The U.N. war crimes court has convicted six Bosnian-Croat political and military leaders on charges of murder, rape and the expulsion of Muslims from Bosnia during the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
Judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia also said Croatian leaders, including the late Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, were complicit in plans to create a Croatian mini-state in Bosnia.
The court said murders, rapes and deportations “were not random acts of a few unruly soldiers,” but part of a plan to permanently remove Muslims from territory in Bosnia claimed by Bosnian Croats.
The six on trial were given sentences ranging from 10-25 years, with the longest handed down to Jadranko Prlic, who led Herceg-Bosna, the self-proclaimed Croatian republic inside Bosnia.
The court also found them responsible for destroying a centuries-old bridge in Mostar, whose shelling became a symbol of the many acts of cultural vandalism committed during the Balkans conflict.