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Serbia’s Seselj Rallies Nationalists at Srebrenica Massacre Hearing

26. February 2019.16:21
Convicted war criminal Vojislav Seselj rallied his supporters in front of Belgrade’s Higher Court ahead of a hearing in the trial of Serb ex-policemen for the massacre of Bosniaks from Srebrenica in the village of Kravica in 1995. Serbian Radical Party leader Vojislav Seselj on Tuesday rallied around 50 supporters, who waved party flags and wore badges denying the Srebrenica genocide, in front of the Belgrade Higher Court, where a war crimes trial hearing was about to begin.

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Seselj came to express support for eight former members of a police special brigade from Bosnia’s Serb-led entity Republika Srpska, who are indicted for committing a war crime against civilians in Kravica on July 14, 1995.

“All eight policemen are innocent, testimonies prove this,” Seselj told media ahead of the hearing.

He denied that the nationalists’ protest represented a form of pressure on the court.

He also claimed that the murders in Kravica, whose total number he reduced from over 1,300 to 317, were an “incident” and not a war crime.

Seselj himself was sentenced to ten years in prison for the persecution of Croats in the Serbian village of Hrtkovci in 1992 by the UN court in the Hague, but served no jail time since he had already spent almost 12 years in custody. He is a sitting MP in the Serbian parliament.

After delivering a short speech, Seselj entered the court to attend the hearing with some of his supporters.

Those who stayed outside shouted insults at Stasa Zajovic, founder of the anti-war group Women in Black, as she arrived to watch the trial.

At the hearing, former Serb fighters Jugoslav Stanisic and Stojan Savic denied knowledge of the massacre of Bosniak captives.

The killings in the warehouse in Kravica were among several massacres by Bosnian Serb forces after the fall of Srebrenica in July 1995 that left more than 7,000 Bosniak men and boys dead.

Nedeljko Milidragovic, Aleksa Golijanin, Milivoje Batinica, Aleksandar Dacevic, Bora Miletic, Jovan Petrovic, Dragomir Parovic and Vidosav Vasic are accused of organising and participating in the shooting of more than 1,300 civilians in the warehouse.

The Serbian prosecution charged them in 2015 and the trial opened in February 2017, but proceedings have been plagued by delays.

This post is also available in: Bosnian