Prosecution of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) based in The Hague announced that they will appeal to last week’s acquittal of Vojislav Seselj on all charges of war crimes in Croatia, Vojvodina and BiH.
The Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz stated that the judges ignored the large amount of evidence against Seselj, who has been accused of planting murderous hatred with his speeches against Bosnian Muslims and Croats in the early ’90s.
“This led to the fact that most judges unreasonably believed in the possibility that the expulsion of civilians was human gesture, that hate speech was only morale support for Serbian forces and that ethnic cleansing was a measure to protect the Serbian population,” stated Brammertz.
He also added that verdict to Seselj “essentially has not performed judicial functions”.
“We believe that the majority in the Chamber without any foundation permitted the criminal actions to be subsumed as legal support to the state of war, despite large number of evidence which denied this. We believe that this allowed the Trial Chamber to emphasize that the persecution of civilians was a humanitarian gesture, that the hatred speech was directed to raising the morale of soldiers and that the ethnic cleansing was a measure to protect the Serbian population,” said Brammertz.
He added that the assessment of the Trial Chamber that there was no wide and systematic attack against the non-Serb population in BiH and Croatia represents “general ignorance of the proven crimes”.
“The majority of the Trial Chamber did not properly asses the key aspects of the prosecution’s case,” said the Chief Prosecutor.
On the 31st of March, the Hague Tribunal acquitted Seselj of all charges in all nine counts in the indictment for crimes committed in BiH, Croatia and Vojvodina.
Majority of members of the Chamber, besides the opinion of one of the judges, concluded that the Prosecution failed to prove the existence of a joint criminal enterprise (JCE), and that Seselj is not guilty for persecution, deportation, torture, wanton destruction and plunder in the period from August 1991 to September 1993.
Mechanism for international tribunals will be dealing with the appeal to this verdict, as reported by Byrne.