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Thursday, 5 July, 2001, 09:17 GMT 10:17 UK
Serb 'Adolf' innocent of genocide
Jelisic testifies
Jelisic: Confessed to killing 12 inmates
The UN war crimes tribunal has upheld the acquittal of a Bosnian Serb camp commander Goran Jelisic on genocide charges.

Jelisic, 33, who called himself the Serb Adolf, in a reference to Adolf Hitler, was sentenced by the international tribunal in December to 40 years in prison for crimes against humanity and war crimes

Prison camp
A former inmate was one of the prosecution's key witnesses
But he was cleared on the charge of genocide for lack of sufficient evidence.

The court dismissed the prosecution appeal to reopen the genocide case, and a defence appeal for a reduced sentence.

A BBC correspondent in The Hague, Geraldine Coughlan, said prosecutors had hoped to reveal a trail of evidence linking Jelisic to a campaign by senior Serb officials aimed at wiping out the entire Muslim population.

Disturbed

The court said he had committed arbitrary killings as a result of a disturbed personality.

Goran Jelisic
Jelisic: Threw bodies in river
The former farmer was only 23 when he took charge of 100 guards in the Luka detention camp in the Bosnian town of Brcko, where hundreds of Muslim and Croat men and several women were held prisoner in May 1992.

At his trial, witnesses said Jelisic had boasted to them that he generally killed 20 to 30 people "before morning coffee".

According to the new indictment, Jelisic said "he had come to Brcko to kill Muslims and often informed the Muslim detainees and others of the number of Muslims he had killed".

Non-Serb prisoners in the camp were "systematically killed" and detainees were held in inhumane conditions, the indictment said.

Confession

Jelisic confessed to killing 12 people in May 1992, but denies the prosecution's claim that he slaughtered more than 100.

The bodies of Jelisic's victims were thrown into the nearby Sava river.

He was declared fit to stand trial, after psychiatric reports showed only that he had "personality problems".

Jelisic was arrested in January 1998 by members of the Nato-led S-For peacekeeping force in the town of Bijeljina, part of Bosnian Serb territory in northeast Bosnia.

He was the second Bosnian Serb to stand trial for genocide before the Hague tribunal.

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22 Jan 98 | Europe
Bosnian war crimes suspect seized
13 Oct 99 | From Our Own Correspondent
Trial and retribution
02 Aug 99 | Europe
Nato grabs war crimes suspect
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