Kosovo Albanian sentenced to 10 years in prison on terrorism charges
NIS, Yugoslavia (May 30, 2000) - An ethnic Albanian from Kosovo was found guilty of terrorism Tuesday and sentenced to 10 years in prison for attacks on Yugoslav soldiers and Serbian police.
Six others were sentenced to one year each on charges of aiding rebels of the Kosovo Liberation Army, but were released to account for time served in pretrial custody.
The court in Nis, 120 miles southeast of Belgrade, found Abaz Mujota, 28, guilty of "terrorism and conspiracy to act against the state."
Mujota, a native of Malo Polje village near the provincial capital Pristina, allegedly joined the former KLA rebels in May 1999 to fight for Kosovo's independence from Serbia.
The court maintained Mujota had taken part in attacks on Serbian police and Yugoslav army units deployed at the time in Kosovo.
After Serb forces withdrew last June from Kosovo - now run by NATO and a U.N. peace mission - Belgrade authorities transferred ethnic Albanian prisoners from the southern province to jails elsewhere in Serbia. Many have since been released, but scores have also been handed prison sentences of up to 15 years.
Six other Kosovo Albanians, apprehended May 22, 1999, were found guilty of giving the KLA food, holding guard duty outside rebel strongholds and - in the case of two women - doing the rebels' laundry.