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Serb General Released Early

Strugar to be released after serving two-thirds of prison term.
By Simon Jennings
A Serb ex-general in the Yugoslav People’s Army, JNA, was granted early release this week by the president of the Hague tribunal.

Pavle Strugar will be released on February 20 having served two-thirds of his seven-and-half-year prison sentence for war crimes carried out in the Croatian town of Dubrovnik during 1991.

Strugar was convicted of failing to prevent the unlawful killing of civilians and shelling of protected buildings in the town by forces under his command.

He has served his sentence in the tribunal’s detention unit in The Hague, having surrendered to the tribunal in October 2001.

Convicted in 2005, he was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment before an appeals ruling in July 2008 reduced the sentence by six months.

“The President [Judge Patrick Robinson] considered several factors when evaluating Strugar’s application, including the gravity of crimes for which he was convicted, previous practice and the prisoner’s demonstration of rehabilitation, as well as Strugar’s ‘deteriorating medical condition’,” said tribunal spokeswoman Nerma Jelacic.

Simon Jennings is an IWPR reporter in The Hague.

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