Vojislav Seselj Trial at ICTY

A Petrovic made this Freedom of Information request to Foreign and Commonwealth Office

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Waiting for an internal review by Foreign and Commonwealth Office of their handling of this request.

Dear Foreign and Commonwealth Office,

I wish to see copies of documents held by FCO which mention and refer to the trial of Vojislav Seselj at the ICTY. Please send me all documents which mention Vojislav Seselj from 10 November 2006 to 10 December 2006; and from March 2011 to November 2011.

Yours faithfully,

A Petrovic

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

FOI Request, Ref: 1212-11

Dear A Petrovic

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request. It has been assigned a unique reference number (above) and has been passed to the relevant section within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to deal with. They will be in touch with you should your request need clarification.

We received your request on 18 November 2011 and will aim to respond within 20 working days.

Yours sincerely

Information Rights Team
FCO

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Foreign and Commonwealth Office

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Petrovic,

 

Please find attached a letter concerning your recent freedom of
information request.

 

Regards,

Edward Munn |Desk Officer - War Crimes Team|Multilateral Policy
Directorate |International Organisations Department (IOD) | Room E3.301B
|Foreign & Commonwealth Office, London, SW1A 2AH l ( +44 (0)207
008 1873 * [1][email address]

 

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Foreign and Commonwealth Office

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Petrovic,

 

Please find attached a letter concerning your freedom of information
request (reference number 1212).

 

Regards,

Edward Munn |Desk Officer - War Crimes Team|Multilateral Policy
Directorate |International Organisations Department (IOD) | Room E3.301B
|Foreign & Commonwealth Office, London, SW1A 2AH l ( +44 (0)207
008 1873 * [1][email address]

 

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Foreign and Commonwealth Office

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Petrovic,

 

Please find attached a letter in response to your FOI request.

 

Your request was for information related to the trial of Mr Mr Vojislav
Seselj at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
(ICTY). The reference number of this request is 1212.

 

I will send you copies of all of the documents / information that we are
releasing to you under this request in two separate emails.

 

Thanks,

Edward Munn |Desk Officer - War Crimes Team|Multilateral Policy
Directorate |International Organisations Department (IOD) | Room E3.301B
|Foreign & Commonwealth Office, London, SW1A 2AH l ( +44 (0)207
008 1873 * [1][email address]

 

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Foreign and Commonwealth Office

6 Attachments

FOI Request 1212.

 

Documentation. Part 2 of 2.

 

Edward Munn |Desk Officer - War Crimes Team|Multilateral Policy
Directorate |International Organisations Department (IOD) | Room E3.301B
|Foreign & Commonwealth Office, London, SW1A 2AH l ( +44 (0)207
008 1873 * [1][email address]

 

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Foreign and Commonwealth Office

6 Attachments

FOI Request 1212.

 

Documentation. Part 1 of 2.

 

Edward Munn |Desk Officer - War Crimes Team|Multilateral Policy
Directorate |International Organisations Department (IOD) | Room E3.301B
|Foreign & Commonwealth Office, London, SW1A 2AH l ( +44 (0)207
008 1873 * [1][email address]

 

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Dear Foreign and Commonwealth Office,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Foreign and Commonwealth Office's handling of my FOI request 'Vojislav Seselj Trial at ICTY'.

I am not convinced by your arguments for withholding so much information under s.27(1) and s.27(2) ands s.35(1). Although I understand some of the information may have to be redacted I believe you have weighted the public interest test far too heavily against release.

In particular, for s.35, I find it difficult to believe that the UK government had an official policy towards Mr Seselj's hunger strike. I beleive it is more likely that some of the attitudes displyaed by UK officials towards Mr Seselj's hunger strike would prove embarrassing to them should these be made public, rather than "affect officials’ candour in future discussions concerning Mr Seselj" as you claim.

Also, you sent me some documents that were not in scope of my request. The documents "2001 04 21 Email" and "2012 12 05 Serbia EGram" relate to the hunger strike of Tomislav Nikolic and have nothing to do with Vojislav Seselj and his trial/hunger strike at the ICTY.

You probably could have saved yourselves a couple of weeks work if you had realised that and, consequently, you could have sent my response on time.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/vo...

Yours faithfully,

A Petrovic

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Internal Review for FOI Request Ref 1212-11

Dear Mr Petrovic

Thank you for your request for an Internal Review of your FOI Request Ref 1212-11. It has been passed to the relevant department within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to deal with. They will be in touch with you with an outcome.

Yours sincerely

Information Rights Team
FCO

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Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Dear Mr Petrovic

Thank you for your email.

I am sorry that you are not convinced by our arguments in our response to your Freedom of Information request reference 1212-11 about Vojislav Seselj. I can assure you that my colleagues worked extremely hard in preparing the response to your request, and selected the most appropriate exemptions for it. We have therefore opened another Internal Review for you, and will arrange for a robust independent assessment of the response, and the reasons behind our original reply to you. This will be useful with any subsequent reference you make to the ICO.

I would also comment on your reference to the two documents to which you refer in the fifth paragraph of your email. Contrary to your assertion that these were not in scope of your FoI enquiry, the opposite is, in fact, true. The first document (email 21/04/2001) actually mentions Seselj in the narrative. The copy you received had this paragraph redacted, but I would suggest that it may have been obvious to people associated with the subject matter that the document was within scope, and was relevant. The same applies to the second document (05/12/2012) to which you refer. In my opinion, a perfunctory knowledge of the subject matter could have realised this.

I would point out that my colleagues prepared a diligent response to your enquiry. In addition to the obvious documents which were within scope, they also searched for any other information which may additionally have been helpful to you. To dismiss this additional service, which was over and above purely responding to your enquiry is not, I would suggest, worthy of the - as I see it - dismissive manner in which you comment on them.

Your comment about saving ourselves 'a couple of weeks work' if we had realised that is, I would suggest, both baseless and un-necessary. It does not take a couple of weeks to search for two documents, and read them. It is fatuous to suggest otherwise. On the contrary, I am grateful to my colleagues who went beyond the remit of your request to be as helpful as possible.

I would suggest that a similar fatuous remark is your suggestion that not providing these two documents would have enabled us to have sent your response 'on time'. I would respectfully point out to you that the response was sent to you on time. Let me explain. The original deadline for your request was 16 December. We issued a PIT letter on 15 December extending the deadline to 18 January. On 18 January, we issued a second PIT letter and extended the deadline by a mere five working days to 25 January. Your response was sent on 25 January. I would be grateful if you would explain to me how this is anything other than completing your request 'on time'.

Graham Holland
Foreign & Commonwealth Office | Information Rights Team | Room SG124 OAB | Tel: 020 7008 1223 | Fax: 020 7008 1114
Email: [email address]

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Dear Mr Holland,

There is no need for ad hominem attacks on me if you were upset by my request for an internal review. If the two documents which I refer to appeared to be out of scope it is because there is no mention of Mr Seselj or the ICTY. What was the necessity to redact Mr Seselj’s name or the acronym ICTY from those two documents?

Surely you could have left Mr Seselj’s name unredacted in these documents and simply redacted those comments that were exempt under s.27 and s.35. Consequently, had you not redacted Mr Seselj’s name and/or ICTY I would have known that the documents were in scope of my request.

You make it seem as though going “over and above purely responding to [my] enquiry” makes you martyrs for the FOI cause. Every public authority has a legal obligation to respond to requests as set out in FOIA legislation. All I ask is that FCO carry out its obligations under FOIA. My comment on the two Nokloic documents was not intended as dismissive but, rather, to be helpful.

I am very happy to explain to you why your response to me was not “on time” by referring you to the following ICO guidance:

“Whilst the current version of the s.45 Code of Practice makes no reference to consideration of the Public Interest our view is that public authorities should aim to respond fully to all requests within 20 working days. In cases where the public interest considerations are exceptionally complex it may be reasonable to take longer but, in or view, in no case should the total time exceed 40 working days.”

Also available at the link here: http://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/l...

Although I appreciate you advising me on the 18th January that you needed five more working days to complete my request, under ICO guidelines you took more than 40 working days meaning the response was late.

Yours faithfully,

A Petrovic

Dear Foreign and Commonwealth Office,

Please advise if you have completed your Internal Review into this request.

Yours faithfully,

A Petrovic

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Dear Andrej

Thank you for your email.

I am pleased to confirm that the Internal Review you have requested into the Freedom of Information request ref 1212-11 has, in fact, been completed. It is being checked for legal clearance currently. I would hope that this will be sent to you by close of play tomorrow.

Graham Holland
Foreign & Commonwealth Office | Information Rights Team | Room SG124 OAB | Tel: 020 7008 1223 | Fax: 020 7008 1114 | Email: [email address]

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Foreign and Commonwealth Office

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Petrovic,

 

Please find attached a document that outlines the results of a recently
completed internal review. The review focuses on the response we provided
to FOI request 1212-11 (Mr Seselj / the ICTY).

 

The internal review was carried out by someone (Mr Matthew Costain) who
was not involved in preparing or approving the original response. The
reason that I am forwarding it to you is because Mr Costain has recently
left his position in the FCO.

 

Regards,

Edward Munn |Desk Officer - War Crimes Team|Multilateral Policy
Directorate |International Organisations Department (IOD) | Room E3.301B
|Foreign & Commonwealth Office, London, SW1A 2AH l ( +44 (0)207
008 1873 * [1][email address]

 

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Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Dear Andrej

 

Following my email of yesterday’s date, I am pleased to confirm that, as
promised, our Internal Review response was sent to you earlier today.

 

Graham Holland

Graham Holland| Foreign & Commonwealth Office | Information Rights Team |
Room SG124 OAB | Tel: 020 7008 1223 | Fax: 020 7008 1114 | Email:
[email address]

 

 

 

 

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Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Dear Mr Petrovic

 

Following the Information Commissioner’s request, we now have some amended
documents to send to you. As we wish to send them via the Royal Mail, we
would be grateful for confirmation of your postal address, please.

 

Graham Holland

Graham Holland | Foreign & Commonwealth Office | Information Rights Team |
Room SG127 OAB | Tel: 020 7008 1223 | Fax 020 7008 1114 | Email:
[email address]

 

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Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Dear Mr Petrovic

 

Notwithstanding your reticence in providing your home address so that we
could send you the material you had requested via the ICO that we send to
you, you will be pleased to learn that old fashioned detective work is
alive and well, and that we have been able to trace the details of your
address.

 

I am pleased to confirm, therefore, that the information you have
requested is being sent today to you at your Duston, Northampton address.

 

Graham Holland

Graham Holland| Foreign & Commonwealth Office | Information Rights Team |
Room SG124 OAB | Tel: 020 7008 1223 | Fax: 020 7008 1114 | Email:
[email address]

 

 

From: Graham Holland (Restricted)
Sent: 03 September 2012 14:35
To: '[FOI #93587 email]'
Subject: Complaint to the Information Commissioner - Retrial of Vojiscan
Seselj - FCO Ref 1212-11

 

Dear Mr Petrovic

 

Following the Information Commissioner’s request, we now have some amended
documents to send to you. As we wish to send them via the Royal Mail, we
would be grateful for confirmation of your postal address, please.

 

Graham Holland

Graham Holland | Foreign & Commonwealth Office | Information Rights Team |
Room SG127 OAB | Tel: 020 7008 1223 | Fax 020 7008 1114 | Email:
[email address]

 

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Dear Foreign and Commonwealth Office,
I still haven't received the information the ICO ordered you to send to me. Please can you send the information or upload it to this website. I can confirm that you should use the address the ICO has for me.

Thanks.

Yours faithfully,

A Petrovic

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

I am attending a conference on Friday, 19 October and then going on annual
leave until Tuesday, 30 October. If you have an urgent enquiry, please
contact either Jo Simon on 020 7008 0661, or Sarah Murrell on 020 7008
1224. If the matter is not urgent, please send me an email and I will
reply as quickly as possible after I return to the office.

 

If you have an enquiry about tours of the FCO, please email Lesley Vickers
at [email address].

 

 

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Dear Andrev

Thank you for your email which I have seen following my return from annual leave.

I can confirm that the information which we agreed with the ICO to send to you was despatched to your Northampton address. If you have not received it, I would be grateful if you would let me have the address that the ICO has for you, and I will arrange for it to be re-sent.

Graham Holland|
Foreign & Commonwealth Office | Information Rights Team | Room SG124 OAB | Tel: 020 7008 1223 | Fax: 020 7008 1114 | Email: [email address]

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Foreign and Commonwealth Office

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Petrovic,

 

Please find attached a response to your Freedom of Information request
1210 -10  sent on behalf of Edward Munn.

 

Thanks

 

Matt

 

Matthew Woody | Desk Officer - Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of
Cambodia; Special Court for Sierra Leone & International Humanitarian Law
|  War Crimes Team, International Organisations Department | Multilateral
Policy Directorate |  FCO, King Charles Street, London SW1A 2AH | 
* [1][email address]

 

 

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Dear Foreign and Commonwealth Office,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Foreign and Commonwealth Office's handling of my FOI request 'Acquittal of Gotvina and Markac (Ref 1210-12).

You have mistakenly sent your response to a different request I made, instead of the correct one!

The amount of time taken to conduct the PIT is completely unacceptable. I would refer you to the ICO guidance on the time permitted to conduct a PIT:

“Whilst the current version of the s.45 Code of Practice makes no reference to consideration of the Public Interest our view is that public authorities should aim to respond fully to all requests within 20 working days. In cases where the public interest considerations are exceptionally complex it may be reasonable to take longer but, in or view, in no case should the total time exceed 40 working days.”

Also available at the link here:
http://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/l...

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/vo...

Yours faithfully,

A Petrovic

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