Justice for Fort Greene resident Bryan Steinhauer is a feat that’s getting harder and harder to accomplish.
Back in May, Steinhauer was beaten into a medically induced coma during a bar brawl near Binghamton University.
But now that he is finally out of his coma, the man who put him there, basketball player Miladin Kovacevic, is thousands of miles away back home in his native Serbia.
But no matter how hard the United States demands for his return, Serbia refuses to do so, claiming that their laws do not allow extradition.
And while Serbian officials had agreed to take Kovacevic into custody for 30 days so they can launch their own investigation, the young basketball stars’ attorney announced this week that his native country is bending their own rules and that his client should be returned home.
Late last month, Kovacevic was taken into custody in Belgrade, Serbia on suspicion that he “inflicted life-threatening bodily harm” on Steinhauer during the bar fight.
Kovacevic was arrested in Binghamton after the fight, but let go on bail.
Before he could respond to the charges in a Binghamton court, Kovacevic managed to get an emergency passport that allowed him to run back to his country.
Steinhauer’s parents called upon U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton to intervene on the family’s behalf.
Schumer took their pleas to Washington, but no matter how far up the ladder they went, they were still unable to break through Serbia’s non-extradition laws.
When he was finally taken into custody, Schumer and Clinton praised the arrest, but also demanded that he be handed back to the U.S. for trial.
Now, Borivoje Borovic, Kovacevic’s attorney, said that his client should never have been put in jail unless the case had been handed over to the Serbians.
On Friday, he demanded that the Serbian government release his client and end their probe unless they are taking up the case themselves.
Serbian officials were evaluating Borovic’s requests as this paper went to press.