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Bosnia: General To Go On Trial For Sarajevo Siege

The Hague, 30 November 2001 (RFE/RL) -- A Bosnian Serb general accused of being behind what is considered one of the most horrific episodes in the 1992-95 Bosnian war, the siege of Sarajevo, is due to go on trial before a UN war crimes court on 3 December. Stanislav Galic faces charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes for ordering the shooting and shelling of civilians during the 44-month siege.

The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights estimates that 11,700 people, including over 1,500 children, died in the siege.

Galic has pleaded not guilty to seven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. He is the first person to be tried in connection with the siege.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has also indicted Galic's successor as commander of the corps, Dragomir Milosevic, former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and former commander of the Bosnian Serb army, Ratko Mladic, in connection with the siege. All three remain at large.

Meanwhile, Bosnian Serb President Mirko Sarovic today posthumously decorated 257 Bosnian Serb soldiers from two brigades listed by the UN war crimes tribunal in connection with war crimes committed in Bosnia's 1992-95 war. Former commanders distributed the medals to the families of the dead soldiers.

The two brigades were included in the First Krajina Corps, which had been under the command of General Momir Talic, who currently faces charges of genocide and crimes against humanity before the war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

According to the indictment, units under Talic's command repressed Bosnian Muslim and Croat populations in northwestern Bosnia.

Talic is due to go on trial in January.