Austria Frees Bosnian War Crimes Suspect Divjak

Posted July 29th, 2011 at 3:35 pm (UTC-5)
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An Austrian court has rejected an extradition request from Serbia for former Bosnian army general Jovan Divjak, who was suspected of war crimes during the Balkans conflict of the 1990s.

Divjak, who was detained in Vienna in March and had been released on bail during the extradition hearings, was freed after the ruling. The court expressed doubt that the 73-year-old Divjak would be able to receive a fair trial if he was returned to Serbia.

Serbia had been seeking to put Divjak on trial for his alleged involvement in a 1992 attack on a Yugoslav army convoy that was retreating from Sarajevo.

Serbia's war crimes prosecutor, Vladimir Vukcevic, had rejected criticism that the allegations against Divjak were politically motivated.

Divjak is an ethnic Serb who fought on the side of the Bosnians during the war between the two sides that ended in 1995.

He is the third highest-ranking Bosnian official arrested outside the country on Serbian warrants for crimes committed during the three-year conflict.