Alleged Balkan war criminal found living in Ireland after many years

Vojislav Buzaković extradited to Croatia to face charges relating to abduction and abuse of civilians in early 1990s

An alleged war criminal accused of abusing civilians during the Balkan wars of the early 1990s has been located in Ireland, having lived here for many years.

Vojislav Buzaković, a former member of a Serbian militia group, was arrested by gardaí in February on foot of an arrest warrant from the Croatian Ministry of Justice. He has since been flown back to face trial in the Croatian city of Osijek.

It is understood that Buzaković obtained Irish citizenship several years ago and had established a livelihood here before his arrest. His presence in Ireland was detected by gardaí using the Schengen Information System (SIS), an EU-wide database of wanted suspects and missing people.

In 2007, Buzaković was charged in absentia by Croatian prosecutors with being part of a group of militiamen loyal to the Republic of Serbian Krajina who illegal imprisoned and abused civilians over a six-month period between August 1991 and February 1992.


The alleged abuse occurred in an infamous militia premises, referred to in Croatian media as an “extermination centre”, in the town of Petrovci, near Vukovar City. The town itself was the scene of extensive fighting and atrocities against civilians during this period.

‘War crimes’

Buzaković was specifically accused of physically abusing four detainees. Croatian authorities issued an European Arrest Warrant for him last July, citing a single count of “war crimes”. Buzaković is yet to enter a plea regarding the charge.

He was arrested in Ireland on February 1st last when he triggered a “Article 26 alert” on the SIS system during an interaction with gardaí. Under the system, when gardaí enter a name into their computer system for any reason, it is automatically cross-referenced against the SIS database.

Buzaković appeared in the High Court two days after his arrest. After a number of hearings, he consented to his extradition in mid-March and was flown to Croatia 10 days later.


He is one of the highest profile suspects to be arrested using the SIS database since gardaí signed up to the initiative in March 2021. To date, SIS has resulted in the detection of more than 140 fugitives living in Ireland.

Buzaković is not the first alleged war criminal sought in Ireland by the Croatian authorities. In 2014, Dorde Stojaković was arrested by gardaí in advance of his extradition to face trial over the inhumane treatment of Croatian prisoners of war in Serbia in 1991.

Stojaković, who was a member of the Yugoslav National Army, was accused of taking the soldiers off a bus and torturing them mentally and physically. Over the course of a year, he fought his extradition to Croatia on the basis that it was not a sovereign state when the alleged offences occurred. The High Court disagreed and he was sent back in June 2015.

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher is Crime and Security Correspondent of The Irish Times