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Srebrenica defender Naser Oric acquitted of war crimes

The court in Sarajevo said that Naser Oric, who led the defence of Srebrenica during the 1992-95 war, is not guilty.

Bosnian Muslim commander Naser Oric

A court in Sarajevo has acquitted Bosnian Muslim commander Naser Oric of war crimes against Serbs during the 1992-95 war.

In its verdict on Monday, the court said that Oric, who led the defence of Srebrenica during the 1992-95 war, is not guilty in connection with the case of three Serb prisoners of war who were murdered in 1992 in Srebrenica.

"The accused Naser Oric and Sabahudin Muhic have been acquitted of charges of violating provisions of the Geneva Conventions," the judge, Saban Maksumic, told the Bosnian war crimes court, referring to one of Oric's fellow soldiers.

Families of the Serb victims walked out the courtroom protesting against the verdict, Reuters news agency reported.

Serbia and the Bosnian Serbs had accused Oric's men of killing Serb civilians in and around Srebrenica earlier in the war.

The former commander had always denied the charges. He was sentenced to two years in jail by the court in the Hague, Netherlands, in 2006, but acquitted on appeal in 2008.

Srebrenica eventually fell to Bosnian Serb forces in 1995 - the ensuing killing of more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys was seen as Europe's worst atrocity since World War II.

Bosnian Muslims or Bosniaks view Oric as a national hero, who defended them against Serbs.

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