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Serbia: Ex-president acquitted / Pakistan: Violence follows barring of Sharifs / The Netherlands: 4 Americans died in crash / Germany: U.S. soldier guilty / Iraq: Kuwaiti official visits

February 27, 2009|Times Wire Reports

United Nations judges at The Hague acquitted former Serbian President Milan Milutinovic of ordering a deadly campaign against Kosovo Albanians, saying he had no role in what they ruled was a criminal plot to drive the ethnic Albanians out.

The tribunal ordered Milutinovic released, but it convicted five other Serbian senior officials and gave them prison sentences of 15 to 22 years.

Prosecutors three years ago lost their chance of convicting former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic of similar crimes when he died of a heart attack.

Presiding judge Iain Bonomy said Milosevic was the most powerful commander of Serb troops and military police who carried out a campaign of murder, rape and deportations.

The five convicted were: former Yugoslav Deputy Prime Minister Nikola Sainovic, ex-Yugoslav Army Chief of Staff Dragoljub Ojdanic, former army generals Nebojsa Pavkovic and Vladimir Lazarevic and Serbian police Gen. Sreten Lukic.

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