United Nations judges have approved the provisional release on humanitarian grounds of an ailing Serb ultranationalist awaiting verdicts in his long-running war crimes trial.

In an order Thursday, judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia said Vojislav Seselj can be released to seek medical treatment in Serbia on condition that he does not interfere with victims or witnesses and that he returns to the tribunal if summoned by judges.

Serbian doctors who visited Seselj recently say he is suffering from colon cancer that has spread to his liver.

The 60-year-old Seselj has been in custody in The Hague since surrendering to the tribunal in 2003. He pleaded not guilty to charges including using hate speech to incite atrocities in Bosnia and Croatia during the Balkan wars.