Six Kosovo Albanians get total of 21 years jail

BELGRADE, Feb 19, 2000 -- (Reuters) A Serbian court sentenced six Kosovo Albanians to a total of 21 years in prison on Friday for helping Kosovo Liberation Army guerrillas, Beta news agency said.

The prosecution in the southern Serbian town of Nis alleged the six had organized the local unit of the guerrillas in Gracanica and had collected money and weapons for them.

It was the latest in a series of trials in Serbia of ethnic Albanians, most of whom were arrested during the March-June 1999 NATO bombing to halt Serb repression of the ethnic Albanian majority in Kosovo.

The International Committee of the Red Cross in Belgrade says there are still some 1,600 Kosovo Albanian prisoners in Serb jails, taken there before NATO peacekeepers entered the province.

In the latest trial, the chief defendant Besim Jashari was sentenced to 10 years in prison and the others to jail terms ranging from three years to 10 months.

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