1 Monday, 5 March 2012
2 [Prosecution Closing Statement]
3 [Open session]
4 --- Upon commencing at 3.32 p.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, can you call the
7 case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case
9 number IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
11 Today is Monday, the 7th of March, 2012 -- 5th of March, 2012. I
12 would like to greet all the people present in the courtroom,
13 Mr. Marcussen and his associates, Mr. Seselj, as well as all the people
14 assisting us in this courtroom.
15 I must apologise, we are running slightly late for a reason which
16 was out of my control. In the decision we issued a while ago, we
17 specified that the Prosecution would have ten hours for its closing
18 arguments and the Defence - represented by Mr. Seselj - will also have
19 ten hours. So in this week we shall address the closing arguments of the
20 Prosecution and during the second week we will address the closing
21 arguments of the Defence.
22 That said, Mr. Marcussen, I shall now give you the floor.
23 MR. MARCUSSEN: Thank you, Your Honours.
24 Your Honours, before I start, I would like to inform the
25 Trial Chamber that the -- for the Prosecution, the counsel who will be
1 appearing will be, in addition to myself, Ms. Biersay, who's with me here
2 today. We will also have Mr. Mussemeyer, Ms. Hochhauser, Ms. Iodice, and
3 Mr. Traldi. We're not having the full Prosecution team in court for
4 logistical reasons, so counsel will be appearing as they are required to
5 make their arguments.
6 I will also inform the Chamber that the Prosecution will not be
7 needing ten hours for its arguments.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have an objection.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges, I believe that
11 five representatives of the OTP who would be presenting closing arguments
12 are too few. I think that at least one should handle each hour of their
13 arguments because they're unable to speak reasonably for -- and make
14 sense for longer than one hour.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The closing arguments of the
16 Prosecution are conducted in a way in which the Prosecution wishes.
17 Please proceed, Mr. Marcussen.
18 MR. MARCUSSEN: Thank you, Your Honours.
19 Your Honours, exactly 20 years ago today, on the 5th of March,
20 1992, the accused vowed that the Serbian Radical Party was ready to
21 oppose with all means available Bosnia and Herzegovina from becoming
22 independent. He threatened that if it declared independence there would
23 be "rivers of blood on Bosnia and Herzegovina's soil." That is from
24 Exhibit P1324. The day after the accused's threat, Bosnia and
25 Herzegovina declared independence.
1 By the end of March 20 years ago, rivers of blood flowed in
2 Bosnia and Herzegovina the same way they had flowed in Croatia after it
3 had declared independence.
4 The accused's threat of rivers of blood became brutal reality for
5 Witness VS-1064. VS-1064 was 22 years old. He was born and lived in
6 Kostjerevo, Zvornik. No one had ever looked at him differently because
7 he was a Muslim until the war broke out in Croatia, and Serbs in Bosnia
8 and Herzegovina started to prepare for war.
9 In April 1992, Serb forces attacked and cleansed Zvornik town of
10 its non-Serb population. Only a few non-Serb villages within the
11 municipality still remained to be cleansed. One of them was Kostjerevo.
12 The inhabitants from the village were promised that nothing would happen
13 to them. So when the JNA ordered them to surrender their hunting
14 weapons, they did so.
15 But on the 30th of May, 1992, the army attacked their village.
16 They did not fight back. Nonetheless, the inhabitants were forced out of
17 their homes and the men were separated from the women and children. The
18 women and children were expelled to Muslim-held areas. VS-1064 was alone
19 there with his father and his three brothers. One of them was only
20 17 years old. Serb TO forces detained them and the other men in the
21 Drinjaca Dom Kulture.
22 The prisoners were given no food, no water. The guards
23 humiliated them. They forced them to make the Serb Orthodox three-finger
24 salute to be allowed to use the bathroom, but humiliation was nothing
25 compared to what was to come. Soon, a group of Arkan's men stormed into
1 the Dom Kulture. They forced the prisoners to sing Chetnik songs and to
2 insult them they called them Balija and Ustasha. They beat them.
3 VS-1064, his father and brother, all the men were beaten by Arkan's men.
4 They beat the prisoners with batons and stabbed them. They beat the
5 prisoners with batons and stabbed them. They beat the prisoners so badly
6 that one of them begged:
7 "Give me a rifle to kill myself. I can't take it anymore."
8 After stabbing one of the prisoners, the leader of the group,
9 with the bloody knife still in his hand, threatened:
10 "You will see what the Chetniks are this evening."
11 Then Arkan's men left.
12 In the evening, a group of Seseljevci arrived. VS-1064 recalled
13 that he was so scared that he did not dare to look at them, fearing that
14 if their eyes met they would harm him. They started to select detainees
15 and took them out in small groups. After each group was taken out,
16 VS-1064 heard gun-fire. The men were taken out but they did not come
17 back. The Seseljevci did come back.
18 Then it was VS-1064's turn. He was taken out with other men from
19 his village. The Seseljevci started shooting. VS-1064 fell to the
20 ground wounded. The shooting stopped and the Seseljevci started to
21 celebrate, firing into the air. As soon as they left back inside,
22 VS-1064 managed to get up and run away. He saw a small group of people
23 lying on the concrete nearby. They were all dead, all dead except for
24 one who was calling out for his mother.
25 After the war, the victims of the massacre were exhumed. VS-1064
1 identified the remains of his father and three brothers amongst the
2 88 corpses.
3 This case is about the accused's responsibility for the crimes
4 committed against VS-1064 and all the other victims of the crimes in
5 Vukovar, Zvornik, Greater Sarajevo, Mostar, Nevesinje, and Hrtkovci that
6 have been proven in this case. The evidence proves beyond a reasonable
7 doubt that the crimes set out in the indictment have been established.
8 Specifically, tens of thousands of innocent non-Serb civilians, primarily
9 Croats and Muslims, were forcibly transferred and deported. Croats and
10 Muslims who were not expelled were detained under inhumane conditions.
11 They were beaten, tortured raped, or submitted to other sexual violence.
12 905 persons were killed, most in organised massacres or in detention
13 facilities. Croat and Muslim property was looted and wantonly destroyed,
14 and religious sites were destroyed and desecrated. Croat and Muslims
15 were persecuted through acts such as dismissals from their work,
16 deprivation of pensions, and measures to prevent them from returning to
17 their homes after they had been expelled.
18 The accused physically committed crimes in Vukovar and Hrtkovci,
19 and he is responsible for crimes carried out by Serb forces, including
20 Seseljevci, during the persecutorial campaign in Croatia and Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina as a member of a joint criminal enterprise.
22 The evidence also proves that the accused instigated and aided
23 and abetted the perpetrators of the crimes charged in the indictment.
24 The Prosecution's closing arguments will address the following
25 issues: First, we will show that the accused was a member of a joint
1 criminal enterprise to commit the crimes charged in the indictment. I
2 will be presenting the Prosecution's argument about the existence of the
3 joint criminal enterprise. Ms. Biersay will address the accused's
4 contribution to the joint criminal enterprise and to the crimes by
5 inciting the crimes and aiding and abetting the perpetrators of the
7 Second, we will address the crimes charged in the indictment.
8 Ms. Hochhauser will cover Vukovar. Mr. Mussemeyer will deal with
9 evidence relating to so-called pattern municipalities in Croatia and
10 Bosnia and Herzegovina. Ms. Iodice will address Your Honours regarding
11 Zvornik and Greater Sarajevo. Mr. Traldi will cover two municipalities
12 as well: Mostar and Nevesinje. And Ms. Biersay will deal with the
13 accused's crimes in Hrtkovci. Finally, I will conclude and present the
14 Prosecution's arguments on sentencing.
15 So I turn now to the Prosecution's argument regarding the JCE
16 alleged in the indictment.
17 Your Honours, the evidence proves beyond a reasonable doubt that
18 the accused participated in the preparation and execution of a joint
19 criminal enterprise; its common purpose was to forcibly create
20 ethnically-separate territories in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
21 Its common purpose was implemented from at least August 1991, when Serb
22 forces engaged in a massive persecutorial campaign against non-Serbs,
23 mainly Croats and Muslims, in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The
24 crimes in Vukovar, Zvornik, Greater Sarajevo, Mostar, and Nevesinje were
25 part of this persecutorial campaign. They were committed by Serb forces
1 under the command of or controlled by members of the joint criminal
3 Many of the most savage crimes were committed by Serb volunteers
4 recruited, organised, and deployed by the accused. His volunteers were
5 notorious for their brutality and crimes, and his volunteers were so
6 closely associated with him that they were commonly known as
7 Seseljevci - Seselj's men. Seseljevci participated in and committed
8 crimes in all the crime-base municipalities charged in the indictment.
9 JNA forces also participated in and committed crimes which have
10 been proven in this case. JCE member Slobodan Milosevic, the president
11 of the Republic of Serbia, controlled the JNA. JCE members and
12 JNA Generals Veljko Kadijevic and Blagoje Adzic were the most senior
13 officers in the JNA.
14 Members of the special operation unit of the Serbian MUP, known
15 as the Red Berets, were also participants in and perpetrators of crimes.
16 Milosevic also controlled the Serbian MUP and worked closely with
17 JCE members Jovica Stanisic, chief of the State Security Service of the
18 Serbian MUP; and his deputy, Franko Simatovic, also known as Frenki. And
19 the Serbian MUP co-operated closely with JCE member Zeljko Raznatovic,
20 known as Arkan. He controlled a paramilitary organisation called Arkan's
21 men or Arkan's Tigers, who also participated in and perpetrated crimes in
22 the indictment.
23 In Croatia, members of local Serb police and Territorial Defence
24 forces participated in crimes. They were under the control of JCE
25 members Goran Hadzic, prime minister of the SAO of Slavonia, Baranja, and
1 Western Srem, president of the government of the same SAO, and later
2 president of the RSK, the Republic of Serbian Krajina; JCE member
3 Radovan Stojicic, also known as Badza, was a MUP commander in the SAO of
4 SBWS in 1991.
5 In Bosnia and Herzegovina, members of local Serb police forces
6 and Territorial Defence forces as well as members of the Army of
7 Republika Srpska, the VRS, perpetrated and participated in crimes. They
8 were under the command or control of JCE member Radovan Karadzic, the
9 president of the SDS in Bosnia and Herzegovina and from the 12th of May,
10 1992, president of the Presidency of the Republika Srpska, the RS; JCE
11 member Biljana Plavsic was a member of the RS Presidency; JCE member
12 Momcilo Krajisnik, the president and speaker of the Serb Assembly of the
13 RS also had control over these forces; and finally JCE member
14 Ratko Mladic was the commander of the Main Staff of the VRS.
15 The participation of all these forces in the crimes charged in
16 the indictment was the result of close co-operation between these JCE
17 members as well as others, such as JCE member Radmilo Bogdanovic, who
18 facilitated the arming of Serbs in both Croatia and Bosnia and
19 Herzegovina. The crimes were committed by these forces because the
20 accused and other JCE members were united by a common goal: The creation
21 of a Serb state, as I will now discuss.
22 Uniting Serbs in one Greater Serbia was a vision that the accused
23 had long nurtured and it was a pillar of his political programme. As
24 part of his political platform, the accused revived the Chetnik ideology
25 and militaristic traditions from the First and Second World Wars. The
1 Chetnik Movement's core goal boiled down to a struggle for territorial
2 control over Greater Serbia and the expulsion of non-Serbs from targeted
3 areas to ensure Serb dominance.
4 To publicise and advance his goal of a Greater Serbia, the
5 accused published "Velika Srbija," which means "Greater Serbia." On the
6 cover of the first issue of Velika Srbija was a map of Greater Serbia.
7 It is in evidence as Exhibit P38.
8 Exhibit P26, which should now be shown on the screen, shows the
9 accused's vision of his Greater Serbia. It includes present-day Serbia,
10 Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as much of
11 Croatia. As he said in Exhibit P1175, the accused wanted to amputate
12 Croatia at what he claimed to be the old Serbian border running between
13 the towns of Karlobag, Ogulin, Karlovac, and Virovitica, the KOKV line.
14 If Your Honours look at the upper left part -- we seem to be
15 having some technical issues.
16 If I may turn Your Honours attention back to the map.
17 If Your Honours look at the upper left part of the map on your
18 screen, the KO KV line is a border between the areas shaded in red and
19 the area shaded in brown.
20 The accused also engaged in a vicious and relentless propaganda
21 campaign against non-Serbs, including Croatians and Muslims as well as
22 Kosovar Albanians. He claimed that Serbs had an historic right to the
23 territory of Greater Serbia. He denigrated and dehumanised non-Serbs.
24 He equated Croatians to Ustasha fascists who had committed crimes against
25 Serbs and Bosnian Muslims to Ottoman Turks that he said had subjugated
1 Serbs for hundreds of years. He claimed that Serbs were under an
2 imminent threat of genocide at the hands of Croats and the enslavement by
3 Muslims. He repeatedly raised the spectre of crimes against Serbs during
4 the Second World War and he called for blind revenge in which rivers of
5 blood would flow.
6 Today the accused's message is clear. Two decades ago, against
7 the backdrop of increased violence, escalating tension, and ultimately
8 war that tore the former Yugoslavia apart, the accused's message was even
9 clearer. He called for crimes to be committed against Croats and Muslims
10 so his Chetnik vision of a Greater Serbia could be realised.
11 The accused also revived the Chetnik militaristic organisation
12 under the umbrella of his political activities. In 1989, he received the
13 Chetnik military title traditionally bestowed on Chetnik leaders,
14 Vojvoda, from Second World War Chetnik leader Momcilo Djujic.
15 The accused established the Serbian Chetnik Movement which we
16 will refer to with the acronym SCP. In 1991 the accused incorporated the
17 SCP into his new party, the Serbian Radical Party, the SRS. The SCP
18 became the military wing of the SRS. He then created a Crisis Staff, and
19 later turned it into a War Staff, through which he recruited and deployed
20 his volunteers, the Seseljevci.
21 His military persona extended to the front lines where he wore
22 military uniform and visited his Seseljevci.
23 Your Honours now have on the screen before you Exhibit P184. You
24 see the accused in uniform, wearing a helmet, and he's surrounded by
25 other people in uniform. And on the helmet of the accused you see a
1 white eagle.
2 This white eagle is a tradition Serb symbol. The accused has at
3 times challenged witnesses who associated Seseljevci with the white eagle
4 symbols because there existed another paramilitary formation with the
5 name White Eagles. This picture shows that the symbol was also used by
6 the SRS.
7 Indeed, as the accused explained in Exhibit P184 -- excuse me,
8 Exhibit P185 at page 1 , his Seseljevci scratched the communist symbol of
9 the five-pointed star off of army helmets and drew white eagles in their
11 I will refer Your Honours' attention to the person to the left of
12 the accused in the front of the picture who wears a cap. At transcript
13 page 6046, Witness VS-007 identified this person as Milan Lancuzanin,
14 also known as Kameni, who led the Seseljevci in Vukovar and was one of
15 the key perpetrators of the massacre at Ovcara. This evidence clearly
16 shows that the accused was ready to pursue his Greater Serbia by all
17 means available as he said 20 years ago. And soon he would be able to do
19 When communism lost its legitimacy in the late 1980s,
20 nationalists in the republics that formed the former Yugoslavia began to
21 seek independence, first in Slovenia and Croatia and soon also in Bosnia
22 and Herzegovina. Many Serb leaders opposed this prospect. They were
23 especially determined to prevent independence of the republics of Croatia
24 and Bosnia and Herzegovina because it would separate Serbs by
25 international borders and leave sizeable groups of Serbs as minorities in
1 Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. To avoid separating Serbs in
2 different states, they sought to turn much of Croatia and Bosnia and
3 Herzegovina into Serb-dominated territory. These efforts manifested
4 themselves in the creation of Serb Autonomous Regions, or SAOs, in
5 Croatia and later in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
6 The efforts were supported by Milosevic, who had risen to power
7 on a Serb nationalist agenda and was seen as a protector and patron of
8 Serbs outside the Republic of Serbia, as noted by the Trial Chamber in
9 its adjudicated fact decision of 10th of December, 2007, facts number 48
10 to 50. I will in the following be referring to this decision as AF-1.
11 The accused and Milosevic recognised their common nationalist
12 agenda and set aside their political differences. The accused explained
13 during the indictment period:
14 "It is not important how Milosevic's regime treated me in the
15 past, what's most important is how he handles Serb national interests
16 today." That is from Exhibit P1215, page 8.
17 They pursued this common goal by establishing Serb Autonomous
18 Regions and Serb military forces which fought for the control of those
19 regions. The creation of the SAOs formalised the Serb nationalist
20 territorial aspirations by declaring parts of Croatia and Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina to be Serb land. They were the first step towards an
22 all-Serb nation.
23 Your Honours have in front of you now on the screen a map which
24 shows the different SAOs that were declared and the way they looked
25 before the war broke out.
1 Leaders of the Serbian Democratic Party, or the SDS, in Croatia
2 declared SAOs in three targeted areas: In Krajina, in Western Slavonia,
3 in Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem. Leaders of these SAOs included
4 JCE members Milan Babic and Goran Hadzic. Milan Babic was the president
5 of the SAO of Krajina, which Your Honours can see is the big turquoise
6 area to the left which is now being indicated on the screen. And
7 Goran Hadzic was the president of the SAO of SBWS, which is on the
8 opposite side over here, which is now being indicated.
9 In Bosnia, the coloured areas represent the different SAOs that
10 were declared there. JCE member Radovan Karadzic, the president of the
11 SDS in Bosnia and Herzegovina, explained the objective of these SAOs. He
12 declared that if Bosnia and Herzegovina left Yugoslavia "the only
13 option ... is Greater Serbia." That is in Exhibit P877, paragraph 97 --
14 sorry, paragraph 39. Karadzic repeated his call for Greater Serbia in
15 February 1992 in Exhibit P503. And the accused recognised that the SDS
16 had the same goal of creating a single Serb state. That can be seen, for
17 instance, in Exhibit P1248 at page 4 [sic].
18 I will now indicate on the same map, Your Honours, where the
19 crime-base locations in this indictment are found as well as the
20 so-called pattern municipalities. The red dots indicate the crime-base
21 areas in the indictment. So Vukovar is situated in the SBWS close to the
22 border with Serbia on the River Drina -- no, that's incorrect. I
24 Down in Bosnia, Zvornik is situated close to the border with
25 Serbia on the Drina River. As Your Honours can see on this map, this is
1 in a grey area indicated on the map, which means that it was not
2 initially part of the SAOs. Also, the area around Sarajevo where crimes
3 were committed is in a grey area which was not part of the SAOs yet. And
4 Mostar, similarly, was not part of the SAOs. But together with
5 Nevesinje, Brcko, and Bijeljina and Bosanski Samac, all these locations
6 were in strategic, important places, and therefore when the war broke out
7 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serb forces took these areas and expelled
8 non-Serbs from them.
9 This evidence proves that the accused and other Serb leaders in
10 Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina shared the common purpose of creating
11 a Serb-dominated territory in these targeted areas and beyond.
12 Because of their aspiration for a Serbian state, the accused
13 supported Serb leaders in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The
14 accused established his Serbian Radical Party in February 1991 and
15 committed the party to support the SDS. That can be seen in Exhibit P153
16 at page 13, where he specifically mentions that the SRS is willing to
17 support the SDS in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and so he did. In
18 March 1991, for example, the accused travelled to Krajina to lend support
19 to JCE member Babic and call for a Serbian Krajina where "there is no
20 room for Ustashas." That is from Exhibit P335 at page 1.
21 In the SBWS he held rallies and met with local Serb leaders to
22 discuss organising Serb military forces in the area. He then deployed
23 Seseljevci to, for example, Borovo Selo at their request. That can be
24 seen in Exhibits P55 and P2 -- sorry, P1277, and the testimony of
25 Witness VS-004.
1 In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the accused met with JCE member
2 Karadzic to discuss the taking over of targeted areas, and he lauded
3 Karadzic in his speeches. That can be seen in Exhibits P1003, P1339,
4 P1176, and others. He later described their meetings, saying:
5 "We knew then that it would come" -- my apologies, Your Honours.
6 "We knew then that it would come to a conflict, to a war. In any
7 case, I had already met with my Chetniks there. We had a detailed map of
8 the eastern part of Bosnia in front of us and we were considering actions
9 for a take-over of Visegrad, Visegrad bridge, Zvornik, et cetera. At
10 that time it was obvious that there was going to be war."
11 And that is from Exhibit P1246 at page 3.
12 Serb leaders in Croatia sought military assistance from the
13 accused. In Exhibit P31, the accused admitted that he sent Seseljevci to
14 the SAO Krajina at the request of JCE member Babic. From 1991 to 1992,
15 JCE members Hadzic and Martic travelled to the SRS War Staff office in
16 Belgrade to request volunteers. This is in Exhibit P1074 at
17 paragraph 46.
18 Local TO leaders also requested the -- I believe I said page 46
19 and I should have said paragraph 46 -- 86.
20 Local TO leaders also requested that the accused deploy
21 Seseljevci to support their forces. In the crime bases and pattern
22 municipalities in Croatia, the accused responded directly to such
23 requests. When the Vukovar TO sent the SRS War Staff a request for
24 Seseljevci, the accused decided that the SRS should send "as many
25 volunteers as possible." That is in Exhibit C-11 at page 14.
1 Seseljevci were deployed to Western Slavonia - where Vocin, one
2 of our pattern municipalities, is located - upon the request of local
3 TO forces. That is in the testimony of VS-004 and VS-033 and in
4 Exhibit P223.
5 Many other local leaders in Croatia also requested fighters from
6 the accused. This can be seen, for instance, in Exhibits P942, in
7 relation to Sisak; P264, in relation to Okucani; P239, in relation to
8 Novska; and P226, Podravska Slatina.
9 And these deployments of Seseljevci were supported by the Serbian
10 MUP. The accused co-operated with the Serbian MUP through
11 Witness Petkovic, as he stated in Exhibit P644 at page 9. Petkovic
12 described this co-operation in his evidence. He had numerous meetings
13 with JCE member Stanisic and JCE member Simatovic, as Witness Stefanovic
14 confirms. Through the MUP, Seseljevci were later deployed to Vukovar,
15 received training at a centre in Lipovaca, outside Sid in Serbia, which
16 was organised by the Serbian MUP. This can be seen in Witness Rankic's
17 evidence. And JCE member Arkan, who was affiliated with the
18 State Security Service of the MUP of Serbia, provided logistical support
19 to Seseljevci at his base in Erdut in Eastern Slavonia. The accused
20 personally brought Seseljevci to Erdut and addressed the volunteers,
21 telling them that:
22 "Ustashas should be killed and expelled."
23 This is in Exhibit P528, paragraph 32; and also in supporting
24 evidence found in Exhibits P921, at page 2; P1257, at page 30; and in
25 evidence by Witness Rankic, found in Exhibit P1074, at paragraphs 85 and
2 Milosevic also provided large-scale assistance to local Serb
3 forces. Through his trusted men in the Serbian MUP, JCE members
4 Stanisic, Simatovic, and Bogdanovic, Milosevic provided military support
5 to Serb leaders in Krajina and local police forces were trained and
6 armed. They promised JCE member Babic 20.000 guns. In the SAO SBWS,
7 Milosevic and Bogdanovic gave the local Serb TO weapons. Those weapons
8 were passed on to Seseljevci who had been deployed to the SBWS,
9 evidencing the close support between JCE members in Belgrade, locally in
10 various areas in Croatia, and the accused. This evidence is found in
11 Exhibits P1137, at pages 115 to -16; and in Exhibit P1252 at page 3; and
12 in Exhibit P644.
13 The Serbian MUP also participated in acts of provocation to
14 engage Croat forces in conflict. After the conflicts erupted, the JNA
15 would enter supposedly to calm the situation. In reality, once the clash
16 was over, the JNA would secure Serb territorial gains. This is found
17 again in Exhibit P1137, at page 92 and to page 94; in Exhibit P1 -- oh, I
18 thought there was a comment. I'm sorry. In Exhibit P412, pages 1 to 4;
19 and in transcript page 3968, which is expert witness Theunens' testimony.
20 From the second half of 1991, the Republic of Serbia intensified
21 its practical assistance to Croatia in the form of weapons, communication
22 equipment, and other supplies to Serbs in Croatia. It also reveals that
23 the Republic of Serbia was financing the salaries and pension
24 contribution of approximately 50.000 Serb TO members throughout the
25 SAO Krajina, SAO Western Slavonia, and the SAO of SBWS. This is found in
1 Exhibit P932.
2 Moreover, the Serbian MUP also created its own special police
3 unit - that I've mentioned before - to carry out the common purpose of
4 the JCE members, known to many as the Red Berets.
5 In Exhibit P131, which is a video, Stanisic, Slobodan Milosevic,
6 and Simatovic are seen proudly discussing their accomplishments during
7 the war. In this unique video, which we will be showing in a moment,
8 these key JCE members celebrate their common accomplishments in pursuit
9 of the persecutorial campaign in Croatia and in Bosnia. Your Honours
10 will see Simatovic explains that the Red Berets were deployed extensively
11 throughout Croatia and Bosnia, as he says, throughout the entire Serb
12 ethnic area. And he'll also explain that the unit was created in
13 May of 1991.
14 [Video-clip played]
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I can't hear a thing.
16 As I've told you, Your Honours, there is a lot of material to
17 present and too few people from the Prosecution. They're just not
18 capable of pulling this off as they should. How many mistakes they've
19 already made.
20 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, we are waiting for the technical
21 problem to be resolved, I think.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] While we are waiting, Your Honours,
23 are you not ashamed to see that there are five people appearing on behalf
24 of the Prosecution and I am on my own. On behalf of Defence, it is just
25 me. It seems that this is something you find okay, that you like it,
2 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, I propose we continue without
3 seeing the video. That can be reviewed by the Chamber at its leisure
4 during deliberation.
5 I would note that in this video, Stanisic describes the extensive
6 operations of the Red Berets. He explained, for example, that the unit
7 had operations in 50 locations, they had 26 training centres for local
8 Serb forces, and they included training centres in areas of particular
9 interest to this case, namely Vukovar, Bijeljina, Bosanski Samac, Brcko,
10 and Trebinje, that Your Honours will be hearing more about during the
11 Prosecution's arguments. It also explains that the unit set up and
12 operated a network of airfields. This reward ceremony took place at a
13 location which was named after what was described as a distinguished
14 member of the unit, Radoslav Kostic. And Your Honours will be hearing
15 more about him and his involvement in arming of local Serbs, both in
16 Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and notably in the Zvornik area, later
17 on in the Prosecution's submissions.
18 Now, the accused not only provided support to the local TOs in
19 Croatia during this period and co-operated with the Serbian MUP. The
20 accused also provided significant support to the JNA. Their co-ordinated
21 efforts to train, arm, and deploy Seseljevci are discussed in
22 paragraphs 100 to 106 of the Prosecution's closing brief. As the
23 conflict in Croatia developed, the JNA became a Serb army under
24 Milosevic's control. By the summer of 1991, the JNA leadership accepted
25 Milosevic's directions "without any discussion." This is found in
1 Exhibit P198 at page 6. And it adopted a new nationalist goal. As JCE
2 member Kadijevic stated in his book about the breakup of the former
3 Yugoslavia, this new mission of the JNA became:
4 "... to protect the Serb people" --
5 Your Honours, I believe we now have the audio on but -- at least
6 I have it in my headphone, so I propose we don't need it. Yeah, I think
7 there are no --
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I could help them
9 with the technical problem if they can't do it because I'm very
10 well-versed in all that.
11 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You mentioned
13 General Kadijevic's book. What is the number of the document, please?
14 MR. MARCUSSEN: That is Exhibit P196 and I will now quote from
15 page 73 of that exhibit.
16 At that place, General Kadijevic explains what the new mission of
17 the JNA had become. It had become:
18 "To protect the Serb people in Croatia in such a way that all
19 regions with a majority Serb population would be completely free from the
20 presence of the Croatian Army and the Croatian authorities."
21 The accused approved of the JNA's new goal. He explained:
22 "JNA is also Serbian, for it is our only army, and events have
23 shown that the JNA too has only us. Therein, the JNA is ours."
24 That is in Exhibit P1281 at page 3.
25 However, the JNA faced a manpower shortage due to desertions and
1 its own efforts to purge non-Serbs from its ranks. To fill the manpower
2 gap, its leadership turned to the accused. As he testified --
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One minute, please.
4 May I ask the French booth to be in line with what Mr. Marcussen
5 is saying. It's difficult to hear you.
6 MR. MARCUSSEN: Would Your Honours like me to go back to the
7 quote that I read out or ...?
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, for those who listen to
9 you. Yes, please, could you repeat the quote.
10 MR. MARCUSSEN: So what I was saying was that the accused
11 approved of the new goal of the JNA, and he said:
12 "The JNA is also Serbian, for it is our only army, and events
13 have shown that the JNA too has only us. Therein, the JNA is ours."
14 Exhibit P1281 at page 3.
15 And I continue from here. However, the JNA faced a manpower
16 shortage due to desertions and its own efforts to purge non-Serbs from
17 its ranks. To fill the gaps, its leadership turned to the accused. As
18 he testified in the Milosevic trial, several high-ranking JNA officers
19 visited SRS headquarters to meet with him and discussed sending
20 Seseljevci to the JNA because the JNA was having great problems
21 mobilising conscripts. The accused agreed. And I refer to Exhibit P31
22 at pages 242 and 243.
23 Witness Petkovic's evidence describes meetings he, as the chief
24 of the war staff, had with Generals Domazetovic and Panic. Petkovic
25 describes one incident in the summer or fall of 1991, in which he, on the
1 accused's behalf, told Generals Domazetovic and Panic that the accused
2 would stop sending volunteers to Croatia unless weapons and uniforms were
3 provided to them more rapidly, which shows the accused's control over the
4 forces he was sending in to the JNA. The generals responded that they
5 could not distribute weapons within Serbia, but weapons would be provided
6 as soon as the Seseljevci left Serbia. The accused accepted this
7 arrangement because he understood that Serbia was not officially involved
8 in the conflict in Croatia.
9 War Staff member Witness Stefanovic also confirmed SRS
10 co-operation with the JNA General Staff and the provision of uniforms and
11 weapons to Seseljevci at JNA barracks. This is found in Exhibit P634 at
12 paragraph 21.
13 Thanks to the accused's agreement with the JNA, thousands of
14 Seseljevci were trained and equipped at JNA barracks in Belgrade and
15 Novi Sad, as seen in Exhibits P857, paragraphs 38 to 41; in P30; in
16 Witness Rankic's evidence in Exhibit P074 [sic] at paragraph 96; in
17 Witness Stojanovic's evidence in Exhibit P528 at paragraph 10; as well as
18 in Exhibit P54 at page 2.
19 Now, the accused has in his brief denied that he co-operated with
20 Milosevic and that he could not possibly have been a JCE member. He had
21 provided no evidentiary support for these propositions.
22 And let us now look at how the accused himself before he was
23 indicted explained how he actually co-operated with Milosevic and a
24 number of other JCE members who we have already heard about today. This
25 is from a video, which has Exhibit number P644, that we have been
1 referring to a number of times. Let's hear the accused.
2 [Video-clip played]
3 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "This was all done with Milosevic's
4 knowledge, there is no doubt about that, and key people in the police
5 with whom we co-operated at the time where Radmilo Bogdanovic,
6 Mihalj Kertes and others ... Franko Simatovic, also known as Frenki, who
7 later commanded the Red Berets. From the General Staff who mostly
8 co-operated with General Domazetovic who was the deputy Chief of the
9 General Staff and also at the time the head of the personnel
10 administration, if I remember correctly. There were also contacts with
11 lower-ranking officers and so on, depending on the need and the
12 situation. Our volunteers came to Belgrade, the barracks in
13 Bubanj Potok. That is where we put on uniforms and where they were given
14 weapons and buses to take them where they wanted. They were under the
15 command of the JNA as soon as the JNA became involved in the fighting."
16 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, it is clear from the evidence that
17 I have discussed so far that the accused co-operated closely with other
18 JCE members to establish Serb fighting forces that could be deployed to
19 create a Serb state.
20 In June 1991, the JNA engaged in an offensive in Croatia. During
21 its operations, it had overall command over Serb Territorial Defence and
22 police forces in Croatia, units of the Serbian MUP, and - as we have
23 seen - Seseljevci that the accused had willingly provided.
24 In his final trial brief, the accused tries to minimise the
25 contribution that he made to the campaign in Croatia by claiming that he
1 was a mere recruitment sergeant for the JNA and that all he did was
2 legal. This is incorrect. Even if the accused's acts had been lawful,
3 legal acts can constitute a significant contribution to a JCE. For this
4 I refer, for example, to the Krajisnik appeals judgement at
5 paragraph 215.
6 Moreover, the accused was not a recruiting sergeant for a
7 legitimate war. He was a fanatic propagandist contributing to an illegal
8 enterprise. He and his fellow JCE members aimed at achieving their
9 nationalistic goals through whatever means necessary - in particular,
10 through the commission of crime. Those crimes began in August 1991 with
11 the persecutorial campaign carried out by Serb forces against the
12 non-Serb population in Croatia.
13 As this Chamber has heard, the crimes committed during Serb
14 forces' campaign in Croatia were inseparable from the campaign itself.
15 JCE member Babic testified in the Milosevic trial that during the
16 war in Croatia, the JNA engaged in combat operations in such a way that
17 it forced not just Croatian armed forces but the entire non-Serb
18 population to withdraw. Even villages that posed no threat to the JNA
19 were completely destroyed. And I refer Your Honours to Exhibit P1137, at
20 pages 92 and 93.
21 At paragraph 92 -- no, sorry, at page 92, Babic testified:
22 "In this way, the JNA, as of August 1991, engaged in a war so
23 that the territories that it captured would be left without any Croatian
24 inhabitants or very few of them. Houses and buildings were destroyed in
25 combat operations and subsequently. Property was looted."
1 The observers of the European Monitoring Mission that were in
2 Croatia at the time described the brutal tactics used by the JNA. The
3 JNA would first terrorise towns into surrendering with heavy artillery
4 fire. Next, undisciplined irregulars - armed and backed by the
5 JNA - would move in on foot and occupy the place. Finally, the JNA would
6 assume overall control. These tactics were not only used against bigger
7 towns like Vukovar, as we will hear, but:
8 "Throughout broad areas of territory in innumerable smaller
9 villages Croatian inhabitants are killed or forced to leave after ...
10 their villages are bulldozed out of existence ... they are simply and
11 wantonly destroyed."
12 That is from Exhibit P412, at page 16.
13 The devastating consequences of this campaign are set out in the
14 Prosecution's closing brief at paragraphs 108 to 116. Here I will just
15 refer Your Honours to Exhibit P632, at pages 76 to 80, which shows that
16 over 200.000 Croatian civilians were expelled from their homes.
17 And not only did the accused send thousands of Seseljevci to
18 participate in this brutal persecutorial campaign. His Seseljevci
19 committed numerous crimes and quickly became so notorious for their
20 brutality and crimes that they were known to international organisations.
21 Helsinki Watch reported in an open letter to Milosevic and other Serbian
22 leaders - that is found in the record as Exhibit P183 - it reported that:
23 "The Serbian government has ... in some cases, supported the
24 formation of at least three paramilitary groups in Serbia which operate
25 in Croatia. What appears to be the most brutal of these groups is led by
1 Vojislav Seselj, the leader of the Serbian Radical Party ... and the
2 Serbian Chetnik Movement."
3 And that is at page 2 of the exhibit.
4 Indeed, the evidence in this case has proven that the accused's
5 Seseljevci committed many crimes charged in the indictment.
6 Your Honours, the evidence that I have discussed and much more
7 evidence discussed in the Prosecution's closing brief proves the criminal
8 nature of the JCE members' common purpose beyond a reasonable doubt. At
9 least by August 1991, the common purpose to pursue a Greater Serbia, to
10 use the accused's terminology, included persecutorial campaign against
11 non-Serbs and the commission of the crimes charged in the indictment.
12 As we will now see, the JCE members soon extended their
13 persecutorial campaign to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
14 While the persecutorial campaign in Croatia was still at its
15 height -- I don't know if Your Honours are wondering whether we should
16 take a break. We could take a break here as we are moving to another
17 area or I can continue until we hit the one hour and a half mark.
18 It's at your disposal --
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I think it's probably better to
20 have a break. You can then address this other subject.
21 We shall have our traditional 20-minute break.
22 Mr. Seselj, in the event that you do not feel well, we can make a
23 break or have a break when you so wish. Otherwise, we sit for an hour
24 and a half and then have a 20-minute break.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I expect
1 Mr. Marcussen will feel unwell before I do. Why do you think I would
2 always feel unwell? You could feel unwell too, by the way.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. We shall have a
4 20-minute break and resume in 20 minutes' time.
5 --- Recess taken at 4.47 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 5.11 p.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall resume the hearing. I
8 had forgotten to mention that since other Judges are sitting in other
9 hearings, we shall resume in this courtroom tomorrow morning at 9.00.
10 And on Wednesday we shall be sitting in the afternoon. So tomorrow
11 morning we start at 9.00 and we had advised all and everyone about this.
12 MR. MARCUSSEN: Thank you, Your Honours.
13 Your Honours, the evidence I discussed before the break proved
14 that the JCE members prepared and deployed Serb forces including
15 Seseljevci in a persecutorial campaign in Croatia as of August 1991.
16 While this persecutorial campaign in Croatia was at its highest,
17 Bosnia and Herzegovina was set on a path to independence. The accused
18 worked with Bosnian Serb leaders, including JCE member Karadzic, to
19 prepare Serb military and political structures to prevent independence.
20 The accused himself sent Seseljevci units to Bosnia and Herzegovina and
21 SRS branches were set up throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is set
22 forth in paragraphs 201 to 207 of the Prosecution's closing brief.
23 On the 15th of October, 1991, the ethnically mixed Assembly of
24 the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina debated whether to
25 declare independence. During the debate Radovan Karadzic warned that if
1 the Muslims and Croats were to pursue independence, it would be the same
2 highway of hell as in Croatia. As we will now see, he threatened that
3 the highway would lead as far as to the extinction of the Muslims in
4 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
5 [Video-clip played]
6 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Please understand, take it
7 seriously. It is not good what you are doing. This is not the road that
8 you want Bosnia and Herzegovina to take, the same highway to hell and
9 suffering that Slovenia and Croatia went through. Don't think you won't
10 take Bosnia and Herzegovina to hell and Muslim people into possible
11 extinction. Because Muslim people will not be able to defend itself if
12 it comes to war here."
13 MR. MARCUSSEN: This is a clip from Exhibit P1004 and the part
14 that was played is found, if Your Honours want to look at the text, at
15 page 3 of the transcript of that video which is in evidence.
16 Nine days later, the Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina
17 nevertheless voted in favour of independence. In response, as they had
18 done in Croatia, the JCE members formed parallel Serb institutions and
19 prepared for war.
20 The accused and other Serb leaders used their experience from
21 Croatia to prepare for war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As in Croatia, the
22 Bosnian Serb leadership established political and administrative
23 structures. They also created police and Territorial Defence forces. As
24 in Croatia, the accused sent Seseljevci to assist. As in Croatia,
25 Milosevic provided significant support through the JNA and the Serbian
2 Immediately after the Bosnian Assembly voted for independence,
3 the Bosnian Serb leaders, including Karadzic, Krajisnik, and Plavsic,
4 proclaimed a separate Serb Assembly. Exhibit P931 and AF-1 number 63.
5 Soon thereafter, Karadzic ordered Serb leaders in Bosnian Krajina
6 to establish control in the area, form military units, and subordinate
7 those units to the JNA. The order was fully accepted by local Serb
8 leaders. This is found in the Chamber's adjudicated fact decision from
9 the 23rd of July, 2010, facts numbers 30 and 31.
10 In the Variant A and B instructions from the 19th of December,
11 1991, the SDS leadership in Bosnia and Herzegovina established Serb-only
12 institutions, like Crisis Staffs, Municipal Assemblies, TO, and police
13 forces. Once formed, the Crisis Staffs were intended to take control of
14 the municipalities. This is in AF-1, number 100, and Exhibits P871 and
15 P957. In this way, Karadzic through the Crisis Staffs exercised control
16 over civilian administrative authorities as well as the Serb military
17 forces in the area, including Serb TOs and police forces.
18 As the Bosnian Serb leadership formalised its plan to take
19 control of targeted areas in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the accused
20 co-operated with his JCE partners. Together, they supported the
21 Bosnian Serb forces and implemented their common purpose in Bosnia and
22 Herzegovina, just as they had done in Croatia.
23 The accused had already in May 1991 established an SRS
24 organisation in Romanija and organised a Chetnik command. This is shown
25 in Exhibits P1162 and 1177. Vojvodas Gavrilovic and Aleksic then
1 organised the SRS in the Romanija region, in co-operation with SRS
2 headquarters in Belgrade. The accused also met his Chetnik commanders in
3 Eastern Herzegovina and in Bosnian Krajina in May 1991, as he stated
4 himself in Exhibit P163.
5 The accused deployed thousands of Seseljevci to Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina, as he said in Exhibits P344 and P347. Many were redeployed
7 fighters from Croatia.
8 As in Croatia, other Serb leaders looked to the accused to
9 support their forces. The accused deployed his Seseljevci at the request
10 of JCE members. For example, the accused deployed Seseljevci to Bosnia
11 and Herzegovina at the request of JCE member Slobodan Milosevic,
12 Exhibit P90, page 6; and JCE member Plavsic sent requests for assistance
13 to the accused and other paramilitary leaders, including Arkan. That is
14 in Exhibit P987.
15 As in Croatia, the accused sent his Seseljevci to crime-base
16 areas and to pattern municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina at the
17 request of local Serb leaders. For example, the Serb authorities in
18 Zvornik sent the SRS a request for Seseljevci. In response, the accused
19 sent Witness Rankic and other SRS officials to negotiate with the local
20 authorities and then personally decided to deploy Seseljevci to fight as
21 part of the Zvornik TO. This evidence is in Rankic's statement, which is
22 in evidence as Exhibit P1074 at paragraph 41.
23 Eastern Herzegovina SDS leader Bozidar Vucurevic made a dramatic
24 appeal for Seseljevci to be deployed to his region. The accused then
25 gave a press conference in Trebinje, announcing that he would send
1 volunteers. He subsequently deployed large numbers of Seseljevci to the
2 region. This can be seen in Exhibits P55 and P1109.
3 And Stevan Todorovic, the chief of police in Bosanski Samac,
4 requested Seseljevci from the SRS War Staff. In response, the SRS War
5 Staff redeployed Seseljevci under Vojvoda Srecko Radovanovic, also known
6 as Debeli, from Western Slavonia to Bosanski Samac and placed them under
7 the command of the Bosanski Samac TO. Ljubisa Petkovic, the chief of the
8 accused's War Staff, discussed this deployment in Exhibit C18 at
9 paragraph 49.
10 As in Croatia, the accused remained actively involved with his
11 Seseljevci. He and members of his War Staff co-operated with other JCE
12 members to ensure that his Seseljevci were armed, trained, and equipped.
13 By February 1992, the accused and his Seseljevci were ready for
14 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. After asserting that the Serbian people
15 would never allow Bosnia and Herzegovina to be independent or a sovereign
16 state, he announced:
17 "We are ready for war ... our Serbian Radical Party and the ...
18 Chetnik Movement act in all areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina."
19 This is in Exhibit P1192, pages 1 and 2.
20 As they had done in Croatia, Milosevic and the JNA leadership
21 also gave support to the Bosnian Serb leadership. They redeployed
22 significant forces and equipment from Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
23 Expert Theunens explained at transcript pages 4024 to 4026 how this
24 worked. For instance, the JNA redeployed an armoured brigade to the area
25 of Zvornik, which later participated in the attack on Zvornik.
1 Also, on the 5th of December, 1991, Milosevic and Kadijevic
2 agreed to reorganise the JNA so that when the JNA would be forced to
3 leave Bosnia and Herzegovina, it could leave behind men and equipment
4 under Karadzic's authority. This plan was implemented in May 1992, when
5 the VRS was created. I refer Your Honours to Exhibit P198, page 10; and
6 AF-1, fact numbers 186, 190, and 191.
7 Milosevic also provided assistance to the Bosnian Serb leadership
8 through the Serbian MUP. The Serbian MUP trained and supplied both
9 Seseljevci and local Serbs. Hundreds of Seseljevci were trained at MUP
10 centres pursuant to an agreement between the accused himself and the MUP.
11 Witness Petkovic explains this in, for example, Exhibit C16,
12 paragraph 48. And the Serbian MUP's Red Berets, whose training camps
13 were already mentioned, deployed their special police force to Bosnia.
14 And involved, for example, in Bosanski Samac and Nevesinje. This can be
15 seen in Exhibit P131 at page 6.
16 As my colleagues will be discussing, the JNA, the Serbian MUP,
17 and the SDS arranged considerable arming of civilians and so-called
18 volunteers. At this juncture I will just mention Exhibit P257, page 6.
19 It is a JNA report from March 1992, and it shows the presence of almost
20 70.000 "volunteers" in the 2nd Military District who had been armed by
21 the JNA or by the SDS.
22 By the end of March 1992, the JCE members were ready for war.
23 Krajisnik told the Serbian Assembly in Bosnia and Herzegovina:
24 "... it would be good if we could start implementing what we have
25 agreed upon - the ethnic division on the ground."
1 That is from Exhibit P951, page 12.
2 And on the 24th of March, 1992, Krajisnik told the Serb Assembly
3 that at the appropriate time:
4 "... all the Serbian municipalities, both the old ones and the
5 newly established ones, would literally assume control of the entire
6 territory of the municipality concerned."
7 That is from Exhibit P952, page 22.
8 Soon afterwards, Serb forces began to carve out Serb-claimed
9 areas from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Serb forces composed of the JNA and
10 later the VRS, local Serbian TO and police units, Serbian MUP units,
11 Arkan's men, and Seseljevci carried out a massive persecutorial campaign
12 against the non-Serb civilian population in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
13 As in Croatia, the results of this persecutorial campaign were
15 Your Honours now have on your monitors Exhibit P669. This map
16 shows the demographic composition of Bosnia and Herzegovina right before
17 the war in 1991. The red and light-red areas were areas with a
18 significant Serb population. Green areas were majority Muslim areas.
19 Blue areas were majority Croat. And purple and grey areas are mixed
20 populations. As Your Honours can see, it is a fairly complex patchwork.
21 We'll now look at how the situation looked after the
22 persecutorial campaign. Now on your monitors you have Exhibit P629. It
23 shows the ethnic composition in 1997. The colours are still the same.
24 Red areas are Serb areas, green areas are Muslim areas, and blue areas
25 are Croat areas. And as can be simply seen, the geographic composition
1 of Bosnia and Herzegovina had been completely changed.
2 The crimes in Zvornik, Greater Sarajevo, Mostar, and Nevesinje
3 that have been proven in this case were beyond a reasonable doubt part of
4 this campaign.
5 In conclusion, Your Honours, the evidence proves that the accused
6 co-operated closely with other JCE members to pursue their common goal of
7 a Serb state. They set up Serb-only institutions. They established
8 police and military forces. When first Croatia and later Bosnia and
9 Herzegovina declared independence, they deployed these forces in areas
10 that they claimed as Serb land. At least from August 1991, these forces
11 waged a massive persecutorial campaign against non-Serbs in the targeted
12 areas. The crimes in Vukovar, Zvornik, Greater Sarajevo, Mostar, and
13 Nevesinje were part of this persecutorial campaign. The crimes were
14 committed by the accused's Seseljevci and other Serb forces commanded or
15 controlled by other JCE members.
16 The accused himself described the result of this campaign and his
17 co-operation with Milosevic. He said:
18 "The result of our co-operation and joint efforts was the
19 creation of Republika Srpska and the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
20 Without our support and that of the Socialist Party of Serbia, I do not
21 believe that the Serbs of Republika Srpska and the Republic of the
22 Serbian Krajina would have succeeded in their struggle to attain their
23 own countries."
24 That is from Exhibit P1249 at page 2.
25 Your Honours, the evidence proves beyond a reasonable doubt that
1 there existed a common purpose of which the accused was a part to commit
2 the crimes charged in the indictment.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 MR. MARCUSSEN: Thank you, Your Honours.
5 Before handing over to Ms. Biersay, I will address some
6 evidentiary issues.
7 As Your Honours have seen, the accused made numerous admissions
8 before the indictment period that have proved his membership in and
9 contribution to the JCE. The accused has subsequently denied some of
10 these prior admissions. The sworn and unsworn statements made by the
11 accused after his indictment requires careful scrutiny.
12 The accused's self-serving denials should be rejected when they
13 are without corroboration of other significant, independent, and credible
14 evidence, because he has a motive to shape his statements to evade
15 criminal responsibility. Other witnesses, either closely connected to
16 the accused or listed in his Defence final trial brief as Defence
17 witnesses, have recanted their prior statements which inculpate the
18 accused or simply have not appeared to testify. The statements of these
19 witnesses were admitted into evidence and are reliable.
20 The reliability of these statements is verified by admitted
21 suspect interviews as well as by the testimony of a member of the
22 Office of the Prosecutor, the OTP, and by other reliable, corroborative
24 Some of the recanting witnesses made outlandish allegations
25 against OTP staff during their testimony in an effort to discredit their
1 prior written statements to the OTP. The accused has repeated these
2 claims in his final trial brief. However, an independent Court-appointed
3 inquiry conducted a comprehensive review of these allegations. The
4 allegations were rejected. The Trial Chamber accepted the conclusions of
5 the inquiry. These recantations are not worthy of credit. The
6 recantations were the product of an organised campaign to deter witnesses
7 from testifying truthfully. The Trial Chamber should reject all the
8 accused's arguments that he rely on witnesses' incredible recantations or
9 challenges -- I'm sorry, Your Honours. I will start that over again.
10 The Trial Chamber should reject all of the accused's arguments
11 that rely on witnesses' incredible recantations or that challenges the
12 admitted statements of non-appearing witnesses.
13 I refer Your Honours to the argumentative appendix to the
14 Prosecution's closing brief which addresses these issues in greater
16 That, Your Honours, concludes my submissions for now.
17 Ms. Biersay will present the Prosecution's arguments regarding the
18 accused's contribution to the common purpose that I have just discussed,
19 and we will have to re-arrange the Prosecution here for a little bit.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good evening, Ms. Biersay. You
21 have the floor.
22 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Before I begin my presentation, I wanted to just verify the
24 timing of the next break so I could be consistent with the Court's
25 schedule. By my calculation, if we do the hour and a half, we'd be -- it
1 would be 6.40. So I'm not sure if you would want to take a break at 6.40
2 or not.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'd rather we went non-stop
4 until the end, but if Mr. Seselj is tired he will tell us.
5 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you for the clarification.
6 Thank you, Your Honours. Your Honours, the accused poisoned and
7 pounded non-Serbs and Serbs with his campaign of hatred throughout the
8 former Yugoslavia. He did so as a deputy of the National Assembly of the
9 Republic of Serbia. He did so as the leader of the Serbian Radical
10 Party, the second-most popular party in Serbia. He did so as the
11 quasi-military leader known throughout the former Yugoslavia by his
12 military Chetnik title: Vojvoda. And he did so as the charismatic media
13 star who advocated the forcible creation of Greater Serbia.
14 The power and authority implicit in his political and military
15 trappings made it crystal clear to non-Serbs as well as to Serbs that the
16 words he wielded as weapons should be taken seriously. Serbs and
17 non-Serbs saw for themselves that the accused could and did make his
18 threats of violence real, he did it through sympathisers and he did it
19 through his Seseljevci.
20 In his brief and throughout this trial, the accused has tried to
21 persuade the Chamber that during the indictment period he was a simple
22 opposition politician and that he is now being prosecuted merely for his
23 political ideology. As a matter of fact, as a matter of law, his being a
24 politician does not absolve him of his responsibility for committing,
25 aiding and abetting, and instigating the charged crimes. And this is
1 discussed in detail in the Prosecution's closing brief at paragraphs 96
2 to 107, paragraphs 247 to 274, and paragraphs 566 to 609.
3 Your Honours, in this segment of the presentation, I will
4 highlight some key points relating to three general areas:
5 One, the accused's influence and authority during the indictment
6 period; two, his contribution to the common purpose and to the charged
7 crimes through his hate propaganda against non-Serbs; and three, his
8 contribution to the common purpose and to the charged crimes through his
9 recruitment and deployment of volunteers.
10 The accused significantly contributed to the implementation of
11 the common criminal purpose and he substantially contributed to the
12 commission of crimes, and he did so through his two contributions, the
13 hate propaganda and his campaign to recruit, deploy, and encourage
14 volunteers. His contribution to these crimes also shows his intent to
15 commit them. For his hate speeches in Vukovar and Hrtkovci he is guilty
16 of physically committing persecution and other crimes.
17 Throughout the indictment period, this accused held political,
18 quasi-military, and popular influence and authority. He exploited that
19 influence and authority, first, to aggravate inter-ethnic tensions and
20 brutally attack non-Serbs in order to drive them out of targeted areas;
21 and to recruit, deploy, and encourage those willing to forcibly and
22 criminally further his goal of creating Greater Serbia. The accused
23 seized the disintegration of Yugoslavia to inspire fear and incite
24 discriminatory crimes. And that's why JCE members requested and
25 encouraged his contributions.
1 Reliable and credible evidence proves beyond a reasonable doubt
2 in this case that the accused fully intended the resulting criminal
3 campaign of persecution in Croatia, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and
4 Hrtkovci in Serbia.
5 Was the accused a politician during the indictment period?
6 Absolutely. And a very successful one.
7 During the conflict in Croatia and BiH, the accused - leader of
8 the SRS and a National Assembly deputy - was the charismatic public face
9 of an ultra-nationalist policy that promoted a homogeneous
10 Greater Serbia. Its western borders, as you have heard, ran along the
11 infamous KOKV: Karlobag-Ogulin-Karlovac-Virovitica line. Exhibits P156,
12 P157, and P158, and the tables V, VI, and VIII in those exhibits, and
13 those are the election results from May and December of 1992.
14 According to those exhibits, the SRS was the second-most popular
15 party after the SPS. This was true for both the Federal Assembly and the
16 National Assembly of Serbia. Now, in 1993, the accused admitted that
17 during the indictment period the public perception was that the accused
18 and the SRS held extensive political influence, partly because of their
19 co-operation with Milosevic and the SPS. And that co-operation was in
20 assisting Serbs outside of Serbia. As the accused himself put it:
21 "... many people had the impression that we Radicals were in
22 coalition with Socialists."
23 And he admitted this in his own periodical "Zapadna Srbija,"
24 which is admitted as Exhibit P1230.
25 In August 1993, the accused conceded - in Exhibit P1224 - that he
1 contributed to the power of Milosevic because Milosevic had "the backing
2 of the second most powerful party, the Serbian Radical Party."
3 The accused went on to describe his significant political
4 influence, saying:
5 "I do not have any state functions, but I have a greater
6 authority than some ministers. And you can object all you want, but
7 authority is authority and cannot be measured through titles but through
8 realistic political strength."
9 The evidence has shown how the accused abused his political
10 strength. The core purpose of the SRS was not merely to engage in
11 politics but to forcibly impose a Serb-dominated state, cleansed of
12 non-Serbs. In Exhibit P1183, the accused participated in a televised
13 interview during the height of war in Croatia in November 1991. He
14 distinguished the SRS from other political parties because of its
15 contributions to the war - the SRS, in his words, "was not a party which
16 holds more press conferences rather than firing bullets on the front."
17 Your Honours, this accused was more than a simple politician. He
18 was a politician who held the highest Chetnik military title: Vojvoda.
19 This deferential title was recognised by many, including volunteers. He
20 headed the Serbian Chetnik Movement, an unregistered movement grafted
21 onto the registered SRS to become its Chetnik military wing. And as has
22 been shown, he wore military garb and was often escorted by armed,
23 uniformed men.
24 The accused has cultivated this belligerent, militaristic,
25 personal, and organisational identity, and he did that even before
1 becoming a deputy and before creating the SRS. Deliberately evoking the
2 powerful ideology and symbols of the Chetnik Movement, the accused became
3 its most prominent representative. He described, for example, the impact
4 of an important symbol of the Chetnik Movement, the Chetnik flag, and he
5 described the impact of that flag on non-Serbs. And this is what he
7 "Firstly, black flags are the main hallmark of the Chetnik
8 Movement ... they are very effective; you know when those Chetnik units
9 with black flags show up in places where there are Ustashas, Ustashas run
10 for their lives. Where 50 Chetniks show up, Croats think there are
11 10.000 of them and they flee in panic."
12 Exhibit P1181.
13 The framing of the combined SRS/SCP as a military force was
14 complete by the time the accused commanded his Seseljevci and contributed
15 them to Serb forces to implement the common criminal purpose. He
16 described himself in Exhibit P217, signed by him in 1993, that he was:
17 "... the only Serbian Chetnik Vojvoda directly involved in the
18 current liberation movement of the Serbian people, and following the
19 tradition of the Serbian Chetniks. I hereby confer the title of Serbian
20 Chetnik Vojvoda upon the following most prominent Chetnik commanders for
21 their remarkable war services, great valour and demonstrated combat
23 And he is talking about the titles that he gave to his Vojvodas.
24 The ceremony conferring the titles of Vojvoda to his fighters in
25 1993 was attended by many uniformed and armed Seseljevci. It was also
1 publicised, publicised showing the force of the Seseljevci, and this is
2 in Exhibit P255 which I'd like to show to the Chamber.
3 [Video-clip played]
4 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Reporter 2: On the first day of
5 the referendum, Dr. Vojislav Seselj, the Serbian Chetnik Vojvoda and the
6 president of the Serbian Radical Party, arrived today in
7 Republika Srpska. As soon as he crossed the Drina River, he went to
8 visit our defenders on the first line of defence, afterwards, Knezina, a
9 village and monastery in the free Serbian Romanija, the oath of the new
10 Serbian Chetnik Vojvodas.
11 "Unknown man: Order number 124. As the only Chetnik Vojvoda
12 directly engaged in the present-day" --
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This is a historical and very
14 valuable material, and yet I can't hear anything.
15 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "... Chetnik commanders, I hereby
16 pronounce ...
17 "Reporter: Romanija, a mountain that doesn't speak to its
18 enemies, rejoiced at the oath of 18 new Vojvodas, an oath it didn't hear
19 for 50 years.
20 "Vojvodas: I swear as the Serbian Chetnik Vojvoda ...
21 "Seselj: I swear to God and Saint Sava ..."
22 Vojvodas: [No interpretation]
23 "Seselj: That I will fight with all my might for the freedom of
24 the Serbian people ...
25 "Vojvodas: That I will fight with all my might for the freedom
1 of the Serbian people ...
2 "Seselj: And the restoration of a unified Serbian state in the
3 Balkans which will encompass all Serbian lands ...
4 "Vojvodas: And the restoration of a unified Serbian state on the
5 Balkans which will encompass all Serbian lands ...
6 "Seselj: So God help me.
7 "Vojvodas: So God help me.
8 "Seselj: Good luck and bless you. May God give you a long life.
9 "Reporter: One can trust them that it is going to be like this.
10 The rank of Chetnik Vojvoda was bestowed on these Serbian heros from all
11 Serbian areas: Zdravko Abramovic; Branislav Vakic; Srecko Radovanovic;
12 Slavko Crnic; Nedeljko Vidikovac; Slavko Aleksic; Mitar Maksimovic,
13 Manda; Miroslav Vukovic, Cele; Milika Dacevic, Ceko; Tomislav Nikolic;
14 Milan Lancuzanin, Kameni; Zoran Drazinovic, Cica; Jovo Ostojic;
15 Ljubisa Petkovic; Todor Lazic; Mirko Blagojevic; Dragan Svetkovic; and
16 Branislav Gavrilovic, Brne.
17 "Brne, Brne, turn around just a little so I can capture you like
19 MS. BIERSAY: The accused is not charged with command
20 responsibility. However, his authority and influence over the
21 politico-military, quasi-military SRS/SCP is relevant to the nature of
22 his contribution to the common purpose as well as his legal
23 responsibility as an aider and abettor and instigator. Senior members of
24 the SRS/SCP, like Witnesses Petkovic, Rankic, and Glamocanin describe the
25 accused as having "absolute power" over the combined SRS/SCP. In their
1 words, the accused was an "autocrat." He was a "dictator." And that,
2 for example, can be found in Exhibit C13, pages 26 to 27.
3 The accused revelled in his authoritarian roles throughout the
4 conflict, describing himself with military-style titles like "commander,"
5 "the supreme commander," and as "the commander of the operative
6 detachments of the SCP in the homeland." This is set out in
7 Exhibits P59, P154, and P1058.
8 And he was proud of this authority which he reinforced publicly,
10 "I organise interventions by our guerilla organisation and I
11 define aims of attack and points that have to be won."
12 After the shelling of Vukovar, for example, while non-Serbs were
13 fleeing and before the brutal crimes of Ovcara and Velepromet, the
14 accused held rallies where he was escorted by armed body-guards,
15 uniformed, armed body-guards. The effect was clear, as VS-002 told the
16 Chamber as transcript page 6557:
17 "He was a Vojvoda. We would not have refused his order."
18 The accused's position as the undisputed Chetnik leader and
19 Vojvoda within the SRS/SCP and his perceived legitimacy as a politician
20 all facilitated his indoctrination of the Serb forces, especially to
21 embed fear and hatred, justifying ethnic separation and forcible removal
22 of non-Serbs. That evidence is beyond a reasonable doubt.
23 Also during the indictment period, as described in Exhibit P1182,
24 the accused was a media star. That status amplified his already
25 significant audience for his campaign of hatred against non-Serbs. It
1 also amplified and intensified the quality of his contribution to and
2 encouragement of the charged crimes.
3 In addition to the extensive coverage he received in the media,
4 the accused created his own media machinery to disseminate his
5 propaganda, such as press conferences and his two SRS publications:
6 "Velika Srbija" and "Zapadna Srbija." He also appealed to the public
7 through personal appearances and rallies. His popularity and influence
8 won him yet another title, that of 1991's "Man of the Year," given to him
9 by the media in Serbia as shown in Exhibit P1190.
10 The accused's media coverage facilitated his war on non-Serbs,
11 whereby he used his words as weapons in his persecution campaign. As the
12 accused acknowledged in Exhibit P1337:
13 "Propaganda is based on the fact that the vast majority of people
14 are naturally ready to believe indiscriminately in everything they read,
15 hear, or see on television."
16 Several ground-level perpetrators committed crimes soon after
17 listening to the accused's hate propaganda, like in Vukovar and Hrtkovci.
18 Some cited his ideas as driving them to "clean up" non-Serbs, as in
19 Exhibit P57. He inspired thousands to join the ranks of Seseljevci.
20 This shows that his hate propaganda had a demonstrable impact on the
21 persecution campaign as it unfolded on the ground.
22 The confluence of the accused's political influence, his
23 quasi-military authority, media coverage, and campaign of hatred against
24 non-Serbs was a lethal and criminal mix that furthered the common
1 Witness Oberschall defined propaganda as:
2 "... a technique of persuasion that is based on emotional
4 He explained that threats - and other propaganda tools - operate
5 to create a "demand for action." And this is at transcript page 2054.
6 He also described repetition as being a key component to successful
7 propaganda. Repeated and repeated and repeated hateful propaganda imbues
8 its audience with hate, even turning some to violence to remove a
9 perceived threat - that threat, according to this accused, was non-Serbs.
10 Before and during the indictment period, the accused was relentless in
11 his promotion of a Greater Serbia; relentless in his labelling of Croats
12 as "Ustashi"; relentless in his degrading language about Bosniaks;
13 relentless in his advocation of genocidal threats to Serbs; and
14 relentless in his inciting calls for revenge. Together, all a
15 significant contribution to the purpose. Together, all building a
16 coercive environment and conditioning the minds of both non-Serbs and
17 sympathisers. These instigating propaganda contributions - which I will
18 now highlight - came into lethal fruition with the commencement of the
19 charged crimes.
20 The accused espoused Chetnik-based ideology to recruit Serb
21 fighters and to create fear in non-Serbs. He again and again advocated
22 force to gain and retain what he considered Serb lands outside of Serbia.
23 He again and again proclaimed that Serbs, Croats, and Muslims simply
24 could not live together, as in Exhibits P1298 and 1211. He again and
25 again denigrated non-Serbs to promote contempt and hatred for them, and
1 he warned that non-Serbs posed a physical, demographic, cultural, and
2 even economic threat to Serbs, like in Exhibits P1295 and 1280.
3 Again and again and again this accused and his political and
4 quasi-military machinery - the SRS/SCP - evoked past victimisation and
5 genocide against Serbs in order to advocate and justify criminal revenge
6 and violence against non-Serbs; in other words, to justify the crimes
7 necessary to the common purpose.
8 In Exhibit P35, for example, he threatened:
9 "All those with an unclear conscience should fear us Serbs. They
10 have reason to fear us. We Serbs have forgotten and forgiven too much in
11 history. We have told the Croats should they ever again resort to
12 genocidal activities against the Serbian people, not only shall we take
13 revenge for every victim, but we shall also settle scores for the victims
14 from World War I and World War II."
15 Public declarations of this kind were designed to encourage Serbs
16 to perpetrate crimes against non-Serbs and to absolve them of
17 responsibility for committing such crimes.
18 The accused himself has admitted in Exhibit P1215 that "words can
19 be a very dangerous weapon. Sometimes they pound like a howitzer."
20 As he now faces criminal charges, he wants you to believe that
21 words, his words, had no power at all. The evidence shows that to be
22 false. He knew his hate propaganda pounded like a howitzer. The
23 evidence has proven him to be right. He pounded non-Serbs in Croatia
24 with his hateful words. He pounded non-Serbs in BiH. And he pounded
25 non-Serbs in Hrtkovci.
1 When he called for Greater Serbia, he was promoting and
2 justifying the subjugation, expulsion, and maltreatment of non-Serbs. As
3 inter-ethnic tensions increased and erupted, his words continued to pound
5 I would now highlight some of the accused's pounding hate
6 propaganda directed at Croats in Croatia.
7 According to the accused himself, he was invited to Plitvice in
8 April of 1991, shortly before the indictment period, and he was invited
9 by Milan Babic, member of the Serb leadership of the new SAO Krajina. In
10 Plitvice around this time there already had been a recent killing of
11 two policemen, a Croat and a Serb. The accused chose that occasion to
12 deliver an inflammatory speech to a large Serb audience. He warned them
13 that they would be sold and promised them:
14 "... we will avenge Serb blood."
15 The Trial Chamber can observe in Exhibit P339 the impact of the
16 accused's speech on the crowd.
17 Now I ask that that be played at this time.
18 [Video-clip played]
19 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Journalist: In such an atmosphere
20 Vojvoda Seselj, announced already at the beginning of the meeting,
21 started his speech.
22 "Seselj: Serbian people live here, this is Serbian land and it
23 will remain Serbian forever.
24 "Audience: That's right, that's right.
25 "Journalist: After labelling the decision on the establishing of
1 the Serbian Autonomous District of Krajina historical, Seselj said:
2 "Seselj: Serbian brothers and Serbian sisters. You find
3 yourselves in the front lines defending the Serbian cause."
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Again I can't hear anything. These
5 are the words of a genius that I'm still proud of even today, but I can't
6 hear a thing --
7 MS. BIERSAY: Perhaps someone can assist the accused in handling
8 the volume over his controls.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have increased the volume, but I
10 could not hear anything. You may have noticed that when I addressed you,
11 Your Honours, my volume was at the maximum.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
13 continues] ... to turn up the volume for us to hear.
14 [Prosecution counsel confer]
15 MS. BIERSAY: Your Honours, we'll ask that the technicians come
16 in at this time, and what I'll do is I will read the intros and we can
17 play the videos back to back once we have the audio at a proper level.
18 In that speech, in Exhibit 339, the accused told his audience:
19 "We're sending a message to the new Ustasha head of state and
20 Ustasha regime in Croatia: Serbian heads have rolled ... a Serbian head
21 has rolled in Serbian Western Srem and Slavonia ... we will avenge
22 Serbian blood."
23 Soon after that speech, the accused gave another one shortly
24 thereafter, on the 21st of April, 1991, in Jagodniak, Croatia, in
25 Baranja, where Serbs had faced brutal crimes in World War II. There, the
1 accused evoked the genocide of Serbs and declared that Croats could only
2 have land west of the KOKV line. In Exhibit P70, when it's played, the
3 Chamber will see -- will hear and see that the applause was most
4 enthusiastic when the accused repeated his infamous refrain about the
5 Karlobag-Ogulin-Karlovac-Virovitica line.
6 [Video-clip played]
7 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Croats, as far as we are concerned,
8 you can leave Yugoslavia if you want to. Whenever they want to, they can
9 leave, but we are openly letting them know that they will not take away a
10 square foot of Serb territory, not one piece of land where there are
11 Serbian villages, destroyed churches, Serbian mass graves, Serbian camps,
12 the Serbian Jasenovac. If we allowed that, we would be unworthy of our
13 glorious ancestors and we would have to be ashamed before our
14 descendents. The Croats can create their new state but only west of the
15 Karlobag-Ogulin-Karlovac-Virovitica line. Everything -- everything east
16 of that line is Serbian."
17 MS. BIERSAY: And that was Exhibit 70. And at this time we will
18 try again to play Exhibit P339.
19 [Video-clip played]
20 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Journalist: In such an atmosphere,
21 Vojvoda Seselj, announced already at the beginning of the meeting,
22 started his speech.
23 "Crowds shouting: Vojo! Vojo! Serbia! Serbia!
24 "Seselj: This is Serbian land. Here Serbian people live, and it
25 will remain Serbian forever.
1 "Audience: That's right! That's right!
2 "Journalist: After labelling the decision on the establishment
3 of the Serbian Autonomous District of Krajina historic, Seselj said:
4 "Seselj: Serbian brothers and Serbian sisters, you find
5 yourselves in the front lines defending the Serb cause. Serbian state
6 borders. You are in the most difficult position and you are the pride of
7 the whole of Serbdom.
8 "Journalist: He has promised them that they would not be left to
9 themselves and that all the Serbs in Croatia have only one party, the
10 Serbian Democratic Party.
11 "Seselj: You have a wise and brave leadership here, headed by
12 the heroic Dr. Milan Babic.
13 "Journalist: Those who divide the Serbian people he labelled as
15 "Seselj: Only Ante Markovic's mercenaries and those of foreign
16 intelligence services believe today that there are more important
17 problems than your defence, your protection. They are offering you up to
18 Tudjman. They would sell you. You will not be sold or betrayed.
19 "Journalist: Instead of calming them down, Seselj sent a message
20 to the gathered people at the end.
21 "Seselj: We are sending a message to the new Ustasha head of
22 state and the Ustasha regime in Croatia: Serbian heads have rolled,
23 struck down by the Ustasha hand in the Serbian Krajina. A Serbian head
24 has rolled and we will avenge it."
25 MS. BIERSAY: In the same month that he gave those speeches, he
1 deployed Seseljevci to Borovo Selo. After his volunteer deployment,
2 after his speeches there, Seseljevci participated in ambushing and
3 killing Croat police in Borovo Selo on the 2nd of May, 1991.
4 The accused was unrelenting. At an Orthodox celebration attended
5 by Karadzic, four days later on the 6th of May, 1991, the accused warned
6 the Serb crowd about a new genocide against the Serb people, about
7 avenging those crimes, and about Chetniks fighting throughout Croatia.
8 And this is captured in Exhibit P353, which I'll ask be played now.
9 [Video-clip played]
10 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Our western enemies are attempting
11 to carry out a new genocide against the Serbian people. Brothers and
12 sister Serbs, it is our duty to stop it and we are sending this message
13 to our enemies: Not only shall we avenge the present victims, but we
14 shall avenge the previous ones too, when they dared to put the Ustasha
15 knife under the Serbian throat again.
16 "Bosnia and the brave Serbian Herzegovina people, it is
17 particularly you who must not allow to be divided. You have one
18 political party, the Serbian Democratic Party, you have your leadership
19 which has proven its qualities in action, on the front lines, and which
20 has upheld the honour of Serbdom. They showed the Ustasha, who are
21 superior in manpower, that the Serbian heroism is still alive. The
22 Serbian Chetnik units will be active in all other areas of western
23 Serbia: In Serbian Krajina, in Serbian Slavonia, Baranja, and
24 Western Srem. We shall not give up a single inch of Serbian territory.
25 "Let the Slovenes leave Yugoslavia. They have never been our
1 brothers or friends. Let the Croats go too. Let Croatia secede. But we
2 are not giving them an inch of the territory to the east of the
3 Karlobag-Ogulin-Karlovac-Virovitica line."
4 MS. BIERSAY: Continuing, on May 15, 1991, the accused again
5 warned Serbs of a new genocide threatening them. And this is shown in
6 Exhibit P178, which I'd ask to be played at this time.
7 [Video-clip played]
8 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Seselj: The Croatian Ustashas are
9 defeated. Vukasin Soskocanin led the resistance in Borovo Selo and
10 Ustashas didn't.
11 "Crowds shouting: Revenge! Revenge! Revenge!
12 "Seselj: It is too much ... we have to get back because the new
13 genocide is threatening us. We have to get back to the old Ustasha
14 politics of Stjepan Mesic.
15 "Crowds shouting: We will kill Mesic! We will kill Mesic!
16 "Seselj: Ante Markovic.
17 "Crowds shouting: Ante Ustasha! Ante Ustasha! Tito Ustasha!
18 Tito Ustasha!
19 "Seselj: It is too much ... Serbs from Serbian Krajina will not
20 remain without help or without protection.
21 "Crowds shouting: Right! Right!
22 "Seselj: Hundreds of thousands ... at any moment ... words, and
23 then to leave, and Serbia to remain definitely damaged, maimed. Serbs
24 will never accept any kind of confederation. We, people in
25 Yugoslavia ... which is above the interest of the Serbian people."
1 MS. BIERSAY: In that crowd, as the Trial Chamber was able to
2 observe, were men dressed up in military garb and in Chetnik insignia.
3 And after inciting that crowd, his calls for revenge intensified yet.
4 And as his calls for revenge intensified, so did his deployment of
5 Seseljevci to Croatia. The accused described in Exhibit P30 how:
6 "In 1991 we began organising volunteers on a larger scale and
7 sending them to already established front lines, particularly in
8 Eastern Slavonia."
9 The accused's volunteers, his Seseljevci, knew what they were
10 fighting for, for revenge against non-Serbs to create a Greater Serbia.
11 As Vukovar was shelled and right up to the crimes perpetrated there, this
12 increase in volunteer deployment was accompanied by the accused's
13 continued persecution propaganda against non-Serbs. On the
14 27th of August, 1991, in Exhibit P1279, the accused refers to Ustasha,
16 "We express the decisiveness not to stop the struggle until we
17 liberate all the Serbian lands and until we are completely separated from
18 those who never were our brothers and friends."
19 And he continued this refrain into September of 1991. For
20 example, the accused promised that "the time has come to avenge all the
21 Serb victims and unite all the Serb lands." Exhibit P355. In the same
22 month he described a volunteer dying at "the perfidious hands of the
23 Ustashas." He added:
24 "You will not go unavenged. The foe will feel the punishment of
25 the Serbian people ... the time has come to settle old accounts, the time
1 has come to avenge all Serbian sacrifices and to unify all the Serbian
2 lands." P40.
3 In an issue of "Velika Srbija," the head of the SRS Crisis Staff,
4 Witness Petkovic, said:
5 "... a blood-sucking virus called genocide which is again
6 breeding in the Ustasha blood is threatening the Serbian people with new
7 mass graves, pits, slaughter-houses, jails ... we are facing a new wave
8 of extermination, which even Dr. Mengele would envy." Exhibit P1280.
9 And still in September of 1991, all shortly before the crimes
10 committed in Vukovar, the accused lauded that:
11 "Chetnik weapons have retained their old glory in battles against
12 the Croatian Ustashas so far. They have reason to fear the Chetniks."
13 Exhibit P1182.
14 At the end of September 1991 - now only weeks before the crimes
15 committed in Vukovar - the accused used the freedom of a private session
16 of the National Assembly to set out more clearly his ethnic strategy and
17 to link Serb territorial claims to World War II crimes.
18 "In Croatia only a military solution suits us Serbs. Why?
19 Because the world will never recognise a million of Jasenovac victims,
20 because the world will recognise, after all, if we force them by military
21 force to recognise as Serbian only those territories where there is a
22 Serbian majority, but we also want those territories where Serbs make up
23 between 30 and 50 per cent, as well as those where today there are no
24 Serbs at all thanks to the Second World War genocide because of some
25 strategic reasons. We cannot defend the borders if they are only ethnic
1 borders, if we are not led also by some strategic reasons in determining
2 them ... because the greatest danger for us, that we haven't even
3 discussed yet, is that the world might force us to keep on living with
4 the Croatians and Slovenians in the same country." P1257 at pages 54 to
6 In Vukovar, both the accused and his Seseljevci were notorious.
7 The deployment of Seseljevci after all of these speeches that the accused
8 made was so substantial and so linked to the accused that their units
9 were referred to as Seseljevci even in official JNA communications, as
10 seen in Exhibit P41. In early November 1991, the accused escorted a
11 group of Seseljevci to the Vukovar front lines. The press coverage of
12 his visit, memorialised in Exhibit P1283, highlighted that the accused
13 was a national deputy in the Assembly of Serbia who warned of the
14 "Ustasha hordes who have launched a new genocide against the Serbs in
15 these parts." That's a quote.
16 Addressing the volunteers and members of the TO in Vukovar, he
18 "We will soon send new volunteers. Vukovar must fall quickly,
19 and with the fall of Vukovar, the Ustashas are finished in these parts."
20 His visit had an immediate effect on the Croat forces.
21 "Immediately upon Dr. Vojislav Seselj's arrival on the Ustasha
22 forces' radio waves, a warning was heard: 'Look out, the Chetnik
23 motherfucker Seselj has arrived.'"
24 When he later visited Vukovar, the accused told members of the
25 Serb forces, including perpetrators of the subsequent massacre at Ovcara,
1 that: "No Ustasha should leave Vukovar alive." As Ms. Hochhauser will
2 describe to you, soon after Seseljevci and other members of the Serb
3 forces committed atrocities throughout Vukovar, including at Velepromet
4 and Ovcara.
5 But I'd like to show you now how fighters on the ground were
6 indoctrinated by the accused's goal of cutting deep into Croatia so that
7 Serbs could seize lands all the way up to the KOKV line. And at this
8 time I'd ask that Exhibit P57 be played.
9 [Video-clip played]
10 "Journalist: And amongst the horror there is surreal incongruity
11 of celebration. Extremist Serb militia men and women posing triumphantly
12 for an end-of-battle photograph, before returning to a morning feast of
13 music and laughter fuelled by alcohol.
14 "AL: The motto on their flag is 'Freedom or death' and they vow
15 they will fight on.
16 "UMV: No, it's not finished.
17 "AL: What for you do the Serbs need to take before the war is
19 "UMV: War will be over when we have our limits
20 Karlobag-Karlovac-Ogulin-Virovitica. All place where Serbian people live
21 must be free, you know. We must clean up with the Croatians."
22 MS. BIERSAY: "We must clean up with the Croatians."
23 After Croats were murdered or expelled, and many villages and
24 towns, like Vukovar, were razed to the ground, the accused celebrated the
25 forced displacement of Croats, making it clear it was the successful
1 implementation of the common purpose. For example, the accused thanked
2 Croats who fled from the once Croat majority Osijek, described as a ghost
3 town in Exhibit P1283. In an interview admitted as Exhibit P1186 he made
4 clear that minority Serb areas would also be cleansed of Croats.
5 "Listen, what does it mean, Serbs are a minority? 30 or
6 40 per cent of Serbs is a minority? What should we care that they are a
7 minority? This is the territory that has to be part of the Serbian
8 state; among other things, the London Treaty in 1915 stipulated that. A
9 huge number of Croats have already left Osijek, almost 100.000. How nice
10 of them. We should thank them. They have nowhere to return to. Osijek
11 remains a Serb town."
12 This was ethnic cleansing. But in the accused's lexicon, he
13 sanitised ethnic cleansing, calling it a mere "population exchange," the
14 same phrase he'd later use to try to justify his crimes in Hrtkovci. And
15 in quoting that language he also said:
16 "We will never again be able to live side by side with the Croats
17 within the border of the same state."
18 Throughout the conflict in Croatia, as the accused deployed
19 volunteers, he targeted Croatians as Ustashas, labelling them and the
20 Croatian leadership as genocidal. The accused used the term "Ustasha" to
21 denigrate and debase all Croats as murderous threats to Serbs, cheapening
22 their lives and justifying their destruction. In his brief, the accused
23 claims that the term "Ustasha" is now used by Croats and that he never
24 denigrated all Croats as Ustasha. This is wholly unsupported by the
25 evidence before the Trial Chamber.
1 The evidence beyond a reasonable doubt shows that this accused
2 evoked the powerful symbolism of World War II Chetniks to frighten and
3 mobilise Serbs and that this accused also labelled all Croats as Ustashas
4 to invoke the memories of fascist atrocities committed against Serbs
5 during that war and to depict all Croats as a present-day threat.
6 VS-004 testified at transcript pages 3380 and 3624 that:
7 "The word 'Ustasha,' among all Serbs, is the worst thing you can
8 mention because throughout their history it was the Ustasha who committed
9 the greatest crimes against Serbs ... it's something that exists as the
10 worst in the world, as an executioner."
11 The 1990 political platform of the Serbian Chetnik Movement,
12 admitted as Exhibit P27, referred to a "new Ustasha leader" who had
13 emerged in Croatia with "a new genocidal policy" against Serbs. The
14 SRS 1991 platform repeated this language. The evidence shows that the
15 accused intended to press the volatile issue of the responsibility of the
16 Croatian people for the Ustashas' crimes committed in World War II. This
17 was to link Croats to those who committed past crimes against Serbs and
18 to justify crimes against them.
19 During the lead-up to the war in Croatia, the accused explicitly
20 conveyed that he viewed all Croats as Ustasha. In Exhibit P34, for
21 example, he said:
22 "How is one supposed to negotiate with the Ustashas? Did you see
23 today that the Croatian people are entirely Ustasha? There are very few
25 In a televised interview, admitted as Exhibit P31 [sic], he made
1 it very clear, he made it very simple, and he said:
2 "Croats must be punished."
3 In a radio interview in January 1992, admitted as Exhibit 1189,
4 the accused bragged that his volunteers helped to destroy "pure Croatian
5 villages," as they were all considered "strong Ustasha fortifications."
6 He warned his listeners that "Croats exist as a people on the basis of an
7 anti-Serb hatred." According to him, they and Slovenes were ready to
8 become part of the Fourth German Reich. Without distinguishing civilians
9 and combatants, Ustashas from Croats, he reported to the listening
10 audience that "Croats were dying in masses." And several months later he
11 physically committed persecution against the Croats of Hrtkovci, changing
12 that village from a Croat majority village into a Serb majority one. His
13 intent throughout, from the crimes in Croatia to the crimes in Hrtkovci,
14 was to denigrate Croats and incite crimes against them, including forcing
15 them to leave and destroying them.
16 As Mr. Marcussen described, by early 1992, the JCE members were
17 shifting their focus from Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
18 The accused began his persecution campaign there well before open
19 conflict started. His pounding, unrelenting, hateful, and divisive
20 language helped to prepare the ground for the discriminatory violence
21 against non-Serbs.
22 With increasing frequency, the accused threatened bloodshed in
23 BiH. He invoked blood over and over and over again to foreshadow the
24 consequences of BiH's declaration of independence.
25 As early as November 1991, around the time that Karadzic made his
1 highway to hell speech, the accused in Exhibit P1186, in a radio
2 interview announced "there would be rivers of blood" if BiH declared
3 independence. So if Bosnian Muslims refused to remain part of a
4 truncated Yugoslavia, the accused threatened: "Bosnia will be part of
5 the Serbian state."
6 On the 16th of January, 1992, in Exhibit P1190, the accused in
7 another radio interview told his audience that "Bosnia and Herzegovina
8 had nowhere to go," so "Muslims were now clutching at straws," according
9 to him. And even if Muslims stayed in a state with the Serbs and were
10 given autonomy, the accused by his calculations said that they were
11 entitled to just 18 per cent of BiH, although they were the largest
12 ethnic group. And in that radio interview he glorified Serbs as born
13 soldiers, taught "military skills in the cradle," who should be feared by
15 On the 20th of February, 1992, the accused used a televised SRS
16 press conference, admitted as P1192 and P395, to repeat his ultimatum to
17 Bosnian Muslims that, should BiH seek independence, there would be
18 flooded rivers of blood there. The accused hosted this press conference
19 with Mirko Blagojevic, president of the regional boards of both the SRS
20 and SCP for north-eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina and whom the accused
21 later appointed later appointed Vojvoda. Less than two months later,
22 Blagojevic participated in the take-over and crimes in Bijeljina.
23 As war drew closer, the accused's persecution propaganda in BiH
24 intensified. In publicised speeches, rallies, and interviews throughout
25 March 1992, the accused pounded his audience. He pounded Serbs, he
1 pounded Bosnian Muslims, and he pounded them with three themes.
2 First, the accused insisted that Serbs had the right to dominate
3 most or all of the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as described, for
4 example, in P1293, where he said this in front of a rally of
5 approximately 6- to 7.000 people held on March 1st.
6 Second, he claimed that Serbs in BiH were under threat because if
7 BiH became independent, Serbs would have to live under an "Islamic
8 Jamahiriya" governed by "Islamic fundamentalists" and "Turks." As
9 described in Exhibits P1193, 1293 and 1295.
10 Third, the accused made it clear that Serb control over BiH would
11 require a civil war and massive bloodshed. For example, Exhibit P1324
12 describes a press conference held on March 5th. In that press
13 conference, the accused threatened and intimidated Bosnian Muslims and
14 directed Serb forces about what should happen when BiH declared
15 independence. He promised "bloodshed." He promised a "bloody civil
16 war." And he promised "rivers of blood" flowing in BiH.
17 To contribute to that bloody war, he publicly directed the SRS
18 and SCP throughout rump Yugoslavia "to put our volunteers on the highest
19 alert so that they are ready at any moment to intervene in areas in BiH."
20 And that can be found at page 1 of that exhibit. And similarly,
21 Exhibit P1293 from March 6th, the same day that BiH declared
22 independence, the accused used the same hateful language. And he pounded
23 these oratorical trigger points in his audience again and again and
25 [Prosecution counsel confer]
1 MS. BIERSAY: If I understood the Trial Chamber correctly, we are
2 going until 7.00; is that correct? Thank you.
3 On the 26th of March, mere days before Serb take-overs in BiH
4 commenced, the accused, in Exhibit P685, used inflammatory language to
5 condition Serbs to discriminatory violence against non-Serbs and to make
6 non-Serbs fearful.
7 [As read] "The independence of BiH can be achieved only at
8 graveyards through, blood running knee-deep, in the territory which the
9 Serbian people have vital interests ..."
10 He announced he and the SRS did not recognise the Presidency of
11 BiH and he welcomed the creation of separate Serb authorities, a critical
12 preparation for implementing the common criminal purpose. And he made it
14 "Serbs will never allow the Islamic Jamahiriya to extend to their
16 The accused's propaganda continued unabated. He addressed the
17 media and/or the National Assembly almost every day in early April 1992,
18 and he demonised non-Serbs, as seen in, among other exhibits, those
19 listed in footnotes 45, 1803, 1804, and 1807 of the Prosecution's closing
21 On April 1st, 1992, Serb take-overs in BiH began. A little over
22 a week later, on 9 April 1992, the accused held a press conference,
23 Exhibit 685, with Mirko Blagojevic. Vojvoda Blagojevic was already being
24 questioned by the press about the killing of civilians in Bijeljina.
25 Standing next to Blagojevic, the accused praised him as commander of the
1 Seseljevci who had initiated the take-over in Bijeljina. He called upon
2 Serbs to defend Republika Srpska from "Ustasha and pan-Islamist hordes."
3 The accused repeated his refrain and repeated his refrain about
4 protecting Serbian territories against the threat of Islamic
5 fundamentalism. In Exhibit P396, he repeated that the Serbian people in
6 BiH would never recognise "this new Jamahiriya and will never give up its
8 He also repeated and reinforced his inciting calls to Serbs to
9 support the criminal campaign in BiH. For example, as the brutal
10 take-over of Zvornik was executed by Serb forces, the accused reminded
11 them, in Exhibit P1195, "it has been up to us for a long time now to
12 help," help Serb forces in Zvornik with men and other support.
13 The accused did not halt his propaganda or calls for violence as
14 the criminal campaign in BiH escalated. Instead, he used his influence
15 and authority to promote unification of all Serb lands and to create a
16 climate of ethnic fear and hatred. He justified or ignored the crimes
17 that had already been committed, thereby preparing the ground for further
19 For instance, on the 28th of May, 1992, non-Serbs were being
20 tortured and murdered at the Ekonomija Farm and Ciglane factory in
21 Zvornik. The accused stood before a large rally crowd and promoted
22 cleansing the BiH side of the Drina River. Accompanied by
23 Nikola Poplasen, president of the SRS BiH, and Rade Leskovac, president
24 of the SRS Krajina, the accused told the applauding crowd that:
25 "The only thing that remained to be done in Bosnia and
1 Herzegovina is to clean up the left bank of the Drina, secure a corridor
2 between the Bosnian Krajina and Semberija, and liberate the Serbian part
3 of Sarajevo, while the rest is already in our hands."
4 Exhibit P1200.
5 On the 28th of May, 1992; the 4th of June, 1992; and the
6 11th of June, 1992, the accused --
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have an objection. I don't want
8 to interject and interrupt Ms. Biersay. Something has been omitted from
9 the transcript. The date of the rally where I was seen with Poplasen and
10 Leskovac. She did mention the date but now I'm looking at the transcript
11 and I can't see the date, and I believe that this should be corrected.
12 It is important.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
14 continues] ... indicate what the date of that meeting was with
15 Nikola Poplasen.
16 MS. BIERSAY: It is published in Exhibit P1200 and it's dated the
17 28th of May, 1992.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is impossible.
19 There is a two- or even three-year difference, it's impossible, and I
20 suppose that's why the date was omitted from the transcript.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mrs. Biersay, could you please
22 verify the date.
23 MS. BIERSAY: I would be happy to do that for Your Honours.
24 After the accused gave those press conferences on May 28th,
25 4th of June, and 11 June, 1992, where he continued to pound Muslims,
1 two days later, after the 28th of May, 1992, press conference, between
2 the 30th and 31st of May, 1992, a group of Seseljevci murdered
3 88 non-Serbs at Drinjaca Dom Kulture in Zvornik.
4 On June 4, the accused lamented that Serbs had already suffered
5 under Turkish rule for 500 years and repeated his territorial goal of the
6 KOKV line. On the following day, Serb forces, including a group led by
7 Seselj's Vojvoda Vidovic, murdered 22 non-Serb men and women in Ljesevo,
9 June 11th, 1992, was just a few days after 740 non-Serbs had been
10 massacred in Karakaj and Gero's slaughter-house. While non-Serbs were
11 being tortured and murdered in Celopek Dom Kulture in Zvornik, the
12 accused again made the inflammatory claim that Bosnian Muslims were
13 trying to return Serbs to 500 years of "Turkish slavery."
14 The accused's predictions of rivers of blood flowing in BiH had
15 foreshadowed the brutal crimes committed there. Serb forces carried out
16 his call to make parts of BiH into a slice of Greater Serbia. Of course,
17 words were not all that the accused deployed, he also pounded Croatia and
18 pounded BiH with other weapons, the volunteers he mobilised throughout
19 the crime bases.
20 I see that we have, I think, reached the end of the session, so
21 before continuing the next section I wonder if the Trial Chamber would be
22 happy to stop here.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Since Ms. Biersay has finished,
24 maybe she could tell us the date of the rally which I attended together
25 with Poplasen and Leskovac. I suppose that she has had the time to find
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mrs. Biersay, if you haven't
3 found the date, you can tell us the date tomorrow morning. But in any
4 case, I will also verify in Exhibit P1200 in order to check what you
6 We shall be here again tomorrow at 9.00 a.m., and I wish you all
7 a good night. Until then.
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.59 p.m.,
9 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 6th day of
10 March, 2012, at 9.00 a.m.