Thursday, November 15, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 15,2007) – Book by Florence Hartmann entitled “Peace and Punishment: Secret Wars of the International Politics and Jurisdiction”, which caused a stir on the international scene, after it was published September 10, was promoted in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

Bosnian edition of this controversial book written by former ICTY Spokesperson Florence Hartmann was made possible by the Sarajevo publishing house Buybook.

The author’s stated that the ICTY is a bureaucratic and politically divided institution not serving at the level of its honorary mandate and it caught the eye of the world’s attention.

Hartmann said that the important positions at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) are oftentimes given to the persons who are primarily loyal to their countries, not to justice.

”This is not a book about history of the ICTY, but about a segment of their activities which was never made public”, the author stated in Sarajevo at the book promotion.

Hartmann said that her intention was to describe the “daily bitter struggle” at the ICTY which took place between the interests of justice and political interests. She added that all the information in the book are based on facts, real events and documents.

Former assistant to the ICTY Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte stated in her book that there was a constant struggle present at the Tribunal, between the principles of court’s independence and attempts of the world’s biggest forces, primarily France, Great Britain and the USA to influence its activities.

Hartmann caused a stir with her book by revealing that the Russian Government hid Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic.

Also,according to Hartmann,Great Britain, USA and France purposefully left free former leaders of the Serbians living in Bosnia,Serbian war criminals Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic who are wanted for genocide committed during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

The author stated that the ICTY Prosecution, which is the most tantalizing point of the system, spent a lot of time struggling against those pressures and obstacles.

”The truth is that the western countries helped the Tribunal, but they failed to do certain things they should have done. In that way, they tried to influence the Tribunal’s activities or direct them the wrong way”, Hartmann told the press.

She stated that major forces, such are France, Great Britain and the USA were crucial in the process of the Tribunal’s formation. However, those same countries were quite hostile towards the ICTY, which made all the work difficult at times.

The author deals in a chapter of her book with the issue of arrests and extradition of Serbian war criminals Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic.

She said that on the basis of very precise facts and events of 12 years ago, a conclusion is brought to light that “the attempts of their arrests always failed. The issue is that the local authorities’ representatives, as well as the representatives of the western countries did not want them arrested”.

Hartmann is also of the opinion that the International Community could have done a lot more in prevention of genocide in Bosnia.

She said that the Prosecution has managed to obtain typescripts of phone calls made between Serbia's leaders and leaders of the Serbians living in Bosnia in the period of spring-summer of 1995. The typescripts are a proof that Serbia planned the genocidal Serbian attack against the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica. The Prosecution managed to obtain the typescripts through the “third party”.

Hartmann emphasized that the International Community did not commit those crimes, but the fact remains that the IC did not prevent them either.

She stated that the ICTY is now facing its crucial period, for the International Community will have to decide on the way the Tribunal is to be closed.

That is still an open issue, Hartmann said and added that the worst option possible would be closing of the ICTY prior to Serbian war criminals Karadzic’s and Mladic’s arrests.

The author concluded in the end that the Tribunal managed to resist the pressures and obstacles up to a certain point. Had that not happened, some things would not have been the way they are, like indictment against Serbian war criminal Slobodan Milosevic.

The book “Peace and Punishment” by Florence Hartmann is now available in Bosnian and can be purchased at all the Buybook bookstores in Sarajevo, Mostar and Tuzla.


KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (November 15,2007) - The Bosnian government wants Malaysian energy companies to participate in building hydroelectric power stations and other projects in Bosnia, the Bosnian Foreign Affairs Minister Sven Alkalaj stated in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.

He said the Bosnian government intended to build a few hydroelectric power stations on the Drina and Neretva river basins with an estimated cost of over US$100 million.

"We are looking for strategic partners from Malaysia with expertise in these projects," Alkalaj told reporters at the conference in Kuala Lumpur on business opportunities in Bosnia.

"We see it as a very important source of revenue to our country," he said, explaining that once the country has a good network of electric power supply, it can also provide the supply to other European countries.

He said the projects are expected to be implemented in the next three years after the feasibility studies and environmental rehabilitation programmes are conducted.

The other projects include airports, liquid natural gas terminals and a deepsea port, he said.

Alkalaj also urged Malaysian companies to intensify economic cooperation with their Bosnian counterparts in the tourism, food, military, infrastructure and information technology sectors.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Ng Lip Yong suggested to the Bosnian business community to use Malaysia's strategic location to enter the huge Asian market.

Ng also encouraged Bosnia to source for products from Malaysia such as palm oil, rubber and timber as well as wood and manufactured products.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 15,2007) - The European Union Force in Bosnia (EUFOR) is of the opinion that the security situation in Bosnia is stabile.

”We have often stated in the past weeks that we see no changes to the security situation in the country”, EUFOR Spokesperson Major David Fielder told the press in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

He was asked to comment the recent article published at the Financial Times Magazine stating that there are thousands of illegal weapons warehouses in Bosnia and that those weapons could easily be used in the case of worsening of the ssecurity situation in the country.

”We are currently convinced that there is no threat here. We have the forces capable of dealing with any threat possible. Our verification teams are moving swiftly across the country to make sure those warehouses are kept under control”, Fielder said.

He added that the EUFOR verification teams have been working hard to find such warehouses. They are also fully engaged in making sure that ammunition and weapons’ movement is kept under control in Bosnia.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 15,2007) – A member of the Bosnian Presidency Haris Silajdzic had a meeting with Ambassador of Sweden to Bosnia Lars Erik Wingren and Swedish Foreign Affairs Ministry Department for Politics Head Bjorn Lyrvala. They talked about the political situation in Bosnia and in the region.

Lyrvala confirmed that Bosnia definitively has a European perspective and that the country could soon initial the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the European Union.

”It is necessary to continue the activities in the spirit of Mostar Declaration and fulfil the remaining obligations proscribed by the police reform”, Lyrvala said.

Participants at the meeting agreed that Bosnia has the EU perspective and that it is only a matter of time when Bosnia will sign the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU.


JAJCE, Bosnia (November 15,2007) – The Bosnian President Zeljko Komsic visited Jajce and met with the municipal representatives on the occasion of the “Jajce – A Royal Town” exhibition opening that is to take place in Paris, November 26 at the UNESCO headquarters.

Jajce used to be the capital of the medieval Kingdom of Bosnia.The Nomination file for Jajce was delivered to UNESCO on January 31 this year with support from the Bosnian Presidency and the Commission for Cooperation with UNESCO.

President Komsic confirmed full support of the Bosnian Presidency members to the entire project of nomination of Jajce to the UNESCO World Heritage List as well as to the upcoming exhibition.

President Komsic expressed pleasure over the entire concept of the exhibition.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 15,2007) – Reform of the minor offence system in Bosnia has been successfully completed and it shows that when there is political willingness, Bosnia possesses capacities that can respond to EU standards and requirements. This was stated in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo during the presentation of the Final Report on the Project of Reorganising the Bosnian Minor Offence Courts.

Reform of the minor offence system was implemented under the auspices of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC) and with the financial backing of the European Commission and additional assistance of the Italian Government. It has incorporated earlier minor offence courts (prior to the reform there were 122 minor offence courts in Bosnia) into the system of regular courts – municipal, i.e. district courts.

HJPC President Branko Peric said that reform in this field has resulted in the establishment of a more effective and cost efficient system.

Speaking at the presentation Peric reminded that the number of minor offence judges has been reduced by 50 percent, from 308 prior to the reform to 154, which is the present number of minor offence judges.

Head of the European Commission Delegation to Bosnia Dimitris Kourkoulas also underlined the importance of justice reform for Bosnia and stressed that the success of this reform shows that new solutions can be implemented despite the complex political structure in the country.

He said that should not be an excuse for an impasse in reforms and underlined the readiness of the European Commission to continue providing political and financial support to HJPC.

The Italian Ambassador to Bosnia Alessandro Fallavolita expressed satisfaction with the fact that his government has contributed to the successful implementation of the reorganisation of minor offence courts in Bosnia, but also to other projects as part of the Bosnian justice reform.

He described justice reform as a key element for the sustainable development of the country and its integration with the EU. He said that the success of this project represents a good signal in terms of the existence of capacities for overcoming the impasse and restarting processes that will return Bosnia to the path of European integrations.

One of the greatest achievements of this project is the development of a Registry of Fines database for the enforcement of Minor Offence Orders.


MODRIČA, Bosnia (November 15,2007) – In the village of Garevac, Modriča municipality, 23 contracts have been signed on reconstruction of returnees’ houses in Kladari Donji, Čardak, Garevac, and Živkovo Polje near Modriča from the funds donated by Croatia.

The donation, which is in fact construction material, totals to 420, 000 Bosnian Marks. It will be delivered in spring next year.

The Croatian government has donated this year for reconstruction of returnees’ houses in BBosnia 610 packages of construction material worth about 12,5 million Bosnian Marks.

“We have significantly supported reconstruction of Posavina. Contracts have been signed on donations for reconstruction of about 100 houses in Orašje, 120 in Odžak, in Domaljevac about 100, and in Modriča 105 houses.
The Croatian government gave significant funds for two infrastructure projects, i.e. roads in the municipalities of Teslić and Travnik, in the amount of about 800, 000 Bosnian Marks.We have been already preparing donations for 2008, i.e. packages of construction material, with possibility for increase up to 650 packages”, said Mario Zeko, the staff associate at Croatia's Ministry of Sea, Tourism, and Development.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 15,2007) – After the resignation of Bosnia's Prime Minister Nikola Spiric, members of the Bosnian Presidency started series of consultations yesterday on nomination of the new Prime Minister.

The Bosnian Presidency members met yesterday with representatives of the Bosnian Patriotic Party “Sefer Halilovic” representatives, the Democratic People’s Community and Democratic People’s Union.

Consultations will continue toda with the SBIH party representatives,the SDA,the SDP BiH,the HDZ BiH the HDZ 1990, “Work for Progress” People’s Party, Party of Democratic Progress, SNSD and SDS.

All the meetings are closed for public.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 15,2007) – Bosnia's Prime Minister Nikola Spiric addressed in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo delegates of the Bosnian State Parliament. Spiric said that the Bosnian Council of Ministers’ activities were significantly hardened in the rough political situation.

“The only thing I could have done was to try not to add fuel to the fire,” Spiric said.

”I would like to stress that we held 26 sessions from February 9 until today. We determined 38 drafts and bills. I would like to stress this because of a negative campaign that is being taken against the Council of Ministers”, Spiric said.

He added that the Council has passed several rules of regulations, adopted several proposals of the decisions and taken certain activities related to the Bosnian Parliament.

”I am aware that one can always do more. However, I cannot conceal my limited satisfaction with the fact that I have managed to achieve a maximum effect in limited conditions. I keep wondering however if there is hope for a better future of Bosnia. I was and still am certain that this country will enter a bright future. However, it is up to us to achieve that. We are far too much dependent upon the International Community. I warned that the Bonn Powers are not allies to the dialogue and compromise. That is the only thing we have left and the only thing we need to cherish”, Spiric said.

”I urge you to do everything you can to bring this country back to the right path. I urge you to quit using the ragged clichés on the existence of two sides in Bosnia – the good and the bad,"Spiric said.

"I urge you to finally take over the reform processes and show everybody that no foreigner, regardless of his or her good intentions can take care of Bosnia the way we can”, Spiric said in his address to the Bosnian State Parliament.

”I did not resign so that you could discuss the very resignation, but rather reasons that lie behind it. I believed that my resignation, as well as the Report of the European Commission on Bosnia's progress would suffice the political factors in this country so that they could start talking about the problems. It seems that they do not want to do that. That is why I urge you to do that”, Spiric said.