The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that an Israeli citizen will be extradited to Bosnia, where he is to be tried for war crimes he allegedly committed as a soldier during the civil war in what is now the former republic of Yugoslavia. The decision rejected the defendant’s appeal of a lower court’s verdict.
In the verdict, Justice Salim Jubran stated that it was not the Israeli court’s job to decide whether the defendant, Aleksander Cvetkovic, was guilty; rather, it was tasked with facilitating his trial for the severe crimes he was charged with committing. The decision to extradite Cvetkovic was not a confirmation of his guilt, the three-judge panel stressed.
Cvetkovic was wanted for allegedly taking part in the Srebrenica massacre, during which Serbian troops killed more than 8,000 Muslims.
The Bosnian government requested Cvetkovic’s extradition, accusing him of being part of a firing squad that shot more than 1,000 people in July of 1995. He was to be tried in a Sarajevo court for war crimes, possibly even genocide.
Cvetkovic, who received his Israeli citizenship six years ago, was arrested in 2011 after Bosnia asked Israel to hand him over for trial and the Jerusalem District Court agreed to extradite him. His lawyers appealed the decision, but on Thursday the Supreme Court upheld the original verdict.