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UN appeals judges uphold conviction for Tolimir in Srebrenica genocide

The UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has upheld Bosnian Serb General Zdravko Tolimir's conviction for his involvement in genocide. His sentence of life imprisonment stands.

Tolimir (pictured above, center) smiled and crossed himself as Tribunal President Judge Theodor Meron told him Wednesday the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) appeals chamber was dismissing most of his 26 grounds for appeal.

"In light of these genocide convictions alone, the appeals chamber considers that Tolimir's responsibility does not warrant a revision of his sentence," the judge said.

Meron stressed most of Tolimir's convictions remained. However, the tribunal overturned elements of the former general's conviction linked explicitly to forcibly transferring Muslims from the town of Zepa, near Srebrenica, as well as extermination linked to specific small-scale killings.

The 66-year-old Bosnian Serb general was sentenced to

life imprisonment

in December 2012 after being found guilty on six counts – genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, extermination, murder, persecution on ethnic grounds and forced transfer.

Tolimir was assistant commander of the Bosnian Serb military intelligence throughout the country's civil war, reporting directly to the Bosnian Serb army's chief commander, Ratko Mladic.

Mladic is also facing an ICTY trial on genocide charges.

Bosnian Serb armed forces are believed to have killed as many as 8,000 Muslim boys and men after entering Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia, an area under UN protection, in July 1995.

The murders were the worst mass killings since World War II.

jlw/kms (AP, dpa, Reuters)

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