AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
Friday 21 September 2012
Last Update 21 September 2012 2:55 am
WARSAW: The UN Yugoslav war crimes court wants a former Bosnian Serb general who was the first person it convicted of genocide to serve the rest of his prison term in Poland, officials said yesterday.
Radislav Krstic, convicted of genocide for his role in the Srebrenica massacre, was handed a 35-year sentence in 2004 and transferred to a British
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) wants him to serve the remainder of his term in Poland, a spokesman for the Warsaw regional court, Igor Tuleya, told AFP.
“We received a request via our ministry of justice. The files are being translated. We’ll deal with this within two months,” Tuleya told AFP.
Poland is one of 17 countries that have offered to handle convicts handed down prison terms by the tribunal, which is based in the Dutch capital The Hague.
If he is transferred, Krstic would be the first war criminal to serve time in Poland at the behest of the UN tribunal.
The Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza reported that the tribunal had asked the country to take in 64-year-old Krstic for security reasons.
Two years ago, the former general narrowly escaped a murder attempt by three Muslim fellow-inmates at Wakefield prison in northern England.
Krstic’s forces were responsible for the massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the Bosnian city of Srebrenica in July 1995 when they overran UN peacekeepers in the supposed “safe area”.
It was deemed the worst atrocity on European soil since World War II.
All told, Bosnia’s 1992-95 war claimed 100,000 lives.
If Krstic were transferred to Poland, he would also be the first war criminal to serve a sentence in the country since Erich Koch, a Nazi German who died behind bars in 1986.
Separately, a Serbian court handed down a suspended six-month jail sentence for the brother-in-law of Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic who admitted to hiding the war crimes fugitive, prosecutors said yesterday.
Miroslav Jegdic, the brother of Mladic’s wife Bosiljka, pleaded guilty to having helped hide the former Bosnian Serb army chief, currently on trial at the UN war crimes tribunal (ICTY) in The Hague, from February to April 2006.
He hid Mladic in his house near Belgrade, the prosecution said in a statement. Jegdic had made a plea agreement with prosecutors earlier this year in which he agreed to a suspended jail sentence of six months.
In August a court delivered a one-year suspended sentence to another Mladic relative, his cousin Branislav Mladic, who had hidden the general in his house in the northeastern village of Lazarevo for five years.
Mladic, then the most wanted fugitive of the ICTY, was arrested in Branislav’s house in May 2011 after 16 years on run.
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