Serbia high court orders retrial in Vukovar war crimes case

Serbia high court orders retrial in Vukovar war crimes case

[JURIST] The Serbian Supreme Court ordered a retrial Thursday in the case of 14 former members of Serb militias who were convicted [JURIST report] of war crimes for killing some 200 Croatian POWs at a pig farm near Vukovar [BBC backgrounder] in 1991 at the end of a three-month siege there. The 14 defendants were sentenced to a total of 219 years in prison, and both the prosecution and defense appealed the verdict. The high court ruled Thursday that the entire verdict should be cancelled after overturning portions of the verdict that convicted some defendants and acquitted others. Sixteen people were initially charged in the case.

One of the defendants confessed to the killings [JURIST report] in court last November. The Vukovar case, which opened in March 2004 [JURIST report] has been widely seen as a test of Serbia's domestic war crimes process. Three leaders of the massacre are currently being tried [JURIST report; ICTY case backgrounder] in The Hague by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. UPI has more. B92 has local coverage.