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Kosovar Court Convicts Serbian Found With Bombs On Terrorism Charges

A Kosovar court sentenced a Serbian citizen to 13 years in jail for "attempted terrorist" activities after he was arrested in Pristina in a vehicle packed with more than 11 kilograms of explosives.

The Pristina Basic Court on June 29 found Slobodan Gavric guilty of "intent to intimidate and destabilize the population, destroy the most important political, constitutional, economic, and social structures" of Kosovo.

A veterinarian employed in Serbia's Agriculture Ministry, Gavric was arrested on December 25, 2014, when police stopped him in a residential area of Pristina with many embassies.

The bombs in his vehicle, which carried Belgrade license plates, included "a powerful explosive, combined with fragments of metal, bolts, and nails which serve to increase the destructive power and cause much greater human casualties and material damage," the court said.

Gavric, 48, has denied the charges, contending he was trying to sell the explosives, not use them. His lawyers said they would appeal the verdict.

Police refused to speculate on his intended target, but Kosovar media said the target could have been the Catholic cathedral in the city center close to the arrest site, which was packed with hundreds of Christmas Day worshippers at the time.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP