The prosecution contends that the evidence called so far at Vojislav Seselj’s trial ‘can lead to a conviction’. According to Seselj, dismissing all charges in the indictment is the ‘only decision’ the Trial Chamber can make in order to ‘comply with its conscience, honor and professionalism’. The accused demanded damages in the amount of € 10 million, indicating that he might sue the UN, judges and prosecutors. According to Seselj, they ‘participated in a joint enterprise that yielded such poor results’

Vojislav Seselj in the courtroomVojislav Seselj in the courtroom

‘The prosecution has presented specific evidence that can lead to a conviction’, prosecutor Mathias Marcussen said in the final part of the Rule 98bis argument at the trial of Serbian Radical leader Vojislav Seselj. Rule 98bis allows the accused to ask for his acquittal if the Trial Chamber finds that the evidence called by the prosecution cannot support a conviction.

According to the prosecution, the evidence called at trial shows that the ‘accused gained popularity by promoting Chetnik ideology and reviving Chetnik military organizations’. The prosecutor said the accused intended to ‘create a Greater Serbia through fear and violence’ together with other members of the joint criminal enterprise. The prosecutor went on to remind the Trial Chamber of various public addresses Seselj made, in which he called for the ‘final destruction’ of the non-Serbs ‘so that they can never come back’ and threatened that ‘rivers of blood will flow’, that ‘vengeance is blind’ and that ‘there will be innocent victims’. Such statements of the accused had ‘deeply affected the implementation of the joint criminal enterprise’ aimed at expelling the non-Serbs from Vojvodina, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the prosecutor argued.

In his response to the prosecution’s arguments, Seselj said he had submitted to the ICTY president ’40 criminal reports against the prosecution witnesses who have given false evidence’. As he said, he didn’t use ‘hate speech but cautioning speech’. As he put it, ‘my speeches before the war were harsher because I wanted to avoid war and I wanted to make the Croatian and Bosnian leaderships relinquish their secessionist ideas’. However, Seselj repeated today that ‘the whole of Bosnia will be Serbian sooner or later’ because ‘it cannot exist in the long run in its present form’, just as ‘Croatia cannot continue to exist with its present borders’. Seselj contends that his speeches were ‘prophetic’ but ‘no one listened to me or took me seriously’.

Seselj believes it is ‘obvious that the prosecution has failed to prove anything in this case’. The only decision the Trial Chamber can reach is to acquit him and dismiss all the charges in the indictment in order to ‘comply with the demands of its conscience, honor and professionalism’, the accused noted.

As the accused specified today, he demands damages to the amount of 10 million Euros ‘as a sign of good will’, payable immediately. In case of any delays, his final claim will be € 100 million. In the end, Seselj informed the Trial Chamber that he had ‘a lawyer on stand-by in New York’ who ‘will press charges against UN’. Seselj also indicated that he might file a suit against judges and prosecutors ‘based on the principle of their joint responsibility because they participated in a joint enterprise that yielded such poor results’.

Presiding judge Antonetti said the Chamber would rule on Seselj’s requests in ‘the coming weeks or months’, because the Trial Chamber has to go through 1,300 exhibits and read more than 16,000 pages of the transcript.