The International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia has approved the release of a Serbian ultra-nationalist due to ill health. Vojislav Seselj is expected to travel to Serbia for urgent medical treatment.
Judges at the United Nations court ruled that Seselj should be provisionally released "due to the deteriorated health state of the accused and to give him an opportunity to get the treatment in the environment that would be most appropriate," court spokesperson Magdalena Spalinska told AFP news agency on Thursday.
The decision comes after Serbian doctors examined the former leader of the Serbian Radical Party (SRS) last week, and determined that the colon cancer he is suffering from has now spread to his liver.
Under the terms of his temporary release, the court said he was to avoid any contact with his alleged victims or witnesses in his war-crimes case and to return to The Hague-based court if summoned by the judges.
War crimes allegations denied
The now 60-year-old Seselj,who turned himself into the court in 2003, is accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes, for allegedly inciting Serb paramilitary units to commit crimes against Muslims, Croats and other non-Serbs, during the conflicts of the 1990s in Bosnia and Croatia. Sejselj has pleaded not guilty to the nine charges against him, including murder, torture and spreading hatred.
Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic and Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic are both former close associates of Seselj, but they left the SRS in 2008 to form the more moderate center-right Progressive Party.
pfd/ksb (AFP, dpa, AP)