Switzerland has extradited to Serbia a man suspected of participating in war crimes carried out in Kosovo in 1999, the Swiss justice ministry has announced.This content was published on March 21, 2012 - 21:28
Three Serbian police officers accompanied the man, who has been in Swiss custody since April 2011, on a flight from Zurich to Belgrade on Wednesday.
The Serbian authorities suspect the man – a Serbian citizen according to the extradition request, but who himself claims to be Kosovar – of participating in war crimes committed by the Kosovo Liberation Army against Serbian and Albanian civilians in the Gnjilane area of Eastern Kosovo in 1999.
The Serbian extradition request lists several cases of murder, torture, rape and arson. Various appeals against the extradition decision were unsuccessful, including a request to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg to have the extradition deferred.
At the request of the Swiss justice ministry the Serbian authorities submitted guarantees that the trial would be conducted in accordance with human rights conventions.
In addition to other conditions, these guarantees state that the Swiss representation is free to visit the man in custody at any time, and that it may participate as an observer in the trial.