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Serb Killer Let Into US

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    US bill would tighten loophole By Bryan Bender, Globe Staff | August 27, 2004
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 5, 2004
      US bill would tighten loophole

      By Bryan Bender, Globe Staff | August 27, 2004


      WASHINGTON -- Marko Boskic, suspected of the mass murder of Bosnian
      Muslims, was able to enter the United States and live unmolested in
      Massachusetts for more than four years in part because of a key
      loophole in US immigration policy, according to government officials.

      Only Nazi-era human rights violators are systematically tracked and
      investigated by a US government office to prevent entry into the
      country, revoke their citizenship, or deport them if they slip through
      the net.

      A bill that has been pending in Congress for five years but has yet to
      be approved, the Anti-Atrocity Alien Deportation Act, would expand the
      authority of the Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations
      to perpetrators of atrocities elsewhere, including Rwanda, the
      Balkans, and Central America.

      The office, which has a list of 1,500 individuals suspected of
      involvement in Nazi-era war crimes, is widely regarded as one of the
      world's most successful organizations in bringing perpetrators of the
      Holocaust to justice.

      But officials say human rights violators and individuals wanted for
      other types of war crimes have eluded a US tracking system for
      non-Nazi criminals that is spread throughout different government

      The Immigration and Customs Enforcement division at the Department of
      Homeland Security has "placed comparatively few, if any, of the
      perpetrators of other atrocities that decimated human beings on the
      watch list, nor have they denaturalized or deported any of them," said
      Richard Krieger, president of International Educational Missions, a
      nonprofit agency based in Boynton Beach, Fla.

      Krieger, a former State Department official, helps bring war criminals
      to justice and has personally recommended individuals for watch lists.
      His and other similar organizations estimate that thousands of human
      rights violators and war criminals are living freely in the United States.

      Boskic, arraigned yesterday in Boston on a charge of lying on his
      immigration application at the US consulate in Frankfurt in 2000, has
      been cited in court testimony for his alleged role as a commando in
      the Bosnian Serb Army unit responsible for killing thousands of
      unarmed Muslim men near Srebrenica in 1995. Some 200,000 people died
      in the war in Bosnia, when Serb and Croat forces waged a brutal
      killing campaign against the country's Muslims.

      It remained unclear yesterday whether he was on any watch lists used
      by immigration and law enforcement officials to prevent entry or to
      track them once they enter the United States.

      When asked if there was lapse by officials who accepted Boskic's
      contention four years ago that he was a refugee, US Attorney Michael
      J. Sullivan said, "Obviously, hindsight being 20-20, I'm sure we much
      prefer that we had caught this at the time of the application and had
      sufficient evidence to deny the admission, as opposed to allowing
      somebody to come into the country allegedly by falsifying their history."

      Officials note that in cases where individuals suspected of war crimes
      are found in the United States -- especially those like Boskic, who
      has not been publicly indicted but has been implicated by witnesses --
      bringing charges against them or deporting them requires an exhaustive
      investigation to build a case.

      Proponents of the bill say that expanding the portfolio of the Justice
      Department's Office of Special Investigations to include all human
      rights violators from foreign countries would go a long way toward
      focusing government attention on the problem.

      Globe correspondent Brian Whitmore contributed to this report from
      Prague. Bryan Bender can be reached at bender@....



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