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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 November 2006, 09:41 GMT
Serbian suspect to stand in poll
Vojislav Seselj seated in court
Vojislav Seselj has denied the authority of the Hague court
An ultra-nationalist Serbian leader accused of war crimes is to stand in the country's general election from his cell at the Hague tribunal.

Vojislav Seselj's Radical Party has said he will top its list of contenders for the 21 January poll.

He is accused by prosecutors of forming a paramilitary group responsible for alleged atrocities in Croatia, Bosnia and the Vojvodina region of Serbia.

Mr Seselj surrendered to the UN war crimes tribunal in February 2003.

On Monday, the party's campaign chief, Dragan Todorovic, told Tanjug news agency that Mr Seselj's name would be top of the party's ballot list.

Mr Seselj in Vukovar in 1991
Vojislav Seselj with armed supporters in Vukovar in 1991
1954 born in eastern Hercegovina
1984 jailed after calling for Serb-dominated state
1999 resigns as Serbian deputy prime minister
2002 comes third in presidential election

Correspondents say this virtually guarantees him one of the Serbian parliament's 250 seats. The party currently holds 80, making it the strongest force in Serbian politics.

Mr Seselj was a key ally of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic during the Balkan wars.

He has pleaded innocent to nine charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for allegedly taking part in a plot to murder, torture and illegally imprison non-Serbs in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo.

In past appearances at the tribunal he has denied ever torturing anyone, and questioned the legitimacy of the court to try him.

His trial is scheduled to start on 27 November. His party says he has been on hunger strike since last week, making a series of demands including that the court recognise his own legal advisers and lift restrictions on visits by his wife.

Profile: Vojislav Seselj
21 Feb 03 |  Europe
At a glance: Hague tribunal
20 Feb 03 |  Europe

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