Yugoslav court a 'military tool'of West, says radical Serb
Serb ultra-nationalist Vojislav Seselj on Wednesday rejected charges against him before the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal, calling the court illegal and a "military tool" for the West.
Seselj, 57, is facing nine counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity for his share in trying to create a greater Serbian state during the early 1990s through the murder and removal of Croats, Muslims and other non-Serbs in the region.
"For three days, we heard nonsense coming from the prosecutor's office," Seselj -- who is conducting his own defence -- told a three-judge bench in The Hague, referring to the prosecution's closing arguments last week.
ICTY prosecutors asked for a 28-year-sentence last week against Seselj, saying the former academic had warned "rivers of blood would flow in Bosnia" if his vision of a greater Serbian state was opposed.
The man who has been dubbed the "chief propagandist of greater Serbia" is accused of making hate speeches and urging troops under his command to commit murder, torture and rape during the conflict.
"He is responsible for tens-of-thousands of non-Serbs being expelled from their homes, murdered, tortured, raped; and their religious sites were destroyed through his words and his acts," prosecutor Mathias Marcussen said.
But Seselj rubbished the prosecution's argument and attacked the ICTY's legitimacy.
"This is not a legal tribunal," he said, calling the ICTY a "military tool" for the West that conspired to keep him away from Serbian politics.
Known for his angry outbursts in court, Seselj has been hospitalised at least five times since January, when he was fitted with a pacemaker that later malfunctioned, according to his Serbian Radical Party (SRS) in Belgrade.
The ICTY on Monday ordered new medical tests after Seselj was again hospitalised over the weekend, prompting the court to postpone arguments in his trial from Monday to Wednesday.
© 2012 AFP