Thursday, November 28, 2013

Seselj demands urgent release and compensation

Serbian Radical Party (SRS) leader Vojislav Seselj has filed a motion before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) to be acquitted and paid a EUR 12 million compensation for being in the UN detention unit in Scheveningen far almost 11 full years now without a verdict ruled in his case. In the motion filed on Wednesday, Seselj’s defense demanded from the ICTY to end his trial ends and release Seselj urgently and immediately.

 The motion says it is clear that Seselj’s trial cannot be continued in a fair manner for a flagrant violation of the principle of expediency, and lists numerous examples of obvious violations of fundamental human rights and procedural rights of the defendant. Seselj has suffered intangible damages that cannot be compensated only by a statement confirming that his rights were violated, but necessitate a compensation payment to the amount of EUR 12 million, the motion said. Seselj’s defense said that all the elements of the case had effectively been annulled as one of the judges in his trial, Frederick Harhoff, was disqualified for demonstrating an unacceptable appearance of bias in favour of conviction. An ICTY chamber made the decision to disqualify the Danish judge from the bench in his case at the end of August, following Seselj’s defense motion for that to be done based on a controversial letter in which the judge complains about some of the international court’s rulings.

 The defendant believes that, from a legal point of view, judge Mandiaye Niang, who replaced Harhoff as the third judge in the Seselj trial, cannot be automatically fitted in in the trial. Seselj is on trial before the ICTY for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed between 1991 and 1994 against the non-Serb population from large parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and the Vojvodina province in Serbia. The trial commenced on November 7, 2007. Photo Tanjug, F. Kraincanic (Archive)

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