Prof. Dr. Vojislav Šešelj (Serbian Cyrillic: Војислав Шешељ, pronounced ) (b. 11 October 1954, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, then Yugoslavia) is a Serbian politician. A professor of political science who also has a law degree, he is the founder and president of the Serbian Radical Party and has been a member of the Serbian parliament. Šešelj is currently on trial for alleged war crimes and possible crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). He surrendered voluntarily in February 2003. His trial began four years later in November 2007. His trial has been suspended after 71 witnesses testified because of alleged witness intimidation. This occurred seven hours away from the legal limit of time allowed for the prosecution to make present their case. Seselj has made a statement that he will not have defense witnesses on his behalf since he believes that the judge will find him innocent on all allegations.
Vojislav Šešelj was born in the former Yugoslavia in Sarajevo to an ethnic Serb family that hails from the Popovo Valley, Bosnia and Herzegovina near the city of Trebinje. He graduated in law at the University of Sarajevo and soon thereafter, in 1979, obtained a doctorate. He became the youngest PhD in Yugoslavia. After he graduated in Sarajevo, he went to Belgrade in 1983 (for the first time in his life) and took an interview for Omladinske Novine; when he was asked what was his nationality, he replied that he was a Yugoslav. Šešelj taught political science at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, United States, and then at Sarajevo until 1984, when the Yugoslav authorities convicted him of counter-revolutionary activities and sentenced him to eight years in prison, although the Yugoslav Supreme Court commuted the sentence and he was released in 1986.
In 1989 Šešelj returned to the United States where Momčilo Đujić, a Chetnik leader from World War II living there in exile, bestowed on him the title Vojvoda of the Chetniks. Together with Vuk Drašković and Mirko Jović, Šešelj founded the anti-communist Serbian National Renewal (SNO) party in 1989. Šešelj later split off his faction to form the Serbian Radical Party (SRS).