Bosnian leader: 'Don't pardon Plavsic'

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Bosnian leader: 'Don't pardon Plavsic'

A prominent Bosnian leader has called on Sweden not to grant a pardon to former Bosnian Serb president Biljana Plavsic, who is serving an 11-year sentence for war crimes.


Given the gravity of her crimes, "any act of mercy would be big mistake and an insult to the victims and families of the victims," Zeljko Komsic, a Bosnian Croat, said in a letter to the Swedish government.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) sentenced Plavsic in 2003 after she admitted playing a leading role in a campaign of persecution against Croats and Muslims during Bosnia's 1992-95 war.

Plavsic, 78, has requested an early release from Sweden's Hinseberg women's prison, based on her advancing age, failing health and poor prison conditions.

"I have an information that there is a possibility of the Swedish judiciary accepting (Plavsic's) request ... for a pardon after she served two thirds of her sentence," Komsic said in the letter released by his office.

"One should especially bear in mind that some 60,000 people of Bosnian origin now live in Sweden, most of whom were forced to leave their homeland because of (Plavsic's) engagement in the war," Komsic said.

Sweden, which agreed to an ICTY request to house Plavsic at the end of her trial, is obliged to respect the opinion of The Hague-based UN court on the issue.

Plavsic is the highest ranking official of the former Yugoslavia to have acknowledged responsibility for atrocities committed in the Balkan wars of the 1990s.


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