Global Independent Analytics

U.N. tribunal acquits Serbian firebrand Seselj of war crimes

Serbian ultra-nationalist Vojislav Seselj has been found not guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity over the Balkan wars in the 1990s

BBC reports: Vojislav Seselj was acquitted of war crimes and genocide, allowing him to avoid jail term after his ally, Radovan Karadzic was sentenced to 40 years in prison earlier this month. He claimed that the court had reached the only verdict possible.

The United Nations Hague tribunal could not prove that Seselj committed crimes against humanity. Prosecutors have demanded a 28-year sentence for his alleged ethnic hatred, but the arrest warrant issued by the Appeals Chamber was rendered moot with the acquittal on all the nine courts. "Vojislav Seselj is now a free man."

Thursday last week was marked by a Seselj-led party rally and protest in downtown Belgrade; the gathering was called for recognition of the start of NATO’s bombing of Serbia and to protest against the government of Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic.

Photo by GIA special correspondent

Vojislav Seselj - key moments

  • Youngest Ph.D. holder in what was then Yugoslavia; taught at Michigan and then at Sarajevo universities
  • Jailed for two years in 1984 for advocating that Yugoslavia should be replaced with a Serb-dominated entity
  • Sets up Serbian Radical Party in 1990, elected MP a year later
  • Breaks with Slobodan Milosevic in 1993 over Bosnian peace plans
  • Becomes deputy prime minister in 1998 when the Kosovo atrocities escalated
  • Indicted by ICTY in 2003, surrenders voluntarily; acquitted 13 years later

 

By Stefan Paraber for GIA.

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