Page last updated at 15:15 GMT, Wednesday, 8 October 2008 16:15 UK

UN court upholds Martic sentence

Milan Martic in the courtroom of the Hague tribunal. Photo: 8 October 2008
Martic spearheaded Serb ethnic cleansing in Croatia

Appeal judges at the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague have upheld the 35-year jail sentence handed to former Croatian Serb leader Milan Martic.

The judges overturned minor elements of Martic's conviction but left the sentence unchanged.

In 2007, Martic was found guilty of charges relating to murder, torture and displacement of thousands of non-Serbs in Croatia in 1991-95.

Martic was a close ally of late Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

"This chamber affirms the term of imprisonment," presiding Judge Fausto Pokar said on Wednesday.

He said that the elements overturned had "minimal impact on Martic's overall culpability".

As the head of the Serb separatists' police force and later president of the self-proclaimed Serb republic of Krajina in Croatia, Martic was convicted for the forcible removal of Croats and other non-Serbs from Serb-held areas.

He was one of the pioneers of ethnic cleansing during the wars that tore apart the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, correspondents say.

Profile: Milan Martic
12 Jun 07 |  Europe
Evicted Serbs remember Storm
05 Aug 05 |  Europe
Croat suspect denies war crimes
12 Dec 05 |  Europe

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