Wednesday, October 31, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 31,2007) – Complicated structure of the Bosnian Constitution which is a result of the Dayton Agreement was necessary because the war needed to be stopped. However, now is the time to start building functional, efficient and representative Bosnian state institutions which will meet the needs of all Bosnian citizens,the Council of Europe Secretary General Terry Davis’s stated yesterday, addressing the Bosnian Parliament.

Apart from the parliamentary delegates, the Bosnian Presidency members also attended the session, as well as the Bosnian Council of Ministers and the international community's representatives in Bosnia.

The Council of Europe Secretary emphasized that the Venetian Commission is probably the best team of constitutional experts in the world and that the Commission described the Bosnian Constitution as insufficient.

”Competences of the Bosnian state institutions are insufficient to enable the country’s normal functioning, both the sense of domestic and foreign policy”, Davis said.

He emphasized that all constitutional decrees related to the composition of the Bosnian Presidency and the House of Peoples are discriminatory and that that is the reason why they pose a breech of the European Human Rights Convention.Bosnia’s territorial organization is also far too complicated and needs to be reconstructed,the Council of Europe Secretary stated.

Davis said that the 2006 package met some of the demands and, in that sense, was the first step in the process.

”Sadly, the 2006 package was not adopted”, Davis said.

He added that the existing bosnian Constitution contains many lacks which give opportunity to obstruct the decision making processes and that obstructions of the kind were also made in the past.

For that reason, Davis said, the International community's High Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajcak passed huis decision on October 19. The ones who do not like the decision should pass the decisions of their own thus making the HR’s decisions invalid.

The Council of Europe Secretary greeted the police reform declaration signed on Sunday in Mostar by the leaders of 6 political parties. However, he demanded the implementation of the declaration. He fully supported the Lajcak’s efforts of making Bosnia move ahead. He however warned the domestic politicians that the country’s progress lies solely in their hands.

Davis told the Bosnian Parliament members that they are yet to fulfill their obligations towards the Council of Europe, especially keeping in mind that several important international documents need to be ratified.

Davis commented the issue of education in Bosnia and emphasized that domestic politicians need to fund a way of keeping the policy outside of the educational sector.

”The Council of Europe cannot and will not accept any form of ethnic segregation in schools”, Davis stated in his address.

The Bosnian Parliament’s House of Representatives’ Speaker Ilija Filipovic stated that the Bosnian Parliament will carefully analyze Davis’s expose. He expressed hope that the current political crisis in Bosnia will be overcome.

”We can reach a solution only through dialogue”, Filipovic said.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 31,2007) – A member of the Bosnian Presidency Haris Silajdzic told the press yesterday that the talks on the Bosnian constitutional changes will probably be characterized by the efforts of finding a commont ground between various opinions.

Silajdzic believes that the International community will also be engaged, especially in the period of changes in the time that comes.

”That is an important period. We need the International Community to make efforts so that we get a constitution which is really democratic and truly European”, he said.

Bosnia is not making a progress on that way. However, Silajdzic is optimistic regardless of all the obstacles and halts.

Commenting the Council of Europe Secretary General Terry Davis’s expose on the recent package of constitutional changes, in which he stated that it is a shame that the package had been rejected, Silajdzic said that the Council of Europe Report stated the same thing in the preamble.

”However, once the situation is analyzed a bit better, one will see that the so-called memorandum stated that the entity voting needs to be annulled. The European Parliament stated the same thing last month. Entity voting is not a normal phenomenon and is an obstacle to Bosnia’s progress”, Silajdzic said.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 31,2007) – For the first nine months this year Bosnia's exports have increased by 16% as compared with the same period last year and now amount to 4,5 billion Bosnian Marks (3,3 billion USD), but the imports have risen even more – by 23% totaling 9,8 billion Bosnian Marks (7,2 billion USD).

The anticipation is that by the end of the year the exports will reach 6 billion Bosnian Marks (), and the imports 13 billion Bosnian Marks (9,5 billion USD), so that the Bosnian foreign trade deficits will exceed 7 billion Bosnian Marks (5,1 billion USD), completely engulfing the imports.

The wholesale network in Bosnia greatly contributes to the negative foreign trade balance of the country.

“We incur the greatest deficit through Slovenian, Serbian and Austrian wholesales, because it is through them that we import the goods from the third countries” – the Vice-president of the FBiH Entity Chamber of Commerce, Jago Lasić explained and added that in the first nine months Bosnia mostly traded with Croatia, followed by Germany, Slovenia and Italy.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 31,2007) - The Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council (PIC) is having a two-day meeting in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo with the leaders of the political parties that form the Bosnian Government.

During it’s discussions the PIC will consider the progress the parties in Bosnia are making towards implementing the Dayton Peace Agreement, in particular the functionality of the Bosnian state institutions, the lack of progress in specific areas, including the distribution of state property as well as more positive indicators that Bosnia’s coalition leaders are making efforts to find agreement.

They will also discuss Bosnia’s EU perspective, currently blocked, but for which a glimmer of hope emerged in Mostar on Sunday.

"We expect the Political Directors to have a serious discussion about the situation in Bosnia. The PIC will meet with the leaders of the political parties that form the governing coalition at the state level and with the Bosnian Council of Ministers," the Office of the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia (OHR) announced.

The International Community's High Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajcak will hold a press conference to summarise the conclusions of the Peace Implementation Council on 14.30 today at the OHR in Sarajevo.


BRUSSELS, Belgium (October 31,2007) – The EU welcomed the agreement between Bosnia's major political parties that return the stalled process of police reform to the right track.

Spokesperson for the EU Enlargement Commission Olli Rehn said that the European Commission has still not studied into detail the declaration signed in the southern Bosnian city of Mostar on Sunday.

However, she said that the “Commission welcomes the spirit of agreement and compromise demonstrated by the political leaders in Mostar. The strong political consensus is essentially in favour of the fulfilment of conditions for faster integration with the EU”, spokesperson Krisztina Nagy said.

The European Commission is to release its annual report on progress of Bosnia in the stabilisation and association process on November 6.

Nagy refused to comment on the wider aspect of the political crisis in Bosnia, “We are clearly monitoring all developments very closely”, she said.

The presidents of Bosnia's major political parties announced on Sunday that they have signed a declaration which meets the EU requirements for the police reform in Bosnia, which is now consisted of two separate forces, to be organised at the state level, financed from a single budget and to be fully separated from any political influence.

The agreement has come after failed attempts to reach an agreement on police reform during the past three years.

The European Union warned Bosnia that it would not sign the Stabilisation and Association Agreement, which represents the first step towards EU membership, without the police reform.

The International Community's High Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajcak described the Sunday’s agreement as a “positive impulse” from the political leaders on moving Bosnia closer to the membership in the European Union.


BRUSSELS, Belgium (October 31,2007) – Construction of the Peljesac bridge, as well as other open issues between Bosnia and Croatia, do not fall into the European Union’s jurisdiction. The EU will not finance the project, Olli Rehn, EU Commissioner for Expansion stated.

”The Peljesac bridge project, as well as some other open issues between Bosnia and Croatia are outside of the EU jurisdiction. Apart from that, the European Commission does not finance the project of bridge construction”, Rehn wrote in a letter to Wolfgang Buflon of the European Socialist Party. He said that for that reason Commission is not authorized to intervene in the issues that arise from the problem.

Bulfon had written Rehn a letter, asking the EC opinion on the issue of Land – Peljesac bridge construction and on determining the sea border between Bosnia and Croatia.

Rehn added that the Commission is of the opinion that the “neighboring relations are the base in the stabilization and association processes”.

In that sense, the Commission will keep encouraging both the countries to solve their open issues, Rehn said.

Croatian Prime Minister Sanader marked the beginning of bridge construction last week.Bosnia is against the construction because the bridge will block Bosnia's access to the open sea.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 31,2007) – The Bosnian Parliament accepted yesterday PDP Party Delegates’ initiative on holding a joint session of both the parliamentary houses, which would focus on the political and security situation in the country, Beriz Belkic, the House of Representatives Speaker told the press.

However, Belkic added, such initiatives are the topic of decisions of both the parliamentary houses and that is why the PDP Party representatives asked for the joint session. House of Peoples Collegiums need to agree to all the decisions as well.

”I expect the initiators to submit additional information on ways they expect the session will function. That means that I expect them to submit materials which will represent the base for the discussion, i.e. to explain what the whole point of the session is”, Belkic said.

It is a very serious topic demanding a very serious preparation. The initiative had been started some time before, but several meetings on the topic were held in the meantime, he added.

Belkic does not believe that the session will take place in November.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 31,2007) - The trial before the Bosnian state Court of Serbian war criminal Milorad Trbic, indicted for genocide committed against the Bosnian civilians in the Srebrenica region,during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia, will begin on Thursday, November 8, 2007. At this hearing, the Bosnian State Prosecutor will read the indictment and present its introductory arguments.

"Before we start with examination of the first witnesses, another brief status conference will be held on November 26," Trial Chamber Chairman Davorin Jukic said.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor charges Serbian war criminal Milorad Trbic with having participated, as member of the genocidal paramilitary formations of the Serbians living in Bosnia (VRS), in genocide against Bosnians in the UN protected enclave of the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica in July 1995.

According to the indictment, which was originally filed in The Hague and then admitted in Sarajevo, Serbian war criminal Milorad Trbic together with other members of the genocidal serbian aggressor's formations, "participated in the mass murder of more than 7,000 Bosnian civilians" at the stadium in the eastern Bosnian town of Bratunac on July 13, 1995 and in the courtyard of the school in Grbavci on July 14.

In addition, Serbian war criminal Milorad Trbic is charged with having enabled, coordinated and participated in the communication between the genocidal paramilitary forces of the Serbians living in Bosnia (VRS) who conducted the arrests, detention, transport, murder and burial of the Bosnian civilians from the Srebrenica region,during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.He also enabled monitoring of the re-burial of the remains of the genocide victims exhumed from the primary mass graves undertaken in the period from August 1 to November 1, 1995.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor has recommended that 127 witnesses, including some who have already testified in The Hague, be invited.

"We would like to examine a total of 54 witnesses. We have also got the statements that the remaining 76 witnesses gave before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). We intend to present 500 pieces of material evidence, or 1,000 pieces in the two languages,"
said the Bosnian State Prosecutor Kwai Hong Ip.

Ip reiterated that 20 Prosecution witnesses could be considered as the "key witnesses". It is planned that the direct examination of some witnesses may last for up to five hours.

"We may decide to give up the examination of some witnesses, if the Trial Chamber decides to admit their statements given before the ICTY and the facts determined in the course of some other trials," Ip said.

Defence attorney Milan Trbojevic was not able to comment on the prosecution's proposals because, as he said, he was in an "awkward position".

"I have not seen the documents. I ran through the indictment and, therefore, I cannot pronounce upon the Prosecution's suggestions," said Trbojevic, who replaced attorney Borislav Jamina.

At the status conference, the Trial Chamber itself was not able to pronounce upon the Prosecution's proposal to admit ICTY records and the facts determined by the tribunal's verdicts, because "the prosecution has still not submitted its proposals".

The public was excluded from the status conference during a discussion on the eventual introduction of protection measures for Prosecution witnesses.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 31,2007) - A Foca concentration camp survivor testified yesterday before the Bosnian State Court at the trial of Serbian war criminals Mitar Rasevic and Savo Todovic.Witness has asked that, as an additional protective measure, his face not be made visible to the public. The witness stated that, during his detention in the Foca concentration camp from April to August 1992, he noticed that between 80 and 100 detaind Bosnian civilians disappeared. They were all taken away by the genocidal Serbian aggressor's soldiers.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor charges Serbian war criminals Mitar Rasevic and Savo Todovic, on the basis of command and individual responsibility, with having committed the crimes against Bosnian civilians in the eastern Bosnian town of Foca,during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

"I thought, if I was to be killed, I would rather see that happen immediately, instead of having to live through all those things. I heard painful screams echoing late at night. They (the genocidal Serbian aggressor's soldiers) used to beat and batter (the detained Bosnian civilians) and shoot," the witness recalled.

"It was like I could see all that through the walls – the sound of cars, shooting and then a splash of water," he said.

According to this witness, between 80 and 100 deteaind Bosnian civilians were executed by the genocidal Serbian aggressor in the Foca concentration camp in this way. Witness stated that, apart from the murders, severe beatings were also performed by the Serbian aggressor's soldiers. Although the witness was not exposed to such tortures, he said he was told about it by others who had been maltreated.

"Burilo was a headsman. He would beat people up so much that they could hardly regain consciousness. We also heard some bad things about Obrenovic, Maric, Vukovic and Pljevacic," the witness said, naming some concentration camp guards whose names he heard while he was detained in the Foca concentration camp.

Witness considers Serbian war criminals Mitar Rasevic and Savo Todovic to be responsible for the happenings in the Foca concentration camp, as they "coordinated all activities" during frequent absences of the Foca concentration camp commander - the convicted Serbian war criminal Milorad Krnojelac.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) sentenced Serbian war criminal Milorad Krnojelac to 15 years imprisonment for crimes committed in the eastern Bosnian town of Foca,during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

The trial before the Bosnian State Court of Serbian war criminals Mitar Rasevic and Savo Todovic is due to continue on November 13.


JAJCE, Bosnia (October 31,2007) - Members of the Bosnian State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) detained yesterday three people of Serbian origin near Jajce in central Bosnia who committed war crimes, during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

The three Serbian war criminals Mirko (Spiro) Pekez, Ljupko Savic and Mirko (Mile) Pekez were detained by order of the Bosnian State Court.

They are suspected of executing 23 Bosnian civilians and seriously injuring four others in the greater Jajce region in September 1992, according to the Bosnian State Prosecutor.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 30,2007) – The international community will not allow its authority to be undermined. Challenging the international community’s authority is counterproductive and dangerous, Miroslav Lajcak stated. Lajcak emphasized that the Office of the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia (OHR) was formed by the Dayton Agreement and that the institution has its place in the Bosnian political system, as well as the responsibility and mandate,and that only the Peace Implementation Council (PIC) can decide and influence the OHR activities.

The political representatives of the Serbians living in Bosnia will certainly not decide on the activities of the OHR, Lajcak said.

He added that the Bon Powers have been in force since 1997 and have been used for 829 times so far. The powers have been used 334 times in the legal sector – 95 laws have been imposed and 229 laws have been amended or changed.

The Bonn Powers have been used 157 times for the purpose of replacing the officials and 76 times because of the lack of cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

Lajcak emphasized that his measures were passed for the purpose of better functioning of the Bosnian state. He added that neither of the decisions is aimed to cause damage to Serbians living in Bosnia. That is why the sharp reactions of their political representatives “all fall into the sphere of lies, demagogy and deceiving”, he said.

The International Community's High Representative in Bosnia added that it is time for Bosnia's politicians to go back to their normal activities.

Commenting the PIC Steering Board meeting due next week, Lajcak stated that strategic debate is necessary.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 30,2007) – The Office of the International community's High Representative in Bosnia (OHR) warned yesterday that if the tensions continue growing in Bosnia, the political leaders of the Serbians living in Bosnia leaders will be held responsible and will bear the consequences.

Oleg Milisic, OHR Spokesperson, stated that the OHR representatives met during the weekend with the political representatives of the Serbians living in Bosnia to discuss measures the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajcak proposed October 19.

The measures were introduced for the purpose of the strengthening of the functionality of the Bosnian state in the framework of the Dayton Peace Agreement.

Lajcak also noted that although he did not insist on the issue of the possible sacking of the Prime Minister of the genocidal Serbian creature in Bosnia "the RS" Milorad Dodik, "no option was ruled out."

Legal interpretation is a public document; Milisic said and added that the HR’s decision is completely in accordance with the Dayton Agreement.


BERLIN, Germany (October 30,2007) - Germany warned Bosnia yesterday not to undermine the Dayton Peace Accords by resisting an international peace envoy's efforts to streamline government decision-making.

In response to bickering between Bosnia's Muslim, Serb and Croat leaders that has stalled reforms over the past 18 months, peace envoy Miroslav Lajcak unveiled new measures earlier this month aimed at simplifying the functioning of the government.

The German Foreign Affairs Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said yesterday he fully supported the International Community's High Representative Miroslav Lajcak's efforts to improve the Bosnian government's effectiveness and warned political representatives of the Serbians living in Bosnia not to fight them.

"Those who stand in the way of this Dayton-compatible process are working against the interests of the Bosnian citizens and their desire to work more closely with the EU," Steinmeier said.

"Germany will not tolerate an undermining of the Dayton agreement," he added.

Asked what concrete steps Germany could take, foreign ministry spokesman Martin Jaeger told a regular government news conference only that Berlin would use its "options" to influence events in Bosnia.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 30,2007) – The Bosnian Presidency members Zeljko Komsic,Haris Silajdzic and Nebojsa Radmanovic’s Head of Cabinet Miroslav Vujicic met yesterday in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo with the Council of Europe Secretary General Terry Davis.

The Bosnian Presidency members emphasized the importance of the Council of Europe and stated that they are highly appreciative of the role of the Council of Europe Secretary General. They added that Bosnia has certain obligations to fulfill as a Council of Europe member country.

In that sense, the officials talked about the obligations that arise form the Frame Convention on Protection of National Minorities, ratification of the European Frame Convention on the Cross-Border Cooperation and the European Convention on Regional and Languages of Minorities.

They also talked about the ratification of the European Social Decree and adoption of the Higher Education Law. They also talked about several other obligations of Bosnia, the Bosnian Presidency announced.

The Bosnian Presidency members said that Bosnia holds high at the priority list all the Council of Europe’s values, as well as promotion of democratic standards, human rights and the rule of law. They also expressed gratitude for the Council of Europe’s contribution in the process of building a stabile and democratic legal frame in Europe, which was greatly contributed by the Venetian Commission.

They especially thanked the Council of Europe's Secretary General for support to the process of gaining loans at the Council of Europe’s Development Bank, as well as for the help in the process of providing for the Bosnia’s decertified police officers.

The Council of Europe Secretary General stated that all the problems Bosnia has need to be solved through joint efforts and that Bosnia should be fully dedicated to strengthening of its role at the Council of Europe.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 30,2007) - The Commander of the European Union Force in Bosnia (EUFOR), Rear Admiral Hans Jochen Witthauer and the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia, Miroslav Lajčák, met yesterday with General John McColl who took over the role as NATO's Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe and the EU’s Operation Commander for Operation ALTHEA on 22 October 2007.

This is his first visit to Bosnia since his appointment and it comes at a time critical for the country's reform and integration processes. General McColl received a thorough briefing by both Lajcak and Witthauer on the military and political situation in Bosnia.

During his meeting with Miroslav Lajcak, General McColl expressed EUFOR's continued full support to the International Community's High Representative, his mandate and his important mission in Bosnia.

General McColl emphasized the importance of continuing the close and excellent working relations between EUFOR and the Office of the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia (OHR) and stressed that EUFOR would continue to contribute to the safe and secure environment throughout Bosnia, in accordance with the Dayton-derived mandate.

The joint conclusion of the meeting was that the European path is the only solution for achieving long-term stability in the whole region. It is the best way forward for Bosnia, EUFOR and OHR said.

"This means we must work to produce a step-change in the domestic political dynamic – a step-change that will not only facilitate a Stabilisation and association Agreement between Bosnia and the European Union, but also constitutional reform and the consolidation of Bosnia as a peaceable, law-abiding and functional state" the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia, Miroslav Lajčák,stated.


MOSTAR, Bosnia (October 30,2007) – The Ortijes base near the southern Bosnian city of Mostar is now in the hands of the Bosnian Army. This ended the the European Union Force (EUFOR) 12-years-long presence in Mostar.

The French Ambassador to Bosnia attended the ceremony, together with the Bosnian Ministry of Defence representatives and other high officials.

The Bosnian Defence Minister Selmo Cikotic stated that the ceremony symbolizes taking over responsibility for stability, safety and future of Bosnia.

He expressed gratitude to the members of French, Morocco, German, Italian and Spanish troops who contributed stabilization and peace in the region.

The French Ambassador to Bosnia Maryse Berniau thanked the Bosnian Defence Minister and all his associates who helped the process of handing over the base to the Bosnian Army. She greeted the Mayor of Mostar and added she did not want to forget about the close ties made with the administration and citizens of Mostar.

”Twelve years after the formation of the ‘Salamander’ division in Mostar, we are happy to be able to hand over the base to the Bosnian authorities”, Maryse Berniau said.

She added that a lot of money was invested into the reconstruction of the base and that the base and its surroundings are mines-free. She emphasized that all the activities were performed in accordance with the European environmental standards.

Ambassador Berniau emphasized that some of the French troops will return to France and that about 150 French soldiers will stay in Bosnia as members of the EUFOR.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 30,2007) - The Bosnian Parliament’s House of Peoples did not accept at the session yesterday three proposals to the law passed by the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia, Miroslav Lajčák,on the temporary basis.

The laws are as follows: Bill Changing and Amending the Law on Criminal Procedures, Bill Changing and Amending the Law on Bosnian High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council and Bill Changing and Amending the Law on Passports and Other Travel IDs.

Delegates of the Serbians living in Bosnia opposed the adoption.

Sulejman Tihic, Deputy House of Peoples Speaker, told the press after the session that this is the first time in the history of the Bosnian Parliament that the laws proposed by the High Representative were rejected, for the Parliament is not able to change or reject the laws both formally and legal-wise.

The delegates accepted reports of the Bosnian State Commission of both the houses which aligned the frame proposal to the bill on pre-school education and bill on agency for pre-school, primary and secondary education.

Adoption of these laws was made a priority in the program of realization of the priorities proscribed by the EU partnership with Bosnia.

Delegates also adopted the report of the Bosnian State Commission which aligned the Bill on Radiation and Nuclear Safety, aimed to protect Bosnia from ionized radiation.

Monday, October 29, 2007


MOSTAR, Bosnia (October 29,2007) - The presidents of Bosnia's six major political parties adopted a declaration on implementation of police reforms in the southern Bosnian City of Mostar yesterday.

The declaration is expected to remove obstacles for to the initialing and signing of a pre-membership agreement between Bosnia and the European Union.The move came following their four-hour meeting of six top Bosnia's politicians with the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajcak.

The signatories agreed to assume all of the necessary obligations for the implementation of the reform in keeping with EU principles, which are necessary for the continuation of the EU association process.

The declaration was signed after nearly four hours of a meeting behind closed doors.

"We are offering this Declaration to the international community's High Representative in Bosnia and the European Union," said the host of Sunday's meeting, Dragan Covic,the President of the HDZ BIH Party.

The declaration was signed by Covic,Haris Silajdzic of the Party for Bosnia (SBIH),Sulejman Tihic of the Party of Democratic Action (SDA),Bozo Ljubic of the HDZ 1990, Milorad Dodik of the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats, and Mladen Ivanic of the Democratic Progress Party.

The European Union has warned Bosnia that it could not sign the Stabilization and Association Agreement, the first step on the ladder to EU membership, without the police reform.

The signatories agreed they would take every activity necessary to implement the reform in accordance with the EU's three principles: be organized at the Bosnian state level, financed from a single budget and free from political interference.

The declaration says that the aim of the entire police reform in Bosnia is the functioning of a multiethnic and professional police.

The declaration does not specify if the current police force of the genocidal Serbian creature in Bosnia "th RS" will survive and if police regions will cross the entity border, the reason for previously irreconcilable positions.

The declaration says the new and reformed police will rely on relevant provisions of the Bosnian Constitution that will result from constitutional reform. This should mean that police reform will be accompanied by constitutional reform.

The International Community's High Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajcak, who attended the meeting, told the press the participants in the meeting agreed to launch a new negotiating round on constitutional amendments, which would be discussed at the next joint meeting in a month's time.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 29,2007) - The International Community's High Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajcak warned that he will not tolerate any attempt to destroy the authority of the Office of the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia (OHR), telling Serbia's government that their country has problems of its own it needs to see to, rather than concern itself with Bosnian issues.

The international community does not wish to see the situation in Bosnia deteriorate, he added.

"Demagogy and stupid statements could be heard in the last few days, but no arguments to prove that the last package of measures was directed against the RS," Lajcak told Bosnian state television.

He added it will not be up to the Serbians living in Bosnia to decide whether the OHR continues its activities, and that Serbia needs to let Bosnian politicians deal with Bosnian problems.

Lajcak said Serbia's Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica's statement that the Dayton peace accord was jeopardized was "dangerous".

Lajcak also noted that although he did not insist on the issue of the possible sacking of the Prime Minister of the genocidal Serbian creature in Bosnia "the RS" Milorad Dodik, "no option was ruled out."

On October 19, Lajcak imposed amendments to the Law on the Bosnian Council of Ministers and parliamentary rules of procedure, and changed the quorum necessary to conduct sessions of the House of Representatives.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 29,2007) – The Bosnian President Zeljko Komsic stated that he fully supports his attitudes expressed recently as a reaction to the statements about Bosnia made by Serbia's Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica.

”We have not forgotten that Kostunica walked all over Bosnia holding a machine gun. When such a person makes threats of problems in my own house 15 years after, all diplomatic communication will be of no use and unnecessary”,the Bosnian President Zeljko Komsic said.


ZVORNIK, Bosnia (October 29,2007) - Bosnian forensic experts commenced the excavation of a mass grave at Kamenica location near the eastern Bosnian town of Zvornik, the Bosnian Commission on Missing Persons confirmed.

Murat Hurtic of the commission said more than 20 complete or incomplete bodies of the genocide victims were expected to be found in the newly found mass grave in Kamenica.

The bodies of the genocide victims, he said, belong to Bosnian civilians from the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica, where the genocidal Serbian aggressor murdered up to 10,000 Bosnian civilians after capturing the area during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

A total of 10 mass graves have already been excavated at Kamenica location since the end of the Serbian aggression against Bosnia, with several thousands complete and incomplete bodies of the genocide victims exhumed.

The works on the newest mass grave in Kamenica, according to Hurtic, may last for some two weeks.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 29,2007) - On Tuesday, October 30, Serbian war criminal Milorad Trbic, indicted for genocide committed, is due to appear at a pre-trial status conference before the Bosnian State Court.

On June 11 this year, Serbian war criminal Milorad Trbic was transferred from the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) to Bosnia for further processing. As he refused to appear at the plea hearing scheduled in August, the Bosnian State Court subsequently recorded a plea of not guilty on his behalf.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor charges former member of the genocidal paramilitary formations of the Serbians living in Bosnia (VRS),Serbian war criminal Milorad Trbic, with having participated in the execution of more than 7,000 Bosnian civilians at the stadium in Bratunac on July 13, 1995, and in front of the school in Grbavci on July 14, 1995.

Following the confirmation of the indictment against Suad Kapic, a plea hearing has been scheduled to take place in the Bosnian State Court on Thursday, November 1.

The indictment alleges that Kapic, a former soldier of the Fifth Corps of the Bosnian Army, participated in the killing of four captured genocidal Serbian aggressor's soldiers during the "Sana 95" military operation conducted in September 1995.

The first defence witnesses at the trial of Croatian war criminal Zdravko Mihaljevic are due to appear at a hearing scheduled on Friday, November 2. The Bosnian State Prosecutor charges the former member of the Croatian aggressor's formations with having committed crimes against humanity in the Bosnian village of Tulice near Kiseljak,during the Croatian aggression against Bosnia in the early 1990's.

The trial of Serbian war criminals Mirko Todorovic and Milos Radic, indicted for murder of a group of Bosnian civilians in the eastern Bosnian town of Bratunac in 1992, is due to continue on Monday, October 29.

On the same day, and also on Wednesday, October 31, the Bosnian State Prosecutor is due to continue presenting evidence against Croatian war criminals Marko Radic, Dragan Sunjic, Damir Brekalo and Mirko Vracevic, who are indicted for crimes committed in Vojno concentration camp near the southern Bosnian city of Mostar in 1993,during the Croatian aggression against Bosnia.

This week, on October 30, the trial before the Bosnian State Court continues in the case of Sefik Alic, a former member of the Bosnian Army, who is considered responsible for offences committed against captured genocidal Serbian aggressor's soldiers.

On the same day, the trial of Serbian war criminals Mitar Rasevic and Savo Todovic is due to continue before the Bosnian State Court. The two Serbian war criminals are charged with having maltreated Bosnian civilians in Foca concentration camp from 1992 to 1994,during the Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

On Wednesday and Thursday this week, the prosecution is due to continue its evidence presentation process against Serbian war criminals Zeljko Mejakic, Momcilo Gruban, Dusan Fustar and Dusko Knezevic, who are charged with crimes committed in Omarska and Keraterm concentration camps.

On Wednesday, October 31, the defence team of Serbian war criminal Jadranko Palija is due to continue examining the witnesses who will testify in favour of the former member of the genocidal Serbian aggressor's formations, who is charged with the murder of Bosnian civilians in the village of Begici, in Sanski Most municipality.

On Thursday, November 1, ten witnesses invited by Serbian war criminal Dragisa Zivanovic's defence team are due to be examined as part of the trial of the 11 Serbian war criminals charged with genocide.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 29,2007) - Council of Europe Secretary General Terry Davis is visiting Bosnia from 28 to 30 October.

Today,on October 29, the Secretary General is due to meet with members of the Bosnian Presidency,Prime Minister and members of the Bosnian government, Foreign Affairs Minister ,the International Community's High Representative and EU Special Representative in Bosnia and representatives of civil society.

On the following day, Mr. Davis will address the session of the Bosnian Parliament.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 28,2007) - The United States threatened action against the Serbians living in Bosnia who have threatened to quit Bosnia's state government in protest at moves to streamline decision-making.

"Continuing down this path of confrontation will bring a swift and strong reaction from the United States," the U.S. Ambassador to Bosnia Charles English stated.

"It is their obligation to back away from an avoidable confrontation. We will view a decision to walk out of the Bosnian state institutions as unnecessary provocation," the U.S. Ambassador added.

The new dispute in Bosnia has erupted over measures proposed by the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia, Miroslav Lajcak, to stop political representatives of the Serbians living in Bosnia blocking new laws by making it easier to pass decisions.

The political representatives of the Serbians living in Bosnia have threatened to resign en masse from the central assembly, blocking the Bosnian Government, unless the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajcak backs down from the reforms.

The U.S. Ambassador to Bosnia Charles English supported the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajcak's measures and said that "a confrontation with the High Representative is a confrontation with the United States."

Under Lajcak's proposals to avoid obstruction through absenteeism, the Bosnian Government would be able to hold sessions in the presence of six ministers and operate with a simple majority.

The changes would allow the Bosnian authorities to submit motions to the Bosnian Parliament without any participation of the politicial representatives of the Serbians living in Bosnia who are constantly blocking Bosnia's progress towards European integration by opposing the strengthening of the functionality of the Bosnian state.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 28,2007) - "Unilateral actions of the Republic of Croatia regarding the construction of “Land–Pelješac” bridge are not contributing the good relations between Bosnia and Croatia, and they are additionally complicating the situation involving the sea border between the two countries," the press release from the Cabinet of Bosnian Presidency Member Dr Haris Silajdžić said.

Bosnia is not objecting to the Croatian sovereign right to connect parts of its territory, but it cannot be done in a manner that violates the rights and interests of Bosnia.

The Bosnian Presidency, as the only organ authorized to manage foreign policy, has clearly expressed the view of Bosnia on the issue during the session of the Interstate Council, as well as during the visit of the Croatian Prime Minister Sanader to Bosnia, and it has reiterated it during its previous session, including the fact that it is necessary to establish a sea border between the two countries before the bridge construction begins.

"The Bosnian Ministry of Foreign Affairs immediately forwarded the stance to the Ambassador of Croatia to Bosnia, as well as that Bosnia will preserve the right to initiate a dispute before international judicial or arbitrary bodies. The Republic of Croatia, therefore, was aware of Bosnia’s stance and the potential risks that unilateral actions might cause from the very beginning," Silajdzic said.

"The President is carefully monitoring the development of the situation and considers the problem to be of the utmost importance. The Presidency will decide on future concrete steps at its following sessions, regular or special, depending on the need and potential actions of the Republic of Croatia," Silajdzic stated.


NEW YORK ,USA (October 28,2007) - The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is concerned about recent political developments that could hinder the functioning of the Bosnian state institutions, thus undermining the implementation of the Dayton Agreement and affecting stability in the region.

The UN Secretary-General has urged Bosnia's political leaders to show restraint and support the International community's High Representative in Bosnia, Miroslav Lajcak, in carrying out reforms needed for Bosnia to join the European Union.

“The Secretary-General is concerned about recent political developments that could hinder the functioning of central institutions in Bosnia, thus undermining the implementation of the Dayton Agreement and affecting stability in the region,” a spokesman for Ban Ki-moon said.

Lajcak is charged with overseeing implementation of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement ,which ended the 1992-1995 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions against Bosnia.

“The secretary-general encourages political leaders and officials in Bosnia to exercise maximum restraint, continue to engage in inter-ethnic dialogue and constructively co-operate with the High Representative,” the spokesperson said.

Ban's call came as Lajcak on Thursday told the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) permanent council meeting in Vienna, Austria, that tensions are rising in Bosnia.

“The recent failure to forge a political agreement on police reform was merely the last, albeit crucial, confirmation of the worsening political dynamic that we have witnessed in Bosnia since April 2006, when the first modest but mould-breaking package of reforms to the Dayton constitution narrowly failed to win adoption,” Lajcak said.

“Since then, there has been a poisonous election campaign, characterized by intransigent and destabilizing rhetoric; a prolonged process of government formation, leading to the unavoidable cohabitation in power of the more radical and intransigent parties; and a virtual halt to European Union-compatible reforms and normal government activity.”

The Un Secretary-General reiterated his support for Lajcak, emphasising that the International community's High Representative in Bosnia acts in the interest of all Bosnian citizens.

Talks between Bosnia's political forces on the question of police reforms collapsed earlier this month after after a year of negotiations failed to produce a real breakthrough.

The European Union has set three main principles for police reform, demanding from Bosnia that it should be organised and financed on a country level, without political influence.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 27,2007) – The Bosnian President Zeljko Komsic said that the statement made by Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica has finally revealed all the murky political games of Serbia towards Bosnia.

Serbia's Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica said that the aim of the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajcak’s recent measures is the abolition of (the genocidal Serbian creature in Bosnia) "the RS".

“I have told premier of the RS Dodik that he can count on Serbia’s full support, and that we will defend with the same decisiveness Resolution 1244 and the Dayton Peace Agreement,” Kostunica said.

Kostunica's comments angered Bosnian politicians, who recalled the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia and Serbia’s role in the genocide in Bosnia.

“Kostunica should rather stick to issues that are his job, i.e. the future of Serbia and its citizens and keep his hands off Bosnia because he could get burned, and he should also keep in mind how one of his predecessors, Milosevic, ended”, a statement from the Bosnian President Zeljko Komsic’s Cabinet reads.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 27,2007) – The recent statements made by Serbia's Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica represent a flagrant interference in the internal matters of Bosnia and their clear objective is to at the same time culminate the crisis in Bosnia and Kosovo at a time when the Kosovo issue is being resolved, a member of the Bosnian Presidency Haris Silajdzic said.

Silajdzic said that with open attacks on the sovereignty of Bosnia and the security situation in the entire region Serbia is trying to instrumentalise some political issues in the Balkans in order to harmonise its negotiating position concerning Kosovo.

“This is exactly the policy, which in no way in its rhetoric differs from Milosevic’s actions, that has led to the worst crimes since WWII In Europe, not only in Bosnia, but the entire region as well”, Silajdzic stated.

Silajdzic said that practically identical verbal attacks on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia in the early 1990s were a precursor to the aggression against Bosnia by Serbia.

“This policy was defeated and condemned by the entire world. It will not be tolerated, nor will the pursuit of nationalistic objectives by Serbia ever again have a chance to success. The sovereignty of and territorial integrity of Bosnia are unquestionable and have been defended from even fiercer attacks on Bosnia that have come from Serbia”, Silajdzic stated.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 27,2007) – The Bosnian Social-Democratic Party (SDP) President Zlatko Lagumdzija stated that the Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader’s statement regarding the building of the disputed Peljesac Bridge,represents the most brutal denial of Bosnia and its institutions since late Croatian President Tudman’s calls for the partition of Bosnia during the Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggression against Bosnia in the early 1990s.

Lagumdzija said that an in effort to collect cheap political points in the lead up to the elections in Croatia Sanader is treating the Bosnian citizens as three tribes, which he and similar quasi politicians and phoney statesmen will “enlighten”.

Unfortunately, he added,the Bosnian authorities are with their silence showing inability or are betraying paths they have given before the Bosnian Parliament.

According to Lagumdzija the only way out of this situation would be a firm reaction by the Bosnian Presidency, measures by the Bosnian Government and relevant ministries, which would then be followed by an agreement between the two states in order to avoid lawsuits before relevant international institutions.

“One does not have to have the mind of a statesman to understand that a Bosnia's lawsuit would delay the EU perspective, not only of Croatia, but the entire region as well. Unfortunately, the decision on a lawsuit by our country would not be a matter of our choice, but something of Sanader own making,” Lagumdzija stated.

Croatia is now building the disputed bridge, but Bosnia has protested, saying it would prevent large ships from entering Bosnia's only port in Neum, thus blocking Bosnia's access to the sea.


BUDVA, Montenegro (October 27,2007) – Haris Silajdzic,a member of the Bosnian Presidency, addressed participants of the 8th Economic Forum for Northern and Southern Europe which was held in Budva,Montenegro, sponsored by the Montenegrin Government and Institute for European relations.

Silajdzic, among other, stated that the mutual goal of the countries of the region is association to the European Union and NATO and added that they can offer their space to the EU and ensure stability in the future under the wing of Euro – Atlantic integrations.

He emphasized the necessity of initiation of positive actions that will send a new message from the region. Friendly relations between Bosnia and the countries from the East, rich in oil and gas, could be of interest for the entire Europe.

Silajdzic emphasized that the country has energy and other resources at the disposal which can be used in both Bosnia and in the countries of the region.

Silajdzic said that the past cannot be ignored because of the safe future and that the justice must be served.

”I believe that the roads we are now constructing between the Northern and Southern Europe will not be only of pure concrete but also of values and understanding of the different and the other”, Silajdzic said.


BUDVA, Montenegro (October 27,2007) – A member of the Bosnian Presidency Haris Silajdzic discussed with Montenegrin President Filip Vujanovic in Budva relations between Bosnia and Montenegro.

Silajdzic said that relations between the two countries are on the rise, which is good for both countries and the region.

“I am happy to see the success of our neighbours, because that is also our success”, Bosnian Presidency member Haris Silajdzic said.

“I am positively surprised by the speed at which the Constitution in Montenegro has been adopted,” Silajdzic said.

Silajdzic said that Bosnia is trying to reach political solutions that would move the country closer to initialling the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the European Union.

“Our interest is to have cordial and friendly relations. It is important that we do not have outstanding issues and it is our wish to see an agreement within Bosnia as soon as possible and that we all together move towards the EU”, Montenegrin President Vujanovic said.


BUDVA, Montenegro (October 27,2007) – The third Ministerial Conference on Employment and Social Welfare in the Southeastern Europe was held in Budva,Montenegro.

After 2-day discussion the conference adopted conclusions which will encourage signatory countries to strengthen regional cooperation in development of social welfare policy and employment.

It was assessed that regional cooperation can contribute to strengthening of perspectives of European integrations in the Southeastern Europe as well as of good neghbourly relations.

Olli Rhen, EU Enlargement Commission, sent a letter to the participants with the message that the biggest challenge which the Southeastern Europe faces with is fight for stability, democracy and prosperity of the region.

Rhen said that EU will continue being included in occurrences in the region as well as that it confirmed its stand that all countries of the Southeastern Europe should enter the European Union, when they meet required preconditions.

“Packet on enlargement to possible candidate-countries will be presented November 6 and it will contain program of EU support measures”, Rhen said.

Friday, October 26, 2007


VATICAN CITY,Vatican (October 26,2007) - An accord designed to guarantee religious rights and freedoms for the Catholic Church in Bosnia formally went into effect yesterday during a special ceremony at the Vatican.

After meeting with Pope Benedict XVI, the Bosnian President Zeljko Komsic formally exchanged documents marking ratification of the accord, or concordat, with Vatican officials.

The Bosnian President Zeljko Komsic underlined the importance of the concordat with the Vatican, saying it provides the legal framework for guaranteeing the right of the Catholic Church to carry out its activities in Bosnia.

The Vatican press office reported that during the meeting with the Pope, "consideration was given to questions concerning the implementation of the agreement itself."

The Catholic community's contribution for the peaceful coexistence of the various ethnic and religious groups in Bosnia was also stressed.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State, called the occasion "a historic day in relations" between the two states.

The accord with Bosnia "represents a positive development in the consolidation of a rule of law and the democratic principles Bosnia wants to forge its future upon," Cardinal Bertone said.

The finalized concordat will help bolster the country's international image and "will contribute to overcoming the serious problems inherited from the past and building a better future," the cardinal said.

Bosnian bishops have been warning that Catholics in this European nation have become like second-class citizens and, in some regions, are on the verge of extinction.

While the 1995 Dayton peace accords brought an end to the 1992-1995 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions against Bosnia, the country's bishops have said the Catholic community is powerless and faces discrimination.

President Komsic, who heads the Bosnian Presidency, fought with the Bosnian Army during the 1992-1995 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions against Bosnia and was awarded the Golden Lily, Bosnia's highest military honor. He was the chief municipal official of New Sarajevo before being elected the President Of Bosnia.

In his speech to Vatican officials, the Bosnian President Zeljko Komsic said "we will not forget" the important and urgent calls Pope John Paul II made to end the violence and work for peace.

In speaking with journalists immediately after his private meeting with the Bosnian President, Pope Benedict said the Balkans was a region "with many problems, but also much hope."

The Vatican also issued a statement acknowledging President Komsic had invited the pope to visit Bosnia,a country in which Muslims make up 40 percent of the population, Orthodox 31 percent and Catholics 15 percent.


ROME, Italy (October 26,2007) – The Bosnian President Zeljko Komsic and Italian President Giorgi Napolitano had a meeting in Rome which focused on bilateral cooperation, situation in the region and the EU-related policy.

They agreed that the meeting happened in the best moment possible. The meeting is a sign of dynamic contacts between the two countries. President Komsic invited the Italian President to visit Bosnia and contribute the improvement of dialogue between the two neighboring countries.

President Komsic once again thanked Italy for all the help the country has offered to Bosnia. He expressed pleasure over the successful cooperation, both political and economical.

He informed the Italian President on Bosnia’s view of situation in the region, especially in the sense of the complex situation caused by the Kosovo status issue. The Bosnian President once again emphasized Bosnia’s attitude related to the Kosovo issue and added some elements that have placed an accent to the problem of separating the issue of Kosovo from the political situation in Bosnia. President Komsic added that Bosnia is interested in having Serbia as a good and stabile neighbor, regardless of the final Kosovo solution.

Commenting the political situation in Bosnia, he emphasized that the non-adoption of police reform and measures recently announced by the International Community's High Representative Miroslav Lajcak, Bosnia has been put in a complex situation which can cause instability.

President Komsic expressed his personal attitude and expressed understanding for the actions taken by the High Representative Miroslav Lajcak, for he is of the opinion that the Lajcak’s moves are aimed to help Bosnia’s EU future. He emphasized that a lot more tolerance is needed for the purpose of solving the complex issues of today and emohasized that agreement and consensus are something all politicians should strive for.

The Bosnian President Zeljko Komsic emphasized that there are certain instability elements that have arisen in Bosnia in the past few days. In that sense, President Komsic said that all the domestic factors and PIC members should engage fully in order to make the political situation better.

The Italian President Napolitano agreed with President Komsic’s view of the situation in the Balkans. He emphasized that EU cannot be stabile and safe unless a fluid situation is achieved at the border countries. He added that the time of decising on the Kosovo future is approaching. In that sense, the Italian President stated that any kind of delay causes instability in the region.

He said that Bosnia has made a serious progress in development after Dayton and that the country’s stability should be maintained in order that the multiethnic country becomes one of the models of joint living the EU itself is striving for. He added that no mono-ethnic society is possible in the region.

The Italian President stated that Italy sees Bosnia as a member of the EU and NATO and that the policy of his country is that all its neighbors are joined together in the Euro-Atlantic structures. All the obstacles on this way need to be removed patiently. In that sense, Italy will keep playing an important role in the efforts of the International Community, Napolitano said.

The two high officials elaborated some other issues, including the EU policy priorities in the present stage of development.The Italian President Giorgi Napolitano said that he will meet the Bosnian President Zeljko Komsic with pleasure again.

The closest associates of the Italian President attended the meting, as well as the Bosnian Ambassador to Italy and the Bosnian Presidency’s foreign affairs’ policy advisors, Bosnian President Zeljko Komsic’s Cabinet announced.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 26,2007) – Sweden is to withdraw its peacekeepers from Bosnia next year, the country's military has announced.

The 24-strong Swedish unit is in Bosnia as part of the EU's elite EUFOR force. They will have withdrawn from Bosnia no later than 20th April,2008.

Lieutenant Colonel Mikael Smedin said the withdrawal was a "political decision." He added that Bosnia still requires the presence of international troops, but in smaller numbers.

"The situation in Bosnia is relatively stable and secure now, and the need for military presence is not as great as it was before," he said.

More than 7,500 Swedes have participated in peacekeeping operations in Bosnia since 1993.


NEUM, Bosnia (October 26,2007) – A plenary Assembly of the Bosnian Committee of the International Council for Huge Electrical Systems (CIGRÉ) was held in Neum. The Assembly sent a warning to BiH public about the problems of energy policy in the country.

More than 300 participants from the area of power industry at the Conference think that the non-existence of an integral power policy in Bosnia endangers the overall political, economic and cultural future of the country.

The present difficult situation in the power industry of the country is additionally complicated and deepened by the non-existence of any consultations of the executive political power in the country with the community of experts and scientists in this field on the power industry problems and priorities.

The existing interpretations and proposed decisions concerning the situation and development of power industry as espoused and proposed by some bodies of the current government are totally unfounded from the expert point of view, so that their possible imposition is dangerous and may in the log-run have devastating consequences for Bosnia's future. The present organisation of the electric power sector in the country does not meet the key conditions of the branch for an efficient functioning in this area, so it should be changed.

The fundamental and the first prerequisite for stopping the present destructive processes in the power industry of Bosnia is the preparation of an integral Bosnian power strategy. This is the responsibility both of politicians and experts in this field.

The power reform in Bosnia has been stopped, the participants of the Conference hold, and it is quite clear that it has come into a crisis. This calls for urgent changes. At the state level there are no bodies or institutions that would plan and manage the consolidation and development of the power sector. So the establishment of such bodies and institutions is an essential prerequisite for getting out of the crisis.

The present situation in Bosnia's power industry, with imposition of partial internal and external interests, threatens to marginalize the country in this sector within the instituted Energy Community of the Southeastern Europe. The members of the Bosnian CIGRÉ Committee are ready for cooperation and offer partnership with the responsible protagonists of energy policy in defining optimal short-term and long-term development programmes in this sector.


NOVI VINODOLSKI, Croatia (October 26,2007) – Tens of thousands of persons in the region are considered missing. There are about 13.000 persons to be found. 30.000 persons were considered missing at the end of the 1992-1995 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions against Bosnia.

The Bosnian Human Rights Minister Safet Halilovic emphasized at a conference he attended yesterday in Novi Vinodolski,Croatia,that the precondition of the sustainable system of search for the missing persons and identification of the number of the missing persons in Bosnia would be passing of the law on the missing persons, formed at the principle of equality and non-discrimination.

”Law on Missing Persons was an instrument for formation of the Institute for Missing Persons, which is a unique and independent institution, acting in accordance to the Bosnian Law on the Missing Persons”, Halilovic said.

He added that the constitution of the Managing Board, which took place June this year, created preconditions for the initiation of the Institute’s actions.

Significant activities are to be taken in the field of formation of a unique database of the missing persons, which requires additional efforts not only of the Institute for Missing Persons, but also of all other institutions including the International Commission for the Missing Persons.

Halilovic emphasized that the issue of forming a fund for support to the missing persons’ families remains unsolved.

”Situation in the sector is very complex because the issue of forming a family support fund has been halted because of the long process of reaching an agreement with the entity representatives who have the jurisdiction over the social support to the war victims. It is not possible to form the Fund without their consent. Related to the buringin issues, the bosnian Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees has offered concrete solutions to the issue several times but the joint solution remains to be reached in the following few days. We hope that it will bring equal protection to all the families of missing persons in Bosnia”, Minister Halilovic said.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 26,2007) – Cooperation between countries in the region is necessary not only for their European perspective, but also for the creation of lasting peace and stability and achieving economic progress in this part on Europe, was stated at a roundtable titled “Regional Cooperation for Development and European Integration” in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

The Bosnian Helsinki Committee for Human Rights organised this meeting in order present regional cooperation and coordination on the implementation of reforms and European integration processes in the entire region.

Committee President Srdan Dizdarevic reminded that regional cooperation is a precondition for the process of association of countries from the region to Euro-Atlantic structures, but that it also has a direct impact on economic development and progress of all countries.

Dizdarevic stressed that through regional cooperation the EU wishes to see countries demonstrate the ability for cooperation with others and build relations the EU wishes to see between its future members.

Bosnia's Chief Negotiator for the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the European Union Igor Davidovic, speaking about the impasse in European integration of our country caused by the failure of police reform, said that this reform is a process that will continue to unfold.

He thinks that police reform in Bosnia needs to be implemented as part f a procedure that will provide enough time and an adequate technocal or institutional framework for the agreement to be achieved.

Davidovic said that participants in the process of police reform were forced on several occasions to reach an agreement in a short period of time and under massive challenges and threats.

He thinks that this is also one of the reasons why all participants in police reform were unable to achieve a concentrated and broad effort towards a compromise.

Davidovic said that not a single part of the region has a perspective outside the EU, primarily due to economic, but also social, political and other reasons.

Participants in the meeting discussed achievements in regional cooperation and European integration and identify remaining obligations in these processes.

They also discussed cooperation on preserving the environment, in the energy sector, parliamentary cooperation and a number of other regional initiatives.

The “Regional Cooperation for Development and European Integration” Brochure was also presented at this roundtable.

The roundtable has been organised in cooperation with the Kosovo Institute for Political Research and Development, the Centre for Institutional Development from Skoplje, the Albanian Institute for International Studies, the Institute for International Relations from Zagreb,the European Movement and Montenegro and the European Movement in Serbia.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 26,2007) – 3.500 potential users have so far applied for assistance as part of the NATO/PFP Trust Fund for taking care of “surplus” members of the Bosnian Armed Forces.5,8 million Euros has been ensured for these purposes.

This was stated at a press conference held in Sarajevo yesterday by the Ambassador of the Netherlands to Bosnia Karel Vosskuhler on behalf of the lead nations of the NATO Trust Fund, together with Head of the International Organisation or Migrations (IOM) Regina Boucault and the Bosnian Deputy Defence Minister Marina Pendes.

They said that activities on social reintegration of professional soldiers and civilians in service in the Bosnian Armed Forces who have been dismissed in the meantime are going in accordance with the planned pace and that 3.261 persons, out of 6.000 dismissed between 2004 and 2006, have so far been covered by certain forms of assistance provided by the NATO Trust Fund.

Ambassador Vosskuhler underlined the importance of this program in the context of defence reform and obligations of BiH stemming from its membership in the Partnership for Peace.

The Ambassador of the Netherlands to Bosnia said that Bosnia has made significant progress in cooperation within the Partnership for Peace and stressed that this is largely a result of the work of the the Ambassador of the Netherlands to Bosnian Ministry of Defence and its officials.

The Bosnian Deputy Defence Minister Marina Pendes confirmed the commitment for the continuation of reforms and thanked Great Britain, the Netherlands and Croatia (the three lead nations of the Trust Fund), the IOM and donor states that by participating in this fund support efforts on the social and economic reintegration of dismissed members of the Bosnian Armed Forces.

Head of the IOM Mission in Bosnia Regina Biocault said that some 1.500 or 50 percent of users of the NATO Trust Fund have been contacted so far and reminded that professional soldiers, civilian officials and staff dismissed between 2004 and 2006/07 were able to apply for assistance.

Assistance is provided in the form of training, expert training, cross training, help in starting small businesses, purchase of equipment, self-employment in the agricultural sector etc.

Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Turkey have also supported as donors the activities of the Trust Fund.

British Ambassador to Bosnia Matthew Rycroft, representatives of the Croatian Embassy in Bosnia and the NATO HQ from Brussels also attended the press conference in the Bosnian Ministry of Defence.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 26,2007) – Delegation of the European Commission to Bosnia, together with the EU institutions and the Bosnian European Integrations Direction, in cooperation with the EU Infocentres, will organize in this and the following year 22 sessions entitled “Meeting Europe”.

The sessions will be organized in the following Bosnian cities: Banja Luka, Bihac, Prijedor, Modrica, Tuzla, Pale, Gorazde, Mostar, Siroki Brijeg, Livno, Jajce, Rudo, Foca, Neum, Grude, Brcko, Bijeljina, Zenica, Doboj, Trebinje, Bileca and Sarajevo.

The first visit to Bihac took place yesterday.Hungarian Ambassador to Bosnia, Imre Varga, addressed the Bosnian citizens assembled in the Bihac City Hall. Advisor to the Bosnian European Integrations Director Darija Ramljak, also addressed the participants.

Ambassadors of the EU countries and the Bosnian European Integrations Direction representatives will attend the sessions. They will present the topics related to the European integrations processes and the Bosnia’s future in Europe.

"Meeting Europe” is aimed to initiate discussion with the Bosnian citizens and the NGO sector about the European integrations processes and to offer information on the demands that the EU has set for Bosnia on that way.

Mayors of cities mentioned above will sign declaration on Bosnia’s European future aimed to express their wish for Bosnia’s membership to the EU.

The “Meeting Europe” project is financed by the EU and is implemented by the KYODO and Safety Studies Centre NGOs.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 26,2007) - The fact that children in Bosnia often travel long distances to attend school out of their catchments areas with children of their own ethnicity reinforces already present divisions in communities where they live, and also endangers the long-term stability and security in Bosnia, it was said, among other things, in the OSCE Education Report called, “Who Is in Charge of Creating School Enrolment Areas?”

Claude Kieffer, Director, Education Department, OSCE Mission to Bosnia, and Sladjana Curak, Finance and Management Adviser in the same department, presented the Report in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

“Each of the three constituent peoples have their own curricula. On the Bosnian state level there are seven curricula. In many cases, students attend schools only with those of their own ethnicity; in other cases they attend classes that are separated by ethnicity within the same school building. This solidifies ethnic divisions within communities where students live,” emphasized Kieffer.

Children often travel long distances every day to attend mono-ethnic schools. Unfortunately, even parents are guilty for this phenomenon as they want their children to attend mono-ethnic schools, justifying this by saying “that they know what is in the best interest of their children”.

Curak named several examples of children crossing even state borders, solely for the purpose of attending schools with other children of the same ethnicity. Recommendations for what the Bosnian authorities should do in future were also quoted in the Report, but Kieffer believes that BiH institutions will neither accept the recommendations, nor even read the report.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 25,2007) – The Party for Bosnia (SBIH) condemns in the strongest possible terms threats of destabilisation of the political situation in Bosnia coming from Serbia's senior officials and ruling parties and comparisons being drawn between the internal structure of Bosnia and the international status of Kosovo,the SBIH Party stated.

The SBIH Party said that these positions represent a serious interference by Serbia in the internal matters of Bosnia and a dangerous undermining of the sovereignty and international-legal subjectivity of Bosnia.

Statements by Serbia's President Boris Tadic on the independence of the genocidal Serbian creature in Bosnia ("the RS") are identical to statements that we used to hear from Serbian war criminal Slobodan Milosevic, which U.S. State Department officials have also confirmed on Monday.

“Furthermore, attacks coming from the party of Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica against the measures taken by the Office of the International Community's high Representative in Bosnia (OHR), which are merely aimed at implementing the articles of the Bosnian Constitution, are in fact aimed at undermining the stability of Bosnia. With these statements Serbia's officials are proving that Serbia has never abandoned pretensions towards Bosnia and that it still supports and additionally fuels nationalistic spirits in Bosnia with the aim of achieving its own objectives”, the SBIH Party said.

The SBIH Party also stated that Serbia's officials need to understand that Serbian war criminal Slobodan Milosevic’s methods are a thing of the past, that Serbia will not be allowed to hinder the implementation of the Dayton Agreement, nor to hold back the development of Bosnia into a modern, functional, democratic state and its road towards Euro-Atlantic integrations.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 25,2007) - Croatia started building a coastal bridge in the southern Adriatic yesterday despite protests from neighboring Bosnia, which has threatened to launch a lawsuit to stop it.

The Peljesac bridge is meant to link the southern Croatian city of Dubrovnik with the rest of Croatia and bypass a small sliver of the coast that belongs to Bosnia.

Croatia controls most of the eastern side of the Adriatic but drivers on its scenic coastal road face two customs and border controls while passing through Bosnia's 12-km (7 miles) stretch of territory.

Bosnia wanted to determine the sea border of the two former Yugoslav republics before the bridge project started.

"Bosnia is not opposed to Croatia's sovereign right to link parts of its territory but this cannot be done in a way that violates Bosnia's rights and interests," said a statement from a member of the Bosnian Presidency, Haris Silajdzic, issued in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo yesterday.

"The Bosnian Foreign Affairs Ministry has informed the Croatian Embassy in Bosnia that Bosnia keeps the right to launch a suit before an international court or arbitration body," Silajdzic stated.

All members of the Bosnian Presidency disapprove of the bridge. The Bosnian Presidency Chairman Zeljko Komsic, said "serious talks about borders between Bosnia and Croatia and the Peljesac bridge should start only after (Croatia's) elections".

"Croatia has respected Bosnia's right to have access to their waters...and we are building the bridge on Croatian territory," the Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader said.

But,the Croatian President Stjepan Mesic urged the Croatian Government to rethink.

"The worst and the most costly thing would be to start building and then stop, because of a legal dispute. That's what I am afraid of," Mesic said.


SREBRENICA, Bosnia (October 25,2007) – The UN has failed all tests in the eyes of Bosnians because it supported the mass murder of Bosnian civilians in the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica and in 12 years following that crime it has not once admitted its massive mistake and complicity to genocide, the “Mothers of Srebrenica and Zepa Enclaves” Association stated.

In a statement issued on the occasion of the UN anniversary, this Association stated that the United Nations betrayed the Bosnians of Srebrenica in 1995 and that it is directly responsible for the horrific death of up to 10.000 Bosnian civilians from Srebrenica.

The mothers of Srebrenica and Zepa claim stated the UN has with their behaviour taken the side of the genocidal Serbian aggressor, and its every action was aimed against the Bosnians from Srebrenica.

The dignity and value of every human individual, which are mentioned in the UN Charter, did not exist for UN soldiers in Srebrenica, this Association stated and added that they are seeking their basic rights in a lawsuit filed against the United Nations.

If this lawsuit is resolved in their favour, it will still not wipe the blood of Bosnians from Srebrenica from the UN flag, the Association stated.


ROME, Italy (October 25,2007) - The Bosnian President Zeljko Komsic visited the Santa Maria d’Ara-Coeli Church in which the Bosnian Queen Katarina Kotromanic is buried.This has been the first visit of a Bosnian President to the grave of Bosnian Queen in Rome.

Franciscans expressed pleasure over the visit of President Komsic which, as they stated, gave a special dimension to the issue of Bosnian statesmanship, from the Middle Ages until today.

President Komsic said that Franciscans have remained true friends of Bosnia. He emphasized an outstanding engagement of the Bosnian Franciscans.He also informed the friars on the importance of the Base Agreement between Bosnia and the Vatican.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 25,2007) – 47th International Theatre Festival (MESS) opened last night at the Bosnian National Theatre in Sarajevo.

Dino Mustafic, Director of the Festival, stated that the audience opened the festival; not an actor, not a writer, but audience.

Mustafic added that MESS is for many a part of their youth and an important fact in biography and that is why the festival must never be a subject of any political influences.

Having said this, Mustafic called the audience to open the international theatre festival with the most valuable gift for the actors, directors and other theatre workers – applause.

19 plays will be performed at the Festival, 3 concerts, 3 exhibitions, 3 workshops. About 500 guests are expected at the festival.

The Festival opened with “Orestia”, directed by the German Berlin Theatre’s director Mihael Talhajmer.Theatre critics from Germany have stated that the play is a masterpiece.

Over 100 journalists and photo reporters from Bosnia, region and Western Europe have been registered and will report from the Festival. Over 30 famous theatre critics from all over Europe will be guests to the Festival. They will participate at the daily roundtable sessions aimed to affirm the theatre critic.

19 plays will be performed at 8 different locations in nine days and the newest theatre trends will be offered to the audience.


NEW YORK, USA (October 25,2007) – Bosnia's Prime Minister Nikola Spiric had a meeting in New York with the UN General Assembly Speaker Srdjan Kerim and informed him on the current situation in Bosnia.

Spiric said that many good reforms have been implemented in Bosnia.But, they have not been promoted enough. He emphasized that the Bosnian economy is making headway and that all these are statements passed in Washington by the World Bank and the IMF representatives.

Spiric expressed disappointment with Bosnia’s failure to initial the Stabilisation And Association Agreemnt (SAA) with the EU, for, as he said, that would have created the necessary quantum of positive energy Bosnia needs.

Spiric emphasized that dialogue between Bosnia's political leaders and International Community is a necessity.

Mr. Kerim agreed with Spiric that the SAA is the most important document for Bosnia after the Dayton Agreement and expressed full support to the country’s Euro-Atlantic integrations.

He also emphasized the importance of strengthening the Bosnian state institutions.


WASHINGTON, USA (October 25,2007) – World Bank (WB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) officials supported the request of Transparency International (TI) for authorities in Bosnia to immediately present to the public agreements on the privatisation of the energy sector and to immediately end the practice of direct deals.

Transparency International Bosnian Board of Directors Chairman and member of the TI Global Board of Directors Boris Divjak took part in the Annual Assembly of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

The central meeting was held in the building of the International Financial Corporation (IFC) with a group of World Bank and IMF energy experts. They analysed the situation in Bosnia following the intransparent privatisation of the refineries in Bosanski Brod on Modrica, the coal power plants in Gacko and Ugljevik and the ongoing tender for the privatisation of Aluminij from Mostar.

WB and IMF officials, together with representatives of several other influential international non-governmental organisations, supported the request of the Transparency International for the entire documentation on the sale of the major companies and the privatisation process of Aluminij to be presented to the public.

“IMF, in its platform concerning all its member states, including Bosnia, insists on clarity in public availability of agreements the governments make with private entities, especially when they concern natural resources. The agreements have to be made public, and current and future fiscal obligations need to be transparent and included in all mid-term development plans,” IMF officials said citing their policy of fiscal transparency.

The lack of relevant information was discussed at the meeting organised by the WB’s Information Centre.

Divjak said that it is difficult to grasp that the authorities can be so insensitive as to hide from their citizens the details concerning the sale of state property, i.e. the property of its citizens, especially in the cases of largest companies in the country.

If the authorities continue to reject the disclosure of these agreements, Transparency International will request the Bosnian prosecutor’s offices and other institutions in the country to intervene on founded suspicion that what is taking place is international economic crime of staggering proportions in the form of money laundering and without real intentions to revive production and restart strategic companies.

Divjak will meet with Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Chair Peter Eigen in Denpasar, Indonesia”, late this week when they will discuss ways in which EITI can assist Transparency International in Bosnia in committing the Bosnian authorities to responsible and transparent behaviour.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


SREBRENICA, Bosnia (October 24,2007) – The International Community's High Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajcak visited yesterday the Genocide Memorial Centre in Potocari near Srebrenica.

“The terrible crime of genocide took place here. It is very important that the centre does not fall into oblivion and that the place should serve as a warning that such a terrible event never again happens”, Lajcak said.

”Our job will finish once the last victim of the terrible event is found and once the people who had ordered this crime are brought to justice. We have done a lot but it is not enough. Justice is slow but it can be reached”, Lajcak said having placed a wreath to the Genocide Memorial.

Up to 10,000 Bosnian civilians were mass murderd by the genocidal Serbian aggressor on July 11, 1995, and over next several days in the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica. It was the worst mass murder in Europe since World War II. Every year, more genocide victims' bodies are found in many mass graves around Srebrenica. DNA tests and other forensic methods have led to the identification and burial of more 2.907 genocide victims from Srebrenica so far.

At the meeting with mothers of Srebrenica, Lajcak stated that the International Community has taken certain steps towards Srebrenica and added that Srebrenica deserves to be one of Bosnia’s top priorities.

Commenting the latest events in Bosnia and demands of the political parties of the Serbians living in Bosnia to annul the Bonn Powers, Lajcak said that “the Bonn Powers are here. I have been trying to use them for the benefit of all Bosnian citizens and I will continue doing so.”

The International Community's High Representative in Bosnia had a meting with the municipality officials and discussed the projects that are to be implemented in the sector of reconstruction and economic recovery of Srebrenica.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 24,2007) – France will unconditionally support measures imposed by the Office of the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia (OHR), French Embassy’s officials said yesterday. They added that his measures are aimed to ensure a more functional and efficient Bosnian state.

”The measures, aimed to ensure a more functional and efficient work of the Bosnian state institutions do not question the people’s constitutionality and existence of Bosnia's entities”, the Embassy officials emphasized.

The embassy officials are of the opinion that the OHR’s decisions are in accordance with the Dayton Agreement and the Bosnian Constitution. The measures are aimed to put the misuse of Bosnian Council of Ministers work to an end. The measures related to functioning of the Bosnian Parliament have been passed for the same reason.

”Of course, France expects everyone to perform his duties and to adjust the activities in accordance to the OHR’s decisions. In that way, everybody will contribute the country’s stability, which is in the interest of all Bosnian citizens”, French officials stated.

Also,the Ambassador of Holland in Bosnia, Karel Vosskuebler, made an official announcement yesterday in reaction to the measures imposed by the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajcak.

He emphasized that the Bosnian citizens want the country to join the European Union. However, he added that the association processes require great efforts in producing new laws and regulations.

“During these past 18 months, we have observed a worrying lack of such effectiveness. The latest measures by the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajcak merely intend to address the problem and deserve the full support of any serious politician in the country”, Ambassador Vosskuehler stated.


VATICAN CITY, Vatican (October 24,2007) – The Bosnian President Zeljko Komsic is on a several-day visit to the Vatican. Ratification ceremony of the Base agreement between Bosnia and the Vatican will take place during his visit.

On the first day of his visit (yesterday), President Komsic visited Franciscan Curia and then the Santa Maria d’Ara-Coeli Church in which the Bosnian Queen Catherine is buried.

The Bosnian President Zeljko Komsic will meet today with Italian President Giorgo Napolitano and Pope Benedict the 16th will meet with President Komsic on Thursday.

Ratification instruments exchange of the Base Agreement between Bosnia and the Vatican will take place after the official reception.

President Komsic will return from Vatican on Friday.


LYON, France (October 24,2007) – Delegation of the Bosnian Ministry of Security lead by Minister Tarik Sadovic, had a meeting in Lyon,France, with Interpol Secretary General Roland Noble.

During the meeting, participants talked about the international police cooperation development, exchange of police – related information and on forms of cooperation with the Bosnian National Interpol Bureau situated in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

The hosts were introduced to the Bosnian National Bureau activities and ways of fighting organized crime.

Participants mutually expressed interest in continuation of cooperation.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 24,2007) - The defence team of a convicted Serbian war criminal Gojko Jankovic, which considers that substantial violations of the criminal proceeding occurred during the first instance process, has asked for the revocation of the verdict and a new trial.

But, the Bosnian State Prosecutor denied these allegations and has asked the Appellate Chamber of the Bosnian State Court to confirm the first instance verdict.

The only party to the proceeding to appeal the verdict was the defence.

Serbian war criminal Gojko Jankovic was sentenced by the first instance verdict to 34 years imprisonment for war crimes committed on the territory of the eastern Bosnian town of Foca in the course of 1992,during the Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

Serbian war criminal Gojko Jankovic is, inter alia, charged with having committed murders and deportation of Bosnian civilians from the villages in Foca area and rape of Bosnian girls and young women – the youngest being 12 years old.

The first instance Trial Chamber pronounced the verdict in February 2007. Its verdict also included a paragraph indicating that the indictee should cover the costs of the proceedings.

After the defence filed a complaint about this decision, all injured parties were advised to take legal action in that regard.

Milan Trbojevic said that his client did not feel well and, for that reason, a request was made to postpone the proceeding before the Appellate Chamber of the Bosnian State Court.

He said that Serbian war criminal Gojko Jankovic was severely wounded during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.He further said that Serbian war criminal Jankovic suffered from kidney cancer and that he should be operated on.

The same diagnosis was confirmed by the medical commission, which examined the indictee as per a request made by the Trial Chamber. The commission concluded that an operation was needed, but that the indictee's health condition was not alarming. Nevertheless, the Appellate Chamber decided to proceed with the hearing.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor reiterated that it did not file an appeal against the first instance verdict, but it asked for its confirmation. It described the allegations contained in the defence's appeal as "ungrounded".

The Convicted Serbian war criminal Gojko Jankovic said he "wanted the real truth to be revealed", even if he would be pronounced guilty.

"I am now prepared to defend myself. In the course of the first instance trial I was not prepared, as I was not feeling well. In addition, the prosecutor did not allow me to do anything," Serbian war criminal Jankovic said.

In response to his statement, the chairwoman said that the process was led by the court and not by the prosecution. Jankovic did not comment on the judge's remark.

Serbian war criminal Gojko Jankovic's defence announced that, in case a retrial was opened, the indictee was ready to provide the court with the names of those who perpetrated the crimes charged upon him.

The Appellate Chamber of the Bosnian State Court shall render its decision at a later stage.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 24,2007) - Serbian war criminals Sreten Lazarevic and Mile Markovic, charged with having committed crimes against Bosnian civilians on the territory of the eastern Bosnian town of Zvornik,during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia, have pleaded not guilty before the Bosnian State Court.

Serbian war criminal Dragan Stanojevic said he would defend himself with silence and he therefore did not enter a plea.

The fourth Serbian war criminal Slobodan Ostojic, failed to appear at the hearing, as did his defence attorney, who had informed the Bosnian state Court of the reasons for his absence. The plea hearing of the fourth indictee has therefore been postponed. It will take place some time between November 10 and 15.

The indictment alleges that Serbian war criminals Sreten Lazarevic, Dragan Stanojevic, Mile Markovic and Slobodan Ostojic, former members of the genocidal paramilitary formations of the Serbians living in Bosnia, assisted others and personally caused bodily injuries to Bosnian civilians detained in the eastern Bosnian town of Zvornik from May 1992 to March 1993,during the Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor suggested that the case be transferred to a lower instance court for further processing.The prosecution also said that other courts in Bosnia are not overloaded with cases as much as the Bosnian state Court. The referral of the case is therefore requested in order to achieve better efficiency. The explanation further indicates that "this is not a very complex case".

The Bosnian State Court shall render a decision concerning this proposal at a later stage.