UN court rejects radical Serb's rights lawsuit

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Judges at the UN's Yugoslav war crimes court on Wednesday rejected a two-million-euro suit by ultra-nationalist Serb Vojislav Seseslj, who claimed his human rights have been violated.

"After concluding that the allegations by the accused are without foundation, the chamber decided the claim by the accused over his rights being violated is without purpose," a three-judge bench said.

"Because of this, the chamber rejects his request in its entirety," the judges said in a statement issued by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague.

Seselj, 57, who faces nine war crimes and counts of crimes against humanity, filed his claim in January, saying his rights had been violated during his nine-year detention.

It included a demand for 500,000 euros (U$656,000) for allegedly delaying proceedings against Seselj, leader of the Serbian Radical Party (SRS) who has been behind bars since surrendering to the ICTY in February 2003.

He also demanded 400,000 euros, saying he could not afford to pay the costs of his defence -- including his own plane ticket to The Hague, and complained about being denied access to family, friends and doctors -- for which he claimed a further 200,000 euros.

The ultra-nationalist went on trial in November 2006 for crimes committed in the persecution of Croats, Muslims and other non-Serbs and their expulsion from areas of Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia between 1991 and 1993.

The prosecution earlier this month said it was seeking a 28-year-sentence against Seselj. Judges will now discuss a verdict.

Seselj, who is representing himself and who has pleaded not guilty, has earned a reputation for angry outbursts in court.

He has been hospitalised at least five times since January, when he was fitted with a pacemaker that later malfunctioned, according to the SRS party.

© 2012 AFP

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