BELGRADE – On Thursday morning the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) will give its verdict on charges against Vojislav Seselj, the leader of Serbia’s Radical Party.
Seselj, who was first indicted by the ICTY in 2003, is currently in Serbia after being temporarily released from imprisonment in The Hague in 2014 so that he could receive treatment for serious illness.
The Serbian Radical Party (SRS) leader told Sputnik Serbia that regardless of The Hague’s judgment tomorrow he will not be paying attention to the verdict, and refuses to return to the Netherlands voluntarily to serve any sentence the court gives him.
Instead, Seselj is focusing on the campaign trail ahead of parliamentary elections in Serbia on April 24, about which he is feeling “very optimistic.”
“Tomorrow I’m carrying out party business, we have our regular press conference, a meeting in Pancevo at 17.00, and in the evening I’m appearing on a television program.”
Seselj said that if he is sentenced to prison he will not return to The Hague voluntarily, and shared a rumor he heard that he will be sentenced to 25 years in prison.
“I’m definitely not going voluntarily,” he said. In 2003 Seselj voluntarily gave himself
“Bruno Vekaric (Serbia’s deputy prosecutor for war crimes) told some Croatian officials while he was in The Hague and in Zagreb that he had found out that my punishment will be 25 years imprisonment. I informed the public about that straightaway. I don’t know if his information is correct.”
“The verdict doesn’t interest me at all,” said Seselj, adding that he does not believe it will have any consequences for Serbia.
“The country is not involved in any way in what I am charged with. They could sentence me to 100 years, the country wouldn’t have any consequences.”
The ICTY has charged Vojislav Seselj with three counts of crimes against humanity and six counts of violations of the laws or customs of war, allegedly committed on the territory of what are now Croatia, Bosnia and Hercegovina and the Serbian province of Vojvodina during the break-up of the former Yugoslavia; Seselj denies all the charges.