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Last Updated: Monday, 9 October 2006, 22:16 GMT 23:16 UK
Eight convicted over Arkan murder
Serb paramilitary leader Arkan
Arkan was shot dead six years ago in a Belgrade hotel
A court in Serbia has convicted eight men of the murder of the Serb paramilitary commander known as Arkan.

Arkan, whose real name was Zelko Raznatovic, was shot dead in 2000. He had been indicted by the UN for atrocities during the Balkan wars.

Three men were sentenced to 30 years in prison, but arrest warrants have been issued for two of them who failed to appear in court.

Five men were convicted as accomplices and given lesser sentences.

Dobrosav Gavric, Milan Djuricic and Dragan Nikolic were found guilty of killing Arkan and two of his friends six years ago.

Arrest warrants were issued for Mr Gavric and Mr Djuricic who were absent from the hearing.

Gunned down

The other five were given sentences ranging from three to nine years for being accomplices.

Arkan was the leader of the ultra-nationalistic paramilitary force known as the Tigers and was also a powerful figure in Serbia's criminal underworld.

He became one of the best-known figures of the Balkan wars which tore apart Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

A former bank robber and hit man for the Yugoslav government, he set up the Tigers at the start of the conflict in 1990.

He was gunned down in the lobby of Belgrade's Intercontinental Hotel 10 years later, allegedly a victim of Belgrade's gangland warfare or of Serbian state security.




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