Macedonia: War crimes convict returns to hero's welcome after early release

Several thousand people gathered at an airport in Macedonia to welcome home a former police officer who had served eight years in prison for committing war crimes during a 2001 insurgency by ethnic Albanian militants.

Johan Tarculovski was greeted at the airport in the capital of Skopje by relatives as well as conservative Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and other government officials. His return was broadcast live on television.

The 39-year-old was convicted by a U.N. tribunal in 2008 for the murder of three ethnic Albanian civilians and the destruction of 12 homes during a police raid on a village near the end of the six-month insurgency.

He was released from a prison in Germany this week after serving eight years of a 12-year sentence.