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Serbia prosecutor charges 9 with Kosovo war crimes

Serbia's Office of the War Crimes Prosecutor [official website] on Saturday announced charges against nine individuals for their suspected involvement in the 1998-1999 Kosovo war [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. The charges include [AP report] murder, rape, looting, destruction of property and intimidation. The nine, all former members of the Serbian paramilitary group Sakali, were arrested [JURIST report] in March and accused of the systematic murders of 41 ethnic Albanians in May 1999. In all, roughly 200 civilians residing in and around the village of Cuska are believed to have been killed by these and 15 other suspects.

In July, a Serbian appeals court upheld the convictions and sentences [JURIST report] of three members of a separate paramilitary group for the death of 14 civilians in March 1999. Several nations and international organizations have been working together to apprehend those responsible for the atrocities that occurred during the Kosovo war. EU officials arrested a suspected war criminal in Kosovo in May, a month after Swedish police arrested a Serbian man [JURIST reports] also suspected of committing war crimes in Cuska. Despite some progress, Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] marked the 10-year anniversary of the conflict's end last June by reporting that many human rights abuses that occurred during the war in Kosovo have gone uninvestigated and unpunished [JURIST report].

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