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The News – Capital Media
  • The Latest: Croatia praises Serb conviction for war crimes

  • Croatia is satisfied with a U.N. court's conviction of a Serb ultranationalist for war crimes committed in the Balkans in the 1990s but not with the length of his 10-year sentence. Croatia's foreign ministry says Wednesday that the verdict against Vojislav Seselj is a proof of "planned criminal acts" against Croatia during the bloody breakup of the former Yugoslavia.

, In this March 9, 2016 file photo, Serbian ultranationalist Vojislav Seselj speaks during a news conference in Belgrade, Serbia. A United Nations court on Wednesday April 11, 2018, has partly overturned the acquittal of Serbian ultranationalist Vojislav Seselj on war crimes and sentenced him to 10 years imprisonment. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic, File)

11 of April 2018 18:24:55

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Latest on the sentencing of Serb ultranationalist Vojislav Seselj (all times local):

8:20 p.m.

Croatia is satisfied with a U.N. court's conviction of a Serb ultranationalist for war crimes committed in the Balkans in the 1990s but not with the length of his 10-year sentence.

Croatia's foreign ministry says Wednesday that the verdict against Vojislav Seselj is a proof of "planned criminal acts" against Croatia during the bloody breakup of the former Yugoslavia. It however says the sentence "is too lenient in relation to the committed crimes" by his supporters during the war.

Firebrand nationalist Seselj was initially acquitted by the Netherlands-based court in 2016.

Judges on Wednesday partly overturned the acquittal and sentenced him to 10 years in prison for crimes against humanity. But he remains a free man because he had already spent nearly 12 years in custody.

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5:10 p.m.

A rights group is urging Serbian authorities to strip Vojislav Seselj of his parliamentary seat after U.N. judges convicted the ultranationalist leader of crimes against humanity.

The Youth Initiative for Human Rights said Wednesday that ending Seselj's current term as a member of Serbia's parliament is required by the Balkan country's laws.

A court in The Hague, Netherlands, partially overturned Seselj's 2016 acquittal Wednesday and convicted him of war crimes during the Balkan war in the 1990s.

Seselj has described the ruling as "illegal." He was also sentenced to 10 years in prison, but won't have to go to jail as he has already had served the sentence while in custody.

Serbian officials have not commented on the ruling. The Balkan country has been seeking membership in the European Union.

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4:45 p.m.

Serbia's ultranationalist leader Vojislav Seselj has shown no remorse after U.N. appeals judges overturned his acquittal for crimes against humanity during the 1990s' Yugoslav war.

Seselj was initially acquitted in 2016. Judges on Wednesday sentenced him to 10 years in prison, which he had already served while in custody.

Seselj on Wednesday described the ruling in a phone statement to The Associated Press as "illegal." He insists the court in The Hague, Netherlands, should have ordered a retrial instead.

He adds he is "proud of all the war crimes and crimes against humanity that were attributed to me, and I am ready to repeat them in the future."

Seselj says judges "lied that there were systematic attacks" on Croats in Serbia in the 1990s. Judges have said a speech by Seselj in May 1992 incited crimes against the Croat minority.

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4:40 p.m.

Amnesty International has welcomed a United Nations court's verdict against Serbian far-right leader Vojislav Sesel, saying his conviction delivers long overdue justice to the victims of the Yugoslav wars in the 1990s.

The rights group's Europe Director Gauri van Gulik says that "despite the fact that the Appeals Chamber cleared Vojislav Seselj of other war crimes, it is significant that it found there was indeed a 'widespread or systematic attack against the non-Serbian civilian population in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.'"

A UN court in The Hague, Netherlands, on Wednesday partly overturned a 2016 acquittal of Seselj on war crimes charges and sentenced him to 10 years imprisonment. But because he had already been in prison for almost a dozen years, the sentencing will have no practical impact on him.

Amnesty International says "it is now vital that the national courts step up their efforts to bring remaining perpetrators to justice."

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3 p.m.

A United Nations court has partly overturned the acquittal of Serbian ultranationalist Vojislav Seselj on war crimes and sentenced him to 10 years imprisonment.

Seselj, accused of persecution, murder and torture during the former Yugoslavia's bloody conflict in the 1990s, was acquitted in 2016 of nine war crimes and crimes against humanity charges.

But because he had already been in prison for almost a dozen years before returning to Belgrade in 2014, Wednesday's sentencing will have no practical impact on him.

Seselj told the Associated Press on just prior to the reading of the verdict in The Hague, the Netherlands that "I don't care about the ruling. Now I'll go and have a siesta."

The prosecution had said that acquitting Seselj would have damaged the war crimes tribunal's legacy.


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