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UN judges refer Serb witness tampering case to Belgrade

AFP  |  The Hague 

judges today referred the case of two Serbian lawyers accused of witness tampering during trials against radical Serb nationalist to the country's national courts.

The Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) "orders the case against the accused to be referred to the authorities of for trial," said in a court document.

The now-defunct (ICTY) issued arrest warrants against and in January 2015 and the case has been dragging on ever since.

Jojic and Radeta are both defence lawyers and they were charged in December 2014 with "having threatened, intimidated, offered bribes to, or otherwise interfered with two witnesses" in two cases involving Seselj.

The wanted men now serve as deputies in Seselj's in the Serbian national assembly in

A third suspect and former Seselj wartime associate died last year.

MICT judges in April found Seselj guilty on appeal of crimes against humanity and sentenced him to 10 years in prison, but he will remain free because of the time he has already served in detention.

earlier this year said it was "prepared to conduct criminal proceedings" against the defendants who said they were willing to be put on trial in their own country.

added that immunity from prosecution for national assembly deputies "only applies for the votes cast and opinions expressed in the performance of their duties, but does not shield them from criminal proceedings," a court document stated.

Prosecutors however objected to the move, claiming that had "repeatedly and deliberately failed to cooperate with the ICTY" and that trials there would cause "real fear among prosecution witnesses.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, June 13 2018. 21:30 IST