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Australia arrests Serb war crimes suspect Vasiljkovic

Dragan Vasiljkovic, 2003
Dragan Vasiljkovic denies committing war crimes

A former Serbian paramilitary leader suspected of war crimes has been arrested in Australia.

Dragan Vasiljkovic was detained on the basis of information provided by the Netherlands, Australian officials said.

He is wanted in Croatia for allegedly committing atrocities during its 1991-1995 war of independence.

Mr Vasiljkovic, who is also an Australian citizen, denies committing war crimes but has admitted to killing people in combat.

Australian Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor said he would make a decision about Mr Vasiljkovic's extradition as soon as possible. In the meantime, he will be held in prison.

The 55-year-old former paramilitary nicknamed "Captain Dragan" was previously arrested in Australia in 2006.

He spent nearly four years in custody before Australia's Federal Court turned down an extradition request and set him free last September.

That decision was overturned on appeal in March, but by then Mr Vasiljkovic had disappeared.

Golfer turned killer?

He was arrested by Australian Federal police in New South Wales after a worldwide search.

Mr Vasiljkovic is a one-time golf professional who also goes by the name of Daniel Snedden.

He moved to Australia when he was 15, but returned to his homeland in 1991 to train Croatian Serb rebels fighting against Croatia's secession from the former Yugoslavia.

Croatia says he was involved in the torture and killing of civilians and prisoners of war in the rebel province of Krajina.

Mr Vasiljkovic has denied committing war crimes, but has admitted in media interviews to training Serb recruits, killing people in battle and interrogating enemy troops.



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Australia arrests Serb suspect
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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
ABC Online Finding 'Captain Dragan' easy for Dutch police - 14 hrs ago
Melbourne Age War crime suspect sought Hague help - 20 hrs ago
Sydney Morning Herald Dragan tried to make a deal - 20 hrs ago


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