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UK police arrest former Bosnian VP wanted by Serbia for war crimes

[JURIST] UK police on Monday arrested former Bosnian vice president Ejup Ganic for war crimes in connection with a 1992 attack against Serbian soldiers. Ganic, vice president during the outset of the 1992-1995 Bosnian civil war [JURIST news archive], was arrested [BBC report] by the Scotland Yard Extradition Unit at a London airport on the day he was to return to Bosnia. The arrest was carried out on a Serbian provisional extradition warrant for conspiracy to murder and killing wounded soldiers, in breach of the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War [text]. Ganic has been detained pending the completion of Serbia's extradition request, which must be completed within the next 45 days. Serbian Justice Minister Snezana Malovic said she will send an extradition request on Tuesday. Bosnian authorities have expressed outrage over the arrest and view the move as an affront to Bosnian sovereignty that endangers relations with Serbia.

Ganic is the highest ranking official among 19 for whom Serbia has issued an arrest warrant in connection with the Dobrovoljacka Street incident at the onset of the Bosnian conflict. Serbian authorities maintain that Serbian soldiers were attacked by Bosnian forces as they were leaving Sarajevo, resulting in 42 deaths and more than 70 wounded soldiers. Bosnian authorities dismiss Serbian claims surrounding the incident on the grounds that they were defending their own territory and that Serbia is undermining procedures in the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website; JURIST news archive].

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