State asks to extradite Serb-Israeli wanted for genocide

Alexander Zvtkovic is suspected of involvement in the 1995 "Srebrenica massacre" during which 1,000's of Muslims were murdered in eastern Bosnia.

January 19, 2011 01:05
2 minute read.
Alexander Cvetkovic

Alexander Cvetkovic 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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The government asked the Jerusalem District Court on Tuesday to extradite a man wanted in Bosnia-Herzegovina on charges of genocide.

He is suspected of taking part in the execution of more than 1,000 Muslims after Serb forces overran the town of Srebrenica during the 1992-1995 civil war in Bosnia.

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The suspect was identified as 43-year-old Alexander Cvetkovic, a former member of the 10th Sapper’s Unit of the Bosnian-Serb army.

The request for his extradition was submitted by the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina on August 29, 2010.

Ynet quoted Cvetkovic’s lawyer, Vadim Shuv, of the Public Defender’s Office, as saying that Cvetkovic was stunned by the charges. “He said he was a soldier, but he did not participate in the actions attributed to him,” Shuv said.

However, according to the testimony of some eyewitnesses, Cvetkovic took part in a massacre at the Branjevo Farm on July 16, 1995.

Derzen Ardomovic, who testified at the trial of other suspects in the Srebrenica massacres, served in the same unit as Cvetkovic. In his testimony, Ardomovic said that on that day, their commanding officers informed them that in a few minutes, buses carrying Muslims from Srebrenica would be arriving and that they were to be executed.

When the buses arrived, the commanders “ordered the soldiers to remove them and escort them to the place where they were to be executed. The soldiers led the people, whose eyes were blindfolded and their hands tied, a distance of 100-200 meters from the bus.

“There they shot them in the back in accordance with a command from Brano Gojkovic [one of the commanders]. Eight soldiers took part in the execution. All of them obeyed the commands and fired at the victims with their automatic rifles,” Ardomovic said.

He added that at one point, Cvetkovic complained that the executions were taking place too slowly and suggested using an M-84 machine gun to kill the Muslims.

The other soldiers agreed and used it to open fire on two groups of captives, he said.

Ardomovic estimated that between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., the soldiers killed 1,000 to 1,200 Bosnians.

Another witness, known only by his initials Z.I., also testified that Cvetkovic had been one of eight Serb soldiers who carried out the execution at the farm.

He said that a bus carrying captured Muslims arrived every 20-30 minutes at the farm. The soldiers were ordered to escort groups of 10 passengers at a time to a spot near the bus. The passengers ranged in age between 18 and 60. There were a few in military uniforms but most of the victims were dressed in civilian clothing.

Cvetkovic immigrated to Israel with his wife and children in 2006 and received Israeli citizenship because his wife is Jewish. He was living in Carmiel and worked in a factory and in construction before his arrest.

He will appear in court on Wednesday, when the state asks to remand him in custody. He is currently jailed in the capital’s Russian Compound.

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