Serb Leader’s Assassination Setbacks ICTY as Plasvic is Sentenced

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Thursday, May 1, 2003
Bruce Zagaris
On March 12, the assassination of Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic represented a setback to the operations of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Meanwhile, on February 27, 2003, the ICTY sentenced Bilijana Plasvic, the former president of Bosnia. On February 27, 2003, the ICTY sentenced Bilijana Plavsic, the former president of Bosnia and the only woman among more than 80 people indicted for war crimes in the former Yugoslavia, was sentenced to 11 years in prisons for crimes against humanity. Mrs. Plavsic, 72, surrendered voluntarily to the Tribunal in 2001. Initially, she pleaded not guilty. However, on September 30, 2002, she pleaded guilty to the third count of the indictment, namely persecutions, a crime against humanity. Pursuant to the Plea Agreement, the prosecutor dismissed the remaining counts of the indictment against her. She expressed sorrow for her role in Bosnia’s 1992-95 ethnic war. The three-judge panel explained that they gave a reduced sentence because Mrs. Plavsic had voluntarily and expressed remorse. Of the eight original charges against Mrs. Plavsic, seven of the counts were dismissed when she agreed to plead guilty to the one charge of persecuting individuals on political, racial and religious grounds.