A former member of the Bosnian Serb Army has left the U.S. to return to Serbia after a federal judge ordered his denaturalization based on concealment during his application for U.S. citizenship that he served in the military during the Bosnian war.
What is Denaturalization ? Denaturalization is the reverse of naturalization, when a state deprives one of its citizens of his or her citizenship. From the point of view of the individual, denaturalization means “revocation” or “loss” of citizenship. Denaturalization can be based on various legal justifications. The most severe form is the “stripping of citizenship” when denaturalization takes place as a penalty for actions considered criminal by the state, often only indirectly related to nationality, for instance for having served in a foreign military. In countries that enforce single citizenship, voluntary naturalization in another country will lead to an automatic loss of the original citizenship; the language of the law often refers to such cases as “giving up one’s citizenship” or (implicit) renunciation of citizenship.
In this case Jadranko Gostic, 47, a former resident of St. Petersburg, Fla., departed the United States on June 1, 2010. U.S. District Court Judge James Moody in Tampa, Fla., ordered his denaturalization on May 26, 2010.
Gostic was indicted in December 2006 on one count of unlawful procurement of citizenship and one count of making false statements. In January 2010, a civil complaint was filed against Gostic alleging illegal procurement of U.S. citizenship and requesting his denaturalization. Court documents allege that Gostic served in the Zvornik Infantry Brigade of the Bosnian Serb Army from April 1992 until December 1995. According to court documents, international tribunals have found that some units of the Zvornik Brigade engaged in war crimes and crimes against humanity, and that they participated in the July 1995 action against the Srebrenica enclave during which some 8,000 Muslim men and boys were executed.