Sunday, July 1, 2012
ICTY Sentences a Leader of the Serb Radical Party to Two Years' Imprisonment for Failing to Remove Confidential Information from His Website
The Intenational Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has sentenced a leader of the Serb Radical Party – already facing trial on charges of crimes against humanity – to two years imprisonment for failure to remove confidential information from his website, in violation of the court’s orders.
Vojislav Šešelj is on trial before the ICTY for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed between 1991 and 1994, against the non-Serb population from large parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Vojvodina, Serbia. On his website, Mr. Šešelj published four of his books and six confidential filings which reveal confidential information about a number of protected witnesses who testified in his main trial before the Tribunal for alleged war crimes.
“Non-compliance with such orders is a serious matter, which not only interferes with the administration of justice but risks undermining public confidence in the Tribunal and, thereby, the effectiveness of its judicial function, including its ability to grant effective protective measures where necessary,” said the presiding judge, Stefan Trechsel, said in a news release. According to the ICTY, Mr. Šešelj was in position to remove the information from his website, but failed to so despite repeated orders, and had explicitly stated that he did not intend to comply with the order to remove on of his books in particular.
This was the ICTY’s third contempt trial against Mr. Šešelj. He was first convicted to 15 months of imprisonment in May 2010 for disclosing the personal details of protected witnesses in a book he authored, and subsequently to 18 additional months for the same reason in a different book. Both books were among those at issue in the third contempt case.
“The repetitious nature of his conduct is demonstrated by his continuing refusal to obey the orders requiring him to remove confidential material which he has disclosed on many occasions over the course of several years,” the Tribunal said. “This flagrant disregard for Chambers orders amounts to a direct attack upon the judicial authority of the Tribunal.”
(mew) (adapted from a UN Press Release)