Šešelj sues Hague Tribunal and seeks damages

THE HAGUE -- Vojislav Šešelj has filed a request for the Hague Tribunal to pay him damages worth EUR 2mn for violating his basic human right during detention.

Vojislav Šešelj (file)
Vojislav Šešelj (file)

The leader of the opposition Serb Radical Party (SRS) has been detained at the Hague Tribunal since he voluntarily traveled there in early 2003. He is accused of committing war crimes, and was put on trial in late 2007.

The court announced that Šešelj was seeking EUR 300,000 because of attempts to impose a defense lawyer on him, and an additional EUR 100,000 because he was denied access to the legal sources that the court council and the prosecution referred to in their decisions and motions.

Šešelj is requesting EUR 100,000 more in damages because the tribunal refused to give him materials "in a language he understands (i.e., Serbian) and printed on paper", and an equal amount for "the many years of violations of his right to legal assistance amounting to EUR 200,000",

The SRS leader believes that he should also be paid EUR 100,000 and EUR 200,000 respectively for being denied communication with his legal advisers, and his family, friends and doctors.

The court's alleged violation of his right to receive finances to fund his defense and its violation of the principle of equality should cost the UN tribunal a further EUR 400,000, while for "purposefully stalling the court process", it should pay the sum of half a million euros in damages, according to Šešelj.

Finally, he is seeking an additional EUR 100,000 for being put on trial for the contempt of court - an offense not found in the ICTY Statute, and with no basis in customary international law.

Meanwhile, Šešelj's health deteriorated and he demanded to be examined by doctors from Serbia. The doctors last week traveled to The Hague, their trip funded by the state, and found that his health had been "seriously jeopardized".