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Statement on behalf of Biljana Plavsic Statement by Robert Pavich, Lead Counsel for Biljana Plavsic

Press Release
(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)

The Hague, 2 October 2002

The Tribunal's Public Information Services have been requested by the Defence Counsel of Biljana Plavsic to issue the following statements, upon completion of the hearing to change her plea:


By accepting responsibility and expressing her remorse fully and unconditionally, Mrs. Plavsic hopes to offer some consolation to the innocent victims -- Muslim, Croat and Serb -- of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mrs. Plavsic invites others, especially leaders, on any side of the conflict, to examine themselves and their own conduct.

The acknowledgement of guilt by Mrs. Plavsic is individual and personal. Legal responsibility can only be borne by persons individually, based upon individual acts and conduct. Mrs. Plavsic's acknowledgment of guilt reflects this principle and affirms that the legal responsibility of an individual, even if he or she is a leader, cannot be attributed to a group of people. Her acceptance of this responsibility will, she hopes, enable her people to move past the carnage of the past decade, to reconcile with their neighbours, and, ultimately, to restore their dignity as a respected people.



As Lead Counsel for Mrs. Plavsic, I would like to note two important facts about the plea agreement:

First - there is no agreement, nor have there been any discussions, between Mrs. Plavsic and the Office of the Prosecutor regarding sentencing. Mrs. Plavsic understands, as the Agreement itself specifically provides, that she is subjecting herself to a possible sentence of life imprisonment.

Second - Mrs. Plavsic has not agreed to testify in any case pending before this Tribunal.

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

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