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Last Updated: Friday, 5 December, 2003, 11:54 GMT
Bosnia siege leader gets 20 years
General Stanislav Galic in court
Galic showed no emotion as his sentence was read
A Bosnian Serb general has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in the siege of Sarajevo, during which thousands of civilians died.

General Stanislav Galic is the first suspect to be tried exclusively in connection with the three-year siege of the Bosnian capital that ended in 1995.

The general was convicted of commanding forces which terrorised the Bosnian capital with mortar and sniper attacks.

The Hague judge said: "No civilian of Sarajevo was safe anywhere."

'Campaign of attacks'

General Galic was also found guilty of murder and of inflicting terror on the civilians of Sarajevo while it was under siege.

It is the first time the tribunal has handed down such a conviction for the infliction of terror.

The general showed no emotion as he was sentenced and paused before being led away only to shake the hands of his lawyers.

Prosecutors had called for a life sentence.

The court cited dozens of attacks on Sarajevo residents during the siege as evidence of the deliberate targeting of civilians, many of whom were killed or injured while shopping, attending funerals or even resting in their own homes.

These included a market massacre in 1994 which killed more than 65 people and caused widespread revulsion in the global community.

"Hundreds of civilians were killed and thousands were wounded in the two-year indictment period," said Judge Orie.

"A fraction of those, but only a fraction, could have been accidents."

"It is clear that General Galic, through his orders, and by other means of facilitation and encouragement, conducted the campaign of attacks."

Nearly 12,000 people - including more than 1,000 children - were killed during the siege of Sarajevo, which human rights groups described as the worst siege in Europe since the end of World War II.

Belgrade apology for Bosnia war
13 Nov 03  |  Europe
Bosnia gets war crimes court
31 Oct 03  |  Europe
Sarajevo siege general on trial
03 Dec 01  |  Europe
Country profile: Bosnia-Hercegovina
01 Oct 03  |  Country profiles

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