War criminal Franko Simatovic released from prison, temporarily

Stanišić i Simatović (REUTERS/Michael Kooren)

The former head of the State Security Service of Serbia, Franko Simatovic, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison for war crimes in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina before the Tribunal in The Hague, has been released from prison temporarily and is arriving in Serbia, "Novosti" learned.

The reason for this court decision is that he cannot receive the therapy he needs in prison.

Simatovic was arrested together with the former head of the State Security Service of Serbia, Jovica Stanisic, in 2003, when the indictment was filed.

After the first trial in 2013, both were acquitted, but the prosecution appealed. The verdict was overturned in 2015 and the proceedings were brought back to the beginning. The second trial began in 2017 and in June 2021 they were found guilty of crimes in Bosanski Samac and sentenced to 12 years in prison each. Simatovic and Stanisic, as well as the Prosecution, appealed against this verdict. In May of this year, the Appeals Chamber handed down the final sentence of 15 years for crimes committed in six cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and one in Daljska Planina in Croatia, in the early 1990s.