President of the Mechanism, Theodor Meron, approved the early release of Zelenović, who spent 10 years in prison, establishing that he showed “some of the signs of rehabilitation, and he cooperated with the Prosecution.”
“Although the crimes for which he was convicted are very difficult, the fact that he served more than two thirds of his sentence and got partially rehabilitated, and that he cooperated with the Office of the Prosecutor are factors in favor for his release. Members of the Council from his trial agree with this decision as well as the other judges of the Mechanism,” Meron read the decision.
Zelenović, who is a former member of the Army of the Republic of Srpska (VRS), pleaded guilty for participating in the rapes and torture of women in Buk Bijela, sports hall Partizan and the Karaman’s house near Foča back in 2007.
He was transferred to serve his sentence in Belgium, and the time he spent in custody since August 2005 was counted as part of his sentence as well.
Regarding the decision on early release, Meron stated that the Belgian authorities submitted a report on Zelenović’s behavior in the prison, which states that “he was a quiet prisoner who respects the rules, guards and other persons.”
“The report stated that Zelenović’s attitude regarding the crimes is complex. He claimed that he regrets the crimes committed by his subordinates, thus taking partial responsibility, however regarding the crimes that are implicating him personally, Zelenović admitted that he just had ‘different sexual relations’, but he regrets that he cannot remember any details,” according to the Meron’s decision.