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UN Tribunal Cuts Bosnian Croat General's Sentence

29 July 2004 (RFE/RL) -- The UN war crimes court today cut former Bosnian Croat General Tihomir Blaskic's 45-year jail term to nine years on appeal after clearing him of several charges.

"[The Appeals Chamber] sentences the appellant [Blaskic] to nine-year imprisonment to run as of this day," presiding Judge Fausto Pocar said in announcing the decision.

Blaskic was convicted in 2000 for crimes against humanity, war crimes, and breaches of the Geneva Conventions committed during the 1992-95 Bosnian war.

Today, the UN court cleared him of 17 out of 20 charges against him. The three charges upheld against him were for unlawful detainment of civilians, forced labor, and inhumane treatment of detainees.

Blaskic's lawyers had argued that Croatian intelligence documents discovered after Blaskic's trial exonerate him and implicate others.

Since Blaskic has been in custody at The Hague since 1996, he will in effect only serve a few more months in jail.

(with additional AFP, Hina, Reuters, and AP reporting)