Bosnian Serb's war crimes appeal denied

Other News Materials 1 November 2007 07:18 (UTC +04:00)

( AP ) - Judges at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal on Wednesday rejected a Bosnian Serb's appeal of his 15-year sentence for repeatedly raping two Muslim women during the Bosnian war.

Dragan Zelenovic was convicted earlier this year to raping the women in Foca, a town in southeastern Bosnia that was overrun by Bosnian Serb forces in April 1992 as part of the bloody breakup of Yugoslavia.

He appealed, saying the 15-year sentence was too long and that judges had not given him sufficient credit for pleading guilty to spare his victims the trauma of testifying and cooperating with prosecutors.

But presiding judge Liu Daqun said the five-judge panel rejected that argument, deciding that the trial chamber had taken both facts into account and considered them mitigating factors when setting the original sentence.

Zelenovic personally committed nine rapes in Foca, which became infamous for the campaign of sexual assaults by Bosnian Serb forces during the 1992-95 war.

Three others who shared the same indictment were convicted in 2001 in a landmark case that established rape and sexual enslavement as a crime against humanity. They were sentenced to 28, 20 and 12 years, respectively.