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15 May 2009

Branimir Glavas Released from Custody

The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina renders a decision releasing Branimir Glavas from custody, but the extradition procedure continues, which may lead to his extradition to the Republic of Croatia.
After considering an appeal filed by Branimir Glavas’ Defence attorney, the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina rendered a decision releasing Glavas from custody. The decision was given prior to the expiration of the 48-hour legal deadline for the Criminal Appellate Chamber of the State Court to render its decision.  

“It has been determined that Glavas is a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina with permanent residence in Ljubuski. It has also been determined that his release will not interfere with the further extradition procedure,” said Manuela Hodzic, spokesperson of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in a statement to BIRN-Justice Report.

Glavas, who was sentenced by a first-instance verdict in the Republic of Croatia to 10 years' imprisonment for crimes committed in Osijek in 1991, was arrested in the vicinity of Kupres, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on May 13. The arrest was made on the basis of an Interpol warrant issued by the Republic of Croatia. 

The warrant was issued after Glavas had failed to appear at a hearing before the County Court in Zagreb, at which he was supposed to hear the verdict. Croatia is now asking the BiH authorities to extradite him. 

Glavas was ordered into custody on May 14 in Sarajevo. His Defence attorney, Nikica Grzic, filed an appeal shortly after the custody order was pronounced. 

The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina ordered Glavas into custody after determining that he "obviously filed a request for Bosnian citizenship with the aim of evading trial and the eventual consequences of the verdict for war crimes".

Glavas obtained citizenship on October 22, 2008.  

Glavas' Defence attorney, Nikica Grzic, said the explanation of the Court decision contained "political, not legal statements". 

"It is not in question that Glavas is a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The extradition procedure is exclusive and it pertains to foreign citizens only. My client is therefore unlawfully detained," Grzic told the media.

Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia have not signed an agreement on extradition of individuals who have the citizenship of both countries.

 


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