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CNN Today

War Crimes Tribunal Convicts 5 in Bosnian Massacre

Aired January 14, 2000 - 1:07 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: It is one of the most horrible images from the war in Bosnia: burned families huddled in the remnants of their own homes. It happened in the Central Bosnia village of Ahmici. If you asked then who would do such a thing, the War Crimes Tribunal now has an answer.

CNN's Patricia Kelly reports on today's guilty verdicts.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PATRICIA KELLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Five Bosnian Croats were found guilty of what was described as one of the most horrific acts of ethnic cleansing during the Bosnian war. More than 100 Muslim men, women and children in the Central Bosnian village of Ahmici were murdered, some of them burned alive during an attack in April, 1993. Whole families were gunned down and Muslim houses and mosques were destroyed, although Croat dwellings were left standing.

JUDGE ANTONIO CASSESE, U.N. WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL: What happened on the 16th of April, '93 in Ahmici has gone down in history as comprising one of the most vicious demonstrations of man's inhumanity to man.

KELLY: The commander of the local police battalion, Vladimir Santic, was sentenced to 25 years for crimes against humanity for organizing the murders and passing on orders from superiors. It is the stiffest sentence by the tribunal to date. A co-defendant, Drago Jospovic, was given 15 years. Three members of one family, brothers Zoran and Mirjan Kupreskic and their cousin Vlatko, were given up to 10 years each for their part in the massacre. A sixth accused, Dragan Papic, was set free because prosecution evidence could not prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

Patricia Kelly, CNN, Brussels.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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