Croatian President: Seselj's hatred a threat to peace

Hague war crimes suspect 'mocking victims of war and international law' says Ivo Josipovic

Croatian President: Seselj's hatred a threat to peace

World Bulletin/News Desk

Croatian President Ivo Josipovic has warned officials in The Hague that "hateful discourses" voiced by recently released war crimes suspect Vojislav Seselj were posing a threat to the Balkans region.

Josipovic questioned the decision to allow the temporary release of former Serb leader Seselj on health grounds in a letter to Theodor Meron, the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague (ICTY).

Josipovic wrote: "Seselj is mocking both the victims of war as well as international law. Through his speeches, Seselj spreads the hate which led to the war in Yugoslavia."

Seselj has twice addressed the public following his return to Serbia and emphasized in his speeches the ideology of a Greater Serbia and referred to Serb general Ratko Mladic and Serb leader Radovan Karadzic as "heroes and patriots" who fought for the freedom of Serbs.

Josipovic added: "He is advocating an ideology which left thousands of deaths and crimes, destruction and suffering behind. All this affects the ongoing trial proceedings in The Hague."

 "Seselj's hateful discourses may adversely affect the peace and stability in the region," he said.

'Spread of fear'

Seselj - the founder of the Serbian Radical Party who allegedly recruited paramilitary groups and incited them to commit atrocities during the 1990s Balkan wars - was released by the ICTY on Nov. 12 to allow him to receive chemotherapy treatment for colon and liver cancer.

Josipovic said in his letter: "He is causing fear to be spread, in particular among relatives of victims and among citizens."

Josipovic wrote that, as president of a non-aligned state, he would not question the ICTY judges' decision to temporarily release Seselj, but stated the long ICTY trial process had "caused me to lose faith in international law".

The charges against Seselj include murder, forced deportation, illegal imprisonment, torture and the destruction of property.

About 140,000 people died in the series of ethnic conflicts in the former Yugoslavia between 1991 and 1999 which led to the break-up of the country, according to the International Center for Transitional Justice.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Kasım 2014, 17:25

Muhammed Öylek