Page last updated at 12:26 GMT, Friday, 11 June 2010 13:26 UK

Serbia accused of abusing international law

Ejup Ganic
Ejup Ganic is a former president of the Muslim-Croat Federation in Bosnia

Serbia has been accused in a London court of abusing international law in trying to persuade Britain to extradite the former acting president of Bosnia.

Dr Ejup Ganic was arrested at Heathrow Airport on 1 March as he was about to leave the UK following a brief visit.

Serbia alleges Dr Ganic was responsible for war crimes during the Bosnian war.

Counsel representing Dr Ganic said there was no case in law for him to answer as had been proved in two previous international tribunals.

Edward Fitzgerald, counsel for Dr Ganic, has described the case presented at the extradition hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court as a "complete fudge".

Dr Ganic is arguing that the extradition case mounted against him is "an abuse of process".

Mr Fitzgerald told the court that in order for the extradition rules to apply, Serbia needed to show that the alleged crime took place in fighting between two states involved in an international armed conflict.

James Lewis QC, representing the government of the Republic of Serbia, told the court it would respond at the main hearing of this case listed on 5 July.

In other international court hearings Serbia has claimed that the Bosnian conflict was not a war between two states but a civil struggle between rival internal opposing ethnic forces.



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