Aleksandar Vucic, Serbia’s President, told the UN Security Council meeting on Tuesday his country took seriously its obligation to cooperate with the international institutions, but that Belgrade respected its laws and regulations and asked the UN not to humiliate his country.
“Criminal proceedings against (former MPs of the ultranationalist Serbian Radical Party, SRS, Vjerica) Radeta and (Petar) Jojic should be transferred to Serbia’s judiciary,” Vucic told the UN SC in a video appearance during the session dedicated to the work of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) in the report submitted by Judge Carmel Agius and chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz.
Vucic recalled that the Belgrade Higher Court ruled there were no conditions for the extradition of the two since they were sought for contempt of court and not war crimes.
“We hold trials in line with the laws and regulations of the Republic of Serbia,” Vucic said.
Before him, the representatives of the US, France, Great Britain and some other countries called on Serbia to respect the IRMCT request for the extradition.
The Russian representative, however, criticised the IRMCT for being biased.
The Hague Tribunal accused Jojic and Radeta in October 2012 of threatening, blackmailing and bribing the potential witnesses against their leader Vojislav Seselj, a convicted war criminal.
Vucic said Serbia had extradited to The Hague all accused, including the top political and military officials and many documents.
He recalled that France, as a sovereign state, refused to send an individual accused of contempt of court because it did not extradite its nationals.
Vucic demanded and got the floor again, asking the UN not to humiliate Serbia after the address of the Croatian representative, who said the verdict of Bosnian Serb wartime military leader Ratko Mladic did not include war crimes in Croatia.
He said there were more Serbs listed as missing than Croats and added Belgarde invited both Zagreb and Pristina to say where they believed there were mass graves and his country’s institutions would allow excavation.
Ahead of the UN SC meeting, Vucic wrote on his Instagram profile that “surrender is not an option.”
“In few minutes, the UN SC session starts. Our team is ready to protect the interest of Serbia and the Serb people. The surrender is not an option. Long live Serbia,” he wrote.