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Bosnia cuts two war crimes sentences after EU court ruling

Two brothers who fought in the Bosnian Serb army had their sentences for war crimes reduced by a Sarajevo court on Friday, following a landmark European ruling. Goran Damjanovic was in 2007 sentenced to 11 years in jail and his brother Zoran to 10-and-a-half years for having participated in the torture of Muslims and Croats. But their retrial saw Goran's sentence reduced to six-and-a-half years and his sibling to six years, Bosnian war crimes court judge Enida Hadziomerovic said while reading the verdict.

ICTY president says tribunal doing its job

SARAJEVO, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- The International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has exceeded expectations since its establishment 20 years ago, said ICTY President Theodor Meron here on Wednesday. Meron, who attended a conference dedicated to the 20th anniversary of establishment of ICTY, said the tribunal established some key precedents in area of international criminal and humanitarian law with some of its verdicts. He noted, however, that the tribunal's mandate is pretty limited.

Yugsolav war crimes court removes judge over 'bias'

The UN's Yugoslav war crimes court has for the first time removed a judge from a trial, because a leaked letter he wrote appeared to show he was biased, it said Thursday. The shock removal of Danish judge Frederik Harhoff from the trial of Serbian ultra nationalist Vojislav Seselj came after his deeply controversial letter was leaked to the media in June. "The Chamber found... that Judge Frederik Harhoff had demonstrated an unacceptable appearance of bias in favour of conviction," the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) said on Thursday.

Yugoslav war crimes court removes judge over 'bias'

The UN's Yugoslav war crimes court has for the first time removed a judge from a trial, because a leaked letter he wrote appeared to show he was biased, it said Thursday. The shock removal of Danish judge Frederik Harhoff from the trial of Serbian ultra nationalist Vojislav Seselj came after his deeply controversial letter was leaked to the media in June. "The Chamber found... that Judge Frederik Harhoff had demonstrated an unacceptable appearance of bias in favour of conviction," the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) said on Thursday.

Hague court to release ex-Bosnian Serb parliament chief early

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The war crimes tribunal for ex-Yugoslavia has granted early release to the former head of the Bosnian Serb parliament who was convicted of forcing thousands of Muslims and Croats from their homes during Bosnia's 1992-95 war. The International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) said Momcilo Krajisnik, 68, would be freed on September 1 after serving two-thirds of his prison term on a conviction for persecution, deportation and forcible transfer of civilians.

Balkans rights groups urge UN to probe ICTY allegations

Human right activists from the Balkans on Thursday urged the UN chief to probe claims that Washington pressured the top war crimes court for the former Yugoslavia into acquitting senior suspects. "We urge you to use your authority to order a prompt and thorough enquiry," activists from about 100 rights groups in the countries that emerged from the bloody 1990s break-up of Yugoslavia said in a letter to Ban Ki-moon.

UN prosecutor to appeal after Yugoslav acquittals attacked

The chief prosecutor at the UN Yugoslav war crimes court said Monday he shared victims' dismay at a raft of recent acquittals that have sparked an unprecedented storm of criticism and allegations of US interference. "I understand the disappointment felt by many, especially survivor communities following the series of recent acquittals," Serge Brammertz said in a statement. "My office shares that disappointment," Brammertz wrote.

WikiLeaks cables support criticism of ICTY judge

US diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks appear to support claims by a Danish judge that the American head of the war crimes court for the former Yugoslavia furthered US administration aims to acquit senior suspects, a Danish newspaper said Tuesday. Judge Frederik Harhoff last week claimed in a letter sent to his colleagues and leaked in the Danish press that the president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Theodor Meron, had pressured judges to acquit leading Croatian and Serbian officers.

Serbia wants its war crimes prepetrators jailed at home

Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic on Tuesday asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to intervene to ensure that Serbs convicted by a UN war crimes court can serve their sentences in their own country. Belgrade is "ready to offer firm guarantees that the convicts will not be granted a premature release and without an adequate ruling of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY)," Dacic wrote in a letter to the secretary general.

URGENT ¥¥¥ UN court acquits Yugoslav army chief Perisic on appeal

A UN war crimes tribunal on Thursday acquitted Yugoslav ex-army chief Momcilo Perisic on appeal, and overturned his 27-year sentence for crimes during the bloody Balkan wars of the 1990s, including crimes against humanity. Judge Theodor Meron of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) appeals chamber ordered "the immediate release of Momcilo Perisic", a former right-hand man of deceased Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic. jhe-cjo/mlr
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