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International Court Finds Kosovar Serb Leader Guilty Of War Crimes

An international court has sentenced a leading Kosovar Serb politician to nine years in prison for war crimes.

Judges at the European Union’s justice mission in Kosovo on January 21 found Oliver Ivanovic guilty of murder and torturing ethnic Albanians in 1999 when he allegedly led a Serb paramilitary police unit during Kosovo’s war for independence from Serbia.

Ivanovic, considered a moderate Kosovar Serb politician in the Serb-majority northern part of the divided town of Mitrovica, was arrested in January 2014.

He was the first senior Kosovar Serb official detained by the European Union Rule of Law Mission (EULEX) on suspicion of committing war crimes against Kosovar Albanians.

Ivanovic denied the charges.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008.

Serbia and Kosovar Serbs do not recognize Kosovo’s independence.

Based on reporting by AP, B92, and Balkan Insight