SAINOVIC SEEKS EARLY RELEASE
The defense of the former FRY deputy prime minister has filed a motion for their client's release on 26 August 2015. The accused will have served two thirds of his 18-year prison sentence, and the Tribunal has usually granted such motions
Nikola Sainovic’s defense submitted to the president of the Mechanism for international tribunals Theodor Meron a motion for their client's early release. Such motions are usually filed and granted after the accused have served two thirds of their sentences. Sainovic’s motion has been filed two months in advance, and his defense wants him to be released on 26 August 2015, when he will have fulfilled the requirement.
The former deputy prime minister of the FR Yugoslavia was sentenced to 18 years in prison for his part in the joint criminal enterprise aimed at the ethnic cleansing of Kosovo in 1999. A number of crimes were committed against the Albanian population at that time, including murders, expulsions, abuse, rapes, looting and destruction of property.
The defense motion recalls that Sainovic surrendered in 2002, and has now spent 11 years and 10 months in the UN Detention Unit in The Hague and in a prison in Sweden. Thus Sainovic has
served‘almost two thirds of his sentence’and in line with the Swedish standards –if not under those set by the Tribunal –he is entitled to early release.
The defense notes that during the 11 years Sainovic was in the Tribunal’s detention unit there was ‘not a single objection’about his behavior. In the time Sainovic has been in the Swedish prison serving the rest of the sentence he has been ‘commended’for good behavior. The motion also highlights the fact that Sainovic has diabetes and glaucoma. The accused is an ‘old age pensioner’, and after his early release he intends to live on his pension with his wife and two sons.
The motion stresses that Sainovic was 'in general cooperating" with the OTP. When the indictment was issued, Sainovic agreed to be interviewed by the OTP investigators. The Trial Chamber noted in its judgment –and the appeals judgment confirmed it –that the convict cooperated with the OTP ‘in principle’but that the cooperation was not ‘substantial’.
Other participants and assistants in the joint criminal enterprise listed in the judgment are Serb military generals Nebojsa Pavkovic, Dragoljub Ojdanic and Vladimir Lazarevic as well as police General Sreten Lukic. The accused were given sentences ranging from 14 to 22 years. Another police general, Vlastimir Djordjevic was sentenced to 18 years in a separate trial. Slobodan Milosevic, the Yugoslav president, passed away before the end of his trial where he faced allegations that he was the head of the joint criminal enterprise.