Serbia's Vojislav Seselj Acquitted of all Charges

Today, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) surprised many with its announcement of the verdict of the leader of the Serbian Radical Party Vojislav Seselj - he was acquitted of all charges, with the court finding no criminal wrong doing on his part. He was accused of financing, managing, and supporting the Serb volunteer units and inciting ethnic hatred during the wars in Croatia and Bosnia in the early 1990's. His trial and imprisonment had long been a focus of Serbia' heated internal political scene, which is split over the issue of European integration and NATO, or increased ties with the Eurasian Union and the CSTO. Seselj is seen as a symbol of Serbia's resistance to foreign military and economic domination.

The trial of Vojislav Seselj

Unlike many of the other accused by the Hague Tribunal, Seselj did not hide from the court, but turned himself in to the Hague 10 days after the drawing of the charges against him on 24 February 2004. Seselj wanted to defend his innocence in court and turn the trial into a trial against the Hague Tribunal. The prosecution lasted for 11 years and the Hague Tribunal has failed to provide conclusive evidence of Seselj's guilt. In 2014, Seselj was freed for health reasons (cancer), but proceedings against him continued. Vojislav Seselj had no plans to attend today's sentencing, as he believes that from a moral perspective he already defeated the Hague Tribunal a long time ago.

What is the Hague tribunal?

The Hague Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia was established in May 1993 in accordance with the mandate of the UN Security Council. Its authority applies only to the countries that were once part of federal Yugoslavia: Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia Slovenia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and the Serbian province of Kosovo. This international body has powers which exceed the sovereignty of individual states. In fact, it is one of the most globalist of international judicial bodies. Other bodies of the same kind, primarily the International Criminal Court in The Hague (ICC), were created much later.

Body of de-sovereignization

The very presence of the court, standing above the competence of sovereign states, reduces their sovereignty. It is significant that the United States refused to participate in the activities of the ICC, but strongly support the Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, because they are not in its jurisdiction, in contrast to the ICC.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia - is one of the organs of a neo-colonial control over the Balkans. Its verdicts are far from objective. In fact, it is a tool of humiliation and punishment of Serbs. Most of the war criminals from the other parties to the conflict were either acquitted or their sentences were symbolic. Among them, the Croatian General Ante Gotovina, who expelled tens of thousands of Serbs from Krajina, thug Muslim Naser Oric and the Albanian organ trader Ramush Haradinaj. A week ago, the Hague tribunal sentenced Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic to 40 years in prison.

For these reasons, today's acquittal of Seselj a both a surprise and, just as his conviction would have been, a political maneuver on the part of the ICTY and its NATO backers, which analysts will be attempting to reconcile and explain in the coming days and weeks.