For the first time, Israel is to extradite an Israeli citizen wanted for genocide. The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Aleksandar Cvetković
is to be extradited to Bosnia, where he was allegedly involved in a massacre in 1995.
The Supreme Court rejected Cvetković's appeal of a similar ruling made by the Jerusalem District Court in August.
Cvetković is suspected of taking part in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre
in eastern Bosnia, in which more than 1,000 Muslims were murdered at the Branjevo Farm in July 1995, according to the Bosnian extradition documents.
Cvetković in court (Archive photo: Noam Moskovich)
According to the information received from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cvetković took an active part in the killings and was among the eight soldiers who served as a firing squad.
The extradition request, approved by the Supreme Court, included the testimonies of three men who confessed to have taken part in the massacre and who testified to Cvetković's active role in the atrocities.
A few years after the events, Cvetković married a Jewish
woman and in 2006 the two immigrated to Israel with their children. He was granted Israeli citizenship for being married to a Jew and without the authorities having any knowledge of his actions.
Gal Levertov, director of the International Department at the Prosecutor's Office, said that according to testimonies, "For ten hours, he and the rest of his unit murdered hundreds of citizens, group after group that were taken off the bus, as Aleksandar and his peers – as hard evidence indicates – shot at the backs of those people, who were buried in a mass grave."
The Justice Ministry is expected to approve the extradition, after which Cvetković will be tried in the War Crimes Chamber of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina. If convicted, Cvetković will face a lengthy prison sentence.
This is the first time that an Israeli is extradited for accusations of genocide. According to Levertov, Cvetković will not be facing capital punishment, which made the extradition possible, as Israel does not extradite defendants who might face execution.
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