Serbia slams UN's 'mockery of justice'

SERBIA yesterday denounced a two-year sentence given to a Bosnian Muslim as a mockery of justice and proof that the United Nations war crimes tribunal in the Hague was biased against it.

On Friday, the court found the wartime commander Naser Oric guilty of failing to prevent the murder of Serbs near the Bosnian Muslim enclave of Srebrenica early in the 1992-5 conflict. He was released because of the time he had already served and went home on Saturday.

Bosnian Serb forces overran Srebrenica in July 1995 and killed some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Europe's worst atrocity since the Second World War. But Serbs say 3,263 of their own had earlier been killed by forces under Oric's command.

"The an open mockery of justice and a sneer at innocent victims," Serbia's prime minister, Vojislav Kostunica, said. "The Hague tribunal, which was conceived as the ultimate word of world justice, is increasingly becoming its own opposite, a symbol of injustice."

Serbia is under western pressure to arrest and hand over the wartime Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic, who is accused of committing genocide in Srebrenica.

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