Israel to Deport Alleged Bosnian War Criminal
Aleksandar Cvetkovic, a Bosnian Serb who currently has Israeli citizenship and lives here, is to be extradited to his native country to stand trial on charges of genocide. The deportation order against Cvetkovic, who is married to an Israeli, was handed down on Monday, and he has 30 days to appeal the decision.
The 43-year-old Cvetkovic immigrated to Israel in 2006. He was arrested in January in the wake of a request for extradition by the Bosnia-Herzegovina government, after being indicted in Bosnia of engineering the deaths of over 1,000 Bosnian Muslims in the 10-day Srebrenica Massacre in 1995, described then by the United Nations as “the worst crime on European soil since World War II.” The charges said that Cvetkovic participated in the massacre as part of the overall attempted genocide of Bosnian Muslims. Some 8,000 Bosnian Muslims were killed in the massacre.
Cvetkovic has denied the charges, and his attorney said he plans to appeal the decision. “Almost no proof was offered against Cvetkovic. The main witnesses against him refused to testify in court and instead filed an affidavit. As a result, we cannot question this witness.”
Gal Levertov, director of the International Department of the Prosecutor's Office, who along with staff members pursued the case against Cvetkovic, said he was pleased at the court's decision. “This proves that attempts to turn Israel into a haven for such people will not succeed. The case has very clear evidence, and more evidence than is usual in such deportation cases.”
He added that Cvetkovic was likely to receive a lengthy prison term if he is convicted in Bosnia-Herzegovina, but that the sentence would be lighter than would be imposed if the trial took place in Israel.