Serbia gives up on appeal over ex-Bosnian president

4th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

Serbia has decided against appealing a British court's decision to reject Belgrade's bid to extradite former Bosnian president Ejup Ganic on war crimes charges, the prosecutor's office said Wednesday.

"Following a thorough analysis it was concluded that, since Ejup Ganic is already in Bosnia, lodging an appeal at high expenses would be inappropriate," the office of Serbia's war crime prosecutor said in a statement.

"Even if the appeal were to be successful, such a decision would have been impossible to execute," the statement added.

Last week the court in London rejected Belgrade's request to hand over Ganic, 64, five months after he was arrested in Britain, allowing him to return to Bosnia.

The Serbian authorities had sought Ganic's extradition on charges of ordering a series of atrocities in Sarajevo in May 1992, at the outset of the three-and-a-half year Bosnian war.

Ganic is accused by Serbia of involvement in the alleged killing of 18 soldiers in a Yugoslav army convoy in 1992, at the start of the bloody war in Bosnia.

The British judge concluded that no significant new evidence had emerged since two previous investigations, one of them by the UN war crimes court for the former Yugoslavia, and ruled there was no basis for the war crimes charges.

However, Serbia believes that "certain political reasons prevailed over law and facts" in the London court's ruling, the statement said, adding that the war crimes prosecutor would continue a probe into the case.

Last week Bosnian prosecutors said that their investigation into Ganic'a alleged involvement in war crimes is also ongoing.

© 2010 AFP

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