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Kosovo Jails Serb For Crimes During War Of Independence

Goran Stanisic (center) in court in Pristina on October 5.
Goran Stanisic (center) in court in Pristina on October 5.

PRISTINA -- An ethnic Serb has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for his involvement in war crimes committed during the 1998-1999 Kosovo War.

A court in Pristina handed down the sentence against Goran Stanisic on October 5, after finding him guilty of participating in ethnic cleansing against ethnic Albanians and the killing of 13 civilians.

Goran Stanisic, who was arrested in 2019, was among Serbian soldiers, police, and paramilitary troops who attacked the villages of Sllovi and Terbovc in April 1999 and executed ethnic Albanian men.

In his closing remarks, Stanisic’s defense lawyer questioned the credibility of the witnesses in the case, saying they did not mention the name of the defendant in any of their testimonies.

It wasn't immediately clear whether the verdict will be appealed.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, nearly a decade after the war between ethnic Albanian separatists and the forces of rump Yugoslavia left more than 10,000 dead.

The war ended after a 78-day NATO bombing campaign that drove Belgrade's troops out.

Kosovo's independence has been recognized by more than 100 countries, but Serbia still considers the territory a southern province.

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