The ultra-nationalist Serbian opposition leader has described the War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague as “an illegal and illegitimate body”. Vojislav Seselj is set to be a difficult and outspoken defendant, conducting his own defense from the lawyers bench.
During his opening four-hour statement, in a trial which had to be restarted and in which he stands accused of provoking the killings, torture and rape of Croats and Muslims during the Bosnian War, he said it was all “lies”.
He is the most senior political leader presently on trial by the court. He surrendered in 2003 but has been leading his Serb Radical Party, which holds a third of the seats in the parliament, from his cell. Seselj is said to have spread the ideology which created the conditions of war. He is also accused of having led a 10,000 strong private militia known as “Seselj’s men”.