dragan_vasiljkovic.jpg
Photograph: HINA

An indictment against Serb paramilitary leader Dragan Vasiljkovic, aka Captain Dragan, charged with war crimes against POWs and civilians in southern and central Croatia, was upheld by the Split County Court on Monday, which paves the way for organising a trial against him soon

In mid-April, Vasiljkovic filed an appeal against his indictment, prompting the Split County Court to delay a decision on upholding the indictment.

This former commander of a special purpose unit within Serb paramilitary forces is suspected of violating the Geneva Conventions by torturing and killing Croatian prisoners of war in a prison in Knin in June and July 1991 and in Bruska near Benkovac in February 1993.

He is also suspected of planning, in July 1991 in Glina, in agreement with the commander of a Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) tank unit, an attack on the police station in Glina, its suburb of Jukinac and the villages of Gornji Vidusevac and Donji Vidusevac. The prosecution alleges that during the attack civilian properties were damaged or destroyed, the local population was forced to flee their homes, their property was plundered and civilians were killed and wounded, including a foreign reporter.

Vasiljkovic, who was born in Belgrade and has Australian citizenship, was extradited from Australia to Croatia in July last year. He denies all the charges. After taking part in the Serb rebellion in Croatia, he returned to Australia where he lived under the name Daniel Snedden in Perth and worked as a golf instructor.

Vasiljkovic managed to delay his extradition in 2013 after an Australian judge granted an appeal in which he claimed that he had an unjust process in Australia due to procedural errors. The Australian Supreme Court, however, rejected the appeal.

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