Župljanin extradition appeal rejected

BELGRADE -- The Belgrade District Court has turned down Stojan Župljanin’s lawyer’s appeal against his client’s extradition to the Hague, says court spokeswoman Ivana Ramić.

Stojan Župljanin (Tanjug, archive)
Stojan Župljanin (Tanjug, archive)

Ramić said that the appeal was groundless and that the verdict had already been dispatched to the accused and his legal representatives, as well as to the Justice Ministry, together with a transcript of the case.

The appeal has arrived at the Justice Ministry and the standard procedures in such cases have been launched.

Under the law on ministries, the justice minister is obliged to seek the government’s approval before taking a decision to extradite, and the government has to confirm the minister’s decision.

Earlier today, Head of the National Council for Hague Cooperation Rasim Ljajić said Župljanin would be extradited to The Hague either today or by Monday.

"Today the court will discuss Župljanin’s lawyer’s appeal, and after that, with the approval of the government and the Ministry of Justice, it will be possible to extradite him,” Ljajić told journalists at the Belgrade Media Center.

The head of the National Council said that, as in all the prior cases of extradition, it was important that the procedure laid down by the Law on Cooperation with the Hague Tribunal be followed to the letter.

Župljanin’s lawyers appealed against the verdict of the investigative judge yesterday. The appeal will be considered by the War Crimes Chamber of the Belgrade District Court.

According to the law on cooperation, the Ministry of Justice makes the final decision on extradition.