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Thursday, 30 August, 2001, 13:12 GMT 14:12 UK
Milosevic's second hearing
Excerpts from the second appearance of Slobodan Milosevic before the UN war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia on 30 August 2001.
Judge Richard May: Mr Milosevic, if there are any issues you wish to raise in connection with your case or about your physical and mental conditions, then this is your chance to do so.
Slobodan Milosevic: Well, I would like to know first of all, can I speak or are you going to turn off my microphone like first time.
Judge: Mr Milosevic, if you follow the rules then you will be able to speak.
Milosevic: Then that is my next question, I would like to make presentation on the legality of this tribunal.
Judge: You have already put a motion in on that topic, are you asking to be able to address it to the chamber?
Milosevic: If I cannot make the presentation...I will give it in writing. My associates will give it to the press.
Milosevic: That is your decision. We have to communicate as a civilised persons not with switching off the microphone... so we can understand each other what is possible what is not.
I was indicted 26 May, the 60th day of Nato aggression against Yugoslavia, when I was defending my country, and there are two and a half years from that date, and we have just heard that they have no evidence, that they cannot complete indictment.
Having a clear opinion which is proved by legal facts that this tribunal is illegal, I don't see why I have to defend myself in front of false tribunal from false indictments.
Judge: You can't ask us any questions, but if there are issues you would like to raise about that you can do so.
Milosevic: I am by the order of this illegal institution in total isolation, and my question is why am I isolated from my family? Why my family cannot visit me the same way as the others have that possibility? Why visits of my family are monitored? Why you need monitoring of my talks with my grandson who is two and a half years old? So why you are making all those acts of massive violation of my rights? And why I am isolated from the persons who would like to visit me and who I need to talk and to discuss different legal aspects of my position in this illegal imprisonment.
Judge: Just pause there. The rules governing the detention are a matter for the registrar. If they are being applied differently to you to anybody else we will inquire. The difficulty about the lawyers is that you have not yet selected or nominated a lawyer, and the rules allow legal visits from a nominated lawyer.
Now, is this your position? You wish to represent yourself, you do not wish to [nominate] a lawyer, but you wish to have access to legal advice, does that summarise your position?
Milosevic: It is clear that it is my right to contact different experts for different aspects of my position in illegal imprisonment and in addition to that I have the right to contact lawyers who are dealing with my private affairs in Yugoslavia, I have right to contact lawyers who are engaged in some international organisations who are supporting me, I have right to communicate with those people... As I understand all system of UN is based on the principal of non-discrimination and I am discriminated all the time from the first day I got in.
Judge: The problem is that you have not nominated a lawyer, if you nominated a lawyer the position would be clear. The staff here have to follow the rules, and the person who is allowed legal visits is your nominated lawyer. But you want advice first of all on your position here on these proceedings, you also want advice on your affairs in Yugoslavia.
Milosevic: Of course and many other things I have in mind, what I have to talk about.
Judge: The trial chamber will look into these matters.
So you are keeping me in isolation not to communicate to the press even by telephone, which is the only means which is available to me... If there is on one side all that machinery you represent, all that secret services, military mach media machinery and everything else and on my side there is only the truth, if you are isolating me from the communications with the press then it is clear that is completely discriminatory and you cannot even mention the idea of even-handedness...
Please let me remind you I am not recognising this tribunal but considering it completely illegitimate and illegal, so all those questions about counsels, about representations are out of any question...
Judge: Very well, Mr Milosevic there must be an end to this. Just one moment. let me deal with the matters you raise, the rules of the detention unit provide that there should not be communication with the press. Those are the rules and they must be followed. They do not discriminate against you they apply to all the accused who are in detention. As to your point about your not recognising the tribunal, you have made it and we have heard it and there is no need to repeat it, is there anything else you want to add?
Milosevic: I understood we were dealing with that problem of illegality of the tribunal as a problem of jurisdiction. It is clear to any lawyer in the world that question of jurisdiction can be open when juridicial institutions are concerned, and you are not juridical institution. You are political tool..
Judge: You've made that point, Mr Milosevic, we are not going to listen to political arguments, your motion on jurisdiction you have put in and we will consider it. This hearing will be adjourned until Monday 29 October.
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