Serbs outraged over sentence for Muslim commander

July 1, 2006 15:01

Serbian officials and media expressed outrage Saturday over the light two-year prison sentence handed down by the UN war crimes court to a Muslim wartime commander they blame for some of the worst atrocities of the Bosnian war. Naser Oric, the wartime commander of the Muslims in Srebrenica, was convicted Friday of failing to prevent the torture and killing of Serb prisoners in the eastern Bosnian enclave. But the U.N. court decided he was not directly involved and punished him with a light two years in prison. Oric, who spent three years in the custody of the UN court, immediately was released for time served. The verdict enraged the Serbs, who accuse troops under Oric's command of slaughtering hundreds of Serb civilians in the villages around Srebrenica in the early years of Bosnia's 1992-95 war. "The verdict brings into question the credibility of the (Hague) court," said Aleksandar Simic, an adviser to Serbia's prime minister, Vojislav Kostunica.

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