Serbia asks for extradition of Bosnian ex-commander

Serbia formally sends request for extradition of Bosnian Muslim ex-commander from Switzerland

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Serbia’s Ministry of Justice has officially requested that Switzerland extradites former Bosnian Muslim commander Naser Oric, who is currently imprisoned in Geneva after being detained on the basis of a Serbian arrest warrant issued in February 2014 for alleged for war crimes, Serbia's official news agency Tanjug reported on Sunday.

"The extradition request is accompanied by documents from the prosecutor over the suspected war crimes" allegedly committed by Naser Oric, Tanjug reported, quoting the Serbian Justice Minister Nikola Selakovic.

According to Reuters, Serbia had officially put forward a request for Oric's extradition, which the Swiss authorities may or may not comply with, a spokeswoman of the Serbian Justice Ministry said.

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic clarified on Friday that "Serbia must not give up on the request for Naser Oric's extradition."

Oric was previously convicted by the Hague Tribunal for war crimes for two years imprisonment between 2006 and 2008 for indirect responsibility in the death of seven and torture of eleven Bosnian Serb civilians during the period from 1992 to 1993.

Bosnian Muslims, otherwise known as Bosniaks, regard Oric as a hero, and his arrest may derail plans by Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic to attend a ceremony marking the 20th Anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia on July 11.

Vucic, a former hardline nationalist who has rebranded himself as a pro-Western reformer, said on Friday, "As prime minister, I am prepared to bow and bend my head and show what kind of relations we Serbs have toward innocent victims at Srebrenica. So that those 99.9 percent of Serbs who did not participate in this crime can go with raised heads anywhere in the world."

On June 9, the United Kingdom, one of the permanent members of the UN Security Council,announced it seeks to draft a resolution on the UN’s failure to prevent the genocide in the town of Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina in July 1995.

The Srebrenica genocide, organised by the Serb authorities under the former leader of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic and his aide Ratko Mladic, resulted in the death of 8,372 Bosnian Muslims.

Continued attacks on UN Safe Areas as well as the continued Siege of Sarajevo also ultimately resulted in a NATO intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina named Operation Deliberate Force.

Two decades after the end of the Bosnian war, the country remains politically and ethnically divided, comprising a Muslim Bosniak-Croatian federation and a Bosnian Serb republic with Dayton Agreement which formally signed in Paris on 14 December 1995.

TRTWorld and agencies