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Croat police jailed for helping war crimes

December 23 2007 at 8:44 PM
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ZAGREB, Croatia, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- A Croatian court has sentenced four former police officers to jail sentences ranging from 3 to 4 years for helping in the killing prisoners of war in 1991.

The Varazdin County Court in northern Croatia found the four guilty of allowing unidentified Croatian forces to take six soldiers of the former Yugoslav Army and a civilian from a prison in Bjelovar, 35 miles northeast of Zagreb, the Croatian news agency HINA said Friday.

The captured soldiers and a civilian were taken by the armed Croatians to a nearby forest Oct. 4, 1991 where the soldiers were shot to death. The civilian survived his injuries, HINA reported.

The four ex-policemen pleaded innocent.

The killings occurred at the beginning of the 1991-95 Serbian-Croatian ethnic war that led to disintegration of the former Yugoslav federation.

The policemen originally were accused of war crimes but the court acquitted them. Prosecutors changed the charges from war crimes to helping in war crimes and the court in retrial pronounced the jail sentences.

United Press International

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