FIFTEEN MONTHS IN PRISON FOR VOJISLAV SESELJ
Serbian Radicals’ leader Vojislav Seselj has been found guilty of contempt of court and sentenced to 15 months in prison, the highest sentence for that offence ever before the Tribunal. Disclosing the identity of the protected witnesses is ‘a serious interference with the administration of justice, particularly given the potential adverse impact of such conduct upon witnesses’ confidence in the Tribunal’s ability to guarantee the effectiveness of protective measures,’ the Chamber has warned
Vojislav Šešelj na suđenju za nepoštovanje suda
The leader of the Serbian Radical Party Vojislav Seselj has been found guilty of contempt of court for disclosing the information about three protected prosecution witnesses in one of his books. He has been sentenced to 15 months in prison; this is the highest sentence for contempt of court ever before the Tribunal.
Seselj was tried for contempt of court on 29 May 2009. At the hearing which proceeded for the most part in closed session, Seselj admitted he was the author of the book in question. It was published after the Trial Chamber hearing the case against him for the crimes in Bosnia, Croatia and Vojvodina, issued an order for protective measures.
The summary of the judgment notes that Seselj disclosed the witnesses’ identity and the information about them ‘intentionally, with the knowledge that by doing so, he was violating Trial Chamber orders’. This is ‘a serious interference with the administration of justice, particularly given the potential adverse impact of such conduct upon witnesses’ confidence in the Tribunal’s ability to guarantee the effectiveness of protective measures,’ the Chamber notes in the judgment.
The sentence should, Judge Kwon said, deter the accused or anyone else from such conduct in the future. Seselj was ordered to make sure the book is removed from his website and to notify the Registrar about the steps taken by 7 August 2009.
Seselj is the second accused who has been tried not only for war crimes but for contempt of court too. Dragan Jokic, former chief engineer in the Zvornik Brigade was sentenced to four months in prison for refusal to testify at the Srebrenica Seven trial. His sentencing judgment specifies that he would serve the sentence for contempt of court after he has served nine years in prison he received in January 2005 for aiding and abetting the crimes in Srebrenica. The judgment handed down today does not specify how Seselj is to serve the 15-month sentence for contempt of court.
- Case : Seselj
- 2009-05-29 SESELJ'S PUZZLE FOR THE 'INTELLIGENT AND CLEVER'
- 2009-03-16 SESELJ WANTS CIA DOCUMENTS ON JOVICA STANISIC
- 2009-03-12 SESELJ VS. DEAD WITNESSES
- 2009-08-18 SESELJ CALLS FOR HIS TRIAL TO RESUME
- 2009-08-28 PROSECUTION SUPPLEMENTED MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL TO SESELJ
- 2009-10-20 SESELJ WILL CONTINUE DEFENDING HIMSELF