Bosnian Serb sentenced for role in war crimes

Friday, October 18, 2002

THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- A Bosnian Serb economist who admitted beating Muslim captives and shoving his gun into the mouth of one man was convicted of torture and sentenced Thursday to five years imprisonment by the U.N. war crimes tribunal.

Milan Simic, 42, shrugged his shoulders when the verdict was read and then smiled at his attorneys.

Judge Florence Mumba said the court had taken Simic's health, his cooperative attitude and his remorse into account, but that he had been lucky not to have received a longer sentence.

"The crime of torture is particularly heinous in its nature and constitutes one of the most serious attacks upon a person's mental and physical integrity," she said.

Taking into account his time in detention during the trial, Simic will be released in three years.

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