UN tribunal transfers former Bosnian Serb leader to UK prison

8 September 2009

One of the highest-ranking Bosnian Serb officials found guilty of offences committed during the Balkan wars in the 1990s has been transferred to the United Kingdom to serve the remainder of his 20-year sentence, the United Nations tribunal set up to prosecute crimes during the conflicts announced today.

Momcilo Krajišnik was transferred from the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague to the UK yesterday, according to a news release issued by the court.

Mr. Krajišnik had served in various senior Bosnian Serb positions immediately before and during the 1992-95 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He was president of the Bosnian Serb Assembly, a member of the National Security Council and a member of the Main Board of the Serbian Democratic Party.

In September 2006, Mr. Krajišnik was found by the ICTY to have participated in a joint criminal enterprise – which included former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžic – that sought to ethnically re-compose the territories under the Bosnian Serb Republic’s control by slashing the proportion of non-Serbs through crimes.

The convictions of Mr. Krajišnik for the deportation, forcible transfer and persecution of Bosnian Muslims and Croat civilians, including women, children and the elderly, between 1992 and 1995 were upheld by the ICTY on appeal in March this year. However, findings of guilty for murder, extermination and persecution were overturned.

Since it became operational 16 years ago, the ICTY has concluded proceedings against 120 accused, out of 161 people indicted for war crimes. Proceedings are ongoing for 41 accused, and two suspects – Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic and the ethnic Serb politician Goran Hadžic – remain at large.

News Tracker: Past Stories on This Issue

UN tribunal hands down 20-year sentence to former top Bosnian Serb official

The appeals chamber of the United Nations war crimes tribunal set up after the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s today upheld earlier convictions of a former top Bosnian Serb official and sentenced him to 20 years in prison for deportations, forcible transfer and persecution of non-Serb civilians during the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina.