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Serbia court convicts 11 Albanians of war crimes in Kosovo

A Serbian war crimes court on Wednesday convicted 11 former members of the Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army [JURIST news archive] (KLA) of war crimes committed in Kosovo in 1999, acquitting six others. The 11 convicted were sentenced [Expatica report] to up to 15 years in prison for crimes including detaining and torturing 147 people and the torture and rape of two women who testified at the trial. Prosecutor Bruno Vekaric plans to appeal the acquittals.

Courts have been working to investigate and convict those responsible for war crimes during the 1998-99 war between Kosovo and Serbia. In May a Kosovo politician was acquitted [JURIST report] of war crime charges that included ordering torture and killing of Serbian detainees. Last year nine former members of the KLA were arrested [JURIST report] for allegedly committing war crimes during the conflict. A Serbian court convicted [JURIST report] nine other ethnic Albanians of war crimes months before that and sentenced them to up to 15 years. In 2009 a court under the European Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo [official website] issued its first guilty verdict [JURIST report] for war crimes committed during the conflict.

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