The State Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina has sentenced former Croatian Defence Council (HVO) soldier Nikola Maric to 20 years in prison, pending appeal, for war crimes committed against Bosniaks in the southern municipality of Prozor Rama during the country's 1992-1995 war, the court said on Friday.

Maric was found guilty on all 25 counts of the indictment, including murder, maltreatment and persecution of Bosniak civilians between November 1992 and October 1993.

Reading the verdict, judge Mediha Pasic said that the accused had been involved in "widespread and systematic" attacks committed by the HVO and the Croatian Army. She said that Maric was found guilty of seven murders, the disappearance of six Bosniaks, whose bodies have not been found to date, maltreatment of several people, and unlawful arrests and expulsions.

Maric was remanded in custody and the time he has spent in custody, since 30 September 2013, will be credited towards his sentence.

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