SESELJ’S MOTION REFERRED TO MECHANISM
In its decision issued today, Judge Antonetti's Trial Chamber ruled that the Mechanism for the International Criminal Tribunals had the jurisdiction to deal with Vojislav Seselj’s confidential motion. Seselj wanted the Tribunal to institute contempt of court proceedings against former chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte
Judge Antonetti's Trial Chamber ruled that it lacked jurisdiction to consider the motion filed by Vojislav Seselj in October 2013. Seselj wanted the Tribunal to institute contempt of court proceedings against former chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte. The ball is now in the court of Theodor Meron, the president of the Mechanism for the International Criminal Tribunals, who will need to ‘decide on further adequate steps’.
Since Seselj’s motion is confidential, it remains uncertain what it is based on and why he wants the Tribunal to investigate the former chief prosecutor. A month after Seselj filed his motion, Radovan Karadzic followed in his footsteps, filing a motion for an investigation of Carla Del Ponte's conduct. In his public motion, Karadzic claimed that the former chief prosecutor violated the Tribunal’s rules when she shared a ‘confidential list’ of Slobodan Milosevic’s defense witnesses with a US legal team in The Hague, as revealed in a cable published on the Wikileaks website. Seselj has used the information from the Wikileaks website on several occasions when he urged the Tribunal to prosecute its staff on contempt of court charges.
The prosecution wanted the Trial Chamber to deny Seselj’s request. The argument put forward by Seselj, the prosecution explained, has already been considered and rejected.
The decision notes that the Tribunal’s President authorized the Trial Chamber on 11 November 2013 to consider Seselj’s motion. However, since the motion was filed after 1 July 2013, Judge Antonetti's Trial Chamber decided that it lacked jurisdiction. The ball is now back in the court of the Tribunal’s President Meron who is also the president of the Mechanism. On 1 July 2013 some of the Tribunal’s functions were transferred to the Mechanism for the International Criminal Tribunals.
- Case : Contempt
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