Serbian nationalist pleads not guilty to contempt charges
Serbian ultranationalist Vojislav Seselj pleaded not guilty to contempt of court charges before a UN war crimes court Wednesday which accuses him of revealing the identity of protected witnesses.
"I would say I am not guilty and at the same time I question the right of the court in The Hague to carry out this process of outrage," Seselj told judges before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
"They cannot carry out a contempt trial for somebody who is already being charged for the most heinous crimes," Seselj said at his initial appearance for his third contempt of court case.
The former Serbian leader was appearing because of information published on his website, including three books he wrote and five confidential files which he submitted during his main trial.
Despite being ordered by the court to do so, Seselj failed to remove the information.
Seselj, 57, went on trial in November 2006 for his alleged role in the persecution of Croats, Muslims and other non-Serbs and their expulsion from areas of Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia between 1991 and 1994.
He was sentenced to 15 months in prison in July 2009 after being found in contempt for disclosing the identities of three witnesses in his trial as well as a portions of a confidential statement in a book.
A second contempt case was opened on February 22 against him for disclosing information about witnesses in another book.
The court charged him for a third time on May 24 on similar charges.
Contempt of the ICTY carries a maximum penalty of seven years in jail and/or a 100,000 euro ($150,000) fine.
© 2011 AFP