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War crimes court jails Bosnian Serb ex-officials for 22 years

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The Yugoslav war crimes court on Wednesday jailed two former Bosnian Serb officials for 22 years for their roles in a campaign to rid Bosnia of Muslims, Croats and other non-Serbs early in the Balkan country's 1992-95 war.

"The trial chamber hereby sentences Mico Stanisic" and his subordinate Stojan Zupljanin "to a single sentence of 22 years in prison," International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) judge Burton Hall said.

Stanisic, 58, a former minister in the Bosnian Serb Ministry of Internal Affairs and former regional security services chief Zupljanin, 61, faced war crimes and crimes against humanity charges including murder, torture and cruel treatment of non-Serbs in municipalities and detention centres during Bosnia's war which left 100,000 people dead and some 2.2 million homeless.

"The chamber finds that the goal of these actions was the establishment of a Serb state as ethnically pure as possible," Hall said.

"Through these acts and omissions both intended and significantly contributed to the plan of removing Muslims and Croats from the territory of the planned Serbian state," the judge said.

Zupljanin later became an advisor to former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, who is himself facing charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide before the ICTY.

Stanisic gave himself up in March 2005 and was released afterwards to move around freely until being summoned to stand trial.

Zupljanin, a former police chief in the Krajina region of northwestern Bosnia who was arrested in 2008 after more than nine years on the run, has remained in custody after being judged a flight risk.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130327/war-crimes-court-jails-bosnian-serb-ex-officials-22-years