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Law and order Swiss court orders Bosnian Serb murder suspect to be extradited

The Federal Criminal Court in Bellinzona

The court in Bellinzona rejected the Bosnian Serb's appeal against his pre-trial detention and extradition to Bosnia-Herzegovina.

(© Keystone / Ti-press / Pablo Gianinazzi)

The Federal Criminal Court says a Bosnian Serb man accused of being involved in the murder of a Muslim family and couple in the mid-1990s must be extradited to Bosnia-Herzegovina. 

In a ruling released on Monday, the Swiss court rejected the man’s appeal against his pre-trial detention and extradition. 

The Bosnian authorities accuse him of participating in the massacre of a Muslim family of six who had wanted to cross the border with Serbia in October 1993. Three months later, he allegedly participated in the murder of a Muslim couple in order to seize their house. In both cases, the victims were robbed of their money. 

In 1995, he was sentenced by the courts of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia (Republika Srpska, now part of Bosnia-Herzegovina) to 12 years and ten months in prison for murder and aggravated robbery. 

In December 2018, the embassy of Bosnia-Herzegovina asked Switzerland to arrest and extradite the man. The Swiss authorities granted the request after obtaining guarantees that Bosnia-Herzegovina would comply with provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights. 

In his appeal, the man claimed that his conviction was of a political nature and that Republika Srpska was an illegitimate state. The Swiss court rejected these arguments. 

Monday’s ruling can still be challenged before Switzerland’s highest court.

Keystone-SDA/sb

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