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26 July 2011
News

Decision on Bozidar Vucurevic’s Extradition Still Pending

BIRN BiH Belgrade
Even though four months have passed, Serbian judicial bodies are yet to decide on Bozidar Vucurevic’s extradition, because of its requests for and submission of additional documents by Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, MUP of Serbia.

Dusica Ristic, spokeswoman for the Higher Court in Belgrade, told BIRN Justice Report that Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia had submitted documents requesting Vucurevic’s extradition, but certain pieces of evidence were still awaited from the MUP of Serbia.
 
“After we received the said documents, the case will be referred to the extra-procedural chamber of the War Crimes Section of this Court, which will determine whether the preconditions for extradition have been met,” Ristic said. She did not want to provide further details about the mentioned documents.  
 
Ristic said that one “cannot guess” when the decision on the eventual extradition of Vucurevic would be rendered.
 
Bozidar Vucurevic was arrested at a border crossing between Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of Serbia at the beginning of April this year as per a warrant issued by Croatia on suspicion that he took part in crimes in Dubrovnik.
 
Both Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia have filed requests for Vucurevic’s extradition with the Serbian judicial authorities.
 
The State Prosecution has requested Vucurevic’s extradition because he is currently under investigation for crimes committed in the Trebinje area. According to media reports, in 2008 the Croatian Prosecution filed an indictment against him, charging him with war crimes against civilians in the Dubrovnik area and the destruction of cultural and historical monuments from 1991 to 1995.
 
The State Prosecution’s request for extradition of Vucurevic, the former Mayor of Trebinje to Bosnian judicial authorities is based on the fact that the suspect has the citizenship of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
 
As per a decision rendered by the Higher Court in Sabac following his arrest, Vucurevic was ordered into the extradition detention unit.
 
As reported by Serbian media, in late April this year the Higher Court in Sabac determined that the conditions for Vucurevic’s extradition to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia had been met, extending his extradition custody.  
 
After the Defence of Vucurevic appealed the decision, the Belgrade Appellate Court revoked the Sabac Higher Court’s decision concerning his extradition and extension of custody and decided that the War Crimes Section of the Belgrade Higher Court as “a competent court”, should decide on the extradition requests filed by Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
 
Svetozar Vujacic, Defence attorney for Vucurevic, told BIRN Justice Report that Vucurevic wanted to be extradited to Bosnia and Herzegovina, because it is “his country”, adding that he could not have committed crimes in Croatia.

A.S.

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