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US Court Rules Former Bosnian Foreign Minister Eligible for Extradition


A U.S. federal judge has ruled that Bosnia's former foreign minister can be extradited to his homeland to face charges of stealing more than two million dollars from his government.

Muhamed Sacirbey, who holds dual citizenship in the United States and Bosnia-Herzegovina, is accused of embezzling the funds while serving as Bosnia's United Nations ambassador during the Balkan conflict of the 1990s.

Sacirbey had appealed an earlier extradition order issued in early 2005.

The former diplomat argued then that he took no salary during the conflict, and testified that he bank-rolled the wartime operation of Bosnia's U.S. mission with personal funds.

A spokeswoman for Sacirbey's defense attorney James McGuire said last week's District Court ruling will be appealed to federal circuit court and beyond, if necessary. Meanwhile, Sacirbey remains free on bail.

The spokeswoman noted that the ruling is limited to Sacirbey's eligibility for extradition, and is not an order for deportation. Any deportation hearing would be conducted by the U.S. State Department, after all judicial proceedings on eligibility have taken place.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.
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