As Serbia's Radovan Karadzic faces charges for genocide, Bosnia's war crimes court sentenced seven Bosnian Serbs to prison terms ranging from 38 to 42 years on Tuesday for the mass killing of Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica in July 1995.
Bosnia's war crimes court on Tuesday sentenced seven Serbs to heavy jail terms after finding them guilty of genocide during the Srebrenica massacre in July 1995.
Six of them were convicted of direct participation in the murder of more than 1,000 Muslims in a single day in Kravice, near the ill-fated eastern Bosnian town, said Court of Bosnia-Hercegovina judge Hilmo Vucinic.
They were sentenced to between 38 and 42 years in prison, while four others were acquitted.
"The defendants knew that by killing the Bosnian Muslim men, they participated in the permanent extermination of Bosnian Muslims from Srebrenica," said Vucinic.
"They consciously killed hundreds of Bosnian Muslims with the aim of permanently removing Bosnian Muslims from Srebrenica," the judge said.
The killings were part of a week-long killing spree by Bosnian Serb forces which took place at a warehouse of an agricultural cooperative near Srebrenica.
The case against 10 wartime Bosnian Serb special police officers and a former soldier was the first before the Court of Bosnia-Hercegovina in which the suspects were accused of genocide, and also the first for crimes committed in Srebrenica.
The trial chamber was composed of judges from Bosnia, the Netherlands and the United States.
Those found guilty include Milos Stupar, 42, the wartime commander of a Bosnian Serb special police squad who was found guilty for not preventing murders and punishing the perpetrators.
Stupar and three others had still been members of the Bosnian Serb police force when they were arrested in 2005.
In the days after the fall of the UN-protected enclave of Srebrenica on July 11, 1995, Bosnian Serb troops captured, detained and executed some 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men from the enclave.
Muslim women and children were forcibly transferred to Muslim held parts of Bosnia.
The Srebrenica massacre has been classified as an act of genocide by the International Court of Justice and the UN war crimes tribunal, both based at The Hague.
It is considered the worst single atrocity on European soil since World War II.
The Bosnian war crimes chamber was established in 2005 in a bid to ease the burden on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia based in The Hague.
Date created : 2008-07-29