Vasiljkovic could be extradited

THE decision of whether Dragan Vasiljkovic will be extradited to face war crime allegations rests with Home Affairs Minister Brendan O’Connor.

Mr O’Connor said Vasiljkovic would have the chance to make representations why he shouldn’t be surrendered to Croatian authorities.

In a statement, the minister said he would make a decision about the Serbian’s extradition “as soon as is reasonably practicable”.

Serbian leaders in Australia continue to oppose his extradition. His lawyers have contested the extradition order, arguing he would not get a fair hearing.

Hunted by police and Interpol since March 30, Vasiljkovic testified in the 2003 trial of Yugoslavian president Slobodan Milosevic.

He is accused of ordering the deaths and torture of prisoners of war while serving as the commander of paramilitary unit, Krajina Serbs, fighting against Croatia from 1991 to 1995.

Four years ago he was arrested in Perth and held in prison without charge before the start of his extradition proceedings.

Police had been searching for Vasiljkovic, also known as Daniel Snedden, since March, when the High Court ordered he be extradited for trial.

A source who witnessed his arrest at the slipway said it’s believed the yacht was bought from Iluka three weeks ago.

The owner of the boat left the slipway shortly after it was docked, he said, leaving Vasiljkovic, a known around-the-world sailor, to work and sleep on the raised yacht.

It is understood the vessel was undergoing general maintenance and sandblasting, and would have been seaworthy once the work was finished.

“They said they were going to go back to Coffs Harbour, but where they were headed? ... You can speculate as good as me,” a slipway spokesman said.

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