VOJISLAV SESELJ – DAY 13: MR. NICE ENDS HIS
CROSS-EXAMINATION EMPTY HANDED
www.slobodan-milosevic.org – September 16, 2005
Written by: Andy Wilcoxson
Geoffrey Nice concluded his cross-examination of Vojislav Seselj at the trial of Slobodan Milosevic on Friday. Nice continued questioning Seselj about the now infamous Skorpions video, which the witness continues to maintain, has been doctored. He says that his legal advisors have proof of this, unfortunately the tribunal’s rules prohibit him from speaking to them about his evidence.
Mr. Nice has changed his definition of “Greater Serbia” again. He now claims that the Belgrade Initiative was plan for “Greater Serbia.” Under the Belgrade Initiative, Bosnia would have remained in Yugoslavia and Alija Izetbegovic would have been the first president of the new rump Yugoslavia. Mr. Nice pointed out that Milosevic supported the Belgrade Initiative, therefore, in Mr. Nice’s deluded mind, Milosevic supported “Greater Serbia.”
Dr. Seselj responded that Mr. Nice’s whole idea was ridiculous because the Belgrade Initiative envisioned Bosnia staying in Yugoslavia, not becoming part of Serbia. Seselj said that it was absurd to think that Milosevic wanted to expand Serbia’s borders. He pointed out that Serbs in Bosnia and Croatia passed several initiatives declaring themselves part of Serbia and Milosevic always rejected them.
Mr. Nice repeated his case that the so-called “joint criminal enterprise” was aimed at expanding Serbia’s borders. He said that the plan behind the conspiracy was “never articulated” and changed depending on the circumstances. Of course such an idea can not hold any water unless Slobodan Milosevic had a telepathic link with his alleged co-conspirators, and to the best of my knowledge he doesn’t have supernatural powers.
Mr. Nice concluded his cross-examination by asking Seselj about the transport of nearly 800 bodies from Kosovo to central Serbia, specifically about their transfer to the Serbian Anti-Terrorist Police (SAJ) base in Batajnica.
Neither Mr. Nice nor Dr. Seselj knows who buried those bodies in Batajnica. Nice claims that Milosevic’s police did it to hide evidence of Kosovo war crimes. Seselj claims that the DOS government did it to incriminate Milosevic and provide political justification to hand their political foe over to the Hague Tribunal.
Seselj noted several problems with Mr. Nice’s theory. First of all, there are cases where Kosovo-Albanians who have been dug-up in central Serbia had already been issued death certificates by the Serbian Government. If the Serbian Government had been trying to hide evidence of killings, then they wouldn’t have issued death certificates for these people.
The next major problem with Mr. Nice’s theory is that nobody knew anything about this until 2001 when the regime needed political justification to hand Milosevic over to the ICTY. It defies belief that nobody noticed Serbian policemen going around Kosovo, digging up graves, and then trucking the corpses off to central Serbia. The KLA was active throughout Kosovo, the province was crawling with Albanians, and on top of that NATO spy satellites and AWACS had the capability to film every square inch of Serbian territory.
Seselj believes that the bodies were buried in central Serbia after the withdrawal of Serbian troops from Kosovo. International forensic teams (several of whom were from NATO countries) carried out exhumations when they arrived in Kosovo, why couldn’t they have handed a few hundred cadavers over to the DOS government to use against their mutual enemy, Slobodan Milosevic.
It is interesting to note that NATO bombed every
SAJ facility in Serbia except for the one at Batajnica, even though they
mercilessly bombed city of Batajnica itself, killing several civilians in the
Milosevic spent the better part of the day re-examining Seselj. It emerged in the re-examination that Miroslav Dejronic had been tortured to plead guilty and falsely testify at the Tribunal. Seselj said that Dejronic told him that the IFOR soldiers who arrested him had tortured him by repeatedly submerging him in a barrel of cold water.
During Mr. Nice’s cross-examination Seselj was repeatedly asked about the statements he made against Milosevic during the mid-1990s when the two were in conflict. Seselj has since disavowed those statements as being political propaganda, but Mr. Nice insisted that they were true statements.
Under questioning from Milosevic, Seselj read out several passages from interviews he had given in the late 1990s where he disavowed his earlier statements. This proves that he was not denying his earlier statements for the purposes of the trial, because he had already disavowed them before there was even an indictment.
Mr. Nice had also asserted that Seselj never possessed information that French Intelligence had directed the “Pauk” mercenary group to execute nearly 1,200 Srebrenica-Muslims in July 1995.
Under re-examination Seselj was given the opportunity to read out the statements he gave while he was Serbia’s deputy prime minister. Those statements were identical to the statements he gave during his testimony. In addition he made reference to statements from the Federal Minister of Information corroborating his testimony. This shows that there was intelligence information that both he and the Information Minister had in their possession at the time.
Milosevic will continue the re-examination when the trial resumes next week.
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