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Hague Court Upholds Sarajevo Verdict Against General

Dragomir Milosevic in The Hague
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) -- The Yugoslavia tribunal upheld its verdict against a former Bosnian Serb general for war crimes committed while he commanded the army during the 43-month siege of Sarajevo that killed 10,000 people.

Dragomir Milosevic had appealed the conviction, but the appeals chamber at The Hague court upheld most counts against him. But it reduced his sentence to 29 years in prison from 33 after finding he was not liable for several shelling incidents.

"Milosevic did more than merely tolerate the crimes as a commander," said presiding Judge Fausto Pocar. "In maintaining and intensifying the campaign directed at the civilian population in Sarajevo...he provided additional encouragement to his subordinates to commit the crimes against the civilians."

The tribunal rejected the prosecution's appeal for life imprisonment.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was set up in 1993 to try those responsible for crimes committed during the wars that tore apart the former Yugoslavia in fighting between Serbs, Croats, and Muslims.

Milosevic will serve his sentence in a yet to be determined country, including time spent at the detention center in The Hague since his surrender in late 2004.

Milosevic had commanded the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps (SRK) of the Bosnian Serb Army during the second half of the siege of Sarajevo. Stanislav Galic, who preceded Milosevic, was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2006.

The leader of the Bosnian Serbs during the conflict, Radovan Karadzic, was captured last year after 11 years on the run and is standing trial on 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including two of genocide.

That trial was adjourned until March 2010 after the tribunal ordered the appointment of legal counsel to assist Karadzic.