Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic described the Hague war crimes court as a biased “inquisition” during a UN General Assembly debate that was boycotted by the US as inflammatory.

At the UN debate on Wednesday about the role of international war crimes courts, organised by the current Serbian president of the assembly, Vuk Jeremic, the Belgrade leadership took the opportunity to attack the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, ICTY, which it believes is biased against Serbs.

Nikolic said that the ICTY was unfair because of its “systematic atmosphere of lynch-mobbing of everything that is Serbian”, which made reconciliation in the Balkans even harder.

“ICTY trials will never reach the real truth, that is why the reconciliation will not be real and honest,” he said.

Belgrade was angered by last year’s war crimes acquittal of two Croatian generals, Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac.

Nikolic also cited war crimes trial defendant Vojislav Seselj, the former leader of the Serbian Radical Party, of which Nikolic was once a member, as an example of unfair treatment.

“Vojislav Seselj has been in The Hague for 11 years, which is a precedent in legal history,” Nikolic said.

But Ranko Vilovic, Croatia’s representative at the UN, said the ICTY deserved support. “Croatia, as a victim of aggression, has strongly supported the work of the ICTY… Maybe we didn’t always agree with some decisions made, but we always supported the work,” said Vilovic.

The US boycotted the debate, alongside Canada and Jordan, describing it as “unbalanced” and “inflammatory”…

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