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Last Updated:  Friday, 28 February, 2003, 00:51 GMT
Mixed emotions in Bosnia over verdict
Survivors of the Srebrenica massacre watch the trial
Plavsic's confession has given some more hope of justice
Survivors of the ethnic purges in Bosnia have condemned as too lenient the 11-year prison sentence passed on former Bosnian Serb President Biljana Plavsic.

"I am speechless. I cannot talk at all. I am shivering, I am completely shaken. The sentence is outrageously low," said Mujesira Memisevic, whose husband, children and other close family members were killed by Bosnian Serb forces in the east of the country.

But some survivors of the ethnic cleansing gave Plavsic credit for going to court of her own will and confessing her guilt.

As for her own community, some condemned the sentence as too harsh whilst others attacked the ex-president herself for testifying before the UN war crimes tribunal.

Her guilty plea and call to other leaders to follow her example carry much more weight
Nusreta Sivac
Former prisoner
"Every Serb knows well that the Hague tribunal has an anti-Serb bias," Aleksandar Divcic, a Serb economist in Pale, the Bosnian Serbs' wartime stronghold, told AP news agency.

"I'm sorry Mrs Plavsic has not realised that in time. Having in mind her age, she really has nothing to hope for. I feel sorry for her."

'Drop in the ocean'

Muharem Muselovic, a Muslim from Prijedor who spent six months in Bosnian Serb detention camps, said the sentence was too little:

"Eleven years for all those lives, for all the sufferings is only a drop in the ocean and we, the former camp inmates, cannot be satisfied with that."

Fata Bekic, a Muslim from Mostar, told AP news agency that Plavsic "deserved a heavier sentence, although there is no sentence heavy enough to really punish those crimes".

The former president is the only indicted war criminal from the Bosnian war who has pleaded guilty to crimes against humanity.

Another former prisoner of Bosnian Serb force, Nusreta Sivac, said that her confession of guilt far outweighed her punishment.

"Her guilty plea and call to other leaders to follow her example carry much more weight," she said.

"The sentence is secondary here."


SEE ALSO:
Bosnia: The legacy of war
15 Nov 00 |  Europe
Country profile: Bosnia-Herzegovina
15 Jan 03 |  Country profiles


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