Deal or No Deal: Did Clinton Really Lobby Serbs? | NBC New York

Deal or No Deal: Did Clinton Really Lobby Serbs?

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    Miladin Kovacevic, a Serbian basketball player, fled the United States after a bar brawl that left a fellow American college student hospitalized for months.

    Hillary Clinton might be getting too much credit for brokering a $1 million settlement deal between the Serbian Government and a badly beaten upstate college student.

    It was widely reported this weekend that Secretary of State Clinton had helped put together a deal in which the Serbian government would pay $900,000 to 22-year-old Bryan Steinhauer, a Binghamton University student who was savaged by Miladin Kovacevic, a visiting Serbian student who played on the Binghamton basketball team.

    But those reports may have been premature. Today the New York Daily News is reporting that the deal was actually worked out between Steinhauer's family and the Serbian government. Clinton, was not involved. Clinton spokesman Andy Laine told the Daily News any negotiations were "a private matter," while other U.S. Officials denied reports of her brokering the deal. 

    Kovacevic, a 22-year-old former basketball player at Binghamton University, fled the country to Serbia with help securing his travel documents by Serbian diplomats, according to past reports.
    The beating sparked a diplomatic crisis between the U.S. and Serbia, which have no formal extradition treaty with each other.

    Nearly two weeks ago, Serbia’s foreign minister, Vuk Jeremic, said his country would not extradite Kovacevic. In recent days, Serbian media had reported the terms of the deal, which Clinton and Sen. Chuck Schumer had opposed until now, according to the Associated Press.

    The financial settlement for Steinhauser, who only recently awoke from a coma related to the beating, will not allay the criminal charges pending for Kovacevic.

    "We continue to work with Serbian authorities to seek Kovacevic's return to the United States to face justice in New York," Laine said to the Daily News

    "Serbian authorities have assured us that they will continue to pursue the Kovacevic case vigorously," he said to the newspaper.