Vojislav Seselj should get 28 year sentence: UN prosecutors

United Nations prosecutors at The Hague called for the Serbian nationalist Vojislav Seselj to be sentenced to 28 years in prison, according to the BBC.

Seselj is on trial for war crimes, facing nine charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the Balkan wars in the 1990s. Seselj pled not guilty to all the charges in 2007, and has not mounted a defense or called any witnesses, said the BBC.

Prosecutor Mathias Marcussen made the demand during closing arguments in a trial that accuses Seselj of recruiting paramilitary troops and inciting them with hate speech which led to some of the brutal atrocities during the Balkan wars. Seselj has already been jailed for nine years and went on a hunger strike in 2006 that left him gravely ill and delayed the start of his trial, said the Associated Press.

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Members of those paramilitary units supported Seselj and were responsible for driving Muslims and Croats out of Bosnia and Croatia and persecuting non-Serbs across the former Yugoslavia, said Reuters.

Marcussen told judges that Seselj was responsible "for the suffering of tens of thousands of victims who were expelled from their homes, murdered, detained, tortured, raped and whose villages, towns and religious sites were wantonly destroyed as a result of his words and his acts," according to the AP.

Seselj's Serbian Radical Party still holds 57 seats in the Serbian parliament, out of 250.

Meanwhile, Serbia has been granted candidate status for member ship in the European Union after it fulfilled key demands such as implementing democratic reforms and apprehending war criminals like Seselj.

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