Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 463

1 Thursday, 3 November 2005

2 [Further Appearance]

3 --- Upon commencing at 8.07 a.m.

4 [The accused entered court]

5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Good morning, Madam Registrar. Could you call

6 the case, please.

7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honour. This is case number

8 IT-03-67-PT, the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.

10 Mr. Seselj, good morning to you. Can you follow the proceedings

11 in a language that you can understand?

12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I do not have any problems with the

13 interpretation for the time being.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.

15 Appearances for the Prosecution.

16 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Good morning, Your Honour. For the

17 Prosecution, my name is Ms. Hildegard Uertz-Retzlaff, and I appear here

18 with case manager Iain Reid.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, thank you. I notice the presence of the

20 stand-by counsel. Could you announce your presence, please, confirm your

21 presence.

22 MR. VAN DER SPOEL: Good morning. Tjarda van der Spoel, stand-by

23 counsel.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.

25 This is not a Status Conference. This is the tail-end of the

Page 464

1 further Initial Appearance that we had some time back, and it's being

2 summoned within the 30 days I mentioned in the previous session.

3 The background is that in --

4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm not receiving any interpretation

5 now.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: I'll have that rectified.

7 I will say something else, which supposedly hopefully is being

8 were interpreted now. Are you receiving interpretation?

9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: So I will start again. And thank you for pointing

11 that out, Mr. Seselj. At any time there is no interpretation, please do

12 attract my attention immediately, because sometimes this happens.

13 So this is not a Status Conference. It is the final end of the

14 further Initial Appearance that we had a month ago, and it is -- this new

15 session is being summoned within the 30-day limit allowed by the Rules for

16 the entering of pleas.

17 As a background, I will just mention that in the Trial Chamber's

18 decision of the 2nd of June, we accepted amendments proposed by the

19 Prosecution and found that the new amended indictment included new

20 charges. Rule 50 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of this Tribunal

21 stipulate that if the amended indictment includes new charges and the

22 accused has already appeared before a Trial Chamber in accordance with

23 Rule 62, then a further appearance must be held as soon as practicable to

24 enable the accused to enter a plea on the new charges.

25 Therefore, I summoned a further Initial Appearance, a further

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1 appearance, on the 30th of September, and during that initial -- further

2 Initial Appearance, or further appearance, upon the request of the

3 accused, we read out the indictment as amended in full, and then the

4 accused asked for not to enter a plea on that occasion, and he was

5 informed that there will be, particularly this particular session, in

6 which he will be asked if he wishes to enter a plea, and this is precisely

7 why we are here this morning, and for no other business.

8 Mr. Seselj, I would like to remind you what I have told you in the

9 past, that although I will be putting questions to you, particularly to

10 ask you whether you wish to plead, and if you wish to plead, what kind of

11 plea you wish to enter, you also have a right to remain silent. In that

12 case, if you do not enter a plea, then I will enter a plea of not guilty

13 on your behalf. That's the position.

14 Now, Mr. Seselj, please stand up. You are going to enter a plea.

15 You have to be standing, Mr. Seselj, and if you're not going to stand, I'm

16 going to enter a plea of not guilty now and send you back to your cell.

17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Agius, I am not in a state to

18 plea, because I have been -- communication with my legal advisors has been

19 made impossible for me. The meeting of the head of the Defence team,

20 Tomislav Nikolic has been prohibited and his deputy visited me, but we

21 talked in the presence of prison guards who speak -- or rather, prison

22 employees who speak Serbian well and can understand us. And I'm not ready

23 to do so, because pursuant to Rule 20, the hearing and pleas should be

24 given before a whole Trial Chamber and not the Pre-Trial Judge. And that

25 is why I am not able to plead today.

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1 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. In that case, I'm going to enter a plea

2 of not guilty for each and every count that you have, as per the amended

3 indictment, which I am effectively doing now. I'm entering a plea of not

4 guilty on behalf of the accused with respect to Counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,

5 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14, and the further appearance session ends

6 here.

7 Thank you.

8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 8.14 p.m.