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Bosnia court acquits ex-justice minister of war crimes charges

[JURIST] The War Crimes Chamber of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina [official website; JURIST news archive] on Wednesday acquitted [press release] former Bosnian Serb interior minister and later justice minister Momcilo Mandic [case backgrounder] of all charges [JURIST report] against him, including war crimes against civilians and crimes against humanity. The charges were related to abuses at detention facilities operated by the Bosnian Serb government and also to an April 1992 Serb attack against a police training center in Sarajevo, in which Bosnian Muslims and Croatians were arrested and subsequently tortured. The court held that, althrough the prosecution proved the existence of criminal acts at the detention facilities, it did not prove that Mandic was responsible for the functioning of all penal-correctional institutions. The court also found that Mandic did not direct or plan the attack in Sarajevo.

The Bosnian court, tasked to investigate and prosecute atrocities during the 1992-1995 ethnic war between Serbs, Bosnian Muslims, and Croats, was established [JURIST report] in March 2005 to ease the backlog of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia [official website; JURIST news archive], which is currently trying to complete all its work by 2010. Reuters has more.

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