Croatia, Serbia seek extradition of war crimes suspect

[JURIST] The Croatian Ministry of Justice [official website, in Croatian] on Wednesday asked France to extradite [Hrvatska report, in Croatian] former Serb paramilitary fighter Milorad Momic, according to a report by state television. Momic, who has allegedly been living under a false name in France, was arrested last week in Grenoble under an international arrest warrant [JURIST report]. An alleged former member of the Serbian paramilitary group known as the Scorpions [JURIST news archive], Momic is charged [AFP report] in a Vukovar court for the murder of one Croat citizen and the physical intimidation of others. A spokesman for the court claims that Momic was a citizen of Croatia in September 1991, when the crimes were committed in the village of Berak, near Vukovar. In addition to Croatia, Momic's native Serbia also seeks his extradition to try him for crimes against humanity. Serbian officials suspect Momic participated in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre [JURIST news archive] in Bosnia, where a total of 8,000 Bosnian Muslims were killed. Serbian prosecutors believe that Momic is part of a Scorpion group that videotaped the murder [JURIST report] of Bosnian Muslims near Srebrenica. The graphic 1995 video [JURIST video; WARNING: this video may be disturbing to some viewers] first surfaced in 2005 during the trial of Slobodan Milosevic [JURIST news archive] by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website].

Serbia has undertaken an ongoing effort to apprehend those responsible for the atrocities that occurred in the region during the 1992-95 Bosnian civil war [JURIST news archive]. Suspected Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) war criminal Dragan Crnogorac was arrested [JURIST report] in November in connection with the Srebrenica massacre. In August, the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina [official website] issued genocide charges [JURIST report] against four former Bosnian Serb soldiers, accusing them of participating in the murder of more than 800 Bosnian Muslims during the massacre. In April, the court convicted [JURIST report] two men of genocide, Radomir Vukovic and Zoran Tomic, for their roles in the massacre and sentenced each to 31 years imprisonment. The BiH war crimes court was set up in 2005 to relieve the caseload of the ICTY and is authorized to try lower-level war crime suspects.

 

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