The UN International Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (MICT) based in The Hague rejected, for the second time the appeal against the final verdict delivered in the case of Serbian ultra-nationalist Vojislav Seselj, the Beta news agency reported on Tuesday.
Seselj was sentenced to ten years in prison for expelling the local Croats from Serbia’s northern village of Hrtkovci in 1992, during the wars in former Yugoslavia, but was released since he had already spent a decade in custody.
Explaining the decision, the MICT President Judge Carmel Agius said the MICT Statute and Book of Rules did not envisage an appeal to the final verdict passed by the Appeal Chamber.
He reminded Seselj he could ask for the revision of the verdict if he had new evidence that could prove the judgement was not just.
Seselj, who is now a deputy to Serbia's parliament and the leader of the hard-line nationalist Serbian Radical Party, got the same advice last November from the then MICT President Theodor Meron when he had appealed for the first time.
Seselj was acquitted in the first instance for war crimes against the Croats and Muslims in Croatia, Serbia’s northern province of Vojvodina, and Bosnia between 1991 and 1993. But after the prosecutors had appealed the verdict, the Appeal Chamber convicted him of expulsions of Croats from Hrtkovci.
However, Seselj himself has maintained that the right to appeal is universal and cannot be abolished, especially “when the first instance verdict was exonerating.”