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Serbia: Ultranationalist Surrenders To Face War Crimes Charges

The Hague, 24 February 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Serbian hard-liner and war crimes suspect Vojislav Seselj is being held in the UN detention center near The Hague after he surrendered to the UN war crimes tribunal. Tribunal spokesman Christian Chartier said Seselj arrived at the detention center after flying to The Netherlands from Belgrade this morning.

Seselj is charged by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) with crimes against humanity and war crimes, including murder and torture in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and in the northern Serbian province of Vojvodina.

Seselj, who is leader of the ultranationalist Serbian Radical Party, denies all charges and voluntarily flew to The Hague from Belgrade to turn himself in.

Seselj spoke at a rally in Belgrade last night before some 10,000 people. "I go to The Hague to represent more than 10,000 volunteers from the Serbian Radical Party, and I'm going to represent all the Serbian heroes and the fighters for the freedom of the Serbian people in that war, for all those who fought bravely for freedom on all fronts and those who called themselves Seselj's people," he told the crowd. The court has not yet set a date for Seselj's initial appearance.