Federal court dismisses extradition appeal for alleged war criminal

Daniel Snedden in Croatia in the 1990s.

The Federal Court has dismissed the latest appeal against extradition by an Australian man wanted in Croatia over alleged war crimes.

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The Federal Court has dismissed the latest appeal against extradition by an Australian man wanted in Croatia over alleged war crimes.

Daniel Snedden, who is also known as Dragan Vasiljkovic or Captain Dragan, is the subject of an extradition order over war crimes alleged to have occurred in the 1990s during the Balkans war.

Mr Snedden denies the claims and has been challenging the extradition in Australian courts for around eight years, the greater part of which he has been detained in prison.

Croatia's Consul General in Melbourne Dubravko Belavic has described the court's decision as satisfactory.

Following the decision, Daniel Snedden’s lawyer Dan Mori told SBS his client is hoping to appeal.

“Now it's really time to look at the rationale and look at the decisions and see if there is any viable issues that may or may not support a special leave to the High Court," Mr Mori said.

Mr Mori said his main concern is that his client will not be afforded the protections of the Geneva Convention if returned to Croatia.

“I’m very concerned about what would happen in Croatia," Mr Mori said.

"I’ve come to discover there was no lawyer appointed for him that actually communicated with him from Croatia. I’ve finally been able to get access to the court files and found that a lawyer was appointed, but that lawyer has never reached out and tried to communicate through and get hold of him to even seek any instructions on what should be done in Croatian courts.” 

Mr Mori said the time spent in Australian prisons should be considered in any sentencing of Daniel Snedden.

“There’s some big unanswered questions. Is Croatia going to give him credit for every day he served here in Australia if he is brought back there, and he should be because the Geneva Convention requires it. But Australia has not sought that specialty assurance from Croatia.”

A spokeswoman for the Attorney-General's Department said:

"The Full Federal Court today found that Mr Vasiljković had been accorded appropriate procedural fairness in the making of the former Minister's decision to surrender him to Croatia.

"The Court also found that the decision was made as soon as reasonably practicable and that the former Minister had not erred in exercising his general discretion.

"Mr Vasiljković is wanted by Croatian authorities to face prosecution for three war crimes offences and he remains in extradition custody in Australia."