Bosnia's war crimes court found two Bosnian Serb military commanders guilty of involvement in the 1995 Srebrenica genocide in which about 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed.
The court Monday jailed Slavko Peric, 43, to 19 years and Momir Pelemis, 61, to 16 years. Both men were commanders in the first battalion of the Zvornik brigade.
The judge Ljubomir Kitic said the two were guilty of playing a part in the detention and killing of at least 1,000 Bosnian Muslim men from the eastern enclave of Srebrenica, after it fell to Bosnian Serb forces.
Peric and Pelemis took part in a joint criminal enterprise with other members of the Bosnian Serb army and police, having a common plan and purpose to permanently and forcibly transfer the entire Muslim population from Srebrenica, said Kitic.
Bosnian Serb forces, commanded by General Ratko Mladic, slaughtered Bosnian Muslim men and boys after they captured the town of Srebrenica, which was under the protection of United Nations peacekeepers. Mladic is in The Hague awaiting trial for orchestrating the massacre.
Most of the victims were killed while trying to escape through woods. Others were rounded up and taken to warehouses or schools from where they were then taken to be executed.
Kitic said Peric and Pelemis abetted the summary execution of Muslims detained at the Pilica and Branjevo farms, near the eastern town of Zvornik, some 70 kilometres north of Srebrenica.
Several hours of shooting at Pilica resulted in one of the largest mass graves, making it one of the most serious crimes committed during the 1992-95 Bosnian war.
The judge said Peric and Pelemis ordered soldiers in their battalion to guard the detainees from where they were taken blindfolded and handcuffed to places of execution.
The prisoners' bodies were later thrown into mass graves and subsequently reburied to hide the traces of the crimes, said the judge.
The Zvornik brigade was one of 13 brigades of the Bosnian Serb army that comprised the Drina corps, commanded by General Radislav Krstic, who was jailed for 35 years by the U.N.war crimes tribunal in the Hague over the Srebrenica genocide.
The Bosnian court was opened in 2005 to prosecute low- and mid-ranking war crimes cases and ease the burden on the Hague-based tribunal, now focussing on top war crimes indictees, such as Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic Mladic.
(Reporting By Maja Zuvela; Editing by Matthew Jones)