Dad forcibly removed from UK to stand trial over alleged Yugoslav war crimes

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    A Serbian man living in the UK has been extradited to Croatia on allegations of war crimes relating to the Yugoslav wars.

    Milenko Maric, 63, was been living in the Normanton area of the Derby when he was arrested, but was granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK while a trial and subsequent appeal took place in Croatia.

    It has now been confirmed that Mr Maric has been taken to Croatia.

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    Maric was a former member of the Secretariat for International Affairs of Manastir and was charged with removing civilians of non-Serbian ethnic origin from the Baranya region and assaulting them during August and September 1991.

    An International Arrest Warrant had been issued for his alleged crimes against humanity by a Croatian prosecutor's office back in 2001.

    His extradition was ordered at a hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court in September 2022, while he was also made to wear an electronic tag and stay in Derbyshire or Leicestershire until a formal date was confirmed.

    Maric was extradited on last Wednesday (April 5) with his formal trial date yet to be announced.

    Temporary Sergeant Sarah Baker, of Derbyshire police's International Liaison Unit, said: “We continue to work with law enforcement partners nationally and internationally to remove dangerous offenders and ensure people are brought to justice."

    Father-of-three Mr Maric was once an electrician and a professional handball player in the former Yugoslavia while he also served as a police officer during the civil war that led to the breakup of the country in the 1990s.

    Maric was accused by several people of various acts of violence between August and September 1991, including beatings and theft.

    In 2017, he was found not guilty of those charges but that verdict was later overruled by the Croatian Supreme Court.

    He was fighting extradition to Croatia but lost his appeal to stay in the UK in September 2022 after years of legal back-and-forth.

    Speaking to Derbyshire Live in November, 2022, Mr Maric said: "People stop me and say they know that I’m a war criminal because of the newspaper. I've been attacked in prison in Croatia. I've been attacked outside of prison.

    "I am a sensitive man. In the war, I did only good things. I risked my life to help and protect people. I've done so many important things and saved so many lives."

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