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Bosnia: Serb Court Sentences 'Zvornik Seven'

Zvornik, Bosnia-Herzegovina; 24 April 1997 (RFE/RL) -- A Bosnian Serb court today sentenced three Bosnian Muslims to 20-year-prison sentences on murder charges, despite international condemnation of the way the trial was conducted. The court in the eastern town of Zvornik also sentenced each of four other defendants in the case to one year in prison for illegal possession of arms.

The Serb court, ignoring protests from human rights groups, has refused to allow the defendants to be represented by lawyers from Mosnia's Muslim-Croat federation. Instead, the court assigned them lawyers.

The convicted men had surrendered voluntarily last year to NATO peacekeeping troops in Serb-controlled territory near Srebrenica, and the U.S. troops handed them over to Serb authorities.

United Nations officials said later that the men had confessed to Serb police only after being tortured.