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Kostunica Pardons 6 in Yugoslavia

December 6, 2000

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (AP) _ Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica on Wednesday pardoned six men convicted of plotting against former strongman Slobodan Milosevic.

A brief statement from the president’s office said he had ordered the release of the men, who were sentenced in April to prison terms ranging from 1 1/2 to five years. The sentences were reduced last month, just weeks after Milosevic stepped down Oct. 6 following riots against his rule.

The group had been charged with forming a ``terrorist″ organization under the name of the Serbian Liberation Army, or OSA, according to the Serbian-language acronym.

All six had denied the charges. One of the men, army Lt. Boban Gajic, admitted having discussed the idea of a coup against Milosevic but denied there was any plan to move against the state.

Their trial was heavily publicized by Milosevic’s regime, and the Serbian Liberation Army was accused of trying to restore Yugoslavia’s monarchy that had been abolished at the end of World War II.

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