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Former Bosnian leader released on bail in London

Ejup Ganic, pictured in 1993, was regarded by many as a relatively moderate Bosnian leader.
Ejup Ganic, pictured in 1993, was regarded by many as a relatively moderate Bosnian leader.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Ejup Ganic must check in daily with police and live at a specified address
  • Ganic was the vice president of Bosnia during the civil war there between 1992 and 1995
  • He was in Britain attending a graduation ceremony at the University of Buckingham
  • Bosnia and Serbia signed an agreement Sunday on extraditions for war crimes

London, England (CNN) -- The former vice president of Bosnia was freed on bail Thursday, three days after being arrested in London on an extradition request from Serbia, spokespeople for the court and prosecutors said.

Ejup Ganic was released under strict conditions, including a curfew and a requirement to check in daily with police, according to a spokeswoman at the High Court who could not be named in line with policy.

London Metropolitan Police arrested Ganic at Heathrow Airport Monday on a bilateral provisional extradition request from Serbia, a spokesman at Britain's Foreign Office said.

He is wanted in Serbia for conspiracy to murder in breach of the Geneva Conventions, the spokesman said.

Ganic must next appear at a hearing March 25, but it will not be about his extradition, a spokeswoman for the Crown Prosecution Service said. A hearing on extradition has not been set, she said.

Ganic was the vice president of Bosnia during the civil war there between 1992 and 1995 and was twice president of the Bosnian-Croat Federation in the years following the Dayton peace agreement in 1995.

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Many independent commentators at the time regarded Ganic as a relative moderate in the war-time Bosnian leadership. An engineer by profession, Ganic studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States.

He would regularly brief journalists during the three-year civil war from his often-shelled office in the Bosnian presidency building in the heart of Sarajevo.

Ganic was in Britain attending a graduation ceremony at the University of Buckingham, which partners with the private Sarajevo Institute of Technology, a school Ganic established.

Though Bosnian, Ganic was born in Serbia and still speaks with a clearly recognizable Serbian accent. He holds dual nationality in both Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia.

Bosnia and Serbia signed an agreement Sunday on extraditions for war crimes committed during the war that would let Bosnians be tried in Bosnia and Serbs in Serbia.

Under the terms of his release, Ganic must live at a specified address and cannot apply for a passport or other travel documents, said the court spokeswoman, who could not be named according to policy.

He has a curfew requiring him to remain at the address between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. and also has a "doorstep condition," requiring him to be at the address when police request it, the spokeswoman said. Ganic must also report daily to a London police station.

Asked whether prosecutors fear Ganic could flee, the spokeswoman said only that "We made representation to the court this morning to withhold bail."

Ganic's arrest is a major news story in Bosnia, where the public appears divided over the case. Bosnian Serbs largely favor the prosecution of anyone involved in crimes from the civil war, Bosnian Muslims are debating conspiracy theories, and Croats appear less interested in developments.