Bosnian Serb General Radislav Krstic Denied Early Release

11. September 2019.12:52
The UN court rejected a request for early release from former Bosnian Serb commander Radislav Krstic, who is serving a 35-year prison sentence for aiding the genocide of Bosniaks from Srebrenica.

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The Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals in The Hague has again rejected a request for early release filed by Radislav Krstic, the wartime commander of the Bosnian Serb Army’s Drina Corps, who was convicted in 2004 of aiding and abetting genocide.

In February this year, Krstic asked to be released early on the basis of the law in Poland, where he is serving his sentence.

According to Polish law, a person serving a 25-year sentence, which is the maximum term Krstic may serve in that country according to a Polish court’s decision, has the right to file a request for conditional early release after having served 15 years.

In line with these regulations, Krstic gained the right to file a request for early release in December 2013.

His first request for release was rejected in December 2016.

The president of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals, Carmel Agius, said on Wednesday that he refused Krstic’s second request because it did not meet the conditions for consideration.

“There are no indications that there exist persuasive or exceptional circumstances that would justify Krstic’s release prior to him having served the minimal number of years needed to consider him suitable for an early release,” Agius said in his decision.

“In the absence of any new data on Krstic’s current health condition, there are no indications of any persuasive or exceptional circumstances that would require his release to liberty prior to serving two-thirds of his sentence,” he added.

Krstic will have served two-thirds of his sentence by the end of March 2022.

He was sentenced to 35 years in prison for assisting in and supporting the commission of genocide of more than 7,000 Bosniaks from Srebrenica in July 1995.

According to the verdict – the first for genocide in the Bosnian war – Krstic knew about the killings of the Bosniaks and allowed the Bosnian Serb Army’s Main Headquarters to use personnel and equipment under his command to assist in the massacres.

He was initially sent to Britain to serve his sentence, but was attacked by fellow inmates inside the prison, after which he was transferred back to The Hague and subsequently sent to Poland to serve the rest of his term.

His attackers, who were all serving murder sentences, were convicted by a British court in February 2011 and given additional life sentences.

In 2013, the Hague Tribunal acquitted Krstic of contempt of court charges that were laid after he had refused to testify at the trial of former Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic.

Emina Dizdarević Tahmiščija

This post is also available in: Bosnian