ADN KRONOS INTERNATIONAL (ITALY)
Bosnia: Ex Serb leader's release from jail sparks row
Sarajevo, 28 October (AKI) – Bosnian media and politicians on Wednesday
bitterly protested over elderly former Bosnian Serb leader Biljana Plavsic’s
release from jail after she served two thirds of her 11-year sentence for
Plavsic, 79, was released from a Swedish jail on Tuesday and was flown to
Belgrade by a Bosnian Serb government plane.
She was sentenced by the United Nations war crimes tribunal (ICTY) in 2003
to eleven years in jail for crimes against Muslims and Croats during Bosnia’s
Plavsic was at the time a member of the highest Bosnian Serb leadership. The
tribunal decided in September to release her for “good behavior”.
She was met in Belgrade by the Bosnian Serb entity's prime minister Milorad
Sarajevo daily Dnevni avaz criticised her release in an article entitled
“Genocidal mother and her son Milorad”.
The paper said Dodik’s treatment of Plavsic upon her return showed that
Dodik hasn’t renounced her “genocidal principles” which had formed the
foundations of the Bosnian Serb entity.
Bosnia’s majority Muslim leaders have demanded the Bosnian Serb entity's
abolition, claiming it had been created from the genocide of Muslims.
The International Court of Justice ruled in February 2006 that Bosnian Serb
forces had committed genocide in the eastern town of Srebrenica in July
1995, when they murdered up to 8,000 Muslim men and boys.
Zeljko Komsic, a Croat, who currently presides over Bosnia’s three-man
rotating state presidency, has cancelled a visit to Sweden over Plavsic’s
Komsic said “any act of mercy” towards Plavsic was a “great error”.
He said one must keep in mind that the “Swedish government wasn’t forced (to
release Plavsic), but wanted to do so”. Sarajevo media blamed Swedish
foreign minister Carl Bildt for Plavsic's release saying he was a personal
friend of hers. Bildt refused to comment on the reports.
Meanwhile, a group of inmates in a jail in the central Bosnian city of
Zenica, have sewn up their lips in protest over Plavsic’s release, demanding
they too receive clemency.