STOCKHOLM, Sweden (December 4,2008) - Sweden’s Justice Ministry has denied a second pardon request from the convicted Serbian war criminal Biljana Plavsic, the former fascist leader of the Serbians living in Bosnia, to have her 11-year-jail sentence ended.
"The government has today rejected Biljana Plavsic's pardon request," it said in a brief statement.
A justice ministry spokeswoman said the government would not disclose the reasons for its decision.
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague sentenced Serbian war criminal Biljana Plavsic, now 78, in February 2003 for crimes against humanity committed during the 1992-95 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.
Sweden agreed to house Plavsic in one of its prisons in response to a request from the tribunal. She was transferred in June 2003 and is an inmate at the Hinseberg women's prison.
Serbian war criminal Biljana Plavsic had requested an early release based on her advancing age, failing health and "poor prison conditions".
Swedish news agency TT said a recent psychiatric evaluation had shown that she was in poor health and that she has had a hard time adapting to life behind bars.
She is also significantly older than the other inmates "and has reportedly received threats," the agency said.
Given the gravity of her crimes, "any act of mercy would be big mistake and an insult to the victims and families of the victims," a member of the Bosnian Syaye Presidency Zeljko Komsic, said in a letter to the Swedish government.
"One should especially bear in mind that some 60,000 people of Bosnian origin now live in Sweden, most of whom were forced to leave their homeland because of (Serbian war criminal Biljana Plavsic's) engagement in the war," Komsic said.
Sweden's government denied Serbian war criminal Biljana Plavsic's first pardon request in April 2007.
Serbian fascist Biljana Plavsic was indicted and tried by The Hague Tribunal. In 2002, she plea bargained and was convicted to a shamefully low sentence of 11 years in jail for crimes against humanity.
As part of Serbian war criminal Biljana Plavsic’s plea deal, she laid the blame for the genocide committed against the Bosnian people during the 1992-95 Serbian aggression against Bosnia on the late former Yugoslav president,Serbian war criminal Slobodan Milosevic, and on former leaders of the Serbians living in Bosnia,Serbian war criminals Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic.