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ICTY finds Kosovo Albanian guilty of war crimes

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia [official website; JURIST news archive] sentenced Haradin Bala to 13 years in prison Wednesday for torture, cruel treatment and murder at a prison camp run by the Kosovo Liberation Army [BBC backgrounder] (KLA). Bala, a commander and guard at the Lapusnik prison camp, is the first Kosovo Albanian to be found guilty for war crimes committed during the KLA's open rebellion against Serbian forces in 1998. According to the ICTY judgment [PDF text; summary], Bala mistreated three prisoners, aided in the torture of another prisoner, participated in the murder of nine prisoners, and helped in the "maintenance and enforcement of the inhumane conditions" at the prison camp. The Tribunal dismissed seven of the ten counts against Bala, and all counts against his co-defendants Fatmir Limaj and Isak Musliu, both indicted with Bala in 2003 [BBC report]. The three men, the first Kosovo Albanians indicted for actions during the rebellion, went on trial [JURIST report; ICTY case backgrounder] in late 2004. The war crimes tribunal has since indicted three more men, including former regional commander of the KLA and former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj [BBC profile], who currently await trial. BBC News has more.

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