Coming: Extradition request for "Captain Dragan"

In an interview with Biljana Bašić for the daily Vjesnik, Croatian justice minister Vesna Škare-Ozbolt predicted that a request for the extradition of Dragan Vasiljković would be sent to Australia by Friday, which would be well within the 45-day period within which Australian law requires such requests to be made. The request will have to be accompanied by evidence that there is reason to make charges against Mr Vasiljković, as well as by assurances that he would not face a death penalty in the country to which extradition is requested. The charges against him so far are based on events in June and July 1991, and February 1993, for destruction of civilian objects, theft, and forced expulsion of civilians in Glina and in Gornji and Donji Viduševac, and for abuse of prisoners in Knin and Bruška. These are the charges developed by local prosecutors in Šibenik, but Ms Škare-Ozbolt leaves open in the interview the possibility that an eventual prosecution may move to another jurisdiction.

Update, 25 January: The Australian reports that Dragan Vasiljković's lawyer, George Draca (who is representing him together with Richard Thomas and Bradley Slowgrove), has announced a plan to challenge the arrest as "arbitrary detention" and demand his release. No details on what Mr Draca plans to argue is arbitrary about the detention.

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