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Last Updated: Friday, 30 June 2006, 16:29 GMT 17:29 UK
Bosnian Muslim guilty but freed
Naser Oric
Naser Oric sat impassively as the judge read out the verdict
The former Bosnian Muslim commander at Srebrenica has been found guilty of war crimes against Bosnian Serbs.

Naser Oric was convicted by The Hague war crimes tribunal of failing to prevent men under his command killing and mistreating Bosnian Serb prisoners.

He was sentenced to two years in jail, but will be freed as he has already spent three years behind bars.

The incidents took place from 1992-93, before the 1995 Bosnian Serb massacre of nearly 8,000 Srebrenica Muslims.

Oric, an ex-bodyguard to former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, is one of only a few Bosnian Muslims to have faced trial for atrocities committed against Serbs.

The prosecution had demanded an 18-year prison sentence, claiming Oric was a warlord who plundered a starving Serb community that was pleading for help.

Correspondents say many Bosnian Muslims regard him as a hero, and believe the decision to prosecute him was made to counter complaints by Serbs that the tribunal was biased against them.

Mixed verdict

In court, Oric listened impassively as the lengthy verdict was read out.

He was acquitted of direct involvement in the murder or cruel treatment of Serbs, and of responsibility for the "wanton destruction" of homes and property.

But he was found guilty of failing to control and discipline men under his command.

Sentencing Oric to two years' imprisonment, the judges said that his time served in jail since his arrest in April 2003 should be taken into account and he should be released immediately.

Timeline: Bosnia-Hercegovina
15 Mar 06 |  Country profiles
New Srebrenica mass grave found
17 Oct 05 |  Europe

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