Ex-Kosovo Serb leader convicted of war crimes

The president of the Civil Initiative Serbia, Democracy, Justice and former Kosovo Serb political leader, Oliver Ivanovic, was found guilty of war crimes during a Serb-Albanian conflict in 1999 and sentenced to nine years' imprisonment by a court in Kosovska Mitrovica on Thursday.

Ivanovic, a member of a paramilitary unit at the time relevant to the indictment, was arrested in January 2014 on charges of war crimes against civilians. The court, presided over by an international panel of the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo, acquitted four other defendants. Ivanovic was acquitted of crimes committed in February 2000.

The panel was presided over by Romanian judge Roksana Komsa, who found that in 1999 Serb troops organised the cleansing of south Kosovska Mitrovica of Albanians, during which numerous Albanian families were forced out of their homes and men were separated from women and children. She found that Ivanovic was aware of the consequences of the expulsion of Albanians and that he acted knowing that it would lead to executions.

Ivanovic was sentenced pending appeal.

Last update: Thu, 21/01/2016 - 15:21

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