War crimes suspect Seselj ends hunger strike

8th December 2006, Comments 0 comments

8 December 2006, AMSTERDAM — Serbian ultra-nationalist Vojislav Seselj ended his hunger strike on Friday after the Yugoslavian war crimes tribunal in The Hague ceded to his biggest demand.

8 December 2006

AMSTERDAM — Serbian ultra-nationalist Vojislav Seselj ended his hunger strike on Friday after the Yugoslavian war crimes tribunal in The Hague ceded to his biggest demand.

After almost a month-long hunger strike, Seselj will now be allowed to speak and defend himself during his trial. But the tribunal rejected his demands to replace several judges and allow his wife unlimited visits to his cell.

Seselj — who is accused of war crimes during the break up of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s — had often complained that judges had enforced a lawyer on him so that the trial could continue without him.

But the Yugoslavia Tribunal announced on Friday that Seselj, 52, will be able to fully participate in his trial as an "accused who defends himself" when he is sufficiently healthy. The trial had been suspended due to his ill health.
 
Serbia had earlier warned the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia that Seselj must not be allowed to die. The Serbian government also said the court should allow him to defend himself

Seselj's condition had become so poor that the tribunal ordered he should be force-fed if necessary.

That placed the Netherlands in a difficult position because force-feeding is not allowed. Generally, the wishes of the hunger striker are honoured, the same as they usually are internationally.

In March, former Yugoslav and Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic died in his cell. Just one week earlier, another suspect, Milan Babic, committed suicide and in 1998, two other Serbian suspects died in the Dutch prison.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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