Captain Dragan faces extradition

LAST OPTION:  Accused Serbian war criminal Captain Dragan Vasiljkovic.
LAST OPTION: Accused Serbian war criminal Captain Dragan Vasiljkovic.

ACCUSED war criminal Dragan Vasiljkovic has lost a bid to block his extradition to Croatia.

The dual Serbian-Australian citizen, also known as Daniel Snedden or Captain Dragan, was caught by the Australian Federal Police hiding out on a yacht at Harwood in May last year, after 43 days on the run from authorities.

The 56-year-old stands accused of ordering the abuse, interrogation and murder of Croatian prisoners during the Balkans War in the 1990s.

He was the founder and captain of a Serbian paramilitary unit called the Knindze Knin ninjas red berets.

The Croatian Government lodged the extradition order in the Australian Federal Court in 2006 after it was

revealed Vasiljkovic was living in Western Australia under an assumed name and working as a golf coach.

At the time he fled, Vasiljkovic had been living with supporters on a property at Boambee.

AFP officers chased Vasiljkovic to the Coffs Coast after he failed to show in court in Canberra and he has been held in custody since his capture.

Today the full bench of the Federal Court dismissed Mr Vasiljkovic's appeal against extradition and ordered him to pay court costs.

The final decision now rests in the hands of Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor.

"We welcome the decision," a spokeswoman for the minister said.

But she said Mr O'Connor had to wait 28 days in case Mr Vasiljkovic wanted to apply for special leave to appeal to the High Court.

Vasiljkovic famously gave evidence against Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic at the Hague without immunity.

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