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Serb War Crimes Suspect Loses Australia Extradition Appeal

Former Serb commander Dragan Vasiljkovic

Former Serb commander Dragan Vasiljkovic

A former Serb commander accused of war crimes in the Balkans has lost his bid to block his extradition from Australia to Croatia.

On September 30, an Australian court threw out the appeal of Dragan Vasiljkovic, 56, who has been fighting against extradition since he was arrested by police in 2006 over offences allegedly committed during the conflict in the former Yugoslavia.

Vasiljkovic, an Australian who has Serbian citizenship, is charged with torturing and killing Croat soldiers and civilians, as well as a foreign journalist, when he commanded a Serb paramilitary unit during Croatia's 1991-95 independence war.

Vasiljkovic has denied the allegations. The final decision on Vasiljkovic's extradition is now in the hands of Australia's Home Affairs Minister, although Vasiljkovic has 28 days to seek an appeal with the country's highest court.