The state’s Cabinet of Health and Family Services is investigating two Kentucky nursing homes that hired an alleged Bosnian war criminal, The Lexington Herald-Leader reported.
Over the past eight years, Azra Bašic was at Tanbark Health Care Center in Lexington as a nurse’s assistant and kitchen aide, and then worked at Stanton Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Stanton, KY. Prior to being arrested by U.S. Marshals Service, she worked for a local frozen foods plant.
Both nursing homes say they performed criminal background checks on Bašic, neither of which revealed any cause for concern, according to nursing home administrators. Among other serious offenses, Bašic’s accusers allege that while wearing a military uniform, she once set a man’s hands and face on fire after beating him.
According to her U.S. hosts, one of whom met Bašic while working with her at a long-term care facility, Bašic swore off connections to Europe and spoke openly of brutal situations that she said forced her to react or be brutalized herself. The International Criminal Police Organization found Bašic in Kentucky in 2004 and the U.S. received a formal request for extradition in 2007, the Herald-Leader reported, but U.S. authorities asked for more evidence before sending officers to detain her. Bašic is being held at Fayette County Detention Center in Kentucky and will fight extradition proceedings, according to a New York Times article quoting her lawyer.