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Srebrenica genocide trial closes

The trial of a Bosnian Serb general charged with genocide for the alleged murder of Muslims in Srebrenica drew to a close on Tuesday.

The trial of Radislav Krstic is one of the most important under way at the U.N. war crimes tribunal. According to prosecutors, Krstic planned and led a week-long rampage in July 1995 in the U.N. declared "safe zone" of Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia, where Muslims had been promised protection by U.N. soldiers.

The indictment says Krstic was the senior commander of Serbian troops who rounded up thousands of Muslim civilians at the end of the 1992 - 1995 Bosnian war.

Krstic's troops conducted an ethnic cleansing campaign that left at least 7,500 dead or missing, according to his indictment.

His indictment also stated that "Radislav Krstic planned, instigated, ordered or otherwise aided and abetted in the ... organised mass execution of thousands of captured Bosnian Muslim men."

Krstic pleaded innocent to all charges, denying he was in command of the battalions that overran the region.

Krstic testified that his superior officer, Ratko Mladic, took over operations during the period of bloodshed described by the prosecutors.

The trial, before the International War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, should set a precedent on whether ethnic cleanising in the Bosnian war constituted genocide, the most serious international crime.

It could be months before a ruling is made. Krstic faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Prosecutors say they intend to indict former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic later this year for criminal responsibility for actions by Serbs in Bosnia and Croatia in earlier wars, possibly including attacks such as the rampage on Srebrenica.

• International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
• Krstic case information sheet
• Overview of court documents
• United Nations homepage
• Bosnia and Herzegovina

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