BELGRADE -- Vojislav Seselj says a report published by the daily Blic in 2010, alleging that he had ordered the murder of Tomislav Nikolic, was "a complete fabrication."
''This information is a complete fabrication and has caused me great emotional pain and suffering. I never met neither Bojovic nor Simovic,'' Seselj told the Higher Court in Belgrade on Monday during the trial in his lawsuit against the Belgrade-based media outlet.
Seselj is the leader of the Serb Radical Party (SRS), while Nikolic was at the time the leader of the Serb Progressive Party (SNS) - an offshoot of the SRS created in 2008 amid political acrimony.
During the hearing today, Seselj described in detail what he experienced after the controversial articled was published in Blic on June 29, 2010. The court decided to call Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic, who at the time served as interior minister, and then head of the BIA agency Sasa Vukadinovic as witnesses during the next hearing, scheduled for September 18.
They should testify whether the disputed information came from state authorities, that is, from the Parliamentary Committee on Security and Defense.
The court will decide on a motion to also call now Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic and Prime Minister and SNS leader Aleksandar Vucic.
Addressing the court on Monday in his role of the plaintiff, Seselj said that the false information presented in the article resulted in "other inmates'' in the Hague detention unit "giving his suspicions glances - as he was ordering murders in such a monstrous way."
"Those with whom I was on good terms did not believe it, but some spoke with Hague guards in English and told them what was going on. This information brought into question whether I would be able to receive family visits, because the article insinuated that the order (to kill Nikolic) went via my wife," said Seselj.
However, he pointed out that the Hague Tribunal "did not believe it" and for that reason did not order any measures of isolation against him.
Seselj then described himself as "a man who shows no emotions - that is, as someone who successfully hides them" - but that the daily's allegation against him "affected him, and still does."
Seselj has sued Blic for inflicting mental anguish by publishing false information.