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Former Yugoslav admiral pleads guilty at Tribunal

Former Yugoslav admiral pleads guilty at UN tribunal to violating customs of war

A former Yugoslav admiral, charged before a United Nations tribunal with war crimes for the shelling and bombing of the historic Croatian coastal city of Dubrovnik in 1991, pleaded guilty today to an amended indictment of violations of the laws or customs of war, including murder and cruel treatment.

Under the plea agreement, Miodrag Jokic will be sentenced at a later session of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague. The prosecutor today recommended a 10-year prison sentence, while the defence will make sentencing submissions at a later date.

Mr. Jokic, a former senior officer of the Yugoslav Navy who surrendered to the Tribunal in 2001, pleaded guilty on six counts - murder, cruel treatment, attacks on civilians, devastation not justified by military necessity, unlawful attacks on civilian objects, and destruction or wilful damage to institutions dedicated to religion, charity, and education, the arts and sciences, historic monuments and works of art and science.

Mr. Jokic, who was released provisionally in February 2002 on condition that he return for trial, was alleged in the first indictment to have committed murder, cruel treatment and attacks on civilians, resulting in the deaths of 43 people.

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