By Laura L. Myers
SEATTLE (Reuters) - A Washington state man accused of being a Bosnian army hit squad member has agreed to return to Bosnia-Herzegovina to face charges he participated in war crimes there 18 years ago.
Edin Dzeko, a 39-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen who moved to the United States in 2001, waived extradition during a hearing before a federal magistrate judge in Seattle on Tuesday, a court clerk said.
Dzeko's defense attorney, David Gehrke, could not immediately be reached for comment on Wednesday.
Emily Langlie, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle, told Reuters that Department of State officials would coordinate Dzeko's extradition.
Extradition papers describe Dzeko as an alleged former senior staff member of the special Bosnian army unit "Kulfikar Special Purposes Detachment Unit" that killed more than a dozen Croat civilians and prisoners of war and wounded four civilians, including two infants.
In a related case in Oregon, Rasema Handanovic, 38, is also named in extradition papers as a member of the "Zulfikar" who shot a civilian woman several times in the chest and also executed an elderly couple.
Hanadanovic is accused of participating in a firing squad-style execution of unarmed Croatian soldiers and civilians.
The U.S. Attorney's office in Portland, Oregon, did not immediately return calls about Handanovic's extradition status.
Dzeko, a resident of Everett, Washington who worked as a U.S. Navy groundskeeper until his arrest in April, was 21 at the time of the killings.
If Dzeko and Hanadanovic are convicted in Bosnia, each faces a minimum of 10 years in prison in that country.
(Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Jerry Norton)