The accused Serbian Radicals’ leader contends that his health problems have been caused by external agents working for the ‘dark forces of evil’ to conspire against him. The agents are the American, British and French secret services and a recent addition, presiding judge Antonetti, who had until recently been ‘a darling of the Serbian public’

Vojislav Seselj in the courtroomVojislav Seselj in the courtroom

Vojislav Seselj has attributed the health problems which sent him to hospital several times in January 2012 to ‘the dark forces’ conspiring against him. Thanks primarily to the Wikileaks revelations, Seselj ‘has irrefutable evidence’ to corroborate his claims.

Since Seselj had prohibited the disclosure of the information on his health to the judges, Judge Antonetti’s Trial Chamber, concerned by the alarming reports about Seselj’s health in the Serbian media, set up a ‘health status conference’, an administrative hearing where the health of the accused was the main item of the agenda.

Today Seselj showed his hand, describing in detail to the judges what happened on 6 January 2012 when he returned to his cell after a walk. Suddenly he felt ill, he fainted and fell. The guard called the nurse and the nurse called an ambulance, which came very quickly but the paramedics were unable to carry the accused out of the cell. The firemen were called and they broke in through the barred window of Seselj’s cell. They used a crane to lower Seselj to the ambulance. Seselj was rushed to a hospital in Leiden under police escort, where the emergency team extracted ten liters of fluid from his body, Seselj explained. Seselj denied that he had been fitted with a ‘pacemaker’ in the hospital: the doctors put in an ‘internal cardiac defibrillator’ in case of a sudden heart attack, Seselj said.

Seselj today broached the possibility that his health problems may be caused by external agents: the American, British and French secret services who are ‘affecting [his] heart impulses by radio waves or otherwise’, in a bid to prevent the Radicals’ triumph in the elections in Serbia.

Today Seselj came down on the presiding judge Antonetti like a ton of bricks. Until recently, Judge Antonetti was ‘a darling of the Serbian public’, Seselj said. A Serbian journalist even wrote that the French judge would ‘pass the threshold’ if he stood for elections in Serbia. Not anymore.

The attitude of the accused toward Antonetti has changed radically after he read a diplomatic cable published by Wikileaks which says that the French judge’s strategy has been to make Seselj cooperate in his trial by indulging his whims and flattering him. After he read that, Seselj recalled that before his appointment to the Tribunal as a judge, Antonetti had served as a legal advisor to French president Chirac, labeled ‘the war criminal’ by Seselj. Antonetti was also a friend with the president’s diplomatic advisor Gourdeau-Montagne, who was also involved with the ‘dark forces’ conspiring against Vojislav Seselj and his Serbian Radical Party.

The closing arguments at the trial of the Serbian Radical leader indicted for crimes against humanity in Croatia, Vojvodina and Bosnia are scheduled to start on 5 March 2012. The judges have yet to decide whether to accept Seselj’s final brief submitted on twice as many pages as is admissible and lacking references to legal and other sources.