A U.N. war crimes tribunal Thursday ordered a Bosnian Croat commander’s early release from prison after clearing him of responsibility in a 1993 massacre, a decision that could make it harder to convict high-ranking officials accused of masterminding ethnic violence in the Balkans.
Overturning a ruling by a lower chamber, the five-member panel of judges dismissed 16 of 19 war crimes charges against Gen. Thiomir Blaskic, exonerating the 43-year-old of ordering ethnic bloodshed in Bosnia. The judges upheld lesser charges of illegal detainment and inhumane treatment of Muslim prisoners. His sentence was reduced from 45 to nine years.
A summary of the 300-page ruling read out in court found that prosecutors failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Blaskic planned or even knew about war crimes being committed by his forces.
The appeals chamber also said that it had taken into account Blaskic’s good behavior, clear prior record, poor health, voluntary surrender and his young children.
“The trial chamber also erred in failing to consider the appellant’s real and sincere remorse,” the ruling said.
Apparently, if you keep your cell clean after being arrested for the wholesale slaughter of hundreds, you get a pass.
In short, Hitler’s real failing as a person was that he was born 60 years too early and neglected to have kids.
BTW- this is who John Kerry wants to turn Iraq over to…