The appellate judgment confirmed Vinko Pandurevic’s 13-year prison sentence for the crimes in Srebrenica. The former commander of the VRS Zvornik Brigade has now served three quarters of his sentence and he filed a motion for early release immediately after the judgment was rendered
Last week the Appeals Chamber confirmed Vinko Pandurevic's 13-year prison sentence for the crimes in Srebrenica and Zepa in July 1995. The former commander of the VRS Zvornik Brigade has now filed a motion for early release from the Detention Unit in The Hague. Pandurevic has spent nine years and 11 months in the detention, which is '75 per cent of his sentence’.
In his motion to the Tribunal’s President Theodor Meron, Pandurevic refers to the Statute and the practice of the International Tribunal. Pandurevic recalls that he surrendered voluntarily in March 2003 and has cooperated with the OTP. During the trial, Pandurevic noted, he testified in his own defense ‘exposing myself to the prosecutor’s cross-examination about the events relevant for the indictment and other things’.
Pandurevic does not contest the gravity of the crimes of which he is convicted. Nevertheless, Pandurevic recalls that the Appeals Chamber found that his ‘actions [as the VRS Zvornik Brigade commander] contributed to the saving of thousands of lives’. Given that, Pandurevic highlighted, the ‘gravity of the crime shouldn’t be considered an aggravating factor when my motion for early release is considered’.
Vinko Pandurevic was found guilty of command and individual responsibility for murder, extermination and persecution qualified as crime against humanity and violations of laws and customs of war.