Šešelj repeats he can "only be sent back by force"

BELGRADE -- Serb Radical Party (SRS) leader Vojislav Šešelj says he is "proud" of the documents the European and Croatian parliaments have adopted against him.

(Tanjug, file)
(Tanjug, file)

Šešelj, to whom the Hague Tribunal, where his war crimes trial in ongoing, earlier this month granted provisional release on medical grounds, on Thursday repeated that he will return there "only by force."

"It's possible that Tomislav Nikolić and Aleksandar Vučić could decide to extradite me by force. In that case they would have to arrest me and conduct court proceedings that last a minimum of 14 days. I look forward to that - to my main accomplices in all the possible war crimes and crimes against humanity arresting me and extraditing me to the Tribunal. A person could not wish for anything more," he told a news conference.

Šešelj stated that the Tribunal put no conditions before him and that he was simply told he should pack up and leave, and added that he did not sign anything or speak with any of the court officials.

Asserting that he has no access to the media in Serbia, Šešelj noted that he "addressed the public via the Croatian media," which resulted in "Croatia jumping to its feet."

"They went to war, they almost strangled each other during the (Croatian) assembly session. I am very proud of the assembly declaration, and I will be even more proud when the European parliament adopts its resolution aimed against me and my political activities," he said, speaking ahead of the vote in Strasbourg on Thursday.

Šešelj also accused the government led by Aleksandar Vučić on pretending to fight against crime and corruption, while the campaign "came down to a small, carefully selected circle of people who are lynched via the media, while very few are convicted."

"The key problem are the people deep in crime who are heading the regime and are protected like polar bears," Šešelj said, and mention in this context Ivica Dačić, Aleksandar Vulin, Maja Gojković, and Igor Mirović.

As for the 24 controversial privatizations that late Verica Barać of the Anti-Corruption Council investigated, he said that "almost nothing has been finished," including the Sartid, Jugoremedija, ATP Vojvodina, Azotara, and Nacionalna Štedionica affairs.

Šešelj once again invited Aleksandar Vučić to "a direct TV duel." According to him, such a debate would give the prime minister the opportunity to "show how smart and capable he is, and how strong his arguments are."