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Croatia: UN Tribunal Convicts Former Bosnian Croat Politician

The Hague, 26 February 2001 (RFE/RL) -- The UN War Crimes Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia today convicted Dario Kordic, a former Bosnian Croat political leader, of war crimes and crimes against humanity and sentenced him to 25 years in jail. The three-judge panel found Kordic guilty of authorizing the persecution, killing, and detaining of Muslims in central Bosnia from late 1991 to 1994.

Kordic was the highest-ranking Bosnian Croat in UN custody. The UN tribunal also convicted Mario Cerkez, a senior Bosnian Croat military commander, of war crimes in leading attacks against Muslim villages during the Bosnian war. Cerkez received a 15-year sentence.

Both Bosnian Croats faced 22 war crime counts. In one of the worst incidents, Bosnian Croats killed more than 100 people in the village of Ahmici in April 1993, before setting their homes on fire. Prosecutors had called for life sentences.