Diplomat Who Helped Serb Student Flee is Detained
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BELGRADE, Serbia — Serbia’s police yesterday detained a diplomat who allegedly helped a Serbian student wanted in the United States flee to his home country.
A former Serbian deputy consul in New York, Igor Milosevic, was detained for questioning, police said.
Mr. Milosevic is accused of providing Miladin Kovacevic, who faces assault charges in America for allegedly severely beating schoolmate Bryan Steinhauer during a May 4 bar fight, with emergency travel documents that helped him flee America.
Mr. Kovacevic had been recruited to play basketball for Binghamton University in northern New York State. He was detained in America after the fight, but fled to Serbia in June after he was freed on bail.
As a condition of his release, Mr. Kovacevic had surrendered his Serbian passport, but Mr. Milosevic reportedly furnished Mr. Kovacevic with new travel documents.
Mr. Milosevic has been withdrawn from the United States and was sacked from Serbia’s diplomatic service.
Serbian law does not allow Mr. Kovacevic to be extradited, and Serb officials have suggested that American authorities hand over the full case file so they can consider whether he should be prosecuted in Serbia.
The case has set off a diplomatic crisis between Washington and Belgrade.
Meanwhile, Mr. Kovacevic has signed a contract to play for a basketball team in a regional Serbian league. His lawyer was quoted by Serbian media as saying the move aimed to fight depression.