Šešelj reveals he "won't return to Hague voluntarily"

The idea of a Greater Serbia remains the guiding idea of the Serb Radicals (SRS), the party's leader Vojislav Šešelj has told a news conference.

Source: B92, Beta, Tanjug

Šešelj addressed reporters a day after he returned to the country after spending nearly 12 years detained at the Hague Tribunal, where he is accused of war crimes.

The court granted him provisional release due to his poor health, and his trial is still ongoing. But speaking on Thursday, Šešelj revealed that he had no plans to return to The Hague voluntarily.

Despite the deteriorated health, he intends to continue the political showdown with his opponents, mobilize the party's members, and hold talks with "patriotic forces."

"It remains to be seen which are the truly patriotic forces. I am calling on all those who left to return to the party, everyone is welcome except those who were taking away SRS mandates and are deeply involved in crime," Šešelj said.

He stressed that the idea of a Greater Serbia would not be abandoned, as it is "the point of the SRS," and added: "Our idea is to implement it using all peaceful means."

Šešelj described the situation in the country as difficult, and Serbia's possible EU membership as "a disaster - because there is no place for us there."

Asked about Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Đinđić, assassinated in early 2003, Šešelj replied by saying, "Who still remembers him," and added he felt no remorse because the news of the murder made him happy.

"The Serb people got rid of a mafioso and a traitor. Why would I feel sorry about that now. I was questioned because of my statements about bloodshed, but I was not predicting what happened to Đinđić. I expected more bloodshed and it's good it didn't happen. "

Speaking about his health, Šešelj said he had two metastases on his liver, which he was told can be removed surgically.

"Do you know what I call these two metastases - Aleksandar Vučić and Tomislav Nikolić," the SRS leader said of his former party colleagues, who in 2008 split to form the Serb Progressive Party (SNS) amid political acrimony.

Asked about his statement that he would have his revenge against the pair, Šešelj said:

"I said, 'I'll have my revenge.' If I don't get to do it, it will be passed on to the generations. My vengeful mood was related to Tomislav Nikolić and Aleksandar Vučić, and they knew I was not kidding."

However, he added, this was his position "at the time when guarantees for his release were discussed - but there's no longer the need for that."

"Since my threat succeeded, there's no desire for revenge," Šešelj said.

According to him, the Hague Tribunal came up with "a new argument," i.e., that he should accept guarantees given by Vučić, knowing he would not do it under any circumstances.

"The Hague was sick and tired of holding me there and they made a concession to Vučić by delaying my release until the visit of Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama was over," Šešelj told reporters.

Politics

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