Only two and a half months after hearing the appeal of the Prosecution against the acquittal of Vojislav Šešelj, the MICT Appeals Chamber will deliver the final verdict to the leader of Serbian radicals on 11 April 2018

In March 2016 the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia acquitted Vojislav Šešelj on all counts of the indictment charging him with crimes against humanity and violations of laws and customs of war in Croatia, Vojvodina and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The judgment was rendered with 2:1 split vote: presiding judge Antonetti from France and Senegalese judge Niang voted for Seselj’s acquittal. Italian Judge Lattanzi was against it.

The Prosecution has filed an appeal against the verdict of acquittal, arguing that it was ‘vitiated’ and that “the majority in the Trial Chamber“ made so many errors in law and errors in fact that they cumulatively „invalidate the judgement as a whole“.

Vojislav Šešelj had refused to attend the hearing before the Appeals Chamber of the Mechanism in December 2017. At the hearing, the Prosecution stated that unless the Appeals Chamber reversed and revised the verdict against the Serbian Radical Party leader, the credibility of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals would be „seriously undermined“.

The Appeals Chamber of the Mechanism indicates that both parties have the right to attend the rendering of its judgement on 11 April. In case Vojislav Šešelj does not appear in the court, the judges will pronounce the verdict in his absence, in accordance with the Rule of Procedure 145 (B) stipulating that „the Appeals Chamber may deliver its judgement in the absence of the defendant and may order the arrest or surrender of the defendant to the Mechanism“.

The Appeals Chamber in the Šešelj case consists of judge Theodor Meron (US), president of the Mechanism, and judges Lee Muthoga (Kenya), Rita Arrey (Cameroon), Ben Emmerson (UK) and Ivo Nelson Batista Rosa (Portugal).