1 Thursday, 15 March 2012
2 [Defence Closing Statement]
3 [Open session]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, kindly call the
7 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you and good morning, Your Honours. This
8 is case IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
10 Today is the 15th of March, 2012. Let me greet you, everybody in
11 the court, including the interpreters assisting us. Good morning to the
12 OTP representatives. And good morning to you, Mr. Seselj. You may
13 proceed, you may continue with your closing arguments.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In all those nebulous assertions
15 put forward by the Prosecution, there is one that is particularly
16 striking, and that is that beyond a reasonable doubt evidence was
17 provided to confirm that I am responsible for certain crimes - and I
18 repeat without a reasonable doubt. Now, how is that possible? First of
19 all, I was deprived of my right to self-representation. I am deprived of
20 the right to present my case. These are basic presumptions, and that is
21 the equality of arms that I should have with the Prosecution. I never
22 asked for the equal account of money that the Prosecution have spent in
23 this case.
24 Just take a look at how many people are employed in the
25 Prosecution, people who were involved in this case. We have had
1 six Prosecutors presenting their closing arguments here. Do you remember
2 at all the Prosecution -- Prosecutors that appeared before? I can't
3 remember them. One of them was Mrs. Retzlaff. Then we had - what was
4 her name? - and I published a book about her. Now her name is eluding
5 me. Then we have Mundis and Dutertre. It's impossible to remember all
6 of them.
7 Now they worked full time on this case, whereas I didn't have
8 anyone who would be engaged full time on my case. I had a few
9 associates, or rather, quite a few of them, about 25, but they were able
10 to provide assistance as much as their regular commitments allow them.
11 And I'm happy with their work. Thanks to their research work on the
12 ground, they facilitated my task in dealing with the false witnesses in
13 this courtroom. Through their research efforts, they'd made it easier
14 for me to deal with the false expert witnesses for the Prosecution, but I
15 was not able to present my Defence case and the Trial Chamber ignored
17 Mr. Antonetti, while he was a Pre-Trial Judge, advised me to
18 obtain a loan from a bank in Serbia and then this would be refunded after
19 the case had been closed. Thankfully I did not resort to that because
20 all those people who would be my guarantors would have had to sell their
21 homes or maybe commit even suicide. A lot of Serbs agreed to be
22 guarantors to people who are taking loans and afterwards there was only a
23 way out for them and that was suicide. I read about that in the paper.
24 However, none of my associates was forced to commit suicide because I
25 didn't take this option into consideration.
1 Then the Trial Chamber decided that my Defence can be financed
2 but as of the date of delivering the ruling, that is to say, after the
3 Prosecution case has been finished. And then I would have received
4 50 per cent of the costs for the Defence. If it had been the usual
5 50 per cent for third category of Defence from the beginning of my
6 proceedings, from the day I came to The Hague, that would be substantial.
7 But the Court does not want to effect any retroactive payments. The
8 argument against this is that I did not provide necessary documents.
9 However, the Court has all the necessary documents. I provided in hard
10 copy everything that my team was working on, including their studies,
11 their analysis, and their documents. I had more than ten exhibits about
12 the possible forms of defence, but nobody understood it because there is
13 a special form of defence if somebody is basing their defence on alibi.
14 There's another form, on the other hand, which claims that the accused
15 was not capable of controlling his behaviour.
16 So there are many different forms of defence. One of them is to
17 describe the general, historical circumstances. With the assistance of
18 my associates within this specific form of defence and based on the best
19 available literature in the world, I dealt with the role of the Vatican
20 and the Roman Popes over the centuries of genocide committed against the
21 Serbian people. I also dealt with my political speeches and interviews,
22 the extracts of which testify that I always called for the respect of
23 international laws on war, that I called upon the volunteers to deal with
24 their enemies only if they are armed, that if they have women, children,
25 or elderly surrendering to them to treat them properly and with respect
1 for their dignity.
2 Here the Prosecutor showed a segment of a video-clip, celebrating
3 the departure of volunteers in front of the head office of the
4 Serbian Radical Party. But they only took out one excerpt from my speech
5 and they intentionally removed part of my speech in which I say you
6 should treat your enemy in a chivalrous manner, you have to respect
7 international law when it comes to prisoners, you have to treat the
8 civilians, women and civilians, in general, in a noble manner. The
9 Serbian press informed the public about this. There are a lot of news
10 people in Serbia who still remember that speech, that particular part
11 that was taken out by the Prosecution.
12 I did indeed on many occasions issue warnings that the number of
13 victims, innocent victims, would perish if there were to be a war. But
14 you don't have any evidence that I advocated the practice of killing or
15 mistreating civilians. I didn't do that ever. I never said they should
16 be killed, they should be beaten up, they should be maltreated, they
17 should be starved, they should be put in inhumane conditions.
18 The OTP called many false witnesses that would corroborate such
19 statement and you admitted those statements into evidence. I'm sure you
20 realise that this is worthless. Everything that the OTP has produced is
21 worthless and what was submitted to you by them. Its only status is an
22 annex to the indictment. Only the words spoken in this courtroom can
23 carry certain weight, and that requires a good cross-examination and it
24 should be properly refuted.
25 Now, the Prosecutor is manipulating the witnesses, and I'm going
1 to illustrate this with a number of examples.
2 Let's take Ljubisa Petkovic, he used to be the chief of the
3 War Staff, the vice-president of the Serbian Radical Party for a period
4 of time, after which he was expelled from the party in 1993 due to
5 certain allegations. Through their field office, the OTP asked him to
6 come for an interview and they intimidated him. They issued threats that
7 he would be indicted before The Hague Tribunal. He became so afraid that
8 he agreed to a variety of things that were suggested to him to be
9 included in his statement. However, if you look at his statement as a
10 whole, you can't find any charges against me for the commission of
11 crimes, for the violation of international law, et cetera. Instead, I
12 was described as an autocratic person, that I was the only decision-maker
13 in my party, et cetera.
14 Today, as well as in those times, there is not the a single party
15 that has a better democratic internal structure than the Serbian Radical
16 Party. That is equally valid today as it was in the past. We have the
17 best internal democratic structure and we have the best decision-making
18 process. Being radicals means that we nip things in the bud. We do not
19 follow some other ideologies. We do not succumb to other influences, and
20 we are endlessly faithful to our people. But there was no autocratic
21 behaviour in our party.
22 But you made Ljubisa confirm all of this. Okay. He did that.
23 Now what? Are you expecting me to refute that in my Defence case?
24 Ljubisa Petkovic himself refuted that. Everything you gave him to sign
25 and he did sign until the dead-line expired within which the OTP was
1 entitled to issue a new indictment. As soon as that dead-line passed,
2 Ljubisa Petkovic refused to co-operate and obey you any longer. He
3 immediately got in touch with my associate and he gave them part of the
4 recording of his statement given to the OTP in the interviews, and I
5 published that in my book.
6 But I realised that some things Ljubisa Petkovic had hidden from
7 us too. He altered his statement and offered to become a Defence
8 witness. He rejoined the Serbian Radical Party. He took part in all
9 party activities, et cetera. And eventually he refused to appear here as
10 an OTP witness. And then criminal proceedings were instituted against
11 him for contempt of court. This made him afraid again. He was assigned
12 Defence counsel from France of Serbian extraction and he was sentenced to
13 three months in prison. He was on our ticket, but he wasn't an MP and he
14 didn't have a chance of becoming an MP because there are 250 on the list
15 but we managed to win 79 seats in the parliament. However, the fact that
16 he was strong enough when he appeared here and that he did not recant on
17 his decision not to testify and he was threatened with seven years in
18 prison and eventually was sentenced to only three months; and all of
19 that, we thought that warrants something as a reward for him.
20 We had an MP called Dragan Tasic who has regretfully died in the
21 meantime. He obtained his degree in Montpellier, he spoke fluent French,
22 and his assistance was invaluable to us. And his seat was given to
23 Ljubisa Petkovic.
24 You were stunned. You found it odd. Why is that?
25 Ljubisa Petkovic was the first Serb who stood up against the intentions
1 to be brought here as a false OTP witness here. You saw him here. He's
2 a tiny man, but he survived. He was frightened here. He was frightened
3 here in the courtroom, but subsequently he published a five-pages book
4 about his experience in The Hague. He could not withstand everything
5 that Borisav Jovic was -- he was --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] He was able to withstand what
8 Borisav Jovic wasn't. Borisav Jovic came to testify against
9 Slobodan Milosevic. Now, it beggars the question from the moral aspect
10 immediately. Why did he agree to that? Why didn't he kill himself?
11 Because any honourable person would have committed suicide rather than do
12 that. He has as the former president of Yugoslavia and the alleged
13 member of the JCE comes here to testify against another member in the
15 Now, let's take the example of Zoran Lilic, the FRY president.
16 He came to The Hague to testify against Slobodan Milosevic, whereas at
17 the time of the crimes attributed to Milosevic, Milosevic was not the
18 supreme commander of the army, Zoran Lilic was. So on the one hand we
19 had immoral creatures who trampled all over their own honour and dignity;
20 and on the other hand, we had a small man, Ljubisa Petkovic, a man who
21 finished only a secondary school, a tradesman, who stood up to them. And
22 that's why he had to be rewarded, certainly not because I minded his
23 testimony or his statement.
24 You admitted his statement into evidence, but it's worthless.
25 But he said that I was a bad person or an autocrat. What could that
1 possibly mean to your judgement or that the poor man he is, he said that
2 I made all the decisions and he never had any say in anything. I don't
3 mind. I was always responsible for my volunteers, and I never tried to
4 deny that responsibility. And even when volunteers were sent without my
5 knowledge, I'm still responsible for them. I stand behind everything
6 that was done by the staff of the Serb Radical Party.
7 You had other witnesses here. I'm not going to mention their
8 names. I'm going to divide them into categories. You've heard more
9 witnesses that the Prosecution had tried to blackmail or threaten into
10 testifying without success. They refused. When I formally filed charges
11 against Carla del Ponte and her associates, you refused to deal with it.
12 You said you would postpone it until the end of this trial and then you
13 changed your mind and decided to appoint amicus curiae one and a half
14 years ago to deal with this.
15 And then, surprise, surprise, American people were named as
16 amicus curiae. Why not from Bangladesh? Why not somebody from Tanzania
17 or Nigeria, Niger, Argentina? Why a US citizen? Plus, an American who
18 would remain anonymous to the public. Why does that person remain
19 anonymous to this day? Is that person afraid of something? What are
20 they afraid of? Why is their name kept in secret? Why are parts of his
21 or her report kept secret even from me? I've shown my version here in
22 the courtroom with whole pages redacted. Why? Because that person did a
23 very dirty job, and they did not want anyone in the American legal
24 circles to know that they had done that. They would have lost face. But
25 you admitted their report, despite a huge number of shortcomings that the
1 President, Judge Antonetti, highlighted in his dissenting opinion.
2 I found some more flaws in that report, but all the serious flaws
3 were highlighted in the dissenting opinion of Judge Antonetti. He even
4 found certain points that I could not have found myself, and then he
5 himself voted to admit that report. Why does it -- what does it mean
6 now? The Prosecution wants it in evidence. I also want it in evidence,
7 but I want the whole report unredacted. Even if you choose to base your
8 entire judgement on it, because that report also compromises the ICTY as
9 a whole and the great powers standing behind it.
10 The second category of witnesses, the witnesses who caved in
11 before threats and pressures and agreed to testify falsely and blabbered
12 God knows what to OTP investigators, things that had no support in fact.
13 But most of all they just signed whatever the investigators suggested to
14 them, whatever was put to them, whatever the investigators thought would
15 fit with the indictment, on pain of being indicted themselves unless they
16 do so. And as soon as the dead-line that the Security Council had given
17 you for bringing new indictments had passed, the greatest majority of
18 them turned against you and joined my team to tell the whole story, to
19 give new statements, and to offer themselves as Defence witnesses. And
20 now the Prosecution in their final brief and in the closing arguments
21 we've heard here in the courtroom invokes the prior statements of those
22 witnesses without even mentioning the later ones. So those statements
23 written by the Prosecution itself is truthful and reliable and what the
24 witnesses said later is not accurate.
25 Did I blackmail anyone? Did I bribe anyone? Did I give any
1 incitements? What kind? What could I possibly offer?
2 Not only in this case but in any other Serbian case in this
3 Tribunal, it never happened that a Prosecution witness was killed,
4 deprived of their property, physically attacked. There is no such case.
5 The regime in Belgrade can hardly wait to provide protection to anyone
6 who would claim that they were threatened by me or my associates. You
7 heard one witness, Dejan Anastasijevic - and you abandoned him as a
8 witness - who was prepared to claim that we had planted a hand-grenade on
9 his window. How could you possibly make that claim? How would you
10 possibly place a hand-grenade on a window sill? He said that my wife,
11 Jadranka, was involved in this. That's the second category of witnesses.
12 The third category are bribed witnesses. One specimen appeared
13 here in the courtroom, that's Goran Stoparic. He was coached first by
14 Natasa Kandic. She fraternized with him. He lived in her apartment. He
15 had a key to her apartment. And he provided a false statement in which
16 he even said that at a rally in Sid 1991 - and by the way, that rally
17 never happened in Sid in 1991 - he said that I came to a football
18 stadium, awaited by huge crowds, and gave a Hitler salute. That's
19 written in a statement signed by Goran Stoparic. And one of my first
20 questions was about that Nazi salute. And Goran Stoparic said here in
21 the courtroom that that was not true and he had no idea how that found
22 its way into his statement. And he also denied many other things from
23 his statement. He only stuck to his lies about the military organisation
24 of Chetniks in Serbia, in companies, platoons, other military units,
25 although all of Serbia knows it's a lie. But he was useful because he
1 helped me clear up certain events in Herzegovina and some events in
2 Vukovar, et cetera.
3 But never mind. If this were a real court, the Trial Chamber
4 would have immediately decided to prosecute members of the OTP who had
5 admitted this statement of Goran Stoparic, claiming that I had given a
6 Nazi salute to a crowd at a rally in Sid. Goran Stoparic cashed in on
7 his services to the Tribunal in a big way. He testified in the Milosevic
8 case. He got residence in a Western country. He received a large amount
9 of money to start a private business. And by selling his soul to the
10 devil, he provided very well financially for himself. There are many
11 other similar cases.
12 Remember we had a report from the Victims and Witnesses Unit
13 after the first day of Goran Stoparic's testimony that Natasa Kandic had
14 made a telephone call to him, making certain suggestions that were not
15 explicitly described but they were clear. Your own service informed us
16 of this. Was anyone held responsible? No.
17 Take Witness 026. He also agreed to sell his soul to the devil.
18 He testified falsely in the Slobodan Milosevic case. And while waiting
19 to testify, he spent several months here in The Hague. And he was very
20 capricious in his requests. He had over 50 surgeries, dental, cosmetic,
21 you name it, including several sessions of acupuncture, and all this was
22 paid for by the ICTY. Anything he could possibly think of, change all of
23 his teeth, treat all his conditions, all his requests were accommodated
24 along with all his whims. And he eventually received residence together
25 with his wife in his -- in a Western country.
1 But eventually he ended up not so happy. They cut down on his
2 benefits and they did not treat him as well as they did Goran Stoparic.
3 So unhappy as he was, he picked up his luggage and returned to Serbia,
4 together with his wife. And he left that Western country in secret. And
5 because you cheated him, revolted, he came to my legal Defence team.
6 His statement claimed, among other things, that I had blown up
7 the Roman Catholic cathedral in Subotica, as if cathedrals were
8 spaceships that could be easily launched into space. And the Prosecution
9 insists on that without checking the facts. Whatever the witness says is
10 immediately put in the statement and that's it. What Prosecution office
11 in the world proceeds in that way, without checking? That never
13 There was an incident involving an explosive device that was not
14 so powerful at the entrance of that cathedral, but the police cleared
15 that up, and it was, as it turns out, some sect that did it. But in his
16 closing argument, the Prosecutor says the witness was talking about a
17 meeting or a rally in Srem in 1991 involving the expulsion of Croats.
18 And the Prosecution treats that as proof. They treat the entire
19 statement of that witness as proof. And you helped them, Judges, because
20 you admitted it into evidence.
21 In the early days you tried to admit into evidence only relevant
22 documents, and you even refused some of mine although they were perfectly
23 relevant, but later on you allowed the Prosecution to bulldoze heaps of
24 documents into evidence. You allowed that in 2010 and 2011. You didn't
25 really look at those documents before admitting them and you didn't allow
1 me to give my opinion on them in the courtroom. You wanted me to make
2 submissions in writing; I'm certainly not going to do that. I want to
3 see you writing your judgement based on those statements. I want to see
4 you writing your judgement based on the witnesses who recanted.
5 And there were also witnesses - and that's the fourth
6 category - whom the Prosecution promised everything but they eventually
7 got nothing. They were not able to move to a third country with their
8 families or get any riches. There was one witness who kept bargaining
9 with the OTP until the second he entered the courtroom. And the OTP
10 eventually gave up on him because there were heaps of evidence that all
11 of his testimony was entirely false, that he had told them fairy-tales.
12 There was one witness, a Muslim from the area of Zvornik, whom the OTP
13 gave up on themselves of their own accord and they said they would never
14 even refer to his statements. Even the Prosecution realised how
15 compromised he was. That was the show put on by the Prosecution here and
16 it was the Trial Chamber who allowed all of that to happen.
17 We have a lot of false witnesses, Muslims and Croats. We've had
18 documents here in the courtroom that I presented, original documents from
19 Croatia that I obtained from the OTP sources, and they bear the OTP
20 markings. And they clearly show that the Croatian security services
21 prepared Croatian witnesses who testified against the Serbs here at
22 The Hague Tribunal. They also prepared the witnesses that were to appear
23 in my case or in the case Milosevic or the Vukovar trio. In the Mrksic
24 et al. proceedings, there was a discussion about such witnesses based on
25 the document that I'm just referring to.
1 We've had a lot of evidence showing that the AID prepared Muslim
2 witnesses who was supposed to testify in my trial and in other trials
3 against the Serbs here. How come there are so many differences between
4 the prior statements of the witnesses and those that they provided many
5 years later? In the original witnesses [as interpreted] there is nothing
6 about Seselj, Seseljevci, the SRS, and so on and so forth. And then,
7 ten years later, out of the blue, they do appear in the statements
8 compiled by the OTP itself. It is enough for the OTP to tell the
9 witnesses who were on the other side what to tell and they become
10 co-operative and they start telling their tale.
11 You had a witness here, Dabic, who provided a false statement to
12 the OTP and then he turned to the Defence, because he was hoping that he
13 would be rewarded by the Defence by changing his statement and stating
14 something totally different. He was not rewarded. And then he got lost.
15 When he came to the courtroom he said that he had been beaten two or
16 three days before he appeared in the courtroom and that he perceived that
17 as pressure put on him. It turned out eventually that he was cleaning
18 snow in front of his house, he slipped, he fell, and he injured himself.
19 When he was in The Hague he made telephone calls to people and instructed
20 them to call him and threaten him or tell him that somebody was
21 threatening him, and this would have served as proof that he was being
22 threatened and that's how he was going to elicit something from the OTP,
23 like accommodation or residency in a foreign state.
24 When I examined him here in the courtroom, he said he didn't know
25 anything, he didn't see anything. His statement was basically a hearsay
1 of the things that he heard from other people.
2 And those are the witnesses that you presented before this
3 Trial Chamber. These are the witnesses that you based your indictment
4 on, the trial, your final brief, and your closing arguments. Your
5 closing arguments were full of preliminary statements by false witnesses.
6 You behave as if those witnesses have never recanted, have never denied
7 their own words, or have been completely demasked here in the courtroom.
8 You behave as if there had never been any cross-examination. A
9 Prosecution -- a Prosecutor should not behave in that way in the sphere
10 of international justice. By definition, a Prosecutor is a servant of
11 international justice and his goal is to prove the truth and not to try
12 and prove the Prosecution thesis by hook or by crook.
13 The Prosecution is not deemed to be successful if his thesis are
14 accepted at the expense of the truth of the matter and if a judgement is
15 passed based on false arguments. This cannot be seen as a success of
16 international justice or the Prosecutor. The Prosecutor has to know that
17 he is successful only if he -- if the truth is proven beyond reasonable
19 Mr. Marcussen and his team simply do not understand that. They
20 behave like mercenaries who were waging war in Africa. They were given a
21 task and they never asked themselves whether they are on the right side.
22 They behave like pit bull terriers and they run towards their target when
23 they smell blood and they never stop to think. And the Prosecutor, not
24 only here but also in the other trials, the Prosecutors with highly
25 developed sense of moral and honesty, a Prosecutor who will position
1 things from the aspect of interests of international justice should
2 behave like that. And they should say, "My goal is to arrive at the
3 truth, and when we do arrive at the truth we will see what the
4 consequences of the truth are."
5 Ha. I find Mr. Marcussen the funniest of them all. You will
6 remember a false witness, a Muslim who hailed from the area of Zvornik,
7 who claimed that in March 1992 I held a rally in Mali Zvornik, and that
8 rally was an anti-Muslim rally, that I gave a statement to the effect
9 that Muslims were pagans and so on and so forth. And that we would expel
10 them all the way to Anatolia. And he also stated that at the culture
11 hall, after the rally, there was a conflict between us and the Muslims
12 who were demonstrating in front of the culture hall.
13 And what happened? What transpired? It transpired that that
14 rally had taken place two years before at the beginning of August 1990.
15 It turned out that in the newspaper "Velika Srbija" we published all of
16 the speeches that were delivered at the rally as well as the questions
17 from the audience. It turned out that the crowd did attack us when we
18 left the hall, that we were stoned, that two people from our party were
19 injured as a result of the stoning, and that our lads from our security
20 got hold of some sticks and dispelled the crowd. That was in 1990.
21 The Trial Chamber gave a task to Mr. Marcussen: To examine that
22 whole thing based on the newspaper clippings and other reports, to find
23 out whether that event did take place in 1992 and how it happened. Here
24 in the courtroom Mr. Marcussen submitted his report and said that there
25 was no trace of any such event.
1 There is a report of the security service and that report was
2 provided about the border area. According to that state -- that report,
3 I appeared in Mali Zvornik on the way to Ljubovija and Bajina Basta, that
4 I was met by two or three men from our local regional board, and after a
5 short conversation with them I proceeded. And what about the rally?
6 There was no rally. There could not have been two rallies with the same
7 scenario according to which there was a crowd waiting for us, a crowd
8 that attacked us and was dispelled by us. And now a wonder of all
9 wonders happened next. Mr. Marcussen insisted on the veracity of that
10 witness, and I crushed that witness's testimony on some other details
11 after that.
12 In responding to my submission pursuant to Rule 98 bis,
13 Mr. Marcussen never again mentioned that rally. However, another wonder
14 happened, the Trial Chamber mentions it -- a majority of the
15 Trial Chamber. You wrote your decision as if the meeting had really
16 happened in March 1992, as if this had been proven. How can reasonable
17 Judges arrive at such a conclusion? This is beyond any reason.
18 Let's put aside the fact that some other thesis pursuant to your
19 decision, pursuant to Rule 98 bis are also unreasonable. Obviously if
20 this is the kind of decision that you make pursuant to Rule 98 bis, I'm
21 sure your judgement cannot be any more reasonable. I want to leave
22 everything to the judgement of history, and history will be the judge of
23 all of us, you and me. I want to bring this to an end before this
25 The OTP and their false witnesses have not achieved much, have
1 not proven my guilt and my responsibility. The OTP has only contributed
2 with their false witnesses to the crumbling of the legal, political, and
3 moral integrity of The Hague Tribunal. This trial differs from any other
4 trials before this Tribunal for the very fact that the manipulation of
5 false witnesses has come to the fore in this trial.
6 In the other trials that I watched from time to time, I observed
7 Defence lawyers standing up, introducing themselves to the false
8 witnesses, grovelling up to them, instead of crushing them in the
9 courtroom so that they really wouldn't know whether they were coming or
10 going. We had some false OTP witnesses here who didn't know what had hit
11 them, who didn't know how to leave the courtroom because they didn't know
12 where the door was after I crushed their testimony.
13 The method that the OTP used is absolutely forbidden in both
14 continental as well as Anglo-Saxon laws. My method is absolutely
15 allowed. You even restricted me in those terms. A cross-examination is
16 usually much more merciless than what I did here. You kept on
17 interrupting me. You protected false witnesses. You justified them.
18 You would give them breaks whenever they wanted to have breaks and so on
19 and so forth.
20 And now we come to a category of false witnesses who are known as
22 The biggest traitor and the false witness par excellence was
23 Biljana Plavsic. Biljana Plavsic was first supposed to testify in my
24 trial, but then the OTP gave up on her. The OTP has a document that
25 Mr. Marcussen or somebody from his team mentioned in their closing
1 argument, to the effect that Biljana Plavsic invited Arkan, Mirko Jovic
2 and myself to send volunteers to Republika Srpska. It is a letter, a
3 letter that I did receive but never replied to it. We, the
4 Serbian Radicals, never sent our volunteers anywhere upon an invitation
5 by Biljana Plavsic. I never had a good opinion about Biljana Plavsic. I
6 did meet her several times, I chatted with her, but in revolt I would
7 turn down her nebulous conclusions, hypothesis, assumptions, claims, and
8 so on and so forth. She was the one who said that Muslims were
9 genetically impaired, and I was forever regretting the fact that the
10 unfortunate destiny separated us along the religious lines and separated
11 us into Catholics, Muslims, and Orthodox.
12 In 1996 I was brought to the tribunal in the morning together
13 with Mr. Karadzic, and I reminded Mr. Radovan Karadzic in that vehicle
14 that in 1996, I tried to convince him -- and I spent the whole day trying
15 to convince him in his office near Pale not to put up Biljana Plavsic as
16 a candidate for the president of Republika Srpska. When he had to
17 withdraw his party -- did put up her candidacy. I told him that she was
18 not normal, that she was not reliable, that she could not be trusted, and
19 he thought that Biljana Plavsic was the most extreme, the most exposed in
20 the conflict against Milosevic and would be the best person for the job.
21 A lunatic can never be reliable, and it was proven very quickly.
22 She received people from America, Milos Prica, Ana Mitrovic, and
23 some others. How do I know that? That Milos Prica was somebody that
24 Djujic wanted to plant on me first as early as 1991. And that
25 Milos Prica in a conversation with me immediately started talking about
1 people walking out, about using force in order to overthrow Milosevic's
2 regime. There was shooting all of Krajina and Bosnia and he wanted to
3 shed blood in Belgrade. I chased him out of my office and never got in
4 touch with him again. And then they sent him to Biljana Plavsic, and he
5 took the matters in his own hands. She [as interpreted] uses Biljana
6 Plavsic as his instruments in causing a putsch in Republika Srpska, to
7 abolish the legal instruments of power, and Biljana Plavsic got some
8 support, particularly from Western powers, and succeeded in her attempt.
9 At the next elections, Biljana Plavsic was defeated by a Radical.
10 Once her dirty job was done, Biljana Plavsic was indicted by
11 The Hague Tribunal. She arrived here, the so-called Serbian empress, a
12 woman who encouraged the combatants of Republika Srpska. She was the
13 most extreme person of all of them, and plea bargained with the OTP. She
14 didn't like the conditions in the prison. She pleads guilty for
15 Prosecution -- persecution and decides to testify against the other
17 Biljana Plavsic was an extremist, even too big an extremist for
18 my own taste, although some people think that I am very extreme. I
19 myself do not consider myself very extreme. Biljana Plavsic as an
20 ultimate extremist testified against a person such as Momcilo Krajisnik,
21 who was always in favour of compromises, negotiations. He was a very --
22 he was a pacifist. They also brought her to testify against Milosevic.
23 She came to The Hague but then the OTP gave up on her testimony,
24 believing that it would be counter-productive, and they also gave up on
25 her testimony in my case.
1 So she is even worse than Borisav Jovic and Zoran Ilic.
2 Now, the next example is Milan Babic, the first president of the
3 Republic of Serbian Krajina. First he was engaged by the OTP to appear
4 as a Prosecution witness in the Milosevic case, but the Prosecution put
5 him before a dilemma: Either you testify against Slobodan Milosevic or
6 you would be indicted yourself. He was a person of weak character and
7 thereby he accepted to testify against Milosevic. However, having
8 completed this dirty job and finished his testimony, he was tricked by
9 the OTP, who nevertheless issued an indictment against him. Then new
10 envoys was sent to him with an offer to enter into a plea agreement and
11 he did so. He admitted his participation in the JCE in persecution, and
12 in return the OTP agreed to sentence him to up to 11 years. However, he
13 was sentenced by the Trial Chamber to 13 years in prison, although the
14 OTP was -- promised him that his family would be relocated to a Western
15 country where he would serve his prison sentence. His family was indeed
16 relocated there, but they were put under house arrest. His wife had
17 enough of it and she asked that she and their son and daughter be
18 returned to Serbia.
19 Now, Babic is burdened with new obligations to testify against
20 Krajisnik, Milan Martic, Franko Stanisic and Simatovic, and against me.
21 Maybe he would have been called as a witness against Milan Martic.
22 During the Martic case, Milan Babic committed suicide. Now, what does
23 that mean? Did the OTP perchance corroborate the veracity of his
24 testimony? Does that corroborate the argument of the OTP or does it
25 undermine them? I value and esteem Milan Babic much more than
1 Biljana Plavsic because at one point in time after being morally
2 disqualified - to which he himself agreed - he had enough strength to
3 commit suicide.
4 The plan was to have Milan Babic appearing as a witness in this
5 case as well; however, since he committed suicide much earlier at the
6 time when I didn't even know that he would appear here, the OTP tried to
7 have his former statement and a huge pile of documents admitted into
8 evidence. However, the Judges refused that because there was no legal
9 foundation for those documents to be admitted into evidence. And then,
10 when the OTP submitted their third or fourth motion in 2010 or 2011, you
11 eventually agreed to have it admitted into evidence after you had been
12 inundated with such requests from the OTP and you didn't make any
13 selection whatsoever.
14 Now, why is this relevant? You have a man who, in despair and as
15 a token of his protest against the Tribunal, takes his own life. Let us
16 not talk about the issue of the commission headed by Kevin Parker who was
17 appointed to investigate the circumstances of this suicide, and they
18 submitted a false report because the commission told the public that
19 Milan Babic never left a suicide note. But from my confidential
20 sources - and I'm not going to tell you whether it was the OTP or the
21 Registry - I heard that there was a suicide note after all. And I filed
22 a submission with the President of the Court and I told my associates to
23 impart on the public that there was a suicide note. And after that,
24 there was no way out, other than to admit that there indeed was a suicide
1 Now, I don't know whether it was publicised because this really
2 is beyond my capabilities to find out.
3 Kevin Parker also led the commission establishing the
4 circumstances of the death of Slobodan Milosevic and produced a false
5 report as well. Mr. Milosevic complained of having in his blood
6 antibiotics that are used for leprosy and other diseases but which cause
7 the effect of increasing blood pressure. He submitted this letter to the
8 Russian foreign ministry through the Russian ambassador. It turned out
9 that it was Milosevic himself who put himself in such a position to die
10 so suddenly, whereas in fact Milosevic was killed under secretive
11 circumstances, at least by being denied proper and adequate medical
12 treatment. Because for days he had been complaining in the courtroom
13 that he was not feeling well, that his head is heavy as something
14 weighing 2 tonnes, but it was disregarded. The Trial Chamber presided by
15 Judge Robinson ignored that, and there was also Mr. Kwon and Iain Bonomy
17 Now these are the methods that demonstrate how The Hague Tribunal
18 operates, and I am wrestling with this kind of might.
19 A third characteristic example of a false witness was
20 Miroslav Deronjic. The first year when I came to The Hague we were on
21 the same floor, we socialised, he was a professor of literature, he was
22 an educated man. He described to me how he was arrested. First,
23 representatives of The Hague Tribunal asked him to be interviewed several
24 times. He responded. It was inferred that he might be indicted, but he
25 said, "If you do that, if you indict me, I am ready to come straight
1 away." However, once the indictment was issued, he was arrested by SFOR
2 who severely beat him and tortured him during the course of arrest by
3 submerging him into a barrel full of water. And all of that I heard from
4 Miroslav Deronjic. On one occasion I tried to speak about all of this,
5 but the Pre-Trial Judge switched off my microphone. He didn't allow me
6 to do that.
7 Miroslav Deronjic claimed not to have been involved in any crimes
8 relating to Srebrenica and that is the position that he held, but then he
9 entered into -- Momir Nikolic entered into a plea agreement, a security
10 officer from the Bratunac Brigade. In his statement he mentioned that
11 Deronjic had been at a meeting where the execution of prisoners was
12 agreed. Although Nikolic was not there but the door was ajar and he was
13 able to hear that. Just like with this unfortunate man who said that by
14 standing at a door which was ajar, he heard me in Vukovar talking with
15 the guards officers. And Momir Nikolic, having signed this, there was no
16 defence against that. That was the first piece of evidence against
17 Deronjic, and then the envoys were sent to offer him a plea agreement.
18 Both in his case and the case of Milan Babic, Vera Petrovic
19 played a major role. She's an official psychiatrist of the Tribunal.
20 She spent days and days with them and by applying her methods made it
21 easier for them to accept a plea bargain. Then Deronjic started making
22 up stories against everyone. Members and volunteers of the SRS were
23 never in Bratunac, but he nevertheless claimed the opposite, that they
24 were in Bratunac. First he was referring to White Eagles, then
25 volunteers, and God knows what else. You admitted his evidence, and
1 since Bratunac does not feature in my indictment I don't have any problem
2 with that. This only demonstrates how the Tribunal operates.
3 We didn't have volunteers in Srebrenica in 1992. The Serbs
4 liberated Srebrenica in 1992 and the Muslim forces were pushed away
5 towards Konjic and the surrounding forests. Then Goran Zekic, the local
6 Serb leader, was killed. There were rumours that Miroslav Deronjic was
7 involved in his murder. And the Serb line front became -- began caving
8 in, and eventually the Muslims were able of occupying Srebrenica which
9 they held up until 1995, mainly with the help of the international
10 community. So one moment and one event that took place in 1991 was
11 crucial for the outcome which is that the Serbs lost Srebrenica.
12 There are a number of other false witnesses that you are
13 referring to, and I'm talking about the deceased people like Zoran Tot.
14 I hope that there is no deceased peoples on the list of the protected
15 witnesses, but nevertheless I'm going to mention these two names,
16 Zoran Tot and Mr. Todorovic.
17 Now, how can that be relevant to anyone? One of those protected
18 witnesses claim that in 1992 I was in Ilijas and Vogosca, but the truth
19 is that I never visited those places prior to 1994. Those who died
20 before they testified, they did not testify due to your fault because my
21 trial was delayed. Had my trial started a year after my arrival, because
22 it was Carla del Ponte who said in Belgrade in February 2003 that
23 everything was ready for the trial to start. When I submitted a motion
24 in 1994 [as interpreted] to be released from detention, the most
25 significant response from the OTP was that my trial was due to start in
1 the autumn. I didn't want to seek any guarantees from the pro-Western
2 regime in Belgrade, but the key argument was that my trial was to
3 commence in the autumn and thereby there was no need for any decision to
4 release me from detention.
5 There are other deceased witnesses. I managed to locate a total
6 of ten of them. There was an officer in Slavonia. There was one from
7 Ilijas who was a member of Vaske Vidovic's unit. He was a Muslim but he
8 was a member of that unit throughout the whole war. When the Serbs had
9 to withdraw from Ilijas after the Dayton Accords, he decided to stay
10 because he didn't want to leave his house and his estate. And then he
11 had to prove to the Muslim authorities that he had been forcibly
12 mobilised, that he was made to become a member of that unit. So he was
13 yet another false witness of yours.
14 Had you started this trial in time, you would have been able to
15 call all those witnesses who died in the meantime. Now, why are you
16 late? It is not my fault that this trial has been delayed for such a
17 long time. You didn't have to adjourn even the sessions this week. I
18 wanted to appear here on Monday. So not a single day in court has been
19 lost due to my fault, and now you are trying to use their preliminary
20 statements as evidence. Who can make any use of such evidence? No one.
21 Those were the statements that you wrote yourself and they only signed
22 it. Had you started the trial in time, they would have appeared here in
23 the courtroom and we would have possibly arrived at the truth. As it is,
24 it makes no point to discuss the statements of the deceased people
25 anymore, and I have no intention of doing that.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, the physician said
2 you should have a break every hour and a quarter. We have been sitting
3 for an hour and 18 minutes. You have been talking for an hour and
4 18 minutes, so we shall have a 30-minute break since we stick very
5 closely to what the doctor has prescribed. And we shall resume in
6 30 minutes' time.
7 --- Recess taken at 10.17 a.m.
8 --- On resuming at 10.48 a.m.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
10 Mr. Seselj, you have the floor.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I will now be speaking about that
12 part of the indictment and the closing arguments of the Prosecution that
13 concerns Hrtkovci.
14 As soon as Franjo Tudjman came into power in Croatia, as soon as
15 the HDZ took all the levers of power, an organised expulsion and
16 persecution of Serbs began, primarily the urban population. What are the
17 sources for this? This was extensively dealt with by
18 Professor Svetozar Livada who published a book about it. And the
19 Prosecution co-operated for a while quite a lot with Professor Livada,
20 and back in that day, the Prosecution disclosed to me material from one
21 magazine that deals with various forms of persecution of Serbs in
22 Croatia, topic by topic, and Svetozar Livada was one of the authors.
23 This was also dealt with by Tudjman's chief biographer, Darko Hudelist.
24 He dealt with all those aspects of the Tudjman regime and I quote him
25 quite a lot in my book, "The Roman Catholic Project of the Artificial
1 Croatian Nation." That author dealt with Tudjman's co-operation with the
2 Ustasha emigre circles, with the Franciscan priests, the Roman Catholic
3 church in Croatia, and others who enabled him to take power in Croatia.
4 As they enabled him -- as they had enabled Ante Pavelic to come into
5 power. Ante Pavelic had come from Italy with two or three truckloads of
6 Ustashas, less than a hundred men, but he still managed to take power
7 because he had the assistance of the Roman Catholic church through all
8 their parishes, and he took over the infrastructure of the Croatian
9 Peasants Party led by Macek and their urban and village guards.
10 And the third very serious source about the persecution of Serbs
11 is Stipe Suvar, who dealt with this thoroughly in his book: "The
12 Croatian Carousel." And in my own book I quote a few long passages from
13 Suvar's book. If I had enough time at my disposal, I would read those
14 passages to you, but I'm already beginning to doubt that I would be able
15 to present all that I had planned because I've already used up half of my
16 time, and I cannot really count on the extension I wanted of four hours
17 because nobody will grant me anything.
18 Serb houses were blown up. Serbs were killed here and there.
19 They were very often beaten up. There was organised oppression of Serb
20 children in Croatian schools. Their Croat peers ganged up on them.
21 Serbs were dismissed from their jobs, especially in state institutions.
22 Already in 1990 there occurred a great exodus of Serbs from the
23 Croatian federal unit. In early 1991 this grew to unsuspected,
24 unexpected proportions. And we then formed the staff of the Serb Radical
25 Party with a task to find accommodation of some kind for these refugees
1 and to help them. That was the original purpose of our Crisis Staff
2 before the war began, before the shooting began. And the Crisis Staff
3 was renamed into War Staff only when the immediate threat of war was
5 You know, Belgrade is a big city with a population of a million,
6 600.000. There were many apartments there, many owned by the federal
7 state that was in the process of breaking up, and we located those
8 apartments and placed refugee Serb families in them semi-legally. When I
9 say "semi-legally," I mean that we had no legal grounds for doing it, but
10 the authorities did not oppose it because it was a necessary provisional
12 When the armed conflict began, open expulsion of Serbs began too.
13 Serbs were expelled en masse from Grubisno Polje in the west of Croatia.
14 They were expelled en masse from Dalmatian towns, from various towns in
15 Slavonia, from Zagreb, from Sisak, Varazdin, and other places. Waves of
16 refugees swept over Serbia. In early 1992, there were already between
17 2- and 300.000 expelled Serbs. I'm not even counting those who went to
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina or to third countries, only Serbs who were expelled
19 and found refuge in Serbia.
20 In those conditions, when a deluge of refugees swept over Serbia,
21 we held the first elections into the Federal Assembly of Yugoslavia. The
22 new constitution was proclaimed in December 1991 and the elections were
23 scheduled for January next year. So we had only one month for the
24 electoral campaign. Under those circumstances, I sometimes held three
25 rallies a day, mostly two rallies a day, but very rarely just one. And I
1 held that rally in Hrtkovci. Hrtkovci is rather a large place with many
2 surrounding villages, and in that speech I present the pre-electoral
3 programme of the Serbian Radical Party. You have seen the full text of
4 that speech.
5 Mr. Marcussen or some of his associates - they're all the same to
6 me and I can't distinguish between them - said that I subsequently
7 published that speech after the indictment was brought. No. I
8 republished it for the second or third time after the indictment was
9 brought. It was published in one of my books many years earlier. I
10 always tried to publish all my speeches that have been recorded. I
11 haven't managed with all of them because not all of them recorded, but I
12 have published all of my interviews, all of my speeches on the radio, all
13 my presentations on TV. I've published all I've ever said because I have
14 nothing to be ashamed of. I would repeat the same thing today, perhaps
15 with some modifications. Maybe I would be more convincing saying the
16 same things today because I have more experience and I'm more mature.
17 But it would not sound as intelligent as it did then because one's IQ
18 diminishes with time, with age.
19 That rally was not militant in nature. The Prosecution says that
20 the rally was attended by Chetniks in black uniforms. Never. Nowhere
21 did Chetniks wear black uniforms, in the Second World War or in the
22 latest wars, never. The volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party wore
23 camouflage uniforms, and very seldom old green-grey military uniforms.
24 Because the JNA was anxious to recruit as many volunteers of the Serbian
25 Radical Party as possible, because they were the most disciplined, they
1 always provided them uniforms from JNA depots. There were, in fact, few
2 people who were dressed in part of military uniform at that rally. Now
3 when I look at rallies on TV, they show lumberjacks or peasants or
4 farmers. I often see people wearing camouflage pants or blouses. You
5 see the Serbian cap. The Serbian peasant cap as part of our traditional
6 costume originates from the first part of the 19th century as a military
7 cap, and the Serbs took a liking to it and started wearing it in everyday
8 life. And now this cap called sajkaca is one of Serbian symbols.
9 So it's possible that some participants in that rally wore parts
10 of the camouflage uniform, but nobody wore the full uniform and there was
11 nobody carrying an automatic weapon. There was our party's security
12 detail armed with pistols, but they were hidden. The Radical Party music
13 and the Chetnik music was played before the rally, as is the custom for a
14 couple of hours before the rally begins. That's a way to attract people.
15 Nobody certainly wore black.
16 You have seen the lists and there were no lists of Croats to be
17 expelled. A list was read out of the Croats who had already left
18 Hrtkovci and joined the Croatian Home Guards, a paramilitary organisation
19 in Croatia formed by Tudjman. I did not personally read that list out,
20 but I take responsibility for it as if I had read it. Somewhere sometime
21 I said I've read it myself, because I would. Why not?
22 And then you summon false witnesses who claim here in the
23 courtroom - at least one of them does - that I asked in my speech that
24 all mixed marriages be dissolved. Another witness says I asked that
25 children in mixed marriages be killed. You've heard it all here in the
1 courtroom. And when I filed charges against these false witnesses, you
2 rejected it, perhaps with the explanation that those witnesses were not
3 aware they were lying.
4 Even that goes here. All that the Prosecution ascribes to me is
5 as truthful as the claim that I had publicly asked for children of mixed
6 marriages to be killed.
7 There was an extensive change of property in Hrtkovci between
8 Serbs expelled from Croatia and the local Croats. The Serbs who had been
9 expelled did not have time to take even a bag with necessities, whereas
10 local Croats from Hrtkovci had ample opportunity to travel to Croatia
11 several times and look at the property concerned and decide whether they
12 want it, whether it's good enough. Why didn't the OTP go after anyone
13 responsible for that great expulsion of Serbs from Croatia?
14 It's not my job to defend myself by saying, "Why are you not
15 prosecuting that other person who did worse?" I cannot use that as a
16 defence, but I can use it to compromise the Prosecution. And all of you
17 here, it's more important for me to expose you than to defend myself and
18 it's not easy [as interpreted] to expose you because you are setting
19 yourselves up. You position yourselves as easy targets. It's no problem
20 to get you. You are compromised because you have never prosecuted anyone
21 from Croatia who was responsible for the expulsion of Serbs, and that
22 expulsion stretched over several years from the moment Tudjman came into
23 power. And you want to convict me because I advocated at least a partial
24 exchange of population.
25 First of all, I advocated retortion. Retortion is a principle
1 that exists in international law; some states apply it, others don't, but
2 you cannot deny that it exists. Retortion often means retaliation, not
3 just responding by the same means, but by harsher means sometimes. Where
4 are the Germans who used to live in Czechoslovakia? Where are the
5 Germans who used to live in Poland? How many Germans used to live in the
6 territory of Poland? Where are the Italians who lived on the eastern
7 Adriatic coast? More than 300.000 of them were expelled. Where are the
8 Germans from the former Yugoslavia?
9 This is a principle that you can justify or not morally speaking,
10 but it exists. At that rally, I was making promises about what we would
11 do if we get into power, and you can see that from my speech. And you
12 are now trying to present my speech as an attack in order to apply
13 Article 5 of the Statute. There must be an organised and systematic
14 attack under circumstances of war.
15 The Trial Chamber on which Judge Antonetti sat in 2004 deciding
16 on my objection to the indictment ruled that all locations concerning
17 Vojvodina should be deleted from the indictment unless the Prosecution
18 proves there was an armed conflict in Vojvodina. Then the Prosecution
19 appealed, and the Appeals Chamber returned those locations into the
20 indictment, explaining that it is the trial that must show whether there
21 was an armed conflict or not. The Prosecution asserts there was an armed
22 conflict in Croatia at the time and in Bosnia-Herzegovina, so there was a
23 nexus between the events in Hrtkovci and that armed conflict. That is
24 not true.
25 The Vance Plan put an end to the armed conflict in Croatia and
1 UNPROFOR members were deployed in the territory of the Republic of
2 Serbian Krajina. When it comes to the Serbian refugees and displaced
3 persons, with an exception of Western Slavonia from where there was a
4 major exodus of the Serbs in November and December 1991, all the other
5 Serbian refugees had come from the areas where there were no armed
6 conflicts. There were no armed conflicts in Zagreb, Varazdin, Sisak, and
7 in many other towns and places. There were no armed conflicts in
8 Vojvodina either. Your expert Theunens says that there were no attacks
9 on the civilian population of Hrtkovci. Not only was there to be an
10 attack of the same intensity as some individual crimes comprised by
11 Article 5 of the Statute, but also that attack had to be systematic and
12 extensive. There were no attacks whatsoever.
13 In the absence of any attack, you treat my speech as an attack.
14 This is inadmissible. This was also taken into consideration in the
15 judgement against Dario Kordic, a verbal attack cannot be a real attack,
16 and you now say that it can be. You can say whatever you want. You do
17 not respect any moral obligations. You do not respect any legal
18 principles. You will say whatever comes to you, your mind. You have
19 come here as anonymous individuals, and after the trial you will again be
20 anonymous individuals. You have good salaries here. It seems that you
21 have gained the right to full retirement after having worked for the
22 United Nations for only four years, and what do you care? You have done
23 your dirty job. You have earned a handsome sum of money and then you
24 will leave. Nobody knew you before this trial, nobody will know you
25 after this trial. And since there was no attack, there can also be no
1 crime of persecution.
2 Your witnesses stated that some refugees were armed, and then I
3 asked a witness who testified via videolink, if I'm not mistaken, about
4 the weapons. And he said, "We noticed that they had pistols in the
5 holsters." When I was in Belgrade, I also wore a pistol in the holster,
6 but I did not intend to attack anybody. I love carrying a pistol, and if
7 I'm in danger I very much prefer to defend myself.
8 You evoke a report by a false expert, Ewa Tabeau. She used some
9 church documents issued by the Roman Catholic parish in Hrtkovci in order
10 to arrive at far-reaching conclusions. She should have researched the
11 data in Ruma about those who moved in and out, about the property that
12 was exchanged. All that was available to her, but she couldn't care
13 less. She wasn't interested in that.
14 The only thing she took into account was what a drunken parish
15 priest in Hrtkovci recorded in his church books. There were a lot of
16 certificates that were issued there about baptisms taking place in the
17 Roman Catholic church. Everybody who travelled to Croatia or who maybe
18 hoped that they would travel would go and have that certificate issued to
20 When any of you Judges travel abroad, do you go anywhere to
21 obtain a birth certificate? I suppose that Mr. Antonetti and
22 Mrs. Lattanzi, you're Catholics. You, Mr. Harhoff, are probably a
23 Protestant. I don't know. I'm not sure, but I suspect that. In any
24 case, do you go and obtain a birth certificate every time you travel
25 abroad? I'm sure that you don't. You never have, have you?
1 So why did the Croats in Hrtkovci go to obtain their birth
2 certificates? Because they could not enter Croatia with a Yugoslav
3 passport unless they could prove that they were of Roman Catholic faith
4 because Croatia was involved in discrimination against Orthodox citizens
5 of Yugoslavia and didn't allow them to enter Croatia; and that is why
6 those certificates were obtained by Croats. Some of those who had those
7 certificates issued to never travelled, never moved from Hrtkovci.
8 In order for you to convict me for prosecution [as interpreted],
9 deportation, and forcible movement of people, you have to prove that
10 people were deported, that at least one Croat was deported. Let us see
11 which Croat was it who was deported from Serbia. Do you know what
12 deportation is? Do you know how deportation is implemented?
13 If a Croat didn't feel comfortable living along so many Serb
14 refugees - and I believe that many felt that way - and if they travelled
15 to Croatia two or three times in order to find property for exchange, is
16 that deportation? There were false witnesses here who testified that
17 they didn't fare well. Now imagine that, several hundred thousand Serbs
18 expelled from Serbia could not travel there ever again, and here we have
19 a couple of hundred Croats who wanted to exchange property and then they
20 claim that they fared worse than any of the Serbs. That defies any
22 Croats travelled several times to Croatia, they would view the
23 properties, and then they would clinch a deal, most commonly before the
24 Croatian authorities, sometimes before Serbian authorities, but it's not
25 here nor there. In any case, they were not forced to do that. And it
1 was only when they exchanged property when they finally moved out. Would
2 you call that deportation?
3 What lawyer in this world would dare say that this is
4 deportation? Not a single serious, reasonable lawyer could say that. In
5 The Hague Tribunal, obviously you don't talk about reasonable lawyers.
6 I, for one, don't. But I'm here to say publicly that not a single Croat
7 was ever deported.
8 It did happen that one Croat was killed sometime around that
9 time - and I'm referring to the month of June, if I'm not mistaken - his
10 name was Stefanec. However, his murder was elucidated and the motive was
11 pure criminal motive and the perpetrators were punished. The Roman
12 Catholic church and its parish office were robbed. That's what happened.
13 And then a key witness confirmed here that the perpetrator -- perpetrator
14 was a Roman Catholic and that he was convicted, and that happened outside
15 of the scope of the indictment that was issued against me.
16 What persecution are we talking about? Can we talk about
17 persecution if somebody didn't like my speech? Many of you today don't
18 like my speech today in this courtroom. Are you saying that I'm
19 persecuting you? I would, I would gladly persecute you if I had any
20 power in my hands. Unfortunately, this -- these words of mine cannot be
21 considered persecution. They can spoil your lunch today. You may feel
22 uncomfortable. However, they're just words. I can't do anything to you.
23 When somebody voices their opinion, even if that opinion is the worst
24 possible opinion you can hear, this cannot be considered a crime.
25 At the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the
1 21st century, obviously some international organisations, such as the
2 Council of Europe, advocated the prosecution of hate speech. A very
3 famous discussion took place in the British parliament about that same
4 issue. However, what is emphasised all the time is that the any -- hate
5 speech cannot be punished by a prison sentence. There are other
6 punishments available.
7 This Trial Chamber evoked the laws of the communist state of
8 Yugoslavia. There was a crime there entitled: Spreading of racial and
9 religious hatred, and the maximum punishment was ten years' imprisonment.
10 And then in the 1990s, under external pressure when the crime of enemy
11 propaganda was abolished, this crime of spreading intolerance and racial
12 hatred, for that the sentence was half. But you cannot pass your
13 judgement based on communist laws. You have to base your sentences on
14 international law. And when it comes to the hate speech as a crime has
15 to be comprised by Article 5 of the Statute. But even for that you do
16 not have any base. You can now come up with a new rule, with a new legal
17 norm that will start with you. This is the only way to do it. There are
18 no two ways around it.
19 Evoking the Streicher case is -- has missed the target. He
20 was -- he was inciting people to commit a genocide against the Jews and
21 he participated in the crimes starting with the Crystal Night when the
22 synagogues were burned and so on and so forth. At that time genocide as
23 a crime was not defined. However, the characteristics of a crime that
24 were -- that was attributed to Julius Streicher became the
25 characteristics of the crime of genocide pursuant to the convention on
1 genocide, and that's where the story ends.
2 You can only punish me for inciting people to commit genocide,
3 but I've never done that. If you have come across any such thing in
4 anything that I did, you would charge me with genocide. Inviting people
5 publicly to commit crimes against humanity or to violate the laws and
6 customs of war cannot be considered instigation. Now you're telling me
7 that I invited people to kill other people and that I said in my public
8 speeches that I am in favour of killing, rape, and so on and so forth.
9 For as long as you cannot prove that in my speeches I advocated a
10 genocide, I cannot be punished for that. You can hate me. You can
11 attack me publicly. You can say that I am an evil person. But you
12 cannot punish me. You cannot convict me. It cannot be done under the
13 law. It can be done arbitrarily by The Hague Tribunal, by the
14 international institutions backing The Hague Tribunal. You can do
16 You're trying me, the general public is trying you, and we still
17 don't know who will fare better; it remains to be seen.
18 You have not accepted my studies with proofs of the hate speech
19 in Croatia and in Bosnia. These are voluminous studies that I
20 subsequently published in my books. Thus, you have prevented me from
21 arguing my case about that. And I repeat once again, nobody can justify
22 their crimes by saying that others commit crimes as well.
23 When it comes to verbal crimes, there is a public atmosphere
24 where some statements are given and issued. Let's look at the atmosphere
25 and let's see what statements were heard and seen in the Croatian media
1 and at political rallies against the Serbs. Let us see what the Muslim
2 media and what the Muslim political rallies said about the Serbs and
3 against the Serbs. Let's see who was more extreme in that. Let's see
4 what happened first and what happened next.
5 Obviously you prevented all that and also you did not allow my
6 two studies to be translated into English. You had only one study
7 translated and then you were sick from reading my arguments.
8 At one point in time somebody from the OTP tried to link me with
9 Ostoja Sibincic. We have proven here in this courtroom that
10 Ostoja Sibincic was a member of the Serbian Renewal Movement, he was an
11 official, and when a campaign was launched in the media by the
12 pro-Western political parties and the so-called non-governmental
13 organisations that were actually spies, that campaign also involved
14 Ostoja Sibincic. Ostoja Sibincic was arrested sometime in August 1992.
15 At a press conference I condemned his arrest. Why? If Ostoja Sibincic
16 had been arrested immediately after perhaps having committed a crime,
17 things would have been fine. However, he was arrested only after a
18 strong and fierce political campaign in the media, and that was not
20 You cannot take into consideration all the deafening noise that
21 these spy organisations who would call themselves non-governmental
22 organisation and pro-Western political parties as something that could be
23 the grounds for criminally prosecuting someone. I myself publicly
24 denounced the arrest of Alija Izetbegovic in 1983, the arrest of
25 Izetbegovic and a group of his fellow Muslims. Already at that time
1 Alija Izetbegovic had written the Islamic Declaration. Nevertheless, I
2 defended his right to think in a foolish way and to put on paper foolish
3 things. However, when he tried to put that into practice as a political
4 project at the expense of the Serbian national interest, then I
5 confronted him with weapons.
6 You can wage a war against ideas only with better ones, and
7 that's all. Based on the fact that I condemned Sibincic's arrest, which
8 was a product of a political witch-hunt, you established a connection
9 between Sibincic and myself as if we co-operated in some illegal acts.
10 Now let me quote an example from the current Serbian case law
11 which proves that this is not possible. There was a third-rate actor in
12 Serbia called Zarko Lausevic, he was from Montenegro, and a few years ago
13 he happened to be in Podgorica in a cafe, where two or three young men
14 were talking loudly. And he started shouting at them to keep it down and
15 to shut up. These young men resented that. They traded insults. And at
16 one point Zarko Lausevic draws his pistol, he killed two of those two [as
17 interpreted] young Serbs and wounded the third one and he fired a total
18 of 15 bullets. Zarko Lausevic was known to the public as a Montenegrin
19 nationalist and one of the founders of the Liberal League of Montenegro.
20 Now, he's being tried for using excessive force in self-defence.
21 Various authorities, both in Serbia and Montenegro, tried to suppress the
22 fact that he actually killed two innocent men. What kind of self-defence
23 is if you fire 15 bullets on two unarmed people? Even Vera Petkovic, who
24 is here an official psychiatrist, participated in providing false
25 statements to the effect that Zarko Lausevic was in a state of diminished
1 capacity. What was, in fact, the case, Zarko Lausevic was drunk, he was
2 under the influence of alcohol, and that cannot exonerate him.
3 Eventually, Zarko Lausevic was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
4 He was at one point released because there were several re-trials, and he
5 used that opportunity to flee to the United States.
6 Now, a few days ago, although he's still at large and there is a
7 wanted act issued by Interpol, Boris Tadic, the president of the
8 Republic of Serbia, pardoned Mr. Lausevic.
9 Now, Judges, let me ask you this: Is it possible that the
10 president of the republic in your country or a king, can they pardon a
11 fugitive? I suppose that such persons should first be taken into the
12 hands of the law and then you can issue a decree on pardon. Here we have
13 a fugitive being pardoned, and then the interior minister of Serbia,
14 Ivica Dacic, travelled to New York in order to personally hand the
15 Serbian passport to Zarko Lausevic.
16 Now, I can condemn morally and politically both the president of
17 the republic and the interior minister. But based on how they treated
18 Zarko Lausevic, by diminishing his crimes, by pardoning him and giving
19 him a passport, can I conclude that Boris Tadic was his accomplice in the
20 murder of those two young men? No, that's not possible. Can I reach the
21 same conclusion as far as Ivica Dacic is concerned? No, it's not
22 possible. So how can then all the OTP, based on the fact that I defended
23 Ostoja Sibincic and the fact that he was arrested based on political
24 reason, conclude that Ostoja Sibincic and I took part in the same
25 criminal offences? But The Hague Prosecutors can do everything that
1 mortal, ordinary people cannot.
2 Now, concerning Hrtkovci, I published a book which has
3 1200 pages. You know that I was prosecuted for contempt of court because
4 of that book. This book is available on my internet site, and already
5 about 10.000 copies of the books have been downloaded from the site.
6 There was no crime of persecution committed in Hrtkovci. There was no
7 crime of deportation. There was no crime of forcible transfer.
8 My speech was not to the liking of many people. So what? I feel
9 the same when I'm listening to people from the OTP, and by quoting some
10 Croat, Ms. Biersay quoted a Croat who swore and used abusive language
11 about my mother. But what can I do? I have to listen to that. So if
12 you have a camera filmed a taxi-driver known as Combe saying, I
13 [indiscernible] mother, I would have thought this to be very unpleasant.
14 However, when she repeated that in court nobody felt uncomfortable. So I
15 am repeating this again today in order to show how inappropriate that is
16 because that was not any evidence against me, the fact that some 20 years
17 ago a Croat swore and cursed my mother. And what does this prove?
18 This only proves how brazen the OTP is. There is no other
19 reason. This does not constitute any charge against me. This was only
20 intended to offend me, and I think that Mrs. Biersay will be equally
21 offended due to my quoting her words.
22 Now, there were lots of other similar bright moments in your
23 closing argument. For example, you say that the SRS volunteers were
24 notorious for the brutality of their crimes. However, you haven't yet
25 managed to identify a single crime that based on evidence can be
1 attributed to a volunteer from the Serbian Radical Party. You cannot
2 give us any specific names by saying so and so, a volunteer, committed
4 Now, let's look at another contradiction into which OTP has put
5 themselves. They constantly repeat that we had been sending volunteers
6 in an organised manner in groups equalling a company, which means around
7 100 volunteers, and they confirmed that. They say that this is a proof
8 that we are a paramilitary organisation. On the other hand, they are
9 trying to prove that at various locations there were Serbian forces and
10 an odd member of the Seselj's group, including Seseljevci. So how is
11 that possible? We send volunteers equalling a company, and then they
12 disperse on the ground into various units and they can be found
13 everywhere. Where is any sound logic in that? How is that possible?
14 Where is your intelligence?
15 Speaking about the alleged JCE, the OTP claims that our common
16 goal was the unification of all Serbs in Greater Serbia, but that was
17 solely my goal and the goal of the Serbian Radical Party. Nobody else
18 put this -- put forward this as their goal, and -- but we explained the
19 meaning of that objective in our party documents.
20 The OTP says that I pursued relentless and merciless propaganda
21 campaign against Muslims, Croats, and Albanians. Now, why are you
22 mentioning Albanians here? Why do you need that? You are lacking
23 evidence so you would like to add some ingredients to it? And you --
24 even if I had killed a million Albanians, you cannot touch me now. So
25 what do we do now? Are you going to cry over this? Why didn't you
1 indict me in time for Albanians as well?
2 This relentless and perpetual campaign against Croat and Muslims,
3 yes, it was relentless. It was merciless and it targeted everyone who
4 was putting the Serbian national interests at risk, but we have to ask
5 ourselves: Who is to blame for the war? Was it those who broke up
6 Yugoslavia in a violent way or those who wanted to preserve Yugoslavia in
7 a violent way? They cannot be put in the same basket. The break-up of
8 Yugoslavia by forcible means is a criminal offence per se and it cannot
9 be justified in terms of international law, whereas the violent attempt
10 to preserve Yugoslavia is not a criminal offence. It's a constitutional
12 Some say that the complete ethnic composition was changed, that I
13 sowed venom both in Serbs and non-Serbs with my speeches and that I
14 particularly was a champion of Greater Serbia. I explained everything to
15 you yesterday. I said that everything that I said publicly is based on
16 facts, sometimes historical facts, sometimes contemporary facts. You
17 said that there were exaggerations; I say there weren't. My reaction to
18 every event was an appropriate one and very often it contained a warning.
19 Now, I have moved to a number of general questions and I would
20 like us to have a break before I start speaking about Sarajevo, Mostar,
21 and Nevesinje. If it's possible, I'd like to have a break now because we
22 were working for an hour now.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's take a break.
24 It's a quarter to 12.00 right now. We'll take a break until 12.15, so
25 we'll have a 30-minute break and then we'll continue until the end of the
1 session until 1.15. So we shall reconvene at 12.15.
2 --- Recess taken at 11.45 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 12.15 p.m.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
5 Mr. Seselj, you have the floor.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Now we come to the issue of
7 Sarajevo. At the very beginning of the war, we had a large group of SRS
8 volunteers in Sarajevo. They took part in the fighting for Grbavica 2
9 and for Hrasno. This group was led by Branislav --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Can Mr. Seselj please repeat the two names.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I organised transportation for
12 Branislav Gavrilovic --
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, would you be so
14 kind as to repeat the names. The interpreters were not able to hear the
15 names of the people you mentioned.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Branislav Gavrilovic, aka Brne,
17 this name has been mentioned quite often. He's a Chetnik Vojvoda. And
18 the other one is Srdjan Glamocanin, a man who deserved a lot due to his
19 services in the war, but I did not give him the title of Vojvoda because
20 his father was the vice-president of the Serbian Radical Party.
21 Jovan Glamocanin testified here to the effect that he had been coached by
22 Zoran Djindjic to give false testimony against me.
23 The OTP devoted a lot of attention to a telephone conversation
24 that I had at the time. Around 18 volunteers found themselves surrounded
25 in Hrasno. They were much better in the fighting skills compared to
1 other Serb forces, and due to the fact that there was no co-ordination,
2 there was danger of them all being killed. Branislav Gavrilovic, who was
3 wounded, rang me up and you have this intercept. In this conversation I
4 explained to him that I wanted to get in touch with Radovan Karadzic and
5 I failed to do so, but I sent a message to the leadership of
6 Republika Srpska to help the volunteers immediately and to help them to
7 pull out, otherwise we shall withdraw all the volunteers from
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Maybe my threat was an exaggerated one. Maybe they
9 would have helped them even without that, but at any rate the assistance
10 rendered was an efficient one.
11 And this is all you have, the recording of this telephone
12 conversation of mine. Maybe you have an intercept of a conversation that
13 I had with Katarina Ducic who worked at the SRNA agency. We studied
14 together political sciences in Sarajevo and she knew Radovan Karadzic
15 very well. So I used her to convey messages over the phone and for
16 passing on my requests to have the volunteers pulled out from the
18 Now you people from The Hague OTP, why didn't you ask yourself:
19 Why don't you have any other intercepts of mine? You only have this
20 conversation which necessitated an urgent call to be made. Here's the
21 reason why. The reason is because I am a long-standing anti-communist
22 dissident, a veteran who knew very well how to make contacts and who did
23 not rely on telephone calls.
24 There are plenty intercepts of calls by other people, some of
25 them you disclosed to me, including with Branislav Gavrilovic and
1 Maja Gojkovic, then vice-president of the Serbian Radical Party, who talk
2 over the phone and blabber all sorts of things. Of course there's
3 nothing incriminating to me in those conversations, but as far as I'm
4 concerned, you cannot find a single telephone call that you could use
5 even to illustrate events, let alone incriminate me.
6 I'm an experienced anti-communist veteran who learned a long time
7 ago what wire-tapping means and what it could lead to. However, that
8 does not matter for the main problem. We had a lot more volunteers of
9 the Serbian Radical Party in the area of Sarajevo. I, for instance,
10 remember the group commanded by Jovo Ostojic, the group that took part in
11 the fighting around Poljine. You have no idea about that. You focused
12 on three Chetnik Vojvodas, valuable members of the party, with whom we
13 never actually sent any volunteers. Whenever I came to Sarajevo, I
14 visited the unit of Slavko Aleksic made up of volunteers from all sides
15 of the world. Most numerous were Russians, but there were also
16 Ukrainians, Bulgarians, Frenchmen, one German, one Japanese man, and
17 people from some other countries. And I visited him every time.
18 Slavko Aleksic was a very valiant fighter, a good man, the pride
19 of the Serbian Radical Party. Unfortunately, after the war, under the
20 influence of Vojvoda Djujic with whom he communicated directly, he took
21 sides with Biljana Plavsic and that's where our friendship ended. He
22 remained a Vojvoda. Nobody revoked his title, but I stopped my
23 communication with him because I recognised Biljana Plavsic as a traitor
24 very early on when many others didn't, and they later regretted it
25 bitterly. But we did not send volunteers to the unit of Slavko Aleksic.
1 Second, Slavko Aleksic was at the beginning of the war member of
2 the Municipal Board of the Serbian Democratic Party. Then he joined the
3 Serbian Radical Party. He was first mobilised as a policeman and then he
4 established his separate unit. Not a single war crime can be linked with
5 the name of Slavko Aleksic, not one.
6 Another person that is mentioned is Branislav Gavrilovic, Brne.
7 You know how he came to the area of Sarajevo. When the operation of our
8 volunteers was finished in the area of Grbavica and when they returned to
9 Serbia, Branislav Gavrilovic remained in Sarajevo because he is a native
10 of Sarajevo. You have a whole series of his telephone conversations made
11 from Sarajevo. Before the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina he was in love with
12 Maja Gojkovic at the time, so that's a bit of pillow talk you can hear on
13 those tapes. You gave me a lot of them.
14 Branislav Gavrilovic remained in the town when -- where he was
15 born, in Sarajevo. He joined the Ilidza brigade of the VRS and he took
16 part in the fighting for Igman. And he rallied a number of volunteers
17 from that area. Maybe he was joined by a few people from Serbia, but he
18 was not joined by anyone who was sent by the War Staff of the
19 Serbian Radical Party. At one point he was very angry, in May 1992, when
20 Nikola Poplasen was appointed temporary president of the Serbian Radical
21 Party of Republika Srpska. He even left the Serbian Radical Party, then
22 formed the Serbian Freedom Movement, and he had 400 members. He gave me
23 a list later.
24 I am not denouncing or distancing myself or repudiating any of my
25 members or any Chetnik Vojvoda, but I am pointing out the facts in order
1 to expose your lies, to disabuse you of your misconceptions.
2 Branislav Gavrilovic did not commit any war crimes. You can see
3 from the statement of Perica Koblar how much care he took of his men. He
4 made them wear proper uniforms and helmets and protection gear to keep
5 them from being killed by the Muslims. But you have all seen how
6 Perica Koblar fared here in the courtroom.
7 The third person is Vasilije Vidovic, also known as Vaske. He
8 was one of the founders of the Serbian Chetnik Movement in Belgrade, one
9 of the first hundred signatories when we tried to register the
10 Serbian Chetnik Movement as a political party. His nickname then was
11 Jaro. We didn't call him Vaske. And he left with one of the volunteer
12 groups for Benkovac in 1991. When I toured the Republic of Serbian
13 Krajina in November 1991, I also visited that unit in Benkovac. And the
14 members of that unit were sitting in that cafe where I talked to Serb
15 soldiers, trying to persuade them into wearing helmets. You have showed
16 that video-clip.
17 After that I have no more contact with Vasilije Vidovic. When
18 the Vance Plan was accepted, he returned to Ilijas. And when the war
19 broke out in Bosnia-Herzegovina, he formed one unit of volunteers,
20 platoon-strong, I believe, or half a company. Around 50 men. I have
21 given you, Judges, his war diaries. I actually pushed those war diaries
22 on you although you didn't want to admit them into evidence. That was a
23 gift to you from the Chetnik Vojvoda Vasilije Vidovic with his
25 I didn't hear anything about Vaske Vidovic. Nor did I have any
1 contact with him from 1994 onwards.
2 When I bestowed the title of Vojvoda on many on Mount Romanija in
3 1993, I did not include him. Before 1994 I never went to Vogosca,
4 Ilijas, Rajlovac, Ilidza, or Hadzici. In 1994 when I came to inspect the
5 front line in Sarajevo, Vasilije Vidovic came to Grbavica and asked me to
6 accompany him to Ilijas the next day. And I first visited his unit in
7 1994, and only after that I proclaimed him a Serbian Chetnik Vojvoda.
8 When I saw the unit, when I saw that all those men had joined the
9 Serbian Radical Party, that they were all valiant fighters, I did that.
10 They had spent the entire war at Cekrcici and that is a village rather
11 forward outside Ilijas in the direction of Visoko. It had certain
12 importance, and thanks to the unit of Vasilije Vidovic, the Muslims were
13 never able to take that position and they were never able to advance from
14 Visoko towards Ilijas.
15 We never sent volunteers from Belgrade to Vaske Vidovic's unit,
16 nor did he ever ask for it. We sent volunteers to many other places
17 en masse, the Niksic plateau, for instance, near Olovo, for instance,
18 because there were sensitive Serb positions there and the area was not
19 very densely populated. There were not enough Serb fighters so our
20 volunteers went there, many of them got even killed there, and people
21 from other areas of Republika Srpska also went there.
22 I next went to Ilijas in 1995. By that time, Vasilije Vidovic
23 was already a Chetnik Vojvoda. I again inspected all the Serb positions
24 in Ilijas, Rajlovac, Ilidza, and in Hadzici. On my way back to Pale at
25 Poljine, I was in Vasilije Vidovic's car. He was driving and I was
1 sitting next to him. That's the plastic -- that's the jeep with a
2 plastic skull on the bonnet. Tomislav Nikolic was also in the car, the
3 current Western agent in whose recruitment the French intelligence
4 service was involved as well. There was also Nikola Poplasen and a
5 volunteer from Bijeljina who was our security man.
6 At Poljine, the Muslims fired from a Maljutka launcher at us.
7 The Muslims had probably picked their best sharpshooter, but his hand
8 must have shaken. He didn't hit our car. The projectile hit the road
9 under the forward right wheel. A pillar of smoke and fire rose next to
10 me. The jeep was damaged. Vasilije Vidovic stopped for a moment. I
11 told him, "Drive on." And we quickly left the area that was within the
12 Muslim range. That was our good luck or maybe bad luck for you, bad luck
13 for all Serb enemies. It was a close call but we did not lose our lives.
14 Why am I saying all this to you now? To show you that I remember
15 all the details perfectly well and that you were very sloppy in
16 presenting your facts. Not a single war crime can be attributed to
17 Vasilije Vidovic.
18 You spoke about certain crimes in Ljesevo and you linked them
19 with the fact that his unit was there fighting for Ljesevo, but you did
20 not have a witness that he was involved in any crimes. You had a witness
21 here speaking about the execution of Muslims and he never mentioned not a
22 word about Vasilije Vidovic or his fighters. You had another witness,
23 Safet Sejdic, who fought on the Serb side. He was a Roma. He was issued
24 with the most precious machine-gun, M-84, the so-called sower of death.
25 He earned himself a very good reputation in the fighting, but after the
1 Dayton Accords he remained in Ilijas, and he was exposed to such
2 mistreatment by the Muslim authorities and some Muslims that amounted to
3 torture. And he appeared here as a witness.
4 Do you remember some of the more blatant lies? He said that on
5 the Niksic plateau on a very definite day he had seen Radovan Karadzic,
6 Ratko Mladic, and myself. I made fun of it, saying that Radovan Karadzic
7 was in Belgrade at the time. And Ratko Mladic called me as well, saying
8 that he could not have been there either because it would have been too
9 much to place such three personalities in the same place at the same
10 time. It would have been too great a loss for the Serbian people. But
11 you bought it all although I was only joking. You could have easily
12 checked. When I went to the Niksic plateau, I didn't go from the
13 direction of Ilijas. I went from Mount Romanija. I inspected the whole
14 front line towards Olovo. I even went to the house of the Serbian
15 Vladika, Serbian cleric Longin. His mother was still alive at the time.
16 None of those lies you told has any basis in reality.
17 As far as Nikola Poplasen is concerned, he is your collaborator.
18 He gave you his statement in secret. He never informed anyone from the
19 Serbian Radical Party that he had spoken to OTP investigators and
20 provided them with a statement. That statement speaks very badly of me,
21 but he never provided any grounds for incrimination. We later expelled
22 him from the party. We expelled him even before we found out he was your
23 collaborator because he had entered into unprincipled agreements with the
24 local authorities in Banja Luka so that his best friend could become the
25 manager of a factory there. The Serbian Radical Party wouldn't have him
1 anymore. Why didn't you bring him here to testify? He did testify in
2 Krajisnik. Why are you ascribing to me things that he may have done?
3 He was not a volunteer of the Serbian Radical Party. He was
4 proclaimed a Serbian Chetnik Vojvoda, but not before 1995. You know why?
5 Because by that time he was a university professor in Banja Luka, and at
6 one point when the Muslims from Bihac, toward the end of 1994 or early
7 1995, broke through Serb positions and occupied a lot of territory, he
8 then went to intervene as part of a hastily gathered student detachment
9 and was very prominent as a good fighter. That was the reason why we
10 gave him the title of Vojvoda, and also I had personal motives. He was
11 president of the party for Republika Srpska.
12 And Tomislav Nikolic's title of Vojvoda was also politically
13 motivated. He was not a very good fighting man, although he did spend
14 two months on the front line in Slavonia. Still, it was not his merit in
15 war that earned him the title. We had, for instance, Vojvoda Jevdzevic
16 in the Second World War. He was never a commander. He was a politician
17 but he was still proclaimed Vojvoda, and I thought I might do the same
18 with Nikolic. I'm talking about Dobroslav Jevdzevic.
19 You're attributing to me the fact that the newspaper
20 "Western Serbia" was published. Why didn't you ask Nikola Poplasen about
21 that newspaper because it was under his control and not mine. Only
22 11 issues were published and then the whole project was dropped. Why do
23 you not compare the "Western Serbia" with the "Greater Serbia" and you
24 will see how big the differences are. Did you find the caricature that
25 may have caused a religious intolerance in that newspaper? Why didn't
1 you find anything like that in the "Greater Serbia"? Did you find my
2 name among the publishers of the "Western Serbia"? No. And you still
3 say that that was a newspaper under my control. How impertinent on your
5 In Sarajevo no crimes that were committed can be attributed to
6 SRS volunteers and you didn't manage to prove anything to that effect.
7 Everything that you did has been crushed to the tiniest fragments. Some
8 crimes did happen sporadically. Why didn't you investigate them? SRS
9 volunteers could not take prisoners of war to the front lines to dig
10 trenches there. Why did you not establish who was it who did that? Who
11 had the authority to do that? Who was in a position to do that? Or, for
12 example, Planina Kuca or something else, the name escapes me now. This
13 is also what you have attributed to us. All those things had nothing
14 whatsoever to do with us.
15 And now let's look at Mostar and Nevesinje.
16 In your closing argument you say that General Perisic destroyed
17 Mostar and that SRS volunteers or a unit of volunteers under the command
18 of Oliver Denis Baret was under the command of Momcilo Perisic. First of
19 all, Mostar was not destroyed at that time. Whatever Momcilo Perisic
20 fired at with his artillery, there is ample evidence that he first issued
21 a warning to the Croatian side over the radio that he would attack this
22 or the other civilian target and he warned the population in advance to
23 move from that area. And that's a fact. While Perisic was there, he
24 firmly held one part of Mostar, the left bank of the Neretva River. When
25 the JNA withdrew, the front line fell. The group of volunteers headed by
1 Oliver, nobody can say anything bad about them, not even your false
2 witnesses could. They managed to locate some alleged individual
3 Seseljevci men, one who kept -- spent his days sharpening his bayonet and
4 similar stupid things.
5 On the 25th of May, Baret was with me in Podgorica and he was
6 wounded there when a hand-grenade was thrown at me. He was in my close
7 vicinity and suffered many wounds on his legs and the lower part of his
8 abdomen. I have brought you a book, "The Podgorica Assassination," and
9 in that book you could read about the entire trial, the statements of all
10 of those who were wounded, who were eye-witnesses to the event, a
11 judgement against Sabotic, who was a Muslim and who was convicted to a
12 15-year imprisonment sentence and he spent that time in jail, and you had
13 all that. Nothing can be said about that volunteer unit.
14 What happened next? In late May the JNA withdrew from Mostar.
15 Some units of the newly established Republika Srpska Army stayed behind.
16 And then there was a Muslim uprising in the depth of the territory at the
17 foot of Vel ez. Those Muslims had received a lot of weapons from the JNA
18 for their own personal security. The JNA trusted them. And when the JNA
19 withdrew, all of a sudden they attacked the Serbs from behind. They
20 killed a Serbian officer, and they -- at that time all the front lines
21 along the Neretva were crushed, Klepci, Tasovcici, Pribilovci, and other
22 Serbian villages fell after having suffered huge and atrocious crimes
23 committed by Ustasha during the Second World War. They survived the last
24 war as well, but no Serbs remained living there. Some were killed and
25 the others had to flee.
1 In Herzegovina at the time we had several hundred volunteers
2 under the command of Branislav Vakic in an area known as Bobanj. This is
3 a wide area in the municipality of Trebinje bordering on the municipality
4 of Dubrovnik. There was a large number of Serbian villages there all
5 inhabited by Orthodox population. There were also two Catholic villages
6 and another village with a majority Orthodox population with three
7 Catholic tribes in Kijev Do. However, all those villages were scarcely
8 populated. After the 70s of last year [as interpreted] when the
9 communists abolished the railroad from Capljina and Dubrovnik, people no
10 longer saw a good perspective for life there so they moved out. Some
11 went to Trebinje, some Dubrovnik, and some even further afield. This was
12 therefore a very large area but sparsely populated, so nobody had to be
13 defended there. That's why Vucurevic asked for volunteers from Serbia
14 and that's why several hundred volunteers of the SRS arrived there.
15 Having heard that the front lines were falling along the
16 Neretva River, Branislav Vakic and the 19 volunteers went to Nevesinje.
17 They reported to Novica Gusic, who was a colonel and the commander of
18 the Nevesinje brigade, and offered his help. Gusic said that he could
19 not wait for them to return and bring all the volunteers. He told them,
20 "You are now here and if you wish to help us, you have to start fighting
21 now." Vakic did engage and four of the 20 killed -- the crown witness
22 for the OTP, Goran Stoparic, told us all that in the courtroom. He was
23 there and he was wounded there. I didn't know many of those details. I
24 heard them for the first time from him here in the courtroom.
25 And now what happened next is that a volunteer from Vakic's group
1 who was either a platoon commander or a company commander had an argument
2 with Vakic and he abandoned the unit. He went to Boracko Lake where he
3 got killed. And on the basis of that, you drew a conclusion that we also
4 had volunteers on Boracko Lake, but that's not true. There was just one
5 of them. So you lied. We had only those 20 volunteers under Vakic's
6 command in the territory of Nevesinje. Four of them were killed, two or
7 three were wounded.
8 You are attributing to me the crimes that happened near Zalik,
9 actually near Vrapcici, Sutina and Zalik near Vrapcici. We never had any
10 volunteers there. The OTP itself has provided me with the documents
11 issued by the cantonal court in Mostar, an indictment, a final decision.
12 We had all those in the courtroom, and you can tell from those that there
13 was a trial against 20 or 30 people and that there was nobody among them
14 from Serbia. They were all locals. And one of the false witnesses
15 stated that there must have been Seseljevci among them and then the OTP
16 takes that for granted and says, yes, there were Seseljevci there.
17 Identify just one -- identify that notorious person from Vranje of whom
18 you say and you allege that he had blown up the Catholic church in
19 Nevesinje. Please find him. How come that none of us knows anything
20 about that person from Vranje? How come Vakic doesn't know anything
21 about him?
22 I'm not trying to distance myself from anybody. I have presented
23 all the facts. At the first elections after the fall of the communist
24 dictatorship in Nevesinje, the Serbian Renewal Movement came into power.
25 When I arrived in Nevesinje in 1991, I did not visit the municipality
1 because I knew that the members of the Serbian Renewal Movement were in
2 power. I walked through Nevesinje. I inspected the front lines because
3 in 1991 there was already a front line there because the Croats had
4 rebelled in Western Herzegovina before that. There were war activities
5 going on there as early as 1991.
6 You are attributing to me Arsen Grahovac. With all due respect
7 towards him, he got killed in fighting and I don't know whether he is
8 guilty of anything or not. I don't want to go into that. I submitted a
9 document to you showing that Arsen Grahovac was an MP on behalf of the
10 Serbian Renewal Movement, and that's where all discussion ends for me.
11 You have found a television clip showing that during the street
12 barricades in 1991, somebody stated that he doesn't recognise anybody but
13 Milan Martic and me as their commander. There is -- this would be
14 ridiculous if it wasn't sad. That person could have stated anything.
15 Much ado about nothing. And then you draw that conclusion that that
16 person was a commander there. Are you normal at all? No, you're not.
17 Arsen Grahovac headed the Karadjordje detachment. I can't say
18 anything bad about that detachment either. However, that detachment was
19 part of the light brigade under the command of Boro Antelj. And the
20 Serbian Renewal Movement sent the so-called Serbian Guard to join that
21 brigade from Serbia. You heard a person from Hrtkovci, Aleksa Ejic, who
22 had confirmed that he had gone there as a member of the Serbian Guards.
23 Crimes occurred there. We heard two young Muslim women whose children
24 were killed, whose husbands were killed, and who were detained at
25 Boracko Lake, and they were sexually abused there over a long period of
1 time, for a year or perhaps two. I don't know how long it lasted.
2 They appeared here in the courtroom and they assisted my defence,
3 they assisted me with shedding light on some things. They too thought
4 that they had seen the Red Berets and Seseljevci at Boracko Lake. As it
5 turned out, they were members of that unit belonging to the Cavalry Light
6 Brigade and that's all.
7 You also saw a document that was signed by Krsto Savic, the head
8 of police in Nevesinje. He also tried to attribute some things to
9 Seseljevci, and that Krsto Savic is notorious for the fact that he had
10 killed Radovan Radovic, a Chetnik Vojvoda, from the back, and that
11 happened in January 1998. And then he fled to Banja Luka and for a long
12 time he was not accessible to law enforcement agencies, and then he was
13 arrested and tried in Sarajevo and convicted by the court of Bosnia and
15 You admitted that document of his into evidence at face value.
16 Why didn't you invite him as a witness? He would have been a very good
17 OTP witness because he was the head of the police at Nevesinje. He could
18 have shed a lot of light on how things transpired. You didn't do that
19 because you don't want the truth to be known. You want to muddy the
20 waters because you can catch most fish in muddy waters. But you failed
21 miserably and that's why this trial is also failing miserably and this is
22 why this trial has undermined The Hague Tribunal more than anything else.
23 You have actually called witnesses that have helped the Defence. You had
24 very high hopes about a witness and then he confirmed that Oliver Baret's
25 unit was a very disciplined unit who did not commit any crimes. He also
1 confirmed that Radovan Radovic's unit was also disciplined and had not
2 committed any crimes.
3 How did Radovan Radovic become a Chetnik Vojvoda? Sometime in
4 1993 or perhaps 1994 I visited Herzegovina. Radovan Radovic, who had
5 already had a unit bigger than a company, it was almost a battalion by
6 that time, and that unit's name was Radovic's volunteers or Radovic's
7 guards, he came and he joined the Serbian Radical Party. Everybody in
8 Herzegovina knew that he was a great fighter, a very capable commander.
9 I proclaimed him a Serbian Chetnik Vojvoda. I toured the positions of
10 his unit at the foot of Veles together with him. It was recorded that I
11 opened fire from a heavy artillery tool from there. One of your false
12 witnesses said that I opened fire on Mostar and then it turned out that
13 the distance between that place and Mostar is over 30 kilometres and that
14 there is a huge hill between Mostar and that place.
15 Unfortunately, I could not reach Mostar from that heavy artillery
16 tool, but maybe I did reach some of the Muslim positions from there. I
17 sincerely hope I did.
18 So that would be almost the whole truth about the events in
19 Herzegovina. We had a few more volunteer groups there in Kalinovik, for
20 example. We had a somewhat larger group of volunteers. Baret was in
21 command there as well, and I believe that in 1994 we suffered great
22 losses when ten of our volunteers were killed as a result of poor
23 synchronisation of activities among various Serbian units. The SRS
24 volunteers were ahead of everybody else. They started the assault and
25 Muslims -- the Muslims opened fire on them and we had a total of ten
1 casualties, ten people died.
2 You didn't even notice that we had volunteers in Kalinovik. We
3 had them in many other places as well, but nobody can say that a crime of
4 any kind can be attributed to SRS volunteers. There may have been fear
5 among the Croats and Muslims. They were afraid of the Serbian Chetniks,
6 but this fear is based on the prejudices that had been nurtured for
7 decades by the communists who portrayed the Chetniks as major criminals
8 from the Second World War. The OTP says the Chetniks are extremists and
9 that I supported extremists and an extremist military or quasi military
10 organisation that relies on extremist traditions.
11 The Second World War Chetniks were not extremists during the
12 Second World War. Those extremists were communists and these communist
13 extremists managed to grab the power, having killed around
14 200.000 people. I cannot possibly defend all the Chetniks from the
15 Second World War.
16 I know that Vojvoda Pavle Djurisic's unit committed a crime in
17 Foca, but I do know as well that another major crime preceded this crime
18 committed by Muslim Ustashas against Serbian civilians. That's the only
19 one crime that I know about and nobody was able to tell me about any
20 other crime committed against the Croats. And I'm talking about
21 Dugo Polje where a unit of Mane Rokvic, numbering about 120 people,
22 killed about 100 Catholic Croats. And these are the only two crimes,
23 serious crimes, committed by Chetniks against the Croats or Muslims
24 during World War II. I never heard of any other crime and nobody can
25 find it, even those who hate Chetniks the most.
1 On the other hand, the communist crimes are numerous. They even
2 are head to head with the Ustashas. However, the Ustashas killed about
3 1 million people, whereas according to Vladimir Dedijer, a renowned
4 Yugoslav historian, 200.000. And this is the result of mass shootings
5 that the communists effected in Serbia and they shot everyone who was not
6 perceived as favourable by the communist regime.
7 Now, you have serious problems with facts because you are trying
8 to combat facts, you are trying to supersede facts with purposeful lies,
9 lies that are accusing me; however, all of your lies have burst like
10 bubbles. You say that with my statements I was pounding people like with
11 a howitzer and that people were being killed. You are really not normal.
12 I have a press conference in Belgrade and at the same time somebody
13 committed some crime around Zvornik or elsewhere and you establish a
14 nexus between these two events. This is what is contained in your
15 closing argument. This really defies any logic; it makes no sense.
16 You speak about various groups of Seseljevci, about individual
17 Seseljevci, who allegedly did something somewhere, but you're unable to
18 identify them, and I put it to you that after 26th of April there were no
19 SRS volunteers in the area of Zvornik. You found individual Seseljevci
20 in various locations involved in real or fabricated crimes.
21 And I'm saying this because I can never trust you. If you say
22 that a crime was committed, one cannot really take your word for it. It
23 might have happened, it might not have happened, because you are capable
24 of inventing things because in your mind, morality and law do not go
25 together. In a civilised world, ethics and law go hand in hand. Dating
1 back to Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, everybody has been insisting
2 on the connection between morality and law. However, in your case, this
3 causes divergences in order -- instead of approximating them, they are
4 getting further and further apart.
5 In your view, only what is quasi legal is legal. Your role
6 should be to defend international justice wherein in practice you
7 demonstrate the opposite. This is not what international justice should
8 look like. Your practice demonstrates that you are a tool in the hands
9 of dark forces with one single perfidious task and that is to harm the
10 Serbian people and in my particular case to have me removed from the
11 political stage in any way whatsoever, either by convicting me or by
12 murdering me, you don't care. And your masters don't care either.
13 Maybe you don't even know what your masters are planning. You
14 are a simple instrument of globalism or mondialism of the New World Order
15 and this New World Order has demonstrated its totalitarian nature in a
16 great number of cases, its totalitarian nature. The methodology that you
17 employ is a totalitarian one. It is known to be used in Hitler's time
18 and in Stalin's time; you have only perfected it. Hitler and Stalin were
19 more honest than the Americans and other globalists. They acted more
20 openly. You are operating in a covert way, but your goals are the same.
21 Now, I am very glad to have an opportunity to reveal your true
22 nature, your objectives, the background of your deeds, and your masters
23 and inspirators.
24 Since I feel rather tired, I think it's time now to stop for
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I believe you must have used
2 six hours and 30 minutes, around that time -- no, six hours and
3 20 minutes. You will have three hours and 40 minutes left next week.
4 We shall reconvene, as you know, on Tuesday, at 2.15, and on
5 Wednesday we'll be sitting as of 9.00 in the morning. Until then, I wish
6 you all a good weekend and we'll see you again on Tuesday.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.10 p.m.,
8 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 20th day of
9 March, 2012, at 2.15 p.m.