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UN Appeals Court Overturns Ex-Yugoslav Military Chief's Conviction

Momcilo Perisic, the former chief of staff of the Yugoslav People's Army, appears in court in The Hague in October.
UN war crimes court judges have overturned the conviction of the former chief of the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA), Momcilo Perisic.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia's appeals chamber in The Hague ordered Perisic's immediate release on February 28.

Judges ruled that Perisic did not direct ethnic Serbian forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina to commit war crimes.

They also said Perisic was not in a position to discipline soldiers for shelling Croatia's capital, Zagreb.

In June 2011, the tribunal sentenced Perisic to 27 years in prison.

He was found guilty of murder, persecution, and attacks on civilians in Bosnia and Croatia during the Balkan wars in the 1990s.

Perisic was the JNA chief of General Staff from August 1993 to November 1998.

He is the most senior JNA officer to be put on trial at the UN court.

Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, and AP