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By Gordana Filipovic, Bloomberg News (TNS)

BELGRADE, Serbia — Serbian nationalist leader Vojislav Seselj, who is wanted for war crimes by an international tribunal in the Hague, called on Serbs in the U.S. to support business magnate Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

Seselj, once an ally of the late Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic during the wars that split apart the former Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, was temporarily released from detention in the Netherlands in 2014 after an inconclusive 11-year trial. He has ignored an order by the tribunal in March for him to return to custody. He appealed to the hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens who claim Serb ethnicity via Twitter to support the Republican frontrunner.

“I invite brothers who live in the U.S. to strongly support Republican candidate Donald Trump in forthcoming presidential election,” Seselj said in a Jan. 3 tweet. He didn’t elaborate.

Seselj isn’t the first foreign figure to voice support for Trump, who is leading in opinion polls ahead of state primary elections that will decide who will lead the Republican ticket in the November presidential election. Russian President Vladimir Putin called the real-estate tycoon “a very colorful candidate and talented,” to which Trump responded the Russian leader is a “powerful leader,” blaming poor U.S.-Russian relations on President Barack Obama.

Seselj founded the Serbian Radical Party with President Tomislav Nikolic in 1991, calling for re-unification of all Serbian territories amid the Yugoslav wars. Nikolic, Premier Aleksandar Vucic and central bank Governor Jorgovanka Tabakovic were prominent members of his party until 2008, when they formed the Serbian Progressive Party and won 2012 elections four years later.

The Hague tribunal charged Seselj with 15 counts of crimes against humanity, including murder, forced deportation, illegal imprisonment and other acts. Prosecutors have demanded a 28-year sentence against him for recruiting paramilitary groups and inciting them to commit atrocities. Seselj says the court doesn’t have jurisdiction in the case.

©2016 Bloomberg News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Photo: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has been endorsed by a dictator. Excellent. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake

 

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Danziger Draws

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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