Arafat Jaradat: detained 18 February on suspicion of throwing stones, died in Megiddo Prison on 23 February, buried today

The funeral today in Sa’ir village, near Hebron, of Arafat Jaradat, who was beaten badly when detained near his home on 18 February — and whose lawyer saw him showing pain, fear and anxiety in court on 21 February — and who then died on 23 February.

This photo, taken by Yotam Ronen for Activestills, is posted in a slideshow published here:

Funeral of Arafat Jaradat who died in Megiddo jail on 23 February [after 5 days of detention]

Another photo shows Arafat Jaradat’s body minutes before the funeral – photo by Oren Ziv for Activestills, published in the same slideshow.

The body of Arafat Jaradat minutes before his funeral
The body of Arafat Jaradat minutes before his funeral

Addameer Prisoner Support organization, a Ramallah-based NGO, reported that the Israeli Army “and the Shin Bet arrested the martyr Arafat Jaradat (30 years old) from his home in the small town of Sa’eer, near Al-Khalil (Hebron) at midnight on 18 February 2013, with claims that he threw stones at cars from a nearby settlement. Arafat was transferred to Jalameh Interrogation Center in the northern West Bank before being transferred to Megiddo Prison. Mr. Kamil Sabbagh, Arafat’s lawyer from the Ministry of Prisoners and Ex-Prisoner’s Affairs who defended him in a court hearing at Jalameh on 21 February 2013, reported that Arafat was subjected to torture during his interrogation, including being forced to sit for long hours in stress positions with his hands shackled behind his back. Arafat suffered from pain in his back, and therefore, during the court hearing on 21 February, his lawyer requested that he be given a health examination due to the severe conditions that he was detained under. Despite this, the judge ruled to extend his detention for a further twelve days, reducing the prosecution’s request of a fifteen day extension by only three days. The judge also ordered that the medical officials in the interrogation center examine his psychological and physical health and to report the results to the Shin Bet and the court. Two days later, on Saturday 23 February 2013, it was learned that Arafat Jaradat had passed away in a special section for the Shin Bet in Megiddo Prison, under conditions which are still unclear”.   This report is published here

An autopsy was performed on Sunday at the Abu Kabir institute near Tel Aviv.  There is no final autopsy report, yet.  Palestinian officials were present at the autopsy — a first. Reuters reported here that “The Palestinian Authority state pathologist [Dr. Saber Al Aloul] was present at the autopsy on Jaradat’s body, which was carried out in Israel”. The Minister of Detainee Affairs Issa Qaraqa’a and Palestinian Prisoners’ Society head Qaddoura Fares said at a press conference in Ramallah Sunday evening that Arafat Jaradat appeared to have been tortured, and most likely died of shock.  They said there was no sign that Jaradat had a heart attack.  Hours later, under pressure, the Israeli Government Health Ministry issued a statement saying: “This afternoon (Sunday, 24 February 2013), at the National Center for Forensic Medicine, an autopsy was performed on the body of Arafat Jaradat by Prof. Yehuda Hiss, in the presence of Prof. Arnon Afek, Director of the Health Administration at the Ministry of Health, and Palestinian pathologist Dr. Saber Aloul. During the autopsy, no signs of external trauma were found apart from those pertaining to resuscitation [attempts] and a small graze on the right side of his chest. No evidence of disease was found during the autopsy. Two internal hemorrhages were detected, one on the shoulder and one on the right side of the chest. Two ribs were broken, which may indicate resuscitation attempts. The initial findings cannot determine the cause of death. At this stage, until microscopic and toxicology reports are in, the cause of death cannot be tied to the autopsy findings”.

Reuters also reported that “An Israeli police spokesman said the investigation into Jaradat’s death was still ongoing”. This is posted here.

Whatever the cause of Arafat Jaradat’s death, Israeli military court in Jalameh allowed continued interrogation after he admitted charges of stone-throwing, and after his lawyer told the military court judge that Jaradat seemed fearful and unwell.

Even after Arafat Jaradat admitted stone-throwing charges [certainly by the hearing at which his lawyer was present on 21 February], and even after the warnings from Jaradat’s attorney, the judge ordered interrogation continued for 12 days. But, Jaradat died.

What possible justification can there be for allowing Arafat Jaradat’s interrogation to continue beyond his admission of charge against him?

Continue reading “Arafat Jaradat: detained 18 February on suspicion of throwing stones, died in Megiddo Prison on 23 February, buried today”

Sudan's President indicted – UN in panic about 25,000 staff on ground – interesting blog report from UN about triumphalist press conferences

The President of Sudan has been indicted by the International Criminal Court in the Hague on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity — but not on charges of genocide.

The Arab League will meet at ministerial level to discuss the implications etc.

The UN is in a panic, worried about its 25,000 staff on the ground that it may have to evacuate.

Medecins Sans Frontiers announced on Wednesday that it was pulling its staff out. Later, the Sudanese government gave orders to a number of other human rights and humanitarian aid organizations to leave immediately.
Continue reading “Sudan's President indicted – UN in panic about 25,000 staff on ground – interesting blog report from UN about triumphalist press conferences”

S0 — it wasn't Syria

In advance of the Arab League Summit Meeting — which is being attended by very few heads of state or government — that opened Saturday in Damascus, the UN rushed through several steps in its preparation for the formation of the tribunal to judge those responsible for the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

Lebanon boycotted the Damascus summit entirely. Tensions around Syria’s role and possible responsibility in the Hariri killing have greatly complicated the atmosphere.

The UN said Friday that “Evidence shows that a criminal network was responsible for the massive car bombing that killed the former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri and 22 others in Beirut in February 2005, the International Independent Investigation Commission (IIIC) says in a new report to the Security Council”. The UN Spokesperson, Michele Montas, said that UNSG BAN had just submitted the latest report of the IIIC, which is headed by Daniel Bellemare, to the 15 UN Security Council members. The UN News Centre [The UN uses British English spelling] story is posted here .

Bellemare, a Canadian who replaced Serge Brammertz as head of the investigation commission, will also be the chief prosecutor of the Hariri Tribunal once it begins to function.

The UN spokesperson Michele Montas told journalists at UNHQ/NY on Friday that “The Secretary-General, in a letter to the Security Council, said that the Commission reports that it has evidence that a network of individuals acted in concert to carry out Hariri’s assassination and that this criminal network, or parts of it, are linked to some of the other cases within the Commission’s mandate”. The transcript of the UN’s regular noon briefing for journalists is posted here .

As far as I can tell, this latest IIIC report has not been made public. However, the Associated Press seems to have obtained a copy, and has reported that “In his first report to the UN Security Council, Daniel Bellemare said the first priority of the investigating commission he heads is to gather more evidence about the ‘Hariri Network’, its scope, the identity of all its participants, their role in other attacks and links with people outside the network. Bellemare said the commission would not disclose any names to preserve confidentiality. ‘Names of individuals will only appear in future indictments filed by the prosecutor, “when there is sufficient evidence to do so’, he said. Four pro-Syrian Lebanese generals have been under arrest for almost two years for alleged involvement in the murder. Syria denies any involvement in Hariri’s assassination, but the furor over the attack forced Syrian troops to withdraw from Lebanon after a 29-year presence. Bellemare said Syria’s cooperation with the commission ‘continues to be generally satisfactory’. The former Canadian prosecutor said evidence indicates the network existed before his assassination, that it conducted surveillance of the former premier, and that at least part of the network continued to operate after he was killed along with 22 others in a bombing in Beirut on February 14, 2005. ‘The commission can now confirm, on the basis of available evidence, that a network of individuals acted in concert to carry out the assassination of Rafik Hariri and that this criminal network – the “Hariri Network” – or parts thereof are linked to some of the other cases within the commission’s mandate’, Bellemare said. The commission has been providing technical assistance to Lebanese authorities in 20 other ‘terrorist attacks’ that have killed 61 people and injured at least 494 others, he said. Eleven attacks have targeted politicians, journalists and security officials and nine involve bombings in public places. In coming months, Bellemare said, the commission will also focus on identifying links between the Hariri network and the other attacks it is assisting in investigating, and ‘where these links are found to exist – the nature and scope of these links’ … ‘The commission faces additional challenges including the magnitude of the attacks, their continuing nature, and the fact that the investigations are conducted in an environment dominated by ongoing security concerns’, he said. Bellemare stressed the difficulties of operating in the ‘deteriorating security situation’ in the last four months when Lebanon has been paralyzed by the failure to elect a new president. He also noted that six new cases had been given to the commission since November 2006 without any additional resources to meet the increased workload. ‘The number of investigators and analysts continues to be far lower than in comparable investigations’, he said”. This AP report was published in the Jerusalem Post here .

The day before the Bellemare report was presented to the Security Council, the Council welcomed (on 27 March) the latest report of the UN SG (S/2008/173 – 12 March 2008) on setting up the international tribunal to identify and bring to justice those responsible for the massive 14 February 2005 car bombing that killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and 22 others in downtown Beirut.

The UN legal counsel, Nicholas Michel (of Switzerland) told journalists in a separate briefing that the tribunal had been requested by the President of Lebanon.

In the briefing, Michel said that “Member States had provided $60.3 million, including $34.4 million in funds already sent and $25.9 million in pledges, to cover the costs of setting up the Tribunal in The Hague and its first year of operation, he said, adding: ‘The Tribunal should not be expected to start operating with all of its organs overnight. The Secretary-General’s report, in paragraph 38, clearly indicates that the Tribunal will start functioning in phases’. The time frame would depend on the availability of funds, the outcome of consultations with the Lebanese Government and progress in the Commission’s work … In February, the Secretary-General and the Lebanese Government had formally created a Tribunal Management Committee, he continued, listing its members as Lebanon, France, Germany, Netherlands, United Kingdom and the United States. They had each contributed $1 million or more and the Netherlands was providing rent-free space to house the Tribunal in The Hague during its first three years of operation. He declined to disclose the other contributors, saying it was up to the Management Committee to decide if and when to release that information. Furthermore, the judges’ names would not be made public until their first meeting, during which they would draft the rules of procedure and evidence and elect the presidents of the Tribunal’s Trial and Appeals Chambers. The Appeals Chamber President would also serve as President of the Tribunal. During the ensuing question-and-answer period, the Legal Counsel said the Tribunal only had jurisdiction over the Hariri case at present, but it had the power to extend its jurisdiction to cases that occurred between 1 October 2004 and 12 December 2005. The United Nations and the Lebanese Government could also agree, with the Council’s approval, to extend the Commission’s jurisdiction to more recent cases deemed to be connected to the Hariri assassination. The Tribunal’s three-year mandate would be extended if its judicial process was not completed in that time frame, he added”. This UN press release summarizing Michel’s briefing to journalists is posted here.

The AP reported, after the Michel briefing, that “Many Lebanese have blamed neighboring Syria for the assassination, and four pro-Syrian Lebanese generals have been under arrest for almost two years for alleged involvement. Syria denies any involvement, but the furor over the attack forced Syrian troops to withdraw from Lebanon after a 29-year presence …The United States has been one of the biggest contributors, pledging $14 million”. This AP report is posted here .

The 12 March report of the UN SG, which was welcomed by the UN SC on 27 March, contained this information:

“…negotiations between the United Nations and the authorities of the Netherlands had been successfully concluded. The agreement provides, inter alia, that the host State has no obligation to let persons convicted by the Special Tribunal serve their sentence of imprisonment in a prison facility on its territory. It also stipulates that the Registrar shall take all necessary measures to arrange the immediate relocation to third States of witnesses who for security reasons cannot return to their home countries after testifying before the Tribunal …

“…on 10 July 2007, the Government of Lebanon had forwarded to me, in a sealed envelope, a list of 12 candidates proposed for judicial appointments by the Lebanese Supreme Council of the Judiciary, as set forth in article 2, paragraph 5 (a), of the annex to resolution 1757 (2007). I also informed you that, with a view to my appointing Lebanese and international judges at the same time, on 1 August 2007 the Legal Counsel sent a letter to all Member States, on my behalf, inviting them to consider submitting
candidates for appointment as judges of the Tribunal no later than 24 September 2007. The names of 37 international candidates were submitted … On 4 December 2007, having interviewed the short-listed candidates, the selection panel made its recommendations to me, which I subsequently accepted. Mindful of security considerations, I will proceed with the formal appointments of the judges and announce their names at an appropriate time in the future …

“…On 8 November 2007, the selection panel recommended to me that Daniel Bellemare (Canada) be appointed as the Prosecutor. I subsequently accepted the recommendation. On 14 November 2007, I appointed Mr. Bellemare as the Prosecutor of the
Special Tribunal pursuant to my authority under article 3 of the annex. He will, however, commence his official duties as the Prosecutor at a later date in keeping with the provisions of the annex. On the same day, after the Security Council took note of my intention, I also appointed Mr. Bellemare to succeed Serge Brammertz as Commissioner of the Investigation Commission. I am of the view that, as called for in article 17, paragraph (a), of the annex, this approach will ensure a coordinated transition from the activities of the Investigation Commission to those of the Office of the Prosecutor of the Special Tribunal …

“…With respect to the Deputy Prosecutor, as I noted in paragraph 13 of my last report, the Government of Lebanon forwarded to me, in a sealed envelope, a list of candidates for the position. In December 2007, pursuant to consultations held between the Government of Lebanon, the Prosecutor-designate of the Special Tribunal and myself, a Deputy Prosecutor was identified. The appointment of the Deputy Prosecutor falls within the authority of the Government of Lebanon …

“… On the basis of the recommendation of the selection panel that I established, on 10 March 2008, I appointed Mr. Robin Vincent as Registrar of the Special Tribunal for a period of three years to commence at a later date, to be determined in the light of the progress achieved in establishing the Tribunal…

“…As the premises of the Tribunal have now been identified, estimated costs in those areas may be integrated into overall financial requirements. The annual rental cost for the building will amount to approximately $5 million and will be paid for the first years by the host State, whose generosity in this regard I applaud. Operating costs for the building are estimated at $1 million
per year. Refurbishment packages are currently under review. The packages provide for basic or advanced adaptations of the building in respect of security, holding cells, courtroom and offices”
… S/2008/173 – 12 March 2008

Hariri Tribunal to have seat in the Netherlands

A spokesperson for UNSG BAN Ki-Moon announced that a headquarters agreement was signed on Friday to establish the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in the Netherlands.

The SG said, in the statement issued by the spokesperson, that “The Agreement will now be submitted to the Parliament of the Netherlands for ratification. In the meantime, the United Nations and the Netherlands authorities will continue taking steps to establish the Tribunal in The Hague”.

The statement also says that “the Secretary-General has received the report of the Selection Panel constituted pursuant to article 2 of the Annex to Security Council resolution 1757 (2007) to make recommendations regarding the selection of judges of the Special Tribunal … [and] The Secretary-General has accepted the Selection Panel’s recommendations and will announce the names of those selected at an appropriate time in the future. The judges will assume their functions on a date to be determined by the Secretary-General as set forth in the Annex to resolution 1757 (2007)”.

Unlike the other UN-based International Tribunals, the one for Lebanon will have a “Management Committee”, which “will be composed of the major donors to the Special Tribunal and will have as its main responsibility providing advice and policy direction on all non-judicial aspects of the operations of the Special Tribunal, including questions of efficiency”.

The SG’s announcement is posted here.

Work on Register of Damage caused by The Wall to begin on Monday in Vienna

Despite the strong position taken by the International Court of Justice in the Hague in its July 2004 Advisory Opinion on The Wall, it seems that the idea of Walls has come into fashion. The Saudis are building a high-tech one to keep Iraqis out. The U.S. proposed to wall off its border with Mexico. And so on.

Nearly three years after the ICJ ruling, the UN SG announced today the appointment of three international experts to begin establishing a register of damage that has been caused by the Construction of the Wall in the occupied Palestinian territory. The appointees are Harumi Hori of Japan, Matti Paavo Pellonpää from Finland and Michael F. Raboin of the United States. Work will begin on the Register of Damages at the UN Office in Vienna on 14 May. The UN Spokesperson told journalists that “The Board has the overall responsibility for the establishment and maintenance of the Register of Damage. As a policymaking organ, the Board would establish the rules and regulations governing the work of the office of the Register of Damage, determine eligibility criteria, categories of damage and the procedure of registration of claims, and have the ultimate authority in determining the inclusion of damage claims in the Register of Damage”.

UN news story here.

Serbia cannot be held responsible for the Genocide that happened in Srebrenica, International Court of Justice rules

The BBC World Service had the first reports out of the Hague: “The UN’s highest court has cleared Serbia of direct responsibility for genocide in the 1990s Bosnian war. The International Court of Justice was ruling in the first case of a state charged with genocide. If Bosnia’s lawsuit had been successful it could have sought billions of dollars in compensation from Serbia. The court ruled the 1995 massacre at Srebrenica was genocide but said it could not be established that Serbia was complicit…The president of the court, Judge Rosalyn Higgins [of Britain], said: ‘The court finds that the acts of genocide at Srebrenica cannot be attributed to the respondent’s (Serbia) state organs’. Earlier Judge Higgins had rejected Serbia’s argument that the court had no jurisdiction.”

That shows her even-handedness.

The BBC report also noted that “The court’s ruling that Srebrenica did constitute genocide confirmed an earlier ruling in the UN war crimes tribunal…The war crimes tribunal in The Hague has already found individuals guilty of genocide in Bosnia and established the Srebrenica massacre as genocide.”

And the BBC report points out that “The ruling also comes with Serbia still facing challenges linked to the break-up of the former Yugoslavia. Its passage into the European Union has stalled over its failure to hand over war crimes suspects for trial. It also faces final talks with the United Nations on the future of Kosovo, with the province heading towards near-statehood despite Serbian opposition.” http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6395791.stm

Certainly we could never accuse the ICJ of having political considerations…

The documentation is now available on the website of the International Court of Justice in the Hague: www.icj-cij.org.

The Associated Press filed a report adding these details: The ICJ “ruled Monday that Serbia failed to use its influence with Bosnian Serbs to prevent the genocide of Bosnian Muslims at Srebrenica, but exonerated Serbia of direct responsibility for genocide during the 1992-95 war. In a lengthy ruling, the International Court of Justice said the leaders of Serbia also failed to comply with its international obligation to punish those who carried out the 1995 massacre in which some 7,000 Bosnian Muslims were killed. The Serbians ‘should have made the best effort within their power to try and prevent the tragic events then taking shape’, in the U.N. enclave of Srebrenica, the scale of which ‘might have been surmised’, the ruling said.” [I wonder if the Court thought this might also have been surmised by the UN Peacekeeping force there, UNPROFOR, which had a UN SC mandate to use “all available means” to defend the “safe havens” proclaimed gallantly by French General Janvier…but nothing was done, and the Dutch Peacekeepers there, though outnumbered as they later explained, still did nothing, as the men were separated from the women, and led off to their deaths...]

The AP story reports that the ICJ decision “rejected Bosnia’s claim for monetary reparations. ‘Financial compensation is not the appropriate form of reparation for the breach of the obligation to prevent genocide’, the judgment said. [I couldn’t wait to see what is appropriate, according to the Court — an acknowledgement and an apology? But, when the Judgement was finally posted on the www.icj-cij.org website hours later, there was no suggestion for what would be the “appropriate form of reparation”, other then the ICJ ruling itself! This flies in the face of a 25-year trend in international diplomacy, favoring compensation for war crimes, that started with Iraq’s expulsion from Kuwait in 1991 by the U.S.-led ‘Desert Storm’ coalition, following its August 1990 invasion] Reading the decision, Judge Rosalyn Higgins said it was clear to leaders in Belgrade that there was a serious risk of a massive slaughter in Srebrenica. Yet Serbia ‘has not shown that it took any initiative to prevent what happened or any action on its part to avert the atrocities which were being committed’. Serbia’s claim that it was powerless to prevent the massacres ‘hardly tallies with their known influence’ over the Bosnian Serb army, the court ruled. The case was the first time an entire nation was held to judicial account for genocide. Earlier Monday, the court ruled that Bosnian Serbs [emphasis added] committed genocide during the Srebrenica massacre. Bosnia claimed that Serbia [emphasis added] bore responsibility for the genocide.” http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070226/ap_on_re_eu/world_court
_genocide

Earlier this month, Carla del Ponti [who must have been privately aware of the direction the wind was blowing from the ICJ] told a conference in Zagreb that “More must be done to search for the truth about crimes committed during the Balkans wars, the Hague tribunal’s chief prosecutor told an international conference held in Croatia. Speaking at the Zagreb conference Establishing the Truth about War Crimes and Conflicts organised by the Croatian NGO Documents, the Belgrade Humanitarian Law Centre and the Sarajevo Research and Documentation Centre, Carla del Ponte argued, ‘It is certain that much more has to be done, and many more perpetrators must be brought to justice for the war crimes [committed in the Balkans]’. At the event held on February 8 and 9, Del Ponte also spoke of the limitations of war crimes tribunals, which, she said, ‘cannot establish all truth and all facts’. She also implied that Serbian authorities were continuing to withhold important archives and documents from the tribunal. ‘In Serbia, the authorities still cannot find where the Milosevic archive has disappeared [to]. Strangely enough, the war time archive of Karadzic has also disappeared without a trace. What a coincidence’, she said. http://www.iwpr.net/?p=tri&s=f&o=333529&apc_state=henftri333521

Carla del Ponte, Prosecutor in the Hague for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, briefs UN Security Council on fugitive suspects

The former Swiss prosecutor told the Security Council that a strong message to should be sent to fugitive suspects Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, saying that the United Nations and the Security Council will do everything possibleld to bring them to justice.

The Yugoslavia Tribunal is set to finish all current trials no later than 2009 and the Rwanda Tribunal is on schedule to complete its current caseload by the end of 2008, the UN Spokesman reported.

Meanwhile, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, (ICC) told the Security Council that he has nearly completed an investigation into some of the worst crimes committed in Darfur, and is preparing to submit evidence to the ICC judges no later than February 2007. The UN Spokesman said that measures are being put in place to protect victims and witnesses.  According to the UN Spokesman, the Sudanese Government had told Moreno-Ocampo in November that 14 individuals had been arrested for violations of international humanitarian law and human rights abuses. The Prosecutor responded that he would request the cooperation of the Government of the Sudan to facilitate a visit by his Office to Sudan next month, to interview the individuals in custody.

Serb awaiting trial in the Hague for ethnic cleansing during 1990s Balkans wars, ends month-long hunger strike

The UN News Centre [the UN uses British English spellings] reports that “The Serbian politician who has been on a hunger strike for almost a month as he awaits trial before the United Nations war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia announced today that he will resume eating and accept medical treatment now that the court has reversed an earlier decision concerning his counsel.  Vojislav Å eÅ¡elj informed the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) that he made his decision after the Tribunal’s appeals chamber earlier today set aside a ruling from its trial chamber imposing standby counsel on him, and its registry made commitments to facilitate many of his requests about the conduct of his defence.  The trial of Mr. Å eÅ¡elj, who faces charges over his role in an ethnic cleansing campaign during the Balkan wars of the 1990s, has been suspended by the Tribunal until he is fit enough to participate fully in the proceedings as a self-represented accused.  The ICTY, which sits in The Hague, said in a press statement that its doctor had begun an examination of Mr. Å eÅ¡elj to assess his condition and what immediate steps are necessary to safeguard his health.  Although he continued to drink water, Mr. Å eÅ¡elj had declined food and medical care since 11 November. The ICTY warned this week that it held grave concerns about his deteriorating health.”

Doctors who examined the Hague prisoner earlier this week reportedly said that he could die in two weeks, if he continued his hunger strike. 

The UN News Centre noted that “The president of the Serbian Radical Party, Mr. Å eÅ¡elj faces charges of crimes against humanity and others relating to the persecutions of Croat, Muslim and other non-Serb people and their expulsions from area of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Vojvodina region of Serbia, between August 1991 and September 1993.  Prosecutors allege Mr. Å eÅ¡elj participated in a joint criminal enterprise with former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, among others, that led to the extermination and expulsion of non-Serb people.”

Mr. Milosevic died earlier this year (in March 2006) while on trial in the Hague, disappointing many who wanted to see a court decision on his responsibility for war crimes throughout the former Yugoslavia.

The UN News Center added that “In granting Mr. Å eÅ¡elj’s appeal, the ICTY appeals chamber found that the trial chamber had abused its discretion by ordering standby counsel without first establishing additional obstructionist behaviour by the accused that would warrant such an intervention.   That move meant Mr. Å eÅ¡elj was not given a real opportunity to show that, despite his conduct during the pre-trial period, he now understood that to be permitted to conduct his own defence he would have to comply with the ICTY’s rules of evidence and procedure and was willing to do so.   If Mr. Å eÅ¡elj again behaves in an obstructionist way, jeopardizing the likelihood of a fair and expeditious trial, and the trial chamber considers standby counsel should again be imposed, the appeals chamber said a list of such counsel should first be provided to Mr. Å eÅ¡elj and he should be allowed to select a lawyer from that list.” http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=20900&Cr=icty&Cr1=  

Earlier this week, a spokesperson for the War Crimes Tribunal, Refik Hodžic, told journalists in the Hague that Vojislav Šešelj – who faces charges over his role in an ethnic cleansing campaign during the Balkan wars of the 1990s – has legal avenues open to pursue any of his requests or complaints about the Tribunal.

Mr. Hodžic said that “the only way for him [Vojislav Šešelj ] to address the issue of self-representation is through the courtroom, through him taking part in the court process,” noting that the 52-year-old accused began his hunger strike while he was representing himself.

Last week, ICTY judges assigned defence counsel to the accused, saying he had persistently obstructed the proper conduct of the trial since resuming self-representation in late October.

“But he has also made other less publicized demands, such as that the Tribunal approach a foreign State in order to unfreeze assets he holds in overseas bank accounts,” according to another story from the UN News Centre.