Friday, February 1, 2008

Biljana Plavsic
Dr. Biljana Plavšić (Serbian Cyrillic:Биљана Плавшић) (b. 7 July 1930, Tuzla, Kingdom of Yugoslavia, now Bosnia and Herzegovina) is a former Bosnian Serb politician and university professor currently serving a sentence in Sweden as a result of a conviction of the ICTY for war crimes. She was the president of Republika Srpska for two years from 1996 through 1998.
She was indicted by the ICTY for war crimes committed during the war in Bosnia in 2001. She plea bargained with the ICTY. Before her political engagements, she taught biology at the University of Sarajevo and acted as Head of Department of Biology. She is a Fulbright Scholar, and as such she had spent two years at Boyce-Thompson institute at Cornell University in New York doing botany research. She then specialized electronic microscopy in London, and plant virology in Prague and Bari. A highly accomplished scientist, she published over one hundred scientific works and papers which have been widely cited in scholarly literature and textbooks.
Besides being the highest-ranking Bosnian Serb politician to be sentenced, she was also known for her fiery nationalist statements during the War in Bosnia, against the SDS, and, later, her remorse for the crimes against humanity she admitted to have been responsible for as a high-level politician.
Biljana Plavšić was renowned throughout the 1990s as an uncompromising apologist for ethnic cleansing. The self-styled "Serbian Iron Lady" once defended the purge of Bosnian non-Serbs as "a natural phenomenon" not a war crime.

Political career
She was indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia together with Momčilo Krajišnik and Radovan Karadžić for the "creation of impossible conditions of life, persecution and terror tactics in order to encourage non-Serbs to leave the area, deportation of those reluctant to leave, and the liquidation of others".
The Indictment charged Biljana Plavšić as follows:
She voluntarily surrendered to the ICTY on January 10, 2001, and was provisionally released on September 6.
On 16 December 2002 she plea bargained with the ICTY to enter a guilty plea to one count of crimes against humanity for her part in directing the war and targeting civilians and expressed "full remorse" in exchange for prosecutors dropping seven other war crimes charges, including two counts of genocide.
Plavšić's statement, read in her native Serbian language, repeated her admission of guilt. It said she had refused to believe stories of atrocities against Bosniaks and Croats and accepted without question the claims that Serbs were fighting for survival.
However, in an interview she gave in March 2005 to the Banja Luka Alternativna Television, she admitted to having lied because she couldn't prove her innocence, as she was unable to find witnesses who would testify on her behalf.
She was later sentenced to 11 years in prison. She is currently serving her sentence at the women's prison Hinseberg in Örebro, Sweden (since 26 June 2003).

Two counts of genocide (Article 4 of the Statute of the Tribunal - genocide; and/or, complicity to commit genocide)
Five counts of crimes against humanity (Article 5 thereof - extermination; murder; persecutions on political, racial and religious grounds; deportation; alternatively, inhumane acts)
One count of violations of the laws or customs of war (Article 3 thereof - murder)