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Hague War Crimes Tribunal Acquits Milutinovic


The United Nations war crimes tribunal has found former Serbian President Milan Milutinovic not guilty of crimes against humanity during the Kosovo conflict of the 1990s. But the court in The Hague sentenced five other officials to terms of up to 22 years in prison.

The court sentenced former Yugoslav Deputy Prime Minister Nikola Sainovic, General Nebojsa Pavkovic, and Serbian police General Sreten Lukic to 22-year terms for crimes against humanity and violation of the laws or customs of war. It gave former Yugoslav Army Chief-of-Staff Dragoljub Ojdanic, and General Vladimir Lazarevic terms of 15 years each for the deportation and forcible transfer of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo.

Prosecutors had sought up to life in prison for the six, accusing them of working with former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to maintain Serb control of Kosovo by forcibly deporting thousands of ethnic Albanians.

The case was the first trial completed by The Hague tribunal involving atrocities by Serbian forces as they battled ethnic Albanian separatists for control of Kosovo, a former Serbian province that declared independence a year ago.

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

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