Seselj: trial of strength opens

05 November 2007 by HEIKELINA VERRIJN STUART

After four and a half years of proceedings, the trial of Vojislav Seselj will open at The Hague on November 7. For the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the former president of the Serbian Radical Party (SRS) represents the most important political figure to be tried since the death of former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic in March 2006. One year ago, the appeals chamber confirmed that Seselj had the right to self representation. But since then, the accused has refused to supply information regarding his financial situation and the tribunal is refusing to reimburse his defense fees.

On October 26, Jean-Claude Antonetti was appointed president of the trial chamber which will deal the case against Seselj, who is accused of crimes against humanity and violations of the rules of war. Named presiding judge of the pre-trial judge in this case at the end of 2006, after the politician had prevented his trial from starting with a hunger strike, Antonetti succeeded at "stunning" him, in Seselj's own words. Notably, the behavior of Seselj has recently become less unpredictable. Notably, the judge has stated that he always agreed with Seselj's request for self representation and for the tribunal to fund this defense. The judge also justified Seselj's hunger strike, saying Seselj "felt like he was up against a wall and not being listened to".

Want to read more?

If you subscribe to a free membership, you can read this article and explore our full archive, dating back to 1997.

Subscribe now

Related articles

article
19 February 2007 by Laetitia Grotti

One year ago on January 6, 2006, the 17 members of Morocco's Equity and Reconciliation Commission (IER) were closing up shop after submitting their final report to King Mohammed VI. The Moroccan truth commission had received a flood of compliments from the international community praising the recommendations in its report, especially those advocating legislative and constitutional reforms. One year later, however, the results have been rather mixed.

article
11 September 2006 by our correspondent in Arusha

After having tried high-ranking officers, ministers, businessmen, priests, journalists, local officials and militiamen, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) is in uncharted waters. On September 11, the most famous rwandese troubadour of his generation will stand trial for genocide. 

article
23 October 2006 by Christine Chaumeau

China is keeping a polite distance from international criminal justice. Beijing is hardly disinterested, but China does want to make sure that these new global mechanisms are not going to infringe upon its sovereignty by delving into particularly sensitive cases such as Tibet. 

article
United Nations Operation in Burundi disarms rebel forces in Mbanda in February 2005 (Photo: Flickr/UN Photo/Martine Perret)
03 June 2015 by Janet H. Anderson, The Hague (The Netherlands)

Over the last month, Burundi has hit the headlines as the president put himself forward to be elected for a controversial third term, resulting in street protests, thousands of refugees who fled instability and an attempted coup. Behind the issues of elections and constitutionalism are also those of justice following Burundi’s long-running civil war. The international community supported an intensive process of negotiation and the signing of the Arusha Accord in 2000. But in the decade and a half since, its provisions on justice have been debated though never fully implemented.

article
06 November 2006 by Pierre Hazan

France's attitude towards international criminal justice is marked by ambiguity. Paris subscribes to a vision of the world in which international humanitarian law is considered a way to curb violence against civilian populations, but at the same time it is wary of an unchecked judicial system that could end up prosecuting French soldiers engaged in areas where it has old and deep-rooted interests.