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Court rules to extradite Bosnia massacre suspect

August 1, 2011 14:44

Aleksandar Cvetkovic is suspected of taking part in mass murder of around 1,000 Bosnian Muslims during 1995 Srebrenica Massacre.

Bosnian Muslims carry coffins during a mass burial

Bosnian funeral. (photo credit:REUTERS/Danilo Krstanovic)

The Jerusalem District Court ruled Monday to extradite an Israeli citizen suspected of participating in a massacre in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Aleksander Cvetkovic, suspected of taking part in the mass murder of around 1,000 Bosnian Muslims during the 1995 Srebrenica Massacre, is to be extradited to Bosnia, where he faces genocide charges.

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Cvetkovic, a Bosnian Serb, was arrested in Israel in January following a request by the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina to extradite him to Sarajevo to face charges. The request for his extradition was submitted by the Bosnian government last August.

Cvetkovic immigrated to Israel in 2006 with his Jewish wife, and received citizenship.

He had lived in Carmiel before his arrest.

According to the Bosnian authorities, Cvetkovic was part of a firing squad that executed between 1,000 and 1,200 Bosnian Muslims at the Branjevo Farm in July 1995.

The killings were part of the Srebrenica Massacre during the 1995 Bosnian War, in which soldiers of the Serbian Republic Army under the command of Gen. Ratko Mladic murdered over 8,000 Muslim men and boys.

Cvetkovic has denied the charges against him, maintaining that he had served as a driver for Bosnian Serb forces during the war but had not participated in the massacre.

In ruling that Cvetkovic can be extradited, Judge Amnon Cohen set out several conditions.

These include assurances by the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina to maintain Cvetkovic’s security by holding him in a separate, secure detention wing during his arrest and also if he is convicted and sentenced to a prison term.

Cohen also asked the Bosnian government to permit Cvetkovic regular visits by consular representatives of the Israeli embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He also demanded that, should Cvetkovic be convicted, the Bosnian court would impose a sentence in line with that set out in a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.

Dan Izenberg contributed to this report.
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