Hague won't disclose details about Šešelj's health
THE HAGUE -- The Hague Tribunal remains at its position that information about the health of the accused Vojislav Šešelj cannot be revealed without his permission.
The court's press representative Magdalena Spalinska confirmed this for Beta, after the news agency asked for comment on a statement made last night by vice-president of Šešelj's Radicals (SRS), Milorad Mirčić, who said the party leader had undergone surgery for colon cancer.
In mid-December, the tribunal neither confirmed nor denied media reports that Šešelj was ill and about to have surgery.
At the time, the Hague's press service responded to these reports by saying:
"Information about the health of the accused is confidential and cannot be disclosed without the consent of the accused."
This is the customary response of the court to questions about the health of the persons persons in its custody.
Šešelj has been incarcerated on charges of crimes against Croats and Muslims in Croatia, Vojvodina and Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1991 1993, and is awaiting a verdict.
During his stay in custody - which began on February 24. 2003, when he voluntarily surrendered immediately after the announcement of the indictment - Šešelj had heart problems, and complained about bad results of liver tests, suggesting that he was "being poisoned."
In early January of last year, Šešelj fell ill in his cell and was immediately taken to the hospital. After six days, he had "an internal defibrillator" fitted - a device that controls his heart rate.
Šešelj on several occasion stated in the courtroom that he suffered from arrhythmia and tachycardia, but also argued that the deterioration of his health was "caused by Western intelligence services who want to kill him."
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