U.S. removes Bosnian trucker from United States for alleged war crimes

| 12/19/2007

U.S. authorities have decided to deport and permanently ban entry for a foreign truck driver accused of war crimes in the 1990s.                              

Bozo Jozepovic, 41, who is a naturalized Canadian citizen and native of Bosnia, attempted to enter Washington from Canada in May 2006 and again in June 2006, according to a news release from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He was arrested during the second attempt that year and given a notice to appear in court.

Customs and Border Protection officers took action to block Jozepovic both times in 2006 because his name popped up in criminal databases as a human rights violator and former member of the Croatian Defense Council in the early 1990s.

Jozepovic was working as a truck driver when he was arrested. He was later charged with human rights abuse, fraud and attempting to immigrate to the United States without a visa, according to the news release from the federal government.

The Seattle Times reported that Jozepovic repeatedly entered the U.S. while working as a long-haul truck driver during the last 10 years.

Jozepovic has denied serving for the Croatian Defense Council, although court documents link him to ethnic cleansing in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Specifically, Jozepovic is identified as participating in the killing of seven Bosnian Muslim men in Poljani in June 1993.

“Today’s ruling is a reminder that individuals who have terrorized people in other countries and then sought safety and anonymity in the United States are a target for ICE and the Department of Homeland Security,” said Dorothy Stefan, chief counsel for ICE in Seattle. “ICE remains committed to ensuring that human rights violators are not allowed to remain in this country.”

An immigration judge has ordered Jozepovic removed, and he “will be banned for life from legally returning to the United States,” the ICE release stated.