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Bosnian Court Refuses To Extradite Former Soccer Boss To Croatia

Zdravko Mamic, former head of the Dinamo Zagreb soccer club, addressing reporters as he leaves a Sarajevo court building following his June 15 extradition hearing.

A court in Bosnia-Herzegovina refused to extradite the former head of the Dinamo Zagreb soccer club to Croatia, where he had been convicted on tax-evasion and embezzlement charges, according to his lawyer and local media.

"The court has found that [Zdravko] Mamic is a citizen of [Bosnia] and that the extradition agreement between the republic of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina does not provide for extradition in this case," the lawyer, Zdravko Rajic, said on June 15.

"There are no conditions for his extradition, which the court confirmed," the lawyer added after the hearing in Sarajevo.

Mamic managed Dinamo Zagreb from the early 2000s until 2016 and was also an executive of the club.

He was convicted for crimes allegedly committed in 2008 and 2009 and was sentenced by the Croatian court to more than six years in prison.

Mamic, who has denied any wrongdoing, has dual Bosnian and Croatian citizenship, but Bosnia generally only extradites its citizens to other countries under extraordinary circumstances.

"I am proud citizen of BiH, and I do not want to be extradited Croatia," Mamic told the court."I do not believe in their judiciary. They have violated all my rights."

Mamic fled Croatia for Bosnia a day ahead of his June 6 sentencing hearing. He was detained by Bosnian authorities on an international arrest warrant issued by Croatia.

Mamic and two other former senior Dinamo executives were convicted of embezzling some $18 million from transfers of players and of tax evasion worth about $2 million.

The other two men received similar sentences to Mamic in Croatia.

With reporting by Reuters and dpa