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Extradition hearing begins for former Bosnian V.P. Ganic

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • British court deciding whether to extradite former Bosnian V.P. to Serbia
  • Ejup Ganic is wanted for alleged 1992 war crimes
  • Ganic has been free on bail since March

London, England (CNN) -- An extradition hearing for former Bosnian Vice President Ejup Ganic started Monday, the City of Westminster Magistrates' Court confirmed.

London Metropolitan Police arrested Ganic at Heathrow Airport in March at Serbia's request. He is wanted in Serbia for conspiracy to murder in breach of the Geneva Conventions, a spokesman at Britain's Foreign Office said in March.

Ganic's lawyer, Stephen Gentle, denied Ganic had any role in the 1992 killings in question and in April, Gentle told CNN that "the extradition request is politically motivated. It is legally flawed and he has nothing to hide."

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 1995 Dayton peace agreement. Many independent commentators at the time regarded Ganic as a relative moderate in the wartime Bosnian leadership.

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

Ganic has been free on strict bail conditions for months. He must live at a specified address and cannot apply for a passport or other travel documents, a spokeswoman for the High Court said in March. He has a curfew requiring him to remain at the address between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. and has a "doorstep condition," requiring him to be at the address when police request it, the spokeswoman said. Ganic also must report daily to a London police station.

The court has scheduled five additional hearing dates through July 14, if needed.

CNN's Eileen Hsieh contributed to this report