Diplomat Questioned Over Help Given to Fugitive Serbian Student

Serbia's police on Tuesday detained a diplomat who allegedly helped a Serbian student wanted in the United States flee to his home country.

Former Serbian Deputy Consul in New York Igor Milosevic was detained for questioning, police said.

Milosevic is accused of providing Miladin Kovacevic, who faces assault charges in the U.S. for allegedly severely beating schoolmate Bryan Steinhauer during a May 4 bar fight, with emergency travel documents that helped him flee the U.S.

Kovacevic had been recruited to play basketball for Binghamton University in northern New York state. He was detained in the United States after the fight, but fled to Serbia in June after he was freed on bail.

As a condition of his release, Kovacevic had surrendered his Serbian passport, but Milosevic reportedly furnished Kovacevic with new travel documents.

Milosevic has been withdrawn from the United States and was sacked from Serbia's diplomatic service.

Serbian law does not allow Kovacevic to be extradited, and Serb officials have suggested that U.S. authorities hand over the full case file so they can consider whether he should be prosecuted in Serbia.

The case has set off a diplomatic crisis between Washington and Belgrade.

Meanwhile, Kovacevic has signed a contract to play for a basketball team in a regional Serbian league. His lawyer was quoted by Serbian media as saying the move aimed to fight depression.