Germany extradites Croatian war crimes convict

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Germany has extradited to Croatia a man sentenced here to 20 years in jail over his role in a wartime massacre of dozens of civilians, a court said Monday.

Renato Petrov is being held in a Zadar prison, an official of the central coastal town's tribunal was quoted by HINA news agency as saying.

Petrov, a member of Serb paramilitary forces during the war in Croatia, was convicted over his role in the killing of 43 Croat civilians at the beginning of the 1991-1995 conflict.

The massacre was committed after the village of Skabrnja had been taken by Serb rebels and Yugoslav People's Army troops in 1991.

Croatia's Supreme Court upheld the verdict in 1998. However, as he was convicted in absentia, Petrov has the right to a retrial.

The 43-year-old Croatian-born US citizen was detained at Dusseldorf Airport in April on an international arrest warrant, German police said at the time.

The massacre in Skabrnja, in the Zadar hinterland, was one of the worst during the war that broke out after Belgrade-backed rebel Serbs opposed Croatia's proclamation of independence from the former Yugoslavia.

© 2011 AFP

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