SESELJ MALIGNS POTENTIAL WITNESSES
While attempting to discredit Serbs who testified as prosecution witnesses at the trial of Slobodan Milosevic, Vojislav Seselj at the same time seeks to impeach the credibility of potential witnesses at his own trial
Vojislav Seselj testifying in defense of Slobodan Milosevic
If the Trial Chamber accepted Vojislav Seselj's testimony delivered over the past seven days as credible, it should not only have to immediately acquit Milosevic and vacate the indictment against Seselj, but to ask the Appeals Chamber to quash all the judgments delivered so far and to order immediate release of all, or almost all of the convicted Serbs.
Almost all, because Seselj thinks some Serbs should stay in jail. Those are mostly the Serbs who pleaded guilty and testified at the trial of Slobodan Milosevic. They are incidentally potential prosecution witnesses at Seselj's own forthcoming trial. This is primarily Miroslav Deronjic, former president of the Bratunac Crisis Staff, and Milan Babic, former president of the former Republic of Serbian Krajina. In the past seven days, Seselj mentioned crimes committed by Miroslav Deronjic several times – both the crime he pleaded guilty to (the attack on the village of Glogova in which 65 civilians were killed) and the ones Seselj "learned about from reliable sources". Among the crimes is allegedly the "murder of his own wife", and the execution of a certain number of Muslims that Milo Djukanovic, as Seselj says, delivered to Deronjic in 1992.
In addition to inviting paramilitary forces to Krajina, who then went on to commit crimes there, Milan Babic – described by Seselj as a "coward, turncoat and sleazeball" – should probably stay in jail because of "false testimony" against Slobodan Milosevic and some other accused. Babic has been listed as a prosecution witness at the trial of Vojislav Seselj.
Some other prosecution witnesses who testified against Milosevic who are not yet in jail, should be there, according to Seselj. First and foremost among them is General Aleksandar Vasiljevic, former chief of the military security service. According to Seselj, "he should be asked questions" about the massacre at Ovcara near Vukovar and the crimes in Western Slavonia and Lika. The indictments issued in The Hague blame those on Seselj's men.
The accused and his witness made a special effort today to impeach two Belgrade journalists – Jovan Dulovic and Dejan Anastasijevic – who testified at the Milosevic trial about the events in Vukovar, Zvornik and other places they reported from in 1991 and 1992. Milosevic tendered into evidence voluminous briefs drafted by Seselj's "expert team" with an analysis of the "patriotic" texts those reporters wrote in 1991 and "traitorous" ones they produced in 1995. Furthermore, the inconsistencies in their testimony before the ICTY and the Special Court in Belgrade are highlighted. Refusing to admit the briefs into evidence, the Chamber instructed Milosevic to provide excerpts with the texts and transcripts of their testimony in Belgrade, so that the judges could analyze themselves whether there were any inconsistencies that would bring into question the credibility of Dulovic and Anastasijevic. Both reporters are listed as potential prosecution witnesses against Vojislav Seselj.
Seselj tried to use his testimony to discredit some other prosecution witnesses who testified against Milosevic and who might testify against him too. Some of them testified with their identity protected: according to Seselj, this is enough to label them as "false witnesses." As for those whose names were made public, such as Slobodan Lazarevic, Veljko Dzakula, Djuro Matovina and others, he claims they are "liars", "spies" or "criminals".
Although he said he would complete his direct examination of Vojislav Seselj today, he did not do so and will continue to question him on Monday afternoon.
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