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ICTY appeals chamber reduces sentence of former Bosnian Serb mayor

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] Tuesday reduced [judgment summary, press release] the sentence of local Bosnian Serb politician Blagoje Simic [ICTY case backgrounder] from 17 to 15 years, after reversing one of his convictions. Simic was convicted [judgment] on charges of crimes against humanity in 2003, along with Miroslav Tadic and Simo Zaric, for "persecutions based upon unlawful arrest and detention of Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat civilians, cruel and inhumane treatment including beatings, torture, forced labour assignments, and confinement under inhumane conditions, and deportation and forcible transfer." The appeals chamber reversed his conviction for participation in a joint criminal enterprise whose aim was persecution of non-Serbs in the Bosanski Samac municipality in northern Bosnia after concluding that Simic was not informed of this charge until the prosecution had finished presenting its case.

Simic, who served as mayor of the Bosnian town of Samac and was a doctor by profession, voluntarily surrendered [BBC report] to the ICTY [JURIST news archive] in 2001. Miroslav Tadic was sentenced to eight years imprisonment for deportation and forcible transfer of Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat civilians while Simo Zaric was sentenced to six years imprisonment for "persecutions based upon cruel and inhumane treatment including beatings, torture, and confinement under inhumane conditions." Reuters has more.

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