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Bosnia/Yugoslavia: World Court To Hear Genocide Case

The Hague, 3 February 2003 (RFE/RL) -- The World Court today moved towards settling a decade-long legal battle between Yugoslavia and Bosnia-Herzegovina by clearing way for a genocide hearing on the 1992-95 war in Bosnia. The UN court said it has rejected a Yugoslav challenge to its jurisdiction that would have prevented its judges from hearing a case filed by Bosnia against its neighbour in 1993, accusing it of genocide.

The case has been tied up in legal disputes since it was filed. Bosnia seeks compensation from Belgrade if the court finds Yugoslavia responsible for genocide in the 1992-95 war.

Predrag Simic, Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica's foreign policy adviser, said the case is not about the damages claim, but seeks to legally define the conflict in Bosnia. Some 200,000 people died or disappeared during the Bosnian War.