The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague acquitted Serbian nationalist Vojislav Šešelj of crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Šešelj was partly indicted for war crimes that his Serbian nationalist militia allegedly committed in Croatia and Bosnia in 1991 to 1993.
In the 1990s, Šešelj founded the right-wing nationalist Serbian Radical Party. Prosecutors accused him of pitting ethnic groups against each other before the war broke out. The judges deemed the evidence insufficient.
“Due to the acquittal on all nine indictments, Šešelj is now a free man,” chief judge Jean-Claude Antonetti said.
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In a statement the prosecutor said there will be a review the reasoning that led to the acquittal and will then “determine whether there are grounds to appeal the judgement”.
Šešelj was not present in court. In 2014, the tribunal granted him leave to return to Serbia because of poor health: Šešelj is suffering from colon cancer.
Croatian Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic described the verdict of Šešelj as “shameful”. “It is a defeat for the Hague Tribunal and the prosecutors and a setback to justice,” Oreskovic said.
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The summary of the judgment is available here (PDF file, hosted on the icty.org website)