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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Milosevic Ally Surrenders to The Hague

THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- Serbian ultranationalist leader Vojislav Seselj, charged by the Yugoslav tribunal with atrocities allegedly committed by his paramilitary troops during the wars in Croatia and Bosnia, surrendered to the tribunal in the Netherlands on Monday.

Seselj, a close ally of former President Slobodan Milosevic who is already on trial for war crimes at The Hague, took a commercial Yugoslav Airlines flight to Amsterdam, where he was detained by plainclothes policemen and driven off in an unmarked van.

The tribunal later confirmed that Seselj was taken to the UN detention unit in a seaside suburb of The Hague.

Prosecution spokeswoman Florence Hartmann said Seselj's decision to turn himself in was "a good one and other indictees at large should follow his example."

Seselj, known for his fierce temper and scathing anti-Western remarks, said he was surrendering "in order to destroy the evil tribunal, an American instrument against the Serbs."

"I'll blast them to pieces," Seselj, a lawyer by profession who intends to defend himself, said before boarding the flight to the Netherlands: "I will come back from The Hague victorious.

"The most important thing is that I be the last Serb who goes to The Hague," he told hundreds of cheering supporters at Belgrade's airport.

Bidding him farewell, the crowd shouted, "Vojo, the Serb," his nickname.

On Sunday, a crowd of more than 10,000 people gathered in downtown Belgrade for a farewell rally.