Seselj's party member wanted by Hague Tribunal passes away
Long-time member of the Serb Radical Party (SRS) Jovo Ostojic has died, the party announced on Friday.Source: B92, Tanjug
According to the SRS website, Ostojic passed away last night after a short illness.
The Hague Tribunal (ICTY) had a warrant out for the arrest of Ostojic and two more SRS members - Petar Jojic and Vjerica Radeta - on charges of contempt of court, accusing the three of bribing of witnesses during the trial of SRS leader Vojislav Seselj, and demanding their extradition from Serbia.
Two years ago Ostojic announced that he had no intention of "surrendering himself alive" to the Tribunal.
"I'll see which way things will go," Ostojic told the daily Blic in late 2015. "If they bring me in, I will not go there alive. I was detained before for five, three, and one day, in 2002 in Belgrade, when at that time Hague investigator Paolo Pistori bullied me for hours so I would give fake testimony against Slobodan Milosevic and Vojislav Seselj."
Ostojic said that he refused, "even though they offered money" - because he "did not want to lie."
"They also threatened me then that I would come to The Hague, alive or dead. I did not pressure witnesses or offer them 500 euros. I can barely make ends meet, everyone around me knows that. Both my wife and I work as seasonal laborers. Where would I get 500 euros," Ostojic said at the time.
In March, the Hague Tribunal announced that Interpol had issued red notices "in relation to pending arrest warrants in the Jojic et al. contempt case."
Serbian authorities refused to extradite the three SRS members, explaining that the Serbian Law on Cooperation with the ICTY does not provide for arresting and extraditing persons accused of contempt of court, but only those accused of the gravest war crimes.