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Serbian War Crimes Court Sentences 4 in 1995 Srebrenica Massacre


Serbia's war crimes court has imprisoned four Serb paramillitaries who were seen in a video killing six captive Bosnian Muslims after the fall of the Muslim enclave of Srebrenica. The longest sentences given were 20 years.

In Belgrade, the presiding judge called the murders a war crime against a civilian population.

The video of the killings surfaced in 2005, when it was shown at the war crimes trial of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

Tuesday's court ruling is the first in Serbia to focus on the 1995 massacre of an estimated 8,000 Muslim men and boys captured at Srebrenica.

The former commander of the "Scorpions" paramilitary unit, Slobodan Medic, and his main accomplice received 20-year prison terms. The court sentenced the only defendant who admitted participation, Pera Petrasevic, to 13 years.

Another Scorpions member received a five-year term, while a fifth defendant was found not guilty.

In February, the International Court of Justice in The Hague cleared Serbia as a nation of direct responsibility for the Srebrenica genocide.

The mass killing at Srebrenica is widely considered the worst atrocity in Europe since the end of World War II.

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