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Russia wants Hague tribunal closed over Bosnian Muslim acquittal

12:34 10/07/2008
MOSCOW, July 10 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is demanding the closure of the UN war crimes tribunal in the Hague over the "biased" acquittal of Bosnian Muslim Naser Oric, the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia last Thursday overturned a conviction against Oric, 41, a former commander of Bosnian Muslim forces, who had been found guilty in 2006 of failing to prevent the murder and torture of Bosnian Serbs in 1992-1993.

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Andrei Nesterenko told reporters: "this verdict is yet another proof of the lack of impartiality in the work of the tribunal, a demonstration of a prejudiced attitude to some of the accused and a lenient attitude to other participants in the conflict in the former Yugoslavia."

"The tribunal's decision merely confirms the need to swiftly implement the agreed strategy for shutting down its work," he said.

The Hague court ruled that despite ample proof that war crimes against Serbs were committed, the individual case against Oric, considered a hero by many Bosnian Muslims for defending the town of Srebrenica and the surrounding area, lacked evidence.

Bosnian Serbs say that forces led by Oric killed more than 3,000 Serbs in the 1992-1995 Bosnian War, during which Serb forces massacred around 8,000 Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica.

Russia's view reflects that of its ally Serbia, which last week condemned the ruling on Oric, saying it damaged the tribunal's credibility.

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RIA NovostiRussia wants Hague tribunal closed over Bosnian Muslim acquittal

12:34 10/07/2008 Russia is demanding the closure of the UN war crimes tribunal in the Hague over the "biased" acquittal of Bosnian Muslim Naser Oric, the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday. >>

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