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Croatian Court Sentences Former Serbian Paramilitary Commander To 15 years

Former Serb paramilitary commander Dragan Vasiljkovic (right), aka "Captain Dragan," in court on September 20.

A Croatian court has sentenced a former Serb paramilitary commander to 15 years in prison for war crimes committed during the conflict that engulfed the former Yugoslavia in the early 1990s.

The three-judge panel at the Split municipal court on September 26 found Dragan Vasiljkovic guilty of crimes that occurred when Serbs took up arms when Croatia broke away from Yugoslavia.

Vasiljkovic has claimed his innocence, saying the judicial process was rigged.

Known also as Captain Dagan, Vasiljkovic went to Australia as a teenager, but returned to the Balkans to train Croatian Serb rebels in 1991. He was extradited from Australia in July 2015, after fighting a 10-year legal battle.

The judges said Vasiljkovic tortured and beat imprisoned Croatian police and army troops and commanded a special forces unit.

He was also found guilty of the death of at least two civilians.

With reporting by AP