"Serbia should reconsider its behavior"
Bakir Izetbegović has said Bosnia "will not extradite its people to Serbia," and advised the neighboring country "to reconsider its behavior toward Bosnia."Source: Tanjug
The Bosniak (Muslim) member of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Presidency was speaking after receiving Naser Orić, who requested protection from possible extradition, as the Serbian War Crimes Prosecution launched a war crimes investigation against him.
Orić was a commander of the Muslim forces of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina during the 1992-95 war.
“Orić was subject to a very detailed investigation in The Hague, and that investigation is over. It is out of the question that he should be tried for the same crimes again in Bosnia-Herzegovina, let alone in Serbia,” Izetbegović said on Thursday after he met with Orić and Smajo Mandžić.
Izetbegović said that "if Serbia wants to improve relations with Bosnia-Herzegovina and join the EU, it should reconsider its behavior towards the citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina," news agency Fena reported.
Izetbegović said that the entire case was connected with the campaign ahead of early parliamentary elections in Serbia, stressing that the parties in the campaign should not use "Bosnian defenders" to promote themselves.
The Bosniak official announced that he will "personally make a number of contacts with Serbia in order to improve the two countries' relations."
Serbian Deputy PM Aleksandar Vučić earlier on Thursday rejected Orić's allegations that Serbia was conducting a campaign against him because of the investigation into war crimes in the Drina region, stressing that the completion of the investigation would be a great and important thing for the entire region.
The Serbian War Crimes Prosecutor's Office stated on Wednesday that it is finalizing the investigation against Orić and four other suspects of the murder of ten Serb civilians in Zalažje, Donji Potočari, in the municipality of Srebrenica on July 12, 1992.
The Banja Luka-based media reported that the attack on Zalažje, which was commanded by Orić, resulted in the murder of 37 locals, while their village was burned down.
Aside for Orić, the list of suspects also comprises wartime head of the Srebrenica police Hakija Meholjić, and also Nurija Husić, Amir Mehmedović and Smajo Mandžić, the Banja Luka-based daily Glas Srpske reported.