Serbian war crimes suspect arrested in Australia: Dutch police

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A Serbian war crimes suspect wanted by international authorities since March was arrested in Australia on Wednesday with Dutch help, the Netherlands' prosecuting authority said.

Dragan "Captain Dragan" Vasiljkovic, 55, was apprehended in the Australian state of New South Wales on the basis of information provided by the Netherlands, it said in a statement.

He is wanted in Croatia on suspicion of committing war crimes, including murder and torture, against civilians and prisoners of war between 1991 and 1993, in the midst of that country's 1991-95 war of independence from Serbia.

Global police agency Interpol issued an alert for the former Serbian paramilitary commander in April.

Vasiljkovic, a Belgrade-born golfer also known as Daniel Snedden, disappeared after a court approved his extradition to Croatia in March.

Also an Australian citizen, he was arrested in 2006 after Croatia requested his extradition and spent nearly four years behind bars until Australia's Federal Court turned down an extradition application last September and he was set free.

That finding was overturned on appeal in March, but by then Vasiljkovic had already disappeared.

Dutch investigators, following up on information that he might be in the Netherlands, discovered that Vasiljkovic was in fact in Australia and provided this information to their counterparts there, said the statement.

© 2010 AFP

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