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Prison warden sentenced to 7 years by UN Yugoslavia Criminal Tribunal

Prison warden sentenced to 7 years by UN Yugoslavia Criminal Tribunal

The United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) today sentenced former prison warden Milorad Krnojelac to seven years imprisonment for crimes against humanity.

The Tribunal’s Trial Chamber II found Mr. Krnojelac guilty on four counts -- of persecution as a crime against humanity, of inhumane acts as a crime against humanity and of two counts of cruel treatment as a violation of the laws of war. He was acquitted on other eight counts.

“The accused chose to bury his head in the sand, and to ignore the responsibilities and power which he had as warden of KP Dom to improve the situation of non-Serb detainees,” according to the ICTY. The Tribunal described his sentence as “intended to make clear to others who seek to avoid the responsibilities of command… that their failure to carry out those responsibilities will still be punished.” In mitigation, the Tribunal noted that Mr. Krnojelac was inexperienced in the role of warden, and that his participation in the crimes with which he was charged was limited to aiding and abetting the criminality of others.

Mr. Kronojelac, a mathematics teacher prior to becoming warden of the notorious Kazneno-Popravni Dom in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992, expressed no regret for his part in the crimes that had taken place in the prison.

The nearly four years Mr. Kronjelac has already spent in detention will be counted towards the completion of his sentence.