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The President of the ICTY orders release of Milojica Kos

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

The Hague, 31 July 2002

The President of the ICTY Orders Release of Milojica Kos

On Wednesday 31 July 2002, Milojica Kos was released from the ICTY’s Detention Unit, following an order issued the previous day by the President of the Tribunal, Judge Claude Jorda.

Kos, a shift commander at the Omarska camp, was arrested by SFOR and transferred to The Hague on 29 May 1998. He was convicted on 2 November 2001 for persecution as a crime against humanity and for murder and torture as violations of the laws or customs of war. He was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment, with credit for three years, five months and five days as time already served (see Press Release 631e). Milojica Kos filed a request for early release on 5 June 2002.

In the Order granting release, President Jorda stated that no provision in the Tribunal’s Statute or Rules of Procedure and Evidence prevented the Tribunal from deciding on a request for early release of a convicted person who had been serving part of his sentence in the Detention Unit.

The President’s Order is based on a number of documents, namely a report from the Commander of the Detention Unit on the accused’s behaviour during his detention; a declaration by a psychiatrist on the state of Kos’s mental health; and on a memorandum from the Prosecutor on his cooperation with her office.

The Order follows a meeting between the President and Kos on 25 July 2002, pursuant to the “Practice Direction on the Procedure for the Determination of Applications for Pardon, Commutation of Sentence and Early Release of Persons Convicted by the International Tribunal”.

The Order considers the gravity of the crimes for which Kos was sentenced. It also acknowledges the accused’s willingness to reintegrate into society; his determination not to re-offend; his good physical and mental health; his exemplary behaviour during detention; his attachment to his family; and the possibility for him to find employment.

The Order granting early release to Kos is the second such Order. The first was made in December 2001 with regards to Dragan Kolundžija (see Press Release 646e).

The release of Kos brings to four the number of persons convicted by the Tribunal who have served their sentences (Dražen Erdemović, Zlatko Aleksovski, Dragan Kolundžija and Milojica Kos).

Seven convicted are currently serving their sentences (Duško Sikirica, Damir Došen, Drago Josipović, Vladimir Šantić, Stevan Todorović, Anto Furundžija, Duško Tadić).

Four accused who have been convicted and sentenced are awaiting transfer to a state to serve their sentences (Goran Jelisić, Dragoljub Kunarac, Radomir Kovač and Zoran Vuković).

The order was made after consultations with the Bureau and the Presiding Judge of Trial Chamber I, which rendered the Sentencing Judgement on 2 November 2001.

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