News 03 Jul 13

Hague to Free Bosnian Serb Parliament Chief Krajisnik

The Hague Tribunal is to grant early release to Momcilo Krajisnik, who was serving a 20-year sentence for forcing Bosniaks and Croats from their homes during wartime.

Denis Dzidic

The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, ICTY, said that former Bosnian Serb parliamentary speaker Krajisnik would be released on September 1 after serving two-thirds of his war crimes sentence.

“I am of the view that Krajisnik, through his good behaviour during his detention, has demonstrated some rehabilitation, which militates in favour of his early release,” said the ICTY’s president, Theodor Meron, in a statement explaining his decision.

“Krajisnik was accepting the Tribunal’s verdict and his responsibility for the forced transfer of the non-Serb population from the territory of Republika Srpska. He also expressed readiness to assist in reconciliation between nations in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” the explanation said.

Krajisnik, aged 68, was jailed for the persecution, deportation and forcible transfer of civilians during the conflict in Bosnia in 1992.

In November last year, the ICTY refused to grant him early release, saying that the crimes for which he was convicted “were among the most severe ones known to humankind”.

Krajisnik was found guilty in March 2009 of the deportations and forced transfer of the Bosniak and Croat population in several municipalities of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the period between April and December 1992.

According to a report from the British prison where he has been serving his sentence, Krajisnik has said that after his release, he wants to return to the Bosnian town of Pale and work at a petrol station run by his children.

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