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War Crimes Tribunal Overturns Bosnian Murder Convictions


A United Nations war crimes tribunal has overturned the murder convictions and cut the prison sentence of a former Bosnian army commander.

The tribunal in The Hague Tuesday overturned convictions against General Enver Hadzihasanovic for failing to prevent two murders during the Balkans conflict of the 1990s. However, the court upheld his five-year sentence for failing to prevent the mistreatment of prisoners, and then reduced that sentence to 3.5 years.

Hadzihasanovic's deputy, Amir Kubura, convicted for failing to prevent plunder, also had his prison term reduced.

Prosecutors had argued the two officers were responsible for the conduct of foreign fighters under their command, including Muslim fighters from North Africa and the Middle East.

Separately, a state court in Bosnia-Herzegovina has sentenced three men to prison for war crimes during the Balkans conflict.

Bosnian state radio says the court in Sarajevo sentenced Mile Pekez to 29 years in prison, and Mirko Pekez and Milorad Savic to 21-year terms following conviction on charges of murdering civilians.

Prosecutors say the former Bosnian Serb soldiers killed 23 Muslim civilians and wounded four others in the Jajce area of central Bosnia in September 1992.

In a separate verdict, the court sentenced Dusan Fustar to a nine year for the persecution, rape and killing of non-Serbs in the notorious Keraterm detention camp in northwestern Bosnia early in the 1992 to 1995 conflict. Fustar had earlier pleaded guilty.

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