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Tribunal to Hear Kosovo Appeal in March

Case concerns five officials found responsible for army and police atrocities during Kosovo war.
By Rachel Irwin

The appeals hearing for five former senior Serbian officials who were convicted of crimes against Albanian civilians during the late 1990s conflict in Kosovo will be held in March, tribunal judges ruled this week.

Hearings will take place from March 11 to 15 and then continue on March 18 and 19.

In February 2009, three of the men – Nikola Sainovic, a former deputy prime minister of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, former army general Nebojsa Pavkovic, and ex-police commander Sreten Lukic – were found guilty of murder, persecution, and forcible transfer and sentenced to 22 years in prison.

The other two men - the former chief of staff of the Yugoslav army, Dragoljub Ojdanic, and high ranking army commander Vladimir Lazarevic – were convicted of deportation and forcible transfer and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

A sixth co-accused, former Serbian president Milan Milutinovic, was acquitted of all charges. (See Milutinovic Acquittal Gets Mixed Reaction.)

The five men are appealing against their convictions.

The prosecution is also appealing, and will argue that the trial chamber made several errors, including the failure to convict Ojdanic and Lazarevic for aiding and abetting murder.

Prosecutors are not appealing against the acquittal of Milutinovic.

Rachel Irwin is IWPR’s Senior Reporter in The Hague.

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