2008_07_kovastein.jpgAs the Serbian government tries to demonstrate it is serious about cooperating with the U.S. government in finding a Serbian citizen accused of beating another man into a coma in Binghamton, outgoing Serbian officials fired the head of the consulate.

After a formal request from the U.S. Ambassador on Tuesday, the Serbian government emphasized that it would help the U.S. with extraditing Miladin Kovacevic, who had been attending Binghamton University and was playing on the basketball team. The 6'9" 260-pound Kovacevic (pictured, on the left) was charged with felony assault when he allegedly attacked up fellow Binghamton student Bryan Steinhauer (pictured, on the right), 5'6" and 135 pounds, at a bar, thinking Steinhauer might have groped a friend's girlfriend. The Serbian deputy counsel helped bail Kovacevic out of jail and reportedly supplied him with an emergency passport to flee the U.S.

The Daily News says an American official considered the firing of Slobodan Nenodovic "remarkable" because the Serbian government is currently very volatile. The Serbian Foreign Ministry has said it will "be extremely efficient" in the matter and the State Department says it is continuing to monitor the situation.

The News also reports that Steinhauer, who "suffered broken cheeks, skull fractures and brain swelling," is very slowly getting better and doctors are hopeful there is no brain damage. He has been a medically-induced coma since the May 4 attack.