Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Seselj Sues Tribunal for Two Million Euro

Hague defendants alleges numerous human rights abuses, and suspects a secret plan to “liquidate” him.
By Rachel Irwin

Serbian nationalist politician Vojislav Seselj is attempting to sue the Hague tribunal for two million euro, he announced in a written filing this week.

He is seeking damages for “violations of fundamental human rights on the part of the [tribunal] during the nine years of detention”.

In a 47-page document, Seselj claims that “numerous human rights have been violated” during his detention. He says he was “forced” to go on hunger strike in 2006 when the tribunal tried to “impose” defence counsel on him, and is seeking 300,000 euro solely in relation to that incident.

In addition, he claims that “American and British intelligence services, which during the 1990s tried to liquidate Professor Vojislav Seselj, are now using some [tribunal] organs to exert influence on the proceedings against him and on the treatment given to him.

“Are these secret services still trying to liquidate him? In our opinion, they are!”

Tribunal spokeswoman Nerma Jelacic was unavailable for comment on the various allegations contained in the filing.

Since his surrender to the tribunal in 2003, Seselj has insisted on representing himself, and has vowed on numerous occasions to “destroy” the Hague court.

He is charged with nine counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity – including murder, torture and forcible transfer – for atrocities carried out in an effort to expel the non-Serb population from parts of Croatia and Bosnia between August 1991 and September 1993.

He remains leader of the Belgrade-based Serbian Radical Party.

Seselj’s criminal trial has endured repeated delays since it officially began in November 2007, a full year after the original trial date was postponed due to the hunger strike he mounted.

Closing arguments are slated for March 2012, since Seselj has declined to present a defence case.

Rachel Irwin is an IWPR reporter in The Hague.