Vojislav Seselj
Vojislav Seselj

“There is no crucial legal evidence,” presiding judge Jean-Claude Antonetti said.

Vojislav Seselj
Vojislav Seselj

Seselj, 61, had been indicted for crimes allegedly committed from around August 1991 to September 1993 against the non-Serb population of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the province of Vojvodina in the Republic of Serbia.

The majority of the trial chamber decided that the prosecution, which had accused Seselj of making inflammatory speeches that incited war crimes, failed to prove the existence of a criminal purpose.
On one occasion, Seselj, addressing the troops, said “not a single Ustasha must leave Vukovar alive,” using a derogatory term for Croats in 1991 in the eastern Croatian city on the Danube River border with Serbia.

It could not be ruled out that such speeches were made “in a context of conflict and were meant to boost the morale of the troops of his camp, rather than calling upon them to spare no one,” Antonetti said.

The majority of the trial chamber also concluded that Seselj’s ideal of creating a “Great Serbia,” incorporating parts of Croatia and Bosnia, was more of a political venture than a criminal project.
“The propaganda of nationalist ideologies is not criminal,” Antonetti said.

Seselj was cleared of three counts of crimes against humanity, namely persecution, deportation and the inhumane act of forcible transfer, and six counts of war crimes, namely murder, torture and cruel treatment, wanton destruction, destruction or willful damage done to institutions dedicated to religion or education, and plunder of public or private property.

In February 2003, Seselj surrendered voluntarily to the Tribunal. His trial began in November 2006 and restarted in November 2007. The marathon case has been dragging on ever since, with the closing arguments presented in March 2012.

In November 2014, the trial chamber granted provisional release to Seselj for health reasons after the Serbian authorities argued that his cancer treatment can neither be interrupted nor continued in The Hague. Seselj, afterwards, moved to Belgrade. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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