US Deports Bosnian Serb War Crimes Suspect

Posted May 24th, 2012 at 7:25 pm (UTC-5)
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The United States has deported to Bosnia-Herzegovina a former Bosnian-Serb police commander, wanted in his native country on war crimes charges for atrocities against non-Serbs.

Dejan Radojkovic arrived in Bosnia's capital Sarajevo Thursday. He was escorted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents who handed him over to Bosnian law enforcement officials.

The 61-year old faces criminal charges for his role in the 1995 massacre of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys near the eastern town of Srebrenica. The United Nations-protected enclave was overrun by Bosnian Serb armed forces who drove Muslims out of town and killed the men. Mass graves were later found in the surrounding area.

Prosecutors say that Radojkovic used his position as a commander in the special police to aid in carrying out the crimes. Specifically, prosecutors charge that Radojkovic and his unit rounded up some 200 Bosnian-Muslim men in the Konjevic Polje region and transferred them to locations where they were executed.

Documents show that Radojkovic, a native of Bosnia and Herzegovina, entered the United States in 1999. After a joint investigation, U.S. immigration officials and Bosnian authorities linked him to possible war crimes. Radojkovic was arrested at his Las Vegas residence in January 2009.

John Morton, the head of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, issued a statement saying that “for the families who lost loved ones at Srebrenica, justice has been a long time coming” and “they can take consolation in the fact that those responsible for this tragedy are now being held accountable.”

Radojkovic is the second former special police commander linked to the Srebrenica massacre to be deported to Bosnia. Nedjo Ikonic, was deported from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 2010.

The most wanted suspects in the Srebrenica massacre, Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic and his military commander Ratko Mladic are being tried at a U.N. war crimes tribunal in the Netherlands. They were captured in Serbia in recent years after more than a decade on the run.

Mladic's trial was adjourned a day after it opened May 16, but the court announced Thursday that hearings will resume June 25.