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Israel arrests, seeks to extradite accused Bosnia war criminal

A judge for the Jerusalem District Court on Wednesday ordered suspected Bosnian war criminal Aleksander Cvetkovic held in jail while the Israeli government attempts to extradite him to Bosnia to stand trial for crimes committed during the 1992-1995 Bosnian Civil War [JURIST news archive]. The Israeli State Attorney's Office [official website, in Hebrew] filed a petition [press release, in Hebrew] with the court following Cvetkovic's arrest [BiH Prosecutor's Office press release] on Monday beginning extradition process and asking that Cvetkovic be held pending his extradition. Bosnian authorities claim that Cvetkovic participated in the 1995 Srebrenica Massacre [JURIST news archive] that saw more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslims killed over a 10-day period. Witnesses claim Cvetokovic was among eight soldiers [Haaretz report] at Branjevo Farm during the massacre who executed over 1,000 blindfolded Muslim prisoners as they exited buses. Cvetkovic claims he did not participate [Ynet report] in the massacre. Bosnia first asked Israel to extradite Cvetkovic, whom they claim was in the 10th Sabotage Detachment of the Army of Republika Srpska, in August. Most believe that it will take several months [AP report] to complete the extradition process. If he is extradited, Bosnia will try Cvetkovic in the war crimes court [official website] of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In December, the war crimes court began trying four members the 10th Sabotage Detachment [press release] for genocide for their actions at Branjevo Farm after indicting them [JURIST report] last August. Also in December, the war crimes court found four policemen guilty [JURIST report] of killing Muslim civilians during the Bosnian Civil War, handing them sentences ranging from 15 to 27 years in prison. In November, a suspected war criminal was arrested [JURIST report] in connection with the Srebrenica massacre. The Prosecutors Office for BiH [official website] announced that Dragan Crnogorac was arrested on suspicion for having committed genocide under Article 171 of the BiH criminal code [text, PDF]. In August, Spanish officials extradited accused Montenegrin war criminal [JURIST report] Veselin Vlahovic,known as the "monster of Grbavica," to Sarajevo. He is wanted on three international arrest warrants, including one for the rape, torture and murder of more than 100 women and children and is expected to face genocide charges before the country's war war crimes court.

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