Granting Vojislav Seselj's motion for a reconsideration of its decision to adjourn the trial from February 2009, the Trial Chamber decided to resume it on 12 January 2010. The Trial Chamber rejected the prosecution’s motion for additional time to examine its remaining witnesses

Vojislav Šešelj u sudnici TribunalaVojislav Šešelj u sudnici Tribunala

After being adjourned for almost a year, the trial of the Serbian Radicals leader Vojislav Seselj resumes on 12 January 2010 with the evidence of one of the four remaining witnesses, presiding judge Antonetti said today. With this decision the Trial Chamber granted Seselj’s motion for the reconsideration of its decision of 11 February 2009; the Trial Chamber had decided to adjourn the trial because of the intimidation of witnesses and jeopardy to the integrity of the trial. At the same time the Trial Chamber rejected the prosecution’s motion for additional time to examine its remaining witnesses.

In the same ‘consolidated decision’, the Trial Chamber provided the reasoning behind its oral decision last month to reject the prosecution’s motion to impose counsel on Seselj because of the improper conduct of the accused in the courtroom, where he insulted and intimidated witnesses. The Trial Chamber ordered the accused to hand over any books he intended to write in the future to the Trial Chamber in order to avoid any disclosure of information on protected witnesses.

The Trial Chamber urged the prosecution to delete three witnesses from its witness list. The witnesses were expected to give evidence on ‘the deliberate actions of the accused’. The Trial Chamber has heard copious evidence on that issue and additional witnesses are not necessary, Judge Antonetti said. The prosecution was given eight days to reply to the Trial Chamber’s demand. If the prosecution deletes the witnesses, it will rest its case after the testimony of the last remaining witness, testifying under pseudonym VS 037. It remains to be seen how much time the prosecution has at its disposal to call evidence: seven and a half, five or just two and a half hours.

In addition to the remaining prosecution witnesses, in January 2010 the judges will hear seven witnesses called by the Trial Chamber, protected by pseudonyms. Their evidence will take approximately 12 hours. As Judge Antonetti emphasized, the parties are prohibited from contacting the witnesses except if they are granted explicit permission of the Trial Chamber to contact them.

Serbian Radicals leader Vojislav Seselj is on trial for crimes against humanity in Croatia, Vojvodina and BH.