IWPR Explores Witness Intimidation Allegations
In June, the project team probed allegations that the party of ultra-nationalist leader Vojislav Seselj was involved in intimidating Hague tribunal prosecution witnesses into testifying for the defence.
“Articles [like IWPR’s report on Witness Intimidation Allegations in Seselj case] can significantly contribute to the process of transitional justice and facing the past,” said Dalida Demirovic, project manager of Mostar-based NGO the Centres for Civil Initiatives, CII.
In Seselj Party Accused of Witness Intimidation, Natasha Kandic, executive director of the Humanitarian Law Centre, HLC, in Belgrade told IWPR she believed witnesses were being intimidated by Seselj’s Serbian Radical Party, SRS.
This had left them afraid to testify at the tribunal, she said.
The investigation was welcomed by local rights activists, including Dalida Demirovic, project manager of Mostar-based NGO the Centres for Civil Initiatives.
“I think it is very important to inform the public about war crimes, especially through investigative journalism,” said Demirovic.
She said that this was especially important in the Seselj trial – which began in at the tribunal in November 2006 – as much of the reporting on the trial has focused on the antics of the accused in court, rather than on details of the case itself.
“Articles that are written in a professional and fair manner, such as this one, can significantly contribute to the process of transitional justice and facing the past,” she said.