A lawyer himself, Izetbegović continued his campaign for a reduced sentence from his prison cell. He wrote to the Federal Court in Belgrade, drawing attention to the unlawful nature of the trial itself. The international media also described the Sarajevo trial as a show trial and, slowly but thoroughly, a climate of opinion conducive to amending the sentence was created. The softening-up process took about three years, but finally, under the terms of a Federal Court ruling, Izetbegović’s sentence was symbolically reduced from fourteen to twelve years; more important, the charges were altered, leaving only the office of “verbal delict” of Article 133 of the Criminal Code. After various turns of events, the final verdict was – nine years.
Izetbegović ultimately served five years and eight months – which was what it cost him to try to convey his beliefs to others. Between three and four in the afternoon of 25 November 1988, Izetbegović was summoned to the prison offices, where the chief warden, Malko Koroman, in ceremonial uniform, read out to him in an equally ceremonial voice the decision by the Presidency of Yugoslavia exempting him from the remainder of his sentence. It was his 2705th day in prison. Izetbegović could scarcely believe it: he was a free man at last.
Whatever doubts he may have had after his first term in prison, now, after his second, there were none. His plan was clear in his mind: to form a political party, and to win the elections.
The permanent museum exhibition is located in the towers Kapi-kula Ploča and Širokac. In the Ploča tower, the life of Alija Izetbegović as statesman and politician is displayed on chronologically arranged exhibition boards, accompanied by text and photographs. In the Širokac tower, the exhibition is dedicated to Izetbegović's role as the Supreme Commander in the defense of Bosnia and Herzegovina from the Serbian agression.
Established in the recent times, the Museum „Alija Izetbegović“ offers modern answers to questions from the past, but also sets the foundation for the future. Through its objective scientific approach, it encourages young people, intellectuals and researchers to approach modern history with expertise and knowledge.
The Museum educational programs are designed for elementary and secondary school students. They include professional tours of the permanent museum exhibition, interactive school workshops, pedagogical and educational publications, lectures, special programmes observing important historical dates, etc.