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UN Appeals Judges Reverse Bosnian Serb Officer's Genocide Conviction

The U.N. war crimes tribunal in the Hague has overturned a conviction for complicity in genocide against a former Bosnian Serb army officer.

In 2005, Vidoje Blagojevic was convicted on several war crimes charges for giving logistical support to the 1995 massacre of more than 7,000 Muslims in the Bosnian enclave of Srebrenica. Blagojevic appealed the conviction.

Wednesday, appeals judges let most of the convictions stand but ruled he should have been acquitted on the genocide charge.

The judges said it was impossible to show that he had knowledge of the "genocidal intent" of the massacre's perpetrators.

The tribunal judges cut his sentence Wednesday, from 18 years in prison to 15 years.

The massacre happened after Serb troops captured Srebrenica, which the U.N. had declared a safe area.

In 2004, Bosnian Serb authorities acknowledged the deaths as a massacre for the first time.

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