Croatian tycoon told to go home

The Supreme Court has ordered that Hrvoje Petrac, a wanted tycoon in Croatia connected to fugitive General Ante Gotovina, be sent back to his homeland in what his lawyers argue was a decision based on political criteria. The court in Athens yesterday approved the extradition and threw out an appeal from a lower court on the island of Corfu against Petrac being returned to Croatia. Petrac’s lawyers said that they will file a suit at the European Court of Human Rights to block the extradition and claim that their client faces being tortured and humiliated in his home country. Petrac has been convicted in absentia in Croatia for kidnapping a boy but is wanted mainly for his connection to Gotovina, who has been indicted by the Hague tribunal for war crimes. Petrac was arrested in August at the port of Igoumenitsa with a forged passport after being on the run for 18 months. The final decision concerning the extradition rests with the justice minister, but lawyers say that this rarely differs from the court ruling.

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