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By IWPR staff in The Hague (TU No 493, 16-Mar-07)
By IWPR
The appeals chamber ordered Josip Jovic, a former editor-in-chief of the Croatian daily newspaper Slobodna Dalmacija, to pay a fine of 20,000 euro within 30 days.



Jovic was found guilty last August of publishing closed-session transcripts and part of a witness statement from the trial of Blaskic, who stood accused of crimes committed in central Bosnia during the 1992-95 war.



The transcripts and witness statement related to evidence given by Stjepan Mesic, who became the president of Croatia and testified as a protected witness in the case against Blaskic.



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Prosecutors this week asked for life sentences for three former Yugoslav People’s Army, JNA, officers accused of responsibility for the 1991 massacre in the eastern Croatian town of Vukovar.



Mile Mrksic, Miroslav Radic, and Veselin Sljivancanin are accused of commanding and supervising the soldiers who killed more than 200 civilians in Vukovar after it was overrun by Yugoslav forces in November 1991.



The indictment states that JNA troops arrived at the Vukovar hospital where hundreds of Croats and non-Serbs were seeking refuge. Some 300 civilians and patients from the hospital were loaded onto buses and driven to Ovcara farm. There they were beaten, and at least 200 were summarily executed.



Concluding his closing arguments this week, prosecutor Marks Moore called for Mrksic, Sljivancanin and Radic to be found guilty of participation in a joint criminal enterprise.



Defence lawyers denied all the allegations and called for the trio to be acquitted.



The judgement will be delivered at a later date.



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Belgrade media reported this week that Serbian ultranationalist leader Vojislav Seselj, currently awaiting trial in The Hague, has liver cancer.



Dr Momcilo Babic, a member of Seselj's medical team, said more tests needed to be conducted to determine if the tumor is benign or malignant.



However, tribunal spokesman Refik Hodzic this week denied Seselj is ill, telling a press conference in The Hague that “blood tests have shown that Mr Seselj has no cancerous tumors or other pathological problems on the liver.” He added that tests have excluded any possibility of cancer and no abnormality has been detected in Seselj’s liver function.



Seselj’s health seriously deteriorated after his month-long hunger strike last year, and his trial cannot resume until he is well enough to attend the hearings.



He stands accused of having formed a joint criminal enterprise with late Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic in the early Nineties, aimed at driving non-Serbs from large swathes of Croatia, Bosnia and northern Serbia.

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