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Swedish Neo-Nazi Indicted For War Crimes Committed In Bosnia

Monday , 17 July 2006

A Swedish neo-Nazi has been indicted for war crimes he allegedly committed in the 1990s in Bosnia-Herzegovina where he fought on the Bosnian Croat side, prosecutors announced in Stockholm on Friday.#L#

Jackie Arkloev, a naturalised Swede born in Liberia in 1973, is charged with committing war crimes, including the ill-treatment and torture of Bosnian Muslim prisoners in the Bosnian Croat-run Gabela and Grabovina detention camps in 1993, while fighting as a volunteer within the ranks of the Croat Defence Council (HVO), Prosecutor Lise Tamm told Swedish radio.

Arkloev is currently serving a life sentence for murdering two Swedish police officers in 1999 after a bank robbery in which he participated together with two other neo-Nazis and members of the Hell's Angels motorcycle gang Tany Olsson and Andreas Axelsson.

In 1995, Arkloev was sentenced by a Bosnian court to 13 years in prison for war crimes, and the sentence was later reduced to eight years. He was sent to serve the sentence in the central Bosnian town of Zenica, but after spending seven weeks in prison there, which he described as the worst experience in his life, Sweden asked Bosnian authorities for his extradition, guaranteeing that he would serve his sentence in a Swedish prison.

On arriving at Stockholm airport, Arkloev was released under as yet unclear circumstances. During the extradition process the Swedish authorities apparently rejected the Bosnian indictment for lack of evidence.

Following his arrest in 1999 and conviction for the murder of the two policemen, under the pressure of a sizable Bosnian Muslim community in Sweden and at the urging of the government in Sarajevo, the Swedish judiciary reopened an investigation into Arkloev's role in the 1992-1995 Bosnian war.

The first investigation again ended inconclusively, but as the pressure continued a new investigation was launched on January 4 this year with new evidence, which resulted in a new indictment.

The new indictment is based on new witness statements, Prosecutor Tamm said.