The accreditation procedure has opened for those wishing to attend the rendering of the Appeal Judgement of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (MICT or Mechanism) in the case of Vojislav Šešelj, scheduled for Wednesday, 11 April 2018, from 14:00, in Courtroom I at the Mechanism’s premises in The Hague.      

All media representatives wishing to enter the building on that day must submit an accreditation request to mict-press [at] un.orgAccreditation requests must be submitted by Friday, 6 April 2018, at 12:00. The accredited media will be notified of their accreditation status on the Mechanism’s website by close of business on Monday, 9 April 2018.

Accreditation requests should include the full name of the media outlet, journalist(s), cameramen and other technicians as well as passport or ID number.  

Other members of the public wishing to attend the rendering of the Appeal Judgement should send an email to mict-external-relations [at] un.org for more information on the procedure and space available.

Due to limited resource capacity, accreditation requests for the media and the general public will be processed on a first-come-first-served basis. Furthermore, there will be limited capacity to support the media representatives’ requests on the day.

Background

Trial Chamber III of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), in its Judgment rendered on 31 March 2016, acquitted Vojislav Šešelj on all counts of the indictment.

Šešelj was charged with three counts of crimes against humanity (persecution, deportation and inhumane treatment) and six counts of violations of the laws or customs of war (murder, torture and cruel treatment, wanton destruction, destruction or willful damage done to institutions dedicated to religious educations, plunder of public or private property) allegedly committed from about August 1991 until September 1993 against the non-Serb population of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and the province of Vojvodina in the Republic of Serbia.

According to the indictment, Šešelj was accused of having directly committed, incited and aided and abetted these crimes, including through participation in a joint criminal enterprise (JCE), the purpose of which was the permanent forcible removal of a majority of the Croat, Muslim and other non-Serb populations from parts of Croatia, BiH and Vojvodina, Serbia.

The ICTY Trial Chamber acquitted Šešelj on all charges of the Indictment, with a majority decision on eight counts and a unanimous decision on one count.

The majority, Judge Lattanzi dissenting, found that the Prosecution failed to prove the existence of a criminal purpose, a legal requirement of the JCE.

The trial commenced on 27 November 2006 before the ICTY, shortly after which the case was adjourned for reasons related to Šešelj’s health. The trial restarted on 7 November 2007 and the Prosecution completed the presentation of its evidence on 13 January 2010. On 4 May 2011, the Trial Chamber issued an oral decision pursuant to Rule 98bis of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the ICTY dismissing the motion for acquittal filed by Šešelj. Judge Antonetti appended a dissenting opinion. There was no Defence case and the parties presented their closing arguments between 5 and 20 March 2012.

In accordance with Article 2 of the Mechanism’s Transitional Arrangements, the Mechanism’s Office of the Prosecutor filed its notice of appeal against the ICTY Trial Judgement before the Mechanism on 2 May 2016 and on 29 August 2016 it filed a public redacted version of its appeal brief. Šešelj did not appeal the Trial Judgement. On 13 December 2017, the Mechanism’s Appeals Chamber heard oral arguments in the appeal filed by the Prosecution.

The Mechanism was established on 22 December 2010 by the United Nations Security Council to carry out a number of essential functions of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the ICTY after the completion of their respective mandates, including completion of a limited number of cases which are inherited from the work of these two tribunals.

For further information please call

Helena Eggleston, Spokesperson at +31 (70) 512 5691 or +31 6 11 92 37 43

The Mechanism’s proceedings can be followed on the Mechanism’s website.