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.
In February 2003, Vasiljkovic testified at the trial of Slobodan Milosevic in The Hague.
Under the assumed name of Daniel Snedden, Vasiljkovic lived in Perth, Australia, from December 2004, where he worked as a golf teacher.
Vasiljkovic was arrested on 20 January 2006 in Sydney and is under extradition proceedings to Croatia to be tried for war crimes.
Trial Watch would like to remind its users that any person charged by national or international authorities is presumed innocent until proven guilty.