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Trial Of Former Yugoslav Army Chief Begins

Trial Of Former Yugoslav Army Chief Begins At UN War Crimes Tribunal

New York, Oct 2 2008 7:10PM

The war crimes trial of a former chief of the Yugoslav army got under way today at the United Nations tribunal set up to try those accused of the worst war crimes committed during the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s.

Opening statements were heard at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), which is based in The Hague, in the case of Momcilo Periši, a former chief of general staff of the Yugoslav army (VJ) and the most senior officer from the military forces to stand trial on charges relating to the conflicts in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Croatia.

The 64-year-old is charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes, including murder, inhumane acts and attacks on civilians committed between 1993 and 1995 in the cities of Sarajevo, Srebrenica and Zagreb.

The indictment against Mr. Periši accuses him, among other matters, of secretly providing significant personnel, material and logistical assistance to the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Army of Serbian Krajina (SVK) in Croatia.

He is charged with aiding and abetting the planning, preparation or execution of a military campaign of shelling and sniping in civilian areas of Sarajevo between 1993 and 1995, and of aiding and abetting the crimes of extermination, murder and persecutions in Srebrenica, where thousands of Muslim men and boys were killed in 1995.

ENDS

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