Sunday, February 22, 2009

'This Was Hillary Clinton's Initiative All the Way Through'

Forget actually getting justice and forcing the Serbs to hand this monster over. Just arrange some payola and everyone's happy right? Well, that's how the Clintons roll. It all comes down to cash.
One of Hillary Rodham Clinton's first acts as secretary of State was to broker a $1 million blood-money payout by the Serbian government for the New York victim of a vicious beating, high-ranking sources told The Post.

Bryan Steinhauer of Brooklyn, who weighs 135 pounds, is to receive $900,000 for being thrashed to a pulp by classmate Miladin Kovacevic, a nearly 300-pound basketball player, during a barroom brawl near Binghamton University last May.

The Serbian government will also forfeit the $100,000 it posted as Kovacevic's bail.

Steinhauer, 22, spent months near death in a coma. After being arrested on assault charges, Kovacevic skipped the country with travel documents prepared by Serbian diplomats in New York.

The Serbs, who have no extradition treaty with the United States, still refuse to hand over Kovacevic, who has flaunted his freedom and remains unrepentant.

While in the Senate, Clinton ratcheted up the heat on Serbia, demanding the country hand over the 22-year-old fugitive goon to face justice here.

After being named America's top diplomat, Clinton kept the pressure on, via instructions to the US ambassador to Serbia, Cameron Munter.

But with a US trial looking unlikely, the Steinhauer family pushed for a financial settlement to cover Brian's medical bills, sources said.

Munter conducted negotiations with Slobodan Homen, Serbia's state secretary of justice, until the settlement was reached Thursday.

"This was Hillary Clinton's initiative all the way through," said a senior government official in Belgrade, who spoke to The Post on condition of anonymity.

The official added that the Serbian government agreed to the Steinhauer family's demands to maintain good relations with the United States, which provides $50 million in annual aid to the economically ailing Balkan nation.

A State Department spokesman called the settlement "a private matter" between the Serbian government and the Steinhauer family.
So we provide $50 million in aid and they just turn around and sent $900,000 of it back, essentially. Nothing like putting the screws to them and withholding money until they hand this thug over.

I can't wait to see Clinton declare "victory" with this one.

Granted, the Bush administration did little if anything with this case, but this is just a bit unseemly. You know the Serbs will never hand Kovacevic over and now they can claim they've done us a favor.

It's been a banner week for Mrs. Clinton. First she throws human rights under the bus and now she accepts payola in lieu of justice. Apparently nobody cares. If the Steinhauer family so desperately needed money, maybe while she was Senator Clinton she could have helped raise money or, perish the thought, donate some of her own vast wealth.

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