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Croatia Opens War Crimes Trial of Two Generals


Croatia has opened a high-profile war crimes trial of two generals indicted for atrocities against Serbs during the Balkan conflict of the 1990s.

Defendants Mirko Norac and ethnic Albanian Rahim Ademi are charged with failing to prevent the 1993 Croatian army from torturing and killing about 30 Serb civilians and prisoners of war near the southern Croatian city of Zadar.

The trial in the Zagreb district court is the first case the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague has transferred to Croatian jurisdiction. It is widely seen as a test case for the judiciary in the European Union-candidate country.

The trial is the second for Norac, who is already serving a 12-year sentence for his role in the killings of Serb civilians near Gospic in 1991.

Fighting broke out in Croatia in 1991 after the country declared independence from the former Yugoslavia.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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