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Switzerland To Extradite Bosnian Muslim Wartime Commander To Bosnia

  • RFE/RL

Switzerland says it will extradite Bosnian Muslim wartime commander Naser Oric to Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The Federal Office of Justice said it had approved Oric’s extradition on June 25.

Oric, commander of Bosnian Muslims in Srebenica during Bosnia’s 1992-95 interethnic war, was arrested in Switzerland on June 10 on a warrant issued by Serbia.

Bosnia's Justice Ministry has also requested Oric's extradition, in order to resume ongoing criminal proceedings against him for war crimes against the civilian population.

Belgrade accuses Oric of killing civilian Serbs in 1992 in a town near Srebrenica, where Bosnian Serb forces killed more than 8,000 Muslim Bosnian men and boys in 1995.

He was indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia for crimes against Serbs, but was acquitted of all charges in 2008.

Bakir Izetbegovic, the Muslim member of Bosnia's presidency, welcomed the decision by the Swiss judiciary, saying "law and justice were on our side."

Izetbegovic added that Serbia’s “treatment of a hero of Srebrenica's defense was particularly unacceptable considering that it came just ahead of the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide."

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said the extradition of Oric to Bosnia is politically motivated and "leaves a bitter taste."

"I have no illusion that the court proceedings against Oric will be continued" in Bosnia, he added.

With reporting by AP
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