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3 Serbs Temporarily Released From Jail By Tribunal


Three Serbs temporarily released from jail by UN war crimes tribunal

Three men facing trial at the United Nations war crimes tribunal set up to deal with the worst crimes of the Balkan wars of the 1990s have been granted temporary release from jail and allowed to return to Serbia while the court is on its annual winter recess.

The trial chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), which sits in The Hague, ordered on Friday that the men be released under certain terms and conditions, including that they return to The Hague early next month.

Radivoje Miletić has been granted provisional release from 15 December until 7 January, Milan Gvero from 16 December until 8 January, and Milan Milutinović from 17 December until 2 January.

Mr. Miletić and Mr. Gvero, who served as high-ranking military officials in the Bosnian Serb Army (VRS), face charges of murder, persecutions, forcible transfer and deportation, all related to the notorious massacre of Muslims in the Srebrenica and Žepa enclaves in mid-1995.

The joint trial of the two men began in July 2006, with the prosecution case-in-chief expected to finish by next February, and the defence case scheduled to start by early June.

Mr. Milutinović, a former President of Serbia and member of the Supreme Defence Council of the then Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, has been indicted on charges related to fighting in Kosovo in 1999. He faces counts of murder, deportation, forcible transfer and persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds. His trial, which also began in July 2006, is expected to finish early next year.

ENDS

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