ASBURY — The government is seeking to revoke the citizenship of a Bosnian native living in Asbury for “extrajudicial killings” during the 1990s Balkan conflict.
Authorities allege 51-year-old Eso Razic obtained his United States citizenship by fraud because he concealed his service in paramilitary organizations during the conflict in the former Yugoslavia.
Razic allegedly took part in the killing of three people, including a wounded prisoner of war, while he was a member of the groups, according to court records.
The action to revoke his naturalization was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids.
“The United States will not serve as a safe haven for those who have committed such atrocities and then fled from justice. We will identify, locate, and work to prosecute and/or remove human rights violators in the U.S. regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, or religious background,” said Derek Benner, ICE Homeland Security Investigations deputy executive associate director.
Razic — also known as Esad Razic and “Brico” — is a native of Yugoslavia and subsequently a citizen of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. His last known address was in Asbury, in Dubuque County, according to court records.
According to the government’s petition, Razic entered the United States as a refugee in 1998 and obtained citizenship in 2004. During the immigration process, he disclosed he was a private in the Yugoslavian Army from 1985 to 1986. Records indicate his home was burnt down during the war, and he told immigration officials he and his wife, who is Serbian, faced harassment because of their mixed marriage.
But he allegedly never disclosed he was a member of two paramilitary groups in the area of Capljina during the 1992-95 Bosnian war or that he took part in the killings of two members of his own unit and a prisoner of war, records state.
The government alleges Razic was listed on the payroll of the First Battalion Support Platoon of the Hrvatsko Vijece Obrane — or Croatian Defense Council — as a soldier in November 1992. He was paid 40,000 dinars. He was also listed on the December 1992 payroll of the Independent Commando Company, where he was paid 186,700 dinars, records state.
While serving with one of the organizations, Razic and another member named Edo Sakoc took a wounded enemy combatant named Milan Misita prisoner in June 1992 near Tasovcici. They turned over Misita, a member of a Serbian paramilitary group who had been wounded by artillery fire, to other members who were to take him to a headquarters or detention center, records state. However, before arriving, Misita was taken to a stand of trees next to an electrical substation and shot with an entire magazine of ammo from five to 10 meters away, records state.
In October 1993, Razic was a “brigade scout” with HVO’s First Brigade “Knez Domagoj,” and he and six comrades allegedly turned on other members, killing two and taking two others prisoner, court record state.
He and others later surrendered, turning over 10 automatic rifles, two bazookas and three pistols, records state.
An affidavit filed with the government’s petition states documents from Republica Srpska indicate Razic was suspected of illegally detaining Serbians and looting their property in 1992.
The government is asking the court to find Razic procured his citizenship illegally by concealing facts and revoke his naturalization certificate.