Indicted for war crimes; declared eligible for extradition to Croatia by an Australian Court on 12 April 2007; decision reversed by the Australian Federal Court on 2 September 2009; freed on 4 September 2009; arrested again on 12 may 2010; decision to extradite on 16 november 2012; decision reversed by the Federal Court on 15 november 2013; appeals pending; appeal rejected on 12 December 2014; leave to appeal was refused by the High Court on 15 May 2015
Dragan Vasiljkovic was born in Belgrade in 1954, but moved to Australia in 1969 and became an Australian citizen. In 1991, as the Serbian army sought to quench the Croatian bid for independence, he returned to Serbia to take part in the fighting.
Vasiljkovic, or “Kapetan Dragan”, as he was called, was in charge of a training camp for paramilitaries near Knin, and he also founded a paramilitary group called the “Kninjas” or the “Red Berets”, which allegedly took part in war crimes. Vasiljkovic acquired a high profile in the media in the early 1990s when the then president Milosevic’s propaganda machine turned him into a hero of Serbian nationalism. He had his own weekly TV talk show from 1992 to 1995 and even became the hero of a Captain Dragan comic strip published weekly in a Serbian newspaper.
Vasiljkovic is accused of having tortured and killed captured members of the Croatian army and police in the region of Knin and Benkovac in June and July 1991. In a raid on the police station in the city of Glina in July 1991, which Vasiljkovic personally oversaw, and during the attack on the Croatian towns of Gornji Vidusevac and Donji Vidusevac, several civilians were allegedly killed. Acts of arson and plundering were carried out; one foreign journalist was killed. As the leader of the “Red Berets”, Vasiljkovic is also alleged to have participated in crimes against humanity directed against the Muslim population of the city of Zvornik in Bosnia-Herzegovina.