Interpol hunts Serbian suspect

2010-04-08 18:24

Sydney - Global police agency Interpol on Thursday issued an alert for Dragan "Captain Dragan" Vasiljkovic, a Serbian war crimes suspect who has gone missing in Australia.

Interpol appealed for information as Australian police continue to hunt Vasiljkovic, who disappeared after a court approved his extradition to Croatia last week.

Croatia accuses Vasiljkovic, a Belgrade-born golf professional also known as Daniel Snedden, of involvement in torture and murder during its 1991-1995 war of independence from Serbia.

The 55-year-old did not attend court last Tuesday, when Croatia successfully appealed a ruling blocking his extradition on grounds of possible prejudice in the country's justice system.

'War crimes

The attorney-general's department says Vasiljkovic must wait in prison until Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor makes the final decision whether or not to hand him over to Croatia for prosecution.

Zagreb says Vasiljkovic, known as "Captain Dragan" during the war, was involved in the torture and killing of Croatian civilians and prisoners of war in the rebel Serb stronghold of Knin in 1991 and the village of Bruska in 1993.

The Australia citizen was arrested in 2006 after Croatia requested his extradition and spent nearly four years behind bars until the Federal Court's ruling in September.

Vasiljkovic was a paramilitary commander with a Serbian rebel group opposed to Croatian independence from Yugoslavia. He has denied war crimes but has told media he trained recruits, killed in combat and interrogated enemy troops.

Vasiljkovic has handed over his passports and is barred by court order from Australia's international ports and airports.