Thursday, December 20, 2007

War Crimes: Portugal to enforce sentences imposed by UN war crimes tribunal

Portugal has become the thirteenth 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 wars 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 a Portuguese prison after an agreement was signed in The Hague in the Netherlands, where the ICTY is based.

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

The agreement with Portugal notes that it will only enforce ICTY sentences when the length of the jail term does not exceed the highest maximum sentence for any crime under Portuguese law.

The Tribunal said in a press statement that the agreement will enter into force after it is ratified by the Portuguese Parliament.