UN Court Releases Convicted Bosnian Croat Official Early
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The Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals in The Hague on Tuesday granted early release to Berislav Pusic after he served two-thirds of his ten-year sentence for committing wartime crimes from 1992 to 1994.
“Although I have taken into consideration the gravity of the crime for which he was found guilty, I have also considered the fact that Pusic has evidently accepted the responsibility for those crimes and I consider he has demonstrated the signs of rehabilitation,” said the decision by the president of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals, Theodor Meron.
Meron also said that there were health reasons for giving early release to Pusic, who was the head of the wartime Bosnian Croat prisoner exchange commission.
In November last year, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia convicted Pusic of participating in a joint criminal enterprise aimed at persecuting and ethnically cleansing Bosniaks from Herceg-Bosnia, alongside Jadranko Prlic, Bruno Stojic, Slobodan Praljak, Milivoje Petkovic and Valentin Coric.
The court said the six Bosnian Croat officials wanted to annex the territory to a ‘Greater Croatia’.
While the verdict was being read out, Praljak drank poison in the courtroom and died soon afterwards. The others are serving their sentences.