A Serbian ultra-nationalist accused of war crimes has refused to attend the first day of his trial in The Hague. Vojislav Seselj faces charges including the murder, extermination and torture of Croats, Muslims and other ethnic groups. Seselj, who’s pleaded not guilty, said he did not want to appear before the war crimes tribunal. The hearing will go ahead in his absence, with a stand-by defence team.
The Serb is also accused of plotting ethnic cleansing with former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, who died while on trial in March. Milosevic once reportedly described Seselj as ‘the personification of violence and primitivism.’ Despite the trial, he is set to stand in Serbian elections in January.