Israel court says Bosnian Serb can be extradited over Srebrenica

JERUSALEM Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:59am EST

Aleksandar Cvetkovic (L), a Bosnian Serb who moved to Israel in 2006, attends a hearing at Jerusalem District Court July 10, 2011. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

Aleksandar Cvetkovic (L), a Bosnian Serb who moved to Israel in 2006, attends a hearing at Jerusalem District Court July 10, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Ronen Zvulun

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel's Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that a Bosnian Serb accused of involvement in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre could be extradited to Bosnia to face a charge of genocide.

Aleksandar Cvetkovic, who has lived in Israel since 2006, was arrested in January 2011 on an international warrant after witnesses testified that he had helped to shoot some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Europe's worst atrocity since World War Two.

Cvetkovic has denied participating in the massacre, saying that he was merely serving as an army driver when Srebrenica fell to the Serbs during Bosnia's 1992-95 war.

Cvetkovic's marriage to a Jewish woman, with whom he has children, helped him to secure Israeli citizenship. A Jerusalem district court ruled last year that Cvetkovic could be extradited, but he appealed to the Supreme Court.

A Justice Ministry spokeswoman said there was no appeal against Thursday's ruling.

"At this stage, the matter is handed over to the justice minister, who will decide if and when the extradition will go forward," she said.

Cvetkovic will be extradited to a court in Sarajevo, the Bosnian capital, that was set up in 2005 to relieve the burden on the U.N. war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague.

The two courts have prosecuted dozens of Bosnian Serbs over Srebrenica.

(Writing by Maayan Lubell; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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