Sunday, December 16, 2007


TACOMA, USA (December 16,2007) - Croatian war criminal Bozo Jozepovic, 41, who tried to enter the United States in 2006 will be deported to Canada, according to an U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement press release.

Croatian war criminal Bozo Jozepovic, 41, a naturalized Canadian citizen, was ordered to appear before a U.S. immigration judge after he attempted to enter the U.S. illegally.

Based on the fraud charge, he will be banned for life from entering the United States.Croatian war criminal Bozo Jozepovic gained refuge and later citizenship in Canada after fleeing Bosnia 10 years ago.

An immigration judge in Tacoma has ordered Croatian war criminal Bozo Jozepovic deported to Canada and barred permanently from the U.S. Officials here say they plan to bring this status to the attention of the Canadian government.

Jozepovic is a Croatian who was born in Bosnia and fled Bosnia with his pregnant wife and child, obtaining status as refugees in Canada in 1997.

Canada granted him citizenship three years ago.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials say they have evidence he's a former member of the fascist paramilitary formations of the Croatians living in Bosnia (HVO) , which was involved in war crimes against Bosnian civilians during the Croatian aggression against Bosnia in the early 1990s.

Specifically, they link him to the 1993 killings of seven Bosnian civilians in the Bosnian village of Poljani.

Jozepovic's attorney, Len Saunders, said his client is not a war criminal and that the U.S. government's own documents on him show he was not in the armed forces and is not being sought by the Bosnian government.

Several top military and political leaders of the fascist paramilitary formations of the Croatians living in Bosnia (HVO) have been tracked down and indicted on war-crime charges.

"My client is concerned that if he's accused of war crimes, people would believe it.There's nothing that I've seen that says my client has committed these crimes," Saunders said.

As a long-haul truck driver for the past 10 years, Jozepovic entered the U.S. on numerous occasions.

But twice last year (in May and June) he was denied entry at separate border crossings in Washington state based on information in an international database that flagged him as a potential human-rights violator.

In the June 2006 stop, Jozepovic was ordered to appear before a U.S. immigration judge, charged with human-rights abuse, fraud and attempting to immigrate to the U.S. without a visa.

Saunders said his client had entered the U.S. several times between those stops, without incident. He has no interest in immigrating to the U.S.

As a Canadian living in Canada, Jozepovic didn't have to appear before a U.S. immigration judge,but did,because he wanted to clear his name, Saunders said.

At his hearing in Blaine in October, Jozepovic was detained by ICE after officials said they learned that an international warrant for his arrest was imminent. He was transported to the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, where he's being held.

"Here was a person who had committed some serious atrocities," said Dorothy Stefan, chief counsel for ICE. "It's not someone you want to have slip through the cracks."

The international warrant has never materialized.

At his immigration hearing in Tacoma, USA, Stefan said expert witnesses linked Jozepovic to the brutal mass murders in 1993.

Saunders said his client has kept the Canadian government informed of the proceedings and doesn't plan to fight deportation.

Identifying and removing persecutors and human rights violators from the United States is one of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's top enforcement programs.

To achieve this goal, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) created its Human Rights Violators Unit, with a specific mandate to deny safe haven to human rights violators by bringing to bear a full range of investigative techniques and legal authorities to identify, locate, investigate and remove them from the United States. ICE has currently identified more than 800 cases from 85 countries involving suspected human rights violators.

ICE encourages the public to provide any information they may have regarding human rights abusers living in the United States. In the United States anonymous tips may be reported at 1-866-DHS-2ICE (1-866-347-2423).

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