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UK judge denies extradition of convicted war criminal to Croatia

[JURIST] British magistrate Timothy Workman [Wikipedia profile] ruled Tuesday that Balkan war criminal Milan Spanovic [Guardian profile] need not return to Croatia [JURIST news archive] to face an international arrest warrant. Workman refused to extradite Spanovic, who was convicted of war crimes [JURIST news archive] in absentia and sentenced to 20 years in prison in 1993 stemming from his conduct during Croatia's 1991-1995 independence war [Wikipedia backgrounder]. Spanovic has been in Britain since 1998. Workman speculated that Spanovic may not receive a fair retrial in Croatia because of the passage of time, despite assurances by Croatia's Ministry of Justice [official website] to the contrary.

A government representative said Croatia will appeal the judge's ruling. Reuters has more.

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