News 09 Nov 12

Hague Tribunal Denies Momcilo Krajisnik’s Early Release

The President of the Hague Tribunal, Theodor Meron, has denied the request for early release of Momcilo Krajisnik, who is sentenced to 20 years in prison for crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Denis Dzidic
BIRN
Sarajevo

Judge Meron emphasised that the crimes for which Krajisnik was convicted “were among the most severe ones known to humankind.”

“Krajisnik should not be released at this point. Although there is evidence that he has been rehabilitated and that the risk of his committing a new crime once released is low, Krajisnik was convicted of crimes of a very high gravity, involving widespread displacement of the non-Serb population in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” states the decision by the Hague Tribunal president.

Krajisnik was found guilty in 2009 of deportation and forced displacement of the Bosniak and Croatian population in several municipalities of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the period between April and December 1992.

Meron’s decision specifies that the convicted war criminals have been mostly released after serving two-thirds of their sentence, which, in Krajisnik’s case, would be in August 2013.

Krajisnik, the former speaker of the Republika Srpska parliament, is serving a 20-year sentence in the UK. The British authorities stated that Krajisnik’s behavour in prison “has been exemplary” and that “it is now an appropriate time for him to be released back into the community.”

The time he spent in custody since April 2000, when he was arrested and extradited to the Hague Tribunal, has been subtracted from his sentence.

Krajisnik already requested to be released in 2010 and 2011 – when, according to British laws, he was entitled to a release since he served half of his sentence – but the Hague Tribunal denied his motion.

 

 

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Background

Timeline – Cuska Case

Timeline of events in the case against 13 former Serb fighters charged with committing war crimes in the villages of Cuska, Zahac, Ljubenic and Pavlac in Kosovo in 1999.

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