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Europe

Ex- Serb police general jailed for 27 years for role in ethnic cleansing

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-02-23

Ex-Serb police general Vlastimir Djordjevic was jailed for 27 years Wednesday after the UN war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia charged him with aiding and abetting in the murder of at least 724 Albanians and deporting 200,000 more.

AFP - UN judges jailed Serb ex-police general Vlastimir Djordjevic for 27 years on Wednesday for his role in a plot to "change the ethnic balance in Kosovo" by terrorising the Albanian population.

"You are sentenced to a single sentence of 27 years imprisonment," presiding judge Kevin Parker of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia told Djordjevic, who stood straight-faced in the dock as he was found guilty of aiding and abetting the murders of "not less than 724 Kosovo Albanians".

He was also held responsible for the deportation of some 200,000 Kosovo Albanians.

"The accused's conduct... contributed significantly to the campaign of terror and extreme violence by Serbian forces against Kosovo Albanians which had the purpose of changing the demographic composition of Kosovo," said judge Parker.

Djordjevic, 62, is a former assistant internal affairs minister and head of the public security department -- similar to the chief of police in many countries.

He was a key aide to Slobodan Milosevic, the former Yugoslav president who died in March 2006 of natural causes while on trial before the same tribunal.

The prosecution of the ICTY accused Djordjevic of taking part in a campaign of "ethnic cleansing" which saw Yugoslav and Serb forces expel one third of Albanians living in Kosovo, and sought a 35-year sentence against him.

Djordjevic was arrested in Montenegro in June 2007 after nearly four years on the run.

He pleaded not guilty and told the court in January 2009 that the operations he oversaw were not aimed against civilians but the "terrorists" of the Kosovo Liberation Army.

He is the eighth former senior Serbian official to be tried by the ICTY for crimes committed in Kosovo and the sixth to be convicted.
 

Date created : 2011-02-23

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