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Bosnia: War Crimes Court To Hear Appeal On Srebrenica Genocide Conviction

The Hague, 26 November 2003 (RFE/RL) -- The United Nations war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia is due today to begin a two-day appeal hearing over the conviction for genocide of former Bosnian Serb General Radislav Krstic. Krstic, the first person to be convicted of genocide by The Hague court, was sentenced to 46 years in prison in August 2001 for the July 1995 Srebrenica massacre. He was also convicted of crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The prosecution and the defense are both appealing this initial judgment. The prosecution is seeking a life sentence for the 55-year-old Krstic, while his defense lawyers want to quash the conviction for genocide.

Some 7,000 Muslim men and boys were summarily executed after Bosnian Serb troops led by Krstic and commander Ratko Mladic overran Srebrenica. The killing is regarded as the worst single atrocity on European soil since World War II.