An extradition hearing for former Bosnian president Ejup Ganic began in London Monday to determine whether or not the former leader should be forced to face trial [BBC report] in Serbia for alleged war crimes. Ganic, who served as vice president during the outset of the 1992-1995 Bosnian civil war [JURIST news archive], is accused of ordering attacks in Sarajevo during the start of the war in violation of the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War [text]. The former leader argues that it would be impossible for him to receive a fair trial in Serbia. The extradition proceedings are expected to continue until July 14.
In March, Ganic was arrested [JURIST report] by British police at Heathrow Airport pursuant to a Serbian provisional extradition warrant. 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. 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].