Carmel Agius, the head of the UN's court for war crimes in former Yugoslavia, denied early release request filed by a wartime commander of Bosnian Serb army Radislav Krstic, who is serving a 35-year sentence for the Srebrenica genocide.
Agius is the President of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT), the court that took over the job of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) after it closed in December 2017.
“Having carefully reviewed the information before me, there is no indication that any compelling or exceptional circumstances exist which would justify Krstic's release before he has served the minimum number of years necessary to be considered eligible for early release. The Judges who have been consulted in the present matter agree with this assessment,” said judge Agius.
He recalled that Krstic would be eligible to considered for early release in March 2022.
Krstic was charged with playing a “leading role” in an operation which involved an attack on the UN-protected Srebrenica enclave in 1995, during the 1992-95 Bosnian war.
The shelling of Srebrenica drove the Bosnian Muslim population inhabiting the area to Potocari, a zone under the UN-protection, which saw the mass killing of about 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men in the period between 13 and 19 July 1995 and which two international courts later ruled was an act of genocide.
Although he was pronounced not guilty of genocide as a principal perpetrator, Krstic was found guilty in 2004 as an aider and abettor to genocide and sentenced to 35 years behind the bars.
He is serving the sentence in a Polish prison.