The UN war crimes tribunal (MICT) in the Hague announced on Wednesday that it had decided to hand the case against two ultra-nationalist supporters of a convicted war criminal to the Serbian judiciary.
The MICT (UN Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals) said the proceedings against Serbian Radical Party (SRS) officials Petar Jojic and Vjerica Radeta would be conducted before a Serbian court. The two were charged with contempt of court “for having threatened, intimidated, offered bribes to or otherwise interfered with witnesses” in the case against SRS leader Vojislav Seselj who was sentenced to 10 years for war crimes.
The decision to refer the case to the Serbian judiciary and issue international warrants for their arrest was taken by Judge Aydin Akay on June 12. The judge also ordered the MICT registrar to monitor the proceedings in Serbia.
The original arrest warrants were sent to the Serbian authorities in January 2015 and the War Crimes Panel of the Higher Court in Belgrade ruled in the spring of 2016 that there were no legal grounds to arrest and extradite them because the Serbian law on cooperation with the UN tribunal only covered people indicted for war crimes, not contempt of court. International arrest warrants were issued in October 2016 following a tribunal ruling that the authorities in Belgrade refused to act on tribunal orders. The case was transferred to the MICT when the ICTY was shut down.