ICTY: Seselj need not be present for war crimes verdict News
ICTY: Seselj need not be present for war crimes verdict

Judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] issued a decision [order, PDF, in Bosnian] Wednesday rescinding the summons for Serbian national Vojislav Seselj [case history] to appear in court on March 31 for a verdict. The judges cited Seselj’s medical treatments, which could not be carried out in The Hague. Seselj had previously refused to come to The Hague for his sentencing, and the decision comes as a relief to those concerned that the EU would extradite Seselj [Reuters report] and issue sanctions on Serbia, which could have caused a confrontation.

Seselj is charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity [ICTY press release] allegedly committed from August 1991 until September 1993 against the non-Serb population of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in the province of Vojvodina in the Republic of Serbia. The prosecution against Seselj has been fraught with difficulty and charges of contempt [JURIST report] for failure to appear. The ICTY has charged Seselj with three counts of crimes against humanity and six counts of war crimes. When the trial began last year, the prosecution made an opening statement [JURIST report] accusing Seselj of inciting atrocities through speeches he made during the Balkan Wars.