News 23 Dec 14

Seselj Demands Hague Prosecutor’s Punishment

Serbian nationalist leader Vojislav Seselj asked the international court to sanction its chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz, calling him a political tool of the EU and Croatia.

Milka Domanovic
BIRN
Belgrade
Vojislav Seselj. Photo: BETA

The Serbian Radical Party leader filed a motion on Tuesday asking the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) to “rigorously punish prosecutor Serge Brammertz” after he asked for Seselj, who is on temporarily release for cancer treatment, to be returned to custody.

Seselj said in his motion that Brammertz was being used as a political instrument of the EU and Croatian politicians, after a European parliament resolution and a declaration by the Croatian parliament declaration condemning his nationalist rhetoric since his release.

“When the prosecutor repeats other people’s views and opinions and presents them as his own, then his motion is proof of unacceptable conduct in the performance of his duties as ICTY prosecutor and his conduct is illegal and very suspicious,” Seselj said in the motion.

“All the views and opinions presented by the prosecutor Brammertz in the motion simply repeat like a tabloid newspaper the wishes of participants in the political battle on the eve of the forthcoming presidential election in Croatia,” he added.

Brammertz filed a motion to the ICTY at the beginning of December demanding that Seselj’s temporary release be revoked after the Serbian Radical Party leader said that he would never return to the UN-backed court to complete his trial.

“He has clearly demonstrated that his health condition is no barrier to making unacceptable public statements that are inflammatory and insulting to victim communities. He has also made public statements that call into question the trial chamber’s assessment of the extremity of his health situation,” Brammertz said in the motion.

Seselj had been in custody since 2003, when he voluntarily surrendered. He is on trial for wartime crimes in Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia.

The verdict in his case was scheduled for October last year, but was postponed after one of the judges in the trial was removed for alleged bias.

The new judge is expected to take until at least the end of June 2015 to familiarise himself with details of the case, causing yet another delay in the marathon trial.

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