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Justice Minister to decide on extradition of Serbian war crimes suspect

Greece’s Justice Minister Kostas Tsiaras will have to decide on whether to extradite a Serbian man to Croatia, where he is wanted for alleged war crimes committed in 1991, during the bloody break-up of Yugoslavia, or Serbia, which lodged a similar request on October 11.

The 59-year-old Serbian national was arrested in late June after crossing the border from North Macedonia, en route to a holiday resort in northern Greece with his wife and daughter. He is accused of participating in actions that led to the death of civilians between August 19 and December 14, 1991, in the Croatian towns of Vocin and Hum.

On Thursday, he appeared before the the Thessaloniki Council of Appeals where he declared that he prefers to be extradited to Serbia.

At his first hearing before a Greek court last July, he said he was a conscript in the Yugoslav army but has denied any wrongdoing. His lawyer claimed that his client would not get a fair trial in Croatia because he would be “sacrificed on the altar of political expediency and revanchism.” However the court approved his extradition to Croatia, a ruling that was upheld by the country’s Supreme Court.

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