BELGRADE – The Hague tribunal for the former Yugoslavia is about to announce another verdict on a Serbian leader, Vojislav Seselj. The leader of the Serbian Radical Party, who also served as deputy PM of Serbia between 1998 and 2000, Seselj told RT why he believes he will end up the winner.
Seselj is accused of using strong nationalist rhetoric to incite persecution and murder during the Balkan wars that erupted amid the breakup of Yugoslavia.
Earlier in March, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia’s (ICTY) ruled that Seselj’s judgment on nine charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity will be announced at 0800 GMT on March 31 “in the absence of the accused.”
When asked why he views his trial at the ICTY as a victory, even before the announcement of the verdict, Seselj said that he got a chance to argue the truth, and counter all the falsified witness accounts.
“I proved that [ICTY] is a fake court, which is just an instrument of NATO that focuses on falsifying the historical record,” Seselj told RT. “[Judges] were unable to prove that I was guilty of any of the changes, nor were they able to prove the guilt of any of the Serbian Radical Party members.”
He stressed that a heroic death on a battlefield or imprisonment is a victory when the actions are carried out in the name of justice.
The politician said that he didn’t expect for the Hague court to keep him in detention for 12 years.
“I thought it would be three or four years. But I don’t regret a single day in the fight against the anti-Serbian court. There were a lot of Serbian volunteers who died defending the nation’s freedom.”
Some of the things Seselj accomplished while in prison included writing eight books for the project titled, “Serbs and the New World Order.” He added that he has enough material to publish another five books. The next one to be published is called “There Was no Genocide in Srebrenica,” which describes the heroic actions of Serbian soldiers and the real role played by the West.
When asked about Serbia’s relationship with Russia, Seselj replied that, for the majority of Serbs, Russian President Vladimir Putin is a popular figure with a high approval rating.
However, the problem consists of Western politicians, who have the means to buy or intimidate “our current politicians,” he added.
For example, Western pressure for Serbia to join NATO has continued, but since a referendum would be required, the whole concept is “impossible” as the majority of the people disapprove of the idea.
Seselj was conditionally released on medical grounds by the ICTY in 2014, but was summoned back after violating a court order to stay out of public life.
“I will not go voluntarily to The Hague. Whether they’ll carry me to the airport or something else, I do not know,” Seselj replied Tuesday.
Seselj initially surrendered to the ICTY in February 2003. His trial began in 2007 and concluded in March 2012.