The Trial Chamber hearing the case against the three Serbian Radical Party members who have been indicted for contempt of court has informed the Tribunal’s President that Serbia continues pursuing its policy of non-compliance, thus obstructing the administration of justice

Vjerica Radeta, Petar Jojic i Jovo Ostojic Vjerica Radeta, Petar Jojic i Jovo Ostojic

Today the Trial Chamber I has formally informed the Tribunal’s President of Serbia’s continued refusal to execute the warrants for the arrest of Petar Jojic, Jovo Ostojic and Vjerica Radeta. The warrants were issued in January 2015. The three Serbian Radical Party officials are charged with contempt of court because they allegedly threatened, intimidated, bribed and otherwise tampered with the witnesses in the case against Vojislav Seselj.

The Trial Chamber recalls that earlier this year it ordered Serbia to submit monthly reports detailing what, if anything, Serbia had done to execute the arrest warrants. At a later stage Serbia was to file such reports once every two weeks. The last report was filed on 18 May 2016 and since then, Serbia has kept silent despite the Trial Chamber’s order of 2 August 2016, in which the trial judges reminded Serbia of its obligations and explicitly ordered it to comply with them in line with Article 29 of the ICTY Statute. The provision obliges all UN member states to comply with the ICTY’s orders.

Now that the formal notice has been sent by the Trial Chamber hearing the case to the Tribunal’s President, he can proceed to inform the Security Council that Serbia has failed to comply with its obligations and has thus obstructed the administration of justice. The Tribunal’s President will put this in his annual report submitted every October to the UN, which is the founder of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.