Supreme Court rejects retroactive war crime laws / News / The Foreigner

The Foreigner Supreme Court rejects retroactive war crime laws. The Norwegian Supreme Court has set a legal precedent and quashed the conviction of Bosnian Norwegian man accused of committing atrocities in a camp in Dretelj. The 44-year-old was given a five-year prison sentence in December 2008, for allegedly carrying out crimes against Serbs whilst serving in the Dretelj camp during the 1992 Bosnian war. In yesterday’s ruling, the court found the  War Crimes Act from March 2008 could not be implemented in retrospect, because this would infringe Section 97 of the Norwegian Constitution.

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Supreme Court rejects retroactive war crime laws

Published on Saturday, 4th December, 2010 at 22:53 under the news category, by Ramona Tancau.

The Norwegian Supreme Court has set a legal precedent and quashed the conviction of Bosnian Norwegian man accused of committing atrocities in a camp in Dretelj.



An injustice

The 44-year-old was given a five-year prison sentence in December 2008, for allegedly carrying out crimes against Serbs whilst serving in the Dretelj camp during the 1992 Bosnian war.

In yesterday’s ruling, the court found the  War Crimes Act from March 2008 could not be implemented in retrospect, because this would infringe Section 97 of the Norwegian Constitution.

11 of 17 Supreme Court judges found in favour of the accused. Hans Frode Asmhyr, MP for the Progress Party (FrP), said he was appalled

“This is a new Mullah Krekar situation, and it goes against all Norwegians' sense of justice that war criminals should not be punished," he told NRK yesterday.

The Bosnian Norwegian’s case is the first war crime case to be tried in Norway in the post World War II era.

Norwegian Red Cross Communications Director Bernt G. Apeland criticises what he felt are serious failings in Norway’s legal system.

“[Apparently,] people are not convicted for what they have done. People are not convicted of war crimes or crimes against humanity, and people are not convicted of genocide," he said.

Incomplete

The man could still be tried under Norway’s 1902 Penal Code, but Attorney General Tor Aksel Busch believes the court’s ruling will have consequences for other cases being handled by Norway.

“We must now use the underlying opinion of the majority in further treatment of the cases we are still investigating, for example in the case of [those accused of genocide] in Rwanda.”

Several people suspected of war crimes in Rwanda are currently living in Norway, according to NRK, including jailed influential Rwandan businessman, Charles Bandora.

However, in a press release, Norwegian Minister of Justice Knut Storberget says the ruling does not mean Norway will become a haven for war criminals.

“The new rules for offences committed after March 2008 still apply. Previous incidents will be affected by other provisions of the Penal Code, such as murder, rape, deprivation of liberty, and abuse.”



Published on Saturday, 4th December, 2010 at 22:53 under the news category, by Ramona Tancau.

This post has the following tags: john, christian, elden, bosnia, serbia, war, crimes, dretelj, camp, supreme, court, ruling, laws, retroactive, legislation, hans, frode, asmhyr, knut, storberget, bernt, apeland, tor, aksel, busch.





  
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