Serb paramilitary commander indicted for war crimes

The Split County Prosecutor's Office has indicted Dragan Vasiljkovic aka Captain Dragan for war crimes almost six months after he was extradited by Australia, the Office said on Friday.

Vasiljkovic is accused, in his capacity as a commander in Serb paramilitary units, of acting contrary to the Geneva Convention by torturing and killing captive Croatian soldiers and police in Knin in June and July 1991 and in Bruska in February 1993.

He is also accused of drawing up a plan to attack the police station in Glina and neighbouring villages in July 1991. During the attack, civilian buildings were damaged or destroyed, the population was forced to flee, property was looted, and civilians were killed or wounded, including a foreign journalist.

Vasiljkovic was arrested in Perth in 2006 and was detained in jail pending extradition, apart from a brief period when he was released in 2009 and early 2010, after which he was arrested again pursuant to an Australian Supreme Court ruling. It was only in November 2012 that Australian authorities decided to extradite him Croatia, after several appeals to the extradition lodged since 2005 had been dismissed.

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.

Vasiljkovic was extradited to Croatia in 2015. At the Split County Prosecutor's Office, he denied all the charges against him.

He was born in Belgrade and has Australian citizenship. After participating in the Serb uprising in Croatia, he returned to Australia. Until his arrest, he went under the alias of Daniel Snedden and lived in Perth where he worked as a golf pro.

Last update: Fri, 08/01/2016 - 13:56
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