ICTY grants early release to former head of the Bosnian Serb parliament

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] on Tuesday, granted early release [opinion] to Momcilo Krajisnik [ICTY materials, JURIST news archive], the former head of the Bosnian Serb parliament who was convicted in 2006 [case text] of the persecution, deportation and forcible transfer of civilians from their homes during Bosnia's 1992-95 war. The decision, written by Judge Theodor Meron [UN profile], was partially based upon evidence of Krajisnik's rehabilitation during his time in prison:

The SPR Report states that Krajisnik "could be termed as a model prisoner" and that since his arrival at the Usk prison, "he has behaved in an exemplary manner." It notes that Krajisnik attends the prison's education department to improve his knowledge of the English language, is involved in a Bible study group, and "uses the gym to keep himself fit." The SPR Report further notes that, upon release, Krajisnik wishes to return to his home in Pale, in Republika Srpska, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and work at his children's petrol station company
Despite two judges' belief that he should be released on August 3, the date that will mark completion of two-thirds of his total sentence, Meron determined that he will be released on September 1.

The ICTY had denied three of Krajisnik's previous requests for early release denied, most recently [JURIST report] last November. Krajisnik had previously been denied early release in 2011 and 2010 [JURIST report]. At Krajisnik's 2006 trial, the ICTY found him not guilty on a charge of genocide, for which prosecutors had requested a life sentence, but still sentenced to 27 years [JURIST reports] imprisonment for various other war crimes. Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic [JURIST news archive], with whom Krajisnik worked closely, was also arrested in 2008 and currently faces war crimes charges [JURIST reports] before the ICTY. Krajisnik was initially indicted along with Biljana Plavsic [JURIST news archive], the former Bosnian Serb president, who was sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2003 after testifying against Krajisnik.

 

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