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The Hague, 24 May 2011
Vojislav Šešelj Charged with Contempt of Court
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, Serbia between 1991 and 1994, has been charged with contempt of court.
Today, Trial Chamber II filed a public edited version of an order in lieu of an indictment which initiated contempt proceedings against Šešelj on 9 May 2011 for failing to remove confidential information from his personal website in violation of orders of a Chamber.
The confidential information published by Vojislav Šešelj on his website include three 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.
This is the third time that Šešelj has been charged with contempt of the Tribunal. The previous charges relate to two of the three books listed in the latest indictment. On 19 May 2010 the Appeals Chamber confirmed the Trial Chambers finding that Šešelj was guilty of contempt for disclosing the personal details of protected witnesses in a book he authored. Šešelj was ordered to remove the book from his website. On 4 February 2010 contempt proceedings were initiated against Šešelj for a second time for disclosing the personal details of protected witnesses in another book he authored. Proceedings are ongoing and on 31 January 2011 the Trial Chamber gave an order for the book to be removed from the Accused’s website.
Separately, on 17 February 2011, the Trial Chamber ordered the Accused to remove a third book from his website, which contains confidential information relating to protected witnesses. The Accused has failed to comply with this and all previous Orders to remove the three books and confidential filings from the public domain.
The Trial Chamber will prosecute this case itself. An Initial Appearance at which Šešelj will be called to enter a plea to the charge will be scheduled in due course.
The Tribunal regards the integrity of witnesses and confidential materials as essential elements in the rule of law. Several persons who have attempted to interfere with the judicial process by revealing confidential information have been prosecuted.
The full text of the Trial Chamber’s Decision on Failure to Remove Confidential Information
from Public Website and Order in Lieu of Indictment is available on the Tribunal’s website at:
Courtroom proceedings can be followed on the Tribunal’s website at www.icty.org
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
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