Hague Tribunal "trying to find way out for itself"
Rasim Ljajić says that by releasing Vojislav Šešelj, the Hague Tribunal is trying to find a way out of the situation it created with the unduly long trial.Source: B92
Šešelj, accused of war crimes, turned himself in in early 2003 and has ever since been incarcerated, with his trial starting in 2007. He is now ill with colon cancer that metastasized to the liver, and will be released for humanitarian reasons, the court announced on Thursday.
Ljajić, a cabinet minister who also heads Serbia's National Council for Cooperation with the Hague (ICTY), on Friday observed that the decision was made in a highly accelerated procedure - "which has not been the case previously."
"The moment we received the letter of Presiding Judge Jean Claude Antonetti that asked the government of Serbia to declare itself, to all intents and purposes in two to three hours, about the conditions and about providing guarantees for Šešelj's provisional release, it was clear that the decision was already made, considering this was the first time that such a short deadline was given to provide guarantees," he told Radio B92.
Ljajić stressed that this was also the first time that the accused has not been asked to declare himself on the conditions imposed by the Tribunal.
"This decision was above all motivated by the Tribunal's intention to extract itself from a situation of its own making, brought on by the inappropriately long trial in the process against Šešelj," said Ljajić.