Va. man faces extradition on war crimes charges

7/18/2012

A former Bosnian prison camp guard now living in Roanoke County was led in handcuffs to a federal courtroom Tuesday, where he was told he faces extradition to his native country on charges of committing war crimes.

Almaz Nezirovic was ordered held without bond during a brief hearing in U.S. District Court in Roanoke.

Court papers unsealed late in the day accuse Nezirovic of torturing Serbian civilians who were sent to a prison camp during the civil war in the former Yugoslavia, now known as Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The prisoners were beaten with rifles and batons, starved, ordered to crawl naked on the ground and forced to eat grass soaked with urine, a seven-page complaint charges.

"In these and other ways, the Fugitive participated in torturing and inflicting cruel, inhumane and humiliating treatment on multiple prisoners at the Rabic camp," the complaint states.

Nezirovic -- who had been living quietly as a welder and soccer coach in Roanoke County since immigrating to the United States about 15 years ago -- appeared stunned and defiant during his hearing.

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