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ICTY convicts leader in Vukovar massacre

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] Thursday handed down judgments [judgment summary; press release] on war crimes suspects Mile Mrksic, Miroslav Radic and Veselin Sljivancanin [BBC profiles; ICTY case backgrounder], who were accused of killing some 200 Croatian POWs at a pig farm near Vukovar [BBC backgrounder] in 1991. The court found Mrksic guilty on three counts of war crimes [JURIST news archive] and sentenced him to 20 years in prison for his part in the massacre. Sljivancanin received a five-year sentence on aiding and abetting charges, prompting immediate criticism from ICTY Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte [official profile] who deemed the sentence too lenient. Radic was acquitted on all counts. AFP has more.

In December, the Serbian Supreme Court ordered a retrial [JURIST report] in the case of 14 former members of Serb militias who were convicted [JURIST report] of war crimes for their role in the Vukovar massacre. The Vukovar case, which opened in March 2004 [JURIST report] has been widely seen as a test of Serbia's domestic war crimes process.

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