Serbian minister rejects ICTY request to amend legislation

Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic on Tuesday rejected a request of the Hague-based International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) to immediately amend its legislation regulating cooperation with the ICTY, saying that demands from The Hague were "an attempt to exert pressure on Serbia."

Following the announcement the ICTY made earlier on Wednesday, urging Serbia  to amend its legislation in accordance with its international obligations and comply with the warrants for the arrest and handover of three Serb Radical Party officials, Dacic said the Hague tribunal could not change laws in Serbia's judiciary.

"The laws are adopted by the (Serbian) parliament, at the proposal of the government and deputies. It doesn't say anywhere that the Hague tribunal can proposal laws. This isn't possible anywhere in the world, and it isn't possible in Serbia either," Dacic told a news conference.

He went on to say that the law "that now doesn't suit the Hague tribunal" was adopted in cooperation with the tribunal and western countries and that nobody had objections during the process of international verification of those regulations.

Dacic stressed that the demands fro The Hague were "an attempt to further pressure" Serbia-

"We most definitely will not amend our legislation because the Hague Tribunal demands so," Dacic said.

The trial chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the case of three associates of the accused Serbian Radical Party (SRS) leader Vojislav Seselj on Tuesday urged Serbia to amend its legislation in accordance with its international obligations and comply with the warrants for the arrest and handover of the three SRS members, electronic media in Belgrade said on Tuesday.

The three SRS members are Petar Jojic, Vjerica Radeta and Jovo Ostojic and they are wanted by the Hague-based tribunal on contempt of court charges.

Serbia cannot use its own legislation as an excuse for non-compliance with its international obligations. If the Serbian legislation is not in compliance with international obligations, it must be urgently amended to guarantee compliance with such obligations, the trial chamber said.

Other Serbian officials, legal experts and lawyers also believe it is unusual for an international court to insist on amendments to the legislation of a country.

Last update: Wed, 03/08/2016 - 10:22

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