Wednesday 26 March 2014

Krstić in Poland

Radislav Krstić, who was convicted of aiding and abetting genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and sentenced to 35 years’ imprisonment, was transferred to Poland where he is to serve the remainder of his sentence.  Krstić was originally sent to the United Kingdom. There he was brutally attacked by other inmates. He was subsequently transferred to the Detention Unit in The Hague because he was a witness in ongoing proceedings. After much hesitation, he has now been sent to Poland.
Krsti?  arrived last Saturday and has been placed in a form of interim detention for a two-month period after which he is to be moved to a prison. Polish courts have not yet decided how his sentence will be adapted to the realities of Polish law. Under national legislation, he is entitled to ask for pardon or conditional release after serving 15 years of his sentence. When he was in Britain, the date of eligibility for parole was set as 1 June 2016, just over two years from now. But under Polish law he may already be eligible for parole, given that his sentence is calculated from 3 December 1998 when he was first taken into custody by the Tribunal. Polish law does not contemplate a custodial term longer than 25 years’ imprisonment, although it permits a sentence of life imprisonment.

There is much information on earlier stages in the proceedings concerning the detention of Krstić in an article by Oktawian Kuc in the 2012 edition of the Polish Yearbook of International Law. There is also a decision concerning his detention issued by the United Kingdom High Court dated 13 August 2010 ([2010] EWHC 2125 (Admin)).
Thanks to Karolina Wierczynska.

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