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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 June, 2004, 11:41 GMT 12:41 UK
Croatian Serb leader jailed
Milan Babic
Babic admitted persecuting non-Serbs
Wartime Croatian Serb leader Milan Babic has been jailed for 13 years for his part in ethnic cleansing.

The Hague war crimes tribunal found him guilty in January of persecution in the Krajina Serb republic in Croatia when he was prime minister.

Hundreds died and tens of thousands of were expelled as a policy of ethnic cleansing was pursued in the area.

Babic admitted one count of persecution, in a plea bargaining deal which saw four other charges dropped.

The crime was characterised by ruthlessness and savagery and had a severe impact on victims and their relatives. Their suffering is still significant
Judge Alphons Orie
Prosecutors had asked for a maximum 11 years' jail as part of the plea-bargaining, but the court ruled the crimes warranted a longer sentence.

"More than 200 civilians, including women and elderly persons were murdered, and several hundred civilians were confined or imprisoned in inhumane conditions," said presiding judge Alphons Orie.

"The crime was characterised by ruthlessness and savagery and had a severe impact on victims and their relatives. Their suffering is still significant."

Babic was a former close ally of ex-Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, but has testified against him at his trial in The Hague.

Babic, 48, a dentist by profession, has said he feels shame and remorse over his actions.

Krajina covers about a third of Croatian territory. Babic was mayor of the town of Knin when Croatia declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.


SEE ALSO:
Croatian Serb leader convicted
28 Jan 04  |  Europe
Babic admits persecuting Croats
27 Jan 04  |  Europe
Croatian Serb leader at tribunal
26 Nov 03  |  Europe
Milosevic trial a legal marathon
12 Feb 03  |  Europe
Timeline: Croatia
22 Jan 04  |  Country profiles


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