Tribunal delivering appeal judgment for Croats

Associated Press
Croatian war veterans hold candles during a vigil for Croatian generals Gotovina and Markac, in Zagreb, Croatia, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012.Thousands of Croatians on Thursday attended Masses and candlelight vigils for their hero, Gen. Ante Gotovina, as they anxiously awaited the outcome of his appeal against a war crimes verdict at a U.N. tribunal.(AP Photo/Nikola Solic)

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Yugoslav war crimes tribunal is delivering its decision in the appeal of two Croatian generals convicted for their roles in a 1995 military offensive to drive Serb rebels out of land they had occupied for years along part of Croatia's border with Bosnia.

The generals, Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac, were sentenced to 24 and 18 years respectively in 2011 for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Judges ruled both men were part of a criminal conspiracy led by former Croat president Franjo Tudjman to expel Serbs.

They are still considered heroes in their home country for their roles in Operation Storm, the battle seen as sealing Croatia's independence as the former Yugoslavia crumbled.

Croatian war veterans' organizations called for prayers for the generals ahead of Friday's appeals judgment.

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