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Last Updated:  Friday, 7 March, 2003, 12:18 GMT
Srebrenica relatives win compensation
Bosnian Muslim women cry as they attend the memorial service for Srebrenica victims
Many of the victims have still not been identified
Bosnia's top human rights court has awarded unprecedented compensation to relatives of victims of the Srebrenica massacre.

It has ordered the current Bosnian Serb authorities to pay around 1.8 million euros ($2m).

The panel of mainly international judges said the Bosnian Serb authorities had failed to tell the truth about the fate and whereabouts of the victims and were therefore in breach of the European Convention of Human Rights.

More than 7,000 Muslims were killed by Bosnian Serb forces in July 1995.

Several families had claimed their attempts at getting to the truth had been blocked.

The decision came as Nato-led peacekeepers in Bosnia launched an operation aimed at disrupting the financial network helping to hide the fugitive former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic.

A statement said operations were taking place in Serb areas near the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo to tighten the net around Mr Karadzic and others accused of war crimes.

Thorough investigation

The Bosnian Serb authorities were ordered to immediately reveal all information in their possession about Srebrenica.

The money is to be paid to the Foundation of Srebrenica Potocari which is currently building a memorial and cemetery to the victims.

The court also ordered the Bosnian Serb authorities to conduct a full, meaningful, thorough and detailed investigation into the massacre.

The judgement only relates to the cases of 49 missing persons, but more could follow.

The court currently has another 1,700 cases on its books relating to Srebrenica alone.

Some believe Friday's decision could help speed up the process of establishing what exactly happened to the thousands who died in Europe's worst massacre since World War II.

But the BBC's Nick Hawton in Sarajevo says the process of reconciliation is likely to take a lot longer.


WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Nick Hawton
"This is the highest award for compensation ever given by Bosnia's human rights court"



SEE ALSO:
Srebrenica timeline
20 Feb 03 |  Europe


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