1 Wednesday, 7 September 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, there are two documents to be exhibited
7 from yesterday.
8 MR. NICE: Your Honour, yes. I think we do. And I believe that
9 one of them is the short part of interview with this witness made as
10 preparation for, but not as part of, The Death of Yugoslavia film, and
11 that's one matter which ought to be exhibited, with your leave. It's the
12 passage, just to remind everybody, a translation difficulty over
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Will the court deputy give that a number.
15 THE REGISTRAR: That will be 878.
16 MR. NICE: And, Your Honour, the other document, I think, that
17 Your Honours may have had in mind as not yet having been produced was a
18 document that had three excerpts we looked at from the accused's book --
19 the witness's book, Politics as a Conscientious Challenge, which contained
20 entries, to remind you, the entries, "Bosnia is undoubtedly Serbian, and
21 if any fundamentalists don't like it, they must pack their suitcases and
22 leave." That's that one.
23 JUDGE KWON: Politics as a Conscientious Challenge was admitted
24 already. It is 876. I think it is Horvat's Ustasha Phantasmagorias.
25 MR. NICE: In which case, Your Honours, that one, indeed, hasn't
1 yet been admitted and I've still got further questions to ask about it,
2 because we've only looked at one excerpt.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. And we have to keep abreast of the
4 documents' exhibition. We don't want them to pile up.
5 Now, Mr. Seselj, yesterday you commented that the cross-examiner
6 was rude, or something to that effect. I want to make it clear to you
7 that cross-examination can be vigorous and aggressive, and there is
8 absolutely nothing wrong with that, and that it in no way absolves you of
9 the responsibility to be courteous in your replies. It's not rudeness.
10 Vigorous and aggressive cross-examination is not the same thing as being
11 rude. The cross-examiner has a right to put his case to the witness of
12 the other party.
13 Mr. Nice, please start.
14 WITNESS: VOJISLAV SESELJ [Resumed]
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice: [Continued].
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson --
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Don't reply.
19 Mr. Nice, continue with the examination.
20 MR. NICE: I'm grateful.
21 Q. Yesterday we were looking at extracts from Horvat's Ustasha
22 Phantasmagorias, and, Mr. Seselj, if you'd be good enough, please, to go
23 to the third of the three marked passages, which on the English is page 15
24 of 16, and in your version, Mr. Seselj, is the last sheet. We come to a
25 passage within an overall heading "Serbs to Rally in Kumanovo Soon" but
1 the highlighted passage, which of course you can always refer to the
2 setting if necessary, reads as follows.
3 And if Mr. Nort would place the English on the overhead projector,
4 page 15 of 16. Don't worry if you haven't got it, I'll just read it out:
5 "All those with an unclear conscience should fear us Serbs. They have
6 reason to fear us. Us Serbs have forgotten and forgiven too much in
7 history. We have told the Croats: Should they ever again resort to
8 genocidal activities against the Serbian people, not only shall we take
9 revenge for every victim but we shall also settle scores for the victims
10 from World War I and World War II. However, we have not threatened them
11 yet. We have not attacked a single Croatian village. We have only
12 defended the Serbian villages. If we are not present in some villages or
13 we are unable to defend them, we shall take revenge wherever the Croats
14 are the weakest. We speak the language of force, the language of power,
15 because the Serbian people are strong and powerful only when Serbia is
16 united, when the Serbs are united."
17 First of all, are these your words?
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Microphone for the witness, please.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those are my words from a text
21 within the framework of a collection of works published under the title of
22 "Horvat's Ustasha Phantasmagorias." The main text in the book is the
23 text about Branko Horvat himself with respect to his book about Kosovo,
24 and I say that from Ustasha positions he asked that Kosovo secede from
25 Serbia and become a separate federal unit, or rather, republic. This is
1 just one of those articles or texts and these are the words from that
3 Q. Yes, but these were views you expressed; is that right? And are
4 they views which you still hold?
5 A. Those are the views and positions that I will adhere to to the end
6 of my life.
7 Q. And when do you believe this text was first published? It may be
8 a little difficult from the book to identify the first publication date.
9 You may be able to help us.
10 A. It says it there for you, but you're not reading. Here we have
11 the title of the text, the pre-electoral speech in Rakovica on the 4th of
12 June, 1991. It says so there, above the text itself.
13 Q. Thank you very much. You've been looking at it in the original.
14 We've been looking at it in the translated passage. Very well. So in
15 1991, you thought it a responsible thing, did you, to say that you would
16 take revenge --
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. -- in respect to the victims of World War I and World War II, on
19 people who hadn't presumably even been born until after the Second World
20 War. Can you justify an educated person making such statements at a time
21 of political difficulty?
22 A. The problem is in your interpretation of it. Your interpretation
23 is highly malicious. I am threatening here and saying: If the Croats
24 dare and go ahead and engage in genocide activities against the Serbs, so
25 I'm warning them, I'm cautioning them. So I am issuing the threat within
1 a caution. This is the conditional again. And previously, on several
2 occasions, I said, and you quoted one of my quotations, that I said that
3 states and nations are punished for their crimes by loss of territory. We
4 spoke about this yesterday, discussed it yesterday. So all my texts are a
5 continuum. They follow on from one another. They are the development of
6 one idea in detail, one detail after another. But you have to view
7 everything within that context. So what is the purpose of this speech?
8 It is a warning: Don't engage in genocide again. I did not say we will
9 take revenge on individual Croats - that's not what I said - who were born
10 after the war, but Croats as such, per se, Croats as a category.
11 Q. [Previous translation continues]... settling scores for the
12 victims of World War I and World War II? Well, how are you going to
13 settle those scores unless you settle them against those born after the
14 Second World War, Mr. Seselj?
15 A. I don't know what is lacking there for you. A higher intelligence
16 coefficient, Mr. Nice, IQ. I said how we were going to settle accounts;
17 settle for war damage, the killing of civilians, looting and pilfering in
18 Serbia during World War I, and that is highly documented. Then to settle
19 accounts as far as World War II is concerned, the killing of a million
20 Serbs under the Ustasha Croatian regime. And how are we going to take our
21 revenge? By bringing Croatia down to three counties; Varazdin, Zagreb and
22 Krizevac, which is, in fact, the true Croatia. All the rest was seized
23 from the Serbian people along with the Vatican policy and turning the Serb
24 Catholics into Croats. So that should be quite clear here.
25 Q. And so when we just look - and this is the last question I'll ask
1 you about this passage - when we look at the last sentence and a half:
2 "... we shall take revenge wherever the Croats are the weakest. We speak
3 the language of force, the language of power, because the Serbian people
4 are strong and powerful only when Serbia is united."
5 That sentence and a half shouldn't have put any post-World War II
6 occupants of Croatia in physical fear; is that right? It should just have
7 exposed them to some anxiety about peaceful reoccupation of territory they
8 improperly called Croatia. Is that what you're suggesting, something
9 along those lines?
10 A. Firstly, as far as peaceful, you can't ascribe that to me. I'm
11 not particularly peaceful. I am in principle in favour of peace, but not
12 at all costs, at all price, not at the price of Serb national interests
13 and jeopardising those. And I never expressly spoke of peaceful policies.
14 You can disqualify me for not being a peaceful man to your own taste,
15 however, here what I'm saying is this: That we Serbs are powerful when we
16 are united, and I am appealing for the highest possible degree of national
17 unity among the Serbs, and I am fully conscious of the fact that the
18 Croats would not even dare to secede and enter into a conflict with the
19 Serbs had they not had powerful support from abroad. And every time when
20 the Croats had an onslaught against the Serbs and engaged in genocidal
21 activities, they had support, whether it be Austro-Hungary or Hitler's
22 support. In this case, it was the Vatican's support and the support of
23 all the Western powers. But countless times, in various speeches of mine
24 and in this book, indeed, and in what you showed us yesterday, which was a
25 speech --
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. I think you have responded to the
3 MR. NICE:
4 Q. What's significant for this trial is this, and I'll deal with it
5 in two parts. First of all, my suggestion to you is that you were a
6 dangerous and wicked man, generating anxiety on the parts of Serbs and
7 generating the circumstances for violence. That's my allegation generally
8 against you. The second part is that the accused did nothing to stop your
9 -- or discourage --
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let him deal with the first suggestion that you
11 are putting.
12 MR. NICE:
13 Q. Very well. Dangerous and a wicked man, generating anxiety on the
14 parts of Serbs and generating the circumstances for violence. That's what
15 you were about.
16 A. Whereas I think, Mr. Nice, that you are an underhand person, the
17 most underhand person in the Hague Tribunal, and perfidious.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: I have explained to you, Mr. Seselj, that the
19 cross-examiner can be very strong, he can be vigorous, he can be
20 aggressive in putting questions to you, and questions about your
21 character. You're a witness for the accused, for the other party. And
22 he's entitled to put his case to you. His case is that you're a dangerous
23 person. That doesn't mean that he's perfidious. You are not allowed, by
24 the Rules of this Court, to suggest that the Prosecutor is perfidious.
25 You may say that about one of his witnesses, but not about him personally.
1 So let us get that very, very clear. I will not allow you to make
2 allegations about the character of the Prosecutor. That's not allowed in
3 the system that we operate here.
4 You perhaps come from a system where you're not accustomed to
5 vigorous cross-examination. There is absolutely nothing wrong in what the
6 Prosecutor has put to you. That is his case. And you must respond to it
7 without suggesting matters which, in your view, reflect adversely on his
8 character. And I will absolutely insist on that.
9 So let us have an answer to the allegation that you're a dangerous
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Mr. Nice said that I was a
12 dangerous person and wicked and vicious, and he is an underhand and
13 perfidious man and he can't be rude to me and insult me.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: I have cut you off there. If you continue like
15 that, it will not be for the benefit of the accused, and you are here
16 appearing on his behalf. When Mr. Nice says you're dangerous, he is
17 putting his case to you. That is the Prosecution's case. It is not
18 personal. It is his own assessment of what his case is on the evidence.
19 And you must reply to it without making allegations about the Prosecution.
20 That is the system which we operate here. That's how the adversarial
21 system operates.
22 So let us have an answer to the allegation that you're a dangerous
23 person and that generally your conduct generated circumstances for
24 violence. Is that true or is that not true? What is your response to it?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My response to that is this:
1 Mr. Nice is a perfidious --
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: We're not getting -- I've stopped. I've stopped
3 you. I've explained to you that you're obliged to reply without
4 suggesting that Mr. Nice is himself perfidious. That is not how the Court
5 is run here.
6 So I'm asking you again: What is your response to the allegation
7 that you are a dangerous person and that, in general, your conduct
8 generated the circumstances for violence? I am asking you the question.
9 Forget that Mr. Nice asked you. I am putting it to you.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Whoever says about me that I am a
11 wicked and dangerous man is an evil man, an underhand man, and a
12 perfidious one.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: We are not getting anywhere, Mr. Seselj, and I
14 have to --
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is my answer to the question.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: I have to let you know that you're not acting in
17 the best interests of Mr. Milosevic, who has brought you here to assist
18 him in his case.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Milosevic brought me here to
20 testify truthfully about the facts, upon the assumption that my truthful
21 testimony about the facts could contribute to his Defence. And my
22 response to Mr. Nice --
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: I have cut you off. I have cut you off. You
24 must give a response which is devoid of any suggestion that relates to the
25 character of the Prosecutor or that relates to my character or to the
1 character of any member of the Bench. That is how adversarial proceedings
2 are conducted and these are adversarial proceedings.
3 If you do not have an answer to that, the Trial Chamber will
4 instruct the Prosecutor to move to the next question and we will make a
5 judgement. We will make our own decision as to the way you have responded
6 or not responded.
7 Mr. Nice, move to the next question.
8 MR. NICE: Your Honour, yes.
9 And it may assist the witness in his deliberations, perhaps in
10 respect of later questions, also to have in mind that by being confronted
11 with the propositions that the Prosecution may argue in its closing
12 arguments, he is being given an opportunity to meet them, which is only
13 fair to him. If he chooses not to meet them, we will invite, of course,
14 the inference that the proposition is well-founded.
15 May we produce this document, then, that we've been asking
16 questions about, give it an exhibit number.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. What's the number for that?
18 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: I understand the numbering at this stage is not
20 very clear and we'll get a number for that later. Can it be sorted out
22 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. Sorry about the messed up --
23 the document of this Ustasha -- Horvat's Ustasha Phantasmagorias should be
24 877, and the Politics as a Conscientious Challenge should be 876.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
1 MR. NICE: Your Honours, it's probably been my fault for trying to
2 short-circuit matters and I will take responsibility for dealing with each
3 exhibit as we come to it.
4 And the next one is a video clip for which there is a transcript
5 being distributed. It comes from April 1991 and it's a Sanction clip, if
6 the booth would like to be assisted by that.
7 [Videotape played]
8 MR. NICE:
9 Q. There you are. That's the way you presented these arguments. Do
10 you think that's an appeal to rational response or an appeal to passion in
11 your audience?
12 A. Firstly, I am a very passionate man, and I count upon human
13 passions. But my speech before the war was held before the war in the
14 form of a warning, a caution. I am in fact cautioning that there will be
15 revenge if genocide against the Serb people is repeated. And that threat
16 was stated publicly. It couldn't have been clearer than it was. But it
17 was to have them deterred.
18 Q. You say in the course --
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute, Mr. Nice.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Nice.
22 MR. NICE: May that last clip be exhibited, please.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
24 THE REGISTRAR: That will be 878.
25 MR. NICE: Can we look now at another short --
1 JUDGE KWON: 878 was allotted to The Death of Yugoslavia.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, I think you're right. Then it will
3 be 879. But I didn't receive 878 yet.
4 JUDGE KWON: We saw it yesterday.
5 MR. NICE: May we now look at an excerpt from the programme, a
6 short excerpt from the programme The Death of Yugoslavia, featuring this
8 [Videotape played]
9 MR. NICE:
10 Q. Are you aware that the danger of propaganda lies in overstating
11 the risks that people you wish to mobilise may be facing? Are you aware
12 of that obvious problem with propaganda?
13 A. This is not propaganda at all. I'm talking about actual facts,
14 and I did not exaggerate anything.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Seselj, where was that speech made?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. It was blurred, and I
17 couldn't really see.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: It seems to me pretty basic to know where it was
19 made and who you were speaking to.
20 Can we get that clarified, Mr. Nice?
21 MR. NICE: I'm not sure that we can get it clarified immediately
22 because --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: You see, these sort of TV broadcasts are just throw
24 in a piece -- please, please.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We can clarify it if they play it
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Without reference as to where it is, it doesn't
3 actually assist, I don't think.
4 MR. NICE:
5 Q. Mr. Seselj, help us: At what part of the 1990s were you urging
6 your people on by reference to Ustasha hordes attacking Serbian villages?
7 A. Mr. Nice, you can see probably where the speech was made, and I
8 heard some introduction in English, and that probably shows when and
9 where. Judging by this particular footage, I think that it was made in
10 Serbia, but I cannot remember each and every one of my speeches.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Oh, now they turned it on. I think
14 it would be proper to interpret the English part of the text to Mr. Seselj
15 too, and we did hear the soundtrack from the video footage that Mr. Nice
16 had played.
17 MR. NICE: I'm happy to play it again.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Let's play it again.
19 [Videotape played]
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's very blurred, the image I see
22 [Videotape played]
23 "[Voiceover]... set about provoking a conflict between Serbs and
25 MR. NICE:
1 Q. Now, then, that has to be, doesn't it, in 1990 or 1991, before the
2 conflict starts?
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I ask, first of all, why the transcript that we
4 have is different from what's on the screen? Is there a reason for that?
5 MR. NICE: Yes. Your Honours may recall that with The Death of
6 Yugoslavia and the programme itself, we often discovered that the
7 programme subtitles were more a summary of what was said than a
8 transcribed and interpreted version of what was said. So what you have is
9 a transcribed version of the precise words and then translated.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
11 MR. NICE:
12 Q. You see, the reason I'm asking you about this, Mr. Seselj, is --
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, I have an objection to
14 what Mr. Nice said just now. He explains that in this BBC programme, in
15 the subtitles, there is more of a summary. That is not true. What the
16 subtitles present are brutal lies. You have seen forgeries of what I had
17 said, and I told you that I noticed mistakes and then your interpreters
18 here had it replayed for them five times and they interpreted it right.
19 And very often, tendentiously, in The Death of Yugoslavia, the translation
20 is a brutal lie and a falsification. Because they're counting on the fact
21 that their audiences do not speak Serbian, and they don't care about the
22 Serbs themselves. So this is worthless evidence. It's only evidence of
23 the anti-Serb propaganda waged here.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, then if we are to admit as evidence
25 this transcript, it will have to be admitted subject to the qualification
1 that you have made and which Mr. Milosevic has just emphasised. And it is
2 also open to Mr. Milosevic to deal with the matter in re-examination.
3 MR. NICE:
4 Q. And it would appear, would it, that this was in the federal
5 parliament -- in front of the federal parliament in Belgrade, from what we
6 can see, Mr. Seselj?
7 A. Possibly in front of the federal Assembly, judging by the big
8 masses of people there. It is somewhere in Serbia. It was impossible to
9 get this many people together at the rallies in Serb Krajina. It was in
10 Serbia. Possibly it was the rally in front of the federal Assembly on the
11 15th or 21st of May, 1991.
12 And I don't know what kind of image you have on your screens, but
13 mine is highly blurred. It's highly blurred even now. Perhaps something
14 can be done about this. It is totally blurred. The guard can tell you.
15 Q. We're only concerned in, not in a limited extent, but to a
16 different extent, in what you were doing and why. We're more concerned in
17 what effect this had for the responsibility of the accused. But you were
18 allowed, without any complaint, to be addressing people on the basis that
19 there were Ustasha hordes trying to finish up the genocide. Well, who
20 were these Ustasha hordes that you were referring to?
21 A. Ustasha hordes are, first and foremost, members of Tudjman's ZNG,
22 National Guards Corps, the paramilitary unit that attacked the Serb
23 civilian population and all the Western Serbian lands within the Croatian
24 federal unit. That's what Ustasha hordes are.
25 Now, as for your position regarding the fact that I was allowed to
1 do so, there was full freedom of speech in Serbia in Mr. Milosevic's time.
2 Nobody could allow me or prevent me from presenting my opinion. According
3 to the laws of Serbia, that is not a criminal offence at all.
4 MR. NICE: May that clip with the printed transcript be exhibited,
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. And the transcript subject to the
7 qualification that I've made.
8 THE REGISTRAR: That will be 880.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Nice, who provided this transcript?
11 MR. NICE: It was done by us. And I think it's -- well, it counts
12 as a draft translation. It wasn't done by CLSS, but a lot of translations
13 are draft, to that extent draft. It was done by us.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Kay.
16 MR. KAY: May I suggest, because there have been problems over
17 translations and the accuracy of them, that if video clips are being
18 shown, that we have the booth here interpret the language so we get it on
19 the transcript, and that avoid problems in what text was actually used.
20 We have found, as Mr. Milosevic has raised, that the subtitles have been
21 inaccurate. I'll leave it at that.
22 JUDGE KWON: We didn't hear any opposition in relation to this
23 specific transcript.
24 MR. KAY: It may be better if we just play the clip again.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Kay, please.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your interpretation is good.
2 MR. KAY: [Previous translation continues]... again so that we
3 have a translation for the record.
4 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Milosevic -- the accused says this is good.
5 MR. KAY: Fine.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: The position will remain as we had determined.
7 Yes, Mr. Nice.
8 MR. NICE: If that clip can be exhibited and given a number.
9 THE REGISTRAR: That's 880, already given.
10 MR. NICE: And the next one, please, is a short clip from a
11 programme first, I think, screened in Serbia.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can you get this video monitor to
13 work better before you proceed? It is very blurred. It is very hard for
14 me to discern anything. Can a technician of yours come and see this, and
15 they can see that it is very hard to follow this way.
16 JUDGE KWON: I think it's the angle you are watching from. So if
17 you could stand up a little bit.
18 MR. NICE: Yes. Can the monitor be inclined?
19 JUDGE KWON: Yes, that's the way.
20 MR. NICE: This one, Your Honours, was first screened in Serbian
21 television. It was reproduced in a later programme called Pictures of
22 Words and Hate, Year Two, produced by the television programme B92 in
23 Belgrade. But it has the RTS logo on the footage, so that would indicate
24 its original broadcast company. And I hope that the transcripts provided
25 by us have been distributed.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Could the interpreters please have a specific
2 reference, thank you.
3 MR. NICE: It's 23A, for the interpreters.
4 [Videotape played]
5 MR. NICE:
6 Q. That's better. Can you see it now, Mr. Seselj?
7 A. Hardly. I can barely see it. Due to the microphones, I can only
8 assume that this is the National Assembly. But your technician can come
9 and see for himself. It is barely --
10 MR. NICE: [Previous translation continues]... stand to view these
11 because I think it's just a matter of angle, unless his monitors are in
12 some way deficient. I can see, on the monitors of the same kind that he
13 has, a perfectly clear picture. But I think if you sit down, it goes down
14 so you can hardly see.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your technician is standing here,
16 and he can tell you what is looks like on this screen. If he says that it
17 can be seen fine, then I will accept it too. And whether it's a matter of
18 getting up or sitting down or whether it's a question of image quality.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: If you were to -- well, the technician is coming,
20 Mr. Seselj.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I hope that your own technician has
22 told you that this was not right.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Remember, the picture is not going to be 100 per
24 cent clear.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This image is not clear even 2 per
1 cent. You can only see the silhouette of a white shirt, and nothing else,
2 and the microphones in front.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Can't you see the face?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Well, ask your technicians
5 whether they can see it. Can they see anything here?
6 Now it's somewhat better.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Our thanks to the technician.
8 MR. NICE: With the transcripts to hand, as distributed, may this
9 now be played.
10 [Videotape played]
11 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] The line between
12 Karlobag-Ogulin-Virovitica has to be our goal and that is the line where
13 the Yugoslav People's Army has to put its troops. If the army is unable
14 to move the troops to this line peacefully from Zagreb then they should do
15 this with force and with the bombing of Zagreb. The army still has
16 capacities which it has not used yet. If its troops are endangered it has
17 the right to use Napalm bombs and anything else they have available. We
18 cannot play games here. It is more important to save one army than to
19 worry if there will be some accidental victims. Who is to blame here?
20 They wanted war, so now they have it."
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, Mr. Seselj said very
22 clearly that this is a line where the army has to withdraw its troops, and
23 the word used here is to "put" its troops, as if it were coming from
24 somewhere and putting its troops there. The army is withdrawing from
25 Croatia and he uses the word twice, to "withdraw" its troops to that line.
1 Once again, this is incorrect.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Milosevic. That's a very bad
3 mistake. Let's play it again.
4 MR. NICE: Play it again.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: It is the only way it makes sense, I have to say.
6 MR. NICE: If the interpreters could interpret as the text -- as
7 the words --
8 THE INTERPRETER: It is very hard for the interpreters to follow
9 the soundtrack as it is spoken if they're interpreting. They cannot get
10 everything in. Perhaps, if you like, we can listen to this particular
11 word if we hear it. Thank you.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Play it again.
13 [Videotape played]
14 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note that the word used was to
15 "withdraw" troops.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
17 MR. NICE:
18 Q. This is in the parliament, so this is you in a slightly more
19 restrained mode; correct?
20 A. No. This is in the Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, sometime
21 in the beginning of July 1991. I'm speaking here as an opposition MP and
22 presenting my political views.
23 Q. And amongst other things at this stage, advocating the right to
24 use napalm?
25 A. I am advocating the withdrawal of JNA troops from Croatia, from
1 Zagreb, first and foremost, and other towns, and that that withdrawal
2 should be carried out even if it involves fighting. To use all the means
3 they have available in order to get out.
4 Q. Again, identifying the Karlobag line as the line from which troops
5 should be withdrawn; correct?
6 A. Of course. Since the Croat paramilitary forces are attacking all
7 barracks in Croatia, I'm asking in a timely manner for the JNA to withdraw
8 from Croatia to the Karlobag-Karlovac-Virovitica line. Unfortunately, no
9 one heeded or accepted my call.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Nice, you put that as identifying the line as
11 the line from which, but it's the line to which.
12 MR. NICE: I think the sense is clear. May that be exhibited as
13 well, please.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
15 THE REGISTRAR: That will be 881.
16 MR. NICE: And I have a few more on the same topic before we turn
17 to another topic. Can we look now, please, at what, for the interpreters,
18 will be 23B and is a copy of part of one of your magazines, or your
19 newspapers. This one published in 1992, I think.
20 And for the Court, it's the second sheet, page marked 29. At some
21 stage the whole document was translated but you haven't been--
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Nice, the last one, before we move on from it,
23 has a date September 1991 at the top of it. What does that date refer to?
24 Is this when it was broadcast as a compilation in some --
25 MR. NICE: No, no, no. This was the original date of broadcast.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the witness has given evidence that it was in
2 June 1991, so you ought to bear that in mind.
3 MR. NICE: Certainly. We can look at this document. This is from
4 Velika Srpska.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've already said July 1991.
6 MR. NICE: The document we're now --
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was elected only in June as a
8 member of parliament. It could not have been in June, it could have been
9 only in July.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: You're absolutely right. It was my mistake.
11 MR. NICE:
12 Q. So what we're now looking at, please, is I think perhaps published
13 in 1991, but when you look at it, you may be able to help us, if you look
14 at the original. It's November 1991, I think. And the outlined passage
15 on our page 29 in the text says: "Today, dear Gradimir, as we say goodbye
16 to you on your final journey -" perhaps you can find that in the outlined
17 text - "we can repeat our Serbian and Chetnik pledge you will not remain
18 unavenged! Our enemies will feel the punishment of the Serbian people.
19 We shall no longer forgive as we did after World War I and World War II.
20 The time has come to settle old scores... to avenge all Serbian victims
21 and to unite all the Serbian lands."
22 By statements like this in the publications that you produced, are
23 you generating hate?
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Can we have the factual basis, first of all? Is it
25 in a publication, and what's the date of the publication?
1 MR. NICE: Very well.
2 Q. You can identify this as from your own magazine, Velika Srpska; is
3 that correct?
4 A. Yes. This was published in the newspaper Velika Srbija, sometime
5 in the summer of 1991. It is number 11, not the 11th month, as Mr. Nice
6 thought. Then I published the text again in my book the Serb Chetnik
7 Movement, in 1994. This is a speech of mine, made on the 27th of August,
8 at Mount Cemernik, in the village of Pavletina, in an area that is called
9 Crna Trava - this is the south of Serbia - at the funeral of the first
10 volunteer of the Serb Radical Party who got killed, Gradimir Pesic. In
11 order to understand the context, I demand that the entire speech be read
12 out. It's not long.
13 MR. NICE: A matter for re-examination.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Mr. Milosevic can have that done in
15 re-examination. That's one of the purposes of re-examination.
16 MR. NICE: Can we have this document exhibited?
17 Q. But my question to you is this: By these sorts of words, and
18 we've probably come to the end of a sufficient example of this particular
19 type of topic, were you not simply doing your best to generate hate that
20 would lead to violence?
21 A. No. I was not disseminating hate. I am talking about Serb foes.
22 You know what foe, enemy, means in the Serbian language. The word is
23 "dusmanin," but it comes from the Arabic or Persian language. That is
24 the worst enemy of all. That is the worst enemy of all, the dusmanin is.
25 That's the one who wants to destroy your very essence, the essence of your
1 nation. The word is used to refer to Ustashas. That's quite clear.
2 As for the reference to the First and Second World War, in the
3 Second World War, the top Ustasha leaders, with the assistance of the
4 Catholic Church, through the well-known rat channels of the Vatican, fled
5 from Croatia to South America. Books were written about that. They all
6 remained unpunished. This time, I am saying that no one should remain
7 unpunished. Revenge is punishment for the perpetrators of genocidal
8 crimes. But not in a single text of mine will you find anything like
9 having to kill Croat civilians. You won't find that anywhere.
10 In the Second World War, just think of all the terms that the
11 British and the Americans used for Germans. They said that they were
12 Huns, they were barbarians, and --
13 Q. And perhaps one more moment and then I'll move to another topic, I
14 think, to look at the other side of what you were doing, I'm going to
15 suggest to you. Can we look at 23C.
16 MR. NICE: I'm sorry. Exhibit number for the previous exhibit,
18 THE REGISTRAR: 881.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Is it 881 or 882?
20 THE REGISTRAR: It should be 882.
21 MR. NICE: The exhibit that's -- potential exhibit that's being
22 distributed has not been marked with the text, so I'll withdraw it for the
23 time being, ask you to lay it on one side. Otherwise, it will take too
24 much time finding the passage.
25 Q. Now, the short position is, Mr. Seselj, that over the period of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 time we've been looking at or focussing on, you were drawing to people's
2 attention the suffering of Serbs historically, weren't you?
3 A. Yes. I was incessantly drawing people's attention to the
4 suffering of the Serb people through history, especially the suffering of
5 the Serb people in contemporary times, when I myself was an observer.
6 Q. You were categorising basically all Croats as Ustasha. You hardly
7 distinguished between, as it were, the good and the bad; they were all
8 Ustasha, lumped together.
9 A. That is not correct. You yourself quoted a text of mine yesterday
10 where I actually praised the true Croats who still lived in Istria,
11 Kvarner, Rijeka, where there were no persecutions of Serbs. In the first
12 half of 1991, practically throughout Croatia, the systematic persecution
13 of the Serb people started and hundreds and thousands of Serbs already
14 started fleeing to Serbia. I bear in mind yet another fact, that there
15 was mass Ustasha hysteria in Croatia at the time, similar like in 1941. I
16 would like to draw your attention to historical testimony provided by
17 eyewitnesses, that the Croats in Zagreb welcomed Hitler's troops in 1941
18 with more enthusiasm and delight than --
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thanks.
20 MR. NICE:
21 Q. Apart from praising those people who you defined as Croats because
22 they lived in the two bits of Croatia that you were prepared to accept as
23 being Croatia, am I right that you were categorising the left basically as
24 all Ustasha and generating emotion by doing that?
25 A. It's not correct that I was categorising the rest of the Croats as
1 all Ustasha. However, I am telling you that mass Ustasha hysteria
2 prevailed in the largest part of Croatia. And at one point, most Croats
3 actually declared that they were adherents of the Ustasha Tudjman regime,
4 it had become so powerful in Croatia. And that's what I was warning the
5 Serb public about.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Perhaps I cannot find this, but I
9 don't know what Mr. Nice is referring to. This is a large text, some 50
10 or so pages.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: That text has been withdrawn. Is that the text
12 headed "A guest of radio --"
13 MR. NICE: That's right. I'm just identifying the passages I want
14 to ask about and I may come back to it. And I've got one more question to
15 ask this witness before I do. I think I can find the text in time.
16 Q. That's one side, the emotions you're generating. So far as on the
17 other side is concerned, Croats and then, later, Muslims, your concern was
18 to make them fear the consequences of what was to come, and so far as the
19 Muslims was concerned, your intention was to make them think they would be
20 booted out of the country in certain circumstances; is that right?
21 A. No. I never said that the Muslims could or should be booted out
22 of the country. In the year 1990, I wrote an appeal to the Serbs of the
23 Islamic faith, which I started with the words "Brother Muslims." I
24 exerted my utmost efforts to avoid a war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, like
25 the one that had broken out in Croatia. However, I constantly attack
1 Islamic fundamentalists and pan-Islamists. And I am not stirring up
2 emotions of that kind; I am simply warning that the crimes against the
3 Serb people in Croatia are being repeated and taking the same form they
4 had taken in World War II.
5 I was bearing in mind, at the same time, that a Croatian member of
6 parliament spoke in the Croatian parliament - we all saw this on
7 television - and he ended his speech with the old Ustasha greeting, which
8 was exactly the same as Hitler's and Mussolini's greeting had been. And
9 he was speaking in the Croatian parliament. You think you can pull things
10 out of context, but every speech of mine is a response to even worse
11 things that were happening in Croatia. In the Croatian parliament, an MP
12 came forward and raised his arm.
13 MR. NICE: We'll now turn to the last document we're looking at in
14 this passage, and perhaps it can be either distributed or picked up - I
15 think I can deal with it - and made available to the witness. And if he'd
16 like to look at the Serbian version and at the cover page, he can tell us
17 what it is.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: This is a document headed "A Guest of Radio
20 MR. NICE: That's the one, yes.
21 Q. If you'd like to look at the front page of the Serbian version,
22 Mr. Seselj, remind yourself of what this document is.
23 A. This is my book entitled "Through the Political Galimatias." This
24 is a collection of my radio and television broadcasts, and it was first
25 published in 1993 in Belgrade.
1 Q. Two passages I want you to look at. In the English it's at page
2 20, at the foot. And I think in the Serbian, Mr. Seselj, if you'd go,
3 please, to what is page 263. I think this is the right passage. Would
4 you start --
5 A. Nothing is marked on that page for me.
6 Q. Well, would you just read the first -- go to the foot of 263 and
7 see the paragraph there. There's maybe an additional paragraph that I
8 want to ask you about. And would you just read the first three words of
9 that paragraph so I can make sure I'm in the right place.
10 A. "Television is the most powerful medium. It's a very dangerous
12 Q. Would you now just please read on and we can follow it in the
13 English. "It is a very dangerous..."
14 A. "Television is the most powerful. It is a very dangerous weapon,
15 too, and this was evident in the West. Television can be a source of a
16 much more dangerous type of totalitarianism than Fascism and Communism
17 combined, those who rule television rule human thoughts and emotions. On
18 television, controlling two or three television companies, you can serve
19 up political standpoints to all citizens of America, you can simply shape
20 their minds, their behaviour and so forth. This is very dangerous but it
21 calls for far more studious scientific approaches."
22 Q. You therefore recognised the potential for television. At the
23 time with which we are concerned, what influence do you say the accused
24 had over those who ran the major television stations?
25 A. Very little influence. He could have influenced only one
1 television station, and that's ETS, the state television of Serbia,
2 because the editor-in-chief and director of that television station was a
3 member of his party. All the others were their competitors and opposed
4 Mr. Milosevic. That is a very different situation from the one prevailing
5 in America. All Western television stations, in unison, were waging an
6 anti-Serb policy.
7 Q. Was there a difference in your access to television, depending on
8 how the state of your relationship was with this accused? When you were
9 in favour with him, you were allowed access to television; when you were
10 out of favour, you were denied it?
11 A. I was never in favour or out of favour with Mr. Milosevic. We had
12 periods of cooperation which were much shorter than our periods of deep
13 conflict. At those times when we were not in conflict, I and the Serb
14 Radical Party appeared on the state-run television more often. However,
15 our presence on other television stations did not depend on this.
16 Q. And when you appeared on state-run television, as you explain and
17 as we've heard in evidence from other witnesses, more often when you were
18 not in conflict with the accused, he didn't restrain you, did he, in any
19 way as to the things you might say? He allowed you to say whatever you
20 wanted to say.
21 A. I told you yesterday, Mr. Nice, that I am not a horse for
22 Mr. Milosevic to rein me in. Whoever appeared on state-run television was
23 free to express his opinions. I appeared far less on state-run television
24 than other opposition politicians. On the state-run television, these
25 were most often duels, debates, and round tables. No one ever suggested
1 to anyone else what they should say, or prohibit them from saying
2 anything. The broadcasts were aired live. I never agreed to pre-record a
3 broadcast. There were attempts to make me agree to that, but I always
4 refused. I only agreed to participate in shows that were broadcast live.
5 Q. The next passage I want to refer to, which is marked, and the
6 Chamber will find it -- you've got it on page 266, Mr. Seselj. If the
7 Chamber would be good enough to go to the top of page 26, or possibly the
8 bottom of page 25, I think.
9 You'll find a passage, a paragraph there, Mr. Seselj, that begins
10 with: "As for the Krajina, if the Bosnian Serbs capitulate..." Can you
11 find that paragraph?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And if you go on in that paragraph to what we can find on our page
14 26 and you'll see marked, you say this: "And these Serbs, our folk,
15 cannot stay in the Islamic Jamahirija either, nor in Tudjman's Ustasha
16 Croatia, they are certain to be expelled if not killed. Serbs are now
17 fighting for their survival and in this fight they have run out of
18 options, the alternative is either capitulation or total victory. If they
19 resist, they have a chance of winning, and if they capitulate they will
20 lose everything."
21 Did you say that?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Winding up the emotions or not?
24 A. I cannot understand that the translator first says, Do you see
25 this passage, and then corrects him or herself and says "interpreter's
1 correction." How can such a mistake be made? In both cases, my response
2 is "yes." But how can the interpreter falsify the question in this way?
3 It could have been something more sensitive. It could have been something
4 where my answer would have been "no."
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Seselj, there is no basis at all, as you must
6 know, for suggesting that the interpreter is falsifying the question. If
7 a mistake is made by the interpreter, then so be it. Why must you
8 attribute ill motives to the interpreter? Let's move on. Mr. Nice.
9 MR. NICE: May that be exhibited. The first passage provided
10 particularly interesting and the rest of it may become valuable. May that
11 be given an exhibit?.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
13 THE REGISTRAR: That will be 883.
14 MR. NICE: Thank you very much.
15 Q. Let's now turn then to a different topic, but again at this stage
16 through the things you have been saying. Can we have 25A-5, please.
17 I'm looking now, Mr. Seselj, at things that you said, in
18 particular insofar as they reveal acts of those named as co-perpetrators.
19 Let's go to 25A-1. This is -- 25A-1, for the interpreters, who
20 have the materials. This is part of an existing exhibit, 469, tab 3, a
21 meeting of the Council for the Coordination of Positions of State Policy.
22 Now, were you aware of the existence of something called the
23 Council of Coordinating Positions of State Policy?
24 A. No.
25 Q. It's a body we've heard about. It met in the course of 1993,
1 certainly, I think 1992, 1993. And this one was from a meeting held on
2 the 21st of January of 1993, involving, amongst others, this accused and
3 Radovan Karadzic, but many others as well; Mladic, for example.
4 Now, have you got the document in front of you? You'll see that
5 the evidence before the Court --
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson --
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] More than once I warned Mr. Nice,
9 and you here, not to twist the explanation of this Council for
10 Coordination of Positions of State Policy. It was established by the then
11 president, Dobrica Cosic, and its members were --
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic --
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm not testifying.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let us hear the question that Mr. Nice has to put
15 in relation to this council, and then if you have an objection, then you
16 may raise it. We haven't heard the question yet, so you're premature.
17 MR. NICE: Your Honours, given the difficulties there have been
18 with interpretation and translation, where an original text in Serbian
19 exists, it may be better to ask the witness to read it out, even though
20 it's not his own words, if the Court is happy with this, and we can follow
21 the translation, the interpretation, and hear it against the translation
22 we already have.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The witness should know what he is
25 reading from. He cannot have page 21 taken out of the transcript of some
1 kind of minutes that he knows nothing about and then be told to read out a
2 sentence. I think that is completely improper, and I don't think that
3 this is the way in which Mr. Nice can present evidence here. Let him
4 bring the minutes from that meeting so that he can see who the members of
5 this body are, who was invited, what was discussed, and then he can read
6 out a sentence.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, let us hear the question. Let us
8 hear the question first. That's how we will deal with it.
9 MR. NICE: Well, whether the witness reads it or not, perhaps I'll
10 read it this time and we'll see how we go.
11 Q. You'll see here Karadzic is recorded as saying this --
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Where is that?
13 MR. NICE: It's at the bottom of your page 20 and it's on page
14 21 --
15 JUDGE KWON: Bear in mind that we don't have it at this moment.
16 MR. NICE: You don't have it? It's on the overhead projector.
17 That's right. It's an existing exhibit.
18 MR. KAY: Is it 469, tab 3? Because I'm looking at 469, tab 3 and
19 don't --
20 MR. NICE: Tab 39. My apologies if I read out tab 3.
21 Q. You see, what Karadzic said is this: "I think that this which
22 Jovanovic is talking about has already happened, to a huge extent. There
23 was 50/50 of us in Zvornik. The number of inhabitants in Zvornik is now
24 the same, approximately 50.000, and they are all Serbs. More than 24.000
25 Serbs from Zenica and Central Bosnia have arrived and stopped in Zvornik.
1 If only Serbia would help us by not accepting refugees, which it does not
2 have to accept, and returned them, that would be a great solution. For
3 example, if all the people from Western Slavonia --"
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: You have to move to the next page.
5 MR. NICE: Next page, top of the page, Mr. Nort. Thank you.
6 Q. "-- and returned them, that would be a great solution. For
7 example, if all the people from Western Slavonia were to return and all
8 those from the former Bosnia and Herzegovina who are in Serbia, people
9 from Doboj, Derventa, Odzak, et cetera, that would be the factual state of
10 affairs which nobody could change any more. Not only should the military
11 conscripts be returned, but the families should as well, to locations
12 where there is no war and where freedom exists."
13 First and generally, is there anything in what Karadzic said that
14 you disagree with factually?
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Have we identified the occasion on which this
16 statement was made?
17 MR. NICE: This is from the meeting of the 21st of January, 1993,
18 and it's an existing exhibit and it's the Council for Coordinating
19 Positions on State Policy, sometimes described as the Council for
21 Q. Mr. Seselj, is there anything in what I've read out to you with
22 which you disagree, factually, coming from the mouth of Karadzic?
23 A. First of all, you have given me no evidence that Karadzic really
24 said this. Even if this meeting was held, I did not attend it. I don't
25 know if Karadzic attended it or whether he said this. You have not given
1 me the entire document either. You should ask the people who allegedly
2 participated in this meeting about this.
3 As for the facts, what is there for me to confirm or deny here?
4 What facts are these? Allegedly, he is expressing his positions, not
5 facts. There are no particular facts here.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: The question, Mr. Seselj, from the Prosecutor is
7 whether you disagree with that position as expressed by Karadzic.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know whether Karadzic said
9 this at all. I can neither agree or disagree.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, you can assume that he said it. Assuming
11 that he said it, do you disagree?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What should I agree to? Can you be
13 more precise?
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, put it more precisely.
15 MR. NICE:
16 Q. If you're having difficulty with seeing the factual content of
17 this passage, just tell us this: Were you involved in events at Zvornik
18 in 1992?
19 A. I was not involved in any events in Zvornik in 1992. But
20 volunteers of the Serb Radical Party were, as part of the JNA, at the very
21 beginning of the war.
22 Q. Did you make any speeches in respect of events that happened in
23 Zvornik in 1992? To encourage your troops, perhaps?
24 A. No. I did not visit Zvornik or give any speeches there.
25 Q. But nevertheless, troops of the Serb Radical Party were there and
1 you must have known what happened, because you told us you --
2 A. No.
3 Q. You see, what's described here is a complete change of the ethnic
4 composition of Zvornik from 50/50 to 100 per cent Serb, first of all, and
5 this is the factual part of what Karadzic was saying. Was he right?
6 A. First of all, there were no troops of the Serb Radical Party
7 there, nor did the Serb Radical Party ever have any troops of its own.
8 The volunteers of the Serb Radical Party were in Zvornik, but as part of
9 the JNA, while the JNA was still there.
10 As for the ethnic make-up of the population of Zvornik, according
11 to my knowledge, before the war, there really were approximately half
12 Serbs, half Muslims, more or less. However, during the war, many Muslims
13 left Zvornik. Serb refugees from areas under Muslim control moved into
14 Zvornik. That is a fact, yes. And I can testify about those facts. But
15 I cannot say whether Radovan Karadzic actually said this or not. You are
16 trying to tender this document through me as if I was confirming that he
17 said this and that I agreed with him. Had I agreed with Karadzic, we
18 would have been members of the same party.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: I find it constantly frustrating when you don't
20 answer the question. You have now answered this question, and you've
21 answered it very well and very clearly. And what I find difficult to
22 understand is why you constantly misinterpret what's being asked of you.
23 This is already a document which is exhibited in the case. It's not being
24 exhibited through you. You're simply being asked whether these facts as
25 set out in this document are accurate. At no stage have you been asked to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 confirm whether Karadzic said it or not. So please listen carefully to
2 the questions you're being asked and answer the question you're actually
3 being asked, and we'll get on far better and far more quickly.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Bonomy, when a precise question
5 is asked of me, I give a very precise answer. If the question is about
6 the ethnic make-up of the population of Zvornik, I can answer to the best
7 of my knowledge. But these two pieces of paper represent no kind of
8 document, in my view.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: We shall simply have to differ on whether you
10 actually do answer the questions that you're asked. Please try to do so,
12 MR. NICE:
13 Q. Can you explain, from your broad knowledge of events, then, how it
14 came about that 50 per cent Muslim population of a town like Zvornik
15 suddenly disappears -- not suddenly, but over a short period of time
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, Mr. Nice's question is
18 improper because Seselj did not say that 50 per cent of the inhabitants of
19 Zvornik went missing.
20 MR. NICE:
21 Q. Mr. Seselj, I think you understand what I've asked you. Will you
22 answer the question, please.
23 A. First of all, in Zvornik, some crimes were committed, as far as I
24 know. Some of these crimes were tried in 1993, and trials for some of
25 them are now being held in Belgrade. And for some, trials have yet to be
1 held. So I'm not excluding the possibility that there were crimes.
2 However, the vast majority of the Muslim population left Zvornik. Some
3 came to Serbia. Some crossed the River Drina to Mali Zvornik, where they
4 had friends and relatives who were also Muslims and where they felt safe.
5 I assume most went to Muslim-controlled territory.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: You see, this is a perfect example, because the
7 question was: What caused this to happen? And you haven't addressed
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What could have been the possible
10 reasons? First of all, the atmosphere of war. Before the war, many
11 people left Zvornik, both Serbs and Muslims. During the war, many Muslim
12 civilians withdrew when their paramilitary formations withdrew. Some
13 crossed over into Serbia. Some, after the fighting in Zvornik, left
14 Zvornik and went to territories under Muslim control. That's how I see
15 what happened.
16 If your question is whether some of them were expelled, perhaps
17 they were. I don't exclude that possibility. Some Muslims may have been
18 expelled, but which ones? As far as I know, it was certainly not the JNA.
19 MR. NICE:
20 Q. Well, then who? You see, you've claimed the broadest knowledge,
21 and when it's -- on many occasions the most detailed knowledge of all
22 events on the accused's indictment. You tell us that you've read broadly.
23 Here a population changes its ethnic composition completely. Who drove
24 these people out?
25 A. I'm saying once again that most of them were not expelled. Some
1 of them might have been expelled, but I wasn't there so I cannot testify
2 about it. You want me to say so-and-so expelled Muslims from there. If I
3 knew that, I'd tell you right away. I know a little bit about the Yellow
4 Wasps. I might know something about some other paramilitary units in
5 certain places, but as for every detail that happened in Zvornik, I can't
6 know that.
7 Q. You claim this omniscience and omnipresence, in many ways,
8 certainly omniscience. Who would have been directing paramilitaries to
9 drive people from Zvornik? Please help us.
10 A. If you mean that some factor of the authorities led them to do so,
11 then I don't believe that. But you know full well that the paramilitary
12 formations were usually ordinary criminal gangs. So the general mood that
13 prevailed was such that paramilitaries could perhaps have influenced
14 people and made them leave, and things like that did happen. But
15 concretely speaking, specifically speaking, Zvornik, you're asking me to
16 answer the impossible and you once again claim that I am saying that I
17 know everything, that I am omniscient. Only God knows everything. I know
18 far, far less than him. I know more than you, but that of course doesn't
19 mean that I know everything myself. And now you're asking me to testify
20 about something that I have absolutely no knowledge about.
21 Q. You've told us in your own evidence about the danger of
22 paramilitary formations. We've heard about the power of television,
23 through your own words. And we know from evidence in this Court that
24 circumstances can come together to allow the most terrible crimes,
25 genocidal and other, to be committed in various locations as a result of
1 what politicians and others do at the top.
2 If, as you say, it was free-floating paramilitary groups that
3 kicked half the population of Zvornik out, or whatever percentage it did
4 remove, who had been creating the atmosphere in which that could happen,
5 Mr. Seselj? Was it you? Was it this accused? Tell us.
6 A. First of all, and once again, you are misinterpreting what I said.
7 It is not that the majority of Muslims were expelled from Zvornik. I
8 don't exclude the possibility, of course, that some of them were expelled,
9 just as some of them were killed. I don't think we can challenge those
10 facts that there were Muslims civilians who were indeed killed. However,
11 the majority left, for different reasons. Many left before the war, like
12 the Serbs did. The mood was such that prevailed them to do so. Some of
13 them withdrew with their paramilitaries. Some of them left later on. But
14 what this process was in specific terms, how do you expect me to testify
15 to that? And then you misinterpret it and say everybody was expelled or
16 the majority was expelled. I just don't believe that.
17 And I state this: There were situations where incidents took
18 place, there was killing, there was looting, there was persecution. Now,
19 as far as the paramilitary formations are concerned, once the JNA had
20 withdrawn, you know, this is what happened. The situation with respect to
21 the functioning of power was fairly chaotic at the time and this kind of
22 situation creates conditions conducive to the appearance of paramilitary
23 formations because criminals want to make use of the war situation for
24 their criminal aspirations. So there's no doubt on that score.
25 And somebody even from the authorities could have been in cohorts
1 with the paramilitary formations. But I can't give you specific facts
2 about that here.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice --
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] How should I know who? From the
5 local authorities, perhaps. I'm just guessing now. You're making me
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Seselj.
8 We'll adjourn now for 20 minutes.
9 --- Recess taken at 10.35 a.m.
10 --- On resuming at 10.59 a.m.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Nice.
12 MR. NICE:
13 Q. Mr. Seselj, staying, for a few minutes, with Zvornik, you know
14 from the pre-trial brief served in your case, because you dealt with this
15 in part, I think in your own evidence, that a witness or potential witness
16 called (redacted) says that you gave a speech at Mali
17 Zvornik in the spring of 1992, saying words to the effect of: "Dear
18 Chetnik brothers across the Drina, you are the bravest ones. We are going
19 to clean Bosnia of pagans and show them a road which will take them to the
20 East, where they belong."
21 Now, tell us: Did you make a speech in Mali Zvornik, across the
22 Drina, in the spring of 1992?
23 A. To the best of my recollection, at the beginning of 1992, I was at
24 a church near Mali Zvornik when it was being consecrated. But I can't
25 remember what period of time that was exactly. A long time before the
1 war, at any rate. But that witness is a false witness, because I never
2 said that in any of my speeches.
3 Q. Is there anything that you might have said by way of encouraging
4 the Serbs across the river in Zvornik itself?
5 A. It might have been. As far as I remember, there was a problem
6 there already because some Serb taxi-driver had been killed. So possibly
7 I was speaking about that. But then you should have my whole speech and
8 not somebody's false interpretation, untruthful. But quite certainly, I
9 couldn't have called anybody in Bosnia a pagan. That is absolutely
10 impossible. I'm not as stupid as that. I'm not as uneducated as that to
11 be able to do so. And that would have been completely wrong. I would
12 have turned out an idiot had I said that they were pagans because Islam is
13 a monotheistic religion, is much more monotheistic than Christianity
14 itself is. In Islam there's just one God and there's no Holy Trinity,
15 there are no saints or anything else. So it would have been impossible
16 for me to have said something like that, absolutely impossible.
17 But I could have attacked the pan-Islamists who wished
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina to secede from Yugoslavia. That is all quite possible.
19 But then you would have had to have had the original speech. What your
20 false witness is saying is absolutely impossible.
21 Q. There's so many books of yours, it's not possible to research them
22 in the way that might be desirable. Can you remember whether you've
23 published anywhere a speech of yours given in Mali Zvornik in 1992?
24 A. Mr. Nice, I have many books, but it is possible to look into them
25 all. You have the resources. At present, I don't have the resources to
1 delve in that study. But in principle, all speeches which any of my
2 associates recorded, I published. There might have been some speech that
3 wasn't recorded and therefore not made public, not published. For
4 example, I had a television programme in Leskovac, in the south of Serbia,
5 in Bojnjak, the place name was, I believe, but --
6 Q. Two preliminary questions for you before I show you a little bit
7 of a videotape. You sent your volunteers, or your volunteers were sent,
8 or whatever happened, to go to Zvornik, which is across the Drina. What
9 were they going there to do?
10 A. They were sent as soldiers of the JNA, as volunteers in JNA units.
11 And before they were sent, I didn't know that they were going to Zvornik
12 at all. They went where the command of the JNA thought they ought to be
13 deployed. And we were just told the wishes, that is to say, how many
14 volunteers and when they were supposed to arrive in the Bubanj Potok
15 barracks, for example.
16 Q. How many volunteers were required?
17 A. I don't know exactly who. Someone from the General Staff.
18 Q. Don't you know who asked you for your volunteers to be sent?
19 A. Listen, it's like this: We had a wartime staff in the Serb
20 Radical Movement and at the head of that staff was my vice-president and
21 he went in my name to the General Staff to reach an agreement. And on the
22 basis of that, the volunteers were convened. I didn't deal with these
23 technical matters. But behind the sending of volunteers of the Serbian
24 Radical Party was me, I myself, as president of the party. But there are
25 technical details of how many, when and so forth.
1 Q. [Previous translation continues]... comes from the soldier and not
2 the General Staff. I mean, for example, no politician could ever have
3 been involved in a request for volunteers to be sent to Zvornik; is that
5 A. No. Not a single politician. My vice-president, Ljubisa
6 Petkovic, whose statement you have, contacted the General Staff and mostly
7 his contacts were with General Domazetovic. And he would report to me
8 from time to time about those contacts. But not all the technical
9 details, because that wasn't essential. The essential thing was that the
10 General Staff would tell us their wishes and needs and requirements, and
11 within the frameworks of our possibilities, we would bring in volunteers
12 from various parts of Serbia, even Montenegro, and we would send them
13 where the General Staff told us to.
14 Q. [Previous translation continues]... ask you for volunteers to be
16 A. No. Radmilo Bogdanovic, the former minister of the interior; is
17 that who you mean? Bogdanovic. I don't know another Bogdanovic.
18 Q. And the accused wouldn't ask you for the volunteers to be sent,
19 would he?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Another little matter that you might help us with before we look
22 at the piece of footage I want you to review with us is this: The Red
23 Berets, just define for us what you say they were.
24 A. The Red Berets were of different types, different types of units
25 who wore red berets on their heads. So only that concept would be the
1 right kind of concept.
2 Q. Was there ever a particular unit commanded by a particular person
3 that was known as the Red Berets?
4 A. A unit with the official name of the Red Berets did not exist.
5 What did exist were different units whose members wore red berets. The
6 ones who were in Golubic in the Captain Dragan training centre and I
7 clashed with them and I attacked them publicly, I already told you that in
8 Republika Srpska I found in a judgement there -- in the judgement of this
9 tribunal that in several places mention is made of a reconnaissance or
10 intervention platoon of the Red Berets within the Bratunac Brigade, for
12 Q. You told us about a unit that was formed in 1996, I think. Now,
13 what was that all about? Was that the Red Berets or something like that?
14 A. They did have in the public -- or rather, the people called them
15 the Red Berets, but their official title was the Unit for Special
16 Operations of the State Security Service of Serbia.
17 Q. Under the control of?
18 A. Under the control of the State Security Service of Serbia. And I
19 think the first commander was Frenki Simatovic.
20 Q. First of all --
21 A. I think that the first commander was Franko Simatovic, nicknamed
22 Frenki, if I remember well. And then after that, it was Milorad Lukovic,
23 known as Legija.
24 Q. And he and his unit first sprung into being or came into being in
25 1996 and not a day before; is that right?
1 A. No. Franko Simatovic, Frenki, did not begin to exist in 1996. He
2 existed prior to that. And to the best of my knowledge, he was even a
3 volunteer in Srpska Krajina. But I can't say for sure where, because I
4 never saw him. I never met him until he came to the prison here.
5 Q. [Previous translation continues]... question and we'll go back to
6 it and I'll rephrase it. Did the formal unit, headed by Simatovic, exist
7 only in 1996 or did it exist before 1996?
8 A. That unit existed only as of 1996 onwards. The people who joined
9 it in 1996 were mostly war veterans who had fought previously. Some of
10 them were with Captain Dragan. Others were Arkan's Tigers. Quite
11 possibly there were some volunteers from the Serbian Radical Party,
12 although no name comes to mind just now. And there were some other people
13 too who made a name for themselves in the war. And the object was to
14 select the best fighters, to the best of my knowledge.
15 Q. Please don't fall into the trap of giving the answer you think is
16 wanted of you. Just think about this: Given your positions, your role
17 with your own party and your relationship with this accused and so on, is
18 there any possibility that you could have been kept in the dark, kept
19 ignorant, of the existence of a special unit under Simatovic between 1991
20 and 1996?
21 A. First of all, nobody had the duty of informing me, because I
22 wasn't a man in authority. I was an opposition politician.
23 Secondly, I make a clear distinction between the Red Berets,
24 formed in 1996, and various other units who were known popularly by that
25 name which had existed earlier. From the very beginning, Captain Dragan
1 wore a red beret and that's what his men were referred to as. And I even
2 clashed with him and attacked them publicly because of certain things.
3 And you'll be able to find that in some of my books.
4 Q. I'll try to give you an opportunity to consider it really calmly
5 and take moments for reflection if you need to. I'll ask you the question
6 again. Is there any possibility that you could have been kept in the
7 dark, kept ignorant, of the existence of a special unit under Simatovic
8 that existed between 1991 and 1996?
9 A. First of all -- well, I'm very calm, so what you're saying is no
10 good to you at all. Nobody had the duty of informing me about anything.
11 That's the first point. Especially not giving me information of that
12 nature. To the best of my knowledge, Franko Simatovic, Frenki, was a
13 volunteer in Krajina, and to the best of my knowledge, he was the
14 commander of some unit over there. However, I never met him until he came
15 here to the prison. I knew about him, I had heard of him, and very often
16 I attacked him, as far as I remember.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: I have just one question about volunteers. Did the
18 Socialist Party of Serbia have a structure for providing volunteers for
19 the JNA?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To my knowledge, no, never. To the
21 best of my knowledge, the Socialist Party of Serbia never dealt in
22 providing and assembling volunteers.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: So this was a feature of parties which had more
24 nationalist tendencies?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not only that. Nationalist and
1 oppositional as well. But they could have been parties of a mass
2 character. The Socialist Party of Serbia, however, in my opinion, was a
3 party of a bureaucratic nature. You see, it included the white collar
4 workers of the state, the authorities. It had sort of inherited power, a
5 party which had inherited power from the League of Communists of
6 Yugoslavia and the Socialist Alliance, when it was disbanded, to become
7 the party of Serbia. Then the same cadres which were already in the state
8 structures, mostly, I say, continued working within the Socialist Party.
9 So it wasn't a party in the sense of being a spontaneous, mass party, such
10 as the opposition parties.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Would it be wrong of me to think it strange that a
12 political party should be charged with or take on board the duty of
13 organising volunteers for the army, the army of the federal republic?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's not strange if you bear the
15 situation in mind, the situation that the state was in at the time. The
16 situation was highly confusing, chaotic, and the response to mobilisation
17 in Serbia was pretty low, the mobilisation as pursued by the JNA, for
18 ideological reasons. And we, in some way, tried to break up the
19 ideological taboos that prevailed.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
21 MR. NICE:
22 Q. You see, going back to the Red Berets, you actually know the Red
23 Berets as a unit under Simatovic existed from 1991, don't you?
24 A. To the best of my knowledge, Franko Simatovic was a volunteer over
25 there for a time, and he was linked to that training centre of Captain
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Dragan's in Golubic. And the people who had passed through that training
2 centre had on their heads red berets, and for that reason they were called
3 that way. There were even some cases when, from time to time, our
4 volunteers were sent there too.
5 Q. And do you know, from what you told us yourself in evidence in
6 chief, that to create something like a paramilitary organisation in 1991,
7 disturbing the proper holders of power and the proper what's called
8 monopoly of violence, police and the army, disturbing that monopoly, is
9 something that was never proper for this accused to do. You know that,
10 don't you?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And it is essential for the Defence of this accused to try and
13 establish that no such unit was formed in 1991, because there would be no
14 excuse for it, and that is why I'm going to suggest to you you're being
15 entirely dishonest with the Court when you say you didn't know it existed.
16 A. I state that it is you who are completely dishonest, Mr. Nice, and
17 I also claim --
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Do not persist in that kind of answer. It is
19 perfectly proper for Mr. Nice to put to you that you are dishonest. It is
20 not, on the other hand, proper for you to suggest that Mr. Nice is
21 dishonest. He's putting his case to you, and you must appreciate the
22 difference. On the basis of the instructions that he has and on the basis
23 of the evidence in the trial, he's putting to you that your answer is
24 dishonest. So answer that without suggesting that Mr. Nice is dishonest.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In response to every abuse by
1 Mr. Nice, I will respond in like kind.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: If you do that, if you do not answer the question
3 that is properly put to you, we will move to the next question, and it
4 will be for the Chamber to draw whatever inference is appropriate in the
6 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't know if it will help or not, Mr. Seselj, to
7 make this comment, but I'll make it anyway in the hope that it does. One
8 crucial difference between a politician and a lawyer who presents a case
9 in court is that politicians express personal opinions, and lawyers
10 presenting cases in court don't. They make propositions based on evidence
11 and argument -- as a foundation for argument that will arise later. And
12 if there is a foundation somewhere in the evidence in this case which has
13 gone on, as you know, since February 2002, for the proposition that the
14 lawyer makes, then he's entitled to do it. If you were to respond like
15 any other responsible witness, you would respect that, just as you would
16 expect us to respect the way in which politicians undertake their
18 So I hope you will be able to answer the questions which are put
19 perfectly properly in a constructive manner. Because only then will you
20 be assisting the Court.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, rephrase the question. And if we do
22 not get an answer to it, then we'll move on. And as I said, it will be
23 for the Chamber to draw whatever inference is appropriate in the
25 MR. NICE: I'm grateful.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: The issue has been explained time and again to
2 this witness.
3 MR. NICE:
4 Q. My question to you is this: It is essential for the Defence of
5 this accused to try and establish that no such unit, that's the Red Berets
6 under Simatovic, was formed in 1991. It's essential to do that, because
7 as you've conceded, there could be no excuse for creating such a unit.
8 And that is the foundation for my suggestion to you that you're being
9 entirely dishonest with this Court when you assert that you didn't know it
11 A. Mr. Nice, you are a completely dishonourable man, perfidious, and
12 a liar.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Move on to the next question.
14 MR. NICE: I have to make the point that it's still obvious from
15 the beginning that the witness would attempt to deflect attention by
16 personalising issues. He will carry on doing it as long as he thinks it's
17 in his interest, I suppose. Can I have a look --
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 MR. NICE: For the interpreters, I'm going to run through four
21 video clips; 25B, C, D, and E. In each case, they come from the interview
22 with this witness prepared for The Death of Yugoslavia film. In each case
23 I think they are re-translations. But, Your Honours, we know the
24 difficulties we've encountered, difficulties the interpreters have
25 understandably encountered. Can I propose this as a solution: That we
1 listen to the tape with the new translation in our hands, and if the
2 interpreters are not able, as I suspect will be the case, to interpret as
3 they're going along, if they can draw to our attention any errors that
4 they perceive in the translation, and then I can ask questions of the
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
7 MR. NICE: So if we could distribute the first one, which comes
8 from this interview. As there's no text on the actual monitor, or there's
9 no text on the video film, someone, I think, should read -- if one of the
10 interpreters would read the translation that has been distributed. And if
11 they're not able to correct it as it's going along, if we could ask them
12 if there are corrections at the end. I'll try that as a method, with the
13 Court's leave.
14 Ms. Dicklich suggests - and this may be a very useful proposal -
15 that if I pause after a couple of sentences, or pause the tape and check
16 for corrections at that stage, that would be better. I see nods from the
17 booth. So if Ms. Dicklich could play this, please. It's in Sanction.
18 [Videotape played]
19 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note that they cannot hear the
21 MR. NICE: The soundtrack, at the moment is the question from --
22 [Videotape played]
23 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] In 1990 we were not acquiring
24 weapons, we were only enlisting volunteers, and occasionally, when
25 necessary, from time to time, we would send them to the front, but those
1 were all very small groups. In 1991, we began organising volunteers on a
2 larger scale and sending them to already established front lines,
3 particularly to eastern Slavonia - here in the east of the Republic of
4 Serb Krajina. Our volunteers..."
5 MR. NICE:
6 Q. Having paused at that sentence, I don't know if I can check
7 whether there's any correction to the transcript so far.
8 THE INTERPRETER: As far as the interpreters could hear - it is
9 very fast - it was all right.
10 MR. NICE: Press on.
11 [Videotape played]
12 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] Our volunteers distinguished
13 themselves especially at the battle in Borovo Selo, which took place on
14 May 2nd, 1991, when they defeated the stronger Croatian forces - Croatian
15 police and para-police forces. We were getting..."
16 MR. NICE: Again, that sentence, any corrections?
17 THE INTERPRETER: As far as we could hear, it was all right.
18 MR. NICE: Okay. Press on.
19 [Videotape played]
20 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] We were getting weapons from
21 Milosevic's police, from the then -- first from the then Foreign --
22 Minister of Internal Affairs Radmilo Bogdanovic, and then when he was
23 replaced, from his successor. We were getting old weapons from the
24 warehouse of the Territorial Defence. There were old American Thompson
25 guns, which had been withdrawn from use long time ago. Then there were
1 old M-48 guns, the so-called Tandzare.
2 MR. NICE: That passage?
3 THE INTERPRETER: As far as we could hear, it was all right.
4 MR. NICE: And the last passage, please.
5 [Videotape played]
6 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] Therefore, it was pretty much
7 everything that was obsolete, what the army had stopped using a long time
8 ago, what was kept somewhere in the warehouses of the Territorial Defence.
9 They felt sorry to destroy it all, so they just gave them to us. But it
10 was with those weapons that we beat the modernly equipped Croats."
11 MR. NICE:
12 Q. Mr. Seselj, in the course of that answer to Laura Silber on The
13 Death of Yugoslavia tape, you said that you were getting weapons from
14 Milosevic's police, from the then Minister of Internal Affairs, Radmilo
15 Bogdanovic, and then from his successor. True or false?
16 A. This entire interview, which lasted about one hour, is one I
17 published in one of my books. And you could have found that too. So I'm
18 not challenging the fact that I gave this interview, however, for reasons
19 of political propaganda, I threw Mr. Milosevic and Radmilo Bogdanovic into
20 the entire story, wanting to annoy them and to cause on their part an
21 improper political reaction.
22 Q. Mr. Seselj, I'm going to make this proposition once, although it
23 is going to apply to the remaining passages we're going to look at. This
24 account that you're giving of lying to Laura Silber on these particular
25 topics that you mentioned in your evidence in chief is something you and
1 the accused know you have to say to get round the revelations that come
2 from these tapes, and you're lying to the Court in saying that you said
3 these things about Milosevic and Bogdanovic for the reasons you've just
4 given, in 1995. Do you understand me? This is all part of an intent to
5 mislead this Court when you say you were lying to Laura Silber.
6 A. First of all, there is nothing that I have to wiggle my way out of
7 here. I'm proud of the volunteers in Borovo Selo, the volunteers of the
8 Serb Radical Party, and to the end of my life, I will remain proud of
10 Secondly, the weapons were found in the village when the
11 volunteers arrived. As I was engaged in a propaganda war against
12 Mr. Milosevic, every time I spoke in public I tried to draw him into
13 something that he would find most uncomfortable. Also, the regime was
14 fighting a propaganda war against me in a similar way.
15 Q. I'm giving you opportunity to deal with these things in detail.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I ask: In what way would that make
17 Mr. Milosevic feel uncomfortable?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because at that time Mr. Milosevic
19 had very good relations with the Western powers. He accepted Western
20 peace initiatives, purportedly peace initiatives, and also there was the
21 Vance-Owen Plan and all the way up to the beginning of 1998, that was the
22 period of time just before the Dayton agreement. When was this TV show
23 actually -- or rather, when was this interview made? Mr. Nice can help
24 out with that. I think it was on the eve of the Dayton agreement. So why
25 was I saying all of this? In order to harm Mr. Milosevic politically.
1 MR. NICE:
2 Q. In March 1995.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: This is an example, then, of bombast?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes. In March 1995, I had
5 just got out of prison, that Mr. Milosevic's authorities had put me into.
6 I left on the 30th of January, or rather, the 29th of January was when I
7 was released. I was released from prison with a couple of thousand
8 people. I passed by the seat of the Presidency of Serbia, where
9 Mr. Milosevic was sitting, and I made a speech. And I attacked him with
10 the worst possible vocabulary, whatever crossed my mind. Whatever my
11 imagination gave me, I said against Mr. Milosevic in those days. And I
12 was always mindful of using whatever might harm him the most politically,
13 in view of his political positions. If you look at my speeches from that
14 period, from 1995, you will find a great many of this kind.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Seselj, bear in mind that the reference here is
16 to events in 1991. Now, a lot happened in Yugoslavia between 1991 and
17 1995. How could this account, which would show to the Serbian people
18 Mr. Milosevic assisting in a successful campaign in 1991, how could that
19 be seen to be to your political advantage and to his political
20 disadvantage in 1995?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's very logical: I am giving an
22 interview to a BBC journalist. Her bosses sent her to Serbia to collect
23 material for the TV programme of theirs that had God knows how many
24 installments. I am repeating something that the Western media and the
25 anti-Serb media at home were saying in the propaganda campaign in 1991,
1 1992, and 1993. In mid-1993, they stopped their propaganda campaign.
2 Then I highlighted all these arguments that had already been presented.
3 Everything that I said in 1995 against Mr. Milosevic is what you can find
4 in the Western media and the anti-Serb media in Serbia over the previous
5 years. They stopped that, but I kept grinding --
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Lower the volume and reduce the speed.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In that same year, 1995, I went to
8 prison again. Sometime around the 2nd of June, I was arrested in Gnjilane
9 and sent to prison with my associates for about two months.
10 Mr. Milosevic's government sent me to prison and I made speeches that had
11 to be the most uncomfortable for Mr. Milosevic.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, you see, maybe you can't help me, but you
13 didn't answer the question at all just now. Because I was anxious to know
14 how this would embarrass Mr. Milosevic in 1995, not to hear another
15 account from you of your great success and your great ventures in trying
16 to embarrass him, but how would these events of 1991 being recounted in
17 1995 cause difficulty for him in his dealings with the West, or even with
18 the people of Serbia? It seems to me it would do nothing but bolster his
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. This story could not reinforce
21 his position in any way. This story actually disturbed the political
22 atmosphere in Serbia. In that year, Mr. Milosevic's party was appearing
23 with the thesis that peace had no alternative, and they were clamoring
24 about that. Whereas we, the Serb Radicals, felt existentially hurt by the
25 acceptance of the Vance-Owen Plan and also the relationship between the
1 authorities in Serbia and the authorities in Republika Srpska. There was
2 this blockade of Republika Srpska. When I had a big rally in Loznica,
3 when we organised a march at the Drina River, we practically used force to
4 cross the Drina River. So the atmosphere was a very heated one.
5 Everything I think that might be useful, I resorted to at that moment.
6 Now, where is the problem here? Mr. Nice is just looking at very
7 short excerpts from the campaign that we were waging then. If you would
8 look at the entirety of all my speeches from that period of time that
9 Mr. Nice does have, then you could have an overall picture of that
10 campaign. If you just single out two or three sentences, that's what you
11 see. I attacked Mr. Bogdanovic as one of the members of the leadership of
12 the Socialist Party, bearing in mind the assumption that he took part in
13 the taking away of our seats in parliament.
14 In 1993, I accused him of being one of the participants of the
15 putsch against Karadzic in Banja Luka.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: You're moving away from the subject again. Just
17 one other matter in relation to this contribution to the programme, or to
18 the film: The impression one gets from this is that the volunteers were a
19 group themselves. "Our volunteers proved themselves especially in the
20 battle... when they defeated the stronger Croatian forces." And then at
21 the foot: "But it was with those weapons that we beat the modernly
22 equipped Croats."
23 Now, would it be wrong to form the impression from that that this
24 conflict occurred between forces of Serbia who were more or less
25 exclusively your volunteers?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Absolutely wrong, Mr. Bonomy. The
2 volunteers of the Serb Radical Party were within the Territorial Defence
3 of Borovo Selo under the command of Vukasin Soskocanin, and it was when he
4 asked for them that I sent my volunteers. I'm sure that the OTP has my
5 speech from the rally in Borovo Selo in April, when I promised that we
6 would send volunteers at the invitation of Vukasin Soskocanin. When I say
7 "we," I identify myself with all Serb war efforts in this war, regardless
8 of whether it's the JNA, the army of the Serb Krajina, the Army of
9 Republika Srpska.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Seselj, let me see whether I understand the
11 explanation that you're giving. By saying "We were getting weapons from
12 Milosevic's police," you were reinforcing a view that the West had of
13 Mr. Milosevic as a person who was promoting conflict with Croatia. You
14 were thereby reinforcing an unfavourable impression that they had of
15 Mr. Milosevic; is that what you're saying?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I kept renewing that at the
17 time when the West lost that impression and when they started calling
18 Mr. Milosevic the main factor of peace in the Balkans, I actually brought
19 up again what the West had been saying about him two years prior to that.
20 I am taking over the arsenal in the belief that Mr. Milosevic changed his
21 policy, and I attack him with the same arsenal that the West had attacked
22 him with before.
23 I'll give you another example, to make things clearer. In 1995,
24 we, the Serb Radicals, were categorically against the Dayton accords. In
25 Studio B and some of the other media in Serbia, we made propaganda
1 speeches, we organised TV programmes, et cetera. Warren Christopher came,
2 the US Secretary of State. He came to Belgrade. Mr. Milosevic complained
3 to him about the campaign that the Serb Radical Party was waging against
4 the Dayton agreement, through Studio B, which was considered a pro-Western
5 TV station. Mr. Milosevic never confirmed this to me, but then, as I
6 found out then from some other sources, Mr. Christopher said to him: "Why
7 are you tolerating that?" After that, Nebojsa Covic, one of the key
8 persons from the socialist regime, now an opposition person, or rather,
9 now a member of the new regime, Nebojsa Covic annulled the privatisation
10 of Studio B and put in an administration to be in charge of Studio B so
11 that the Serb Radicals would totally be sealed off from the media. Why am
12 I explaining this at such great length? It is necessary to have the
13 historical context in mind. Everything that the regime was saying against
14 me at the time and everything that they were accusing me of. Just as you
15 had the opportunity of seeing today: When Mr. Nice says that I am a liar,
16 I say that he's a liar. When one of Mr. Milosevic's top people says
17 something like that about me, I am trying to think of the most painful
18 thing I can think of to retaliate with.
19 MR. NICE:
20 Q. Three questions, I think, before we move from this passage, and
21 I'd like you to deal with them, if you wouldn't mind, with yes or no
22 answers, because I think they're all susceptible to yes or no answers.
23 Your observations here about Milosevic's police and Bogdanovic are
24 both untrue; is that correct?
25 A. Yes. Yes. What I said in this TV programme is incorrect, and it
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 was within my propaganda war against Mr. Milosevic. I am not going to
2 give you yes or no answers simply to any one of your questions, because
3 that's impossible.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, in the circumstances, I think the
5 witness is entitled to add an explanation. What's the next question?
6 MR. NICE: If Your Honour pleases.
7 Q. The next question is a very simple one, Mr. Seselj: And it was
8 your intention at the time to say something that was untrue; yes?
9 A. Yes, within the propaganda efforts of the Serb Radical Party
10 against the authorities of Mr. Milosevic and him personally. This is the
11 mildest kind of thing I said then. There are things that are far more
12 vigorous than that.
13 Q. It was a lie.
14 A. No, Mr. Nice. If you were an educated person, then you would have
15 read Hannah Arendt's book, Truth and Lies in Politics. Oh, fine. So
16 that's the best thing to do, to turn off the witness's microphone because
17 you don't like the answer.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Bear in mind, Mr. Seselj, that this was being --
19 you knew this was an interview for broadcast. So when I'm sitting in
20 front of my television, watching it, then this information, to me, coming
21 to me, would be a lie. You might see it as propaganda within Serbia, but
22 to someone outside of Serbia, watching television, it would be a lie.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. But you who are sitting and
24 watching television in Great Britain are used to that type of lying
25 through your own media, because they keep lying all the time. Especially
1 as far as the Serbs are concerned, you are snowed under with that kind of
3 JUDGE BONOMY: I, speaking for myself, find that not an
4 appropriate way to expand upon an answer. I agree that there are certain
5 occasions when a yes or a no may not give a complete answer, but that is
6 an example of gratuitous abuse that you had absolutely no need to give.
7 MR. NICE:
8 Q. Mr. Seselj, yesterday - you may not remember this - but I invited
9 your explanation of your dishonest answers in the period after 1993, and
10 you then restricted your -- you explained that you wanted to say things
11 that weren't true about the accused Milosevic. It's now clear that you
12 also, on your account, wanted to say things that were untrue about
13 Bogdanovic. Who else did you want to say untrue things about in the
14 period leading up to the giving of this interview? Who else did you wish
15 to misrepresent? Milosevic, Bogdanovic. Who else?
16 A. Everybody from the then regime. Sometimes I would make
17 combinations between truthful facts and fabricated facts. Sometimes the
18 combination was more convincing, sometimes less. But for the most part,
19 everybody realised that I was saying that for the sake of attacking as
20 effectively as possible, not because these were realistic facts. In the
21 case of all -- or most of my attacks against Mr. Milosevic, the majority
22 of Serbia was laughing. I got the aura of a brave man, a courageous man,
23 and that contributed to the popularity of my party. Wow, he dared to say
24 this, he dared to say that, he dared insult him.
25 Q. The book in which you tell us this interview is reprinted, the
1 title of that book so that we could locate it from the number of volumes
2 you say you've provided us? What's the title of the book in which this
3 interview is reprinted?
4 A. You got that in one of my 80 books. I cannot remember the exact
5 title now. But these are the books that are collections of my interviews
6 from roughly 1995. It's not hard for you to find that. I published them
7 in their entirety. It's about one hour's worth.
8 Q. If we're able to find this book, are we going to find in it an
9 account by you that the interview was intentionally dishonest, in part, or
11 A. No.
12 Q. Why not?
13 A. Because that book came out at the same time. And while I was in
14 prison - I was in prison for four months under Mr. Milosevic's government
15 - I published a book of such interviews entitled The Red Tyrant from
16 Dedinje, The Dizdar from Dedinje, Are We in Danger of a Slobotomy? Four
17 books altogether. Those books I published while I was in prison, and
18 you've got all four of those books. I handed them in. So even in prison,
19 I tried to attack him, I tried to insult him, I tried to score political
20 points against him. So this is no exception. All my books that contain
21 interviews from that time are similar or identical. Now, why did I
22 publish this? I published it at the time to cause that particular effect.
23 But later, when I published my collective works -- oh, you don't like the
25 Q. Before we move to the next clip, just then this: Is it right, as
1 I think you confirmed yesterday, that --
2 JUDGE BONOMY: I can't let a comment like that go, you see, I'm
3 afraid. You're not being cut off from answering. You're being cut off
4 because you're not answering. You have to answer that.
5 MR. NICE: I'm grateful to Your Honour.
6 Q. Can you confirm, as I think you --
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Should I continue answering now?
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: No, just answer the question which is being asked
9 of you.
10 MR. NICE:
11 Q. Is it right, as you I think confirmed yesterday, that until the
12 moment that you started to give evidence on behalf of this accused, you
13 had never publicly sought to correct the record you left behind in The
14 Death of Yugoslavia interview?
15 A. That's not correct. I explained that in several interviews that I
16 gave in 1998, 1999, and in the years after that. Last night I told my
17 legal advisors to prepare by Monday all the relevant information for me,
18 and I hope that on Tuesday I will be able to provide you with accurate
19 information as to when I explained all of that. Because I do not have the
20 time to go through all this voluminous material now. But several times I
21 explained all of that in public.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: You explained, as you said, in 1998 and 1999 that
23 much of what you said earlier was just bombast, was propaganda.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, then it's in the interest of the accused to
1 have that material to put to you in re-examination.
2 MR. NICE: Your Honour, as a matter of technicality, not for an
3 observation by the witness at the moment, but for a witness to be
4 discussing his evidence in the course of the evidence, even with his own
5 legal advisors, is matters upon which the Court might want to consider the
6 terms of his doing so, because of the usual injunction.
7 May the last document be produced and given an exhibit number.
8 THE REGISTRAR: The transcript will be 884.
9 MR. NICE: May we now please distribute what is 25C, for the
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, may I say something
12 now? It's very important.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] With no one do I discuss the content
15 of my testimony. What I needed here was technical assistance. Every
16 Tuesday I have conversations with the members of my expert team assisting
17 my Defence, and I instructed them to do a technical job for me. As to
18 what I discuss with them, it might refer to what the media are reporting,
19 and so on and so forth. I never discuss the content of my testimony with
20 anyone, although you never told me I shouldn't do that. However, I have
21 heard that that's the practice and that it mustn't be done.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: I hear the explanation.
23 MR. NICE: May we now, then, play this part of the same recording.
24 It's very short, and if we can deal with it on the same basis and we'll
25 play the whole excerpt, somebody reading it in the transcript available,
1 and seeking indications of corrections at the end. There's one particular
2 word that the Chamber will want to possibly just be sure about in the
3 antepenultimate line, the colour that's referred to there. We'll see what
4 comes out of the interpreters.
5 Again, I think the question will not be audible, but the question
6 that can be discerned is, "When you received the weapons, was that with
7 Milosevic's knowledge or via the police?"
8 [Videotape played]
9 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] That was 'all with Milosevic's
10 knowledge.' There's no doubt of it. And as for the request, Milosevic
11 should ask Radmilo Bogdanovic, Mihalj Kertes, General Domazetovic, for
12 example, or somebody else, they would say --"
13 The interpreters cannot find the reference.
14 MR. NICE: I think that will have to be started again and played
15 again. And provisionally, I'm told that the colour referred to in the
16 antepenultimate line is incorrect, but we'll have to listen to it again,
17 if we can.
18 [Videotape played]
19 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters have found the reference now.
20 "[Voiceover] That was 'all with Milosevic's knowledge.' There is
21 no doubt. And key people from the police, with whom we had established
22 cooperation at the time, were Radmilo Bogdanovic, Mihalj Kertes, and
23 others. Franko Simatovic, also known as Frenki, who commanded...
24 Therefore, from the General Staff, we mostly cooperated with General
25 Domazetovic, who was the deputy chief of General Staff at the time, if I'm
1 not mistaken."
2 MR. NICE: There was a gap in the antepenultimate line. We'll
3 come to that in a second. If, through the Chamber, I can seek the
4 assistance of the interpreters as to whether, so far as they could
5 discern, there were any other errors in the translation.
6 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters were unable to hear the colour.
7 But apparently we believe there are no other errors -- no errors, as far
8 as we can tell.
9 JUDGE KWON: So it is that the interpreters just read these
10 transcripts prepared by the OTP.
11 MR. NICE: Your Honour, what's been happening is one person has
12 been reading it, because, of course, there's no script on the monitor, the
13 others, I think, have been listening to it and have been asked to say
14 whether there was any error.
15 JUDGE KWON: I see the nodding.
16 MR. NICE: Yes. They've been able to discern at the speed at
17 which they're having to work, no errors. We have yet to deal with the
18 question of the colour on the antepenultimate line. What we've been able
19 to hear on this bench is not authority, and it may be that the
20 interpreters will want to listen to it once more just to deal with the
21 colour that's referred to. And if we could do that, I'd be grateful. We
22 don't need, at this stage, to have it read over in English again and the
23 interpreters can concentrate on what they hear.
24 [Videotape played]
25 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters heard "red berets."
1 MR. NICE: Thank you.
2 Q. Mr. Seselj, on this part of the interview, you said that receiving
3 the weapons was all with Milosevic's knowledge, there's no doubt, and that
4 people with whom cooperation was established included Radmilo Bogdanovic,
5 Mihalj Kertes, and others. Was that true or was that untrue?
6 A. That was untrue, with a clear political intention. The truthful
7 part is the part that says that we cooperated with General Domazetovic,
8 from the General Staff of the JNA. As for Borovo Selo, that weapons were
9 found in the Territorial Defence of Borovo Selo, I was trying to accuse
10 Radmilo Bogdanovic and Mihalj Kertes. And I insist that never in my life
11 have I ever met Franko Simatovic. If you find a single piece of
12 information showing that I met Franko Simatovic anywhere, then I will
13 concede everything that you have said against my testimony. I don't even
14 know what the man looks like in real life.
15 Q. Help us, please, then, with why you named Franko Simatovic, also
16 known as Frenki, who commanded the Red Berets later, why did you name a
17 man you had never met?
18 A. Because the unit that was formed in Golubic was called by that
19 name. That was one unit. There was another unit formed in Serbia in
20 1996, and Franko Simatovic became its commander because he had a lot of
21 war experience.
22 Q. [Previous translation continues]... unit formed in Golubic? When
23 was it formed in Golubic?
24 A. I don't know when it was formed, but it existed there in 1991. It
25 was already there. And it existed after Captain Dragan was driven out of
1 the Serbian Krajina.
2 Q. Forgive my difficulty, but you said in your last answer but one:
3 "The unit that was formed in Golubic was called by that name, the name of
4 the Red Berets." Do you remember I asked you not so very long ago to
5 define the Red Berets for us and you excluded anything except the 1996
6 version. So what has this got to do with it? What's the Golubic Red
7 Berets got to do with all this?
8 A. You are misinterpreting what I said. What you're saying is simply
9 not true. More than once I've told you that there were various units
10 popularly referred to as the Red Berets. Not a single one was officially
11 called the Red Berets, not a single one, neither the one formed in Serbia
12 in 1996 or the one formed in Serbian Krajina or the ones that existed in
13 Republika Srpska. I insist that none of these units bore officially the
14 name Red Berets. It was the people who called them the Red Berets because
15 they wore red berets on their heads. However, none of them had that as an
16 official name. Captain Dragan paraded around all the time with a red
17 beret on his head.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: The answer you actually gave at the time was, "I
19 make a clear distinction between the Red Berets formed in 1996 and various
20 other units who were known popularly by that name." Now, do you want to
21 change that answer?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Everything I've said now agrees
23 with that, Mr. Bonomy. But the ones established in 1996 were not
24 officially called the Red Berets either. The people referred to them as
25 the Red Berets. Their official name was the Special Operations Unit. So
1 there is no discrepancy between what I said previously and what I'm saying
2 now. It's all -- it all matches.
3 MR. NICE:
4 Q. And what was the first, if any, Red Beret unit that was a part of
5 the state security, a special unit of the State Security Service? Which
6 was the first one that was so formed?
7 A. It's hard to answer this question. I don't know for certain which
8 was the first. One of the first was certainly Captain Dragan's unit. But
9 whether it was the first or not, I couldn't swear to that. It might have
10 been the first unit to be popularly called by that name among the people.
11 But it was part of the Serbian army of the Krajina.
12 Q. But let's go back to this passage --
13 JUDGE KWON: I'm sorry. I'm not sure whether the witness
14 understood the question. The question was as to the first Red Beret unit
15 that was part of the state security. So your answer was that Captain
16 Dragan's unit was the first unit which is a part of the state security.
17 Are you saying so?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's not how I heard the question.
19 I think the question was which unit apart from the one in the State
20 Security Service was the first to bear that name. Did I understand the
21 question correctly?
22 MR. NICE: I think, Your Honour Judge Kwon has identified what the
23 witness is saying as a misunderstanding, and I'm grateful. I'm happy for
24 the Court to conclude this line of questioning, or I'll take it over,
25 whichever the Court prefers.
1 Q. His Honour's query is indeed a pertinent one, Mr. Seselj, and one
2 I was trying to deal with and no doubt my shortcoming in the questioning.
3 When, on your evidence, was the first occasion when any Red Beret unit
4 could have come into existence as a special unit of the State Security
5 Service? 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996? When?
6 A. According to what I know, it was in 1996. That's when the JSO was
7 established. Before 1996, there was no unit called the JSO, the Special
8 Operations Unit. I'm certain of that. But within that unit, there were
9 many who had previously fought in the war in various other units,
10 including those referred to as the Red Berets.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: So when you talked about the Red Berets, what did
12 you have in mind?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] While I was in conflict with those
14 Red Berets in the Srpska Krajina, I was in conflict with Captain Dragan.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: But when you talked about Red Berets commanded by
16 Simatovic, who did you have in mind?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you see, one should
18 distinguish Simatovic's role in the war in the Krajina, where he turned up
19 as a volunteer, from the role he had in 1996 onwards.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: But when you were talking about the Red Berets in
21 the interview, who did you have in mind?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, him. You see, as far as I
23 know --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: What do you mean by "him"?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Franko Simatovic, also known as
2 JUDGE BONOMY: But who are these Red Berets that you were talking
3 about him commanding in the interview?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those were the Red Berets fighting
5 in the Krajina.
6 Let me tell you something else: As far as I know, even volunteers
7 of the Serb Radical Party were occasionally sent by plane to Udbina, to
8 the Krajina, and some of them were then directed to report to the centre
9 in Golubic. Captain Dragan publicly boasted that he had sent some of them
10 back because they had not had a haircut, they hadn't shaved, and so on.
11 Those are the facts. But if you want to construct something else out of
12 those facts, that's a different matter.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, plainly they're not facts, because you say
14 this is inaccurate information. I mean, if they're facts, then I'm trying
15 to be clear about them. And if, as a matter of fact, when you gave this
16 interview, you were referring to a group known as the Red Berets,
17 commanded by Simatovic, I would like you to tell me who that group was.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm telling you: Those were the Red
19 Berets, active as part of the army of the Republika Srpska Krajina.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: And Simatovic had a role in commanding them?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. For a time, he was there as a
22 volunteer. I cannot clearly define the time, but according to what I
23 know, he was there as a volunteer and participated in the fighting. And
24 the experience he gained in the war there helped him get the position of
25 commander of the JSO in 1996.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Nice.
2 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Nice, if you could remind me of the date when
3 this interview had taken place.
4 MR. NICE: Yes. It's March of 1995, as we are advised by the
5 transcript provided by the television programme.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: The witness confirmed that.
7 JUDGE KWON: It was before the JSO was created?
8 MR. NICE: Mm-hmm.
9 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
10 MR. NICE: On our evidence, that is, Your Honour; evidence that
11 the witness challenges, of course. Sorry, 1995, before it was established
12 on his evidence. Your Honour is quite right.
13 Q. And indeed you might like to answer His Honour's question, you
14 see, Mr. Seselj.
15 A. What question?
16 Q. You're an educated man. You heard what he said. You understand
17 your difficulties, don't you? If something is brought into existence in
18 1996, omniscient though you may or may not be, you can't know what's
19 coming in the future. So could you explain, please, to the Court how you
20 were able to say Frenki Simatovic, who commanded the Red Berets later on?
21 Did you have the power of foresight?
22 A. First of all, I have never seen such insolence in my whole life.
23 It says here who commanded with the Green Berets later. Who commanded the
24 Red Berets later. I'm not saying he will do that in the future. I didn't
25 say who will command. And in your translation here, I don't say he will
1 command the Red Berets. Later on, he did command the Red Berets. There
2 was no such unit at the beginning of the war.
3 Q. [Previous translation continues]... your volume, please. Will you
4 now go back to the question, and we'll break it down into simple stages so
5 that you can follow. You've given clear evidence that Simatovic
6 controlled a unit that came into existence in 1996. The Prosecution's
7 case, as you know, is that, on the contrary, Red Berets came into
8 existence as a unit in 1991. Here you are speaking back to the period
9 early 1991, and you use the phrase, "Frenki, who commanded the Red
10 Berets -" there's a correction to the transcript - "later on." On your
11 case, on your evidence, "later on" could only be in 1996, and you couldn't
12 be giving this answer in 1995. Your answer does fit with the Prosecution
13 evidence that in 1990 or the very beginning of 1991, Frenki would be
14 somebody who would be later on commanding the Red Berets. What we want to
15 know is: How come you were able to say something that fits with the
16 Prosecution case?
17 A. First of all, Mr. Nice, you have not caught me out in anything. I
18 have caught you out. I raised my volume for a rhetorical effect, to be
19 more impressive.
20 Secondly, at the very beginning of the conflict, the unit
21 popularly referred to as the Red Berets did not exist. It was formed
22 during the conflict, when the Golubic centre for training was formed under
23 the command of Captain Dragan. When I say "who later commanded the Red
24 Berets," I'm not saying he's going to command from 1996 and I am
25 predicting it. It was then that he turned up there as a volunteer and was
1 a commander there. The fact that Frenki was in Serbian Krajina is no
2 secret to the local people there, nor does he deny it, as far as I know.
3 There's another problem here. You are trying to prove that this
4 unit which Frenki commanded in the Krajina was, in establishment terms,
5 part of the State Security Service of Serbia, and that is not true. That
6 is not true.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, we're going to take a break now.
8 MR. NICE: I've finished with this. Can we produce it, with the
9 transcript -- and you've got a revised version.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Revised transcript.
11 MR. NICE: With the word "red" in already.
12 THE REGISTRAR: That will be 885.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. We'll adjourn for 20 minutes.
14 --- Recess taken at 12.18 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 12.41 p.m.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Nice.
17 MR. NICE: May we turn to the next passage from the same
18 interview, please, which for the interpreters' assistance, although they
19 may be getting another translation - I'm not sure - is 25D.
20 And, Your Honours, with your leave, I'll deal with one question
21 and answer at a time, asking the booth to read the translation that's been
22 provided and then checking after each answer whether it is accurate. And
23 having gone through the whole of the transcript, if again this is
24 acceptable, I'll ask my questions of the witness.
25 If Ms. Dicklich would play the tape, please, the first question
1 and answer.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I haven't received the transcript in
3 the Serbian language.
4 [Videotape played]
5 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] Yes, our volunteers were in
6 Zvornik. Arkan's volunteers participated, too, as did another formation
7 of a certain Zuca who was under the command of the police and who is now
8 being tried for war crimes by the Tribunal."
9 MR. NICE: Can the interpreters confirm or not whether the
10 translation appears to be accurate?
11 THE INTERPRETER: We would have to hear the soundtrack again.
13 MR. NICE: Play it again, please.
14 [Videotape played]
15 THE INTERPRETER: Yes.
16 MR. NICE: Thank you. Next question and answer, a little longer.
17 [Videotape played]
18 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] And how did all this come about?
19 "Yes. We never received any orders. These were always
20 'requests.' Milosevic would ask us, Radmilo Bogdanovic would ask us,
21 some general would ask us, Domazetovic for example, or somebody else.
22 They would say: 'We need so and so many volunteers for this and that
23 location,' and we would gather that many volunteers. When they say they
24 need the most experienced ones, we send the most experienced ones. When
25 they say they could also use those with not too much experience because
1 it's nothing dangerous, then we send such people. It was always like
3 That's all right.
4 MR. NICE: I see nodding from the booth.
5 And then the next question and answer.
6 [Videotape played]
7 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] In May 1992, I began having
8 intensive meetings with Milosevic on a more regular basis, and back then,
9 it was always Milosevic himself who asked for volunteers to be sent out.
10 I mean, one did not have to convince us very much. We took this as our
11 duty, our responsibility... except when it came to the deployment, where
12 they were most needed... because they were known as the bravest, the most
13 capable, and the most disciplined men."
14 That passage is all right.
15 MR. NICE: And then the last very long answer to the last
16 question, please.
17 [Videotape played]
18 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] There were always quick agreements.
19 For example, when Tudjman attacked Pocitelj, Divoselo and Citluk in 1993.
20 Milosevic had some sort of agreement with him about that, but it seems
21 Tudjman did not keep his end of the deal. They had some underhand
22 dealings there. Milosevic was disappointed by Tudjman's actions, and
23 therefore decided at last minute to send volunteers there. He called me
24 and I went to him right away. He said: 'Three or four thousand
25 volunteers need to be sent to Divoselo, Citluk and Pocitelj.' We had
1 around 3.000 - 3.500 volunteers within two days, and Arkan brought along
2 with him around 300 more. They were sent out from Belgrade in literally
3 two days. There were never any problems with that. We would agree on
4 this very quickly. This was always agreed upon in a few words. We need
5 to go? Let's go."
6 That seems to be all right.
7 MR. NICE: Your Honour, in relation to the last answer, for the
8 purposes of the transcript, the interpreters didn't read any part of the
9 questioning. It may be that it was inaudible at the time and I don't know
10 if they were able to check it.
11 THE INTERPRETER: We could not hear the beginning very well, and
12 perhaps the year was not right.
13 MR. NICE: The question that preceded the answer that I was
14 concerned about, Your Honours, I'll just read out what's on the printed
15 transcript and then it can always be challenged or queried. The printed
16 transcript of the question that led to the last answer is to the following
17 effect. Laura Silber says: "Could you tell us about one such
18 conversation, regarding any places where you went, or where you sent your
19 units. How would the conversation with President Milosevic go regarding
20 that?" And then the answer was as read out: "Those were always quick
21 agreements..." and so on.
22 Q. Mr. Seselj, dealing with the four answers that are contained on
23 this part of the transcript, asked if you or your units were in Zvornik in
24 1992, you answered: "Yes... Arkan's volunteers participated, too, as did
25 a formation of Zuca who was under the command of the police and who is now
1 being tried for war crimes."
2 Was that answer correct and accurate?
3 A. No. The accurate part is only the first part of the answer, that
4 our volunteers were in Zvornik and that Arkan's volunteers were in
5 Zvornik. It is also correct that Zuca was there. The trial of Zuca had
6 already started, and of his brother too, and I'm trying to link him up
7 with the police and attack the regime in a forceful manner. I don't say
8 which police, whether it was the local police or the police from Serbia.
9 All I'm doing is launching an intrigue, a bit of intrigue, with the hope
10 that it will lead to a political reaction and a bit of political chaos.
11 Q. If he wasn't under the command of the police, under whose command
12 was he?
13 A. In my opinion, he established a paramilitary formation of a
14 criminal nature. Now, whose command he was under, well, I assume that
15 will come up in the trial that is being waged in Belgrade now. I wasn't
16 there personally for me to be able to see. But what I wanted to do was to
17 launch this intrigue, to go public with this intrigue, and to stir the
18 water up a bit.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Where did you understand the programme would be
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I thought it would be
22 broadcast right away.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry. The question was: Where did you understand
24 the programme would be broadcast?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As it was a BBC series, I thought
1 that it would first be broadcast on the BBC network and then, through its
2 service, be distributed who knows which television station, as was indeed
3 what happened. So I had a very broad public before me, and I used it to
4 target the regime. And I did that by insinuating the kind of things that
5 I thought would be very hurtful to Mr. Milosevic and the other leaders in
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
8 MR. NICE:
9 Q. If you wanted to hurt the accused, Milosevic, why didn't you say
10 under the command of Milosevic? Because you dealt with him specifically
11 later on. Why did you specifically put it under the command of the
13 A. Well, because then it wouldn't be convincing. Even if I had
14 concretised the police force, said specifically, it wouldn't be convincing
15 enough. In this way, I just mentioned the police and then you don't know
16 which police it is; this police, that police, this way, that way. So it's
17 easier to digest and serve it out that way. If I said Mr. Milosevic in
18 Zvornik in command of the Serb forces, well, then the journalist would say
19 this man is mad. But since I knew how to present this kind of thing,
20 that's what I did. I wrapped it up. And I had a political goal. I
21 didn't have to pay attention to what Mr. Milosevic and the powers that be
22 at the time would think about that. And I targeted him. As soon as I
23 left prison, at the prison gates, I held similar speeches in January and I
24 used all manner of abuse and abusive language.
25 Q. [Previous translation continues]... understand the way you present
1 yourself to an audience, in this case, Laura Silber, you're quick enough
2 to be able to think, "I can change the reality just a little bit by this
3 little lie and that will have some subsequent effect on the audience." Is
4 that really the sort of way your mind works?
5 A. Well, that's how the theory works of special warfare which in the
6 West is systematically being developed and which I systematically learnt
7 and studied from the well-known book by Liddel Hart, for example, The
8 Strategy of Special Action, dating back to the '50s, and to the end of the
9 1970s, everything about special psychological warfare is something that I
10 read. I have read all the books on that subject.
11 Q. There are other things that we can see from the video with you
12 there in your grey suit, looking straight into the eyes of the
13 interviewers, that you're able to tell a lie like this without any change
14 in demeanour. You can be quite convincing, can't you, Mr. Seselj, at
15 lies, on your own account.
16 A. Mr. Nice, I'd like you to be as convincing as that when you're
17 lying, but you're never convincing when you lie.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Seselj, I've time and again warned you about
19 that kind of comment.
20 MR. NICE: I'll move on to the next question, with Your Honour's
22 Q. Your volunteers were in Zvornik, Arkan's volunteers are there.
23 Under whose instruction would you have said they were there if Laura
24 Silber had pressed you further?
25 A. What would I have said then? Well, how do I know what I would
1 have said then? Here you can see what I did in fact say. The volunteers
2 of the Serbian Radical Party went there within the composition of the JNA,
3 and I can guarantee that. And you cannot find a single material piece of
4 evidence stating the contrary. They came there in JNA vehicles, JNA
5 uniforms, and they fought there under the command of the JNA.
6 Q. [Previous translation continues]... at whose instruction were your
7 volunteers sent to Zvornik?
8 A. What does it mean under whose instructions? We received a request
9 from the General Staff for a certain group of volunteers. We gathered up
10 that group of volunteers, and I suppose General Domazetovic took part in
11 that. How can I remember who it was specifically after such a long time?
12 Q. We'll go to the next question.
13 A. I was informed that they needed volunteers, I agreed to rally the
14 volunteers and to send them there.
15 Q. The next bit, the next answer, was: "We never received orders,
16 requests," and then you list Milosevic, Bogdanovic, and Domazetovic, as
17 examples of those who would say we need so-and-so many volunteers for this
18 and that location. What is this? False, true, completely false,
19 completely true? Tell us.
20 A. This is once again partially true, not completely true. This is
21 partially true, partially correct, as far as Domazetovic is concerned, and
22 as far as Milosevic and Bogdanovic, I am putting them all there
23 artificially, as a spanner in the works, and then they can be angry at me
24 for having thrown them in there, into that pile, and they're impotent.
25 They can't do anything to react properly because they tried prison and
1 prison didn't help, just like this prison hasn't helped you to restrain me
2 and rein me in, as you say.
3 Q. I have here part of your answer, which says, "When they said they
4 needed the most experienced ones, we sent the most experienced ones, then
5 they said we could also use those with not much experience, we'd send
6 those people." Is that true? Were the requests different as between the
7 experience required?
8 A. For the most part, that's how it was, because the most experienced
9 ones were used for the most dangerous combat operations. If they were
10 less experienced, then they might have been somewhere in the rear or some
11 auxiliary troops, and so on. But the most experienced and the bravest
12 went into the most serious operations. And as at the beginning we had
13 already assumed the position that nobody who had not done their military
14 service could go, which means they all had some sort of military training
15 to begin with. And now it was a question of experience, how they were
16 going to be used and deployed for certain actions, combat actions.
17 Because some volunteers went several times, some just went once and then
18 didn't go again. So there was fluctuation in that respect.
19 Q. It's just the lines or the words "Milosevic and Bogdanovic."
20 That's just the only false bit; everything else is true?
21 A. Yes. Yes. As I say, I artificially put that in to target those
22 two politically.
23 Q. The next question and answer: "Who, then, asked you to send your
24 units?" and you said this: "In May 1992, I began having -" I think the
25 word "intensive" was added - "meetings with Milosevic on a more regular
1 basis." Just pausing there. Is that true? It is it true that you began
2 having more intensive meetings with Milosevic in May of 1992?
3 A. Yes. From May 1992 to September 1993, we had more frequent
5 Q. The next half of the same sentence says this: "... and back then,
6 it was always Milosevic himself who asked for volunteers to be sent out."
7 A. Ah, now, that's part of my intrigue. And Mr. Milosevic couldn't
8 deny it, because there wasn't a third person at the meeting. So I did
9 that very consciously. I launched that piece very consciously. I know
10 that he couldn't deny it and say that he said one thing and I said
12 Q. You're lying, aren't you, Mr. Seselj?
13 A. So it was to annoy him.
14 Q. [Previous translation continues]... the realities of what
15 Mr. Milosevic did and you know that you've got to try to get him out of
16 it. Very simple.
17 A. No, Mr. Nice. You are lying. I did not say the truth in the
18 interview, but here, under the solemn declaration, I am exclusively
19 telling the truth.
20 Q. Look at the next bit of this answer: "I mean, one didn't have to
21 convince us very much. We took this as our duty, our responsibility..."
22 Is that correct, that you were only too happy to send your
23 volunteers, or have them sent?
24 A. Yes, that is very true. We considered it to be our duty to help
25 the Serb people whenever they were in jeopardy, and that's what we did
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 with great enthusiasm.
2 Q. The last question and answer. This is the question and answer
3 which had Laura Silber asking you to give an account of a conversation,
4 and you said this: "They were always quick agreements." Then you dealt
5 with Tudjman's attack on Pocitelj and Divoselo and Citluk in 1993. You
6 said: "Milosevic had some sort of agreements with him about that, it
7 seems Tudjman didn't keep his end of the deal... underhand dealings.
8 Milosevic was disappointed by Tudjman's actions and ... decided at the
9 last minute to send volunteers there. He called me and I went to him
10 right away."
11 Let's just pause there, shall we? Did you, in 1993, have a
12 meeting with Milosevic about the deployment of volunteers to deal with the
13 attack at Pocitelj, Divoselo or Citluk?
14 A. Categorically, I say no. With respect to the attack on Pocitelj,
15 Divoselo and Citluk, we had an agreement with the representatives of
16 Republika Srpska Krajina in Belgrade, and those representatives, or the
17 representative offices organised buses and it was in those buses that we
18 sent out the volunteers. However, Tudjman's attack on Pocitelj, Divoselo,
19 and Citluk at the time stopped, the volunteers were there for a few days.
20 As the fighting ceased, they returned without having joined in the combat.
21 And that happened in 1993. And you can check that out very easily.
22 Q. Let's read the whole thing, the last part of this, but without any
23 reference to the name "Milosevic," and see whether the rest of it is true.
24 "[Someone] called me and I went to him right away. He said: 'Three or
25 four thousand volunteers need to be sent to Divoselo, Pocitelj, Citluk.'
1 We had around 3.000 - 3.500 volunteers within two days, and Arkan brought
2 along with him around 300. They were sent out from Belgrade in literally
3 two days. There were never any problems with that. We would agree on
4 this very quickly. This was already agreed upon in a few words. We need
5 to go? Let's go."
6 Now, as I've read it, substituting on one occasion the word "he"
7 for "Milosevic," would it be completely accurate?
8 A. No. Nobody called. Somebody came to the headquarters of the
9 Serbian Radical Party from the represented offices of Srpska Krajina in
10 Okreska Street [phoen]. I can't remember who it was, somebody from their
11 representation there. They came to our war staff. I was informed that
12 that was necessary, I agreed, and the volunteers were rallied and sent.
13 Q. Mr. Seselj, you have got a famously good memory, as you've told
14 us. Just think back, please. Who was it who came to your office and
15 asked for these three or four thousand volunteers?
16 A. Didn't come to my office. He came to the war headquarters or
17 staff and he was a functionary of the representative offices of Srpska
18 Krajina in Belgrade.
19 Q. Your political party had a department called the war staff, didn't
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. [Previous translation continues]... interest, it's a bit of a
23 digression, but in light of an earlier question from the Bench, why should
24 a political party have a war staff?
25 A. Because there was a great national need for that political party
1 to rally volunteers and send them to the JNA, for the war, of course.
2 Q. [Previous translation continues]... or just the war staff,
3 Mr. Seselj?
4 A. All the other institutions of the party were peacetime ones, and
5 the war staff dealt with rallying volunteers and sending them to the JNA.
6 Q. [Previous translation continues]... send volunteers to do peaceful
7 things in countries, Mr. Seselj, not in countries in the other part of the
8 former Yugoslavia, did you, or did you just send people to engage in
10 A. We sent them to engage in fighting and realise the tasks and goals
11 of the JNA. So don't attach any peaceful policy to me. I was never an
12 advocate of peace at every price, at all costs. I'm an adversary to that
13 now. I don't accept a pact with the Americans, and what the Americans are
14 doing today in the Balkans are only creating conditions for a new war.
15 No, I've just said that for the first time now.
16 Q. Who came to your office and asked you to do this? You deployed
17 three to four thousand volunteers. Who asked you?
18 A. Yes, but I can't remember after so much time all the names.
19 Somebody did come, a high-ranking official of the representative offices
20 of Srpska Krajina from Belgrade. They had their headquarters in Terazija
21 Square, the centre, the very heart of Belgrade.
22 Q. Do you understand the significance of these questions, Mr. Seselj?
23 You see, if you give me a name, I can go and find out from that person
24 what he, or it may even be a she, would say. If you don't give me a name,
25 it's rather like your previous answer about two people in a room; one can
1 never deny the other. We can never prove it, you see. Can you give us a
2 name so that we can go and check?
3 A. How do you expect me to remember the name of the person who worked
4 in the representative offices of Srpska Krajina in 1993 in Belgrade? Go
5 on. Tell me that. How can I be expected to do that? In these two and a
6 half years that I've been in prison, I've forgotten many of the names of
7 the people I knew. I can't remember a single telephone number any more.
8 Now you want me to remember the name of the man who came from the
9 representative offices of Srpska Krajina. I can't remember the name of a
10 single army officer, high-ranking army officer who came to our party
11 headquarters, and many colonels came, captains of frigates, et cetera.
12 Why would I have to remember them, their names? Only stupid people
13 remember numbers and names.
14 Q. Mr. Seselj, these answers you gave reveal the truth about the
15 accused's active, knowing, and criminal involvement in the sending of
16 volunteers to fight in other parts of the former Yugoslavia, and you know
17 that to be true.
18 A. That is not true. First of all, the sending of volunteers was
19 absolutely not criminal; it was patriotic.
20 And secondly, in sending volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party,
21 Slobodan Milosevic never took part in that. He never had any part in
22 sending that.
23 MR. NICE: Could the tape please be given an exhibit number.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
25 THE REGISTRAR: That will be 886.
1 MR. NICE: If we now turn to -- can we now look at the next
2 passage, which is 25E, for the interpreters. A fresh translation is being
3 distributed. And I think with the length of the first answer, if we can
4 break it into perhaps two segments and have the comments of the -- not the
5 comments, the help of the interpretation booth, I'd be grateful.
6 [Videotape played]
7 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] In May 1992, Milosevic took
8 definitely the whole control over the JNA. That's when the new
9 constitution of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was proclaimed, and
10 that's when he really and formally and literally became the most important
11 man in the country. The man who makes all the decisions. ... And the
12 Zvornik operation..."
13 MR. NICE: As to those first couple of sentences --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Everything appears to be correct.
15 MR. NICE: Before I move on, there was nothing read out from the
16 question because there was nothing audible over the machinery here in
17 court. But it will help the witness to know that the question in the
18 transcript, from those who have been able to listen, I think, with
19 magnified sound, was: "How did things proceed when you headed towards
20 Zvornik? Who told you to go there? How did that work?" And then we have
21 the first part of the answer. If we can pick it up from there, please
22 [Videotape played]
23 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] Everything was planned in Belgrade.
24 Bosnian Serb forces took part in it, and they comprised a greater part of
25 it. Meanwhile, the special units, and the best-equipped units came from
1 this side, they were direct police units, the so-called Red Berets,
2 special units of the Security Service of Serbia."
3 MR. NICE: Thank you. Pausing there, those four lines, any
4 comment from the interpretation booth?
5 THE INTERPRETER: Everything appears more or less correct.
6 MR. NICE: The way it appears in the translation, and maybe you
7 won't be able to remember this - I ask the question through the Court, of
8 course - is that it starts off with the sentence: "And the Zvornik
9 operation was planned in Belgrade," with the word "Zvornik" included. I
10 don't know if you can remember, through the Court, whether the word
11 "Zvornik" was actually used.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Yes, in the first playing of the tape.
13 MR. NICE: Thank you. Very well. Let's move on to the next
15 [Videotape played]
16 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] There were volunteers from the SRS,
17 Arkan's volunteers, and another smaller group of volunteers under the
18 control of the police. The army engaged little in that operation, it
19 mainly gave artillery support where it was needed. The operation was well
20 thought out over a long period of time, so nothing was done in haste or
21 anxiety with last-minute urgent requests for this or that. It was all
22 well organised and well carried out, until... once the looting started
23 then nobody could control it any more."
24 MR. NICE: And as to the accuracy of that passage?
25 THE INTERPRETER: "Until the end of hostilities." It says was,
1 "well carried out until..." and the three dots were "the end of
2 hostilities, once the looting started..." That's just a phrase that was
3 left out.
4 MR. NICE: Thank you. The next question, then, please, if we can
5 play the next question and answer in one. Whether the question comes out
6 or not, I'm not sure.
7 [Videotape played]
8 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] Who devised this and how was it
9 carried out?
10 "This was devised by key people of the SDB, among whom was Franko
11 Simatovic, Frenki, and he was one of the main executors. There were
12 others whose names I haven't even memorised. Our volunteers gathered and
13 their central meeting point was in Loznica from where they headed to
14 Zvornik. Duke Cvetinovic was in charge of them, and he directly received
15 orders from the Commanders of the Special Forces."
16 MR. NICE: Thank you very much. Accuracy of that?
17 THE INTERPRETER: "Special Units." Otherwise it is more or less
19 MR. NICE: "Special units" comes in where?
20 THE INTERPRETER: "... from the Commanders of the Special Units,"
21 and we heard "commanders," in the plural.
22 MR. NICE: Thank you very much.
23 Q. Mr. Seselj, "Duke," is of course the translation for Vojvoda
24 Cvetinovic. Let's just deal with the answers that you gave, starting at
25 the bottom and working back up. Is it right that Vojvoda Cvetinovic was
1 in charge in Zvornik?
2 A. First of all, he was one of the volunteers there, and he did
3 command a certain number of men, I don't know how large. But he was
4 prominent in the fighting.
5 Secondly, all those volunteers were within the composition of the
6 JNA and I here am ascribing this to the security service, targeting it,
7 because that service on the opposite side -- on the other side was trying
8 to destroy the Serbian Radical Party. You have heard about Ljubisa
9 Petkovic, my vice-president, who was chief of the war staff. At the end
10 of 1993, the state security system wanted to recruit him and to break up
11 -- as a Trojan horse, to break up the Radical Party. Those were the
12 methods used by that service against us. So I am attacking the service
13 for anything I can think of.
14 Q. So where you said that he directly received orders from the
15 commander of the special units, what should you have said, to tell the
17 A. It was from the JNA command in charge that he received orders.
18 Who it was exactly is not hard to establish. Do you really think that so
19 many names can be memorised?
20 Secondly, I wasn't there, so it wasn't for me to remember all
21 those names. I just know that volunteers of the Serb Radical Party were
22 disciplined there and -- that they were highly disciplined, and as soon as
23 the Zvornik operation was over, they returned.
24 Q. The previous sentence says: "Our volunteers gathered at their
25 central meeting point, which was Loznica, from where they headed to
1 Zvornik." Is that true?
2 A. They gathered together in Belgrade, and they went to Zvornik from
3 there. Before Zvornik, they stopped in Loznica. Cvetinovic is from
5 Q. Previous sentence gives this answer: "This was devised by key
6 people from the SDB..." True?
7 A. That's not true. I'm trying to impute this to the key people of
8 the SDB, attacking the State Security Service, because I'm actually
9 returning the blow. I'm categorically stating that the reservists --
10 THE INTERPRETER: The volunteers went to the JNA, interpreter's
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- and that is part of their service
13 booklets. But this is the time when I was waging a campaign against the
14 SDB, and that was a question of survival for us in the Serb Radical Party.
15 Because the security service used different perfidious methods to cause
16 discord among us. They tried to recruit people and stir trouble in our
17 ranks. We were clashing so violently with the SDB then that they really
18 did not choose their methods.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you help me how this would upset the SDB?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It would politically compromise
21 them. That was the time of peace initiatives. It was 1995. It could
22 compromise the authorities of Slobodan Milosevic, and so on. That was the
23 time of not shying away from anything in our mutual conflicts.
24 Mr. Milosevic himself did not appear, but his authorities spared no effort
25 to attack us. Mr. Nice is not really up to date. In addition to this TV
1 programme, he could have found at least 100 similar TV interviews of mine
2 within that campaign.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: We've got this one. Can you remember if you were
4 able to come up with anything more recent than 1991 to upset them?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And what could that have been? This
6 wasn't in 1991, sir. This was in 1992. I was saying other things as
7 well. I was waging a campaign in various fields.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: In 1992, did you come up with anything more recent
9 that might upset them in the course of this interview?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, but that had to do with
11 domestic policy. In 1995, there weren't war conflicts of this kind.
12 After all, there was a considerable lull in the fighting then. This was
13 before the Croatian Operation Storm and Flash. April and May was a period
14 of a lull in the fighting, when the battle for Bihac ended, late in 1994,
15 beginning of 1995. Then there was a lull in the fighting on all fronts.
16 But in the economics sphere, I launched similar attacks, and also in the
17 field of domestic policies and so on. So there is an abundance of
18 interviews of mine in that area.
19 MR. NICE:
20 Q. You understand, don't you, that if somebody says things that are
21 different from one occasion to another, it may be a sign that he's a
22 liar. And you've told us you're telling us the truth here. So let's just
23 focus on that, shall we? You say, in respect of pinning this on the SDB
24 -- I think it's just gone off the screen. Only five minutes ago, I
25 think, when I suggested to you that you were covering up for the accused
1 because what he was doing was criminal in sending volunteers to fight in
2 the other parts of the former Yugoslavia, you said: "It's not true.
3 Sending of volunteers was absolutely not criminal. It was patriotic."
4 Let's go back to see what you said about the same period of time
5 precisely and why this would compromise the SDB because you may like to
6 consider your position and tell us which is the truth.
7 You say -- you're attacking -- by putting this false account in,
8 you're attacking the State Security Service, waging a compromise against
9 them. And then His Honour Judge Bonomy said: "How would this upset
10 them?" And you said: "It would politically compromise them."
11 Explain, but preferably in a quiet voice so that we can follow it,
12 the contrast between your two answers: It would have been lawful for the
13 accused to do it, but that by lying about it and saying the SDB did it,
14 you're compromising them on a patriotic duty. Go on, tell us.
15 A. No. Then I was trying to spoil the peaceful policy of Slobodan
16 Milosevic, by resorting to all means. At that time, in the spring, I had
17 20 rallies all over the Serb Krajina, attacking, attacking, attacking,
19 Q. We don't have forever. The question is actually quite a simple
20 one. You said you lied about the SDB because it would compromise them.
21 You said the same action would have been legal if it had been done by
22 Milosevic, because it was lawful at the time to send volunteers. Now,
23 which is it, please?
24 A. Well, quite simply, that's not true. You are making up a false
25 construction here. First of all, it is patriotic duty to help the Western
1 Serbs. But since international recognition followed, that is to say, both
2 of Croatia and of Bosnia-Herzegovina, institutionally Serbia could not
3 interfere. But here, in this interview, when I was clashing with
4 Mr. Slobodan Milosevic, I'm claiming that they were interfering
5 institutionally, and in that way, I'm compromising him and his government.
6 For any normal person, this would be very clear.
7 And I'm speaking in a normal tone of voice. And for me, this is a
8 normal tone of voice.
9 Q. Incidentally, I'm just going to deal with that very briefly.
10 You've been shouting at this Court for several days and you've been
11 maintaining the fiction that you can't speak quietly. It is a fiction.
12 You can speak perfectly quietly if you wish to. And you gave the game
13 away in your very last answer before the last break when you explained
14 that you'd raised your tone for rhetorical purposes. The truth is, you've
15 been shouting at this Court in an endeavour to add rhetorical force to the
16 assertions you're making; true? You're quite capable of speaking quietly
17 if you want to.
18 A. I have perfect self-control, and I can control everything I do,
19 physically and verbally.
20 Secondly, I speak normally. I do not shout. I speak loud and
21 clear and precisely.
22 Now, you are envious because of the depth of my voice and because
23 of the quality of my voice. You have to ask for hormonal therapy in order
24 to improve upon your own voice.
25 Q. I must say, we were expecting you to make a sort of cheap personal
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 remark at some stage and we're really pleased that you've done it, and
2 thank you for meeting everybody's expectations.
3 But tell us this: Did you shout at Laura Silber? Because we've
4 seen a lot of tape. Has there been some change in your self-control or
5 have you got hard of hearing or has your voice-box changed? Just tell
6 us. Have your hormones changed? What is it?
7 A. Mr. Nice, you are dying of laughter at my cheap tricks. Now, what
8 would happen if I resorted to more expensive, dear tricks? You might
9 burst of laughter. Laura Silber seemed like a youngish woman to me, quite
10 good-looking, even with feminine curves, and I adjusted my voice to that.
11 If I were talking to these ladies here, I would adjust my voice to that.
12 I'm talking to you as to a haughty Prosecutor, and I'm trying to show that
13 you are not all that smart. I'm not saying you're stupid. You're just
14 not all that smart. I'm speaking in a particular way because I'm in a
15 courtroom. I speak in a different way when I'm visited by people in my
16 office, and I speak yet in another way --
17 Q. For the first eight days, you weren't speaking to me at all, you
18 were speaking in what you've been telling us was an endeavour to tell the
19 whole truth to the three Judges, and you shouted at them for rhetorical
20 purposes. Am I not right?
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let's move on, Mr. Nice.
22 MR. NICE: Let's go back to the first answer to this --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You are not right. I did not shout
24 at them. I spoke as one does in a courtroom.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let's get on with the cross-examination.
1 MR. NICE:
2 Q. In the middle of the answer, there's this interesting passage.
3 Having said that Milosevic took control of the JNA completely, you said
4 that the Zvornik operation was planned in Belgrade. Bosnian forces took
5 part and comprised a greater part of it. "Meanwhile, the special units
6 and the best equipped units came from this side, and they were police
7 units -" and then this - "the so-called Red Berets, special units of the
8 Security Service of Serbia."
9 Now, it's the same point that was raised in the last tape, or the
10 last tape but one, indeed by a question initially from His Honour Judge
11 Kwon. On your account, Mr. Seselj, how could you, in March 1995, have
12 been speaking of Red Berets, special units of the security service of
14 A. I construed that on the basis of the fact that Frenki was a
15 volunteer in the Krajina. As a matter of fact, in the government of the
16 Serb Krajina, he was in charge of security and intelligence affairs or
17 something like that. I don't know exactly what the official name of his
18 position was. I was speculating, because a large number of people had
19 been earlier on among the volunteers in the Serb Krajina, and I was again
20 creating an intrigue, and again I expected it to be a political bombshell
21 and to go off. And the Red Berets from the Krajina were something that
22 people had heard of by then. So I was using Frenki's name to link this up
23 to the State Security Service of Serbia. I construed that. And quite
24 successfully, at that, because even you swallowed it and you based your
25 indictment against Mr. Milosevic on that, and look what's happened now;
1 it's gone down the drain. And you have my statement that was given for
2 political reasons. It was preconceived. It was calculated to cause
3 political damage. But you haven't got a shred of material evidence.
4 Q. [Previous translation continues]... that answer, then we'll look
5 at something different. You make it clear that the Red Berets to whom
6 you're referring in this part of your answer was indeed Frenki. So we can
7 exclude all consideration of Dragan and his men. This is Frenki. Yes?
8 A. No.
9 Q. I'm just reading your answer.
10 A. No. No, you're not reading it well. First of all, I don't know
11 whether Frenki was in Zvornik at all. I doubt it. I think he wasn't.
12 I'm just construing things. I'm putting him in a particular context,
13 knowing that Frenki is a nervous man, that that would really irritate him.
14 So I am trying to provoke him, rile him. I know that Frenki was in
15 Krajina, and that is a fact.
16 Q. When did you first meet Frenki?
17 A. I first met Frenki here, in Scheveningen, in prison, when he was
18 here -- when he arrived in the summer of 2003.
19 Q. How did you know he's a nervous man?
20 A. I heard stories about him. He was considered to be a man with a
21 very short temper, nervous and so on and so forth. Those are the kind of
22 stories I heard about him. It's not that Frenki is an unknown person
23 altogether. But I don't know him, and you haven't got a shred of evidence
24 to the effect that I had met him anywhere. Even if he wanted to prove
25 something like that, he'd be powerless.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: I may have missed this, I probably have, but what
2 was it you had against Frenki at that time?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I had against Frenki was the
4 fact that he was a high official of the State Security Service. He was
5 one of the best-known associates of Jovica Stanisic in the public, and I
6 was targeting the service because they were doing their best to destroy
7 the Serb Radical Party. That was a clash between their service and a
8 political party. If I were to tell you about all of that, everything that
9 the service fabricated against me and said in public about me, it would
10 take up a lot of time, starting with them saying that I was a Croat. And
11 to tell you the truth, that afflicted me the most.
12 You know, when they said that I was a Croat, the State Security
13 Service used an opposition party, Vuk Draskovic, the Serbian Renewal
14 Movement, through Milan Komnenic, Aleksandar Taskovic and other agents in
15 their ranks. And I could tell you about that all day, everything that the
16 service did against me, in order to understand the context when I lash out
17 at the service. But my books are full of that, when I write about
18 everything that the service did against me.
19 Q. The only other questions on this answer, I just have it in mind,
20 is this: That therefore, on your account, when you were talking to Laura
21 Silber in March 1995, you were able, but entirely by coincidence, to say
22 -- to speak of a Red Beret unit connected to Frenki - because you
23 acknowledge that it's connected to Frenki - of the security service of
24 Serbia, it was entirely a matter of coincidence that you were able to say
25 that when such a unit came into existence in 1996; is that right?
1 A. First of all, you have to take a look at my other interviews from
2 that time and you will see that this is no exception.
3 Secondly, the fact that Frenki was a high official of the State
4 Security Service and that he was a volunteer in the Serb Krajina and that
5 at that time he had that unit there. I don't know exactly what his
6 position was in it. He had that unit of the Red Berets. It's enough for
7 me to link all of that up together. Look at what you've linked up here
8 without a shred of material evidence. But I stand by the fact that the
9 Special Operations Unit was founded in 1996 and that this unit of the Red
10 Berets from Krajina had no institutional links to the State Security
11 Service of Serbia.
12 Q. The last question on this answer is this: A couple of sentences,
13 or one sentence later on, you speak of the operation in Zvornik and in
14 Belgrade, and you say: "The army engaged little in that operation, it
15 mainly gave artillery support where it was needed."
17 A. The army was engaged. They also gave artillery support. It was
18 the fort above Zvornik that the army targeted with the artillery. And
19 that the army was engaged little, well, the army was the one that was in
20 charge of all of this.
21 Q. On this answer, I'm just going to finish with this, for this
22 question. On this answer -- we know what you say is untrue, but on this
23 answer, Milosevic, the army, the police, Frenki Simatovic, the Red Berets,
24 and indeed Arkan, and your volunteers, all involved together in the attack
25 on Zvornik. That's the account you gave to Laura Silber. I'm going to
1 suggest to you that it was true.
2 A. I am asserting that that is not correct. I claim that the JNA was
3 carrying out operations in Zvornik, that the forces of Republika Srpska
4 were taking part in these operations, and they had just been established.
5 Also, the volunteers of the Serb Radical Party took part, as well as
6 Arkan's men.
7 MR. NICE: May this be given an exhibit number?
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
9 THE REGISTRAR: That will be 887.
10 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Seselj, as for Mr. Simatovic, do you know from
11 when he engaged himself in security service work?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I think that he was
13 there for a long time as a professional and that he worked his way up from
14 the lowest ranks of agents all the way up. But I don't know exactly how
15 long this took.
16 JUDGE KWON: So was he involved in security work before he went to
17 Zvornik as a volunteer?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I never said that he went to Zvornik
19 as a volunteer. He went to Republika Srpska Krajina as a volunteer.
20 JUDGE KWON: It's my mistake. Except for that, could you answer
21 the question.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I could not give you an exact,
23 reliable answer to that now. I know that he did work for the State
24 Security Service and then went to the volunteers. But we had an even
25 higher-ranking person from the police; Radovan Stojicic, Badza. Later on
1 he was a colonel-general in the police. He went as a volunteer to the
2 eastern part. I think that Frenki's case was fairly similar to that, but
3 I don't have any reliable knowledge to that effect.
4 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
5 MR. NICE: I'm going to play you a short extract from an exhibit.
6 We've just produced for the assistance of the Court English translations
7 of the relevant part. The document is a video taken of a ceremony,
8 Exhibit 390.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They're giving me everything in the
10 English language. That is wrong altogether, and I don't know English.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: But you'll hear the translation.
12 MR. NICE: [Previous translation continues]... aside, Mr. Seselj,
13 and listen to what's going to come over the loudspeakers.
14 Q. First of all, do you have a picture yet on your screen of Frenki
15 Simatovic? Do you see him?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Now would you listen to what he says and we'll follow it in our
19 [Videotape played]
20 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] Mr. President, we thank you for
21 accepting the invitation to attend the ceremony marking the anniversary of
22 the formation of the Special Operations Unit of the State Security
23 Service. It was constituted on the 4th of May, 1991, at the time of the
24 breakup of the former Yugoslavia, and since it emerged has constantly
25 worked to protect national security in circumstances where the existence
1 of the Serbian people was directly jeopardised throughout its entire
2 ethnic area. Its combat operations were anti-terrorist, directed at
3 preventing war crimes, mass retaliation and genocide.
4 "From the first moment of its existence..."
5 MR. NICE:
6 Q. Have you seen this video before yourself, Mr. Seselj?
7 A. I saw it when you played it during Mr. Milosevic's trial. I think
8 that I was still in Belgrade at the time.
9 Q. Do you know that this video shows the accused, Milosevic,
10 reviewing the Red Berets, and it shows, although we can easily find it for
11 you if you want it to be confirmed, shows him standing in the room while
12 this speech is being addressed to him by Frenki Simatovic? So he speaks
13 of formation in May of 1991; true or false.
14 A. Franko Simatovic, Frenki, speaks of that, but his speech is not
15 clear, what he means by it. He continues his warrior tradition in a unit
16 that was institutionally established in Serbia in 1996 as the JSO. In the
17 Krajina, it did not exist as the JSO and as a State Security Service unit
18 of Serbia. In Krajina, Franko Simatovic was in charge of security and
19 intelligence affairs on the Republic of Serb Krajina.
20 Q. We don't want to take too much time, but just to remind the Court
21 and to remind you, since you've seen it, and we have - those of us reading
22 the English, but you must take it from me - we have the English
23 translation of the first part in front of us. He speaks of the enormous
24 contribution of the unit, the 47 killed, the 250 wounded at 50 locations.
25 He gives the history of the unit, of its formation, of its engagement in
1 battles from October 1991 with Croatian forces in Benkovac, Stari Gospic,
2 Plitvice, Glina, Kostajnica and others, and so on. This is the Red
3 Berets, under Simatovic, a special unit that you describe in your
4 interviews, and this shows that what you were saying to Laura Silber, far
5 from being false, was absolutely correct insofar as it referred to the Red
6 Berets, doesn't it?
7 A. No, that is not correct. In order to explain this more easily,
8 I'm going to compare this to something that happened within the Serb
9 Radical Party.
10 With some political friends of mine, in January 1990, I
11 established the Serbian Freedom-loving Movement, and we united with Vuk
12 Draskovic into the Serbian Renewal Movement and we removed Draskovic and
13 he set up the same party, or rather, a similar party under the same name.
14 And then we changed our name into the Serb Chetnik Movement. In then
15 February 1993 we united with the National Radical Party into the Serb
16 Radical Party.
17 I keep invoking my previous party efforts from 1990, and I made
18 this part of our statute. Formally, it was in March 1992 that the Serb
19 Radical Party was registered and we celebrate our jubilee over a year
20 before that. So people who had already taken part in the war, and
21 probably the majority of the members of this unit were in that unit in the
22 Krajina, they're simply building on that tradition. But how can that be
23 explained to Arkan's people, who are also included in 1996? How can you
24 explain the rest?
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Another five minutes.
1 MR. NICE:
2 Q. If you look at the video as a whole, it's clear that he's
3 describing a unit of single identity, setting out its history and
4 ultimately people are rewarded, people who died years before are referred
5 to, and so on. And the accused Milosevic is standing there, honouring
6 this group of people. Was he taking part in a sham, do you say?
7 A. Why wouldn't Mr. Milosevic pay tribute to all the Serbs who died
8 in the war, honour them? They are members of our nation. But I'm saying
9 there was no institutional link. And I'm referring to the traditions of
10 Vojin Popovic and Tankosic, the Chetnik vojvodas, before World War I,
11 Vasilije Trbojevic and some others, and then the traditions of Drazen
12 Mihajlovic as well. But I cannot say, ah, now, there's an institutional
13 link between us here now. We Serbs are a united people and a position
14 presented this way by Frenki Simatovic, Frenki, emerges from the fact that
15 we are a united nation. But institutional links between those units, the
16 Red Beret units in Srpska Krajina and the State Security Service of
17 Serbia, never existed, to the best of my knowledge.
18 Now, the fact that the State Security Service, once the war was
19 already over, took over most of these members and took over many of
20 Arkan's men and took over many fighters from Serbian Krajina who fled, is
21 something quite different. But to divide us Serbs and to say that we're
22 not one people, one nation, and look at it that way, that's impossible.
23 There was no institutional link, and I insist upon that.
24 Q. It shows quite clearly that creation in 1991 of a unit that was
25 then partly transferred in September 1991 to Serbia, as we can see, and
1 took over a building in 1995, which was named after Radoslav Kostic, who
2 died years earlier, this shows the creation in May 1991, by this accused,
3 who honoured it, of an organisation that, on your own evidence, because
4 you'll remember telling me this, could never have been justified lawfully,
5 and that's why you're lying about it, Mr. Seselj, isn't it? You know
6 you've all been caught.
7 A. That -- no. No. You didn't catch me out lying. I'm catching you
8 out all day today lying, and I did so yesterday too, Mr. Nice. You're the
9 only person lying here. And I testified --
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Seselj, you know very well what I'm going to
11 speak to you about. It's a common practice in courts for counsel for one
12 side to put to a witness for the other side that he's not telling the
13 truth. That's his professional duty. It's not a personal matter. He
14 does so on the basis of the evidence and instructions that he has. It is
15 not proper for you to respond in the way that you have done, and I've
16 explained that to you time and again.
17 We will adjourn now and resume on Wednesday of next week at 9.00
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.49 p.m.,
20 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 14th day of
21 September, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.