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Federal Judge Weighs Extradition for Croatian Woman in Ky.

By Brenna Angel


LEXINGTON, Ky. – A federal judge in Lexington is considering whether a Croatian woman who fought in the Yugoslav Wars should be extradited to Bosnia.

Azra Basic, 52, walked into U.S. District Court Monday in a teal green inmate uniform, more than seven months after she was arrested in connection with war crimes in the former Yugoslavia. Officials in Bosnia want the woman -- who served in the Croatian Army and eventually moved to Powell County, Kentucky -- returned to Europe to face the charges.

But Basic's attorney Patrick Nash says there are questions about the Bosnian government's witnesses.

"At least a couple of them were soldiers, not civilians, number one. Number two, a couple of the others really didn't say that my client did anything to them, certainly not torture or war crimes."

Nash says there is also the issue of whether a formal warrant was ever issued for Basic.

At Monday's hearing, two friends testified that Basic lived a normal life in Kentucky. It will likely be at least two weeks before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Wier makes a decision in the case.

"Anybody who has to sit in a local jail for months and months and months waiting for their fate, it's a hard thing to do," said Nash.