News 05 Apr 17

Bosnia Awaits Extradition of Nine War Crimes Suspects

The Bosnian Justice Ministry is awaiting the extradition of nine people wanted for trial on war crimes charges from the United States, Russia, Switzerland, France, Serbia, Brazil and Australia.

Dzana Brkanic
BIRN
Sarajevo
Police await an extradited suspect at Sarajevo airport last month. Photo: Bosnian prosecution.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is expecting the extradition of nine more war crimes suspects, after 28 others have already been sent back to face charges, according to estimates.

Most of those extradited to the country so far had been living in the US.

According to the Bosnian state court, there are currently at least 20 active arrest warrants for war crimes suspects believed to be living abroad.

Some of the warrants are almost ten years old, including the warrant for the arrest of Rajko Kusic, former commander of the Rogatica Brigade of the Bosnian Serb Army.

While some suspects are extradited a few months after their arrest, the extraditions of others sometimes take years.

One such case is that of Radomir Susnjar, whose extradition from France has been awaited for three years

One year ago, a court in Paris approved the extradition, but the Bosnian prosecution declined to tell BIRN why he has not yet been sent to Sarajevo.

Susnjar is suspected of having participated in the detention of Bosniaks in a house in Pionirska Street in Visegrad in July 1992, and in the subsequent burning of the house.

More than 60 Bosniak civilians from Visegrad, among them women and children, died after the Pionirska Street house was set on fire.

According to the prosecution, soldiers opened fire on the victims who were trying to escape. Only a few people survived the blaze.

Susnjar was hiding in France for years, until he was arrested in April 2014, when the Bosnian prosecution announced there would be a “quick extradition”.

One of the most recent suspects to be extradited was Elfete Veseli, who was sent back from Switzerland last month to face charges.

She is suspected of involvement in the murder of a 12-year-old Serb boy in the Zvornik area in 1992.

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