The International Court of Justice says it will hear Croatia's genocide claim against Serbia for alleged ethnic cleansing that claimed 20,000 lives.
Judge Rosalyn Higgins said Tuesday that 10 of 17 judges voted to dismiss Serbia's challenge to the competence of the court to hear the case of alleged crimes committed during the Croatian war of the early 1990s.
Croatia filed the genocide complaint against Serbia at the United Nations court in 1999, citing torture, forced displacement of a large number of civilians, and extensive property destruction.
Belgrade argued that when Croatia filed its complaint, Serbia was a part of a federal state, which was not a member of the United Nations, or a party to its convention on the prevention of genocide.
Tuesday's ruling paves the way for the second genocide case against Serbia to be brought before the International Court of Justice.
Bosnia-Herzegovina filed the previous one.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP.