Basic Extradition

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  • 8/3/2019 Basic Extradition





    E l s ~ e I ' nD1strlotofKentucF I L E D

    MAR 0 9 2011





    I, the lUldersigned Assistant United States Attorney, being duly sworn, state on

    infonnation and belief that the following is true and correct:

    1. In this matter I act for and on beha lf of the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina (the

    requesting state);

    2. There is an extradit ion treaty in force between the United States and Bosnia and

    Herzegovina, 32 Stat. 1890, Treaty Series 406, as a successor state to the fonner Yugoslavia,

    which is being used in conjlUlction with the United Nations Convention Against Torture and

    Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (the "Torture Convention"), signed

    in New York on December 10, 1984, which entered into force for the United States on November

    20, 1994 and on September 1, 1993 for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    3, In accordance with Article 1 of the extradition treaty, the Government of Bosnia and

    Herzegovina asked the Uni ted States through diplomatic channels for the extradition of AZRA

    BASIC; .

    4, According to the infonnat ion provided by the requesting state in the fonn authorized by

    the extradit ion treaty, AZRA BASIC is wanted to stand trial in the District Court ofDoboj for

    the offense of war crimes against civilians for her acts in the Derventa municipality during the

    Bosnian war in 1992. 'War crimes against civilians' - Article 433 of the Criminal Code of the

    Republika Srpska, the political entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina within which the Derventa

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    municipality is located, and Article 173(1) of the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina

    cover numerous acts, including murder and torture.

    5. Both murder and torture are crimes for which the United States can extradite individuals

    to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Murder is enumerated in the "Treaty between the United States and

    Servia for the Mutual Extradition of Fugitives from Justice, signed at Belgrade, October 25,

    1902, entered into force June 12, 1902" ("1902 Extradition Treaty"), which was in force with the

    former Yugoslavia and applies to Bosnia and Herzegovina as a successor state. Torture is

    extraditable under the 1902 Extradition Treaty, in conjunctionwith the Torture Convention,

    which entered into force for the United States on November 20, 1994 and on September 1, 1993

    for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    6. In accordance with Article 8 o f the Torture Convention, each of the offenses listed in

    Article 4 of the Torture Convention shall be deemed to be included as an extraditable offense in

    the 1902 Extradition Treaty. The conduct underlying the offenses charged in Bosnia and

    Herzegovina's extradition request includes murder and torture, as defined in Article 1 of the

    Torture Convention.

    7. The evidence proffered by Bosnia and Herzegovina and set forth in this pleading provides

    sufficient probable cause to detain AZRA BASIC under United States law. As such, the

    evidence set forth in this extradition package satisfies Article 1 of the 1902 Extradition Treaty.

    8. Article 7 of the 1902 Extradition Treaty states that extradition shall not be granted i f the

    statute of limitations associated with the relevant criminal offenses of the requested state have

    not been met. The statute of limitations on prosecuting these offenses are set forth in U.S.C. 18

    Sections 3281 and 3282. Under sections 3281 and 3282, there is no statute of limitations for

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    murder and the stahlte of limitations for torture is five years because it is not a capital offense

    and there is no statute oflimitations provided by the Torture Convention or U.S.C. 18 Section

    2340 (Torture). In this case, the crimes were committed in 1992 and the criminal charge against

    AZRA BASICwas filed one year later in 1993, well within the applicable statute of limitat ions.

    9. On January 12, 1993, the Republika Srpska 's Ministry o f Internal Affairs, Public Security

    Center in Doboj criminally charged AZRA BASIC, identity then unknown, wi th wa r crimes

    against civilians. The District Attorney's Office in Doboj led the investigation against AZRA

    BASIC (case no. KT-490104) and ultimately identified Basic as the perpetrator o f the crimes

    based on accumulated victims' statements, medical examinations, and forensic reports taken

    between 1992 and 2001 with which to identify AZRA BASIC.

    10. Interpol Washington successfully located AZRA BASIC in the Eastern District o f

    Kentucky in 2004. However, the District Court o f Doboj did no t issue an international arrest

    warrant until October 19, 2006, which was immediately after they were able to demonstrate to a

    Bosnian court that AZRA BASIC committed war crimes against civilians. In February 2007, th e

    United States received the fonnal request to extradite AZRA BASIC.

    11. Upon receiving Bosnia's extradition package from the United States' Department of

    State, the Office of International Affairs o f the Department o f Justice requested from Bosnian

    prosecutors further evidence ascribing the criminal offenses set forth to AZRA BASIC. Bosnian

    prosecutors provided this additional identifying infonnation in February 2010 and April 2010.

    12. The warrant was issued on the basis o f events that occurred between April 1 ~ and June

    1992 in three primary locations - the Yugoslav National Anny (YNA) camp, the Rabic camp,

    and the Poljara camp - near the majority-Serbian Cardak settlement in Derventa. The victims, all

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    of whom were ethnically Serbian, claim they were taken from the Cardak sett lement on or around

    Apri126, 1992, by AZRA BASIC and other uniformed members of the Croatian army (HVO)

    and were subsequently tortured.

    13. Witness and victim testimony, six victims' photo identification, and certified military

    records from the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Croatia demonstrate that AZRA BASIC

    is both the individual that committed crimes of torture and murder as well as the target of this

    extradition request. Only the extraditable crimes of murder and torture, as defmed by Article 1 of

    the Torture Convention, that B A ~ i I Cis suspected to have committed have been summarized.

    14. Eye Witness testimony demonStrates that AZRA BASIC murdered Blagoje DruRAS in

    1992. Radojica GARIC, in his October 1992 testimony, asserted that after DmRAS was beaten

    to unconsciousness, "one woman wearing a uniform of a Croatian soldier approached and

    stabbed him [DruRAS] with a knife in the area of his neck, after which he moaned and ended his

    life. After that Azra took us by the hair and dragged us to the wound on the neck from which the

    blood ran and made us drink that blood." Dragan KOVACEVIC, during his October 1994

    testimony, recounted that "while we were in the YNA Centre, Croat policemen and soldiers beat

    up Blagoje DruRAS, from the settlement Cardak, and after that Azra approached and slit his

    throat." In December 2009, KOVACEVIC photo-identified BASIC as the Azra specified in his

    eye-witness testimony. In 1993, DruRAS' remains were located and identified outside of

    Derventa by forensic anthropologists using DNA who determined that all of the ribs on the left

    side of his body, in addition to one on the right side of his body, had been broken prior to death.

    15. In September 1992, Sreten JOVANOVIC testified that he was forced to drink petrol,

    beaten to unconsciousness, and that his hands and face were set on fire by Azra, whom he

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    described as a military policeman of the Rijeka brigade ZNG. JOVANOVIC's November 1994

    medical examination corroborated his statements; the examination found rib, head, and nose

    fractures, caused by numerous beatings, as well as scarring, caused by burnings. The medical

    examination stated that JOVANOVIC had suffered "torture in captivity."

    16. In his November 1994 testimony, Mile KUZMANOVIC specified that "a n Azra wearing

    it HVO uniform from Rijeka Brigade" ordered him and others to swallow a: handful of salt and

    eat Yugoslav money before hitting him with boots, weapon butts, metal bars, electrical cables,

    and batons. KUZMANOVIC described how "Azra and other soldiers" forced him to lick blood

    of f of floors covered in broken glass and crawl on the glass with a knotted rope in his mouth with

    which soldiers used to pull out the teeth o f prisoners. In additio'n to having his nails pulled out

    with pliers, KUZMANOVIC specified that "Azra herself, made a cut on my left auricle with

    some kind of pliers." In his October 1994 testimony, LukaPATKOVIC venfied that "a short

    woman wearing a uniform of a Croatian soldier .. called Azra .. cut Mile KUZMANOVIC's ear

    with pliers, I think his left ear, and carved a cross

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