Spanish police have arrested the suspected war criminal Batko Vlahovic

Spanish police have arrested the suspected war criminal Batko Vlahovic. He is accused of murdering hundreds of Bosnian Muslims while commanding Serb forces during the Bosnian war in the 1990s. Bosnia says it will ask Spain to extradite him so he can face charges of genocide. Meanwhile, Radovan Karadzic has taken the stand for a second day at his war crimes trial. The former Bosnian Serb leader denied that his forces were responsible for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, dismissing it as a myth.

A statement said Veselin Vlahovic, who was born in Montenegro in 1969, had three international arrest warrants pending against him and was also wanted in Spain on charges ranging from armed robbery to burglary.

Also known as “Batko,” Vlahovic is accused of hundreds of murders during the war in Bosnia, and was jailed after the conflict for an armed robbery in Montenegro in 1998.

Bosnia’s Presidency Chairman Zeljko Komsic said the country’s ambassador to Spain would ask Madrid to begin proceedings against Vlahovic to extradite him to Bosnia, where he is wanted on charges of genocide.

“The state prosecutor will Wednesday file the extradition request to the justice ministry, which will then be delivered to Spain’s authorities via Bosnia’s foreign ministry, expectedly the same day,” Komsic said in a statement.

Vlahovic had been at large since he escaped from the jail in 2001. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison for shooting a man dead in Serbia shortly after his escape.

In Spain he is suspected of having taken part in a shoot-out in a night club in 2004, of armed robbery in 2005, when he also allegedly shot at police to escape arrest, in addition to forced entry.

Police arrested Vlahovic Monday near his home in the southeastern province of Alicante as part of an investigation into a wave of burglaries.

Source : Reuters


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