Estonia agrees to enforce sentences imposed by UN war crimes tribunal

11 February 2008 –

Estonia today became the fourteenth European country to agree to enforce a sentence imposed by the United Nations war crimes tribunal that was set up to deal with the worst crimes committed during the Balkan conflicts in the 1990s.

Anyone convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and given a jail term can now serve that sentence in an Estonian prison after an agreement was signed in Tallinn, the capital.

Italy, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Austria, France, Spain, Germany, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Ukraine and Portugal have already entered into similar agreements with the Tribunal.

More than 35 people convicted by the ICTY either have served, or are currently serving, their sentence in one of the European countries which have signed an agreement. Seven others are awaiting transfer to one of the States.

Under today’s agreement, which must be ratified by the country’s Parliament, Estonia will only enforce ICTY sentences when the length of the jail term does not exceed the highest maximum sentence for a relevant crime under its domestic laws.

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