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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 November 2007, 10:45 GMT
Serb nationalist rejects UN court
Vojislav Seselj in court (file photo)
Vojislav Seselj surrendered to the ICTY in February 2003
Serb nationalist leader Vojislav Seselj has denounced as illegal the UN court trying him for war crimes in The Hague.

He said the "illegal and illegitimate court" was biased against Serbs and had falsified history by classing the 1995 massacre at Srebrenica as genocide.

Mr Seselj leads the Serbian Radical Party (SRS), Serbia's largest party.

He denies three charges of crimes against humanity and six counts of war crimes, including persecution, deportation, murder and torture.

At the start of his trial on Wednesday, Mr Seselj was accused of inciting war crimes committed by volunteer forces under his command.

Mr Seselj surrendered to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) voluntarily in February 2003.

He remains the leader of the SRS, which is now Serbia's most influential opposition party.

'Not genocide'

Mr Seselj argued in court that he was a victim of an international conspiracy against Serbs.

"I never called anyone to war unless it was a question of defence for the Serbs," he said. His statement was quoted by the AFP news agency.

"Any war we waged was not against the Muslims and the Croatians, or the Albanians for that matter, but against their bosses: Germany, the Vatican, America and Nato," he said.

He said the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague had displayed an anti-Serb bias by classing as genocide the 1995 killing of Muslims in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica.

"One thousand Muslim prisoners of war were executed [in Srebrenica]," he said. "It's an atrocious crime but not a genocide."

Up to 8,000 Muslim men and boys were massacred by Bosnian Serb forces in Srebrenica, in eastern Bosnia, in 1995.

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Profile: Vojislav Seselj
27 Nov 06 |  Europe
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20 Feb 03 |  Europe

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