leave. There is
4 no proof of that. Not a single witness confirmed this.
5 On the 6th of May, they say that I made an inflammatory speech in
6 Hrtkovci and called people to leave. No. This was a pre-election
7 speech, and I made promises. If you don't like what it was that I was
8 promising, that is to say, the principle of retorsion once we get into
9 power, that's a different thing. However, there was no deportation.
10 However, most importantly, there was no armed struggle in Vojvodina at
11 the time.
12 You remember, Mr. President, you were a member of the
13 Trial Chamber -- of Trial Chamber II that in 2004, when I objected to the
14 indictment, they instructed the Prosecution to remove all portions that
15 referred to Vojvodina and Hrtkovci if the Prosecution cannot find proof
16 of an armed conflict having taken place there. The Prosecution lodged an
17 appeal. The Appeals Chamber decided that this be returned into the
18 indictment and that it is left to the actual court proceedings to
19 determine whether there was an armed conflict or not and whether these
20 things can be linked to an armed conflict. However, the most important
21 thing is that an official from the OTP, and their military expert, at
22 that, Theunens, in response to a direct question I put to him here in
23 court, stated that in Hrtkovci, there were no attacks against the
24 civilian population.
25 In order for Article 5 of the Statute of The Hague Tribunal to be
1 applied, there must be widespread or systematic attack against civilians.
2 There was no widespread attack or systematic attack against civilians.
3 Now, if somebody phoned somebody else and threatened them, you cannot
4 prove that or disprove that, but that's not attacking the civilians.
5 It's not that level of attack that is required for applying Article 5 of
6 the Statute. Since there was no attack against civilians, it is
7 impossible to apply Article 5 of the Statute.
8 Why did the OTP allow one of their own employees, and an expert,
9 at that, to state that in court? That is the Prosecution's problem.
10 What else has to be proven here if Theunens said that? You do recall
11 that. If you do not, will you find it in the transcript. It was part of
12 the cross-examination.
13 Furthermore, the Prosecution claims that I read out a list of
14 Croats who are supposed to be expelled. The evidence shows that I did
15 not read out any list. An activist of our party, before my speech,
16 mentioned the names of the Croats who had left beforehand and who had
17 joined Tudjman's paramilitary formation called the National Guard Corps.
18 Now, it says that my supporters started a campaign of ethnic
19 cleansing over the next three months; that non-Serbs were intimidated,
20 threatened, harassed, threatened with death, forcing them to leave the
21 area. However, all of that was -- at least became more relative when
22 these people were cross-examined in court. But maybe some people had
23 some unpleasant situations, but there were no attacks.
24 We had a witness here who claimed that in my speech, I asked for
25 all children from mixed marriages should be killed. I hope that you
1 remember that witness. Then a female witness, his very own sister, said
2 that that is not exactly what she had heard, but she had heard that I
3 asked that all mixed marriages be annulled.
4 You saw Witness 067, who testified very fairly and who said that,
5 for example, Vesna Pesic came to Hrtkovci during that campaign, and then
6 Vesna Pesic had a fit in the National Assembly. She is a member of
7 Parliament, from a political party that is our political opponent, and
8 she said in Parliament that she had never been to Hrtkovci in all her
9 life. I showed you the stenographic notes from that parliamentary
11 There were witnesses here who stated other things as well.
12 However, we find most interesting the case of Witness Aleksa Ejic,
13 president of the local branch of the Serbian Renewal Movement, who
14 confirmed that Ostoja Sibincic was their member. So this infamous
15 Ostoja Sibincic who was the centre of everything. And he said that after
16 my speech, he established contact with Nenad Canak. Now, that is when
17 the campaign started in part of the Serbian public to ascribe criminal
18 intent to me. Natasa Kandic joined that campaign, of course;
19 Natasa Kandic, as the most reliable Belgrade associate of
20 The Hague Tribunal.
21 The testimony of some other witnesses showed that some other
22 allegations were false as well; as a matter of fact, that it was a false
23 allegation that the Serbs had looted the Roman Catholic Church in that
24 local area. I proved that it was a local criminal who was a Croat of
25 Catholic faith that robbed the church and that his only motive was
2 So none of what is stated in the indictment has been proven to be
3 true, and all false testimony provided in court was efficiently
4 shattered. Nothing stayed on after that.
5 That is what I had to say during my three hours, and I hope you
6 will tell me how many more minutes.
7 So I stand by what I said at the very outset when I started
8 speaking. I ask you to enter a judgement of acquittal on any count and
9 also to state my right for a compensation. Now, the question is how to
10 set the actual amount involved of these damages. Perhaps we could look
11 at the jurisdiction in France, Italy and Denmark. Another solution would
12 be to look at what American courts do, because the headquarters of the
13 United Nations is in New York. Some solution has to be found.
14 Some people in this Tribunal hope that by way of parallel
15 proceedings that are instituted against me for contempt of court, they
16 are going to get to those eight years so that then they are not
17 duty-bound to indemnify me. Of course, if the indictment falls in these
18 main proceedings, then these small proceedings for contempt of court
19 cannot stand. They will have to fall on their very own.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
21 Mr. Registrar, you will tell us tomorrow how much time you have
22 used so far.
23 Thank you, Mr. Prosecutor, for not speaking or asking for the
24 floor during Mr. Seselj's arguments, and I hope that you will be free to
25 speak without being interrupted tomorrow. You will have four hours.
1 Thereafter, Mr. Seselj may have additional arguments, and I'll tell him
2 exactly tomorrow how much time he has for that part of the proceedings.
3 It is about time to adjourn, so I think it's better for you,
4 Mr. Marcussen, to speak tomorrow.
5 I thank everybody. We'll be sitting in the afternoon, starting
6 at 2.30. I don't know why we start at 2.30, but that's the way it is.
7 We shall start at 2.30 in the afternoon.
8 Our Registrar is very fast. He's just told me that Mr. Seselj
9 has used up three hours and twelve minutes. So he'll have 48 minutes
10 left after Mr. Marcussen tomorrow.
11 A very good evening to you all.
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.49 p.m.,
13 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 8th day of March,
14 2011, at 2.30 p.m.