SESELJ'S 'VUKOVAR CONSPIRACY THEORY'
At the beginning of his cross-examination of protected witness VS 002, Vojislav Seselj expounds his 'Vukovar conspiracy theory'. According to Seselj, someone in the JNA leadership 'deliberately ordered that Vukovar be razed to the ground to hand Croatia a powerful propaganda weapon against the JNA and the Serbian people'. The witness agrees wholeheartedly
Vojislav Seselj in the courtroom
On 20 November 1991, protected prosecution witness VS 002 was at the Ovcara farm near Vukovar. This is where about 260 prisoners were executed on that day, as alleged in the indictment against Vojislav Seselj.
In his statement to the OTP investigators and in answer to questions asked by the prosecutor and the judges, the witness described how between three and four hundred people were brought to Ovcara from the Vukovar hospital that day. On their way from the bus to the hangar, they had to run the gauntlet of Serbian Territorial Defense troops and volunteers who hit them with riffle-butts, metal bars and wooden bats. The witness recognized some members of the Leva Supoderica unit, manned by Seselj's men, at Ovcara among the volunteers. At one point, two JNA officers arrived and tried to prevent the abuse; the Territorial Defense and the volunteers ignored them. The officers then left Ovcara.
The witness is a Serb from Vukovar. When the war broke out he was a student at the Novi Sad University. After 15 September, he reported as a volunteer and was first assigned to the Guards Brigade and then to the Vukovar Territorial Defense. He claims he managed to get some people he knew, ethnic Croats, from the hangar. He refused to take part in the mistreatment of prisoners and remained on guard in front of the gate, to prevent any escape bids by prisoners. He assumes that the Territorial Defense and the volunteers at Ovcara 'didn't know what to do about the prisoners until the last minute'. They were 'waiting for a decision from someone higher up, perhaps from the Krajina government', before they started executing prisoners.
Witness VS 002 was not in Vukovar as a member of Seselj's units – he was not a volunteer of the Serbian Radical Party – but at that time, he was enthusiastic about the idea of the border running along the Karlobag-Karlovac-Virovitica line', and was 'impressed' by Seselj's visit to the SRS volunteers on the eve of the fall of Vukovar. Seselj himself gave him 'a real Chetnik cockade' with the double-headed eagle, skull and cross-bones. The witness then saw himself as a 'real Chetnik'.
At the beginning of his cross-examination of protected witness VS 002, Vojislav Seselj expounded his 'Vukovar conspiracy theory'. According to Seselj, someone in the JNA leadership 'deliberately ordered that Vukovar be razed to the ground to hand Croatia a powerful propaganda weapon against the JNA and the Serbian people'. The witness agreed. As for the two JNA officers the witness saw at Ovcara, Seselj claims they were colonels in the military counter-intelligence service, sent to Vukovar by their boss, Aleksandar Vasiljevic, 'to do dirty work'. The witness agreed again, adding that in his opinion, 'Vasiljevic is to blame for Ovcara'.
The cross-examination of witness VS 002 will continue tomorrow.
- Case : Seselj
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- 2008-05-14 SESELJ DECLARES ‘COLLAPSE OF TRIAL’
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- 2008-05-21 VOJISLAV SESELJ’S ‘SUICIDAL TACTICS’