Vinko Martinovic, a Bosnian Croat convicted of war crimes against Bosniaks in Mostar, was released from prison on Monday after twelve years behind bars.
Martinovic, 48, was sentenced to 18 years in prison by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia for his participation in a campaign of ethnic cleansing in 1993 in the ethnically mixed city of Mostar, in southern Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Together with his military superior Mladen Naletilic, Martinovic was convicted in 2003. His release was announced by the International Criminal Tribunal, ICTY, on Monday.
Martinovic was convicted for willful killing, persecutions on political, racial and religious grounds, inhumane acts, murder and other crimes.
It was proved in court that he personally participated in the killing of Nenad Harmandzic, who was brought to Martinovic's staff office in July 1993, severely beaten and shot in the face and killed.
Martinovic, wartime commander of the so-called "Convicts battallion" within the Bosnian Croat militia, HVO, also personally participated in expelling Bosniak civilians from their homes in May 1993.
The ICTY indicted Martinovic in December 1998. In August the following year, he was captured by Croatian police and transferred to the court at the Hague.
In March 2003, he was sentenced 18 years' imprisonment, and his commander Mladen Naletilic to 20 years in prison.
In 2008, after the ICTY appeals chamber confirmed both sentences, Martinovic was transferred to prison in Italy. He was released after 12 years in prison, according to the ICTY rule that a convict can be released after serving two-thirds of his sentence.
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