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Spain extradites Montenegrin war crimes suspect to Bosnia

Bosnia and Herzegovina's Presidency Chairman Zeljko Komsic [official website, in Croatian] announced Thursday that Spanish officials extradited [press release, in Croatian] accused Montenegrin war criminal Veselin Vlahovic to Sarajevo. Vlahovic, known as the "monster of Grbavica," is wanted on three international arrest warrants, including one for the rape, torture and murder of more than 100 women and children during the 1992-1995 Bosnian civil war [JURIST news archive]. He is expected to face genocide charges [Reuters report] before the country's war crimes court, established in 2005 to assist the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website]. Spanish police captured [JURIST report] Vlahovic in March after he was accused of several burglaries near his home in Altea. Vlahovic is also wanted for a series of additional violent crimes. In 1998, he was imprisoned in Montenegro for armed robbery but escaped in June 18 2001. Three days later, he shot a man outside a bar in Serbia and was convicted in absentia and sentenced to 15 years. He was also wanted in Spain for armed robbery.

Vlahovic's arrest comes as former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic [case materials; JURIST news archive], stands trial before the ICTY for alleged war crimes during the Bosnian War. Karadzic faces 11 charges [amended indictment, PDF], including genocide and murder, for crimes allegedly committed during the 1992-1995 Bosnian conflict. In June, the ICTY said that Karadzic's trial was expected to conclude in early 2012 [JURIST report] and is planned to be the tribunal's last.

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