Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 2251

1 Wednesday, 9 January 2008

2 [Open session]

3 --- Upon commencing at 2.24 p.m.

4 [The accused entered court]

5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, would you please call

6 the case.

7 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you. Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good

8 afternoon to everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number

9 IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj.

10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar. This

11 Wednesday, 9th January, 2008, I greet everybody in this room, Mrs. Dahl

12 and Mr. Seselj.

13 First of all, I am going to read an oral decision which answers

14 the motion made by Mr. Seselj yesterday on the question of the places

15 which have been withdrawn from the indictment. I will read very slowly

16 because the decision is rather long. I shall, therefore, read it slowly

17 so that the interpreters may interpret in Mr. Seselj's language and also

18 for Mrs. Dahl.

19 This is the title of the decision: Oral decision concerning the

20 motion of the accused made on the 8th of January, 2008, to prohibit the

21 calling of witnesses connected with the places which have been withdrawn

22 from the indictment according to decision concerning article 73 bis.

23 Seize the oral motion presented by the accused during the hearing of the

24 8th of January, 2008, in which the accused requests that it be ordered to

25 the Prosecution not to call Prosecution witnesses for the municipalities

Page 2252

1 which have been withdrawn in the third amended indictment.

2 Considering that the question raised by the accused in his motion

3 has been dealt with several times but that it appears necessary to

4 reiterate the position of the Chamber, I also say that it's a decision

5 considering motion 311 in order to clarify by Chamber number 3 the

6 memorial of the 27th, 2007, from the Prosecution and this had also been

7 discussed during the Status Conference of the 27th, 2007, CR 1.500 to

8 1.501.

9 Considering that Article 94 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence

10 decides that the elements of evidence which enable in the sense of the

11 Statute may be received in the interests of justice. Considering that the

12 decision concerning Article 73 bis of the rules made by Trial Chamber I on

13 the 8th of November, 2006, that is decision 73 bis ordered in its

14 paragraph 28 that, I quote again, (b): "The Prosecution will not present

15 evidence concerning crimes that could have been committed in Western

16 Slavonia, at Brcko, Bijeljina, Bosanski Samac; (c) Prosecution may present

17 evidence which does not concern the incriminating facts for crime places

18 which are situated in Western Slavonia at Brcko, Bijeljina, Bosanski

19 Samac."

20 Considering that decision 73 bis designates by the expression

21 which does not concern the incriminated facts, the following evidence, I

22 quote what was in the decision, the positions grouped and witness

23 statements which tend to establish the goals and the methods used by the

24 joint criminal enterprise mentioned in the indictment, the degree of

25 coordination of cooperation between individuals and institutions who would

Page 2253

1 have taken part in this enterprise, the means of communication, the

2 training and the transfer of voluntaries [as interpreted] and the role

3 played by the accused, the knowledge which the accused had of the

4 behaviour of these voluntaries [as interpreted] and the main lines of the

5 persecution campaign in Croatia and in the count number 1 of the

6 indictment.

7 Considering that in a decision concerning motion number 311 to

8 clarify by Chamber III the trial brief -- decision made by the Judge on

9 the 20th of September, 2007, it had been considered that, I quote again:

10 "To the five elements of considering in this decision, first

11 paragraph: Considering that in this case the indictment, that is to say

12 the indictment of the 30th of March, 2007, respects the decision inasmuch

13 as it foregoes to establish the commission of crimes in the municipalities

14 which have been cancelled while maintaining reference to these places in

15 paragraph 10(e) which deals of the participation of the accused in the

16 joint criminal enterprise.

17 Second paragraph of this decision: Considering that according

18 that to Rule 65 ter (E)(i) of the rules it appears that the preliminary

19 brief is a complementary document which means to present it for each of

20 the counts. The evidence with the Prosecution intends to present

21 considering the commission of the alleged crime and the type of

22 responsibility incurred by the accused, but in this brief shall include

23 any admissions by the parties and the statement of matters which are not

24 in dispute as well as statement contested matters of fact and law in the

25 indictment.

Page 2254

1 And that also the pre-trial brief contains footnotes which refer

2 in a precise and specific way to documents which were not mentioned in the

3 indictment.

4 Third paragraph: Considering nevertheless that the evidence

5 concerning crimes which have not been mentioned in the indictment remain

6 admissible in order to corroborate other evidence which would enable the

7 Prosecution to establish the existence of deliberate line of conduct as

8 provided for in Rules 93(A) of the Rules, provided the accused will have

9 been clearly informed of its intentions.

10 Now I refer to the case law of our Tribunal, and I quote, the

11 Prosecutor against Stanislav Galic. A decision concerning the motion of

12 the Defence in order to indicate that one should consider annexes 1 and 2

13 of the indictment dated 10 October 2001 as being the modified indictment.

14 This decision was made on the 19th of October, 2001. Fourth paragraph of

15 the decision:

16 "Considering that it appears from paragraph 63 of the pre-trial

17 brief that the Prosecution by applying the decision has foregone to

18 establish that crimes were committed in those municipalities which have

19 been taken out of the indictment and will only present evidence concerning

20 those municipalities only in order to establish the existence and the

21 extent of the joint criminal enterprise and the participation of the

22 accused by showing that there was a deliberate line of conduct -- evidence

23 of consistent pattern of conduct."

24 And finally last paragraph of the decision: "Considering that in

25 this case the pre-trial brief informs the accused in a detailed manner of

Page 2255

1 the evidence which will be presented as signalling a consistent pattern of

2 conduct, therefore respecting what has been prescribed in Rule 65 ter

3 (E)(i) of the Rules."

4 Now I'm coming back to the paragraphs of the decision rendered by

5 the Chamber today, and so please listen carefully.

6 Considering, therefore, that the Chamber reiterates herein that

7 the decision of the 8th [as interpreted] of November, 2006, is clear and

8 unequivocal in this, that it enables the Prosecution to present evidence

9 concerning Western Slavonia at Brcko, Bijeljina, Bosanski Samac as

10 concerns these, I quote again:

11 "Regrouped witness statements and depositions which tend to

12 establish the goal and the methods used by the joint criminal enterprise

13 which are in the indictment, the degree of coordination and cooperation

14 between individuals and the institutions who would have taken part in this

15 enterprise, the means of communication, the training and the transfer of

16 voluntaries [as interpreted], and the role of the accused, the knowledge

17 which the accused had of the behaviour of these voluntaries [as

18 interpreted], and the main elements of the persecution campaign in Croatia

19 which are described in count 1 of the indictment."

20 Considering that if the decision of the 20th of September

21 concerning the pre-trial brief referred indeed to an abbreviated version

22 of the indictment modified on the 30th of March, 2007, the same reasons,

23 the same rationale, applies similarly to the third modified -- to the

24 third amended indictment, the latter containing same reference to Brcko,

25 Bijeljina, Bosanski Samac in paragraph 10(e) as well as in paragraph 6 in

Page 2256

1 the framework of the participation of the accused in the joint criminal

2 enterprise. For these reasons, for the foregoing reasons, pursuant to

3 Rule 54 of the Rules rejects the motions.

4 That's it. This means, Mr. Seselj, that the Chamber considers

5 that the decision of 8th November 2007 enables and allows the Prosecution

6 to call witnesses who will come and give evidence to talk about the degree

7 of coordination, of cooperation, between the individuals and the

8 institutions, the means of communications, the training, and the transfer

9 of voluntaries [as interpreted], and the role you may eventually have

10 played. This conforms with Rule 93 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence

11 which allows the Prosecution in order to establish a deliberate pattern of

12 conduct to call witnesses.

13 Personally I will make the following comment: Yourself, within

14 the framework of your defence, if you wish to establish a pattern of

15 conduct which would have been followed by you and that in this specific

16 moment you wish to call witnesses who would have lived in those places

17 which are not mentioned in the indictment, you would have the right to

18 call them so that they may come and say that in those places which are not

19 mentioned in the indictment you made certain speeches, you gave certain

20 speeches, which had nothing to do with those speeches which are reproached

21 to you in the indictment. And if you call such witnesses who would come

22 to bear witness about places that are not mentioned in the indictment may

23 enable us to give the characters of a pattern of conduct; which means in

24 other terms that the Prosecutor may call witnesses which belong to the

25 three localities, Bosanski Samac, Bijeljina, and who will come -- and

Page 2257

1 Brcko, and will come if the Prosecutor so decides to talk about the joint

2 criminal enterprise and about the methods, the means of communication, the

3 training and transfer and so on.

4 Therefore, the Chamber confirms once again what was decided

5 previously. So when you will have had the time to have the transcript in

6 your own language, you may then peruse this decision. I have read slowly

7 while controlling the translation in my headphones to see that the

8 interpreter could follow what I was saying, but it would be better for

9 yourself to look on the transcript what exactly this decision implies.

10 Just one correct which is indicated to me by the court officer.

11 In page 5, line 6, one should read 6th November 2006 and not 6th November

12 2007. There may have been a mistake here. 6 November 2006, I'm told.

13 Good. So this was the decision, the oral decision, which was to

14 be given this day.

15 Now, concerning the oral request, the oral application for my

16 colleague to withdraw, to be disqualified and to withdraw. Following the

17 procedure of yesterday, I reported to the President of the Tribunal. My

18 colleague also made his own statement which was given also and the

19 President of the Tribunal also received the transcript of the hearing and

20 an additional document which the Prosecution gave, filed, which is a

21 written motion to bolster its oral motion of yesterday.

22 Now, at 14 hours 47 minutes 40 seconds I presently do not know

23 what the decision of the President or the panel of Judges may have taken

24 or will take. I believe that they will very quickly decide, and therefore

25 the hearing of the witness which was forecast will not be possible today.

Page 2258

1 I hope that it may start tomorrow after we have the decision we are

2 awaiting. There are only two possibilities, two options. If the motion

3 is rejected by the panel or by the President of the Tribunal, then the

4 hearing of the witness will commence. If the motion is upheld, then the

5 President will designate another Judge, will appoint another Judge on this

6 Chamber, and therefore we will not be in a position to hear the witness

7 tomorrow. This is all the information I can give now to you in the

8 greatest possible transparency.

9 Mr. Seselj, if you wish to intervene, you may have the floor; if

10 not, we can wait for the decision tomorrow.

11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Judge, sir. I don't want to be

12 interrupted by Ms. Dahl, as I have been given the floor and she doesn't

13 know what I'm going to say, so she can have no reason to object yet. I

14 have heard your decision, but you have not given a statement of reasons

15 for rejecting my key argument which, to be sure, I did not mention

16 yesterday but I did mention it before. If the first indictment and then

17 the second abbreviated extended indictment -- if the second indictment was

18 abbreviated and if the places where the crime base is mentioned have --

19 some of them have been deleted, then how is it possible that the same

20 number of witnesses remains, as in the case of the second extended

21 indictment? I don't understand that, what has been thrown out? Because

22 the Prosecution intends to call crime base witnesses and witnesses

23 testifying to the pattern of conduct, as you can see from the list of

24 witnesses. If the witness list remains intact, then I have to prepare my

25 defence concerning the crime base also. You are telling me that the crime

Page 2259

1 base will not be dealt with only the pattern of conduct concerning the JCE

2 and everything you listed. I don't want to repeat it. And yet I'm being

3 told that crime base witnesses will appear here, so I have to prepare for

4 them. Preparation to deal with JCE and everything it covers is one thing,

5 whereas preparation to discuss the crime base is something quite

6 different, it's a different kind of preparation, and I really don't know

7 how to resolve this problem. Either you will order the Prosecution to

8 throw out of its witness list all the crime base witnesses in Western

9 Slavonia, Brcko, Bijeljina, and Bosanski Samac, or I will have to prepare

10 to examine them on the crime base. I think that you have only temporarily

11 thrown out these charges concerning the crime base from the indictment in

12 order to weaken my defence, in order to lull me into a false sense of

13 security, thinking that I will not have to deal with that, and then just

14 before the end of the trial when the witnesses have already been heard and

15 I have neglected that part of my defence these charges will be brought

16 back and put in. What else can I think when the witness list has not been

17 reduced by a single witness. You can do whatever you like. Nothing can

18 surprise me in this Tribunal, but for the sake of the public I was

19 duty-bound to tell you this.

20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, do not say that,

21 please. I will try to answer. Maybe Mrs. Dahl will also be able to

22 answer. If I understood correctly the problem is -- was decided by the

23 Chamber so a decision has already been rendered. The Rules were -- was

24 modified under Article 73 bis. Why? Because this Tribunal realized that

25 there were indictments with multiple municipalities and multiple places,

Page 2260

1 and all this took a lot of time. So we realized that it would be better

2 to shorten or restrict the indictments in the interests of justice for all

3 of us basically in order to gain some time. However, it was also decided,

4 and I was not really consulted, to cut the indictment by removing the

5 crimes committed in those three municipalities. So they were removed,

6 those three municipalities. But it had been decided that since in the

7 indictment the joint criminal enterprise existed, the witnesses who would

8 have come to testify on the crime would have also been able to testify on

9 the consistent pattern of conduct by evoking the question of the JCE from

10 the standpoint of the Prosecution the creation of voluntary groups, the

11 recruitment, et cetera. So this is how I understood the decision that my

12 colleagues had rendered. In other words, one witness who would come to

13 testify and talk about Brcko would not come back to talk about crimes that

14 took place in another municipality, in other words, houses that were

15 burned or other crimes, he would not come to testify therefore on that.

16 However, that witness may come to testify to say that in Brcko there are

17 people who committed those crimes, that those were voluntaries, X, Y, Z

18 people, I don't know who, and it is in that context that you have to

19 prepare, you have to prepare for that, knowing full well that those people

20 will not come to talk about the crimes; but they will come to talk about

21 the fact that those who committed those crimes belonged to a formation

22 such as a group or another group, that they had one frame of mind or

23 another frame of mind. This is how I understood the problem. I also

24 understood what you told us repeatedly, that you were surprised, and also

25 the first time you mentioned it to me I was surprised just like you. And

Page 2261

1 I thought that is strange. Why call witnesses to talk about

2 municipalities that were removed from the indictment, and then I

3 understood what the problem was. I understood that it was because of Rule

4 73 -- 93(A) of the rules, which enables to call witnesses who will come

5 and talk about a consistent pattern of conduct. So I understand very well

6 that you may have some problems to understand what is going on exactly,

7 but I'm reassuring you to tell you these people will not come to talk

8 about the crimes committed but to talk about something else and it is a

9 consistent pattern of conduct. This is what they would come to testify

10 on. And this is all, of course, under Rule 93 of the Rules of Procedure

11 and Evidence. I may be mistaken, but this is how I understood this rule,

12 that people would come from these three municipalities, Bijeljina, Brcko,

13 and Bosanski Samac, and those witnesses would come to talk about this

14 notion, the JCE notion, which took place through the formation of various

15 voluntary groups and so on and so forth as it was explained in the

16 decision.

17 Mr. Seselj, I don't know if I convinced you with my arguments, but

18 I was just trying to explain to you what I understood.

19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, maybe my intellectual

20 capacities are too weak for me to understand that, but it seems to appear

21 from your words that crimes will be implied there. So evidence will not

22 be led at all that certain crimes have happened. Instead, it will be

23 assumed in advance that they had happened without any evidence being led,

24 and we will proceed to consider other issues regarding those crimes. If

25 the crimes have not been shown, then what kind of pattern conduct is

Page 2262

1 this --

2 THE INTERPRETER: The speaker needs to slow down, please.

3 THE ACCUSED: [No interpretation]

4 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Seselj, the interpretation is unable to follow

5 you because you're speaking too fast, so I will kindly ask you to repeat

6 what you have just said slower, if you will, please. Thank you.

7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I will try, but I won't be able to

8 say the same thing exactly twice. First of all, I claim that crimes have

9 not happened at all. That is the initial thesis of my defence, not in

10 Western Slavonia, not in Samac, not in Brcko, not in Bijeljina. You don't

11 have a single piece of evidence that they really happened in Western

12 Slavonia, that they happened in Bijeljina or in other locations.

13 But you imply in advance that they really happened. And then on

14 the basis of this assuming in advance that crimes happened, you consider

15 my alleged role in the alleged joint criminal enterprise then my

16 responsibility for those crimes. First it has to be established and

17 proven that the crimes happened: Who was murdered, who was robbed, who

18 was raped? And then we have to see who the direct perpetrator is, and

19 then only investigate my link with that person. However by this decision

20 you imply in advance that the crimes happened, and the only thing that

21 remains is to investigate my possible role in those crimes. That cannot

22 be done. That cannot be done even in those cases where certain judgements

23 have been issued, that's not the case with Western Slavonia or with

24 Bijeljina that we only have one judgement regarding Brcko against

25 Goran Jelisic, who has nothing to do with the Serbian Radical Party, who

Page 2263

1 killed people as an individual. And in Samac we have a judgement saying

2 that some people had been killed. None of that has been proved. So first

3 evidence has to be led on a crime base, and the crimes have to be proven.

4 Then on the basis of proven facts about real crimes, my responsibility has

5 to be investigated. You would like to investigate my responsibility for

6 assumed crimes saying that perhaps those crimes are a notorious fact.

7 That is my failure to understand your procedure. Of course I have to

8 allow for the possibility that I'm intellectually incapable of

9 understanding it.

10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please rest assured that you

11 have the necessary intellectual capacities. I understand you very well

12 and I understand your concern perfectly well. I must say that I agree

13 with you when it comes to analysing what you said, but those witnesses who

14 would come, they would come not to say house number A was burnt or so on

15 and so forth. This should not even be raised. Those witnesses should

16 come to say, and this is only of course hypothetically because I don't

17 even know what they would say, but let's suppose that these people come

18 and that somebody says the following: Something happened in this village.

19 Those events that took place were committed by individuals that were

20 dressed in such and such a way and so on and so forth. To my knowledge

21 those individuals belonged to this or that group, but that's all. This is

22 all they would come to say. Nothing else would be raised. No other

23 questions would be put to those witnesses.

24 Now second, you say that there were no crimes, no crimes had been

25 committed. Maybe, I don't know, I have no idea, but if a crime took

Page 2264

1 place, if crimes took place, or if the crimes never took place in any

2 event in the judgement there is not going to be a guilty -- you will not

3 be found guilty on those crimes in other words where there was a

4 Prosecution murder, et cetera, et cetera, and you also cannot be acquitted

5 for murders and persecutions because you would not be indicted for that.

6 I already told you during a Pre-Trial Conference that those witnesses who

7 would be called to testify would only be called to testify on other

8 elements other than the crimes. If you wish, I can give you an example

9 and I was thinking about it last night; and I am going to share with you

10 my reflection. I was wondering as to how is it possible to explain to

11 Mr. Seselj the reasoning of this decision which is quite complex, I must

12 say. So I was telling myself, Let's suppose, and of course this is highly

13 hypothetical, that in a series of international hotels some thefts, purse

14 thefts happened, and that the purse and the thief who was stealing these

15 handbags is a person who has a certain physical aspect and there was an

16 indictment that was brought against a person for those crimes committed or

17 those thefts, rather, that theft committed in those hotels, for instance.

18 So then the Prosecution calls a witness from a city that does not figure

19 in the indictment because in that particular city nobody was prosecuted

20 for a handbag theft. And then the Prosecution calls that witness only to

21 establish a consistent pattern of conduct so that the witness could come

22 to say, In my city somebody breaks into hotels and steals handbags.

23 This is the example I am giving you only. It doesn't mean that

24 the person responsible, the thief who stole these handbags cannot be found

25 guilty for handbags stolen in another city. This is an example that I am

Page 2265

1 giving you. I can also find other examples to give you, if you wish.

2 This is a complex notion.

3 Witnesses will come only in order to establish a constant pattern

4 of conduct. I was not there in 1994 when this rule was introduced in the

5 Rules. I do not know why this rule was introduced in the Rules. I do not

6 know why this rule wasn't incorporated in the Rules. There must be a

7 reason that I am not made aware of, but ever since this rule exists, it

8 was adopted on the 11th of February, 1994, we have to abide by this rule,

9 we have to take it seriously. It never really jumped to my face until

10 last time when you raised that issue. Mrs. Dahl may perhaps be able to

11 tell us who these witnesses will be or why they will be called and maybe

12 we will understand if she wishes to say that to us.

13 Mrs. Dahl, would you like to shed some light on this matter,

14 please?

15 MS. DAHL: With respect, no, Your Honour. I consider the

16 proceedings to have been adjourned. I would note for the record that this

17 is the second consecutive day without Judge Lattanzi sitting. I

18 understand Mr. Seselj's application to be one in the nature of a motion to

19 reconsider the oral decision that the Chamber announced. Our reasons for

20 calling witnesses are fully laid out in the pre-trial brief and I don't

21 wish to try to explicate a complex matter on the fly, off the top of my

22 head to use a colloquial expression.

23 I want to indicate that we accept the decision to adjourn. I

24 understand it's a sensitive issue and there's a danger that Judge Harhoff

25 may feel the need to justify his prior actions.

Page 2266

1 There was an inadvertent, I believe, contact between Judge Harhoff

2 and a member of the Prosecution team in this matter in which Judge Harhoff

3 called one of my trial lawyers on the team. He reiterated the views he

4 explicated in court yesterday. We do not suggest that the Judge is trying

5 to influence the Prosecution. The telephone conversation underscores the

6 appropriateness of adjourning the case until the matter is finally

7 resolved.

8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Seselj.

9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I believe, Judge, that these are

10 purely administrative, procedural issues now and the trial has stopped,

11 but these procedural issues have to be considered and have to be

12 clarified. I heard this explanation you gave about handbags. Rule 93

13 really deals with evidence concerning consistent pattern of conduct, but

14 there is no precision there. But I as a lawyer, as a Ph.D., have to give

15 you an example. A consistent pattern of conduct would exist -- for

16 instance, let me give you an example. I have been convicted several

17 times, five, six, seven, eight times, and now you get those judgements

18 against me and that's proof to you about the pattern of my conduct, but

19 you cannot sentence me on that basis. That would be a pattern of conduct,

20 not assumed crimes. You have judgements in your archives, that is, the

21 archives of Serbia, you have even in Serbian Sarajevo some of those

22 judgements when I was convicted for my ideology, it was never a crime as

23 such. It was always the verbal offence. You can get all those judgements

24 and you can treat them as evidence of my pattern of conduct. That would

25 be evidence under Rule 93. And it says this evidence may be acceptable in

Page 2267

1 the interest of justice. You may judge that it's in the interest of

2 justice. You may say this is the worst possible man, he has been judged

3 so many times, convicted, and I agree if you treat me as such. I have no

4 objection to that.

5 In keeping with Rule 66, the Prosecution will disclose evidence

6 regarding pattern of conduct. This conduct has to be established somehow.

7 The Prosecution cannot establish that those acts happened and then

8 disclose them to me and say, You see what kind of man you are? That is

9 nonsense. We cannot take the Prosecutor at her word or his word. The

10 Prosecutor has to prove every last piece of his case through evidence,

11 everything that the Prosecutor says is subject to examination. Something

12 that exists is a fact such as, for instance, that I was convicted ten

13 times that is not subject to reconsideration. Judgements are in

14 existence, that cannot be changed. That is evidence of the pattern of

15 conduct. You mentioned handbags. For instance, a person stole handbags

16 in several hotels in several cities, and now you get evidence from the

17 birthplace of that person. People tell you, Yes, he stole in primary

18 school, in secondary school, he took money away from other children, et

19 cetera, then you have material evidence, he was expelled from school, he

20 was in a home for underaged delinquents, et cetera, et cetera, that is

21 evidence of a pattern of conduct. We have no such evidence here until we

22 hear evidence of the crime base. There is no evidence until that time of

23 consistent pattern of conduct, but that's your decision. If you look at

24 the list of witnesses, unfortunately I don't have it in front of me

25 because I cannot haul all those things with me. I take only the things

Page 2268

1 that --

2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, the Chamber has not

3 decided on anything at all. The Chamber has not decided that any crime

4 happened. We have not decided on anything. I do not agree with you here

5 when you say that we have already rendered a decision. We have not

6 rendered any decisions. We did not say the decision has been taken

7 because crimes took place in Bijeljina, Bosanski Samac, and Brcko. It

8 would be a lie to tell you that a decision was taken on the basis of the

9 fact that some crimes took place. Not at all. First of all, you are

10 presumed innocent. You have the right to say and you will prove it of

11 course surely that no crimes took place in these three municipalities.

12 This is what I wanted to tell you. But there's also another solution,

13 Mr. Seselj, and this is a very important legal matter. You may request

14 for an appeal certification, I will certify it personally since this is a

15 very important matter that you are raising, you may ask for an appeal

16 certification and then we will render a decision on that and the Appeals

17 Chamber, of course, will say what they wish to say.

18 Yes, Mr. Seselj.

19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I avail myself of my

20 right to submit immediately request certification, and the time should run

21 from the moment this certification is given me. I have to say I still

22 don't have a full list of Prosecution witnesses because I cannot haul all

23 those things with me all the time, but if you look at that list and the

24 statement submitted with the list you will see that there are at least 20

25 Prosecution witnesses who would testify -- who would produce strictly

Page 2269

1 crime base evidence. Those are witnesses, victims who testify to what

2 happened to them and, by the way, they say we heard from people that

3 Seselj's men were there and accuse me of having something to do with it.

4 There is no evidence that I had anything to do with it. And now I am in a

5 position where I have to prepare myself for defence against such people as

6 well.

7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you're talking about

8 20 witnesses, the 20 witnesses who would come to talk about these three

9 municipalities, Brcko, Bijeljina, and Bosanski Samac, or are you just

10 raising this number as a general number of witnesses.

11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All occasions, Western Slavonia,

12 that is Vocin, I count that as one location, another one is Brcko, the

13 third is Bijeljina, and the fourth is Samac. Those are the four locations

14 thrown out of the indictment. There are at least 20 witnesses, victims,

15 who speak about what had happened to them without any direct link to me.

16 You can see that from their statements. I cannot -- they cannot even

17 identify those responsible. They say that somewhere they heard of

18 Seselj's men, they heard of my arrival there, and that's all. You can

19 look it up. Almost all the witnesses that the Prosecution intends to call

20 for Western Slavonia, Brcko, Bijeljina, and Samac are alleged victims who

21 testify to what had happened to them. And sometimes they mention me in

22 some context that has no direct link to what had actually happened to

23 them. You did not answer one of my questions. To you as a lawyer how is

24 it possible to reduce the volume of the indictment by deleting four

25 locations of crime base without reducing the list of witnesses by one

Page 2270

1 single name? That is perhaps the essential issue. All the witnesses

2 remain. What was achieved by throwing out those four locations? How is

3 the indictment abbreviated then? As far as I am concerned, it is not. I

4 am not interested in what kind of sentence you will give me. What is

5 important for me is for the public to know that I successfully defended

6 myself from these charges. That's what matters to me. What has been

7 abbreviated here? It's the same number of witnesses, same number of hours

8 everything is the same. Nothing has been reduced. Why don't you return

9 those four locations into the indictment and things would be clear, we

10 would know where we stand.

11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you for this

12 comment. I must tell you that I have not examined the testimony of those

13 20 witnesses to know exactly what they would talk about. If it is true

14 they would come to talk about crimes that took place where those

15 localities were thrown out, then that is a problem. We will have to deal

16 with it very closely, the Trial Chamber will do so, and if we believe that

17 it is not necessary to call witnesses who would come to testify on crimes

18 that took place but only to talk about a consistent pattern of conduct, we

19 will then decide and call witnesses to talk about other particular things,

20 but I will have to examine of course the testimony of those witnesses,

21 thing which the Trial Chamber had not been able to do so far.

22 Yes.

23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Here is one concrete example.

24 Mrs. Dahl mentioned yesterday a Prosecution witness Isak Gasi. I had very

25 little time but I consulted my associates. Isak Gasi does not mention me

Page 2271

1 anywhere, at least he does not mention me in the statement that he gave to

2 the Danish Helsinki Committee human rights. He testifies to what happened

3 to him and other people allegedly in Brcko. That's a typical crime base

4 witness. There's a specific example for you. Look at that. I'm not

5 absolutely sure because I didn't have those statements in front of me, but

6 that's what my associates told me lasting night.

7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mrs. Dahl.

8 MS. DAHL: Your Honour, I want to interject very briefly.

9 Mr. Seselj actually has it backwards, it is the Danish Helsinki Committee

10 statement that mentions radicals, not the other way around. If we are in

11 recess, then we need to stop, please. I'm not sure what the purpose of

12 the exchange of views is at this point. There is not, as far as I know, a

13 procedure to have a mediation with the accused to convince him to accept

14 the Chamber's findings, and I am concerned that I know what to expect,

15 what motions are pending, what the Prosecution should reply to, and the

16 announcement at the beginning after the oral ruling was that we would be

17 in recess. I would like to therefore go into recess. I do not want the

18 Rule 15 issue to taint the entire Bench, and had we not received your

19 ruling that we were going to go into recess I would have asked for that to

20 happen and explicate the reasons why I thought that was a good idea.

21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This is my intention. It is

22 1520, therefore I will suspend the hearing and I wish for a decision to be

23 given quickly on this question of the oral motion of the Prosecution.

24 Yes, Mr. Seselj, but on another subject please.

25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judge, I would like something

Page 2272

1 briefly about this subject because you know in civil law in the

2 relationship between the accused and the Prosecution, the accused always

3 has the last word, that's his right. So let me use that right, let me

4 exercise that right. I know this is a combination of civil law and common

5 law. I cannot leave things unsaid --

6 MS. DAHL: [Previous translation continues] ...

7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- In response to what was just

8 said --

9 MS. DAHL: Either we are in proceedings or not. And if we are not

10 in proceedings we need to recess. I do not consider this an appropriate

11 manner in which to proceed while the Rule 15 application is pending and in

12 the absence of Judge Lattanzi.

13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, I was indeed going to say

14 that tomorrow we will meet at a quarter past 2.00 and maybe it will be

15 possible to hear a witness but it may be not, I don't know, and I will let

16 you know tomorrow at a quarter past 2.00. Thank you very much. The

17 hearing is adjourned.

18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.21 p.m.,

19 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 10th day of

20 January, 2008, at 2.15 p.m.