ZAGREB – Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic has written to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to express deep disappointment and concern over the first-instance acquittal of Vojislav Seselj before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), noting that it will have a negative effect on peace, reconciliation and good-neighbourly relations in the wider southeast European region.

Significant witnesses in the Seselj case were intimidated, bribed or obstructed, Grabar-Kitarovic wrote in a letter published on her official website.

That makes the verdict even more questionable from the legal point of view and completely compromising in terms of authenticity, she noted.

We not only expect that Serbia fully cooperate with the ICTY, but also that the fact that witnesses in the Seselj case were treated in an impermissible way – to an extent that the ICTY found it necessary to raise indictments against those responsible – no longer be ignored, Grabar-Kitarovic wrote.

The verdict is a dangerous precedent for all other armed conflicts in which military objectives are sought to be achieved through genocide and ethnic cleansing, she wrote.