The State news agency Hina said the county court in Osijek, eastern Croatia, ruled that the six had arrested, tortured and expelled non-Serbs and confiscated their property in the eastern Baranja region during the 1991-95 war. They were members of the Serb militia, which rebelled against Zagreb's independence from Yugoslavia, the agency said. They have already spent 18 months in custody and have two weeks to appeal the sentence to the Supreme Court, it added. Croatia's reformist rulers, who ousted nationalists from power in 2000, have vowed to investigate all war crimes committed by both Serbs and Croats during the war and bring those involved to trial. The six Serbs were the first to be sentenced since the reformers came to power.
Copyright 2002 Reuters Limited
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