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Last Updated: Monday, 12 December 2005, 15:02 GMT
Serbs jailed for Vukovar massacre
Yugoslav soldiers in Vukovar
The 1991 massacre in Vukovar was one of the worst of the conflict
A Serbian court has sentenced 14 former militiamen to jail terms of up to 20 years for the massacre of at least 200 prisoners of war in Croatia in 1991.

The executions were carried out at a pig farm in a hamlet near Vukovar, during a three-month siege of the town.

The 14 Serbs convicted in Belgrade were given terms ranging from five to 20 years. Two suspects were acquitted.

The landmark trial is being seen as a test of the ability of Serbia's courts to deal with war crimes cases.

Hospital seizure

The court had heard how the defendants seized Croat prisoners from a hospital in Vukovar after Yugoslav forces entered the town amid heavy fighting in November 1991.

VUKOVAR 20-YEAR TERMS
Miroljub Vujovic
Stanko Vujanovic
Milan Lancuzanin
Predrag Dragovic
Predrag Milojevic
Ivan Atanasijevic
Djordje Sosic
Miroslav Djankovic

The prisoners were taken to a pig farm, where they were executed in what became known as the Ovcara massacre.

Eight of the suspects were given the maximum 20-year term for the killings.

Three men were sentenced to 15 years, one man to 12 years, a woman to nine years and another man to five years.

Handing down his verdict, Judge Vesko Krstajic said: "They are guilty as they, acting as members of the territorial defence from 20 November to 21 November, 1991, at the Ovcara farm, tortured, inhumanly treated and murdered at least 200 prisoners of war."

Lawyers for those convicted have said they will appeal against the verdicts.

Three senior Serb officers are also being tried before the international war crimes tribunal in The Hague for suspected war crimes committed in Vukovar.

More than 1,000 civilians died during the siege and bombardment of the eastern Croatian town.




SEE ALSO:
Healing Vukovar's wounds
17 Mar 04 |  Europe
War crimes trial test for Serbs
09 Mar 04 |  Europe
Serb war suspect reaches Hague
01 Jul 03 |  Europe
At a glance: Hague tribunal
20 Feb 03 |  Europe


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