UN Convicts Serbian Officer of War Crimes
Tribunal's verdict draws fire from Croatia for 'shocking' leniency
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2007 1:20 PM CDT
The ruins of Vukovar, Croatia.   (BBC)
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(Newser) – A Serb officer was convicted yesterday of aiding and abetting murder and torture, and sentenced to 20 years in prison by the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague, enraging Croatians, the Times of London reports. The case concerned the 1991 massacre at Vukovar, a Croatian town where hundreds of men were brutalized, shot, and buried in a mass grave.

Mile Mrksic was the highest-ranking of three military officers on trial. The tribunal convicted him of war crimes but acquitted him of crimes against humanity because he regarded his captives as soldiers, not civilians. In Vukovar, citizens were furious, and the Croatian PM called the verdict a "defeat of the whole idea of the Hague tribunal."