Former head of Yugoslav army jailed

The former chief of the Yugoslav army has been jailed for 27 years for aiding Bosnian Serb forces responsible for the Srebrenica massacre and deadly four-year campaign of shelling and sniping in Sarajevo.

United Nations judges at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal in the Netherlands convicted General Momcilo Perisic on charges of providing troops, ammunition and logistical support to rebel Serbs in Bosnia and Croatia.

The verdict underscored the Yugoslav army’s far-reaching support for Bosnian Serb forces and rebel Serb forces in Croatia responsible for the worst atrocities of the Balkan conflicts in the 1990s.

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However, the judges acquitted Perisic on charges that he was directly responsible for crimes as a superior officer to leaders of the Bosnian Serb forces.

The link between the disintegrating Yugoslav federation and Serb forces in the breakaway republics has been a matter of dispute and was the keystone of the trial in The Hague of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. But that trial ended without a conclusion when Milosevic died in his cell in 2006 of a heart attack.

The former Yugoslavia is now divided up into republics including Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia.