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Former Bosnian Serb Officer Given Temporary Leave

Former Bosnian Serb army officer granted temporary leave by UN tribunal

A former senior officer in the Bosnian Serb army facing trial at the United Nations war crimes tribunal set up to deal with the worst crimes of the Balkan wars of the 1990s has been granted temporary release from jail so he can attend a memorial service for his father.

The trial chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), which sits in The Hague, ordered today that Vinko Pandurević be released under certain terms and conditions, including that he return to the Tribunal's custody on 8 January next year.

Mr. Pandurević - who served as a lieutenant colonel in the Bosnian Serb armed forces (VRS) - and six others are charged with crimes committed against Bosnian Muslims in the Srebrenica and Žepa enclaves in mid-1995. More than 7,000 Muslim men and boys were murdered in Srebrenica after Bosnian Serb forces overran what was supposed to be a UN-protected enclave, or safe haven, and the ICTY has found previously that the events there constituted genocide.

The provisional release of Mr. Pandurević follows the ICTY's decisions over the past month to temporarily release four other men, who are also facing trial at the Tribunal, during its winter recess.


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