UN Acquits Serb Leader

Five others convicted of roles in Kosovo violence
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2009 11:46 AM CST
Former Yugoslav Deputy Prime Minister Nikola Sainovic stands in court at the Hague, Netherlands, today.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – A UN tribunal acquitted former Serbian president Milan Milutinovic today of war crimes during the late-1990s conflict in Kosovo, the BBC reports. Milutinovic, the titular leader of Serbia in 1997-2002, did not have direct control of the Yugoslav army during the campaign of violence committed against Kosovar Albanians, the tribunal ruled.

Five other Serbian officials were found guilty on charges of ordering deportation, forced transfer and murder of non-Serbian civilians in Kosovo in 1999. The former Yugoslav deputy prime minister, defense minister, two army generals and the head of the Serbian police force were all sentenced to between 15 and 22 years in jail for their roles in the conflict.