Hunger-striking war crimes defendant agrees to medical examination

[JURIST] Serb nationalist war crimes suspect Vojislav Seselj [BBC profile; ICTY case backgrounder], who has been on hunger strike [JURIST report] for since Nov. 11, agreed Friday to medical examination by an "independent" team of doctors composed of a Serb, a French and a Russian national. Seselj had previously refused medical attention [JURIST report] by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] and said he didn't want ICTY staff to force feed him, provide medical treatment or resuscitate him should it become necessary. Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica released a letter [text] Friday expressing the Serbian government's deep concern that "Seselj's basic rights [to choose defence counsel and to life] may be endangered and breached" and placing "all responsibility... in the hands of the Tribunal."

Seselj [JURIST news archive] was transferred to a Dutch prison hospital [JURIST report] adjoining the tribunal's detention center [ICTY backgrounder] at Scheveningen near The Hague Wednesday so that his medical condition could be more closely monitored. When Seselj went on hunger strike in early November, he demanded [statement, DOC] that the ICTY dismiss his court-appointed lawyers and allow him to conduct his defense to nine war crimes charges [indictment, PDF]. Since then, the court stripped Seselj of his right to defend himself [JURIST report] after he failed to appear in court. Seselj's lawyers said Wednesday that their client had decided to continue boycotting his trial against their advice [JURIST report]. AP has more.



 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.