Sept 6 - The former chief of staff of the Yugoslav army is jailed for 27 years for war crimes in Bosnia and Croatia. Lily Grimes reports.
Momcilo Perisic played a key role in the Balkans wars of the 1990s. As chief of staff of the Yugoslav army he helped plan and carry out the Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 Muslims and the 42-month siege of Sarajevo. On Tuesday the UN'S war crimes tribunal found him guilty of murder, persecution and attacks on civilians in Bosnia and Croatia. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDING JUDGE, BAKONE JUSTICE MOLOKO, SAYING: "The trial chamber finds by majority, judge Moloto descent, that you are guilty as an aide and abetter under article 71 of the statute of the following counts: count one - murder as a crime against humanity, in relation to Sarajevo, murder as a violation of the laws or customs of war in relation to Sarajevo, inhumane acts, injuring and wounding civilians as a crime against humanity in relation to Sarajevo, attacks on civilians, as a violation of the laws or customs of war in relation to Sarajevo, count 9 - murder as a crime against humanity in relation to Srebrenica." Perisic was sentenced to 27 years in jail. He's the first Belgrade official to be convicted for Serbia's role in the Balkan wars - a role Serbia has staunchly denied. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ICTY SPOKESWOMAN, NERMA JELACIC, SAYING: "This is a historical judgement for the Tribunal and of immense importance, because he is the highest ranking official of the former Yugoslavia, of Serbia, to be convicted for the crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina." Perisic had close ties with Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic, who has been indicted for genocide by the tribunal and was arrested in May this year. Lily Grimes, Reuters