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Hunger-striking Serb war crimes defendant hospitalized

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] decided Wednesday to move Serb nationalist war crimes suspect Vojislav Seselj [BBC profile; ICTY case backgrounder] to a hospital unit adjoining its detention center [ICTY backgrounder] at Scheveningen near The Hague to monitor his medical condition. Seselj has been on hunger strike [JURIST report] for over two weeks, while demanding [statement, DOC] that the ICTY dismiss his court-appointed lawyers and allow him to prepare his defense to nine war crimes charges [indictment, PDF] with lawyers of his choosing. An ICTY spokesperson earlier acknowledged [ICTY press conference summary] that Seselj's refusal to take food and medicine had "caused his health to deteriorate" and said that Seselj would receive medical attention if such treatment became necessary "to protect Seselj's health and life."

Earlier Wednesday, Seselj's lawyers told the ICTY [JURIST report] their client had decided to continue boycotting his trial, disregarding their advice. Seselj's lawyers also said their client had not spoken to them about his case since Monday when the ICTY stripped Seselj of his right to defend himself [JURIST report] for failing to appear in court. AP has more.

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