Jail term for ex-Yugoslav general

A UN tribunal has sentenced a former Yugoslav general to eight years in jail for failing to prevent attacks on civilian targets during the 1991 shelling of the historic Croatian city of Dubrovnik.

    Pavle Strugar plans to appeal against his conviction

    Pavle Strugar, 71, who commanded Yugoslav forces during the siege, was found guilty on two of six counts of violating laws and customs of war: for not doing enough to deter the attack on civilians and protected buildings, and for not

    punishing the officers who were responsible.

       

    Two civilians died and three were wounded when forces under Strugar's command shelled the heart of Dubrovnik from land and sea on 6 December 1991, after Croatia declared independence from Serbian-dominated Yugoslavia.

       

    The mediaeval and Renaissance old town - a Unesco World Cultural Heritage Site - suffered heavy damage.

     

    Not guilty

       

    The International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia found Strugar not guilty on four other counts, including murder, cruel treatment and unjustified devastation.

       

    "Your criminal liability arises because you failed to take adequate measures to stop the shelling of the old town and because you failed to ensure that those responsible for the attack were disciplined"

    Kevin Parker,
    presiding judge

    It said it had taken Strugar's age and failing health into account when deciding his sentence.

       

    The defence team said it would appeal.

       

    The tribunal has already sentenced Yugoslav navy Vice Admiral Miodrag Jokic, who ordered the shelling and was under Strugar's command, to seven years in jail. Jokic is also appealing.

       

    Presiding judge Kevin Parker told Strugar: "You were not the immediate commander of those responsible. That was Admiral Jokic.

       

    "Your criminal liability arises because you failed to take adequate measures to stop the shelling of the old town and because you failed to ensure that those responsible for the attack were disciplined."

    SOURCE: Reuters


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