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Bosnia court sentences former army commander for 1995 shelling

[JURIST] The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina on Thursday sentenced [press release] a former Bosnian Serb army commander to 25 years imprisonment for ordering an attack that killed 71 and wounded 150. Novak Djukic was charged [indictment, PDF; JURIST report] with war crimes against civilians under Article 173 of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Criminal Code [text, PDF] for ordering his artillery unit to launch mortars into a UN-designated safe zone in 1995. One of the mortars hit the center of the town of Tuzla, known as Kapija, where there were only civilians present. Djukic was additionally charged with violations of international law for his role in the attack.

Djukic commanded the Republika Srpska Army [UN backgrounder] in the Tuzla region during the Bosnian war [JURIST news archive] and was arrested [JURIST report] in November 2008. His indictment was originally issued by the War Crimes Chamber [HRW backgrounder] of the court, which was set up to alleviate the caseload of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] and will continue to hear cases as the ICTY winds down in 2010.

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