The United States has officially asked for the extradition of 11 persons with the place of residence in Serbian southern city Nis, who were arrested in July over suspicion of taking part in large-scale online frauds that caused damage of 70 million US dollars.
If the Justice Ministry meets the request, it will be the first extradition case after Serbia signed a deal on extradition with the US last year.
Eleven suspects, mostly nationals of Serbia, have been in detention since July 24. They can be kept behind bars for one year the latest and final decision on their status will be passed by the Justice Ministry.
According to the investigation by the US judiciary, the suspects are charged with opening fake investment platforms on the Internet, offering investment opportunities, said attorney Milan Petrovic, member of the defence team.
“They did create the platforms which dealt with binary options, but for accounts and on behalf of third parties,” he explained.
Another legal representative of the suspects claims that the conditions for extradition do not exist.
“And we hope that the state of Serbia will protect its citizens, i.e. find a way to get the case from the US for further proceeding,” said attorney Milos Perovic.
If the alleged fraud at the expense of US citizens happened, it was on the territory of Serbia, so there is no reason not to process the suspects here, he added.
Also, the defence team claims that the extradition would violate the suspects' fundamental rights and deprive them of communication with their families.
The Higher Court in Belgrade confirmed that the extradition request arrived and that the next hearing is scheduled for September 30.