Ex-rebel Serb commander sentenced to 15 years in Croatia

A Croatian court has sentenced a former Serb paramilitary commander and Australian citizen to 15 years in prison for war crimes in the 1990s.

The municipal court in the coastal town of Split said Tuesday that Dragan Vasiljkovic, also known as Captain Dragan and Daniel Snedden, is guilty of the killings and torture of imprisoned Croatian civilians and troops while he was a rebel Serb commander during the 1991-95 Croatian war.

The 62-year-old Vasiljkovic, who was born in Serbia, went to Australia at the age of 15 but returned to the Balkans to train Serb rebels in 1991, when Serbs took up arms against Croatia's secession from Yugoslavia.

Vasiljkovic was extradited from Australia in July 2015, after fighting a 10-year legal battle against being handed over to Croatia's judiciary.