Milosevic and Seselj, the not quite perfect duo

10 October 2005 by HEIKELINA VERRIJN STUART

For the last five weeks, at Slobodan Milosevic's invitation, the ultra nationalist Vojislav Seselj, former opposition leader and deputy prime minister of Serbia during the war in the former Yugoslavia, has testified in his defence. Since 23 August, Seselj, who is also accused by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), has presented as facts opinions previously expressed by Milosevic. When the judges asked for evidence, Seselj replied that it existed but that he did not have it.

For a few days, Milosevic might have thought that the two of them formed a perfect duo. But very soon, cracks began to appear in the relationship between accused and witness. Seselj was never allowed to forget that he is also an accused at the Hague court or that many facts between his case and Milosevic's overlap. In cross-examination, prosecutor Geoffrey Nice read out several extracts from Seselj's former speeches in which he portrayed the Croats as the eternal friends of the Germans and warned of the Muslim menace. Seselj denied having been an agitator fighting for the establishment of a Greater Serbia. He had only been warning the Serbs of problems to come. As for the rest, he said he liked to exaggerate a bit.

Fabrications, exaggeration

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