Tuesday, October 9, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 9,2007) - The Bosnian President Zeljko Komsic stated at a press conference in Sarajevo that the political situation in Bosnia is very complicated in the aspect of police reform which is a precondition for signing the Stabilisation and association Agreement between Bosnia and the European Union.

President Komsic is of the opinion that the ruling parliamentary majority faces many problems related to some concrete issues, like the police reform or the law on fiscal council.

A special problem is the fact that solving the Kosovo issue affects the situation in Bosnia, that is, certain factors in Bosnia (serbians living in Bosnia) are working in accordance with the agreements they have been making with Serbia for the purpose of strengthening its position in the Kosovo negotiations.

”That will not happen at any cost! This country will not be a hostage of neighbours,” the Bosnian President Zeljko Komsic said.

Commenting the Siljadzic-Dodik police reform agreement, Komsic said that they may thing they have done a good job, but Brussels is the body authorized to say and has said that it is not enough.

”We cannot choose what is enough for them. That circle has its own rules and we do not create them”, he said.

Komsic,who recently visited New York at the UN General Assembly session,said that Bosnia is not the main focus of the world anymore. He added that the impression is that Bosnia has a lot of friends in the world but that the statesmen are not motivated by the bad news coming from Bosnia.

He emphasized that the UN “will not understand you well if you use the institution to solve some interior issues”.

”That does not interest them. The world does not revolve around Bosnia. If you use the position to solve Bosnia's issues, you will not be welcome”, he emphasized.

Commenting the suspension of two Bosnian Ambassadors – to Vienna and Brussels (Darija Krsticevic and Lidija Topic), Komsic said he knew what usually goes on when the HDZ BIH Party personnel should leave their positions.

He said that the Bosnian Ministry of Foreign Affairs or someone else cannot enter the constitutional jurisdiction of the Bosnian Presidency, especially keeping in mind that the decision was passed unanimously.

He emphasized that the Bosnian Ambassador to Austria,Darija Krsticevic, made a serious mistake when she did not inform him and the other two Bosnian Presidency members on the recent events that took place in Vienna that involved two Bosnian citizens.

This practice of not informing the Bosnian Presidency members has been seen previously, Komsic warned and added that one such example occurred during leader of recent visit to Vatican of leader of the Serbians living in Bosnia,Milorad Dodik.

”Nobody informed the Bosnian Presidency in any way. What kind of professionalism is that? That is not how things are going to develop while I am around. The Bosnian Ambassadors will do their job accordingly”, he said.

He also emphasized that he does not want to be concerned with the issue of whether or not the Bosnian Ambassadors are informing someone else as long as they inform the Bosnian Presidency.

The newly-appointed Bosnian Ambassadors to Vienna and Brussels Jadranka Negodic and Tomislav Limov are the persons who will do a quality job and Komsic fully believes them.

”It is time for the Bosnian Presidency to regain its dignity. The ambassadors should realize that they cannot behave as though nothing has been told to them”, he said.

Komsic said that media is the only source of information for the Bosnian Presidency about the Vienna event. He added that it is obvious that it is a person who had been misused for no detonator was found in the explosives.

Komsic responsibly claims that there is no organized terrorist organization in Bosnia but that there may be some deranged individuals like anywhere else in the world.

”There is no 'Islamic or Christian threat' coming from Bosnia. That is a well-thought of propaganda aimed to make Bosnia seem like a dangerous country. I will fight against it with all means available. I will not let anyone manipulate Bosnia”, he said.

Komsic initiated the Croatian parties’ talks several months ago. He wanted the topic of the Bosnian constitutional changes discussed. “However, they decided that they did not need me”.

He added that the Kresevo declaration is wise and that there is nothing in the text that can be considered problematic. Reading between the lines is hypothetical.

According to him, the Kresevo declaration offers three ways out – strengthening of Bosnia. However, it is only a tactic move which helps buy the time and is used for the elections campaign in Croatia.

”Once real talks begin, all their differences and various interpretations will come to light”, Komsic said.

The Bosnian Presidency Chairman said that all the issues between Bosnia and Croatia will be solved once the elections in Croatia are over.

He added that nobody considers a problem the fact that Croatia wants to build the Land – Peljesac bridge, but that it is important for Bosnia to define its naval borders, including the top of the Klek peninsula and the islands of Mali and Veliki Skolj.

The Split Naval Institute proposed that the islands are a part of Bosnian territory and that the naval border should be in line with the top of the peninsula. In that case, the Bosnian border would be under the bridge.

”That should not be considered a problem. Construction plan for the bridge has not been developed in Croatia. Some information state that nobody knows the exact cost of the construction. That is their problem, however. This is the pre-elections time in Croatia and that is one of the key issues for the country”, he said.

He added that the property issues should be solved with Croatia. Bosnia property in Croatia is three times more worth than Croatian property in Bosnia. The total sum is 1,5 billion USD.

In the end, Komsic reacted to objections that he should advocate the attitudes on his party at the Bosnian Presidency. He said that this is the time when he should act more as a Bosnian Presidency Chairman and less an a member of the SDP party, which he loves and would never leave it.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 9,2007) - Tadeusz Mazowiecki,former Prime Minster of Poland and UN Commission for Human Rights Envoy,a friend of Bosnia,who has been named an honorary Philosophy Doctor at the University of Tuzla, stated in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo that he is not a pessimint regarding the Bosnia’s future and its association to NATO and the EU.

He emphasized he understood the difficulties in the current police reform processes and added that they will probably be overcome. “Bosnia needs to strengthen as a whole”, he said.

Asked to explain his optimism, he shortly said “It is because I love Bosnia”.

Mazowiecki had a meeting in Sarajevo with the members of Krug 99 Association of Intellectuals.After members of the Association expressed fears over the future of Bosnia because of the current political establishment and because of the intellectuals’ inability to change anything, Maziwiecki stated “I am not such a pessimist”.

”Intellectuals are not helpless. If there were any moral criteria, Bosnia should have long ago become a part of the European Union. However, the EU uses only political and economic criteria”, Mazowiecki said.

He than concluded that signing the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between Bosnia and the European Union is the best thing that can happen in the long run. However, he emphasized that certain conditions need to be fulfilled.

Mazowiecki emphasized that the speed of the events will primarily be in the hands of Bosnia’s leadership. He also opposes the opinions that the outside influence is crucial.

He is also of the opinion that Bosnia has enough of strength from the inside, The country’s intellectual capacities, although currently discouraged, are necessary just like in any other country. One thing that is certainly needed is – patience,Mazowiecki stated.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 9,2007) – Political organization of citizens “BIH Independent List” was formed on Sunday in Sarajevo by citizens from various parts of Bosnia.

As announced, aim of this political party is to gather citizens who do not support any ideology but simply want what is best for Bosnia and the local communities living in it.

BIH Independent List aims to assemble all the people who would like to run at the next municipal elections.

Temporary presidency was formed on Sunday made up of: Nermin Muhic, Vladimir Puskarevic, Mersiha Korda, Goran Jevtic and Nijaz Sehovic.

The first congress will be held within three months and the party’s organs will be elected.


PECUH, Hungary (October 9,2007) – Movie “Nafaka” by the Bosnian film director Jasmin Durakovic realized by the F.I.S.T. production won "the Golden Benjamin Award" for the best movie category at the Movie International Film Festival, held from October 3 to 7 in Pecuh,Hungary.

President of the jury, Polish director Krzysztof Zanussi, presented Bosnian director Jasmin Durakovic with the award.

Over 100 movies at this year’s Festival were projected. All of them are by the directors from Middle and Eastern Europe. 18 debut movies were projected in the category for "the Golden Benjamin award".

The movie “Nafaka” will be aired on Wednesday at another festival that is being held in Hungary, the International Film Festival of Lifestyle, held in Budapest, from October 8 to 14.


MOSTAR, Bosnia (October 9,2007) – The Croatian Minister of Science, Education and Sports ,Dragan Primorac,visited the southern Bosnian city of Mostar yesterday.On this occasion Minister Primorac, together with the Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Mostar, Slavica Juka, laid the corner stone for the new building of the Faculty of Philosophy.

"The Croatian Government has recognised education and given it absolute priority in the Croatian society. Croatia will help Croats wherever they may live. In the process of globalisation Croatians living in Bosnia cannot survive without knowledge and education, and Croatia is going to be your right hand in this” – said Primorac.

"The total investment of 96 million Bosnian Marks (360 million Croatian Kunas) that the Croatian Government has earmarked for this purpose will be enough to make the Croatian University in Mostar a champion and pride of all those who wish good to the system of university education” – said minister Primorac finishing his address with the remark that the University of Mostar is open for all regardless of nationality.

The president of the Croatian University in Mostar Vlado Majstorović, also addressed those present and thanked Croatia for all it has been doing for the Croatian University in Mostar, especially for the capital investments into the University campus. He pointed out that more than 2,000 students study at this University. Thanks to the new building and human resources the Faculty of Philosophy will be able to meet the demands of the Bologna process in every respect.

During his visit the Croatian Minister of Science, Education and Sport Dragan Primorac also opened the newly constructed building of the Faculty of Medicine of the Croatian University in Mostar.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 9,2007) – The lawyer representing Serbian war criminal Zeljko Lelek facing trial before the War Crimes Chamber of the Bosnian State Court, has said he wants his client’s defence case to include testimony from Serbian war criminals Milan and Sredoje Lukic.

The Lukic brothers, who became notorious during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia for their roles in a genocidal Serbian paramilitary group known as the White Eagles, are currently awaiting trial before the Hague war crimes tribunal.

Serbian war criminal Zeljko Lelek is accused of participating in 1992 in the expulsion and murders of Bosnian civilians from the Bosnian villages of Dusce and Crnca and in the seizure of workers from the Varda factory in the eastern Bosnian town of Visegrad, some of whom were subsequently murdered by the genocidal Serbian aggressor.

Defence lawyer also wants the Bosnian State Court to hear testimony from a convicted Serbian war criminal Mitar Vasiljevic, who is currently serving a 15-year prison sentence for war crimes committed against Bosnians in Visegrad during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

Defence lawyer, who said he had previously turned down an invitation to act as Serbian war criminal Milan Lukic’s attorney because of a potential conflict of interests with the Lelek case, reported that Serbian war criminals Milan and Sredoje Lukic had agreed to give evidence. But he said he was yet to contact Serbian war criminal Mitar Vasiljevic.

Meanwhile, four witnesses whose evidence wrapped up the Prosecution case yesterday were unable to confirm whether or not the accused participated in the crimes in question.

Witness Nikola Savic,who had been a member of the genocidal Serbian aggressor's formations from June 1992 onwards,said that members of the group did not visit Dusce and he did not see Serbian war criminal Lelek in the course of the Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

Two other witnesses, Brano Tesevic and Srdjan Vucicevic were both members of the same unit of the genocidal paramilitary forces of the Serbians living in Bosnia (VRS). Tesevic, who claimed that his own role in that unit was limited to logistics, said he did not participate in combat operations and only heard about the alleged events in Dusce after Serbian war criminal Zeljko Lelek’s trial had started.

“All I can say about Lelek is that he is a good guy coming from an honourable family,” Tesevic told the Bosnian State Court.

Vucicevic said he heard about the events in Dusce in 1992, a few months after they occurred, and that it was paramilitaries who were to blame. He said he tried to avoid such groups at the time, since he was married to a Bosnian woman and was therefore a potential target himself. But he said he never heard that Lelek was involved in the Dusce violence.

The final witness, Jovo Planojevic, worked as a security guard in the Varda factory said he didn’t see Serbian war criminal Lelek at the factory and was not told that he had visited during the period in question.

The trial of Serbian war criminal Zeljko Lelek before the Bosnian State Court is set to continue on October 15, when the defence are due to examine seven witnesses.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 9,2007) – Mirsad Ahmic, another Prosecution witness at the trial of Croatian war criminal Pasko Ljubicic before the Bosnian State Court, has spoken about the happenings in Vitez in Central Bosnia after the Croatian aggressor entered the city in 1993.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor considers that Pasko Ljubicic, as a member of the Croatian aggressor's formations in 1993, "participated in and ordered the attacks on Vitez, Busovaca and the surrounding villages," where Bosnian civilians were arrested, detained in concentration camps, deported, tortured and killed.

The indictment alleges that Croatian war criminal Pasko Ljubičić had control over the "Jokers" squad.After the Croatian aggressor's soldiers entered the city, Ahmic says that he and his neighbours spent a few days in the basement and they were then taken to the ZDK building (Office of Joint Accounting).

When they arrived, they met more Bosnian civilians there. They were all temporarily held in this building. Ahmic claims that they were "not maltreated and that they received food on a regular basis", although "they were occasionally taken to digg trenches".

After he was taken to dig trenches in Rijeka village, Ahmić was also taken to another place called Kratine by the Croatian aggressor's military policemen together with a group of detained Bosnian civilians. They also dug trenches in that village.

Ahmić has said that, during his stay in Kratine, they allowed him several times to stay behind and rest because he knew a person named Ivica Vujica, "who was a member of the "Jokers". Everybody turned to him when they needed to take some action".

Ahmic has also recalled that, one day, the prisoners were lined up by a person known as Cicko who asked them if they knew how to make the sign of the cross.

"I said I knew and he ordered me to teach everybody else how to do it in the next ten minutes. If someone would not learn it in ten minutes he would be killed," Ahmic has said.

The witness has not been able to remember the exact number of persons who were taken to Kratina. He has, however, said that "many people were already there when my group arrived". They all left Kratina after members of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) visited the spot. The people were returned to the ZDK building in Vitez and then released.

"A few nights later, three soldiers came to my apartment and asked me to move out," Mirsad Ahmic ended his testimony.

The trial of Croatian war criminal Pasko Ljubicic before the Bosnian state Court is due to continue on 23 October.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 9,2007) – Representatives of the Bosnian Association of Farmers assembled yesterday in front of the Bosnian state institutions building in Sarajevo.

They wanted to show the Sarajevo city authorities that they will continue with the peaceful protests. They also wanted to thank the citizens of Sarajevo for the support which lasted 834 days of pretest.

”Removing the tent camp does not end the process. One group of farmers will always be there until our demands are fulfilled. They will carry signs and posters and will continue protesting peacefully and democratically”, Miro pejic, Acting Director of the Bosnian Association of Farmers said.

He emphasized that the farmers are disappointed because of the way in which the tent camp was removed late Saturday night.

”The tent camp was removed violently and savagely. The police came late at night without any announcement. Farmers’ belongings were seized, even their mobile phones. The authorities used the institutions once again against its own people”, Pejic said.

He added that the farmers have never shown any aggression during the protests and that such an action was unnecessary.

”I am of the opinion that it is only a matter of day when other associations of dissatisfied citizens will go out to the streets. I am of the opinion, however, that the protests organized at the tent camp were useless, for farmers have had protection of 40 per cent to the three customs tariffs for over two years, for animal-based products”, Pejic said.


BANJA LUKA, Bosnia (October 9,2007) – Two-day regional conference entitled “Human Resources for Effective Primary Healthcare Services” started yesterday in Banja Luka.

Over 150 participants from Bosnia and Serbia are expected to participate, as well as the prominent experts in the field coming from Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary and Great Britain.

This is the first out of three regional conferences which are a part of the Primary Healthcare Protection in the Balkans Project.

The project is worth 9,8 million Bosnian Marks (7 million Canadian Dollars) and has been implemented form September 2006. The project will end in September 2009. It is financed by the Government of Canada through its international development agency.