War crimes prosecutors have demanded a life sentence for a former top Bosnian Serb politician charged with genocide during fighting in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the 1990s.

Former Bosnian Serb assembly speaker Momcilo Krajisnik has been on trial in The Hague since early 2004 on eight charges, including genocide and crimes against humanity.

Prosecutors say Krajisnik played a principal role in ethnic cleansing during the Balkan conflict. They also contend he held what they called the "levers of power" in the administration of fugitive wartime Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic.

Late Tuesday, as the trial reached its final stages, prosecutor Alan Tieger said each count in the indictment, if found to be true, "merits the highest possible sentence."

In a separate development, the tribunal found a former Croatian newspaper editor guilty of contempt, for revealing that Croatian President Stipe Mesic secretly testified against a Croatian Army general, Tihomir Blaskic, in 2000.

The court fined Josip Jovic, the former editor of a Croatian newspaper more than $25,000.