The United Nations War Crimes Tribunal has approved the early release of former Bosnian Serb President Biljana Plavsic, after she served two-thirds of an 11-year sentence.

The Hague tribunal announced its decision Tuesday, approving the release of Plavsic from the Swedish prison where she has served most of her sentence.

The court sentenced the 79-year-old Plavsic in 2003 after she pleaded guilty to a role in persecuting Muslims and Croats during the 1990s conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Her admission was part of a plea agreement in which authorities dropped charges of genocide, extermination and murder.

Bosnian Serb Prime Minister Milorad Dodik welcomed the development, and said he hopes to visit Plavsic in Sweden.

But Munira Subasic, who heads an association of families of victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, called the decision proof that criminals have more rights than victims.

Serb forces killed some 8,000 Muslim men and boys after capturing the United Nations-protected Muslim enclave of Srebrenica.

The massacre is considered the worst atrocity in Europe since World War II.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.