Plavsic ‘could be released next year’

Bosnian Serb Prime Minister Milorad Dodik voiced hope on Thursday that former president Biljana Plavsic will be released from a Swedish prison where she is serving a war crimes sentence.

“It is realistic to expect that Plavsic will be released from jail in Sweden next year,” Dodik told journalists.

Dodik hinted that the former Bosnian Serb president could be released similarly to other convicts of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

In 2003, The Hague-based ICTY sentenced Plavsic to 11 years in jail for crimes against humanity committed during Bosnia’s 1992-1995 war.

She is serving her sentence in Sweden, which in April rejected her appeal for a pardon and release.

The 77-year-old had made the request on the grounds of her advanced age, failing health and poor prison conditions that she said made her sentence “much, much longer.”

The self-styled Bosnian Serb “Iron Lady” is the highest ranking official of the former Yugoslavia to have acknowledged responsibility for the atrocities committed in the Balkan wars.