vojislav šešelj.jpg
Photograph: HINA / TANJUG / Sava RADOVANOVIĆ / mm

Serbia on Wednesday notified the UN war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) that conditions for the handover of three senior officials of the Serbian Radical Party (SRS) had not been met, and Serbian media estimate that the decision will reinforce Croatia's position to block the opening of the policy chapter No. 23 in Serbia's EU accession talks.

The High Court in Belgrade on Wednesday ruled that conditions for the arrest of Petar Jojic, Vjerica Radeta and Jovo Ostojic had not been met. The UN tribunal in The Hague has been demanding their transfer for more than a year so as to prevent them from tampering with witnesses in the war crimes case against SRS leader Vojislav Seselj.

The Belgrade media have said that the decision would reinforce Croatia's decision to block the opening of the policy chapter 23, which concerns judiciary and fundamental rights, over Serbia's non-cooperation with the Hague tribunal.

Croatia has said that Serbia must meet three conditions for the opening of the said chapter, one of them being cooperation with the ICTY.

The Belgrade media said the ruling of the Belgrade court was a first-instance decision and that a second-instance ruling was expected next week.

The ICTY prosecution has accused Radeta, Jojic and Ostojic of pressuring two prosecution witnesses to have them testify in Seselj's favour.

Seselj was recently acquitted pending appeal of all charges of war crimes committed in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 1990s war as well as of the charge of expulsion of ethnic Croats from Vojvodina.

The ICTY prosecutor's office has said that it will appeal against the ruling and ask that Seselj be found guilty or that his verdict be quashed in its entirety and a retrial ordered.

Related stories

Latest news

Croatian PM says sports needs to be given back to athletes

Commenting on an ultimatum the Bridge party made on Monday when it asked for a replacement of the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) leadership, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Tuesday that "sports needs to be given back to athletes."

Three killed after small plane crashes into California homes

Three people were killed and two injured on Monday after a small plane crashed into a residential neighbourhood in the city of Riverside in California, local fire chief Michael Moore told reporters.

Austria toughens measures against rejected asylum seekers

Austria will increase penalties for rejected asylum seekers who refuse to leave the country, the government decided Tuesday, in a move that ups the pressure on migrants in the country.

Taliban militants kill 12 policemen in southern Afghanistan

Taliban militants killed 12 Afghan policemen at an outpost in the embattled southern province of Helmand, in what officials described Tuesday as a possible inside job.

Danish man on trial over Filipino webcam rape and abuse

A Danish man went on trial Tuesday charged with 346 counts of paying for online sex shows and rape involving Filipino girls.

Slovenian gov't looking for plan B to save Cimos

The Slovenian government is searching for an alternative plan to save the Koper-based Cimos car parts manufacturer from bankruptcy and a meeting was held on Tuesday between Economy Minister Zdravko Pocvalsek and representatives of all institutions responsible for public property management as the company's majority owner, with a 94% stake, is the government.

Croatia's 2016 Q4 GDP rises 3.4 per cent

Croatia's economy expanded by 3.4% in the last quarter of 2016 compared to the corresponding quarter in 2015, reaching a record high over nearly nine years, according to preliminary results released by the national statistical office (DZS) on Tuesday.

MOL netts $2.15 bln as CCS EBITDA

Hungary's oil and gas group MOL netted 2.15 billion dollars as CCS EBITDA last year, according to company's financial report on Tuesday.

UN: 8,000 people have fled western Mosul since start of offensive

Around 8,000 people have fled from western Mosul and surrounding areas since Iraqi forces launched an offensive to dislodge Islamic State militants from the area, according to the United Nations.

Protests planned across Germany after journalist jailed in Turkey

Activists were set to hold protests in 12 cities on Tuesday after a Turkish court ordered a journalist from German newspaper Die Welt to be jailed pending a trial on charges including membership in a terrorist organization.

Atlantic Grupa posts financial statement for 2016

In 2016, Atlantic Grupa recorded a net profit of HRK 163.2 million or 32.7% less than in 2015, according to an unrevised consolidated financial statement the company issued on Tuesday.

Trump address to focus on economic opportunity, national security

US President Donald Trump will focus on economic opportunity and national security in an address laying out his plans to a joint session of Congress late Tuesday, White House officials say.

One million bank employees on strike in India

Around 1 million bank employees across India went on a day-long strike on Tuesday to protest proposals to reform the banking industry and press for demands relating to wages.

Two suspects in North Korean killing to be charged with murder

Two female suspects in custody over the killing of Kim Jong Nam, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's estranged half brother, will appear in court in Malaysia on Wednesday, Malaysia's attorney general said.

Police raid mosque association visited by Berlin truck attacker

German authorities raided Tuesday sites linked to the mosque association attended by Berlin truck attacker Anis Amri, in an operation involving 460 police personnel.

Bosnian Serb parliament condemns review of ICJ ruling against Serbia

The Republika Srpska Parliament on Monday adopted conclusions condemning the launching of a procedure to review the International Court of Justice (ICJ) rulling against Serbia, calling on Bosnian Serb officials in the state government to block the work and the decision-making process of state authority bodies until Bosnian Serb authorities' numerous request, bringing into question the functioning of a number of state institutions, are resolved.

Computer owned by Croatian-Russian Friendship Association stolen during break-in

Unknown perpetrators have broken into the offices of several political parties and associations in Zagreb's Tresnjevka neighbourhood and the only thing that got stolen was a computer owned by the Croatian-Russian Friendship Association, said Forum.tm new site, which was also targeted by burglars.

SpaceX plans to fly two passengers around moon, NASA involved

SpaceX is planning to fly two private citizens around the moon next year, the first manned trip to the Earth's only natural satellite in more than four decades, the private company said Monday.