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Russia Says Hague Tribunal Should Be Phased Out


Naser Oric

Naser Oric

MOSCOW -- Russia has said the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague was biased and its activities should be phased out as soon as possible.

Russia's Foreign Ministry said the case of Bosnian Muslim wartime commander Naser Oric, whose conviction was overturned by the court, showed the tribunal lacked impartiality.

"The tribunal's decision simply confirms the necessity for the immediate realization of the already approved strategy to phase out its activities," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Oric's conviction of failing to stop the murder of Serbs near the enclave of Srebrenica early in the 1992-95 conflict was overturned earlier this month.

He is considered a hero by many Bosnian Muslims for leading the defense of the enclave, which was later overrun by Bosnian Serbs who killed 8,000 Muslims.

Oric was given a two-year prison sentence in 2006 on the charges of failing to prevent the killing of Serbs, though he was immediately released since he had been in custody since 2003.

When he was sentenced in 2006, Serbian politicians and media denounced the outcome as a mockery of justice, and proof that The Hague tribunal was biased against Serbia, an ally of Russia.
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