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6 Serbs Convicted in Milosevic Plot

April 29, 2000

NIS, Yugoslavia (AP) _ Six Serbs accused of plotting to kill President Slobodan Milosevic were convicted of conspiracy and terrorism Friday. Another defendant was acquitted.

Lt. Boban Gajic, a soldier and the alleged ring leader of the group that called itself the Serbian Liberation Army, and two other defendants were sentenced to five years each.

They were arrested in last December, months after Yugoslav government troops pulled out of Serbia’s southern Kosovo province following NATO’s air strikes. Some of the members had fought with Serb forces battling ethnic Albanian insurgents in Kosovo last year.

In earlier testimony, the defendants said they were deeply unhappy with Milosevic’s rule and territorial losses Serbia has suffered.

During the widely publicized trial, Gajic had told the court he discussed the idea of toppling Milosevic with fellow officers and with the other defendants, but maintained they were not a terrorist organization.

Two others received three-year prison terms and one was sentenced to 1 1/2 years. The seventh defendant was acquitted by the military court in Nis, which ruled he was only remotely connected with the group.

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