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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 March, 2004, 15:57 GMT
Dubrovnik shelling admiral jailed
Dubrovnik siege
Dubrovnik was shelled for three months in 1991
A retired Yuglosav navy admiral has been sentenced to seven years in jail at The Hague for a Serb attack on the Croatian city of Dubrovnik in 1991.

Miodrag Jokic surrendered himself to the international war crimes tribunal in 2001.

After initially pleading not guilty, he concluded a plea agreement with the prosecution last year.

More than 40 civilians were killed in the three-month-long siege, which destroyed more than 500 buildings.

Jokic was convicted of murder, attacks on civilians, and causing destruction and devastation of the old town of Dubrovnik - a protected world heritage site.

Miodrag Jokic with wife Stanka
Jokic surrendered to the Hague tribunal in November 2001
But he was convicted of killing only two people and injuring three on the last day of the shelling. He had initially been charged with causing 43 civilian deaths.

The judge said Jokic deserved a light sentence because he did not order the attack and his involvement in the operation was "peripheral".

His seven-year sentence is more lenient than the 10 years recommended by the prosecution in Jokic's plea agreement, says the BBC's Geraldine Coughlan in The Hague.

Jokic apologised to the victims of the shelling in a court appearance last year.

His guilty plea was one of a series of war crimes suspects' plea bargains last year in an effort by the prosecution to speed up proceedings.

The court aims to wrap up its work by 2010.


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