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COURTSIDE: Celebici Case

New arguments heard in marathon trial.
By Mirna Jancic

The appeals chamber last week heard new arguments during the marathon trial of three men accused of torture, rape, murder and other crimes against Serbs at the Celebici detention camp.

The trial of Esad Landzo, Zdravko Mucic, Hazim Delic and Zejnil Delalic started in 1997. A year later, Delalic was acquitted while the others received 15, seven, and 20-year sentences respectively for grave breaches of the Geneva Convention and violations of the laws and customs of war.

In February 2001, the appeals chamber announced that guilty verdicts for all three would stand, but ordered a new sentence hearing under a fresh panel of judges as the mandate of the previous ones had expired.

The new procedure resulted in Delic's sentence being reduced to 18 years while Mucic's was increased to nine years. Landzo's 15-year term was unchanged.

The accused appealed again, claiming the trial chamber had not addressed the conclusions of the appeals court last year. They want a new trial, although the prosecution has rejected this call.

The appeals chamber will announce its new decision later.

Mirna Jancic is an IWPR assistant editor.

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