1 Monday, 31 March 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.07 a.m.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
6 MR. NICE: Two things about witnesses. The first thing, please,
7 in private session, if that's possible.
8 [Private session]
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
24 MR. NICE: In light of the Chamber's ruling on the financial
25 expert Morten Torkildsen and in light of the necessary timetable problems
1 we face from time to time, we would ask that the accused and the amici be
2 ready to deal with Morten Torkildsen at short notice at any time after
3 this week. He, like Graham Blewitt, can then be a witness who can fill
4 time should for any reason time suddenly become available.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes. And so that the accused could follow this,
6 Torkildsen's report, Mr. Torkildsen's first report, was not admitted.
7 That was the Kosovo one. But the Bosnia and Croatian one, the second
8 report, was admitted, save for the book.
9 Yes. Well, let us move on as quickly as we can, except for this:
10 Mr. Nice, at some stage this week we should address the various concerns
11 raised by the Prosecution in relation to witnesses and time.
12 MR. NICE: Certainly.
13 JUDGE MAY: It would be right to do that at a time during the week
14 when we can fit in a period for procedural matters, also to deal with some
15 of the Croatia 92 bis witnesses also. It may be if you would have in mind
16 the matters you want us to address so we can be in a position to deal with
18 MR. NICE: Certainly, Your Honour. And of course it would be a
19 helpful time now because the Chamber's decisions about 92 bis give us a
20 pattern of probable rulings for the future that enable us the better to
21 understand the problems we face. Thank you very much.
22 May we go into closed session, then, for this witness, and for
23 those viewing in the public gallery, my learned friend Mr. Groome's
24 expectation is that the witness --
25 JUDGE MAY: Before you do, the accused may want to raise
1 something. Yes.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone. We didn't hear
3 the beginning of that. The interpreters apologise.
4 JUDGE MAY: They didn't catch what you said, Mr. Milosevic.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I said that I would like to make
6 certain requests before we go on to the witness, and the first of them is
7 this: I ask that you enable me to be heard with respect to a media
8 campaign unprecedented thus far which is being waged in Belgrade. It
9 started just before the weekend under conditions of complete lawlessness
10 and terror exercised by the authorities there, and it is being waged --
11 JUDGE MAY: The only matters we have to deal with are those in
12 connection with this trial, and at the moment I can see nothing in
13 relation to this trial in what you're saying.
14 Now, you -- if you are concerned -- if it was your concern that it
15 may in some way prejudice the Trial Chamber, you need set your mind at
16 rest on that score. There is no consideration given and not much read of
17 what is said in the press. So we try this case on the facts.
18 Now, if there is some relation in what you're saying to the trial,
19 then you can raise it. Otherwise, as you know, it's not a matter that we
20 can hear.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It does have to do with this trial,
22 Mr. May, and that is why I consider that you're duty-bound to hear me,
23 because I also consider, and I shall insist upon this, that the link be
24 established between the activities of that so-called Prosecution over
25 there and the media campaign and accusations being hurled through that
1 media campaign and being waged in these past few days. They're being
2 waged against my wife and myself in a way to place this via the media and
3 accuse me, try me, and judge me. It is not a legal proceedings, it is a
4 media proceedings. And the best evidence of this is that they haven't
5 come to question me at all, although they said this loud and clear, that
6 they would do so. And your porte-parole has said, as far as I was able to
7 see -- he made a statement on television, actually, and said that it was
8 being made possible for them to come here, to appear here, and to
9 interrogate me.
10 They know full well that I had the power and authority and not my
11 wife, but they did not come and contact me, but they have launched their
12 efforts against my wife which is best proof that they are not actually
13 interested in any kind of investigation, but they are waging --
14 JUDGE MAY: The matters we can deal with are those, as I've told
15 you, concerned with this trial, and matters concerning your wife are not
16 matters with which this trial is concerned.
17 I'm going to consult a moment as to whether we need to hear you
18 any further on this topic. What is the connection that you allege between
19 the Prosecution? If there is a word in this of coherence, we will listen
20 to it, but at the moment it's simply a wild allegation of some sort.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I consider, and I'm going
22 to prove this, that the revenge against my wife and against my children is
23 being launched because of me and the struggle that I am waging here, and I
24 claim that it was orchestrated with this illegal Prosecution over there.
25 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. Just a moment.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic, we're not going to hear any more
3 of this. It's to do with a speech that you're making about Belgrade. It
4 has nothing to do with this trial.
5 We will go into -- we will go into closed session to hear the
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please could you bear in mind --
8 JUDGE MAY: No. If there is a further point, in due course we
9 will hear it, but none today. We'll go into closed session.
10 THE ACCUSED: [No interpretation]
11 [Closed session]
13 Pages 18153-18249 – redacted – closed session
4 [Open session]
5 MR. NICE: I trust the Chamber has the --
6 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
7 MR. NICE: I trust the Chamber has the summary evidence of the
8 next witness, Mr. Gusalic.
9 JUDGE MAY: I'm not sure that we have. It's coming up.
10 MR. NICE: The table on the front of the witness, as His Honour
11 Judge Kwon made reference to in respect of the last witness, a footnote
12 should perhaps be, not disregarded but viewed with caution both as to
13 whether exhibits are produced for identification or to be tendered and as
14 to whether it would be necessary for other evidence to always to
15 authenticate documents. The policy of the Chamber, of course, is to take
16 documents as accepted unless otherwise challenged.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May.
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In view of the fact that we're in
20 open session again and the new witness hasn't been brought in to the
21 courtroom yet, may I have the floor with respect to my request, the
22 request which I wish to make?
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] First of all, let me reiterate that
25 I ask you to enable me to be heard and to be questioned publicly with
1 respect to the media campaign that is being waged publicly too, because
2 revenge against my wife and child come -- date back to the worst years of
3 the last century. And I should also like to have investigated the
4 involvement of this illegal Prosecution into the fabrication of untruths
5 that are being launched.
6 Apart from that --
7 JUDGE MAY: Now, Mr. Milosevic, I've stopped you before. Events
8 in Belgrade are not a matter for this Tribunal. If it has any direct
9 impingement on this trial, we'll of course deal with it. But it --
10 nothing you've said shows that it does.
11 Now, I thought you wanted to say something about your health.
12 That we will listen to.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'll tell you about my health, but
14 it does have direct bearing. It is the desire to make it impossible for
15 my wife to lend me support and assistance. And in addition to that, I
16 wish to inform you that several members of the national committee have
17 been taken into custody, the committee for the defence of my liberties,
18 although they have no grounds for doing so. Therefore, it is an
19 orchestrated endeavour to exert pressure upon me and my family because
20 this false indictment is undergoing a fiasco here every day. And I
21 consider it to be your duty to establish the degree to which they are
23 JUDGE MAY: That is matter of comment by you. There's absolutely
24 no evidence to support what you're saying. There may well be reasons why
25 people have been arrested. But at the moment, we're not going to act on
1 that sort of allegation.
2 Now, do you want to say something about your health?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] As regards my health; I have
4 received these papers, the documents you discussed in my absence last
5 Tuesday, and my first objection is the following, that you should be
6 discussing me in my absence. That's my first objection.
7 And secondly, in this piece of paper it says, and I'm going to
8 quote, "noting the reported refusal of the accused [In English] to take
9 the prescribed increased medication recommended by cardiologist Dr.
11 [Interpretation] In your discussions here, you have created the
12 impression that I refused to take my medication and that thereby I
13 intentionally made my health worse, which is a complete lie. I have
14 discussed this with the head of the detention centre and the sole employed
15 medical employee of the prison. The fact is that I never refused to take
16 my medications. Every medication prescribed to me I did take.
17 Now, the fact that I indicated, I pointed out the highly negative
18 aftereffects that the medication was having, the medication I was taking,
19 and asked that the medication be replaced by a better medication, was a
20 normal conversation between physician and patient. And I think it is the
21 right of the doctor and the patient's right to indicate this.
22 I have received information, references, that the medication, the
23 particular drug which was given to me to reduce my blood pressure caused,
24 among other side-effects, two very serious side-effects, the symptoms of
25 which I have been feeling for some time on myself. One of them is
1 drowsiness and the other is insomnia.
2 You will admit, gentlemen, that drowsiness means that I will have
3 to invest additional efforts, additional involvement, and it will be
4 additionally fatiguing to me to undertake the job I'm doing here. And
5 that insomnia, on other hand, makes it impossible for me to have the rest
6 I need, the minimum amount of rest I need. So I pointed this out, and I
7 have received the references that I table here. They are references by
8 world professional institutions that indicate the effects of the
10 So you discussed this subject here, and you discussed it as if I
11 was refusing to take my medications. The very day that you had this
12 discussion and assumed the positions you did that were quite wrong, Dr.
13 Dijkman, bearing all this in mind, the side-effects, changed my therapy.
14 And the day after my therapy was changed, I had a whole night's sleep,
15 which shows that he was right, that it was right for him to give me other
16 medication, and the fact that your discussions here to the effect that I
17 refused to take my medications was completely unfounded, and it was
18 ill-intentioned and interpreted by Mr. Nice in an ill-intentioned way.
19 I have here a letter from my own physician. It is signed, and it
20 says that I suffer from dizziness, drowsiness, and insomnia. And he also
21 told me that we can send this to Houston and that they will confirm that
22 it is all correct. But you need no better confirmation than the fact that
23 as of last Tuesday, that is the very day that you were discussing my
24 health here, my therapy was changed and my blood pressure has been brought
25 down to the normal level two days later and I have been sleeping normally.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 I have slept normally immediately after that.
2 JUDGE MAY: Good, Mr. Milosevic. Keep taking the medication. If
3 you're not present at any stage, it may be necessary for the Court to
4 consider your position on the basis of the reports which it has received.
5 It has nothing to do with Mr. Nice. He made no interpretation and cannot
6 be criticised for it.
7 Now, keep taking the medication and we'll be able to get on. If
8 you don't turn up, it may be necessary for the Court, in exceptional
9 circumstances, to discuss the progress of the trial without you, you not
10 being here to contribute. But we don't go on without you at the moment.
11 Now, let us get on with the trial.
12 Now, what? Yes. Yes, you made --
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It is my comment and objection --
14 Mr. May, my objection was such that it referred to you too because you
15 were the one that drew the conclusion --
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes, you're quite right.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- on the basis of --
18 JUDGE MAY: Quite right --
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- Mr. Nice's ill-intentioned
21 JUDGE MAY: Quite right. On the basis of the reports which we
22 received. Now, we act on those reports and those are what we received.
23 Now, we're not going to take this any further. You're now recovered, and
24 as we say, you should keep taking the medication.
25 Yes, Mr. Nice.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May --
2 JUDGE MAY: No, no, Mr. Milosevic. We've heard your views.
3 You've made your objection and you've been told what the answer is.
4 THE ACCUSED: [No interpretation]
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
6 MR. NICE: The next witness is Mr. Alija Gusalic. While he's
7 coming in, I remind the Court that I never respond to the various
8 allegations that are made by the accused. I'm not going to change the
9 policy now. If at any time the Chamber thinks that these allegations may
10 be simply for external consumption, it's always possible to redact the
11 transcript. I'm not going to enter into any kind of a debate with the
12 accused over that sort of allegation.
13 I should say, in relation to Alija Gusalic, that Exhibit number 2
14 is an exhibit, a video that I will not be producing at all and will not be
15 relying on. To some degree I've served it, or I've left it on the list
16 because, depending on what challenges are made, it could or part of it
17 could become material in re-examination and I can remember an earlier
18 occasion when I think Mr. Saxon was examining a witness where something
19 was available for re-examination and the Chamber was concerned that it
20 hadn't been, in the vernacular, flagged up in advance. So there's just
21 the possibility that it may turn up in that way, but to save time, I'm not
22 going to use it otherwise.
23 MR. KAY: Just one matter from the amici. I was going to raise
24 this issue. I think we're talking about tab 2. Is that right?
25 MR. NICE: Yes. It probably is tab 2.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
2 MR. NICE: It's the video and its transcript. My guess is that's
3 true. The interview with Blagojevic.
4 MR. KAY: I think it's tab 2 in the folders we've been given, Your
5 Honours. I was going to raise a matter at an appropriate moment
6 concerning it. It seems to be in two parts. There seems to be an
7 interview with Seselj included, which confused me even more about it, but
8 I think it's been withdraw. We can probably take it out.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
10 [The witness entered court]
11 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness take the declaration.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
13 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
14 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
15 WITNESS: ALIJA GUSALIC
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 Examined by Mr. Nice:
18 Q. Is your full name Alija Gusalic, were you born in Zvornik, moving
19 to Bijeljina as a child, first marrying a Serbian woman by whom you had
20 two children?
21 A. Yes.
22 MR. NICE: Your Honours will of course find the relevant towns
23 shown on page 29 of the atlas, if that's helpful.
24 Q. When the conflict began, Mr. Gusalic, or the time of the conflict
25 began, did Muslims by and large live in the centre of Bijeljina with the
1 Serbs living in the suburbs and surrounding villages?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Generally, had relations between Muslims and Serbs been good or
5 A. Generally good at that time.
6 Q. And at that time, were key positions, such as the mayor and
7 commander of the police, held by Serbs or by Muslims or by a combination?
8 A. Predominantly by Serbs.
9 Q. A few months - two or three - before the conflict in Bijeljina,
10 were letters sent out by the Territorial Defence for reservists?
11 A. Yes, that's right, mostly Serbs.
12 Q. Were any Muslims called up as reservists?
13 A. No.
14 Q. You had served ten months in the JNA, and I think neither you nor
15 any of your brothers were called up. Would that be correct?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. Although two of your brothers were later to serve at the front
18 line with Serb forces?
19 A. They were forced to.
20 Q. Mirko Blagojevic, head of the Serbian Radical Party in Bijeljina,
21 let's deal with him. Did the man Seselj visit Bijeljina before the
22 conflict started?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did Mirko Blagojevic become the leader of the local Serb Radical
1 A. Yes, in Semberija.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please be asked to approach
3 the microphone. Thank you.
4 MR. NICE:
5 Q. If you could move a little closer to the microphone, please.
6 Was the man Blagojevic what was known as a duke?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And to your knowledge, did Serb Radical Party members,
9 particularly members who were bearded, come from Serbia to see Blagojevic?
10 A. That's right.
11 Q. And did he take over or set up some kind of a base in a cafe that
12 was to be known as the Cafe Srbija?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Arkan's men and Seselj's men, did they appear in the area and
15 based at Amajlije, which is on the map immediately south-east of
16 Bijeljina, about 4 kilometres away?
17 A. Yes, that's right.
18 Q. Was that a training base or was there a training base there that
19 they used?
20 A. Yes, like a camp where they underwent training for Bijeljina.
21 Q. Roughly how many Arkan's men and roughly how many Seselj's men
23 A. I don't know. I wouldn't be able to give you an exact figure, but
24 there were more than a hundred Arkan's men and probably as many Seselj's
1 Q. Were these two groups distinguishable by their appearance, please?
2 A. Yes, Arkan's men were well dressed, whereas Seselj's men wore
3 beards and cockades.
4 Q. Did tensions grow and were those growing tensions reflected in the
5 restricted use of the Cafe Srbija?
6 A. Of course it was hard. People who went there continued going
7 there, only Serbs. The Muslims couldn't go there. They held their
8 meetings there for the attack on Bijeljina.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Could the other microphone be switch on as well,
11 MR. NICE:
12 Q. In the months prior to the conflict in Bijeljina, had there been
13 distribution of arms to Serb men?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. By whom were the Serb Radical Party Serbian men armed?
16 A. Mirko Blagojevic.
17 Q. Did Seselj take any part in this or not?
18 A. Of course he did. That's where they held their meetings. Seselj
19 was the boss, and Seselj instructed Mirko Blagojevic to distribute the
20 weapons, and he organised him.
21 Q. Were Serb members of the SDS also armed; and if so, by whom or
22 from where?
23 A. Of course they were armed. In the Bijeljina garrison where the
24 regular Yugoslav People's Army was. They armed them.
25 Q. The Territorial Defence weapons being used to arm those men, yes?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did Muslims have some weapons, including hunting rifles?
3 A. Mostly hunting rifles, in fact. And if someone could afford to
4 buy a weapon, again they would buy them from the Serbs.
5 JUDGE MAY: We will go on until ten to.
6 MR. NICE:
7 Q. The man Mauzer, was he somebody you knew from before the conflict
8 or not?
9 A. Not personally.
10 Q. Did he have his own unit?
11 A. [No interpretation]
12 Q. Comprised of what sort of men and known as what?
13 A. Mostly young Serbs were there. They were very well-armed.
14 Q. What was the name of the group?
15 A. Mauzer's men, I think.
16 Q. Very well. You can't remember any other name by which they went,
17 any other animal title? If it comes back to you, let us know.
18 Of what group or brigade had Mauzer originally been a member?
19 A. Maybe later on. I can't remember now.
20 Q. Very well. The Cafe Istanbul, was that opened about a month
21 before the war started, it being owned by a man named Goga?
22 A. That was his nickname. I don't know his real name, but otherwise,
24 Q. Was it initially visited by both Serbs and Muslims?
25 A. [No interpretation]
1 Q. Was it about 50 metres apart from Cafe Srbija and did it serve as
2 a sort of meeting place for members of the SDA?
3 A. No one met there. Both Serbs and Muslims and Croats went to that
4 cafe. All the people went there. Maybe the distance was 50 or 60 metres.
5 I don't know exactly. But they were very close to one another.
6 Q. Was there an incident on the 29th of March at the Cafe Istanbul?
7 Who did what, and how many people were injured as a result?
8 A. Seven people were injured. A grenade was thrown in there. I
9 think the man's name was Goran from Borovo. Among the seven, I think
10 there were three Serbs that were hurt.
11 Q. Did you visit the Cafe Srbija the following day on your horse?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did you have a beer there?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Did Mirko Blagojevic say something to you?
16 A. I asked for another beer, and he said he wouldn't give me any
18 JUDGE MAY: Which year are we in?
19 MR. NICE: 1992.
20 JUDGE MAY: We haven't established that. Also, the witness was on
21 a horse?
22 MR. NICE: On a horse.
23 JUDGE MAY: Riding on a horse.
24 MR. NICE: Riding on a horse.
25 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
1 MR. NICE: I'm afraid the story has not got a happy ending for the
3 Q. Did you return to the Cafe Istanbul and did you speak to Goga and
4 a man known as Cosa?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Were you provided with a hand grenade?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did you return to the Cafe Srbija with the hand grenade, on your
10 A. Yes. Maybe 20 or 10 metres in front of the Srbija cafe. That is
11 as far as I got.
12 Q. What happened to you and indeed to your horse?
13 A. I was hit and the horse was hit too.
14 Q. Indeed, what ultimately happened to the horse? The horse died, I
16 A. I never found him again.
17 Q. Was it your intention to throw the grenade or was your intention
18 less than that?
19 A. I hadn't really intended to throw the grenade, but in those days,
20 when I went to that cafe, there were only soldiers there, no civilians,
21 and now I regret that I didn't throw that grenade in view of what they did
23 Q. As a result of what they did to you as you approached on your
24 horse, were you injured?
25 A. Later on, I was injured and the horse was killed.
1 Q. Very well. How were you injured?
2 A. They shot at me.
3 Q. And as a result of that, did you go to hospital?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Which, when you got there, was in the hands of Muslims, being
6 taken over by Serbs a couple of days later?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. In the hospital while you were there, did members of one of the
9 groups you've spoken of enter the hospital, inquiring if there were any
10 "balijas" there?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Which group of men were these two men from?
13 A. Mirko Blagojevic's Radical Party.
14 Q. Do you know the name of the person who arrived there?
15 A. Mirko Blagojevic.
16 Q. Yes. My mistake. Was there any -- or my question not being as
17 helpful as it might have been.
18 Do you remember members of one of the armed units coming in and
19 making any inquiry about balijas?
20 A. This was before Mirko. Two guys came in. They were looking for
21 balijas. I managed to lie and say that my name was Dragan, and they left.
22 I think they were Arkan's men.
23 After them, Mirko Blagojevic came with another two men.
24 Q. What did those men do to you?
25 A. Could you repeat the question, please?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. What did those men, the two men with Mirko Blagojevic, do to you?
2 A. I had an infusion. I had bandages on me. He tore off the
3 injection. He hit me with his butt. He threw me to the ground. He
4 stabbed me with a bayonet in the leg, and they said if anyone was taken to
5 Amajlije they were either slaughtered or tortured.
6 Q. This incident ended with Blagojevic giving what instructions?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can I have some water? Can I take a
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes, do, please. And, Mr. Nice, it's almost time.
10 MR. NICE: Perhaps I can see if the witness can help us with this
11 last question.
12 Q. The question, Mr. Gusalic, was this: That the incident you
13 described where Blagojevic visited you and his men attacked you, ended
14 with Blagojevic giving what instructions?
15 A. He said that he would leave me there and that he would come back
16 for me when they captured the hospital, to take me to the village of
17 Amajlije for them to take it out on me before I die.
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes. If that's a suitable moment.
19 Mr. Gusalic, we're going to adjourn your evidence until tomorrow
20 morning. Could you be back, please, at 9.00 tomorrow to continue it. And
21 meanwhile, could you remember not to speak to anybody about it until your
22 evidence is over, and that does include the members of the Prosecution
24 Before we adjourn, I'm just going to announce the numbers of the
25 witnesses whose evidence under Rule 92 bis we're going to consider later
1 in the week, so that preparations can be made. The numbers are: C-1052,
2 1063, 1084, 1091, 1140, 1152, 1153, 1168, 1187, 1203, 1230, 1231, 1232,
4 We will adjourn now until tomorrow morning.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.57 p.m.,
6 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 1st day of April,
7 2003, at 9.00 a.m.