Wanted Serbian appears in court

2011-12-28 14:33

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Cape Town - A Serbian convicted of murder in his home country, who was allegedly driving underworld figure Cyril Beeka when he was shot dead in March, will remain in custody until his bail application in January ahead of an extradition hearing.

Dobrosav Gavric, 38, dressed in denims and a white collared shirt, appeared before magistrate Jasthree Steyn in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

Steyn ordered that Gavric remain in custody at the Sea Point police station until his formal bail application on January 10.

Gavric's attorney, Juan Smuts, said outside court that his client had given his full co-operation to Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks).

His client was "seriously ill" and would fight the extradition request.

"My client is seriously ill and appropriate medical evidence will be heard," Smuts said.

"Obviously that extradition request will be opposed."

2001 assassination

Gavric handed himself over to the Hawks in Bellville, Cape Town, on Tuesday.

According to the Serbian news website B92, Gavric was arrested in 2001 after he allegedly took part in the assassination of two people and wounded a civilian who later died in hospital.

One of those he killed was feared warlord Zeljko Raznatovic, also known as Arkan. Arkan was a Serbian paramilitary leader killed in January 2000. He was accused of crimes against humanity during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina from 1992 until 1995 by the Hague Tribunal.

Gavric denied being involved in the murder. He was sentenced in absentia to 35 years in prison.

According to B92, Gavric was spotted in restaurants while visiting his family in a Serbian town two weeks ago.

South African police obtained a warrant for Gavric's arrest on Monday after they received an extradition request from Serbian officials.

Beeka was shot dead while he was a passenger in a BMW 4X4 driven by Gavric near the University of the Western Cape on March 21. Gavric was shot in the chest.

Hawks spokesperson McIntosh Polela said on Tuesday that the police were investigating how Gavric entered South Africa in 2007 using a passport with the false name Sasa Kobacevic.

This was the name he gave police after Beeka's murder.

His real name was established by South African police with the assistance of Serbian officials.

- SAPA
Read more on:    hawks  |  cyril beeka  |  dobrosav gavric  |  cape town
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