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Bosnian Serb convicted by UN tribunal to serve jail term in Norway

Bosnian Serb convicted by UN tribunal to serve jail term in Norway

Vidoje Blagojevic
A former Bosnian Serb army commander convicted by the United Nations war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia over his role in the notorious Srebrenica massacre in 1995 was transferred today to Norway to serve the remainder of his prison sentence.

Vidoje Blagojevic is serving a 15-year jail term after being convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) of aiding and abetting the persecution, forcible transfer and murder of Bosnian Muslims living in the Srebrenica enclave.

In January 2005, the Tribunal also convicted Mr. Blagojevic of complicity to commit genocide, but this was overturned on appeal in May last year, and the 57-year-old’s jail sentence was therefore reduced from 18 years.

More than 7,000 Muslim men and boys were murdered in Srebrenica in July 1995 after Bosnian Serb forces overran what was supposed to be a UN-protected enclave, or safe haven, and the ICTY has found that the events there constituted genocide.

Mr. Blagojevic served as commander of the Bosnian Serb army’s Bratunac brigade that operated in the Srebrenica area in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina. Troops that he led fired on the enclave, attacked a group of men and boys attempting to flee and blocked humanitarian convoys bound for the safe haven.

Norway is one 13 European countries that have signed an agreement with the ICTY to enforce sentences imposed by the Tribunal on individuals convicted over crimes committed during the Balkan wars of the 1990s.