THE full bench of the High Court overwhelmingly rejected the key piece of evidence used to prove before the Federal Court full bench that accused war criminal Dragan Vasiljkovic would not receive a fair trial in Croatia.
The High Court today gave its reasons for rejecting the assertion that the accused war criminal, a Serb, would be punished more heavily in Croatia that Croatian soldiers who fought in the Balkans ethnic conflicts in the early 1990s.
The publishing of the High Court's reasons today comes seven weeks after the same court delivered an unanimous ruling that resulted in the reinstatement of an arrest warrant against Mr Vasiljkovic, who is currently in Sydney's Silverwater prison.
Chief Justice Robert French and justices William Gummow, Kenneth Hayne, Dyson Heydon, Susan Crennan, Susan Kiefel and Virgina Bell today gave their reasons for rejecting documents published by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and put before the Federal Court.
The documents, one a brief report of a Croatian court retrial and the other a background report on Domestic War Crime Trials in Croatia in 2005, said that service in the Croatian army was used as mitigating factor in sentencing Croatian soldiers convicted of war crimes.
Mr Vasiljkovic's lawyers had used the document to successfully prove before the Federal Court full bench an objection under Australia's Extradition Act.
But the Justice Heydon, in today's judgment, labelled the OSCE material "feeble".
And Justices Gummow, Hayne, Crennan, Kiefel and Bell said the documents - which analysed the sentences of Croat war criminals - did not prove that Croatian courts applied sentence mitigation to their own side's soldiers on the basis of political belief.
"The evidence supported the contrary conclusion," the judges said.
Mr Vasiljkovic's lawyers are expected to lay out their further arguments that the accused war criminal will not receive fair justice at the hands of Croatia in a submission to Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor which must be lodged by June 15.
Mr Vasiljkovic, also known as Daniel Snedden, will remain in prison until the appeal is considered by the federal government.