Sarajevo siege general jailed in Estonia

22nd March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Ex-Bosnian Serb general Dragomir Milosevic was transferred Tuesday to Estonia to serve a 29-year sentence for crimes committed during the 1994-95 siege of Sarajevo, a UN court said.

Judges in February designated Estonia as the host state for Milosevic, the second person convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia to be jailed in that country, the tribunal said in a statement.

"The tribunal commends the Estonian authorities for their continued support in ensuring the enforcement of the tribunal's sentences," it added.

Milosevic, now 69, commanded troops of the Bosnian Serb Army's Sarajevo Romanija Corps (SRK) who lay siege to the Bosnian capital from August 1994 to the end of the Bosnian war in November 1995.

The troops shelled the city and directed sniper fire against civilians as they queued for bread, went to markets or walked with their children.

Milosevic, no relation to the late Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic, was convicted of crimes against humanity and war crimes in December 2007, specifically terror, murder and inhumane acts.

In November the following year, appeals judges cut his sentence from 33 to 29 years saying there was no evidence he ordered certain shootings of civilians during the Sarajevo siege.

According to human rights organisations, some 10,000 civilians, including 1,500 children, died in the 44-month siege of Sarajevo -- the longest such blockade in Europe since the end of World War II.

Milosevic surrendered to the ICTY in December 2004, six years after he was first indicted.

The tribunal has agreements with 17 countries willing to allow convicted persons to serve their sentences on their soil.

Suspects before the tribunal are held at the UN Detention Unit in The Hague until they are sentenced and a host country is found.

© 2011 AFP

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