The Yugoslav war crimes tribunal has agreed to temporarily release the wartime leader of rebel Serbs in Croatia who is pleading not guilty to charges of murdering hundreds of Croats and expelling tens of thousands more in one of the first ethnic cleansing campaigns of the Balkan conflicts.

The court said Monday that Goran Hadzic could be released under strict conditions until next month, when he needs to report back to the tribunal in the Hague, Netherlands.

Court papers show that he was diagnosed with a terminal form of brain cancer and he has been unfit to stand trial since October.

Hadzic, 56, was captured in 2011. The court papers showed he must be temporarily handed over to Serbian authorities.