Former Bosnian prison camp guard extradited by US judge

[JURIST] A US magistrate judge on Monday certified [opinion, PDF] the extradition of former Bosnian prison guard Almaz Nezirovic to his native country to face war-crimes charges. Judge Robert Ballou, presiding over the US District Court for the Western District of Virginia [official website], found sufficient evidence [AP report] in support of the allegations again Nezirovic, only needing final approval from US Secretary of State John Kerry [official website] in order to complete the extradition process. Nezirovic is accused of beating, humiliating and traumatizing unarmed civilian prisoners while serving as a prison guard in his hometown of Derventa during the early stages of the Bosnian War. According to the police report, Nezirovic took part in mass unlawful arrests and detention of persons of Serb ethnicity during a four to six month period in 1992.

International and national efforts to convict war criminals have been ongoing. In August a Bosnian police chief was sentenced [JURIST report] to 14 years by the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina [official website] for crimes against humanity. In July the appeals chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] unanimously reversed [JURIST report] the acquittal of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic [ICTY case summary, PDF; JURIST news archive] for a genocide charge during the Bosnian War. The decision reversed Karadzic's acquittal [JURIST report] last year on one of the charges he faces. In June New York resident Sulejman Mujagic was extradited [JURIST report] to his native country of Bosnia and Herzegovina for war crimes. He was fighting for the Army of the Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia when he and his men allegedly killed an enemy combatant with an AK-47, as well as kicked and beat enemy combatants with rifle stocks. In May the ICTY acquitted two former Serbian secret police officials of charges of war crimes and also convicted [JURIST reports] six Bosnian Croat political and military leaders for persecuting, expelling and murdering Muslims during the Bosnian War.

 

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