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Court Round-up: Seselj Supporters Banned From Visiting Him

By Stacy Sullivan in The Hague (TU 337, 13 December 2003)

Since he arrived in The Hague's detention unit, he has made a series of accusations: the tribunal of not giving him enough to eat and trying to kill him with electric shocks delivered through a lap top computer; courtroom security guards of fondling his private parts during their security checks; one of the tribunal's presiding judges of being a fascist; and the head of the registrar of conspiring with defence councils to embezzle money from the tribunal.

Most recently, he accused the tribunal of denying permission for members of his political party, the Serbian Radical Party, SRS, to visit him in the detention unit as part of an effort to stymie his bid to run for parliament in Serbia's December 28 election.

The tribunal has repeatedly stated that there is not truth to any of his allegations, including the latter.

"We simply insisted that the Serbian Radical Party designate two representatives of the party to make the visits and that they respect the rules of the detention unit," tribunal spokesman Jim Landale said on December 10.

Two days later, however, on December 12, the registrar notified Seselj that it would now deny SRS members permission to visit him.

The registrar's December 11 decision prohibits Seselj from meeting with or having phone calls with anyone other than his immediate family, defense counsel or diplomatic and consular representatives.

In addition, the registrar announced that any authorised telephone conversation other than those with his legal counsel and diplomatic representatives would be monitored.

According to Landale, the tribunal made the decision because Seselj had been using his visitors to brief the Serbian media. "That is against the rules of the detention unit," Landale said.

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