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Court sets ex-Bosnian leader free

By the CNN Wire Staff
Bosnia's former President Ejup Ganic arrives at Westminster Magistrates Court for an earlier court hearing on July 5, 2010.
Bosnia's former President Ejup Ganic arrives at Westminster Magistrates Court for an earlier court hearing on July 5, 2010.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Serbia's government "tried to undermine the judiciary in this country," Ejup Ganic says
  • The extradition request was politically motivated, the judge finds
  • Former Bosnian leader will not be sent to Serbia
  • Ganic is wanted in Serbia for alleged 1992 war crimes
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London, England (CNN) -- Former Bosnian leader Ejup Ganic will not be extradited to Serbia, a British court ruled Tuesday, setting him free.

Ganic called the extradition request "a textbook example of abuse," accusing the Serbian government of trying to "undermine the judiciary in this country."

The extradition request was politically motivated, Justice Timothy Workman found in throwing it out.

"No striking or substantial new evidence" was brought against him, the judge ruled.

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

Ganic's lawyer, Stephen Gentle, denied that he had any role in the 1992 killings in question. In April, Gentle said 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 speaks with a recognizable Serbian accent. He holds dual nationality in the former Yugoslav republics.

He is leaving London for Sarajevo on Wednesday, he said.

CNN's Andrew Carey contributed to this report.

 
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