BELGRADE – The request by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) that Serbia urgently amend its law on cooperation with the tribunal to ensure it can meet its international obligations is unusual and aimed at exerting additional pressure, says Rasim Ljajic, head of Serbia’s National Council for Cooperation with the tribunal.

“It is an unusual request since no one has to date questioned our legislation on trying war crimes or our law on cooperation with the Hague tribunal,” Ljajic told Tanjug.

The entire case was in the jurisdiction of a court and neither the government nor any other state authority was able to interfere in the work of the judiciary in this specific case, he said.

“The court has made a decision that differed from the expectations of the tribunal’s trial chamber, and now an amendment to the law is requested. In previous cases the court acted independently and there were no requests to amend the law,” Ljajic said.

The initiative is aimed at exerting additional pressure, which will only increase, Ljajic said.

An ICTY trial chamber noted Tuesday that Serbia should urgently amend its legislation to comply with its international obligations, including an order to arrest and extradite Serbian Radical Party (SRS) officials Petar Jojic, Vjerica Radeta and Jovo Ostojic on contempt of court charges.