BY RICH SCHAPIRO DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Click on image for Fox News video.Miladin Kovacevic.......American officials in Belgrade have delivered a diplomatic note to the Serbian government, demanding that the towering fugitive charged with pummeling a college classmate be returned to the U.S. within 10 days. The note, excerpts of which were obtained by the Daily News, represents the first time the U.S. government has set a deadline for the return of Miladin Kovacevic, 21.
The U.S. has been pressing the Serbian government to hand over Kovacevic after he fled the country last month with a passport issued by a consulate member, Igor Milosevic.
"It is imperative that the [Serbian government] remedy these outrageous actions committed by its official representative, Igor Milosevic, and ensure the immediate return of Miladin Kovacevic to the United States for further legal proceedings and trial, not later than Aug. 1, 2008," the note reads.
American officials insist Kovacevic must be sent back to the U.S. because he was released into the custody of a diplomat following his release on $100,000 bail.
"Despite his presence in court when Mr. Kovacevic was ordered by the judge not to leave the United States, Mr. Milosevic issued an emergency passport to Mr. Kovacevic," the note reads.
The Serbian foreign minister has said Kovacevic, who is suspected of brutally assaulting upstate Binghamton University student Bryan Steinhauer at a college bar May 4, would not be extradited.
Also Wednesday, Sens. Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton, both New York Democrats, told the Serbian Embassy's top official "that there would be significant consequences for Serbia if this matter was not resolved."