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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 November 2006, 18:47 GMT
Sarajevo siege general gets life
Gen Stanislav Galic in court on 30 November 2006
The court said the earlier sentence was "plainly unjust"
The appeals court at the UN war crimes tribunal has sentenced a Bosnian Serb general to life in prison for his role in the Sarajevo siege in the 1990s.

It said the 20-year-sentence handed down to Stanislav Galic by The Hague's lower court in 2003 "underestimated the gravity" of his crimes.

Thousands of civilians died during the three-year siege of the Bosnian capital that ended in 1995.

The verdict came following appeals both by Gen Galic and the prosecution.

In 2003, Gen Galic was convicted of commanding forces which terrorised the Bosnian capital with mortar and sniper attacks.

He was also found guilty of murder and of inflicting terror on the civilians of Sarajevo while it was under siege.

The court cited dozens of attacks on Sarajevo residents during the siege as evidence of the deliberate targeting of civilians, many of whom were killed or injured while shopping, attending funerals or even resting in their own homes.

These included a market massacre in 1994 which killed more than 65 people and caused widespread revulsion in the global community.

Nearly 12,000 people - including more than 1,000 children - were killed during the siege of Sarajevo, which human rights groups described as the worst siege in Europe since the end of World War II.

It is the first time that a convicted war criminal has been sentenced to life in jail by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

Previously, life sentences handed down by lower courts have all been reduced on appeal.


SEE ALSO
Belgrade apology for Bosnia war
13 Nov 03 |  Europe
Bosnia gets war crimes court
31 Oct 03 |  Europe
Country profile: Bosnia-Hercegovina
01 Oct 03 |  Country profiles

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