Friday, February 20, 2009

Serbia Wants to Try US beating Fugitive, Serbia to Pay $900,000 to Bryan Steinhauer after Thug Miladin Kovacevic Beat him in a Binghamton NY Bar.

Serb Thug Miladin Kovacevic February 19, 2009 3:54 PM BELGRADE, Serbia-The justice minister said Thursday that Serbia "will do everything" in its power to put on trial a Serb student wanted in the United States on charges that he nearly beat his American (Binghamton NY) classmate to death.

However, Justice Minister Snezana Malovic refused to confirm or deny a Belgrade media report that Serbia has agreed to pay $900,000 in compensation to Bryan Steinhauer, at 5' 8" 140 lbs, after Miladin Kovacevic, at 6' 9" and 280 lbs, allegedly assaulted him in a bar in upstate New York (Binghamton) last May.

Kovacevic, a 22-year-old former basketball player at Binghamton University, jumped bail and fled the U.S. last June. Steinhauer has only recently emerged from a coma after the brawl.

The Belgrade Borba daily, quoting anonymous sources, said Thursday that by paying the compensation, Serbia wants to end a diplomatic row with the U.S. and make Steinhauer and other witnesses take part in a trial in Belgrade.

Asked about the report, Malovic said "the justice ministry is doing everything to have the trial in Belgrade." She said Serbia's foreign ministry should be asked about details of the alleged secret deal.

In the United States, Steinhauer family spokesman Jesse Derris declined to comment Thursday on the reports. Serbia has offered to try Kovacevic here because its laws do not allow extradition. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and New York Senator Charles Schumer, however, have insisted he be handed over to the U.S. for trial.

Officials in the foreign ministry refused to comment the Borba report.
Kovacevic's lawyer Borivoje Borovic said he was not aware of the reported offer, but said if it was true, the move would be a "diplomatic gesture" designed to "alleviate the damage" caused by Kovacevic's escape from the United States.

Bill Warner
private investigator