The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia ("ICTY") initially indicted Vojislav Šešelj in February 2013 on the following charges: persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds, deportation, inhumane acts, murder, torture, cruel treatment, wanton destruction of villages, or devastation not justification by military necessity, destruction or willful damage done to institutions dedicated to religion or education, plunder of public or private property in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and parts of Vojvodina (Serbia), committed between 1991 and 1993.
The trial commenced on 27 November 2006 but effectively started one year later due to medical reasons and a hunger strike made by the defendant. During the trial, the defendant has been charged with contempt of court on three separate occasions for intimidation of witnesses.
On 6 November 2014, the Trial Chamber ordered the provisional release of Vojislav Šešelj on humanitarian grounds due to deterioration of his health. The accused was transferred to Serbia on 12 November 2014.
The European Parliament recently adopted a resolution to firmly condemn what has been described as a "wartime rhetoric" since his release: " Šešelj repeatedly called for the creation of ‘Greater Serbia’, publicly stating claims on neighboring countries, including EU Member State Croatia, and inciting hatred against non-Serb people; whereas in a press release he congratulated the Serbian Chetniks on the ‘liberation’ of Vukovar, on the 23rd anniversary of the fall of that Croatian city to Serbian paramilitary forces and the Yugoslav army in 1991 and the associated atrocities, thereby violating the requirement not to influence the victims; whereas the Serbian peace group ‘Women in black’ gathered in Belgrade to mourn the victims of the siege in a performance entitled ‘We will never forget the crimes of Vukovar’; (...)". This resolution can be downloaded below.
Vojislav Šešelj was the president of the Serbian Radical Party until his extradition to the ICTY in 2003.
Posted by Flavie Fuentes