Australia arrests Serb war crimes suspect

Australia arrests Serb war crimes suspect
# 13 May 2010 04:06 (UTC +04:00)
Baku – APA. Australian police have arrested a Serbian war crimes suspect known as "Captain Dragan" after more than a month on the run, officials said, APA reports quoting AFP.
Dragan Vasiljkovic, 55, who went missing in March when a court approved his extradition to Croatia, was caught on Wednesday after a tip-off from Dutch police.
"The Dutch National Police Agency provided valuable assistance in the arrest of (Vasiljkovic)," said Home Affairs Minister Brendan O’Connor.
"This highlights the high level of cooperation the AFP has with partner agencies through its international work."
Global police agency Interpol had issued a worldwide alert for Vasiljkovic, also known as Daniel Snedden, after he went missing in March following a court ruling clearing his extradition to face Croatian justice.
Dutch prosecutors said their investigators, following up information that he might be in the Netherlands, discovered that Vasiljkovic was still in Australia and informed their counterparts there.
Croatia accuses Vasiljkovic, a Belgrade-born golf professional, of involvement in the torture and murder of Croatian civilians and prisoners of war during its 1991-1995 war of independence.
Croatian President Ivo Josipovic hailed the news of his arrest, saying Australia "did the right thing to have arrested a war crimes suspect (in order) to extradite him to the state that has indicted him.
Justice "could be slow" but was achievable, Josipovic was quoted by Croatia’s Hina news agency as saying.
The Australian citizen was first arrested in 2006 after Zagreb requested his extradition and spent nearly four years behind bars until the Federal Court blocked his surrender over possible prejudice in Croatia’s justice system.
Vasiljkovic, who was caught in New South Wales state, had been missing since March 30, when the ruling was overturned on appeal. He will now wait in prison until O’Connor considers whether he can be extradited.
Vasiljkovic was a paramilitary commander with a Serbian rebel group opposed to Croatian independence from Yugoslavia. He has denied war crimes but has told media he trained recruits, killed in combat and interrogated enemy troops.