Serb paramilitary commander files appeal to delay indictment confirmation

Dragan Vasiljkovic, aka Captain Dragan, who is charged with war crimes against POWs and civilians in southern and central Croatia, on Monday filed an appeal against his indictment, prompting the Split County Court to delay a decision on upholding the indictment.

The court spokesman Damir Romac told Hina that Vasiljkovic had requested the removal of police records from his file.

Vasiljkovic, former commander of a special purposes unit within Serb paramilitary forces, is suspected of violating the Geneva Conventions by torturing and killing Croatian prisoners fo 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.

The investigation was initially conducted by prosecutors from Sibenik but the Supreme Court ruled in September 2010 that the case be assigned to a court in Split, one of the four court centres in the country in charge of war crime trials.

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 that were in contradiction with the Geneva Convention. The Australian Supreme Court, however, rejected the appeal.

Last update: Mon, 18/04/2016 - 15:00
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