Former Bosnian Serb President Plavsic to be freed

The early release from prison of former Bosnian Serb President Biljana Plavsic - after she served two-thirds of her 11-year sentence for persecution – has been approved by the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal.

Plavsic is one of the most senior political leaders ever convicted by the UN court.

She was sentenced in February 2003 after pleading guilty to a single count of persecution as part of an ethnic cleansing campaign to drive Muslims and Croats out of Serb-controlled areas of Bosnia.

Her guilty plea was part of a plea bargain to have other charges including genocide dropped.

Tribunal President Patrick Robinson said in a decision released today that Plavsic should be released “notwithstanding the gravity of her crimes”.

The 79-year-old is serving her sentence in Sweden.

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