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(E) Justice? Politics?
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  03/16/2003 | Politics | Unrated
(E) Justice? Politics?


Justice? Politics!

The former academic looked tense as the verdict was read out. Dressed in a green jumper and blue blazer, she stood as the presiding U.N. judge pronounced sentence. A large gold cross hung prominently around her neck. 

Globe and Mail (AP)

"The crimes were of the utmost gravity: that is the starting point for the determination of sentence," Judge May said. "Having given due weight to the factors set out, the Trial Chamber sentences you to a period of 11 years."
Experts estimate that more than 200,000 people were killed in the Bosnian war, the worst carnage seen in Europe since the Second World War, as Serbs led a campaign to drive out Muslims and Croats from Serb-dominated areas and create a unified greater Serbia.
May recounted that Bosnians were "mistreated, raped, tortured and killed" in a campaign of ethnic cleansing that Plavsic embraced and promoted.
"No sentence which the trial chamber passes can fully reflect the horror of what occurred or the terrible impact on thousands of victims," Judge May said.

Globe and Mail (AP)

Judge Richard May said Ms. Plavsic participated in crimes of "utmost gravity" during the 1992-95 war in Bosnia and that "undue lenience would be misplaced."

(what would, in light of pronounced sentence, undue leniancy be? being declared UN Ambassador of Peace?)

Globe and Mail (AP)

It also discounted the prosecution's argument that her refusal to testify against Mr. Milosevic should be held against her.

Globe and Mail (AP)

In changing her plea, Ms. Plavsic conceded that she was responsible for the crimes listed in the indictment, including "forced transfer or deportation, unlawful detention and killing, cruel and inhumane treatment and inhumane conditions in detention facilities, destruction of cultural and sacred objects, plunder, wanton destruction, forced labor and use of human shields."


Judith Armatta from the Coalition for International Justice commented: "I imagine many victims will be distressed and feel that it's not
sufficient. I think the court wanted to make a strong statement about her attempts for reconciliation."

Canadian Press (AP)

Judith Armatta, an expert on war crimes law at the Coalition for International Justice, was surprised at the brevity of Plavsic's sentence. But she said the decision was unusually difficult because of the contrast between the severity of Plavsic's crimes and the many mitigating factors. 
"There should be more consistency in sentencing, but the rules are still being developed," she said. "This panel wanted to give some credence to her conduct, especially after the war."

Canadian Press (AP)

At a sentence hearing in December, Albright said she had found Plavsic's policies of Serb superiority "repugnant." But she changed her mind about the Bosnian leader after their first one-on-one meeting in 1997. 

Tomislav Petricevic

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