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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 September, 2004, 16:45 GMT 17:45 UK
Bosnian Serb propagandist jailed
Radoslav Brdjanin
The court said Brdjanin had backed an ethnic cleansing plan
A former Bosnian Serb political leader has been sentenced to 32 years for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

However, Radoslav Brdjanin, a member of the Bosnian Serb government in the war of the early 1990s, was cleared by The Hague tribunal of genocide charges.

Judges said Brdjanin authorised the torture and forcible deportation of non-Serbs at the start of the conflict.

He is also said to have turned a blind eye to atrocities at several camps, TV footage of which caused world outrage.

The verdict means that the tribunal has still to sustain a genocide charge against any of its indictees.

An earlier genocide conviction, of the Bosnian Serb general Radoslav Krstic, was overturned on appeal and reduced to complicity.

'Propaganda campaign'

Brdjanin was a prominent member of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic's hard-line Serb Democratic Party, backing a plan to drive ethnic Croats and Muslims from parts of Bosnia by force before his resignation from the party in 1994.

"The trial chamber found that the accused made one of his most substantial contributions to the implementation of the 'strategic plan' by way of a propaganda campaign against Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats," the court said.

It added that as a senior official in the north-western Krajina region he had provided "moral encouragement and support" to military and police running the detention camps at Omarska, Trnopolje and Keraterm.

Images from the camps shocked the world when broadcast internationally in the summer of 1992.

Judges said Brdjanin would be given five years' credit for the time he has already spent in detention.

His co-defendant in the case, former army chief of staff General Momir Talic, died of cancer last year.

Mr Karadzic and military leader Ratko Mladic - the tribunal's two most wanted suspects - are still at large.


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