Feb 23 judgment for Kosovo war crimes
The UN's Yugoslav tribunal said Wednesday it will hand down judgment on February 23 for Serb police general Vlastimir Djordjevic's alleged role in the "ethnic cleansing" of Kosovo Albanians.
After a trial that ran for two years with 105 prosecution witnesses and more than 2,500 exhibits, Djordjevic will learn his fate in The Hague for crimes allegedly committed between January and June 1999.
"This trial chamber... hereby orders the pronouncement of judgement to be held on Wednesday February 23," said an order of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
Djordjevic, 62, was tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity for the murders of hundreds of ethnic Albanians and the deportation of 800,000 others from Kosovo.
Charges against the former assistant internal affairs minister and police commander include deportation, murder and racial persecution.
ICTY prosecutor Chester Stamp has accused Djordjevic of taking part in a campaign of "ethnic cleansing" which saw Yugoslavian and Serb forces expel one third of Albanians living in Kosovo.
Djordjevic was arrested in Montenegro in June 2007 after nearly four years on the run.
He pleaded not guilty and told the court in January 2009 that the operations he oversaw were not aimed against civilians but the "terrorists" of the Kosovo Liberation Army.
Djordjevic was an aide to Slobodan Milosevic, the former Yugoslav president who died in March 2006 of natural causes while on trial before the same tribunal.
His trial is the fifth and last before the ICTY concerning war crimes in Kosovo.
In July last year, prosecutors asked the court to impose a prison sentence of 35 years to life.
© 2011 AFP