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Europe

Former Bosnian vice-president Ejup Ganic arrested in London

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-03-02

Ejup Ganic, a former vice-president of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was arrested at London Heathrow airport on Monday under a Serbian extradition warrant for alleged war crimes.

AFP - Former Bosnian president Ejup Ganic was arrested in London on Monday, on a Serbian extradition warrant for alleged warcrimes, police said.

Officers from Scotland Yard's Extradition Unit detained the 63-year-old at London's Heathrow airport in connection with alleged crimes at the start of the 1992-95 Bosnian war.

Ganic "was arrested on behalf of the Serbian authorities under a provisional extradition warrant alleging 'conspiracy to murder with other named people and breach of the Geneva Convention, namely killing wounded soldiers...'," it said.

A Foreign Office spokesman confirmed Ganic's arrest following "a provisional extradition request from the Republic of Serbia in respect of conspiracy to murder and breach of the Geneva Convention," which deals with war crimes.

Ganic, a Muslim member of Bosnia's presidency during the war, appeared at the City of Westminster Magistrates Court after his arrest, the spokesman said.

"The Serbian authorities must now provide full papers to support their extradition request before a date can be fixed for an extradition hearing. A judge will then consider whether there are any bars to the extradition.

"As the case is now before the courts, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time," he added.

In Belgrade, Serbian Justice Minister Snezana Malovic told Beta news agency that the ministry would send an extradition request for Ganic on Tuesday.

Serbia wants to try Ganic and 18 other former Bosnian officials suspected of involvement in an attack on a Yugoslav army convoy in Sarajevo, as well as alleged incidents at a hospital and military barracks in the Bosnian capital.

The convoy was withdrawing from central Sarajevo towards the military barracks in Lukavica at the time of the attack.

Ganic, the highest-ranking ex-Bosnian official named in the warrant, has dismissed the allegations as "ridiculous."

Eighteen people were killed and many officers, soldiers and civilians wounded in the May 1992 attack.

Branislav Dukic, head of an association of Bosnian Serb wartime detainees urged British authorities to extradite Ganic to Serbia.

"By arresting Ganic the international community has finally understood that the time has come that war crimes committed against Bosnian Serbs be processed also and those responsible should be brought before justice," Dukic told the Bosnian Serb SRNA news agency.

The war between Bosnia's Croats, Muslims and Serbs claimed some 100,000 lives and left the country split between the semi-autonomous Muslim-Croat Federation and the Serbs' Republika Srpska.
 

Date created : 2010-03-01

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