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ICTY appeals court overturns conviction of Bosnian Muslim Srebrenica commander

[JURIST] The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] Thursday struck down [judgment summary, text; ICTY press release] the war crime conviction of former senior Bosnian Muslim military commander Naser Oric [ICTY case backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. In June 2006, Oric was convicted of war crimes [JURIST report] for failing to prevent the murder and inhumane treatment of Serb prisoners in Srebrenica [JURIST news archive] by military police under his command. The ICTY appeals court ruled that Oric did not have control over most of the accused police at the time of the alleged crimes. It found that one subordinate was effectively under Oric's control at the time, but that there was insufficient evidence to establish that Oric knew or had reason to know that person would commit any war crimes. AP has more. AFP has additional coverage.

The indictment [text] against Oric alleged that military police under his command beat Serb detainees with metal bars, baseball bats and rifle butts and extracted teeth with pliers. Oric was charged with failing to prevent abuses by military police under his command, and was also charged with responsibility for destruction of Serb villages around Srebrenica. He was sentenced to two years in prison, but was released immediately following his conviction as he had already been detained for two years. Former ICTY Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte appealed the sentence [JURIST report] in July 2006, after having called for an 18-year prison term.

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