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ICTY reduces sentence of Bosnian Serb general

[JURIST] The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] on Thursday reduced the sentence [judgment, PDF; press release] of former Bosnian Serb general Dragomir Milosevic [case materials] from 33 years to 29 years in prison. The Appeals Chamber partially affirmed the Trial Chamber's findings [judgment summary, PDF] and granted Milosevic’s appeal [defense brief, PDF] in part. The court held that evidence viewed by the Trial Chamber was not sufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Milosevic planned and ordered three shelling campaigns against the civilian population of Sarajevo. However, the court noted that "the Trial Chamber made the findings necessary for the establishment of his command responsibility for [related] sniping incidents," and therefore confirmed Milosevic's responsibility as a superior officer under Article 7(3) ICTY Statute [text, PDF]. Judge Fausto Pocar noted that the Appeals Chamber's conclusions "do not in any way diminish his active and central role in the commission of the crimes."

Milosevic did more than merely tolerate the crimes as a commander; in maintaining and intensifying the campaign of shelling and sniping the civilian population in Sarajevo throughout the Indictment period, he provided additional encouragement to is subordinates to commit the crimes against civilians.

The court held that the reversal resulted in fewer victims for which Milosevic is responsible and, therefore, has "an impact, although limited, on Milosevic’s overall culpability," consequently reducing his sentence by four years.

In December 2007, the ICTY Trial Chamber sentenced [JURIST report] Milosevic to 33 years in prison after convicting him of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including the shelling incidents in Sarajevo. Milosevic surrendered to the ICTY in 2004, and his trial began [JURIST reports] in January 2007. He was initially indicted in 1998 with Stanislav Galic, Milosevic's predecessor as commander of the Sarajevo Romanija Corps (SRK). Galic was convicted and sentenced to life in prison [JURIST report] in November 2006.

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