Serbia Refuses to Extradite Basketball Star Accused of Brutal Assault on College Student

The United States Senate is getting involved in a growing conflict between the United States and Serbia over the unlawful flight of Miladin Kovacevic, a star basketball player who was on bail for an assault on college student, Bryan Steinhauer. Both were students at Binghamton College. Steinhauer has been in a coma since the attack and now weighs only 100 pounds.

The State Department has demanded the return of Kovacevic, who fled after receiving bail. At the time, as is common, he agreed to surrender his passport and not leave the country. The Serbian consulate arranged for the bail and then secretly gave him emergency travel papers allowing him to fly back to Serbia through Germany. (The officials were later dismissed by Serbia).

Kovacevic attacked Steinhauer with two other men on May 4th at the Rathskeller bar, continuing to kick him on the floor after he lost consciousness. Kovacevic is 6-foot-9-inch and weighs 260-pounds. Steinhauer weighed 130 pounds. Some witnesses say the fight was over the fact that Steinhauer danced with the girl of one of the men while others claim that there was a groping incident. Some also claimed that Steinhauer threw the first punch. Even if that allegation were true, it does not explain why all of the three men ganged up on Steinhauer and beat him into a coma. That is probably whey Kovacevic decided that the best defense was to flee the jurisdiction.

Kovacevic appears to have gotten over any grief or embarrassment — he reportedly signed a contract with a Serbian basketball team.

Serbia insists that it has no extradition treaty with the United States and thus cannot deport him.

This is only the latest diplomatic dust up over criminal defendants who leave the country, here.

For the full article, click and here and here.

10 thoughts on “Serbia Refuses to Extradite Basketball Star Accused of Brutal Assault on College Student”

  1. Also Dragan, the nazi you refer to is not a citizen of Serbia but was a citizen of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. So that’s why he can not be deported. And he should not be deported. The US Constitution applies to everyone in this country, even stupid Zakimar, so if there is no country to which to deport a nazi – theyre welcome here.

  2. Serbian people founded this country you stupid clod! There are more Belgrades in the States than in Serbia. What kind of an American are you to call all people ‘undesireables’? Von Wehrmer built the V4 the rocket that got us to the moon. Comparin Serbians, who kicked the Nazi’s ass, you moron, to Nazi is the stupidest thing I ever heard. Only 2 countries liberated themselves from Nazi rule in Europe – Russia and Serbia. So youre a stupid racist peace of trash to call Nazi and Serbians ‘undesireables’ – for example am a US nazi serbian-dutch jew. So fuck you zakimar and your donkey-mom!

  3. All of the posts on this topic have ignored the issue. Whether there is an extradition agreement is immaterial. When one accepts the benefits and hospitality of another country, one is expected to comply with the laws of one’s host. Mr. Kovacevic apparently came to this country because he believed that he would receive an education that was not available to him at home. When he was released on bail following his arrest, he gave his assurance that he would appear in court to respond to the charge. The court system would have provided him due process protections which are superior to those in any other country, including Serbia. His decision to flee was cowardly and probably a reflection of his youth and immaturity. The Serbian government’s decision to assist him in effecting that decision did him a disservice. I believe that Mr. Kovacevic will come to regret his decision, if he does not already. It is unfortunate that Serbian government officials did not encourage Mr. Kovacevic to act as a responsible adult.

  4. Dragan is right, it’s the fault of the US for letting these people in the first place; undesirables like Nazi war criminals and Serbs.

  5. All,

    Serbia is an eastern orthodox christian country, so they do not have any contacts or linkages to Taliban.

    Second, almost all countries worldwide, including the US, do NOT extradite their own citizens.

    Further, if you follow Serbian media for the sake of listening to all sides, this gentlemen said that he was a vistim of anti-Serbian stereotypes while in prison (such as the ones not having anything to do with him or his case: Serbs are war criminals, they needed so many years to arrest alleged war criminals, etc, etc); that the US media hung him up even before the trial only because he was a Serb; and, that there was no chance of having a fair trial in the US for the act, as he claims, that was a pure self-defense.

    Everyone is to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. I do not know what happened. I was not in the bar. Therefore, I would refrain from making any premature judgements and verdicts. It is most important that the comma ends and the fast recovery takes place for this injured student who is in the hospital.

    By the way, Serbia and the US have a great working relationship when it comes to international and local laws. For example, the US government, through multiple USAID and other governmental projects, has actually worked and transformed Serbian courts since 2001. Furthermore, as far as I have read in media, the FBI worked together with the Serbian goverment on some ocassions, providing specialized services in investigating some sensitive mafia-related and military-related murders in Serbia since 2001. Therefore, there is no problem of having trial in Serbia, in the courts that have been reformed through the reforms that involved sometimes even the US governmental agencies and under the supervision of the US ambassador, consul general and anyone else who may deem it necessary to come. Surprisingly, so far, it appear, the US has not furnished any evidence to the officials in Serbia, so Serbian officials actually cannot do anything. And you will understand,no court in the US or outside cannot do anything until a reasonable doubt and some evidence is there…

    However, it is very surprsing that the nazi war criminal, recently discovered living in Washington State, has not been deported by the US yet to Serbia where he has been sought since 1945 for executing scores of innocent Serbs, Jews and Gypsies…. The evidence for this German (now living in the US) has been documented decades and decades ago…

  6. Zakimar,
    Serbia is not too high on my must visit list. Does Serbia have an extradition treaty with any country? Other than the Taliban, of course.

  7. No kidding, the list included Cat Stevens/Yusef Islam and Nelson Mandela. But knowing what the Serbian government is like, they just discovered the number 2 war criminal after 13 years of “searching” and the fact that Serbia has no extradition treaty with the US should have made the judge refuse bail. I doubt this is the last time this kind of thing will happen however.

  8. Zakimar,
    I am not sure that we can fault the judge in this case. The reports seem to indicate that his passport was property deposited with the court. I don’t think any judge could have expected the unusual assistance by the Serbian government official. I will be surprised if they are able to get their hands on this felon. It is surprising that we have a million people on the do not fly list and someone who should have been on it, wasn’t. I would think that anyone who has to forfeit their passport while in the country should automatically be put on the list. If I was Sen. Schumer, I would be asking the Homeland Security people how that could be possible. It is a small example of how contrived the Do not fly list really is.

  9. The government should exchange this criminal for the judge that granted him bail.

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