Bosnian Security Minister Dragan Mektic has said that Serbian Radical Party (SRS) leader Vojislav Seselj could be denied entry to Bosnia and Herzegovina and that a final decision on the matter will depend on the assessment of whether he poses a threat to national security.
After Seselj's statement that he will visit Bosnia and Herzegovina right after Serbian parliamentary elections, set for April 24, Mektic said that the matter would be analysed by security services and that Seselj, until recently an indictee of the UN war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, could be denied entry to the country.
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on March 31 acquitted Seselj on all counts of the indictment for war crimes in Croatia, Vojvodina and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The ruling may be appealed.
The President of the Bosnian Serb entity of Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik, on Monday encouraged Seselj to visit Bosnia and Herzegovina, saying that no one could forbid him to do so since he had been acquitted and could travel wherever he wanted.
Commenting on this, Mektic said that no ruling, including an acquittal, had any influence on a decision on who could and who could not enter Bosnia and Herzegovina since such decisions were made on the basis of an assessment of a number of facts.
"It is a legal and legitimate right of every country to assess that type of risk and decide that a person believed to pose a potential threat to national security should be denied entry," said Mektic.
In an interview with the regional N1 TV network, Seselj said that he planned to travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina to become politically engaged there. He said that his objective was to support the SRS branch active in the Serb entity in a campaign for local elections set for October.
He also said that he planned to visit Sarajevo, where he had attended school and worked until mid 1980s. After he was sentenced to prison for nationalist activity and after he served his sentence, Seselj moved to Belgrade, where he now lives.