ICTY: Hague Tribunal grants Radic early release

11. January 2013.11:34
The Hague Tribunal has granted early release to Mladja Radic, sentenced in 2005 to 20 years of prison for crimes committed in the Omarska camp near Prijedor.

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The Tribunal president Theodor Meron granted the early release effective December 31, 2012.

“I am of the view that there is limited evidence of rehabilitation on the part of Radic. I note that the only factor that weighs in favour of granting the Request is the fact that Radic served two-thirds of the sentence as of 9 August 2011,” said in the decision made on January 9.

Meron noted that the convicted person reaching two-thirds of his or her sentence is merely eligible for early release and not entitled to such release, and that Radic’s request should not have been granted earlier.

In his decision, the Tribunal’s president pointed out the conclusions from the Trial Chamber, which noted that as a guard shift leader at the Omarska camp between May and August 1992, Radic “played a substantial role in the functioning of the camp”.

“Guards on his shift were notoriously brutal and he played a role in orchestrating the abuses, and he personally committed crimes of sexual violence against female detainees,” said in Radic’s conviction.

In his request, Radic, who served his sentence in France, stated that an early release is warranted because “he has shown good behaviour towards the prison staff and has not been subject to any disciplinary measure”, as well as that “his rehabilitation has been successful and that he is capable to restart his life outside of prison.”

A letter from the French authorities stated that Radic has not demonstrated an effort to reintegrate, since he did not participate in professional or educational activities offered to him in detention, including French lessons, which rendered it more difficult to interact with him.

In response, Radic’s counsel stated that his rehabilitation has been impeded by serving his sentence in a country where he faced language and cultural differences, as well as that his educational background and prior life experience had not provided him with the necessary tools to deal with his situation.

Radic was arrested by SFOR in 1998, and the time spent in custody – from the arrest to the end of trial in 2005 – was subtracted from his sentence.

Radic was tried for crimes committed in the Prijedor camps Omarska, Keraterm and Trnopolje together with another four accused.

Dragoljub Prcac, Milojica Kos and Miroslav Kvocka, who were sentenced to prison terms between five and seven years, have been released, while Zoran Zigic is still serving his 25-year term.

Marija Taušan

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