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Bosnia Serb paramilitary leader changing plea to guilty in war crimes case

[JURIST] Prosecutors at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia [official website; JURIST news archive] said Tuesday that Dragan Zelenovic [ICTY case backgrounder] will plead guilty to rape and murder charges stemming from the Bosnian Serb's time as a police officer and paramilitary leader during the Bosnian war. Zelenovic was extradited to the ICTY [JURIST report] last year and in July pleaded not guilty to the charges [indictment, PDF]. Under Zelenovic's agreement with prosecutors, seven of 14 charges will be dropped in exchange for his guilty plea. Prosecutors are seeking a 10-15 year sentence, though the defense has asked for a 7-10 year sentence.

Zelenovic was indicted in 1996, along with Gojko Jankovic, who surrendered to the ICTY in 2005 and pleaded not guilty [JURIST reports] to war crimes in March at the War Crimes Chamber of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina [JURIST report; HRW backgrounder]. Jankovic's trial is still ongoing [IWPR report].

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