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Blow for suspect in war crimes

Date
A February 1993 file photo former Serb commander Dragan Vasilykovic taken in Knin, Croatia.

A February 1993 file photo former Serb commander Dragan Vasilykovic taken in Knin, Croatia. Photo: Reuters

THE FEDERAL government has approved the extradition of accused war criminal Dragan Vasiljkovic to Croatia.

Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare says he has determined that Vasiljkovic - also known as Captain Dragan and Daniel Snedden - should be returned to Croatia to face prosecution for war crimes he allegedly committed during the 1990s conflicts in the former Yugoslavia.

Mr Clare arrived at his decision after consideration of the Extradition Act, a spokesperson said. ''It is open to Mr Vasiljkovic to seek review of the minister's surrender determination,'' the spokesperson said.

The dual Serbian-Australian citizen has fought extradition since he was arrested in 2006. In April that year, a magistrate found he was eligible for extradition to Croatia, but Vasiljkovic appealed.

His appeal was upheld by the Federal Court two years later, prompting the Commonwealth to appeal to the High Court.

Vasiljkovic was released on bail, but disappeared when the High Court upheld the government's appeal.

The Australian Federal Police found him 44 days later in NSW.

It's alleged Vasiljkovic killed Croatian citizens and ordered others to commit murder when he was a paramilitary commander with the Krajina Serbs fighting against Croatia from 1991 to 1995. AAP

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