Spain postpones extradition of Serb: officials

19th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

Spain has postponed the extradition of alleged Serbian war criminal Veselin Vlahovic, detained there in March, until he responds to the local judiciary's accusations, officials said Thursday.

Spain last month approved extradition of Vlahovic to Bosnia, although requests had been submitted by Serbia and Montenegro as well. He was supposed to be handed over to Bosnia's authorities next week.

"Interpol in Madrid informed on August 18 the Interpol in Sarajevo that the extradition of Veselin Vlahovic would be delayed," Bosnia's security ministry said in a statement.

"Vlahovic is accused of several crimes in Spain and that is the reason why Spanish authorities have decided to postpone his extradition," the same source said.

Known as the "Monster of Grbavica" after the Sarajevo suburb where he is alleged to have committed his crimes, he is wanted for the murders of more than 100 people during Bosnia's 1992-1995 war.

The authorities in Bosnia, Serbia and Montenegro also want him in connection with a series of violent robberies. He was detained near his home in the eastern Spanish town of Altea on March 1.

When war broke out in Bosnia Vlahovic joined a Serb paramilitary group which was part of the notorious "White Angel" units that controlled Serb-held parts of Sarajevo including the Grbavica suburb.

Bosnia's war between its Croat, Muslim and Serb communities left some 100,000 dead and displaced 2.2 million people. It left the country split into two semi-autonomous halves -- the Muslim-Croat Federation and the Serbs' Republika Srpska.

© 2010 AFP

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