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Press Advisory

(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
 

The Hague, 10 November 2011
VE/MOW/PA476e


Vojislav Šešelj Contempt of the Tribunal Further Appearance on 11 November 2011

 

Vojislav Šešelj

A further appearance in the third contempt of court case of Vojislav Šešelj has been scheduled to be held this Friday, 11 November 2011 at 14:30 in Courtroom IIII, before Judge Burton Hall.

Vojislav Šešelj, the leader of the Serb Radical Party currently standing trial at the Tribunal for alleged war crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Vojvodina in Serbia between 1991 and 1994, is accused offailing to remove confidential information from his personal website in violation of orders of a Chamber.

The confidential information published by Šešelj on his website includes four books authored by the Accused and five confidential filings submitted by him as part of his main trial and two previous trials for contempt of court. These books and filings reveal confidential information about a number of protected witnesses who testified in his main trial before the Tribunal for alleged war crimes.

At his initial appearance on 6 July 2011, the Accused entered a plea of not guilty to the indictment, which at the time pertained to three books and five confidential filings. Following the Accused’s failure to comply with an order to remove a book from his website, which was issued confidentially on 15 July 2011, the Trial Chamber amended its Order in lieu of indictment to include four, instead of three books. A further initial appearance was held on Friday, 4 November 2011 at which the Accused declined to enter a plea to the amended indictment. The Trial Chamber ordered that a further appearance be held within 10 days of the further initial appearance to provide the Accused with a new opportunity to enter a plea to the amended indictment.

This is the third time that Šešelj has been charged with contempt of the Tribunal. The previous charges relate to two of the four books listed in the latest indictment. On 19 May 2010 the Appeals Chamber confirmed the Trial Chamber’s finding that Šešelj was guilty of contempt for disclosing the personal details of protected witnesses in a book he authored and affirmed his sentence of 15 months’ imprisonment. Šešelj was ordered to remove the book from his website. In February 2010 contempt proceedings were initiated against Šešelj for a second time for disclosing the personal details of protected witnesses in a book he authored and the Trial Chamber sentenced him to 18 months’ imprisonment on 31 October 2011.

The Tribunal regards the integrity of witnesses and confidential materials as essential elements in the judicial process. Several persons who have attempted to interfere with this process by revealing confidential information have been prosecuted and convicted.

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The full text of the Trial Chamber’s Second Decision  on Failure to Remove
Confidential Information from Public Website and Order in Lieu of Indictment.


 The Initial Appearance will be broadcast live on the Tribunal’s website


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International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

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