UN tribunal wants to 'kill' me: ultra-nationalist Serb

2nd November 2010, Comments 0 comments

Ultra-nationalist Serb leader Vojislav Seselj said Tuesday that the UN tribunal trying him for war crimes wanted to "kill" him, claiming someone was "manipulating the condition of my health".

"Because you cannot convict me, because there is no evidence against me, you have to kill me," Seselj told the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia days after he underwent heart surgery whose outcome he claimed was being withheld from him.

"My medical condition is being manipulated... I must die, but the medical documentation must be clean because there must be no evidence."

Seselj, 56, is on trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity over his alleged role in the persecution of Croat, Muslim and other non-Serbs and their expulsion from areas of Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia between 1991 and 1994.

He claimed Tuesday that Slobodan Milosevic and other Serbs in the tribunal's custody had died because of the withholding of medical care.

"Mr Milosevic was killed here. He was certainly killed here. He was killed at least by denying him appropriate care by a physician."

Seselj, who underwent surgery at a Dutch clinic last Thursday, said he had battled to get any post-operative report on the procedure, during which he lost consciousness for an unknown length of time. He had been under local anaesthesia.

He also complained that he has by now been in the tribunal's custody for more than seven years, saying his right to a speedy trial has been "blatantly violated".

"In America, even those accused of multiple murder have to be released if a reasonable time period has lapsed," Seselj said.

Judge Jean-Claude Antonetti reminded the accused that a panel of international medical experts had been appointed by the court to make an independent evaluation of his health.

Its report is being awaited.

© 2010 AFP

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