SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — A court in Macedonia has sentenced an investigative journalist to 4½ years in prison after finding him guilty of revealing the identity of a protected witness in a murder case.

Tomislav Kezarovski was detained in May over his 2008 article in the Reporter 92 news magazine, and Monday's ruling was swiftly condemned by media and human rights groups.

Dunja Mijatovic, a media freedom representative at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, described the decision as "appalling" and said it sent a "clear message of censorship" to other Macedonian journalists.

The Macedonian Association of Journalists described the sentence as excessive.