Serb-Israeli extradited to Bosnia-Herzegovina to face war crime charges

(JTA) — Israel extradited a Serb-Israeli man to Bosnia-Herzegovina to face war crimes charges.

The extradition of Alexander Zvtkovic Aug. 15 was compliant to a request made in 2010 by the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Zvtkovic has denied allegations that he was involved in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre in which as many as 8,000 Muslims were executed after Serb forces overran the town during the civil war between populations that used to belong to Yugoslavia until the 1990s.

The 43-year-old Zvtkovic was alleged to be a former member of the 10th Sapper’s Unit of the Bosnian-Serb army. The Jerusalem District Court declared him extraditable, but he appealed to the Supreme Court.

The defense had claimed, among other things, that Zvtkovic was stunned by the charges. The defense argued that Zvtkovic would not get a fair trial because of the politics surrounding the accusations against him and that he feared for his life when fellow prisoners learned of what he was accused.

On the charges themselves, it argued that Zvtkovic had been a soldier, but did not participate in the actions attributed to him.

Zvtkovic immigrated to Israel with his wife and children in 2006 and received Israeli citizenship because his wife is Jewish.

Before his arrest, he was living in Karmiel and working in a factory and in construction.