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ICTY denies former Serb parliament speaker's request for early release

The International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] on Thursday rejected [judgment, PDF] a third request for early release for former Bosnian Serb parliament speaker Momcilo Krajisnik [ICTY materials; JURIST news archive]. Krajisnik was convicted [JURIST report] in 2006 of persecution, extermination, murder, deportation and inhumane acts during the 1992-95 Bosnian Civil War [JURIST news archive]. He was sentenced to 27 years in a British prison and given credit for time served since April 2000. A report on Krajisnik's conduct in prison stated that his behavior had been exemplary and that he should be released after serving less than two-thirds of his sentence. ICTY President Theodor Meron [official profile] rejected Krajisnik's request citing the gravity of the crimes he committed:

Although there is evidence that Krajisnik 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, which caused great suffering. Moreover, Krajisnik will not have served two-thirds of his sentence until August 2013, and the practice of the Tribunal is to consider the eligibility of a convicted person only after he has served two-thirds of his sentence.
The severity of Krajisnik's crimes was also the stated reason for the denial of his previous appeal [JURIST report].

Since his transfer to the UK, Krajisnik had previously been denied early release twice, in July 2011 and July 2010. At Krajisnik's 2006 trial, the ICTY found him not guilty on a charge of genocide for which prosecutors had requested a life sentence [JURIST report]. He was instead sentenced to 27 years imprisonment. Krajisnik was initially indicted together 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. Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic [JURIST news archive], with whom Krajisnik worked closely, was arrested in 2008 and currently faces war crimes charges [JURIST reports] before the ICTY.

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