Page last updated at 18:37 GMT, Friday, 16 October 2009 19:37 UK

Bosnian Serb jailed for genocide

Former Bosnian Serb officer Milorad Trbic (centre)
The former Bosnian Serb officer (centre) selected execution sites

The Court of Bosnia and Hercegovina has sentenced a former Bosnian Serb army officer to 30 years in prison for his part in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.

Milorad Trbic had taken part in a plan to capture, detain, execute and bury all able-bodied Muslim men in the town with "genocidal intent", judges ruled.

In all, as many as 8,000 men and boys were killed by Serb forces towards the end of the three-year war in Bosnia.

The court has already jailed several others for their role in the massacre.

In July 2008, seven Bosnian Serbs were convicted of genocide and jailed for up to 42 years.

The former Bosnian Serb leader, Radovan Karadzic, is set to go on trial at The Hague on 26 October charged with 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including at Srebrenica.

'Significantly contributed'

In its ruling on Friday, the court found Trbic guilty of genocide for his participation in a joint criminal enterprise between 12 July and 30 November 1995 in a plan to kill Bosniak (Muslim) males who were in the zone of responsibility of the Bosnian Serb army's Zvornik Brigade.

General view of the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica (March 2005)
Muslim enclave in Serb-held territory
Declared UN "safe area" in April 1993
Bosnian Serb forces overrun the area in 1995
23,000 women and children deported
Up to 8,000 Muslim men and boys killed

"The court found that the accused perpetrated these acts with genocidal intent," it said, adding that Trbic had been personally involved in the selection and operation of detention and execution sites where victims were brought.

"On 16 and 17 July 1995, Milorad Trbic was the Duty Operations Officer of the Zvornik Brigade and his acts during that period significantly contributed to the implementation of the common plan."

During that period, Bosniak males from Srebrenica were detained at Kula School, Branjevo Military Farm and Pilica Dom, and then executed at Branjevo Military Farm and Pilica Dom before being buried in unmarked mass graves, the court said.

In September 1995, he was involved in exhuming the victims' remains and reburying them in other mass graves to hide the crime, it added.

However, Trbic was acquitted of war crimes charges related to the Bratunac Brigade zone of responsibility because of a lack of evidence.

Trbic was originally indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at The Hague. His case was transferred to the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2007.

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