Former police official's prison term reduced by 9 years
The Hague Tribunal on Monday sentenced Vlastimir Đorđević to 18 years in prison for crimes committed in Kosovo in 1999.Source: Tanjug
Đorđević is a former chief of the public security department at the Serbian Ministry of the Interior.
With the ruling, the Appeals Chamber reduced the first-instance verdict which had envisaged the imprisonment of 27 years for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed against Kosovo Albanians from January 1 to June 20, 1999.
The Appeals Chamber decided that Đorđević will stay in the Hague Tribunal until the transfer to a country where he is to serve his prison sentence.
Đorđević, who had also been assistant interior minister at that time, was convicted for being part of a joint criminal enterprise aimed at expelling several hundred thousand Albanian civilians from Kosovo, which also resulted in the killings of several hundred civilians.
The first-instance ruling underscored Đorđević's role in covering up the crimes.
He was accused of taking part in the organization of the transfer of bodies of Kosovo civilians and their interment at several locations in Serbia.
In his first appearance before the court, Đorđević pleaded not guilty on all counts of the indictment, but last year, during the conclusive part of the appeals proceedings, he said that the crimes had been committed in Kosovo, and that he himself had taken part in concealing the bodies of dead Kosovo Albanians at several locations in Serbia.
He then expressed remorse for the crimes and extended an apology to the victims and displaced persons from Kosovo, but denied that he had had a leading role in covering up the bodies of Kosovo Albanians.
Đorđević was arrested on June 17, 2007 in Montenegro and extradited to the ICTY the same day.