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7 Bosnian Serbs convicted in Srebrenica genocide trial

A court in Bosnia-Herzegovina has convicted seven Bosnian Serbs of committing genocide in Srebrenica in 1995.

A court in Bosnia-Herzegovina has convicted seven Bosnian Serbs of committing genocide in Srebrenica in 1995.

Another four people were acquitted as the decision in the two-year trial was handed down in Sarajevo on Tuesday.

Three former policemen, Milenko Trifunovic, Brano Dzinic and Aleksandar Radovanovic, were sentenced to 42 years in prison; another three former policemen, Milos Stupar, Slobodan Jakovljevic and Branislav Medan, received 40-year sentences; and one, Petar Mitrovic,  was sentenced to 38 years.

Tuesday's ruling was the Bosnian war crimes court's first sentence related to Srebrenica, the worst massacre committed in Europe since the Second World War.

The seven were convicted of killing of more than 1,000 captured men of Muslim origin, known as Bosniaks, after Bosnian Serb forces conquered the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica. 

The judges acquitted Velibor Maksimovic, Dragisa Zivanovic, Milovan Matic and Miladin Stevanovic, concluding the prosecutor failed to prove beyond doubt that they took part in the war crimes.

Widows and mothers of the victims were in the courtroom when the verdict was read.

"Nothing can ease my pain," said Munira Subasic, a woman from Srebrenica who lost her son in the massacre. Her son's body has never been found, although more than 3,200 other victims have been found in nearby mass graves, identified through DNA analysis and reburied.

News of the convictions came as thousands of ultra-nationalist Serbs poured into the Serbian capital of Belgrade for a right-wing demonstration tied to the recent capture of former president Radovan Karadzic.

He stands accused of war crimes in connection with the 1995 Srebrenica affair, which killed an estimated 8,000 men and boys in the space of one week, as well as about 10,000 deaths during the three-year siege of Sarajevo in the mid-1990s.

Karadzic now faces extradition to the Netherlands for an appearance in front of a United Nations tribunal in The Hague.

With files from the Associated Press

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