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Daniela Krstic

Daniela KrsticMiss Oregon's Father Could Be Deported.

Courts Say Man Lied About Military Service.

Miss Oregon's father, a Bosnian Serbian refugee who moved his family to Beaverton in 1998, could be jailed and deported for visa fraud, court officials say.

Milenko Krstic lied to get his green card and said that he never served in the military, according to court documents. An international tribunal claims that Krstic's military unit was responsible for slaughtering unarmed Muslims in 1995.

A judge threw out Krstic's indictment in 2007, but this week that ruling was overturned by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Across the country, a number of former Bosnian Serbs have been prosecuted on similar immigration charges, a result of U.S. officials comparing their records to lists made available by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

The government hasn't alleged that the Krstic took part in killings.

His lawyer, Christopher Schatz, said Krstic was a conscripted clerk at the unit's headquarters "nowhere near Srebrenica," and didn't participate in, nor know about, mass killings during the war.

"He is not a war criminal candidate," Schatz said.

According to the documents, Krstic was a member of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade for the Army Republic of Srpska from 1992 through 1995.

A federal appeals court ruled this week that Krstic may have lied about his military service.

The U.S. government alleges that Krstic didn't mention his military service, and denied it in an interview, when he applied for permanent residence in 1999. Federal agents took his green card seven years later.

During the conflict in Bosnia, the International Court of Justice in Europe charged that Bosnian Serbian forces murdered unarmed Muslim prisoners.

The international court concluded that the brigade Krstic belonged to participated in massacres and ethnic cleansing.

Schatz said Krstic before the war gained a reputation as a peacemaker, joining with his Muslim supervisor at a coal mine on a "reconciliation commission" that tried to avert the fighting that broke out in 1992.

A prosecution document said that one mass killing was at a school "in close physical proximity to battalion headquarters where records show that defendant was working at the time."

Schatz said Krstic is a mining engineer who now works in production operating a lathe.

In 2005, U.S. agents came to Krstic's home near Beaverton and said he admitted to serving in the military unit but denied committing any crimes.

His daughter, Daniela Krstic, was crowned Miss Oregon in June and on Friday said that she's confident innocent and justice will be served.

"We don't know what's going to come out of all of this, but we know that he is an innocent guy, a good guy. We hope that justice will surface. We have faith in our country, the United States of America. I'm a proud citizen of this country," Daniela Krstic said.

The federal court of appeals ruling means that the U.S. government may continue the visa fraud prosecution against Milenko Krstic.

If convicted, it is possible that he and members of his family could be deported.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Seattle, Lorie Dankers, said she could not comment on the Krstic case. She said deportation would be a possibility in cases of visa fraud, but family members involved in such cases who could show their immigration benefit was gained independently might not be.

The immigration proceedings would follow the criminal proceedings, which in the Krstic case could be lengthy.

Schatz said the appeals would reach to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.

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