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Monday, October 4, 1999 Published at 18:44 GMT 19:44 UK

World: Europe

Jewish groups welcome Sakic sentence

International Jewish groups have welcomed the conviction in Croatia of the last known living commander of a Nazi concentration camp on the charge of war crimes.

The defendant, Dinko Sakic, who's seventy-eight, was given the maximum possible sentence of twenty years in jail.

Spokesmen for the Simon Wiesenthal Centre and the B'nai B'rith said it was a good day for justice and Croatia.

During the trial, details emerged of Sakic's involvement in the killing of two-thousand people while he was commander of the Jasenovac camp, which has been called the Auschwitz of the Balkans.

The presiding judge said he had personally shot some prisoners and ordered the hangings of others. The camp was set up and run by the regime installed in Croatia after the Nazis invaded Yugoslavia.

Sakic was extradited from Argentina where he had lived since fleeing Europe.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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