Case No. IT-96-21-A bis


Judge Theodor Meron, President of the Tribunal

Mr. Hans Holthuis

Decision of:
9 July 2003




I, THEODOR MERON, President of the International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991 ("International Tribunal");

NOTING Zdravko Mucicís request for early release dated 8 April 2003 ("Request");

NOTING that, on 16 November 1998, Trial Chamber II rendered its Judgement in The Prosecutor v. Zejnil Delalic, Zdravko Mucic, Hazim Delic and Esad Landzo, IT-96-21-T, in which it sentenced Zdravko Mucic to seven (7) yearsí imprisonment;

NOTING that, pursuant to an appeal from the Prosecution, Trial Chamber III in The Prosecutor v. Zdravko Mucic, Hazim Delic and Esad Landzo, No. IT-96-21-Tbis-R117, increased Zdravko Mucicís sentence to nine (9) years in its Sentencing Judgement rendered on 9 October 2001 ("Sentencing Judgement"), which was confirmed by the Appeals Chamber on 8 April 2003;

NOTING that, pursuant to Article 7 of 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, IT/146, 7 April 1999 ("Practice Direction"), the President of the International Tribunal determines, in consultation with the Sentencing Chamber and the Bureau, whether requests for early release should be granted;

PURSUANT to the Sentencing Judgement and Rule 101 (C) of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence ("Rules"), which provides that the convicted person shall be given credit for time spent in custody pending surrender to the Tribunal or pending trial or appeal, Zdravko Mucic will have completed his sentence on 18 March 2005;

PURSUANT to Article 28 of the Statute of the International Tribunal ("Statute"), Rule 123 of the Rules and Article 1 of the Practice Direction, when a convicted person becomes eligible for early release under the law of the State in which he is serving his sentence, the enforcing State shall, in accordance with its agreement with the International Tribunal on the enforcement of sentences, notify the International Tribunal accordingly,

CONSIDERING, however, that Zdravko Mucic is not serving his sentence in one of the States signatory to the agreement with the International Tribunal on the enforcement of sentences ("Signatory State" or, for more than one Signatory State, "Signatory States") because he remained in detention at the United Nations Detention Unit ("UNDU") pending the outcome of his appeals,

CONSIDERING that the Practice Direction does not specify the early release procedure when a convicted person has served his sentence at the UNDU, in The Netherlands, which is not a Signatory State;

CONSIDERING that the conditions for eligibility regarding early release petitions should be applied equally;

CONSIDERING that eligibility for early release in Signatory States starts at two-thirds of the sentence served and, in some circumstances, even earlier, Zdravko Mucicís application is receivable because he has served two-thirds of his sentence and is therefore eligible for early release;

NOTING the Registrarís confidential Memorandum of 1 May 2003 ("Registrarís Confidential Memorandum"), which introduces the information gathered by the Registry in accordance with Article 2 of the Practice Direction;

NOTING the 10 April 2003 report from Mr. Tim McFadden, Commanding Officer of the UNDU, in which he described Zdravko Mucicís behaviour in detention as good and respectful of the staff and management personnel and in compliance with the rules of detention ("Detention Report");

NOTING Dr. Petrovicís psychological evaluation of 7 February 2001 regarding Zdravko Mucic, in which she concluded that Zdravko Mucic is not prone to loss of control ("Psychological Evaluation");

NOTING the internal Memoranda from the Office of the Prosecutor dated 28 April 2003 and 14 May 2003, respectively, which concern Zdravko Mucicís cooperation with the Office of the Prosecutor ("Prosecutorís Memoranda");

CONSIDERING Zdravko Mucicís interview on 24 June 2003, pursuant to Article 4 of the Practice Direction ("Interview") during which he acknowledged that the conditions at the Celebici prison-camp were appalling and expressed his respect for, and his gratitude to, the Bench and the judicial process;

NOTING Zdravko Mucicís Supplemental Memorandum in Support of his Request for Early Release ("Zdravko Mucicís Supplemental Memorandum"), filed on 23 June 2003;

CONSIDERING Rule 125, incorporated by reference to the Practice Direction, which lists elements to consider when examining a petition for early release, such as: gravity of the offence, demonstration of rehabilitation, any substantial cooperation of the prisoner with the Prosecutor and treatment of similarly-treated prisoners, as well as, further criteria enunciated in prior Orders pertaining to early release petitions;

NOTING the gravity of the offence committed by Zdravko Mucic while Commander of the Celebici prison-camp;

NOTING Zdravko Mucicís resolve to be reintegrated into society, his good physical and mental condition, his irreproachable behaviour in detention, his attachment to his family and the possibility for him to exercise a profession when released;

CONSIDERING Zdravko Mucicís Request, the Registrarís Confidential Memorandum, the Sentencing Judgement, the Detention Report, the Psychological Evaluation, the Prosecutorís internal Memoranda, the Interview and Zdravko Mucicís Supplemental Memorandum;

CONSIDERING that, because the Trial Chamber, which initially sentenced Zdravko Mucic cannot be reconstituted, the consultation, required by Article 7 of the Practice Direction, was limited to the members of the Bureau;

HAVING CONSULTED the Members of the Bureau and considered their recommendation;

PURSUANT to Rules 124 and 125 of the Rules and paragraph 7 of the Practice Direction,


DECIDE to grant Zdravko Mucicís Request, effective July 18, 2003;

REQUEST the Registrar to inform the authorities at the United Nations Detention Unit of this Decision.


Done in French and English, the English version being authoritative.

Done this 9th day of July 2003,
At The Hague,
The Netherlands.

Theodor Meron
President of the International Tribunal

[Seal of the Tribunal]