Madman On The Loose In Serbia Threatens Peace And Human Dignity

Vojislav Seselj, indicted war criminal awaiting ICTY verdict

Vojislav Seselj,
indicted war criminal
awaiting ICTY verdict


Vojislav Seselj’s return to Serbia (after being temporarily released from war crimes tribunal in the Hague on account of advanced illness and pending judgment) happened just days before the 23rd anniversary of the fall of Vukovar (18 November), which is a very important date for the Croats and which evidences untold atrocities committed in the early 1990’s against Croats and other non-Serbs in Croatia at the directive and under Seselj’s or Serbian Radical Party’s directives (whose members at the time also included the current Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic and Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic).

A master at rubbing salt into the wounds and enjoying it, as on 18 November Croatia mourned and remembered its dead, its raped, its devastated lives from Serb aggression, Seselj tauntingly published from Belgrade headquarters a statement in which he congratulated the Serb chetniks on their liberation from Croats of Vukovar on 18 November 1991! (He reportedly also sent such a press release to the Croatian media). For Seselj, for Greater Serbia ideology occupation, murder, rape, ethnic cleansing means – liberation! Furthermore, in the same statement Seselj and his Serbian Radical Party vowed to pursue with their aim in ensuring that the territory they had occupied in Croatia in 1990’s, which was then liberated by Croat forces in 1995, becomes Serb territory again.


Croatia reacted with horror to these statements by Seselj, but the Serbian government remained quiet. Seselj’s excesses have also unleashed a hailstorm of criticism against the ICTY, with detractors saying Seselj’s release deals a serious setback to the court’s mandate to promote post-war reconciliation.
To “correct” the lack of Serbian government’s reaction to Seselj’s hateful and violent public rhetoric, its foreign minister Ivica Dacic has come out saying that there is no need to react to Seselj for Seselj is not a political factor in Serbian government. Oh dear, he may not be, but he is certainly raising hell in Serbia and abroad!
As suggested by my previous post on the issue of Seselj’s temporary release from prison, there are many disquieting questions to be answered as to why the war crimes tribunal would release its prisoner pending judgment to receive medical treatment in their own country, far away from the court and far away the capacity of being able to monitor such treatment. As if to provoke outrage, numerous exceptions were made for Seselj’s case. The Office of the Prosecutor, run by Serge Brammertz, did not participate in the deliberations for temporary release. And the final order, published on November 6, stipulates only that Seselj should refrain from witness and victim intimidation and return promptly to The Hague when summoned. No restraints were put on Seselj in terms of political activity. The trial chamber also took the unusual step of circumventing a final consultation with Seselj that would allow him to accept or deny the terms of his release. Nor is it clear the trial chamber received detailed information about the state of Seselj’s health.
The November 6 ICTY court order approving Seselj’s release notes only that the judges had “received additional confidential information that points to a deterioration in the accused’s health.” The dissenting opinion in the matter by Judge Mandiaye Niang (PDF) describes Seselj as “gravely ill,” adding, “We know this despite his refusal to allow his medical file to be disclosed officially.”

If you, the fair and just minded reader, are confused and enraged at this point, know that you are experiencing an outrage at the lack of justice in this matter, at the lack of consideration for the victims of the brutal crimes committed against Croats under Seselj’s tutelage and orders. The courts that the just world has known to this point require expert evidence in cases of ill-health claims. In this case, Seselj has refused to disclose health records to the court and the court released him anyway! What calamity for human kind!

So far, Seselj has yet to show any overt signs of serious health setbacks. Indeed he appears as strong as an Ox and his voice is full of strength and energy; he emanates a dynamic stature and drive, he refuses to undertake medical treatment he’s reported to be returned to Serbia for. Certainly, he could be very physically ill nevertheless, and, in a mad rage to push his political agenda. Whichever it is, it’s certainly not what the ICTY said it was going to be (medical treatment/ exceptional humanitarian grounds).


Presented with Seselj’s public grandstanding, ethnic hatred speeches, raising unrest the ICTY prosecutor Serge Brammertz would like the world to believe that his office cannot appeal the temporary release decision without access to Seselj’s medical records! How about appealing on grounds that decision should not have been made without medical records in the first place!

Croatia’s president Ivo Josipovic stated that he wrote to the ICTY president Judge Theodore Meron, alerting him that Seselj’s hate speeches could destabilise peace in that part of Europe.

Former ICTY prosecution spokesperson Florence Hartmann used irony on Saturday 22 November when she commented on the Seselj situation and Croatia’s reaction to the Slovenian Delo:

They (Hague war crimes tribunal) are absolutely above everything, above international standards, above the UN Security Council, and even above God.”
“They’ve temporarily released a madman,” she continued.
If I were in Croatian president Josipovic’s place, I would not write to the president of the Hague tribunal, Meron, but instead I would write to the member states of the UN Security Council and ask them: what is happening? We are paying enormous sums of money for the work of the tribunal and in return we are receiving only attempts to revise the conflict’s history and premature release from prison of a madman,” said Hartmann. Hartmann said that there is more and more of nationalism emerging and that “we would not have that were it not for the fear of confronting the past.”
Croatian member of EU Parliament, Tonino Picula (Social Democrats) said that good care should be taken to ensure that “individual pathological cases“, such as recent statements by Serbian Radical Party leader Vojislav Seselj, did not affect entire societies. “Croatia should be extremely cautious, considering its recent past, and the European Parliament is a forum where we can discuss this in good time,” he concluded.


The issue is that “individual pathological cases” such as Seselj cause a great deal of suffering and fear and must be stopped at once, not discussed about “in good time”. One can discuss and discuss about a madman ‘till the cows come home’ but nothing will change. Firm action is needed.
On a more promising note, though, MEP Andrej Plenkovic of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) said that the European People’s Party (EPP) was planning to propose a resolution at a European Parliament session in Strasbourg next week to condemn Seselj’s behaviour. It’s an urgent matter to stop the rhetoric that caused the crimes of the 1990’s in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina – Seselj should have been on his way back to the Hague prison – yesterday! Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

When Humanitarian Reasons Exclude Human Rights For Victims Of Indicted Serb War Crimes

Indicted Serb war criminal Vojislav Seselj at The Hague

Indicted Serb war criminal
Vojislav Seselj at The Hague


The United Nations war crimes tribunal ICTY in The Hague has Thursday 6 November ordered a temporary release of ailing Serbian ultra-nationalist leader and war crimes indicted Vojislav Seselj (for war crimes committed in large parts of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Vojvodina part of Serbia between 1991 and 1994 against the non-Serb population  ) for “compelling humanitarian reasons.” The war crimes court said that Seselj should return to Serbia “to receive treatment in the most suitable environment.”
Seselj had surgery for colon cancer last year, and the recent visit by Serbian doctors to his Hague cell resulted in their public disclosure that his cancer had spread to his liver.
Seselj surrendered in 2003 on ground of “fighting for Serbian interests” – he said at the time. There had been numerous delays in his trial due to his repeated obstructions to the court trial process (Seselj has insisted on representing himself in the trial) and to top it all off, a dispute among judges in 2013 led to one of the judges’ ( Judge Frederick Harhoff ) being disqualified and replaced. This replacement in October 2013 has meant that instead of a judgment being delivered in the case the new judge Mandiaye Niang has needed and still needs time, it seems, to familiarise himself with the case, whose trial hearing had drawn to the stage of closing arguments way back in March 2012 and Judgment was expected in October 2013.
Seselj is also charged with inciting others to commit war crimes in Croatia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 1990s by creating a militia and sending its members off with incendiary speeches. He appeared at the time in Serbian parliament time after time maintaining hate-filled speech against non-Serbs (Croats and Bosniaks mainly) and urging for the creation of Greater Serbia, which thrust horrendously brutal winds into ethnic cleansing of non-Serbs of much of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the early 1990’s. During the Serb-aggression against Croatia Seselj evilly insisted in his public speeches that “the eyes of every Croat must be dug out with a rusted spoon” (!).
His judges proposed this year that he could await his verdict in Serbia, but Seselj refused, saying he would not abide by court rules to remain under house arrest and avoid political activities (despite being in prison since 2003 he remained and is the leader of the Serbian Radical Party). Moreover, he has been demanding that the war crimes tribunal pay him 12 million euros (about US$15 million) for trial costs and damages (the Hague chamber dismissed the demand).
While in The Hague, Seselj has been tried and convicted of contempt of court three times for revealing the personal details of protected witnesses.
Regardless of the serious medical diagnosis, Serbian media report that Seselj has no intention of using the temporary release from the war crimes tribunal’s jail for medical treatments but has announced his threat of revenge.
If I come to Serbia at all I will not be engaging in medical treatment but will turn all my energy into revenge”, said Seselj, as reported by Serbian news portal Blic.

It’s unclear as to whom or where Seselj’s threats of revenge are directed but one may expect to find out once he lands in Belgrade and starts addressing the Serbian public. One can expect a stirring of the Greater Serbia ideas into some kind of frenzy in the efforts to once again glorify the genocide committed by Serbs in early 1990’s in the name of Greater Serbia. The disquieting question as to why the ICTY is taking so long to deliver its judgment on the trial against Seselj is on many a lip across the world right now.

The Croats of Vukovar, in Croatia – where Seselj’s politics of Greater Serbia left the city devastated and many murdered, maimed and raped victims still without justice. 18th November 2014 will mark the 23rd anniversary of the fall of Vukovar and mass murders committed against Croats, mass rapes and mass destruction. To Vukovar, Seselj is considered a war criminal and in light of his temporary release from The Hague, pending a judgment, this year’s commemoration is destined to bring about a bitter taste of devastating disappointment and confusion with the international war crimes tribunal justice system. One assumes that The Hague does not want another prisoner to die on its premises, awaiting judgment. In many ways the decision by the court to release Seselj is arguably understandable on humanitarian grounds, however the same decision has left the world not knowing, for now, whether the tribunal thinks he is guilty or innocent of the charges against him. Furthermore, there has been no kind of “action plan” released by the tribunal regarding a delivery of judgment and this is truly confusing and utterly unfair to the victims.

As to reactions to Seselj’s temporary release the vice-president of the Serbian Radical Party (to which Seselj is still the president), Milorad Mircic, has stated for the Serbian media the following: “If life in Serbia was better we would welcome Seselj as a victim. However, since we live in misery and squalor he will be the only hope and straw of salvation to take us out of this swamp into which Aleksandar Vucic and Tomislav Nikolic have taken us with galloping speed”.

While the war crimes tribunal in The Hague may have had the best, and praiseworthy, humanitarian reasons for temporarily releasing a reportedly very ill man from its prison, pending judgment from the protracted trial, one finds it difficult to accept or understand why the treatment for cancer could not have continued in Netherlands – such a move would have also satisfied the victims’ human rights to justice, which includes medical treatments under the jurisdiction of the country in which the criminal court is located.

Judging by his threats of revenge, receiving medical treatment seems to be the last thing on Seselj’s and his Serbian Radical Party’s mind. And the first thing on the victims of Serb aggression and genocide minds leaves no room for speculation: yet again, they have been left at the mercy of everything else except transparent and true justice. They are left in confusion and disrespect by the very institution set up to deliver justice for them: surely, the victims are more interested in the war tribunal’s plan for the delivery of the judgment than in the place of Seselj’s medical treatment! They deserve to know when the war crimes tribunal plans to publish a judgment, regardless of what that judgment might be. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Vojislav Seselj: unadulterated evil to give closing arguments at ICTY

Vojislav Seselj - Photo: BBC news

Closing arguments in the ICTY trial that started in 2007 against Vojislav Seselj are to commence in the Hague March 5. Seselj, a Serb radical leader in 1990’s is accused of crimes against humanity, persecution, ethnic cleansing and murder in early 1990’s of Croats, Muslims, and other non-Serbs across Croatia, Bosnia  and Herzegovina.

Seselj, a Serbian ultranationalist and the figurehead of the Serbian Radical Party in early 1990’s, considered himself as the successor of the World War II Serb nationalist butchers – Chetniks. Seselj and his Serbian Radical Party participated in the formation of the Serbian paramilitary unit “White Eagles” (Beli Orlovi) who are responsible for countless war crimes across Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina during 1990’s.

“Many claim, he was responsible for “dirty job” on Milosevic’s behalf that concluded in organizing paramilitary units for the fronts in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as heating up ethnic intolerance among the local Serbs. Allegedly, the volunteers led by Seselj committed numerous crimes between 1991 and 1993 (including those in Vukovar, Samac, Zvornik, etc.). Inside Serbia he was widely believed to be in fierce opposition to Milosevic, and this reputation enabled SRS to gain high percentage of votes in all parliamentary elections held in Serbia in the 1990s.”

He hated all non-Serb populations of former Yugoslavia with a passion and made sure everyone knew it. He spread that hatred vigorously, wherever he went.

In short, Seselj is one of many faces of absolute evil Serbia thrust against Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 1990’s.  The following video from Serbian TV Politika from 1991 demonstrates how evil Seselj was and Serbs looked up to him, applauded, laughed approvingly at  his evil ways.

Transcript of above video is translated into English for my readers’ benefit as many, I believe, may have never experienced the utter inhumanity that comes from unadulterated evil dressed-up in humour:

Seselj: “Well I think that the Croatians are at the moment very dangerous for us, because Croatia has become a nuclear power (laughter, applause), they obtained atominc weapons, the contaminated with radiation Kalashnikovs from Hungary, and for us Serbs it’s going to be most dangerous when they throw them into (river) Sava and the radiation reaches us in Belgrade” (laughter , applause).

As as far as their army is concerned, you know, 20 or 30 Chetniks quickly solve that problem (laughter, applause), When from a Thompson a bullet hits a Croat in the forehead both of his eyes pop out and when a bullet hits him in the neck he becomes headless and there’s no need to slaughter him “(laughter applause)

Show host: “This is now in the domain of a bit of black humour.

Seslj: “There’s no humour here, I’m answering the questions seriously. We’re not joking…

Show host: “I’m trying…to brighten up things …this is an entertainment show and well OK…”

Question from audience: “I was asking about Tihomir (Abdic  or Avdic – pronunciation not clear on audio)

Show host: “Mr Seselj, You said that the real border between Croatia and Serbia would be Italy”.

Seslj: “There’s no Croatia (applause) and Dalmatia is Serbian, There’s no legal document…Croatia does not exist (applause) … according to international plan it does not exist…”

Show host: “OK so you go to Karlobag, over Ogulin to Karlovac … Osijek is going to be in Serbia…”

Seselj: “Well Osijek is a Serbian city, old Serbian city, everybody should know that…”

Show host: “…then to Sisak …”

Seselj: “You’ll need to learn geography all over again (laughter, applause)…

Show host: “… ok then tell me (applause)… then that means that Split is going to be a Serbian city…”

Seselj: “Yes Split too…

Show host: “…everything then …Zadar…(applause) Sibenik…”

Seselj: “Everything…according to European pact Split was to be Serbian city…large Serbian port (applause)… at time of Yugoslavia there was about 1 million Serb Catholics …Italians had everything from Karlobag to north …”

Show host: “ …that’s to do with the agreement from 1915…”

Seselj: “yes that’s it…”

Show host: “well how can that be, there was war in 1915 and it’s known borders don’t change during a war…”

Seselj: “ah..yeah…the winners were planning how to proceed…”

Show host: “I have another question from Zoran Milanovic – what do you think about the situation in Croatia?”

Seselj: “There is a second alternative in case the Italians don’t accept to agree with us there’s a second alternative that Yugoslavia breaks up into three states Big Serbia, small Slovenia and even smaller Croatia (laughter, applause) …”

Show host: “OK you haven’t mentioned Bosnia and Herzegovina …”

Seselj: “What Bosnia and Herzegovina, that’s a Serbian country (laughter, applause) I know that best, I was born there …”

Show host: “You haven’t mentioned Macedonia…”

Seselj: “Macedonia is a Serbian country, currently we are preparing in Kumanovo a large meeting I think it’s going to be soon … couple of hundred thousand people…Serbs from Macedonia… “

Show host: “Let me ask Dragana if she agrees with these things, with all these borders …  (laughter, applaude)that would be a very large Serbia…we’ll go like from Sumadija to Split …(laughter, applause) then Serbs will need to start buying cars they now use bicycles …they’ll go Nis, Sibenik, Split, Makarska…”

Seselj:  “half an hour by phone…”

Female Voice from audience: “no medical help from them…”

Seselj: “I’m present there constantly, already two three times three times I’ve gone there besides you’ve heard Vucurevic president of the Trebinje Council that there is no need to send volunteers from this narrowed Serbia, there’s enough Serbs there ready to fight and when needed they’ll fight, and besides, that we are constantly present over there is best evidenced by the fact that many Muslims and Croats don’t sleep in their houses that they are on watch day and night  (laughter, applause)…and so they’re telling stories how our Chetnics are marching around over there …they say how I give them some tablets (pills) with which they don’t need to sleep nor eat for five days and five nights …”

Male voice from audience: “they just slaughter

Seselj: “yes … (laughter, applause) …  as far as the slaughtering is concerned, again you may not like it…we have perfected new methods, yes, we now slaughter with shoehorns, rusty ones and then an autopsy can never conclude the cause of death if it was slaughter or tetanus…”

Show host: “well good idea but then why is there an announcement for witnesses…other orientations…(laughter)…”

Seselj: “you seem to be in a pacifist mood…”

Show host: “Well I need to be for all, I need to explain to everybody in a nice way ….I don’t know … in fact I didn’t vote … as no one appealed to me a lot …”

Seselj: “you should have kept that to yourself…”

Show host: “about voting?…let me ask now something lighter and brighter… “(turns to Dragana for questions…at 5min40sec of video clip)

The truth is that even through Serbian laughter and evil wit the Serbian resolve to destroy Croatians, Muslims and non-Serbs in former Yugoslavia was frightening, let alone the actual slaughters, tortures, rapes, destruction…

Closing arguments in Seselj’s case at the Hague will most likely last a few days and start with the Prosecution’s arguments. I think that Seselj’s part of the closing arguments should be very swift indeed. It should only contain one short phrase and that phrase should be formed in the meaning of begging for mercy – from humanity. The whole of humanity, not just the ICTY should work hard at ridding itself of such evil. I would not recommend the taking of one of those “Seselj pills” in order to succeed at that for the “Seselj pill” referred to in Seselj’s TV appearance above is a metaphor for pure evil, pure hate, pure determination to destroy. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A. Ps. (Syd)

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