Swiss authorities followed improper procedure in their arrest of former Bosnian Muslim military commander Naser Oric in Geneva on Wednesday, said Bosnia’s Prime Minister Denis Zvizdic on Friday in Sarajevo. He plans to lodge a protest.
Oric was arrested on an international warrant issued by Serbia which alleges his participation in war crimes in the 1990’s. But the Bosnian authorities apparently were surprised by the accusations, having received no information from Serbia, and Zvizdic said Oric’s name had been deleted from the Interpol wanted list.
In 2006, Oric was sentenced by the Hague-based International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia to two years in prison for not doing enough to prevent crimes committed against Serbs during the Balkan conflict. But he was acquitted of all charges two years later.
The justice ministry said it would have to check whether extradition is still permitted in light of that acquittal. Because Oric has contested his extradition, Serbia has 18 days to submit a formal extradition request.
Zvizdic urged Serbia on Friday to observe the provisions of a bilateral agreement dating from 2013, which calls for the process to be conducted in the suspect’s homeland – in this case Bosnia.
swissinfo.ch and agencies