Jackals members sentenced to 106 years in prison

BELGRADE - The Belgrade High Court War Crimes Chamber convicted nine former members of the paramilitary group Sakali (Jackals) of the killing of ethnic Albanian civilians during the conflicts in Kosovo-Metohija in 1999.

Judge Snjezana Nikolic-Garotic stated that the defendants are guilty of the murder of over 120 civilians in the villages of Cuska, Zahac, Pavlan and Ljubenic. The youngest victim was 19, while the oldest one was 87 years old.

Toplica Miladinovic received a first-instance sentence of 20 years in prison, Srecko Popovic was sentenced to 10, Slavisa Kastratovic to two, Boban Bogicevic to two, Abdulah Sokic to 12, Milojko Nikolic to 20, Ranko Momic to 15, Sinisa Misic to five and Dejan Bulatovic to 20 years in jail.

Radoslav Brnovic and Veljko Koricanin were cleared of all charges.

The crime was committed in April and May 1999, and the incitement reads that the operation in the villages, where the murders were committed, had no military objective.

Deputy War Crimes Prosecutor Bruno Vekaric stated on Tuesday that the rafts owned by the cooperating witness in the Cuska case were set on fire in Belgrade on Monday evening.

This incident indicates the type of the case and how much risk is assumed by the ones working at the War Crimes Chamber, Vekaric said.

On the occasion of the acquittal of two defendants, Vekaric told reporters in front of the Special Court that he is partially satisfied with the decision, and announced an appeal against the acquittal.

Photo Tanjug/D. Peternek

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