BELGRADE, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- Sretko Kalinic, wanted in connection with the assassination of former Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic in 2003, on Wednesday was the first Croatian citizen to the extradited to Serbia under an extradition treaty recently signed between the two Balkan countries.
Kalinic, allegedly a member of the notorious Zemun clan, was sentenced in absentia for 30 years in prison for his involvement in the assassination of the Serbian prime minister and an additional 40 years for numerous crimes including murder and kidnapping.
Croatian officials became aware of Kalinic's whereabouts after he was found with severe gunshot wounds near a lake at Rakitje outside Zagreb in June. He stated at the time that he had been shot by Milos Simovic, another member of the Zemun clan.
According to the Serbian news agency Tanjug, Kalinic arrived at Belgrade airport shortly before 2 a.m. local time and was handed over to Justice Ministry representatives approximately 30 minutes later.
Serbian Interior Minister Ivica Dacic said the handover operation was performed "flawlessly, perfectly and completely safely," between the Croatian and Serbian police. He apologized, however, for misleading the media about the details of the extradition process, saying officials wanted to avoid any potential risks. Several decoy convoys of vehicles were also used between the airport and the Justice Ministry facilities in Belgrade.