War crimes court confirms life sentence for Serb killer

THE HAGUE Tue Dec 4, 2012 11:35pm IST

Bosnian Serb Milan Lukic attends the appeals verdict in his trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia, in The Hague December 4, 2012. REUTERS/Michael Kooren

Bosnian Serb Milan Lukic attends the appeals verdict in his trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia, in The Hague December 4, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Michael Kooren

Related Topics

THE HAGUE (Reuters) - The man convicted of some of the cruellest war crimes committed during the break-up of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s had his life sentence upheld by an appeals court in The Hague on Tuesday.

Serbian paramilitary leader Milan Lukic is most notorious for barricading 70 Muslim men, women and children in a house before setting it on fire, in what became known as the Pionirska Street massacre. He then shot anyone who tried to escape.

Lukic had launched 11 appeals against his conviction for that crime and other atrocities, saying he had alibis and witnesses had falsely identified him.

But the court rejected almost all his case, making only small changes to the charges, and confirmed his conviction would stand.

Lukic, wearing a dark blue suit, sat slouched in his chair as presiding judge Mehmet Guney read the judgement. He leafed through what appeared to be a bible bound in red leather with a prominent cross on its cover and smiled faintly when his life sentence was upheld.

Lukic led the ethnic Serb paramilitary group the White Eagles which rounded up seven Muslim men at the factory where they worked during the conflict and shot them on the banks of the Drina river.

Judges also upheld the bulk of the convictions against Lukic's co-accused, his cousin Sredoje, reducing to 27 years his original 30-year sentence.

Milan Lukic is one of only four people to have been sentenced to life by the Hague-based International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, which has indicted 161 people involved in the Balkan wars of the 1990s.

At his initial conviction in 2009, judges said Lukic had shown "a callous and vicious disregard for human life" and personally killed more than 100 Muslims. (Reporting By Thomas Escritt; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

FILED UNDER:

PALESTINE

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Nifty Above 8,600

Nifty Above 8,600

Nifty hits record high above 8,600; state-run lenders gain  Full Article 

Indian in Iraq

Indian in Iraq

India says no contact with 39 men held by Islamic State in Iraq.  Full Article 

Sahara Issue

Sahara Issue

Sahara looks to raise $650 million loan to fund bail.  Full Article 

Bhopal Tragedy

Bhopal Tragedy

Bhopal's toxic legacy lives on, 30 years after industrial disaster.  Full Article 

Essar Group

Essar Group

Exclusive - Essar's planned oil-for-steel deal tests Iran sanctions  Full Article 

Islamic Fund

Islamic Fund

India gets new Islamic equity fund but debt market still off-limits  Full Article 

Fiscal Deficit

Fiscal Deficit

April-October fiscal deficit nears 90 pct of full-year target  Full Article 

Oil Prices

Oil Prices

Oil hits new four-year low post OPEC as glut looms  Full Article 

Gold Imports

Gold Imports

India eases gold import rule in surprise move.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage