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Serbia pursues Ejup Ganic for war crimes. Or is it a vendetta?

Serbia has asked Britain to extradite Ejup Ganic, a Bosnian leader who was briefly in charge of the country and its military forces. Serbia charges him of war crimes, claiming that he ordered Bosnian forces to kill wounded Serb-led troops in 1992. The Hague says otherwise.

Ejup Ganic is driven away from Wandsworth Prison in London after a British court granted bail Thursday March 11. The 64- year-old was arrested on March 1 at London's Heathrow airport on a Serbian warrant in connection with an attack on retreating soldiers in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo in 1992.

Alastair Grant/AP

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Eighteen years after the start of the devastating war here, Serbia – widely viewed as responsible for provoking the break-up of multi-ethnic Yugoslavia – has asked Britain to extradite a Bosnian leader who was briefly in charge of the country and its military forces.

Serbia made the charge against Ejup Ganic, Bosnia's wartime vice-president, in late February, claiming that he ordered Bosnian forces to shoot and kill wounded Serb-led federal troops departing the Bosnia capital by armed convoy in May 1992.

The war crimes case comes to a head Tuesday when British authorities decide whether to free Ganic, 64, or send him to face trial in Serbia.

Ganic's lawyers and the Bosnian government say that Serbia, a pariah state that has sheltered indicted war criminals since the war ended in 1995, has submitted a politically motivated extradition request whose defects include a flawed explanation of Balkan geography.

The British arrest warrant said Ganic is accused of conspiracy to murder by Serbia, "the conduct of which occurred in that territory." In actual fact, the alleged offense occurred in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina. According to Damir Arnaut, a Bosnian government legal counsel, the extradition treaty under which the request was made specifies that a murder occur on the territory of the state requesting extradition


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