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Wednesday, 14 November, 2001, 15:48 GMT
Yugoslav admiral denies Dubrovnik crimes
The historic centre of Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik was under fire for three months in 1991
A retired Yugoslav vice-admiral, Miodrag Jokic, has pleaded not guilty to charges of killing civilians and causing wanton destruction during the 1991 shelling of the Croatian city of Dubrovnik.

Mr Jokic was making his first appearance at the court since he surrendered himself to the international war crimes tribunal at The Hague on Monday.

Miodrag Jokic with his wife Stanka before boarding the plane
Mr Jokic is the second officer to surrender over the bombardment
He pleaded not guilty to all 16 charges of violations of the laws and customs of law levelled against him.

They include the murders of 43 civilians, wilful damage to historic monuments in Dubrovnik and the destruction of nearby villages.

Three other former Yugoslav officers have also been accused of responsibility for civilian deaths during the shelling.

One of them, Lieutenant-General Pavle Strugar, also surrendered to the tribunal and entered a not guilty plea last month.

The artillery siege of Dubrovnik - a medieval walled city and Unesco World Heritage site - began after Croatia declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, sparking years of war in the Balkans.

More than 500 of the city's buildings were destroyed or damaged.

See also:

02 Oct 01 | Europe
Dubrovnik siege suspects named
02 Mar 01 | Europe
Charges over Dubrovnik bombing
02 Mar 01 | Europe
Battle to save world treasures
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